Friday, 29 September 2017

Guest Post: Can you Visit Manchester on a Budget?

A travel guide if you’re planning to go to Manchester – Can you plan on a budget?
It is needless to mention that Manchester, England is replete with passion for soccer. The city prospered during the time when it became the very first industrialized city, but then soon after it went through a sharp decline as manufacturing left England. However, at the present day, it is full of culture, hotels, restaurants and it is also the most bustling industrial district. Something that everyone knows is that the city of Manchester is popular for its football teams, the Manchester United and Man City. In short, it is a rough and tough city which is worth exploring.
What are the costs of tripping around Manchester?
Hostel costs: In Manchester, the hostel dorms start at £20 per night and most of them even provide you with a free Wi-Fi connection. For a private room, £45 would be the cost.
Average cost of food: Manchester is filled with markets which sell fresh and local cheese, meats, fruits, wine and vegetable. If you want to cook and reap benefits of these markets, you’ll get groceries at £30-50. It can cost you more if you wish to eat out.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Coffee, Fruit and Walnut Cake

Guess who has finally got her baking mojo back.....

Yes me!!!

I had a good bake off of a weekend. I baked some fat rascals, which I am planning to share soon, then I made this cake, then went on to make some delicious apple crumble using some homegrown apples, again, this will be shared shortly.

This is a recipe that has evolved. A couple of weeks ago I made a coffee and walnut cake which was delicious, but I wanted to make it into something more so I added some dry fruit and wow it has transformed this cake into something else!

I love it and that is why I am sharing it today!

This is what I did...

Monday, 25 September 2017

Weekly Meal Plan Plus a Perfect Midweek Recipe

Hello and welcome to another week of meal planning and a perfect midweek recipe.

Last week was one heck of a roller coaster. I applied for some additional hours at work which unfortunately I did not get. The role that I wanted to add on was a finance role and being up against an accountant meant that it was not meant to be. But I feel proud of myself for getting as far as I did and just happy to have the job that I have got. I am a true believer of things happening for a reason, and this was not meant to be.

Anyway, this is a new week and time to move on!

Last weeks meal plan was a success and I am loving having my Pressure King Pro out again. Warming meals are definitely the way we are going with our dinners!

This weeks perfect midweek recipe is one that is so simple but so full of flavour. One of my favourite ingredients has to be chorizo, it adds so much flavour to a dish and really does all of the work for you. This weeks recipe is a twist on our favourite cottage pie sauce.

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

#CookBlogShare Linky Week 38 - Plus Awesome Apple Recipes

Hello and welcome to week 38 of #CookBlogShare.

Before I go on I must apologise for the post being a little late. I had it in my head that I was hosting next week! Life is certainly manic at the moment and J turns 13 today so my head has been all over!

Now on to food! I am loving the excuse to cook more autumnal meals, the weather seems to have turned even earlier this year. But it also means that we are starting to have more warming dishes. One food that is a favourite at the moment has to be apples. We have got a young apple tree in the garden that we got fruit from for the first time last year. This year we got a bumper crop from it but they were all ready to drop at the same time so I had a lot to use at once. My favourite way of using up apples has to be stewing them. Once you have got your stewed apples there are so many ways to use them. With this in mind it is no surprise that apples are the focus of this weeks CookBlogShare linky.

Check out these awesome apple recipes...

Monday, 18 September 2017

Weekly Meal Plan Plus a Perfect Midweek Recipe

At the moment my blogging time seems to be running away from me. It really is harder than I first thought it would be, working, parenting, housework, being wife and a blogger is such hard work! After I have been at work all day, cooked tea, done some jobs around the house and spent time with the children once they are in bed all I want to do is relax. Before, I used to get the laptop out and blog. I am finding juggling everything exhausting. So to make my blogging life a little easier I am going to start combining my weekly meal plan post with a perfect midweek meal recipe. I thought that it would be the perfect time to inspire your meal plan but a way to get two posts in one.

