29 September 2011

Meal planning for a sudden summer : w/b 27.9.11

Where has all this lovely weather come from?  *blink*

Just this time last week, I was shivering under several layers of clothing whilst writing blog posts for Rhubarb & Ginger and resisting putting the heating on!  Now, I'm sitting here with the window open beside me, perfectly comfortable again.

So all of this made meal planning for this week a bit tricky.  I didn't much fancy sitting in a hot kitchen for hours making hot meals, but the natural cautiousness borne of mistrust of the weather forecasters made scheduling light salads unlikely.

There is one other change to the parameters for scheduling, which is that I am now no longer working at the Hotel Piccadilly.  It was with very great regret that I handed in my notice last week, due to the onward march of my arthritis and accompanying pain.  Coincidentally, I also discover that I am suffering with cellulitis (which has nothing to do with cellulite, interestingly) in my lower legs - which is also causing huge amounts of discomfort.  I'm now on some big antibiotics which have stopped my legs appearing to be horribly sunburned (thank goodness), but the itching (which just about drove me mad) is slow to leave.  I could do the work okay, it was just getting there, getting up the stairs, sitting for four hours and then reversing the whole procedure, that I couldn't do.

So the upshot of all this is that now Hubby can choose which days he wants to cook on - and it also means that I'll be here more to be able to do some prep. in the afternoons, if necessary.

Here's how this week is hoping to shape up :

Tues : Pizza for boys, Peppered Mackerel & Sweetfire® beetroot couscous
with horseradish cream for us adults
Wed : Spicy chicken pittas with salad
Thur : Tenderstem broccoli & Goat cheese tart with zesty beetroot salad
Fri : Tortellini with garlic bread
Sat : Chicken Caesar Salad
Sun : Pot roast bacon, accompaniments depend on the weather
Mon : Sausage, mash and baked beans.

I've been just busting to tell you all about the Smoked Peppered Mackerel and Sweetfire® beetroot couscous that we had on Tuesday, but as I try to keep the blog postings in chronological order according to the menu plan, I had a couple of postings to get through before I could - and that includes this one!  So, watch out for the next blog post - oh, but it's a good one!

Wednesday's Spicy chicken pittas unfortunately got stamped all over by Son & heir volunteering to help with a school open evening.  We wound up grabbing a quick burger (or a sweet chilli wrap, in my case) and back to school.  However, because the chicken is marinading (in lime juice and curry spices - mmmn!) hubby and I will have a (hopefully) spectacular lunch today.  I'll let you know!  lol

Which of course, begs the question about whether we'll have room for the Goat's Cheese tart and zesty beetroot salad for dinner tonight.  Hang on a minute - Tenderstem broccoli and Goat's Cheese in a filo pastry base?  Yes, I think we'll find room.

Tomorrow's tortellini is hubby's night to cook and before you all get excited and think he's making his own tortellini, stop right there because he's not.  It's good old shop bought, put into a home-made sauce (which hasn't been decided on, until we decide which flavour tortellini we're getting).  I haven't had filled pasta of any type in probably two years, so it will be a nice diversion from the norm!

I understand from the weather forecast that Saturday is going to be the hottest day of the week, so hence I've scheduled a Chicken Caesar Salad, as a method of self-preservation.  The chicken will cook in the oven and the rest is a simple case of assembly, with a bit of grating and whisking involved.  I should be able to manage that, even if the temperatures are in the high twenties!

Sunday is another "left open to eventualities" dinner.  The one bit we can be sure about, is the pot roast bacon, which I'll do in the slow cooker.  As to whether we have a salad, or a courgette bake, or roast vegetables with it, is all dependent upon what the weather forecast for Sunday is likely to be!

Monday brings hubby back to the helm in the kitchen and he's doing our ultimate family favourite of sausage and mash.  I suspect we'll wind up just having baked beans with them, but that tends to depend on how creative hubby is feeling at the time, what vegetables we have left in the fridge and how hot the kitchen is likely to be!

Oh, and speaking of hubby being creative - we've a new toy to play with!  We bought an ice cream maker (on special offer at Comet).  So far, he's made a Salted Caramel ice cream which is truly To Die For, but doesn't really suit his diabetes, so next he's exploring frozen yoghurt, so that at least he gets the chance to eat some of his creations!

I dare say I'll be blogging the Salted Caramel ice cream, as it is just SO gorgeous, it has to be shared.

Incidentally, I just just give over a line or two to hubby's Sausage Plait that he made at the end of last week.  I thought it was yummy, son & heir agreed with me, however hubby wasn't keen on it at all, so I won't be passing on the recipe.  He says he's sure he can improve on it, at which stage the recipe can be passed on - which is fair enough.

He mixed Cumberland sausagemeat with caramelised onion, sage, pepper and apple which he'd finely diced.  I thought it was as nice cold with chutney the next day as it had been the previous night, with hash browns and salad!  If this was the less-than-good version, then I'm looking forward to the improved version!



  1. Sorry you're poorly in the legs department. I wish my husband was more foodie - he's a Northern Man of the Geordie diaspora and likes his meat and veg!

  2. Oh how funny, Suzy - hubby is a Geordie too! If left to his own devices, I'm sure hubby would eat kebabs, fish & chips, pie & chips, then repeat the cycle. I think it's only because he appreciates that veggies keep us ticking over - and to provide an example for Son & heir - that has him eating any of them! LOL


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