The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Sunday 9 August 2015

The money saving baking day.

Having staples in your pantry means you always have on hand the means to whip up food and fast! Baking seems like a miracle to me. You go from basic and pretty boring ingredients to amazing things in such a short time. When the cupboard is bare it is time to bake.

The simplest things take minutes and yet a tray of scones or a pile of pancakes are always such a hit. People go crazy over such simple things. The cost is tiny and the fill up hungry bellies factor is huge!

I am going to give you Hilde's Scone Recipe. This is a really easy one and fast. If you know visitors are arriving get this going... or for the kids on the way home from school. Or arrive at someone's with these still warm and deliver them!

Hilde's Easy Scones. (In the US Biscuits)

Turn on the oven to a hot temp. setting.

300 ml carton of cream (10 ounces US)
Use same carton and fill it with milk. Swish to get the last cream as well!
Add to 3 1/2 cups SR Flour.
Mix to a dough. Cut into thick rounds, place close together, bake until lightly golden.
That's it!
Start to cooked in half an hour.

If you are a person like me who makes scones like rocks add a teaspoon of baking powder to your scones. This conquers whatever it is with people like us who turn things that are meant to be light and fluffy into lead. It is the antidote so to speak.

As I always have jam in the pantry if I make scones I have something nice for afternoon tea.

Nana always had baking day. Like she had washing day, shopping day... she had baking day! She was a wonderful cook and made rock cakes (which I loved), biscuits we called cockles which had pale pink icing in the middle.... sponges, sponge rolls, fairy cakes, cream kisses, cream puffs,  pies, pasties, sausage rolls... so many beautiful things!

I used to have whole baking days and make enormous supplies for school lunch boxes and things like that. Now I tend to make a lot of something at one time and then divide it up into many meals to use and freeze. Number one is using things that come my way or are a big special or maybe just something that needs using up like some tired carrots or apples.

Last week I was given nine bananas. So on the weekend I made banana muffins and banana cakes. These are good and easy and freeze really well. I also peeled and froze several for smoothies later.

This is a recipe I have used for years. I use it for cakes or muffins.

1 1/2 cups milk with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice added.
2 cups raw sugar.
1 teaspoon bi carb soda.
380 g butter (10 oz)
4 eggs.
sprinkle cinnamon.
4 ripe bananas.
5 cups SR flour.
Soften your butter and add in sugar, beat, add eggs, then milk, bananas and flour mix in.

Makes one very large tray cake. ie in your largest baking tray.
Or medium cake and 12 muffins.
Or loaves... or whatever suits.
Line your pan with non stick baking paper.
Bake in medium oven until risen and skewer comes out clean.
(muffins 15 minutes as a guide)

You can use ordinary icing or this cream cheese one...

2 packs cream cheese, 1 cup icing sugar, a tablespoon golden syrup. Blend until smooth.

This weekend I made 12 giant sized muffins and a medium cake from this.

Some were eaten, some frozen some given away. It make a lot!

I gave half the cake to Chloe to slice up and freeze for her work lunches.

Then I made a big lot of sausage rolls. Forty four to be exact! I find these really handy in the freezer.

Now I haven't costed my ingredients but I took notice in the local bakery and 44 sausage rolls would be about $150. Making them is a fraction of that. But I could also cost and compare my muffins and cake.
Stopping to grab lunch out, buying from the school canteen etc. all adds up very quickly.

Once I made a couple of dozen pretty cupcakes and compared the pice with the local shop. My two dozen cupcakes were so cheap to make but would have cost $105 at the local cup cake shop. I am pretty sure they cost under ten dollars to make.
The savings by baking are not small, they are crazy! If you do some comparisons it can be very motivating to start baking!

Yesterday the boys went fishing. They headed off out the door with hot sausage rolls wrapped in foil and in a hot pack to keep them warm, a pile of banana muffins and some drinks. (very happily) I don't know what this saved but compared to them stopping somewhere and buying food, no doubt a lot.

                                                       Mt. Sausage Roll. South Australia. :)

This morning I had a visitor and sausage rolls were in the oven. My visitor said "your house smells BEAUTIFUL" and again my supply was a hit!

Lunch boxes are full, the freezer is stocked up. That is the power of doing a bit of baking.
When yummy things are in the fridge and freezer no one looks to going out for food.  All those emergency times are avoided. A lot of money is saved. And you get asked questions like "are there any more of those sausage rolls left?"

There isn't always time to bake but when you have an hour or two if you whip up a big batch of something it is an investment that really saves money. It doesn't hurt your popularity either!  The thing is you don't have to do anything complicated for everyone to think it's wonderful. I stick to really easy things and make big batches.

To be able to pop things into lunch boxes for the next few days is so easy. To have things in the freezer ready for lunch boxes, after school snacks, emergency dinners... it is just such a help. Baking also has a transformative power over less than fresh things like fruit, many vegies, and use it up powers over dairy products etc. If I have apples that need using up I might make an apple pie or crumble. If there is milk or cream that needs using I might make a custard, creme caramel and big pile of pancakes. Cream that needs using might become quiche, scones or go into a baked rice custard.... baking gives many things a second chance at life!

Have a really good week!
Wednesday we have a post from Glenda and we will learn a whole series of ways to preserve foods for our pantry. This will mean options you may not have even thought of to keep excess produce (or inexpensive produce), reduce waste, save money and build up your food storage! xxx


  1. Yes, yes and yes Annabel! Sausage rolls are the cheapest things ever to make, and the bought ones taste like the cardboard in the middle of the toilet roll...not that I've ever eaten those, but I imagine that they're! Muffins...we love them with home made jam swirled through the batter and a sliver of strawberry on top. And there's nothing prettier than a home made cake on a cake stand. It just oozes welcome and happy home, don't you think? Great post for a new week. Mimi xxx

    1. Thanks Mimi. I saw your great baking list... thinking we are dreaming of the same things! Again the savings are just so huge it is ridiculous!
      I love your sausage roll description lol but I know what you mean exactly by that!
      I hope you have a good week. With love,

  2. Yum! I am coming to your house Annabel. I can smell all that wonderful home made goodness right now!

    Thank you for the recipes. One can never have enough recipes lol! The scone mixture is similar to the one I use now, and I like the sound of your banana cake, a bit different to mine,so I will give it a try. I use my mums favourite recipe. The cream cheese icing would be so tasty.

    It is amazing how much money we save by baking at home. I know through the years in busier times, I was caught in the trap of buying baked goods from the stores. Not anymore though, the taste of home is so much better :)

    Have a lovely week Annabel,

    God Bless,


    1. Dear Tania, There is nothing like a tried and tested recipe. I love my recipes that I know I have been using for years and I can rely on.
      When feeding men, teenagers etc baking is the only way I think it would even be possible! Food is such an expense now. This is a big help! With love,

  3. Annabel, you've given me some more recipes to try! Those sausage rolls look delicious and I have always wanted to try my hand at making scones ... now I have a tried and true recipe! Thanks for another great post!

    1. Dear Patsi,
      I stll wonder if your biscuits and our scones are the same thing exactly or similar... but they seem to be the same thing...let me know if there is a difference.
      They are USEFUL. You can add cheese, bacon, chives and they can be savory. Or pumpkin. Or chopped dates, or sultanas. They are all very good!
      I hope it goes well! With love,

    2. Annabel, biscuits here include some kind of shortening in the mix so I think there might be a little difference. Can't wait to try your scones!

  4. You are so right! The happiness home baked goods is unbounding! Thank you for the scone recipe, I'll give it a try.
    I'm in NW Washington state in America, so some of your abbreviations are different. I'm guessing SR. Flour means self-rising? I think I've seen it at the store.
    I am really curious about the sausage roll! Would you share how those are made?

    1. Dear Lace Faerie, I love your name! Welcome and thank you for telling me where you are located, I love to hear that.
      Yes, SR Flour is self raising.
      Here is a link to my friends very good sausage roll recipe. They are easy and good!
      I hope you enjoy them. With love

  5. Sausage rolls were being bulk cooked here last week too! I had 2 kilos of mince which turned into gazillions of little rolls ;) Perfect to put into a thermos and send to school so a hot lunch could be enjoyed! A hot lunch at school is a new thing for us, but is proving to be very popular, and very welcome on these cold winter days xx Fiona

    1. Dear Fiona,
      It is just brilliant to use a thermo for sausage rolls! In cold weather that would just be so nice. Excellent trick!
      I am pretty sure there are a lot of kids wanting that lunch!
      Thanks for this! Love

  6. Annabel you are so right about baking - with the basics you can whip up something to a 'take a plate' event or to show someone that you care.

    When the children were little I use to shop one fortnight and bake the other one - biscuits, muffins and cakes - the only thing I ever made each fortnight's bake was the cheese muffins that would go to school with our son as part of his lunch - he never liked sandwiches.

    Yesterday's blog post by Going Grey and Slightly Green takes you to one of the places I support with my knitting - who I will be making the bags for. I love yesterday's post - something that we tend to forget about.



    1. Dear Lynette, I went and read that blog post thank you! There is a lot of need. It is so good seeing people respond to it and help.
      You must have made a lot of cheese muffins! Savory scones and muffins can be very filling and good!
      I hope you are having a good week! It is full on here, pouring, windy, you name it! With love,

  7. Annabel, I love your sausage roll mountain! Beautiful! Also, the cake looks so yummy. You've inspired me to make a banana cake with some extra bananas I was given!

    I love baking goodies and easy dinners. It saves a ton of money and tastes so much better. I've yet to conquer French bread though but I'm not giving up! lol

    In my opinion scones over here are just a "fancied up biscuit" so I think you are spot on! :)

    Have a wonderful week! Love, Teri

    1. Dear Teri,
      The sausage roll mountain is more like a mole hill now! I do have a fair few in the freezer though!
      I am thinking my next big bake up with be quiches with different fillings.
      I hope you are having a lovely week! With love,

  8. Scones and pikelets helped fill my teenage twin sons after school. Sometimes I would turn the scones into scrolls with chutney, cheese, ham or gherkin spread and cheese.
    I have been asked for a recipe for my sausage rolls by someone who doesn't cook. I don't have a recipe I just make them. Because I bake I was a very popular staff member at my last workplace whenever there was a celebration.

    1. Dear Barb, The mother of teenage twin boys is highly qualified on the art of keeping the food up and should probably write a cook book! I have seen teenage boys able to inhale the contents of the whole fridge, practically!
      I cook a fair few things by adding lots of what I have and so never really the same twice... sausage rolls for me too is a bit varied ie grated carrot etc if I have spares.
      People appreciate baking so much! I still find a cake or scones to be the best presents! With love,

    2. Yes our food bill dramatically decreased when they left home. After school it was first afternoon tea, second afternoon tea, dinner then supper, sometimes first and second!

  9. Your cakes look so lovely. I love the way you have managed to swirl the icing. It is so nice to have some from the pantry baking recipes. It is often a fun activity for our kids to do in the late afternoon and make good preschool morning teas.

    1. Thank you! When the girls were little we used to have the last day of holidays as a baking day and made cup cakes and all kinds of things for the first day of school. It made going back a bit special. Plus they became good cooks by the time they grew up!

  10. Dear Annabel,

    You have been a very busy lady! The pictures you post are always so beautiful and inspiring. I feel like a baking day is in order now :).

    The biscuit recipe is definitely one I will try. It is a simple one, which is a huge plus for me. Homemade biscuits with butter and homemade conserve is a real treat around here.

    I love scones, but all of the recipes I have for scones have a few more ingredients. I do think scones, in the U.S.A., range from a basic biscuit recipe to a more elaborate concoction. I usually bake scones in a deep dish pie plate and cut them into wedges. One of the recipes I particularly like, also has a recipe for Devonshire Cream to top the scones. Another of my favorites is a GF Apple Cinnamon Scone recipe I found in a book a few years ago. I do substitutions all the time, so if something calls for a particular flour I will adjust it accordingly; same with sweeteners.

    You are absolutely right about savings on home baking and cooking. Buying premade is very expensive. I love to see all the wonderful foods you bake and freeze.

    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      I have been wondering if scones/biscuits are exactly the same and served the same way... if yours are served with cream and jam thats the same. But I have heard of biscuits and gravy which sounds more like what we would call dumplings.... so many little differences!
      I love a simple recipe. Cream is easy in scones as one alternative is rubbing in butter which is difficult if you ask me!
      This baking has come in very handy.
      Have a wonderful week! With love, Annabel.xxxx

    2. Biscuits and gravy are just a baked biscuit split open on a plate and sausage gravy spooned over the top. This is our favorite recipe' It makes a lot so I freeze it in meal size portions and thaw overnight in the fridge so I can reheat the gravy for breakfast in the morning. To a Southerner this is pure comfort food.

  11. I must try your scone recipe, Annabel. I have some Strawberry and Chai Jam without sugar that I need to use up before it goes off and it will be lovely with cream on scones.

    1. That jam sounds lovely Nanna Chel. I hope you like this recipe! xxx

  12. Annabel,
    Your sausage rolls look yummy! I love having baking/cooking days. Whenever I need to send some hospitality food I can just go to the freezer. Or if you sick the menfolk can feed themselves easily.

  13. I will have to try your (Hilde's) scone recipe as mine turn out like rocks everytime.The added baking powder will definitely be used, Enjoy your week Annabel x

    1. Debbie I had years of NO success with scones. My Nan even stood next to me to make sure they turned out.... but still rocks.
      I add the baking powder, cut them thick... and another thing you can do to increase the rise in them is to add an egg. I hope it works! Love

    2. I'll let you know how they turn out
      Thank Annabel x

  14. Annabel,
    I forgot to mention that if making scones and you don't have cream on hand flavored coffee creamer works very well! It's also is great for French Toast!

  15. When our five were growing up I fed them a lot of Biscuits. Anytime a meal seemed a little short I could have them in the oven in a few minutes and it rounded out the meal and filled up those boys. I do a very similar recipe to the one above and drop with a 1/2 cup scoop then flour my hand and pat the tops flat. It really speeds up the process.

    My husband's favorite muffin is banana with chocolate chips. They go in his lunch everyday and it keeps him out of the vending machines mid morning.

    I like to bake a batch of cupcakes and freeze them. This way we can take out two to thaw whenever we want dessert and we don't have a whole cake here for just the two of us.

    It is good to come here and see like minded homemakers taking care of their families with some lovin' from the oven!

    1. Dear Lana,
      That sounds sensible. Often just a little extra fills everyone up and they are happy!
      I love to freeze individual portions. I do it with little meat pies and lasagne portions as well. Just enough.. no waste and no temptation sitting on the bench!
      Thank you so much for your comments. With love,

  16. I love this post! So inspiring Annabel! I will have to try this scone recipe and your sausage roll recipe (yum). I have to say it was fantastic yesterday as I had frozen two of your Winter Sunshine cupcakes and I took them out for a lady who was helping me organise Henry's Christening. So I can thank you for this. What great ideas. I love this blog, I always come away happy. Love, Bridge

    1. Thank you for telling me this Bridge! It is just so handy having cakes etc in the freezer. The Banana cake I posted Monday freezes well cream cheese icing and all... I thought to tell you that since you may get cheap bananas there. I hope the Christening is a wonderful celebration for your whole family! With love,

  17. Annabel, this is a topic close to both our hearts I think, and I'm so pleased you shared this post at my Five Star Frugal linkup. What could be more 'five star' or 'frugal' than home baking. Love Mimi xxx

  18. Annabel, having a baking day is such a good idea! It's also a good way, like you mentioned, to use of excess fruit and vegetables. Your sausage rolls look delicious, I think I'll make some more! Did I understand you right to say that you froze them uncooked and then cooked them when you were ready?


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