Monday, 25 June 2018

Restaurant review: Finch's pub, Finsbury Square, London

Baby S had a big day recently - we got the train up to London and a bus to visit daddy at work. She was definitely a big hit with some of his colleagues and it was my first time seeing my husband’s office too which was nice - he has a much better view out his window than when I was at work!

#My office was only a ten minute walk away so after lunch I took S in to meet my team and I had a good catch up with my manager while I was feeding the baby. In the end we were out of the house for over 7 hours and S was so well behaved and meant for a much easier day than I expected (she was only 14 weeks old after all) - S had her lunch in the pub when we did then I fed her again in the break room at my office.

My husband’s suggestion for lunch was a pub near his office called Finch’s as he'd been before and knew they did good food. The staff were very happy accommodating a buggy and gave us a table with plenty of space; however when I asked to use the disabled toilets which had a baby change table, I found they were using it as storage for several chairs and I couldn't get to the changing table without moving at least half a dozen chairs - and decided not to bother and change S when we got to my office.

I was tempted to order the mac and cheese scotch egg (£8), which I was told was a vegetarian version of a scotch egg with macaroni cheese around the egg instead of sausage meat. It sounded really nice and I wish I had ordered it now, but it didn't come with anything and I didn't particularly want to order a side of chips but didn't think the egg would be enough on its own. Instead I had the pulled BBQ pork in a brioche bun (£9), which also didn't come with any sides as it was on the brunch menu. It was really filling and very good - the barbecue sauce was delicious - but perhaps a little expensive as I would expect to pay not much more for a burger (or pulled pork in a bun) with chips. My husband had the burger which did come with chips which at £14 and another £1.50 to add bacon was also quite steep. I guess the City centre location was part of that, but while the food was good it was a bit expensive for what we had.

I couldn't see any sign of branding and my husband said he'd never noticed anything to suggest it was part of a chain so I was surprised when I looked it up on the internet afterwards and found it was a Young's pub. Young's always does good food and this was no exception.



Friday, 22 June 2018

Lotus Biscoff Chocolate Mousse

If you haven't discovered Lotus Biscoff spread yet, I urge you to try it now. The little caramelised biscuits you often get with a cup of coffee in cafes have been turned into a spread that is the consistency of Nutella, but tastes like biscuits!

The company's website suggests it as a breakfast food spread on toast which I think might be a bit sweet - I don't even eat Nutella on toast though I do have it on croissants, but otherwise I use it in desserts. Or eat it straight from the jar with a spoon!

I wanted to make an easy dessert for a barbecue with family and found a recipe for Lotus Biscoff and chocolate mousse on the Ocado app. The recipe had  step missing - it didn't tell you what to do with the egg whites that were listed in the ingredients - so I took a punt, and will explain here what I did.

I didn't buy any of the actual Lotus Biscoff biscuits as they are for decoration only and make the recipe quite expensive if you need to buy a whole packet only to use a few, unless you are going to eat the rest of the biscuits later!

The recipe says it serves 8; I did it for 5 and for 8 people the portions would be quite small, so you could use this quantity to serve 6

You need:
200g Lotus Biscoff smooth spread (see link above)
200g dark chocolate
5 eggs
200ml whipping cream - I used double cream as I couldn't get whipping cream and it worked fine

Heat the chocolate and Biscoff spread in the microwave until melted- I did on the 5 setting (medium heat) for 2 minutes.

Separate the egg and in one bowl, beat the egg whites with a whisk until stiff and set both whites and yolks aside. Whip the cream and set aside.

Beat the egg yolks one at a time into the chocolate mixture then fold in the beaten egg whites. Finally fold in the whipped cream.

Spoon into individual serving dishes and chill for a few hours until set; these will also keep overnight in the fridge.

The mousse was very rich but really light in texture, this is definitely something to make again!

I'm sharing this with CookBlogShare hosted by Everyday Healthy Recipes and We Should Cocoa hosted by Tin and Thyme

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 25

A lot going on this week - it's our wedding anniversary and my parents are coming to stay after that and have offered to babysit one night, so as well as going out for our anniversary we might go to the cinema as well. We used to go regularly - though mainly to see each Marvel movie when they came out as my husband is a big fan - but have only been to the cinema once since S was born 15 weeks ago. Unsurprisingly that was to see the Marvel Avengers film, Infinity War! This time I think it will be between Solo - a Star Wars story, and Jurassic World - a fallen kingdom. We'd both like to see Deadpool 2 as well but with three good films out at the moment I think we will have to wait for that one on DVD or Sky Cinema!

Dinner out for our anniversary at the Ned

Barbecue at home

Wednesday - my parents are staying
Lunch- beans/macaroni cheese on toast
Dinner- Hunter's chicken with Applewood barbecue sauce, from an Ocado recipe

Lunch- early lunch as we are going to My Gym so something easy like cheese toasties (I'll confess - I just had the food shopping delivered and realised I forgot to plan anything for today's lunch!)
Dinner-  barbecue

Lunch- fresh pasta
Dinner- possibly out if I'm meeting my husband from work to go to the cinema

Lunch- was going to do baked croque monsieur from an Ocado recipe, depends if we already had chees on toast on Thursday!
Dinner- Tacos I was going to do last week but didn't, or leftover barbecue food

Lunch- TBA
Dinner- whichever of the Saturday options we didn't have, or a chicken traybake

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Focus on the Journey, not the Destination handmade card

This card has an inspirational sentiment that would be suitable for a birthday or someone who is going travelling - though I actually gave it to my dad for Father's Day.

It's made from free gifts that came with a recent issue of Creative Stamping magazine. I stamped a white card blank with some of the clear stamps that came with this issue - one was a train ticket, one was a passport stamp, one was a postmark that you might get on a postcard and so on. I stamped them in different coloured inks randomly over the card, then cut a circle from a piece of paper that came with the magazine with a map design. I cut a border from the same paper and stuck it around the edge of the card.

I stamped the plane stamp onto brown paper and cut around it, and stamped the sentiment onto white card which I mounted onto brown card and added those to the card as well.

I'm sending this to My Time to Craft where the challenge is a stamped background, Simply Create Too where the theme is 'for a male' and Ellibelle's Craft Wednesday where the theme is 'make it masculine'; Always Fun Challenges - for a male/dad and Stamps and Fun where the theme is travel and holidays.                 

Friday, 15 June 2018

Don't Worry Bee Happy card

This card was made using a few stickers I was given by a friend; I don’t know where she got them from. The stickers were quite large, taking up most of the space on a blank card, so for a while I didn’t know what to do with them.

I decided to use one of the stickers as the background; it is a brown sticker with a few yellow and brown honeycomb shapes in the middle. I cut around the sentiment from another one of the stickers, and found some tiny bee stickers from another set and dotted them around the card.

With the colours I think this card is quite masculine so it would be suitable for a man or a woman.

I’m sharing it with Little Red Wagon where the theme is ‘to bee or not to bee’

 and Tuesday Taggers where the theme is ‘for the boys’

plus Unicorn Challenge where the theme is masculine.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018- week 24

We had a very successful weekend at my parents - I say successful because it was the furthest S had been in a car (she's now 14 weeks old) and we didn't need to stop en route, she slept really well in the travel cot and apart from posseting milk all over the dress my mum bought her, and met her cousin C for the first time.

As it was a busy weekend I hadn't so much as thought about food for this week though we do have plenty in the freezer, and being on maternity leave means I can go and do more food shopping whenever I want - though the little lady does have a schedule of activities I need to fit it around, like baby massage and My Gym!

Leftovers from the weekend

I'm taking S into work to meet everyone today so want a dinner that won't take me long - I'll do something from the freezer with chips

mackerel fillet with new potatoes and garlic based on this recipe for me; chicken fajitas for him (bit of a faff to cook two totally different things but my husband doesn't eat fish!)

