Monday, 28 November 2011

Menu Week 28/11/11

MONDAY - Leftover different types of casseroles from freezer, roast potatoes, peas and Yorkshire puddings

TUESDAY - Sausage & mushroom crumble, peas and broccoli

WEDNESDAY - Homemade beef burgers, chips and homemade coleslaw

THURSDAY - Roast chicken, sage & onion stuffing, Yorkshire puddings, mash and vegetables

FRIDAY - Spanish rice (using leftover chicken)

SATURDAY - Homemade lamb doner kebab, pitta salad, white kebab sauce & chips

SUNDAY - Sausage, mash, vegetables & onion gravy

Had a search on google this afternoon looking for budget meals. I printed a few off that I thought the family might like and planned a couple into this weeks menu. So two new dishes will be tried, one tomorrow and one on Friday. Before I hit the supermarket I called into a local family butchers near us and bought 1kg of pork sausages. I know sounds a lot of sausages but we will have some tomorrow and some on Sunday. I shall leave 3 out for daughter No2's boyfriend for a sandwich when he finishes football training on Thursday. If there are any sausages left, which I doubt, they will be frozen. I also called into the farm shop and bought a half sack, 12.5kg of potatoes for £2.70.

I went with my list of everything I need for the week and stuck to it. I shall have to return to the supermarket later in the week though. I wanted some minced lamb and Tesco had none left on the shelves. I know I could have bought some in the butchers but it is a lot more expensive there and I cannot afford it this week. Also Tesco had no hard water Yorkshire T-bags left on the shelf so shall be going back for these items Friday.  I did fail to stick to my shopping list with one item though. Soap. We don't use much soap. Think I use it the most in the shower. Can't do with shower gel but the others use it. So when I saw the bargain price of 15p for two bars of soap I had to try it.

I was really pleased with my cheap soap when I tried it in the shower tonight. It lathered well and had a nice light smell. Shall definitely be buying this again.

After our evening meal I made some pastry, not too much, to line two small foil cases to make a quiche for daughters lunch tomorrow.   Sauteed a little onion and a bit of bacon then added this to the pastry case with a couple of cherry tomatoes chopped up and some grated cheese. The second  pastry case I froze for another day. With the leftover pastry I made a jam tart with some homemade blackberry jam. I've also boiled a gammon then roasted it with honey which will be sliced for sandwiches for the week. I found a pepper starting to go wrinkly in the fridge today so chopped it up and popped it into a container and into the freezer. Shall use this in a recipe I am making on Friday. Had a productive day really. Hope weather hold out for me to get in the garden tomorrow and do a bit of garden tidying.

Have you had a productive day today?
See you tomorrow x

Thursday, 24 November 2011

All done

Thank goodness I've finished all my mandatory training for this year today. I'm sure they'll find some other course that they want me to do before I start all over again with my mandatory training next Oct - Nov 2012. I hate training days. They take up such a lot of my personal time. I work nights but training sessions are always in the day time but I do get lieu time for going in.Threw some chicken legs in the slow cooker before I left for the course so tea was rustled up in no time when I got home.

Really looking forward to watching the new series on Channel 4 tonight at 9.00pm, Living with the Amish. I'm fascinated by these people. They live such simplistic lifestyles and I'm sure it will appeal to so many people these days who yearn for a simple frugal life.

Just realised it's on in 15 minutes so I'm off to jump in the shower before it's on. Might come back to let you know what I thought of it.

Loved the programme. My girls watched it too. They watch all the Amish programmes that are on because they are fascinated by them too.  They are very quiet people but are very genuine and welcoming. I love how no technology enters their lives. No TV, no computers, no phones. The teenagers who went to experience Amish life did not even miss their technology because they were so busy. I think this is where we are going wrong. Kids don't have enough to occupy them these days so they rely on TV, mobiles, hanging on street corners and computer games to entertain them. Not once did the teenagers on the programme mention their phone or missing a TV. It's because they were occupied and busy with all the chores.

