Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Num Nummies Monday 28th October

Hubby and I have decided to join Tricia’s family at little eco footprints by going supermarket free in November. They have done it all year, but we are trying just for one month.

So I am thinking a little harder about our menu plans, and what meals are possible with more local, sustainable foods. I have been super excited that Farmer’s Markets have started nearby us in Lake Macquarie, but they are only on fortnightly. We are totally going to be spending Saturday mornings there over summer.

This week's menu reflects the emptying of our freezers, and the warmer weather.

Menu Plan for this week:

Monday: Chicken sausages and rice, cheese and broccoli casserole (freezer)

Tuesday: Meatballs and potato gems

Wednesday: BBQ – Lamb chops and vegies

Thursday: Sloppy joes on baked potatoes

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: BBQ – Steak sandwiches, with salad

Sunday: Slow cooker pork, apple and sweet potato, following this recipe from OAMM

Review of last week: Things got switched around a little. We didn’t end up eating pizza at all. And the roast didn’t happen yesterday, as I neglected to take it out of the oven on Friday in order to defrost in time. The honey garlic chicken was very yummy, but we didn’t have it till Friday night, before hubby went to watch some A League soccer (football).

The chicken and potato casserole is always a winner, but it is a little thick and filling for summer. Perfecto for winter though! I am unlikely to be making it again before Autumn next year.

No photo this week. Batteries are dead in the camera. I am more interested in making posting my menu plan a habit than in worrying about having a photo. But definitely next week.

What's your favourite meal on the bbq?

Linking up again to Menu Plan Monday on I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Num Nummies Monday 22 October 2012

Just about everything this week will be coming from the freezer. I have had a cold for a few days, and woke up during Saturday night with a nasty throat, so I don’t really feel like cooking much. Thankfully there is plenty in the freezer – both fully cooked meals (like the casserole) and uncooked but ready to go (like the pork and apple for the slow cooker).

Monday: Chicken and potato casserole (from the freezer)
Tuesday: Slow cooker – Pork and apple. Adding sweet potato this time too.(Pork from the freezer)
Wednesday: Slow cooker - Honey garlic chicken with rice (Chicken from the freezer)
Thursday: Sloppy joes mixture on baked potatoes (Sloppy joe mix from freezer)
Friday: Homemade meatlovers pizza, with fresh dough. (Everything in fridge or freezer already)
Saturday: Sausages and potato, on the barbeque (Sausages from the freezer)
Sunday: Roast lamb (from the freezer)

Wednesday’s dinner is a new one. I am hoping it tastes good, because I would like to include it in my list of ‘dump’ recipes for OAMC.

Imogen will be eating the same as us, except Friday night. We usually eat pizza after the two girls are asleep for the evening.

Breakfasts will be cold cereal for Imogen and my husband, as that's what they love. I have been stocking up on the cereal they like lately, as I found some good prices. I will be eating toast and some granola, when I get around to making it in the slow cooker. There are also some waffles in the freezer that I whipped up a few weeks back, and some fruit loaf from our local baker. It is soooo yummy. I buy it everytime we happen to be there, if there is a loaf from the day before, which get marked down.

I am trying to get more organised with lunches, but at the moment they are pretty much peanut butter sandwiches or wraps for Imogen, and something similar or leftovers for me after she goes down for her nap.

So that's this week.

I'm not really organised yet in the photo department, so here is one from a few months ago. Perhaps my daughter won't love it in a few years but this is such a classic shot of her at breakfast time...

And yeah, it's not a great photo, but I love it. My dad is always shocked by how much she tries to fit in at one time! Imogen is eating two Weetbix, by the way. I usually add some hot water to soften them up, then add milk.

She does love her Weetbix.

I would ask 'How many do you do?' but that possibly won't make sense if you aren't from Australia.

So I'll simply ask, what is your favourite breakfast over summer? I'm planning ahead so will add your suggestions to my rotations!

Thanks for dropping by today.

