£1 a day challenge

£1 a day food shop

£1 a day food shop

To raise awareness of food poverty and hopefully provide some advice and tasty recipes, this week Daf and I will be taking on the challenge of only spending £1 each on food per day (average over 1 week). The aim of this week is to have three main meals and two snacks per day, and to share our experience as well as recipes. Hopefully this will show that you can eat well for less if you are creative. Both of us are vegetarians so the food will be meat free, but suggestions will be made throughout the week for meat alternatives.

There are a few different versions of the £1 a day challenge, as the aim is for this to be repeated by someone who does not have more than £1 to spend in a week, I have assumed that the only thing in the cupboard is salt and pepper and that you only have £14 when you go to the shop. To allow the repeat of this meal plan, no “discount offers” or “reduced price at the end of the day” deals are allowed. I have also assumed that you will only go to one shop per week and not spend a day hunting around 20 shops for the best deals.

We normally spend £30-£35 a week on food, so the difference this week will be spent on food for our local food bank. Hopefully someone else will be inspired and join the challenge or donate to their local food bank.

After some careful planning, the food shop was carried out and this is what we have to live on this week:

4 pints of milk
240g sliced cheddar cheese
250g salted butter
1kg carrots
8 bananas
1 onion
10 stock cubes
Tomato pure
500g passata
400g chopped tomatoes with herbs
567g (345g dried) potato
500g dried spaghetti
2 tins baked beans
500ml rapeseed oil
1kg sugar
1.5kg self-raising flour
1kg oats
500g sultanas
340g honey
15 eggs
500g red lentils
100g dried coffee

Let’s get creative 🙂

Vanilla Bun Tray Bake

It’s been much longer since I uploaded any recipes than I had intended, but with my Master degree coming to an end (2 weeks to go) and starting a new job, life has, again, got in the way…. Whilst I have not been putting new recipes on here I have had a few opportunities to bake and this is one of the latest success stories, the vanilla bun.

Vanilla Bun

Vanilla Bun


500ml lukewarm milk
150g soft butter
1 sachet yeast
100ml sugar
½ tsp. salt
1200ml strong flour

Place baking paper in a large deep oven tray (400x300mm).
Mix together all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. The dough will be very sticky. Place the dough on the tray and push it out until it fully covers the tray (use some flour and your fingers). Cover and leave to rise for 40minutes.

In the meantime prepare the filling.

100g soft butter
120g cream cheese (full fat)
250ml icing sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla

After 40 minutes, preheat the oven to 200oc. Using your finger or a spoon to make 20-30 deep impressions and place some filling in each hole.

Brush the exposed dough with a beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar or flacked almonds.
Bake in the middle of the oven for approximately 20minutes until golden.

Leave to cool for a bit before removing the baking paper and leave to cool fully on a cooling rack. Enjoy it straight away or cut the bun into pieces and put in the freezer.

Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon Buns

So the testing is finally over and the verdict is that this is the best cinnamon recipe I have tried. I have put it on a page as it would take to much room to put the whole recipe on the post…unfortunately the photo does not give them justice but they were almost all eaten before I got the camera out so a mobile phone photo is all I got…guess I have to make more buns soon to update the photo 🙂

Rhubarb crumble with almonds and oats

Rhubarb CrumbleI went a bit mad in the kitchen the other day and ended up making cake for everyone at work….good to have oven working again… I had intended to make a rhubarb cake recipe I found last year and really liked but having made so many other cakes I had used up my eggs (all 25 of them) and all my baking powder was gone too so I could not make the cake. As I could see it I had two options, stop making cakes or come up with an alternative plan. As the rhubarb was already picked and prepared more baking seemed like the only option and this creation came about, Rhubarb crumble with almonds and oats:

Preheat oven to 225oc and grease a 250mm x 200mm oven dish.

Lots of rhubarb (5-8 stalks)
50ml sugar
1tsp vanilla sugar
2tsp potato flour

Peel and chop the rhubarb in to small chunks and place in the oven dish. Mix the sugar, vanilla and potato flour and sprinkle over the rhubarb and give it a quick mix.

Crumble topping:
125g melted butter
75ml muscovado sugar
200ml oats
100ml plain flour
80g grated marzipan
50g ground almonds

Place all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Add the melted butter and mix to a dough/crumble. Flatten the dough in your hands and place over the rhubarb in bits until it is covered.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 20minuts or until the top looks crispy and golden.

I served the cake with home made custard (recipe to follow). The crumble is a new favourite and I look forward to try the topping with apple filling instead of rhubarb too.




Raspberry Sponge and Meringue Birthday Cake

Meringue Cake Meringue Cake close upA couple of years ago I made this cake for work and soon I had an order for a birthday cake, last week I had my first return customer 🙂 This cake is really tasty with layers of chewy sponge cake, meringue and fresh cream mixed with raspberries. The size makes it ideal for big parties as it easily serves 24. I like the cake so much that we had this as an alternative cake for our wedding! The only problem with the cake is to come up with a great name so short of  a better name you can find the recipe on the “Meringue Cake” page. I hope you enjoy as much as I do!

Lemon Mousse with fresh Strawberries

Lemon mousse

My oven has broken and parents and in-laws were over for a bbq, you can’t have guests for dinner and not give them dessert, I’m sure there is a law against it so I had to make something that would be quick (I was short of time), tasty, look impressive and not use an oven….I love lemon desserts in the summer, I find them lighter and refreshing, especially after a bbq, so I decided to make lemon mousse with fresh stawberries. I got 6 nice glasses out and placed crushed digestive biscuits in the bottom of the glasses (some mix it with butter but I prefer it without and it is quicker).

Mousse mix:
300ml double cream
218g condensed milk
1 lemon (rind and juice)

Whisk the double cream until soft peaks.
Add the condensed milk and whisk again.
Add the lemon rind and juice, whisk until the mixture is thick and smooth (1/2min).
Place the mousse in the glasses and leave in the fridge to set for 1-2hours, they can also be prepared the day before and left in the fridge over night.

Just before eating, top up the glasses with sliced strawberries and serve.

I used 1 part biscuit base, 3parts mousse and 2 parts strawberries.

We ended up having a lovely evening and both the bbq and the dessert were successful 🙂

Natasha’s Birthday part 2…

My little pony muffins

Apparently, in Wales, birthday cakes are brought out with candles, singing and all to then be taken away and not eaten at the party but given to the guest to take home to eat…this seems like the strangest thing ever to me! So for Natasha there was a big cake to eat at the party and individual much less messy My Little Pony raspberry and vanilla muffins to put in the party bags. There were two boys at the birthday party so I made a Darth Vader and a Death Star chocolate toppers and green butter cream for them, for someone who doesn’t do much cake decorating and a first for children’s birthday cakes I was pretty pleased with the result:

Star Wars muffins

My Little Pony Muffin 2

My Little Pony Muffin 1

Natasha’s Birthday

My Little Pony Birthday Cake

A while back it was my neighbour Natasha’s Birthday and I was asked to make the cake. Apparently My Little Pony is her new favourite so her mum had ordered a cake topper on line. I made my trusted Victoria Sponge Cake with raspberry and cream filling and used a thin layer of vanilla butter cream  to fix the cake topper to the cake. I thought it looked really festive and Natasha liked it, which is all that matters!

Victoria Sponge Cake

Summer cake for graduation party

Lemon and Strawberry Summer Cake

As usual life is getting in the way of baking and blogging. Last weekend my mum arranged a small family get together to celebrate my brother’s graduation. She arranged for a lunch and I offered to make cakes. In the summer time I like lemon cakes so I made a sticky lemon cake with a cheesecake topping I made 1.5times the recipe to fill a 25cm cake tin. To make it more festive I covered the cake with fresh strawberries.

Easter Cakes for RSPCA

Easter Cake

The RSPCA was having a Easter bake off so my husband asked me to make some cakes for him to take in. I was a bit short on time with work and my uni exams coming up so decided to go for an easy but tasty option. I used my rulltårta (roly-poly) cake for the base as it only takes 30minuts from start to finish. Once the cake had cooled it was cut in 1inch slices and whipped cream and apricot halves put on top and the fried egg Easter cakes were done 🙂
The cakes were delivered to the RSPCA, hopefully their event raised lots of money.