Sunday, 10 November 2013

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

I did some actual cooking today, not just re-heating. Here's one of the things I made.

Icing has never been my strong point

100g soft marge
100g sugar
1 egg
100g self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa
1 orange
Icing sugar (amount will vary)

Makes 15

1) Pre-heat the oven to 180degC
2) Mix the marge and sugar in a bowl until smooth
3) Add the egg
4) Also add the flour and cocoa
5) Then squeeze the juice of half an orange into the bowl. You might need to add some flour to get back to a good consistenct
6) Divide into paper cases and cook for 15-20 mins
7) Squeeze the rest of the orange juice into a new bowl, and add enough icing sugar to make a thick paste (maybe 400g?)
8) When the cakes have cooled, spread the icing on top

Monday, 21 October 2013

Lemon Gingerbread Cake

Effectively working full-time is taking a bit of a toll on my culinary ambitions...generally all I manage is two large batches of food a week that get re-heated. Anyway, this weekend I made cake. Tasty cake. Here's the recipe.

225g self-raising flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
Thumb of fresh ginger (or 1tbsp ground ginger)
Optional spices - 1tsp cinnamon, 1tsp mixed spice
115g soft margarine
115g brown sugar
200g golden syrup
250ml milk
1 egg

Makes 2 cakes, serves 12

1) Preheat the oven to 160degC
2) Mix the flour, bicarb and spices
3) Stir in the butter
4) In a saucepan, boil the sugar, syrup and milk (watch carefully, else it'll boil over like mine did)
5) Pour the hot liquid into the bowl and add the egg
6) Tip the mixture into 2 loaf tins and cook for 45 mins

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Cranberry and Cream Cheese Muffins

My freezer is full of cranberries (and other frozen fruit), and I had some cream cheese in the fridge so I thought I'd try this recipe for cranberry and cream cheese muffins, with a couple of tweaks.

175g frozen cranberries
250g caster sugar
100g soft cheese
200g self-raising flour
Pinch salt
2 eggs
75ml sunflower oil (it's got to be flavourless! i.e. not olive oil)

Makes 12

1) Preheat the oven to 180 deg C
2) Put the cranberries in a saucepan with 25g of the sugar, and heat until they are soft. Mash them then put them aside to cool
3) Mix the cream cheese with another 25g of the sugar in small bowl and put it aside
4) Put the flour, rest of the sugar, salt, eggs and oil in a large bowl and mix
5) Stir the cranberry mash into the large bowl with the other ingredients
6) Spoon the mixture into 12 paper cases, and cook for 20-25 mins
7) Leave to cool

Cranberries = 30p
Sugar = 40p
Soft cheese = 25p
Flour = 30p
Eggs = 40p
Oil = 15p
Total = £1.80, 15p/ muffin

Wednesday, 9 October 2013


I had half a tube of squeezy condensed milk leftover from when I made coffee ice cream. Simple and delicious, plus they still tasted great a few days later. I found the recipe on the back of the condensed milk tube.

115g margarine
115g sugar
85g condensed milk
50g chocolate chips
175g self-raising flour

Makes 15

1) Preheat the oven to 180 deg C
2) Mix the margarine, sugar, condensed milk and chocolate chips together
3) Stir in the flour
4) Use a dessert spoon to portion out the mixture, and place on a tray (well-spaced out)
5) Cook for 12 mins (until golden)

Marge = 12p
Sugar = 12p
Condensed milk = 50p
Chocolate chips = 30p
Flour = 20p
Total = £1.24, 8p/ cookie

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Slow-cooked Goulash

I got a slow cooker for my birthday this year, and only just managed to use it. I wanted to make goulash with the good deal I got on casserole beef, as well as the paprika in my cupboard.

2 tbsp oil
1/2 onion
2 carrots
1 stick of celery
1 tomato (optional)
1tbsp tomato puree
100g tinned tomatoes/ passata
1/2 pepper
3tbsp plain flour
Herbs: pinch salt, 1tsp mixed herbs, 1tsp paprika
300g diced casserole beef
200ml beef stock
200ml red wine

Serves 3-4

1) Heat the oil in a pan, and prep the veg. Toss in the veg and cook for 10 mins
2) Add the tomato puree and stir
3) Tip the cooked veg into the slow cooker

4) Mix the flour, salt, herbs and paprika on a chopping board. Coat the beef in the seasoned flour, then fry until browned for around 10 mins
5) Whilst the beef is cooking, boil the water for the stock. Make up the stock, and pour it and the wine (proportions variable, doesn't have to be 1:1) over the veg. Also add the tomato products
6) Add the beef to the slow cooker
7) Turn the slow cooker on low, and cook for 6-8h
8) Serve with a dollop of sour cream, and bread or potatoes. Tastes even better the next day!

Oil = 2p
Veg = £1
Flour = 5p
Herbs = 6p
Beef = £3
Stock = 10p
Wine = 60p
Total = £4.83, £1.21

Poached Egg on Toast = Breakfast of Champions

I got a 1/2 hour lie-in this morning, so decided to treat myself to a tasty breakfast.

1 egg
2 slices of toast
Strawberry jam
Pinch of salt

Serves 1

1) Boil a saucepan of water, filled about halfway up
2) Put the bread in the toaster
3) I used a silicone pouch thing to make my egg, in which case you put the lid on and cook on medium for 5 mins. Otherwise, crack the egg in whilst stirring the water (tricky) and boil with the lid off for 5 mins
4) Butter the toast, and spread jam over one
5) Slide the egg on to the other, with a pinch of salt

Egg = 17p
Bread = 15p
Jam = 3p
Salt = 1p
Total = 36p, 36p/ person

Monday, 7 October 2013

Chicken Risotto

I used some of the leftover roast chicken and chicken stock, along with some pepper and passata (from the pizza!) to make one portion of risotto.

1 tbsp oil
50g risotto rice
100g chicken
2 ladles of chicken stock
1/3 pepper
2 tbsp passata

Serves 1

1) Heat the oil in a pan, then add the rice and cook until translucent (onion optional here)
2) Tip in the chicken, 1 ladle of stock, and the vegetables. Stir, then heat on medium heat for 10mins
3) Add the last ladle of stock, then cover and heat on low for 10 mins

Oil = 2p
Rice = 13p
Chicken = 30p
Stock = 10p
Pepper = 15p
Passata = 10p
Total = £0.80, £0.80/ person