Showing posts with label sausages. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sausages. Show all posts

Monday, 2 November 2015

Meal Planning Monday

It feels a bit like Autumn sidled out the door last night - we woke up to a second morning of fog and a distinct snap in the air. Not impressed as it means no more drying washing outside this week. Mind you I don't know where I think I'd get the time as I'm going to catch myself on the way back this week.

Breakfasts - Everyone got back on the porridge wagon yesterday. So that's it now until March pretty much! I'm still grating apple into mine and Harry has sultanas in his.

Lunches - we've got enough of this soup left for today - then I've got some Pumpkin leftover from the weekend. I think I'll mix up some more parsnips, carrots, onion and sweet potato and add the leftover Pumpkin to vary what we had last week. I'll keep the spicing the same though.


Monday: I've got some chicken defrosted that needs using up so this I'm going to make a variation on this Squash and chicken one pot recipe from from BBC using quinoa (as that's what I've got in) and some extra veggies.

Tuesday: I'm going to make us all a dairy free Pasta genovese, using this recipe as a guideline. I've got some broccoli to use up and will make up the rest of the veggies with anything green that's sat still in the kitchen *makes mental note to move scourers* ;-)

Wednesday: Sadly I've run out of Heck sausages and they're not stocked anywhere near us, so it's back to Pork and Apple done as a tray roast with butternut squash, sweet potatoes and some kale.

Thursday: Gammon steaks, homemade chips and veggies

Friday: I think a casserole of some sort - a variation on my Beef and Guinness stew as that does lovely leftovers

Saturday: Leftover casserole

Sunday: Roast chicken with all the dairy free trimmings.

For some reason I'm craving a crumble, so as Aldi have plums on their Super 6, I think I'll do a plum and apple crumble this week. We've got Parkin made up, ahead of next weekend (not that we'll be at any bonfire parties, but I like to get in the cake focussed spirit), and a vegan pumpkin cake which is refusing to photograph nicely and so as yet hasn't been blogged.

What are you up to this week meal planning wise? Be sure to pop on over to At Home with Mrs M, or I'm an Organising Junkie to see what everyone else is

Monday, 28 September 2015

Meal Planning Monday

After an exciting week last week, involving a family mini-break to Dorset and a trip to River Cottage for me, normal service is most definitely resumed this week. As autumn marches on and September moves into October our meal plan is definitely reflecting the change in the seasons. I want to be at my target weight for Christmas which means a final push on the Slimming World front over the next few months.

Breakfasts: Baked porridge for me and Harry, pear and ginger to start the week, and then apple and cinnamon. Apples from our tree no less!

Lunches: On Saturday I made a big slow cooker full of Chorizo, butternut squash and chorizo chilli - I've frozen most of the leftovers, save for enough for my lunches this week.


Today (Sunday) we're having my Super slow cooked brisket, with roast potatoes, dairy free yorkshire puddings, and veg from the veg patch.

Monday: Leftover roast beef with baked potatoes and more veggies

Tuesday: Shepherd's pie with the leftover beef - as it's not a particularly big bit of beef today it'll be eeked out with lentils and/ or baked beans

Wednesday: Leftover shepherd's pie (I seem to be playing just how far can you stretch a £5 piece of brisket)

Thursday: Baked salmon with lemon, garlic and chilli and some kind of roast amalgamation of all the veggies in the fridge

Friday: We've got some more of the Heck sausages in the freezer so those with baked potatoes and spinach and beans from the veg patch

Saturday: Chicken and butternut squash casserole without the Boursin - another slow cooker job I think, as it'll give us some lovely leftovers based lunches for the week after

Sunday: Roast chicken I think

Baking wise, I'm about to go and knock up some more flapjacks - jam and coconut ones this time.

That's us - as always, don't forget to pop on over to At Home with Mrs M and see what everyone else is up to this week. I'm also joining in with Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organising Junkie for the first time too.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Meal Planning Monday - normal service is resumed

It's been a few weeks since I posted a meal plan - we had our first family holiday in Dorset, and then last week was just a bit of a blur. To top it all off, yesterday I had a massive allergic reaction to a bee sting and ended up in hospital. Today I'm resting up as I still feel a bit wobbly - that said, I have two dairy and egg free cakes to make and a batch of lactation cookies to bake for a friend who's new to breastfeeding.  Sorry, what did I say about resting?

We've got a quiet week this week, so I'm hoping to get right back on the Slimming World plan - I've been doing really well with my meals, but have been snacking or picking between times and definitely using all my syns if not going over. This week, my aim is to keep my syns low and really focus on what I'm eating.

Harry is doing beautifully - he's just starting to be really mobile, walking and climbing around and up everything! We are going to be childproofing in the evenings this week.

Breakfasts - I'll be back on overnight oats, with melon and apple.

