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?


A quick and easy recipe a for sausage and bacon pasta bake. It was full of flavour and not too filling, perfect for me to take as a left overs lunch to work.

You will need
300g pasta
Jar of tomato and basil sauce or make your own
6 pork sausages (approx 400g)
2 rashers of bacon – chopped thinly
Oil for frying
1 pinch seasoning (salt, pepper, pasta/pizza herbs)
70g cheese, grated


Cook the pasta according to packet directions, usually 10 minutes in a saucepan of boiling water. Drain well and set aside.

Cook the chopped bacon in a frying pan till crisp, drain the excess fat and remove from the pan. In the same pan, cook the sausages.

Once cooked remove the sausages and cut into pieces, put back in the pan along with the bacon and pasta sauce.

Add the pasta and seasoning and mix thoroughly.

Pour the mixture into a small oven proof dish.


(In progress photo – note my new oven dish :-) )

Sprinkle with cheese to taste.

Put in the oven for approx 5 mins, until cheese has nicely melted and the edges are a bit crispy.

Enjoy :-)

There’s a couple of things I’d do differently with this dish next time – add a pinch of salt to the sauce and add another rasher of bacon.