#FoodieFriday- Meal Planning Jar

One of the secrets of both sticking to a budget and minimising food waste is meal planning. There are various apps you can download but none I have found as user friendly as the good, old pen and paper! I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not always great at meal planning and, even when I do, life has a habit of changing our plans but I am trying to get back in the habit.

Looking around for tips I found an image of a menu planning jar, thought what a great idea, bought some lollipop sticks and then promptly did…..well absolutely nothing at all!

I am now intending to go through my recipe file, my books and all those odd magazine cuttings (as well as my Pinterest pins) to write down all the things we cook, pop them in a jar and then use them as inspiration for my meal plans.

For far better instructions than mine, try looking at this Menu Jar idea.

Chicken in butter, wine and thyme sauce

This is yet another Pinterest find (you can follow me here) and was one of the tastiest things we have eaten for a while, despite swapping spinach for mixed greens as the shopping fairy failed again. The spinach would have worked really well and I’ll be trying this one again soon.
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What about me?

Even though I’ve been writing this blog for several months, I still feel like a newcomer. Back in December I decided to sign up for the blogging101 course, it’s just started and we’ve been given our first assignment. It’s simply to introduce ourselves. Sounds simple, right?

Well it should be really, I’ve already introduced myself in my About section which also links to my first post, much of which is still true. Yes I could keep a diary but I’d never remember to write in it, having followers and a sense of community here encourages me to keep trying, keep writing , keep coming back.

I still live in the middle of nowhere and my recipes still feature food that anyone (in theory) can get hold of, still no truffle oil here although I did stuff some chicken with sun dried tomato, olive and caper meze the other day. Lack of posh delis or even large supermarkets means that’s about as exotic as my food gets.  But it is achievable. Maybe not interesting though.

I now work part time so in theory should have more time, this is partly true, I made bread again recently (post coming soon!) and have been able to do more slow cooking, but I still keep running out of time. At least trying to blog makes me do something for myself, something I enjoy and hopefully over time my writing skills and style will improve.

My blog is not all about cooking though, the cars section is less busy but it’s there.  Why cars? I could have just written a food blog but that certainly wouldn’t reflect all I do, cars are my passion. Most of the events we go to run from April to October so there will be more posts about motorsport during that time. I definitely write for two very different crowds with little crossover, is that dangerous, after all it means most people will only ever be interested in a section of my blog, but the flipside is more people might find it and read it. That’s the theory anyway. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

A side of lamb or ‘how to make sprouts taste nice’

Not only was the leg of lamb HUGE but, as the Other Half and I had not actually had any sprouts over Christmas, I also set about making a side dish that makes sprouts palatable.

First of all, sprouts. I really do not like boiled sprouts, never have. I have found a way I like them though. Sliced finely and stir fried with sliced leek. It really is that simple, although you can add other ingredients if you wish.

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In this case, I added a small amount of oil to the wok, threw in the leeks and sprouts (2 trimmed leeks, 5 sprouts), then add frozen peas after a couple of minutes. If my main dish was spicy, I would also add cumin seeds. Otherwise you can also add pancetta, bacon or ham. Or a splash of white wine or even cream. Or all the above, this side dish is pretty versatile.

In this case, it was served with a fairly traditional roast leg of lamb, vegetables, lots of gravy and a little mint sauce. I still have over a kilo of leftover meat. I’m planning a moussaka but any other suggestions are welcome.

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