Thursday, September 20, 2012

(Project: Food Budget) Week 51

Gosh I get tired of cooking sometimes...I mean I LOVE to cook (haha just typed sook by mistake...oh the irony) but the kids endlessly changing palates exhaust me! Sure lasagna was great LAST week, but THIS week it's disgusting...*sigh*
Anywho, in terms of budget, things are pretty good - food wise - good thing this isn't Project: Incidental Spending O_o

I have decided that without doubt, lunch time causes our budget the most distress. The vast majority of kiddie (and dh) boxes are home cooked and package free. However, sometimes the time required and the ingredient cost makes me wonder if I would be better of buying something 'purpose built' ... often cheaper, always desired, nutritionally funked - and there it is, the deal breaker. Don't get me wrong, my kids are no strangers to non nutritive foods but the school lunch box? sheesh there's just so much judgement there and I do actually want to nourish my kids with the good stuff despite the constant objections!

Did I mention I have a kid who hasn't eaten a lunch box sandwich in 14 years??

Here's what I would like...fresh fruit and vege's, whole grain carbs, dairy, and some protein. What that looks like in terms of what the kids WILL EAT is a constant work in progress.

Maybe these peeps have some ideas:
  • Dairy-Free Cooking
  • Cook Write Heal
  • Warm As Pie
  • xox, b
  • Project Food Budget 2.0
  • That’s Just Me
  • Two Eggs Over Easy
  • Eat Whole Be Vital
  • Four Happy Violets
  • Pgh Dad
  • yogabeautylife
  • naMAMAste
  • Six Dollars a Day
  • What da Health?
  • French Press
  • Veggie Meal Maker
  • Charmingly Modern
  • Ignite Your Life

  • Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    (Project: Food Budget) Week 46

    Well gosh the kids need a bunch of things this week *sigh* so food must be nutritious and cheap! Usually I plan my meals and then shop, but this week I bought some staples and will see what magic I can do with them. So here is the first grab for this week:

    This collection cost $90.00 so far so good. I always buy 5 loaves of bread at a time because my kids are giant piggies the local bakery sells 5 for $7.00. That's $1.40 a loaf and I can't make it myself for that. I was at the supermarket for this haul because that is where I can buy reduced to clear meat so the fruit and vege shop is pending...just a few in here.

    These are my thoughts re meals from this shop:

    Beef Rogan Josh (there's a jar of simmer sauce in there) with cauliflower from Bel's garden and rice.
    1 giant pot of  Bolognaise sauce for Penne Bolognaise and Lasagna.
    2 meals of risotto.
    2 meals of tomato based pasta.
    Lentils probably with Moroccan flavours.
    Sausages & Mash and veg.
    Roast Chicken pieces x 8, for risotto / pasta and Cold Sesame Noodles With Shredded Chicken.
    Check out this list of 40 recipes for shredded chicken! that's 11 dinner meals.
    We have our home made pizza Sunday's x 2, which means only 1 more required before next pay day.
    Not too shabby for my so far $90 I say! ...and I haven't even mentioned all those almonds, they will become cakes, most likely with some of that yoghurt...and for the observant few, the Nutella will without doubt be eaten by the spoon full;) Here's hoping for a good and disciplined food week.

    Please check out the other bloggers this week.

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

    (Project: Food Budget) Week 45

    Oh budget schmudget...what I'm really after this week is a live in celebrity chef. Any offers?? Jamie??
    While I wait that one out, this weeks budget...again $200.
    Here's what we're eating. What's on your menu this week?

    Thursday - Chicken With Olives
    Friday - Tomato Pasta with Veg
    Saturday - Tapas dinner with family...hmm...what should i make??
    Sunday - Home made pizza
    Monday - Wrapped Marinated Grilled Vegetables *Marinade: 3 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 cloves garlic crushed, 2 tsp soft brown sugar, 3 Tbsp finely shredded basil leaves, freshly ground black pepper.
    Here is a handy lil reference: Best Grilling Tips for Vegetables

    Kiddy boxes - Carrot & Cheese Muffins, Golden Orange Muffins

    Monday, July 30, 2012

    Stitched Cuff Bracelet Swap Cont...


    Thank you swappers for joining my Stitched Cuff Bracelet Swap, so happy to have you here. I thought I'd post a few more inspired ideas before allocating partners in case any one else wants to join us. It's not very hard to find many wonderful cuffs that have gone before! are just a few more to get the ideas flowing.
    Remember, Cuffs are not due in the post until 01 October, so you have plenty of time to sew up this little project. If you are unsure where to begin, the previous post has some free patterns you can follow...or just wing it;) Please leave a comment and e-mail addy below if you would like to join it.

    Wrist Cuff by Grace Garton of Little Arty Crafty Crow Studio

    Laced Up Cuff Bracelet - Click Image to Close

    Laced Up Cuff Bracelet Created by: Allison at The Good Karma ShopDetail Image for art Pastel Posies Cuff Bracelet      

    Pastel Posies Cuff Bracelet by Sara Field

    Friday, July 27, 2012

    Basic Kid Pants.

    I'm a lil bit chuffed with my sewing this week. The middle two have their first school disco to attend this week and thus, the necessary disco attire has been fashioned!
    I've made quite a few pairs of pants now but it wasn't until I was directed to 'made' that I found a pattern that really worked for me. Different front and back pieces has made the world of difference to the fit. These pants are awesome...(and FREE!!) and I have made them for kids 2, 3 and 4 just by altering the same pattern. Brilliant!

    oh and did I mention, I lined them with flannelette? He's a tactile guy, and appreciates the extra softness. That's mummy love stitched right in there <3

    ...and before y'all point it out, I know now that I was meant to turn the lining seams out...seems so obvious now. oh well...

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    (Project: Food Budget) Week 42

    Here's what we are eating this week...

    Thursday - Scrambled Eggs & Baked Beans
    Friday - Syrian Chicken
    Saturday - Eating out:)
    Sunday - Homemade Pizza
    Monday - Tuna Mornay
    Tuesday - Curried Red Lentil Soup
    Wednesday - Easy Vegetable Rice

    $200 budget, 6 grumbly tummies!
    Oh...and it's my birthday this week and THIS is what I'm hoping DH will cook for me...I subtly e-mailed it to him last week, i'll let you know;)

    Quinoa Cakes Avocado Smoked Salmon Poached Egg

    Pop in on the others...

    Friday, July 20, 2012

    (Project: Food Budget) Week 41

    This week I have switched to shopping twice a week, Sunday and Thursday. I have also been cooking during the day and reheating at night. It makes for a cleaner kitchen and less to do at witching hour! Obviously not everything can be prepared this way, but a lot can especially in Winter with slow cooked meals, soups, casseroles, curries and the like.
    ...I also plan to join the gym and hope to attend a couple of evenings...
    There, I said it out loud...well almost. I think we can chalk that up as commitment!
    The first shop this week came to $150 which left me wondering how I would survive the later part of the week with only $50 but turns out it was fine, just as long as I stick to my list and buy seasonal.
    Something else new for this week...I have been trialing Plan to Eat. It's pretty easy and useful. You can import recipes, although that only works now and again it seems, or cut and paste them into a 'bulk' upload. It is pretty quick either way and I like that I get a shopping list ordered into categories. I even sent DH to the shop with a Plan to Eat list and it went pretty well:P

    This weeks menu:
    Thursday - Lentils with white wine, herb & tomatoes
    Friday - Roast vegetables with couscous
    Saturday - Layered Enchilada Casserole
    Sunday - Home made pizza
    Monday - Avocado Wraps
    Tuesday - Creamy Chicken & Brown Rice Soup
    Wednesday - leftovers:D

    Pay a visit to the other bloggers this week...

    Friday, July 13, 2012

    (Project: Food Budget) Week 40

    The winter illness got worse this week... hospitalized and all! blurgh!

    For this reason, some of last weeks meals are still to be cooked as I'm sure DH and kids survived on take out and the kindness of others:D
    ...and yes, chicken was on a super special this week, $6.49kg breast fillets. What do you pay for meat in your part of the world?
    Budget is $200. 3 adults / 3 kids - check out last weeks food requirement break down here.

    This week we are eating:

    Thursday - Chicken & Cashews
    Friday - Aloo Gobi
    Saturday - Apricot Chicken (risotto style)
    Sunday - Homemade pizza
    Monday - Butter Chicken
    Tuesday - Chickpea & Leek Soup
    Wednesday - leftovers...

    Don't forget to check out the other awesome bloggers this week:

    Thursday, July 12, 2012

    Stitched Cuff Bracelet Swap

    I like sewing a little something for someone. Nothing too complicated but with loads of aesthetic choices to make...
    I'm thinking a Stitched Cuff Bracelet Swap. It would go something like this: a little back and forth with your allocated swap know, style likes / dislikes, colour favs, genre preferences and the like, nothing too fussy because well, you get what your given and all...
    Make 1 or a few and post them to 1 person who will in return post theirs to you. This would be an international swap so please do not join unless you are willing to post internationally. e-mail addy's would be exchanged, so your correspondence would be primarily with your swap partner, with the odd reminder e-mail from yours truly. Cuffs postal by 01 October.
    If you would like to join, please leave a comment with your e-mail. Swap sign up open until 31 July after which time, I will delete the comments and correspond via e-mail.
    Here is some inspiration! Yay!

    necktie bracelets finished
    From Team EcoEtsy This one has a tutorial.


    DIY Edwardian Cuffs
    What about an Edwardian inspired cuff? From Chic Steals with tutorial!

    ...and I could go on...
    anywho, sign up?

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    (Project: Food Budget) Week 39

    ...have been a bit absent. winter sickness got the better of us all! so here's to better health.

