Back in the kitchen for Autumn

Oh hi, remember me? I think the last time we spoke it was May, the weather was a bit ropey, Ioan had chicken pox, and I was starting to struggle with keeping my blog up to date. Fast forward five months and we’re had a wonderful summer and some excellent holidays, and I am trying to get my blogging mojo back (hello).

As much as I love spending time in the kitchen, and then writing about it, I struggle to find the time thanks to ioan, an intense job, and wanting to spend quality time with my family rather than just sit in front of a laptop. And getting out of the habit of blogging has made it hard for me to get back into the habit (even though I have written a lot of fabulously witty blog posts in my head over the last few months).

So here is me trying to get back into the habit of blogging, and back into the habit of spending some quality time in the kitchen.

Chicken and chorizo stew and shepherds pie

Why now? Well, Ioan officially starts pre-school tomorrow (sob, where has the time gone?), and no naps mean earlier bedtimes, which means an evening of peace and quiet where I should be able to write. An earlier bedtime also means I need to be prepared for earlier mealtimes, which means more planning, batch cooking, and time in the kitchen.

Additionally, a couple of wonderful holidays this summer (firstly to Canada, secondly to Tuscany, Italy) means that I have been inspired to get out of my rut and cook some new dishes. I have found it too easy recently to fall back on cooking crap from the freezer, ready meals, or easy favourites. Now I want to excite our tastebuds with some more delicious food.

Today I made a cake for the nursery staff in Ioan’s previous Butterflies room (a tradition I have followed since he joined Laydbirds, then moved to Caterpillars):

Butterfly cake

Ioan was impressed, but he was more interested than trying to steal the smarties than admire my decorating efforts (“Just one sweetie, Mummy?”):

Ioan with butterfly cake

I also used the leftover lamb from today’s roast dinner to make shepherd’s pie for tomorrow (a quick win for Ioan’s dinner as well):

shepherds pie

And made an Autumnal chicken and chorizo stew for Tuesday night, which I have bulked out with chickpeas and wild rice – I love a one-pot wonder. Okay the wild rice does make it look a bit strange and less than photogenic, but I have never been known for my stunning images so we’ll all cope:

Chicken and chorizo stew with wild rice

Other plans for the week include a pork chop traybake (sausage for ioan to replace the chop) and fish with capers and lemon (fishfingers for Ioan here), plus a big dish of cauliflower cheese for Ioan and me when Andrew is out later in the week.

I have got to say that it makes me feel very happy to have a couple of dishes ready and waiting to heat and eat this week, and I really want to continue to be prepared.

And it’s good to know that if I don’t have time to cook, Ioan is ready and willing to make me ‘dinner’. Yum!

Conkers and kinder egg toy case

How about you? What have you been up to recently, and what do you have planned for dinner this week?

One Reply to “Back in the kitchen for Autumn”

  1. Welcome back, I really like your blog. Its like money in the bank having a couple of meals ready to go isn’t it? Ioan’s cake looks fantastic as well!

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