A Mothers Ramblings: June 2013

Sunday, 30 June 2013

A Special Sunday Breakfast

Whilst I was at Britmums Live, my family learnt that when the doorbell goes at 6pm on a Friday night and there is a Tesco Delivery of food that you didn't order you should think it must be blogging related before turning the driver away. Luckily before the driver left, Daddy half remembered a conversation he'd had with me a few days before and realised that this unexpected delivery of food was for our special Sunday breakfast, thanks to McCain's who were rather pleased about their Hash Browns.

Sunday morning found Big Boy happy that I was home with the family, so happy that he insisted I got up with him at a time too early for the morning after a blogging conference. As I came out of my bedroom, I was pretty sure I saw Daddy smile and snuggle down into the duvet as if he'd set Big Boy up to this, so I thought that we should cook breakfast for everyone else in the house, as a sneaky hint that we wanted them to get up too.

And so we did.

We fried eggs and mushrooms, toasted bread, grilled sausages and tomatoes, oven baked the hash browns, griddled pieces of bacon, microwaved baked beans and sliced fruit. Everyone got what they wanted and the Hash Browns went down a treat, both Big Boy and Top Ender thought they were better than the ones I make (I'm terrible at making them admittedly) and have asked if they can have them with dinner and not just breakfast, which is a great plan. As we savoured our breakfasts we couldn't help but think that surely a proper cooked breakfast is one of the best things about a Sunday?

McCain's Cooked Breakfast

Then this week, I realised that as McCain's Hash Browns are 190calories per serving that I could have a sneaky cooked breakfast during the week and make it every bit as indulgent as the once in a while Sunday cooked breakfast. So here is my sneaky cooked breakfast featuring the McCain's Hash Browns.

Pippa's Sneaky Cooked Breakfast

2 McCain's Hash Browns
1 fillet Smoked Haddock
75ml Cheese Sauce (approx you could make up to 150ml if you wanted!)
1 Egg
A sprinkling of Chives
1 rasher Bacon

Serves 1 hungry Mum after she's done the School Run.

Bake the hash browns in the oven, whilst cooking the Haddock. I normally like to poach my haddock, but as I was using frozen fillets, I baked them all in the oven.

Poach an egg whilst you make up your cheese sauce and cook your bacon. I like to griddle my bacon, but you can grill it or fry it or microwave it or prepare it however you like it best.

When everything is cooked, place your hash browns on the plate, before drizzling over the cheese sauce, placing the haddock on top of that, followed by the poached egg with a drizzle more of Cheese Sauce and then balance the bacon on top along with the Chives.

Pippa's Sneaky Cooked Breakfast of Hash Browns, Cheese Sauce, Smoked Haddock, Poached Egg, Bacon and Chives

Season and serve (with a quick instagram photo if you're that way inclined).

We received some McCain's Hash Browns and other food so we could review the new recipe.

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

Saturday, 29 June 2013

The Bee Problem

For the last week or so, Top Ender has found a few Bees in her bedroom. This is odd, because she doesn't generally open her bedroom window and we haven't found any in the rest of the house. And then when her bedroom door was shut all day we found two in there at bedtime.

We realised that there must be a Bees nest near, and it must have a back door to Top's room.

Sure enough a quick look on the outside of our house, and we could see a lot of Bees buzzing around a hole in the fascia. We looked in the loft, but we couldn't see a nest, so we guessed the nest/hive must be in the wall cavity and whilst we understand that Bees aren't a problem and that they need our help because they are declining in numbers, we couldn't have Bees in Top Ender's room.

White Tailed Bumble Bee on Chive Flower

So we called a professional, and he came out and he couldn't see the nest after having an explore either. We knew for definite it had to be in the wall cavity and the only way we'd be able to remove the Bees would be to kill them. He explained that we had to do it because the White Tailed Bumble Bees were finding their way into a child's room, and there was the risk of her being stung. What else could we do? So the nice professional man sorted it out for us, and within a couple of days we shouldn't have any more Bees buzzing around Top Ender's window or in her bedroom.

To make up for it though, we're going to make a Bee hotel to put in an area of our garden that we don't use, so that Bees know that we love them... we just don't want them living in our house!

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Cats The Musical - Review

Top Ender and I went to the theatre last week to see Cats, it's been a long time favourite of mine, despite never having seen the Show live before... although I have seen the DVD a few hundred thousand times.

Cats Poster

Tops was amazed by the set, the rubbish from the alley spilling over the edge of the stage and down the steps and as the lights were dimmed we were suddenly aware of green eyes staring at us from the set and over our shoulder as a "Cat" peered at us from behind our seat! There were a few screams followed by laughter as other audience members were spooked by the cats jumping around the auditorium and I was so glad that I had warned Tops this would happen.

