Michael Smith’s Family Meals #review

The process of preparing a meal and eating it is very important in our home. Cooking together helps us bond, laugh and share stories. I still remember as a child helping my Dad prepare dishes and helping myself to his cannelloni stuffing at the same time! Good food has a special way of bringing families together. Michael Smith’s Family Meals is the ultimate family cook book with healthy recipes, life hacks and so much more.

I am not a huge fan of the typical organization of cook books – you know the ones that list recipe after recipe with few pictures, complicated ingredients and no tips. As soon as I start flipping a cook book open to find that back on the shelf it goes. What I like about Michael Smith’s recipe books is that he shares his recipes as a story. You are part of his adventure in the kitchen and it is like he is there teaching you each step. He has a down to earth approach that even the most novice of cooks can appreciate.

The photographs in this book are incredible. Not even going to lie some are down right drool worthy. The type that make you want to drop everything and have that meal right that very second. Michael also features his family in this book which truly touched home for me. Michael is a Father who loves to cook for his family and provide them with nourishment. His children share that passion and it is lovely to see them helping out with their special roles of cracking eggs, stirring and so much more.

In Family Meals, Michael places a strong emphasis on fresh foods – and fresh foods has always been a secret ingredient of mine. I love the taste of fresh picked tomatoes in my sauces. It really gives that extra special touch to any dish. Meals made from local and unprocessed ingredients is very important to me as a Mother.

The book is divided into several sections for breakfast, lunch, salads, desserts and so much more. In between each section you can find life hacks for cooking, snack ideas and so much more. These were honestly some of my favourite sections. So many fantastic ideas in just a couple of pages – who says eating healthy takes too much time? Not anymore – apple peanut butter sandwiches anyone?

One of the first recipes we tried? Nacho burgers. Yup you heard that right – nacho burgers. What a great twist on a family favourite. I am able to share his recipe with you courtesy of Michael Smith and Penguin Canada!

Makes 6 large or 8 smaller burgers

For the burgers
  • 2 pounds (900g) of ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons (30mL) of ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons (30mL) of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon (15mL) of salt
  • Lots of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 onion, minced

For the burger buns
  • 1 teaspoon (5mL) of chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons (30mL) of butter, melted
  • 6 or 8 of your favorite burger buns

To garnish the burgers
  • 1 heaping tablespoon (20mL) of your favorite salsa per burger
  • ΒΌ cup (60mL) of any shredded cheese per burger
  • 3 or 4 tortilla chips, crushed, per burger

Build a hardwood fire and ultimately a bed of glowing coals. Or prepare and preheat your grill or stove top griddle to high.
To make the burgers, have a clean plate on the counter and a few sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap nearby. Place the ground beef in a large bowl. Break it up a bit and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the meat as evenly as you can with the cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and onions. Using your hands, thoroughly and evenly mix the works together. Form the proceeds into 6 or 8 evenly shaped thin burgers and place them on the plate, with the wax paper in between layers.
To ready the buns for the grill, stir the chili powder into the melted butter and brush the fragrant fat onto the cut sides of the buns. Just before grilling the burgers, toast the buns until lightly browned and delicious.

Grill the burgers until browned, 4 or 5 minutes a side. Move the finished burgers straight from the grill to their toasted buns so the juices soak into the bread. Top with the salsa, cheese, tortilla chips and bun tops. Serve and share!

Rating: 5/5

Michael Smith’s Family Meals is a cook book for you and your family to share, love, cook and have fun with. Is cooking important to your family? How do you encourage your children to help out in the kitchen?

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.


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