Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??

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My bonfire night photos as promised!

Just a quick post this afternoon to share my photos from bonfire night as promised in last week’s post! The plan on ‘actual’ bonfire night was to build a small fire in the back garden and chill out with jacket potatoes for dinner, followed by a lot of playing with sparklers.

bonfire night chilli con carne and coronation chicken jacket potatoes recipe

Well, the rain put a stop to our fire-building plans, and our hopes of marshmallow-toasting vanished, but we still enjoyed tucking into our jacket potatoes (cooked in the oven instead!) with chilli con carne – here’s my recipe – and coronation chicken. After warming up with our massive dinner, we decided to brave the rain and play around in the garden with sparklers as planned. We put the camera on a tripod with an open shutter and tried out writing our names and drawing scenes with the sparklers – here’s how we got on:

cassiefairy blog writing love hearts with sparklers on bonfire night

The sparklers turned out to be a bit too sparkly to make out the writing, but we soon realised that we could get a similar effect using torches, so I got out my special white-and-pink torch, along with hubby’s big strip-light LED torch and had a go at creating some text using the light they gave off – with varying levels of success! What do you think?

cassiefairy blog writing text using torches in the dark and slow shutter speed

Hubby then had the genius idea of using the torches to draw an outline around my little vintage caravan and I think this worked out best of all.  If you’ve been reading my blog over the past couple of months, you’ll know how much my little caravan means to me and I think it’s pretty cool to have a photo of it outlined in pink and white light!

cassiefairy blog outline of caravan using torch light and slow shutter speed photography

More caravan articles

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Pieday Friday Recipe – Bonfire Night Chilli Con Carne

I’m off to a fireworks display tonight and I always like to take something warming with me for dinner, whether it’s soup (try my carrot & coriander or red pepper & tomato soup recipes) or my favourite bonfire night dish; chilli con carne. So I’ve rustled up a lovely chilli and wanted to share the recipe with you.

Ingredients: 1 large onion, finely chopped, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 2 fresh chillies, deseeded and chopped, 2 tsps ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp paprika, pinch of cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon of tomato puree, 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, ½ pint beef or veg stock, 1lb extra lean beef mince (or Quorn mince for a very low-fat version), 1 x tin of kidney beans, and a handful of chopped peppers (I used the peppers from my frozen stir-fry mix recipe).

Method: Fry the onion gently until softened then add garlic, chillies and all the spices. Add the mince, stirring until it begins to brown then pour in the tin of chopped tomatoes, peppers, tomato puree and stock before bringing to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes, until the liquid reduces. Season with salt and pepper and add drained kidney beans. Heat through gently for about 5 minutes then serve with rice or on a jacket potato for a bonfire night treat!


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Recipe – Make your own stir-fry mix

Frozen stir fry mix can be expensive, and fresh veg can be pricier still. But I have a top tip for making your own stir-fry mix, which I’ve been busy doing this week: freeze-your-own!

I  visiting my local Tesco in the evening for quick shop and was lucky enough to have arrived at the right time for their price-reductions hitting rock bottom. This usually happens an hour or two before the store closes every day (but if your local supermarket opens 24 hours, the only time it’d be good to go is on a Sunday afternoon!) and there are some great bargains to be had on the fresh veg section. I was delighted to be able to pick up bags of peppers, courgettes and spring onions for literally pence, and only worried about the quantity that I’d bought when I got home and had nowhere to store it! And it wasn’t going to stay fresh for long, as it was fast approaching its best-before date.

So I had a look in my mother-in-law’s home-preserving book and discovered that all of these vegetables could be prepared and frozen without the extra effort of blanching or pre-cooking. So I sliced up my veg and laid it in a single layer on a baking tray and popped in the freezer until the veg was thoroughly frozen. I then mixed the peppers, courgettes and spring onions together and put them in portion-sized plastic tubs (the contains that my takeaway comes in – recycling, hurrah!).

So now I have perfect 2-person portions of stir-fry veg mix and also (due to the quantity of veg I’d bought) I also varied my chopping to include some diced veg mix which will be great for adding into a Bolognese or chilli con carne. And these can all be added to the meal straight from the freezer. I’ve tried a portion of stir-fry mix already and found that the peppers actually softened and cooked more quickly from frozen than they would from fresh, so I’m happy with that!


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