Monday, 30 December 2013

Meal Planning Monday: Last one of 2013

Cor blimey it's been absolutely ages since I was here. Yes, I've been menu planning along in the background but I've been keeping a bit quiet in terms of blogging so you haven't got to know! Plus my 'try something new' experiment died a death. For 2014 I'm lowering the bar and just have a few premises to work from - cooking 'proper' food as much as possible, trying new things, cooking food adults want to eat and hopefully kids want to as well, and trying not to get hung up about food. Guessing that's as ambitious in its own right!

Meat Free Monday ~ Wholewheat pasta with pesto and salad. When we get back from the panto. Woop woop!

Tuesday ~ New Year's Steaky & Kidney Pie cooked by my other half (his other seasonal contribution has been turkey risotto). 

Wednesday ~ New Year's Day buffet at the inlaws. Looking forward to Pops' lush gammon.

Thursday ~ Spaghetti Carbonara

Fishy Friday ~ Teriyaki Salmon & accompaniments (including the Santa rice cracker noodles our friends sent from Japan!)

Saturday ~ Chicken tortilla wraps/quesadillas

Sunday ~ Another pie - for Epiphany! Last of the leftover turkey in this one I think, and some ham.

Baking plans ~ At a minimum after the overdose of Christmas sweet treats. Although I do have bananas in the freezer to make a 'healthy' breakfast loaf before we go back to school.

Lunches ~ Going to try to think more about lunches too in 2014 as FabDad often joins us for his lunch break. This week I've got soup to make from leftovers - spiced parsnip, butternut squash & potato and stilton. That should stock up the freezer!

Join Mrs M at home to be inspired by and inspire other foodies!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Quick Takes: The Cup Half Full edition

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 151)


I don't know whether it's Advent, my medication, prayer, or simply the joy of the Christmas preparations, but I'm looking on the bright side a whole lot more these days. For example: I've been up early with 2 little kids, but I've got fruit bread in the oven. (And I was organised to soak fruit overnight in tea before bed to allow this to happen.) AND I'm blogging, kinda! Woop woop!


I usually have a thankful attitude to life in general, to be honest, it's just the pressures of parenting (and needing sleep) get in the way. In fact at dinner the other night, 2ndSister was talking about her plans to open a tea and coffee shop with me later in life. I suggested we call it 'The Cup Half Full.' And that my husband, who recently became a member of CAMRA, and is slightly more of a pessimist/realist, could open a micropub next door called 'The Glass Half Empty' :-)


And face it, who could be miserable when the spirit of St Nicholas reminds us he still knows where he lives and will be coming on Christmas Eve with more goodies?

                 (I know, our instructions are so polite!)


Things could be stressful what with Christmas shows and so on. 2ndSister rode on the school float as an angel in the local Christmas Carnival and hated it (smile and wave, boys, smile and wave.) 1stSister has given up her one-line speaking part in the school play due to fear. 3rdSister wants to be Mary rather than an angel at her pre-school show, and is not happy about it. Thank goodness for 4thSister and her constant beams, rampant appetite, her, um, early mornings and crawling skills...uh oh!

Having said this, I'm trying to do things that are therapeutic (pickling, baking, playing with the littles) and avoid things that put the pressure on. A friend brought round a basket of hyacinths for me today. I may have missed our Churches Together Advent Reflection but with a wing and a prayer I'll make it to early morning prayer tomorrow morning, AND get out to one of my favourite places ever in the afternoon!

Chatsworth House. Better than Downton. I promise.


I take it back, I think it's all because of Advent - it's definitely a week of hope, and some surprises. I've cut back a lot on our traditions this year, but I'm fine with that. I'll swap Jesse Tree scripture that they already know for sisters choosing to read advent books together anyday. Sisters have been asking to colour in  and write Christmas cards and spontaneously bursting into Christmas song. And yesterday I found out that their after-school Cheerleading squad (which I was initially a little dubious about) got them spelling out words using their whole bodies and 1stSister's chose to spell out J-E-S-U-S!


Obviously, it might be considered pressure at this wonderful but still fragile time to invite my mother and father in law, sister and brother in law and their 2 children for Christmas lunch, but I've decided that, although only some of us are gamers, this will save the day:

Christmas 2013: Xmas dinner in a tin launched by Game
Anyone else joining us this year?

* with thanks to Jen Fulwiler @ for hosting - head over there now and read a whole load of other Quick Takes!