Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This is the recipe I use for a yummy slow cooker beef stew which easily feeds us all and even has some left overs for the next day.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 a turnip, cut into chunks
  • 4 carrots, cut into chunks
  • Mushrooms, as many as you fancy
  • 900g of lean stewing steak, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 75g of flour
  • 3 beef stock cubes
  • Black pepper
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of marmite
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 2 teaspoons of dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
  • 2 pints of boiling water

METHOD

  1. Put the beef in a bowl and coat in the oil, make sure it is fully covered.
  2. In a separate bowl mix the flour, parsley, thyme, pepper and stock cubes.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the beef and give it a good mix to make sure each piece is covered.
  4. Heat some oil in a frying pan (medium/high) and add in the beef, marmite, worcestershire sauce and tomato puree.
  5. Cook the beef for 10-15 minutes to seal the flavour in.
  6. Put the veg into the slow cooker with any left over flour mixture and pour over the boiling water and give it a good mix.
  7. Add the beef to the slow cooker and mix well.
  8. Set to medium or auto for 6-8 hours

I like lots of Worcestershire sauce so wack loads in and I also like thick gravy so an hour or so before it’s done, add in some more flour if it’s needed. Taste through out cooking and add in more herbs or pepper etc if you want to.

I then serve with baby potatoes and loads of veg 🙂

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House and Home

and that is what my beautiful children are going to eat us out of! I was showing my Mum some pictures recently and she said “Why are all these pictures of them eating?” and the answer is that they are always bloody eating!

It’s fair to say that my kids have healthy appetites, to the point of I don’t know where they put it. From the first tastes of weaning with baby rice to trying all different varieties of food, they will try anything which is great. When we weaned I cooked everything from scratch and made sure that they tasted as much as possible and really tried to develop their palate and luckily non of them are fussy.

Miss C has multiple food allergies which I have written about before, so it can make cooking family meals for the five of us difficult. We also discovered a few months ago that Little D is VERY allergic to eggs so need to ensure we cater for that too.

I always seem to be cooking and try to switch things up as much as I can so we don’t all get bored. I bought a slow cooker last year and I love it! Just wack all the ingredients in first thing in the morning and by dinner time it’s good to go. I’ve found some recipes online and adapted them to suit our needs. I am going to start documenting some of them because a few people have asked me to and it could be helpful to other families in a similar situation to us.

Yesterday I made a lovely slow cooker beef stew, which I will put in a separate post but until then here are some of the pics my Mum was talking about 🙂

 

I’m back

Well, it’s been almost a year! Have you missed me?

There has been so much going on since I last blogged that I actually don’t know where to start. My last update was about us being a family of 5 and my birth story. Little D is now 14 months old and life has been a whirlwind since his arrival. He isn’t a great sleeper and hasn’t been since birth so the last year has been rough. Most nights we are lucky to get more than 7 hours, and that’s only been in the last 2-3 months. I’m pinning my hopes on the clocks going forward and him sleeping past 05:30am so we can get some actual sleep!

I have literally had no time to do anything for myself for the last year but I’m slowly starting to feel a bit less hectic and more organised so I really want to try and get back to some regular blogs and putting my thoughts down and recording some of the chaos and madness that goes on in my life.

I am officially a stay at home Mum and juggling 3 kids all at very different stages and running the house is challenging and manic and amazing all at the same time. I am really going to try and keep it going this time and as always, I will be honest about everything. Over the last few months, I’ve posted a few things that people have said to me offline “Oh you should take that down” but I believe in being honest and not sugar coating things. Parenting is hard. End of! My three are amazing and funny and frustrating and infuriating all at different times. Some days by the time Mr B comes home from work I am a wreck, then others it’s been a great day and I’m in full on 50’s housewife mode. There are highs and lows every day and if I can share that and make one person feel that they are not alone then I will be happy.

I’m going to leave you with an up to date look at my wee monkeys.

Miss B is 9.5 and is a full of energy and sass. She is still doing really well at school and has loads of hobbies. This year she took up the flute and she is really good.

Miss C is 2.5 and my little toddling tornado. She is full on and one minute she is bawling, screaming and horrible then two seconds later she is adorable and cuddly and loving. In my house I usually just say #toddler.

Little D is 14 months old. Like I said, he still isn’t a great sleeper but he is better than he was so I can’t complain too much. He is almost walking and loves playing his big sisters. His favourite things at the moment are Teletubbies and eating. He eats EVERYTHING!!!!!

And here is me. I’m probably about a stone heavier than I was the last time I blogged, and I have been more tired that I ever thought possible but here I am.  Still standing, just 🙂

 

 

Miss C is One!

I can’t believe this day has come around so quickly. Little Miss C is one, and what a year she has had!

