A Week in Dinners: Getting Out of Our Summer Rut

It’s been a crazy few weeks, spanning into months really at this stage. We’ve had the heatwave, the usual end of term silly season, camps, our lovely holiday to Portugal, and in the middle of it all we moved house. We’ve been packing and unpacking boxes for what seems like forever, but more about that another time.

The dinner menu suffered drastically and when the usually well-received pizza from Aldi was met not with delight but with “Not again” I realised it was time for a shake up. But who wants to be slaving over the cooker when the sun is shining?

I googled a bit and went back through the archives and tried some different dinner options which went down pretty well on the whole, so here’s what we came up with:

Monday: Pasta All’ Amatriciana

On Mondays, even in summer the schedule is busy with activities so Monday is always pasta night and the shake up didn’t need to change this. This Amatriciana recipe (here) is quick, easy and tasty, even kids on playdates will eat it.


Tuesday : Dude Ranch Tacos

I know, the name sounds ridiculous but that’s wgatbthe good people at BBC Good Food Call them and who am I to argue.

Two sirloins, cooked, sliced and tossed in barbecue and chilli sauce, served in soft tortillas (“Mam, I thought tacos were crispy?”) served with three sauces- a salsa, ranch dressing and guacamole, all home made.  A big hit, especially as nobody was made to eat anything green or containing vegetables unless they really wanted to.  We had a few Aldi Specially Selected wedges on the side in case there were refusals.


Photo taken after children had started to help themselves

Wednesday: Scarecrows and McDonald’s

On Wednesday we went to Durrow Scarecrow Festival after rugby camp and dined in McDonalds in Kilkenny on the way home. That’s summer for you. I tried one of their salads and it was better than I expected. The kids had their favourites, chicken nuggets, chicken wrap and a Big Mac with no onions or sauce. Needless to see there were no complaints nor leftovers.


Thursday: Salmon Spaghetti Parcels

I like to get fish into the kids once a week but I hate the lingering smell after I cook it, so this recipe for oven baked salmon parcels appealed. Again it’s from BBC Good Food.

I catered individually on this one- using four salmon fillets and portioning the parcels according to size and appetite of child and who would actually eat the cherry tomatoes. Laoise didn’t like the bits of spaghetti that had gone crunchy, Ciaran thought the pasta was a bit dry (I can fix that with more garlic oil) and Cathal and the adults enjoyed it.


Yes, this portion of salmon is a bit overcooked, but you get the idea

Friday: Spaghetti Bolognese

We had our first overnight guest on Friday, my sister. I made a big bolognese with some for the freezer, it’s a real crowd pleaser and there were no complaints. Well, not about the food anyway.

Saturday: Toasted sandwiches

We had a big lunch in Granny’s so when we got home we made toasties for all, the favourite combinations here are tuna, corn, cheese and mayonnaise and ham, red cheddar and red pesto. I developed a habit when the kids were small of always serving sliced apple with toasties as they tended to go for ham or cheese ones and it’s stuck, so they look for the sliced apple now if I don’t have it on the table.

Sunday: Lucca’s Chicken Wings

I’d bought chicken wings to try a Rachel Allen recipe so we had them on Sunday with corn, peas and oven chips. The sauce was good and the kids liked them but I made twice too many so we had them with a barbecue the following day too.

So there you have it, a week of summer dinners where we made a bit more effort but no extra time in the kitchen. I enjoyed trying some new dishes, I think it’s good to shake it up every now and then.

Anyone else got any new recipes they’ve tried that you’d recommend for a quick and easy dinner?


And Also…

You may notice that I’m in the running for the Best Parenting Blog at the Boots Maternity and Infant Awards this year. Voting closes August 24th, and I’d really appreciate the click through to vote for Bumbles of Rice. You can do so by clicking the image below, it would mean a lot to be a finalist again. Thanks in advance!

Copy of Vote_Win_MPU_Category voting_300x250 (72)

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