Basically A Menu-Plan Plus A Reader-Donated Giveaway

Going back to basics this week has been fun.

I’ve learnt how to bake a good biscuit and my spag-bol tasted mighty fine. Modest aren’t I?

The menu-plan, this week, was a little meat-heavy as we were invited to a friend’s house for a BBQ. I took some food along. That had an impact on the spend at the farm-shop last Friday. I’m hoping that this Friday I’ll spend less as the meat products reduce.

Breakfasts, so far, have been cereal, toast and pancakes.

Lunches have been sandwiches, soup and leftover spag-bol.

I’ve been busy baking cakes and biscuits. In fact we’ve freshly baked strawberry muffins for after dinner tonight. Naked ones 😉

The strawberries baking away, inside the muffins, made the kitchen smell delicious. That’s one thing I’ve noticed about the produce I purchased from the farm. The smell when I got home, and unpacked the groceries, was divine. The tomatoes and the strawberries smelt heavenly. Truly scrumptious.

There’s more baking planned this week. I’ve fresh rough-puff-pastry planned for my chicken pasties tomorrow thank’s to a heads up from the lovely Lauren who linked a Gordon Ramsey recipe a couple of posts ago.

Talking of Lauren, this leads me onto today’s giveaway. Which is open to all readers (including international).

Lauren has kindly donated some yeast for this giveaway. I have 12 boxes (which contain 6 packets each). The first 12 readers to comment on this post will receive a box. If you comment but don’t wish to receive the yeast – just let me know at the end of the comment. I most certainly don’t want to clutter anyone up! 🙂

The giveaway is open-ended, until all 12 boxes have gone. Only one box per commenter will be sent out, but you can comment as many times as you like. I love to hear what you have to say. They have a ‘best before’ date of Sept 2013, so I’m presuming they’ll all be given away.

Even if you’ve never baked bread before, why not give it a try? You know, I said I’d be skipping home-made pasta…well…I realised how defeatist that sounded. Guess what I’m going to be attempting soon? And hand-rolling it! Boy, am I a glutton for punishment.

If you’d like to try Naked Strawberry Muffins for yourself, you can. The repressed baker in me is indulging my baking obsession over at Jo-Jo Bakes. The blog’s a little rough and ready at the moment. It’s likely I’ll change the theme and look. But I believe perfect is the enemy of done (or to quote Voltaire exactly “Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien”). I wanted to get something up and running today.

Don’t forget I now update most days on Facebook – so if Facebook’s your thing, why not head on over and join the conversation?

{ 80 comments… add one }
  • Carla July 3, 2012, 6:08 pm

    The muffins look FABULOUS!! Yum! I’d love some yeast if there is any left! I go through yeast like crazy in this house! 🙂

    • simplybeingmum July 3, 2012, 6:17 pm

      First box to Carla! Hope all okay over there and the girls are feeling better?

  • Carla July 3, 2012, 6:08 pm

    The muffins look FABULOUS!! Yum! I’d love some yeast if there is any left! I go through yeast like crazy in this house! 🙂

    • simplybeingmum July 3, 2012, 6:17 pm

      First box to Carla! Hope all okay over there and the girls are feeling better?

  • Deborah close July 3, 2012, 6:10 pm

    Oooh…yes please to the yeast, house smells yum after a bread bakeathon

  • Deborah close July 3, 2012, 6:10 pm

    Oooh…yes please to the yeast, house smells yum after a bread bakeathon

  • Danielle July 3, 2012, 6:15 pm

    The muffins do look fabulous, I love the smell of fresh baked fruit muffins! I was impressed with your farmer’s market haul last week for under 50 pounds…looking forward to seeing what you manage to get this week.
    I’d love some yeast too, if there is any left. My husband has started doing pizza on the BBQ – divine!

    • simplybeingmum July 3, 2012, 6:19 pm

      Okay now that you’ve got to share… fancy writing a guest recipe? I have 2 reader recipes to post so far (thank’s Lauren and Graham), and would love a BBQ pizza one! Box number 3 all yours!

      • Danielle July 4, 2012, 6:42 pm

        Sounds great! I’ll get the recipe from my husband as he is the one that does all the Italian-style cooking in our house!

  • Danielle July 3, 2012, 6:15 pm

    The muffins do look fabulous, I love the smell of fresh baked fruit muffins! I was impressed with your farmer’s market haul last week for under 50 pounds…looking forward to seeing what you manage to get this week.
    I’d love some yeast too, if there is any left. My husband has started doing pizza on the BBQ – divine!

    • simplybeingmum July 3, 2012, 6:19 pm

      Okay now that you’ve got to share… fancy writing a guest recipe? I have 2 reader recipes to post so far (thank’s Lauren and Graham), and would love a BBQ pizza one! Box number 3 all yours!

      • Danielle July 4, 2012, 6:42 pm

        Sounds great! I’ll get the recipe from my husband as he is the one that does all the Italian-style cooking in our house!

  • sarah@everydaylifeonashoestring July 3, 2012, 6:45 pm

    Ooh yes please to some yeast! Sarah

  • sarah@everydaylifeonashoestring July 3, 2012, 6:45 pm

    Ooh yes please to some yeast! Sarah

  • Colleen Foster July 3, 2012, 6:57 pm

    This is great!! I love the smell of farmers market produce……yum!!

  • Colleen Foster July 3, 2012, 6:57 pm

    This is great!! I love the smell of farmers market produce……yum!!

  • Claire Rudkins July 3, 2012, 7:05 pm

    I’ve just sold my breadmaker as It was just taking up space but I’d like to try and do it the ‘proper’ way – and it does make a kitchen smell divine!!

    • simplybeingmum July 3, 2012, 7:08 pm

      Very simple once you give it a go! Which you’ll be able to once Box number 6 pops through the letterbox!

  • Claire Rudkins July 3, 2012, 7:05 pm

    I’ve just sold my breadmaker as It was just taking up space but I’d like to try and do it the ‘proper’ way – and it does make a kitchen smell divine!!

    • simplybeingmum July 3, 2012, 7:08 pm

      Very simple once you give it a go! Which you’ll be able to once Box number 6 pops through the letterbox!

  • Rebecca July 3, 2012, 7:17 pm

    I make most of my main meals from scratch and do love to bake sweet treats. I’ve made my own bread a couple of times (no bread maker) but have just started a new job and with a toddler and a 10month old am time poor! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. 🙂

    PS. Hope the yeast enjoys the trip to Australia

    • simplybeingmum July 3, 2012, 7:29 pm

      Now that’s one long flight! Box number 7 will be one well-traveled box of yeast!

  • Rebecca July 3, 2012, 7:17 pm

    I make most of my main meals from scratch and do love to bake sweet treats. I’ve made my own bread a couple of times (no bread maker) but have just started a new job and with a toddler and a 10month old am time poor! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. 🙂

    PS. Hope the yeast enjoys the trip to Australia

    • simplybeingmum July 3, 2012, 7:29 pm

      Now that’s one long flight! Box number 7 will be one well-traveled box of yeast!

  • Megyn @MinimalistMommi July 3, 2012, 10:22 pm

    Excited this is open to international people! I’ve tried yeast baking once, and it was a flop! I’d love to try some breads/rolls again 🙂

    • simplybeingmum July 3, 2012, 10:24 pm

      Second-time lucky eh? Glad you want to give it a go once more – shows strength of character 😉 – Box number 8 will soon be winging it’s way across to you!

  • Megyn @MinimalistMommi July 3, 2012, 10:22 pm

    Excited this is open to international people! I’ve tried yeast baking once, and it was a flop! I’d love to try some breads/rolls again 🙂

    • simplybeingmum July 3, 2012, 10:24 pm

      Second-time lucky eh? Glad you want to give it a go once more – shows strength of character 😉 – Box number 8 will soon be winging it’s way across to you!

  • Lili@creativesavv July 4, 2012, 12:02 am

    Hi Jo,
    I’m in the US, so you don’t need to send me any yeast. But thank you. Is there something that makes this yeast special? I’m a baker, do a lot with both commercial yeast and homemade sourdough. Good luck with rolling pasta. I have a small hand crank machine and do large batches once every couple of months. It’s quite good, and if the recipe contains egg, it has a bonus of extra protein.

    • simplybeingmum July 4, 2012, 9:16 am

      You are very welcome to box if you’d like it, I don’t mind posting out to US. But if you do please let me know ASAP as comments are still coming in and once 12 have come in they will have gone!
      Batch cooking pasta probably is the way to go – feeling a little nervous – but how hard can it be? 😉

      • simplybeingmum July 4, 2012, 9:19 am

        p.s – it’s just the usual yeast – it’s actually the one I use at home. I’ve been pleased with it…

        • Lili@creativesavv July 4, 2012, 3:38 pm

          Thank you, Jo.
          But send the yeast on to someone else. Posting to the US is expensive, and I just can’t allow myself to put someone else to that expense. (And if there’s someone out there who might get hooked on bread-making, because of a free box of yeast, well then, I’m all for it!) Good luck with the pasta. I like doing a large batch as I only have to clean out the machine once, for many meals of pasta!

  • Lili@creativesavv July 4, 2012, 12:02 am

    Hi Jo,
    I’m in the US, so you don’t need to send me any yeast. But thank you. Is there something that makes this yeast special? I’m a baker, do a lot with both commercial yeast and homemade sourdough. Good luck with rolling pasta. I have a small hand crank machine and do large batches once every couple of months. It’s quite good, and if the recipe contains egg, it has a bonus of extra protein.

    • simplybeingmum July 4, 2012, 9:16 am

      You are very welcome to box if you’d like it, I don’t mind posting out to US. But if you do please let me know ASAP as comments are still coming in and once 12 have come in they will have gone!
      Batch cooking pasta probably is the way to go – feeling a little nervous – but how hard can it be? 😉

      • simplybeingmum July 4, 2012, 9:19 am

        p.s – it’s just the usual yeast – it’s actually the one I use at home. I’ve been pleased with it…

        • Lili@creativesavv July 4, 2012, 3:38 pm

          Thank you, Jo.
          But send the yeast on to someone else. Posting to the US is expensive, and I just can’t allow myself to put someone else to that expense. (And if there’s someone out there who might get hooked on bread-making, because of a free box of yeast, well then, I’m all for it!) Good luck with the pasta. I like doing a large batch as I only have to clean out the machine once, for many meals of pasta!

  • Lauren July 4, 2012, 12:27 am

    Hi Jo,
    I’m in Hong Kong and make fresh pizza dough most Sundays for the family. I’ve been meaning to start baking my own bread too. The bread for sale here is full of preservatives and ease has won over the joy of baking for too long! Your photos from the farm shop looked lovely. You sure can stretch fifty quid. We might be moving back to London soon and I’ll be taking your lead and doing my bit for local farmers and producers. Good luck with the pasta 🙂

    • simplybeingmum July 4, 2012, 9:17 am

      Lauren your food looks lovely, I’ll be checking out some recipes! Box number 9 on it’s way over!

  • Lauren July 4, 2012, 12:27 am

    Hi Jo,
    I’m in Hong Kong and make fresh pizza dough most Sundays for the family. I’ve been meaning to start baking my own bread too. The bread for sale here is full of preservatives and ease has won over the joy of baking for too long! Your photos from the farm shop looked lovely. You sure can stretch fifty quid. We might be moving back to London soon and I’ll be taking your lead and doing my bit for local farmers and producers. Good luck with the pasta 🙂

    • simplybeingmum July 4, 2012, 9:17 am

      Lauren your food looks lovely, I’ll be checking out some recipes! Box number 9 on it’s way over!

  • Ann July 4, 2012, 3:42 am

    Hi Jo,
    I had just decided I had to be brave and try making my own bread (I watched someone else last weekend) ….. and here is your offer! If I’m not too late, I’d love some of your yeast – and New Zealand is not too much further away than Australia 🙂

    • simplybeingmum July 4, 2012, 9:18 am

      I have jet-setting yeast! I’m so proud! Box 10 about to hit NZ…

  • Ann July 4, 2012, 3:42 am

    Hi Jo,
    I had just decided I had to be brave and try making my own bread (I watched someone else last weekend) ….. and here is your offer! If I’m not too late, I’d love some of your yeast – and New Zealand is not too much further away than Australia 🙂

    • simplybeingmum July 4, 2012, 9:18 am

      I have jet-setting yeast! I’m so proud! Box 10 about to hit NZ…

  • Emma July 4, 2012, 7:49 am

    Hi Jo, I love making bread so I’d love some yeast if there is any left. Those muffins look so gorgeous!

  • Emma July 4, 2012, 7:49 am

    Hi Jo, I love making bread so I’d love some yeast if there is any left. Those muffins look so gorgeous!

  • Graham July 4, 2012, 11:04 am

    The muffins look good. I am not after any yeast but this is a plea for help…. has anyone got a sourdough starter to be sucessful? Tried 10 times failed 10 times…. maybe I sould go to the baker and buy some.

    • simplybeingmum July 4, 2012, 11:15 am

      Graham – now is that the right attitude to take? 😉 Only joking, after 10 attempts I’d be straight down the bakers. Personally I have never made sour dough – unless a ‘Herman cake’ qualifies. But I didn’t do the starter, just nurtured it – oh and my second failed miserably!
      Let’s hope someone has a better success rate and can share? If not I’d hotfoot it over to The Frugal Girl blog – Kristen is a mine of fantastic info!

      • Jessica July 4, 2012, 3:56 pm

        Hooray, another person with sourdough problems! I thought it was just me. I’ve tried countless times with different recipes and it’s never lasted more than one baking. My father on the other hand, has been using his starter, called “Fred” for over 5 years. Since he came to visit me during my first sourdough attempts 🙁 I’ve never thought of going to a bakery – we have one down the road so I’ll go and ask. Great idea Graham!

        • simplybeingmum July 4, 2012, 4:25 pm

          I love people who name food!

        • Lili@creativesavv July 4, 2012, 4:30 pm

          Hi Jessica, If you want to give making sourdough starter one more try, you can check out the info below that I gave to Graham. (I blogged about making starter a month ago.) Not knowing how you did your starters, or what you did after the first baking, I can’t tell you what to change, but if you want to email me I can offer assistance. The method I use has worked several times for me and my friends, and I continue to use my most recent starter once a week. Good luck, and seriously, email me and I can help get you started.

    • Lili@creativesavv July 4, 2012, 3:47 pm

      Hi Graham, I’ve made sourdough starter several times. My most recent batch was made about a month ago. I blogged about it, if you want to see the details.(look through the “labels” feature for “sourdough baking” the starter info is in there)
      I don’t know how you went about making your starter. I’ve tried several ways, and have greatest success with commercial yeast added to the original starter, then feeding with flour and water daily for about 10 days. It has a very nice tang to it, and makes perfect San Francisco style bread. Anyways, I don’t like to promote my own blog on someone else’s (sorry, JO), but I’d be happy to take you through it step by step, if you’d like.

      • simplybeingmum July 4, 2012, 3:58 pm

        Lili – you’re very welcome to promote your blog here anytime and please don’t be shy about dropping links in. They may get caught in the back-end approval system the first couple of times so may take a while to appear, but you are very welcome to link.
        We’re in this together, right?
        p.s – San Fran bread – sounds perfect, gonna have to try it myself! Only been once and loved the place!

    • Amy July 5, 2012, 4:34 am

      Loads of yeast in this house so no need of freebies. To the Sourdough question. I used a starter recipe that included yeast I’m sure that’s cheating but it’s been going strong for months only adding flour and water since. I keep in the fridge when not doing the sourdough for a bit then take it out to warm on the side add a bit more flour and it’s still fine. I think it was only a tiny bit of yeast to begin with – like half a teaspoon to a cup of flour and water, fed it for a few days before using the first time.

  • Graham July 4, 2012, 11:04 am

    The muffins look good. I am not after any yeast but this is a plea for help…. has anyone got a sourdough starter to be sucessful? Tried 10 times failed 10 times…. maybe I sould go to the baker and buy some.

    • simplybeingmum July 4, 2012, 11:15 am

      Graham – now is that the right attitude to take? 😉 Only joking, after 10 attempts I’d be straight down the bakers. Personally I have never made sour dough – unless a ‘Herman cake’ qualifies. But I didn’t do the starter, just nurtured it – oh and my second failed miserably!
      Let’s hope someone has a better success rate and can share? If not I’d hotfoot it over to The Frugal Girl blog – Kristen is a mine of fantastic info!

      • Jessica July 4, 2012, 3:56 pm

        Hooray, another person with sourdough problems! I thought it was just me. I’ve tried countless times with different recipes and it’s never lasted more than one baking. My father on the other hand, has been using his starter, called “Fred” for over 5 years. Since he came to visit me during my first sourdough attempts 🙁 I’ve never thought of going to a bakery – we have one down the road so I’ll go and ask. Great idea Graham!

        • simplybeingmum July 4, 2012, 4:25 pm

          I love people who name food!

        • Lili@creativesavv July 4, 2012, 4:30 pm

          Hi Jessica, If you want to give making sourdough starter one more try, you can check out the info below that I gave to Graham. (I blogged about making starter a month ago.) Not knowing how you did your starters, or what you did after the first baking, I can’t tell you what to change, but if you want to email me I can offer assistance. The method I use has worked several times for me and my friends, and I continue to use my most recent starter once a week. Good luck, and seriously, email me and I can help get you started.

    • Lili@creativesavv July 4, 2012, 3:47 pm

      Hi Graham, I’ve made sourdough starter several times. My most recent batch was made about a month ago. I blogged about it, if you want to see the details.(look through the “labels” feature for “sourdough baking” the starter info is in there)
      I don’t know how you went about making your starter. I’ve tried several ways, and have greatest success with commercial yeast added to the original starter, then feeding with flour and water daily for about 10 days. It has a very nice tang to it, and makes perfect San Francisco style bread. Anyways, I don’t like to promote my own blog on someone else’s (sorry, JO), but I’d be happy to take you through it step by step, if you’d like.

      • simplybeingmum July 4, 2012, 3:58 pm

        Lili – you’re very welcome to promote your blog here anytime and please don’t be shy about dropping links in. They may get caught in the back-end approval system the first couple of times so may take a while to appear, but you are very welcome to link.
        We’re in this together, right?
        p.s – San Fran bread – sounds perfect, gonna have to try it myself! Only been once and loved the place!

    • Amy July 5, 2012, 4:34 am

      Loads of yeast in this house so no need of freebies. To the Sourdough question. I used a starter recipe that included yeast I’m sure that’s cheating but it’s been going strong for months only adding flour and water since. I keep in the fridge when not doing the sourdough for a bit then take it out to warm on the side add a bit more flour and it’s still fine. I think it was only a tiny bit of yeast to begin with – like half a teaspoon to a cup of flour and water, fed it for a few days before using the first time.

  • Shelley July 4, 2012, 2:07 pm

    Jo, if you haven’t had your fill of requests..I’d love some yeast!

  • Shelley July 4, 2012, 2:07 pm

    Jo, if you haven’t had your fill of requests..I’d love some yeast!

  • simplybeingmum July 9, 2012, 9:35 am

    Please can everyone who requested a box of yeast contact me at simplybeingmum (at) gmail (dot) com with the address they would like it sending to? Many thanks!

  • simplybeingmum July 9, 2012, 9:35 am

    Please can everyone who requested a box of yeast contact me at simplybeingmum (at) gmail (dot) com with the address they would like it sending to? Many thanks!

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