cheap, Chicken

Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pie- (84p per portion)

My grandparents who I was very close to always used to say, waste not want not. They both experienced the shortage of food, under the war and also the shortage of other necessities in those years. My grandad especially hated food waste, he remembered the depression and people queuing for food. My grandma was more off a practical cook instead of an experimental cook. She often cooked the same things. But what she cooked, she cooked really well, especially her biscuits. 

However, it never occurred to me how much the things my grandparents used to say to me as a child has actually stuck with me. I hate waste, I hate throwing good food out. Also, I use my nose and my eyes to judge whether food is still ok to eat. I think a lot of people have become way too reliant on the best before and use by date. I rarely stick to that, except when it comes to mussels and other sea food like that. But only because I once became really ill eating sea food that was well out off date, a friend cooked it for me… and ohh we were sick…

It’s a good thing I’m not too bothered about the dates, as I now tend to pop to my local shop in the evenings. Often, I pick up amazing offers at either 7pm when it’s 75% off the price and 9pm where its 90% of the price or 10p each item. The Other day I picked up lots of reduced Chicken… Drumsticks and whole chickens for 10p each!! I made a roast chicken not long ago for friends, I kept the carcasses and stripped off any meat we didn’t eat. I also stripped some meat of drumsticks that we didn’t get through. I have been keeping it all in the freezer.

This week Flipper has been poorly with tonsillitis and double-sided ear-infection and as he was relaxing, I spend all of Tuesday cooking, he loves being around whilst I cook. I made a lovely chicken soup on the carcasses and with the leftover meat (see my previous blog) and I made this chicken pie containing reduced mushrooms, leek, bacon and the leftover chicken together with a bit of the soup to make a yummy filling. I also had puff pastry, just the basic ready-made stuff from the super market. That’s one thing I can’t be bothered to make from scratch I must admit.

Blip really enjoyed the food, Flipper tried it, but with his hurting throat and ears he really wasn’t too interested. Luckily, he finally seems to be recovering.

I served the pie with green trees (broccoli) and yellow tree trunks (baby corns) which I had found reduced as well. Blip won’t eat them if I call it broccoli and baby corns. We also had potatoes on the side.

Chicken Pie

Serves 4 – 6 people

Ingredients

1 packet puff pastry
Leftover meat from chicken (approximately 400g)
1 leek
4 rashers of streaky bacon (or cooking bacon)
250 g closed cup mushrooms
1 garlic clove, grated
½ teaspoon nutmeg
250ml chicken stock (or leftover soup)
100 g cream cheese
100 g Greek yoghurt
1tbsp plain flour
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp oil 

Method:

  1. Take the puff pastry out of the fridge and leave out for about 10 to 15 minutes before using. Clean the leeks thoroughly then cut them into 1 cm discs, set aside.

  2. Clean and quarter the mushrooms and put aside.

  3. Make sure the chicken is made into small pieces and all deboned.

  4. Chop the bacon into small squares.

  5.  Now line the pie tray with 2/3 of the puff pastry, reserving the rest for the lid, ( I use a non stick tray so its not necessary to grease it first).  Place thelined  pie tray in the fridge until it needs using.

  6. If cooking the pie straight away, turn the oven on now to 180C (fan oven) or 200C traditional oven.

  7. Add the oil to a frying pan and fry the bacon on a medium heat until crispy and then set the bacon aside.

  8.   In the fat from the bacon add the mushrooms, garlic, leeks and saute until the leeks has softened. Then add the chicken and stir.
  9. Now add in the yoghurt, cream cheese, nutmeg and 200 ml of chicken stock mix it well and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.

  10. Whilst the mixture is simmering, add the flour to the remainder of the chicken stock and mix it until it forms a paste.

  11. Now add the flour mixture to the filling, mix and simmer for another 1-2 minutes, the mixture should have thickened up. Taste the mixture and season accordingly with salt and pepper.
  12. Add the filling to the Pie tray and place the remaining pastry on top so it forms a lid. You can decorate it with any of cut pastry if you wish. Ensure you make 1 or 2 holes in the pastry so steam can escape.

  13. Place in the warm oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is nice golden and flaky.

  14. Serve with vegetables of your choice and potato bits.

 

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Bon Appetite as my grandad would have said.

 

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per March 2019).

 

–      This time costings are harder as I’m using a leftover chicken. However, I have calculated it on ½ a leftover medium chicken from Tesco 1.3-1.5 kg.


