All posts by BusyMetti

I'm a busy working mum, with a lovely baby boy "Blipson" and a hard working husband Mr Chris. Both me and my partner works full time and Blipson goes to nursery every day. I commute to my work place in London from my home, the journey takes around 2 hours door to door. However, my aim is to still deliver as many homecooked, cheap and hopefully healthy meals for my family. This does mean we buy food from the "Shit corner" also known as the reduced aisle in supermarkets and in general try to be smart and creative in our cooking.

Traditional Danish “Dreamcake”, waiting for Baby to arrive, lets bake and eat cake! (£2.48 for full cake or 28p a piece)

Traditional Danish Cake, Dreamcake from Brovst – Drømmekage Fra Brovst


Yes, I’m still waiting for Baby “Flipper” to make its arrival and I’m getting impatient, only because I really wanted to have a natural birth experience… But unfortunately, it now seems that Baby “Flipper” got other ideas and instead I’ll be induced tomorrow morning, which means no water birth for me. Makes me slightly sad, especially as my birth experience with Toddler “Blip” was rather traumatic.

Believe me, I have tried all the tricks in the book to get this labour started, but no luck. Only thing I keep reminding myself off is as long as the baby is healthy, that is all that matters. Also, at least my nausea and throwing up will be over when he comes into this world. Can’t wait for that.

But, I may just try and see if a walk will do the trick. I kind of invited myself over for a cup of tea at a friend’s place. So, I thought, why not bake a cake firstly it is a horrible rainy day, secondly when it rains there is nothing cosier (hyggeligere as you would say in Danish) than a homemade cake!

This cake, I remember from my childhood, I remember it from going to our neighbours and families houses for tea time and I was served. It was such a treat, as my mum (who I obviously love) would never cook anything this unhealthy! Way too much sugar and white flour! I can still see the face she would make if we got served this, almost of fury… we still ate it though.. My mum always was and still is quite health obsessed, sometimes a bit too much, it doesn’t help that she does suffer from a whole range of allergies, but I still love her – to the moon and back.

Now traditionally, this cake does not have the chocolate in the topping, so feel free to leave it out, I just love it as it reminds me of a giant bounty! Also, you could make it without the vanilla, this is traditionally in the cake but it still taste really nice without it.

This cake makes 9 generous pieces, but is easily doubled. What is important is to use a baking tin with high edges, as the cake raises and when you put the topping on it will fall down the side of the cake if not proper contained. Believe me, I have tried this… Not an experience I would like you guys to try.

A Danish expression says, “By experience you become wise, but seldom richer” which is very true.

Apologies for the quality of the picture, but as I’m taking the cake with me to a friend, I didn’t really want to start cutting into the cake. But this is how it looks before it is cooked.

Now, hopefully, next time I write a blog, it will be with the news of the arrival of Baby “Flipper”!

Dreamcake, Drømmekage fra Brovst

Servings 9, generous portions (Total price £2.48 or 28p per piece)

Baking time approximately 25 min.

Ingredients:

Sponge:
100 ml Milk (either whole milk or semi skimmed)
25g Butter (preferable unsalted)
150g Sugar (granulated sugar is fine)
2 Eggs (medium)
125g Plain Flour
1 ½ Tsp baking powder
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Cake Topping:
50g Butter
50ml Milk (either whole milk or semi skimmed)
115g Light muscovado sugar (you can use the dark variety as well, makes it taste a bit more bitter)
25g Dark Chocolate (Optional)
100g Desiccated Coconut (unsweetened preferable)

Method:

  • Start by turning on the oven to 200C (conventional oven) or 180C (fan assisted oven). Then put some baking paper in a small square baking tin 7”x7” or (18CMx18CM).
  • Add the milk and butter to a small saucepan and warm it up on low heat, until the butter has melted. The mixture should be around 36C warm, so comfortable to touch with your finger. It is important it’s not scolding hot. When melted, turn of and leave.
  • Weigh off the flour and baking powder in a bowl, and leave it ready to mix into the batter.
  • In a bowl add the sugar and the two eggs and with electrical mixers, mix until it becomes a white airy sticky consistency. Then add the vanilla extract and give it another mix.
  • Now, you need to add the flour and baking powder to the egg mixture. For the best result, I would recommend sieving it into the mixture then fold it through as carefully as you can. Try to avoid knocking out too much of the air, when the mixture is almost combined slowly fold in the milk and butter mixture (don’t wash the sauce pan).
  • Make sure there is no flour lumps in the batter, before adding it to your baking tin, and bake for approximately, 20 minutes, or until a knife come out clean if you poke the mixture.
  • Whilst the cake is baking, you need to make the topping for the cake.
  • In the same sauce pan you used for the milk and butter earlier, add the butter, milk and sugar you need for the topping. Then on a low heat, make sure the mixture melts together to one mass (make sure it doesn’t burn), add the dark chocolate (if using it) and stir until melted. Now add the coconut and turn the heat up slightly, cook it through until well combined, you don’t want it runny, but not too set either.
  • When the sponge is baked, take it out of the oven, and turn up the oven with 20 degrees (so 220C conventional oven or 200C for fan oven). Now, spread the topping on top of the cake in an even layer and place it back in the oven for approximately 5 minutes, or until you can see the topping is bubbling all over. It is really important to keep a good eye on the cake at this point in time. You don’t want the topping to burn.  When you take out the cake, the topping will be extremely warm, leave to cool and the topping should become more set, but still nice and moist.

Eat it when cooled, I prefer it with a nice cup of tea – back home, as a kid it would be juice or as an adult properly a strong cup of coffee, but as I live in the UK I prefer it with tea. 😊

The egg, sugar, vanilla mixture
The topping before added to the sponge
The sponge when ready for the topping

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per August 2017)

To bring down the price, I find buying the coconut at Asian Grocery stores, is a huge saving. But, used Tesco prices as usual for consistency.

Ingredients:
Milk ((£1.00/2272ml) x 150ml) = 7p
Butter ((£1.30/250g) x 75g) =39p
Sugar ((£1.35/2000g)x150g) =11p
Eggs (8p each) = 16p
Plain Flour ((55p/1500g)x125g)=5p
Baking powder 5p
Vanilla Extract ((£1.30/35ml)x5ml)= 19p
Light muscovado sugar  ((£1.50/500g)x115g)= 35p
Dark Chocolate (Optional) ((0.45p/100g)x25p=12p
Desiccated Coconut ((£2.00/200g)x100g) =£1.00

Total price: £2.48  (per piece 28p) 

 

Baked Eggs Also Known as Turkish Eggs.. (85p per portion)

Now, you may be wondering why I haven’t been updating my blog for a while, but since my last post I have had contractions on and off, and my midwife has said that I’m in beginning stages of labour. Well, this has gone on for a week now (I’m 39 weeks) and I’m getting increasingly impatient and moody. This has meant that looking at my blog or even writing or cooking has been the last thing on my mind… Instead, I have tried to keep my head nice and calm and not lose it (too often) with Toddler “Blip” and the Husband.

But, as nothing seems to be happening, I have decided I better try and get this labour on its way. Let’s just say I have tried walking, up and down stairs and all the other tricks in the book, but spicy food I haven’t really done yet. So therefore, this dish is perfect, especially with the extra chilli (you can leave this out).  Also, I have been craving baked eggs for a while. Now if you are purist and like your recipes to be authentic please look away, as this recipe is not authentic, I have added my own spin to the Turkish baked eggs also known as Shakshuka. To stretch it further I have occasionally (not this time) added a can of chickpeas to it.

I’m a huge fan of aubergines, and often got 1 laying around in my fridge, and I find it especially good in this dish. It’s not in the traditional recipes I normally have seen, but trust me its nice. I have also added extra chilli, well to be exact a full chilli instead of the half I would normally add (well I did say I wanted this labour to progress!). But please feel free to leave it out or use as much as you like.

There are loads of different versions of this dish, also with chorizo which is wonderful.

One of the things I find really important when you cook is to amend the dishes to fit in with you and your families taste. No point in making something that you already know the family don’t like, so if a dish calls for coriander and you really dislike it, CHANGE it…. It’s your food and your dish!.

As this dish is spicy, I’m not expecting Toddler “Blip” to eat it, he will have a taste, but got him a portion of his favourite n food at the moment, Macaroni Pasta.. If you got kids and you still want it to be spicy, you could just do as I sometimes do with dishes, and add chilli oil to your finished dish.

Normally, I would serve this dish in the big frying pan, or cast iron pan, with all 4 eggs baked at the same time. But as the Husband was coming home later, and he wanted one portion for lunch, and I want a portion tomorrow as well, I ended up making the tomato base first, then reheating it all with the individual eggs. You also, put this in individual ramekins and then bake, perfect for lunch.

The tomato sauce before the eggs are added. 

I do apologies, it may be a while before I add another blog post, depending on when Baby “Flipper” actually decides to do his appearance, I will update you when we know more. 😊

Baked eggs

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 tbsp veg oil
1 Red or green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 Medium white onion finely chopped
½ Medium aubergine, cut into 1cm matchsticks (optional)
3 Garlic cloves minced
½-1 Red hot chilli finely chopped (optional, or to taste)
1 Tsp cumin
1 Tsp smoked paprika
1 Can chopped tomatoes
125g Roughly chopped spinach
1/2 Tsp salt
1 tsp Pepper
4 Eggs
Parsley – Small bunch,  (roughly chopped) to serve  

Method:

  • Firstly, add the oil to a pan, then add the chopped onion and peppers to the pan, cook for 4 minutes on a medium heat until starting to soften. Now add the Aubergine, and cook for a further 4 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the pepper and aubergine has become soft.
  • Now, add the garlic, chilli, paprika and cumin and cook for a further minute.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes to the mixture, fill up the tin again and add the same amount of water to the pan, then add the salt and pepper. Leave the pan to simmer for 15-20 minutes on a medium heat or until the sauce is thickened.
  • Now add the chopped spinach and stir it through until wilted, adjust the seasoning.
  • Make 4 wells (holes) in the sauce and add the eggs, you can now either put a lid on top of the pan and let it set, or place it under the grill for a few minutes. But keep a good eye on it, you don’t want it totally set, the yolk should still be runny.
  • Serve it with the chopped parsley on top, and just a pinch of smoked paprika.
  • It taste really good with a nice piece of bread on the side as well. But there are lots of different options for toppings though, avocado, feta cheese etc. Let your imagination go wild.  

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per August 2017)

Ingredients:

Vegetable oil 6p
Bell Pepper 52p
Medium onion 10p
Aubergine 35p
Tinned tomato 31p
Spinach 95p
Garlic 9p
Chilli 30p
Cumin 5p
Smoked paprika 5p
Eggs 32p
½ tsp salt 1p
Pepper 1p
Parsley 25p

Total price: £3.37  (per portion 85p) 

 

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum? Hyperemesis Gravidarum means Excessive nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.

I thought I would add a blog post, that is totally unrelated to my normal food posts. Why, you may ask? because, I have mentioned more than once that in this pregnancy I have suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum.  It’s a pregnancy complication that is very underestimated and not very well known.

If you read this post and think you are suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum and are not getting the help you need, please contact PSS the Pregnancy Sickness Support in UK. They are amazing and will help you get the treatment needed! https://www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk/

Morning_sickness_or_Hyperemesis

Now most of you have probably heard about morning sickness or pregnancy sickness, which is a better term for it (as it does not only happen in the morning). It is well known that 7 out of 10 women will experience some level of Nausea during pregnancy. This is expected and for most people it will settle by week 12. Also, the nausea or pregnancy sickness is not overwhelming and the woman can continue their lives more or less as normal.

But then you got woman who suffer from the rarer form of pregnancy sickness, also known as Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). Approximately 1 out of 100 pregnant woman suffers from this during their pregnancy and it is extreme. Imagine having an extreme hangover, where you can’t sit up, even the smell of coffee, food, your partner makes you feel horrible. Sitting up in bed you feel like throwing up the room spins and you can’t even have anything to drink as it makes you throw it straight up. With the hangover, you know that within a few hours or if really bad, at least by the next day you will feel better.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is like a hangover from hell, but instead of it disappearing within a few hours days, it continues for ever. For me it lasted from week 6 to 32 in a really bad way, then from week 32 I have been slightly better and feeling at least a bit better. I have actually been able to cook for the last few weeks, but still being sick up to 10 times in a day. If lucky, only 3 times a day… those days have been a blessing.

 

What is even worse than suffering from HG is that professional people like doctors and midwifes often does not now a lot about this sickness complication and therefore doesn’t take it seriously.

In my first pregnancy, with Toddler “Blip” I had never heard about HG, and when I went to the doctors and told them that I had been sick more than 20 times in the day and hadn’t been able to eat/or drink for almost 3 days, all I was told was that it was normal to be sick and to try and drink more water and eat small meals. I was informed that some women had more problems to accept they are pregnant and therefore psychologically they couldn’t manage as well and morning sickness felt worse than it was.

It took doctors 8 attempts to take blood and get me drip due to being dehydrated. Every time my veins collapsed. It was so painful!

When I went back from that doctor appointment I felt so bad, I felt that it was me that was wrong and couldn’t cope. The following day I was so bad that I lay down with a pillow in the bathroom so I didn’t have to move when I had to throw up. When my husband came home he took me straight to A&E who admitted me straight away to get medication and fluids. First at this point did I learn about Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Even then, it wasn’t treated proper at doctors etc. More than once I was made to feel bad that I had to take medication for the sickness… But first pregnancy was the easy one. I had one hospital admission…

Second pregnancy, was a total different ball game. I have been admitted 6 times… at week 38 I’m still on 3 types of medication, and still throwing up multiple times a day. Last night, I was up at 1am throwing up, 2:37, 3:16 and a further 3 times… But at least I was able to request medication and treatment from the beginning of the pregnancy… I still ended up in A&E twice due to my doctor surgery refusing to give me medication.

What NOT to tell a woman suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum

       Have you tried, Ginger, sea bands, Lemonade, herbal supplements, thinking about something else, small meals etc….

I can tell you that when someone has thrown up every day for weeks and months then they have tried everything… believe nobody would ever want to have their heads down in a toilet for 9 months!!!


       You should just eat small meals

No, you just don’t get it… I can’t eat anything, small or big… everything is horrible!

       It’s just mind over matter

This is probably the worst you can suggest to someone with HG, because it indicates that there is something wrong with the person who is suffering, and HG isn’t real. Believe me it is very real… You wouldn’t tell a person with a broken arm to just ignore it, so why would you tell someone with HG that it is not real?


       Just remember that if you are sick your baby is healthy…

This is not true, with extreme sickness HG both mummy and baby are at risk of losing their lives. Especially when not correctly treated.

       You should not take medication whilst pregnant it is dangerous for the baby.

When a woman is pregnant she would always want to do the best for her baby, and believe me there is more than enough guilt associated with not being able to eat and being so sick. I can tell you, had it not been for the medication, neither, Toddler “Blip”, Baby “Flipper” and I would not be alive…

       Oh, I had that, but I had to go to work…

Well in that case, you definitely did not suffer the same form of HG as me, I couldn’t even get out of bed!

       Have you tried Ginger… Just stop


       You are so lucky to not gain weight
No I’m not.

       Just be grateful you are pregnant; many women can’t become pregnant.

 

If you think you suffer from Hyperemesis Gravidarum and you are in the UK then please contact PSS. https://www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk/ They are amazing and will support you to get the right treatment!!

 

The pictures are borrowed from PSS with permission. 

Please do not suffer in silence, and raise awareness where possible x

Low Carb Fish – 12 fish cakes £1.84 or 16p per cake.

 

Now, I cooked and wrote down this recipe a few weeks ago, but never got around to post it to my blog. Being busy with Toddler “Blip” and having a few rough days again with Hyperemisis Gravidarum.

Now, why I though, making fish cakes for my husband was a good idea when feeling rubbish.. (it must be love).. At least I’m much better than in the beginning of the pregnancy, and managed to survive it, with only a couple of times having to lay down on the sofa… Ohh.. I can’t wait to see Baby “Flipper”.. until week 30 of my pregnancy, I couldn’t even open a cookbook, I was feeling so badly.. but now I can actually manage. I’m still on 3 different types of medication, and the one day I forget even one pill I’m in big big trouble. But then the family still needs to be fed.

What surprised me mostly, was that when I served this for Toddler “Blip” he happily ate a whole fish cake and asked for seconds. I served it with potatoes for him (he needs the carbs) and some salad. I ended up having a rice cracker. Which is totally against my house rules, which states that everyone eats the same or go hungry, no I don’t actually starve Toddler “Blip” but he has to try the food. If not, I’ll end up cooking 3 different types of dinners, which I can’t be bothered to do. But having Hyperemisis Gravidarum, whatever, gets you through is allowed.

My husband had it with a huge portion of salad with homemade Tartare sauce. The following day he took it with him for lunch, with salad and some fried Halloumi on the side.

I should add that I felt so horrible when I cooked this that I never managed to take a picture of the fishcakes on its own. The picture was taken by the husband when he put together his lunch in the morning!.

The husband did ask me to make it again for him, and for me, that is always a good indicator to if he likes the food or not. I must admit that I won’t be making anything with fish again for a whilst… not until I’m well over this pregnancy!!

Low Carb Fish cakes

Serves 4 – Makes 12 small cakes.

Ingredients:

200g white fish deboned
50 g of either Rocket, Spinach or Watercress (I used a mixture of all 3)
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves (optional)
1 large egg (or 2 small eggs)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp turmeric
½ tbsp lemon juice (optional)
Zest of a lemon (optional)
2 tbsp veg oil for frying

Method:

If the fish is frozen, ensure to fully defrost the fish before preparing the fish cakes. In a food processor, coarsely chop the fish, (make sure it doesn’t become mushy). Then put the mixture into a bowl, (if the fish was frozen beforehand, you may want to put it in a colander to ensure any excess liquid drips off).

In the same food processor, add the onion, garlic, and rocket/spinach and mix until it has become finely chopped. This could be done by hand as well.

Mix it all together, adding, salt pepper, turmeric, lemon juice and the zest of a lemon.

Form the fish cakes into 12 small fish cakes or 8 larger ones. Then fry until golden in vegetable oil in a frying pan, make sure to not flip them too early, as this will make them break up.

These fish cakes can be enjoyed either cold or hot.

Carb count

I used the Fitness Pall App to calculate this.

Because there is no potato, or flour in this recipe, 12 fishcakes, comes in at 11 Carbs in total, which about 2.75 per person. – It does however, mean that the texture is different compared to normal fish cakes, and they break up more easily when cooking them.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017)

Ingredients:

Tesco Everyday Value white fish fillets (£2.00 /520g)x200g =77p
Rocket/spinach/watercress (£1.00/80g)x50g =63p
Onion 5p
Garlic 6p
Egg 8p
Salt 1p
Pepper 1p
Turmeric 2p
Lemon juice – 18p (approximately ½ lemon).
Zest of a lemon – Free, as you are using the lemon for juice.
Veg oil  (£2.95/3000ml)x30 ml = 3p

Total cost = £1.84 for 12. Per fish cake 15p

 

 

 

 

Grandmas Apple cake – Traditional Danish cake

Some of you may wonder why I haven’t posted until this afternoon, main reason was that Toddler “Blip” hasn’t been feeling too well this weekend. A “lovely” tommy bug, which I’m praying that I’m not getting. Being 37 weeks pregnant I really do not need that. The husband also wasn’t feeling too well.

Anyhow, today, Monday and Toddler “Blip” seems much much better, but I decided it probably was better to keep him home from nursery today. So, he requested to bake a cake, this definitely indicates he is better. How proud he was when we finished baking that cake!

I have been looking through, some old recipes, I got from my dad, they belonged to my grandma and are mostly written on small random pieces of paper and very few instructions. Therefore, I had to use a bit of my baking knowledge and the memories I got of apple cake. I never met my paternal grandparent as they passed away before I was born. But this type of cake is very popular back home or at least it used to be. I have baked it a few times now and made sure to perfect the recipe.


Really, it’s more of an Autumn cake I would say but you can bake it at any time, served nicely on a lovely plate a cup of tea and with whipped cream, this is so cosy or as you would say in Denmark, it is proper Hyggeligt!

The recipe card said use down fall apples, I think this was meant to be in Autumn, when you collected the apples from the trees and they were a bit bruised etc. I just used some wrinkled apples we had in the fruit bowl, I always seems to end up with some that are a bit wrinkled.

By the way, as you can see the kitchen was a proper mess, why? because, I didn’t follow any of my own guidelines for cooking with a toddler… LoL.. yes, there is a reason I normally follow them. I think that pregnancy is making my brain a bit fuzzy!

Grandmas Apple cake

Serves: 9 pieces

Ingredients:

3 apples
1 ½ tbsp cinnamon
2 eggs
125 g unsalted butter
250 g granulated sugar
250 g plain flour
2.5 tsp baking powder
150 ml milk

Topping:

1 apple
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp granulated sugar

Method:

Start by peeling and cutting 3 of the 4 apples into squares, add to a bowl, mix with the cinnamon and leave to the side. Peel and cut the remaining apple in to thin wedges, leave for the top of the cake.

Melt the butter in a pot, whilst melting combine the eggs and sugar in another bowl and mix with a hand mixer until it is a white and airy mixture.

Then mix in the flour (I don’t sieve it), baking powder, milk, and melted butter when all combined you should add the apple pieces. Make sure it is well combined.

Pour the mixture into a baking tray lined with baking paper 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) approximately.  Then add the reserved apple wedges to the top and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the top.

Bake for approximately 1 hour at 180C in fan oven or until a knife/skewer comes out clean.

This can be eaten straight away and warm, or you can serve it with whipped cream or I seem to remember it was served with Crème Fraise.  Alternatively, you could just eat it as it is.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017) – I would recommend for spices to look in your local Asian grocery stores, you can get it much cheaper.

Ingredients:

Apples 60p (6 in a packet for 89p)
Cinnamon 40p (if you buy it from an Asian Grocer it is much cheaper)
Eggs 16p
Sugar 17p
Butter 65p
Plain flour 9p
2.5 tsp baking powder 8p
Milk 7p

Total: £2.22, (per piece 25p)

 

Almost free, Chicken Stock (1.5l for 31p) – Freezer challenge

The freezer challenge

So, I have mentioned before that I save bones and skin and roasted carcasses from any chicken we eat in the freezer until I got a large portion. Then I make it into a super delicious stock, believe me, it can be used for so many things, soup, risotto, anything that requires stock. This time, I only had a small bag full of bones and skin, but it was more than enough to make 1.5l of stock!.


All it took was my slow cooker, the bones, and a few vegetables peelings and spices and stock was made. Obviously, it takes some electricity as well. But, when calculating the price of the stock, I do not calculate in the bones/skin, as that is calculated into my original dish (like the fake away I mentioned yesterday).


I think my husband thinks I’m slightly nuts making stock out of this, as I could just throw it, but I do enjoy it. I remember my grandad mentioning that under the second world war this was done and absolutely, nothing was wasted! Ohh.. how I miss my grandad and grandma at times. I wish I had asked them many more questions when they were alive, but at least I spend a lot of time with them.

Chicken Stock

Approximately 1.5l

Ingredients:

Skin/bones of chicken
3 cloves garlic
1 cm ginger, finely chopped
1 small onion, halved

The washed peel of a few potatoes and carrots (or you could just cut a carrot finely/and a potato)

Whatever, else of sad vegetable ends you got in the fridge. But nothing too overpowering, like broccoli and cauliflower (except if that’s the flavour you are going for).

Salt and pepper.

1.5-2l water (depending on your size of slow cooker as well)

Method:

There are two ways to do this A or B (I prefer B)

A) Bang it all in the slow cooker on high, forget about it for 4-6 hours or longer. This will intensify the taste. If you don’t find the taste strong enough, leave the mixture on high without lid for a while to intensify further.

After 4-6 hours, add salt / pepper to taste then strain the mixture and it is ready to be used.

B) Put all the ingredients into a pot and place on the stow (the inside of my slow cooker can go straight on the stow). on high heat, and roast the mixture, until the skin, bones starts slightly colouring and releasing the oils. Then add the water to the mixture and bring to the Boil.

When Boiling, put it into the slow cooker and leave it on high for 4-6 hours or longer, then after this time, add salt/pepper to taste. Strain the mixture and it is ready to be used.

If you don’t find the taste strong enough, leave the mixture on high without lid for a while to intensify further.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017)

Ingredients:

Chicken bones and skin (free)
Garlic 9p
Ginger 5p
Onion 10p
Salt and pepper 2p
Left over vegetable peelings 5p? (estimated as it depends what you are using!)

Total 31p

Sweet and Sticky Chilli Chinese Chicken Fakeaway Stir fry (89p per portion) – The Freezer Challenge

Freezer challenge 

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I’m doing a bit of a freezer challenge, as we got way too much random stuff in the freezer that needs using up. I would like to get as much of it used before the baby arrives. However, I do think I have started way too late to achieve this, but never mind.

My husband was away yesterday for a business meeting, so only needed to cook for myself and Toddler “Blip”, however, I still ended up cooking for 4. At least I can freeze the portions and I got some ready meals for when the baby arrives.

Now, you may ask what is a Fakeaway? In my opinion, it is exactly the same as a takeaway, except that it is made at home and it resembles a takeaway. I always, like to cook from scratch, one, it is cheap, two, I know what goes into the food and three I know how fresh it is.

