Wednesday, 18 October 2017


Rather infantile but it says the right thing!

While rootling in the freezer, I found a bag of sausage rolls.  I bought them when I was doing pound a day and they were yellow sticker savers sausage rolls so very cheap.  I didn;t need them then so I froze them.

I tried one and you know what - it was so nasty.  The pastry was OK but the filling - urgh.  So I am afraid the rest have seen the inside of the food recycling bin, much as I dislike wasting food.  Man cannot live by pastry alone, can we?
Sometimes saving the pennies is not thrifty!

But at least that's another space created in the freezer!

The freezer challenge, day 47

This a one off in the middle of several non-freezer days for very good reasons!

Today I am planning to have:
B:  pikelet and poached egg
L:  soup
D:  Spanish fish stew

From the freezer
fish stew
However, the soup is the only item that is a longer term frozen thing.  The other two were added less than a week ago!  Never mind, better used than not and the gaps are increasing, overall.

What are you using from your freezer today?

Hoping everyone is OK after the bad weather on Monday.  We had very little of it here, just some weird skies and a stunning sunset.  Take care!

Friday, 13 October 2017



When you wander into your local supermarket late and they have hot cross buns at 5p for six, pikelets at 5p for eight, a french stick at 9p and beef in black bean sauce at 33p, all on yellow sticker, of course, what's a girl to do?

Also, the fish stew made far too much so I saved quite a lot of the vegetables and sauce for another meal and that's also been frozen.

So I have to admit that yesterday more went into the freezer than came out of it which isn't the idea at all but how could I pass on by?

Frugality rools!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

The freezer challenge, day 46

You'd think that by day 46, I'd be well on the way to an empty freezer and so I would, had not summer intervened.  A fair amount of space is taken up with bags of runner beans, tomatoes, green beans, courgettes, baby corn, apple, rhubarb, strawberries, etc, from the summer harvest of garden and allotment.  If I took all of that out, it would look much gappier and I am am very grateful that I am able to store so much for the winter months.

What I am noticing is how much less I have to spend on food.  Of course, it is obvious that I would, but it is nice to see the money staying in my account and then being moved over to savings.  I've been able to invest some in stuff for the allotment that will, in turn, produce more next year.

The beef crumble was delicious and I have posted the topping recipe in here.

Today's plans:
B:  banana pancakes, stewed apple and yogurt
L:  the last of the frittata, lettuce and cucumber
D:  a version of the Spanish fish stew that was shown on Eat Well for Less yesterday evening, but using what I have in rather than what they used.

From the freezer:
banana pancakes
bit of courgette, peas, corn, maybe a few green beans too
haricot beans (there's too many in the pot but I shall use the rest for a curry, I think)

I'm getting short on pulses now so I think I will have to break my rule and soak/cook some more for freezing.  Really can't run out of pulses, can I, they are far too useful?

Recipe: savoury crumble topping

In this dish, the bottom can be whatever you fancy in the savoury line, as long as it has a sauce.  SO chicken and mushroom, vegetable, mince, beef, whatever.

I'm afraid I make the topping by eye.  No measuring involved.
So I looked it up and basically this is it.  I make less but it does freeze very well so to make a batch and use it as and when would work well and when I have finished my challenge, that's what I will do.

Savoury crumble topping
200g plain flour
100g (or a bit less) softened butter (or similar)
50g finely grated cheddar
handful of porridge oats
black pepper
a good pinch of mustard powder
(no need for salt because of the butter and the cheese)

Rub the butter into the flour until; it resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.  Check that the cheese hasn't stuck together.

Then all you do is put the base in whatever dish you are using (oven proof), sprinkle over the topping (to about 1cm thickness or a little less), put it on a baking tray to avoid any leakage and bake for around half an hour at about 180C.  It's not exact.  It is done when the topping has browned and the base is bubbling.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Recipe: bits and bobs frittata

There is chard down the allotment.  It's for some guinea pigs as buying fresh leaves makes feeding them shockingly expensive compared to one packet of seeds and time to grow.  Chard is like living lettuce: you pick off leaves and more grow.  It's rainbow chard which is a very pretty plant indeed with its varied coloured stems and leaves and it is incredibly easy to grow too.  We have it in two patches because in the summer we had to use any little spaces there were.

The gap is where the wigwam of runner beans stood.

Anyway . . .

I had some guinea pig chard and I wanted to use it too.  I was told you can use it like spinach so I made a bits and bobs frittata and it was delicious.

This is what I did . . .
Apologies for the poor lighting

Ingredients to make four portions (or two if you're being piggy!)
oil and/or butter
half an onion, peeled and thinly sliced
a selection of appropriate veg.  I used some sliced mixed peppers, some peas and some mushrooms, all from the freezer, just a handful of each.  You can use whatever you fancy really.
cooked potatoes (which I pulled from one of my potato bags in the garden - not cooked, obviously!)
some young chard leaves, roughly shredded.  I cut out the stems because I was told they take longer to cook
three eggs
a splash of milk
some finely grated cheese (I used cheddar)
seasonings (I used bit of salt, black pepper, dried mixed herbs and some mustard powder)

In an appropriate pan, melt the butter, add the oil and gently fry the onions until soft.  Add the peppers, mushroom, peas and sliced potato, gently mix and leave to simmer and release flavours.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, crack three eggs, add some milk and the seasonings and whisk it well.  Then add half of the cheese and whisk again.

Back to the pan.  Add the shredded chard and let it wilt (about 20 seconds), then take off the heat.  Tip it all into the egg mixture, mixing gently, then tip the lot back into the pan and sprinkle the rest of the cheese over it.

This next bit takes time.  Put the pan on a low heat and just leave it to cook through.  Don't stir, but after about five minutes, gently insert a spatula around the sides to loosen it, repeating this a bit later
When it is practically cooked through (you can see this), pop the pan under a hot grill to finish off the top until the cheese is golden and bubbly.  My pan has a removable handle so I didn't have to watch out for it burning or melting.

Tip onto a warmed plate - it doesn't have to be upside down, just slide it out.  And that's it.  Enjoy with a salad or more veg. 

(wish I took better food photos)

I can't cost it out but the most expensive items were the eggs (reduced) and the cheese (supermarket own) and it made four portions so it has got to be reasonably frugal, hasn't it?

The freezer challenge, day 45

Yesterday's effort to incorporate some allotment grown chard into my food worked a real treat.  I will post the frittata recipe separately but, suffice it to say, it's a great way of using bits and bobs.

Today's plans
B :  toast and marmalade
L:  frittata with sweet corn, fruit
D:  beef casserole with savoury crumble topping, green beans

From the freezer
bread for the toast
sweet corn
beef casserole
green beans

The frittata and the crumble topping are leftovers.  I may have to freeze one quarter of frittata

AND - there's a few more spaces in the freezer - in both freezers, actually, despite all that summer produce!