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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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 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
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.
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...
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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!
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 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.
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!
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.