Thursday, 30 July 2015

Using leftover food - we all have it.

I think we all feel the pinch these days, for me it is the five week months I dread, the end of the month when you have run out of money but still need to eat. I try my best to stop this becoming a problem by making good use of my freezer so that little leftover food is wasted.

More than 15 million tonnes of food is wasted in UK homes every year, most of which is still perfectly edible.
I tend to bulk buy things like mince and stew, which allows me to bulk cook. not only does this save power as food is all cooked at once but it saves me time so that before I go off to start an eleven hour shift I just take a portion of mince or stew out of the freezer ready for eating that night. Remember a full freezer works more efficiently than a half empty one so it saves power that way as well.



I normally buy frozen vegetables as I feel there is less waste, but at times I will buy reduced price vegetables, sort out the few that are past their best










 and prepare the rest for the freezer, pop them into bags and use as required. I appreciate the vitamin content may not be as good but they still bulk out and add fibre. Oh and by the way I also wash and reuse my freezer bags, don't see the point in not doing so.










I try not to let other foods waste, if I have a few wraps that I have not had chance to use that have gone a bit rubbery. these can be made into French toast, add a bit of grated cheese to them once they have been turned and they make a nutritional snack, saves waste and in our case a cheap meal as we keep our own chickens.



I cannot eat raw fruit now but I still like fruit on my cereal in a morning, so again I bulk cook a mix of whatever is in season, sometimes I puree the mix other times I leave it whole, but no point in cooking a small amount so again I bulk cook and freeze until required. I also pick and freeze the rhubarb as it ripens for use later on. 


I bulk make pancakes as mine need to be dairy free shop bought ones are no use, and again take them out as I need them



I also make my own yoghurt every week, and as I love a bargain I will pick up soya milk that has been reduced as it freezes and defrosts well enough to use. I also freeze small portions of the yoghurt as a starter for my next batch. 

But one of my specialities at this time of the month is chicken stew. 
My starting point is  usually two carcases that are left over from earlier in the month, I like to eek a third day out of a chicken and the combination of two carcasses allows me to do that. So take your carcasses and add them to a large pan, cover and boil for half an hour to make a tasty stock.

Remove the carcass from the pan and set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile add any available veg that you have, I added a few tomatoes, some cold potatoes from the day before, carrots, leeks and parsnips from the freezer that had been frozen previously. I also added about 75g red lentils for extra bulk and nutrition. 




Whilst this was cooking I picked away at the carcasses, putting this into three piles, bones and obvious rubbish, good meat and the skin and gristle, this can be added to your pet food to eeek that out as well or the wild birds will always eat it. 

I added some dumplings to the top of this today and then served. Hot, nutritional, and making good use of leftovers.  



This is my entry to the Best British Bloggers win a fridge freezer competition. 

ps I am not always perfect, and sometimes I do forget about items in the cupboard, like this mouldy cake but don't tell everybody. 







The Waste-less Journey has been created by AO.com




Have found a few food linkies and decided to spread the word,









Credit Crunch Munch  this month is being hosted by Food Glorious Food  along with the regulars Fab Food 4 All and Fuss Free Flavours. -

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Kiqplan Slim and Trim Plan Giveaway

I have been using my Fitorb for a few weeks now, and I have been using a weight loss plan from Kiqplan called Slim and Trim along with it. Kiqplan have eight different plans available at the moment why not have a look here?

What is Kiqplan Slim and Trim?








Slim + Trima weight loss program for women of all shapes and sizes



Kiqplan is your very own trainer, nutritionist and motivational coach all in one app. In 12 weeks, we’ll help you trim, tone and tighten so you feel amazing. More than amazing. Amazinger.
To us, the route to looking and feeling great is not just dieting, hitting the gym and clocking up miles on the treadmill. It’s about feeling confident in that little black dress, looking in the mirror and loving the reflection you see, and most importantly, feeling good in the skin that you’re in.
That’s why we’ve created Slim + Trim, a 12 week plan that works with all leading activity trackers, fitness apps, smartwatches and smartphones. The Kiqplan app “talks” to your device, tracking your daily achievements and putting your data to work. Your personal plan not only sets you weekly targets to get you trim and toned, but advises you on everything from snacking and meal planning, to how to get more sleep (we all could do with more of that!) and builds a program week on week to support the healthy choices needed to stay in shape for the long-term.


Feeling fantastic is about the whole package of workouts, nutrition and rest. The program includes:
Step and calorie targets tailored to your individual goals and daily progress
Full body video workouts to maximize calorie burn and tone
High intensity circuit workouts to increase fitness and stamina levels
Easy-to-follow advice from our team of nutritional and fitness experts
Recipes created using the best mix of nutrients for successful weight loss
Easy food diary with barcode scanning and all your favourite foods
Motivational feedback on your progress and a nudge of encouragement when you need it!


I have also been given the chance to run a give away for one of my readers to win the same plan, and it is easy to enter using rafflecopter.  Please note comments are moderated and will not show until I have moderated them, This stops  the spam. 



Competition closes 19th August at 23.59. Open to UK residents only 

ThePrizeFinder - See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/kiqplan-slim-and-trim-plan#sthash.fXCxbnsU.dpuf

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Project 365 week 30

Sunday

Hubby has been doing various bits and pieces in the bathroom, he has boxed in the horrible looking pipes in the bathroom and started painting the ceiling. Have to say it is looking a lot brighter.

ceiling started 



Monday

Our first strawberries off of the plants in the garden, hubby says they are much nicer than the shop bought ones, make no odds to me they all taste the same time you cook them.

home grown




Tuesday

The lilies are looking very nice at the moment, so we moved them through to the front.

raindrops on lilies



Wednesday

Away for some RAST tests and a look at my IgE levels as I am having major issues with food. Year on year more foods add themselves to the list of foods that cause serious pain. GP was worried I was cutting out too many food groups without good reason. Pain is a good enough reason for me.  Hopefully these will come back with something meaningful. As a precaution I was given an Epi pen, Bob thinks this is brilliant, me I just think it is a nuisance. I am also being referred to an immunologist.

appointment letter



Thursday

Out for the day with daughter, ex hubby, his other half and the four grandchildren. We went to The Kelpies and The Falkirk Wheel. The two older ones ended up soaked to the skin in the water play area, they must have been frozen as we were chilly with jackets on. A great day was had by all, blog post to follow.

all four at the Falkirk Wheel


 I am a good mummy......look I take my child to the park too.....but this is just an extra to make you smile. Yes that is raindrops on the camera, the weather was typical blazing sunshine for a while followed by high winds and driving rain. Sssshhhh don't tell my daughter I have shown you this.





Friday

A friend mentioned that our tree that we planted a few years back was doing well, so we went for a visit. It is now over 6 ft tall and filling out nicely. We rescued this as a sapling when Shorty Dog dug it up about 16 years ago, it had been in a pot but was not doing well so we decided to chance it and plant it on our friends piece of land.


our tree



Saturday

Before we moved we use to use an elderly couples garden as our allotment in return for keeping the garden tidy. We don't use it as an allotment any more as its too far out the way now but hubby goes up and keeps it tidy for them regardless. Their flowers were needing cut back and tidied so we
brought home enough for  two vases  and very pretty they look in my living room.


brightening my room up







Saturday, 18 July 2015

Project 365 weeks 28 and 29

Never had time to deal with this last week, so doing a double post this week.

Sunday 5th

I have just started using my fitorb, I knew I did a lot of walking at work, but did not realise it was this much. This is just the one day, one eight and a half hours of making beds, hoovering a vast area, mopping floors and pushing trolleys,  and general walking back and forth.


19 miles!!!




Monday

Back to a Scottish Summer. Have to say his is the way I feel most Monday mornings, washed out.





Tuesday

Took a walk down to daughters, just after we got in somebody was coming in the door, thinking it was Fifi I startled her, turns out it was poor C instead. Just as well she knows me!!. The three girls had gone for ice cream, at 9pm as you do, and had come back with a two litre tub between the three of them, and a mix up of gummy sweets, they added the sweets to the ice cream and got stuck in.


C and Fifi





Wednesday

Had to go out and drop something off, so while we were out anyway we took a walk along the river. Good grief it is seriously overgrown but this allows for many many bees and other creatures to make the most of the season I suppose. Spotted this fisherman out and managed to catch his line as it flicked out of the water and through the air.






Thursday

Have been trying to get to my 400th cache since we came back from holiday, but I have either been too busy, the weather has been too hot or the midges have been out in force. But today we went for a walk round Eglinton Park in Irvine and got some of the newer caches at the far side of the park. We got our 400th, and am actually sitting at 401.

got there eventually






Friday

Daughter and new Son in law came down for the weekend, first time they have had a chance to get down since they came back from honeymoon. Here they are looking at their holiday photographs.

the happy couple





Saturday

People rant about the food in a local hotel, Daughter No 1 has used it a few times when she has had vouchers and lots of my colleagues at work talk about how good it is so Daughter No2 fancied trying it and offered to take us out for a meal. So after I came in from work we went along. Have to say the food was excellent, very good value for money, good size portions and a nice atmosphere. The company was also very good and we had a good catch up on their honeymoon. Imo the tables could have been slightly bigger and the waiter lacked in a few points of etiquette but apart from that I cannot fault the place at all.

Kyle yard







Sunday

The potatoes have certainly taken off  and are flowering really well. Plenty of strawberries and flowers on the tomato plant too.

the potatoes


Monday

Bad planning by Daughter No1, Fifi to be dropped in Perth for 2pm on the day tea in the park turns out a few miles away. One needing picked up in Ayr at 5pm, and the other set of grandparents off the road as Grandpa has had an operation and Grannie does not drive, son in law No1 starts work at just after 4pm and granddad wont drive through the centre of town to do the 5pm pick up when Ayr racing is on at the same time. So Granddad volunteered to babysit the gruesome twosome while I went to pick Bob up. As it turned out she was back in time to pick Bob up but the twins had a ball with granddad anyway.

look Grandma has a camera


Tuesday

Bob enjoyed the Summer school club yesterday and was very keen to go back today, jut as well really considering he is booked in for the week!! So I dropped him off.


putting his bag on


Wednesday

Volunteered to look after the gruesome twosome while Daughter went to pick up Bob. We had lots of fun in the garden.

at their table



Thursday

Today was visit day.So as per usual if it is nice when we come out we like to go and do something, so decided to go and see the Kelpies in Falkirk. We also picked up some geocaches while we were there.

