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helpful Tips

Send us your tips and tricks and we'll feature them here. Look out for a new tip every week.

Best use of Chicken

May's Chef of the Month - Guy's Kitchen Tip

Buy whole chickens, and learn how to joint them.
You then have 4 meals for the price of 2 chicken breasts.

The Cumberland Inn's website


Left over Mashed Potatoes -
Make Patties

April's Chef - Lou Folkard's kitchen tip is to next day fling mash potato into a frying pan and squash it down to about a 1-2cm thick pattie, and fry until crispy underneath then flip it over and cook that side.

Lush with beans, fried eggs etc for a brunch.

Lou's website is The Cane Workshop


Bulk Cooking

Bulk cooking saves you a lot of money. Cook a huge batch and then put it in boxes and put in the freezer.

The benefits of cooking in bulk are that you only have to spend time once making food. Put it in boxes and freeze for another day means that all you have to do is pull out a box, defrost it and bingo there is a meal. And its much much cheaper to do this than buy ready meals.

Plus you know what has gone into it and how nutritious it is!


Homemade Buttermilk

This tip is provided by Angela Drane from "Food by Angela" our March Chef of the Month

TIP for any recipe that calls for buttermilk, simply squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into the milk, and leave to stand for
half an hour


No one likes slimy mushrooms or mouldy berries

This tip is provided by Paul Carroll from Temple Croft B&B, our February Chef of the Month

To keep your expensive supermarket-bought mushrooms and berries fresher for longer, first remove the cellophane and take the mushrooms or berries out of the plastic carton.
For berries: clean and dry the carton they came in, cover the base of the carton with clean kitchen roll and return the berries, spacing them as best you can and removing any overripe or damaged fruits. Cover with another sheet of kitchen roll and position the carton on a shelf in the fridge (not the salad/crisper drawer – it’s too moist). Check the carton every 2 or 3 days and if any of the kitchen roll feels damp replace with fresh sheets. If they didn’t come in a carton use a plastic food container.
Mushrooms keep best in a brown paper bag, lined with kitchen roll, on a shelf in the fridge. If you don’t have any brown paper bags, the above berry method is the next best thing.


Grated Cheese

Save leftover hard cheese by grating it and popping it in the freezer for another day… or buy already grated to save time!
Pop it in a plastic bag with the top tightly closed and then the frost won't get it.

Use it straight from the freezer for cooking – no defrosting required. It melts easily.


Left Overs

If you have left overs from your evening meal, consider using them for your next days lunch.

Bubble & squeak or Potato Cakes can be made from left over potatoes and cabbage/sprouts. Spaghetti or noodle dishes can be reheated and put on toast or as a topping for a baked potato.

Don't throw away your left over. They can be utterly delicious.


Collect Containers

Don't throw away jars, takeaway containers, plastic milk bottles, marg tubs, yoghurt tubs and other things. They can all come in useful to store your Store Cupboard items or for freezing food for another day.

Deliberately make more than you need and then you can freeze it and pop it out of the freezer when you don't have time to cook, or money to buy more food.

It doesnt matter if your jars and containers don't match, its the ability to store for future use that is important!


Make your Own Pasta

Making your own pasta is much cheaper than buying it ready made. Even if you don't have a pasta machine you can roll out the dough and cut strips with a knife. You can find a recipe for pasta in the Recipe Bank.

Also how about going on Freegle to ask if anyone has a pasta machine that they no longer use. All Freegle items are free. So you could have home made pasta whenever you wanted. Get the kids involved too. You can all have great fun!


Make the most of of your Bones

Don't throw your meat bones or out of date veg - make it into a broth or stock - meat stock or veg stock.

Add the bones or veg to a large pan, fill with water, add a bit of salt and throw in any left overs. Boil for ages until the water has taken on all the flavour of what you have added to the pot.

Check out the Broth recipe (to come in the Recipe Bank) for fuller details.


Gone off Milk

Don't throw away your gone off milk. Spoiled milk can replace buttermilk or sour cream in baked goods. It can also be used to tenderise meats or added to soups, casseroles, or salad dressings. You can use it in certain cosmetic applications to soften your skin too!! Google it!!

It works great in soups or to make cheese scones. In fact the soups and scones will have even more flavour.


Hayboxes - the original slow cooker

You can make a slow cooker by filling a box full of hay. Bring your pan/meal to the boil and then add the pan to the haybox. Close up the box and leave your meal cook for several hours. Costs nothing and cooks your meal to perfection.

The modern take on the haybox is a wonderbag (see photo)
Hop over to our blog to see what it is all about.


Thermos Flasks- Save money

Keep a thermos flask beside your kettle.

After you boil the kettle you will likely have more hot water than you use. So don't waste it, put the hot water in a thermos flask. Then next tine you come to use the kettle, pour the water from the thermos into the kettle and safe yourself money on heating up the water.

If you don't have a flask you might be able to get one from the charity shop.


Will it kill me?

Tons and tons of food is wasted every day

Use by, sell by and best before dates……

It’s helpful to understand the purpose behind each type of label:

Best before – is about the quality of the food
Use by – is about the safety of the food
Display until / sell by – is for retailers attention only

Don't waste it - use it in some way or other.

Read our blog for full information on this


Burnt pans?

This tip is provided by Janice McCarry from Lowbyer Manor County House, our January Chef of the Month

Burnt saucepan? Can’t get it clean?

Sprinkle a thick layer of washing powder over base and leave it for a few hours or Coca cola poured into the pan and let it soak over night.


Tip of the Week

The next tip will be here as the weeks progress. Maybe it is your tip in which case thank you very much for getting involved.

We are making this a community resource from the community for the community.

Don't forget to check out our Recipes Of The Week page and contribute your own favourite recipes.

Recipe of the week

We are collecting numerous delicious and cheap recipes. You can have your recipe featured as Recipe of the Week. What is your best meal? Send it to our Office.

Copyright: Alston Moor Foodbank 2014 - 2024. From the Community - for the Community

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Alston Moor Foodbank - Tips & Tricks