Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Luxury Lockdown Macaroni Cheese

Ingredients 

90 g of Macaroni per person I made this for 4 ( so my husband could take leftovers the next day )

whatever small bit of cheese I had left 

and a basic white sauce which the cheese got added to 

2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard though any mustard will do 

I added garlic with Italian herbs

homemade crotons 

left over soft cheese spread and 3 rashers of bacon

2 Tablesppons of plain flour

500 ml of milk ( I used some longline stuff I had bough mid panic )

Knob of butter/spread



Method

First I cooked the pasta to just about 2 minutes under to what it should have been and set aside 

Next I made a basic white sauce by mixing the knob of butter/spread to the flour and mixed it together to make a paste





Next I added a little milk to it and gently heated it all up while constantly stirring and adding the rest of the milk , I kept going till I had a thick white sauce I added the cheese and Dijon mustard to this as well as some Italian herbs.


I Placed the macaroni in an oven proof dish and poured the white sauce over it for about 15 minutes at 180 while prepared the luxury topping .

I fried some chopped bacon then added in some soft cream cheese and some croutons I’d already made.








Monday, 18 May 2020

How Technology Can Help If You’re Autistic

Technology can really help anyone it can be a marvellous thing except if you’re my old dishwasher that is and you decide to have a midlife crisis and break down! Especially after you’ve treated it to a luxury dishwasher clean the equivalent of going to a 5 star Spa and having all the very best treatments. The technology that has really helped me is my Bose headphones and yes they're worth the price and they really have kept me calm and centred and combats me feeling overwhelmed.Headphones help you create your own piece of nirvana wether you're at home due to the current pandemic or you're on the daily commute or even out exercising.


Noise cancelling headphone are truly the wonder of the modern age because they help tune out any unwanted noise and there can be plenty of that at times.And I remember the old headphone I had as a youngster where I sat tethered to the stereo listening to The War Of The Worlds least now I can wander about and do other stuff !


I love my Bose QuietComfort 35 II and they are the headphones I am going to stick with , they're the right comfort and weight and do not pinch my head at all.I would say when you can with what's going on wait to try some out and see what suits you , but you do get what you pay for in the terms of headphones and I would rather buy one pair and they last a long time then keep buying loads of cheap pairs and have to throw they away.





Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Lockdown LOLs

Yeah I know Lockdown LOLs trips off the tongue and it has been taken up by ITV ( whispers no it hasn’t but you know I’m open to offers and even a spot on This Morning)

So what are my Lockdown LOLs this week well here goes :


You know that face when they don’t like something as a toddler trust me they still pull that face at 21 😂 you think I was trying to kill him with blueberries.

I only gave him some blueberries and raspberries with Elmlea so it wasn’t like I was trying to give him prunes and custard .Trust me prunes and custard was a thing to serve kids in the 70s and 80s.I mean didn’t we suffer enough with out bowl haircuts?




And also there’s a Starling imitating my neighbours mobile phone ring tone !

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Lockdown With Your Cat

Your cat will not failed to have noticed by now that you are home all the time every day apart from when you're taking the bin out which for me is a Friday ,strange how bin day has now started to signify the yay in Friday ... strange strange times. Your cat will mostly likely be giving you more strange looks than it ever did before and certainly it will not care that you're spooked by this.Everywhere you go your cat will be watching you , I am sure the Police song

"I will be watching you " was really about a cat





One way I am helping my cat and my sanity with coping with the sly looks etc from my cat is to give it quiet /safe spaces and one of these is a day bed and a night bed .I know it sounds very very hipster of the cat but this is how my cat is , it has a Danish design deep cat bed so it can curl round.As my cat has got older and it isn't that old it doesn't seem to like those cat bed that have a roof and I have had to give away several of these type of beds.





And as soon as you start any task that your cat doesn’t deem worthy then they’ll appear and let you know ..





