Pumpkin carving is one of those activities that has grown hugely in popularity recent years and with most of the supermarkets offering them at bargain prices, often the whole family will get involved and have a pumpkin each. While pumpkin carving provides hours of child friendly fun, especially during half term when Halloween usually falls, it can also produce a lot of unnecessary waste. This post is all about how to avoid Pumpkin waste this Halloween.
So the sun is finally shining and most of us are enjoying the lovely warm summer days. However, the warmer the weather gets, the less I want to spend my evenings in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove and while it’s the perfect weather for a salad, there are only so many I can eat before they become a bit monotonous. I’ve been working with the lovely folks at Tracklements to create these delicious summer recipes which are quick and easy but super tasty too.
This week I’ve been testing some Freeze Dried Food* products from Lio Licious to see whether they could be the answer to reducing food waste . . .
As regular readers of my blog will know, I’m always looking for ways to reduce to the cost of our weekly food shop and in turn reduce our food waste too. So, I jumped at the chance to review some freeze dried food products to see how they tasted and whether they could be the answer to preventing certain foods getting wasted.Continue Reading
Looking to improve your skills in the kitchen this year? Here are my 10 favorite cookery books for becoming a better cook while on budget.
You’ve herd the phrase ‘Some times you need to spend to money to make money’ right? Well sometimes that’s also true when saving money. While I do consider myself a very competent cook and I while I’m fab at sticking to a super tight food budget, I’m not always the best at cooking the most frugal meals. My husband is some-what of meat fiend and after years in the pub and restaurant trade my repertoire tends to revolve around dishes that are a bit more upmarket and therefore often using more costly ingredients, usually steak, cream and butter among other things.
If you’ve a glut of leftovers from Christmas Day day and boxing fear not! This post brings you 40+Recipes for using them up and making sure you don’t waste a penny
It is so easy to buy too much food at Christmas. I think we all over estimate how much people will eat and have a huge fear of either not having enough food for everyone or running out of things. This leads to most households having a huge amount of leftover food (and sometimes even drink too!). Lots of food ends up getting thrown out simply because people don’t know what to do with it – or they leave it too long and it ends up going off at the back the fridge.
It’s that time of year where supermarkets slash the cost of vegetables in the run the up to Christmas – but do you know the best way to prepare and store them?
Being the super duper money saving sort of girl I am, I’m in a lot of money saving groups on Facebook. And one thing that seems to be up for debate at the moment is the price and bulk buying of supermarket vegetables. Being just a week out from Christmas they seem to have been slashed to ridiculous prices – in particular bags of carrots, sprouts, parsnips and Potatoes, mostly coming in at around 30 pence (or less!) a bag or even 20p in some cases!
Now the weather is getting cooler and the nights are drawing in it’s time for some proper comfort food – Like this homemade Leek and Potato Soup.
There is so much to love about Autumn. The beautiful colours, crunching through leaves and most importantly the promise of Christmas. And while the nights may be drawing in and the temperature dropping that means it’s time for some good old fashioned comfort food.
Leek and Potato is probably my all time favourite soups. Warming and filling it’s perfect for chilly Autumn evenings. I like to spice it up a little but by adding Stilton Croutons.
For the Soup
1 Large Leek
2 Pints of Stock (can be chicken or vegetable)
Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Croutons
1 sour dough roll
4 thin slices of Stilton
Method: The Soup
1.I hate food waste so actually left the skins on my potatoes, but I know some people will prefer to peel which is fine. Dice and boil in water until soft. You could also use leftover mashed potato.
2.In a separate pan gently fry the onions and leeks until soft and translucent.
3. When the potatoes are cooked, drain and add to a large pan with the leeks and stock and bring to the boil.
4. Once boiling, remove from the heat and Blitz using a hand blender. Season to taste Either Serve immediately or set aside to reheat and eat later.
Method: The Croutons
- I used one sourdough roll between four for the croutons but pretty much any bread would work.
- Slice and lightly toast under the grill on each side
- Add a small slice of Stilton Cheese to each crouton and return to the grill until melted and bubbling
- Serve whole placed carefully on top of the soup
Baking can be super expensive when you start adding up all the ingredients so I’ve been coming up with ways to get baking with breaking the bank. First up is my 62p peach cake. . .
Being a money blogger and a bit obsessed with personal finance, there are quite a large number of Facebook groups I frequent. Various topics but mostly money saving, coupons and vouchers, budget recipes etc. This peach cake recipe has been floating around a couple of these groups for a little while now and I’ve been meaning to give it a try.
