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Meal Plan 27th November 2014

We are trying to make food go a little further this week so buying a packet of 500g mince and making it do at least two meals the same with two chicken breasts and making sure the roast can do two meals.

Thursday - Homemade Chilli with Baked Potatoes for everyone

Friday - Waitorse Treat

Saturday - Chicken Burgers - Chicken to be flattened out and coated in spicy mix served with lots of salad and a few chips. Boys will have homemade crispy chicken, chips and salad

Sunday - Cola Roast Gammon for the whole family

Monday - Thai Chicken Rice again lots of veggies in with the rice to make the meat go further. Boys will also be having this.

Tuesday - Milaniase style left over gammon served with spaghetti the boys will also be having this.

Wednesday - Gnnochi with Bologniase Style sauce using up the mince beef from Thursday.



Meal Plan 20th November 2014

It's been a manic week hubby on holiday but feels like I have less time. This meal plan I must admit has been thrown together in a rush but here goes

Thursday - Broccoli, Mushroom and Gnocchi from Jo Pratt Madhouse cookbook. Boys will have gnocchi with tomato sauce

Friday - I am out with my special needs mums night out cocktails and tapas boys will all have fish chips and peas

Saturday - Fahitas the boys will have homemade pizza

Sunday - Roast Pork with all the trimmings

Monday - Mushroom Bougnion from Amuse your Bouche boys will have mini roast chicken

Tuesday - Slow cooker Lasagne for us all

Wednesday - Take out as a treat the boys will have spaghetti carbonara

Meal Plan 13th November 2014

Last week we had some new and really lovely meals thanks to  re discovering Rachel Allen's easy meals and I must admit I am going to be using that book a lot more and a couple of good mid week meals have come out of it. This week I have been re looking at the Madhouse cookbook by Jo Pratt

Thursday - Homemade mixed bean chilli with jacket potatoes - totally made up ala Mud Cakes and Wine I may write it up but worried it's just too simple - boys had simply Jackets with cheese and some salad

Friday - doing a cheesy nacho dish with chicken be interesting to see what I make up for this one. I will do the same for the boys less chilli though

Saturday - Beef pies I must admit I brought these in with chips and peas for the boys homemade pizza and chips

Sunday - Roast Chicken boys will have the same

Monday - Meatballs with Olives - Madhouse cookbook by Jo Pratt. Boys will have mince sauce with pasta

Tuesday - Chicken, Potato and Spinach Curry - Madhouse cookbook by Jo Pratt. Boys will …

The diabetes yo-yo

We have had type 1 in our life for coming up to six months now and we have come along way. From those paranoid first few weeks where we were almost scared of food, not helped by the fact our little boy had re discovered his appetite and wanted to eat all day long, I am not sure how many bags of carrots, cheese and cucumbers we brought. Learning to do finger prick tests and the joys of trying to sort repeat prescriptions out with the doctors surgery. The laughable way I thought I would easily be able to rotate his blood tests, one inside and outside each finger moving along his hand. What the hell was I thinking I am lucky now to grab a hand and keep him still long enough to do the test and the that bloody E4 honestly I think it's one of the most annoying reading and that bleep ringing in your ears. We both look at the monitor and shout oh no E4 and OB says silly mummy.

We know roughly what we are doing, but what I have come to witness is the level of constant stress. When people s…

Food Fails Part One

We have been a little quiet on the mud cakes and wine postings but believe me its been very busy. I have lots of sen related blogs to come up. However I have been reading some wonderful blogs full of amazing food I look at them and read with wonder at how they do it. This blog is not too long but very true and I am sure you know exactly where I am coming from.