Lunches - I need to make a low syn free lunch, probably my Spring veg orzotto


Monday: Roast chicken, veggies and roast potatoes

Tuesday: Leftover roast chicken, baked potatoes, and veggies

Wednesday: Chicken and mushroom risotto

Thursday: Sausages, sweet potato wedges and sweetcorn

Friday: Pasta with a tomato and vegetable sauce

Saturday: (weather permitting) BBQ - and I'm thinking chicken kebabs with a lemony, garlicky, herby marinade

Sunday: Undecided as yet, but possibly roast chicken again

So that's us - an easy week. I feel a bit wiped out by yesterday still, so wanted to make it easy on myself. Be sure to pop on over to At Home with Mrs M and see what the other meal planners have up their sleeves.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Meal Planning Monday

The baby is nearly one. I mean... how in the name of God did that happen? This time last year he wasn't even here! I am befuddled. Confused. Bewildered. I've been someone's mummy for a year! Holy hell.

This week we have the loveliness that occurs when M takes some time off mideweek to spend at home, so we get a couple of extra family days.

Breakfasts - I'm having conceptual difficulties in remembering to make overnight oats the night before and Harry has started reacting quite strongly to eggs if I eat them too now. Porridge it is.

Lunches - Spicy pepper and tomato soup for me, Harry is having homemade fishfingers and veggies

Suppers -

Monday: Leftover roast chicken, baked potatoes, green beans, carrots and brocolli

Tuesday: Hoi sin Chicken, mushroom and brocolli with rice

Wednesday: Pulled pork, baked sweet potatoes and sweetcorn

Thursday: Leftover pork in burritos with peppers and rice

Friday: Sausages, baked potatoes and veggies

Saturday: Harry's birthday party so ham, chicken, bread, salad, strawberries, cake...

Sunday: Leftovers of above!

 That's our week - please note we're not mentioning Slimming World as I've eaten a large quantity of vegan chocolate ice cream today and weigh in tomrorow may not be happening!

Monday, 2 February 2015

Meal Planning Monday - A healthy start in February

Last week was a bit of a disaster on the Slimming World front - although I've not been weighed yet - but a combination of a few things just meant that the plan went out of the window. Today is a fresh start and to help, I've really focussed on some new recipes that are all free food. I'll be writing everything down to help me stick to my guns.

Harry has started having supper on the next step of his weaning journey, so we're now up to three meals which is very exciting. He's still getting nearly all of his calories from milk and seems to be doing very well. New flavours recently have included fruit bread, melon, rusk, plums, rhubarb, and cauliflower - all of which have gone down a storm.

Breakfast - porridge for me, with ginger, cinnamon, apple and banana and for Harry with a little of mixed spice and mashed banana. Alternatively scrambled eggs and mushrooms.

Lunches - we're sticking with soup, split pea for me.

Supper -

Monday - We've been visiting family so will be late home

Tuesday - Chicken and cauliflower 'rice' stuffed butternut squash

Wednesday - Leftovers

Thursday - Spanish chicken and cauliflower 'rice' (can you tell I got some caulifowers cheaply)

Friday - Pasta and meatballs with tomato sauce

Saturday - Sausages, baked potatoes and veggies

Sunday - Roast chicken (or whatever meat is on special)

Not too tricky a week - provided they're not dire, and I can get them photographed I'll blog them as I'm quite excited about their newnes.

That's us this week - be sure to pop on over to At Home with Mrs M to see what everyone else is up to. I'll make sure to link up. 

Monday, 5 May 2014

Meal Planning Monday: A bank holiday edition

Another week begins, and if you could see me, you would notice the undeniable signs that I'm starting to feel stressed about this iminitent arrival. I think it's this last stretch of balancing work, decorating, home, obsessive reading and list making that just don't fit into the available hours in the day.

Still, as with any time of anxiety I turn to my lists and plans to manage those feelings of panic. I mean, there's no way to convince a baby to just - stay put until we're properly ready - is there? What do you mean not a chance?

This week's meal plan is fairly straightforward if busy, we're at the Epilepsy centre on Tuesday, start NCT classes on Wednesday as well as Brownies on Thursday. 

Breakfasts: still home made yoghurt, granola and fruit.

Lunches: Salads with either feta and olives or halloumi.


Monday - Sausages in buns with salad and corn on the cob

Tuesday - Chicken and mushroom risotto

Wednesday - Homemade pizza with salad

Thursday -Chicken kiev, home made chips and peas

Friday - Can we have takeaway? Unless it's sunny in which case BBQ.

So that's us, another week on... what's your planning like when you need to eradicate nerves and anxiety?

Monday, 31 December 2012

Meal Planning Monday: How long till next year?

Well that flew by in a flurry of mince pies, Christmas pudding, an immense amount of turkey, two families and some presents. I think I can say we all had a lovely time, seeing my nephew on his first Christmas (paper is the best present) and having some quiet days with M's parents were both fabulous. All too soon, I'm back to work; hair has been washed, bag packed, and clothes out ready for the morning. 

I actually did the meal plan on Saturday night - clearly, living life on the edge as always. It's a week of comfort food I've cooked (and in the main blogged) previously, food that's not poultry, dishes which will make leftovers to give us time for a couple of runs, a swim and hopefully even a cwtch. 

Breakfasts: Porridge without a doubt. Brown sugar and vanilla for me this week I think. 

Lunches: I made a batch of Nigella's split pea and frankfurter soup this afternoon, so that will be going into my trusty flask. Towards the end of the week I'll make some Lifechanging soup. I'll also make a couple of batches of soda bread


Monday: New Years Eve, we'll be indoors having steak, wedges, veggies and bubbles to see in 2013

Tuesday: Sausage hotpot with braised red cabbage

Wednesday: Leftovers of above

Thursday: Freezer surprise for M as I'm out at a planning meeting

Friday: Lentil ragu with chorizo

Saturday: Leftovers of above

Sunday: Slow roast shoulder of pork

So that's our week in the pantry, nice and simple. What are you up to in the wake of turkey leftovers? If you have a meal plan, don't forget to hop on over to At Home with Mrs M and join in the blog hop.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Happiness is... sausage hotpot

I always feel like a fraud if I'm blogging with no food in the house. Which is where I find myself this evening. I cobbled together our dinner from what was in the freezer and some decidedly lacklustre veggies. But that's the nice thing about cold weather dishes - it doesn't matter if your veggies are fridge-bottom leftovers, or that the rest of the ingredients have come out of the storecupboard. Sadly the same can't be said of summery salads. 

So tonight's dinner was Sausage hotpot. A dish I used to cook at uni, and the first thing I taught someone else to make. *proud* I'm not sure if this is still the same recipe I used to use, but this is how I made it tonight, and given the cold we both ate it from our laps. M even mopped up the leftover sauce with some bread.

Sausage hotpot (serves 3 hungry grownups - easily 4 or more if you served with green veggies, bread and butter)

1 tablespoon flavourless oil
1 pack of pork sausages (about 1lb) - I like Lincolnshire, but choose whichever ones you prefer 
2 cloves of garlic
3-4 carrots
1 red onion
Half a box of chestnut mushrooms
1 potato
3/4 pint beef stock (I used a cube and rinsed out the tin of tomatoes for the water)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Dash of worcestershire sauce
Tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
Put the oil in a frying pan and over a medium to high heat brown the sausages
Slice the onion, carrots and mushrooms - I use the food processor, but you could easily do this by hand
Finely slice the potato - you want slices that are about half a cm thick
Brown the sausages in a frying pan - this took about 15 minutes

In a biggish casserole dish with a lid:

Layer half the potato on the bottom of a casserole dish
Add half the onion/ carrots/ mushrooms
Add the tin of tomatoes, tomato puree and crush in the two cloves of garlic
Season - be gentle with the salt as you're using a stock cube and worcestershire sauce
Put the browned sausages on top of the tomatoes
Fill up the tomato tin with water and add this to your stock cube, give a good stir and add a liberal splash of worcestershire sauce
Add the veggies ontop of the sausages 
Pour in the stock
Cover the top with a layer of potatoes, dot these with butter
Put the lid on and cook in the oven for about an hour, then take off the lid and cook for another 45 minutes
Serve with green veggies and some French bread and butter

  • If you want to make this go further, chop the sausages up before you put them in the casserole dish. If you want to stretch it even further, add half a cup of lentils to the casserole and up the water by half a pint

  • Also to borrow an idea from Michelle at Utterlyscrummy to bulk it out further, add either oats or lentils to the sauce - add extra liquid too though. I'd add half a cup of lentils and a cup of liquid to start with and see how that goes - I reckon that would easily make it do another 3-4 portions (more if you're feeding little ones)

  • If you like a more intense savoury flavour in casseroles, then add a drained tin of anchovies to the veggie layer at the bottom. But be careful with your salt if you do that. 

Had I had any in I would have served this with some steamed and lightly buttered kale or greens.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

I can do better than that: Italian sausagey pasta bake

 I don't know about you, but I get serious food envy. Not all the time. That would be weird. But sometimes, I'm eating out, or we've had a takeaway and I think 'this is fab. I love this. I wonder if I could make it myself/ better...' and that's where this post has come from.

Last weekend we were at a family wedding, much fun and celebrations were had by all, and in the spirit of such celebration much alcohol was also had. Too much alcohol. Far too much... well, you get the picture. No longer being of an age *sob* where I can brush such things off, I was something of a sorry state on Sunday. A very sorry state. When I finally started to feel better towards the late afternoon I knew what was needed to rectify the situation. Stodge. However, I was in no way feeling up to culinary creationism in any way shape or form. It was either going to be a takeaway or a ready meal. Do you know how much I hate ready meals? Well, apart from those secret Friday night, M's out ones of course. Anyway, those aside I hate ready meals. We never eat them, but faced with the hitherto unexplored deights of a Marks and Spencer Simpy Food M and I had a quick explore - setting aside anything remotely spicy we decided it was a toss up between pasta and pizza. Simple, carb-heavy, anything really to undo the damage done by the night before.

