frugal cooking

14October

Pumpkin Soup recipe

Using up those pumpkins

Pumpkin Soup recipe

If you find yourself with a mountain of Pumpkin, try this yummy recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Soup.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7. Peel and cut into chunks 750g of Pumpkin. 

Place the pumpkin, 6 large tomatoes (Halved) and one onion (peeled and thickly sliced) in a roasting tin. 

Add in four sprigs of rosemary and drizzle with a little oil. 

Roast for 40 minutes until slightly blackened. Leave to cool.

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14October

Whats the deal with all these Pumpkins?

Lots of ideas for using up Pumpkin

Whats the deal with all these Pumpkins?

Pumpkins are everywhere at the moment.  A fruit, most commonly orange in colour when ripe, A pumpkin is pumpkins are members of the Cucurbitaceae family, which also includes cucumbers, gherkins, and melons.

In Autumn Pumpkins are a popular food, but it is possible that your experience with them starts and ends with Carving them for Halloween.  The flesh, however, can be cooked and served in many ways, and even the seeds can be roasted and eaten as a snack.

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14October

Pumpkin and Sausage Casserole

Pumpkin Main meal Recipe

Pumpkin and Sausage Casserole

If you are looking for ideas for a main meal to use up your pumpkin, then why not try a casserole with sausages and beans. Tasty Hearty Fare, for a Chilly Autumn Evening.

This recipe is a firm favourite in this house at this time of year.

 

Heat the oven to 200ºC/gas 6.

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-based, ovenproof dish. 
Working on two sausages per person, fry the sausages for 3-4 minutes, turning frequently to allow the sausages to brown evenly. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

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27July

Rick Steins Sporki Macaroni

Great Pasta Casserole from Dubrovnik

It's been some time since we revisited Mr Stein's wonderful book based on his 'Venice to Istanbul' voyage.

We have quite a few favourites from the book, some of which have even made it on to this blog, (see Circassian Chicken ) but I was a bit surprised to discover that I have never shared this dish, an error which I plan to put right, right now.

The first thing worth noting is that the quantities for this dish serve 6-8.  The Beef/pasta sauce takes an hour to cook down and so it seems only sensible to cook 400g as per the recipe and then half the quantity and put half in the freezer for another day.

I also believe that at some point I am going to try making this in a slow cooker.  Rick states that it should cook through in 550-60 minutes, but I put it in a large pot and left it on the hob, on a low heat for three hours, turning the heat back up slightly for the last hour to reduce the sauce.  This way the meat literally melts in the mouth.
 

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26July

Paprika Pork with Tagliatelle

Something different to do with Pork Chops

Paprika Pork with Tagliatelle

Pork chops do make an appearance in this house from time to time.  They have also made an appearance in this blog from time to time. 

Orange Glazed Pork Chops

Pork Steak with a Sage and Lemon Sauce

Pork Chops with Honey Glazed Onions

I don't mind them, I look at them as a nice change from Chicken so I do have to wonder why we don't have them more often.

As I have done on a number of occasions recently, lack of time to indulge in my favourite pastime of reading cookery books whilst sitting on the sofa with a large mug of tea, I have resorted to putting various ingredients in to the BBC Good Food website and quickly scanning through what comes up.

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11June

Summer Sunday Roast

Herb crusted Roast Pork Loin

Summer Sunday Roast

Its a thing.  Roast Chicken for Sunday Roast.  But its a winter thing.  

The troops have been making noises for some weeks now about having something else for dinner on a Sunday, and on days where we have been blessed with Sun on Sun-day then a quiche or a summer pie has been the order of the day.

However, the weather has confused the issue.  It's too warm for a full on Roast Dinner but too wet to really do quiche.

Also, I am not a massive fan of most other meat.  I detest Roast Lamb (grilled is the only way I can stomach this fattiest of meats), Beef is fine but it's really expensive and reminds me of Christmas so really that leaves a nut roast or Pork.  But I don't really like roast pork.  But not to be beaten I stuck 'Pork' into the ingredient search on the BBC Good Food site and up popped something quite interesting!

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10June

Oven Baked Thai Curry

A warming dish for a miserable June Day

Oven Baked Thai Curry

It's official.  I am fed up.  I have tried to keep a brave face on it but I am going to admit it now.....I am fed up, fed up with the weather.

May delivered potential, and whilst we all know that the weather turns sour once the kids have broken up for the Summer, surely June was going to deliver more of the gorgeous weather of May?  

We are 10 days in and I have lost faith.  That said it may be because I escaped to Italy with a friend last weekend so this cold wet snap is hitting me particularly hard.

It is very hard being motivated to produce a meal plan when your heart just isn't in it, and you tend to revert to family favourites and storecupboard staples - and yes it is true that we had just Jacket potato with grated cheese and salad for tea one day last week.  I had forgotten how delicious simple fodder of this nature could be.  My husband, given the chance to get his hands on the meal plan as I was away, obviously had not! 

 

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17May

Love it when we make a 'Top Ten' List

Like it even more when we make #3!

