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Day 17, in which we get

all creative.

So I thought about Parika Pork and thought it would probably be to spiky (spicy in Cub language), so I decided to play with it and here’s what I did.

Cut up enough pork for all of us about 350g in chunks

Mandolin sliced up 3 red onions,about 300g straight into the slow cooker.

Added, the pork chunks to it

1 chicken stock cube with about 400 ml of water

added about 4 tablespoons of sundried tomato paste I had left over

tomato puree

about a tablespoon of lemon juice

sugar a couple of teaspoons

smoked paprika (about a teaspoon)

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon of cider vinegar

1 teaspoon of parsley, thyme

fresh ground black pepper – we like black pepper so quite a bit ymmv.

Mixed it in the slow cooker, and cooked on low for about 8 hours.

Mixed half a tub of low fat crème fraîche.

Served with rice and garlic bread.

A tiny bit yum, I doubt I will ever be able to repeat this because I did it on the fly.

This is what it looked like:

Twas a tiny bit yum, in fact, I think somebody slipped in some crack cocaine because I’ve been eating the left overs on and off ever since!

Old Picture of The Cub

New Picture of The Cub

Peace, love and pizza!

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Day 3, or the day we let the chippy shop take the strain

Not going to even try to justify this, it’s sausage chips and gravy for dinner tonight. The Cub has looked forward to it all holiday and we are going to P.I.G. O.U.T. I foresee a Buffy marathon with some beer in our future tonight as the wonderful man I live with, bought me the box set for Christmas. Eat your hearts out peasants 😀 No picture, because, although AWESOME, it requires no explanation.

As no post is complete without a picture of The Cub, here, he likes to sleep with a hat on sometimes: 094 Next weeks menu:

  • Monday, baked potatoes
  • Tuesday, sos and squash
  • Wednesday, kedgeree
  • Thursday, Gammon
  • Friday, Hummus/poached eggs/scrambled eggs
  • Saturday, Sweet and sour stir fry
  • Sunday, soup

Next weeks spice list:

  • bay leaves
  • medium curry powder or garam masala with chilli
  • fresh parsley (weekly extravagance)
  • fresh ginger
  • light soy sauce
  • rice or cider vinegar
  • brown sugar
  • thyme fresh, but I’ve got some growing at the front

Shopping list:

  • a baked potato for each person, for us that’s 3
  • baked beans
  • block of cheese or grated cheese depending on which is cheapest
  • 1 packet of really nice sausages
  • 1 butternut squash
  • Eggs
  • smoked haddock fillet
  • basmati rice
  • peas
  • 1 red onion
  • double cream (might go with plain yogurt if there is any left in the fridge)
  • lemon juice
  • Gammon steaks
  • veggies
  • boiling potatoes
  • hummus
  • pita bread
  • tappas type things if there are any on offer
  • cornflour
  • chicken thighs boned
  • red pepper
  • yellow pepper
  • 1 x 227g tin of pineapple chunks
  • stir fry veggies
  • soup veggies

Peas, love and pizza!

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Day one or, this is where it gets serious

So, I’ve nearly got a years worth of menu planned – only 59 days left to fill so that’s pretty good, ::pats self on back::

Due to family stuff I’m putting 2 posts up today as I missed yesterdays!

The meal planning is geared towards us, please feel free to take the ideas and adapt them for your own family. Goddess knows I’ve borrowed from many many sources, if I know where something has come from I’ll quote the source or link to it if appropriate.

Every month I’ll post a list of spices/herbs that will be needed for the following month and every Friday I’ll post a shopping list for the next week. I have no intention of continuing this blog after the year is up, but never say never.

I’m not going to limit myself to just food, I’ll post stuff about what I’m doing and the family, there will be some politics, if this isn’t for you I hope you find the blog you are looking for. Nice Star Wars ref there 😀

As we start the year mid week and, because nobody REALLY wants to cook just after Christmas this week is a bit hit and miss food wise.

I’m going to assume you have condiments e.g. ketchup, vegetable oil and olive oil in your houses everything else will get listed, this also helps me whilst shopping because we are doing if-it’s-not-on-the-list-it’s-not-coming-home-shopping this year.

