Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Cooking With Breadcrumbs

Following a conversation at lunch last week about family recipes the word 'goujon' stuck in my mind.
I'd bought a nice pack of pre packed breadcrumbs (about six months ago) that looked like they came from actual bread and vowed to make something with them.

Today was that day.
A recap phone call this morning I had a recipe in my head and a pack of defrosted chicken in the kitchen.

The problem came at 5:15 (dinner is usually at 5:30) when I finally got round to starting.
Where had I put the bloody breadcrumbs?
I can only imagine that I looked at them once to often and thought, face it you are never going to do it, and threw them out.

Another phone call and I was confident to make my own with the thing that you plug in and add attachments too.

This is what followed.

I didn't have enough bread and it wasn't stale either so I added bread sticks to the mix.
I need the other two slices for lunchboxes tomorrow.

I am never buying breadcrumbs again, they are so easy to make.
So chicken strips, flour, egg and crumbs all on the go in the pan in batches gets me here.

I think I could have helped myself by prepping my area so the days washing up was done and cleared away.
I thought that I should use the kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil so balanced a plate on those two dirty pans on the far burner on the oven that still doesn't work.

But I dropped the paper roll in the sink of dirty water so whilst still mid fry quickly sawed it in two using the remaining clean bread knife.
I finished them off in the oven and served them with oven chips, salad.
No mayonnaise, so a pot of creme fraiche with lemon parley and gherkins chopped into them. The girls didn't like that so had ketchup.

So there you go proper home cooking.

I've got a pollock in the freezer that is going to get the same attention next week


Happy Birthday To You NJ

On Sunday afternoon after a nice lunch out at the vicarage we came home and the girls played quietly and we drank tea and watched the snow out of the window.
I've started knitting something on awkwardly large needles.
The snow fell all day, really tiny flakes, but it didn't stop and I didn't have a camera and the light was so lovely. I looked at my phone to check the weather, it was about 4:30 and the BBC said that it would stop at 4:45 I looked back at the window and it had stopped. Completely. I missed it.

In the evening I took this from the upstairs window.
I wouldn't fly a plane in that fog.

I think that's our snow fall for the year.

Yesterday I made my first savory pancakes, I dream about these and as usual I didn't know I was going to make them until about two mins before but somewhere we have lots of milk which to me means make batter.
Tuna in Tex Mex chilli sauce, salad, cream cheese.

Tonight I am going to look head long into another one of my fears.

Happy birthday New Jersey hope you have a wonderful day and it is not too cold you should be still fast asleep.
Traditionally I get this birthdate wrong but I think she looks forward to that every year.


Sunday, 20 January 2013

A Really Quiet Weekend

I tried to tell T to listen to how quiet it was when we walked home from school early on Friday. The snow was really falling but she couldn't help but squeal 'it's the best day ever'.

I decided to forget going to the supermarket and we made a snow penguin outside instead, and desperate for a snow ball fight she had one of those too.

Standing on the front steps of the house some grown up boys in canvas shoes and no gloves all looking like early Bob Dylan (is that style not finished yet?) came by, and showed us how it was really done.

Then we went out the back and used up some more snow.

We have a vacancy for birds and I wish there was a family who were interested.

I am hoping that school is closed tomorrow and we can have more play, it has been snowing all morning but the smallest of flakes. I've defrosted some more milk, I am sure the milk man will make his rounds tomorrow.

T asked me if she will need glasses when she is older, I hope so!

I saw this online, it's all in Dutch but two TV presenters host a show called Guinea Pigs and decide to experience the joy of child birth. They are hooked up to some kind of electrodes and then assisted with motivation and gas and air.
It's a two minute clip.
AND it's awesome.

Apparently they only last two hours before throwing the towel in but thinking about some of the alpha males that I know and I am thinking of one in particular in Bournemouth, it isn't the pain that's the problem it's the being in one place for a period of time without any results. They proabably just don't have the patience for it.

Anyhow off to check the school website to see if she is staying home tomorrow.
Then off to the vicarage, we've been invited to Sunday lunch. A bit nervous because the girls can be picky and I was to scared to say I've gone veggie!!


Wednesday, 16 January 2013


I need focus and energy.
I'd like ear plugs too.

I watch T come home from school and want to sit quietly and do her bead work, but P is, PLAY WITH ME!!! I'VE MISSED YOU.
So rather than play with the oodles of toys they sit round the living room rug and play who can grab the slippers the quickest, squealing until dinner.

I've seen these round the American blogs and was going to ask NJ to send me some but turns out you can buy SHWINGS on Amazon and they are reasonably priced.

I bought these thinking T would love them.
So cool.

So not bothered.

We had sad news this week.
T did, and now P goes to Gymboree. A weekly soft play activity class with music etc.
T learned to queue and wait her turn and tidy up and P can now do all this and has learned patience in activity, she also answers questions where before she would often stay mute through slightly bad manners!
The owner Guy Lewis died last week suddenly. His ticker decided it's time was up.
He has twin boys about to turn four and his wife was due to have their baby girl today it is awful news and those of us who knew him are side swiped.

It is so sad. He once told me that his wife didn't take any crap from anyone, I am really hoping that she finds that fighting spirit this year.

Late last year our neighbour Bennion had cellulitis and had to go into hospital, he bought me these to say thank you for visiting and looking after the house.They spent the whole of Christmas out in the cold but now in the kitchen they look like this.
So lovely when it is so dull out.

P thinks that make up is called nello poshes. It is also her word for nail polish.
Having decided to wear makeup in 2013 it needs to be accessible to be on my face which means that it is also within reach of the girls. Hasn't bothered me that a pearl eyeshadow has made it's way onto P's face everyday but this eve she braved it and went for the mascara despite strict instruction NOT to touch.

For grown up ladies only.

Such a rotter.

We had a lovely lunch today at friends all veggie!!
I have started my Less Greed Lent early this year and am off snacking between meals, chocolate, cake and chocolate cake generally. I am on a successful day three and I've never felt fatter. I have a tyre over my muffin top but at least my ticker is still tocking and that makes me so happy.


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Vegetarian, can it be done by me?

Lots of reasons why I don't want to eat meat for a year.

I don't think that it will make me thinner but if it does then great.
I do want to be able to make a range of dishes from the green stuff as easily as I can from a hunk of beef.
I've always thought making interesting green dishes will involve many more ingredients which will result in confusion in the supermarket.
It all seems just too complicated and I know that it probably isn't but still I've never really made a salad dressing from scratch.
Meat is inflammatory and I think my system could do with a break.

While we were away at the family 2nd Christmas, I had warned our host that I wasn't going to eat meat for 2013, he was pleased, as he is the only veg in the family. So on the quiet without drawing attention to the subject he made the biggest fish platter for the first evening and for breakfast a veggie option. All very very lovely.
We both had a vegetarian 2nd Christmas dinner and on the last morning he said, 'I don't have veggie sausages so it's croissants for you and me', no worries in fact I had tea, juice and mashed bananas on homemade bread.
Not far from me on the table was a plate of sausages.
Not even fancy sausages, just plain old pork.
Now I know that I have a real problem when it comes to the sweet stuff, cake, chocolate, fat but I didn't think that I would have to sit on my hands not to eat one of those greasy sticks of death.
I don't feel addicted to meat so I can only think that it was greed which horrified me more and I didn't cave but it really made me think about how much of my life is controlled by food, I knew it was but not to what extent.
I've yet to come up with some kind of answer about myself but yesterday I really started to concentrate on removing the meat from my diet.

What I have found in the past week, if you cook for a family and try to change something for yourself, you tend to complete one task and then when it comes to you, you put a pie in the oven and veggie or not, it feels second rate and that is not good.

I thought do I have to go out and buy a cook book? didn't I read somewhere that all those Jamie and Nigella recipes were full of fats so won't that be the same for their veggie dishes also?

Then I remembered a cook book that G's dad gave me one year because I bought a juicer, it was about eating for health and I think I might have been secretly grumpy about it but not today, today it is my new favourite read ever!

Who are you Michael Van Straten, my new BF for 2013?

I happened to turn to the Chapter about circulation and since my ankle op, I think I could do with a little help in this department, I sometimes see purple fingers and toes and it REALLY worries me, not to mention my cholesterol and that stitch I sometimes get when I am thinking about exercise.
I am also convinced I get pins and needles when I shouldn't.

Last night I made beetroot and orange salad with a salad dressing! From scratch. I also had some fish and some corn.
Job done, finally.
And no reason to be scared.

Today I took a walk into town with P and bought new phones for the house and some slippers that T had asked for.
On the way we went passed the tree recycling which never ceases to amaze me.

I can't help thinking, will they not last until next year? such a waste! Except that one front left.

I came home with a feeling that I want to get out working in the garden and I think I might have a new theme

I made lunch, omelet with left over beetroot, potatoes and spinach and more salad dressing.

I won't be posting what veg I ate through 2013 but I might do a little bit.
Something with peppers this eve and curried parsnip soup tomorrow maybe?

Right now I think I need a cuppa with sugar


Monday, 7 January 2013

New Year Here We Go!

It has been brought to my attention in the last half hour via the NJ Skype connection that I have not posted for some time so here goes.

All of the mothers that came with their babies to P's 3rd birthday were some kind of ill over Christmas. I thought that we picked something up at the venue but a good friend of mine was ill three days prior to us so I wonder if I picked it up from her and then passed it on but then I think I didn't see her so it must all be coincidence.
Did I mention that already?

These are P's comedy glasses from inside her stocking on Christmas morning and I am lying flat out with a fever trying to be enthusiastic and can I say that I struggled with that one all day and I didn't really get involved in anything even watching the girls open presents or me opening presents or eating.

Proper flu involves aching joints, fever and troublesome sleep, not to mention all the other spluttering but I was lucky and managed to be over the worst within three days and it just took a further five to start to feel human.
My enthusiasm is not topped up yet either but I am sure that will come with the brighter weather that we are getting this week.

At some point through the day there was confusion where T opened a present and then P opened all the rest. Then T realised that she had in fact opened a gift of mine and then it all became too much and the tears flowed and she buried her head under the duvet with me and no matter how much I told her I really didn't care, she was inconsolable.

I thought that G and I did really well on the present front this year but the numbers were still out of hand. When you mix in Christmas with what they get for their birthdays it is all a bit much and actually none of it gets played with because you don't know where to start.
It's the only time that I wish they had been summer babies.
Having said that T has been making her way through every Aqua Bead, making up little hair slides and animal faces.

I think we need a big sort as we go through January, more on that another time.

By New Years Eve, I had the energy to help out Gareth, I managed to get the house in some kind of order for guests and he carried on doing all the cooking.
I decided to make a resolution for 2013 to go veg!
It needed to start on the January 2nd because as I served up the big cooked breakfast that LH prepared I forgot to put on my porridge so said farewell to the beast with sausage and bacon.

I also want to get a handle on my spending in 2013 and am writing everything down to see where the money is going. I took the girls to town to pick up some things, new tooth brushes, plastic pots, secret Santa gifts for G's family Janmas get together and took the girls for lunch and the money and meat resloution went out the window.

We went to Bills.
It looks lovely, the service is great but it is always a complete cock up.

I had spent our time walking around town thinking, would this be a better place to eat?

I thought I'd get the girls a strawberry milkshake and a cup cake.
Not the greatest lunch but they like milkshakes and they eat cake.

When you are settled at the table they don't sell strawberry milk shakes anymore only chocolate brownie milkshakes, the girls looked confused. I explained that it was chocolate cake in milk and they were up for that. The waitress divided the portion into two glasses. They didn't like them as much as they thought, nor the cup cakes.

I didn't want to drink anything but I needed to eat a little, I'll order two sides and the girls can share which might cancel out the sugar.
In what was now a panic I ordered a green salad, which turned out to be a lot of one leaf and what I thought was a sausage bread but turned out to be a lot of sausages covered in mustard and honey. Neither side dishes went anywhere near the girls, I am now a veggie, and we all had to drink a lot of tap water to wash away the really rich choices.
Bye to £20, massive resolution fail!

This morning has been errands before the new term start tomorrow.
P spent the afternoon like this.

There was some drama across the street and T and I watched a fire shout

and she proceeded to tell me all about what life would be like for her and us if she was a fire fighter. T's new year resolution has clearly been to increase her imagination and then transmit it.

I must add washing the white paintwork down to my list.
G is in London this eve sorting work out for the next few months so I am away to cook dinner for the girls.
Tonight is sewing labels in new PE kit although I could do with an early night but as P had such a big nap I think it is going to be another late one.

Happy January 2013!