Tuesday, 12 May 2009

so the week so far

Well, it's been a revelation! My beautiful nephew's birthday was on Saturday, and we wanted to go spend the day with him in Warwick. In the past we would have got home too close to the kids' bedtimes, they'd be hungry, not want to eat any of the quick things to hand, or we'd have to stop to feed them on the motorway, then get home and put them to bed and then order takeout, and end up eating really late and real rubbish, and spending LOTS of money. THIS time, I put a gammon joint, decent quality, in the slow cooker in the morning, while everyone was getting ready, plonked on top of some carrots, celery, potatoes and onions. Poured a little cider over the veg before adding the gammon and rubbed wholegrain mustard on the top of the gammon and drizzled a little honey over.
By the time we came home it was tender and juicy and could be flaked up with 2 forks, with no effort, utterly delicious. The girls even had big portions, we all stuffed ourselves, and there was still about half the joint left. Had some in sandwiches today, and it was GOOD. Perhaps could have done with soaking the gammon overnight to remove some of the salt tho.

On Sunday I had some reduced price nice mince I'd bought up and frozen, which I made into freefrom Shepherd's Pie for the girls for Monday, as well as a big one for us for that evening, tho I did adulterate the mash for ours once I'd made the little ones... It was great, and left a portion which I can have for lunch tomorrow.

Monday, the girls had the aforementioned pies, I've been informed they are called "Binky Pie" in a certain household as a certain girlie loves Shepherd's Pie so much. Or was is Cottage Pie, I'm never sure... I did a coconutty free-from Apple Crumble for the kids too, note to self, Binky doesn't like apples, especially cooked... But they all loved the crumble, so not a disaster.
However, our supper, the brown rice, was really not at all how I wanted it to go!! I wanted to pressure cook, and I've done brown rice pilaf in the pressure cooker before, and I followed the instructions that were in the book that came with the cooker, and it came out like a sludgey stewey thing, though very tasty! Far too much water, and far too much food in fact! I packed 2 big food tubs to give away to people I knew would enjoy it, and still had more left. No idea what happened, especially since it worked fine the last time... You'd be surprised how hard it is to find instructions on cooking brown rice in a pressure cooker, you'd think it'd be the ideal method, so much quicker...?

Today's risotto, much much more of a success. Got the recipe from the Credit Crunch Cookbook, worked really well. The chicken had frozen and defrosted pleasingly, I'm wary of chicken. I used the other half of the cauliflower I used in the brown rice yesterday, as well as some mixed veg from the freezer, and some cooked peas that were in the fridge too. It was a bit use-up and a bit add new ingredients, and it worked brilliantly and was really quite quick. The girls kept busy while I attended to the risotto with a fab Disney Princess cupcake decorating set, with no nasty colours or sweeteners or preservatives, yet met the standard for girly pinkness required for this kind of activity. They loved it, tho Littl'un initially only ate icing off 2 cakes, but did eventually eat cake once her Dad fed it to her, while she was looking at her fave book of the day - a photo album of her family! Big'un had no difficulty polishing off a cup cake and picked - yes, you got it - Princess Jasmine. They come with a tube of icing to squiggle with, some confetti icing hearts and some rice paper printed placards. Plenty fun, creativity and mess, rang all their bells. And Daddy supervised, and that was MY fave part of it! LOL.

Has anyone else discovered Sainsbury's clotted cream scones? We accidentally bought some (not even "whoopsed"!) and used half each as a base for some rhubarb and strawberry icecream, and Daddy came up with the idea of drizzling double cream on top so it goes hard and "crackable", very very very delicious and very very sinful. Where's that priest gone....?

Oh, I must post about the day out in Warwick, but will do so as a comment later, as it's not strictly budgety, but VERY foodie, and I know some of you are waiting to hear all about it...

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