Terri’s Tuesday Tips ~ Jan 8

Hello!

I’ve got a new calendar with lots of kitchen tips so thought I would share these with you on a weekly basis.

Here’s the first round along with my two cents….

BOGOF♠ It is estimated that food worth £420 ($638) per person is thrown away every year.  Turn over a new leaf at the start of the year ~ avoid BOGOF (by one, get one free) offers in supermarkets which encourage waste and plan the weekly menu before shopping.

Terri’s thoughts on this one:  I see nothing wrong with these as long as it’s a product that you actually use.  We tend to get these more on store cupboard items, such as coffee or pasta; something that isn’t going to go bad in a short amount of time.  Don’t buy something just because it’s on sale.  Yeah, that BOGOF offer on the 20lb. bag of flour is great, but unless you run a bakery or do a sh!tload of baking, do you really need 40lbs. of flour??

♠ Use the unpopular chocolates from a selection box by melting them all together and making a fudgy chocolate sauce to pour over ice cream for an instant dessert.

Terri’s thoughts:  Unpopular chocolate??  This was definitely written by a member of the male species or Martha Stewart.  That’s like saying ‘leftover wine’. The only chocolate I don’t eat is if it’s wrapped around marzipan or a sickly sweet cherry.  And of course, that’s what most of us want to do, especially if you’ve decided to start a healthy eating regime!

♠ If a recipe calls for thinly sliced meat, freeze it for a couple of hours as it will then slice more easily.

Terri’s thoughts:  This actually does work!

♠ Put a damp tea towel under the chopping board to prevent it slipping or under a bowl while mixing.

Terri’s thoughts:  I actually have a piece of that rubbery shelf liner under my cutting board and I have a stand mixer so no need for it under the bowl.  Even if I’m using my hand-held mixer, I usually have my other hand on the bowl, turning it.

♠ When preparing a packed lunch in the morning, use frozen bread.  It will defrost and taste fresh by lunch time.

Terri’s thoughts:  A good idea if you take a lunch to work.  Taking a lunch is always a better idea than buying your lunch.  Think of the money you save!

Cheap-white-bread♠ To freshen a slightly stale loaf of bread, steam in a pan with a lid on until warmed through.

Terri’s thoughts:  Not a bad idea if you want to use it for a sandwich, but slightly stale bread will taste just as good as fresh when toasted.  It almost doesn’t seem worth the trouble.

Next week, how to sooth a sore throat, an idea for tissue paper and making a tastier cup of tea!

Terri  ♥

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You can still Eat Healthy on a Budget

Money is tight these days and that means for just about all of us.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t eat healthy.

Many people think that they can’t afford to buy fresh food and think it’s cheaper to buy ready-made meals and processed foods.  But you can buy fresh food, save money and still respect yourself in the morning!

Here’s a handful of tips on how to save some of your hard-earned cash and still eat right.

◊ Carry a bottle of water with you always.  If you already have a beverage with you, there’s no need to buy soda, juice, coffee, tea or even a bottle of water when you’re out and about.  Think about what you spend when you buy a can of soda or a bottle of water.  Over time, that can add up.

◊ Pack your lunch. Whatever you make for dinner, make a little extra and take that with you for your lunch the next day at the office.  Just reheat it in the microwave.  No microwave?  Then make yourself a sandwich or a even better, a salad with lots of veggies and some beans and avocado or low fat deli ham or some canned tuna.  Make your own dressing with some mayo, low-fat plain yogurt, herbs and seasonings or just some olive oil and vinegar.  The combination of the veggies with a bit of protein and fat will keep you fuller longer to get through that afternoon slump and is much better for you than a fast food burger and fries and in the long run, cheaper.  If you do feel a bit peckish later in the afternoon, have an apple with some slices of cheese or a couple of whole grain crackers with natural peanut butter.

◊ Eat more vegetarian meals.  For those of you who are meat eaters, I’m not saying to give up eating meat, but meat can be expensive and it doesn’t hurt to have a meal once in a while that doesn’t contain meat.  Legumes, beans, veggies, rice and other whole grains are less expensive and can be a good source of satisfying protein.

◊ Buy in Bulk.  Whenever possible, buy in bulk, especially if you have the room at home to store big bags or boxes of things such as rice, pasta, dried beans or oats.  They will stay longer and cost much less when bought in bulk.

◊ Eat more Fiber. More fiber and less refined sugar.  Refined sugar and hydrogenated oils increase our appetite and therefore our spending on food because we get hungry again shortly after eating them, thus eating more food.  Fruits, veggies and nuts however, are packed with fiber, therefore filling us up and ultimately decreasing our spending on food.

So there’s a few tips on how to eat healthy while not spending a fortune.

