Monday, 28 September 2020

Meal Plan For The Week - 28th September

I've recently started to share family meal plans on my blog again, and so I'm back with what we've got planned for dinners for the coming week.

Thankfully there's been a definite shift in the weather this week, so unlike last week when I was unsure of whether to cook stews or salads - I've gone for a definite Autumnal menu! I love dinners at this time of year - warming soups, hearty stews - there's just something I love about seeing the little ones at the dinner table tucking in to veggies and gravy while the rain beats down against the window outside. 

So without further ado, here are the planned dinners for this week:


Homemade Chilli Non Carne & Baked Potatoes

Chilli is always a firm favourite in our house. We usually have regular Taco Tuesdays which involve lots of Jon's famous homemade chilli, but it's been a few weeks and so it's back on the menu but in a different format.

I LOVE baked potatoes for dinner as they're just so quick and easy, Mondays are always a busy day in our house and so this is the ideal quick and easy dinner. Jon's chilli recipe is very much a tried & tested old favourite but as we're not big fans of mince, we always have it with Quorn mince instead.


Cottage Pie

What was I saying about us not liking mince?! Strangely, this is one meal that we DO make with real minced beef - we've tried it with quorn mince and it just wasn't the same! I love a nice cottage pie for dinner - I've seen lots of different recipes around over the years, it seems to be one of those dishes that every family does slightly differently but for us it's minced beef in onion gravy as the base layer, followed by a layer of sliced carrots and topped off with creamy mashed potato sprinkled with an oxo cube. Delish!


Creamy chicken pie with mash & peas

I first made this chicken pie a few months ago and although 4 of us loved it, Noa absolutely did not - infact she hated it so much that she threw her entire dinner plate onto the floor. You can imagine the scenes in our dining room that night!!! I am hopeful that she will NOT do it again this time but we shall see...I might have a sandwich on stand by just incase to avoid any flying plate incidents!!!


Meatball and mozzarella pan bake with garlic bread, and steamed veggies

This is a meal that I personally am not so keen on...I'm just not really a fan of meatballs, but the kids all absolutely love it and so I'm taking one for the team.

I follow this recipe from Olive Magazine and it always turns out perfect, I usually serve with slices of garlic bread around the outside of the pan for them to dip in which they love.


Chicken curry, rice and naan breads

This is one of those family favourite dinners that is always guaranteed to please everybody with no fuss at all. We usually go for a tikka masala or jalfrezi, and I'm not afraid to admit - we use the jars of curry sauce rather than making from scratch! I've tried tons of homemade curry recipes over the years and I've just never found one that compares to Pataks sauces - I love them and so do the kids! We also use Pataks naan breads too - yes I know I could make my own but some nights you just need convenience, and as my son has an early evening music class on a Friday - this is one of those evenings!


Carbonara Pasta Bake & Garlic Bread

We actually only introduced the kids to carbonara for the first time a few weeks ago as I wasn't sure what they'd make of it but it turns out that they absolutely love it! I must admit it's probably my least favourite pasta dish of all, but it's quick easy and filling so why not!


Roast Beef Dinner

It's been MONTHS since we had a roast dinner as a family. I know some families insist on having them every weekend no matter what the weather is like, but I'm honestly not a huge Roast dinner fan - I prefer to have them every now and then when we fancy them, so I think the last one was probably our Easter lunch!

I do prefer to have them once the weather has turned cold though, so this seems a good time to re-introduce them. Beef is always our favourite choice - we slow cook the beef over night so that it just melts in the mouth. It'll be served with carrots, parsnips, brussel sprouts, broccoli, yorkshire puddings, stuffing balls, and - of course - crispy roast potatoes and gravy! 

The kids love having roasts for dinner ever since we got a heated serving platter for them to help themselves out of so they'll be delighted!

Wine Of The Week

As I mentioned last week, Jon & I have recently started getting quite in to wine and we've decided to treat ourselves to a nice bottle for the weekend on a weekly basis.

As we’ve been getting more interested in wine we have also started to look at the best ways to store and serve our wine. These wine cabinets are really impressive, they allow you to store reds, whites, rosés and champagne at the perfect temperature. If you are a wine collector, they can also be set to store wine for the long term.

This week, after browsing through the Independent Wines e-shop, we decided on the 306 Biologico Nero d'Avola 2017 Sicilia DOC - this organic red wine has won multiple awards, including the Decanter Silver medal, and was featured in The Independent.

Produced from Salvatore Tamburello's vineyard in western Sicily, The Nero d’Avola grapes are planted at 200 metres above sea level, and the soil is composed of limestone and clay which is known to produce excellent wines. The wine then spends 20 months in stainless steel tanks while a small amount is aged in oak barriques to give a delicate hint of oak. 

We plan to pair this wine with our Roast beef - we've had a taste and found it to be smooth, slightly tangy with hints of red cherry and pepper and with a beautiful aroma. It's a dry wine with a beautifully deep colour - we're really looking forward to indulging in more!

We're using Independent Wine for our weekly treats - they offer a hand picked selection of  Italian wines for those who want to find something special but don't have the time (or, in our case, the experience) to search for it. Their knowledge base  is very insightful and informative for new Wine fans like ourselves, as it's packed full of information and articles from how to pick the perfect bottle of wine to how to pair it or even cook with it.

What wines would you personally recommend?

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