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Showing posts from October, 2012

Cheerleader Zombie - Wordless Wednesday #Linky

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Top Ender went to the School's Halloween Disco last Friday as a Zombie Cheerleader. She'll be dressed up again tonight as the same thing for the Halloween Party we are off to. It's a bit scary how natural she looks when playing dead!

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Also don't forget to follow my Weight Loss and Fitness Journey at Pippa World too!

Phantom Of The Opera - A Review

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Months ago, before I arranged to go on Holiday with the family I got tickets from Milton Keynes Theatre to see Phantom of the Opera. My Mum had been to see it in the West End when it was fairly new and so we've worked out that she probably saw Michael Crawford as The Phantom and so we were looking forward to seeing it. Then I realised that I'm on Holiday at the wrong end of the country and so if I wanted to see this show I was going to have to cancel the family holiday, and that was never going to happen! So I did what every good daughter and sister would do and asked my Sister to take my Mum. This is their review.

Hello This is Kitty! You may know me from Twitter, occasional mentions here on A Mothers Ramblings and the odd comment or two on Facebook. What you probably don't know about me is that like Pippa I love the theatre.
When we got to the theatre my Mum showed me what she and Pippa normally do (buy sweets, read the programme, talk to the Press team) and then we wen…

What's For Lunch (W/C 29/10)

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It's half term so we haven't really got lunch boxes this week, but because we are away and we are trying to save a bit of money where we can we will be taking some food out on our day trips with us. Of course with Big Boy being a Diabetic we also need to make sure that he eats at regular times so this should help us, ensure that he always has a lunch close by. So this is my "rough" plan of what we will be eating for lunch this week.

Monday - Chicken Sandwiches
We are mostly going to be travelling today, so I thought that leftover Chicken from yesterdays Roast was going to be the best lunch ever for the four of us. There will be fruit, flasks of Hot Chocolate, personal water bottles, some Squash and if I get my act together today then hopefully some cookies too.

Tuesday - Ham Rolls
There is a supermarket about ten minutes away from where we are staying so we're going to pop in and purchase a few bits and pieces on the Monday afternoon/night. Two of the things that…

What We Are Eating This Week (W/C 27/10)

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I was out at an Aunt Bessie's event yesterday, we were cooking with a few different Aunt Bessie products and discovered that they sell Frozen Gravy! Seriously frozen gravy! And it's GLUTEN FREE! Why that isn't on the box in big letters I don't know, but I know it is now so I can tell everyone I know and they can tell everyone they know and... okay on with the menu for this week.

Saturday - Stir-Fry
I was tempted to do a Favourites night because everyone (by that read Daddy) was being useless when helping with any food choices this week, but I decided in the end that I had better take charge and plan something great. As I'm going to be at my Mums in the early evening I figured I needed something that Daddy could easily make without me so I decided on Stir Fry with Rice. I'm not sure if we'll have Duck or Chicken, but it will be a bird of some kind!

Sunday - Roast Chicken
It's Sunday, it's a Roast. Daddy cooked last week as I was at Church and he did …

Filofax - It's a way of life

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Every Christmas my sister buys herself a diary. She carries it around with her in her handbag and puts every thing in her life into it. For several years she has brought me one too and I keep it going for a couple of weeks before forgetting about it and it ends up in the bottom of my bag covered in biscuit crumbs and some kind of gloop that I think every handbag must secretly be filled with but only mine leaks. In the end I started keeping all my appointments on an online calendar that I could access from my phone, but secretly coveted something like my sister has.


Then Filofax sent me a Pink Domino personal organiser to have a play with. I got a lot of ribbing from Daddy who wanted to know if I was going to be putting in a note of our coal deliveries and how were the 80's treating me but I ignored him, slotted in my new Cross Pen that I got from the London Blog Camp and set to work putting in notes of upcoming appointments and details of things that I shouldn't forget. Sure t…

Autumnal Roast Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

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I love a Roast and I normally have leftovers so I normally make Roast Dinner Soup, but I created this Autumnal Roast Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe and it really tasted lovely, so I thought I'd share it with the world.



