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  • FIRST POST
    • caronc
    • By caronc 17th Jul 17, 6:31 PM
    • 2,598Posts
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    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?



    July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £96/£120
Page 62
    • kittie
    • By kittie 9th Sep 17, 4:59 PM
    • 11,284 Posts
    • 63,789 Thanks
    kittie
    PN!!! I could kill for a choc ice

    Been busy and am tired, frozen roast parsnips, frozen peas and two poached eggs on top, then I am going to savour the last (boohoo) of the meringues with raspberries, ice cream and cream. Cos I`m worth it
    • meg72
    • By meg72 9th Sep 17, 5:19 PM
    • 4,948 Posts
    • 45,355 Thanks
    meg72
    As the weather has deffo turned so cold decided it was time to visit farm shop for potatoes and onions. Potatoes are only £5.00 a sack 25kgs so 20p a kg and onions 25p kg. Thats quite a big saving on supermarket prices. I store the in an outside meter cupboard and they last for months.
    I used to stock up on parsnips and carrot too but parsnips are so expensive now and carrots dont keep.
    Slimming World at target
    GC Nov 16.50.
    GC Dec 24.89
    GC Jan 2.50
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 9th Sep 17, 5:30 PM
    • 60,665 Posts
    • 354,660 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    I am half way through eating sweet chilli beef meatballs with long grain rice. Last time I bought rice I thought I'd try long grain again as I'd not had it for some years....but I do miss basmati so once this pack's finished it's back to basmati for me!

    100g of rice/portion means I have to eat rice 10x to get through the bag though, I think I'm 3 portions into it so far.

    Meatballs are gorgeous though. As I often say here .... why don't I eat this more often??
    • caronc
    • By caronc 9th Sep 17, 7:11 PM
    • 2,598 Posts
    • 17,001 Thanks
    caronc

    Up early, porridge for breakfast, then with a bit of time spare I made the dough bit for short breads using Caronc recipe. That is now in the fridge chilling out
    Originally posted by Farway

    Had a stab at the shortbread, the dough would not roll, just crumbling, so made shortblobs instead

    They taste just fine, in fact excellent, but a bake off fail. I think that, like my porridge, it will be trial and effort, plus a few hundred zillion calories



    Plenty of time to muse and chomp some shortblobs with a cuppa
    Originally posted by Farway
    Not a fail if they taste good - the dough was probably chilled for a bit too long hence the crumbling. It can help to roll it out between 2 bits of clingfilm or greaseproof if it is determined to crumble
    As the weather has deffo turned so cold decided it was time to visit farm shop for potatoes and onions. Potatoes are only £5.00 a sack 25kgs so 20p a kg and onions 25p kg. Thats quite a big saving on supermarket prices. I store the in an outside meter cupboard and they last for months.
    I used to stock up on parsnips and carrot too but parsnips are so expensive now and carrots dont keep.
    Originally posted by meg72
    That's a fab price Meg

    I'm late on parade as the weather has been lovely so I spent most of the day gardening/recovering from gardening/gardening ....... All bar 2 of the hanging baskets have been composted as they were on their last legs and some more with violas planted up. Got a couple of wee courgettes but the plants have had it so they've been composted too. Picked a load of brambles. beans and toms and what is probably the last cucumber. My back is twingeing like billyo so reckon I'll be stiff tomorrow, oh how I wish I could get in the bath!

    Breakfast was the usual toast and fruit, lunch a ham salad roll and dinner will be lamb chops, runner beans and thinly sliced potatoes/onions baked in a mix of stock and creme fraiche
    July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £96/£120
    • Farway
    • By Farway 9th Sep 17, 7:32 PM
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    • 7,376 Thanks
    Farway
    Not a fail if they taste good - the dough was probably chilled for a bit too long hence the crumbling. It can help to roll it out between 2 bits of clingfilm or greaseproof if it is determined to crumble
    Originally posted by caronc
    I thought that may have been the problem, I made the dough, then went out YS mooching so it was well over 2 hours in fridge, thanks, never too old to learn from experts

    Dinner was going to be the frozen fish, except it was a disaster. The fillets had been in the freezer soooo looong they were one solid inseperable block of iced fish, all I could do was wrap in tin foil and bung in the oven for ages to cook

    In the meantime I thought of chips, as a CFO mind often does, popped them on whilst waiting for the fish. Needless to say, chips ready, fish still half frozen. Bummer

    Dinner turned out to be a chip butty, very nice it was, plus a crumpet, good job it is just me here

    The fish eventually thawed & cooked, now in the fridge and I think some kind of fish cake things are looming tomorrow

    Not the best of CFO days in the kitchen, but hey ho, no one died and the world is still turning
    • caronc
    • By caronc 9th Sep 17, 8:33 PM
    • 2,598 Posts
    • 17,001 Thanks
    caronc
    I thought that may have been the problem, I made the dough, then went out YS mooching so it was well over 2 hours in fridge, thanks, never too old to learn from experts

    Dinner was going to be the frozen fish, except it was a disaster. The fillets had been in the freezer soooo looong they were one solid inseperable block of iced fish, all I could do was wrap in tin foil and bung in the oven for ages to cook

    In the meantime I thought of chips, as a CFO mind often does, popped them on whilst waiting for the fish. Needless to say, chips ready, fish still half frozen. Bummer

    Dinner turned out to be a chip butty, very nice it was, plus a crumpet, good job it is just me here

    The fish eventually thawed & cooked, now in the fridge and I think some kind of fish cake things are looming tomorrow

    Not the best of CFO days in the kitchen, but hey ho, no one died and the world is still turning
    Originally posted by Farway
    I think we all have days like that

    If you find it easier gently roll the shortbread into balls, flatten with your hand until they are they are flattish, stab the tops with a fork a few times then chill and then bake. At the end of the day it's the taste that matters especially if you are CFO .
    July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £96/£120
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 9th Sep 17, 8:54 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I didnt do the frozen fish after all for dinner - as changed mind to another experiment for me. That being aubergine " bacon" - rather thinly-sliced aubergine smothered with a sorta sauce of things like cider vinegar/maple syrup/oil (whoops!)/smoked paprika/soya sauce and baked in the oven. Didnt add the liquid smoke mentioned in a lot of the recipes - problematic to get it and I've read about it (didnt like what I read - tho' I cant remember what it was...).

    So "bits and pieces" - a bit of sprouted wheat bread, then my aubergine "bacon", then some T*sco what-they-call-sourdough-bread. Errrm...not that healthy then being so "picky". Still I guessed another experiment has been tried - and duly decided I like aubergine "bacon".
    #MeToo

    Why should our needs override the needs of all other living species? What makes us so special? (Brigit Strawbridge)
    • kittie
    • By kittie 9th Sep 17, 10:32 PM
    • 11,284 Posts
    • 63,789 Thanks
    kittie
    I grow the parsnips Meg and dig them out early because they are already big, some were 24 inches long. I don`t eat potatoes

    Back to none exciting puddings tomorrow but I believe that I will be defrosting a pizza base and some mozarella, pizza it is, with salad bits. Later maybe fish with parsnips and peas, got to concentrate on freezer food, upside is that I am spending nothing
    • Farway
    • By Farway 10th Sep 17, 9:19 AM
    • 5,650 Posts
    • 7,376 Thanks
    Farway
    Morning all

    Sunny day here

    Breakfast was toast & ginger marmalade, that uses up the last jar of that brand, it was OK but shan't be rushing to buy it again [W/rose BTW]

    The forecast fish cake something ot other to use up yesterday's fishy disaster has morphed into a fish pie thingy, had a search on line and found one using sliced spuds for topping instead of mash. That will do me just fine because I have "spare" boiled spuds LO form the other day.

    The sauce will be another first attempt, unless I spot a cheat packet in Morries this morning, but happy to have a bash at sauce, what could possibly go wrong?
    • caronc
    • By caronc 10th Sep 17, 11:19 AM
    • 2,598 Posts
    • 17,001 Thanks
    caronc
    Good morning everyone,

    After yesterday's lovely weather it's back to wet, cold and windy today. I'm not CFO tonight as my Dad, Sister & Nephew are coming round and we are going to treat ourselves to a takeaway. Breakfast was the usual toast & fruit and lunch will be the wee drop of LO spuds from last night with bacon and egg.
    July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £96/£120
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Sep 17, 1:12 PM
    • 60,665 Posts
    • 354,660 Thanks
    PasturesNew

    The sauce will be another first attempt, unless I spot a cheat packet in Morries this morning, but happy to have a bash at sauce, what could possibly go wrong?
    Originally posted by Farway
    Nuke it, I've been doing it for years. Turns out perfectly every time.

    For a whole pie .... quantities would have to be bigger than I usually make, so I'd give it: tablespoon of butter/marg into a big mug, melt that. Toss in about the same amount (by eye) of flour and use a fork to wiggle it all about to make it smooth. Splash in milk and wiggle it round with a fork until smooth. Nuke a bit (30-40 secs) ... then it's a question of continuing to add milk, wiggling it so it's still smooth and nuking it (which thickens it). Until it's done. 2-3 mins tops.

    I just do it by eye when I make it ... adding more flour, or milk, or nuking it, depending on what I'm looking at and if it needs more liquid, more solid, more 'cooking off' (because you do have to get the flour taste 'cooked off' as they call it).
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Sep 17, 1:18 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Yesterday I'd bought a chicken breast joint as it'd turned foul/wet outside ... this morning it was sunny!! Oh well - decided to go out car booting to just one and then come home and cook my dinner anyway. So I did that, arriving back home about 10ish.

    Picked up four tiny tartlet tins from the boot - 50p for a set of four, so I thought I could always find a use for them for something. Too small for yorkies ... might do for quiches, but they're a bit dainty whereas I like to make a "good sized serves one" quiche, not poncy little uns.

    Chicken's on.... yorkie mix is in the fridge .... cabbage has been cut into halves, swede I decided to just chop ¼ off it and I used 3 carrots in with the chicken and got 1 carrot to go with the veg - cabbage/swede/carrot will be steamed together. Also made stuffing and got peas out... will do Bisto. No spuds ... CBA to do roasties, might make some mash later, might get some out of a packet, might just go without as there'll be enough food on the plate without.

    No idea when I'll be eating ... probably before 3.
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 10th Sep 17, 1:42 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 9,116 Thanks
    Hollyharvey
    I've got a chilli in the slow cooker for dinner tonight. PN mentioning chilli yesterday made me want it . The whole place smells lovely with that cooking.

    Breakfast was scrambled eggs on toast, and I don't fancy lunch right now. I'll probably give lunch a miss now.

    I've just cleaned the fridge there isn't any fresh food needing using up in the near future, so I'm really pleased about that .

    PN I've got some of those tartlet tins. I kept them from my parents' house when we were clearing it out. Dad used to cook a lot when he retired and liked to serve things for him and mum in individual dishes, so I kept all of those and my brother kept a lot of the larger ones as there is four of them.
    • Farway
    • By Farway 10th Sep 17, 2:24 PM
    • 5,650 Posts
    • 7,376 Thanks
    Farway
    Nuke it, I've been doing it for years. Turns out perfectly every time.

    For a whole pie .... quantities would have to be bigger than I usually make, so I'd give it: tablespoon of butter/marg into a big mug, melt that. Toss in about the same amount (by eye) of flour and use a fork to wiggle it all about to make it smooth. Splash in milk and wiggle it round with a fork until smooth. Nuke a bit (30-40 secs) ... then it's a question of continuing to add milk, wiggling it so it's still smooth and nuking it (which thickens it). Until it's done. 2-3 mins tops.

    I just do it by eye when I make it ... adding more flour, or milk, or nuking it, depending on what I'm looking at and if it needs more liquid, more solid, more 'cooking off' (because you do have to get the flour taste 'cooked off' as they call it).
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Thanks, will try that way. I did look for cheat mix in Morries, expecting a "just add boiling water" type, like gravy, but no, just same mixing over heat and cheapest was 40p. I can do better than that, so the nuke it is

    One unexpected gift from Morries, I found a tin of Ambrosia custard in the car park undamaged so those ISIS folk not been at it, I hope. Better than YS in my book
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 10th Sep 17, 2:45 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Lunch was a healthy one today. Big bowl of salad (veg. of various descriptions/avocado/fresh lemon juice squeezed on top) topped off with nutritional yeast (for "cheese" flavour) and some seeds toasted with a bit of soya sauce. Then bit of sprouted bread with fruit spread and finished with almond milk to drink (yep....being experimental with plant milks now).

    Feels virtuous

    EDIT; nearly forgot - also had some of my aubergine "bacon" with it.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 10-09-2017 at 2:57 PM.
    #MeToo

    Why should our needs override the needs of all other living species? What makes us so special? (Brigit Strawbridge)
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Sep 17, 3:20 PM
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    • 354,660 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    Dinner scoffed. Yorkshire was too big to fit on the plate, mainly because I'd already put the veg on there... oh well.

    Chicken, big yorkie, stuffing.
    Swede, carrots, cabbage, peas.
    Bisto.

    It was like a Xmas Trial Run Day!

    Took a photo, it looked (and tasted) better in real life:
    https://s26.postimg.org/wjy9o1vy1/Dinner.jpg

    I still need to find "the correct dish" to make the Yorkshire properly - they do need the right size/type of dish to get a perfect look .... and it's not the dish I used, which was only used as "the closest I've got right now to the ideal dish"

    u2migsc1m
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 10-09-2017 at 5:23 PM.
    • Farway
    • By Farway 10th Sep 17, 6:15 PM
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    Farway
    Looks nice dinner PN

    My fish pie turned out very well, all scoffed now

    It was a first, made lots of pies in my time but never a fish one, and especially rewarding because it turned yesterday's disaster into dinner

    Used the PN nuking sauce method, but added some English mustard and nuked onion on completion

    Here's the result

    Last edited by Farway; 10-09-2017 at 6:16 PM. Reason: typo
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Sep 17, 6:32 PM
    • 60,665 Posts
    • 354,660 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    Used the PN nuking sauce method, but added
    Originally posted by Farway
    Looks awesome

    I used to make sauce in a saucepan years ago - lot of faff... and saucepans tended to make way too much. I've been nuking ALL white sauces for well over 30 years.

    I don't cook for others, but during a parent's final weeks, a sibling visited their house and, if you've ever been present in sudden/unexpected/final week situations you realise that you've no time to think of food... it's a real after-thought - and after a hectic day I offered to make mac cheese for my sibling. The lip curled in complete disbelief ... and I was watched as I knocked it up before her very eyes.... and she tasted it ... and her grim face fell away into a huge beam as she said "I NEVER thought that'd work!"

    So long as you keep the roux lump free, which is easy with just the tines of a fork, it's 100% guaranteed every time. Just lots of "little and often" as you add milk/de-lump it/nuke.

    Most people never have the need to make tiny quantities, or think in terms of nuking all foods ... so they don't have the time/need to try it ... and perfect the technique.

    I always say of any cooking, you cook things 3x to get them perfect:

    1] Follow a recipe and see what happens
    2] Do that again, adjusting it depending on what happened last time
    3] Now you're a pro and you can just knock it up as you know how you like it and what to expect.

    Many things "just work" first time....
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 10-09-2017 at 6:34 PM.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Sep 17, 6:36 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I've just made a cheesecake. Well, the base, I'll knock up the other bit in a couple of hours, but the base is in the fridge.

    Yet again, of course, I didn't have "the perfect sized" dish, so improvised with a single portion deep pie dish ... this gives a "cheesecake in a bucket" effect as the cheesecake won't come close to the top/ridge.

    But it'll still taste the same

    It'll be a lemony one, because I've opened the lemon already (last week) ...

    Used 3 biscuits, so it is a small 'un.
    • Farway
    • By Farway 10th Sep 17, 6:49 PM
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    • 7,376 Thanks
    Farway
    I could cheat and put some lemon curd on a digestive
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