Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Lazy tired day

Flowers I picked in the fields when walking the dog. So pretty and they smell lovely.

Just lazing as I have had only 3 hours sleep after a night shift. Why do parcels always get delivered when I'm in bed? Too lethargic to blog x

Monday, 10 June 2013

Menu plan Monday 10/06/2013

MONDAY - Hairy Bikers Easy crispy chicken, roasted veg pasta and salad

TUESDAY - Spaghetti bolognese and homemade garlic bread

WEDNESDAY - Roast chicken, yorkshire puddings, mashed potato, steamed veg & gravy

THURSDAY - Omelette, salad, homemade coleslaw and jacket potatoes

FRIDAY - Fish chowder and savoury scones or crusty bread to accompany

SATURDAY - Beefburgers, garlic & herb wedges and coleslaw. All homemade

SUNDAY - Freezer use up day. Bits and pieces from freezer to clear it out

So today's meal is one of the gangs favourites, a recipe from The Hairy Dieters cook book. It's basically chicken breast dusted in flour then dipped in low fat yogurt then coated in a mix of dried bread crumbs (used my own bread to make these), parmesan and lots of dried oregano. This chicken is oven baked and is always  lovely and succulent.  The pasta dish is also a low fat recipe from a weight watchers cook book I have. Roasted vegetables are stirred through cooked pasta with a little parmesan cheese and low fat fromage fraise. We had this with a large salad. I made myself a couple of quorn fillets marinated in  soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ketchup and chilli powder which were baked in the oven. Very nice they were too.

Decided on this meal today because I had 1/3 of a pot of yogurt and 1/3 of a pot of fromagie frais that had been in the fridge over a week that needed using up. I do find these products do last for a long time in the fridge. Pleased I got these used up before they went off.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Chocolate butterfly buns

I have read on a couple of occasions about baking using the method of weighing eggs then weighing the same amount of sugar, margarine and flour. This weekend I decided to give it ago. I did not want to make a large quantity of mixture in case it did not work out so I started by breaking two eggs into a bowl which I set on scales. The two eggs weighed 102g. I added to this 102g sugar and 102g margarine. I wanted to make chocolate buns so needed to substitute some of the flour for cocoa powder. I added a heaped tablespoon of cocoa powder into the bowl and topped it up to 102g with SR flour. For good measure I added 1/2 tsp baking powder. I whisked this all together then popped the mixture into 9 muffin cases and baked. 

They came out really well and were lovely and moist. After cooling I whisked some double cream and a little vanilla extract until soft peaks then piped into my butterflied buns. Finished off with a grating of dark chocolate.

Will definitely try this method again. Think I will double the eggs next time and try a cake. Not a good idea baking when I'm trying to watch my weight. I want to taste food I bake to see if they taste right  and if not decide where to change a recipe so I just HAD to try one for quality control. Only thing is, I think I've eaten 3 altogether, oops!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Veggi cooking day

Welcome to my new follower Babs. Nice to have you on board.

With it being National Vegetarian Week I wanted to try something new for my lunch. I knew straight away what I wanted to make. I found my River Cottage Veg cook book and rummaged through the pages for a recipe I had earmarked to make, Chilli, cheese and rosemary polenta with tomato sauce.

The recipe only needed a few ingredients which I already had in. Olive oil, chilli, garlic, rosemary, polenta and cheese.

 Once everything was cooked I had to let the polenta cool so it would set. I did this on a baking tray lined with cling film. When cool enough I placed the tray in the fridge until I was ready to eat at lunch time.

I sliced the polenta into fingers and fried in a little oil until the outsides were crispy. When I cook some tomorrow I'm going to try them baked in the oven on a tray as I found the crispy edge stuck to the frying pan. They were really tasty with a simple tomato sauce that was recommended to accompany them.

I then decided to make a loaf I had seen on a blog I follow. I copied the recipe out but forgot to make a note of who's blog I found it on. I have been searching through some blogs to try and find it but have had no success yet. When I come across it I shall edit this post and add a link to the blog with the recipe if you want to try it.

Edited - Found it!  Here's the link for the cheese and lentil loaf

So this is what I made. A cheese and lentil loaf which looks a disaster in my photo. I made the mixture a bit too sloppy so when I came to take the loaf out of the loaf tin it collapsed! I scooped it all back into the tin and baked on a low heat until it had set completely.

I had too much mixture to fit all in the loaf tin so I did what the owner of the recipe does and put the remaining mixture into puff pastry to make lentil sausage rolls. They came out good.

