Monday, May 26, 2014

Meal Planning Mondays May 26th ~ June 1st

Whoops, we have been so busy that I almost forgot to post this week's Meal Plan! Thankfully though although I wasn't organised enough to post it early this morning, I was organised to start it yesterday so that most of the week is planned. This week looks like it's another week of using things up as last week I was in a rush so I ended up buying quite a lot of my vegetables from Costco rather than where I normally get them from. Although it has the advantage of being very reasonably priced there is the issue that everything comes in giant portions and not necessarily what is needed for a family of 3! So this week I am working my way through a lot of veges before they go bad! No complaints though as at least I know we'll be eating well and I only needed to buy a few additional items this morning.

We're starting the week off with a simple, quick and easy Thai Green Vegetable Curry. Thankfully Ben loves curries as long as they aren't too spicy so I just need to keep the main dish mild and slice up some extra chillies on the side for me! This is a perfect dish for the vegetables that I have and it fits in well with it being Meat Free Monday. Tomorrow I'm using up the Mozzarella from our pizza's last week with my Spicy Tomato & Mozzarella Gnocchi, again just watching the spice level. Wednesday and it's back to the latest book that I am reviewing with another recipe from Bill Granger. I love how simple this recipe looks not to mention deliciously healthy! Thursday and we are making the most of the fact that Scott isn't eating with us with our favourite tomato pasta, although I'm using up some of the many cherry tomatoes I have. This is by far one of my all time favourite dishes and it's quick and simple to make, perfect for after swimming. Friday and I am undecided but thinking possibly fish....I'm hoping I'll find some inspiration from a cookbook so will update that once I've decided. Saturday and it's Ben's choice with some scrummy burgers and potato wedges which not only does he love to eat but enjoys helping to make which is a win-win situation for me. Finally and as usual Sunday is TBD as the forecast is looking good so hopefully we can get out on the boat meaning dinner will have to be something quick and easy and good for a hot, sunny day!

I'm also making up a batch of Creamy Celery Soup for lunches this week and we're now off to make some Priory Biscuits and possibly some Muffins to keep the cupboards full followed by our tummies!

Have a great week everyone with family, friends and of course, lots of good food! x

 Monday May 26th - Sunday June 1st

                                  Monday  -      Thai Green Vegetable Curry with Jasmine Rice
                                  Tuesday -       Spicy Tomato & Mozzarella Gnocchi & Salad
                                  Wednesday -  Spa-style Poached Chicken with Sesame Bean Salad (Bill Granger)
                                  Thursday -      Spaghetti with Cherry Tomato Sauce & Salad
                                  Friday -          Leftovers 
                                  Saturday -      Individual Pizzas
                                  Sunday -        Burgers with Potato Wedges (Ben's choice)
As always don't forget you can add links to your Weekly Meal Plans in the comments section below.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Favourite Vegetarian Recipes for National Vegetarian Week

In honour of National Vegetarian Week I thought it would be fun to put together a collection of some of my favourite vegetarian recipes that I have on my blog. I won't lie, there is a lot of pasta but since I'm a pasta-holic it's to be expected I guess. I love eating vegetarian food and think it's good for everyone to have at least one or two nights a week enjoying a delicious meal without meat. I hope you like the collection as much as I do but I have realised that I definitely need to come up with some more vegetarian recipes that don't feature pasta!

From Top L-R: Tomato & Mozzarella Tart; Lemon Spaghetti; Mozzarella, Almond & Pomegranate Salad; Spicy Tomato & Mozzarella Gnocchi; Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles; Quinoa Salad; My Favourite Bruschetta; Hearty Italian Vegetable Soup: Goats Cheese & Pesto Cannelloni; Tomato & Vodka Spaghetti; Flatbread Pizza; Mushroom Bruschetta with Cheat's Aioli; Spaghetti with Broccolini, Garlic & Chilli; Penne Arrabiata; Zucchini & Lemon Spaghetti and Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Monday, May 19, 2014

Meal Planning Mondays May 19th ~ May 25th

Well this is going to be a quick post as today is a holiday in Canada and so we are hoping the clouds are going to disappear so that we can head out on the boat for a while!