In the mud cakes and wine household I thought for a few days that I had totally lost the ability to cook, now let's be honest here my ability's are very basic but we do tend to get some tasty meals. So what have we had in the last few weeks that have made me question my cooking ability.
First was yet another stuck to the bottom burnt on the top yet soggy toad in the hole. I try, let's think about this, about once every couple of months to cook a successful toad in the hole and about once every two months I say never again, as we sit down to a meal covered in gravy as we have dry sausages and batter that's slightl…

Meal Plan 6th November 2014

It's been a while as we have just been manic with school and special needs and type 1 issues all needing to be addressed, so here is next weeks meal plan and I will try and do a recap on the last few weeks high and sadly low points for food

Thursday - Spiced beef pittas taken from Rachel Allen's Easy Meals - boys having spag Bol

Friday - little treat a ken hom meal kit so no cooking tonight. Boys will have tortellini 

Saturday - Cajun chicken burgers with bacon, avocado and general yummy times boys will have home made chicken nuggets and chips

Sunday - The inlaws are over so a lovely farmshop piece of beef with all the trimmings

Monday - Tomato and Goats cheese tart with new potatoes ans salad again from Rachel Allen's Easy Meals the boys will also have a tomato and cheese tart

Tuesday - Fried potato, cabbage and chorizo - Rachel Allen Easy Meals the boys will have mini roast potatoes with tomato sauce and green veggies

Wednesday - Bacon, mushroom and potato gratin with a large s…

Thinking about some me time

I drop OB at school explain his levels for the night, give instructions about the day and when to call me, discuss how he has been with in himself. I then negotiate with ATM taking yet another one of schools play cars, telling myself I will promise to bring it back in the afternoon. Drive round to pre school grab ATM, drop him off jump back into the car to drive over to Aldi wondering if I am going to get parked or will have to wait for a space (which I just hate and always think maybe just park in the children's spaces, no I never can bring myself to do it). Get home with enough time to put it away and then tidy up ready to collect the boys.
In theory I have three mornings to myself one is shopping, one is cleaning and the other is running errands that I can not do with both boys or need to look at something where ATM will get bored or going to look at the pre school website for some reason I said I would write.
I have come to a decision that I need something for me that I can lo…

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Last week while doing the weekly shop I was thinking about the joys of Saturday lunch, trying to find a meal that all four of us can eat which is also quick and easy to prepare. The change in the season has already had a large impact on the food I am cooking, the slow cooker is out for so many meals from Caribbean chicken to sausage casserole. 

Then I walked past the humble butternut squash it's sweet so the boys would like it and they do so love soup add a bit of spice to make the husband happy.
The soup bowls were empty and in ATM words it was lovely mummy so the recipe is as follows, you may want to increase the spices, I was trying to make sure it was OK for a 3 and 4 year old.
1 butternut squash peeled and cut into chunks 1 red onion peeled and cut into chunks 2 cloves of garlic whole and skin on 1 medium potato peeled and cut into chunks 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp coriander 1/2 tsp chili powder 1 tbsp olive oil 1 litre of vegetable stock
Heat the oven to 200 ours is not fan assisted. Peel and cho…

Dear teacher

I know all parents struggle to find out about their children's days at school I talk with all my amazing friends who say they ask what they have done at school and get "humm can not remember" or "I did so much I can not remember" they all ask leading questions did you play with sand etc again nothing. 
However I can not gleam anything, one day I thought I had cracked it "did you play with sand" I asked yes he replied OK I thought, did then do some counting? Yes came the reply OK thought mummy lets try a third was counting fun? Yes came the reply OK thinks mummy we have gotten three yes answers did you fly to the moon? Yes came the eager response. OK thinks mummy where do we go from here. 
This is it, my wish from teachers, I know your busy you have lots of children and parents who all need your time and attention but I need to know something about my boys day. He goes to school at 9.30 I collect him at 2.30 and I will know nothing about the whole day bu…

Meal Plan

Thursday 4th September 2104

I have been finding food tough recently with a fussy eater to think about and being a little shattered food has slipped and all I want is easy meals. I had a good look through my books and found my woman's weekly slow cookbook which contained a few gems to at least try this week

 Thursday - omelette's and chips for everyone lots of cheese and mushrooms and maybe I should throw in a little bit if salad

Friday - Mexican meatballs I found this one in the book it said to serve with tortilla but I have gone for tortilla chips and going to make tiny meatballs.  Going to try out a little chili for the boys well spicy mince.

 Saturday - having in laws over going to be lazy and get some ready made pies etc from Waitrose so we can all have a catch up

Sunday - we are going to Richmond for a christening so it's a tesco meal deal that night as the next day is also OB first day at school

Monday - waffles, poached eggs, oven roasted tomatoes and salad for ever…

Blue cheese and mini roast potato salad

I am not very good at making up recipes, I do tweak ones in books but that's mainly due to the fact I have forgotten something in the shop meaning I have to change bits.

For lunch I was cooking the boys mini roast potatoes with a homemade tomato sauce, they always love this lunch but I for some reason had only done enough for a tiny serving for myself so needed to improvise. This is what I came up with and I must admit it was very very tasty.
To prepare the mini roast potatoes most people would cut them not small chunks and roast them in the oven, to be honest I par boil mine for a couple of mins it's extra work but I think it makes them fluffy and lighter. Then pop them into pre heated olive oil and cook in the oven at 200 for approx 35 to 45 mins depending when crunchy and lightly roasted.
I then made up a salad of tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, peppers, grated carrot or what ever you have left in the fridge. I made up a small amount of mayonnaise mixed with yogurt and got out my…

Fancy a garden tour?

With everything going on I have discovered more and more the delights of our garden. The garden is a mess and it's taking a lot of back breaking work but it's just what I need at the moment, digging and then weeding you can get lost in everything. Most of the time I have my boys with me so have a combination of gardening and being invited to a tea party of muddy water and a mint and basil cake or pulling all the flowers from any shrub or rose and telling me it's party time.
I thought I would post a few photos to show what we are working with and how we are moving forward, be it very slowly.
A image of the borders I am trying to clear out.


This is my amazing but very small part of our bramble jungle that needs to be gotten rid of, though not before we have lots of blackberrys to put into vodka. I also need to rescue our sloes from the brambles, need to get my prioritys right, sloe vodka is amazing.


This is our front border at the moment, as you can see I need to continue dig…

Meal Plan

Our meal plan for Thursday 28th August 2014. As mentioned we are starting from scratch with OB food to see where things are going wrong.

Thursday - broccoli and mushroom gnocchi from the madhouse cook book by Jo Pratt - boys are having plain pasta with cheese grated on top carrots and broccoli

Friday - Homemade Burgers with blue cheese - boys are having gnocchi with a tomato sauce but I will purée down the sauce so there are no bits.

Saturday - fahitas - boys are having homemade pizza using left over sauce from yesterday.

Sunday - lasagna

Monday - Chicken Potato curry in a hurry again from the madhouse cookbook by Jo Pratt - boys are having mini roast chicken, roast potatoes, carrots and broccoli

Tuesday - Jacket potato with tuna mayo or baked beans everyone is having this

Wednesday - smoked salmon pasta - boys are having carbonara

Meal time blues

It's been a long old week in our household and yet again it's food that is making us want to bury our heads in the sand. OB has always had issues around food mainly involving texture and the look. But now he has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes this means when I administer his insulin I need him to eat or he can hypo which means blood sugar running to low and he will not feel very well (putting it mildly). We inject before meals as it's to easy to forget after and I feel have your injection them yummy food is a good way round.
So when you have given the injection and for the fourth day running he looks at the meals he normally eats says yuck and demands cake you wonder a few things. Is it the food are the issues regarding texture and look increasing or is he in fact thinking if I do not eat i get something sweet so let's cut straight to sweet or is this a normal child development and it's a phase. Tonight I got to a point we had given him his insulin and sat him a…

Meal Plan

Thursday 21st August

The other half is off work for a week so I have gone for some mega easy meals please do not look down on me but here we go

Thursday - bacon and tomato pasta

Friday - hubbies choosing meal from Waitrose boys having gnocchi

Saturday - £10 dine in from tesco boys having homemade pizza

Sunday - roast chicken with all the trimmings

Monday - gammon eggs and chips

Tuesday - Chinese box boys having tortellini

Wednesday - chicken, mash and green veg

Meal plan Thursday (updated on Saturday)

Sorry not quite sure what's caused the delay or where the time has gone maybe it's been my slight obsession with Pinterest

Thursday - Quick fried rice ala BBC good food http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/6350/fastfix-fried-rice

