Foodie Friday – Sweet Potato & Gammon Pies

Gosh time flies… we are nearly at the end of summer, I’ve had a busy couple of weeks, catching up with good friends, work and unfortunately a family bereavement but I have a few posts lined up so my blog will become lively once more.

 

The madness is about to start. Note this section will be library related, scroll down to get to the tasty recipe!

I work in an FE College, the teaching staff have just returned from their summer break, my to do list has grown rapidly and the students are set to return on the 1st of September. It will be chaos and madness and I will be working 42 hour weeks until Mid-October, but the truth is that this part of the academic year is actually my favourite time. I love getting to meet the new students; I remember the feelings of optimism, enthusiasm and nerves of my first few weeks of post-school student life. I also get to ‘teach’ the students about the library and some basics that will help them as they begin their studies. As a former EFL teacher I actually love the induction sessions where my teacher and librarian skills fuse together. I get to meet the students in small groups and my ultimate aim is that they leave the session feeling that they can come to us in the library for support and help… actually remembering how to use the catalogue can wait as long as they feel that they come and ask. Often students are nervous to ask their tutors as they think they will be judged for not already knowing, they don’t want to ask classmates for fear of looking stupid but here in the library we do not judge we just help. Often that is reassuring them that the tutors 100% will not mind being asked. I think as a student especially at the beginning you are so nervous and really lack in confidence, here in the library we aim to be the friendly people who quietly support you and encourage. Often in life we assume people are really confident and capable but underneath we all have the same worries about whether we are doing as well as we can or doubting our abilities. So trying to be friendly and no-judgemental and making assumptions is something I actively try to avoid and when I do I try to remind myself that we never really know what is whizzing through another persons head.

 

Now I am getting onto the Foodie stuff…. I am soon going to working very long days 2 days a week so I will need to cook a bit more at weekends and feed my freezer with nice meals that are easy to warm up as I know fine well that I won’t be wanting to cook late in the evening and when you are tired it is easy to start relying on potato waffles and chicken nuggets! My recipe this week can be frozen and warmed up. I have made pies but the filling could be a nice casserole dish served with cous cous or salad (if I ate salad) or even nice on it’s own with some crusty bread. However the pies are super tasty and very filling.

 

So I present to you…

 

Sweet Potato and Gammon Pies

 

For a veggie version try swapping the chicken stock for a vegetable stock and adding peppers instead of the gammon.

You will need 4 individual pie dishes or 1 large pie dish, a large pot, a masher and a couple of other bits and bobs which are stated later in the recipe. I bought Individual oval pie dishes from Amazon recently which I plan to use for pies, pasta bakes and other things. Good way of some portion control!

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Ingredients

4 x large(ish) Sweet Potatoes – cut into small chunks. Sweet potatoes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, you want to allow for a portion per person, so if you have monster ones then perhaps you will only need 2-3.

½ Onion – Chopped finely

Chicken Stock

Herb Flavour Pot

Hot Water

Black Pepper & Salt for seasoning

Dried Thyme – around a teaspoon

Mustard – 1 teaspoon. I had a hot and smooth mustard but I was planning on using a wholegrain one, so whatever you have available will work fine.

2 large gammon Steaks

Seasoning for the gammon – I used smoked paprika as I had unsmoked gammon steak and felt a bit of smoky flavour would work well with sweetness of the potatoes. I also used a pinch of brown sugar and a teaspoon of a garlic and pepper mix. I love the Organic Blending Company, I always have the Garlic Pepper in my cupboard.

100g Grated Mature Cheddar Cheese

½ block of Shortcrust Pastry

1 egg lightly beaten.

 