Friday, 1 May 2020

The Struggle Of Being Autistic

I am autistic I discovered this in 2018 , I mean it's not like I found it like a lost sock.I for years had taught SEN children as a teaching assistant and I was was good at it and in 2017 I sought a diagnosis which is the diagnosis equivalent of going to Mordor will many struggles along the way.
You might look at me at think well she doesn't look autistic , yeah sorry about that my obvious label fell off.I don't aspire to be anything other than myself and putting how I feel into words is hard like finding that lost sock I mentioned.
I do not have an art talent and neither am I science genius ( I am no Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang theory.Think that lady of the chase Anne and that is more close to me with an incredible knowledge yet knitting alludes and if I did knit I am sure they would be some sort of knitting zombie apocalypse army and this is coming form the person who put google eyes on an Avocado .I do think life is made better by google eyes.
I think what I am trying to say without socially distancing beating around the bush is that I am an adult , I was that autistic child you see the one that is socially awkward and doesn't seem to gel with other kids.
I am not an autistic messiah on social media not do I claim to be though I do have to say I really have got better at baking and made some bread the other day. The kitchen did look like I was running a Mexico drugs cartel ( I am not I assure you )
SO do stay along for the no filter me ... I don't swear and I am not rude ..... googly eyes on a aubergine any one ?!

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Easy Peasy Carbonara

Yesterday was a carbonara sort of day and made me think also of my Italian holidays.


Ingredients 

2 tablespoons of plain flour 

Knob of butter / spread 
Mixed herbs 

Garlic 

Spoonful of mayonnaise 

500 ml milk


Method 

Make a roux with the flour and butter heat gently over a pan 

Once it’s all smooth then gradually add the milk 

Throw in the garlic herbs etc add a dollop if mayonnaise and a crack of black pepper 

Set aside 

Cook your spaghetti 

Reheat the sauce adding in a little extra milk if needed

Poor over spaghetti 

I had mine with salmon and green beans and bacon 




Sunday, 26 April 2020

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Money Saving Tips for People Who Struggle with Cash

Some of us are more likely to struggle with cash than others.
It’s not that you don’t want to save money, it’s just that you have a hard time controlling the impulse to spend all of the cash that you earn as soon as it lands in your bank account. Maybe you get blown away by all the marketing and ads that you see when you’re living your day-to-day life. Or perhaps you have a problematic relationship with money that stems from somewhere else in your life.
Whatever the reason for your issues with money, it’s time to overcome the problem and start making progress towards a better quality of life. We’ve got some top tips for people who want to stop struggling with cash, once and for all. 

1.   Try Used Before Buying New

We often prefer the idea of buying new items rather than checking out thrift stores when we need a new piece of furniture or an updated phone. However, you’d be surprised how many high-quality items that you can get for a low price when they’ve been used, even if they were only used once or twice. Plenty of people open the packaging of an item and decide that they don’t want it. That means that you’re getting something that’s basically as good as new, for a fraction of the price.
These days, you don’t have to even wander around charity shops looking for what you need. There’s the option to shop for used items on everything from eBay to Facebook Marketplace. 

2.   Use Cash, Not Card

Spending just cash is often the best way to improve your relationship with money if you have a habit of spending passively. Basically, spending passively means that you buy things without thinking about how your purchases are going to affect you in the long term. However, if you go out knowing that you only have so much money to last you the entire week, then you’re more likely to pay attention to every penny. 
Freeze your debit or credit cards if you have to or give them to someone who will keep them out of reach. Once you’ve done that, figure out how much cash you need for each day, and take only that amount with you wherever you go. 

3.   Get Someone to Shop With You

This isn’t an excuse to send someone to the supermarket for you when you’re feeling lazy. However, if you know that you have trouble with sticking to lists or impulse purchasing, then it might be helpful to have someone you care about to join you as a kind of shopping buddy. They can come with you when you’re going to the supermarket to buy food every couple of weeks, and make sure that you don’t spend anymore than you’ve planned for. 
This is a great way to build up a habit of saying “no” to your impulses. As you begin to feel more confident in your ability to control your temptations, you’ll be able to start going shopping on your own again. 

4.   Look for Extra Ways to Earn

Maybe your issue with cash is that you never have enough of it. If the life that you want to live can’t be funded by your current career, then it might be time to look for other ways to earn. You’d be surprised by how much money you can make by setting up a freelance career in your spare time on the internet. You may need to borrow money from somewhere so you can afford a computer and the equipment that you need to run your side job, but eventually you’ll end up with a lot more cash in your savings account.
You might find that you’re so good at working digitally, that you can even turn it into your fundamental career. That means that you have the opportunity to build an entirely new lifestyle for yourself. 

5.   Sell Everything You Don’t Need

Finally, speaking of looking for extra ways to earn, go through all of your belongings and commit to selling anything that you haven’t used in the last few months. Unless the item has some serious sentimental value, then it’s probably just taking up space in your cupboards or closets. Get rid of the items that you don’t need and you could make a profit in the process. 
Not only will you make some extra money from your sales, but you’ll end up with more space in your home, and less clutter to worry about too. 
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Friday, 24 April 2020

Chocolate Loaf With Green Tea and Vanilla

I was bored this morning so I vacuumed did the washing tidied oh and baked .....





Ingredients


100g/4oz unsalted butter, softened
110/4oz Dark Sugar
2 large eggs
0.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp powdered instant coffee (optional)
175g/6oz plain flour
80g/3oz cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
100ml of Green Tea or you could use milk if you wish

Adjust quantities to suit.


Method 


Preheat the oven to 160c or gas mark 4 . You can either grease and line a 2lb cake tin with baking parchment or as I did use cake release from Lakeland.

First mix the sugar and butter together till fluffy .



Add the plain flour , coco powder and baking powder,  ( the optional coffee powder if you wish )
Add the 2 tsp of vanilla extract.
Next mix in the eggs.





Add 100 ml of Green tea.

The mixture will seem quite loose this is fine.

Pour the mixture into your prepared loaf tin .




The bake in the oven for around 1 hour 20 adjust your cooking time if you have a fan assisted oven.


Turn out the loaf , leave to cool.

Then decorate as you wish .

Hello boredom .. Hello



Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Giant Cookie Cooked In A Skillet

Giant Cookie

What is better than a normal sized cookie WHY of curse it is a Giant Cookie , do you have to share well that is open to debate !


A skillet is a handy piece of kit and it is one I am glad to have in my kitchen it is a very faithful friend  and it can be used for so many recipes and the first one I had to try was of course a giant Cookie.

Ingredients 



125g Soft Brown Sugar 

2 teaspoons of Vanilla extract

100g(4 1/2 oz ) chocolate chips

185g of plain flour

a Tablespoon Of Nutella

a Tablespoon of peanut butter 

1/4 tea spoon of baking powder

2 eggs

Milk to bind it ( add just enough to suit )

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 180c. I slightly greased my skillet

2.Using a wooden spoon or electric whisk to mix the egg into the sugar and then adding one Ingredient at a time. Mix well till mixed ! You’ll end up with Cookie dough .

3. Fill your skillet and pat down well.

4. cook at 180 c for around 25 minutes but keep at eye on it.

5. Leave to cool and serve with ice cream.

Serves 4 or 2 hungry people 







Of Wishes

Of travel I dream of where to go heart and mind do wander so 

Of cobbled streets and winding roads and getting lost I love to do 

Of exploring high and low and finding hidden gems of street bars and cafes to watch the people come and go

Of evenings golden glow bouncing of ancient stones I  hark back to fond times of travel as I knew it

Of a promise I make to my feet you will roam again 

Of a promise to special friends we will will tea and spa again 















Homemade Chicken Nuggets


  • Ingrediants
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts .
  • 1 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal, crushed (You can  use the food processor for this, or just out it in a bag and bash the hell out of it)
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning.
  • 1/4 cup butter or 1/4 cup low fat margarine, melted

Method:


  1. 1
    In one bowl, mix cereal crumbs, seasonings & flour.


  2. 2
    Place the melted butter in another bowl.
  3. 3
    Dip the breasts into melted butter then coat with the cereal mixture.
  4. 4
    Place into a greased baking dish.



