Sunday, 17 August 2014

Sweet Potato Cake for the The Babe...and me!

In an effort to get a many vitamins and nutrients into The Babe's diet I have found myself "hiding" veg in our food.  I always thought that "hidden veg" was crazy...I thought "my child will eat all sorts of vegetables"...but that was before I had a child, and before I realised that children are, in essence, fickle and unpredictable.  The Babe will love something one day, absolutely gorge herself on it and then the next day toss it aside like it is the most disgusting thing I have ever put on her plate.  So, in a bid to stop scraping pieces of vegetable off the floor after most meals I have done what I thought I would never do...I have started hiding vegetables in our food.  

I made this Maple and Sweet Potato Loaf Cake during the week and it has been a huge hit.  The Babe really loved sweet potatoes while were in Canada in July, she gobbled up her sweet potato fries like it was nobody's business, but since we've been home my efforts have been met with less enthusiasm. Turning to Pinterst for help I found loads of great ways to use sweet potato in sweet dishes...brownies, muffins, cakes and pies.  I liked the recipe I chose because it was very close to the recipe I use for banana bread.  

I halved the sugar in the recipe and used Macadamia Milk instead of water to loosen the batter a bit (only because I had Macadamia Milk in the fridge needing to be used up).  To save some time I baked a large sweet potato the night before and then left it in the fridge overnight.  If you do this step in advance the cake takes no time at all to prepare, although it does take a while to bake (60 mins).  Once cooled I sliced it up into snack sized portions for The Babe, wrapped them in cling film and popped them into the freezer.  Of course I saved a few portions for immediate enjoyment! 

I slathered mine in butter and pear fruit spread.  It was fantastic.  The cake tastes slightly of sweet potato, but in my opinion it isn't over powering.  It is super moist and slightly dense.  I think it makes a great snacking cake for little ones, and The Babe has really enjoyed the couple of slices she has had.   

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Frills and Fizz...The Pommery Afternoon Tea at The Signet Library

It is August and Edinburgh is ALIVE.  The festivals are truly underway...there are people everywhere and it is awesome.  Last year I avoided festival hotspots like the plague, with a itty bitty teeny weeny brand new baby there was no way I was going to expose her to the hustle and bustle, bumps and crowds of Edinburgh in August.  But this year we are embracing it with gusto, I just strap her into the baby carrier on my chest and away we go...into the crowds, into the noise, into the fun.  She has loved the people watching and the food mother like daughter I guess! 

This past weekend we treated ourselves to Afternoon Tea at The Pommery Champagne Bar, which has popped up once again at the Signet Library on The Royal Mile.  I love this venue, it is stunning and the tea is pretty good too! Last year I took The Babe when she was just a month old...this year she is just over a year old and I think it is safe to say she really enjoyed herself.  

The Babe last year
The Babe loving the mirrored tables this year
We ordered the Afternoon Tea, with a glass of fizz for me (woop) and a IPA for Dad.  The cake towers held just the right amount of treats for us two greedy guts.  A selection of sandwiches and oatcakes topped with creme fraiche and smoked salmon, fruit scones with jam and cream, and small sweets made up our feast.  

The staff were very kind, and attentive.  I had booked our table on line, which was easy enough, and also called to enquire about a high chair.  We were in luck, the venue does have a high chair (I didn't ask if there was more than one) and they were happy to add it to our booking so that it was already at our table when we arrived.  When we ordered our Afternoon Tea I asked for an extra cheese sandwich for The Babe, so she would have something of her own to eat. Sadly, they weren't serving egg mayonnaise (her favourite)...but she happily munched her way through THE WHOLE SANDWICH! 

Dad was kind enough to share his mini carrot cake with her.  I was all up for asking for an extra cake since I wasn't prepared to share (yeah I know...rotten mummy) but Dad offered his instead.  She wasn't a fan of the raw carrot slivers on top of the icing, in fact she dramatically threw one on the floor, but I thought it was a lovely touch.  

This is the third year I have been for Afternoon Tea at the Pommery and, while I knew what to expect, it was completely different experience dining with a small child.  I was happy that she loved looking in the mirror and watching people coming and going and the attention from the staff, her squeals of excitement were fantastic. 

While the Pommery Bar is only open in August for the festival season there is a cafe open year round in the Signet Library, which also offers Afternoon Tea (without Champagne) so The Babe and I are already planning our return visit!