Sunday, October 11, 2009


It looks like I cant count. I only planned 12 meals. Looks like the old brain has gone walk about. To add to it, I also dropped the ingredients for tonights dinner the Lamb and chickpea patties all over the floor tonight, and my floor isn't clean enough to eat off. Sigh.

At least the rest of the meals should take us untill near the end of next week.

Back to work tomorrow, got some bookkeeping, and the uniform shop in the afternoon, before doing the canteen for the rest of the week. At least I'll be earning money.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Two week menu

Eating out of the pantry for the next 2 weeks with only a teeny tiny grocery shop to be done.

I have a 14 day menu to present, 2 of these nights I'm not home, so its easy stuff for dh and dd. On these 2 nights they have the following to choose from: Fish/nuggets and chips, and some frozen pasta meals.

For the other 12 nights we will have the following (I'll post the recipes as I make them):

Meatball Stew
Chicken barley soup
Spaghetti Bolegnaise
Bacon & Egg pies
Lamb and Chickpea patties
Beef & Vegetable Pasties
Macaroni Cheese
Middle Eastern Lamb Pies
Garlic and Chilli Prawns
Chilli and Bean Bake

Can you believe I actually found some frozen prawns (ala Aldi) in my freezer.

Its truely amazing what you will find when you dig around in there.

The only meat I have to buy this week is minced beef.

Lunches will be leftovers or sandwiches ( I have enough bread mixes to make 6 loaves).

Breakfasts will be cereal as per usual.

I'll also be doing some baking, I have a recipe for 150 cookies that looks really easy. I've got a tonne of cake mixes, brownie mixes etc to feed the entire family for weeks. There is also plenty of jelly, and tinned fruit to keep everyone happy.

The $21 challenge

On one of the websites I occasionally go to and also receive newsletter emails from Simple Savings, has just produced a new book called : The $21 Challenge.

I read about it in Thats Life magazine last week and thought, "Hey, this could be doable on a monthly basis" It could also get those of us who are in the supermarket a number of times a week, menu planning properly, so we can get it down to once a fortnight or week at the most.

So I've done a pantry stocktake. I haven't reached the freezer yet, but I had to throw a lot of food ($$$) away that had expired. :( But now I know what I have in there, I can start on a two week menu plan for dinners.

I'll do the freezer this afternoon, to find out what food is in there.

I'm reckoning, that on the second week, we should only need money for fruit, veges, milk, eggs and bread perhaps.

So I'm going to give it a try. So week 1 will be a regular grocery shop, but with 2 weeks shopping in one, shopping out of my pantry first. Week 2 will only be top up with a limited amount of money being spent.

This also means no Takeaway's for 2 weeks. So I'm going to have to menu plan properly.

Wish me luck

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What's for dinner? Monday

I cant believe its Monday already. I've had a terrifically terrible weekend, and it seems to have stretched forever, even though its a long weekend, it feels like its gone on for a week.

Tonight I feel like some home made, feel good food for dinner. So a really cheap yet cheerful meal is on the menu.

Chilli Spaghetti

Spaghetti for the number of people being served. I'm a chuck the whole pack in type of girl, so adjust for your needs. Note, I love this and will eat it for breakfast lunch and dinner with no qualms.

A red chilli (If you cant get fresh, I have used chilli from a jar, not sweet chilli or powdered though)
Parsley, I like continental
Garlic, ( I have a jar of it in the fridge, so I'll use that)
Olive Oil

Cook the spaghetti as per instructions on the packet

In a small saucpan melt butter and olive oil. (sorry I dont have amounts, you will have to use what you feel is adequate)

Cook the garlic (1 tsp?) and the red chilli that has been deseeded and chopped very finely, unless you love big bits of chilli in your mouth. Add the chopped parsley before these brown, and pour over the drained spaghetti and stir.

Sprinkle with your favourite cheese that you like on pasta.

This meal wouldn't cost more than $5 if you buy cheap pasta. I can get a kilo for just over a dollar here. That feeds a lot of people. You dont need the pasta saturated with the sauce, just a taste worth, kwim?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Whats for dinner tonight? Friday

We had chicken wings for dinner tonight. I'd picked up Chicken wings at woolies yesterday for $1.49 a kilo, and couldn't resist them. So I bought 2 kilos of them :)

So I made yummy honey soy wings.

I had half a bottle of marinade in the pantry waiting to be used up, so sloshed it over the wings, and then sprinkled sesame oil over them. Then I cooked them in the oven for an hour at 180C. Now a whole hour may have been a little long when they came out a little dark, but they tasted fantastic, not burnt, and easily fell apart when eating them. And moist too.


