Monday, 9 November 2015

#MealPlanningMonday - 9th November 2015

5:2 Diet Vegetarian Meals for one
Squiggle has become a bit of a fussy eater lately and just wants to eat fish fingers every night, which was OK for a few days but now I'm getting fed up of trying to cook 2 seperate meals every night, especially as I have no idea about portion control. I always make far too much and even though I freeze some and give my granny some I always seem to have lots going to waste. Luckily last week I won a copy of 5:2 Diet Vegetarian Meals for One. I'm not a vegetarian and I'm not following the 5:2 diet but some of the recipes in this book look really yummy and they are designed to make just one portion ( which will be a shame if I decide I want seconds! )

Anyway after having a quick skim through I have decided to attempt to make:

Butternut Squash Risotto
Stroganoff with rice ( the recipe calls for Tofu but I'm going to substitute for beef )
Low fat Pesto Tagliatelle

I'll let you know how I get on with them.

I've also got a pan of parsnip soup that I made yesterday and sorry Skippy but I found some Kangaroo steaks in Lidl and thought I'd give them a try - I'm not sure if Squiggle will want to try them or not, you never know he may surprise me and broaden his food horizons this week!

As usual this post is linked up with Meal Planning Monday, head over to Mrs M's blog to get more inspiration.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Lights Are On But No One's Homer - A little bit about my blog.

I get quite a few funny looks when I'm out and about and introducing myself and my blog - Hi I'm Joanne, and I write a blog called The Lights Are On But No One's Homer, I think mainly because it is such a mouthful to say the full title or at least I hope so and they're not just looking at me like I am a weirdo! I've managed to cut down my name on Twitter to just simply No One's Homer and I probably should follow suit on Instagram but I'm attached to my alter ego name of Felixthemog which I've been known as since I first joined the World Wide Web, but that doesn't fit with this blog.

When I first started blog writing many years ago I was starting out as Fat Girl Thin, and was supposed to be blogging about weight loss, however 12 months after I started writing my blog I was hospitalised with acute pancreatitis following an emergency C-Section and was in hospital for 9 months and consequently lost 10 stone in weight so I didn't need really to blog about weight loss. ( although that's all changed in the past few years! )

When I finally got back to a decent level of health I decided it was time for a new outlook on life, and a new blog name. So after racking my brains for what seemed like forever I thought about a word play on my name Homer and came up with The Lights Are On, But No One's Homer. I do have "blonde" moments, I was born blonde, and regularly dye my hair blonde so I'm entitled to say that!

I do live in my own little world sometimes, and have been occasionally accused of not getting things straight away but don't let that fool you. I think I am quite intelligent, however I just choose not to show it! Ever since my stay in hospital (where I nearly died twice) I have become a completely different person, I am a bit more scatty, slightly more immature, but if it means I can enjoy life and I'm not hurting anyone then that's fine by me. Yes I regularly dress up in fancy dress, I might look like a total div and you might feel embarrassed for me but I'm not embarrassed and my son loves it. As far as he is concerned his mum is ace!

My blog is a place where I can share my memories about the mad things that happen round here, the crazy things that my family do, and occasionally do grown up things like write product reviews and attend events.

Am I going to change the name following last years split from Mr Homer? No, this is who I am and he was a part of my life, and I will always be living with a Homer thanks to my son Squiggle.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and my other posts and I hope you enjoy reading what I write. Please feel free to leave any comments on any posts, it's always good to get feedback from my readers.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

#SaveourSausage - An Evening with Paul Rankin

I am a very fussy person when it comes to sausages, so I was most intrigued when last week, Squiggle and I received an invitation to go and meet with Celebrity Chef Paul Rankin at the Great John Street Hotel in Manchester as he launched his new Rankin Selection Irish Family Sausages.

Michelin star Paul Rankin regularly appears on TV and is a personal favourite of mine from his time on Saturday Morning kitchen and the infamous three egg omelette challenge. Well he is now launching his own range of traditional Irish sausages in an attempt to bring back family meal times. He is currently touring Britain and Ireland with his Rankin Challenge where he just asks that you compare his sausages against the current market leader, see which you prefer and let him know.

