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Your Frugal Kitchen Tips?
Mon 20-Feb-12
4:44 pm
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Lillia
Hertfordshire

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It would be nice if we share some of our frugal kitchen tips and ideas~

~I buy both cheap un-brand coffee and the good coffee, mixing 2 parts un-brand and 1 part good stuff in my coffee tin. We have great tasting coffee at much less cost.

~When I make burgers, I mix in dry oats and a bit of water. (About 1/2 a cup oats to 500g of meat) the oats take on the flavor, gives you very moist burgers, and stretches your amount.

 

I'm always looking for more tips to save money star

Mon 20-Feb-12
5:48 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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I always make my own bread, cakes and biscuits. It is more satisfying so less is needed and is cheaper than shop made. I also make my own jam from fruit I grow and buy the sugar needed in 5 kg sacks that costs me €5, better jam much cheaper

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Mon 20-Feb-12
5:56 pm
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Lillia
Hertfordshire

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Aly said:

I always make my own bread, cakes and biscuits. It is more satisfying so less is needed and is cheaper than shop made. I also make my own jam from fruit I grow and buy the sugar needed in 5 kg sacks that costs me €5, better jam much cheaper

I LOVE homemade jam~what kinds do you make, Aly?

I,too, make my own bread. It IS better, isn't it?

Mon 20-Feb-12
5:59 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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At the moment my pantry is stuffed with
Damson
Apple
Apple and raspberry
Raspberry
Blackcurrant
Blackberry jelly
Apple and blackberry
Cherry

As well as my everyday bread I have recently started making sour dough with the help of this site.

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Mon 20-Feb-12
6:02 pm
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Lillia
Hertfordshire

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Oh my! How wonderful that must be, Aly~  so many wonderful flavors.

Mon 20-Feb-12
6:05 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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Seems the gremlins have visited you already!
Yes I am very fortunate to have so much fruit to use.

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Mon 20-Feb-12
6:09 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Double post sorted.

Lillia, there is no need to 'quote' if you are replying in the next post, it uses up a lot of space.

I'll try that again!

Fri 15-Jun-12
3:31 pm
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irist
Cornwall UK

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Hope this is the most appropriate place to put my pasta with tomato and bacon sauce recipe.  If not, I'm sure TA will redirect it.

The original recipe was from a pressure cooker book but could be adapted for the slow cooker by adjusting the amount of liquid required. I have tweaked it to suit our taste.

 

Sauce ingredients:

A pack of bacon misshapes (I prefer smoked and I hunt through to find a pack with the leanest contents) chopped into small pieces (I cut off all visible fat).

Oil for frying

1 onion, chopped

clove of garlic, crushed

qtr pt of water

1lb of tomatoes (you can use a can but adjust water to suit)*

Tomato paste

Veg stock cube

Herbs (I tend to use about a tsp of herbes de Provence)

white pepper to taste (no salt required as bacon and stock cube provide sufficient)

1tbs cornflour.

Chopped parsley and or parmesan shavings to serve

 

* I use home-grown frozen tomatoes which I thaw in the microwave for about 4 minutes which enables me to easily remove the skins. 

Add your preferred pasta (better to use twists, etc to hold the sauce rather than spaghetti) to boiling water so it will cook whilst you make the sauce.

Heat oil in the base of the pressure cooker and fry onions, garlic and bacon until soft but not browned.  Add skinned, roughly chopped tomatoes with water, crushed stock cube and white pepper to taste.  I use tomato paste from a tube and just squeeze in a goodly amount to enrichen the flavour at this point.  Add your herbs of choice.  Put lid on cooker, bring to pressure and cook for 5 minutes.  Reduce pressure quickly and carefully remove lid from the pan.  Thicken the sauce with the cornflour slaked in a small amount of water. Reboil sauce to cook the cornflour mix.

 

Drain pasta and toss into sauce and serve with a sprinkling of parsley/ parmesan shavings.

 

You can add chopped bell pepper and/or celery with the onions, garlic etc.  I've also added mushrooms if I have any lurking in the fridge.