Before I tell you what we are going to be having this week I am going to share with you a recipe that I have been meaning to share for a long time. In fact, I cannot believe I have not written it up sooner. This is a recipe that we will be having this week. Now that the evenings are drawing in and it is feeling quite autumnal already my Pressure King Pro is going to be out more and more as the cold weather comes. One of my favourite things about the Pressure King Pro is that you can cook on the fast, pressure cooking setting or on the slow cook setting, and even delayed start timer. This is ideal with me being out all day and I know that it is going to be lovely to come home to dinner ready and waiting. This recipe is one of our favourites and one I am looking forward to cooking again this week. Chilli con carne is a great meal that can be served in may ways, with rice, in wraps, as enchiladas and there is always leftovers.

Here is my perfect midweek meal and meal plan...

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Mushroom Orzo Risotto - A Perfect Mid Week Meal

Risotto is a real family favourite in our house. I love the versatility of risotto. You can add ingredients and take them out according to what you have in or what you fancy. It can be made with vegetables or with meat, with fish or leftovers. The possibilities are endless. The only thing that I do not like about cooking a traditional risotto is the time it takes to cook. Before when I was not going out to work it did not matter, but now that time at home is reduced the only time I can really make one in this way is at the weekend. However when we were shopping the other week the hubby spotted some Orzo pasta. Orzo is pasta but it looks very similar to rice so we got some for a mid week, cheats risotto and we loved it!

This is what I did..

Monday, 11 September 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday 2017 Week 37

Hello and welcome to week 37 of #mealplanningmonday!

I hope that you had a successful first week back to school. All three of the kids were certainly ready to be back and looking forward to the coming academic year.

My return to work went well, I had a really busy week and have increased my hours to full days to help cover some additional work. I was pleased that I was offered the extra hours, yes I am going to be out all day but I really do enjoy what I am doing and the extra money is going to make a huge difference to our life.

Over the weekend I shared a video regarding fresh fish, well I say fresh, that should say, not so fresh. It really did make me stop and think. You can see the video here! The video is all about giving away #freefreshfish, would you like any free fresh fish if you knew that is was 9 days old? No me neither. When buying frozen fish you know that it has been frozen straight away and has retained more of the goodness and is even cheaper than "fresh" fish!

Anyway back to meal planning! This is what we will be having this week...

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Quick and Easy Back to School Pasta - A Perfect Midweek Meal

Well, that is it, another summer is over and it is time for the children and I to return to work. I will admit to looking forward to September. We all function so much better with a routine. Don't get me wrong, the holidays were lovely but towards the end you could tell that we were all ready for work and school. Now that we are getting back into our regular routine I am stepping up my meal planning as I find it so much easier to get home knowing what I am cooking, and also adding more vegetables into our meals. I cannot be the only one who gets lazy over the holidays, it is easy to go for the easier, unhealthy option, grab a chocolate bar or a take away. 

Thankfully there are easy ways to add some extra goodness into our meals and this recipe demonstrates that perfectly. When I returned to work I discovered the value of my freezer and how frozen vegetables are just as good as fresh vegetables when you are in a hurry.

In our house pasta is always a winning meal so what better way to start the school year than with a delicious pasta dish that is full of veg the kids will love!

This is what I did...

Monday, 4 September 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday Week 36 - Back to School!

Hello and welcome to week 36 of #MealPlanningMonday!

It is the time of year that you either love or hate. It is time for the children to return to school after the long summer holidays. I have to admit that I LOVE this time of year, yes I do love my children but I also love having some time out. This September is different as it also means that I am going back to work and yes I am looking forward to that too!

It is also time to step up with my meal planning. Over the holidays I have got lazy and have not really followed them. Don't get me wrong, I did set out to follow the plan but a mixture of days out, busy days, stress and pure laziness lead to me basically winging it. But now that I am back to work having a meal plan in place is a necessity.

Last week we had a late evening visit to Marks and Spencer's food hall and from now on I will be going late in the day. We picked up so many bargains and have quite literally stocked the freezer up. Meat reduced to £1.50, fish reduced to under £2, we got so many bargains. They will be featuring in this meal plan and will hopefully mean we do not need to get too much when we do the shopping on Friday.

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