Wednesday, February 9, 2011

No time to cook

I love Donna Hay. I have every cookbook and a subscription to her magazine. Luuuurve her.

However, since the boys arrived, those beautiful glossy books of gastronomic high fashion have been taunting me. Teasing me. And frankly, making me feel both useless and guilty all at once.

As soon as the boys hit the stage of being awake more than they were asleep, dinner ceased being on the table. I just couldn't get it together in time.

I have spent many many months feeling rather pathetic. I mean, how hard it is to cook something simple. It's easy of course, if the ingredients are in the cupboard / fridge. If you remember to get the meat out of the freezer. If you can chop and peel with toddlers hanging off your legs. If you can ignore the flour being tipped all over the floor while you stir something at a crucial stage.

I bought a slow cooker, thinking it was going to solve all my problems. It didn't. Because in order for a slow cooker to cook, you have to have ingredients (that old chestnut) - defrosted (again, not my forte) - to pop in (in the morning - NOT the late afternoon).

I gave up weekends and precious family time cooking meals to freeze, thinking that would solve all my problems. It did - for a while - until I got so sick of bolognaise that I don't think I'll ever be able to eat it again.

When I served baby puree on pasta one night, I knew I had hit a new low. Especially when I decided *not to tell* and *pretend* it was actual pasta sauce.

But then I got my hands on Donna Hay's No Time To Cook. Seriously. The. Best. Cookbook. Ever.


Yes, you have to actually do some grocery shopping, but that's common to all cooking and eating - not just this book. So on the weekend, I sat down for 10 minutes with the book, picked out 7 recipes, wrote a shopping list and sent T off to Woollies.

In the past week, we have cooked:

Chicken and chorizo cous cous with spinach
Spinach bacon and ricotta frittata
Cunnchy parmesan chicken
Baked lemon chicken and feta
Three-cheese risotto
Prosciutto and mozzarella open sandwiches on ciabatta

I know, right! Amazing. I've even stunned myself. I've come a long way baby.

The best thing is that none of them take more than 5 minutes to prepare. Honestly. Stick a needle in my eye. And T and I do it together when he gets home from work, we get to have a lovely chat and a glass of wine. It's very civilised. Plus I am sure we are saving money. We were in the trap of buying takeaway, or doing a late mercy dash to the supermarket and just buying whatever looked edible. We have also lessened our wastage.

Changed my life. Thanks Donna. You're my hero. xxxx


  1. I've often been lured to browse through this cookbook when I've seen it at the book shop - the title definitely gets my attention - sounds perfect, I'm all for minimal prep/cooking time these days too. Your meals sound delish!!

  2. I am a bit late with this comment but this is also my favourite quick cookbook - the recipes really do take no time at all. Donna is my saviour too.


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