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Savvy shopping, seasonal eating and thrifty recipes. Spend less on groceries and enjoy better tasting, easy to prepare meals your friends and family will love – all on a budget.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

New Walkers Mighty Lights - Review

**This is a Sponsored Post **


Our typical holiday lunch, with the addition of crisps - which is very unusual.
I have a confession to make, we don't normally have crisps in the house.  We tend to snack on fruit, vegetable crudites or homemade baking.  My children enjoy crisps at parties or friends houses but I don't usually buy them.  When I was asked if we wanted to review new Walkers Mighty Lights I think my children would've gone insane had I said no.  They may have cheered and danced around the lounge when the package arrived.

My daughters tend to turn into ravenous locusts in the holidays devouring much more food than during term time.  I am sure their Summer growth spurts are a result of having more time at home to raid the cupboards and fridge.  All 3 agreed that the crisps were tasty, flavoursome and they would like some more please, thank you very much.

Here's what Walkers say about Mighty Lights:

It can be tricky to find great tasting lunchbox snacks that keep both kids and mums happy.  NEW Walkers Mighty Lights are in stores now ready for the start of the new term.  NEW Walkers Mighty Lights ridged crisps are tasty yet light with 30% less fat. Made from real potato with no artificial colours or preservatives and no MSG, they’re perfect for lunches.


Available in three delicious flavours:  Cheese & Onion, Lightly Salted or Roast Chicken flavour.  No artificial colours or preservatives, no MSG and suitable for vegetarians.  

Here's what we had to say:

My daughters though the crisps were delicious and enjoyed each flavour with Cheese and Onion being the unanimous favourite.  The crisps weren't too salty or greasy and the flavourings stayed on the crisps rather than transferring to fingers and inevitably clothing.  Flavourings were flavoursome but not overpowering and the packs were just big enough for a snack without overfilling little tums.  At £1 for a six pack on offer at the supermarket at the moment the price is fairly reasonable.  

Our school is a health promoting school so crisps aren't allowed in lunchboxes, much to my relief.  I would consider buying these crisps as a treat for school holidays, parties or perhaps occasionally for weekend trips and outings.  The fact that they are lower in salt, fat and free from nasties such as MSG and artificial colours and preservatives does make me feel slightly better about buying them.


Photo courtesy of Walkers

** This is a Sponsored Post **

Monday, 26 August 2013

Sainsbury's Ready To Roll Icing - Review


I was very curious when Sainsbury's emailed announcing that they had a new range of coloured Ready to Roll Icing and Modelling Paste for sale instore.  I enjoy working with sugarpaste and completed a Sugarcraft Diploma so I was delighted when they sent me some to review.



The icing was easy to work with but not too soft and sticky.  It held up well to being kneaded very thoroughly by my 3 daughters who also found it easy to work with.  The icing also tasted good, not all sugarpaste icings do.



My daughters had a fab afternoon with their Nana decorating cupcakes and cookies.  They thoroughly enjoyed the process and tea party that was had once all the baked goodies had been decorated.


Our conclusions: The icing was good quality, easy to work with and tasted good too.  The colours were vivid and combined well to create other colours.  The range is a reasonable price and I would buy it and use it again.

** Disclosure:  I was sent several packs of Sainsbury's Ready To Roll Icing and a pack of Modelling Paste for review purposes **

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Our Meal Plan for the last full week of the Summer Holidays - £65

Our week this week is another fairly busy one.  However, we have thoroughly cleaned the house from top to bottom and decluttered on a massive scale so we can enjoy ourselves for the rest of the holidays safe in the knowledge that the house is sorted. *polishes Queen of Housework crown*

We have more caterpillar seeking and weeding to do on our allotments.  Despite netting our Brassicas we have had a major attack of butterflies laying their eggs and we have been mounting search and destroy missions dispatching caterpillars that are trying to eat our cabbages, cauliflower and broccoli before we do. Spending time on the allotments is great fun in the fresh air and we also need to harvest some of the produce we have grown.  I also need to make several vats of jam using the currants, raspberries, blackberries and gooseberries we have grown and/or foraged.

