frugal cooking

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.

Posted in Frugal Foods

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 ......

Posted in Frugal Foods

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

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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

18November

Sausage Pies

Sausage Pies

Okay so, some days ago I put some photos of my attempt at a raised individual pie (bit like a pork pie) on my face book page - I promised to put the recipe on the website if they turned out to be delicious.

Safe to say they were - becuase I had to stick some of them in the freezer when it because apparent we had 'mice' in the kitchen - so try them for yourself and let me know what you think.

Posted in Frugal Foods

04November

What to do with yesterdays left over mince?

What to do with yesterdays left over mince?

So today I have to rustle yesterdays left over pie bases in to something original (and most imporatntly acceptable to my Husband and kid).  I have Sausages in the fridge for today.  We have a bonfire party to go to tomorrow so I need to use both up today.  We always have a roast on a Sunday, and I dont think it would be wise to keep the pie bases until Monday so it has to be today........

Okay so the leftovers from yesterday have become a Charlotte of sorts
Under the topping of cheese, is a spring onion laced white sauce, over a finely sliced par boiled potato layer. Under that sausage meat , cooked in a frying pan with granary Breadcrumbs. It looks substantial, goodness knows what it will taste like!
 
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Turns out it was very nice and we ended up with clean plates from both, sceptical husband and sceptical kid!!

Posted in Frugal Foods

03November

Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie

Have come across a small amount of mince in the freezer this morning.  Have decided to make a cottage pie for these evenings which are becomming more and more wintery.

However there is probably not quite enough mince so I have cooked  up 50g of Green Lentils, to bulk it out.

 

Posted in Frugal Foods

03November

Welcome to the New Blog

Welcome to the New Blog

Okay, so I have had to change the Forum to a Blog - due the behaviour of certain individuals (you know who you are!) Its exhausting spending the first 30 minutes of each day 'cleaning' the forum of adverts for 'Adult' services.

You can still comment on things that I post, and please do, but lets please keep everything topic specific!

Posted in Frugal Foods

09May

Welcome to the new Frugal Foods Website

Welcome to the new Frugal Foods Website

Test item!! Welcome to the new website!

Posted in Frugal Foods

29July

Coffee and Walnut Biscuits

Coffee and Walnut Biscuits

This biscuit makes an appearance in the 2012 version of the Dairy Dairy only, so isn't really on my radar when it comes to a review of the two books.  
However as is the way of things, I found myself heading to the office for my monthly meeting, knowing that biscuits were in order and not having actually put any thought in to it.

I came to the modern version of the book looking for biscuits which I could make with what I already had, and I wanted something quick, it was already late in the day and I had to be out first thing in the morning.
I had walnuts and everyone likes Coffee and Walnut as a combination right?

Posted in Frugal Foods

17November

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

This week in my local Aldi I picked up a 1.5kg bag of carrots, it seemed silly not to - they were a great price and I had a notion that somewhere in my weekend I could feel a Carrot Cake coming on.

The need to make cake occurred whilst peeling the carrots for the Sunday Roast - so I teamed up with my daughter......who was, as she has been all weekend, absorbed in a book........and came up with the deliciously moist - very moorish cake.

We would however like to thank our neighbours who provided the eggs - as we needed four - I have already snuck a plate of cake on to your dining room table - I hope it doesn't freak you out too much when you find it there!

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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