I wouldn’t say that mothers have a lot of time. Days start early, naps fly by, and before you know it, it’s 7.00pm and you’re putting the baby down to sleep for the night, thinking to yourself, “What did I even do today?!” (Answer: You loved your child, put them first and, most importantly, kept him/her alive. Well done, Mums.)
But I have found myself with a void – a light void, not a deep gaping one – that doesn’t just want to be filled with doing washing and cleaning floors. So, I cook. Other than reading, it’s one of my only hobbies. I spend a lot of time scouring the internet for good, hearty recipes, for fun recipes, for new ingredients to try and foolproof food gems that I can stick in the ol’, “Oh yeah, that one was passed down the generations,” category (via our family recipe book). Like my mum’s ‘Family Chocolate Cake’ – a delicious, never-fail recipe she found when she was 32 in a Women’s Weekly magazine. Hey, traditions have to start somewhere.
So, here it is: The ten latest recipes that I will be adding into my Family Recipe book. Some are easy, some are tedious; all are delicious, so take your pick.
I totally get you can buy pasta sauce at a super cheap price through your local supermarket, but remember, cooking something from scratch now and then can be so satisfying – and this sauce holds a legitimate amount of vegetable! The obvious option is pasta, but I’m also cooking it into a chicken bake tonight. Except mine was 6-ingredients, because I forgot the carrots. But I kept Oliver alive today. Must remember.
Adapted from Food.com, this was passed on straight from Starbucks at a media event. For all they cannot make coffee *waits for Starbucks die-hard backlash*, they have created a really, ridiculously good banana bread. This one needs a slightly larger loaf pan and I added slices of banana to the top to roast while the loaf cooked.
It is a bit of a random one, but I love fruit with salad which is then paired with meat. My favourites are apple, mango and cherry. Stick them in an appropriate salad and boom, life made. It’s hard to find a light lamb meal, because I find lamb can be a bit of a ‘heavy meat’. This salad is just super fresh, easy on the eyes (and the stomach) and feels like a bit of a treat.
Don’t waste my time with bland cookies. They need to be size-worthy, and they need to be decadent, otherwise why bother cookie-ing at all? These ones are my go to for a cookie pick me up, but are never to be kept in the house unless they are to be completely demolished in one sitting. Which isn’t the best idea but would be super delicious. The recipe always makes more than I expect. I use an ice-cream scoop to evenly size my portions (and I mean an old-school, regular ice-cream scoop), and I never put more than 6 on a tray because they expand beautifully. Lastly, I always put in way more peanut butter and full chocolate buttons than they recommend, because chocolate. Hummingbird Bakery don’t post their recipes online, so this link is from the English Rose from Manchester blog.
Also, while we’re there:
This loaf is just the bees knees. I always forget how good it is until I make it, then I’m always blown away by its flavour. Plus, fresh apple in anything is always good! I always up the chocolate to 100g+ (because again, chocolate) and chop it up into thin shards. Loaf always sounds so boring but the truth is that this is just a consistently excellent recipe. Again, Hummingbird Bakery doesn’t pop their recipes online, so this one is brought to you via The Perky Pancake blog.
I actually can’t believe how inexpensive this meal is to make. You only need 300g mince so I sometimes don’t even buy a full packet, I just buy 300g from the deli section. A couple of vegies that are fresh and a couple that are canned, this is one of those easy, flavoursome dishes that I always fall back on for simplicity and price. Honey and sultanas make it extra nice; I usually pair it with brown rice or couscous.
Klara. Klara must take full responsibility for the delivering of this cake into my life. I even make it the way she taught me, not by Nigella’s standards. I make the recipe for the meringue by half again (so 1.5 times everything), then I make three meringue circles the size of a side plate to be formed into a layer cake. Then, I continue on but instead of just topping it with raspberries and whipped cream, I fill each layer with strawberries and whipped cream. This sounds like a deliberate action, but it’s just that fresh raspberries are dumbly expensive and you need a good number of raspberries to make it delish soooo… strawberries! This never fails to please a crowd of people. Just make sure to give yourself an overnight bracket for the meringue to set.
A couple of months ago, I went to make this soup and the website shut down. Three days later it was still down, so I emailed Marla herself and said, “Please, oh please, may I have that recipe? IamsodesperatebecauseIloveitsomuch!” She emailed me the corrected webpage within 24 hours, thank the Lord, because this is one of my favourite soup recipes ever! Super simple with two main ingredients, then topped with low-fat feta – and we use a bit of cooked salami to sprinkle over the top. Boom. Best soup in the world. Come back, Winter.
I know that there is a massive sway between Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies and Healthy Pancakes, but I like to keep it real. I never really bought into the three ingredient banana pancakes, because mainly they tasted like egg and sadness. (Prove me wrong though, I would love to find a recipe that nails it!) These though, just an extra ingredient but they are my favourite blender healthy pancake ever. I usually don’t follow the recommended blueberry quota (because, blueberries). In the pancake, I usually just blend up 1/2 cup frozen blueberries with the rest of the ingredients, then add fresh ones to the yoghurt & maple syrup as topping. They turn out to be purpley-grey, but that just makes them even cooler.
I have made this numerous times and it has never failed me. Again, adding apple to this salad was a solid idea and I usually steam the broccoli very slightly so it doesn’t taste like grass (thanks, Woolies). It started as a special Christmas salad a couple of years ago but become an excellent side dish that compliments most meals and barbecues. For a slightly healthier option, omit the bacon. But really be sure you’re ready for that sacrifice, like seriously check yourself before you go making rash decisions. (Pun, unexpected but kept and italicized due to wittiness.)
Have you got some treasures in your family recipe book? I am always on the look for more family favourites – let me know in the comments!