My 17 year old daughter could not believe a girl her age on the programme had never wash a pot in her life and did not know how to sweep the floor. It's not the girls fault, it's her mothers. I do let my girls off with  a lot of stuff but they do have certain jobs that must be done like washing up, taking rubbish out, filling and emptying the dishwasher ,dog walking, tidying up after themselves and attending to their own rooms. I think if kids had such busy lives as the Amish there would not be as much youth trouble as there is in society today. Can't wait to watch next weeks installment.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

How much!

Nipped into Tesco this morning because I really needed some mayo for packups and Hubby wanted some deodorant. Thought I'd buy a tin of Tescos value tuna chunks for sandwiches but did not even bother picking the tin up when I saw the price. Bought some maybe 10 days ago and a tin was 55p, today they were 66p! Stuff paying that . Will look in Aldi next time I'm in there as they were selling them at 55p at tin.

I bought 4 of the little Lindt bear chocolates in Tesco to make  little chocolate bags for the grandaughters. The bears were 50p each or 4 for £1.00 so I bought 4. I put them with some chocolate lollies I bought for £2.00 for 6 at the weekend and a bag of chocolate coins which were 75p.

Popped them into two little bags and tied with ribbon. Two little bags of chocolate for two little girls this Christmas.

Whilst in Tesco I used my £12 of vouchers they sent me towards a turkey for Christmas and I also bought a rather large pork loin joint which they had on offer so they are both in the freezer now for Christmas. The rest of the bill was taken out of my Christmas food money. Every month we save into a separate account just for Christmas so we have enough money every year to cover Christmas presents, food and drink. I remember those years oh so well when we never saved for Christmas and just put everything on Visa and then spent half the year clearing the bloody debt. Never again . No debt for us once Christmas is finished.

Cleared a spicy Thai bean burger out of the freezer for my lunch which I had in a breadcake with sweet chilli sauce , also from the freezer. Nothing else coming out of the freezer today. Our evening meal will be pasta and a tomato sauce with cheese. I have just made some bread to turn into garlic bread to have with the pasta. Will make extra pasta so daughter No3 can take pasta to school tomorrow for lunch. Also just boiled some eggs to make egg mayo for my sandwich for work tonight and for Hubby if he wants it for his sandwich tomorrow.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Inventory of all food

This morning did an inventory of all the food in my cupboards, fridge and freezer. Going to try and use as much as I can from what I have and only shop for a few  things we really need. I want to clear the freezer of food to make a little space for anything I make for Christmas and to stash the turkey when I buy it. I'll cross anything I use from my list as I use it. Tonight I'm using up a tub of pork in mushroom sauce that was left over from a meal the other week. To make it stretch to two I am turning it into a pork and mushroom pie. Got plenty of flour and fats to made some pastry

I then added the pork mixture which I had thawed.

I then popped on a lid of pastry and in the oven it went. That's where the pictures end. I was going to show you the finished product but something happened with the camera after I uploaded this last picture so, it got eaten without a picture being taken.   With the scraps of leftover pastry I wrapped a couple of veggie sausages with some chopped onion inside and these were for me. We had these with mash and four different vegetables.

After our meal Hubby asked where the camera was because he wanted to take a picture. I told him the camera had locked up so didn't think he would be able to use it. Hubby sorted the camera out and told me he wanted to take a passport photo of himself because he was not going to pay a fiver for some done in a booth. He needed a passport sized photo for a safety course he's to go on this week. Anyway after some fiddling with the computer and using some photography paper we have had for years he had his photos. A fiver saved.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Hello Friends

Hello everyone and can I just say, thank you all for your lovely comments over the last week. Much appreciated.

