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Credit Crunch Munch – February 2014 Roundup

Credit-Crunch-Munch-Just-PicWe have had so many fabulous entries to this month’s Credit Crunch Munch and I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who took the time to take part.  I have discovered so many new and wonderful blogs and of course there are so many recipes to try out.  Grab a cup of tea, find a quiet space and sit back and enjoy.

TASTY & QUICK PASTA FOR 2 FROM “NOTHING” 
Tasty and Quick Pasta
First off the mark is this super quick and tasty pasta dish from Manjiri of Slice Off Me.  Manjiri shows us that a bit of imagination and a delve into the back of the fridge can produce a delicious meal – just look at that sauce.

PULLED PORK NOODLES WITH SAVOY CABBAGE
Pulled Pork Noodles with Savoy Cabbage
Next up is Sarah of Dinner with Crayons and this very frugal dinner which makes the most of  a large roast pork.  The initial cost may seem expensive but Sarah worked out that each portion cost only £1.25 which is very reasonable for a good cut of meat.

BIRCHER MUESLI
600x400-Bircher-Muesli-FeatureWho wouldn’t want to wake up to a bowl of this lovely nutritious bircher muesli?  Tina of The Worktop is a recent convert to this delicious breakfast, so much so that it is going on the menu at the coffee shop where she works.
WINTER MINESTRONE

Winter Minestrone 1
Chris from Cooking Around The World has given us a perfect Winter Minestrone which is not only warming but kind to our waistline and will have us beach ready in no time – a definite plus for me 🙂

COCONUT DAL (RED LENTILS WITH COCONUT MILK & CRANBERRIES
Coconut Dal
I love lentils – they are cheap, low in fat, an excellent source of protein and a good source of iron so I was delighted when Gayathri from Spices Galore submitted this recipe for Dal.  I have made Dal before but never with coconut milk and the addition of cranberries is a new one for me.  This is definitely on my ‘to make’ list.

PLUM CRUMBLE
VLUU L310W L313 M310W / Samsung L310W L313 M310W
No introductions needed for the lovely Camilla of Fab Food 4 All – she is after all one half of Credit Crunch Munch.  Camilla has opted for an all time favourite and used up some plums to make this plum crumble.  Perfectly frugal and perfectly delicious!

SPAGHETTI WITH MUSHROOMS, SPINACH & PANCETTA TOMATO SAUCE
Spaghetti with Pancetta, Spinach and Mushroom
No jars of ready made pasta sauce for Julie of Julie’s Family Kitchen.  A small amount of pancetta is all you need to make a tasty meal out of some fresh mushrooms, frozen spinach, tomatoes and pasta.  A great recipe for the whole family.

 SPICY CHICKEN LIVERS
chickenliver3
Now here is a dish that brings back lots of memories for me.  Chicken livers are a very popular dish on any South African menu and when they are cooked in a delicious sauce of tomato, brandy and spices it is a match made in heaven – just don’t forget the bread to mop up that sauce.  Thank you to Deon of Food Jam for reminding me to add chicken livers to my shopping list.

LEFTOVER ROCKET PESTO WITH STILTON AND WALNUT
Rocket Pesto

Dinner with Crayons has submitted another great entry – this time Sarah made good use of her freezer to store a bulk purchase of  Stilton cheese which had been reduced from £8 down to £1. Whizzed together with some choice ingredients and you have a very tasty pesto in no time at all. Sarah also has some good ideas on how to use the pesto in your cooking.

MINI CHOCOLATE VALENTINE’S CAKES
Valentine's CakesThe lovely Choclette celebrated Chocolate Log Blog‘s 5 year anniversary with these small and elegant chocolate cakes.  Rich, moist and chocolatey they look like the perfect tea time treat.

LENTIL MARINARA SAUCE WITH SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Lentil MarinaraHere is a recipe I can personally recommend.  I made this Lentil Marinara sauce for dinner tonight (without the nutritional yeast) and served it over pasta.  It is made with store cupboard ingredients and is really quick and best of all – really tasty.  Thank you to Janet from The Taste Space for a great low cost meal.

STUFFED FRITTATA ROLL
Stuffed Frittata Roll 1Just looking at this next dish makes me think of sunny days and picnics.  Alida from My Little Italian Kitchen made this stuffed frittata roll with the help of her children and I think they did a perfect job.  Wouldn’t it make for a perfect packed lunch?

ROAST CHICKEN
Roast ChickenFeeling under the weather meant the Drifting Traveller needed to keep cooking down to the bare minimum.  Once the chicken had been roasted they managed to get three completely different meals out of the one chicken – a roast chicken for lunch, chicken soup and a spicy chicken bharta.  Very impressive!

