A Strong Coffee

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Meal Planning Monday

 It seems like yesterday that I was waiting for school to break up and now I am in a panic that we will be going back soon. Life has been busy trying to keep the boys off their devices.

Last week we made use of the "Eat out to help out" scheme which we all enjoyed. Unfortunately it started to rain as we finished our meal so we had to make a quick exit. As a family of five, we don’t often eat out due to the cost, so we have decided to eat out again this week. Especially as we were meant to be on a plane to Mexico and are instead spending the time at home. We have some activities booked so hopefully we will all be entertained and relaxed.

As the weather has been so lovely, We have been enjoying some BBQ’s. This will most defiantly continue this week.

So food wise, here are some of the meals I have planned for the coming week.

Spaghetti carbonara and garlic bread

What have you got planned?


Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Legoland Windsor With Social Distancing

If you are wondering what it is like going to Legoland Windsor with the new social distancing measures, then here is my experience from the first week of the summer holidays. Please note that all tickets (including passholders) need pre booking and it is rumoured that they will be slowly upping the capacity over the summer.

Last week we headed to Legoland to see what it was like with the social distancing measures. As merlin Passholders we needed to prebook tickets for £1 each and did this a couple of weeks in advance.

We arrived early (9.30), mainly as I forgot it doesn’t take long to get to Windsor. We walked into the park, after having bags checked and temperatures taken and no queue.

Normally you are “held” at the hill or miniland and this is not the case at the moment. Whoop whoop! We headed down the hill to the Ninjago ride and got in the queue outside waiting for it to open. As 10 am the queue moved quickly.

Next we headed to Mia’s riding adventure. It was walk on and masks need to be worn and a gap between each group.

There are hand sanitisers everywhere which we used a lot.

Laser raiders, wasn’t showing as being open on the app but was a 5 min wait so we did this next before heading over to Pirate Falls. The queue here was longer and as we reached the front it was time for cleaning which took an additional 10 mins. Most other rides being cleaned were much quicker.

Another go on Mia’s riding adventure before we stopped and ate our picnic.

We then had a wander round miniland. I loved the Kennedy Space Center even more than before, now that I have actually been there.

My boys are way too big for Duplo Valley these days, but we had a quick look just to see what it was like. Unicorn vomit springs to mind.

All in all, we were really impressed. Queues had got long after lunch but no worse than a usual summer holiday. Not all rides are operating and neither are the shows. Not everyone seemed to appreciate this even though we are in a global pandemic.

Generally, social distancing was really good and it felt as safe as it could be in the current climate.

Have you visited a theme park since the restrictions have lifted? How did you find it?

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Meal Planning Mondays

Another week has flown by. Whilst the pubs and restaurants may be open, we will be waiting until the summer holidays to eat. Feeding a family of 5 in a restaurant costs a fortune! Especially as now the boys eat off the adult menu. This week I am trying to use up some bits from the freezer, and haven't actually bought much meat.So what is on this weeks meal plan?

Garlic Pork In Black Bean Sauce

We haven't had this for a while. One thing I have found is that it is worth paying more for a brand of black bean sauce you like. Tesco have changed theirs and it isn't as good anymore.

Sausage pasta

Salmon and veg

Prawns with courgetti instead of ciabatta

Roast chicken. I have to say I was a little disappointed with y large chicken as I don't think there will be any for leftovers the following day.

Friday will probably be an easy from the freezer meal. I have been freezing some low carb meals, and the boys with probably have kiev and chips.

What have you got planned? Will you be off to a restaurant now they are open?


Wednesday, 1 July 2020

No Sugar Lemon Posset Recipe

There was no way I was missing out on lemon posset when my son was set it as his food tech a few weeks ago so I made a sugar free one instead.

If you are new here, I am currently following a low carb diet. I have cut out a huge amount of sugar in the last few months. I don't often make desserts as, quite frankly, I will eat them. However, now and then we all need a sweet treat.

For this recipe my sugar replacement was Pure Via Stevia Leaf Sweet Granules. It is a mix of Stevia and erythritol. Luckily, the packet advises you to use half the amount of sugar you would normally.

