Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday

Wow I can't believe our baby girl just turned 2!  Looking back at last year's blog post on her birthday she has changed so much. Sadly no close ups as she got chicken pox for her birthday :(

Her birthday was on the Thursday, so we took blue penguin to school then went and fed the ducks before heading home.  Originally we had planned to take her to her favourite monkey music class, the head to a park before stopping off at a nice pub for lunch then going for a walk in the woods.  However due to still being contagious we couldn't do much. An email went out to guests of the planned party informing them the party would still go ahead on the saturday and we'd still like them there but would understand if they didn't want to make it.

We had a good turn out and little pink penguin was a very spoilt albeit spotty little girl!

So the theme for this year was peppa pig. I made a 10 inch cake and stacked it and stressfully covered it with yellow icing.  The cake had an almond flavouring with red cherry jam and almond buttercream.  It was yummy!  Whilst I made the house, papa penguin and grandma got on youtube and found some peppa pig fondant tutorials and made the ever so well known Peppa Pig, George Pig, Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig along with some ducks and George's dinosaur.  I should mention that blue penguin aged 4.5 year olds made the ducks and did an amazing job!

We put two pork shoulder joints in the oven at 10am and they were slow cooked in a Goan spices marinated overnight by Grandma.  I also made two quiches; a Roasted Tomato and Goats Cheese quiche and a Bacon and Spring Onion quiche - both made dairy free using lactofree ingredients. Also on the menu were pinwheel wraps filled with salmon, cream cheese, egg mayo and one with ham and grated cucumber. We only had cake for pudding and a cheese board as I ran out of time to make anything else.  The day before was mainly spent on the sofa with pink penguin giving her cuddles.

Time to start planning next years?  Not yet but I have a few ideas in mind!

One spot, two spot, three spot, four.....

....five spot, six spot, seven spot more!!!!!

We've had the chicken pox in our house!  Poor blue penguin got it first about three weeks ago. Went to bed with one spot under his bottom and woke up the Saturday morning with about 20 more.  By that evening he had over a hundred pus filled spots!  Sunday a lot more and Monday they started crusting over.  He was back at school on the Thursday.  He coped so well with only a bit of moaning around bed time.  We were originally housebound and going insane when pink penguin decided to fall off a chair in the dining room and splat onto the floor tiles.  We ended up at a&e and were quarantined! Had the all clear and also glad to get some semi fresh air for the day!

A week later and pink penguin got a spot on her belly. Then a bath time a lot more were noticed in her nappy area.  Poor thing suffered really badly over the next few days, including her 2nd birthday which was her worst day.  We had a literally a sleepless night.  She watched peppa pig on the iPad for about 4 hours straight! The next day she was a lot perkier so we went ahead with her birthday bash over the weekend.

Three weeks from the first spot and blue penguin's spots have finally disappeared.  If you look really closely you can see a few small marks but you do need a magnifying glass.  Pink penguin still isn't back to her gorgeous self and I think as she had some massive spots on her head and belly she may scar. Fingers crossed she won't.

And how did papa penguin help?  By drawing spots on one of the ducks on her birthday cake!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Weekly Meal Plan

Finally its half term!  With this being blue penguin's first year at school and the last 7 weeks have gone so slow! So with it being half term I have 3 less children to look after, my own kids and a 15 month old just three days this week.

So I'm going to go against my organised life and wing it this week!  No picture from my iPad menu planner app to show you but I have a few ideas and am going to get a sainburys shop later in the week. We popped to Lidl today to see us through the next few days.

Monday:Whole familyPizza Puff Pinwheels with salad

Tuesday:Whole familyFish Pie

Wednesday:KidsMini Toad in the Hole's
Grown upsNot so mini toad in the holes
Thursday:KidsFish fingers, mash & Peas
Grown upsI'm out so papa penguin can find something in the freezer 
Friday:KidsAre at a Halloween party so may well not need anything

Grown upsHealth stir fry
Saturday:Whole familySpring Chicken with homemade bread rolls

PuddingFruit and yoghurts
Sunday:Whole familyAnother Halloween party 


Meal Planning Monday

Monday, 20 October 2014

Weekly Meal Plan

We've had chicken pox in the house for the last two weeks.  Round one was blue penguin who coped with it really well.  Round two was pink penguin who suffered so much more! Neither had an appetite so we had lots of wasted food and went through a lot of bowls of cereal as it seemed to be the only thing I could get them to eat.  Both still have spots but they are on the mend!

