Kiwi Mummy Blog Review – Kai Carrier

Madelyn and I were sent some Kai Carriers by Kiwi Mummy Blogs to review.

Even though we’re doing Baby-Led Weaning with Madelyn, I do like to give her purees for breakfast because we’re often in a rush and she doesn’t get the chance to sit down and have a nice, long, leisurely breakfast. I prefer to use those little puree pouches out of which the puree can be squeezed or sucked, but I also prefer to give her homemade purees so that I know what’s in them.

So when these Kai Carriers arrived in the mail, I could not believe how perfect they were!

Kai Carriers have been voted the Munch Cooking Best Kids Kitchen Product for 2013. They are reusable food pouches, which you can put your own homemade food into, but which can be used just like the disposable pouches. They are dishwasher safe and can be stored in the freezer. Not only can they be used for baby food, but they also work well for storing custard, yoghurt, dips and sauces, which will make trips to the lake a lot easier.

They have a zip-lock at the top, making putting the puree into the pouch super easy, and the bottom folds in and can be pressed out, so they can be stored flat but actually fit quite a lot of food in them.

We took a Kai Carrier filled with pureed apple to coffee group at church last Wednesday morning, and Madelyn loved eating out of it.

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(In the last photo, she is clearly more interested in the camera than in breakfast!)

With the disposable pouches of pre-made puree, there is usually heaps of mess if I let Madelyn suck the food from the pouch, so I was expecting the same with the Kai Carrier. But, apart from a tiny bit around her mouth, there was no mess at all! Usually it ends up dripping down her front, but the Kai Carrier kept the food really tidy. It either went straight into her mouth, or stayed in the pouch.

There was no leakage into my handbag, even after the cap had been opened, and the puree residue cleaned right out when I ran some water into it. It didn’t lose any quality after being in the dishwasher, so it’s definitely dishwasher safe.

These Kai Carriers are going to make my mornings so much easier. I can simply put a couple of ice cubes of puree into a pouch and put it in the fridge overnight, and then take it with me in my handbag when we go out in the morning.

Kai Carriers can be purchased from the Munch Cooking website. I would definitely recommend getting a couple, even if you don’t feed your baby purees all that often. I’m so glad to have some handy.

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Sunday Special: What’s for Brunch?

(I know it’s not Sunday, but I was going through my drafts and found this, so thought I’d finish and publish it)

My husband and I have a particular fondness for breakfast foods. We love cooked breakfasts, and really enjoy having people over to share breakfast with us. Finding breakfast to share with a 9 month old can be quite tough. You don’t really want to give her too much bacon, it’s quite hard for her to eat pancakes, she can’t have cows milk…

So, what’s for Baby-Led Weaning Brunch?

French Toast (Eggy Bread) with Home-Made Berry Sauce and Fried Bananas 

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French toast, or eggy bread, is insanely easy to make. Simply coat day-old bread in raw egg and fry it. The berry sauce is easy too, all you need to do is heat up a tin of berries in juice with a teaspoon of sugar or honey, and stir it until it’s a nice gloopy texture. And of course, for fried bananas you…fry some bananas. Angus and I also had bacon and maple syrup. French toast with all the trimmings is so yummy, yummy, yummy.

What’s for Dinner? Sausages, peas and vegetable mash

 

If I’m honest, Angus is actually the better cook out of the two of us. He just seems to be more successful at it more often, and I think he enjoys cooking more than I do, too. So often, if he’s home, I’ll start out cooking dinner and he’ll take over. Sometimes he’ll just insist on cooking dinner and kick me right out of the kitchen until it’s ready.

This was one of those evenings. I could smell whatever he was cooking, and I knew it was going to be so, so yummy. I was right. What was for dinner?

Sausages, peas and vegetable mash

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We tend not to buy meat from the supermarket. We get home kill beef and pork once a year, as well as venison several times a year, and that usually lasts us almost the entire year. The sausages were beef, and I think they were actually the last of the home kill sausages.

This was Madelyn’s first time eating peas. Her pincer grip has really developed, and she gets so excited about being able to pick up each individual pea and put it in her mouth. It’s also exciting to spit them back out again.

The sausages and peas were, well, just sausages and peas. It was the vegetable mash that was really special, and it was that which I could smell as he was cooking it. It had potatoes, kumara, capsicum, carrots and onion in it, all mashed up together. The onion had been caramalised, so it was especially tasty. Madelyn loved it, too, and it was so easy for her to eat because she didn’t have to chew it. Definitely a winner for baby-led weaning dinner.

What’s For Dinner? Easy Pasta

Angus was working late last Thursday, so Madelyn and I just had a simple, lazy dinner.

I threw together some pasta, cooked capsicum and cooked cherry tomatoes with some tomato and roasted garlic tomato pasta sauce (the sauce was just from a jar). Madelyn had the pasta, raw cherry tomatoes and lightly cooked capsicum without any pasta sauce.

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She also had some cucumber and pear. Pears are a funny thing to have with pasta, I know, but we have fruit bowls on the dining table and I always eat heaps of it once I’ve finished dinner. If I pick up something she wants, she’ll reach out towards it, so I give it to her. She wanted some pear with her dinner.

DSCF1615I know it’s not much, but when you’re just cooking for one adult and a baby who will probably throw most of it on the floor (or stuff it under her legs, which is her new thing) anyway, you don’t tend to go to too much effort. Pasta with vegetables and half a jar of pasta sauce is a winner for dinner when the husband is away.

 

Madelyn eats people food

Madelyn is 6 months old this month, and that means that she can, if she wants to, start eating people food! We’ve decided to do Baby-Led Weaning with her, where she essentially decides what and how to eat. This means no purees, just finger foods and shapes that are easy for little hands to grasp. We offer her two to four choices at every meal (usually off our plates), and she decides what she wants to eat first.

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There hasn’t been anything yet that she hasn’t eaten. She doesn’t particularly like broccoli. The first time she tried it, she put it in her mouth and then promptly threw it on the ground. But even though she doesn’t love it, it is one of the only foods I have seen come out the other end (a good indicator of what she’s actually eating verses what is just getting mashed in her hands and hair and on the floor). She’s a fruity girl. She loves mandarins, pineapple, pears, banana and apples. Her favourite vegetable is green beans. She also likes kumara, pumpkin, mushrooms and potato. She’s not too sure about carrots, cauliflower and cheese. She loves minced beef, but it’s hard to know what she thinks of corned beef and chicken, because those were harder to eat. She’s tried cucumber and avocado too. And then there’s all the sneaky things she’s tried – quiche, pancakes, a french fry, grilled cheese on toast, yoghurt, cruskits, pasta. Oh, and she loves to drink out of her little sippy cup.

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I’d never seen Baby-Led Weaning in action before, so it’s been really interesting. It’s incredible how adept she is at biting and chewing, especially considering she has no teeth. I cook her vegetables, but not her fruit, and it’s surprising, but she can even eat apple. A few people who have seen her eat have really struggled to grasp the concept of letting her feed herself. It is hard, being so used to seeing babies eat purees, to accept that babies can eat perfectly fine on their own. But I have to be really careful that people don’t break off little pieces and put them in her mouth, because that is when choking happens. As long as she is in control of what and how much goes in her mouth, her gag refluxes (which are really far forward on the tongue in young babies) will usually protect her.

It’s so fascinating to watch her discover food. She gets excited about eating now, she loves it so much.

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The bean greens make me laugh. I promise she does this on her own. So cute!

For more on Baby-Led Weaning, and more photos of Madelyn discovering food, head over to milky cuddles

What’s for Dinner? Baked Steak with Mashed Potatoes, Vegetables, and Gravy

It was “Husband to the rescue” this week. He’d requested a specific meal, and even got the meat out for me. The plan was for me to put it on once Madelyn and I got back from the dance studio, but then we caught up with our friend, Fliss, and I completely forgot that dinner would take 2 hours in the oven. I raced home, arriving at 6pm, and hoping that Angus would be okay with not having dinner until after 8pm. But he’d already put it on for me! He also invited Uncle Phil over for dinner, so he did all of the cooking for me.

I know, he is wonderful.

So, what was for dinner on Thursday night?

Baked Steak with Mashed Potatoes, Peas, Green Beans, Carrots, and Gravy

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Baked steak is the perfect meal if you have a whole lot of steak that is going to be really rough, and not all yummy and juicy grilled. It’s cooked slowly, so it practically falls apart, and the marinade gives it a really nice flavour.

The recipe is as follows:

  • 750g rump steak (or whatever)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (or heaps less)
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 and a 1/2 Tsp flour
  • 1 Tsp vinegar
  • 1 Tsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 Tsp tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Smear the dry ingredients over both sides of the steak. Pour over wet ingredients. Cover and cook 150 degrees Celsius for 2 hours.

Angus modified the recipe a bit by adding more water, in an attempt to make the gravy (the original recipe doesn’t leave you with much gravy, it all gets soaked into the steak). I thought it was pretty good, it just didn’t make the steak as flavoursome as it usually is. Angus thought it would have been better to just leave the recipe as it was, and make up some gravy at the end.

This is a really easy meal to make, and great for when you need to grab whatever chance you have to prepare dinner, no matter what time of day it is.

What’s for Dinner? Roast Chicken with vegetables

My husband doesn’t let my blog stand in the way of good hospitality. He decided he wanted to invite a certain family over for dinner, and Thursday was the night that worked best for everyone. And he knew what he wanted to cook for them, despite it not being an option that could have been voted on last week.

So, what was for dinner last Thursday?

Roast chicken, potatoes, kumara (sweet potatoes), carrots, onions, and gravy

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Roast chicken is one of those meals that is hailed as something really special, but is insanely easy to make. It really is as simple as just putting it in the oven and waiting for it to cook, especially if you buy a ready-to-roast chicken (these come cleaned out and in roasting bags, so you just need to take off the outer bag, and put it in the oven for the amount of time the instructions say to). We roast the vegetables right along with the chicken, so it’s all ready at the same time. Making gravy is also insanely easy. You just pour all the juices from the roasting dish into a pan, add chicken stock and cornflower, and heat it up.

Perhaps the best part is frying up the vegetables for breakfast the next morning.

