Friday, 31 January 2014

How to Spend the Vouchers ....

 
Day 31
 
Money Spent Today - £0  Vouchers Spent - £0   
Money Spent in Total - £9.96    Vouchers Spent in Total - £5
Money left in purse  - £21.04
 
This is the last day of the first month of the Challenge and I've been doing a lot of thinking about it. My main thoughts this week were trying to work out the best way to spend the accumulating vouchers, Nectar points and coupons etc.  To just go out and spend them willy nilly on day to day shopping seems wrong for the Challenge and well ... not challenging! 
 
 I mean I have nearly £70 in Nectar points, I could just go out and buy a weeks shopping, filling my trolley up with whatever takes my fancy, but what good would that do me in the long run!!
 
So I think I have decided that I will start a list of food items that would be expensive to replace once I have exhausted current supplies, and that were not, nor have ever been weekly purchases in my 'normal' shopping routine.  I have always tended to stockpile things when they are on offer and so have been able for the last few years to keep the week by week shopping bill much lower.  For instance we have the last two large jars of coffee purchased last year still in the cupboard.
 
The sort of things I was thinking of are coffee, butter, cheese, oils etc, something that I have always stockpiled when I have been able to.  This way my normal £1 per day available for food will be spent on the ingredients I really need for the day to day meals once the cupboards run dry and I will have a backbone of the more expensive staples bought entirely from the points, vouchers and coupons.
 
 
If I decide I will go down this path I will start looking for bargains in these items when I am out and about round the shops, but still I want to hang on to my points for as long as possible so we are working our way through things like the cheeses that I have stashed in the freezer after Christmas, and only when stocks are about to run out will they be replaced, hopefully with some real bargains.
 
I'm still thinking about this one though.
 
Sue xx


Thursday, 30 January 2014

Harcombe Phase One Week and the Salmon Fillets

 
Day 30
 
Money Spent Today - £0  Vouchers Spent - £0   
Money Spent in Total - £9.96    Vouchers Spent in Total - £5
Money left in purse  - £20.04
 
This week I'm doing Phase One of the Harcombe diet for five days.  This is something I do pretty regularly to get me back on track when I'm starting to feel a bit bleugh .... I'm sure you know what I mean.
 
Eating cheaply can sometimes mean eating too many carbs, which don't suit me that well, so an occasional foray into tasty, simple and none carby foods is called for.  This was the reason for me splashing out £2.80 on just two salmon fillets when they were on offer.  We do already have some in the freezer but seeing the 'bargain' fillets tempted me too much :-)

 
They made for a nice tea two nights on the trot ....
 
 
.... similar ingredients but they tasted totally different. 
 
 The meal in the top picture had a real hit with the chilli flakes and the red onions, which were cooked with the salmon, while the meal in the bottom picture let the taste of the salmon sing out, mild and flavoursome with the brown rice adding a lovely hint of nuttiness to the whole dish.
 
Doing Phase One for me is slightly limiting as I don't eat meat, this is the reason I introduce fish back into my diet on occasion.  But having an abundant supply of our own eggs makes life a lot easier and stops me having to dash out and buy any extra foods when I do this.
 
Tea today will be a salad to use up the last of the Iceberg lettuce and cucumber that I bought last week, it's sitting pretty in the fridge at the moment, served with a couple of hard boiled eggs it will be healthy and filling.
 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

To Eat or Not to Eat ...

 
Day 29
 
Money Spent Today - £0  Vouchers Spent - £0   
Money Spent in Total - £9.96    Vouchers Spent in Total - £5
Money left in purse  - £19.04
 
I usually find that I'm not all that hungry in the mornings, after cleaning my teeth and swigging a glass of water it's all systems go to feed everyone else, Ginger the cat, the three dogs, then it's off out to let the chickens out of the henhouse and checking they've got food, a brisk walk around the paddock for any dog that has followed me out, although these dark winter mornings have them refusing to get out of bed sometimes.  By the time I get back in the house food is the last thing on my mind.
 
Now there are two schools of thought about breakfast, some say it's a must, and in all honesty I was one of them until recently), if you're on a diet 'they' say you should make sure you have a good breakfast to fire up your metabolism for the day ahead.  Then others say that if you've not eaten overnight and your body has been busy repairing itself instead of digesting food why not give it a bit more time to continue to do this.
 
