Friday, January 29, 2010

Menu Planning

Last week I was a bit all over the shop with the actual execution of the menu.  We had to go to an Australia Day party and then I hosted a dinner for my Mum for her 51st birthday.   That also meant that I spent my budget for this week last week, so this week we are eating from our (disgustingly) well stocked pantry and freezer - but it does give us a chance to go through some things before we move.

I am sure I took more picture throughut the week than the ones I am going to post but oh well. 
Here is:

my Mum and my brother

An example of Mexican Mondy (veggie and meat versions - can you guess which is which?)

Polenta crusted chargrill veggie pie.

So because of the no-shop week there are a few books I am using this week - one of which is very vintage and even though I haven't used a lot of recipes reminded my of things like soup and toast for a quick meal.

Two of the cover pictures were taken my me because I cannot find a picture of the one I have on the Internet but I have linked the title to several sellers/online shops:

Vegetarian Cooking:A Commonsense Guide

The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Soloman


B: Mushrooms on Toast and Tea
L: Leftovers from last week
D: Udon Noodles in "Kabejiru" or noodle broth (Soloman p 477) and rice and pickle


B: Porridge with dried fruit
L: Cauliflower soup made with parmesan rinds
D: Mum's Lasagna (at the Beau's request) and a veggie version for me


B: Miso soup, rice and gomashio
L: Prawn toast and leftover soup
D: Pilaf with curry (veggie for me, chicken for the boys)


B: Polenta with soy and pickled ginger
L: Turkish bread pizza
D: Mexican Monday - Quesadillas


B: Leftover porridge
L: Meeting a friend out
D: Mum's


B: Fried polenta
L: Leftovers
D: Grandma's


B: Toast and Tea
L: Rice and macadamia patties (Vegetarian Cooking p 178)
D: Creamy Welsh Rarebit (p 60 Good Housekeeping - below) and creamed rice with peaches

Here are some photos of the pages of the Good Housekeeping book.  Most of the book is black and white but everything is explained or shown with a picture.  The Welsh Rarebit is first and then an add for Margarine and a recipe for American Devil Cake (let me know if you want it).

Here we have an advertisement for custard powder and jelly crystals )with the "sealed in flavour bud!"  The picture on the right is the lady whom made all the delicious things in the book.  I would have had a meltdown long ago if I had made all the cakes she had in her kitchen!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Our new Home

The Beau and I have had a offer excepted on a house!  We are moving.

I cannot remember living in a house (I have lived in apartments since I was a child) and I am so excited to have a little thing to call our own.  The house is not in Sydney but on the Central Coast where uncharitable people might say that only retirees live!

It is 3 bedrooms and 2 stories and has a backyard.  It does need some fixing up as it was a deceased estate but is still neat enough to live in for awhile without having to do anything to it - which is just as well because we are using all our savings to put down our deposit.  Eventually I would like to somehow put in another bathroom and extend the back area.  

We have been offered the chance to buy some of furniture that the lady had - including a very rerto bar with a fish panel that lights up!

I think that the gate has a sort of Spanish feel so I would like to go with that direction for the eventual redecoration - so be prepared for lots of hacienda pictures (espically Marilyn's Brentwood home).

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Menu Planning

This last week I remembered to actually take some pictures of the things I have been cooking.  Not all but some.  So from last week (and a bit earlier) here are:

Summer vegetable and goats cheese salad

Japanese mushrooms noodles

Orichiette with caramelized tomato and buffalo mozzarella (a Maggie Beer inspired recipe)

Brown rice sushi

Rooibos tea in my favourite china (Athens)

and a picture of the lovely summer weather in Dee Why, Australia at the moment.

This week my recipes are coming from Vegetarian Cooking: A commonsense guide.  It has some really beautiful pictures and some great sounding recipes.

Vegetarian Cooking: A Commonsense Guide


B: Miso soup and baked beans on toast

L: Salad and mini frittatas (p 54)

D: Artichoke risoni ( p 128) and cauliflower fritters (p 151)


B: Brown rice and gomashio

L: Potato and sweet corn chowder (p 61)

D: Rice and macadamia patties (p 173)


B: Boiled egg and toast

L: Bruschetta (using turkish bread)

D: Prawn toasts, mushroom and hazelnut ravioli, salad and lemon tart (Mum for dinner)


B: Bannock with tahini and marmalade

L: Leftovers

D: Mexican Monday

26/01/10 - Australia Day

B: Miso soup with tofu and polenta

L: Soup and Salad

D: Mum’s birthday party


B: Miso soup and fried polenta

L: Spicy parsnip soup

D: Grandma’s


B: Bannocks with tahini and marmalade

L: Shopping so sushi lunch out and coffee

D: Polenta crusted chargrill veggie pie.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Last weeks menu had a few highlights:

  • Burgers with "fast fries" - these were delicious and for myself I used the same recipe but used vegetarian mince (TVP) but I had to add an egg to bind it together and fry it in a ring.  The fast fried were maybe the most dangerous thing I have cooked the way the splatter so "watch it and stand well back".
  • Naan pizza's were delicious - I put roast pumpkin and sweet potato on them and has sweet chili cheddar cheese on top.
This week I am going to try and get photos of the food - I keep eating it too quickly without taking the photo.

This week most recipe's will come out of Jill Dupliex latest book "Lighten Up".  The premise is delicious food that is also good for you body without depriving your soul.

