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baby

Babies/ Baby Food/ Breakfast/ Healthy/ Thermomix

Baby Pear Porridge

This is a variation of my Pear Porridge which is very baby friendly! I have been making this for the girls for their breakfast from when they turned 6 months old. It freezes and reheats really well and has an amazing smooth and creamy texture for a ‘baby puree’! This has been the girls all time favourite meal and is also my go to meal for them when they are sick as it’s delicious and nutricious!

For the rest of the family, I recommend trying my Pear Porridge (if you haven’t already!) It is a regular breakfast for myself, my husband and the boys in the cooler months!

 

Baby Pear Porridge

Print Recipe
Cooking Time: 13 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 x pears (quartered and cored)
  • 40 grams oats
  • 10 grams desiccated coconut
  • 300 grams milk

Instructions

1

Add the pears to the bowl.

2

Blitz - 2 seconds/Speed 5.

3

Add the rest of the ingredients.

4

Cook - 13 minutes/90 degrees/Speed 2.

Notes

*For a smoother texture for younger babies, blitz an extra 3 seconds/Speed 5 after cooking. **For variations - add a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste/extract, or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. ***Freezes/refrigerates and reheats well.

Babies/ Parenting/ Toddlers/ Twins

Twin Milestones

The first year of a baby’s life is full of milestones – first smile, sleeping through the night, rolling, solids & trying different foods, teeth, crawling, words, standing, walking etc.

When it comes to twins, there are a few special twin milestones:

  • Levels of interaction 🤝 such as the first time touching, holding hands, laughing together, biting & chatting with each other; and
  • Game changers 👊 such as their first bath together in the big bath, sitting in the trolley together, and sleeping in their own cot. 

These 9 month old sleeping beauties have been sharing a cot up until the weekend where they finally moved into their own cots! The boys moved into separate cots at 6 months as they were big babies and started their wrestling early 🤼‍♂️. The girls were happy sharing cots with each other & enjoyed each others warmth until last week where one would climb on top of the other in the middle of the night trying to wake up them up to play!

With the boys, and now the girls we put their cots side by side so their twin is closeby and just a reach away! The boys loved playing with each other through the railings and the girls are already standing facing each other to chat & touch each other through the railings when they wake up 😍

What other ‘twin milestones’ can you think of??

Babies

Baby Sensory Shaker Bottles

This morning the boys made sensory shaker bottles for their baby sisters!

Three years ago I made a water + food colouring version when the boys were this age however the water made it too heavy for the babies to lift up and shake, and I was always paranoid it would be stepped/sat on & leak coloured water! So today we did a dry version which was a fun craft activity for the boys! They absolutely loved making a little present for their sisters!

You can use whatever you have at home, but we used:

Clear plastic bottles with labels removed (an apple cider vinegar bottle and a juice bottle)
Rice
Red lentils
Beads
Sequins
Glitter
Pom poms
Coloured pipe cleaners
Foam shapes
Ribbon
Electric tape to secure the bottle cap (so it can’t be accidentally opened)

The girls are loving their bottles and the boys are having fun with them just as much as the babies so looks like we will have to make more!

Let me know if you make one for your little one(s)!!

Babies/ Parenting/ Photography

Baby Photo Tips

As some of you may know I love taking photos of my kids and post them on my Facebook pages (‘Thermotwinning’, ‘Twins and a Blog’ and my personal page) and my ‘Twins and a Blog’ Instagram account. I’m not a professional photographer, I have never done any photography course – these tips are just from my own personal experience!  I use social media as a tool to journal and be my photo album to look back at photos of my life and family. Taking pics of my bubbas is one of my favourite things to do! I took heeaaaps of daily photos of my boys since birth and have learnt aaaaallot in the past 3 years (especially having to get that perfect shot of BOTH of them!). I also love printing my photos into huge canvas prints around my house!

