Payday Millionaire- Cheesy Potato Pie.

img_0903A few weeks ago  PaymentSense  approached me,  along with several other food bloggers to see if we could help.  The idea was for us to come up with a recipe to serve four people that would cost £5 to make. It could also be a meal which was able to be divided up and either serve 2 people over 2 days or be ideal for eating as four individual portions. asked some food bloggers if they would like to share their favourite go-to recipes. These had to be created with a budget of no more than £5 for 4 people in mind, Payment Sense  provide card payment services benefitting small businesses with their special rates and better customer services. We were not paid for our contributions.

 On their website PaymentSense also have some interesting and thought provoking articles. One article which is very relevant to my post is this one:

10 Truths About The Rise And Fall Of A Payday Millionaire

A few weeks ago  PaymentSense conducted some research into looking at how fast people are spending their disposible income once they have been paid and what their own situations can be like as they get closer to the end of the month.  The term “payday millionaire” means that once you are paid, people tend to act like money is no object, going around splashing the cash on unnecessary purchases and buying rounds of drinks.  I’m guilty of this, how many times have I gone out and bought a new pair of shoes or treated myself to a new Nordicware Bundt tin when I’ve just been paid. What was interesting was that the research showed that about one third of the people changed their eating habits in order to help budget their money until payday. So they would scrimp and scrape cooking on a budget or some may even attempt a diet!

I was approached, along with several other food bloggers to see if we could help.  The idea was for us to come up with a recipe to serve four people that would cost £5 to make. It could also be a meal which was able to be divided up and either serve 2 people over 2 days or be ideal for eating as four individual portions.

It didn’t take me long to choose which meal I would submit to the campaign. My Cheesy Potato Pie has been a firm favourite for many years.  I first started making it as a student about 25 years ago.  I also cooked it frequently for my own family as my two children were growing up. Now it has turned full circle and my daughter is now making the pie at uni.  Money was tight at home when my children were very young and I often behaved like a payday millionaire.  I still do but nowadays I have to be more careful.  I work as a supply teacher in my day job and the money comes in dribs and drabs according to when there is a demand for a supply teacher.  When it is the school holidays when I don’t have money coming in or when it is close to payday I rely heavily on meals like this.

My Cheesy Potato Pie is simple and quick to make.  It is served with a layer of baked beans on the bottom of the dish. The baked beans don’t have to be an expensive brand like Heinz. I only had Heinz in the picture as I’d bought a pack of 4 cans which were on special offer in the supermarket a couple of weeks before.  The same goes for the cheese topping. I  sometimes use the budget cheese or whatever’s on special offer at the time. To add a bit of  extra something to the pie, you can serve it with a side of bacon or sausages or even veggie burgers which my daughter prefers.  I even like eating the pie on its own and it’s a perfect choice of comfort food.  I know I’ll be making this lots once all the Christmas food has been eaten up, until our bank balances have had a chance to recover!

CHEESY POTATO PIE

Ingredients:

5-6 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks

1 x400g can of baked beans

100g grated cheddar cheese

butter and/ or milk to mash the potatoes with

8 sausages/ rashers of bacon or other accompaniment.

  • Put a large pan of water onto boil.
  • Peel and chop the potatoes and put into the pan of boiling water. Boil until soft.

  • Mash the potatoes with a knob of butter or with milk if you prefer. Or even use both!
  • Put the baked beans into a large ovenproof dish and spread them around, covering the bottom of the dish.
  • Preheat the oven to 180oC or Gas 4.

 

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Put the baked beans into an ovenproof dish.
  • Spread the mash evenly on top of the baked beans.
  • Grate the cheese and sprinkle it on top of the pie.
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Here’s the pie ready to be popped into the oven.
  •  Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the topping is crispy and golden brown.
  • While the pie is in the oven, cook the bacon or sausages in your preferred way.
  • Serve immediately.

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I chose to cook some sausages with my cheesy potato pie. The ones featured in the picture are frozen Slimming World ones which I found in Iceland a few weeks back.  I tend to get the best quality sausages I can find for the cheapest price but these were bought while I was following Slimming World leading up to Christmas.  Back to it in the New Year!

This pie could be made in four individual dishes or in two smaller ones which serve two people. It keeps well in the fridge overnight and can be frozen.

The cost of this dish is roughly about £4.00 including the sausages which makes this a very economical meal.

Crunchy Bacon Soda Bread- The Great British Bake Off Everyday.

So who tuned into last night’s Great British Bake Off then? I heard it was very popular and the viewing figures were high. I can’t remember the actual figure off the top of my head but I know I am not alone in my addiction to all things baking. I was glued to the screen last night and thankfully tea was a quick salad so I could be cleaned up and ready to watch it, phone in hand to join in with the live tweeting!

When the Great British Bake Off is on, I DEMAND to be in charge of the remote control. My hubby is usually the one who has it superglued to his side, especially when Top Gear or other motor racing programmes are on. I don’t mind them now and again but I get fed up with the constant repeats on the Dave Channel! So when GBBO is on, then it’s MY time to be glued to the telly. If the phone goes then it gets ignored, sorry!

Later on this week I will be talking about Episode One- Cake week as I attempt to bake the Technical Challenge “Mary’s Angel Cake” so watch this space. I’m not sure how I’m going to get on as I don’t have a special angel cake tin and I have never made it before.

Last Saturday I baked the Crunchy Bacon Soda Bread from the new Great British Bake Off Recipe Book- The Great British Bake Off Everyday. I was keen to try another soda bread recipe as I’m not that experienced with breadmaking. Anything involving yeast sets me into panic mode. So last Saturday I had time to devote to baking the bread without constant interruptions all around. Here’s how it was made:

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First of all, my oven was heated up to 200oC (fan temperature) and I lined a baking tray with a sheet of baking parchment.
Fry four rashers of chopped bacon.
Fry four rashers of chopped bacon in a frying pan without extra fat.
Finely chop a small onion or shallot.
Finely chop a small onion or shallot.
Once the bacon has started cooling, add in the onion and some chopped thyme.  I didn't have fresh thyme so I used dried instead.
Once the bacon has started cooling, add in the onion and some chopped thyme. I didn’t have fresh thyme so I used dried instead.
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Sift plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a mixing bowl.
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You then add cubes of cold butter which then needs to be rubbed into the floury mixture. This is done until it becomes like breadcrumbs.
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Make a well in the centre of the bowl. Then you add in buttermilk to bind the mixture together into a dough.
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I made a mistake here and forgot to add the bacon and onion before the buttermilk binding stage! It’s meant to go in first before it is formed into the dough. I hoped the pieces of crunchy bacon wouldn’t fall out all over the place!
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The dough is now ready to go in the oven. It was formed into a round about 3-4cm high.
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The finished loaf! It took slightly longer in the oven than mentioned in the recipe. The recipe says about 35 minutes but it was nearer 45 minutes. I tested it to see if it was cooked by tapping it underneath to see if it made a hollow sound.
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The bread went down very well with a bowl of tomato soup and with butter added. It needed to be eaten on the same day! We had a little bit left the next day but it was a bit stale so I toasted it and ate it with butter.

I will definitely bake this again in the future. It went down well with my husband and son. My son was disappointed when I explained soda bread didn’t have fizzy drinks in it like lemonade but was called that because it has bicarbonate of soda as the raising agent in it! He wasn’t impressed with the baking technical talk though!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx