Lasagne – the first pasta dish I made for Ryan back when we were living over a commercial premises… March, I think and one of his favourites.

I’ve made it a few times since and it’s always a hit; I think if Ryan had his way I’d make lasagne every day. 😉 Tonight I cooked it for my dad and I, we watched a film and had a good catch up.


You will need
500g red lasagne sauce
340g white lasagne sauce
450g mince meat
Oil for frying
1 pinch seasoning (salt, pepper, pasta/pizza herbs)
80g grated cheese

Preheat the oven to 200°C

Pan fry the mince meat in oil on a medium heat for 5-6 minutes.

Drain the excess fat from the mince, then mix in the red lasagne sauce.

Place half of the mixture into an ovenproof dish.

Add a layer of lasagne sheets. It is not necessary to pre cook them but if you want to… bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil and add a small amount of olive oil to the water to prevent the sheets from sticking together. Add the pasta and bring back to the boil. Cook uncovered for 10-12 minutes or firm.

Add a layer of the white lasagne sauce then repeat with another two layers of each, finishing with the white sauce.

Sprinkle the grated cheese on top with the herbs (optional).

Bake in the over for 30-40 minutes or until the lasagne sheets have softened.

Enjoy! :-)



A colleague at work brought in a bag full of cooking apples from his tree, free to anyone who wanted some. I took 6 and decided to have a try at my first apple crumble cake.

I adapted an apple crumble cake recipe I found on Pinterest for self raising flour (I’m out of baking powder)… Here’s the result. :-)

You will need
7″ (18cm) round cake tin
75g unsalted butter
225g self raising flour
50g caster sugar
A pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)
450g apples (cooking apples if available)
1 medium egg
1-2 tbsp milk
Confectioners sugar to dust


Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / gas 6 and grease your cake tin.

Peel, core and chop the apples.

Combine flour and butter until you have fine crumbs. Add the cinnamon if you’re using it.

Mix in the sugar, then stir in the apples and beaten egg.

Add milk and mix well. It will seem like there’s too many apples in the bowl but that is how it should look!


Pile the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth it down a little – the tin will look quite full but that’s OK as the cake won’t rise too much.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is beautifully golden brown.

Use a skewer to test that the cake is cooked all the way through – it should come out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out onto a wire rack.


Dust thickly with icing sugar.

Enjoy! :-) We ate ours with a little vanilla ice cream… Dad had his with custard.



We reviewed our finances recently and set ourselves a monthly budget; my aim is to be debt free (student loan, credit cards) in 12 – 19 months and we’ve talked about starting to save for a house deposit afterwards.

I’ve previously spoken about some of the things I do to help budget (see my food shopping on a budget, clothes shopping on a budget and budgeting posts), which I still use, but after recording our finances we found we were spending a lot of our budget on food shopping or meals out and thought about ways to cut back.

We have a budget for food shopping which also includes meals out or take away meals, helping us to use what we have in rather than spending more. We are going take away free in October to see how much of a different it makes to our finances.

I am keeping track of our finances in an Excel spreadsheet, under the following categories:

  • Housing, e.g. mortgage / rent, council tax, home insurance etc
  • Entertainment, e.g. Cinema trips, hobbies cost (for me that’s baking supplies), DVD / Blu Ray purchases etc
  • Transportation, e.g. car insurance, fuel, any taxi / bus fees etc
  • Health, e.g. prescriptions etc
  • Investments, e.g. Money added to savings accounts, pensions etc
  • Food, e.g. grocery shopping, take away meals, dining out etc
  • Pets, e.g. food – we have a small aquarium
  • Personal Care, e.g. hair cuts, clothing etc
  • Loans, e.g. Credit cards etc
  • Gifts or donations, e.g. Charitable donations etc

We’ve also started planning our meals and I have a list of what is in our store cupboards (see photo).


With this list we are able to go shopping fortnightly and don’t need to eat out – unless we want to or it’s a special occasion, of course. 😉

I’ve also been trying to organise our house more around our busy schedules and thought have a cleaning rota or cleaning check list would help (see photo). The parts relating to our dish can be substituted for other pets.


Any other tips for either financing or organising?