She entered the world with a bang and brought some drama with her but that’s all turned around and she has brought so much joy and laughter to our family and I want to share some of that with you all.

Things she likes:

Her Sister

Oh my goodness does this girl love her big sister and thankfully the feeling is mutual! Her whole face lights up when she sees or hears her and when we go to pick her up from school she starts dancing in her pram or car seat as soon as she hears the bell just knowing she will be there in a minute. Miss B goes in to see her every morning when she wakes up and she always gets the biggest smile and giggles.

Sunglasses

The girl loves nothing more that putting on a pair of sunnies and rockin them like a diva! As soon as she puts them on she shouts “HIYA” like she is being papped, it’s awesome 🙂

 

Her Cousin

My niece was born 6 months before Miss C and they got off to a rough start. E was really unsure of her at first given that she was so small and quiet and would poke or slap her in a regular basis. Then when she got more mobile and vocal, oh my how vocal, E was hooked. She is obsessed with her and according to my sister, she wakes up shouting for her every morning. Now they are both at a fun stage where they are fighting each other for toys and watching them negotiate each other is brilliant. E runs and walks everywhere while Miss C is crawling and cruising and they manage to dance around each other really well.

Music

She loves music, Taylor Swift in particular. The first few bars of Shake it Off send her into a frenzy and she dances and claps and is elated. I think we might be responsible for around 10,000 views of it on You Tube 🙂 Other favourites are Katy Perry and Olly Murs. She also loves being sung to, even by me. She loves nursery rhymes and silly songs that I’ve made up.

Spoons

She is super happy when she has a spoon to play with. I think mostly because they are for eating (see below)

Food

I’ve written before about Miss C’s allergies but thankfully she is not fussy and will eat anything you put down to her and then some. She has a very healthy appetite and some days I worry that there is no filling her. Her favourite foods are blueberries, grapes, apples, salmon, lamb and macaroni cheese (dairy free).

Being a Joker

Miss C is always laughing and smiling and loves to make people smile too. She has an infectious giggle and when she smiles you can’t help but join in. Her favourite at the moment is to drop things on the ground and go “Oooooooo” like in the last picture.

Things she doesn’t like

There isn’t much she doesn’t like at all. At the moment she gets annoyed when her food is finished and goes into full on moany pants mode because she wants more. The other thing she isn’t keen on is getting her teeth brushed. My dentist told me not to stress too much and try to get the toothpaste in and over her teeth and gums. The wee monkey will only really let her big sister do it! She has really struggled with teething over the last few months and has 12 teeth already. She seems to be in way more pain than her sister ever was, and she seems to cut them in twos or threes rather than one at a time.

Time is such a strange thing. I feel like she has always been here yet at the same time I can’t believe she is one already. She has brought so much light and joy to our family and I can’t imagine life without her. She is such a happy little girl, so full of love and laughter and nonsense. I love seeing her personality coming through. She is like her sister in so many ways but more boisterous than she ever was. Miss B would happily and calmly sit with a book or a puzzle whereas Miss C is much more hyper and can’t sit still for a minute.  She is very vocal in volume as well as chat. No matter how she is feeling we know about it. Her favourite word at the moment is “HIYA” and she will sit shouting at you and waving like a crazy lady. She can say Mum, Dad, Woof woof, Raaar, Moo, star, cheese and Bab. She will also occasionally repeat me and then make me out to be a liar when I tell her Dad by not saying it again. She also has the most epic hair I have ever seen! It is wild and most days she rocks a fairy impressive mohawk. Her Aunty Eileen keeps trying to tame it but she is swiftly told to leave it. She is officially the worlds happiest baby and a little star.

Happy First Birthday my little star, hope you have a wonderful day.

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Lots of Love

Mummy

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You know what they say about buses…

When Mr B and I talked about having children we decided that we would want to have our babies close together. When Miss B was born we always planned to have a small age gap. Unfortunately I was made redundant when she was 21 months old and we simply couldn’t afford to expand our family then. Fast forward six years and we decided to have another baby and we were fortunate enough to have Miss C with no issues. Now, with her first birthday approaching I am happy to announce that we are going to be a family of five in the new year.

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2014 Round Up

On the whole 2014 has been a great year for my little family but first let’s get the not so great stuff out of the way. We started off with all of us having to go and live at my Mums house for 3 weeks because our boiler got condemned, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be in fairness, kind of like staying in a nice B&B! Then I went through some really awful work stress but came out the other side stronger and much wiser than when I started! My health has also taken a bit of a kick this year, I had gestational diabetes during pregnancy then had an attack of Gall Stones then my Gall Bladder out in December. Thankfully, the negative things this year have been greatly outdone by the positive and so many awesome things have happened and lots of fun times have been had!

