I’ve been nosying around my winter survival cupboard today to see what needs topping up, and I am about to make a big trip to the cash and carry to stock up on tins. Interestingly enough, a lot of tinned foods have more vitamins in them than fresh food that things that have been lying around your kitchen for a week or so. Here are some great additions to a store cupboard that I will be bringing home later.
Tinned tomatoes – these come in different forms but particularly useful are the ones with garlic and herbs already in the mix. Passata in large jars can go onto home made pizza bases with a big of grated cheese and some salami for a Saturday treat.
Pulses – try different kinds such as lentils, chickpeas, borlotti beans, butter beans, mixed spicy beans and canneloni beans. Great with mince, in salads, to bulk out a bolognaise or shepherd’s pie, or to make an instant vegetarian chili.
Stone fruits – cherries, plums and mirabelles make great crumbles and pies, can be served with cream or yoghurt for a quick dessert, and can even be added to smoothies or put on top of muesli.
Exotic fruits – pineapple, lychees, mangos are all wonderful to have around, and give you the makings of a very sophisticated winter fruit salad, but look for tins which state they are in their own juices rather than in syrup.
Fish – Sardines, mackerel, salmon, tuna and even shrimps are all great for sandwiches, pasta dishes, fish pie, salads and little toasts to have as a nibble with a glass of wine.
Image: xedos4 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Here are the top ten items you should make sure you always have in your kitchen, to produce easy lunches or suppers in super-quick time.
2. Bacon or ham
8. Pasta or noodles
Here are some dishes you can concoct in emergencies from these ingredients:
1+2+6+7 – Scrambled eggs and ham
2+3+5+7 – Fried potatoes with bacon
1+2+7+8 – Pasta with ham
1+2+6+8 – Spaghetti carbonara
1+2+9 – Fried egg and bacon sandwich
1+2+6 – Omelette
1+7+9+10+cinammon/sugar/Nutella/honey – French toast
4+5+6 – Potato gratin
1+10+flour+sugar – Pancakes
For more inspiration, check out this blog as well, which has wonderful quiches and a great one-pot carbonara recipe: http://saltandcaramel.com/?p=1258
Too many of us are encouraged to see shopping as a leisure activity in its right, which when you think about it, is a very strange state of affairs indeed, and could even be seen as somewhat spiritually improverished. While nobody wants to go back to the days of post-war queuing and jostling in order to buy the smallest items, if your only experience each week apart from the workplace and the home is trailing around a overheated, packed shopping centre with umpteen plastic bags in pursuit of the elusive, then it might be worth asking yourself if you really find this truly satisfying. That having been said, all of us need to acquire various things at regular intervals, and if you plan it carefully, as a military campaign, you will be able to carry out your errands a great deal more efficiently and cheaply than if you just wandered around with your credit card burning a hole in your pocket.
So when out and about, given that money is tight and time a luxury, what should you be buying on the clothes and fashion front? First of all, before you even think about buying clothes, you should have done two things. You should always clear out your wardrobe of any redundant or unused garments, on the ‘one in, one out’ principle. Secondly, while doing this, you need to carry out an audit of what remains, so you can judge any gaps in your wardrobe that might bring other outfits to life. The next rule is to make sure you have a few stylish items that you have spent a bit more money on. In this respect, less is more. This will probably include:
- a good coat or jacket
- a best dress that can work for day and evening
- a couple of skirts
- a couple of pairs of trousers
- a couple of really stylish, fashionable tops that do you real justice.
- If you can afford a good quality merino wool or even cheaper supermarket cashmere sweater or two, you will appreciate this as well.
These can be supplemented with well cut, long and short sleeved t-shirts (look for good quality jersey if you can, and double stitching), jeans (classic dark indigo ones tend to look flattering on most women, and try to pick a well fitting waist and boot leg if you are pear shaped), cheaper day-to-day blouses and tops in brighter colours, and accessories such as large beads, scarves and big rings that bring together the look. Do it right, and you will wear your clothes rather than them wearing you. That’s all you need.
Image: Carlos Porto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net