Ingredients

1/2 Butternut Squash
1 Sweet Potato
1 Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Seasoning
1.5 pints Vegetable Stock (or Beef Stock or Chicken Stock)

Method

Put the oven on Gas Mark 7 to warm up.

Cut the Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Onion into bite size chunks. Place these in a roasting tray. Peel the garlic cloves and place in the roasting tray too.

Mix together two tablespoons of Lemon Juice with a tablespoon of Olive Oil and season as you like. I used Salt and Pepper the time I took pictures, but have used different herbs I have in the cupboard too. Pour the oil mixture over the vegetables, making sure that they are all covered.

Roast the vegetables for forty minutes, making sure to stir the vegetables after Twenty minutes so that a…

Iced Hot Chocolate

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It sounds like it shouldn't happen doesn't it? Iced Hot Chocolate. Anyone who has ever had one though will tell you that it is one of the best things since... well since Hot Chocolate! This is how we make it.


Ingredients

4 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
250ml Milk
8-10 Ice Cubes
Whipped Cream
Marshmallows
Grated Chocolate or Chocolate Sprinkles

Method

Add the milk to the Blender, add to it the Cocoa Powder and the Brown Sugar and then mix the ingredients together. When the ingredients are well blended add the ice cubes and change the machines settings to Ice Crush before setting the machine off again.

When the drink is the consistency you want pour into glasses before topping with Whipped Cream, Marshamallows and Chocolate Sprinkles or other toppings that you like. Serve and don't worry about waiting for it too cool down to allow you to drink it!

The drink will serve four.

We were sent the Bodum Bistro Blender to review.

Have you added A Mother's Ramblin…

Oat and Date Cookies

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I've yet to meet a child that doesn't like a cookie or two, actually saying that I'm yet to meet an adult who doesn't like a cookie or two! These Oat and Date Cookies are lovely just out of the oven, or if they last that long, they still taste great after a week of being kept in a tin.


Ingredients

6oz Demerara Sugar (for the crunch)
6oz Butter
8oz Dates
1 Large Carrot (Washed topped and tailed but not peeled)
1 Egg
5oz Plain Flour
5oz Oats
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
4oz Chocolate Chips (I used Milk)

Method

Turn the oven on to Gas Mark 5 to warm up. Line a tray with baking paper and put to one side.

Cream together the butter and the sugar.

Cut the carrot into large chunks and then add the Dates and then the carrot to the Blender. Using the Blender on the Chopping function (show by a diagram of a Mezzaluna) run until the pieces resemble a grated paste.

Add the Date and Carrot mixture to the Creamed Sugar and Butter and mix well.

Add the Egg, Plain Flour, Baking Powder and Oa…

Cocktails at Frankie and Benny's

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One of the great things about going to the theatre every week is that I get to spend an evening with my Mum. When we found ourselves last week without Theatre tickets we were wondering what we should do. We decided that what we should do was go out for dinner, and then Frankie and Benny's asked if I'd like to try out some of their new cocktails and they'd throw in dinner for me and a guest too!

My Mum and I had been to Frankie and Benny's to eat a couple of years before, she fell in love with the Buffalo Wings which were so hot they made our mouths go numb but we couldn't find them on the menu. Luckily our Waiter helped us find them and he made a couple of suggestions of what Cocktails we should order based on what he had observed of us, whilst we were deciding what to eat. It turned out that my Mum had a Pina Colada and I had a Gentle Breeze with our starters and we both thought they were rather delicious, although my Mum did get a brain freeze when she took a big…

What's For Lunch? (W/C 22/10)

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It's the last week at School before Half Term and so this week all the lunches are going to be Halloween Themed just like Friday's gone was. Did you see it on our Facebook page? We had some Pickled Onion Pom Bears in the lunch which are a limited edition for Halloween. They are actually really lovely and as they are Gluten Free Daddy took a pack to work as a treat too. I have a feeling they might disappear more quickly now that Daddy knows they are Gluten Free!


