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

Butternut squash, chickpea, sweet potato and spinach curry


Hello Dear Reader,

Normally, food bloggers have a set, lights, back ground, variety of plated, natural or diffused lighting. I popped this into freezer bags, in a Tupperware tub and took the photo with my iPad! I really should try harder. DB doesn’t like certain spices and certainly doesn’t like heat. I serve this, for him, with natural yogurt and we both eat it with brown rice. It freezes and reheats well. I take it out of the freezer before work, leave it in a pan, just reheat whilst cooking the rice, which takes around twenty minutes.

To make this, you’ll need

3-4 tablespoons of oil 

1 peeled cubed butternut squash – about 65p in Aldi

1 diced large onion

1 peeled and diced sweet potato

1/4 frozen spinach (I bought it in Morrisons for £1.40 for a kilo bag).

1/2 tsp chilli flakes – you can add more

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander 

1/2 tsp of garlic granules or 2 cloves of crushed garlic.

1 tin of chickpeas 

1 tin of tomatoes

Use the tin to measure another tin of water the other ingredients.

Salt to season.

It’s so easy to make,

Heat the oil and fry the onion and spices 

Add everything else except the spinach.

Continue to cook until the squash and potatoes are cooked so a softness you prefer. We like ours quite soft.

Then add the spinach and cook for about another fifteen minutes, or until it’s melted and mixed through.
Add more spice to suit your taste, you can also add freshly grated ginger. When you serve, a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash from a bottle of lemon juice. 

This makes enough for four huge portions and we’ll eat this sometime this week. When this is frozen solid, I remove the bags from boxes and just leave them in the freezer in sealed bags.

As for the ‘presentation’, I promise to try better.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Slow cooker coq au vin and colcannon


Hello Dear Reader,

My slow cookers were set to work on Sunday when I cooked for the week ahead. If you wanted, you can dismember a chicken and cook everything on the bone, which is lovely along with wrapping your own bouquet garni, shallots and lardons. As I didn’t have any if those I ‘ll share my cheap version instead.

1 pack of frozen chicken fillets from Aldi, it’ll have around seven small fillets.

1 diced large onion,

6 peeled sliced carrots

1 tsp garlic granules

1 tsp mixed herbs

1 cup of red wine – about 2€ a litre where I get it. 

1/2 pack of cooking bacon, about 250g

2 cups of water and 2 tubs of stock 

Stick the lot in the slow cooker, set to high and leave to cook for the day.

Gravy granules to thicken – add these after the hours required, about six, for this to cook.

When cooked, leave to cool or you could eat it straight away with Colcannon. There’s a theme here…….I didn’t have anymore bacon or any cream to make the proper recipe. Here’s my make do recipe.

Steamed greens, any will do as long as they are finely shredded. I spied a bag of Cavolo Nero, or black cabbage, in Aldi. It’s delicious.

Cook the potatoes and mash, mix in the greens.

Serve with anything you like.

This freezes well and can be reheated, either in an oven proof dish in a medium oven along with the defrosted coq au vin if you’re going to eat them together.

Yesterday, plastic bags and no setting, today…..a cheap but tasty alternative of a classic. It’s a real favourite of mine and as it’s becoming autumnal, it’s turning into casserole weather.

  
Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxx