3 Flour Pizza Dough

Hi everybody,

I really fancied a pizza on Tuesday, but didn’t want to go to the shops for just that, so I decided to make a dough myself. It was such a hot day that I didn’t think it would take long to make the dough rise, I was right, it was ready when I came back from my run.

As we all know in the UK flour was highly in demand and I tend to buy it as soon as I see it, so I had some wholemeal flour I had never used before and I thought why not give it a try now Flo?

So I did!

INGREDIENTS

100g plain flour

100g bread flour

100g wholemeal flour

1 tbsp. olive oil

195ml warm, not hot, water

¾ tsp fast action dried yeast

MAKES ONE HUMUNGOUS PIZZA (I don’t believe in portion control) or 2 smaller pizzas

METHOD

Mix all the flours and yeast together

In a jug mix the water and oil

Add the water/oil mix to the flours/yeast and bring together

Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes

Add a tiny amount of olive oil to a mixing bowl, and mix it around the sides

Add the dough to the oil bowl, cover with a tea towel and wait for it to rise in a warm place

GOING FOR A RUN AT THIS POINT IS OPTIONAL BUT RECOMMENDED

After about an hour check to see if the dough has doubled in size, wait until it has

If it has then bring it back to your floured surface, knock back, and then roll into shape

I’ll admit I had what would very accurately be described as a large pizza so you could make a larger amount of small pizzas

Either way shape out and then decorate to your hearts content

Place on a baking tray in the oven and cook until it is how you like it

I tend to put it on about 200 degrees

Salmon Curry

Hi everybody,

I tend to get a little bit sad if I don’t eat a curry at least once a week, so here is one I made from a few days ago.

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 white onions, chopped

1 tablespoon lazy garlic (or two cloves)

1 tsp lazy chilli

1 tsp lazy ginger

2 x 400ml can light coconut milk

100g frozen sliced peppers

3 frozen salmon fillets

2 tbsp. tomato puree

1 tbsp. curry powder

1 tsp cumin

200g frozen peas

MAKES 4 PORTIONS

 

METHOD

Heat the oil in a large pot and then add the ginger, garlic, chilli and onion and spices

Cook, being careful not to burn

Add the coconut milk, frozen vegetables, frozen salmon, tomato puree and cook all together

It was ok cooking the salmon from frozen in the pot but I didn’t serve it up until I had checked it with a food thermometer making sure it was ready

Dish out into the waiting diners bowls, or if like me you’re batch cooking then dish them out into Tupperware’s and eat one for your dinner

Black Treacle and Date Bars

I fancied making a sweet treat today, and I impulsively had bought a tin of black treacle during the start of lockdown, so I decided to make the most of it now. It turns out my pack of dates, also bought on impulse during lockdown, and were nearing expiration, so it was good to use them up too.

INGREDIENTS

250G self-raising flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. mixed spice

1 tsp. cinnamon

175g dried dates, chopped

100g black treacle

80g vitalite

80g coconut oil

100ml warm water

MAKES 8 BARS

 

METHOD

Mix all the dry ingredients together

In a pan add the dates, vitalite, coconut oil, water and black treacle and cook over a low heat until combined

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together

Place in a greased and/or lined baking tin and cook at 220 degrees for about 25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean

 

3 Tin Store Cupboard Fish Cakes

IMG_7720

Hi all,

This is an update on the fish cakes recipe I posted back in April, I think this one is much better!

INGREDIENTS

1 x tin of mackerel in olive oil

1 x tin of sardines in olive oil

1 x jar of anchovies

3 x potatoes, chopped, skins on

2 heaped tbsp. of plain flour

MAKES 5 FISHCAKES

 

METHOD

Chop the potatoes up small (so they cook quicker) and bring to the boil

Cook until they are tender

Drain, mash, then set aside to cool

Once cool open up all the tins and jars of fish and drain the olive

Mix the fish up so it is in smaller pieces, then add to the cool mash

Add the two spoons of plain flour and combine everything all together

Shape into 5 fishcakes

Place on a greased baking tray and cook in the oven on 220 degrees for about 30 minutes until crisp

Serve with sweet chilli dipping sauce

Spending Diary 15th – 21st June 2020

Hi everybody,

Where does the time go?

This week started off frugal and then rapidly got a bit more spendy as the days went on. I’ll take you through it.

15/06/2020

Another Monday where I had booked the day off work. I have two more Mondays like this in June to look forward to as well.

Sadly this day did not get off to a good start. I had missed a call from my Step Mum and she had left a message asking me to call her back. I had a feeling about what had happened. Sure enough my Step Mum told me that my 19 year old cat Skittles had passed away in the night. I spent most of Monday holding back tears. I loved that cat so much. But she had a good life and couldn’t have asked for more.