I love the combination of lemon and raspberry and so a few fresh raspberries to the side made the dessert complete for me.

This recipe makes 2 small portions.

No Sugar Lemon Posset Recipe

  • 150ml double cream
  • 37.5g Pure Via Stevia Leaf Sweet Granules
  • Vanilla grated ( I have a vanilla grinder and a few turns of this gives a lovely flavour.)
  • Juice of half a lemon.
  1. Warm the cream in a pan.
  2. Add the sweetener and vanilla and boil for 3 minutes. This will thicken the cream.
  3. Whisk in the juice of the lemon and pour into 2 ramekins.
  4. Allow to cool and pop in the fridge for a few hours
  5. Top with raspberries.

Have you been cooking more during the lockdown?

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Friday, 26 June 2020

A Birthday In Lockdown

So it has been a funny old year hasn’t it? A viral pandemic wasn’t on my radar for 2020 but here we find ourselves slowly lifting lockdown. I have decided that I will be writing a few posts about it, as a reminder of the extraordinary time we have been facing over the last few months. What better way to start than my birthday.

Some would think that a birthday in lockdown, with nowhere to go, would be a disappointment. Worst birthday ever kind of thing. Infact for me, it was the opposite. You see, I normally hate my birthday. It is no different to any other day. It coincides with a “very important pharmaceutical conference” in the states so my husband is usually at that. Therefore, it is me, looking after the boys, trying to find something that will keep everyone happy.

This year I had no expectations. Everywhere was shut, but my husband was not in Chicago! I was happy even if he was not.

As my birthday was on a school night, we celebrated early with some takeaway cocktails. My they were good.

On the day, I started off with some Bodypump in the living room. Little did I know my husbands home gym would come into its own. We had a Burger King takeaway (just for the kids- honest!) a bike ride and a spot of pond dipping. Simple but lovely.

So how was a birthday in lockdown? For me it was one of the best. No expectations and surrounded by my little team. (Note this is the last year that my eldest will be smaller than me - he’s a couple of cm off and growing by the day.)

Have you had a lockdown birthday? How did you make it special?

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Meal Planning Monday

I never thought I would say this, but I am getting totally fed up with food. All I seem to do at the moment is prepare food. It is like the only thing there is to focus on other than work. The boys and my husband aren't great with knowing what they want either. Of course they are fine with complaining if it isn't what they want!

I am therefore interested in everyone elses meal plans this week more than norma;. Please give me some new ideas!

Again I will just write a list of meals and it will depend on when the food goes out of date when we eat them.

Sunday roast with keto Yorkshire puddings.
Honestly, I would never have thought you could make anything that even tasted like a Yorkshire pudding without flour. But you can and they taste amazing. I really should write a quick recipe post up on them.

Cod with either cheese sauce.

Watercress soup

Roasted cauliflower soup.

Lasagne or bolognase - really depends on how organised I am.

Chicken Korma
We haven't had a curry for a while as the weather has been so nice, but I think it is a bit colder this week.

What have you got planned?


Sunday, 31 May 2020

Meal Planning Monday

So half term is over and it's back to working from home around the boys. Such an odd situation. However, after a week of them playing way too many computer games and not much routine, I am pleased that our days will now have a little more structure. I am also pleased that I have packed the tent away and wont be suggesting any backyard camping anytime soon! It took two attempts to sleep through but we did find out we have a very noisey hedgehog that visits.

So as for meals this week, I will just write down what we are planning to have and the day we have it depends on what I fancy eating and when the food goes out of date. Tuesday is my Birthday and I am going off plan with a Burger King. I have already gone off plan with cocktails delivered on Saturday. Wednesday it will be back to Keto properly.

So what is on this weeks meal plan?

Salmon and avocado with chilli and lime. Still a firm favourite and so easy to make.

Filled pasta and sauce. I will probably have swoodles with bolognase.

Cod and cheese sauce. I will serve mine with celeriac fries.

Chicken and chorizo skewers with salad

Sausage pasta with a creamy mustard sauce. I will probably serve mine with courgetti.

I also need to make some more keto crackers for lunch.

What have you got planned?