Category Archives: food

Cannibal Barbie

I put together this Cannibal Barbie and oven combination 5 or 6 years ago when I found this awesome little Barbie stove in a second hand shop. Barbie has a pan full of brains, a heart in her pot and a brain roasting in the oven.

She lives in a bag in a cupboard. Maybe I should bring her out and display her.
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Who else used to eat crumbed lambs brains?  Now that brings back bad memories.

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$70 challenge, update 3

We’ve currently got only $30.44 left for this week and quite a few items on the shopping list that we’ll probably need before the end of the week.  And it’s only tuesday! The reason for the $40 spend… I was given a yogurt maker by my sister for my birthday and Woolworths had the yogurt powder sachets at 2 for $7 so we spent $14 on those yesterday.  This is 4-6 weeks worth of yogurt so we’re ahead on that.

We’ve been eating a lot of salad sandwiches lately which was something we started a couple of weeks before the $70 challenge.  Andrew worked out that we are eating about $1.70 worth of sandwich for each one we have (so $3.40 per day out of the $10 per day budget).  We usually have wholemeal bread, although pictured here is white bread (The One by Tip Top).  Our sandwiches have lettuce, carrot, sprouts (we sprout our own in a sprouter using an approx. $4 bag of mung beans, this probably makes each lot of sprouts 5 cents), beetroot (I pickle my own, here), tomato, cucumber, mushrooms, capsicum, celery, cheese and ham.  Andrew prepared the salad and makes 2 days worth at a time.

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I mentioned the hot chook, $8, we picked up last week which served us for 3 meals, 2 lots of sandwiches and a chicken soup.  These chooks go a long way and I have to say that each serve we had was more than enough.

Chicken soup recipe
*Chicken from a hot chook, make sure the bits of chicken are chunky
*2 chicken stock cubes OR 1 chicken and 1 vegetable
*some mixed veg.  I used carrot and sweet potato and frozen peas and corn
*Noodles (whatever you want, I used 2 minute style noodles)

Boil your hard veges in the stock, about 1 litre of water with the cubes.  They should be tender after about 30 mins.  Add the peas and corn.  Add the chicken and cook for about 5-10 minutes which enough to heat it through.  Add the noodles and cook til they’re done.
Super easy and damn tasty!  This whole meal would have been about $4 in total.

The thing I am thinking about at the moment is that it is really essential to spend time planning meals as well as thinking about what foods you need to make sure you eat to get the correct nutritional requirements.  I feel that if we were more on top of the planning part of it we’d be able to spend at least a little less.

$70 challenge update

It’s Friday and we’ve spent $61.41.  I don’t think we need to buy anything else this week. If we do it’ll be a visit to the fruit shop.

We’ve been to Aldi twice to pick up general groceries.  Cheese, bread, milk, muesli, etc. We even bought a brownie mix from Aldi and I made that yesterday.  Aldi brownie mix is $2.99 and is really yummy for a packet mix. Making brownies from scratch is actually quite costly as it has so much sugar, eggs and chocolate in it.  We bought beef mince at Coles which for the 2 of us is 2 meals, 2 left overs.  It’s $7 a pack for the 4 star stuff.  I made Taco’s last night and we’re having the left over’s tonight.  I chucked 75g of red lentils into the Taco mix (as well as lots of veg).  Adding lentils adds protein and is also part of a serve of fruit/veg and a meat substitute.  I think it’s something I’ll be doing a lot more.

For the taco meal we used an Old El Paso box, I only ever buy these when they are half price.  I can’t remember the exact price but its around $3.25.  This has the soft taco’s, seasoning and salsa.  Of course you need mince, or a meat substitute& some veg (onions, grated carrots, grated zucchini).  I made a tomato salsa mix to add to the Taco’s.  We grow tomatoes so I had heaps to use.  I also love picking green tomatoes for salsa.

Salsa
Tomatoes cut into little bits, mix of red and green if possible
Capsicum
Salt
Sugar
Splash of Apple cider vinegar
Pepper

We recently tried the Lyttos Greek Yog from Aldi and it’s really yummy, and cheap!  We used the yogurt as a sour cream substitute as we always throw out sour cream left overs.  It was pretty yummy.  I think this yogurt will be really versatile for sweet and savoury meals.  We don’t eat yogurt by the bowl full but usually have it in smoothies or a spoonful here and there.

Andrew, my partner, has made some notes of what we’ve eaten and thinks that between us we’re having $8-$12 of food between us a day.  I’ll later do some posts telling you what kinda things we’re eating and what we’re buying. This is already long enough!

Homemade Taiwan Style Soup

My partner and I absolutely love the Taiwan Style Beef Soup from Yang’s Cuisine (Pinelands road, Sunnybank Hills).  The soup is unbelievably delicious and I’ve wanted to know how to make it for long a while. Recently I spotted the Campbells Soup bases (the tetra packs, like the stock) which include a Chinese base.  I grabbed one while they were on special and set about making my own Taiwan Style Soup and oh my was it delicious!

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Ingredients
Soup Base (Chinese)
Beef Chuck
Dumplings (we got some frozen ones from woolies, pork ones)
Noodles (I used  dried Udon)
Carrots
Bean Sprouts
Chilli Flakes
Beef Stock Cube
Ginger
Garlic

Method
I slow cooked the Beef Chuck in about 200ml of the soup base plus a beef stock cube and extra water (enough water to come up the sides of the beef but not submerge it). To this I add fresh ginger and garlic roughly chopped and chilli flakes (to taste!) This cooks for about 7 hours.

In the last hour I chopped a carrot and popped this in.  The Yang’s soup has one wedge of barely cooked carrot but I added quite a lot to this and they were well cooked.  Cunning Fellow pointed out my error.

In the last 30 minutes I started to boil the rest of the soup.  I par boiled the dumplings and the noodles in plain water before plunging them, and the beef and carrot and the liquid from the slow cooker (I strained this liquid) into the soup.  I allowed all of this to boil away until the dumplings and noodles were done.  Throughout this I checked flavours and did add extra chilli and a bit of extra water.

Too delicious!

The left overs were lunch (with mushrooms added).

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How to Pickle Beetroot

So, for those that don’t know the Beetroot you buy in the supermarket that is in tins and jars is pickled.  You might be reading this and saying “well that’s obvious,” but I’m telling you because a lot of people I told that I was pickling beetroot did not know.

I’d been pickling the odd beetroot here and there  but on a solo trip to the fruit shop my partner decided to buy about 5 kg’s of beets.  We often head to our fruit shop, Rochedale Markets, and come home with large bags of stuff.  We once bought 12kg of lady finger banana’s for $5.  All of our family benefit from that and I ate so many banana’s!

Back to the Beetroot.  So, at first I’m like FML, I don’t feel like pickling that many beetroot and left them sit on the bench for a couple weeks.  Beets have pretty good longevity so they were still looking fine when I eventually did these 5 jars.  There are still about 1/3 of the beetroot left.

Ingredients
Fresh Beetroot
1 tablespoon Salt
2 tablespoons Sugar
750ml Apple Cider Vinegar
300ml water

Specific Tools
Glass Jars, sterilised
Measuring jug

Peel your beetroot and slice.  If you have large beetroots (too big for the jar) quarter them.

Boil your beetroot for about 3-5 minutes. It gets a bit softer with 5 minutes, or 3 minutes for crisper beets.

Fill your jars with the boiled beets.  FYI, the boiled beets stained my hands a horrendous dark brown so wear gloves if you have a job where people might see (and judge) your hands, they look disgusting.

Boil the Salt, Vinegar, Sugar and Water. I like to reserve red liquid that the beets are boiled in (about 100ml) so my vinegar mix is red but this is not necessary.  Also, if you need less liquid just use the same ratio’s for the smaller amounts.

To make it easy for you pour your boiled liquid into a jug and then fill out your beetroot jars. Put the lids on nice and tight.  The buttons on the jars might pop themselves down once the jars cool but if not you can press them down during the process and they’ll stay popped in.

Allow to cool and refrigerate.  If you are a slowpoke to eat things you ma want to put on the date you made it.  They don’t last long enough in my fridge to bother.

Homemade pickled beets really are yummy so if you’ve been thinking about it (and looking for a recipe) just do it! You won’t regret your pickled beets.

Bees!

We’ve had our vege garden for about a year now.  In that time we’ve had a bumper crop of Cucumbers (there are probably still 12+ jars of pickles in the fridge!), Corn, Radishes, Kohl Rabi, Potatoes, Wasabi Lettuce, Bok Choi, assorted herbs and Rocket.  I’m sure we’ve grown other things but I can’t remember them all!  (Oh, Tomatoes, I forgot Tomatoes.  We had so many tomatoes!)

I’ve loved having Rocket in the garden as I could go out and pick leaves whenever I wanted and Rocket is so yummy in salads and on sandwiches.  About 6 weeks ago it started to grow long stalks and get flower buds.  They are now about 60 cms tall covered in flowers and we’ve also got seed pods forming (yay!)  I’m still picking Rocket to eat but I think this crop is almost done with.

Something I didn’t expect was how much the native bees would love the Rocket flowers! They are swarming over them.  I stood out there yesterday to snap some pictures so my partner could see how many bees there were.  As the sun soon disappeared and so did the bees so I was out at the right time.

We’d love to get a bee hive eventually.  I’ve always loved bugs and would love to have a hive and learn more and see more of them.  If you’re after a hive here’s a great resource, Aussie Bee.

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Best Chicken Burger

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Have you ever tried the Kentucky Burger from KFC?  This is a (mostly) home-made burger similar to the Kentucky Burger, but much better.

The roll is one of those squishy pre-packed things.

We made the coleslaw.  It’s cabbage (we use sugarloaf), carrot, red onion, radish, kohl rabi and sometimes snow peas. Coleslaw dressing is usually just the Coles brand one.

Next it’s chicken pieces.  I just get the crumbed Breasts or Tenders from Coles meat dept. I HATE crumbing meat so just buy it pre-crumbed and oven bake.

Then cheese.  Aldi cheese slices. 1 or 2, whatever you like.

Bacon is optional and is on the KFC burger but I find it gets lost in all the rest flavours of this burger.

Also add BBQ sauce.  I like the Beerenberg Smokey Bourbon Sauce but just regular BBQ is also good.

And that’s the best burger!