Moose loves to cook and so do I. Here is where you will find our kitchen adventures

Chicken drum meat – 5 cheap meal ideas

I have noticed lately that (as per everything) chicken has been climbing in price at the supermarket. We have always bought chicken thighs as well as breast but at roughly £5 for a pack of chicken breasts big enough for a hungry family it is no longer a cost effective meal solution.

A few weeks ago I noticed that alongside boneless thigh fillets and breast fillets, you can now buy boneless chicken drumstick meat. Priced at £2.99 I thought it would be worth trying so I picked up a couple of packs.

Is chicken drum nutritious though?

Nutritionally the drum meat stacks up ok. Chicken drumsticks (100g of) offer  155 calories, 24.2 g of protein, and 5.7 g of fat. Compare that to the pricier breast (100g of) which offers 165 calories, 31 g of protein, and 3.6 g of fat and actually there really isn’t much in it. Especially considering 1 is nearly half the price of the other!

Of course, if you want to save even more money (and you have a sharp knife and a little time) you can always buy on the bone.

As a leg meat, drum will stand up to longer cooking times and won’t dry out like chicken breast can. This makes it a great choice for stews, casseroles and curries.

I have listed a few ideas for how you could use your drum meat below – let me know how you get on? Have you tried it yet?

Homemade pie

I always pick up a roll of puff pastry when I go shopping. Sometimes I use it for sweet things and sometimes savoury. A really way to chuck a meal together is to combine cooked chicken pieces with a bit of soup and white sauce. You can layer mashed potato and then top with a layer of pastry. It’s easy and very filling.

Chicken curry

I make a half decent and utterly inauthentic curry. I use whatever we have laying around veg wise and usually some curry powder or paste and coconut milk. Always toast your spices!

Chicken casserole

Again, and you might notice a theme here, I use what we have in the fridge. Casseroles are a great way to reduce waste but I also put frozen veg and beans in them too. If I have to crack open a bottle of wine then I am prepared to make that sacrifice..

Chicken kebab

Currently my favourite go to when using chicken drum meat. Thread the whole lot onto 2 skewers and marinate overnight. I usually use a bit of yogurt along with harissa paste, paprika and ton of garlic. Pop the skewers on a baking try and bake for 40 mins or so. You can make your own flatbreads too if you are that way inclined. I like the ones made from a mix of yogurt (you’ve opened a pot for the marinade now) and flour and whatever herbs you like. Very easy and very satisfying – especially when you look up the price of kebabs now. Sheesh!

Honey sesame chicken

I absolutely love my recipe for Sticky Sesame Pork which can be found here. It works just as well (maybe better) with chicken and drum would be perfect for this. Serve with rice and veg or noodles.




Meal Plan – It’s October and I still have the fan on edition

October should be all about lovely comforting dishes of stews and casseroles. Something warming as the nights draw in and the cold winds begin to blow.

This year, however, I am still going out in a t-shirt and having to have all of the windows open and a fan on. Stew and dumplings is not such an attractive prospect for October when the sun is still very much out!

I’m not moaning, by the way. The heating is staying off so money is being saved and it’s lovely to be able to walk the dog and not have to go through the bother of trying to keep her dry and mud free. I am looking forward to November though, when the autumnal weather might kick in and so will the sausage casseroles!


This week in food

Monday: Steak salad (pea shoots, tomato and pear) and crusty bread

Tuesday: Spaghetti & meatballs

Wednesday: Chicken bake with mash and beans

Thursday: Cottage pie

Friday: Wraps and wedges

Saturday: Fish with new potatoes and broccoli

Sunday: Roast pork

Meal Plan – is it everybody’s birthday this month or does it just feel like it edition

August is the absolute worst but not for food. Not only do I have to work while M is off school for the entire month but it’s both his birthday and MrG’s birthday as well as my nephew’s. All of this equates to it being a tight month moneywise.

One of the things I do when we need to watch the pennies when it comes to food, is to eat from the freezer. I am notoriously bad at buying exactly what we need so when the freezer is pretty full we have a week or so of eating that food to save 1 or maybe 2 shopping trips. It really does help!

homemade pizza on a grey worktop

This week in food:

Monday: ‘Boba – Fett- Uccini’. It’s MrG’s birthday and Bess has a day of Star Wars inspired food including this pasta dish. Not sure exactly how it will turn out taste wise but she has salmon, pasta, bacon, prawns, asparagus and cream on the ingredients list so I reckon it will be pretty good!

Tuesday: Sausage and mash

Wednesday: Chicken wraps and nachos

Thursday: Gammon, egg and chips

Friday: Meatballs and spaghetti – Going to get M to make the meatballs.

Saturday: ‘Homemade’ pizza. Not entirely homemade – I picked up a pack of 5 giant flatbreads for £1.25 and we will just top those!

Sunday: Fish pie

Whatever you have planned for the week, I hope you enjoy it. I would love to hear what your go to meals are? Easier to prepare the better! Feel free to comment below.

What To Eat When You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

If you are preparing to or have had your wisdom tooth removed, this post is for you. I recently had to go through the pain of wisdom tooth removal and it was no picnic. Literally. Even a week on, picnics would be a nightmare.

I did not research what I needed before I saw my dentist (because of course I didn’t) so I was wholly unprepared. Make sure you stock up and get some help if you have little ones – you are going to need rest for at least a day.

