What We Ate ~ Week 23 ~ 2012

Um, yeah, we had sushi THREE times this week. Mainly because I love it and I had leftover stuff from the first night and so just kept making more rice til everything was gone. I seriously could eat sushi EVERY SINGLE DAY.


Hot Dogs


Went to a Thermomix demonstration.  Ate Thermomix food all night.  



What We Ate ~ Week 22 ~ 2012

Sorry, this is a bit late this week !! I was a bit preoccupied with Rory being home for the weekend ! He's gone again. This is his last stint away though, and we couldn't be more excited about it being finished and having him home again !!

So, on Sunday night I used some leftover baked potato soup, cooked chicken that I pulled out of the freezer, a handful of shredded cheese, a couple pieces of pastry and made a pie.  It was runnier than I thought it would be. The runniness didn't keep it from being delicious though.

It was less runny the next night.  
And still delicious.

Calzones ! YUM !  I used some pizza dough I had in the freezer. We each did our own thing. I stuffed mine with winter veg sauce, capers, kalamata olives, bacon, onion, garlic, mozzarella and provolone cheese, shredded.  IT WAS SO TASTY !

Hot Dogs.
Please ignore the shriveled hot dog !  ha ha.  It was grilled.  Not dried out and yucky like it looks in the photo !

What Rory requested his first night home.

From a restaurant.

Calzones again.
They were so yummy, we had to make them for Rory !

This was the last week of the freezer/pantry challenge.  I did ok.  I was left with $122.77 at the end of the week.  Add that to what I've already saved and over the four weeks I saved a total of $729.02.


I'd like to say we are back to normal next week but I dare say that it will be a lot of quick, easy (unhealthy) meals since we are all just trying to keep our heads above water til Rory is home !!

But ... we shall see.

Jaylen's Gnocchi & Craig's Bacon Mushroom Sauce

This is the yummiest gnocchi.
Our friend Jaylen taught us how to make it.

His dad taught us how to make the bacon mushroom sauce that goes on top.
This last time we made it, we also topped it with the Winter Veg Sauce ....

You will need:

500g fresh ricotta cheese
150g pecorino romano cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups flour

Mix the first 4 ingredients and 1/4 cup of the flour.  Season with whatever you like.  Mix into a soft dough.  Add the remaining 1 & 3/4 cups flour and incorporate to make a stiff dough.  Separate dough into 4 pieces and roll them into big long logs.  Cut each log into pieces and then roll the gnocchi using a gnocchi board or the back of a fork.  The gnocchi board is a hundred times easier and they are cheap. (I think I paid $10 for mine, including shipping !)

While you are rolling, boil your water.  Once boiled, add gnocchi.  It will rise to the top when it's done.  Scoop it out and keep cooking in batches til they are all done.  That's it !  Top with whatever sauce you like.  (I'll give you a great recipe below ...) And some more of the pecorino romano cheese !


 Craig's Bacon Mushroom Sauce
(the way I did it)

1 onion, diced
Garlic, as little or as much as you like, diced
Mushrooms, sliced
Bacon,  250g, sliced
Chicken stock, 1 cup
White Wine, 1 cup
Cream, a cup or two ... 
Fresh Basil, chopped

Fry those first four ingredients together with a little bit of olive oil.  Add chicken stock.  Reduce.  Add wine and basil.  Reduce.  Add cream.  Stir and cook til thickened. 

Winter Veg Sauce


I made this for the first time a year ago and LOVED it.  I have modified it a bit to suit our own tastes.  You can find Tribeca Yummy Mummy's Winter Vegetable Tomato Sauce over on her blog.
Here's how I do ours ....

1 big red onion, diced
4 carrots, peeled & shredded
2 parsnips, peeled & shredded
5 cloves of garlic, diced (adjust to suit your garlic tastes)
olive oil
pinch of salt
dash of garlic powder
fresh herbs ... oregano, basil, thyme
4 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon (or more)
honey, to taste

Saute garlic and onion in olive oil, in a large, heavy bottom pot, until garlic begins to brown and onion is translucent. Add carrots and parsnips, pinch of salt and cook til veggies are soft. Add herbs.  Let cook just while you open up the cans of tomatoes.

Stir in the tomatoes and garlic powder. Bring this sauce to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and partially cover. Let simmer for an hour or longer, stirring every 15- 20 minutes. Taste as you go. After a while, once the sauce has cooked down some, add the brown sugar and/or honey.  You don't want it super sweet but the sugar/honey give a great flavor and cuts down on the acidity in the tomatoes. 

Season with salt and pepper.


Serve over pasta, gnocchi (that recipe coming this week !), in a calzone, as a pizza sauce, on a baked potato !  The options are only limited by your imagination ...

What We Ate ~ Week 21 ~ 2012

Chicken Cooked on the BBQ
Salad ... Cos, Rocket and snow peas from the garden, tomatoes, carrots, and pomegranate.

We had garlic, funky lime and buffalo chicken.

Two minute noodles.
Don't judge me.

Garlic prawns.
Garlic bread.

