Thursday Night Tea (a sort of take away) number 6

thursday 6 (7)Well it’s Thursday night once again and that means only one thing…….. it’s time for another Thursday night tea post! Today however we played a little blinder; as Becksie had been on the radio this am in Oxford (starts 8 minutes into the show) it meant that Mammar was with us and needed taking back home so…… we texted Da to say we were coming for dinner, and could he please photograph what he was making for tonight’s blog post. Result free tea. Photo’s taken and a free recipe from Da! In order to not be too mean Da dictated the recipe to us – so we are are nearly ready to present Thursday Night tea (a sort of take away) very shortly.

Before we crack on with the recipe we’d just like to say thank you so much for the overwhelming response so far to our impact study – we are quite frankly amazed. We’d love to continue to build the picture on the impact of our actions and so if you’ve changed your shopping habits in any way as a result of our ramblings please fill in the form below. All entries will be entered into a wonderful exciting (prize to be revealed type) prize draw. Thank you and we hope you will be equally AMAZED when we publish the results.

And now…….. Da (it’s sort of) over to you………

Special Egg Fried Rice:

thursday 6 (9)Cook your rice a few hours before you plan to eat it. A mug full of dry rice for four people is just the ticket. Cook it until just soft then rinse in cold water and leave it in the sieve for about ten minutes so all the water is drained away. Spread it on a plate and store in the fridge for a few hours.

thursday 6 (14)When you are ready to cook your special fried rice you can use whatever bits and pieces you have to hand – this is a great recipe for using leftovers. We had a small amount of left over cooked pork, a few frozen prawns that needed using and from the garden some spring onions, early purple broccoli, chard tops and (not from the garden) a cup full of frozen peas.

thursday 6 (13)Wash and clean the chard and put on to steam. Cut up the pork into thin strips and marinate for about 20 minutes in oyster sauce. thursday 6 (11)Cut the spring onion length ways and soften in a frying pan (we used a little bit of leftover pork fat). thursday 6 (12)Set this to one side. thursday 6 (1)Fry a couple of eggs – as shown in the picture. Set to one side and give the pan a wipe (a flavour keeping=in method).

thursday 6 (2)Heat a teaspoon of oil and fry the broccoli, prawns and peas with a dash of oyster sauce, set to one side. Once again using the same pan fry the marinated pork.thursday 6 (3)

Wash the pan (or….. Use a different one). Heat the pan with a tablespoon of oil in until it is really hot then add the rice, some light soy sauce and the egg and stir fry until an even colour. thursday 6 (4)thursday 6 (5)Put the rice into a large serving dish, quickly give the pork, onions and veggies a quick re-fry, add to rice and mix and ….,.. serve. thursday 6 (6)

Pudding……… by Mammar – a classic yogurt and muesli winning combination! thursday 6 (8)


Thursday Night Tea Take 3

What’s worse than having to cook tea on a wet Thursday night when you can’t be bothered to eat let alone cook? Blogging about it! hehe! As this statement suggests today is wet, miserable and Becksie simply can not be bothered to cook let alone blog about some inspiring idea.

thursday night tea 3 (6)BUT……. it’s Thursday night and we have promised a mini series so cook, eat and blog we must. Becksie did admit it crossed her mind to make, serve and blog beans on toast but…… in the spirit of this mini series that is simply not enough (that said Becksie has to admit beans on toast is actually one of her favorite things in the world).

So after summoning up the energy may we present: baked sausage meatballs in a tomato sauce with wild rice. Sorry uninspired title but the energy was lacking.

thursday night tea 3 (1)Take enough sausage meat for the amount of people you need to feed and in a bowl mix it with a chopped onion, mustard, rosemary and garlic. Form meatball shapes and dip in a whisked egg and then roll in breadcrumbs. thursday night tea 3 (3)Place them in an oven proof dish with finely chopped (we might have been so lazy and done this in Becksie’s new bamix) carrot, celery and some more onion.thursday night tea 3 (4)Add a tin of tomatoes and a tin of mixed pulses. A good splash of red wine vinegar, a sprinkling of sugar, salt and pepper (tomatoes love sugar, salt and pepper) and a cup full of water. Mix up and bake for about 40 minutes. Meanwhile pop the rice on to cook (we had wild rice which takes longer than normal rice). thursday night tea 3 (5)

We served ours with some homemade guacamole for colour and to use up an avocado.

thursday night tea 3 (7)We are aware this is possibly the worst and laziest recipe EVER written but it’s a reflection of our food mood and evidence that when you are busy and tired cooking needs to be quick and simple – especially on a wet, cold, dark January day.

Blog out take:



Thursday Night Tea Number 2

As promised a light and fluffy food based post! And……. as it’s Thursday night that means only one thing. Its time for our mini series called (as the title may suggest) Thursday Night Tea!

But first a spot of housekeeping – may we present this weeks shopping!thursday night tea 2 (6)

Thursday Night Tea 2 (5)

For some reason (trying to eat frozen summer vegetable gluts) we feel as though we haven’t done a really good shop for a while so perhaps next week we shall, along with a pantry and freezer audit. ROCK AND ROLL!  A total spend of £23. 85 at the lovely Faringdon market, butcher and baker and in Wantage today.

