Frugal Gift Idea

Hello Dear Reader,

I received the above jar in my goodie bag at the blog awards. Initially, I had no idea what it was. At first glance, I thought it was bath salts. On closer inspection I noticed chocolate chips and brown sugar. 

It had a bar code on top, which I scanned with my phone which took me to an online recipe for chocolate chip buns. I thought this was a really fun idea for a frugal gift.

The recipe instructed me to add 125g of margarine or butter and two eggs and beat together. It was a simple  cake mixture but such a lovely idea to put into a jar with a pretty fabric cover. 

 The results were some fluffy chocolate chip buns which will be a lovely mid morning treat for both of us at work one morning.

Inkjet printer labels are cheap enough and there are plenty of decorative label designs to add to them. A folded piece of paper could go under the fabric with instructions and information about the extra ingredients that were required. To replicate the gift that I received you will need: 125g of SR flour, 125g of golden caster sugar, 25g of chocolate chips. Those were all inside the jar. You will need to add two eggs and margarine. Such a simple but lovely idea and would make fun gifts.

The rest of the fun gifts from Blog awards are being parcelled for Frugal Fairy and will be in the post soon.

Over to you Dear Reader – please leave some recipes (without anything wet or fragile) that could go into a jar and be given as a gift. It would be lovely if some of you could try this and write about it in your blog xxxxx

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs 


Say thank you with a cake

Hello Dear Reader,

Before I get onto today’s frugal and lovely cake, if you want, would you nominate me for a blog awards? The button is on the right of your screen. Thanks xxxxx

This is a thank you cake. I couldn’t think of a suitable present so I resorted to lemon drizzle cake. It’s a nice quick and easy cake to make.

10oz SR Four,
10oz butter (I use Utterly Butterly as it’s on offer)
5 eggs (they weigh 2oz each)
10oz sugar.
Zest of one lemon.

Put the lot in a bowl and either beat together or mix with a hand held electric mixer. Pour into two greased or lined 7″ cake tins.

Cook for 30 minutes on 180 (celius.) degrees – you can do the conversion for your cooker. Just google it.

Whilst cooling make the filling and topping.

Filling – Lemon butter icing.
Zest of one lemon,
8oz of icing sugar
3oz of butter (I use a cheap substitute)

Beat together until you have a soft frosting finish. Now leave in the fridge until you want it.

Lemon topping.
Juice of one lemon.
4oz of granulated sugar.
Mix together.

Assembling the cake – allow to totally cool. Spoon some of the lemon topping onto one of the sponges, but leave the main for the topping. Now use a palette knife to spread the lemon butter icing onto one of the sponges. Put the other sponge on top. Now carefully spoon the lemon topping all over it, some will soak in creating the sticky lemony topping.

Chill until you want to eat it.

Or………………….give to someone as a gift, or take to a fundraiser or make one for the local fete.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs

Waste not, want not!

It’s a very long way to Christmas but sloe gin has to be one of those winter treats to be savoured and sipped out of tiny glasses. It’s great to offer a ‘nip’ to visitors who arrive as the nights draw in. In Tescos it is £15.99 a bottle…………..but you don’t imagine I bought any, did you?
Another yummy sipping drink is raspberry vodka, which is almost as delicious as blackberry vodka and again £15.99 in Tesco and again, I didn’t buy any!
What I did buy was a bottle of Tesco ‘value’ vodka at £7.97 and Tesco value gin at £7.97 and a punnet of raspberries which were reduced to 29p. You take 200g of sugar and 200g of sloes, which you prick to release the flavour, add them to a bottle along with a dash of almond essence and top up with gin, leave until Christmas, sieve and drink in moderation as it will now be a sipping liqueur. You do the same raspberry vodka, to which you add a dash of vanilla extract/essence. They will both be ready by Christmas…..and yes! I have used two old ketchup bottles for the raspberry vodka. In a few months, I’ll show you what they turned in to.
Today, I decided to make red onion marmalade, but I must have sauteed the onions in too much butter because the whole affair turned into nothing more than red onion soup. I had bought the red onions, the malt vinegar and the soft brown sugar, which are all expensive and I was not going to waste them. I quickly washed, quartered and cored the apples I found growing next to the car park of Mole Valley farmers and threw them into the bubbling mixture.

I just kept adding what I had until I had something tasty and edible. As it was so ‘loose’ I decided that it might make a good marinade for chops or chicken pieces so I added a liberal amount of ground ginger, some sweet chilli sauce and then blitzed it with my hand blender to make a ‘sauce’. However the pectin content of the apples has thickened this and the result is a spreadable, spicy chutneyish sauce. I’ve called it a chutney as ‘saucy kind of stuff that you can spread on cheese, chops or put onto any meat’ wouldn’t fit on the label.

I’m glad I saved it as I certainly wouldn’t wanted to have wasted half a bag of sugar, half a bottle of vinegar and a pack of onions!

Frugal gifts for the financially challenged.

We’re off to Princetown on Dartmoor to visit friends, to walk on Dartmoor and then stay for supper. It’s always nice to take gifts and luckily I have an abundance at home. So I took some of my homemade soap decorated with lavender from my garden.
Some homemade chutney, one of the friends in particular loves green tomato chutney.

I picked more damsons this morning and will take a couple of pounds as the lady of the house is a fine jam maker and I’m sure she will do something interesting with the damsons. Being frugal does not mean an end to generosity and it’s lovely to have so much that I can take.