Tana Ramsay talks to iLoveMyGrub

iLoveMyGrub quizzes Tana Ramsay about cooking with her kids, giving Gordon culinary tips, and who really is the best cook.

Tana Ramsay talks to iLoveMyGrub

With four children to cook for at home, Tana Ramsay definitely calls the shots in the kitchen. Her past recipes books have included ‘Tana Ramsay’s Family Kitchen’, ‘Tana’s Kitchen Secrets’, and ‘Home Made’. With her latest book ‘I Love to Bake’ out now, we talk to Tana Ramsay about her own cooking style, getting her kids to muck in, and just how much cooking Gordon actually does at home.

How do you involve your children in cooking at home?

“Now my children are getting older it’s important that they take on the responsibility of helping to prepare dinner. I encourage them to make simple salads and they enjoy experimenting with ingredients to make different dressings or dips such as guacamole. They are also learning how to make simple marinades for meat and they can now check if the pasta or rice we are having is cooked. It is also very important that they now begin to help clear up a meal and tidy the table at the end of supper.”

What are your tips for getting children to try different, foods that they’re not used to?

“I will get my children to help me prepare a dish that has foods that they are not used to in it. They then feel proud of what they have done and are happy to try it. I also would pair new foods with foods that the children like and are used to.”

How do you cook at home? Is it quick and easy, or are you big on planning and slow cooking?

“It revolves a lot around school activities. If the children are back late then I plan ahead and prepare something during the day that slow cooks and that I can reheat later. If we have no after school activities then I put together something quick and easy that the children can help with. On the weekend when we have more time, I plan a big Sunday lunch. I can then use the left overs from Sunday during the week in a curry or a casserole.”

How much of the cooking does Gordon do at home?


Has Gordon learnt any cookery tips from you?

“I taught him everything he knows! I steam all my vegetables and Gordon is always surprised at how quick and easy it is.”

Which time-saving cheats do you use when you cook at home?

“I try and make everything fresh, but I also use tins such as chopped tomatoes in natural juice and condiments like ketchup and chutney.”

Who do your children think is the better cook - Gordon or you?

“Definitely me!”

What’s the messiest dish you’ve ever cooked with your children?

“Nothing can be messier than making cakes. They get the flour and the egg everywhere, bits of shell end up in the mixture and half the chocolate ends up around our mouths, but it’s great fun and the best part of baking.”

Tana Ramsay’s top tips for families cooking on a budget:

  • Plan a week ahead with a menu.
  • Do one big shop a week - you spend less money.
  • Have a left overs supper to use up all the food in the fridge.
  • Recycle meals, for example make a big spaghetti bolognese for one night and then you can turn the left overs into chilli con carne the next day for supper.

  • I Love to Bake by Tana Ramsay is out now, published by Mitchell Beazley, priced at £14.99.

    Interview by: Helenka Bednar