There are some leftovers.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

What's for dinner - Thursday

Looks like someones brain wasn't working last night. Yesterday was Wednesday!

Anyway, for dinner tonight we are having pork ribs, cooked slowly this afternoon in the slowcooker. I forgot to put anything on them, but I'm sure they will still taste good. I'm serving them with left over baked veges from the other night. Potato, butternut pumpkin, cauliflower, mmm, I'm hungry.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

For Dinner tonight - Thursday

Chilli Con Carne on Toast.

Leftovers are great!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

For dinner tonight

We are having: Roast lamb with gravy, roast potatoes and pumpkin, cauliflower cheese (done in the microwave), baby peas and sweet corn. Mmmmmm.

The lamb was put in the crock pot at around 10am on low, so is well and truly cooked, but it will be perfect. Just waiting for the potatoes and pumpkin to be ready so I can serve. While the veges have been cooking I popped a banana loaf on to cook (well its a round one, I dont know where my loaf tin is) using up the 3 bananas that were going brown on the bench. Waste not want not. It will go with dd tomorrow to her best friends house to play.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My super dooper fantastic nuggets

Yes they are THAT good.

1 kilo chicken thigh fillets (this is a must because they are sooo juicy)
3 eggs beaten with some water
plain flour (season to taste)
1 packet pork rinds (those ones in the foil packet)
1/2 box cornflake crumbs
1 small packet ground parmesan cheese (you know the stuff you wouldn't put on your pasta because we are above that

Put pork rinds, cornflake crumbs and cheese in food processor till you have a fine crumb

Cut the chicken into nugget size pieces. (Or you can pound out the chicken fillets and use it to make schnitzels).

Place on oven trays and cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 200c.

These are fantastic, try them. Gluten free too.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sticky Chicken

This is a great recipe for those days when you have a lot of time. It's slow cooked in the oven on a relatively low temperature for 5 hours. I cooked 2 at once this time round, and underestimated the size of the chickens, they were much larger than the take away ones. And for only 2 dollars more too.

Oh, this is a prep the day before recipe. It marinates in a lovely spice mixture over night. I did get this recipe online, but I cant remember my source for it.

Here tis....................

4 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper ground
1 large roasting chicken (I used a fresh one)
2 large onions peeled

Day 1

Blend all the spices together and set aside
Take the chicken and remove any giblets (the yucky stuff on the inside, mine didn't have any)
Wash the chicken inside and out.
Sprinkle some of the spice mixture on the inside of the chicken and stuff it with the onions.
Rub the remaining spice misture on the chicken, all over
Cover and refrigerate over night

Day 2

Preheat the oven to 130C
Place the chicken/s (you can double the recipe) into a lined baking tray, and cook for 5 hours.

Once cooked allow the chickens to sit for 10 minutes before carving.

I cooked the chicken breast side down. It wont need any more than 5 hours for cooking. I cooked 2 for 6 hours and it was a tad dry. The part of the skin that isn't sitting in their juices will be quite crispy too. An option is to baste the chicken every half an hour while its cooking, but every time I've made this I've forgotten to do this even once. Hehe.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chicken Pie

This recipe is easy peasy, great for a Sunday night. And its soooo yummy too.


1 shole bbq chicken
1 400g can cream of chicken soup
1 tbsp oil
1 leek, sliced thinly
1 zucchini grated
1 carrot grated
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup corn
Sheets of puff pastry


Strip all the skin and meat off the chicken. Eat the skin (hehe) and toss the bones (or if you are clever use them to make your own stock).

In a frying pan, heat the oil and add the leek, zucchini and carrot. Cook till softened. Add peas, corn and soup mix. Stir and add chicken. Allow to cool.

You can use this mix to make any size pies you like. The Pastry can be used for both the top and the bottoms of the pie. For muffin size pies, cut the pastry sheets into quarters. Grease the muffin tins and line with pastry. Fill with the meat mix. Gather pastry corners together, and give it a twist. I popped a bit of egg wash on the top of the pies for colour.

Cook at about 200c until brown.

Eat and enjoy.

Monday, July 20, 2009

What's for dinner tonight - Tuesday

A family favourite, I'm cooking up pork salad. (It's not really a salad)

500g minced pork
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sweet chilli sauce *note, the sauce amounts may be changed to suit your taste.
Green beans

Fry mince in a saucepan. Add Garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes. Add sauces and green beans. Cook till beans are tender.

Mix in chopped corriander.

Serve on boiled rice or in iceberg lettuce cups.

Eat and enjoy

What's for dinner tonight? - Monday

Dd and I cooked dinner together. We made bolegnaise sauce with veges in it. Very healthy. Eaten with spiral pasta as someone has an aversion to spaghetti, with all those vegetables it has to be healthy.

Pasta sauce Recipe

500g lean mince
2 400g cans diced tomatoes
2 zucchini - grated
1 carrot - grated
1 red capsicum (pepper) diced, eenty teeny tiny
1 tsp garlic
1 tbsp pesto
salt and pepper

Cook mince in saucepan till brown, add garlic. Add zucchini, carrot and capsicum, and cook till soft. Add cans of diced tomatoes and mix well. Add pesto. Season to taste. Allow to cook gently till pasta is cooked as per packet instructions.

Serve with cheese.

This makes a lot of food. Enough to freeze for another night.

Eat and Enjoy

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What's for dinner tonight? Wednesday

Roast pork shoulder sandwiches on homemade bread.

Potato Gratin (reduced fat)


3 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
2 tbsp flour
1 med inion, sliced and separated
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 small zucchini, sliced
1/3 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp mixed herbs
340 ml evaporated skim milk
2 tbsp parsley chopped


Layer one third of the potatoes over the bottom of a prepared pie plate. Over the potatoes sprinkle 1 tbsp of the flour and arrange the onion rings. Dust with cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp of the paprika.

Layer another third of the potatoes adding the remaining flour, pepper and 1 tbsp of the cheese. Scatter the zucchini, dusting with the nutmeg and mixed herbs.
Cover with remaining potatoes. Pour milk over the gratin and add the remaining paprika and cheese.

Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes at 200c. Remove foil and bake at 160c for 15 minutes until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley.

Tuna Puffs

Another family favourite. I hate tuna, especially straight out of the can. But I love this recipe, its worth trying.


500g packet of puff pastry sheets
30g butter
3 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
800g can tuna in water, drained
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper


Melt butter, stir in flour. Cook for 1 minute and add milk, tuna, salt and pepper. Stir constantly until sauce boils. Add lemon juice and chopped parsley. Cool. Cut pastry sheets into 12cm squares. Place a small amount of filling into each square. Glaze with a little milk. Fold each square over to form a triangle. Glaze each triangle with a little milk. Cuta a slit in the top. Place triangles on a greased baking tray. Bake at 200c for 10 minutes and then 180 c for 20 minutes.

Serve with onion sauce (white sauce with onions in it)

Leek and Potato Soup


2 rashers bacon
6 large potatoes chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup parsley
60g butter
4 leeks chopped
1.5 cups milk
grated tasty cheese


Chop bacon and fry in butter until crisp. Add potatoes, leeks and cook a few minutes. Add stock and cook 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and soft. If preferred mash with whisk until soup is smooth. Add milk and heat gently. Stir in parsley. Serve garnished with grated cheese.

Ki Si Min

This recipe is the first ever meal I cooked, and I cooked it with my dear dad.
Serve it with rice.


2 tbsp butter
500g mince
3 0r 4 sticks celery chopped finely
salt and pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cabbage shredded
1 pkt chicken noodle soup mix
1 desertspoon full of curry powder (keens is best)
1 onion chopped


Fry the onions and curry powder in butter and add mince. Brown.

Add soup mix dissolved in water and simmer for 15 minutes. Add all of the vegetables and simmer with the lid closed for 10 minutes.

Eat and enjoy

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Minced Beef and Noodle Casserole

This is an old family favourite.

Temperature: 180 degrees Celcius


250g angel hair pasta
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 clove garlic
180g grated cheese
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp mixed herbs
2 cups water
500g minced beef
2 tbsp cornflour
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tbsp oil
2 beef stock cubes
salt and pepper


Cook noodles in boiling salted water untill tender and train.

Heat oil, brown mince and garlic, stirring frequently.

Dissolve stock cubes in water, and add to meat. Add tomoato sauce and herbs. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Thicken with cornflour blended with a little water.

Season to taste.

Put half of the noodles in an ovenproof casserole dish, cover with half of the meat mixture. Repeat the layers.

Sprinkle the top with the cheese and paprika and cook at 180c for one hour.

Eat and enjoy.

In season this July


Granny Smith apples
Pink Lady apples
Kiwi fruit
Navel Oranges

Bok Choy

*Note, some of these veges such as lettuce are not at full supply at this time of the year. This list may not be complete, rather its to my families taste.


Due to a downturn in the economy, everyone is feeling the pinch. Feeding our families is becoming more difficult.

Its time to get back to basics. So this blog will contain recipes and menu plans aimed at keeping the costs low and the yumminess high.

I've set it up so that you can easily find all the recipes with minced beef for example. Just click on the lables for the main ingredient you are after.

Eat and enjoy.