I was 24 with 4 children. It was clear I would need to get to grips with the cooking malarkey pretty quickly.
I’ve been fairly lucky with all 5 being pretty good eaters. I have one who doesn’t like spice, a non fish eater, and the usual one who doesn’t like broccoli etc.
But on the whole what I cook they eat. I’ve just recognised strong likes and dislikes. In the early years the blender was my best friend. It’s amazing what you can blend up in sauces ?.
I’ve seen so many friends having to cook one meal for one child and different food for the grown up’s. With 7 people this could take me forever and cost me a fortune. So it’s pretty much eat what I make or go hungry ?.
I’m not the most adventurous cook, simply due to time. I look forward to more leisurely day’s when I can experiment a little more with the families menu. Below I will list a typical 10 day menu for us all, not mentioning the Friday night takeaway ?.
- Jacket potatoes – classic tea, cheap and healthy I normally have the beans/cheese fan, and the tuna mayo/cheese lover, salad for some, cucumber for most, some eat skin some without, but a stable meal.
- Mince – I buy a 750g pack every week, and use for spag bol/home made burgers/ chilli/ burritos/lasagne. So many options with the family favourite mince. I like to buy the 5% fat pack, as it can be fatty. You can throw in mushrooms/onions/carrots into the sauces, plus for more ‘bulk out’ with beans/pulses. I don’t blend now, although, I should as they still pick out all the bits if they are not keen on ?. However, blend in what you can with a tomato based sauce and they have no idea of dreaded veg hidden ?.
- Frozen Chicken breasts – some have a high water content if you search you can find some with lower. But these 1kg packs I buy every week are fab for Currys, hunters chicken, fajitas, chicken casserole, again I rotate weekly. Just remember to take them out the night before, but this is definitely the most economical way of buying chicken breasts.
- Cheese and potato pie – a family fave. I add in bacon chopped finely, and a couple of onions if I can get away with it. Then lots of Cheese, and a random layer of crushed plain crisps on the top, served with beans and salad, is a good tea for all.
- Omelette tea – another hit except child 3 who has scrambled eggs. I have a small pan and make up individual omelettes, often to each person’s likes. I normally vary them with sweetcorn/meat leftovers/cheese/onion/, so they do become more of a fritter. Again served with oven chips veg/salad another easy go to tea.
- Fish – this is always a divided love. The more rich oily fish, me Steve/Lily love, but for the others it’s only cod. I have made the homemade fish fingers many times, basically cod dipped in egg white, then dipped in bread crumbs/rice crispies, with a dusting of flour. These work well, or I buy the orange omega rich shop brand own, or the larger fish and chip style. Add a dippy egg and peas/brocolli, with a slice of wholemeal bread. Nom, nom.
- The chicken dinner – typically our weekends are so busy that preparing the traditional meat and veg can prove tricky. Also I hate meal routine, so I like to throw in a cooked Sunday dinner style tea once a week. Mash, veg, cheese cauliflower and crispy potatoes, are always a hit. Also the cook in the bag chickens make life so much easier ?.
- Buffet tea – the kids will often ask for on a Saturday. It is basically what odds and ends we have in the cupboards/fridge freezer. The frozen pizza, half a block of haloumi, pasta salad. I buy throw away plates/napkins and the event is slightly more chilled. I say slightly, as meal times for the Weston’s is never a quiet affair ?
- Fajita’s – Another real fave. I used to serve them and make them up for everyone. This proved for me quite a stress ?. So, I’ve have found if you portion out the meat, and you know roughly what each child will eat and plate it up they can make up their own. This will normally include:
- 2 wraps
- chicken fajita mix
- carrot/cucumber battons
- And a glass of wine ? I like fajita tea… (& enchiladas another fave ?)
- Finally the slow cooker – bang in for the days tea. Back early years I did most tea’s like this. When you have little ones around the slow cooker is a must. Pulled pork always goes down well. Hot pork baps, peas and gravy, sausage casserole (fry off or grill the sausages first, or they look like willies ?) with potatoes and veg. The slow cooker is the best. Cheaper cuts of meat if cooked all day are yummy when cooked in the slow cooker. So easy to add to it throughout the day. If your feeding the baby, the toddler is having a nap, throw in all sorts, serve in a bowl with fresh cut bread so warming over winter month’s….
So there it a basic meal plan for our house. I will list a few more meal ideas the Westons love, and if anyone wants to come on over and cook tea for us 7 just give me a shout ?~ I will get the wine on chill ……
More family faves…
Homemade pizzas, tuna pasta, stuffed mushrooms/peppers, Gammon/chips/eggs, pancakes seeet/savory, quiche. Nom nom, get in my rather big belly ?~.