Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Cheap Budget Meal - Spinach and Ricotta Pasta

I will admit that this is not what I had planned to post this week. This was meant to be Spinach and Ricotta Lasagne.

However, I don't know about you, but in this heat the last thing I was is for the oven to be on for any length of time making the kitchen even hotter. So I have adapted this recipe so that I could just cook it on the hob without needing to cook in the oven.

This really is a tasty meal that all the family will love. My fussy 9 year old even had seconds!

Here is this week's Cheap Budget Meal recipe...

Spinach and Ricotta Pasta


500g spinach (£2)
250g ricotta (£1)
1 red onion, chopped (18p)
100g mini Portobello mushrooms, halved and sliced (50p)
300g pasta (29p per 500g bag)
75g mature cheddar cheese, grated (50p)
Olive oil
1/2tsp black pepper


1 - Cook the pasta as per instructions on the packet

2 - Place the spinach in a pan of boiling water and boil for 3 minutes then drain

3 - Heat 2 tsp of olive oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onions and mushrooms for 5 minutes

4 - Chop the spinach and add to the frying pan

5 - Mix in the ricotta and cook for 5 minutes stirring continuously to break down the ricotta into a smooth sauce

6 - Sprinkle in the black pepper and a little salt to taste

7 - Pour the spinach and ricotta over the cooked pasta and combine the ingredients together

8 - Transfer the pasta into an oven proof dish, top with the grated cheese and place under a high grill until the cheese has melted and it beginning to brown then serve

I made this meal for just £4.47, that is a great, budgeting 89p per serving and there is pasta remaining for another meal!

This is not only a cheap budget meal to make but is also a quick and easy meal that does not require standing at a hot oven for a long time. Perfect for a summers meal.

Enjoy x

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Chocolate, Lime and Courgette Cupcakes

Yes, you have read the title correct!

This recipe is for deliciously moist Chocolate, Lime and Courgette cakes. We have an abundance of homegrown courgettes at the moment so it was a perfect time to bake these lovely cupcakes.

Courgettes are a great addition to sponge cakes. They give the sponge a real moist texture that goes perfectly with chocolate and citrus flavours. Even if you don't like courgettes try these cakes! I have successfully got courgette haters to eat and enjoy these cakes!

This is what I did...

Chocolate, Lime and Courgette Cupcakes


150g baking spread/butter
150g caster sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
150g self raising flour
25g cocoa powder
100g courgette, grated
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime (half for the cakes and half for the frosting)
Chocolate buttons
150g soft full fat cheese
50g butter, at room temperature
350g icing sugar


Pre heat the oven to 180C fan

1 - Mix the spread and caster sugar together until light and creamy

2 - Mix in the eggs, one at a time along with a little flour to prevent curdling

3 - Add the courgettes, lime zest, half the lime juice, self raising flour and cocoa powder, mix until all of the ingredients are evenly combined

4 - Spoon the cake mixture into bun cases, you'll get between 12 - 15 cupcakes, depending on how big you make them

5 - Before placing the cupcakes in the oven place a chocolate button in the middle of the cake mixture

6 - Place in the middle of the pre heated oven and bake for 15 minutes

7 - Once thoroughly baked remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin

8 - Once the cakes have completely cooled prepare the frosting by mixing the butter and soft cheese together

9 - Gradually add the icing sugar and the remaining half of lime juice

10 - Pipe the frosting onto the buns and top with a piece of lime and a chocolate button

Enjoy x

I have to include the following pictures. Whilst I was taking my cake pictures, as I was finishing, Taylor popped his head and hand up. He scooped off a finger full of frosting, followed by licking some off. The kiddies love these cakes!

I am sharing my recipe with:

Honest Mum - Tasty Tuesdays
A Mummy Too - Recipe of the Week

Tasty Tuesdays on
Link up your recipe of the week

Alphabet Project - J

This weeks letter is J.

J could be two very special people in my life but one fits nicely into another letter so I am going to save him for then.

My J this week is...


Joseph is my first born and his arrival really did change my life. He calmed me down and made me look at how I was living my life. He brought me back home to my family in England after living abroad for 7 years. He did so much more for me than he'll even know.

He has adapted so well to the big changes in our lives. Meeting the hubby was a huge change that gave Joseph the Dad that he wished for. Then the transition going from a family of three to a family of five. This was a massive change for Joseph, having a new baby is always going to be big but he had too deal with twins! He has always taken everything in his stride and I am so very proud of him.

That is why my J has to be Joseph x

As always I am sharing my Alphabet Photo with the lovely PODcast - Alphabet Project