Everyone has different likes and tastes with their photos – I prefer portrait type photos (rather than ‘arty’ ones) as I love looking back and clearly seeing my babies faces. I took weekly photos of my boys for their first year, and have been doing the same for the girls (though their photos are more like every day to get through their gazillion outfits!)  – so it has been great to look back at my boys photos and compare them with the girls at the same age!

The easiest time to get in pics is before your bubs gets too mobile! Here are my tips for a perfect baby pic:


Use a firm but comfy flat surface on the floor. (In my opinion) the floor gets the most flattering angle for a baby if you take the photos right above their head & body as a birds eye view. Lie your bubs on a thick mat, sheepskin or a few folded blankets on the floor (keep it an even surface). I find it’s hard to get a good angle & they sink in too much if they are placed on a bed or couch.

Getting bubs to smile & look at the camera. Sometimes I have my phone in my right hand and shake a toy in my left hand right above my phone to gauge their attention. Most of the time I put my face right under my phone as I take multiple photos and make funny faces and voices to get them to smile.

Take photos about 30 mins after a feed – so they’re not hungry but also not regurgitating milk out the sides of their mouths.

Natural light – choose your spot. Use a bright spot in your house with natural ambient light from your windows but not direct sunlight (which then causes too many shadows). Have the top of their heads/sides of their body towards the light (i.e. don’t put yourself between the bubs and the light or it will get extra shadow). My favourite spot in my house is in the lounge room, a few metres away from the windows, with the curtains half closed (so it’s not too bright, but enough to get natural light in).

Use your phone – don’t bother with fancy cameras. I have always used my phone to take photos of my kids (I’ve always used a Samsung Android phone, I’m currently using a Samsung S8+). Not only is your phone easy to get out and snap away, but the quality of photos from phones amazing these days. With babies you have to be quick and phone’s take photos in an instant – I find there is tiny bit a lag/delay with shots if using a proper camera, and milliseconds count when you want to capture a smile or non kicking legs!

Take gazillion photos! With the digital age it costs nothing to take gazillion photos! I take about 50 – 100 photos for the 1 shot I post. I then go back into my phone, choose a few best photos with smiles and non blurry arms/legs from them moving, then delete the rest.

Edit your photo. Don’t worry about getting the unfolded clothes & toys lying next to bubs in the image. Crop the photo around your bubs and mat. I personally prefer portrait type shots (not arty shots) so I can look back and see their faces with how I remember them. And I also don’t like super duper filters – babies are so perfect you don’t need those full on filters! I usually just brighten & highlight the photo to reduce any shadows. If I do use a filter it is a ‘portrait’ filter on an app called ‘Snapseed’ (but it gets quite dark so I brighten  it up alot after that)

….And don’t forget the toddlers!
My only tip for taking photos for toddlers is BRIBERY! Most times my boys will voluntarily pose for pics for me or even ask me to take pics of them (trained them since birth lol!) but for the other times I have a secret stash of M & Ms which works a treat!
Good luck and happy snapping! Post/send me your baby spam if you give these 👆 a go!!

Love Sophia x

Christmas/ Craft/ Twins

Christmas Paddlepop Stick Ornaments

I LOVE craft and I LOVE Christmas! It’s exciting that the boys are at an age where they can enjoy craft! The boys really enjoyed making these and it was the first time they used PVA glue to stick things on!

This is an easy Christmas ornament which I have been giving as presents to my friends and family. The size of the loop is a perfect size for the boys to be able to place the ornaments easily and proudly onto the tree themselves. 🙂 🙂

YOU NEED:

  • Paddlepop sticks (coloured or plain)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • String (cut into the length of a paddlepop stick)
  • Scissors (to cut the string ^^)
  • PVA glue (for the kids to use)
  • Buttons, wooden shapes and pom poms to decorate

ASSEMBLY:

Adults/older kids

  1. Stick together 3 x paddlepop sticks with a hot glue gun to form a triangle shape.
  2. Loop the string together and stick on both ends of the string to one of the corners of the triangle.

Kids

  1. Use a paddlepop stick to dip into PVA glue and spread onto the paddlepop stick triangle.
  2. Decorate with buttons, wooden shapes and pom poms.

Note: I found the pom poms a little harder to stick on, so I had to restick a few with the hot glue gun.

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Baby Food/ Healthy/ Thermomix

Easy Fruit Puree

I’ve always made my fruit purees by steaming it first, then blitzing it in the bowl. But this method is waaaaaaay easier, less washing up, and keeps ALL the nutrients in there, rather than it dripping into the water for the steaming. I keep telling myself WHY DID I NOT DO THIS EARLIER when the boys were on their purees!

I love bulk making and this is a great way to use up the boy’s toddler bitten apples, and random bits of fruit lying around. This is great for baby food, kids or adults to eat plain, with cereal, yoghurt, sandwich spread (instead of jam), in smoothies, or you can even use this with all apples in their for apple sauce to go with your pork roast. You can use 1 type of fruit, or a mix of fruit i.e. apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, berries, and denser melons like rockmelon and honeydew.

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Easy Fruit Puree

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1000 grams fruit (cored and quartered)
  • 30 grams water

Instructions

1

Add all ingredients in bowl.

2

Cook 15 minutes/100 degrees/Speed 1.

3

Blitz 1 minute/Speed 9 (slowly and progressively increasing the speed from 1 to 9).

4

Cool and store in fridge or freezer.

Notes

This can be kept in the fridge for a few days, or it freezes really well in ice cube trays or reusable food pouches. When frozen, take out and defrost over a few hours or in the microwave when needed. I usually freeze in Sinchies, or ice cube trays and decant them into labelled ziplock bags.

Baby Food/ Dessert/ Thermomix

Apple and Maple Custard

This is a beautiful twist on the usual custard recipe, adding apples throughout the custard. Great for when you feel like custard, but you really should eat your fruit – so why not combine the two!? This has beautiful small pieces of apple which creates a beautiful texture with the smooth creamy custard, and it pairs really well with maple syrup. This is perfect for toddlers/kids especially in reusable food pouches, or you can puree it for baby food (also this is great for older babies when introducing textures).

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Add apples to bowl.

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Blitz 3 seconds/Speed 5. Scrape down.

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Add maple syrup, milk, cornflour and eggs.

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Cook 6 minutes/90 degrees/Speed 3.

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Apple and Maple Custard

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 x apples (quartered and cored)
  • 80 grams maple syrup
  • 500 grams milk
  • 30 grams cornflour
  • 2 x eggs

Instructions

1

Add apples to bowl.

2

Blitz 3 seconds/Speed 5. Scrape down.

3

Add maple syrup, milk, cornflour and eggs.

4

Cook 6 minutes/90 degrees/Speed 3.

Notes

This has small pieces of apple throughout, if you prefer a smoother texture (i.e. for baby food or to 'hide' the apples), puree the custard - 30 seconds/Speed 9 (slowly turning the dial progressively from Speed 0 to 9).

Uncategorized

2 Ingredient Slime Putty

This is a mix between slime and putty. It feels like a light fluffy putty but if you wait a few minutes, it spreads out like slime! This is great for sensory play for babies, toddlers and kids!

This has only 2 ingredients – cornflour and shampoo! I use kids shampoo as it is non toxic (since kids have it all over their heads and faces), and it smells nice! PLUS it is sooo easy to clean out of the kids fingers, hair and clothes, and they smell like beautiful clean kids after it! 🙂

The shampoo I use doesn’t have a colour, so I added food colouring to half of the batch so the boys could squish the colours together.

My ‘neat’ twin Ethan only played with this with 1 hand and got over it after 10 minutes, however my ‘messy’ twin Harley LOVED this, really got into it and is something that would entertain him for hours! Either way, it is a great activity for them, and gives me a moment of quiet time to have a coffee!! 🙂

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Add all ingredients to bowl.

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Mix 10 seconds/Speed 4. Scrape down.
Mix a further 15 seconds/Speed 4.

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Optional – add food colouring – I spoon out half the mixture and colour the other half (mix for a further 10 seconds/Speed 4)

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Feels like putty…

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After a few minutes it spreads like slime!

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2 Ingredient Slime Putty

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 190 grams cornflour
  • 150 grams kids shampoo
  • (Optional) food colouring

Instructions

1

METHOD (THERMOMIX):

2

Add all ingredients to bowl.

3

Mix 10 seconds/Speed 4. Scrape down.

4

Mix a further 15 seconds/Speed 4.

5

Spoon out and play!

6

METHOD (1 BOWL):

7

Add all ingredients to a medium sized bowl.

8

Mix with a spoon and fingers until all combined.

9

Spoon out and play!

Notes

Depending on the type of shampoo you use, you have have to add a little bit more or less shampoo/cornflour in the mix! Experiment and have a go - however if you use more cornflour it will be more putty-ish, and if you use more shampoo it will be more slime-ish!

 

Baby Food/ Drinks/ Thermomix

Babyccino

The boys love a babyccino when we go out! They are always pretty cheap, however I have paid anywhere for 50 cents to $3 for one little cup of frothed chocolate milk! It is so much easier and cheaper to do at home!!

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Add all ingredients to bowl.

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Cook 3 minutes/50 degrees/Speed 4.

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Mix 1 minute/Speed 9 (increase speed progressively).

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Frothiness!

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MMmmmmm!!

Babyccino

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 250 grams milk
  • PLUS
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • (or 2 tablespoons drinking chocolate/Milo)

Instructions

1

Add all ingredients to bowl.

2

Cook 3 minutes/50 degrees/Speed 4.

3

Mix 1 minute/Speed 9 (increase speed progressively).

Notes

This makes 1 cup of frothed chocolate milk. I use macchiato cups (with close supervision) and refill them as the boys drink.

Baby Food/ Breakfast/ Kids in the Kitchen/ Main Meal/ Non Thermomix/ Snacks/ Thermomix/ Twins

Finger Food Ideas for Babies and Toddlers

Here are my ‘tried and tested’ list of finger foods for my boys!
When Ethan and Harley started to want to eat themselves, I did a lot of online and book research for finger food ideas. My boys are HUGE for their age, and looove their food. They are not fussy (…most of the time) and have no food intolerances which makes it really easy for me to prepare their meals! My rule is to have the most colourful ‘tasting’ plate of foods so the boys experience a variety of different foods, textures, smells and flavours. I’ve read that a colourful plate of food is a nutritious one! So I make sure I cover lots of food colours in the meals the boys eat (except for when we are out and using the pram!). I’ve also read that the more variety of foods you give a baby when they are young, the less fussy they will be when they grow older (this isn’t tried and tested yet, so *fingers crossed*)!
 
Thermotwinning’s Finger Food Ideas for Babies and Toddlers
Koala sandwich with Mayvers Super Spread on a bed of baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, babybel cheese, steamed broccoli and carrot, strawberries (quartered), hard boiled egg, and pizza pockets 
The boys with their ‘pram friendly’ finger foods (i.e. nothing juicy or coloured like vegemite, tomatoes, berries, watermelon etc)
Dinosaur sandwich with cream cheese on a bed of baby spinach, cheese and crackers, dried apricots, freeze dried apple, and whole orange and poppyseed muffin with almond and chia seeds 
Another ‘pram friendly’ lunch box
Cheese and bacon rolls, sweet eating cucumber, tasty cheese, mini fruit balls, pear and crackers
BREAKFAST:

Pancakes/waffles – these are some that I make that freezes and reheats well:
– Pumpkin Pancakes (The boys fave!!)
– Sweet Potato Waffles 
– Berry Coconut Flour Pancakes 

Wholemeal sandwich, toast or Cruskits with the following spreads:
– Baby purees including fruit purees (instead of jam)
– Vegemite
– Mayvers Super Spread (can be found with the peanut butter section/organics section)
– Cream cheese
– Avocado
– Mashed banana
– Jam

