Archive for April 2012
I return to paid employment this week – eeek. It has been over 4 years since I left the house, went to a job, and was paid for it, and I am a bit nervous on how I am going to cope. I was really enjoying the freedom that came with having 2 1/2 days per week that the kids were at school, all to myself to get everything done. But what I would consider my dream job came up, I managed to get it, and they are allowing me to work flexible hours, so what more could I ask for?
So I have literally been stuck in the kitchen the last couple of days to fill up my freezer so that on those first few days when I am bound to be tired, all I need to do is pull something out, chuck it in the microwave and dinner is sorted. Plus I have been busy making a few meals for my parents when they return from the big smoke, hopefully this week.
I found these containers in IGA, and they are just great. They are Black & Gold brand and just perfect for a meal for one. I usually use the foil ones as they are perfect for Brad to take away with him as they fit nicely in his cooker.
My list of meals I have made to freeze are:
Chicken & Vegie Soup
Tomato Macaroni Cheese
Mince mix for spag bog
2 batches of muffins (blueberry & banana)
Beef & Red Wine Casserole
Still to finish off this arvo:
Chicken & Spinach lasagne
And then there is the lunches for tomorrow that need to be made (including mine) and uniforms to get ready, and more importantly look at my cupboard and think what am I going to wear, I don’t have work clothes anymore!
Last week our sister Marnie was about to head off for a couple of weeks for a trip, so brought along a salad to the family BBQ she called “everything in the bottom of my fridge salad”. It was delicious, so today I decided to try my own version and it went a little something like this:
Everything is finely diced up:
Sprout combo (not sure what they are called, those knobbly ones before they sprout)
Tin of chick peas
Tin of kidney beans
Tin of 4 bean mix
Because I decided to add so many beans to mine I decided to make a dressing to put over the top. Sometimes the kids can be a bit funny on to much of a raw kidney bean taste, so thought a nice dressing might help.
For my dressing it was a mustard vinaigrette and went a little something like this
about a tablespoon of dijon mustard
about 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
teaspoon of sugar.
Bit of a pour of olive oil.
bit of garlic crushed
Give it all a whisk up and pour just enough over it to taste (I didn’t use all of my dressing). Make sure you give it all a really good toss and Bob’s your Uncle.
Next on the list is some chicken meatballs to go with the salad.
I don’t normally decorate for Easter. In my house the only time I worry about decorating is at Christmas, however I made an exception yesterday. We were having friends over for a BBQ get together, and I decided I may as well do something with the table, as I had pretty much everything hiding in the shed or house.
The fake grass I use for my market table cloth, and the twigs we went for a walk and got down the river. Earlier during the day I had been at the shops and our local party shop had decorations for 50% off so I managed to pick up a bunch for the grand total of $14.00. And the added bonus is I will use them tomorrow at an Easter Craft Market.
It was a lovely evening, the weather was beautiful and no wind (something that is rare here) and the kids had a great time with glow sticks hiding them and finding them in the garden.
I have a fear of cream sauces, they make me gag, even just the smell, so in our house as I am the Chief Cook, it means a white sauce free zone. Everyone in my house loves Macaroni Cheese, except of course me. I have tried those packet Mac N Cheese ones you find in the supermarket, which quite frankly when you add that orange stuff it freaks me out thinking what is in it – so thankfully in steps an old Mum recipe Tomato based macaroni cheese – win win all round, everyone gets mac and cheese and I don’t have to suffer through white sauce.
I love this recipe as it makes heaps, and so as in the case of today, I have enough to freeze for meals for the man who has another week of working away. Here is my mac cheese alternative recipe (for any other white sauce haters out there). I apologise in advance for the old measurements I have been making it so long I know what to do, so don’t need to convert them and never have – sorry
6 oz Macaroni
3 oz butter
1/ 4 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon of paprika
1/3 pint of milk
6 oz of cheese grated
1 x tin of tomato soup
couple of rashers of bacon diced
1 green capsicum (or red is fine if you have none, I used this today)
Cook macaroni in boiling salted water until tender and set aside in a large bowl. Then fry onion, bacon and capsicum lightly and then I add this to the macaroni and toss through.
Meanwhile melt butter in a saucepan, remove from heat and add in flour and seasonings and mix together well. Return to low heat and cook for approx one minute. Then add milk in gradually stirring the entire time until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and add grated cheese and tomato soup and mix well. Gently return to heat to warm through, do not boil.
Then add the sauce to your bowl of macaroni and mix well. Then pop into an oven proof dish and top with grated cheese and bake in a moderate oven for about 20 minutes.
Voila – my family food compromise, which will be awesome as today I picked up some tasting mini cheesecakes from local business TLC Cheesecakes – yumbo. Now to sort out my dislike of Seafood and it will be one happy home.