The Kelpies are 30-metre high horse-head sculptures, standing next to a new extension to the Forth and Clyde Canal, and near River Carron, in The Helix, a new parkland project built to connect 16 communities in the Falkirk Council Area, Scotland

The Kelpies Falkirk



Friday

You will spot a recurring theme in this weeks 365. Yes you have guessed it I had the twins while Daughter went to get Bob. Fifi was back home but very tired and she said for all she had lots of fun she is glad  to be home in her own bed. 
Bob has also had a brilliant time with lots of activities from martial arts to circus skills to archery and a lizard man, plus lots of other fun. All the leaders were really friendly, they knew the children by name and Bob wants to go back another week. This has been a huge step for both him and his mum, away from home, eating his packed lunch in amongst other kids lunches, and him trusting adults who do not know him. We were not sure he would last all week but he did. Well done Bob.  

more cheeky faces



Saturday

This is an off shoot from an original tiny plant that Daughter No3 bought for us at a primary school Christmas fair over 20 years ago. Once every so often if flowers, and his year it has. The present that just keeps on giving. 

aloe vera plant



Wednesday, 15 July 2015

The run up to the wedding

My middle daughter got married on June 13th, but before the wedding there was a lot of planning to be done. Have to say the Bride and Groom did most of it but we went along to help out the last few days before hand.

We travelled up on the Wednesday, taking our time and geocaching as we went. I did a post on it here. We timed our arrival with a barbecue just about ready. A lot of Louise's friends had come up early from the south of England to make a holiday week and so they had arrived also.



During the evening we were entertained by the school pipe band that rehearses in the town square weekly. This was taken from McCaigs Tower which is one street higher up than the house.



On Thursday Louise set about making the tablet. This was to be used as favours for the female side of the wedding party. Hubby and I helped out at this point by making beds and things up for visitors and general housework.




Later on that day we went down to the hotel where the wedding was taking place for the rehearsal for the big day itself. At this time only the flower girl and one of the bridesmaids was there as the others were coming up on the Friday evening.



Sadly here had been a mix up, the registrar thought we were going to the registry office and not the venue, and we had also managed to get the time wrong anyway. So the joy of modern technology allowed a quick phone call to be made and the registrar came up when she finished work at 5pm.



The rehearsal went well with Z the flower girl keeping us all right about the order that people were walking down the aisle in, good memory Z well done. Poor wee Z had come out with chicken pox a few days previous and was not feeling her best, she was also feeling very concious of them and did not want people looking at her. Discussions over Z and mummy headed to the play park, and the rest of us headed to where we were staying.

Louise and I sat that night and made up the favour boxes, folding them and adding the butterflies.



Friday

We were up early as some of the wedding party were away to get their nails done. So before Louise headed off we were slicing tablet, cutting up tissue paper and popping the wrapped tablet into the boxes.






By this time things were in full swing.

The drink for the big day along with other bits and pieces was loaded into the car and taken down to the venue.




The happy couple had busied themselves wrapping presents and writing out cards.


and these were soon ready to go as well. 



We had a reprieve for a few hours while people went off and did their own thing, we took a trip out to The Falls of Lora ( yes you guessed it there is a geocache there)



and along to Dunstaffnage Castle





Back home again as Fifi was being dropped off as she was coming up with some of the other wedding party as her mum wasn't coming up till the Saturday morning. Our side of the wedding party headed down to the local Wetherspoons for a meal. The Groom and his family were all meeting in the hotel they were all booked into, but our side were scattered round various B&B's and holiday chalets so this was easier. Have to say felt real sorry for the staff in here as clear up time was atrocious and the length of time you waited on a meal was ridiculous, they seriously need more staff in this the height of he tourist season. Not that that put us off, every meal we ate out that week we ate here, and bumped into the other members of the party here every time we were in as well. 

Was a great evening, me and my ex-husband getting on, seeing my ex sister in law for the first time in about twenty five years, we lost touch when she married and moved away. Always remember the good times we had when the children were younger and she use to come and help out, we had some great laughs. 




After the meal it was back up to the house. Louise painted up Fifi's nails ready for Saturday,





 and we then wrote up the table plan and made the name markers, these were also butterflies to match the favour boxes. We did end up a tad confused with this as there were double names and it took a bit of working out who we had missed and who we had added twice, but it got there in the end. 

                           


So that was it, off to bed ready for the big day. Was a privilege to be able to help with her big day.