Tag Archives: cooking

I just cried to the TPG lady. How are you?

Suppose I’m due for a blogging brain dump, might as well start with how I just cried to the TPG lady because my internet install isn’t until Jan 8, and I read the text as today because you’d assume the internet would be installed the week you said you were moving house.

*breathe*

So we’re currently tethering on our Aldi sims with the excessive amount of accumulated data we have on our family plan. The plan that just went up from $80 to $95 a month because of course it did.

So, the move is actually going okay. Most stuff was moved in the truck Tuesday. The new place was dirrrrrty including a sly sprouting potato in the cupboard. But you know, we’ll leave our old place spotless because that’s how it works. I removed the last of the items from the main house yesterday, and decobwebbed and vacuumed. Next step for me is wall washing, bathroom scrubbing and bleaching and kitchen cupboards and oven, So I’ll head back Sunday armed with cleaning products and dig in. Tomorrow is supposed to be 41 degrees so we MIGHT get the carpet cleaner and do the only two rooms with carpets because they have the aircon. But aside from that, I’m clearly exhausted, plus I’m sore from rolling my ankle moving boxes the other day. And I did 20k steps yesterday on said ankle.

So everything feels hard, I keep feeling like I’m going to get in trouble for something. But I’m setting up my little house. Set up the coffee yesterday morning. Found everything to make dinner last night – despite having already tried to burn the place down and setting a box on fire I sat on the stop and the stove had been knocked on. So I’m down some kitchen items, like a vege peeler, some knives whose handles caught, and my cutlery tray. Ugh. So, yeah, the fire alarms work, but three people stayed in bed.

So I’ll hopefully get down to the community centre and op shop in Cooranbong next week before they close for the Xmas break and can replace some of the kitchen stuff and pick up a few other things. I think their food bank closes Thursday. I stocked up on short dated chocolates at the little church one near the old place yesterday that has its last week next week til school goes back in February.

If anyone’s feeling generous and wants to buy us some things for the new place off our wishlist the house one is here and mine is here. The kids could do with more size 3 nappies, bub is 4 months old now and growing well! Also my new monitor did NOT survive the move :'( Not that it matters if I don’t have a proper internet connection. My “plan” is to get back to streaming and practicing Japanese on Duolingo and Twitch in the new year, and find my happy little routine in the new place. There’s a local fish shop and butcher next to it and I’m hoping to be able to get us fresh meat and seafood there and have it with veges that are in season and either in the fruit and veg box I’ve got the first one coming today from Farmer’s Pick, with supplemented excess veges from OZharvest when I figure out the local foodbank hours and routine. I got a bag of frozen pies from the Woodrising community centre yesterday which the kids have already started on which is good because then they’re eating something at least. I’m supposed to be doing more for me and less for others. Let’s see how that goes!

17 days til Xmas

Re-finding a new routine, with added players

A blurry baby photo. The baby is wearing pink and in is her mother's arm who is wearing a green dressing gown. They are in my kitchen

Bub has been in the world 17 days, kids have been living with us for 22 days. It’s busy and lovely and stressful and new and I’m slowly figuring out here I fit in all this, what I can look after and control, what works and doesn’t work for me and what I just have to remember is out of my control.

My kitchen with clen dishes

I’m doing my dishes in the morning still, cooking dinner for everyone in the evening. We’re still getting Everyplate boxes – upped it to four serves which is $50 extra a week, which makes it better value. Just trying to figure out what meals everyone likes and eats. I mean everyone eats every main, I just suss out the preferred meals. I’d love it, if you haven’t yet, sign up for a free trial box and I’ll get $25 credit towards ours ūüôā

Our landlord moved us to a new real estate agent, so they’ve booked an inspection for September 26. They’ve also organised for a plumber to do a water efficiency check on the property tomorrow, and I replied to their email about the inspection asking if the requested repairs from the June 2 inspection had been handed over, because the last real estate didn’t follow up on any of them, and of course not. So I re-requested the bathroom light and exhaust to be looked at since it is dodgy as and doesn’t always turn on with the lightswitch, and the two hotplates whose thermostats don’t kick in and the kids burned things the first time they cooked here since I hadn’t given them the rundown on which hotplates to avoid or use with caution.

We’re of course anxious about meeting a new real estate agent and what their expectations will be. We’re also out of lease and hope to get a new one – bearing in mind that the kids aren’t ON the lease and as adults should be to live here on a regular basis. Even though they were kids when we moved here, and still living at their mums, but the whole *situation* necessitated it and they’ve got a lot on their plate and public and social housing is this mythical unicorn, and who’s gonna rent to two new parents on youth allowance? So, it’s engaging with those services, social workers, mental health etc etc that I’m also supporting the kids to do. At least Bee could get into the non-bulk billing GP I go to since they were on their booked from when they tried living with us three years ago.

We have managed to acquire a bunch of home stuff from my Nanna’s deceased estate – a kettle, sandwich press, microwave, toaster, crockery and cutlery , much needed TOWELS (mine were all on their last legs without there being extra people!), and I’m getting the fridge and bed once the photos are taken for sale. So that’s been super helpful. I picked up another baby gate off marketplace to keep Maxi out of the kids room without permission. We’ve also sorted so much more of our own stuff, and moved everything car parts and computer parts wise out to the garage. Not sure yet if and when Ash, Bruce’s son will be joining us, but we’re as ready as we can be, ey?

I’m still going to my weekly Antabuse group, we did our urine tests this week to check whether we’d been taking other meds to cope with not being able to have alcohol, and surely I passed.

