Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas week

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with lots of laughter, love and good food. Life has been busy in the Bite-Sized Thoughts household for all the right reasons - my parents joined us from Australia on Christmas Eve and we have been soaking up their company after not seeing them for a year. Mini Bite was 5 months at their last visit and is almost 17 months now, so they are catching up on all her changes too.

We have enjoyed Christmas and ventured to some new local and semi-local sights - picture highlights below.

A present pile (and toy storage) all for Mini Bite

More presents (the walker wasn't one of them but was within the photo anyway!)

Our Christmas table

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Fruit medley puff pastry tart

I made this tart back in May, but somehow neglected to post it until now. This is no reflection on the quality of the tart, which I remember loving both in taste and for ease of preparation.

My version was so easy because I used store bought puff pastry (Jus Roll is helpfully vegan) and store bought apple sauce. I don't routinely have either in the house, but if you do keep them to hand you could have this made and cooked within 30 minutes of thinking about it.

Friday, December 15, 2017

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas...

London Christmas scenes...enjoy!

Oxford Street



Tottenham Court Road

Tower Bridge

What Christmas sights are you enjoying?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Vegan pumpkin spice cake

Last week was my birthday, and birthdays are always a good excuse for cake. For home consumption I made the hummingbird cake I've posted twice before, which was just as good on this occasion as on occasions past. I also made a pumpkin spice cake to take to work, using the rest of the tin of pumpkin I recently bought.

Mr Bite doesn't like pumpkin, which is a shame, because I'd love to enter this cake into regular rotation. It was truly delicious. Three colleagues asked for the recipe, and whilst pumpkin preparation is annoying if you don't have the tinned variety to hand, I can attest it would be worth it here.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

In my kitchen - December 2017

I am linking this in to the monthly In My Kitchen round-up, hosted by Sherry of Sherry's Pickings.

I suspect a lot of December IMK posts will start with some reflection, or expression of alarm, about the end of 2017 drawing near. I too have no idea how we're at this point of the year. Winter is upon us and Christmas is on the horizon. Here is what is happening in my kitchen as we hurtle towards 2018. 

In keeping with Christmas, I recently brought home the M&S vegan Christmas chestnut roast wrap. There are quite a few vegan Christmas wraps and sandwiches about, and I have also tried the Pret a Manger and Boot's sandwiches. If I'm honest, I preferred both of those to this wrap, but it was nonetheless pleasant enough. I think the chestnut flavours were just slightly too strong for me. 

More successful was this vegan and gluten free pumpkin pie I found at Whole Foods on a recent journey across London (if I can manage it, any journey across London features a stop at Whole Foods).

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Pumpkin oatmeal cookies {vegan + wheat free}

It is pumpkin season. I don't usually make many pumpkin recipes, because I am terribly lazy when it comes to buying (and carrying home), cutting up and cooking pumpkin. Tinned pumpkin is available in the UK, but it is generally imported from the US and thus quite expensive. All in all, pumpkin and I do not spend much time together in the kitchen.

This week, though, Tesco had tinned pumpkin on special. I picked up a tin and was pleased to use some of it for these biscuits - or cookies as I have termed them, building on the American tinned pumpkin theme.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Caffe Sala, Colchester: Vegan friendly and family friendly

On our recent holiday, we ate lunch out on most days. This tended to be at chain or casual places that don't require reviewing, but I wanted to mention Caffe Sala in Colchester. This is a cosy, charming cafe with vegan and non-vegan menu options, an amazing array of vegan cakes, and a delightfully thought out family set up.

Upstairs toys at Caffe Sala

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thai red curry tofu and cabbage salad

I recently read the book Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek. It was truly excellent and perfectly matched my love of running (albeit my running is nowhere near the scale of Scott's!) and my love of plant-based food. Scott discovered vegan eating as he ran longer and harder, and he is a clear example of how plants can fuel amazing athletic achievements.

At the end of each chapter, Scott includes a recipe. One was for Thai red curry sauce to pair with tofu and a raw cabbage salad. Thus this meal was born. It was delicious and has reminded me of cabbage (it had dropped off my food radar) and introduced me to Thai red curry flavours (I don't think I've had them before).

