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Don’t you justlove it when literally the very moment that the kids break up from school, the weather turns hideous?

Every year! This didn’t really affect me much initially, but now, with a highly restless 4ish year old bouncing off the walls like a deranged squash ball and a 2 year old copying his every move, I am officially tutting and giving loud, cross ‘hmphs’ at the weather.

Anyway; whilst the kids are momentarily not trying to kill one another, and whilst I begin preparing lunch, I shall resume my Whole Food Adventure! (as I now like to call it…)

Before I start preparing lunch today (and my word, this one is an adventure indeed…of Indiana Jones style proportions) I just wanted to share a useful tip that I employ to keep costs down. I don’t profess to be the master of all things thrifty, and there are probably far more qualified people out there with far better tips than me, but saving pennies is something that has become a bit of an art form in this house, and if anyone benefits from me sharing these little nuggets of money-conscious wisdom, then that’s great.

Tip of the Day

You don’t necessarily need lots of fancy recipe books. (though sometimes they are nice to have!)

This is what I tend to use.

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The top one is a folder that I use to save my printed out recipes. Loads of websites, such as the GoodFood site, will let you print out their recipes for free. Nice!

The bottom notebook is what I use to stick in recipes I find in magazines, newspapers, backs of food packaging etc etc.

And the great thing is, you can doctor them as required. If a recipe is loathed by the entire family, you can bin it! Hooray!

Anyway, on with the cooking. That was the thrifty part…but this bit is the extravagant part. (well, by my standards, anyway!)

I couldn’t resist buying some avocados the other day, as I have major, and I mean major avocado obsession. However, they are now getting a bit on the over-ripe side, so Im going to use them for our lunch.

This is highly adventurous for us, as my boys do not like avocado.

Gulp. Wish me luck!

Super Creamy Avocado Soup! (part borrowed from Reader’s Digest ‘Amazing Meals’ which is an awesome cookbook. If you invest in one, make that one it.)

You will need:

1) 2-3 ripe avocados that need using up.

2) a lime

3) a good dollop of cream (I’m still using the creme fraiche in the fridge…it’s got to be used up!)

4) a sprinkle of mild curry powder

5) 500ml veg stock

6) some nice crusty bread to to with it.

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How to do it:

1) Cut the avocados in half and scoop out the flesh into a suitable bowl.

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2) cut the lime in half and squeeze it over the avocadoes (add as much as suits…I like it quite ‘limey’, but it is entirely up to you.) Reader’s Digest recommends a lemon, but I personally much prefer lime, it gives the soup a more Mexican flavour!

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3) Get busy with the hand blender and blend the avocado and juice together. If you have kids, it’s always a shrewd move to give it an extra blend to make it as smooth as possible; as if your kids are like mine, they’ll be allergic to lumps.

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4) Add a dollop of cream (or similar) and the curry powder. Stir it all in thoroughly.

5) Stop nibbling at the avocado mix. (or is that just me?)

6) Boil the kettle and make up 500ml of stock. (if you’re not veggie, chicken stock is a good one to go for. I am, so it’s vegetable stock for us!)

7) Pop the avocado mix in a saucepan and use a gentle heat to warm. Gradually add the stock, stirring all the time. Do not boil! You might find that you don’t need all the stock, which is why it’s important to add the stock gradually, so you can judge the right consistency!

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8) Serve with homemade crusty bread…and tell the kids it’s dinosaur soup. No…seriously. They’ll eat it then.

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Total Cost: Avocadoes are, of course, rather pricey. So this meal totals in at about £4.00 in total. A pound a head is not too bad though, for a very nice, wholesome lunch!

The Verdict?

Bit of a fail with the kids. To be honest, we were on to a loser anyway, after DB1 wet himself and then announced that he needed a ‘poo’. Oh kids…don’t you just love them! However, OH and I very much enjoyed it. If you like Mexican style cooking and fresh, South American flavours, then this is definitely a soup to have a go with. I’m thinking ‘starter for a dinner party’. But then I think…when do I EVER host dinner parties?!?

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