It being a Bank Holiday Monday makes no difference to me as I’m back with your shopping tips for the week. It’s simple, I do the research so you don’t have to! [Read more…]
When people find out that we grow our own food I’m often asked what the best item for kids to grow is. Peas is always my answer. With peas kids can follow their growth from small shoots to big plants. They can eat the plant at any stage of growth – be it shoots, leaves, whole pods, or just little peas that have been podded. Peas were the first vegetable we grew in our front garden 6 years ago now. They’re also one of my favourite crops for all the reasons listed above.
This year we sowed 6 main pea crops at the allotment, but I also keep a tray of pea shoots in the kitchen for salads and stir frys. They typically only take about 2 weeks to grow to a stage where I have to give the tray a serious haircut, but can be eaten as soon as the little shoots appear. I sow the peas thickly in a perforated tray on top of coir (also known as coconut flower soil). There’s no need to cover the pea seeds. The perforated tray sits inside a slightly larger tray, which is where I add the water to keep the peas topped up with plenty of water. [Read more…]
When it’s Winter I crave warming dishes for dinner. You know the ones that give you a hug from the inside out, and that are just rib-sticking good. It’s Summer however, not that we’d know it. Today has been about 14 degrees on average which is pretty dire for the end of July, we’ve also had thunder, lightening, and hailstones. So you’ll excuse me if I revisit some of my favourite comfort food for dinner this evening.
This pasta meatball bake is a family favourite. It’s easy to assemble, and serves 8 people. It’s also a budget dish, costing approximately 80c per portion and as if all of this wasn’t good enough, my kids wolf it down.
To make it even easier for you to follow, I’ve even filmed a video recipe, and (the good news keeps on coming), I’m committing to a new video recipe every Wednesday from now on.
Last night I got a message from a reader who had originally contacted me about 6 months ago looking for advice on reducing her shopping budget. At the time I had given her the best advice I could, and kept everything crossed that things would work out. I can tell you that as a result of taking my advice on board, and using the shopping tips every week she has managed to save on average €40 per week on her groceries. That’s an amount of money that has made a big difference in her household.
That was the most wonderful, affirming message to receive. I’ve always said that if one person benefits from the blog then it’s worth my while, and hear about so many people who’ve saved money because of the shopping tips, book, recipes etc.
It’s really important to say that I don’t do the hard work. You do, you save money each week and manage to make your mealtimes fit around the special offers available in the supermarkets. You’re the real hero of the blog. Yes you. Thanks for supporting me, it’s nothing without you reading it.
You know what? I feel like celebrating. I’ve a spare copy of my book here, maybe you might like it? Comment below or under the Facebook post to put your name into the draw to get one. I’ll pick a winner on Friday at 5pm, then stick it in the post as soon as possible.
Right now I’m off to trawl through the specials for the week, c’mon and save money with me! [Read more…]
I used to bake soda bread about once a fortnight but we did buy a lot of sliced pans. My hubby was partial to a slice of batch and while I didn’t always eat it, we’d buy about 2 loaves of bread a week. The boys would have sandwiches, and then there was toast with melted butter, which is of course the stuff that food dreams are made of.
I was playing around with Mam’s brown bread recipe (it’s very reliable and you can find it in my cookbook which can be ordered here) and came up with a version which literally takes 5 minutes to throw into a bowl, and stir with a fork, before lashing into the oven. You’ve probably read that and sworn a bit, or even decided not to read any further because you don’t believe me. Honestly, once the ingredients are in the bowl my easy-stir homemade brown bread takes 5 minutes to make. My hands don’t get dirty. I mess up 1 large bowl making it and then I use some baking parchment in the tin so I don’t even have loads of washing up. Here’s the video instructions, and you’ll find the recipe below.