Next Week's Lunches (W/C 29/06)

I think that lunch may be one of the best meals of the day, if you eat a packed lunch. I love trying to make the lunches special and I know that my two enjoy the little touches that I add.

Saturday - Beans on Toast

The Children are big fans of Beans on Toast at lunch, as is Daddy. I'm less of a fan, but you know what they say... if you can't beat them join them!

Sunday - Fish Finger Sandwiches

As we're eating at the Munch and Mingle this evening, I thought that a fish finger sandwich would go down well before we went.

Monday - Carrot and Cheese Bagels

We've not had these for a while, so I hope the children love them as much as they used to!

Tuesday - Ham Sandwich

Daddy is in charge of making lunch today, so I've made it nice and easy. Ham Sandwiches (which he can cut into different shapes if he wants) with Cucumber, with a piece of fruit (Pineapple), a drink and a "treat". See easy.

Wednesday - Pizza Pittas

Big Boy loves making these as they are so easy, we're going to make them together as I'm pretty sure Big Boy will have me up early because he's missed me.

Thursday - Quiche

Last year on the 4th July we had Star Quiche to celebrate the 4th July. We're going to do something similar this year... I just hope it works!

Friday - Top Ender's Friday Lunch And Big Boy's Too!

We're going to be on a World Tour for the next few weeks until, School is over. Today we are going to go with a Swedish theme, which shouldn't be a surprise seeing where I was at the start of the week!

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Friday, 28 June 2013

Main Meal Plan (W/C 29/06)

I guess the big news this week is that I'm no longer planning Fast Days for Daddy and I, I'll mention why more over on Pippa World, but lets just say that it didn't work for us...

Saturday - Chicken Stir Fry

This past week Daddy has been reviewing some meals from ilumi and the last product he has is a Sweet Chilli stir fry sauce which we decided to share between all four of us with rice and my favourite veggies.

Sunday - Munch and Mingle

Everyone apart from Daddy is at the Munch and Mingle this weekend, so Daddy is making do at home and we're going to eat at the Munch and Mingle. We'll miss our Roast!

Monday - Sausages

I'm in Sweden today, which means Daddy is in charge of food. As they are going to be a little busy running here and there, they have chosen Sausages and Hash Browns for dinner.

Tuesday - Take Away

Daddy and the Children are going to be picking me up from the Airport, so they are all going to have a Take Away on route. Knowing Daddy, they'll get there really early so they can do some plane spotting!

Wednesday - Rigatoni with Courgette, Tomato & Mascarpone

When I was at Britmums I was able to choose two cookbooks from one of the brands in attendance, who thought I might like to review them. As we are trying to eat Veggie at least once per week, one the cookbooks being a Vegetarian Step By Step Cookbook caught my eye. This week we're trying out one of the pasta recipes, and look for the review of the book coming up in the next couple of weeks.

Thursday - Fish and Chips. With a Twist

I used to eat Trout on a regular basis, when I was at University. The canteen did a GREAT burger which I'm hoping to recreate. The trout is basically smooshed into potato, (there's the twist) and served in a bun. I'm going to do some chips with the burgers though, as I know that the Children love them.

Friday - Pizza

Daddy made a fantastic pizza the other day, he made everything from scratch and Top Ender told him that now he's learnt to make pizza, that he should learn to make more! So for Friday night before we drop Top Ender off at Year Four Camp we'll be eating Pizza. Lots and lots of Pizza.

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

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

It's All About Community

Okay, so I'm going to tell you a little secret. I hate Blogger Conferences.

I'm not sure if it is because I'm really a shy person (no, really I am), or because I don't like people (that's not going to be true is it), or because I'm lazy (that could be the one), or for some other reason that I just can't put my finger on.

And yet I go.

I go because I want to meet the people who live inside my computer, I want to talk to people that represent the brands that I love, I want to meet new people, I want to get new ideas, I want to be inspired and I rather like the idea of one day actually knowing what this Blogging lark is all about.

It was at BritMums Live this year that I realised something quite important;

It's all about Community.

I'm Huge on Twitter

I don't know why this has never hit me this way before, but I really felt it at The Brewery. Here were Men and Women (most of whom I have never met before) pleased to see me, pleased to sit next to me, pleased to be going to the same sessions as me. They too, are probably shy and don't like people and are lazy but they, like me, put this to one side to learn, be inspired, inspire others and of course meet people.

