Hi, food bloggers and blog readers, you can say I am the new ‘kid’ on the block. My name is Michéle Coleman and from now, I shall be the custodian of this blog. I am already part-custodian of the website I love cooking and partner with my mother Anne Myers in our business as television and Internet content producers and marketers. Here, on the FOOD24 platform is where I will share the kind of food that we feature on our website: recipes for a busy working mom like me and gazilions others like me. And Anne will write her own personal blog from now on, leaving her free to write whenever she likes about whatever she wants …
Although I appreciate fine food and can hold my own in making high-end foodie-wino small talk, in real-life my daily meals are … well, suburban. They cannot be described as gorgeous, glamorous or fabulous because they have to be quick, easy, economical and above all kiddie-friendly. They have to fit in with my family’s hectic schedule and cater for a set of parents, their three highly extra-mural-driven and intellectually and socially-active children aged 6 to 15, their trillion little friends with their play dates and sleep-overs and an eccentric white cat. When I cook, my main objective is to nourish my family well and wisely and my rewards come by way of seeing my husband leaving the table to get some crusty bread from the bread bin to wipe the last bit of sauce from his plate, my teenage son asking for his third portion and my smallest one telling her little play dates and sleep-overs that I am the best cook in the whole wide world. That is what matters right now.
So every time (which is at least twice daily) when I have my family around our heirloom dining table, I thank my lucky stars that I was practically raised in (or very near!) a kitchen, that my brother and I were seen and above all heard around the same dining table, that Food for Life was my third language and that one of the few things I know for sure is that around a family table, footprints are made on a child’s soul that can never be erased. So I make an effort to leave good footprints for my children as they were passed on to me. And I thank my long list of ’Mom’s kitchen confidentialities’ that she passed on to me. One of her most regular lines was: “Darling, over time, they dropped the ’r’ from ‘cook’ ..!”
So when time is needed for other and more valuable activities in my life, I shamelessly rely on and use canned beans, tomatoes and pie apples and frozen veggies, packets of soups and sauces and stock cubes or granules. However, as a mother I am sensitive to dietary requirements, toxins and food additives (I did mention my third language above :-) ?) so balance remains a crucial mealtime objective. Besides we are physically a complicated lot what with allergies, gluten and milk intolerances, you name it, somebody in my family has got it so the biggest effort about meals is the thinking about what to cook that will tick all the boxes … but fortunately, if you add the fortune and grace of having a Superchar, a courier, a Woollies Food and sushi bar with loads of family specials around the corner, I manage not too badly.
As to blogging this novice feels quite intimidated especially about the food photography. Despite a master class or two, I have not yet completely mastered food photography. So for now, I will do what my mother did: use the images on our website which we either have done by professional photographers, or that we license for a fee from image libraries. For now, this is not a blog to showcase my skills as a photographer, but to share mommy-and-family-friendly recipes with you. They are original and belong to our website but of course I have permission to re-publish them :-).
Here is an old favourite. It’s a baked omelet that you can fill it with anything you love. Below is the meatless Monday version although we often go meatless ‘midweek’. This recipe is very cheesy, so feel free to reduce the amount of cheese.
Savoury Omelette Roll
- 45 ml olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- ½ a small red pepper, finely diced
- ½ a small aubergine, finely diced
- 125 g brown mushrooms, finely diced
- 45 ml tomato paste
- 1 – 2 cloves garlic
- salt, milled black pepper and sprinkling sugar
- 8 jumbo eggs
- 250 ml milk
- 30 ml finely chopped parsley
- 30 ml corn flour mixed with 30 ml cake flour
- 125 g diced mozzarella cheese
- 90 ml coarsely torn basil leaves
- 250 ml cheddar cheese
- 45 ml chopped parsley
Heat the oil and lightly brown the onion. Then add the pepper, aubergine and mushrooms. Sauté until translucent then stir in the tomato paste and garlic. Add a little water if needed and simmer for about ten minutes or until the veggies are cooked and tender and all excess moisture has evaporated. Season to taste, remove from heat and set aside until required.
Whisk together the eggs, milk and parsley. Mix the flour and cornflour with a little of the liquid into a smooth paste and stir into the egg mixture. Season to taste and pour into a roasting pan lined with baking paper that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ºC for 20 minutes or until the egg is set. Remove from oven and set aside to cool a little, in the pan.
To complete, stir the mozzarella cheese and basil into the vegetable mixture and dollop spoonsful of the mixture all over the omelet. Spread it out evenly and using the baking paper, roll the omelet around the filling. If the filling mixture is too much for the roll (depending on the size pan you chose), reserve the leftovers for an omelet, a stew or soup later in the week. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese and parsley on top. Place the omelet roll in the oven for ten minutes or so or until warmed through and the cheese is melting. Remove from oven, slide onto a serving platter, sliced and serve with a side salad.
Serves 6 – 8
PS: You can have an adult’s only version for a brunch the morning after… Just add loads of chili and serve with very buttery grilled ciabatta toasts and spicy Bloody Mary’s.
For more meatless recipes, visit