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Holidaying with a 15-month-old: A week in Suffolk

This last week has been a clear example of how our lives have changed since having Mini Bite. Two years ago, Mr Bite and I were travelling Scotland, thinking nothing of driving 4+ hours in a day, and walking extensively whatever the weather. Fast forward to now and we just had a week in Suffolk - all of 1.5 hours north of our home - where the key factors in our accommodation choice were the presence of a playground, indoor swimming pool, and animals for Mini Bite to visit. It was a different holiday, although equally enjoyable in its own way.

Gladwins Farm

Saturday, November 4, 2017

In my kitchen - November 2017

I am linking this in to the monthly In My Kitchen round-up, currently hosted by Sherry of Sherry's Pickings.

In my kitchen, it is often dark. I mentioned in my last post the end of daylight savings, but when I wrote it, I hadn't yet had a post-daylight savings workday. I'm officially in the stretch of the year when I leave for work in the dark and return from home in the dark. (I have a long commute, so it is at least light when I arrive at and leave work.)

Despite the darkness, there are bright food features to be found. I had to laugh at this 'Leapin Lemurs' cereal. The name amuses me and its pretense at being healthy amuses me. I bought it to snack on and I love the puffed peanut butter and chocolate flavoured balls - effectively a vegan version of Reese's peanut butter cup cereal. However, I can't imagine eating it for breakfast.

Instead, I have been having quinoa porridge for breakfast at home and packaged up to take to work. It is something I used to do a lot but then forgot about. I make mine by cooking 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk, a diced apple, some vanilla, and some cinnamon or mixed spice. You can add a little more milk on serving if needed and additional fresh fruit. It is delicious warm or cold and I'm glad I've brought it back into rotation.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Apple and mango flapjacks

Every now and then I buy dried mango, and then don't quite know what to do with it. I could (and sometimes do) just eat it plain, but these flapjacks proved a delicious way to use it in a slightly different form. Blending oats, apple, dried mango, cashew butter, soya milk and vanilla, this is a simple recipe that creates a delicious whole food snack or breakfast.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Creamy vegan tomato and basil pasta

It turns out the old adage about children and pasta is true. Mini Bite is pretty good with most foods, but she loves pasta and is capable of tucking away an enormous amount of it when hungry. My go-to easy sauce for her is a mix of tomato pasta, tahini, dried oregano and nutritional yeast, but recently I have been looking for some different sauces that we can all enjoy. This creamy tomato basil pasta was one result.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Carrot coconut and strawberry breakfast biscuits

These biscuits were not what I intended to make on Sunday afternoon. I had planned to make carrot and strawberry pikelets (pancakes), but in the end, I didn't feel motivated to stand at the stovetop flipping pikelet batter. When thinking about something easy and quick to make instead, I pulled out my food processor to make no bake carrot and strawberry oat balls. However, the mixture didn't seem right unbaked and so I turned the oven on and created these instead.

Given their origins, it is perhaps unsurprising that these biscuits are average rather than excellent. They are not very sweet and I can't clearly detect the strawberry. However, as a breakfast or low sugar snack (especially with a cup of tea) they are enjoyable, and the ingredient list is pleasingly free of refined ingredients. They seem worth documenting and sharing for these reasons

To make these more like a traditional biscuit / cookie, do feel free to add some sugar or even to use these as the exterior to a (vegan) buttercream cookie sandwich.

Carrot coconut and strawberry breakfast biscuits
Minimally sweet biscuits suited to breakfast or a low-sugar snack
Makes 30 or so small biscuits
Vegan and refined sugar free

Food processor required

Author: Bite-sized thoughts

1 cup grated carrot
1-1/2 cups hulled strawberries
1-1/3 cup whole rolled oats
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup plain flour
2 tbsp cashew butter

Preheat your oven to 160'C (320'F) and line two baking trays with non-stick paper.

Combine the grated carrot, strawberries and oats in your food processor and process until fully combined. Add the remaining ingredients and process until incorporated and the mixture clumps together.

Roll dessertspoons of mixture into balls and place on your prepared baking trays. Press the tops down slightly with the back of a fork.