Here is the spice list:

  • Fresh basil – my one extravagance this week
  • Dried red chilli
  • Garam masala – I intend to spend some time this year making a perfect one for us, for now this is shop bought
  • ground coriander
  • fresh ginger
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • ground turmeric

Shopping list

  • Chicken breast – enough for however many your family is, for us that’s about 2 large ones
  • chicken thighs – see above
  • 2 bulbs of garlic
  • 3 red onions
  • 165ml coconut milk (you can get them in B&M)
  • ground almonds
  • lemon juice
  • small ciabatta loaf or home made loaf if you’re feeling up to it after Xmas
  • Green salady type leaves
  • cherry tomatoes – if they are too expensive I shall be going with normal tomatoes
  • streaky bacon
  • 1 pkt pasta mix – we use the own brand ones from Aldi or Asda, other supermarkets are available
  • 1 jar of Brockwurst sausages from Aldi
  • 1 packet of hot-dog buns

Here is the rest of this weeks meal plan:

  • Wednesday, Curry
  • Thursday, pasta mix
  • Friday, take away
  • Saturday, chicken tray bake
  • Sunday, hot-dogs

No, it isn’t the most healthy start to the year, but it does make it a lovely easy start 😀

Here’s my korma recipe please note I rarely measure this now and the amount of sauce given here should do 6 people without to much trouble:

Enough Chicken breasts to do for your family
1 heaped teaspoon of finely grated fresh ginger – freeze your left over ginger and it keeps for AGES
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
150g greek plain yogurt
1 dried red chilli – I have been known to leave this out depending on the heat of the garam masala I’m using, my lot do not like food that is spicy or spikey as The Cub calls it! Or you can use a fresh one, remember the heat is in the white veiny stuff and the seeds, keep or discard as much or as little as your family likes.
2 finely chopped red onions
1tbsp veg oil
1tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground tumeric
1 tsp garam masala
165ml coconut milk – if I’ve got creamed coconut and not milk I’ll use about half the amount of milk
100ml milk
2 heaped tbsps ground almonds
Lemon juice

  1. cut chicken breasts into chunks you would like to eat – I hate when recipes say bite size, bite size for Robin is not bite size for The Cub. Just make sure they are all the same size
  2. Mix the chicken with the ginger, garlic and yogurt. Cover and marinade, if you are organised – I am not – you could do this the night before. I’ve done it with 15 minutes to go and it still tastes good.
  3. Liquidise the onions and red chilli, if you don’t have the equipment to do that, chop them together for a bit. If liquidising add water if you need to, to get a smooth paste.
  4. Heat oil in a pan to a medium heat, don’t you hate that? WTF is a medium heat anyway? I heat my pan on the hob just until the flames get big. Then, add the coriander, black pepper, tumeric and garam masala, stir fry for about a minute. This releases the flavours of your spices. If you’re feeling particularly fruity, you can always use whole spices, dry fry them then grind them and use that. This takes effort though!
  5. Turn up the heat, add the onion and chilli paste or chunks and stir fry until softened, do not allow the onion to brown, or do, I think it tastes horrid if you do though.
  6. Add the chicken and any marinade left to the pan and stir fry for another 10 minutes.
  7. Add the coconut milk and normal milk, stir until completely combined. If you’re using creamed coconut, stir until fully dissolved. Add the almonds. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. NEVER, serve or eat raw chicken. I popped that there to stop me from being sued 😀
  8. Add lemon juice and salt to your own peculiar taste and mix well.

Serve with usual accompaniments e.g. naan breads, rice etc and chutneys.

Use the rest of the yogurt with a couple of teaspoons of dried mint, some lemon juice and voila! Raita.

My foolproof way of doing rice.

Use a half a cup (the measuring kind, not the massive comedy mug you have in your cupboard!) of rice per person. Add double the water. Boil the rice for 5 minutes and then leave with the heat switched off for 15 minutes.

