Thursday, 14 December 2017

Recipe: a marinade for chicken drumsticks and how to not waste it!

Ingredients:
bit of garlic puree
some honey
some Dijon mustard
some lemon juice
some soy sauce
some cinnamon
All stuff I had in.
(sorry, I didn't measure - anyway, it depends how many you are cooking for)

Method.
Mix the lot together and stir well until it's all amalgamated, more or less.

Place the chicken drumsticks in an ovenproof dish and pour over the marinade.  Cover and leave to marinate for at least two hours, longer, if possible.

Cover with foil and pop into the oven at about 200 fan.

Bake for about 20 to 25 mins until chicken is more or less cooked
Then remove the foil, baste the chicken and replace in the oven for about ten minutes so the chicken browns a bit and the marinade thickens.

Serve.

I didn't use the marinade as a sauce and overnight it had 'jellified' in the dish.  I tasted it and it was delicious so I spooned it out and am going to use it on my steak this evening.  I know it's meat-fusion but it will go really well, I can tell.  No waste = frugal!

Thursday, 14-12-17

Yesterday went fine - stuck to the food plans and didn't wander off into paths of iniquity!

Today's plans
B:  muesli, fruit and yogurt
S:  orange
L:  beans on toast (again)
S:  apple
D:  flat iron steak, small baked potato, salad


From the freezer
The flat iron steak
I'm having beans again to avoid putting them in the freezer
Bread for the toast


The frugal factor
The muesli was a gift
The beans are Savers and the bread is home made
The steak may not be frugal but when I bought it, it had just been featured on 'Eat Well for Less and was less that half the price of sirloin.  It isn't now, not now it's been 'discovered'.  Also, It's using up what I have which is another element of frugality




I'm trying to use up the multitude of stuff in the freezer.
I want to make the most of my hard earned pension so am aiming for sensible frugality in my meal planning and making.
I have gall bladder problems, high cholesterol and high blood pressure so am taking myself in hand with low fat, high fruit and veg, generally healthy meals but with plenty of flavour.
Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Wednesday, 13-12-17

Hi!
When I wrote yesterday's entry I had totally forgotten that I was round at a friend's for lunch which turned out to be a fully blown meal.  Absolutely delicious and filled me up for the rest of the day, so yesterday turned out to be very frugal! 
Fortunately, I hadn't taken the dinner out of the freezer.

Today's plans
B:  porridge with fruit (strawberries and blueberries) and yogurt
S:  orange
L:  beans on toast
S:  apple
D:  chicken drumsticks with salad and a few SW chips; yogurt

I want to find some sort of marinade for the chicken.  I'm thinking honey, mustard, citrus and spice of some kind, all of which I have in.

Today is likely to be a bit more expensive than usual as I am going to do the first Christmas shop.


From the freezer:
Strawberries and blueberries
I seem to have a startling number of frozen chicken drumsticks so this will reduce them by two
The bread for the toast

I might prep more chips than I need to the par boiled stage and then open freeze them, just to make life a bit easier.  More in the freezer, I know, but it will be useful and I have plenty of spuds..


The frugal factor:
The oats for the porridge - such great value.
The beans are savers ones and the bread is home made.
Chicken drumsticks are not all that costly.
I got a bag of wonky peppers (all red and yellow, no greens) so pepper will feature significantly in the salad.





I'm trying to use up the multitude of stuff in the freezer.
I want to make the most of my hard earned pension so am aiming for sensible frugality in my meal planning and making.
I have gall bladder problems, high cholesterol and high blood pressure so am taking myself in hand with low fat, high fruit and veg, generally healthy meals but with plenty of flavour.
Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Tuesday, 12-12-17

Good morning!  It was an easier food day yesterday except for changing my mind about what to have for dinner.  I'm glad I did - it worked!

Here's today's plans

B:  muesli with the rest of the stewed rhubarb and strawberries (which is absolutely delicious) and natural yogurt
S:  orange
L:  beans on toast
S:  apple
D:  vegetable curry and rice, yogurt


From the freezer
The bread for toast
the vegetable curry and the rice


The frugal factor
As before, the muesli was a gift and the breakfast fruit was from allotment and garden.
The beans are savers and I add a shot of brown sauce or ketchup (I do for more expensive beans as well, it's not because they are cheaper).
The bread is home made and great value, not to mention tasting scrummy.
The curry was a frugal make when I was doing Pound a Day.

Today is one of those days that help to balance the more expensive days.  Yesterday wasn't bad either.




