Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Fabric Finds and 4 Dinners in 2 Hours

Firstly a big warm welcome to Treelover, thank you for joining me. 

Secondly, a huge thank you for the lovely comments about my bags. Kay asked about finding them on Etsy, well as Ebay had a free listing weekend they are on there instead. I started them at a low price with a higher Buy It Now option (unfortunately Ebay's rules say that BIN has to be 40% higher than your auction price nowadays). The prices should cover the fabric costs and give me a small profit for the time spent making them. There is a link now at the top side of this page which will take anyone who's interested to the details for the first bag, and from there you can click on 'see other items' for the other bags and some more bits and bobs I've got listed. Just in case there's an issue with that here's the link:-

I actually spent most of Monday afternoon and early evening taking pictures and listing items for sale, and I have already sold the last 1/2 metre of the 10 metre length of vintage Laura Ashley fabric I bought in a charity shop last year. I made approx £7 for this last piece which covered my initial outlay as that's what it cost, so I must have made at least £120 profit in total. I just wish I could have such a lucky find every week.

And as for the title of this post. Here are pictures of 3 of the meals.

Before I went to my Slimming World meeting yesterday morning (another 1.5lbs off, so that's 4st 1lb altogether), I spent 2 hours making enough dinners to last until the weekend. Last night we had sausages, mash, peas, sweetcorn and onion gravy which I haven't photographed. 

I started by cooking 14 sausages, 500g lamb mince and a 500g pack of bacon pieces together in the oven. While they were cooking I prepared enough onions for the onion gravy, a shepherd's pie and a sausage casserole. I put some onion on to fry for the gravy, then divided the remaining onion between my 2 slow cookers and added carrots, garlic etc. When the meats were done in the oven I drained off the excess fat, set aside 8 sausages for last night's dinner, chopped the other 6 into chunks and added them to one slow coooker for the casserole. The lamb mince went into the other slow cooker for the shepherd's pie filling. I peeled enough potatoes for mash to go with last night's dinner, and to top the shepherd's pie and make tuna fish cakes. The casserole and pie filling were done by the time I got back from my meeting. Last evening I just had to cook and mash the potatoes, serve some with dinner, top the shepherd's pie and set enough aside to cool for the fish cakes. This morning I used the cold mash, a tin of tuna, some dried parsley, a squeeze of tomato ketchup and egg and breadcrumbs to make fish cakes. 

So...this weeks' menu consists of:-

Tuesday - sausage, mash, peas, sweetcorn and onion gravy
Wednesday - lamb mince shepherd's pie with mixed veg
Thursday - tuna fishcakes, oven chips and peas
Friday - Hairy Biker's Sausage Casserole with rice or couscous

All of that for a couple of hours cooking time, which means I can relax about dinners for the rest of the week...oh, and I nearly forgot, there's enough of the bacon pack leftover to add to a macaroni cheese for Saturday night. Plus there's so much sausage casserole and shepherd's pie DS1 can have some for his lunch before his late shift at work. I can't accurately cost everything, but the most expensive meal has to be the shepherd's pie as the lamb mince was £2.75, but that whole meal (including veg to serve with it) won't have cost more than £4 and will make 4 servings at £1 each. The other meals will work out even cheaper, and I saved on fuel costs by cooking all the meats at the same time in the oven and the fillings in the slow cookers. This week's menu is quite meat-heavy, but last week we ate mostly vegetarian so it balances out. 

Other news is that we thoroughly enjoyed our evening out on Saturday. We were both blown away with how amazing our lovely daughter and her boyfriend performed. Pity we couldn't record any of it. Can't wait to see them in Jesus Christ Superstar at the end of the month. 

And we had a lovely time at the Brocante on Monday. Gorgeous weather for the second year running and I did manage to pick up a couple of fabric remnants and some trimming. 

I paid £1 each for the fabric pieces and the pink/blue/white trim, and £2 for the gingerbread man trim. The shoe fabric looks great but is quite thin so I will have to back it with interfacing if I want to use it for bag making. I also bought a short red duffle jacket for £5. Since losing so much weight I needed a new jacket that actually fits and this one is quite good quality with a 70% wool content. It's just right for spring/autumn wear.

I had an upset stomach yesterday afternoon and evening(from the antibiotics I'm taking for my throat, I think) so apart from a  bit of crochet I didn't get anything crafty done. I'm still feeling a bit washed out today so taking it easy, and just about to watch Bargain Hunt.

Hope all is well with you and yours, big hugs, Helen x


  1. hello, I have been reading your blog for a while, I am just getting back into knitting and learning how to sew really slowly, I also have lost a good few stone with slimming world, please can you tell me the recipe for macroni cheese and is it sw friendly, hope you feel better soon, nicole

  2. Hi there, thank you for reading and leaving a comment. How much weight have you lost? A 'good few stone' sounds like a lot. I'll write a quick post for the Macaroni Cheese recipe in case anyone else is interested but the one I use is based on a Jamey Oliver recipe using creme fraiche. I have it on a green day and use half fat creme fraiche that I syn, and count the sheese as an 'a' choice and the bacon as a 'B'. The pasta and onion are both free on Green.

  3. Food looks great! We also have a virus here; and gone badly to chest. We got antibiotics yesterday - which like you upset the stomach and just added in another symptom!

    Pleased I'm not the only one to have 2 slow cookers - I did have 3 but gave one away - it was a wrench!

    1. Luckily my throat infection didn't go to my chest; DH is the one who usually gets a bad chest. I take my last anti-biotic tonight so I'm hoping my stomach will settle down after that. I also had a third slow cooker at one time but didn't like it so much so I let my daughter have it. I wouldn't be without mine. Along with the microwave and kettle they're the most used items in my kitchen. Notice, I didn't mention the iron there. ironing is not something I do very often.

  4. I gave mine to my cousin who loves it.

    I HATE ironing - my clothes rarely need it - my husband likes linen shirts - imagine...

    1. The only time I really iron is when I'm sewing and fabric and seams need pressing, otherwise everyone does their own ironing.

  5. Well done on your SW news :-). I love the scalloped pie topping. Very swish!