23 May 2012

Meal planning around many different requirements!

Empty plate - that's what we're after!
Sometimes, I wonder about the monster I've created here with this blog.  Particularly when we find ourselves on a Monday morning trying to juggle all the menu plan's different requirements.

For instance, I agreed to join in with the Lean on Turkey campaign (remember the Petuba Canneloni?) and challenge no. 2 has just been announced.  I needed to come up with a low fat/healthy meal for 4, for £10.

Then there is the Mic's Chilli products that I agreed to review, and the Spice'n'Sizzle curry kits that I promised to review.

Of course, along with all that is son & heir's commitments with band and choir practice, necessitating a late pick-up from school on two days in the week.

Considering how difficult it used to be to just think of nice dinners to have for a week, I think I must be a sucker for punishment.

Not that I'm complaining!  (Well, alright, it might SOUND as though I'm complaining).  All this does wonders for keeping me off the streets.  After all, I might be out there in my slippers shouting at the neighbourhood kids, or running my stick down the railings or worse.  Okay, it's not likely, but it might happen!  Instead, I'm here in my cave exercising the grey matter, in between stumbling about the kitchen, muttering and stirring, chopping and tasting.

So what sort of plan did we come up with, that took into account all the above elements?  I think we did quite well - but if you could hear hubby swearing about those fish cakes right now, you'd wonder.  *chuckle*

Tues : Turkey & Asparagus Impossible Quiche, buttered Jersey Royals and salad
Wed : Smoked Haddock Fishcakes & salad
Thur : Beef Massaman Curry & rice
Fri : Pasties, chips and baked beans
Sat : Barbecue Burritos with chopped salad
Sun : Roast Beef, roast potatoes & parsnips, carrots, savoy cabbage, Yorkshire puddings & horseradish sauce
Mon : Tuna Pasta Bake with garlic bread.

You'll notice I planned in a couple of "days off" for us there!

Well, last night's Lean on Turkey meal went off without a hitch.  Considering it was one of the late school pickup nights, it fitted into the time available very well.  I was very pleased with how the Impossible Quiche came out, as I'd never made one that wasn't bacon & cheese before.  I'll be blogging it next, so won't say more than that just at the moment.

Tonight's Fishcakes are hubby facing his nemesis.  He loves fish, but really dislikes potatoes.  You would think, therefore, that he'd be keen to make the Thai fishcakes - but no, he's gone for making ye olde English style fishcake.

He's out in the kitchen right now, making the mashed potato and cooking the fish in advance of the egg & breadcrumb maelstrom that he's determined to put himself through in order to create HIS kind of fishcake, as opposed to MY kind of fishcake.  *chuckle*  My kind of fishcake is fish & mashed potato (with seasoning & herbs), fried.  Apparently, that's not a "real" fishcake - not without being pannéd anyway.

Rod for his own back?  As they say on LOLCats, aithinkso.  *smile*  Still, I'm sure the fishcakes will be gorgeous - after all, smoked fish and mashed potato?  What could go wrong?

Thursday's Beef Massaman Curry is another matter entirely.  We'll be taking advantage of the local butcher's special offer on silverside for this curry - and also trying out the Massaman Curry Spice'n'Sizzle kit.  I have already tried the Korma curry kit - which I made according to their instructions.  This time, I'm using the spices included in the kit but adding my own ingredients to the mix - so we'll see how we get on this time!

It's another late school pickup night on Thursday, so I've planned - being beef - to use the slow cooker for the early cooking and transfer to the cooker top once we're back home (if necessary).  I'm hoping it will be a good flavoursome curry - as slow cooking the beef will ensure it is tender.

I'll blog the results once we're done and it will be interesting to see what we think about the two methods and how they worked.

Friday is very definitely a day off.  Chuck some shop-bought Cornish Pasties in the oven along with some oven chips and heat up some baked beans.  Slumming it in a big way - but who cares, it'll taste great and we don't have to spend an hour creating it!

Saturday's Barbecue Burrito's will give me a chance to use the Mic's Chilli Barbecue Sauce, which looks yummy in the jar and will hopefully be as yummy on the plate!  We've also got four (yes, four!) chilli sauces to try - and a sweet chilli sauce, too.  I thought it would be interesting to use pork mince instead of the obvious beef - and I'm quite looking forward to this one.

Sunday finds hubby back in the kitchen roasting a lovely piece of Beef Silverside.  We're staying traditional with this one and are looking forward to a good old style roast dinner.

Monday's Tuna Pasta Bake will come as welcome relief at the end of a busy week.  As I've said before, we all love the Homepride Tuna Pasta Bake mix - and with hubby's delicious home made garlic bread, it's just perfect.

I don't (currently) have any plans for any additional bakes or makes, but who knows what will occur to me in the meantime!  After all, I've two enormous rhubarb plants out in the garden glowering at me and challenging me to create something luscious for dessert on Sunday - and the Gooseberry bush is coming along nicely, too.

Hmmn - it'd be interesting to make a sort of rhubarb fool that's a lot healthier than the regular (gorgeous) rhubarb fools ... I'll have to give that one a ponder.



  1. In defence of the rod for my own back, I have to say that I have been exposed to some truly *dire* fishcakes in the past. Fishcakes that seemed to be made entirely out of the blandest, lumpiest, soggiest potato whos only relationship to fish was to have been read the ladybird book of fish when they were just ikkle seed potatoes.

    I want to make a fishcake jam packed with flavour. A fishcake that looks as nice as it tastes.

    That's why I've chosen to do it the hard way, although I'm hoping that, like lasagne, they become manageable to make if done in nice short stages.

    Still.....I'd say that a few sweary noises are practically inevitable :-)

  2. +++ Update +++

    'Tis a doddle to panné :-) All you need is a bit of space, some preparation and the use of the 'wet hand / dry hand' technique, explained to me by the lovely Jenny Eatwell :-) what a gal!


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