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

Meal Plan – Is chocolate spread an acceptable pasta sauce in times of crisis?

Well, meal planning this week is a bit odd isn’t it!? As one of the many self employed people facing a massively uncertain financial future over the next year or so I am having to seriously examine our budget. The bulk of our budget, as with many families, goes on food so if that’s an area we can make savings on then all the better. On the plus side, the usual temptations of places like McDonalds and Starbucks are all shut so eating on a budget is in a way a lot easier at the moment!

The shops shelves have been looking a little bare for the last couple of weeks which doesn’t really help when you are trying to feed a (fussy) family! Luckily before all of this madness started I had done a bit of a big shop. I tend to do 1 a month to stock the freezer and cupboards and then top up the fridge once a week. I could not be happier that I bought pasta and eggs!

Our cupboards are nowhere near empty but I think that after this week our meals might start looking a bit …random.. I really don’t want to make trips to the shops unless I have to though so random it is!

Keep safe everyone, I am really looking forward to being out the other side of this whole thing.

This week in food 

Friday – Sausage pasta bake with salad

Saturday – Burgers (in bagels, we don’t have rolls) with wedges and popcorn shrimp and corn on the cob.

Sunday – Roast beef with yorkshire puddings and veg.

Monday – Chicken and ham pie with mashed potato and veg

Tuesday – Sausage and chips with baked beans

Wednesday – Prawn curry with rice and homemade flatbreads

Thursday – Chicken Parmigiana (again, just because we love it!) with spinach



Meal Plan – Spaghetti is the best invention ever. Not a debate.

This was nearly a week of flamboyant Gousto box style meals. It turns out though that I am not eligible for their new customer deals so it was back to the drawing board and the cheaper options – I think I will do a DIY version of those boxes one week though.

MrG has zero confidence in the kitchen even though he is actually not a bad cook. If I print off a recipe and get the bits and bobs for him to be able to follow it easily I might actually get out of cooking for a few nights. That will require planning and this week that is just 1 ball to juggle too many.

February is pretty much over (does the 29th even count as a proper day?!) but it is freezing today and I think that has influenced many of this weeks meal choices. I am pining for the warmer weather and lovely fresh salads. I hope we get a decent summer this year – in the meantime at least we have spaghetti.

chicken parmigiana

This week in food

Friday – No going out for me as Bess isn’t well. She nursed a bit of toast and butter. We will have Chicken Korma.

Saturday – My heart says Chinese takeaway but I must resist. I think we will have Chicken Parmigiana (or at least my half arsed attempt. Zero effort with all the reward) with roasted veg.

Sunday – Good old Roast Chicken with veg and some homemade yorkshire puddings.

Monday – Burgers and chips

Tuesday – Roasted veg with sausages and cheesy mash

Wednesday – Fish in butter sauce with pasta and peas served with freshly baked bread rolls

Thursday – Chicken goujons with potato gratin and salad.

Breakfasts will be porridge mainly and possibly more pancakes.

Lunches for me will consist of whatever we have in the cupboards. I have really gone off nibbling in the day which is unlike me. Probably not a bad thing though. I might make up a batch of soup early in the week to use up the slightly sadder looking veg we have in the fridge.



Meal Plan – the oh crap I need to go shopping edition

In the words of my 13 year old, “Oooft”.

I have seriously lost my mojo when it comes to food. January is meant to give you this boost and make you want to ‘be the best you’ or some gubbins. All it gave me was the desire to hide under a big blanket until either some order enquiries appeared in my inbox (self employment, eh!) or it stopped being too damn cold to concentrate on anything.

With that in mind this month has basically carried on the December trend of replacing many meals with just handfuls of cheese and meat whenever I passed the fridge. I pass the fridge often.

However, this cannot last forever and thankfully we are down to our last box of shortbread so I have to concede that it’s definitely time to start eating green stuff again. I know that meal planning helps with this. So here we go!

Actually, before we begin you should probably be aware that January is not a month where the hoards flock to begin steadfast wedding planning so funds are low and this week will feature a lot of “yeah that’ll probably taste alright together” type meals. Please note, I am offering no apology for this. Neither should you.

vegetables in a pan

This week in food 

Friday: Everyone else is having Pizza. I am off to my Stepmums for dinner which will be a surprise!

Saturday: Going to go fridge diving for this one and use what we have. Jack Monroe made a sausage and bean casserole type meal on This Morning the other day so will use what we have to make something similar. Yes, I will be rinsing the sauce off my baked beans. I can stick this in the slow cooker oven in the morning and it will stop me calling for a takeaway.

Sunday: Off to a trade show with my sister so either I will pack some lunch and take it with us or, and lets face it this is more likely, we will just grab something en route. Everyone else has pasta and meatballs.

Monday: Ramen bowl. The kids love this one. Cheap instant noodles, Chopped chicken, Mange tout (aldi super 6 this week), grated carrot, sweetcorn, peas, a little bit of chilli and ginger and a peeled boiled egg. You can add whatever you have to this one and it is really quick. Can also cut down on the salt content by not using the little noodle seasoning sachet and substituting with a better stock.

Tuesday: Chicken casserole with dressed greens and crusty bread and butter – I try to make sure we have those part baked rolls in the cupboard.

Wednesday: Chicken and veg pesto pasta

Thursday:  Toasties night (ham and cheese or beans or my personal fave pilchards in tomato sauce)



[Ad] Spice Up Your December With Schwartz. 3 Ways With Cinnamon and Christmas Stollen Cookies Recipe

This is a paid post in collaboration with Schwartz.

I don’t know about you but even though I love the pretty lights and the decorations at Christmas, it is the smells and tastes that make me feel festive. Nothing beats cinnamon when it comes to christmassy smells! 

Food is such a huge part of our festive season. Whether it’s curling up with the Supermarket food catalogues and planning out our food selection – just me? or perusing the Christmas markets. It really is all about the smell and the taste at this time of year!

3 ways with Schwartz cinnamon 

The king of the cinnamon recipes is of course, the cinnamon roll. They always feel like an indulgent treat. I love them with a nice frothy coffee. Admittedly I eat these all year round but I do like to make them too! My favourite recipe can be found here at This Farm Girl Cooks

Cinnamon can be used in savoury recipes too – and it is beyond great! Not your usual festive fare but you can only eat so many roast dinners, right? I love these Moroccan Lemon and Cardamom Meatballs. So good for warming you up on cold nights! 

My Mum did lots of baking when I was a child. With 5 children to look after (plus all of our friends of course) I suppose it must have worked out lots cheaper to make rather than buy our snacks. Sadly I don’t bake very often but when I do, I like to involve Moose. It’s usually good fun and keeps him busy.

So, last but not least and one of our favourites to make at this time of year is Stollen Cookies. They are really yummy and definitely make my house smell wonderfully Christmassy while they are baking. Double win! 

stollen cookies

Makes approx 24 


150g salted butter
80g light soft brown sugar
80g granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
180g plain flour
60g ground almonds
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp (or a big pinch) salt
80g marzipan (chopped)
50g sultanas
50g dried cranberries
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice


  1. Heat your oven to Gas 4/350F/180C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. In a bowl pr using a mixer, cream together the butter and both types of sugar. Beat in the vanilla extract and egg.
  3. Sift in the flour and bicarb, add the salt, ground almonds, cinnamon and mixed spice, and stir with a wooden spoon.
  4. Fold in the cranberries, sultanas and marzipan.
  5. Put equal sized amounts on the baking trays and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are beginning to brown.
  6. Cool on a wire rack.


Meal Plan #96

After a nice and very chilled half term break we are thoroughly back into our school routine. Halloween was great fun. We did over an hour of trick or treating so my step count looks great this week! It does mean that we have a house full of sweets now which is a bit of an own goal. Everything in moderation though, eh?

One of the things I love most about Autumn is that the weather lends itself to the sorts of meals I enjoy cooking. I think that this week’s meals will reflect that.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good salad (not that you can tell by looking at me) but is there anything better than arriving home after a soggy walk back from school or the shops and having a bowl of warming soup and crusty bread? I think not.

cream of tomato soup

This week in food

Friday: Spaghetti and Meatballs with half a ton of cheese on top. Probably.

Saturday: Chicken and ribs served with jacket potato and coleslaw

Sunday: Roast pork with mashed potato and roasted veg.

Monday: Chicken pasta bake. I will be going out so has to be something I can easily prepare earlier.

Tuesday: Sausage casserole and dumplings with broccoli

Wednesday: Going to have a cooked lunch so will be something simple like a wrap as I am off to London.

Thursday:  Chili Con Carne with rice and tortilla chips

I would love to hear what you and yours are tucking into this week. Please feel free to comment below and if you are a fellow blogger then link up on Katy’s meal planning linky. I love reading the posts as I am very nosey and frankly still struggle with what to feed my family even after 18 years as a Mum – seriously, if I don’t know what I want then how can I be expected to know what they want?!