Thursday, 20 September 2012

Things my children say part 1

I have to type this before I forget it.

Toots (age 4 1/3) as we are passing the High School.

Toots: "That's my high school"
Me: "Well, yes, in a few years"
Toots: "Ailie likes High School Musical"
Me: "Does she? What is that then?"
Toots: "I don't know but it sounds cool"

Pip (aged 2) current favourite is

"I not do that anymore" or "I can't do it anymore" or "I not like it anymore"

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Happy birthday us !

The man of the house and I don't quite share a birthday but they are only a month apart. And so it was three months or so ago I booked a special treat for us as a celebration at the Norfolk http://www.morstonhall.co.uk. This was before the hotel appeared in the Observer I think it was as one of the best foodie breaks in the UK. Rock on. Just what we wanted.

The day came and we abandoned the girls and headed for the coast.

First impressions were good - a nice room  and a warm welcome. The room was perhaps a bit more formulaic than I had hoped - it was well done but I perhaps was expecting a bit more oompff for the money. The dissapointment was clear when we tried to enjoy the much hyped tile-vision TV that you could watch in the bath. Mmm, yes you could but not with water in the bath. What a let down. We had to make do with a walk and a drink in the local pub while we waited for dinner.

First the canapes - spelt battered mackerel with Thai sauce and cheese and herb pate with confit of tomato.
Speechless. Nothing could be said except one mouthful was not enough. I desperately tried to work out what was in the Thai sauce - it was subtle but devine. I wanted to work out what was in the pate but it was well gone and we were arguing over whose turn it was to lick the spoon. Off to an amazing start.


Spelt battered mackrel and Thai sauce

Canapes - lovely !

We were taken to our table to find our bottle of Pinot Gris was a bottle of red. Er, no. We ordered a French Pinot Gris. A bottle of white arrived. I checked the variety. Yes this was it. Tasted it. Not corked. Fine. Good to go. Then I tried it properly. Er, no. Something not right. This clearly wasn't a french wine. And indeed it wasn't - it was an Ozzie wine. Perfectly nice but not what we wanted. Third time lucky and we are good to go. Finally.

Onto the appetisers - no photos of this. They were great.... But we wanted the main attraction. And boy we were not disappointed. I was rather surprised by the menu's description of a roasted carrot as the starter and was even more surprised by the plate. But my oh my, the flavour. I cannot quite find the words to describe the smooth, sweet taste of the carrot combined with the chamomile broth, carrot puree and goats cheese. It was breathtaking. Absolutely breathtaking. I consider myself a decent cook but whoever had created this had not just a great palate but great vision. I never thought carrot could taste like this ! And I wanted more.....

Roasted Elveden farm carrot, Ragstone goats cheese, camomile tea.



And so the fish course. I may well be Head Fish Fanatic but cod does not usually feature on my favourite fish list. This was lightly pan fried with skin popcorn, lightly frozen (I think) radish slices and the most green parsley jelly. Positively yum and enough to make me reconsider my views of cod (which is often overcooked and dry). This fish was moist, delicate and complemented by the jelly perfectly.

Locally caught cod, parsley gel, radish
The main course was duck which we were both happy with. Unlike one of our fellow diners who was craving a burger..... The duck was in a light white port jus rather than the traditional deep rich sauce. It really worked and the flavour of the duck was the hero of the plate. It was nicely balanced and I have to say I was very happy with the onion fondue. What an unusual combination.

Gressingham duck breast, onion fondue, peas, white port jus

Gressingham duck breast, onion fondue, peas, white port jus
The only choice of the menu was desert and I wanted the man of the house to have cheese so I could pinch half of it but as it was we both opted for the Sharrington strawberries ! As it was it was probably a good idea that we had the same. It was lovely - vanilla panna cotta. The perfect end to a lovely dinner.

The lime sorbet, petit fours and boozy coffee meant it was a great meal. And one that we will remember for a long time !




All in all it was an azmazing if expensive experience (there went my special kitchen tap!) and the food was worth it (despite taking three attempts to get the wine right!)  The accommodation was not quite perfect but maybe I was just expecting too much.

Happy birthday us !

A long way to go for a pork pie !

Now I live in Edinburgh and have been desperate to try a Norfolk based Bray's Pork Pie for some time. This is mainly due to following the escapades and pie baking of Sarah on http://www.twitter.com/brays_cottage and drooling.

