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Showing posts from January, 2017

Digging some me time

This afternoon Mr MC&W was playing FIFA and ZAP was happily playing. I felt a real need to get outside. So I wrapped up warm, put on my wellies with about six pairs of socks and grabbed my gardening gloves. Last week I posted about the border we have created and the fact the soil type is pretty heavy clay. Being so time poor I decided to start giving it a dig over to see exactly what I am dealing with. I found the clay soil was as bad first thought and roots, so many roots, there are brambles, nettles, ivy and countless other weeds. At first, this was very disheartening, I stood up and slowly look around at the enormous amount of hard work ahead. But when I started to dig I found it to be very enjoyable. We have a very busy life, OB with his type 1 and ASD is a constant worry. Blood sugar checks, carb counting, hypos and hypers. It is a emotional rollercoaster  that you can not exit. Mr MC&W has a very stressful job with long hours commuting. Combined with a toddler who

Meal Plan Friday 27th February 2016

The Chicken Pox came to visit us this last week, it has been really rather hectic and yet dull at the same time. I needed a quick meal plan in between applying cream to spots (a life saver from a totally awesome mum at school), making drinks and trying to stop the toddler opening every cupboard in the kitchen. Friday - I love the Busy Mums Cookbook and she have a wonderful Cheesy Tomato Puff Jacket. Even easier with ready made jackets. Saturday- Lasagna with garlic bread and salad. The boys will have homemade pizza. Sunday - Roast Chicken from our local farm shop. Can you beat roast chicken? Monday - Madhouse cookbook by Jo Pratt - Carbonara Tuesday- Cottage Pie Wednesday- Corned Beef Hash for Mr MC&W and myself. The boys will be having mini roast potatoes with a tomato sauce and veggies. Thursday- Oven Baked Fish, Rice and Roasted Veggies with a homemade tomato sauce.

Meal Plan Friday 20th January 2016

This week it is simple and easy to prepare meals. The weather is cold and I feel the need for food that is easy to cook and comforting. Most of these meals have large elements I can make when the boys are at school and only need finishing off when we get home. Friday  - Jacket Potatoes with beans and cheese. I must admit I now buy the microwavable ones. Saturday - Chicken Cesar Salad. Boys will have Fish Fingers and Chips. Sunday  - Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with roast potatoes, roasted carrots, green beans and broccoli Monday - Homemade Fish Pie with Peas - I can make this while the boys are at school Tuesday  - Gnocchi with a homemade tomato sauce and melted mozzarella - the tomato sauce can be made in advance Wednesday  - Crispy Chicken, Mash, Beans, Peas and Sweetcorn Thursday  - Pitta Pockets with spiced beef mini meatballs, Yogurt dressing and salad - the meatballs and dressing can be made in advance. It has the below for inspiration but with a few chang

Improving Clay Soil

Last year we did a huge amount of work to one section of the garden. We had the old hedge removed, I use the word hedge loosely, it comprised mainly of brambles and an old conifer. We put in a lovely new fence and some spectacular trees. Earlier in the year we had increased the size of the patio and extended the border next to it so we could have a lots of lovely flowers and plants to enjoy. Planting lollipop trees This is the space we have created. Sorry, the dull winters day does not exactly do the space justice. The new patio area The new border In the summer we planted a car boot full of summer bedding plants to add some much-needed colour. They did pretty well considering they were planted directly in the soil that had not even been dug over. Though I noticed when digging them up that some of the root structures have barely grown, they must have struggled in the soil. Gazania Verbena This year we are going to tackle making this into a proper border. But

Meal Plan Friday 13th January 2017

Time is flying by so quickly. Mr MC&W is back in London all week, this means I will be eating with the boys again. The meals have changed slightly as ZAP has finally decided that food will not kill him and now our meals are for us all. Friday - We are all having meatballs, the boys will be simple but Mr Mc&w and I will have them from the Hairy Dieters Cookbook Saturday - Spag Bol for the boys. Mr MC&W and I are having Jamie Oliver Family Superfoods Chicken Kiev Monday - Tuna Pasta bake using up a courgette and mushrooms I have lurking in the fridge. Please note the boys will not be eating mushrooms but will tolerate courgette. Tuesday - Ham and Cheese Omelette's with chips Wednesday- Chicken Casserole with Dumplings I found this recipe on the always lovely BBC Good Food chicken and red wine casserole with herby dumpling Thursday - Chili with Rice, Tortilla Chips and Sour Cream

Meal Plan Friday 6th January 2017

Last week we only had one real change to the meal plan. I could not get filo pastry in the shop, so I made a tasty spaghetti dish with all the ratatouille ingredients we had. This week is a little different, firstly Mr MC&W is working from home all week. Normally he leaves the house by 7am and is not back till just gone 8, so he has both lunch and dinner in London. We are looking at the food we eat and trying some new ideas. This week we got Jamie Oliver's superfoods book and it's filled with lots of ideas. Mr MC&W and I are going to have dinner together each night as this never happens, though I am concerned we our wine intake may increase, at least we are being healthy with the meals. Friday - I needed an easy meal so we had cheese tortellini with salad Saturday- ATM had a party so we all had pasta salad for lunch then Mr MC&W and I had homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken made from the Hairy dieters cookbook. Sunday - Again we are eating from the Hairy Die

Prunus sub Autumnalis Rosea - Autumn - Winter flowering cherry

It's the middle of winter, the sky is grey and dull, a slow misty rain is falling and to top it all off it's cold. I sit looking at the garden, trying to decide if I should venture out or just have a cuppa. Despite this horrid weather, our garden has a tiny glimmer of colour, my eye is always drawn to one tree that produces delicate, sherbet pink flowers in the heart of winter. The tree is a Prunus sub Autumnalis Rosea - Autumn - Winter flowering cherry. On the cold and grey days it's tiny pink flowers provide much needed cheer. When the sun is shining bright they come to life, dancing in the light. Their colour is a gentle pastel pink, not the bold colours you get in the summer months, it somehow seems to reflect the winter light. Pink Flower on a cold and bright winters day Such pretty, delicate flowers Cheering up a grey day Dancing in the sunlight It's a small deciduous tree that produces beautiful orange leaves in the autumn. It grows appr

Meal Plan Friday 30th December 2016

Wow the last week has flown past and to add to it I got my days confused and thought I had an extra day to sort my shop out. It all ended up with out next shop coming between 7 and 8am as I could not get a morning slot any later. The festive meal plan only changed slightly, instead of the potato bake we had Gammon, egg and chips, a request from Mr MC&W. The rich food continues for a few days and then you will see a real change. We did pretty well over Christmas the main indulgences were wine and cheese, we had very few crisps or snack food. Friday 30th December - Fajitas using the last of the turkey. The boys had cold Gammon and salad bits. Saturday 31st December - Steak, Chips, Peas and Mushrooms served with a peppercorn sauce followed by our body weight in cheese and red wine. The Boys had fish and chips. Sunday 1st January - Sausage casserole with jacket potatoes and green beans for us all. Monday 2nd January - Birds Eye Inspirations do a simple fish in tomato sauce an