Friday - Honey and mustard sausages with fried onions in baguettes boys having homemade pizza

Saturday - Tacos the boys will have spaghetti bolognaise using the mince

Sunday - Party time at the brother in laws

Monday - Calzone we are having mushroom and goats cheese boys to have a tomato and mozzarella 
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1267638/mushroom-and-goats-cheese-calzone
Tuesday - baked spaghetti http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/12693/tomato-and-mozzarella-spaghetti-bake

Wednesday - risotto with peas and topped with baked fish there is a little bit of cheating here I am using the birds eye fish that's flavoured with herbs and I just have to pop in the oven and risotto will be cooked all in one not the official way (sorry but a girls gotta …

Meal plan Thursday

Meal plan 7th August 2014

Thursday - gnocchi with cream sauce broccoli and mushrooms from madhouse cookbook

Friday - Fish, Chips and peas

Saturday - curry box (need a days rest) boys will have gnocchi and tomatoe sauce

Sunday - roast beef and all the trimmings

Monday - Pork stir fry - I have to admit to using a shop sauce

Tuesday - Tagatelli with cheese sauce ham and mushrooms

Wednesday - tuna pasta bake

Meal Plan Thursday

Here we go for 31st July 2014

Thursday - Easy Risotto - bacon, peas, spinach baked in the oven

Friday - chilli in the slow cooker must admit a cheat of old El Passo packet with rice and tortilla chips the boys just want tortilla chips and the meat mix

Saturday - mummy and daddy are having chicken burgers with bacon, avocado and chips boys are having homemade pan pizza

Sunday - mummy and daddy toad in the hole boys are having chicken and roasts made using extra chicken breast from Saturday meal

Monday - Ham and Blue cheese Filo tarts with salad and new pots

Tuesday - Cheesey Broccoli pasta bake

Wednesday - chicken with rice

That's us this week I am happy to report that risotto has already gone down well with the family and cooked in the oven was an easy option


In an English Country Garden

Shhhh I have found something that takes me away from everything, I am wanting to read books and I am getting fit.... My secret is I have discovered gardening.
Three years ago we moved to the countryside I had these visions in my head of chickens, fresh grown fruit and veggies, a wonderful English country garden sipping my white wine sat looking at the amazing garden I had created. The reality has not been quite so romantic, over three years the garden has gotten more and more messy, please do not get me wrong we have a lovely lawn, is 90% clover classed as lawn? My husband mows this at least once a week but that's really the extent of our work.
There have been many reasons this has happened, let's be honest two toddlers and OB who eats everything does not lead to time or energy to garden, my evenings tended to be collapsing on the sofa not wanting to do anything. But something has changed in the last few weeks and it's changing my life. Firstly OB though still eating every…

Puff Pastry Pizza - Quick and Easy Lunch

We went to see friends today and arrived home at 12.30 giving me half an hour to get lunch ready, thinking to myself I need to start using up food and thinking about what Ollie likes to eat. So I pop on the oven knowing a have a section of puff pastry left over from lunch yesterday, but what to do with it.
So this was our lunch and it went down very well, I am pleased to report
I cut the puff pastry into two squares using a sharp knife scored a square outline leaving a cm border, then scored the middle section making sure I did not go all the way through. One can of chopped tomatoes, using a slotted spoon I drained of most of the liquid and put a couple of spoons full into a bowl added a squeeze of tomato ketchup and some basil then popped it on to the scored part of my pastry square. I then topped with lots of grated cheese using mature cheddar and some gruyere I had in the fridge. Put them on a baking sheet and cooked on 190 for about ten mins. They were very tasty they had it with baby…

Dinner re think

Our life has been rather turned upside down since OB was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it has led to a roller coaster of emotions, but the main area has been food. He is only allowed what's classed as free foods between meals these contain no or very little carbohydrates, consisting of items such as carrots, hard cheeses, processed cheese, sugar free jelly, cucumber, meats. Then for main meals I need to get carbs into him so he has energy for the day. When your dealing with a fussy eater who has a limited vocabulary it's a lot to manage. The food I have been feeding my boys for the last week has made me shudder, I almost feel embarrassed to be admitting it on the blog, they have been having far too much processed food, fish fingers to chicken nuggets the good thing for me is they do not really like it. I sat down tonight after they left their nuggets and croquet potatoes but both bless them ate their broccoli, feeling awful, what has become of me. I cook from scratch, my boys…

