Friday, 29 February 2008

Yoghurt To Go!!

Bought an Easy Yo Yoghurt maker this morning. A proper one this time! I did buy what I thought was a yoghurt maker in Julian Graves Cheshire Oaks, but turned out to be a spare jar! Thought it was cheap. This one was £14.99 and it the right item. Since we had two of the mixes at home we just got the basic item rather than the kits.So when we got home VT set it up to make a batch of Greek Yoghurt which I like anyway, and we can use it as a creme fraiche replacement.
Took our money to Waitrose this morning, mainly because it is a very wet, rainy and windy day so didn't want to go further. Bought our usual weekend items plus some impulse buys that were too tempting. Like Spelt flatbreads which look lovely, and some Duchy Originals Shortbreads which we both have as a treat occasionally. We had a lovely cup of coffee in the cafe and took our own biscuits...cheapskate...No! their biscuits are huge and very fattening, I take Weight watchers ones. Plenty for us.
VT went into Boots, he had a coupon for some free vitamins and the ones he wanted were not there but they offered £4.99 off any Boots own vitamins, which is very fair. So he got 150 for £1.
Tonight we are having:
Fishless fish fingers,
Chips, a measured amount,
Mushy peas for VT (Harry Ramsdens ones)
Green beans for me.
Maybe a baked tomato too!

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Outing Today

We got up early this morning and took ourselves off to the Cheshire Oaks Outlet Village over in Ellesmere Port. It was a nice day too, a bit cloudy to begin with but then sunny later. Had a bit of a look round, then got over to Costa Coffee for a really good soy latte and garibaldi biscuit. Had a gorgeous lunch in Pret a Manger..VT had a salad wrap, and I had a breadless sandwich with avocado, rocket, tomato and mozzarella. Really tasty I could eat that every meal.
I bought a lovely new coat, like a longish light coat in blue, was £119 reduced to £35!! a real bargain and quite stylish. Didn't buy much else but had a good look round. Like the Elvi shop they have some lovely items in there and reasonable prices. Nearly bought a purple leather jacket, but not sure about the leather thing really.
Tonight we are having:
Not much of an idea to be honest, but possible,
Leek and Gruyere tarts from ASDA,
Sauteed potatoes done in Fry Light,
Vegetables from the freezer.
Quite enjoyed today!

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

All Shook Up!!

Last night the earth moved for us all apparently, a quite big earthquake,measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale. Have to say I didn't hear anything, mind you I take my hearing aids out and that's it.Nothing moves me. VT did say he heard the windows rattling and Peter Price was saying on the radio that the Radio city tower was shaking. That would be scary I think. Quite a few people on the radio this morning talking about their experiences. Can't say we felt much really.
Last night the meal was changed, we ended up having a Linda McCartney pie, gravy and potato croquettes, with carrots. very tasty actually.
Not doing much today, VT went into Formby to get a hair cut and some petrol. I have been messing about on the computer. Nice haircut!
Tonight we are having:
Meatballs in Goulash sauce,
4oz rice or pasta not sure which yet,
Tenderstem broccolli.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Making Bread...

I like making bread,especially with a breadmaker, it makes it so much easier.
Our breadmaker is on its last legs really, so we got some vouchers from the shopping channel in order to get a new one from Argos. We actually got £80 worth of vouchers, then in the last weeks Weekend magazines there was a catalogue from Argos of their sale items, and lo and behold the Morphy Richards one which was £69.99 was reduced by £20 so we went off to Ormskirk and bought one. It is a nice stainless steel finish, and has a blade that collapses down so you don't get the hole in the bottom of the bread. Mind you we generally use ours for Sourdough bread so only use the dough cycle, because it needs long rising to work.
I also went to the Bon Marche shop and bought a nice new jumper and a very pretty bra. So had a good look round too. Very cold and very windy but really sunny in the centre, beginning to need the reactions glasses again.
Tonight we are having:
Tivall Kievs,
Mashed potatoes,
Carrots or tender stem broccoli.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Posh Shops

Took ourselves off to Formby this morning to get a few veggies for the week. Went to Julian graves since VT had a coupon for half price off everything. Bought a lot of items...flavoured coffee, mixed dried fruit for a bread, roasted salted cashews, rice crackers etc, and the girl said £2.12 !!! what she had done we realised when we got home was press the %50 button that was a bargain shop!
Then went to M&S and bought some veggies, and salads and pears and apples. I know they are more expensive there but they are good quality, and I don't mind paying extra.
Then off to Waitrose for more veggies...potatoes and a few other bits, only a basket full..very restrained.
Lovely cup of coffee when we got home, then a nice lunch of the pizza that we had yesterday and salad.
Tonight we are having:
Lemon and black Pepper escallopes,
baby potatoes squashed,
Mushrooms fried in a very little fry light, and a couple of spoonfuls of creme fraiche, and baby leeks.
Mixed vegetables..broccolli asparagus and carrot.
Want to aim to drop a pound or so in the week.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Back on The Sourdough

Made a really nice batch of bread in the breadmaker again today. I refreshed the Sourdough starter last night, and got a batch of Oatmeal and Potato bread going. We now use another cup of flour to make enough for the Pizza also so it is a good value recipe. The oats we used today were really nice large organic ones, and will make a good loaf I think.
I also did the usual roasted vegetables, to go on the pizza.
Crosswords proved to be fairly difficult but not unsurmountable with a few devices to use, like the crossword buddy etc.
Watching Dancing on Ice tonight, I do like that programme, have always enjoyed watching the ice skating, even since the days of black and white television, and the russian skaters like the Protopopovs (sp).
Tonight we aare having:
Sourdough Pizza with home made tomato sauce,
Roasted Vegetables,
Goats Cheese topping,
Salad with baby plum tomatoes, and Avocado. With a topping of seeds.

Saturday, 23 February 2008


Feeling peckish today, it's a lovely word that I think. I could really fancy something cakey, like a lovely piece of Old Fashioned Cherry cake ala Delia Smith. The calorie count unfortunately prohibits that. So a Mr Kipling cake bar will have to suffice I suppose! Not the same though.
Delia Smith is everywhere the recipes are in the magazines, and her comments on battery hens and eggs are being reported all over the papers. Sensible woman she is talks a lot of good common sense.
Saturday dawned quiet as usual in the McElroy house, nothing much going on. Jane rang last night just as a good film was finishing, so have recorded the ending for VT who went off to answer the phone. She has had a disagreement with the Boss and was upset, but I think VT has diffused the situation a bit.
The film was a good one actually. In pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith and his son in it. Quite funny and sad and based on a real life story.
Tonight we are having:
VT jokes at me putting this on the site, and he comes into the kitchen and says "tonight we are having?" funny...
Anyway...Chinese. Spring Rolls...bought for 37p from Tesco reduced party food..
Mushroom stir fry,
4oz of egg fried rice.
We don't seem to get tired of this really, even though we always have a chinese type meal every Saturday, they are all a bit different.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Friday Outing

It is friday, so I took my money to Sainsbury's in Walton. It is a fair journey, but it is quite a good shop to go to. Good wide aisles, and plenty of choice usually. We got the general Weekend things, the stir fry, pizza items, and salad ingredients etc. Also I had a peek at the new Delia book. Not sure that it is for us, because it appears to have quite a few meaty or fishy items in it, which means that the recipes are useless to us. So, not sure whether to buy it really.
We had a beautiful Risotto last night, we both enjoyed making that. I started off with diced leek and celery gently sauteed in fry light, then 150 grms arborio rice and about 11/2 pints of stock added slowly. Then stirred a roasted butternut squash and a handful of spinach, and one chopped pear at the last minute. Very, very tasty. With a side dish of asparagus, and green beans it made a really posh tea.
VT is out in the gaarden tidying up. The little daffodils are out, and the tubs of snowdrops he planted and it all looks really nice. God Bless him, an Alan Titchmarsh in the making... He is presently weilding his chopper and chopping some logs. No arguments now then!!
Tonight we are having:
Tomato and beefless burger,
Saute potatoes done in fry light,
Tinned spaghetti,
Portobello mushroom and 1/2 a tomato baked.
So a sort of mixed grill really.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

What's For Tea?