I have included the price of the salad greens and vegetables that we are harvesting from our allotment in our Meal Plan so that those who wish to follow the plan are able to if they do not have access to homegrown produce.  As usual I shall be baking all our bread, wraps and crumpets.  I shall also be making our yoghurt using the slow cooker and an Easiyo maker with natural yoghurt added as a starter - no expensive sachets for us.

We are off to London on Wednesday for an event with Raymond Blanc.  I am SO excited! My 3 girls and my Mum are able to some along.  The event is all about a kids cooking app featuring Henri Le Worm which you can find out more about here.  Luckily hubby will be working from home whilst we are in London for the day so he will be able to have dinner waiting for us when we get home.  Result!

Friday afternoon will be lots of fun as it is the last Church Crafternoon for the Summer Holidays and it will have a beach theme.  If it rains much more we may have a beach outside!  Friends will be raiding our apple tree whilst we are crafting at Church.  We have 2 apple trees overflowing with apples which I don't want to go to waste so we are more than happy for friends and neighbours to pick as many as they like.

As usual I compared the cost of my shopping using My Supermarket.  Our Shopping List cost £65.24 from Asda on 25/08/2013.  My shopping would've cost £76.19 from Tesco or £77.39 from Sainsbury's.

Lunches

Lunches will be simple and filling, pretty much the same as last week.  Wednesday we shall be having lunch at a branch of Leon in London as a treat, thanks to my Mum for shouting us.  Our lunches will be either egg salad or cheese and salad pittas or wraps (homemade), crudités, a piece of fruit and a small baked treat. Breakfasts will be cereal and milk or toast and spread with a piece of fruit for afters.  Weekend breakfasts will be homemade crumpets and pancakes.


Dinners

Simmered Mince Many Ways - Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

Salmon and Rice Bake - Thursday

Bean Burgers with Wedges - Friday

Sausage and Vegetable Hotpot - Saturday and leftovers as pasties on Sunday


Shopping List

33 items: £65.24 purchased from Asda on 25/08/2013.

Packets and Jars
 1x    ASDA Chosen by You Swiss Style Muesli (1.5Kg)          £1.50
1x    ASDA Chosen by You Conchiglie (1Kg)                          98p
1x    ASDA Wholefoods Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg)    80p
1x    ASDA Wholemeal Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                            £1.26
1x    Jus Rol Puff Pastry Block (500g)                                       £1.10
1x    ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg)                         40p
1x    Great Scot Pearl Barley (500g)                                           64p
1x    Asda Home Baking Easy Bake Yeast (6 per pack - 42g)   65p

Tins, Jars and Cooking
 1x    ASDA Wild Pacific Pink Salmon (418g)                           £2.54
4x    ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g)                   £1.36
2x    ASDA Chosen by You Green Lentils in Water (400g)      £1.28
2x    ASDA Mexican Style Bean Mix in Water (400g)              £1.24

Frozen
 2x    ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                      £1.50

Dairy and Eggs
 5x    ASDA British Semi Skimmed Milk 4 Pints (2.27L)           £5.00
1x    ASDA English Mature White Cheddar (500g)                  £2.50 any 2 FOR £5.00
1x    ASDA English Medium White Cheddar Cheese (500g)    £2.50 any 2 FOR £5.00
3x    Suffolk Farm Medium Free Range Eggs (6)                       £3.00

Fruit and Vegetables
 2x    ASDA Salad Tomatoes (750g)                                           £3.00
25x  ASDA Bananas (Approx 170g)                                          £2.89
20x  ASDA Carrots (Approx 110g)                                            £1.98
8x    ASDA Red Onions (Approx 130g)                                    93.6p
2x    ASDA White Potatoes (2.5Kg)                                          £4.50
3x    ASDA Whole Cucumber                                                    £1.50
2x    ASDA British Iceberg Lettuce Loose                                £1.00
2x    ASDA Round Lettuce                                                        £1.00
2x    ASDA Celery                                                                      £1.00 was 89p
1x    ASDA Garlic Loose                                                            25p
1x    ASDA Smartprice Peppers (700g)                                      £1.58
1x    ASDA Spinach (350g)                                                        £1.50
1x    ASDA Juicing Oranges (1.6Kg)                                         £2.25
4x    ASDA Smartprice Apples (500g)                                       £3.60

