Do you ever have posh fish and chips in those rather smart restaurants and always think the tartar sauce tastes so much better than what you get in a jar, well the good news is that it's actually really easy to make and can save you money.
When you buy a jar of tartar sauce, quite often if not eaten within a couple of weeks it can go yellow around the edges and has to be thrown away. Well if you invest in a small jar of capers, take a few out, mash them up with a fork and add them to some mayonnaise that is your posh tartar sauce. Just add more capers or mayonnaise depending on the consistency and taste you prefer.
If you want to add a bit more citrus, you can squeeze in some lemon juice or use some lemon mayonnaise if you have any. If you are a bit of a pepper fan then add a pinch of freshly ground pepper as well.
It's the same for mint sauce, if you have any fresh mint chop it up and add it to some vinegar. You can add a pinch of sugar if you like your mint sauce a bit sweeter.
If you have any fresh herbs left in the fridge that need using up pop them in the freezer and add them to sauces, curry’s, stews etc. as and when you need them.
You can add frozen mint to vinegar and it will defrost virtually immediately to give you a lovely homemade sauce.
I don’t know about you but as a busy working parent I struggle to come up with ideas for evening meals which help towards your five a day.
One trick is to buy those packs of casserole vegetables most supermarkets have. You know the ones with some carrots, a swede, parsnips and an onion? Be sure to check the reduced section in the supermarket first, otherwise they are reasonably cheap in the normal section, and grab a bag of potatoes whilst you are there.
OK so Christmas is well and truly over and it is time to reduce the waistline and the food bill.
Before you do that though if you don’t already have a slow cooker now is a good time to buy one. Preferably one with an inner casserole dish you can use on the hob that way you only need to wash one pan and it saves on time as well as money. I love the George Home 5.5L Slow Cooker from Asda it is really large, has an inner dish that can be used on the hob (not induction) and is currently reduced in the New Year’s sale.
Slow cooked food always tastes great whether it be vegetables or the cheaper cuts of meat. You can put it on before you go out to work or when you have a busy day at home and you have a healthy and hearty meal waiting for you which won’t break the bank or hurt the waistline.
I often search the offers section with the 'use by date' bargains in the supermarkets. I will quickly fry onions on the hob first, the same with meat to seal it before I add the vegetables and put the casserole dish back in the slow cooker. Then add a tin or two of chopped tomatoes some chillies if I fancy a chilli or some curry powder if I prefer a curry. For a more meaty dish add some chicken or beef stock cubes and hey presto a meal that often lasts more than one day and can be frozen for a later date.
Slow cookers are also great for cooking a joint of pork, flash fry it first on the hob, then place back in the slower cooker add some cornflour, ginger, brown sugar and cider. This makes a great meat dish for Sunday lunch.
For full details of the recipes mentioned please go to www.grubonabudget.com
Building confidence in the Kitchen by keeping cooking simple!
Cooking is not a science I will never understand why it was called domestic science at school and neither is it an art, it is a basic skill needed to survive. I was never artistic or scientific at school and I hated domestic science as it was far too regimented and prescribed. The only skills you need to be able to cook is taste and smell.
When first starting to cook ‘keep it simple’. For years food was cooked in one pot and it still can be. I make some great meals using just one saucepan it also creates less washing up.
I look to recipes for guidance but remember everyone’s taste is difference and so is their oven. Which is why timing and heat is for guidance only! If you know your oven takes longer to heat up, wait until it is fully hot before place your pie or cake in, otherwise it might still be undercooked even though you have had it in for the time specified.
Some very easy recipes I encourage first time cooks to try is soup, bread and jam.
There is nothing quite as nice has eating homemade soup with homemade bread or homemade bread and jam. They really are meals to relish, cheap to make and good for you!
Using Christmas leftover cheese to make great canapes
So Christmas is finally over and we start the New Year however the fridge is still full of all that left over Cheese. Don’t despair not only can cheese be chopped up and frozen for use in soups and sauces at a later date it can also make great Canapes.
I like to use my leftover stilton and create a stilton pate: