Grilled Cheese with Porchetta

Grilled cheese is easy to make and a staple for many toddlers. I enjoy a fresh grilled cheese sandwich to start my day, or as a nice lunchtime treat. Mommy likes to sneak in a bit of extra protein, and a big punch of flavour, by adding some deli meat to my grilled cheese. Toasted bread, gooey melted cheese, and savoury deli meat are easy to love.

Mommy invented this recipe even though she has no love for cheese. Daddy and I love the meaty addition to our grilled cheese sandwiches. Just a couple of slices go a long way and the extra flavour truly livens up this dish. We love it when mommy makes her special grilled cheese sandwiches for us on weekends. It’s my favourite daddy and daughter lunch.

There are many variations of this classic dish and I have found my favourite with this simple recipe. I prefer my grilled cheese sandwiches made with french style white bread. Mommy and I have tested several types of cheese and various deli meats but this combination is my favourite. I think you’ll love what we’ve come up with but feel free to substitute your favourites to suit your taste.

Ingredients:

2 slices of bread

1 one inch cube of mozzarella cheese

1 one inch cube of mild cheddar cheese

2 slices of porchetta pork loin roast

Butter for frying

Ingredients for grilled cheese with pork porchetta

Looks yummy already!

Preparation:

Begin by shredding both types of cheese into one bowl. Mommy likes to use the handheld rotary grater for cheese, but you could use a box grater or whatever you happen to have. It’s not a huge amount of cheese and you want things to end up blending evenly, so grate the cheese medium-fine. The largest holes on a box grater probably won’t do well for this recipe.

We use the pure pork loin roasted porchetta. Remove the fat and rind on the outside of the porchetta. Put one slice on top of the other and roll into a tube shape. Cut the tube in half lengthwise, and then cut each half lengthwise once more. Collect the four long pieces of tube and slice in the opposite direction cutting the porchetta into thin strips. Add the porchetta to the shredded cheese, and toss until combined evenly.

Melt the butter on low heat in a medium-large sized pan. Arrange both slices of bread in the pan so that the outside of the sandwich faces down. Move the bread around the pan so that the bottom of each slice is evenly coated with butter. You could also soften the butter and spread it on the bread with a knife, but mommy finds this method is easier if you keep your butter in the fridge like we do.

Sprinkle the cheese and porchetta mixture in an even layer on one slice of bread. Place the other slice of bread on top to lock in the heat that will melt the cheese. Adjust the temperature to medium and cook until the bread begins to turn golden brown. Flip the grilled cheese sandwich over and toast the other side to a golden brown colour.

The grilled cheese sandwich is done when it is beautifully toasted on the outside and full of melted cheese on the inside. Place the grilled cheese sandwich on a bit of paper towel to absorb the excess butter and pat the top with a second piece of paper towel. The cheese will be very hot. Allow it to cool before serving.

Peachy's grilled cheese with pork loin porchetta

Ready for eating!

I like my grilled cheese with the crust removed and cut into bite size cubes. My preferred choice of beverage to go with my grilled cheese is a bit of juice. Apple and grape are my favourites. I find that juice is a refreshing choice for a somewhat greasy meal. Daddy likes his grilled cheese simply cut in half and served with a cup of coffee. To each their own I suppose.

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Mommy and Me Banana Maple French Toast

One of my favourite things about mornings are breakfast with mommy. It’s not something that happens every day. Sometimes mommy is just too busy to eat with me and instead she uses that time to get things done. On those days I eat while I watch mommy load the dishwasher or tidy up the kitchen.

When I see mommy making french toast I know we’ll be having breakfast together that day. It’s one of our traditions. Mommy makes several variations of french toast and they’re all pretty good but one stands out for me above all the rest. This particular recipe is my favourite.

Ingredients:

2 large eggs

2 slices of bread

1/4 cup of milk

1 tablespoon of real maple syrup

1 overripe banana

  • Optional:
  • Strawberries for garnish
  • Butter to grease the pan
Ingredients for Banana Maple French Toast

You begin with these items

Preparation:

Peel the banana, put it on a small plate, and thoroughly mash it with a fork. You want a really ripe banana that will mash to a creamy consistency with minimal lumps. In a small bowl combine the eggs with the milk and beat with an electric mixer until it begins to froth. Add the maple syrup and banana and continue beating until there are no visible lumps of banana.

We like to use real maple syrup as it has a distinct flavour and is a slightly healthier alternative. If you don’t have maple syrup you can use the artificial pancake syrup, sugar, or omit it altogether. If you’re over a year old, you can also substitute honey.

Place the bread slices side by side in a shallow dish. We find that a pie plate works very well for this. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the bread, coating it as thoroughly as possible. Let it sit for a minute and then turn the bread slices over. After a few more minutes the bread should absorb most of the egg mixture.

Generously grease a large non-stick pan and preheat. We like to use butter for that extra creamy taste, but you can use whatever you prefer. The sugar in the banana and syrup has a tendency to stick to the pan so be generous with whatever you decide to use.

Place both slices of bread side by side on the pan and cook on medium heat until golden brown. Then flip each slice and cook the other side. Once cooked, remove from the pan and pat with a paper towel to remove the excess grease.

I like to have my piece of french toast cut into bite size cubes, but mommy prefers to keep her piece whole. We garnish our french toast with strawberries and serve warm. Any fruit would work as a garnish but we just love the fresh tangy flavour of strawberries paired with the sweet french toast.

Peachy's Banana Maple French Toast

Big piece for mommy and cubes for me

If you have mastered cutlery, you can add syrup or whipped cream on the top. I prefer to eat with my hands and those kind of extras just make me sticky. That’s why mommy puts my maple syrup right into the egg mixture. It makes me easier to clean after breakfast.

If you’re looking for breakfast for one, you could cut the ingredients in half and garnish with the other half of the banana. There is also the option of sticking with the recipe as is, and just eating both pieces yourself. I’ll leave that up to you.

French toast can be kept in the fridge for a day or two. It doesn’t come out of the fridge the same as it was when it went in. It’s still good, but it’s not the same. In our experience the best way to reheat french toast is in the toaster oven. That brings some of the crispy texture back and doesn’t make it spongy like reheating in the microwave tends to do.

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Banana-Berry Yogurt

Here is another delicious and quick breakfast recipe. It’s one of my favourites because it’s so tasty. Mommy likes it because it’s packed full of nutrients. The berries offer a good deal of antioxidants and the Greek yogurt provides much-needed protein.

This puree of berry goodness takes only minutes to prepare. It doesn’t even require any cooking time. It’s ideal for busy mornings when time is limited and perfect for quick and tasty snacks. Try this recipe the next time that you’re low on time but unwilling to compromise on nutrition.

Ingredients:

4 ripe bananas

3/4 cup raspberries

3/4 cup blueberries

1 cup Greek yogurt

Organic banana, raspberry, blueberry, and Greek yogurt

Pretty colours!

Preparation:

Berries are delicate fruits and are hard to wash thoroughly. We always soak ours in cool water for a few minutes and then give them a good rinse in running water. After a good washing, place the berries on some paper towel, gently roll them around to soak up the water, and set them aside for a couple of minutes.

Ripe bananas will work best because they add a good amount of sweetness and won’t cause constipation. Peel the bananas and remove the stringy fibres. We like to snip the ends off as well to remove the dark bits. Slice the bananas in approximately one inch pieces.

Place the berries in a blender and run on high-speed until the berries are completely liquefied. Reduce the speed to medium and begin adding the bananas a couple of pieces at a time. Finally, add the Greek yogurt and run the blender on high for a minute or two to make sure everything is thoroughly blended.

Organic baby food made with raspberry, blueberry, banana, and Greek Yogurt

You can almost see the nutrients!

This recipe can easily be reduced for a smaller batch. One banana, a handful of berries, and a few spoonfuls of yogurt would make only a meal or two. We prefer making larger batches and freezing meal sized portions for convenience. This puree will keep in the fridge for a day or two.

