Nigella Lawson

Yes, I love to cook and yes, I have 3 small children so let me just jump right in with the standard bit about having hectic weekday schedules and not a lot of time to fuss over meals – most specifically dinner. I know, heard it a million times but it’s real, isn’t it? Plus I’m fairly big on three things: 1) as much “from scratch” cooking as humanly possible, 2) meals eaten all together as a family, which is obviously not always possible and 3) the kids get what we get – not a modified or dumbed down version of dinner.

I realize as they get older and get involved with more after school “stuff” that our schedule will get even more insane and I’m sure it will be tricky to maintain that “all together” thing. I don’t know, will it? Parents of older kids you tell me.

For my birthday my mom sent me Nigella Lawson’s latest book ā€œNigella Express: 130 Recipes for Good Food, Fastā€ and I have to tell you, it’s excellent. I made her version of a homemade granola bar and it ruled! My kids devoured them! They were really healthy and very filling. I didn’t have all the exact ingredients so I just went with what I had on hand in the way of grains and nuts and they still came out delicious. The Coq au Riesling is hearty and sustaining without being too rich.

But the aspect of the book I am most enjoying is the informal way she’s written it. It’s possibly the most conversational cookbook I have. It actually made me chuckle out loud more than once. Full disclosure: I find almost anything said with a thick British accent to be utterly charming and clever. Take this, for example from the Caramel Croissant Pudding recipe which lists bourbon among its ingredients, “Oh, and if you don’t have any bourbon in the house, first may I say, please consider it, and second, replace it, rather, with rum. Scotch whisky may seem the obvious substitute but it would be the wrong one, I feel.” Come on! So far it has helped me to change up our menu options without a lot of prep and complicated recipes.

130 Recipes for Good Food, FastPlus, I like how the pink spine of the book looks on my shelf.