Our bakers did us proud for our Frugal February event, with an array of both sweet and savoury bakes all made using up leftovers! We all agreed it’s surprising how creative you can be when you put your mind to it.
On the savoury side, we enjoyed retro Crispy pancakes from Jayne, made with roast beef and trimmings from Sunday lunch, and scones from both Vicky and Chelsea. Vicky’s Cheese & Olive scones used up the olives she’d been given in a Christmas hamper and they made a delightful salty addition to a good scone and Chelsea’s Potato, Cheese & Onion scones made a dent in a glut of onions, and mashed potato which had been stashed in the freezer, as well as using up the last of the Christmas cheese. Cat really took the frugal theme to heart with her tasty Vegetable Samosas. Buying nothing, every single ingredient was something she already had in the house, even using substitutes where she didn’t have an ingredient listed in the recipe (like replacing carrot with a broccoli stalk).
On the sweet side, the ‘using up Christmas leftovers’ theme was also strong. The odds and ends of dried fruit left after all the Christmas baking was the order of the day for several bakes – featuring in Faye’s Spiced Fruit Loaf, Heather’s Hot Cross Buns and Mandy’s Apricot, Cranberry & Coconut Flapjacks. Chelsea also got through leftover Christmas chocolate and a spare pouch of chestnut puree (originally bought to make chestnut stuffing) for her Chocolate Chestnut Roulade. Vicky had an excess of ground almonds so they made her lovely Almond Bundt Cake, and Jayne’s seasonal special offer blood orange glut also went into a tasty cake (even if Jayne herself was disappointed that it didn’t come out bright red!). Christmas spices featured in Deb’s Ginger Parkin and Jan used up the last of the dates with her gorgeous Sticky Date Slices. (Why do we all buy figs and dates at Christmas even though we don’t eat them at other times of the year?!)
One baker not following the Christmas leftovers tack was newbie Penny, who instead raided the freezer for a frozen pie crust and some frozen berries to make us a lovely Berry Pie.
I think this month showed us all how much fun it can be using up leftovers and how many options there are if you’re prepared to be a bit creative. Thank goodness for Google and the ability to search for recipes using specific ingredient combinations!! Hopefully it might inspire us all to waste less food, and to get to grips with everything we stash in the freezer or leave lurking at the back of the cupboard.
The full list of our frugal bakes was:
Cat – Vegetable Samosas
Vicky – Cheese & Olive Scones, plus an Almond Bundt Cake
Chelsea – Cheese, Onion and Potato Scones plus Chocolate Chestnut Roulade
Jayne – Sunday Lunch Leftover Crispy Pancakes and Blood Orange Cake
Faye – Spiced Fruit Loaf
Heather – Hot Cross Buns
Mandy – Apricot, Cranberry & Coconut Flapjacks
Deb – Ginger Parkin
Jan H – Sticky Date Slices
Penny – Berry Pie
See you all in March, when we’ll be challenging ourselves to bake ‘free from’.