The bottle bank arcade

13 November 2014 by

Here’s a novel idea from Sweden to get more people to recycle their glass bottles – by making it into a game.

Check out the video.

Where to recycle your poppy

10 November 2014 by

poppy appeal

Each year over 40 million poppies are produced for use during the Poppy Appeal and Remembrance. Recycling will help to offset some of the cost of producing the poppies and allow more funds to go towards the vital work the Legion does in supporting the whole Armed Forces family.

This year the Royal British Legion has partnered with Sainsbury’s to provide a recycling initiative for the famous paper poppies.

Sainsbury’s are collecting paper poppies after Remembrance Day at their supermarket customer service desks until 24 November, to enable the Legion to re-use or recycle them.

Look out for the distinctively marked collection boxes.

Recipe idea – Smoked Sausage and Mixed Bean Cassoulet

6 November 2014 by

SAUSAGE CASSEROLE

A yummy supper for midweek, this cassoulet uses store cupboard ingredients which can be served with crusty bread to mop up the sauce or, if you prefer, leftover rice or mashed potato.

 

Serves: 4-  Prep time:  10 minutes –   Cooking time:  10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 360g pack jumbo frankfurters, sliced
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can mixed beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion for 3 minutes, add the sausage and fry for 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, beans and tomato purée.
  2. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve with salad and crusty bread.

Cook’s tip
Try using a tin of baked beans for a more child friendly flavour.

Canned frankfurters are a good substitute and a useful store cupboard ingredient. Leftover cooked sausages work well too.

Extra flavour
Add herbs, BBQ sauce or chilli for extra flavour.

Recipes ideas – Pumpkin Soup

31 October 2014 by

pumkin 3

Here’s a refreshing and healthy way to use up the Halloween pumpkin with this recipe from Love Food Hate Waste. Save money and avoid waste!

Ingredients:

  • 1 small pumpkin
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon juniper seeds
  • 100g celery, chopped
  • 2 small red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
  • Large bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of crème fraiche
  • Pinch of Spanish smoked paprika

Method:

  1. Quarter the pumpkin, remove the seeds (don’t discard them, they are lovely when roasted and make a great nibble – see our great recipe).
  2. Cut the red peppers in half, remove the seeds and place them with the pumpkin onto a roasting tray. Drizzle the flesh with a little olive oil and place into a pre heated oven set at gas mark 6/200C/400F and roast for about 40 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven. Scrape the flesh from the skin of the pumpkin and place to one side along with the roasted pepper.
  4. Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan; add the chopped onion, crushed garlic, juniper seeds, celery and red chillies. Cook for a few minutes until the onions and celery are soft.
  5. Add the pumpkin and red peppers, the stock and finally the chopped coriander. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and then process the soup in a blender to make it smooth.
  6. Serve with a spoonful of crème fraiche over the top sprinkled with a little paprika.

What to do with your pumpkin when the party is over

30 October 2014 by

pumkin blog pic

In the UK in the run up to Halloween it’s estimated that over a million pumpkins are bought ready to be carved into ghoulish lanterns that will adorn doorsteps and windowsills across the country.

Seasonal celebrations bring their own waste and Halloween, is no exception as around 90% of sales of pumpkins takes place then, bought to make Jack O’Lanterns to ward off those pesky witches and ghosts. However how much of the actual pumpkin, which you’ve paid for, do you actually use?

Pumpkin carving is a great way to amuse the kids but what happens to all the succulent orange flesh that has been scooped out of the pumpkins you’ve displayed on your doorstep?

It’s usually among the mountain of fresh tasty vegetables we throw away every year – costing us money!  Pumpkins are rich in vitamins and minerals and a great food source; however it is often the case that once carved; many people simply throw away the tasty contents of the pumpkin– a ghastly thought! To help you save money and stop it going to waste, Love Food Hate Waste has some delicious pumpkin recipe suggestions for you to try:

 

 

Here are some great and tasty ideas from Love Food Hate Waste to save money and waste.

 

If you are unsure of where to put your pumpkin once Halloween is over, cut it up and pop it in your food caddy waste bin for recycling.

Ghoulishly good party food

28 October 2014 by

gingerbreadBaking ideas to do with the kids this half term for Halloween

Ingredients

  • 400g caster sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 8 tbsp golden syrup
  • 500g unsalted butter, diced
  • 4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 eggs
  • Some ready to use icing
  • 900g plain flour

Method

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, ginger and salt into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add in the butter and sugar and rub in until the butter is absorbed and the mixture has a sandy texture.
  3. Mix in the syrup and enough of the beaten egg to make fairly stiff, smooth dough. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap in cling film. Place the dough in the fridge to firm up for at least 45 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.
  5. Roll out the dough to 3mm thickness. Cut out biscuits into gingerbread person shapes.
  6. Place the gingerbread biscuits on greased, non-stick baking sheets.
  7. Bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Remove the biscuits from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets.
  9. Decorate the biscuits with icing with skeleton shapes. Store in an airtight container.

Create a spooky party this Halloween

23 October 2014 by

halloween

Stuck for Halloween idea? Here’s some tips and ideas to create a spooky party without breaking the bank.

 

  • Every day we throw away 4 million whole apples in the UK. A fun way to use up apples in danger of not being eaten is to make toffee apples – the kids will love them. Dip into two melted tablespoons of sugar – hey presto.

 

  • If you’re holding a party for the kids at Halloween, be creative and make some freaky party food – make scary spiders from cookies by adding eyes and liquorice legs, swirl the icing on the top of fairy cakes to create a web effect or add a single black olive to little dough balls to make eyeballs.

 

  • Spooks Punch – it’s basically a blood red punch (mainly cranberry juice) with ice hands floating in it. Freeze water or lemonade in surgical gloves tied at the end. They look really effective.

 

  • Make monster hands by stuffing clear plastic disposable gloves with popcorn that’s been shaken in green food colouring.

 

  • Buy a plastic brain from a toy/joke shop then put it in a clear plastic tub and fill it up with green jelly. It will look like one of those medical specimens. If you can’t find toy brain you could always use a cauliflower.

 

  • Make a ghost and bat mobile. You need two long strips of strong card, coloured black. Arrange them in a cross with glue or sellotape. Make two ghosts and two bats to hang on the mobile. The ghosts are the very cheapest white cups that you get in office water coolers. Turn upside down. Drape a man-size tissue over the cup, thread some ordinary black sewing thread through the bottom of the cup to tie onto the cardboard cross and use black felt pen to draw on a scary ghost face. The bats are simply a bat shape cut out of black paper.

 

  • Make floating ghosts: balloons draped in crepe paper, suspended from the ceiling on invisible thread.

 

  • When the time comes to carve your pumpkin, draw the pattern on the pumpkin first, then stab along the lines – in a dot-to-dot fashion – with something pointy.

Autumn warmers: ideas and tips

17 October 2014 by

For a low-cost, winter night in, why not try some of the following tips and recipes?

  • Why not try a chunky vegetable soup? Leftover cooked vegetables are ideal for soups and you can literally use anything – even roast potatoes. Just blend everything together with hot stock and reheat thoroughly.
  • You could try your hand at something a little spicy like a mixed vegetable curry.  Use store cupboard essentials, including dry spices and coconut milk, to make a flavoursome curry with any veg you need to use up.
  • Baked apples are a simple, easy dessert to make and you can use apples that are looking a bit tired. All you need to do is core the apples and fill the space with a mixture of dried fruit (sultanas, raisins and mixed peal), brown sugar and a sprinkling of dried cinnamon and bake in the oven.
  • If you have a spare evening, how about spending it cooking dishes like lasagne and shepherd’s pie, then freeze into portions for days when you don’t have time to cook. To make these dishes go that bit further, grate that last carrot into the mix.
  • And don’t forget- breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not set yourself up with a hearty breakfast of porridge? To make it even tastier, stew some leftover fruit to eat with it.

Leftover recipe: Sausage and sweet potato stew

9 October 2014 by

stew

This stew has leeks and sweet potato and is also flavoured with sage – a herb that goes so well with pork. Sausage and leek go together very well. Sweet potato adds sweetness and colour to the dish.

The stew is quick and easy to make as most of the cooking happens in the oven when you can do something else. It is also ideal if members of the family are eating at different times, as it can be kept warm in the oven. It could also be placed in the slow cooker for a few hours.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, sliced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 4-6 pork sausages (or 10-12 chipolata sausages or vegetarian sausages)
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 2 dessert spoons tomato puree
  • salt and black pepper to taste

 

 

Method:

  1. Put the oil in a large heavy bottomed frying pan
  2. Add the leeks and fry for a few minutes until softening
  3. Add the sweet potato chunks, stir and cook for a minute or two
  4. Add the sage and tomato puree to the stock
  5. Add the stock to the vegetables and simmer for 10 minutes
  6. Meanwhile chop the sausages into bite size pieces
  7. Transfer to a casserole, (two if you are making both a meat and veggie version) cover and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes
  8. Serve with mashed potato and a green vegetable

Think before you drink

26 September 2014 by

tap water

Here are some of the top reasons why we should SAY NO to bottled water

 

  • Bottled water creates huge amounts of waste. The UK consumes 18 billion plastic bottles each year, and since only a quarter of these are recycled this means 38million plastic bottles end up in landfill every single day!
  • Bottled water is expensive! Bottled water is so valued that it costs up to 1,000 times more than what comes out of our taps. Thames Water calculates that its tap water costs around 0.097p a litre – or around 1p for a bucket of water.  Bottled water costs on average 500 times more than tap water, the equivalent of paying £1,500 for a pint of beer or glass of wine.
  • Tap water is more strictly regulated than bottled water. Tap water must be checked daily under a rigorous inspection regime. By contrast, makers of bottled water are only required to undertake monthly testing at source. Once filled and sealed, a bottle of water might remain in storage for months before it is so
  • Providing bottled water for British consumers produces an estimated 33,200 tonnes of CO² emissions per year
  • On average, we drink 33 liters of bottled water annually, whether ordinary mineral, fizzy, or ‘purified’ tap water.

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