Makes 4 x 350g tubs so cost per tub of sauce = £1.26
Equivalent cost of a 350g tub of tomato and marscapone sauce: £1.45
So it’s not massively cheaper to make it yourself BUT it is SO DELICIOUS and it’s mostly vegetables so no nasty hidden sugar and e-numbers in there.
Roughly chop the peppers and remove the seeds, roughly chop the onions into quarters, and peel the garlic. Add it all to a large roasting pan with all the tomatoes and some olive oil, salt and pepper.
Roast at around 190 degrees for about 30 mins or so until soft and roasted. Add a drizzle of balsamic, a sprinkle of sugar, the chopped basil stalks and the whole block of feta and return to the oven for another 15-20 mins.
Then carefully add the whole lot to a blender along with all the fresh basil leaves and blend until smooth.
Pour into tubs and freeze. Delicious with spaghetti and meatballs, sausage pasta or any other type of pasta. The kids love it and it’s packed with vegetables. All kinds of wins.
Well it has arrived! For those of you who don’t know, I’m taking the Concern Worldwide Ration Challenge this year to raise money and support refugees all over the world living in terrible conditions. For one week I will eat only what refugees have to eat in order to experience it and better understand how it is for refugees all over the world, as well as to raise money and awareness.
Here is my meal plan and all my rations including my rewards. I have weighed out my rice into 7 portions to help make sure I don’t run out. Similarly I have divided up my flour and lentils based on the meals I have planned.
Well as most of you are aware by now it’s getting harder and harder to just live as costs are rising all over the place. As someone who is in a privileged position I am lucky that I can still afford my mortgage and bills (just about) and that I am not on the breadline.
However, like many people I am doing my best to cut costs as best I can and try to reduce expenditure where I can, so I thought I would share a few tips and tricks with you all.
One of the suggestions in my sourdough group on facebook was things to do with leftover sourdough starter (or discard). This is because sometimes when you have bulk fed your starter to make bread you have extra leftover. I’ve tried brownies (they were nice but a little weird), and then discovered these pancakes.
Ok so thanks to my amazing sourdough experiments I have put on 3kgs (might also be all the wine and cake and sweeties…) and my wonderful neighbour also got me a subscription to Olive magazine for my birthday, which is packed with amazing recipes that I just needed to try immediately!
None of this is going to help my waistline, but oh my god I do love trying new things in the kitchen, AND some of these are slow-cooker recipes which is encouraging me to use mine a bit more and also helping me manage my transition back to work as I can slow-cook dinners while working from home – all kinds of win!
I have always admired those people who can knock up a cake without needing a recipe. I’ve always known it’s something to do with ratios, but can never remember what the ratios are and how to apply them, so I always end up looking up a recipe anyway.
However, my mum taught me a really simple method which I think I probably could remember, so I thought I would write it down and share it. This is for a plain vanilla sponge cake.
I have read in the past an interesting article about the science of cake, which explained that beating the sugar and butter together first coats the individual granules of sugar with fat, and traps tiny air bubbles in with the granules, meaning that when combined with the other ingredients they retain these little bubbles, making a lighter and fluffier sponge cake. This is also why caster sugar is usually recommended for cakes instead of granulated sugar as it is smaller and finer, and therefore can trap more air. So if you can, always use caster sugar in your cakes, and always beat the butter and sugar together really well before adding the other ingredients.
Here it is:
Take 3 eggs and weigh them. Measure out the same weight of butter and sugar and self-raising flour. Take the butter (at room temp, or softened) and sugar and beat them together until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the eggs and flour bit by bit, mixing as you go. You might also want to add in a half-teaspoon of baking powder to help it rise. Add a half teaspoon (or whole teaspoon depending on your taste) of vanilla essence. And then split between 2 lined or greased cake pans, and bake at 180 for approx 15-20 mins (check on it and when a skewer comes out clean, they are done.
Here is a different kind of diary – one woman’s journey of learning to make bread.
Attempt 1: The wholemeal rolls.
This was a recipe we were given by our nursery, and we used half wholemeal half white flour, but they still came out pretty brown overall. We added sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and poppy seeds. The kid had lots of fun making this, especially all the kneading and squishing and squashing.