Yesterday I had a portion of the lovely chilli I made Monday with couscous. I really enjoyed it so tonight I shall have a portion on some pasta seeing as I'm making the rest of the family bolognese on pasta. Going good so far is my vegetarian week. Any of you doing veggie food this week because of National Vegetarian Week?

Monday, 20 May 2013

Menu plan Monday 20/05/2013 & National Vegetarian Week

MONDAY - Fragrant pork & rice one pot and homemade bread

TUESDAY - Stuffed pork loin, mashed potato, steamed green beans, carrots and broccoli

WEDNESDAY - Bolognese sauce on pasta with homemade garlic bread

THURSDAY - Gammon & pineapple or egg, chips & peas

FRIDAY - Fish pie, carrots, peas and broccoli

SATURDAY - Lamb burgers, homemade coleslaw and chips

SUNDAY - freezer & fridge use up. Not sure what yet

Today is National Vegetarian Week and  being a pescetarian I eat mainly vegetarian meals but also eat fish. So this week I shall go all out veggie and have no fish this week. I am doing this by myself as I know the rest of the family will not be that bothered for having vegetarian meals all week. So tonight I shall be having the same as the rest of the family but mine will be made with vegetarian sausages. The recipe is on the link on Mondays menu. I'll post each might with what I end up eating.

Today I made a big pot of vegetarian chilli using Tescos own brand vegetarian mince and value kidney beans. I added 3 tins of Aldi tomatoes in the end because I thought it was a bit dry.

This has been cooking all day in the slow cooker and will be portioned up when cool for future meals. I costed the whole dish  and it worked out at £3.01 for a huge amount of chilli.

Tesco veg mince £1.50
3 x tins Aldi tomatoes  93p
1 x tin kidney beans  21p
big squirt tomato puree  5p
2 onions  20p
chillies 12p
Reckon I should get 5-6 portions of chilli so it's a nice cheap meal with some Tesco value rice (40p a kilo bag)

Monday, 13 May 2013

Menu plan Monday 13/05/2013

MONDAY - Lamb steaks, roast potatoes, carrots, broccoli, peas and yorkshire puddings

TUESDAY - Hairy dieters easy chicken, salad, homemade coleslaw & jacket potatoes

WEDNESDAY - Homemade pizza & chips

THURSDAY - Lamb meatballs in a tomato sauce on pasta, homemade garlic bread

FRIDAY - Casserolled beef & mushroom, Mashed potatoes, yorkshire puddings and veg

SATURDAY - Steaks and peppercorn sauce, chips, onion rings, roasted tomatoes and mushrooms

SUNDAY - Fragrant pork & rice one pot with homemade bread


I've had quite a busy weekend because I have a visitor staying. My visitor is called Archie and he's so cute. Here's Archie

Archie came Saturday morning and is staying until Wednesday evening whilst his owners have a short break abroad.

A few months a go I joined a company to be a dog carer. Basically after filling in an application form, then having a telephone interview they then visit me at home to interview me and check my home and garden are safe for visiting dogs. References are checked and then if everything's ok, I become a dog carer. I get paid for each day or part of a day the dog is with me.  I have no expenses to fork out as the owners provided all their food and treats, brings their bed, toys and lead. Insurance is provided by the company I work for. I just give my time to care for my visitors.

So Archie is our first visitor. He settled in well and my dog Sherlock has accepted a new friend into his home really well. I did feel sorry for Archie at first because Sherlock would not leave him alone but they have both settled down now and are like old friends. It's a great way to earn a little more money and my daughters get to have a second dog ( they are always pestering me to get a second dog) without me having the expense of having another dog. I hope future visitors are as easy as Archie has been. Think I've been spoilt with my first easy visitor.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Menu Plan 06/05/2013

MONDAY - Pork steaks, apple sauce, mashed potatoes, yorkshire puddings and vegetables

TUESDAY - Creamy beef and potato layer, Carrots and peas

WEDNESDAY - Thai green curry with chicken & Thai green curry with tofu, rice

THURSDAY - Bolognese and pasta with homemade garlic bread

FRIDAY - Roast chicken, roast potatoes and vegetables

SATURDAY - Chicken/Tofu fajitas

SUNDAY - Homemade flan, salad, homemade coleslaw and jacket potatoes

Monday, 6 May 2013

Last year in my 40's eek!

Well, it's here, my last year in my 40's. To be honest it doesn't bother me I'll be 50 next year. I definitely don't feel it and I've been told I don't look it so I'm not going to worry about it. I woke at 7.30 this morning and could hear the dog moaning. I got dressed and went into the kitchen to get the dog lead and there in the middle of the kitchen floor were two huge piles of vomit!!! I complained to the dog and walked down the passage to let him out the back door where I was confronted by two smaller piles of vomit!!! Dog was pushed into the garden with a few savoury words and I went to hunt out some disposable gloves to tackle the nasty job of vomit cleaning.

