from little things big things grow

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Baking is my bliss (and a free meal planner template)

Last year I was lamenting how little I was able to bake with baby around. The first year she was barely not in my arms. Now we are settling into a phase where I can manage cooking with my manic toddler. Often she is clambering on me during the process. I stop when I can and kneel on the ground where I serve as a stool for her to reach the counter. She plays with the coffee machine or the toaster. She loves to press the microwave buttons, fish beans out of the coffee grinder, or dip her hands into a sink full of bubbles (who doesn't?).

Baking together

More recently she enjoys climbing on the counter and hiding the remote in the coffee beans.

Fishing for coffee beans

It took me a while, but I see now, she is my little mimic. My daughter instinctively goes to the kitchen to hunt for me. I love making meals for the family. I look through my subscription to Feast magazine and choose recipes that I can replicate. I meal plan, shop at the markets, and I cook. I realised I've become a bit of a baking hound. When I have spare time I bake. When I'm cranky I bake.

The red baron

Today at the beach Skye fell down some concrete steps. She hurt herself pretty badly and it shook me right up. She is fine now, superficially scratched, spirits high as always. I am more shaken than I expected. So, now that she is down for a nap I have made cookies. Of course.

See what I mean. Baking hound. It's my bliss.

I've had four new chocolate chip cookie recipes printed out, ready for trial. It's been a happy little stash of possibility. This time I added notes to them. I fancy I'm becoming a bit of a kitchen nerd! Quaint, eccentric and driven by butter and sugar blends.

Speaking of nerd, I've posted meal planners on here before. I've designed a new one, more comprehensive, and inspired by the meal planning that I need to do for our family now. Dinners and snacks are not enough any more. The more planning the better the mummy/nerd in me says! Breakfast and lunch need columns too! So here is the new one.

Plate du jour (meal of the day) planner.
Right click to save. 

I hope that it can be helpful for you. I rely on it, but don't always stick to it. But those days when using my brain to do anything but drink coffee is impossible, the meal plan really serves its purpose. One day l'll do one with a column for baking. With room for notes.

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