Monday - Spring Roll Ghosts
We have chicken to use up from the Roast yesterday and I'm loving making Spring Rolls at the moment, so some protein heavy spring rolls for Big Boy will help him with his sugars so he can enjoy a sugary treat as his pudding. This is almost in defiance of the stupid Twitter Follower who accused me of Child Abuse for feeding my children fatty foods, but mostly it isn't and is because if you can't enjoy a Cookie as a pudding when you are a child then when can you?!

Tuesday - Ham and …

What We Are Eating This Week (W/C 20/10)

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I asked the family what they would like for dinner this week and they, surprisingly, already suggested meals that I had planned. It didn't help with the allusive missing meal that I always tend to have each week (seriously I can always plan for six days but not seven) but at least I know that me and the family are on the same wave length this week!


Saturday - Pork Chops with Apple Sauce and Cheese
I'm out shopping with my Mum on Saturday afternoons which means that when I get home I don't really have time to cook or cook anything complicated. Luckily though my lovely husband likes making Pork Chops with Apple Sauce so he can cook whilst I get ready for the evening, or go to the gym or I might even go and read the rest of my book!

Sunday - Roast Chicken
I told Daddy that this week was going to be one of our last Roast Chicken Dinners for a while and he got really upset, until I explained that it was because we'd appreciate our Christmas Dinner more if we hadn't had …

Being Seen At Night

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Last Monday my Mum and I were in my car driving along a fairly main road on our way to dinner. It was raining and thanks to my recent time with Quentin Willson and Shell I was driving really economically (read slow) when something moving up ahead caught my eye. I thought it was a dog but it wasn't. Up ahead was a cyclist. The cyclist was wearing all black clothing, had no lights on his bike, no reflectors other than the standard ones in his bike wheels and pedals and to be honest I was lucky that I saw him when I did. A few seconds later and I might have missed him and had a terrible accident.


As we carried up the main road my Mum started counting the number of people walking and cycling not wearing reflective clothing. We counted ten people in less than 200 yards, each of them wearing dark clothing, each of them not easily seen until we were almost on top of them and each of them not aware that a few simple changes could easily stop them from being run over. It made me feel a lit…

Getting Busy With the Fizzy (Even though they don't say that any more)

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Most people who know me, know that I'm a cheap date.

I'll pause for a minute or two to let you snigger quietly to yourself whilst thinking about me being a cheap date... Right, let's get back to it.

As most people know I don't drink alcohol and as such you can give me a glass of any fizzy drink and the bubbles will soon have me as giddy as a school girl. The problem for me is since giving up Dr Pepper at New Year I now can't actually drink a lot of fizz in one go and so if I buy a bottle I don't finish the bottle before it goes flat. I used to own a Soda Stream, it was the first thing that I added to my wedding gift list as there had been many memories made with the one that my Grandparents had owned and I had thought that one would be perfect for me now as I could make just a small amount of fizz and it wouldn't go flat before I had a chance to drink it all. Then in a serendipitous moment Soda Stream asked if I'd like to review one of the new Soda Stre…

What's For Lunch? (W/C 15/10)

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I apologise for the lack of pictures of our lunches on our Facebook page this week, for some reason it just wasn't happening in the morning (I blame the dark) and even last Friday's special lunch had some last minute adaptations because of me ending up sleeping later than I expected. Still the children went to school with lunch every day and that's what is important!

Monday - Crispy Rolls with Chicken and Sweetcorn
I'm back to leaving some of the chicken from the roast spare so that Tops and BB can have it for lunch today. With a little sweetcorn it's good because it just ekes it out a little more and means I can have some for lunch too!

Tuesday - Cold Hot Dog Pasta
Big Boy isn't a fan of taking in two lunch boxes, so this is a treat for him as having the pasta cold means it can go in his ordinary lunch box. It was a mistake to buy shaped ones for the children this year and I'll be asking Santa to bring them some new ones...

Wednesday - Left Over Party Food

I'm A Trend Setter

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Many Moons ago I gave up alcohol.

I know, some of you right now are sitting there pondering about giving up alcohol and wondering how you could ever do it, but when you are 18 and not really that much of a drinker it isn't that hard. I started drinking Shloer at Special events and with Roast Dinners, because it was a grown up soft drink and it seemed a lot posher than drinking Lemonade.

Then Shloer got popular.

It's okay, I'm not bitter about it. I like that lots more people drink Shloer. It makes it a lot easier to host a get together if everyone knows that the bottles of Shloer on the table aren't wine but soft drinks and suitable for drivers and non drivers alike.


So if you come to a party at my house, don't worry about making sure there is an non-alcohol alternative drink as it's all I'll be serving.

I was sent two bottles of Shloer, which I drank with some friends!

Have you added A Mother's Ramblings to your RSS Reader? Make sure you never miss a br…

What We Are Eating This Week (W/C 13/10)

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Wahoo! It's Saturday! I do love a Saturday because I get to think about food and what we will be eating for the week, I get to go shopping (so I get half hour on my own!) and I get to see my Mum who always gives me one or two of her chips from her Saturday evening McDonalds. I must also remember to keep dinner being served at the same time because it really makes a difference to Big Boy's blood sugars if I serve dinner late. So on to this week!

Saturday - Home Made Spring Rolls
Last week after we had been given a Driving Master Class from Quentin Willson we headed off to Wing Yip's, a Chinese Warehouse in Birmingham. There were a few bits and pieces that we wanted to see if we could get and we wanted to have a look round too as the only thing better in my mind than going to a Chinese restaurant is making Chinese dishes at home and it's a great place to get inspiration! We didn't manage to get everything that I wanted, but we did pick up a few bits that I'll be …

Squidgy Squadgy Soreen

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It's no secret that we love Soreen here at AMR. Take a look at the lunchboxes I make for the children and put up on my Facebook page and you will see the lunchbox loaves have featured several times since I found them in the local Supermarket. The full size loaves normally live in our cupboard or freezer, (they never make it close to being in the freezer for the the full three months that Soreen say to defrost and eat your loaf before to enjoy at it's best) as Big Boy has decided that Fruit Toast, as he calls it, is the best thing to get him out of having a hypo (low blood sugar) and I think it's a rather lovely late evening post gym snack...


When a rather large delivery of Soreen arrived at my home, as part of the MumPanel Soreen campaign, the children were ecstatic and with the boxes taking up all the kitchen work surfaces I wondered if I actually knew enough people to give the products out to. Luckily though I didn't have to worry as the children tucked in to Soreen …

Soul Sister - A Review

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Growing up I, like most children, listened to the music that my parents decided I would listen to because that was the music that they wanted to listen to. I didn't mind though, the music that my parents listened to told stories and I learnt the words and the tunes quickly and would be able to sing and dance along. My parents would tell me stories of the people who sang the songs, things that they had read in newspapers or heard on the news, Celebrity Gossip I guess but it didn't seem like it, it was just glamorous stories of glamorous people.

I was originally going to take my Sister to see Soul Sister, as it's a musical following the life of Ike and Tina Turner as their careers really started and their marriage fell apart, but my Mum and I went along, ready to sing along to songs that I had grown up listening to her sing. I was a little worried as whilst I love going to the Theatre, I'm the sort of girl who likes to sit and my seat and be entertained and I had a feel…

What's For Lunch? (W/C 8/10)

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We've taken some inspiration this week from some sandwiches that we had at the Shell event we went to on Saturday. Big Boy and Top Ender were really well behaved and very good at trying sandwiches that they might not have tried otherwise!

Monday - Beef Sandwiches
The children don't really eat a lot of beef, I'm not sure why. I guess it's my fault because I don't make beef sandwiches! I've made sure to add it to my shopping list this week though so I can rectify this! We haven't got left over Chicken this week to use up on the Monday because I made sure to use all the chicken this week on the Sunday!

Tuesday - Chopped Egg Roll
I have some cute little rolls in the freezer that I really need to bake and I think that chopped egg and a little mayo would be a good filling, especially as the children loved the ones on Saturday!


Wednesday - Ham And Cucumber Sandwich
Top Ender has Orchestra today and so we like to make sure that she has a quick lunch to make sure th…

What We Are Eating This Week (06/10)

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I seem to be suffering from a complete brain freeze this week and despite knowing that I do have some things in my freezer I can't remember what they are, and as it is currently dark, wet and I'm in my PJ's I'm not going out to the dark, dusty garage to look!

