Thursday, 24 October 2013

Broccoli frittata for babies, toddlers and the whole family

I'm in a frittata place at the moment.  Blimey, how middle class does that sound?  It shouldn't.  Frittatas are so cheap to make and they're a great way to get vitamin D in the diet and also include some hidden vegetables.  Great for the reluctant vegetable eater in your life (although perhaps chop up a little smaller so they don't see them!)

Monday, 21 October 2013

Gingerbread men

...or considering the time of year... Gingerbread Mummies!!!

halloween biscuits

I posted a recipe for Gingerbread men a while back (or ninja bread men, I do like a play on words!)  This though is adapted to give a lighter result which is less dominated by anything other than the ginger flavour.  I found the treacle in the old recipe tended to drown out the spicy warmth.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Anchovy and Broccoli Pasta

I started this blog to get a bit of myself back while I was on maternity leave but one thing I didn't expect was how it would push me to be more creative with my son's food.  One thing I'm very bad at though is cooking just for myself.

If there are other people around I'll go to huge amounts of effort and, don't get me wrong, I do enjoy cooking but I also have 30 hours of work to do in an average day and I kind of like to get some sleep.  The amount of times I've slung some oven chips in while cleaning up or doing an exercise video.  It's not good.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Ham, Spinach and Courgette Frittata Fingers - great for babies and children

This got a very excited greeting by my little boy.  Little does he know the hidden vegetables contained inside!

Ham, Spinach and Courgette Frittata

Another sneaky Mamacook recipe to hide some vegetables into your child's meal.   Keep offering them alongside too though, just think of them as your insurance policy!  My son devoured this with some broad beans from the freezer and some cooked carrot sticks.   Clean plates all round!  I'd be tempted to say that leftovers would be great in packed lunches but there weren't any!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Cheap eats; thrifty recipes for end of the month

I've been thinking a lot about Jamie Oliver's approach to cheap meals recently and I think he has a good point.  A roast can yield a lot of meals, cheap cuts can be really tasty.  What disappointed me though was when I saw his interpretation of 'cheap'.  Many of his recipes are aimed at £2 a head.  Yeah, cheap if you buy ready meals but not cheap if you're on jobseekers allowance, what's more when MSN tested it, they couldn't make them as cheaply.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a religiously cheap cook but I do believe in thrift.  My parents brought me up this way, not to be wasteful.  They grew all their own fruit and vegetables and when you've invested that much time, it's worth respecting them.  As I said in my post about Jamie Oliver's approach it's not just about overall cost, sometimes when you pay less for something you respect it less.

It doesn't have to be this way though.  I would say that one of the cheapest, most filling ingredients there is, lentils, is impossible to cook without respecting it.  They take 20-45 minutes to cook.  Ok, not quick but sometimes slow is good, slow makes you think about what you're eating and, let's face it, it's not that slow, it's not necessarily food you have to be stood over poking and prodding for the whole time!

So in answer to the £2 a head meal, I've costed out some recipes for you for the price of an adult portion.  Remember even if my recipe says "serves 2" and you're cooking for one it might be worth making the full amount (or even doubling it) to have some left over for lunchtime, freezing can give you some variety so you grab something from the freezer and head out.  It's so easy to spend £3 on lunch in even a subsidised canteen in the workplace or more in a coffee shop.  Over a year if you reduced that cost to £1, you could save £500 a year!