This week I am joinned by Amy. I hope you are enjoying this series. I’m finding it really interesting to see how everyone else feeds their families and very reassuring that lots of other kids are as fussy as mine! I’m loving the sound of Amy’s veggie loaded passata this week and the brownies!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
Hi, I’m Amy. I am married with two little girls aged 7 and 4. I work from home pretty much full time around the kid’s schedules. We recently moved house and now I have a dedicated office which is just the most exciting thing ever.
Who does most of the cooking in your house? Do you enjoy cooking?
I do most of the cooking but my Husband does cook for us as a family at the weekend and will sometimes surprise me and say he is cooking me a surprise meal after work which is always nice to have a night off. Generally, I love cooking, especially baking. I cook pretty much everything from scratch but I wish I had more time to prep though as I tend to stick to quick and simple meals which I can prep in about half an hour after the kids are in bed and I’m waiting for Husband to get home from work.
Do you meal plan?
Yes, I try to. With moving last year it all went to pot for a few months but I’m trying to get back on track and plan properly. I’ve even bought a meal planning calendar so I can keep track and stay on course for the week.
What are mealtimes like in your house? Do you eat together as a family?
During the week the kids eat earlier then I wait and eat with Husband when he gets home from work. This means the kids usually eat at 5pm and we eat at 8pm. Often the kids eat the leftovers from our meal the next day but my youngest is super fussy so it doesn’t always work out.
At weekends we try and eat together, especially on Sunday. But we are often quite busy at the weekends out and about so it depends on what is going on. Often we eat out at the weekend which the kids love. Italian is our go to restaurant cuisine.
What are your favourite family meals to cook?
Our go to family meals are:
- Spaghetti Bolognaise – This is a bit of a crafty way of getting veggies into our youngest. I cook onions, garlic, carrots, aubergine and peppers add the tinned tomatoes and puree. This gives me a veggie loaded passata I can use as a base for my bolognaise. She has no idea she’s eating so much veg!
- Paella – This is a good one because the kids love the presentation at the table and serving themselves. Also, it is easy for them to avoid the bits they don’t like. The youngest will eat loads of chicken rice and peas while the big one will eat the lot.
- Roast– With the youngest having a hatred of all things potato (even chips!) loads of family meals like cottage pie are off the menu but a roast is a good option because she’ll eat extra Yorkshire puddings to make up for no potatoes. Plus if I cover her veggies in gravy she is more likely to eat them!
- Beef Bourguignon – This is always a winner. I cook it in the slow cooker and serve with rice to avoid the potato issue!
Do you cook the same meals frequently or are you always trying new recipes?
I do find we eat the same stuff a lot and we go through cycles where we eat loads of salads or soups then get so bored of them we don’t have one for months! On the occasions when Husband cooks, he usually tries to follow a new recipe so we get something different. He’s always experimenting as has been known to do mad things like pulp a watermelon with a drill!
Do you have any tips for dealing with fussy eaters?
Try not to give in too much. If my youngest had her way she would survive on pizza, sausage and yoghurt. I get her to try new things and if she gives them a decent go then decides she doesn’t like it after trying then fair enough.
Do you have a favourite cookbook?
Not so much a cookbook but I have a holy grail baking book – The HummingBird Bakery Cookbook. My copy is getting rather tatty now and most pages are splattered in cake mix! I have yet to find a recipe in there which doesn’t come out perfect every time. My signature bake is their traditional brownie recipe which I pimp up with lots of different flavour combinations to make some original and pretty epic brownies.
Do you enjoy baking?
As you may have guessed from above – yes! I mainly make cakes and have done a fair few family wedding cakes now. It is always a bit stressful but a lot of that is because I’m a perfectionist! My biggest cake was for my Sister-in-Law’s wedding and it was 6 tiers high. Quite the challenge!
Do you have any tips for making feeding the family easier?
I cannot stress enough how much online shopping has changed my life. It helps me focus my meal planning and make sure I have enough ingredients for my week’s shop while standing in front of the food cupboard and fridge. It also saves me a couple of hours each week and the stress of having to drag the kids around the supermarket.
Also as I cook from scratch I pretty much always cook double then freeze half or eat it the next day – either for the kids the next evening or lunch for Husband and I. Saves so much time and it is nice to know there is a supply of homemade meals in the freezer I can quickly reheat on busy days.
Do you get your kids involved in the kitchen?
Yes as much as I can. We do a lot of baking together and the eldest has just started to help me prepare meals, especially at the weekends when we have a bit more time. My Dad was the cook in our house growing up and despite it being 30 years ago he was very adventurous with his cooking and flavours. I learnt so much from him just from being with him in the kitchen absorbing what he was doing. I can to this day remember him explaining to me the difference between slicing and crushing garlic and how it affected the taste of the dish overall.
Where can we find you?
I blog over at www.allaboutamummy.co.uk where I blog about the things I love in life; my family, home, food, books and crafts amongst other fun things. You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.