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Showing posts from 2016

Festive Meal Plan 19th December 2016

Firstly sorry for the lack of posts, it's all been a little crazy in the land of Mud Cakes and Wine. But we are back with a big plan for the festive period.

Last year I was not able to plan, our baby arrived over 2 weeks early and then I was rather poorly. This year it is full on planning. I hate waste and to be honest not knowing what we are going to eat stresses me out.
We are buying a gammon and rolled turkey breast as we love all the cold meats, salads and sandwiches. The boys eat gammon like sweets. I will be cooking the gammon in cola.
I was also able to do my online shop easily, I wrote three lists and got exactly what we need for each meal, hoping not to waste food. Also trying to keep it interesting for the family.
Monday 19th - Homemade Pizza - get to choose our own toppings which is always fun.
Tuesday 20th - Jacket Potatoes with beans and cheese. Simple meal as its school party and haircuts today.
Wednesday 21st - Tuna pasta bake. Comfort food is sometimes needed.
Thur…

Meal Plan Saturday 19th November 2016

November is hitting hard at the moment and the weather is miserable and we need comfort food.
Saturday - Mr MC&W is having a ready meal curry as I am lunch out with my Mum and little sister. Boys will have pizza.
Sunday - OB has a party in the morning and we have had a hectic weekend. Dinner for us all I have brought in Lasagna with salad and some garlic bread
Monday - Gnocchi with singe cream and Parmesan sauce with broccoli for the boys and mushrooms and broccoli for me. Taken form the Madhouse Cookbook by Jo Pratt
Tuesday - Simple tomato sauce with spaghetti topped with baby corn, ham and peas. I will be using up any extra veggies in the cupboard.
Wednesday - mini tuna fishcakes with salad
Thursday - Carrot and Lentil soup 
Friday - Boys have a disco so it's a quick meal of Jacket Potatoes with beans and cheese for us all.

Meal Plan Saturday 12th November 2016

Meal planning was a little better this week, maybe because the week was a little less hectic than it had been. 
All we want is warming winter meals
Saturday - Pirri Pirri chicken with red peppers, red onions served with chips and salad. Boys will have fish fingers and mash
Sunday - Toad in the Hole using sausages from the village farm shop. Served with lots of veggies and some roast potatoes.
Monday - I am trying the boys on satay chicken again but major changes. One I am not cooking the sauce it's being brought. Secondly rice not noodles. Lots of veggies. The sauce will be on the side for the boys.
Tuesday - Soup lentil, carrot slightly spiced served with rolls
Wednesday - Gnuddi with tomato sauce. I watched these being made in a programme on Good Food and they looked lovely.
Thursday - Jackets with Tina Mayo and salad
Friday - Homemade beef burger with chips and salad 



Meal Plan Saturday 5th November 2016

I am rather shocked that we are into November and December is slowly creeping up on me. 
The meal plan for the last couple of weeks has been a bit of a chore. For some reason I am finding it hard to decide what to eat and nothing is appealing. 
Saturday - Our family favourite Spag Bol using mince from our local farm shop
Sunday - Roast Chicken, the boys just love this meal and normally clear their whole plates.
Monday - Sausage Casserole with Jacket  Potatoes
Tuesday - Chicken Curry
Wednesday - Tuna Pasta Bake
Thursday - Fish Pie
Friday - Homemade pizza

Planting LolliPop Trees Elaeagnus ebbingei

I can not believe the day had finally arrived, the trees we had put so much thought into were going to be planted.

We had the conifer and last shrubs removed and the whole area dug over and ready for the arrival of the LolliPop Trees Elaeagnus ebbingei.

Finding Elaeagnus Ebbingei

I was on the school run when they arrived. I walked round into the back garden to see five of the most beautiful trees in huge pots ready to be planted.

Mr MC&W had chatted to the team that the trees need to be the same height despite there being a slight slope.

It was great to see the tape measure out checking the spacing between each one, as this was such a crucial part of the design.

I can not believe how fast they got the first tree in and how polite they were when we suddenly realised it was overhanging the neighbours' boundary. They brought it forward no questions.