Purple Cabbage with Sweet Potato and Carrot

This recipe creates a puree with a bit more texture. It is suitable for big girls like me, and babies who have a bit of experience with solid foods. Purple cabbage is very healthy but it can cause staining. Clean up messes quickly and wash hands often.

Ingredients:

1 small purple cabbage

2 sweet potatoes

4 carrots

Organic purple cabbage, sweet potato, and carrot

So purple!

Preparation:

Preheat the steamer on high heat.

Remove a couple of the outside layers of the cabbage leaves by cutting them at the base and pealing them away. What remains should be clean, smooth, and undamaged cabbage leaves. Rinse well in lukewarm water and pat dry.

Place the cabbage on a cutting board with the core facing up. Pace the knife right next to the core and slice down all the way through. This will allow you to clearly see the core. Cut the rest of the cabbage away from the core by making two large wedges.

You should end up with three pieces of cabbage and a core. Discard the core and inspect the cabbage to make sure that there are no tough chunks of core remaining. Slice the cabbage into one inch pieces.

Wash the carrots and sweet potatoes in warm water. Peel them and give them a good rinse. Cut them into cubes about an inch thick. Put the cubes into the steamer and reduce the heat to medium. Put the cabbage on top, cover, and steam for about 20 minutes or until everything is nice and tender.

Remove the cabbage, sweet potato, and carrot from the steamer, place on a platter and allow to cool. When the vegetables are at room temperature or slightly warm, put them into a food processor and run the machine on high until everything is thoroughly blended. The puree will be somewhat textured but should not be chunky.

Baby food made with organic purple cabbage, sweet potato, and carrot

Still purple.

This batch makes several meals which we store in the freezer in meal sized portions. This puree is somewhat hardy and it will keep in the fridge for a few days. This combination is not suitable for beginners but it is perfect for babies who are ready for new textures, and is a great transitional meal bridging the gap between smooth purees and chunky food.

Yogurt with Peaches and Pears

I told mommy that I don’t want to eat eggs anymore. They smell bad, they have a weird texture, and I don’t like them. Mommy said they’re healthy because they have a lot of protein. I don’t care. I’m not eating them anymore because they are disgusting.

Now mommy is trying to figure out alternate sources of protein that could work at breakfast. Some of her ideas are better than others. Here is one breakfast recipe that I approve.

Ingredients:

4 pears

4 peaches

1 1/2 cups plain greek yogurt

Organic Peaches, Pears, an Plain Greek Yogurt

You start with fruit and yogurt.

Preparation:

Preheat the steamer on high heat.

Thoroughly wash the pears and peaches, then pat dry with some paper towel. Peel the pears, cut into quarters, and remove all seeds and traces of cores. Peel the peaches, cut them into quarters, and remove the pit along with any hard fibers that were surrounding the pit.

Reduce the heat to medium and place your peaches and pears into the steamer. Cook for approximately 10-15 minutes or until the fruit is tender. Once thoroughly cooked, take the peaches and pears out of the steamer, place them on a pate or in a bowl, and set aside to cool.

When the fruit has cooled to room temperature or slightly warmer, place a small handful into a blender and run the machine at low-speed. As the fruit begins to liquify, add small handfuls one at a time until all the fruit is in the blender. Turn up the blender to high speed and run it until the fruit turns into a smooth puree.

Reduce the speed back to low and slowly add the yogurt. Give it another minute or so at high-speed so that all the ingredients are thoroughly blended.

Organic baby food made with peaches, pears, and plain greek yogurt.

You end up with fruity yogurt!

Pour into meal sized containers and freeze for quick meals. For a smaller batch, use one pear, one peach, and about 3 tablespoons of greek yogurt. This recipe is ideal for breakfasts and snacks.

