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Everything posted by binkyboots

  1. Hiya, yes it's the celebration of Burn's birth, you can read a good thread here and there are several good pages with information, this one from bbc Scotland is pretty good, recipes and links as well as audio clips of some of his work.
  2. binkyboots


    I use our microwave everyday, but only to heat my wheaties, uh, wheat bag things that I like instead of hot water bottles. Otherwise mum uses it for her herbal tea, I use it to cook steam bags of veggies (dont like the texture much though) or haggis, haggis is really good microwaved, tastes just the same. Microwaved steam puddings, syrup or jam, make a good standby on a cold night. That's pretty much it here.
  3. that page is pretty close, I'll pm you the recipe though, baked onions should be shared! (as well as dolloped on toast, eaten straight from a spoon and used as a baked potato filling )
  4. I'd love too, it's mostly a nigel slater recipe though, am I allowed to post it? I did make a couple of additions, herbs and cheese. mmm.. I adore split pea and ham soup, ultimate comfort food, I like to use a smoked hock, that way I get a little meat too for much the same price. Oh, doesn't hurt to throw a parmesan rind in too!
  5. Woah, those all sound great, I may extend this into next week and cook from the recipes suggested here! Tonight we had the sausages and some mashed potatoes. To go with that I made baked onions with a little cream and cheese, they are to die for, seriously, I think me and those onions could become very good friends.... next time some garlic in there too maybe, but very good just as is, definately didn't taste as cheap as they were (what, $1.50 for enough for four?) Along with that we had a big bowl of salad, an attempy to soothe my worries over the lack of cooked veggies. Tommorow is Burns night, normally a very good excuse for haggis, but we're having visitors all day then I babysit at night on Tuesdays so we shall be celebrating on Wednesday instead, or possibly Thursday, just depends when I can get most of my family in the same place, lol. I think I'll make pizza tommorow, yes, pizza and salad, unless I come up with something better overnight. I'd have to buy some mozzarella, I have some nice ham (from lidls! ) and all the supplies for making the base and sauce already, so a reasonably cheap dinner.
  6. So, couple of days later and a very extended stay in the fridge later, the bread was really good I was worried it would be claggy, but nope, it baked up just find, lots of spring and it had a very tender crumb, can't say I nnoticed any particular flavour, but all the same it was delicious. More experimenting I think!
  7. Either an apple crumble or the guiness chocolate cake from "feast" On balance the cake usually wins, it's better with hobgoblin ale or young's chocolate stout than guiness though.
  8. Hey, another day that wobbled off course! you get that a lot in our house, lol. So, no cassoulet, I roasted our chicken though, it was delicious. Fairly plain, a lemon, bunch of herbs, rubbed it with some of the duck fat (which I'm now on a mission to use up), salted and peppered, roasted it till, well till it was done. We had it with potatoes and corn on the cob, the corn was marked down in sainsburys, noticed it when I went in for onions, rice paper and dog food. Sigh, there goes another £10 I also made a pot of soup, tomato, rice, beans and leftover sweetcorn, that's for lunch tommorow along with bread and salad. Later on, when I got tidied up I finally got around to doing some pickled kumquats, the kumquats were reduced heavily and pickled anything is good in my books! they smell fabulous and the vinegary, syrupy pickling liquid was good enough to lick the spoon I have the chicken carcass and a few bit and bobs of meat, the meat will perhaps be shredded into the tomato soup, the carcass I'm going to try again to make soup with. I never end up very happy with my chicken soup/stock, always has a very light flavour and greasy texture. I'm going to review the egullet stocks course to see if I can glean any tips.
  9. spinach soup! though I may feel the need to eat the leftover vanilla ice cream later
  10. The things I use most live in the (fortunately large) warming drawer of our oven, the rest in the base of an old dresser in the corner of our kitchen. Our kitchen is very badly designed (rented house) so that we only have two wall cupboards and one base unit, insane I tell you, in desperation we bought a plate rack and dresser to ease the situation.
  11. binkyboots


    I'm sure I've seen a cake recipe featuring both ketchup and tomato soup, just not sure where As a child I liked to put ketchup on ice cream and cornflakes, not in the same bowl though, that would be gross
  12. What did they serve at your wedding for the guests? In the end my sister in law was in charge, we had standard scottish buffet food, ie, mini sausage rolls, potato wedges and dip, sandwiches, cheese on sticks, small cakes etc.... all freshly defrosted from Iceland. It wasn't meant to be that way! I had it all planned then I took a raging flu three days before the wedding Do you actually remember the meal itself? Only vaguely, I remember swigging from the bottle of nightnurse and watching the guests munching sausage rolls. Would you have the same meal today after however many years of marriage? Unless I was very sick, no. If prices of food for such an event have escalated, would you scale-down the meal? Cheap 'n nasty then, cheap 'n nasty now.
  13. $40 a day would be living it up! I guess we spend, uh, around $60-80 a week, sometimes a little more sometimes much less, depends on the bills and the state of my storecupboard.
  14. binkyboots

    Outdoor Fridge

    Yup, using our shed to keep things cool, bread does really well there for an overnight rise! that and the usual suspects, juice and so on, love winter!
  15. ahha! Thank you, looks like cassoulet tommorow then I have tried using dried beans before, but got disheartened when they failed to soften, I think my main mistake were that I used very dried up beans, may have been past their prime, also that I salted them at the start of their cooking time. Time I think to rid myself of my bean cooking demons!
  16. Thank you guys! The experimenting has started, rising in the kitchen I have a modified version of a nan bread recipe I've made before... it looks and smells promising! For this one I didn't infuse the fat with anything, mostly because I wanted to know if, on its own, it gives a bad flavour or feel to the bread. I shall report back in the morning! If it feels ok I'm going to have a go at a sort of potato foccacia, I mean, rosemary, potatoes, bread, duck fat, where's the bad here!
  17. Thank you for the replys folks (I have recurring internet nightmares where everybody ignores me, eh, too much time online I think) I do use marked down meats when I can get them, I figure if it smells good it's most likely ok to use. Coupons I use, but only if they are really things we'll eat, I learned that one after getting married, bought four tins of, chickpeas I think, they lingered in the back of the cupboard for over a year before turning into a chickpea stew/soup that nobody except mum would eat Carlovski, hoorah! another lidl fan, the other advantage to shopping there is chexking out the occasionaly bizzare special items they're selling, last week we had chainsaws The aloo sag sounds interesting, I must google a recipe, we had the spinach as soup today but I still have a half pack. Chufi, that's exactly our meat theory, for ages we had chicken, three nights, maybe even four a week in a variety of guises, usually thighs or drumsticks (chicken breast being overpriced polystyrene ) we tried an organic chicken, mostly just to see what, if anything, we were missing, it was a revelation, although the chicken wasn't huge it made three meals plus extra stock, the flavour was a million miles from our regular chicken too. Our other main motivation for trying to stick to organics is my niece, as a family all the women suffer from a hormonal disorder called pcos, it's just an attempt to steer clear of foods that have been pumped full of hormones before it gets to her. A small (and perhaps pointless) effort to protect her from the condition. Animal welfare is another issue also, we're far happier knowing we aren't (at least whenever we can manage it) perpetuating the awfull conditions that factory farmed animals exist in. Rachel, thank you, I've been looking at our brisket today wondering what to try, I think I might go with the gingery, tomato theme, sounds very good indeed! Milagai, in the uk beans are definately cheaper than meat, we do eat a vegetarian meal, twice a week, sometimes more, it's hard to convince my husband that a meal can be eaten that has no meat in it, but he's coming round! also when I cook something like lamb shanks or a beef braise I always throw in a tin of beans just to stretch the meat a little further. Wow! the delia cassoulet looks fab, I have everything for that except the pancetti, but I think I might be able to spring for a little do you think it would matter if I soaked the beans overnight? And thank you for the links, you've just provided me with a very useful night's reading! Ok, today did not go at all as planned. Did make the soup, dad didn't want to eat it though, sheesh, he's pickier than my niece! anyhow, all the more spinachy goodness for the rest of us Mike (my husband) isn't eating tonight, he just came home from the hospital yesterday and isn't feeling up to it. I'm having a cup of miso soup, mum is having the last of the stewed lamb shanks I made on Friday, with the leftover rice from last night. I've got dough for a batch of flatbreads on rising just now, I'll pop it out in our shed for a cool overnight rise then bake them tommorow. Hmmm, thinking about it, they'd be good with that cassoulet! I went to real foods today for our monthly dried fruit, grains, nuts, flour and seed shop. Also bought a bottle of juice for Natasha, the lot came to £20, urgh, that best be it for this week. Well, it is, nearly, I need some onions, rice paper, pancetti (or bacon, see what I can scrounge up) and a few tinned things from lidls, tomatoes mainly, the amount of tomatoes we use in a week is hilarious. I love them though. I make "throw it all in" soup. two tins of tomatoes two onions two cloves of garlic bay leaf pinch of sugar or squirt of ketchup then whatever else you have! leftover cooked rice pasta beans (or all of the above if it's cold out!) carrot chunks turnip shredded cabbage or brussel sprouts fry the onions till softish, throw in the rest! add water if it needs it. If you use the cabbage dont chuck it at the start or it smells like hospital food.
  18. Ok, after reading the shopped thread in the uk forum I became increasingly frustrated by the Lidl bashing going on, my post explains our situation, to swiftly recap though.... We are a large family on a very low budget, we live in Edinburgh which can be awfully expensive for quality ingrediants, especially meat. I cook 90% of meals completely from scratch as I've found buying the ingrediants for something is almost always more satisfying, cheaper and more nourishing than buying a ready made version. I like to buy organic meat whenever we can afford it, the amount of hormones and antibiotics in supermarket meat is just terrifying, also the flavour is so much better in most cases that a little goes much further, a good organic chicken can be used for soup the next day! more than can be said of most supermarket birds. Organic fruits and veg are lower on my list of priorities, some things I do get, but only if I can find them at a reasonable price. If we're feeling more hard up than usual I just try to find the best of the rest, even if this involves trekking round a few places. Meatwise, I got for the cheapest cuts, things that require long, slow cooking, happily that fits around our life best as well, although I stay at home to take care of my husband I do end up running round all day with precious little time for last minute cooking. Veg, hmm... I'm pretty sure I have much to learn (roasted cauliflower ala egullet being one of the happiest learning curves I've ever had!) we do end up having the same sort of stuff fairly frequently, carrots, turnips, potato (barely counts as veg, lol) sweetcorn, peas and brocoli. We do eat a good salad most nights to make up for the monotony of our cooked veg. We all love fruit, be it fresh, tinned or dried. Bread and baked goods, I bake almost all the bread we eat, and most cakes and cookies too, I guess I bake bread almost everday, it becomes a habit fast and nothing makes cheaper meals taste better than good bread and butter, even just with cheese and a salad, it has a magical way of transforming lesser bits of leftovers into a meal. Well, that's really it, I thought it might be interesting to document this for a week, as much for myself as anything else. All suggestions are welcome, I'm always looking for something new for the family, I fear the day that they realise that braising is not the only way, lol. In the fridge we have a bag of spinach, and we have potatoes in the veg rack which I think might be pointing to spinach soup (before they go off and make me feel guilty) We do have some storecupboard stuff, olive oil (from lidls ), spices (various stuff including a little saffron), pomegranate molasses (uh, no idea when that was bought!), oatmeal, some bread flours, a tin of duck fat, garlic, veg stock cubes and some tinned tomatoes. I do try and use stuff from the cupboards, not always succesfully, lol. Today was market day at school, from the very nice organic meat stall I bought a piece of horseshoe brisket, a chicken and a pack of lamb and rosemary sausages, these meats should take us right through the week, I say should, it depends how many of us end up at each meal, my sister and her little girl eat with us some nights and not on others. Anyhow, that all came to £19 The chicken I'll most likely cook on Sunday, I usually just roast it plain, bit of lemon and some thyme. Mum likes bread sauce and we almost always have a nearer to stale loaf somewhere in the house. The brisket I'm undecided on, I've never cooked brisket before, in fact I rarely cook beef, it's just too expensive usually, but the brisket seemed like a bargain. Tommorow I'm going to make soup and a nice loaf of bread for lunch, my dad's coming to visit and I think my niece might be here too. As for dinner, I have no ideas yet. I have a bag of cooked, plain white rice though, ugh, yeah, not sure what to do with that. If I can work out how to post some pics I will! edited for spelling
  19. funny, I was reading about haggis in America today, in the Edinburgh evening news Joe Findlay, a butcher from Edinburgh is going to New York to the James Beard foundation to help Martin Wishart prepare the burns night dinner, you can read the article, I think it requires free registration. Anyhow, the article mentions that haggis in America cannot contain the lungs or lambs heart, also that it must be contained in a synthetic casing, is this true? I can see the casing, but without the offal I can only imagine the flavour and texture must be very different. Anyone here eaten haggis in the UK and USA?
  20. After having a wicked flu over christmas then my oven blowing up at new years I have a cupboard full of festive baking/cooking bits, including a tin of duck fat. I vaguely thought it's be good in a bread, first thinking that I could just melt it and use it in place of olive oil, maybe infused with garlic and/or herbs. Then I wondered if there was a recipe that calls for it in the first place. When I was thinking it through I was picturing some kind of flatbread, foccacia'ish perhaps... any ideas? perhaps it would in fact add nothing to the bread and is just another case of me trying to complicate things for no good reason, lol.
  21. binkyboots

