Friday, 28 October 2016

Ready For The Weekend

a slightly terrifying image of me entertaining The Princess
Our plans for a do nothing weekend have flown out of the window, but it's a good thing. My parents asked if they could visit with "a niece". "Which one?" asked Dan with more than a hint of worry in his voice. "The Princess, not The Wild Thing" I replied, "Phew!" said he. So that's one day taken up in a whirlwind of swings, toy cars, noise and demands for me to perform ridiculous physical feats, should be fun. 

I always have a Friday Blitz around the house, but today things will also go into a box into the garage and more cushions will appear - my house is not child friendly in the slightest, lots of sharp edges and we need plenty of padding for all the sitting on the floor we have to do!

I branched out and made lentil soup yesterday, hardly any spices at all!

Blending a third of the mixture gave it a great texture, something I learned yesterday. 

Another thing I learned yesterday was how to make broccoli taste nice when stirfried - just stirfry for a couple of minutes, add a splash of water, cover and cook for a few minutes more, perfect! "Like a takeaway" said Dan, high praise. 

It was a bit beyond by the time Dan got home, half term visitors are making travel sloooooow this week. 

He's requested the same again tonight, nice and easy, different sauce tonight, I wasn't too bothered about the shop bought one. Here's to the weekend, but hopefully not an end to my week of enjoying the small things!

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Small Things

Five small things that have made me happy this week - 

This sight makes me very happy in the morning. A nice clear sink area. Dan is very good, he almost always does the washing up, but sometimes things are left to drain. But on days like this, as the sun comes up here we are, off to a good start!

I also decluttered a 5kg kettlebell yesterday, I've owned it for about 2 years, maybe longer, it has rarely been used and mainly served as a really ugly doorstop/ something for Dan to stub his toe on. 

I bought an oven glove for 99p from the charity shop, brand new with tags. I only had a pot holder before this so it was a pain (literally) when it was in the wash.

Chatted with some lovely people at the charity shop yesterday. One lady was telling me about the twiddle muffs she makes for various care homes, but also that they now make twiddle aprons, so people don't drop them and can use them wherever they are - what a brilliant idea!

Brushed cotton sheets, so comfy, not good for jumping out of bed first thing!

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

A Year of Noticing, Month One

On 25th September I decided to start noting down everything we buy.

The first step was to find a book to keep a note of everything we bought, Dan got on board very quickly. I had a part used project book in the junk drawer, so no need for something new and started to note down some of the things I knew I wanted to monitor - toiletries, clothes, books and magazines etc then it was just a matter of waiting until I needed to buy something!

After discussing it further with Dan we decided to track everything, he's keeping an eye on petrol and I'm noting down everything else. October was a good month to start as we had a lot to buy and quite a few things planned so we knew the numbers would be scary - and they are!

Dan's mum was 60 so we spent a lot on gifts and things for her, we spent as much on eating out as we did on groceries! And as for the clothes spend, well that was a lot, but it included a winter jacket for Dan and bras for me - none of which are bargain items. I'm happy with what we did this month and what we've learned, it makes saving money next month very straightforward! We haven't overspent but we could have done without a surprise trip to the vet (for many reasons), and one of the rings on the hob has stopped working. 

We have the bonus £25 worth of Nectar vouchers that we won the other week, so we have over £30 in total, We're going to hang onto these for a while, we need to think about the best way to use them. 

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Cooking Day

Yesterday I started to turn the roast veg into meals. 

First on the list was orzotto, not much veg goes into this, but it's very hearty due to the green lentils and quinoa, the miso gives it a nice savoury flavour. We'll serve this with a drizzle of hemp oil and maybe a blob of houmous or something. 


Next was the base for a shepherdess pie, I used fresh veg for this

This will be frozen in two portions and topped with fresh mash when the time comes. The yeast extract really makes this, I can't stand the stuff on its own (although I do really like Marmite crisps) but when it's cooked into a sauce it just leaves a nice savoury flavour behind. 


Along came curry

This turned out to be very hot, from the Kashmiri chillies and very dry in taste, but I like it that way for a change. 


Finally for today I made a variation of my squash and butterbean pasty filling to make a kind of crumble. We have a couple of packs of naan in the pantry so I'll blitz one pack up and use that to top the stew


There's still quite a lot of roast veg left, some of the parsnips will be reheated tonight for with our roast everything else will be frozen for another day. 

Monday, 24 October 2016

Finished Wreath

Sol, I have shared the recipe, such as it is, for the nut roast plait in my reply to your comment. 

I finished the wreath last night and I'm really happy with it. I decided to keep it simple so just added a few flowers and left it at that. It's a really dark morning so probably not the best time to photograph things but here it is.

Food stretching is now in full swing, I did think we'd scoff all the nut roast yesterday but it was really filling so we're having Monday night roast, hooray!

This morning I've rearranged the kitchen cupboards and cleaned the oven (yes, I got up early!) and I'm going to make a start on some batch cooking after another cup of tea. 

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Red, Gold And Green

These are the colours of my weekend, along with claret & blue of course (big kiss to Super Scotty Arfield). Along with a great victory we had the pleasure of meeting Speedo Mick, who was there in his trademark blue swimming trunks raising money and doing his bit to kick cancer into touch

Today has been very domesticated, Dan has cut the lawn and tried to wrestle as much greenery into the garden waste bin as possible, he's done a grand job but behind the garage is still stuffed with the stuff. We'll get through it eventually! He's also made some bread. I've been in the kitchen too, peeler in hand, dealing with lots of lovely veg. 

Some of it became curried lentil soup 

I'll deal with the rest tomorrow. I kept it simple today only using a few other ingredients, the smoked garlic and tamari were used to roast the squash seeds, but they didn't last very long!

I also used a sheet of puff pastry to make a nut roast plait, or as close to a plait as my slapdash approach could manage. While it cooked I made some more flowers for the festive wreath.  

Soup and nut roast plait for tea I think!

Saturday, 22 October 2016


Thank you to those of you who suggested using nail varnish remover to get rid of sticky label residue.

I wore my new boots last night, but the price sticker was very stubborn. Dan remembered the tip and hey presto, a quick rub and it was gone!