The question I hate most from my family is “What’s for dinner?” Over the years I’ve really tired of cooking. I have no great Masterchef type inspirations or abilities. Ifeel like I must be the only person in the world not to. But no. I have no desire to cook fancy food – that’s what restaurants are for, as far as I’m concerned.
I don’t even have a herb garden. *gasp*! Yes, I use dried herbs. Philistine!
I do have standards though. Most of the time I avoid the packets and jars of concocted sauces and what-have-yous. (Have you read the ingredient list on those?!!) Mostly I follow a recipe, but over time I’ve managed to tweak a few recipes here and there, especially to feed 5 of us (when so many recipes say “Serves 4”.)
What I am interested in is quick, easy, and relatively wholesome meals to feed a family – often in between ferrying kids here and there, and then knowing that quite a few nights the Daddy will not be home in time to eat with us, but still needs a good square meal. Standing preparing food isn’t something that relaxes me.
I’ve rarely, if ever, cooked separate meals for the kids – too lazy! They’re not overly fussy, but I don’t do exotic. (Truth be known, I don’t like spicy stuff myself, although Himself loves it. Again – that’s what restaurants are for!) Our eldest refuses to eat seafood (other than crumbed calamari – go figure). Middlest is a fantastic eater. Youngest is so-so. The Daddy will eat anything but isn’t fond of tinned fish, so I try not to make him suffer. (So no tuna bakes to be found here.) There are a few things I don’t like, and strangely enough those things don’t end up in the food I cook. I think I earn that right.
Probably my cooking tastes are a bit old-fashioned too. My cooking experience started with the Australian Womens Weekly cookbooks from the late 70s & early 80s and I’ve not progressed too far, other than with a few flirtations with ‘lite’ recipes. [The AWW recipe books these days just don’t look the same – a bit too Marie Clare for my liking.]
And of course I have a personal collection of recipes picked up from here and there.
I have a few up my sleeve, but I’m always interested in more, because I’m running out of inspiration! Once, on my old blog, I put out the call, and one of the suggestions by a commenter (tweaked and cooked my way) has become a family favourite.
I reckon I might have picked up the odd cooking tip over the years though. You don’t cook most nights for 20 years without learning something, so I wouldn’t mind sharing the sort of tips you read in the cooking sections of magazines.
My youngest thinks I’m a fantastic cook (ha!) – and the eldest thinks I make the best spaghetti bolognaise out. (Masterchefs may disagree, but when she thinks it’s better than any she’s had in any Italian (pizza) restaurants, I can’t be doing too bad.)
So, anyway, I’m going to experiment with posting up some of our tried and trusted family favourites – aimed, it must be said, at other less-than-gourmet family cooks out there, rather than those who might consider themselves ‘foodies’.
I might even branch out from dinners as well. Some people I know have the erroneous impression that I’m a great cook (because I’ve made the odd banana cake or pikelets!) It makes me laugh, but I guess it’s worth sharing those favourite recipes.
Here goes. (And if you’re wondering about our red meat intake, we seem to eat it most on the weekends when I can get himself to BBQ.)
(you don’t need a recipe for salad – do you? – well, one day I might detail exactly how we like OUR salad. For now, the picture is there to add greenery.
We do eat a lot of salad in this house.)
BACON & PINENUT TOMATO PASTA
SPRING BAKE FRITTATA
QUICK MIX CAKES
ZUCCHINI SLICE ‘ROUNDS’
CHICKEN IN PEANUT SAUCE
CHICKEN TENDERLOINS WITH LEMON & PARSLEY
PORK SCALOPPINE WITH HONEY AND MUSTARD
LEMON CHICKEN STIR FRY