Once more Sinéad over at Bumbles of Rice has asked for an honest reveal about the dinners we eat, and once more I’m delighted to have a nosey at what everyone else is up to, and to share our own. Here’s my contribution to her first ‘A Week in Dinners’ of 2015.
January here is less about purges and more about packing so (and I’m getting my excuses in early here, folks) I’m down to about 3 pots, and a skeletal amount of cooking equipment. So with all that and three highly opinionated little people to please, here’s what was on the menu this week.
So, apparently I have a tendency to buy, but perhaps not use, chickpeas. I think they are my ‘feel good, bung it in the trolley purchase’. But – a bit like owning that pilates ring doesn’t give you a flat tummy, I forget that I have to actually EAT them to reap the rewards.
Anyway, Monday was a chickpea day as I got rid of two of my many, many cans and made two chickpea things – a Spanish Chickpea and Potatoe Bake from The Happy Pear Cookbook (a nice Christmas pressie from my friend Ciara) and then a feel-good Chickpea and Peanut ‘Chocolate Brownie’– which I’ll tweak the recipe for and maybe even get around to posting.
Anyway I don’t really abide by the whole separate us / them meal things but in fairness I anticipated complete rejection of the veggie dish by the terrorists so they tucked into the cheesy potatoes from the top (or, if you’re talking to Spidey, cooked so separately they were actually in a different oven) with fish fingers. More veg for us, more fish for them so two boxes ticked. All in all good going and all went down well.
Tuesday is always manic in the afternoon as Yoda has a ballet class after Spidey finishes in school so I happily get everything organised that morning for dinner so it’s an easy last-minute job. Beef and Chorizo Chilli was on the menu with wraps, rice and cheese.
In fairness they all give this a go, though Spidey starts off with two rice and cheese filled wraps before graduating to picking out the beef and chorizo from the rest. Yoda tucks into the whole thing while Woodie gives it all a go – despite having already had his dinner. Chilli justifies a mid-week beer so the grownups were happy – even if the place looked like a rice factory had exploded by the end of it.
Yoda is quite the little helper these days and happily chops vegetables for me when we’re batch cooking (again, why I packed the food processor is anyone’s guess). I made up a big pot of pepper-less Ratatouille using whatever veg was in the fridge – something along the lines of an onion, few cloves of garlic, six carrots, two stalks of celery, two courgettes, mushrooms, can of tomatoes, carton of passata, a spoon of sugar, a few sprigs of fresh thyme, and half a litre of no-salt chicken stock.
I blitzed about half of it and added a stack of pasta and cheese to make up about twenty dinners for the freezer for Woodie and kept the rest for a lunchtime chunky soup and for dinner for tomorrow.
Dinner that evening was Yoda’s all-time favourite Bacon and Courgette Carbonara with garlic bread – a.k.a. carb with carb with a lashing of cream! Divine! Spidey can’t stand creamy Carbonara so was given a slightly deconstructed version with bacon, cheese and pasta. Everything was eaten.
With the Ratatouille made yesterday morning, dinner was very handy: Baked chicken (ours in the Ratatouille, kids plain) with salad and baked potatoes. Everyone was happy.
In theory I was getting the afternoon to myself and dinner made for me. In reality I got two hours to myself while some marinated spare ribs slow-cooked, before making homemade chips and steak for dinner. The kids had the lion’s share of the ribs with a salad and the ‘chippy’ potatoes, while we had smattering of rib, steak, chips and red wine. There is no photo. You’ll just have to believe how lovely it was.
Not a bad week all in all. As I’ve been de-frosting and emptying freezers it could have been waaay worse and featured all sorts of mystery meats and the like, but thankfully it was all fairly mainstream. I’ve been avoiding firm favourites like Spaghetti Bolognese and lasagna as when I’m back at work (don’t mention the war) they’ll feature quite prominently on the weekday menu so there was a fair bit of variety – and happily much veg.
To have a nosey at what the rest of the world is at, check out Bumbles of Rice’s collection of blogposts all about ‘A Week in Dinners’ here.