Sunday, 20 September 2015

feeding the crowds

Feeding a big family is challenging at best of times. It has become even more challenging now that both Richard and I are working full time. Traditionally, dinner time is around 6pm in our house. This time fits in well with clubs and work but it is not always easy to get a nice meal on the table on time without visiting the astonishing ready-meal isles at the shops or without loosing the will to live.  I am not a terribly keen cook but I am capable enough. So are Richard, Sam and Annie. Between the four of us we manage to eat well most days. I like dinner time even though there is always a good deal of sibling bickering and talking over each other's head. It it is the one time a day when we all get to sit together. Breakfast is a hasty affair for Sam and Annie who don't usually get out of bed until it is nearly time for school. Sam and Alistair got to breakfast club a couple of days a week but we sit down together for a bowl of porridge when they are not. I often skip breakfast and eat a little later, when I have a coffee at work. Lunches are school dinners for the kids, salad or sandwiches for me and grazing from the work pantry (otherwise known as filing cabinet) for Richard. 

Every now and then I like to record what we eat for dinner. I sometimes think we eat the same stuff all the time but we don't really. Here is what we ate last week. Sam complained a lot this week and he didn't eat much at the table but grazed through the night instead in true teenage fashion.

Monday: Haddock smothered with red pepper pesto and baked in the oven, peas, mangetout and rice. This meal is ready in no time, less than 30 minutes.



Tuesday: Vegetable laksa with fried tofu. This is one of my current favourite meals. The recipe asks for peppers but we had some corn on the cob that needed eating and I used this instead, together with some park choi that had seen better days, too. It is an simple meal that can easily be adapted. It is filling, tasty and satisfying.  



Wednesday: marinaded chicken stir fry, brown rice with beans, broccoli. It looks all a bit beige on this photo but it was really tasty and I didn't mind that Sam refused to eat the brown rice because there was more for me.



Thursday: Steak and mushroom pie with peas. The stew was in the freezer, cooked on a day when time was not at a premium and the puff pastry from the shops (who has time to make their own??). 



Friday: spaghetti with tomato sauce. It has been a while since we last had this meal and I really enjoyed it. Richard also made an aubergine parmigiana but I forgot to take a photo. 



Saturday: Sam had a friend over and wanted pizza for their dinner. This is an easy meal, making the dough takes no time and deciding what to put on your pizza is fun. I chose pepperoni and black olives for mine. Fruit replace the vegetables for this meal and it is family law to have pizza in the living room in front of the telly.



Sunday: it was just me and the boys and we decided to take it easy. Fish finger sandwiches and bacon rolls were an easy dinner for a lazy mother. All boys thought this was fantastic. Fish fingers cooked in bacon fat are rather delicious! Fruit for pudding to make us feel more wholesome. 


I have no idea what we are going to eat tomorrow. Richard cooked a huge chicken curry for our upcoming camping trip and maybe there is enough for a family meal, too. I'll let you know.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. May the new week be full of fun and laughter. Cxx


28 comments:

  1. Yum, you do eat well, I'm very impressed. The vegetable laksa looks delicious, tofu is one of my favourite things. I love spaghetti with a good tomato sauce as well, and aubergine parmigiana - scrumptious. You've put me to shame. I shall feel more inspired this week I think though, thank you. CJ xx

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  2. I would never have thought of putting a pastry top onto frozen stew - what a good idea! I have enough of it in the freezer that eventually gets thrown out because we never quite get round to eating it, but now I think you have saved dinner! xx

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  3. I think your meals looks really good. I make relatively boring things compared to yours. I grew up cooking for a large family of very big eaters and had to learn how to scale down when I had my own small family, which has been harder than I thought it would be. At least we all enjoy leftovers. :)

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  4. Love the look of the laksa with tofu. Where did you get the recipe?

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    1. The recipe is from a cook book by Rachel Demuth, I can't quite remember which one (sneaking this reply in at work, can't check). It has asparagus on the front cover.

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  5. They all look delicious. It is hard to come home from a day's work and have to cook. My Mom was a restaurant cook and each day she's come home and cook for us, poor lady, you'd have thought one of us girls ( there were 3 of us) or my dad would have cooked for her, but no one ever did. I never cooked a meal until I got married. You're lucky your family helps out.

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  6. I used to feel guilty serving up things like fish fingers or bacon egg and chips for dinner but my boys always loved it like it was a special treat. Now with only two of us here most of the time I have the problem that I cook too much and we end up eating the same thing for days unless I'm organised enough to freeze it.

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  7. Just the kind of food my people love too. Christina, I'm impressed with how you and your husband manage to work full time and run a big family. Do you manage to find time for yourself here and there? xxx

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    1. I do have time for myself, I am good at prioritising and delegating. My older children are quite helpful in between bursts of teenage tantrums. x

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  8. I think I'd quite like to come and live in your home! 😉 That all looks quite delicious - I'm not big on cooking but I could help with the baking and washing up. Tee hee... Have a happy week too, xx

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  9. Your meals look delicious, I'm back in work tomorrow (groan) so the slow cook will be used lots, until I get into the swing of things again x

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  10. All your food looks delicious and you certainly have a good variety.

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  11. It all looks wonderful, there is nothing nicer than all sitting together around the table and discussing/sharing the days events. Something that I insisted on when my girls were growing up and they now do with their own little families.

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  12. That all looks delicious Christina. Can we come to yours? I'm always trying to think of 'different' things we can eat as a family as quite often we have two sittings (children only or early shift sitting and the 'grown ups' sitting) On occasion we are having 2 separate meals!! . I also need to be able to make the ABO some homemade 'ready meals' for him to take to work that freeze well and can fit in a foil tray and aren't liquid. Hmmm. Pizza is a family favourite here now (especially as I leanrt how not to glue it to the baking tray! :)) Have a fab week xx

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  13. I try hard but do sometimes resort to the freezer. Tonight we had homemade cauliflower cheese with leftover roast but also some frozen oven chips. Your dinners look good - I like the look of that smoked haddock.

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  14. Pull up an extra chair, I'm coming round AND I'll do the dishes!!
    Have a great week, you're a puff pastry lass after my own heart we'd get on well :)
    Wren x

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  15. I think you're amazing, working and putting different meals on the table every night! And such good looking meals! I hope I did as good a job when I had my four children at home...and I didn't work outside the home. However it was a very traditional time back then, husband working, of course, and the expectation was he'd be looked after whilst I had an organised calm house, a bit of a challenge as my children were spread out! We survived quite well but now it is just the two of us, different husband makes a difference! I'm still not great at cooking for two and often have leftovers for the next night. So quite a different stage to you!
    You are a great mum, I really admire all you do and enjoy reading your posts even if I don't comment very often. Xxx

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  16. what a great week of dinners! yum x

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  17. You eat well Christina with a great balance of meat and veggie dinners, we do that too. Jo x

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  18. Yum I'm hungry now Christina! What is mangetout? Love the sound of fish finger sandwiches, talk about comfort food. It all looks very appealing. Care to share your vegetable laksa recipe? cheers Wendy

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  19. Okay I am coming over for dinner because your dinners look much better than ours. It seems you have an excellent balance of different food groups and colors. Your plates are just so colorful!
    Hugs to you and happy eating,
    Meredith

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  20. Wow, all these entrees looks so yummy! What a great idea to cook the fish fingers with bacon; heavenly. I hope your week is going great. Take care, Pat xx

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  21. It sounds like a very delicious weeks eating!!! xx

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  22. They look like lovely meals all of them. I'm going to have to try fish fingers cooked with bacon, lazy mum teas are the ones my kids enjoy the most! xx

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  23. Mmmm your post made me hungry! I am especially intrigued by the laksa :) we are a veggie household and always on the look out for more inspiration... we always seem to cook the same 4 dishes! x

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  24. Brilliant! I love to see what others have eaten, especially when it's the real, everyday kind of food not just the stuff we make at the weekends when we've got time to potter. I'd eat all of this, it looks and sounds delicious. I am also a huge fan of the humble fish finger sandwich, and can highly recommend eating fish fingers in pitta bread with some shredded iceberg lettuce and sweet chilli sauce. A-mazing. xx

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  25. It is always so interesting to read about what other people eat! I think it's amazing that you produce home made dinners every night, especially with working full time. Great idea to have the children helping too x

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  26. I'm really impressed Christina. I like cooking and cook ahead as much as I can (most sauces, stews and soups and curries taste better reheated) and marinating chicken thighs for a stir fry transforms the finished dish, but my real lifelines are my 10 minute pasta dishes (that are easily stretched or reduced) that can be made out of seasonal allotment veg and store cupboard/fridge staples. I think it's fantastic you get the children to help. My mum worked full time in London while I was growing up so cooking the family meal was a skill I learnt early on.

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx