Friday, 1 April 2011

Frugal Meals and Good Ideas

Although we have had a very upsetting week and things have been tough on the farm, (I have spent the last five days doing everything for the animals, and to be honest it's hard on your own). First Lovely Hubby had to make the dash to Scotland to be with his Mum and then obviously he had to put time in at work. So it was left to me to plod on, if the sun had stayed out it might have made it more bearable. Walking the dogs in the rain after all the feeding, mucking out etc does not lift your spirits.
Through all this the Challenge was pushed slightly to the back of my mind, but I have not faltered. I have not made any food purchases. I do have to hold my hands up and admit that after a rummage through my pockets and handbag I managed to rustle up £1.45, £1.20 of which was spent on a copy of the Radio Times. Although we don't watch that much tv I do like to know what is on and it's a pretty good magazine too for bringing you up to date with whats going on in the tv world. And as we are about to be included in a BBC programme it's nice to be up to date.

Well enough waffle, I bet you would rather know how the foodie challenge is going. Last night to be honest I was stumped about tea and couldn't for the life of me think what to do. So I searched the fridge for what needed using up immediately and there in front of me was half a tub of Philadelphia Light Soft Cheese.

Well meal plan sorted. We both love pasta and a jar was sat on the worktop just waiting to be dipped into, tucked away in the freezer were the blocks of last years Spinach that I had blanched and frozen. These were thawed in the microwave and ready in an instant.

So the recipe - a good handful of pasta per person, cook for the required time, drain in a colander saving a couple of ladles full of the water, using the pan the pasta was cooked as it's already nice and warm, put in the Soft Cheese and the saved pasta water, add a handful of spinach or any veggie you have and warm through. Tip the pasta back in the pan and give it a good stir. Then simply pour the lot into an ovenproof dish and top with a sprinkle of breadcrumbs and a light grating of cheese, we use vegetarian Parmesan style as it's yummy and warm through in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. The top will be slightly browned and crunchy and the pasta oozes with cheesy loviness.

A quick,simple, frugal and tasty tea which last night I served with a salad of lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, celery and grapes. Lovely Hubby approved.

If you are after lots more frugal tips on using storecupboard ingredients for meals pop on over to Frugal Queens Blog she's having a bit of a challenge herself (understatement of the year!!) and using all of her cupboard contents before shopping this month to make her pennies go even further.

Today we are taking a couple of hours off to look at a piece of land, fascinating I hear you say....well it could be our future, so yes it is.....Lol!!

Just another THANK YOU for all your fantastic comments and emails, you've really helped us this week and Lovely Hubby told his Mum last night that folk from all over the world know about her and are sending her hugs, prayers and love and she thanks you to. I think something's working as she is SO positive at the moment and is even planning some time in Spain with Alans sister who lives there. She's grabbing life with both hands and enjoying every last minute - something we should all do.

Sue xx


  1. So sorry to hear of all that's been going on for you Sue. Thinking of you.

    P.S. What programme?!!! x

  2. Gorgeous supper dish Sue, son will approve, it has pasta in it!

    Hope that you manage to keep your chin up, and that your Mother in Law stays positive.


  3. You'll need to let us know which programme you're on, so we can all watch. :) Hope things improve for you soon, best wishes to MIL.

  4. Yummy dinner. So glad that MIL is so positive - we kept reiterating the power of positivity to my Dad this time last year and I'm sure it helps. Ooh yes you'll have to share the programme news!!!

  5. Glad to hear the your Mum in Law is positive, it WILL help.
    Jane x

  6. Hi Sue

    I've only just caught up on your last few blog postings so I'm afraid this comment is a little late, but I just wanted to wish your Mother in Law, and you, hubby and all the family all the very best in this difficult time.


  7. This dinner really looks delicious and I continue to send positive thoughts to you from Virginia!

  8. much love to you and yours too, thank you for your kind post on mine xxxxxxxx

  9. Mouthwateringly simples!
    Well done on getting through the week!
    Glad that MIL is feeling positive.
    Take care yourself.

    Sandie xx

  10. It is amazing what meals we can come up with when put to the test! Yours sounds nice and easy to make up.

    Thinking of your family and sending best wishes to all.



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