Saturday, 23 April 2016

'bye all ...

This is the last post on my blog.  Goodbye.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Non-Dairy milk alternative, healthy and cheap ...

On my road to going 'non-dairy', I've been trying out various types of non-dairy milks and would like to share them with you.  Today it's 'oat milk'.

This is amazingly cheap, it works out at approx 7p for over a litre - that's amazing.

I started off by soaking 4 cups of oat flakes in 4 cups of water.  By the way, this isn't American 'cup measurements' this is literally a cup or mug, any size because the ratio of oats to water will be the same.  Some recipes say soak for one hour but I left mine overnight.

Whizz it up, it does't take long and looks a lovely creamy white colour.

Strain it, as you can see this is just an ordinary kitchen strainer.

Because there's a lot of sediment, I strained it again through a nylon bag on stilts (I got his from Ebay for under £2), it's been very useful for straining all sorts of things.

You'll have the 'gunge' left over, don't throw this away it still contains some nutrition.  I made a vegetable curry the same day and put it in with the sauce and it thickened it up well.  You could put it in soups and stews as well.

So here is the finished product and I can tell you it's very 'drinkable', maybe needs a little sweetening for some tastes, or a little vanilla essence is nice.

Before using milks made from nuts, seeds, grains etc., shake them up well because no matter how much you strain them, there will always be a little sediment in the bottom of the bottle.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Make your own peanut butter for only 17p

I'm trying to go 'off dairy' at the moment, not because of any allergies, I'm very lucky with my health, I can eat anything - I'm not going Vegan either, although I am vegeterian, it's because I believe Dairy products are not all that good for us and I'm always looking for ways to include/eliminate good or bad elements in my diet.

I don't eat a lot of bread, so butter/spreads don't figure all that high on my shopping list, so for that reason I decided to start with a butter substitute.  The obvious is nut butter, and the obvious nut butter to start with is good old peanut butter.

So not wanting to pay too much for the ingredients because I am a cheapskate frugal lady, I bought a packet off salted roasted nuts from Asda for only 17p.  I don't mind a little salt to improve the flavour because I use hardly any at all in my other cooking, I use herbs and spices instead.

You can pay more of course if you've got more money than sense - but why ?

There's only one step and one ingredient (the peanuts), a stick blender with it's own small tub is ideal for this, because you want to do it in small quantities.  Just pour the nuts into the tub, connect up and away you go.

Just keep whizzing, you'll come to a stage in a very short time when it looks like nothing is happening, you can stop and scrape the nut mix down if you like, but it will soon get going again when the oil starts to be extracted from the nuts.

In no time at all you will have this -
lovely crunchy peanut butter, of course if you want it more creamy just blend it more.

I keep mine in a small plastic box in the fridge.

Verdict:  D - LISH - US !!  this is a success, and only 17p   I will try using other nuts now.

Friday, 26 February 2016

I've really enjoyed making these hats ...

I've been making the most of my spare time recently with knitting, one of my favourite pastimes.  I've made these hats, I found them really relaxing to make and particularly enjoyed adding the trimmings. I used crochet cords, twisted, plaited and worked into spirals, some with knobbly bits worked in and some with flowers, I also used vintage lace knotted, a strip from an old sweater and some fringing from an old scarf.  Here they are:

This is 'Briar Rose'

This is 'Bluebell'

This is 'Snowdrop'

They're over on Etsy together with one or two other items I added today, if you want to take a closer look.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Life is happening ...

Back again after a few days 'off'.

Life is happening - nothing I can talk about just yet, all will be revealed in the fullness of time though.

Anyway, a couple of posts ago I told you about my bumper bags of mushrooms for just 6p each, I dehydrated a lot and have them stored, but have used some in a lovely stew.

I dehydrated another bag and then ground them to a powder, absolutely delicious added to soups and a spoonful to gravy is sublime !  dried foods retain and actually increase all the flavours so you don't need as much as fresh.  I've also put a spoonful of dried mushrooms in a smoothie and it was delicious.

Here is a nice little jar of dried, ground, powdered mushrooms, I used my smoother maker for these, and it worked perfectly.

With the third bag I made fresh mushroom soups x 3 lots, and two mushroom crumbles which, of course, I forgot to photograph.

I 'scored' again a couple of days ago, this time with bananas, these worked out at 10p a bag of well over 2.5 kg each.

I dried some ...

cut into various shapes as you can see (I get bored quickly), they, like the mushrooms, need to be sliced quite thinly because of the high moisture content, and must be totally dry before trying to grind them or they will turn to banana toffee, not bad actually, but not if you want it for sprinkling as I did;  Add a spoonful to your breakfast cereal, smoothie or on yoghurt or ice-cream, oh my, such an intense banana flavour - I'm dribbling while writing this.

When you get bargain reduced bananas, there's always one or two with brown skins, don't be tempted to throw them out !  they are absolutely the best ones for smoothies, the flavour is fully developed.  If you don't want to use them immediately, wrap them in foil and freeze, actually they give a much creamier consistency if you use them from frozen.

It's been cold early mornings just lately so I got the cats one of those halogen heaters to keep them warm, I think they like it :

This is Thug (aka Rasputin) a perfect name for him !  The other cats do get a look in by the way, but they were eating when I took these pics.  It was hilarious watching him follow the heater around when it was oscillating, waiting for it to stop - I stopped it eventually, he couldn't understand it - his name should be 'Thick'.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Thank you ...

Thanks for your suggestions, I defragged, reset the modem, also removed loads of programmes which I didn't need (I hope!).  Browsing history and cache cleared out and also deleted a few hundred emails, also cleared out loads of pictures I don't need anymore, a lot used on this blog, some on Ebay and Etsy etc. etc., all of which I'm sure contributed to giving it a kickstart - it seems OK now.

So I'm having a rest tonight and back to posting tomorrow - thank you again.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Any computer whizz-kids out there - I need help !

Can anyone offer any suggestions/help/advice please ?

Blogger is loading so slow it's almost in reverse, it's driving me crazy !  I can click on something then go away and put the kettle on while it's thinking about it (I'm NOT kidding) clicking on the internal links is responding at the same rate.  (think driving down the motorway in first gear instead of 5th and you'll get the idea of how frustrating this is)

I've removed all adds and unwanted gadgets to see if it makes any difference - but it hasn't.

The Etsy shop and the e-book info have been there since before this slow down, so I know it's not them and I don't want to remove them, it took too much effort to get them there in the first place.

I've removed ad-blocker too because sometimes this can slow things down.

I've cleared out the cache and browsing history and removed unwanted apps and programmes.

I have some crochet work by the computer now, and I've got into the habit of doing some work on that while I'm waiting for responses !

It's not my broadband speed, there is a PC in the house that works fine (I'm on a laptop) but I can't always use that, and anyway anything else I search for or use the www for responds quite quickly, so it's just Blogger.

Please don't suggest contacting them, they never reply.

I'm really feeling like not bothering to post any more because it takes up so much of my time.

Does anyone know of a reason this is happening, has it happened to you ?

Any comments welcomed.
Thank you

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Buy fresh produce on offer and save money ...

I got a great bargain on mushrooms last night, they were still very fresh and firm and a ridiculous price - the bags were marked 10p per kilo, now that's fantastic anyway, but the bags came in at under a kilo, about 3/4 kilo each and were 6p a bag !  yes that's right 6p !!  I got three.

I decided to slice one bag full and dehydrate them for future use in stews, casseroles, soups etc., easily added to the slow cooker, they won't need rehydrating first if they're added to the cooking liquid.

Just starting to fill the trays.  Mushrooms are best sliced thinly because of the moisture content, they take a long time to dry out.

I filled four trays, one is underneath at the back, and there was one tray of kale to go in.

They took about 6 hours at 55 degrees, that made them nice and crispy.

Here's the finished result - four trays didn't quite fill one large jar.  I love seeing dry food in jars.

I'll be cooking the other two bags tonight and tomorrow, I'll let you know what I'll be doing with them.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Asda's great 'Wonky Vegetable Box' and bargain cat food from Morrisons

Top marks to Asda for introducing their 'Wonky Vegetable boxes'

This is a new idea and a great one.  The veggies that are on offer are considered not 'perfect' and therefore will not be considered by the brand-name snobs and others who think that only perfectly shaped fruit and vegetables are worth eating !  well thank goodness for that I say, that means the rest of us with common sense can take advantage of these fantastic boxes. 

 The contents are not guaranteed, you take what is on offer, but they will include fruits as well as veggies in season, the weight is approx 5 kg and Asda say will feed a family of four for a week, well I could make it last a month by making stews, soups and other dishes and freezing them.

 I went to my local Asda last night to see if I could get one, I should have gone earlier, but I had only just found out about them online, and was told they sold out within 20 minutes !  I am going again this morning and hope to grab one.  I hope Asda will see that this is a little gem of an offer and order more - it seems to be a win-win-win situation, the growers can sell their 'less than perfect' produce instead of disposing of it, Asda will of course make a profit on them. and we as buyers will also benefit - full marks Asda !!

Now attention all cat lovers - a great bargain from Morrisons.

Two of my elderly cats (who are on borrowed time, sadly) have to be fed carefully.  They are both on meds and I have difficulty in getting them to take their tablets sometimes.  I buy Senior Gourmet Gold cat food for them because not only is it a 'mushy' type of food (pate) but it means I can crush up their pills and mix them into it.   Most older cats have lost a tooth or two, and sometimes have no teeth at all, so this is the answer for 'gummy moggies'.

 The full price for this food is £4.97 - ouch ! (or thereabouts).  I found it in Sainsburys and Tesco for £4 and thought that was a good deal.  Then I found it in B&M for £3.87 - great, a saving of £1.10 per box - not to be sneezed at, but now it is in Morrisons on offer at £3.47 - great. a massive saving of £1.50 per box !  They have the senior variety that I use, and the more chunky 'double delicacies'.

As with all offers, I have no idea how long it will last, but I have stocked up while I can.  Incidentally, they do the small trays of pate type food at Morrisons too, I buy these for my other two younger cats who love them, but I've been getting them from Tesco and Asda and 25p each or 10 for £2.00 which is pretty good, but at Morrisons they are doing the same thing at 12 for £2.00 so that means two for free !

Hope this helps the cat lovers out there.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Free mini-greenhouses ...

It's that time of year again if you want to get an early start on your seed sowing.  If you have a heated greenhouse then you're off to a flying start, or a conservatory serves the same purpose, but if you've neither of these, try these free mini-greenhouses.  I bet you've thrown lots of these away.

They're the plastic boxes you get when you buy 'squashable' food items, i.e. cakes as above, soft fruit and veggies and salad items.  They are perfect for seed sowing because they have a hinged lid which you can keep closed until the seedlings appear and are big enough to have it left open.  Mine have a yellow reduced sticker on (naturally).

Fill about two thirds with compost, you will need to leave some growing space for the seedlings so they don't get crushed when the lid is closed. Water initially, then no need to water again until the seedlings are through because keeping the lid closed will stop it from drying out.

Add your seeds, here are some I dried out on a piece of kitchen paper last  year, watering over this will start it dissolving before covering with more compost.

There you have it, free mini-greenhouses, pretty soon there will be a good crop of blueberry muffins white strawberries in this pot, the other one contains tomatoes from seeds I saved from last year too.

It works, try it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...