Love your leftovers

Hello Dear Reader,

Tonight we had a stir fry of chicken, onion, mushrooms and chopped up leftover s from Sunday lunch with sweet and sour sauce. Adding the leftovers meant I could make one large chicken breast feed the both of us. 

First, I sautéed onion and mushrooms no then added chopped raw chicken and kept turning it in a hot pan until it cooked.

I popped in the leftovers of carrots, cauliflower and peas and heated them through. 

I didn’t make the sauce, I used this sachet from Aldi and at 39p, I couldn’t make it for that price myself. It’s quite sticky so I added some water from the cooking rice to thin it down

Chicken, leftovers, brown rice and a drizzle of chilli sauce for me. I always keep and use leftovers and it’s rare that anything gets wasted.

Over to you my lovelies, what do you do with your left overs?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxx


Sad face 

Hello Dear Reader,

Old soppy dog had two back teeth out today. He was dropped off at the vets at eight this morning and we picked him up at five this evening. He’s feeling a bit sorry for himself and we’re £225 lighter. That doesn’t matter at all as we budget for our pets and consider their health and well being to be as important as ours. 

We often get asked if we pay for pet insurance and we don’t as we have savings and always aim to save more than we spend. It is expensive having three dogs as we have them clipped every other month, they have annual jabs, rabies jab annually, visits to the vet when we leave France and owning dogs is not cheap. 

Our dogs are our constant companions and wherever we go, they go with us. We’ve had eleven years of smoochy kisses, dog art on the windows, sofa snuggles and footprints right across our hearts. 

I’m off to cuddle my old pooch.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs 

Why wait until Shrove Tuesday? 

Hello Dear Reader,

I love the occasional pancake, don’t you? Mine are gluten free and quick, cheap and easy to make. Here’s the what you need and the how to….

150g gluten free flour

1 tsp xanthum gum

1 large egg

350ml milk

50g melted butter 

Blend the egg and flour and beat in the milk  and butter a bit at a time, keep beating until smooth. The butter is for flavour, texture and stop them sticking. 

Get a non stick pan really hot and add a wipe of butter, I use a paper towel with a smear of butter and literally show the butter to the pan. Use a ladle and add the batter to the middle of the pan and then, whilst holding the pan, manoeuvre the batter around the pan to coat it. We like our pancakes to be crepe thin. 

A good spread of chocolate and hazelnut spread is my favourite and DB loves lemon juice and sugar.

So, why wait until Shrove Tuesday? 

Over to you, what goes on your crepes or pancakes?.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

Sweet potato rosti with goat cheese

Hello Dear Reader,

I thought I’d share our lovely lunch following on with my promise to cook ourselves something special every week. I bought welsh goats cheese from Aldi as well as sweet potatoes and shallots which are a bit more expensive than regular potatoes and onions.

Here’s what I used

1 large sweet potato, about 500g grated

2 beaten eggs

2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely diced

Salt and pepper

Tablespoon of oil

200g of goats cheese

I grated one extra large peeled sweet potato and then popped it onto a clean tea towel and wrung out the sweet potato and added it to a bowl.

Combine the rest and shaped into six patties and brown them in a hot pan with oil.

Transfer to an oven tray and bake for fifteen minutes.

Crumble goat cheese on top and put back in the oven for five-ten minutes until the cheese has melted. 

If we had any salad, this would have been great but there’s very little available so we just ate them as they were.

Over to you, who loves goats cheese or is it just us Europeans? Does anyone else make something special at the weekend?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Veggie smuggling 

Hello Dear Reader,

Veggie smuggling, hiding vegetables or stretching meat as it’s so expensive is some thing we all do., right? I never had to hide vegetables from my children but if I did need to, then I’d have done this. 

I used 500g of low fat minced beef, two large carrots and one large finely shredded leek and a finely diced onion as it makes the meat go twice as far and gets plenty of vegetables into us. There are plenty of ways of stretching meat, I sometimes add lentil, chickpeas or any range of chopped vegetables and I often use diced frozen vegetables. 

Once it’s made, with the usual addition of herbs, garlic and tomatoes, you’d never know it was full of vegetables.

A spag Bol is DB’s favourite supper with a sprinkle of grated cheese and that’s just what we had. There’s loads of ways I stretch meat and this is just one of them.

Now, it’s your turn, what do you do to stretch meat a bit further? 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Let sleeping dogs lie

Hello Dear Reader,

It’s still windy, cold and wet! We’re in the best place, tucked up in the warm. Supper was just egg and chips and a squirt of ketchup. We’ll go on topping up the log burner and toasting our toes. 

It’s been a thrifty week as we’ve just been at work, it’s a great money saver being busy all the time. My big dog, on the left, is off for some dental surgery on Monday so I’m glad we’ve been thrifty to afford it as it’ll make him a whole lot more comfortable. In the meantime, he’ll be warm and cosy along with us by the fire.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

Cheap quick eats 

Hello Dear Reader,

Storm Doris is on her way and the weather has turned cold again. This lovely piece of gammon is from Aldi and two steaks were £1.69 and were quickly grilled. I served it with sweet potato mash where I microwaved the potatoes and then scooped the flesh out, it’s the easiest way I know of doing it. The addition of a spoonful of coleslaw and some tinned peas and that will do! 

I’ve washed up, I’m in my pyjamas and I’m going to have an early night and wait for Doris to rattle our windows.

Over to you, what do you cook that’s cheap, quick and easy?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxx

Cheap cuts of meat? 

Hello Dear Reader,

To put it bluntly, I know my way around a carcass and I’ll happily eat all of it. We love all sorts of offal, knuckles, shin, flank, belly and breast or otherwise known as cheap cuts. If you’re not familiar with breast of lamb, it’s the meat just behind the lamb’s forelegs. It’s a thin cut of meat that is usually sold rolled. It’s extremely tasty and one of the cheaper parts of the animal. Mine was also 30% less than usual. 

I slow cooked for eight hours on the lowest setting and then, when I got home, I took it out of the slow cooker and popped the lamb and potatoes into the oven.

It’s great to give it a crispy coating.

I thought I’d show it to you sliced so you can see what it looks like. Slow cooked, lamb just falls to pieces like pulled pork. Better cuts are best cooked to rare or medium rare Such as the leg or chops. 

Breast of lamb is cheap nough to eat as a simple mid week supper and we had our with winter vegetables. 

I know some people will turn their noses up at cheap cuts and lamb isn’t eaten by everyone but if you are a lamb eater, then look out for breast of lamb as it’s a great cheap cut. 

New from old

Hello Dear Reader,

Many of my quilts have the addition of thrifted material, where I’ve bought men’s shirts off the £1 rail in the charity shop, cut them up and used the fabric. As well as men’s shirts, I like to buy full, all cotton skirts and dresses and pyjamas and nighties. The nightwear is particularly good if it’s made of flannel or brushed cotton, depending on what you call it.

This is a quick and simple baby quilt and it’s made of entirely thrifted fabric recycled from old clothes. It’s as soft as a cloud and perfect for a baby to roll around on the floor or keep them warm in their cot.

My quilts are never precious, they are meant for life so can be thrown in the washer, drier or get air dried. Another thing I like about making a quilt for a brand new human is that they only take a day.

Most of all, I love upcycling and using something that was discarded and turning it into something brand new and useable. 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs
P.s, I’m always greatful for donations of cotton shirts or clothes to turn into quilts and many thanks to the lovely readers who send me fabric to upcycle. Xxxx

The joy of secondhand

Hello Dear Reader,

Our dishwasher died well before Christmas and I’ve happily washed up by hand since then. I was determined to carry on hand washing and equally determined to keep my eyes peeled for a cheap replacement if I saw one. 

We’d had a clear out and sold items on eBay and had some money on hold in our Paypal account should we see a dishwasher local to us. White goods and large items of furniture are always available cheaply on auction sites as you have to collect them and not everybody can. There weren’t many bids on this dishwasher and I got it very cheaply and the vendor helped us get it into our car.

I always prefer to get household items second hand if I can and as we sold items we didn’t need and equally bought something that wasn’t needed (new kitchen with dishwasher being fitted) then nothing went to scrap or landfill and it was cost neutral to us other than the short distance to collect it.

Over to you, who else loves secondhand? What was your best secondhand bargain? Who else spends ‘eBay money’ to keep costs neutral?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx