A Week in Dinners

I like my dinner. In fact, I think about what’s for dinner from the time I get up. We have ours around 6pm, usually the boys and I, with Miss L supervising from her bouncer, and P reheating his when he gets home.

I tend to do my grocery shopping and buy the same bits, or variations on a theme every week. The obvious consequence is that we make the same or very similar dinners every week, I’m not organised enough to make a detailed meal planner, maybe someday so I buy the same staples and turn them into the same rota of dinners, with some slight variation.

While a change is nice, there’s a lot to be said for having a repertoire of healthy dinners that your kids will eat.

Here’s the thing though, I have a “handy” day at least once a week. You know the type thing, fishfingers and waffles, chicken goujons, oven chips, beans. Not very instagrammable.

That got me thinking.

I follow a lot of foodies on twitter, regular people who love food, producers, chefs, restaurant owners and regular diners, but I find that there’s a lack of real life normal everyday family table dinners.

In my experience, the dinners of Ireland (or certainly the dinners of my house) are not styled for Instagram. Now obviously, there are some exceptions, some people do cook eat beautiful, photogenic home cooked food every day, lucky them, but I reckon they’re few and far between.

Certainly at our relatively normal (in the food sense, not in the noise levels or manners sense) kitchen table dinner isn’t always pretty.

I don’t always garnish the plate with fresh herbs the way I’d like, there aren’t many swirls of sauce or dribbles of jus. (Well, there are but these are on the table as opposed to the plate, and I didn’t put them there).

So, partly to start a conversation and partly to say, “you know what, here’s how I feed my family, it’s not all beautiful, organic, unprocessed designer grub”. I’m human. Feed me.

This, for the the middleground feeders of Ireland is the Bumbles of Rice “what we ate last week” list.

It wasn’t planned in advance and I didn’t write the list for the purpose of this post, but rather the post written when I remembered what we ate.

I’m not suggesting that this list provides everything you need from your dinners, for a start it’s pretty pasta heavy, but the boys love it. Here goes nothing.

Ikea Meatballs with their packet (!) of deliciously artificial gravy, rice and frozen peas and broccoli.

Spaghetti Bolognese
How I love my freezer, and my “from scratch” bolognese. I batchcook regularly and on days that I know I will be tight for time it means I only have to make the spaghetti. A teething babygirl needed me last week so I searched the freezer that morning and hit the jackpot

Sausage, Butterbean and Leek Casserole with mashed potatoes
I made this in the morning and reheated in the afternoon while the spuds were cooking. A big favourite here, although Ciarán has taken to removing the leeks these days.


Pasta with pancetta, broccoli, sundried tomatoes and a creamy cheesy sauce.
Pure comfort food, sprinkled with cheese.

Chipper Burgers and Chips
Great way to round off a busy week, no cooking and no washing up.

20131008-231201.jpgAldi Pizza and green salad

The boys adore the fresh pizza from the chiller in Aldi, the ham and pineapple one and the grown ups are very fond of the Specially Selected one in the black box.


The boys’ favourite pizza

Spaghetti Carbonara with Courgettes with a salad on the table- this is real fast food, there’s not much prep to be done and it always produces clean plates here.


I’m fascinated by what real people eat- what’s on your dinner table?

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