Monday, 31 December 2012


It's that time again and hasn't the last year flown by? I never make new year resolutions but I am setting myself some this year. Don't know why, perhaps it's because if I write lists of things to do, I usually do them.


Menu plan a lot better than I have in the last year and stick to my food budget.

Make sure Hubby and I have a date night once a month.

Buy a desk diary and write in jobs to do each day, DIY, date nights and days out in the diary and make sure we do everything we write down.

Get back on track with my healthy eating and lose the pounds I put on in the last couple of months.

Start saving a small amount each month to pay a lump sum off the mortgage in December 2013.

Finally. Set at least a couple of days a week to make sure I blog on a regular basis.

I'll elaborate on each of my resolutions in another post and keep you updated.
Hope you all have a healthy and happy 2013 xx

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Menu Monday 12/11/12

MONDAY - Roast chicken, stuffing, yorkshire puddings, roasted potatoes & vegetables

TUESDAY - Homemade fishcakes, chips and Mushy peas

WEDNESDAY - Creamy beef & potato layer, peas and carrots


FRIDAY - Stirfry with noodles

SATURDAY - Homemade fried chicken, chips and homemade coleslw

SUNDAY - Sausage, mash, onion gravy, yorkshire pudding and vegetables

Well here's my menu plan, it's a bit late though. With decorating all last week and the weekend I have had a lot of catching up on housework to do so blogging came to a standstill. With being on holiday from work I really enjoyed a Saturday awake for once and not asleep in bed after doing my night shift. Took advantage of this and asked Hubby to come to the cinema with me to see the new James bond film. Daughter No2 wanted to come too so hubby had a grumble at the cost of it all and decided to book the tickets on line. He was pleased with himself because he joined My Cineworld and receives a 10% discount every time he books tickets on line. We all enjoyed the film except for a bunch of irritating young boys being noisy pests. We moved to the other side of the cinema so we didn't have to listen to them.

Catch up tomorrow. Off to bed now

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Coming along nicely

So, I've taken a week off work to get on with decorating the living room. Things are coming along nicely. I spent the last three days painting woodwork and emulsioning walls. Scrapping two end walls and going to B&Q last Sunday to discover the wall paper I wanted would not be in until today. Another trip to B&Q today to get the paper and work can progress tomorrow.

Thought you might be interested in a tip I use with paint trays. For years now I have used bin liners, charity bags or carrier bags to line my painting tray.

Paint away with your tray lining and when you have finished painting pour any leftover paint back in the tin then throw the bin liner, carrier bag or whatever you used in the bin. No tray to clean. Now, how can I find a way to not clean paint brushes lol?

It is Hubby's birthday today and daughter No3 made him a cake when she returned from school today.

Her dad was so chuffed with the cake. She made it all by herself and I just beamed the proud mum that I was with her. I think I'm bringing my 14 year old daughter up to be a good home cook and it's a good life skill to have. Proud mum. Love her.

So it's Hubby's birthday today, our wedding anniversary tomorrow so we are being treated to a meal in a restaurant. Chauffeured there and back by my father-in-law and the whole meal and wine paid for by the in-laws. Can't get more frugal than that!!!

Bye for now x

Monday, 5 November 2012

MENU MONDAY 05/11/12

MONDAY - Toad-in-the-hole, mash, steamed veg and gravy

TUESDAY - Homemade lamb burgers, wedges and homemade coleslaw

WEDNESDAY - Sausage & pepper casserole with sauteed potatoes

THURSDAY - Cold weather hotpot & homemade bread

FRIDAY - Out for a meal.Our wedding anniversary & Hubby's birthday

SATURDAY - Homemade pizza & chips

SUNDAY - Pasta bolognese and homemade garlic bread

Hope you all had a lovely bonfire night tonight or over the weekend. We were going to go to a local pubs bonfire and fireworks display tonight but youngest daughter said she was not bothered for going. Daughter No2 is at college doing a late night and to be honest I am too tired to bother with it as I have been decorating all day. I have started  decorating the living room and I feel ill with the stench of gloss paint I have been inhaling all day. I always seem to get a sore throat when I gloss paint and I have had a headache because of it. Hopefully I should have all the glossing done tomorrow then can start on the emulsion which does not smell too bad. I've taken a week of work and hope to get it all finished this week.

Our meal tonight was toad-in-the-hole with onion mixed in. Really nice comfort food. I made myself a veggie sausage one with onion, yummy.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Glad to be home

Am I glad to be home! Set off for Leeds at 3.00pm this afternoon and arrived back home at 11.20pm. I have been chauffeur for my 14 year old daughter and her friend. They had tickets to see Conor Maynard at the Leeds Met Uni this evening. I had it all planned in my mind what was going to happen. Arrive around 4.00pm and park in the Merrion centre car park ( just near the uni) Have a stroll around the shops. Eat somewhere then take then to the venue and leave them to que and I'd do late night shopping and return to car to read my book until the concert finished.

Conor Maynard
What really happened was, arrived 3.45pm girls wanted to go to McDonald's so they could tweet using the free Wifi in there. Hate McDonald's!!! We never go to McD's. I  had a fillet-O-Fish which was shit. Excuse my language but I cannot understand why anyone would want to eat a McDonald's. I find it just crap junk food and thank god my girls have never missed having them. It didn't even fill me! If you put the food on a regular sized dinner plate I bet it would only just fill half of the plate. How's that supposed to fill you? Later on I went into Morrisons and bought one of their £1.00 sandwiches to eat in the car later.

Anyway back to how the day unfolded. After we ate the girls wanted to go straight to the Uni and wait in line until the doors opened at 7.00pm. Well, it was bloody chilly and wanting to be all in fashion they were not dressed appropriately for the weather even though I told them to wrap up. They never listen though to sensible mum's do they? It would not be cool! I left them to shivver away for a couple of hours and I hit the shops to do some Christmas shopping. I thought the shops would be open until about 10.00pm for late night shopping but only a few were open till about 9.00pm then I realised it will be in a few weeks that they stay open later when it's proper Christmas shopping time when the Christmas lights are on. So I didnt get much of my Christmas shopping done and I was cold and just wanted to go home. I ended up back at the multi story carpark. Sat munching my sandwich and drinking a bottle of squash I'd brought then set to reading my book. I got sooooooo cold sat in that car. In the end I sat with the engine running (not something I like to do. Against my principles, polluting the environment so I can sit comfortably in a warm car) Believe you me, I was frozen. My feet were so numb, my hands cold and I could not take it anymore, engine went on. Was I glad when my phone rang and she said it had finished. Ended up frozen again walking to meet them but got all toasty warm on the drive home.

The things we do for our children. She was so happy and thrilled at seeing Conor it makes it all worth it (just)    : )

Night all x

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween

Daughter's carved pumpkin

It's that time of year again when ghosts and ghouls tread the streets once night falls and there are constant knocks on the door for a trick or treat. I really don't like Halloween. I'm an old grump at having to answer the door all the time and would rather draw the curtains and ignore it all. They always come a knocking when we are trying to eat our evening meal too. I do know the kids love it though and I enjoy taking the dog for his walk and watching all the kids dressed up in their costumes having fun running around the streets. It's just the knocking on my door! Daughter No3 was supposed to go to a Halloween party tonight but has decided she doesn't want to go now so she wants to answer the door all evening. Fine by me, job's your. So all you halloweeners out there, have fun tonight and you can call at my door this year cos I don't have to answer it all night : )

Both daughter's carved a pumpkin last night (pictured above) and scooped out the inside for me to make a pumpkin pie. I didn't fancy making a pie this year so I made some pumpkin muffins instead. Here's my recipe


400g pumpkin
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp mixed spice
pinch salt
125g sugar
1egg, beaten
5 tbsp milk
4 tbsp oil

Cook the pumpkin until tender then blend until smooth then place in a sieve to allow excess water to drain off and allow to cool.
Mix all dry ingredients together
Mix all wet ingredients together with the pumpkin in another bowl
Combine wet ingredients into dry ingredients
Fill 12 muffin cases and bake on a tray for 20-25 minutes at Gas 5/ 190C

They would be nice with some frosting on top but I'm going to leave them plain because I'm watching the calories. I had no muffin cases so had to use bun cases so ended up with 18 muffins. Also, I only added 1/2 tsp mixed spice but I think the flavour would have been better with 1 tsp.

