Monday, 30 May 2011

Menu Week 30/05/11

MONDAY - Homemade salmon fishcakes, wedges & peas
ME - Same 

TUESDAY - Sausages, potato cakes, eggs, baked beans, grilled tomatoes & mushrooms
ME - Same with veggie sausages

WEDNESDAY - Fish in butter sauce, mashed potatoes, peas, carrots & broccoli
ME - Same with boiled potatoes

THURSDAY - Homemade roasted vegetables & cottage cheese Ravioli with a tomato sauce
ME - Same

FRIDAY - Breaded cod, chips & mushy peas
ME - Same

SATURDAY - Homemade lamb burgers, wedges & homemade coleslaw
ME - Same with Spicy bean burgers

SUNDAY - Toad in the hole, vegetables, roast potatoes & onion gravy
ME - Same with veggie sausages

Well, what a truly miserable day! It's pouring it down and silly me forgot to bring in all my washing hanging on the line last night and now it's all soaking wet. No plans for this Bank Holiday Monday. Hubby will continue to fit the new kitchen and I shall tackle a pile of ironing and may do some baking.

On the weight loss - 2lb lost this week. Could have been better. I succumbed to the tuck shop at work and had a packet of crisps and a small chocolate bar. I also nibbled some extra bits this weekend, slap my wrist. So I could have had a better loss but 2lb is better than nothing. Back on track today.

I made this lunch time River Cottage Lemon curd marble muffins

I didn't have any yogurt so I replaced it with extra milk and it seemed to work. They came out well but I did have a disaster with some of the muffins. I ran out of muffin cases so had to use bun cases which were rather small and the mixture overflowed  so these looked a bit of a mess and were excluded from the picture. I used my own homemade lemon curd in the recipe. I've resisted the urge to eat any and shall quickly get them in the freezer out of temptations way because they are for packups when the girls are back at school/college.

Are you up to anything exciting  on this Bank Holiday?

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Kitchen update

Well this is the stage the kitchen is at at the moment.

A room full of boxes. We have worktops in the back hallway and plinths in the dining room but hopefully a lot of this should be fitted by dear Hubby over this long bank holiday weekend. The units are already built so it makes the job a lot easier. Our missing parts were delivered today which I thought was rather quick. So still having to plod along with my camping stove for cooking for a while yet. Can't wait for my new hob. The camping stove does not go low enough on temperature and cooks things too fast or burns stuff if you don't constantly keep stirring it but I manage.

Went for an interview this afternoon for a job that is very similar to the one I am doing at the moment but it is a lot closer to home and would cut out a lot of travelling. I nipped to a charity shop this morning to try and find a smart jacket. I had looked in the shop I volunteer in when I worked Tuesday but we had nothing suitable. I found a jacket in the first shop I went in, tried it on and it fit perfectly, £5.00, bargain. It's a good quality Marks & Spencer one in very good condition. I now have my interview jacket which went great with my black trousers. 

The interview went very well and I could tell they were very impressed with my experience. The only down side was they are established in Harrogate but are branching out to the area I live in so need to build up staff before they can take on patients. This meant that there were no contracted hours until it was well established and meant they would only be able to offer work here and there to start with. They rang me at home at 4.45pm to say they would love to offer me the job. I did not accept the offer. I would have loved the job but I need contracted hours. Still it's all good experience for doing interviews and I was quite chuffed I got offered the job even though I didn't accept it. 

Hope you all had a good day, bye for now.                

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Kitchen has finally arrived


Well, nearly all of it. We are short of 14 cupboard handles, plinths and I think something else that I can't remember at the moment. We should have had this delivery last Friday but they rang on Wednesday to say they were behind with deliveries so could they deliver Saturday. Hubby said they could if it was delivered before 1.00pm as we were going out. No, they could not deliver before then. Rescheduled for Tuesday. Hubby rang Monday to see what time delivery due to be told we have you for a delivery on Wednesday!   They rang him back to say okay, will deliver Tuesday. So it's finally arrived with missing bits on order to arrive, who knows when! Hubby will be rather busy this weekend fitting cupboards. We will get there in the end.

Treated myself to a lovely silver bangle today from the charity shop I volunteer in. It only cost me £2.20.