In the freezer, I had quite a bit of chicken, 2 drumsticks and 4 chicken thighs. In general, I like to use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast for stir-fries, it got more taste and it is much cheaper. I must have been lazy when I froze the thighs, (or just pregnant) as I froze them with skin on and bones in. But never mind, I defrosted it and removed bones from thighs and drumsticks and there was almost 450g of meat. Which is a perfect amount for 4. But you can use more/less as it fits with your family, don’t forget you can always bulk it out with more vegetables.

Now, with the skin and bones, don’t throw it away, instead debone them and remove the skin then put it in a separate freezer bag and keep in the freezer, until you got quite a large portion. Why you may ask? Because it makes a fantastic stock (almost for free). I will post the recipe for that another day.

I served the Fakeaway with rice which Toddler “Blip” loves. He tried the chicken and vegetables but wasn’t keen, but at least he tried it.

Also, because I cook it wanting my son to eat it, I don’t add the chilli, but use my special chilli oil instead.

Sweet and Sticky Chilli Chicken Stir-fry

Serves 4

Ingredients

450g chicken thighs (bones and skin removed) cut in chunks
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Cloves of Garlic (finely sliced)
2 Cm Ginger finely cut (finely sliced)
2 Hot Dried Chillies (or 2 teaspoons hot chilli flakes or to taste)
1 Medium onion (cut into wedges)
2 Medium carrots (cut into slices)
1-1/2 bell peppers cut into bite size pieces (I used a combination of red, yellow and green, but you could choose just one colour)
3-4 Medium Mushrooms (quartered)
Handful Sugar Snap Peas
2 Spring onions (diagonally sliced)
1/2 tin pineapple pieces (reserve juice for Marinade)
Handful Salted Cashew nuts (optional)

Marinade

All the juice from the Pineapple tin
3 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp Corn flour
Served with rice for four, approx. 240g

Method:

This dish is really best if you can let the chicken marinate for a few hours or overnight. I marinated it for 6 hours. However, even if you just marinated it for half an hour it would still taste amazing.

Start by mixing all the ingredients for the marinate, leaving the corn flour out, this needs to be added at the last minute when cooking. Then cut the chicken into bite size pieces and combine with the marinate. Leave covered in the fridge until needed.

Because this is a quick cook, you need to prepare all your vegetables before starting to cook. You won’t have time to do it as you go along.

Slice the garlic and ginger and place in a bowl with the chilli. Then cut the onion and carrot, and bell peppers and place together with the mushrooms and place in a different bowl. Then wash the sugar snap peas and place it in a bowl with the spring onions.

Have the pineapple pieces ready and the cashews if using them.

The cooking

Cook rice as per packet, or your preferred method (I use a rice cooker)

In a none stick wok, add the oil, and bring it up to high heat, then add the garlic, chilli and ginger and fry it for around 30seconds to 1 minutes. Now, with a slotted spoon remove the chicken from the marinate and place in the wok (reserve the marinate, we need this later). Now stir-fry the chicken for around 2-3 minutes until its coloured all over. If you find that a lot of marinate came into the wok, then pour it off back into the reserved marinade.

Now add the onion and the carrot to the wok and cook for a further 2 minutes. Then add the bell peppers and mushrooms cook for another minute. Then add the pineapple pieces and pour in the reserved marinade (except for 2 tbsp worth), give the mixture a good mix and cook for around another 2 minutes, until it starts slightly reducing. Then mix the corn flour into the last bit of marinade and pour it into the wok give it a good stir. At this point add the Mangetout and spring onions. Cook until it got a sticky consistency, shouldn’t take long.

Serve, with the cashews on top, with steamed rice on the side. Prawn crackers goes well with it.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017)

Ingredients:

Chicken thighs 99p
Vegetable oil 3p
Garlic 9p
Ginger 10p
Dried Chillies 5p (bought at Asian Grocer)
Medium onion 10p
Medium carrots 5p
Bell Peppers 46p
Mushrooms 20p
Sugar Snap Peas 35p
Spring onions 10p
Pineapple pieces 30
Cashew nuts 20p

Marinade

Ketchup 5p
Tomato puree 5p
Brown sugar 5p
Ginger 10p
Garlic 6p
Soy Sauce 10p
½ tsp salt 1p
Pepper 1p
Corn flour 3p
Rice 11p

Total price: £3.59  (per portion 90p)