Things are getting spoooooky at Aldi this week!

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I’ve become quite a fan of Aldi over the past year and I thought I’d just give you all a heads up that on Thursday 2nd October 2014 the new halloween range will be hitting Aldi stores.

Now my experience of their special buys ranges is that they don’t hang around so if you want something, you need to get down their quick sharp!

As always with Aldi, the items are brilliant value and aren’t going to hurt the wallet too much. Case in hand, the sign above? £1.49. Bargain. I always think that’s important with seasonal goods because they have such a short lifespan don’t they? When it comes to costumes and the like I want to spend as little as possible as I know the children will want new stuff next year.

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Yep, it’s not all about the children. There’s a great range of adults costumes and accessories too. Children’s costumes start at £3.99 with adults starting at £7.99

If you’re planning a party this year, and we are having one at home combined with bonfire night festivities, then there is also a whole host of goodies that will see your party go off with a bang. Decorations, chocolates and even spooky sausages!  I think the spooky sprinkles at only 79p a tub are incredible value and perfect for topping off those Halloween bakes!

Why not pop down to Aldi this week and see what you can pick up! I can’t wait for the Christmas goodies to start coming into stock!

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Meal Planning Monday (29th September 2014)

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Hi all, sorry for my complete absence last week. I knew I was never going to get my post done on Monday but I had every intention to come back to it, time just ran away with me.

The truth is I am really struggling right now to get to grips with a new routine. This year the children’s after-school activities have doubled and for the three hours following school I am just running from one place to another. Then, as you know, I have been made redundant. Of course this should mean more time but seemingly I have less what with one thing and another, job hunting, applications, interviews, talking to agencies…. I also took on some freelance work last week at a local office so found myself working five days last week which is a real change for me since I haven’t done that since 2005!

To top it all off, my husband is away this week. Argh.

Enough of the excuses. I am trying to hard to get back on track which this week means actually doing some washing and cleaning and doing things I should have done ages ago like sorting house insurance, reapplying for child benefit and registering as self-employed. All very important jobs!

As my mental capacity has been more or less depleted, I’ve handed over meal planning to the children this week. Hence it’s repetition and simplicity. They’re easy to please!

Garlic chicken, salad and chips
Spaghetti bolognese
Pizza
Spaghetti carbonara
Chicken, rice and veggies (baby corn, green beans)
Roast chicken dinner

We tend to have a lot of pasta and chicken when my children choose the meals as they are their favourite foods.  I have to say I am most looking forward to the Sunday roast. Yum. I don’t think I’ve had once since about April? I’ve had intentions but something has always come up, so now it’s colder I am reinstating Sunday roasts.

Okay, over to you! Let’s see what you have got on the menu this week.

If you are a newcomer to my blog and Meal Planning Monday then the idea is simple. Read more about Meal Planning Monday HERE.  All you have to do to join in is write a blog post about your meal plans for the week and add it to the Linky below. No blog? No matter! Just leave a comment below with your plans or you can join in with our Facebook group and let us know over there.  We’ve also got a great Pinterest board going on.  If you want to join this collaborative board then let me know. We’ve currently got over 890 followers so it’s another great way to share your recipes and posts with the masses!

Follow At Home With Mrs M’s board Meal Planning Monday’s Family Favourites on Pinterest.

I’d really like to drum up some more interest in Meal Planning Monday this autumn, so please do share your posts and RT so we can get as many people on board as possible!  Use the hashtag #mealplanningmonday over on Twitter and I’ll share as many as I can without annoying everyone!

Look forward to seeing what you’re all cooking up this week.

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Blog Love (18th September 2014)

 

Wow, it’s been over a month since I last did a Blog Love post. A lot seems to have happened in that time and I am not as up to date with my blog reading as I should be. Nevertheless I’ve spent a little time catching up on posts from the past few weeks and selected a few of my favourite to share with you here.

I’ve been thinking about pears for ages (like I don’t have other things to worry about…) and after reading this post on Country Days I am inspired to make a pear tart!

North Norfolk has been on my “to do” list for a long time so I very much enjoyed reading this blog post over at Kristinas Jolly Hockeysticks.

Can’t beat a bit of kitchen porn and I love the blue that has been used in this kitchen reveal. Check it out for yourself over at Well I Guess This is Growing Up.

I’ve ordered my ceramic poppy have you? Emm in London visits the Tower of London installation.

Reading her blog, I was in awe at Foodie Quine cooking up a storm without a proper kitchen. When we did ours it was all takeaways and ready meals!

I agree with Hungry Healthy Happy – there really is more to Switzerland than cheese and chocolate. Like super lovely natives. I’ve just come back from a Swiss trip myself so loved this post. 