We chose something being hailed as new, and as such on promotion with a third off - but still costing £4.99 (on any other occaision I would have fainted dead away/ walked out in a stubborn stop or something else much more me) but, needing to take the path of least resistance and being desperately in need of food I sucked it up.

The dish we picked was a sausage pasta bake, topped with mozzarella and chunks of foccacia. It may as well have been labelled Penelope's hangover cure. Not only was it the Ronseal of ready meals, but it was so tasty (albeit in my somewhat impaired state) that as we finished our seconds M asked if I could make it. I think he was less direct and infinitely more complimentary than that, but still that was the main gist of it.

So yesterday - full of sinusitis (yes, it's back, yes, it's horrible and I hate my other meds for meaning that I have to sit it out) I decided that the time had come to recreate it as not only was it delicious in it's preserved, ready to bake state but also it would provide leftovers which would give me today off cooking so that I could start Christmassy things in the kitchen.

This is how I recreated it - I've also costed it as I'm just that *cough*dull*cough* thorough.

1 pack of sausages (Sainsburys TTD Sicillian ones), skinned and sausagemeat made into patties
Olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
Half a red chilli
1 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 red onion finely chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Splodge tomato puree
Glass red wine/ rinse out tomato tin with water and add that
2 balls Basics mozzarella
2 handfuls breadcrumbs
1 large mug pasta (I used penne, but the original had rigatoni)

Chop/ blitz onion, garlic, chilli, soften in a large pan over a low heat with some olive oil and a pinch of salt - cook down for about 20 minutes
Add the tin of tomatoes, herbs, tomato puree, wine or water and simmer down for about another 20 minutes (or so) until the sauce is beautifully thick - it's ready when as you stir there's no liquid left in the pan - just a rich tomatoey pulp
Pour this into a casserole dish and turn the oven on to 200 degrees
Remove the sausages from their skins and shape into patties. I found each sausage made 3 patties, so I ended up with 18
Put the pan that the tomato sauce was cooked in back on the heat and brown the patties off. When they've got a golden-y crust, add them to the casserole with the tomato sauce
Cook your pasta in a panful of boiling water - but undercook it by about 5 or so minutes as it's going to cook further in the oven

Stir the pasta (and a spoonful of the water) into the tomato sauce, and sausagemeat patties
Top with the breadcrumbs - I make these by toasting slightly stale ends of loaves of bread and then blitzing in the food processor. Then top that with slizes of mozzarella. I used 2 balls of Sainsbury's economy
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes
Serve in bowls, with glasses of red wine, the telly on, cwtched up on the sofa after a long week

This easily makes enough for 4 generous portions - you could stretch it to 6 if you were serving with a salad and some bread. I have leftovers tonight while M is skiing.

M's verdict was that he would prefer slightly less strongly flavoured sausages, but I really liked it as was - of the two of us I'm the one that likes the punchy flavours though so that makes sense. We would definitely make this again. Cost wise, it was much, much cheaper than the ready meal - the sausages cost £2.90, the cheese £0.88 and everything else was in the storecupboard, not to mention the leftovers.

Next to change up - the secret love for M&S Chicken tikka masalas... watch this space

Monday, 16 July 2012

Meal Planning Monday: It's the final countdown...

If you're my age, I know without a doubt that you're now singing along. But it is, 5 days to go people. Five days until we move into Sin, I mean *cough* East Barnet. Together. I should just reassure you of my normalcy and point out I have lived with someone before, but it's been a while and quite frankly he wasn't M. And that's why this is so exciting, we're doing this together, working together and learning to comprimise and share, together. I can share, obviously - but a few years of being able to be relatively selfish have meant that comprimise isn't always my go-to behaviour. And whereas in the past I've allowed people to walk all over me, I don't do that anymore. So it's all new, all scary in the world of Penelope and her Pantry right now.

I'm sat here today, picking at a bowl of grapes and trying to work out what to write, Accu Broadway is on in the background, courtesy of some technical contraption that I can't work, but am growing to adore owing to the fact that it's pre-programmed to the aforementioned internet radio station because I love it. And much like I try to teach and support my Brownies to understand, it's all about thinking about another person before yourself. There's also a car shaped balloon in my peripheral vision (well in the bit of it that still works).

