Saturday, 28 May 2022

What's Cooking At The Madhouse ? menu plan week 22


Last week was almost like being on holiday as I only had to go to work for two days - bliss ! There was lots to do at home, catching up with marking final assignments and filling in end-of-term/year reports and skill validation lists though. I managed to catch up with a friend in her new house in the country which was lovely - there's so much work to do but it will look fabulous when it's all finished. I brought loads of salad, strawberries and rhubarb back from her veg patch. Pierre also got his plastercast taken off on Friday so he's back to two arms and legs now - phew ! Back to a normal week this week.

Monday

lunch- I'm at the canteen - leftovers for the kids

dinner - pork lomos, ebly & salad

Tuesday

lunch- canteen for me - leftovers for the kids

dinner- chilli con carne & rice

Wednesday

lunch-  leftover chilli

dinner-fish, mash & beans

Thursday

lunch - meal with a friend for me, canteen or leftovers for the kids

dinner- chicken & veg stir fry with noodles
 
Friday

lunch- leftovers/sandwiches - we'll all be arriving at different times

dinner -  spaghetti bolognese

Saturday

lunch- we haven't been to McDonald's for ages so why not? (but ultimately I'll let the kids decide)

dinner- grilled ham, pasta & ratatouille

Sunday 

lunch- roast chicken, roast potatoes, veg & gravy

dinner- sandwiches or toast

***Click on my Menu Plans tag to see all my other weekly menu plan blogposts.***

Linking up with the Menu Plan Roundup over at Cats, Kids, Chaos

Sunday, 22 May 2022

What's Cooking At The Madhouse ? menu plan week 21


I said in last week's menu plan that Sophie would grab something on Too Good To Go and she did - a load of Chinese food that covered about three meals! This week, I haven't got much shopping in so I will go and top up mid week or maybe go freezer diving. It's a two day work week this week (woohoo !) as it's my day off on Wednesday, Thursday is a bank holiday (Ascension Thursday) and Friday we "make the bridge" so that we get a long weekend. Sounds good to me ! Here's the plan for this week.

Monday

lunch- I'm at the canteen - leftovers for the kids

dinner - spaghetti bolognese

Tuesday

lunch- canteen for me - leftovers for the kids


Wednesday

lunch-  not sure who's eating at home, it may just be me and Pierre - sandwiches maybe? or leftovers


Thursday

lunch - I'm going to see a friend and not sure what time I'm leaving - something quick like spaghetti carbonara if needed

dinner- pork chops, ebly & veg
 
Friday

lunch- tacos, even if it's not Tuesday ! (or should it be fajitas Friday ?!)

dinner -  steak & ale pie, mash & veg

Saturday

lunch- takeaway maybe? or something I picked up in the shops

dinner- Mexican-style Picadillo Empanadas with rice, sweetcorn & pico de gallo

Sunday 

lunch- roast chicken, roast potatoes, veg & gravy

dinner- cheese on toast or leftovers

***Click on my Menu Plans tag to see all my other weekly menu plan blogposts.***

Linking up with the Menu Plan Roundup over at Cats, Kids, Chaos

Monday, 16 May 2022

What's Cooking At The Madhouse ? menu plan week 20


For the last two weeks, I've said that things have calmed down. Bad move ! This week, things kicked off again - sigh ! On Saturday evening, Pierre came back from playing with his friends and said he'd fallen when playing football and hurt his arm. Sunday it seemed ok but at lunchtime on Monday, I got a load of text messages begging to go to hospital because it hurt too much. I told him to meet me after work at 4.30 and we'd head to the hospital. When we got there, there was a 6 hour wait and they suggested we give up and try again the next day, which we did. The next day, he finally got an x-ray and it turns out he's broken his arm so it's in plaster ... just a couple of months since breaking the other arm ! I'm sure they'll be watching me for child abuse or something ! The end of term is drawing near too so it's the last dash for tests and reports at school. Always a busy time but at least we get a long holiday to recover afterwards ! Right, here's the plan for this week's food.

Monday

lunch- I'm at the canteen - leftover sausages for the kids, either in bread or with pasta (or whatever else they find in the fridge)

dinner - chicken fajitas (with guacamole, tomato salad, rice, ...)

Tuesday

lunch- canteen for me - leftovers for the kids

dinner- Mexican-spiced pork chops with ebly & salad

Wednesday

lunch-  chicken burgers, potato salad & tomato salad

dinner- spaghetti bolognese

Thursday

lunch - meal with a friend for me & Sophie, leftovers for Pierre, canteen for Juliette

dinner- Sophie's been eyeing up lots of things on Too Good To Go so I think there will be lots of unexpected things to eat in the fridge for at least one meal this week !

Friday

lunch- Sophie can sort out something as I'll be home later (or there may be leftovers to use up)

dinner - pasta bake 

Saturday

lunch- chicken & veg stir fry

dinner- pizza or flammenkueche

Sunday 

lunch- pork curry & rice

dinner- sandwiches or toast

***Click on my Menu Plans tag to see all my other weekly menu plan blogposts.***

Linking up with the Menu Plan Roundup over at Cats, Kids, Chaos

Sunday, 15 May 2022

When I Close My Eyes by Jemma Wayne


After a long busy day at work then rushing around after the kids, when I close my eyes, I'm happy to drift off into some rejuvenating slumber. Even during the day, closing my eyes and taking a few deep breaths can give me an extra boost of energy when I need it the most. But what if closing your eyes becomes a source of stress ? What if closing your eyes means giving up the control of your body and mind and then not even remembering what you did when you wake up? Such is the ordeal endured by Lilith, the central character in Jemma Wayne's When I Close My Eyes.

Lilith has managed to create a great life for herself, carving out a career as a Hollywood screenwriter. She has a lovely house, a charming boyfriend, friends, money ... what could be missing from her life? She even has a great relationship with her younger brother, a person that she has always adored but spent several years worrying about as she had a horrifying sense that she would end up hurting him while she slept. Besides her parents, the other person that Lilith has left behind in the leafy Buckinghamshire village that she grew up in is her childhood best friend, Cassius.

But then one day, Cassius turns up out of the blue. Recently widowed, he introduces his child to Lilith - a little girl that she instantly falls in love with. Adopting the role of doting "auntie" wholeheartedly, the pair spend lots of time together and form a close bond. Things are not as simple as they seem though as the reappearance of Cassius seems to have brought back something else : her sleepwalking. As things start to spiral out of control, she realises that her dream life in California is not as stress-free as she thought.

The sleepwalking theme is a great premise for a novel and not one that I have come across before. It adds a great depth of emotion as we discover events and feelings that are shocking or horrifying, while also empathising with the character who cannot comprehend what she may have done or why. Cassius is another complex character and watching his life evolve, as a teenager and also a grown man, in less than perfect circumstances tugs on your heartstrings.

It's a cracking read and the ending came as a surprise. I could see this being made into a film as it has the perfect combination of drama, emotion and tingling suspense.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £8.99

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Legend Press (3 May 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1800310145
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1800310148
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 19.8 x 2.1 x 12.9 cm


Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book in order to share my honest opinion.

Sunday, 8 May 2022

What's Cooking At The Madhouse ? menu plan week 19


Another calm week - two in a row, which is pretty unbelievable! I'm sure it won't last but I'm making the most of it while I can. I found another roofer to sort out our damaged roof - the insurance refused the first quote as too expensive, but this second one said that the price quoted sounded reasonable to him and he's not sure he'll be able to do better. We'll see what happens. They'll be using a drone to check out the roof and see what needs doing - how cool is that ?! I've just been shopping at Lidl and they have all their summer BBQ products in store so I've stocked up on various seasoned chicken skewers and pork chops. They take all the effort out of cooking as they just need to be slapped under the grill ! So, here's what we'll be eating this week. It's supposed to be really hot so I'm thinking salad will go down well this week. I bet it rains all week now !

Monday

lunch- I'm at the canteen - probably leftovers for the kids

dinner - Proven├žal chicken with pasta and salad

Tuesday

lunch- canteen for me - leftovers for the kids

dinner- Cajun chicken & rice (with peppers, onions & tomatoes)

Wednesday

lunch-  leftovers or chicken burgers, couscous & beetroot salad

dinner- tacos (with mince this week, I think)

Thursday

lunch - meal with a friend for me & Sophie, leftovers for Pierre, canteen for Juliette

dinner- Mexican pork chops with rice & salad

Friday

lunch- Sophie can sort out something as I'll be home later (or there may be leftovers to use up)

dinner - creamy chicken & bacon with pasta

Saturday

lunch- steak & ale pie with mash & veg

dinner- we haven't had Deliveroo for a while so I'll see what the kids fancy

Sunday 

lunch- roast chicken, roast potatoes, veg & gravy

dinner- pasta with Italian spices & leftover chicken/onions/peppers/mushrooms

***Click on my Menu Plans tag to see all my other weekly menu plan blogposts.***

Linking up with the Menu Plan Roundup over at Cats, Kids, Chaos

Sunday, 1 May 2022

What's Cooking At The Madhouse ? menu plan week 18


This week was nice and calm - it's been a long time since I said that ! Back to school went well and I managed to clear all my marking in my free periods so I got a weekend off with nothing to do - even better ! Foodwise, last week was good too. The sfeha made a nice change and they're so simple to make - definitely one to try again, maybe changing around the fillings as Juliette said she would love them with ham/pineapple/cheese. Well, why not ?! The lime chicken fajitas were great too. I'm digging through the seasoning sachets this week again as it's such a simple way of changing flavours and trying new things.

Monday

lunch- I'm at the canteen - probably leftovers for the kids

dinner - Caribbean chicken (seasoning sachet - needs red onion, red pepper, chicken - I'm tempted to throw in some pineapple too) with rice & salad

Tuesday

lunch- canteen for me - leftovers for the kids

dinner- pork lomo saltado (Peruvian inspired pork stir fry) with couscous (traditionally it's served with both rice and chips - here was the version I made last time - but I'm not convinced by that combination !)

Wednesday

lunch-  leftovers or beefburgers & pasta

dinner- chicken fajitas / cheese & bean enchiladas (2 sachets from my win - one veggie (that me & Sophie can eat) and the other with chicken for Pierre & Juliette)

Thursday

lunch - meal with a friend for me & Sophie (and whoever else is free - last week, everyone came !), leftovers for Pierre, canteen for Juliette

dinner- chicken curry - I brought back chicken korma and tikka masala sauces from the UK so either of those will do - with rice

Friday

lunch- Sophie can sort out something as I'll be home later (or there may be leftovers to use up)

dinner - pork steaks, mash, carrots & gravy

Saturday

lunch- chicken burgers, wedges & coleslaw

dinner- pasta carbonara

Sunday 

lunch- roast chicken, roast potatoes, veg & gravy

dinner- leftovers or pizza

***Click on my Menu Plans tag to see all my other weekly menu plan blogposts.***

Linking up with the Menu Plan Roundup over at Cats, Kids, Chaos

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