Bake for 8 or so minutes, until golden and firm to the touch but still soft within.

Have you made anything unexpected recently?!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Vegan pizza pinwheels

If you have children or use Pinterest, you are probably familiar with the internet phenomenon that is pinwheels. These are rolled up swirls of puff pastry that can be filled with savoury or sweet ingredients. They are renowned for being easy to make, easy for children to eat and delicious.

I finally jumped on board the pinwheel trend last weekend. Indeed, they are easy to make, easy to eat (for children and adults alike) and delicious. I don't tend to cook with puff pastry regularly and so I'm not likely to make these on a frequent basis, but they will be going into rotation in my kitchen. My pinwheels were pretty messy and I'm sure you could make neater ones, but even with my sub-par pastry skills they held together and cooked with no problem.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Cookbook reviews + giveaways: Sweet, Savory & Free and The One Peaceful World Cookbook

I recently reviewed two digital cookbooks kindly sent to me by BenBella Books. I am pleased to share them with you today and give you a chance to win a digital copy of each, or a print copy if you live in the US or Canada.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

In my kitchen - October 2017

I am linking this in to the monthly In My Kitchen round-up, currently hosted by Sherry of Sherry's Pickings.

In my kitchen are some old favourites and new finds. The old favourites include English muffins (topped with hummus, Marmite, jam, or nothing at all) and autumn-appropriate porridge. A decadent English muffin twist includes almond butter with raspberries and vegan-friendly, sugar-free chocolate sauce. A fork is required!

Other favourites include Nakd bars picked up on offer from Sainsburys, who currently have a 50p deal happening. I was able to try out the new cocoa coconut flavour, which is now my new favourite. It tastes just like I remember coconut rough chocolate! I expect I'll buy a few more bars before the 50p offer ends.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sweet potato, raspberry and avocado flapjacks

These are not your typical flapjacks. Most, after all, do not involve avocado. These are also less sweet than a standard flapjack mix and more colourful.

Whilst these are unconventional, they are tasty. The avocado stands in for butter / margarine but doesn't overwhelm in flavour (I couldn't detect it at all) while the sweet potato and raspberries work in harmony to provide subtle sweetness. The only other ingredients are oats, vanilla and (non-dairy) milk. It is a simple and effective mix.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Chocolate beetroot brownie smoothie bowl

A little while back, I bought a bag of frozen beetroot with the view to adding it to smoothies. Several months later, just as the weather is turning cold, I finally gave it a go. The result was this chocolate beetroot brownie smoothie bowl - a thick, creamy, chocolatey mix that you can feel good about eating at any time of day.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Jacket potato stuffed with hummus, kale and pepper

This really doesn't qualify as a recipe, but sometimes the posts I like best on others' sites are those that give me inspiration without complication. In other words, posts like these, which may offer new ideas for ingredient combinations without lots of preparation time or effort. I'm not sure if this particular mix will be new to you - but it went down well for me this week as a simple but tasty lunch.

With little to say about this dish other than it being simple, quick and tasty, I will share some random other points with this post...

  • Christmas products are officially in the shops. I am not a fan of Christmas marketing this early, but was pleased to see vegan white chocolate santas on sale for just 10p each (in Sainsburys).I bought 12! I think it may have been a labeling error (usually they are £1).

  • For various reasons I won't bore you with, I found myself with time at home this week while Mini Bite was at nursery. It was my first time in the house without her in the 13 months since she was born. It was (and I hope I don't sound like a bad mother for saying this) amazing. I got so much done! It was so quiet! Things stayed where I left them! I will have to find a way to repeat the experience before another 13 months passes.
  • Also coming up as a 'first since Mini Bite's arrival' is my first half marathon in almost 2 years. I'm running the Tonbridge half marathon on the 1st October and am excited to get out there and attempt 13.1 miles again. I've got up to 11 miles in training, so I'm hoping my body remembers the final stretch.
  • It's been a while since I've shared book, TV or movie recommendations. I may organise myself to do a proper summary soon, but for now, I will say that we recently (finally) watched A Theory of Everything and loved it. I was also excited to hear about the new release, Mother, by Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky. However, on reading about it I am not sure I'll actually like the film. If you see it, let me know what you think. Given we never make it out to the cinema, I probably won't watch it for several years anyway.

