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


Nutty Plum Crumble

This recipe is courtesy of  “The Best of Mrs Beeton’s Christmas” ISBN 978-1-898-80176-4

Serves 4-6

Ingredients :

  • 675g Plums, halved and stoned
  • 50g Sugar

Topping :

  • 175g Plain Flour
  • 75g Butter or margarine
  • 25g Demorara Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 75g Chopped Hazelnuts, toasted

Set the oven at 180 degrees C / 350 Degrees F / Gas Mark 4   Place the plums in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with sugar

Make the topping.   Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter or margarine until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Stir in the sugar, cinnamon and hazelnuts.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the plums, pressing it down very lightly.   Bake the crumble for about 45 mins, until the topping is golden brown and the plums are cooked.   Serve with custard, cream or vanilla ice cream.

Purple Toadflax (Linaria Purpurea)

Purple Toadflax (Linaria Purpurea) growing happily away in my garden providing the bumble bees with plenty of food at the moment

  • Perennial, flowering June to August. Height 2 – 3 ft (60 – 90 cm).
  • Slender spikes of purple flowers – looks like Lavender from a distance!
  • Sun. Drought-tolerant and self-seeds well.

A Visit from the Blue Tit Family

The Blue Tit family came to the garden today to show us their new family… 3 little baby blue tits, and they are absolutely gorgeous..

Mrs Blue Tit is looking slightly frazzled, she has been a regular visitor to the garden for the last few weeks eating all the bugs from under the blackcurrant bushes…  I did put out fat balls for them last week but my springer spaniel jumped up, stole and ate the lot, giving him the most god awful skoots !!

Enough waffling and on with the pics of the babies 🙂


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 🙂


Happy Easter,…

A couple of snaps for Easter from our home…

Wee Jerry quite happy sleeping in his old orange box with a cosy knitted blankie inside it, I knitted it the same colours as he is, black silver and white 🙂

You cant have easter without chickens… can you?? 😉  here is Daisy and Chicken Little enjoying a sawdust bath in their freshly cleaned out run.


Frugal Flowers

I got a bargin yesterday at the supermarket… these gorgeous flowers for a mere £0.23

A lovely splash of colour to brighten up the lounge with all this awful snowy weather we have been having of late.


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.