Lighten Up


B: Fried mushrooms on toast and tea
L: Summer veggies with goats cheese (p 36)
D: Prawn and Spinach dumplings (p 169) with fried rice and steak (for the boys)


B: Brown rice with gomashio
L: Paper wrapped mini quiches (p 144) -  this will also be great for the Beau's lunch box.
D: Leftover summer veg and goats cheese tossed through pasta.


B: Porridge
L: Panazanella with toasted almonds (p 46)
D: Borscht with ravioli (pumpkin and cheese)


B: Bannocks with tahini and marmalade
L: Japanese mushroom noodles (p 88)
D: Mexican Monday


B: Tomato on toast with basil
L: Leftover borscht
D: Mum's


B: Porridge and miso soup
L: Som Yum rice paper rolls (p 70)
D: Grandma's

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Menu Planning

This picture comes from: Arkiva Tropica

This last week I have mostly stuck to my menu planning but I have had to make a few extra meals or servings because this week it seems like we have had people for dinner every night! Which I like because when they all say everything is delicious it's all worth it.

I really enjoyed a lot of the new recipes that I tried last week so some of them are making a comeback.  So I am still using the two macrobiotic books from last week but I am also using Nigella Express this week.

I have also been trying to stick to a food budget which is hard for me as normally that's what I would spend my money on - not clothes, or going out - just ingredients.  So with my shop for the following week I have come under budget but now I just have to not buy anything else until 14/1/10.  I will have to do with what I have (which is not inconsiderable) and I have to use it before we move anyway!

For my menu this week starting on Friday:


B: Fried mushrooms on sourdough toast (same as last week - they were delicious, easy and filling)
L: Brown Rice Ramen in broth (from a sachet).  Or plain ramen in leftover soup.
D: Prawn Toast, Miso soup, Noodles and Edamame.


B: Brown rice with umeboshi
L: Vegetable soup with miso
D: Green vegetable curry with Pilaf rice


B: Miso soup and polenta
L: Sesame peanut noodles (Nigella Express recipe)
D: Burgers with "fast" fries (Nigella Express recipe) and salad.


B: Tofu scramble
L: Butternut and sweet potato soup (Nigella Express Recipe) and toast with hummus.
D: Mexican Monday (boys decide)


B: Fired polenta, miso soup and yoghurt
L:Crunchy salad with hour and sour dressing (Nigella Express recipe) and leftover soup
D: Mum's


B: Toast and tea
L: Miso soup, brown rice and leftovers
D: Grandma's


B: Bannocks with tahini and marmalade,  Miso soup
L: Leftover's or lunch out while shopping.
D: Naan pizza (with vegan cheese for me) and salad (Nigella Express recipe)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sissi - The Empress of Austria

Some time ago I caught the tail end of a movie that I thought was just breathtaking. I knew from the television program that it was called Sissi but I had no idea that there were actually 3 Sissi movies or the story about Sissi was the life of the beloved Elisabeth Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary.

The part of the 3rd movie that I saw shows Sissi as a young mother you must leave her husband and child to move to a warmer climate where it is feared that she will pass away but instead he Mami comes from Bavaria to restore her hope and at the same time her health.  I found this so emotional even though I did not really understand what was going on.  I was mesmerized.

On acquiring the movies last week, I watched the three films over 2 days and really wish now that I could speak German (the movies are subtitled and sometmes lines go by with no translation).  I am in love with the costumes and the hairstyles and the beautiful furniture.  In the film there are a few references to Maria Terasa (whom I am sure went on to give birth to the future Marie Antoinette of France), so I assume the castle that Sissi leads her married life in is the same as the one of Marie Antionette's childhood.

The hairstyles that Sissi wore in the film ( played by Romy Schneider) are breathtaking.  When I began the first film I thought that everything was a bit over done (especially with earring, a necklace and jewels in her hair) but by the third film I thought it all looked perfect.  The films release date of 1955 somehow shows through even though it is set in 1856 and onwards.

If you would like to purchase the films they are released in Australia by Unmbrella World cinema DVD ( and I bought mine from JB HiFi for about $45.00

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy 2010 and New Year's Resolutions

Here are my resolutions for 2010

  • Continue my quest to become a better vegetarian - sometimes in 2009 I had fish and prawns and shellfish so this year I will cut out the shellfish.  In 2009 I also stopped drinking milk in most things (I did have the occasional hot chocolate or milkshake though) so in 2010 I will try to up the soy milk factor in those things.
  • I will go to church more.  Hopefully twice a month now.  One of these Sunday's I play the music at church but I would like to go another time.  However with our move this may be tricky so I will look for another Church when we move.
  • The Beau and I have decided to sit down together once a day for a meal.  This has become really important now that he is doing shift work.

  • Do exercise once a week (a walk or yoga counts).  Look to up this as I get better at the once a week.
  • Not to let things I can't fix get me down.  For example, people parking where they shouldn't where we live.
  • Blog at least twice a week.  One will be my menu plan and the other I will do a clothes or vintage related post.  I will also endeavor to proof-read my blogs so the spelling is not so atrocious.

  • In relation to my menu planning I am going to try and be better with money.  This year we are getting married and buying our first home, so I need to track my spending and really stick to my budget (especially as at this stage I am unemployed!).  I would like to keep a ledger like 50s Girl speaks of in her blog but am unsure of I should try it on the computer first.  I will have to look into this a bit more.
Here are some pics from where I was on New Year's Eve - in Balmain in Sydney.

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