Enjoy your Halloween night x

Monday, 29 October 2012

Menu Monday 29/10/12

MONDAY - Wensleydale mushrooms & toast
                      Leek and potato soup with bread
                      Pineapple sponge and custard

TUESDAY - Italian meatloaf, roasted potatoes and steamed vegetables

WEDNESDAY - Pasta with bolognese sauce & homemade garlic bread

THURSDAY - Lasagne ( leftovers in freezer) salad & wedges

FRIDAY - Mince & onion pie, vegetables and roasties

SATURDAY - Chicken/veg curry, rice & naan

SUNDAY - Omelet, jacket potatoes, coleslaw, salad & bread

Had a few strange looks from some of the family tonight over our evening meal. Hubby commented it was a strange combination. Daughter No2 said, "soup! what we having soup for tea for?"  Only daughter No3 was happy with the combination after she persuaded me to change the soup from minestrone to leek & potato. I just told them to all shut up and eat it telling them it was ALL home made and wholesome. They all enjoyed it and were full in the end!

The mirror project was completed but I forgot to update so here it is completed and in daughters room. Not a very good picture but it gives you a glimpse of the end product.

Sorry but I have no idea how to rotate the image around. I've been messing about trying but to no avail. Anyway, daughter was really pleased with the mirror and I enjoyed doing it.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Menu Monday 22/10/12

MONDAY - Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, yorkshire puddings, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower

TUESDAY - Homemade lasagne, salad and homemade garlic bread

WEDNESDAY - Pork minute steaks, roast potatoes, peas, carrots & broccoli

THURSDAY - Beef casserole, mashed potatoes and yorkshire puddings

FRIDAY - creamy chicken & mushroom pasta bake with homemade garlic bread

SATURDAY - chicken fajitas

SUNDAY - casseroled chicken thighs with dumplings, mash & veg

My menu is very autumnal this week with casseroles and hearty filling food. Really need theses type of meals on dreary days like today. Had hot warming soup for lunch with some leftover pasta added to bulk it out and to use up leftovers.

No updated pictures yet of the mirror I'm painting. Did not manage to do any painting on it Saturday due to being tired and none done Sunday. We decided to visit York Sunday to shop for a new winter coat for daughter No3. Found one easily enough then spent the afternoon browsing around shops and window shopping. There are some beautiful things in the shops in York but I think a lot of it is over priced because of the tourists. Still I can look. Looking doesn't cost. So today saw me with paintbrush in hand and a first coat applied to the mirror frame. Daughters face lit up when she returned from school and saw it. She thought it looked lovely. Shall continue with it tomorrow.

The last few posts I've done have not been spell checked because my spell checker does not seem to be working on my blog. Anyone else experiencing problems with it?

Bye for now x

Friday, 19 October 2012

A nice little project

My youngest daughters bedroom was decorated early summer and was done in a French boudoir theme. She still needs a few bits, like a picture and a mirror to finish it off it's just trying to find the right pieces at a cheap price. Well I found a mirror in the charity shop I volunteer in at a great price of..... £1.00

They were going to throw it in the bin because bits of mirror have been scratched off on the reverse but I think it justs adds to the character of it. The paint I bought to do it up cost more than the mirror. £11.99 for a tin of black gloss paint. Still £12.99 for the mirror is still cheap. I took the mirror out of the frame this afternoon and sanded the frame and gave it a good clean. I've undercoated the front and back and tomorrow will give it a first coat of gloss. Daughter loved it when I showed her it and wanted to know when it would be finished. She wants it in her room quick. Will update you with the finished piece over the weekend.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Menu Monday 15/10/12

MONDAY - Leftover chicken in gravy, stuffing, Yorkshire puds & steamed veg

TUESDAY - Fragrant pork & rice one pot with homemade bread

WEDNESDAY - Bolognese sauce and pasta with homemade garlic bread

THURSDAY - Cottage pie, peas and carrots

FRIDAY - Sausage, onion gravy, mash, Yorkshire puds, carrots, broccoli & cabbage

SATURDAY - Fishcakes, chips and mushy peas

SUNDAY - Slow cooker chicken casserole with roasted potatoes

I'm going to try stretching my 500g mince beef this week to cover two meals. I shall cook it in the slow cooker with lots of onions, grated carrots and a grated courgette and maybe a hand full of red lentils. This will be split in two and turned into a bolognese sauce and a filling for cottage pie and lets see what the gang make of it.
Pleased with my shop this week, only spent £45.29 and have everything for the week except a box of cereal the girls like which I shall have to call into Aldi for one day this week. Hate it when the shelf is bare of a product I want and have to return to get it. Called into Tesco for a few bits and was really pleased with my bargains.

They were clearing out a lot of frozen stock (probably to fit in xmas stock) and I could not resist clearing the shelf of the last 3 boxes of Linda McCartney veggie BBQ selection for 62p a box. Each box contains two sausages, 2 large burgers and two fillets. That will keep me stocked up on veggie quick food for a while. Love it when I get a bargain : )

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Drying herbs

Decided to dry some of my herbs the way Karen showed us on her blog . I toddled of to my garden and picked sage leaves and some rosemary for drying. I then placed them on a double thickness of kitchen paper and zapped in the microwave.

I microwaved mine for 4 minutes as I have a high power microwave. Karen did hers for 5 minutes.

I got a nice little pile of dried herbs once I crumbled all the leaves. I had an empty sage jar so popped then in for storing. It's a really easy and quick way to dry herbs. I also dried my rosemary for 4 minutes and went to take it out of the microwave and noticed the light did not come on when I opened the door. Looks like my microwave is bust! Shall get Hubby to have a look at it this evening. Could be just a blown fuse, we'll see. So no more herb drying today!

Another lovely sunny day here again so started the autumn garden clear out. Lawns mowed, garden table cleared away, some spring bulbs put in and some pots emptied into compost bin. Still lots to do but this can wait a day or two. 

Bye for now x

Monday, 8 October 2012

Menu Monday 08/10/12

MONDAY - Pork loin steaks, Yorkshire puds, roast potatoes, carrots, cabbage, green beans

TUESDAY - Fry up

WEDNESDAY - Roast chicken, stuffing, Yorkshire puds, mash, broccoli, cabbage, carrots & peas

THURSDAY - Mascarpone & tuna sauce on pasta with homemade garlic bread

FRIDAY - Creamy beef & potato layer with carrots & peas

SATURDAY - Homemade lamb burgers, homemade fries and homemade coleslaw

SUNDAY - Leftover chicken made into a sauce with mushrooms on vegetable rice

Well here we are again, back round  to menu Monday. Up early and off to the shops to do the weekly shop this morning and quite happy with my spending. Hubby and I were talking over the weekend about ways to reduce the grocery bill further and he said we should cut back on our meat consumption as it's getting expensive, along with everything else! Now I don't eat meat, only seafood so all the meat I buy is consumed by Hubby, the girls and daughters boyfriend when he's here. I'd already planned my menu for this week, and did not really have time to sit and work out a new plan. So this shall be done over this week.

Last Friday I took daughter No3 to the local town so she could buy her friend a birthday gift. We were wondering around Wilkinsons when we spotted a  couple of great offers they had on.

The bars of Galaxy were 50p each! they were limited to 6 per person and I think there were 4 different flavours to choose from. The bottle of Robinsons juice was also 50p a bottle. I don't know if this offer is nationwide but it's worth a look in your local Wilkinsons. I will call in again tomorrow when passing to get some bars to put away for my Daughter No3 for Christmas. Galaxy is the only chocolate she will eat. I shall get a couple more bottles of squash to put away as this is the only squash they like.

No rest for the wicked, off to walk the dog now then get on with some ironing. Enjoy the sun if your as lucky as me to have a sunny day again x

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Just a short one

It's been a lovely day here in Yorkshire, glorious sunshine and a good breeze. Got lots of washing hung out drying in this breeze. Love it when I don't have it hanging on the airer. Had a lovely walk with the dog and collected more blackberries

 There are still plenty of blackberries to pick in the hedgerows. I have a lovely big stash in the freezer now waiting to be used. Shall make some blackberry jam at half term with daughter No3. She likes to help with making jam.

On returning from my walk I had a look to see if there were anymore runner beans or courgettes ready.
Got 3 courgettes but I had to chop the ends off as they were rotting. My runner beans are still producing beans so I picked a handful of them for tea tonight. The courgettes were used to make courgette soup with a few more I had in the fridge. I made a huge pan of veg and lentil curry and a pan of spicy butternut soup is on the go as I type. Just need to portion everything up when it's cold and stash it in the freezer. That's me sorted for soup lunches for quite a while.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Menu Monday 1/10/12

Well here we are at the start of a new week and a new month. Over the weekend I started menu planning for the month. Not completed the whole month yet but I'm sorted fully for the next two weeks. Here's this weeks plan

MONDAY - Roasted vegetable fritatta, jacket potatoes, homemade coleslaw, salad & homemade bread
TUESDAY - Meatballs in a tomato sauce on pasta & homemade garlic bread

WEDNESDAY - Pork steaks, roast potatoes,Yorkshire puddings, carrots, cabbage & broccoli

THURSDAY - Beef casserole and Yorkshire puddings

FRIDAY - Roasted salmon, mashed potatoes, carrots, peas, broccoli and cheese sauce

SATURDAY - Creamy mascarpone pesto chicken, sauteed potatoes, peas and roasted tomatoes

SUNDAY - Sausage casserole with jacket potatoes

Had a day of housework and cooking. Got a days training course in Leeds tomorrow so shall be late home so I got the slowcooker on this morning and made meatballs in a tomato sauce. This is in the fridge now ready to reheat when I get in tomorrow. Tea can be on the table in 15 minutes.  

