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Julie's back-to-school lunch tips

Monday, July 27, 2009

She's the most famous cook in Australia after taking out the MasterChef title, but at home she's a mum who packs the lunches. Julie Goodwin shares how she keeps her boys happy.

My boys already eat so much that when they're older I don't know what I am going to do to feed them all — I think I'm going to have to buy a cow!

Soon I'll have to give them lunch backpacks, not lunch boxes. The teachers at their school have already asked me to come and help out in the tuckshop, which was funny considering my youngest [Paddy, 10] came home one day after the MasterChef thing had started and said, "My teacher was really excited to see what I had in my lunch box", and all he had was a Nutella sandwich.

I told him just because I'm on MasterChef doesn't mean I'm going to start cooking gourmet lunches — it's just not going to happen.

Lunch isn't exactly where I have my creative flair, but I do have a few little secrets. When we have leftovers we do exciting things with them, so the boys have an interesting lunch that day.

And at home when we know things are going to be busy during the week, we often make sandwiches at the beginning of the week and put them in the freezer. That way the kids [Joe, 13, Tom, 12 and Paddy] can just help themselves. But there are definitely no special stashes of Mars Bars. I'd be drawn and quartered if I sent them off to school with that.

I've always been experimental with cooking, and now after MasterChef, I have more technique to back that up. I'll hopefully be passing that on to the family, but I also love cooking the old favourites as well.

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