Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • caronc
    • By caronc 17th Jul 17, 6:31 PM
    • 2,773Posts
    • 17,900Thanks
    caronc
    Cooking for one (Mark Two)
    • #1
    • 17th Jul 17, 6:31 PM
    Cooking for one (Mark Two) 17th Jul 17 at 6:31 PM
    In view of the issue of longer threads being auto-deleted I thought wise to start a shiny new thread as we had got to over 5.5K posts.
    The original "Cooking for one" thread can be found here http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5585796

    13th Jan 17 at 7:32 PM
    Hi, newbie poster though long time lurker trying to adjust to being an empty-nester and due to some substantial changes income-wise in the next couple of months trying to cut my costs and adjust my shopping to mainly solo dining. I abhor waste so good that way and do cook from scratch/batch cook the vast majority of the time. I do "sort of" meal plan but it can be a bit hit or miss depending on my health is on any given day. I'm reliant on on-line shopping so can't take advanage of aldi/Lidl etc. What (if any) changes did you make when changing to a single-person household?



    August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £116/£120, Dec £46/£60
Page 167
    • Farway
    • By Farway 7th Dec 17, 3:37 PM
    • 5,730 Posts
    • 7,734 Thanks
    Farway
    The word was unknown to me until MSE. It's not something I have ever eaten. I don't buy cakes etc at Xmas..... but I'm tempted to try that "at half price" - although L are currently selling their "small panetone" at 99p - and I've never had one of those either!

    .
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    If in the area PN, give in to temptation on the Stollen. I had never eaten one either until L arrived, about 1000 calories consumed just by sniffing the pack It is one of those items that once opened soon vanishes, like sweets & biscuits

    The panetone, I have tried it, but can take or leave it, I may get one because I hope to make a trifle for Christmas, and it will make an excellent "sponge" base

    PS, wish L used UK spell checker, "curbs" bah
    • AndyCF
    • By AndyCF 7th Dec 17, 4:46 PM
    • 184 Posts
    • 473 Thanks
    AndyCF
    The two stores are very different -although they look the same at first glance. I've been slowly testing/comparing "identical" products from both to discover which I like the best - and there is a difference that can persuade you that something is better at one or the other. e.g. sausage rolls, I prefer the L to the A ones.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Yes that does make perfect sense. The advantage I'll have is they are roughly about 2 minutes away from each other (when the new one opens) , one being in a mini 'retail park' and the other on the site of a former old college outbuilding (best way I can describe it)

    So its roughly 20 minutes then "a choice" or both.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 7th Dec 17, 4:54 PM
    • 2,773 Posts
    • 17,900 Thanks
    caronc
    Given the choice between stollen & pannetone it would have to stollen every time. Pannetone IMHO is only good for toasting or making bread & butter pudding.
    August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £116/£120, Dec £46/£60
    • AndyCF
    • By AndyCF 7th Dec 17, 4:54 PM
    • 184 Posts
    • 473 Thanks
    AndyCF
    Wet & wild this morning, but went out as I "needed" veg suet for the planned dumplings, and B1sto chicken granules, down to my last spoonful. But I forgot, again, the beans / sausages in a tin
    Originally posted by Farway
    Just cold here, bad windy last night. Expecting some snow tomorrow I think.

    Talking of granules: I decided to go with a glass jar (a small one) of 'low salt' gravy granules this time and no stock cubes, figuring it will last a bit better plus I then have a small spare glass jar for storing half a pack of say 'instant mash' in or such too.

    I still cannot replicate the lovely gravy my grandparents used to make however I do know what is needed its a question of 'how' , I do plan on a topic about this at some point.

    Beans: I ended up getting two Haricot bean tins and two 'mixed bean salad' tins in the end to try them out. I've also taken a chance on a small tin of 'H's bbq beans' too, I may or may not like them given the tomato content (yuk) however I plan on trying a bit of it then if its no good I can rise the sauce out and eat them when I warm them up with some random veg mix, so there is not going to be any loss. , famous last words!

