Meal planner (archive)

Week starting 30th May


It’s a funny old week.  I feel like it’s just started and yet it’s actually Thursday tomorrow and my meal planner is almost redundant.  Bank holidays and half term will do that to you.  Even when I’m working for half of the week I can’t seem to get my ass into any kind of gear.

Nevertheless we have bee eating this week, believe it or not.  We did have a nice start to the week which involved different people cooking for us which made a nice change but yesterday was back to reality and this garden veg pasta.


Not the greatest picture in the world I’ll grant you but this was a tasty concoction.  One that I thought would cause untold trouble because, despite pasta being a staple in this house, cheese sauces have never gone down too well.  BUT…. everyone ate the lot and Edie even made yummy noises.  This feels like one that might become a summer staple, the sauce is just a mix of cream cheese and parmesan (plus pasta water) and you can stick in whatever veg you have/happens to be in season.  Find the recipe here:

(p.s. it claims it’s low fat due to the light philadelphia but there is a load of parmesan so I’m not sure about this claim but neither are we on a low fat diet so hey ho).

For the rest of the week I have decided to focus on Mexican-inspired food.  I’ve been feeling inspired by the fact that a couple of the kids’ favourite meals are Mexican (quesadillas and fajitas) plus I had the most amazing burrito when working in London the other day and so thought I’d give a few a few other recipes a try to broaden my repertoire.

I found loads of ideas on BBC Good Food (of course) and also Jamie Oliver has a lot of Mexican inspired recipes on his site to peruse.

Today we had this:


Yet another BBC Good Food recipe – chilli glazed salmon with sour cream (or creme fraiche).  The glaze is really easy to make (whizz up onion, garlic, cider vinegar, brown sugar and chilli in a blender) and the salmon is quick to grill for a good midweek meal.  The husband made yummy noises this time.  Two in a row!

Tomorrow is a bit of a cheat because I wanted to have an easy one but it’s inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe – baked sweet potato with avocado and queso fresco.  Find it here:

Ok, so we have regular potatoes to use up so we’re having those instead but using the queso fresco for a bit of a spin on the usual jackets and cheese.

On Friday we’re having a day off and Saturday is a barbecue (fingers crossed) then on Sunday I’m finishing the week with a Mexican chicken stew, find it here:

Have a good (short) week!



Sophisticated Stuff!

So Zoe turned 13 last week…I was certainly no where near as worldly wise as she is when I was 13 (one look at what I was wearing in photos will confirm this-far too bad to show here of course). So it’s party time this weekend and time to put some effort in!

First up it’s hire a hot tub! We’re in Manchester and found a friendly supplier called Out For The Bounce. Said item arrives tomorrow and we’re going to decorate the outside with lanterns and fairy lights for a nice glow come dusk.

Meanwhile we’re planning mocktails…

Here are our chosen faves:


Lime concentrate, freshly squeezed lime juice, freshly squeezed orange juice, freshly squeezed lemon juice, caster sugar. Blend together, then mix in lots of ice. Sugar the rim of a margarita glass(dipped in lime juice so it sticks) then pour in the iced mocktail.

Piña Colada:

Chopped pineapple, light coconut milk, coconut water, ice and lime – blitzed together until smooth. Serve with a cocktail stick skewered with a cherry, a piece of pineapple and a slice of lime.


Lime juice, elderflower cordial, brown sugar, mint leaves,soda water-mix together, crushing some of the mint and add ice. Serve with stir sticks and slices of lime.

Vanilla Watermelon Soda

Watermelon juice, lime juice, cream soda, ice – serve with small slices of watermelon on cocktail sticks.

Just need the weather to go with them now!


Meal Planner (archive)

Week starting 23rd May


It’s been a busy old couple of weeks in this household, what with full time work, full on kids and then a bit of chicken pox thrown into the mix but I’m attempting to get back on top of our meals this week and here’s what we’re having…

Tonight was green (pesto) pasta to start the week off nice and slowly. I recently did a post on how I put our meal planner together and one of my kindnesses to myself is to do something simple on a Monday. The pesto is homemade but it takes approximately 5 minutes to put together – i.e. less time than it takes to cook the pasta and grate up some parmesan for the top. You can find the recipe in the archive section.

Tomorrow I’m going back into the whole fish battlezone with this recipe from BBC Good Food:

I like anything that involves one pan as I invariably end up with the washing up and I’m also looking forward to our first asparagus of the season. I’m slightly late to the game as asparagus season started a few weeks back so we’ll have to make up for lost time this week – yes it makes your wee smell but it tastes bloody delicious. Last year the kids ate it happily, let’s see what this year throws at us (hopefully not literally).

Wednesday we’re having quesadillas in case the whole salmon and asparagus thing was a complete wash-out (another kindness – don’t do more than one difficult meal in a row, everyone needs a break to maintain sanity) and on Thursday I’m going back into the breach with crab and salad. Our fishmonger does really good dressed crab which is tasty just as it is with a load of salad doings and fresh bread. Max has also insisted that he wants to try halloumi so we’ll throw a bit of that in as well.

Friday really should be global pizza night so we’re making some homemade versions and then finishing our (cooking) week on Saturday with toad in the hole. Last week I picked Max up from Melony’s house just as they were about to have toad in the hole and took him home for kedgeree. I was not a popular mummy that day and so this is me making it up to him. We’re away for the rest of the weekend and someone else is doing the cooking, hallelujah!

Have a good week!