Cork-based mum tells us why she's feeding her family of six using Tiktok food videos

EIMEAR HUTCHINSON has found inspiration for cooking short-cuts/ hacks on Tiktok. Here she tells us about the short, snappy food-related videos she’s trying out
Cork-based mum tells us why she's feeding her family of six using Tiktok food videos

WoW columnist Eimear Hutchinson. Picture Dan Linehan

I AM somewhat loath to admit that the last few months I have become really taken with food videos on Tiktok, and believe me, I am well aware I am way beyond the demographic that the platform is aiming for.

I know most people will brush off Tiktok as a social media platform reserved for the younger generation — however, the short, snappy food- related videos shared on Tiktok have led to a sort of revolution in terms of cooking short-cuts or hacks.

Now, I know one might assume that the last year should have turned me into some sort of culinary genius, given the frequency at which I practise the art of cooking (and cleaning!) but I am getting tired of what I used to cook.

Perhaps I am craving a break from the norm, perhaps we all are at this stage, and I have arrived at a point where I want something easy, something tasty with minimal fuss and maximum impact. 

So while you may associate Tiktok with repetitive dance moves and lip syncing, I have picked out some of the recipes I’ve tried out over the last few weeks and months that have become firm favourites in our house.

One of the most viral recipes to find fame of late is the Feta cheese pasta dish, which is apparently so popular it has led to a shortage of feta in some countries. I can see why though, it is incredibly tasty and so easy to do. You simply put a block of feta in the middle of a baking tray, surround it with whole vine tomatoes and some cloves of garlic with the skin on, drizzle the lot in olive oil and bake for around 30 minutes at 180 degrees. While the cheese and tomatoes are baking, cook your pasta as per the instructions.

Once it is finished baking, take the garlic out of the skin and mash it into the mixture, breaking up the cheese as you do. Add your pasta, mix it around and you have the perfect combination of salty, creamy pasta. It is delicious.

You can always add meat or fish to the dish too, I pan fried hake and added it to the top of our dinner.

I create a sharing plate for my ladies every day for lunch, it keeps me entertained and is a great way to get children to eat a good variety of food and to share! 

I am always trying to mix it up and I stumbled upon the easiest recipe for homemade bread ever, no more waiting for hours to yeast to proof!

Mix equal parts Greek yoghurt and plain flour and combine into a dough (a cup of each will make four small rolls perfect for children). You can roll them into balls or shape them like bagels and bake in the oven for around 12 minutes then fill up with sandwich fillings. You can wrap the dough around some cheese (a Babybel works well) so you have a lovely fresh bread with a melted cheese filling. You can roll the dough out flat and top with pizza toppings or fold it over to make a calzone you can pop in the oven or air fryer. Especially useful recipe if you run out of bread and only realise before lunch!

We like porridge in this house, but I always find by the end of the winter, despite all the elaborate toppings I go through phases of applying, I am bored by the texture. Step in baked oats! There are so many recipes online for these, but I find a base of oats and Greek yoghurt gives the nicest texture.

Mix together 40g oats, 100g Greek yoghurt and one egg, place it in an oven proof dish and I usually bake mine in the air fryer which takes about 10 minutes but an oven at 180 degrees for around 30 minutes will do the same job. Fruit can be added at the beginning and baked with the oats to give a lovely, caramelised finish, alternatively you can add the fruit at the end to keep the texture of the fresh fruit.

Top with some maple syrup or honey and you have a lovely breakfast that will keep you going until lunchtime.

I don’t know if you have ever tried a mug cake but they are so handy, you put the ingredients for a small cake in a cup and cook it in the microwave for a couple of minutes, so nice if you want a chocolate fix in an instant.

However, I have a really simple one for you that you will have to try yourself to believe.

Place four or five Oreos into a cup and fill the cup about halfway up with milk. Give the biscuits a good bashing until the mixture is almost like a thick liquid. Put it into the microwave for about 75 seconds and there you have it, a fluffy, moist cake in a mug, perfect topped with a dollop of ice cream.

This is a handy one to let children do themselves too, under supervision.

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