I don't dare list the names of all the people that I met over the weekend, the people I reconnected with, the people I hugged, kissed and were challenged to watch films by because I am bound to forget someone and they'll get all offended and I'll no longer be the nice girl of blogging who gets along with everyone... instead insert your name in the following sentence.

I love talking with <INSERT NAME HERE>, they were as funny in real life as they are online, they looked fab and I'm truly glad that I can count them as one of my friends.

A few people saw what I was doing during downtime between sessions and to 1am Saturday Morning with my website redesign, and their input has been fabulous, so much so that even though I have my head in the back end of my blog at the moment I can promise you that I have very much got my blogging mojo back and it appears that I understand myself again.

I am so very grateful to Coke for sponsoring me this year, they were a great host and arranged not only a great breakfast meeting for all those they sponsored, but were so wonderful with making name labels for bottles for everyone that went to the conference. I learnt a fair bit about the company and will of course be sharing that over the next few weeks both here and on Pippa World.

With that said, if anyone wants to sponsor me for next year give me a call!

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

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Lunches (W/C 22/06)

There's a School trip this week, so our lunches are all building up to a very special day out!

Saturday - Daddy Decides

I'm still at Britmums Live, so I don't get to eat with the family today, which means that Daddy gets to work out what everyone will have. If he was after a suggestion I'd suggest going shopping as we have no bread...

Sunday - Nothing

Well, that's not true. The children will have a little sandwich, because BB needs to keep his blood sugars regular but we're having a very nice breakfast so we won't need a lunch!

Monday - Sausage Kebabs

I'm making up some little Sausage Kebabs for the Children to have at lunch today and hopefully if I get a chance I will be able to bake something nice for them to have with them.

Tuesday - Carrot Sushi Sandwiches

The children love these and it's a great way to get them to eat an extra veggie without actually realising that they are!

Wednesday - Mini Quiches

I actually didn't make them last week, but I think that they are a great lunch so I will get busy with them this week!

Thursday - School Trip Day!

Well, actually it's only me and Big Boy going on the School trip so we're going to have picnic lunches and so is Top Ender (who'll be at School!).

Friday - Top Ender's Friday Lunch and Big Boy's too!

I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet! I hope I get some inspiration before I go shopping and make lunch on Friday.

So that's the lunches for this week, who's coming round for some then?

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

Friday, 21 June 2013

Diabetes is so unfair

I don't really have anyone to talk to about Diabetes.

I mean of course Daddy and I talk about Big Boy's diabetes, and we have a fantastic consultant and Diabetic care team, but I haven't connected with other parents of children with Diabetes. I know it will be important for BB and even for Top Ender to connect with children in similar positions in the future, but I've been so wrapped up in my own little diabetes bubble that I've just not looked elsewhere.

Today at BritMums Live, I bumped into Jane. Jane's daughter was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic, just a short three months after Big Boy. Other than a few Americans, Jane is the only other person who I know who knows what I'm thinking. Which is probably why I found myself in tears talking to her earlier today.
You see even though it's almost a year since BB has been diagnosed I'm still angry about his diagnosis. Why is my baby the one that has a lifetime of blood tests, injections and other health issues?

Here I am double the weight that a healthy person should be, and apart from the morbidly obese tag I'm as healthy as any person could hope to be. How is that fair?

Of course I know plenty of platitudes about why and I know the medical reasons why and I understand, I really do... But it doesn't stop it being so unfair does it.

Evening Meals (W/C 22/06)

It's been an odd week, with one thing and another and one which has very much seemed to have speeded by. So with that in mind I haven't spent much time working out what we're eating this week. Maybe that will mean that next week will seem slower...

Saturday - Daddy Decides

I won't be back from Britmums Live until the Children's bedtime (although I know they will stay up late seeing as it is a Saturday), so I'm leaving Daddy in charge. Luckily he is not only a brilliant cook, but he plans meals everyone loves so I know everyone will be happy.

Sunday - Roast Chicken

Yup. Same meal yet again, but that's because it's a Sunday and a Sunday isn't a Sunday unless you have a roast in our house.

Monday - Fast - Beef Steak

We're having Steak with Salad as our fast meal today. I always feel better having a Salad with our meal as it takes a lot of Salad to make up the calories and so I always feel full. It'll be nice to have it Steak with for a change.

The Children will have the Steak along with a little salad and knowing them some leftover Roast Potatoes.

Tuesday - Baked Italian Pork and New Potatoes with Peas

I don't know why I'm calling it Italian Pork, as this is going to be a tomato based dish that I'm "making up" on Tuesday. I guess I've decided that it's going to have some Italian Influences!

Wednesday - Fish Risotto

I really fancy a nice risotto, it's my Mum's fault as she had one the other day, and I thought that having a fish risotto would be good as it's good for our hearts!

Thursday - Pizza

This is actually a lie, the Children and Daddy will have Pizza and I'll have Salad with a bit of Cheese on the side. I'm hoping that Daddy will have salad with his Pizza too and I'll give the Children a pudding of fruit to make up for the lack of vegetables.

Friday - Fast - Salmon and Broccoli and Cauliflower

When I cooked the Salmon last week, I made pan fried it with the skin side down (just flipping it over for a few seconds to firm up the flesh) and it was delightful, so I'm hoping to do that again today. Instead of serving it with a Salad like I did though, I'm going to serve it with broccoli and cauliflower.

So that's this week's meals, and I'm hoping that they are as tasty as they were when I wrote them down!

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

Thursday, 20 June 2013

I'm Going To Britmums With Coca-Cola

There isn't anything like doing something at the last minute is there?

Tomorrow morning, I'm jumping on a train and heading into London and joining all the lovely people at Britmums 2013. Between going to sessions that have caught my eye, I'll be catching up with friends, making new ones and hopefully bumping into lots of people who'll say something along the lines of;

"Aren't you PippaD from A Mother's Ramblings? I love all your blogs!"

I always like being asked that, ever since I was "spotted" in a lift at a conference a few years back. Made my weekend that did.

Anyway, this post is the last minute bit of it all, because I've known I've been going to Britmums for AGES and it's all thanks to Coca-Cola who have sponsored me. Rather kind of them really, but then again they do know of my HUGE love of Dr Pepper...

PippaD Loves Dr Pepper

So, today I'm posting this post to let you all know that I'll be there. I'm packing my bag with my electronics and clothes and even some make up and a lot of healthy snacks and a tiny amount of Dr Pepper (hahaha, "tiny" yeah right). I've charged my camera batteries, I've cleared my memory cards and I've even hunted out the last 100 or so of my Business Cards.

I'm sure the normal tradition of posts like this, is that I mention what I'll be wearing or how I'm worried that my hair hasn't been cut or dyed or something like that but that is so not me. Plus I haven't packed my bag yet so I can't tell you what I'll be wearing!

So, you'll have to excuse me and I'll maybe see you over the weekend.

Technically this post isn't sponsored, but is about me going to an event and being sponsored to go to that event, because my ticket, travel and hotel have been paid for.

Have you added A Mother's Ramblings to your RSS Reader? Make sure you never miss a brilliant lunch or a fantastic family moment.  

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

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Lunch Plans (W/C 15/06)

It's funny how not eating twice a week (well if you're an adult in this house) suddenly has you appreciating food more. The meals I'm planning on making suddenly seem a little more grown up, although I'm not sure what the Children will think.

Saturday - Ham Rolls

With lunch happening before we go Food Shopping, there isn't a lot to choose from but we do have ham and rolls a plenty!

Sunday - Lamb, Feta, Mint and Salad Sandwich

Daddy was reading Twitter the other night and saw a lamb sandwich that caught his imagination. We now can't find that sandwich so we've decided to make our own Lamb, Feta, Mint and Salad Sandwiches for lunch. As I'm nice I'll make a plain lamb sandwich for BB.

Monday - Chicken and Sweetcorn BBQ Wrap

This is combining yesterday's leftover chicken with some Sweetcorn and Big Boy's favourite dip. I'm hoping it'll taste great as I'll have the leftovers for lunch later this week.

Tuesday - Pizza Pittas

Tomato paste spread across the inside the pitta bread, filled with cheese and maybe a little ham and onion and then microwaved for thirty seconds makes a great pizza pitta.

Wednesday - Cream Cheese and Cucumber Bagels

I'm getting away with these Cheese bagels for now, Big Boy is still confused over what is butter and what is cheese so he eats these quite happily, especially if I remove the skin from the cucumber.

Thursday - Muffin Tin Mini Quiches

We haven't had these for a while, which is a shame as I really love making these and giving mini sized Quiches to the children for lunch. I'll team it up with some veggie sticks and something as a sweet treat. If I'm smart I'll even remember to throw a few in my handbag (in a box!) tomorrow to keep me going at Britmums.

Friday - Top Ender's Friday Lunch and Big Boy's Too!

Today's lunch is to celebrate the first day of Summer and so we're going with an egg sandwich (it'll make sense honest) which I'm hoping will leave the Children seeing how fantastic a Mum I am and not forgetting me whilst I'm away at Britmums and they are all busy having a fab time with Daddy at home. Sob.

I've not backed up my photographs for a while, which means I haven't been able to clear my memory card of the photos and this has meant that I haven't been able to take photos of lunch, but this is going to change this week as I miss showing you the Children's lunches in the morning! What have you been eating for lunch this week?

Have you added A Mother's Ramblings to your RSS Reader? Make sure you never miss a brilliant lunch or a fantastic family moment.  

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

Friday, 14 June 2013

Dinner Plans (W/C 15/06)

It's the start of the second week with two fast days in for Daddy and I, and to be honest other than having to think up some tasty filling 500 calorie meals for us in the evening it's surprisingly easy. The Children haven't noticed seeing as how they've been eating earlier in the day anyway and I haven't seen any weight loss this week but I wasn't expecting to really.

Saturday - Baked Sloppy Joes

I really do think that this is one of our favourite meals now, it's simple to make and is a nice way to have mince other than in a Shepherd's pie or with pasta.

Sunday - Roast Chicken

Even though today is Father's Day, Daddy will still be cooking the full roast by himself. Luckily he rather enjoys it!

Monday - Fast Day - Prawn Stir fry

Daddy and I are fasting today, so I'm doing a prawn stir-fry for us in the evening. I decided on this because the amount of food you get is quite high as the stir fry vegetables are rather low in calories but high in taste with some Chinese Five Spice and Gluten Free Soy Sauce.

The Children have decided that they would like a pasta dish, so I'm making them Macaroni Cheese. I'm thinking of adding peas and hot dogs to the meal, but not sure at this second.

Tuesday - Restaurant

I'm taking Top Ender out to the Theatre tonight, so we're sneaking out a little early to grab some dinner too. Daddy and Big Boy have yet to decide what they are going to have (I'd place my money on Sausages) but Tops and I will be trying out the new menu at Frankie and Benny's.

Wednesday - Seared Chicken with Vegetables and New Potatoes

The whole family are going to have this, although knowing how BB is still thinking that Chicken is evil (despite demanding some last Sunday) I'll have something on back up for him so that he doesn't miss out on some Protein.

Thursday - Fast Day - Lamb with Fennel and Orange Salad

I've had this before, but with Pork instead of Lamb and it was quite nice, so I'm hoping that it will be just as lovely with the lamb. The Children won't go for the stronger flavours of the salad and the lamb so I'm doing them grilled lamb with sliced jacket potatoes.

Friday - Gammon with Mash and Pineapple

I'm not going to be here, seeing as how I'll be at BRITMUMS! I know, I know, I kept that a bit quiet didn't I? The wonderful Coca-Cola have brought me a ticket and a night in a hotel so I'm leaving this for the Children and I'll probably be eating the crumbs from the bottom of my handbag whilst swigging some Dr Pepper... don't worry I'll remember to eat something proper!

So that's our week, but what I do have to remember come next weekend is that we have a munch and mingle at Church on the Sunday and I want to make something on the Saturday to take... so this is my reminder and also a request to you guys to suggest something to make and take. Last time I made Home Made Hobnobs, but I feel like making something different this time.

Have you added A Mother's Ramblings to your RSS Reader? Make sure you never miss a brilliant lunch or a fantastic family moment.  

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

Monday, 10 June 2013

Picnic Recipes

One of the things that I appear to be known for these days, are the lunches that I make for Tops and Big Boy and occasionally for Daddy and myself. So, it probably isn't a surprise that when we have a picnic, we kind of go all out with the different foods that we take. Big Boy and Top Ender are very certain of what types of food should be included in a picnic, as am I and when I was asked to celebrate National Picnic Week (17th-23rd June 2013) by the Unilever Kitchen by creating a recipe using products from their brands I knew what it was that I wanted to make. The only problem was I had the additional restriction of only using the foods that I had in my kitchen as I had already spent my food budget for the week.

Picnic Hamper

After everyone had a good look into the hamper that Unilever sent, stuffed full of their products my family left me to it, knowing that I'd create something they'd love to eat. Apart from the pictures here, you can see some more in our Facebook album as in the end I didn't just create one dish, but ended up using almost all the products that they sent in a variety of dishes and because I know you'll love them for your picnics and packed lunches here are all the recipes for you.

Potato Salad

This is so simple, I peeled and cubed potatoes before boiling them, draining them and leaving to cool whilst I made some other dishes. I couldn't tell you how much in weight I used as I just peeled what we had leftover from the weekend. Once the potatoes were cool, I added two dollops of Hellmann's Mayonnaise and ran out into the garden to grab some chives which when snipped into small pieces and sprinkled into the potato and mayonnaise mix.

Hellmann's Mayonnaise Potato Salad

I thought that the Children would eat this, but they turned their noses up and so if I were making it again, I'd also had a tablespoon of Mustard to give it a little more of a kick as it's what my Mum used to do.

Garlic Roasted Potatoes

When I drained the potatoes for the potato salad, I realised I had peeled a few too many and so reserved half to throw in the oven. I peeled a red onion and along with some cherry tomatoes added them all to a roasting tin with some Olive Oil where, I seasoned them with garlic granules and roasted. I suggested that this should be eaten along with Hellmann's Mayonnaise with a touch of Garlic, which Daddy and Top Ender heartily agreed with.

Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Garlic Mushrooms

I sliced and fried some mushrooms, which I mixed into a dollop of Hellmann's Mayonnaise with a touch of Garlic and that was it. The mushrooms were delicious and whilst maybe not totally suitable for a picnic, they'd be great for a burger or hot dog topping at a BBQ.

Chilli Salmon Fishcakes

I took 225g of Salmon and along with a half red chilli and Soy Sauce I whizzed in my food processor to make a paste. I then used a spoon to make 6 fish cakes which I gently fried in oil. These were served with a dipping sauce made by mixing Hellmann's Mayonnaise with a spark of Chilli with a drop of soy sauce (to own taste really) and a teaspoon of Coriander paste.

Chilli Salmon Fishcakes

Mango Salmon

I coated a piece of Salmon in Sweet Chilli Mango Sauce and baked in the oven for twenty minutes. I then sliced the Salmon into five pieces and drizzled the remaining sauce over the Salmon pieces before serving cold. I think that this would have worked better with Prawns, but I didn't have any and I'll know for next time!

Mango Salmon

Spicy Chicken Wings

I chopped up four spring onions and mixed it with some Hellmann's Mayonnaise with a spark of Chilli. I then marinated this for a few hours in the fridge before grilling. I was expecting this to be quite spicy, but seeing as Top Ender consumed most of them and she hates spicy food, I knew that they weren't! They were nicely flavoured, just not a hit the back of your throat kind of flavour.

Spicy Chicken Wings

BBQ Chicken

This was by far the easiest dish. I cut up a Chicken Breast into bite sized cubes and then added a good squeeze of BBQ sauce. I left the chicken to marinate and then quickly dry fried the chicken in my wok before serving. Top Ender thought this was quite like the Sticky BBQ Chicken burgers I had made a few weeks ago, but it was a lot simpler and quicker to make.

Colman's BBQ Chicken

Vegetable Sticks and Dip

I cut cucumber, celery and carrots into thin sticks which I made a Honey Mustard dip to go with by mixing some Colman's Mustard with Hellmann's mayonnaise and runny honey. I had intended it to be a dip, but I ended up putting it over my salad, which was delicious!

Aubergine and Carrot Crisps

Using a vegetable peeler I thinly sliced an aubergine and a large carrot into  strips, which I seasoned with salt, and pepper before baking in the oven at gas 7 for 40 minutes, before turning them and cooking for a further 15 minutes. I let the crisps cool before seasoning again with more salt and pepper and served with the vegetable sticks as detailed above.

Picnic Dinner

The biggest success of the night was the BBQ Chicken, which Top Ender and Daddy gave top marks to (and then the Spicy Chicken Wings) and Daddy loved the Chilli Salmon Fishcakes and the Garlic Roasted Potatoes. I really liked the honey mustard dip and the potato salad, but it has to be said that the various Mayonnaise's are the real winners of the evening as they are all so simple to use, although I'm discovering hundreds of ways to use Mustard.

If you fancy having a look at what we're eating pretty much as we eat it, then you need to be following me on Instagram and give our Facebook page a like... or of course manage to get yourself invited round to my house for lunch or dinner!

I was sent a hamper with products in, to create a recipe or rather several as it turns out.

Have you added A Mother's Ramblings to your RSS Reader? Make sure you never miss a brilliant lunch or a fantastic family moment.  

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

Saturday, 8 June 2013

What's for Lunch (W/C 08/06)

The lunches this week for me (Other than the ones listed on Saturday and Sunday) are Salads, Daddy has whatever he has at work and on our fast days we won't be eating. Well I won't, Daddy will be eating soup because he gets extra calories being a chap.

Saturday - Erm...

We actually have no food in the house and I don't normally go shopping until the afternoon as I go with my Mum... so today we'll be eating whatever we can scrounge up!

Sunday - Cheese Ham and Mustard Sandwiches

Unless you are me or Big Boy that is. I'm eating my cheese and ham with salad leaves as the "bread" and Big Boy will only be having ham, as he's pretty sure that cheese isn't a suitable food anymore.

Monday - Cream Cheese Bagels

Don't tell Big Boy that cream cheese is cheese okay?!

Tuesday - Chicken Wraps

Sunday's Chicken leftovers in a wrap and if the children are lucky some cucumber too!

Wednesday - Ham Sandwiches

I know that they only had this on Sunday, but ham sandwiches are known as a classic sandwich for a reason!

Thursday - Sausages

Big Boy quite likes when we have a low carb, high protein lunch and that's what today is. Sausages, sausages and more sausages and maybe some vegetable sticks too.

Friday - Top Ender's Friday Lunch and Big Boy's too!

At the moment I have no clue what lunch will be, so I'm going to hopefully get some inspiration when I'm shopping! If I don't, I promise that the Children won't go hungry.

What are you having for lunch this week? Do you have any ideas for what I should do on Friday?

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Friday, 7 June 2013

What's for dinner (W/C 08/06)

I've found that giving Big Boy his dinner earlier with Top Ender has been brilliant for his blood sugar levels come bedtime. Just in case I haven't made it clear in the past, or you haven't ever read the blog before, with Big Boy being a Type 1 Diabetic, we need to make sure that his blood sugars are kept at an even level (around 5 to 7) because if they are too high it can lead to a coma and death and if they are too low it can lead to a coma and death.

This isn't me over dramatising BB's condition, this is the reality that we live with everyday.

There are of course other complications that can arise from Big Boy having high blood sugars for a sustained period of time, but I'm not worrying about that just now. Right now I'm all about trying to maintain his sugar levels.

Anyway. This is meaning that the Children and Daddy and I are pretty much eating separately from each other and so makes it kind of perfect to start on the 5:2 diet which Daddy is convinced is the answer to dieting prayers... I figure that seeing as I fast on a semi regular basis already that this is going to be easy, remind me of that when I'm crying and rocking in the corner will you?

Saturday - BBQ Pork Burgers

After we had the BBQ Chicken a few weeks back, and something similar at our Picnic, I knew we had to have BBQ Pork Burgers for dinner, so I thought this Saturday would be great as we could marinate them whilst we were at our Towns Carnival and then throw them on the BBQ as the weather was remaining fine.

Sunday - Roast Chicken

Our usual roast includes, a portion of Chicken (skin removed for me), two portions of vegetables, some roast potatoes, a little stuffing, sometimes some yorkshire puddings and gravy. Daddy cooks it brilliantly and to be totally honest, it's lush to come home to it after Church!

Monday - Fast Day

Tops and Big Boy are going to have Fishfingers and peas with home made oven chips.

Daddy and I are having Garlic Roasted Salmon with steamed vegetables as we're also trying to be low carb, which I can tell you know is going to be hard for me as I love my carbs. Daddy is going to have two cup a soups during the day for calories and I'm having a pudding of fruit and yogurt as the dinner is only 300 calories.

Tuesday - Aubergine Lasagne

I'm cheating. I'm making two lasagnes, one for me and one for the Children and Daddy. The Childrens will have lasagne sheets and mine will have Aubergine strips.

Wednesday - Vegetable Curry

I'm going to make a veggie curry in the slow cooker, I'll serve the Children's with extra cream to make it less spicy and with Naan Bread to mop up with and I think that Daddy might have rice with his.

Thursday - Thai Fish Cakes

We really loved the fish cakes I made for the picnic, I'm making the children some which are less spicy (no chilli!) and I'll serve it with either rice, salad or chips depending on who it is I'm serving!

Friday - Fast Day

Tops and Big Boy are going to have home made turkey nuggets with mixed vegetables.

Daddy and I are going to have Turkey Stirfry with Vegetables.

So that's what we have for dinner this week. Are you coming round or having anything similar?

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Monday, 3 June 2013

The Concert Effect

As Top Ender plays the Violin and has done for a few years now, this past School year, Tops has been a part of the School Orchestra. I love going to the School Concerts, to hear how the Children are developing their musical talents and I love that the teachers that can play an instrument are also encourage to join in the fun. Last week was what one of the other Mums and I swear is normally called the Summer Concert, although this time it was just called the School Concert.

