From the very first day of Weaning Amelia I have been using Annabel Karmel cookbooks, I reckon I have about 10 in my collection at this stage. Her books were recommended by friends and I have continued to use the recipes past the Weaning stages and adapt for our our family.
Annabel is someone I have admired and if I’m honest aspired to be! As a best-selling children’s cookery writer, entrepreneur and mum of three, Annabel Karmel knows what it’s like to juggle motherhood with a busy life. The prospect of spending hours cooking a nutritious meal for the family can be daunting, but Annabel’s stunning new cookbook “The Busy Mum’s Cookbook” offers a solution with over 100 simple, tasty recipes that the whole family will enjoy. For those busy weeknights, try Annabel’s 20-minute recipes and 6-ingredient meal ideas – all of which are easy-to-make and packed with flavour – such as Chicken Chow Mein or her mouth-watering Dover Sole with Parsley Butter. Planning lunches for school or work is also a breeze thanks to Annabel’s innovative ideas for lunchboxes and snacks. There are meals you can prepare in advance and store in the fridge or freezer ready for an action-packed family weekend, and easy recipes that you can make from store cupboard ingredients.
If you have family or friends coming round, Annabel has got it covered with superb ideas for easy weekend entertaining and show-stopping desserts. Impress your dinner guests with Annabel’s succulent Venison Casserole or aromatic Oriental Roast Duck, followed by Berry and White Chocolate Tart.
Packed full of brand new recipes, Annabel Karmel’s Busy Mum’s Cookbook gives mums everything they need to prepare delicious, healthy, stress-free meals for all the family every day of the week.The dream is to one day have a children’s cookbook, but with a difference….I’m just not sure how to make it different right now!
I’ve previously had the pleasure of speaking to Annabel over the phone in the past, where she shared with me her reason behind her successful 28 books. The tragic loss of her daughter Natasha at 4 months from a viral infection and the subsequent birth of of son Nicholas was what spurred Annabel on to become an award wining writer of children and family cookbooks.
When she was Weaning Nicholas he was a terribly fussy eater. “It made me sick with worry. I thought that if something did happen to him like Natasha, if he did catch a virus, he would only be able to fight with his reserves. “He needed to be as healthy as possible, and I wanted to do everything I could to feed him up.
“I started experimenting with his meals and food. I would bring the recipes that I cooked into my playgroup, and the other mums loved the strange concoctions that I made. “I mashed avocado with banana, apple with sweet potato, and I made chicken and apple balls to persuade Nicholas to eat meat.”
I recently teamed up with Annabel, and gave away two signed copies of her books on my Instagram account. Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner (25th anniversary edition) A publishing phenomenon with 4 million copies sold. Annabel’s baby feeding ‘bible’ has had a 25th Anniversary makeover for the next generation of recruits (I now have the original and the newest addition) and The Busy Mums Cookbook.
Credited with starting a food revolution, this special enhanced edition is filled with brand new recipes, updated favourites and timeless classics relied on by an entire generation.
I’ve been busy going through the recipes and cooking my favourites. I love using the app when I’m out shopping and need to remind myself of what ingredients I need.
From the family cookbook I’ve two recipes below to inspire you, both kids loved these and Amelia was able to help out making the oat bars.
MANGO, APPLE AND OAT BARS
75g unsalted butter
50g Demerara sugar
50g (2 tbsp) golden syrup
100 g porridge oats
50g soft dried apple chopped
30g dried cranberries chopped
50g soft dried mango chopped
25g Rice Crispies
25 g desicated coconut
STEP ONE: Line a 20cm square baking tin with non-stick baking powder
STEP TWO: Put the butter, golden syrup and sugar in a saucepan and heat until melted. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until combined.
STEP THREE: Spoon into the prepared tin. Cover with cling film, then press down with your hands to flatten the mixture and level the top. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour, then remove the clinging and cut into 8 bars.
* You can vary the fruit, substituting with other dried fruits like apricots or raisins. Seeds work well too.
INDIAN-SPICED CHICKEN WITH RICE
225g long-grain or basmati rice
75g frozen peas
2tbsp olive oil
2 skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp of mild curry paste
1 tbsp mango chutney
30g unsalted peanuts (optional)
2 tomatoes, deserved and thinly chopped
Salt and Pepper
1. Cook the rice in lightly salted boiling water according to packet instructions, until tender. Add the peas it the rice 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Drain the rice and peas, and refresh under cold water.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Season the chicken strips, then fry until browned and cooked through.
3. Add the onion and ginger to the frying pan and sauté for 5 minutes until soft. Add the slices and curry paste and fry for 30 seconds, then add the butter,mango chutney and chicken strips. Stir together until the butter has melted. Add the rice and peas and toss together over the heat until hot. Garnish with the peanuts, if using, and tomatoes.
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T, A & H xxx