My tiny little four year old starts school in a week.

lego libs

It seems almost ridiculous, it was literally seconds ago that I held her to my breast and fed her for the first tme after she made my world so much brighter by arriving in it.

I have so little inclination to send her into the education system, I merely want to keep her at home, with me.

But time must move on and I need to put my worries aside, as they are of a selfish nature, and face the future of having three children at school and having time to crack on and get stuff done.

Therotically, because all my kids are now at school, I should be able to work more, and earn more.

Time will tell if that is true….

Although, there is a benefit to Libby-Sue starting school….

She is going to get her dinner, for free, for three years!

Libby-Sue will be one of the many four years old starting ‘big’ school this September who will benefit from the Governments scheme to give all children in reception, year one and two a hot school meal every lunchtime.

Plus, school meals have come on a long way since we were nippers.

My school meal memories comprise of semolina with jam in, stodgy mash and clumped up peas.  I don’t remember ever looking at my plate and thinking, ‘hmmmm, this is nutrious.’

But Libby-Sue has a whole new experience to look forward to, with a variety of meals being offered, all with a decent serving of fruit and veg.

For example, she will be chowing down on Roast Chicken, coated in non lumpy gravy, Salmon fishcakes, made from fresh, and lamb meatballs served with pasta.

Suddenly my daily salad looks rather dull.

You can check out the Children’s Food Trust website for full menu details, but if you want to start preparing your little one for school life, you may be tempted to have a go at this reciepe so they know what sort of food to expect at lunchtime!

Lamb meatballs as taken from the Food Trust website.

Number of portions this recipe makes: 25 primary servings (135g) – Invite friends!
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Quantity Ingredients
1.5kg lean lamb mince
5g (5tsp) mixed dried herbs
25ml olive oil
150g onions, peeled and diced
100g leeks, trimmed and diced
30g celery, diced
160g red pepper, deseeded and sliced
100g courgettes, sliced
50g tomato purée
120g carrots, peeled and sliced
120g canned chopped tomatoes
300ml water
5g (5tsp) dried oregano

What to do….

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
2. In a large bowl, mix the minced lamb with the dried mixed herbs. Shape the mixture
into balls, approximately 2 per 60g of meat, and place on a baking tray.
3. Bake the meatballs in the oven for 15 minutes until just starting to brown, then
transfer to an ovenproof baking dish and set aside.
4. Heat the oil in a large pan, fry the onions, leeks, celery, pepper and courgettes until
soft.
5. Add the tomato purée and stir well. Then add the carrots, canned tomatoes, water
and dried oregano and stir well. Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer until all the
vegetables are soft, approximately 20 minutes.
6. In a food processer or with a stick blender, blend the vegetable and tomato mixture
until smooth.
7. Pour the vegetable and tomato sauce over the meatballs to generously cover them.
Cover the dish with tin foil and bake in the oven for 30–40 minutes until bubbling hot.

file000676404312Do you think they will let me come in for dinners?  It looks far more inviting than back in my day!

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The idea Paleo seems a bit baffling at first, and certainly since I announced my dietary change, I have been asked many a time ‘what do you eat?’.

The answer is easy, simple, clean food.

This week, Morrison’s asked me to shop and eat – two of my very favourite things to do in life, and they sent us £80’s worth of vouchers to do the job.  So I thought I would seize the opportunity and give you an insight into how you chow down on a Paleo lifestyle.

£80 goes a long way in Morrison’s, especially with their new cheaper, reduced prices, which are here to stay!  When you are in store, look for the yellow stickers which cry out ‘I’m Cheaper’, and you will know those low prices are here to stay

I went into store with the plan of just buying food for the weekend, but found the money to stretch to almost a full weekly shop.  Which isn’t bad considering I eat only Paleo diet, so only free range, organic meat and absolutely no processed food.

So our Morrisons funded Paleo week looked something like this:

Monday

Roast Chicken with all the trimmings, (the peas aren’t paleo – they were a tiny little cheat!)

Roast Chicken Morrisons

Tuesday

Tuna Nicose

Tuna Nicose

Wednesday

Lemon & Lime Chicken thighs on a bed of roasted pepper and onion.

Lemon and Lime Chicken

Thursday

Onion, Mushroom, tomato and sundried tomato three egg omelette.

Omelette

Friday

Pork Loin steaks, sweet potato, and roasted pepper, mushroom and onion

Pork loin

Thanks to the I’m Cheaper range, we even stocked up on ham and eggs for those breakfast essentials. Our shop also included scrumptious packed lunches for the kids every day and salads for me!

We spent £87 in total, feeding a (hungry) family of five for a week on some lovely nutritious, paleo meals.  Needless to say, we are loving the new everyday prices from Morrison’s.  We still have Gammon for tonight and Fahitas for tomorrow!

You can find out more about the I’m Cheaper range from Morrisons by clicking this link.

 

 

 

 

Handbag sized perfume.

Simply a genius invention.

I am due to go on holiday in a couple of weeks and have been looking at ways to keep my luggage costs down and my bags light.  One thing I have always refused to scrimp on is good quality perfume.

I like to smell nice.

I am a huge Ted Baker fan, I have their bags, purses, and some well worn tops.  Admittedly they are not thrifty purchases, but the quality means they last a long time and are worth the price you pay.

I was recently sent a 10ml bottle of Ted Baker ‘Little Treats’ Cate.

Ted Baker

It fits perfectly in my handbag – and in my travel luggage and smells divine.

The scent is peachy under laid with a wooden base, even the other half said I smelt nice!

It is definitely on my list of possible presents for girlfriends, and of course it is coming to France with me!

Oh la lal

 

 

I love Mexican food, ever since I tasted my first burrito as a student in New York, I have been a super fan.  However it is not a food that I find easy to recreate in the kitchen from scratch which is why I am also a massive fan of the Old El Paso range.

We were recently set a selection of products to review, including Enchiladas, two rice one pan meals, a couple of easy to make casserole sauces and some relishes for us to dip our tortilla chips in.

The whole range has been scrumptious.  We took the One Pan Rice meals on our recent holiday to Cornwall, and they were the perfect easy option for the end of the day.  The One Pan Rice Meals come together in moments and can be made veggie or with meat and the whole family wolved them down (before I even snapped a shot!).

The One Pan Rice Meals take twenty minutes to prepare  – you can see the recipe here.  I definitely recommend adding a red pepper for a bit of colour and extra zing.

I have used the casserole sachets in the slow cooker, last night we enjoyed quorn mince, mixed with tomato, sweetcorn, red pepper, onion and a Chilli and Roasted Casserole mix.  The end result was utterly scrumptious, it was a chilli meets casserole sensation.

So delicious that I had it as leftovers for lunch!

The Old El Paso website has lots of ideas for meals and ideas for Mexican themed parties, it is a great resource to check out if you are planning a Mexican night in either for the girls, the boys or the children!

Tomorrow night we are having enchiladas – I can hardly wait!

Thrifty wise – the Old El Paso range is really well priced, with deals being found in many well known supermarkets.  So you get great food at a great price!