Saturday, 26 November 2011

feeding hungry boys...

Maybe it's this time of year, as the nights draw in and it starts to turn cold, my boys seem to be ravenous. Constantly under my feet in the kitchen asking "what's for tea?"or "can I have a biscuit?" and occasionally foraging right under my nose!

To combat this constant demand for food, I am trying to plan my meals for the week ahead so that I make the most of what we buy, and be able to prepare quick and easy meals. So this morning I hit the recipe books, searching for inspiration, so that I can provide tasty meals that we all enjoy (including fussy number 2 son!)

Tomorrow we will have a traditional Sunday lunch, we usually have roast chicken or beef as we can source affordably from local farms. I do LOADS of vegetables, so that on Monday, we can have leftovers, vegetable gratin, or bubble and squeak and the meat in our packed lunch sandwiches. Tuesday, if we have eaten the left overs, the boys can have a tomato chicken casserole after school (that I can prepare in the morning) and I will add some red wine to turn it into something a bit more special like a coq-au-vin for us for supper. By Wednesday, we are quite weary and crave something really quick, so a risotto is my fast food of choice at the moment, I am going to try the cauliflower risotto recipe from Jamie's Italian book this week, as it can be spiced up with some chilli crumbs on top for Pete who sometimes despairs of my bland palette, (which is even more bland when I'm pregnant!)

The boys like to have school dinners once a week, and enjoy reading the menu we have pinned to the fridge and choosing, at first it was because Friday was 'chip day' but now it seems that they are more likely to choose other days, which is fab as the menu is quite varied and it encourages them to try new things. I don't like the price of £2/meal but it is a good balanced menu and freshly cooked at the school, which I whole heartedly support. If they have school dinners then this week I am going to do my favourite and 'oh so simple' butternut squash soup for tea with crusty bread, as it is soup season and my favourite way of getting the fussy child to eat more veg! On Friday, inspired by Anna's "Little Chef Friday's" we have decided to do the same thing in our house too, the boys have chosen to make pizzas, so I have remembered to make sure we have the right flour in the house and plenty of toppings!

Saturday, after porridge for breakfast, we will be inspired by the farmer's market if there isn't a football match. The fussy child loves trout, he loves choosing and buying his own trout, and will happily eat all of it himself. I am constantly surprised that he does this, and will always indulge this request as it is usually only around £2/trout, and is a meal for him and his brother! I think it stems from our holiday to Cornish Tipi Holidays, when he must of only been two or three years old and was captivated by the fact that we caught and cooked our own trout from the lake. Just shows how good children are when introduced to things from an early age, just wish he felt the same about the vegetables from the garden!

I think that should be a balanced week, there will of course still be biscuits but at least I should be better prepared!

Friday, 25 November 2011

putting my feet up...

I went to a Christmas Fair at the very stylish Cowley Manor this week, they had a snow machine over the front door, it was magical! I discovered Green & Spring skincare there, isn't the packaging gorgeous? I am definitely asking Father Christmas for a few little somethings in my stocking! 

I've had such a busy few weeks at work and it continues, a new website to launch, a celebrity signed welly auction and I even snuck in a visit behind the scenes at BBC TV's Autumnwatch Unsprung last week and got to meet the legend that's Bill Oddie! Sometimes I love my job, despite being completely worn out. 

Thursday, 24 November 2011

little birds...

These little birds are cheerily gracing our dining table at the moment! It feels like the only tidy place in our house, there seems to be so much clutter everywhere else (which of course doesn't make for a picture I want to share!)

I wish I (or my husband for that matter) was a neat freak, I have piles of paperwork to sort and file, piles of washing to put away, so many little jobs around the house that it all gets a bit much. I really want a house that looks like this. Am hoping that in this pregnancy I get the nesting instinct soon, as so much needs doing! Failing that, does anyone with OCD fancy some therapy at mine? 

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

boy or girl?

I'm nearly half way through my third pregnancy and soon due for another scan. But we're completely undecided about finding out whether we are having a boy or girl? We didn't want to find out with the first two at all but are more curious this time. I like the idea of preparing and choosing names (both our boys weren't named for AGES!) but I also like finding out at the birth, remembering my husband tell me both times "it's a boy!"

Monday, 14 November 2011

pyjama party...

I would live in pyjamas if I could, and usually ask for a pair most Christmas's, these pictured above are from Toast. I also love the range from Hush, especially the vintage rose ones pictured below...

perfect for toasting marshmallows in front of the fire or curling up with a good book! 

Monday, 7 November 2011

who needs computers?

The parent I am now is certainly not the parent I thought I would become. I can remember expecting my first child with such a firm idea of the family that we would be, and at first we were like that, eating organic food, trying real nappies, having adventures together and not watching too much TV! 

Now years later, with a tightening of the purse strings, two ever growing boys and another on the way, somehow things seem a little different. There are demands placed on us from different sources, things like school friends that influence the boys, or the lack of time we are able to spend together with things like sports clubs at the weekend or after school clubs. I find I back down more than I ever intend ' for an easy life!' This year the boys have started to mention wanting a Wii for Christmas, which the eldest did last year, as "everyone at school has one" and to be fair most do! But to my horror we are seriously considering it, and this is something that I was determined my children wouldn't have until their teenage years at least! I am consoling myself about my lapsing parenting standards, with a fab junk shop find, a 50p old bingo game that we have spent all weekend playing! Who needs computers when you have bingo? 

Friday, 4 November 2011

ladies that lunch...

I met the lovely Anna, of the blog She Shops Local, for lunch today, and it was great to chat face to face, instead of the few tweets or blog comments we usually converse with. I first met Anna after we followed each others blogs and I became a huge admirer of her 'shop local' ethos, although her challenge this year is to cook 'Elizabeth David's French Provincial Cooking' which is a truly colossal task indeed! 

Of course we lunched in the cafe at Hobbs House, Nailsworth, where I had the fab Scotch egg and tomato chutney, which was delicious and I highly recommend. Although I didn't take any pics, can you believe? So pictured above is my son eating a 'jammie', one of Hobbs House signature biscuits and is simply delicious, and a treat that we usually enjoy when we go to the Hobbs House stall at Stroud Farmers' Market. 

It was also fab to hear about Anna and her sister-in-law Jess's new venture, vintage crockery hire, which has given me an idea about having a baby shower/tea party, bunting, afternoon tea served in china & cakes! Any excuse for tea and cakes really don't you think?  

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