  5. 5
    Drizzle remaining melted on top of chicken and coat with remaining mixture if you like extra breading.
  6. 6
    Bake, uncovered at 400°F for 30 minutes or a bit longer for outside crispiness.

Monday, 13 April 2020

Pimp My Can Of Chicken Soup

Welcome to the first installation of pimp my soup and this week we have chicken soup


Ingredients 

You guessed it > chicken  soup 

Anything else you want to chuck in please though not the kitchen sink

I put in sweetcorn and some chunks of cooked potato 

Method 

Open can into saucepan 

Chuck everything else in

Heat through 


Declare yourself a genius 





Saturday, 11 April 2020

Windows On The World

Windows on the world are many at the minute although you can not travel by air plane train as you’re restricted to what is available to you on foot and I’m really lucky to live near stunning countryside and woodland. So when I needed to get my prescription the other day I decided to take the very long way round to get it ! If you look through the photos you will see how enchanting the area in which I live is. I live for travel as as a rule I enjoy going to far-flung places and those nearer to home and as you might expect this has clipped my wings .


I have been getting my travel fix through the television with such programs as Sir Tony Robinsons round the world by train and Race Across The world ( these are certainly 2 must see programs in recent times )

I have never taken the world for granted and I love it every time I step out the house to have the freedom I do ( though now it is once a day ) 




There is inspiration everywhere I look and I love my photography as does Mr T and we are sad that we've had to cancel our holiday to Corfu , I have had to cancel my spa trip with my good friend Jane , Mr T has had to cancel his pre birthday trip that he was going to go on while I was at the Sap because Mr T does not like Spas in the slightest it really is his idea of hell.Also our afternoon tea at Bettys for my husbands birthday was also cancel and it is the big 50 birthday as well.


So for now it is armchair travels mainly with my eyes firmly on the windows on the world and there is certainly no harm in dreaming as dreaming doesn't cost anything at all .























Friday, 10 April 2020

Frugal Recipe Corn Beef Hash


Its a time of frugal recipes for most especially for me this week as this week its the turn of the car to blow up. So  really not wanting be eating beans on toast for the umpteenth time again. I decided upon Corn Beef Hash. Mr T did question whether I knew how to cook it , I smiled through gritted teeth and imagined clubbing him to death with a Maris Piper ( not really although ...)


Ingredients

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 small onion
1 tin of corn beef
enough waxy yellow potatoes for the number of people who will be dining.
1/2 cup beef stock
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
pinch of sugar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Finely dice the corned beef and onion.  Peel the potatoes and boil them until they are fairly cooked but not mushy.

2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Sauté the onions until soft.  Add the potatoes, corned beef, stock, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir well, lower the heat, cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes.  Uncover, stir, cover again, and cook for another 5 minutes.

3. Now at this point you could continue cooking on the heat for another five minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed, stiring occasionally.  Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until the hash becomes crusty.  Stir, let the hash sit for a while and then stir again

But as J and Mr T were out at rugby practise I decided to put in in the oven so I transferred the ingredients to a lightly buttered Denby dish.

3. I cooked the Corn Beef Hash for around 20 minutes at 180c though you can turn it down quite a bit if people are going to be late ( looks at Mr T)


Frugal Recipe Corn Beef Hash.








The Easiest And Quickest Sponge Cake In The World Possibly !

This is the quickest sponge cake you will ever bake in your life leaving you time for other activities.




Ingredients 

1 egg

2 oz self raising flour.

2 oz low fat spread.

2 oz soft brown sugar.

Tablespoon Lyle’s Golden Syrup 

You could also melt a square of chocolate at the bottom of a microwaveable cup etc.

Mix the self raising flour , sugar and spread and egg all together till looks smooth !

Put a tablespoon of golden syrup into the bottom of the cup / mug   

Obviously the amount of cake  mixture you put in will vary depending on the size of the cup/mug aim for about a quarter.


Any left over mixture can be used in another cup/mug or even a ramekin.




Place in the mircowave for no longer than 3 minutes otherwise your cake will burn.

Once you hear that magic ping then take out and enjoy!


You will find the cake rather moorish !! and so simple with ingredients that you will probably all ready have in the cupboard.