Tuesday, 23 September 2014

New blogpost on my other blog...

I have started writing on my second 'happy' blog again...if you fancy it


Or look on my profile page xx

Meal Plan Monday...

Sorry it's late...not a good day yesterday :(

This week I have lots to do and big plans! I have made a list of everything I want to get done (it's long!) this means that meals are a bit more simple than usual. I have been enjoying trying out new recipes and rediscovering old favourites, but there will be a few cheats this week to free up my time a bit.

We were given a beautiful joint of beef on Saturday, so that was our Sunday roast (kindly cooked by my lovely hubby) with all the trimmings. 

Yesterday we had a chicken breast joint (the sort you get in a foil tray...a poor substitution by asda), jacket potatoes and salad. 

So this is the rest of my plan:

Tuesday sausage, mash and beans.

Wednesday BBQ chicken and rice.

Thursday faggots, mash, peas, Sweetcorn snd gravy.

Friday pork chops Chinese style and rice.

Saturday egg and chips

Not very interesting I'm afraid, but I have so much I want to get done. 

Back soon,

Mandy x

Monday, 15 September 2014

Meal Plan Monday...

Hi everyone, this is what we'll be eating this week...

Sunday roast pork, roasties, cheesy leeks, stuffing, broccoli, carrots and gravy. It was lovely!

Monday cowboy casserole. Raspberry jelly, mock cream and shortbread biscuits.

Tuesday minced beef and onion pie, mash, veg and gravy. Chocolate concrete or a slice of birthday cake!

Wednesday cheese flan, new potatoes and tinned tomatoes. Chocolate pudding and chocolate custard.

Thursday chicken curry, rice, nan bread and popadums. Lemon sponge and pink custard.

Friday toad in the hole, veg and gravy. Treacle tart and ice-cream.

Saturday burger, chips and peas. Ice-cream and homemade chocolate sauce.

Any recipe requests?

Thanks for reading,

Mandy x

Bacon Cakes...a recipe for Sooze

Hi Sooze and anyone else that would like this recipe!

Bacon Cakes

1). Cook 2oz bacon until crisp and cut into pieces.

2). Sieve together 8oz self-raising flour and 1/4 tsp salt. Rub in 1oz butter until you have fine breadcrumbs.

3). Add 1oz grated cheese and all of the bacon.

4). Mix together 1/4pt milk, 1tbsp tomato ketchup and a dash of Worcester sauce and add to dry ingredients.

5). Mix to a soft dough and roll out on a floured board to a 7" circle. Brush with milk and cut into 8 wedges. 

6). Arrange on a greased and floured baking tray in a circle with the edges overlapping. Sprinkle with 3oz grated cheese.

7). Bake at 180 for 30 mins until golden brown.

This is the photo from the book because I changed my meal plan at the last minute on Saturday, so didn't cook these after all...please let me know how you get on with this recipe xx

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Shopping Saturday...

Hi everyone,

I've been carbooting again yesterday! 

Sorry if these photos are getting boring, but I've started squirreling bits away for Christmas now. This is what I picked up...

Two Asos jumpers...I'm so short of clothes and I rarely find my size at the carboot. One was a treat from Charlotte :)

I love the colour of the scarf (50p) and the DVD is an old '80s favourite of mine. The card was only 10p and the Christmas DVD was a waste of money sadly...

When we buy DVDs, we always check that the DVD is actually in the case. This has two discs...both of them are disc 2!! So the film isn't actually in there :(

...a lesson learnt.

The two pink sheets will be made into cotbed sheets for Daisy's bed, they were 50p each and I wish I'd bought more. The seller also had the candy stripe ones, all in really good condition. 
The daisy card will be framed for Daisy's bedroom (10p).
The peppa pig stickers and sticker book were 10p each. 
The tweenies puzzle was 20p.

Here are two footless babygros (£1), a raincoat, denim and poppy shorts to be worn with tights for autumn (£1), skirt (20p), leggings and pumpkin patch top (50p) and a pair of peppa pig sunglasses (free...just because Daisy is so cute and the lady wanted them to go to a good home!)

Sorry...the light coming in through the patio doors has made this photo a bit blurry. I will list what's here for Daisy...

Dressing up dress  20p
3 x peppa pig DVD boxset  £2.50
In the night garden watering can. 20p
Macca pacca. 20p
Waybuloo toy  50p
Cuddly rabbit. 50p
Iggle piggle. 20p
Upsy Daisy. 50p
Charlie and Lola hot water bottle. 20p
Nemo book. 10p
Peppa pig socks (new) £1
Spotty shoes  50p 

Finally, some mega blocks. 

Everything will be washed now and either used, or put away for Christmas. I already know what I need to buy, but these little cheapy extras I pick up as stocking fillers. We all have stockings in my house...such a lovely cheap way to exchange gifts. They can be second hand like from the boot sale, handmade, or from the pound shop etc, nothing costs much, just a few presents to put a smile on someone's face! I especially love to have a theme to the stockings (eg: a baking one) and I will be sharing these ideas with you when my Christmas preparations are fully underway.

In other shopping news...

I am now having my shopping delivered on a Saturday. This means we can have a Sunday roasting joint ready and fresh to use the following day. It also helps us to have Sunday as a family day, doing what we want and not having to be at home waiting for the delivery.

I promise no shopping photos tomorrow!

Thanks for reading,

Mandy x

Friday, 12 September 2014

Recent Carboot bargains...

Hi everyone

I love Saturday morning carbooting (buying not selling!)

Just lately we haven't been going as much, because I have not been comfortable sitting in the car (with my poorly back), plus the rain had made it pointless going! The last couple of Saturdays we have been really lucky in finding bargains though...

This wooden shop has provided us with hours of good quality play. It cost me £7.50, but came with lots of extras and has been worth every penny...these are not cheap bought brand new.

A bunch of books, puzzle and a DVD...Daisy loves anything jungle or farm animals.

I've even started to collect a few bits for Christmas! The highland cow was free from the lady I bought the shop from.

I love picking up books for 10 or 20p. I will spend 50p per book usually. I always look out for books set in the 1940s and '50s. I was definitely born in the wrong era! 

I've been looking out for Witney blankets for ages now and finally found one! It cost me £1 and is in excellent condition. If fits a double bed, so will be very welcome on our bed during the colder months. 

On another trip I picked up...

Peppa pig magnets for 20p, carefully placed on the fridge freezer by Daisy.

Still on the peppa pig theme...a little carry box/tray for Daisy's gardening tools and a little cup. A second pair of wellies for the mucky weather. We walk the dogs a lot and it can get quite messy! These have drawstring tops to keep the wet and mud, or snow out. A gift from auntie Charlotte xx

Daisy loves anything Peter rabbit and my books were 20p each!

Another 20p book and some cuddlies for Daisy... Tv characters for a fraction of the price bought new. 

Two Christmas dresses and a jumper for Daisy. Children's Christmas clothes are not worn for long and they've grown out of them the following year, so I was pleased to find these. 

Clothes to grow into except the raincoat that fits Daisy now...a bargain at 50p!

Finally, a top and cardy for me. I rarely find my size when carbooting.

I spend very little money to get things that I wouldn't buy brand new. 

Does anyone else go carbooting on a regular basis? 

What bargains have you picked up? Charlotte found an armchair (very modern and in excellent condition) for £5!! It only just fit in her car but well worth the struggle.

Thanks for reading,

Mandy x

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Using up and avoiding waste...

Hi everyone,

Yesterday my pudding was supposed to be peaches, but when I made our main meal, there was pastry left over. The peaches are in a can, so they will keep. I quickly changed my meal plan and made a treacle tart...

I lined a small flan dish with the leftover shortcrust and poured in some golden syrup, crushed cornflakes and lemon juice. I baked it with the flan and wedges and served it with a drizzle of double cream. There is enough left for today, so I think I'll make some custard.

Dinner was something different, but lovely all the same! 

Thanks for reading,

Mandy x

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Keeping an eye on things and reducing waste...

Hi everyone

This morning I have been looking at my food stores and removing anything looking past it's best. In the past I haven't done this and ended up throwing away a lot of food from the fridge, especially salad and veg or fresh cream. 

These apples were looking a bit soft and yellow, so I peeled, cored and chopped them (with Daisy's help...her eating knife not a sharp one) and put them on to simmer. Daisy will love stewed apple and custard later (a lot of the retro puddings I have been making contain double cream which I cannot buy lactose free) and I can make apple crumble for the freezer too. 

The cores and peelings will be enjoyed by our chickens.

The bits and bobs I took out of the fridge will be used up at lunchtime and go into our tea.

A little time taken to save money by not wasting it!

How much food do you end up throwing away...or is nothing wasted?

Thanks for reading,

Mandy x

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Retro Puddings...Chocolate Crunch Pie, Chilled Lemon Flan and Montelimar Pudding

Hi everyone and welcome to my new followers. I enjoyed reading your comments from yesterday and I have replied.

As requested, there are some recipes for you below. They all came from a great retro cook book Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook, my copy is from 1977 and I love it! I have altered the recipes slightly to suit me, so I will write them as I made them...

Mary Berry wrote some of the recipes in this book, including chilled lemon flan and Montelimar pudding. 

Chilled Lemon Flan

1). Crush 4oz digestive biscuits and stir in 2oz melted butter. Press into a flan dish with the back of a metal spoon. Chill.

