Creative Family Meals on a Budget

28 Aug
August 28, 2014

Being on a tight budget and creating interesting and delicious meals for the family can be a nightmare at times.  When Josh was growing up, and we seemed to have a never ending slew of bills knocking at our front door, every single cent counted.  There were days when our bank account balance was near zero.  I existed in a constant cold sweat until the next pay day, hoping there wasn’t an emergency or unexpected cash outlay needed.

Even though being on a shoestring budget, making sure my family was well fed was a number one priority.  Each week when the supermarket weekly special catalogues arrived it meant menu planning time.  I would sit in our lounge room and make a list of the weekly specials.  What was the bargain cut of meat that week?  Who had the cheapest potatoes?  What cereal was on special?  I would then design the weekly menu around the specials.  I would put the creative hat on and work out how I turn these budget items into an exciting meal.

Riata recipeLuckily financially life is a little better these days and my regular readers know I encourage shopping at farmers’ markets, free range and sustainable produce.  But let’s be honest, if you are sticking to a strict budget with a family to feed, this isn’t going to be your regular shopping style. Read more →

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A Special Birthday at The Boathouse

23 Aug
August 23, 2014

My mother celebrated a very important birthday recently. How old? Pffft seriously not telling you, a lady never reveals her age and a daughter will never tell. Mum and dad flew down to Sydney for the celebrations. One part of the festivities over the weekend was lunch at The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay.

The Boathouse would be one of my all time favourite restaurants in Sydney for oysters. Not the first time The Boathouse has graced the pages of Belly Rumbles. You can read about my earlier praises here.

Over all the years of visiting, I have never visited with mum. Very poor oversight, as mother like daughter, mum is a lover of oysters too. In particularly Sydney rocks.

Rosemarie Grasis and Joshua McClearyJosh and his grandmother in deep and delightful conversation Read more →

Cumquat (Kumquat) & Barberry Chutney

17 Aug
August 17, 2014

Or should that be relish?

What is the difference between chutney and relish in any case? Until it came to naming the cumquat concoction I created, I hadn’t really paid much thought to the difference between the two.

When coming up with this recipe, all I knew was I wanted to create a spicy condiment to use with savoury meats and dishes. As soon as I spied the mini golden cumquats at my local farmers’ market, I knew I had to have them. But I didn’t want to make marmalade or soak them in a copious amount of brandy.

Kumquat RelishI made this cumquat ‘condiment’ based on some of my tried and tested recipes. Adding some flavour twists and a good handful of dried barberries, which had been lurking in my fridge for eons. Read more →

Vanilla Crunch Slice

05 Aug
August 5, 2014

Sometimes I just fancy a piece of slice. Saying a ‘slice of slice’ just seems a little weird, and try saying it 10 times very quickly. Not a bad little tongue twister.

When it comes to whipping a treat up to have at home, easy is the main ingredient I look for. The easy factor of this slice is well and truly present. By using a food processor all the ingredients are combined in a snap. Then it is a case of pressing the mixture into a slice tin to bake.

Vanilla Crunch Slice Read more →

Armory Wharf Café, Newington

30 Jul
July 30, 2014

A recent visit to Sally’s oncologist saw Josh and I having an impromptu lunch at the Armory Wharf Café while Sal had a minor procedure. We actually had no idea what we were going to do to kill a couple of hours, but there was no point in driving back to The Shire from Homebush.

A quick look at Mr Google Maps and my first thought was to head to Strathfield. Totally uninspired by that idea we decided to just go for a drive to see where we ended up.

Armory Wharf Café is where we ended. This wasn’t my first visit, I had lunch here a couple of years a go with my Cuz. It was a really enjoyable lunch and I had intentions to share it with you, but other eats were shared instead.

Armory Wharf CafeLocated at the end of Jamieson Street on the Parramatta River, it is a fantastic location. Surrounded by vast parkland with lots of kid friendly play equipment and things to discover. Parking was a cinch this visit, but on my last visit it took quite a few trips around the car park waiting for somebody to leave. Personally I would avoid this place during school holidays. Read more →

Spicy Celeriac & Apple Soup

28 Jul
July 28, 2014

Well hello Sydney winter and good bye sunny Vanuatu.  Did you picture me sipping cocktails whilst lounging around the resort pool or swimming in pristine blue waters?