Dog was walked and I returned and put the kettle on for a cuppa. Hubby walked into the kitchen and wished me happy birthday. I looked at him in surprise because I had honesty forgotten when I woke this morning that it was my birthday. What with Sherlock's lovely present he left me this morning it never entered my head. I waited for the girls to get up before I opened my cards and presents. I got lovely gifts of a cook book, wine, gold earrings, perfume, a photo in a lovely frame, candles and a candle holder and some money.

Hubby asked if I wanted a birthday cake. He said our youngest daughter said I wouldn't want one because I'm on a diet but he wanted to check. No I said. I want to be good this week so no cake please but thanks for thinking about me having one. I have been naughty and made chocolate fondant which are sat in the fridge ready for tea tonight. I have made only four. These are for daughters, daughters boyfriend and Hubby. I will just watch them eat lol. They were a request from Daughter No3 last week so I had the ingredients in so decided a bank holiday and my birthday was a good a time as any to make them.

I'll just show you my charity shop buy I got Thursday last week.

I did actually buy 6 of these dessert dishes but only pictured 3 of them. As soon as I saw them I thought they would be great for chocolate mousse desserts or any dessert really. They have a good sold base so should not get knocked over easily. I got them for £3.00.

Think it's time to celebrate my birthday with a glass or two of wine and catch the last of the evening sun.

Bye for now x

Thursday, 2 May 2013

It's a beautiful day

What a beautiful day we have had here in Yorkshire today. The sun has shone and everyone has talked non stop about the lovely weather to me at my voluntary job in the charity shop this morning. It just goes to show, we Brits may talk about the weather more than any other nation in the world, but it DOES get us talking to one and other, AND the weather makes us HAPPY! The shop has been busier today because of the lovely weather and I have definitely noticed everyone is so much happier with a little sunshine in their life.

My family are more willing to come on evening dog walks with me now the weather is improving. Tonight I had the company of Hubby and Daughter No3. I know if daughter No2 had not been at college on a late night, she too would have accompanied us because she's walked with me a few nights this week when the weather's been nice.

Just feel so uplifted with this much needed Spring weather,  just had to do a short post before bed. I'll be back tomorrow with my bargains from the charity shop. Till then, night all x

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Bit of grub stuff

Well we're having a lovely sunny day here in Yorkshire. Been out with Sherlock for our second walk of the day and I was actually too hot in my jacket but just as I was returning back home we had a short shower so was glad I took my jacket in the end.

Had a morning of quick bakes and soup making. I made a batch of fruit scones and a batch of cheese scones for the girls to nibble on and to take to school in pack up.

I used the Be-Ro cookbook recipe. I don't know why, but I can never make lovely deep scones no matter what recipe I use. Anyway, they taste lovely as I tried a small  one made with the remains of the mixture. Tried to resist because I'm on a diet and it's weigh-in tomorrow but I could hear it calling me from the kitchen. I was good  though and had it plain. I resisted the cheese scones though far too many calories with the cheese. Scones are so cheap and quick to make.

I made a large pan of soup for my lunches. No recipe really. It's one I make often and mainly consists of chopping carrots, onion, 2 cloves of garlic, usually a green pepper that's floating around the fridge but didn't have one this week. A tin of tomatoes, veg stock and a good dollop of tomato puree then I add 2-3 tbsp of paprika. Boil until cooked then blend until smooth.

I've set myself a challenge to use up bits and pieces in packets floating around my cupboards that never seem to get used. Today I finished a packet of oatbran that I have been having each morning for my breakfast over the last 4 days. I can't even remember what I bought it for but the use by date was July 2012. It tasted lovely made with water and drizzled with a little syrup.

The next packets to use up are a packet of pumpkin seeds and a packet of sunflower seeds. Think I shall lightly toast them in a frying pan then store them in a little pot and have a tablespoon on my salads for a bit of crunch. Shouldn't take me long to use them up because I'm eating a lot of salads lately.

