Monday, 31 March 2014

Point + Shoot - 29th - 30th March 2014

We have had a lovely weekend with lots of garden time thanks to the good weather.

On Saturday, after Josephs weekly swimming lesson, we went school shoes shopping before enjoying the afternoon in the garden.

The twins have got a fantastic Rokka Play Cornish Boat which I finally got round to putting together for them. It is such a great piece of play equipment. When it is placed as it is in the picture it is a lovely rocking boat complete with sail. However when it is the other way up it is a great little picnic bench for them to either enjoy lunch or a snack or for crafty play outside. I am over the moon with it and I am sure that the twins will get many hours of fun from it.

Hubby and his little helper, Joseph, started preparing beds in the vegetable garden. While I got some baking done in preparation for the mothers day dessert I had offered to make for my mum.

As it was such a lovely day our meal plans changed to a BBQ. However, by tea time it had cooled off a little so it was cooked outside but enjoyed inside.

We finished Saturday off as we always do, with family time for Joseph. Once the twins are tucked up in bed we all sit and watch a film and give him some much needed attention!


Sunday, as we know, was Mothers Day. This year I got a gift which I am going to treasure for years to come. The hubby and children gave me a beautiful magnolia for the garden. I am going to watch this grow with my children. I have told hubby that we can't move, ever, as I am not going to leave this special plant! We pottered about in the morning, hubby and Joseph were in the garden, the twins had a play outside, I blogged and relaxed! We went out for a walk and spent the afternoon at my parents. They had brought my Nanna over for a meal so it was lovely spending time with them. We didn't do anything 'special' as the hubby said later on, but my reply to him was that I don't need to do anything 'special' the day had been special as I had been with him and our children. This made it special as we were all together.

I am sharing my week with Snowing Indoors Point + Shoot

Pizza Inspired Bread Rolls

When I was making my dough last week I decided to try a different kind of roll for everyones lunches.
I don't know about you, but I often find hat I am making the same old rolls or sandwiches for the hubby and Joseph's packed lunches.
Baking my own bread gives me the chance to try something a little bit different.
This is what I came up with...
Pizza Inspired Bread Rolls
400g strong white bread flour
7g fast acting yeast
5g salt
30mls olive oil
250mls warm water
Tomato puree
Mature cheddar cheese, grated
Cold cooked meats, I used chicken and ham
Dried oregano
1 - Place the flour in a large mixing bowl
2 - Place the yeast on one side of the bowl and the salt and oil on the other side, ensuring the yeast doesn't come into contact with the salt!
3 - Add three quarters of the water and begin to mix with either your hand or with an electric mixer with a dough hook
4 - As the dough comes together gradually add the left over water a little at a time until the dough has come together and has cleaned the sides of the bowl, you may not need all of the water!
5 - Knead the dough for about 5 - 10 minutes until it had a soft, elasticated texture
6 - Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to prove for about an hour or until doubled in size
7 - Pre heat the oven to 180C
8 - Once the dough has proved, remove from the bowl and knead again to knock out any air
9 - Lightly flour the work top and using a floured rolling pin flatten the dough into a rectangular shape
10 - Tack down to the work top the edge closest to you by sticking it to the top, this will make rolling the dough easier
11 - Spread over the dough as much or as little tomato puree as you like, leaving a line of plain dough on the edge closest to you, this will be the join
12 - Sprinkle over some dried oregano, again you can add as much or as little as you like depending on taste
13 - Spread over the grated cheese and scatter bits of the cold meat, I sprinkled one half with chicken and the other half with ham
14 - Roll the dough towards you so that you have a sausage shape, using the edge of plain dough to seal
15 - Roll the dough so that the join is on the bottom and taking a sharp knife cut into pieces which are approximately 3cms thick
16 - Place the pieces side down on a lined baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned
These rolls are both delicious warm or cold the next day. The soft bread combined with the baked cheese and tomato flavours go together perfectly.
Enjoy x

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 31st March 2014

Last week I did really well with our meal plan. There was only one meal that I didn't make and had something completely different. That was because we enjoyed the sunshine and had a BBQ instead!

The pulled pork last week was a huge success. I didn't get round to making the pork lasagne thanks to a lack of time and a clingy toddler but we did have a lovely pulled pork pasta dish. Out of the one piece of pork I came up with 3 Pulled Pork Meals .

This week I have one less meal to plan as the hubby is taking me to the Cake and Bake show in Manchester *squeals excitedly* on Friday so I think that we are going to finish our day out with a take away.

We have just completed the last week of the Guardians Live Better Challenge for food waste and I can honestly say that we have reduced the amount of food that we are throwing away which is great! We have got into the habit now of not throwing foods straight away, we are now looking and thinking of how we could use them before binning! This next month the focus is on energy consumption. With the amount of baking that I do this really will be a challenge!

This week I am planning to cook 2 vegetarian meals, that is if the hubby and Joseph do not moan! I am wanting to do this for a couple of reasons but mainly to get some more goodness inside all of us. But also I have been feeling a bit bloated this last week so it'll also help to loose a few pounds in time for summer! I do enjoy vegetarian food so it will make a nice change.

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

Week Commencing 31st March 2014

Bolognese Pasta Bake

After the weekend I always like to have a light meals at the beginning of the week. I make a bolognese sauce and bake with a cheese topping.

Vegetable and Pearl Barley Risotto

This is a new dish for us. I have got some root vegetables (carrots, swede, parsnips) in the fridge so I think that I am going to chop them up and cook in some vegetable stock and use pearl barley instead of arborio rice.

Sausages and Mash

As hubby and Joseph enjoyed sausages so much last week, I will be cooking them again. Also, if truth be known, I bought two different varieties of sausage last time I went to the market to try. So this week we will be trying the pork and black pudding variety.

Sweet Potato Bake

I will be making this on Thursday and will be using up any used vegetables that may be in the fridge before I get my fresh delivery of vegetables on Friday. I am going to layer the sweet potato with the other vegetables and bake in a cheese and mustard sauce.

Homemade Pizza

This week on Saturday I am planning to make some homemade pizzas for our family night.

Have a great week x

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

Meal Planning Monday

Sunday, 30 March 2014

24th March - 30th March 2014 - One Picture Everyday for One Year

We have had quite a few cold mornings this week so have spent a lot of time inside in the mornings. However most of the afternoons have been lovely so we have been able to get out.
Here is our week in pictures...
Monday 24th March 2014

Monday morning we woke up to a frosty, foggy morning. I had some baking to do for my part in the Team Honk Bloggers Bake Off and made a Team Honk 'Baton'berg Cake which was very yummy! When Joseph got home the twins wanted to play out and they asked Joseph to blow the bubbles for them. All three of them had a lot of fun and it was lovely to watch the three of the giggling together.
Tuesday 25th March 2014

When we went down to feed the chickens on Tuesday morning the twins couldn't resist playing on their slides and toys no matter how many times I said no! This resulted in two wet, muddy toddlers. But hey, they had fun and that's all that matters. Boots are easily cleaned and clothes are easily dried!
Wednesday 26th March 2014

My little "mini me". Isabella really is starting to copy mummy so much. When ever I tell Joseph or Taylor anything, it is followed by little Isabella telling them too. She also loves putting on mummys shoes and has discovered mummys sunglasses. Bless her, she insisted on wearing this hat which is way too small for her and she loved rocking the dress and wellies look! My lovely little lady x
Thursday 27th March 2014
I was so excited when my train ticket arrived for next months Blog Camp with Tots100! I am really looking forward to this day, picking up some great tips and meeting other bloggers in person!!
I also baked some yummy cookies on Thursday. Biscuits, for me, either turn out fantastic or are a complete disaster. As I have shared my Leftover Chocolate Cookies tells you that these ones were a success!
Friday 28th March 2014

On Friday my early wedding anniversary pressie arrived from the hubby. He has treated me to my own Kindle Fire hd!
Saturday 29th March 2014
On Saturday I finally got round to putting the twins new Rokka Play Cornish Boat together. I am so impressed with this toy. They immediately love it and couldn't wait to get playing. I can see that this is going to be one beloved toy!
Sunday 30th March

My Silent Sunday had to be of family time in the garden!
Selfie of the Week

I just love this picture of Taylor. Here he is saying "cheeeeeeese", its just me and my littlest boy x

I hope all you mummies and mother figures have a lovely mothers day and everyone has a great week x
I am sharing my Project 365 with The Boy and Me
TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

I am also sharing our week with Make Do and Push - TWTWC


I am sharing my Selfie of the Week with The Good Life Mum

Silent Sunday

Love All Blogs Better Photos Project

Friday, 28 March 2014

Leftover Chocolate Cookies

When I was looking through the cupboards the other day I noticed how we still had some chocolate treats left over from Christmas.
The yummy ones always go first and then we are left with the usual ones that we are really keen on. I hate to waste them so I thought I'd use them up in some cookies.
The basic cookie recipe is one that I have always used out of an old Be-Ro book that was given to me from my Nanna.
This is what I did...
Leftover Chocolate Cookies
100g baking spread/butter
75g light brown muscovado sugar
175g plain flour
2tbsp golden syrup
2-3tbsp milk
Leftover mini chocolate bars/Easter eggs/Chocolate treats
Pre heat the oven to 180C
1 - Soften the baking spread
2 - Add the sugar ad mix until creamy and light
3 - Add the golden syrup and flour and mix until starting to come together
4 - Add the milk a tablespoon at a time until you get a dough consistency
5 - Add as much or as little chocolate as you wish. I have use 6 mini Mars bars and 6 mini Milky Way bars chopped up

6 - Place some baking paper onto a baking tray and place small balls of the cookie dough on, making sure there is sufficient room to spread. Make sure that the chocolate pieces are covered in the cookie dough, if not the chocolate will spill out!
7 - Bake for 8 - 12 minutes depending on the size of cookies remove immediately from the hot tray and allow to cool
These a delicious cookies and I was pleased to see that they were enjoyed. In fact they were enjoyed so much they were all eaten in the same day I baked them!
I have also found some Quality Street chocolate which need using and I am going to try using them to get some different flavours into the cookies.
They really are a versatile biscuit and you can add whatever chocolate you have to hand. They are also a great way to use up any Easter eggs that will probably be left over after the holidays!
Enjoy x

Word of the Week - Sleep!

This weeks word of the week has to be...


When I decided on my word last night I may have tempted fate as Taylor was awake at 4am this morning. But I am still going with sleep as they have done so well this week.

Let's start with Saturday, the twins first night away.

I was amazed when we got the message saying "they're asleep!" before 8pm. When I rang my mum I couldn't believe that they had both gone to sleep so easily. We were over the moon when we were told that they had both slept a whopping 11 hours. We were so proud of them for doing so well.

We were even happier when the good nights sleep carried on once they were home. This last week has to be the best sleep that we have had in the past 25 months. That is why I have chosen the word sleep as my word of the week.

I am joining in with The Reading Residence's Word of the Week pop over and see what other words have come up this week.
The Reading Residence

Thursday, 27 March 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow? Week 13 2014

This week has been quite a contrast in weather first thing in the morning.
We have had hard frosts, fog and rain. However this has been followed by lovely sunshine which has certainly made a lot of the flowers come out.
This is how our garden has grown this week...

Hubby built a cold frame last year and when I looked in this week I noticed that the strawberry plants are already starting to flower.
At the end of last week we noticed these pretty little purple flowers starting to grow. After the rain and afternoon sunshine they have now opened up. We just do not know what they are!
 The cold mornings have meant that we have had sad daffodils, however they have soon picked up once the sun has started to shine.
We now have a lovely little picket fence behind the dividing beds that separate the "family/twins" area from the "play" area. We decided to separate the areas so that Joseph is able to play with his football without worrying about plants or the twins.
We have noticed this week that some of the seeds in the greenhouse are now starting to grow. The first ones that are coming are cabbage.
The cold mornings have left a lot of dew on the garden first thing in the morning. When you look closer at plants in the morning you see the beauty of nature that is often missed.
 I am sharing this post with Mammasaurus How Does Your Garden Grow head over and look at her beautiful photographs of Exbury Gardens and how other bloggers gardens grow!
Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Cheap Budget Meals - Pulled Pork Meals

One of my favourite, low cost pieces of meat is a shoulder of pork.

On our last trip to the local market to stock up on meat I bought a shoulder of pork that weighed about 3.5kg for a budgeting £12! The butcher cut the joint into three equal pieces.

The best thing about pulled pork is the amount of meat that you actually get.

From one piece weighing between 1kg and 1.5kg we have enough meat for 2 days worth of meals.

This week for my Cheap Budget Meal recipe I am going to show you what I did this week with our pulled pork.

Pulled Pork - 3 Ideas

Rosemary Pulled Pork with Potatoes and Homemade Coleslaw


1kg - 1.5kg shoulder of pork (£4)
Fresh rosemary
Potatoes (45p)
5 leaves of white cabbage, shredded (80p - whole cabbage)
2 carrots, grated (16p)
1 onion, sliced (16p)
Mayonnaise (50p - small jar)


1 - Take the piece of meat and cut little slits along the top and sides, take the fresh rosemary and stuff it into the slits in the meat

2 - Slow cook the meat for about 8 hours

3 - To make the coleslaw mix the shredded cabbage, grated carrots and onions together

4 - Add as little or as much mayonnaise as you like

5 - Once the meat is cooked remove the meat and pour out the fatty liquid. Put he meat back in the dish or slow cooker and shred it using two forks

Serve with boiled potatoes and the homemade coleslaw.

I made this meal for £6.07 and had enough meat leftover for the following day!

Leftover Rosemary Pulled Pork Pasta


1 onion, chopped (16p)
4 medium mushrooms, sliced (30p)
1 garlic clove, crushed (30p - whole garlic)
1 courgette, halved and sliced (25p)
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes (40p)
1/2tsp mixed herbs
Vegetable stock cube
250g Pasta shapes (30p - 500g bag)
Grated cheese, optional


1 - Fry the onion in a little oil until soft

2 - Add the courgettes, mushrooms and garlic and continue to fry until soft

3 - Add the leftover pulled pork and fry for a couple of minutes before adding the tin of chopped tomatoes, the vegetable stock cube and mixed herbs

4 - The sauce only needs cooking until it is completely heated thorough

5 - Cook the pasta as per instructions

You have got two options on how to serve.

You can either serve the pulled pork sauce on top of a bed of pasta.


Mix the pulled pork sauce with the pasta, place in an oven proof dish, cover with grated cheese and have as a pasta bake.

The extra ingredients for the second days meal only cost £1.71.

In total, for two days meals, it cost me £7.78. We got 6 adult sized portions and the twins had 3 meals each!

That's a budgeting 86p per portion!

Leftovers can be used to make a new dish. Enjoying leftovers more often reduces food waste and saves you money!
I am sharing this post with Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies Thrifty Thursday check out some great money saving tips!

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