Recipe - Chicken and Chorizo Pasta

Sunday, 26 March 2017

If you follow my Instagram then you might have spotted my delicious chicken and chorizo penne pasta dinner the other night! This recipe is one I got from my Mum, so there's a very real possibility that it's already out there online on a proper cooking website. However it's so delicious and so quick to make that I had to share it on here. Thanks to me and OH having a long commute from the new home, having recipes that are quick to put together and don't need loads of attention are a life saver!
Chicken and chorizo pasta!

This pasta sauce is delicious, only needs a few ingredients, and can be chucked in to a pan and left to cook while you sort out other things around the house.

Chicken breast, 1 per person, cut in to chunks
Chorizo diced or cut in to slices, depending on how you prefer it. I use a LOT of chorizo as I love it, but you can use a smaller quantity if it's not your thing.
Carton of tomato passata
Tomato puree

Put the chorizo in a saucepan and fry gently to release the oil (you don't need olive oil, chorizo is naturally oily).
After a few minutes of frying add the chicken and let it cook with the chorizo.
Once the chicken chunks are cooked through pour in the tomato passata and tablespoon of tomato puree.
Give everything a good stir, put the lid on the pan, and leave it to simmer for a minimum of 20 minutes. The joy of this is that you can leave it for longer if you need or want. Passata is quite runny so you have a lot of liquid, and if you keep the lid on with a low simmer then it shouldn't dry out.

Once you've cooked it you can cook your pasta, and serve! This also freezes really nicely you can double up the ingredients and put the leftovers in the freezer for another day!

Mortgage Overpayment - Feb 2017

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

We've only had our mortgage for a few months, but one thing we agreed about early on was that we wanted to overpay it as soon as possible. We started repaying the mortgage in January, and made our first overpayment at the end of the month. Yesterday was the last day in February, so it was the ideal time to make our second overpayment!

Our overpayments consist of a flat £30 payment that we worked in to our budget. To that we add little extras we get over the course of the month. This can include cashback from Quidco, bags of loose change we count up, my monthly expenses claim from work for buying things for the office, money saved from spending less than budgeted, and money from having a clearout on eBay. I also check my current account regularly and round down the amount I have in the bank to the nearest £5 or £10. So if I had £37.20 then I'd move £2.20 to go to overpayments, leaving £35 in my account.

In February our overpayment was £64.14! I have a really great spreadsheet where I can track the impact that our payments are making. This is a great motivational tool, it took a good 40 minutes following very detailed instructions to set up properly, but it was worth the time.

The spreadsheet means that we can set ourselves goals that push us a little further, but which are realistic. For example we realised that if we overpaid by £60 a month (so if we managed to double our baseline £30 a month) then we would have paid off £5000 by February 2018. That was enough to push us to go a bit further and try to hit £5000 by end of 2017. 

On the other hand it's a bit of an eye-opener, we are currently paying over £11 a day in interest! We're on a pretty good rate too, but seeing that number really made us realise how much was going straight back to the bank. No wonder they consider mortgages to be easy money made!

We'll see how much we manage to save in March - my change jar is looking quite heavy!