There is nothing like coming home to a hot dinner!

On Sundays we very often get out for a good walk and this week was no exception. It has been so cold, but luckily it warmed up a bit and the wind died down. Mr S woke up with a headache so we decided a bit of sea air would do him good and headed off to Brightlingsea.

 It’s a pretty little place and worth a visit if you are ever in Essex. It has a nice shallow paddling area for small children in the summer and an actual lido – very bracing!! It being the middle of winter, we resisted the urge to dive into the icy waters. Instead, we did a nice circular walk along the sea wall, up to the church and then back into the town. It wasn’t too far as Mr S was still feeling a bit fragile. I think we did about three and a half miles.

 On days like this the slow cooker comes into its own. When I got up I made a big beef and mushroom stew. I hardly ever use a recipe for this kind of meal. I browned the meat with some onions and celery, then added carrots, a tin of tomatoes, chopped mushrooms, beef stock cubes, some herbs and a little water and chucked it all in. It smelled wonderful when we got home. All I had to do was make a big pile of mash to go with it – delish, and really easy. I made enough for Monday as well, feeding me, Mr S, his mum and my no 3 daughter. I stretched the beef with a lot of vegetables, but it was excellent value anyway from Lidl.

 I really must use my slow cooker more often – they are such a worthwhile investment and cost pennies to run.

I wasn’t surprised at how many people made positive comments on the Tightwad Gazette the other day. I really envy those who subscribed to the original newsletters. I wish I had known about them in the early nineties when I had my first house and my first child! I would have avoided so many mistakes.

I am still finding interesting new blogs and websites via Twitter. One I have just discovered is Montana Money Adventures. The link will take you to an article called Do the Unnecessarily Difficult Things, which I found fascinating. I tend to do everything in moderation so this approach would be challenging, yet made a lot of sense. Have a read and see what you think!

15 thoughts on “There is nothing like coming home to a hot dinner!

  1. Love my slow cooker! I try to use it at least a couple of times a week and I often use it to make a rice pudding in – delicious.

  2. I’m thinking of getting one when we move, never needed one when we had free heat on the Rayburn but think it will be useful although stew isn’t one of our favourite things but I suppose I can get a recipe book and see how to do things like spag bol sauce?

  3. I’m glad you liked it! It’s great to add just one little thing at a time. It helps build the grit to do other big things. And I also love the crock pot! Especially in the winter. =) Thanks for the shout out!

  4. I use my slow cooker all the time, today is the third day in a row that dinner’s been cooked in mine. I actually have 3 cookers, 2 x 3.5 litre and a 6.5 litre. I currently have liver and onions in one and mashed potatoes in another. Yesterday was Pork Goulash in one and Jacket potatoes in the other. I also make a mean rice pudding with half evaporated milk and half semi-skimmed. Yummy.

  5. I think slow cookers are like Marmite … love ’em or hate ’em. I gave mine away. Everything I cooked in it came out tasting much the same. Indeed, you’d not have known whether it was beef, lamb or chicken. Maybe it was me, but I followed the recipes on various cookery books for slow cookers and still everything was much the same and we didn’t like it. I have a great double oven, a Neff circotherm, and wouldn’t be without that (I wouldn’t want a range cooker as I don’t want to have to get down almost on all fours to get a casserole or joint out of the oven) and we don’t have a microwave, never wanted one. Maybe I should’ve tried a bit longer with it, but I reckoned life was too short, and my food from my Neff oven tastes delicious so I think the moral of the tale here is, if you get on with slow cookers and produce good, tasty food, that’s fine, If not, like me, get rid of it/them.
    Margaret P

    • Hi Margaret, I use my slow cooker from time to time but have to agree – I too think everything tastes the same! Last year I was cooking chicken chaser for 12 and for reasons of over space I did half in the oven and half in the slow cooker. I couldn’t believe how different they tasted! The oven version was tastier and the different elements could be tasted. The slow cooker version made the chicken, the mushrooms and the shallots all taste alike.

      What I now use it for is to keep things warm during a meal. It was great for the gravy on Christmas Day. I have also used it to keep custard hot.

  6. Going back to the Tightwad Gazette, there are youtube videos of Amy including an update here

    There were 6 issues of the newsletter that were written after the 3rd book so the topics covered were not published anywhere except in those newsletters. I have these 6 issues and if I can find a way to scan them on to a disc I’d be happy to pass them on – I’m really not sure of the technicals involved here so I’m not going to promise to do this until I’ve tried it.

    Lastly, did you know that she used to have an open house one day a month where you got to meet the family, see the house and chat?

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