Monday, 30 January 2012

Batch Cooking Lasagne and Rice Pudding.

Hello Fellow Bloggers and thank you to my new followers. It would be nice to get to a round 20.

Firstly I didn't get around to posting the photos yesterday as I had been so busy during the day and it was a long day, that I was too tired in the end. Below  are  before and after photos of the lasagne I made yesterday and got 4 normal sized portions and 2 left over for lunch today.  

Then my plate :)

Below are the Cliplock Containers I got from £land filled with yesterdays Rice Pudding cooked in the Slow Cooker. I must say that the recipe I posted was from the booklet that came with the Slow Cooker and it said to cook for 3 to 4 hours but it needed 5 hours!  I know I'm a scatty mare but I think I measured out the ingredients properly but I might be mistaken so will try the same recipe again next time just to make sure and will let you know.

Below is a photo of my big Chest Freezer. It's a tad untidy at the mo but it is nice and Full.

I'm not usually a very lucky person but when I went to buy this, the sellers, when showing me how it worked realised the door would no longer close without a weight put on it and decided that if I wanted it, I could have it for nothing as they felt uncomfortable taking money for it.  Such nice people. And a happy me.

I didn't make a Shepperds Pie as I forgot I'd already stretched the Mince with added veg and Kidney Beans, Baked Beans etc before freezing.

Back tomorrow when hopefully I will have made some kind of Jam in the Slow Cooker.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Rice Pudding and Batch Cooking.

I've been awake since 5 this morning and this is who I found looking very contented and comfy on my bed. She is 13 years old and I think she is looking good.

I couldn't get back to sleep so I decided to put a Rice Pudding on in the Slow Cooker.
Had to give it a stir at the beginning and then again half way through.

This is the recipe for 4.5 Litres:

40g Butter 

150g Pudding Rice

150g Sugar

1 1/2 Litres Milk

pinch Nutmeg

Butter the inside of the Ceramic Bowl in your Slow cooker, Add all the ingredients and stir.

cook for 3 or 4 hours  on Medium.

For 2.5 Litres Mixture the following amounts apply:

25g Butter

100g Pudding Rice

100g Sugar

1 Litre Milk.

Pinch Nutmeg

I plan to freeze most of it for another day as I already have a Coconut Loaf Cake I've taken out of the freezer for today.

I also had some pre-cooked Veggie Mince which I have taken out to defrost and plan to make 4 Lasagnes and a family sized Shepherds Pie later today. I plan to add a tin of Baked Beans to make it stretch.

Whilst I'm waiting for it to defrost I am researching Quail as I am thinking of getting a few for the eggs. My chickens are in a 9 ft by 9ft enclosure and I also have a large Chicken Ark which I am thinking I could also in the enclosure (to keep them safe from Mr. Fox) and wonder how many quail I could keep in it.

If anyone has any advice about this I would welcome your comments.

Back later hopefully after cooking with photos. 

Friday, 27 January 2012

Slow Cooker arrived today Yay.Free Fish and Chips in BHS today.

Hi Readers,

My Slow Cooker (replacement) arrived today and was left by my front door which I think is bad as anyone could have taken it. Anyway can't wait to get cooking again and 'Gill the british woman', kindly gave me some new recipes which I want to try.

Today for  I tucked into a bowl of the homemade cauliflower soup I blogged about the other day and this afternoon we are going out for a treat of Fish and Chips at bhs. We just have to buy a hot drink which is £1.90.

Also Pizza Hut have a £5 pizza and salad offer on until monday I think.

This is the link to print the vouchers if anyone fancies it. 


Bye for now.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Frugal Creamy Cauliflower Soup

I found this recipe a day or two ago  on 'Simply Cooked' Blog and decided I would try it out today.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
serves 6
adapted from The New Canadian Basics Cookbook

2 large leeks, white and light green parts only
1 large onion
1 large potato
1 large head of cauliflower (about 750 g)
2 T (30 g) butter
4 c (1 L) vegetable stock
1/2 c (125 ml) milk
parsley leaves, to garnish

Slice the leeks. Roughly chop the onion.
Peel and dice the potato. Chop the cauliflower into florets.
Melt the butter in a large soup pot. Add the leeks and onion and let cook over medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes.
Add the potato, cauliflower, and stock.
Bring to the boil and let simmer for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
Remove the soup from the heat. Puree using an immersion blender or in a counter-top blender. (Let the soup cool a little if using a counter-top blender.)
Add the milk and reheat.
Garnish with parsley, salt, and pepper

Firstly I melted my homemade butter in the pan.
Then I sliced the onions and leeks. I rinsed these and cooked these in the butter on low for around 10mins till soft.I peeled and diced the potato and added these to the pan.
Then I got a £1 bag of smart price frozen cauliflower not fresh as these are over a £ in the shops at the moment and are only tiny whereas one big enough for this recipe was £1.80 odd in A£da yesterday, and tipped this into the pan with a litre of basics stock.I used 3 cubes.
I let this all simmer until soft, giving it a stir now and then. Don't forget to add salt if you want to.


After about 25 minutes (instead of the milk),  I added a little double cream and some plain yoghurt that was lurking in the fridge and whizzed it with the stick blender until smooth.
I got 4 decent sized bowls full with another 2 bowls left over for freezing. And it tasted nice.  Lovely Jubbly.

I went to the farm shop today to get some eggs as my girls are not laying at the moment. While I was there I saw some big onions and nice leeks so I bought a few of both and used 2 of these leeks and 1 of the onions in the soup.
Bye for now. 