Other than my book writing course and a short run I didn’t achieve much of significance today. This is partly because my sleep has gone to hell recently and I am struggling to fall asleep at night, and as a result I wake up late in the morning. I’m really trying to work on it.

16/06/2020

The flat mate wanted to do some shopping today, so he went to the shops and bought burger buns, cookies, dessert pots, breakfast biscuits, milk, bread, Pepsi, cucumber and rice. It was £13.93, so £6.96 for my half. The smol laundry tablets subscription came out of my account today as well, so that was £4.50 or £2.25 split between us.

I am still running every day, and learning French on Duolingo every day, but I don’t seem to be getting as much other stuff done as I was at the start of lockdown.

17/06/2020

I did a 5.39km run today, my longest run in a while. I managed to get caught in a shower of rain, however I consider myself lucky because it had stopped when I got back to the house but my flat mate who had set out for his run after me ended up in a biblical storm and got absolutely drenched, so I can’t complain.

We’ve been making use of what is in the house food wise, though obviously we did the shopping yesterday. In general we do have a good stock of stuff in the house and can last with minimal supplies, which is good as we only have about £15 of the food shopping budget left now.

18/06/2020

I had my most productive week at work this week. I have been really struggling with my mental health and it has greatly affected my productivity. I had a telephone counselling session with the employee assistance programme my employer has, and confided in my line manager, so both of those really helped me. It is always good to be open about things.

19/06/2020

I suddenly remember I hadn’t got my Dad a Father’s Day present. I had sent him a card, but had completely forgotten about getting him a gift. I hurriedly bought him a CD off Amazon and sent it to his address. That was £11.38. I think he will really like what I bought him, it’s my favourite album by The Kinks ‘Arthur…’ and I had decided long ago that this would be a good gift for him. So although it was a hurried decision to make the purchase today, I did always have that CD in mind.

20/06/2020

My oldest niece is learning Japanese in lockdown, and as I am learning French I really wanted to support her learning, so I had decided to get her a Japanese dictionary. However, to keep things fair between all my nieces and nephews this meant I had to get her brother a book, and I also purchased a game for my other set of nephew and niece. The books were £15.28 and the game was £17.48. I can’t really afford these purchases, but I do want to show them kindness as lockdown isn’t easy for anyone.

We all had a pub quiz on skype with them later, I can’t wait for the deliveries to arrive to them all.

21/06/2020

I had to get up early to have a phone call with my personal trainer, I mean, early for me. I’ve been struggling to wake up before 9.30am and the phone call was for 9.30am, so getting up at 8.30am was a struggle. I was still awake at 12.30am. I really must work on my sleep, but I’ve been saying that for weeks.

As a result of getting up early I was able to go to the shops very soon after they opened, posting some letters to my family on the way. I’m really struggling to lose weight in lockdown, but I’ll admit I haven’t been making the same efforts as I have done previously. I bought without really having a plan in place, so I did spend more than I wanted to. I bought oranges, mushrooms, peppers, sweet potatoes, potatoes, bananas, carrots, tomatoes. I also bought anchovies, a large pizza, Greek yogurt, Pepsi, 4 tins of chopped tomatoes, spices, orange juice, coconut milk and eggs. I should have had a plan in place, oh well. The shopping was £28.81 but I used £8 of club card vouchers in Tesco to bring it down to £20.81 (£10.40 once split with my flat mate).

I also am all out of stamps so I bought a 12 pack of 1st class stamps for £9.12. That might last me a little while, though at the rate I write letters it probably won’t.

And with that I’ll bid you goodbye as I don’t plan on spending any more money for the rest of today, I really can’t afford to even if I wanted to.

TOTAL WEEKLY SPENDING

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING = £39.24 / £19.62

PERSONAL SPENDS = £53.26

TOTAL SPENDS THIS WEEK = £72.88

73 Days

My 19 year old cat Skittles has passed away. She had a good life. She was well loved and well cared for, I couldn’t have asked for more from my time with her.

I am still sad though.

She lived with my Dad and Step mum. I got her as a 12th birthday present. She and her brother who we also had, who passed away last year, were born on Valentine’s Day 2001. She lived 19 years 4 months and 1 day.

There is so much going on in the world. Be with your loved ones. Do something each day that scares you. Try something new each day. Get whatever you want out of life whenever you have the chance to. Live. Be bold. Be brave. Be beautiful.

Spending Diary of 8th to 14th June 2020

Hi everybody,

It’s a new week, yes it is!

I wonder what this week holds in store for me.

08/06/2020

Ok, so disclaimer, I bought something late on Sunday night which wasn’t included in my spending diary that I published on here on the 7th. This is because it was a bit of a spur of the moment purchase. My friend was doing a fundraiser on Facebook for The Bail Project, and I donated £5 to that. I am including it here.

I had today off work as I have booked every Monday in June off as annual leave. I did have to do a small training course though but that only took about 2 hours. I wrote a lot in the morning and I spent a good amount of time on Duolingo later in the day. The flat mate and I are watching a WWE Pay per View for their NXT brand and we had it with these amazing vegan burgers from Beyond Meat. They were absolutely delicious. I spent some time looking at flats online to see what sort of places I could move into this September and there were actually more options than I thought which reassured me.

A bit later I checked one of my receipt apps on my phone that pays me in Amazon vouchers and saw I had enough to cash out a £10 voucher which really cheered me up. I cashed it straight away and went on Amazon and bought Lemonade by Beyoncé and an Elton John 3 CD Greatest Hits. I had £20 in vouchers on my account so the two CDs cost me £4.99, plus I requested free postage and packaging. Not a bad saving at all.

I had been waiting in all day for a delivery to turn up – a few things from a local coffee shop – but it never did. I got the invoice late in the evening, my order was £32.30 (£16.15 for my half). I paid it, but then contacted the seller to say the order hadn’t turned up. He was extremely apologetic and assured me it would arrive on Tuesday. These things happen and he is offering a really good service, so I wasn’t upset.

09/06/2020

A really interesting day post wise. My 12 bottle case of wine that was due to be delivered last week turned up, yey! There is in particular a white wine in the case I am eager to try. I also received in the standard post my latest issue of Runner’s World magazine that featured an article about one of my running groups, and I also had a letter from my Aunt and Uncle and another from my Cousin and her family. I also had my missing delivery from yesterday delivered, so all in all I had of lot of stuff to read and unpack.

Then a bit later on in the day there was another buzz at the door for a delivery and the flat mate answered it as I was in an online meeting. It was another lot of what I had ordered from the local coffee shop. I emailed the owner of the store to explain the mistake and said I would pay for the items if he sent me another invoice.

I did an online pub quiz later with some friends of mine and the flat mates, and then I settled down to read Runner’s World magazine.

10/06/2020

The owner of the coffee shop who had delivered two lots of orders to me had replied to my email to say he was very sorry and although I said I wasn’t upset he still felt bad so the invoice he sent me for the second delivery had taken off the equivalent cost of the two bags of coffee, which was a nice little saving. I promptly paid the £20.01 price of the new invoice (£10.01 for my half) and then had a little panic about the amount of days left in the month with a vastly depleted food budget, but I worked out what the average amount left for a 7 day week was based on dividing what remains of the budget by the amount of days until I next get paid, and it looked like we would be alright. But suddenly that reduced price of the coffee did help.

My Amazon delivery of the two CDS turned up and I greatly look forward to listening to them later on. I don’t own any sort of streaming or portable music device, I don’t even have a Spotify account, so I do get a lot of use out of CDs which must make me really retro. I do have a vinyl collection as well!

Later on the flat mate and I went for a run, then he went to the shops to pick up some things we needed. We had put off shopping for as long as we could. My flat mate also went to the local chippie and got a small portion of chips, curry sauce and mushy peas. The Tesco shopping was £26.75, and the chip shop stuff was £4.80, so it was £15.78 for my half. It was really nice to have chip shops chips.

As predicted the flat mate came back with half the sweet aisle in Tesco. We have 2 bars of Dairy Milk, a packet of digestive biscuits, fig rolls (I admittedly asked for them) and 2 packets of 2 GU cheesecakes. Better be careful, I don’t want to come out of lockdown having put on weight.

I had a productive French lesson on Duolingo, completing another section before moving on. I sailed through the next session I was on, but eventually had to stop.

The flat mate and I watched a couple of episodes of This Country as we’ve only heard good things about it, it was pretty funny, and it was really well observed.

We then talked for a bit as I had been struggling a bit today with lockdown fatigue and it really felt good to chat. I had a good text exchange with my mum as well. I told her about a dear friend of mine who is suffering with ill health at the moment, she needs an operation and her only real option is to have private surgery. She’s launched a fund raiser and I was telling my mum about that. My mum being the kind hearted person she is wanted to help. I’m looking into if I can do some sort of sponsored event during lock down to raise money for her.

I keep struggling to go to bed at a sensible time and I really must work on that as it is starting to badly affect me. There just never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done.

11/06/2020

I realised today was the 2 year anniversary of being in my current role at work. I looked up what the symbol for a 2 year anniversary was and found out it was cotton, so I decided to buy those two sports bras I had been considering for a while. But I didn’t just buy them straight away, I went through an employee benefits scheme I have at work and purchased a £50 voucher for that store (the price of the two sports bras) and I got a 7.5% discount on the voucher, meaning it only cost me £46.25. A small discount, but a good one, and I had spent enough to qualify for free postage and packaging too which is another saving.

I had an open discussion about how I was feeling with my line manager and I feel so much better for it and I’m ready to start again afresh tomorrow.

The flat mate was in a bad way today, all of his technology stopped synching with each other and this causes major problems for him, so he was really upset because of all that. I wish I could help him.

I completed another level on Duolingo, I did a 6.86km run in a quick time and in general I felt good about today.

12/06/2020

I woke up at 5am today and felt wide awake, so I decided to stay up. I wrote about 1700 words in the morning, as well as blogged, and then I did a 36 minute interval session near my house. I quickly had a shower, stretched and foam rolled, then I started work.

I had quite a good day at work, but I later had a phone counselling session with the support team that my employer has. It wasn’t necessary to arrange any more sessions, but I felt good for having had this session, and I ended the working week in a really good mood.

Such a good mood in fact that when my flat mate said he felt like a takeaway I agreed, though I knew it would probably be bad on the scales tomorrow morning. I was to pay for the takeaway since my flat mate has very generously agreed to do branding work for me in exchange for two takeaways. We decided to order from an Indian place nearby that my flat mate had been to before with his girlfriend and they had been very good to him, so we wanted to give them money. The takeaway wasn’t the best one in the world but it certainly was quite nice, and it was something different.

The takeaway was £27.55. I later saw my friend was doing a sponsored event for the Samaritans, who she volunteers for, so I sponsored her for £5, with a 31p admin fee, so £5.31 in total.

Not a bad day all in all.

13/06/2020

In direct contrast to yesterday, today I woke up at 11am, which I hate. It throws my entire day off balance. I would much rather have too little sleep than too much. I had stayed up late the night before finishing a Haruki Murakami book (A Wild Sheep Chase) so at least I had gained something from my oversleeping.

We needed to get more supplies from the shops. I hate going to the shops. The amount of people who don’t obey the one way system or the 2 metre social distancing guidelines is shocking. But we needed supplies. I went to Savers first and picked up Vaseline, toothpaste, hand wash and anti-bacterial wipes for £10.91 (£5.45 for my half). Next I went to Tesco and bought orange juice, 2 bottles of squash, olives, Ben and Jerry’s, black beans, gravy granules, a jar of roasted red peppers, vitalite, flora, vegan mayonnaise, tomato puree, frozen spinach, courgettes, apples, fresh peppers, strawberries, bananas, 3 multipacks of crisps and eggs for £33.42 (£16.71 for my half).

Once back from the shops I watched a Euro 96 football match of Netherlands versus England. My flat mate said it was one of the best football matches he had ever seen and recommended that I watch it. It was pretty good, and it is nice to see footballers I remember from my childhood again.

I went for a run after the game and then the flat mate and I just watched TV and films the rest of the evening. Around 10.30pm I got the urge to buy father’s day cards before I forget again, so I bought two from Moon Pig, one for my Dad and one for my Grandpa. They came to £8.30 for the two.

14/06/2020

I have really been debating about whether to buy some more Lush products, more specifically the same Lush products I bought last time just in bigger sizes. After creating a £46 shopping basket I eventually decided to cast it aside. I do need the products, but the flat mate and I have a very small amount of the food budget left and 2 weeks to get through with it, plus I have put the cost of the takeaway on my credit card. There is a chance I will get £75.13 on Tuesday, but I decided it was much better to make sure I had the money first and then use that to pay off the credit card and use the rest for food than buy some products.

So with that I declare that the week is over for spending!

TOTAL SPENDING

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING = £128.19 (£64.09 my half)

PERSONAL SHOPPING = £97.40

TOTAL SPENDING = £161.49

This is much more than I was expecting to have spent, so it will have to be a leaner period for the rest of the month.

 

 

 

75 Days

I am a quarter of the way through the 100 day countdown.

In turns of the actual amount of days, from when I finally decided I had to sort out my finances, to the date in the near future when I can make my final payment to the credit card, I have been through 1652 of them. I am 95.65% of the way through the journey. I have 4.78% of my debt total left to pay.

I will be moving on to the next stage of my life this year. My flat mate and I will no longer be living together from this September. One of us may stay in the current flat, or we may both move on to new places. This is why it is so important I have my finances in order.

So much in the world seems terrifying at the moment. I just try to focus on the good.