Feed me I’m tired! 


Hello Dear Reader,

We’ve pushed ourselves hard today and set a deadline for getting this round of renovations complete. We had some pine trees down when we bought the house and the logs have sat in the garden for 18 months. I don’t want to burn them as the resin can damage a flue liner. However, stored for three years in the dry, they are fine and won’t damage a chimney. We offered the ‘green wood’ on Facebook and today, the loveliest couple came with a big van and took it all away. We helped them load their van and found out that they have lots of land where they season wood until they need it. They left us a nice bottle of wine, they have plenty of wood for a few years in the future and our garden is much tidier. It’s always great to meet new people.

As soon as they’d gone, we went back to painting. New plasterboard soaks up paint and it took for coats of paint to get an even finish. We bought Dulux over with us from the UK as French paint is so much more expensive. Tomorrow, I’ll buy some stain to paint the stairs to match the other woodwork in the house. 

We do bits and bobs then get out and about. I’ll do out and about tomorrow and I’m excited about going to Emmaus.

After loads of work, I needed good old fashioned comfort food and made Corned beef hash

To make this:

6 medium potatoes- chopped and boiled until just soft.

3 onions sliced and fried in two tbsp of oil until soft.

1 tin of corned beef, cut into cubes.

Add the cooked potatoes to the pan of fried onions.

Resist the urge to turn, allow it to catch and crash slightly.

Add the chopped corned beef and mix, pat down and continue to cook.

Don’t stir and allow it to crisp.

Cook the top half by placing the pan under a hot grill.

Serve with steamed veggies. Eat, put your feet us and have an early night before all the hard work starts again tomorrow.

We are getting there but soon we’ll have two fully renovated bedrooms, stairs and third floor hallway.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxx

Renovating in France


Hello Dear Reader,

After a week of on and off rain, it’s been great to throw open every door and window and enjoy the sunshine. Above is the view of our open plan living area. My thrifted sofa is covered in blankets as the dogs have commandeered it for themselves. The board is across the bottom of the Stairs to stop the dogs going up.

In between the showers yesterday, I laundered and dried all the towels and bedding and today did the same with our clothes.

Whilst I’ve got on with fussing the dogs, cooking and laundry, Dearly Beloved has made a start on the dividing wall. 

He’d done a lot more by the end of the day but here’s the start. The top floor use to be a self contained studio apartment but it’ll be two separate bedrooms when he’s finished. He does the building and I do the insulation and painting. The garden fence has served as balustrade around the stairs so we didn’t fall down them. They will of course be replaced!

I added the photo below, later in the day.


I made homity pie for supper and tomorrow’s lunch. We’ll eat it with salad. We are still eating at home, I really enjoy having time to cook and amble to the local shop just for a bunch of parsley if I didn’t have any.

To make it, I rolled out gluten free pastry (supermarket ready made!) 

Inside.

1 large tin a new potatoes – roughly chopped – 800g of cooked potatoes 

2 onions and 8 cloves of garlic – chopped and gently sautéed in some olive oil until soft. Don’t cook garlic on a high heat, it’ll burn.

6 florets of broccoli, gently steamed – you could use leeks or spinach, I had half a head of broccoli left.

200g of grated emmental or mature cheddar

Salt and pepper

Handful of chopped parsley

200ml of double cream (or the nearest I could get here in France – crème de Normandie- Entière )

Toss the lot together and pour into the pastry case. 

Bake at 180/200 for 40 minutes. It’s creamy, cheesy and loaded with garlic. O

I use a heavy metal deep quiche dish so I don’t blind bake.

Another day in thrifty homemade France.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Thrifty food for holidays 


Hello Dear Reader,

We know how to live! DB went to Brico Dépôt in Morlaix with a friend today to buy materials for a dividing wall we’re building on the top floor. I stayed behind and cut the hedge at the back of the house.

Lunch was a baked potato with salad and dinner was egg, chips, beans and bread and butter for DB, without the bread for me. 

Even though we’re on holiday, we have meatless days, an ‘on toast’ day or a beans day And just like at home, have something ‘nice’ once a week.

Last night, I made pasties for supper with scones and clotted cream for dessert.


At home, beef flank, or skirt as it’s known is a cheap meat and is used in pasties, here it’s a cut of meat that’s called a bavette steak and it’s cheaper than entrecôte but still expensive. I bought ready made pastry which was surprisingly cheap and made gluten free pastry for me.

They were very popular and one guest ate two, so it must have ok.


Here’s a pasty recipe for you.

Tomorrow, we’ll go on another trip to Brico Dépôt for the rest of the supplies for the wall. Whilst DB is gone, I’ll look after the dogs and get some painting done. 

It’s all go here!

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

Worried about the cost of food?


Hello Dear Reader,

I went to Lidl today and rising food costs are really concerning me. I can cook, we’re not fussed by what we eat and I try to feed us to get good nutrition for our money. The big price hikes are in good healthy food and that worries me for a lot of families. A tiny pack of stewing beef was four pounds and would just feed the two of us. I went straight to the reduced section and as I was there just as the store opened got a few affordable bargains. I bought a whole chicken for £2.70, and ten chicken drumsticks for £1.30 and reduced pork medallions, reduced sausages that at full price were £1.89 for six! A family would need maybe three packs? How is it that even sausages are expensive ?

