Checking in with Ceri Marsh, author of The School Year Survival Cookbook


Back in August, Ceri Marsh was one of the first moms featured on the Whole Family Happiness Project. She had just published her second book, The School Year Survival Cookbook, with friend Laura Keogh. At the time she had no idea it was going to be a hit with parents in both Canada and the United States, but Marsh confesses it feels amazing.

“What we wanted, above everything else, was for this book to be useful to parents,” Marsh says. “It’s the best when people Instagram recipes they’ve made and let us know that their kids are loving their lunches (or dinners or breakfasts!).”

While touring their first book, How to Feed a Family, which grew out of their popular blog Sweet Potato Chronicles — The Never-Ending Story of the Well-Fed Family, Marsh and Keogh heard over and over that families not only wanted recipe ideas, they needed new methods for easier mealtimes.

“So we really focused on strategy in The School Year Survival Cookbook — meal planning, batch cooking, re-thinking leftovers, etc. I think that’s what made the book popular with parents,” says Marsh. “We’re all so time-pressed these days, so knowing how to make the most of your time in the kitchen is really valuable. And we don’t sugar coat it — we are never ones to pretend it’s not hard to feed a family while managing everything else in life. We’re in it with our readers.”

Here’s a fantastic — and healthy — lunch recipe developed by Marsh and Keogh, and featured in The School Year Survival Cookbook.


Broccoli and Cheese Patties

Prep time: 5 minutes

1Tbsp (15ml) olive oil

½ onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups finely chopped broccoli florets

2 eggs

¾ cup (175ml) panko breadcrumbs

½ cup (125ml) grated cheddar cheese

1/3 cup (75ml) grated Parmesan cheese

1) Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

2) Heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften. Add the broccoli and give everything a stir. Cook until the broccoli just begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

3) In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the panko, cheddar and Parmesan. Add the broccoli mixture and stir to combine thoroughly. Use your hands to form six patties. Don’t worry about making them perfectly round, but do try to make them even in thickness. Arrange the patties on the baking sheet.

4) Bake for 15 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the patties, then bake for another 10 minutes. Allow the patties to cool on the baking sheet and then store in an airtight container. They’ll keep for 3 or 4 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.

Excerpted from The School Year Survival Cookbook: Healthy Recipes and Sanity-Saving Strategies for Every Family and Every Meal (Even Snacks) by Laura Keogh and Ceri Marsh. Copyright © 2017 Sweet Potato Chronicles. Photography copyright © 2017 Maya Visnyei Photography. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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