Week 19 #Project365 – 2014

A rather busy week for us, trips out, cooking, cinema and looking after Grandson.

Sunday – A trip to the Wetlands for a long walk. It amazes me that you can turn one way and see the Severn Estuary with boats sailing by and you can turn 180 degrees and see Uskmouth Power station and pylons.

The Bull Rush sculpture is in the car park and although we’ve been here several times I’d never noticed it before.  After our walk we drove the few miles to Goldcliff and sat on the sea wall to eat our lunch. It’s the closest thing we have to a beach in Newport!!

After our jaunt to the Wetlands I made some Spare Ribs for tea (dinner).


newport wetlands, goldcliffe seawall

Monday – A day trip to Roath Park with Oldest Son and Grandson – I’ve linked up our exploits with Coombe Mill’s #Countrykids

Tuesday – a day of rest!

Wednesday – Orange Wednesday this week was Bad Neighbours – a rude, crude reasonably funny film about a couple whose neighbours are a fraternity of lewd, drunken yobs. It all gets a bit messy and rather silly. It was ok…to be honest the trailer was quite good as I don’t mind a bit of mindless stupid humour but the film itself just goes on and on. There wasn’t enough ‘belly’  laughs or LOL moments.

Also on Wednesday we had Ashley from late afternoon and he stayed overnight with us as Mummy and Daddy went out for their anniversary. He was no trouble at all, off to bed at 7am and we didn’t hear a peep out of him until he ambled into our bedroom for a cuddle at nearly 7am the next morning.
He’s a greedy boy at breakfast, devouring porridge followed by toast and some dried prunes – he loves them.

Thursday – Quick shopping trip for some fresh food and a few bottles of alcoholic Dandelion & Burdock – who knew this existed?? No neither did I until I saw it on Olivers Madhouse Instagram feed. Oh and it’s bloody lush..

Friday – Looking after Ashley again until it was time for nursery, he scoffed a ham sandwich, half a scone, a banana and half an apple for his lunch. Then washed it all down with some warm milk (he doesn’t do cold drinks at all)

Saturday – a quick visit to the MIL and back home to catch up with blogging!

steak, orange Wednesday, drink, food,

From top:

  • Spare ribs – RECIPE
  • yummy steak last Saturday evening- Tomato and Pepper Sauce RECIPE
  • cinema
  • balance bike fun at Roath Park
  • lush alcohol – hic!,
  • Healthy appetite / greedy boy!


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May Bank Holiday with #Morrisonsmum

Along with some other bloggers I became a #Morrisonsmum for the Bank Holiday weekend. This was an initiative with Morrisons and Britmums.
I was sent some vouchers to complete my Bank Holiday food shop and to take a look at the new cheaper Morrisons. I browsed their website and made a weekend menu plan and a list of some of the food I wanted to buy.  We have a reasonably new Morrisons here in Newport, it’s well set out and always inviting.

The fruit and veg area is always full of fresh produce and they pump dry ice over some of the display. I chose the usual spuds, onions, bananas, apples, tomatoes and cucumber. I also bought some prepared salads, peppers, a chinese stir fry, strawberries and pineapple especially for the weekend.

Then it was onto the meat counter – Rump steak on offer so that HAD to go into the trolley along with a rack of ribs. I also decided to buy 2 chunky steak pies as we’ve not bought them for a while.

I carried on around the store to pick up the rest of my list. They have made a real effort to drop prices on lots of products and there are lots of shelf edge tags and other signage in the store to promote the new pricing.

Morrisons, #morrisonsmum

I came home with quite a haul.  I was impressed with the lower prices, some were pennies but quite a lot were big cuts making Morrisons excellent value and more competitive.

Morrisons, #morrisonsmum The menu plan for the weekend:

Friday – Chunky steak pie  – We used to buy these whenever we visited Morrisons but stopped buying them a while ago as the filling was sparse and the pastry recipe changed – they no longer tasted like home made. Mr. Morrison please don’t do this..I’d prefer pay more than compromise on taste. The filling was still sparse but the pastry was back to how I remembered. They are good value at £1.60 for two.

