Wednesday, 19 November 2014

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

Thursday, 13 November 2014

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 have homemade chicken nuggets with peas and mash

Wednesday - Bacon and Tomato Penne. Boys will have the sauce OB will not have the bacon just a simple sauce.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

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 see me it's the first thing everyone asks how are the levels? Have you got them under control and it's very hard not to take this personally questioning if people are judging me about how under control OBs levels are. When you say we have had a few high days the normal response oh dear what's happened, what's he been doing. I take a deep breath tell myself they are not questioning you and attempt to answer that we just do not know the answer to. We wish we did  but it can just be a totally mystery, you try to analyse everything did he eat something different, less running around can it be associated with stress or the most common one, is he coming down with something.

But what I have found is that it's just constant and does not go away, your checking so regularly each day that the stress become normal, the wait to see what the monitor is going to pop up with. You think we have been good no carbs between meals and boom a high reading hits you, do you re test, do you leave it, do you need to correct every question enters your head. Even during school they may call you and your having to have these thought with someone else giving their opinion. I was not expecting this at all, I thought the stress would decrease as we got to grips but it just does not.  It's just always in the back ground teasing you.

Then to top this off you have the three monthly hospital appointment, please do not get me wrong our team are kind and caring, easy to talk to and always there to help us. But on that first apt my husband and I felt like two naughty school children and waiting for the results to come back I almost felt sick. We had done well in fact the best all day then you feel like jumping up and punching the air. But however when you leave it's the pressure of the next apt will the reading go up was it a fluke.

So it starts all over again......

Monday, 10 November 2014

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 slightly burnt but also manages to be soggy on the bottom. I always prepare a lot of veggies and gravy for this meal as I know what I cook will need it.

The next food fail was a lentil ragu, I was making two meals out of the ragu, for the boys a tasty soup and for my husband and I a hearty ragu to serve with spaghetti. I wanted to pop the ragu in the slow cooker once done for the grown up ragu, last time I attempted lentils in the slow cooker they were hard and uncooked after several hours. Bubbling away on the hob was a lovely smelling pan of lentils, vegetable stock, garlic, red onion along with bay leaves I was a happy girl, the disaster then unfolded while I was building Lego with the boys and started to smell something not as lovely in fact something burning. Running out with the boys attached to my legs to find the lentils stuck and burnt to the pan. Thinking I was clever I ladled out what I could making soup for the boys and the rest in the slow cooker.  Problem was, yes you have guessed it had that hint of burnt about it no matter how much cheese you put on top. As for my saucepan, it took me two days of soaking and scrubbing to get those burnt on lentils of the bottom.

The final food fail story is an attempt at a chicken and potato bake. This was meant to be a quick meal to pop in the slow cooker in fact it took me forever and then tasted awful. I decided to par boil my potatoes ensuring they are cooked later on. Made the chicken and mushrooms with a white sauce flavoured with some tarragon and layered it up in the slow cooker. It looked nice and smelt OK. Upon serving up there was no sauce left and in some ways that was not a bad thing. We ate all I can describe soggy yet dry potatoes with dry chicken in a sauce that tasted like I had put a can of cheap mushroom soup rather than go to the effort of a white homemade sauce. Good job the broccoli was tasty and we were hungry.

As you can see it goes wrong and I am learning from this, I will be re reading all the advice on toad in the hole, lentil ragu is lovely and I will investigate how best to cook in the slow cooker, as far as the chicken and potato bake is concerned I will go right back to the drawing board in maybe a month or so I need to erase that one from memory. We have had some great successes including spicy chicken burgers and a slow cooked topside roast that was melt in the mouth. I am sure I will have a food fail series being featured in the blog.....


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

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 salad - Rachel Allen Easy Meals - boys I am going to try the grain but no mushrooms.

As you can see I rediscovered my Rachel Allen Easy Meals cookbook it was not the plan to do most meals from it but they all sounded lovely and I want something new.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

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 lose myself in, nothing to do with house, children etc I honestly think my mental state needs it. So the hubby and I are first joining our local golf club gym, they have a swimming pool yoga classes and aqua aerobics to name a few classes, I have told myself to do two things a week. I need to get fit, I run around after the boys but I am awfully out of shape and I know that exercise is great stress relief  and that's what's needed. Something to lose myself in, get my mind on something else, and trying to breath and not collapse will I am sure do that, but let's hope I see results which I can focus on.
Secondly and I must admit I am more excited about is I want to learn to sew, OB is at school and will need outfits for school plays and it really interests me. So I have been looking into doing a complete and total beginners sewing class, I have had a few responses and will be booking something up. I have lots of ideas and for the first time in a long time I am excited by doing something new, this is what is needed an escape from everything so that I can feel refreshed and I hope able to deal with the day to day a little better. So come on where do I buy a sewing machine :0)

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

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 chop the butternut squash, potato and red onion.
Mix the cumin, coriander and chili with the olive oil and pour over and mix with the potatoes, butternut squash, red onion and garlic put into a roasting tin and roast in the oven until the potatoes and squash are cooked through it took ours about 35 mins. I did it so they were slightly caramelised to add to the flavour.
I gently heated the stock on the hob when the veggies are cooked add to the stock I squeezed the garlic out of its skin as it had gone all sweet and blitz everything with a hand held blender.
Add more stock if a little thick and taste to see if you need a little more spice.
As mentioned I did it on the mild side for the children and they like a thick soup. 
We served ours with homemade cheese scones.

I have added a picture below, it's from the boys plate which was very soon empty.