    Dinner! 2005

    tonight we're having soup, made from the leftovers of our honey/spicey lamb braise with added lentils, beans and chopped tomatoes, with that we're having snowshoe flatbreads from "home baking" love that book, love it so much.... sadly do not know how to make an egullet amazon link.
  22. ideas are always welcome, braises are good but I think I may eventually reach the point where the family revolt if they find out I started cooking dinner at breakfast time, again >.< it's a texture thing I think, lol
  23. mmm.... I've read this post, twice in fact, and am working my way through the book. I shop for a family of usually three adults, sometimes five, depends which relatives are in during the week. We live entirely on my husband's disability benefits and income support payments, it certainly forces me to be imaginative when shopping as that is definately not a huge budget, that money also pays our bills and petrol. it goes a bit like this, I prioritise fruit, veg and meat, I prefer organics when I can get it, I do a lot of braises and stews to make good use of cheaper cuts, oxtail, shanks and lamb neck are favorites here. if I cant afford the organics I just try to find the best of the rest, even if it means a bit of trekking around. I get most of my fruit, veg and meat from the friday market at my niece's school, the meat there is very good, the lady butchers it on her own farm so you can request any cut, I request the ugly bits! I shop at lidls a lot, their canned tomatoes, olive oil, bread flour (ok, it's not organic, but on economy weeks it's still a cut above a bog standard white sliced wet loaf) cleaning products (except washing powder, I buy an enormous box of fairy twice a year, works out very cheap) their fruit juices are excellent if you check that it's a pure juice not a drink mix. Their fruit and veg is very hit or miss, their vine tomatoes tend to be great in summer, they smell like proper greenhouse tomatoes, avocados are usually crap though, the mixed salad is ok, I like to mix in some fresh herbs though to pep it up a bit. Their cheese is pretty good value, mozzarella, certainly good enough for cooking and as good as most supermarket's own brands, the feta is good too, well, I like it The butter, at least in our store is fine for cooking. They also do a nice bag of mixed dried fruits for £1.40 it's got prunes, pears, apples and apricots, soaked overnight in apple juice they are delicious. Oh, the lidls 29p natural yoghurt is nice too. it's not glamorous, but once you get past the council estate/tacky/boring/dare I say snob factor it's surprisingly good. I buy tinned beans, pulses and the bulk of our bread flour at real foods, they sell fresh yeast too. Loo roll, dog food, cat food and litter, milk, some fruit and veg, these are still supermarket buys... I'm working on it though. when I get the time I go to our local food co-op, they sell fruit, veg and basics at cost price. I must say, every single time I hear how the british public are demanding "cheap meat" it makes me want to scream, the majority of people on low incomes would love to aspire to something more exciting than a packet of 47p sausages, but the harsh truth is that on benefits you just dont always have the choice. Sure, I'd rather shop at small butchers, know my suppliers and visit the farmers market for all our shopping, but I cant so I prioritise, my family's health is at the top, then I look at other factors, fairtrade, local foods etc. If you want I'll show you this weeks menu, document where I get the stuff and how much it comes to...
  24. add butter and make a crumble with whatever fruit you have hanging around
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