The Schupfnudeln Challenge- Frugal Friday

schupfnudeln || cityhippyfarmgirl

The first part of this challenge is to say schupfnudeln.

Unless you have a German speaking back ground, it’s a little bit of a mouthful. A good mouthful though, let it roll off your tongue and try it out a few times… schupfnudeln, schupf…much like the little pan-fried potato dumplings themselves.

Now potatoes in this household are not a huge staple. My kids are probably the only kids on the planet who don’t particularly like them. Me, I can take or leave them. However I did like making these, as I hadn’t heard of them until recently. They are a German potato dumpling, (which are very similar to Italian gnocchi) where you cook your potatoes, pop a couple of eggs in and then add a little flour to the mixture.

Really simple food, which hits all the frugal bells as well. (I did read this dish came out as the result of army rations.)

Now the second part of the challenge is to see if you can take a picture of these little pan-fried dumplings served with sauerkraut in a tantalising way. Google images of schupfnudeln and you’ll find a whole lot of beige. They are a bugger to photograph. They make children, pets and chocolate brownie seem like a walk in a photogenic park.

Are you game to take on the plated beige?

schupfnudeln and sauerkraut || cityhippyfarmgirlSchupfnudeln 

(I’ve only done this the once, but this is how I did it.)

800g steamed potatoes, with their skin peeled off. Now grate them and put them in a big mixing bowl. Add two eggs, salt and pepper and enough flour to bring the dough together. Knead together on a lightly floured surface, to make a smooth dough and divide off into small pieces. Rolling the edges in a pointed fashion.

Pan fry them lightly and serve with sauerkraut.

 

Ricotta Pasta- Frugal Friday

ricotta pasta- cityhippyfarmgirl

pasta- cityhippyfarmgirl

The secret to this dish is quality ingredients in the pasta and the ricotta. Pay that little bit more or even better make your own of both.

Super quick, easy and frugal for a Friday.

Ricotta Pasta

cook up some great pasta

stir through some excellent ricotta

in a pot add some

local garlic and olive oil

quickly stir through some

frozen peas or if you are lucky, fresh ones

pop that on top of your pasta

and roughly rip some garden mint on top

and eat with gusto.

frugal-friday-pasta || cityhippyfarmgirl

simple, everyday sourdough

 cityhippyfarmgirl

cityhippyfarmgirl cityhippyfarmgirl

I’m often asked for a basic sourdough recipe and for some reason I have never done a post that is just simply that. A simple, every day sourdough bread recipe.

Bit of an over sight really as so much of this blog is designated to bread. After three years, I still find making sourdough an incredibly enjoyable experience.

I like to make it, I like to eat it and I like seeing other people start on their own sourdough journey. The contagious excitement of when a first bubble appears of a newly made starter. The shared joy of an exceptionally tasty freshly baked loaf. The jump up and down happy feeling of a new mixer arriving. The relief and happiness of hearing that one of your recipes have been used and loved and now in turn as been passed on to someone else.

I tell you, it’s true bread nerd stuff, but I love it, I really do.

For anyone that has vaguely considered making their own bread and they would like to give sourdough a crack, this recipe might be helpful to start off with.

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If you don’t have a starter here is post on how to make one.

Or if sourdough seems far too daunting at the moment and you would really just rather try making some regular bread, this post here.

Basic Sourdough Bread

400g starter (100% hydration, refreshed and bubbling)

750g flour

500mls water (approx- depends on your starter and flour)

2 tsp salt (or to taste)

Mix your starter, flour and water together either in a mixer or in a bowl with a spoon. Mixing for about 6 minutes. The dough will be kind of rough and shaggy.

Now leave it. Go find something else to do for about 40 minutes. (Bread magic is beginning…or autolysing but bread magic sounds better. You are developing the gluten here.)

Add your salt and mix again for about another 6 minutes or if by hand until you get a smooth dough.

Put it back in the bowl and leave it for about an hour.

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Now you need to do a three way fold. It will take about twenty seconds, (and you are not kneading.) Dough out on to the bench. Flatten a little with your finger tips and fold a third into the middle, then the other third. Swing it round 90 degrees and three way fold the other way.

Back in the bowl for another hour or so, another three way fold, and then back into the bowl again for another hour or so.

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Divide your dough up and shape it. Laying it on lined trays, banetton baskets or tins, cover it with a plastic bag and into the fridge for an over night nap (around 12 hours.) Bring it back to room temperature. (Depends on the household temperature 1-4 hours generally.)

Bake at 230C with steam, (I use a cheap spray bottle of water inserted in to a crack of the oven door when first putting the loaves in.)

Bread is baked when tapped and sounds hollow. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

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Now there 100 types of different ways to make sourdough and each baker will always have there own little tricks and ways to do things. Sourdough is an amazingly versatile beast, that can work in far more ways than regular commercial yeast made bread. There is never a right way or wrong way in my mind. If the end result is an edible loaf of bread that people are enjoying eating, well your way works. Taste buds and preferences can always be catered for as it’s your bread and you can do what you want. As long as you start off with three keys things- flour, water and salt- combine that with time, a little love and you’re in business…the sourdough world awaits.

Happy baking.

Indian Spiced Pumpkin Scones- Frugal Friday

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With cooler weather finally arrived, it’s quite nice to have the oven on again for longer periods. No sweltering in the kitchen, followed by desperate throwing open of windows to catch a passing breeze. Instead, an inviting warm cosiness, that encourages lingering within the kitchen and regular taste testing.

Team that kitchen warmth up, with the last of the afternoon sun and a hungry belly- and scones it is. Not just any scones though. Savoury scones, that speak of autumn colours and warming spices.

Just the thing to go with a chunky soup.

cityhippyfarmgirl

Indian Spiced Pumpkin Scones

50g softened butter

1 cup mashed local pumpkin

1 tsp dried coriander

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp tumuric

1/2 tsp cardamom

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2- 3 cups s/r flour*

(*depends on the water content of your pumpkin)

Cream butter and spices together. Whisk in all other ingredients except the flour. Fold in flour with a knife. Turn out on to a floured surface and lightly knead, just until the ingredients come together. Make a roundish shape circle with the dough, and roughly divide. Pop on to a baking tray and bake at 210C for about 20 minutes.

Cheap, easy, and seasonal.

Jazzing up your dinner with Pangritata- Frugal Friday

cityhippyfarmgirl

cityhippyfarmgirlPoor man’s parmesan it’s called but eating it, I feel anything but poor.

crunch, crunch, crunch….

 Like any good peasant food, it’s cheap, frugal, uses up what’s available and is rather versatile in jazzing up the most basic of meals.

crunch, crunch, crunch….

You can team it up with what ever you have on hand, looking good at your local farmers market, or getting flaccid in your fridge.. For me, it’s usually some seasonal green vegetables and maybe a little fetta to bump up the protein. (The pictured one was zucchini, peas, and leek.)

Really the possibilities are endless. Just the thing for Frugal Friday.

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Pangritata

In a frying pan add some

Stale bread crumbs (I use the ends of my sourdough loaves, and pulse them in a blender until crumb like.)

Add a couple of slugs of olive oil

a clove of crushed local garlic

zest of an organic lemon

some finely chopped fresh chilli

and some salt and pepper to taste.

Lightly fry it up until golden, (or alternatively bake it on a tray if you have the space in your oven while cooking something else.)

I make a whole big batch and just keep it in the fridge. No idea how long it keeps as it never lasts that long round these parts.

Give it a crack.

tortilla de patatas- Frugal Friday

Tapas is one thing that Mr Chocolate has a real soft spot for. Anything that involves small dishes being brought to the table with lashings of olive oil over it, there is a good chance he’s straight in there with a fork at the ready.

Our first proper date was at a tapas restaurant. Dark walls, candle lit tables, and jugs of sangria dotted the various tables. Being fluent in Spanish, he encouraged me to try out some words he had just taught me on the wait staff. As my language skills at that stage were limited to “dos cervezas por favor”, any spanish chit chat on my part was questionable.

However the night was young, the sangria was good and my spanish got better. It wasn’t long before our table was littered with empty small dishes, and a smattering of olive oil drops. With satisfied bellies, the jug now empty, our conversation remained lively.

Sparks were flying and… (well, perhaps that’s a story for another day.)

Until then, how about an easy Tortilla de Patatas.

Tortilla de Patatas

(a very simplified version)

In a frying pan add

a good couple of slugs of olive oil

some cubed cooked potatoes (4-ish)

beaten eggs (4-ish again)

cook on a medium heat until it starts to cook on the edges. Then pop a lid on, lower the heat to cook for a further few minutes until cooked through. Season to taste.

*******

eat with gusto, a glass of sangria and your very best Spanish pick up line

“Donde estas la zapateria?” (which is probably not your best pick up line.)

Ricotta Corn Cakes- Frugal Friday

Corn fritters were an easy staple in our household growing up. Mix them up and fry them. Simple, frugal and pretty versatile with what you ate them with. As a kid, I liked to eat them with a good dousing of tomato sauce on top. 

Corn fritters was also the first thing I taught Monkey Boy to make. It was a couple of years ago now, and Little Monkey was really sick. I was holding him, but needed to get something on the table for dinner. I asked Monkey Boy to help and between us we did it. With one free hand from me and two of his more than willing hands, we mixed and dolloped. Because of that first proper kitchen lesson several years ago, it’s still his favourite thing to help me make.

This recipe is a simple variation of the humble fritter. A lot lighter with the ricotta, and baked rather than fried. Although you could just as easily fry them if you wanted.

Simple, cheap and healthy.

Team it up with a rocking salad and some homemade chutney. Or eat cold for lunch, (dousing in tomato sauce as an optional extra.)

Ricotta Corn Cakes

1 can corn (420g)

2 beaten eggs

300g ricotta

a couple of shallots finely sliced

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

75g s/r flour (1/2 cup)

salt to taste

Mix all together and pop in greased mini loaf pans. (Or muffin tray, patty pans, or simply fry them in a frying pan.)

Bake at 200C for approximately 30 minutes.

*******

For everyone that took the time to comment on my post before, a huge, huge thank you. You all make this whole blogging thing such a wonderful space to be in. I felt really touched by all of your words… and I think you’re all just a bit awesome! 

eggs in baskets- Frugal Friday

I always thought Toad in the Hole was an egg cracked into a slice of bread and then fried. Turns out I’m wrong. (Thank you for the correction wikipedia) Apparently Toad in the Hole involves a sausage and instead my fried egg is called Egg in a Basket. I’m not sure that’s got quite the same ring to it, but it will have to do until I think of something else. I always liked the sounds of Toad in the Hole… makes me think of Wind in the Willows.

What you’ll need is some

small round bread rolls and

free range eggs

hollow them out, enough to hold a whole cracked egg

into a low oven (they are a good thing to pop in on your second shelf of the oven while something else is cooking up top)

eat them when you think they are ready

and serve with a little capsicum chilli sauce

(For me an egg is ready when it’s cooked right through, Mr Chocolate likes ’em runny.)

 ******

As for a new name…any ideas?

Bunnies in Burrows?

Fat Cat on a Cushion?

Chocolate Hazelnut Surprise- Frugal Friday

So, desserts don’t usually make it in to my Frugal Friday posts. But drown me in amaretto if this one isn’t frugal.

Mr Chocolate’s parents were coming over for lunch and my thoughts had been else where. The lunch bit was sorted, but it would be nice if there was a little sweetie something to follow it up with. Now what do I have?

some cooking mistake freezer brownie

some old cream

some sad looking strawberries

oh and some chocolate (50%)

Now I hate tossing food out. I can generally give something a new lease of life well after it has looked it’s best. I like the challenge of it, and it let’s me be a little creative in the kitchen. I was a little nervous with this one though, as it wasn’t just the usual culprits eating it.

Hmmm, thinking cap on, and…

Chocolate Hazelnut Surprise

crumble up some freezer brownie

then whip up

300mls of cream that needed using

add a good shake

 of some hazelnut meal through it (approx 50g)

and

1 tsp vanilla into the whipped cream

and then slowly drizzle some

melted dark chocolate (about 100g- I used 50%)

in as well (don’t over whip it)

layer it with your brownie (or an old chocolate/plain cake you may have hanging around)

add a few

chopped up sad looking strawberries on top and then

drizzle a little more chocolate on

******

So how did it taste?

Delicious.

Did the inlaws suspect anything less than a well planned dessert.

Hell no.

(This is not a recipe. Not really any way. Just use what you have and play. You will probably end up with a lovely tasty surprise.)

houmus- frugal Friday

Tahini was one of those food items that I had long since written off as something I didn’t particularly like. I didn’t mind it in other peoples cooking, but I certainly wasn’t going to be eating it by the spoonful from the jar. If you can imagine a cat coughing up a fur ball, that would be me trying to eat a spoonful of tahini.

Then I decided that I wanted to make houmus for The Monkeys though. When making houmus it needs tahini, everyone knows that, so I was going to have to revisit my spoonful of fur ball.

I decided to try the unhulled darker type as it had been the hulled version I had always tried in the past. With teaspoon at the ready, I dipped in.

Holy houmus, it was delicious.

It tried another small piece to see if my taste buds were tricking me. Nope, it really was. It was like peanut butter…but sesame butter. Now I don’t know if my taste buds have simply changed over time or unhulled tastes ridiculously better than hulled. Either way, it’s now a staple in the fridge and The Monkeys can have as much houmus as they want, as this dip is dead easy to make.

Houmus

400g canned chick peas

1 clove raw garlic

1/4 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

4 tbls olive oil

3 tbls lemon juice

1 tbls unhulled tahini

salt and black pepper to taste

Whiz it all up in a hand held blender. Spoon it out on to a dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little paprika.