When people see my family out and about one of the first questions they ask me (after the inevitable;"7 kids! Haven't you got a TV?") is;"How on earth do you feed them all?"
Feeding a family the size of ours on a budget can be a nightmare and largely I achieve it by cooking army-sized portions of traditional favourites like shepherd's pie, roast dinners, spag bol, Toad in the Hole etc from scratch. Which is economic but time consuming.
But as you can imagine our family life is hectic - choir, youth club, Brownies and so on - so I always have a few frozen quicky meal ingredients to throw together a tasty but speedy meal.
So I was interested when I was invited to try out Richmond's Mini Meatballs- I picked up a bag of 50 frozen in a packet with handy meal suggestions and clear cooking instructions from my local freezer centre..
|anyone for meatball footie?|
When grumpy toddler came home from pre-school starving hungry today, I decided a quick meal was definitely in order before he ate my leg or the slowest cat. I'd been challenged to create a fun and interesting meal so excuse the elaborate arrangement- I don't normally go to these lengths to display the children's food though if you have a fussy eater or an ill child you are trying to tempt feel free to copy it!
So - I popped a potato waffle into the toaster on full heat - leaving that to cook I shook a handful of frozen peas and sweetcorn into a bowl, covered them and hurled them into the microwave (800w) on full for 2 minutes.
Leaving them to cool slightly I took five meatballs out of the packaging, clipped the bag and put it back into the freezer for another day, and again, covered and cooked for the recommended one minute. Yes - one minute!
While they were cooking I squirted some tomato puree (you could use ketchup) into lines as if the oblong plate was a football field then arranged peas and sweetcorn as spectators along two sides then cut the waffle in half and placed half at each end to look like goal posts.
I took one meatball from the bowl and placed it on the "centre line" then put the rest in a ramekin for Grumpy to replace the "football" when he had eaten it.
|yum! in under 5 mins!|
Well he was delighted! Even though I was dubious about my artistic skills he understood straight away that it was a football field and delighted in eating the ball and spectators.
So to prepare the meal - two minutes. Cooking - under five minutes. Eating the meal -five minutes!
The other children asked to have spaghetti and meatballs for their main meal today so I plan to just microwave the meatballs while the pasta cooks then hurl a jar of tomato pasta sauce over the top - DH can have that too with some cheese over the top and doughballs and it feels like I've had a day off from slaving over a hot stove! Thanks Richmond!
This post is an entry for Britmums' Hungry to Happy challenge sponsored by Richmond Mini Meatballs - check out http://wp.me/p3bVJd-5wB