Might tackle a tin of anchovies I've got lurking at the back of the cupboard that have been sat there for the last two years. I know they are not a packet but I'm sick of seeing them every time I open the cupboard door. Haven't a clue what to do with then. I don't even like anchovies. Mother-in-law gave them to me one year in a food hamper. Come to think of it, I think she bought them along with other stuff to do one of the Jamie Oliver recipes in a cookbook she included in the hamper. Shall go and have a rummage through my book collection and dig it out. Watch this space...for a Jamie anchovies recipe

Monday, 29 April 2013

Menu Plan Monday 29/04/2013

MONDAY - Hairy Bikers easy crispy chicken, sauteed potatoes, salad and homemade coleslaw

TUESDAY - Stuffed pork, sage & onion stuffing, yorkshire puds, mash and veg

WEDNESDAY -Parmesan & parsley crusted salmon, new potatoes, hollandaise sauce, green beans,
                            roasted carrots & peas

THURSDAY - Homemade fishcakes, wedges and mushy peas

FRIDAY - Creamy beef & potato layer, broccoli, carrots & peas

SATURDAY - Steak, peppercorn sauce, chips, sauteed mushrooms & roasted tomatoes

SUNDAY - Sausages, mash and beans

I started the day off by tackling our bookcase. my cookery books were two deep in some sections so thought it time to have a tidy.
really messy
 The sections that still look really messy are Hubby's and DaughterNo3's. They need to sort their sections out when they return from work/school.

Bit tidier
 I did manage to clear out a bout 15 books I no longer want or use and these are in a charity bag to be collected in the morning. I also cleared a few pairs of Hubby's jeans and some clothes my daughter sorted through last week.
We had some slices of homemade baguette leftover from yesterdays tea. I was going to give them to the birds but remembered I would need some dried breadcrumbs for a recipe I was making for tea today so the birds lost out on a snack. I popped them on a tray in the oven until they had dried out then whizzed them up in the food processor.
We're not eating as much bread as normal with trying to loose weight so my bread goes a bit stale after a couple of days. I decided to slice the rest of the loaf and bag it to go in the freezer to be used for toast. I stuck a label on the bag saying, 'bread for toast'. Not a scrap of food wasted today. Every last morsel of food was eaten at tea tonight much to the dogs disappointment.

Just made a batch of tomato pasta sauce to portion up for Daughter No3 to have on pasta for her lunch at school over the coming weeks. Mixed a portion of it with some cooked bacon and some grated cheese. This was mixed through some pasta an put in a plastic container for lunch tomorrow.

Right, time for me to catch up on last weekends, The Voice.
Enjoy your evening x

Friday, 26 April 2013

My bargains & not such a bargain

Just a quick post as I've so much to do before me and Hubby go out for the evening. Yesterday I did my voluntary job and got a couple of bargains. I love little jugs and couldn't resist this little one. I like to pour milk into a small jug from the great big cartons we buy because we always seem to pour too much milk into our drinks when handling the big cartons. I then just leave the jug in the fridge to use for cups of tea throughout the day.

 My little jug cost me £1.20. I also go a watch for myself at a cost of £1.50. I just fell in love with it as soon as I saw it because of the colour. Purple/plum is my favourite colour so I had to have it.

Today I went to pick up my months meat order from the local butcher. This was not such a bargain at £90 !! This is the 3rd order I've had and the quality is superb. I would rather pay more for good quality, locally sourced meat

This has been all portioned up and frozen for the coming month.
I'll be back soon. Must dash, just seen the time x

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Totally fed up

Driven to my works office in Leeds this morning which is about 36 miles from where I live. I had to take in my completed form  for a DBS check before Friday to my manager. Manager was checking the documentation I had supplied and then asked, "where's your proof of address? A utility bill or bank statement?"  Noooooo! I had forgotten it. I was livid with myself. How stupid of me to not double check I had everything before I left home. So now I will have to make a detour tonight on my way to my patient to call into the office again and leave said document on managers desk.

Then....yesterday I went to get the dog his usual monthly sack of dog food from the pet store. They had his brand on offer at £25.00 a sack instead of the usual £33.00 but the shelves had been cleared. So on the way back from Leeds I thought I'd call back in the store and see if they had stocked up on food again. No. So off I went to a second pet store just up the road. They had his brand of food but it cost £37.99 and me being tight and all that thought sod that I'll try another store I have heard of but it's about 10 miles away. Went to this place I have never visited before and they do not do branded dog food only their own mix.

By now I'm getting hungry, tired from driving and very annoyed. I did not know of any other places to go so off I went back to the second shop I visited earlier!!! I would have left it for the day had I had anymore dog food to get me through the day but I used every last bit this morning so had to get it today. I must have wasted so much petrol today I'm annoyed with myself.

