A Strong Coffee

Monday, 16 July 2018

Meal Planning Monday

Well this weekend has been a blur, so I am late with my meal planning. However, if I don't do it, we wont have anything to eat.

We spent this weekend at a friends 40th. I thought I was rather sensible as I chose to drive rather than end up with a hangover. Instead, however, I decided to take part in the banana boats and doughnuts. Needless to say I now have whiplash and bruised ribs. I also have no desire to ever do a banana boat again in my life!

Considering I couldn't find one hat that suited me this summer, I am surprised how good the yellow cap looks!


This week is my last week at work and I am very much looking forward to a break. I do fear that the boys will eat me out of house and home though!

But back to this week and what we will eat.

Monday: Leftover pizza

Tuesday: Baked potatoes and chilli con carne

Wednesday: Sausage plait

Thursday: Filled pasta and sauce

Friday: Lamb chops

Saturday: Off to another 40th Birthday BBQ - luciky no banana boats required!

Sunday: Salmon and new potatoes




Monday, 9 July 2018

Meal Planning Monday

I don't know about you, but we are longing for the summer holidays at the moment. We are all exhausted and are looking forward to a slightly slower pace.The hot weather is meaning that I really don't want to cook too much, so this weeks plan is again going to be simple.

Last week or budget went out of the window. We had family over and I stocked up on some special offers. My £80 budget was well over £150. Must do better this week! My husband is away a couple of nights so we will make do with some freezer food. We also have salmon on the plan as last week I forgot to actually get it out of the freezer! Meal plans don't work well when you go to cook something and then realise it needs 8 hours defrosting!

Tomorrow I am off to lunch with the lovely Kelly from Explore and Learn Pangbourne for a rather overdue catch up.

Monday: Salmon and new potatoes - note to self, defrost the fish this time!


Tuesday: Something simple like scrambled eggs or bacon and new potatoes.

Wednesday: Football is on (yes I have turned into a fan!) so it is Pizza night.

Thursday: I am off to watch the school production so a quick pasta meal.

Friday: I am going to make cheats sweet and sour chicken. We had it a couple of weeks ago and the boys liked it so I will make it again and put it on the blog.

Saturday: We are off to a 40th party for the afternoon complete with Hog roast I believe.

Sunday: We will be picking the boys up from my sisters and having a BBQ. The big question is will we be watching the football or will I have lost all interest after Wednesday?


linked to  The Organised Life Project and Katykicker

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

How To Cook Salmon (With Thanks To Phil Vickery.)

Until I learned how to cook salmon, I was never really a fan. I know this was my own fault, as I basically cooked it to death. Last year I went on an event where I got to meet the lovely Phil Vickery. 



Here he talked through how to cook salmon and it was a real life changer. I have gone from only eating salmon now and then because it was healthy, to loving it. And whats more the boys love it too.


The problem for me was that I was over cooking my salmon. Not by a little bit, but by a lot. I would steam it in the oven until a load of white gunk came out (coagulated protein to be precise.) It was dry and tasteless.Thankfully Phil changed everything for me. He explained that it was important not to over cook salmon. Rather than oven cooking he suggested a griddle. He also made a lovely marinade. I can't remember what was in it (other than miso paste) so I have improvised and used a Ken Hom based combination that I use when I make garlic pork. I have tried to omit the seaseme oil as salmon is oily anyway but it just works better with it.

The Best Ever Salmon



To make the marinade:
  • 1tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sherry or rice wine
  • 1tbsp seaseme oil

  1. Either buy salmon without the skin, or take it off using a sharp knife.
  2. Place the salmon steaks in the marinade for at least half an hour.
  3. Place the steaks in a griddle pan. Heat until you see white stuff forming, then turn over.
  4. Heat again until it looks nearly cooked through. 
  5. Allow to rest for a few minutes - this will allow it to cook through perfectly.
Pin it for later:

The best ever and simplest way to cook good salmon every time

I am so pleased that I have finally learned how to cook salmon well. What would you like to know how to cook?

Monday, 2 July 2018

Meal Planning Mondays

So I am still on my money saving meal plan this week. I am finding the hardest part is keeping the cost down when we need fresh fruit and vegetables. As I have cut down on other snacks in the house, they are munching their way through bags of apples, bananas and snack cucumbers. I guess I should be pleased, but it means that it is impossible to do just one food shop in a week.

Little man also seems to be getting fussier by the minute. He is now refusing to eat bacon or filled pasta. In this heat, I am not a Mummy who wants to cook a different meal for everyone.

My Friday night cheats sweet and sour chicken went down a treat so we will be having that again soon and I will be sharing it on the blog.

Last week  also had some easy to make hot and spicy kebabs that my husband and I enjoyed



Monday: Baguette with cheese and ham. It needs to be quick and simple as the boys are off to karate.

Tuesday: Chicken Fajitas.

Wednesday: Filled pasta - with the plain boring stuff for little man!

Thursday: Freezer food - I need to sort out and run down our freezer so I will see what surprises it holds!

