James Martin – Home Comforts

I have been watching a lot of telly this week as I have been laid up with a cold.

Thanks to modern technology I can watch what I want and when I want – and having recorded Home Comforts, Saturday Kitchen and Operation Hospital Food, I have been able to see a lot of James Martin. And that is not a bad thing.

Feeling better today, I actually cooked for the first time in five days. Inspired by James, this was breakfast in bed.  DSCN0668

And this was Sunday supper.DSCN0671 DSCN0672

The Best Crackling EVER.

The recipes can be found here. Yes, even for the bacon buttie. 🙂

And don’t you just love my vintage plates?

And if you are a regular reader you will know that I have cooked with James Martin.

Have you ever cooked with a TV chef?

One week into the live on £53 a week challenge

After no shopping at all on Monday, which helped to balance the spendy weekend, basics were needed today.

Air freshner  £          2.39
Stain remover  £          2.49
Toilet roll x 6  £          3.50
Cat food  £          2.39
Sausages  £          1.99
Cheese  £          2.29
bread  £          0.99
pizza  £          0.99
Cereal  £          1.09
olive oil  £          2.19
butter  £          0.98
milk  £          2.00
 £        23.29

I have made a mousakka using up the onions and aubergines I got at the market on Saturday and some lamb from the freezer. All other ingredients such as garlic, cinnamon, flour, eggs and milk I already had. I have enough of the the meat mixture for a meal another day and found a pack of puff pastry in the freezer which had been reduced from £1.64 to 41p so it will be Greek pie for supper another day. The total for the ingredients for two suppers feeding 3 adults came to just under £6, factoring in that the eggs are from the chickens I keep. The DS doesn’t like mousakka (sigh) so the sausages are for him, to be served with mash and veg left over from the weekend, all ingredients are including in the costing.


Today I have eaten one egg, and drank only water. I am still ill hence the small appetite. That will change I am sure but I am enjoying the weight loss, and I am really not hungry. Left over pasta and home made soup has sustained the rest of the family. Foodwise it has been quite a cheap day. I did not have to shop at all to feed us today, just utilised left overs, storecupboard and fridge staples and delved into the freezer. With supper and lunches and breakfast it has cost about £5.50 to feed us all, which is £1.83 per person.


Cooking mousakka brings back happy memories: of the prize I won, cooking with James Martin for blogging about my favourite holiday food, and my first trip as a student to Greek Islands discovering new food. You never forget your first mousakka. I use  a Delia Smith recipe, which is wonderful, always salting then rinsing the aubergine which removes all bitterness, and gallons of olive oil to cook them in, of course.

It did occur to me today that maybe we are not eating enough fruit and veg. The bananas have gone a bit brown so I will make a cake with those tomorrow.This seems to happen all the time, even though I always buy them as green as I can. I read a tip to stop this happening, which is to put cling film over the stalk bit, to make them last longer. And while we have lots of veg on Sunday, mostly I seem to eat onions, peppers and tinned tomatoes.

I have set myself two targets this week, incorporate more fruit and veg into the diet and workout how much our bills are weekly. I love spreadsheets so this isn’t a chore and I already have a monthly budget plan listing all our expenditure. I just don’t look at it enough and this exercise has made me think I really need to. Eating more fruit and veg may be a bit more of a challenge!

Any tips to incorporate more healthy options for a family that doesn’t like many vegetables and some veggie recipes that carnivores may like are, as ever, very welcome.

Cooking with James Martin


This gallery contains 16 photos.

So I won a blogging competition. On Facebook, with Thomas Cook. I don’t enter many competitions, but I’d been on a blogging course and thought why not? After all it combined the two loves of my life, travel and food. … Continue reading