Monday, 29 August 2011

Meal Planning Monday - 29 August

I have been very slack in my meal planning of late. In my defence I am suffering from acute school-holidayentronitis (I am sure that's a proven condition) where the days are filled with doing stuff for small people and the weeks seem to fly by. The week I made all the American blog dishes was a success for me, though the kids turned their noses up at most offerings. I didn't manage all the meals, but I never do. I wasn't fussed on the Cheerio Muffins - the Cheerios took on a funny texture.

One thing I did try was these Cinnamon Sugar crusted muffins Oh my! These were gorgeous. They tasted a lot like doughnuts and were quick and easy to make. I'm in 2 minds whether or not to make them again as they are so moreish.

This week's recipes are:
Egg, chip and pepper bake
Lasagne cup-cakes (yes, I'm still reading American blogs). I'll be using lasagne sheets instead of wonton wrappers. I can't get the latter easily.
Baked potato with turkey ham and Coronation cottage cheese
Slimming World chickpea dahl loaf

Rice crispie bars
Victoria sponge cake done the WI way, by weighing the eggs in their shells, then using equal amounts of butter, sugar and flour. Foolproof.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Amazing children and what they can teach us

I am sure I'm not the only person who's disgusted with the mindless looting and violence parading as a social expression that's going on around the country at the moment; nor that so many of them are 'youths'. To restore any lost faith here are a few inspiring children that reaffirm my hope in the next generation.

Jack Draws Anything
I love Jack. He started drawing pictures to sell to raise money for the children's hospital where his brother was treated. 6 year old Jack started last year with a target of raising £100 and (as of this morning) has raised £23,404.50. Go Jack!!!
You can see his drawings, request one, and make a donation at

Felix Finkbeiner
Felix is now 13, but when he was 9 he learned about the Green Belt Movement whilst doing his homework. Inspired by their simple principle and level of success, he started a campaign to plant 1 million trees. It's called Plant For The Planet. 3.9 million trees have been planted, and 7 million pledged. The new targed is 132 million. I love the slogan: Stop Talking. Start Planting. 

Dylan Carlyon
Dylan is a local 6 year old who climbed 3 Welsh peaks on 6 Aug: Skirrid (1601ft), Sugarloaf (1955ft) and Pen-Y-Fan (2907ft). He aimed to raise £500 for the Noah’s Ark Appeal, and has raised £2,700 so far. What's impressive about this is not just the amount he's raised, but the physical effort he put in to do it. 3 peaks in 24 hours would be too much for some adults, but Dylan did it.
He was inspired by seeing the benfits of the hydrotherapy pool treatment his little brother had for his hyper mobility, and concerned that the resource was shared and children's sessions were limited.
More information is here 

What I love about these 3 children is that they saw an opportunity to make a change for the positive. Instead of feeling helpless they felt powerful. They felt frustrated by a situation but instead of showing that frustration as mindless violence and aggression, the showed it in a way which benefits themselves and their cause.

Children cut through the rubbish that adults get bogged down in. They don't look for excuses as to why something can't be done. They find a way it can be. Like Felix says: Stop Talking. Start Planting. I'm grateful to them, and children like them, for teaching me things I have forgotten. 

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Meal Planning Monday - 8 August

This week I've decided to make only recipes I've found on American blogs and websites. My kids can be pretty picky eaters and I have been seduced by the ideal that so many 'moms' promote online. If they have shiny happy blogs then they'll have shiny happy children - right? Since it's school holidays I'm even going so far as to make some breakfasts as well. (No children, you can't have Malted Wheaties this week. You'll have a pastry and damn well like it.)

Doughnuts or Beignets (very tempted to make these but not sure if I will)

Spinach and cheese strata - not sure if anyone but me will like this, but I think it looks delicious
Slow cooker pulled pork - I've made this before but not with this recipe

That seems to be an awful lot of food but I should be able to freeze portions for another week. I'm not looking forward to making out my shopping list. I will adapt as much to be Slimming World friendly as I can.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Fajita bowls

Further to yesterday's post I have actually made something from Pinterest! There I was, thinking about dinner and what to cook (despite Monday's meal plan, nothing appealed). I decided to use Pinterest for inspiration and ... ta dah! mini taco bowls.

Here is my larger version. I used normal sized tortillas and shaped some in an upside down muffin tin, and some inside a bowl.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011


For someone whose blog is about random things that have caught my eye, you might have thought I would have discovered Pinterest a long time ago. As it is, my sister introduced me to it a week or 2 ago and I'm hooked. How fantastic is that site! Not only is it a place for me to stick things I like and might need to find again (you should see the mess my Bookmarks are in) but it's full of other cool stuff people have found. It's a both a brilliant resource and an amazing time waster, and just perfect for someone like me who has the attention span of a toddler some days.

One of my favourite finds this week is Kirsty Calquhorn's 365 days of Pinterest creations blog She's pretty inspirational. I have been treating Pinterest a bit like a magazine - something to dip in and out of for entertainment or ideas - but she's actually doing.

Fab ideas I have found which I will definitely be trying are:
Chocolate Mint Cookie Mounds - choc mint is the favourite flavour of my husband and 2 sons
Star Wars figures (Ok, I already knew about these, but have ordered the wooden dolls now)

I could go on... I am in love with Pinterest. 

Monday, 1 August 2011

Meal Planning Monday - 1 August

I missed a week or 2 of meal planning due to being on holiday and generally disorganised. I will say that last week's menu included a disgusting pot noodle, a delicious steak pasty, and the most gorgeous Cornish cream tea ever. For those who don't know, a Cornish cream tea is where the jam goes on first topped by the cream. Devonshire cream teas are the reverse and (in my mind) just a bit wrong. Clotted cream is the best.

You can see that my Slimming World diet has gone by the wayside slightly and I am feeling quite sluggish and blergh as a result.

This week's menu is:
Turkey, veg and rice noodle stir fry
Pork and apple burgers with roasted butternut squash
Quorn sausages, spinach, cherry tomatoes and scrambled eggs
Orange spaghetti - have seen a recipe somewhere. Need to find it again

That's it for this week. I'm uninspired and a bit rushed (despite it having taken me all day to get this post finished). I suspect I'll be having eggs and left overs on the other nights.