Anyway, so this week's meanderings, seemingly devoid of exclamation marks and excited ramblings still lead on to a meal plan. Quite a clever meal plan, deliberately planned and chosen to make for an easy week. Bin bags and boxes litter the flat, tension headaches are popping up more than I'd like. The wheely bin is filling up fast, as is the box for the Charity shop. Cancer Research, I might not have been able to fit in a Race for Life this year, but have half my belongings. I haven't tackled my under bed storage yet, but the kitchen is on it's way to being done, and I even threw away a bin bag full of old Guide resources that I'm relatively sure I won't need again. The point of this ramble is that I need an easy week. I need to know that supper isn't far away - that I can grap and pack.

Breakfasts: I'm still resolutely on the yoghurt and grape nuts (Sainsbury's don't seem to do their own version of Muller lights. Sad times Sainsburys) with a banana and the ubiquitous tea. M is finishing up cereal left right and centre.

Lunches: Tuna pasta salad at the start of the week - with sweetcorn, peas, peppers, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Instead of a dressing I add some of the chipotle tabasco that I was proferred at a tube station recently. It's really good, a quick of heat, tempered with a smokey sweetness that I really like. Towards the end of the week, it'll be nasi goreng - which for me, ends up as a similar concoction that's a kind of, sort of brown rice salad, with leftover roast chicken, tofu and egg. It's dressed with soy and has the punchy flavours of chilli garlic and ginger. It's lovely hot as well as cold.

Dinners: Today we're having Roast chicken with all the trimmings, so it's a week of One Chicken Many Ways

Monday: Leftover roast chicken, stuffing, with vegetables. I'll do a baked potato for M

Tuesday: I'm taking the Guides swimming so will probably strip the chicken and make the nasi goreng earlier that day.

Wednesday: Leftover nasi goreng

Thursday: Sausages, baked sweet potato with philly light mixed into the middle, and vegetables. (I'm not being coy with the vegetables, I'm just not sure what'll be in the veg box this week)

Friday: Well Friday night I'm going to cook the pulled pork for the weekend, to keep tummies full and minds on moving, so I'm not sure at the moment. Not sure at all.

Saturday: Pulled pork, soft white rolls and coleslaw. With buckets of tea on the side. If anyone wants to volunteer muscle they are more than welcome.

Hopefully this week means that after today all I need out is my big wok type pan, and a roasting tin. Everything apart from 2 plates, knives and forks can all be packed away. Well that's the plan. Plans are good, plans work, plans stop me feeling quite so chaotic and disorganised. Even if I am. Chaotic and disorganised.

Make sure you pop over to At Home with Mrs M to see what the less chaotic and disorganised meal planners are all up to this week.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Meal Planning Monday: the Moving too fast edition

With thanks to Jason Robert Brown for the inspiration for this week's title. So it's that time of the week again in which I studiously ignore the lack of last week's post and focus on looking forwards. Moving forwards if you will. Did I mention we have a flat? A flat for us! It has a spare bedroom, which will have an actual bed in it - Hi Lauren! And we went to visit it on Saturday in case it had missed us between then and Tuesday, because - you know, it might?

I love it. If I were thirteen I would heart it muchly <3 See, I'm down with the kids. Innit.

Where was I, oh yes, new flats. Sadly there's no reason to buy beautiful curtains as it has blinds. Blinds! I hate cleaning them, and I had my heart set on some pretty curtains. Or material with which to make curtains. Cause I'm crafty and stuff. Also it has carpet, which is odd as I will have no use for my assortment of laminate floor cleaning doodads (that's a technical term I'll have you know) However, prettiness! Cath Kidston! Ditsy florals! And other such exclamations. We're not moving for at least three weeks, so I apologise in advance for increasing levels of both stress and excitement. You would think it couldn't get much worse than this proliferation of exclamation marks, but oh yes it can. And will. I think that's a foregone conclusion.

So, meal planning. Erm well... yes. Let's get on with the matter at hand shall we? Ignoring the fact that I've not done a food shop since? Before holiday I think. Well, it makes sense to clear down the cupboards and freezer (although to be honest I feel like I've been doing that permanently since we decided to move and I have decided that the stuff in there? It's breeding. Just to spite me you understand).

Breakfasts: I'm on a bit of a yoghurt kick at the moment, the Tesco variation on Muller lights to be exact, and although not quite as yummy as my beloved Total Greek, I'm enjoying them nonetheless. I add a sprinkle of grape nuts on top, and stir those through for some added crunch. A banana is thrown into the mix along with my usual tea.

Lunches: You may be pleased to hear that I'm back on the lunch wagon (as it were) Proper lunches; tuna pasta salad, ham salad, cold nasi goreng. The list goes on. I have this, some mini Babybel lights, and fruit along with buckets of water throughout the day and am feeling much better. I have more energy and my get up and gone seems to have returned. It's all very basic, sensible stuff, but making time for lunch and eating it has made a huge difference.

And now for the main event - dinners. This week is one of my away weeks - I'm in Newbury on Monday and Tuesday, so will be sampling the local delights. Recommendations of places to go on foot, within a £15 meal allowance gratefully received.

