Monday, 31 January 2011

Menu week 31/01/11


Monday - Eggs, chips, beans and bread & butter

Tuesday - Mascarpone tomato sauce, tuna and pasta with HM garlic bread

Wednesday - Chicken/prawn stirfry with noodles

Thursday - Creamy pesto chicken, potatoes, peas & roasted tomatoes

Friday - Meatballs on spagetti, HM garlic bread

Saturday -HM Beef burgers, wedges & HM coleslaw

Sunday - Roast chicken, Yorkshire puddings, veg and potatoes

Had a productive day today. Started off with a visit to the opticians for my 2 yearly check. Kicked myself when I got home and checked our local paper, there inside was a voucher for £5 off an eye test at the opticians I went to. Meant to check the paper before I left but was in a rush and forgot. So annoyed with myself. After the opticians a visit to Sainsburys, Tesco and Aldi. Bought bits in each one that had the best price for each item. A visit to a card shop for a bereavement card then home for lunch.

After lunch sorted a load of washing onto the airer to dry then off for a walk with the dog. After dog walking a stack of ironing kept me busy for the rest of the  afternoon finishing off with vacuuming the house and washing the floors!
Nearly forgot, I then had to make tea and another dog walk needs to be fitted in. A woman's work is never done!

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Bargain Sunday lunch

Got a reduced packet of chicken thighs and drummers for £1.79 the other day. I split the pack in half and froze them. Today I cooked half the pack in the slowcooker for our tea. I stripped the meat off the bones  and returned the meat to the slowcooker with some gravy granules.

I costed the meal and with using half a bag of green beans,half a broccoli and half a butternut squash, 800g potatoes from a large sack of spuds, a kilo of carrots from the sack of pony carrots I bought for the dog and making the yorkshire puddings the whole meal cost 89p per person. We all had a plateful and really enjoyed our meal. Wish I could find more reduced meat but the time I go in is not reduction time. Think I may use drummers and thighs like this a lot more now I know they enjoy it.

We all went for a drive this afternoon to a lovely forest which is popular with dog walkers. We'd had some sad news of someone we knew passing away yesterday so I felt we all should be together today and I had a  few moments on our walk to think of the bereaved family and their loss.

The forest was very bare and it was a dull grey day but we had a lovely walk playing with the dog.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

I'm winning

"Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship"-- Benjamin Franklin

"Without frugality none can be rich, and with it very few would be poor." --Samuel Johnson

Well we are nearly at the end of the month and I am really chuffed with myself for keeping to my shopping budget all month. It's not an easy job when prices are constantly rising. Every week I now check prices for all the items I want on . I then make a shopping list for Tesco, Sainsburys and Aldi and shop at which ever has the best price for each item. I find meats that are on offer and base my menu plan around them. It seems to be working so far for me.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Menu week 24/01/11

Monday - Lasagne, salad and home made garlic bread

Tuesday - Beef casserole, mash and veg

Wednesday - Cumberland pie and veg

Thursday - Bolognese sauce, pasta and home made garlic bread

Friday - Chicken in sauce on vegetable rice

Saturday - Fried chicken, wedges and home made coleslaw

Sunday - Roast chicken, mash, yorkshire puds and vegetables

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Use it up!

I really hate waste. I squirrel away new tubes of toothpaste and deodorants from my husband because when he gets to the bottom of a deodorant or tube of paste he would rather start a new one than finish the bit that's left. This so annoys me! So I won't let him have a new deodorant now until every bit is used in the old can first. The girls are just has bad. Shampoo bottles and hair conditioner is always left and a new one started when it gets low. I'm the one who always ends up using the dregs of a bottle.

Today I came to the end of my hand cream so not liking to waste anything I did my old trick on the tube. I chopped the tube in half and will get plenty of hand cream for the next day or two.

Been to the dentist today to have  root canal work done on a tooth that has been giving me trouble. Only problem is I have to go back in two weeks time for her to continue the work because she only got 12mm down the tooth and needs to go 20mm. My time was up and she would have been running late if she had continued. I had a 40 minute appointment for my treatment. They were 10 minutes late seeing me so now I've to go through the whole palaver again! Not a happy bunny.

Monday, 17 January 2011

New life in dreary winter

Planted some mixed salad leaves last Thursday and they are growing really well. shot up so fast on my kitchen drainer.