So Tuesday night saw us have Mammar and Da over for a roast chicken dinner. Wednesday night we had a leftover Chicken lasagne (fry onions, leeks, celery in a bit of the chicken jelly, add mustard, wine and a few other bits and pieces from the ingredients cupboard, layer with lasagne sheets and a homemade white sauce). Tonight……. Left over mild sort of chicken curry and rice. This is a Da CLASSIC and was always a childhood favorite of Becksie’s. It’s a great quick practical dinner that Becksie has made her own version of. It’s good but Da’s is still better. We hope Lizzie will make this for her children in the future.

Thursday Night Tea 2 (1)

Get the rice on – (2 cups of water for ever cup of rice – boil until dry, turn off the heat cover with a lid and leave for five minutes – perfect).

Chop an onion into rings and a clove of garlic. Fry gently until they start to soften. Add a couple of teaspoons of gram masala and some turmeric for fun. Add any chopped veg you have to hand, a chopped apple and a handful of sultana type affairs. Add a generous glug of water and simmer.Thursday Night Tea 2 (2)

Season – probably add more gram masala. Add some cream, yogurt or milk and serve with rice.

Thursday Night Tea 2 (4)

Very nice, economical and healthy.

Thursday Night Tea Part One

This weeks shop part 1 - £9.40

This week’s shop part 1 – £9.40

This weeks shopping part 2 (£11.07)

This week’s shopping part 2 (£11.07)

It seems a long time since we blogged any recipes (well things other than cake that is) and this is something we simple must rectify. So welcome to a little mini series……. we’ve called it Thursday night tea. That’s right, for a while every Thursday (or as many as possible) we thought we’d challenge ourselves to a) blog what we have for tea b) the meals (of course) must be cooked from scratch c) must be thrifty yet tasty. The purpose of this is two fold, firstly its to ensure we keep up with our mission to eat well for less and secondly its to pass on a few tasty recipes we hope you chaps can use on a normal Thursday night – or for that matter any day of the week.thursday night 1 (2)

So brace yourself for an exciting journey of tasty thrifty supermarket free Thursday Night Tea recipes!

And as if by magic it’s Thursday which can mean only one thing….

Thursday Night Tea Part One:

So tonight we had bacon, onion and leek mashed potato pie with carrot, cauliflower and spinach served with a cheese sauce.

thursday night 1As its a week night this recipe is extremely simply. Boil enough potatoes (we did three large potatoes to feed the three of us plus Mammar). Whilst they are boiling fry garlic, bacon, onion and leek in a little oil until soft. Add mustard, a dash of milk and salt and pepper to taste. Add a sprinkling of grated cheese and stir.  thursday night 1 (1)

Put this mixture in an oven proof dish. Turn the boiled potatoes into mash and top the bacon mixture. Add a sprinkling of grated cheese and bake in a hot oven (200c) for about 25 mins until golden brown. thursday night 1 (3)

Steam the vegetables whilst the main dish is baking.

Make the cheese sauce by melting a good knob of butter adding 2 tablespoons of flour. This will make a paste, keep stirring and add cup and a half of milk and a generous handful of grated cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and smooth. Add a few twists of pepper and serve.

Shopping and some cakes for Da

Today saw our first shop of 2014. We headed off to Faringdon Farmers market despite the wind and to quote Lizzie ‘orrabul raaain’! We were delighted with our shop (if a tad self conscious as we were being filmed for ITV Meridian news – you can watch the piece here) and between the small (but perfectly formed) market and deli got most of what we needed.  So here it is, shopping trip 1 of 2014,  a total spend so far of £40.80. We need more fruit and vegetables but the fruit and veg man wasn’t in attendance so Ian will be deployed on a lunch time mission tomorrow at the market in Oxford with £9.20 at his disposal.

Somehow after Christmas it feels quite nice to get back to normal and this certainly applies to our shopping, we did a huge shop before Christmas and did buy a few bits before this shop but what with going away we haven’t needed more. The last few days we have been on leftover patrol eating a mix of things that needed eating up plus bits from the freezer so this seems like a fresh start.

shopping 1 (2)

You may spy a bag of bright orange delight in the picture – this is in fact trout roe. An awesome seasonal delight (for only £2 a bag) that we are very excited to try. Guess what it was even sold to us with a few recipe suggestions, one of which is something Becksie loves. It is also something she hasn’t had for over a year now since supermarket days – that’s right folks taramasalata! Keep posted for the recipe to follow very soon.

Now as you may remember we have a deal with Da that he gives us free vegetables from his garden in exchange for cake. This is a good deal but it seems we have not been doing enough on our side of the bargain. Last night on the phone Da casually mentioned the fact that for some time now he hasn’t received any cake. This meant only one thing………. it was time for Lizzie to put on her baking apron and get on it!shopping 1 (3)

Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes

shopping 1 (4)Assemble:

100 grams butter

100 grams caster sugar

2 eggs

25ml strong coffee

100 grams self raising flour

35 grams of crushed walnuts

Preheat the oven to 180c

shopping 1 (5)In a bowl cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy.

Add the eggs on at a time then mix in the flour, coffee and walnuts.

Divide into cup cases and bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden and a skewer comes our clean.

Allow to cool.

Taste test

Taste test

Whilst they are cooling make the icing by combining about 60 grams of butter and 1200 grams of icing sugar. Add a dash of coffee and a dash of baileys (do this a few drips at a time as you need the icing to stay stiff). Chill.

Decorated by Lizzie

Decorated by Lizzie

Then……. you guessed it, ice and decorate the cakes and…….. give to Da!