Eat well - travel often

Month: October 2014

Thermos Overnight Coffee Challenge

Thermos Overnight Coffee Challenge

Thermos brand flasks have been around for years, since 1904 in fact. I remember when I was younger, when the inside was a silvered glass container which broke if you knocked it. Now they are the leaders of the durable stainless steel flask and vacuum insulation technology. […]

Falmouth Oyster Festival 2014

Falmouth Oyster Festival 2014

Falmouth held it’s 5th annual Oyster Festival to mark the start of the oyster dredging season.  Because of ancient laws put in place to protect the local ecology the oyster boats (called Falmouth Working Boats) are prohibited from using engines and must use sail power […]

‘How has being a savvy shopper changed my life’

‘How has being a savvy shopper changed my life’

When I first married I lived in a row of
semi-detached Victorian cottages built in the 1660s for the workers of Queen
Elizabeth I Palace in Enfield. The cottages had names like ‘Rose Cottage and
‘Abesynia Cottage but ours was ‘Frugal Cottage’!

I was not always frugal however being a young
married couple we had to learn to make ends meet and make do and mend and the
name of our house was always at the back of my mind!

Over the years we got out of the strict regime
that we had set for ourselves, the arrival of children and holidays in the USA
taking up most of my brain space.

Due to two years off work money was quite tight,
no choice of whether to be a savvy shopper or not. I did not see eating cheap
quality food from frozen food stores being an alternative, we both love food
and I love cooking.

I made it my goal to provide Mr R with a
nutritious and tasty meal each evening and to cook something special on the
weekends.

I would plan my meals around what was in the
freezer, cupboard and would visit my local Tesco late each day to see what was
reduced in price. At the end of the day the price would be 10% of the original,
allowing me to buy food for a few days at a fraction of the cost.

During that time I started blogging and was
asked if I would like to receive cheese, meat, sauces, pasta and much more to
cook and review on the blog. This helped to supplement our shopping bill.

I also became expert at money off vouchers. A
voucher offering  £8.00 off a £40.00
spend would makes me pick offers that I could cook immediately, freeze or store
so that the actual value of my shopping bill would, with planning come to
£45.00-£48.00 but only cost £32.00!

We have a local allotment and Mr R and I grow
much of our fresh vegetables to supplement our shopping bill. Last year we
cultivated 1/3 of the plot growing most of our vegetables for the summer and
early autumn with preserving and freezing keeping us going for some time. Limnited
variety but fantastic quality. That first year we had over 15 kg of fresh
blackberries which we used in pies, puddings, jams and chutneys. This year we
cultivated another 1/3 of the plot giving a  more varied assortment of vegetables and fruit
for our diet that was virtually free.

Recycle glass jars for jams and chutneys and
forage outside for sloes for sloe gin and elderflowers for cordials making fantastic
presents for everyone.

Pressure is somewhat lifted now that I am in a
full time job. I love the ‘hunt for bargains’ and being inventive with recipes and
meals realising that being a savvy shopper has now become a hobby as well as a
way of life.

This post is in response to Savoo and their Savvy Shopper competition.  All opinions are my own.

Halloween Tricks or Treats!

Halloween Tricks or Treats!

Unilever Kitchen are the guardian of loads of house hold names such as Knorr, Hellmans, Colemans, Flora and so many more.  I was invited to take part in a Halloween Challenge to make something using products included in the hamper they sent me. I wanted to […]

Brownies!!

Brownies!!

Earlier this year I attended Food Blogger Connect, an annual gathering of foodies who blog held in London. Aside from learning and networking we get a fantastic goodie bag to take home. One of the items in this year’s was cocoa powder from Mortimer Chocolate […]

Feeding My Addiction With The Atlantic Blanket Co

Feeding My Addiction With The Atlantic Blanket Co

My name is Heidi and I love blankets! There I have said it
out loud!! I love soft cuddly blankets and big warm comforting ones. I like
home knitted blankets and hand woven ones. 

I take my ‘at the moment’ favourite blanket with me if we
travel by car and pine for it when we fly away to some far away location.

As we entered the marquee for the Falmouth Oyster Festival recently,
my eye caught the charity raffle display. It wasn’t the case of Skinners beer
or the meal for two at a local restaurant but the beautiful blanket by Atlantic
Blankets that got my attention.

Atlantic Blankets are a collection of blankets (funny that!)
all made by crafts people along the Atlantic coast of Britain.

 “…Soft, warm, luxurious and practical, in a mouth watering range of colours and textures, our top quality products will provide you with years of delight and scores of special memories…” (from their website)

My blanket is too pretty to unwrap but then I could just sit
and gaze at it and stroke it occasionally!

Jonty, my Bichon Frisee loves blankets and was only too keen
to try this one out with me!

If you have a look at their website you can see the designs
and sizes they have (they do a nice range in throws, nursery blankets and outdoor blankets too).
 
I’m just off to curl up with my new blanket!
 

 

Many thanks to Atlantic Blankets for my blanket. As usual I was not paid to write this and all opinions and photos are my own.

 
Falmouth, Cornwall – A Much Needed Long Weekend with Mr R

Falmouth, Cornwall – A Much Needed Long Weekend with Mr R

I hadn’t been to Cornwall since 1982, a very long time ago! I was invited to review the Falmouth Oyster Festival recently. Although it is quite a long way to go for us, Mr R and I needed a break away and decided to make […]

Fantastic Food For Less – Win a Copy

Fantastic Food For Less – Win a Copy

I have been sent a copy of a cook book called Fantastic Food for Less. This book is from DairyDiary. It is suitable for vegetarians, freezing and loaded with hints and tips for easy recipes that don’t cost the earth (literally with lots of ideas […]

Big Al’s BBQ Ribs – a North Carolina Treat

Big Al’s BBQ Ribs – a North Carolina Treat

 I visited my sister in her new home in North Carolina for the first time this summer and was looking forward to all the treats she had in store for me that she had been telling me about.

“They are the best ribs around” she said and that we would get some one night for dinner.
We stopped at Big Al’s on our way home and ordered three racks of ribs.  I was thinking that three racks might not be enough for us so I persuaded her to get a fourth rack. I was thinking along UK racks of ribs.  I certainly wasn’t expecting to see such huge racks of meat and wasn’t ready for the flavour.  The meat just fell off the bone it was so tender. Oh the flavour!!

You can order BBQ Pork or Brisket that just melts in your mouth, ribs or chicken and a Southern favourite of Fried Catfish fillets!  They have side orders of exotics to us Northerners like Fried Okra, Collard Greens and Hush Puppies.

Whilst we were waiting for our order we were looking over the extensive range of sauces to take home (you fill a small container of a couple) a nice gentleman started to talk to us about the sauce range.  My sister said that was Big Al himself.

We chatted about his business and he invited me into the kitchen to see the pork that was slowly cooking, ready for the following day.

A huge oven/smoker which opened up to reveal its precious contents which cook for hours till the meat falls off the bones. This was a consignment of pork shoulder.

When I got back to the UK and told Mr R about Big Al’s he said he had just watched the television programme ‘Man-vs-Food’ and it had featured Big Al and his ribs!

Big Al gave me a bottle of one of his sauces to take home promising me it wasn’t “a real hot one”! I think I will open it with my son-in-law just in case it is too hot for me!

I am looking forward to taking Mr R to Big Al’s when we visit my sister again.

You can find Big Al on Twitter and Facebook

I was not paid to write this and as usual all opinions and photos are my own.

 

 
Malaysia Night in Trafalgar Square

Malaysia Night in Trafalgar Square

When I woke up the other morning I knew very little about Malaysian food except my perception that it would blow your socks off!! I knew that it used a lot of lime, ginger, chilli and coconut milk but not much more I love flavour and warmth in […]