Sorry, rant over. Just had to clear my head of how stupid I've been today. Let's hope the rest of the day goes better.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Menu Plan Monday 22/04/2013

MONDAY - Souffled jacket potatoes, baked beans, roasted tomatoes and fried mushrooms

TUESDAY - Homemade beef & mushroom pie, mashed potatoes, broccoli, carrot and green beans

WEDNESDAY - Homemade cheese and onion flan, salad, homemade coleslaw, jacket potatoes

THURSDAY - Lamb steaks, roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings and steamed veg

FRIDAY - Kids, freezer surprise. Me & Hubby, out for evening

SATURDAY - Homemade lamb burgers, chips and homemade coleslaw

SUNDAY - Tomato & ham pasta bake with homemade garlic bread

So here I am again. Sneaking in and pretending I've not been away for a month. I was ill for two weeks which left me with no get up and go in me so that's when I stopped blogging then it did not enter my mind to blog as I was quite busy. Did not even read blogs much as I didn't have time to go on my lap top. Anyway, things have settled down a lot now so thought I'd make an appearance.

So glad the weather is on the turn. I think I can safely say spring is finally here. A little sun and a bit of warmth can really lift your spirits. My mind is focused on eating healthily and I am eating a heck of a lot of salads at the moment which I eat when the rest of the family are tucking into yummy high calorie meals. Made a variation of these for tea. I added softened onions instead of the spring onion and added a bit of cream and some milk instead of the soured cream. I also added a generous handful of cheese. The verdict was they needed more onion and more cheese but were nice. A bit of tweaking me thinks to get the perfect souffled potato.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Menu plan 18/03/13

MONDAY - Creamy beef & potato layer, carrots, peas and broccoli

TUESDAY - Sausages, yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, vegetables and gravy

WEDNESDAY - Omelet, jacket potato, salad, homemade coleslaw and bread

THURSDAY - Steak & ale pie (in freezer) mash and veg

FRIDAY - Bacon, potato cakes, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes & beans

SATURDAY - Homemade lamb burgers, chips, onion rings & homemade coleslaw

SUNDAY - Beef/veggie curry, rice and naan bread  

Welcome to my new follower Thrifty Living. Your very welcome and thank you for dropping by.

Well, we're onto the last portions of meat from my £70 meat pack from the local butcher. It's been a 5 week month for me  and we have had plenty of meat to cover the month. The family have really enjoyed lots of different cuts of meat which has put a bit more variety into their menu plan.The only thing the girls were not keen on was a shoulder of lamb which I cooked long and slow. The meat was tender but they said it was fatty. I have put the remainder of this joint in the freezer. I intend to mince it up and shall add to a tomato sauce to make a type of bolognese to have on pasta next Monday I think. It's payday next Wednesday so I've got a delivery coming and I shall place another order with the butchers to collect next thursday. We shall be ready then for the Easter holidays. Not that I will benefit from the bank holiday on Good Friday. Working for the NHS means we work bank holidays if they fall on days we work.

Just noticed today is my 100th post.
Anyway, it's time for me to get started on our evening meal so shall say, adios amigos!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

What a bargain!!!!

This is my bargain of the year. So far anyway. I saw this breadmaker in the back of the charity shop I volunteer in this morning. As soon as I saw it I thought, I want that.

It was in perfect condition and I plugged it into a socket to check it was working. I bet it's only been used a couple of times it's like new.
It also came with it's instruction booklet and measuring scoops. I asked the manager how much she wanted for it and she said a couple of quid cos we can't sell electricals. Well, that was so cheap I put £5.00 in the till for it.

So at the moment it is on and I'm test driving it. So far it is work good. I do own a breadmaker already and it was only last weekend when I was making a loaf that I thought, I hope my breadmaker doesn't breakdown because it will cos a lot to replace it. So seeing this this morning I am prepared for when mine dies and will have a replacement machine already in the house.

Daughter No 3 said I was all giddy and excited at trying out my new breadmaker hehe. The simple things in life I can get excited about. And just to let you know. No, the breadmaker would not have been binned with us not selling electricals. We have a man who calls once a month to collect all electrical stuff and it's taken elsewhere to sell. Off to have a peek at my bread lol

Monday, 11 March 2013

Menu Plan Monday 11/03/13

MONDAY - Stuffed pork loin, mashed potatoes, vegetables and yorkshire puddings

TUESDAY - Homemade fishcakes, wedges and mushy peas

WEDNESDAY - Lamb steaks, roasted vegetables and jacket potatoes

THURSDAY -Homemade beef & ale pies, carrots, broccoli and mash

FRIDAY - Mascarpone tomato sauce on pasta with homemade garlic bread

SATURDAY - Steak with mushroom sauce, chips, onion rings & grilled tomatoes

SUNDAY - Omelet, salad, homemade coleslaw, Jacket potatoes and bread

Well it arrived again through the night. A light fall of snow and all day we have had short blizzards of snow. It's freezing because of the wind and really not been a pleasure to walk in today with the dog. My face was frozen and I had to put my jacket hood up against the cold. Did a quick shop in Aldi between the snow blizzards and have spent the rest of the day warm and snug in the house watching the weather through the kitchen window as I worked.