There have been lots of new babies including our best friends having twins and my little niece being born at the start of the year. She and Miss B are inseparable and she’s already started terrorising Miss C, so there will be plenty of fun and games to come I’m sure 🙂 The biggest and best part of my year has by far been welcoming Miss C to our family.

My little niece arrived

In February we welcome Emily to the family, the girl is bonkers but I love you wee Stinky Face 🙂

Miss C

This girl just brings me so much joy and had made our little family complete. She makes everyday even more amazing and is such a happy little lady always full of smiles and giggles especially for her big sister who equally adores her. I am one lucky girl.

Fun Times

We have been so lucky this year and had a lot of good fun times together as a family.

2014 was a pretty good year for us and we are ending it on a high.  I know that’s not been the case for a lot of people I love and care about so I hope that 2015 brings good luck, love and happiness to each and every one of you because you deserve it.

Cx

Then There Were Four

Well we are now a family of 4 after our recent new arrival.  I’ve been asked loads about the birth etc so thought I would blog about it now I have some time on my hands (more on that later)

Baby B was due on the 28th August and due to my Gestational Diabetes we discussed me being induced early to make sure the baby wasn’t massive and neither of us was at any risk due to his/her size.  So when I went along to one of my routine appointments the consultant who was looking after me gave me a date of Friday 22nd August to go in.  The plan was that I would go in on the Friday night about 8pm, be induced on Saturday morning and see what happened from there.  We didn’t tell anyone other than my Mum because she was looking after Miss B and so I got planning. I arranged for the three of us to go out for dinner on our own to one of our favourite places and Miss B thought we were going to the cinema and she was having a sleep over at Gugs.  Aunty Eileen came and collected her from the restaurant and Mr B and I made our way to the hospital.

When I got there I was taken to a bed and met with a lovely midwife who sat and had a chat with us about what was going to happen. She had a look at my notes from the clinic and decided to take a look and see if there had been any movement and if that was the case she was going to get things moving. Before I knew what was happening, I was in a labour room having my waters broken! It was the strangest sensation lying there in the bed with my waters flooding out! The first time round they went naturally so it was really odd.  I was told she would give me an hour to see what I could do on my own and then get me on the drip. So Mr B and I were on our own again.  At this point I put my playlist on, I had been working hard for weeks making up my labour playlist and making sure that it was full of my favourite songs and songs that meant something to me.  The midwife came back in about half an hour later and was laughing at me dancing round the room in my jammies trying to keep my mind off things 🙂

After just over an hour she came back in and started me on the drip, it was really strange again because last time I was walking around and Mr B and I were pretty much left to our own devices but this time I was attached to a drip and stuck to the bed.  I managed on my own for about an hour or so and then asked for some gas and air. My contractions were all over the place and we were trying to get them under control and in some kind of regular pattern (I don’t think my dancing and singing was helping at this point, I blame Stevie Wonder). Finally my contractions got into a decent pattern and I was in full blown labour.  The whole experience flew past in a blur and the labour was just over 3 hours from start to finish. I remember asking for something stronger and I was given a shot of diamorphine and some anti-sickness drugs, then it was go time.

The midwife took the gas and air pipe from me and told me it was time to start pushing, and I did and less than 3 minutes later our gorgeous new bundle entered the world.  My labour was great but there was some drama 11 hours later which I will blog about later as it’s still quite emotional to talk about and I’ve been pretty poorly since too, but that’s also a post for another night.

Here are some pictures leading up to the introduction of Miss C:

Our last picture as a family of three

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My last bump picture

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Our first picture just after she was born (sorry for the tear stained face, I was really emotional)

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Having a wee cuddle with Daddy

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Meet Miss C 🙂

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With her big sister.

It’s fair to say that I always knew what a great big sister Miss B would make, but I think I genuinely underestimated just how amazing she would be. She is so loving and caring and can’t do enough for her little sister. Even when she is crying or making lots of noise, Miss B just gets on with it and loves cuddling into her as much as she can. She is relishing in her role as big sister and loves her wee sis to bits 🙂 Long may that continue!!

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Miss C is a very placid baby and if she isn’t sleeping she’s smiling. It’s amazing how much joy a new baby can bring to a  family, but she just fills me with happiness every day and I am so thankful that I have two happy and healthy little girls in my life. It was my worry before she was born about how she would fit into our family routine as what we has in place worked so well, but she has fallen into a fantastic pattern and thankfully it has all fallen into place.

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I am really looking forward to our first Christmas as a family of four and can’t wait for all the other amazing things that are coming up soon.

In the meantime, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment and I leave you with the song that Miss C was born to 🙂

Cx