Sunday, 18 November 2012

Budget Christmas Gifts For Foodies

Look at this lovely selection of goodies...

You would probably believe me if I told you they were from those wonderful, yet a tad overpriced continental Christmas markets that grace our city centre at this time of year.
However these bargain buys were from Lidl! The total cost of all five items came to just over a tenner, not bad at all for small gifts for friends, colleagues or as stocking fillers.
Why not make a hamper for someone special? Easy enough to do - just use a cardboard box, wrap it in festive paper and fill with goodies. Much kinder on the bank balance then splashing out on Waitrose finest organic hampers, plus you can personalise it according to your friends taste!

These gorgeous praline filled gold chocolate hearts would make a perfect stocking filler for your special someone. £2.49

  I love the packaging of this extra virgin olive oil from Portugal. When you've used all the oil, it would make a great piece of decor on your kitchen shelves. An absolute bargain at £2.49

These gingerbread rounds are so good! I've bought these from the Christmas markets in Sheffield and Manchester as I love them that much, and at 89p you could buy a pack just for yourself!

 Some lovely porcini terrine here. Always welcome in any larder or cupboard. I like it in an omelette, spread on toast or scooped up with crudites. They had an incredibly cheap selection of 6 different pates in a set for only £3.49....This single jar was £1.99

Lovely proper cherries soaked in Kirsch. Perfect sandwiched between chocolate cake and finished with lashings of cream and chocolate shavings for black forest gateaux. Or spooned onto ice cream or as a sneaky treat straight from the jar £2.49

Total cost of all items £10.38! Treat your food loving friends.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Veggie Peanut Butter Stew Recipe

Nice simple recipe for warming you up on a chilly autumn night. Very versatile, chuck anything you want/have in the pot for a tasty hug ready in 20 minutes!

I used these ingredients:
5 spring onions
3 cloves garlic
small piece ginger
1 aubergine
half pack chestnut mushrooms
half head broccoli
half head cauliflower
4 vine tomatoes
1 green  pepper
generous dollop crunchy peanut butter
1 veg stock cube
pinch chilli flakes
salt (ideally Maldon)
pinch dried thyme

Don't be put off by the long list. Use whatever you've got! The peanut butter really brings it all together and makes it more interesting than the usual vegetable soup.

  1. Chop all your vegetables - aubergine and mushrooms thinly sliced, ginger and garlic fine chopped, rest roughly chopped
  2. Fry off your spring onions, garlic and ginger in olive oil with the chilli and salt
  3. Add mushrooms and aubergine. Cook for 5 minutes
  4. Add the rest of your ingredients along with 2 cups of hot water.
  5. Simmer with a lid on for 10 minutes, til everything is tender
  6. Adjust seasoning and serve!
Hope you enjoy this simple meal, let me know of any variations you come up with as I cook this a lot and am always interested to find new combinations.