My favourite family cookbooks

My favourite family cookbooks

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 ramsey cookbookTana 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.


nosh busy mums and dasNosh for Busy Mums and Dads

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.


veg noshVegetarian 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.


busy mumsbusy vegeThe 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?


Let them be small


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  1. 4th March 2015 / 15:07

    I got Nadia Sawalha’s Fabulous Family Food for my birthday this year and it is great. Simple recipes that use only a few ingredients so you don’t have to think about having the ingredients before cooking.
    Also love Easy Indian SuperMeals” by Zainab Jagot Ahmed.
    Will have to look for some of these (not that I need to have any more but that apple and banana loaf sounds good).

    • 4th March 2015 / 21:52

      ah yes, Easy Indian Super meals is another goodie x

  2. 4th March 2015 / 20:35

    Am I allowed to be very cheeky and put in a pitch for my own: the Tickle Fingers Cookbook: recipes & tips for cooking with a toddler. Slightly different slant because it’s about cooking with the family, rather than for them. I’ve focused on simple food, which they can be as hands on as possible. I love that I can keep my little ones entertained while also getting food sorted for all of us.

    • 4th March 2015 / 21:52

      oooh, I will take a look at that one, Annabel. Always happy to review if you have PR copies floating around 😉 x

  3. 7th March 2015 / 19:19

    Didn’t realise that Tana Ramsay was writing cookbooks too – will have to check this out #weekendbookclub

  4. 8th March 2015 / 08:55

    these look great, when the kids were younger I was always a fan of Lorraine kelly’s family meal ideas, easy to follow and tasty too.

  5. 8th March 2015 / 12:35

    All of the recipe books you shared look interesting but I do think I’ll give The Busy Mum’s Cookbook a try because I was looking at it in my local library just the other day!

  6. 8th March 2015 / 17:43

    I’ve got a book called family favourites in 5 minutes or something like that which I use regularly. I also used to attend weight watchers so I have a few of their cookbooks which I still use. I’ll definitely take a look at some on this list! #weekendbookclub

  7. 31st March 2015 / 08:33

    Oh I love the look of these books. I love recipe books and these sound exactly my sort of cookbook, I must check them out 🙂

  8. serenityyou
    31st March 2015 / 09:03

    these books sound great, the veg one for students sounds good. #TriedTested

  9. 31st March 2015 / 10:05

    Might have to invest in the Tanya Ramsey one. Our book shelves are filled with Jamie Oliver!
    Thanks for joining us on #TriedTested this week 🙂 x

  10. 1st April 2015 / 14:33

    Love the look of the Tana Ramsay book. I am really enjoying Deliciously Ella at the moment too! Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested

  11. 1st April 2015 / 17:32

    Some new ones here today, I’m a Mary Berry fan for family meals. #triedtested

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