Meatballs in tomato sauce
Bread was made to to have with our salad tonight and to turn into garlic bread to have with the meatballs tomorrow.
Homemade baguettes
 Vegetables were roasted when I had the bread in the oven for a vegetable and cheese fritatta for tea tonight
Seems like lots of bloggers have had a weekend of mass cooking stocking up freezers with homemade ready meals. I shall be making lots of different soups this week to stock up the freezer for lunches for the coming chilly days.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Menu Plan 24/09/12

MONDAY - Homemade lamb burgers, homemade coleslaw and chips. Rice pudding

TUESDAY - Roast chicken, mash, Yorkshire puddings, carrots, cabbage, broccoli & stuffing

WEDNESDAY - Chicken kiev, salad, homemade coleslaw & jacket potatoes

THURSDAY - Spaghetti bolognese & homemade garlic bread

FRIDAY - Pork chops, roasted vegetables and wedges

SATURDAY - Chicken korma, rice and naan bread

SUNDAY - Freezer leftovers. Freezer needs defrosting so it's grab whatever to clear it out

Back in my wellies for dog walks now. Days like today I just want to potter around the house and cook hearty warming food. So this morning I made a lovely big pot of spicy butternut squash soup which I had a bowl of for lunch and it was lovely and spicy due to me chucking in an extra chilli. Homemade lamb burgers for tea and a good old rib sticking rice pudding with homemade plum jam, sooo good. I made a batch of cheese and bacon scones for daughter No3 to have for lunches at school.


4 rashers smoked streaky bacon
150g SR flour
sprinkle salt & pepper
25g marg
75g cheddar cheese
1 egg
2 tbsp milk

Set oven 220C or Gas7
Grill the bacon until just starting to crisp, cool.
In a bowl mix flour & seasonings then rub in marg.
Stir in bacon & cheese, saving some cheese to sprinkle on top.
Mix in egg & milk and form into a dough.
Form into a circle flatten to about 3/4 inch in thickness and cut into quarters.

Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Glorious morning

What a glorious mornings drive I had home from work this morning. The sun was dazzling me as I drove (which I hate) but it was such a lovely morning. I then spotted them. Hot air balloons which looked like they were heading towards my village. I arrived home and grabbed the dog and my camera and hurried out to take the dog for his walk in the open fields hoping to get a glimpse of the balloons. Just as I got to the field I heard a loud noise and just saw one of the balloons land behind a row of trees. To be honest , I think they had abandoned the flight and landed because they were very near an electric pylon and I don't think they were high enough to fly over it. Two other balloons continued with their flights.

It was lovely watching them fly by. We go to the Bristol Balloon Festival whenever we have an holiday down south because we really like hot air balloons. On of my life ambitions is to fly in an hot air balloon.

The other day I didn't have time to tell you about my buys in the charity shop on Thursday. This week I got Nigellas Christmas book  for £2.00. Now I have wanted this book for years and I have borrowed it from the library in the past and even added it to my Christmas list for this year. Can take it off my Christmas list now and add another book instead.

I also bought the loose bottom baking tin for 99p I'm increasing my baking tin collection due to getting more interested in baking with watching The Great British Bake Off.

Off to chill out in a warm cosy living room with a glass of red on this chilly autumn evening. Have a lovely weekend x 

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

I bought some NEW clothes!

Welcome to my two new followers. You are very welcome.

Well today I had to bite the bullet and buy some new clothes. Over the weekend I decided to have a sort out of my wardrobe and pack away the summer clothes and bring out the autumn/winter clothes. I have lost 2 stone over the last 5 months and on trying the warmer clothes they were all falling off me. I ended up with a sack load of clothes to take to the charity shop. Whilst ironing yesterday my finger went through a lacy part of a top I really like to wear so that's gone. The top I'm wearing today will go in the rag bag when I take it off tonight as it's got 4 holes at the front. I think it  got caught on my belt buckle. So my poor wardrobe has depleted to a very sorry looking  wardrobe.

I usually live in second hand clothes from the charity shop but I have not seen anything over the last few weeks I really liked in the charity shop to replace my clothes. We have a clothing budget, which is not a large amount, but my daughters seem to end up using this budget each month. Not this month I have spent it all! Felt odd buying all my new clothes this morning but it was a necessity. It won't be happening again for quite a while.

Just loving the lovely autumn days we are having this week. It's been lovely on my walks with Sherlock.
Sherlock loves his walk by the carrot fields. He always digs up one or two carrots to chomp on. I picked another bag of blackberries to add to my stash in the freezer. Should have enough soon to make my jam.

Right, better get on with making dinner. Have to leave for work at 7.00pm as we have a staff meeting before our shift starts. Hate it when we have a meeting. It makes it such a long night. Roll on 7.00am 

Monday, 17 September 2012


Mother-in-law did a boot sale yesterday with my daughter No2. Mother-in-law had two boxes of plants to sell but sold none. I was offered any of the plants for my garden so choose this box full.

So now I have to find some time this week to get this lot in the garden. Couldn't say no to a load of free plants now, could I? Mother-in-law also gave me a whopper overgrown courgette so a large pan of soup was made with it today. I always make this recipe when I have a lot of courgettes


1kg courgettes, chopped
2 veg stock cubes dissolved in 400ml water
pinch ground nutmeg
600ml milk
salt & pepper

Really simple, put courgette, stock and nutmeg in a pan and cook until tender. Add the milk then blend until smooth and warm soup through. Season well.

I got 5 large portions of soup and have put two in the freezer for next weeks lunches. the rest are for this week. You could thicken the soup a little more with the addition of a potato but I'm trying to keep calories low at the moment.

I've had a lovely day just pottering around the house doing chores and cooking. My kind of day. I've made bread, soup and pasta sauce and picked lots of lovely runner beans from my garden and a small bag of blackberries on my walk with the dog this afternoon. Everyday I pick a few berries here and there and take them home, wash them then freeze until I have enough to make jam. Love autumn but don't want it to get colder because that means I'll have to close the back door and I hate it when it's time for that. I just love the doors and windows open letting in the fresh air.

Thank you to all who welcomed me back. Lovely to hear from you all
Karen x 

Sunday, 16 September 2012

She creeps quietly back...

... and hopes she's still got a follower or two left. Three and a half months of silence from me; why? I don't know really. I just felt like I had nothing interesting or exciting to blog about to keep anyone interested, so I had a break from blogland for a while. I kept having a look each week at all my fave blogs and even added some new ones to follow. Then after a day of reading others blogs I got the urge to do mine again. So here I am, hoping to get back into blogging and reading your blogs on a regular basis.

What have I been up to in my absence then? Not a lot really. No summer holiday this year which was a bummer as we had nothing to look forward to and it did make the summer drag. Summer! What's that? My veg garden has done terrible this year with the awful summer we have had. The only thing that grew well this year is the runner beans. Lettuces, courgettes, chillies, tomatoes and lots of other stuff were a big let down this year. We'll try again next year.

So now the nights are drawing in and days outside will become  days snuggling in the house and I will need things to do to occupy me. We went to B&Q last weekend to get paint for me to decorate the living room over the autumn and I spotted a fleece blanket for £2.00 and thought it would be perfect to start another Christmas project I blogged about here.

The fleece came in a variety of colours but I chose cream. You can't go wrong with cream when your not sure of someone else's colour preference. So this is my project to keep me busy through the dark autumn nights. Making an embroidered throw for my mother-in-law for Christmas.

Enjoyed making a lovely sponge cake this afternoon. It is a tried and tested recipe we have used for years. The recipe was given to us by my husbands aunt and never fails to rise and is a lovely moist cake.


8oz butter or margarine
8oz sugar
8oz SR flour
4 eggs

So simple this cake, just put everything into a large mixing bowl then whisk until everything is well mixed. Divide the mixture between two lined cake tins and bake in oven at 160C for about 20-25 mins.

