Martes, Marso 20, 2018

Sugar-free Flourless Chocolate Brownies for a Gestational Diabetes-Friendly Dessert

Lunes, Marso 19, 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 12

I've been trying to sort out what meals we are eating this week for about three days now....  every time I start I have to stop then I don't have time to go back to it! As you may have seen from my recent post on the best thing I've ever made I've had my hands rather full lately! I don't know whether I will get back into properly meal planning for a bit but I've just done an online shop and bought a bunch of easy to cook meals - and realised a lot of them go out of date on the same day so I do need to decide what to eat when and which ones to freeze! So for ease I'm going to put it into a meal plan format and see how I get on with sticking to it!

Lunch prawn mayo sandwich (I bought a tub of ready made filling!) followed by fresh watermelon
Dinner chicken tagliatelle ready meal for me, chicken and bacon pie with mashed potato for him

Lunch prawn mayo sandwich and watermelon
Dinner chicken cacciatore from my batch cooking stash for me, hunter's chicken ready meal for him

Lunch chicken and chorizo soup (ready made again!)
Dinner spaghetti Bolognese with garlic bread

Lunch chicken and chorizo soup
Dinner garlic and herb chicken fillets and chips

Lunch with my parents- they will have just driven up and usually want something like beans on toast for their lunch as it's quick
Dinner  ready-made chicken pie from Waitrose and mashed potatoes which my mum can help with

Saturday my husband has to work today and might be back late so I need a dinner where he can eat later if he needs to - a good excuse to have something he doesn't like! Roast lamb is traditional at Easter and something I really enjoy but my husband doesn't eat lamb so I never do it as a roast. Easter Sunday is actually his birthday so he definitely won't want it then! So I'm going to take advantage of him being out and other people being here, to do a roast lamb dinner, and to use up an apple strudel I have in the freezer that is far too big for one person, but my husband doesn't like apple either!
Lunch tuna melt or ham and cheese bagels
Dinner roast lamb followed by apple strudel

Lunch fresh pasta with garlic bread
Dinner pulled pork in bread rolls with chips  (cheating with a ready made one!)

Link up your own meal plan here -

Huwebes, Marso 15, 2018

The best thing I’ve ever made

Since this is a blog about things I’ve made I thought I’d share what is undoubtedly the best thing I’ve ever made- though I can’t take all the credit as it was 50% my husband’s work too:

Introducing our beautiful daughter Sophie Elizabeth:

I almost can't believe how much I adore this little girl already - she's two weeks old today and my husband has gone back to work today for the first time after his paternity leave finished. I've spent today feeding, cuddling, changing (several) nappies, sterilising bottles, expressing milk, and generally attending to her every need - it felt something of an achievement today that I also managed to get dressed, eat breakfast and lunch, sign up to the childcare voucher scheme and add her to my medical insurance plan and write a birthday card to a friend - and now a blog post as well! Still, it's a far cry from my busy 'previous life' working in communications at an investment bank - though I'm loving every minute of being Sophie's mum, even when she does one of 'those' nappies!

So regular readers should expect lower frequency of blog posts from now on, though I do have plenty of recipes I want to share from when I had gestational diabetes during pregnancy and a few other things I made a while ago - I can't see myself doing any baking any time soon, and even the dinners I'm making at the moment are either frozen food (things with chips), ready meals or from the batch cooking I did while I was pregnant!

I do intend to continue this blog and it will probably take on a more child-oriented stance but I also plan to continue my normal sort of posts.... when I can find the time!

Lunes, Pebrero 19, 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 8

My second full week of maternity leave and again I have a few appointments - I'd imagined it as weeks on end of sitting at home doing nothing, or rather going through the massive to do list of all the things I never get time to do (and almost certainly never will have time again) - but it's not been like that at all. I'm tired all the time so often have afternoon naps and either manage to get one thing done in the morning or have an appointment, then when my husband gets home from work I make dinner (he's still recovering from a leg injury which means he can't help much around the house) and then we are both too tired to do anything more than watch TV. I really do hope we get through everything we need to do specifically relating to preparing for the baby, if nothing else! Don't get me wrong, it's quite nice being at home all day and if my body needs the sleep then it's good that I've got the time to have naps - I'm just constantly surprised when I wake up and a few hours have gone by!

Breakfast something quick eg yogurt or toast as I have a growth scan at 9am
Lunch cheese sandwich as I was home late after hanging around at the hospital for ages waiting for a blood test
Dinner beef and macaroni cheese inspired by a Waitrose ready meal (will freeze any leftovers) - might follow this recipe

Breakfast yogurt or toast
Lunch cheese and ham sandwich or beef and horseradish on either Burgen brown bread or part bake rolls
Dinner cauliflower cheese and leek bake from this recipe with sausages for me, sausage and mash for him

Breakfast smoked salmon and poached eggs
Lunch mackerel pasta as I have some mackerel in the freezer to use up
Dinner My husband wants to try Sloppy Joes so I will make some based on this recipe

Breakfast  smoked salmon and poached eggs
Lunch fish paste on ryvita or leftover mackerel pasta
Dinner homemade chicken nuggets

Breakfast yogurt or toast - got someone coming to fix the radiators
Lunch fish paste on ryvita
Dinner possibly out with a friend for a belated birthday meal postponed from last week - not sure yet

Lunch soup and rolls
Dinner lamb chop with sweet potato wedges for me, beef grillsteak and potato wedges for him I was going to do last week but didn't

Lunch cheese on toast unless I can think of anything better
Dinner toad in the hole I was going to do recently but didn't

Shared your own meal plan? Link it up here!

Linggo, Pebrero 18, 2018

Gardener's Spring Flowers Waterfall Card

Lunes, Pebrero 12, 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 7

Last week didn't go entirely to plan; my husband is still on crutches so he couldn't come on the hospital tour with me on Thursday - though it was a complete waste of time anyway, they stood us in a corridor and pointed out the entrances to the antenatal and post natal wards and showed us a room with a birthing pool (which I won't be using) and that was about it. I had hoped we'd go out for a celebratory lunch as it was my first day of maternity leave as well but my poor husband didn't feel up to it. So the whole day was a bit of a wash-out really!

This week I don't have any plans on Monday or Tuesday though I might go out to get fitted for a nursing bra (there's an awful lot of stuff like that to do!) then on Wednesday I have an NCT class in the morning, since I had to miss one due to an antenatal appointment at the hospital, I'm joining a session with the next group. The following day I have an infant feeding session which I think is mainly about colostrum harvesting (helpful if you have gestational diabetes) then on Friday it's a friend's birthday and we haven't finalised plans but I think I'm meeting her for dinner. So that will keep me busy for most of the week - I think my pre-baby maternity leave will fly past and be over before I know it! I just hope I get everything ticked off my 'to do' list that I need to do before then.

Here's this week's meal plan;

Breakfast smoked salmon and poached eggs
Lunch tuna melt on toast
Dinner butternut squash noodles for me, spaghetti for him, with bacon and mascarpone

Tuesday - shrove Tuesday
Breakfast probably just yogurt
Lunch smoked salmon and soft cheese on ryvita
Dinner Cajun chicken steaks from Waitrose
Pancakes for dessert as it's Shrove Tuesday. My husband would like one covered in chocolate and ice cream like these, and to be honest so would I but I don't think my gestational diabetes would allow that. Instead I'm going to try the ground almond pancakes from the Gestational Diabetes UK website and can top them with lemon and sweetener, or diabetic ice cream and Choc Shot.

Wednesday Valentine's Day
Breakfast pancakes as I expect there will be leftover mixture (unless I didn't like it!) - though I need to go out just before 9.30 for the NCT class
Lunch As I'll be in the local town centre (not exactly far, but I will have gone to the high street) I will get something from the bakery for lunch - they do various sandwich fillings which I should be able to tolerate GD-wise on brown bread.
Dinner My husband and I don't tend to eat out on Valentine's day anyway (too crowded, set menus with limited choice) and now I'm a few weeks from giving birth plus have GD and he's on crutches and a fussy eater it seems like a really bad idea! Instead I will make sure the house is nice and tidy and cook his favourite dinner of steak and chips (sweet potato fries for me) and chocolate mousse for dessert which is also from the Gestational Diabetes UK website.

