Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Thrifty renovations of Thrift Cottage

Hello Dear Reader,

It actually got too hot to go outside today.   28 in the shade by 11 am and just got hotter. I tried sitting outside at 4.30 and soon had to retreat indoors. I even bathed the dogs in cool water and just towel dried them to leave them damp so they could feel cooler.

I have wall paper which I inherited and don't like so I'm stripping it. It has two layers, a vinyl top layer and a backing paper underneath. I peel the top layer off really easily then I've sprayed plain water onto the wall paper and it just scrapes off.

It won't take me long. To keep costs to a minimum, we'll just paint the entire of the inside of the cottage white. Where we can, we'll just have sanded wooden floors or tiles. We don't intend to spend too much and want it to be simple to maintain .

I want to spend the bulk of what we can save on the mortgage balance. A home is important; a fancy house isn 't.

Over to you. Share your thrifty decorating tips to help me and anyone else, keep the house renovation cost down.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Mighty Meaty Mushrooms

Hello Dear Reader,

On the second day of my holiday, I got teacher's guilt. Teacher's guilt is where the teacher in the relationship feels guilty that they are on holiday whilst their partner is at work. Well, I got a really bad dose of that today! I tend to turn into 50's housewife when that happens and try to cook something that I know Dearly Beloved will really love. 

We both love Portobello mushrooms but they usually pricey. I picked up four priced at 79p in Aldi. To cook my Mighty Meaty Mushroom recipe you will need:

4 large flat mushrooms 79p
1/4 chorizo - chopped - 50p
2 sliced of bacon chopped - 40p
half a jar of pesto - 50p
1 onion finely chopped - 6p
100g of finely grated cheddar - 50p 

Total £2.75 plus salad came to about £2 a head - To be honest, this was a blow out and in reality, one mushroom each with some salad would have been quite enough. For a family serve this with crusty bread and salad to bring each meal well into the £1 a head threshold.

Here's what you need to do.

1. Get the oven on to 180
2. Get a pan hot and chop the onion, chorizo and bacon.
3. Fry those until cooked through.

Wipe your mushrooms clean.
Fill them with pesto. Again, I over did this and could have used less pesto but the jar had been opened a while and I hate leaving the 'odd bit' in the bottom of the jar. If you have just a smidge of pesto left, keep the jar in the fridge and dilute with water when you need to use it and add to sauce for pasta. The pasta below is from Lidl, it's 89p or you can buy one just as good in Aldi for 99p.

As you can see, I've loaded the pesto into this and we could have had a lot less. Teacher's guilt......he loves pesto!

Now, the mighty meaty bit. Load in the bacon, chorizo and onions. You could do a veggie version with peppers, courgettes, grated carrot and plenty of garlic all cooked until softened in olive oil or butter.

Now, pile the cheese onto each one. Bake in the oven for around 20 - 30 minutes.

I made a very simple salad of beetroot (ready cooked and vacuum packed) - 69p for four beetroot in Aldi, with a few cherry tomatoes, 1/4 of a cucumber diced. All tossed in one tablespoon of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. I always have bottles of lemon juice and buy then 3 bottles for £1 from Approved Food.

 The end result is a real meat feast. The mushrooms have a steak like texture and are really substantial. At one point, DB closed his eyes whilst he was eating these as he really savoured them.

Here they are, Mighty Meaty Mushrooms on a bed of chopped beetroot. 

Next time, I will use less cheese, less pesto and only have one!!! Such a big meal has made me very sleepy! I also think these are good enough for a dinner party and would make a brilliant starter. Of course, they would have less filling.

Over to you Dear Reader, who loves filled mushrooms and what do you put in yours? Plus, any teachers who get 'teacher's guilt'?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx