One of the biggest benefits to me being a stay at home parent is that we eat ‘proper’ meals. That’s not to say that we don’t enjoy the odd meal from the freezer or a sauce from a jar. But being at home in the day means that I can plan better our food; that we can have fresh fruit and veg in the house and that cooking a meal is part of the daily routine.
When both Damian and I worked full-time, we would be home around 5:30 / 6pm ish and then think about a meal. Usually it would something quick like pasta or a pizza. Not the healthiest but quick and easy when you also have the washing, ironing, cleaning, shopping etc to fit in. I know there are plenty of people who work full-time and prepare freshly cooked meals, but for us it was always further down the list of things to do; we would generally opt for something quick and easy.
I have a fair number of cookbooks but I wanted to share the five that I seem to use the most…
Tana Ramsay’s Family Kitchen – This is a brilliant book. I use this one so much be it for quick simple meals or a healthy snack.
There is a good range of different recipes including breakfast ideas, after school snacks and party foods. I have cooked a good number of the dishes from this book and I think they have all gone down well.
The banana and apple loaf is a firm favourite here with Daniel and Damian – it’s a perfect afternoon snack.
The instructions are all clear and well set out and I think it is probably my favourite cook book in my collection at the moment.
This is another firm favourite here. The book is well set out and gives you costings for each recipe. I am not sure how accurate and up to date these are, but it gives you a good idea.
It includes advice for time saving, store cupboard essentials and even has some weekly menus.
It is a really good book packed full of excellent ideas and recipes. There are so many that I want to try from this book and I have been slowly working my way through it over the past year or so. The courgette fritters are next on my list I think and the raspberry and blueberry muffins will be made again this summer.
Vegetarian Nosh for Students. Written by the same team as the above book, Vegetarian Nosh is brilliant. The bean burgers are excellent as are the risotto ideas, the various sauce ideas and the budget ideas.
Like Nosh for mums & dads, there are weekly menus which are great, and there aren’t any obscure ingredients used that can be hard to find. There are plenty of images too which I always find helpful.
My personal fave from this book has to be the spicy potato cakes, and is one I will be making again soon I think.
It is aimed at the student market but the recipes here are suitable for a family audience too.
The Busy Mum’s Cookbook and The Busy Mum’s Vegetarian Cookbook complete my collection. Again the recipes are quick, easy and delicious. I use the bolognese and lasagne recipe from this book all the time and the falafel I make comes from the vegetarian version.
Both books have a wide range of ideas that will suit everyone, I am sure.
Do you have ‘go to’ cook books – I’d love to know so please share in the comments below. Do you own any of these books? Which are your favourite recipes?