Summer holidays have arrived once more and with the kids now off school, food breaks increase as does the appetites of my hungry horses!
If we around the house, they seem to be on a never ending carousel of meals, snack, treats and drinks – how does a busy mum ever keep up?
I’ve had to expand our dinner repertoire in preparation for the six weeks ahead, save for two glorious all-inclusive weeks ahead of buffet central – yes! Mama holiday here I come!
Adding in easy-makes sure does ease the strain and I’m trying to let go of my inner control freak and let the kids join in wherever possible to enable them to enjoy the food more and feel included.
One such option which really is easy as 1-2-3 is our picnic and pizza night.
I only have to utter the words ‘make your own pizza’ and my boys are putty in my hands!
It’s such fun and reasonably low mess – but most importantly, a super simple way to expand their tastes.
I had a little haul on Ocado from the Ciao Gusto brand selection last week as I wanted to open up their horizons on the cold meats front, to make picnics and packed lunches that much easier beyond a cheese or tuna repertoire.
Selecting mouth-watering picks like Negroni bresola ham, smoked ham, Rio Mare tuna staple (natch!), and a bold move on my part, Giovanni Rana creamy mozzarella & smoked pancetta ravioli. I added this to try and inject something completely new but a functional and tasty make.
Ocado are ideal for perfect staples like the Monterey Jack grated cheese and the passata I needed for the pizzas.
So on a bright balmy evening after school last week we set about our summer feast.
The boys got sprinkling and went for monteray jack cheese and tomato pizzas topped with all different meats – I didn’t even need to prompt them, they looked so appealing they just got stuck straight in.
They went down a treat! Dominic had the bressola, ham and pepper (!) and Harry went for the full meat feast topped with tuna.
I really fancied a salad but with a kick so I whipped up a tuna nicoise for myself with a chilli twist. I cannot get enough of the hot stuff so this ticked lots of boxes for me. I sprinkled in some chilli flakes and it just gave it a fab, fiesty zap of spice!
I had food envy with the boys’ pizzas so I knocked up a quick tomato and tuna version for myself and topped it off with…you’ve guessed it – fresh red chillies!
We finished it off with some crusty bread and butter for the ultimate al fresco indulgence and had such a laid back, fuss free dinner and lots of laughter, I loved it.
Our perfect pizza picnic wouldn’t be complete without pud so I rolled out the gelato sandwiches to lots of approving noises from the children and I cheekily topped mine off by dipping in fresh chopped hazelnuts for extra crunch.
With very little clearing up, I was an extremely happy mummy. I’m so pleased we have a few more options for the summer ahead, lunch boxes won’t be quite so boring now!
What do you do to spice up summer dining? Any tips, do let me know and I will try them out for sure!