Method

  1. Boil the kettle and pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Prepare the Sweet potatoes and onion, and then place them in a pot. Add the stock cube and flavour pot, thyme and seasoning. Remember the stock cube will have salt so very little salt is needed. Add the hot water so it just about covers the mixture, you don’t want to add too much water at the beginning as the water will be absorbed by the mixture to become the ‘juice’ for the pie, so if you add too much you will have a watery pie. Cover with a lid and simmer the mixture on a low heat until the water has been absorbed and the potatoes are soft and cooked through.
  2. Once the potatoes have cooked use a masher to lightly mash up the mixture. You don’t want it to be smooth but rather a thick consistency with no large chunks of potatoes. Leave the lid on to allow the mixture to absorb more liquid whilst you prepare the gammon.
  3. Place the Gammon steaks into a deep oven dish – during cooking the gammon with create a tasty ‘juice’ some of which will be added to your pie for extra flavour later. Season the gammon with the herbs/spices you have chosen and the little sugar. If you aren’t sure what herbs you would like, have a look at the ingredients of the flavour pot and use that as inspiration. I wanted some seasoning to add a smoky, savoury flavour to balance out the sweetness of the potatoes, hence smoked paprika and my garlic and pepper mix. Cover in tinfoil and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes (depending on the thickness of the meet) until just cooked. We want the meat to be as juicy as possible so watch not to over-cook.
  4. Once cooked cut up the gammon (I find using scissors I keep for the kitchen easiest) and add to the sweet potato mixture. Add a spoonful of the ‘juice’ from the oven dish to the mixture for extra flavour as well. Give it a good stir, add the cheese, then stir again. Taste and add more seasoning if required.
  5. Now you have a choice. You can use this tasty mixture as meal on it’s own, freeze for later or use as pie filling. I’m going to turn it into pie so for this fill your pie dish or dishes with the mixture until nearly at the top and then prepare the pastry. .
  6. Get your pastry and roll out onto a lightly floured surface. Add a pinch of thyme (and cheese for extra flavour if you wish). Fold over the pastry and roll out again. You want the pastry to be ½ cm thick.
  7. Cut a 1 cm wide strip and use that to cover the edge or you pie dish or dishes. This will give your lid something to grip onto. Using a brush lightly cover this pastry edge with a little beaten egg. Then get a large piece of pastry, cover the dish, cut away the excess and use a fork to press the edge and lid together. Brush the top of the pie with egg to give the pie a nice finish (I have a friend who is allergic to egg when she is visiting I would use just a little milk for this part instead of egg). If you have excess pastry then use it to decorate the top, and brush it with egg. Using the point of a sharp knife make 2 small piercings into the top of each pie to let steam out whilst it is cooking.
  8. I advise placing the pie dish on a baking try to make getting it out the oven easier, cook at 180 for around 30 minutes until the Pie is golden and delicious looking. If you are worried about the pastry browning too quickly, lower the temperature.
  9. Eat the tasty pie. You will be very full afterwards.IMG-20140815-WA006

 

A week of tasty grub.

(note my phone is being a pain at the moment so photos are delayed, for the moment!)

Well I have to say it has been a good week food wise. For my tea break today I have Twinnings salted caramel green tea and Abernethy biscuits. So a little bit good and a little bit naughty. Something I realised a long time ago is that I have a sweet tooth and trying to cut out all the naughty things I love always backfires. The Boyo sincerely hopes that any future children of ours do not inherit this, however it runs through the whole of my Mums family and I’m not nearly as bad as I used to be! When I was leaving school we had a yearbook made up and a wee blurb was written about all of, mine included ‘emergency dashes to the vending machine for chocolate’. Not much has changed!

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So this week as part of my attempts to become motivated and enthused again I decided to resume the challenge I set for myself in 2012. The challenge: I have to attempt one new recipe a week. It can be anything, cakes, treats, main meals etc. but I found it very enjoyable, it makes use of my large recipe book collection, I gain skills by experimenting and practicing and most of all I get to try new things. This included salmon and spinach as well as a lot of cake in 2012 so it isn’t all unwholesome.

So last week I tried out a recipe from BBC Good Food. It wasn’t the usual magazine; it was a Healthy Eating spin-off. I won’t copy the recipe here as that would be a breach of copyright (I am a librarian!). But it was a healthy chilli chicken recipe. If you do find the recipe then I found chipotle paste in tesco but I used a lot of the small jar they sell so I would look for a larger alternative so it would last longer. I made a slight alteration to the recipe; I used passata as both Boyo and I prefer that to chopped tomatoes and it worked out great. Follow BBC Good food on twitter @bbcgoodfood and find other tasty Mexican recipes on their website.

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I also cooked a semi healthy curry using the Hairy Bikers Eat For Life Book. I really like this book, it has so many tasty things in and I plan to use it a lot more. My curry was only semi healthy as I added a chicken pakora, an onion baji and a bit of naan bread. In our defence we have not had curry for ages (apart from one night when we were on holiday) I had a day I was working at home and really enjoyed preparing something properly. It was a Madras recipe, I used beef and I had two alterations, firstly I cooked it nice and slowly, over 7 hours in the slow cooker. I had discounted beef and I find that using the slow cooker gets the best result with the meat ending up lovely and tender. Not dry and chewy. The other alteration was that I added spinach towards the end of cooking time. Just trying to get some extra nutrients in. The only other suggestion I have is that if you cook it like me with a slow cooker you may want to use a little cornflour (mixed into a paste) at the end to thicken the curry if necessary.  The Hairy Bikers are also on twitter @hairybikers and their website has a nice selection of recipes (but not this one – get the book!)

On Friday we had a proper treat, I often make something a bit more naughty on a Friday, such as my smoked haddock pasta. This time it was enchiladas. Please note this is my version, I know it is in no-way authentic and it does contain cheats (oops!) BUT it is tasty and my sister demands I cook this every time she visits, in fact sometimes she visits not to see me but just to get fed, nice to know my food is loved.

M’s Chicken Enchiladas

For 4 People.

Ingredients

6 soft  flour or corn tortillas. (I get whichever is cheapest but for this it is often the corn tortillas)

1 500g tub of passata (very cheap in Lidl or Aldi)

3 Chicken breasts, cut into small chunks

Cheese grated up (however much you desire, but basically enough for a sprinkle in each tortilla and some for the top)

Mexican spices. (Buy when on special offer, I got a big tub of fajita spices in The Range)

1 packet of Uncle Bens Mexican style rice. (very often on special offer, this stuff is great!)

About 150ml of boiling water.

You will also need:

a large oven dish, one such as this. I have a big glass one I use. You basically want it big enough to fit the rolled tortillas in but small enough that they will be slightly squashed together as this stops them from unrolling.

A frying pan.

And 2 bowls.

Method

1. Put the oven on to warm up at around 200c.  Cut the chicken into smallish chunks. Warm a little oil in a frying pan over a medium flame. Cook the chicken and sprinkle over the spices. Remember the more you use the spicier the final result. I often add a few chilli flakes as well and if you wish look at the ingredients on the packet of spice and add more of the individual spices to add more flavour if you have them (eg. Garlic, chilli powder, cumin etc.) As you cook the chicken break it into even small chunks. It is a good way of checking to see how cooked it is and for the wraps later you want small pieces.

2. Pour the passata into a bowl and add some hot water. You don’t want it too thin so add the water slowly, stirring until the sauce is a nice consistency. Then add spices, the same rule as the chicken. The tomatoes neutralise the spices a bit so I’d add a fair bit. I’d say the whole sachet if using one of the sachets of spices (Old El Paso for example) or the equivalent. I know this isn’t very exact but for this you have to go with instinct and play around until you get it right according to your tastes. It is kind of fun, just be confident and go with it. Stir away until spices are mixed throughout.

3. Once the chicken is cooked get a ladleful of the sauce and a sprinkle of the grated cheese. Pour this over the chicken and leave to simmer on a low heat as you prepare the rest – think sticky sort of consistency for the sauce and chicken. Most of the sauce is for the top later.

4. Cook the rice according to instructions (usually 2 min), once it has cooked swap and put the tortillas on a plate and microwave for about 30 seconds. Meanwhile put the rice into a bowl.

5. Now we have all the components we are ready to construct. In a tortilla put a tablespoon of rice, then a spoonful of chicken, a sprinkle of cheese. Wrap then place into the dish, nice and firmly at the end. Repeat until the dish is full.

6. Pour over your sauce. Then as much cheese as you like over the top.

7. Place in the oven for 15-20 min, until the cheese has melted and you can’t wait to eat any longer! Everything has been cooked so it really is just about your patience at this point.

8. Serve. 2 tortillas each person. You will be stuffed at the end.

Other notes: This also makes super tasty leftovers. I always make one extra each for the Boyo and I and we have it next day for lunch. It feels like a real treat. You just microwave a portion for 2-3min.  For vegetables I usually quickly fry some onions, peppers and mushrooms in a bit of the fajita spice to have at the side. There is no room for them in the wraps. The Boyo really likes some jalapeno peppers with his.

 

Thinking about them makes me hungry! Enjoy.

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Foodie Friday – weekend roast

When the sun is shining I tend to crave lighter foods. Picnic teas with a variety of cold meats, cheeses, nuts (pistachio or cashew are my favourites), crusty bread and pesto are ideal but after nearly 2 weeks away the Boyo was craving some slightly more traditional food. We had such amazing food when we were away in Hong Kong, so full of flavour and the variety of food you can get over there is phenomenal. A week home and I definitely feel like we should pop (haha ‘pop’ doesn’t really apply to a 24 hour journey!) over this weekend and get some Thai food this weekend, well a girl can wish!

I wanted to make a roast because it usually results in at least a couple of meals worth. I didn’t feel like cooking beef or lamb and instead decided to make roast chicken.

To zing up my chicken and make it a little summery I made a paste to both stuff and baste it with. I used butter, a squirt of fresh lemon juice, juice of half a lime, fresh coriander, some chicken season all, and a few drops of Heinz Tangy Jalepono sauce. I whizzed all of this up in a blender until it was a nice thick paste then using a sharp knife to make a little opening I stuffed inbetween the skin and the flesh with the paste then smothered the chicken in the rest. Whilst cooking I scooped the liquid from bottom of the roasting dish to pour over the chicken. The result is a nice tasty juicy roast chicken. We had ours with some steamed veg and potatoes. I also made a gravy, enriching it with some of the juice from the roast and fresh coriander.

Now the great thing about roasting a chicken is that it can go quite far. So I shredded up the leftover chicken and this time marinaded in some spices and soy sauce to have with stir fry noodles the next evening. I also used the carcass to make tasty chicken stock. For this I had a root around to see what veg I already had, this time, 2 small carrots, 2 sticks of celery adn an onion. I roughly chopped the veg into large chucks and put this along with the carcass into my slow cooker. I covered with hot water, added some black pepper and a little bit of thyme and let this cook for 12 hours overnight. The next morning I awoke to very tasty smelling stock which is now in little pots in my freezer ready for more meals.

Other foodie finds this week have been the delicious Laimon Fresh juice. We found it when we were out wandering the Fife coast at the weekend. If you are in the area then the Elie Deli is definitely worth checking out. I even liked it more than the ice cream I was eating which is syaing something for me! I just have to find a stockist closer to home. It is a wonderful fresh drink, it tasted a bit like a mojito but tastier. Really perfect for the summer. I might even have to order online if I can’t find it nearby.

Tonights tea will be burgers with halloumi, spicy tomato rice and roasted pepper. I just pan fry the halloumi for a couple of minutes and find it goes perfectly with the meaty burgers and the rice. For the rice I cook the rice in stock, passata and add garlic, Nandos Piri Piri sauce and black pepper. The trick is to cook it at a low heat slowly so it doesn’t stick and it is very tasty. I usually add some chorizo to the leftover rice for another slightly lighter meal.

I am sorry I don’t have any photos this time, my phone really is a bit decrepit now and there is something wrong with my camera – I’ll try and get my technology sorted out asap!

The Hong Kong guide will likely be up on Monday and it will be photo heavy! You have been warned!

 

Have a good weekend everyone!

 

Merry

 

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Busy Bees

My oh my it has been a while since I blogged. The Boyo and I have been busy bees. The end of term (we both work in FE/HE education) always arrives far quicker than you anticipate. I’m always filled with this idea that once the students have gone I’ll so much more time to get on with my huge to do list. The reality is my to-do list gets even bigger and meetings, training etc. is always hurriedly squeezed in before everyone goes into summer mode at the end of June. The annual CILIPS conference was on as well and I was luckily able to attend the Monday, so it really has been a busy couple of weeks work-wise. Many of our staff are term time only so I have to try and get as much information from them before they disperse and my aim is always to try and get everything magically done before they return in August. This never happens but it is good to have good intentions, yes?

We’ve also had Boyo’s family visiting, including their gorgeous dog who was actually staying with us for a week. I miss our walkies and her lovely velvety soft ears. I am definitely still broody for a dog of my own but I also know that with our work schedules it just wouldn’t be fair. Luckily the Boyo was able to take some time off whilst they were here and he got lots of walks with the dog – including 2 Munros, and I was able to join them at evenings and the weekend. So we’ve enjoyed some really lovely walks around our village, Dunkeld where the Boyo’s family were staying and Loch Leven. Unfortunately the weather was pretty mixed and the poor dog got drenched everyday of her stay.

Walks

We also have had some nice opportunities for tasty treats – cake and tea at Spill the Beans in Dunkeld, scones at Scone Palace – excellent, very good indeed, almost as good as my Granny made them, lunch at House of Bruar one day and a tasty takeaway from our local Chinese takeaway. I did some cooking at home as well, I made enchiladas one night – I’ll post my recipe/method in my next post. It is a bit of a cheat but a huge hit whenever I make them, especially with my sister who visits me regularly just to get fed these. I also made chocolate and vanilla loaf cake and one night we had 3 course with everything made by scratch by me. Vegetable and Coriander soup with homemade bread, Roasted Chicken breast with garlic mushrooms, roast peppers, steamed potatoes and a peppercorn sauce and then strawberries with cream and a homemade chocolate sauce to finish. So we have been well walked and well fed! The foodie post will be up soon – most likely Monday as I’m away this weekend.

 

What else? I attended my first hypnotherapy session last night. I’ve spoken before about how I really want to be Merry and healthy. A big barrier in this is my food aversions. I haven’t eaten fruit and vegetables as far back as I can remember. Mum claims I used to eat brussel sprouts when I was 3 but I cannot remember. It is something that I really want to change but I just find myself unable to swallow when I try to eat these foods. So I’ve decided to get some extra help. Whether it will actually work or not is still unclear but I really think it is worth a try. I’m worried this post is already a long post so I’ll finish up for now and save the details of my hypnotherapy experience for later.

 

I hope everyone has a jolly weekend, I’m off to visit family on a flying visit which will be nice. Cheerio for now!

 

Merry

 

 

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Foodie Friday

Foodie Friday

Another fishy Friday – sorry to those who aren’t fans of fish! I am trying as I have mentioned before to become a healthier person and one of the things I am trying to do is to eat more fish. As a child the only fish I ever ate was haddock in breadcrumbs or ‘yellow fish’ made by my Granny. Yellow fish is smoked haddock baked in milk and butter – hence the name yellow – and the fillet was served with the wonderful buttery sauce and a slice of bread and butter. Delicious! So I really feel that I need to expand my menu where fish is concerned. So today’s meal is Smoked River Cobbler with roasted herby potatoes and courgettes with a herby white sauce.

On another note regarding my food eating I am embarking on a whole new daunting challenge. I am what is known as a ‘picky eater’. Over the past few years I have become much more adventurous (I only tried curry when studying for my postgrad. Thank you to my friend from Bristol for introducing me to this wonder, I will forever be thankful). Living in China and Hong Kong forced me to try some new and exotic foods and developing a serious cooking hobby over the past two years (and having a boyo who is willing to try EVERYTHING) has meant that slowly but surely I am eating a much wider variety of food.

But I have a major stumbling block-

I don’t eat vegetables or fruit.

(I am Scottish so I do love potatoes, does that count as a vegetable?… I’m joking)

I’ve had a major problem with fruit & veg for as long as I can remember. I am happy to eat a wide variety of vegetables in soup format as long as they are blended. I will cook with vegetables and enjoy the flavour they give to my meals – but I pick all the actual vegetables out. I literally gag and can’t swallow when I feel the texture of vegetables in my mouth. As for fruit, I don’t even go near it. The closest I will get is a puff pastry apple puff thing where the apple inside is basically pureed and the whole thing is covered in custard. This my friends (if anyone reads my ramblings) is ridiculous.

I enjoy cooking, I love looking at all the wonderful variety of food, I want to be able to cook and eat away to my hearts content. I want to give up my sugar crazy tendencies. In the past I didn’t mind so much but now that I enjoy cooking so much I am seeing so many tasty things that I am missing out on. Another big factor is my Boyo. I’m not just responsible for myself now – don’t worry he can look after himself- Boyo and I decided to live together, one day we hope to start a family together and we intend to spend our lives together (we aren’t married but the same objectives really!). I worry about him and want to look after him and he does the same for me. Although I am trying to improve my health I can’t really claim to be healthy unless I eat a balanced diet. I am 30 later this year. The question of us starting a family gets closer and bigger all the time, how can I grow a little person if I am not properly nourished and how can I raise a child if I do not try to be healthy and show good behaviours to them? It is important to me and it is important to the Boyo.

So I hear you ask what am I doing about it? Well I am trying to improve what I eat all the time – sneaking spinach into curry, using more wholesome ingredients, varying our carbs – cous cous, rice, pasta, potatoes and limiting our portion size of carbs and instead of having massive meals I am trying to just use sensible portions. I am also trying to reduce my dairy intake by eating less cheese, just the equivalent of 1 glass of milk a day and a yoghurt, I try to eat no more than 2 slices of bread a day and I make my own bread (I try to make nearly everything from scratch) and I only drink fizzy drinks if we are out for a meal or at the weekend and still not a crazy amount. I’m trying to up my peppermint tea consumption, experiment with green tea and drink more water.

But this isn’t enough – so time for the major step. Next week I will attend my first hypnotherapy session. I am actually quite nervous about it. I have a lot of questions but the two main questions are:

What if it doesn’t work?

And

What if it does?

I’ll update you on my healthy eating quest soon.

So back to Foodie Friday

Smoked River Cobbler with herby roasted potatoes & courgettes with a herby white sauce

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Ingredients

    Fish

2 x skinless and boneless smoked River Cobbler fillets
Dash of Olive Oil
Seasoning – I used a lemon pepper seasoning mix

    Potatoes & Courgettes

Glug of Olive oil
White everyday potatoes peeled & cut into small chunks (A great way to use up old potatoes that need cooked quickly)
Half a Courgette sliced.
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Seasoning – again I used the lemon Pepper mixture

    White Sauce

About 150ml-200ml of Milk (I used semi-skimmed)
Knob of Butter
300ml of Crème Fraiche (I would usually use half fat)
Knorr mixed herb flavour pot
Black pepper
Garlic (I used a pinch of garlic granules instead of fresh this time)
Tablespoon of Philadelphia
2 teaspoons of grated Parmesan

    Method

1. Put your oven on to warm up, I had mine at 200c. Put a good glug of the olive oil into a large roasting dish. I used a large oval le creuset one but I also have a big glass one that is ideal for roasting the potatoes. Place the dish with the olive oil into the oven to warm up whilst you peel & chop the potatoes and slice up the courgettes.

2. On the chopping board mix up your courgettes and potatoes using your hands then cover in the seasoning and a good sprinkle of sea salt and a little black pepper. Mix up again so all the potatoes and veg are covered in the herbs and spices.

3. Lift the now hot dish out the oven and put your potato and veg mix in. Give a good mix then put in the oven. Depending on the size of your potatoes and how well spread out they are in the dish it could take between 30 – 40 minutes for them to cook. Every so often you want to lift them out and give them a good mix so all the sides turn golden and a little crispy.

4. Now to prepare the fish. Place them in another roasting dish. Sprinkle your seasoning over them and gently rub it in. Sprinkle a little dash of olive oil over the fillets and cover in tin foil. The fillets will cook in the oven in 20 minutes so time putting them in on how your potatoes are looking.

5. The sauce isn’t necessary but adds a little more flavour to the dish. Put the milk and butter in a pot and place over a medium heat on the hob. When the butter has melted add the flavour pot and mix thoroughly. Add the crème fraiche and Philadelphia. Keep mixing until it starts to resemble a nice consistency, add the garlic, parmesan and a little black pepper. If you have the sauce ready before the rest of the meal just leave it off the heat to warm up again when you are ready to serve. If it is a little thick then just add splashes of milk whilst stirring until the desired consistency is reached.

6. Check to see if your potatoes are cooked through by cutting one in half and eating it! If they are cooked then you are all ready to go and serve it up. Enjoy!

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Thought of the day: Finance

Todays thought is quite long but finance isn’t much of a lightweight topic.

Listening to a discussion about mortgages on the radio on our way to work has me thinking about our finances.

We are planning to rent for the next two years until Boyo gets his permanent contract so we have time to save for our next mortgage.

Now I am thinking about various things:

* Ways that we can save money
* Keeping better household expenditure records
* And what are we actually aiming for?

I’ve got a lot of ideas buzzing in my head about becoming more frugal.

* My cooking – but still aiming to be both delicious and more healthy.
* Our hobbies – that is actually easy as the boyo and I like nothing more than wandering the great outdoors.
* Travel – we’ve already booked an expensive holiday to Hong Kong but our other jaunts could me UK based, short camping weekends.
* Challenging myself to become more fit and healthy so that I once again fit into more of my wardrobe and experimenting with what I have rather than buying anything new.

I think keeping better records of expenditure will help me to see where I could make potential savings and appreciate what I have more.

And lastly, what are we aiming for? Do we want a big house with lots of space? Or do we want somewhere that looks fantastic? Is the postcode important?
These are interesting questions and to answer properly we really need to think about our future, a family? pets? I don’t think the Boyo and I have grand or fancy ideas, after all any house can become a home with a bit of care and attention.

What are your thoughts? How do you budget? What are your priorties?

Thinking about all of this makes me feel terribly grown up, it’s not wonderful that so much revolves around money and whilst winning the lottery would be fantastic I think the important thing is to value what you ahave and embrace simple things which can lead to so much happiness. For me a walk in the fresh air with the Boyo is simply one of the best things around.

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