I like to be positive. It distresses me to be negative. I don’t always manage it but I do try. It’s one thing I learnt from a manager who was forever rocking in from the current training course and trying out the latest lesson on us. Mostly this habit drove me mad but one day this manager asked me to talk up the positives of a certain issue and it really can change your perspective.
So I’m very happy to be writing this post as it won’t require much positive visualisation. I have a good review of a product: YAY! I swore this time last year that I would report on my experience of MyNametags.ie product because I have a whole swath of crappy “iron-on” labels in my sewing kit. Mind you I was raving about MyNametags to my sister-in-law and my mother piped up something along the lines of “A needle and thread always kept my labels on.” Well after ironing on 35 labels, I’m pretty damn glad I didn’t have to sew them all on.
So what do I think is so good about these particular labels? They stay on. Simple. The iron on labels did not shrivel or fade. No matter if they are sewn on to shirts, polo shirts, trousers or jumpers they held on like limpets. Everything gets washed at 40 degrees and ironed at cotton and they hung on like an enraged terrier.
I ordered a pack of 75 iron on labels and 75 stick on labels – classic style. The package arrived promptly with clear instructions. As mentioned above I used them on cotton, polycotton and wool and whatever the ties are made from and no sticking issues on any of them. Since then not one single label has come unstuck and all remain legible.
The stick on stickers are very handy and as I got our family name with both myself and Himself’s phone numbers included, all of us can use them. The stick on labels are also excellent although I cannot give them an absolute no holds barred rave review as one or two, while remaining stuck firmly in place, did completely fade. However bear in mind that these are stuck on lunchboxes that get turfed into the dishwasher or hot washing up sink willy nilly. I also can’t swear to the conditions in which they were stuck. They stayed on pencils, markers and mathematical set equipment.
I suppose the one and only issue I might have is that the labels and stickers are a little on the small side but I can also see the logic of this too. If they were any bigger they probably wouldn’t work for the pens and pencils. I might try their newer colour labels in three colours to make it easier to sort uniforms because with Nipper 3.0 starting in September this is only going to get more tiresome.
And our score for this year? 1 pair of tracksuit bottoms lost. I’m actually still cross when I think about this. Nipper 1.0 arrives home from swimming in a pair of tracksuit bottoms that are at least two sizes too small and obviously not the brand new ones I had so carefully labelled not two months previously. The other parent had not marked their tracksuit in any way. I contacted all the parents in his class via email to ask everyone to check: nothing. I asked a couple of parents in the class below who do swimming at the same time but didn’t get a huge amount of traction there. What bugs me about this is that there is a parent out there who is so disengaged that they didn’t notice that their child arrived home in brand new tracksuit bottoms two sizes bigger than the pair they went out in. I can only presume that these same parents haven’t laundered the trousers since because, based on my experience, there is no way to get that label off short of excising it with a scissors! Of course, I like an eejit, promptly went into the office to hand over the tracksuit that didn’t belong to us presuming it would only be a matter of time before the other parent did the same. The upshot of that was that Nipper 1.0 had to wear non-regulation tracksuit for the rest of the year because I was damned if I was forking out more cash!
If you have our carefully labelled tracksuit bottoms you can still return them. The harsh judgement is done: can it get much worse than me calling you a negligent parent on my mammy blog?
As mentioned previously we are not long back from a 2 week break in Casteldeffels near Barcelona. I was in Barcelona for the first time last Sepetember and was absolutely entranced by this fabulous city that really has something for everyone. I arrived on my own last September and met friends there, the first of whom introduced me to Pimientos del Padron which are delicious, wee green peppers, roasted and sprinkled liberally with salt. The perfect accompaniment to a few glasses of beer. If anyone has a line on where I can buy weenchy green peppers in Dublin please share.
The same friend was recently on a trip that included two nights with us in Dublin. Ever the perfect guest, KS presented me with a lovely book entitled Real Tapas by Fiona Dunlop which while it includes some traditional enough recipes is self-confessedly beholden to the nueva cocina movement. So with guests arriving for lunch we decided to try out this recipe with its intriguing use of that Irish breakfast staple, black pudding.
Himself rustled this up so hopefully he might add any comments below about changes he made. It was delicious but definitely not an everyday dish!
- Olive Oil
- Half a large onion, thinly slice
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- 25g sultanas, soaked in hot water for 15 mins, drained.
