Tuesday, 28 June 2011

No Tasty Tuesday

For anyone expecting a Tasty Tuesday post today, sorry! As we are away for a week's holidays I can't post a recipe today. Well, I've got photo's of food but the recipe book got forgotten at home! Oops.

There won't be a WOYWW post tomorrow either. However, i will be back later this week with a  few photo's and some news from our holibobs.

See you soon!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

WOYWW 22nd June '11

Good morning! Welcome to WOYWW, hosted by the lovely Julia!

I unexpectedly have a child-free hour this morning so I decided that the blogging that was going to be relegated to last on the list, can go ahead anyway. Yay! Weeself is playing at her new nursery for an hour and since she toddled in without a backward glance the nursery teacher said I was probably safe to go home. Whoohoo!

So, what's on my desk today?? Well.... just a little bit of this...

Yup, I've got my Bigshot out, some cardstock and my lovely new Mini Milk Carton die. I made a little prototype last night and today I'm going to be making about 15 of these little cartons. Why? Because it's teacher gift season, of course!!

Our schools here in Scotland break up on Friday for the Summer holidays and Erin announced last week that she wanted presents for not only her teacher but all the classroom assistants, secretaries and the head teacher too! Wow. So I ordered the die and it arrived yesterday. Having had a play last night I think it's going to turn out fab and it's going to be soooo much easier than doing it all by hand! Now all I've got to figure out is what I'm putting in them and how I'm going to decorate them. Have you got any ideas or suggestions?? I could do with a little inspiration!!

Thanks for your comments, I'm looking forward to your suggestions this morning as I've run out of ideas. See you soon!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Pasta Arrabiata

Welcome to another Tasty Tuesday! I'm really enjoying getting into a regular habit of posting these. I've noticed however, that I'm doing mainly Main dishes and I'm wondering if anyone out there would like some pudding/dessert recipes or maybe some starters? Let me know in the comments box and I'll get to work on them for future posts. In the meantime though, here is another delicious recipe to try out if you're trying to lose weight.

Now we all know about good carbs and bad carbs right? Pasta is one of those that seems to be able to fall into both camps. Certainly I've noticed that since Weight Watchers have changed their plan, I get far less pasta for my ProPoints than I used to on the old Points system. Which is a pity because I lurve pasta. I don't care what the sauce is just give me pasta!! So I was really happy to see this recipe in my favourite WW recipe book. Yay! Pasta!! Anyway, have a look at the recipe and tell me what you think.

low fat cooking spray
2 rashers smoked lean back bacon, trimmed of excess fat and chopped into strips
1 large garlic clove, chopped
½ - 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
400g can chopped tomatoes with herbs
150g dried pasta shapes or spaghetti
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, to serve

  1. Heat a medium, non stick pan until you can feel a good heat rising and spray with the cooking spray. Add the bacon and cook on a medium heat for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and enough chilli flakes to suit your taste and then cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and seasoning and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  3. Meanwhile, bring  a pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta for about 8 minutes or according to the packet instructions. Drain and then mix in the tomato and chilli sauce. Serve the pasta sprinkled with the parsley.
Serves: 2
Total ProPoints: 18
ProPoints/serving: 9


Of course it's pasta, so it was always going to go down well with me. However, it uses tomatoes which meant it was not really going to hit the spot for Himself and the girls. It had me unduly concerned though as Himself loved it. The kids refused to eat it the first time. The second time they picked out the bacon only and the third time the whole lot disappeared! Now it's become one of Herself's favourite dishes despite it having tomotoes in it and being far more spicy than she would normally tolerate. This dish is definitely well worth making! Especially if you love pasta and feel like you're being deprived of it on the road to your new, leaner body.

Just a note though, you will notice in this picture that I shaved some parmesan over. It is gorgeous with it on, but you have to remember to add the appropriate amount of ProPoints to your total. However, the good news is that Parmesan is very low in ProPoints compared to other cheese, so you can get quite a bit on your plate!! Yum.

So what do you think? Would you try this one or are you tomato-phobic like my family? Give it a try and tell me what your thoughts are on it. I'd love to hear! Now if you'd like to see some other gorgeous recipes hop over to FTLOB to see what everyone else has been cooking up this week!

Thanks for dropping by and leaving me a comment. I always read them and appreciate them!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

WOYWW 15 June '11

Good evening and welcome to my little blog. Ok, so in my head I was saying that in the 'Arabic' accent used by the narrator in Disney's Alladin. I don't know why, but I thought you might like to know that piece of very important information...

I'm extremely late in posting my WOYWW contribution today. It's been one of those days unfortunately. My car was at the mechanic to have something rather expensive done to it. I wouldn't mind the expense if it was making my car look prettier, but I begrudge spending the money on something I can't even see - much less understand what it actually DOES. However, I'm assured by those that know these things that I definitely need to have this bit fixed or it could result in lots of oil all over the road and an engine that goes 'KABOOM'. That would not be good at all, so I took the little car to the garage last night so they could start work on her bright and early this morning.

That means I have effectively been trapped in my house all day.... so you would think that I would have been able to find time to post on the little old bloggy. But no. Instead my day started in a mad rush to get Herself to the bus stop which was easier said than done because her only thought this morning was about her school trip. So she bounced round the house like a flibberty-jibbet instead of getting dressed which very nearly resulted in her missing the bus and not going on the school trip at all!

My intention to blog before lunchtime was thwarted by technology. No, not Blogger misbehaving. Unfortunately. Instead I was wrestling with ordering systems, credit card details not being accepted and banks... all the while getting increasingly frustrated with various technologies NOT being able to communicate with each other properly. Or even at all. By the time I had that sorted it was 1pm and Weeself was asking for her lunch. While she was eating her lunch, the Window Surveyor turned up to measure the port-holes for new casements. He was extremely meticulous and very chatty! Which resulted in me only getting to eat my lunch at  3:45pm AFTER I had collected a very happy, bouncy, excited, chattering and twirling girl from the bus stop.

Himself arrived just in time to bundle us all in his car so we could go pick up my, now repaired, little car from the garage and after that it was go, go, go for dinner, bath and bedtime.

So despite being indoors all day and within 5 yards of the computer at all times, I'm only now sitting down to do this post. And it's turned into War & Peace already!! I'll stop gabbing now and let you have a look at the desk...

On my desk today you can see my layout for my July Scrap Club. I'm having a whole month of 'Christmas in July' so it's gone all festive. I used the papers you saw on my desk last time. Also on my desk today is the stamp set I was planning to use this morning to make Father's Day cards. Somehow, I don't think it's going to get done tonight.

Right, I'm off to read my book. I'm borrowing Himself's Kindle as it's got a series of books on it that I've been dying to read. It shall be an early night tonight (well as early as I ever get!) and then an early start tomorrow as Weeself has been invited to a birthday party. Her first ever! She'll be in her element I think.

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment! Oh, and don't forget to hop over to Julia's to have a look at some more desks.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Spicy Lamb & Couscous

Good morning my lovelies! Isn't it a lovely day? We've got some sunshine forecast for today and so far it's looking like the weatherman might be right. Yay! That will be the first sunshine around here for.... well, ages (it seems)! While the rest of the UK seems to be suffering from drought we, here in Scotland, have been facing endless days of grey skies and rain. Lots of rain. So today's forecast is definitely a good thing. This morning I'm rushing off to take Herself to school and Weeself to nursery. I then have errands to run before it's time to pick Weeself up again. Lunch and then swimming lessons for the Wee one before coming home in time to collect Herself from the bus stop.... and then tonight, well... I don't know exactly but I feel like I'm meant to be somewhere tonight. I think I'll check the calendar once I'm finished doing this! Just in case.

Anyway, I'm rambling now so lets get to the food!! With today being quite a busy day I need something really quick and easy to make for tea so I've pulled out some lovely Lamb steaks. I think I might make this recipe since it is so simple and quick and also, we love it! Ok, so it takes the kids a bit of convincing to eat the Couscous but they are starting to get used to it. I think if we put it in front of them often enough they'll eventually get used to the idea and start eating it!! So here's what I'm making tonight...

finely grated zest and juice of ½ a lemon
1 red chilli, de-seeded and diced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 x 150g lean lamb leg steaks
low fat cooking spray
100g dried couscous
½ a kettleful of boiling water
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. On a plate, mix together the lemon zest, half the chilli, cumin seeds and seasoning. Press the lamb steaks into the mixture to coat the meat.
  2. Lightly coat a non-stick frying pan with the cooking spray and fry the lam steaks for 3-4 minutes on each side, until done to your liking.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the lemon juice and remaining chilli into the couscous in a bowl. Season and add 175ml of boiling water. Stir the mixture then cover the bowl with cling film and leave the couscous to stand for 5 minutes to soften.
  4. Fluff up the couscous with a form and mix in the coriander. Serve the lamb steaks on a bed of couscous.
Serves: 2
Total ProPoints: 25
ProPoints/serving: 12

Note: I will admit that I cheat a bit with the ingredients.... I tend to use 'Lazy Chillies' (bottled, pre-chopped chillies) and dried Coriander leaf instead of fresh. However, I don't find it makes a huge difference to the flavour. I have also been known to add spring onions to the couscous for an extra veg portion. 


