Tag Archives: dinner

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 πŸ™‚

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?

What we ate last week

Mueslie, pills and coffee

It’s time, my frens, for me to start posting a weekly foodage overview, including anything that doesn’t feel worthy of its own post, such as regular dinners, breakfasts, snacks I’ve tried, that sort of things. We start with my breakfast of choice at the moment – muesli (usually aldi Almond and apricot) with a banana and milk, a coffee – Fox Coffee Dusk blend with light milk, and assorted morning meds.

For our EveryPlate meals this week we had jacket potatoes withΒ  creamy bacon sauce, tex-mex chicken with corn salsa, rissoles withΒ  onion chutney, South American chicken, Vietnamese style beef bowl and garlicky chicken with sweet potato wedges. Next week we’ll try for more in-focus photos. I really liked all the dishes this week! I made the top chicken recipe of Monday night before heading to my first Japanese class, as so packed it to take with me but ended up just eating it before I left. Super fast though, so no issues cooking it at 4.30pm.

One large disappointment this week with the Everyplate box – the rissoles were meant to be pork but they left out one of the portions of pork mince, so I had to substitue with some beef mince we had in the freezer. They gave a generous credit for it, but it’s highly disappointing and it made me feel guilty for giving it such hype last week. If you wanna share in my disappointment, I was live on Twitch when I was unboxing it, and have archived that video over here on YouTube. So I apologise for anyone who having one of the serves of meat left our will throw even more than me, I hope you persist. It was all there this week…

On Saturday, after the mega long day going down to Sydney for the Ausgrid panel, I was relived that Bruce had ordered pizza and returned to brain-deadidly eat a slice of each and half a garlic bread. Thank you Dominoes. There was a third pizza but I didn’t have any of it. How good is cheap and nasty garlic bread though?

bacon pizza anchovy and cheese pizza slice garlic bread

Tea and biscuits at each of my hospital appointments to get me through! These Gumnut bikkies are still a novelty.

tea and biscuits tea and biscuits

And also from Thursday, $5.50 well spent on out of sate and short dated snacks at the food bank at the local church along with free bread. Oh and mayo. Unfortunately they only take cash so I had to walk back up with my fist full of coins later in the morning cos I don’t carry cash.

snacks from food bank

Any food highlights for you this week?

EveryPlate Meal Boxes as an Executive Functioning Aid

The ingredients that came in one everyplate box

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard of Hello Fresh meal boxes – you get a weekly box of meat (or not if you’re vegetarian), vegetables, carbs and spices sent to you, along with recipe cards. As someone living on JobSeeker (person-first language lol) I find Hello Fresh too pricey for me. They have great recipes, and it was wonderful back in the day when I was a speech pathologist, but fortunately there are a few options that are more budget friendly. EveryPlate is actually owned by Hello Fresh, and at $75 a week for 6 meals for two people fits into our weekly food budget well.

Packets of rice, cous cous, pasta spices meat and fidge ingredients fresh vegetables

Why do I feel that these boxes are great for people with executive dysfunction difficulties? (aside from friends with ADHD raving to me about how useful they find them for ensuring they still eat a balanced meal at the end of the day?)

Okay okay, they also cited chronic pain and arthritis flares, but hey, I think any spoonies could benefit from getting to 5pm, looking at a recipe card and going “hey I reckon I got the skills and energy to get through this!”, which is me six days a week. (on the seventh day we’ve usually had takeaway one night or I’ve been out, so six meals is the right amount for us).

Executive functioning skills include initiating tasks, problem solving, evaluating priorities, organisation, goal setting, flexible thinking, meeting deadlines, working memory, self-control, time management, perseverance, and planning. You can see how someone with a mental illness, chronic pain, autism or ADHD may struggle to pull these together to make dinner every night.

executive functioning skills - initiating tasks, problem solving, evaluating priorities, organisation, goal setting, flexible thinking, meeting deadlines, working memory, self0control, time management, perseverance, planning

I actually quite like going grocery shopping. I like to look at the specials at Woolies beforehand to see what branded products I might get there because they work out cheaper than my Aldi staples, or that are my favourite treat products like $2 Tim Tams and choc-peppermint ice creams. I don’t like having to work out meals for the week, and I really don’t like having to ensure I have enough for every meal. I used to be better at it, but I put a lot more time and energy into it. Having the shops closed with Covid, or low stock from panic buying or supply chain issues with floods and wars, is not something I want to deal with. I can be creative with my meal planning, it’s just not my priority these days.

salt, pepper, olive oil , white wine vinegar, salad leaves, pink potoatoes, chicken breast, butter, tomato, aioli two brown plates with chicken, roast potato salad and green salad

One thing that caught me out initially was the “pantry ingredients” that they assume you have. I mean , I already did have a range of vinegars (white and red wine, balsamic), salt and pepper, brown sugar, soy sauce, butter, eggs…Β  the one that first tripped me up was mayonnaise but that’s now a staple – the Aldi one does the job, so you have to give that a quick glance each week on the recipe cards so you’re not caught short.

chicken thigh, salt, pepper, olive oil, white wine vinegar, cucumber, tomato, galric. two white bowls with chicken curry, and salad

Sometime they do forget to include ingredients – depending what they are that can be catastrophic like when a portion of chicken was missed – but you contact them and get a credit on your account for more than the value of the item so that works out okay if you’re able to get to the shops – I actually bought a replacement pouch of chicken from the food bank I visit fortnightly from their frozen section that was actually donated from EveryPlate for much less than what I was credited. Sometimes they substitute items – particularly when there were supply shortages – so you get fish instead of chicken, or a carrot instead of zucchini. This isn’t a problem for me since we’re not fussy eaters or have dietary requirements, but I know it would be for some of you. I wouldn’t recommended these boxes without having a good look at the meal options if you do have fizzy eaters. They do have enough options for vegetarians – we usually get one vegetarian meal a week – but not for vegans as their vego meals often include cheese.

So, how does everyPlate fit in my week and make it more manageable? At the moment it arrives on a Wednesday – There’s a few days to choose from depending on your address. It has the six meals worth of meat, vegetables, carbs like rice, cous cous, wraps or pasta, and little sachets of spices. Sometimes there’s canned items like corn, beans or coconut milk. They come with overly-generic labels that remind me of the supplies from the Dharma Initiative in Lost. I think it’s hilarious and I love posting the photos of it on Twitter like they’re rations. Sometimes I go through to check if everything is there, but I usually don’t and just pack it away. I bring the recipe cards to my desk (the recipes are all online too) and then each day me and Bruce pick what we eat. Some of the things like chicken are suggested to eat early, or I’ll leave the super speedy meals like anything tacos for a day where I know I’ll probably be zapped – like after DBT group where I’ve had to be switched on and may have been emotionally taxed – and we go from there. In summer I’ll pick and choose meals that don’t need the oven, or I’ll just shove the potatoes in the air fryer instead. I’ve not yet managed to perfect the home cooked chips, I kept trying and I just can’t do it, so potatoes are usually just roasted in small cubes if chips are called for. Whaetevers.

food containers with blakc and white labels from the tv show Lost

In my homebody day, I try to get the dishes from the night before done before lunchtime so I’m working with a relatively clean and tidy kitchen. I get the ingredients out for a photo for Twitter and go from there. I’m getting better at cooking the rice on the stove, and timing my vegetables. So, I’m learning skills, it’s not all lazy and short-cutting.

I spent about five minutes here and there feeling bad about the small plastic packets everything comes in. But enviro-ableism has no place in my kitchen. (Read more about plastic straw bans and disability) Do what works for you. Your plastic packet might be “bad” but it’s not up there with the damage governments are allowing from coal and gas, so you know, live your best life.

You made it this far, so you deserve this unboxing video I did live on my Twitch channel :p Winning!

Got any questions? Fire away below. I sometimes get free boxes to give away to people who haven’t tried it before, so keep an eye out on Twitter for those. Otherwise if you want a $30 discount off your first box, use my referral link.