Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 121

Monday April 30

Mum made her excellent 'festival rice' for dinner. Full of good stuff - mushrooms, celery, egg, onion, capsicum, corn. And yes it is no meat Monday so to celebrate we had a pork chop too. We are hopeless!

Day 120

Sunday the 29th April

Shepherds pie with the leftovers. Oh my it was good and not too much fuss after the initial chopping. Thom loved it, Hope hated it, Alan ate too much of it and mum and I enjoyed it with a glass of red wine. Good Sunday dinner. Hope at age 17 seems to be getting fussier about food. As she's in year 12 I accommodate for this as much as possible, I think it's stress induced.

Day 119

Saturday the 28th April

Alan and Thomas braved the market without me as I was feeling poorly and took to my bed. They brought home this giant leg of lamb ($23!- 1/3 of our meat budget) so I went the whole nine yards and did a big roast. The kipfler potatoes were amazing and there is plenty of meat left over for a second meal.

Day 118

Friday April 27

Oh delicious! A paella is my favorite one pot wonder. This one was stuffed full of chorizo and fish and chicken and many many mussels. We could only afford 12 prawns so they were rationed.

Day 117

Thursday April 26

It tasted better than it looked. There was all enough meat for lunch pies the next day. This was Thom's favorite meal of the week.

Day 116

Wednesday April 25 - Anzac day

Curry again? Well yes. It's the cold weather. Well no it's also the fact that we are poor this month so gravy beef must be had in some form or another. But dang it's yum.

Day 115

Tuesday the 24th April

I have discovered that my local butcher stocks rolls of pork rind for 45c a sheet! This will be the death of us all. As everyone relished their pork chop with ratatouille pasta and flourish of perfectly cooked crackling I told them that this would only be served once a quarter for health reasons.

Day 114

April 23

Everyone loves risotto, except me. But really if you roast a chook the day before you are obliged to make stock, strip the bird of meat and make something. Everyone loves this meal, total winters comfort food

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 113

Sunday April 22

Roast chook, creamy polenta, maple carrots, broccoli, gravy, bread stuffing. Thom surprised us all by consuming more broccoli than all of us put together. Sunday night around the table was full of laughter and warmth. Sad the weekend is over!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 112

Saturday April 21

Heston Blumenthal steak again by request. Smashed potatoes were a smash, said was ubiquitous and pedestrian, sautéed whole baby mushrooms were divine. Forgot to take photo, but. Clearly it was lovely!

Day 111

Friday April 20

Vietnamese takeaway for all post Finder Keepers Market. Mum and I were exhausted from seeking out interesting things to buy that didn't have owls on it and Alan and Hope were exhausted from wrangling a very cranky Thom who has a freakin man cold from hell. Zzzz

Day 110

Thursday April 19

Sorry about the out of focus pic. Everyone was ravenous so I cooked up a storm. Balsamic glazed pumpkin, smashed potatoes with sautéed bacon and leek, green beans and broccoli with parmesan and BBQd marinated lamb forequarter chops. We cleaned the vege platter but the chops were a bit tough. I've not had much luck with meat from the market and am considering returning to my local butcher despite the added expense.

Day 109

Wednesday 18th April

Bad spag. We were going out to the comedy festival and got a little distracted. No pic.

Day 108

Tuesday 17th April

Yup there they are, the crumbed chicken tenderloins. That's it. Next week no more crumbs. Crumb free zone.

Day 107

Monday 16th April

I've got this curry thing totally sorted now. I found the cauliflower more unctuous with the addition of cumin to the tumeric then cooked in ghee rather than butter. I used chuck steak instead of gravy beef and it was far more flavorful. Everyone happy. I've found with these TV dinners it's best to set it all up on the kitchen bench and let everyone serve themselves. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is an appalling film and perfect tv dinner chat and pappadum crunch noise tv viewing.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 106

Sunday 15th April

A smallish simple meal after a very busy Sunday. BBQ lamb chop (marinated first in garlic and lemon, fresh marjoram too). Little corn and little salad. We were all too Weary to make much effort. It was fine. I did notice cereal bowls in the sink later that evening, so perhaps too smallish for man and teen.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 105

Saturday 14th April

After watching Jamie Oliver cook a roast dinner in under 30 minutes, Alan and I thought we'd put the timer on and give it a crack. Maple carrots, mixed lettuces lightly dressed in lemony oil, Yorkshire puddings, mushroom gravy, smashed potatoes and Heston steak replace Jamie beef. It took us 40 minutes but that included cleaning up. So well done us and well done Jamie. He copped some flack that no one could cook his 30 minute meals in under and hour, and granted there were two of us in the kitchen. But it was really like having a roast dinner without the protracted work. So I loved it. It's also really nice cooking together, al is a great sous chef x

Day 104

April 13

This was a crazy 'use up everything in the fridge' dinner before going to market tomorrow. Broccoli and beans with parmesan shavings over the top, ratatouille, sautéed mushrooms, and some sautéed chicken thighs in garlic and butter. Man it was good!

Day 103

Thursday April 12

Schnitzel unworthy of photo

Day 102

April 11 Wed

Tv dinner to watch hong kong crime triple bill of Infernal Affairs 1,2,3 on World Movies. The hottest pepper and garlic beef ever. My mouth is still on fire. A whole bottle of fanta consumed. Burp

Day 101

Tuesday April 10

We had spag Bol on the run as we had won tickets to see a string quartet and had to rush into town. I forgot to take a photo.

Day 100

April 9 Monday

We've all become a wee bit obsessed with Heston Blumenthal of late, me more than most. I received one of his mega books for valentines day and have been enjoying reading his opinions on food in the home. I watched his show last week on beef and was really surprised to see how he cooked steak.
Leave it in the fridge on a tray to air dry for two days
Bring it to room temp at least two hours before cooking
Cook in searingly hot pan
Flip every 20 seconds to maintain heat and form a good crust
Get an internal temp reading of 55deg
Let it rest for at least 5 minutes out of the pan.

We have never had better fillet steak. Ever.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day 99

Easter Sunday

Well I may never eat again I'm so full. There is no photo of the roast lamb, baby potatoes and heirloom carrots - not so photogenic. The star of Easter lunch, as is so often the case, was mums pavlova. Maggie has pretty much perfected this recipe and today's was quite sensational. Mind you Margaret Fulton's recipe says it serves 12. There are four adults and one 3 year old. And no more pavlova. I need a cup of tea...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day 98

Holy Saturday

Well the fish pie went by the wayside as I ran out of time this afternoon to prepare it. I went for an old standby of wrapping the fish in prosciutto and wacking it in the oven for 10 minutes. The kids still didn't eat it. Some days they will, some days they won't. Hence the pile of salad and potato gems to try and compensate.
I'm now putting Thomas's Easter basket together while mum makes the pavlova for lunch tomorrow. Hope is working on Plato while listening to Korean pop music (her new weird obsession). Alan has reached playstation hero status and Thom is asleep clutching a bright yellow truck and a bedraggled stuffed cat with the imaginative moniker of Mr Cat. All's right in the world.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 97

Good Friday

Well the fish had be bought, but the chef (ie me) could not be arsed cooking it. I woke from a nanna nap cranky and uninspired and mum swooped into the kitchen to announce Vietnamese takeaway was in order. What a relief. Sometimes my mother just gets it right. I've promised to make everyone a super fish pie tomorrow night. And funnily enough I am not cranky anymore. Braised seafood over crispy noodles can cheer me up every time. Bless us all.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day 96

Thursday April 4

A gorgeous chicken korma curry with turmeric tossed cauliflower, chopped cucumber and sour cream, basmati rice and pappadums. Lots of fresh coriander, mushroom, lemon zest in the curry made it a big hit. Mind you it took me mor than an hour together dinner on the table by which time Thom was exhausted and an emotional wreck. Must start curry making earlier than 6pm.

Day 95

Wednesday April 4

It looks god awful doesn't it? Truth be told these rissoles were a flashback to my 1980's adolescence. Very tasty retro meal. With yummy left overs for the next day.

Day 94

April 3 Tuesday

Buttermilk panko crusted chicken legs with pesto fettuccine and broccoli tossed with garlic olive oil and bacon bits. Hope hates chicken so opted just for pasta. A delicious dinner for all followed a trip to the cinema to see the Hunger Games. We were not hungry.

Day 93

April 2 Monday.

There was pizza, there was no camera. Oh well

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 92


Well Hope has thrown a tantrum because we were all enjoying New Girl - a show she finds particularly objectionable. The evening had been going well with my lamb shank tangine dinner with creamy polenta and green beans. Even princess sparkle pants enjoyed it! We'll let her take charge of the remote.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 91

Saturday 31st March

Take heart dear reader the meals should be getting more interesting this week for a number of reasons. Firstly it's school holidays and Hope is far more engaged in the dinner prep. Secondly it's Easter week so we went a little crazy at the market. Thirdly I'm bored to bits with what we've been eating and I sure they are too. This little blog was never about showing off, I'm no masterchef that's for darn sure. But when you are in charge of the health and nutritional needs of four other people you do have to give it some thought.

Day 90

Friday march 30

Just the three at dinner tonight. Thom piked early after a busy day and a late afternoon bowl of pasta. Hope went to an end of term party where she ate bad nachos that were regretted at 3am. Mum, Al and I were bad catholics and ate lamb on a Friday. We also watched a Michael j Fox movie from 1993. Sad bastards.

Day 89

Thursday March 29

Steak, steak steak. My people are craving cow at the minute so I appeased them with the retro meal of steak salad and a hot bread roll. Plates were cleaned. Easy.

Day 88

Wednesday 28 March

We had Pho. Trust me.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day 87

Porky pig

I know this meal kind of looks appalling but we are all a bit poorly this evening and needed simple food. Thom just completely lost it at the dinner table over some unknown injustice and only managed his corn before collapsing into bed weeping - he is a drama king of the highest order on occasion. Sigh.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 86

Meaty Monday

Lovely marinated chicken, sautéed potatoes (herb butter freezer stash now needs replenishing) and ubiquitous salad followed by lemon pudding. I know it's meant to be no meat Monday but we are poor this week and emptying the pantry of everything before the big shop.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 85

Sunday Sunday

A strange Sunday. A long sleep in, I didn't appear downstairs until 10. Little chores and errands filled the day. Tonight's dinner wasn't the traditional Sunday fare. Normally a roast is in order but I wasn't in the mood. We had a lovely herby pork fillet, a pear and walnut salad and what is fondly known in our house as festival rice. Dinner talk was about the meaning of the word 'next' as I'll see you next Tuesday. It got complicated. See you next dinner x

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day 84

Veal meal.

We had a lovely saturday. Coffee with a friend in the morning, a trip to a school fete, an afternoon crafting (Thom age 3 in charge of the glue stick) and now tea and chocolate post dinner. Marinated veal, roast potatoes, salad - really lovely. It's date night for us, we are off to see Margin Call at the Rivoli, room for maltesers will be a challenge!

Day 83

Friday 23 March

We had risotto. Take my word for it. I made the stock. I hate risotto. So much work for a lump of rice.

Day 82

Thursday march 22

We had a cold wet day that really marks the beginning of the melbourne chill. A roast dinner is never on the menu midweek but I really felt like it. I think everyone is sick of my roast chicken -4 weeks in a row and it has become tiresome. I have a tendency to repeat meals in blocks simply to make my life easier but enough is enough.I do love broccoli with white sauce tho!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 81

Curry in a not so hurry

Curry happened. I did a little test and just made everything in the one pan. Cauliflower with turmeric first, then the pappadums, then the curry. I dunno, it all tasted great and there is enough for lunch pies tomorrow. I'm not cleaning up and it's only 8pm so I should be pleased.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day 80

Tuesday 20th March

I had intended to make curry but just couldn't be bothered with all the palaver that goes along with it. I did make an amazing sweet potato, chorizo and pea salad and another garlic focaccia to go with the steak and salad. None of us could finish our steaks - as you can see a ridiculous amount of food on our plates. We had a tv dinner and then spent the evening homeworking, reading, bad tv'ing and drawing before all being tucked in by 11.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 79

kind of no meat Monday March 19

Ok so there is a teensy bit of bacon in this creamy mushroom pasta, don't tell anyone! I had a day off today. I literally did nothing after driving Hope to school and doing a radio spot. I came home and literally did nothing apart from nap and then make dinner and then craft in the evening. The world didn't collapse around me, And I'm now committed to taking a few hours off each Monday to do nothing. It was good!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 78

Sunday roast

It was a busy Sunday for me. I had to wear all my hats today. But for some reason I was also an all day caterer. I made the boys porridge for breakfast because they were whining it was cold, had friends drop in for my morning tea banana bread, made the entire family grilled cheese and ham sandwiches for lunch, polished off the banana bread with neighbors and a cup of tea in the afternoon, then a little garlic lamb roast with whole potatoes, maple carrots and a little salad. We all feel a bit pooh bearish now. Tomorrow we will need a little exercise.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Day 77

Saturday night's alright

Burgers and fries. I can claim to have made the focaccia buns from scratch, and the chippies too so it's not as low rent as it sounds. When I was a kid you could still get a decent burger down at the local take away. These seem to have fallen by the wayside somewhat (along with mixed bags of lollies and the ice cream truck). I'm sure I'm just romanticizing them in my head. I did forget one very important ingredient tonight - beetroot! C'est la vie, they still tasted lovely. The focaccia was particularly fantastic, thanks Jamie Oliver.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Day 76

Friday Night Lights

We've been watching a great series on SBS called God in America. It goes some way to explain fundamentalism and of course in our mixed belief household has been cause for some energized conversations! Being Friday we had seafood - spaghetti marinara. Being an atheist Hope had steak and salad. God bless us all.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day 75

Thursday 15 March

Sadly the day ended with crankiness and door slamming but dinner was delicious.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 74

March 14 Wednesday

After a very important meeting that ran for over two hours I was left feeling like a zombie. When this happens I go to default settings with dinner. The meal that most dominated my adolescence - little bit of steak, lots of salad, chippies (gems in this case - so wrong I know) and garlic bread. I managed with mums help to get dinner on the table by 630 and everyone in bed by 9. Except Hope who worked into the wee hours studying for her first philosophy exam. Socrates extolled the virtues of a healthy body = a healthy mind. I wish he'd made his argument for this in simpler terms so she could get more sleep.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Day 73

March 13 Tuesday

We seem to be having a last ditch at summer this week so to to celebrate we ate outside. This is a complete lie actually. The house was in such utter chaos there was nowhere to eat inside. I had literally covered every surface with stuff - piles and piles of stuff. Books, papers, projects, washing, ironing, magazines, mail, toys, more books and way too many tea cups. We had dinner and I spent the next 90 minutes cleaning the house so everyone could watch The Vicar of Dibley and Father Ted in comfort. Oh it was BBQ lamb chops with salad and potato gems, ice cream cones for dessert.

DAY 72

Monday March 12

My lovely Hope is in the midst of evil final year study and is feeling incredible stress. More and more you'll see her favourite dinners appear as I do everything I can to make her days a little easier. With the left over chicken and a chunk of smokey bacon, some fresh herbs and vegetables (peas, corn, carrot, onion) and the perfect bechamel sauce this was one super tasty tasty pie. Yumbo in my tumbo.

Day 71

Sunday March 11

Does soft focus make the roast chook look better? A report was released this week that showed that people who ate red meat every day increased their risk of premature death by 20%. I was relieved to hear this was an American study and they counted hot dogs as red meat. Still, I'm giving this meat thing more thought of late. The chook was a happy one so tasted delicious. Mum made the gravy which was award winning. Nice that there is an extra day off tomorrow for the worker bees. I'm working on the 14 hours work, five hours sleep and five hours fluffing about - haven't quite got the work life balance thing perfected yet.

Day 70

Saturday March 10

We had a curry. You'll have to make my word for it because I forgot to take a photo. We watched a terrible terrible movie and ate far too much chocolate. Bruce Willis really needs to STOP.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Day 69

Friday 9th

Alan and I had a fantastic date night. We went to see food writer chef Anthony Bourdain speak for two hours on all things travel and food. We were ravenous by the end and found ourselves craving (unusually) Italian. We climbed up the rickety stairs to the waiters club and indulged in spaghetti marinara and creme caramel. Burp!

Day 68

March 8 (Thursday)

Ok so I knew that today was going to be tough. I put a half leg of lamb in the slow cooker with some stock, onion, tomatoes and olives hoping the magic machine would do its, well magic. Sadly by 6pm the lamb tasted like leather and an emergency trip to the uber market to fetch a marinated veal piece to BBQ topped off what indeed was a very tough day.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Day 67

March 7

We have been buying our meat from the market for a while now and I have to be honest with you I'm finding it a little hit and miss. The cuts are pretty rough and ragged, I'm not sure if they actually represent good value for money. The pork chops were pretty tasty tonight but it took marinating and then grilling. I having to rethink our meat purchasing a little I think. No small subject as you can imagine.

day 66

March 6

We saw Jamie Oliver tonight in conversation with Matt Preston. Between you and me he seemed pretty weighed down by the world and his ongoing campaign to get us all to eat better. We ended up in our local Vietnamese haunt talking about food politics. I hope Jamie got a good nights sleep.

Day 65

March 5

Risotto is remarkably difficult to photograph. I made chicken stock this morning from last nights bird bones, fresh bay leaves, carrot and onion. Chicken and mushroom risotto is a great comfort food. It was an exhausting day and it was nice to have a stick-to-your-ribs dinner.