I must say I am swinging to the latter argument more and more.  I eat now when I am hungry, being on my own some of the time makes this even easier to do.  After all listening to your body and responding to it's needs is surely the most logical thing to do.  I can understand that there may be exceptions, I watched Supersize v Superskinny the other week and it struck me that the 'skinnies' always say they never feel hungry, so maybe if you ignore the 'hungry' signals from your brain for too long it will stop sending them.  Now this is something I definitely do not want (although the thought of being skinny and having to fatten myself up would be a dream come true at the moment).  But, NO ... don't worry Mum, I am not about to embark on this type of eating/not eating. 
 
No I just have my sensible head on at the moment and I want to find the foods that suit me and the times to eat that suit me best.  So at the moment some days I wake up with a rumbly tum and have something within an hour and some days I simply don't feel hungry at all so a cup of coffee keeps me going until much later in the morning.
 
And looking at that top picture ... crunchy peanut butter on toast, amazes me I used to hate, hate, hate, crunchy peanut butter until I did Live Below the Line for the second time and gritted my teeth and bought it as I couldn't afford the smooth version for the five days of the Challenge ... wouldn't you think it would be cheaper to make the smoother stuff?  Last year when I was asked what I would buy for Live Below the Line if I were to do it again peanut butter was again on my list as it's a brilliant source of protein and important fats.

I wonder if I should do it again this year?

Although this Challenge is about eating for £1 a day I started off with full to bursting cupboards and plenty of food in the freezer to give me a big head start, not something you can do with LBTL week or indeed not what Steve with his One Pound a Day Diet did.  Why not click on the link and nip over to cheer him on in what is his last few days. 

He's done so well  :-)

Sue xx

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Pizza and Wine

 
Day 28
 
Money Spent Today - £0  Vouchers Spent - £0   
Money Spent in Total - £9.96    Vouchers Spent in Total - £5
Money left in purse  - £18.04

Fingers crossed at the minute the computer is working so I'm making the most of it.
 
After making and bottling the Tomato and Roasted Veg Sauce there was a small amount left over.  I popped it into the fridge in a covered bowl and waited for inspiration to strike ... and strike it did two nights later.  I had had a late breakfast followed by a late lunch and simply wasn't hungry at teatime, so I didn't have anything.  Later on realising that I would most like get hungry just before bedtime (and I hate eating then) I decided to make myself something tasty but small.
 
This little homemade pizza fitted the bill perfectly.  Simply a slice of homemade bread briefly toasted in the toaster and then spread with the tomato sauce from the bowl, I was going to top it with a small handful of grated cheese straight from the freezer but then I spied a solitary cheese slice in the fridge so I cut it into tiny little squares and then scattered them over as though they were grated cheese.
 
There was a quarter bottle of lovely white wine in the fridge too ..... so it seemed a shame to leave it there all lonely in the door with only water for company  :-)
 
A lovely little mid evening snack and it was soooo tasty!!
 
Sue xx

Monday, 27 January 2014

Yellow Stickered Bargains


 
Day 27
 
Money Spent Today - £5.07  Vouchers Spent - £0   
Money Spent in Total - £9.96    Vouchers Spent in Total - £5
Money left in purse  - £17.04
 
I was in Asda for some meat for the dogs and I spotted that the bargain shelves were full to bursting all over the shop, have people finally stopped this excessive buying lark and so the shops are left with too much ..... I don't think so!!
 
Anyway I couldn't resist getting some smoked salmon and some of our favourite flavoured  Bagels and a couple of packs of buns for the freezer.


The backs of the packs showing the yellow stickers in all their glory :-)
 

 
And the receipt for posterity.

I am having real computer problems at the moment so if I vanish don't panic, I do keep notes daily in my diary and I will update when I can.

I'll sign off now before I throw this old lap top out of the window in frustration!!

Sue xx

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Four Potatoes

 
Day 26
 
Money Spent Today - £0  Vouchers Spent - £0   
Money Spent in Total - £4.89    Vouchers Spent in Total - £5
Money left in purse  - £21.11
 
I am pondering the best way to use my four older potatoes, they look in reasonably good condition now that I have snapped the little chits off them.  I have a bag of newer bargain price potatoes that I bought earlier in the week but first of course these have to be used up.
 
I want something tasty, something easy, using up what I have in the cupboards or fridge and for once I am slightly lost for an idea.  I need to dwell on this or perhaps have a casual read through some of my many cook books for new inspiration.
 
Coffee and cook book reading ... now that's my idea of how to pass a wonderful hour :-)
 
What would you do with four potatoes?
 
Sue xx

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Bottled Sauces and Empty Boxes

 
Day 25
 
Money Spent Today - £0  Vouchers Spent - £0   
Money Spent in Total - £4.89    Vouchers Spent in Total - £5
Money left in purse  - £20.11
 
I'm getting remarkably good this 'not shopping' lark, I'm not missing it as much as I first thought I would.  I am enjoying seeing the cupboards slowly emptying, it's pretty imperceptible at the moment and as soon as I had space in them I emptied the plastic box of extra jars and tins that had been sat on the bench which of course filled all the gaps that had appeared.
 
 
 
So now there is more space in the actual house and not just in the cupboards.  The empty box has been put to good use holding things for the car boot sales that hopefully we will be able to do in the warmer and drier months ahead, slid under the spare bed it is at last out of sight.
 
So not spending, tidying and decluttering that seems like a win-win situation.
 
Sue xx

Friday, 24 January 2014

Red Onion Inspires Tomato Sauce

 
Day 24
 
Money Spent Today - £0  Vouchers Spent - £0   
Money Spent in Total - £4.89    Vouchers Spent in Total - £5
Money left in purse  - £19.11
 
The veggie bag was looking very sparse before my shopping trip armed with vouchers the other day.  As I peered into it for inspiration the red onion glowed out at me (or was that glared out at me in disgust at it's abandonment). 
 
It was in amazing condition.  Bought between Christmas and New Year and plonked in there and forgotten about it would have served me right to find it soggy round the edges, but obviously the cupboard I chose for my veggie bag is the right one.  Very dry and with a smidge of ventilation from where the Aga flue pipe runs to the outside of the house and Lovely Hubby hasn't quite gotten round to cementing around it.
 
 
 
I decided this onion and the peppers and some of the celery that I found lurking in the fridge before the shopping trip would be the basis of a rich tomato sauce to bottle up.  The carton of chopped tomatoes were purchased as a case full from Approved Foods and have stood me in good stead, I think I have about another half dozen tucked in the cupboard for future use.
 
I gathered together some suitable flavourings to add to my veggies and tomatoes deciding on some Garlic Puree in a tube, some dried Chilli Flakes and a full tin of Tomato Puree.  I wanted richness and full flavour then this sauce could be the base for so many different things.
 
I brought it all to the boil and then placed it in the bottom oven of the Aga to cook long and slow and then after three or so hours it was whizzed to a smooth-ish consistency.
 
It's cooling in jars as I type ready for labelling when they are cool enough.
 
I'll get a picture once the labels are on.
 
Sue xx

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Oooh .... Iceberg Lettuce

 
 
Day 23
 
Money Spent Today - £0  Vouchers Spent - Today £0   
Money Spent in Total - £4.89    Vouchers Spent in Total - £5
Money left in purse  - £18.11
 
Well I had my Iceberg Lettuce last night with a ready cooked jacket potato from the freezer and a very large dollop of the Cheesy Coleslaw also purchased yesterday.
 
And do you know it's right what they say ... a little bit of what you fancy really does do you good!!
It was worth every penny of the £1 it cost me  which is a whole day's money .. yikes, so I will be making good use of every leaf of that lettuce.
 
 
And in some other news we went to a little get together of our neighbours last Sunday it had been arranged to welcome us to the hillside.  It was lovely to meet some of the folk who live on or around our hill.  We each had to bring a plate or two of food and a favourite drink.
 
I pondered for a while on what to take, and decided on mini sized quiches using four cheeses from the freezer and our own eggs, and a plate of homemade fruit scones with butter and homemade jam.  I used a roll of ready made pastry, not one of the ones I got last week but another one that had been lurking in the freezer for far too long.  Wanting them to have nice crisp bottoms I decided to blind bake them first and hit on the idea of cake cases to hold my ceramic beans ...

 
... it worked a treat, ten minutes with the cases in and then another five with them out and the quiche bases were perfect.  Everyone really like them, sorry I forgot to photograph them before we left, but with Mature Cheddar, Feta, Parmesan and a sprinkling of Red Leicester they were tasty AND colourful. It was a wonderful get together we got to know our neighbours a little better and we found out some more about Mavis's former owner.

 
After I had poured the ceramic beans back into their tub I was left with the very used looking paper cases, I didn't want to just throw them away, it seemed so, well 'throwaway society' to do that after just a ten minute use!!  So yesterday I re-used them to make stuffing balls to pop into the freezer.  The box of stuffing was way out of date and not wanting it to just sit there any longer I decided to use it while I had the chance.
 
So now there is a tub of stuffing balls all ready to be able to pop one out and reheat either with a full roast meal or to have on a sandwich with some chicken for Lovely Hubby or Quorn for me.  The freezer appears to be filling rather than emptying, but I'm not worried .... it's all food :-)
 
Sue xx



Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Vouchers

 
Money Spent Today - £3.39  Vouchers Spent - £5   
Money Spent in Total - £4.89    Vouchers Spent in Total - £5
Money left in purse  - £17.11
 
I went out with the intention of buying some fresh foods.  I was seriously craving an Iceberg Lettuce of all things, instead of emptying my purse I decided to go to M&S as I had £15 in vouchers that I could spend there.


 
In some ways I did pretty well, I managed to get lots of lovely fresh foods, including some bread to put in the freezer, my home baking and wanting to eat sliced bread straight from the freezer is out of sync and I thought this would give me chance to get ahead.
 
I treated myself to a tub of Cheesy Coleslaw, and managed to get a pack of potatoes reduced to 90p, they should plug the hole when my last four potatoes pre-Christmas potatoes get used up.  For some reason in my head this little lot came to a smidge over £10, I can't have been doing my sums properly because ...
 
 
... as you can see (if you click on this picture of the receipt) it only came to £8.39 :-/
 
So I could only spend one of my £5 (they don't give change from vouchers) vouchers meaning that I had to top up the difference out of my purse, another £3.39 gone then.  I really must concentrate more next time
 
I was also a bit annoyed with myself when I got home and I realised I had all the making for Cheesy Coleslaw in my shopping and in the fridge!!    
 
   Sue xx                                                                                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                         

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

One for Me, Two for the Freezer

 
Money Spent Today - 0    Money Spent in Total - £1.50    Money left in purse  - £19.50

The other night we decided to have a curry, and rooting around in the freezer, the fridge and the cupboard produced all the necessary ingredients with absolutely no problem, in fact it highlighted that I have the makings of many a curry in the weeks or months to come.  How many jars of Approved Foods curries did I buy  ... but at 3 for £1 I guess it was a good investment !!
 
 
To the jars of sauce I added some veggies from the freezer, I think frozen peppers are going to be a staple in this house for a while they are SO much cheaper than buying the packs of fresh peppers.  Hopefully if I can get the polytunnel up in the next couple of months I will be able to grow some for myself, I used to do quite well with them.  I also added the last of a jar of Lentils to make the curries even more filling and protein packed, it worked a treat and also helped thicken them up as I had added more water after rinsing the jars.

 
The small pan at the back is a chicken curry for Lovely Hubby and the pan at the front is holding enough for me for tea that night and then two more portions for popping into the freezer.
 
It was very tasty, blow yours socks off hot, but very tasty.
 
 
And now the fridge is a desolate place, with little left in there to produce a meal and I'm craving something really fresh ...
 
 
... the last of the fresh  things were pulled out this morning and I will turn them into something edible and useful.  I say 'fresh' in the broadest sense of the word, they were all bought before Christmas and I'm ashamed to say the fruit got totally forgotten about.   We keep forgetting that this fridge has the lower drawer so whatever we put into it gets forgotten about.
 
I need to think about what I want and spend wisely, although I have a plan that involves as little cash as possible.
 
Sue xx

Monday, 20 January 2014

Salvaging Disasters

 
Money Spent Today - 0    Money Spent in Total - £1.50    Money left in purse  - £18.50
 
I have to be honest this Blog post should have been topped with a picture of a lovely homemade loaf !!
 
 
I had the bright idea to sieve the brown flour as I was flouring the tin and the worktop before the final little kneading session, a truly frugal topping for a loaf, no added seeds or oats needed just something that is already in the flour.
 
I made the loaf, left it for it's second rise, it looked magnificent as it went in the oven thirty minutes later topped with a brushing of milk and the scattering of wheaty flakes.  I set the timer for ten minutes so I could return to the oven and slide in the cold shelf  (the only way of reducing the temperature in an Aga).  Cold shelf in I reset the timer for another 20 minutes and then went out to do the chickens.  I must have got distracted or simply taken too long to do what is normally a 15 minute job ....  I'm guessing the timer rang out to an empty house.
 
When I came in my little hands were freezing so I made a coffee and came upstairs to do a bit of Blog hopping with my mug of coffee clutched between rapidly thawing fingers, now any Blog Hopper knows that you can lose all track of time travelling your way through Blogland.  I don't know what it was I read but suddenly in giant letters in my head was the word BREAD.  Virtually flying downstairs I ran to the AGA and pulled out what can only be described as a bread shaped brick.
 
Lovely Hubby said if I made a couple thousand more he would build us an outhouse that would also be wildlife friendly as the little birds could eat it over next Winter - NOT HELPFUL ... tell me again why I call you Lovely Hubby!!
 
After ten minutes cooling I sliced off the crust and attempted to eat it, not wanting a huge dentist bill I gave up!!
 
 
So to salvage the loaf.  I sliced off four slices, trimmed off the edges and we had enough for toast with our eggs for lunch.  I then sliced off all the other edges, these went in the chicken bowl for the next days treat for them. (I must be a really nice person giving them treats when they caused me to miss the timer!!)

 
The hunk of bread was broken up, whizzed in the food processor and I now have a tub of free flowing breadcrumbs in the freezer ..... the next job was to start all over again and make us a loaf of bread that we could actually eat.
 
Oh, well, I least I got something out of all my hard work.  Now next time there is leftover pasta I can have a crunchy topped Macaroni Cheese the next day, or maybe I could make some crumb coated veggie burgers I guess my options are many.  So all's well that ends well :-)
 
Sue xx

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Posh Foods on a Miniscule Budget

 
Money Spent Today - 0    Money Spent in Total - £1.50    Money left in purse  - £17.50
 
Posh Foods on a Miniscule Budget ... I may have got you over here on a misconception, can you have posh foods on a miniscule budget?
 
Well I didn't get the above packs of coffee for my Tassimo coffee machine on my £1 a day budget that's for sure.  The coffee machine was a Christmas/Housewarming gift from my very lovely Mum, and along with it came the offer of registering the machine and being able to claim £20 worth of packs of coffee, which we did and this is what we got.  Now I love the coffee but these are going to have to last us until at least my birthday when I may ask for some more as a pressie, or maybe I can persuade my Lovely Hubby that a suitably romantic gift for Valentines Day would not be a dozen red roses or a large box of chocolates but a dozen cups of Latte instead ... we'll see.
 

 
Something else which I see as slightly posh food (mostly I guess because of the cute little individually wrapped packs, with 2 biscuits per pack) are these tasty little treats that I have been buying for a while to go with the coffees we buy when we are travelling.  It's surprising just knowing that you have a little dunkable nibble in your bag stops you from drooling all over the expensive £2 or more each cakes on show at the coffee shops.  They are small enough to pull out of your handbag without alerting everyone to the fact that shock, horror, you've brought your own food to consume in their premises!!
 
If I've spent money on their coffee I feel entitled to at least have my own little nibble!!
 
 
I've a few little packs lurking in the bottom of the biscuits tin and one unopened packet of 12 in the cupboard so this will give me time to consider ... do I buy them again or do I learn to live without.  When you've a pound to spend you have to think carefully.  These packs cost me a just a pound and that works out at just over 8p for each little pack of 2 biscuits, but do I want to spend the whole of a days money on them ?
 
(Coffees that I drink out of the house as a treat must come out of my personal spends and are therefore outside the remit of the Challenge, I guess I could buy cakes at the same time, but I'm a skinflint ... no I'm not ... I'm sensible.)
 
And to answer the question posed at the top of this Blog post, do I think you can have 'posh foods' on a miniscule budget ... well I think the answer to that is yes.  You can make the very best of what you have, you can eat the freshest of fresh foods straight out of the ground that you have grown yourself. 
 
Picture from Google Images
 
 Just think about it spears of asparagus to dip in a freshly boiled egg laid by your own chickens only hours earlier, this was something I saw served at a dinner party on a foodie television show (I forget which one ... I watch a lot) as a novel starter,  the look of delight on the diners faces belied that this could be the truest and best of frugal foods if eaten in season or bought as a bargain.
 
Now I just have to start an asparagus bed (something LH has wanted for years but because you have to wait three years for your first proper harvest it's something we have never been able to do) and have a word with the chickens.  In the meantime I could always keep my eyes peeled for some being sold off  'yellow stickered' at the end of the day at the supermarket.
 
Sue xx

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Spending and Comparison

 
Money Spent - £1.50    Money left in purse £16.50
 
I was tempted to spend !!

I guess I was carried away by the success of my little 'Homity Pies' and scrappy biscuits and thought of all the leftovers I could encase in pastry.
 

I'd gone to Sainsbugs for a couple of bags of our doggies favourite food that was on offer there and also to get a receipt to check what Nectar points I have available (the good news is over £65 worth .. insert happy, happy face).  As I got there a very nice young man was busy filling up the Reduced Price Yellow Sticker shelves with all sorts of goodies.  I could have gone mad but instead I was very restrained and picked up some Chicken Kievs, some flavoured Sausages and some Chicken Goujons for Lovely Hubby ...
 

 
... all of which are now frozen individually (so they can be removed in whatever sized portions a meal or an appetite requires), re-packaged and living happily in the freezer.  A total spend there outside my £1 a day budget of  £6.17 which for a total of at least six meals worth of meat works out an average of just over a pound per meal for the meat part, not bad at all  :-)
 
As I said I as tempted to buy  .... I bought the ready rolled pastry packs shown in the top picture and this does come out of my £1 per day budget.  I was very happy with my purchase until I got home and popped them in the freezer, then I started to have my doubts.  I have a total of 820g of pastry in the two packs.

 
If I'd bought a bag of flour (65p) ...
 
 
... a block of baking margarine (60p) ...

 
and a block of baking vegetable fat (75p)
( I like to use a mix of these fats in my homemade pastry)
 
It would have cost me in the same shop £2.  So that would have been a dry weight of pastry of 2kg before I added the water, then heaven knows what it would have weighed, I know for a fact a lot more than 640g.
 
So I have paid for convenience.  Now I have some questions ...
 
 Was it a good spend? 
 
Should I splash out on the three items above and see just how much ready rolled pastry I can put in the freezer from them to stop me being tempted again?
 
Have any of you ever done that?
 
What would you have done - bought ready rolled for convenience or flour and fats for quantity?
 
To claw back a little bit of value I have registered for the offer on the boxes, you simply register, type in the codes on your packs of pastry and can claim baking goodies with your points (you get 20 per packet of pastry).  It seems I already qualify for a free pastry brush!!
 
Sue xx
 


Friday, 17 January 2014

Following On ...

 
 
Money Spent - £0     Money left in purse £17
 
Following directly on from yesterdays post, when I had finished making the icecream there was 100mls of double cream left over. 
 
 
Now what to do with that ... well this was a real no brainer, a recipe I picked up from Suzy's book when I very first read it and the first one that I marked with a little sticky out thing (can't remember what they are called) Alfredo Sauce.
 

 
I had just enough of the cream to make a one person sized portion, but I decided to cook enough pasta for two so I would have leftovers to tinker with again and look ... I've decided to weigh out my pasta now so I can get a grip on what single and double portions actually look like and NOT have leftovers unless I actually want them for a future planned dish.
 
 
The sauce is so simple: 
 
Alfredo Sauce
To Serve Two 
 
225g dried pasta (any shape or spaghetti)
 
1 tablespoon butter
200ml double cream
50g grated cheese (Parmesan is the best)
salt and pepper
 
Gently heat the cream and butter together until the butter has melted and then stir in your cheese.  Bring this up to the boil and then simmer gently for a minute or two until the sauce has thickened slightly.  Add your pasta to the sauce and if it is slightly too thick let down with a little saved pasta cooking water.
 
For this and many, many more equally simple but oh so tasty recipes and other ideas see Suzy's book, The Leftovers Handbook (see link on the sidebar).
 
There are many additions you can put with this basic sauce, salmon (or salmon paste a la Jack's recipe), chilli flakes, crushed garlic, some lovely fresh or frozen spinach etc.  I also usually add a handful of peas or serve with some broccoli or other zingy veg on the side.

 
Whilst checking through the fridge I also came across these grapes, totally forgotten about and really out of date ...

 
... and do you know what, with a little rinse in cold water and a good look over they were all absolutely fine.  So these are my nibble of the day, a few of them will be popped just as they are into a tub and put into the freezer, frozen grapes make a wonderful icy cold nibble at any time ... and could be served with a spoonful of my lovely icecream, it's very tasty!!
 
Sue xx

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Working My Way Through the Fridge

 
Money Spent - £0     Money left in purse £16
 
As I mentioned in the 'Fridge' post the other day there was a full tub of double cream left in there from Christmas.  It was just one day out of date, but smelt and tasted absolutely fine, but it needed using up now not wasting.  So I put my thinking cap on ... and thought ......Icecream!!
 
 I got out a couple of my favourite books, one real and one on the Kindle and both by a Blogging Buddy, Suzy Bowler.  She really is the 'Leftovers Queen'.
 
 
 
The one on the Kindle is all about how to make icecream without a machine, and as I don't have one is perfect for me.  The other is my leftovers bible.  If I have something to use up, a quick glance in there either tells me exactly what to do or gives me inspiration.  (I've put links to both on my sidebar, I want to build up a list of the most useful books for me to use during this Challenge and this reminds me that I actually have them.)

 
I fancied the Maple Syrup icecream as I had all the necessary things, well except Maple Syrup but I seem to have masses of ordinary syrup so that needs using.  Grabbing the little bit of fudge that was left and the Maltesers box that was taking up so much space in the fridge but in reality had hardly any left in it and the condensed milk from the cupboard (I had bought this in error ages ago as it was mixed up on the supermarket shelves with the similar design tins of toffee that I use for my cheats Banoffee Pie).

 
It was a simple job to whip up the cream, fold in the condensed milk and then the syrup and then split unto two icecream tubs.  Into one half I put the chopped up Cranberry Fudge and into the other half the crushed Maltesers.  As you can see I got two tubs with almost 500g in each.
 
Just under a kilo of bargain icecream then.

 
It's now been labelled and is tucked in the freezer waiting for one of those 'I must have icecream moments'.

 
Of course all this left me with just under half a tin of condensed milk, I never know what to do with this so I read the side of the tin ... there was a recipe for Chocolate Fudge.  Looking for more ideas I dipped again into Suzy's book ....

 
... and there was a similar recipe for Chocolate Fudge and it was an even easier one.  I took this as fate telling me I must make fudge ;-)

 
So fudge it was!!
 
Now I don't have a very sweet tooth so I wanted to take the overly sweet edge off this, I went back to the cupboard for more inspiration and found a quarter of a tin of roasted salted nuts (Lovely Hubby's from Christmas)  I pinched just enough so when he goes to the tin it looks as though there is still enough left to nibble on, but enough that when crushed up they would cover the top of my now setting fudge.
 
 
It worked a treat.  As you can see I did it in a one pound loaf tin as I was only using a half of the stated recipe and I wanted a little bit of depth to my fudge.  It took ages to set in the fridge, after one night it was firm enough to take out of the tin open out the paper and slice into lengths, but it was still a bit sticky, so I left it in the fridge in the lengths on the paper on a plate overnight again and then yesterday sliced the lengths into cubes.
 
It tastes gorgeous, it is very rich and would be wonderful as a sweet nibble after a dinner party, or maybe just as I had it last night with a glass of wine and with the Great British Bake Off Sport Relief thingy on television.
 
Result!!
 
*** *** ***
 
In amongst the comments yesterday was this one from Steve -
 
 
 
Wow!, Good luck with your Mission!

I've been doing something similar in January in an attempt to raise funds for the Trussell Trust - living off a pound a day. I'm doing this slightly differently, as all my shops are from Aldi, and I started with a bare cupboard - so no salt, sugar, oil etc - also I cannot accept free food or drink. It's part of a personal mission for me to reconnect with the value of food, and to cut out snacking on rubbish between meals.

So far I'm 15 days into my challenge, and have raised £210 for the charity in question. If I may be cheeky - any help you can give in mentioning my blog, or just giving page before the end of January would really really help me get to my target:

http://www.justgiving.com/OnePoundADay
http://www.stevenpitchford.com/one-pound-a-day-diet/

Tonight, I'm hoping to make oat flatbread from some porridge oats I have in order to make my budget last longer. I'm looking forward to february so I can start eating the homemade jams my wife made with fruit from our allotment.

Steve
 
I've added a link to his Blog on to my sidebar in the 'Inspirational Blogs column 'One Pound a Day Diet January 2014', so you can nip over and follow his progress. I read his Blog from the beginning last night and I must say I'm impressed with his progress so far.
 
See what you think.
 
Sue xx