Breakfast yogurt or toast with peanut butter
Lunch sandwich as I will need an early lunch or something I can take with me - annoyingly, the infant feeding session is at 12.45, about a half hour drive away, and will take a couple of hours, then I have a physio appointment right after.
Dinner butternut squash open ravioli for me from Waitrose (part of their Valentine's range), something like chicken kiev and chips for him

Breakfast yogurt or toast with peanut butter
Lunch rest of butternut squash open ravioli (serves 2 and my husband won't eat it)
Dinner out with a friend for her birthday

Breakfast yogurt or toast with peanut butter
Lunch breakfast burritos
Dinner lamb chop with sweet potato wedges for me, beef grillsteak and potato wedges for him

Breakfast yogurt or toast with peanut butter
Lunch bacon sandwich
Dinner tacos with minced beef and potato wedges

Link up your meal plan here:

Biyernes, Pebrero 9, 2018

Jolly Nation Bathtime Decoupage Mothers' Day Card

Mothers' Day will be really special for me this year, as I'm actually going to be a mother. Just writing that seems strange even though it's going to become a reality in just a few weeks! I expect the day itself will pass in a sleep-deprived blur so if my husband has any sense he will buy me a Mothers' Day card now!
I made some cards at one point early last year with various things I'd come across in my craft stash including this sheet of decoupage paper from Jolly Nation. It has a hand drawn style showing a woman relaxing in a bath with a glass of wine which is the sort of treat I think mums deserve on Mothers' Day!

I used a pink and pale green printed paper for the backing as it reminded me a bit of the sort of wallpaper my mum used to have in her bedroom years ago, then layered the pieces of the decoupage picture on top. I added a small 'mothers' day' sticker I had on a sticker sheet from a long time ago in the top corner.

I'm sharing this with Daring Cardmakers where the theme is cosy home, Cardz 4 Galz where the theme is think pink and Watercooler Wednesday where the theme is feminine.

Miyerkules, Pebrero 7, 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 6

Miyerkules, Enero 31, 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 - Week 5

Martes, Enero 23, 2018

Pop-Up 3D Box Birthday Card for My Husband's 40th Birthday

Have you come across box cards before? They fold flat to go into an envelope, but when they are opened, pop out into a three-dimensional box that stands up, and often has other elements 'exploding' out. They take a little while to make but are really worth it as they are impressive and really unusual. I made this one for my husband's 40th birthday last year and he was really pleased with itI'd heard of these cards but didn't know how to make them so looked for a video on You Tube.
It's a bit too difficult to describe each step and easier to direct you towards a video like this one or this one - I can't actually remember which tutorial I used now!
You need a fairly large piece of card to start with, roughly A4, and score lines at certain widths apart so you can later fold along them.


Make cuts part way up where you have scored

You'll find the card then folds into a box shape.

To decorate, I cut squares of patterned paper the same size as the sides of the box and used a different paper on each side (but in the same colour scheme).

Stick two strips of acetate inside, folding them at the ends so you can glue to the sides of the box; these create cross strips that you will then stick things to.

To make an element stand up out of the card, stick it onto another strip of acetate as shown, then stick this acetate strip vertically to the horizontal ones running across the box. Glue dots are good to use for this.

This is the effect you are going for! You can add as many of these as you like.

 You can see that here I've got three elements sticking up inside the box; two are glued onto acetate strips running horizontally through the box and one is stuck to the front and the back of the box itself. Make sure the elements aren't aligned with each other either in position or height, otherwise you won't be able to see them all when you look at the card from the front.

Here's a better view of the box so you can see the elements sticking out - a 'happy birthday' die cut, a 40 I cut from silver card, and a 'with love' heart. I also used a 40th birthday message topper on the front of the card.