2). Make the filling by mixing together 1/4pt double cream with a 6oz can of condensed milk (I used half of a 397g can). You don't need to whisk for long...just mix them together.

3). Slowly beat in the juice of 2 large lemons. As if by magic...the mixture thickens!

4) pour mixture on top of biscuit base and chill.

This was mine...

Not quite like the photo, but it was lovely!

Chocolate Crunch Pie

1). Crush 4oz digestive biscuits and stir in 2oz melted butter. Press into a flan dish with the back of a metal spoon. Chill.

2). Make up a packet of chocolate angel delight with single cream (instead of milk) and pour onto biscuit base. Smooth over and chill.

3). Whip 1/4pt double cream and pipe onto chocolate. Drizzle with chocolate sauce (I used the chocolate sauce for ice-cream).

This was mine...

Montelimar Pudding

Mine looks nothing like this!!!

1). Chill a 6oz can of evaporated milk  in the fridge (I used half of a 397g can).

2). Dissolve a raspberry jelly in a little boiling water then make up to 1/2pt with cold water. Cool until sloppy but not set. 

3). Whisk the evap milk until light and foamy. Then whisk in the cooled jelly...it will start to thicken.

4). Stir in the juice of 1/2 a lemon...and the magic happens again! Add 1tbsp caster sugar and 2oz chopped marshmallows (I used 7 large marshmallows and snipped them with a wet pair of scissors!) 

5). Mix and pour into a serving dish. 

We haven't eaten ours yet (today's tea) but it looks like this...

The original recipe uses lemon jelly and glacé cherries. We don't like those cherries and I already had the jelly, plus we have already had a lemon pudding this week, with lemon meringue pie coming up.

Eating a pudding each day means I can serve up smaller portions of our main meal which contains expensive meat. I am also trying to stick to three meals a day without snacking! 

Please let me know if you try any of these recipes and if you enjoyed them.

Thanks for reading,

Mandy x

Monday, 8 September 2014

Meal Plan Monday...

Hi everyone,

Here is what we'll be eating this week...

Sunday roast chicken, roasties, stuffing, bread sauce, cheesy leeks, carrots, greens and runner beans and gravy. Chocolate crunch pie.

We ate this yesterday and it was lovely!

This is a spare dinner that Charlotte will eat today because she's not keen on beef casserole and hates dumplings!!

Chocolate crunch pie...a little bit of retro heaven!

Monday beef casserole in the slow cooker and chilled lemon flan.

Tuesday porc a la creme and rice. Montlimar pudding.

Wednesday corn and ham flan, homemade wedges and beans. Toffee peaches.

Thursday gourmet sausages, mash, carrots and broccoli. Lemon meringue pie.

Friday chicken pilaff and peach dessert.

Saturday bacon cakes, homemade chips and beans. Homemade vanilla slices. 

Yes, there is a lot of meat in our diet, but I use less and stretch it out with veg etc. my husband has a very manual job and I'm no longer serving him up the likes of macaroni cheese for tea after a hard days work! We love a gravy dinner! 

It had turned colder here, I even put Daisy back in tights and vests and cardies, but now it is red hot again. We are back to sun tan lotion, hats, shorts and ice lollies! Today is hot and I've got the slow cooker going with a casserole and I've been ironing while Daisy naps...not ideal!

While I've been away from proper blogging, I've been catching up with things, celebrating Daisy's second birthday and having a good think! Every now and then I need to re-evaluate and make plans, sometimes changing things. I got on well with my daily blogging, but illness definitely got in the way. I didn't want to put too much pressure on myself so faded away for a while. I have decided to blog when I have something worth reading! Rather than looking for things to interest you, I intend to blog about what we've been up to. Meal plan Monday will remain, but my top tips and thrifty ideas will be 'talked' about as and when. If I do something and think you would appreciated me sharing it with you, then it will be written about that day. I love Wednesday baking, but I will share my baking as I go along. The same with my cooking and recipes. If you see something on my meal plan that you like the  look of, please leave a comment and I will share the recipe. I will also continue to share my thrifty purchases (loads of photos to come). Not much sewing going on lately, but there will be soon!

So, apologies, but I need to write my blog according to my lifestyle...

I hope you will enjoy reading in the future :)

Any recipe requests for this week? Dinner or pudding, it's all homemade.

One last thing...I had the absolute pleasure of meeting one of my readers a short while ago. She was lovely and really made my day! It's a small world.

Thanks for waiting for my return,

Mandy x

Monday, 1 September 2014

A very special birthday...

A quick blog post before I go to bed...

Today has been a very special day...

A very special little girl celebrated her second birthday today...


Back soon!

Mandy x