Raisin Toast (there is a wholemeal version available) – freezes and reheats well

Scrambled eggs – in a bowl, add egg(s) (about 1 per child) + a splash of milk + a small handful of grated tasty cheese – microwave 1 minute on high, stir, then microwave 30 seconds at a time stirring in between until cooked. Leave to cool for a few minutes – the tasty cheese gives it some flavour and also helps the egg firm up so it is easier to grip (my husband’s trick! he makes it for the boys on the days I’m at work) – goes well with vegemite on toast!

Sultana Bran Buds (link here) or similar type bite sized cereals (soaked in some milk to soften)

***With a spoon:

MAIN MEALS:

Wholemeal sandwich, toast or Cruskits with the following spreads:
– Baby purees including fruit purees (instead of jam) and savoury ‘main meal’ ones
– Vegemite
– Cream cheese
– Mayvers Super Spread (can be found with the peanut butter section/organics section)
– ‘The Laughing Cow’ cheese triangles – squished and spread 
– Cream cheese mixed with sardines (super nutritious but best left to eat at home as it‘s a bit on the nose!) my boys love this!
– Vegemite and sliced tasty cheese
– Avocado
– Mashed banana
– Jam 

Wholemeal Toast Cheesy Melts – I use one or some of these toppings and top it with a piece of sliced tasty cheese and pop it in the air fryer or grill for 5 minutes/180 degrees
– Tinned tuna
– Ham
– Scrambled eggs
– Tomatoes
– Tinned red salmon
– Avocado
– Bolognese sauce
– Gourmet sausages cut up into small pieces
– Roast/poached chicken (shredded)
– Leftover meat diced into small pieces

Pizza Pockets (link here– freezes and reheats well

Pasta – any type, I usually use elbow pasta, macaroni or small sea shells as they are easy to pick up – freezes and reheats well. I generally use a cheesy white sauce base, vegetable puree, or tomato based sauce for the pasta sauce with the following fillings:
– Tinned red salmon
– Fresh salmon (de-skinned and de-boned)
– White fish like Ling or Barramundi (de-skinned and de-boned)
– Bacon/ham
– Chicken Thigh Fillets (they have more nutrients than breast fillets)
– Pork, chicken or Beef mince
– Peas
– Broccoli
– Sweet Potato
– Pumpkin
– Carrots
– Zucchini
– Frozen Veg i.e. peas and carrot
– Or cooked pasta with grated cheese melted on top (easy and not messy if you’re out!)

Some of the boys’ fave pasta recipes:

Meatballs – Any combo of chicken/pork/beef mince + hidden blitzed up veggies – freezes and reheats well

 
Salmon Patties – I use a recipe from the Thermomix Cooking for your Baby and Toddler book – however this is a great Salmon Rissole recipe – freezes and reheats well
 
Risotto or Pasta Muffin Cups – With any risotto or pasta recipe, just place in muffin tins and top with tasty or cheddar cheese, and bake for about 20 minutes/180 degrees until cheese is melted and golden. Skinnymixer’s Risotto Frittata is a great recipe – freezes and reheats well

Hot Dog Buns (Chinese Sausage Rolls) (link here) – freezes and defrosts well

Sushi – This is great for older babies if you’re out and need to takeaway something for them. My boys love the mini ones and make sure you don’t get the raw fillings, so I usually get avocado, tuna, cucumber, or egg ones. The sushi rice is really sticky so I find it really easy to clean up after them! You can make Sushi yourself – this is a great recipe – Thermobexta’s Egg and Avocado Sushi
 
Thermomumma’s Garlic, Cheese and Spinach Naan (link here) – freezes and reheats well
 
***With a spoon/fork:
VEGETABLES:

Sweet eating cucumbers (halved or quartered lengthwise) – these are mini cucumbers you can get at green grocers, Coles/Woolies and Aldi – usually in the refrigerated vegetable section with the lettuce

