Review // The Family Kitchen Cookbook

When it comes to meal planning in our house I try to be as creative and healthy as possible. However, as much as I like to experiment in the kitchen a busy family life, a fussy toddler and a newborn mean that my cooking repertoire is often quite limited and I'm left scratching my head thinking of things to cook when writing a shopping list.

I don't know about you but I tend to shy away from recipes when they have some weird ingredient or take ages to make. It's okay for a special occasion but they don't make it onto our list of weekly meals. During a recent decluttering binge I got rid of a load of my cookery books because I just never used them; unless I used their recipes regularly it was gone.

A couple of Christmases ago my parents-in-law gave me a recipe book that certainly didn't go in the decluttering pile...in fact I use it so much that it sits on my counter top (a very great honour!).

The Family Kitchen Cookbook by Caroline Bretherton contains recipe after recipe that makes you think 'oh! I could cook that'. It has sections on food for babies and toddlers, family meals, easy entertaining, food to go, baking and cooking with kids.

It's an amazing resource to flick through when meal planning for a family because it's filled with ideas and is helpfully separated into sections for vegetables, rice/pasta and different types of meat. The recipes all seem achievable for a busy family too (there aren't many weird ingredients needed).

I especially love the section on feeding fussy toddlers. As a mother of a child who thinks white bread and cake are a balanced diet it's been helpful to get some ideas of things she would like to eat...and she has enjoyed many of the things we've made.

If you want a good value family cook book that you will use again and again I can't recommend the Family Kitchen Cookbook highly enough.

Happy cooking!
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The week that was: Devon

For the last ten days I have been visiting family in Devon with the girls. Josh has been very busy with work recently so it was nice to have a change of scenery and have some company.

{long baths were a sanity saver on fractious days}
We travelled down on Tuesday 21st and spent the rest of the week fairly quietly as the weather was atrocious. It was tiring trying to keep Ivy entertained inside without all her normal toys or routine but we did some baking, met up with an old friend at soft play and went for a couple of walks when the weather allowed.

{messy baking ; raspberry picking with granddad ; cleaning inspiration ; playing at Chagford}
On Saturday I went to Dartmoor with my Mum and the girls and spent a really nice day in Chagford and visited old friends in Moretonhampstead.

We had church on Sunday and on Monday my sister and her family arrived which meant Ivy could play with her cousins, which made her very happy!

{Someone found their thumb ; rain, rain go away! ; playing at Otterton ; happy smiles}
On Tuesday we walked from Budleigh Salterton to Otterton Mill for lunch and on Wednesday it was my Dad's 70th birthday so we had a nice lunch and went for a walk.

{my latest creative endeavour for my Dad's birthday ; and a yummy chocolate birthday cake I made}
Thursday was a quieter day as most of my family had things on so I had a girly day with my neice and our two; we went to town and watched a film.

On Friday I was sad to say goodbye and make the long trip back to Pembrokeshire (the traffic was terrible and I had to climb into the back seat in the middle of a jam to comfort screaming children!) Although it's nice to see Josh again and be in our own space I really miss my family and having company around all the time - my August diary is rather empty as all baby/toddler groups have finished for the summer and I find it rather lonely looking after the girls on my own all the time. Here's hoping for a good week to come!
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St Govan's, Elegug Stacks and the Green Bridge of Wales

Josh had a day off last Saturday and we were much in need of a fun family day together as things have been very busy recently. The weather was good so we decided to tick some things off our Pembrokeshire bucket list and walk the coast path between St Govan's and the Elegug Stacks.

First we visited St Govan's Chapel which I've wanted to see for ages. It's a tiny stone building right in the cliff built sometime around the 6th century which you reach by climbing down a steep flight of steps. It's an amazing place and the inside is covered in carved graffiti with the waves thundering outside.

We then carried along the coast path. I had heard that this part of the coast line is particularly spectacular and has some of the best sea-caves and arches in the county; we certainly weren't disappointed! We even saw some nesting Guillemots which was an unexpected surprise.

We found a beautifully sheltered spot among wildflowers and long grass overlooking the beach to eat our picnic and feed Alys before heading back to the car and an ice-cream. I just feel so blessed to live in a place where we can do this kind of walk on our day off. It was stunning!

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