Home made Pop T*rts, 10p [VG/V/DF]

As a child I loved Pop-Tarts™, those saccharine toaster pastries thick with white icing and multicoloured sprinkles that, when eaten greedily from the toaster, would scald your tongue with red-hot jam. I decided to see if I could make my own version from scratch, pastry and all, and here they are. They’re not an everyday breakfast but they’re definitely a […]

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PBJ Granola, 8p [VG/V/DF/GF*]

Granola is one of my most favourite breakfasts to have on standby, usually slung in the bottom of an oven that already has something else going on in it, in order to utilise the hot air already swilling around in there to create something else, practically for free, from storecupboard ingredients. My Small Boy loves this with his milk warmed […]

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Dollar Pancakes, 6p (VG/V/DF)

In case you ever find yourself wanting pancakes, but not having any eggs in the house (or bananas, or chia seeds, or flax seeds, or vegan egg replacer), here’s a cheeky cheaty recipe – because some things are just too good to keep to yourself. Serves 4-6, depending on appetite, from 6p each 150g plain flour, 7p  (65p/1.5kg, Sainsburys Basics) […]

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Vegan Crumpets, 6p (VG/V/DF)

I very rarely advocate the use of specialist equipment in my recipes, but there is simply no way to make a crumpet without the use of an egg poaching ring. I retired mine when I went vegan, and had to properly search through my kitchen to find them again, but it was worth it. I picked mine up for £1 […]

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Applesauce Pancakes, 17p (VG/V/DF)

Pancakes became something of a tradition in my household when Small Boy started school; our lazy days of laconic love-ins giving way to 6am alarm calls, nervous breakdowns in the morning about where the bloody hell the latest school jumper could possibly be, finding every left shoe in the house and not a single right one. Weekend breakfasts became a […]

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Post-Party Panzanella (VG/V/DF)

I knocked this together from some scrappy bits left kicking about on Boxing Day – the kind of thing that is usually found at any kind of gathering, extended to feed a few more for an extra day. A bit of bread, some tomatoes, some greenery, a dash of oil and lemon and you have yourself a perfectly delicious side […]

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5 minute bread, 4p [VG/V/DF]

On Thursday morning, off school and recovering from surgery, my Small Boy announced he wanted ‘dippy bread’ for breakfast. Bread with something to dip it into, I surmised. Seems fair enough; who doesn’t enjoy dunking warm bread into something soft and viscous, and ramming it in their gob? I made a yoghurt dip and whipped the last nights leftover roasted […]

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Unicorn Slaw, 18p [VG/V/DF/GF]

This particular recipe doesn’t strictly fall within the ‘bootstrap’ range, owing to its use of ludicrously beautiful blue petals as a finishing touch, but if you’re willing to abandon them, then it’s a different – and simpler – prospect entirely. I try to keep the recipes on this blog to easily accessible ingredients for as many people as possible, but when I posted a photograph of this on Twitter and Instagram, I was inundated with requests for the recipe. Cornflower petals are admittedly a little specialist (once you’ve been cooking for a living for a few years, your shelves do acquire all sorts of oddments…) the more humble kitchen could replace them with chopped parsley or mint for a similar eye-popping colour contrast, without the hit to your wallets. Serves 4 as a side dish at 18p each – including the stupid and entirely unnecessary bright blue flowers A generous handful (100g) of cabbage, kale or spring greens, 14p+ (Sweetheart cabbage 70p/500g, Spring greens 85p/200g and kale £1.20/250g – take your pick!) 1 carrot, 5p (75p/1.5kg, Basics carrots) 1 onion, 9p (80p/1.5kg, Basics onions) 1 beetroot, fresh or pickled, 20p (Vac-packed 80p/250g, fresh £1.65/200g) 1 tbsp red or white wine vinegar, 3p (at a push, malt vin will do if you don’t keep the fancy stuff kicking about…), (£1.15/500ml, Sainsburys own) A few pinches of salt, <1p (40p/750g table salt) 1 tsp/4g sugar,<1p  (80p/1kg Fairtrade granulated white sugar) 4 tbsp […]

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Tw*tbreads, 4p [VG/V/DF*]

I joke that ninety-seven percent of the spontaneous conversations that my friends start with me – especially mid afternoon or early in the evening – are panicked cookery conundrums, photographs of burned pans, musings about what to have for dinner based on photographs of their kitchen cupboards, or emergency cake queries. This afternoon was no exception.  It started off innocently […]

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Brown bread ice cream, 24p

I first discovered brown bread ice-cream in an old copy of Mrs Beeton’s Everyday Cookery, and as an avid maker of simple ice-cream and brown bread, decided to combine my two recipes. You don’t need an ice-cream maker for this one, I don’t own one. If you have an electric whisk or cake mixer, it will come in handy, but you can make this without – you just need a little patience and a firm hand.  Makes around 8 portions at 24p each. Prices based on Sainsburys, Basics where available, and correct at time of writing.  100g wholemeal or brown bread, 5p (40p/800g loaf, Basics) 200ml milk, 9p (44p/litre) 3 egg yolks, 56p (£2.30/12 eggs, free range) 100g sugar, 8p (80p/kg, Fairtrade) 300ml double cream, £1 (£1/300ml) A fistful of sultanas, 10p (£1/400g, Basics) For the topping: 2 tsp breadcrumbs  1 tsp sugar, <1p (80p/1kg, Fairtrade) Few pinches ground cinnamon, <1p (80p/100g, Natco) Soak your bread in a little milk and stand to one side for an hour or so. Separate your eggs – I pour my whites into a jar and use them for meringues, egg-white omelettes and egg-fried rice – and beat the yolks in a large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat well. Pour in the cream and whisk until the mixture has almost doubled in size. Run a finger through: it should feel airy, light and fluffy, and not fall off […]

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Whirlybuns, 11p

These little weighty wistful whirls of whimsy came about entirely by accident. I was going to stay with friends in Manchester for the weekend, to all fling our small boys at one another for a raucous time, and I never like to accept hospitality empty handed. So, I set about making a hulking great fruit bread big enough to energise […]

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Moonshine Mash, 17p

This recipe came around completely by accident, as so many of the best of them do. I was recovering from a throat infection and hankering for something soft and soothing, so started to make myself a pile of mashed potatoes. And then, one of my readers sent me a recipe from the New York Times for a buttery polenta topped […]

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Soffritto, 19p [VG/DF/V/GF]

For the last few months, I have been spying little jars of soffritto paste in the specialty foods aisles of various supermarkets. Snuggled next to such exoticisms as ancho chillies, dried porcini mushrooms, and other things that it is ‘nice to have but not essential’ (although Waitrose now feature artichoke hearts in their Essentials range, for the love of God!). […]

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Beetburgers, 18p [VG/V/DF/GF]

  I love the general enthusiasm that Veganuary generates across my social media (an annual challenge to try vegan for January), and this year with 40,000 people signing up and support from Stella McCartney and other fabulous animal lovers, the buzz created has been gorgeously warm and supportive. I am busy finishing my book at the moment – and thank you all […]

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Sprout Scones, 15p (V)

  Sniff not, leftovers fans, for this is a delicious and delightful way to use up any leftover greenery hanging around from recent festive dinners. Spring greens work just as well, and spinach, or a combination of anything green and leafy, really. Knobbly, straggly ends and rinds of cheese can be incorporated into these too, for a baked brunch or lunchtime treat […]

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