Jacket potato stuffed with hummus, kale and pepper
Quick, easy and tasty!
Serves 1

Author: Bite-sized thoughts

1 potato of a size to suit your appetite
1 cup baby kale leaves or chopped regular kale
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup hummus
Salt and pepper, optional and to taste

If using a microwave, microwave your potato until cooked through - in my case, roughly 7 minutes on medium-high power, turning once at the half way mark. If cooking in the oven, bake until cooked through.

Once cooked, cut the potato in half and scoop the soft potato filling into a small bowl. Stir through the kale, pepper, hummus and seasonings. Scoop back into the potato skin and serve.

What are you eating, or doing, this week?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Apple and banana cinnamon pikelets

I have made apple-containing pikelets many a time, and banana-containing pikelets on occasion, but never blended the two before this week. Mixing the two worked well in allowing for sweetness from both fruits plus the contrasting textures of mashed banana and chopped apple. I recommend these as a simple snack or breakfast free of refined sugar, and as easy to make from basic ingredients.

Yet again I find myself needing to make a note on terminology, with pikelets being the Australian term for small pancakes or 'Scotch pancakes'. It is amazing how much variation exists in food terminology across English speaking countries!

I added rolled oats to the batter of these, as well as flour, but the proportions are such that you can't really detect the oats. You could use all flour it you preferred. I also used hemp seeds in my mix, but chia seeds would work instead, or even flax or pumpkin seeds.

Friday, September 8, 2017

In my kitchen - September 2017

I am linking this in to the monthly In My Kitchen round-up, currently hosted by Sherry of Sherry's Pickings.

It is still officially summer, but the mornings are cooler, the evenings darker, and there is starting to be a touch of autumn in the air. So it is in my kitchen too. There have been bowls of porridge as well as overnight oats, fewer frozen desserts, and a greater mix of fruit as the summer berries start to wane. Here are some snippets of other things happening in my kitchen this month.

Perfect for cooler days is this mix of dairy free and sugar free chai latte powder.

It is the first time I've seen a commercial mix like this that doesn't include milk, so I was excited to pick it up. It is a nice change from standard chai tea, although unnaturally sweet from artificial sweetener.

In my kitchen were new, vegan-friendly cranberry and orange flapjack slices from Tesco's own brand 'free from' range.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Double up strawberry apple bars {vegan + no added sugar}

I am rather proud of these bars. They are sweetened entirely by strawberries and apples, but still taste sweet. The fat content comes entirely from coconut and cashew butter, which add flavour as well as texture. All in all, they highlight that whole foods can be sufficient when baking.

I made these last weekend, when the sun was shining and we had an unusually sunny bank holiday Monday. (Unusual because bank holidays in England are characteristically associated with rain.) We did make it down to the coast, to Hastings, where we had a picnic lunch and visited the sea shore. It wasn't so warm that we wanted to swim - and Mini Bite proved scared of the sea anyway! - but we enjoyed our outing. These bars accompanied the picnic.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Easy cauliflower and aubergine vegetable curry

I have made a few vegetable curry dishes over recent months but neglected to photograph or post them. This is a shame, because our evening lighting was lovely in the middle of summer and I could have taken decent photographs if I'd thought to do so. Going with the spirit of better late than never, I am pleased to share this curry that I photographed in waning evening light this week.

Mr Bite is not, historically, a big fan of these sorts of curries. He also has a low opinion of cauliflower and aubergine. However, we have discovered that mango chutney and naan bread go a long way to winning him around. So it was with this meal. I don't think he would have been happy to have the curry and rice alone, but with chutney and naan bread, he professed himself satisfied.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Carob coconut avocado breakfast pudding

It is a bank holiday weekend here in England, and it comes at a perfect time for the Bite-Sized household. After the excitement of my sister's visit and Mini Bite's first birthday, we were fortunate to see family from Canada last weekend. Around that, we had our first two weeks of "real" work routines. In other words, Mr Bite and I are both back working and Mini Bite is in nursery three days per week. (Mr Bite had July off under shared parental leave, to ease the transition of my return to work.) Those routines are going better than I could have hoped, but it has still felt like a busy time. All in all, an extra day at home is welcome!

The weather for this weekend is also beautifully summery, to the extent that we may visit the coast on Monday. Today we took advantage of the sunshine to fit in a scenic bike ride, something that is still relatively novel since we bought a child bike seat three months ago.

Today's recipe is perfect for long weekends and summer days, but it would suit weekdays and clouds equally well. It's easy to make and jam-packed full of nutrition whilst also tasting delicious. I know many of you dislike carob - just swap cocoa powder in if that applies to you.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Blackberry bake

The hardest part of this recipe was knowing what to call it. I have taken an easy route and used the very generic 'bake'. As an adaptation of my blackberry chia muffins, this is really a cross between a cake and a slice. Because I cut it into triangles, I am also reminded of American style scones (although that may be where the resemblance ends as I have never eaten them). Terminology aside, this is a minimally sweetened but maximally tasty snack or breakfast option.

The adaptations to the original muffins were relatively minor: adding a banana, swapping the white sugar to coconut sugar, halving the sugar amount, and slightly reducing the oil. I also cut out the salt. These swaps were made with a 1-year-old in mind and Mini Bite did love these, although I can now say that if you give this to a child you will have blackberry stains everywhere (their clothes, your clothes, their hands, your hands...). The stains are worth it though, and to be honest, with a 1-year-old you will probably have stains everywhere no matter what you do.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Fig cacao balls

Thank you for your birthday wishes to Mini Bite. She has become an expert at spotting presents and cards, although is still just as interested in the paper (and more specifically, trying to eat the paper) than what may be hidden within.

With her birthday over and my sister returned to Australia (sob), normal routines are returning. I made these fig cacao balls during my sister's visit but they could just as easily be slotted into a normal weekend - the preparation time is minimal, they keep well, and they are easy to eat. They were even well received by Mr Bite, who supposedly doesn't like nuts or figs!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

In my kitchen - The first birthday edition {August 2017}

I am linking this in to the monthly In My Kitchen round-up, now hosted by Sherry of Sherry's Pickings.

It was this time last year that I introduced Mini Bite to the blogging world via an In My Kitchen post. It seems appropriate to mark her first birthday in the same way now. I will not even attempt to summarise the learning, highs, low, development, milestones and laughter-to-tears that accompanies the first 12 months of a babies' life. Instead, I will share a few recent pictures and showcase her two birthday cakes - a fruit based tier for her, and a vegan chocolate cake for us.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Golden couscous salad

It has been a while between couscous recipes. There is no particular reason for this, other than the usual one of my favoured foods going through cycles. I may be re-entering a couscous phase since reminding myself of how easy it is to make.

Today's salad is golden in lots of ways. There is orange in three formats (zest, juice, segments) plus grated carrot, chopped butternut squash and turmeric. Coriander, ginger and a dash of soy sauce round out the flavour mix, whilst chickpeas and spinach leaves round out the meal. It all comes together very easily and the result is hearty enough to stand alone as a meal, whilst also being well suited to picnic-style eating or a barbecue side dish.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

New (to me) vegan lunches and snacks

It's been an exciting week in the Bite-Sized household. My sister is visiting from Australia and it is the first time I've seen her in over 3 years. It's also her first time meeting Mini Bite, and the visit spans Mini Bite's first birthday next week. I'm still at work this week but have next week off for birthday and visiting celebrations. So, with all this happening, I hope you'll understand if this post is short and sweet!

I did want to share some recent phone-snapped photos (please forgive quality) of new-to-me vegan products. One of the benefits of being back at work is having access to a new range of vegan lunch options in London, and the excuse to buy lunch and snacks on the go again. There are a surprising number of new options given my absence of only a year. M&S and Pret a Manger have branches near where I live or visit regularly, so today's post covers some of the less widespread options, albeit not necessarily London specific.

