Top Ten Breakfast Cereals

Whether it’s a broiled egg on toast or a full English, everybody loves a home-cooked breakfast. Unfortunately, we are often in a bit of  hurry and do not have enough time to sit down to a delicious meal. This is where breakfast cereal comes into its own. It’s quick, it’s easy and there is enough of a variety to please almost any taste-buds. Variety, being what it is, also means choice and everybody’s choice of favourite cereal is different. Continue reading

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Coconut Ice

‘Tis the season to indulge, and what better way to do so than with a classic Xmas treat, Coconut Ice. Pleasing to the eye, and containing enough sugar to satisfy even the sweetest tooth, this is a holiday snack your kids will love to make. I haven’t made my first batch of the season yet, so I don’t have a picture to share, but as soon as I do, I’ll post it here. Makes approximately 18 squares.

Continue reading

Getting to Know Me Revisited

Nurture dressed s a businessman for halloween

This is an old picture, but I don’t have anything more recent.

Name: Nurture
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Marital status: Married
Romance: is wonderful.
Hair colour: Browny
Eye colour: Blue
Long or short hair: Just past my shoulders
Favourite thing to eat: Sushi
Favourite thing to wear: Leggings
Favourite perfume/cologne: Musk. It reminds me of my Great Grandmother.
Favourite food: Sushi
Favourite drink: Wine
Favourite colour: Deep Purple or Forest Green
Favourite music: Aurelio Voltaire, The Indelicates, Buddy Holly, Karliene, The Cog is Dead, Damh the Bard, Sara Storer, Elton John & a bunch of others that can be found on my playlists.
Favourite movie: He Died With a Felafel In His Hand, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Road to El Dorado, Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, pretty much anything by Studio Ghibli.
Favourite TV show: I’m not really sure. I don’t watch a lot of television. I do enjoy crime shows like NCIS or Law & Order. Orange is the New Black is also good, as is Doctor Who. I don’t mind a good documentary series like Conspiracy, Haunting Australia or Chef’s Table. I don’t think I’d describe any of these as favourites, though.
Favourite pastime: Reading
Favourite place to eat: My previous answer to this was Sizzler. Damn, I miss Sizzler. Oh well, these days, I guess, Sushi Hub.

Most memorable moment: The birth of my children
Most embarrassing moment: Way too many to pick.
If you could kiss anyone, who would it be?: I actually can’t think of anybody I’d like to kiss right now. Unless fictional characters count?
What makes you smile?: My kids
What makes you smile?: Baby animals
Will you post this on your blog?: Yes

A Series of Unrelated Snippets

Butterfly and Annie have been watching an anime called Food Wars recently. Since I have been reading and writing in the same room as the television, I have caught several glimpses of the anime. The food on this show looks divine. I mean, anime food always looks particularly delicious, but anime devoted to food, such as Yumeiro Patissiere or Food Wars take it to a whole other level. I would dearly love to try some of the dishes I’ve seen in these two shows. I wonder if there is an English language cookbook featuring the recipes from the show available? Continue reading

River Canyon Restaurant

Last year we had a bit of cash saved up and decided to go out for Christmas dinner instead of cooking at home. After looking around to see who was open, we ended up deciding on the River Canyon Restaurant in Parramatta. River Canyon is located at 96 Phillip Street in Parramatta, NSW and is best known for its buffet meals and live shows.

As with most restaurants, Christmas dinner is a bit pricier than the normal fare, but the cost is well worth it. The Xmas prices are tiered according to age as follows: Continue reading

Rationing References

When researching my rationing challenge, I used the following websites:

  1. New Point Ration Chart
  2. Remember When…
  3. Food Investigators Episode 5: The WWII Diet
  4. 1301.0 – Year Book, Australia, 1944 – 45, Australian Bureau of Statistics
  5. John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library – Families and Food: wartime tucker
  6. Retro Housewife
  7. On the Ration
  8. Rationing Revisited
  9. Wikipedia
  10. Community and Culture in North Ayreshire
  11. Clothes Rationing
  12. Rationing and Other Controls
  13. WW2 People’s War: Rationing and Shortages
  14. Australian War Memorial: Rationing of Food and Clothing in the Second World War
  15. Consumer Rationing
  16. Australian War Memorial: Austerity Cooking Demonstration
  17. Australian War Memorial: Make Meat Go Further (some extender recipes)
  18. Brighter Breakfasts
  19. The 1940s Experiment
  20. The Supersizers Go…Wartime

All of these sites are very good and I urge you to take the time to check them out.

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Rationing – The Rules

Here are the rules I will be following for our Wartime Ration Challenge. Continue reading

The Rations – Points

At the same time as the ordinary rationing, Britain and America had a kind of parallel rationing system. This involved a points system, whereby a certain number of points were given each month, to be spent on various extras such as tinned salmon or rice. The British were allocated either 24 or 16 points per month but I have not found any references to a similar system in Australia. As the most commonly accepted points allocation for this challenge is 16, that is what we will be using. Continue reading

The Rations – Food

Meat is Rationed So is Chewing the Fat Less. G...

Meat is Rationed So is Chewing the Fat Less. Gab More Guns – NARA – 533911 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As stated in a previous post, I will be forcing my family to live of WWII rations for a little while. It will be a great learning experience for the children and may even end up with us being happier, healthier people! The ration I will be following will be a kind of mash-up of official WWII rations from Australia, England & America.

As I live in Australia, this will be my main inspiration for ration amounts. Australians were lightly rationed compared to other combatants. In fact, when it came to fresh fruit & veg, we often experienced a glut in the market as Britain decided to devote valuable shipping space to proteins instead. So we are going to be far better off than most Brits were during the war. Continue reading

Creamy Carrot, Broccoli and Silverbeet Soup

English: A bunch of carrots (Daucus carota), w...

Description

This dish takes a while to make, but it is worth every minute. Like many green foods, it looks a little gross but I assure you it tastes absolutely delicious. Filling enough to serve as a meal for eight people, this soup is a great way to get some veges in your diet.

Ingredients

4 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 Tbsp minced garlic4 Tbsp minced ginger
4/3 cup diced onion
3 tsp curry powder
800g carrots, chopped
400g broccoli, chopped
400g silverbeet leaves, chopped
10 cups chicken stock
6 Tbsp orange juice
½ cup heavy cream
1 – 3 tsp white wine vinegar
salt & pepper

Directions

Heat the vegetable oil over a medium-low heat. Add the garlic, ginger, onions and a pinch of salt. Stir well, cover and reduce to low. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened (around 8-10 minutes). Stir in the curry powder and 1 tsp salt. Add the carrots, broccoli, silverbeet, stock and orange juice. Stir well, cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are very tender (around 7-20 minutes). Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool for around 5 minutes. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender – fill the jar no more than halfway and vent the lid, topping with a folded kitchen towel to prevent hot splashes. Wipe the pan clean and return the pureed soup to the pan. Add the cream and ½ teaspoon of vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Taste the soup and adjust vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Ladle into soup bowls and serve with your favourite garnish. Serves 8.

Spicy Pasta Yasmina

My beautiful daughter Yasmine created this delicious dish, which we then named after her. It is very economical and feeds a family of 6. Thanks to my husband for allowing me to re-publish this from his blog, A Wombat’s Web.

Ingredients

  • 500g pasta
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1-2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 green capsicum
  • 1 shallot
  • half an eggplant
  • 3 slices pineapple
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Rogan Josh curry paste
  • 1-2 Tbsp BBQ sauce
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 2 handfuls of shredded cheese

Directions

  • Cook pasta according to directions. Strain.
  • Meanwhile, brown mince in a little oil.
  • Add soy sauce and stir through.
  • Mix in the pepper and shallots.
  • Add the pineapple, eggplant and capsicum. Stir through.
  • Stir in the curry paste & BBQ Sauce, then add the water.
  • Simmer until done, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the pasta and stir through, ensuring it is well coated.
  • Add the cheese and stir it through.
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Roast Beef Challenge Summary

Our Roast Beef challenge was a pleasure for us all. In the end, I was surprised to get twelve meals from one humble roast. I had no idea that I would be able to stretch my roast to cover so many meals. The best bit about it was that we did not get the least bit bored with our meals. In fact, it felt as though we were actually eating better than we usually do. I had loads of fun coming up with different ways to serve our beef in order to make as many tasty meals as possible and I halved my meat budget.

I highly recommend that everybody try this challenge, especially if you are doing it tough. You will be surprised just how far you can spread a little meat and just how much fun you will have doing so. Feel free to post you experiences as a comment.

Roast Beef Challenge

Meal 1 – Slow-cooker Roast Beef

Meal 2 – Roast Beef Sandwiches

Meal 3 – Leftovers Pie

Meal 4 – Pizza

Meal 5 – Soup

Meal 6 – Soup

Meal 7 – Soup

Meal 8 – Steaks

Meal 9 – Sandwiches

Meal 10 – Soup

Meal 11 – Soup

Meal 12 – Soup

Meal 12 – Soup

Once again we have had reheated soup for dinner, served with buttered bread soldiers. One again, the reheated soup tasted better than the original batch. Delicious!

Roast Beef Challenge

Meal 1 – Slow-cooker Roast Beef

Meal 2 – Roast Beef Sandwiches

Meal 3 – Leftovers Pie

Meal 4 – Pizza

Meal 5 – Soup

Meal 6 – Soup

Meal 7 – Soup

Meal 8 – Steaks

Meal 9 – Sandwiches

Meal 10 – Soup

Meal 11 – Soup

Roast Beef Challenge Summary

Meal 11 – Soup

Tonight we had reheated soup served with buttered bread soldiers. As usual, it tasted better second time round.

Roast Beef Challenge

Meal 1 – Slow-cooker Roast Beef

Meal 2 – Roast Beef Sandwiches

Meal 3 – Leftovers Pie

Meal 4 – Pizza

Meal 5 – Soup

Meal 6 – Soup

Meal 7 – Soup

Meal 8 – Steaks

Meal 9 – Sandwiches

Meal 10 – Soup

Meal 12 – Soup

Roast Beef Challenge Summary

Meal 9 – Sandwiches

Having cooked the remaining beef in the slow-cooker yesterday, I decided to use some of the meat in the childrens’ lunch – it sure beats the usual jam or Vegemite! Thus the children are heading off to school with beef, lettuce and cheese sangas, oranges, passion fruit, freddo frogs and cupcakes. Yum!

Roast Beef Challenge

Meal 1 – Slow-cooker Roast Beef

Meal 2 – Roast Beef Sandwiches

Meal 3 – Leftovers Pie

Meal 4 – Pizza

Meal 5 – Soup

Meal 6 – Soup

Meal 7 – Soup

Meal 8 – Steaks

Meal 10 – Soup

Meal 11 – Soup

Meal 12 – Soup

Roast Beef Challenge Summary

Meal 8 – Steaks

We thawed out the other half of the roast and carved off some steaks. These were fried up and served with cold hard-boiled eggs, sliced beetroot and tossed salad. The remaining uncooked beef was returned to the fridge. I haven’t had steak in ages and I thoroughly enjoyed this meal!

Roast Beef Challenge

Meal 1 – Slow-cooker Roast Beef

Meal 2 – Roast Beef Sandwiches

Meal 3 – Leftovers Pie

Meal 4 – Pizza

Meal 5 – Soup

Meal 6 – Soup

Meal 7 – Soup

Meal 9 – Sandwiches

Meal 10 – Soup

Meal 11 – Soup

Meal 12 – Soup

Roast Beef Challenge Summary

Meal 7 – Soup

There was a small amount of soup leftover, but not enough for dinner, so the kids all had soup for lunch. This was served with buttered bread soldiers, fruit and a snack.

