Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Meal plan Monday

Managed to stick mostly to the plan last week although the falafels fell by the way side again in favour of some marinated chicken.  Saturday night turned into KFC night and Sunday we had dinner at my mums after a day of car booting.

So onto this week....

Monday - fish in breadcrumbs, HM potato wedges and salad

Tuesday - lasagne, salad and garlic bread

Wednesday - sausage casserole 

Thursday - falafels - I promise!!! Lol!

Friday - Healthy Ham Egg and Chips

Saturday - Chinese chicken and noodles

Sunday - was going to be belly of pork with slow cooked beans and mash but we've been invited to a BBQ so this will be for another week! 

Friday, 19 July 2013

Feeling hot hot hot!!

 We are  in the middle of a heatwave!!  Who'd have thought after all the bad weather we've had up till now.  I'm blooming loving it but I know it's too much for some people including my little man who's finding it hard to sleep (read - harder to sleep than usual!!).

It's been a quiet week catching up with friends and doing a spot of shopping and cleaning and cooking as usual .....but it would seem I've over done it as I've worn out one of my wooden spoons!

First up we made some cheese and marmite scones and some apple and oat muffins from the River Cottage Baby and Toddler book which used up some of the 21p Bramley Apples.

On Tuesday night we had a fish pie.  I'm dairy intolerant so fish pies are a bit of a no no for me but this one was very simple and seemed to work.  I cooked some potatoes and sweet potatoes and mashed them.  Added some poached fish that I had in the freezer and some boiled frozen peas.  Then cut up three boiled eggs and laid them on top and then covered half in cheese and melted that under the grill - that was the boys half!!!  It was a very cheap and easy dinner and the little man loved it.  

Also on Tuesday we made some ice lollies with the lolly moulds I had purchased the day before in Sainsburies. I'd seen a few receipes but didn't have all the ingredients so threw caution to the wind and had a go at my own - two mini tesco value strawberry fromage frais with the same amount of milk and then mixed in some strawberry puree.  As you can see they were a hit!!!  I've bought some vanilla yoghurt this morning to make another batch and might whizz in some bananas - quite exciting to try different flavours and although I can't eat them the little mans reaction is enough!!  

Oh and that reminds me I made some chocolate dairy free ice cream which is IMMENSE!!  I've not had ice cream for ages so it's been a real treat and was so easy I will be making it again. 

I've had a bit of craving for afternoon tea since the weather has turned nice and that means scones!  These are my first attempt at dairy free ones.  I used a recipe in this cook book but halved the recipe.  However I totally read the milk content wrong and used 250ml rather than 150ml!!  I added lots of extra flour until it was a workable dough and then cut out the scones and baked them and they came out as light as air - and had to be eaten once cooled with strawberries and jam....really think they would be fab with some of the chocolate ice cream too!

Scone recipe
The full recipe - you can half and add far too much milk if you like! 

500g Self Raising Flour
2tsp Baking Powder 
325g cold butter - I used Stork
25g caster sugar
200g sultanas 
300ml cold milk - I used Kato coconut milk to make it dairy free

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C
  2. Mix flour and baking powder together
  3. Rub in butter
  4. Stir in fruit and sugar
  5. Add milk and stir with spoon first and then use hands to work to a soft but not sticky dough
  6. Roll out quickly on a floured surface and then cut out 
  7. Place on greased baking tray and bake in oven for 12 minutes
  8. Enjoy 


Other updates.....

The sunflowers are peeping out! 

There may seem like a lack of crafting posts from me at the moment but that's because I'm working on my new project!  And here's a sneak preview....more another time ;) 

Monday, 15 July 2013

Meal Planning Monday

Well last week kinda went to plan!  We had meatballs on Wednesday rather than Thursday as I was out all day and it made sense to have a slow cooker meal that night - a shame they were horrid though!!  Thursday night I didn't have the energy to make HM wraps or falafel so we had some chicken in breadcrumbs from the freezer along with new potatoes and salad.  Friday nights curry was gorgeous although not quite spicy enough and I think that was due to me using half quantities for the curry sauce but full quantities of water when I came to make the Chicken Tikka Masala - oops!!  I did manage to do a Roast chicken yesterday although we had it with mash and veg and gravy which was much appreciated by the cook and the little man who wolfed his down! He also managed double portions of chocolate crunch - always a hit - and even more so with me as I made dairy free ice cream which I had with my portion - LUSHNESS!!  I've missed ice cream and it was so easy I will definitely be making it again...once I've made the boys some malterser ice cream which is hubs' favourite.  The little man is loving ice cream, lollies and mini milks this summer so will be nice to make some myself for him.

