Wednesday 31 October 2018

Day Fifteen - Meals

Pre Breakfast - Coffee

Hot lemon water wouldn't cut it this morning I needed some caffeine in me before I braved the frost to go and thaw out all the chickens and the wild birds water drinkers   :-)

While I was out doing all my chores I regretted not putting some porridge to soak, but by the time I had done the drinkers, walked the dogs round the paddock, smashed through the ice on the sheeps troughs and buckets, filled up the log basket and stacked the logs by the side of the log burner, then swept out and relaid the fire for tonight ...

... I was nice and warm and my double helping of yoghurt with a third of a tin of peach slices was very welcome.  (1)

Dinner was a bowl of my Leftovers Soup and the last of the garlicky croutons.  (1)

And my tea was made in exactly the same way as the other week.

Using the pastry I made yesterday.

Lovely, but so filling, I couldn't move after eating it all.  (1)

Just 3 of my 5 a day again ... must do better!!


Day 15 - Pastry, Crumble and Croutons

I'm a lazy cook at times I admit it, I could quite happily live on the same things day in day out.  In my mind some ruts are good ... so why climb out when you're happy in the dip :-)

 Because of this I really have to be in the mood for baking and cooking so the way I tend to do things is when I am in the mood I crack on and do a few things at once.  

The other day was a case in point.  I really needed to get some things done or live on toast, toast and more toast but luckily I was in the mood ... so I weighed out some of my flour and fat rubbed in the mixture and then divided it between two bowls.  

One bowl went savoury with some salt added, and with a splash or two of water was turned into a nice little lump of pastry.

The other bowl had all of my 'free' sugars added and a large handful of porridge oats.

Which made a tub of crumble mix, enough for the three tubs of apple slices I had.  

We've already eaten one and the other two will be consumed over these last two weeks of the Challenge.  Crumble mix freezes perfectly and stays free flowing, and of course the beauty of it is, if you decide you don't want it to be crumble you can always add water to it and it's just a pastry mix or scone mix ... even with oats and sugar added.

While I was in the mood I also decided to turn one of my crusts into some Garlic Croutons to have with my Leftovers Soup.  Of course I have no fresh garlic, or the tubes of paste that i would usually use for this sort of things, but I did have my dried chopped garlic.

So while the crust was cut into little squares and left to go stale for a few hours in the warmth of the kitchen, the dried chopped garlic infused in a couple of tablespoons of the vegetable oil.

It worked ... the croutons were not as garlicky as I usually have them but the flavour was there after they had been stirred through the oil and then left to dry out in the bottom oven of the Aga for a couple of hours.


Tuesday 30 October 2018

A Rummage Through the Cupboards/ End of Week Two

The End of Week Two photos show that I have lots of food left in stock.

The cupboard is looking pretty healthy.  The only dried thing still untouched is the rice, I need to do something about that I usually eat a lot of rice.

The fridge shelf is looking good too ...

... although there's less in the drawer.

In the freezer I've got lots of goodies, including two tubs of Pasta Sauce left and four tubs of homemade soups, plus the makings of two more Apple Crumbles.  

There are just four slices of bread and one crust left though, time to start looking out for a yellow-stickered loaf methinks.

I still have lots of my basic store cupboard items left along with ...

... my last three potatoes.

I have plans for these today  :-) 

I have spent a total of £21.39 during the first two weeks of the Challenge ... I have £6.61 remaining.

But as you can see I have lots of food still to use up, so I think I will try and hold onto my money for as long as possible and instead of being tempted at the shops see what I can make over the next couple of days to use up the last of the fresh foods.


Day Fourteen - Meals

Breakfast - Porridge
50g dry weight of oats made ...

... 445g porridge.

Yes, I did add a bit too much water by mistake, but it was pretty tasty actually, and nice and warming after cleaning out the hen-house on this our first really frosty day of this Autumn.

Lunch was a scavenged affair, something I allowed myself after graciously sharing last nights Apple Crumble with Alan.  With him away for a few days I found a badly wrapped lettuce in his salad drawer and a bread roll that had previously been frozen so couldn't be popped back into the freezer.

These with the best four slices of a sad, limp cucumber that was actually destined for the chickens, formed the basis of my quick lunch.   There's some lettuce left, so I've wrapped it properly and I'm claiming it as my own ... on the understanding (of which he will be very grateful) that I share my other two Apple Crumbles with him when I cook them.

So an unexpected salad bun for lunch.  (1)

And a bowl of the 'leftovers soup' for my tea served with some freshly made 'garlic croutons'.  (1)

Followed later by a glass of orange juice to try and bring my 5 a day count up to a more respectable level.  (1)

Even with this I only managed 3 of my 5 a day today  :-(


Day Fourteen - Basic Bean Burgers

Basic Bean Burgers

1 tin of Beans
1/3 Pack of Stuffing (about 60g)
Sprinkle of Garlic Granules
Handful of Porridge Oats

Mix them altogether.

