Friday, February 28, 2014

February Roundup

 28th: Pizza, etc (not homemade - G&K out)
27th: Jacket Potatoes with toppings (Sarah)
26th: Penne with Broccoli Pesto
25th: Spicy Enchiladas
24th: Leftover Carrot Soup (from freezer)
23rd: Mince and New Potato Curry
22nd: Sausages, vegetable tagine, couscous
21st: Poulet a la biere
20th: Leftovers
19th: Squash, Macaroni and Parma Ham Bake
18th: Vegetable Tagine with Couscous
17th: Green Pancakes with Lime Butter and Grilled Halloumi
16th: Lamb Curry with Spinach
15th: Jamaican Jerk Pork, Crunchy Salad, Potatoes
14th: Mini Toads in the Hole (and peas)
13th: Braised Chicken with Chorizo and Butter Beans (Sarah)
12th: Chicken Soup with Corn and Beans
11th: Pasta with Potato, Sweet Potato and Bacon
10th: Feta and Leek Fritatta
9th: Beef Stew with Guinness
8th: Indian Spiced Salmon with Red Lentils
7th: Chicken Cacciatore, Potatoes (Sarah)
6th: Find your own dinner
5th: Spaghetti Bolognese (Geoff)
4th: Bean and Vegetable Chili
3rd: Courgette, Potato and Cheddar Soup
2nd: Out (Alex's birthday party)
1st: Bang Bang Chicken

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dinner, 26/2/14: Penne with Broccoli Pesto

Forgot to take a photo of this one on the plate - we've had it before - it's just pasta with a sauce made from a "pesto" of broccoli, pinenuts, parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil. Very easy, and tasty. My kids like broccoli anyway, but it's also a clever way of getting an entire head of broccoli into a meal without it seeming like you are, if you ever need such a device!

Oh, and there was enough for the girls to take cold for lunch today, as well!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dinner, 25/2/14: Spicy Enchiladas

Easy mid-week supper, fairly quick to cook - and leftovers for lunch tomorrow (from the other tray of enchiladas, not shown)...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Dinner, 23/2/14: Mince and New Potato Curry

This is something we have a lot - a favourite. Yum. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Dinner, 21/2/14: Poulet a la biere

Chicken in beer. With mushrooms. Served with bread and salad. For some reason, blogger insists on uploading this photo sideways, despite a number of attempts. When we ate it, it was less sideways - this photo shows all the chicken and mushrooms on the serving plate...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dinner, 19/2/14: Squash, macaroni and parma ham bake

Another mac & cheese variation, though this time with some parma ham in as well. Very satisfying - and not too hard to do after a long day on one's feet at the zoo!

A day at the Zoo

Some vouchers which needed using by the end of March and a (somewhat) sunny day during half-term meant a trip out to the zoo. Unfortunately, the only decent day weather wise was today, when Sarah had a history revision session at school, so she wasn't able to come - but the other two kiddos and I headed up to Camden to spend the day at the zoo.  I made them pose here on the bridge across Regent's Canal, because I have a similar picture from years ago and I wanted to contrast them...  If you follow this link, you can actually see a couple of them!

Olivia also wanted to play a bit with her camera (technically, not hers, it belongs to the whole family - it was a hand-me-down this summer from our friend Barbara who has a better one now - took a while to get a lens for it as I originally thought I still had a compatible one from my old (non-digital) SLR, but as it happens, I didn't. Kindly, Barbara sent us a lens for Christmas, so we're good to go now. This was the first chance Olivia has had to have a really good play with it - there's still a lot to learn, but we're getting there.

I took some photos of animals at the zoo, but I also photographed other things, like the canal boats outside the zoo, on the way there - and lots of plants - what can I say? I like taking photos of plants and trees. However, I'll spare you and only post a few selected photos of either animals or non-animals...

I liked the contrast of these two birds - the noble bird of prey lording it over everyone and a little opportunist sparrow (who was in a monkey cage, scrounging for dropped bits and pieces)...

And of course, these birds are yet another contrast!  This rock hopper penguin seemed really pleased the sun was out - he didn't move from this spot for the entire 20 minutes or so we sat and listened to a talk about penguins.

Love the way ferns unfold!

This butterfly chrysalis was amazing - almost looked like metal, it was so shiny.

Here she is again, trying to photograph some birds...

such as this one!

And yep, more plants from me.  I particularly liked the shadow against the wall in the bottom photo as it shows that it was sunny, for once!

This is a very large statue of a polar bear.

We watched a couple of gorillas - they weren't doing much, though - I think they were watching all the foolish people on the other side of the glass...

Managed to catch a glimpse of a tiger in the new tiger habitat, but only a glimpse - the new habitat looks nice though. 

Perhaps the best bit was watching the giraffes have a snack - they were really animated and quite hard to photograph as they kept moving around - but it was fun to watch them grab carrots from some people's hands, with their long tongues - and then, once the carrots were gone, lean down and lick the people, just in case they'd missed something!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dinner, 18/2/14: Vegetable Tagine

This recipe is from the book I (heart) my slow cooker by Beverly LeBlanc - it's not normally the type of slow-cooker recipe I use, as it only cooks for about 5-6 hours (it's all vegetables) so doesn't often fit into my schedule. It was pretty good, fairly spicy, but not too much so. I didn't have any chick peas in the cupboard (surely a first for me) so I used other beans instead, and served it with couscous, but I forgot to take a photo of it on the plate, so this is the leftovers in a container in the fridge. Looks like another night's dinner, or maybe a couple of lunches.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dinner, 17/2/14: Green Pancakes with Lime Butter, Grilled Halloumi

These pancakes, from Yotam Ottolenghi's book Plenty (found the recipe online, lucky you!), were stunningly good (and we especially liked the lime butter).  The pancakes had spinach, spring onions and green chilis in them, and had a very light batter, perhaps due to an extra egg-white beaten to soft peaks and added right before cooking.  We served them with grilled halloumi cheese, which isn't a recipe per se, but was recommended as an accompaniment in the intro to the recipe. Definitely we'll have these again.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dinner, 16/2/14: Lamb Saag (Lamb Curry with Spinach)

A Hairy Bikers recipe - this was gorgeous, melt-in-the-mouth stuff. I took advantage of a not-too-busy day on the weekend to cook something which needed several hours in the oven, and it was worth it. We'll definitely make this again. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Dinner, 15/2/14: Jamaican Jerk Pork, Crunchy Salad, Potatoes

A spicy meal, as Sarah was out for the evening - she doesn't mind some spicy food, but the really spicy stuff isn't her thing, so we try to save it for when she's not around. Both the jerk marinade and the crunchy not-coleslaw (no mayo) are from Ainsley Harriot.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Dinner, 14/2/14: Mini Toads-in-the-Hole

Originally, it was just going to be sausages, Yorkshire puddings and peas, but we decided to have a go at making little toads in the hole - I think they worked better than the big kind usually does - the batter rose better, like individual toads. There were still peas, but I didn't take a photo of them.  They looked like peas...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dinner, 13/2/14: Braised Chicken with Chorizo and Butter Beans

Sarah cooked this as Thursday night is complicated - I wasn't here for dinner, but I did have a bite of the beans and chorizo and it was tasty - looking forward to having leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Dinner, 12/2/14: Chicken Soup with corn and beans

One of those "using up what you have in the house" soups - here, it was making chicken stock from a carcass plus a load of thigh bones (I don't usually buy boneless thighs, even if I need them for cooking - so expensive compared to regular, bone-in thighs.  But this sometimes means I have loads of cut away bones in the freezer. This was one of those times), 2 chicken breasts in the freezer, a small handful of carrots, and then a couple of tins of beans and one of sweetcorn. Plus a potato or two.  It was very yummy...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dinner, 11/2/14: Pasta with potato, sweet potato and bacon

We have this fairly regularly - it's easy and quick, which makes it a good weeknight meal. If I have sweet potatoes which want using up, this is a good way to do it; sometimes I use butternut squash if I have that. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Dinner, 10/2/14: Feta and Leek Fritatta

Served with a salad and crusty bread...

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Dinner, 9/2/14: Beef and Guinness Stew

Made in the slow cooker. Technically, I used a different stout, but it still turned out just fine.

Cake + Ice Cream = Cakeandicecream

This past summer when we were in the US the kids saw (in a magazine or something) a "giant ice cream sandwich cake" - that is, a cake which looks like a giant ice cream sandwich. Ice cream sandwiches are somewhat of a novelty in our house (they don't have them in the UK), so of course, this was mooted as a birthday option by several members of the family. In the end, Olivia decided to go with the Rainbow Cake, so Alex had the Ice Cream Sandwich Cake. 

This was the first evening - it was more like an ice cream sandwich the second evening, after it had firmed back up a bit more.  But it was a definite success, and very easy to make (I just cooked a chocolate cake in a rectangular pan and then cut it in half the difficult way, filled it with ice cream and stuck it back in the freezer - no problem!)

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Dinner, 5/2/14: Spaghetti Bolognese

Geoff cooking today - woo hoo!

11 Years Ago, Give or Take a Day

I may not have changed a lot, but he's grown just a little!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Dinner, 4/2/14: Bean and Vegetable Chili

Aside from the usual complaints about being forced to eat mushrooms, this always goes down well in our house...

Sunday, February 02, 2014

January Re-Cap


  • 31st: Ginger Chicken
  • 30th: Leftovers
  • 29th: Red Lentil and Carrot Soup
  • 28th: 5-spice Chicken Stir-Fry
  • 27th: Sausage and Bean Casserole
  • 26th: Lasagne al forno
  • 25th: Vegetable Biryani
  • 24th: Can't remember!
  • 23rd: Hot Dogs, Chips, Peas (Sarah)
  • 22nd: Vegetable Soup with Pasta (Geoff)
  • 21st: Quick orange and Lemon Chicken
  • 20th: Kale Pasta with Chili and Anchovies
  • 19th: Lamb Steaks, Creamy Garlic Potatoes, Broccoli
  • 18th: Black Bean Burritos
  • 17th: Paella-style rice with chicken and olives
  • 16th: Leek, Cheese and Bacon Tart (Sarah)
  • 15th: Sweet potato, squash and chili soup
  • 14th: Sausages, mash, green beans
  • 13th: Aubergine and goat cheese pasta
  • 12th: Lamb breast with new potatoes and courgettes
  • 11th: Mushroom (or not) and pancetta risotto
  • 10th: Courgette Lasagne
  • 9th: Thai Spiced Mince with Green Beans (Sarah)
  • 8th: Pea and Potato Curry
  • 7th: Ham and Cabbage Broth
  • 6th: Gnocchi carbonara
  • 5th: Jambalaya, cornbread
  • 4th: Roast Chicken, potatoes, cabbage with mustard seeds, carrots
  • 3rd: Dinner at Mexican restaurant
  • 2nd: not home
  • 1st: Slow-Cooked Ham, potatoes, green beans

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Dinner, 1/2/14: Bang Bang Chicken

Just noticed on looking back this past week that we've eaten chicken dishes three times - this is unusual to repeat so much in one week (barring leftovers, of course), but the dishes are quite different, so we didn't notice. This was Alex's request of a birthday choice (his birthday is Wednesday, but that's a complicated day for me to cook anything that isn't quick and easy) - like duck pancakes, except with chicken.  Everyone loves these, so it was a popular birthday choice.