12 February 2013

Pancakes, limes, baking and beetroot - oh, that'll be a menu plan then!

First of all, how did we do with last week's menu plan then?

Erm, well, not so well - but not too badly either.  We made four out of the seven dinners that were on the list, which is a pretty poor average - but then we didn't go hungry either.

Impossible quiche and Lasagne - tick, mission accomplished.

Taco night chicken casserole (photograph above) got made but not successfully, as I found it disgusting and the menfolk valiantly battled through theirs.  It looks nice enough and smelled nice enough, but the flavour let it down as there really just wasn't any.  Won't be doing that again, or blogging it.

Creamy haddock gratin was made and both son & heir and I thought it was lovely.  Hubby wasn't so keen, as it didn't quite work the way he wanted it to.  I think we could try this one again, but won't be blogging it until it comes together satisfactorily.

The country chicken got abandoned owing to son & heir being away on sleepover.  Hubby and I mounted a daylight raid on Sainsbury's and we had a "what we fancy" night.  I had BBQ pork belly rashers and oven chips, hubby had a prawn cocktail ciabatta.  Yum.

Goulash got abandoned until this coming weekend, as everything had slipped a day by then - and the Teviot pie became Chilli con carne as it was snowing quite severely by then (didn't I say it would?).

All of which leads me to this week's menu plan - and the meals which we're going to try VERY HARD to stick to (but probably won't) :

Tues : Pancakes!  Woo!  Maple/bacon, lemon and/or lime with sugar or golden syrup.
Wed : Lime & pepper chicken wraps with avocado, potato wedges & lime dip.
Thurs : Lime cured pork with fattoush.
Fri : Crunchy fish, oven chips and mushy peas.
Sat : High tea with home made sausage rolls & Victoria sponge cake.
Sun : Beef goulash with roast beetroot/carrot, plus rice with green peas.
Mon : Meatballs and pasta with garlic bread.

Hubby and I had a little 'fess up as regards the dishes that we find ourselves putting on the menu plan and discovered that we're both guilty of including recipes that are great - but not a sensible option for us - in one way or another.  Of course, once they're on the menu list, then we're committed to them as I immediately do a shopping list and the next day we're out buying the ingredients.  When it comes to the day when we're supposed to be making the recipe, it dawns on us that it's going to take best part of the day to make this thing, or it's going to take twenty seven saucepans, for instance.

So, we've both decided to think about the recipes a bit more closely - about what it would take to cook them, the cost of the ingredients (which we do already, but sometimes creativity carries us away and commits us to more expense than common sense would otherwise have allowed), the origin of the ingredients (try to stay away from green beans from Kenya, for example).  Now I'm not promising that we won't get carried away from time to time - after all, some recipes just say "I have to be done - and done now!", but we'll try.

Must resist putting bacon into sandwich ....
The first item on the menu list - pancakes - is easy enough to make, suitably inexpensive and yummy as all heck.  I congratulate ourselves on actually managing to get to a pancake day without suddenly waking up to its appearance around three days too late to do anything about it - which is what normally happens.

We've picked up some delicious bacon from our local butcher and will be having crepe style pancakes with a) bacon and maple syrup, b) lemon juice and sugar, c) lime juice and sugar and d) golden syrup.  Where's the vegetable matter in this repast, I hear the more health-conscious of you ask?  Well, there isn't any.  'Cos it's pancake day, alright?  We'll have vegetables tomorrow.  :: nods ::  Done.

Those of you who visit Rhubarb & Ginger's Facebook page will know that I was recently in receipt of a whole shedload of beautiful little Brazilian limes.  Now I've already made Key Lime Pie (to be blogged some time soon) plus used lime juice in many evening drinks.  (No, not alcoholic ones - things like squeezing half a lime into lemonade, which is super double yummy).  The trouble is, that none of this seems to have made much of an impression on the half hundredweight of little green lovelies.

Enter the first of the savoury lime dishes - Lime & pepper chicken wraps.  Everyone in our house likes chicken in a wrap - especially when it involves a touch of spice.  The recipe is one from BBC Good Food and promises to only take 15 minutes to make.  I can definitely cope with that - and so I chose it for Wednesday as it is always a late pickup from school night.
Photo c/o Sainsburys.co.uk
As I'll have the oven on for the potato wedges, I decided to (hopefully) put Mary Berry's Mother's Bread & Butter Pudding to the test.  It looks as though it can be made in advance and put into the oven as the potato wedges come out, so hopefully, it will all fit nicely.

Fattoush - photo c/o telegraph.co.uk
Thursday's Lime cured pork with Fattoush sounds a lot more complicated than it is.  Again, the recipe for the pork comes from BBC Good Food, whereas the Fattoush recipe comes from Ottolenghi's cook book "Jerusalem" and is Sami Tamimi's Mum's recipe for a mixed salad with toasted pitta bread.  I seem to be channelling other people's mums at the moment!

Hopefully, by the end of the three days, we'll have a bit of a dent in the lime mountain and I'll be ready to blog about them!

Friday is an official day off from cooking, with shop bought fish in batter, with oven chips and tinned mushy peas.  Yes, I know I COULD have made everything from scratch - but everyone needs an easy cooking night.

Saturday's evening meal will make son & heir's eyes light up.  He does love a high tea - and this one should be no different.  I'm planning on making some sausage rolls to go with the sandwiches (which will be ham, or tuna, or corned beef - haven't decided yet) and the much talked about Victoria sponge will take pride of place on the table.

Sunday's dinner will be the poor old Goulash that got bumped off the menu plan from last week.  The fresh beetroots are looking perky and as though they'll last all the way until Sunday if kept in the fridge, so fingers crossed!

We're not sure who will be cooking Monday's meatballs and pasta - as both of us are perfectly capable of doing so.  Again, it is a meal that will make a teenage boy's heart pump a little faster.  He does love a meatball, that boy!

So there you have it.  What do you reckon, 5 out of 7 will get made?  :: nods ::  Let's try for that as a goal, then, eh?


  1. Jenny, just letting you know that your link to Food on Friday: Marinades & Rubs was featured in my Need Some Inspiration? Series today. Have a nice week.

    1. Oh great! Thanks for letting me know, Carole. :)


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