Puff pastry £1.30
Chicken £1.50
Leek (£1.50/3)x1 =50p
Bacon (£1.25/14)x4 = 36p
Mushrooms (95p/300g)x250g=80p
Garlic clove 3p
Nutmeg 2p
Chicken stock (or leftover soup) (50p/10)x1 =5p
Cream cheese (49p/200g)x100g = 25p
Greek yoghurt (85p/500g)x100g =17p
Plain flour (45p/1500g)x 10g = 3p
Salt and pepper 2p
Oil (£3.50/5000ml)x15ml =1p

 Total cost £5.04  – Per Portion (£5.04/6)= 84p

 

 

cheap, Chicken, Meats, Soup

Waste Not Want Not – Chicken Soup – (94p per portion)

When I was about 9, my parents got divorced. The best thing they ever did in my opinion. They are as different as the sun and the moon and neither me or my brother have ever had any doubt that it was the best thing, they did for us. However, it brought a lot off changes into our lives. Some of them were good changes, however, it also brought its challenges with them.

I had to stay with my mum whilst my brother stayed with my dad. My brother is 4 years older than me. We were very close and still are very close, even when we don’t see each other that often.  I was only allowed to see my dad every other weekend and it was hard, as I had always been very close to my dad. Anyone who knows us, says there is no doubt I’m his daughter. Both with looks and the ways we are. I got a lot of positive traits from my dad.

One of the things I really enjoyed when I used to visit my dad and brother in the weekends, was the food he used to cook for us. My dad is a really good cook, he loves cooking and puts a lot of care into it.  Whereabout my mums cooking is rather horrendous (sorry mum) and more, let’s put this in a pot and cook it as quickly as possible. My mum’s food is either really plain or very hot and unbalanced.  There are only one or two meals she really cooks to perfection.

One of the things my dad often cooked for us was soup, not always chicken soup but often and ohh my days how I loved it! To this day when I visit my dad in Denmark, I always ask him if he can make me soup. He normally does it as he knows it makes me very happy!

I have recreated the recipe he used, however, changed it slightly as I wanted to make it from leftover chicken from Sunday roast, instead of from a whole chicken.  It almost tastes the same, but it will never be as delicious as the one my dad makes. Even if I use his recipe, it’s just not quite right.

Also, I haven’t made the traditional Danish meatballs and flour balls (melboller) we normally add to the soup back in Denmark, mainly as I still haven’t mastered the technique and they therefor don’t taste quite right.

The good thing is, that if you got enough leftover chicken meat and about 250ml soup you can turn all of this into a gorgeous chicken pie. If you are planning to make a pie, then you need about an extra 400g of chicken and 250 ml of soup.

Blip enjoyed the soup, Flipper didn’t but then he does have tonsillitis and an ear infection.

I served the soup as a starter before the chicken pie and I also have had it a few more times since.

I added a bit of pasta in for the kids, however, you can leave this out if you wish.  I would recommend Anellini or Filini pasta, as they take very little time to heat up. You would only need a small handful of this.

The soup freezes perfectly as well

Chicken soup

Serves

At least,  4 as a main course.

Ingredients

For the soup:

1 carcase
1 onion
2 Carrots
1 leek (green and white part)
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
2 celery sticks
2 whole garlic cloves.
2 litters of water
Salt and pepper

Filling for the soup:

400 g chicken
2 leeks
2 carrots
50g Anellini or Filini Pasta (optional)
Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Clean the leek and chop into 1 cm discs, also cut the carrots into 1 cm pieces, cut the onion into quarters, unpeel the garlic and slice the ginger into 5 match sticks.
  2. Add the carcase to the pot, and all the vegetables for the soup, (remember to reserve the vegetables that are for the filling of the soup). Now add the 2 litters of water and a teaspoon of salt and pepper. Put the lid on and gentle boil the soup for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  3. If any white forms on the soup whilst simmering, gently remove with a spoon and continue to cook. You may have to do this several times during the cooking time. This ensures that the soup stay nice and clear.
  4. Now prepare the filling for the soup, ensuring the leftover chicken is cut into bite size pieces, peel the carrot and cut into 1 cm round disks. Also ensure to clean the leeks thoroughly and cut into 1 cm disks.
  5. After the 1hour and 15 minutes is up, sieve the soup and discard all the vegetables and the carcase of the chicken.
  6. Place the now clear soup back on the stove, season with salt and pepper and add all the filling for the soup. Including the pasta if you are planning to use it. Let it simmer for another 15 minutes or until the carrots are nice and soft.

 

Bon Appetite as my grandad would have said.

 

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per March 2019).

–          This time costings are harder as I’m using a leftover chicken. However, I have calculated it on ½ a leftover medium chicken from Tesco 1.3-1.5 kg.

 

Ingredients:

Chicken +(carcase) £1.50

Onion 10p

Carrots 18p

Leek £1.50

Ginger 15p

Celery sticks 10p

Garlic cloves. 6p

Pasta 99p/400g) x50g = 13p (https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/259347043)

Salt and pepper 2p

Total cost = £3.74 Per portion (3.74/4) = 94p per portion

 

Chicken, Meats

Chicken One-Pot – Food for the Soul – (92p per portion)

 

It’s been way too long since I have updated my blog and there are many reasons as to why. No, l didn’t just get tired off writing my blog. Unfortunately, life just took over and I got overwhelmed. The last thing on my mind was to write any posts. However, I have missed it and knew that it was time that I started again.

So you may be wondering what happened. We sold our house, however, the whole sale went messy and even though we had buyers to buy it, it took 6 months for the sale to get through. .However, this meant that we lost the deal on the house we where going to buy. Instead, for 4 months we lived in Air BnBs… believe me it was hard as we moved around a lot… Now.. we are finally renting a place until we find out if we are going to buy a place or not.

Also, Baby Flipper became a toddler, he is now 18-month-old. And Toddler Blip is no longer a toddler but a clever school boy. He started in reception in August and, touch wood, he is doing really well…

As to me, well I have finally decided that it would be too much for me to work, and instead I will for the time being be a stay at home mum to my two boys. Hopefully this means I’ll have plenty of time to focus on cooking delicious food for my two boys…

With all the confusion that has been surrounding my little family one of the things that has been constant is mine and our love of food. Yesterday when “Blip” came home from school, we made one of my favourite dinners. One Pot Chicken. It’s what I would call comfort food and food for the soul… (another reason I love this dish though is because it all can be made in one pot and therefore it saves on the washing up).

Blip and Flipper both ate the food, only refusing the tomatoes. Strangely enough, neither of my boys likes tomatoes very much. I used chicken drumsticks, however, you could easily use thighs instead, preferable with the bone in. I’m quite lucky that I have often found chicken drumsticks reduced in my local Co-op I got nine trays yesterday for 65p each. My friend got some off them. Its brilliant when you got friends you can share your bargains with.

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Now some people may say that 2 drumsticks per person isn’t enough, for our family its enough. However, you could serve it with salad and garlic bread on the side.

One Pot Chicken
–          Serves 4

Ingredients:

8 Chicken drumsticks
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp all-purpose seasoning
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 Rasher streaky bacon, chopped
400 ml Chicken stock
500g small potatoes, halved if big
100g Full fat soft cheese
200g peas
200g Sweet corn
200g Cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp finely chopped dill (optional)

Method:

  • Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and the all-purpose seasoning, then dust with the flour.
  • Heat the oil in a large lidded pan and brown off the chicken, this may need to be done in batches. When Brown set aside on a plate.
  • Without cleaning the pan, fry the chopped bacon in the pan until crisp. Then return the chicken into the pan and add the chicken stock, cover and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the potatoes and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the potatoes and chicken is cooked through.
  • Now stir in the cheese, and add the corn and tomatoes and let it simmer without the lid for a further 3 minutes. Then add the peas and cook for about a minute so the peas are just cooked through. Now turn off the heath and add the dill, season further if needed.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per February 2019).

 

Ingredients:
Drumsticks  £1.24
Flour (0.45p/1500g)x20g = 1p
All-purpose seasoning (0.95/100g)x10g =10p
Oil (£5/5000ml)x15ml= 2p
Streaky Bacon = (£1.25/12)x4=42p
Chicken stock (0.50/10)x1= 5p
Potatoes (0.77/1000g)x500g= 40p
Full fat soft cheese (0.49/200g)x100g= 25p
Peas (0.62p/900g)x200g=14p
Sweet corn (0.79p/907g)x200g =18p
Cherry tomatoes (0.85/330g)x 200g=52p
Dill (0.70p/30g)x15g = 35p

Total cost £3.68  – Per portion £3.68/4 = 92p

 

New Recipes, vegetarien

Easy and Delicious Aubergine Bake – 95p per portion

I absolutely love aubergines. When I see that deep purple almost black colour of the skin, it makes me so happy. It’s strange because I know that aubergines weren’t used a lot back home in Denmark, however, I clearly remember my mum buying them (occasionally) and we must have eaten them as well… I have no recollection of eating them in Denmark!

