My cooking style
WHY IS FOOD IMPORTANT TO ME?
- I grew up in Paris, and what is striking about French culture is that we are obsessed with food and spend an awful lot of time talking about food, probably to the same extent as my fellow compatriots in the UK talk about the weather, apparently 6 months of their lives spent talking about the weather!
- When we get up in the morning, we discuss lunch menu, and right after lunch we already think of what we could cook for dinner!
- It's in our genes and heritage, we are totally obsessed with food!
- We ritually respect the three meals a day routine and traditionally do not snack (well I sometimes can't resist the kids biscuits..).
- My precious childhood memories revolve around the festive celebrations of Christmas, Easter, religious celebrations, birthdays, where the whole extended family would gather around a beautifully set table and we would spend a few hours eating an elaborate menu and the grown-ups would get more and more jovial, the wine helping....
- I firmly believe in eating our meals together as a family. We started having seat-down meals with our kids from an early age as it's a moment to take time and enjoy one's food and each other's company (without mobile phones please!).
- People in France go out for dinner, and would never dream of going to a "liquid" evening without a proper meal before!
- Eating is a pleasure and it's very convivial.
WHICH PRODUCTS DO I LIKE TO USE?
- I like eating a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit and lean meat such as chicken, turkey and fish. I love lamb and beef but do not cook it as often.
- My favourite cooking style is a one-pot casserole, slow-cooked stews and Moroccan tajines.
- I need to balance my time with my children, so cooking a one-pot recipe is easy to prepare in advance and reheat just before dinner when I am busy with the children. And reheating the food makes it even better and more flavoursome. When I don't have time to prepare meals in advance, I usually spend no more than 45 minutes preparation and cooking time, so it's accessible for all even if you are working full time.
MY WEEKLY FOOD PLANNER?
- I am a bit of a control freak and like to organise my weekly menus as much as possible so it's not a headache on a daily basis. By selecting your menus you avoid being repetitive and cooking the same seven dinners week after week....
- I do one big food delivery per week and then stock up on fresh fruit and vegs when needed.
IS THERE ANYTHING I DONT USE?
- My husband was diagnosed dairy-intolerant about 5-6 years ago so I adapted my cooking and have replaced butter, milk and cream with olive oil, margarine or soya-based spread for baking, almond and coconut milk. Despite my French origins I never liked cream that much so you will not find any creamy sauce in my recipes.
- First it's my husband. I really started cooking when I met him, as I knew that one way to a man's heart was through his stomach!!!
- Through travels, I was lucky enough to experience different cuisines of the world. My Dad lives in Marrakech, Morocco, and we visit him every year and the Moroccan cuisine really inspires me as I love its spices which have beautiful colors, smells and tastes. I particularly cook with cumin, curry, cinnamon, ginger, coriander seeds, curcuma, preserved lemons. Below is a gallery of a few Moroccan dishes we ate during our visits at my Dad's place, from the traditional couscous on Fridays, to the tajines, beef keftas, pastillas, briaoutes, etc....