Thursday, 29 September 2011

Too hot!

I'm sprawled on my bed blogging and trying to keep cool. Can't believe this mini heatwave we're having. My feet are burning hot and I'm contemplating running an inch or two of cold water in the bath and dipping my feet in to cool them. We ate our evening meal in the garden today because the weather was so gorgeous and it was lovely. Decided to have the roast chicken. I bashed two cloves of garlic and slid them under the skin with a knob of butter and placed half an onion in the chicken cavity to roast. It gave the chicken a subtle garlic taste. They had the chicken with homemade coleslaw and a mixed salad with roasted peppers and sauteed potatoes. I made a cheese and pesto loaf to have with dinner too.
I spread red pesto over half the dough and sprinkled on a layer of cheese then folded this over and sealed the edge.
It was a really nice loaf to have with our meal. Left over chicken now mixed with mayo and sweetcorn and in sandwiches for the girls tomorrow.
Well, I can't stand it any longer. Off to cool my feet!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Present time

Every month seems to have some family members birthday in it. Yesterday was daughter No1's 27th birthday. Happy Birthday daughter No 1. Did not go on blog yesterday due to time restrictions but she did have a personal birthday greeting yesterday.

Looked at the calendar for Octobers birthdays and we have three family birthdays in this month. The two which are due on the 2nd and the 12th are our nephew and sister/sister-in-law. I take responsibility for both sides of the family's gift and card buying. Hubby seems to think I took this responsibility on once I married him. He never  buys any cards or gifts for any of his family. I buy every mothers day/fathers day/parental anniversary gift/cousin/auntie/god knows who card/gift going and it piss's me off! It pissed me off so much I made him buy his mother's birthday present in September. My god, he was flummoxed. He was going to just get her a gardening voucher, fine but not a lot of thought going into that. An easy way out if you ask me. I told him to ask his mum if there was any thing she would like for her birthday. He called her and she said she would actually like some nail polish and a new nightdress. She gave him her size and the colours she would like in nail polish. Easy you would think. Ho no, not for my Hubby.

I was in the middle of putting my weekly shopping on the conveyor belt in Tesco when my mobile phone rang. It was hubby, what sort of nightie should I buy my mum? he asked. I told him not a flannelet old ladies nightie and to make a decision himself, I was at the checkout with my shopping! and to get a gift receipt  with what ever he bought. A gift receipt is a receipt that does not show the price of the item bought but does allow the the person who received the gift to exchange it for something else without the card holder who paid for their gift on their card being present. I still don't know to this day if my mother-in-law liked the nightie her son bought her and if she exchanged it. I did not like the nightie!
 So realising it was our nephews birthday and his sister's/ my sister-in-laws birthdays very shortly I thought I had better get something sorted. I was about 20 minutes from walking out the door to go to my voluntary job and thought, Amazon! I love Amazon. They have free delivery and they sell everything. Sister-in-law loves her baths so I looked up beauty products and bought her some lovely bath bombs for just £10.00 for a box of six. We shall give her these with a  bottle of wine. Sorted.

For nephew who will be 3 years old I thought about what he likes and he really likes cars. I looked on Amazon but they really did not seem to have what I was looking for so I went to Tesco Direct. I bought a pack of 10 Tesco cars  and a pack of  5 Hot wheel cars for £10.44 with free delivery.  Because I had them delivered to my local Tesco store to pick up I don't have to pay delivery. Done!. Bought their cards in The Card Factory which cost pennies. I'm happy.

We set a budget for all the families birthdays/mother's day/father's day gifts to an acceptable amount that we can cope with. Sister this year  will get about £14.00 and nephew £10.00.  It's not the amount you spend that counts but giving them a gift that is appropriate to them and you know they will use. I hate receiving gifts that have no thought to them and are things I will not use. It is a waste of the givers money and I just end up recycling the gift by giving it to someone who will appreciate it or donating it to a good cause. As I have said my sister-in-law loves her smelly baths and she loves a bottle of wine so I know these gifts will be appreciated.