What a difference a day makes

I am sorry for my silence over the last week. We as a family have been through one of the toughest weeks of our lives.On Wednesday I took OB to see our GP for an emergency appointment, we were worried about him in many ways but the real decider that something was wrong was when he awoke two nights in a row just screaming for water like his life depended on it. I took him to the GP with a heart sinking feeling that my little boy had diabetes, he has lost weight, drinking and weeing all the time, funny smelling breath. I wanted to be wrong maybe he was growing, had a bladder infection I took a sample just in case. Seeing the doctor when he tested his wee I knew by his face we were not in a good place. He apologised he had to tell me this way but OB had type 1 diabetes, I knew it but the tears just fell and that's when the other side of my brain just took over. Where are we going to, ward name, hospital, what do we need to bring. Calling your husband in tears to tell him your little bo…

Is Sand food

Part of OB issues is eating non edible items, when I say non edible items I am talking sand, mud, leaves and the most favourite item that tasty treat known to all as playdoh. This condition is probably the most unrecognised and taken the least seriously of all of them however for us parents it's one of the scariest. We had a trip to Sheffield park and OB tried to do a walk by eat of a leaf, when your at a beautiful  NT property and your son try's to eat a leaf that you have no idea what it is or if it could possibly position him it turns from a lovely walk in the sunshine to one littered with dangers. It's not only the NT gardens that worry us it's our own garden. We moved to the countryside and have a lovely garden, let's clarify this it was lovely when we brought the house, after three years of neglect it's a rather weed dominated borders but the grass looks good. OB will eat anything he eats mud all the time, the worst one is trying to keep an eye on him with …

Meal plan week commencing Thursday 8th May

Sorry for my late meal plan list I am not sure where the time has gone...

Thursday - Green Spaghetti - http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipe/secret-green-sauce-spaghetti

Friday - homemade chicken burgers - in ciabatta rolls with avocado,salad and Harissa Mayo

Saturday - cheat meal of aldi Chinese bag. Boys to have pizza and salad (it's shop brought pizza)

Sunday - roast turkey, roast pots, carrots and broccoli

Monday - Monday night pie - http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/10310/monday-pie

Tuesday - Courgette Lasagne - http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4716/creamy-courgette-lasagne

Wednesday - omelettes and chips

Please may I talk to......

Since I started having a feeling over two years ago that OB development was not right I have had to become that mother who is always on the phone. You know that feeling when yet again you pick up the phone to chase an appointment or some information that was meant to be sent. You reel off your child's details each time and your contact number for someone to call you back, you become expert at leaving short messages on answer phones to try and chase those answers.
Today summed up this constant stream of phone calls, we last had a catch up with our NHS SALT in March and OB has not had any SALT from the NHS since January. We were told yes he will have another six sessions but will not be until after Easter. As Always on the day I ask why we have to wait so long can he not have any sooner, I get that look of please do not go there again. So Easter has been and gone and still no appointments. Today the appointments arrive and we are only down for four sessions, yes you heard that four s…

Meal review

It's been OB birthday this week so everything has been a little hectic but a quick review of last week and a quick guide to this weeks meals....
Thursday - a BBC good food recipe courgette and bacon pasta - not a success would eat pasta when all sauce has been removed. I think it's to do with the look of the sauce too many bits in. However the rest I us loved it.
Friday - big bowl of salad I have seen one in a busy mums cook book of leaves, avocado, bacon and egg on top think I am going to do something along that line. Boys will have carbonara as salad is not that well received. Did just the simple carbonara and it was eaten all up, I put nothing extra and peas on the side. Simple seemed to work.
Saturday - fajitas for parents the boys will be having tortilla pizza. Massive success was eaten all up with smiles. 
Sunday - lasagna busy mums cookbook version with garlic bread and green salad. Another success after a wary start. All eaten up esp the pasta.
Monday - busy mums cookbook c…

Small steps

After being told by the NHS speech therapist we are going to get 12 sessions of salt a year and they will consist of two six week blocks, despite my going on and complaining that salt is what OB needs and it's his main area of concern there was no shifting. We have bitten the bullet and gone private.
We met our new lady not in the most conventional fashion, the Hubie was up in London Town it's very rare he goes to town, he met someone he had not see in ages, they decided to catch a later train and he sat where he would never normally sit, I think you can see something was meant to be. He was chatting about OB when he got a fact wrong and a lady kindly advised him. They got talking she was a early years salt and just moved to where we live. After a few calls you had guessed it, she is now our new speech therapist.
We now have therapy for OB every two weeks for a half an hour session. We are starting to see results, as mentioned before a lot of OB issues relate to poor concentrati…

Different paths

On Friday ATM and I went to see the animals at a fantastic animal rescue charity called Raystead. He was very excited as he informed me he was going to see tigers and elephants, luckily he was more than happy to see the donkeys, cats and sqeeled with delight at the bouncing dogs. As the sun shone down, ATM tottered about chatting away, interested in all the animals and as always putting the coins into the twirly donation tin before we go home.

These trips with ATM does make me think about the different way the boys are developing.

ATM is your classic 2.5 year old you know the one with the attitude of a 13 year old already. We get comments all the time on his clear speech,though he is now doing speech therapy everyday with his brother in some form and we are so used to talking in short sentences it's helped him develop even faster.

OB is not your classic development path, he will be four in May and we are only just starting to get two or maybe three words together that are not lear…

Meal plan Thursday

As promised here is our meal plan for the next week. 

I do my shop Thursday as it means both boys are at pre school and I can just shop in my own little world. It's not much but it's my time so this week we are trying
Thursday - a BBC good food recipe courgette and bacon pasta
Friday - big bowl of salad I have seen one in a busy mums cook book of leaves, avocado, bacon and egg on top think I am going to do something along that line. Boys will have carbonara as salad is not that well received.
Saturday - fajitas for parents the boys will be having tortilla pizza
Sunday - lasagna busy mums cookbook version with garlic bread and green salad
Monday - busy mums cookbook chicken and broccoli gratin
Tuesday - honey and mustard sausages busy mums cookbook with green veg
Wednesday - smoked haddock and potato bake not sure the veg but thinking runner or green beans
I will be watching to see how OB eats this week and updating accordingly, I have my ideas about foods he will not be so keen on but …

Thinking about food

Having a little boy with severely delayed speech and understanding who is also very fussy about food can be a times heartbreaking and other times beyond frustrating. What your trying to do is figure out why your child does not want to eat something with no information other than a plate that's not been touched. My Miss Marple skills are tested regularly since OB started weaning. I remember thinking deep down he had issues, we would go to a friends house and she would do some lovely little snacks in pots her little boy ate them all beautifully, OB would I can only describe that he would hamster cheek his... So you think he is eating his food then a few moments later he would open his mouth and the food would drop out. Completely unchewed, he had just put it in his mouth and stored it. I have been asked on several occasions by professionals why I think he is not eating well and I have to say I am baffled. He will eat pizza, chips, roast chicken with roast pots, carrots, broccoli and g…

This is us....

I have been thinking of starting a blog for some time now but what is typical of me is that, I sit down in the evening with a glass of wine and collapse in my comfy sofa, watch something extremely dull on the TV. But I have decided that new year (well Feb) means a new start and I will write.

My reasons for starting this blog are simple, I would love families of children with special needs not to feel alone, to see that there are families going through the same and to talk about it. You will learn that I like to talk.

This is us, we are a family of four mummy, daddy, OB and TM. Daddy works full time and I am a full time stay at home mummy. OB is 3.5 years old severely delayed speech and understanding, poor concentration and well other areas I will talk about in the future. TM is 28 months and is a little bundle of trouble.

We still have no diagnosis for OB but are on the 9 to 12 month waiting list to see a paediatrician. We are in month 9 now so hoping the letter will pop through our d…