Cooking


A mixed up post with a few little bits! 

Mr H and I had a slightly overdue discussion about trying for another baby yesterday. Much as I don’t want it to be, the only sensible option is to wait until we know what’s happening with Mr H’s job come November, whether he’s staying in the new group or whether they’re all being made redundant. This means that trying for baby #2 has had to be postponed, probably, until next year.

Due to the above I’m really going to try and stick to the diet (I know, I’ve said that before). I used to say to myself that we’ll be trying for a baby before too long, there’s not point being too strict now, I’ll wait. Well since I’ve now got a year or more I’m going to try and get myself down to a healthy BMI, or ideally the middle of the healthy BMI. I’m going to try and remember to weigh myself every Monday morning and update my weightloss page accordingly, though I’ve not had a good start to that – I forgot this morning! I’ve not been too good lately so I suspect I’ll go up rather than down when I next weigh myself but at least I’ll know where I stand. My nephew, J, is being baptised on 4 May so that’s my first aim, be able to wear something nice and not look pregnant (I did on some of my sister’s wedding photos).

The Mums and tots fitness class I’ve been going to has been given another 8 weeks of funding to continue after Easter so hopefully that’ll help the weightloss as well. Last week was great, though I didn’t half ache on Thursday. We were doing circuit training with 14 different 2 minute stations. This week is all exercise based around gym balls…I bought one of those to sit on when pregnant with the munchkin, I might get it out and have a try and using it for the exercises… I know that doing regular exercise will help me lose weight and get fitter, I’ve just got to get off my backside and do it!

I’ve been browsing the internet this morning trying to find somewhere that’s not going to rip me off completely. I’m looking for (very) reasonably priced flowers to send to my grans for Mothering Sunday…. Most of the cheaper ones I can find are rather pathetic looking bunches of carnations (I hate having such a budget but we didn’t manage to get the remortgage organised before a couple of payments at the high variable rate). Does anyone have any recommendations of sites that might be worth a look? If I lived nearer I’d go and see them at some point over the next couple of weeks and take something then, but as it is I have no idea when I’ll see them next (probably baby J’s baptism).

 And a follow up to some comments from my photos post:

Littlemissbliss – while Mr H is my toyboy (by 7 months) he’s not that young! He’s 26, though he was only 21 when we married.

Beccy – here you are: 

Chocolate brownies (pinched from V, though I don’t know where she got it from)

 100g Butter/marg, melted
1 cup Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Essence
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp baking powder(only if you’re using plain flour)
1/2 cup choc chunks (or more!)

Blend butter, sugar and vanilla together. Then add eggs, cocoa, flour, baking powder, salt and chocolate.

Pour into a greased (or lined) baking tin (suggested 9×6 inches)
Bake at 180 C fo 20-25 mins

I baked mine in a 7×7 tin and ended up with rather crunchy edges as the middle wasn’t cooking, but they’ve softened with time (not that I gave them much!) and were nice and chewy by the next day.

Well that’s it for my mixed up Monday! Hope you’ve all had a good start to your weeks. Take care!

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A few photos from the past couple of weeks. I know the right edge of some of the photos has been cropped off, am trying to tweak the blog template (it should {!} take less time that changing all the photos!)

 Yesterday’s brownie.

 Brownies

And the chocolate and banana cake. (I know, I have a fair bit of work to do on photographing food!) NB, this plate is a lot bigger than the plate the brownies were on.

Chocolate and banana cake

 Feeding the ducks in Ilkley.

Feeding the ducks

 And feeding Daddy!

Feeding Daddy rather than the ducks!

 Flying down the slide. (I must admit that Mr H took this one,. the rest are all mine)

Sliding - wheeee!

 Away from Ilkley and now above the woods near my parent’s house. Looking over the valley to the church we were married in. It was about 4:30pm on a misty day.

Church throgh the mist

 Looking like a proper little girl (rather than my little toddler/baby) sitting at the top of another slide.

Growing up

 On the swings, Granny is off to the right pushing her.

Swinging

Walking back down the hill with Granny.

Granny and the munchkin

There you are, some photos for Friday (otherwise known as Hannah couldn’t think what to post today!).

I’ve come over all domestic goddess today.

There’s chocolate and banana cake in the oven and a new recipe for chocolate brownie sitting on the kitchen surface ready to be tried as soon as the oven is free. Zooarchaeologist – I think your chocolate answer is fab! 3/4 of the banana cake and 1/2 the brownie is going into the freezer for the next WHY? day. The rest, of course, needs sampling today, quality control you know!

I’m planning what to cook for Mr H’s dinner when he gets in (something with the chicken breasts that are defrosting on the kitchen surface), possibly risotto, possibly some sort of curry.

The dining room is tidier than it’s been in weeks and this week we’ve actually managed to get the munchkin’s toys put away in the living room before she goes to bed (usually it just builds up and up and we don’t go in there in the evenings). Mr H and I spent last night relaxing in the living room, snuggled up watching TV, something we’ve not done for weeks. We’ve tended to dive into bed (not for that!) to watch a DVD on the old laptop.

The dishwasher’s running, the dry washing has been put away, the washing machine has been run and emptied and I’ve started writing this week’s shopping list (before I forget all the things I need.

I hope I can keep this up, I feel so much better when the house is in control (ok, so there’s still a long way to go but it’s a start).

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ps. There is a down point to this domestic goddess stuff….I’ve just realised that I’ve not had any breakfast this morning…and I’m ravenous now…ooppss! Oh well, learning point for another day!

Firstly…grrr…… internet explorer just crashed as I was finishing writing my post…I hadn’t thought to save a draft either….grrr! Oh and apologies for the lack of imagination in the title of this post…apparently my brain isn’t coming up with anything today!

Right then…where was I…

The munchkin actually slept for 1 1/2 hours yesterday afternoon. I put her back in her cot at 3:30 since she was too tired to do anything other than flop on my shoulder. She went straight to sleep and I had to wake her otherwise she wouldn’t have slept properly last night. She slept until 9:15 (when I woke her) this morning as well. She did wake briefly in the night, but after I changed a very wet nappy she went straight back to sleep. She’s so much happier today fro having got more sleep. She’s been happy to play in her room while I did the housework upstairs and then read/play with stickers/draw the the dining room table while I’ve done the downstairs housework. I’ve almost finished everything today, whereas yesterday I had to abandon a lot as she needed too much TLC.

I had a bit of a breakthrough with Mr H as well yesterday. He’s always told me he doesn’t like risotto (it’s too stodgy, samey and he doesn’t like it when the rice is a bit crunchy). However last night he came home from work very tired and drained so I suggested a risotto as easy to eat comfort food and he agreed to try it. He actually liked it! I made a chicken and mushroom risotto (we had chicken that needed eating and I thought I’d chance the mushrooms – he says he doesn’t like them either!). It suits me that he’ll eat risotto now, I love it and it fits in very nicely with my Slimming World diet. I think I’m going to try a butternut squash risotto next (maybe just for me while he’s away). Does any one know a nice recipe for that?

Right then, I’m off to cook some lunch and then hopefully have time to read a few blogs (and hopefully comment – you never know!) afterwards.

I was a little worried about my friend coming to stay this week (she basically invited herself) and after a couple of weeks of us being poorly and trying to get back into a routine I thought that it’s be hard work, but it was great. I last saw her at our mini college reunion in the spring and it was great to see her again. We didn’t exactly do much but just relaxed and for her it was a change of scene (what I think she needed after a busy term at school). I cooked us a full roast dinner on Tuesday which was yummy (except the vast quantity of washing up a roast leaves behind) and Wednesday was spent pottering around the house and then shopping in the afternoon. She left yesterday morning for her train back up to the distant north (she’s almost a Geordie 🙂 ).

Yesterday was a lovely day. It was Mr H’s birthday and hence we had a cooked breakfast before he went to work (nicely timed also to set my friend up for her journey home) and cake later in the day (which was why we had to go shopping on Wednesday as he wanted a chocolate caterpillar cake – he’s 26!!! – made by M&S bu they didn’t have any in stock). We also had a visit by the health visitor. The mucnhkin is doing incrediably well for her age in everything except her speech, but that’s near enough that she’s not worried at the moment. Her vocabulary is increasing (exponentially at the moment) and she’s starting to string words together. The health visitor was very impressed by the munchkin’s builing skills, she got out a little pile of bricks expecting her to make a tower of 4, the munchkin used all 7 and then looked for more 🙂 I’m not sure how she does it but she’s very good at making stable towers, maybe she’ll be an engineer like her father!

A definite benefit of having R staying with us is that we have a babysitter on hand (not that we used her before last night). Mr H and I went out for dinner and then on to the cinema as a spur of the moment extra (dinner wasn’t great – Wetherspoons, get your food descriptions accurate and have the currys in stock on curry night! Neither of us could have our first choice of curry, and mine was no way a mild curry, I supposed it serves us right for not going to a proper curry house but we’re skint!). We saw Ratatouille, and it was fantastic. One of the best films I’ve seen in ages (ok, so I haven’t been to the cinema for at least 2 1/2 years, but we’ve bought DVDs in that time), almost, though not quite, on a par with Shrek. We loved it. Definitely one I’d recommend (ok, you get the idea!)

We’ve got a reasonably busy weekend ahead (Mr H helping with recabling the church PA tomorrow, then church morning and evening – I’ve been offered a lift and achance to sing in the worship band in the evening, something I’ve wanted to do for ages), but we have got the house to ourselves as R is away for the weekend at a wedding. It’s nice to be just the three of us for a bit. I still haven’t set up bloglines, hopefully by Monday……

… I haven’t got long, my friend is due to arrive any time in the next 2 hours, had a busy morning getting everything sorted (though I still need to get Mr H to dig out the air bed) and have managed to bake some scones this afternoon (the munchkin’s new favourite food!).

I don’t think I’m going to b able to say hello at all tomorrow, hopefully on Thursday (though probably not until the afternoon as the health visitor is coming for the munchkin’s two year check in the morning – I can’t believe my baby is going to be two in exactly a week!). I’ve still not got anywhere with bloglines…one day!

Hello!

We had a lovely time away in Scotland. The weather held out most of the time and we all managed to get a little rest. Mr H spent a lot of time with his brother in law, G, climbing, cycling and chatting in the pub. G has since described Mr H as the brother he’s never had. He’s an only child and isn’t close to most of his cousins. I spent a lot of time with the munchkin and Mr H’s sister D.

I did get rather frustrated at one point about the amount of time Mr H was spending out with G. In the first 3 days he spent far more awake time with G than he did with me and the munchkin, I had to point out to him that I was on holiday too and wanted to spend some time with him as well. D and G were very good about baby sitting and let us go out for an afternoon and evening which was fab. We definitely needed the time out, I don’t know when we last had time to ourselves without worrying about the munchkin or listening out for her. Sadly however the munchkin was a complete nightmare for D and G and refused to eat her dinner or drink her milk so she went to bed with an empty stomach. She’s got two molars coming through and they’re being difficult.

The munchkin had her first experience of the beach and the sea and loved it, though the water was rather cold, she didn’t spend much time paddling, but loved playing in the sand (so did Mr H!). I’ll try and upload some pictures later this week, they’re all still on the camera at the moment.

Another bonus of the week was that D and G are both following Slimming World as well, so with the moral support from the three of us we’ve all stuck to it rather well, albeit using the vast majority of our sins on alcohol! I’ve got a bit more inspiration and motivation now and really hoping to keep it up. I’ve learnt a few new recipes and today cooked cous cous for the first time! It was yummy!

We called at Mum and Dad’s on the way back form Scotland. It was the first time I’d seen Dad since he’s been ill and it was a bit hard at times. He’s still pretty much in denial that he has a problem with his memory, though he can’t deny the blood pressure and eye sight issues. He’s seeing the opthalmologist tomorrow and hopefully there’ll at least be some answers to the eye problem there. While we were up he completely lost the keys to church and home, as well as forgetting to change the altar frontals front white to red, despite having been reminded many times and mentioning it himself just before he left on Saturday night to prepare church for the Sunday services. I’m finding it really hard to be at all positive about the long term, my mind is constantly going back to the idea that this all could be a brain tumour….I’m really hoping it’s not, but I can’t seem to help it.

Now I’m back I’m determined to really get on top of the housework. It’s fallen a little by the wayside and I really want to get the house tidy and more organised. I’ve had a good start by attacking the bathroom sink which gets really limescaley thanks to the crummy water around here. It’s not quite shining, but it’s as good as I can get it at the moment. Tomorrow I want to clean the bath and shower and get rid of the limescale there.

I hope you all had good weeks, I’m going to try and catch up with your blogs over the next few days, it may take me a while, especially if I do manage to get he housework under control…..

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