Saturday  - McDonalds
You have to love a McDonalds on a Saturday! We're off to see the lovely people at Shell today as part of their Target One Million and so when we drive home we're going to go via McDonalds. Plus as there isn't a Dr Who on tomorrow night we're going to need something to look forward to!

Sunday - Roast Chicken
The best meal of the week, with the potatoes and the chicken and the vegetables and the gravy and the yorkshire puddings... Sorry I just got lost there for a second with the drool and the thinking of the tasty stuff!



Monday - Pan Fried Lime Cod Fillets
Hopefully before me and my Mum go to see Soul Sister at Milton Keynes Theatre tonight I'm going to manage to cook some …

Night Time Bed Wetting

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Before Big Boy was diagnosed as being a Diabetic we were going through bed linen like there was no tomorrow. You see, when Big Boy had a high blood sugar his body did everything it could to make sure that it got that extra sugar out of his body and this would mean numerous trips to the bathroom but when you are four years old and sleeping soundly sometimes you don't wake up when your bladder screams for the hundredth time that it needs to be emptied. Of course at the time we didn't know it was because of his Diabetes and so every morning we would assure Big Boy that this wasn't his fault and that he would grow out of wetting the bed. We told him that there were lots of other children who wet the bed and that it wasn't anything to be ashamed of, just that we'd have to try again the next night.


I however was getting downhearted about it. My washing machine was going what seemed like all day and night trying to keep up with the extra loads of bed linen and the sheets …

When you hear this sound *Bells Jingle* turn the page

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You can pretty much tell what generation a person is from by how they react to the title of this blog post. There was a time when Read-Along books were the bedtime reading of choice and I'm sure that up and down the country children were tucked into bed, the stereo started and parents breathed a sigh of relief that they weren't going to have to read the same book twenty times over in one night to their tired child. Things have moved on a bit since then, and whilst Read-Along books are still popular I see so many children listening to books on audio devices (they even do it at School round this way) that I'm pretty sure it is going to be the way of the future.


Top Ender has a tablet which each night after she is tucked in she opens up to her reading app and reads what ever takes her fancy and we've downloaded for her. It's a nice way of helping her to relax, encouraging her to read and I always find that no matter how awake I am when I settle down in bed to read a b…

Gluten Free Battered Fish and Chips

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Battered Fish is a comfort food for me. When I was growing up we lived a five minute walk away from a brilliant Fish and Chip Shop and we ate it fairly regularly. Even when Daddy and I were first married we ate Fish and Chips from the local chippie fairly often but after Daddy was diagnosed as Celiac we had to stop because the food wasn't gluten free.

Eventually we did find a local Fish and Chip shop that sold Gluten Free food, but it's not really that local and takes fifteen minutes to drive back from (and they cook the food fresh because it's gluten free and of course it's a fifteen minute drive to the shop) so it's not something that's exactly cheap because of the travel, it's a fairly expensive place to eat at and it's not exactly Fast Food!

So tonight I made Gluten Free Battered Fish and Chips for dinner. I had made Fish and Chips before using Haddock and polenta as a sort of bread coating, but it's not battered and that is what I was missing t…

Lamb & Feta Burgers with McCains Wedges (1/2 a Review)

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Ages ago I was asked if I would like to try out some McCain Wedges as part of the Summer of Sharing and rustle up some meals to go along with them from some great recipies. All I had to do was choose from the brilliant list of meals and I would get the ingredients sent to me so I could get cooking without the hassle of shopping first. Knowing that the Wedges aren't gluten free I knew that the main part of the meal would have to be something that Daddy would eat and so I choose Greek Lamb & Feta Burgers and Jamaican Jerk Chicken.

The Jamaican Jerk Chicken never happened as life got in the way, but the Greek Lamb and Feta Burgers were a big hit. The recipes are all on the McCain website, but in a nutshell all you have to do is mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl.



Shape them into Burger Shapes and cook them. It really is that simple to make burgers and I realised that you can nearly fill them with anything that you want as I discovered when I put Parmesan Cheese and Cho…