Monday, 13 October 2014

Meal Planning Monday - 13th October

You may have noticed I've had a bit of a makeover (the blog, not me, your lucky if I remember to apply mascara these days). I have done a lot of thinking recently about the blog and my lack of posting. What it boiled down to is that the blog as it was just wasn't an accurate reflection of me any more. Yes, I still enjoy cooking and being creative in the kitchen, but my life is about so much more. Previously I felt weird blogging about anything other than food, like I was letting people down if every post didn't contain a recipe.

I realise now that this is all a bit melodramatic, and that under all this self indulgent pondering this blog is about me, and by putting it into a single category I was limiting myself. So, in conclusion; things are changing, and it is good.

Back to business, in my sudden spurt of energy and nesting that happened today, I have created a meal plan! Hooray!

Leftover roast pork egg fried rice, with peas and chilli oil.

A sort yourself out night, I will be having gnocchi with pesto, rocket and capers.

Butter chicken with brown rice, its out of a jar, but yummy non the less

Bolognese, either in a pasta bake, or with spaghetti, depending what we fancy.

Chicken enchiladas.

Quite a simple meal plan, lots of convenience, but I am usually ready for bed by 6:30pm so needs must.

I am only 6 weeks away from my due date now, people keep telling me how quickly this pregnancy is going, I cannot disagree enough! I currently feel like I have been pregnant forever and a day!

I do hope you like the new look, and enjoy some of the new things I will be sharing/posting.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Meal Planning Monday - 4th August

So last weeks meal plan was a roaring success, life is so much easier when you have a plan. We veered slightly off plan on Thursday and treated ourselves to a takeaway, but the salmon and BBQ thighs were the highlight of the week for me.

This week I am off work, so hoping I might feel the urge to get my bake on... Watch this space.

I am out during the day, so sticking with simple and having breaded haddock with risotto rice, the risotto is a packet one from Aldi, that I tend to add things too.

Tuna pasta bake - simples

Breaded chicken with homemade wedges, corn on the cob and coleslaw.

Homemade pizzas! Not made these in forever, so looking forward to getting the dough hook out.

I am out for dinner with my sister as it is Newcastle Restaurant Week

This is the basic plan based on what I have in the cupboards/freezer, but as I am off I might mix things up a bit, depending on my energy levels.

I'd love to see what you guys have planned for the week too, so feel free to link your own plan in the comments.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Baby Nelly - Second Trimester Update.

It feels like forever ago that I made the announcement that we are expecting, its so weird as I feel like it is flying by, but also dragging. The second trimester has been much more fun than the first, a little less worrying and a lot more buying of cute things. Although, the worry is still there. Google is not my friend.

We found out at our 20 week scan that we are having a little girl (probably). They couldn't say 100% but the sonographer seemed pretty sure, and from my inexperienced point of view it sure didn't look like a boy... So we are playing it safe and keeping the big purchases in neutral/bright colours, just in case. I couldn't resist purchasing a few girly things though.

I feel like I have got my cooking mojo back a little, but its been far too hot to cook much. I am not complaining as I know summer will be gone in the blink of an eye, but I can't wait for that autumn crispness in the air and the urge to bake pie.

While I haven't been baking/cooking much, I have still been doing some fun foodie things. I went to a lovely blogger afternoon networking event organised by Lovely Lauren from Scran on the Tyne. This was held at Gusto in Newcastle, where we got to sample their fabulous menu. Seriously, it was so delicious, platters of meats and cheeses, pizza, pasta, risotto, salad... We got to try it all. If you're looking for good italian food in a beautiful setting, Gusto is the place for you.

I was too busy scoffing at Gusto to take pictures, but I snapped this lush photo of the Quayside. Ooops *bad blogger*

I also was invited along to try out Cake Poppins new royal icing classes, where we got to experiment and decorate some biscuits. Kate from Cake Poppins is such a fantastic (and patient!) teacher, I learn't loads of techniques, which I plan to replicate as soon as I can at home.

Kate also offers other classes in cake pops, cupcakes and macarons, all of which I have been to and can not recommend enough.

So, as I type this at nearly 23 weeks I am feeling pretty darn good, well apart from the heat, heartburn and lack of sleep, but lets not mention those. The plan over the next few weeks is to get more baby things organised, I want to be well prepared as I know I will not want to do anything as I expand into the third trimester.

Any parenting/pregnancy pearls of wisdom or advice is always welcome, so please do comment below, I am a total novice here and appreciate any advice I can get!

Mother's Always Right

Monday, 28 July 2014

Meal Planning Monday - 28th July

How hot has it been? I am using this photo of Ruby to illustrate how we are not at all coping well with the humidity.

So what with morning sickness and general tiredness I have been more than a little lazy where meal planning is concerned. Take aways have been had and a shocking number of "toast for dinner" days. As I am feeling better I have decided to take advantage and get a meal plan sorted.

Breakfasts are cereal or toast, and lunches are leftovers where possible, or sandwiches. I find myself grazing a lot through the day, as I get heartburn in the evening so try to eat little and often. Snacks of crackers, babybel, fruit, carrot sticks etc... are always on hand.

Veggie Stirfry for me, and chicken and risotto for him. He doesn't like vegetables and I fancy something crunchy and fresh.

BBQ chicken thighs with sweet potato wedges and corn on the cob

Beef lasagne

Salmon with homemade egg fried rice. I am trying to make myself like salmon more, by eating it at least once a week, so far its not as bad as anticipated.

I am out for a colleagues leaving drinks, so will be eating out.

A nice varied meal plan to ease me back in, lets see if I can stick to it...

Friday, 25 July 2014

Violet Madeleines

Well, my plan to continue blogging didn't quite go to plan. I suffered quite badly during the first trimester (and some of the second) with sickness and extreme tiredness.

So, sadly the blog was left to gathering dust. I do miss it though, I have found myself planning recipes in my head more and more over the last few days, so thought I would kick things off with this recipe I made earlier in the year, but never got around to blogging.

Violet Madeleines. Lovely light and delicate cakes adapted from the Skinny French Kitchen by Harry Eastwood. I love this book by the way, makes french cooking easy and a little lighter on the waistline.

print recipe
Violet Madeleines
  • 4 Medium Eggs
  • Half a teaspoon Salt
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 100g Plain Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Bakign Powder
  • 80g Ground Almonds
  • Half a teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Half a teaspoon Violet Essence
  • 50g Butter, Melted
Preheat the oven to 200C and brush a little oil into the Madeleine moulds - I used coconut oil, but standard olive or vegetable would do.Whisk together the eggs, salt and sugar until bubbly, then add the remaining ingredients and mix into a batter.Gently spoon the mixture into the moulds, filling three quarters of the way to the top, be careful not to over fill.Next, put the filled tin into the freezer, ensuring it is lying flat. Leave it for 10 minutes, and put the remaining mixture in the fridge to keep cold.After the ten minutes, put them in the oven and cook for ten minutes.Repeat the oiling, filing, freezing process for each batch until the mixture is all gone.Dust the Madeleines with icing sugar and serve. They will keep for 2 days in an air tight container, although they taste best eaten fresh.

According to the book, its the shock from cold to hot which results in the signature little bump.

The recipe above is how you should do it, however, I skipped the freezer bit for my second batch and they turned out much the same, so if you, like me have no patience, a refrigerated batter will still give you the little bump.

Thinking of doing a few baby/pregnancy related posts, as its the biggest part of my life right now. What do you think? Would you be interested in non-food related content?

Wednesday, 14 May 2014


So, as you can probably tell from the above grainy picture of my uterus... I have some news!

In around six months time we will be welcoming a new little person into our family. It has been a very long couple of months of sickness and secret keeping but finally I can tell everyone. I partly haven't been baking and blogging due to feeling rubbish and steering clear of any interesting food, but also as I am a terrible secret keeper and I would have struggled to carry on blogging without blurting it out.

So, apologies for disappearing for the last few months, I am really looking forward to getting back to it and hopefully, sickness permitting, baking again!

Luckily I do have some posts from February that I didn't get around to finishing or publishing, so look out for some recipes very soon.

Hope you all had a lovely March/April, and I am looking forward to sharing some lovely summer recipes with you.

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