Am I going to challenge Hubby again?  Course I am. He can get his dad's birthday present which is in February 2012. He's got plenty of time to think about what to get him, hehe.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Menu Week 26/09/11

  • Italian meatloaf, mashed potatoes, vegetables and gravy
  • Egg, chips and beans
  • Roast chicken, homemade coleslaw, jacket potatoes, corn-on-cob & salad
  • Chicken/prawn stir-fry and noodles
  • Sausage, mash, veg and onion gravy 
  • Spiced lamb burgers/veggie burgers with herbed yoghurt, wedges & salad
  • Casseroled chicken, Yorkshire puddings  & vegetables
Not allocating a meal to a specific day as daughter No2's boyfriend stays for meals one to two nights a week and I need to do meals that he will eat on days he's here. I've got everything in to make these meals this week.

On our daily walk Sherlock likes to stop in the farmers field and harvest a carrot or two. He'd stay in the carrot field all afternoon if I let him. He loves carrots.

click on the picture to enlarge
Can you spot the snake in the water? It's in the centre of the picture just near the bank. There were two of them swimming along the bank today. They are very common around here and are young grass snakes and were about 12-14 inches long.  I did a couple of years ago see a rather large snake slither across a path we were walking along. I also nearly stepped on quite a large snake when walking along a track. It was curled up and looked to be in a deep sleep or maybe it was unwell because it did not feel me approaching until I nearly stood on it.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Annoyed with myself

End of June my car insurance needed renewing. I changed companies and sent a copy of my insurance certificate to my work. Got a call from work the other week saying they had just checked my insurance certificate and I had not got the correct cover, I needed business use adding to it. I thought I'd double checked everything when I took out the insurance but obviously not. So yesterday I rang my insurance company to get business use added to my insurance. Quick, easy and only an extra £3.00 on my premium for the year. THEN the clincher. We will be charging an administration fee of £25.00! For what? Tapping a few buttons. If I rang up to make a claim they would not charge me for tapping some buttons and there would be a hell of a lot more work and time involved if I made a claim on my insurance. Money grabbing b******s! So now I need to find £25.00 which I will have to take out of my car account stash which I like to build up for work that might need to be done. You live and learn.    

Thursday, 22 September 2011

A morning in my life

Thanks to all who took the time to view my blog. Sorry not much new to read over the last couple of days. Daughter No3 got me thinking with her comment yesterday that once I'd done a bit of this and a bit of that I could have the rest of the day to myself. If only. There never seems to be enough hours in a day for me. So I thought I'd show her what I get up to in a section of my day while she is at school.

7.20am - Got up and stripped the bed.

Got myself dressed and ready then loaded the washing machine with a load of whites and set to wash.
Measured out dogs food for the day then made dogs breakfast.

Made daughters pack up
Then I turned into a hairdresser.
Had to transform this frizz bomb into....

these smooth locks. Then onto making breakfast for us.
After breakfast it was to the compost bin with yesterdays veg and fruit scraps and into the compost bin they went.
Then to the front garden with the recycle bins because today is collection day.
I then took Sherlock for his morning walk.
Back to wash the breakfast pots.
Hung out the whites to dry.
Then cleaned the downstairs shower room and the upstairs bathroom. Then onto Daughter No3's bedroom to strip her bed and change her summer quilt for a winter quilt. Onto my room to make
my bed and collect a second load for the washing machine and empty waste bins.
10.00am - Time for a tea break and a quick look at my online banking. So daughter of mine this is a couple of hours so far in my day. On with the ironing next! Won't bore you all with my whole day hehe. Just wanted daughter to see how much gets crammed into a few hours of my day.

Daughter No2's treat

Daughter No2 never shows much interest in cooking but tonight after tea she asked if she could make an apple pie. Not one to discourage any cooker learning in my house I told her to get on with it. Out came the Be-Ro book for the pastry recipe and we both prepared a big pan of granny smiths to cook.   ( these were the apples we were given by an elderly friend the other week)  She did it all herself and with extra pastry left made a jam tart with some quince jam we had in the cupboard.

She then toddled off to the village shop to get some ice-cream to have with it but they didn't have any so she brought back some double cream which she whipped up and we had a lovely supper of apple pie and cream. Yummy it was too.

Whilst daughter made her pie I sliced a gammon I had boiled just before tea.

I got lots of meat for sandwiches over the weekend. I also used some leftover chicken to make a sandwich filling for the girls tomorrow of chicken, sweetcorn and mayonnaise. I made enough for 3 sandwiches so there's enough if Hubby wants one for work too. A rather productive  and enjoyable day.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Menu Week 19/09/11

MONDAY - Sausage, bacon, potato cakes, mushrooms, tomatoes and egg ( fry up but grilled)

TUESDAY -Roast pork, apple sauce, Yorkshire puddings, mashed potato and vegetables

WEDNESDAY - Pasta bolognese and homemade garlic bread

THURSDAY - Roast chicken, roasted potatoes, vegetables and Yorkshire puddings

FRIDAY - Left over chicken curry, rice and naan bread

SATURDAY - Homemade southern fried chicken, wedges, corn-on-the-cob and coleslaw

SUNDAY - Don't know yet


Sorry been AWOL. Don't know where the time goes, been so busy. Had a day of catchup with having the grandchildren this weekend. Nothing ever gets done when they are here and the house always looks like a bombs hit it. This is my first sit down of the day (apart from eating my evening meal) so shall do a quick blog then have a read of some blogs.

Still no heating on here. If I get chilly I put my thick dressing gown on or wrap myself in a fleece. I'm loving the dark evenings. Are you still holding out from putting the heating on or have you succumbed?

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Horrible Job

Hate defrosting the freezer, it's a horrible job! Did not get around to defrosting it last weekend so got on with the job today. It took ages. I had 3 bowls with boiling water in them which I placed on the shelves of the freezer. As it started to thaw I then had loads of water dripping to the bottom of the freezer which had to be wiped up fast. I had bath towels on the floor catching water that was escaping. Got through a total of 3 towels. In between all this mopping up I had to keep boiling water to replace water that had gone cold. FINALLY!
I had a lovely clean frost free freezer. It's quite empty now so some of the drawers are empty, to not waste energy I stuff pillows in the empty drawers. A freezer works more efficiently if it's full.

I have had a very busy day with giving the house a good clean. Bedding changed on one of the double beds. Got two loads of washing done because it was a lovely warm day. Made pizza bases and part cooked them then froze them for our meal on Saturday.

I also cleaned the dog! Boy did he smell. So with it being a lovely warm day I took him into the downstairs shower room and gave him a lovely warm shower complete with lovely smelly stuff. He was not really enjoying the pampering session. It amazes me how he will jump in lakes and smelly dikes quite happily but needs to be dragged under the shower. The end result was a lovely clean and fresh smelling dog.
  One wet dog enjoying his treat for being good in the shower.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Menu Week 12/09/11

MONDAY - Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, vegetables and gravy

TUESDAY -Battered fish, chips and mushy peas

WEDNESDAY - Beef casserole, Mashed potatoes and vegetables

THURSDAY - Summer in winter chicken casserole & vegetable rice

FRIDAY -Fish in butter sauce, potatoes green beans and carrots

SATURDAY - Homemade pizza, chips and homemade coleslaw

SUNDAY - not sure yet

Took my car to the next village to us for it's MOT this morning. Walked home as it's only a mile away and arrived back very windswept and hot. I'd gone prepared with walking boots on and a waterproof coat to discover it was very mild today. Anyway, my car passed with flying colours so walked the mile back to pick my car up. This time I only wore a cardigan and took the dog with me so he could get a walk. Gosh the wind was a lot stronger than this morning. I arrived at the garage looking like I'd been dragged through a hedge backwards! So pleased my car passed it's test as it's 7 years old this month. Don't have to worry about it for another year now.

Well with all these strong winds my washing is getting dry super quick. Shall start to bring it in and get the lot ironed and out of the way. Might even mow the lawns if the ironing doesn't take too long.

Daughter No3 just arrived home from school and informed me some fencing between us and our neighbour has been blown down and the Birch tree has snapped.
Lets hope we don't get too much more damage. The wind seems to be getting stronger.

Bye for now x

Sunday, 11 September 2011


Hubby went to help an elderly friend to pick Bramley apples off his tree and came home with these..

They only picked about a 1/3 of the apples off the tree and Hubby was rewarded with a bag full of apples and some cherry tomatoes. So it looks like I will be busy cooking lots of apple to go in the freezer for apple pies and crumbles, yum. Been picking more blackberries today too. They are washed, frozen and bagged with the others I have picked ready to make some blackberry jelly some time.

For our evening meal I made this recipe I only added 2 onions because I thought 4 seemed quite a lot of onion. I added 2 extra peppers they were Aldi's super 6 last week, 3 peppers for 69p. I also threw in a courgette from the garden. It was really nice, we all liked it but I forgot to take a picture before we ate it.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Autumn TV

I love autumn. All the good programmes are on the TV. Saturday is my favourite TV night this time of the year. Strictly come dancing, The X Factor. Downton Abbey and Spooks is back next week too. 
 What a selection! Can't beat snuggling under a blanket watching my fave programmes whilst it's dark and miserable outside.

I got a bargain today at the charity shop. A large gravy boat in perfect condition for £1.00. This will be great at Christmas

for the gravy as my gravy boat is quite small and I have to keep constantly filling it up. So this is a very useful bargain which will get used.

Well lots of expense on my car over the next few days. Tomorrow Hubby will take my car to get two new tyres and see if a puncture can be repaired. I'm having to have the tyres done because the car goes in for it's MOT on Monday and Hubby said the tyres won't pass the test. Also having a service on the car whilst it's in for the MOT so dreading the cost of all this because I know there will be some jobs that need doing for the car to pass its MOT.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Just a quick one

Sorry I've been a bit crap with blogging this week. I love blogging but I think you can get a bit carried away with it so made myself not blog or read blogs this week so I could actually get some work done around the house. I would have come on tonight but I got caught up in doing myself a CV and it took me hours! Got so fed up with it I have saved it until tomorrow and shall check it through then.

The freezer challenge is going okay but I know I shall have a lot left to try and keep cold whilst I defrost the freezer. I usually fill my insulated shopping bag with food and then wrap the rest in a quilt and then hurry with bowls of hot water to defrost the freezer before anything starts to thaw.

This was a bowl of assorted cake and muffin oddments I dug out from the freezer to use up as a dessert. We had these warmed with custard and very nice they were. Hopefully shall be back tomorrow. Until then, night night.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Menu Week 05/09/11

MONDAY - Pork/prawn stir fry & noodles

TUESDAY - Leftover chicken dinner

WEDNESDAY - Fragrant pork & rice one pot and homemade bread

THURSDAY - Egg, chips and beans. Pudding

FRIDAY - Spaghetti bolognese and homemade garlic bread

SATURDAY -Homemade beef burgers, wedges, homemade coleslaw & corn-on-the-cob

SUNDAY - Not sure yet

This week I want to clear a lot from the freezer and get it defrosted. So for our meal tonight I am using a piece of pork from the freezer which will be sliced up and used in hubby's stir fry and daughter No3 and myself will have prawns, also in the freezer. Wednesday will use up some sausages from the freezer and some chicken stock. Thursday's pudding will be oddments of cakes that have been in the freezer from packed lunch cakes warmed up and eaten with some custard. Friday will use up two and a half tubs of leftover bolognese sauce. Saturday will use up a veggie bean burger for myself and some corn-on-the-cob which just leaves Sunday. I want to see what's left and make a concoction of some sort and then shall get the freezer defrosted. Anything that's left will be wrapped in a quilt whilst I run around with bowls of hot water defrosting the freezer as fast as I can.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Rid myself of more courgettes

Been thinking about next weeks menu plan and thought I would have a quick look in the freezer to see what I actually have in. I want September to be a totally clear month and no extra expense so want to use up a lot in cupboards and the freezer to save cash. Well, the time has come to really deal with the freezer.

My drawers are so difficult to open because of a thick layer of ice above and below each drawer. So I am definitely clearing out the freezer and getting it defrosted by next weekend. It's just one of those jobs I know everyone hates doing, me included, but I shall have to get on with the nasty job. 

Today I've used up a kilo of my home grown courgettes to make ...


I added a home grown chilli instead of the recipes dried chilli and I added two cloves of garlic because I like garlic.
I let mine bubble away for just over an hour. The recipe said 45 minutes but i felt it was too wet so cooked for longer.
I ended up with 5 jars of chutney to put away for a few months to mature. I had a little taste and it's got a good kick with the chilli I added.

Had a nice day doing some gardening and enjoying being outside with the day being so nice for a change. We even had our evening meal in the garden. Thought we had better eat outside while we can because I don't think we will have too many more great days left. So we had tonight, mushroom risotto,chicken in a parmesan & herb crumb and a salad.
Hope you all enjoyed the sun today.
Bye for now x