Sunday, December 29, 2013

Yuppiechef The Art of Baking: Lesson 1

I hate Yuppiechef. I hate them because I want to buy everything on their website and I'm totally addicted to growing my ever increasing wish list. Anyway, I found that they have a baking course called the Art of Baking on their website. And if you finished the course by mid December you could win a Kitchen Aid mixer. Who could say no to that? I'm no pastry chef I bake a few times a year, mostly my tried and tested recipes. Since we're moving and getting a brand new kitchen I want to get the most use out of it.

About the course

They say that cooking is an art and baking is a science. And the course gently explains the science of baking and how the ingredients work together, the ratios, techniques and some handy tips and tricks. The course is presented by the the popular foodie blogger Sarah Graham, from a foodie lives here. I enjoyed doing the course. I liked the layout. Each lesson had a video, which is great to just reading, as well as notes, recipes and an easy enough test.

Easy espresso cake with mocha buttercream

This is the recipe from lesson 1. I tried it in my new kitchen with my brand new oven. Now here is my own little lesson on that. If you get a brand new oven, bake something that you have baked before, use an oven thermometer, and read the oven instructions. Now the recipe called for two cake tins. I only have one so my first half of the cake did not turn out that great. The temp was too low so the middle sunk :(. This is what a sunk cake looks like:
I got the setting right on the second half and it came out fine. The cake (without the buttercream) tasted better the next day and was very yummy with the buttercream. I wouldn't make this cake without the buttercream frosting.

Another tip:

The recipe requires instant coffee. I only have ground, the filter coffee I made was a little too weak, so the flavour didn't really come through. Next time I will try and make a really strong expresso.

The next lesson is about cookies and biscuits. You can read about it here.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Baby solids 9 months+

As I'm sure most new mothers have done it, I had a certain idea how I wanted to do solids from 9 months but A showed me another way. When he hit 9 months I bought organic gluten free kiddies pasta and I made a sauce with spinach and goats cheese. It took a bit of effort to plan and make. He took one bite of it and threw the rest on the floor.

So I decided that he'll eat what we eat. I did change our food a bit and made things he was familiar with, I also started to add protein like beans, cheese, chicken and lamb. I always tried to have extra veggies in the fridge in case we were eating something I did not want to feed him (like pizza). In the morning I fed him millet cereal with cooked apple/pear. I also tried my best not to give him anything with salt, sugar or that was processed. Also, apart from breakfast I let him feed himself.

His first taste of sugar was his birthday cake, cheesecake and he really enjoyed it! Since his birthday I have relaxed more and he has had some more sweet things, he loves ice cream and chocolate. And also some pizza! Although I have kept him away from sugary drinks, chips and sugary sweets.

I think he eats well. He really enjoys his fruit, especially nectarines and grapes. He has recently discovered mango again. He also eats his veggies especially beetroot, butternut and gem squash. I really can't complain the way he eats.

Special moments: Making Friends

A is still a little cautions about the playground but he enjoys a table with puzzles and Lego. Recently I took him to a restaurant playground. He was handing blocks to a little boy who was building a tunnel for his train. It was so sweet watching him make friends :).

End of 2013

It's almost the end of the year and I've really neglected this blog. But a lot has happened.

A turned 1! I've said it once, I'll say it again. Time goes so quickly and it's so bittersweet. It's wonderful to watch him grow and can't wait what he'll do next but I miss cuddling my sweet baby! And were still breastfeeding my goal was 1 year but it is just such a part of our relationship, why stop now? My next goal is two years.

After his birthday we did over 30 hours of travelling to the US (Chicago) to visit my mom. It was the first time she saw him, other than skype. She really enjoyed him :) Then we did 30 hours back. The travelling was very painful. I would not atempt a trip like that again until he's at least 5. But I'm glad we went.

The other huge thing that happened is that we bought, did some renovations and moved into a house! It is our third night here and we are enjoying it so much. It was really getting crampt in our small two bedroom place. I hope I'll get inspired to blog more.
Our new home sweet home:

The major things we did to the house are:
Put in a brand new kitchen.
Changed all the basins in the bathrooms as well as the mixers.
Put in bamboo flooring in almost the whole house.
The upstairs had hardwood under the carpet, so we took that out.
Repainted the house.
Put in a gat by the pool.

Anyway some stats on A as the year draws to a close:
He has 6 teeth, top 2 middle, 1 top molar on each side and 2 bottom middle. I'm starting to get worried about the incisors.
He can say a few words: Bahboo=baloon, dahdee=daddy, Ahmah=Hammer (the car), says bah for most things like boat and bum. And of course mama if he wants something. Oh for got he also tries to say google :)
He isn't walking yet only takes a step or two maybe once a day.
He can touch his head, hair, tummy, mouth, ear, and nappy if asked where it is.
is learning to use a spoon.
Can climb stairs.