Meal Planning Monday

Gosh, this seems to have come around quickly this week!! We pretty much stuck to the plan again and I even cooked a few meals ahead for this week. It’s half term for us and Graham is back at work finally, so I knew I wanted to be as organised as possible. We literally have a drawer full of frozen meals in the freezer for weeks like this now, so this week will be mostly a case of defrosting them and bunging them in the microwave – best sort of cooking!

Meal Planning Monday

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Meal Planning Monday #5

Last week we pretty much stayed on plan, until the weekend. We were going to have spaghetti bolognese but I forgot to get the mince out of the freezer. I was going to do sausage and chips for an easy tea but then we decided to treat ourselves to a night off and have a takeaway. This kids had pizza and Graham and I ordered an Indian after they had gone to bed. We haven’t done that in ages, and it was really nice to have something to eat without the kids around – we always sit and eat together at the table. We ended up having the bolognese on Sunday instead.

Meal Planning Monday

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Super Simple Bakewell Tart

Last week I had a roll of ready-made shortcrust pastry in the fridge, a day past its use-by date. I think I bought it to make some mince pies before Christmas – I hate making pastry – but never quite got round to it. I knew if I didn’t within a day or so, it would need to be chucked away.  I went to make some jam and lemon curd tarts when I decided to have a go at making my own version of a Bakewell Tart.

Super Simple Bakewell tart

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Meal Planning Monday #3

Last week we again managed to mostly stick to the plan. We should have had a pork roast dinner on Monday, which we originally should have had on Sunday. However, Ben was poorly and was kept in the hospital Sunday night. When it came to starting dinner on Monday, we were both knackered and neither of us felt up to either cooking or eating a roast dinner. We ended up ordering a Chinese takeaway instead. I think that was pretty justified, though! I’ve made it pretty easy on myself for next week as well, by cooking some of the meals and the mashed potatoes already and sticking them in the freezer – like homemade ready meals!

Meal Planning Monday

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Food Diary of a Vegan

I’ll start by saying that I’m not a vegan – as you can see from my meal plans I’m not even a vegetarian, and the chances of me becoming either are pretty much zero. That’s a whole different discussion, though, and one I won’t get into. However, saying that, I understand why people make that choice, and I do respect and admire their decision. I can’t imagine veganism to be easy as so many things we eat and drink contain animal products or by-products. I do think sometimes that we could reduce the amount of meat in our diet for all sorts of reasons – I often choose veggie sausages or a veggie option if I’m eating out, and I try to do the odd meat-free meal, but generally, in our house, we do eat meat and dairy products.

Food Diary of a Vegan

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Meal Planning Monday #2

We managed to stick to last week’s meal plan pretty well. We swapped a couple of days meals around because it fitted better with Graham’s shifts, and had chips instead of mash with the beef casserole but all in all, we had what we said we were going to have, except for Sunday when we were out for longer than expected so didn’t get round to having a roast dinner. Because I’d taken the pork out of the freezer, we decided to add that to this week’s plan. Planning our meals really did make life a lot easier, and by using my slow cooker and halogen oven I’ve managed to save time. I bung what I can in the slow cooker in the morning and finish off the rest in the halogen.

Meal Planning Monday

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Meal Planning Monday #1

Ok, so I meant to post this yesterday and completely forgot – good start to my year of organisation! I’m going to TRY to do this every week, both in real life and posting it on the blog. We have meal planned on and off for a few years, and when we’ve done it properly, it’s saved a lot of time, stress and money. With Graham back at work and doing 12-hour shifts, it’s down to me to do the vast majority of cooking which is a challenge within itself! I can’t face the thought of getting to 5pm (aka the witching hour here!) and staring into the freezer trying to work ou what to do for tea whilst the kids run riot. Hopefully, by planning meals ahead we can avoid that!

Meal Planning Monday

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How to Make Christmas Chocolate Bark

With two children at school and at least three very hard working members of staff in each of their classes,  buying gifts for school staff is beginning to get very expensive. I know from personal experience that staff don’t expect a gift at Christmas, but I know just how much they go beyond their job description and how much they deserve appreciation, and a small gift is a nice to way to show it. I can’t afford to spend a fortune though, and that’s where our our homemade Christmas chocolate bark comes into it.

Christmas Chocolate Bark | www.coffeecakekids.com

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Kiddyum Children’s Ready Meals Review

We never buy ready meals because I don’t think they are particularly healthy, and if we need a quick meal, I tend to whack on a pan of pasta, but when we had the opportunity to try out some children’s ready meals from Kiddyum, we thought they might be a super quick and easy alternative. Created by a mum of two, the meals contain no added sugar or preservatives, are low in salt and are free from GM ingredients, artificial colours and flavours. Not only that, they are all made in the UK and use British meat, dairy and sustainable fish.

Kiddyum Children's Ready Meals Review | www.parenthoodhighsandlows.com

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Mexican Texas Chicken

I don’t really do much cooking. In fact, I do very little. We lived in this house for almost six weeks, and I have cooked three meals  – this and lasagne twice. Don’t worry – I don’t starve the children, Graham does the cooking!

When I feel like it, I do enjoy cooking. I have such a short attention span and get so easily distracted that I need meals that are interesting to cook, and don’t take long. This ticks those boxes. It’s all stuff that we usually have in the house and only takes twenty minutes or so. My mum gave me this recipe – it’s something that she has been cooking regularly for the past few years and it has become a firm family favourite!

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Pizza, Prosecco and the New Kids Menu at Strada

Last week, we were invited to an event at Strada at The Mailbox in Birmingham. We don’t go into the city centre very often, and certainly not The Mailbox (always thought it was a bit too posh in there for us), so I’d not heard of this restaurant before. Strada is a chain of Italian restaurants, with branches across the country. They have recently launched a brand new kids menu, which we went along to check out.

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