Meat, Fish and Poultry
 3x    ASDA Butcher's Selection British Beef Mince (500g)      £6.00
1x    ASDA Extra Special Pork Sausages (10 per pack - 756g)  £4.00 any 3 FOR £10.00

Prices and special offers reflect those of the online grocery websites, and are correct as of 25 August 2013.  Prices may vary in different in-store locations.

Don't forget to check out all the other fab Meal Plans which link up over on At Home With Mrs M.


When Mum and I Volunteered at Foodcycle Cambridge



I thoroughly enjoy helping out at my local branch of Foodcycle.  You can ready about the awesome work they do and find your local branch here.  I try and help out about once every 6 weeks.  I would like to help out much more often however work and family life tend to hamper my efforts.   I've blogged about volunteering for Foodcycle before, it is a fab way to spend a Saturday morning.


My Mum was keen to come along and volunteer too.  We both enjoy cooking and cannot stand food being wasted so off we traipsed ealy one Saturday morning.  We worked solidly for 3 hours with 3 other volunteers, one of whom was the Prep Team Leader for the morning.  My poor mother had not seen or prepared so many courgettes in her life! 

Our menu for the day was:


We stayed until all the preparation and cooking had been done but sadly had to leave before pudding was served because I had to dash off for my eye test.  It was such a shame to have to leave early, next time I won't book any appointments in the afternoon.

Ratatouille Bruschetta with a side salad
Satay Stir Fry with Spaghetti instead of noodles
If you have a Foodcycle near you do go and visit, either to volunteer or to eat the delicious meal which is a bargain at a suggested donation of £2 for 3 courses.  Volunteering is lots of fun, you'll get ideas for cutting food waste in a tasty way and help prepare and serve a meal for the local community from food which would otherwise be wasted.

It gets me very cross indeed to see the amount of food which would ordinarily be wasted.  Why are there so many people in food poverty when we are wasting so much food?! I know there are schemes such as Fareshare but surely we could do so much more.  If you have non-perishable food that is unopened and undamaged which you will not use please donate it to your local Food Bank.  You can also make a donation to the Trussle Trust.

Another brilliant idea is the #22mealsforacoffee which was started on Twitter by A Girl Called Jack which encourages us all to spend £3 on a list of storecupboard items, put them in sturdy carrier bags and take it straight to a local food bank, or a friend or neighbour in need.

How do you combat food waste? Have you ever volunteered at Foodcycle or on a Fareshare harvest?    

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Warburtons Krazy Kitchen - making lunches fun

** This is a Sponsored Post **


I normally try and make all of our bread, wraps, pita breads and scrolls for packed lunches.  Occasionally I will pick up some in the supermarket for when I am unable to make my own.  Yes there are rare times when I am too tired, stressed or ill to bake my own *returns domestic goddess crown and hangs head in shame*  There are some fab products available to ensure your lunches are not boring and wraps or sandwich thins are a great alternative to sandwich bread if you fancy something different.

Warburtons have asked me to draw your attention to their campaign to Liven Up Your Lunch and bring a bit of "Kraziness" into lunchtimes with the Warburtons Krazy Kitchen Gameshow over on their Facebook page.  Lunchtimes in the school holidays can be rather crazy at times in our house too.  My 3 girls seem to be endlessly ravenous and they all like to help make lunch which can be a little chaotic at times and involve negotiation and peacekeeping skills that the UN would be proud of. 

