We arrived back from holiday to an empty fridge and cupboards, but before we even headed out to the supermarket we found ourselves flicking through the pages of Everyday Delicious in search of an easy and tasty dinner that would make a nice change after a week of both eating out and being completely sick of the sight of BBQ sausages and salad (which was our go-to meal in on the nights we didn't eat out - a meal our fussy meat eater wouldn't complain about).
I have to say there's nothing sweeter than opening a cookbook to find you have pretty much everything you need for a recipe already in the house - it frustrates me no end to salivate over a dish only to find you're missing half the ingredients and can't make it without a special trip out to get them!
And so in the space of twenty four hours of being home, we'd already made three recipes from Everyday Delicious - the Easy Indian Chicken Curry for dinner, Gooey Little Chocolate Puddings for dessert and Banana Bran Muffins to stock up on home baking for the boys heading back at school this week. And the verdict?
The Easy Indian Chicken Curry was sensational - Mark loved the fact he didn't have to make a paste first, all the spices just cooked in with the dish. We used chicken drumstick meat rather than thighs but otherwise followed the recipe to the letter. And our very fussy chicken eater in the household did not even MENTION the fact there was any chicken in it, downing mouthful after mouthful without a murmur. This alone is a bit of a freaking miracle, but in fact we ALL declared it a winner winner chicken dinner - so it will definitely be made again very soon!
After a week of eating gourmet cheese, 180 degree hazelnut oat crackers and quince jelly as an after dinner treat on holiday, we were more than ready to tuck into a homemade sweet treat again. Enter the Gooey Little Chocolate Puddings - again we had everything already in the cupboard and fridge to whip these up straight after our curry dinner, savouring them slowly with natural yoghurt once the kids were safely tucked up in bed.
We'd also managed to pack our leftover food from the holiday into our bags for the flight home, but as you can imagine the few bananas we brought back were looking a little worse for wear after being bumped around on the airplane, and none of us are particularly keen on very brown looking bananas so I knew I'd have to find a way to use them up. Enter Chelsea's Banana Bran Muffins.
These little delights were pretty easy to whip up, and although I had in my head an idea which one of the boys would prefer these (one being much more inclined to eat banana than the other), they completely surprised me and the exact opposite was true, which just goes to show that kids will always retain the power to surprise you and keep you on your toes just when you think you have them properly figured out!
And when you find yourself searching for reasons to make all the recipes as you turn each page, you realise that this book really does have the power to transform the every day into something quite delicious - and I foresee many more delicious days ahead in our future, I'm currently tossing up whether the Cheesy Caramelised Red Onion Scrolls or the Good Energy Slice will win the 'next-to-be made' honour. Heck, I think I'll just make both!
Everyday Delicious is published by Random House NZ and is available from 3 October.
Thanks to Random House NZ for the review copy.
Disclaimer: I was given a copy of Everyday Delicious in exchange for my review. I am not being compensated in any other way.