I am also really concerned about the cost of fresh fruit and veg such as salad and apples. I paid £2.25 for six apples and that’s in Lidl which is cheaper than most.

I do stretch my budget so far that it squeaks. I buy frozen chicken normally and frozen cheap and sustainable fish like pollock. I buy frozen fruit like strawberries, raspberries and tinned fruit like apples. I defrost them and eat them with natural yogurt. I buy frozen vegetables and tinned veggies such as mushy peas and mushrooms. I also get plenty of protein from tinned fish and eggs and make dished like fish cakes and frittata. We also have plenty of meatfree days and I don’t know how any one can afford to eat it every day.


I also shop around in all the discount stores like Farmfoods, Lidl and Aldi and when I get there go straight for the reduced section and pop it in the freezer when I get home. The tuna and sweet corn is for sandwiches and for supper with baked potatoes. 

However, not all families will eat anything and not everyone will eat tinned or frozen and expecting people to simply change is really not easy. I wish there were cooking shows on TV that dealt with these genuine concerns as I’m sure families are just not coping. 

Over to you, what food worries do you have? What do you do to keep to your budget? 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxx

Slimming world sweet and sour chicken


Hello Dear Reader,

This isn’t from the Slimming World website but it follows their healthy eating plan. We’re both following this as our clothes are tight and we need to stick to a lighter plateful. 

Here’s my sweet and sour.

I used a kilo bag of stir fry veggies from Farm Foods. 2 defrosted chicken breasts, also from Farmfoods and stir fried them with minced garlic, chili and ginger and I use the lazy in a jar as there’s no waste and I’ve always got them in the cupboard.

I cooked some brown rice and made my sweet and sour sauce

20g of corn flour, 3 heaped tbsp of tomato purée, tbsp wine vinegar, 3 tbsp of powdered sweetener, 80ml of water, 1 tbsp of soy sauce (gf in my case) blend in a mug or jug.

When the chicken and vegetables are cooked, add the garlic, chili and ginger and cook for one minute.

Add the sweet and sour sauce, whilst it’s cooking taste and add a splash more vinegar, or sweetener or soy sauce to your taste. If the sauce is thicker than you like, a a dash more water. 

Serve with rice. Cheap, cheerful and sugar free. Does anyone else have a slimming world recipe you’ve adapted on the cheap,

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs x

Humble food 


Hello Dear Reader,

I’ve found my theme this week; homemade humble food with a really low price tag. Lunch today was roasted veggies, homemade hummus and some lettuce. 

I make my hummus with a tin of chickpeas that I drain and rinse with tap water. I add them to a bowl with 80ml of water, 3 tbsp of lemon juice, teaspoon of chili powder, 2 tsp of cumin, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder and blend the lot. You can add more water if you choose.

DB had his with a bigger portion and some frittata made in the week for lunches. Well under my pound budget, really quick and easy to make. My salad dressing is a light salad cream with added water to make it a thinner sauce. If you’re following Slimming World, then it’s 2 syns for the dressing and the rest if free. 

I’ll be back later with more humble food.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

Lemonade budget? 


Hello Dear Reader,

This is one of our cheapest meals and one of our favourites. I take a few potatoes, peel and slice a few potatoes and onions and chop up a few slices of bacon. 

I boil the potatoes until they are just cooked but not over cooked.

I fred the bacon and onions with frylight and added a crush clove of garlic. You can of course add a tablespoon of olive oil or use fattier streaky bacon.

I make a cheese sauce to go in top with 250g of quark with three beaten eggs and a heaped tablespoon of finely grated Parmesan. You could make a béchamel sauce and add 100g of grate mature cheddar and pour that over; mine is the low fat version. 

I minx the whole lot together and pour the cheese sauce on top. You could make twice as much cheese sauce and it would permeate throughout the potatoes. 

I cooked it for twenty minutes at 180. 

I served it with steamed greens. It costs pennies but we love it. If you’re following Slimming World then it’s syn free but full of flavour. It’s such a favourite here and you can add cooked vegetables or add corned beef. 

So, that’s our cheapest favourite meal, what’s yours? 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxx

Fish, chips and minted pea purée 


Hello Dear Reader,

Egg, chips and beans, which were on the plan became fish and chips tonight. I peel and chip potatoes and part cook them in boiling water. Whilst they are cooking, I heat the oven to 200. 

I wrapped the cod (cooked from frozen – Farmfoods) in foil and once the chipped potatoes were part cooked, I transferred them to a baking tray and sprayed them with frylight.

I put the cod and potatoes into the oven for fifteen minutes. 

Whilst the fish and chips were cooking, I boiled the peas for ten minutes. When they were cooked, they were drained and I added two tablespoons of quark and a teaspoon of mint sauce and used my hand stick to blend it.

Soon as everything was ready and it was served.

It was delicious and we’re now off to vote in the local elections.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

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

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