I filled the sponge with homemade 2009 plum jam and sprinkled icing sugar on the top. So yummy.
Time to watch Downton Abbey now, can't wait.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Menu plan 28/05/12

MONDAY - BBQ Roast chicken, salad, salad potatoes, homemade coleslaw & homemade bread

TUESDAY - Lamb/ spicy bean burgers, homemade chips & onion rings & homemade coleslaw

WEDNESDAY - Salmon and leek parcels, salad potatoes and salad

THURSDAY - Turkey/prawn chow mein

FRIDAY - Tuna pasta and homemade garlic bread

SATURDAY -Chicken/tofu fajitas

SUNDAY - Not sure yet, depends if we go out for the day

Wow a week since I last posted. Naughty blogger me. Time seems to fly at the moment. Still enjoying the glorious sunshine here in Yorkshire. Long may it reign. It's been lovely eating all our evening meals in the garden then lounging around chatting at the table afterwards. Same shall be happening this evening : )

Yorkshire Water have been in our street since yesterday. They are doing 'essential water improvement work' in our village and it is causing a lot of disruption. We received a letter telling us the work will last for 4 months!  They informed us traffic lights may be used on streets and they will try to keep disruption to a minimum, yeah! Thankfully our road its the fist being worked on. We are without water today and tomorrow and will need to boil all water to be consumed for 48 hours after work has finished. It's amazing how many times I have gone to turn the tap on today or gone to flush a toilet. It's taken for granted it's always there and I've noticed today how much we turn taps on or flush loos without thinking. We have buckets of water beside the toilets and kettles and bowels full of water to use until they turn it back on at 7.00pm. Must remember to boil lots of water for tomorrows use before I go to work tonight as the water goes back off at 8.45am tomorrow. I planted some seeds this afternoon and took the watering can to the garden tap to water them. Silly me, shall have to remember to water them this evening when the waters turned back on.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Lovely Tuesday

Menu Plan 21/05/12

MONDAY - Chicken and ham in a sauce on vegetable rice
This used us a piece of cooked gammon, chicken stock and some portions of  rice from freezer

TUESDAY - Sausage casserole and sauteed potatoes
Did not have this last week so having it today. Using peppers from last week & reduced sausages

WEDNESDAY - Cheesy broccoli  pasta bake and homemade garlic bread

THURSDAY - Fry-up 
Using 4 potato cakes in freezer

FRIDAY - Spaghetti bolognese and homemade garlic bread

SATURDAY - Me - Salmon & asparagus tart, roasted veg & chips
                        Hubby - Chicken curry, chips and naan bread
                        Daughter - Fish, chips and mushy peas
Using flan, naan, fish and mushy peas from freezer

SUNDAY - Pork steak, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, veg and gravy

That's the meal plan for the week. As you can see I'm trying to use bits and pieces from the freezer to clear it out for the start of a new months shopping.

Today being Tuesday I thought I'd give you a Tuesday roll of pictures.                      

Trees I saw on my walk today
Uniform I'll be wearing to work tonight
Eucalyptus  tree ready to plant


Sunglasses I wore today


Dandelion I saw on my walk today

Azalea in my garden
Yeast used in my bread today
Hope you all have had a glorious day like the one we're enjoying in Yorkshire today. It's beautiful!                                                                                                                    

Friday, 18 May 2012

Totally knackered!

We started the dreaded job of clearing the patch of land between us and our neighbour at 9.30 this morning and it looked like this

A bit of a jungle. We worked until 3.30 when our backs were aching too much to continue. Everything was taken out of this patch of land. Bulbs which I put to one side to replant. We saved a few plants to replant but basically everything was taken out. Hubby has done two trips to  the tip with bags and bags of weeds and branches. We could not believe how much foliage came out of this strip of soil. We ended up with a tidier bare area which will need to be finished off and reweeded again to make sure we get all those darn weeds. So this is how it looks at the moment

Still some old fencing to go to the tip and that bloody tree stump will not die! It was cut down over a year ago but refuses to die even though the top has been scored to let wet into the trunk to rot it. This will have to stay until it eventually rots as it's too big to dig up.  Anyone out there know how to kill it off? Can't believe the hours we spent on this patch today and it was bloody hard work. So after another weed we will be on to the nice part of planting it up. Want to have the garden a riot of colour this summer. Better make a move to make a meal now. My body doesn't want to get up from this sofa though : )

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Menu plan 14/05/12

MONDAY - Spaghetti bolognese with homemade garlic bread

TUESDAY - Pork steaks, sage & onion stuffing, Yorkshire puddings, mash and vegetables

WEDNESDAY - Chicken/veg curry, rice & naan bread

THURSDAY - Homemade burgers, chips and homemade coleslaw

FRIDAY - Sausage casserole with jacket potatoes

SATURDAY - Homemade pizza and wedges

SUNDAY - Roast chicken & stuffing, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and vegetables

Hello everyone.

