Managing after school time

Managing after school time

Looking at our life and talking with friends, I know that most families cram so much into their days. What I used to think was hard – school and work – is actually the easiest bit!

After school can be the hardest. Childcare, pick-ups, drop-offs, errands and various unplanned disasters. I’d be totally lost without the support of friends and family.

With all these things going on, the last meal of the day can easily be pushed to the bottom of a long list of things that need to be done.

My tip of the month that will save you heaps of time is to get a start on dinner when the day starts.

Before things really kick off for the day, have a quick look in the freezer or fridge to see what meat and fresh ingredients you have on hand, and pick a meal, making note of anything else that needs to be purchased to finish it off.

Apricot Chicken is a favourite for our kids – skinless lovely legs or thigh fillets are best (and cheapest).

To get started, you’ll need to preheat your oven to 180ºC. Then brown about 1kg of chicken in a non-stick pan with a spray of olive/canola oil.

In a separate saucepan or casserole dish (ok to use on a stove top), mix a large can of apricot nectar and a small tin of apricots with a sachet of French Onion soup. Cook for 5 minutes or until slow boil, mixing well.

Add the browned chicken and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, at 180C, or on a slow simmer.

In the meantime, steam some rice, chop some parsley and prepare some vegetables e.g. bok choy, broccolini, asparagus, or whatever is on hand.

Serve the apricot chicken with rice, a sprinkling of parsley, and steamed green vegetables on the side (retaining a bit of crunch to those vegies).

And that’s it, after-school time – done!

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