Welcome back to In my kitchen, the guest blog series about family cooking and meal times. I’m so pleased that my introductory post last week was so well received and that so many of you are looking forward to this series. I also had a few people contact me to ask if they could join in. If after reading this post you think you would like to join in, email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you the questions over.
This week I am joined by Kate from Family Fever. Thanks so much for taking part Kate. I hope you all enjoy this post as much as I did.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
I am a mum of 4 children, aged 11,9,4 and 2 and we live in the lovely Devon countryside. I am currently a first year student midwife, due to qualify in 2020, and I blog alongside that when I can – although there is just never enough time! I enjoy reading and watching films, and try to get out for a run as often as I can – it’s a great way to clear your head.
Who does most of the cooking in your house? Do you enjoy cooking?
The cooking is shared fairly equally between me and my husband. I enjoy cooking when I have time to experiment, but I do sometimes get a little bored with the routine kids’ meals.
Do you meal plan?
Always! We have a whiteboard in the kitchen, and every Sunday we sit down as a family and decide what meals we want that week. We also factor in my shifts, and any school lunches/trips, to ensure we know who needs what to eat and when. On the side of the board, we can then make a list of any ingredients we need to buy for that week’s meals.
What are mealtimes like in your house? Do you eat together as a family?
Meal times are lovely. Work permitting, we sit down and eat together as a family whenever we can. It’s a great chance to catch up with everyone, and I find the children eat much better if we are all sitting down together.
What are your favourite family meals to cook?
One of our family favourites is this chicken and potato stew, especially at this time of year. The kids also love all the classics – spaghetti bolognese, cottage pie, roast dinners, casseroles, fajitas and curry. If I am just cooking for my husband and I, we spice things up a bit with chilli con carne or steaks with peppercorn sauce.
Do you cook the same meals frequently or are you always trying new recipes?
We tend to cook the same rotation of meals over a couple of weeks, but every so often we try to introduce something new. We have the ‘Eat well for Less’ recipe books, and they have been great for inspiration – we have recently become big fans of the cornflake chicken and pork kebab recipes.
Do you have any tips for dealing with fussy eaters?
The thing that has worked best for us is getting the kids involved with preparing their food. They are much more likely to eat something they have had a hand in – make your own pizzas are a massive favourite for this, and you can try adding a few new toppings each time.
Do you have a favourite cookbook?
As mentioned before, I really like the ‘Eat well for Less’ recipe books, and have found the Slimming World cookbooks great for some healthier alternatives to traditional meals.
Do you enjoy baking?
I enjoy baking with the children, it’s a lovely weekend activity they can all get involved in. We tend to keep it simple with something like butterfly cakes, but add in new flavours no and again to shake things up a bit!
Do you have any tips for making feeding the family easier?
Online shopping is a must for me – taking 4 children to the supermarket is never fun! I try and make larger portions of some meals, so that I can take them to work and reheat – this stops me from buying expensive sandwiches, and keeps me going on the night shift when all I want is crisps and chocolate!