First, and starting away from lunch, did you know that Leon restaurants now stock vegan baked goods from Ruby's of London? I raved about Ruby's products in 2014 when I encountered them at the Greenwich food market. Sadly I don't make it to Greenwich these days, so having access to the items in central London is fantastic. I stopped at the London Bridge Leon restaurant and they had an assortment of vegan iced baked donuts and cupcakes.

Iced rose and pistachio donut by Ruby's of London, courtesy of Leon Restaurants

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Vegan-friendly mint chocolate refrigerator slice

I struggled with the naming of this slice. I could have called it a tiffin, the English term for a no-bake chocolate slice with biscuits and dried fruit. However, I wasn't sure it was quite chocolatey enough. I could have called it a hedgehog, the Australian term for a no-bake chocolate slice with biscuits and coconut. However, I wasn't sure it was quite cake-y enough and it is definitely not coconutty enough (not coconutty at all, in fact). I could have called this a chocolate fridge cake, because that's what it was called in the recipe I adapted. However, my version is definitely a slice and not a cake. And so - refrigerator slice it is.

The good news is, it doesn't matter what you call this. The slice is delicious. It takes a simple concept (chocolate + biscuits in slice form) and adds mint to beautiful effect. I am not sure I'll go back to non-minty equivalents now.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Meal planning

For a long time, I have been someone who aspired to create a weekly meal plan, but who never did so. It has taken our current circumstances to push me from aspiration to realisation. You see, while I am back at work 4 days per week, Mr Bite is now home with Mini Bite. This takes advantage of the UK system allowing parents to take up to a year of parental leave between them. I was home for 11 months; Mr Bite is taking the last month to soak up time with Mini Bite and to ease the transition for her before she starts nursery in August.

To make life easier for all of us, I have taken to planning Mini Bite's meals and snacks for the week. We try and eat similarly to Mini Bite where possible during the day, so there are run-on plans for us too, and I am planning our evening meals separately.

To anyone else who has contemplated meal planning but not quite managed it - do it! It makes such a difference. Some of it will roll from one week into the next, so it is the first week that requires most thought. I don't plan Thursdays or Saturdays in detail, as Mr Bite has a take-away on Thursday (I make something easy at home as local vegan take away's aren't that inspiring, unless we've been out somewhere in the day where I can pick up a vegan meal). We then have burgers on Saturday.

I don't expect to share our plans every week, but I thought I would give you a peek into a week of menus. It reflects the day-to-day of plant-based eating as well as the more impressive meals and recipes that are more likely to make it online. At present we are relying a little more than usual on processed foods (like veggie sausages), but the plan below is a pretty accurate snapshot of how we regularly eat.

Chickpea flour pancakes with a tomato-bean filling

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

In my kitchen - July 2017

I am linking this in to the monthly In My Kitchen round-up, now hosted by Sherry of Sherry's Pickings.

Well. Hello. I didn't intend to drop off the blogging radar for a fortnight, although in hindsight I could probably have predicted it. The shift from maternity leave to work wasn't quite as monumental as the opposite transition a year ago (work to new motherhood), but it isn't far off. Time is short and time for blogging is not, if I am honest, at the top of my list.

Given all of this, I am pleased to be able to check in now and showcase my busy July kitchen.

Local strawberries, blackberries and cherries

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Hummingbird cake revisited

I posted a recipe for hummingbird cake nearly 2 years ago, and remember thinking that I would be making the cake again before too long. It was well received by Mr Bite and I loved it myself. Indeed, hummingbird cake (featuring banana and pineapple with a cream cheese-style icing) is one of my favourite cakes.

As is wont to happen, time passed and I did not make the cake again until now. In the 21 intervening months, much has changed and this time I made the cake to take to a mother/baby group I've been attending with Mini Bite since she was roughly 2 months old. The group has been a regular feature on our Wednesdays and I have valued the opportunity to sit with other mothers, be brought a cup of tea, and have Mini Bite play with novel toys for an hour or so.

Today was our last group, because next Wednesday will be my first day back at work after maternity leave. Mini Bite is no longer a 2 month old infant and today she spent most of the morning crawling around, or cruising on furniture with the holding-on-walk that will no doubt become a real walk all too soon (she is currently 10-1/2 months).