Veggie “mince” base

Remember I am a Debt Busting Mum with two kids in tow – kids that love spaghetti bolognese, pasta bakes, shepherds pies, lasagne, chilli etc.

So I want to eat with them – but want to substitute the meat with something more friendly to my diet plan (without using the expensive quorn products too)

So what I want to create is a bean /lentil / grain mix that I can use as mince in my cooking.

I’m thinking that if I freeze the mix in my silicon muffin tin I will have individual portions that I can add tomatoes, herbs, kidney beans, chilli or potato topping to instead of the usual braised mince mixture.


So I have soaked and cooked

1/2 cup mung beans till soft

1/2 cup green lentils till soft

1/2 cup bulghar wheat

then cooked them all together with

1/2 cup red lentils  and enough water to soften them and make a “mince textured” mass.

Doesn’t look too appealing – but it is completely free on my Slimming plan and I figure that jazzed up with other flavourings its a low fat and cheap way to replace mince in our favourite recipes.

Would also be pretty good whizzed up and stirred into a vegetable soup to up the nutrition and fibre content.


I will have a play and report back.



So after accepting how big a hole I am in (50lbs) – what was the next thing I did on my journey towards getting debt free that I could apply to this weight loss goal?

Well the next thing I did was sit down and work out to the penny exactly how much income I had coming in every week – knowing that I was having a Debt Crisis because my expenditure was greater than my income.

So I guess the correlation is that I am taking in more calories than I am spending – with weight gain being the result.

Continue reading “DAY THREE”


So on my walk yesterday – around the park 5 times.  I had a good long hard think about what lessons my Debt Busting days could have for helping me rid myself of 50lbs of excess weight.

First lesson I learned from Debt Busting was that I had to have a very, very, VERY (did I stress VERY!!!!!) accurate knowledge of exactly how deep a hole I was in and own up to it honestly. A Lightbulb moment:

Continue reading “DAY TWO”

Tattie Scones

We have got visitors this weekend – so baking today is a quick something savoury, something quintessentially Scottish and something that will be a welcome addition to our Sunday brunch when they get back from their walk on this misty November morning.

Good old stick to your ribs “tattie scones” with grilled tomatoes, homemade baked beans and crispy smoked bacon from Puddledub Farm (and no! that’s no a made up name)



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Lavender Cupcakes

It’s nearly the end of summer – the garden is being gradually put to bed and the last of the yummy stuff gathered in.

But this year I had a fabulous crop of lavender

It was a joy to brush past on the way to my veggie patch every day – so today I have some friends over for tea and we are going to celebrate the last golden glimmers of our Scottish Summer by making billowy vanilla cupcakes topped with a grown up lavender butter cream icing.  How girlie are they?


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Fairy Cakes

No sniggering at the back ……………. you know who you are!!!

Despite their name, these are still a passion with the men in my life (well the two younger ones anyway – can’t vouch for the older fuddy duddy’s)



They are always welcome at the tea table – and there is something darling and retro about producing these when a friend pops around for coffee.

Today we are off to visit a friend – so time to whip up a quick batch of these to go in the “going visitin’ tin”

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Spreadsheet of Delight

Surely she has got that wrong – it should be the Spreadsheet of Doom not the Spreadsheet of Delight ……… humour me – OK??

First things first – let me confess!  I love me a spreadsheet …. my cashflow spreadsheet in particular is a very special thing of beauty as far as I am concerned.  I credit it (and my menu planner) with the whole “keeping me on the straight and narrow” thing that we all struggle with at times.

Spreadsheet of Delight. Waking the straight and narrow.

If I slide “off piste” then the immediate consequences are shown in my cashflow projections as great big fat red numbers with a negative sign in the front appear a few weeks ahead.  My spreadsheet doesn’t listen to excuses .. well she does but she refuses to accept them.  Reality is her thing – cold bare facts and lots of them. In fact there are times I don’t like her very much because she reflects my less than stellar choices right back at me tout de suite!

Still ….. she has her moments of levity.  She is a great co-conspirator if you want to play a game of “What if” with a glass of wine on a Saturday evening.

This “game for one” consists of two fed boys, one glass of wine and a copy of your actual cashflow spreadsheet to play with.  If you don’t already have one you are going to need to pop over the link and download  your own copy and read the post about how to set yours up.

Spreadsheet of Delight



So …. sip of wine and you start asking yourself the “What if?” questions ……

Spreadsheet of Delight.  What if

What if we could live on just one of our incomes?

What if I saved 20% of my income for retirement?

What if I accepted the new job with the higher pay?

What if I kept renting two rooms out to lodgers?

What if I could book five seminars a year?

What if I could live on the Tax Credits and Family Allowance and bank everything else?

What if I found a side hustle paying £200 per month?


Oh the excitement of being able to model a fantasy financial future that OK may bear no relation to the life you are living at the moment .. but just for a minute allows you to dream that all things are possible ….

Or like me you realise that with a following wind, great lodgers and a bit more side hustling that this mortgage could be toast in just three short years …… imagine ……. Oh I can almost taste it!!!

It even allows me to model a future without mortgage payments .. and look at how little money I would need to be earning in order to have a decent standard of living…. now THERE is a future that makes me sit up and take notice.

Spreadsheet of Delight. Sit up and take notice

It sounds daft but a little playful fantasy makes all the penny pinching and planning  totally worthwhile in my head. I can see the outcome of some better choices, better data, better income and better strategies without having any of the risk.

Over the years this modelling has helped me be braver in negotiating my contracts, better in sticking to my food plans and less profligate when it comes to discretionary spending .. because every pound I can keep working for me brings that shiny future a little closer.

…………… besides … we don’t have a TV licence so I need something to amuse me on a Saturday evening LOL.

So hands up then … who is now  tempted to play around with their spreadsheet and find out the real facts behind how you can make your dream life come true?  I wonder where we could all be in just three years time??



Vanilla Cupcakes

Here you go  the staple of every Mums repertoire – the kiddie cupcake.  A basic sponge that can be “prettied”up with a dollop of icing and as many lurid sprinkles as you can lay your hands on……………. toddler is optional of course.


Actually these are just the right size for a treat – and if you think about it they are just a mouthful or two of sponge, so you get a lot of “bang for your buck” – or cakes for your eggs if you like.


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