Forgetful With Success

I am quite familiar with having to ‘wing it’ as far as cooking goes, normally to my lack of preparation when it comes to ingredients. Last week I pulled a gammon joint out of the freezer and set it defrosting in the fridge however I promptly forgot about it until the day I had planned to make it.

When I saw “slow-cooked gammon” on my kitchen chalk board (The only way I can actually stick to a meal-plan) I rolled my eyes at myself as at 4pm on a Sunday with the shops shut there was no time to amend a recipe let alone actually use the 8 hour cooking recipe I had intended (add gammon to slow cooker, pour in contents of can of chopped pineapple and let it have at it).

So, with the need to cook the darn thing anyway I popped it into a pot of water and decided to settle for boiled ham. This particular joint didn’t have any skin to make crackling, neither did we have any honey for a glaze … *sigh*

Once it was cooked and I began on the other accompaniments, the Husbat flowed into the kitchen as some kind of culinary savior and started rummaging in the fridge and pulled out … a jar of sweet chili jam!

Yes, sweet chili JAM!

(Well … it is described as jelly but the seems to be to cater to international visitors … for me jelly goes with ice cream, not gammon)

I had purchased this from a National Trust gift shop at a castle we went to on a trip down south last summer (which I still need to post about here at some point!) but had completely forgotten about it, as with so many other things I buy. It was very nice and I am pleased that it can be purchased online from the National Trust web-shop.

Hubby then proceeds to score the top of the joint, grab a spoon from the drawer and empty half of the jar onto the unsuspecting lump of gammon! Needless to say I was bit surprised. My husband, while able to follow a recipe to the letter to create really nice meals, is not normally comfortable when I go off spec so this was something very new!

Into the oven it went for 20 or so minutes while I finished the rest of the meal. After removing the meat and letting it rest we took a tentative sample of the sweet chili glazed gammon … and it is quite possibly the nicest piece of gammon I have ever tried in my life!

The saltiness of the meat took away countered just enough of the sweetness in the chili so that it wasn’t overpowering and the slight heat from the chili worked amazingly well. Add in top a couple of slices of seared pineapple and it was quite possibly one of the best meals we have ever come up with! We at the whole thing between the two of us (which meant I have no leftovers for my lunch today, but oh well)!

The problem …

I forgot to take a photo.





The Last Of The Freezer Meals!

We are now on week 3 of Operation Use-What-We-Have-In-The-Freezer and the light is finally at the end of the tunnel. Most of the ‘main meal’ type things such as the endless number of chicken goujons, the beef burgers, the dices meats and bags after bags of potato products have all been consumed resulting a lot of nicely usable (and reorganisable) freezer space. The “sides” drawer is still full and the frozen veg has been topped up but pother than that it seems to be a success. On the cards this week is …


Yesterday we had roast lamb joint with new potatoes and fine beans with a mint gravy. Now … it seems lamb and I do not get on and it was an over-cooked stringy monstrosity which meant that, as the meal was one of my husbands favorites and was supposed to be a cheer-up-glum-husband meal, it crashed and burned spectacularly. I think in the future I will stick to lamb shanks that you cook in a bag … Oh well.. onward and upwards


Today I have Zumba class after work so I know I’m not going to have a massive appetite but will still want something to help recover from the energy drain. It may not be the healthiest of summer meals but tonight is a smoked bacon Quiche Loraine with a side salad and crusty bread. I’m avoiding having chips with it this time to try and keep fat levels down even a little bit.


Time for the last supplies of an all time favorite – IKEA meatballs and mash with lingonberry sauce and IKEA gravy. It goes down perfectly every time and we have just enough in the freezer to feed the two of us and clear more space without it being too big of a meal.


Sweet chili chicken with jasmine rice. These two things have been sitting in the freezer for weeks now, both purchased from the “still fresh” isle at the supermarket where they have all of the reduced items. that would make this meal an absolute bargain for the both of us, I just hope the flavors compliment each other …


Wifey’s day off. This is the day where it’s a take-out or bust! Or at a pinch something like a bung-in-the-oven fresh pizza from the local supermarket, something the husband can cook without too much difficulty.

Weekends are normally a bit of a “wing it” affair as it really does depend on what we have had to do that day as to what we feel like having for tea at the end of the day. All in all this has been a success as we have managed to get a lot of the long term stored food eaten and also saved quite a bit of money while doing so! Success all round I think (except for the lamb).

New Favorite Kitchen Gadget

Note to self: Learn how to take better looking photos of food.

Trust me, this meal tasted a whole lot better than it looks!


The Spiralizer I recently purchased is turning out to be a massive success! The most recent use of my new favorite kitchen gadget was for this. We had a lovely meal of whole-tail scampi and king prawns with chips and veg mix. Again, it tasted way better than it looks here!

For the veg I used the thin noodle blade on the Spiralizer on a carrot and the chunky stem of broccoli. I’d never before considered using the whole stem before and right now I shudder to think of the amount of perfectly good broccoli I just threw away! I also used a few floretts of the broccoli and put the whole lot in a wok with a little chili oil to give it a kick and some soy sauce (hence the dark colour of the veg.

A few minutes of stir frying for the veg to get an al-dente crunch to it and voila! The best thing is that cooking the veg this way retains all of the nutrients that would otherwise leech out when being boiled.

I think this sort of thing is going to become a theme at our house!

Wishing For Automatic Organisation

I wish there was a way to organizing various aspects of your life automatic. I am currently on a mission to reduce the amount of food we waste as much as possible following a frankly embarrassing clear out of stored food over the last two weekends.

I started my mission by simply pulling everything out of our freezers and cupboards and throwing away everything that was past any conceivable safe use date as well as anything that had been accidentally stored incorrectly (one horror story involved a container of rice that has somehow taken on moisture … not a pretty sight). I then made a list of everything I put back and made sure everything was organised into specific drawers/shelves.

I printed out the list to attach to the front of each storage location and crossed off/added items as and when. This has allowed me to keep a close grip on what we actually have in to cook. My plan for next weekend is to organise all of my recipe books, clippings and print-outs and try and get some semblance of organisation to those too. It’s very easy to see why this is a job that I have so often overlooked, it is surprisingly difficult to get a new organisational structure started, let alone have it flowing in an optimal way. Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a magic button I could just push and POOF! Everything would be nice and neat and organised and, most importantly, locatable!

I am hoping that this will also help my husband manage his blood sugar levels a little better as he would be able to look at a list and see exactly what we have available instead of reaching for some chocolate if his sugar levels drop a little too much. Type 1 diabetes combined with an unruly and cluttered store cupboard mean that the easy option has often been the only option.

Simple Things In Life

A majority of us in the western world are materialistic, whether we like to admit it or not. We value material objects to the point where we feel we could not function without them. We use objects as a way of competing with each other or impressing each other. We also use objects to make ourselves reel better or to cheer ourselves up. This trait causes us to miss out on the simple things in life and is only a temporary fix for deeper issues.

I myself have fallen victim to this so many times! I’m a “retail therapy” kind of girl however I don’t head down to the high street when I’m feeling a bit blue, I head to eBay. Constant access to the internet is a very dangerous thing! Especially when this includes the ability to look up items on my phone during a looooong quiet shift at work. I constantly try to remind myself that it’s the simple things in life that can give a person the most pleasure, but I keep on slipping back into the materialistic money pit and end up buying something I either don’t really need or will never use.

Today, I have bought yet another kitchen gadget. A couple of years ago I purchased a juicer with the intention of using it as often as possible to try and increase the variety in my diet. My husband (then boyfriend) and I used it once and then put it into the deepest darkest kitchen cupboard we could find. While the orange and mango juice it made was very nice, the two small glasses of juice the appeared from the spout of the machine did not in any way justify the amount of time it took to then clean the machine. The inability to use a dishwasher added to the problem and we both chalked it up to a failed experiment and never touched the thing again. (I really should get round to selling it)

Today, I have bought a Spiralizer.

I have been aware of these things for a long time but only really in relation to things like “zoodles” so I had believed that options for this gadget were somewhat limited. However, I recently stumbled over some recipes online where people have used these things on sweet potato and so on. So I get to my usual researching, I read reviews and trials, I watched youtube videos from people using the machines and then settled on one model. I checked on Amazon and the one I liked was showing as being £19.99 reduced from £49.99. Bargain! however, I like to try and be a bit more savvy than that, so I hopped over to eBay and found the exact same model, new and in box, listed as an unwanted Christmas present for £8.99 including delivery. Now that’s what I call a bargain!

So I will shortly be able to make tiny ribbons and spirals out of all manner of fruit and veg … I just need to make sure I use the darn thing. In one way though, it may help us to be better equipped to enjoying small things in life as it will be perfect for making picnic salads to take out to the park with our dog!

I will post a follow up of how well the thing works once it has been tried and tested.