Food Blog Friday: baby-led weaning edition 

I missed last month. I’ve been cooking dinner almost every night of the week, but it has been boring stuff and I haven’t bothered to get the camera out during dinners. But this month, Food Blog Friday is back with a Baby-Led Weaning special edition! 

I’m including two recipes here that I made for Avery recently. They’re a little more “recipe” than our usual basic steamed brocolli or mini meatballs, but they’re still ridiculously simple. 

Recipe 1: Brown Rice Balls

Served here with liver pâté balls (from previous post)


  • Rice (I used brown basmati, but use whatever you’re comfortable cooking with) 
  • Drizzle of rice vinegar
  • Drizzle of maple syrup*
  • Tumeric (optional) 
  • Sesame seeds (optional) 


  • Cook your rice, covered, until it is slightly overdone. I find my rice is at its stickiest when the bottom layer starts to crust to the pan. 
  • Stir in just a dab of maple syrup (maybe a tsp per 2 cups cooked rice) 
  • Stir in a drizzle of rice vinegar (roughly 2 tsp per 2 cups cooked rice) 
  • Roll into balls just big enough for baby to eat it in 2 bites 
  • Optional: toast sesame seeds and mix up with a dash of Tumeric. Roll balls in this mixture. 
  • Refrigerate or serve warm. If refrigerating, wrap up tightly in cling film and put in an air tight container so they don’t dry out. You can also drizzle a sauce of your liking on them to rehydrate. We had some homemade beef gravy leftovers that we used for one meal of rice balls and that went over well. 
  • *Note: the maple syrup is something I saw on another recipe online and I assume it is needed to help hold your rice together. I didn’t try without, but true sticky rice shouldn’t need that, I wouldn’t think. If you try this without a sugar added let me know if it turns out. 

Recipe 2: 4 ingredient banana oat pancakes

I got this recipe here.


  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup rolled oats 
  • 2/3 cup milk (or milk substitute – I used goat milk) 
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chia seeds (these act as a great egg-like binder and have more oméga fatty acids than you’ll ever need in a day) 
  • Coconut oil (or your oil of choice) for frying them up in the pan


  • Throw the first 4 ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. 
  • Pour batter into preheated and oiled pan in a size your baby or toddler can handle. 
  • Cook like regular pancakes. Flip when  browned on one side, remove when   browned on other side. 

So. Easy. These actually taste good to me, too. Avery only likes them cold, and she only likes them as a snack when she is playing. She’s not a fan in general of grains that are formed into a sheet (like bread or pancakes). It’s a texture thing I think. But she is willing to eat these, I think because they taste like banana. 

Oh and a bonus recipe – the jam in the picture with the pancakes. 

Recipe 3: “Jam” 


  • Lightly steam frozen mango and frozen cherries (or whatever yummy frozen fruit mixes you have). About half a cup. 
  • Put in a container with 2 tablespoons of chia seeds. 
  • Pour in some of the steaming water from the bottom of your steamer. About 1/4 cup of liquid. 
  • Give the container a shake and let sit for an hour or so. Shake it again and let sit again. In a couple of hours the chai seeds will become like gelatin and the fruit/berries are like jam. This stuff is tasty on its own, or spread on these pancakes! 

Food Blog Friday: Vegan Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

I’m strictly following the CMPA diet for Avery’s dairy and soy allergy, and I’ve now thrown eggs into the do-not-eat list. Desserts are my new obsession because I want what I can’t have (i.e., pastries, chocolate things…). I dug up this old recipe for vegan chocolate cupcakes that my wife made for me when we first started dating, about 9 years ago. I was a vegan back then… typical granola lesbian. Unfortunately I don’t have the original source of this recipe, as its been written out on an index card in our recipe box for that long. But the buttercream frosting is a recipe I freshly googled and can credit, because the frosting recipe that was OK for my vegan self 9 years ago had soybean oil in it (shortening and margerine). Not OK for my breastfeeding, allergic baby.



Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes:

These cupcakes are better than non-vegan cupcakes. That’s my opinion, and the only way for you to know for sure is to try them yourself. They are moist, chocolatey, light, fluffy, perfection.


  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup cocoa powder 
  • 3/4tsp baking soda
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1/4tsp salt


  • Mix milk & vinegar, let sit until curdled(ish) 
  • Mix all ingredients, including curdled milk, in no particular order
  • Fill muffin cups 3/4 full
  • Bake at 350°F for 18 – 20 min

Makes 1 dozen
Vegan buttercream icing


  • 2tbsp coconut cream (you can scrape the set layer off of the top of a can of coconut milk that hasn’t been shaken) 
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 2tbsp non-dairy milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 cups non-dairy butter (I use soy free earth balance) 
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar


  • Mix coconut cream, vanilla, salt, milk
  • Beat the butter until smooth (I use my stand mixer) 
  • Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time 
  • Add coconut cream mixture and whip on high for 2-3 minutes or until it gets glossy. 
  • Refrigerate until hard and then whip it again quickly before piping. (I piped it on without refrigerating and it worked fine for my level of piping skill. If you want to make it look really pretty, probably wait till it’s chilled.) 
  • Store the iced cupcakes in the fridge or the icing will get a bit melty and flat. 

The icing recipe makes way more than you NEED, but if you want to do a fancy piping job that sits high and pretty on top of your cupcake, you might need it all.
Definitely try these if you are vegan (or following a milk/soy/egg-free diet for another reason, like me). I also recommend trying it if you’re not vegan, but you would have to source ingredients you don’t normally use (like vegan butter), so it may not be the most practical recipe for those who can eat dairy. 

If you try these cupcakes, let me know what you think!