Monday, 11 August 2014

Meal Planning Monday - the ever so slightly too busy school holiday edition!

I didn't post last week (or the week before - oops!) but I can assure you I meal planned as I cannot live without it. This is probably the midpoint of the holidays and it will be the second week that the children have gone to a great summer camp during the day which is near husband's work. They went for the first full week of the holidays and it really helped me get some work done; I'd like not to work in these holidays but a quarterly deadline hits and I really can't leave it until September. They had a ball last time so I'm not too worried about them going - they get to play and do loads of things I can't necessarily do with them. And it gives us all space - I find that even if husband is home, they ask me for EVERYTHING!

So, this week, I'm planning on powering through with some work and getting ahead of myself for the following two weeks of the holidays. We're also having a new boiler fitted, already postponed from last week when I took Monkey to Old Trafford.

We had roast beef on Sunday so the first two days are based on leftovers.

Monday - Sloppy Joes (made with leftover roast instead of mince)
Tuesday - Beef hash
Wednesday - Cheesy lentils
Thursday - Savoury bread and butter pudding
Friday - Chicken pasta bake
Saturday - Fish in lemon and herb sauce, mash and peas
Sunday - Roast chicken et al.

Having shared my week with you, may I remind you to visit Mrs M's for more lovely MPM posts.

See you (hopefully) next week!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Monkey's first test match

It may be summer in Manchester, but we all know Manchester and rain is inextricably linked. Going to cricket at Old Trafford is therefore a big risk, but last week, I won two tickets to the first day of the England vs India test match on Twitter and hastily rearranged a few things so I could take Monkey. I'd never been to a first class cricket match, let alone a test match and cricket is Monkey's new obsession - he plays for a under 9s team and has even talked Missy Woo into joining in too. 

The weather first promised rain, then it didn't. Even early morning, there looked like no rain in the forecast but as we drove down the motorway, the sky didn't look promising at all. We got on a tram and sure enough, by the time we got to the city centre, Manchester reverted to type and it was raining. Thankfully, all it did was delay start of play just enough for us to queue up for our tickets and find our seats, Monkey having mugged me for a commentary radio on the way in. 


The sun came out, but then the dark clouds gathered again. It tried to rain but didn't further delay play. As the teams came out with India batting first and play begun, I took another picture. 
Anderson to Vijay
Within minutes, England had a wicket. It tried to rain. We got another wicket. And another. And another. Half an hour in, I texted husband to say "Monkey is loving this - 4 wickets in 6 overs!"After that, things settled for a while - apart from Monkey wanting constant food and me buying draught Diet Cokes from the bar which blew their tops off whilst I was waiting for the over to finish. 

Another wicket arrived before lunchtime and the weather finally picked up so we decided to go on a wander around, mainly to find more food for Monkey. Waitrose came up trumps with some great freebies in the shape of pork and picallili pies to sample and goody bags filled with a free box of chocolate cookies. We also bumped into this guy. He's so Lanky I chopped his head off! (and he came to cricket practice recently!) 


Having bought some lunch and looked at most of the stalls, we came back for afternoon session. A few balls in and Anderson took the wicket of Jadeja, who had been roundly booed by the crowd on his arrival at the crease. The wicket was Monkey's best moment of the day. Not long after that, I got a text from our neighbour and mother of Monkey's best friend asking us where we were as her son was looking for him. He went down to the front to try and spot him, whereupon he then apparently said hello to Stuart Broad when he fielded a ball down on the boundary and he said hi back - Monkey's second best moment of the day. 

We encountered this fellow spectator. 



We then had to go see his friends who were taking a walk around, playing the bowling games and I got conned into buying a Team England shirt. We missed two wickets then went to go back in via a trip to the toilets, whereupon we heard another wicket and the final wicket I saw through someone's legs waiting to go in between overs. 

Monkey then decided we were going to sit down by the boundary. 


And watched the start of the England innings. We managed to say there for about 2 hours, and I actually got to listen to the radio I bought. We saw two England wickets but we also got to see some great batting from Ian Bell and Gary Ballance (Monkey points out Ian Bell uses the same model of bat as him!).

And the sun shone!


Monkey is a little obsessed about journeys and worries we will miss trains, trams etc or have to wait ages for them so we left before the end to get our tram back to our car before the crowds got there too. 

A day that started with rain ended with sun along with 13 wickets - even though we missed 5 of them - and a very happy 9 year old who'd been to his first test match. 

A big thank you to Lancashire Cricket Club for the tickets to the match, which I won from their #TestMatchThursday Twitter competition (and to Jimmy Anderson because he was the correct answer to the question!) for making a 9 year old boy  - and his mum - very happy. As we drove away from the station, Monkey turned to me and said "You know, this was the best day of my life". 

Can't say fairer than that. 

Monday, 21 July 2014

Meal Planning Monday - the end of school year edition!

And it can't come soon enough. Just so many things have been going on - last week felt like a omplete whirl of events and commitments. Now, we're just down to the last 3 days of school. No school commitments other than getting them to school and back, no more dancing lessons - only swimming lessons for one more week and cricket throughout the summer. Hurrah!

My week kind of looks like end of year, in a kind of stumbling over the line way too.

Monday - Cheesy lentils
Tuesday  - Slow cooker lamb and mango pilau
Wednesday - Sweetcorn and ham salad
Thursday - Smoked cheese, onion and mushroom quiche
Friday - Cheesy beans and bacon quesadillas
Saturday - Chicken wings, sweet potato and coleslaw
Sunday - Roast pork

Happy holidays everyone! Don't forget Mrs M has the MPM linky.


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Meal Planning Monday - on Tuesday!

Yes, yes, yes. I know. Don't ask.

I didn't make last week at all as we were out one night and on Thursday, we went to Wimbledon which was uh-mazing.

I have a plan for this week but just not got round to it due to some stuff I need to sort out this week. This week is Missy Woo's 8th birthday. Oh my God! We're also planning to go to see the Tour de France although Monkey currently wants to play cricket on Sunday. Oh and it could be Sports Day on Friday but rain is forecast.

So, that's two days sorted!

Here we go.

Monday - Tangy Asian meatballs (these were fab, try them!)
Tuesday - Warm new potato and smoked mackerel salad
Wednesday - Ham with maple mustard slaw
Thursday - Sandwiches
Friday - Slow cooker barbeque drumsticks
Saturday - out for tea
Sunday - out

Don't forget Mrs M's blog is now here

Monday, 16 June 2014

Meal Planning Monday - the World Cup edition!

OK, so I know that not all of you are interested but in this household, we are. I say that but generally, it's husband and me. Monkey says he is, starts watching then wanders off. Kids!

So, this week, I decided to have a go at a round the world World Cup menu to fit in with teams playing that day. You may not agree with all of these but this is what I came up with.

Monday - Benachin/Jollof rice with grilled meat (Nigeria / Ghana)
Tuesday - Chicken Kievs (Russia - Wikipedia says they're Russian or Ukrainian so ner)
Wednesday - Spanish omelette with "Russian" salad (Spain)
Thursday - Butties (England!)
Friday - Pizza (Italy)
Saturday - Empanadas (Argentina)
Sunday - Rice pot (S Korea)

So, that's our international menu. What's yours? Don't forget - MPM is hosted at Mrs M's blog, which has recently moved house.

See you next week.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Meal Planning Monday - the quiet week edition!

The title of this post is hopeful rather than truthful, I think. But then again, after last week, it IS quiet. I had something every night last week, and a school fair to boot. This week, I have only the classes I want to go to in the evenings. And maybe the odd bit of football. I'm hoping that this is the sign I can ACTUALLY have a quiet week and catch up.

Don't expect any fancy cuisine from me, it's nothing too complicated.

Monday - Shepherd's pie from leftover roast lamb
Tuesday - Falafel burgers
Wednesday - Sausages, cheesy waffles, mushrooms and beans
Thursday - Chimichurri steak sandwich
Friday - Slow cooker BBQ chicken
Saturday - Mexican lasagne
Sunday - Father's Day so probably not cooking

That's me, what are you having? Don't forget to visit Mrs M - who has moved to athomewithmrsm.com - for more Monday meal plans.


Monday, 2 June 2014

Meal Planning Monday - the getting into June edition!

Meal Planning Monday Hello.

I'm just in the process of getting over the half term holiday. In fact, it's not quite over yet - the children have an INSET day so don't go back until Tuesday. We've had a busy week, with trips to Edinburgh, cricket, cricket and more cricket, haircuts and a spot of stuff done in the garden - our garden fence is looking particularly lovely.

My menu this week is based on stuff I've found in this month's Good Food which landed last week and a carry over I didn't even get on the menu last week. I was that organised! This week, it's busy AGAIN! I have two evening meetings this week and the school summer fair on Friday evening (which I also have to bake for). And the children going back to school means that they are back on their regular schedules with dancing, swimming and cricket. So much for June being quieter!

This is it then.

Monday - Chicken wraps with sweet potato, salad leaves and tomatoes
Tuesday - Cheesy polenta with sausage ragout
Wednesday - Smoky mushroom burgers with roasted garlic mayo
Thursday - Sandwiches
Friday - not cooking; school fair
Saturday  - Meatball masala curry
Sunday - Roast lamb

Don't forget there are more meal plans like this over at Mrs M's place. Badge top right will take you there.



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