So here is my ipad screenshot of this weeks meal plan: 

For those that can't view the image this is how my evening meals are planned for this week:
Monday:KidsBowtie Pasta with Chicken - Annabel Karmel recipe
AdultsI had mincey dinner leftovers from the weekend.  Papa penguin is working late :(
Tuesday:KidsPasta with a tomato sauce which I batch make and freeze in ice cube portions

Grown upsParents evening so we might get a takeaway!
Wednesday:KidsFish fingers or something else impromptu as I'm not feeding any other children
Grown upsChicken Tikka Masala with rice and Naan
Thursday:KidsNuggets, Potato footballs (from tesco) & Spaghetti Hoops
Grown upsChilli con carne and rice 
Friday:KidsRed Thai Chicken Curry with Cherry Tomatoes, Naan and Rice

Grown upsSame as the kids!
Saturday:Whole familyFish Pie

PuddingApple & Blackberry Crumble
Sunday:Whole familySausage& Mash

PuddingLeft over crumble or yoghurts

Meal Planning Monday

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Puff Pastry Pinwheels

Tonight I made these Pizza Puff Pinwheels for two 4 year olds, a 23 month old and a 13 month old…..oh and for me!

The original recipe can be found on the BBC Good Food website and the only thing I did differently was a whole 500g slab of Jus Rol pastry cut into half then one half cut into two.  One for blue penguin to roll out and one for pink penguin.

I then spread a spoonful of tomato concentrate from a jar onto the pastry and covered it with layer of wafer thin ham slices. Finally a sprinkle of mixed herbs and some cheddar cheese. We rolled them up like swiss rolls and put them in the fridge for 10 minutes on a chopping board.  Out the fridge, sliced the pastry log into inch sized pieces and placed onto a greased baking tray.  Into the oven for about half an hour until golden brown.  Served them with carrot and cucumber sticks.

These were yummy and enjoyed by all.  Papa penguin is annoyed there weren't any left for him when he wandered through the door at 9pm!

Monday, 29 September 2014

Dairy Free Meringue Ice Cream with Chocolate Sauce

As I've mentioned dairy products (specifically cows produce) do not agree with me.

This recipe is based on Nigella's Meringue Gelato Cake which I have adapted a bit to make it dairy free.

Firstly for the Meringue Ice Cream Cake line a 450g loaf tin (mine is silicone) with clingfilm, making sure you have enough overhang to cover the top later. Whip a carton of Lactofree Cream until thick (this can take nearly 5-10 minutes). Chop 30 grams of dark chocolate very finely so that you have a pile of splinters, and fold them into the cream, along with 1 tablespoon of kahula. Place 100 grams of shop bought meringues in a zip lock bag and gently bash with a rolling pin to break them up. Fold these in, too.
Pack this mixture into the prepared loaf tin, pressing it down with a spatula as you go, and bring the clingfilm up and over to seal the top. Place in freezer until set, which should take around 8 hours, or overnight.
For the Chocolate Sauce finely chop 125 grams of dark chocolate and then pour a carton of Lactofree Cream into a saucepan over a gentle head. Add the tiny bits of chocolate and whisk until the chocolate melts, taking the pan off the heat once the chocolate is almost all melted (takes about 2 minutes). Add 2 tablespoons of kahula and continue to whisk. Pour into a jug, whisking every now and again until it cools to just subtly warm.
To serve, take the loaf tin out of the freezer and unpeel the top and use these bits of long overhanging wrap to lift out the ice-cream brick. Unwrap and unmould it onto a long serving plate and cut the frozen meringue cake into slabs to serve. I like to zig-zag a little chocolate sauce over each slice, and sprinkle a few raspberries alongside on each plate.
Store the chocolate sauce in the fridge and make sure the meringue ice cream goes back into the freezer.  I like to take a clean teaspoon to the fridge every now and then and help myself to a spoonful of chocolate!  Delish!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Weekly Meal Plan

Getting back into the swing of things with publishing my weekly meal plan.

My dinners planned this week are mainly for the kids (I'm a childminder so have a lot of mouths to feed). Hubbie will either be working away some night this week or possible working late.  I'm just not entirely sure so I'll eat with the kids and he has agreed that if we have any leftovers he will eat them or if he gets home too late he will just have some toast.

So here is my ipad screenshot of this weeks meal plan:

For those that can't view the image this is how my evening meals are planned for this week:
Monday: Kids Roast Chicken Breasts, Roast potatoes and Green beans
Adults Same as the kids
Tuesday: Kids Pizza Puff Pinwheels

Grown ups Same as the kids
Wednesday: Kids Lasagne - made dairy free
Grown ups Same as the kids
Thursday: Kids Fish fingers, Waffles & Spaghetti Hoops
Grown ups Either pasta with frozen homemade pesto or something from the freezer
Friday: Kids Red Thai Chicken Curry, Naan and Rice

Grown ups Same as the kids!
Saturday: Whole family Steak Casserole with Pie Topper

Pudding Peach Melba
Sunday: Whole family Slow cooked pulled pork, roast potatoes, caramelised carrots

Pudding Left over peach melba or yoghurts

Meal Planning Monday

Monday, 22 September 2014

Weekly Meal Plan

Wow I haven't posted a meal plan in a very very very long time.  I have still been meal planning, just not publicly!  And maybe going into a bit more detail than others!

