I don’t get to bake bread as much as I would like just because it takes so long to do, but today was a miserable day so I decided to make my own focaccia. It’s not the easiest to get the hang of because the dough is wetter than normal bread dough. I also made it with potato, which I hadn’t tried before but it turned out pretty good!
When I first started to cook meals this was one of the first things I used to do. Partly because it’s easy to make but also because I love soup and chorizo.
I took out a bowl full before adding the cayenne pepper because it’s a bit to spicy for little ones.
It’s the perfect meal for a cold miserable day (like today!) served with some crusty bread. Also, it only costs 72p a serving!
Who even has a pantry any more?! I keep all my food in a corner cupboard but pantry sounds better!
A part of the reason I’m able to keep the price of my food shopping down is because I keep a well stocked pantry. It contains the smaller items that you use regularly. Some may seem a bit expensive but they are more like an investment as they will be used in many meals.
I bet we all have some thing at the back of our cupboard that we got especially for a recipe and then it never saw the light of day again.
Cheese and pasta are two of my favourite foods, I eat cheese every day! So you would think macaroni cheese would be my absolute favourite but I have always found it boring, tasteless and bland. Every time I have cooked it I’ve developed and added things until I finally became happy with it. I’ve added pine nuts and crispy bacon for texture. The cheese sauce isn’t a classic cheese sauce, it’s not really suitable for those on a diet!
This is Mr BFM’s favourite meal and he is a big meat lover so it must be pretty good! It’s really quick and easy to make, I’m not sure if this is the way a typical frittata is made but it still works. It’s so easy, that my toddler actually did most of preparing. I had to take over as she got a bit excited about the cheese and fell off her chair (she was fine after having a slice of cheese) but she did the majority of it!
A healing cheap smoothie to aid an upset stomach. Great for little ones and adults too.
Eva has been poorly the last couple of days with a tummy ache. It is nearly impossible to get a toddler to take any kind of medication so she wasn’t getting any better. She absolutely loves all fruit so I thought a smoothie would be a great way of getting some extra healthy goodness into her. I couldn’t go out and buy ingredients because at this point she didn’t even want to leave the sofa, so I used just what I had already.
Baking bread is partly the reason why I love to cook. After having Eva, due to having a bad birth, pretending that I could cope and being completely unprepared for parenthood, I developed severe postnatal depression, OCD and anxiety. I suffered in silence for nearly a year. I gave up my job, refused to go outside and I felt like a terrible mother. I finally plucked up the courage to talk to the doctor, just telling one person felt like an enormous weight had been lifted off my shoulders and my world became a little less darker. I told Stephen by text message because I was too ashamed to tell him to his face but with his and other family members support, I began to feel like my normal self again. However, I still felt a bit empty and still not 100%.
There two things you should know about me:
- I love pizza
- I love making bread
So I double love stromboli!
As I said before, I love making bread. I understand it is very time consuming and it’s not for every one so you can use pizza dough sheets from the super market.
I make my toddler get involved by letting her have a go at kneading the dough, rolling it out and placing the ingredients into the middle. I find that, the more she helps with preparing the meal, the more likely she is to eat it after wards.
I have included the recipe and instructions for making the dough as it differs slightly from a typical bread dough.
My name is Hayleigh. I am mum to toddler Eva and baby Edwin. Cat mum to Pop and soon to be wife to Stephen.
I am not a chef but I do love to cook! Being on a tight budget and each one of us having different tastes makes cooking meals that we all enjoy very difficult.
Over the past couple years I have developed meal plans that are super cheap but still extra yummy!
Four years ago Stephen and I were both working, enjoying plenty of takeaways, meals out and our favourite meal was pizza and chips! It’s safe to say that I could not cook. I didn’t eat meat and I wouldn’t touch any vegetables unless they were a pizza topping
Fast forward a few years, I became a full time mum to Eva and I learnt the dreaded word, ‘weaning’. When I became a mum I decided to start eating meat and healtier meals in an attempt to not let Eva be a fussy eater.
I soon discovered that eating healthy on a budget for the three of us was harder than I thought. At the supermarket a multi bag of crisps costs less than a bag of apples and a bag of oven chips costs less than a bag of potatoes!
I made this blog more for myself because I read and tried so many recipes that I have lost track of what was and wasn’t so good. I must warn you, I’m still not the greatest cook! I burn things, they don’t end up looking like the picture in the book and I have a badly equipped kitchen. The most high tech gadgets I own are a hand blender and an electric chopper!
I try and base a weeks meals around the same ingredients so things don’t get too expensive and also so I make sure I won’t waste any thing.
Here are my tips and tricks for eating on a budget:
•Plan your meals for the week- If you plan what meals you are having for the whole week it makes shopping for your ingredients a whole lot easier and cheaper. I tend to stick to the same sort of ingredients for each separate week. For example: chicken and chorizo pie, Thai chicken curry, chorizo ham burgers. You can swap around what order you have them so you don’t end up eating lots of things similar day after day. I will post my week of meal plans as I do them.
Meat: I tend to have two different meats in one week as it can get too expensive buying lots of different types for one week. We eat a lot of chicken as buying a whole chicken can go a long way. For example, use the chicken breasts wrapped with bacon and stuffed with cheese, the meat from the legs and any left overs can be used in a curry, freeze the wings so when you have enough you can have Chinese spiced chicken wings, even the chicken carcass can be used for a stock or soup.
Getting meat from the butchers is often cheaper and a lot better than supermarket meats. It’s also great to support local businesses!
Veggies: Don’t be afraid of frozen vegetables, I keep a bag of peas and sweet corn in the freezer as ’emergency veg’! I often buy the same vegetables but prepare it in different ways.
Freezer: Frozen food is often seen as bad but I keep my stocked of things that I won’t need for a few days and need it to keep fresh. I freeze and label all leftovers so towards the end of the month we can have meals without having to buy a whole lot.