The absolute basic ingredients cost just 62p. There is much debate in said groups as to whether one should add an egg into the mix – I did it without as I was trying to keep it as budget friendly as possible – and honestly the cake did seem to rise enough without one. But it’s entirely up to you whether you choose to add one or not.
This is also rather a cheat recipe. I’ve never actually been much good at proper baking. Having spent most of my adult life working as a chef, I tend to just chuck things together and hope for the best. Cakes and baking are trickier – you need to weigh and measure and wait for things to prove or rise and those are things I’m not used to doing!
I bought the ingredients for this cake in Morrison’s and all prices are correct as of 23.08.17.
So, let’s get started.
This recipe is super simple – literally two ingredients.
- One packed of value range sponge mix
- One tin of Value range peaches
You just literally chuck them both together in a bowl and mix. That’s what I did. I used the peach juice in place of water. I does say to mix with an electric whisk but I don’t have one so just mixed it really, really well.
I plonked the whole lot into a oven proof dish – recipe says split between two round tins but that’s for if you’re making a Victoria sandwich, which I was not. And in the oven it went. I ended up cooking it for about 40 minutes (not the 15 minutes on the packet, as I was using a much deeper tin.
Actually the peach cake came out of the oven not looking too bad. It would easily feed four adults if not four adults plus two children. I decided to serve mine with custard. I bought a value range tin which cost 15p. You could also use instant value custard which costs 17p but would probably yield more product.
So here’s how the cost breaks down.
- Sponge Mix 22p
- Tinned Peaches 40p
- Value custard Tin 15p (or instant custard 17p)
- Optional Egg 16p (based on Morrison’s cheapest free range)
Total for four generous portions with custard it worked out at just 20p per portion (or 24p if you decide it needs the egg!)
The taste wasn’t actually terrible. For a bit of winter stodge and custard on a really tight budget then this is perfect, especially if you have a lot of mouths to feed. For me personally, the overall taste wasn’t sweet enough. That said, I do have a major sweet tooth and I do eat a lot of sweet products and desserts. For someone who doesn’t like things too sweet or doesn’t eat much sugar this would probably be perfect.
Hazelnut and Choclate Cheesecake – Just 37p per portion!
There is always to opportunity to pimp it up a bit too – you could always add chocolate chips, or vanilla extract for some extra flavour. In this instance I was trying to keep the cake as budget friendly as I could so I didn’t want to massively ramp up the cost by adding loads of extras!
Have you ever tried making a peach cake like this?
How to make these two cookie dough restaurant favorites at home for under £2.50 for both (RRP is almost a tenner!)
We love desserts in our house and no special meal is complete without something sweet and sticky to finish things off. Here I am going to show you how to recreate two of my favorite cookie dough based restaurant desserts at home for much less than they cost buying them in house.
Think that you don’t have time to make curry sauce from scratch? Think again. Try this quick and easy cheats curry sauce recipe.
I learnt to make this curry while working in a restaurant that served a mix of both Asian and Italian cuisine. I’ve adapted it a little along the way but the bare-bones of the original curry sauce recipe are still there. The best thing a about this sauce is that it is super versatile and it can be made in bulk for freezing.
It can also be used for meat, fish or veggies. This recipe is actually the one we use at my current place of work – we batch make the sauce a few times a week then add fresh prawns or chicken to order. It tastes similar to korma but with a much bigger flavour punch. Chilies can be added to give it a bit of a kick if required.
For me, this recipe presents a nice balance between completely making a sauce from scratch and using a jar – it’s kind of in-between the two.
- Jar of Korma Paste (my preferred brand is Pataks)
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes – supermarket own brand is fine
- Peppers – these can be frozen (200grams) or fresh (2 whole) I use frozen as they are quicker
- 2 large onions
- 600ml of single cream
- Fresh coriander to garnish
Makes around 12 portions of sauce.
- Dice the onions and peppers and fry in a large pan until softened
- Add the entire jar of Korma Paste and cook through until hot
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes to the pan and stir through
- Add the cream. This can be adjusted to taste depending on whether you prefer a creamier curry or stronger more flavourful one. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the chopped coriander just before serving.
I usually make this sauce in a large batch like above and freeze down in potions as just the sauce. This means when we get it out of the freezer we can choose whether to have chicken, beef or vegetable curry.