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



    August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £116/£120, Dec £46/£60
Page 91
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Oct 17, 4:59 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Just lurking and passing through as technically I'm not a CFO. Though my hubby works shifts so I adapt and do enjoy this thread.

    PasturesNew I've bookmarked your foodblog and congratualte you on an informative, interesting and enjoyable blog. You write well and I adore your stance and sensible no nonsence approach to cooking for one. I've learnt a lot from you and I consider myself a decent enough cook and like to try new recipes, ingredients and have a big freezer to hide my sins!

    However, I still cant believe ive just found out how to do fish fingers in the microwave which i love but no one else will eat and as for your puds and quiches, boy are they quick, tasty and amazingly frugal. Your flour and suet mix in a box is great idea I now do! I could go on but I there is definetely a place for your style of cooking out there that people need to learn and you're doing a fab job letting us all know.

    Well done and thank you xxx
    Originally posted by katkin
    that made me really LOL... thank you ... and thank you for your kind words.

    It's also available on Facebook ... where you might spot stuff you missed

    I CBA ever these days to cook fish fingers properly. I still continue to tweak methods, but the blog doesn't overload people with the nuances and tweaks or it'd become overwhelming.

    My thinking is that the bottom line is: can I do it/is it safe/edible ...and how?
    If you hunt round .... you'll also see I've done full sized fish in breadcrumbs portions too "as a test" .... they work too (to save you searching). Bigguns!
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 10-10-2017 at 5:02 PM.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 10th Oct 17, 5:11 PM
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    caronc
    Good evening everyone,
    My back is still majorly playing up so it's been strong painkillers and mainly snoozing. Thankfully it has eased a wee bit so I'm back on my feet. Dinner will be something quick from the freezer, probably sausage and mash.
    August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £116/£120, Dec £46/£60
    • katkin
    • By katkin 10th Oct 17, 5:18 PM
    • 575 Posts
    • 7,265 Thanks
    katkin
    that made me really LOL... thank you ... and thank you for your kind words.

    It's also available on Facebook ... where you might spot stuff you missed

    I CBA ever these days to cook fish fingers properly. I still continue to tweak methods, but the blog doesn't overload people with the nuances and tweaks or it'd become overwhelming.

    My thinking is that the bottom line is: can I do it/is it safe/edible ...and how?
    If you hunt round .... you'll also see I've done full sized fish in breadcrumbs portions too "as a test" .... they work too (to save you searching). Bigguns!
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    It was the fish finger toasty that got me salivating first haha, had it yesterday for lunch and even ate it off a napkin as I worked at home. Very mess free, though i had ketchup AND mayo on it!

    I made your marmalade pud at the weekend (upsized) in a rectangular dish, had to turn it once in the micro but it came out perfect and was devoured by 4. That seen the end of the 30p marmalade that had been in the fridge since xmas. The main course was a ridiculous priced whole pork belly with bone in from the butchers that took 4 hours to slow cook and a nervous breakdown trying to source sezchaun (sp) peppercorns locally to make it fancy. Off course the pud got the major compliments...lol

    Wish a blog like yours had been about when my boys went off to uni, and for us frugal minded folk who like a bit of retro cooking its up there with the jack munroes and jocastas of the world in terms of good value, filling, tasty foods. However, your's is right on trend for the real world we live in.

    Ps: the pics are good, no need for candle light or lavender filled vases btw, some of us just like looking at the food. I do hope you keep on with it.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Oct 17, 5:46 PM
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    PasturesNew

    Ps: the pics are good, no need for candle light or lavender filled vases btw, some of us just like looking at the food. I do hope you keep on with it.
    Originally posted by katkin
    My kitchen is dark, with inadequate lighting - and the evenings are drawing in, making it difficult to get light shots... but I will be continuing.

    Also, sometimes, I'm in a rush so shaking too much to take a non-blurry photo ... or, like earlier today, the food was too good to wait for, so no photo. Blurry or no photo = no post about that then Those were cheesecake ...and cheese omelette.

    In a way, I started it to try to "improve" what I'd been eating - as I'd got in a rut - and I'd eaten so many other great things in years gone by, so decided to try to continually cook "new/old" things and keep an eye out in the shops for something unusual... but it's "tough going" when you openly admit "I don't bother cooking.... I eat toast" as new content is required all the time ... so that "forces" me to make a bit more effort than I'd have done if I'd not started.

    So it's "mission accomplished". It's had nearly 1million views so far, even with the dodgy lighting

    I've still not got round to "my favourite dinner mum used to make", but it's on my list to get round to it... I need to go to 4sda to get some specific sausages I tried/ate/liked the other week though (when I went out for my tea)....
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 10-10-2017 at 5:54 PM.
    • katkin
    • By katkin 10th Oct 17, 6:06 PM
    • 575 Posts
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    katkin
    Glad to hear you will keep adding to it and I'll look forward to your mum's favourites. At heart i'm a traditional Scottish home cook so i enjoy other's family favourite recipes.

    When i started experimenting with microwaved clootie dumpling my old dad refused to try it, but I got him round in the end lol by pretending to have boiled it for hours in a clout. After mum died he was pretty open to trying my "experiments". My mum was a cook and grandmother who lived with us had been in service and housekept / cooked for "big" houses - so I was up against it!

    If the Gaurdian offered you a slot would you take it?

    ps: the pics are good enough to see what you are writting about, if you feel you need more like just move a lamp nearby! Though I like the realness of them, your blog is very professional as is, so I'd not be too bothered by that. Million views may just indicate to you that others like it just the way it is x

    Well I better scoosh out of CFO before I'm caught!
    Last edited by katkin; 10-10-2017 at 6:11 PM. Reason: apologies for spelling etc on non spellchecked tablet
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Oct 17, 6:11 PM
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    • 356,289 Thanks
    PasturesNew

    If the Gaurdian offered you a slot would you take it?
    Originally posted by katkin
    Money's always good .... but they do expect a photo and I've a fear of having my photo taken I've never looked good in photos. Plus ... I'm sure their readers would expect me to be a shiny, smart looking 30+ London girl
    If I can ghost write it and they use a stock photo of a shiny girl, I'll bank the money ....

    On the subject of photos, that isn't actually just my opinion. Nearly 15 years ago I worked for a top award-winning national (in all the national papers every month) lifestyle photographer - and he always had other top/national newspaper award winning photographers dropping in for a laugh and cup of tea. One day one of the top "portrait photographers" for the Times etc had his camera in his hand and "bet" he could take a good photo of me. He had me standing, sitting.... he was standing, crouching, aiming up, aiming down, changing the light ... and finally he said "You know, you're right - you CAN'T take a good photo can you!".
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 10-10-2017 at 6:16 PM.
    • katkin
    • By katkin 10th Oct 17, 6:16 PM
    • 575 Posts
    • 7,265 Thanks
    katkin
    Money's always good .... but they do expect a photo and I've a fear of having my photo taken I've never looked good in photos. Plus ... I'm sure their readers would expect me to be a shiny, smart looking 30+ London girl
    If I can ghost write it and they use a stock photo of a shiny girl, I'll bank the money ....
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Haha. Yep money is money!

    Shiny, smart looking 30+ hipsters are so last year now. We need to see real women, representative of the millions of the rest of us in the media more. So don't let that put you off if an offer comes in!
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Oct 17, 6:29 PM
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    PasturesNew
    don't let that put you off if an offer comes in!
    Originally posted by katkin
    If an offer came in I could actually be 10x better to be honest. Once you have a steady/known income you can actually "focus" and spend time "thinking about it a bit more" and being more relevant/useful - rather than relying on what you fancy while shuffling round L1dl with £1 that'll work in the nuke box ... you can even do "fancy stuff" such as ... having 2-3 different plates to present it on AND ... having another go if a particular end result fell off the spatula or "looked a bit shyte" on the plate as you'd put it on the plate in the wrong positions ...

    Sometimes I tip too many beans on the plate, or wish I'd put a few chips on - but having cooked dinner .... I'm now going to eat it, not do it all again just for a 2nd photo!
    • Farway
    • By Farway 10th Oct 17, 6:43 PM
    • 5,744 Posts
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    Farway
    My kitchen is dark, with inadequate lighting - and the evenings are drawing in, making it difficult to get light shots... but I will be continuing.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I have a little battery powered mini LED light on a tripod from Lild, only about 6 inches high, it does give a nice bright light. Thought I'd mention it in case they have camera weeks come round again and you fancy a look at it, would fit in your trolley with the sausage rolls

    "... and finally he said "You know, you're right - you CAN'T take a good photo can you!"." I concur with this, I take photos for a rogues gallery of our volunteers, one lady said she always came out like a corpse. Despite everything, including Photoshop she did look like a nice pink corpse

    Dinner scoffed. It was the last 1/2 pork pie, with bowl of oven chips & ketchup. The chilli is now earmarked for tomorrow

    Could be tea & biscuits later
    • elona
    • By elona 10th Oct 17, 7:26 PM
    • 11,321 Posts
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    elona
    Pastures