Which was what our evening was all about. We were given an introduction to Paul and learnt how he has been working with artisan Irish food producer, Finnebrogue, to create a better quality sausage.
The evening was full of fun and laughter, we started off with a canape reception with sausage rolls and sausages in lovely sweet chilli sauce and then shown through to the dining room. We played a game of Silly Sausage where Paul tested our knowledge on the humble banger and I'm pleased to say I was part of the winning team. Squiggle was invited to go and choose our prizes, a choice of a Paul Rankin frying pan or an all day breakfast made out of sweets, he surprised us all by going for the frying pan!

We were then served a plate of bangers and mash with an onion gravy, I must admit I was wary, I've had bad experiences with sausages in the past but I needn't have worried. The sausages were lovely, there was no "bad bits" in them which I have found with the current market leader.

Paul said that he prefers to fry his sausages for 20 minutes, I personally prefer not to stand in front of a cooker for this length of time and admit I do mine in the oven.  I noticed such a difference when I cooked these sausages at home. Firstly they didn't explode ( there is no need to prick them ), secondly there was no excess fat in the pan when I cooked them and thirdly they taste so much better than other sausages that I have tried.

Rankin Selection Irish Family Sausages are now on sale in Asda at an introductory price of £1.75 (£2.00 RRP)  for a pack of 8

I was invited to this event by Tots100 and was given a goody bag and a packet of sausages in exchange for this review. 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

40 Things to Do Before 40 - Andrew Lloyd Webber's - Cats

Finally months after posting my bucket list of things to do before I turn 40, I can finally tick the first one off my list.

I went to Blackpool last month with my Mum and Grandma to the Winter Gardens to see Andrew Lloyd Webber's - Cats. I have seen it once before, about 10 years ago, but to be honest I didn't really understand it, other than it was a musical about a bunch of singing cats, but I did like it enough to want to watch it again.

Second time round I knew what the storyline was about and was prepared for the cats prowling around the audience before it started. I also had my tissues ready for the big number, I am such a soft soppy sod. Whenever I hear Memory I get a cold shiver down my spine and the flood gates just open and being a musical it's in there a couple of times as the main number and a reprise. Anyway I didn't have enough tissues and I'm not sure which was worse for those sitting around us, either listening to me sobbing or my Grandma singing all the way through. I mean come on, they've paid good money to hear professionals sing not some amateur dramatic star from back in the days* ( although she does have a great singing voice - sadly it wasn't passed on to me )

So there we go, number one ticked off the list, time to crack on with the next one!

*I love my gran to bits and this is not meant in an offensive way at all, in fact she laughed when we said the exact same thing to her!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

A Day Out - Liverpool Pirate Festival 2015

Last weekend I ventured to Liverpool with my mum and Squiggle, dressed as pirates, with hats and swords in tow, for the annual Pirate Festival.
Based at The Albert Dock, the weekend was full of pirates, cannons, music and stories.

Visitors are encouraged to go along in fancy dress and well ...... we couldn't resist.

My mum is a dab hand at sewing, so she made a cute little skeleton pirate themed costume for Squiggle.

Mum and me put together our own ensemble, but after looking at some of the costumes the actors and other visitors wore, we are going full on pirate next year. Watch this space.

The line up of entertainment was slightly different on both days, we visited on Saturday so were lucky enough to see Swashbuckle's Cook and Line do a show. They read/acted out a story to the youngsters which was full of noise and water pistols. It was good to see the adults joining in too with a few shouts of argh argh and aye aye Captain! They really entertained the crowd and got us in the mood for a day of pirate antics!

In the afternoon we took part in the pirate parade, which went around The Albert Dock and incorporated a story of the Pirates vs The Kings Navy. Trying to explain to Squiggle why The Kings Navy was after us got confusing especially as I'm trying to teach him right from wrong. Of course pirates are baddies, but we were dressed as pirates and therefore on this occasion we were the "goodies" or were we just good as being bad??? confused? - I was!

Anyway, we followed the pirate marching band and had the first encounter with The Kings Navy, gunpowder, cannons and smoke filled the air as they "attacked" us.

We continued into the court yard and was met by another crew of pirates and The Kings Navy, a sword fight followed, a pretty maid was kidnapped and a full on war declared.

The battle took place a short while later as the pirate ship The Schooner Vilma took on The Kings Navy, cannons and guns were fired from each of the vessels, land cannons were fired. The noise and atmosphere was amazing. Visitors were on the side of the dock cheering and booing as the boats went past and jumping out of their skin everytime a cannon went off.

I won't spoil it by telling you the end but the good guys won, or should that be the bad guys?*

* See what I meant about it being confusing!