Signing On and Tidy Desks

Today I am job hunting. And tidying my desk. I thought I would just put that out there. It's not to say I haven't been looking for the last 2 months, it's just today I'm having to be more formal about it.

I signed on last week for (I think) contribution based job seekers allowance which now means all of my job hunting efforts will be scrutinised. I say, I think because I was totally lost about what I actually applied for because it seemed to have changed between me making the initial claim online and the interview.

I'm just going with the flow.

To be honest the whole thing is a bit scary. Walking into the job centre was scary. Figuring out all the forms, was scary. I've never needed to do this before, so it was all totally new. And scary. And the thought of proving to someone what I have done, how I have done, what I'm planning on doing and so on, does seem intrusive.

However, when I thought about it, this is no different to actually working. I try and schedule time every day to dedicate time to looking for and applying, so I'm treating it like a part-time job. Reporting in at the job centre, is just like having a meeting with my manager to look at my progress and see what I can do to improve. Well, that's how I'm handling it. Their job is to get me back into work, I'll accept all the help I can! 

So today, I'm dedicating some time to sort the untidy desk out, just like I would do if I was at work. Hopefully when I have my next 'performance review' I'll have all the paperwork to hand.

I'm aiming for three applications today, with fully bespoke CV's and covering letters. May not seem like a lot, but if you're going to get it right first time, it takes time to perfect.

And you've got to have targets, this is my new part-time job after all

Slimming World Friendly Sweet Sticky Onion Relish

This is sooo good, it doesn't last long in my house because I keep eating it! Easier than you think and should keep for three or four days in the fridge, plus its Syn free on Slimming World

500g of thinly sliced red onions
100ml balsamic vinegar
150ml apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of sweetner
2 cloves of crushed garlic
2 tablespoons of chopped thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients into a large, heavy bottomed pan. Bring it up to the boil and then simmer, covered for an hour. Give it an occasional stir to make sure it doesn't burn. Remove the lid for the last 10 minutes or so, to thicken up the lovely sticky sweet syrup. Once cooled, season to taste.

I've had this with burgers, lovely and tangy in a salad, goes well with chicken and beef on the side of your plate, or stirred through plain rice or couscous to liven it up.

Go on give it a go! 

Slow Cooker Beef Tomato and Red Pepper Casserole

This is a delicious, melt in the mouth and incredibly easy to make recipe to boot. Was inspired by the Coleman's Slow Cooker sachet, but objected to the Syns. So created my own version.

You literally chuck all the ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for eight hours. Creates its own sauce or gravy from the juices, serves 4 and is Syn free on extra easy

400g of casserole beef with all visible fat removed and cut into cubes
2 large red onions, cut into wedges
3 red peppers, cut into slices
Tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
2 cloves of garlic
2 beef Oxo cubes (or equivalent)
2 tablespoons of mixed herbs
Salt and pepper to season

As I said, chuck it all in, stir and leave for as long as you. I had this with steamed greens and new potatoes, but it's very versatile. Try it with spicy couscous. Or baked or mashed potato with plenty of superfree veggies.