Back to school with bangers

September is closer to New Year in my mind. I have been invigorated by the summer sunshine or certainly the summer light but there is a change in the air. A few tiny leaves waft to the ground. It’s not warm in the morning. There is a tinge of golden appearing on the trees. The smells are damper, edged with decay.

I freaking LOVE Autumn. I am full of the joys of Autumn. I love the excessively bright days where skies seem crazy blue when contrasted to the oranges, yellows and browns of the trees. I love blackberry picking.

With all this joy I feel I should channel some energy back into my blog. Kicking it off with an easy one but I hope it will help you get organised for the first full week back at school. This week’s menu includes lots of comfort meals and also freezer meals. Hopefully it will make the transition easier while we get used to the new old routine. 

A couple of the recipes this week are doubled (or sometimes even tripled!) so I can put extra dinners in the freezer. I immediately add these to dates in our AnyList app so I don’t forget about them. They are always scaled to feed 6: the sixth dinner usually being lunch for Himself the next day.

As a reminder we have three children aged 14, 12 and 8. Two in primary and one just started Junior Cert year. 

Friday – 31/8/2018

I was left entirely alone all afternoon as everyone went visiting so I had a chicken, cheese and pesto bagel with a green salad for lunch.
Dinner: Baked potatoes your way. Normally we have pizza but as Himself has been going up and down to his home place recently we have moved pizza to Saturday. I think I might prefer this.
The elder Nippers and I had left over chilli plus trimmings with our baked potatoes while Nipper 3.0 had baked beans.
We finished with meringues, strawberries and cream.

Saturday – 1/9/2018

We’re still making pizza after all these years! At one point we used the bread machine to do all the work but then the valiant machine died. Although I did try, we never replaced it and so every week I make pizza by hand. I suppose it’s quite mindful. I put on a podcast and get stuck in. As time goes by the Nippers become more varied in their toppings but from week to week it’s inevitably the same for all of us.

We rounded it off with home made rocky road ice cream.

Sunday – 2/9/2018

Today I am going to attempt Nigella’s Salted Chocolate Tart. Normally I don’t like to make desserts that involve pre-made ingredients like biscuits and I balked at the cost of this last week. However Oreos were on special offer this week at €1 so I saw my chance. Needless to say I won’t be using smoked salt. Sorry Nige!
For dinner we are having roast leg of lamb with all the trimmings. It was on special offer – how could I resist! Himself uses Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s recipe for the lamb – it is divine. I also picked up fresh corn on the cob for €0.49 each. It’s the time of year for it and the Nippers always get such craic from it!

Monday – 3/9/2018

Tomorrow and Mondays from now on we will generally have something from the freezer. This is so Himself and I can make it to our Running Training with Kevin English. As he put it himself, “I make you do the stuff you never do on your own.” Like running up a really steep hill very fast 8 times. It’s a bargain at €5 a pop, I’m already seeing an improvement in my times and it’s far more social than my solo running at 6.30 am!
So tomorrow will be Veggie & chickpea curry, with broccoli and naan on side. If anyone wants meat there may be some lamb leftover but generally they are happy to eat this. Can’t remember where the recipe is from…

Tuesday – 4/9/2018

Tuesday’s dinner is an easy one and a family favourite. Not terribly healthy although it does include lots of tomatoes of varying sizes so a good one for anyone trying to use up the last of them from their garden. I wish!
Baked Sausages in a spicy tomato sauce is from Nessa Robins book “Apron Strings” which I borrowed from the library many moons ago.

Wednesday – 5/9/2018

Wednesday’s dinner is a new one in the rotation and very popular. The kids just love anything with chilli because they get tortilla chips and they can build their own. This chilli is delicious with a deep and tasty flavour and entirely vegetarian. I try to include at least one vegetarian meal a week. Check out Double Bean and Roasted Pepper Chilli from BBC Good Food. Don’t let that Roasted Pepper put you off – it uses jarred peppers! Yaasss!

Thursday – 6/9/2018

Another favourite for the week that’s in it and a great, good value, freezer filler.A very simple Tuscan pork ragu is made in the slow cooker so I’ll probably put it on as soon as I get in from the school run. 

The younger two nippers have just started a gymnastics class on Thursday. They are in two different back to back classes so I will be out ferrying from 6.10 onwards. The eldest goes to karate on a Thursday, leaving at 5ish. So rather than a lunch when they come in I will give them a snack and feed them their dinner around 5pm. It will be essential to be organised for all this to go smoothly. Fingers crossed. Last week I cycled the Nippers to and from their classes so managed to cycle 10km. I would love if I could do this every week but I’m not sure as the evenings close in. We’ll see.

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