Another busy day in the world of motherhood! It is Monday, 6am and, like millions of homes, it is rush hour in mine too. It is the start of another busy week as every morning we need to be out of the door on time to avoid the traffic. I drive a few miles to drop my daughter to her nursery, then I drive to work and by the time I get to my desk my head is spinning and my body already exhausted.
Life as a working mum definitely brings new challenges and takes everything to a whole new level. My to-do list now stretches to the moon and back and there are things I still haven’t done from the old list such as “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.”
Sometimes I feel that I am not part of this world as there is no time to follow the news. I need to rely on electronic reminders and even though I manage to miss my friends and facebook friends’ birthdays, sometimes it takes me ages to reply to an email, a twitter or WhatsApp message. No matter how many duties or multi-tasks I do a day, I am still not able to catch up. I am a real mum, not a supermum.
So, when it comes to cooking, I try to keep things simple, practical but healthy and seasonal. Once in a while I take time to prepare something more elaborate in terms of baking or cooking.
I cook big batches for 1-2 weeks and freeze them in small portions. A kids friendly bolognese sauce is a ‘must have’ in my freezer as it is very versatile. I can use it to prepare delicious meals like spaghetti, lasagna, cannelloni, chili con carne or even a cottage pie. I can fill pancakes with the sauce; I can stuff zucchinis or baked potatoes etc. It saves time, especially in the evening and it helps me tremendously because it allows me to have more quality time with my daughter before she goes to bed.
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 500g minced beef
- 500ml stock or water
- 1 large carrot finely chopped
- 1 celery stick finely chopped
- ½ red pepper finely chopped
- 25g butter
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 500g chopped tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter with the olive oil.
- Add the onion, celery, carrot, red pepper and fry for about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, beef and cook until they are browned breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon.
- Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, tomato paste and cook for few minutes.
- Add the stock or water, season with salt and pepper and reduce the heat to its lowest setting.
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally until it becomes a thick and rich tomato sauce.