PB&J with Banana

When I wake up in the morning, I’m usually pretty hungry. I don’t want to wait around for a complicated breakfast when my tummy is growling. I want to eat something yummy! Mommy has been coming up with breakfast ideas that are quick, easy, and nutritious without sacrificing flavour.

Here is one of my favourite new breakfast recipes. It’s a twist on the classic peanut butter and jelly in puree form. I’m not old enough for jams and jellies, so we use fresh fruit as a substitute. Just as delicious without all that sugar.

Ingredients:

4 ripe bananas

1 lb of strawberries

1/2 cup of peanut butter

Organic bananas, strawberries, and peanut butter

Pretty colours!

Preparation:

This recipe requires no cooking. It’s simple, easy, and takes minutes to prepare.

When selecting your peanut butter, we recommend that you look for one that contains only peanuts or dry roasted peanuts. Many brands of peanut butter contain added oils which tend to be highly processed. The purpose of these oils is to prevent the natural oils in the peanuts from separating from the peanut pulp. It is purely cosmetic as you can easily remedy this problem by stirring the peanut butter.

Wash the strawberries thoroughly and remove the green tops. Cut them into manageable pieces. Peel the bananas and remove the stringy fibres. Slice them into manageable pieces about half an inch long.

Put a small handful of strawberry pieces into a blender and turn it on low speed. When the strawberries have been liquified, begin adding more strawberries one small handful at a time until all the strawberries have been turned into a puree.

Begin adding the bananas one small handful at a time. You should see the puree begin to thicken as you continue to add the bananas. When all the fruit is blended, add the peanut butter, make sure that the blender lid is closed securely, and adjust the blended speed to high. Run the blender on high for about a minute or until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended and your puree is velvety smooth.

baby food made with organic banana, strawberries, and peanut butter

Yummy breakfast is ready!

This batch is intended to yield leftovers. We don’t recommend storing this puree in the fridge but it keeps very well in the freezer. We freeze ours in meal sized portions for fast breakfasts or quick snacks.

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Chicken Stew

As I’m getting bigger, my dinners are getting more complicated. No more single ingredient meals on my menu. I’m a big girl and I need grown up meals. Here is a recipe for the first stew that I ate. It was delicious! Mommy tells me it’s full of healthy ingredients with a good helping of protein. I’m not sure what protein is, but it is yummy!

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts

2 large potatoes

4 carrots

1 stalk of broccoli

1 cup of frozen peas

1/2 cup of quinoa

Organic chicken, potato, carrot, peas, broccoli, and quinoa.

Tasty ingredients.

Preparation:

for this recipe we will set aside our trusted steamer and pull out the slow cooker. If you don’t have a slow cooker you can cook your stew in a pot on low heat. You will have to stir occasionally and the cooking time will be drastically reduced.

Give your chicken breasts a quick rinse in cool water. Trim away any visible fat or sinew. Slice the chicken into 1 inch cubes and place them in a single layer on the bottom of the slow cooker.

Wash your potatoes and carrots, peel them, and give them one more rinse. Cut the potatoes into cubes about 1 inch thick. Place the potatoes in the slow cooker in a layer on top of the chicken. Slice the carrots into 1 inch pieces and put them in the slow cooker on top of the potatoes.

Give the broccoli a rinse. Cut away the stalk leaving only the florets. Wash them thoroughly by submerging them in a bowl of water. Give them another rinse and put them in the slow cooker on top of the carrots.

Add the peas and then the quinoa. Pour in enough water to cover all the ingredients. It should take about 1 litre of water. Put the lid on the slow cooker and turn it on low heat. Allow to cook for at least 6 hours.

Once all the ingredients are tender, and the chicken shows no signs of pink, turn the slow cooker off, remove the contents and allow them to cool. Put the stew into a food processor and run the machine until thoroughly blended into a smooth puree.

Baby food made with organic chicken, broccoli, potato, carrot, peas, and quinoa.

Ready to eat.

This is a large batch intended to yield leftovers. We store ours in the freezer in meal sized portions. The stew freezes very well. It can also be kept in the fridge for a day or two.