Love it when we make a 'Top Ten' List
I do so love it when we make it on to a 'list' and today's list finds us at #3!
Check out the list here
Over the next few weeks, you should see some of our posts shared and maybe even a quick Q&A,about our top budgeting tips.
Follow @Netvouchercodes and @The Parent Bible

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14May

'Toad in the hole' - Good old Fashioned Frugal Food

A Frugal alternative to a full Sunday Roast

'Toad in the hole' - Good old Fashioned Frugal Food

There's been a bit of a backlash in this house to the standard Roast on a Sunday.  I think my teenager has decided she's fed up with me serving up Roast Chicken on a Sunday.  So now I am confronted with having to dream up another days meal on the meal plan, where as before Sunday was always a 'slam dunk'

So we have been toying with hot quiche, pies and then today I decided that a good old fashioned 'Toad' was the way forward.

Posted in Frugal Foods

03May

Cheese Scones

Classic British Picnic menu item

Cheese Scones

It is tempting, although I have never done it, to put a little paper flag in the top of a cheese scone.  To me they look like sandcastles, albeit with a lattice cheese sunhat, and a crowning glory of a paper flag made from a cocktail stick, glue and the loan of my daughters felt-tipped pens would just finish them off perfectly.

I guess thats it though, the success of a scone, cheese or fruit, is measured, quite literally, by its height.  

Opinions for the successful achieving of 'height' on a scone differ remarkably.  But it is just Baking Powder which is needed, I tend to add a little more to already Self Raising Flour, but also don't underestimate the power of cold butter to add pockets of 'lift' to the mix, and don't roll the mixture too thin these are scones, not biscuits!  The dough needs to be at least 2.5cm (1 inch) thick when cutting out the scone shape with the cutter.

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01May

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Super Cheap and really easy to make. No excuses really

Lemon Drizzle Cake

I rarely make cake.  But when I do I tend to go a bit bonkers.  It's a bad trait.  I tend to behave the same way when making pasta and Bread.  There's obviously some inner need within me to Batch Cook.

Yesterday I made loads of cake like things but this was an absolute hit and what's more it didn't make it to the freezer, which is where most of my batch cooking ends up.  
Which is a bit of a shame really, because it means it's going to have to be eaten!

When making cake there are some ground rules:-
1. It has to cost less then buying shop cake or it has to be especially delicious
2. I must already have all the ingredients, if you dont have all the ingredients, find a cake that you do have all the ingredients for, or swap some around a bit
3. You must be able to make it in a food mixer.  Life is too short for creaming butter with sugar by hand
4. You must already own a suitable tin, or something similar you can get away with.

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23March

Pomegranate Tabbouleh

Using up Sundays Roast Chicken

Pomegranate Tabbouleh

On the whole I can't recommend what I have embarked upon this week.  A whole week of new and untried recipes.  It is never going to be too easy when you have a family of fussy eaters but this week I seem to have excelled myself.

I am going to avoid even making more than a passing reference to the halloumi and Courgette burgers we had last night.  There must have been something wrong with the recipe, most of the cheese ended up on the pan I was utilising in order to 'dry fry' them.  Whilst the intent was good the execution ended up more like a Halloumi Green 'Crumble' which in the end I served on some stir fried greens, there was just no way that was going in a bun!

However despite the fact that, given that it contained both cucumber, tomato and cold chicken and was therefore hated by my teenager, the Tabbouleh we had on Tuesday night is most definitely worth a mention here.

Posted in Frugal Foods

20March

Greek Lamb Pasta Melt

Another one from the Tesco Food Magazine

Greek Lamb Pasta Melt

I think we all know by now that we as a family don't like lamb.  The only exception to this is the lamb kebab.
It's probably its fattiness I don't like, and as a result, I am not very keen on the smell.  
Lamb as a Roast on a Sunday is my idea of hell (but when presented with such it's a perfect excuse to indulge on Mint Sauce which I completely love).

So why, you may be wondering, did I embark on this dish for tea tonight.  

Call it "taking one for the team"

Posted in Frugal Foods

18March

Mexican Pork with Beans and Guacamole

Family tea for £1.50 a head

Mexican Pork with Beans and Guacamole

Not sure how I came to leave a gap of nearly two months in my food blog.  I think its most likely to be because I have gone back to work, after 8 glorious months, and so over the past few weeks I have been distracted.  That might be it, or it might be because I had become a bit lazy when trying new recipes.

Tesco is not where I normally Shop.  I do however, like the Free Tesco magazine.  I do like most 'foodie' magazines, I do love a freebee but I am also found from time to time having purchased a BBC Good Food Magazine. 

Pork Fillet is not something I normally buy.  I have looked at it from time to time and pondered its use, and then I came across the Tesco magazine recipe for Spicy Pork with Chunky Bean Guacamole.  I already had an avocado which was perfectly ripe, and as they can go from perfect to 'black' in the blink of an eye, the question was whether I could get to Aldi and buy the rest of the ingredients in time.

Posted in Frugal Foods

26January

Chilli Bean Moussaka or is it a Lasagna

A light meat-free tea

Chilli Bean Moussaka or is it a Lasagna

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I had the Diary Diary book of Home Cookery out tonight.  I had planned to make their Chilli Bean Moussaka.....but it didn't quite work out like that.

Firstly, whilst we don't mind Aubergine, there really is no need for two in a dish for four people.  I also don't like Aubergine unless it's been griddled rather than 'stewed', so some amendments had to be made to the original recipe. 

Even more creative wizardry came along when the recipe asked for a tin of Kidney beans in a Chilli Sauce, as I only had kidney beans and two chillis

Finally, we finished the dish with Goats Cheese, as we had some in the fridge which needed using up.

Posted in Frugal Foods

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