All five went in under 4 hours, I honestly do not think we would have one hole dug in that time.
Then they were planted and we could…

Meal Plan Friday 28th October 2016

Sorry for the week away, we had a family holiday to Center Parcs. This meant a few days of ready meals and no cooking. We got back on Friday evening and had to do a very quick plan for this week.

Friday - Fish and Chips with peas
Saturday - Fajitas 
Sunday - Roast Beef with Yorkshire Puddings, Roast Potatoes and lots of veggies
Monday - Creamy Pasta with peas and ham. The sauce is made with Mascapone so is fast and easy.
Tuesday - Aussie Style Potato Scones with beans, sausages and broccoli
Love Potaoes - Aussie Potato Scones
Wednesday - Oven Baked Risotto 
Thursday - Chicken cooked in a tomato sauce served with rice and green beans
Friday - Mini Burgers these will be handmade by me along with salad

Dinner for Two - private Chef

Friday was Mr MC&W 40th Birthday and this brought a slight dilemma. How could I make this night special without going to a restaurant for dinner? Our eldest has type 1 and ASD which means it's nearly impossible for anyone to have him even for an hour or so.

I had an idea and for once it was one of my better ones. What about getting a private chef to cook for us in our own home. We could have an amazing meal that we do not have to cook ourselves and look after OB at the same time. Win win all round.

Luckily the MIL knew someone who was starting out doing private catering, he has even appeared on MasterChef setting the contestants a challenge.

We talked a lot on email about Mr MC&W favourite food, using this information he came up with a special menu for us both. It was perfect we could have a meal that was full of food Mr MC&W loves and there are worries about OB getting sick.

Below is our amazing meal. (sorry that the photos are not the best quality, we were really hun…

Meal Plan Saturday 15th October 2016

We have a very busy but fun filled weekend. Then the last week of school before half term. That means lots of school bits to do. I need to bake a cake which is worrying for everyone.
Saturday - We are having Fahitas. The boys will eat at the brother in laws birthday party that we are all going to

Sunday - We are eating out at the Royal Ashdown Hotel for lunch celebrating Mr MC&W birthday as he is 40 along with his identical twin brother
Monday -  Spag Bol as we need to take pictures of OB cooking for school homework 
Tuesday - Chicken Curry we love a Korma
Wednesday - Gnocchi with a tomato sauce and garlic bread
Thursday - Freezer Meal we have a manic day at school so need a meal I can just pop in the oven when we get home.
Friday - it's the last day of term and again going to be busy so it will be Jacket Potatoes with beans and cheese

Meal Plan Saturday 8th October 2016

We are starting our hectic October this weekend with a friends birthday and ATM birthday party with his friends. Then on Friday Mr MC&W turns 40.

Food this week is simple and quick as always
Saturday - Fish and Chips - we will not get home till later so doing an easy to cook meal.
Sunday - I brought a pulled pork burger kit from Tesco looks good and hope it tastes good. Boys will have pasta after a busy party day.
Monday - Easy Cook Samosas I found this on netmums

Easy Samosas
Tuesday - A simple fish pie that I can prepare in the morning ready to pop in the oven after school.
Wednesday - madhouse carbonara - I love this meal as do the boys. It's quick, simple and tasty
Thursday -  Chilli will serve with tortilla chips not rice as the boys love using them as cutlery. Can pop it in the slow oven to cook and not think about it.
Friday - Pizza is all I will say, as a huge surprise for Mr MC&W will be happening

Mint is trying to take over the garden

I am trying to tidy the garden up. We are a bit tight for money this month and I want to plant lots of bulbs. Instead I am tidying and keeping busy, let's be honest the garden is a weed haven and a total mess so I have a lot to do.
Clearing this border however I have made a very important discovery. That mint is trying to take over the world, one border at a time.

Two years ago I planted out a very sad and mainly dead supermarket mint plant. I did not think it was going to survive or the consequences of my naive action. It did survive and it did grow and grow. I then cleared the border down that year and the next it came back stronger.
This year it was at its finest. Now admittedly I did just let it grow. The children loved the smell as did I. They were picking it, making mud pies with it, it was a source of fun. Then the flowers came out and the bees and pollinators were in heaven the whole border was alive, I had to keep it.



I have now dug it up and it's taken half my garde…

Meal Plan 1st October 2016

This week has been fun and games. Wednesday night tuna pasta bake turned into sausage and beans on toast. Though the boys were very happy with that.

We have a busy week at ATM is turning 5, we have a family meal on Sunday and then his birthday on Thursday.
Saturday - Mr MC&W and I are having curry. I will be honest it's made by the lovely people at Tesco. The boys asked me for cheese on toast. I will add some salad bits with this.
Sunday - ATM birthday meal. We will be having pizza and crisps and chips as you can tell very healthy. But that's what he really wants and I love that food. 
Monday - Oven Baked Thai Chicken I love this meal from BBC Good Food

Oven Baked Thai Chicken and Rice
Tuesday - Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Pasta a new one for us but we love pasta and cheese so thought it's worth a try.

Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Pasta
Wednesday - Jacket Potatoes with Tuna Mayo and salad
Thursday- Boys will be having a Macdonalds as its ATM birthday. We will have Gnocchi with bl…

Meal Plan Saturday 24th September 2016

The weeks are just flying past with the boys at school full time. Even though in theory I should have more time, the menu plan is still last second as I try to get a delivery slot on the day I need it.
Saturday - Ham, Eggs and Chips
Sunday - Fish in Sauce with rice and roasted veggies. Boys will have chicken, mash and greens
Monday - Fish Tortillas - the fish finger sandwich went down well let's see how these do
Tuesday - Special Fried Rice - with chicken and veggies the boys will eat sweetcorn, green beans, peas etc
Wednesday - Tuna Pasta Bake
Thursday - Mini Meatballs with spaghetti 
Friday - Chicken Goujons with chips and peas

Hanging Baskets - lessons to learn

Last week I published a post all about how well the hanging baskets went that I had planted. This week I want to look at what did not go so well and that I will change next time.

As your aware I am new to gardening and plants, so learning through my mistakes. The hanging baskets were overall a huge success and I am thrilled, but let's have a look at what lessons I have learnt.


The Red Basket:

This was made up of, a couple of Upright Geranium Scana Julie Purple Red then below a mix of Aztec Verbena Dark Red and Calibrachoa Calita Deep Red this was a total disaster. The poor basket just did not get enough light, the ivy made sure of that. The plants just died. I cut back the ivy but this was not enough. I need to cut the ivy right back or nothing will survive. This was a real shame as it should have looked lovely but I put the plants in the wrong position. They needed sunshine and for some reason best known only to me, i decided to ignore this. Lesson learnt read the labels and do …

Menu Plan - Saturday 17th September 2016

We are all getting back into the school routine. The boys are shattered yet not sleeping at the same time and it's making for short tempers.
Menu planning is hard work as I am having to think about how long meals take to cook, can I prepare them in advance etc
Saturday - Chilli for Mr MC&W and myself the boys will have the ever popular Spag Bol
Sunday - Mr MC&W and I will have a brought in Fish Pie, it's nice to have an evening not having to cook. Boys will have roast chicken breast with roast potatoes and veggies
Monday - Three cheese Tortellini with tomato sauce. I will buy the pasta in and make the sauce
Tuesday - Chicken Curry 
Wednesday - Spaghetti with tomato sauce and ham
Thursday - Baked Potatoes with Beans and Cheese - I will start them in the microwave then pop them in the oven.
Friday - Puff Pastry tarts with salad

Hanging Basket Review - Success

This year I planted my first ever hanging baskets. We had always brought them but I really wanted to try and plant my own. Having never planted one before it was a real exercise in seeing what would and would not work.

I am going to do two posts, one to look at how they were a success and the following to look at what I will change next time.

But let's concentrate on what went right to start with. Please note the following post contains lots of pictures of pretty flowers

Yellow and whites:

For the hanging basket, I chose Petunia Surfinia in Yellow and Snow.

These Petunia were truly majestic. They provided us with all summer with cascading flowers that were a real show piece. I loved the simple and slightly muted white and yellow. But next year I may go rather bolder and choose some really bright colours, bring on the pink and purple theme.








Bacopa Guliver White and Bidens Golden Glory. I loved this wall basket, the stunning bright yellow Bidens flowers were abundant all summer long.…