April’s Credit Crunch Munch Roundup
Last month I took over the reins of the #CreditCrunchMunch for Camilla of Fab Food 4 All and Helen of Fuss Free Flavours. April saw a host of varied recipes from soups, smoothies and stews, to potato muffins, burgers and bread. Proving once again that a quality culinary experience need not be expensive! I thoroughly enjoyed reading all your recipes and bookmarking them on my Frugal Recipes Pinterest board, as well as them being pinned on Helen’s Credit Crunch Munch board. Big thanks to all those who submitted their thrifty recipes and to Camilla and Helen for letting me guest host one of the best link ups out there.
So if you are looking for money saving ideas on your food bill without cutting the taste factor, take a look at the recipes and tips linked below!
Roasted Sweet Potato and Vegetable Soup
Has my house landed on the Wicked Witch of the East? Seriously, the winds here have been crazy and the house has been creaking, it feels like it’s about to take off any minute and end up in Munchkin Land! On the bright side, it’s weather for hanging clothes out to dry and even better, an excuse for gathering around the table for a delicious bowl of hot soup.
I spent Friday and Saturday making crème brûlée and chocolate truffles, when really I should’ve been making something more healthy (I purposely left a couple of healthy cookbooks propped up in the kitchen to no avail). However, whilst I was out on the prowl for dark chocolate chips, I did spot a 500g bag of vegetable soup mix for a mere 6p! Now that’s a bargain I couldn’t pass up. It was then I knew that I would be making soup with the sweet potato I had at home. Come Sunday I put the Silver Machine – my Froothie Optimum G2.1 into action. I wanted to keep the veg nice and chunky, so blended the sweet potato with the stock first and then transferred it back to the saucepan with the vegetables.
I just love sweet potato and unlike regular potato, it counts towards your 5 a day, so this soup is simple to make, packed with veg, tasty and frugal!
Northern Irish no bake traybake – Fifteens
On Saturday Neil and I took Hannah out for a trip along the coastal path in Bangor and made the best of what little sunshine we had. Hannah loves it down there because she can explore and roam quite freely without any big dogs making her feel nervous. We love it because it’s a chance to escape from technology for a couple of hours, take in the fresh sea air, and stop off at our favourite local cafes for a proper natter. As the weather was being kind, we were pleased to see there were tables arranged outside, so no worries of having to leave Hannah in the car. What I love about the cafes here is the array of traybakes on offer. In Northern Ireland, we just love our traybakes! Neil and I particularly love the salted caramel squares from The Court Yard and this unbelievably good fruit cake style traybake in Kook Eatery. For a while now I’ve been wanting to add more traybakes to the blog. It seems almost sacrilegious for a Northern Irish food blog to not have many! To restart my inspiration, I’m beginning with the most famous traybake native to Northern Ireland…Fifteens.
These little rustic slices of delight are very popular at kid’s parties, bake sales, schools and often found in cafes. Called Fifteens because there are 15 of each ingredient, they take just 15 minutes to make and are sliced up into 15 pieces. They are filled with pink and white marshmallows and glacé cherries, bound together by digestive biscuits and condensed milk, before being rolled in coconut – no baking required and super simple, just what I like! You can leave out the marshmallows if you aren’t a fan of them and just add chocolate chips instead. Maltesers are a popular option too, but for me personally, I prefer the original version for a treat!
Fifteens have a certain air of mystery about them. A lot of people here only learn that they are local to Northern Ireland when they step outside to other parts of the UK and can’t find any available. There also doesn’t appear to be a lot written about the history of them either. My research (ahem Google) hasn’t offered up any answers. It appears I will have to dig deeper…until then I will keep on enjoying these sweet little treats!
Homemade Cashew Milk and The Froothie Optimum G2.1 High Powered Blender
I closed the lid on my blender and prayed that everything would go well. It had been on the blink for a while now, but as I only wanted a basic smoothie, surely it would be able to cope? I watched as it spluttered and choked on the contents and, before I knew it, I was racing out the back door with said blender smoking. Into the bin went the charred remains. I’ve never had much luck with blenders but to be fair, it’s my own fault…this is what is to be expected when you buy a cheap one and then test it beyond its limits. As for food processors, my impatience means I dislike cleaning them and changing the blades to suit whatever I’m making. I came to the conclusion that I finally needed a blender that could cope with my exacting kitchen requirements.
Easy Potato And Seafood Chowder Pie. This seafood medley is simple to make and tasty for all the family. Fish, prawns, mussels and squid topped with potato.
Well, this Easy Potato And Seafood Chowder Pie takes me right back to my school days, when we were taught how to make a basic cheese potato pie in Home Economics. I remember it well, because in this particular lesson my class unleashed mayhem! There were a couple of tearaways that the teacher just couldn’t control, who were throwing potato peel around the classroom and talking back at her. Not that I was an angel, but Home Economics was a subject that I enjoyed and always paid attention in. Luckily, the potato pie was simple to make and tasty, or I doubt we’d have ever gotten through that lesson!
Foodies goodies March Edition 2016
“She’s so cute” the voice came from the opposite side of the bus, a woman looking all motherly at Hannah, peering out from her bag. Cute yes, but a little rascal also. I was coming back from shopping in Bangor and had brought Hannah along with me for a jaunt along the seafront – kill two birds with one stone, was my thinking. It’s amazing how having a dog can spark up a conversation with a complete stranger. I learnt the woman had a daughter who owned two dogs, Bobby and Peanut, and how she has a friend who knits jumpers for dogs. I’m quiet by nature but by the time I got off at my stop to go home, I felt like I had known this woman for years. “Happy Easter!” she shouted and I even waved at her as the bus moved on. They do say animal lovers are nice people!
I am delighted to be guest hosting the April Credit Crunch Munch blog challenge. Developed by Helen over at Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla of Fab Food 4 All. This is your one stop shop to discover frugal tips, advice and delicious recipes that will keep your belly full and be friendly on your purse.
I have gained so much from taking part in and following previous Credit Crunch Munch challenges, not to mention the money I’ve saved. Some useful things I learned were: that you can use coconut powder in place of the more expensive coconut milk I had been using in my dishes; to buy spices from Asian supermarkets as they are quite a bit cheaper; and to love your freezer!
Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb With Rosemary and Garlic
I write to you today for a number of reasons. 1) my kitchen smells simply divine from a leg of lamb slow cooked with rosemary and garlic from early this morning and the recipe, although maybe too late for Easter Dinner now, still needs to be shared. 2) because Lynas Food outlet have Spring sales on through March – April and you won’t want to miss out. 3) it’s Easter Sunday, I’m chilling with my dog on my lap, glass of red, belly full of lamb… and if I don’t distract myself, I know I will end up going back into the kitchen to nibble on the remainder of said lamb. I’ve already over-indulged myself on chocolate eggs!
Buckwheat Banana Nut Bread. In one hour you could make this easy and deliciously nutty banana bread, which includes flaked almonds and banana chips.
I’ve been greedy this week, having devoured quite a few test batches of my creme egg muffins, despite sending Neil off to work with a box or two. It’s ok though, because it’s coming up to Easter and we’re allowed to treat ourselves (I keep telling myself). It’s not easy being a food blogger, I’m sure I have put on weight and there’s an endless mountain of dishes to be done, but hey, I love it! I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, writing it all down and sharing it with you.
A yummy Easter treat: Creme Egg Double Chocolate Muffins.
Last week Neil and I went to Scotland for a couple of days to visit my Sister and Brother-in-law. It was the first time in years that we got to go over, so we were very excited to see their new house and celebrate my Brother-in-law’s special birthday. Walking around Glasgow, the streets appeared familiar yet different; new shops had opened and some places we liked are sadly now closed. This story is a bit like the Cadbury’s Creme Egg; the recipe has changed, but somehow it’s still the same old familiar egg we recognise from past Easters as kids. Back then, I had a super sweet tooth like most kids, and had quite the collection of Disney stickers stuck on my school books from trips to the Dentist!