Frugal Foodie ~ Pesto & Blackberries

I picked up a few bargins when I stopped off  at the co-operative on my way home from work yesterday 🙂  I really should try and pop in there more often, after all I have to drive past it nearly every night 🙂

3 Pots of Basil  £1.10 each normally I got them reduced to 30p a pot saving me £2.40

2 Pots of Parsley £1.10 each normally I got them reduced to 30p a pot saving me £1.60

2 packets of Blackberries £2.00 each normally I paid 60p each saving me £2.80

= a total saving of £6.80!!

So tonight I made 2 batches of Pesto…. one for tomorrow night’s tea and one for the freezer,  the blackberries were frozen, they will be a welcome addition to an apple crumble this winter 🙂

Pesto Recipe is a case of throw it in the food mixture until I get the consistency I like

  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • 5 cloves of Garlic
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Put everything in a blender and whizz together adding the olive oil through the funnel

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Cheese Scones

Well autumn has arrived and the tree’s are starting to turn beautiful shades of red and yellow, and it’s this time of year I love, It makes me want to bake 🙂

Cheese scones were beckoned by the oven today, and I found this wee recipe in one of my many cook books called “Porridge” by Margaret Briggs ISBN 978-1-86147-069-0.

I have quoted the original recipe below and then my modification to the recipe in bold alongside it, because when I added the milk and egg to the mix it was too runny.    If you wanted a smaller batch of scones, i’d suggest adding half the milk and keep to the original recipe.

You will need :

  • 120g (4oz) Oatmeal
  • 120g (4oz) Plain Flour (I used double the quantity of flour 240g / 8oz )
  • 60g (2oz) grated, mature cheese of choice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt (I would recommend a big pinch)
  • pinch of paprika (I used a pinch of chilli powder as i’d run out of paprika)
  • 40g (1.5oz) Margarine
  • 1 Egg (2 x small pekin Bantam Eggs courtesy of Brenda)
  • 150ml (1/4 pint) Milk

Method :

  1. Preheat the oven to 230 Degrees C / 450 degrees F or Gas Mark 8
  2. Sift the flour, salt, pepper and baking powder and mix with the oats
  3. Rub in the margarine, then mix in the grated cheese
  4. Mix the beaten egg with the milk and add to the rest of the ingredients to make a soft dough
  5. Knead lightly, turn onto a floured board and roll out to about 2cm (3/4″) and cut into 5cm (2″) rounds with a cutter or small glass.   Knead the offcuts of dough gently
  6. Brush with milk and bake for approximately 12 minutes.   Serve warm

Red Campion (Silene dioica)

This gorgeous little purpley pink flower is in abundance at the moment all along the hedgerows, I snapped these pics when we were out walking the dogs the other night, and today when we were driving up to visit the in-laws my hubby noticed that there is loads of it growing this year and had asked if I knew what it was…

Common Name: Red campion
Genus: Silene
Species: dioica
Skill Level: Beginner
Exposure: Partial shade, Shade
Hardiness: Hardy
Soil type: Well-drained/lightClay/heavy,Chalky/alkalineDryMoist
Height: 30cm
Spread: 30cm

This little pinky-red meadow flower is often found in the wild growing in woodlands and in the verges of country roads. It’s easy to grow and makes a good addition to a rockery or semi-shaded patch in need of some colour. The clump-forming plant is hardy and will tolerate most soils, although it can struggle to cope with very acid ground. It has rich green leaves that appear in spring, and has a long flowering period right through until the start of autumn. It’s a low-maintenance plant that only needs dividing later in the year if it has become too large. It’s also fairly pest-free, and doesn’t seem to attract much attention from slugs and snails.

This info is courtesy of the bbc website (here)

Out Walking the Dog

Just thought I would share some pictures I snapped yesterday whilst out walking the dog over the fields 🙂

This for some reason is my fav tree, I have no idea why, I just love it and it makes me want to hug it 🙂

I snapped this rusty old hinge on a wooden fence post

Chunky managed to throw himself into the burn for a swim

And these gorgeous little flowers were growing everywhere, I later found out that they are called Cuckoo Flowers

I called this next picture Dandelion Hill, seeing as this was the only dandelion growing on the hill

Chunky again, this time with his chops tucked in 🙂 .. he had been swimming again!

More Cuckoo Flowers.. they are beautiful

More swimming…

and a few of last years skeletons

Hope you enjoyed the walk 🙂

Banana Loaf

  • 150g Dried fruit, I used the Berry, Cherry & Sultana’s mix from Asda
  • Rind of 1 Lime
  • 100g Soft unsalted butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 200g self raising flour

Method :-

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C / Gas Mark 3 – bake for 55 mins
  2. Grate the zest of the lime
  3. Cream the butter and sugar in the mixing bowl,
  4. add eggs, and mix well,
  5. then add dried fruit and lime zest,
  6. add mashed bananas & flour.
  7. Place in a 2lb loaf tin and bake for 55 mins

Malted Chocolate Crunch

Malted Chocolate Crunch Recipe.

  • 8oz ~ 225g digestive biscuits magimixed or bashed in a plastic bag with a rolling pin
  • 4oz ~ 100g Butter
  • 3 Large Tablespoons of Golden Syrup
  • 2oz ~ 50g Ovaltine
  • 6-8oz or 175-225g Cooking chocolate

Method :

  1. Line a small swiss roll tin with cling film
  2. Melt butter and syrup, then add ovaltine and biscuits
  3. Pour into tin and flatten
  4. Cool
  5. Melt cooking chocolate in bowl over boiling water or microwave
  6. Spread chocolate evenly over mixture, I like to sprinkle choc chips and white chocolate mice on the top of mine.
  7. Allow to cool
  8. Pull out crunch, take off cling film and cut into squares.

Broccoli and Stilton Soup

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I was in my local supermarket earlier and I picked up 2 heads of organic broccoli reduced to only £0.03 each!!  …. you know what it’s like, your head starts going through possible yummy recipes… my head was telling me soup! 😉    I nipped round to the cheese counter and picked up a bit of stilton.

|This recipe should serve six.

Ingredients:

  • 50g / 2oz butter
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, crushed
  • 2 large heads of Broccoli
  • 2-3 oz of Stilton Cheese or adjust depending on your preference
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
  • 1-1.5 litres boiling water and a stock cube

Method :

  • Heat the Butter in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and leave to cook on a low-med heat for 8 mins until they become soft and clear
  • Whilst the onion and garlic are softening, chop the broccoli as finely as possible.   Add the chopped broccoli to the onions and pour in 1 litre of boiling water an a stock cube and bring back to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • When the broccoli is tender, add the stilton cheese.   Whizz the soup well in a liquidiser to give it a really smooth texture.
  • Check and adjust the seasoning and reheat if necessary.

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Tomatoes and the HUGE Potato

Well… I decided to clear out the greenhouse at the weekend and give it a good old scrub out.

We picked the last of the tomatoes, including the green ones…. they look fab in the dish together, the colours are so vibrant.. I would really like to make some tomato and chilli relish, so if anyone out their has a tried and tested recipe that they would like to share, i’d love toi hear from you

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Next I dug some potatoes from the 3rd bed for our dinner… and look what I dug up…. the organic Lady Balfour variety that I got reduced to 50p at the local garden centre turned up trumps…. with this whopper

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I took it into my workshop to measure it … it was a whopping 6inches long and weighed in at 1lb 12.1 oz!!!

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The Edible Garden..

I have spent a fair bit of time out in the garden today, mowing, strimming harvesting, hanging out numerous loads of washing, taking loads of pictures and generally just keeping busy and the garden tidy.

Here are some of the pictures taken from around the garden today : –

First of all we have the rogue sunflower, this beautiful big flower is the result of a seed falling out of the bird feeder and managing to land in a big flower pot, survive all winter and then germinate to produce this : -)

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Next up is the final harvest of Peas for this year, we had these with our tea tonight, nothing went to waste as the chickens and rabbits got the remainder of the plants that I cleared from the garden…. theyre all stuffed full with pea leaves and stalks now 😉

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Then I harvested some broad beans, this is the first year I have grown them and I love them, they will be back on the planting agenda for next year!   Still have one more harvest left then I will clear the area.

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I found 1 solitary onion that had been left in from last year, I actually thought it was garlic, that was until I lifted it out of the ground, I accidentally pierced it a wee bit, so i’ll use it this week… Once I washed all the muck off it I hung it up to dry on the washing line 🙂

Can you spy the springer spaniels tail in the picture lol…. he managed to get in the act all the time!

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Finally we dug up some potatoes… some of them were absolutely HUGE… and a couple of them were stinking and rotten for some reason, so we will be lifting the rest of them this week and having spuds for tea all week 🙂

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