Yummy! Yummy! Yummy! Himself and I loved this recipe from the moment we first tasted it. It has become a regular on the menu now and each time the girls are more inclined to eat it. The Lamb gets eaten very quickly, but the couscous isn't very popular. However, the Weeself surprised me the other day by actually eating 2 or 3 spoonfuls before deciding she'd had enough. Slowly but surely I will win this battle! I just wish it wasn't such hard work!! Anyway, if you have more adventurous kids or no kids at all to worry about then I would definitely give it a go. 

If you're wanting some non-Weight Watcher recipes to try out then hop over to FTLOB to have a read. There are usually some really yummy recipes there to tempt you. 

Anyway, I have to dash now as a certain Wee one is wanting breakfast and Herself needs reminding that mornings are for getting dressed and ready.. NOT for playing! Thanks for dropping by and leaving me a comment! Oh, and please make sure you let me know if you try any of the Tasty Tuesday recipes. I'd love to hear what your verdict is!!

Speak soon!!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Meatball Pasta Bake

Good morning! If you've been reading my Tasty Tuesday posts for the last couple of weeks you'll have noticed that I seem to have gotten stuck on chicken. So today, I've decided to stay away from the chicken and go for beef instead. Himself and Myself love using mince beef (or ground beef as our cousins across the big blue like to say), however, Herself and Weeself always pull their noses up at it. I don't know why. The only thing I can think of is that they don't like the texture? Who knows with kids and toddlers, eh?! The only way they DO eat it is when it's presented as Meatballs. So it was with great joy that I found this recipe in one of my WW recipe books. 

400g lean beef mince
1 large onion, chopped finely
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon dried oregano
low fat cooking spray
175g dried penne pasta
2x400g cans chopped tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, chopped
125g pack mozzarella light, drained and chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the beef, onion and herbs with some seasoning. Shape into 16 walnut sized balls.
  2. Spray a non-stick frying pan with the cooking spray and heat until hot. Add the meatballs and cook for 7-8 minutes until browned all over; don't worry if they are not cooked through as they will continue cooking in the oven. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/190C/fan oven 170C. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes or about half the cooking time stated on the packet. Drain well and mix with the tomatoes and garlic.
  4. Spoon the pasta mixture into an ovenproof dish. Nestle the meatballs into the pasta, top with the mozzarella and bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbling
Serves: 4
Total ProPoints: 42
ProPoints/serving: 10


Finally! A mince beef meal that the kids will eat!! Ok, so they still refused to eat the tomato bits, but all the pasta and meatballs disappeared at the speed of light. Yay! As for the adults, I would recommend some salad to go with it just to fill any gaps. Very very tasty dish, so be careful because you WILL be tempted to go back for more!

Right now I'm rushing off to the hairdresser for a trim.... and then after that it's rush, rush, rush!! Thanks for dropping by and leaving me a comment. Have a look at FTLOB for more Tasty Tuesday recipes.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

WOYWW 1st June '11

Good morning all you lovely Blogland people!! Wow, I'm feeling all bouncy today which is really strange as I'm one of those people who gets horribly affected by the weather outside my window and today it is horrible. Grey and drizzling. Again. So, it must be purely the knowledge that I'm going to be able to see all these wonderful workdesks again today that must be making me so happy!! If you think I'm nuts, sorry. If you'd like to join in the happiness then please check out Julia's Blog to see what makes me so ridiculously happy on a Wednesday morning!

Right, I suppose as you've trekked all the way over to MY little blog that you'd really like to see my desk, right? Ok, here it is this morning....

Ok, so I'll admit that my desk was like this last night too. I sat down to do some sample scrapbook layouts for my new Scrap Club that I'm launching and despite staring at the papers I came up with nothing. Nada. Nix. How is it that when you don't have time to scrap you have Loooooooaaaaads of inspiration but the moment you actually sit down to do some you end up staring and paper and cardstock. And, worst of all, the paper and cardstock actually ends up staring. right. back. Freaky! Anyway, once I've done this WOYWW post and done some admin I shall be heading straight back to this desk to get something done with that lovely Jolly Holiday DSP. I'm thinking maybe something Christmassy.... hmmmm.....

Anyway, maybe you can give me some ideas?  Inspiration? Help!!! If those papers start staring back at me again I'm going to have to do something drastic and I won't be held responsible for my actions then!!

Oh well, I'm looking forward to hearing your suggestions so PLEASE leave me a comment. Thanks for dropping by!