Monday, 25 June 2012

Meal planning Monday: 25/6/12

Hello. Bit behind schedule this week but better late than never. This week we are Busy with a capital buh. School summer concerts mean we need early and easy teas on two nights. There's also some sort of party a-happening at the weekend...

Fish fingers, chips, and baked beans

Oven-baked risotto

Cheesy pasta

Who said Pasta N Sauce? No-one, that's who.

Pork steaks, mash, and vegetables

Scrambled eggs on toast (yes I know it's Friday!)

Party food! Homemade pate and guacamole, French sticks, sausages, cooked meats, CHEESE. It's going to be delicious and gout-inducing.

Nothing ;-)

Don't forget to check out the Twitter hashtag #mealplanningmonday and the link up at Mrs M's blog for other meal ideas.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Preston Guild Marathon: weeks one and two training

Earlier this year I'd started thinking to myself that I'd like to run a marathon, just to do it once and say I had. I'm a bit mental like that. Probably didn't help that a lot of my running pals were in training for the Virgin London Marathon at the time!

I decided I would have to run a marathon in autumn so I could fit in long-run training during the light summer mornings and evenings. I searched online for events in September, October, and November, and finally found a link to Preston Guild Marathon. It's fairly special because the Guild is only on every 20 years. Another bonus is that it is close to my family, so I'll have a place to stay before and recover after.

My winter and spring season of races ended on Friday with Marston Forest 5K, and I'd always said to myself that marathon training would begin on Monday proper. I'm already trained up to half marathon standard, and I have run up to 15 miles in the past month, so I'm starting my training at about 10 miles and building up from there. With a lot of 5K runs completed in the past month, I'm also keen to continue with speedwork, because this will help me improve further.

Week one looks like this:

Monday: 4 miles speedwork (I actually did a fartlek run, which is a run of varying speeds)
Tuesday: 6 miles "easy" (I ran with my fast friend Ralph, so this turned into another speed session, getting progressively faster with each mile)
Wednesday: X-training (circuit training)
Thursday: 4-5 miles "easy". It's Club night, so this run will break down into a 2+ mile run-walk session followed by an easy 3-5 mile run, depending on who I need to run with.
Friday: REST!
Saturday: 4-5 miles easy
Sunday: 10 miles easy

Week two

Monday: X-training (circuits)
Tuesday: Club night, hoping to make a run with the club tonight, 3-5 miles easy
Wednesday: 4 miles speedwork (whatever I fancy!)
Thursday: Club night, total 5-8 miles easy
Friday: REST
Saturday: 3-5 miles
Sunday: 11 miles

Monday, 18 June 2012

Meal planning Monday: 18/6/12

Last week's plan went well, the homemade fishcakes were rather too mashy and not enough fishy, but that's just fine tuning for next time. They still got eaten. We had steak on Saturday rather than bolognaise because we invited friends over for an impromptu dinner party. This means I have already spent the week's food budget in one day, so this week's plan is about scrimping from the freezer and cupboards.

EDIT: my mum emailed me to say she doesn't eat pork, "I told you this before", so I have amended Friday and Saturday evening's meals! I'm still doing bacon baguettes for lunch though ;-)

Kids: Cheesy broccoli pasta
Us: Homemade chicken curry and naan bread

My son is at a Beaver's event tonight so he will need to eat early with his sister. There is some leftover chicken from Sunday, so I'll make a curry with that for us.

Burgers and chips

I bought fresh burgers for Friday evening but didn't use them all, so these need eating.

EDIT: scrapped the baked potatoes in favour of instant noodles (kids) and poached eggs on toast (us). One poorly daughter and one slightly poorly mum needed nice simple food.

Lamb koftas, pittas, and salad

Lamb mince and pittas are in the freezer, easy.

Fish pie with mash topping, and spinach and broccoli

It's an iron fest because I think we all need some.

Bacon and brie baguettes for lunch.
Turkey and bean chilli with rice (not too spicy because my kids won't eat it, but a bit of mild chilli and some cumin never goes wrong)

Roast chicken

Don't forget to check out the Twitter hashtag #mealplanningmonday and the link up at Mrs M's blog (when it goes up!) for other meal ideas.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Happy Weekend

It's Sunday evening and I'm finally sitting down to relax and think about next week's activities (and write my Meal Planning Monday blog).

Today has been really great. It's Father's Day, so I wanted to treat my husband. We had a very lazy morning, and then after a late breakfast we got the bikes out and set off for a ride around our village to look at the Scarecrow Festival, which is organised by our local church. There were more than 30 scarecrows dotted around the village. My son rode on his new bike and did really well, 2 hours cycling when you're 7 years old is a long time. My daughter has now progressed to the "bike-on-a-pipe" pulled by my husband. After the ride she had a go riding on her own around the park by our house. She did manage a short time without stabilisers on my son's old bike, but finally decided she preferred to be on her own bike. That's still progress, before today she wouldn't even pedal her bike, and now she can.

While at Church after seeing the scarecrows (we had to vote for our favourite, and of course have some tea and cake!) we got talking to a lady about their Jigsaw Festival that they have in November. It sounds very strange to me, but basically throughout the year people make up jigsaws onto a board and then in November they are displayed in Church for people to look at and then buy if they would like. So we have ended up with two jigsaws to complete! My husband has spent the afternoon (while I was cooking dinner) starting the first.

On Saturday I spent a couple of hours at our allotment, I sowed some sweetcorn, squash, and beans. The allotment is still not where I want it to be, we've had so much rain and the ground is still so damp, seeds are rotting or getting eaten. Anyway, I was quite pleased to see my strawberries were almost ripe, so I'll be picking those in the week. At home I started on the garden, we took down the children's old playhouse and got rid of a lot of old toys and garden junk (therapy!). I put bark chips down in the front garden and we have a bench there now so we can sit and watch the children at the park in a bit of comfort. The back garden got a bit of a tidy up too and I'm quite pleased with it now.

Friday evening, I had a 5K race at Marston Forest Centre near Bedford. It's a lovely setting, as a course for a race it is flat and the path is gravelled mainly. A few other members of my club were running, so it was quite a nice evening all in. Some friends came back to our house afterwards to watch the England game, and we had dinner and drinks long into the night! A very good evening.

So now to next week. The car is in for a service tomorrow, which I really hate dealing with but never mind. The boy is at Beavers Monday and Tuesday on various activities. And at the weekend my parents are here for a visit. So that's something to look forward to! It's also Stotfold Festival, so there will be plenty of events on in the week and at the weekend.

I've not even mentioned marathon training...

Monday, 11 June 2012

Meal planning Monday: 11/6/12

I've not blogged my meal plans for several weeks now, due to either laziness at having to type them out or me being busy with work. Anyway, they're back, for this week at least. I'm still inflicting new recipes or foods on my poor unsuspecting family, trying to get us all to eat healthily, and minimising (for me at least) carbs in the evening.

Slow-cooked BBQ pork, with mashed potatoes and vegetables

The BBQ pork recipe is one I made up. It's great for using up leftovers from a Sunday roast (would be gorgeous with beef or lamb, maybe with a few tweaks to spices). To a casserole dish I add a chopped onion, the leftover sliced meat, 2 chopped cloves of garlic, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a good shake of Worcestershire sauce, a teaspoon of chilli powder, and a couple of tablespoons each of honey, white wine vinegar, and HP sauce. Just mix together and put in a low oven for a few hours, stirring every hour or so.

Prawn or tuna salad, with new potatoes

Wednesday has been attractively nicknamed "egg night" by my husband, who thinks we don't eat enough simple meals like scrambled eggs on toast. My kids tend to alternate between scrambled eggs/baked beans on toast and cheese toasties. I prefer an omelette, and this week I'm planning mushroom omelette with a green salad.

Homemade fishcakes, with mushy peas

I blogged last week some of my foodie ideas and this was one of them. I might make these using a tin of salmon, mashed potatoes, and grated onion and carrot. Something very easy but tasty too.

Eating out

Spaghetti bolognaise

Jamie Oliver's Incredible Roast Shoulder of Lamb

My husband discovered this recipe while searching for a slow-roast lamb recipe. The lamb is so tender you can carve it with a spoon, and leftovers are fantastic reheated and served with pitta bread, houmous, yoghurt, and Greek salad.

Please check out Mrs M's linky and #mealplanningmonday on Twitter for other blogposts and ideas.

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