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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.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Live Below the Line - again!

We lived below the line last week as a family. It was tough, but apparently not tough enough.  We raised £100 for Save the Children UK, thanks so much to those who generously donated.  This week I'm doing it again!

I said at the time it was much easier to do it as a family spending £30 on food over 5 days than a single person spending £5 on food.  After the comment "Why don't you do it on your own then?! Doing it as a family is WAY too easy!" along with similar comments by several other people, I've decided to take up the challenge and complete another 5 days of Live Below the Line.  This time I'm doing it solo.  I've never been one to refuse a challenge, I'm really stubborn in that way.

Serving up our usual fare to the family whilst living on rations myself is going to be a challenge, but a challenge that is well worth it to raise money for those much less fortunate than us and who don't have the choices we do. 

Here are my supplies for the 5 days:

1x   ASDA Smartprice Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce (410g)        24p
1x   ASDA Chosen by You Vegetable Stock Cubes (12x10g)         75p
 1x   ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                             77p
 1x   ASDA Smartprice UHT Skimmed Milk (1L)                             49p
1x   ASDA Free Range Medium British Eggs (6)                            85p                    
1x   ASDA Plain Flour (500g)                                                        40p
1x   ASDA Good and  Balanced Pearl Barley (500g)                      64p
 1x   ASDA Smartprice Apples (500g)                                            79p

TOTAL £4.93

I will be doing without coffee. This means it is going to be a very tough 5 days.  I'm not bothered about not having sugar, chocolate or other goodies. Coffee is what fuels me, perks me up and brings me joy.  I love a good quality coffee and I am addicted to caffeine, withdrawal will be unpleasant.  I'll also undoubtedly miss fruit and salads and wholemeal seeded bread too.

 What do I plan to make?

Scrambled eggs using an egg each day and some milk to bulk it out
Flatbreads made with 200g flour and 100ml water/milk

Vegetable and Pearl Barley Soup using 200g pearl barley, 300g vegetables and stock cubes
"Hummus" using drained baked beans, 200g vegetables and stock cube
Crackers made with 150g flour and 100ml water/milk

Apple Pancakes using 150g of the flour, an egg and some milk.
An apple on 3 of the days

Pearl Barley Risotto using 300g pearl barley, 500g vegetables and stock cubes

I will make a cuppa soup with stock cube and water if I need a tasty cuppa, otherwise I'll be drinking tap water.

Please donate if you can here: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/utterlyscrummy

Friday, 1 May 2015

Bread with Bits for Bready, Steady, Go!

Last month was the inaugural month of "Bready, Steady, Go!" the monthly bread baking challenge created and hosted alternate months by me and Jen from Jen's Food.

I bake bread several times a week, we don't buy bread any more, we make it all at home.  One of our favourite breads, especially for after school snacks, is Fruit and Seeded Wholemeal Bread.  A slice or two of this bread spread with peanut butter, and accompanied by a glass of milk, will take care of hunger pangs until dinner time.

Deciding that the challenge for Bready, Steady, Go in May would be "Bread with Bits" was clearly influenced by our fondness for bread with flavourful additions.  You could add fruit, nuts, seeds, cheese, vegetables, herbs, meat, pulses or other flavourful culinary additions.  I can't wait to see what you make! Here's our favourite bread recipe at the moment, it is so easy, just one prove then bake.

Fruit and Seeded Wholemeal Bread

175g strong wholemeal bread flour
175g strong white bread flour
75g porridge oats
75g dried fruit
75g mixed seeds
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp fast action instant yeast
2 Tblsp oil
2 Tblsp golden/maple syrup
250ml milk, or soy/almond milk

Grease a 900g/2 lb loaf tin.j

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Make a well in the centre, add the liquid ingredients and then mix until a smooth dough forms.

Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth then shape and put in the greased tin.  Cover with greased clingfilm and leave to prove until doubled in size.

Preheat your oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas Mark 7.  Remove the clingfilm from the proved loaf and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Leave to cool in the tin then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.  The loaf should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom when it's cooked.

Challenge Guidelines

Bready Steady Go! will run until the 28th of each month and then a round up will be posted by the hosting blog at the end of the month.

You can link up any bread recipe, sometimes we may also run themed challenges, and feel free to join in with other challenges if your post also meets their guidelines. If you really love baking bread then you can add multiple entries up to a maximum of 3 per blog each month.

Please link back to Jen’s Food and Utterly Scrummy Food For Families and include the badge to help spread the word.

We’d prefer to see entries from new blog posts where possible but you can also add old posts if you add the badge and link back to our blogs as well.

You can tweet your entries to @JensFood and @UtterlyScrummy using the hashtag #breadysteadygo and we will retweet all that we see.

All entries will also pinned to our new Pinterest board as they come in.

If you make a recipe from a book/magazine/website etc please respect copyright and do not reproduce the recipe verbatim. Instead of copying out the recipe from the book, describe it in your own words and if it’s from an online source please link to the original content.

So what are you waiting for? Bready, Steady, Go bake some bread!