Horrible wet, windy, freezing cold weather here today. We dodged showers after lunch to nip into town so we weren't cooped up in the house all day, but we got soaked on the way home. No real snow like some places, but a flurry of sleet in the rain this afternoon. Tomorrow is meant to be drier and brighter, though still cold. Unfortunately our old 3 storey house is so draughty, despite blocking up holes and gaps, that I've had the heating on for large chunks of the day. Thank goodness I froze my fuel costs until 2016, and since DD3 and BF moved out my general usage has reduced immensly and my direct debit has dropped by £40 a month.
As I didn't host Christmas dinner this year I don't have a lot of leftovers. However, I do have best part of a gammon bacon joint, about 8 sausages, 4 packs of 6 part-baked rolls and several pieces of cheese from a selection I bought for my sisters' visit last Saturday. I also have some celery that DS2 brought home after a Christmas dinner with his friends from the anime club, and various other veg that needs using up.
This is what I'm planning to do with it all -
Most of the gammon will be sliced and served with the rolls for lunches for DS1, DS2 and DH, but I will be also be using some for main meals.
Today's dinner was bacon and vegetable casserole done in the slow cooker using a quarter of the remaining gammon, one of the reduced price vegetable packs I bought yesterday, some of the celery and a green pepper that was going wrinkly. It was served with some of the rolls that I finished baking in the halogen.
Tomorrow will be a sort-of roast using the leftover sausages. I'll also cook roast potatoes and Aldi value yorkshire puddings from the freezer (bag of 15 for 49p) in the halogen, and serve with the cabbage I bought yesterday and sprouts from the freezer done in the microwave. I'll probably also make gravy using a couple of red onions from the bottom of my veg basket and gravy granules.
Monday will be macaroni cheese done in the halogen using a combination of the leftover cheeses, with a little bacon stirred in and served with peas and sweetcorn cooked in the microwave.
Tuesday will be Tuna Impossible Pie from Penny's Recipes site, served with peas and carrots from the freezer. That should use up the remaining cheese and some just-out-of-date eggs from the fridge (I will, of course, test they are okay before using them) and a couple of tins of tuna from Approved Foods.
And the remaining celery? Will make soup, possibly with bacon scraps if there are any left, cooked in the soup maker and served with home made soda bread done in the halogen or any remaining rolls. This will either be another dinner or maybe just a lunch meal.
I do realise there's a lot of bacon recipes, but each one is different and besides, we all love bacon so nobody will mind eating it several days in a row. By the way, I cooked my gammon joints in the slow cooker for the second year running. Lovely and moist and slices amazingly well.
I have ordered my smoothie maker. It's the same one DD1 has and that she made us smoothies with when we visited at the beginning of November.
In the end I got it for £29.99 with free postage from Amazon. I couldn't use my Love to Shop vouchers online but it was £5 cheaper than from Argos or Tesco and came with extra containers so was much better value. I bought it with some money I made from the sale of one of my collectors' dolls on Ebay. I know I will use it a lot as we love smoothies but at present they are a faff to make using my processor, which never gets them smooth enough and is a bugger to clean, or in my soup maker that can also be used for smoothies but needs to be filled with a minimum of 1.3 litres of fruit and liquids and makes massive amounts. Since the one I've chosen will pulverise ice too I can use frozen fruits straight from the freezer (£1 a bag in Farm Foods or reduced price punnets I've bought and frozen myself)) and I can also make DH and the boys their fave milkshakes made with Nesquick and value ice cream. I also love adding oats and yogurt to my smoothies to make a complete breakfast, and I sometimes mix smoothies with sugar-free jelly to make a mousse-like dessert.
I'm slowly going kitchen gadget crazy what with the halogens, slow cookers, soup maker, smoothie maker, bread maker and microwave but I'm all for variety and making my life easier these days, especially as I eat different things now than I used to and hardly ever need to use the full sized cooker. I've even found space for my toys by covering up my gas rings with a spare length of worktop. I'm hoping that using the halogens etc instead of the full sized oven will eventually save me enough that they will have paid for themselves, and then I'll go on to make further savings on fuel costs in the future.