So onto this week:

Monday - Honey Sesame Chicken with Rice - a slow cooker Pinterest recipe

Tuesday - Fish, Egg and Potato Pie with some veg

Wednesday - Ravioli and Sauce

Thursday - Falafels, Wraps and Salad (probably!)

Friday - Satay Chicken Kebabs, Salad and Chips

Saturday - unsure as hubby has a friend over so could be take out or HM Pizza

Sunday - unsure as we are supposed to be doing a car boot so might see if mum will cook for us for when we pick the little man up!! ;)


I managed to bag some bargains yesterday at Tescos

Not a great picture but two bunches of flowers for 19p and 35p down from £3.50 and £5, two packs of two lettuces for 10p each and a bag of bramley apples for 21p!!  Bargain!! :) 

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Oh dear

I appear to have lost my blogging mojo this week.  I had a big ranty piece in my head to do about food, poverty, the government wanting to ban pack lunches in school and my take on all of this in a wider context about how we can't keep growing exponentially in a planet of limited resources but I just can't get it all down.

We've had a busy week and I'm tired which may explain my lack of motivation - work on my new venture has ground to a halt too after a positive start at the beginning of the week.  Hopefully things will pick up again tomorrow with the start of a new week.

So here's some food pics instead! ;)

Paul Hollywood's Tin Loaf 

The Hairy Biker's Curry Sauce 

Paul Hollywood's tin loaf with the addition of sunflower seeds and his breakfast rolls too which were a BIG hit with the Big Man

Homemade Chicken Tikka Masala and Pilau Rice from The Hairy Bikers Curry Book and Homemade Naans from Paul Hollywood's 100 Great Breads - LUSHNESS

Last nights dinner - Turkey Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries 

It's been a good food week! 

Monday, 8 July 2013

Meal Planning Monday

I pretty much stuck to last weeks plan until we got to the weekend! I got confused with my planner and made HM pizza on Saturday night instead of turkey burgers but no worry as HM pizza is my all time fave.  I decided with the heat yesterday and exciting afternoon of sport a roast wasn't going to happen! So we had hot dogs in the barm cakes I had made on Friday instead - lovely.

So onto this week...

Monday - sausage gnocchi.  This was going to be a sauce with the sausage meat in it but as I cooked them yesterday there will be three cooked cut up sausages on the sauce instead.

Tuesday - sweet potato curry (from freezer) with (hopefully) homemade naans 

Wednesday - falafels and homemade wraps and salad

Thursday - slow cooked meatballs

Friday - chicken tikka masala with basmati rice and naans - allegedly all home made but we will see! Probably fish fingers for the little man

Saturday - turkey burgers

Sunday - I am not sure yet!! Will need a shop before then and start thinking about next week too.

Meal Plan Monday

Saturday, 6 July 2013

DIY Kitchen

The last big thing to finish on my list before moving onto my exciting new venture was the little mans play kitchen.  And it's finished (well almost - the hubster needs to put some hooks next to the black board to hang the saucepans on but that's in his hands and could take a while!)

Here it is :)

I bought the stove, microwave and coffee machine off a local selling page so it seemed sensible to work with them and incorporate them into the kitchen.  I also based the colour on them.  

And here's the little man playing with it.  It needs moving to his new location and all the play food adding to it but will do that later today. 



Couple of foody makes 

Paul Hollywood Barm Cakes 

Slow cooked BBQ Beans from this recipe here.  I used two tins of haricot beans and a tin of Homepride BBQ sauce and they were AMAZING!! 


My little man hiding - just because it's his favourite thing to do

Yesterday was a bad day with tantrum after tantrum and refusal to nap and I was not feeling great either.  This picture just sums our day up and I think it's easy to only show the good stuff on these blogs but this shows that we all have our off days!!!!! 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Homemade Cleaning

So despite my husband thinking I've lost leave of my senses (as usual!) I am ploughing ahead with moving away from chemicals for cleaning both the home and myself.  I am doing this gradually so it doesn't feel overwhelming and I hate waste so as something is used up and I am seeing if I can make a natural alternative.

This is what I've done so far:


First thing I tried was cleansing with the oil cleansing method having read this blog post here.  Now a lot of people I have mentioned this too have gone YUK how on earth is that going to work?!?!  Well it does!!! My face feels amazing!  I've hardly had any break outs of spots and those that I have had have gone very quickly.  I also feel like my skin is so much 'plumper'.  I started using just sunflower oil from my kitchen cupboard which worked well but have now moved on to a blend of castor oil and sunflower oil - about 20% castor oil and 80% sunflower oil and that seems to be working well.  I want to add some essential oils to it - probably lavender to help with scarring from previous spots (I'm a picker!!!) but - and how lazy am I - the lavender is downstairs and the oils are up!!  I think I actually need to get another bottle of lavender oil as it has so many uses and I keep meaning to put a couple of drops in the little mans room in the hope it might help him sleep a bit better.