Warburtons have filmed a series of videos starring the Griffiths and McDermott families completing lunchtime challenges to earn the title of Liven Up Lunchtime, Krazy Kitchen Challenge Champions and win a years supply of Warburtons bread.  There are also some delicious recipe suggestions on their website for healthy lunchtime treats for you and your family to try.

I was meant to be sent a hamper of goodies to try our some of their recipes but sadly the hamper was lost in transit.  I hope the person who 'acquired' my hamper has made good use of the contents and had several delicious lunches!  

Here are a couple of delicious recipe suggestions, which feature in the Krazy Kitchen video clips, to Liven Up Your Lunchtime:

Tex Mex Mayhem

Per person/sandwich you will need:

1 Tblsp refried beans
Generous handful of salad leaves
¼ - ½ an avocado, mashed
¼ of a red chilli - deseeded and finely chopped
2 Tblsp natural yoghurt
drizzle of Olive Oil
Squeeze of fresh lime juice

Mash up the avocado, lime, chilli and olive oil in a bowl.  Lay out your wrap, sandwich thin or slice of bread and spread one side of the wrap, or one slice of bread or sandwich thin with the refried beans before topping with salad leaves.  Spread the other side of the wrap, slice of bread or sandwich thin with mashed avocado and the yogurt.  Roll your wrap up and slice it or put your sandwich thins or slices of bread together and enjoy your lunch!



Chicken Supreme

Serves 2

2 Warburton sandwich thins
1 Tblsp low-fat mayonnaise
10 slices of cucumber
1 spring onion, green and white parts, finely chopped (the recipe suggested red onion but we're not fans of raw red onion so I substituted spring onion which is much milder)
Generous handful of lettuce or salad greens, washed
1 cooked skinless chicken breast, or 150g leftover shredded chicken

Spread the sandwich thins with low fat mayonnaise then arrange the cucumber and spring onion on top.  Slice the chicken breast and put half on each sandwich then top with salad greens.  Put the other half of the sandwich thins on top.  Enjoy your lunch!

Photo courtesy of Warburtons

** This is a Sponsored Post **

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Sainsbury's Big Book Of Summer - Review


I was intrigued when I saw this book for sale in my local branch.  If we are stuck for activity or craft ideas in the Summer and holidays I usually look for ideas from fellow bloggers or various craft and activity books from the library.  The £5 price tag seemed a bit expensive but I was curious enough to buy a copy after discovering, via tweeting with Sainsbury's, that the book hadn't yet been comprehensively reviewed.  There is a website promoting the book and some press release style blog posts but nothing offering a decent review of the contents and an opinion on the pack.


The pack comes with a scrapbook which you can fill in with details and photos of your holiday adventures - very handy when the kids go back to school and are inevitably asked to write about their holidays.  The pack also contains a DVD with instructions for the various craft projects and activities along with the Bumper Book of Summer and a poster with 100 stickers.



The Bumper Book of Summer contains over 60 activities suitable for ages 3 - 12 years and beyond.  The activities are colour coded according to type.  There are craft, cookery, nature, imaginary and active/energetic activities.  Each activity has a step-by-step guide along with the preparation time required, suggested activity length, minimum ideal age of participants and whether the activity is suitable for good weather, rainy days or all weather.



In my opinion £5 is a reasonable price for the product and it is good value.  For roughly the cost of a cafe coffee and muffin you get a great resource with loads of ideas for activities to fill the summer holidays and beyond.  The book is not confined to the Summer Holidays as there are activities which are suitable for all weathers and it will liven up many Half Term Holidays and weekends I am sure.

 I was both pleased and relieved that the 20 cookery activities weren't all cupcakes and sweet bakes, there are some fab savoury ideas.  Recipes cover brunch, lunch, dinner and a couple of sweet treats.

Some of the nature activities would be difficult should you live in an urban area without good transport links to the coast or nature reserves; such as beach activities, pond dipping and crabbing.  Other nature activities such as growing vegetables and flowers from seed, being a nature detective and making a miniature garden pond would be easier to do in an inner city area as most towns and cities have parks to explore and should you not have a backyard or a tiny back garden then activities could be done at friends or relatives who do.

Most activities are gender neutral and there is a good mix of sporty and creative activities as well as ideas for encouraging kids to use their imaginations both inside and outside the home.  Most activities are low or no cost which is a welcome change from some activity based books which require lots of equipment or craft materials.

There's a Sainsbury's Boredom Busting Ideas website which contains loads of activities, some from the book and some extras, should need inspiration and ideas for holiday fun and not want to purchase the book.  There are some of the instruction videos from the book on the website too.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Our Family Meal Plan for this week 19/08/2013 - £64

Apologies for the lack of Meal Plan last week.  We spent the weekend undertaking a mass decluttering of our house and garage and as a result were completely exhausted by Sunday evening.  I did have a Meal Plan but lacked energy and motivation to blog it.

We've been busy at the allotments, showing my Mum the museums, Central Library and other venues in Cambridge over the past couple of weeks.  I travelled to Gloucester on Tuesday, stayed overnight, then back on Wednesday (4.5 hours train travel each way) followed by an event in London on Thursday evening.  We visited the Science Museum yesterday and are feeling rather tired as a result today.  

This week we are helping at two Crafternoons at our Church and attending a Hobbycraft free craft session on Wednesday.  Other than that we will be just chilling out at home and the allotments, a welcome respite from holiday outings.

I've used free range eggs and free range chicken in my Meal Plan, you could of course cut costs by using non free range products.  I have also included rather a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, we have crudites with lunch and a piece of fruit with breakfast, you could also cut costs if you chose to purchase your fruit and vegetables from a cheaper source or grow your own.  We grow quite a bit of our own but I have formulated the shopping list with the cost of those included to make following my Meal Plan easier if you are unable to grow some of your own food.

I have compared the cost of our shopping as usual by using My Supermarket.  Our shopping this week cost £64.42 from Asda on 17/08/2013. Had I shopped elsewhere my shopping would've cost £71.31 from Sainsbury's or £71.47 from Tesco.  I found it interesting that there was only 16p difference between Sainsbury's and Tesco, I've not had such a small difference in cost between them before.  It shows how fierce price competition is becoming between supermarkets and how it is useful to compare prices at supermarkets to get the best quality and value for your money.

Breakfasts will be either toast with spread or cereal and milk with a piece of fruit for afters as usual.  On the weekend I will probably make pancakes one morning as a treat.

.
Lunches

Whatever Fritters

1 cup “whatever” filling you like (banana, diced apple, sweetcorn, grated vegetables, leftover ham - not all together!)
1 cup plain flour or wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
about 200ml milk

Sift the dry ingredients in to a bowl then add egg and enough milk to make a smooth batter. Stir in whatever' filling you like.

Cook in a pan with a little sizzling butter until golden on both sides and cooked through. Banana or apple fritters are great for a breakfast treat. Savoury fritters can be served a salad for lunch or dinner.

Brunch/Lunch Bread Cases

Bean Burgers

Twice Baked Potatoes

Crustless Salmon Quiche

5 free range eggs
1/2 cup plain flour
75g grated cheddar
1 200g tin salmon or tuna, drained
2 spring onions, green and white parts, finely sliced
1 handful chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
finely grated zest from a washed lemon
a few grinds of black pepper
400ml milk

Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan.  Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.  Pour into a lined 23cm cake tin or flan tin.  Bake for 50 - 60 minutes until set and golden on top.  The quiche is ready to come out of the oven if the mixture doesn't wobble if you jiggle the tin slightly.  We will be devouring this with salads.


Dinners

Burritos

I make my own tortillas/wraps because it is cheaper and my children like to help make them.  Store bought ones are fine and not too expensive when they are on offer.  This recipe served 6 generously for dinner.

500g mince
3 tins chilli beans
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 Tblsp Worcestershire sauce
12 tortillas
Shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, grated cheese and soured cream - to serve

Put a fryingpan over a moderately high heat.  Brown the mince and break it up as it cooks.  Pour off any excess fat from the mince.  Stir in the chilli beans, chopped tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce.  Simmer until the mixture thickens.

Spoon the mixture into tortillas/wraps and add shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, grated cheese, and a dollop of soured cream.  Roll up and enjoy.


Chicken Pie

You can make your own pastry or use store bought shortcrust pastry, either is fine.

Pie filling:
500g block shortcrust pastry
300g pot soured cream
4 tsp curry powder, I used mild
1 Tblsp wholegain mustard
1 Tblsp honey
2 free range eggs
2 cooked chicken breasts or 300g leftover cooked chicken
400g cooked potatoes, diced (or use leftover diced roast vegetables)

Preheat your oven to 210C/190C Fan.  Roll out 2/3 of the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and line a 20cm/8 inch springform cake tin with the pastry.  Make sure the pastry comes at least half way up the sides of the cake tin, I usually make sure the pastry comes three quarters of the way up the side of the cake tin just to be sure it will be high enough to hold the filling.

Combine the filling ingredients in a bowl.  Pour the filling into the prepared pastry case and smooth the top.  Roll out the rest of the pasty to make a lid for the pie, use the cake tin as a template and cut around it to make a perfectly fitting lid.

Put the lid on top of the pie filling and use the excess pastry from the sides of the cake tin to fold over the lid and crimp to seal.  Use the tip of a sharp knife to cut a couple of small steam vents into the pie lid then brush with milk to glaze.

Bake for 40 - 45 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling piping hot.  Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving.  We usually serve ours with salads or steamed greens and mash or potato salad.


Lentil and Root Vegetable Curry

2 tsp oil
2 onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups green lentils
2 Tblsp curry powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1.5 litres vegetable stock
2 cups mixed root vegetables, peeled and diced

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a moderate heat and saute the onion and garlic until the onion has softened. Add the spices to the pan and stir for a minute or two until they are fragrant. Add the lentils, stock and vegetables then bring to the boil.

Simmer for around half an hour until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has mostly been absorbed. Serve with cooked rice. We add some steamed greens or mixed vegetables on the side for added veg content.

Toad in the Hole

Homemade Pizzas

Fish Pilaf

Macaroni Cheese with mixed vegetables, my Mum requested this dinner :o)


Shopping List

39 items: £64.42

Packets and Cereals
2x    ASDA Smartprice Cornflakes (750g)                                        92p
1x    ASDA Wholefoods Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg)          80p
1x    ASDA Wholemeal Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                                    £1.26
1x    ASDA Smartprice Plain White Flour (1.5Kg)                           45p
1x    Jus Rol Shortcrust Pastry Block (500g)                                     £1.10
1x    ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg)                                40p
1x    ASDA Smartprice Pasta Shapes (500g)                                    32p
1x    Asda Home Baking Easy Bake Yeast (6 per pack - 42g)     65p
1x    Great Scot Green Lentils (500g)                                                 £1.29

Tins, Jars and Cooking
1x    ASDA Wild Pacific Pink Salmon (418g)                                   £2.54
1x    ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g)                        31p
2x    ASDA Chosen by You Chilli Beans (290g)                              96p
1x    ASDA Smartprice Red Kidney Beans in Water (400g)          27p

Frozen
2x    ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                             £1.50
1x    ASDA Whitefish Fillets (500g)                                                    £2.00

Dairy and Eggs
2x    ASDA Soured Cream (300ml)                                                    £1.80
5x    ASDA British Semi Skimmed Milk 4 Pints (2.27L)                 £5.00
1x    ASDA English Extra Mature Cheddar (500g)                          £2.50 any 2 FOR £5.00
1x    ASDA English Medium White Cheddar Cheese (500g)         £2.50 any 2 FOR £5.00
3x    Suffolk Farm Medium Free Range Eggs (6)                            £3.00

Fruit and Vegetables
2x    ASDA Salad Tomatoes (750g)                                                   £3.00
25x ASDA Bananas (Approx 170g)                                                  £2.89
1x    ASDA Lemons Loose                                                                   30p
12x ASDA Carrots (Approx 110g)                                                     £1.19
1x    ASDA Smartprice Mushrooms (750g)                                      £1.49
6x    ASDA Onions (Approx 230g)                                                     £1.24
1x    ASDA White Potatoes (2.5Kg)                                                   £2.25
1x    ASDA Butternut Squash (Approx 850g)                                  72.3p
4x    ASDA Whole Cucumber                                                              £2.00
2x    ASDA British Iceberg Lettuce Loose                                         £1.00 was £1.00
2x    ASDA Round Lettuce                                                                  £1.00
1x    ASDA Celery                                                                                  50p was 89p
1x    ASDA Smartprice Peppers (700g)                                              £1.38
1x    ASDA Spring Onions                                                                    50p was 74p
1x    ASDA Juicing Oranges (1.6Kg)                                                   £2.25
3x    ASDA Smartprice Apples (500g)                                                £2.70

Meat, Fish and Poultry
1x    ASDA Butcher's Selection British Beef Mince (500g)            £2.00
3      ASDA Free Range Chicken Breast Fillets (100g)                    £4.43
1x    ASDA Extra Special Pork Sausages (10 per pack - 756g)     £4.00 


Prices and special offers reflect those of the online grocery website My Supermarket, and are correct as of 17 August 2013.  Prices may vary in different in-store locations or on individual online supermarket shopping websites..

Don't forget to check out the other Meal Plans on the Meal Planning Monday linky over on 
At Home With Mrs M
.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Allotment Update - The Antipodean Visitor Edition

We've just got back from two hours hard work at the allotments for the second time today.  It was a warm sunny day and we enjoyed being out in the fresh air and getting some exercise.  There's nothing tastier than eating homegrown produce as fresh as can be that you've grown yourself.  It truly is much better and more delicious than buying produce from supermarkets which has probably been in suspended storage for more than a little while.  My Mum is visiting from NZ for a month and has been helping with gardening and watering duties, it is fab to have another pair of hands to help.

The School Allotment


The lettuces which had bolted have been dug out and new lettuce, leek and kale seedlings planted. We also planted some beetroot and turnip seeds on the bed where the Swedes are. Hopefully they will start to germinate and show signs of life over the next week or so. Three were weeded and we planted more turnip seeds, carrots seeds, over winter spring onion seeds and also spinach seeds.  Our Brassica bed is doing well despite a few being munched in places by an as yet unidentified pest. The netting has been raised so cabbage white butterflies cannot land on our precious plants and we've checked them all for eggs and caterpillars.  We've also made sure the netting has no gaps for those pesky butterflies to sneak through.



Our Shared Allotment

This allotment needs weeding again but will have to wait until over the weekend.  We weeded thoroughly recently but it only takes a couple of rainy days followed by a couple of sunny days for the weeds to come back in full force.


Our rainbow chard and potatoes are growing well, as are the tomatoes and rhubarb.  The currant bushes and raspberry canes in the fruit cage are providing produce for many jars of jam, jelly, syrup and compote.  Out salad greens are also growing well and our beans, after a slow start, are getting somewhat over excited.  We have a glut of courgettes and beetroot too so expect a few recipes using those to appear on my blog shortly.  I have harvested onions and a few corn cobs too.


My 3 girls also decided to forage for some wild berries in the hedgerow before harvesting yet more raspberries and currants from our shared allotment fruit cage.  We had a brilliant time today!  Lots of free fresh produce, fresh air and exercise.  If you can get gardening and growing we heartily recommend it!


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Quick Eggless Banana Bread


We made a delicious Eggless Banana Bread this afternoon as a boredom busting activity and afternoon tea snack.  It is so easy to bake and make with kids and lets them try out lots of skills.  Measuring ingredients, rubbing the butter into the flour, mashing bananas and mixing with a bread and butter knife are all tasks that can be easily shared out between willing helpers - not to mention cleaning up afterwards.  Baking is great for building maths skills and developing motor skills as well as learning to take turns.

Quick Eggless Banana Bread

450g self-raising flour
50g brown sugar
75g butter, diced
2 large over-ripe bananas, peeled
125ml milk

Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan.  Line a tray with non-stick baking paper.

Measure the flour and butter into a large bowl.  Rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.

Stir through the brown sugar then make a well in the dry ingredients.

Mash the bananas in a large jug, add the milk and mix together until combined.

Add the banana and milk mixture to the dry ingredients.  Using a bread and butter knife mix everything together using a cutting motion until just combined.

Turn out the sticky and soft dough onto the prepared baking tray and gently pat into a large round about an inch (2.5cm) high.


Bake the loaf for 35 - 40 minutes until golden and cooked through.  Cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely or serve warm.  We had ours spread with a little butter and drizzled with a little golden syrup.


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Turkey Kebabs - Two Ways

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I've been challenged once again by the lovely folk at Lean on Turkey to show how versatile turkey can be, and this time the theme of our challenge was Kids and Picnics.


My kids love kebabs, food on sticks somehow seems much more fun, and that's what they suggested I make when I asked for their ideas.  We were planning a picnic dinner our neighbours when the UK weather decided to unleash a torrential downpour complete with accompanying thunder storm.  Undeterred we had an indoor dinner and the kebabs which were to be served in tortilla wraps with salad ended up being served with rice and mixed vegetables.  The silver lining of the thunderstorm was that we discovered these kebabs are both tasty and versatile, hurrah!  I managed to sneak out after the downpour and take a photo of our kebab dinner before it was all devoured.

I decided to flavour the turkey kebabs two different ways because our diners were picky not everyone likes satay or honey soy but most people like at least one or the other.

Satay Marinade

1 Tblsp oil
1 onion, very finely chopped
1 tsp ginger, finely grated
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp curry powder, I used mild)
4 Tblsp crunchy peanut butter
200ml water
2 tsp honey
1 Tblsp soy sauce
1 Tblsp freshly squeezed lemon juice


Honey Soy Marinade


2 Tblsp soy sauce
1 Tblsp honey
1 tsp tomato paste
1 Tblsp oil
1 Tblsp wholegrain mustard


If you are using wooden skewers soak them in water for at least half an hour before you use them to avoid them burning.  Make the marinades in two seperate bowls.  Add half of the sliced turkey to each bowl.  Coat the turkey in the marinade and leave to marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Thread the turkey onto the skewers and preheat your oven to 180C.  Line an oven tray with a double layer non-stick baking paper folded in the middle to form a division which will enable you to cook both flavours of kebab at the same time.  


Lay the kebabs on the prepared oven tray and cook in your preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes until the turkey is cooked and the juices run clear.  Serve with mixed vegetables and rice or remove the turkey from the skewers and serve in tortilla wraps with salad.  I normally cut off the sharp end of the kebab skewers when serving them to children or remove the meat from the skewers completely for very young children.

Cost of dinner for 7 purchased from Asda

1x  Butcher's Selection Turkey Mini Fillets (573g)  £5.00

1x  Smartprice Crunchy Peanut Butter (340g)  40g used costing 8p
1x  ASDA Mild Curry Powder (80g) 5g used costing 6p
1x  Root Ginger (Approx 420g)  88.6p, 20g used costing 5p
1x  Lemons Loose  30p
1x  Garlic Loose  25p
1x  Colman's Wholegrain Mustard (150ml)  15ml used costing 10p
1x  Clear Honey (227g) 25g used costing  13p
1x  Double Concentrated Tomato Puree (200g)  5p
1x  Amoy Soy Sauce Reduced Salt (150ml)      40p

Served with the kebabs:
1x  Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)  75p
1x  Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg)  40p

Total £7.57 just over £1 per person.




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