Cooking with Froogs!

Hi everyone,

Thanks again to everyone who commented yesterday, for the interesting responses. Thanks so much to everyone who’s decided to follow my blog and I then can have a direct link to your blogs and I love reading blogs as much as I love writing this one.

I was really interested in the people who felt they couldn’t cook. I find that a shame as, along with growing food, or catching your own food, it really makes me feel connected, human and whole. I really enjoy cooking for other people, even if I no longer eat it myself. For anyone who’s interested, I thought I would do a ‘tutorial blog’ of cooking a typical meal, you would have in a pub or reasonable restaurant. to get restaurant quality food, for a fraction of the price in you own home.

Tonight’s menu – Steak with garlic mushrooms, green beans and tomatoes. Eton Mess for dessert.

Always try and make a dessert before you start cooking, it will make the whole dining experience relaxed. You can leave them on the dining table whilst you cook everything else.

Dessert – Eton Mess.
Punnet of strawberries – roadside stall £1.
End of the day cream – 50p
Almost out of date meringue nests 49p for 10 – you will need two per portion.

Cost per serving – 85p
If you see meringue nests for sale, as I did, for 49p in the Co-op, buy them and store them in the back of the cupboard, they keep for years. You will need two meringue nests per person.

Wash the strawberries, leave to drain, then pull the stalks off and cut into quarters – add to the bowl.
Break two meringue nests over the strawberries.
Pour half a pot of cream over the top. Total time – under five minutes.

The Cornish cream is really yellow and thick! You wouldn’t eat this very often.

 Now let’s move on the main course. Firstly, get your restaurant ready! Lay the table, put a nice cloth down, chill some water, put the glasses and iced water on the table ready to go. Put out some mustard and have everything ready.

You will need – a chopping board with a damp cloth underneath and rolling pin, two saucepans with lids, a griddle pan (or a frying pan if you’ve not got one) you will need a spoon for the mushrooms and tongs or a fork when cooking the steaks.

Ingredients – 2 steaks – however your budget or taste suggests – we wanted an end of DB’s holiday meal, so went for Sirloin (entrecote) and paid £5 for the two……..sounds a lot but they are big.
Green beans, garlic mushrooms and tomatoes.

Firstly, let your steak breathe – it’s been in a pack or bag and let if get to room temperature. It should be dark and have nice yellow fat if it’s good quality. I like to give ours a beating first and pummel it with a rolling pin. . Massage olive oil into your hands and then rub onto the steak. Season with salt and pepper on both side. Leave until required.

Put two pans onto the gas to get hot (cooks tip for speeding up cooking) and wipe the mushrooms clean. Put a knob of butter or margarine into one of the pan and when sizzling, chuck the mushrooms in and just have the occasional stir.

Get the heat under your griddle pan, you’ll want at least five minutes worth of heat to penetrate the pan. When the dry pan starts smoking, then it’s hot enough.

Boil the kettle, whilst you do that, top and tail the beans and place in a pan, pour boiling water over them.

Stir the mushrooms and add some garlic – I didn’t have any fresh, so I used a teaspoon of paste.

 Just as you are about to serve the mushrooms and beans, drain the beans, put the lid back on and place the steaks into the smoking hot pan. Don’t worry about the fat, you’re not going to eat it, but the flavour penetrates the meat whilst cooking and gives it flavour, what ever you do, do not cook it without it.

Good steak is marbled with fat running through it -again, like the cream, you wouldn’t eat this very often.

 We like our steak medium rare but still with blood when you cut into it. About three minutes a side will do. We place the tomatoes around the steak to griddle them too.

 Here’s the finished result. Medium rare beef steak, green beans, griddled tomatoes and garlic mushroom, cooked exactly as we like it. No waiters, no waiting ages and ages, no big bill and simple, healthy and reasonably priced.

Now it’s over to you guys. What do you eat, when you eat out that you can’t cook at home. Maybe, I can blog a couple or recipes and try to show people, how simple home cooking is. My dinner took about twenty minutes to prepare and cook. The main course cost £2.80 per head, as the beans and tomatoes are home grown and the mushrooms were cheap from Lidl. The dessert was 85p (none for me) and there’s plenty left for DB to have lots more over the weekend. Total cost of a restaurant quality meal for two was £6.45, which would barely buy a starter in most restaurant. If you suggest something, that we would eat anyway then I’ll blog it for you, along with a tutorial.

See you again and I hope you enjoyed cooking with me.

Love Froogs xxxx


20 thoughts on “Cooking with Froogs!

  1. That looks so good! When I eat out, I'll get deep fried quesadillas, nachos supreme, spaghetti, chicken salad sandwiches, basically anything.

    I can make pretty much anything at home, but it almost never taste as good as at a restaurant. My Bf says everything tastes great, but I don't know why I like eating out more.


  2. That looks lovely! We do have steak at home from time to time, I am often disappointed with it in restaurants, especially at the price they charge for it.

    My favourite restaurant meal is spaghetti carbonara, and, whilst I sometimes make it at home with the help of one of those Schwartz mixes, it is nowhere near as tasty as the 'real' one I occasionally have at a restaurant we sometimes visit. I would love to know how to make it properly.


  3. Jamie Oliver s curries in Food Revolution are great especially the chicken Tika – I make the curry pastes and freeze them short term.
    I make fajitas at home from Pam Andersen s Cook Smart – better than anything I have ever eaten in a restaurant – restaurant food never quite does it for me, too much salt etc. I know some people just dont have the interest for cooking; I was lucky; my mum was a great cook and taught me so much.


    1 (8 oz.) bag tortilla chips
    1 lb. lean ground beef
    1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
    1 sm. onion, chopped
    1 green pepper, chopped
    1 med. tomato, chopped
    1 (4 oz.) pkg. cheddar cheese, shredded
    1 pkg. (4 oz.) pkg. Monterey Jack cheese shredded
    1 (8 oz.) jar mild salsa
    1 c. sour cream
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground beef and onion. Drain off fat. Stir in taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Place tortilla chips in 9×13 pan, top with ground beef, green pepper, tomatoes and cheeses. Drizzle salsa over all. Bake uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm with sour cream.


  5. Recipe for making your own taco seasoning.
    1/4c dried minced onion
    1 1/2 Tb salt
    2 Tb chili powder
    1 Tb cornstarch
    1 1/2 tsp dried peppers
    1 Tb dried minced garlic
    1 1/2 tsp oregano
    1 Tb cumin

    Grind together. Add 1 Tb (about what a packet calls for) to 1 lb ground beef.

    I am enjoying your blog. We eat about 99% of our meals at home frugally.


  6. Eating out is a rare event for us -with two kids and two adults it gets very expensive and I'm not impressed with the quality of those “2 for 1” places. I like to cook from scratch and know what's in my food. I also like to share my cooking skills and today I showed three children how to make bread and they made a batch of hedgehog shaped crusty rolls and a lovely garlic and herb loaf in the oven, using a bag of flour, Value mixed herbs and leftover garlic, and it was amazing! The last time I ate out was on holiday on a rare night out with my husband…sitting on a balcony on Torquay harbour eating lobster chowder followed by prawns and mussels, all of which I could probably cook at home but not the same at home in our house near the dual carriageway as it was on that lovely evening!


  7. Forgs, I cannot rememeber the last time we had steak, just cannot afford ir,

    OH prefers stuff he does not have to chew!! He loves what I call nursery food, mince and tatties, etc and drives me mad when he mashes everything up together.

    We ate out a couple of times when we were away, I prefer to go in a caravan that way we can take our food with us, mind you thats a major exercise on its own. I preecook most of the main dishes and freeze them, we have a special cool box which plugs into the cigarette lighter in the car, keeps stuff cold. Left over from our caravanning days.


  8. Mmmm… It looks very tasty! I've been on your page for 3 hours this morning and I'm loving what you do! I'm in debt; I live with my partner and we have a yong child. I work part-time and my partner works full time, paying bills and paying childcare fees etc is stressful to say the least; you page has inspired me to try harder! Keep up the good work!
    Lisa x


  9. Hi Froogs

    We do eat out and for us it is a social occasion. However, I know that I can make most things as well, if not better at home. The Duke often has pork when eating out as we never have it at home (I do not eat it). I often have fish or a vegetarian meal. I usually try to work out the ingredients and flavours so that I can replicate it at home.

    The Duke has been known to make a luscious breakfast of scrambled eggs and grilled lean bacon on toasted Turkish bread and topped with avocado slices (eggs and avocado from our backyard). He then serves it with a cheeky grin and the comment, “That will be $15.95, thanks”.


  10. Hi FQ. I would love to know how to make a really authentic tasting medium strength chicken or lamb curry from scratch. We love them made with ready-made rogan josh or jalfrezi sauces, but, although I've tried making my own, it just never tastes the same. So help, please!


  11. When I eat out I usually have fish as I think most fish is rather bland and I don't have the faintest idea how to cook a nice sauce to go on the fish to make it more palatable, I have tried to cook sauces but they don't taste that great to me. I usually really enjoy fish at a restaurant but not when I cook it at home.


  12. Hi everyone, I'll get onto the carbonara, but no way will you get me to eat curry, sorry, but it's the only food we don't eat. I did go to the BBC food websites and there were no end of how to cook currys. Rather eat jelly fish to be honest.


  13. It looks delicious! We hardly ever eat out unless we're traveling. My cooking was pretty average when I was working but since I've retired I've learned to be a better cook and I really enjoy it. And quite frankly my food is tastier and made from fresher ingredients.


  14. You are not the only one who will not eat curry, OH is sick at the smell of it. I like it, so the only time I get to eat it is when he is in hospital, so last October when he was in I had it twice!!


  15. Ooh I love curry but would never eat meat in it if in a restaurant! I hate the hot stuff but like the spicy but not tongue burning stuff. We had one in York when I was on a weekend away cycling, one treat, we ate in friend's camper van the rest of weekend.

    When I make Eton Mess, I mix half low fat fromage frais with the cream to make it go a little further and not be quite so rich. I LOVE it!

    Your dinner looks nice, shame I'm a vegetarian.


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