Thursday, 20 October 2016

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 hungry)


Smoked Salmon Toasts with crème Fraiche

Mini Chorizo Croquettes

Tempura Prawns

Starter for Mr MC&W

Seared Scallops & Salt & Pepper Squid
Curried Cauliflower puree, Onion Bahjee bits

Starter for Mrs MC&W

Goats Cheese three ways
With beetroot & dressed rocket

Main Course

Fillet of Beef
Hand cut chunky chips, flat mushroom, 
roasted vine tomato & Bernaise sauce & a Peppercorn sauce 


Classic English Trifle three ways classic, cherry and orange


Selection of Fine Cheeses & Water Biscuits

I can honestly say the meal was superb. The chef brought everything he needed from a deep fat fryer to crockery ensuring the quality of presentation. The food was cooked and served straight away, I founded it fresher than a restaurant, and we could wait as long between courses as we wanted.

Mr MC&W was in shock at the surprise and could not believe I had thought of it. We had a high-end restaurant standard meal cooked in our own home and we could keep an eye on our little boy.

It was a truly wonderful and special evening, something we never thought we would be able to have again.

This was our amazing chef:

A Cornish Mum

Thursday, 13 October 2016

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 
Cuddle Fairy

Friday, 7 October 2016

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

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Mint is trying to take over the garden

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 garden waste bin and the roots are spectacular. I am digging the border over a few times to try and get out as much of the roots as possible. Though I know it will come back again.

Next year I will not let it grow at all, as I want this to be a proper herb border. I will post about that when I plant it. Look at what I found hiding beneath the mint. The poor Rosemary trying to grow big and strong under the mint.

So lesson learnt I will plant a pot of mint on the end and then it can not take over the border again. But it will be a big pot as I do love a pimms.

A Cornish Mum

Sparkles & Stretchmarks Sunday Best
Mudpie Fridays

Friday, 30 September 2016

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 blue cheese and veggies

Gnocchi with mushrooms and Blue cheese

Friday - Tacos as a make it yourself meal.
A Cornish Mum

Mudpie Fridays

Saturday, 24 September 2016

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 

Sunday, 18 September 2016

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 not make my own rules.

It started so well

Trying to survive

Yellow and whites:

The flowers are Petunia Surfinia in Yellow and snow. These were beautiful but I did not get the mix of the plants right when I planted them. This meant we had a huge cascade of white flowers and the yellow got a little lost. Next time I will really look at how the plants are placed before I do the planting and think about how they will grow. 

Lots of white needed better planting to get mix of the white and yellow

The orange based hanging basket:

Lantana Camara Lucky Red Flame is the slightly taller plant, the trailing plants are Million Bells this is a Calibrachoa (mini petunia) Cracking Fire and the white ones are Calibrachoa Calita Double White. 

I adored this basket but the simple mistake was it needed better placement of plants and more of them. The tall Lantana Camara was beautiful but got lost a little in the display, I think two would have been better. The trailing plants needed more volume. I think maybe more of the orange trailing Million Bells this is a Calibrachoa (mini petunia) Cracking Fire, a couple more of these would have worked much better and would have had a bigger impact without loosing it's reserved beauty.  

Lantana Camara Lucky Red Flame looks beautiful but lost

Million Bells Calibrachoa (mini petunia) Cracking Fire needed more of these

This was a beautiful display and an excellent mixture of the trailing plants. My problem was not deadheading the Verbena they went over and for a week or so I had no flowers on top. This spoilt the display for a while and I made sure I kept on top of deadheading these.

Who did not deadhead in time?

So pretty when they came back
looks so sad

Purple wall basket - Osteospermum Purple 2012

This basket did not start out well, they were just lots of green leaves with a few flowers. I went through the Plants and made sure I deadheaded everyone and slowly the flower buds came through. Then they flowered not the mass flowers of the other baskets but these are a different type of plant. I had to keep on top of the deadheading and in the end, they looked lovely but I think it needs something extra compliment the beautiful purple flowers, maybe something trailing next time.

Not happy plant at first

Buds starting to form

Beautiful when they came into flower

I can not wait to try some more hanging baskets. I will be out to the garden centre early spring to start again and will keep you all informed.

A Cornish Mum

Cuddle Fairy