Wednesday, October 31, 2012

fortnightly menus...

Following a few years of chaos, a baby, going back to work and some seriously nutrient-less meals, I've finally put together a fortnightly menu. It allows for nutrition, ease and a little excitement, as well as fitting nicely into our budget and work/play routine.

WEEK 1 -
Saturday:  Cauliflower & Pea Curry
Sunday:  Spaghetti Bolognese (my recipe changes each time but the essentials stay the same)
Monday:  OUT (blessed)
Tuesday:  Eggs/Toast, Fried Rice, Home-made nachos
Wednesday:  Vietnamese Chicken (Thrifty Kitchen)
Thursday:  Vietnamese Cold Rolls (using leftover Vietnamese Chicken)
Friday:  Vegetarian Chilli (Delicious - Quick smart cook)

WEEK 2 -
Saturday:  BBQ Chicken & Proscuitto/Basil Pizzas (Jamie Oliver - Pizza Dough)
Sunday: Chicken, Olive and Fennel Pasta
Monday: OUT
Tuesday:  Chilli con carne, Eggs/Toast
Wednesday:  Beef Stew & Salad (Apples for Jam)
Thursday:  Take Out
Friday:  Carbonara & Greens (Everyday Kitchen)

These meals change each school term (10 weeks), so we get variety and follow the change in seasons. I've organised the meals so that I'm using up all ingredients in one week i.e. week 1, coriander, rice noodles etc; there has been a lot less waste.

I try to stick to my weekly budget of $120, which sometimes includes wine/beer (woot!). I shop according to my list and nothing more, however I do include things like haloumi, proscuitto and dark chocolate so we don't feel we're missing out.  I also bake two different snacks ie jam drops, cheese scones (like we did here) and plan possible breakfasts/lunches to include in my weekly shopping list. 

We're fortunate that my parents care for Nora on Mondays while I work, so dinner is gratefully gobbled at their abode Monday nights.  

Tuesdays is another work day for me so I want something quick and easy.  If I've got energy, I'll give Nora eggs and then lazily make something delicious for Joel and I after she's gone to bed.  Hence the multiple choice Tuesdays...

I make a basic tomato sauce recipe here, that becomes pizza sauce for Saturday and the base of the pasta dish for Sunday (I add fennel and some marinated red peppers into the basic tomato sauce). 

None of the meals, including take out night, are limited to specific nights.  We swap and change depending on how we feel.  It does, however, ensure that we only eat out once a fortnight (of course, this does not include our occasional indulgent weekend brunches...these are not negotiable!).

Phew...hope this ramble helps! I would love to hear your own menu plan / quick recipe ideas.

**If there's no link to the recipe and you don't have the recipe book listed, inbox me and I'll send you the details. 

for the win...

I've just won my first EVER giveaway - and it's so beautiful! Thanks to Lottie Loves and Donna Wilson, I was the lucky recipient of the circular Owl Tray below.

Cannot wait to serve one of these on it during many, balmy summer nights!

 Autumn Apple Cider & Champagne Sangria
Mini Tacos & Mini Margaritas
Fancy iced coffee

Monday, October 29, 2012

a month of sundays...


Enjoying morning tea at Nee and Pa's

Hanging pictures

Nora, trying to see everything at the same time

Having some family time at the park/beach

Sunday is a special day for us. We reflect, serve, support and enjoy on this day. It's important...

Feel free to join me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

the leibster...


Not so recently I received the Leibster Award from Imogen Eve.  

"The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. |
The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome."

This is a truly great way of supporting each other in the blog-o-sphere and I feel inspired to keep going. So thank you Imogen, you are too kind.  Please visit Imogen's lovely blog, I feel as though I'm whisked away to a serene and delightful place each time I read her posts and I hope you are too.

Here are some blogs that I enjoy reading and am passing on the 'dearest' award to.  Please nip over and say hi to:

Oh Me Oh My
evie dear
little wild moose

Thursday, October 18, 2012

relocation dreaming...

I've just come across Beá 's website La Tartine Gourmande - WOW!

Her latest blog post is advertising a Food Styling and Photography Workshop in East County Clare, Ireland....Oh My Word.

To do this would be a dream come true. The opportunity will hopefully show itself when the kid(s) have all grown, the man and I are living in a recently renovated barn on King Island, making cheese, growing 'things' and our superfunds are bountiful. HA!

The 'tell him he's dreaming' scene from The Castle is on repeat in my head right now...DARN.IT.

One day...

Monday, October 15, 2012

weekday wowzers...

Isn't this one of the most beautiful houses you've ever seen?! So natural yet modern AND homey...

 These are my favourites but you can see the rest of the house over here at OH ME OH MY.

 Check out this delightful ensemble, it makes my heart jump just a little.

Thanks Veggie Mama for the tip

And for some serious generosity, head over to the beetleshack for this incredible giveaway. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

baby bake off...

A friend loaned me a book recently called 'Bringing up Bebe' by Pamela Druckerman.  It is a life-changing perspective on parenting, femininity and life in general. The book is now being ordered and I will be putting my highlighter to good use. Pamela is insightful, sophisticated and extremely transparent. I hope to write a separate post about it but for now, head over to her website for more details.

One of the chapters in the book talks about how the French teach their children to cook from a young age (we're talking 18 months on). This teaches patience, independence and, I believe, the importance of knowing 'where my food comes from'.

I loved this idea, so we started yesterday! I had planned to make some cheese scones this week anyway and thought it would be a fairly safe starting point.

Here is the (slightly fuzzy) proof:

It was messy, slightly frustrating and it did test my patience.  However, I managed to nullify all those feelings and enjoyed watching Nora mixing, rolling, eating the dough and throwing (literally) the scones onto the tray.

I'm not sure whether she realised the 'scheeeese' (cheese) she was having fun with was what turned into the delightful hot snack 30 mins later but she will at some point, and by then she will be on the way to learning (and eating) all sorts of things.

Let the baking begin baby-peeps!

Monday, October 8, 2012

date day...

Since it's been school holidays my lovely man has been home for the last two weeks. Woot!

Nora still went to childcare last Tuesday so Joel and I took a day out to spend some time together, check out some salvage yards and drink lots of coffee.
And we took our time over was delicious. What a luxury!

I'm not sure you appreciate the small things, like having time to eat and drink slowly, before you have children. It was bliss! And our bellies thanked us.

So here are parts of the day for your viewing pleasure:

Morning tea, including the BEST chai latte I've EVER had,
at the Mockingbird Lounge

Sitting outside for lunch in my oversized sunglasses
One of the many beautiful streets we wandered down
and a blissful end at home...


What would you call an absolute luxury on your days off?  

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