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Cream cubes are a great idea for when you have just a bit of cream left in your pot and you don’t want to throw it away.
Simply pour the leftover cream into ice cube trays and freeze for 24 hours. At this point, chuck them all into a freezer bag or a little box and just take them out whenever a recipe calls for a small amount of cream.
I add a few cubes to mash potato for extra creaminess and the best bit is I dont even have to defrost them first. Try adding a few cubes in a white sauce… or my favourite way of using them is to pop a couple into the pan when making porridge. My favourite winter breakfast!
This is also a useful tip for lemons. Our local market sells fruit by the bowlful so you get around 10 lemons for a pound. I juice them up and freeze them the same as the cream. You’ll never have to rush out to the shops at the last minute when your recipe calls for the juice of half a lemon…
Following on from the ‘whats your least expensive meal’ Here’s the recipe.
Half a bag of dried pasta
One tin of chopped tomatoes
one quarter of a small block of cheese. I used ordinary coloured cheddar.
Approx a pint and a half of white sauce - Mix together butter and flour to make a roux. Slowly add your warmed milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Let it come to a simmer for a few minutes to cook the flour.
Make up the white sauce and pop a pan of water on to boil. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook it for about ten minutes until still slightly firm inside (it will cook a bit more under the grill so don’t over cook it to start with)
When the pasta is cooked. Drain off the water and pop it back on the stove. Add the tomatoes to the pasta and heat gently for a couple of minutes.
By this time your white sauce should be simmering gently. Add most of the cheese to the sauce, reserving a little for the topping.
Pour the cheese sauce on top of the pasta/tomato mix and stir well. You can add ham or peppers, whatever you fancy at this point.
Pop the whole lot into a heatproof dish, add the remaining cheese as a topping. If you want it an extra crunchy topping, try adding a squashed up bag of plain crisps.
Put it under the grill until the cheese melts and bubbles up. You may want to serve it with a salad or some fresh bread but its rather filling on its own so I serve it heaped up into pasta bowls as a main meal.
I’ve put a picture of it under the last entry, its making me feel hungry now!
Now that Martin from moneysavingexpert.com/it pays to watch has given me the go ahead to give a link to my blog on there I want to welcome over my friends from MSE.
We have a great foodie forum over there and it got me thinking ‘what is your least expensive meal’ I can answer this myself straight away – its cheesy pasta. The cheesy pasta is a great comfort food and we have it at least once a week as the children love it.
I’ll work out some costs first of all and then I’ll put up the recipe.
Dried pasta. The one from Aldi is 100% durum wheat and is a good quality one. I use half a bag for the four of us so that works out at about 30p
Tin of tomatoes. Lidl had them on offer at just 15p a tin so I bought loads! They have the same tomato content in as more expensive brands so worth looking at when the 15p offer is on.
For the cheese sauce.
I used buttermilk from butter-making. I had frozen lots of this at Christmas when I was able to get cream reduced to 10p for a big carton. I froze it in half pint size bags to make it easier to defrost and use. I use about one and a half pints so I shall say the cost was 25p
Butter for the roux approx 5p
Flour for the roux. I mill my own so lets say 5p for the wheat.
Cheese. I do use quite a lot in the sauce and as a topping so 40p should easily cover that.
Of course I use salt/pepper etc but I’m not going to cost those in.
So I make that a grand total of £1.20 or just 30p per head!
You may notice from the picture that I added ham to this dish… Ok so I cheated, I popped in a packet of sandwich ham. Add 50p to the total cost… but it is delicious!
Ok hands up who watched it? I spent the first half watching from behind the sofa… the dogs thought it was a great game and decided to lick me to within an inch of my life! Seriously though I thought the program was brilliant. Martin has inspired me to claim back my bank charges and I’m just waiting for him to tell us the time is right and then I’m going to change my gas and electricity suppliers. He said to hang on until he gives us the nod as its not worth doing yet with the prices still rising.
Did you see my garden? Its so muddy at the moment. I cant wait for the weather to change so it will dry out a bit. The hens are spending a lot of time on the patio trying to keep out of the rain.
I want to say thank you to everyone who visited my blog. After last nights show my view counter went through the roof!
I hope I came across ok. I was very nervous when they were filming and I kept grinning like a fool. Please leave me a comment to let me know what you thought. Actually I’d love to hear any comments, be it about the blog content or just to say hi!