Moose loves to cook and so do I. Here is where you will find our kitchen adventures

Meal Planning – Our menu 08/02/19

Why do I find meal planning so hard? You would think after 17 and a half years of being a parent I would have got past sifting through the fridge at 5pm in a panic and not knowing what to to cook for the people who reside with me.

No such luck

In a bid to inject some organisation into our week and hopefully leave time for more of the “other stuff” I am trying. Really trying, to get on top of this part.

If I can nail this stupidly small and seemingly easy part of our family week then, I don’t know, maybe everything else will somehow fall into place. Moody teenagers will suddenly transform into pleasant and cooperative young adults. The Husband will shake off the fatigue of his day/week/month/year and become attentive to something other than Clash of sodding Clans and the 4 year old. Maybe he will stop declaring he hates a food that just 2 days earlier was all he would let pass his lips. I will of course be able to spend those extra few moments of my day doing something fabulous.

You can place your bets on how that will turn out.

We do definitely save money when we plan though. So there is that.

Our Dinners For The Week

Friday – Chicken Noodles with a homemade 2 syn Sweet and Sour style sauce

Saturday – Burgers with chips and slaw. I might make my chips with celeriac. I don’t know if that will taste a bit parsnippy though?

Sunday – roast chicken, mash, roast celeriac, carrots, sprouts.

Monday – pie for them. tandoori skewer and Slimming World aloo gobi for me. Nicer than it sounds.

Tuesday – rice, chicken, corn on cob, think Nandos without the price tag.

Wednesday – Sausages and mash. Did you know you can make your mash creamier by adding an egg? I am going to try it. If I end up with a scrambly egg mash, I will let you know.

Thursday – Spaghetti Bolognese. A smaller portion for me which I will bulk out with roasted red pepper and courgette.


Breakfast is usually porridge with fruit. Lunches I don’t tend to plan. It will be whatever I can grab that is Slimming World friendly or maybe if those other things fall into place then who knows. Maybe I will make a soup. We can but dream, right?




My first week at Slimming World

Last week I decided on a whim to start attending a weekly Slimming World group. Yesterday was my very first weigh in so I thought I would update you on how the first week went!

The group was really welcoming. I won’t deny I was nervous, mind you.

I came home after group with my new pack and I must admit that I did feel a little overwhelmed by all of the information I had been given.

Getting my head around it

It took some effort to read through the books I had been given but it was so worth it. I made a note of meal ideas for the first few days to make it a little easier to stay on plan.

I found it quite difficult to stop snacking. To be honest I hadn’t realised just how regularly I had been stuffing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Often would be an understatement. It’s a habit that I am trying to focus on breaking.

One of the things I was worried about was feeling hungry. I get awful heartburn and it seems to be worse when I feel hungry. To the point where the urge to vomit because of the acid taste has woken me in the night. I suspect it has a lot to do with my weight.


I thought I would share some of the meals I have been eating during my first week on plan.

One pan brunch.

This was so easy to make and very filling. Cheap too! I pan fried Slimming World sausages in spray oil and then added onion, edamame beans and a tin of tomatoes with a big pinch of mixed herbs. After a few minutes of simmering I cracked an egg into the pan and finished it under the grill.

Sea Bass

This was a really quick dinner to throw together. Pan fried Sea Bass with boiled broccoli and a bag of microwave rice from Aldi for 1 syn. Less than 10 minutes from fridge to plate.

Smoked Salmon Broghies

A quick lunch, but very satisfying. Broghies with low fat soft cheese, smoked salmon and cucumber and a small bunch of grapes. 4 syns but I think it was worth it.

Sunday Roast

One of my favourite meals of the week. Roast chicken (skin removed) with roasted squash. Roast onions and roast potatoes and all of the sprouts. 1.5 syns for Aldi gravy.

Fishcakes and Chips

Hands down my most filling meal of the week. In fact I couldn’t finish it. The fishcakes are 2 syns each from Morrisons and are very, very nice. I had mine with slimming world chips, mushy peas and pickles. MrG did not believe that this was a “diet meal”.

Spaghetti Bolognese

This is a weekly favourite. I just adapted it to make it plan friendly by swapping a jar of sauce for a homemade one. I used passata with basil from Aldi. That’s something I am really enjoying, about Slimming World. I can make the same for all of the family and know that we are all eating healthier. Except Moose obviously who is going through a phase of eating 2 bites of anything and proclaiming that he is full. Aren’t 4 year olds fun?

Did I lose anything?

YES! Even though I had a couple of blips. Namely falling foul of the chocolate calling my name and then asking Bess to fetch me a glass of Pepsi Max and her getting me the full sugar Pepsi by mistake. I wasn’t best pleased.

I LOST 3LBS! More importantly though I feel a lot more confident about my choices and better in myself. Just knowing that I am drinking lots of water and eating healthier meals is making such a difference already.

What are your favourite Slimming World dishes? I would love to hear about them in the comments below.



Slimming World – Joining, but not why you think!

Starting Slimming World in January does feel like a bit of a cliche, but sadly needs must. Please don’t misunderstand me though. I am not ashamed of my body. Far from it.

My body has carried me through to the age of 37. It has walked for miles when I couldn’t afford any other kind of transport or just when I fancied a bit of a walk. My body can really move (when it wants to) especially through water. I think maybe on account of my oversized feet which make for effective flippers.

It has carried and fed 3 children. My tummy is covered in stretch marks and my breasts are not as perky as they once were. They aren’t ugly to me. I see them as a map of the pregnancies I have been fortunate enough to have experienced.

I don’t care what anybody else thinks of my body. I have strong legs and capable hands and shoulders which I know can handle some weight. Metaphorically and otherwise.

I want to be clear. I’m not starting this because I dislike my body. I am doing this because I love it. It deserves better than how I have been treating it for the last <cough> few years.

If I am honest I would quite like to be able to buy clothes a bit more easily. It might be nice to queue for a theme park ride without thinking “oh shit, what if I don’t fit”. The thing I really want though is to be healthier, to be stronger and to give my amazing body its best shot at a healthier future.

So, this morning I joined a Slimming World group.

If Mondays on the blog are about the children with my Living Arrows post, Wednesdays will be about me. I will be making an update every Wednesday as that’s the day after weigh in day and I will talk about how I got on and share any meals I liked from the week. I feel really positive about this change in lifestyle. Hopefully it will help me to feel better and look better.

The plan seems relatively simple to follow. My biggest change I think will be just being aware of what I am eating and also trying to drink enough water. I am pretty awful at this really.

I just hope I can stick to it! Either way, I’ll keep you informed.

Turtle Bay Peterborough

We had been itching to try Turtle Bay since it opened in Peterborough last year so it didn’t take much for us to say yes when asked.

MrG has a love of all things Caribbean (especially rum) and he was very excited to sample what Turtle Bay had to offer. We thought it only fair that we let the children come along too. None of us are well versed in Caribbean cuisine so we took a look online beforehand.

There is a Turtle Bay app where you can book your table and earn rewards too!

turtle bay peterborough

Turtle Bay is situated on the outside of Queensgate in the city centre opposite St John The Baptist church. As well as offering a great food menu it also offers a vast array of cocktails and mocktails and a lot of rum!

turtle bay games

Turtle Bay’s famous happy hour lasts from 11.30am – 7pm and then starts up again at 10pm! This makes it the happiest happy hour in town with ALL of their cocktails available at 241 during that time – a must for cocktail lovers and rum enthusiasts all week long.


For our starter we chose the Just Jerk Platter. Included in the platter was marinated jerk wings, glazed pork ribs, beef patty, jerk chicken flatbread, sweet corn fritters and a super green salad.

As you can see it was huge! So tasty and I would absolutely recommend this as a great start to your Turtle Bay experience. I loved the sweetcorn fritters and the salad was really good too.

Main Meals

I was a bit unsure about bringing the children to a restaurant famed for being spicy. The children’s menu (or, Little Turtles) was really good though. I like that it offers choice and it’s not just your all too common fare of “something, chips and beans”.

Moose decided on the chicken flatbread with fries and I thought the portion size was really good! Bess decided to order the goat burger from the adult menu which she found a bit too hot. She said that if we were to return she would like to order from the childrens menu.  She tried Moose’s flatbread and loved it.

turtlebay flatbread

MrG who is not really a lover of spice either chose to try the Shack Stack: a seasoned beef burger topped with jerk pork belly, mature cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and jerk bbq sauce. He loved it!

Trying something new

Something Turtle Bay has recently changed on their menu is that the burgers and wraps have reduced in price but now don’t come with a side (other than a little slaw). The idea being that you choose from the sides on offer and order as much or as little as you would like. I think this is a great idea, especially for the lunch crowd.

I opted for the Jerk Pork Belly which arrived with rice ‘n’ peas, crispy rind and a pineapple chilli salad. The pork belly itself was absolutely delicious and went perfectly with the rice and the salad. I also ordered crumbed plantain because it felt like the right thing to do. It was.

turtle bay jerk pork belly

Sadly for me it was my turn to drive so I couldn’t sample the alcohol but I would definitely come here for a night out (I am a Mum so, lol) as the cocktails look amazing.

Between us however we did try the peanut butter smoothie, the Reggae Sunsplash, the virgin kolada and the Virgin Raspberry Reggae. All were lovely, my favourite was the Virgin Kolada and Bess loved the Reggae Sunsplash.

turtle bay apple juice

Moose asked for an apple juice and was most impressed when it arrived in a bottle!

We all agreed that we were just far too full for desserts this time but we all said we would like to come back to try something from the dessert menu for sure.

We were given a meal in exchange for review. All opinions are our own.

Little Foodies Coconut nougat recipe

One of my favourite aspects of taking a holiday abroad is trying the local cuisine to get a real flavour of where you are. I meant that pun and I am not sorry.

Of the 3 small humans I have created, my eldest 2 have inherited this love of trying new things. I have always preferred to give them a smaller portion of “adult food” and felt pretty good about my parenting in this area. Col was scoffing curries before he could walk and Bess loves sampling cheeses which could make a grown mans eyes water…

Then along came Moose. This child is the king of vegetable refusal. He likes peas and sweetcorn but anything else is met with serious resistance.


If it looks funny – he won’t eat it. If it smells funny – he won’t eat it. If it is touching anything with any kind of sauce? Forget it.

It turns out he is not alone. Emirates have done some research and they have found that over half of parents worry about what their children will eat while away with almost two thirds (64%) stashing failsafe food items in their suitcase. 

With this in mind, Emirates Holidays has partnered up with chefs from their top family resorts to create an exclusive series of ‘Little Foodies’ recipe cards to encourage families to cook together, expand their taste buds and remind themselves of their holiday through local flavours this summer.

You can find more info here

We had a go

I decided to try out the Coconut Nougat recipe with Moose. He hadn’t really tried coconut before and I thought that making sweets might be fun. It was! (once I had opened the coconut, obviously)

How we got on

First of all I procured some of my husbands tools to get started.

Not my usual cooking tools but they were necessary. Gently(ish) hammer the screwdriver through one of the coconuts soft spots and drain out the water into a glass. Drink it, I love it!

Then wrap in clean tea towel and smash it with a hammer. I found thinking about how my neighbours currently enjoy the BeeJees on repeat (at volume) helped with the hammer smash but you can use your own motivation.

Once I opened the coconut (like a boss! I was expecting it to be hard work) I simply followed the instructions on the recipe card.

I was a bit confused by the lemongrass having not used it before. The recipe card didn’t really tell me how I should prepare it so I went with removing the outer woody layer and then hacking it into chunks which I removed after boiling. I could really taste the lemongrass in the nougat so I would use this approach again.


I am really keen to widen the variety of foods which Moose will entertain and this definitely helped! Making our own nougat (although if I am honest the finished result was more like coconut ice?) was really good fun and Moose loved getting involved!

This was a collaborative post but all opinions are as ever my own. Moose loved the coconut nougat and we will be trying more of the little foodies recipes!