Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Belated Happy New Year & various resolutions

I've realised that I haven't wished everyone a Happy New Year. I'm a bit late but there you are. We had a lovely Christmas. MIL came around in the morning & watching DD open her many presents. Favourites were a portable TV/DVD/game station/radio thing that DH brought from the States. It can be used in the house or car so will be great when we go away in the caravan & hopefully prevent the inveitable 'are we there yet.....' & general whinging because she's bored, Harry Potter Scene It & an MP3 player.

I also got an MP3 player & have used it nearly every day whilst walking the dogs. At one point when a jogger went past & I hadn't heard him at all, I debated with myself whether it was a good idea to use it whilst out walking. I then looked down at the large dogs either side of me & reasoned that anybody who attacked me would be an absolute idiot.

I'll use it mainly whilst DD is training as I miss reading but can't knit & read at the same time - so audio books are the answer. So far I've listened to R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton and am now half way through the first of the Philip Pullman His Dark Materials trilogy; Northern Lights. I also got Sensational Knitted Socks and 2006 Daily Boxed Calendar. My main present is a 2 day Rowan Workshop but I haven't decided which one to do yet. I wanted to do 'Finishing Techniques' but it doesn't look as if Rowan are doing one this year. DD knitted a scarf for me which wasn't a surprise as I had to cast on, cast off & fix problems but that's for another post soon.

Boxing Day was spent with DH's sister & her family. She has 3 kids so with DD, the excitement of Christmas, sweets & colourings it was a NOISY day. We finished the evening off with loads of games including Monopoly which I won with over £5000 - if only it had been real money instead of play currency.

We had a quiet New Years Eve as baby sitters are extemely scarse on this night as I'm sure most parents would agree. I couldn't drink as I was on medication but at least that meant I didn't have a sore head the next day

I've made a variety of resolutions for 2006 - some of which are too personal to list but others include:

  1. Using my stash as much as possible - already started with the crochet curly whirley scarf
  2. Do planned projects (yarn already in stash)
  3. Cook more home made food - see below
  4. Walk the dogs EVERY day, even if only half an hour late at night after DD's training - they've had LOTS of long walks whilst I've been off so has already been started
  5. Loose weight - already started
  6. Achieve loads at work

I spent about 3 hours last night & all afternoon & evening (until now) cooking. I'm often short of time when preparing DD's evening meal as she has to have a full hour between eating & training & if it's an early session that makes it harder as we can literally get in from school & have to be out the door an hour later. Our freezer is now bursting with food & I've made the following:

4 x 1lb Banana & Honey Tea bread loaves
12 large banana muffins & 12 small muffins - should have made 8 as they were too small
8 x Shepherds Pie
9 x Veggie mince Lasagne
6 x Black bean & Garlic Mushroom Lasagne
4 x Black bean & Roasted Pepper Lasagne
4 x Potato & Mushroom Pies
Vegetarian stew

All apart the baking & Potato & Mushroom pie are recipes that I've made up over the years. The stew has supplied us with dinner last night & tonight, my lunch tomorrow & enough for a meal for the 3 of us in the freezer.

It probably hasn't saved me much money compared to buying ready meals from the supermarket but at least this way I can control the ingredients. IMO there is far too much salt, sugar & general crap in prepared food & this is what I want to avoid. I used to cook everything from scratch (including all DD's weaning food so she's always eaten what we do unlike most of her friends who are faddy eaters) but recently have relied more on the supermarket too frequently for my liking due to time constraints. I also don't use the full amount of sugar stated in recipes when baking but DD has never noticed

    Banana cakes & muffins
    Banana cakes & muffins

    Hopefully I won't have to do another marathan session again as I intend to cook bigger portions as soon as there's a bit of room in the freezer & stock it up frequently.


    Daisy said...

    Where's the two-tier cooling rack from? It's a great idea (my kitchen's tiny!). Thank you for the reminder about cooking lots to put in the freezer, I keep meaning to do it and then don't get round to it...

    Leslie said...

    Happy New Year! Congratulations on your cooking marathon - home made is always better than store bought. I got an MP3 player for my birthday and encourage you to check out the various knitting podcasts. They are great! My lunch-hours at work have been greatly improved by kntting and listening.

    OORANOS said...

    Have a good time

    HazelNutcluster said...

    Are they 'Pampered Chef' cooling racks I see before me? I went to my first PC party a while ago and pretended I was a keen cook by buying a few things. Daughter has decided she loves to bake so I'm having to get into the habit. We had blueberry muffins this weekend. Not half bad, either. I don't like bananas, but I do love banana cakes.