Not quite Meal planning

So I haven’t meal planned for several weeks now.  There have been lots of reasons why, from the simple I can’t be bothered to not having the time and energy.  I also have lacked the motivation.  I’ve been struggling a little to cope since one of my twin boys broke his leg, so I made my life simpler by cancelling things, postponing others and not putting pressure on myself to do everything.  What I can tell you about this break from planning is that we have not starved, we actually haven’t completely blown the budget but we have been buying more than we should.  While this is ok once in a while it is not a long term solution.

Thankfully my prior meal planning and bulk cooking has more than paid off, allowing me to have this ‘time off,’ while still having meals available for hubby to take to work every night, and even a few things for me.  Our freezer was literally that full a couple of months ago that we plugged back in our mini bar freezer (so we essentially had three freezers full of stuff!).  It has meant that my husband has had loads to choose from, the boys have had a range of lunches, dinners and snacks (I make mini quiches, scrolls, as well as muffins in bulk and freeze them all) and I haven’t really had to worry about it.  I’ve probably had pasta Bolognese what feels like a week straight (in reality it was like 3 nights in a row and then every second night for a few more days) but it was easy, filling and satisfying.  I’ve also had a bit of take away, toasted cheese sandwiches for dinner and who knows what else!

So now that we’ve been on holiday and I’m feeling better I have to really get back to planning, cooking and restocking!  The boys have almost nothing left so they are definitely my first priority, hubby still has quite a lot left, and I’m in desperate need of more Bolognese sauce.  I have been using a lot from my pantry, but there is still quite a few odds and ends left and I still have a lot of meat (we did do a meat shop a couple of weeks ago) so I’m hoping to get through the next week without a trip to the supermarket.  I stocked up on bread and milk Thursday night so really there is no reason to go (it doesn’t mean I wont).  So although this week I don’t have an actual meal plan as I have no idea what I will make for myself, I do have a plan on the other bits and pieces I plan to make, which is as follows.

* Muffins – a savoury version or two, I’m thinking a corn one (tinned), a pumpkin one (still got some pumpkins we were given) and if I can find the time also a tomato one (tinned)

* Muffins – sweet version, probably an apple one (lots of tins of apple still) and maybe banana (got some going brown)

* Quiches – mini version for the boys (we have stacks of eggs and I will just add in whatever else I can find)

* Savoury scrolls – I’ve got a little salad that is looking sad which is perfect for these and I’ll add a little ham

Hopefully that will clear a little more space in my cupboard, so that when I head back to SPC in the next few weeks and come back with another car load full I will have a space to put it all!  And it will refill the boys very bare looking space in the freezer, as well as fulfilling my need to do some baking.  In another week or two I may get back into the swing of meal planning, but personally I am in no rush and might instead look at changing my strict planning to a more relaxed version of bulk cooking.

I also managed to make a pumpkin and ham frittata yesterday, which is pictured below.  Don’t ask me how it tastes (I don’t like pumpkin or eggs! lol), I’m waiting on hubby to have some for lunch for the verdict.

frittata1

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Meal planning for the week

So I am on a super tight budget lately thanks to hubby not getting alot of shifts and I need to use up what’s in my pantry so as much as I can’t stick to meal planning I am going to try.  My plan is if its written down in front of me and I really don’t feel like whats planned for that night I will just switch it around – for me that is much simpler to stick to.  So here goes, wish me luck!

Monday – Chicken legs coated in McCormicks Receipe Creations Lemon Pepper Chilli Chicken, with roast potatoes

Tuesday – Risotto (chicken, tomato, onion)

Wednesday – Chicken curry (from Mamabake!) – this is a big batch receipe that I will freeze for hubbys dinners next week

Thursday – Pumpkin soup with fresh bread (from my bread maker)

Friday – Massaman Beef Curry (from McCormicks Naturals range)

Saturday – out to dinner to celebrate my birthday, so whatever I choose from the menu!

Sunday – Lamb shanks slow cooked in tomato, onion and red wine, with mashed potato

As you can tell I have alot of McCormicks stuff in my pantry – I just love their new ranges so much and I bought quite a lot the last couple of times they were on special.  This week I plan not to visit the supermarket as I should have everything I need.  Fingers crossed!!

I also plan to make some Dukkah, Vegetable Muffins for the boys and maybe something sweet.  Recipes to come!

Birthday planning

My gorgeous twin boys are turning 1 this weekend and although I am excited I am also extremely stressed! It seems like everytime we have an event it brings out the worst in my husband and I as a couple. Christmas was the worst. We fought alot and all from the stress of trying to having this ‘perfect’ day for our kids. And the stupid thing is our kids are too small to even remember it!

So today it started. And I knew I was doing it – getting angry and upset over something little – but I just got so annoyed that I yelled. And the fact that my ankle is still so sore only made it worse. The only good part was that today was hubby’s day off so I took the opportunity to go and have a late afternoon nap. I felt better when I got up but now as I sit here after a very late dinner I can feel the stress sinking in as I think about just how much I have to get done over the next few days.

I have decided that I am not going all out this time with the cooking. I love to cook and bake and its probably one of the reasons my husband married me! But its really difficult preparing and baking a whole range of yummy goodies with two little men constantly wanting mummies attention, and by the time they go to bed I honestly can not be bothered doing much. So I’ve got a few cakes to do and thats it. Which is not much for me!! The rest will be fruit platters, sausage rolls, partie pies, pizzas and bbq, which I hope to prepare the day before. And of course fairie bread!!

Unfortunately now hubby is working every afternoon until the boys birthday so I either need to get really organised and have him help me in the mornings or try and do it in the evenings. Which I don’t think is going to work considering we’ve got a massive swing set to put together and my backyard is still looking like a construction site. Ho hum.

I know the boys won’t remember their birthday but I will.