Joining me for Cooking the Books today is Ros from Sew Delicious. Ros is a very lucky girl as she happens to be my only ‘met in real life’ blog friend! I love hanging out with Ros as I only have a couple of other crafty friends and it’s great to be able to chat about fabric and sewing with someone whose eyes don’t glaze over (sorry Hubby)!
Ros and I have met up at the Zoo a few times with our kids, enough that Roman thinks Ros lives at the Zoo. I know some days it feels like I do! Today, Ros is showing us a recipe from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals
Hi I’m Ros from Sew Delicious – thanks Abby for having me take part in Cooking The Books!
I confess that I do have several books that I haven’t cooked from, but I thought I’d share a dish from a book I’ve used a lot since I bought it, as I figure many of you are on the look out for kid friendly food.
These Chile Con Carne Meatballs are from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals. I loved the show and I love the cookbook. Watching Jamie’s shows over the years has taught me a lot of great tips and tricks and I do believe I am a better cook thanks to him. He is not my only favourite though – I am a big Nigella fan too!
My kids are 4 and almost 2, and meal times can be a bit messy and difficult. One of the reasons I like this book so much at the moment is that the recipes are quick, but not lazy. I would happily dish them up to guests.
I made a few adjustments to this recipe. Instead of bulgar wheat, I use couscous, which I always have in the pantry. The recipe also includes some char grilled chillies, but I leave those out of our family version. Some kids might have trouble with the salty sharpness of the preserved lemon, but I love it so I keep it in and the kids can pick it out!
I like the way that Jamie serves the food in this book in a communal style, where you serve yourself to a helping at the table. When I was a kid, my Mum always served individual meals to us, and I felt like I had no control over what was on my plate. Serving meals this way has encouraged my children, especially my four year old, to choose how much she would like to eat, and go back for seconds if she would like to. I think it has helped her move on from a particularly fussy phase and try new things.
I reduce the portion size by about 1/3, and we still have enough for two adults, two kids, then an extra adult size portion for my husband to take to work for lunch the next day.
The question everyone asks – can you do it in 15 minutes? Yes and no. If I got all my ingredients out, pots and pans ready to go etc, and my kids were not at home, I would have it done in 15, no problem. But someone is always asking for a drink, the phone might ring, I’ll have to break up a squabble over a toy, so 15 minutes to do anything around here is always elusive. But I don’t think it’s ever taken as long as 30 minutes, so that is pretty great! Which brings me to another recipe – the Spaghetti Puttanesca from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals is a real family favourite here too!
Have you made a recipe from this book? Leave a comment and let us know what you thought!