Saturday, May 18, 2019

Playing Silly Burgers 27: Turkey Burgers with Corn Salsa and Avocado

I've never been keen on avocado but JD likes it so we're giving this burger a try! I made up the corn salsa using tinned sweetcorn, chopped yellow pepper, cucumber, onion, salt and pepper. It looks so bright and fresh, I love it.


500g turkey mince
bread buns
garlic powder

corn salsa

Mix 1 teaspoon of cumin, garlic and paprika in with the turkey mince and mix well. Form into burger patties and cook according to preference in a frying pan.

When ready assemble your burger. We used toasted oven bottom muffin bread rolls because they're our favourite. Layer up lettuce and sliced avocado on the bottom bun then the burger topped with mayo and corn salsa. It's time to consume your creation!

JD, Leigh and I really enjoyed this one. Turkey mince makes for a good meaty burger and the added flavourings made it tasty too. The corn salsa is a nice addition that gives plenty of crunch to each bite. I didn't really notice the avocado as I ate the burger, not sure if that's a good or bad thing. This is one of our favourite burgers so far.

Ratings: Emma - 4, JD - 4.5 and Leigh - 4

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Harrogate Cheap Eats - I Am Doner

I Am Doner resides at 30 Station Parade just opposite the bus station. I'd been keen to try it ever since it opened because I'd heard good things from a few people. JD and I visited one lunchtime to check out their menu.

It's the perfect Cheap Eats place, currently everything on the menu is under £7. Berlin Doners, Salad Boxes, Rice Boxes and Street Cart Fries. It all sounds delicious too!

JD and I both opted for the House Special Berlin Doner Kebab. (£6.95) "Chicken, doner, falafel and grilled halloumi with tomato, feta, onion ,carrot, coriander, pickled pink cabbage and roasted vegetables, all drizzled in chilli, mint, garlic sauce". The guy serving us asked if we wanted all the sauces so we tried it all.

There is a small eating area with stools and a counter but we chose to take our kebabs and walk up to the benches near the Queen Victoria statue.

THE KEBAB WAS AMAZING!! Christ, it was the best kebab I've ever eaten. With an almost perfect balance of meat to veg to sauce going on. But it didn't even seem like eating a kebab because it was so good. I do love a kebab but it's more of a guilty pleasure usually. This kebab was quality. Quality ingredients, quality meat, quality sauce. I loved it. I can't wait to try more of their menu.

I love their philosophy of providing quality kebabs. Viva la revolution! The founder Paul Baron has obviously put a lot of thought and work into making the perfect kebab. If you're not already convinced by my enthusiasm then consider that 10p of every sale goes to a local cause and that all their packaging is 100% plastic free. Great work, I Am Doner.

Seriously, give this place a try. You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Photo Challenge Week 1

I've always wanted to do one of those Photo Challenge things where you take a picture every day based on a list of prompts. I've never really had time to go looking for what I'm supposed to capture every day though. I've decided to just do it in my own time so it's more enjoyable and less stressful. Photography is a nice cheap hobby to have if like me you just use your camera phone.

I'll break the pictures up into 4 blog posts showing the pictures I've taken to represent each picture prompt. I hope you enjoy my pictures! :)

First up was ANIMAL. I took this picture on a recent walk with JD. These young cows followed us across a field but backed off when I tried to stroke them. I did eventually get one to lick my hand with it's huge gross tongue.

BRIDGE. Another walk with JD over the sunny Easter weekend. Bonus second bridge in the background.

LOOKING UP. This picture looks like it's in the countryside but I actually took it in our local Weatherspoon's beer garden whilst having lunch with Erin. I love cherry blossom trees and this white one above us was really pretty.

WALL. I love stone walls in the countryside. It's very Yorkshire. My Dad once told me that on really hot days you can sometimes see tiny lizards between the stones but I never have yet.

WOOD. I saw this carving while on a walk with Leigh next to the river in Knaresborough.

LOOK DOWN. More cherry blossom but this time covering the ground under the tree. So pretty!

 WATER. The River Nidd in Knaresborough. Just upriver from my favourite swimming spot.

That's all my pictures so far but watch this space for more!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Burger It 26: Chopped Cheese Burger

This burger comes from New York and is really popular there. We saw it on a travel show where Anthony Bourdain visits the Bronx and thought it looked different. So let's give it a try!


500g minced beef
2 tablespoons sriracha
1 onion
grated cheese
bread rolls

Mix the minced beef and sriracha together. Form into patties. Cook the patties as you normally would in oil or butter. Let them caramelise on both sides. Now comes the 'chopped' part! Use a spatula to chop up the burgers, maybe into about 6 pieces. However you like though. Put a decent amount of grated cheese on top of the chopped burger. Let the cheese melt down and fill the gaps.

While the cheese is melting you can toast the bread buns and dice the onion. Spread some mayo on the toasted bun and add a tablespoon of onion. Place the chopped cheese on top. You're done!

This was a pretty great burger. It was hard to tell what was different from a regular cheeseburger but it was. Each bite was different in texture to a solid burger. We really enjoyed it, maybe it was the cheese being melted into the burger or the burger itself being in pieces. I don't know but we liked it. You'll have to give it a try to see for yourself. :)

Ratings: Emma - 4, JD - 4, Leigh - 4

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Harrogate Cheap Eats - Cafe Rita

Last weekend we visited Cafe Rita in Harrogate. It's on Bower Road just along from Asda. It's a place we've walked past lots of times as it's on our route into town. It was nice to finally be eating there!

The cafe looked busy from the outside but there's a lot more tables than you think for a small cafe. We got seated and had a look at the menu. We both picked paninis. I had chicken, bacon and pesto while JD chose a tuna melt.  Mine came with a thick rasher of bacon in each half along with a large slice of chicken. It was really meaty! JD enjoyed his tuna melt which also had red onion on it. Both were £6.95 so within our £15 budget. We had water to drink as usual.

There was lots on the menu to choose from in the same price range. They have a particularly good selection of breakfast foods. French toast, full English, hash browns, lots of pancakes and crepes with delicious sounding toppings. They even do Russian savoury crepes with bacon, cheese and onions. We might have to go back to try those!

The service was friendly and efficient. It's a nice family cafe with homecooked style food at a good price. We enjoyed our visit.

Other posts in this series: 

Palm Court Cafe

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Cheeky Burger 25: Butter Burger

Famous in Wisconsin, US this burger is cooked in butter instead of oil and has a generous pat of butter placed on each burger as it cooks. Sounds a bit too buttery to be honest but they do say it makes for a nice moist burger. Let's see!


500g minced beef
4 burger buns
plenty of butter
salt and pepper

whatever other burger toppings you like

Form the burger patties from the minced beef, seasoning with salt and pepper too. Melt a pat of butter in the frying pan and cook the burgers until almost done. Top each burger with another pat of butter and continue to cook letting the butter melt over the burgers. When the butter has melted transfer to a burger bun and finish with whatever other burger toppings you like. We had bacon, gherkins, spinach, tomato ketchup and onion.

The burgers were more moist than usual and had a nice buttery taste but the whole thing was a bit greasy to eat. We enjoyed them but decided that it was too much butter. We'll stick to none-buttered burgers from now on. It was interesting to try them anyway. Wisconsin people, you're insane! :)

Ratings: Emma - 2.5, JD - 3 and Leigh - 3

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Having A Gouda Time At Cheesefest

JD and I went to Cheesefest at the Yorkshire Show Ground today in Harrogate. We got our tickets a couple of months ago for an early price of £5 each. I think it was only £8 on the day. We went along not really knowing what to expect except for cheese.

The hall had food stalls all around the outside. Mostly cheese related but also a few others. The centre of the room was seating areas with a stage on one side. A one man band was playing while we were there but there was also some cooking demos and several screenings of Wallace & Gromit cartoons. There was a kids craft area where they were making plasticine models of Wallace & Gromit too.

After looking around the stalls we decided on Mac and Cheese Waffles (£5) with some Halloumi Fries (£6).

Both were delicious! The queue for the waffles was the largest by far but I feel they were worth it. Mine was flavoured with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes. I might have to try out making these in our waffle maker now. Yum!

JD next chose a Cheesewurst (£6) with cheese sauce (obviously, Cheesefest!) I was a bit full from the waffles so we bought some cheesy sausage rolls for lunch tomorrow and some temptingly delicious looking cheese scones. They were huge!

I had time for a quick snap with Wallace & Gromit before we were on our way home feeling very satisfied with our cheesy afternoon.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Harrogate Cheap Eats - Palm Court Cafe

JD and I like to have lunch out sometimes. It's a nice way to spend some time together away from the kids. But being the frugal pair we are we look out for good deals and cheap eats. Usually with a budget of £15 or less for the whole lunch. We also like to spend our money in independant cafes and takeaways. So after searching Harrogate we bring to you a series of lunches (or breakfasts) that can be eaten fairly cheaply and also help out the small businesses rather than chains.

Today we visited Palm Court Cafe.

It's above the Farrah's shop on Montpellier Hill but is quite spacious for an upstairs cafe. It's over two floors so we climbed a second flight of stairs to the Garden Room.

Seated next to the window you get a lovely view of the Crown roundabout.

After looking at the menu we chose Ploughman's lunches. I had a Yorkshire cheese one and JD had the pork pie one. Both £6.25.  There were plenty of other options around £5 including Toasted Sandwiches, Rarebit and Soups. We always have water to drink and it came served with ice and lemon. Lovely on such a warm day.

The food was well presented and looked appetising. Especially the doorstop bread and butter served with the Ploughman's. Palm Court Cafe make everything they serve themselves and the bread was delicious. JD's pork pie was a huge slice and it had chorizo in it which gave it a nice flavour (he let me have a bite). We polished off the lot. It cost us £12.50 for the meal so on budget, hurrah :D

They serve quite a large range of teas and coffees. They also have a lot of delicious looking homemade cakes. I might have to visit again for tea and cake with my daughter Leigh.

Give Palm Court Cafe a try, it's a hidden gem!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Oh Burger! 24: Sweet Potato, Butter Bean & Feta Burger

I always feel a bit suspicious of vegetarian burgers because they don't hold together well when cooking but I'm giving this one a go anyway. Wish me luck!


2 sweet potatoes (cooked)
1 can butter beans
100g feta
1 tablespoon red pesto
1 egg
Salt & pepper

Combine everything in a bowl and mush it together with a fork. Form into patty shapes and place in a frying pan pre-prepared with a few tablespoons of oil. Cook until firmed up on each side.

As expected they're an absolute bugger to turn over. But JD managed it and soon we were eating vegetarian burgers. We had ours in a bun with some spinach leaves.

It was a nice tasting burger. It did have a lot of debate in our house as to whether it's a burger or not. It's not burger like in texture but it is encased in a burger bun. The vegetables were too mushy to feel like we were eating a burger. We all enjoyed it either way and it made for a nice meal.

Ratings: JD - 1 as a burger, 4 as a food Emma - 3 Leigh - 3

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Subscription Box Review: Pasta Evangelists

I've been tempted by one last subscription box. After this one it's either subscription addicts anonymous or a bleak life with no more food parcels! I saw an advert for £15 off your first Pasta Evangelists box and I couldn't help myself.

This subscription promises restaurant quality pasta in your own home. I already feel like we're on top of our pasta game so I don't know why I was hooked in so easily. Normally around £30 for a 4 portion box I got ours for £15.

My parcel came only two days after I ordered it. Pretty efficient. It contained everything needed for 2 fancy pasta meals for 2.

I was a bit disappointed with the contents of the box. It didn't look like much. Still, I was looking forward to trying it for lunch. I made the Spinach & Ricotta Rotola Al Forno with Besciamella Cherry Tomato Sauce & Parmesan. Bit of a mouthful :D

It was pretty delicious. Pasta filled with spinach and ricotta, topped with a tomato sauce. We enjoyed it and it was really easy to put together. Like a posh ready meal.

The next day JD made the Giant Gorgonzola & Walnut filled Gnocchi with Sage Butter & Walnuts. It was our first time trying gnocchi and I have to say I loved it. Really filling and tasty. Yum!

If you're REALLY into fancy pasta dishes then maybe this subsciption box is for you. They do a wide range of different pasta dishes, some with meat too. They're really easy to cook usually needing only about 5 minutes of prep. It's quite convenient for a nice pasta meal. Of course it's a bit pricey and you could make it cheaper yourself but it does seem to be well thought out recipes that are simple to make and delicious. Nice treat for date night perhaps :)

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Playing Silly Burgers 23: Teriyaki Hawaii Burger

A pineapple slice on a burger seems very exotic in England. The Hawaii burger is almost always a choice on a burger takeaway menu. It's not a burger I'd usually have so I'm keen to revisit with this burger and see what I think. This recipe includes a home-made pineapple teriyaki sauce to garnish the burger.




500g minced beef

1 carrot

1 tablespooon soy sauce

1 teaspoon sriracha

1 teaspoon ground ginger


For the teriyaki sauce:


1/4 cup cold water

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon cornflour

1/2 cup pineapple juice

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon garlic granules




1 can pineapple slices

Bread buns

Lettuce leaves 



Grate the carrot and then mix all the burger ingredients together. Form them into burger patties. Cook them in your preferred way in a pan, under the grill or in the oven. We had oven baked burgers this time.


Mix the teriyaki ingredients in a pan and stir well as the pan heats up. At a medium heat let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes. You'll end up with a thick, smooth, glossy teriyaki sauce.


 Warm up the pineapple slices by frying them in a pan or grilling them. 


To assemble your burger place some lettuce on the bottom half of your bread buns. Top with a burger then spoon on a tablespoon of teriyaki sauce and finally top with a slice of pineapple.



Ooh this was a good one! I was so impressed with myself for making such a tasty teriyaki sauce and it made this burger. The sauce keeps each mouthful moist and delicious. We really liked the pineapple too, even JD who isn't usually keen on fruit in a savoury way. We might be having teriyaki sauce on everything in the future!

Ratings: JD - 4, Emma - 5


Saturday, February 9, 2019

Subscription Box Review: Sourced Box

Sourced Box is a subscription service that sends you healthy snacks each month. Suitable for vegans these snacks are often organic and don't include refined sugar. The box contents are different each month so you never know what you'll get. I stick mostly to Nakd bars so it'll be nice to try some new healthy snacks.

£18.95 a month for a subscription or you can buy a one off gift box. I got my box for £12 using the Earthmiles app.

My box arrived just a day after the notification email. It was well packaged. Unlike a lot of other subscription boxes it's too big to fit through the letterbox which is a shame as that's an appealing feature to me.

A little booklet was included with extra information about all the products inside along with in depth features on several of the companies. It was an interesting read and a nice addition to the box.

My box had 11 items inside. The products were quite diverse, which I enjoyed. There was a cookie, faba beans, tea bags, pea puffs, dried fruit, cashews, blackcurrant water and several snack bars. I haven't eaten everything yet but all of the snacks we tried so far have been lovely. Our favourites so far are the Salted Vanoffee Cashews and the Lightly Salted Faba Beans. Both were delicious!

It's really nice to have a range of products picked out for you and sent to your home. I like trying new foods and I haven't seen a lot of these products in shops near me.

On the down side it's pretty expensive for what you get. It is a convenience over frugality situation so it's not for me but I did enjoy giving it a try. I'd recommend this service for anyone wanting to try some new healthy snacks.
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