Friday: Chili jacket potatoes. I am shattered by Friday so a quick and easy meal is a must.

Saturday: Middle man has asked for salmon. I am going to be sharing my recipe for this soon, as since I have learnt how to cook salmon properly (aka not totally over cooking it) it has gone from a meal I wasn't fussed about to one I love.

Sunday: We have my FIL over so a BBQ is on the cards. We will be getting out the Stokes Sauces!


What have you got planned for this week?



linked to  The Organised Life Project and Katykicker

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Hot And Spicy BBQ Chicken And Chorizo Skewers

Summer is here, and it is time to enjoy a BBQ or two. How can you make your usual banger more special? Stokes sauces is the answer!

selection of stokes sauces by the BBQ

We have been sent a selection of the sauces to try and I am pleased to say that we really like them. Stokes is a family run business from Suffolk who focus on using the best ingredients to make the finest sauces. All the family enjoyed the ketchup, BBQ sauce and real mayonaisse. Whilst my husband and I enjoyed the kick from the hot and spicy BBQ sauce. Personally, I like the classic English mustard. For me, it is a cross between the brown french mustard with the heat of an English mustard. Just the thing to go with a good burger or steak.

burger with stokes sauces

I loved the sweetness of the maple and horseradish BBQ sauce and this really jazzed up my BBQ pork meatballs.




If you love BBQ's then why not tell Stokes why you love them by 15th July. They are giving away a Grillstream BBQ with 10 runners up prizes of gourmet BBQ charcoal and a personalised Cornishware mug. All winners will get a selection of Stokes sauces too! Just click here to enter the competition. 

If you want a quick and easy BBQ recipe then this Hot and Spicy BBQ Chicken And Chorizo Skewers recipe is for you. Making skewers yourself will save money compared to buying them pre- made in the supermarket, and it is so simple.

Hot And Spicy BBQ Chicken And Chorizo Skewers

Hot And Spicy BBQ Chicken And Chorizo Skewers


  • 3-4 spoons of Stokes Hot and Spicy BBQ sauce
  • Diced chicken breasts
  • Chorizo ring
  1. Coat the diced chicken in the Stokes Hot and Spicy BBQ sauce and leave for a couple of hours.
  2. Thinly slice the chorizo ring.
  3. Alternate the chicken pieces and chorizo onto a skewer, making the skewers start and end with a piece of chicken.
  4. Cook on the BBQ until the meat is properly cooked through. Baste with extra BBQ sauce whilst cooking.

Pin it for later:

easy to make hot and spicy BBQ chicken and chorizo skewers. Perfect for a barbecue


This is a sponsored post.





Family Fever

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

ROBLOX Toys Review,

There was excitement in the house when the postman delivered these character figures from ROBLOX last week.


I will be brutally honest, not from me, as I don't really get ROBLOX. It was, however, fantastic for my 6 and 8 year old. They are still young enough to play with characters like this and whilst they rarely play the computer game, they often watch Dan TDM play it.

Apparently the good thing about these figures is that you can mix and match them. They all come with little accessories and this makes them more exciting, according to my boys.

As an adult I am all for the larger packs as a way of saving some money. The Top ROBLOX Runway Model pack comes with 11 pieces, so you have loads of interchangeable accessories. The boys of course are all about the blind boxes. At around £4 each, they are a nice little treat. Here are the toys that were inside our blind boxes. The boys liked that they all came with an accessory.



Just to prove how excited the boys were, and how much You Tube they watch (check out the American accent for "figures") they have made a little unboxing video for you.


My boys have really enjoyed playing with them. They have made up their own games where they have to make different figures. They do find it tricky to pull off some of the parts so I have had to help out. If your children play the computer game, then they also get codes to redeem for a virtual item. If you have a ROBLOX fan, I am sure that they would be excited by these figures too.



Family Fever

Monday, 25 June 2018

Meal Planning Monday

Meal Planning is still going well. Whilst I haven't managed to make it to Lidl this week, the shop came in at £80 which I think is pretty good for a family of 5. I have been using up a lot of the food that we have in the cupboards. I made some fantastic chocolate chili brownies this week, but scoffed them before thinking to take a photo. I have promised the boys that I will make them some soon minus the chili so will have remember to get a photo then and share the recipe.

We have also been working with Stokes sauces and have some great recipe posts using them coming up soon.

stokes sauces and burger

This weekend sees the first of our season of 40th celebrations. Everyone is turning 40 at once. It will be nice to catch up with some friends who we haven't seen for far too long.

So again, it will be a quick and easy meal plan, especially as we are due to have a heat wave!

Monday: Pork steaks with Stilton sauce.

Tuesday: Cheesy egg and bacon muffins.

Wednesday: Sausage pasta.

Thursday: Something from the freezer. My husband is working away and by Thursday I am exhausted so freezer surprise it is.

Friday: Sweet and Sour chicken.

Saturday: BBQ at friends.

Sunday: I am not sure - maybe chili jacket potatoes as we didn't have them last week. Or if it is as hot as they predict, maybe salad.


linked to  The Organised Life Project and Katykicker