    Sadly the normal 'mixed bean' was changed for 'red kidney' which seems odd as I would of thought they would of just added another two of one of the other type. To be fair I decided to keep them to try them given they were 30p each so 60p is not the end, and at least I'll know if I want them again or not.

    Oh, while on L subject, pull along trolleys are on from Sunday, mind you nearly £30, mine was nowhere near that price. The offer one seems better than mine, has separate compartment, including a cool bit [are you listening Andy?]
    Come in two options on wheels, the go up stairs type or bog standard
    Originally posted by Farway
    Yes I'm listening.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 7th Dec 17, 6:18 PM
    • 14,218 Posts
    • 38,532 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    More use-ups for dinner today. Sorta stew of bit of leek (use up), canned tomato (for taste), quorn mince (use up - thats the last of that gone at last), homemade pesto (use up), some spinach wilted in at the end and throw some hemp seeds and nutritional yeast on top.

    Stomach still got a gap in it. Must head for some toast - as I cba to make anything "filling" with it.

    Beginning to see daylight re all that cheese to use up - and dairy products now moved to smallest drawer in freezer and done some freezer reorganisation whilst waiting for it to cook. Cue for 2 drawers for fruit (apples and assorted berries in one and everything else in the other), bread drawer, vegan drawer (that's the tofu and the like and cooked-by-me dried beans and lentils), assorted oddments drawer, vegetables drawer. Plans on having freezer bags of half a cans worth of things like cooked beans and lentils - and, hopefully, will be organised enough to take one of those bags out to defrost in the morning and it will be just as "convenient" as canned stuff come mealtime. Plans on using some released space for having portions of cooked rice as well (one person helping size).

    It should all work out making it much easier for cba days. That's the theory anyway.....
    New Year's Resolution already made -

    Don't get mad....get firm ...
    • Farway
    • By Farway 7th Dec 17, 6:26 PM
    • 5,730 Posts
    • 7,734 Thanks
    Farway
    That's dinner over, the Moroccan style lamb pie was OK, not too spicy but TBH a nice Kate & Sidney would do me just as well. There is one MLSP left in the pack, always is, as per CFO living. It will be the last that enters Farway Towers

    Heard the weather forecast, seems I'm in the "hotter" part of the country tomorrow, depending on how the L beef goes it could be stew day, I don't fancy doing it in the slow cooker, always seems to taste the same.

    Think I will try on the hob, if I can find big enough correct size pan. I seem to have HUGE and "boil over sizes", not much in the middle
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 7th Dec 17, 8:01 PM
    • 60,974 Posts
    • 356,142 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    That's dinner over, the Moroccan style lamb pie was OK, not too spicy but TBH a nice Kate & Sidney would do me just as well. There is one MLSP left in the pack, always is, as per CFO living. It will be the last that enters Farway Towers
    Originally posted by Farway
    I googled them.
    https://www.lidl.co.uk/en/Non-Food-Offers.htm?articleId=7336

    I'd not buy them due to price/size. £1/pie
    That's out of my food radar for something I don't know if I'd like.

    .... depending on how the L beef goes it could be stew day, I don't fancy doing it in the slow cooker, always seems to taste the same.

    Think I will try on the hob, if I can find big enough correct size pan. I seem to have HUGE and "boil over sizes", not much in the middle
    Originally posted by Farway
    Yes, pan size can be tricky ....

    I'm going to do it in the SC, then I thought "why?" .... I could just nuke it. So I'll probably be nuking a beef curry tomorrow. Seems easiest. I do wish I had a larger microwave dish though - I'll get one when I find one for £1-3 or so.

    Without a large dish I juggle 2-3 smaller dishes then mix at the end in another bowl.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 7th Dec 17, 8:06 PM
    • 2,773 Posts
    • 17,900 Thanks
    caronc
    Son and partner are safely back in Cardiff after a rather bumpy & delayed ferry and a bit of a hairy drive from Dover , suffice to say I'm incredibly relieved

    It's snowing just a few miles from here whereas we have gales, hail and sleet. I've had to turn the heating up quite a bit as my hands & feet are freezing.

    I've gone for any easy option for dinner of baked fish with mushrooms, tomato and baked spud.
    August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £116/£120, Dec £46/£60
    • caronc
    • By caronc 7th Dec 17, 8:11 PM
    • 2,773 Posts
    • 17,900 Thanks
    caronc
    I googled them.
    https://www.lidl.co.uk/en/Non-Food-Offers.htm?articleId=7336

    I'd not buy them due to price/size. £1/pie
    That's out of my food radar for something I don't know if I'd like.



    Yes, pan size can be tricky ....

    I'm going to do it in the SC, then I thought "why?" .... I could just nuke it. So I'll probably be nuking a beef curry tomorrow. Seems easiest. I do wish I had a larger microwave dish though - I'll get one when I find one for £1-3 or so.

    Without a large dish I juggle 2-3 smaller dishes then mix at the end in another bowl.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Do you not find the beef is hard to get tender in the microwave if cooking from raw? I tried a stew in the microwave yonks (and yonks) ago when I was cookerless due to a fault and I didn't have enough time to SC it. I found the stewing beef was cooked but dry and really chewy. It ended up in the pooches and I had to spend money on a takeaway so I've never chanced it again.
    August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £116/£120, Dec £46/£60
    • caronc
    • By caronc 7th Dec 17, 8:13 PM
    • 2,773 Posts
    • 17,900 Thanks
    caronc
    More use-ups for dinner today. Sorta stew of bit of leek (use up), canned tomato (for taste), quorn mince (use up - thats the last of that gone at last), homemade pesto (use up), some spinach wilted in at the end and throw some hemp seeds and nutritional yeast on top.

    Stomach still got a gap in it. Must head for some toast - as I cba to make anything "filling" with it.

    Beginning to see daylight re all that cheese to use up - and dairy products now moved to smallest drawer in freezer and done some freezer reorganisation whilst waiting for it to cook. Cue for 2 drawers for fruit (apples and assorted berries in one and everything else in the other), bread drawer, vegan drawer (that's the tofu and the like and cooked-by-me dried beans and lentils), assorted oddments drawer, vegetables drawer. Plans on having freezer bags of half a cans worth of things like cooked beans and lentils - and, hopefully, will be organised enough to take one of those bags out to defrost in the morning and it will be just as "convenient" as canned stuff come mealtime. Plans on using some released space for having portions of cooked rice as well (one person helping size).

    It should all work out making it much easier for cba days. That's the theory anyway.....
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    That sounds very organised and planned - beyond my capabilities freezer-wise. I'm just pleased to have got mine in a bit of order
    August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £116/£120, Dec £46/£60
    • kittie
    • By kittie 7th Dec 17, 8:14 PM
    • 11,370 Posts
    • 64,811 Thanks
    kittie
    turkey for me too and cranberry sauce and one one-off once a year fillet steak, which I will probably cook one half at a time for two days

    So I am now baking shortbread, was very easy using a potato masher and pressing the dough into a quiche tin. Too late to sample a piece but will do that tomorrow

    I had a rare, for me, baked potato at lunchtime, with baked beans. Potato was fine but tbh too fluffy and sweet for me, must be full of sugars which my mouth detected. Late meal was a bigger meal than normal, recipe for celeriac from jamie, easy and no potato, cut into chunks in a pan. I did 2 chicken thighs and various veg in my shallow pressure cooker, like a frying pan with a pressure lid. Was ready in 20 minutes and very yummy. I did take an enzyme capsule with the potato and another with the last meal, certainly helps my digestion to cope and I can tell because there are no rumblings and tum is flatter. I only received them yesterday and will normally only take one if I have a doubtful (potato, aubergine, wheat etc) meal or a heavier one

    I am keeping a running shopping list at the moment because I don`t intend to shop much, the crowds will be growing and I hate those crowds, that plus snow sweeping of shelves
    • caronc
    • By caronc 7th Dec 17, 8:24 PM
    • 2,773 Posts
    • 17,900 Thanks
    caronc
    turkey for me too and cranberry sauce and one one-off once a year fillet steak, which I will probably cook one half at a time for two days

    So I am now baking shortbread, was very easy using a potato masher and pressing the dough into a quiche tin. Too late to sample a piece but will do that tomorrow

    I had a rare, for me, baked potato at lunchtime, with baked beans. Potato was fine but tbh too fluffy and sweet for me, must be full of sugars which my mouth detected. Late meal was a bigger meal than normal, recipe for celeriac from jamie, easy and no potato, cut into chunks in a pan. I did 2 chicken thighs and various veg in my shallow pressure cooker, like a frying pan with a pressure lid. Was ready in 20 minutes and very yummy. I did take an enzyme capsule with the potato and another with the last meal, certainly helps my digestion to cope and I can tell because there are no rumblings and tum is flatter. I only received them yesterday and will normally only take one if I have a doubtful (potato, aubergine, wheat etc) meal or a heavier one

    I am keeping a running shopping list at the moment because I don`t intend to shop much, the crowds will be growing and I hate those crowds, that plus snow sweeping of shelves
    Originally posted by kittie
    Oh you've got to have cranberry sauce, note to self I must get some or organise some fresh or frozen cranberries.
    Unless it's in beef wellington (which I adore) I'm not that bothered about fillet steak (I'm a cheap(ish) date ). We always have steak on Christmas Eve, I prefer a sirloin or rib-eye whereas my elder son likes a fillet. At least with steaks it's easy to cater for individual preferences
    August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £116/£120, Dec £46/£60
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 7th Dec 17, 8:26 PM
    • 60,974 Posts
    • 356,142 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    Do you not find the beef is hard to get tender in the microwave if cooking from raw? I tried a stew in the microwave yonks (and yonks) ago when I was cookerless due to a fault and I didn't have enough time to SC it. I found the stewing beef was cooked but dry and really chewy. It ended up in the pooches and I had to spend money on a takeaway so I've never chanced it again.
    Originally posted by caronc
    It's only an idea. I need to read the packet, see what I actually bought, then do a single trial cube. Then decide.

    It's lean meat, so should be OK, but I want to see if there's other information there about which bit of the animal it was cut from.

    Indeed, as I don't actually even possess a microwave bowl large enough .... laziness will probably have me tossing it in the SC in any case

    I juggled the biryani the other week and it's never-ending faffing.

    To be honest, at this stage I'm still pondering what to do with it ... bought it thinking stew.... changed my mind to curry .... and been back/forth many times in the last few hours I might even change my mind while holding the curry paste jar! I'm indecisive to the extreme. OCD Indecisiveness...
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 07-12-2017 at 8:33 PM.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 7th Dec 17, 8:41 PM
    • 2,773 Posts
    • 17,900 Thanks
    caronc
    It's only an idea. I need to read the packet, see what I actually bought, then do a single trial cube. Then decide.

    It's lean meat, so should be OK, but I want to see if there's other information there about which bit of the animal it was cut from.

    Indeed, as I don't actually even possess a microwave bowl large enough .... laziness will probably have me tossing it in the SC in any case

    I juggled the biryani the other week and it's never-ending faffing.

    To be honest, at this stage I'm still pondering what to do with it ... bought it thinking stew.... changed my mind to curry .... and been back/forth many times in the last few hours I might even change my mind while holding the curry paste jar! I'm indecisive to the extreme. OCD Indecisiveness...
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I'd go for the SC cooker option, bung it and go and do something else works for me every time

    ETA - if it's lean "casserole" beef it will definitely benefit from a slow cook, not enough fat in it to keep it juicy!
    August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £116/£120, Dec £46/£60
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 7th Dec 17, 9:01 PM
    • 60,974 Posts
    • 356,142 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    .... bung it and go and do something else works for me every time
    Originally posted by caronc
    It is the most likely thing... I often think of things that I then decide I CBA to do. I bought the SC to be a "... just chuck it in.... CBA...." solution.

    All you need is 2-4 things that "kind of go together" and you're done
    • poppystar
    • By poppystar 7th Dec 17, 9:32 PM
    • 290 Posts
    • 1,010 Thanks
    poppystar
    Given the choice between stollen & pannetone it would have to stollen every time. Pannetone IMHO is only good for toasting or making bread & butter pudding.
    Originally posted by caronc
    Panettone served with Vin Santo (or similar) syrup and either ice cream, clotted cream or marscapone is heaven. I prefer that to stollen - mind you it may be the wine syrup and cream rather than the panettone itself
    • AndyCF
    • By AndyCF 7th Dec 17, 9:41 PM
    • 184 Posts
    • 473 Thanks
    AndyCF
    One thing I have noted about both Al and Li is the lack of cook instructions online with the descriptions, unless I'm missing something. Its not an issue really anyway given I'd have to 'go get' but it is sometimes useful (to me at least, see my thread in 'Praise/Vent' if in doubt!) to see these beforehand.

    I actually treated myself today instead of a small bag of frozen oven chips I thought I'd try a small bag of Potato Croquettes instead, it was either those or some hash-browns so I plumped for the former as I cannot remember having them before. Will be interesting to see how well they micro, I may do 2 min / turn / 2 min / poke at them to see what they are like and just repeat until they are done / fall apart as I've over done it.

    I do not have my oven yet (it is a long story) although it is "on the cards" still although I do have another potentially useful appliance coming my way in time for Christmas (an early gift!) , more about that when it arrives as I may need some assistance from those with experience.

    EDIT... A bit of research found out the new 'Al' shop I mentioned (old college site) will apparently be ready/open around February. No sign of it on their own site as of yet though, had to resort to news sites.
    Last edited by AndyCF; 07-12-2017 at 9:45 PM.
    • meg72
    • By meg72 7th Dec 17, 11:05 PM
    • 4,966 Posts
    • 45,436 Thanks
    meg72
    Given the choice between stollen & pannetone it would have to stollen every time. Pannetone IMHO is only good for toasting or making bread & butter pudding.
    Originally posted by caronc
    Definitely me too. My first experience of Pannetone was like well whats this then? just bread and spot the sultana?
    Slimming World at target
    GC Nov 16.50.
    GC Dec 24.89
    GC Jan 2.50
    • kittie
    • By kittie 8th Dec 17, 7:16 AM
    • 11,370 Posts
    • 64,811 Thanks
    kittie
    sounds like they had a very rough crossing back caronc, they kept saying on LBC, a 4 hour delay because of rough seas

    I have re-discovered a very useful pan of mine, a shallow pan pressure cooker, which holds 2.5 litres. I had it ages and barely used it, never thought about using it until yesterday and it is perfect for solo. I did 2 drumsticks with a few veg for flavour and about 1/4 pint of water. It took 15 minutes and it was very flavoursome. I am sure that I will be using this for all meat now, unless I am griddling or cooking my turkey in the oven. I never added any fat to it and skinned the chicken, the meat fell off the bone. I am going to use it again today, to make a meal for two days, I am out all day tomorrow, I have stir fry turkey, which I will cook the same way. I have already made the `fried` and cooked jamie celeriac, which I can re-heat and it is lovely btw and I`ll add peas to the turkey meal
    • Need2bthrifty
    • By Need2bthrifty 8th Dec 17, 7:47 AM
    • 963 Posts
    • 8,392 Thanks
    Need2bthrifty
    Given the choice between stollen & pannetone it would have to stollen every time. Pannetone IMHO is only good for toasting or making bread & butter pudding.
    Originally posted by caronc
    I've only ever tried Pannetone from a well known Italian deli in Edinburgh and it was absolutely gorgeous, especially the lemon one , its pricey but may change your opinion .
    Oct GC = £49.92/£60.00
    Nov GC = £55.48/£60.00
    Dec GC = £32.39/£70.00
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

120Posts Today

3,045Users online

Martin's Twitter