Wednesday 2 October 2013

My cookbook challenge

I'm on a mission. Whilst I have a few months of maternity leave left and a pile of cookbooks that have been left untouched for the most part, I'm going to try some new recipes and do my best to prepare fresh food each day for my family. I enjoy cooking but sometimes feel uninspired or just plain lazy but I've been good of late and it's time for me  to dust off those cookbooks, don an apron and get cooking!

I've gone through my favourite recipe books and tabbed the pages of meals that both hubs and I will enjoy. This week, I'm starting with Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals and I'll be trying five of his recipes, including tray baked chicken, squashed potatoes  and creamed spinach and tasty crusted cod with mashy peas. Mmm, my mouth is watering already!

I've got a really good starting point as recently I cleared out my kitchen cupboard of all old herbs, condiments and so on and bought all core ingredients from scratch. From herbs and spices to balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, stocks and tomato puree, I have a cupboard full of the main flavours you need for most meals.

One of the reasons I haven't cooked from scratch as often as I would like is because it can be expensive, despite what Jamie says. However, having taken his recipe book and chosen five recipes to try, I found that there were a number of ingredients that appeared a couple of times, which means there will be less wastage and actually, my food shop didn't come to quite as much as I thought it would. Bonus!

I'll post some pics soon of my culinary creations - hubs is my taste tester so I'll let you know his verdict too!

Looking ahead to a month's time when we start weaning Ethan, I want to make a lot of of his food from scratch. I know it will be harder when I go back to work but my plan is to cook a few different puree meals for him in batches to freeze and have ready in the freezer come dinner time. I've been researching what to give them and when, how to encourage them to try new foods then new textures and what to expect, good and bad. What I like about making these meals for Ethan, aside from the money saving aspect and knowing exactly what he's eating, is the fact his food can be mini versions of ours - e.g. cottage pie, bolognaise, fish and potatoes etc. This will be great for minimising wastage and making our weekly budget go as far as possible.


  1. Yum! I love Jamie's cook books, though I always find I take double the time to make them then he says lol x

    1. Me too! Tonight's recipe took 45mins so not so bad bit I didn't make all of the things he suggested! Really pleased I've been able to actually use my recipe books now.


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