Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips

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Pieday Friday – Creamy corn soup recipe

I have to admit – this week’s Pieday Friday recipe isn’t my own. My friend Sophie, who has her own blog La Vie Sophie, shared this recipe back in 2015. It seemed almost too simple, but when I tried making it for myself I was amazed at just how easy it was to make a creamy corn soup that tasted great and contained no dairy at all. I’ve been making it ever since and now I just can’t keep it to myself anymore. So how did Sophie get the creaminess into the soup without adding dairy? It’s all down the three (yes, just three) ingredients in this recipe… Sweetcorn, stock and spaghetti. It’s the pasta that gives it the creaminess, that’s all there is to it. It’s healthy and tasty, and can be made with just a few ingredients that you probably already have at home. And if you pick up a pack of 25p spaghetti and a 40p tin of sweetcorn from the supermarket, this is a pretty low-cost lunch too! Of course, you could use fresh sweetcorn too – and you can experiment with veggie or chicken stock to vary the recipe a little – just give it a try and see what you prefer. If you’d like to make this meal for yourself here’s the link to the creamy corn soup recipe on Sophie’s blog, which gives you all the measurements, method and timings. And here are my pics of the process when I made this soup for lunch on Wednesday this week.

Sophie’s recipe calls for half of the soup to be blended and half to be left as it is. This gives you little noodles in the soup and less thick texture. But I’ve tried blending the whole pan of soup in the past and I really liked how creamy it turned out – plus, it soaked into the bread I was dipping into my bowl perfectly! I’m using the MX-ZX1800 Panasonic blender to whizz up my soup and it takes only seconds to blitz the whole batch of soup.

I used the pulse setting to start with, so that the sweetcorn and pasta would start to break down easily. When it started to look creamy, I turned up the blending function to whizz it into a really super-smooth texture. The thing is that I’m not actually much of a fan of tinned sweetcorn (love it fresh on the cob though!) so I like to make sure that all the sweetcorn kernels are completely blended before eating.

This blender can take hot or cold foods but some others can’t have hot liquids in them, so be sure to check and you might need to cook this in advance and let it cool down before you can blend it. Thankfully, the Panasonic blender is fine with hot liquids so I could cook, blend and dish up my lunch in a matter of minutes. When you’re as hungry as I am, speed is a bonus! Just a touch of salt and pepper is all that’s needed to finished off this dish – although I’ve found that a sprinkling of my favourite smoked paprika is a delicious addition too!

What do you think of Sophie’s recipe? Have you made any soups with pasta before? I hope you’ll have a look around Sophies blog and have a read of her fantastic posts and recipes. And I hope you enjoy your healthy yet creamy corn soup lunch!

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Pieday FriYAY – Energy boosting mocha smoothie

The summer holidays are drawing to an end and all that’s left is happy memories of melting ice cream, collecting shells, splashing in the sea, fish ‘n’ chips lunches, breezy promenades and fluffy candy floss on the pier. Yes, I have to admit that I’ve indulged a little too much during August, but haven’t we all? I blame ‘holiday spirit’ for encouraging us to wave thoughts of healthy eating aside as we buy a bag of sugary donuts from the beach kiosk and tuck into a full English breakfast in the hotel. If this sounds like you, I’ve got an easy way to get back on the healthy-eating wagon and it all starts with breakfast…healthy breakfast recipe inspiration friyay smoothie oats coffee latte banana chocolate-16 healthy breakfast recipe inspiration friyay smoothie oats coffee latte banana chocolate-20After needing to kick-start my healthy habits after a summer of indulgence I’ve come up with a quick and easy recipe for a breakfast smoothie. It can be prepared the night before (which gives the oats plenty of time to soak) or whizzed up in the morning. Take it with you on your commute to work or – if you’re feeling particularly enthusiastic – enjoy it after an early morning gym visit. It’s the perfect breakfast to fill you up without feeling stodgy and the caffeine from the coffee gives you a boost of energy, so it’s a great brunch treat too. Start your day with a healthy treat that feels rich and indulgent because this recipe contains everything you need to #MakeItAYayDay; bananas, soaked oats, coffee, almond milk, cacao and ice.healthy breakfast recipe inspiration friyay smoothie oats coffee latte banana chocolate-15healthy breakfast recipe inspiration friyay smoothie oats coffee latte banana chocolateIngredients (serves 1): One ripe banana, 100g oats soaked in around 200g almond milk (or normal milk if you prefer), a spoonful of cacao powder, 1 cup of Emmi CAFFÈ LATTE Strong Macchiato or Skinny Iced Coffee, a handful of ice.

  1. Soak the oats in the milk until they are softened and the milk has thickened. This should take about 30 mins in the morning, or you can soak the oats overnight.

  2. Add a ripe banana before sprinkling in a spoonful of cacao powder to your preferred taste.

  1. Throw in a handful of ice and pour over a cup of Emmi CAFFÈ LATTE Strong Macchiato or Skinny Iced Coffee if you prefer.
  1. Whizz all the ingredients together in a blender until smooth.

If you’ve got an early start in the morning you could prepare your breakfast smoothie in advance and keep it in the fridge ready to grab-and-go. Simply blend all the ingredients together but skip the ice as this will make the smoothie too watery if left overnight. The oats don’t need to be pre-soaked in this instance, you can put them into the smoothie dry. They will soak in the coffee and milk overnight and will be soft by the morning, ready to make any day a yay day for you!

Let me know if you have a go at making this energy-boosting breakfast smoothie yourself and I’d love to hear more ideas of ingredients to add to my morning oat smoothie so please get in touch by leaving me a comment below. And please tag me in your Instagram photos @cassiefairy with the hashtag #MakeItAYayDay so that I can check out your own breakfast smoothies and ideas for ingredients.




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Healthy Sunday brunch recipe – Fruity soaked oats

Sunday is the one day of the week when you don’t necessarily have to be up early, you’ve got nowhere to be rushing off to and you can take your time chilling out at home all morning long. For me, it’s my brunch day. I eat pretty much the same thing for breakfast every other day of the week, but Sunday is the day that I take more time over my food and come up with something a little different. It the day of the week when eating breakfast in bed is 100% acceptable, and enjoying a bowl of something on your lap in front of TV is perfectly fine. If you can’t have a little fun with your breakfast on a Sunday, when can you??sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-7This week I’ve been blinging up my usual soaked-oats breakfast with some delicious fresh toppings. Here’s a little step-by-step of what I added to my overnight oats to make my healthy breakfast a little more exciting this Sunday morning:sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-8

  1. Soak your oats in milk for at least an hour, or overnight if you like to plan ahead.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe
  2. Peel and slice a fresh kiwi and layer around the edge of the bowl. I’ve used a Zespri SunGold yellow flesh kiwi to add a different colour to my usual bowl of oats.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-2
  3. Slice up plenty of in-season strawberries and add to the bowl beside the kiwis.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-3
  4. Drizzle an arc of golden honey around the bowl.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-4

5. Sprinkle on some good-for-you seeds – I’ve chosen some honey seeds from Munchy Seeds for my recipe but you could use any seeds that you like to add a little crunch to the dish.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-5You may remember that I’ve blogged some other breakfast recipes including my French toast waffles, a healthier breakfast wrap and an on-the-go breakfast smoothie recipe. I also wrote all about how cereal can improve your health earlier this week. So I think you can gather than I place a lot of importance on breakfast!sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-9 sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-7Sunday is definitely the day of the week to try out something different so let me know what you would do to jazz up your breakfast on the weekends by leaving me a comment below.

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Pieday Friday – A weekend breakfast treat: French toast waffles

Weekends for me are precious. It’s not because I’m working in a job I hate all week long – far from it, I love my work – it’s simply the fact that the world seems to slow down for a couple of days. Weeks whizz by and there never seems to be enough hours in the day but weekends bring a wonderful break from the madness of day-to-day life. It’s the potential that those two days hold that I love so much about weekends. They can be filled with oodles of fun activities, you’ve got time to see friends and, if you want, it can be two whole days of complete relaxation to recharge your batteries before starting another crazy week.birds eye breakfast waffles eggy bread french toast fruit breakfast brunch recipe-10birds eye breakfast waffles eggy bread french toast fruit breakfast brunch recipe-9Sunday is also the only day of the week that I actually sit down to have a ‘proper’ breakfast and can enjoy cooking up a treat for the family. My daily bowl of bran flakes is cast aside as Sunday brunch comes calling. Hubby and I like to try out different brunches each weekend, and have been cooking up pancakes, full English breakfasts and lots and lots of eggs over the past few weeks. Again, this is probably the only day of the week that I eat eggs, so I like to incorporate them into my cooked breakfast each Sunday.birds eye breakfast waffles eggy bread french toast fruit breakfast brunch recipe-13 birds eye breakfast waffles eggy bread french toast fruit breakfast brunch recipe-11I love eggs and it’s definitely the season for it – my mum’s bantam hens are laying eggs like there’s no tomorrow. We’ve got about a dozen it the fridge at any one time and, other than in baking, we rarely get to use them up. Except for on Sundays. Whether scrambled, boiled, fried or poached, eggs are the ideal lazy breakfast food. They’re good for you, are a low-cost way to fill up your rumbling stomach and even come self-packaged in their shells!birds eye breakfast waffles eggy bread french toast fruit breakfast brunch recipe-3 birds eye breakfast waffles eggy bread french toast fruit breakfast brunch recipe-4Last weekend I using my eggs in a different way and thought I’d share this with you so that you can recreate it yourself this weekend. I made eggy waffles. Like eggy-breads, or French toast, but instead of dipping a slice of bread into the egg mixture I dipped a cooked waffle. How does that sound? It’s bloomin’ delicious, I can tell you! You end up with something like a cross between a donut and French bread – or if you use cinnamon waffles, you get a cinnamon Danish effect. It’s the ultimate base on which to stack lots of healthy berries, sliced fruit and yoghurt if you’re feeling hungry! Here’s how I did it: Continue reading “Pieday Friday – A weekend breakfast treat: French toast waffles” »

