Thursday, 6 October 2016

Veg Tagine, Autumnal Food & Christmas Lists

Thank you all so much for your responses on my last post.  I'm hoping that my GD will settle into her new school but, at least, we have some alternatives if she doesn't.  It always helps to have a back up plan I think.

Autumn is definitely showing it's face here with chilly nights and mornings and condensation on the windows first thing.  The heating kicked in for the first time this morning at 12 degrees so we left it on for just half an hour to remove the chill and allow us to get up and dressed in comfort.  I'm getting too old to shiver!

I am on a mission at the moment to use older stuff up and s-t-r-e-t-c-h  the meals to feed more people or to make extra portions to freeze for when I don't feel like cooking.  I found a small sweet potato in the cupboard and some frozen spinach tucked in the very bottom of the freezer.  It must have been there at least 12 months so I put it into a dish to thaw and looked for a recipe. 

Tagine came to mind.  I've not made it before so I improvised with what I could find in the cupboards.  I cut a carrot and the sweet potato into small pieces and microwaved them in a little water until tender.  Then I softened a small chopped onion in olive oil in a pan, added the drained carrot & sweet potato, the spinach (squeezed dry), a small can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed) a carton of chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp ground cumin, half a tsp ground coriander and half a tsp chilli flakes.  This was stirred gently and simmered for about 10 minutes.  Served in a bowl with boiled rice, it easily served 3 people and it could be stretched to more if I had used more veg.  We don't like our food too spicy but you could add more if you wish to spice yours up. 
Voila! Cheap, cheerful and warming......

I have been reading up on breadmaking.  Now OH likes his sliced and white with plenty of additives to make it last longer :/  I prefer fresh wholemeal or granary.... hmm...with colder days on the way I will be making more soup and I do like a big wodge of crusty bread with it so I am going to attempt to make a white crusty bread that both of us will enjoy.  Please wish me luck (I'll need it)  and watch this space!.....

I have been following Sue on A Year Without... blog where she has been sharing how she has managed with loyalty vouchers and very little money for over 9 months since the start of the year.  She has been amazing.  Although we have no chance of growing much in the way of food crops to supplement our budget, I have been saving up my Nectar points for some time and will use them to buy food with from January 2017.   I haven't been spending much in M & S this year either ( trying not to buy clothes but manage with what I have ) so will not have much in the way of vouchers from them but will use the ones I do get on food items too.  I'll post the totals later in the year.

photo from Google

The next task will be to prepare a Christmas gift list.  I like to start early in order to spread the cost as it gives me plenty of time to tune in to what people would actually like too.  Since January I have been putting loose change into a sealed pot and will open that on 3rd November.  That, plus what money I have made from my card sales, will be my Christmas gift budget.  I'll post about that too next month.

Have you begun your gift shopping yet? Or do you leave it until the last minute sales?

I have 3 important birthdays to buy for in the next 4 weeks so they will have to be first, then

I do LOVE it :)
Thanks everso for popping in, I do appreciate it x


  1. Fingers crossed for your GD. It's been a while since I've cooked tagine. I know what will be on this week's menu now. 😊 Good luck with the bread making. I usually make a stock pot bread to have with soup. So easy and delicious. I keep meaning to write some Christmassy themed lists. You've just given me a much needed nudge. Thank you. X

  2. I have started my Christmas lists and making some of the gifts and cards. I use a bread making machine but it really does taste good.

    1. My list is begun and some cards have been made, so far so good. I'm a bit worried about making bread though :/ a machine would be great!

  3. I have a couple of items for Christmas presents, but I am now starting loads of home made gifts, I don't normally make gifts but a few people have asked me to make them something.

    1. How lovely to get a specially made present, Marlene. Well done, people must know they will be gorgeous x

  4. Your meal looks very nice, you are very resourceful.
    I do like homemade bread but I cheat with the breadmaker, we got it from Ebay it was an unwanted wedding gift and the lady only used it a few times, it was a Kenwood and we paid £12, I made a lovely granary this morning. Good luck with your bread making, let us know how you get on x

    1. That's a real bargain, Marlene, and not really cheating at all. I will let you know how it goes :) xx