Monday, April 28, 2014

Meal Planning Mondays April 28th ~ May 3rd

Well yet another week has flown by and still no new recipe post up on the blog! I'm sorry - but I literally don't know where the time is going, especially since Thursday is the 1st of May! The year seems to be passing at lightning speed, however at times like this when we have so much going on keeping us super busy I have to say I am glad that I am a Meal Planner. As I've said before things don't always go according to plan every night but for the most part it works as a weekly unit and sometimes meals just get switched around to accommodate increasingly changing plans! I'm hoping this week will be fairly straightforward but you just never know!

There is no particular theme to this week's menu. Leftovers are thankfully all gone (other than some stock that is stashed in the freezer) however we have decided to start something new with Ben. Once a week he gets to decide what we are having for dinner and he helps cook the meal with me. Last Saturday was Cat's Mac and Cheese taken from his Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook. It was a little more complicated than I had anticipated and he did get a bit bored after a while but generally he loved it and was a great help! Thankfully the final dish was delicious. This week he has picked Burgers which will be great fun as he'll really be able to get his hands dirty! Unsurprisingly I love having him help out in the kitchen, especially now that I understand that things will just take a bit longer and be a lot messier but that's a compromise I am more than willing to accept. I am so grateful that he is such a good eater but I find that letting him see how things are made really makes him understand his meals and enjoy them even more!

So there you have it....another week of meals and with it another month passed! The good news at least is that at this speed it will be Summer in no time and we will be able to enjoy our delicious food outside in the warm sun. Keeps your eyes open as I have lots of plans for upcoming posts including our Best Ever Ribs, easy recipes featuring Rhubarb and some special Cupcakes for Mother's Day!

I hope you all have a great week full of delicious food with family and friends! x

 Monday April 28th - Sunday May 4th 

                                  Monday  -      Spaghetti with Spicy Red Pesto & Cherry Tomatoes
                                  Tuesday -       Chicken Souvlaki with Greek Salad; Tzatiki; Hummus & Pita Bread
                                  Wednesday -  Creamy Tomato & Spinach Pasta (from Clodagh's Kitchen Diaries)
                                  Thursday -      Vietnamese Pork Curry with Jasmine Rice
                                  Friday -          Grilled Halloumi with Bulgar Wheat & Rocket Salad (new recipe!)
                                  Saturday -      Classic Beef Burgers with Potato Wedges
                                  Sunday -        Roasted Ling Cod with Dill Hollandaise Sauce, New Potatoes &                                                                     Broccolini
As always don't forget you can add links to your Weekly Meal Plans in the comments section below.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Meal Planning Mondays April 21st ~ 27th

A little late this week but I have been having a wonderful weekend celebrating Easter, which of course involves being with family and eating lots of delicious food! Needless to say after feasting on Roast Lamb AND Roast Turkey over the weekend we have lots of leftovers, so this weeks meal plan is all about using up our leftovers, something that I am very excited about! I understand to some people leftovers can be boring, and trust me I can be one of those people, but with some careful planning you can turn leftover meals into new and extremely delicious, exciting dinners. The only problem is not knowing how long the leftovers will last so I haven't quite finished the whole plan as it will just depend on things but I'll update as the week progresses. On top of that Ben is staying with his cousins on Friday night so I am trying to decide what we should do for dinner.....Options include me making us a special dinner....Putting Scott on dinner duty..... or getting a take away!! I suspect I will end up going for option number 1 (glutton for punishment!) even though the other two option sound very tempting! One thing I can guarantee is that we won't be eating Turkey or Lamb! For the time being though, it's off to strain my fantastic Turkey Stock - the first step of using up my delicious leftovers!

I hope you all had a great Easter and have a good week. I'm working on some new recipes to put up on the blog so hopefully I will have them ready soon x

Monday April 21st - Sunday 27th 

                                  Monday  -       Leftover Turkey Dinner
                                  Tuesday -       Lamb Croquettes with Salad
                                  Wednesday -  Barbecued Turkey Dim Sum 
                                  Thursday -      Mixed Meat Pilaff (from Nigella Kitchen)
                                  Friday -          T-Bone Steaks with Mushroom Sauce; Onion Rings, Potato Wedges                                                           & Salad!
                                  Saturday -      Cat in the Hat Mac n Cheese (Ben's choice!)
                                  Sunday -        Pulled Lamb Buns! (Experiment)
As always don't forget you can add links to your Weekly Meal Plans in the comments section below.   

Monday, April 14, 2014

Meal Planning Mondays April 14th - April 20th

Well I have to say that last week's plan to use what I have worked really well! In total I spent approximately $35 on fresh fruit, a few vegetables, some eggs and butter but that was it. Everything else came from the fridge, freezer and pantry! Total result! Of course now it has got me motivated to do that every week which obviously makes sense, although there is one down side.... If you literally eat everything you have then when it does come time to restock you are faced with one mammoth shop and grocery bill to boot! So with taking that into consideration I won't quite cook us out of house and home but I will be better at using what we have. There is also the fact I am a complete food hoarder so seeing my shelves slowly dwindle doesn't make me happy so I am working on achieving a happy balance!

I am so excited that this weekend is Easter and although it is as late as it possibly can be this year it has still managed to sneak up on me! That being said I have managed to come up with a meal plan for the weekend featuring my favourite traditional Easter meal of Roast Lamb and my husband's family tradition of their favourite, Roast Turkey. Both will be served with seasonal Spring Veg to keep it lighter and the perfect meals for celebrating Easter. And of course it means lots of leftovers for the following week! 

Today I am also going to be making a pot of my Year-Round Creamy Tomato Soup which will be perfect for lunch for a few days and some Cheese & Spring Onion Scones to go with it which are great for enjoying straight out of the oven and then I can pop some in the freezer and take them out individually whenever I fancy. And since it's Easter coming up I can guarantee there will be a few batches of surprise baking coming out of the kitchen! If you are looking for some inspiration why not try my Chocolate Easter Nests (perfect for making with children) or my Double Chocolate Easter Cupcakes, and if you are really wanting to make something special how about making your very own Chocolate Easter Eggs.

I hope you all have a great week and Happy Easter! x

Monday April 14th - Sunday 20th 

                                  Monday  -      Pierogies & Salad
                                  Tuesday -      Thai Chicken Laksa with Mildly Spiced Noodle Squash Broth
                                  Wednesday - Spaghetti with Garlic, Lemon, Kale & Parmesan
                                  Thursday -     Ginger-Poached Chicken Noodles
                                  Friday -         Good Friday! Margarita Pizza
                                  Saturday -     Roast Lamb with Red Wine & Redcurrant Sauce; New Potatoes with                                                           Mint & Grilled Asparagus with Lemon & Olive Oil
                                  Sunday -       Easter Sunday! Roast Turkey with Gravy & Bread Stuffing; Mashed                                                             Potatoes; Peas & Carrots and Broccolini with Lemon & Parmesan;
                                                      Lemon Meringue Pie

  As always don't forget you can add links to your Weekly Meal Plans in the comments section below.   

Monday, April 7, 2014

Meal Planning Mondays April 7th - 13th

Last week I went a little crazy with food shopping! It was a combination of re-stocking things I was out of, hosting Cook Club and some definite impulsive buys that I didn't need but couldn't resist! Needless to say the budget's not looking great until the middle of the month, so this week's Meal Planning Mondays is all about using what I have! That's right - other than essentials like milk, fresh fruit and vegetables I am not allowed to buy anything else. To be honest it should be easy as I am a complete food hoarder and have enough food in our home to rival a small grocery store!

The Vietnamese Pork Noodle Soup on Monday is perfect for using up vegetables left over from Cook Club including Bok Choy, Bean Sprouts and Green Beans. All I need to do is defrost some Pork from the freezer and it will be the perfect start to the week. Tuesday's Spanish Tortilla is based on the fact that I always have Eggs and Potatoes in the house and it's a quick and easy meal that we all love and will provide plenty of leftovers for packed lunches the next day. Wednesday's meal is courtesy of Jamie Oliver and with lots of peppers, spring onions and fresh herbs in the house it is the perfect dinner to have midweek. Again the freezer will help me out with the Chicken as I have lots and I always have plenty of couscous and other grains on hand. With 3 pots of Greek Yogurt in the fridge I am good to go! Thursday and Scott will be home late so it will be a simple pasta dish for Ben and I....I'll update once I have decided if it will be our classic Tomato Pasta or something a little different and of course I'll need to see how the contents of the fridge are doing! (Update: I decided to make a Hearty Pasta Soup from BBC GoodFood - link below- which looks delicious and I know I have all of the ingredients for!) Friday is a Gorgeous Fish Stew taken from The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food & Lose Weight which I am really excited for! The fish and seafood are all in the freezer just waiting to be gently cooked in a mildly spiced tomato sauce. Thankfully for me I also have a French baguette tucked away in the freezer which will be perfect for the crostini. The weekend is definitely going to a bit more challenging as I generally like to take more time over dinner and either make a roast, slowly cook a stew or of course opt for the bbq or smoker so it will be a case of raiding the freezer again to see what I can come up with!

So there you have it - a week (almost!) of meals and an attempt to spend as little money as possible! How many days could you cook for you and your family based on just what you have in your house? Why not try it out and let me know how you get on! Have a great week!

Monday April 7th - Sunday 13th 

                                  Monday  -     Vietnamese Pork Noodle Soup ( From Kitchen by Nigella Lawson)
                                  Tuesday -      Spanish Tortilla with Roasted Red Peppers and a Green Salad
                                  Wednesday - Gorgeous Greek Chicken with Herby Vegetable Couscous &Tzatiki
                                  Thursday -     Hearty Pasta Soup
                                  Friday -         Gorgeous Fish Stew with Crostini (from the Hairy Dieters)
                                  Saturday -     Friend over for dinner: Chicken Panang with Steamed Bok Choy &                                                             Jasmine Rice
                                  Sunday -       TBD

  As always don't forget you can add links to your Weekly Meal Plans in the comments section below.   

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spaghetti with Broccolini, Garlic & Chilli

Tenderstem Broccoli, Broccolini and Broccolette - all names referring (as far as I can tell) to the same wonderful thin, long-stemmed variety of broccoli. It is one of my all time favourite vegetables and when it comes into season I am always so happy!

This is by far one of my favourite ways to enjoy it, as a quick and simple delicious pasta dish ideal for knocking up for a midweek meal that is filling but light at the same time. The amount of time needed to cook the broccoli will depend on how thin the stalks are but as a guide the latest bunch I had were almost pencil thin and therefore needed no more than 1 minute for the stalks and 30 seconds for the florets, but if they are a bit thicker the stalks might need up to 2 minutes.

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