In which I transform from dunce to goddess. Theoretically.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Meal Plan Monday #1

So....... I was pretty keen to start writing weekly meal plans. I'd made a few rather pathetic attempts but without the commitment of my husband and sharing the cooking with him, it wasn't really working. Until he went away on Business :)

I saw the opportunity and took it!!!! (In fairness I was completely encouraged by his sister so I didn't feel too bad making changes in his absence).

While he was away I made it my aim to not only eat as many of the odds and ends out of the freezer but to start meal planning properly.

And here it is, with the accompanying shopping list.

As you can see it's a work in progress and I don't know what the date is but hey, there it is.

There have been a few changes already but it is now going to go like this:

Sunday (I plan from Sunday because the groceries arrived on Saturday) Toad in the hole

Monday Paella

Tuesday Fish pie

Wednesday Frozen pasta bake from last week

Thursday Ratatouille and sausages

Friday Frozen something

Saturday Cottage pie. with potatoes like this

I wonder how well I'll stick to it as this is only the second week of proper meal planning. I guess I'll fill you in next week.

I found a linky party over at that I'm hooking up with. If you've popped by from there, thanks for coming.

Nicky x


Sunday, 27 October 2013

My husband and I (until very recently) both work full time. I'm a teacher (no, we don't just work 9-3!) and he's a buyer for a toy retailer (no, he doesn't just play with toys all day, apparently!). We work long days leaving the house at 7 and getting home at 6 or 7 in the evening. I'm not after sympathy, I know this is pretty much par for the course for most people. My point is that it results in this conversation most nights.

"What shall we have for dinner?"

"Dunno, what do you want?"

"Dunno, what do you want?"

"I don't mind, what is there?"


Now, this can become surprisingly irritating when it happens EVERY DAY for the 7 YEARS we've lived together!!!!!

And usually ended in either of the following ways:

"Just stick some pasta on"


"Microwave that ......... From last week"


"I'll order pizza"

Or (this is by far the worst)

"It's too late, I'm not hungry anymore."


And that is why I have been arguing for creating a meal plan for YEARS!!!

Saturday, 26 October 2013

I wonder......

If the veg on top of a pizza count towards your 5 a day. 

The kick up the bum I needed

I had a baby nearly 5 months ago and as he was breech I ended up having a C-section. So my amazing friend created a dinner rota for my husband and me. I'm not sure how she did it but I think the wonders of Facebook were involved and we ended up having home cooked meals delivered to our house every night for nearly a fortnight. It was A-ma-zing!!!

My best buddy lives about 70 miles away and although she was involved in the messaging about the meal rota, obviously couldn't bring us a fresh, hot meal. Or at least she could but it might not be so appetising by the time it arrived. Apparently she replied that knowing my husband and me, we'd be more than happy if she ordered us pizza from a well known pizza delivery company. (And how right she was).

Now, I was HUGELY grateful for the generosity we were shown and we were provided with some amazing meals but their acts of compassion served to make me feel even more ashamed of  my lack of cooking skills. All these wonderful people had slaved away in their kitchens to provide me with healthy nutritious deliciousness but if the situation was reversed, I wouldn't be able to help. I could provide a tray of toast, or heat up a frozen pizza but we were provided with pasta dishes, chicken pie, toad in the hole..... the list goes on. All home cooked from scratch. How could I ever repay their kindness? I couldn't. There was no denying it. In fact, when a friend had a baby 3 years ago and I was asked to join their meal rota I had to confess publicly on the Facebook group set up, that I couldn't provide dishes that I would feel happy to feed to others but that I had the number of a very good pizza delivery company saved in my phone. And that is what I did. I ordered them a large pizza each and had them delivered to their house. At the age of 30 I was ashamed of myself.

I need to learn to cook!

Friday, 25 October 2013

A confession.

I can't cook.

Actually scrap that. I can. I just don't like cooking.

Food to me is functional. It's the stuff you eat to stop you feeling faint and passing out. It serves a purpose. And that's about it. If I'm hungry I want to eat now. I don't want to fanny around in the kitchen for hours on end chopping, peeling, par boiling and grilling. I want to eat now. If I was left to my own devices I'd live on toast and shortbread (the stuff from Marks and Spencer preferably not the home made variety!)

Luckily my hubby enjoys cooking. He likes chopping, peeling, par boiling and grilling, and he's good at it. And he enjoys supermarket shopping. How lucky am I?

Surely the story should end there. I've got it made. I'm one of those lucky ladies who never has to lift a hand at home right? Well, yeah. Sort of.

The thing is I've always wanted to be able to cook, it just doesn't come naturally. I'm not one of those who can just throw things in a pan and make them taste and look amazing. I can barely follow the instructions on a ready meal. I'm just too impatient. In fact, I'm the person who cooked some of those ready made loaded potato skins in the plastic tray they came in and nearly poisoned myself and my boyfriend - it can't have been that bad, he married me in the end, and the same person who burnt some sausage casserole onto a LeCreuset pot so badly that it took a week and several scouring pads to clean it up again. (I was unsympathetically told that those pots are supposed to be indestructible. Meh! )

But a few things have changed recently that have made me reassess the domestic balance in the house, to think about my pathetic inability to look after myself adequately and to attempt to ensure that I'm not ashamed of my kitchen skills.

And it's with that in mind that the Domestic Dunce was born.

ETA: I have liked up with the Rattlebridge Farm link party. Pop over to see some amazing looking dishes.