Saturday, 12 March 2016

Tweaks and Wins

Small but obvious changes we made this month - 

Dan has taken to working from home once a week so that saves on some laundry and saves on petrol. 

I found a recipe to replace the salt scrub I've been using on my face. It's not quite as lovely but it does the job and I already had all the ingredients in the bathroom or the pantry. I've switched back to bar soap rather than shower gel, it just lasts longer, and there's not much packaging.

I've been experimenting with the amount of washing powder, more than 2tbsp seems to leave residue in the drawer so I'm working with 2tbsp per load at the minute. Things seem clean and smell of powder so I'm happy with that. I have stopped buying surface cleaner and am using the steam cleaner to clean pretty much everything.

We have attempted most of the things on the make-not-buy food on the list, muesli, harissa, houmous, falafel, and hash. I'm tweaking away to get the perfect lentil soup and still want to make sweetcorn fritters, pitta, focaccia and stirfry sauce. There's always salad in the fridge involving whatever grains, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans we have at the time, it's nice to have something that's never the same twice. My mum bought us a bottle of balsamic vinegar for Christmas so we've been using that as salad dressing, along with the tahini dressing. I don't know why we waited to use the tahini, it's so nice! The houmous is exactly as I like it, chunky and without garlic, so it's probably more just a chickpea spread, but neither of us want to smell too much when we're around people all day at work.

On Friday I used some of the panko to make stuffed mushrooms and some more spices to make bombay potatoes, both recipes from Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast. Today I am making Island Black Bean Burgers and curry fries from Isa Does It, that should use most of the remaining panko. I'll find a way to use the rest in the next couple of weeks.

Used up so far this month - 

mango and chilli salsa
tahini sauce
lemon and thyme paste
basil olive oil
cumin seeds

still to go - 

sweet chilli dipping sauce 
frozen soya beans
disappointing gravy granules

I've also finished reading Invisible by Philip Ball, it was a great read, covering all manner of topics. I've ordered The City And The City from the library, it's mentioned in Invisible and sounds like a novel even I can read. Dan wanted to go to the library on Saturday so I decided to try The Spade As Mighty As The Sword, Daniel Smith which is about the Dig For Victory campaign during WWII.


  1. I'm giving myself until &:15 when hubs gets up for work to lounge with coffee and read blog posts, but I'll be coming back to yours to explore the links and recipes you've mentioned. Such creativity in the kitchen, and I like the idea of a chick pea spread. You've had lots of wins.

    1. Thanks, it's been a good month so far. Hope the links are of some interest.

  2. Replies
    1. It couldn't be easier! A tin of chickpeas, some lemon juice, tahini and olive oil blended together. A stick blender will do the job, you don't need anything fancy. You could even mash the chickpeas with a fork if you had to, it would just be more chunky.

      If you don't like or don't want to buy tahini you can just use chickpeas lemon juice and oil, blend them together and there you go. You can add garlic, cumin, chilli, paprika or anything else to flavour it too.

  3. I must try tahini dressing. I love balsamic on my salads.

    1. This one was really nice, we usually just buy a jar of tahini, but this was a ready mixed dressing, we bought it during a bout of shopping joy at Bury market. Creamy and delicious.