    If you want to use up lasagne sheets you could cook a couple in boiling water, let them cool and then slice into noodles, tagliatelle shapes and use like that or put a filling like bacon, onions, tomato and cheese on it , roll it up and nuke under a small amount of white or cheese sauce. You could even break it up and add it to soups or another dish to bulk it up.
    "This site is addictive!"
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    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Oct 17, 8:01 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Pastures

    If you want to use up lasagne sheets you could cook a couple in boiling water, let them cool and then slice into noodles, tagliatelle shapes and use like that or put a filling like bacon, onions, tomato and cheese on it , roll it up and nuke under a small amount of white or cheese sauce. You could even break it up and add it to soups or another dish to bulk it up.
    Originally posted by elona
    I was going to soften in water, then make a lasagne filling and make my cheese sauce and layer it. All in the nuker... I'd have then looked at it and thought "you could brown that...." but then decide to scoff it anyway as "there are no extra points for presentation" and the extra time's not usually worth the improved end result

    I don't use/buy/eat bacon ... and rarely have soups.

    I am not short of ways to use it up - I have no enthusiasm and there's already far too much choice to choose from to get round to most things most of the time.

    You can only cook/eat so many things per year.... and I'm not really a "fan" of pasta, so it gets to the back of the list. I was discussing lasagne Friday night with somebody - and how I never get round to it because ... it's not really that interesting ... only one type of lasagne's "good" ... a fat pile of really stodgy lasagne, cooked for you in a works' canteen, where they cut into a HUGE one and you get a big fat square that stands in its own right and is about 4" high.

    Last edited by PasturesNew; 10-10-2017 at 8:04 PM.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 10th Oct 17, 8:43 PM
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    caronc
    a fat pile of really stodgy lasagne, cooked for you in a works' canteen, where they cut into a HUGE one and you get a big fat square that stands in its own right and is about 4" high.

    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Oh "old skool" lasagne served with chips and peas or garlic bread & salad if you were being "healthy" hard to beat. (or macaroni cheese served in a similiar wodge)

    Ended up with beef stew & mash both from the freezer, must make more stew at some point so I can indulge in some dumplings
    August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £116/£120, Dec £46/£60
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Oct 17, 8:48 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Oh "old skool" lasagne served with chips and peas or garlic bread & salad if you were being "healthy" hard to beat. (or macaroni cheese served in a similiar wodge)

    Ended up with beef stew & mash both from the freezer, must make more stew at some point so I can indulge in some dumplings
    Originally posted by caronc
    There's something wonderfully satisfying about standing in a canteen queue, slowly edging towards those VAST trays of good hot food, knowing that in a few moments they'll scoop up a HUGE portion of piping hot food for you - and, if you're lucky, you then get to scoop chips and beans on the side

    A portion cut from a VAST tray .... a slice cut from a BIG pie ... before your very eyes is ALWAYS 100x better than a little "one person portion" in a little dish or tray. I think that's why I like the idea of carvery meals - VAST trays of food you just spoon out, pile up and eat! I don't eat out more than 1x a year; had a pub meal the other night. Pie/chips, but it was an individual pie which, while nice, lacked the excitement that a slice from a HUGE pie brings.

    All beef stew is good .... another thing I never get round to... but it's perpetually on the list. I look at beef cubes all the time - but I've always got "other food that needs using up first". All that perpetually lurking "food that needs to be used up" gets in the way of actual free choice.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 10-10-2017 at 8:50 PM.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 10th Oct 17, 9:01 PM
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    caronc
    There's something wonderfully satisfying about standing in a canteen queue, slowly edging towards those VAST trays of good hot food, knowing that in a few moments they'll scoop up a HUGE portion of piping hot food for you - and, if you're lucky, you then get to scoop chips and beans on the side

    A portion cut from a VAST tray .... a slice cut from a BIG pie ... before your very eyes is ALWAYS 100x better than a little "one person portion" in a little dish or tray. I think that's why I like the idea of carvery meals - VAST trays of food you just spoon out, pile up and eat! I don't eat out more than 1x a year; had a pub meal the other night. Pie/chips, but it was an individual pie which, while nice, lacked the excitement that a slice from a HUGE pie brings.

    All beef stew is good .... another thing I never get round to... but it's perpetually on the list. I look at beef cubes all the time - but I've always got "other food that needs using up first". All that perpetually lurking "food that needs to be used up" gets in the way of actual free choice.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    When I was young my Mum had a p/t job on a Saturday morning, us kids usually got packed off to the pictures depending if my Dad was working or not. On days we were, we used get treated to lunch afterwards, the local Littlewoods had a canteen-style restaurant and I well remember standing with my tray for lunch and the lovely sense of anticipation. Choices were limited and always involved chips and peas or beans with "something dished in a wodge from a big tray" followed by some kind of sickly mousse-type dessert in a little metal dish with a glace cherry or piece of mandarin on the top. Fond memories
    August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £116/£120, Dec £46/£60
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Oct 17, 11:11 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I think this is where more CFOs lose the "joy for food" - there are fewer opportunities to see a VAST dish of food hit the table and being able to dip in and shovel some out. As a CFO you're portion controlling in minute detail most food as you're preparing it.

    No "Joy of the Ladle"; no "Anticipation of the cut".

    When you slice up a quiche before you heat your portion ... it's not the same as a whole quiche hitting the table and being sliced before your eyes, all hot and steaming.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 11th Oct 17, 8:30 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    My "anticipation button" is hit personally when I spot a large buffet table that's actually got healthy food on for once (ie not sandwiches made with Mothers Pride type bread and minute amounts of salad or fresh fruit available etc).

    Nope - all obviously nice healthy food (best of all with a tag by each plate listing exactly what's in each item - so its easy for me to avoid meat/fish, anything with sugar in, etc).

    Once in a while I have such a buffet table in front of me - and everything is healthy (nothing with sugar/white flour/etc in) and vegetarian and interesting and with labels by each plate with ingredients and a few things I've not tried yet. Cue for me going along and taking a spoonful of this thing I've not tried yet, that thing I've not tried yet, something I know I have tried and is a particular favourite I dont often get because its too much trouble/expense and, of course, lots of different salads and fresh fruit.

    I've got my next anticipated social meal out this weekend and it will be a buffet. I know it will be vegetarian - so that's one tick. But I also know that a high proportion of the food will probably be sweet (sugar at that for the sweetener) and/or bought readymade from a supermarket. Also know that there will be home-made punch - but the person making it has a tendency to "double dip" when making it - and so that's out too. So I'll be taking my own food and drink with me - as chances are there will be very little of it I can eat

    Back in my "activist (ie political animal) days" I always knew what to expect at the various events with food. At Labour Party/trade union events - there would probably be nothing I could eat (those Mothers Pride bread type sandwiches etc etc and nothing I would ever buy myself without reserving a hospital bed for myself some years down the line first). At CND events on the other hand - wholefood/vegetarian/whew - I can have a meals worth and time to tuck in and wonder if there would be any leftovers people were invited to take away with them. Come to think of it - the jumble sales I helped at were much the same. At the Labour Party ones - there was nothing whatsoever I wanted and it probably would have looked "worn" if there had been. At the CND ones - I've landed up buying half a dozen different items (better-quality/more my taste/not obviously "worn"/etc).
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 11-10-2017 at 8:44 AM.
    New Year's Resolution already made -

    Don't get mad....get firm ...
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 11th Oct 17, 8:38 AM
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    PasturesNew
    I think my life is lacking a hot, cooked breakfast, so today I'll probably start with hash browns, scrambled eggs and beans.

    EDIT: I changed my mind - ended up with cheese & beans on a crust from the loaf.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 11-10-2017 at 9:30 AM.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 11th Oct 17, 8:51 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    You can tell how food-oriented I am by the fact I'm still tossing around the thought in my mind of whether to have a day out in a bigger place where I know there is a cafe serving healthy food and there's an item on the menu I've been waiting to try at some point for some months now and that's only shown up in Britain within the last few years. I'm definitely going to make it there at some point - the question is whether its today, next week, whenever....
    New Year's Resolution already made -

    Don't get mad....get firm ...
    • poppystar
    • By poppystar 11th Oct 17, 9:22 AM
    • 292 Posts
    • 1,026 Thanks
    poppystar
    I think food always tastes better when there are other people at the table.

    The number of times I've repeated a dish enjoyed with others or even bought the same deli buffet things to dip into that I've had with friends……….and it just tastes totally different, less full of flavour when on my own plate at home.
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 11th Oct 17, 12:03 PM
    • 1,343 Posts
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    Wednesday2000
    I had a lovely lie-in today as I had my flu jab yesterday. I didn't get any flu-like symptoms but I think it must have made me feel knackered this morning.

    I felt hungry when I woke up so I had a brunch of potato waffles in toast with ketchup and two cups of tea.

    I'm having a mango and orange smoothie later as I have loads of fruit.

    Not sure about anything else yet.
    "It doesn't cost any more to dream big."
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