We try and sit down at 6:00pm everynight and have a family dinner. I would like to be able to have it earlier during the week but my husband doesn’t get home until 6:00pm and I think its important that he gets to have dinner with the kids and we can all talk about our day. We always have dinner at the dinner table. Our dining room is off the kitchen and has windows that completely open all around it so in the summer we have the windows open so it feels like we are outside. It’s a really relaxed place to eat. I love it!
Dinner is usually fuss free in our house. I don’t spend a lot of time preparing dinner and we mostly eat homemade food. If we have take-away we would buy fish and chips. My husband makes a mean pizza which is far better than a take-away pizza so if we feel like pizza we would have homemade. Eating out in New Zealand is expensive so for us we only eat out for special occasions. I have no problem with taking the kids to a restaurant though as we would often take them out when we lived in Holland and they are well behaved (most of the time!).
We are quite strict on manners at the table and the kids have to ask to leave the table. They also have to eat everything on their plate. Unless they really don’t like it and they have at least tried it. My daughter will eat pretty much anything (except lettuce!) but my son is a bit more picky. He is getting better the older he gets though. If they don’t eat much dinner they know there is no more food until the morning. The kids usually have plain unsweetened yoghurt with chocolate sprinkles for dessert. In the weekends we may have ice-cream as a treat.
In the summer I love to have salad for dinner with chicken or prawns on top. As the kids don’t like salad I would steam vegetables for them to go with the prawns or chicken and we would have a thick slice of bread on the side. At the moment I am loving prawn salad with a lime coriander chilli dressing. I just use whatever salad ingredients I have in the fridge. I added a nectarine to it the other week and it was amazing. Here is the recipe for the dressing:
- zest and juice of 2 small limes (our rental house came with a lime tree in the backyard, yay!)
- teaspoon chilli paste
- 2 teaspoons coriander paste
- 1cm grated ginger
- 1 spring onion finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
Mix all the ingredients together and add more lime juice or lemon juice to get the right consistency.
Sushi is a family favourite in our house. I wrote about it here. I would have to say though that the most eaten meal in our house due to the quick preparation time is spagetti bolognese!