20 minute chicken broth

Having given up on having a ‘proper’ meal last night and opting for fish fingers, I decided I would make something better. However, I still have limited time so I made a 20 minute chicken broth. First I placed a chicken carcass (hate that word but chicken bones with some nice roast meat still on it) in a pan with some water and a stock cube and boiled, adding chunks of one carrot. I took out the bones after a while, separated out the meat and added it back into the broth. Meanwhile I cooked a handful of Chinese rice noodles until soft. They went into a bowl first topped with the broth and the meat/veg. A very tasty and quick dinner if I do say so myself! Obviously you could add more vegetables. It would be good with baby sweetcorn or mange tout.


Bonfire night

It’s Bonfire night and I’m dreaming of the weekend to come. That is when I shall celebrate Bonfire Night with my friends (although last year it blew a gale and we got soaked. PLUS, they didn’t even light the bonfire…on BONFIRE night.) This weekend is also when we are having a family autumn party. So as I sit here in my large pink fluffy socks and tartan slippers with a huge bowl of earl grey tea (it is literally a bowl, the cups just weren’t big enough), I am wishing for some autumn classics. We have a large amount of pumpkins, so I am thinking pumpkin soup to start. Then bonfire bangers and mash (made into a bonfire shape.) Followed off by toffee apples. Then decorating leaf shaped biscuits, making leaf bunting, toasting marshmallows and carving pumpkins (artistically you understand.) If all this happens, I will certainly get my autumn fix of colourful, warming, steaming-hot goodness.

Recent food pictures

DSC_0122 DSC_0125 DSC_0128 DSC_0131 DSC_0132 DSC_0134 DSC_0139 DSC_0148 DSC_0151 DSC_0163 DSC_0174 DSC_0175

There’s been home made pizza, bean burgers, turkey schnitzel with coleslaw, sausage pasta, gluten free Toad in the Hole, potato bake, pie, tuna steak with mango and pepper salad (also included some photos of home produce that we are rather proud of.)

Next menu

Having been inspired in my last menu by Delia’s ‘Frugal Food’, I am now planning my next menu. It is now moving towards what I cook in short amounts of time when I am tired in the evening/can be slow cooked/can be bulk cooked and varied for lunches. A website I have been looking at is: http://onceamonthmeals.com/paleo-october-2014-menu/ The ‘poppers’ listed below are inspired from here: http://www.onelovelylife.com/chicken-zucchini-poppers-gf-df/
Another useful website: http://www.dinneralovestory.com/what-to-cook-tonight/
Mini pizzas are inspired by http://agirlcalledjack.com/2014/09/03/one-a-penny-little-duck-pizzas/ as is the chicken liver Bolognese http://agirlcalledjack.com/2014/01/22/best-ever-bolognese-with-lentils-and-chicken-liver-49p/
I am also starting to think ahead as we have a store cupboard of jam full enough to feed an army http://www.thekitchn.com/32-sweet-and-savory-things-to-do-when-you-have-too-much-jam-193374

I have not included all the meals on the menu here as I didn’t think they were all interesting enough to mention!

Sunday 5th October
B- Scrambled eggs
L- Butternut squash gratin with lardons and hazelnuts

Monday 6th
B- Fish finger sandwiches
L- Potato and cheese cake (like a giant potato frittata/rosti)
T- Meaza (Pizza with a meat base)

Tuesday 7th
L- Pasta salad with homemade tomato sauce and cheese
T- Egg fried rice

Wednesday 8th
L- Ham and salad sandwich

Thursday 9th
L- Courgette and chicken poppers and salad

Friday 10th
L-  Tuna and apple salad in a roll
T- Mushrooms on toast

Saturday 11th
L- Fennel and apple coleslaw with pork schnitzel
T- Out at event/soup from cupboard

Sunday 12th
T- Slow cooked beef stew

Monday 13th
Noodles with thai sauce and stir fry
T- Onion, goats cheese and spinach pasta

Tuesday 14th
L- Roasted veg with goats cheese
T- Mini pizzas

Wednesday 15th
L- Roasted veg with couscous
T- Split pea Dhal with curried spinach (make more than needed)

Thursday 16th
L- Roasted veg with ham
T- Sausage, apple and leek pies

Friday 17th
L- Dhal dip with carrots
T- Liver and lentil bolognese

Saturday 18th
B- Bacon and eggs

Quick tea

This evening is a quick one-pot-wonder inspired by a Nigella recipe. It’s a yellow split pea and frankfurter curry. Sounds weird but it works. I’m just adding curry powder, a stock cube and some stir fry veg. Mmmm


Today is Saturday, and that means a lie-in. Plus, of course, brunch! We (well, my husband) have a nice walnut loaf which I got at  a lovely new bakery. Then we have eggs (of course, because of our very helpful chickens) and many tomatoes. Today is also in general going to involve researching and cooking lots of ways to use green tomatoes. Being a fan of ‘Fried Green Tomatoes…’ that one will definitely be on the list. Then we have some bacon and et voila. A good brunch. Obviously, if we were going all out, we would probably add sausages and mushrooms and hash browns and tomato ketchup and some sort of relish and maybe a muffin and yoghurt and fruit salad and some juice but this is the ‘every day’ brunch version!

In the mean time, I am planning our next two week menu (ideally £50 for 2 for two weeks) and I am using these websites as a helping hand:





and of course, the Queen of frugal foods, Delia:



I love Mexican food. Tonight I made frijoles. I presume this is not the traditional method. However, I softened onions and garlic, added some chopped tomatoes (may I add that we grew theme, I use the word ‘we’ loosely, I really had nothing to do with it). Then added kidney beans, salt, pepper, cayenne chilli and cooked down and mashed. Then I heated them up later. Et voila- refried! I served with my new favourite- Sudanese flat breads. Having run out of plan gluten free flour, I am currently using bread flour which turns out to be a good alternative as they come out thicker and fluffier. This was all served with tomato salsa and two fried eggs. Tasted goooooood. If I do say so myself. On a student-y side note, also very low cost and using every day, store-cupboard ingredients!