The food court at Kirkgate Market in Leeds is going from strength to strength. The Vietnamese street food of Banh & Mee (the prawn summer rolls are incredible) and the vegetarian Indian fare of Manjit’s Kitchen are particular favourites of mine. More recently though, Fat Annie’s joined the party with their New York inspired hot dogs and that was what I was keen to make the trip to the market on Sunday to try.
As will be the case with anyone with small children, mornings are a chaotic time in our house. Getting two kids up, dressed, their teeth brushed and breakfast eaten is no small feat and it’s easy to forget, or just not have time, to get breakfast yourself.
That’s where overnight oats are great. Anything that you can prepare the night before, when the kids are in bed, makes a parent’s life easier. And overnight oats not only give you that, but they’re also healthy and filling into the bargain.
I cook the majority of the meals in our house, but baking is definitely Samana’s domain. She made this delicious chocolate peppermint shortbread one evening last week having picked up a recipe card at Waitrose. Eating these brought to mind those chocolates with mint fondant filling that always appear at Christmas, which is no bad thing at all.
We went to Maya’s friend Isla’s birthday party this weekend. As much as it was a lovely party for the kids and they had a ball, the highlight for me were these beautiful, glossy pork pies put on accompanied by mushy peas and mint sauce for the grown-ups.
It was Maya’s 3rd birthday recently and her first real birthday party, with all her friends. We hired a double-decker party bus which contained a ball pool and bouncy castle upstairs and seating downstairs for all the kids to eat. It was a huge hit, both with the kids, and with us because there was no mess for us to clear up afterwards, the bus just drove off and that was that.
We opted to do the food for the party ourselves and, although most of it was standard children’s party fare and nothing really to write home about (or indeed blog about), there were a couple of things that were more noteworthy.
Our son, Asher is approaching nine months now and, although he loves his food, he’s developed an aversion to being spoon fed. What makes matters worse is that he’s not quite got the skills to use a spoon himself. This makes mealtimes somewhat problematic so we’re always looking for ideas for finger foods – things we can tear up into pieces and let him pick up and feed himself with. There’s only so much toast and so many rice cakes we can give him.
Since we had kids, Halloween has become a big deal in our house. It’s just a great opportunity to create exciting childhood memories. This year we arranged a small Halloween tea party for a few close friends and family. Now, I’m too grumpy to join the rest of the brood in dressing up for the occasion but I like to think I made up for it by preparing some scarily delicious food.