I will be trying very hard to link up with orgjunkie today on her Menu Plan Monday - first time ever!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

And we grew to four...

I actually wrote this post almost two weeks ago - but am only now having the time to post it!

Wow! Time has surely gone past in a flash! I sit here typing with one baby asleep in the bouncer, and one toddler asleep on the couch in the loungeroom, with the theme song for Play School repeating over and over on the DVD menu page.

Baby Ezra was born in late June, on her due date according to the scans, but two days early according to my calculations. She started to arrive in the early hours of a Saturday morning, and was here less than four hours after I worked out I was actually in labour.

Praise God, everything went smoothly. I was in at the hospital at 3.45am and Ezra arrived at 5.30am. I had the gas, although I was convinced at one point it wasn't really working. The midwife reminded me that I needed to be breathing it in for it to work - I was too busy telling her it wasn't working to breathe it in!

I feel very blessed to have had such a relatively easy natural birth, after the planned c-section with Imogen.

Anyways, I haven't had a chance to blog since then. Ezra is a placid little thing, but Imogen is not so much. Imogen gets a little jealous, so I rarely have a moment to myself. Because there is also general life things to attend to as well, not just playing with those two! Also, Imogen has decided that day sleeps are not for her - today's one is just luck.

Doing those sessions of OAMC before the baby was born was such a great move. I got a few things done the week before she arrived, and have done a few shorter sessions since then. More often that not, I do three or four meals of one or two dishes at a time. Because there are only two adults and one toddler eating the meals, I get a few serves out of one dish anyway.

My Mum is coming down for a week at the end of this week, so I am hoping to get some more meals in the freezer whilst she is here. Now that we have a chest freezer, I have some more freezing space to fill!

Update: My mother has just left this morning, and I miss her already! She was wonderful - helping with washing and doing lots of cleaning. I got some cooking done too, so the freezer is a little fuller.

Num Nummies Monday #4

Another week, another ‘so close’ on the sticking to the menu plan.

Lamb chops on Wednesday didn’t happen, but the rest of the week was okay. Saturday night ended up being takeaway (I know I said I didn’t want it this week) of fish and chips. It was a long day, with a trip to Sydney to see my cousin referee at a women’s national competition of rugby union.

Friday night was steak and potato bake – and boyo was that potato bake yummy! We also ended up bbq-ing some thin potato slices as well, as a friend came over for dinner. Well, he came over to watch the rugby league with hubby but of course we invited him for dinner first. I forgot though that he doesn’t eat potato bake (strange, I know) but we still polished it all off anyway. Imogen really enjoyed the potato from the bbq – she had stuff all over her face to prove it.

Last night we didn’t have cheese on toast, but Imogen and I finished off the fish from Saturday night and hubby ate a pie.

Menu plan for Monday 16th April to Sunday 22nd

Monday: Curried sausages and rice (freezer meal)

Tuesday: Steak and potato bake (freezer meal, with steak not cooked from Fri night)

Wednesday: Chicken legs, rice and vegies (chicken is marinating in the freezer)

Thursday: Lamb chops and potato bake (we will eat those lamb chops!)

Friday: Meatballs, vegie sauce and pasta (freezer meal)

Saturday: Tuna bake and shepherd’s pie (freezer meals, neither is enough for all of us)

Sunday: Leftovers or cheese on toast

I bought some bananas on special last week, and I will be making them into some banana choc bread. I came across this recipe for Chocolate banana bread and thought it sounded a bit of alright! I will actually have too many bananas for just that recipe, and I have just come across this recipe - Strawberry banana muffins, so I will also use up some extra strawberries in my fridge too. Hubby might enjoy these as a new recipe for the muffins he takes to work.

I am also going to make these little gems today - Cranberry Brie Puffs.

I like the change from the jam (on Joy the Baker's site) to the cranberry sauce, so that’s what I’ll do. I’m excited because there is a little bit of camembert cheese in the fridge, taunting me, as I can’t eat it cold. The things you give up for pregnancy and your unborn child! But I can eat it hot. Yay!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Crafting - the letter 'I'

Imogen and I have finally ventured into the land of glue.

Imogen would have gone there a long time ago if she had her way, but hubby and I have tried to avoid it. She has known for a long time what the glue stick is, and that her dad and I don't want her to have it without us.

Last week I succombed and we tried a collage with coloured paper on the letter 'I'. I am rather certain that I did more of this collage than Imogen. She seemed more interested in the glue stick with its lid off than in actually sticking anything on the paper with the glue.

I freehand drew the letter 'I', and used the glue stick on the inside of the letter, with Imogen watching. I put down a couple of pieces of paper, hoping she might understand how it worked, but I wasn't communicating something properly as she kept wanting to put paper down where I had not put glue.

Eventually I just put glue all over the paper and she stuck where she liked. She was also quite into putting the paper onto the glue stick and then sticking it down that way.

This was her final masterpiece - with a little help from her Dad and me!

Yesterday we tried something else. I came across this post for glue over the weekend - home made natural glue -  and thought it sounded pretty good. Especially as it should last for a while and Imogen can accidently eat it and won't be ill. She's not really one for putting stuff like glue in her mouth, but you can't always be sure.

Anyways, I whipped some up in the morning while Imogen was catching up on Play School, and we took it outside once it had cooled down enough.

I had picked up a couple of rolls of brown paper a few months back, thinking of crafting, but today was the first day it has been used also. It will be coming out again very soon I think!

Here is Imogen soon after we started:

I stuck the paper down with sticky tape, but it didn't work particularly well. Next time I will use packing tape.

Imogen thought she might try pouring the glue on the paper.

She also felt that the paper wasn't ripped up small enough.

This was as far as we got today.

I wasn't sure when we finished up if I might try again tomorrow with the same page, but I think I might leave it as is, and start a new one. When the 'I' is dry, I plan to blue tac it to the wall above her play table inside. 

Num Nummies Monday #6

I was so hopeful that the baby would have come by now that I attempted to schedule this post. Well, that didn't work - I think it has something to do with timing, as I'm in Australia and I think it is more suited to US times. I will try to figure that one out.

As it turns out, I needed to change my original plan anyway, as my parents are arriving today to help out with last minute things before the baby arrives, and to look after Imogen when bubba does choose to come. I am hoping to clear out most of the freezer again and cook some fresh things for it this week.

Menu plan for Monday 21st May - Sunday 27th May

Monday: Curried sausages and rice (freezer meal)

Tuesday: Shepherds pie (this will finish off this freezer meal)

Wednesday: BBQ lamb chops and sausages, and potato bake (all in the freezer)

Thursday: Red curry chicked and rice

Friday: Enchildas and rice (will be making the enchildas for the freezer on Friday morning)

Saturday: Another curry

Sunday: Cheese on toast

This baby had better come by the time I finish with all these curries!

This morning we tried a new slow cooker porridge - yummo! It was one with apple in it, and I am loving all things apple at the moment. In the last ten days I have made apple sauce, apple butter (super sweet), apple pie pork chops and now this breakfast.

Of course I made slightly too much, as I thought I should probably follow the recipe before I change any quantities for the three of us. Last week with the banana one I changed it, and I should have made it complete first. I love porridge so I don't mind having a little too much! But there is only so much I can eat right now. I should try putting some in the fridge and reheating in the afternoon.

Breakfasts this week will be cereal, toast, porridge, and toasted fruit loaf or fruit cake. Lunches will probably be mainly sandwiches, but I think I will also organise some pies and french toast, especially for Imogen, as I am going to try to feed her and I before her lunchtime nap. We'll see how that goes. My Dad eats lunch early so we might try to slot in with him.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Num Num Nummies Monday #5... a bit late

Ah well, better late than never.

It is mid May, and I would like this baby to come soon. So I have done a couple of weeks meal planning this time. I will put up just this week's, and attempt to schedule next week's for Monday.

Menu plan for Monday 14th May - Sunday 20th May

Monday: Red curry chicken and rice

Tuesday: Apple pie pork chops, with mash and veg (but I just make them fresh)

Wednesday: Santa fe chicken (freezer meal)

Thursday: Lamb chops and potato bake (bake from the freezer)

Friday: Curry chicken and rice

Saturday: Meatballs, veg sauce and pasta (meatballs and sauce from the freezer)

Sunday: Cheese on toast

Breakfasts will be either porridge in the slow cooker, or cereal and toast. I have made up some yummy breakfast 'cake' that is delish grilled with some butter on top. I am also planning to make fresh muffins for breakfast on Sunday, and freeze a batch at the same time.

This morning we tried this recipe - Overnight, Slow Cooker Banana, Coconut Milk Steel-Cut Oatmeal. I thought it was alright, but hubby thought a bit bland. I will definately make it again, but I might add some more of the spices. For breakfast on Monday I am going to try this one - Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal.

This weekend I am planning to make some french toast sticks for the freezer, as I think I will be munching on those when the bub is born. I am also making some slices for the freezer. I made a double batch of some no bake weetbix slice on Tuesday, and I need to get a recipe from my MIL for a choc slice she brought with her a few weeks ago.

I also have a recipe for 'labour inducing cookies' - LOL! i will make those up this afternoon and munch on them. They seem to be ginger biscuits with a few other spices added in. Nothing will hurt!

I am only 38 and a bit weeks, so I not it could still be another few weeks. But as we had Imogen via C-section I am not particularly wanting to go over my due date. And I will be booking in for another c-section rather than try to be induced. So I will try almost anything! No castor oil thanks.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Recipe organisation

I have spent bits and pieces of the last week going through my recipe collection. I have a tendency of bookmarking, pinning or printing recipes from the internet, or ripping pages out of magazines, of great-looking/sounding recipes and never quite getting to them.

So I am being firm! I have thrown away quite a few recipes that I simply cannot see myself cooking in the next month, if ever. The rest I will be attempting to cook and bake my way through over the next little while, especially the sweet ones. Although, "the next little while" is really only 5 weeks, as the baby is due soon after that!

I am also organising my OAMC recipes. I came across this post earlier this year - Putting together your Meal Plan Binder for the year. Mackenzie at  Bold turquoise organises her WHOLE year of dinners, printing all the recipes required for each month and putting everything into one folder. So if her family eats a particular meal every month, then there are 12 copies in the folder. She has a menu plan at the start of each section for the month. So organised. And it really does look so good!

Me, I'm simply aiming to get all my recipes in one folder, with a separate folder for OAMC. Not separate copies for each month though. Currently I have my recipes in a few different locations, and I think it would be a lot easier to have copies all together. I have a recipes book from my Mum that I add all my absolute favourite meals to. There are lots of recipes in there that won't make it to OAMC folder though.

I am also trying to get my hard copies of cooking forms in order too. I have several that I really like using on a regular basis, and several not so often. I have soft copies saves on my computer, and also pinned on Pinterest, but I would like to have at least one blank hard copy in my folders

These are the sites that I love for their forms:

Organized home - household notebook

Life your way

30 Day Cafe

Life as a mom - this is my favourite one as it totally focuses on OAMC. Very helpful when I first started, and  I find the forms really easy to use.

once a month mom is my go-to website for anything OAMC related. There are detailed monthly plans and recipes that make it all seem very straightforward. Living in a different part of the world however, means that those menu plans aren't quite right for my family! I flick through months that correspond a little closer to the season we are in, and pick recipes from those.

How do you organise your recipes?

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Num Nummies Mondays #3

A review of the menu plan for last week shows we did pretty well. We had to change dinner on Friday night, as I had forgotten about hubby's sister's intolerances for tomatoes. And there sure are tomatoes in the salsa for the chicken and bean filling! So we ended up having KFC for dinner. That's two Fridays in a row. And then everyone had Red Rooster on Saturday night - except me, I ate plenty at the birthday party!

So I am hoping for slightly more success this week. Firstly, I really don't want more takeaway, with the cost and touch of greasiness. Secondly, I want to use up all the meals in the freezer! We still haven't eaten any of the potato bakes, so I don't know if we like them yet. Fingers crossed we will :)

My folks are visiting from Thursday to Sunday, and we are all headed in different directions on Saturday, so that is why dinner is unknown at the moment. I'm thinking probably something quick, like pasta.

Menu plan for April Monday 9th to Sunday 15th

Monday: Meatballs, vegetable sauce and pasta (freezer meal)
Tuesday: Santa fe chicken (freezer meal)
Wednesday: Lamb chops, potato bake and vegies (freezer meal)
Thursday: Chicken and black bean wraps (freezer meal)
Friday: Steak, potato bake and vegies (fresh steak)
Saturday: Unknown at this time
Sunday: Cheese on toast after church

Breakfasts will be stove top porridge, slow cooker porridge, cereal, plain toast or banana bread toasted. This morning hubby made bacon and eggs, yum yum! He was also a good man and cooked pancakes on Saturday morning when his sister was here, before we went out to the birthday party.

Lunches will be similar to last week, with sandwiches, and toasted breads from the freezer. Imogen ended up eating fritters for a couple of dinners, which she always loves.

Alrighty, I am off to check my pantry for a few ingredients to make some sweet things!

What's on your meal list this week?

Monday, 2 April 2012

Num Nummies Mondays #2

Sadly, no photos or a recipe review this week. We've had a time of change in the household, so photos will have to wait another few days.

But, here is our menu plan for the coming week, with a few links! Yay that I worked out how to do that!

Monday: Chicken and potato casserole (freezer meal)

Tuesday: Beef sausages and vegetables (freezer meal))

Wednesday: Simply sour cream chicken enchiladas and vegetables (freezer meal))

Thursday: Curried sausages and rice (freezer meal)

Friday: Chicken and black bean wraps (freezer meal) - recipe from Cooking During Stolen Moments

Saturday: Something light, if anything at all - we have a birthday lunch to attend and there is always lots of yummy food :)

Sunday: Probably cheese on toast.

I have also decided that for the next two weeks I will also be planning breakfasts and lunches, as hubby will be home on most days.

I have written them on the great menu planner from The Project Girl, but I will just let you know the options here.

Breakfasts: Porridge on stovetop with rolled oats, slow cooker porridge from steel cut oats with raisins, cranberries and maple syrup, cereal, toasted home made banana bread, pancakes, and bacon and eggs one morning as a splurge.

Lunch: Sandwiches with different fillings, zuchinni fritters, french toast (freezer meal), cheese and  tomato on toast, toasted banana bread, toasted choc zucchini bread ... I'm 31 weeks pregnant, so forgive me my bread fixation.

Last week I made this yummy breakfast - Bacon and tater to crockpot breakfast - for dinner instead, as I wasn't too sure about the timing. We need to invest in a device that will turn the slow cooker on at a certain time, becuase there is no way I am getting up early enough to put this on for breakfast otherwise! We might have it for breakfast on Sunday morning when family are here, if we find a timer before then. But it was GOLD for dinner that night!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Num Nummies Mondays

Welcome to the first post for Mondays at Unwinding at My Place!

Meffy has learnt that a different word for food - 'num nummies'. We can say that it's lunchtime or dinnertime, to not much response, but say that there are num nummies and she gets super excited!

So, on Num Nummies Mondays, I will post about our menu plan for the coming week, sometimes a new recipe I have tried, sometimes about my Once a Month Cooking (OAMC) efforts, sometimes really about anything food related. :)

The weekend before last I made my second attempt at OAMC for our household.

I did a OAMC stint about 6 weeks ago, and we had just finished everything up. And there were some yummy meals in that batch! Definate keepers for almost every OAMC time.

These were the meals and and other items I planned to make, and final results by Monday evening:

  1. Chicken and black bean filling x 4 (we really enjoy this, plus Imogen eats it)

  2. Chicken potato casserole x 2

  3. Sour cream chicken enchildas x 2 (Imogen does not eat this, as it has some chillies in it)

  4. Tuna casserole x 5 (they are only serves for me and Imogen, hubby is a non-fish eater)

  5. Santa fe chicken x1 (I made 2 of these last Monday afternoon, and we had one for dinner)

  6. Cheesy meatballs x 2

  7. Vegetable sauce for pasta - not yet

  8. Sausages x 2

  9. Mashed potato and bacon x 4

  10. Muffins for hubby for work x 12 texan size (but I only ended up freezing 8, and Imogen and I ate the others)

  11. Two trays of brownies - not yet

  12. No bake granola bars - not yet

  13. Banana bread - not yet

We also bought some meat from the butcher to freeze for the month, with some lamb chops, steak and rissoles. At the moment my recipes for OAMC are heavy on the chicken side.

I was going to insert a photo of my freezer here, but I haven't quite worked that out yet. Next week for sure!

I haven't worked out how to link up the recipes from their original source, but I will do that this week, and have them linked up as part of my menu plan next week.

I did end up making a tray of brownies throughout the week, and have managed to eat half of them :). Yesterday morning I made up another batch of muffins (6 x Texan size, banana and choc chip), another brownie tray, and 15 no-bake granola bars. Yummo! 

I also made up a double batch of vegetable sauce this evening while dinner was in the oven. Full of goodness! I look forward to my own vegie patch later this year so we can eat even better foods.

Here is our meal plan for the week:

Monday: Chicken potato casserole

Tuesday: Cheesy meatballs and vegetable sauce with pasta

Wednesday: Steak with mashed potato bake

Thursday: Chicken enchildas

Friday: Chicken and black bean filling on wraps

Saturday: Rissoles and baked potatoes

Sunday: Probably cheese on toast

So that's how we're lookin' for the coming week. Next Monday I will have a couple of photos,  maybe more. I am planning to post about a recipe, which will likely be something sweet. :)

What are you eating this week?

Monday, 19 March 2012

Update on the thirty by thirty list...

Yikes! Not so much success!
I think I will review and do a new list, of '40 by 40'...

Thirty things to do before I’m thirty

  1. Travel to Western Australia

  2. Pay off my car loan

  3. Take a sign language class

  4. Walk at least 5 km in a walking event

  5. Go on a caravan holiday for at least 5 days - went camping for that long though

  6. Do a study on each book of the Bible

  7. Go to the Australian Association of Social Workers annual conference - 2008

  8. Supervise a social work student

  9. Volunteer at crèche at church for a whole term

  10. Run a garage sale

  11. Travel overseas with family or friends - went to New Zealand

  12. Sponsor a child

  13. Write my will

  14. Go to the theatre

  15. Learn to drive a manual vehicle

  16. Learn to dance

  17. Enroll in a TAFE course - but didn't complete it

  18. Adopt a pet - Sooty, our cat

  19. Hire a stretch anything for an hour

  20. Host a brunch

  21. Print a Bible verse on a t-shirt

  22. Be vegetarian for a week

  23. Join a book club

  24. Complete a 2000 piece puzzle

  25. Make a list of the top 5 people who have positively influenced me and write them all letters (0/5)

  26. Hire someone to clean my house at least once - for about 2 months

  27. Sew a piece of clothing - I made a vest for Imogen to be a pirate at Playgroup

  28. Contribute to wikipedia

  29. Live without TV for two weeks in a row

  30. Save an emergency fund of 9 months (0/9)

I think some of these not done things may make it onto my new list, but some won't. We'll see. I might try to get my '40 by 40' list up by the end of March.

What's on your list of big to do's?