DO NOT LOOK AT THE RICE OR LIFT THE LID DURING THE COOKING PROCESS INCLUDING THE 15 MINUTES!

Drain any excess water off the rice, fluff with a fork and serve.

Do not be scared of cooking rice, it will be lovely.

And here’s a picture of the curry:

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And here’s a picture of The Cub because he’s bloody cute, he’d taken his braces off as he was now a rebel not a farmer. 😀

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Peace, love and Pizza!

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Today is Saturday or what else can get in the way of feeding The Tribe

Ah, The Tribe – wasn’t that a 90’s kids tv show? I always said ‘The Tribe, or why young teens should not be allowed to dress themselves.’

Look at me digressing before I’ve even started the blog! If I was a superhero I’d be ADD Woman, here to fight for truth, justice and ooooh shiny!*

So what got in the way today? Robin, has decided to sell his car. He has, allegedly, reasons. He has explained these reasons to me, but, they can be boiled down to:

I don’t like the car and am having a monumental sulk because a van is just not practical.

Ain’t love GRAND. I read somewhere that you know it’s love when you look at them lying in bed next to you and think ‘I could smother you with a pillow or I can go make pancakes. Pancakes it is!’ This is very, very true.

The person who bought the car came from somewhere in Wales, he was here for 09:15. Robin got up at 08:50 and takes at least 2 hours to get going. They bought the car and left about an hour after getting here. Robin FINALLY sorted out the bloody insurance at 11:30. Robin did something rather complicated with the insurance, all legal, and took many, many days to sort out. He’s probably saved about 10p doing it that way. He ACTUALLY made me want to stab him about 3 times a day whilst sorting it out. I needed a car to go shopping today, usually I can pick up stuff on the way home from school after dropping off The Cub or whilst picking him up, but today it was heavy stuff and I was pouting. Robin wanted to put The Great Wall up** glass in The Greenhouse, he’s been putting The Greenhouse up for 3 years. Admittedly, he’s done it all on his own AND put in a patio, but his propensity for drama means things take 100 times longer than they need to. Take the garage for example, in the same amount of time it took Robin to paint half a small wall I painted the whole bloody thing. He over thinks things. I however, rush right in and don’t always stop to think, if you put us together we’d make a pretty rocking human 😀

Anyway, the reason for my diatribe? I needed the car, remember? So, whilst Robin is putting up The Colloseum*** Greenhouse I have The Cub, after The Lurgy and not sleeping to well I made them come with me. I’m evil, this is a gift. So we got enough fruit to feed a family of 6, The Cub eats his body weight in fruit nearly every day and veg etc. But, by the time we get back it’s nearly 14:00. I pull out my fall back, Aldi Bratwurst hot dogs in a jar. They are VERY nice, I don’t look tooooo closely at the ingredients because, I’d have to stop eating them if I did, no doubt. Hmm sweet chilli sauce on hot dogs……

Take out for tea because of the lateness of everything and my general can’t be arsedness. The Cub wanted a sandwich and an apple so that’s what he got.

Tomorrow is shaping up for sandwiches for lunch and sausages, waffles and veg for tea. Proper nursery tea there. Ooooh, speaking of which I might dig out that recipe for kedgeree next week, or at least a biryani.

No pictures today because who needs a picture of a hot dog or a sandwich?

Peace, love and pizza!

*Yes, I’m aware that is a glib way of looking at ADD but when my friend told me that her daughter, who has ADD would be this as a superhero I laughed like a drain. Now, go forth and be offended elsewhere.