Top Ender's Violin

The concert was brilliant, all the children who I know (and those I don't) performed BRILLIANTLY and it was great to see the children enjoying playing for others and realising that their talent was bringing joy to others. It's made me want to start to play, not just the Guitar (Which I will get out of the cupboard in the next few days) but another instrument. I just have to decide which one.

I used to play the trombone, I was never any good at it and then with my Brace it made it painful to play and so I gave it up. I learnt to play the keyboard, I was actually okay at this, despite not having something to practice on of equal quality at home. I gave up though because paying for lessons was expensive and I didn't see the point in paying for them once I had passed my Music GCSE. I used to sing, all the time. Properly I mean, not just out loud. I had singing lessons, I repaired my broken voice and I had a HUGE range thanks to a couple of great teachers who developed me. And then I stopped.

I'm hoping that the concert effect will wear off in the next couple of weeks, that I won't end up scouring the local Charity shops for a clarinet, or an oboe, or a flute or even a trumpet...

I'm not the only one who concerts have this effect on am I?

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Sunday, 2 June 2013

Jambalaya in the Slow Cooker

We're trying to eat earlier than we normally do at the moment (it's part of a master plan) and so my Slow Cooker has been coming to the rescue more often than it should. I'm basically adapting all my recipes and meal plans so that the meal can be thrown in to the Slow Cooker and then be eaten when we're ready. This is how I adapted the Jambalaya for the Slow Cooker. This will easily serve four hungry adults, with possibly a bit left over for seconds.



Olive Oil (for frying)
430g Cubbed Chicken (roughly two Chicken breasts)
1 Onion
1/2 Sliced Red Pepper
1/2 Sliced Yellow Pepper
1/2 Sliced Green Pepper
2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
1 Red Chilli, (Large) chopped finely
400g Long Grain Rice
900ml Chicken Stock
1 Chorizo Sausage, sliced (Circles)
400g Chopped Tomatoes
100ml Water
230g Prawns


Gently fry the chicken pieces in a little olive oil over a medium heat, whilst you finely dice the onion.

Add the chopped peppers, the chopped chilli, the can of chopped tomatoes and the crushed garlic to the slow cooker.

Remove the chicken once browned and add to the slow cooker.

Add the onions to the frying pan and sauté until soft. Whilst the onions are being sautéed, cut the chorizo into circle slices, I found it easier to cut it using scissors, and add to the slow cooker along with the onion and the chicken stock

Add the rice and stir well, to ensure that all the rice is covered by the stock.

Turn the slow cooker to high and cook for two hours, before adding 100ml of water and stirring well again. Turn to low and cook for a further twenty minutes.

Turn off the slow cooker ten minutes before serving, just after you add the prawns to the dish. Again stir well.

Serve with a Salad or piled high in a bowl and try to get your husband to stop singing Jambalaya...

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Saturday, 1 June 2013

Back To School Lunches (W/C 01/06)

This week we are back to School (well the Children are, I'm going to still be at home) and so we have some lunches to celebrate this!

Saturday - Fish Finger Sandwiches

We are all big Fish Finger fans and sandwiches, when filled with fish fingers are the best. Especially if there is a lot of butter and ketchup and salad involved.

Sunday - Ham Rolls

I'm fasting today (it's Fast Sunday, as it is the first Sunday of the month) so Daddy will be making lunch for the children and himself and I'm hoping that he'll be making ham Rolls, because they don't smell strongly and won't make my hungry!

Monday - Cheese Sandwich

Top Ender is off to a Music Day today and so I'm doing her a special music themed lunch. Big Boy and I will be at home, so we'll be having a treat together that isn't the Cheese sandwich!

Tuesday - Chicken Wrap

Today is the first day back at School and having a Chicken wrap isn't really to celebrate, but is just to use up the Chicken from Sunday.

Wednesday - Tuna Sushi

The sushi sandwiches that I make are always well loved by Tops and BB as they eat them quickly because they are bite sized and look great. I love making them with Tuna because it's an extra portion of fish during the week and it also means that my salad will taste great today!

Sandwich Sushi

Thursday - Picnic Lunch

With it being a bit wet and miserable last week, we didn't get to have our lunch outside other than on the Bank Holiday Monday, so to make up for it they can have a picnic at School today.

Friday - Top Ender's Friday Lunch and Big Boy's Too!

Top Ender's Friday Lunch and Big Boy's Too Logo

Today is the anniversary of Gauguin's birth, but I'm not creating a masterpiece for the children to eat, nor am I creating something to celebrate Bear Grylls birthday... no today I'm celebrating something much more fun.

Have you added A Mother's Ramblings to your RSS Reader? Make sure you never miss a brilliant lunch or a fantastic family moment.  

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