Andrea Mara

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A Week(ish) in Dinners

Do you like knowing what other people cook and eat? I do. Partly for inspiration, partly sheer nosiness.

Last year, the lovely Sinead from Bumbles of Rice ran a Week in Dinners linky, where participants shared honest details of what they cooked and ate in a given week. I took part, and as it was Easter and I was off work, I had cooked some passable meals. The linky is now open again, but this time it’s a work-week, and my efforts are less shiny – more functional.

My childminder looks after feeding the kids Monday to Thursday, so I’m sharing our weekend dinners here. And some of it’s not pretty.


We visited my aunt recently, and were treated to a gorgeous Korma that my non-curry-eating kids demolished. Shocked and delighted, I was determined leverage off this. I had visions of gradually moving back to a once-a-week curry habit, but this time with kids joining in. So I decided to make a Korma, using a variation of this recipe – I had to improvise a bit, with chopped almonds as I didn’t have ground, and I left it in the oven for longer than suggested, because there were some playdate collections to do. The end result wasn’t very attractive, and I have no photo of it. Believe me, you’re better off.

The verdict: none of the kids ate it, my husband said it was lovely (that’s because he’s a lovely husband, not because it was a lovely curry)

Here is a photo of the kids showing me what they thought of it:

Office mum - kids

If anyone has a good recipe for a very mild curry that doesn’t involve a lot of work, I’d love to hear it?


I needed to redeem myself, so picked a crowd-pleaser: Chicken Gougons in a Parmesan Crust. Basically, a chicken version of a recipe I normally use for making home-made fish fingers. I’ve never made homemade chicken gougons before, but I will definitely be making them again. I did them with homemade chips, and peas, and of course, far too much ketchup for all the kids. They were AMAZING. If I do say so myself. But hey, it’s fast-food home-made, of course they were tasty.

For the two people out there who like me have never made chicken gougons, this is what I did:


  • 6 Chicken fillets, sliced into strips
  • 150g Breadcrumbs
  • 100g Parmesan – or more, because then they’re even tastier
  • 3 Eggs
  • 100g Plain Flour


  • Oil a baking tray, and put the oven on to 180’C
  • Mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan together in one bowl
  • Dip each chicken strip first into flour, then into egg, then into the breadcrumbs and Parmesan mix, then place them on the baking tray.
  • Bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, turning once.
  • Check cooked through before serving – this may mean eating two or three – just to be sure of course.

Office Mum - chicken gougons


My husband cooked roast-pork with carrots, parsnips, celery and potatoes. My contribution was home-made gravy – something I made for the first time a few weeks ago using this recipe. Everyone loved the pork and potatoes, and the grown-ups loved the roasted vegetables. Each child took a ceremonious bite from each vegetable on his or her plate. Progress is slow, but it’s going better than the curry.

Office Mum: Roast dinner
I can take no credit for this, but it was amazing


I had a brainwave at the beginning of January; instead of using up leftover meat in sandwiches every Sunday night, we’d be sensible and keep it for a Monday stir-fry. So this cheat dinner is made using a carton of fresh stir-fry vegetables from the supermarket, straight to wok noodles, roast pork leftovers, and soya sauce. It takes five minutes to make and everyone eats it, so that’s a winner.

Office Mum - stir-fry
As you can see, my photos are fairly appalling but this is a sir-fry


I ate at work, and was home late, after everyone had eaten, so I treated myself to this:

Office mum - granola and yogurt and fruit

Yum. My favourite kind of cooking.

So the outcome of all of this is that unless I want to put on a half a stone by spring, I need to cook fewer gougons and more Korma. All the Korma.

And the other outcome is that my food photography is atrocious – I will leave that to the linky host Bumbles of Rice and the impressive talents of Dr. How’s Science Wows (I want to move in with her)

To see all the linky participants, just click on this badge, but not if you’re hungry!

Bumbles of Rice linky - Office Mum







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