Menu planning help please for limited cook

Chakani Forumite Posts: 826 Forumite
I have a friend coming to stay tonight until Tuesday, plus my brother has invited himself over to be fed on Saturday, so I need to do some planning and shopping so I can feed us all, but I have had Carpal Tunnel surgery, and have stitches in my right hand, so I can't do much that requires both hands at the moment, like chopping veg etc.

We're not on a tight budget, so one or two meals with expensive ingredients are fine, I will be making homemade bread for breakfast, and would like to make some cakes and sweets as well, just not sure what. I have a hob that works, an oven with unreliable thermostat (fine for roasting meat, no victoria sponges or meringues), microwave, bread maker, kenwood mixer and stick blender.

People that need feeding are
Me - skilled cook, and normally make everything from scratch, eat everything, love food, bit useless at the moment.
OH - willing and capable, but SLOW, if I leave him to do anything, no-one will eat before midnight, eats everything but really likes good/posh food.
DS - 18 months old, eats everything
Brother - huge appetite, hollow legs, good in the kitchen, eats everything, twice.
Friend - not very adventurous eater, will try whatever I give her, but not keen on overly hot food, useless in the kitchen (she'll be babysitting then:rotfl:)

Obviously everyone will help out, but I need to organise and do the bulk of the cooking and planning.

Any meal suggestions, or inspired recipes would be very gratefully received!


  • CupOfChai
    CupOfChai Forumite Posts: 1,411 Forumite
    Can you not ask OH and brother to do most of the prep/things that you would struggle with or aren't allowed to do at the moment? I mean, you HAVE just had surgery. Then with them helping out a bit more there wouldn't be much if any restriction on what you could all eat?
  • Chakani
    Chakani Forumite Posts: 826 Forumite
    Yes, they will help, especially with chopping etc, but OH has a very demanding job, and has been doing most of the cooking/washing up/nappies this week on top, (I am SAHM), so he deserves a bit of a break too :)

    So I'm just trying to minimise the help I need, plus friend and brother are guests, so don't want to overload them with work, or they might not come back and entertain DS for me so I can have a break ;)
  • BitterAndTwisted
    BitterAndTwisted Forumite Posts: 22,492
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I'm sure that your guests won't think it's an imposition to be asked to do some basic cutting and chopping in the kitchen for someone who's just had surgery. I know I wouldn't, I'd be only too happy to help out
  • Chakani
    Chakani Forumite Posts: 826 Forumite
    Hmm, maybe I should have asked for general low-prep ideas instead? I didn't mean to imply that they were all awful layabouts while I was slaving away on my own :)

    It's just that I am a bad patient, a bit too independent, and used to just getting on with it my own way, without anyone getting under my feet:rotfl:

    So far I have a lamb casserole in the SC for tonight, will do mashed potatoes using the Kenwood (planning to boil potatoes in their skins, then pull the skins off before mashing).

    Breakfast will be HM bread, HM jams, fruit, yoghurts etc

    Lunch I'm not sure, could make soup, with more bread, or maybe HM hummus (not sure what with though, I'm a bit lacking in inspiration)

    Need to think of something nice (and substantial) for dinner though... I'd normally do a roast dinner, but that might be a bit ambitious timing-wise with too many chiefs!
  • zippychick
    zippychick Forumite Posts: 9,367
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    edited 30 April 2010 at 3:44PM
    Chakani - regards your baby pots, why not do crushed baby potatoes? All the rage these days apparently202.gif ( I watch too many cooking progs ok!)

    Not finished reading your last post so will update!x

    I think soup with bread sounds perfect! Can be made in advance too so just needs heated up?bread also adds filling power. Hoummous would be a good starter maybe? (IMO) with carrot sticks, cucumber (crudites basically) which you can buy precut IF YOU WANTED TO (or get OH to chop them and keep in tupperware) . Or hoummous is nice with bread and or breadsticks as a starter, maybe along with maybe some tzatziki (bought or HM) and olives?

    Dinner - ummmmm need to read your post again see what you said.

    Ok, compromise on the roast with trimmings - what about a one pot roast? Beef thread which links to this recipe?

    You could serve it with roast potatoes (which could be prepped and half cooked again a day or two in advance?) Ok, my brain needs a rest. I'll keep thinking! :o:rotfl:

    Or a roast done with the veg as a trivet underneath? So it all cooks together? Something like this?

    Or do all my ideas have far too much prep involved? Very tired. :o
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men :cool:
    Norn Iron club member #380

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