Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Menu Plan Week 6

We’ve been thinking about our finances recently and how we can make some savings and generally get things looking more healthy. A few years ago we managed to get really organised so we could save up for our wedding and it’s high time we tried to get back to that. Obviously losing my salary made a big difference (even though it was negligible it was still considerably more than I get now) but on the other hand, I have more time now to cook things from scratch, budget etc.

Where I can really make a difference is with food. We’re cutting down on some luxuries (fancy cheese was becoming a serious habit) and I want to get a bit simpler with my cooking. I made a basic tuna and veg pasta for me and Daniel on Saturday and he ate practically his own bodyweight in it, which makes me think he’d appreciate a bit more simplicity sometimes too! Also more batch cooking on days when I have some time to spare so that we have quick things in the freezer. That should cut down on the time/effort-saving-but-correspondingly-expensive meals that we’ve been resorting to far too often.

Now that Daniel spends more time doing his own thing, I can have more time playing in the kitchen. I’m especially starting to plan things like pickles, jams and chutneys which are useful not only for ourselves but also fantastic for Christmas presents. Our own garden wasn’t particularly productive this year but a couple of relatives have offered surplus apples etc. One presented me with last year’s (now empty) Kilner jar and the offer of more apples… I’m taking that as a hint!

We’re more than halfway through our food week now (starts on Thursday with the Farmers’ Market) but with Yom Kippur we got off to a slow start. So here goes:

Homity pies from the market with rainbow chard.

Pre-Yom Kippur trip to Pizza Express. Expensive but we do it every year and it makes life a lot easier with the timings.

Just me and Daniel as DH was fasting. Whipped up a super-quick tuna/tomato/veg macaroni thing.

At my parents’. We also splashed out at lunchtime as my parents took Daniel for a few hours so we could have a VERY rare date. It’s been months since we had any time with just the two of us (especially as D doesn’t go to bed until we do) and we felt it was worth it.

Aubergine and red lentil moussaka, bulked up with some mushrooms and kale too. I didn't love the topping for this but I had some leftover ricotta that needed using up. There was enough to make a little one for the freezer but I forgot about it and it burned to a cinder in the oven. Oops! 

Romanesco cauliflower goulash. Lots of this left over for the freezer. 

Synagogue sukkah celebration. I’ll make some butternut squash soup to take in thermos flasks and serve in paper cups – the weather here has just realised it’s autumn, so this feels like a good thing to take. Anything left can go in the freezer for quick lunches or suppers.

I also have a red cabbage which I’ll cook and freeze in batches to go with various meals (beef sausages and mash, grilled halloumi cheese and potato salad, that kind of thing) and I’m preparing for our sukkah party on Saturday. If I can get hold of a pumpkin, I’ll do mini pumpkin and feta pasties, but with Halloween still a few weeks off I’m not holding my breath. 


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