And here the card is from the front; it's better in real life as you can take in all the elements at once. I think my husband liked it and seemed pleased with the amount of effort I'd put in to make him something special!

I'm sharing this with Cardz 4 Guyz as the theme is 'January blues'  and the Make My Monday challenge where the theme is 'fancy folds'.

Lunes, Enero 22, 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 4

Lunes, Enero 15, 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 - week 3

I'm working from home twice this week as I have an appointment with the diabetes midwife on Tuesday and a growth scan on Friday, so a bit more time hopefully to cook some nice meals!

Breakfast porridge
Lunch tuna sandwich
Dinner fish pie for me (frozen a while back pre-GD but only has a little mashed potato on top) and chicken kiev for him

Tuesday - working from home
Breakfast smoked salmon and poached egg
Lunch ham and cheese toasted sandwich
Dinner spicy chicken escalopes I was going to do last week but didn't, with potato wedges/ sweet potato wedges

Breakfast yogurt and oats
Lunch chicken soup
Dinner  tuna steak with vegetables and quinoa for me, my husband is out at a work event

Breakfast yogurt and oats
Lunch tuna or ham sandwich
Dinner out

Friday working from home
Breakfast - porridge
Lunch ryvita with cream cheese and smoked salmon
Dinner salmon en croute for me, chicken in breadcrumbs for him

Breakfast toast with peanut butter
Lunch tortilla wrap 'pizza'
Dinner steak and chips/ sweet potato fries

Breakfast  toast with peanut butter
Lunch baked sweet potato
Dinner pork chop and roast potatoes for me

Join in the blog hop!

Huwebes, Enero 11, 2018

Review: Pure freeze-dried cat food

While this blog usually focuses on food and drink for humans, I have written a few posts before about meals I've made for Tilly - my gorgeous tabby cat.

I was asked if I wanted to review some cat food and since there is a link (albeit small) with what I've covered before, I said yes. The product itself is interesting I think to foodies anyway as it's freeze-dried - you just add water - making me wonder if there is any food for humans (other than what astronauts eat in space!) that is prepared in this way. I have a feeling that herbs are sometimes freeze-dried as a way of keeping them tasting fresh - if you know of any other freeze-dried food let me know in the comments!

So on to the cat food. Made by a brand called Pure Pet Food, a company founded by two friends who wanted their dogs to eat food as good as they did, rather than highly processed food made with low quality ingredients. After developing the business and seeing it start to take off, they appeared on TV's Dragon's Den (the equivalent show in the US is called Shark Tank if you're an American reader!) and were offered investment but decided to turn it down to go it alone.

They started off with dehydrated food in 2012 and only last year moved into freeze-dried. The company says its freeze-drying technique keeps the texture of the meat which did look to be the case from appearance (I drew the line at tasting it myself) and it doesn't need preservatives added. There's plenty of nutritional information on their website which I won't repeat here but I am impressed at the list of ingredients and their benefits, and that it contains nothing 'bad'.

I was sent finger-lickin' chicken and surf and turf flavours; here's what you get inside the box:

Mix with the recommended amount of water and leave for a few minutes to rehydrate, mixing well.

Tilly (my cat) really enjoyed this - she does like to switch up her brands and flavours every so often - and seemed to prefer it when I added a little more water to the mixture.

Here she is posing for a photo!

It does take slightly longer to mix this up in the mornings, and I'm always in a hurry before work,  though you can do it the night before and keep it in the fridge. You can buy online from their site and the products are also stocked in Pets At Home.

A 200g bag costs £11.99 but this is equivalent to 800g of fresh food, Pure says.

Thanks to Pure for the pet food for review. All opinions are my own.

Lunes, Enero 8, 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 - week 2

Linggo, Enero 7, 2018

Restaurant review: Ewe Tree Cafe, Cholderton Charlie's, Wiltshire

Sabado, Enero 6, 2018

Low Sugar Low Carb Diabetic Lemon Cheesecake