Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Cheap Budget Meal - One Pot Bacon and Broad Bean Rice

This weeks cheap budget meal is a one pot meal.

I love one pots meals, not only because they save on washing up but also because they are always full of flavour and easy to make!

This week I have taken on the Organix No Junk challenge. I do already make all of our meals from scratch but this challenge has made me look more at the ingredients that are in the foods that we eat. Basically if you do not know what the ingredient is, if you would not find it in an everyday kitchen, don't eat it! This has meant that I have changed the stock cubes that I usually use for one that contains ingredients that I know!

This is my Cheap Budget Meal recipe this week...

One Pot Bacon and Broad Bean Rice


6 rashers of smoked bacon, chopped (£2.50)
1 courgette, halved and sliced (34p)
1 onion, chopped (16p)
6 medium chestnut mushrooms, chopped (50p)
300g broad beans, (55p)
350g rice (white rice 40p per 1kg bag)
1.5ltr vegetable stock
Rosemary, I used fresh rosemary out of the garden but if you do not have fresh rosemary use 1tsp of dried rosemary


1 - Heat a little olive oil in a large pan

2 - Place the bacon and onions in the pan and cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat

3 - Add the courgettes and mushrooms, cook until the bacon has browned off and the vegetables have softened

4 - Add the rice and rosemary to the pan and heat for a couple of minutes

5 - Pour in half of the stock and allow the rice to soak up the majority of the stock before adding the remaining stock and the broad beans. You may not need to use the full 1.5ltr if you are using wholegrain rice you will do but if you are using plain white rice you may only need 1ltr.

This is such an easy one pot meal to make and all of the ingredients are known! There is no junk used in making this great, family friendly meal.

This one pot meal fed all five of us with leftovers which have been frozen for another day. This meal can be made for £4.45, we got 6 servings from this, so that is just 74p per serving and you have rice left over for another 2 meals!

This meal is good for you, contains no junk, is full of flavour and in budget!

Enjoy x

I am sharing this recipe with Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies Thrifty Thursday pop over and get some great money saving tips!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Point + Shoot - 26th - 27th April 2014

Wow, what a busy weekend!
On Saturday I stepped out of the comfort zone of having my family around me and went out for the day on my own.
I did something for me.
I spent the day in Birmingham with lots of lovely fellow bloggers at a conference run by Tots100 and Foodies100. I left the house at an early 7:15am and didn't get home until 7:40pm. For 12 hours I was me again. As much as I love my family, it was nice to not have to think about anyone else but me. I had such a great day out and have learnt so much. I came away with my head literally buzzing with thoughts and ideas.
I am pleased to say that I have already put one of those ideas into practise and have bought my own domain for my blog. I am now this is a step I have been thinking about taking but have never had the push to do it. Thanks to the conference I have taken this big step and done it.
On Sunday I was shattered after the busy Saturday and so we just relaxed together as a family.
As I was out all day I do not have all of the family pictures as I normally do but here is our weekend in pictures...

I enjoyed a coffee in peace on the train

Learning about food photography

Nearly home

Watching the world go by

On a sunny train

Stepping stones


The twins explore their Gran's garden

Having a ride on Grandads "tractor"

Taylor and Daddy

Joseph whizzing around the garden

As always, I am sharing our weekend with Snowing Indoors Point + Shoot pop over and see what they got up to over the weekend!

Morello Cherry and Almond Cake

I love the combination of morello cherries and almonds.

We recently had a delicious morello cherry and almond dessert, from Tesco, which gave me the idea to bake this cake.

I decided to bake this cake a little differently than how I usually make a cake with fruit in. This was mainly for Joseph, who does not like cherries. I added a layer of cherries as I placed the cake mixture in the cake tin. This gave me layer of cherries near the bottom so that I was easily able to remove them for Joseph. However if everyone likes cherries you can mix them in with your cake batter before placing in the tin.

This is what I did...

Morello Cherry and Almond Cake


200g baking spread
200g caster sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
150g self raising flour
50g ground almonds
100g morello cherries, halved
Flaked almonds


Pre heat the oven to 180C

1 - Mix the baking spread until smooth

2 - Mix in the caster sugar until light and creamy

3 - Gradually add the eggs with a little flour to prevent curdling

4 - Sift in the flour and add the ground almonds and mix until all of the ingredients are evenly combined

5 - If you all like cherries, shake them in a little flour to coat them and add to your cake mixture now, if you would like a layer of cherries near the base follow the following instructions

6 - Line and grease a cake tin and add half of the cake mixture

7 - Arrange the halved morello cherries on top of the cake mixture

8 - Place the remaining half of cake mixture on top of the cherries and sprinkle a hand full of flaked almonds over the top

9 - Place the cake tin in the pre heated oven and bake for 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when placed through the centre of the cake

10 - When the cake is thoroughly baked remove from the tin and leave to cool on a rack

This cake is delicious when still slightly warm but just as good when completely cooled. I finished our cake off with a sprinkling of icing sugar.

For once this was a cherry cake that we all ate and enjoyed!

Enjoy x

I am sharing this recipe with A Mummy Too's Recipe of the Week pop over and take a look at some delicious recipes!

Link up your recipe of the week
I am also sharing with Casa Costello's Bake of the Week go over and check out Helen's delicious looking Passion Fruit and White Chocolate Profiteroles, they look amazing!

Casa Costello
I am also sharing with Honest Mum's Tasty Tuesdays pop over and take a look at Vicki's lovely roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds, they looks so tasty and simple to make!

Tasty Tuesdays on

I am also sharing, for the first time, with Javelin Warriors Made With Love Mondays pop over and check out the made from scratch recipes!

Made with Love Mondays, hosted by Javelin Warrior

Monday, 28 April 2014

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 28th April 2014

Last weeks meal plan was a success and every meal was cook and enjoyed. We even managed to enjoy a BBQ on bank holiday Monday!

After planning to make a curry for weeks and not making it, I finally got round to making one. I featured it as last weeks Cheap Budget Meal recipe. If you would like to see how I made it and kept within budget take a look at my Cheap Budget Meal!

This week I have accepted a new foodie challenge from Organix. I have pledged to take on their No Junk challenge. You can read about why I have signed up to take part and what the challenge entails here

This is what we will be enjoying this week...

Week Commencing 28th April 2014

Broad Bean and Bacon Rice

After the weekend I do enjoy a lighter meal on a Monday. This meal is cooked in a similar way to risotto but using regular long grain rice. This recipe will feature as this weeks Cheap Budget Meal.

Full of Veg Spaghetti Bolognese

Joseph has requested a spaghetti meal this week so I will be making a bolognese sauce that is full of chunky vegetables

Brie and Courgette Chicken and Roasted Vegetables

I will be stuffing chicken breasts with slices of courgette and brie.


This is a meal that I have been wanting to make for a while now and one that the hubby has pointed out. This week I am giving it a go and it will be a new meal for us!

Beef Enchiladas

We love chilli but we are having a couple of meals with rice this week. So instead of a chilli con carne and rice I am going to make beef enchiladas with homemade wraps. This is another recipe that I will be sharing this week.

I have planned five meals as I am still undecided about what we will have on Saturday. My mum and dad are coming down so between us we will make something!

Have a lovely week and enjoy the bank holiday weekend x

As usual I am sharing our weekly meal plan with At Home With Mrs M's Meal Planning Monday

Meal Planning Monday

Organix No Junk Challenge

Organix No Junk Challenge: Take the challenge, cut out the junk.

When I saw that Organix were running a challenge to cut out junk that we feed our children I knew that I had to take part.

I am a firm believer in cooking meals from scratch. They are not only healthier for the family but you know what ingredients are going into the meal. I always find it concerning when I look at an ingredients list and see items which I have never heard of. I don't know if they are chemicals, preservatives, artificial additives, sweeteners, they really could be anything! They are ingredients that are certainly not found in a home kitchen. I was amazed by the huge list of ingredients that are used to make mass produced shop bought bread. I make bread using just 4 ingredients plus water! I like to know what my family are eating and what I am feeding my children.

It is not always easy to check the ingredients as you are shopping. Any parent will agree, when you go shopping with the kiddies, you want to go in, get what you need and get out before they get bored! Looking at ingredients is only gong to make your trip longer. This is why the government and food industry need to have tighter regulations regarding added salt, sugar, fats and artificial additives.

I am going to be sharing some easy recipes which can be made at home from scratch and that will please the whole family! They will contain No Junk ingredients, easy step by step instructions and will not cost a fortune to make! So keep an eye out for some delicious recipes and take the pledge with Organix!

To sign up to the Organix No Junk pledge visit Organix No Junk

Sunday, 27 April 2014

21st April - 27th April 2014 - One Picture Everyday for One Year

This has been a bit of a funny week.

We have had a great day together, all five of us!

Then hubby returned to work, followed by Joseph returning to school the following day.

Then it was back to normal!

Our normal routine, of school runs and house work. But this week has ended on a high and a busy day.

Here is our week in pictures...

Monday 21st April 2014 - Bank Holiday Monday
After a miserable, cold and windy Easter Sunday we were delighted that the sun was shining and we could get outside. I had planned to do the children an egg hunt on the Sunday but when we saw what the weather was like we decided to do it on the Monday instead. It was a huge success! All three of the children loved searching around the garden for the eggs and we even managed to enjoy a BBQ!
Tuesday 22nd April 2014

Hubby returned to work on Tuesday and after having him at home 6 days I really did notice him not being around. So did the children, especially Joseph who drove me crackers! So to keep them busy I made pizza dough and let them make their own pizzas for lunch.

Wednesday 23rd April 2014
Joseph returned to school on Wednesday. The Easter holidays were lovely and I cannot believe how quick they have gone. But he was ready to go back to school. I love how keen he is to get there in the mornings!


As it was just the twins and I again, I tried to get the house back in a bit of order. Whilst I was in the kitchen the twins went very quiet, which always makes me suspicious! When I went in I was greeted with this. "Isabella, what are you doing?" I asked, to which I was told "Bella tidying up mummy!" Ok I really should have known that was what she was doing!
Thursday 24th April 2014
We have been talking about moving the chicken coop and run for a while now. But on Thursday evening once the twins were in bed we decided to move them. This was not an easy job but we managed to get them moved.
Friday 25th April 2014
In the morning I was pleased to see that the chickens were settling well after their move.

On Friday we stayed at my mother in laws for the night as I had a busy day planned on Saturday. Joseph received a great parcel from Toys R Us. We have been selected as official Toyologists and a game arrived for us to try! Joseph was over the moon when he saw that we had a new Monopoly game. This was our Friday evening, spending time with Joseph once the twins were in bed, playing games.
Saturday 26th April 2014
Saturday was BlogCamp day hosted by Tots100 and Foodies100. I had been feeling a mixture of excitement and nervousness leading up to the event. But once I was there I relaxed and was ok. I was me again, not mummy, not wife, just me, Kirsty! I met so many lovely people and have learnt so much! My head is now full of ideas and thoughts about what I want to do and achieve!

Sunday 27th April 2014
My silent Sunday.
Have a lovely week x
As always I am sharing my week in pictures with:
Make Do and Push's The Week That Was Captured
The Boy and Me's Project 365 
Pop over and see what other bloggers have been up to!

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Silent Sunday


Love All Blogs Better Photos Project

Friday, 25 April 2014

Word of the Week - 25th April 2014

Today I have chosen a word which sums up my feelings about Saturday.

That word, if it is actually a word, which I don't think it is, but I like it is...


This is the only way that I can accurately describe how I am feeling.
Tomorrow I am attending my first blogging event. I am going to the BlogCamp event that is being run by Tots100 and Foodies100.
This is going to be a big day for me. This will be my first full day out, on my own, without any of my family since having the twins. Whenever I have been out since having the twins 26 months ago I have either had the children with me or my hubby.
Before I had the twins I worked full time and was a confident person. I regularly travelled to different centres and to different conferences and felt confident in my environment and in myself.
Since having the twins and becoming a stay at home mum my confidence has dropped. I may come across as confident on my blog, but in person I am quite different. I have always found it easier to articulate how I am feeling through writing. When you go from having a career and being with people all day to being at home all day, you re going to change. Please do not get me wrong, I would never change how my life is. Now that I am a stay at home mum and housewife I am the happiest and most contented that I have ever been. But my confidence has been knocked.
I am excited because I am going to meet in person a lot of people that I feel like 'sI already know thanks to their blogs. Excited to discover what I can learn. Excited about taking the big step and doing something for me.
But then I am nervous because it is a big step for me to be me, not mummy and not wife, tomorrow I will be Kirsty. Nervous because I am meeting new people and I worry that I won't know what to say. People that are close to me will be surprised at this because I love to talk, but when I'm nervous I babble and get tongue tied!
I am feeling an "excitednervousness" but it is a good feeling and despite the nerves, I am REALLY looking forward to tomorrow!
I am sharing my Word of the Week with The Reading Residence's Word of the Week pop over and see what word sums up Jocelyn's week!

The Reading Residence

Thursday, 24 April 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow? Week 17

So much has happened in our garden this last week. Thanks to the sunshine and rain the flowers are starting to open. Other plants have buds and the promise of added colour.

The seedlings in the greenhouses are really shooting up now and are nearly ready for re potting which really is going to be a huge job. Last week when the hubby was out he picked up some more potatoes which were in the clearance section for only £1. My hubby cannot resist a bargain when it comes to plants. We now have so many potatoes and not enough beds for them so we are considering putting some in the front garden! We haven't really added much to the front garden as at some point in the future we are wanting to use half of it for a drive. It looks like it is going to become our "overspill" potato garden soon!

This is how our garden has grown this week...

The Tulips waiting for the sun to shine to open up!

The Peony buds are promising a beautiful dash of colour!

Some Stocks that we found in the clearance
section are starting to flower!

The Cabbage seedlings are ready for moving.

The Beetroot is shooting up!

This year we have tried growing Onions from
seed and so far, they are doing well!

Yay! The first Potato plant has come through.
We now have four that have come through
from the first row.

The Sweet Peas have got so tall, we are planning on making
a wigwam for the in the first section of the garden.

The Courgettes are getting stronger!

The great family Sunflower race! We each have 2 pots, so far
Taylor is in the lead!

All but two of the raised beds have got seeds and plants in.
The remaining two have been left for the seedlings.

Sugar Snap Peas and Beans.

I was pleased to see there are some Elderflower
buds coming.

One of my favourite plants is coming into
bloom. The Lilac at the bottom of the garden
is beautiful when in flower. However it really
does need tidying up!

The Tulips open!

We're not too sure what these are but the are a
beautiful colour.

Strawberry plants

More flower seedlings!

We have some pretty flowers coming on the Chives.

Some new life coming on my Magnolia!

Last of all, this isn't one of our trees, it is one
that I walk past on the school run. I had to get a
picture because it looks so pretty and full of
As always I am sharing this post with Mammasaurus' fantastic How Does Your Garden Grow? linky. Pop over and see Mammasaurus beautiful pictures from RHS Wisley and how other bloggers gardens have grown.

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?