And finally a wedding, I love a wedding. Over at Wrapped Up in Rainbows it’s all about the girls getting ready. What lovely pictures and what a fab dress!

That’s it for now. Hope you’ve found something good to read and remember, if you want me to add your blog to my reader, leave a comment below with the link. I’d love to check it out!

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Iced Lime Tray Bake with Baking Mad

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I was recently asked if I’d like to collaborate with Baking Mad, get busy in the kitchen and do a spot of baking. Seeing as I have oodles of spare time right now I thought why not!

Baking Mad sent me a selection of baking supplies including Allinson flour, Nielson-Massey Vanilla Extract and some Billington’s sugar.  I was also asked to select a recipe from the Baking Mad website to try at home.  I had a browse of the Baking Mad website and decided that, in light of us all being in the grips of Great British Bake Off fever,  I wanted to try one of the Mary Berry cakes that are featured on there.

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The caster sugar is lying down because it was mortally wounded in transit…

I’m a big fan of a lime, I think I’ve talked about that before. I love a lime drizzle, perhaps more than I love a lemon drizzle which is saying something so it goes without saying that this recipe for an Iced Lime Tray Bake immediately jumped out at me as the recipe I had to make.

It’s a pretty simple recipe, just throw it all in a mixer/bowl and beat it all together. That’s my kind of cake right there. So simple. The instructions on Baking Mad were very easy to follow too which made the process even smoother.

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The cake takes about 35mins to cook and then you need to let it cool down before you can ice it. Icing is never my strong point as any of my cake wrecks pictures will demonstrate so I was glad that this was more of a slop-the-icing-on-and-hope-for-the-best kind of cake rather than an elaborate decorative piece..

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Mmmmm cake.

And I can report that it tasted flipping awesome too. Everyone loved it and the children have got a big wedge of it in their school packed lunches today.

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There are some really lovely things to bake over at Baking Mad so why not take a look?

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Disclosure: Baking Mad sent me a box of baking ingredients in return for me trying out on of their recipes and covering it on my blog. This is the only compensation I received and all words and images are my own.

St Clement’s Cake

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I think a good St Clement’s Cake is my favourite cake ever. I realise I probably say that about every cake I make but let us ignore that, and for today St Clement’s Cake is my favourite.

This is a Jamie Oliver recipe and it turned out beautifully. Yes I realise how terribly sloppy my icing is and let me tell you – it got a lot messier after this picture but thankfully the rim of the cake stand stopped a river of sticky white icing flowing through my kitchen. It’s Jamie’s fault. He says to let it to drizzle down the sides, I just wasn’t expecting it to drizzle quite so much…

If you love oranges and lemons, then you’ll love this. J0king aside, I think this really would come in my Top 10 of Cakes in the Universe if I were ever to make such a list (*makes mental note to blog this in the future*) and it’s incredibly easy to make.

St Clement’s Cake

Ingredients

125g softened unsalted butter
225g golden caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs
1 large orange
200g ground almonds
100g self raising flour

For the icing;
225g icing sugar
1 lemon

Method

Preheat over to 180c/gas mark 4. Grease a 20cm loose-bottomed springform tin and line the base.

In a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer) beat the butter with 125g of the caster sugar until it is light and creamy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Finely grate in most of the orange zest but keep some small scrapings of the zest back in a bowl and cover with clingfilm. Fold in the ground almonds and sift in the flour. Mix gently to combine everything and then spoon the batter into the cake tin. 

Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes or until rise and lightly golden. Check the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre. If it comes out clean the cake is cooked. If the skewer does not come out clean, leave the cake to cook for a couple more minutes. Leave to cool slightly in the tin whilst preparing the syrup.

Take the remaining 100g of caster sugar and place into a saucepan with the juice of the zested orange. Place over a medium heat for a couple of minutes until the sugar has completely dissolved. Whilst the cake is still hot, take a cocktail stick and poke lots of little holes in the top and then pour the syrup all over it. Once the syrup has been completely absorbed, take the cake out of the tin and place onto a wire cooling rack. Leave to cool completely.

To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and grate in the lemon zest, keeping back a few gratings to add to the reserved orange zest. Squeeze the lemon juice into the icing sugar and mix. Add more juice or a dash of water if needed until you reach a drizzling consistency. Keep to one side until the cake has completely cooled.

Transfer cake to a serving plate or cake stand and pour the lemon icing over the top allowing it to drizzle down the sides of the cake. Spring the reserved orange and lemon zest on to the top of the cake and serve.

Sit back, put your feet up and enjoy a large wedge with a pot of a tea.

Perfect!

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