Seedy Coconut Granola Clusters

Seedy Coconut Granola

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a rut and a routine. Weekday toast or oats plus topping on repeat. Saturday pancakes. Sunday brunch. Meals which comfortably turn from favourites to familiar but run the risk of crossing that extra line towards boring.

In the interest of mixing things up, I made a big batch of granola for the first time in forever. It’s great for breakfast but also serves for snacking purposes. Luke swears by it as an after dinner mid-week treat. It’s as good on oats as ice cream and can adapt to infinite variations depending on what you have to hand.

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Banana Raisin Breakfast Muffins

Banana Breakfast Muffins - 4

Cooking is something I’ve always wanted to share with my children. So many of my childhood memories involve standing on a chair beside the kitchen counter, stamping out biscuits, licking utensils and pouring one too many silver balls over dollops of sticky homemade icing. When Nino was still a babe in arms we’d cook together every day, him nestled inside the sling, beady eyes peeping out as I scrambled eggs or stirred a Bolognese. When he got a little older I’d sit him on the kitchen counter, the most appreciative one man audience to my one (wo)man cooking show, letting him suck a lemon or sniff at herbs as I went about the business of making dinner for his dad and I. Then came a good few crazy months, that age where everything goes straight into the mouth and control is neither mastered or desired, directions to mind a hot oven perhaps not understood, perhaps wilfully disobeyed. Either way, most of my serious culinary creations took place while the babe was napping or after bedtime for at least six months. Continue reading

Carrot Cake Cookies

Carrot Cake Cookies - 5

Before I had Nino, it used to annoy me when people told me that I wouldn’t understand a particular something or story until I was a parent. It sounds so patronising, so exclusive, that this club you’re not yet a member of has this deeper understanding of a situation that your single self can’t yet comprehend. My mum would say the same thing with books of hers I’d borrow – you’ll appreciate it more when you’re older, as a mother – which I’d resolutely ignore, assuming my teenage self to have all the emotional capacity (surely more?) of a grown up adult. But the thing about those parents, my mum? They’re right. Continue reading

Creamy Barley Breakfast Bowls with Hazelnuts & Figs

barley-breakfast-bowls_kate-doran-1

Despite a coupe of un-seasonally warm days, it’s starting to feel like autumn round here. My evening walk with Nino is bathed in hazy light, it’s dark by the time that supper swings round and those 6am wake up calls? Like the middle of the night. Comfort food feels like the order of the day and dark mornings call for warm breakfast bowls. Nino and I tend to share blueberry porridge made with flaked oats and quinoa, dolloped with thick greek yoghurt and a spoonful of nut butter, but this week I’ve branched out and made a batch of creamy barley to last us several days. Cooked until tender with homemade hazelnut milk and topped with honey roast figs, this nutty grain makes for a delightful porridge substitute and one I’ll be making time and again in the months to come. Continue reading

Mango & Turmeric Smoothie

Mango Turmeric Smoothie
I’m back! After three weeks of Italian sunshine, wine, pizza, pasta and a daily gelato (or two), we’re quickly slipping back into the groove of life with a lively six month old. One who now eats solid food, can sit unaided and is working on his crawl with all the ferocious determination you’d expect from the son of a personal trainer. Our days are full and joyous but also exhausting, so recipes like this mango and turmeric smoothie that are both simple and healthy are exactly what I need. With the added bonus that it can be sipped one-handed whilst preventing said baby from throwing himself off the changing table or under the sofa.  Continue reading

Apple & Peanut Butter Muffins

Apple & Peanut Butter Muffins - 2

When I was little, I swore I wouldn’t be the kind of grown up who constantly remarked on how much a child had grown: it’s such a boring conversation opener. And yet here I am, parent to an almost five month old and constantly amazed by how he changes every day. The time since February feels both long and life-changing and simultaneously gone in an instant, those snuggly newborn days a thing of the past and this bright, beady, blue-eyed little boy now making himself and his personality known.  Continue reading

Apricot, Coconut & Hemp Protein Bars

Apricot, Coconut & Hemp Protein Bars Wrapped

‘If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.’ – Gail Sheehy

The past few months have been marked by rapid change. My growing belly and the increasingly present little person inside it are testament to the physical, we’re doing up the nursery and spending inordinate amounts of time in John Lewis and on Pinterest, but beyond that there’s a change in attitude too. In eight short weeks – give or take, I’m aware most babies have a habit of arriving on their own terms – we’ll be parents to this living, breathing being. Life, as we know it, will never be the same again. Continue reading

Watermelon, Three Ways

Watermelon cucumber mint juice

I’m back! It’s been just over three weeks since I last blogged a recipe and I’m bringing you . . . watermelon. Not a cake or cookie or seductive fingerful of chocolate in sight, just sweet, crisp, seasonal (in as far as anything imported can be, but until the end of August is when it’s at its best) watermelon served up three ways. Continue reading

Apple, Maple & Walnut Cookies

Apple_Maple_Walnut Cookies

This year January has taken its cue from Christmas with gluttonous ease. Rather than observing an abstemious month of little or no alcohol, fewer desserts, low-fat-this and diet-that, we’ve eaten and drunk our way round London, Paris and Yorkshire. A birthday was celebrated several times over with rounds of cake and cocktails, an anniversary with an epic ice cream pie (more on that next week, just you wait) and Paris passed by in a blur of macarons, garlic butter and a Paris Brest the size of a tyre (albeit an elegant, pastry cream-filled one). Today we’re not going completely cold turkey, but these Apple, Maple & Walnut Cookies are at least a step in the right direction.

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Homemade Cashew Cookie Nakd Bars

Homemade Cashew Cookie Nakd Bars

Over the last couple of years, a range of healthy little snack bars has been inching its way into our everyday lives. Nakd bars (or Larabars as they’re known in the US) bridge that gap in the sweet treat on-the-go market between an apple and a chocolate bar. They’re small but mighty, packed with energy in the form of good fats and natural sugar, and despite their hippy credentials are now available to buy in supermarkets and service stations all over the country. Continue reading