- 10g pine nuts
- 150g black pudding, fried and coarsely chopped
- 1 x 400g cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Put sultanas in a heatproof bowl and cover in hot water and soak for 15 minutes.
Slice black pudding, fry til cooked and crumble.
Heat olive oil in a solid frying pan over a low heat. Sauté onion until it is tender then add garlic, parsley, sultanas and pine nuts.
Finally add cooked and crumbled black pudding and chickpeas to heat through, stirring all the time.
Serve in a warm dish with a dash of olive oil.
Lunch: We’re expecting a family of guests this week so want to make something that has been tested on kids (hence the skewers) and something new that reminds of our holidays (hence the tapas from a new book from my friend who was visiting from Barcelona.)
Chicken and cherry tomato skewers with couscous and Broccoli and Avocado salad and Chickpea & black pudding tapa.
All going to plan I will rustle up some Wellington Squares for the sweet toothed among us. Apparently we currently have so much condensed milk in the cupboard at the moment that Himself tells me “It’s like the war.” I’ll post this winner of a recipe which I found years ago online but can no longer find. If I have time I might make a crumble for the grown ups to use up the blackberries I picked in the wild, brambly part of our garden.
Dinner: A cup of French peasant soup (made Saturday) for tea for anyone who is still hungry after lunch. (No actual peasants are hurt (except maybe their feelings) in the making of this soup.) You’ll note from the pic that I have also added potato and carrot to this soup. I love me a bit of potato in a stewy soup like this.
Lunch: Pizza rolls – these are from Rachel Allen’s Home Cooking which I got from my godmother. Not a book I would have picked myself but it has fast become a standby for me. There are some great, realistic family recipes in it.
Dinner: French peasant soup with Superquinn’s lovely brown bread. But really I have to crack this brown bread thing: if millions of Irish peasants could make it in a hovel in the howling wind and rain I should be able to make it! Mine always turns out rock hard on the outside and squishy on the inside 🙁 All advice welcomed in comments below.
Lunch: Tortellini with leftover pizza sauce from yesterday.
Dinner: Salmon Alfredo – I know pasta twice in one day. Hmmm. I love pasta and when I wonder about how much we eat Himself always says, “You’re a grown-up, you can eat as much pasta as you like.” I might switch the tortellini to another day so.
Bean and chorizo stew (make Tuesday) – This is a receipe I found in a newspaper years ago (Saturday June 28 2003 to be precise; no idea which paper!) that we make fairly regularly. It’s absolutely delicious with new potatoes or crusty bread or indeed couscous. It’s a great summer recipe to use up your tomatoes if you are green fingered enough to grow them but also makes a hearty winter dish if you can brave the garden for a spring if the evergreen rosemary.
Gnocchi w/ pesto
Nut roast with cheese and tomato layer – This was requested by Himself this week when I said we have too much meat in this week’s menu. I think he was trying to avoid me trying Aloo Gobi on the children and the fights cauliflower would produce. This recipe is infamous in my own family as I made it as a teenager and vegetarian. I had received the Cranks’ recipe book from my aunt in England as a Christmas present and was encouraged by my mother to prepare something. It wasn’t until my family were desperately trying to be polite and supportive about my efforts that I realised I had put in a tablespoon of yeast extract (read Marmite) instead of a teaspoon. Yech.
Eat out after a trip to Makeshop as it is our last day of summer holidays for all as Nipper 3.0 starts in Naíónra (preschool) on Monday!
[ ]Savoy cabbage
[ ] Strawberries/ raspberries
[ ] Lemon
[ ] Beetroot
[ ] Carrots
[ ] Low fat mature cheddar (Dubliner or Kilmeaden)
[ ] Tomatoes
[ ] Cherry tomatoes x 2
[ ] Bananas
[ ] Apples
[ ] Peaches
[ ] Avocado
[ ] Smoked salmon
[ ] Ham
[ ] Bagels
[ ] Filled pasta
[ ] Milk
[ ]Tinned pineapple
[ ] Tinned beans
[ ] Raisins
[ ] Juice tropicana
[ ] Tinned tomatoes
[ ] Gnocchi
[ ] Brown pasta for macaroni
[X] Garlic mayo
[ ] Cat food
[ ] Cider/ white wine (We recently tried Stonewell Cider from Nohoval, Co. Cork, an area we are very familiar with and we are hooked!)