It’s time for another in my kitchen guest post. This week I’m joined by Carol from A journey to a lifetime. I hope you enjoy reading about how she feeds her family as much as I have.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
Hello, I’m Carol. I’m 29 years old and married to Benedict who is 30, we have three children (7,3 and 2 years old). I used to work as a Team Manager in a corporate company before I quit and became a stay at home mum 2 years ago.
Who does most of the cooking in your house? Do you enjoy cooking?
I do the majority of the cooking in our house. I do enjoy good food at dinner but not the biggest fan of cooking. I do enjoy a good slower cooker meal or cooking a larger meal and freezing some for other days.
Do you meal plan?
Yes, I am a bigger meal planner as it can save so much money. I do find though that some months I can get stuck on the same meals over and over again. I always try to do one day were the children pick the meal (chicken nuggets, pizza and burger feature highly on this day), another day is roast and we always have one meal that I can bulk up to freeze another portion.
What are mealtimes like in your house? Do you eat together as a family?
We mainly eat all together, there is one shift my husband works that, means he misses dinner but I still eat mine with the children.
This is one of my favourite times of the day, it is loud but only because everyone is talking which is so nice to hear.
What are your favourite family meals to cook?
The meals we cook most often are:
- Spaghetti Bolognaise – with all the hidden vegetables I can find to put in it.
- Chilli Con Carne – this is my favourite meal.
- Chinese style curry – this is a favourite for my husband and me (the children complain it is spicy)
- Mexican – not a meal I know but really any Mexican meal is a hit in our house.
Do you cook the same meals frequently or are you always trying new recipes?
It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut and end up cooking the same meals over and over again. I am trying to do one new meal a week to try and find some new family favourites. I think some of my boredom with cooking comes from cooking the same meals so hoping this also helps me.
Do you have any tips for dealing with fussy eaters?
We have found with our children a lot of the fussiness comes and goes one month they hate anything with tomatoes and the next its broccoli. My approach is to still put it on their plate but don’t push them to eat it, they will when they want to.
Do you have a favourite cookbook?
Jaime Oliver’s 5 ingredients is my current favourite. I am however still on the lookout for that one cookbook where I want to try to cook all the meals as I do find with most cookbooks there is only a handful that my family are interested in.
Do you enjoy baking?
I love baking! We make cakes regularly and our current favourite would be a banana and chocolate loaf. I try to make all my children’s birthday cakes, they are not masterpieces, but I give it a good try and the children always love them.
Do you have any tips for making feeding the family easier?
I love to batch cook at least once a week, I try to make two or three times what we need and freeze the extra. Batch cooking saves us so much time, the original meal takes no extra time to cook but reheating your extras is great for those busy days.
Slow cookers are my best friend. I love that I can put everything in after breakfast and it is ready when its time for dinner. Perfect!
Vegetables – I hate cutting them, so when I have to I do this in bulk. Potatoes get cut and then par-boiled before freezing for roasts or chips. Onions are chopped and bagged as we all hate having to do that. This is great when you have leftover vegetables that would normally go in the bin.
Do you get your kids involved in the kitchen?
My children currently enjoy baking. I would like to get them more involved in the kitchen as is something I am looking to do in the school holidays with my eldest.
Where can we find you?
I blog at www.ajourneytoalifetime.com where I share my tips on living on a budget no matter how small. My focus is saving money on many areas of your life.
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