It’s been a little while since I last posted, so I decided to come back with another classic type of post… A recipe. This recipe is called a “Cowboy Casserole” by my two boys, but others may call it a simple sausage casserole. It’s super simple to prepare, and makes for a filling and beautiful belly-warmer of a meal – especially now that it’s starting to get colder!
This whole recipe cost me £3.50 to make, and easily serves 4 or 5 people, meaning each serving is between 70p and 87p. What a cracker!
16 sausages (I bought a double pack of Richmond’s)
1 tin of peeled, plum tomatoes (I used Asda’s own)
2 tins of beans (I used Asda’s own)
1tsp dried chilli flakes
Splash of oil (for frying)
- Add a splash of oil to a frying pan, and part-fry the sausages. I managed to fit 8 sausages in my pan, so this took me two “goes”. Once the sausages are almost cooked, and are a browny colour, transfer them on to some kitchen roll to remove any excess grease from the pan.
- Chop each sausage in to a “mouthful” sized piece. I cut each sausage in to four.
- Leave the cut sausages on your chopping board, and add two tins of baked beans in tomato sauce, the tin of peeled, plum tomatoes, the chilli flakes and paprika to your slow cooker. Add the sausages, and stir the mixture with a large spoon until all the sausages have been coated.
- Set your slow cooker to “HIGH”, and set the timer for 5 hours. Don’t forget to put the lid on the slow cooker.
- You can serve your Cowboy Casserole on its’ own, or (my recommendation) mashed potatoes.
Talk about a comfort food! This is a perfect pudding to make and enjoy, whilst waiting for Spring to turn up. I know, I know – it’s officially Spring already, but it’s still chilly out there!
This recipe takes about 15 minutes to make, and then a further 45 minutes to “bake”. I asked for the help of Gning with this one…
3-4 tsp sweet mixed spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.)
1l milk (whole / full fat works best)
A few handfuls of sultanas
8 rounds of bread (approximately… You may need more, depending on the size of the ovenproof dish you use)
Butter – to grease the ovenproof dish
- Preheat your oven to 190ºC (170ºC for fan assisted ovens).
- Grease your ovenproof dish with butter.
- Measure out your sugar, and combine the sweet mixed spice, stirring thoroughly. I assigned this task to Gning.
- Measure out your milk, and crack the eggs straight in to it. Use a whisk to combine it… This was another task assigned to Gning.
- (Optional) cut all the crusts off the bread.
- Butter one side of each round of bread, and slice in half – side or diagonally, your choice. Fill the bottom of the ovenproof dish with the sliced bread (butter “up”).
- I asked Gning to sprinkle some of the sugar mix over the bread, followed by a handful of sultanas. Repeat this step until the ovenproof dish is full.
- Pour the egg-milk mixture over the top of the layered bread, and allow to “soak” for 10-15 minutes. Don’t worry if it looks like you have too much milk… You don’t. It will all set wonderfully.
- Place in the middle of the oven, and bake for 45 minutes.
- Your pudding should be ready when it is a lovely golden colour.
- Serve immediately – with or without cream; or you can leave the pudding to “set”, and serve it cold. Yummy!
A great recipe that costs pennies to make.
I made a bit of a booboo with the recipe, but overall, it turned out great. Afterall, making mistakes when baking makes some of the best recipes known to man. I also burned my finger rather badly when taking the tin out of the oven, so please, please, please, be careful!
3oz self-raising flour
3oz caster sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
Lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
For the drizzle
2oz caster sugar
Juice from 1/2 lemon
- Preheat your oven to 180C / 160C for fan assisted ovens.
- Line your loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
- Combine the eggs, flour, sugar, butter, baking powder and lemon zest in a large bowl, until creamy.
- Pour in to your lined tin.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and springy to the touch.
- Remove from the oven, and whilst it’s cooling, measure out your sugar for the drizzle, and stir thoroughly with the juice from 1/2 a lemon, until the sugar is fully dissolved.
