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

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chocolate immunity

Mr Chocolate always said that he had chocolate immunity.

That is, he can eat a vast quantity and have no ill effects from it. No effect what so ever. Having been on quite a few long car journeys where I’ve been the chocolate supplier to the never-ending opening mouth. Yes, I think I could vouch for the fact he can put quite a lot away and still having nothing to show for it.

Not me though, if I have too much I know about it. Heart rate goes up, tongue goes a little odd. One square too many? Yes, I think so.

Not Mr Chocolate though. Dark, milk, white, they’re all there. The household is a sad and sorry one if it looks like we are down to our last 100 grams. The man likes to have options and he also likes to dip in to those options on a regular basis.

With that in mind, dipping into those options he did. Right before a chiropractor appointment. Thinking nothing of the couple of hundred grams of goodness he had just consumed before going in. He was a little startled to find the chiropractor finding a new point in his head that showed a spike in high blood sugar levels.

Were you drinking last night? she questioned

Pffft, no way.

Have you had something quite sweet recently?

Uh ohh…

Perhaps a little chocolate this morning?

Busted. Chocolate immunity no more. It clearly was coming up on a point on his head and was there for all to see. Well for all canny chiropractors known for using corresponding cranial points anyway. His pancreas was clearly waving the red flag of, “I’ve just consumed rather a lot of good quality chocolate in order to get through the working day.”

Lesson learnt anyway. Mr Chocolate now knows, it’s a much better idea to eat that block and a half AFTER his next chiropractor appointment. That way chocolate immunity remains intact.

Everyday Chocolate Mint Biscuits

175g softened butter

110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp peppermint essence

300g (2 cups) plain flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

Cream butter and sugar in a mixer until pale and fluffy. Mix in, vanilla and peppermint, then add remaining flour and cocoa.

Quick knead and roll dough between two sheets of baking paper, approximately 5mm thick and refrigerate until dough is firm.

Cut into shapes and bake at 180C for approximately 20 minutes.

a tiny gas meter box garden

This, to many people with lovely edible gardens, back yards, ample sun, and green fingers will probably not be the post for you. This is a story of a couple of happy pots that despite their partial sunny aspect, and unlikely sitting position (on top of a gas meter box) are surviving.

When we first moved here, I was desperate for some greenery. I spent quite a bit of money on containers, seedlings, soil, potting mix, mulch, and hangers to go off the fence. The Monkeys and I trawled the streets looking for more containers we could grow things in. Carting them back home with high hopes of a sea of green down the side of our flat. Time went by, and I did grow things. I tried to companion plant, I looked up seasonal planting guides and tried to make smart choices with what I chose to grow. Some things grew, some things were eaten to stumps by usually slimy creatures of one kind or another. I looked up natural ways to get rid of pests. I went out at night with a torch to protect my little patch of green. I would check on these same pots as soon as I woke, looking anxiously out my window to see if they had survived the night.

Unfurl yourself slithery beast from those delicate green tendrils. Begone, and never darken my gas meter box again!

Time went by and I had got to the point where I was putting more and more money into my poor little pots. I was getting nothing back in return except for disappointment and frustration. Getting the right levels of acidity, sunlight, depth of potting mix was getting too tricky. Edible gardens in pots was just too hard for me with the partial sun aspect and resources that I had.

I gave up.

I planted flowers. Flowers that would hopefully attract bees. Maybe that would be something, a tiny something I could do.

Time went by and the pots slowly called to me again. I really wanted to grow something on that darn gas meter box and falling down paling fence. I didn’t have an acre, or a backyard. All I had was a bricked sideway apartment block.

I thought I would try with just one pot. Don’t worry about the rest of the pots sitting stacked up. Just focus on the one.

Rosemary. I popped in some worm castings, gave it some daily whispered love to its green stems… and bless my Birkenstocks if it didn’t grow!

It is growing, still growing. I tentatively added a blueberry, and it still survives. My dad gave me some mint. Despite being eaten to green stumps by minute caterpillars, it’s still with me too. (I went out and plucked the caterpillars off twice a day until there was none left.)

Mama, why are you throwing the caterpillar towards the road?

It needs to go for a WALK!

I got optimistic and planted some Italian chilli seeds, within a week green shoots were coming up. Big green leaves…hmm, I might not have the greenest thumb around but unless I’m wrong, Italians don’t grow chilli in the shape of cucumber leaves. (Presuming that’s what it is)

I also had a geranium in a fence container, two capsicums sprung up as a surprise package and seemed to suck out all of the life of the geranium while it looked pretty good. They then battled for top dog, couldn’t decide who was going to be boss so it seems they both have given up and are now looking a little exhausted from the whole ordeal and worse for wear. Never mind, I can console myself with my little patch of greenery to the right.

My little green gas meter box garden.

******

* If anyone can answer a couple of my ‘I’m not so sure’ questions, I would be very thankful.

1/ What should I do with my chilli/ cucumber plants? Should I haul one out? Which one? (Given, that it’s a miracle they both look happy, and I’m a little nervous about moving either while they look so…alive.)

2/ Is it really a cucumber? Zucchini…god forbid in that tiny pot, pumpkin?