Well, maybe a risotto. I have a butternut squash sitting on the vegetable rack and a tray of asparagus so thinking of a risotto. We had a beautiful one in The Cedar Street restaurant, which had squash and pear in it, and it was really nice.
There was a question on the Delia site about whether to plan meals or not? Can't say I do really. We have the same things on a Saturday evening and a Sunday evening, but the rest of the week is comparatively free of planning. It depends on what we have in stock, what there is in the vegetable rack or the freezer. Often it is a case of olook to see what there is and make a meal around that. We do shopping on a Friday for the weekend, and again on a Monday generally for the week, and that's it for stocking up.
Since we have both been on the "Healthy Eating" plan we do watch the calories, and the carbohydrates, so they are measured. We don't eat so many cakes now unless they are the cake bars so are calorie counted I haven't made a home made cake for ages..although I would die for a piece of home made cherry cake!! or a beautiful slice of proper Victoria Sandwich cake!! Oh dream on.....
The lentil dish we had last night was a big success. Very tasty indeed, and would definitely make again..
Green Lentils with Vegetarian Sausages.
One tin of green lentils,
One stick of celery diced very small,
One large carrot diced very small,
One onion small or one leek cut very small,
One tin of chopped tomatoes,
A garlic clove, or a squirt of garlic puree,
One tsp of olive oil and a few squirts of fry light,
Salt and pepper,
One tsp of sugar
Vegetarian sausages..or quorn fillets, I used the tomato ones,
Put the carrot, leek, celery into a pan with the oil and very gently stir about ten minutes until sweated and soft.
Add tomatoes and simmer until the sauce thickens,
Add the washed and rinsed lentils and simmer about five minutes till heated through. Serve with the cooked vegetarian sausages or fillets.
Tonight we are having:
Risotto with butternut squash and pear and asparagus.
Handful of spinach to go into it, and a sprinkle of parmesan.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Healthy Eating...Lentils!!

Had to nip out to Sainsbury's this morning because the babies had run out of their chicken. We cannot not give them their chicken because Bobby sits in the kitchen all through our lunch making us feel so guilty. So the chicken fillets £3.99 and the cat biscuits for the cat next door, and the cat food came to more than all our shopping put together!!
I was looking for green lentils for our tea tonight. We don't have these very often, but I saw a tasty looking low calorie recipe in the Asda magazine I thought I'd try. It is Vegetarien sausages with green lentils, but we had the sausages last night in a toad in the hole, so I am going to use Quorn tomato fillets instead.
The lentils were quite a good buy actually because they were 45p a tin or 3 tins for a pound and I only need one tin so will use the others in casseroles etc.
Very cold wind today, not a gale but just really cold, we were going to go to Ormskirk but got up too late...the bed was too comfy, and VT was too cuddly!! and little Rusty was on top of us! One of the marvellous things about being retired is that you can do what you want when you want and if you don't feel like going out don't..simple...
Tonight we are having:
Vegetarian tomato fillets with Green lentil sauce,
Maybe the rest of the butternut squash and sweet potato that was left from the toad yesterday.
That by the way was delicious.. I roasted some butternut squash and sweet potato cubes in a tin, added some mushrooms, and some baby plum tomatoes and poured over the yorkshire pudding batter. Added the veggie sausages. Very tasty indeed.
Great veggie food.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008


Spent the best part of this morning trying to get through to the call centre to make an appointment for Mr Clarke's eye clinic. Got the interminable "you are in a queue we are very busy...." then a bossy woman trying to tell us to use the antibacterial gel when visiting in hospital....SO irritating.
Anyway, got through eventually, and made an appointment for the 12th of May. Rang off and went to enter that in the calendar to find another appt. on the same day at the Diabetic clinic!! stupid woman..I should have looked first. So rang the Diabetic clinic to change their appt, to find that the next one they could give me was Sept!! So rang the call centre back and got the same woman, quite quickly this time, and rearranged their appt for the 19th of May, and a bit earlier too.
So, that was the morning really.
Had a bit of a look in the store cupboard to see what is out of date, and threw a few bits away. It is amazing how quickly items get out of date, but we haven't thrown much away. Mostly bits of pasta, and cartons of things.
One thing that turned up was a packet of Yorkshire pudding batter mix, so that is going to be tonights tea...
Tonight we are having:
Toad-in-the-hole, with Quorn sausages,
Butternut Squash and sweet potato,
Gravy with caramelised onion relish.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Delia Oh Delia!

With the arrival of a new Delia Smith book...How to Cheat at Cooking comes a flurry of Delia ingredients. I have succumbed, and bought from Tesco's this morning a jar of sea-salt flecked with rosemary. So I have joined the club.
There is a lot of talk in the papers because it is said she had advocated battery hens for chicken. Sensible woman that she is, she has recognised that not everyone has the dosh for the organic free range ones. People are also saying what a terrible thing to use cheating ingredients, well she has said that this book is not for everyday, but when you are in a hurry. Ever sensible our Delia..
I wanted to have a look at the book in Tesco's this morning but they didn't have any, probably sold out. Ah well shall have to wait and be patient.
Very cold today, so we just went to the Tesco in Formby. Intended to get a few veg, and ended up spending £57 !! always the same.
Tonight we are having:
Soft Cheese and Ham style Quorn steak,
Potatoes roasted in sea salt and rosemary flakes,
Carrots and peas, or roasted squash and sweet potato.
I have seen a lovely recipe for vegetarian sausages with lentils, so might do that not really sure yet.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Crossword Sunday.

Had quite a busy day today, we made a lovely Soy and Linseed loaf this morning. Used a Lauke bread mix, mainly because we have run out of strong white bread flour. Excellent bread mixes, turn out beautifully every time.
We also did a pizza dough too in the bread machine, which is really billowy nad silky looking.
Then I did the roast vegetables for the pizza topping, so quite a busy day.
Did the crosswords in good time. The mail on sunday one was a bit hard to get going, a tricky proverb which was difficult to get but we got there in the end. A couple of fairly hard ones on the big daily mail one and one or two to finish after.
Tonight we are having:
Pizza with roast vegetables,
Tomato sauce topping,
Salad with potato and egg,
Nice to be back to normal eh!

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Bright Suny and Cold.

Lovely day today, the sun is cracking the flags as they say, but it is very cold. the sort of weather that would have been great at Christmas, but instead it was wet.
Everyone is mooching today, the cats aren't much in evidence, and VT went to Formby to get some smokeless fuel. We are back to normal really, which is nice after the last few weeks. Got some nice cheese and biscuits for lunch, and the box of goodies up in Janes room is gradually going down, still got a few jars of cranberry sauce though!!
Ordered a book from Amazon yesterday,it's called Dough by Andrew Bertaine, maybe some good breads to try.
Tonight we are having:
Back to normal Chinese...
Spring Rolls,
Stir fry vegetables..Waitrose mushroom,
Honey and coriander sauce,
4oz egg fried rice.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Who Needs a Valentine Day Card???

When I have the very best husband in the world... Who else would put up with me last week? and who else would make the MOST PERFECT poached egg on toast in Merseyside? One day he said is there anything you fancy? and I said a poached egg on toast, and a few minutes later he came up with the most delicious, perfect poached egg I have ever had. Truly memorable...the yolk just gorgeous, and a lovely English Muffin to rest it on.
Now that is LOVE XXXXX
We went off to Waitrose this morning with our Friday money. Bought the usual weekend thingies, and a few little treats some Green and Blacks ice cream in little tubs. Well they were on offer if you buy 4 you get £1 off. bargain...and I just fancied some ice cream.
It really is a nice place to shop, and we did have a lovely cup of coffee in there also. Must admit to being a little jaded when we had finished, but Hey a lot lot better than last week.
Tonight we are having:
Vegetable Pasty from Waitrose,
Some little roasted potatoes speckled with rosemary,
Green beans.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Stepping Out!

Stepped out today, set foot outside the door for the first time in about two weeks. Didn't do too badly, went around Sainsbury's and got a few things that we needed. it was actually very cold, and the weather seems to have gone wintry again, you certainly needed a coat.
The fields going into Crosby have dried up somewhat, still a lake on a few but nowhere near as bad as they have been, and a couple of them have been ploughed.
Had a lovely bath this afternoon with scented oil and candles and the start of a good new thriller to read...mmmm...bliss. wilted me a bit though.
Tonight we are having:
Green Thai curry with Quorn thai fillets, and mushrooms and asparagus,
Wild rice and Jasmine rice 4oz.,
Carrot sticks with some onion seeds for a splash of colour.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Another Lovely Day.

really nice sunny day today, the daffodils at the front of the house in the barrel are bobbing away and look gorgeous. VT planted quite a few containers with the miniature ones and they are beginning to be a really nice splash of colour in the garden.
He went off this morning to get a car wash and some petrol. Came back and he had a £5 one for £2.99 so was pleased with that. I gave him £30 for his petrol so the car is fairly full now. He is now doing the glass with glass cleaner and oiling the back door.
Me a bit better today as well, up and down the stairs a lot easier, and while not altogether normal a bit more energy. We have had a couple of days of normal foods too so that helps.
Big weigh in Today. VT is down a couple of pounds, due no doubt to the amount of running up and down the stairs after me! I am down about 6lbs!! although I am expecting some of that to go back quite quickly now I am on Proper food again. I am now at or about 11stones 7lbs. VT is around 11stones 2lbs.Now by my reckoning that is down about 2 stones since we bagan a year ago ish. It will be interesting to see what we both end up at on June 29th which will be a year since the Healthy Eating Plan began.
Tonight we are having:
Cheddar, Potato and Leek tartlet. (VT bought them from waitrose reduced)
Baby potatoes
Mushrooms and some frozen vegetables.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Better by the Day..

