How do Brits use their money?

MyJar v7a

MYJAR have created an infographic that shows what many UK residents are spending their wages on.  While we all have a need for entertainment, holidays and gym memberships, it’s surprising to see that every day necessities such as petrol are also on the rise with most of us spending nearly £10 a week on fresh fruit and veg alone.

We also spend quite a bit on treating ourselves to takeaways, up to £100 a month, which is obviously not helping either our waistlines or our wallets.

With some careful planning, we can spend less and make nutritious homemade meals to rival the most tempting takeaway treats to help us stay healthy and happy.  See my recipes for cauliflower pizza, cheddar and spinach muffins and hot cross buns and for tasty and nutritious meals at home.

This post is written in conjunction with MYJAR.

Day Thirteen – Cod, lamb and blasted tomato fondue


I came in even earlier than usual this morning to get my mise en place done, as I had five recipes to make this morning. Even so, I didn’t manage to do very well – the fish dish I made just took so long to make, and we had to fillet the fish together, which took ages, too.

Something seems to happen to me in the kitchen. I go in all organized, on time and know what I need to do, and then throughout the course of the morning, no matter how hard I work, I seem to get further and further behind and struggle to get my food out on time and manage all the clearing up, too. I’m trying not to rush so that I do things properly along the way, but I seem to get more and more out of control as the morning progresses. I’m not really too sure how to put that right, but there we go.

I find the equipment is taking a while to get used to. As I started making the tomato fondue, I placed my carefully sliced onions in the pan on the lowest temperature on the smallest ring to sweat, but I still managed to burn them within 5 minutes. I know full well how best to cook them and can manage them perfectly at home, but I just don’t seem to be able to manage it at Ballymaloe.

My marks were OK – generally 7s, but the teacher said it all tasted good. I think I got an 8 or 9 for my marmalade, although I’m not sure how it could have been improved.

I did manage to have lunch, get changed and ready for my flight in the break. We had Rory for the afternoon’s demo and we spent some time learning how best to butcher half a lamb carcass. By this time though, I must admit, I was struggling to stay awake after the hectic week. It’s not only physically tiring, but mentally, too as we have long mornings in the kitchen followed by a huge amount of information to assimilate every day.

I managed to get off on time after demo and catch my flight back, arriving back just before midnight. It’s been really nice to come back and relax this weekend. I’ve started to psyche myself up for Monday morning already though, as I have another 5 recipes to do on the day, too. Hopefully Monday will be a better day…

Day Twelve – I never want to see a Crème caramel again…


Today has been a funny old day. The kitchens seemed to be a bit stressful today and I don’t think cooking was enjoyable for a lot of people. I certainly didn’t do a great job today. It certainly feels as though people feeling stressed rubs off, and can affect the whole kitchen. The teachers are just amazing though. They are all so nice and really go out of their way to help.

If I’ve learnt one thing today, it’s that I don’t like crème caramel. I didn’t think I liked them, I didn’t enjoy making them, and they were the bane of most people’s lives today, I reckon. Still, lesson learnt!

I made quesadillas for lunch (easy peasy, even have recipes for them in my books), but managed to burn most of my batch which I put in the oven (without checking the temperature (it was on 250C!)) to keep warm when Darina unexpectedly came over to taste my food and I panicked. Oh dear.

Still, at least I managed to have lunch, and I even managed to change my library books, which is progress.

This afternoon’s demo was with Rachel and we focused on fish. It was an interesting demo, although I sensed that I was not the only one starting to feel the effects of the week catching up on them.  After demo, I went to check on the adorable chicks, turn my cheese, prep my marmalade and head to the gym.  Tomorrow I am making bread as my duty, marmalade as an extra and a fish dish, plus a potato dish and a vegetable dish. I think I’ll have to get in quite early as I actually have a lot of prep to do. I also need to manage to change at lunch time, as I’m whizzing straight to the airport after demo.

I’m off home tomorrow for the weekend, so I will be back blogging in a day or two. I’ve had so many lovely comments and emails this week. Thank you all so much. It means a lot.