HOMEMADE MASCARPONE CHEESE
mascarA003Next up is Kitchen Flavours all the way from Malaysia with a great post on making your own mascarpone cheese.  Just two simple ingredients and a bit of patience and you will be rewarded with thick, creamy and above all – fresh mascarpone cheese.

LEFTOVER BEEF AND POTATO PIE 
leftover beef 2Elizabeth of Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary has cooked up some wonderfully spiced potatoes and then added in some leftover roast meat to produce what you would have to agree is a very tasty looking dish.  I can picture myself curled up on the sofa next to a roaring fire tucking into a bowl of this pie – delicious.

 DUCK HEARTS WITH GARLIC & PARSLEY AND PARMESAN RISOTTO
Duck HeartsNext up we have Delicieux who opted for a very different Valentine’s dinner – one of duck hearts with garlic and parsley.  Served with a parmesan risotto this turned out to be a very delicious and elegant meal which was enjoyed by the whole family (well minus one who prefers another duck delicacy).

TAGLIATELLE WITH LEEKS AND SAUSAGE
P2160295Pasta is always a firm favourite in our house and I think Leeks and Limoni may have just added another one to my weekly repertoire.  A few simple ingredients of sausage, leeks and garlic added to pasta make for a very satisfying family meal.

MONDAY PIE
????????????????????????????????????????????????Another fabulous dish from Fab Food 4 All is this Monday Pie.  Made on a Monday with Sunday’s left over roast with added potatoes, cheese and beans – comfort on a plate.

CHICKPEA AND SPINACH CURRY
Chickpea-and-Spinach-Curry-8Next up is my entry for Chickpea and Spinach Curry.  I always have the ingredients in my cupboard and only have to remember to buy the fresh spinach.  A super quick and tasty meal.

CRESPELLE – ITALIAN PANCAKES
pancake-collage-scrapNext we have a delicious reminder from Farmersgirl Kitchen that next Tuesday (4th March) is Shrove Tuesday.  Janice has some fabulous ideas in her post for different serving suggestions – my favourite being the curry sauce.

 LEMON & RAISIN SCOTCH PANCAKES
VLUU L310W L313 M310W / Samsung L310W L313 M310WNow if you weren’t paying attention above then here is another reminder from Fab Food 4 All that next week is Shrove Tuesday.  No need to go out and buy pancakes from the supermarket – make your own in mere minutes and much fresher too.

PEA AND GAMMON SOUP
Peasoup 1Linzi from Lancashire Food has used dried marrowfat peas for this soup and I have to admit that I have never heard of them before.  The colour is gorgeous and with such a classic combination of flavours I can only imagine how delicious this soup was.

TERIYAKI CHICKEN MEATBALLS WITH RICE & GREENS
teriyaki-meatballsAll those who are familiar with the Credit Crunch Munch challenge will know that chicken thighs are a popular choice.  Gingey Bites doesn’t disappoint with these very frugal chicken meatballs coming in at £1.20 per head.  Note to myself- I really must get a new food processor.

 SLOW COOKED OX CHEEKS WITH RED WINE & PICKLED WALNUTS
Ox-cheek-Casserole-with-pickled-walnutsNext up we have a real winter warming dish from Fuss Free Flavours.  Ox cheeks have been a popular choice this winter and you can see why.  Cooked long and slow in red wine the meat becomes meltingly tender.  Just look at that sauce.

HOME-CURED BACON, PANCETTA AND LARDONS
homemade-pancettaAnd finally we have a very informative post on how to cure a  pork belly from Vohn’s Vittles.  It may at first seem a bit daunting but with Vohn’s beautiful photographs and step by step instructions I’m feeling inspired to give it a go.

Thanks to Camilla of Fab Food 4 All for asking me to host this wonderful challenge.

Credit Crunch Munch – February 2014

I’m sure I’m not the only one to wave a happy goodbye to January.  Tighter waistbands, tightened purse strings and miserable weather does not make for a great month so with fingers crossed here’s hoping February is a good one for everybody.

My first bit of news for February is that I’m hosting the ever popular Credit Crunch Munch for Camilla over at Fab Food 4 All and Helen over at Fuss Free Flavours.  If you’re not familiar with Credit Crunch Munch, it’s all about sharing how you can spend less or save money whilst still enjoying great food.  Things to enter could be:

    • Dishes using cheaper ingredients
    • Cheap cuts of meat or vegetarian
    • Meals using leftovers
    • Meals using up the ends of packets
    • Substitutions of cheaper ingredients
    • Packed lunches
    • Meals that use less energy to cook
    • Pressure cooking
    • Slow cooking
    • Faster cooking – less oven time for example
    • Batch cooking for the freezer
    • Sustainable foods
    • Food you have grown yourself
    • Meals from reduced food in the supermarket

Credit-Crunch-Munch-Just-PicTo take part, simply blog about your recipe or money saving idea adding in the following requirements to your post:

  • Please link to the Credit Crunch Munch pages on Helen and Camilla’s blogs
  • Please link to the current host which is me – My Golden Pear
  • Please use the Credit Crunch Munch Badge
  • Tweet to @Mygoldenpear, @FabFood4All and or @FussFreeHelen  using #creditcrunchmunch and we will try our best to RT.

Last but not least add your post to the Linky below  and you’re all done.  (If you have trouble with the Linky please let me know or add a comment and I will make sure you are added to the round up at the end of the month).

The closing date is the last day of the month – so 28 February 2014.

By entering you are agreeing to let us use an image from your entry on this site, and to pin to Pinterest.

Please be respectful of other people’s copyright when blogging but feel free to send to as many other events as you like, let’s help everyone save money!

Have fun!


Fluffy Puff Puffs – Review

I was recently sent a little goodie bag of soft, fluffy gourmet marshmallows from an online company called Fluffy Puff Puffs.  I’ve only ever had the standard pink and white marshmallows which you find in the supermarket and more recently I attempted to make my own which you can see here.
 The company have a good selection of flavours and are continually adding new ones.  I was sent Lime Punch, Love Currant, Sugar & Spice and Raspberry.  My favourite was definitely the Sugar & Spice which reminded me of eating Snickerdoodles as a child.  They are coated in sugar which gives them a nice crunch in contrast to the soft, fluffy mallow.  My least favourite was the Lime Punch and I think it had more to do with the colour than the flavour.  It is very, very green which to me was just a bit off putting.  The Raspberry and the Love Currant were both nicely flavoured.  There are no preservatives so the shelf life is quite short – which just means you have to eat them all up quickly.  I did look up to see what they use for food colouring and they use the PME food colouring range which is between 85 – 100% natural.  PME do however use E133 (Brilliant Blue) in some of the colours which I know can be a problem for some people.
These little puffs of sweetness would make a lovely and unusual gift for someone with a sweet tooth.  If you fancy trying Salted Caramel marshmallows (why, why didn’t I get this one??), or marshmallows drizzled with chocolate then pop over to their website to see all the lovely flavours available.

I was sent a free sample and was not paid for this post.  All opinions are my own.

MY NOT SO GOOD CHOCOLATE MASCARPONE CHEESECAKE

Amongst my collection of cookery books and magazines I have a large pile of folded up pieces of paper which I have collected over time.  These are recipes which have been passed on to me, articles torn out of magazines, quick notes made from my favourite TV shows – you name it – I’ve got it.  Every now and again I haul this treasure trove out of my cupboard and look through it for something to catch my eye.  This time round it was a recipe for a Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake.  When I read through the list of ingredients I just knew it had to be delicious and that it would be perfect for my ‘fancy’ dinner coming up soon.  What is not to like about mascarpone cheese, double cream, chocolate, almonds, brandy and best of all – hot chocolate sauce over the top?  I set to work with great anticipation.  The smell was heavenly, the tasting of each process was divine.  It was a messy process with loads of bowls and utensils but it didn’t bother me, the reward would be worth it.  After an hour in the oven it looked perfect.  I plated up a slice with some vanilla ice cream and the homemade chocolate sauce whilst patting myself on the back at how delicious it looked.  I spent the next half an hour taking my photos trying not to tuck in too early.  Finally the moment had arrived – tasting time.  My first mouthful was a bit of a surprise – nothing much to taste.  I tried another mouthful – it was worse than the first.  The texture was nothing less than awful.  It was like eating air but in a sandstorm – slightly grainy from the ground almonds.  I called my 5 year old son to ask for his opinion.  “Mmm – I don’t think we should take it on the picnic tomorrow” was his reply.  What?  How can something that looks this good not taste delicious and not even appeal to a 5 year old?  With no further ado it was tossed in the bin and I spent the next half an hour tidying up the mess in my kitchen – very grudgingly I might add.

So sadly there is no recipe to go with this delicious looking dessert.  It was a bad day at the office for me.  Better luck next time.

Written by : Angela Darroch

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