Don't know where to begin. Not going to dwell on why I've been away. Things still need sorting. What I am faced with is a deluge of food. Upon my return home I thought I had better call into the supermarket first and stock up on some shopping. I spent about £40.00 on a good amount of food that would make food for us for at least five days with stuff for lunches too. On arrival home Daughter No2 was home and informed me they had all gone shopping last night. I looked in the fridges and cupboards to find we had nearly duplicated a lot of the shopping. I have so much veg, cheese and meat I am going to have to get my thinking hat on and start menu planning a lot of extra veg into our meals over the next week.

Not going to waste any of the food and shall be creating more veg based meals to make best use of all this food. Hopefully we can eat for quite a while on what we have in and I hope to not shop for quite a lot of days. Hopefully not until pay day. I also want to use up as much as I can from the freezer to free some space for the Christmas turkey. I also want freezer space for all the food I am going to start preparing for the festive season. I have a lot of tried and tested desserts that freeze really well so need the space for these.

I spent this evening at the dining table writing my Christmas cards. All done except the personal family cards which I shall buy Friday in The Card Factory. They are so cheap in this shop and save us a fortune compared to buying in a top name card shop. I also got a pile of presents wrapped. I've made my Christmas list for Santa! "All I want for Christmas is" a pile of cookery books. I've made my list of books. I've sourced the cheapest place to buy them all (Amazon) and the list is on it's way to Hubby. I love my cookery books and only indulge at Christmas when other people can buy them for me. Ordered a couple more presents today off the Internet. Two personalised books for our niece and nephew. The books are  printed with the child's name and friends names, birthdays and where they live into the stories. I thought they were a bit different to the usual gifts and I'm sure the kids will love to have a book with themselves in it.

Feel like I'm nearly sorted for Christmas now and that's a good feeling!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Happy 1st Anniversary

 Happy 1st Anniversary to my blog. Time passes so quickly. Does not feel like a year since I first took tentative steps to start a blog. I'm so glad I did. Feels like I have a whole bunch of lovely friends out there, we just never get to meet up.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Sorry not been posting

Shall resume shortly. Not at home at the moment. Took myself off on my own for some thinking and sorting time. My heads not into blogging over the last few days. I'm in a little rented flat on the coast and it's lovely only having to think about myself but I do miss my family but I need this time to sort my head out. Normality will resume shortly so don't give up on me yet, please. : (

PS thanks for following my new followers. Much appreciated.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Menu Week 07/11/11

MONDAY - Baked coley with a herb citrus crust, potatoes, vegetables and parsley sauce

TUESDAY - Sausage & liver and onion gravy, mash, cabbage & carrots

WEDNESDAY - Beef casserole, Yorkshire puddings and mash

THURSDAY - Egg, chips and beans

FRIDAY - Salmon fishcakes, wedges and coleslaw

SATURDAY - Homemade doner kebab, pitta salad and white kebab sauce

SUNDAY - Not sure yet

Well the time came to put the heating on. Quite pleased we went so long without it but it's been on for a few days now.

Daughter No3 tried on her coat from last winter this morning. The sleeves were short and it was not a good fit with the blazer being a bigger size this year. So off we went to town when she finished school. We went in New Look and she found a black 3/4 length jacket for £39.99. We went into another shop and she found a jacket she liked more so we bought that one too. It cost £36.00 but had a label on saying £10.00 off so we got it for £26.00, bargain. I shall take the expensive jacket back tomorrow when I go to do my voluntary job. Need to take daughter No2 now and find her a winter jacket, hope we can find as good a bargain for her

Saturday, 5 November 2011

M5 Crash

Lets take a moment to think of all the people who have lost their lives or nearly did because of the M5 motorway crash. 7 dead so far and 51 injured in the 34 car pile up on the M5. My god, how those families must be feeling! Does not bear thinking about. I have been following this story all day.


Thursday, 3 November 2011


Finally got some of the trees pruned today. Watched the weather forecast when eating my breakfast and it looked glum so thought I'd better get on with the job straight away. After taking the dog for his morning walk I got the ladders out and got straight on with the job. The blossom tree was stripped of most of its branches and will benefit from this drastic pruning as it has not been done in the last five and a half years we have lived here. I then chopped all the branches into small pieces to go in my compost wheelie bin which the council collect every other week. This is then turned into compost for the local farmers to use. The one tree nearly filled the bin. I saved thicker branches to give to sister-in-law for fire wood.

I then started on the three lilac trees of our neighbour. They are down the boundary of our properties and encroach on my garden and are a pain as I catch my car wing mirror on them so I was ruthless and chopped all the branches that came into my garden. Again theses were chopped small to fit in the recycle bin. I only have another tree to prune now so shall leave it until my bin is emptied then I shall fill it again with tree branches.

I love the fact we have a bin for garden waste to be recycled. When we lived in the city this was not done. I just love the fact that I am recycling and helping farmers grow what we eat. It saves us having to fill our car with garden waste and drive to a tip with it. Saves fuel and time and land fill space.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

My version, seafood paella

Really fancied a seafood paella this week but seafood can be expensive. I bought a bag of mixed frozen seafood from Aldi which cost £2.99 for a 500g bag.
It had a good mix of squid, mussels, prawns and plenty of king prawns. I only used about 1/3 of the packet for two of us. Paella uses saffron as one of the main ingredients but I can't afford saffron so made do with a bit of turmeric to add the yellow colour.

Seafood paella (my easy cheaper version)

1 tbsp olive oil
onion, chopped
Red pepper, chopped
clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp paprika
Plenty of hot stock
Paella rice or risotto rice
Mixed seafood
Frozen peas
Juice 1/2 lemon
Parsley, chopped
Salt & pepper

I cooked the onion, pepper and garlic in the oil over a low heat for 5 minutes.
Add the paprika, turmeric (or saffron) and the rice and cook for a minute.
Add some stock to cover and keep giving it a stir adding more stock as it's absorbed until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
Add some frozen peas and cook for a few minutes.
Add the mixed seafood, parsley, lemon juice and season. Heat through until seafood is just hot. Cooking any longer will make the seafood chewy and tough.

Not given any quantities. Just add whatever amount you fancy for however many people you are feeding. A really good stock will give it a good flavour.  I think it made a lovely colourful bowl of food.

Nothing much happening here today. Spent part of the day sleeping as I worked last night. Washing still getting hung in the garden to dry as the weather is still lovely for the time of year. I plan to have a busier day tomorrow. Want to attempt to cut the trees I planned to do last week but got rained off the day I wanted to do it so hopefully will get this sorted tomorrow.

Plenty of packages been delivered this week full of Christmas presents. This is the way I like to Christmas shop, on the Internet, no crowded shops, no wasting petrol and free delivery for all the gifts I got delivered this week. Another job I must do tomorrow is to go in the loft space over the garage and find my Christmas cards. I usually buy them in the sales in January then stash them away with the Christmas decorations so must find them tomorrow to check I've got enough. If I have time I might try printing some of my brown wrapping paper tomorrow too.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Just a short one

I'm setting off for work very soon so just a short blog today. I saw daughters boyfriend today when I went to pick her up from his house. He looked a bit under the weather and was still in shock and in a lot of discomfort but at least he's alive. He booked his driving test today. I think this has really scared him and he wants to get rid of the bike.

I made chicken, sweetcorn and mayo sandwiches this morning for daughters packup and needed to open a new tin of sweetcorn. When I only need a bit of sweetcorn for something what I do is drain the can then portion the sweetcorn into small containers.

I pop these containers in the freezer so whenever I need a bit of corn I just have to defrost a small pot and I am not wasting any food.

Forgot to show you my bargain shoes I got at my charity shop last Friday.

These are my glam shoes for over christmas. A bargain at £3.75 and they are nearly perfect. I think someone bought them for a special occasion and only wore them the once they are that new.

Got to go now. Bye