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Car Worries,Microwave Noises and Slow Cooking.

Hello Readers.

Yesterday When I started up the car I noticed it seemed a bit reluctant to start but after a couple of tries it worked. I used the car again in the afternoon and it still started up but the third time I went to start it up it was dark and I was miles away from home and the battery sounded very bad. I was worried as I had shopping in the car and didn't know how I would get back then I decided to knock on the door of the house that I was parked outside to see if they could offer some help. I don't normally like to ask but in this case I was desperate. Fortunately for me a very nice man answered the door and after searching all over his house,shed and car for jump leads he came back out and said he couldn't find any but said he would find his son and they could try push starting it for me. I got a bit panicky as its years since I've started a car in this way but fortunately I managed to start it as soon as he told me to try and I was away thanking them profusely. Phew was I relieved!! I thought I was going to be calling out a mechanic and my purse would be getting lighter. Anyway that panic is over as its been staring ok today.

Another thing bothering me a little at the moment is the Microwave as I noticed it making a rather loud noise today but I  has stopped again. I'm trying to put some money aside for a proper stainless steel Maslin Pan for jam making and don't really want to be having to replace the Microwave at the moment. In fact as it is a Micro Combi which I bought nearly new about 3 years ago for only £20 (Bargain)  I couldn't afford to replace it with another the same, it would have to be just a basic Microwave. It's a Russell Hobbs 28 litre micro/grill/oven but I didn't get the instruction booklet and can't find it online so I've only just worked out how to use the normal oven part of it a couple of weeks ago. Fingers crossed it keeps working.

Today I have ordered a Morphy Richards 6 litre Slow Cooker from Amazon reduced from £49 to £24.99. I had one before but 2 weeks ago my 18 year old decided to knock it onto the floor breaking the ceramic pot inside (carelessly) and when I looked on their website it was going to cost me at least £20 to replace.  I'm happy now I've ordered it as I found a book while searching for something in the dining room called 'the ultimate slow cooker cookbook' and inside I found a recipe for Lemon Curd which I will try as soon as my cooker arrives and will blog about on here, probably early next week.

More butter making tomorrow for the freezer this time, some cauliflower soup and some decluttering I hope, if I feel ok. (with photo's if I can find my camera, daughter always borrowing it)

Anyone know where I can get a stainless steel (not aluminium) Maslin Pan cheaper than Lakeland which charge £42?


Sunday, 22 January 2012

Butter Photo and This and That Fish Pie

Above is a photo of my homemade butter.

Also yesterday for dinner I made fish pie which is based on a recipe that Hardup Hester posted a while back.

I add what I can find to use up in my fridge, freezer and pantry.

What I did was thinly slice potatoes so they cook quicker thereby using less gas.
I also found 4 eggs in the fridge so I boiled and peeled these and cut up to go in with the fish into the oven dish to bulk it up a bit.

At the same time I was cooking 3 fillets of white value fish in butter and covered with milk which was all I could find in the freezer.

I only simmer the fish for about 5 minutes.

I strained the milk into a large jug to make instant cheese sauce with 2 packets from Asda (4 for a £1) adding a little water to make it up.

I placed the fish in the oven dish and looked in the fridge and found part of a tin of sweetcorn so that went in the oven dish aswell.

Then I looked in the freezer again and found some peas so added a handful to the potatoes just before they had finished cooking.

Next I opened a tin of basics tuna and placed that in the dish and sprinkled over a tablespoon of mixed dried basics herbs, covered all this with the soft, sliced potatoes and poured the cheese sauce mix all over.

This cooked for about 1/2  hour at gas 6.

We got 5 portions out of it.

Above is a photo of what was left from yesterday in a bowl which I will have for lunch tomorrow.

Homemade Butter and Buttermilk.

Hello DearReaders,

Yesterday I made butter and thought that fellow bloggers would like to know how easy it is to make.

I got the idea after watching a cooking programme on channel 4 called The Fabulous Baker Boys.

If you like cooking I suggest you take a look at it as they are great to watch and have some good, easy recipes.

All you need is a tub of double cream and an electric mixer, and salt if you prefer it slightly salted.

I used two 600ml tubs of double cream and it made approx 1lb of butter.

All you have to do is whisk the cream for about 5 minutes until it changes colour and forms  lumps and squeeze it together to remove the buttermilk. Then rinse in a bowl of cold water, shake any water off and when its dry wrap in greaseproof paper.  I cut mine into 2 and put 1 in the freezer and the other one in the fridge. It tastes lovely and I have the satisfaction of having made it myself. I used the buttermilk to make soda bread.

I'm off for now but will take a photo and add it on later. 

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Hello, I'm Back.

Hello Readers,

I haven't been around for a while as I haven't been feeling very unwell so not been up to much worthy of blogging.

I had a routine blood test to check my thyroid as it is underactive, has been for years. I have been even more lethargic than usual so it shouldn't have been a surprise really that the results showed that I am extremely aneamic and have had to go on iron tablets 3 times a day. The doctor thought I might be coeliac but the blood test came back negative for that so he wants me to go to hospital for further tests:(

Still I have been trying to be frugal and went into sainsburys just before christmas and picked up about 3 carrier bags full of packs of ready cut vegetables soup mix for 30p a bag reduced from £2!!  I would never pay anywhere near the full price I think its sheer madness. So they went into the freezer with a smile on my face:)

Bye for now.