Thursday, 26 February 2009

"Buddy's" Home made Blue Cheese Dressing

You will love this (Kati), the ingredients are:
1 ½ oz of Blue Cheese, I prefer Roquefort but this is a personal choice
1 Teaspoon of Dijon Mustard
3 ½ oz of yoghurt (can be low fat, it still tastes good)
2 Teaspoons of mayonaisse (again, this can be low fat, and it still tastes good)
1 Pressed clove of garlic
1 teaspoon of Red Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
Salt and black pepper.

Put everything into a bowl except the salt and pepper and whisk to combine all these ingredients untill the consistency is OK, then whisk in the salt and pepper to taste.

This will cost a fraction of a quality proprietary Blue Cheese Dressing. Unlike the supermarket product it will only have a 'fridge stored life of a couple of days, but just what do the manufacturers do to the supermarket product anyway to give it its long shelf life and long 'once opened' life?

Click HERE to see what others are doing!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Have a meal waiting for you for Buddies Frugal Friday

Do you find that the times in getting home for you or your beloved are erratic? Do you arrive home late at times, too tired to cook? Do you have a Slow Cooker/ Crock Pot? If not, you may need one! The following is a quick to prepare Slow Cooker/Crock Pot curry, the quantities of ingredients are easy to work out as you know the amount you like to eat.

First of all, in the morning, raid the bottom of your fridge and wash and quickly cut up any vegetables you can find there. For the meal you can see, I prepared green peppers, parsnips, and thinly sliced potatoes. Then you toss the whole lot into the slow cooker with the contents of a cheap tin of chopped tomatoes, I would have usually added carrots but we had run out.

Second, finely cut an onion and fry this in a little Olive Oil with some garlic and add to this whatever ultra cheap cut of meat you wish. I used shin as this has a great flavour but needs a loooong time to cook to make it tender. Add this meat to the frying pan and quickly fry until the outsides are sealed and browned, it won’t take long, and then toss the whole lot into the slow cooker.

Third, add to the slow cooker the recommended amount of a jar of curry paste, strength to choice (mild in my case).

Fourth, turn the slow cooker on and forget it until you come home in the evening. If you think that this may dry out (I did) then pour in a vegetable stock cube dissolved in 1/3rd of a pint of boiling water.

The meal described, which tasted fantastic, must have cost about 80p, about $1.20c each, plus the rice that will be prepared just before serving which will be whenever it is needed. Three cheers for Slow Cookers/Crock Pots!

Monday, 16 February 2009

DIY Bird Table Edging

When one makes a bird table, especially if the idea of a square one does not appeal or if the piece of wood you have is not square, then edging it can be a problem. You will need an edge or the slightest wind and the seed goes everywhere but not an edge that fits too well, or the table can become a small lake.

Here then is the simple answer. All you need are a few galvenised staples, a length of old cable and there you have it... As in the photos it will fit an irregular shaped table perfectly and looks neat as well.

Friday, 13 February 2009

DIY sink outlet cleaner for Buddys Frugal Friday.

Do you ever have problems with blocked or slow running sinks, wash hand basins or showers? If you do then don’t pour environmentally unfriendly bleach or those expensive canned foaming cleaners down them.

First get some bicarbonate of soda and pour some down the offending outlet, next follow this up with some vinegar and quickly place you hand over the outlet and your other hand over any overflow outlet the sink, basin, or shower has and wait for the resulting chemical reaction to clear the blockage. Effective, environmentally safe and very, very cheap

Friday, 6 February 2009

Make your own French Dressing for Buddy's Frugal Friday

Wandering around the supermarket recently I was watching the number of people that were choosing from the dozens of different types of salad and other dressings that were available. Looking at the ingredients I could not help but notice that but for all the most expensive ones on offer the main ingredient was water, followed by Sunflower oil.

Now forgive me but where I am and I suspect where you are as well, water is not over expensive and Sunflower oil is not exactly uncommon, but no self respecting chef, French or otherwise would use either to make their own French dressing, which was the most popular type of dressing purchased. Here then is a recipe for French Dressing that will be use only the best ingredients and be better and cheaper, much, much cheaper than the shop items.

Take one clean empty jar and put in it...
3 table spoons of Dijon Mustard
1 pressed clove of Garlic
A few pinches of sea salt
A few twists of black pepper
3 fluid ounces of red wine vinegar
9 fluid ounces of virgin Olive oil
Shake the whole lot!!!

That’s all there is to it...

PS. You can use whole grain mustard as an alternative and/or add honey to make a honey and mustard dressing, but don't use the garlic.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

DIY Vegetable Steamer - Easy and hopefully at no cost!

Steaming vegetables is the easiest way to preserve their flavour, especially if you prefer them Al Dente rather than a soggy mass.

But steamers are not cheap so if you want to try the process out first, before you buy, then as shown on the right of the image...

Take your saucepan, put a little water into it, place your colander in it and then put the saucepan lid inside over the items you have placed in the colander to steam. You will then have a steamer that is almost as effective as the one shown on the left of the image (just double left click for a close up).

Easy peasy...

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Make your own / DIY Compost Turner

This little device was 'invented' by accident.

Faced with a broken broom handle, I soon discovered that it was great for plunging into the compost container you can see in a previous post, and removing the gaps and mixing the dead spots in the compost. Then I drilled the working end and drove a nail through it. The result to the compost when I pushed the item in and out of the compost container, twisting as I did so was amazing. It was 3 times as effective and even with the outside temperature below freezing point the now remixed compost soon started to heat up again.