frugal cooking

15February

Sausages with Devilled Sauce

Sausages with Devilled Sauce

Its a funny thing..........in the Dairy Book of Home Cookery there are eight pages of savoury sauces in the 1978 edition and six pages of savoury sauces in the 2012 one.  With each sauce there is specific guidance as to the type of dish the sauce goes with, which is great....get that.

What I don't understand however is why this Devilled sauce doesn't make it in to the sauce pages, but why it stands alone in the meat dept, partnered with sausages and sausages alone.  Why wasn't Devilled sauce listed in the sauce dept, showing as 'only good with sausages'? Which I am sure is not the case. Personally I think it would be excellent with a steak.

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14February

Beef and Noodle Bake

Beef and Noodle Bake

Always keen to find a new good 'n' tasty mince dish, this ticked a lot of boxes, with its beefy base and cheesy pasta topping. (I couldn't find egg noodles in Aldi so, I made mine with the same quantity of precooked wild garlic tagliatelle).

When I shopped for this dish I hadn't clocked the quantities involved and was a bit surprised to discover that the whole of the large pot of soured cream and the whole of the cottage cheese went in to the pasta topping.  As there are only three of us, the dog ate well this evening ............

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13February

Chicken with Almonds

Chicken with Almonds

Whilst we wholeheartedly support the concept of Meat free Monday, In the Faye household Monday is a leftover day...Monday was made for using up the Sunday roast.

Being one day on from a big, beautiful delicious roast Chicken we have enough chicken to feed the dog for a few days and enough for a meal for us for today.

Whilst I am still working on a full definitive list of recipes which overlap the 1978 and 2012 book, the recipe for 'Chicken with Almonds' makes an appearance in both, and uses precooked chicken so it seemed an obvious choice for dinner tonight.

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12February

Pineapple Upside down Pudding

Pineapple Upside down Pudding

Today's pudding was an inspired choice by my daughter.

Yesterday we picked up both a pineapple and fresh cherries whilst shopping, as she was in the mood for homemade smoothies.

Now, I am aware that by the time you pick up some bananas and strawberries then making smoothies gets a little expensive, so I was delighted to hear her idea of using the pineapple in a pudding too.

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08February

Lentil Lasagne

Lentil Lasagne
Made the Lentil Lasagne from the 2012 book for dinner tonight.  It was very good.  This is a really good example of the way our food has changed since 1978.  Back then the Lasagne Verde was in a rather exotic chapter with the catchy title 'Dishes from Europe'..... giving you the impression that Europe was far away and exotic.  My how things have changed!
I remember that back in the 1970's, Lentils, according to my Father were for hippies.  I cant imagine his face if my mother had served this dish up to him after a long day in Heavy Engineering!
Even if If you arn't much of a 'Hippie' then there is no need to be put off.  If you are looking for a 'Meat Free Monday' dish (yes, I know its Wednesday!) then give this one a go.  It also ticks all the buttons in the Frugal Store Cupboard dept.

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08February

Fridge Biscuits

Fridge Biscuits

I have to be in Surrey tomorrow and its become a bit of a tradition that when I can I usually take some sort of home baked item in for sharing during the monthly meeting.
Pondering the 'overlap' of the generations between 1978 and 2012 I noted that Vanilla Fridge biscuits had stood the test of time, so they were chosen as my 'vice' for the office this month.

I decided to try out four flavours.  Three of which are common to both books and 'Orange' which which made an appearance in 1978 but was dropped by the time we got to 2012.  I was keen to find out if there was an obvious reason for this.  For me I am much more certain to have an orange or a lemon  in the fruit bowl and readily to hand than to be confident that I definately had the 50g of raisins for the 'Raisin Biscuit which has replaced it.  Cost wise however theres probably little to choose between them.

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06February

Leftover Chicken Bake

Leftover Chicken Bake

Tried out the 'Leftover Chicken Bake' from the 2012 book today.  This was a bit of a strange thing to do given that I am intending to work my way through the 1978 book, or at least start with the recipes which have stood the test of time between 1978 and 2012.

This recipe isn't showing in the 1978 edition, so from the outset this recipe is out side of my 'range' but it suited what we had in the fridge, as we had leftover chicken and some single cream from Sunday which needed using up.

In Summary the dish was incredibly easy to make.  Using one onion and a portion of bacon Lardons (the recipe calls for 1-2 bacon rashers), four large potatoes and 225g of left over chicken from Sunday.

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31January

News letter from 28th January

For those of you who would like to see....here is the newsletter from last weekend, however you don't get the mealplan this way.  If you want the free meal plan then sign up - I promise not to sell your details on.

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25January

One Potato Two Potato................Two Onion ...Soup

One Potato Two Potato................Two Onion ...Soup
Different soup this morning  A creamy Two Potato and Two Onion.  Two onions chopped (I did one white, one Red) Two medium potatoes peeled and chopped (I did one sweet one, one ordinary white).
Cook potato and onion with a scrunched up bay leaf and 1/2 tsp thyme.
Add 1 1/2pt veg stock and 1/2pt milk, simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove Bay and blitz in batches.  Reheat when you are ready to eat.
Must admit that how nice it was rather took me by surprise. Roll on Lunchtime!

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24January

Tomato and Lentil Soup

Tomato and Lentil Soup

Woke up with the 'winter blues' don't know where that came from. Made Tomato and Lentil soup to cheer myself up. Which will be fine if I can make it through to lunch time!. 
If you are feeling a bit low today try this ......

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22January

Lime Meringue pie

Lime Meringue pie

It started off with me looking for a pudding for Sunday lunch.  I had a bit of left over shortcrust pastry, and that was about it.

We ended up with Lime Meringue pie and very nice it was too - if you discount the fact that I have no enamel left on my teeth now.  Its VERY tart!

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21January

News letter from 13th January

For those of you who have not yet signed up to the fortnightly newsletter and menu plan, heres the news letter from 13th January.  Get signed up this week and you will get next weeks news letter.

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As we know, during the Second World War, rationing meant widespread shortages of both basic and luxury ingredients and hardworking housewives had to come up with all kinds of creative recipes for family dishes.

These shortages may have been imposed by wartime restrictions and the results were no doubt met with lots offake smiling faces praising the 'delicious' flavour of those sugar free cakes, but in these credit crunched times can we learn from the past?
In the same way these thrifty cooks learned to be more creative with traditional dishes, today you could consider adapting some recipes to use more frugal ingredients.  Like those wartime cooks resolve to become better informed about ingredients and learn how to make sensible substitutions.

Fashionable ingredients tend to have a higher price tag, so try switching trendy products for cheaper substitutes. Try swapping Ricotta for Cottage Cheese, Pimento for Chili Flakes or Cayenne pepper.  In most recipes the result is the same.  Far from restricting your options, you will quickly learn the 'swaps' that you can make, to keep your weekly shop under control and along the way you will develop new flavours and twist on family favourites.

A word of caution. This approach won't work so well with baking, which is much more scientific in its approach,  however chocolate chips can be replaced with small chunks of economy supermarket branded chocolate and you can safely use margarine instead of butter.

This month also sees two cooking calender highlights which are worth noting:-

Farmhouse breakfast week - 22-28th January
Try using this culinary milestone as an opportunity to review what you and your family eat for breakfast.  
This time of year porridge is a lovely alternative in the morning. Mix in some fresh or tinned fruit and honey, and you will have a lovely change from chocolate cereal (when did it become acceptable to feed our kids chocolate for breakfast?  Although I admit I do it too from time to time!)
For those of you watching the calories following the Christmas gluttony, think about grilled tomatoes and mushrooms with wilted spinach.  
Try rye bread instead of standard wheat bread, it is much much better for you and fills you up for considerably longer.
We have an article about eggs on the front page of the website at present, rethink their use.  At only 75 calories, a poached egg in the morning is an excellent way to start the day.

Breakfast is also an amazing meal for using up left overs.  Try putting your poached egg on a Potato Rosti cake (see Tuesdays pie recipe - put blobs of the potato topping in a pan, pressing to flatten and cook for a couple of minutes on each side until golden).  Sunday has the recipe for colcon - instead of mashing until smooth keep the potato and cabbage lumpy and fry off in a pan to make bubble and squeak.  Or just slice left over boiled potato into rounds approximately the thickness of a pound coin and fry in a pan to make a great frugal filler for your breakfast.

Chinese New Year - 23rd January
Falling on a Monday this year, its the perfect time to try a family stir-fry, fast food, but really healthy.
Keep an eye on the website - there will be an article with lots of stir fry ideas along next week.  Those of you with a keen eye will note that the Sachet Blue Dragon stir fry sauces are currently half price, just 30p in Tescos at present, with a long code, buy a few now, but don't forget they are in your cupboard!

In the meantime, also think about putting together some paper lanterns (perhaps make some with the kids?) and dig out your chopsticks!

What ever you do enjoy your food, and relish the fact that you made it and you know whats in it!

Posted in Frugal Foods

01January

Happy New Year everyone

Happy New Year everyone

Happy New Year everyone

My fridge is now empty we have eaten all the Christmas goodies and as is the tradition in this household, the Christmas decorations are also on the way down now.

I have bought some new dinner plates in the sales - smaller ones, it appears that over the past decade or so, the size of dining plates have spiralled out of control, it makes for larger portions and therefore larger waistlines.  I have a plan to make smaller portions, which on the basis of todays New Year Roast, seems to work well.

I will admit to having got my box of seeds out of the shed today, I have had rumage through and now have a bit of a better idea of what I need to keep an eye out for when the shops have removed all the Sales items and start to concentrate on Spring.

If I am being honest, I just dont know where 2011 went, roll on 2012, its going to be a good year!

Posted in Frugal Foods

22July

Toads

Been away with work for a couple of days - and came home last night just in time to rustle up some meatballs to have with spaghetti and a jar of pasta sauce (I know I should have made my own but I probably couldnt have made it cheaper!)

Tonight we have Toad, and I am wondering about whether the dish could be improved by wrapping some of the glut of 'cooking bacon' I have in the fridge around the sausages prior to putting in the pudding.

I am going to give it a go and Ill let you know how I get on

________________________________________________________

It works and works well !   Give it a try!

Posted in Frugal Foods

19November

I love Nigel Slater!!

I am Married, have been for years.  I am not looking for a new love in my life but something has happened to me over the past few years, I seem to have fallen in love with Nigel Slater

I love the dreamy way he speaks, its like cuddling up with a mug of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows.  I love the way he writes, like having a chat with a friend. I particularly love his recipe for slow fried potatoes with thyme and Taleggio which we had for dinner tonight with our chicken casserole.  I used Emmental instead of Taleggio.

Try it for yourself - its totally lovely

http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/nigel-slaters-slow-fried-potatoes-with-thyme-and-taleggio-848

The only problem is that we rarely get to see his BBC1 offerings because we live in Wales and here they tend to replace it with a local news programme.

All hail to the BBC Iplayer!

Posted in Frugal Foods

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Welcome to the New Frugal Foods Website - We have had a make over, and have added a few things along the way. Why not also take a look at our Amazon shop with our favourite Cookery Books? Our very popular Blog will continue to give you great ideas for frugal family meals and using up your left overs but we are also working on some additional items to look out for too.

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