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.