First-time parents are told to “find their tribe”, a mythical support system that is supposed to appear along with those two blue lines on a much-anticipated pregnancy test. However, it rarely works out that way. TV chef Maria Harte and mum of two discovered the modern-day tribe is a little more virtual. Group WhatsApp, Zoom, and Instagram provided a circle of knowledge exchange and virtual support which helped her through becoming a first-time mum and later dealing with post-natal on her second child.
To give back to this modern-day tribe, she has created a free e-book “Bebe in Arms, Fork in Hand” featuring 20 freezer-friendly recipes, that have been carefully curated to help parents feel supported and prepared as they get ready for parenthood. Why? Because food is more than just fuel. It is comfort for the tired and weary, it is the nourishment a body needs to recover, and preparing good food for yourself is an act of self-love.
Bebe in Arms, Fork in Hand contains 20 freezer-friendly recipes that are easy to eat while balancing a baby on your knee. Something most parents remember all too well. Maria’s food delivers no-fuss recipes for people who love it eat. The recipes offer something different from the usual batch cook ragu with Korean Pulled Pork and Garlicky Chicken Fricassee on the menu along with a few sweet treats such as Cookies and Snickers Bites.
Speaking about her new book:
“I know how much new parents want someone to count on, so they can count on me to help them get a little more organised with something nourishing in their freezer. Perfect for those times when they need a comforting bowl of goodness. I wish I knew when I was afraid of becoming a mum, going through post-natal, being a lockdown mum, and doubting myself that becoming a mum would be the making of me. The catalyst for following my dreams of sharing food with people. My way of making the world a little kinder. Because that is the holy all of it really, the most important thing to be is kind and the most important thing to me is showing my kids what that really means. So please join me in this mini project of kindness and share the book or maybe even cook something from it for a friend in need. Because the act of cooking food is kindness at its best.”
Garlicky Chicken Fricasee Recipe
- 1 tbsp of butter
- 8 boneless chicken thighs
- 2tbsp of plain flour
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 100ml of white wine
- 100ml of chicken stock
- 100ml of double cream
- 1 tsp of fresh thyme or rosemary
- Salt and black pepper
- French green beans to serve
- Put the flour onto a plate along with a good pinch of salt and some black pepper. Toss your chicken in the seasoned flour and shake off any excess.
- Add a tablespoon of butter to a pan on medium heat and fry the chicken until nice and brown. Set aside on a plate.
- Add a touch more butter to the pan and add the garlic. Fry this for a few minutes until golden brown, and set aside. We are aiming for a soft nutty garlic flavour here.
- Turn the heat down slightly and add the onion and herbs to the pan. Cook until soft and translucent.
- Pour in the wine and let it reduce by half. Next, add the stock and cream and bring to a simmer.
- Add back in the garlic and chicken. Place a lid or piece of foil over the top and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
- Taste the sauce for seasoning and adjust. Allow to cool and freeze in portions.
- Serve with green beans and potatoes or rice.
About Maria Harte
Maria Harte is a TV cook on Virgin Media’s six o’clock show, food stylist, and food writer. She is a self-taught cook that could fillet a fish by age 10 and prides herself in creating no-fuss recipes for people who love to eat on her Instagram page @_mariaharte_, at cookery demos including Wellfest and through her weekly newsletter “Joyful Eats For Your Week”.