Five Family Dinners

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If you follow me on social media (and if not why not? No excuse now, buttons are on the right or underneath on mobile) you’ll know how often I meal plan. I mean, I post a picture of it each time I do, so I know it’s not that frequent – I guess that’s about every few months. Right now, I have some potatoes in the oven baking, and I’m trying to get some writing done before yer man gets in with the two Tasmanian Devils. We decided on baked potatoes about half an hour ago, while he was getting up from his desk to leave work and I was on the bus home. Plan-schman. That makes me an idiosyncratic parenting/food blogger really; to neither meal plan, nor batch cook. We’ll soldier on…

Here’s a selection of family dinners we’ve eaten recently, old favourites and new attempts. The one thing they have in common is I’ll make them again. We all ate them happily, including the fussier four year old. (Proof is below!) Continue reading

The Happy Pear Cookbook: Us Four Give It A Go.

I’m a big fan of The Happy Pear, the grocers and cafe run by a pair of handsome man-twins seen being optimistic and cheery and wearing unseasonal shorts all over the media late last year. That was shortly before my birthday and the reason they were so ubiquitous was that they released a book, so I sat on my hands to avoid purchasing it and waited. With not a hint dropped my BFF turned up with the goods and I don’t quite recall but I probably snatched it from her in a my preciousssss style.

The book hasn’t let me down. Though their food is my style – vegetarian, hearty, unpretentious – I will preface this by saying I’m not entirely on board with all their methods. I’ve pretty much halved or cut out the salt in the recipes I’ve made from it, and have been more liberal with my oil use: olive, rapeseed, sesame and coconut are my fats of choice. The guys are not fans of oil use at all as they explain in the book. However I heartily agree with the main thrust of their philosophy, which is:

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Sure you can’t argue with that. Continue reading

Not too spicy, plenty of spices

As I’ve mentioned a time or seven, Dominic isn’t so into his spicy food.  But luckily, cutting back on heat in cooking doesn’t mean cutting back on flavour, or lovely Indian cooking and this weeks top fud reinforces that.

My absolute go-to cook book is this one. Much as I love my BLW cookbook, there’s some recipes that I just prefer ‘my’ versions of – dhal is one of those.  This book is bruised and battered and so it should be, this tome has travelled.  It was bequeathed to me by Brian & Nataly in New Hampshire, who owned 2 copies because they had different covers and hadn’t realised.  In 2005 me & Mark and the rest of (one of) the band(s) he plays with were staying with them for a couple of nights while they were on tour.  (I mention it because of how it highlights the contrast of pre-baby days with now!).  It came back to Toronto & then formed a large chunk of my baggage allowance back to Ireland when we moved home.

Luckily, I haven’t had to transcribe this recipe, I’ve found it elsewhere so cheers to that lady!  I don’t do peeling & deseeding tomatoes where possible so I’ve just used a tin of tomatoes instead.  I also had no limes to hand so used lemons.  And I used the handy coriander-in-a-tube thingy too.  This is a store cupboard type dish for me, and made it after getting me & Dom in the door from Mammó’s house with a car full of stuff and no time to think or unpack before dinner was needed.  See below the cut for the recipe.

Continue reading