    While I haven't blogged my thoughts of late, I have been jotting ideas on paper and rolling ideas around in my head during night feeds. My food budget is a numbers game in more ways than just $$$. I'm constantly reminding myself how many sandwiches, how many muffins, how many bananas etc are required for a week. Basically it goes something like this:
    1 week = 42 serves breakfast, 18 sandwiches (take out) 18 muffins / bars (take out) 18 pieces fruit (take out) 42 serves dinner, 24 serves home lunches, 37 afternoon snacks, 22 morning snacks and COUNTLESS adolescent munch outs!
    Phew, I'm tired even thinking about it...
    Sometimes, it is just too much FOOD to get my head around. I'm wondering if I should menu plan in blocks of 3 and 4 days to see me through the week. Perhaps that might be easier?? budget remains at $200 for 6, at least for the short term.

    I have just begun a Pinterest board for 'Winter Foods'
    If you clicked on that link you would have seen that I'm just getting started. The idea is to collate some recipes that are seasonally relevant to where I live. That's gotta help the budget right? ...and who doesn't want to make the most of fresh and budget friendly produce?

    Here is my seasonal list:

    Foods in season throughout the year.
    Apricots Avocado (Fuerte)Beetroots Asparagus 
    Beans Cabbage (& Brussels Sprouts) Broccoli Avocado (Hass)
    Berries & CurrantsCauliflowerCabbage (& Brussels Sprouts) Beetroots 
    Celery Celery Cauliflowers Berries & currants
    Cherries Chestnuts Celery Broccoli 
    Corn Cumquats CumquatsCabbage (& Brussels Sprouts) 
    Eggplants GingerGingerCucumbers
    FigsLeeks Jerusalem ArtichokesFennel 
    Green peaMelonsLemons & LimesGreen, Snap & Snow pea, 
    Leeks Olives Olives Leeks 
    Melon Parsnips Parsnips Lemon & Lime
    PearsPears Rhubarb Peppers & chillies
    Peppers (& Chillies) Quinces Sweet PotatoesRhubarb 
    TomatoesSweet PotatoesTurnips & swedesZucchini & Squash
    Zucchini & SquashTomatoes 
     (Southern Australian emphasis)
    It is from here.
    ...and so to this weeks menu:
    Thursday - Aubergine & Sweet Potato Stew (Thai style)
    Friday - Harvest Vegetable & Lentil Casserole
    Saturday - Chickpea & Leek Soup
    Sunday - Home made pizza
    Monday - Aloo Gobi & rice
    Tuesday - Scalloped Cabbage with Fennel and Cranberries

    Wednesday - leftovers:P

    Be sure to check out the other Project: Food Budget blogs this week.

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Rainbow cake.

    {Project: Food Budget} Week 34 and my babies first birthday...

    This last week was really special. My adorable number 4 turned 1. Turning one is such a milestone and so emotional for me! Glad we survived, blessed to have a healthy growing child, proud of all she can do, devo'd that I don't have a baby anymore...and so on.
    Anywho, a rainbow cake was in order. This cake was so much fun to make and really easy. There were a few audible gasps when I cut it open. Win. :P 

    In other big news, I got my THERMOMIX on Saturday. This is HUGE! Implications all around for the way I shop and feed my family. I am so excited to get going on this. She is un-named atm...I'm working on that.

    The first dish I prepared in my TM was Fennel & Almond Soup. WOW! It was so good and I will definitely make this one regularly. 
    So it'll be no surprise that this weeks menu is all TMable! I have some experimenting to do!

    Thursday - Spiced Moroccan Tomato & Red Lentil Soup
    Friday - Mushroom Risotto
    Saturday - Creamy Tomato & Salami Fettuccine
    Sunday - Homemade Pizza
    Monday - Red Thai Chicken Curry
    Tuesday - Chinese-Style Stir Fry Vegetables
    Wednesday - leftovers:D

    Again $200, 6 mouths. With the addition on my thermomix to the kitchen I plan to reduce my food budget (argh...nervous) I think this is achievable but is going to require some thought as to bulk purchasing and shopping habits. Those thoughts are on this weeks to do list!

    Remember those muffins I mentioned last week? well I think I'm finally happy with my adjusted recipe. I call them (appropriately) Oat, Date & Chocolate Muffins...

    Oat, Date & Chocolate Muffins
    §  2 cups oats
    §  1 cups soy milk
    §  200 grams chopped dates
    §  100 grams grated dark chocolate (I use 70%)
    §  2 medium eggs
    §  1/2 maple syrup
    §  2/3 cup rice bran oil
    §  2 ½  cups wholemeal flour
    §  pinch salt

    In a large bowl combine the oats and soy milk. Leave it for 10 minutes.. Add the eggs, maple syrup and oil. Beat well, add flour and salt. Mix again then add dates an chocolate and fold through. Spoon the batter into a dozen well oiled Texas muffin cups. Bake at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes. 

    Here are the other bloggers this week: