In the words of dear Britney, oops I did it again.
It’s been a fortnight since I last posted a meal plan. And I’m ‘supposed’ to put them up at the end of each week. I don’t suppose the world is going to crumble as a result now though is it?
The last couple of weeks have been really busy. I’m working full-time at the moment, three days in-house for a client and the remainder working from home on a number of freelance projects. It’s proving really rather challenging fitting in the blogging around the working and the cooking and the being a mum and a wife. And trying to fit in some semblance of a social life.
But what I have discovered this last fortnight is just how much I enjoy blogging. When I haven’t very much spare time, I’ve found that blogging has been one of the things high up on my priority list. What started as a bit of an experiment is turning into a bit of a passion.
But something I’ve also promised myself is that I won’t beat myself up on the days when I find it hard to fit in the blog.
Anyway, time for the highs and lows of the last couple of weeks in the Bangers & Mash kitchen…
It was my birthday last weekend and to celebrate my husband cooked one of my favourite dishes: Elizabeth David’s poulet a l’estragon. It was a gorgeously summery dish on a beautiful spring day. Superb.
Everyone knows how popular sausages are in our house. They appear regularly on our weekly meal plan and I’m always looking for new ways to cook them. We tried out this sausage, onion and potato bake from Lavender & Lovage and it was an instant hit and one I’m sure we’ll be cooking again and again.
Eggs are in my eyes a real super food. If you have a carton of eggs in the cupboard, you can fix yourself a meal in minutes. I love eggs cooked all ways but think I’m addicted to poaching these days, particularly for a weekend breakfast or brunch.
Just a couple of months ago I wouldn’t have dared poaching an egg. But at Christmas I offered friends staying with us a cooked breakfast in the morning and asked how they wanted their eggs, fried or scrambled. Jake asked instead for a poached egg. When he saw my face, he went on to give me the best ever instructions on how to do it.
There are no tricks other than using the freshest eggs possible. Simply crack your egg into a pan of boiling water and cook for three minutes. Don’t worry about how it looks. When you come to serve it, the egg white all comes together on your serving spoon. I was amazed at how easy they are. No vinegar. No swirling the water. And now I’m making them all the time.
Pasta appears regularly on my meal plans as a quick mid-week meal when my husband and I are both working. I tried this pasta, peas and pancetta dish from the Legal Tart, and highly recommend it. It’s very easy and very tasty.
I’m quite pleased to say that from 14 days of eating I could only come up with one low point. I cooked a beef pie and had very high hopes for it.
In the morning I put the casserole in the aga to slow cook while I was out at work and it was smelling fantastic when I returned home. I popped on a simple pie crust and I was almost there. I had the camera out ready to get some great close-ups when it came out of the oven. And then I went and burned it. It was still edible. Just. But not particularly pretty.
And now it’s time for those meal plans in blow-by-blow detail…
Monday 5 March
Lunch: ham salad rolls
Dinner: homity pie with spring greens
Tuesday 6 March
Lunch: hummus and cucumber rolls
Dinner: Chicken with mushrooms and cream, boiled rice
Wednesday 7 March
Lunch: tuna pasta salad
Dinner: grilled chicken breast with baked fennel
Thursday 8 March
Lunch: carrot and coriander soup (F)
Dinner: cauliflower cheese
Friday 9 March
Lunch: rice salad
Dinner: beef casserole and cornbread
Saturday 10 March
Lunch: leek and potato soup with garlic bread
Dinner: sausage onion and potato bake
Sunday 11 March
Lunch: poulet a l’estragon
Dinner: cream tea
Monday 12 March
Lunch: chicken sandwiches
Dinner: spaghetti with tomatoes and peas
Tuesday 13 March
Lunch: cheese and salad rolls
Dinner: pasta with peas and pancetta
Wednesday 14 March
Lunch: chicken pasta salad
Dinner: beef and vegetable pie
Thursday 15 March
Lunch: hummus, breadsticks and salad
Dinner: chilli con carne
Friday 16 March
Lunch: ham salad rolls
Dinner: pumpkin and parsnip cassoulet (F)
Saturday 17 March
Lunch: hot cross buns with Cheddar cheese
Dinner: homemade pizza
Sunday 18 March
Lunch: pub lunch for Mother’s Day
Dinner: cheese and beans on toast
F = from freezer