The Dinner Files – #6 Jolene from One Yummy Mummy

This week’s guest for The Dinner Files is Jolene from One Yummy Mummy blog.

Jolene is a passionate cook and knows a thing or two about feeding children, with a background in childcare and a love of cooking.

Thanks so much for taking part Jolene.jolene


The Questions

Tell us about dinner time in your house- what time is it, where do you sit, who is there?

Dinner during the week is usually from 6 to 7 , we mostly sit at the kitchen table, there’s me, my hubs and my nearly 3 year old. With a no phone and no toys at the table rule. (Now that rule changes when we go out for dinner… my 3 year old can happily play a Peppa Pig app on my phone when she’s done eating, while I sneak in a vino or two while we are out). On Friday night i will cook something “nice, fancy  different”  for us and saturday night is “curry rice night” as my 3 year old calls it, we order in chinese .

How do you get dinner on the table in the evening ?  

I love cooking so on days that I can I will cook from scratch, with Radio Nova on in the background (rock with my wok, sorry! ) My girly loves to help so she’s known to do jobs like, peel onions, grate cheese, crush garlic.  My hubs is usually in the garden digging (that’s his way to relax after work) so by the time dinner is ready we are all  pretty chilled. Now breakfast, that’s a different story  just hectic as we’re not really morning people.

Do you meal plan or do you decide on the day what’s for dinner?

I plan what we are going to have  when I do the weekly shop. We have a tight budget of €100  and I stick to it every week, I don’t like to waste anything, so if I have a load of veggies in the fridge I will make up a pot of soup. I freeze any leftovers, so they  do us on days I don’t have the time to cook

What dishes regularly appear on your dinner table?

We have favourites like “chicken curry in a hurry” cottage pie, and fresh cod and homemade oven baked potato chips… i’m always inventing dishes and there’s some really popular dishes on the blog like easy cheesy pasta and sea side crumble.

What dish is guaranteed clean plates all around?

Chicken curry in a hurry and easy cheesy pasta.

Do you tend to cook the same thing a lot or do you try to mix it up? Where do you get inspiration for different dishes?

You know, it’s a bit of both. There are dishes that I cook every week without fail, but I love trying out new recipes. You won’t believe it but I dream some nights in recipes, or if I cant sleep instead of counting sheep I will invent a whole new dish

What’s your favourite quick dinner solution?

Healthy Pot noodle –  boil noodles and drain, add a few spoons of canned corn and cooked chicken, crumble in a chicken stock cube and add a splash of soy sauce.

What’s your favourite junk-food dinner?

I love Chinese food, so any of them on the menu.

Do you eat the same as your kids?

Yes, we usually all eat the same..

Are there ingredients or dishes that face complete refusals at your dinner table?

I hate beans or peas, my 3 year old hates broccoli (So i’m known to blend it in soup with butternut squash and she can’t tell,  bad Mammy)

Are there any adventurous meals everyone at your table will eat?

Probably a few of my inventions! My hubs will ask me “So what’s this it’s really nice” and I will be there trying to make up a name for it on the spot.. “em, its em ,sticky spicy chicken” “oh its really nice 😉

What is your own, all time favourite dinner?

Curry… all curry any curry.. creamy… spicy… My name’s Jolene and I love curry.

Have you any tips to share on getting the family fed?

I’m really lucky because we all love food in our house, but I’ve been feeding fussy kids for years (I have been a nanny/childminder since I was 19). I know it’s hard, but the less fuss you make the better. Make a list of foods the child does eat and try to make some dinners out of the list, I know that can be a bit hard if it’s just plain pasta. Pasta sauces are great to blend veggies into – soften onion, pepper and garlic and blend into passata, and even put it into a separate pot so the kids can dip the plain pasta into it. If they eat cheese load up that calcium.   Every child is different and take every day as it comes, and it’s not your fault, tomorrow is another day.

Who’s washing up?

The dishwasher!!! now where’s the wine


Thanks so much for your insight Jolene, I’ll definitely be checking out some of those recipes you’ve mentioned. I agree that the less fuss the better when it comes to fussy eaters and taking things one day at a time. I love that you dream in recipes, I think that’s the first time I’ve heard that ever. Cheers!  

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