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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.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Pancake Day - Savoury and Sweet Treats

I am so glad that Pancake Day falls in the Half Term holidays for us this year.  Making them on a normal morning whilst trying to get everyone organised and ready for school can be very challenging indeed.  We're having a relaxed breakfast this morning.  I've make Scotch Pancakes aka Pikelets and laid out a variety of toppings so my family can create their own custom pancakes.

Scotch Pancakes aka Pikelets

This is my Nan's recipe for Pikelets that I grew up with. Sometimes I add some grated apple and a little cinnamon or some mashed banana for a change. My kids love them as a school holiday treat or occasional after school snack. They're really easy to make and ridiculously cheap too when you're feeding a crowd.

150g plain flour 

1 tsp baking powder 

2 Tblsp sugar 

1 large free range egg 

120ml milk 

1 Tblsp melted butter 

Put a large frying pan over a moderate heat and melt a little butter in to grease the pan.  Sift flour into a mixing bowl and add sugar. Mix together egg and milk and mix into dry ingredients. Add melted butter. Add 2 tablespoons of mixture to the heated greased pan. Cook for approximately 2 minutes on medium heat, until bubbles appear on the surface of the pikelet. Turn over pikelet and cook until other side is golden.


Quick and Easy Crepes

For savoury crepes leave out the sugar.  You can treat crepes like tortillas and fill them with savoury fillings for a fab lunch or light dinner option.  For a sweet treat we normally have lemon juice and a sprinkling of sugar or grate some chocolate over the crepes.  

Makes 8 - 10 crepes

150g flour 
2 free range eggs 
20g melted butter
20g sugar 
300ml milk 
30g dark chocolate 
Melted butter to grease the pan

Put the flour and sugar into a bowl, stir to mix. Make a well in the centre. Use a whisk to mix together 2 eggs, 300ml milk and 20g melted butter together.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour and sugar then whilsk, gradually mixing in the flour until you have a smooth and well combined mixture. Cover and leave to chill in the fridge for half an hour. 

Heat an 18-20cm frying pan over a medium heat. Lightly grease with a little butter. Pour 60ml crepe batter into the middle of the pan then swirl the pan around so the mixture spreads out and coats the base of the pan. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until the crepe turns golden and the edges look cooked. Carefully turn the crepe over and cook for a further 30 - 60 seconds. Transfer to a plate and repeat until all the batter has been used.



Here's some more inspiration from my fellow Food Bloggers:

Pancake Day recipes from Fab Food for All
Chocolate Chip & Raisin Scotch Pancakes from Tinned Tomatoes
Bacon Pancakes from Kavey Eats
Pancake Pizzas or Green Pancakes & Ham from Fuss Free Flavours
or head over to Jen’s Food for 14 Fabulous Pancake Recipes 

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Wholegrain Goodness - What happens when you ask kids to follow a healthy recipe?

I'm really lucky that my children aren't fussy eaters.  There's probably only one or two things they will flatly refuse to eat but on the whole they are willing to try almost anything and we eat a wide variety of foods.  

I know for some parents getting kids to eat healthily can be a daily battle.  It can be exhausting trying to convince them that vegetables and wholegrains are good for them and are delicious.  I find getting kids to help prepare the food helps, as does serving vegetables prepared in different ways.  For example, my youngest daughter would happily munch on raw carrots and much prefers them to cooked carrots. 

Wholegrain Goodness is a non-profit organisation for the promotion of healthy wholegrains.  They recently undertook a survey that revealed that three in ten children think healthy eating is boring, a quarter think healthy food doesn’t taste nice and nearly two thirds don’t think it’s important to eat healthily. 

I think that a big issue may be the lack of experience children have of preparing food with only a quarter regularly help make meals, with twice as many boys than girls having never helped prepare a family meal. Despite this, more than one in three say they would like to cook more. 

To show how much kids can enjoy cooking Wholegrain Goodness let six children loose in a professional kitchen with a wholegrain pizza recipe, the result is a lot of fun and the video is worth a watch:



The video features a Wholegrain Goodness recipe: Vegetable and Salsa Verde Scone Pizza – with just 451 calories per serving, as well as two portions of wholegrain and three of your 5 A Day.

You can also search their online recipe index which contains with surprisingly good, healthy recipes for the whole family.

Find all you need to know about wholegrain, oats and rapeseed oil, including recipes and nutritional information at WholegrainGoodness.com – an independent, not-for-profit campaign launched by HGCA.

**Sponsored Post**

Monday, 9 February 2015

Our Family Meal Plan for this week - 09/02/2015 - The Second Flying Solo Edition

This week is another flying solo week as hubby is still on bed rest.  To all those who care for ill relatives on a full-time basis, I salute you and admire your patience, stamina and fortitude.  I am starting to lose my sense of humour on occasion.  Looking after 4 children, one of whom is a baby, and an infirm and largely miserable husband is challenging and exhausting in equal measure.

Enough of my woes and whining! Our Meal Plan this week is another low faff one, I need us fed well in quick time as evenings are hectic and at times somewhat feral when all the kids are tired.  I haven't had time to do a shopping list again this week, apologies I must try to do better. 

Breakfasts will be weetabix with warm milk and fruit compote.  Packed lunches will be Calzone with crudites, herbed yoghurt dip, a piece of fruit and a baked treat for afters.  Lunches at home for hubby and I will be soup with homemade bread rolls.  I made a couple of large batches of soup in the slow cooker, and a couple of batches on the stovetop, over the weekend and froze them in portions for the week ahead.  There is enough soup for my children to have a cup of soup to warm up when they get home from school too.  



Dinners

Roast Chicken with roast vegetables and Yorkshire Puddings

Vegetable Pasties using roast vegetables


Chicken and Vegetable Risotto

Herby Crusted Salmon with mash and mixed vegetables


Cheese and Vegetable Puffs with Sweet Potato Wedges







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


Sunday, 1 February 2015

Our Family Meal Plan for this week - 02/02/2015 - The Flying Solo Edition


My husband has had major medical issues again and has finally been allowed home today after a few days in hospital.  He will be on bed rest, apart from bathroom breaks, for a week. I wasn't planning on going back to nursing quite so soon! He'll need dressings changed, help with showering/bathing, medication dispensed, and all the food and drink he needs delivered to either our bed or the sofa. At the end of his bed rest I think I will need a week in bed to recover.

All this means I will be basically solo parenting 4 children for another week, as I did last week whilst he was in hospital.  I have always respected and recognised how hard it is for single parents but have an entirely new level of admiration after all of this.  I will of course need a low faff, low stress meal plan this week.

Breakfasts will be porridge or Weetabix with warm milk.  There's fruit compote to go with both breakfast options.  On the weekend we may have pancakes or crumpets, depending on how tired I am by then.

My daughters are having packed lunches which will be Wholemeal Savoury Swirls with crudites, herbed yoghurt dip, a piece of fruit and a baked treat for afters. I had thought about giving them flasks of soup again but they said it was OK to save that until a less busy week and I wasn't about to argue.







Dinners






Homemade Fish and Chips

Macaroni Cheese with Vegetables

Apologies as once again there's no shopping list. I don't have the time or energy this week with all that is going on.  Thank you so much for understanding.