Tag Archive for: Main

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 →


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 →

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 →

Aldi Seafood & Meat Degustation by Teage Ezard

11 Jun
June 11, 2014

I receive some weird and wonderful invites in the Belly Rumbles inbox. If an invite arrived for me to attend a lunch using Aldi products, I most probably would of declined. I have nothing against Aldi and actually do shop there. Though in the past I have never purchased any meat or seafood products from them.

This particular invite was pretty hard to turn down. Would I like to attend an exclusive, seven course, Aldi meat and seafood degustation lunch prepared by Teage Ezard of Black by Ezard? Well yes, of course I would. I would be pretty mad not to.

The idea of the degustation was to showcase Aldi’s all Australian seafood and meat range. We were even given a goodie bag to take home with ingredients to recreate one of the lamb dishes from the lunch. The recipe for you to enjoy is later on in the post.

I will say I was pretty impressed with the dishes. Of course a highly rated chef in a professional kitchen prepared them, but when the protein is the major component of the dish, there’s no hiding its quality.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAalmare atlantic salmon Read more →

Ceptas Kartupelu Pelmeni (Pan Fried Potato Dumplings)

09 Jun
June 9, 2014

If Irish potato bread and piragi had a love child it would be these dumplings.  My grandmother use to make dumplings quite often, my grandfather loved them.  They were always filled with fruit, usually plums or strawberries.  I can’t recall her ever making savoury dumplings.

She certainly never fried them.  They were always served boiled and my grandfather would usually sprinkle his with poppy seeds and icing sugar.  Sometimes a knob of butter would also makes its way onto his plate, melting over the fresh, out of the pot, dumplings.latvian potato dumplings

Read more →

Zucchini Flower Fritters

13 May
May 13, 2014

To say that I love cooking with zucchini flowers is probably a little bit of an understatement. It wasn’t too long ago that I shared another zucchini flower recipe with you, where the flowers are stuffed with cheese, wrapped in prosciutto and baked.

Zucchini Flower Fritters Read more →

Chicken & Quinoa Salad

19 Mar
March 19, 2014

Don’t you love my rice paper rolls?  I personally think my brainwork behind them was ingenious.  As you have probably figured out from the photo, sadly the rice paper rolls didn’t agree and I present to you a salad.

Lilydale sent me a gift hamper with some fresh produce, goodies for Salts Meats Cheese, and of course some lovely fat Lilydale chicken breast fillets.  My problem was that the hamper screamed quinoa salad at me, and I didn’t want to make a salad.  I wanted to stretch my imagination and come up with something a little left of centre.

Orange Salad Dressing Read more →

Easy Baked Chicken with Feta, Pine Nuts & Honey

22 Jan
January 22, 2014

Obviously I enjoy cooking, but I really hate the pressure of having to cook every evening after work.  I want something tasty, satisfying and simple to serve the family.  This dish ticks all those boxes.

Easy Baked Chicken with Feta, Pine Nuts & HoneyIt is easily thrown together, then placed in the oven and forgotten about until it is time to eat.  This recipe gives me an extra 30 minutes to do other things while it works its magic in the oven.

To add to the simplicity of this meal, I cook up either some straight rice or a mixed grain/rice combination, and then add a few salad greens on the side.  The tomatoes break down, juices from the chicken are released and the feta melts slightly creating a delicious sauce.  If you couldn’t be bothered with the rice, some crunchy baguette wouldn’t go astray.   I like serving this dish with something that you can mop up the sauce created during cooking, the sauce is plate licking worthy. Read more →

Rude Boy Rib Sauce, Recipe to Riches

23 Oct
October 23, 2013

Episode 9 of Recipe to Riches Australia already.  The series is coming to an end, and I just worked out I am going to have to find something else to  pick on each week.  Kidding, it’s been great fun and I have loved the feedback and comments from everyone.  Even people that aren’t watching the show are weighing in on the discussions.

This week was all about Man Food.  I made sure the two resident Man Food experts watched this episode with me.  It is quite interesting what they pick up that I don’t.  Took Mac less than five seconds of watching the batch up this week to point out to me that nobody in the kitchen were wearing hair nets.  Interesting observation, as the food is being prepared in a commercial manner.

I was also informed by Josh, as I am not a man, I should wait till he got home from college to write my review.  And all three of us had a heated discussion on the differences between rissoles and meatballs.

The two recipes that received golden tickets but didn’t end up winning were Themis and his bolognaise minced meat pie and Christina and her meatballs.

Themis didn’t make it through batch up.  I was quite relieved by this as I had visions of another gristle episode if he was the winner.   Bobby’s rib sauce ended up beating Christina’s meatballs in the end.  We were a little confused whether the ribs were to be included or not with the sauce.  I suspected not and I was quite happy with this as it meant I got to choose my meat.  I really am such a fussy girl. Read more →

Ricotta & Feta Fritters

11 Oct
October 11, 2013

I have a few obsessions.  Nothing strange about that, I am sure we all do.  My obsession with props isn’t a secret.   I came clean to you all about that addiction earlier this year.  I may have mentioned another obsession of mine a while back.  I’m a rather sad compulsive recipe clipper.

I have  a display folder which has been stretched way past it’s designed capacity, filled with clipped recipes.  You know those display folders, often found rattling around the back of the stationery cupboard at work.  Plastic coil bound, about 20 clear plastic sleeves, hard plastic back and front.  They come in a variety of colours and are A4 in size.  My particular folder is green (note, not nicked from the work stationery cupboard).

These folders are slender little suckers, when new, probably about 3mm thick.  I have managed to fatten mine up to nice and chunky 13cm.  That is equivalent to around 24 copies of Gourmet Traveller stacked one on top of another.  I have estimated that this folder contains at least 2000 clipped recipes.

I won’t make you do the math, happy to do it for you.  If I was to make every recipe clipped, one a day, I would get through that folder in five and a half years minimum.  And that is only if I don’t obsessively add to it, which is bound to happen.

Decision was made last weekend, CULL! Read more →