 

This is a very econonical meal.  My pack of bacon cost 99p and there was very little wastage.  This recipe will serve 4, especially if padded out with extra tomatoes and veg in the sauce.  If there is any leftover it could be used as the basis for a pasta bake with the addition of some cheese sauce on top and finishing off in the oven.

Fri 15-Jun-12
3:57 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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I ate a very full lunch about half an hour ago, but this has me salivating.  Thank you Iris.  I wonder though, why you cut off all visible fat?  Bacon fat is the best thing in the world...

I'll try that again!

Fri 15-Jun-12
7:25 pm
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irist
Cornwall UK

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I too love bacon fat but for health reasons my husband and I have to avoid saturated fats.  I use Flora Cuisine for frying off the onions etc but for those fortunate enough not to have inherited familial hypercholesterolaemia, olive oil, sunflower etc oil is fine.  We are advised to have no more than 30g fat a day.  Quite difficult to do so we do allow ourselves treats!

Fri 15-Jun-12
7:46 pm
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Sooliz
Somerset

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I've come across several articles lately saying that this whole 'high cholesterol is bad' thing is rubbish.  Apparently our bodies NEED cholesterol to survive, and in fact the body manufactures its own cholesterol - one thing I read stated that our extremely clever and highly efficient human body wouldn't produce something that is bad for it! 

As I'm diabetic and have various other health issues, I have to have regular blood tests - every couple of months or so.  Over the last few weeks, following lots of research and various dietary regimes, I have actually increased my intake of double cream, olive oil and real butter (as opposed to the nasty low fat spread stuff).  I had a diabetic review with my nurse yesterday, she said my diabetic control is excellent, my blood glucose is stable and my cholesterol level has come down almost a whole point since my last review 3 months ago, and have also lost nearly a stone.

So that tells me I'm doing the right thing laugh

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Fri 15-Jun-12
7:54 pm
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Sooliz
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Oops, sorry.....that wasn't exactly a frugal kitchen tip! embarassed

I could say though that it is false economy to buy something you really don't like the taste of, just because it's supposed to be good for you.....you could end up chucking it away because you can't stand it.  Better to buy something you actually enjoy and know won't get wasted.

 

Iris, please don't think I'm totally going against everything you say about avoiding sat fats.....I'm not at all and I know nothing about the inherited condition you mention.  I was on my soapbox a bit there, sorry about that.  I was just giving my experience, hope I didn't offend you rose

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Fri 15-Jun-12
9:58 pm
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Terrier
York

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Well done Sue...you can't beat real butter, I try to be sensible and do occasionally use low fat spread but was told be someone a while ago..possibly on here (?) that it's only one molecule away from plastic...or something like that

Sat 16-Jun-12
8:06 am
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Aly
Normandy France

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I am a real butter fan too! Someone once said to try not to eat anything your grandmother wouldn't recognise. I am very aware of chemicals in food and try to keep to basics. By cooking from scratch I think it keeps the bills down. My challenge at the moment is biscuits, we need to stop buying them. I can make them but it is fiddly and only small amounts are produced. I could save at least €3 a week if I stopped buying them. It would also help the rubbish diet!

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Sat 16-Jun-12
11:04 am
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Rob12
London, UK

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I highly recommend you do this is if you are eating or juicing citrus - zest it first, you can either freeze the zest or, especially for oranges/satsumas/clementines - leave it to dry. It becomes another surprisingly useful seasoning to have on hand in the kitchen.

 

Also, instead of using tomato sauce on grilled meat (if you do), try squeezing lemon juice over instead - works brilliantly on all grilled meats and even hamburger patties (minus the bun). Much healthier and it complements all meats.

 

If you are zesting citrus but have no use for the fruit itself - for lemons, just quarter, squash into a bottle and cover with salt (you will get your own preserved lemons).  Alternatively, juice the citrus, sweeten very slightly to taste, top off with water and pour into ice trays and freeze - they are a nice touch to add to soft drinks/cordials on a warm day.

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