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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Garlicky Potato & Ham Bake!

This is an easy winter warmer - it only takes about 15 minutes to prepare but needs to bake for about an hour. This recipe is enough for 4 portions and costs about £1.50 each.


750g potatoes - peeled and sliced into 1/2 cm rounds
200g sliced honey roast ham - torn into pieces
250ml double cream
150ml semi skimmed milk
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves of garlic - peeled and crushed
3 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
50g cheese - grated

How to make

Preheat the oven to 180oC / Fan 160oC / Gas 4.

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the potatoes for 5 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and layer them in a casserole putting the ham in between each layer.

Mix the cream, milk, mustard, garlic and parsley together and season.

Pour over the potatoes and sprinkle the cheese on top.

Bake for an hour until the potatoes are tender and the cheese is bubbling.

Nice with some leaves and a piece of crusty bread.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Bacon, Veg & Chilli Spaghetti!

This tasty pasta dish uses up spare veg and is quick and easy - I've used what we had in the fridge but you can use other veg instead or as well as e.g broccoli. It took me about 20 minutes to make and costs less than a £1.00 each.


200g dried spaghetti
Jar of Tomato & Chilli pasta sauce - 350g
2 courgettes - cut into small cubes
2 carrots - peeled and cut onto small cubes
3 slices of bacon - cut into pieces
Handful of cheese - grated

How to make

Cook the bacon in a frying pan and when it's just turning brown add the tomato sauce and the veg.

Simmer gently for about 10 minutes until the veg are soft.

In the meantime, cook the spaghetti following the instructions on the packet.

Drain the spaghetti and pile the sauce on top and sprinkle with the cheese.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Gammon Ham, Egg & Chips!

A small joint of gammon (750g) costs about £3.50 but it will go a long way. You can have it with egg and chips like I am doing here, at a cost of about £2.00 each and then use what's left to put into a pie or a sandwich.


Small smoked joint of gammon - 750g
Two handfuls of frozen chips - more if you like more!
2tsp oil
2 eggs
Can of baked beans

How to make

Preheat the oven to 190oC, Fan 170oC, Gas 5.

Put the gammon into a baking tray and cover loosely with foil - cook on the middle shelf for 35 minutes per 500g + 35mins.

Put the chips into another tray and put into the oven 40 minutes before the gammon will be ready.

Remove the foil from the gammon when there is 30 minutes of cooking left.

When the gammon is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to stand for 2 minutes.

Meanwhile heat the oil in a small frying pan and when it's hot fry the eggs, at the same time gently warm the beans in a small pan.

Slice the gammon and serve with the chips, egg and beans.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Em's Lasagne!

My brother's girlfriend Emilie sent me this recipe so I tried it and it's good!

Ems “left-overs” Lasagne
For Bolognese
500g lean mince beef
8 big mushrooms
2 onions
Packet flavoring
2 tins of Tomatoes 
- Brown the meat in a frying pan, with onion (1 or 2) and several mushrooms
Lasagne white sauce
Pasta sheets

- Let this cook
- Once cooked add 2 tins of tomatoes to a separate pan
- Pour the packet mix in with this.
- Add the meat and vegetable mix to the pan and stir until hot.
- Once simmering let it simmer for 40 mins
That’s your base done…. And a yummy sauce you can use on anything, from pasta to a jacket potato topping… this made me 8 servings.
- Once simmering, take off the heat. Get your lasagne dish and add on layer of meat, then add a layer of pasta sheets (break them up as you don’t want them to overlap for a quick cook) then add a layer of white sauce. Repeat this process again, then sprinkle grated cheese on top and some mixed herbs,
- Cook till golden brown on top (roughly 30-40 mins)
- And eat - this should serve around 4 people

Monday, 28 October 2013

Spicy Prawn and Chorizo Rice!

A favourite recipe (in our house) for an easy and tasty one-pot meal. It takes about 40 minutes to make, will serve two generous portions and costs about £2.50 each.


1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic glove
1 red chilli - seeded and chopped
200g chorizo sausage - skinned and cut into slices
200g rice
1 tsp paprika
2 pints chicken stock - made using a jelly or a cube
100g frozen peas
200g raw shelled tiger prawns - thawed if frozen
100g cherry tomatoes, halved

How to make

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the garlic, onion, chillies and chorizo for a few minutes until the onion has gone soft.

Stir in the rice and paprika, then pour in the stock, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every now and again.

Tip in the peas, season and cook for another 7-10 minutes, stirring until the rice is tender. iIf it gets too dry add some boiling water.

Stir in the prawns and cook for a few minutes until the prawns turn pink.

Check to see if it needs any more seasoning before serving.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Thai Red Chicken Curry with sticky rice!

A tasty curry which is quick and easy and really nice with Thai sticky rice.
This recipe will serve 2, it takes about 25 minutes to make and will cost £2.00 each.


1 tbsp oil
2 chicken breasts - skinned and cut into chunks
3 tbsp red curry paste 
180ml coconut milk
2 tsp dried Thai herbs - kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and sweet basil leaves
150g sticky rice

How to make

Heat the oil in a frying pan.

Add the red curry paste and 1 tbsp of the coconut milk and mix together for about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken and stir in to coat the meat with the paste.

Stir in the rest of the coconut milk and simmer until the chicken is cooked, about 10 minutes - the sauce shouldn't be too thick.

Meanwhile cook the rice according to the instructions on the pack - you'll need to simmer it for about 15 minutes on the hob.

Add the herbs and continue to simmer for about 4 more minutes.

If you have any coriander and/or red chillies (finely sliced) you can add these to finish off the dish.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Chilli con carne with rice!

A winter warmer that is quick and easy to make - this will serve two people for dinner and there will be enough left to use as a topping for a jacket potato.
This will take about half an hour to make and it'll cost less than £2.00 each.


250g lean minced beef
Tin or pack of chopped tomatoes
Tin of red kidney beans in a chilli sauce
100g mushrooms - chopped into quarters 
1 tsp chilli powder
150 g easy cook rice

How to make

Brown the minced beef in a frying pan until brown.

Add the tomatoes and the kidney beans and mix together.

Taste and if you'd like it to be a bit hotter add the chilli powder and leave to simmer on a low heat for about 10 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and stir well and cook for another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the rice following the instructions on the pan.

Serve the chilli piled onto the rice - nice with tortilla chips!