What to eat after wisdom tooth removal

Salt Water

More important than anything else you will be putting into your mouth. You need to be (softly) slamming a salt water chaser after every meal or snack or even drink if it isn’t water.

Keeping your extraction site clean will hopefully help you to avoid infection or dry socket.

I did a warm water and salt rinse roughly 5 times a day for the first couple of days and then decreased over the course of a week or so.


It didn’t take long for me to get sick of soup. I wasn’t a massive fan before my tooth extraction so having it everyday for a week got very old, very quickly.

As much as I would love to tell you that I lovingly made some hearty and warming concoctions. I didn’t. I went to Aldi and bought a variety of tins. It was cheap and it was easy. Just like me. Fnar.

For the first day or 2 I didn’t even heat them. I didn’t want to risk burning my mouth and doing more damage. I was so hungry that I honestly didn’t care.

Do not buy Oxtail or Vegetable or if you do, make sure you blend it when you heat it – lot’s of little bits that could get stuck in your extraction hole!


By far the easiest thing to eat. I got 2 small buckets of the 10% fat stuff from Aldi and just added to it as it time went on. No chewing whatsoever and lovely and cool in my mouth.


Aldi (and many other shops) sell an assortment of high protein puddings and smoothies. Buy them. Especially the caramel pudding. Really easy to eat and quite filling. Not too pricey either so make sure you buy quite a few.


Hear me out. If it’s good enough for baby humans then it is good enough for you! You can just puree the hell out of whatever meal you cook for the family. My sister, who also had to endure soft foods for some time following her jaw surgery, told me the key to this is to not mix the foods before you puree. That way they retain their own taste and don’t just taste.. Grey.

Special mention to Aldi Just Apple pouches. They are lovely mixed with yoghurt or on their own – just make sure you don’t try to suck them. Ouch.

Ice cream

Well duh! If not then when?! I stuck to vanilla but just avoid the flavours with bits or chunks.

Weaning with wisdom

After a few days I felt like I was able to eat something a bit more substantial. I felt like it was important not to push my luck so I took it slow, and I’m glad I did.

My jaw refused to open so I could barely fit a teaspoon into my mouth for the first few days. As soon as the gap widened enough for me to be able to use a fork though, I took that as a good sign to try to get a bit more in terms of nutrition into my body.

Do not attempt to eat anything chewy, crunchy or hard. It really isn’t worth it. If it hurts to chew then listen to your body and wait another day.

Some of the foods I enjoyed during the first week after my wisdom tooth extraction were:

  • Scrambled eggs
  • egg mayo
  • overboiled pasta (to make it softer)
  • cottage cheese with pineapple in
  • soft/cream cheese either on its own or made into pate with salmon or tuna
  • ramen, or as we call them, super noodles
  • mashed potato – a lot of mashed potato.
  • mashed banana
  • avocado. I bought the smashed avocado from Aldi and mixed it with scrambled egg or just ate it on it’s own from the pot with a spoon.
  • cottage pie
  • macaroni cheese
  • hummus
  • peanut butter (smooth of course)

Hopefully, your extraction goes smoothly and recovery is fast and as comfortable as possible. Remember to follow your Dentist’s guidance and use ice packs!

Too Good To Go – Costa

An interesting phenomenon which seems to have popped up in the last year or too are apps which claim to rescue unused/unwanted food from being wasted by offering them to the general public either for free or at a reduced cost.

The concept is really simple and although you never know what you might get, the incentive is that it is super cheap. A magic bag via the Too Good To Go app for example will save the consumer at least 50% off the RRP. Result!

But what do you actually get for your money?

I tried the Costa Magic Bag to see.

The ordering process was simple. Just hop onto the app, pop your postcode in and see what comes up in your area. I will just say that the Costa Magic Bags do seem to be quite popular so I think it was a bit of a fluke that this came up.

As well as Costa, on the TGTG app, you will find other big brands such as Starbucks, Aunt Anne Pretzels, Nisa, Spar, Greggs and more!

They all seem to have their magic bags loaded on at different times throughout the day but if you want one then be prepared to have to go out late on to collect.

I happened to be out anyway last night when I noticed the Costa magic bag was available and with pick up less than 10 mins away I thought it rude not to. After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

What’s in the bag?

After a very swift collection I was able to finally see what you got for your £3 from Costa!

I will be honest here and say that I was hoping for sweet treats like those lush chocolate twists they sell or maybe a slab of millionaires shortcake.

It seems though that I did not get what I was hoping for. Instead it was rather healthier and in the end, not actually Costa food but Marks & Spencer!

Inside my bag I found salad!

3 different salad items to be precise. There was the Prawns with dip, the Italian chicken salad and the superfoods salad. All 3 were dated the same day.

I did eat the prawns straightaway because you do not mess about with seafood dates. The other 2 though I left to the following day and used them at lunchtime (disclaimer: I know the risks of eating out of date food and am in no way suggesting you do this. If you do, then you take that risk) and to be honest they were pretty good!

The superfoods salad did, admittedly, smell a bit…farty…. but there was a LOT of veg so that might be why. It tasted way better than it smelt though, thankfully!

The magic bags from Costa cost £3 and should contain items to the value of at least £10. I would say that, yes, they did achieve this. It would have been nice to have had something sweet though but that’s the point. You really never know what you will get! I will certainly be trying it again.

Would you take the chance on one? Or have you used the app already? How was it?