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  • FIRST POST
    weezl74
    Weezl's phase 1- recipe testing and frugalisation- come one, come all!
    • #1
    • 6th Feb 10, 8:18 AM
    Weezl's phase 1- recipe testing and frugalisation- come one, come all! 6th Feb 10 at 8:18 AM
    The vision: a low budget meal planner with recipes

    Hello

    I've been thinking for a while that what I'd dearly love to create is a resource. With meal plans and recipes and costings. For a 'normal' family of 4 (2 adults 2 teens). And I’d like it to prove itself to be healthy, and I’d like it to not be too much of a break away from what people normally eat. Because these are the objections and fears that most normal people have when you try to help them to live within their means.


    So I’ve been asking for volunteer recipe testers and so far 25 lovely MSEers have stepped up to the plate. And I’m more grateful than I can say. Thanks. I hope there are more who might spare the time and the cash to test a frugal recipe. Let me know if you do.

    I chatted to NYK and we felt that this could companionably live on this board as a 'little sister thread' to the very popular and Fab frugal living challenge.

    Please post if you're willing to try/have tried any of my recipe suggestions with your brutally honest feedback

    thank you

    Love Weezl x


    Last edited by weezl74; 04-04-2010 at 7:33 AM.

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
Page 237
  • weezl74
    Okay, this is how I make the Paul Merrett bread:

    If you're using the Allinson's yeast, you need to make it up first. Follow the instructions on the tin, making sure your water is approx blood temperature (I just run it warm from the tap). Dissolve the sugar in the water, then sprinkle in your yeast. Whisk with a fork quite well (frothy with bubbles is good). I let mine rise inside the microwave, as it traps humidity & warmth.

    In the meantime, put your flour & salt in a large bowl and mix. Once your yeast is ready (at least 2cm of foam on top, takes roughly 10-15 min), whisk it again then pour on top of the flour mix. Then add your water gradually (so maybe 1/4 pint at a time), remember to reduce to the total amount of water by 1/4 pint if you had to make up the yeast. If you're using PACKET yeast (which is called "instant") you can pour the yeast STRAIGHT FROM THE PACKET (dry) into the flour and use the normal amount of water the recipe calls for.

    Anyway, using a wooden spoon, mix your water in slowly. It goes quite gummy and difficult at this point, but persevere. If you've added all your water but find there's still those stray floury bits at the bottom of the bowl that you just can't get to, turn the lot out onto a floured worktop. Start working the dough to incorporate all the dry/loose bits. As you knead, the dough will gradually become smoother and elastic-y. Knead for 8-10 minutes.

    Pour a few drops of veg oil into the bottom of your mixing bowl and swirl it around to coat. Plop the dough into the mixing bowl. Here's my secret rising trick: microwave a tiny amount of water in the microwave until it boils. Keeping this water in the microwave, then put your bowl inside (covered with a damp tea towel) the microwave. Again, humidity and warmth. If you have a tiny or no microwave where this won't work, briefly switching on your oven for 1 minute can also give a bit of warmth good for bread rising.

    Let rise for 1 hr - mine is just approaching the rim of the mixing bowl at this point. Turn it out of the bowl and punch it down a few times. Then divide into thirds, form into a vague loaf shape and put into the tins. Brush with salted water (this really makes the crust delicious and chewy so I wouldn't skip this step!). Cover the tins with a tea towel for another 15 minutes.

    Then follow the cooking instructions, which I believe (from memory) is 8 minutes on 220C, 2 minutes with the oven door open, then 30 minutes on 190C.

    Hope that helps...! I'm no expert bread-maker by any means
    Originally posted by aless02
    frankie I'm just posting this again here because it's aless's very good detailed method if you decide to do the paul merrett loaf
    Last edited by weezl74; 05-04-2010 at 6:27 AM.

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
  • weezl74
    well, good morning and welcome to batch day

    if it would help and people would find it useful, please feel free to post your do list and have the satisfaction of ticking them off

    storage: Can I recommend that people take your potatoes and onions out of the plastic packaging and put them in a cardboard box, as this will stop them going slimy. Ideally if you can put them somewhere dark and close the lid of the box that is ideal

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 5th Apr 10, 6:40 AM
    • 2,284 Posts
    • 21,081 Thanks
    FrankieM
    Morning,
    Thank you so much for the bread making methods. I think I'm going to give the 'no knead' recipe a go first and if that doesn't work I'll try the other Paul Merrett recipe. Or is the Paul Merrett one easier?

    weezl Is there a new thread to post on? Or is that starting tomorrow or not at all?

    I'm just having a cuppa, then have to tidy the kitchen (looks like students have been living in it) then I'm going to work my way through Allegra's batch cooking list.
  • weezl74
    Morning,
    Thank you so much for the bread making methods. I think I'm going to give the 'no knead' recipe a go first and if that doesn't work I'll try the other Paul Merrett recipe. Or is the Paul Merrett one easier?

    weezl Is there a new thread to post on? Or is that starting tomorrow or not at all?

    I'm just having a cuppa, then have to tidy the kitchen (looks like students have been living in it) then I'm going to work my way through Allegra's batch cooking list.
    Originally posted by FrankieM
    LOL frankie, great minds think alike! I've just started one

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
    • shanks77
    • By shanks77 5th Apr 10, 6:45 AM
    • 1,149 Posts
    • 10,986 Thanks
    shanks77
    Good luck Frankie i will be doing some tonight after work depending on when shopping arrives (between 6&8pm) it will be fun im sure and we can all help and support one another on our journey and if we have a new thread then we wont be jamming up this one with our little bits of important trivia. I will be thinking of you whilst at work and look forward to catching up with your day later on.
    • nopot2pin
    • By nopot2pin 5th Apr 10, 6:50 AM
    • 5,641 Posts
    • 21,239 Thanks
    nopot2pin
    Good Luck all
    I do hope it goes well for everyone....
    Will post my well wishes on the other thread too....


    Off to bed now...nighty nite
  • weezl74
    Good Luck all
    I do hope it goes well for everyone....
    Will post my well wishes on the other thread too....


    Off to bed now...nighty nite
    Originally posted by nopot2pin
    thanks potty

    new thread for anyone interested

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
  • frugalmumof4
    good luck to all the testers!
    weezl, i did a week of your recipes last week and we were all stuffed that was 2 adults and 4 children, and I cooked up the same quantities as you wrote for 4!
    Today I have adapted the thrifty cottage pie to make it vegetarian.

    substituted the mince for asda meatless frozen mince. Used 200g soaked in 100mls of water, then simmered up with the grated onion, carrot, tomatoes, vege stock cube, and a little extra water.

    for the potato topping we diced potatoes into 2 cm size, cooked them for 8 minutes until softened, drained, then put them back in the saucepan and drizzled on some vegetable oil, gave them a little salt and pepper and a stir, then used them to top the cottage pie.

    Verdict this evening was 'delicious' and still a portion and a half ,left over for my hubbys lunch box!
    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 5th Apr 10, 4:55 PM
    • 2,284 Posts
    • 21,081 Thanks
    FrankieM
    frugalmum I have 4 children too. I was wondering how old yours were? Trying to decide whether I can just cook some of the recipes for 4.
    Would you mind saying which recipes in particular as well?
  • frugalmumof4
    hi,
    my children are 15,13,11 and 4, then there is dh and me!

    Trying to think which meals i did last week, just going to wander off and see if i can find my list.............................

    ok- we had the chickpea crumble, but there looked to be not enough potatoes in that recipe for 6, so i kept peeling potatoes until i felt there we enough and added extra vegetable stock, and i did make up another half quantity of the crumble to go on the top. Think i also added some carrots to give it a bit more flavour also.

    Weezls vege burgers, these were delicious and i did the exact quanties, we all had 2 burgers each, served with carrots and peas oh and some onion gravy. I baked them in oven instead of frying them, oiled a tray cooked for 10 minutes, then flipped over and did for another 10.

    Baked bean curry,I cooked up stated recipe and that was plenty for us for 6, my 4 year old only has a small portion.

    Chana Mutter Masala and rice- that was enough for 6 servings along with rice

    Sweetcorn fritters with hm chutney and potatoes, this was my favourite recipe, I think I used 450g of sweetcorn and same quantities for everything else, these were gorgeous! and I made up all the chutney, and froze half.

    Thrift cottage pie- made up with same quantities, using soya mince, dh has a portion left for his lunch today and tomorrow!

    Today we have the risi bisi recipe- im using 250g of dried peas, which is less as mine havent tried those peas yet! same quantities for everything else, but using quorn bacon instead of regular bacon. Not sure how far this will stretch, but I think this will go around the 6 of us, with weezls homemade bread on the side!

    Will report back how the other meals go!
    • ariarnia
    • By ariarnia 7th Apr 10, 8:08 AM
    • 1,808 Posts
    • 5,278 Thanks
    ariarnia
    Morning all

    I've been reminding myself of a few good things about our project and feeling pretty excited.

    I realised the testers are due to start on the 6th April. I only started this thread on 6th feb! Just 2 little months,
    Originally posted by weezl74
    Got this a little late (my fault for not checking) so I'll be a week behind everyone else. I've got some half decent scales so that shouldn't be a problem - thanks for the offer. I'll place an order with asda online tomorrow and buy any thing they don't have in stock from the local tesco.
    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 7th Apr 10, 8:14 AM
    • 2,284 Posts
    • 21,081 Thanks
    FrankieM
    Hi ariarnia good to have you back. We are over on the other thread now. Come and join us.
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