Lasagne from my batch cooking in the freezer, and beef grillsteak for him. Or, BBQ if the weather is nice - it's not meant to be that hot this week

Butter chicken curry (cheat's sauce from a jar) I planned to do last week but didn't

Lunch fresh pasta and garlic bread
Dinner tacos

Sunday - Father's Day
Lunch bacon sandwich
Dinner Toad in the hole with the new Richmond chicken sausages

Monday, 4 June 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 23

My husband was ill last week so we didn't go to see my family over the weekend after all, so I'm hoping we can go this weekend! Last week's meal plan had a lot of changes besides that, as I had planned to barbecue (or rather, I had planned for my husband to barbecue!) a couple of times based on the weather forecast at the beginning of the week but the forecast changed and it wasn't very nice after all.

Quick dinner as I have to go to a vet appointment for my cat - pasta and smoked salmon for me, pasta and meatballs for him (planned to do this last week but didn't)

Probably something like frozen pizza as my daughter has an appointment at 6pm and I don't know what time I will be back

chicken cacciatore from my batch cooking in the freezer for me, chicken chargrills for him

Possibly barbecue as the weather is meant to be nice - I had to freeze all the barbecue food I bought for last week so there's plenty to choose from!
If we don't barbecue I will do barbecue flavour chicken breasts with potato wedges

Hopefully barbecue again
If not, butter chicken curry

Lunch brunch of pain au chocolat and cinnamon rolls we didn't have last week
Dinner Hopefully with my family this time

Lunch with my family
Dinner I'd promised my husband a takeaway after driving back from my parents last time so I guess the same still applies

Monday, 28 May 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 22

I've had a lovely bank holiday weekend with a birthday barbecue on Saturday at a friend's who lives nearby - most of my friends live hours away so it was lovely to be able to go and hang out in their garden in an easy, low key way - the highlight was the company of course, plus the weather was great (just about OK for my little girl as we kept her in the shade) and the birthday cake came from Konditor and Cook - yum!

Then today we were at another barbecue, this time for two family birthdays - the weather was great (there had been thunderstorms forecast originally) and it was lovely seeing the in-laws and cousins while enjoying a glass of prosecco.

This weekend coming we are visiting my parents for my mum's birthday and my daughter will get to meet her cousin on my side of the family for the first time!

at a barbecue

Meatballs and pasta for him, smoked salmon pasta for me

Chicken cacciatore from my batch cooking in the freezer for me, chicken chargrills for him

Weather is meant to be nice so I think we will barbecue - sausages, chorizo pittas and maybe some potato wedges too

Barbecue - chicken skewers, burgers, garlic bread

Lunch cinnamon swirls and pain au chocolat as an easy quick option before we hit the road
Dinner with my parents

Lunch with my parents
Dinner takeaway or frozen pizza


Sunday, 27 May 2018

Greek Summer Salad and a Photo Board backdrop for better blog photos

I want to tell you about a salad that I made and also a great product I found that will make taking photos for your blog or Instagram better straight away. But first the salad...

We went to a friend's barbecue yesterday which was lovely - my little girl enjoyed laying on a blanket in the shade and watching everything that was going on and meeting some of my friends for the first time. Here's a little photo of her for no reason other than she's cute!

My friend asked us to bring a salad and I decided to make a sort of Greek salad - it was very simple and doesn't really need a recipe! Simply half some cherry tomatoes, cut some feta cheese into cubes, slice some black olives and remove the stones (I actually used ready sliced ones from a jar) and tear some fresh basil leaves. Toss with a glug of olive oil and some salt and pepper for a simple but tasty salad.

I'm really pleased with this photo which I think is called a flat lay in style (i.e. a birds eye view). It was taken on my kitchen table which is made of glass - so it's a terrible surface for photograph and I usually put a mat or table cloth or something on it when I want to photograph food, but my table cloths always have creases and none of my mats are very big.

I came across a company called Photo Boards that makes backdrops for taking photos against. They use 'texture reproduction technology', whatever that is, so the boards look more three dimensional and not like a photo of a piece of wood - I think they actually look like you are using a piece of wood, rather than a large flat piece of PVC. They are lightweight and wipe clean which is great when you are photographing food, come in two sizes (I bought the 60x60cm one, the larger size) and a variety of designs and shades that look like you are photographing against wood, marble, linen etc. They are not cheap at £30 each so I only bought one, but I already want another!

Monday, 21 May 2018

Pink Flamingo and Balloons birthday card

handmade flamingo birthday card
Flamingos are a really popular motif at the moment and one night while feeding the baby I decided they would look really good on a birthday card, and bought a flamingo stamp from Dovecraft on Ebay.

I also bought some die cut balloon shapes - it would be cheaper to buy the die in the long run and cut my own shapes but time is something I don't have a lot of at the moment (I'm writing this while the baby takes a nap but can already hear signs she is waking up!) so I just bought the shapes pre-cut.

I was playing around with shapes and thought the card would look nice with several layered embellishments in different shades of pink - there's quite a lot going on on this card but I really like how it turned out.

To start I covered most of a white square card blank with a piece of pink patterned paper, leaving a small white border clear around the edge. I stamped the flamingo onto a piece of cream card and coloured it pink with a Promarker pen.

I cut a scalloped shape around the edge of a slightly larger rectangle of purple paper (which was actually a recycled birthday card envelope I'd received) and mounted the flamingo card on that. I found a wide glittery pink ribbon in my stash that I'd bought and never used - it is quite wide and very pink and glittery so a bit OTT for most cards but I decided it worked for this one! I stuck that across the middle of the card using double sided sticky tape and mounted the flamingo topper on that.

The final touches were two die cut balloons, one in pink and one in purple, and a stamped 'happy birthday' sentiment from the 'Say it with stamps' set from All Night Media on a piece of the same purple paper as the topper which I cut out with a wavy line. The perfect card for someone who likes a bit of glitz and glamour!

Here are some of the products I used:

I'm sharing this with Stamplorations where the theme is 'things with wings'; Crafty Ribbons challenge, As You Like It where the theme is pink or blue, and Creatalicious Challenges where anything goes with the option of 'all that glitters'. As I re-used an old envelope I'm also sharing it with Use Your Stuff where the theme is upcycle/recycle, plus Addicted to Stamps challenge where the theme is 'ribbons galore'.

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 21

There's another bank holiday this weekend which doesn't mean as much as it used to now I'm not at work, but it will be nice to have my husband around for three days! We are going to a barbecue on the Saturday with friends and another one with family on Sunday and are also planning to barbecue at home a couple of times this week as my husband loves to use the Weber grill... so that's a lot of barbecue food!

Pie and mash (pies bought from Waitrose rather than made)

Forecast to be the nicest weather all week so I think we will barbecue -  including Ocado recipes for chorizo and pesto flatbreads and barbecued new potatoes and griddled halloumi with herbs

Also supposed to be lovely weather so we might as well finish up the barbecue food!

Chicken cacciatore from my batch cooking for me, chicken chargrills and mashed potato for him

Chicken goujons and chips for him, fishfingers and chips for me

Lunch - bacon sandwich
Dinner- at a barbecue

Lunch - breakfast burritos
Dinner - roast chicken unless the weather is too hot and I decide to do something else!

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Restaurant review: The Woodman, Banstead, Surrey

My little girl's first trip to the pub came when she was eight weeks old - my parents were staying for a few days and we went out to lunch. I thought a pub would be a good option as it should be fairly quiet on a week day lunchtime and have enough space for the buggy. I wanted to try somewhere I hadn't been before and some internet research threw up the Woodman in Banstead.

It's part of Classic Inns, a chain I'm not familiar with, and the food was very much chain food - lacking finesse and fairly generic in terms of choices, but having said that, we had a pretty good meal. I had scampi and chips - the chips were a bit too crispy for my liking, but my parents enjoyed their food - my dad had a burger and my mum had the scampi as well.

The pub offers certain main courses for just £6 on a weekday lunchtime which is really good value; certain desserts can also be had for £3. It was dessert I was most excited about, when I initially checked out the menu - I had the 'cookie cup explosion' which consisted of a cookie base filled with chocolate brownie, marshmallow pieces, chocolate honeycomb, drizzled with chocolate and served with vanilla ice cream. It tasted as good as it sounds!

I noticed a large pub garden on the way out which looked really good for children; the internal décor of the pub was a bit heavy (swirly patterned carpet, very dark wood furniture) but the sort of thing that looks quite cosy in the winter.

I wasn't blown away by the pub but it was nice enough, and I'd go back in the summer or certainly when my daughter is a bit older and wants to play in the garden.


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 20

A few thought on meals this week.... My weeks now revolve around baby S... meals are planned but then sometimes have a last minute change of plan, if I was in town and passing a shop where I picked up something else, or more likely, because S wanted feeding for the best part of an hour then my husband got home from work, and the meal I planned that would take 45 minutes to cook hadn't been started and we decided to have something quicker!

I've found the best thing to have for my lunch is a sandwich - I don't know whether I'll have time to make myself anything hot - and eat it while it's still hot - as S doesn't really have a feeding schedule, and can go anywhere from 1.5 hours to 3 hours between feeds. Also, I've realised I really like sandwiches when they haven't been made the night before and in my work bag all day... a fresh bread roll from the bakery and a more messy sandwich filling than I would take to work (such as the deli fillers you can get from the supermarket - I really like the seafood one made with crab sticks) is a real treat. I just need to stop eating cake and biscuits as I did really well at losing the baby weight really quickly, and then some, but have started to put a little bit back on! I'm not allowed to exercise other than walking until 12 weeks after my C-section which doesn't help but there's only a couple of weeks to go then I plan to sign up to some sort of buggy fit session in the park (though ironically the park is a bit too far to walk and I'll have to drive there and back!).

So this week we will be eating:

Tuna steak and new potatoes for me, chicken chargrills for him

My husband is out (I gave him a hall pass!) at an event near his office so I just had some pasta

Cajun chicken

Lasagne for me, sausage and mash for him

Chicken burgers

Lunch - sausage and egg McMuffins
Dinner - Mexican chicken traybake I didn't do last week

Lunch - out with the antenatal class
Dinner - maybe sausage casserole or something lighter depending on time and what we had for lunch

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Restaurant Reviews, Calas de Mallorca and Porto Cristo, Majorca

Last summer I had a few days in Majorca with two friends; while I reviewed the hotel not long after we got back, with one thing and another I never got around to blogging about the other places we ate. As so much time has passed this can't be classed as a review, as for all I know the places have changed since then, but I still want to share with you a couple of things that we did.

We ate mostly in the hotel as it was all inclusive and the food wasn't bad (though not great); there wasn't a lot to do in the evenings if you didn't have kids though as the entertainment was very geared towards small people and the other bar away from the entertainment was a bit lacking in atmosphere. While going to the beach one day we had a drink in the Martinelli beach club which had very cool ecletic décor- one section was shabby chic, another looked like something out of Arabian nights.

Another day we visited Porto Cristo, a pretty little town about 20 km from Calas de Majorca. We were given a bus timetable at reception and it was actually the first place the bus stopped after our hotel so we didn't have to worry about not knowing where to get off, and it only took about 20 minutes (we seemed to be driving pretty fast!). The main draw in Porto Cristo is the Cuevas del Drach - dragon caves. The caves are open to the public and have an underground lake where you can watch a classical music concert being performed, then cross the lake yourself by boat, which is quite an experience and very different to other caves I've visited.

You can only enter the caves on the hour, every hour, apart from 1pm when they close for lunch; the idea is that the tourists all walk together in a group at the same pace, though you can stop and look at the cave walls with their different features in your own time; it took us about 40 minutes then you all arrive at the underground auditorium at roughly the same time. The musicians appear on a boat on the far side of the lake and travel across, giving a ten minute concert, which is really atmospheric. Then you can either walk back to the cave exit or queue to get on a small boat and take a short trip across the lake, which I recommend.

It's a short walk from the caves to the centre of Porto Cristo, via the harbour where there are lots of restaurants and shops as well as boats to look at. We chose a bar and restaurant called Eternal, right on the harbour front; my friends served a tapas dish that was designed for two, while I had salmon with mango vinaigrette and the side dish of the day. The English version of the menu translated 'accompaniment' as 'garrison' (someone used the wrong dictionary definition there!) which was potato wedges. For dessert I had a white chocolate crepe with cream and chocolate ice cream which as delicious, though it was room temperature and I had expected the crepe to be hot so the ice cream would melt. We enjoyed the view from our table and headed back to our hotel as the sun started to go down.

I think this will be my last holiday for a while now I have a newborn baby!

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 19

The bank holiday today was the hottest on record for that particular holiday and I had a fun day visiting my husband's brother and his family with our baby - she got to meet dogs for the first time! I ran out of time to do my meal plan so assumed I would do it another day but find myself sitting here at half past midnight waiting for our bedroom to cool down.... it was 28 C at 10pm and is now still nearly 26, which in my opinion is far too hot for a newborn. So baby S is asleep in her moses basket in the much cooler living room, and I plan to give it until about 1am to see if our bedroom temperature is any better then give up and sleep downstairs in the armchair!

My meal plan for the weekend just gone changed as the weather was so hot and we barbecued on Saturday, Sunday and Monday night!

Monday - bank holiday
Lunch homemade sausage and egg McMuffins
Dinner barbecue - sausages and steak

chicken, bacon and leek cottage pie from this recipe

vegetarian spaghetti Bolognese for me, meatball and pasta for him

seafood risotto for me, chicken chargrills for him

something with chips from the freezer

Lunch toasted ham and cheese sandwiches with mozzarella
Dinner Mexican chicken traybake from this recipe

Lunch breakfast burritos I didn't do last week
Dinner toad in the hole or sausage casserole based on this recipe

Monday, 7 May 2018

Lemon and Poppyseed Loaf Cake

Towards the end of my maternity leave - and right after my baby was born - I developed the famous 'nesting instinct' and decided to sort out my kitchen cupboards. It's been really helpful because now I'm short of time I can find everything more easily - I also made a fair bit of space by throwing out packets of food I'd forgotten I'd bought that were long out of date!

I found a packet of poppy seeds - still in date - which I'd bought for a recipe ages ago and never used. I was expecting neighbours around the following afternoon to meet baby S and thought a lemon and poppy seed cake - lemon is commonly paired with poppy seeds for some reason - would be a nice easy one to make if I did it as a loaf cake.

I used this recipe from BBC Good Food which turned out really well - very light and fluffy and surprisingly moist. In the end the neighbours had to cancel and reschedule for the following week so I ended up eating most of this cake myself!

The mixture looks quite odd when you add the poppy seeds:

Much better when the other ingredients are in.

Before baking in the loaf tin:

The baked cake, cooling on a rack.

 With the lemon glaze

Perfect with a cup of tea!

.I'm sharing this with CookBlogShare and Love Cake hosted by JibberJabberUK.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Stork Delivering Baby Card

I have quite a lot of silver and gold outline stickers, and the sentiments and borders are great but I never really got on with using the shapes, as the fine gold outline often doesn't show up that well and looks a bit bare. That is, until I realised I could colour them in! I used Promarkers pens which are really good for this sort of thing (see link below to purchase on Amazon).

To make the card I matted a square of white paper onto a piece of blue card and coloured in the outline sticker, and used a 'congratulations' outline sticker at the bottom.

I'm sending this to Craftaholics R Us where the theme is baby cards and I Love Promarkers which has an optional theme of clean and simple (CAS).

Monday, 30 April 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 18

It's been a busy but really enjoyable week - it was my birthday, and my parents came to stay then I had visits from my oldest friends - we've known each other more than 25 years. My first birthday as a mummy was a bit different as I didn't get around to opening any presents until 5pm!

This week is a lot quieter, I don't have many plans, and it was actually quite nice today to have a restful morning and tidy the house and put washing on while my little girl lay on her playmat and gurgled at her toys. I've got some leftovers to use up from the weekend as well so the first part of this week's meal plan is easy, though I do also need to do some food shopping at some point!

leftover enchiladas

fresh pasta with spicy mascarpone sauce and chicken

fishcake and vegetables

tuna steak and new potatoes
 scampi and chips

Lunch breakfast burritos
Dinner meatball pasta bake based on this recipe

Lunch bacon sandwich
Dinner roast pork loin steak with roast potatoes for me, beef medallions for him

Link up your meal plan here

Monday, 23 April 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 17

My dad has just retired so from now on my parents can come up and visit during the week, not just weekends, which is handy now I'm on maternity leave! They are coming this week as it's my birthday on Sunday so I have several additional requirements when it comes to meal planning as we have other visitors at the weekend as well - some friends with their children - so I need to think of things everyone can eat!

Ready made pies - sweet potato and goat's cheese for me, chicken tikka for my husband

Tacos with potato wedges

Wednesday - my parents arriving just in time for lunch
Lunch - they usually like to have something like beans on toast in case they arrive later than expected
Dinner - chicken supreme. The classic recipe uses cream but we will be having enough of that tomorrow so I will do a healthier Slimming World version

Thursday - my parents here
Lunch -  ham and cheese pizza pinwheels based on this recipe
Dinner - spaghetti Bolognese (two versions- one vegetarian as I'll invite my mother-in-law over) followed by butterscotch pie for dessert

Lunch - out for a pre-birthday lunch
Dinner - either hotdogs or quiche and salad

Saturday - two friends plus a husband and two children are arriving in the afternoon to stay the weekend
Lunch - just us - either hotdogs or cheese on toast
Dinner - chicken enchiladas or takeaway pizza depending on whether there is time to cook, but I'd prefer to do the former!

Lunch - pub lunch for my birthday
Dinner - probably something light after a big lunch - I'll have a fishcake and poached egg and my husband will probably have had a burger at lunchtime so I'll do him something like sausage and mash for dinner

Also still trying to decide what to do about a birthday cake... I could ask my husband to get me one (I commissioned one from a local baker for his birthday but I don't know if he has got enough time left to do that), or add one to the supermarket order, or make one myself!

Link up your meal plan here:

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Sticky Ginger and Apple Flapjacks

When I was a child I remember my mum and sister making some flapjacks that were so sticky, we were picking bits of kitchen towel off them as we ate - they had been kept in a Tupperware dish lined with kitchen paper and were almost oozing with golden syrup.

I love sticky, soft flapjack, but not that soft - they need to hold together and be slightly chewy at the edges but soft and buttery in the middle. This recipe offers just that.

These were made in preparation of my sister and her partner coming to visit to meet their new niece, and even though I only made them the day before, about half the pan had been eaten before they even arrived!

The recipe is based on one from Good Housekeeping's The Baking Book; I halved the quantities but also added grated apple for extra flavour as I had a few apples that needed using up. The result was absolutely delicious and the texture was perfect.

Here's what I did:
You need:

175g butter or marg (I used Stork)
135g caster sugar
120g golden syrup
225g rolled oats
1 tsp ground ginger
2 apples, peeled and grated

Preheat oven to 175C. Grease and line a square cake tin.

Heat the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan over a gentle heat until melted. Stir in the rolled oats, ginger and apple until combined.

Spoon into the cake tin and press down gently to spread the mixture out and flatten it. Bake for 30 minutes until the edges have turned golden brown and slightly crispy; the middle will still be soft and sticky.

 I'm sharing this with Only Crumbs Remain
 and CookBlogShare.
Only Crumbs Remain Hijacked By Twins