And form into four Bean Burgers

I checked they were the right size to fill my little yellow stickered bread rolls and then popped them into the fridge to firm up.

Two of the burgers were wrapped in clingfilm and put into the freezer.  Then I sliced up an onion and got the ketchup on standby.

The other two were served for my tea on Day 11.  
They proved to be much too filling, one burger on a bun and a few potato wedges might have been better.

I'll be honest they weren't  overly flavourful, maybe a good sprinkle of my dried herbs would have made them  better but I didn't think they would need that with the stuffing mix being so 'herby', or maybe a sprinkle of chilli flakes if I had had some.  But with the nice chunky slices of onion and plenty of tomato ketchup they made a nice and completely different sort of meal.

Even though there was only a little bit of onion left over I saved it, and it became the onion in  the cheese and onion buns I had the next day.


Monday 29 October 2018

Day Thirteen - Meals

Breakfast - A quarter of my tub of yogurt and my last banana, followed of course by the obligatory coffee or two.  (1)

Mid morning a glass of orange juice.  (1)

Lunch - Beans on toast and in a swapsie with Alan ...

... he had half of my serving of beans and I had a little fried egg.  (1)

After lunch, with it being Sunday we had half of one of my just made Apple Crumbles each. (1)

Alan had his with custard ... he owes me a swap!!

Later for tea, I took some of my frozen peppers ...

... the last of my wholewheat spaghetti ...

... and cooked them together.  

The spaghetti went in first then the peppers dropped in for the last couple of minutes.

It made for a tasty bowl of pasta tastiness with a couple of dollops of my Green Pesto.  (1)

Today's 5 a day came quite easily  :-)


Day Thirteen - Swapsies


With some meals it would be churlish and time wasting to be measuring different portions from different places when we are eating together and eating the same thing  ... so I am being very open to what I've nicknamed 'swapsies'.

Our morning porridge for instance, we don't always both have porridge but when we do we either measure from my bag or from the jar on the shelf, then at the end of each week I count up the times I have eaten porridge and make sure what is left in my bag is the weight it should be.

The other day Alan had a portion of my soup and the swap here was immediate.  For the bowl of soup I took a slice of his toast ... I was doing him a favour, my soup was a much tastier and healthier lunch then three slices of toast would have been.

The night we had 'green spaghetti' I used my spaghetti to make both portions but then later I measured 100g of the white spaghetti that was in the pasta jar and added that, wrapped separately, to the bag of spaghetti on my shelf to keep the record straight.

I don't think we have made any slip ups yet.

As Alan is now eyeing up my soon to be Apple Crumble, I will have to think of a suitable swap for a portion of that.  But as Alan is away for some of this week my food will be mine, all mine and things will be a lot simpler. 


Sunday 28 October 2018

Day Twelve - Meals

Breakfast was toast with spread and marmalade and a couple of coffees, 
while I was reading my way around Blog-land.

Lunch - a couple of cheese buns with LOTS of onion.  (1)

Washed down with a glass of orange juice.  (1)

Tea was lovely, a pasta bake made with two tubs of my pasta sauce, dolloped with some of the green pesto, and as I also made a portion for Alan he had his with some cut up chunks of venison sausages.  (3)

He owes me now for a portion of pasta sauce ... I'll talk about Swapsies tomorrow  ;-)

Managed to get to my 5 a day.


Day Twelve - Nothing Soup

Soup from virtually nothing, that's what I'm calling this weeks batch of soup.

First I raided the fridge for all the bits and bobs in the salad drawer, I used the tail end of the celery and the dried ends of each stick, carefully wrapping what was left for use during the week.  I had half a marrow sized courgette left from last weeks soup and I chopped the splayed ends of each of the baby leeks I picked this week from the Net Tunnel ... and weighed these all out.

Then also from the fridge I took out the jug of vegetable cooking water, added the spinach blanching water which I had reduced by boiling it away for a while.  The peelings that I have been saving each time I have had occasion to peel the veg I have been cooking with were plucked from the freezer and mixed together.  Also from the freezer I took the spinach stems chopped off the other day when I blanched the spinach.

Then I added some flavourings from the cupboard, and a handful of red lentils for the protein punch they give.

Everything was sauteed briefly and then the stock added and the whole lot was left to simmer away gently in the bottom oven of the Aga for a couple of hours.

Once everything was nice and soft the whole lot was blitzed with a stick blender and became this pan of slightly murky coloured but absolutely gorgeous tasting soup.  Nothing wasted, nothing sieved out, served just as it was with some toast.

I got five good portions from my minuscule and almost free ingredients and each bowl counts as two of my five a day.