You did?  Oh you poor thing, seriously stop right now.  Firstly any swimsuit thoughts you may have had of me, drop them pronto, they could be quite damaging to your mental health.  Secondly I didn’t swim or even attempt to wear a swimsuit once during our stay.  The weather was generally overcast and not warm enough for me to consider getting into the water.  Even though there wasn’t any swimming I had an awesome time away.

Before I headed off on that short but sweet Vanuatu vacation, the lovely people at Sydney Markets sent me a big box of seasonal fruit and vegetables to do with what I wished.  A no strings attached box of beautiful Australian grown produce.  The guys at Sydney Markets were happy for me to just to spread the word of eating Aussie seasonal produce through social media.  But when faced with such gorgeous seasonal produce I couldn’t help but be inspired to create some delicious recipes to share.

Celeriac Read more →

Touching Base

19 Jul
July 19, 2014

Not even sure you can class this as a post, but need to touch base with you all.  I have been very neglectful this week on posting anything up on Belly Rumbles.

I’ve been busy with my real job.  You know, the one that pays the mortgage, and lets me pander to my ever growing love of photography gadgets, kitchen items, etc etc.  I think you get the picture.

I’m taking some well deserved time out, heading 3 hours out of Sydney via jet plane to Vanuatu.  I really don’t plan on doing much except relax.  I have packed two books and two copies of Lucky Peach to read.

Swimsuit is packed as well as the sunscreen and hat.  No real plans for when we hit Port Vila, for once I am taking it as it comes.

Will be back on deck late July.

Hugs to all
Sara xxx

(photo of Holiday Inn Port Vila, Vanuatu, where we will be staying, pinched from their website, me bad, but giving them credit)

 

A Dinner party by Heston for Coles

10 Jul
July 10, 2014

I should of titled this Heston’s Fantastical Feast.  I won’t hide that I am a bit of a Heston Blumenthal fan girl, okay far more than ‘a bit’.  I’m a big fan of the man.  He originally captivated my imagination with his TV series Heston’s Feasts.  Each week Josh and I would wait in anticipation for the amazing meal Heston would create for his guests.  Would it be the Fairy Tale Feast or the Gothic Horror Feast that week?  Watching him magically transform food, creating something different and unusual fascinated me.  It still does.  Oh how I still yearn to be invited to one of those feasts.

I’m sure I’m not the only Aussie that is caught up in the magic Heston weaves.  The popularity of Heston’s seasonal fare available at Coles during Christmas and Easter indicates that I’m not.  But now we don’t have to wait for a seasonal holiday to enjoy some of Heston’s magic, the range has been expanded for everyday eating.  Some of our most iconic dishes have been given a unique twist, a touch of Heston magic.

Sara McClearyThe lovely people at Coles sent me out everything in the new Heston for Coles range to try.  With so much food, it seemed the perfect opportunity to hold an impromptu dinner party for my nearest and dearest.  Dishes designed by Heston, the closest I will probably ever get to attending one of his fantastical feasts.

Read more →

Poulet en Demi Deuil

10 Jul
July 10, 2014

I think everything sounds far sexier in French.  Take poulet en demi deuil for example, would be quite happy for a lover to whisper that in my ear.  Sadly when translated into English, it doesn’t have the same ring.  Chicken in half mourning sounds more on the sad side than sexy.

I was gifted a gorgeous Western Australia fresh black truffle from the lovely people at Lilydale along with a few packs from their ‘Ready for You to Roast’ range.  Not a bad pick up and cook at home range, the breast roasts marinated in fennel and chili infused oil, were our favourites of what we tried.

Chicken in half mourning Read more →

A Book an a Bite, Coolangatta

09 Jul
July 9, 2014

Over the years I have seen many little places come and go in Coolangatta.  Being a holiday destination some businesses do suffer when it isn’t peak holiday period.  To be quite honest, I frequently visit in the quite times, have no idea how they survive off peak.

A Book an a Bite first caught my eye a couple of visits ago, but I didn’t have the chance to drop in to try them out. On my last visit I was thrilled to see they were still in business, and decided to call in for breakfast with mum.

A Book an a BiteYou won’t find them on the popular Marine Parade strip with a view of the ocean.  The Book an a Bite is located one street back on Griffith Street.  Whites and pale wood give the café that Coolie beach vibe, as well as having a lovely little quirkiness.  It was these two elements that grabbed my attention initially.  Read more →

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