 Since I arrived in the UK Aubergines are still one of the vegetables that I love to cook with. I have tried many different recipes. Aubergines aren’t technically a vegetable but a fruit from the same category as the tomato! Luckily the husband also enjoys aubergines, for Baby Blip, the jury is still out on Aubergines.

Baby “Flipper” is almost 10 months and is still only happy having breast milk (mummy is getting very tired). However, he has lately at least started to put some food in his mouth… a bit of pizza today! HURRAH!!!!!  Hopefully, by the time he is 18 he will be happy eating normal food… He was happy to squeeze and play with the Aubergine bake I made today… however, none of it touched his lips. But hey, one day!

I have tried purees and all the tricks under the sun, however, he is stubborn like his mummy and know what he wants.

The dish I made today is really simple, this year I am growing thyme and oregano outside so using fresh herbs. however, you could just substitute it for dried herbs instead.

I added frozen spinach to the dish which was lovely. However, next time I would love to try and layer it with potatoes, this would help give the dish a bit of texture. I often buy Aubergines from my local market, they normally do two for a pound. However, they are widely available from super markets as well. This dish is meat free, however, you could add some bacon to it or even some sausage meat between the layers. I like to make my own bread crumbs with the ends of bread. It’s cheap and easy.

I served the dish with garlic bread.

This recipe serves 4 people, I made it in foil trays, so we could freeze one portion.

Aubergine Bake

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 medium aubergines

2 tbsp oil

1 medium onion finely chopped

½ large leek – white part (optional)

2 clove garlic finely chopped

400g tinned chopped tomatoes

100g cream cheese

1 tbsp oregano

1 tbsp thyme

75g fresh spinach

3 tbsp bread crumbs

3 tbsp grated mature cheddar

Salt and pepper

 

Method:

  1. Cut the aubergines into 1 cm long slices, lengthwise. Lay them in one layer on a baking tray (or a grill pan) and lightly brush with oil and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Now cook them until slightly browned, then turn them over and season again and cook until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, clean and chop up the leek finely.
  3. Put the remaining oil in a pan and on medium heat add the garlic, leek and onion and cook until translucent.
  4. Pour in the chopped tomato, the thyme and oregano and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, the consistency should be rather thick.
  5. Assemble the dish by, adding half the aubergines to the bottom of an oven proof dish, then spread the cream cheese on top of it. Then add a layer of tomato sauce (1/3 of the tomato sauce) a layer of spinach and top with the remaining aubergines. Now add the remaining tomato sauce on top and finish off with the breadcrumbs and grated cheese.
  6. Cook at 200C in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

Serve with garlic bread and salad

 

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per June 2018).

 

Aubergines £1.40

Oil 1p

Onion 10p

Leek 25p

Garlic 6p

Tin Tomatoes 30p

Cream cheese 55p

1 tbsp oregano 5p

1 tbsp thyme 5p

Spinach 30p

Bread Crumbs 20p

Cheddar (£2.50/500g)x100g = 50p

Salt and pepper 2p

Total amount = £3.79

Per portion = 95p

 

cheap, vegetarien

Vegetarian Chickpea Curry! (60p per person)

It has been a while since I have written a recipe or even updated my blog. But so much has happened in the last year. Baby Flipper is getting big, 10 months now, but he refuses to eat anything except my milk. I so enjoy breastfeeding, but it is draining that he never wants anything else. However, I’m sure that before he turns 18 he will have learned to eat proper food (I’m not breastfeeding that long!!!). However, Baby Flipper is growing really well, he is gaining weight and so content.

joshii & noah

His big brother “Blip” is almost 4 years old and becoming a fantastic little boy. He can count to 10 in Danish and English and almost to 20 in English. He understands all Danish but still prefer replying in English. He no longer uses a dummy!! JUBIIII and is still so in love with his little brother. He can’t stop giving him kisses and hugs. They are the two most amazing things that ever happened to me. Continue reading “Vegetarian Chickpea Curry! (60p per person)”

Every day life posts, New Recipes

Sophie goes on holiday

Sometimes with a busy family life it’s easy to forget to appreciate the small things in life. It’s so easy to forget to appreciate the small moments in life. In the autumn, just a few months after I gave birth to Baby “Flipper”, the husband was working from home one Saturday. This meant that Toddler “Blip”, Me and Baby “Flipper” had to try and not disturb daddy.  With a toddler and a baby in tow this is much easier said than done. Blip isn’t big enough to fully understand what works means and constantly tries and disturb daddy.

