Tuesday, 21 May 2013

10 Top Tips for Easy Suppers

10 Top Tips for Easy Suppers
21 May 2013

I do not particularly enjoy cooking.  There.  I've said it.  Now shoot me.  Go ahead.  Make my day.  At least then, I won't have to worry about what to make for supper.

I know that this is very uncool to admit.  But I've spoken to many women about this.  And lots of them completely agree.

This however, does not mean that I can't cook.  Because I can.  And though my repertoire is not particularly big, I know that I make scrumptious and delicious food.  Most of the time.  Well, lots of the time.  Okay, sometimes.  And with a few of my signature dishes, I truly excel and create masterpieces.

But here's the thing.  The problem with cooking, is that it has to happen daily.  As in Every.  Single.  Day.  After day.  After day.  Seriously!  What’s with that!

Furthermore, cooking does not just constitute the process of quickly whipping up a meal. 

Firstly you have to decide what to make.  A most tedious exercise.  Because you have to ensure that a lengthy enough period of time has passed between whipping up the same awesome meal.  Serving my fantastic Bacon Carbonara dish (good though it is), more than once every 2 weeks or so, is just not cool.  And so a fair amount of planning is involved.

Secondly, the ingredients for any meal, don't just miraculously make themselves available for my use, in my kitchen.  I have to buy them first.  As in go grocery shopping.  Not a difficult task, I know.  However the ever-increasing cost of food, makes it a difficult task.  Had I been in possession of loads of dosh, I'd bulk up on bacon, cream and mushrooms often.  With those three magic ingredients, most meals are magical.  Add a bit of cheese and you're onto a happening plan.  Should the budget stretch to prawns, steak and lamb chops, legs of lamb, legs of pork, etc. I'm sure I'd be a magnificent chef.  Everyone would be.

Thirdly, finding a meal that is to everyone's taste is rather challenging.  With five people in the home, it is hard to find.  In fact, one of the few meals that everyone likes is Mexican.  Easy enough to make, if slightly costly.  Though they do all like Spaghetti  Bolognaise too.  And my Beef Chow Mein. 

Even cheese-friggin-snackwidges aren't all that easy.  Some like pepper added.  Some don't.  Some like ham and tomatoes as well.  Some don't.  Some want theirs cut in squares.  Some prefer triangles.  I kid you not!  And though I for instance make a killer curry, my kids can't stand it.  Grant can wax lyrical (and he does) over my sweet and sour chicken.  Yet neither the kids nor I can abide it.  It is tough finding things that everyone finds awesome.

Though, when I say that they all like my Spag Bolog, perhaps I’m stretching the truth a bit.  Because out of the five of us, two prefer my Spag Bolog without the Bolog.  Yip, in other words naked noodles.  And when I say that everyone likes my Beef Chow Mein, I’m not being all that truthful either.  Because out of the five of us, one prefers my Beef Chow Mein without the beef, vegetables and the mein.  Yip, in other words naked noodles once more.  And when it comes to me awesome Bacon Carbonara, at least two of my kids, take absolute aeons to painstakingly de-mushroom their meal.

And so I have compiled a list of Ten Top Tips for easy suppers

1)  Cook big.  Left overs are awesome.  They really, really are.

2)  Have certain basics in the freezer, like stewing lamb, bacon bits and chicken breasts.

3)  Pasta dishes go a long way and most people like them.  Heck, my kids eat pasta naked if I’d let them.

4)  Buy ingredients in bulk if they're on special, i.e. bacon...

5)  2 minute noodles are a lifesaver.  This is true.  Not for suppers, obviously, but for occasional lunches (I know - they eat three times a day – seriously!).  Quick and really easy to prepare.

6)  If you are having a busy afternoon, then try and cook in the morning.  This really works for me if I've got a hectic Mom's taxi afternoon ahead of me.  Something like Cottage Pie or Lasagne is quite good and you can do all the prep and cooking while the house is nice and quiet and no one else is at home.

7)  A crockpot is a marvellous invention.  Particularly for winter time.  Not only can you make one-pot-wonders, which saves on dishes, but you can prepare your meal in advance.  In the morning already.

8)  Occasionally I cheat and make sweet cinnamon sugar and lemon pancakes for supper.  In winter this is an awesome treat and everyone LOVES it!  I also get loads of “Awesome-Mom-Points” when I do this.  Yay me!

9)  Have I mentioned how amazing bacon is yet?  Added to absolutely anything, it creates culinary magic.

10)  The marvels of cheese sauce.  I am a great believer in the magic properties of cheese sauce.  It makes my kids love cauliflower, when I generously smother it with cheese sauce.  It even lends a bit of credibility to my occasional claim that fish is good for them.  The only way I can get it down anyone's throat, is if I camouflage it with cheese sauce.  This I am able to do successfully, at least once a year.  Furthermore, any dry item of food, like chicken breasts, etc. can be cranked up a notch by simply adding cheese sauce.

11)  The tri-fecta of Bacon, Mushrooms and Cheese is phenomenal.  I might have mentioned this already.  Truly mind blowing (I know I said Ten Top Tips, but I cheated as 2 minute noodles aren’t really a supper option).

12)  We often do salad suppers and this is such a winner.  Okay, it is a given that everyone has to love salad to start off with.  Which we all do.  Occasionally, I make monster salads (naturally I add bacon bits and cheese) and this is quite sufficient, even for my husband and always-hungry-teen.  Especially if you load up on the protein ( I know I said Ten Top Tips, but I simply had to include the whole salad idea too).

Alternatively, there’s…..

Naked Noodles!

I might be slightly biased, but I think my Top Ten rocks!
Cheese, I love you!
Bacon, I love you too!


  1. Homer Simpson just can't believe so much goodness from a pig! I agree.
    Your food is delicious! Your kids, lucky to have a mom who accommodates them so well!

  2. Bwahahaha - so true. Cooking is a pain in the butt! Can't imagine what it would be like to cook for 5! Until Emma left home we basically ate only the things she liked - now the wretched girl eats all sorts of interesting things. I'm with you on the bacon thing - yum - makes everything taste better. For my sins... I have to make my 46 year old hubby a nutrious packed lunch everyday. This from the woman who used to give her kids "packet" food - chips, nuts, sweets anything that came in a packet (which they then used to swop for sarnies). Ferk.... what goes around comes around!

    1. Hi Ginny! I feel your pain. When the kids go to my Mom for a few days, we eat all of the stuff we usually don't get to eat with them in the house. And good luck with the healthy packed lunch for every day. School lunch boxes are my worst!