15 June 2013

Herb cream cheese and bagels….

I’ve made my own bagels in the past but since they require some careful preparation for making at the weekend I often just get them from the supermarket when I find them reduced.   Normally we like them with cream cheese which we used to buy at Aldi’s but since they keep changing the recipe we’ve long gone off of it.  It’s a shame that we find something easy and convenient and not too expensive but once we do – it’s a guarantee that it will be gone when we next go looking for it.  

I’m getting where I am making just about everything at home.  Not that that is bad or anything but one has only so much time to devote to this. So fast forward to the other day when I found some bagels reduced and wanted to have that herb cream cheese with them but alas Aldi’s is not in the cards and wouldn’t be now that they’ve changed the product and we no longer like it.

Enter inspiration!  I had some cream cheese in the fridge from another meal and of course I’m forever finding herbs on the reduced aisle so there is plenty to choose from in the freeze.  I’ll make my own I say!  So armed with nothing more than a vague idea of what I’ll put in there I set off to the kitchen to create some fantastic herbed cream cheese for those bagels.

I must admit I’m rather good at combining things and just hoping for the best and usually I am rewarded with often very tasty treats.  So for this cream cheese creation I envisioned some garlic (one clove, minced), some parsley, a bit of chive and coriander.  I don’t have exact measurements – with this sort of blending I rarely do but about a teaspoon of each should do for those not used to cooking like this.  I didn’t add any salt but a good few grinds of the pepper mill would not go amiss.  I then tasted – it was good but missing something.  Back to the cupboard I go and spy some ground cumin and coriander.  I had a good measure of each – about ¼ teaspoon to my mix.  I should state that I began with about 100 grams of plain cream cheese.  Another mix and it finally tastes as I think it should and present to J with our bagels.

It passes the test for taste and of course expediency of making it.  After all it took me only about two minutes to get the cream cheese mixed and ready – how long would it have taken to get the one we liked previously from the store?  Surely longer than two minutes I can assure you.  The best part is that I mixed just enough for our bagel breakfast and that used up the last of the cream cheese.  A win-win situation – gotta love those! 

I just got these last night on my trip to M&S as I was heading back home and saw these - knew I had to get them - the price was just right as they say! I know it's sickening - but just had to get them all as the chives just freeze really well.  I've been using them up making my pasta side dishes and this is the first time I've tried rosemary - we'll see how well it freezes.  If it doesn't work - well no great loss as you can see the price was really cheap!
And these lovely flowers were from some friends after I had a biopsy (not to worry - everything is OK!) - took it a few weeks ago but have only just downloaded them and they came out so pretty just had to share. I know - I'm lucky to have such wonderful friends!
I’ve now thought of a sweet variation for my home made cream cheese and once I’ve had a chance to try that I’ll post all about it.  Enjoy!

1 April 2013

Bargains Galore!

Well it is Easter and I just happen to need some lettuce for some soft tacos I was making the day before Easter Sunday.  So off to the Co-op we go and what do I find – yes, a bunch of reduced that I haven’t a clue as to the why but I sure did take my share!

As you can see from the photo it was a big haul by even my standards.  I got vegetable bouillon which I use in a variety of ways from my doodle-noodle nights to making my own pasta sauces (I mix this in with sour cream, or pasta water and lemon juice, the list is endless).  I also found some dried mushrooms – which are always welcome in a risotto especially when it’s still cold out as it is here in the UK.
As you can see a wide variety of items and most had a long shelf life – the bouillon was not too long but I’ve put them in the freeze to keep it fresh but I’ll use this quite quickly with my cooking.  Some of it fresh fruit and veg as well as some Quorn for this week’s lunches.  I also got some organic peanut butter which will go nicely into making some cookies which I put in the freeze and then make ad hoc when we want fresh warm cookies.  

I also thought I’d post this picture I took at Sainsburys some time ago after I posted about finding loads of fresh herbs reduced.  I’m still finding them and found it funny how they sell them frozen now as well.  Sadly they will not get my money that way as I’m still finding them off and on in my trips to the stores.
And finally this is a picture of the first snow we saw back on the 5th of December.  The flakes were the size of small golf balls – it is true.  They didn’t come out too well and sadly the snow disappeared by the next day but it was fun to see it fall.

I’m off to make dinner – am still trying to get used to this time change but slowly the body is kicking in and says time to eat!  Enjoy!

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