It was in it's original box and the box had a little card inside with the web site of the jewellers. I had a quick look at the site before leaving for work. Could not see the bangle I got on the site, then again the little card in the box said something about 2005 so the bangle will have been bought a few years ago. Similar bangles were selling for £70.00 - £90.00. I'm very pleased with my dainty cheap/expensive bangle.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Menu Week 23/05/11

MONDAY - Ratatouille & ham filled pancakes  with cheese sauce and pear sponge & custard
ME - Chive & cream cheese omelet, jacket potato and ratatouille

TUESDAY -Left over chicken,  vegetables, mashed potatoes, yorkshire puddings & gravy
ME - veggie sausages, vegetables, boiled new potatoes & gravy

WEDNESDAY - Fish pie, peas & carrots
ME - same

THURSDAY - Fragrant pork & rice one pot
ME - Same using veggie sausages

FRIDAY - Spaghetti bolognese with homemade garlic bread
ME -Tuna tomato sauce on spaghetti

SATURDAY - Chicken fajitas
ME - Tofu fajitas

SUNDAY - Not sure yet

Can't believe it's Monday again and meal planning time. Time passes too quickly!

Nice to be back to the normal routine again. I had a day of cooking and sorting the freezer out. The freezer is emptying nicely but I did have quite a few containers that have been sat in the freezer for centuries so I decided the clear out was today. I am normally very good at using up individual portions I store in the freezer but these were portions of stuff that did not taste that great first time round! Some experimental sag aloo got binned, 2 containers of mung beans with frost bite and a container of some sort of sauce I made which did not look that great. I got out the remainder of my runner beans I froze last summer which looked a bit frost bitten and these went in the dogs vegetables. Had a reshuffle of the contents of each drawer and the freezer is looking a lot tidier now.

I had a couple of chicken carcasses in the freezer which got used today to make a big pot of chicken stock. I also got a batch of Hotcross buns on the go in the bread maker. I made some cheese, onion and potato pasties for the girls lunches.

Took the dog for his usual walk but did not like walking in such strong winds. I hate walking by trees in strong winds in case a branch or the tree is blown down. Every time I came to a big tree me and the dog ran by it as fast as we could ha ha. After the walk I got on with preparing our tea. I made pancakes for our meal which were filled with some ham and ratatouille then placed in an ovenproof dish with some cheese sauce I made poured on top and a sprinkling of cheese.

I did not have this for my meal, too high calorie with me being on a diet. I had a chive & cream cheese omelet, jacket potato and ratatouille. I had some pears in the fridge which were past their best so decided to use them up in a dessert. I made a basic victoria sponge and used  this to top a cake tin with some caramel I just made in the bottom of it. On top of the caramel I placed peeled halved pears.

This was eaten with custard. Why do I make all these tempting foods when I've just started a diet?
Talking of diets, did the dreaded measuring of my bits this evening and it's not good. Did not get daughter to take a photo yet, might do that tomorrow. I won't be using the photo just yet, it's for me to compare my weight loss against each month.

Hope you all had a good day. See you tomorrow.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Normality Resumed

Everything back to normal now. Baby's out of hospital and all seems well. She's to return to hospital in 3 months to have some dye injected into her kidneys to double check they are still okay. She's a bit clingy at the moment which is understandable and her mum is still worrying over her but time will ease this. Thank you all for you kind messages, much appreciated.

We had another party to attend yesterday, my mother-in-law and father-in-laws 50th wedding anniversary. A big party was held at their house and lots of eating and drinking took place. I did not drink but I ate because I was driving and now all parties for the moment are done with I think I need to get my eating under control. I weighed myself this morning and I'm now 11st 9.5lb and at 5ft 6inch that's overweight. So, come tomorrow morning I shall be back to healthy eating and on that long road to loosing weight. It makes me unhappy being overweight and I'm getting to that stage again when I feel really frumpy and fat and unhappy. I'm going to keep posting my losses on my blog to keep me motivated. Think I'll get daughter to take a before photo of me later and I'm going to take my measurements too. 

Having a lazy day today. With everything that's been going on, looking after grandaughter No1 and a party yesterday I feel really tired today. Just a quick tidy round done, put a chicken in the slow cooker for dinner and I just need to iron work wear and uniform for tomorrow (will iron this later) Going to sit and watch a movie now, if I can stay awake.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Worrying Times

Just a short blog to let you know why I've not been blogging for a couple of days. Daughter No1 text me Tuesday evening before I started my night shift to tell me she had had granddaughter No2 to the doctors that day because she had not been right since Monday. Doctor told her to give baby calpol as it was a virus. Daughter was still concerned because baby was crying constantly and not eating and she just felt it was not right. I told her if she was really worried at all and got concerned to go to A&E. I text daughter Wednesday morning when I finished my shift, got no reply. Phoned, no reply so I instinctively knew baby was not well. Managed some sleep and when I woke daughter had left me a message that baby was in hospital with a urinary infection.  Urinary infections are a lot worse for babies and they were concerned that the infection might have damaged her kidneys.

Baby had a bad night with sickness and diarrhea because of the medication. she had a scan today to check her kidneys and they seem okay but baby not improving yet. I am looking after granddaughter No1 whilst her mum and dad are at the hospital all the time. So at the moment worried  and upset for baby granddaughter and busy looking after a very active 3 year old. Hopefully tomorrow will bring good news, fingers crossed.

Bye for now x

Monday, 16 May 2011

Menu Week 16/05/11

MONDAY - Savoury mince cobbler, steamed vegetables

TUESDAY - Salmon and pesto pasta bake & homemade garlic bread (using up leftover salmon from party & a jar of green pesto from hamper I got at christmas)

WEDNESDAY - Fish pie, peas and carrots (using more leftover salmon and some frozen fish from freezer)

THURSDAY - Casseroled chicken drummers, steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes and yorkshire   puddings (using drummers leftover from party)

FRIDAY - Egg, chips and beans with bread & butter

SATURDAY - At my parent-in-laws Golden Wedding Anniversary party

SUNDAY - not sure yet

Been in Leeds all day on a course so I put the slow cooker to work this morning  to do its stuff. Before I left I threw in the slow cooker 2 chopped onions, a few mushrooms I found in the freezer, 500g minced beef, a tin of tomatoes, a handful of red lentils and a beef stock cube dissolved in 500mls of hot water and a good grinding of black pepper and a dash of wostershire sauce. This was left all day on low and was just thickened with a few gravy granules and I threw in some sweetcorn when I returned home. Before I thickened the mince I removed a bowlful of the mince and saved this for making another meal.

Cheese scones were made and I cut these with a small cutter to place a layer on the mince which I had transfered to a suitable dish to go in the oven. After 20 minutes the mince cobbler was ready to serve with steamed broccoli and spring cabbage. I had the same but made mine with soya mince.

 Nipped to the shop this morning on the way to my course to get some broccoli, tinned tuna and a loaf. Living out of the freezer and fridge and cupboards this week to save money and use stuff up. Freezers emptying nicely and the fridge is starting to look a bit bare now. I'm going to make some ratatouille tomorrow which will use up a couple of courgettes and a couple of peppers I have. Not sure when to eat this so that can go in the freezer and I might make stuffed pancakes with it Sunday or Monday next week. If I do this I can use some more of the cheese in the freezer to make a cheese sauce to pour on the pancakes then bake them in the oven. 

Have you had a good Monday?

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Day Out

Shibden Hall
We had an afternoon out with the girls and our granddaughter's this afternoon to Shibden Hall Park  We have never been here before and it turned out to be a really nice place to visit. We only spent £2.00 on parking so it's a very frugal day out. Parking is only £1.00 on week days unless it's school holidays.

We arrived just before lunch so decided to have a little walk around then have our sandwiches. The weather was very breezy and it was quite chilly. The park would be great to lay a mat on the grass and have a picnic or if you wanted they had many picnic tables. We ended up having our picnic in the car! It was bloody cold after our walk round the lake and it began to drizzle a bit so eating in the car was thought to be the best option.

We went to the children's park which was very good and Granddaughter No1 loved it. We saw a group of brave people venture onto the rowing boats, think I'll leave that for a warmer day. We would have
stayed a lot longer if the weather had been better but we eventually set off home when it began to rain heavily. This is one to revisit on a warm day in the school holidays.

Have you been anywhere nice this weekend?

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Blogger Maintenance

Glad blogger have finished their maintenance. Don't know what they have done but they have lost some comments viewers gave me, they have disappeared! It also buggered up me posting on a couple of days! Hope that's the last of it!

Being it Saturday I have spent most of the day in bed with doing a night shift last night. Hubby went to collect daughter No3 from Xscape in Castleford late this afternoon because she had been on a day out there to celebrate one of her friends 13th birthday. Thirteen teenagers descended on Xscape to celebrate this! Hubby then ventured into Leeds from there to collect the granddaughters to bring to ours for the weekend. I had just woken up when he called upstairs that he was going to collect daughter from Leeds so I got up and decided at 3.45pm I had better stat sorting tea out.

Dinner tonight was pizza (shop bought and left over from party last week;" How could I "from daughter No3, sorry!) Homemade chips, homemade onion rings then homemade fruit crumble and a pot of double cream leftover from the party a week ago. The use by date was today I might add, but I take no notice of this. If it smells good, I'm sure it must still taste good!

So, today I am using up a lot of leftovers. The pizzas as I have mentioned. I also made onion rings which use bread crumbs which I made earlier in the week with leftover bread rolls from the party. The crumble was made with some rhubarb from the Aldi specials last week for 59p.

I also used up some raspberries that were reduced last week that I used for the party. Just goes to show you how use by dates are a load of kack. The raspberries were reduced last week and a week later they were still perfect and edible! After stewing the rhubarb with some sugar and a drop of orange juice I added the raspberries and I also found a few frozen berries in the freezer.

This was all popped into the oven with a nice crumble mix I made on top.

A nice crumble and double cream finished the meal with leftovers for tomorrow.

We all sat and watched the Eurovision Song Contest and cheered along Blue but we never had a chance against the Eastern Europeans all voting for their neighbouring countries. Well done Blue, you did better for our country than anyone has done for some years now.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

New neighbour

Goldfinch in nest
We have a tree outside daughter No3's bedroom window and every year a lovely little Goldfinch comes to nest in the tree. Last year we we're upset because a magpie came and took the two baby chicks out of the nest and ate them! I'm hoping we will get to see the chicks grow fully this year and watch them fly the nest because we don't seem to have any magpies around this year. Think I've only seen the odd one, strange, wonder what's happened to them.

 I have added an image of Goldfinches so you can see what they look like. The picture I took does not show clearly how they look.

Nipped into Aldi this morning to get some lemons and they have asparagus in at only £1.00 a bunch.

I shall have some tonight with butter for a starter. It's the only asparagus I've bought this year.

I have had a morning of cooking. Daughter No3 requested more lemon curd to be made after she finished the last jar this morning. We are now stocked up with 3 jars to keep her happy. I also made 2 baguettes today and a batch of hot cross buns. Nobody home for tea tonight except daughter No3 and myself so we are just having the pasta mentioned on my meal plan, nice and easy.


Just went into the garden and a big gust of wind blew the Goldfinch nest out of the tree and the eggs got smashed. Poor bird does not have much luck nesting in this tree. They do make their nest in a very precarious place, right near the top of a branch. End of bird watch here.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Menu plan swap around

Did not fancy the meal I planned for today so will swap with tomorrows chow mein. Only had to buy a pepper for the chow mein all other ingredients I have in. I have a bag of prawns open in the freezer for myself and daughter No3 to have with ours and hubby will have some leftover party chicken in his. He hates prawns, says they look like slugs ha ha.

I do make my own sauces but have in a chow mein sauce I will use up tonight.

A hearty healthy filling tea in minutes. Lovely.

We are slowly getting through the party leftovers. The girls took sandwiches with the sliced gammon today and a sausage roll I cooked when I had the oven on last night. I have a bag of sausage rolls I made in the freezer and can just pop a couple in the oven when it's on for their lunches.Today I bagged up lots of cheese for the freezer. I want to try and use a lot of the leftovers and anything else in the freezer over the next  couple of weeks. This will help with not spending money and also clear the freezer because it could do with a defrost (not a job I enjoy doing)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Menu Week 09/05/11

MONDAY - Salmon, prawn & rice cakes, peas and roasted new baby spuds

TUESDAY - Pork, mashed potatoes, vegetables and yorkshire puddings

WEDNESDAY - Ardennes Tourte, salad and new baby potatoes

THURSDAY - Prawn Chow Mein

FRIDAY - Tuna tomato sauce, pasta, cheese and home made garlic bread

SATURDAY - Pizza (bought for party but not used, in freezer) Wedges and home made coleslaw

SUNDAY - Chicken & ham in sauce over vegetable rice

Monday, 9 May 2011

Phew, what a busy weekend!

The Bride

Daughter No1 and her hubby arrived back in the UK Friday morning from Las Vegas. They had a great time but it was very stressful with two little ones. I was preparing food all day Friday in preparation of  the party on Saturday. My daughter and her hubby wore their wedding outfits to the party for a while so everyone could see the dress. Was going to post a picture of the happy couple but did not know how to turn the picture round on the computer. (I had taken a long photo) and my personal IT man (hubby) is working away today.

Well all the food turned out really well and I had a table full of goodies.
Wedding Buffet
I made all the desserts myself except the wedding cake and cupcakes. The chocolate fountain was a hit with all the children.
Chocolate Fountain
And guess what, I made too much food, just like I predicted. So we have been eating leftovers and today I decided to tackle the fridges and get rid of everything because I am sick of looking at food. Chicken drummers were portioned up and frozen for packed lunches. The gammon was portioned into bags for sandwiches and frozen.
I stripped the salmon off the bone (hardly any of the salmon was eaten) and froze three large portions of this and saved a forth portion to use for tea. The leftover prawns are to be used for tea and I bagged the cured meats.
Leftover cured meats
These were frozen and will be used for pizza toppings. I had loads of bread rolls left over and they were a bit stale.
Leftover bread rolls
I whizzed loads into breadcrumbs and stored in a bag in the freezer. Some were used for tea tonight. I also saved some of the rolls whole and froze them too. I will refresh them by quickly running water over them then wrap in foil and reheat in oven. They come out a lot fresher and soft.

So tea tonight was, leftover rice salad mixed with a beaten egg, lemon zest, parsley, prawns and salmon.

I rolled a handful of mixture into balls and coated with beaten egg then rolled in breadcrumbs and shallow fried.
Meal from leftovers
We had the salmon and prawn rice cakes with leftover potatoes which I roasted in the oven with a little oil drizzled over. The Salmon and prawn cakes turned out really well. They had a lovely slight lemon taste because of the zest I put in them. So I have a freezer still stuffed with lots of leftovers. I could not bear another leftover meal tomorrow so I nipped to Aldi this morning to get some fresh veg and some pork steaks and shall make a nice dinner tomorrow.

It was a very tiring weekend but very enjoyable and lovely to see everyone enjoying themselves. I'm in no rush to do it again for a while yet!

Bye for now x

Just found out Jo from   nominated me for this blog award. It's lovely to receive my first award and makes me happy that someone out there likes reading my ramblings. Thank you Jo. The rule is that I must be passed on to blogs with less than a 100 followers. I would like to nominate Miss piggy Bank,  She's not been blogging long but I really enjoy reading her blog.

Thursday, 5 May 2011


Hi all, just a quick line to say, I'm  just sat in bed with my lap top and a glass of the red stuff in hand. I am knackered! Not posted for a few days with being so busy. I have spent a lot today doing a shop in Aldi and a shop in Tesco for the party. Thank god I have my new integrated fridge to use as well as my old upright fridge.   So much food and no where to put it. Spending tomorrow preparing as much of the food that I can. I shall be cooking the gammon's and the salmon and cooking 3 chickens to remove the breasts for slicing and then picking all the rest of the meat off the bones to make coronation chicken. Hubby's got the day off work to help me tomorrow. He will be on cleaning duties whilst I do cooking. I shall finish my glass of wine whilst browsing a few of your blogs then retire with my alarm set nice and early for my busy prep day tomorrow.

Night all x

Monday, 2 May 2011

Menu Week 02/05/11

Meal planning is up in the air this week. Been so busy with DIY and sorting things for the party I have not had a chance to menu plan. I nipped into Aldi yesterday and bought a chicken so I will start the plan with a couple of chicken dishes.

MONDAY - Roast chicken, wedges, homemade coleslaw & salad

TUESDAY -  Omelet, chips & beans

WEDNESDAY - Leftover roast chicken in sauce on vegetable rice

THURSDAY -Leftover lasagne, salad & wedges


SATURDAY - wedding party!


So today I shall be busy cleaning the living room carpet. I shall dig the carpet cleaner out of the back of the garage and get this job done first. It's supposed to be a lovely day again so the sunshine shining through the living room window will dry the carpets quickly.

I may clean the dog too. Not with the carpet cleaner I might add! I shall give him a shower because he's a bit whiffy at the moment and he can lay in the sunshine and dry off.

I've a few bits of DIY I want to finish then I shall tackle a mound of ironing  this afternoon. What an exciting way to spend the bank holiday! Again!

Hope you all have a great bank holiday doing nice things.