Today I'll tell you what my family loves to have for dinner.
Now dinner time is important for me, it is a time when we all come together in the house and spend some time talking about our day while enjoying dinner together. My mother instilled these ideals in me, we always waited for the last person to come home before we had dinner and now I do that with my family. So we don't have a set dinner time, Mondays it's 7:30pm as my daughter dances, Tuesdays is 8:15pm, because of dancing and football, Wednesdays it's 5:30pm, our activity free day, Thursday it's 7:30pm, football training, Fridays it's 7:00pm, my husband's pub night. Saturdays and Sundays is when we feel like, depending on what we are doing. So with all our busy schedules I make sure we have at least dinner together, 30-60 minutes of uninterrupted family time per day, no TV, no phones, just us and our lovely meal.
If you have kids, by introducing dinner time into your family life you get to expose your kids to a wider variety of foods and they become less picky eaters, well at least mine have. I have never actually cooked separate meals for my kids, they have always eaten what we ate. Now I don't know if I just got lucky, but my kids love food and love trying new foods. Some times it took a few goes before they liked something, but eventually they do.
I also have a menu planner on the refrigerator where the whole family gets to write down what they would like me to make. This gets everyone involved in what we are having for dinner. Some days my kids cook, especially during the school holidays, I get them in the kitchen, and they love when they serve dinner and we all love it.
Like most parents, as you can see I to am busy in the evenings, trying to get my kids to after school activities. This can be a hectic time for me. So my dinners on these nights are either prepared during the day and just reheated at night or I try and cook things that are quick and easy to make.
With food, rather than cooking something just to feed your family, if I'm going to cook, I want it to be an experience to eat. So when I choose what I'm going to cook, it is always with the intention of giving my family something they will remember. Sounds corny I know, but with all the effort that goes into cooking, I want it to be great, and I want my food to be loved. So when it is loved, it is a great feeling for me.
The recipes are for the most part simple, you just need to be organised.
So here are my favourite dinner recipes that would be in my cookbook, if I wrote one. I just realised there are 60 recipes here, it would be a really thick cookbook.
This is very easy to make, a great midweek dinner as it really is so easy, while the chicken is baking, you just prepare the other things.
We all love duck breasts in our house and teamed with this red wine sauce and mashed potato and some green beans or asparagus or broccolini, it's all just delicious.
Another reason why it's a great recipe is because it's oven baked. Why, I love oven bake stews is that once you do the initial prep work, you place it in the oven and you don't have to do anything else. Well here after one hour you just remove the lid and turn the shanks over, but that's it.
I started cooking this dish many years ago, and it is a hit with all my family and friends. My mother when coming over tells me to cook this all the time. My mother in law asked for the recipe-it was a proud day for me that day. It is so so simple, yet such a great dish.
I don't like plain packaged breadcrumbs, I'm always disappointed with the end result (unless they are panko breadcrumbs, they're great). So when watching TV one day I saw a TV chef use fresh breadcrumbs (say 2 day old bread) and I have never gone back. What a difference it makes. The end result is so nice, it is just so worth the extra effort. And by adding a few additional ingredients to the crumbs, you have a simply gorgeous dinner.
This I love as after a little prep work, it cooks itself and leaves you free to do other things. Simple, delicious, and something you should try soon. Quick tip with crackling, if by chance it isn't perfect, every oven is different, just put it under the grill for a few minutes and watch it go nuts, just keep an eye on it as it will burn quick.
They have spice, they have crunch, they look so pretty, they are a flavour bomb, seriously they are so good. My kids could not stop eating them, they were truly excited by these tacos. But beware, they are really spicy.
This is a great recipe for novice cooks, it is simple and impressive.
This soup ticks all the boxes, it is so tasty with so little effort. You just place the ingredients in a large saucepan, cover with water, bring to the boil, simmer for about 2 hours and all you have to do is stir it every now and then.
The sauce is rich and needs to be served over a bed of mashed potato. This is great comfort food, perfect on a cold winters day.
In Guatemala it is called Jocon de Pollo, and it's delicious. The flavours are so good it is like nothing I ever had before. My 12 year old requests this all the time. It is firmly a family favourite.
This recipe came about as I needed to use up leftover mashed potato (I hate waste). These are so good with the light and fluffy insides, and the crispy fried breadcrumbs on the outside. A great side to many dishes. Next time you have leftover mashed potato, give this a go (I make extra mash, just so I can make these).
They are perfect when you don't have bread in the house, and you don't want to go to the shop.
My family love it with hearty soups but they are also great with antipasti or just as a snack.
If you have never made bread, this is a great way to start.
I love the dressing in this salad. I love the creaminess the avocado brings to it. We had it with a barbecue the other day and it was lovely.
This is my families favourite potato bake and honestly I will not try another version as this is firstly simple, and secondly, tasty.
What I do, that I love, is I crumble up the feta, instead of cube it. The end result is a little messy, but the feta mixes with the dressing this way and you can't help but dip bread into the dressing as it is amazingly delicious. This is a regular party salad for me.
It is a very simple recipe, by far the easiest way I have found to make gnocchi. I like to get the kids to help out, when they do, they aren't perfectly shaped but no one in my house cares if they are not perfectly shaped, but they all love the flavour and texture.
The recipe can easily be doubled. Serve with your favourite sauce.
So I googled the bar, found the menu, and this is what it read
ROASTED BEETS & PUMPKIN, CHERRY TOMATOES, GOATS CHEESE. SEASON LEAVES W/ A HONEY MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE
So from this I have come up with this recipe. This to me can be added as a side to a barbecue or it is a meal in itself. And anyone that has never put roasted pumpkin in a salad before, you need to try it, it is just so good.