An owl saw the mouse and the mouse looked good

Mouse toast

One good way to encourage kids to eat is by making it fun. Following the success of the gruffalo cake, I decided to dip into the Gruffalo Crumble cookbook for more inspiration.

Having looked through the book herself many times, Maya has taken a real interest in the food within so I decided to make mouse toast for a weekend lunch. It’s really simple but the finished article looks great.

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Aldi Wine Club – Prosecco Superiore DOGC

Prosecco Superiore

Prosecco Superiore

I’m into the third and final month of Aldi Wine Club and February’s offerings are a prosecco and a muscadet. Our youngest, Asher, turned 1 this week and, after a lovely, but busy party with family and close friends, it seemed like a good idea to celebrate his first year with the prosecco superiore.

After two glasses, I asked Samana if she had any feedback on it and she offered a three word review. Each word followed by a five second silence:

Nice…

 

Sharp…

 

Appley.

So there we have it. It’s nice, sharp and appley. To be honest, apples didn’t come to mind for me. It’s definitely fruity, but I’d say maybe peaches or nectarines? It’s really smooth and creamy too. If I was going to be critical, I’d say I found it a little claggy after a couple of glasses, but that certainly wouldn’t stop me drinking it. At £7.49 for a bottle, I’d definitely buy it.

 

 

 

Top five cookbooks for feeding a young family

Family cookbooks

As soon as our kids started weaning I tried to give them an interesting, varied and healthy diet. I wanted to introduce them to different, distinct flavours as early as possible in an attempt to avoid future fussiness. There’s no scientific reasoning behind this, it just makes sense to me. If you let kids get used to a small variety of meals and flavours, I would have thought they’re more likely to reject different things further down the line. As I say, I have nothing of substance to back this theory up, so I could be completely wrong but, so far (touch wood) it’s working with our two.

So, in trying to provide them with a varied diet, I have used recipes from a lot of cookbooks. Some with more success than others. Below are the five best, from my experience, in no particular order.

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A gruffalo? A gruffalo! Why, didn’t you know?

Gruffalo cake

Gruffalo cake

The Gruffalo is a big deal in our house. Whether the books or on TV, it’s always a big hit with Maya. So when we needed to celebrate and reward a particular potty training milestone (I won’t go into details here), a gruffalo cake seemed like a great idea.

The idea comes from Gruffalo Crumble  and other recipes – The Gruffalo Cookbook, which is a lovely book full of ideas to make food exciting and gruffalo-themed for the kids (and a little bit for the adults too).

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Aldi Wine Club – Philippe Michel Cremant Du Jura

Philippe Michel Cremant Du Jura - sparkling Chardonnay

Philippe Michel Cremant Du Jura – sparkling Chardonnay

So, on to the second of the first month’s wines from Aldi Wine Club – a sparkling chardonnay: Philippe Michel Cremant Du Jura.

We paired this not with the fish or seafood suggested in the tasting notes, but with one of Aldi’s ‘Specially Selected’ Chicken, ham hock, leek and… chardonnay pies. I served the pie with some potato and sweet potato, diced and roasted with olive oil and oregano.

I wouldn’t normally buy a chardonnay. Like a lot of people, I had a preconception of chardonnay as being really sweet. And I’m sure a lot of it is sweet, but it doesn’t have to be, and this one certainly isn’t. It’s dry and really crisp. The biggest taste you get is a really sharp apple flavour. It went just fine with our pie but I can see why they suggest having it with fish or seafood. The crisp sharpness would really complement something like salmon or trout, or a big bowl of clams perhaps.

Maybe I’ll have another bottle next time I make this smoked trout salad.