Weekly Budget – Freezer Meals

An obvious solution for budget friendly meals is making big batches and freezing them for another time. This can often feel daunting to me, so I would much prefer to make a meal, eat half, and save only one containers worth for later.

I myself have a small freezer and cannot handle having it full to the brim with unidentifiable meals, so I like to keep track of what I’ve made and it eat it up within the month.

Here are some great meal ideas that caught my eye – the kind of recipes that you can eat half and save the rest for a night when you need a quick and easy meal.

freezermeals

Pictured above via BBCGoodFood : Lamb Souvlaki Skewers, Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup, Freezer Biscuits, Lamb and Apricot Meatballs, Friday Night Fish Pie, Cheese and Bacon Lasagne.

Below you can find the Bodum Hot Pots, which are perfect from the oven right to the freezer, as they are made from heat-resistant glass. Next we have the Casserole set which can go from freezer straight to the microwave, with vented lids. General store is perfect in these Clippit containers, which keep a tight seal, and both microwave and freezer safe. And last we have a Mason Cash earthenware dish and fun Le Creuset ramekins, so you can freeze individual portions.

storage

1 // Bodum Hot Pot Set: Red £37.50
2 // Microwave Casserole Set £10.50
3 // Clippit Storage Containers: Medium Rectangular £3.80
4 // Mason Cash Oven to Tableware: Square Dish £7.15
5 // Le Creuset Ramekins: Volcanic, Set of 2 £11.45

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Weekly Budget – Bread

I have been trying to budget my weekly shops a bit better this year, in order to keep the costs down and avoid getting takeaway when the cupboards appear bare.

This week I thought I would share a few tips and go-to recipes, which hopefully will help make the whole process easier and help save those pounds!

Today I will discuss one of my favourite budget friendly ideas – I have finally attempted to make homemade bread! It really is so much easier than you would think.

Ridiculously cheap and totally satisfying to see what you can create with such simple ingredients. My favourites at the moment are homemade pizza dough, flat breads to go with Indian meals, and easy Irish soda breads.

Pictured above via BBCFood, Top: Paul Hollywood’s Easy White Bread, Below: Perfect Pizza, Naan Bread, Irish Soda Bread.

The simplicity of a basic yeast bread recipe is typically yeast, wheat, water and maybe salt. Eggs, milk, butter or other flavourings can be added depending on the recipe. But really we are talking about a very cheap and simple starting point. Having a few kitchen basics will really help the whole thing go smoothly. Below are my choice for bread making tools.

1 // Bread Bin: Shutter Blue £24.65
2 // Sabatier Knives: 20cm Bread Knife £42.51
3 // Apple Heart Electronic Kitchen Scale £24.75
4 // Good House Keeping Wooden Utensils: Scraper Spoon £3.26
5 // Dough Scraper £3.35
6 // Pyrex Mixing Bowls: 24cm/3 Litre £8.15

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Perfect Picnics – Salads

Picnics are one of my favourite parts of spring – pack a proper lunch, grab my hiking boots and head off into the country!

I love a good sandwich, but you always need some interesting salads on hand to spice things up a bit. Below are some great recipes I plan on trying out this spring, especially as they will transport well and won’t wilt or get crushed.

Warm Potato Salad with Caesar Dressing, Layered Hoummus Tabboulleh and Feta Picnic Bowl, Mackerel and Potato Salad with Lemon Caraway Dressing, Broadbean and Courgette Salad, Easy Pasta Salad with your choice of Toppings, Big Egg Bacon and Bean Salad.

One idea is to pack a homemade dressing in a clip top jar, or make super chunky salads with lots of different textures and don’t worry too much if it get’s jostled on the way. Layering the ingredients in an air tight container also keeps anything delicate from getting crushed and helps to keep the dressing from leaking out.

I love the brightly coloured bowls and plates, as well as this amazing Salad on Ice Set – what a great idea, and it looks pretty as well, you could use this in your own backyard or out at the park.

1 // Glass Salad Dressing Jar £5.50
2 // Multicoloured Melamine Bowls: Set of 4 £8.65
3 // Progressive Small Colapsible Salad Spinner £27.50
4 // Salad on Ice Set £20.57
5 // Clippit Storage Containers: Medium Rectangular £3.80
6 // Retro Cooler: Classic Cream £54.50
7 // Multicoloured Melamine Salad Plates: Set of 4 £8.65
8 // Huntsman Hamper Basket £49.51

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Simple Seafood

Inspired by what’s in season this month, I thought I would investigate Cockles. Not everyone is a seafood person but the recipes that I’ve found have lots of other spices and herbs to help create dishes full of flavours.

Pictured above Spanish Seafood Pasta, Steamed Cockles in Saffron & Spring Green Broth, and Simple Seafood Chowder.  Some recipes call for general mixed seafood, so why not just try something new and go for some cockles?

A bit of information I found regarding Cockles from the BBCGoodFood website below:
– Choose cockles with pale shells, as this indicates lighter flesh which is said to taste better.
– Cockle shells are often full of sand so they should be soaked in fresh water for several hours before eating.
– Refrigerate in a bowl under a damp cloth and use within 24 hours.
– You can eat cockles raw, served with vinegar and brown bread. Or you can boil or steam the shells, or use in soups and stews.

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Leftover buns

I certainly have been enjoying this long Easter weekend off, and have already consumed enough chocolate for the rest of the year!

I found this handy little recipe, if you have any leftover Hot Cross Buns hanging around this weekend you must check it out. I love the idea of using up any bits and pieces and creating something new and delicious – Hot Cross Bread and Lemon Pudding! So surprise your family on Monday with this warm and yummy treat.

Recipe and Image via BBCGoodFood

1 // Chinois Sieve £28.50
2 // Stainless Steel Sauce Whisk £4.75
3 // Le Creuset Square Dish 23cm, Teal £22.00

Ingredients
knob of butter , for the dish
4 stale hot cross buns
200g lemon curd
2 large eggs
200ml double cream
200ml milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp caster sugar
little lemon zest
cream or vanilla ice cream , to serve (optional)

Instructions
1 – Butter a 1-litre baking dish that will quite snugly fit the buns. Cut each bun into 3 slices, and sandwich back together with a generous spreading of curd. Arrange buns in the dish.
2 – Whisk egg, cream, milk and remaining curd, then sieve into a jug with the vanilla and 3 tbsp of the sugar. Pour over the buns and stand at room temperature for 30 mins for the custard to soak in.
3 – Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/ gas. Scatter the remaining sugar and lemon zest over the pudding. Bake for 30-40 mins until the top is golden and the custard gently set. Stand for 5 mins, then serve with cream or vanilla ice cream, if you like.

 

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Set the mood..

While summer still seems pretty far off, I have started to plan our first camping trip of the season. And when I saw these gorgeous new Miners Lanterns I knew I needed to have one!

Perfect for barbecues and camping, but would work nicely indoors, or even for special events. How beautiful would an outdoor barn wedding look with all these lanterns hanging everywhere?

1 // Clay Miners Lantern £9.25
2 // Goosberry Miners Lantern £9.25
3 // Shutter Blue Miners Lantern £9.25

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Zesty Lime

I love the pastels that come with Easter, but I especially love a bit of lime green in my life this time of year!

It brightens up my day and adds something different to my worktop. Below you can see the newest kitchen essentials available from Bodum in this zesty green colour.

1 // Bodum Bistro Electric Blender Stick Set: Lime Green £60.61
2 // Bodum Bistro Electric Coffee Grinder: Lime Green £33.95
3 // Bistro Electric Kettle, Lime Green £43.49
4 // Bistro Double Walled Electric Kettle, Lime Green £94.50

And check out the rest of the Bodum Lime Green line, and other green kitchen items, by clicking Here.

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Bright Easter Table

Despite the grey days I am excited for Easter! The perfect time to try out some spring recipes and maybe even do some spring cleaning, between all the eating.

Below are some recipes that I felt particularly inspired by, especially all the lovely and bright cookware and ingredients. If the sun isn’t going to do it’s part, I need a little bright colour in my kitchen!

Pictures and Recipes from BBCFood

Pictured above – Hot Cross Bun Bread and Butter Pudding, Lamb Hotpot, Red Onion Tarte Tatin, Iced Lemon Curd Layer Cake,  and Mackerel on Toast with Salted Cucumber and Horseradish.

I’m going to bring out all my colourful tableware for this Easter weekend, make the food centre stage for the family to enjoy. Below are a few of my favourite colours of the moment, I especially love the Lilac and Lemon Yellow, so springy!

1 // Price and Kensington Afternoon Tea Lilac Cake Stand 28cm £6.10
2 // Mauviel M’ Passsion Copper Tarte Tatin: 28cm £140.27
3 // Surf Boards: Large, Acacia £13.85
4 // Mason Cash Lemon Mixing Bowl £18.75
5 // Enamel Mini Pie Dish, Shutter Blue £13.40

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Hearty Irish Meal

Seeing as March is not getting any warmer why not cozy up with some Irish stew, hearty soda bread, and decadent cheesecake for dessert? Perfect for St Patrick’s Day !

Above images and recipes I found at BBCFood, and they are my picks for a perfect Sunday meal. Be inspired and get Irish in the kitchen!

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Easter Inspiration

I have always loved Easter, getting together with family for a special Sunday meal, and all the pastels and pretty painted eggs. Oh and of course the chocolate doesn’t hurt.

Below I have found my current Easter favourites, some items of which can really be used all year, or just spring in  general. I especially love the little wooden daisy cupcake toppers – so adorable!

1 // Easter Bunny Pan £25.66
2 // Willand Willow Basket £10.95
3 // Bunny Favour Boxes £2.93
4 // Rose Votives £7.95
5 // Wooden Daisy Picks £5.50
6 // Easter Bunny Cup Cake Decorations £7.75
7 // Rooster Egg Holder £10.95
8 // Chick Board £15.86
9 // Single Cookie Cutters: Bunny £1.50

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