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Savvy shopping, seasonal eating and thrifty recipes. Spend less on groceries and enjoy better tasting, easy to prepare meals your friends and family will love – all on a budget.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Picnic Lunch Bread Cases - Credit Crunch Munch for April

I'm delighted to be hosting Credit Crunch Munch this month.  The challenge was devised by Camilla and Helen as a way of sharing frugal, thrifty and delicious recipes each month.  Link up your scrumptious budget conscious recipes using the linky at the bottom of this post.

It is school holidays here for us and my lovely children are bottomless pit at the moment.  Keeping them fed and watered without them over eating or indulging in too many treats is a challenge.  I baked these tasty morsels for us to take to the park for lunch.  Playing at the local park is a fun, free, boredom busting school holiday activity, and a great way for them to burn off energy and get rid of grumpiness.

These tasty morsels are great for using up veg lurking in the fridge and bread that may be passed it's best.  I used diced ham leftover from a ham roast, chives from our garden and some peppers that needed using up from our veg drawer in the fridge.  I've used grated carrot and courgette in the past, the recipe is easily adapted to whatever you have in the fridge or cupboards.  You could also use tinned or frozen veg, just defrost the veg before using. 

Picnic Lunch Bread Cases

3 spring onions, finely sliced – green and white parts or some chives
4 slices of ham, diced (optional)
1 pepper, finely diced – any colour will do
handful or two of frozen vegetables (optional)
12 slices wholemeal bread, crusts removed
8 medium free range eggs
150ml milk
grated cheese for topping (optional)

Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C Fan. Spray a metal 12 hole muffin tin with non-stick baking spray.

Push the bread into the muffin tin holes then spoon in the ham and vegetables.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and some salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture evenly into the prepared bread cases. When pouring in the egg mixture into the cases, pour until it reaches the top of the muffin hole. The egg mixture will absorb into the bread a little so pour all 12 first then you can go back and add more if you have egg mixture left over.

Bake for 20 minutes. Leave to sit for 5 minutes before removing from the tin. Serve.

How to enter Credit Crunch Munch

To take part, blog about a food related money saving idea and add your post to the Linky.  Thrifty ideas include:

Dishes using cheaper ingredients – cheap cuts of meat or vegetarian
Meals using leftovers
Meals using up the ends of packets
Substitutions of cheaper ingredients
Packed lunches
Meals that use less energy to cook
Pressure cooking
Slow cooking
Faster cooking – less oven time for example
Batch cooking for the freezer
Sustainable foods
Food you have grown yourself
Meals from reduced food in the supermarket

The list is endless! 

We do do a full round up so I will be mentioning and linking back to all the recipes that are submitted in my round up at the end of the month.

There are a few rules:

Please link to the Credit Crunch Munch pages on Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All
Please link to the current host (ME!)
Please use the Credit Crunch Munch Badge above
Tweet using #creditcrunchmunch
Closing date – last day of the month – so 30th April 2015
You are welcome to link up one or two old posts, but please republish them
By entering you are agreeing to let us use an image from your entry on this site, and to pin to Pinterest
If blogging a recipe from elsewhere on the internet or a book please be mindful of copyright.
But feel free to send your entries to as many other blogging challenge events as you like, let’s help everyone save money!

Tell me about your money saving ideas on the linky below! I am also making this a blog hop, so feel free to grab the code and add to your post too. Let’s spread the money saving ideas!

We’ll be looking for guest hosts later in the year, so please mail Helen if you are interested. helen at fussfreeflavours dot com

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Chocolate Mud and Caramel Easter Cake

This Easter Waitrose are encouraging people to be ‘Good Eggs’.  During the Easter school holidays, Waitrose are asking people to share their Easter photos on social media - from all the delicious food they’re enjoying to fun Easter egg hunts with the kids – using the hashtag #GoodEgg to support Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

Throughout the initiative, Waitrose will be surprising and delighting lucky participants with Easter gifts, including Heston’s Golden Easter Eggs, hampers, cases of wine, Waitrose vouchers and Waitrose Cookery School vouchers.

Waitrose will also be making a charitable donation to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, as well as delivering chocolate eggs for the children to enjoy at their Easter party.

For ideas, inspiration and recipes, Waitrose have created a dedicated Easter section online to help you plan the perfect Easter and have a Kids Easter ideas page here which has step by step guides to creating your own DIY Easter eggs and other edible Easter treats.

I decided to bake a 4 layer Chocolate Mud and Caramel Easter Cake which my children dubbed the Epic Easter Cake when they saw it after they had arrived home from school and spied the cake on our kitchen counter.

The cake is best served in thin slices as it is very rich and a proper sugar rush.  I was thankful that the weather was good as I sent the kids outside to play after taste testing as it was like rocket fuel as an after school snack.

Chocolate Mud Easter Cake

225g butter, cubed
360g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (I used Green and Blacks)
165g light soft brown sugar
180ml water
150g plain flour
35g self raising flour
2 Tblsp cocoa powder
2 medium free range eggs

Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan.  Grease and line a 22cm/9 inch cake tin, ensuring the paper comes 2 inches/5cm above the top edge of the cake tin.

Combine the butter, chocolate, sugar and water in a saucepan over a low heat.  Stir until mixture is smooth.  Cool this mixture until it reaches room temperature.  Mix in the flours, cocoa and eggs.  

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes until cake is cooked and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Cool the cake in the tin for 15 minutes to half an hour before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

Split the cake horizontally into 4 layers. Alternate ganache and caramel between layers, finishing with ganache on the top of the cake.

Chocolate Ganache

300g dark chocolate, I used Green and Blacks
200ml double cream

Put the cream in a saucepan over a moderate heat. Heat until almost boiling, remove from the heat and stir through the chocolate until a smooth mixture forms. Leave the ganache to cool until it reaches a spreadable consistency.


50g butter or margarine
50g light muscavado sugar
1 x 397g tin condensed milk

Measure the butter and sugar into a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Add the condensed milk and stir until completely combined.  Bring the mixture to the boil.  As soon as the mixture boils turn the heat right down so the mixture simmers very slowly.  Ensure you stir the mixture continuously.  Heat for about 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool until it is a spreadable consistency.  

** I was compensated for my time and expertise devising this recipe for Waitrose **