Lasagna

A lot of people think that lasagna is a fancy, difficult and most of all: expensive dish to make. With proper planning it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive at all, it will, however, be a bit time consuming – but it will be well worth it in the end! If you buy the ingredients while they’re on sale and/or with coupons, and adjust the vegetables in in to what’s cheap and in season, it will be a cheap but fancy meal.

 

Ingredients:

Minced meat sauce:

 

500gr minced meat

2-3tbsp flour/thickening

2 cubes of meat stock

2 cans of diced tomatoes or tomato sauce

2 tsp black pepper

0.5dcl tomato paste

1-2tbsp soy sauce

1 can of water (use the tomato can)

2 onions

1tbsp paprika powder

1tbsp oregano

4 cloves of garlic

 

Cheese sauce:

1 litre of milk or cream

3tbsps butter

3tbsps flour/thickening

300gr shredded cheese

Salt, pepper

 

1-2 packs of lasagna noodles

150gr shredded cheese (to go on top of the lasagna)

 

Recipe:

  1. Start preheating the oven to about 200C
  2. Peel and chop the onions finely
  3. Heat a frying pan until very hot and put in the butter.
  4. When the butter has stopped sizzling, put in the chopped onions and cook them until they’ve got a golden colour.
  5. Put in the minced meat and brown it with the onions. Separate and chop up the meat until its fine and make sure it’s not pink.
  6. Coat it with the thickening and stir it in
  7. Add the rest of the ingredients for the Bolognese sauce and stir well!
  8. Let it simmer for at least 15 minutes to get the flavours out and then put it aside to cool while you make the cheese sauce.
  9. Melt the butter for the cheese sauce, on a hot stove, and put in the flour or thickening. Stir well, there shouldn’t be any lumps. I always use a whisker when I make the cheese sauce.
  10. Gradually add the milk or cream and mix until it has thickened and then add more until it’s all in there.
  11. Pull the sauce pan from the heat and carefully fold the grated cheese in to the sauce, until it has melted completely.
  12. DO NOT put the cheese sauce back on the stove after you’ve put the cheese in, it’ll make it chewy and stringy.
  13. Put out lasagna noodles at the bottom of the lasagna dish. Then put a layer of the minced meat sauce & a layer of the cheese sauce in there.
  14. Putin another layer of lasagna noodles and repeat until there’s no more sauce
  15. There should be cheese sauce on top.
  16. Spread the shredded cheese on top.
  17. Cover the dish in tin foil and make sure it’s wrapped tight over the top.
  18. Bake it in the oven for 45 minutes on 200 Celsius.
  19. Turn the heat down to 175 Celsius and let it be in there for another 20 – 30 minutes.

 

Serve on its own or with a light, fresh salad. Enjoy!

Poor man’s bread recipe 

This recipe is probably one of the cheapest ways to make bread and if you really have no money, but have these ingredients, you can at least have something to eat! 

I don’t have exact measurements for this recipe, since I never make the same amount twice, but as long as it doesn’t stick to anything once you’ve mixed the ingredients together with your hands – you’re fine!
Ingredients 

Flour

Water

Olive oil/rape seed oil/any oil

Salt

(Baking soda, if you have it)
Instructions 

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl until it becomes a smooth dough that doesn’t stick to the bowl or you hands.
  2. Form small balls from the dough, roll them out to round flatbreads and lay them on top of each other on a plate, with some flour in between to keep them from sticking to each other.
  3. Fry them for a couple of minutes on each side in a hot frying pan. If you have butter or oil to fry in, use it, but it’s fine if you don’t.
  4. Eat them fresh with whatever spreads you’ve got at home: jam, butter, cheese etc.

Pancake recipe

Ingredients 

4 eggs

8 dl milk

4 dl flour

1 tsp salt

Butter to fry in

Jam, sugar, ice cream, maple syrup 
Instructions 

  1. Whisk the eggs, the flour, the salt and half of the milk together to a smooth batter. Make sure that there are no lumps.
  2. Mix in the rest of the milk and whisk until well combined.
  3. Set it aside to swell while you put a frying pan on to heat. Heat the frying pan until hot
  4. Put some butter in the hot pan and wait until it’s stopped sizzling – that’s how you know the pan is hot enough.
  5. Whisk the pancake mix a couple of times before using it.
  6. Put 1dl of pancake mix in the pan and swirl it around to make an even pancake. 
  7. Fry it a couple of minutes on each side and plate it.
  8. Repeat with the rest of the mix.
  9. Serve with jam, sugar, ice cream or maple syrup and a nice glass of milk 

Cheap ways to entertain yourself PART 1

When you’re like me and don’t have much money in the bank, it’s difficult to find things to do outside the house or apartment. This is why I’m always trying to find different & new, free if possible, attractions and amusements. Things that’ll get me outside instead of just sitting inside the house all day on my bum and be lazy. This is part one, and there will be more parts as I find things that you can do, and please leave a comment if you have tips and suggestions for me!

  • Check the posters at your library for concerts, lectures, art shows etc that are cheap or even better – free!
  • Sometimes your local food market/shop has special events to celebrate a new opening, a holiday or the chain’s birthday! When they do, there’s usually free food, happenings, deals and things for kids to do. Be sure to take full adtof this and make it a half or whole day’s outing. There are ofte good discounts on these days!
  • Many libraries have CDs and films of different sorts, go and see if they have anything good and check them out! 
  • Learn a new craft or get a new hobby by borrowing a few books from the library – why not teach yourself how to mend you own clothes or learn a new language?
  • Get an allotment close by and start growing things!
  • Once again, check at your library what kinds of local societies and clubs there are in your town or village. See if anything takes your fancy and join it.
  • Join a study circle, or start one yourself if you can’t find what you’re looking for. Chances are that you’ll get a full group very fast as other people have looked for the same kind of group, but have been too lazy to start a study circle about the subject. Why not start a circle about self-sufficiency or a group where you can trade coupons with others?
  • Go to flea markets and check them out – it doesn’t cost you anything unless you buy something.
  • If you live close to the sea, pack a pick nick basket and go down to the beach for a day of sun, sand and swimming in the ocean.
  • A lot of museums are free, almost free or have one day each week/month that’s admission free. Use this and pack a lunch box if it’s a bit far away.
  • Host a Dutch-treat at your house for your friends or family. Cheap and a great way to meet up and is even more fun if you pick a theme for it.
  • Download a film or documentary and watch it.
  • Go to local markets and traveling carnivals. 

As I said, this is part 1 and remember to leave a comment with suggestions of things you can do on a budget or upcoming topics that you’d like to see!

Meatball recipe

This is my favourite recipe of meatballs and is a basic recipe that can be modified to your liking. For example, you can add 5 cloves of minced garlic, finely chopped cilantro, paprika powder etc.

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Ingredients:

1kg minced meat

3 dl milk/water

2 tsp salt

1 ½ dcl bread crumbs

2 eggs

3ml ground black pepper

2-3 onions

Butter to fry in

 

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  2. Mix the milk/water with the breadcrumbs in a bowl, with the salt and pepper, and leave it to swell.
  3. While the breadcrumbs are swelling, chop the onions finely and fry them in the butter until golden brown. Put them aside to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the minced meat with the onions, the eggs and the breadcrumb mixture. Add more seasoning if necessary.
  5. Scoop up a generous amount of mix with a teaspoon and form meatballs. Put them on a baking tray, with oven paper on it.
  6. Bake them in the oven, in batches, until they’ve got a nice dark brown colour.
  7. The meatballs can be frozen for up to 6 months.
  8. Serve with boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes or pasta

Lasagna boats

Lasagna boats is a recipe that I’ve developed on my own, since I wanted an easier way to eat lasagna and combine it with another food I really enjoy: tacos. Basically you can go either way with this: the usual lasagna or a taco lasagna. The only difference is the seasoning, they’re both cooked and served in stuff n’ stands. This recipe is with meat, but you can easily change the meat for Quorn or any other meat substitute of your choice. Also, I’ve made the cheese sauce from scratch, but you can use canned béchamel sauce or cheese sauce too. If meat is expensive where you live it’s very easy to use a smaller amount and instead use more beans and shredded carrots as a filler. The boats can easily be frozen in containers until you need them and can be frozen at least three months. I can get about 15 lasagna boats from the recipe, depending on how thin I make the Bolognese and cheese sauces.

This recipe is perfect for kids and kids parties too.

Ingredients:

 

Bolognese sauce:

450 grams minced meat

2 onions

3 cloves of garlic

1-2 cans of baked beans

2 packs of taco seasoning

Thickening

1-2 can(s) of water (use the baked beans can)

1 cube of meat stock

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

Salt, pepper

Butter or oil to fry in

 

Cheese sauce:

1 litre of milk or cream

Thickening

Butter

300 grams of grated cheese

 

2 packs of stuff n’ stand

1 pack of lasagna noodles

Grated cheese for decoration

 

Recipe:

  1. Start preheating the oven to about 200C
  2. Peel and chop the onions finely
  3. Heat a frying pan until very hot and put in the butter.
  4. When the butter has stopped sizzling, put in the chopped onions and cook them until they’ve got a golden colour.
  5. Put in the minced meat and brown it with the onions. Separate and chop up the meat until it’s fine and make sure it’s not pink.
  6. Coat it with the thickening and stir it in
  7. Add the rest of the ingredients for the Bolognese sauce and stir well!
  8. Let it simmer for at least 15 minutes to get the flavours out and then put it aside to cool while you make the cheese sauce.
  9. Melt the butter for the cheese sauce, on a hot stove, and put in the flour or thickening. Stir well, there shouldn’t be any lumps. I always use a whisker when I make the cheese sauce.
  10. Gradually add the milk or cream and mix until it has thickened and then add more until it’s all in there.
  11. Pull the sauce pan from the heat and carefully fold the grated cheese in to the sauce, until it has melted completely.
  12. DO NOT put the cheese sauce back on the stove after you’ve put the cheese in, it’ll make it chewy and stringy.
  13. Put out the stand n’ stuffs on a baking tray and assemble the boats just like you would with regular lasagna
    1. Break up the lasagna noodles and put a few pieces at the bottom, just so it covers it fairly evenly
    2. Put in a thin layer of the Bolognese sauce and then some cheese sauce.
    3. Repeat step A & B until it’s full.
    4. There should be cheese sauce on the top
    5. Add some grated cheese of your choice on top (I recommend parmesan, but whatever you have available is fine).
    6. Repeat this with the rest of the boats
  14. Bake them in the oven for about 30-40 minutes in the lower part of the oven.

 

Serve on its own or with a light, fresh salad. Enjoy!

 

How to stay powered up while travelling

Travelling can be very stressful, especially when things go wrong, but with this simple tip you can at least stay connected and powered up!

 

When you get stuck at an airport or train station for hours on end, with no train or plane in sight, you will get a low battery on your phone/devices and staying connected is important, especially when you’re in a foreign country. If your charger has the same outlet as the country that you’re visiting – go ahead and plug it in – but if you don’t and you don’t have an adapter, then you’re in trouble. It can be surprisingly hard to find an adapter or two, so be sure to have a couple extra ones in your hand luggage.

 

If you have a connection in a country, on your way to your destination, bring an adapter for that country too – you never know when you’re going to need it. Why? Well, if your flight is late or cancelled from you first airport and you get on a later flight, you will possibly end up spending A LOT of time in the airport of your connecting flight. The flight might only leave once a day, or you’ve missed the last one and will have to spend the night at the new airport/airport hotel. Then you might just need a way to get power in this land too.