As I usually do I came out with our meal plan yesterday and have now just found out that apparently it's National Vegetarian Week. I'm not going to change anything but I am quite pleased with myself that by coincidence 4 meals are Vegetarian! Tonight's dinner is a fairly light and simple Grilled Halloumi which we will cook on the BBQ. It's also very quick and easy and I love the squeaky, saltiness of the Halloumi so although it is still very early here I am already craving it! With Scott away on Tuesday Ben chose Tomato Pasta for dinner with the clear rules that he would really like tubes (penne) and tomato sauce as that is his favourite! I can't imagine where he got that from but let's just say I'm delighted! With all of the warmer weather we have been having I have been craving Thai flavours so I think the next book I am going to review is Bill's Everyday Asian by Bill Granger. There are so many recipes that I want to try but for a child friendly non-spicy start I chose the Hoisin Chicken as it looks finger-licking good! I also have all of the ingredients for it so it's a perfect choice. Thursday and it's swimming so I want something quick and easy and while shopping yesterday I saw that Naan bread was on offer so of course I grabbed a few packets. Since I love Naan bread and I love pizza this is the perfect quick and easy dinner once we are home. I also have some mushrooms in the fridge needing used so I'll quickly saute some of those with some garlic and thyme and we'll have delicious Individual Mushroom Pizzas in no time. Friday and it's back to those Thai flavours I am craving with my Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles which also just happens to be vegetarian. It's a quick and easy meal, packed with so many flavours and in my opinion it's much better than take away, not to mention cheaper! It's also a great way to get the weekend started. I'm really excited that we have Cook Club on Saturday - I love it so much and it can never come around fast enough. I wonder what the theme will be this month but don't worry I'll update it on our Cook Club Menus page as soon as I can after! As usual Sunday is still TBD as I have no idea at this point what our plans are but that's what weekends are all about.

So there you have it - another week and another menu. I'm off now to enjoy the Monday holiday. If it's a holiday for you, enjoy and to everyone else I hope you all have a great week with great food, family and friends x

 Monday May 19th - Sunday 25th 

                                  Monday  -       Grilled Halloumi with Oregano & Chilli, Salad & French Bread
                                  Tuesday -       Tomato Pasta with Salad (Ben's choice)
                                  Wednesday -  Hoisin Chicken with Celery Salad (Bill Granger recipe)
                                  Thursday -      Naan Bread Pizza 
                                  Friday -          Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles
                                  Saturday -      Cook Club
                                  Sunday -        BBQ'd Pork Chops with Coleslaw & Potato Wedges
As always don't forget you can add links to your Weekly Meal Plans in the comments section below.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Jewelled Cupcakes

I can never resist the opportunity to make cupcakes! They are so easy to make and kids and adults alike love them. As well as that cupcakes are so much fun to make because the options of icing and decorating them are endless! I am always on the lookout for some new ideas so when I was back home in Scotland in February I couldn't resist the latest issue of the magazine Cake Decorating which came with a silicone mould for creating your own stunning jewels. I had hoped to post these special cupcakes in time for Mother's Day but unfortunately the best made plans don't always work so here they are, a little late but still just as special for any celebration.

In the magazine they suggested covering the cakes with fondant icing then sticking the jewels on with edible glue. They looked amazing but I didn't have much fondant and no edible glue (although you could use royal icing I'm sure) so I went with the faster, easier option of topping the cakes with my standard Royal Icing then carefully placing the jewels and pearls on top. My only advice if using the same method as me is to make sure after putting the jewels on to let the icing set before moving as it will crack slightly.

I did use fondant for the jewels where they suggested Flower Paste so use whatever you have or can get your hands on.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Meal Planning Mondays May 12th ~ May 18th

Ah the joys of a Monday morning..... I was so lucky as we had the most fantastic weekend, most of which was spent out on the boat in the nearby lake soaking up the sun and completely relaxing - it was bliss! On top of that, yesterday I was completely spoilt for Mother's Day and didn't have to lift a finger in the kitchen all day! Scott really went all out and it was just perfect! How lucky am I?! Now however it's back to reality and the start of a new week!