I'm trying to use up the multitude of stuff in the freezer.
I want to make the most of my hard earned pension so am aiming for sensible frugality in my meal planning and making.
I have gall bladder problems, high cholesterol and high blood pressure so am taking myself in hand with low fat, high fruit and veg, generally healthy meals but with plenty of flavour.
Fingers crossed!

Monday, 11 December 2017

Recipe: mince stuffed pepper

This was a doddle.  I'm sure there are much more complicated versions but this will do for me, every time.


What to do.

Some time in the past make a batch of savoury mince and freeze it in single portions, OK?

Defrost one of the portions.
Cut a pepper in half longways: even better if it's a wonky pepper (cheap).  Carefully cut out the stalk, the seeds and the white membrane.  Place both halves in a small oven proof dish.
Spoon half of the mince into one half pepper and the rest in the other half.
Pop into a 180C oven and bake for about 20 mins.  While it's baking, finely grate some cheese.  I used not-Parmesan (savers 'hard Italian cheese').
Take the peppers out of the oven (see the trendy 'charred veg' look), sprinkle over the cheese and pop it back to bake for another ten minutes or so.

Serve with a salad (or chips!)




Monday, 11-12-17

Well, the snow yesterday played havoc with my catering plans.  My guests didn't come (ungritted roads, skating rink-like conditions, etc) so I had a lot of prepped food to deal with.

I had some of the slow roast lamb (which was absolutely delicious) and my son turned up, bless him, to see if I needed anything so he had a plateful as well.  The rest is now in the freezer in single portions - at least I can now make proper shepherd's pie.  The beany mixture is also in the freezer as is the rhubarb and strawberry crumble.  I'm sure I can use them over the Christmas period.

I had peeled all the potatoes I had so I par-boiled them, dried them out and they are now open freezing for use on Christmas day.

So my slowly emptying freezer took a bit of a battering but nothing, absolutely nothing was wasted unless you count me eating far more roast lamb than was good for me.

Moving on, today's plans are:
B:  porridge with fruit (some of the stewed rhubarb and strawberries) and yogurt
S:  orange
L:  roasted butternut squash and butterbean soup
S:  apple
D:  savoury mince, pasta**; yogurt


From the freezer
The soup
The savoury mince

The frugal factor
The fruit for the porridge was from allotments and garden
The soup is home made from home grown or cooked ingredients
The mince is a small portion and packed with healthy bulkers - oats, lentils and chopped veg - to make it go further and because it's absolutely delicious!


** Edited later.  I've changed my mind.  I have some 'wonky' peppers so I am going to use the mince to make stuffed peppers instead and have a salad on the side.



And another edit.  I am so glad I changed my dinner plan because the stuffed pepper was delicious!







I'm trying to use up the multitude of stuff in the freezer.
I want to make the most of my hard earned pension so am aiming for sensible frugality in my meal planning and making.
I have gall bladder problems, high cholesterol and high blood pressure so am taking myself in hand with low fat, high fruit and veg, generally healthy meals but with plenty of flavour.
Fingers crossed!

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Recipe: banana bread

This is a lovely, simple recipe that produces sheer deliciousness.

I found it on the blog of the now late Shirley Goode (remember her on Pebble Mill, decades ago?).  The recipe was in the comments which now seem to have disappeared so I feel OK about posting it here.


Ingredients: (with apologies for the old fashioned imperial measurements)
3 oz margarine (I suppose butter would do too)
3 oz caster sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium banana, peeled
5 oz SR flour
half tsp cinnamon
half tsp allspice
a pinch of salt

Whisk together the margarine, sugar, eggs, vanilla and banana.  Then fold in the flour, spices and salt.
Bake in a suitably sized loaf tin (the above amount works well with a 1lb loaf tin) at 180C for about 40 to 45 mins - until it's done really so check with a skewer!  I used a paper liner so there was no sticking at all.

Let it cool before slicing and serve either plain or with butter.
That's it!



I adapted it for making in my Thermomix:

Place the margarine, sugar, eggs, vanilla and banana in the bowl and zizz at speed 5-6 for about 10 seconds or so, until it is a batter.

Add the flour, spices and salt and reverse mix at speed 2-3 until the flour in incorporated.  You might need to push down the sides with the spatula.

Bake as above.

There's lots of variations: you could add chocolate or I think some crystallised, chopped ginger would go well, for example.  But it's really lovely just as it comes, very easy, very simple.  Also pretty frugal.  I used value flour and it rose fine.