I have bought some jojoba oil for moisturising but am currently using up my cheap moisturiser from Aldi which is pretty amazing for under £2 (why do people spend so much on face creams?!?). I am making a list of other natural things to purchase and I need a natural sunscreen for my face to help prevent the wrinkles so will source that and buy when pennies allow.


Multisurface spray.

As mentioned in a previous post I had a job lot of vinegar and other products delivered from Summer Naturals after reading this post here by Miss Thrifty.  I used her multisurface spray recipe but found that hte borax is a tad too strong for my liking and a bit too abrasive.  So I have moved on to a similar recipe but with no borax - about 20% vinegar and 80% water with 15 drops of lemon essential oil.  And boy does it work!!!!  No scrubbing involved in cleaning my surfaces - can highly recommend.

Fabric Conditioner

Miss Thirfty recommends vinegar as fabric conditioner and I have been using it and it seems to work.  However it does mean I am going through vinegar very quickly!  So I looked around for another recipe and found this one.  And OMG it's gorgeous!  My linen (hows that for a grown up word!!) felt so soft when it came out of the machine and you only need two teaspoons so will last me forever.  I only made up half the quantities to make sure I liked it but will definitely be sticking with this.

I've got a number of pins on pinterest to try for homemade washing powder but I think I am going to invest in an Eco Egg when I next run out as I've heard lots of very good things about them.  Watch this space!

Shower Head

I soaked our shower head in vinegar for a few hours and that came out like new - it's nice to have a full stream of water to wash in!


I made a handwash using this recipe here and to be honest I didn't like it.  It was too watery and slipped off my hands before I had chance to wash them and it left them feeling quite urgh - a bit like bar soap does, a feeling I hate.  Hubby totally refused to use it and bought a 'proper' one at his first opportunity!! We now have two in the bathroom as I don't want to admit defeat but am on the look out for another recipe.

Well that is where I am at at the moment, it's a start and nice to think the amount of chemicals we are breathing in every day has reduced slightly and I'm also saving money which is a big plus all without compromising on cleanliness.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Meal Plan Monday and other stories...

I've been meaning to do this for a while and inspired by Baking Aitch I am making a start from today.

Having been on holiday I've come back with my cooking mojo which has deserted me of late so this weeks meal plan looks a bit more inspiring than the past few weeks of food (but as I haven't blogged about them you will never know how many ways this girl can eat oven chips and fishfingers)

Monday - Curried Pork and Rice - in the slow cooker as we speak!

Tuesday - Ravioli (Tescos) and HM tomato sauce with whatever else I can find lying about to chuck in

Wednesday - Sausages, Jacket Potatoes and Southern Style Beans (how fab do they sound?! The recipe here is from Pinterest (yes I'm still addicted - more so!) but I'm going to tweak it a bit and bung it all in the slow cooker. Watch this space!!)

Thursday - Lime Chicken Kebabs (a Sainsburies jobby in their 3 meats for £10), new potatoes (possibly smashed and roasted) and salad (I really need to perk my salads up a bit from the boring lettuce, cucumber and tomato so if I have time to find a nice recipe I will do so)

Friday - HM Chilli and Rice for me and hubs and Mac and Cheese for the little man which I'm going to attempt to freeze for next week but not sure if that will work

Saturday - HM Pizza (my fave!)

Sunday - Roast Chicken

Mmmmm my mouth is watering already!  And thanks to my friend Jess I've been inspired to try pork belly so have some plans for meals in a couple of weeks already!!  I can get through anything if I know what I'm eating at the end of it!!


We have just come back from a lovely break at Centre Parcs.  What a fabulous place it is, where else do you have these views in the morning 

My little man had the BEST time ever with the motto of why walk somewhere when you can run!??  And what a lesson that was to us - children just run for the sake of running, they don't care where they are going, when they have to get there or what they look like (incredibly cute actually!!) They just run because it's fun!! Not sure I will be running much but it's a good lesson for life.  

Getting away from it all definitely put a few things in perspective and coming back I feel quite inspired to simplify life and concentrate on the really important things in life.  Funnily enough I found this pic on Pinterest (shhh :P ) which pretty much summed up all my aims.  


And look how my garden grew whilst we were away :) 

Spring Onions

Strawberries :) 

The £1 rose I rescued after Valentines day in Tescos 


Pumpkins and carrots 

Sweet Peas

Am very excited about this as nothing I plant ever grows!!!  And these are nearly all from seeds.  Must be the magic watering from the little man.