frugal cooking

19February

Apple Charlotte

Apple Charlotte
Sunday pudding project. A glance down the ingredients and method led me to believe that this was going to be simple enough for a kid to make. I was right. The recipe is unchanged over the past thirty years, and after defrosting some frozen apples from the autumn and making some breadcrumbs we decided to go completely off recipe and put a "amaretto crumb" in the middle layer.

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19February

Butterfly cakes

Butterfly cakes
Sometimes its best to sit back and enjoy the simplicity of a cake made and decorated by your 10 yr old daughter. This is one of those moments!!

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18February

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore

This dish is brilliant, cost wise, and fully deserves to be on a Faye Frugal Meal plan.  We purchased four large chicken pieces (leg with thigh attached) at 99p for two.

The recipe called for fresh skinned tomatoes (500g in 1978 and 450g in 2012) but I went for a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes.  Because of the time of the year, I couldn't buy tomatoes ripe enough to be able to get the skins of with the normal application of boiling water.

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18February

Date and Walnut Cake

Date and Walnut Cake

Straight out of the 'cakes' dept in both editions of the book.  This is a version of the 'Family Fruit Cake'.  It obviously wasn't my family that Sonia Allison had in mind when she first included this recipe in the 1978 book.  My family doesn't like fruit cake, so it was slightly with trepidation that I reviewed this recipe this afternoon.

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18February

Chocolate Ginger Frappe

Chocolate Ginger Frappe

My daughter is a massive fan of milkshake - so the fact that this recipe made its way on to my list grabbed her attention this morning.  Lets gloss over the fact that shes ten and the recipe contains ginger wine.

This recipe has changed over the past thirty year - and for the better! In 1978 the recipe called for 2 heaped tablespoons of drinking chocolate - the 2012 version calls for six.

The results of the 1987 recipe went down the sink - it was horrible.  
The 2012 version however was a massive hit.  We did not included the whipped double cream, for two reasons. Firstly because I think we could all do without the calories, and secondly because we couldnt get it in the glass!

A straw however is compulsory no matter how old you are!

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16February

Jacket Potato

Jacket Potato

What is it about the Jacket potato?

Whether you zap it in the microwave, or do justice by honouring the time it has spent growing to such a glorious size, by lovingly caress it in oil and sprinkle it with salt and cook it in the oven for a couple of hours, it never fails to please.

How about a combination of cooking methods? Cooked skewered through, to reduce the cooking time in the oven; or zapped in the microwave and then finished off in the oven; or under the grill.

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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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