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Pieday Friday – Ultimate KFC (Korean Fried Chicken)

Today’s recipe is an extract from the fantastic new cookbook Korean Food Made Simple by Judy Joo. The traditional recipe for Yangnyum Chicken is the Korean version of good ol’ KFC so I thought it would be fun to share this recipe with you today while I’m away on my half-term holidays. What a fun ‘takeaway’ recipe to try out this weekend! Here’s Judy’s recipe:KMFS Ultimate KFC p167I have always loved fried chicken. But even though I grew up eating it in America, for me, ‘KFC’ stands for Korean fried chicken. There are many different versions, but what they all have in common is a very thin, hard crisp coating, which comes from using cornflour instead of flour, as well as double frying. My take on the dish, which includes vodka and matzo meal, is a little unorthodox and has a fair number of ingredients, but I call it ‘ultimate’ for a reason. Two things make it even better: its customary accompaniment of Cubed Pickled Radish and ice-cold beer.

Recipe serves 4

Coating: 30 g (1 oz) cornflour, 2½ tsp sea salt, ½ tsp baking powder, Freshly ground black pepper, 2 chicken drumsticks, 2 thighs and 4 wings (with tips), Vegetable oil, for frying

BBQ Sauce: 3 tbsp Korean chilli paste (gochujang), 3 tbsp ketchup, 2 tbsp dark brown sugar, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil, 2 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger, 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped

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Pieday Friday – Gennaro’s recipe for garlic mushroom tagliatelle

I tried out this recipe for the first time this week and – oh my goodness – it’s just too good NOT to share. With two packs of mushrooms in my fridge and packet of pasta in the cupboard I was struggling to come up with idea for my midweek dinner. That is, until I stumbled across Gennaro’s recipe on the Bertolli site. Garlic? Check! Parsley? Check! Vegetable stock? Check! Yes, I had everything I needed to make this meal and I was going to give it a go. Here’s how I got on…gennaro contaldo garlic mushroom tagliatelle recipe-2Having picked up a pack of Bertolli with Butter for the first time ever (it was on offer in Asda last week) I was pleased when I found out that the brand have collaborated with Gennaro Contaldo to create a collection of pasta recipes. My favourite meal in the world is anything containing pasta and my favourite chef of all time is Gennaro. Here’s a photo of me tickling him when we met at Jimmy’s Farm Sausage Festival last year! What a lovely guy – and a seriously talented chef to boot. So of course I was drawn straight to the recipe section on the Bertolli website and wanted to find out which of Gennaro’s delicious Italian recipes I could recreate at home.

Having overloaded on mushrooms during my weekly shop – I’d bought button mushrooms and a punnet of normal mushrooms too – I wanted to use them up while they were still really fresh. Honestly, there’s probably no better way to use up mushrooms than with Gennaro’s tagliatelle recipe with garlic mushrooms. The addition of Bertolli with Butter creates a really silky sauce – it’s buttery and smooth yet has a distinctive taste of olive-oil, resulting in a very Italian-tasting dish. Here’s how to make it:garlic mushroom tagliatelle recipe ingredients bertolli

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Pieday Friday – Pack a picnic + my ‘cheese crunch’ sandwich recipe

It must be the slighter sunnier weather, or perhaps the impending Easter holidays, that has got me thinking about days out, picnics and flasks full of tea. In fact, I went on my first picnic of the year yesterday lunchtime and, after all these dark winter months of eating lunch indoors, it was so lovely to get outside and enjoy a meal in the sunshine. Okay, there was a bit of a brisk wind, but with the sun on my back I really didn’t feel the chill. I was enjoying stuffing my face with sarnies too much to care! picnic inspiration sandwich recipe ideas easter summer spring-15picnic inspiration sandwich recipe ideas easter summer spring ingredientspicnic inspiration sandwich recipe ideas easter summer spring-5Last summer my husband and went on lots of picnics. We didn’t have a holiday away so we took day trips around the local area – never venturing much further than an hour’s drive away – and packed up a cool-bag full of treats for each adventure. I love a sandwich wrapped in foil. I enjoy piercing the top of my carton of drink with a pointy straw. And an apple always seems to taste better when munched outdoors. Coupled with exploring new places (and seeing what fantastic conversation work is going on in British parks, country homes, military museums and along the coast) a picnic is one of my favourite ways to spend a day.

So today’s Pieday Friday blog post is a simple one: I’m sharing my all-time favourite sandwich recipe. It’s based on the sandwiches we used to buy at the start of every journey we took from university to home. There’s a service station where we join the M6 to travel to Suffolk, and we stopped there every time to fill up with fuel and stock up on sandwiches. Ever had a service station ‘cheese crunch’ sandwich? They are THE BEST. Perhaps I love them so much because I associate them with a journey home to see my family. Or perhaps it’s the sheer cheesiness. I can’t decide.

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Pieday Friday – Healthy pastry-free quiche

Today’s Pieday Friday recipe is so simple that I can’t believe I’ve not baked it before. Considering that quiche is one of my most-loved dishes of all time, I am astounded that I’ve never tried to create a healthy alternative. When I’m being especially ‘good’ with my food choices, I tend to just eliminate quiche altogether, despite it containing lots of the good stuff; vegetables, eggs, dairy and ham. I realised that the only part of a quiche that I’m trying to avoid while making healthy choices is the pastry, so this week I decided to do something about that!pieday friday recipe pastry-free quiche healthy snack hack lunch dinner-2 pieday friday recipe pastry-free quiche healthy snack hack lunchpieday friday recipe pastry-free quiche healthy snack hack lunch dinner-4I considered using bread as ‘cups’ to fill with my quiche filling but I don’t get on particularly well with bread either (I can eat it but the bloating is no fun afterwards!) and I considered doing away with any kind of case altogether, until I realised that this would just be a tortilla (which I love to eat cold in the summer – here’s my recipe) or an omelette. I wanted something more ‘main meal’ than that! So what else could I use instead of pastry to hold my eggy filling? I opened the fridge (as I always do when looking for inspiration) and I realised that I already had the ideal quiche ‘case’ in my salad drawer. Peppers!pieday friday recipe pastry-free quiche healthy snack hack lunch-4 pieday friday recipe pastry-free quiche healthy snack hack lunch-3I couldn’t actually believe I’d never tried it before. Surely a scooped out pepper would be the ideal vessel to bake my quiche filling in? I’d never roasted peppers whole before so I didn’t know how soft they would go in the time it took for the egg to set; the whole thing could have become a big mushy mess for all I knew. But nonetheless, I wanted to try it out because if it worked I’d be able to continue eating healthily while enjoying one of my favourite treats. Here are the ingredients I used to make 6 portions (one half-pepper per person):pieday friday recipe pastry-free quiche healthy snack hack lunch-2

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Pieday Friday – Warming oxtail soup recipe for autumn

This week the weather started to feel decidedly autumnal. We’ve had a couple of very cold mornings – I can’t quite say frosty… yet! – and the leaves have been dropping in the garden. I’ve been craving more hot meals and, in particular, soups at lunchtime. We cooked up a tasty chicken soup last week using the roast-dinner leftovers and this week I picked up a marked-down oxtail portion at the supermarket and set my mind to making something I’ve never tried before; a beefy oxtail soup.Pieday Friday Autumn Oxtail Soup Recipe-9Without any prior knowledge of how to cook oxtail at all I turned to Jamie Oliver for help. I found an oxtail stew recipe on his website and, even though it wasn’t the soup recipe I needed, I guessed that all the ingredients he used would create the best flavour combination with the oxtail. I therefore gathered together most of the ingredients, including thyme and rosemary from the herb garden, tomatoes picked from the greenhouse, carrots freshly dug up from the veggie patch and the onions we’d harvested a few weeks previously and dried out in the sun. I set to work turning the ingredients into a soup recipe, with a few additions of my own, and here’s what I came up with:Pieday Friday Autumn vegetables from the herb garden and veggie patch-2Pieday Friday Autumn Oxtail Soup RecipePieday Friday Autumn vegetables from the herb garden and veggie patchIngredients (serves 4): 750g oxtail, olive oil, 1 white onion, 1 red onion, 2 celery stalks, 2 carrots, a bouquet garnis made from thyme, rosemary and sage, 1 tablespoon of plain flour, 300g chopped tomatoes, 200ml IPA beer, 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce.

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