Saturday – Griddled Rump Steak, tomato and sweet pepper sauce, mushrooms and baked potato. I have never been disappointed with the quality of meat at Morrisons and their rump steak is always juicy and tender.  I made the sauce to go on the side with the mushrooms.  The steak was melt in the mouth tender but please Morrisons butcher don’t tuck the fat around the back it makes it look like you’re trying to hide something – most people know and indeed expect to see a layer of fat at the top of their steak.

Sunday – Ciabatta with stir fried vegetables, spare ribs, fruit salad. I bought a large ciabatta loaf and a pre-prepared stirfry with water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. I cut the loaf into quarters and sliced through each one, place under a grill to warm through,  stirfry the veg and add a little sticky plum sauce. pile into the ciabatta and serve. We also had some spare ribs and finished off with fruit salad. It was demolished quickly by the family!

Monday – Packed a picnic – ham sandwiches, tuna sandwiches, salad, quiche and fruit. Spread it all out on a blankie in the park.


Morrisons, #morrisonsmum

I really enjoyed shopping for all the bargains and it’s good to know that Morrisons are keeping prices down. Just don’t compromise on the quality OK Morrisons!!

I’ve added some recipes that I hope you’ll try:

Tomato and Sweet Pepper Sauce to serve four the cost was a total of £1.50 (Peppers 66p, onion 5p, tin tomatoes 79p)

Spare Ribs – to serve two the cost was a total of £4.00 (ribs £3.50, onion and glaze made up another 50p)

I was sent some Morrisons vouchers to shop for the Bank Holiday. All words and opinions are my own.
The words and pictures cannot be reproduced without my permission. 


RECIPE: Spare Ribs

I really don’t have a definitive recipe for Spare Ribs so this is just basic recipe of how I cook them and to give you some ideas of what marinade / glaze you can use.


  • Half a rack of ribs person.
  • One onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • half teaspoon black pepper corns

For the glaze: Per half rack

  • 1 tsp tomato sauce
  • shake of Worcestershire sauce
  • shake of dark soy sauce
  • a little honey

Spare Ribs


On the rear of the ribs is a membrane that I always remove – but it’s not absolutely necessary. Just Google ‘remove skin on the back of ribs’ to find out how to do it.
Precook the ribs : Place the ribs into a large saucepan (you can fold them in half or cut them in half to get them to fit) along with the onion, peppercorns and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, place a lid on the pan and turn down to a simmer for 30 -45 mins. Remove carefully (tongs are best for this job!) and place on a grill rack.
Smother with the glaze and place in the oven @180 degrees for around 20 mins.
NB – If you are going to place them on the BBQ then precook them as above for 45 mins then glaze and BBQ for a few minutes.

Spare Ribs

The glaze above is just a suggestion. Use any glaze you like, you can buy some really good ones, in the past I’ve used Reggae Reggae sauce, JD BBQ sauce and just tomato sauce with Worcestershire.  As long as the meat falls off the bones and you get mucky eating them it’s all that counts!!

I hope you’ll give them a try! Let me know if you try them!

If you’d like to see more recipes click RECIPES

RECIPE: Tomato and Sweet Pepper Sauce

Whenever we have steak I have to make this sauce.  I can’t remember where the original recipe came from – all I now have is a tatty piece of paper with my version written on it – so it’s about time I wrote it up where it can’t get lost!

It’s an ideal sauce to go with any grilled meat or for a BBQ. Any left over can be warmed through and tossed with some pasta for a quick lunch.

If you don’t like basil you can use oregano.

I nearly always roast the peppers  – but you can make it without doing this but it won’t taste as good!


  • 1 large onion – finely chopped
  • 2 peppers – any colour
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • olive oil
  • black pepper and salt

Tomato and pepper sauce


Firstly roast the peppers – cut in half and core/deseed them. Drizzle with a little oil and place under a grill until they start to char. Remove and place them into a plastic bag for 5 minutes (or into a dish and cover with cling film) to sweat – it makes the skin easier to remove. Remove the peppers and peel off the skin. Roughly chop them.

Whilst the peppers are sweating heat a little oil in a pan and gently fry the onion until transparent. Add the tomatoes, peppers, basil and sugar. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer for 20 – 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Adjust seasoning to your taste.

Tomato and pepper sauce

Will you give a try? Let me know!!

If you’d like to see more recipes click RECIPES

#Project365 44/52

Like most of the UK last Sunday we were making sure that anything loose in the garden was either removed and stored in the garage or tied down, ahead of the St Jude’s arrival in the early hours of Monday.  It was supposed to have been worse than the storm of ’87 and the floods we had in early ’88.  Both of which I remember with some trepidation!
Well what an anti-climax …a bit of rain and barely a breeze.. we seemed to have escaped the worst of the rain and wind. The south coast was hit harder.
IMHO – the press made more fuss about it because it was heading for London and we all know London is the centre of the Universe don’t we??

I saw this picture on twitter and seemed to sum up the day quite nicely!!

storm advice

Monday’s post arrived and with the postie a parcel – some DKNY smelly that I won from the Perfume Shop. Although I have several smellies on the go at the moment, I’ll probably keep this one. It certainly won’t be given as an unappreciated gift at Christmas like my Kenso one was!!

We went to see Thor – The Dark World for Orange Wednesday this week. It’s very good, full of action and you get to see Chris Hemsworth’s six pack..(what can you want!!). I didn’t know until today though that Christopher Eccleston plays Malekith the Accursed! Good makeup!!
For supper that evening we had homemade Lamb Burgers. Gawd they were lush!!! I’ll get around to putting the recipe on here one day!!

The only other picture I’ve taken is of my Thai Pumpkin Soup. I saw culinary pumpkins in Sainsbury for £1 and thought it would make some good cheap soup. Along with the coconut it cost about £1.50 for 6 good portions! It was SO tasty!!

lamb burger, thai pumpkin soup, dkny
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RECIPE: Thai Pumpkin Soup

I’ve never cooked with pumpkin before and was surprised to discover that you can’t really cook with the ones sold for carving.

The only reason I made the soup was because pumpkin was on offer in the supermarket and I thought that for £1 each it would make a tasty cheap soup.
The next task was to look up a recipe, some using spices, some using dairy to enrich it, some using Thai ingredients. Only one thing wrong I didn’t have any lemongrass, chillies or red Thai paste. However I did have coconut and a jar of chopped chillies. So I set to work on my version of the soup, here’s the result and recipe.

Thai Pumpkin Soup

Thai Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:  Enough for 4 to 6  portions.

  • 1 cooking pumpkin weighing about 1 Kilo
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • half block of creamed coconut
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped chillies (or 2 fresh red chillies chopped – up to you if you add seeds!)
  • 1 litre hot vegetable or chicken stock
  • salt and pepper


  • Preheat oven 180 degrees Gas Mark 4.
  • Quarter the pumpkin,  remove seeds and thready pith. Slice each quarter into 2 and place on a baking tray, drizzle with a little oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for approx 30 minutes or until soft.
  • Meanwhile, fry the onion in a little oil until transparent – do not let it brown.
  • Add the stock, chillies and coconut. ( break up into small chunks – it will melt into the liquid)
  • Bring to the boil and leave to simmer stirring to melt the coconut.
  • When the pumpkin is soft, scrape the flesh off the peel and chop into smaller pieces. Add the pumpkin to the stock base.
  • Simmer for 15 mins.

To Serve:

  • Blitz the soup with a hand whisk until smooth. Add more stock or hot water until it is the consistency you like.
  • Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Serve with toasted tortilla wraps cut into wedges / toast / prawn crackers


  • Use canned coconut milk instead of the creamed coconut, reduce the amount of stock used to around 700ml
  • Add a stalk or two of lemongrass – bruise and cut in half – remove before blitzing.
  • Use a couple of teaspoons of red Thai paste instead of chillies and lemongrass.

If you’d like to see more recipes click RECIPES