And about time has been a good week now so is time that the body roused itself. We ended up having a lovely meal last night. VT did a pasta dish with a Cranks tomato sauce as a base, and some fresh tomatoes stirred through and simmered. Then cooked around 4oz of penne pasta shapes and put into a dish. Sprinkled about 3 little tiny baby bel cheeses over the top and some baby plum tomatoes. baked the whole thing till nice and brown. We had that with one garlic slice. I enjoyed that.
He nipped off to Waitrose this morning to get a few items, milk, carrots, cat food cat chicken etc, and a nice bunch of roses. When I came down yesterday the roses were all shrivelled and I hate that but was expecting them to be a fantastic price. Not too bad actually. £4.49 for a good bunch of creamy white roses. He was back in time for a cup of squidgy coffee.
Tonight we are having:
A Quorn escallope,
Carrots and beans
potato croquettes.

Better by the Day..

Monday, 11 February 2008

What A Week !!!

The main reason why I haven't been using the blog for the past week is because I have joined the estimated 3,ooo,ooo who have had the Noro Virus. A proper one.. not a pretend one. Horrible it was too..really horrible. Now am feeling weak but getting there slowly. Good way to kick the healthy eating plan though I have lost about 8lbs!!! although that is mostly water apparently, and will probably go back on.
Eaten nothing much for about a week except digestive biscuits and isotonic drinks which were very refreshing. Then on Sunday The Sainted VT asked me if there was anything I fancied, and he brought nme up ...
The Most Perferct Poached Egg.. It was, without doubt one of the most gorgeous things I have ever had. Beautifully cooked..sitting on an English Muffin..and when my knife cut into it the yolk just blobbed beautifully onto the toast. The top speckled with a touch of salt and ground black was fantastic. I will remember that for years...
VT has been an utter saint..he really has. He has made a lovely loaf of bread today, one of the packet mixes and he has done a really good job of it. So the house at the moment is smelling quite nice all warm and cosy and bready. People talk about "rocks" but I've got the best. God love him.
Tonight he is doing:
A pasta dish with some seeds oof change organic pasta, and some tomatoes and some half fat cheese grated over the top. Just simple and tasty I think.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Saturday Stop Ins...

Didn't go far today, mainly because it is a cold day. So, VT and I had a day round and about the house. He had porridge for breakfast which is not usual for him, he usually has toast of some sort, mainly a Sourdough bread one. I have rice cakes Ryvita ones and a scraping of Dairylea cheese, which is what I have every morning. Little Rusty has a piece of toast spread with some of my cheese and then Marmite. Bobby doesn't have anything special. And, that's what the McElroy family have every morning for breakfast!
Lunch is Cheeses and Biscuits. We do get decent cheeses and decent crackers or biscuits though. At present we are going through the stock we built up for Christmas, and have all sorts of unfinished boxes in the cupboard. We also have olives and usually a glass of wine, and that's what the McElroy family has for lunch on a weekend.
The evening meal is always Chinese. Nowadays we only have 4oz of egg fried rice, and less sauce, and we cook it all with fry light spray rather than loads of oil. So we have cut back quite a lot. And, that's what the McElroy family has for their evening meal on a Saturday.
There is a variationon a Sunday when we have a home made Pizza, one of VT's creations. He does make darn good pizzas, this week we are having one with tomato and cheese and pineapple.
I shall do a starter tonight for a Sourdough loaf tomorrow, not sure what type yet though. I have seen some interesting recipes on a site I use.
So, tonight we are having:
As mentioned above, Chinese, 4oz egg fried rice,
Stir fried vegetables
Goujons today I think.
Sauce of some sort.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Still Blustery.. but Cold as Well..

Still very windy, but really cold too, it is a biting wind We just went to ASDA this morning didn't really want to go anywhere else. Got the usual Friday things plus some extra impulse buys. There were some nice mints that were begging to be bought, and other things that just jumped into the basket. didn't they?
We were contemplating what to have for our evening meal tonight, no ideas from VT...shall we have a ready meal??
Er No Thanks, they really don't look that appetizing. Must admit sometimes I do get a bit fed up of always having to think of the evening meals. Fridays tend to be something tasty, like burgers, or chilli, or pasta.
Tonight we are having:
A Fish (less) fish cake,
Mushy peas for VT and green beans for me,
Chips///which are a treat really since we don't have them often.
Nights are getting lighter.. usually when I do this it is getting near to 5pm, and it is dark, but it is light tonight, definitely a change.
The big weigh in by the way on Wednesday showed both of us to be going down a tad after the christmas binge, and I haven't put any on at all now, which is a good thing. Healthy Eating Plan is working then...