Spinach Puffs Recipe

OK so when you give this to your little ones to eat, you’d better have the hoover ready. My husband seemed to delight in sharing a video with me of the mess she had made as I commuted home, and then realised that he was the only one around to handle the clean up. He was later seen wafting our beloved child in the garden, shortly followed by her high chair in a bid to de-flake.

After getting lots of inspiration from the thoughtfully compiled set of Ella’s Kitchen recipe books – it suddenly dawned on me whilst going through The Big Baking Book aka The Yellow One of the series – that combining puff pastry and yummy fillings would solve the two issues I’ve been having with sending Adelyn off to the childminder’s with her packed lunch; 1) homemade and 2) easy-to-feed-herself portioned food.

I get mildly anxious about ensuring Adelyn gets enough iron in her diet so this recipe has been somewhat of a Godsend given her reluctance to eat bolognese (like seriously, how can anyone fail to enjoy spaghetti bolognese??) The Big Baking Book helpfully reassures me that “spinach is rich in iron and calcium, making it perfect for superhero-style bones and brains.”

And look at these crispy beauts! Note: I made a change to the original recipe and made my puffs smaller.

Ingredients:

150g spinach

125g ricotta cheese

50g Parmesan, grated

Good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

250g ready-made puff pastry (I use ready rolled)

1 egg, beaten for glazing

Sesame seeds (I only had black at home!)

  • Preheat the oven to 200C and line your baking sheet with parchment.
  • In a sizeable saucepan (must have a lid too), pop your spinach in and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of water. Cover and heat the spinach gently for 5 minutes till wilted. Tip the spinach into a sieve or colander and press out the juice as you don’t want soggy filling! Then roughly chop.
  • Drain off any liquid from the tub of ricotta and place in a large bowl along with the Parmesan and nutmeg. Mix together. Then add the chopped spinach and mix till evenly combined.
  • Assuming you’ve bought the ready-rolled sheet of puff pastry as I do, roll it out and leave on the parchment. Cut in half widthways and lengthways and then quarter those rectangles too so you have 16 rectangles.
  • Divide the filling amongst 8 of the rectangles and you’ll have something that looks like this:

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  • Brush the edges lightly with the beaten egg. Cover with the remaining 8 rectangles and press the edges down with a fork or finger.
  • Carefully place your puffs on to the prepared baking sheet. Cut a little cross in the top of the pastry and then glaze with the remaining egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in the oven for 20-25minutes until wonderfully puffed up and golden!
  • Delicious served warm (but can be eaten cold). Store in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.

 

Book Review: I Can Do It Myself by Stephen Krensky

In case you’re looking for gifting ideas for the very little ones in your life… 🙂

I’ve been reading to Adelyn since she was 6 weeks old – OK she was usually drunk on milk and a bit glazed over – but I think this has really helped to foster her love of books at almost 11 months old now.

Personally, I’m a massive fan of children’s book illustrations and this would be one of my dream vocations in life – to be able to create images that capture the imagination of a child and stay with them for a lifetime. I still remember the favourite books of my childhood, not necessarily by their story but by the colours and feelings that the pages conjured.

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This is one such book that I think will stay with Adelyn for years to come.

Illustrator Sara Gillingham kept the colour palette bold and simple, with a nostalgic 70s retro feel. I chose this book for Adelyn specifically because it’ll hopefully encourage her to be independent and to try things for herself – and also as a positive role model as the little girl in the book is also recognisably big-eyed and black haired!

The board book is 12 pages long, with simple rhyming text that I imagine will be fun for Adelyn to read when she gets to that kind of age.

For now, she loves turning the pages by herself and finding the little yellow chick.

There’s a whole series of these Empowerment books by Krensky and illustrated by Gillingham, which I hope to add to our library.