Saturday 27 March 2010

choc honey comb pudding

* 200g Belgian milk chocolate
* 2 x 35g bars Crunchie bars, roughly chopped
* 284ml pot double cream
* 250ml tub mascarpone

* Melt 150g of the chocolate, then stir in the Crunchie pieces. Gently stir the cream into the mascarpone then stir in the chocolate mix until just marbled.
* Spoon into small glasses or cups and top with the rest of the chocolate, grated or shaved.

Wednesday 24 March 2010

online shopping

So, this week I wanted to do an online shop, but I could only dredge it up as far as £20 and hell if I was gonna pay £6 to get that delivered, so I abandoned it.  Of course, when we went to the supermarket, I managed to spend £55, and Godpapa bought lunch in the cafe for Litl'Un! Oh well.  Still, £55 is not bad, and there was some paying it forward in there.

I'm gonna try and do a week of meals from what is in the house, and what I can pick up at our new local Sainsbury's, probably in the holidays when we don't have all the rushing around for Brownies and so on. I'm struck by how many cans and jars and dried goods we have crowding the little kitchen.

Yesterday I put together a pretty lovely pudding from almost nothing and bits that might have been binned otherwise.  Aunty brought a box of (out of season, so not that amazing) strawberries for the kids, and they had one or 2 and got bored due to lack of flavour.  They started going bruisy and a few went moldy, so I composted the icky ones and then Bamixed up the others with some previously Bamixed sugar (instant, cheap icing sugar) Then I cut slices of a cheap madeira cake and put them in a dish, sprinkled over some of my gifted Todka (toffee vodka) and then poured over the strawberry liquid.  Next I used the Quick Cup (and a 30 second blast in the microwave) to make a 7p sachet of instant custard, and poured that on top.
By the time we'd eaten dinner, this was beautifully set and trifley.  I contemplated whipping up a tub of mascarpone with a dribble of cream and dollopping that on top, but I couldn't be bothered as I wanted to get eating of supper so I could go out later.  (Best band in the world, McGoozer)

Today we had my favourite oven baked risotto, which both kids ate amazingly, and Litl'Un finished in record time with no whining or fussing, and fed herself the whole bowl.  She then proceeded to guzzle lots of bits of salad, primarily celery, a Yeo's tube and a brioche... No wonder she couldn't finish the cup of milk she then asked for! The risotto is easy, and hands off, and comes highly recommended.

Fry a chopped pack of bacon til crisp, add a chopped onion and an ounce of butter.  When soft, tip in 300g/10oz risotto rice, and coat.  Pour in half a glass of white wine, and cook for 2 mins til absorbed.  Add 150g/5 oz halved cherry tomatoes.  Now add 700ml of chicken stock, stir briefly and pop in an oven at 200 degrees for 18 mins.  Stir thru an ounce and a half of parmesan or strong cheddar, and then sprinkle with another half ounce of the same, or mozzarella to finish. I recommend a good grinding of fresh black pepper to lift and add a buzz at the table. Oh and make sure you start off with  pan or dish that is hob AND oven safe, with a good lid.  Enjoy...

Wednesday 3 March 2010

trying to stay in budget

is sometimes harder than it might first seem.  A couple of weeks ago, I did a fortnight's shop, online, and it came to under £45!  Of course I was relying on food I had in the freezer that I'd bought when it was reduced at the time, or on special offer.  The trick to this is to only do this when it won't put you over budget the week you are buying, otherwise it's not saving your money, unless you have to live month to month, and the beginning of the month is more flush than later in the month, so having some bargains in the freezer can really save your bacon (!) on that last week or few days in the pay month.

Last week I had another delivered order, and I was happy that Sainsbury's seems to be getting better, I actually got the meat I ordered which was lamb chops on offer at half price!  We had those on St David's Day with a pile of buttery slowly cooked down leeks, and some spuds and sweetcorn too.  I just didn't have to energy to make Welsh cakes after all, but read this and have a go if you fancy a try... They're yummy any time, not just on St David's Day...

Yesterday I had the mad rush of Brownies night, as well as our Lent movie group later on, so I rustled together a couple of Anjum Anand recipes, which I utterly recommend - a thoroughly creamy and succulent tasting but healthy version of shahi paneer, and a crisp and peppery hot cabbage salad. Eaten with a few hot breadmaker naans, and what more could one ask?

Our weekend potroast chicken served us well, though no one had the energy to pie-ify it!

Tonight we're having tinned sardines on toast, but it's homemade oat bread, and tomorrow I'm using some butcher's cocktail sausages which were reduced and then stashed in my freezer, in beans and sausages.  Friday will be jacket squds with tuna mayo and brocolli.

Oh and we've just had a new Sainsbury's open near our tube station. It's tiny and cute but pretty well stocked.  Got my organic starter yoghurt, forgot to check they sell organic milk, will be gutted if they don't, but I did notice they don't sell bread flour.  It was mad crowded, but then it only opened today, I can't imagine it'll always be that mad.  I was amused they had staff asking all shoppers if they have Nectar cards when they entered the shop, and the woman asking me couldn't actually remember the word Nectar!!!