Thursday 1 May 2014

A Week in Dinners.

You wouldn’t thank me for my roast beef but I can whip up a mean dessert.  Cooking is a drag but for me, baking is relaxing and rewarding. 

I suspect it is the creative side of buns, cakes and cookies that holds the appeal.  I find it difficult to make meat and two veg look attractive on a circular piece of china.

When the boys see me taking down the weighing scales and preparing tins, there is a buzz of excitement and then shouts of delight when I tell them what I am going to bake.

See, they don’t shout like that when they hear what’s for dinner.  Not the same thing at all. So baking is probably an ego stroking exercise for me too.

I have great plans for when they are older. 

Meanwhile this is what was on the menu this week.  You might like to check out Bumbles of Rice a lovely parenting and food blogger, who is running a most enjoyable "Week in Dinners" series.   

Because I suffer greatly with The Guilt on Mondays having fed my children quick and easy meals over the weekend, my Sunday dinner happens on Mondays.  Today we had roast chicken with all the trimmings.  They were boiled potatoes, carrots, turnips, peas, sweet corn and gravy.  All hoovered up with relish.  Great satisfaction for me.

Because Monday’s dinner is so epic I recover on Tuesday.  Not really.  Tuesday happens to be a busy morning for me as I attend my local breastfeeding group.  I have a “dinner at 1pm.  Not an hour before and not 6 hours later” rule.   So on Tuesdays we have pancakes.  The lads love pancakes.  This is always greeted with hoots and hollers of delight.  You’d think I was starving them!

I had a hankering for shepherd’s pie today.  The law of averages duly states that in a house of 6 people at least two will object to that days offering.  I will be accused of having favourites and possibly even hating one of them.  No comment.  I wanted shepherd’s pie and because I am the mammy, I rule! I grate lots of carrots and onions and crush heaps of garlic.  These are fried off in a pan and then I add the lean minced steak.  When this browns I add one of those jelly beef stock cube things.  The strong one.  A splash of water to help it along its way.  And then for the best bit.  Two heaped table spoons of Ballymaloo relish goes in next.  A quick taste.  If more relish is needed, I add extra.  I also pop in some frozen peas.   During the making of this I have potatoes boiling.  There always seems to be a chunk of turnip knocking about in my house so this makes a tasty addition to the mashed spuds.  A splash of milk to cream it up and after the mash mix is spooned onto the meat, it all goes into the oven for maybe twenty minutes.  Serve with beans and wait for the cheers of delight or the onslaught.  Don’t take the latter personally.   

I was on a roll this week and did a second Sunday dinner albeit on Thursday.  It was roast beef again with all the trimmings.  I find the gravy with this meal can be in short supply but it’s delicious.  Very rich and beefy.  One boy compared it to his nanas and told me my effort didn’t suck.  Thanks chief.  He asked for second helpings all the same.   This dinner was most enjoyable and pleasant. 

Fridays are a kind of lazy day with fast food of the processed variety served up to the boys.  Usually in the form of oven chips and chicken nuggets.  Some like spaghetti hoops with them.  Some don’t.

Another lazy day due to the swimming and the grocery shopping and the mammy insisting on getting her run in before midday for a nice change.  The boys enjoy ham sandwiches on Saturdays with a helping of cheese ‘n onion crisps on the side.  We’re a lazy house. 

Sundays start late.  A late family breakfast in our favourite café consisting of pancakes and hot chocolates for the boys.  The people who brought them into this world usually have eggs and bacon with coffee and the house special with coffee.  This late breakfast serves as brunch.  Usually pizza is demanded later on that same day.

I didn’t take photos because that would be unappetising in the extreme.  Also I didn’t know I would be doing this.  But imagination is a great thing altogether. 

However, here are a couple of pictures of my boy’s hot chocolates and one of my sneaky cappuccino and muffin.


  1. Your meals all sound delish but the pedant in me wants to point out that Shepherds Pie is made with lamb mince (the clue is in the name). You made cottage pie and it sounds - and I bet tasted - lovely.
    Kudos to you for living through life with four small boys. I was once that soldier :)

    1. I think Shepherds Pie is an Irish thing. I must try the lamb mince for a change. Thanks for commenting.

  2. We call it shepherds pie too! Like the addition of relish, yum! I keep meaning to do our week in dinners, but I could be hard pressed to remember what we had, lol!!

  3. Roast chicken and shepherds pie-yum!

  4. Yum and I love the way you cook your shepherds pie, think I'll have to give it a go!

    1. You really should. I will change your life. Well, possibly not but, you know what I mean!

  5. I put Ballymaloe in my shepherd's pie too - it's the secret ingredient that gives it all the taste I think - Worchestershire (spelling?) sauce as well. So impressed with two roasts in the week!

    1. I LOVE worchestershire sauce! I used to sneak a few drops into the gravy when I was growing up to give it an extra zing!!! Thanks for the tip!