It is still school holidays in Australia, so it is often a time when we either go away or entertain regularly now that people are returning back to the city for work. This week involved a trip to our dear friends’ house about four hours away, so we were catering for 9 people at every meal for half of the week. Here’s how we did it.
Pancakes feature regularly on the menu at our mates’ house, so it was all about making the batter this week. The kid were on the cooking run for pancakes, while the adults stuck to eggs or toasted granola with yoghurt and berries. Back at home, we have had eggs on toast, smashed avocado and the cereal eaters kept up their daily dose of Weetbix.
Exercise was a bit part of the week, including bike riding, hiking and swimming. Lunches were things like bread rolls with ham, cheese and avocado for ease of transport. A couple of bakery meals were thrown in for good measure – pies, pasties and sausage rolls – plus a meal out.
When we arrived, our lovely host had baked a delicious plum cake using fresh local plums. Delicious – served fresh out of the oven. We have been toying with our banana smoothie recipe to include some ground almonds and some frozen blueberries for a bit of extra goodness. Keeping the fruit bowl well stocked is vital in holidays, as the kids often gravitate to the kitchen when they run out of things to do. We are experimenting with some fructose-free sweet recipes out of interest. It is not as easy as a 1:1 replacement of sugar for dextrose (our first replacement ingredient we are trying) so once we have perfected some we will offer a fructose-free alternative option for some of our existing recipes in 2017. Watch this space.
Our first night at our friends’ house was a fabulous meal of roast chicken (recipe on the app if you need it), potatoes and green vegetables. We cooked two chickens rather than going for one large one, as they are generally more tasty.
The kids chose the next night’s meal, which was Italian meatballs on pasta (recipe on the app). It is a great meal for larger groups, and after a full day of exercise was the perfect meal for hungry people.
For our final night at our friends’ house, the eldest children from both families made pumpkin gnocchi with pesto sauce (pesto recipe on the app) and a mixed salad. It was absolutely delicious, and a great start the year where the kids are contributing to the cooking.
Steak sandwiches were perfect when we got back home, as they were quick to make. We used some caramelised onions from the freezer.
Last night we had spanakopita made by our eldest son (with assistance from me) and a light salad. It is really quite easy for a teenager to make, and best made on the day you shop if you are using fresh spinach rather than frozen spinach, as it takes up a lot of room in the refrigerator if storing for a few days.
Tonight we are having some salt and pepper squid with salad – we are trying a few different recipes at the moment so will share a recipe once we’ve refined it.
Sunday will be braised lamb shoulder (app recipe) with some roasted sweet potato and salad. I’ll be cooking a larger shoulder so we have leftovers for either sandwiches or a ragú in nights to come.