How can a pork pie sound sooooo good ?

Unfortunately, there are no stockists in Scotland and so I have had to wait until the biannual visit to the Norfolk based in-laws to try.

And so the time has come.... A day trip to the lovely town of Holt meant a visit to the infamous Bakers and Larners where said pork pies are stocked. I was rather disappointed that they only had the Cley (chorizo) and chilli (two holes!) pies in stock but it's still better than nothing.

A rainy Thursday seemed like a good time to try and we ventured for the chilli variety.


When I cut into it, I couldn't believe the quantity of good quality meat inside. It was solidly packed. And no jelly in sight - to be honest there wouldn't have been room. The meat was beautifully seasoned - gently flaked with chillis. The pastry was light and delightful - I am desperate to be able to make pastry like that and would love to know their secret  !!

It was clear this pie was make with love - it was delightful on it's own and would be wonderful as part of a picnic lunch. I'm desperate to be able to try the rest - I had better put my order in for our next visit. Either that or persuade them an Edinburgh stockist would be a great idea. (And some competition for the famous Tollcross chilli pie !!!)

All in all, a perfect pie indeed. And the fact that they do wedding pies may even make me consider tying the knot myself. Almost.




This was not a paid for review. I bought and paid for the pies myself and the views expressed are all my own.



Monday, 21 May 2012

Meal planning - w/c 21st May

Well, low carb seems to be doing something. Lost 3.2kg last week.
Let's see what we can do this week..

Monday - hot smoked salmon salad (with salmon from John at DelishFish)
Tuesday - cauliflower cheese with bacon

Wednesday - roast pepper omlette (with a little inspiration from 2 greedy italians)

Thursday - Baked tomato with halloumi and black olives

Friday - ragu with salad

Saturday - scallops and black pudding with pea and mint puree

Sunday - chicken casserole (current favourite with the girls!!)

Monday, 14 May 2012

Meal planning - w/c 14th May




First week back after holidays and too much beer and cake have taken their toll.
We're back to as low as we can go on the carbs.....

Monday - smoked haddock omelet with spinach (we buy our fish direct from Delish Fish

Tuesday - baked tomatoes with feta and spinach

Wednesday - prawn caesar salad

Thursday - NORWAY DAY PARTY with prawns, salmon and lots of flag waving !
(Toots learned to walk in Norway when she was one on Norway Day and it's got very fond memories for all of us)

Friday - chilli con carne with guacamole and soured cream

Saturday - pan fried plaice with brown shrimp butter

Sunday - chicken casserole one pot

Friday, 27 April 2012

Getting kids to eat veg ! The ultimate challenge !

My girls are now 4 and almost 2 and I am continually worried they don't eat enough of the good stuff and eat too much rubbish!  This really came to the fore when Toots, now 4, declared that "I don't do vegetables anymore. And I really, really don't like peas". This came as a bit of a blow since she had been (bean?) a pea addict from a very early age........or

So I decided after several weeks of pulling peas out of various meals that I would try my hand at deception - after all, is that not what parenting is all about.? And so to hiding veg!

I remember reading a recipe which was a versatile tomato sauce which hid vegetables in it as it was pureed. So I thought I would try with some of the veg I had in the cupboard.

I was delighted at the result - both girls wolfed it down and so I'm delighted to share it with you. We made it into sausage pasta bake but it would work with just pasta, on a pizza or with chicken. Let your imagination run wild.

Recipe: Hidden vegetable tomato sauce

Ingredients
1 onion, diced
2 tsp rapeseed oil (we used Summer Harvest)
garlic (to your own taste - we use ready 1 tsp ready lazy pre-prepared)
2 carrots, diced
2 courgettes, diced
(any other veg you have in - we used a couple of potatoes and a bit of brocolli)
500mls passata (we used one with basil
1 (ish) litres of veg stock
1 tsp tomato puree
1 tsp honey
1 tsp lea and perrins
1 tsp balsamic or white wine vinegar


We prepared this in the slow cooker but it would also work on the hob


Instructions
1. Put your slow cooker on low and put passata and tom puree in - mix well.
2. In a thick bottomed pan, heat the oil.
3. Add the garlic and onion and fry (without browning) until soft and translucent
4.Add to your slow cooker.
5. Fry your veg of choice to bring some heat to it.
6. Then add to slow cooker with the stock, honey, lea and perrins and vinegar.
7. Cook for 3 hours or so until the veg are soft
8. Allow to cool for 1 hour or so then puree - we pureed until very, very smooth.
9. Allow to cool completely then freeze in bags or boxes.
10. Defrost as needed.

We served this with good quality sausages and pasta.



Monday, 9 April 2012

Meal planning w/c 9th April

We didn't over indulge in chocolate this Easter but it is less than four weeks until we go on holiday so there is a need to reduce the calories a little. We'll we'll try to anyway. I still only have a very very tiny amount of worksurface so there is a limit to what I can cook and given the dishwasher is still not plumbed in, I am trying not to use too many pots ;)

So here goes our plan for the week:

Monday: mackerel with potato salad and a selection of greens

Tuesday: paella with prawns and chicken thighs (must remember to pick up some more saffron and chorizo from Lupe Pintos)

Wednesday: pork teryaki with singapore noodles. The pork is already marinading ;)

Thursday: Omelette Arnold Bennet using smoked whiting from Delish Fish. The fish comes individually vac packed and is really convenient. We put it straight in the freezer and then just take it out as we need it. This will just need one fillet for both of us.

Friday: porcini and pancetta pasta. Perfectly indulgent for a Friday night
Saturday: grilled salmon with mixed veg and whatever salad I can find

Sunday:  most likely a roast chicken. The girls  love it and it's easy peasy.

Who wouldn't want a room like this?





Sunday, 4 March 2012

Meal planning - 5th March

Daddy continues to have fun in California although he assures me he is working really.

So it's just me and the girls this week so quick and easy meals are the order of the day:

Monday:
Saucy Fish Company smoked haddock fishcakes with a salad

Tuesday:
Pumpkin pasta with olive oil and salad.

Wednesday:
Moules frites

Thursday:
Undecided. Something from the freezer.

Friday:
daddy home so I am planning a takeaway

Saturday:
is going to be the first of our moving days so pizza night

Sunday:
This will be entirely dependent on how the move is going.



Tea time treats - scones

I'm not much of a baker but reckon with a bit of practice I could just about get by.


So I was delighted when Lavender and Lovage suggested scones on her Tea Time Treats challenge.
I've never really tried them before - well not for many years - and thought that after watching the Great British Bake Off I could give them a go.


I knew not to overwork it nor to twist when you cut them but other than that I was a bit of a scone virgin.

Given we are just about to move house, I was left with only the internet for recipe inspiration and so opted for one from the BBC. It was easy enough to make but they didn't rise quite as well as I would have liked.





I tried a second batch - this time of cheese scones. Again a BBC recipe but this time from Good Food. This one used oil instead of butter but I really didn't like the texture of them. This one is definitely going to need practice !



Sunday, 26 February 2012

Meal planning w/c 27th February

Well, daddy is off to the US for a couple of weeks so it's planning for one pretty much !

Monday: left over roast chicken probably with risotto

Tuesday: Thai green curry mussels (these are Scottish mussels and will just need some bread with them!!)

Wednesday: Omelette Arnold Bennet (with smoked haddock)

Thursday: pizza

Friday: Sis and BIL arriving planning shepherds pie but dependent on shopping and time available !

Saturday: Sis and BIL still here so smoked haddock and leek risotto

Sunday: just me and the girls. We will probably go out for lunch so just something light for us.

I get my fish delivered every couple of weeks from the wonderful John at Delish Fish. It's very reasonable but because they are individually wrapped, I just pop them in the freezer and then take them out as we need them.

I'm really keen to make sure we have two portions of fish every week - most weeks we do more than that as you can see. If you need help adding fish to your family's meal plans, check out Fish is the dish

Monday, 20 February 2012

Meal planning - Monday 20th March

Ah well, another Monday another week.

I was thinking about this in bed last night and really should have got out of bed to tap it into the keyboard. But I was too lazy.... So here it is, a little bit late but my meal planner for the week.

Monday:
Beef and chorizo stew with spatzle.
I went to Earthy yesterday and got some beef from Hugh Grierson. I then made a sort of sofrito with onion, red pepper, chorizo and pancetta, pan fried the beef mixed it all in my slow cooker with most of a bottle of red wine, 3 or 4 heaped tablespoons of paprika, one of smoked paprika and a good dollop of tom puree. Left it for 4 hours and, bob's your uncle !

Tuesday:
Griddled halloumi cheese with beetroot and cucumber using a recipe I spotted in this month's Olive magazine.

Wednesday:
Prawn noodle soup. My other half makes a mean dashi stock which we freeze in bulk. Then it's really easy to heat, add some prawns, noodles, spring onions, sugar snaps and red pepper. Ready in 10 minutes.

Thursday:
Girls night out - so a quick spagbol with the girls before I head out to the cinema

Friday:
Dinner out at the Tower Restaurant before we have date night at The Museum of Scotland.

Saturday
Thai green chilli Scottish mussels with homemade sourdough bread.

Sunday:
Final supper with daddy before he heads to California for a fortnight, so we'll have roast chicken with all the accompaniments. I might even let him cook !!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Bucket list?

I'm not sure that I should cast this to the bloggersphere but I've been thinking about the things I'd like to do while I can still enjoy them.

Some people have family to do lists, other people have 'places to see before they die', mine is a kinda-combo of the two.

Here we go:

1. Climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge
2. See the Big 5 in africa
3. Watch the Opera in the open air in Verona
4. Walk (some of) the Great Wall)
5. Get to Everest Base Camp

These are mine - I'd love to hear yours!



Thursday, 9 February 2012

Another obsession: food photography

I do feel sorry for my other half - we sit down to dinner and before he can "dig in",
out comes the camera and I make him wait....

It started when our DSLR popped it's flash and Him Indoors decided to make an investment in a new version. Here you are mum - you have the broken one.

Then I joined Blipfoto and started a journal. I was good to start with - but without a working flash it's difficult in the winter.

It developed into a work obsession. I work on the fantastic Fish is the Dish project where we are trying to encourage more families to eat more fish by showing them how easy it is.  With a small budget it was a case of do it yourself.....

I think I've improved hugely. This is tonight's dinner - smoked haddock and leek risotto. Easily cooked and thanks to a flash investment, looking quite good.


Other shots have been less successful but it's a learning process isn't it.

Last night we had pork stir fry in noodle broth - tasted ok but would have been better if we had used dashi stock and the photograph is decidedly mediocre.


I thought the colours would lift it but it is just a bit too boring.

The plates have become important. I am sounding even more sad than I did before but I invested in one black plate.



Food and fish in particular seems to benefit from strong colour around it and I am really enjoying playing with it. I thought the peas really seemed to burst out of the plate here and I am particularly happy with the cakes from the weekend.....





I am hopeful that I can continue to improve my photography skills, and if not at least I'll eat well !!


Sunday, 5 February 2012

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Pan seared scallops with morcilla and risotto

Mummysknee was talking about her scallop and black pudding recipe - so gorgeous and so easy. 




Here's my take - a tale of three countries: - scallops from Scotland, Spanish black pudding and Italian Risotto.

The scallops were gorgeous - Scottish scallops compete with the coral (which some people don't like and discard but personally I think adds something to the taste).  They are easy to cook in a couple of minutes and have an amazing sweet taste. I'm not the biggest fan of our black pudding - I wanted something a little different and am lucky enough to live around the corner from a deli which specialises in Spanish sausages. They do an amazing spicy chorizo which is what I normally serve with scallops but Him Indoors decided we should try some Spanish morcilla- their version of a black pudding.

I wanted to make a little more of a meal of this and so served it with a white, plain risotto. It would have benefited from some truffle oil but Him Indoors had already used it.

The risotto was the time consuming part but once that was done, I heated a pan with a little oil in it until it was smoking hot ! The scallops where placed in a clock face (thank you Gordon Ramsay) then I placed the morcilla in the centre of the pan and began to turn the scallops. Once the scallops were all done, I added a touch of butter, let that froth then took it off the heat.

It was delicious, very easy and very tasty. The Spanish black pudding was a bit less sweet and more spicy than it's British cousin. Well worth a try. After all, you only live once.

*Apologies for the lack of photography, I seem to have misplaced my SD card !!! *

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Chocolate cake: an obsession


Chocolate cake by me and my Kitchen Aid.

I had been obsessing about getting a Kitchen Aid. I must watch too much tv. I had been saving for ages - birthday  money, christmas money etc etc. It's not a cheap purchase but as him indoors kept saying, better get the one you really want. Besides, I had the KA toaster and liquidiser already !!! 

It arrived last week and I have been desperate to get going with it. I made a couple of soda breads during the week and a lemon drizzle loaf both of which were pretty good. But I really wanted to have a bash at a proper cake cake. You know what I mean.

Then Delicious Magazine announced their #deliciouscooks challenge - chocolate cake. Well, I couldn't resist and put the new purchase to work.....










The machine is wonderful to use - switch on and leave.... The cake mix was sooooo creamy. There is no way I could have done this with my hand mixer.



I was even lazy and made the frosting in the thing. This was wonderful. The frosting was beaten to a pulp and was lumpless. I must admit to being rather pleased with the result.




Suffice to say, one of the little people in the house thought it looked good enough to eat !




Silent sunday: Chocolate cake !


Thursday, 19 January 2012

A wee bit obsessed

OK so I admit it. I am obsessed. I am a virgo and therefore as far as I'm concerned there's not a lot I can do about this tendency.....

So what is the subject of this week's obsession. A mixer.

Not just any mixer. The Kitchen Aid Artisan stand mixer. You know, the one you see on all the cooking programmes- from the Great British Bake Off through Lorraine Pascal to The Fabulous Baker Boys.

And I am going to buy one. I am. In Metallic Pearl.





Just as soon as John Lewis get it in stock.....

I have been waiting since before Christmas with my little pile of JL vouchers. Loving saved from birthdays and christmas'. Waiting to spend. I'm not going to obsess about the free glass bowl offer the wonderful JL had on before christmas.... but they didn't have it in stock. No, now I just want it. I know I should make do with my £4.99 argos hand mixer purchased to keep Toots happy, but I can't. I obviously watch too much TV!!!

I could go for a pink one but the other half would kill me. I could go for a red one but it would class with my kitchen. And after all, I have the metallic pearl Kitchen Aid toaster and blender so I really shouldn't go for anything other than metallic pearl.

I have a space in my kitchen ready. And a cupboard full of flour, sugar and other goodies for baking madness. I got an email yesterday saying it was in stock. Got very excited, then discovered it was in stock in every colour except the one I wanted. There must have been a run on them as other obsessed wannabe bakers got their hands on them. Damn you all.

Just. Need. The. Kitchen. Aid. In. Stock. Now. So. That. I. Can. Obsess. About. Something. Else.

Yours from the nuthouse.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Tea Time Treats: The Great British Bake off has a lot to answer for !

OK so I have been watching too much tv.  Damn you Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. You make it sound so damn easy !

My first Iced Finger

I've tried Mary Berry's roulade and had a reasonable success with it but it's too easy to make huge cake and then feel you have to eat it all. Not great for the old waistline. And with two hungry, sweet-toothed girls I was looking for something a wee bit different.

Step up to the oven Paul Hollywood and your iced fingers. More bread than cake (ok the cream and jam and icing besides). Sounds easy on the BBC website. Let's give it a go.

And it was easy. Thankfully I had had the heating on and they got two good rises.





My daughters thought they were wonderful but they were absolutely huge.

I think next time I will make them into little round buns rather than huge fingers. As Toots exclaimed "They are fingers from a giant".

Teat time treats indeed....

Thanks to Lavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked for suggesting Tea time treats as a January baking challenge.





Saturday, 14 January 2012

A trip to the ballet



Toots has been going to dance class with the wonderful Nicky Pyrah for almost a year. This is a really modern dance class and combines tap with ballet and Toots absolutely loves it ! It has really helped her coordination, confidence and social skills. I didn't really want her to go to a very formal ballet class - she isn't even four yet and I didn't think she needed the added pressure of ballet buns and uniform checks.
The Sleeping Beauty

Given her interest in dance I thought I would see if she was ready to go to see a ballet - especially as Scottish Ballet were touring with Sleeping Beauty - a story I know that she knew. I was 20 when I saw my first ballet and I wouldn't call myself a connoisseur but I do like the spectacle of ballet and wanted to give her that awe and wonder.


Scottish Ballet have a brillant range of materials on their website and events for younger children to give them a taste of ballet without them feeling overwhelmed by it. The 'Forty Winks' resource pack for 3-5 year olds is good and it was really helpful to talk her through the story so that she knew what to expect. I think I will have to print out another one so that she can do more colouring in having been to the real thing now.

FortyWinks_image
There were also events at the Museum but unfortunately we were unable to go to any of them but I can see how they would help if you had a little one who wasn't sure of the full thing but given Toots spent the last week asking to listen to the ballet music she would hear, I wasn't worried about her lack of interest.


As it was, I was a bit apprehensive at the length of the performance - 2hrs 40mins is a long time for an almost 4 year old. But she took it in her stride and it was only the last 20 minutes of so that she struggled with. But then so did the 9 and 10 year olds we were sitting beside.

The synopsis on the website really helped me explain the story to her and Scottish Ballet have worked really hard to make themselves accessible. They should be applauded for that - it really made it easy.

The performance itself was magical - it was captivating and thoroughly enjoyable. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end as the Overture began. I looked at Toots as the curtain rose and her eyes were out on stalks.  She sat and watched, and clapped and asked questions. She was mesmerized.

She lasted right until the end and came out singing bits of the music and skipping all the way home. Guess you can't get a better thumbs up than that.

And Nicky must be doing something right in Dynam-nic Dance as Toots exclaimed 'I can do all those things already mummy'. No comment
-----
sparkles1Here's the review from Toots herself:

Wisdom-Fairies-girlI really liked it when they skipped around and got faster and faster. The dresses were lovely and I thought the Lilac Fairy was really beautiful. I didn't like the nasty sisters with the piggy noses. I liked the bad fairy because she was sorry and was good in the end.

We had seats very near to the stage and I even got to see the orchestra. I bought a poster with my own money and I will put it on my wall in my bedroom so that I remember all about it.

----

Tickets for the Scottish Ballet performance at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh were provided free of charge.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Alcohol free January

New year - new me.

This isn't about giving my liver a rest - I didn't drink that much over the holiday season - but more about me taking stock of what I eat and drink and trying (where I can) to be a bit healthier.

So I am partaking in alcohol-free January. No wine, gin or beer for me until the end of the month. Or at least until Burns night!!

I'm now on day 12 and have lost half an inch from my waist. Just shows the calories in the odd glass of wine can make quite a difference ! I feel really good, really energetic.

I have also tried to eat a bit more healthily - more fruit and veg, more fish, less carbs.

Let's see if I can keep it up until the end of the month - and then I can open that bottle of prosecco that is in the fridge !

Monday, 2 January 2012

Menu planner w/c 2nd January


There have been many posts about menu planners and I guess I am feeling that I need to run a more organised ship (so to speak!)

The girls went back to nursery today and so I spent the time with their dad restoring order and then a little self indulgence with Tom Cruise.

Anyway, back to the job in hand. I don't need to worry about lunches as the girls have a hot meal at their nursery and I tend to reply on soup to see me through the day.

The challenge for next week is reduce the carbs but I really need to get back in the saddle before I do that !

Monday: bbq pulled pork and leftover veg. Basically, we are using up as much of the leftovers as we have.

Tuesday: haggis, neeps and tatties. I only ever buy haggis from MacSween's. They used to have a shop just up the road from where I live and I think they are the best. I also tend to buy my neep ready mashed from Mash Direct. It's not the cheapest of options but I find it a real pain to do a turnip and often they are very watery. These guys do a twin pack of neeps and tatties which does the four of us perfectly and makes this a really easy winter meal.

WednesdayDelia's paprika chicken although probably with less sauce, more paprika cooked in the slow cooker. Served with SpƤtzle (eggy noodles from Germany. These are difficult to find - try a french deli and look for product from Alsace. We always have some in the cupboard and they are great at this time of year). I like this because it uses chicken on the bone and is therefore tastier than breast and is cheaper into the bargain !

Thursday: smoked haddock and leek risotto (I tend to use this one as a good base and then adjust dependent in what I have in). The smoked haddock comes from Delish Fish in Peterhead and because it comes individually vacum sealed I just put it in the freezer until I need it. Then I take it out in the morning and leave it to defrost naturally.

Friday: Quesadillas, refried beans, soured cream and home made guacamole.

Saturday: Asian style salmon with pak choi and chinese greens (bought from the local Chinese supermarket!)

Sunday: Roast chicken, potatoes and greens from the local veg shop (so whatever looks good) and panettone bread and butter pudding with custard.

I will also try to do a batch of Delia's ragu which is one of my freezer staples and perhaps some flapjacks which might be useful as my breakfast bites.