Easy to make, and relatively cheap when cooking for a lot of people, this is definitely a winner for dinner.

What’s for Dinner?: American Hot Dogs and Chicken Soup

This week’s dinner is a true representation of how dinner happens at our house. I had fully intended on making steak sandwiches, as it was this meal that got the most votes last week. But then I forgot to get the steak out in the morning. This happens more often than not. I could pretend that we had something else. Even tonight, Angus has made us bacon and egg sandwiches, I could have taken a photo of that, and pretended it was Thursday, and no one would have been any the wiser. But why admit that I’m not particularly domesticated, and then go out of my way to hide that? I’m probably going to fail a few more Thursdays before I get into the habit of cooking a full meal every night.

What was for dinner on Thursday night?

American Hot Dogs and Chicken and Vegetable Soup

An odd combination, I know. To be fair, we didn’t eat it all at the same time.

hot dog toppings and preparation are unlimited

When Angus arrived home from work, and I realised that I hadn’t thought about dinner all day, he looked around for what we could eat. He is very good at throwing together a meal no matter what food is or isn’t available (I’m not so great at that). He discovered that we had the stuff to make American hot dogs, so that was what we had first.

I didn’t take any photos, because the occasion didn’t really call for it. Hopefully next week.

The photo above comes from the Food Network website, where you can find a whole bunch of recipes for a variety of hot dogs. We just had plain ones, with cheese, mustard and tomato sauce (ketchup). These literally take 2 minutes to make – just heat the frankfurter in the microwave for a minute or so, and then add the long roll if needed (we freeze ours, because we don’t finish the bag fast enough) for another 30 seconds. Then cut a line to open the roll, and add grated cheese. Put the frankfurter on top of the cheese, and then put it all back in the microwave for 20 – 30 seconds to melt the cheese. Squirt the mustard and tomato sauce on top, and you’re done.

I’d made chicken and vegetable soup in the slow cooker the day before, so there was still that. So, later in the evening, when we were still hungry because the American hot dogs hadn’t quite filled us up, we had soup. The soup, by the way, was brilliant. It isn’t quite cold enough for soup to be really satisfying yet, but it’s still great because it’s a proper meal that I can grab without having to take the time to cook, which means I usually get to enjoy it before the baby needs me again.

Hearty chicken and vegetable soup

I’ll share my own recipe at some stage, but here is a great one (and it’s also where the above photo is from)

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this combination is a winner for dinner, but separately, they are totally legitimate quick meals.

What’s for Dinner?: Honey Mustard Chicken Pasta Salad

I am far from competent when it comes to cooking dinner every night. I often forget about it until it’s too late, so end up getting McDonald’s or just having a sandwich. But then it occurred to me, very suddenly, this weekend, that in only a few months time, our impressionable little daughter is going to be joining us for dinner, and starting to develop ideas about what is good to eat and whether or not it’s enjoyable. So I need to get my A into G and start making dinner regularly, so that Madelyn grows up in a home that celebrates good food and good company at the table every night.

To inspire myself, I’ve decided to start a new weekly feature entitled ‘What’s for Dinner?’ In this, I will be sharing what we eat for dinner every Thursday. Kind of advice on domesticity from an undomesticated goddess, every meal I share will be quick to make, with easily-found ingredients and not requiring anything more than a rather limited budget. What’s more, they will be meals that are able to be prepared in the morning while the baby is napping, or at least happily playing by herself.

Now, I know I said Thursday, and it’s Saturday, but I decided to do this on Thursday, but then that was the night we also decided to start trying to have a bit of a bedtime routine, and our house was a pig sty so I was stressing out a bit, and I just never got around to it.

But I did get around to making dinner. So, what was for dinner on Thursday night?

Honey Mustard Chicken Pasta Salad

Honey-mustard chicken pasta

I found this recipe at BBC Good Food a few years ago, and it’s been one we’ve loved and adapted over the years. Easy to take when working late, and just as great the next day, it has become one of our favourites. The original recipe can be found here (this is where I got the photo from), but we do change it up a bit.

  • Eleven week old babies and time for making homemade honey mustard don’t exactly go hand-in-hand, so we use store-bought honey mustard. I made the pasta salad up earlier in the day without adding the sauce, and then when it came time to eat it, we added the amount of honey mustard we wanted to our bowls individually.
  • We used carrots, capsicum and celery, rather than the vegetables listed in the recipe, because this was what we had in the fridge. Any fresh vegetables taste amazing in this pasta salad, so whatever is in season and in your fridge is good.
  • We’d had stuffed potatoes for dinner the night before, so my husband (who had requested then that I make pasta salad the next night), fried up some extra bits of bacon to put in the pasta salad. This was particularly yummy.
  • We didn’t have any pumpkin seeds this time, but I’ve often used them in this pasta salad, and they taste really good in it.
  • I’m a bit crazy about cheese, so we added cheese too. I love cheese.

We will make this meal again. And again. And again. We love it. It’s an easy fall back if I can’t think of what else to make, because we always have pasta, vegetables and honey mustard (or other appropriate sauce) in our kitchen.  Pasta salad is definitely a winner for dinner.