Meal Planning

I’m early this week:

  • Pasta with meatballs

I always check out the reduced section when I’m in Asda for their flavoured meatballs so I can bung them in the freezer and get them out when I know I’ll be working late.  I don’t see the point in paying full price when I know I’m putting them in the freezer anyway.  For the sauce I fry some onion, add a tin of chopped tomatoes, a splodge of tomato puree and thicken it with some gravy granules (it works, honestly).  Sometimes I’ll add in some dried chilli or extra pepper – whatever compliments the flavour of the balls really.

  • Chicken Satay

I have made satay from Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute recipe before but my parents brought back a load of Thai packet mixes from their holidays so I’m going to try one of those.  Not sure whether to serve with rice or noodles.

  • Cottage Pie (using up left over veg and mash from Sunday roast)

Another that started life in the Dairy Book of Home Cookery and then gets a bit spiced up with lashings of Worcestershire Sauce and chilli flakes.  Not forgetting the thick layer of bubbling cheese on top.

Talking of Sunday roast – today I made Pork Fillet with Mustard and Herbs http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1549/pork-fillet-with-mustard-and-herbs this was a really easy ‘roast’ to do and I threw in some chunks of onion and peppers to cook alongside the loins.  It’s quite an unusual recipe in that the loins are cooked first and then smothered with the dressing but it does give it a really fresh taste.  I must admit to bodging the recipe a tiny bit as I beheaded a full basil plant and only getting 25g off it so I just beheaded a full parsley plant too.  There was way too much herb mix left over as well.  Luckily there was also some pork left so we’ll have that cold in tortilla wraps for lunch tomorrow (three loins fed six adults and a child easily).

“The Dogs”

Yup, I’m a classy bird.  Me and my husband had a date night out at the greyhound dog racing track last night.  It’s somewhere we’d never been before and it sounded good – best of all was the deal I got from Groupon for it – entry for two, chicken and chips for two, four alcoholic drinks, entry to the on site nightclub for a total of £10.  The stadium do similar packages for around the same price if you go direct:

http://sunderlanddogs.com/index.php

Unfortunately I didn’t win a single pound back from any of my bets grr.  My husband obviously could read the form a bit better and did manage to win around £20 back over ten races and we were only putting a pound or two on a dog.  We rarely get to go out together – put it this way I bought the tickets back in early February and it’s now the end of April.  It was nice to spend some time together doing something different and whenever we do go out we say we should make the effort to do it more often but we never do!

Anyhoo, it’s another tick off my “Bucket List”.

Nails Inc Floral Street Swatch

I have been looking for a good opaque white for a while and came across great reviews for Nails Inc Floral Street.

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It’s glossy in real life but the photo (or more precisely my photography skills) makes it look slightly chalky.  This is three coats and no top coat.  The brush was my only niggle – it was quite fat and spiked but still worked okay.  I originally bought this for nail art purposes but I do quite like it as a block colour too.

W7 Neptune Swatch

Swatch of W7 Metallic Neptune by itself:

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The consistency is very runny and it’s easy to flood the cuticle with this one but I love the colour anyway so I’ll put up with it.  It has a lot of depth to the shimmer and colour.  I’m not sure whether to continue on and collect all the W7 Metallics now?

Water Marbling

There are plenty of tutorials around so I won’t repeat everything but I used some water out of the kettle (that had been boiled earlier in the day) so it was at room temperature.  All in all I think I put around 12 drops of nail varnish in a plastic cup and wrapped my finger as best I could with sellotape before dunking.  I did have a problem collecting the excess before removing my nail from the water but it didn’t affect the design in this instance.

It didn’t look like it would give much coverage when it was in the cup but look:

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I didn’t put a base coat on.  It’s usually recommended but I forgot, oops, and it didn’t make any difference I don’t think.

Mix: Mainly W7 Saturn and Nails Inc London Nights with the odd drop of W7 Silver and W7 Neptune.

Verdict: A bit more advanced but I’m please with how it turned out.  Clean up was the biggest issue as you can probably see – I think I need to invest in some pure acetone and a clean up brush.  I’ll be trying this out with different colour combinations and maybe just on tips when my nails are long enough.

Meal Planning Tuesday

I’m not sure where Monday went?

Another couple of new recipes I will be trying this week.

  • Pasta with Chilli Tomatoes and Spinach

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2040657/pasta-with-chilli-tomatoes-and-spinach

(I’ll use regular pasta as I’m just not keen on the brown stuff)

EDIT: Thumbs up from me and my husband for this one.  I added a bit more seasoning but otherwise this was very tasty.

  • Chicken Braised With Cider and Bacon

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/260621/chicken-braised-with-cider-and-bacon

  • Mac Cheese

No official recipe really, it has just evolved to our taste but do try adding 1/4 of a teaspoon of mustard powder at he same time as the flour.

  • Fish Pie (using up left over veg and mash from Sunday roast)

We had this last night for tea.  This started off life as a Dairy Book of Home Cookery recipe but we’ve tailored it so it’s prepared the day before and gets chucked in the oven for an hour to warm up the next day.  We made this for our Easter Egg hunt a couple of weeks ago and it went down a storm.  If anyone was wanting a good all round cookery book this is the one I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.  It has everything including how to boil  an egg (I can never remember the timings) and roast a joint of meat.

It seems I’m back to winter comfort food this week with the chilly weather.

I also managed to get rid of a load of left over Easter eggs yesterday by making some chocolate brownies from the Humming Bird Bakery recipe book.  They don’t taste like traditional brownies when using cheap milk chocolate but they do end up with a kind of golden syrup taste which is a bonus.  Smashing up chocolate eggs with a rolling-pin is also quite fun too.

Family Day Out: Ormesby Hall

I found out during the week that The National Trust were giving free entry to the majority of their properties and parks at the weekend so I signed up and printed off a voucher so we could all take a family trip to Ormesby Hall.

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ormesby-hall

The weather forecast was rain (still) but we figured that we could look inside the house and visit the gardens if there was a dry spell – the gardens have free entry usually anyway so it made sense to do the house while that was free and we could go back in the summertime to have a look at the gardens.

    a secret door!

My daughter insisted on going in character so was dressed in a Victorian girls costume complete with faux coal dust on the apron.  We were only there an hour and a half and that included a brief look around the gardens and two trips to the model railway room to see Thomas the Tank Engine and friends.  We missed out on a clipboard for a kids trail but I’m not sure if it would have been too old for our daughter anyway but we would probably have stayed a little longer if we’d done that.  It was nice that we had the chance to go somewhere local so it didn’t bother me that we weren’t there long or that it rained because it was FREE.