Roast Veg.  Potato, Onion, Carrot, Pumpkin, Garlic and Leek.
Topped with feta.  So yum.
I'll post this recipe.

I'm going to post this recipe for you this week.

This week was a bit harder on the savings.  Rory was here for the first two nights and so we bought stuff to make that special.  I did pretty well cooking out of the pantry/freezer for the rest of the week until Saturday when we had a friend over and made gnocchi.  BUT .... having said that, I didn't spend the entirety of our weekly budget so I'm happy.  I did spend way to much to list out the individual things I purchased so I'll just tell you what I saved ... $114.45 ... adding that onto the first two weeks and I've saved $606.25 total.  One more week to go ... not sure if I'll make it.  It's pretty hard with my husband being away.  A lot harder than I thought it would be.  I may not add to the pressure of that by keeping the challenge going, but we'll see ... I'll let you know next week ! :)

Tracey's Jam Filled Donut Muffins

My friend Tracey gave me this recipe ... I used a different flavor of jam than she does and I sprinkled powdered (icing) sugar on top ... she does caster sugar.  Either would be superb.

Preheat oven 180C/375F

140g caster sugar
200g flour
1 tsp baking soda

Mix: (separately)
100ml Greek yoghurt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
140g melted butter

Add wet ingredients to dry.  Mix lightly.

In a muffin tin, lined with muffin papers, 1/2 fill with mixture.  Add a teaspoon of jam.  Cover with more mixture.

Cook for 20 minutes, or until top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

Dip into caster sugar or dust with powdered sugar when finished.

Makes 12 muffins.

What We Ate ~ Week 20 ~ 2012


But I did it a bit different.  I didn't add the noodles.
I just did almonds, cashews, and sesame seeds.
Still gave me the crunch I was after ......

Kids talked me into store bought (NASTY) pizza ...

I was going to do spanikopita meatballs but then decided to just do the meat and then in the end make it into a greek fried rice. I just did garlic, onion, chicken mince, greek seasoning, squeezed in a bit of lemon, added cooked rice and some soy sauce. Oh ... and two eggs. It was yum. We topped it with tzatsiki ...

Rory got home Thursday night ! He requested macaroni and cheese ! No way am I going to deny this man who has eaten 'lunch room' food for the past ten days a good home cooked meal ! So ... I shopped ! And I'll be shopping for three more dinners before he has to go back out to no mans land for another 10 days ! And then the kids and I will start eating out of the freezer, pantry again !

Went to friends place for dinner ... we had Raclette. So yum !  We bought some stuff to contribute but I don't have the itemized receipt so I'll just put the total amount in my calculations down below.

We had Indian for dinner with our friends who live next door.  
We ordered it from our favorite Indian restaurant up the hill.

What I had to buy this week: 
(and how much I spent)

Cinnamon ... $1.26
Pistachio's ... $7.98
Turkish Bread Rolls ... $5.55
Onions ... $1.89
Apples ... $ 1.79
Potatoes, 2kg ... $4.98
Sushi Rice ... $2.90
Gross Take Away Pizza ... $15.40
Cream of Mushroom Soup, 2 cans ... $3.72
Milk, 1L ... $1.99
Tasty Cheese, 1 kg ... $ 6.99
Kale, Bunch ... $4.48
Pasta Shells, 750g ... $2.99
Rice Crackers, 2 packs ... $4.00
Raclette stuff ... 2 french sticks, prawns, block of colby, block of gouda ... $24.17
Indian dinner ... $50.00

And the Sushi from last week's post but this week's budget ... I remembered that my parents and Rory's parents sent me birthday money that I have not yet spent.  I have decided that the Sushi Dinner and hot chocolates will be my birthday present to myself from them, so I will not take those two things out of the grocery budget this week after all !

Total .... $140.09

  $350.00 weekly budget
- $140.09 total spent this week

$ 209.91     saved this week !   

Yep, I'm totally stoked with this !!

Homestyle Ceviche

Nicaraguan Ceviche is delicious and fairly different from the ceviches I had had in the past. Most ceviche dishes are simple fish with lime and I find them rather bland and overly acidic. This is the version I was taught to make by my sister-in-law, Maryuri. I hope you enjoy it and can forgive my total guesswork on the actual amounts of things; it's hard to put an amount to "nearly all the small bottle of salsa inglesa." Oh, and a note on the fish: what I use is called corvina in Spanish. My translator tells me that's either sea bass or a "large edible fish." I'm guessing any white fish you like would work just fine; no need to buy fresh, I use frozen and thaw it. Ok on to the recipe!!


1 lb fish
7 or 8 small limes
3 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup culantro (or cilantro or coriander or whatever it's called where you are)
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 T Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco (to taste)
Saltine crackers

Chop thawed fish into bite-sized pieces. Add enough fresh lime juice to totally coat the fish with a good bit extra, let sit for 20 or so minutes, at some point, add salt. While the fish is "cooking," chop all your veggies. Once the fish is totally opaque, add the veg, culantro, Worcestershire and Tabasco. Stir, taste, and adjust seasoning to your preference. Serve with crackers.

Serves 4.

My dashingly handsome assistant