Some ironing done and our evening meal prepped as I have to take Daughter No3 to doctors for 4.30pm and know we shall be in the waiting room for ages. Made a half quantity of lemon drizzle cake mixture and made 7 lemon drizzle buns with it. These will be frozen to go in daughters packed lunches.

She says she made 7 buns well, we are down to 5 now with both daughters wanting to try out the buns. Think I better get the rest in the freezer or I'll have none left for packups.

To finish off another picture of my Mothers Day tulips which have opened and are a lovely colour. I just keep looking at them because they look so nice.
Hope your all keeping warm and you have not had too much snow today x

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day to all those Mums out there in blog land. I received some lovely gifts and cards from my three daughters. Not so much a relaxing Mothers Day as I have the two grandaughters here this weekend and it's always busy when they stay.

Our evening meal will be an easy event. I made the lasagne the other evening so it can be just popped in the oven to cook and a salad made in minutes. I'm going to put the bread machine on to make some dough so I can make a focaccia. Think a red pesto focaccia will go nicely with our meal.  

Just got stressed over dropping a bottle of very expensive Rapeseed oil all over the kitchen floor. It was a sod to clean up. Shards of glass seem to get everywhere and my new slippers have bright yellow oil on them now!  Think a nice glass of vino with my meal is called for. Chill Karen

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Domestic Goddess

Well I truly feel like a domestic goddess today lol. I had a lieu night to use up at work so had last night off which left me with today free as I'm normally asleep through the day on Wednesdays. I got up this morning and thought, right, I'm going to make the most of today and have a right productive day. I started the day off with dog walking in the chilly, wet fog.

The promise of sunshine after the fog did not materialise yesterday and I don't expect any today. After our walk I set to a job I just hate. Oven cleaning. Got both ovens sprayed and left them for a  couple of hours for the spray to do its magic.

 I got the breadmaker on with a batch of hot cross bun ingredients. Then it was upstairs to daughter No2's bedroom to the cupboard in the corner that never gets entered. This is the reason why...

Years and years of toys and junk the girls keep hold of. Well today I was going to get rid of a significant amount of the stuff. I Put 2 large sacks of stuff in my boot to take to the charity shop tomorrow. Two large sacks of rubbish went in the bin. Lots of paper and cardboard went into the recycle bin. I then took down to the conservatory a lot of toys and games the grandaughters would like to play with. The end result was a lot better  than when I entered a few hours earlier.

I then went and cleared all the toys out of the conservatory that the grandaughters had outgrown. Lots for the charity shop and some binned. They will love it on their visit this weekend having lots of new games and toys to play with.

In between the cleaning I finished my hot cross buns and got the breadmaker back on to make a couple of baguettes. Made coleslaw for tea and make a cheese and onion flan for tea. The slowcooker was put on with a batch of bolognese to cook. I stripped daughters bedding too and got this washed and dried. It's left on her bed for her to make, think I've done enough today. Did relax for half hour after I got back from walking the dog at lunchtime while daughter coloured my hair. Time to relax now I'm back from my third dog walk of the day. Think a glass of wine is called for : )

Monday, 4 March 2013

Menu Plan Monday 04/03/13

MONDAY - Breaded fish, chips and mushy peas

TUESDAY - BBQ Lamb steaks, pesto pasta, roasted veg & homemade flatbreads. Me - Halloumi

WEDNESDAY - Bolognese pasta and homemade garlic bread

THURSDAY - Gammon, egg, chips, peas & mushrooms

FRIDAY - Cheese & broccoli flan, potato salad, coleslaw & salad. All homemade

SATURDAY - Chicken/tofu Fajitas

SUNDAY - Vegetarian Lasagne, salad and homemade garlic bread

Today we were going to eat for tea the mushroom & chestnut cottage pie that we were supposed to have had last week but didn't have because daughters boyfriend stayed and he would not have eaten it. So this afternoon I followed the recipe and got all the veg and sauce cooked and decided then it was a mistake to make this because I JUST KNOW none of them will eat it so I've abandoned the meal and shall have it myself over the next couple of days for my lunch. When daughter No3 came in from school today her first words were " Hello, what's for tea tonight?" Told her to look in the kitchen at what I'd made but was not giving her now. She said "Good cos I wouldn't have eaten it!"  Tea tonight shall be a couple of breaded fish fillets that were yellow stickered in Aldi for 90p and some fish fingers, chips and mushy peas followed by homemade rice pudding and warmed jam.

Really enjoyed my lunch today even though it nearly blew my head off with the hot spicy chilli sauce. Still had some spring onions to use and I had a big bag of coriander that was out of date but still good. There were a lot of mushrooms on the turn and some sweetcorn in the fridge. I got a few prawns from the freezer and soaked some dried noodles. What I wanted to use up was the trio of indian dips I had leftover from Saturday. Saturday we had lamb burgers and Hubby likes riata on his lamb burger. I had no plain yogurt in or any mint so thought I'd buy him one of those little pots from the supermarket. They had ran out of the little pots so I got the trio of dips pictured below

The dark red dip I had on my bean burger Saturday and it blew my head off it was so hot. The rest of it along with the chunky tomato dip went into my stir fry. 

So that got rid of a few more bits in my fridge and was very tasty too. Not bothered shopping today as I was late menu planning so shall go tomorrow. Just need to sort my shopping list now.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Hate colds!

Had a week of wiping my nose every minute and coughing and spluttering away. It's now easing off but my poor nose is sooo sore. I'm now concentrating on repairing the damage with lots of soothing moisturisers and balms. Don't you just hate having a cold?

Anyway, onto other things. My meat hoard has hardly been touched. Need to get some minced lamb out for burgers for tomorrows homemade 'takeaway' of burgers and chips. Menu meals have been swapped around a little as daughters boyfriend stayed the night we were having creamy mushroom pasta and he won't touch mushrooms. So had to swap for a meaty meal. I'm looking forward to my mushroom pasta tonight so she had better not ask if he can come for tea tonight. I'm not changing it again!

Fancied something different today for lunch today so had a mooch in the fridge to see what grabbed me. A bunch of spring onions were calling out to be used so I grabbed two of them, some cheese and two eggs and the loaf of bread.

I cut two slices of bread then thinly sliced the spring onions. Half of the onions were placed on a slice of the bread then topped with cheese. The second slice of bread on top to create a sandwich. I then got a large plate and whisked the eggs, remaining spring onions, sprinkle of salt, a grating of pepper and a sprinkle of chilli flakes. I dipped both sides of my sandwich in the eggy mix until it was all absorbed then fried the sandwich in a little oil.

I ate half before I realised I hadn't taken a picture. I was too eager to get stuck into my lunch. It was very yummy with a dollop of ketchup on the side  : )

Off to walk some of these cheesey calories off now with the dog. Enjoy your day x

Monday, 25 February 2013

Menu Plan Monday 25/02/13

This is £70 worth of meat to last the next 5 weeks. I've made a decision to only buy meat from a local family butcher. It is based on the recent horse meat fiasco and because I am loosing faith in supermarkets and would rather see my money go to a hard working husband & wife running a family butchers rather than give it to one of the big greedy supermarkets. They are more expensive than the supermarkets but I know they can produce paperwork documenting where all their meat is reared and slaughtered and another bonus is it is local meat.

I have worked out that I can get 20 x 4 portion meals from this meat which would work out at £3.50 per 4 portions. I most probably will get more meals than I've estimated so I'm going to keep a record of how many meals I get out of the meat over the next five weeks. Mince can be stretched by incorporating lots of veggies and lentils.  I will also be buying a couple of chickens from Aldi which I can stretch to make a couple of meals and a few chicken & mayo sandwiches. My menus are now going to incorporated 2 veggie and 1 fish meals per week. Lets see how it goes.

So the plan for this week is...

MONDAY - Stuffed pork fillet, roast potatoes & carrots, steamed veg, yorkshire puddings, gravy

TUESDAY - Roast chicken, jacket potatoes, homemade coleslaw & salad

WEDNESDAY - Pasta with mushrooms, homemade garlic bread

THURSDAY - Smoked fish, parsley sauce, mashed potatoes, carrots & peas

FRIDAY - Mushroom & chestnut cottage pie, broccoli

SATURDAY - Lamb burgers, chips & homemade coleslaw

SUNDAY - Leftover chicken & leek pie, mash and vegetables

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Menu plan 18/02/13

MONDAY - Fragrant pork & rice one pot with homemade bread

TUESDAY - Fish pasta bake

WEDNESDAY - Roast chicken, roast potatoes, vegetables and yorkshire puddings with stuffing

THURSDAY - Starter-Wensleydale mushrooms. Chicken & chorizo risotto

FRIDAY - Leftover xmas turkey, casseroled, mash and vegetables

SATURDAY - Homemade pizza and chips

SUNDAY - Omelet, salad, homemade coleslaw and jacket potatoes

It's half term here in North Yorkshire and I've been busy with Daughter No3's 15th birthday which was on Sunday. It was an easy birthday this year to buy for as she requested money but I did buy her a book I knew she wanted and a cushion she spotted in Aldi she liked, so she had something to open on the day. She asked me to make her a chocolate cake for her birthday which I set about making Sunday lunchtime. Hubby came in the kitchen just as I was getting ingredients out and declared he would like to make the cake. Don't think he's made a cake before from what I can remember so I supervised him. I set about making a chocolate bow I had found on a google search. It was rather fiddly to make the bow but I think it will come a lot easier if I make it again; and a lot tidier : ) Daughter No2 wanted to make the cake filling and topping so she did that part of the cake. So it turned into a family made cake in the end.

