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Showing posts from 2017

Meal Plan Friday 8th December 2017

With my birthday and ZAP birthday so close to Christmas combined with everything going on at school I slightly loose the plot early to mid December as my brain can not calculate every thing  that needs to be done. Friday - Roasted mushrooms topped with caramelised mushrooms and blue cheese served with chips Saturday - Pizza and dough balls Sunday - Roasted Sausages, Roast Potatoes, Carrots and Greens Monday - Gnocchi, Mushrooms and Broccoli with a cream sauce Tuesday - Lamb meatballs with roasted veggies and feta (to be written up) Wednesday - Paella simple. Pasta and tomatoes for the boys Thursday - Asia curry bag from Waitrose as it is my birthday. Tortellini for the boys.

Meal Plan Friday 22nd December 2017

Christmas week, I seem to have been thinking about this day for so long and this is what we are up to Friday 22nd - Fajitas for Mr MC&W and myself. Sausages, beans and mash for the boys Saturday 23rd  - I will be cooking our gammon in cola and we will be having gammon, eggs and chips. Picking up our Christmas box from the village farm shop Sunday 24th  - It has always been Mr MC&W family tradition to have a curry on Christmas Eve and I must admit I love this so that's what we will be having.  Monday 25th - Roast Turkey I am doing a rolled crown, roast potatoes, honey roast parsnips, red cabbage, sprouts with chestnuts and broccoli. With the usual extras pigs in blankets, stuffing etc. I must admit that I am buying most bits in for the extras, as we have three young children and cooking for 10. Pudding will be Christmas pud made by the MIL and chocolate roulade we have brought in from cook. Followed by a huge cheese board - as a family we do love cheese. A lot of the

Meal Plan Friday 15th December 2017

Wow where has December gone? For us it has passed in a haze of birthdays, school activities and trying to get organised for Christmas. This week we are having treat meals for the lead up to Christmas Friday 15th - Caesar Salad Saturday - Picnic dinner for the boys as they had a McDonald's for lunch. We are having Charlie Bigham Moussaka Sunday - Mine and ZAP birthday lunch so its a buffet and we went to Cook and got lots of lovely goodies. Monday - Chestnut Mushroom and Fennel pasta. Boys will have picnic as they are having a party at school. Chestnut mushroom fennel bacon fusilli Tuesday - Sticky Chinese Chicken Tray bake served with rice for us all Sticky chinese chicken traybake Wednesday - Pizza and Salad for us all Thursday - Meatballs for us all

Garden Ready Winter Bedding Plants

This summer the large border we created was filled with summer bedding plants. These have all gone over leaving the border looking empty and sad, we needed something quick and easy for the winter months. Then an e mail popped through from Thompson and Morgan who had a flash sale of winter bedding plants, even better they were garden ready.  Pansy and Dianthus barbatus (sweet Williams) in a range of colours, we would receive 60 garden ready plants 30 of each for £10. We spent  £30 and got a lot of garden ready plants that should grow over the winter and give us some early colour. A couple of weeks later they arrived and when unpacked looked like this and then all you have to do is plant them out. Here are a couple of tips from the lessons I lernt. Remove the plants first and not as you go along. I was taking one out and then planting. This was a bad idea as it took forever. When removing be careful, either do this with no gloves or very thin ones, the plants can eas

Meal Plan Friday 24th November 2017

We have a manic week ahead of us with play dates, dentist appointments and the garden being finished. Lots of simple food is needed. Friday - Hot Dogs for us all Maple glazed hot dogs Saturday - Thai Curry - Ready made meal. Boys chicken fingers, chips and salad Sunday - Roast Beef Monday - Roasted Gnocchi - never tried this before. We will all have this. Roast mushroom gnocchi Tuesday - Fish, Rice and roasted vegetables. Sausages and beans with jackets for the boys. Wednesday - Chilli via the slow cooker. Going to try the boys on this one and we shall see Chilli Marrakech Thursday - Pie, new potatoes and salad. Nuggets, mash and peas for the boys.

Honey Roasted Cartot, Parsnip and Beetroot

I was given a lovely bag of soup vegetables from our local farm shop, Isfield Farm Shop, as part of a promotion. T here was a leek, beetroots, parsnip, carrots, potato. Mr MC&W does not like soup so I decided to see what we could use the veggies in our meals that week. Now you could easily increase the quantities and I am considering cooking this for Christmas, as it is a big bowl of tasty veggies cooked in one. Pre heat the oven  200 fan 180 Gas mark 6 1 Parsnip 2 Carrots 2 small beetroots - uncooked 2 teaspoons of honey 1 tablespoon of olive oil Squeeze of garlic paste or two cloves of garlic 50ml orange juice Peel and Cut the parsnips and carrots into batons  Peel the beetroot and cut into quarters Put the beetroot and carrots into a roasting tin with half the oil coat them well and roast for 20 Min's.  Add the parsnip and roast for another 10 Min's.  Take from the oven and mix in the honey, garlic, orange juice and oil and roast again fo