Nothing much been happening here since my last post. I feel a bit in limbo at the moment. Can't get motivated to do anything. Is it only me feeling like this? I look at my front garden and it really needs tackling but I just can't be bothered. Don't know if it's the crap spring we're having or what but I need a kick up the arse. So, this afternoon I sent Hubby a text at work and asked if he'll take Friday off work so we can get in the front garden together and totally tackle it. We can't get anything really done over the weekend because we have the grandaughters again.

I've also this afternoon started a 'to do' file. I've been walking around the house with file in hand and writing down everything that needs finishing off and jobs I want to do like declutter drawers and all the bedding which is stored under our bed.

I now have two sides of A4 paper filled with jobs to do. Each room shall be given a side of A4 paper which I shall rewrite all the jobs onto each relevant room. I am going to pick a room and do all the jobs needed to be done and cross them off the list as we do them. I want to start getting motivated again and get on with jobs that need doing so hopefully this will keep me focused.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Roasted Tomato soup

Following on from my post yesterday about the cheap cherry tomatoes I bought, today was soup day for them. Here's how I made my soup

1kg cherry tomatoes
1 head garlic sliced horizontally
2 peppers, deseeded and cut into quarters
1tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 veg stock cubes
1/2tsp paprika
1/2tsp sugar
Salt & pepper

Put the tomatoes, garlic and peppers on a tray and drizzle with the olive oil.
Roast slowly in a medium oven for about 30-40 minutes.
In a large pan add the chopped onion, stock cubes and 1litre boiling water.
Add the roasted veg when ready, squeezing the garlic from the bulb.
Add the sugar, paprika and season to taste.
Cook for 20 minutes or until onion is soft.
Blend with a food blender until smooth. 

 I'm eating healthily and would have loved to have finished the soup off with some cream but shall give it a miss this time. I love creamy soups.

Whilst the veg roasted in the oven I cooked more pasties for the gang to take for lunch tomorrow. For Hubby I made a beef & onion pastie with a small leftover portion of last nights meal with a bit of leftover carrot and boiled potato in too. For the girls I made cheese, potato & onion pasties. One pastie in freezer for another day.

I so want to eat one of these but not allowed : (

Monday, 7 May 2012

Menu Plan 07/05/12

MONDAY - Braising steak & onions, vegetables, mashed potatoes & Yorkshire puddings

TUESDAY - Creamy beef & potato layer, peas & carrots

WEDNESDAY - Chicken fried rice

THURSDAY - Roast chicken, vegetables, roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings

FRIDAY - Creamy tomato sauce on pasta with homemade garlic bread

SATURDAY - Chicken/tofu fajitas

SUNDAY - Not decided yet

Had a visit to the local towns market this morning. I bought more threads and some ribbon at the craft stall. I bought bananas and cherry tomatoes at the market stall. The cherry tomatoes were £1.00 for a bag of them.

They were large cherry tomatoes and I weighed them when I returned home. They weighed 1.2kg
Really pleased with my tomato buy. I plan to make a roasted tomato soup with most of them and whatever's left shall be used roasted with a meal or with a sandwich for lunches.

I called into Morrisons as we were walking round the market to buy some braising steak for dinner tonight ( usually buy meat from family butcher but forgot they would be closed today with it being Bank Holiday) Just as I walked in they had a table set out with breadcakes. 6 large breadcakes for 40p. I grabbed 2 packs of these and made my way to the meat section bought my meat then left before I got tempted with anymore offers.

Walked around a boot sale which was held because it was a Bank Holiday weekend but did not find anything of interest then went to the Abbey where a local craft fair was being held. I did buy a small gift of a handmade cracker filled with chocolate in it's own box with a gift tag for my Dad for Fathers Day.

It was only £3.50 which I thought was very reasonable for a very one off gift. I got some good ideas for things I can sew for gifts for the family. My daughter whispered whilst stood at a stall that I should make things to sell because mine were better than what the stall holder was selling. I must admit, when I went to a Christmas fair last year i had in the back of my mind building up a stock and applying to have a stall this year but to be honest I really need to invest in a sewing machine if I were to contemplate doing something like selling my work. I do all the seems on the cushions I have made by hand which takes a while. If I had a sewing machine this would make the process a whole lot quicker so I may invest later in the year in a sewing machine and try my hand at selling but maybe next year so I can build up a large amount of stock. We shall see : )