Cherry/grape tomatoes (halved lengthwise) – the boys fave are the Gold Sweet Eating Grape tomatoes (they are orange in colour) these are the ones from Coles, they are sweeter than normal Cherry tomatoes which can sometimes be quite tarte

Steamed carrots and green beans (cut in half, then quartered lengthwise) – Fill bowl with water just above the blades, place carrots into steaming basket (I usually make about 2 carrots and a handful of beans then place in fridge to use as needed), then steam 16 minutes/Varoma/Speed 1

Steamed Broccoli Trees – Fill bowl with water just above the blades, place carrots into steaming basket (I usually cut 1 lot of broccoli then place in fridge to use as needed), then steam 12 minutes/Varoma/Speed 1

Steamed Zucchini – Fill bowl with water just above the blades, place carrots into steaming basket (I usually cut 2 lots of zucchini then place in fridge to use as needed), then steam 9 minutes/Varoma/Speed 1

Sweet potato (roasted/air fried/steamed)

Pumpkin (roasted/air fried/steamed)

Potato (roasted/air fried/steamed)

Lettuce/spinach leaves (any type though I steer clear of the bitter ones like rocket)

Cooked peas – Fresh, frozen or dehydrated

Capsicum (Cut into sticks)

FRUIT:

Apples (quartered, cored, then each quarter cut into 3 wedges) I leave the skin on as it has a lot of vitamins/nutrition in it, or else there are ‘kid’s lunchbox’ apples which are smaller which my boys love to use their teeth and bite into!

Pears (quartered, cored, then each quarter cut into 3 wedges) I leave the skin on as above

Seedless Watermelon
(cut into small pieces (one of the boys faves but I leave it for home as it is so messy!)


Blueberries

Strawberries
 (halved or quartered)

Grapes (halved lengthwise)

Bananas

White or Yellow Peaches

White or Yellow Nectarines

Mango

Kiwifruit

SNACKS/DESSERT:

BLISS BALLS:
(Fridge or freezer)

SLICES/BARS/BROWNIES:

(Freezes and defrosts well)

 

MUFFINS/CUPCAKES:
(Freezes and defrosts well)
 

COOKIES/BISCUITS:
(Freezes and defrosts well)

 

BREAD/CAKE:
(Freezes and defrosts well)

 

SWEETS:
(Keeps in fridge for a few weeks)

 

SAVOURY:


Hard Boiled Eggs – Fill bowl with water just above the blades, place eggs into steaming basket – cook 15 minutes/Varoma/Speed 1
Tasty or cheddar cheese – pre-sliced/cut into thin pieces
Cheese sticks (these are softer, I would wait to introduce it around 10 months as I found the boys would squish it in their hands and smoosh it everywhere before it got to their mouths)

Babybel Cheese

Deli meats – ham, turkey, Skinnymixers Lunchbox Chicken Loaf

Shredded chicken (poached, roasted)

Crackers – Jatz, Ritz etc

Arnott’s Shredded Wheatmeal biscuits

Fruit straps (100% dehydrated fruit) I have made them like the Strawberry Chips but they have a really short shelf life when homemade (when the boys are older and eat more it’ll better!) but my recent fave are Annie’s Fruit Straps as they are great to leave in the baby bag
Mini Fruit Balls (link here) – can be frozen and defrosted

Cruskits – These are a great alternative to the ‘baby section’ rice crackers which are sooooo $$$$$$ which I use for snacks when we go out

Dried apricots
 
Dried apples

Sultanas 

Tinned pineapple pieces

Freeze dried fruit (I buy mine from Costco, Bellamy’s Organic also have some)

Veggie Straws (I also buy these from Costco but you can get them from the heath food section)
Skinnymixer’s Cheesy Pumpkin Puffs (link here) – freezes and reheats well

***With a spoon:
DRINKS:
Getting into their pizza pockets!
Wholemeal toast cheesy melt with Bolognese sauce #nomnomnom