The creation tasted nice but was rather difficult to cut into. Daughter enjoyed it along with her friends who slept over. All the girls took over the living room with airbeds and watched movies with a bag of treats. Kept us awake with chatting and giggling a lot of the night. When asked in the morning what time they went to sleep it turned out to be around 4.30am!!! I woke them at 9.15 as one of the girls had to be home by 10.00am so an early night was had by daughter last night.

It's a busy week of fitting lots of appointments in this week. Yesterday was a drive to York for Daughter No3 to visit the orthodontist. Both have opticians this week and Daughter No3 has a doctors appointment Thursday.

Think I shall go for a walk with the dog now and enjoy this beautiful sunny day. The living room is rather hot with the sun shining through the two windows. Enjoy your day x

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Not a happy bunny

Set off to drive the 33 miles to work at 9pm last night. 45 minutes later I was on the phone to the RAC informing them of car problems. My car on three occasions seemed to lose its umph and was very sluggish and just had no get up and go.  Then I could smell like rubber burning! It was then I decided to to pull into a side street and see if I could spot what was happening with the car. One of alloys was red hot on the passenger side so I was worried brake disk had jammed or something. I know nothing at all about cars but knew something was not right. Rang hubby who said not to drive it and to ring the RAC.
image from google

Forty minutes later my knight in shining fluorescent arrived with lights blazing. Basically he said he was not happy for me to drive it as he found fluid sprayed all on the engine when he looked under the bonnet and was taking me and car back home. So me and my poorly car were driven back home arriving in our quiet street with lights a flashing and rather noisily in a recovery van. Lots of curtains twitching to see what all the racket was about. Don't think neighbours appreciated all the noise of a car being removed from a recovery truck at midnight. Ah well, I appreciated him. So glad I have breakdown cover with my car insurance. It's a god send when your a woman driver alone at night.

I jumped in Hubby's car and headed back to Leeds AGAIN! and work were very good about it all. Not had much sleep today as had to get up early as boiler man is coming to service our boiler. Got a text when I woke up though from Hubby who has already booked my car into the village garage to be seen first thing tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed this won't skint me.

Bloody snowing now! Ah well, can't drive anywhere so might as well enjoy it : )

Monday, 11 February 2013

Menu plan Monday 11/02/13

MONDAY - Roast chicken, sage & onion stuffing, mashed potatoes, veg and yorkshire pudding

TUESDAY - Omelet, salad, jacket potatoes and homemade coleslaw. Pancakes

WEDNESDAY - Sausage & pepper casserole, sauteed potatoes

THURSDAY - Beef stew, mashed potatoes and yorkshire puddings

FRIDAY - Leftover chicken with ham in a sauce served on vegetable rice

SATURDAY - Homemade pizzas and wedges

SUNDAY - Spaghetti bolognese and homemade garlic bread

Wow, it's Monday again. Seems to arrive around too soon.  A whole week of no posts. Must admit it's been a bit hectic here at the moment. Had lots of online e-learning  to complete for work and as usual nothing goes right when trying to do these things on laptops at home. Anyway courses completed and me stressed to hell with all the technical side of it going wrong. Going to tackle another course tomorrow so wish me luck. It's not due until May but I'm going to get it done as I'm 2 hours short of a lieu night that I want to use before our new lot of annual leave is sorted for the 1st April. So a few hours of e-learning is worh it for a night off work.

Today I have posted my passport for renewal. It ran out the beginning of 2011 but we have not been abroad for a few years so have not bothered renewing until now. We are venturing abroad this summer so the deed had to be done. So I worked it out today how much this passport is costing: renewal £72.50. New photo £5.00. Postage £5.90. Total £83.40 x 2 (Hubby's to do his) =£166.80. Bloody hell! that's a lot of money for two passports. Thank god the girls don't need renewing until next year. Thankfully we have this budgeted for in the holiday fund. We have been saving since the middle of last year an amount each month for our holiday taking into account the cost of passport renewals.