All posts filed under: Christmas

Cabbage Griddle Scones, 14p [Cooking On A Bootstrap]

Although these are extraordinarily easy to make, when I taste the sweet crunch of fried greens with melted butter or see a mixing bowl and spoon in the washing-up pile I feel like I’ve achieved something, even if it’s as simple as this. I like to eat my griddle scones warm straight from the pan with butter, cheese or a squeeze of lemon juice. You can use any greens in place of cabbage, if you have them in, don’t rush out and buy it specially. Also great with grated cheese mixed into the dough, if you really fancy a treat! Makes 4 large scones from 14p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change. 100g finely shredded cabbage or other leafy greens, 8p 200g self-raising flour, plus extra to …

Chestnut, Apple & Stilton Roast, 36p

I buy vacuum packed chestnuts in December and January, when supermarkets mark them down to get rid of their Christmas stock. They have a long shelf life, so last well into the year. The cheapest I have found them was 20p a bag, in Asda last year, and my friend Caroline, a fellow yellow-sticker aficionado, has given me several packets of chestnut puree over the years. If chestnuts are outside of your price bracket, any nuts will do; search the snack aisle in the supermarket for cheap bags of redskin peanuts, or salted peanuts and cashews. Simply soak them in cold water overnight and rinse thoroughly to get rid of as much of the salt as possible. If you can bear it, a change of water and second soak strips away most of the lingering salinity, but it is a bit of a fanny to do. To make this vegan, simply swap the stilton for a vegan cheese – Asda again have a good vegan ‘garlic and chive alternative’, and Violife ‘Blu’ would also work …

Garlic Jam, 76p

This started out as a curious thought in the back of my head – I know garlic softens and sweetens the longer you cook it, so could I make garlic jam? I scribbled some notes based on what little I know about jam making, dug out an old onion marmalade recipe to use as a rough guide, and promptly forgot all about it. Then one weekend, I acquired some beautiful purple garlic bulbs, and the garlic jam pondering resurfaced… I spent a pleasant evening peeling and slicing 40 cloves of garlic, and ended up with 2 jars of this sweet, punchy, unapologetic condiment. You can serve it on toast with freshly sliced ripe tomatoes, or with buttery sautéed mushrooms, or dolloped on the side of a curry, roast dinner, or wherever takes your fancy. (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.) Makes …

Jam Tarts [A Girl Called Jack]

Jam tarts are one of those simple, delicious things that I remember consuming in droves in my childhood, but not so much as an adult. I always have flour in the cupboard and jam in the fridge, and this makes for a lovely rainy-day activity for small children to help with. Of course, you can cheat with jam tarts and buy some ready to roll shortcrust pastry, but where’s the fun in that? Fill them with any jam you like, or lemon curd, or to feed my peanut-butter-and-jam obsession, I work a little peanut butter into the pastry mixture and fill with smooth strawberry jam… Makes about 6 tarts, depending on the size of your cookie cutter (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients.) 50g butter, or 25g butter and 25g lard, plus extra to grease the muffin tray 120g plain flour, …

Double Chocolate Guinness Brownies, 12p [Cooking On A Bootstrap]

Firstly, for the budget-conscious among you raising eyebrows at the use of a bottle of the authentic black stuff in a batch of brownies, fear not, for this recipe makes 24 of the little tinkers and uses a little over half a can at that, so you could stretch to 40ish from a single can if you’ve a crowd to feed. If that doesn’t satisfy you, well, most supermarkets sell an own-brand value range can of bitter at around £ 1 for 4 x 440ml cans. But I created this on the eve of both my birthday and St Patrick’s Day, so it had to be the real thing. I’m fussy about very little when it comes to ingredients in cooking, but Guinness makes my non-negotiable list, and I hope that you, dear readers, will note my half-Irish blood and birthday on St Paddy’s Day and gently forgive me. I first came across the idea of Guinness in cooking from the wonderful Nigella, in her book Kitchen, one of my go-to reads for comfort food …

Vegan ‘Chicken’ Soup, 28p [from ‘Veganish’]

This soup is as close to a chicken soup as any vegetarian or vegan one could possibly come, in my humble opinion, and it is made with some surprising ingredients! The star of the show is the stock; a must for the base of any good soup recipe. I used Osem chicken stock, which I got from my local Tesco Express – sources tell me they are 2 for a fiver there are the moment, for seriously large tubs of the stuff, so if you like the sound of it, now would be a good time to stock up! I originally wanted to make this soup with butter beans, for Mrs J, who requested them, but I left the pan unattended this morning and burned them to a smoky pungent crisp, so found myself rummaging in the cupboard looking for a replacement. Behold, the baked bean, thoroughly rinsed of all its sticky orange sauce, and a worthy, and impossible-to-detect, substitute. And half the price, too. I added freshly picked chard from my garden (I keep …

Mince Pie Toastie, 36p [Jack Monroe’s Advent Recipes]

Regular readers will know that I have quite the love affair with my toastie maker, and have done since childhood, when my mum would wrestle the big white Breville from beneath the sink and turn it on, and we knew that we had a scalding-hot pocket of delight for our imminent lunch. I rediscovered my love for toasties in adulthood – as life can sometimes be overwhelming and with a child tugging on my arm to be fed, and now nothing is safe from being sandwiched between those hot plates and slathered in cheese. This shouldn’t work, but it definitely does, and received rave reviews from my friends and family. It works with vegan cheese too – try Violife mozzarella slices or similar for the best results. Serves one from 36p each Two slices of white bread, 5p (55p/800g, Asda) 3tbsp mincemeat, 10p (or smashed up leftover mince pies), (£2.02/822g, Asda) 40g cheese, 20p (10 slices cheddar/99p, Smartprice at Asda) A smudge of oil, 1p Assemble your sandwich in the usual fashion: Lay the bread …

5 Ingredient Salted Caramel Chocolate Mocha Yule Log, 38p

This is a fairly cheeky little recipe, mostly because it involves very little work at all – and looks and tastes far more impressive than it should do, considering the sum of its parts. I should confess I didn’t make the Yule log in the centre; I bought one from Asda on a whim and made it better. I’m a busy person, and also, I’ve never successfully managed to roll a Swiss roll up without smashing the whole thing to bits with my clod-handed impatience, so I wasn’t going to take the risk. The good thing is, Asda Swiss rolls (and other premade brands are available, I just live near Asda) are alright; the right side of soft, generous with the buttercream swirl, and left out on the counter all night by accident, they stay pretty moist and squishy. Sometimes, just sometimes, you can treat yourself to cheating. Because who cares for blood and tears and martyrdom with fondant sugar, when it tastes this good? (If you object to Flakes, use milk or dark chocolate …

90’s Special Peanut & Cheese Loaf, 18p

This loaf was inspired by one in The Dairy Book Of Home Cookery, one of the only cookbooks I can remember my parents having when I lived at home. A meaty tome of 1000 simple recipes, I would flick through it for inspiration for my Home Economics lessons as a teenager. It has no recipe introductions and very scant instructions, but it is a comprehensive cookery course to rival any other. Some of the recipes I feel are best left back in the 1990s, like the banana and stilton sandwiches, but some of them stand the test of time as cornerstones and classics. I have tweaked the original recipe slightly here. Serves 6 from 18p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change. 75g peanuts, 18p (48p/200g) 75g mushrooms, …

No-Churn Brown Bread Ice Cream, 23p [Cooking On A Bootstrap]

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 from 23p each . This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change. 100g wholemeal or brown bread, 5p (36p/800g loaf) 200ml whole milk, 11p (55p/1l) 3 egg yolks, 45p (89p/6 free range) 100g sugar, 7p (69p/1kg) 300ml double cream, £1.05 a fistful of sultanas, 4p (88p/500g) 2 tsp …

Nigella’s Lentil & Chestnut Soup, 48p

This recipe is adapted from ‘How To Eat’ by Nigella Lawson, who in turn adapted it from ‘an aromatic, velvety, manilla-coloured soup at Le Caprice’ in the late 1980s. The bootstrap adjustments and pricing are my own. The original recipe includes half a leek, which I have omitted out of laziness; I didn’t have one in and didn’t want to take a trip to the shop especially, but if you want to stick more closely to the original, slice it and add it at the same time as the onion. If chestnuts are a step too far outside of your comfort zone, replace with peanut butter instead; this variation benefits from a hefty whack of chilli and lemon, turning it into an entirely different meal, but a delicious one. Serves 4-6 from 48p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All …

Brown Sugar Meringues, 19p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

Demerara and caster sugar behave very differently in cooking: sometimes you can get away with substituting one for the other, and sometimes you can’t. When I first made meringues (Mother’s Day, 2014), I couldn’t help but wonder, in my own mischievous way, if I could make them with different kinds of sugar. Getting right the ratio of caster to demerara took three or four attempts, but they were experiments I was quite happy to make! Makes 6 medium-sized meringues from 19p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change. 4 eggs, 60p (89p/6 free range) 150g caster sugar, 24p (£1.60/kg) 150g demerara sugar, 23p (£1.50/kg) 1 teaspoon cornflour, or ordinary flour will do, <1p 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar, 3p (80p/350ml) Preheat the oven to 130°C/250°F/gas ½. Take a …

Beet Hummus, 21p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

This beet hummus is a cheery addition to packed lunches, salads, snacks, and more. I like to make it for parties and get-togethers, mostly for the pop of colour it adds to the table, but also because it’s pretty delicious. I use chickpeas, but any white beans would do – although that wouldn’t strictly be a hummus, but I’m not pedantic about that kind of thing. Serves 4 from 21p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change. 150g cooked beetroot, 31p 400g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed, 40p 2 fat garlic cloves, roughly chopped, 4p (69p/4 bulbs) 1 tbsp seeds, optional 1 tbsp lemon juice, 3p (£1/500ml) a pinch of salt, <1p 3 tbsp oil, 5p (£1.10/1l) This is super simple to make. Gently open the beets, taking …

Sardine Rillettes, 25p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

It’s pronounced ‘Ree-yett’, and no, I didn’t know that either, having only ever seen it written down. The first time I heard the word out loud, I was having dinner at the cookery writer Xanthe Clay’s house in 2014 some time, and she produced a home made jar of rabbit rillettes. I gobbled half the jar, and still haven’t got around to procuring the recipe from her. For the uninitiated, rillettes is a chunky rough pâté, served a little cooler than room temperature and best smeared on warm toast. I couldn’t do Xanthe’s rabbit rillettes justice in a reconstruction, so here’s a sardine one, all of my own. Serves 4, from 25p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change. 1 small onion, 5p (54p/1kg) 2 x 100g tins …

Bubbles & Squeaks, 9p [A Girl Called Jack]

Traditionally a Monday mash-up of the Sunday roast, a comforting, easy bubble and squeak is something I have been making for years. It’s one of the first things I taught myself to cook and is still a firm favourite. If you don’t have a leftover Sunday roast lying about, here’s how to make it from scratch. I eat mine with a pile of mushrooms and some ketchup, but depending on your budget and preferences, you can serve bubble and squeak with sausages, or leftover roast and veg, or on its own as a lunch or snack. Makes 8 patties (2 per person) from 9p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change. 1 vegetable stock cube, dissolved in 500ml boiling water, 3p 2 large potatoes or 1 tin of …