- As soon as the sugar is dissolved, pour the mixture over the top of the still warm cake, and spread all over with the back of a metal spoon.
- Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin.
- Slice up and enjoy!
This is such a simple recipe, and perfect for kiddies to make. Try your hand at this frugal, and exceedingly yummy recipe. All in all, I think it cost approximately 45p to make 12 biscuits…
Jam / Nutella / Lemon Curd
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, and line your baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2. Using the back of a large, wooden spoon, cream the butter in a large bowl, then add the sugar. Continue to cream together.
3. Add the egg yolk, and vanilla essence, and continue stirring with the wooden spoon.
4. Add the flour, part by part, and combine thoroughly. When it becomes difficult to mix, get your hands in there to form a dough ball.
5. “Pinch an inch”, and roll in to ball shapes. Place on the lined baking tray.
6. Use your thumb, and press down in the middle of each ball, creating a well.
7. Add a teaspoon full of your jam (or Nutella / lemon curd), ensuring that the mixture doesn’t overflow too much.
8. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
9. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the baking tray for approximately 5 minutes or so, before placing them on a cooling wire rack.
I have to admit, I am not a fan of peanut butter. Peanuts are ok, but when they’ve been made in to a spread, I’m not keen. My husband and eldest son, on the other hand, love the stuff.
Several months ago, I tried out a recipe for peanut butter truffles, but they just weren’t the same as a regular truffle should be, so I changed the name to peanut butter bites.
This recipe is SO simple, and can be made using vegan friendly products (if you are a vegetarian / vegan).
There’s no baking involved, and very little “heat” needed, so give it a go. I think it took me about an hour to make them – from start to finish; and the whole outcome cost less than £2.
If you have any fancy boxes, you could even pop a few of the bites in to a box, tie a ribbon around, and you have an amazing, homemade, frugal gift.
270g (9.5oz) peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
40g (1.4oz) unsalted butter
140g (4.9oz) icing sugar
Chocolate (I used 300g / 10oz, but I had some left over)
- Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
- Ensure that you have enough room to fit the baking sheet in to your fridge – this is very important!
- Put your peanut butter and butter in to a microwavable bowl, and heat on full power for 15-30 seconds. I checked after 15 and 20 seconds, but needed longer, so I allowed for the full 30.
- Transfer the butter mixture in to a mixing bowl, and mix thoroughly, until the butter and peanut butter have combined.
- Carefully sift in the icing sugar, bit by bit, and mix well. I used about a third at a time. Ensure that you have thoroughly mixed in the icing sugar to the butter mixture.
- Using your hands, break off a little of the peanut dough, and roll quickly in between your palms to make a ball, approximately 1 inch in diameter, and place each ball on to the lined baking sheet. If, like mine, towards the end of the dough, it stops wanting to stick together, squeeze it a little in your palms to soften, and roll into a ball again.
- Place the baking sheet in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
- After about 20 minutes, break up the chocolate in to small pieces, and place in a glass bowl – be sure that the glass bowl can sit on the top of a pan of water. The base of the bowl should not touch the water.
- Bring the pan of water to the boil, and allow the chocolate to melt completely.
- When the chocolate has fully melted, switch off the heat, and bring out the peanut butter bites from the fridge.
- Roll each bite in the melted chocolate, allowing any excess chocolate to drip off. I used two forks, and gently tapped the fork on the edge of the glass bowl to allow the excess chocolate to come away.
- Place the now chocolate covered bites back on to the baking sheet, and repeat until you have covered all peanut bites.
- When you have completed covering the bites, if you wish, you can cover them in sprinkles, or (as I did) just sprinkle a couple on the very top.
- Return to the fridge for approximately 20 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.
It’s been quite a while my last post, and I thought it was about time I started blogging again. I don’t think I could have chosen a better time than to post a new recipe!
2 chicken breasts
1 smoked pork sausage
1 courgette (for those who live in the USA, you would call this a zucchini)
1 small(ish) unsweetened double cream (Elmlea is perfect. Again, if you’re in the US, you may call this heavy, or whipping cream)
A couple of handfuls of cheese – I used 1 handful of white Cheddar, and 1 handful of red Cheddar
1 small pot of garlic paste, or if unavailable, 2 garlic cloves – crushed / chopped… Whatever your preference
A good shaking of smoked paprika
Pasta – I used five handfuls of fusilli
Tablespoon of olive oil – for frying
- Dice your chicken breasts, slice your sausage, and ‘stick’ your courgette.
- Add your pasta to a pan, and cover with water. Put on the heat, on the hob.
- Warm your wok / frying pan up, and add the oil just as the pan begins to smoke.
- Add the chicken, and fry until fully cooked, stirring occasionally.
- When the chicken has cooked, add a decent shaking of your smoked paprika, and add your garlic paste / cloves.
- Stir thoroughly, and allow the paprika & garlic to be absorbed just a little.
- Add the sliced smoked sausage and sticked courgette, and allow to fry – stirring occasionally – until the courgette has started to soften slightly.
- Pour in the cream, and stir thoroughly.
- Ignore the look of it now… It’s gone from “pretty” to a mess in less than 5 seconds.
- Add the cheese – about half a handful at a time – and use the ‘lift & stir’ technique. (If you don’t know what this is, it’s simple. Push your wooden spoon / spatula under the mixture, then lift – as if you’re folding the mixture – then stir around, until all the cheese has melted.)
- Turn down the heat completely, and sort out your pasta… I usually drain off the pasta, pour boiling water over it, then redrain. Add a small amount of butter (small – ha ha!!) and stir until the butter has melted.
- Turn off the heat to the cheese sauce & meat mix, and add the pasta directly to the pan.
- Give it a good stir, then turn out in to a fancy (if you have one) serving dish.
- Help yourself, and enjoy 🙂 I served this with a couple of garlic baguettes, straight from the oven. Yummy.
It’s Gnings’ last day in school tomorrow, as he is breaking up for Christmas. I can’t believe how quickly it has come around!
I’ve been struggling for ideas on what he should give to his teacher, and two teaching assistants, as a gift for Christmas; and with money being a bit tight too (I’m still on maternity leave), I didn’t really want to spend a lot. So I thought, everyone loves biscuits, so that’s what we’ll do. And that’s what we did!
I think I managed to make about 50 stars, and 35 “gingerbread” biscuits. The stars cost approx. 50p, and the “gingerbread” ones about 75p.
Here’s the recipe:~
125g butter, softened
55g caster sugar
180g plain flour (all-purpose)
OPTIONAL – (1tbsp desiccated coconut)
Drop of water
- Preheat your oven to 190C (170C for fan assisted).
- Line a baking tray (or two) with greaseproof paper.
- Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and cream together, using the back of a large, wooden spoon.
- Sift in all of the flour, in one go, and stir it all together using the spoon (this is also the part where you will add the coconut – if you are going to. This worked absolutely wonderfully). When you’re unable to stir any more, use one of your hands to start “bringing the mixture together”, in to a dough.
- Add just a drop or two of water – just enough so the mixture starts to meld nicely. Don’t add too much, otherwise it’ll end up all sticky, and icky.
- Once the dough has formed a lovely ball, turn out on to a work surface, that has had a ‘scattering’ of icing sugar (powdered / confectioners sugar), and roll out with a rolling pin, so that it’s about 1cm thick.
- Cut out your required shape(s) – squares, rectangles, circles, stars, etc. – and place on the lined baking tray.
- Lightly prick the top of the biscuits with a fork, and sprinkle a little more caster sugar on the top of each.
- Throw them in the oven (well, not literally) for 15-20 minutes, or until a golden brown colour.
- Allow to cool fully before digging in. Be careful though! They are incredibly moreish.
Excuse the pics – my camera is playing up a little 😦
And this is how I packaged them up – all ready for Gningy to take in to school tomorrow: