Thursday, 23 August 2012

Fancy being rudely awakened!

For a change, I went to bed before 11pm last night.  I was pooped and joints had been playing up due to the change in weather.

I settles everyone.   Junior,  Mogs on their favourite perches/beds/windowsills/chairs/rockers/tops of wardrobes, etc..  Dog highjacks one side of my bed and is soon snoring and woof  woof, wip wipping away, with paws doing the galloping action as she lay there, otherwise motionless, deep in dreamworld.  God know what she was dreaming about?....probably a chase.  Very apt.

Ay...all is well.....I settles down.  Pillows nicely fluffed up so I don't get a stiff neck or an imprint of the  metal headboard on the back of my head.

Lights out.......Off, to the land of nod....yay....

THEN.   2am.     NOISE...and lots of it!   

Blumming Police helicopter was hovering around our chase.  Arghhhh.  (You can tell what a lovely place we live in).  Anyway, police helicopter pilots.... they can go and chase as many cars as they want, but why is it always in the middle of the night and why do they always hover and make the racket of the devil over my house roof ?

Helicopters are noisy things!   Better than alarm clocks for knocking sleep out of you.  Of course, the mogs were then 'up'.  Sigh.   Takes me ages to round 'em up and settle 'em down, again or otherwise they would party.  Then, various neighbours go off to work.  3 am local milk van roars up the road,  A neighbour goes to work at at at  Another  Train in the distance...5.30 bloody am!

Got back to sleep at 6am.   I have staggered through the day....sleep deprivation is crap.    Now it's 6pm and one of the neighbours has decided to indulge in a bit of diy.   Bang, bang, bang.    Another, previous to this, at the top of his voice was yelling at his poor kids.    Arghhhhh!

Fun in Hill Billy Land!

What do I want for Christmas?     Earplugs.  Or a detached house in the middle of a field.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Ah, have been waylaid with the Olympics.  I'm sad that it's all over. 

We stayed up to watch the closing ceremony.  Spice Girls rule!!!..even though Posh nearly fell off her taxi. 

Some folk have made nasty comments about Gary Barlow performing.  (His daughter was stillborn earlier in the week)  .  Jason Manford, who is some tv personality/comedian,  stuck up for him and wrote a moving piece on his blog.  Think the blog is called The Young Turk.

Anyway.... red tape.  Council sent me a letter, wanting to know if |I intend to keep the allotment on....they have a waiting list.  Well, because of the crap weather we've had, nothing has been happening on the allotment.  A lot of the allotments have proved to be too much for their tenants .   It is hard work.  Will take years to get ours sorted.   Veg has been flooded,  soil like a bog, etc.  There hasn't been enough light, too.    The boys (and grandkids) came up and mowed it down for me, to keep the weeds at bay.  They've just taken triffids .  I'll just have to try and  get the soil in the right condition for next season....too late to do anything else on the land this year, apart from the odd planting and hard landscaping..

This was the first mowing.  It got done twice, so the grass is REALLY short  making it easier to dig out little beds..  I'm having grass paths and not soil ones.  Have to laugh at N (Son No 2's best mate) on the left, checking his nails.  Junior is on her bit at the and plants at that end.   There are roses down there, view blocked by the tree. 
 The grandkids.  Note to Son no 1,...don't dress your kid in white when visiting the allotment!  lol
 Little one was smiling at her Mummy.
Everyone busy.   Next door's plot is overgrown but not as bad as some of the others.
We're sussing out the possibility of keeping chickens up there and Grandchild  One of Min has the task of naming one.  Up to press, hers will be called Minnie Mouse!  lol    Grandchild Two is only little yet, but she'll probably call hers Dad.  (She's obsessed with her Daddy::o)  )      I was showing Grandchild  One of Min the chickens of a fellow allotmenteer and she was asking all the usual questions, like where were the eggs be, etc...   And, pain in backside.

Would you Adam and Eve it..some bloody insect had climbed up my trouser leg and then decided to bite my back end!   Ow!!!

Had to rush there was no way I could rip my trousers off in full view of half a dozen or so male allotmenteers.!  (Well, I could have, but it woul have put them off their tea!)  Still don't know what it was that munched me.  I tried to squeeze the bugger but, when I got home, I didn't dare look to see what it was.  Eeeew!    Just dumped the trousers in the washing machine..and put a hot wash on!  |

Next time we are up at the plot  it'll be elastic bands around the ankles!  lol

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Roasted Red Pepper, Sweet Potato and Spinach Lasagne

Junior and I were perusing the Meal Deals for 2 at Tesco the other day.  A few of the supermarkets do them.  We ogle the Marks and Sparks ones, but they're getting a bit hit and miss with the wine selections.  lol.    For these deals you get a main dish, side, pudding and a bottle of wine/non alcoholic drink...all for a tenner.  There are various options for you to choose..meat and vegetarian stuff.

Anyway, we were eyeing up one of the mains....(In post title)..and so I decided to have a go at making it, seeing as we're still on this economy drive.  I looked at the ingredients on the back of the ready made one and picked out the stuff that I thought was relevant.  .

Have to say, it was really nice and tasty.  A good veggie dish me thinks.  We made enough for 4 people!  Overdoing it, again.   lol


2 Pointy red peppers - roasted and skin removed
Large sweet potato - chopped and boiled and mashed up roughly
Bag of spinach
Chopped onion
Handful of sliced mushrooms
Half a tetra pack of could use a tin of tomatoes
1 TBS of tomato puree
Tablespoon of Garlic and Herb cream cheese
Couple cloves of garlice, minced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Teaspoon of fresh Thyme
Lasagne sheets....I used dry type
Bechamel sauce..I used milk, margarine, plain flour, seasoning and grated nutmeg.  Cooked it the Crafty  cold pan, add all the ingredients.  make sure the milk is cold.  Put heat on and keep stirring.  It goes all lumpy at first but the lumps will eventuall go to give you a smooth sauce.  Saves doing it the roux way.
Grated cheese ..some for in the sauce, some for on top.   The dish is really colourful when you're putting it pepper, green spinach, orange sweet potato.  V appetising.

Roast pepper in oven for 15/20 minutes and skin.  Discard skin and chop flesh.  Add to finished sauce.
Saute onion in a little olive oil.  Add garlic and cook until transluscent.  Add mushrooms and cook a few minutes more.
Add thyme and bayleaf.
Add passata and tomato puree and stir.  Cook gently for 10 minutes.
Add a couple handfuls of spinach.
Stir in cream cheese.
Season.  I used loads of freshly ground black pepper and a smidge of salt

Assembly job is:-

Spoonful of sauce on bottom of ovenproof dish..  Don't forget to take out the bay leaf.
Layer of lasagne sheets
Layer of sauce
Layer of fresh spinach
Layer of sweet potato
Layer of lasagne sheets., etc, etc.....keep going until you've used up everything.

Bechamel sauce on top with as sprinkling of cheese.

Cook in oven...about 170 C for about 45 minutes...until the top is golden brown.

This would be nice with a nice crispy salad.  Don't have it straight out of the oven.  Give it a couple of minutes to cool so you don't end up burning your mouth!   It's really nice the next day)

I used one and a half pointy red peppers but the roasted remnants didn't yeild as much as I thought, so I would use at least 2 next time.

You could, instead of mashing up the sweet potato, just layer them as slices, dauphinoisse style.

Forgot to take a photo of the cooked dish out of the oven.  Just got this pathetic offering left.  We had it with spinach and sweetcorn salad with a balsamic dressing (you can get little pots of this from Asda for 27p each.)  It was lovely the next day with a few chips/fries.