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Healthy, tasty & easy recipes on a budget

Ahoy there busy mums! You don't need bags of time, experience & money to make great meals. Check out my easy-to-follow tasty and easy budget recipes. When you feel the pinch look out for 'Credit Munch' recipes. Delicious, nutritious and easy budget recipes below £1.25 per serving!

 

Thursday
Apr172014

Hot Cross Cookies

Hot Cross Cookies are something easy and delicious to bake at Easter time. They are chewy, American style cookies with all the flavour and spice of a hot cross bun. I used melted white chocolate to decorate my hot cross cookies but you could use white icing.
 
 

Hot Cross Cookies: Makes 12 Cookies:

Time:  15 mins hands on time + 10 mins cooking
Cost:  11p per cookie
Calories:  187 per cookie

  • 100g butter at room temperature
  • 75g soft brown sugar
  • 50g golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • Zest 1 orange
  • 50g raisins or sultanas
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 40g white chocolate to decorate 
  1. Preheat the oven to 190 C / 170 fan / gas mark 5. Line one large baking sheet (or two small ones) with baking paper.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy using a wooden spoon. Add the syrup, spice and orange zest and mix well. Add the raisins or sultanas and mix until they are well distributed. 
  3. Finally add the flour, a little at a time, until you have a smooth cookie dough. Start by using a spoon and then at the end use your hands to press everything together. Do not over work the cookie dough as the butter will start to melt.
  4. Split the cookie dough into 12 equal portions and roll each portion into a ball. Place the balls of cookie dough on the baking sheet with plenty of room between them (at least 10cm) as they will spread during baking. Do not flatten the balls.
  5. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes (or 12 minutes at the very most). The cookies will have a slight golden crust on the outside but be very soft to touch and a bit puffy. Don't worry, they will sort themselves out as they cool.
  6. Leave the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes before carefully transfering to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
  7. Put the white chocolate in the corner of a foodbag and put the foodbag into a mug of freshly boiled water until the chocolate has melted. Snip the corner of the foodbag and pipe the white chocolate onto the cookies in a cross shape. Leave to dry.

Some cookie making tips:

  • The butter must be at room temperature but not melted! Melted butter will cause the cookies to spread too far during baking.
  • Golden syrup is a key ingredient! The consistency of the syrup gives the cookies that lovely chewy texture.
  • Self-raising flour is a must. Plain flour doesn't work. Don't bother trying
  • Do not be tempted to flatten the balls of cookie dough, they will spread perfectly during the baking. 
  • Do not grease the baking paper as the cookies will become too greasy. They are buttery enough not to stick.
  • Take them out of the oven after 10 minutes - or 12 are the very most. Even though they will look undercooked they are not. Any longer and you'll get crunchy cookies.
  • Wait until they are cool before you munch them. They are best eaten fresh. 
  • You can freeze the dough for a later date if you wish. 

More easy baking recipes

Sunday
Apr132014

Lemon and Herb Stuffed Turkey Breast

This delicious Lemon and Herb Stuffed Turkey Breast is wrapped in pancetta and roasted. It looks impressive and is packed with flavour but it's very easy to make. You can serve it with a simple creamy sauce made with the meat juices.

It makes a really nice change from a roast joint of meat and it's much easier to carve. You can make the stuffed turkey breast up to two days in advance, keep in the fridge and bring to room temperature before roasting. Swap pancetta for smoked streaky bacon if you prefer. 

Preparing the stuffed turkey breast can sound a bit tricky when you read it, so I have included lots of step by step photos at the end which I hope will be helpful. Provided it's roasted in the foil and left to rest, it should hold it's shape.

Lemon and Herb Stuffed Turkey Breast: Serves 4:

Time:  30 mins prep + 60 mins cooking + resting time
Cost:  £1.93 per serving
Calories:  390 per serving

For the stuffed turkey breast

  • 2 chunky pork sausages (or 130g sausage meat)
  • Zest of 1 lemon + half the juice
  • 1 good teaspoon of each: chopped fresh parsley, thyme & sage
  • Good grind of black pepper
  • 1 level tablespoon dry breadcrumbs
  • Whole turkey breast fillet, roughly 425g in weight
  • 110g smoked pancetta slices (or smoked streaky bacon)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the sauce:

  • Meat juices
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • Juice of the remaining half a lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half lengthways
  • 2 tablespoons double cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 190 C / 170 Fan / gas mark 5.
  2. Squeeze the sausage meat from the sausages into a bowl. Add the lemon zest and juice, herbs and black pepper. Mix well. Add the breadcrumbs and mix again. Set to one side.
  3. Cover a chopping board with a layer of cling film. Cut the turkey breast fillet in half, horizontally to make two large thin triangle shapes of meat. Lay the triangles on the cling film next to each other cut side up in opposite directions to form a rough rectangle shape.
  4. Place another layer of cling film over the turkey and gently bash with a rolling pin until the meat is around 1cm thick.
  5. Peel off the cling film and trim the edges of the turkey fillets to make a neater rectangle around 20x25cm in size. Place the meat trimmings in any gaps or thinner areas. Put the cling film back over the meat and bash again to help seal it together.
  6. Remove and discard the top layer of cling film. Take the pancetta slices and lay them on top of the turkey, across the shortest slide of the rectangle, ensuring the slices slightly overlap each other.
  7. Take a piece of foil around the same size as the chopping board. Brush the dull side of the foil with the olive oil and lay it on top of the pancetta slices. Press down firmly.
  8. Place one hand firmly on top of the foil and the other underneath the board and quickly flip the board over so the foil is touching the worktop. Remove the board and the other layer of cling film.
  9. Mould the stuffing mixture into a sausage shape roughly 25cm long and place on the centre of the turkey in the middle across the longest side.
  10. Use the foil to carefully roll up the turkey like a Swiss roll ensuring that the edges of the pancetta overlap each other. Wrap the foil tightly around the turkey and twist the ends to secure.
  11. Place on a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes or until the juices run clear. Pour the meat juices into a jug.
  12. Remove the foil and put the turkey back onto the baking sheet and into the oven, uncovered. Increase the heat to 220 C / 200 Fan / gas mark 7 and cook for around 5 minutes just to crisp up the pancetta.
  13. Remove from the oven, cover with a double layer of foil and a damp tea towel. Allow the turkey to rest for around 20 minutes before serving.
  14. While the meat is resting make the sauce. Spoon the fat off the meat juices and discard. Put the juices into a pan along with the stock, lemon juice and garlic. Season to taste, bring to the boil and simmer gently for around 15-20 minutes until reduced by a third. Turn off the heat, remove the garlic and stir in the cream.
  15. Slice the turkey into 1cm slices and serve with roast potatoes and vegetables along with the sauce.

Check out British Turkey for more fabulous turkey recipes.

Friday
Apr042014

Win a copy of 'Ella's Kitchen: The Big Baking Book' with Bacofoil

I love baking with my kids, so I'm delighted that Bacofoil have kindly given me a copy of Ella's Kitchen: The Big Baking Book to give away. ***COMPETITION NOW CLOSED***

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Friday
Mar282014

Rhubarb and Custard Cheesecake

This Rhubarb and Custard Cheesecake is so easy that kids can make it with a little help.  It's also surprisingly light for a cheesecake, making it a good post-roast dessert.

Time:  30 minutes hands on time plus chilling time
Cost:  52p per serving
Calories:  402 per serving

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Tuesday
Mar252014

Broccoli & Pancetta Pasta

This Broccoli and Pancetta Pasta is quick, easy, delicious and contains a serving of veg. It's comforting, filling and I've yet to find an adult or child to turn their nose up to it.

Time:  15 minutes start to finish
Cost:  75p per serving*
Calories:  575 per serving*

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Monday
Mar172014

Five Flavours for Turkey with Phil Vickery

I post a fair few turkey recipes on my blog because I just love turkey! It's healthy, low fat, full of protein, inexpensive, versatile and the kids gobble it up. It's far too good just for Christmas - we eat it twice a week. British Turkey have lots of recipe ideas for the many cuts available all year round.

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