Roast Beef Challenge

Meal 1 – Slow-cooker Roast Beef

Meal 2 – Roast Beef Sandwiches

Meal 3 – Leftovers Pie

Meal 4 – Pizza

Meal 5 – Soup

Meal 6 – Soup

Meal 8 – Steaks

Meal 9 – Sandwiches

Meal 10 – Soup

Meal 11 – Soup

Meal 12 – Soup

Roast Beef Challenge Summary

Meal 6 – Soup

Tonight we ate bowls of reheated soup served with buttered bread soldiers. It was even tastier second time around!

Roast Beef Challenge

Meal 1 – Slow-cooker Roast Beef

Meal 2 – Roast Beef Sandwiches

Meal 3 – Leftovers Pie

Meal 4 – Pizza

Meal 5 – Soup

Meal 7 – Soup

Meal 8 – Steaks

Meal 9 – Sandwiches

Meal 10 – Soup

Meal 11 – Soup

Meal 12 – Soup

Roast Beef Challenge Summary

Meal 5 – Soup

This is another slow-cooker meal. Into our slow-cooker, I placed spuds (cut into quarters), pumpkin (cut into pieces around the same size as the spuds), sliced carrots, the rest of the beef (chopped), the leftovers from the pie and pizza meals (chopped into bite-sized pieces – including the pastry), a couple of handfuls each of rice, pearl barley, red lentils & yellow lentils (all of which are always in my cupboard), a small amount of veges left in over from a bag of frozen mixed veg and the juices from the roast (defrosted). I then topped up the liquid with water until it reached the rim of the slow-cooker. The lid was replaced and the soup cooked on low for around eight hours.

For dinner, we each had a nice filling bowl of the soup served with buttered bread soldiers. The leftover soup was placed in the fridge.

Roast Beef Challenge

Meal 1 – Slow-cooker Roast Beef

Meal 2 – Roast Beef Sandwiches

Meal 3 – Leftovers Pie

Meal 4 – Pizza

Meal 6 – Soup

Meal 7 – Soup

Meal 8 – Steaks

Meal 9 – Sandwiches

Meal 10 – Soup

Meal 11 – Soup

Meal 12 – Soup

Roast Beef Challenge Summary

Meal 4 – Pizza

We used a pre-made pizza base from the bread section of Woolies for this meal. We spread the pizza base with salsa instead of tomato paste, because we already had the salsa in the cupboard. Next we sprinkled a small amount of the beef, carved from the small amount of leftover beef and chopped into bite sized pieces. We then sprinkled the pizza with chopped onion and topped it with tasty cheese and a sprinkle of parmesan. We baked it in a moderate oven for about fifteen minutes then served one slice each with baked spuds and mixed veg.

Once again, we kept aside the leftovers.

Roast Beef Challenge

Meal 1 – Slow-cooker Roast Beef

Meal 2 – Roast Beef Sandwiches

Meal 3 – Leftovers Pie

Meal 5 – Soup

Meal 6 – Soup

Meal 7 – Soup

Meal 8 – Steaks

Meal 9 – Sandwiches

Meal 10 – Soup

Meal 11 – Soup

Meal 12 – Soup

Roast Beef Challenge Summary

Meal 3 – Leftovers Pie

For this meal, we took all the leftovers from the roast – meat, veg, spuds pumpkin, pumpkin skin and all – and cut them into bite sized pieces. We had enough leftovers to fill our pie, but if you don’t have quite enough, you can top them up with some extra mixed veg or mashed spuds. We don’t have a pie dish, so we used a casserole dish for our pie. We lined the dish with shortcrust pastry, added our leftovers filling and topped it with puff pastry. We baked this for around 20 minutes at around 180°C. We then served the pie with mixed veg and baked spuds.

Once again we kept aside all the leftovers (including the leftover pie) for use in the soup later in the week.

Roast Beef Challenge

Meal 1 – Slow-cooker Roast Beef

Meal 2 – Roast Beef Sandwiches

Meal 4 – Pizza

Meal 5 – Soup

Meal 6 – Soup

Meal 7 – Soup

Meal 8 – Steaks

Meal 9 – Sandwiches

Meal 10 – Soup

Meal 11 – Soup

Meal 12 – Soup

Roast Beef Challenge Summary