Monday, 15 April 2013

Slow Cooker Gluten Free Spaghetti Bolognese

A batch cooking staple.

Number of batches: 4 batches of 4 servings


1.5kg minced beef
3 knorr beef stock pots
1 large onion
2 sticks diced celery
2 medium carrots - grated
3 tbsp mixed herbs
3 cartons of passatta
2 tins chopped tomatoes
500g sliced mushrooms
salt and pepper to taste


Put all the raw ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

If the batch is needed in 4 hours, brown the mince first before adding to the slow cooker.

Simple eh?!

The Big Three Courser: Sunday 21st April 2013

Sunday lunch is so easy to do and the ingredients are more readily available and affordable, the tradition of a sit down family meal has sadly declined.  This coupled with the fact that a restaurant meal for a family is somewhat horrendously expensive, I am instigating The Big Three Courser - a restaurant-style family meal.

Easy Instructions for a Three Course Meal

So every week, I'll be posting easy to follow instructions to make your big meal.  As one of my rules of life is to prepare food in advance, I can assure you as much as possible will be from the freezer!

This week, our restaurant choice is Italian.


The melon should be prepared on the day.  It can be plated in the morning covered with clingfilm and put in the fridge.
The garlic mushrooms can be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated.  They are quite garlic heavy though so cover well in the fridge.
The Spaghetti Bolognaise Sauce can be prepared in a batch of huge proportions and frozen.  Just defrost and heat through whilst the spaghetti is cooking.
The pizza base recipe I use is one I found on the fab Mortgage Free In Three blog.  Cook the base then cook down a tin of chopped tomatoes so they go more concentrated add about 4 crushed garlic cloves, dependent on your taste and a little butter.  You will need to prick the pizza base when the topping is on to infuse the bread.  Grill until it looks right.  Again, this can be done in advance and kept in the fridge until you are ready.  Why not prep a few and put them in the freezer for a quick side dish?
I've not attempted Chocolate Tirimisu yet but have linked the recipe I will be following.  As I've not made it before, I can't comment on how it fares in the fridge but it must be ok as its chilled!
So there you have it.  Melon cut up on the day, Mushrooms and tirimisu done the day before and the spag bol sauce and garlic bread defrosted on Saturday night.
Do you feel inspired to put on a three course spread?  I've added a linky below for you to share your Big Three Courser Menus.  Feel free to pinch the logo above and tweet your posts with the hashtag #big3course
I'm really looking forward to getting some inspiration for next week!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Freezer Food Plan

Its tough thinking of different Meal Planning Monday post titles!. Google really should have more respect for the institution of #mealplanningmonday and realise its not spam - Its a wide variety of foods!!
The batch cooking and freezing is working so well.  Its saving hours of time and loads of money.  Waste is reduced and the variety of food we eat is increased.
Today is a cooking day as freezer stocks are running low.  This is what this weeks menu is looking like...
Monday - Chilli Con Carne and Rice with Tacos. (from freezer, cook on low from frozen)
Tuesday - mushroom stuffed chicken breasts. A Gino D'Acampo idiet recipe. (from freezer, defrost and cook)
Wednesday - slow cooked Italian and wild mushroom stew. Another Gino idiet recipe. (cooked a double batch on Monday and stored half in fridge and other half frozen)
Thursday - Fish and Chips.  Fish from freezer.
Friday - Vegetarian Chilli and rice (from freezer)
Saturday - ooh quite possibly a take away!
Sunday - The Big Three Courser
Garlic Mushrooms
Spaghetti Bolognaise
Garlic Bread with Tomato
Chocolate Tirimisu
I'll be posting more about my big three courser on Wednesday
What are you planning for this week?

The Sunday Stumble

I like ease myself into Sundays by reading random stuff on my Stumble Upon app.

For those that don't know, Stumble Upon is a bookmarking site which finds sites categorised to match your interests.  Much like Pinterest.  So you enter your interests, share a few pages of your own and those that you come across that are of interest to you and then hit the stumble upon button.

Here's what this week is throwing at me....

Stolen Laptop Found in Iran using Hidden App

Pimpthatsnack - how to supersize your treats.  A giant Reeces peanut butter cup, gingerbread chav and more

Loads of quick money saving projects on such as how to make a Starbucks cup reuseable.

The most favourited recipes on foodgawker.  Some really tasty all American recipes on here

And here's one I found hilarious...

So what have you found that's worth sharing?

If you're on twitter, tweet your faves with the #Sundaystumble tag

Monday, 1 April 2013

Talk First - Communication for Baby and You

I'm really excited about this months sponsor as I'll be joining the talk first phenomenon later this week.

Talk first classes are a 45 minute session focusing on developing verbal and non verbal communication between babies (and young children) and their carers.

There's loads of fun with Dexter the signing puppet and sing alongs.
Classes are available in most areas.  The Fylde area is run by the lovely Joyce who can be contacted at

I'll be reporting back later!


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