From the kitchen


Got to share tonight’s tea with you! I don’t usually go in for food sharing online, but this is one of the easiest, tastiest, inexpensive meals I’ve made for such a long time and it is definitely worth showing you.

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Baby potatoes with olive oil, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper, and chicken breasts bashed out flat with a dollop of garlic and herb cream cheese in the middles, rolled up and held in place by stretched out strips of smoked bacon.

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Chopped up green peppers, yellow peppers, red onions, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes tossed in olive oil with a hint of salt and a squeeze of lemon.

I sealed off the chicken bundles in the frying pan with some butter and sage leaves so the bacon started to go crispy then transferred them to the oven in a roasting tray.

The small potatoes went in another roasting tray, and the vegetables went in when the chicken and potatoes were partially done.

And this is the result:

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Washed down with a nice glass of red wine, this has got to be the best dinner we’ve had since Christmas. Estimated cost of each plate – £4.50. Miles better than a carvery dinner!

 

 

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. What news story are you following right now?

There are a few that have captured my imagination/horror/disgust/disbelief but the biggest one is, like Joyce, the girls who have been kidnapped in Nigeria. I cannot believe how so many children can be taken like that and the authorities have done very little to try and rescue them, or even to allow others to go in and help find them. Also, I’m following the story about Rolf Harris who is appearing in court on sexual assault charges dating back to the 1970s. Stomach churning if true, stomach churning if not true that someone so high profile can have his reputation and private life splashed throughout the media and millions of children are left questioning their childhood.

2. What’s the last thing you wanted but didn’t get?

There’s plenty on my “want” list that is still in the “not gonna get it” pile, but the last thing that genuinely made me want to cry when I didn’t get it was Sunday dinner this weekend. I had been in church since 10am that morning, and after all my things there I had to wait at church until 2pm for a baptism. By the time it was all over I was so hungry I was starting to shake and I asked Kevin if we had the funds for a carvery meal. The answer was “no”…

(For non-UK readers, a carvery meal is roast meats, vegetables, potatoes etc that is served buffet style in pubs, usually a chain. They are relatively cheap and make a nice treat to have a proper roast dinner without all the hassle of making it and all the washing up afterwards).

3. May 28th is National Hamburger Day…when did you last have a hamburger? Other than your own kitchen or BBQ grill, where is your favourite place to go for a hamburger? And for all you non-meat eaters out there…when you’re invited to a cookout what is one side dish you hope is on the menu?

I can’t remember the last time I had a hamburger, but it would probably have been a McDonalds. We don’t have much choice here in the UK – it’s either Maccy D’s or Burger King (which I’m not too keen on).

4. How have your priorities changed over time?

I think my biggest change of priority as I’ve got older is my faith. As a young(er) person it used to be something that was on the back burner, almost taken for granted. But as I’ve matured it has become more of a priority. I can’t say that it was a purposeful change; it kinda crept up on me and is now probably the most important aspect of my life.

5. What’s a favourite memory with your grandparents?

Baking with my Gran. We would run up to her house after church on a Sunday morning (she lived about 200 yards away) and she would be in the kitchen doing her weekly baking, which we loved helping her with. She taught me so much in that time in the kitchen – and not all of it was about how to get your cakes to rise!

6. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being fantastic!), how good are you at multitasking? Share an example.

My multi-tasking skills get me into trouble so much…sigh… I can usually juggle half a dozen things or more at a time, but the more I juggle the less “good” I am at it. On the flip side, the less I juggle the more I look for to multi-task with because I can’t do just one thing at once.

Example: revising for my exam next Tuesday and making notes about mental health in the 16th Century I am checking my phone, looking on Facebook, emptying the dishwasher, have TV on quietly in the background and monitoring Ethan doing his homework upstairs. Have I taken anything in from my revision? Probably not a lot. Do I really need to check my phone/Facebook? Not at all. Does the dishwasher really need to be done RIGHT NOW?? Etc etc….

In justification, I am a woman, and women are notorious for being able to multitask smoothly (holding babies, cooking, supervising other kids whilst talking on the phone) so I don’t think I’m unusual at all. Just being a woman!

So, my score would be 10 out of 10 for juggling, about 4 out of 10 for success.

7. How would you summarize your highs and lows for the month of May?

Highs: I got my highest mark for my OU module today (hurrah!); Emma was home for a few days (hurrah!!); Ethan and my Dad completed a 40 mile bike ride from Manchester to Liverpool in aid of the NSPCC last weekend; Kevin has repainted all the gloss paint on our landing and stairs and it is so new it still squeaks when we rub it; my pea plants are surviving against the odds; I have managed to work about 22 hours this last two weeks which will help keep the wolf from the door a little; and City won the Barclay’s Premier League.

Lows: We finally scattered my Gran’s ashes a couple of weeks ago; Ethan fell of his bike on his way to school earlier this month and bashed his head and his knee; I have had hand, foot and mouth disease which laid me low for nearly a fortnight (horrible virus, and I’ve still got unhealed blisters on my hands and on my scalp); we didn’t have enough money to get away in our caravan for a few days (again…); and we have had another death in the family and my Mum lost another sister last night.

Summary – it’s been high, and it’s been low.

8. Random thought for today:

 

It’s Wakey Shakey Makey Time!!!


It’s Wakey Shakey Makey Time…

…or so I keep telling myself.

I have found it extremely difficult to motivate myself into doing much of anything this week and to be honest, loyal readers, I feel like I’ve not only let myself down but I’ve let you down as well.

But do not fear, you are not alone. My family has been let down too.

I set out with such enthusiasm last Sunday – oh boy the things I was going to do this week you wouldn’t believe it!! I was going to cook healthy and nutritious meals for the family all week from scratch; I was going to finish making my bound books that I started last week and had left for the gum to harden; I was going to make a big headway into arranging some music; I was going to respond to a business proposal from a new colleague; I was going to clean the house from top to bottom; I was going to finish crocheting my own designed hat in Arran wool; I was going to design an arigurumi clown; I was going to write the prayers for tomorrow’s service; I was going to write a quality blog post every day….goodness, the list is seemingly endless.

I don’t need to tell you that I didn’t do any of it do I?

Partly because I had an “episode” that began on Sunday and lasted til Wednesday-ish and partly because once the episode had peaked I couldn’t get my arse into gear and DO anything.

So. This post is a bit of an apology for the rubbish you have had to endure this week from me and it’s is also a post to give me a bit of a wake-up and a shake up to get me in the “making” mood again.

I’m not going to set myself an agenda as such for the coming week, but it won’t surprise you if at the end of it I manage to hit quite a few of my goals (that are not technically agenda items…which is my way of avoiding feeling so disappointed in myself next weekend, you see?!) which I will be reporting to next weekend. All being well.

Come on Pamster….GET MOVING!!!!!!!

 

Daybook Entry 10th Jan


MY DAYBOOK ENTRY FOR TODAY

Outside my window…is a windblown garden in disarray. Fortunately it is dark and therefore I can’t see it.

I am thinking…I need to go a find a sharp point to punch through the leather binding I’m making for a book.

I am thankful…for my God-given musical gift.

I am praying for…baby Kyle.

In the kitchen…I’m going to be making some sort of cake tomorrow. I’m thinking chocolate traybake or something like that.

I am wearing…comfy bottoms and black t-shirt

I am creating…I am crocheting a hat to my own design but I am struggling with the sizing of it on the crown. I know how to do it, I just can’t actually do it!!

I am going…to be starting the Alpha course on Thursday night. Really looking forward to it.

I am wondering…how I am going to be stretched by the projects I have got going on at the moment.

I am reading…just finished “Ghost Song” by Sarah Rayne. It is a fantastic book and I will be doing a proper review of it in a day or so. I’m toying with which book to pick up next.

I am hoping…that tomorrow is a less painful day and I can get on with what I need to – a bit of shopping and a bit of baking etc

I am looking forward to…finishing my first bound book

I am hearing…celebrities baking on TV

Around the house…is a nightmare……don’t even ask me…..

I am pondering…getting things off the ground and getting some of my crafts SOLD!

One of my favourite things…laughing at the TV with my family

A few plans for the rest of the week: baking tomorrow, Alpha course Thursday, music arranging before weekend, planning a proper shop for Saturday and getting some proper food inside my family.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…


Come and join us at  http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/ and join in!!

Five Things I Am Good At


 

I am not one for blowing my own trumpet so this is going to be hard…but here we go:

1. Blowing my own trumpet. No, seriously! I have played the cornet and trumpet since I was 7 years old and after 33+ years I am quite good now. Well, so I’m told anyway.

2. I am good at weighing people up. Generally speaking I know within seconds of meeting someone whether or not we are going to get on. I suppose it could be said that “weighing people up” and “judging people” are the same thing, but not to me. I can sum you up without judging you quite easily – realising what you are about is not the same as having an opinion on it.

3. One of my strengths is that I come up with creative ideas all the time but one of my weaknesses is that I don’t always have the energy or motivation to follow them up.

4. I’m good in the kitchen. I can rustle up tasty grub for my family and friends that is tasty, filling and nutritious and what I lack in technical skill I more than make up for satisfied tummies!

5. I am good at understanding people. I understand people’s pain, joy, happiness, sadness, difficulties, needs, wants, relationships, motivation etc. Sometimes that is not the blessing it seems to be.

 

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Dedicated Blogger


Dedicated blogger….or stubborn mare?

I have just about had the fullest of full days in my whole life today and I am so pooped I can barely think about how to operate my fingers on the keyboard let alone think of anything valuable to say. Does the fact that I’m typing at all tell you that I’m a dedicated blogger, or am I a stubborn mare for not letting a little thing like mind-and-body-numbing fatigue stop me from achieving my postaday2011 goal??!

My day began at about 5.40am today and it has been a constant constancy all day. I’ve been decorating my church to help get it ready for the Christmas services, cooking, cleaning, serving soup and cups of tea, making hot chocolate, washing up, more cooking, more cups of tea….

My body aches like I’ve been run over but it was so worth it. We opened our doors to the community and despite giving away burgers, hot dogs and mulled wine we STILL managed to raise over £1000. More importantly than the profit we made so many new friends and we truly put ourselves out there in our community and showed ourselves to have open doors and open hearts.

Christmas truly has begun at St Paul’s in Blackley!!