I’m excited and nervous about our Australian Unemployed Workers Union meetup this Thursday in town. 1pm at Bernie’s Bar (the Old Star Hotel) – you should RSVP and come! There’s gonna be free food and beanies and scarves and comrades!

me nd Maxi in our life jackets on the boat

Maxi and Bruce have been keeping me grounded

I want to say thank you again to family and friends who have been so supportive in so many ways from hugs to an ear to listen to me to cash to packets of nappies and biscuits off our wishlist. If you wanna help out materially, use those links or Buy Me A Coffee?

Chicken and Leek Pie

A square pie

I HAVE to re-post this recipe after making it for the first time in the life of this blog – it turned out super well too! Well, not really a recipe, just a brief guide to the ingredients and method with you left to add flair depending on what you have on hand and what you score at the supermarket. I pretty much had to start from scratch when buying the ingredients this time around since I’d reasonably recently done fridge and pantry culls and cleanouts and we’ve been mostly making EVeryplate meals lately.

 

Ingredients used:

  • 500g chicken thigh, diced
  • A couple of rashers of bacon, diced
  • Half a thing each of white and swiss brown mushrooms chopped roughly
  • A leek, sliced thinly
  • Butter for frying up stuff
  • Some fresh thyme. picked and then chopped finely
  • Garlic (not pictured)
  • Half a jar of light cream
  • Tsp vegetable stock, cup boiling water
  • 3 sheets frozen puff pastry¬†
  • An egg and some milk for the egg wash on top of the pie

Method:

  1. Chop everything up and put into bowls on your bench ready to fry up
  2. Melt some butter in the frypan. Fry up leek and mushroom with some of the thyme. Transfer to bowl.
  3. Fry up the bacon.
  4. Melt more butter. Fry up garlic and the chicken with the rest of the thyme, in batches if you prefer.
  5. Return it all to the pan.
  6. Add stock powder and boiling water. Or stock if you’re fancy like that.
  7. Simmer down til there’s very little liquid. Add in cream and cook through. Add pepper to taste.
  8. Preheat oven to 180 degrees, get pastry out of freezer and place on bench to thaw.
  9. Use one piece of pastry as pie base, put in filling, then top with pastry and use third piece for decorations. Brush with egg and milk wash.
  10. Cook for at least 45min, until pastry is browned to your liking.

Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes, Then serve up. I do like to serve it with fresh green beans if they’re in season, but it’s great by itself too!

Sometimes we add a little seed mustard to it to change up the flavour a little. Or use chicken breast, or different mushrooms. Or some sour cream. But this is the base recipe that is universally loved!

As an aside, my “lemon” kitchen is coming along, with actual lemons, lemon tea towels and mitts and an apron and a mat even. I got these amazing vintage curtains (well my sister got them for me and even hemmed them to size) for $4 at The Makers Place in Teralba. I love how it’s all coming together!¬†

 

EveryPlate Bulk Cook meals

I decided to give the “bulk cook” weekly meal options a try from EveryPlate by cooking them up for my sister and her kids. For them, there’s a few I’ve taken or minimised the dairy from for them – using almond milk, or just not using butter and cheese. There’s a different recipe each week (I’m sure there’s repeats), though the ones you’ll see are similar in some ways. Using tinned legumes, mince, one had chicken tenderloins which were quick to cut up. I’ve added veges¬† – zucchini in the first photo – when I’ve gotten something I can throw in at our Friday foodbank run.

Like all other EveryPlate meals, you get the recipe card, the fresh ingredients, herbs and spices, stock, and any grains like rice or cous cous. The price for the bulk cook meal is $25 as an optional add-on when you go through and select your recipes for the week. Some I didn’t get – like a tomato spaghetti that just didn’t inspire me as freezable, but yeah, the casseroles, stews, and potato pies have gone down well.

You then supply things like olive oil, salt and pepper, butter/milk (that I leave out for my sister so some of these are easily made vegetarian and vegan). They get you to use the water from the chickpeas and beans so there’s no rinsing and you can use that salty water as stock.

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There’s a mix of stovetop cooking – which my huge Misen pot is great for both frying and simmering the large amounts, oh and boiling potatoes. There’s roasting of vegetables too. And things like the cous cous to make up to serve I just send along dry and Jen can take care of that as she needs it, along with any toppings like almonds, or the cheese for melting over for the big kids.

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I tinker a little – I find sometimes if you add all the stock powder things start to get a little too salty, so I’ll use less rather than more and add in later if I think it could do with it.

This pork mince/cottage pie I made at home, but took over to Jen’s that evening and we finished it off in the oven there, and I got to eat with them. I left a mini-pie for my partner in the noodle bowl to heat for himself :p

The recipes also give you other time-saving options, like not peeling the carrots of potatoes, I I prefer to.

As far as value for money, the way that prices have been going up at the shops for fresh veges and even tinned ones with transport costs, $25 for the supplied ingredients, recipe card, and inspiration and motivation to then get it cooked up works out well for me. Giving me a tangible way to help out and getting to cook too.

I also gave the $20 fruit add-on box a go. I couldn’t really justify it. After pricing the items I got in this one at $13 on woolies online. But you might like the convenience, there is a larger $25 option which might be better value too

I’m still getting the weekly boxes, and it’s still working well for me. I like that I can still put together a nice healthy meal even if I’ve had a big day and my brain is a little used up! The box I get has gone up in price, but given the semi hyper inflation at the moment it’s still great value for us. You can see my overview of them in this previous post.

I also regularly get free trial boxes to share – I currently have three, you just pay $10 shipping. If you want to try EveryPlate, let me know below or use my referral link for $60 off.

What have you been doing to keep fresh veges on that table with inflation and supply issues?