Your questions answered and A look back at 2017

It was this time last year that I sent off my very first cookbook proposal.

I gathered up every press cutting I had done to date and put them together in an old school scrapbook.

I compiled a small book of recipes and put all my hopes and dreams into a letter to a publisher.

I knew I was up against it, the cookbook market is flooded with Tv chefs, models and huge bloggers in the crazy world of publishing.

But felt in my heart that I was on to something.

This Book isn’t about food fads like mung beans, quinoa or energy balls!

I want to create a movement, for the home cooks of Ireland to come together, cooking Real food for real families.

Simple recipes that are tasty, easy to cook with all the ingredients sourced in your local supermarket!

“One Yummy Mummy Family Food Made Easy” the cookbook was born

An old-school Proper cookbook with no fillers,   every single recipe will be cooked again and again every week.

A cookbook that will be used and not gather dust on a shelf.

A cookbook for your children and your children’s children! 


2017 has been a year of dreams for me, not only have I signed my book deal, It was the year I won 2 awards.

I still have to pinch myself thinking about it.

So I opened the floor to questions over on FB page and home cooks group I about the year passed 2017

and what 2018 has in store for One Yummy Mummy

and my god you guys didn’t disappoint…

so here goes

 What inspired you to write a book?

I love cookbooks, but I find a lot of them are not geared towards to the “home cook”.  They’re just not realistic!

When I look at a recipe and see a list of ingredients the length of my arm I get put off and end up making my own recipe out of it, from what I have in the press.

I wanted a cookbook of doable food, So I wrote one myself!

Easy, simple tasty recipes that the family will EAT, simple as.

Got any new recipes up your sleeve?

There,s all the old favourites in the book, with a combination of new ones too, Id say its about 50 /50. with 105 recipes in total.

When will the cookbook be released?

All going to plan and deadlines being met, the cookbook will be on the shelves for back to school 2018!

It’s going to be so surreal because my girlie is going to start big school in September too, so we both have 2 major milestones together.

 Any survival tips on being housebound with a sick 2-year-old?

Jes, That’s hard!!! All the Peppa Pig!

When It comes to food, I wouldn’t push it, eat little and often, with plenty of fluids (gin for mammy 😉 )

If Mammy can tag team with someone to have a bath or even get out for a little walk do it, you will need a little break.

 What was the most popular recipe of the year?

2017 was the year of the pie!!!

Chicken pie and herby beef and onion pie!! inspiring me to have a whole pie section in the book!

 Did you have a nice Christmas?

Ah we had such a lovely Christmas….

Because I’m shooting all the photos for the book I was so busy cooking and photographing when Lils is at preschool and writing at night when she was in bed. I needed to take a complete break for Christmas..

Just to recharge the batteries. I’m ready now to get stuck in and finish now tho.

 How were the award ceremonies?

Both Were so different and so amazing in their own right…

The Maternity and Infant awards was a great day cause it was like a girly day out with my buddies The cuddle fairy and Mama-tude,

I was weak when they called out my name because it’s down to the public vote and there were huge parenting bloggers in the final I honestly did think id win, so that’s all down to you the readers.

We had the best night back at the Radisson Blu St Helen’s

The Irish quality food awards were just unbelievable from start to finish….

It was a black-tie event, So I was busy trying not to stick out like a sore thumb,  it was so lovely to have a night out with my hubs as they are few and far between. (thanks to Sue my last-minute babysitter)

All the top food bloggers in the country were there and I swear it never even crossed my mind winning it! I was just happy to be there. With the free wine 😉

Did you meet anyone famous?

I was sat beside no other than the gastro gays!! (god love them I was like a giddy teen all night chatting to them)  I also met Paul Rankin on the night, who as a fellow northerner I’ve admired for years.

Where do you come up with your ideas for your recipes?

I look in the press to see what I have and work from there.

I’m thinking of recipes all the time and even dream of recipes. If I’m cooking for a fussy child I always check and see what they do eat and work from there.

There are other recipes live been cooking for years like chicken curry in a hurry and my best ever Bolognese

What are your top stable ingredients to have in the kitchen at all times?

Stock cubes, garlic, passata,  a good cheddar cheese and fresh herbs like parsley, thyme and rosemary, they go with everything.

What are your top 3 meals in 15 minutes?

Healthy pot noodlessimply carbonara, Chinese sticky chicken

 What was the best thing that happened to you in 2017?

so the awards and book deal were amazing, but I have to honestly say the friends I’ve made in 2017 have been so supportive.

You ladies have all helped make this all possible in different ways…

  • cynical mum with her editing,
  • stay at home mam with encouragement,
  • cuddle fairy for being so inspiring,
  • Mama-tude  she,s been there and wrote the book, and is just a wealth of knowledge and advice
  • The mamma fairy for her help with my proposal
  •  Ciara, Emma, Amelia and Jessica over on the homecooks group.
  • Not forgetting my sister Michelle and bestie Louise who has supported me from the start x

 What has been your high light of 2017?

I, ll never forget walking down to my table after collecting “The quality food award “and seeing my hubby with tears in his eyes.

He is the one person who stays in the background but is so supportive,  he was just ready to burst with pride.

Take us back to the start. How did the blog begin?

I started out at a live-in nanny when I was 19.  The parents of the kids used to leave €50 in a pot every week to cook the children’s meals.

My god, to me it was like Winning the lottery. I was in my element coming up with recipes and ideas for the kids.

The parents that I worked with would always tell me that there,s a cookbook inside you.

fast forward a few years and I was always writing out recipes for friends.

Then I had the Idea to start a blog, (out of laziness) so I didn’t have to keep writing the recipes out!

What has been your favourite recipe to cook this year and why?

Pizza pasta, because  I developed it with my sister and It,s been one of the most searched recipes since. Is such an easy recipes to throw together and the kids Just love it.

What are your goals for 2018?

Once the book is completed it would be a dream come true to go into schools.

Id love to teach an easy recipe course I, ve geared towards kids and a separate one for  Adults too.

You know people who may have lost their confidence maybe or their mojo in the kitchen.

Now in saying that if I was offered the chance to cook on tv, I wouldn’t turn it down

(sure I’ve been playing the cooking on tv game in my kitchen ever since I was 15 and watching Ready Steady Cook.)

What meals do u find are hits with most kids?

Healthy pot noodles, golden savoury rice and pizza pasta, Kids love simple food

What’s been your funniest cooking experience?? Something was not turned out like how it was meant to?

You know it,s when I cook the convenience Stuff I,m known mess it up. Its cause I whack it in the oven and forget about it. So I’ve burnt the fish fingers and oven chips on more that one occasion.

What would be your last meal?

A good lasagne with fresh homemade coleslaw and a large glass of red

Which recipe gets the most positive feedback from children?

Chicken Curry in a Hurry, I haven’t had a child refuse it yet!

If you, re were writing a meal plan what would be your families favourite  & least favourite  meal

Favourite from my family would be any curry, pastry type pie or homemade burger

There least favourite would have to be shepherds pie, which I love! My girl isn’t a fan of mash potato at all. (i mean is she even Irish!)

 When do you expect your cookbook to be completed?

The deadline is February 2018 to be on our shelves for September 2018

 What’s your favourite meal to cook?

My Chicken Satay! I love to eat it and its such an easy dish to put together.

Where did you get your love for cooking from?

I grew up in the eighties, the era of the crispy pancake and alphabet spaghetti.

Id love to say I spent my childhood in the kitchen, but I didn’t.

It all started in my nannying and childminding years, that’s when I started to experiment and invent my own recipes. The kids were thriving and loving the food and that speared me on and gave me the confidence to develop more.

Least favourite dish to cook and why?

Anything with baked beans in it, I just hate them, I’ve had this idea for an old school sausage meat and bean pie with shortcrust pastry for the cookbook and can’t bring myself to cook it, YET…

You are such an inspiration to me, and everyone else…I’d want to know who inspires you?

Thanks so much,  I’m not really inspired by anyone famous, It’s the people who make a difference who inspire me. Mothers all mothers, working mothers, stay home mothers, mothers are the most selfless people on this earth,

they put everyone else first.

I think women are just amazing and when women support women amazing things happen!

That’s a fact x

and there you have it…. farewell 2017 and I’m raising my glass to every one of you in 2018 x 

I want to take this opportunity to thank the guys in Orpen press for believing in me and this book.

and Every single one of you who read and cook my recipes and follow my little blog,

All of you in the home cooks Ireland Facebook group and everyone who follows on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

Thank you

Jolene x


4 thoughts on “Your questions answered and A look back at 2017

  1. What a wonderful and well deserved 2017 you had Jolene and I’m delighted 2018 is shaping up to be just as exciting. Your own book! I have no doubt it will be amazing 🙂 Wishing you the very best of luck, continue making your dreams come true, you’re an inspiring lady xx

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