** Google it, it took about 2000 years to build!

*** 10 years to build

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Sweet and Sour Chicken or the recipe I’ve been trying to make forEVER

You may recall today was going to be Ikea for lunch day – didn’t happen, bet you’re shocked! Instead Robin, who is trying to sell his car, needed to use it today because he has man flu. I have the lurgy but apparently it isn’t as bad as Robin’s who has to go to work, I have The Cub on an inset day which is, of course, a breeze in comparison, sarcasm is my life 😀 So, The Cub had a bagel with cream cheese and veggies and I had a Pot Noodle, oh, it’s the HEIGHT of haute cuisine here 😉

I’m having quite a relaxing day as it happens because I made some snow. Yes, I’m magic and can conjure up snow. Actually, what I did was combine 1 cheap can of shaving foam with a kilo of cornflour less the amount in the SnS recipe and it makes mouldable snow it’s a bit like the moon sand you can buy without the cost. Usually it lasts about 2 weeks, the preservative in the shaving foam keeps out the nasties and it’s usually grey at the end because it has been played with A LOT! Because of it’s constituent parts it makes washing toys that are used in it a doddle. I’ve had 2 and 1/2 hours of peace and quiet from it today, why yes, I am a bit of a legend 😀

Anyhoo, here’s the recipe for Sweet and Sour sauce, I’d love to tell you what magazine I got it from but it’s just stuck in my recipe-book-of-things-I’ll-actually-make. I find that shop bought SnS is either to sour or to sweet so I use this, it’s easy to make and I usually do it in a pan whilst I’m doing something else. I have no idea if it keeps because there is never any left. Yes, we love it that much, you’d think it would be easy to get them to eat it. I told them it was SnS tonight and you’d have thought I was serving boiled babies but when asked what else they’d like I got the stock answer so they can put up with it.

  • 1 tbsp of groundnut oil suitable for frying – I use this because we like the taste but if you have nut allergies use any oil you can use without nuts
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated root ginger – I usually have a piece in the freezer because it keeps really well in there but I NEVER remember to get it out to defrost it so I grate it with a the nutmeg side of the grater (the really small one) then bung it back in the freezer. This is probably not a good idea but I don’t think that it’s out of the freezer long enough to defrost to much even with my hands which are usually hot!
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks – the recipe says a green pepper but as green peppers are nasty un-ripened peppers I don’t use them.
  • 1 x 227g tin of pineapple chunks sliced and juice retained. I use stripey (what we call whatever value range the supermarket is selling because Tesco’s use to be stripey) tins of pineapple.
  • 1 tbsp of light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp clear rice vinegar or cider vinegar. It’s pretty much always cider vinegar because I love salad dressings with cider vinegar or if I’m feeling sassy mirin.
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar optional
  • 1 tsp cornflour blended with 1 tbsp cold water

The recipe gives a really complicated way of making the sauce here’s what I do:

Stir fry the peppers and ginger in the pan for a couple of minutes. Add everything else except the sugar. Boil the crap out of it for a few minutes. CAREFULLY taste – this is going to be hotter than McDonald’s coffee use to be, so let it cool and then cool some more. Add the sugar if you need to and adjust the seasoning to your taste. Thicken with the cornflour/water mixture if required.

Stir fry your meat and or vegies, we would be having chicken, chinese leaves, pak choi and any veg I can find in the bottom of the fridge – I’m lucky we have a REALLY good veg stall on our local market who stock exotic things like mooli and pak choi. If I can convince them I’ll get them to pose for a picture one day! – and steamed rice. However, as the lurgy got me yesterday we’re just having chicken and extra peppers in the sauce! Because of the lurgy tonight I’ve added extra ginger. For the 3 of us I use 1 1/2 cups of rice and 3 cups of boiling water. Simmer the rice for 5 minutes then turn off for 15 minutes with the lid on. DO NOT LIFT THE LID before the time is up. Drain any excess liquid, fluff and serve.

I have a question for you all, are you tired of getting so much damn water out of chicken when you cook it? Funds, as they are for everyone, are tight we CANNOT afford organic chicken although I’d love to buy it. Actually I’d love to have my own chickens and eat them but that’s a whole other blog for another day. I wonder how much money the supermarkets are making by selling us water not meat. Leave a comment let me know I’m not lonely what you think.

Here is tonight’s picture:

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Why yes, it does look VERY orange but this is due to VERY poor lighting and equipment and it doesn’t look this colour in real life – honest guv!

Oh, and a picture of The Cub taken tonight playing with my Kindle, he’s soooo cute. I’m biased, I’m his momma:D

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Peace, love and pizza!