I use an iPad app called Menu Planner developed by InnovaDev.  To go into details about this is a whole other post, but for now I'll just let you know that my main reasons are for using it is that I can duplicate meal plans, add recipes from the internet or my own and add items to a shopping basket so it allows me to easily update my shopping list for my online grocery shop.

So some of you may know that I am a childminder and including my own children I have 6 kiddies that need feedings.  I have set up a two week rolling menu plan for lunches, dinners and after school snacks and I'll elaborate on this at some point.

In my app view this is my detailed weekly meal plan.

For those that can't view the image this is how my evening meals are planned for this week:
Monday: Kids Chicken and Ham Pie (left over from the weekend)
Adults Creamy ham, leek & mushroom spaghetti
Tuesday: Kids Pasta with tomato sauce

Grown ups Leftovers out of the freezer
Wednesday: Kids Salmon, new potatoes and peas
Grown ups Leftovers out of the freezer again - our freezer is full of chilli, spag bol, risotto
Thursday: Kids Chicken Nuggets, Waffles & Sweetcorn
Grown ups I'm out for papa penguin can help himself to the freezer
Friday: Kids Chicken Korma and Rice

Grown ups Same as the kids!

Meal Planning Monday

Saturday, 20 September 2014

I miss blogging!

I can't believe I haven't blogged for nearly 4 months!  I think about my blog every day and before I know it, its bedtime and another day has passed and I'm exhausted!

As I look back through a couple of my previous posts they are all focused on having no me time and feeling pretty unorganised.  Lets just way if I managed to have a cup of tea during the day I appreciate that as my me time and I'm certainly feeling a lot more organised!

So where have I been…..nowhere is the answer!  The summer holidays flew by. I'm now childminding practically full time and the paperwork has been piling up just as I think I'm on top of it a new legislation comes out and I've got to update everything. Papa penguin has been working working working!  He works an awful lot!  Some weeks its really stressful on both parts and others its great when a whole weekend goes by that he doesn't have to take a call (thats very rare!). 

Blue penguin (aged 4.5) has just started school and pink penguin (nearly 2) is certainly keeping me on my toes. She can be the funniest little girl one minute but a second later throwing a little tantrum as she enters the terrible twos!

First day of school for blue penguin

I've been busy cooking yummy meals and posting pictures on my Instagram and Pinterest accounts.  I hope to be able to back these up with recipes soon.

Who knows when I'll blog next, I know I'll get into a routine soon but for now here I am with some time to spare and a little catch up.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Gallery - One Word - Selfie

TheGalleryThe theme for this weeks Gallery over at Sticky Fingers is One Word.


That my word for the week. This is blue penguin's first selfie taken on Sunday!

His auntie works as a photographer on a cruise ship and she was back for the weekend and teached him how to use a camera!  Never to early to learn!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Weekly Meal Plan

Monday - Steak Casserole (cooked in the slow cooker) served with a puff pastry topping
Tuesday - Hunters Chicken
Wednesday - Chill con carne from the Freezer
Thursday - Red Thai Chicken Curry from the freezer
Friday - Risotto from the freezer

Meal Planning Monday

Friday, 16 May 2014

Product of the Week - Ped Egg

How nice has the weather been this week!  I can happily say I live in Sunny Surrey!!!!!

So with the nice weather been more body exposure!  As said before I'm not a beauty blog but of course like most women out there I like to spend (if I can find it) a little bit of time to make myself feel nice!

So I'll start with the Ped Egg!  Sadly I will not be sharing any pictures of my feet, I don't think you want to see them anyway as I only have 9 toenails….unless you have a weird foot fetish! You will have to take my word!

The Ped Egg is great, even if slightly disturbingly gross!  My husband calls it a real cheesy grater and can't bear to watch me use it.  Some things should stay behind closed doors!  I use it after having a shower and before moisturising my feet. I basically grate the hard rough bits of skin found on the heel, bottom of pinky and bottom of big toe.  I'm sure others have hard skin in other places but these are my problem areas.

I give all areas a good grating in all directions.  It doesn't hurt.  And then I apply some moisturiser and socks. Then I empty all the dead skin in the bin….worst bit in my opinion!

So if you want smooth feet for the summer then get yourself a Ped Egg - they retail at about £9.99 and a great buy! Don't forget to wash your cheesy hands after use!

Disclaimer: This is my own personal review and I have received no payment for this post.