Can you think of other ways?  How do you save money and still eat well?  Why not share your ideas with the rest of us?

  Terri  

Psst…Just a reminder, I still need a foodie word for this Friday…A page number 1-632 and a word number 1-20…..

Makin’ Whoopie!

Good Day, dear readers!

Some of you may remember my rant angst disbelief post a while back about whoopie pies and the horrid transfiguration that was bestowed upon them when they traveled over here to the UK.  For those of you who didn’t see it or want a refresher, you can find it here.

As I’ve also been having fun with my new mixer, I’ve been making a few cakey type stuff to sell at the Family Fun Day (FFD) in a couple of weeks.  This coming weekend is the monthly market at Cliftonville and the following weekend is the FFD.  As there will be lots of kids there, I decided to make things that the little brats tots would like.  I’ve made brownies and some tea loaf (for the adults) and I’ll be making those yummy vanilla cupcakes and I also decided to make whoopie pies to show these Brits what a whoopie pie is supposed to look and taste like.  (In case you’re wondering, I’ve put the brownies, tea loaf and whoopie pies in the freezer until needed.  I’ll make the cupcakes towards the end of next week, probably on Thursday or Friday as the FFD is on Saturday).

Homemade Whoopie Pies

This recipe is from an Amish cookbook so it is a traditional recipe.  For those of you who want to try making these, you will get a good many of them…I got 30 pies (60 cakes).

They’re not difficult to make; just a wee bit time consuming as you can only make about 6 cakes per pan.

There’s also more than enough filling for all of them, although you won’t have that much left over.  I just put extra filling in the last 6 or so that I made.  I also made the cakes one day and the filling the next day.

Some of the cakes will come out slightly bigger or smaller.  Try to match up same size cakes with each other.

~~WHOOPIE PIES~~

2 C sugar

1 C shortening or butter

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 C plain flour

1 C cocoa powder

1 tsp salt

1 C sour milk (add 1-2 Tbsp white vinegar to milk)

2 tsp baking soda

1 C hot water

Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.

Cream the sugar and shortening until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt.

Add to creamed mixture alternately with sour milk until well incorporated.

Dissolve baking soda in hot water and add to mixture, mixing well.

Using a small ice cream scoop (about 2 Tbsp), drop onto greased cookie sheet or silicone mat. Depending on the size of your baking sheet, you may only get about 6 on each sheet.  Don’t forget, they will spread to about a diameter of about 2 to 2½ inches.  You want to make sure they are all uniform in size, as best you can.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cakes sit on pan 1-2 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

~~CREAM FILLING~~

2 egg whites, beaten until foamy

¼ C milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 C powdered/confectioner’s/10X/icing sugar, divided

1½ C shortening or butter

Mix together the egg whites, milk, vanilla and 2 cups sugar.

Beat in shortening and remaining sugar until smooth and fluffy.

Spread a dab on the flat side of half of the cooled cakes.  Top with another cake to form a sandwich pie.

Pies can be individually wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen.  Allow to thaw at room temp. (They taste pretty good right from frozen too!)

Enjoy!

♥ Terri  ♥♥

Upcoming Food Festivals for the UK

I realise I’ve been a bit slack on giving you info on these, so here we go….

 

Loch Fyne Food Fair

May 19-20 2012

Location: Fields next to the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, Cairndow, Scotland

Free admission – Farmer’s Market, selected wines and live music both days

£3.00 for parking

Midlands Whisky Festival

May 19 2012

Location:  The Shakespeare Centre, Henley Street, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire

Tickets: £25.00 include a Glencairn nosing glass, bottle of water and festival brochure. No tokens to worry about, just simply ask politely at any stand and you will receive a tasty glass of amazing whisky to try.

Tockwith Beer Festival

May 19 2012

Location: Tockwith Sports Field, Tockwith Lane Tockwith, York, North Yorkshire

Tickets: £10 Adults, £3 Child includes

  • Festival beer glass
  • Beer token
  • Tasting notes
  • Voucher book of exclusive discounts from our sponsors
  • All children’s entertainment (subject to booking and availability)
  • A great day out!

Flavours of 2012

May 25-27 2012Location: Henham Park near Southwold, SuffolkTickets: £6.00 can be purchased on-line or by phoneThis will be the first food and drink festival of its kind to be held at Henham Park
(home to Latitude Festival) and will offer 2 days of fantastic food, drink,
cookery demos and much more.

Somerset Chilli Festival

June 2-4 2012Location: Bath race course,  Lansdown, Bath, SomersetTickets: £6.00, Children under 12 get in freeThe Somerset Chilli Festival will run from 10am to 6pm each day with all things Chilli; food sampling, cookery demonstrations, competitions (inc. the famous Chilli Eating Competition) music acts and wandering performers. To keep you satisfied there will also be top quality food stalls and relaxed bars.

Dartington Food Fair

June 3-5 2012Location: The Shops at Dartington, Shinners Bridge, Dartington, Totnes, DevonTickets: £4, Children under 12 go free.  Book on-lineChef demonstrations, food tents, face painting and many more family activities including a potter’s wheel and mountain biking.*********************

Great British Food Festival

June 4-5 2012Location: Walton Hall & Gardens,  Walton Lea Road, Higher Walton, Warrington, Cheshire Tickets: £2.50, Under 12 go free.  Parking £3.20*

50 Producers, 15 Hot Food Stalls, Craft stalls and live music

There are NO cash machines on site so please come prepared.
*Parking is in the council-run car park and costs £3.20 for the day.

Cheltenham Food & Wine Festival

June 15-17 2012

Location: Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Tickets: Friday £3.00, Saturday & Sunday £6.00, children under 16 go free. Advanced purchase on-line, Sat & Sun, £4.60

  • The Cookery Theatre – featuring demonstrations by leading chefs and celebrity’s from around the region.
  • Food Lovers Marquees – featuring over 200 food & drink producers
  • Real Ale Marquee – taste a wonderful selection of local and regional ales & cider
  • Festival Stage – musicians playing a variety of music from Jazz to Classical to Folk
  • International Wine Theatre – Featuring interactive and educational courses covering a variety of subjects from buying, tasting, grape varieties and styles, from old world to new world wine.
  • Real Food & Drinks Theatre – talks on Nutrition to Real Ale; Cheese to Gin.
  • Arts & Craft – Meet the artists, discuss their work, and buy unique hand-made products direct from the maker. Crafts include fused glass, jewellery, painting, pottery, wood-turning, photography.

Lunch at Fern’s in Canterbury

Chef P was on holiday from Good Friday until this past Monday and went back to work on Tuesday.  As you may know from reading some previous posts, we had been very busy.  On his last day off, we decided to head over to Canterbury, which we tend to visit about 3-4 times a year, even though we’re only a short distance away.  The last time we were there was around Christmas.

We took the train in, which is always so much easier than driving.  We strolled around and found that there was a Whittard’s and was finally able to find a tea infuser for my mother-in-law. 🙂  Don’t really know how long this store was there, but was glad to find it.  The last time I was at one of their stores was back in July when we were in London.  It just occurred to me; I’m in England where they drink tea like there’s no tomorrow and yet we had a hell of a time trying to find a tea infuser!  We looked in four other stores before I finally found one!

Around midday, we decided to get some lunch.  We don’t do fast food so had to find some place proper to eat.  We found a place that was actually hidden away as there’s really no storefront for it, just the entrance door with a sign pointing you upstairs.  We went to Fern’s Restaurant and Tearoom.  It’s a quaint little restaurant and as it was a weekday, it was rather quiet.  There was a woman dining alone at the table behind us and a couple who were sitting in one of the window seats having lunch.

The seats were leather with high backs and rather comfortable I might add.  The tables were a heavy wood (oak?) with cast iron pedestal bottoms.  Many of these places in Canterbury were once homes and it’s usually quite obvious.  There were two fireplaces (one in each corner) in the section of the room we were sat in with tiled edging.  Many homes back in the early times had more than one fireplace in a room just to get it warm enough.

Chef P ordered a vegetable quiche which came with fries(chips in the UK) and a cappuchino and I ordered a ham, cheese and tomato paninni which came with a small dressed salad and some potato chips(crisps in the UK) and a diet coke.

Now those of you who follow South Beach know that I shouldn’t have eaten some of what was placed in front of me.  The paninni bread alone is a no-no as it’s made with white flour and I really shouldn’t have eaten some all of the crisps.  Another thing that I never have anymore is soda, even diet soda, but I just felt like having it.  We never buy soda or potato chips and I very rarely eat them except in situations like this, so I really don’t feel guilty for having them.

It was a lovely relaxing lunch; something we don’t do often enough.  We’re heading up to Scotland at the end of June for a week, so we’ll get to do that quite a bit.  I’ll fill you in more on our upcoming trip as it gets closer.  Here’s one bit of info:  We’re taking a sleeper train up there!

Have a nice weekend!

♥ Terri  ♥♥

What’s Your Perfect Sandwich?

Your task for today…

Describe your perfect sandwich.

You have up to £5,000 to spend.

Be creative…and share with the rest of us by leaving a comment.

Have fun!

 

Mine would be a BLT…Crispy fried bacon, crunchy perfect lettuce, perfectly ripe tomatoes on fresh white bread with mayo.  I know it’s not creative, but that’s always been my perfect sandwich…or else a PB & J!