Wednesday: M has picked to have takeaway and with much muttering (did you hear it? No, me either!) from me, I've capitulated. It's a hard life. I'm hoping he picks Chinese.

Thursday: M's working nights - the reason we're moving in together is so that we do actually see each other when we're awake. We've taken to taking phone pictures of the other one asleep in the mornings to remind us what we look like. And you think I'm joking.  So, devastated as I am that he won't be there (no, really I never sleep well when he's not here) I'm going to indulge myself in something he doesn't like, have a favourite meal of mine, and the first in my Fish and Family series. I'm just going to fillet and cook mackerel with garlic and bay and serve it with a beetroot heavy salad and a let down dressing of horseradish (weather permitting of course). Remind me and I'll take pictures of the filleting - actually if I'm home alone I don't think that's possible, I won't have enough hands. I'll think about it, see what wonders of modern technology I can use. No I'm not videoing it. No-one deserves to have me teach them how to fillet mackerel. Really.

Friday: We actually don't have any plans next weekend. This is unheard of in our house, and will provide (amidst the packing of course) some much needed respite from work, and house moving stresses. So the plan for Friday is a relatively straightforward supper - if we have the weather for it, I may fire up one of the disposable BBQs and do some bratwurst with salady bits for me, and baked potatoes for M.

Saturday: Well, when I say no plans, I mean no plans except... Proms tickets! Squee! I'm thinking I might take M to the Brindisa in South Ken that we went to on one of our first dates. Our first date was actually to a Prom.

Sunday: As it'll be another busy week (when isn't it?) with moving and whatnot, something tells me a lie in, followed by bacon sandwiches and builders' tea will be required. And then roast chicken, with necessary trimmings in order to provide us with an easy week of leftovers.

So there you have it: Meal Planning Monday - Pantry style

In terms of shopping I actually do need to bite the bullet and go - if we're back in time from M's parents on Sunday hopefully we'll hit up Sainsburys. Oh the exciting life we do lead. Sense the tone.

Be sure to pop on over to At Home with Mrs M to see what everyone else is up to this week. You just know they're all going to have neatly typed, budgeted plans with no rambling whatsoever. Oh well, it's service as usual in the Pantry. Rambling, gin, preserves, house moves, musical theatre and now fish. Who says life is dull!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Meal planning Monday: The moving edition

Well it's finally come around, M and I are moving in together; first to my house and then, together to a place of our own. We've been unofficially living together since November 2010, either at my place or his, and these days it's rare to spend more than the odd night for work apart. I think the fact that I've happily given up my oft protected, and much loved personal space is an idictment of how strongly I feel about him and about us. That all sounds lovely but as yet, we've not found a place to live together which is starting to rack up the anxiety for us both.

And so, this week holds many, many boxes, a few days working a way for me, and obviously meals that are quick and easy.

Breakfasts: I've been eating yoghurt with a sprinklying of grape nuts, a banana and the ubiquitous mug of tea. M has and will continue to have cereal and toast.

Lunches: Despite the weather, my lunches have been salad with either ham, chicken or salmon, and fruit. I've been snacking during the day on more fruit and some mini babybels. Not the sort of cheese I usually eat, but incredibly convenient for packed lunches. M has sandwiches, crisps, a cereal bar, mini babybel, and sausage rolls. I've also hugely upped my water intake which has had the most amazing effect on my energy levels. So it's all good.


I'm away Monday and Tuesday nights - and as our training venue has moved will be partaking of dinners at the B&B I'm booked into. I'll be sure to report back.

Monday: M has leftover cheesy pasta with courgettes and broad beans. It was supposed to be a take on courgetti spaghetti with the addition of broad beans, but despite popping to Sainsburys I managed to forget both the chilli and the pine nuts, so adapted it hurriedly.

Tuesday: Is it bad to say I have no idea? There's plenty in the freezer, that M can help himself to and my brain won't extend to Tuesday at the moment.

Wednesday: I'll be just back from Poole, so am going to try the Sharwood's tikka wrap kit with chicken, and lots of veggies. If it's spicy I'll do some raita with it, using my beloved Total 0% fat Greek yoghurt

Thursday: I'm out at a neighbours and Mark is at Welsh so it's a night off for both of us.

Friday: We're finishing off as much of the packing as possible so that we can blitz the cleaning on Saturday. I think we'll admit defeat and get a chinese takeaway.

Saturday: We have M's parents with us to help with the last of the move, so I think I'll do something simple like sausages, baked potatoes and veg

Sunday: If I'm still feeding the family, then it'll be roast chicken with all the trimmings as that gives us (as always) leftovers.

This will actually mean that I don't really need to do a shop this week, which is a huge blessing as I just don't know where I'd find the time!

Be sure to hop over to At home with Mrs M to see what everyone's up to.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Meal Planning Monday: The Back to Work edition (take 2)

How does this post come around so regularly? Seriously I swear in my head it's only Tuesday! Anyway, last week's meal plan went well - with the exception of no steak, and extended leftovers (ever the romantic, that's me) on St Valentine's and a take-away curry that was infinitely dissapointing on my birthday - mind you, I caught a Jamie 30 minute meals today that will hopefully change my Indian meal experience (update to come soon). I changed the enchiladas to quesedillas which worked well, and did two lighter dinners for us both. 

This week, I am hoping to go back to work (yes, again - as you will have realised it didn't happen last time) and pending a check up at the doctors on Tuesday, will be resuming training detail on Wednesday. Whilst I need to check with my manager where she wants me, I'm kind of hoping I'm office based until the end of this week at least. 

M and I had a lovely dinner last night. For my birthday we went here for an amazing three course meal. I had a beautifully rare steak, with fantastic triple fried chips (a note to our waitress. Please don't remove chips from the table as soon as I put my fork down. I had my eye on them), pudding was wonderful - I went for a retro delight in the form of a lemon meringue pie, with the softest meringue I have ever eaten, which contrasted beautifully with the tart lemon inside. That, a gin and tonic, and two glasses of a fabulous sauvingon were a wonderful way to celebrate. Please don't mention my age as it sets of what Seth Rudetsky calls a 'marathon crying jag'. 

Breakfasts are porridge, I've really got back into this, and half a cup of oats really does keep me full until lunchtime and beyond. I've got more stewed fruit to use up as toppings, and some more apples to stew again. 

Lunches: Monday I have leftover Beetroot and horseradish borscht, and from then I've not really thought about it. The easy option, is of course sandwiches, but I'm trying to keep my carbs as low as possible as since coming out of hospital I feel like I've put on a fair bit of weight. My jeans still fit though, but I feel - swollen almost. I have some frozen carrots, parsnip and swede that lend themselves beautifully to soup, perhaps with a ginger hit to offset their inherent sweetness. 

Snacks: we've got the cake I made for my birthday (post coming up later this week) and some of the banana bread still to eat up, and these should keep us going throughout this week and possibly beyond. 

Monday: Sausages, Baked Potato (for M) and steamed savoy cabbage
TuesdayChicken and sweet leek pie (on request from M) more cabbage for me, and roasties for M
Wednesday: Leftovers, and M is in charge of vegetables. 
Thursday: Fish with soy and sherry, and greens
Friday: All being well, we're hoping to go away this weekend to the New Forest, so cooking is on hold. I'm hoping for a cream tea and an epic roast after some pottering. I'll come back with pictures. Promise! 

Be sure to pop over to At Home with Mrs M to see what everyone else is up to this week. 

Monday, 13 February 2012

Meal Planning Monday: I'm still hurting

I can't believe it's that time already. Meal Planning. Last week, was a bit of a disaster in the Pantry. I had the treatment for the migraine, and although it's lessened the pain, it bruised the back of my head something shocking, and the migraine is nowhere near gone. Add that to M working late, and long hours and you have a recipe for disaster. Certainly not one meal planning will help.

Here's hoping this is a better week; less pain, fewer working hours and being a bit closer to a return to work would all be good. Especially as I turn 35. Dear God yes, I am finally Bobby from Company.

So here's this week's meal plan as it stands currently:

Monday: Leftover roast beef Cottage pie - using this recipe, with mashed swede, carrot and parsnips and savoy cabbage

Tuesday: Steak, baked potatoes and salad/ veg (well it is Valentine's)

Wednesday: Veggie burritos/ enchiladas with guacamole and salad

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Slow cooked tomato pasta (I don't think I've blogged this before. I will as it's gorgeous and tastes like it's taken a whole lot of work, whereas in fact once it's super easy)

M's packed lunches are being supplemented with sausage rolls and soups at the moment as it's just so cold. We've also got banana bread to add in there.

Lunches for me will carry on being soup - I've got two portions of split pea and frankfurter left in the freezer.

Breakfasts are porridge, with stewed fruit for me.

Baking - well every girl needs a birthday cake, and I've got some fruit that's been soaking in a lot of brandy since before I went into hospital.

Have a good week all, and don't forget to head on over to At Home with Mrs M to see what everyone else is up to

Monday, 30 January 2012

Meal Planning Monday: The healing edition

After last week's slightly incoherent, rambly post about the ills of hospital food, I'm still at home and slowly getting back to full strength. I'm hoping to go back to work next week, but have to get checked out by the doctor to say that's OK first. Consequently this week features a lot of comfort food, as demanded both by the weather and by the slowly healing system of this poorly person.

Breakfasts are 0% Total Greek yoghurt with some lightly stewed eating apples that I cooked down this evening with about 100g of sultanas soaked in orange juice and zest. I'm planning on making some granola to add some crunch - apparently crunchy foods increase serotonin and I've been craving them since my release last week.

Lunches for me are another batch of Nigella's split pea and frankfurter soup, with a good spoonful of lazy chilli stirred through.

Dinners, as I say are full on comfort food. It's not so much about calories, but about needing that soothing unctuousness that comfort food provides. M has work and Welsh this week so I'm getting the slow cooker back out for a hearty, warming casserole:

Monday: Toad in the hole, mashed potatoes and vegetables

Tuesday: Chicken and sweet leek pie with vegetables- cauliflower and spring greens I think

Wednesday: Chicken, butternut squash and barley casserole - I'll blog this as it's a long standing recipe I've been using for years that doesn't seem to have made the blog as yet

Thursday: Leftover casserole

Friday: Apparently I said we'd find out when we got there which means my brain was addled after thinking up four dinners. The fact that I just had to ask M this is evidence that I really am not on form yet.

I should be getting beetroot in my veg box tomorrow so M has requested Jenny's Beetroot chocolate cake, and I have a bit of a craving (is it the crunch again?) for Eccles cakes, so will be breaking out my t&t Delia recipe. 

I've promised M a roast on Sunday as he's at archery in the morning, so will either do the slow roast pork from the other week, or go steady on the cauliflower in the week and do roast beef and cauliflower cheese. Oh I think I've just decided! Beef it is, with a mustardy crust. Yum.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Easy Christmas stuffing

So it's now 5 days until Christmas, how are you feeling? Have the children broken up from school yet? Or did they break up last week and have already declared themselves as bored? This post is a recipe - shocker I know, and also a way to get ahead ready for the weekend that family can help with - both Guides and Brownies (so 7-14) really enjoy the ickiness of helping out with this. One more thing to tick off that to do list.

Stuffing. I love it, it's not a roast without it - which is how Mark feels about Yorkshire puddings. My lovely sister (the gorgeous one in the picture up top) is half of the inspiration for this recipe. Last Christmas she made a fruited stuffing from scratch and I really enjoyed it. She won't be with us this Christmas as she's at her inlaws, but when I pop this in the oven I'll be thinking of her.

However this version is becoming known as Division Commissioner stuffing. And to explain that I have to tell you a little story. Two years ago I applied for my Guide holiday licence, prepped a GFI Glamorama themed holiday and worked incredibly hard to make it a success. Alison, our Division Commissioner was our QM - who saw I had bought a leading brand of dried stuffing and promptly declared "we won't be using that!" At this point she knocked up stuffing for 20 people using 'stuff' lying around the Guide kitchen. I was slightly gobsmacked to say the least. And it was yummy, much wetter than packet stuffing ever is. Fast forward 2 years and the older guides in a much bigger Guide unit wanted to know if we were having Alison's stuffing? So I picked up the phone and got the recipe. Well I say recipe, it's more of a guideline.

Now for Guides I made this vegetarian, leaving out the sausage meat, however for Christmas in our house it is firmly carnivourous, and I used skinned lincolnshire sausagemeat to increase the herbed flavours, if you like  it peppery try cumberland, and if you prefer a simple flavour then any good pork sausagemeat will be great. I get mine from the butchers around the corner, as they make their own sausages and the quality is immense. If I were using one from a Supermarket it would be a Sainsbury's TTD as they are amazing quality (and gluten free)

I should say, that this is a really easy recipe for children to help with. Use the food processor if you're not happy letting them loose with knives. I would use the food processor with my Brownies, but with supervision my Guides are fine with knives. Make sure their hands are clean and get them to smush up the sausagemeat.

Division Commissioner's Stuffing (this quantity serves about 8, it doubles or even triples beautifully)

2 onions, blitzed in the food processor
25g butter
1 Bramley apple, peeled, cored and diced (I confess, I blitzed it with the onions)
800g Lincolnshire sausages, skinned and smushed up
Handful of sage leaves, chopped up
4-6 slices of stale brown/ wholemeal/ granary bread, crusts cut up and blitzed into breadcrumbs

Fry the onion in the melted butter until it starts to soften
Add the apple and cook for a little while longer
Leave the pan on one side to cool down (it need to be easily handle-able)
Mix with the remaining ingredients and seasoning - do this with clean hands in a big bowl
Make into balls and put on a buttered baking tray, and cook for about half an hour

If I'm doing this at home I then pack it into a foil lined 1kg loaf tin and freeze it until it's needed.
Take it out of the freezer on Christmas eve, and when defrosted, cook as above but for about 40 minutes.

If you want a veggie version, add extra apple and onion and breadcrumbs to make up the weight.

This is what we're having on Christmas Day with our turkey. Just think if you make it today (you could easily sub the apples for eating apples and use any sausagemeat you have in the house), freeze it you don't need to even think about it again until Saturday evening.


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