This week is all about what I have needing eaten in the fridge and leftovers that need eaten especially since I am cleaning out the fridge today (my most hated kitchen chore but it always makes me happy once it is done!). Tomorrow I'm using up the leftover chicken from our delicious Beer Can Chicken that Scott made last night. I am hoping one of these days to get it up on the blog as it really is the most delicious way to cook a chicken and keep it super moist. As well as the chicken there is also some French bread left which I'll use for croutons and I might add some avocado as well since we love avocado. A great salad that is really delicious and perfect for using up leftovers. Wednesday and it's a quick and easy pasta dish to finish off the broccoli that's lurking in the fridge. It's such an easy meal and so tasty so it'll be a hit. Thursday and we are back to swimming so I chose Sweet & Sour Chicken since I can make it ahead of time and I have a few peppers in the fridge waiting to be used and always have a tin of pineapple tucked away in my pantry. Ben loves it as well so that's always a bonus as he will be extra hungry after swimming. The obsession of my new Tortilla pans is resurfacing again on Friday as I am making Chilli Salad bowls, a perfect Friday night meal that doesn't take long to make and is full of flavours that we all love. My hope is to be able to snap some pics before we devour them so that I can share the recipe here with you. Saturday and we are having a family dinner so it's a night off for me and Sunday.....well it depends on our plans.... I have a feeling weekend cooking will soon become meals that can be made really quickly or prepared in advance since we will no doubt be out on the boat!!

I hope you all have a great week with great food, family and friends x

 Monday May 12th - Sunday 18th 

                                  Monday  -       Leftovers
                                  Tuesday -       Chicken Caesar Salad
                                  Wednesday -  Broccoli Pesto Pasta
                                  Thursday -      Sweet & Sour Chicken with Rice 
                                  Friday -          Chilli Salad Bowls
                                  Saturday -      Dinner with Family :)
                                  Sunday -        TBD
As always don't forget you can add links to your Weekly Meal Plans in the comments section below.  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Rhubarb Mojito's and Rhubarb Syrup

Rhubarb Mojitos

The most delicious, refreshing alternative to a usual Mojito. For this recipe I make my standard Mojito recipe but I replace the sugar with the Rhubarb Syrup instead. The Rhubarb Syrup is so easy to make and is so refreshing when paired with the classic Mojito flavours of Mint and Lime. Try it once and you will be begging for Rhubarb to be back in season!

Serves 1 (easily doubled or can be made into a pitcher)

Small handful of fresh mint leaves (approx. 6 large leaves, or 8-10 small ones)
2 tbsp Rhubarb Syrup (recipe below)
1/2 lime, cut into 3 wedges
1 part white rum (Bacardi)
3 parts soda water

In a tall glass mix the mint, syrup and 2 wedges of lime together using a muddler, small rolling pin, wooden spoon or any other utensil that allows you to crush everything together so you get as much flavour as possible! Add the rum then fill the glass with ice and top with the soda water. Stir and add the final lime wedge then sit back, sip and enjoy!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Meal Planning Mondays May 5th ~ 11th

It seems it is getting to the time of year that when planning our weekly meals I also need to be looking at the weather forecast! Due to a couple of gorgeous hot days last week we had to rearrange things a little so that we weren't eating the Vietnamese Pork Curry when it was 25C outside! Not that I really mind eating spicy food when it's hot, I just don't want to cook it and be stuck over a hot oven! As it turns out the Vietnamese Pork Curry was a slow cooked recipe and was perfect for making on a lazy, rainy Saturday afternoon. It was so good Ben has already asked if we can have it again and when!

Also new last week was Ben's first swimming lesson which is late in the afternoon so now Thursday's are all about either super fast meals I can quickly make after swimming or prepare ahead dishes, which is probably the best option! This week I have decided to make the Italian Meatball Soup which I might make in the slow cooker so it can slowly simmer away all day, or failing that if I am super organised I will make most of it on Wednesday. Ben's choice this week was Spaghetti and Meatballs with Caesar Salad which again I am delighted about - so far no complaints with his choices and he is definitely enjoying helping me make dinner. Finally it's Mother's Day in Canada and the US on Sunday so that means a day off for me!! Woo-hoo!

I hope you all have a great week with great food, family and friends x

 Monday May 5th - Sunday 11th 

                                  Monday  -      Leftovers
                                  Tuesday -      Spaghetti with Broccolini, Chilli & Garlic
                                  Wednesday - Cajun Chicken with Potato Wedges & Yogurt Dip (Hairy                                                                                Dieters)
                                  Thursday -      Italian Meatball Soup
                                  Friday -          Beetroot Risotto with Parmesan Crisps
                                  Saturday -      Spaghetti & Meatballs with Caesar Salad (Ben's choice)
                                  Sunday -        Mother's Day - off duty!!
As always don't forget you can add links to your Weekly Meal Plans in the comments section below.  
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