Meal Plan Friday 17th November 2017

We have Grandma MC&W down this weekend, so its going to be all rather busy, but lots of fun for us all. The meal plan got rather late and ended up being a bit of a rush. Friday - Smoked Mackerel Salad with roasted new potatoes and beetroot. Boys will have a picnic dinner as it was fish and chips at school. Saturday - Ham, Egg and chips for us all Sunday - Roast Pork Monday - Puff Pastry Tart topped with aubergine, goats cheese the boys will have one with cheese Tuesday - Spicy Harissa Chicken. Boys chicken curry. spicy harissa chicken and lentils Wednesday - Tuna Pasta Bake Thursday - Mushroom Risotto

Making Leaf Mulch

When the leaves start to fall from the trees you will hear a lot of gardening folk talking about making leaf mulch. From what I can gather, it is excellent for the soil, it can be used as top dressing in autumn and the worms will take it down into the soil over the winter, it is easy to make and free. So how easy is it to make? I decided to have a go. We have a couple of trees in the garden and I spend most of this time clearing leaves and putting them in the garden waste bin. So I thought I would try to make one bag of leaf mulch. According to the google searches, you need leaves, black bin bags, some water and a place to pop the bin bag full of leaves for a year or two. That is it in simple terms. But when reading more they kept saying the leaves needed to be shredded, hmm that is not as simple as I first thought. So I have swept up my leaves, yes you read that correctly, I swept up the leaves. I do most of the gardening with the toddler and an outside hard broom means i

Meal Plan Friday 10th September 2017

Yet another week has passed and I have no real idea where it went. The meal plan starts with ready meal after ready meal due to being rather busy. I always want this post to reflect the busy times we all have, the microwave will be working hard this weekend. Friday - It is the school disco, the boys are having picnic dinner. Mr MC&W and I will both be having a microwave meal, both of us will be sharing the driving and getting various children to bed. Saturday - Mr MC&W is going to the the rugby and will be no doubt eating burgers and drinking beer. The boys have requested pizza and I am going to have cannelloni via the microwave while watching strictly. Sunday - Moussaka thanks to charlie bigham with a large Greek salad. The boys will have sausages, beans and jacket potatoes Monday - Chicken Chow Mein Chicken chow mein Tuesday - Tomato, Mozzarella and spaghetti bake Tomato and mozzarella spaghetti bake Wednesday - Having a friend for tea so its pizza for the bo

Meal Plan Friday 3rd November 2017

This week our local farm shop where I buy all our meat from started a promotion for 10% of vegetables when you brought your meat. This was started with a free soup bag, as you can see lots of lovely seasonal veggies.  Now the problem is Mr MC&W does not like soup that much, even as a warming lunch. So I got thinking, treat this bag as a use up and see how many recipes I could use bits with and cam up with this Friday - Scampi, Chips and peas, Boys had Fish and Chips at school so had picnic dinner Saturday - Lasagna - shop brought, Pizza for the boys Sunday - Roast Chicken served with honey roasted beetroot, Parsnips and Carrot, along with roast potaoes and broccoli Monday - Chestnut mushroom, Fennel and bacon Pasta . Bacon and tomato sauce pasta for the boys Chestnut mushroom fennel bacon fusilli Tuesday - Mango Chicken with Spiced Rice. Curry for the boys. Mango chicken with spiced pilau Wednesday - Leek, Mushroom and Goats Cheese Strudel. Tortellini wit

Meal Plan Friday 27th 2017

This week is a little crazy in the Mud, Cakes and Wine household. ATM has been invited to a trial for a gymnastic club, I was rather proud and then I discovered half the class have been selected. But it is an hour and a half after school. I am dreading it with the toddler and the eldest having to hang around for the whole time.  Friday - Fish, Chips and Peas Saturday - Fajitas for Mr MC&W and Homemade macaroni and cheese for the boys Sunday - Slow cooked lamb shanks with roast potatoes, orange juice carrots and green veggies Monday - Mary Berry Tuna Salad and the boys will be having tinned spaghetti on toast. It is the trial day. Tuesday - Chilli in the slow cooker Wednesday - Ham Cobbler Ham and leek cobbler Thursday - Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Broccoli with garlic bread

Tidying away Annuals and Hanging Baskets

The eldest two are at school and the toddler is safely tucked up in bed for his nap. The sun is trying to peak through the clouds and I need to get outside into the garden. Type 1 is ruling our lives at the moment, OBs blood sugars are crashing every night. This means he is having a very dangerous hypo, if missed he could fall into a coma and never wake up. We have a Dexcom, this continuously monitors his blood sugar levels and sounds an alarm   when he is about to hypo. It has now been over two weeks this has been happening and we are exhausted. We wake to an alarm, that you never know when it will go off, feed him apple juice and then, in theory, go back to sleep. But you are awake and worried, sleep is light and combined with constant waking up to check his levels. We are working with our amazing hospital team and think we have identified why this is happening. We are reducing his long-lasting insulin but each decrease takes a week to take effect.  With all this going on I rea

Meal Plan Friday 20th October 2017

Wow how did we get to half term already? We are having a very peaceful holiday as next term is always so crazy.  The food this week seems to have a theme of me not wanting to start winter quite yet. Friday - Pizza and Salad for Mr MC&W and myself. It will be a brought pizza and time to chill out after a busy week. The boys had fish and chips at school so its a picnic dinner for them. Saturday - Pizza for the boys and for us a Cannelloni (brought in) Sunday - Mr MC&W is playing a spot of golf and we have friends over so its a simple dish of hidggy pies with new potatoes and coleslaw. The boys are having chicken pies with mash and peas Monday - Roast chicken, Peppers and feta - though I will be using chicken breasts not a whole chicken. Boys will have chicken curry Roast chicken with peppers and feta   Tuesday - Halloumi and Flatbreads. The boys will have pinwheels Halloumi flatbreads Pizza puff pinwheels Wednesday - Take out treat. The boys will have spaghett

Planting Snowdrops and English Bluebells

I came up with what I thought was a brilliant and simple idea. To plant snowdrops and bluebells under the  LolliPop Trees Elaeagnus ebbingei and  Viburnum Tinus  trees. It would look beautiful in the cold winter months, white snowdrops peaking up in late January and as we begin to enter spring the bluebells would then come into flower. We have the perfect woodland setting and I felt the Snowdrops and Bluebells would compliment the trees. As I like to think about nature, I chose the snowdrops hoping it would provide any early bees with much needed flowers in the hard late winter and early spring. I ordered some English Bluebells and single flower Snowdrop bulbs from J Parkers, 75 of each. I could do with more but they do naturalize, so in theory we should get more every year. This is enough to start with and the bank balance had to be considered. There I was all excited and ready to plant, as I attempted to get the bulb planter into the ground the reality of what I was a

Meal Plan Friday 13th October 2017

October is flying by at the moment, last week it was ATM birthday and this week it is Mr MC&W birthday.  We have another family get together on Sunday. School next week is rather crazy I had to get organised. Friday - Charlie Bigham - Sweet and Sour Chicken. It has been a long week and needed an easy put in the oven and feet up meal. Boys had fish and chips at school so picnic dinner for them. Saturday - Is Mr MC&W birthday so it is his favourite meal - steak, chips, mushrooms and peas covered in a peppercorn sauce. Boys are having pinwheel pizza Sunday - Charlie Bigham again, our feeling was that I should not be in the kitchen cooking the whole time. Mr MC&W decided upon Beef Stroganoff, followed by cheese and biscuits Monday - Ham and Potato Hash Ham potato hash baked beans healthy fried eggs Tuesday - Sticky Chinese Chicken Traybake Sticky-chinese chicken traybake Wednesday- Lingune and Tuna Sauce Linguine with tuna sauce Thursday - Saucy Roast Sausag

Meal Plan Friday 29th September - Friday 6th October 2017

I can not believe how time has flown past. We have had ATM birthday and it is Mr MC&W birthday next weekend. The meal plans have been a bit of a nightmare and done very last minute. If your wondering about the two squash meals, the school had a farmers market and the boys brought a massive squash for 50p..... Friday 29th September - Pizza - Waitrose do an amazing sour dough one, we will have this with a salad. The boys have fish and chips at school so it's picnic dinner for them Saturday - Treat of a Charlie Bigham Spanish Chicken for us and the boys pizza Sunday - Mushroom risotto, boys have risotto with peas and ham. Monday - Slow cooked sausage casserole with mash Tuesday - Fish Curry - a made up one with lots of coconut milk and curry powder Wednesday- Gnocchi bake Gnocchi and tomato bake Thursday - Slow cooked Mexican chicken Mexican chicken stew Friday 6th October - Four cheese tortellini for the boys. We are having a bacon and mushroom

Hanging Basket Review Summer 2017

At the start of the summer, I was very excited about the prospect of some spectacular hanging baskets. Last year I have to admit they were beautiful, full of colour and interest right until late September. Lots of yellows and whites from last year I had chosen to clash pink petunias to trail down a wall basket, purple and white petunias for a contrast. A wonderful basket showcasing lots of pinks with a hint of white and a bold yellow and orange mix. However, this summer it did not work out quite as I had planned. None of the trailing flowers really trailed, the petunias that were meant to tumble did not tumble, in fact, the plants did not really grow very much. The purple one's barely flowered, it left me with lots of pretty white flowers but no purple to contrast against. The  Calibrachoa Cabaret in white, Calibrachoa Goldrush and the Bacopa Snowflake were supposed to gently trail down the side of the baskets, they produced some pretty flowers but again they never re