The sun was shining but it was freezing cold outside, however, as I was getting more and more irritated inside trying to not disturb daddy, I decided to take both the kids out for a walk. In Denmark we say, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. Blip wanted a picnic I packed him a sandwich and juice and of for a walk and picnic we went.

Flipper was wrapped up nice and warm in his pram and Blip in a warm jacket. Off we went for a walk, Blip had his bellowed elephant Sophie with him.

We walked through this wooden kind of forest and over a bridge, to a playground. Blip was exploring the nature, flowers, stones everything you can find in the forest. When we got to the big bridge he was fascinated seeing all the cars driving underneath. We spend a whilst just looking at it. Then finally we got to the playground and had our picnic. I had brought a small towel with me to sit on, just so you had the feeling of picnic.

sophie and joshii sopha

Blip was so excited and had such a good time, I joined in and we played “We are going on a bear hunt” I climbed with Blip op on all the playground features and we had a giggle. Flipper was sleeping and nice and cosy in his pram, finally it was time to get home.

When we got home I realised that Blip had lost his blue nosed elephant Sophie on the trip. I left him with daddy and re-traced our trip. But Sophie was nowhere to be found… I looked everywhere. That evening Blip couldn’t sleep as he was so sad that Sophie was gone. In the end I told him that Sophie had gone on holiday and we talked about what she would be experiencing on her journey.

Next morning Blip told me that he was waiting for his postcards from Sophie and that she soon we come home to him.

I ended up buying a replacement (4 in the end as they all where the wrong sizes except the last one) on eBay. I was lucky that the lovely members of The Hygge Nook (a group on Facebook) were so kind and offered to send Blip lots of postcards, as if they were from Sophie.

Within a few days we started to receive postcards, we got from America, Canada, Different places in the UK, and Australia. Every morning Blip would run to the door and check if there was news from Sophie. We also received a baby brother to Sophie – a tiny elephant. And a card from Millie the cat that Sophie visited in Scotland.

 

I also posted on our local pages if anyone had found her, 3 weeks later (I still hadn’t received the correct replacement) I got a message on Facebook that she had been found in a charity shop and a lovely man had bought her and she was delivered back to us. – It amazing what kind people are around, normally we only hear the bad stories

Finally, we got Sophie home again, however, she was rather dirty. I gave her a wash and ensured she was ready for when Blip returned from pre-school. She was standing inside the door with a tiny suitcase… Never have I seen him so happy being reunited with his elephant.

It’s now about 4 months since this happened and he still talks about her journeys, we still got all the postcards. The other day he said to me… Can she go on holiday again (my answer) NOOOO!

However, creating the picnic and when she was lost coming up with the story about her on the holiday and getting her returned with the small suitcase was amazing. It will always be surrounded by a mystery and a bit of hygge connected with it.

Blip still sleeps with his Sophie every evening. I want to say a big THANK YOU to all the members of the Hygge Nook… You guys are amazing.

In the end it all turned out lovely, and it is so  lovely to be a part of your children’s life and try and create the best childhood you can for them. It’s about remembering that the best times doesn’t need to cost money and you can experience hygge if you have an open mind and look for it.

 

 

 

Cakes, Cooking with a toddler, Desert

Delicious Orange Shortbreads (12p a piece)- What is Hygge?

What is Hygge? Is it baking Orange Shortbreads with Toddler “Blip”?

It’s funny to see how the Danish expression Hygge has become so popular all over the world.

In lots of magazines, and big furniture stores or even in super markets you will see different items or articles about hygge. This includes how to experience proper Danish hygge or creative the feeling of hygge.

Strangely enough a lot of it seems to turn its focus on tea candles and creating the right atmosphere in your house.

Sometimes when I read articles like this I feel exhausted by just looking at it, as it sounds like experiencing takes quite an effort, or does it?

It is true that you can create a lovely cosy atmosphere with blankets, candles and lots of lovely things, but this in itself does not mean you will have a lovely hyggelig time.

Continue reading “Delicious Orange Shortbreads (12p a piece)- What is Hygge?”