Monday, 5 May 2014

Am I a Morrisons Mum?

I was chuffed recently to be asked to try Morrisons this May Day weekend, by the BritMums team. I set off, armed with my vouchers ready to do our bank holiday weekend shop. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I managed to get for £80 - but was unable to photograph it as my camera phoned seemed to be broken - catastrophe! Turns out I had it on a wrong setting, but not until after my shop & first meal had been demolished. I came home with 8 bags of shopping - wowee! I got a great variety of fruit & veg, including pineapples (which was part of their 3 fruit/veg for £1.50 deal), avocados, celeriac (my fave vegetable! search for recipes in the search bar of the blog) amongst many others. Another 2 bags contained our meat, the best bargain was 2 packs of mince for £3.50. My kids all love a plate of mince & tatties!

The first meal I prepared was after a nice long walk we had along the clifftops near our home. Friends of ours have recently got a new dog, so we had a lovely afternoon playing in the park & a long walk home. Everyone was tired, so the kids lounged in front of the TV while I put a quick tea together - pizza pinwheels, sweet potato wedges & sweetcorn. This fed 3 children, including a strapping teenager, at a cost of around £3 for the meal.

Pizza Pinwheels (prices are for Morrisons stores) £1 per person

1 sheet ready to use puff pastry £1
Half a jar of chunky veg pizza topping 50p (Morrisons own, £1 per jar, the other half can be used for another meal)
Grated cheese 40p  (less than half a pack, £1 for the Market Place grated cheese pack)
1 large sweet potato 40p
1 tin sweetcorn & peppers 49p (Morrisons own)

Preheat the oven to 200c. Peel & chop the sweet potato into wedges, toss in olive oil & arrange on a baking tray. Pop into the oven for 25 minutes. Next, roll out the puff pastry and spread half a jar of  pizza sauce over the pastry. Sprinkle all over with cheese. Carefully, roll the pastry up, like a swiss roll! Cut carefully into 1 inch thick slices, and place onto a lightly oiled baking tray. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove & allow to cool slightly. These are yummy warm or cold. Serve with the sweetcorn & sweet potato wedges.

We finished this off with some cooling Limeade floats! 50p for a 2 litre bottle of limeade, and 80p for a large tub of vanilla ice cream = a lot of floats. The kids enjoyed these very much.

So far, I am very impressed with my Morrisons shop. More recipes to come in the next few days with more of the lovely ingredients I was able to buy.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Eating Out - Wagamama

This was the first time I'd eaten at Wagamama, and really enjoyed it. I quite enjoy Japanese food anyway, so this was a nice treat. I'd had the gyoza recommended to me by my sister, and the friend I ate lunch with recommended the tropical juice - both were lovely!

                                                                Chicken teriyaki donburi
                                                             Steamed chicken gyoza
Freshly made tropical juice

 I would definitely eat there again, and I think I would try the chicken katsu curry next time.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Smokey Bacon Spaghetti

This is one of my favourite budget meals. If you use value versions of the ingredients, you can make this meal for a few pound - bargain! I paid 33p per tin of tomatoes, 30p for the dried spaghetti, £1.50 for the smoked bacon and I already had smoked paprika in my cupboard. You can buy paprika quite cheaply though, and it will last for quite few meals. The smoked paprika is a must, it gives this dish a lovely taste.

Serves 4

400g dried spaghetti
150g smoked bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
Oil for frying
2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
Parmesan (optional)

In a large frying pan, heat the oil to a medium heat & fry the bacon until starting to crisp. Add the onion & garlic & cook until soft. Stir in the paprika and continue to cook for another minute. Tip in the tomatoes and stir through. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, until teh sauce thickens. Cook the spaghetti per the pack instructions. Once the spaghetti is cooked, add the sauce & coat the pasta. Serve sprinkled with parmesan, if you like, and garlic bread.

Easy Chicken Biriyani

I like one-pot meals - easy and keeps the washing up to a minimum! This is one the kids enjoy, but you can use a hotter curry powder if you like it spicier. Curry paste can also be used in place of powder, just whatever you have at hand. Allow one or two chicken thighs per person, depending on appetite.

Serves 4

7 chicken thighs (1 or 2 per person)
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons of curry powder (I used mild, so the kids could enjoy)
1 tablespoon oil
1.5 mugs of easy cook rice
3 mugs of chicken stock
1 mug of frozen peas

Preheat the oven to 200c. In a large hob/oven proof dish, heat up the oil to a medium heat. Fry the chicken in batches, to colour & crisp the skin. Remove & set aside. Fry the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder & cook for another minutes. Add the rice, and stir to coat in the curry/oil. Pour in the stock, stir & allow to come to a simmer. Add the chicken back on top and then place in the oven for 30 minutes. Add the peas, stir and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Serve in warm bowls.

Monday, 3 March 2014

BBQ Brisket

This is a really easy meal to make in the slow cooker. I have been trying to use my slow cooker more often, as it renders cheap cuts of meat really tender and soft while retaining all the flavour. I served it in wraps, with cheese sprinkled on. It would also be great in crusty rolls with crisp salad leaves. A side order of onion rings & coleslaw would make this a perfect dinner.

1kg beef brisket (roughly)
1 large onion, sliced
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 tbsp tomato puree
300ml passata
150 ml stock
2 tablespoons orange juice
100ml cider vinegar
1 tbsp demerera sugar
1 tbsp honey
2 whole cloves (remember to remove these before shredding the beef)
Salt & pepper

Place the brisket on top of the onions in the slow cooker. Mix the other ingredients & pour over the beef. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove the beef, shred with two forks, then mix the shredded meat back into the sauce. Serve in wraps/pitta/crusty rolls/