Friday, 14 May 2021

This week my Word of the Week is: Normal! #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

Normal

I really don't know where this past week has gone. It doesn't seem that long since I wrote last weeks Word of the Week blog post. This week seems less muddled, I have got a grip on what day it is and the weather has been better. It's been one of those weeks where I haven't stopped but at the same time I don't feel that I have done much.

I've chosen the word normal to describe the past week. It has been a quiet week with not much happening. I have just been pottering about the house and garden getting little jobs done. It has felt very normal. 

Stu and I went to town on Monday to get a few things and apart from the wearing of masks and social distancing it felt normal. Everyone seems to have finally got the hang of social distancing, I didn't have to get angry once. hehehe We went into Subway after complaining about their customer service to claim the free meals we were given as an apology and the woman who served us had a little notebook with a list of codes. It seems there was a lot of complaints about the man we complained about. Eek.

Wednesday seems to have become cake day here. hehehe It is getting quite normal for me to do some baking every week and this week I made a chocolate cake with fudge icing and Rainbow Drops on top. Next week I am making scones and have ordered cream and strawberry jam to go with them. Yum, yum.

Chocolate cake

Becky has been making plans for when the next lot of restrictions are lifted next week. Her girlfriend will be allowed to spend time inside our house for the first time since October and they have already asked if she can sleep over. I've said we will give it a few weeks to see what happens. I know she takes lateral flow test before she visits but I don't want to rush things. 

It seems to be getting back to normal at school for Ellie. As of Monday face masks are optional. She is all for keeping her mask on for the time being. They are also going back to the kids moving classrooms each lesson instead of the teachers moving classrooms. Ellie is not looking forward to that as it means she has to carry her books and bag around again. hehehe

All this getting back to normal is worrying me but I suppose it has to happen sooner or later. I just hope there isn't a repeat of last summer when the restrictions were eased then the cases of Covid went up.

What have you been up to this week?

Word of the week linky

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Hearty Vegetable Crumble - Recipe! #NationalVegetarianWeek

Did you know that it is National Vegetarian Week? It is running from the 10th to the 16th of May. 

We try to fit in at least one veggie meal to our meal plan most weeks. Sometimes the meals go down really well and my family love them but then other times they say "this isn't right, where's the meat?".

Packed full of your favourite vegetables this Hearty Vegetable Crumble is a versatile meal which can be changed depending on what’s in season.

Hearty Vegetable Crumble

Ingredients.

For the filling:

Approximately 600g of mixed vegetables.
1 Onion (chopped)
200g Chestnut Mushrooms (quartered)
1 Butternut Squash (chopped into small chunks)
100g Kale
 
For the sauce.
50g Butter
1 Garlic Clove (crushed)
50g Plain Flour
400ml Milk
2 tsp Sage
Pinch Salt
 
For the Crumble.
200g Wholemeal or Plain Flour
100g Butter (chopped into pieces)
50g Grated Cheese
30g Porridge Oats
Handful of Sunflower Seeds
 
Method.

1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C (Fan 400˚C, Gas Mark 6).

2. First make the crumble by putting the flour into a large bowl and adding the butter. Using your fingers ‘rub’ together the ingredients until it looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the oats, cheese and sunflower seeds. Leave to one side.

3. In a large pan fry the onion until soft in a little butter, then add all other vegetables and the sage. Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes.

4. In a small pan, heat the butter until melted and then add the crushed garlic. Add the flour and keep stirring for a minute, making sure it doesn’t burn. Slowly add the milk a little at a time, while constantly stirring. The sauce will thicken.

5. Add the sauce to the vegetables then cook for a further 15mins on a low heat.

6. Place in an oven proof dish and then evenly sprinkle the crumble on top. Cook for 30 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown.

7. This recipe is very versatile so you can try different vegetables depending on the season.

This feeds four to five people and takes around 30 minutes to prepare and 40 minutes to cook.

Recipes belong to Carr’s Flour and you can find out more information on their website.

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

(Ad - Gifted) Natural Performance Nutrition Energy Bars from ProYOUth.

Sometimes we all need that little boost between meals especially if we have been working hard, exercising or have been to school.

ProYOUth natural performance nutrition energy bars are a handy snack which will keep you filled until meal times. They are aimed at younger people but they are not just for younger people, anyone can eat them and I was thinking they would be great for my fella who has quite a physical job and by most afternoons he is starting to feel tired and needs that boost as well as being good for the kids when they need a snack and a little bit of energy.


These bars were created by Marina, a mum to 2 bubbly kids who love to stay active through various sports and clubs. She noticed that her daughter particularly struggled with energy level especially when she joined a competitive swimming squad at the age of 8. She learnt from speaking to other parents that it's a huge challenge to find a handy snack to take with you when you are rushing off to training.

Adult protein or sports snacks contained ingredients that were not safe or had the levels not suitable for young people. They can cause stomach cramps and could be damaging in the long run. She realised there needed to be an alternative option aimed at younger people as an every day healthy snack.

 
Coming in three flavours Choc Brownie, Vanilla Delight and Banana Split each bar contains:

10-11g high quality Whey Protein which is gut friendly for young people. When eaten within 1 hour of training its absorbed quickly into the body as its a pre digested form of protein. Protein supports growth and maintenance of muscle helping body recover fast.

Vitamin B12 which plays a vital role in supporting brain neurological and psychological function.

Magnesium for reduction of tiredness and electrolyte balance.
Copper for iron transport combined with Phosphorus and Manganese for further energy yielding metabolism.

Naturally present vitamins and minerals in the ingredients and not added or fortified!

There are no artificial sweeteners, added sugars or nasties and these bars are made from whole foods ingredients.

You can buy these energy bars from the ProYOUth website.

I was sent a selection of the Natural Performance Nutrition Energy Bars from ProYOUth in exchange for this blog post.

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

My Top 10 favourite Music Albums.

This blog post has been sat in my drafts half written for a good few years. I thought I might as well finish it off and share it.

Years ago lots of bloggers listed their top 10 music albums and it got me thinking what mine were. It was one of those posts that has taken a while to finish as I couldn't think of 10 off the top of my head. I got there eventually though.

headphones

In no particular order my top 10 favourite music albums are:

Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP.
I used to really love Eminem. I still do but his early stuff was the best. My dad would not let me listen to this album anywhere near him which I can understand now. He was offensive and very shocking! This album is dark and vicious but such a guilty pleasure for me. Most definitely not one to listen to when the kids are around.
Favourite song: Stan - Such a great story!


Shania Twain - Come On Over.
I've never been a huge fan of country music but I really do like Shania Twain. I think this is one of the only albums I can listen to all the way through without skipping a song. It's fun to listen to, sing along with and dance to. It makes cleaning the house much more enjoyable. hehehe
Favourite song: Honey, I'm Home.



Whitney Houston - Greatest Hits.
It is such a shame Whitney is no longer with us. Her voice was amazing and this album has all of her greatest hits. These are the songs I sing in the shower badly...hehehe
Favourite song: I Have Nothing.

Dirty Dancing - The Soundtrack.
This was the first film that I remember watching again and again and I made my mam buy the cassette tape with the soundtrack on. I still listen to it now and again, obviously not on the cassette tape though.
Favourite song: (I've Had) The Time Of My Life.

Ed Sheeran - Divide.
It took me ages to get into Ed Sheeran but this was the album to do it. The kids loved him way before I did and as soon as I started to like him they started to dislike him. hehehe They were at the age where liking the same songs as your mam was not cool.
Favourite song: Castle on the Hill.


Limp Bizkit - Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water.
I used to listen to this album a lot years ago. I don't listen to it very often now when the kids are around as the language in it is terrible. I got into Limp Bizkit when they sung a couple of songs for the Wrestling back when it used to be the WWF.
Favourite song: My Way.

Bon Jovi - Cross Road.
Over the years I think I have 4 or 5 copies of this album. I'm a huge Bon Jovi fan and this album has all my favourite songs on. It is full of all their hits from the early days. It contains some of the definitive rock songs of the '80s such as 'Livin on a Prayer' and 'You Give Love A Bad Name.
Favourite song: Always.

Glee: The Music, Volume 2.
I was a big fan of the TV show Glee and had most of the albums. Now I have a Spotify playlist with nearly all of the songs on. When I hear one of the songs I can usually picture what was happening when whoever was singing it. I think the Volume 2 was my favourite of the series of albums as I loved the songs anyway and the Glee cast singing them made them even better!
Favourite song: Don't Rain On My Parade.



Queen - Greatest Hits.
You can't beat a bit of Freddie Mercury! Queen songs never get old and now my girls love them too, especially Becky. She is a huge fan and is gutted that Freddie is no longer with us.
Favourite song: Don't Stop Me Now!

The Greatest Showman - Soundtrack.
I actually knew all of the songs and had the soundtrack before I had even saw the film. I love all of the songs and will quite happily sing along to them all much to the disgust of the kids. I think it is my most played album from the last couple of years.
Favourite song: From Now On!

What are your favourite albums?