Think I'll move them to the conservatory soon because the lights a lot better in there but it is a lot cooler as we don't waste money heating in there in winter only on the occasions we might use it in the winter. These should save me a bit of cash once they have grown and we can eat them.

Cleared a few bits in the garden today as I passed them, like a huge pile of leaves just next to my back door and a bag of bits and pieces collected and put in the rubbish bin. Wanted to get stuck into so gardening but did not really have time today as I had a lot to do in the house and a lot of cooking I wanted to get done.

Just taken these chicken and sweetcorn pasties out of the oven. I made theses for the girls lunch tomorrow and there will be one left to freeze. I made my own rough puff pastry, it's so easy to make . I made a white sauce using half milk and half chicken stock added some sauteed onions and some leftover chicken and sweetcorn. Makes a lovely filling pastie.

Monday - Risotto stuffed mushrooms, salad and home made garlic bread

Tuesday - Tuna and tomato sauce on pasta, grated cheese and home made garlic bread

Wednesday - Cottage pie, carrots and peas.  Me - Quorn cottage pie

Thursday - Salmon fishcakes, wedges, peas or home made coleslaw

Friday - Potato, bacon and onion hotpot, carrots and broccoli.  Me - veggie sausages, potatoes & veg

Saturday - Homemade beef burgers/veggie burgers, wedges and coleslaw

Sunday - Roast chicken, stuffing, yorkshire puds, mash and veg.  Me - Quorn fillet

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Lovely Lentils

Just put a pot of spicy lentil soup in the slowcooker. I just worked out how much it cost for the whole pot of ingredients and it worked out at 92p. That's only 23p a portion of soup. So cheap and tastes a lot better than tinned stuff.


100g red lentils
2 x 400g tins tomatoes
2 onions, chopped
800ml water
1tsp chilli powder
2tsp paprika
salt & pepper

Place all ingredients in a pan and cook for 35 minutes or place all ingredients in a slowcooker for 4+ hours.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Got plenty done this morning, My bed stripped and washed and remade. Vacuumed all down stairs and dusted. Made a batch of ratatouille in the slowcooker and menu planned for next week and wrote out a shopping list too. Went on mysupermarket to compare prices to see which supermarket has the best deals. So I have a list for three shops to visit on Monday. Luckily they are all close together so makes the chore easier. My biggest shop is in Aldi, then Tesco and will finish with a few things in Sainsburys. Should come in under budget but may need a few bits as the week goes on. Quite pleased with myself at the moment for sticking to my grocery budget.

Just been on a lovely walk with the dog. Wrapped up in scarf and gloves thinking it was nippy outside,bu totally the opposite. Had to take my gloves off and loosen my scarf because it was so mild, felt like spring...if only!
 On our walk found these two beauties

These parsnips had fallen off the farmers trailer down one of the lanes we walk. Bag out of pocket and home with us they came. Always have a bag with me, you never know what you will find, blackberries in the autumn, carrots and potatoes at harvest time. These will be roasted tomorrow to have with our sausage dinner.

Got 3 fillets of salmon from the freezer to thaw for tea tonight. These are the fillets which were on offer the other week so using some up in tonights meal. Tonight we are having


1tbsp oil
200g mushrooms, sliced 
400g dried linguine or spaghetti
300g courgette, grated
300ml creme fraiche
200ml greek yogurt
1 egg yolk
35g parmesan cheese, grated
zest of 1 lemon
salt & pepper
300g cooked salmon

Fry the mushrooms and the courgette for 5 minutes.
Add pasta to a pan of boiling water and cook until just cooked.
Mix together the creme fraiche, yogurt, egg yolk, parmesan, lemon zest, salt & pepper.
Drain the cooked pasta. Return to the pan and pour in sauce.
Toss pasta in sauce then add salmon. Mix well.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

My Recipes

I will post a couple of recipes I am making today. Firstly I'm making my usual Hot Cross Buns. I've adapted the original recipe, instead of currants and peel I add raisins and I add more flour than the original recipe because I found the mix too sticky.


550g white bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
75g butter or margarine
1 sachet yeast
50g sugar
175g raisins
300ml warm milk
2 beaten eggs

sugar glaze
1tbsp sugar dissolved in
1tbsp hot water

Place salt, mixed spice, sugar, butter, milk and eggs in bread maker.
Add flour, yeast and raisins.
Set breadmaker to dough mix and rise.
Remove risen dough from breadmaker and divide into 12 buns.
Put on a greased tray and let rise again for 20-30 minutes.
Place in preheated oven gas 6 or fan oven 180 for 15-20 minutes.
Brush with sugar glaze while hot.

I'll be back later with my second recipe for today. Just going to my voluntary job now. See you later.

Tonight for tea we are having Creamy beef and potato layer and I'm doing a veggie version with Quorn for myself.


1tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
450g minced beef
4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
frozen leaf spinach, thawed (as much or as little as you like)
salt & pepper
900g potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
142ml carton double cream
150g cheddar cheese, grated (or any cheese you like)

Heat oil and add onion and garlic, fry until softened.
Add mince, fry until browned.
Add passata and sun-dried tomatoes. I then put mixture in slowcooker and cook on low for a few hours but you can cook on hob for 30 minutes.
Add plenty of salt and pepper and the squeezed out spinach to the beef mixture and cook for a further 10 minutes. 
While beef is cooking cook potatoes in boiling water for 10 minutes.
Drain potatoes well.

Place half beef mixture in an ovenproof dish and cover with 1/2 of the potatoes and 1/2 the cream and 1/2 the cheese.

Spoon over the rest of the beef mixture and top with the remaining potatoes.
Pour remaining cream over potatoes and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated oven gas6 or 200C.

 We had this with some steamed carrots and peas and was left with a portion for the freezer or for someones lunch.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Menu Plan

Monday - Fishfingers, wedges and beans

Tuesday - Creamy Beef & Potato layer, carrots and peas

Wednesday - Salmon, courgette & lemon pasta, garlic bread

Thursday - Sausage, mash, yorkshire pudding and veg

Friday - Battered fish, mushy peas, chips/ jacket potato

Saturday - Chicken/tofu Fajitas

Sunday - Pork Loin, roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings and veg

Friday, 7 January 2011

Great present

Working tonight so need to take a packed lunch. For christmas I got a wrap-n-mat which is great. I hate using so much clingfilm to wrap sandwiches in so when I saw this on the internet I had to have one for a christmas present.

It's cotton with a plastic lining and a velcro fastener. They can be wiped clean or washed. They come in two sizes, this is the small size and come in a few different colours.

For tea tonight I'm using up some leftover bits of chicken and turkey. I soften some chopped onion, chopped mushrooms and a bit of leek in butter.

 Add some flour to absorb the butter then add in chicken stock continually stirring so no lumps appear. I add some milk and some dried parsley, salt and pepper.

I then add the leftover meat and added a bit of leftover sweetcorn. They had this with boiled rice.

Thursday, 6 January 2011


Decorations all put away for another year. Always glad to see them put away, I get a bit fed up of looking at them. Decided I'm going to declutter the house this year and work through each room one at a time. Today was my bedrooms turn. I went through our wardrobe getting rid of anything not worn for a while or items I've gone off. Shoes thrown out I have not worn for years. Even went through all my drawers and bedside table. A bit of perfume that had gone off years ago, binned. Bits and pieces that get thrown into drawers and forgotten about, binned. All drawers vacuumed and the whole bedroom cleaned and polished. When Hubby had finished his tea told him to go and sort through his clothes. I now have 3 charity sacks for the charity van  to collect in the morning. It feels great having a lovely tidy wardrobe but I've now got nothing to wear!
The plan for next week is to declutter the bathroom cabinet and the living room. Not much to declutter in these but the plan is also to give the rooms a good clean at the same time so two rooms for next Thursday.

Need to sit and menu plan for next week and make a shopping list. Stuck to my shopping budget for this week with a few pounds still left in my shopping purse. Spent a lot on meat but got some good bargains. I bought a 2.8kg gammon which was reduced to half price so got that for £6.00. We had that earlier in the week sliced with a fried egg on top with chips and peas. The rest was sliced on my meat slicer ready to freeze for sandwiches and I left some in the fridge for sandwiches for this week. I also got a large pork loin joint which was still on offer at £3.99 a kilo so spent £7.40 on that joint. I cut in it half and froze then for Sunday lunches.I also got a bag of 8 frozen salmon fillets on offer at £4.50 so there in freezer to use some time.With next weeks money need to get a sack of potatoes and a sack of onions so that will take a chunk out of the kitty.