Tag Archive for: Product Review

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 →


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 →

Eat Now, Thai Vintage, Sylvania + A Giveaway!

20 Jun
June 20, 2014

The heading almost sounds like I am ordering you to run out the door and head to Thai Vintage in Sylvania for a meal. Well you can, I’m not saying don’t. But if you live within their delivery area you are able to order on line, and have them bring the food to you.

Home delivery isn’t a new concept, restaurants have been doing it for years. I know I have been ordering home delivery for just as long, and in winter I am more tempted. Long workdays, plus shorter sunlight hours, equals me not wanting to cook or to head out the door to a restaurant. I would rather sit by the fire with a glass of wine.   I wonder if that’s just me? Would love to see the statistics on that one.

Thai Vintage Penang Curry 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 →

Easter Egg Cake

14 Apr
April 14, 2014

I do like to keep things simple, and that includes entertaining at Easter.  Of course simple doesn’t mean dull or boring.  I wanted to create a dessert that would bring a smile to adults and children alike at the end of Easter Sunday lunch. 

A dessert, which resulted in a hazelnut sponge cake, filled with glorious chocolate cream, surrounded by chocolate tiles and adorned with more chocolate, Easter eggs.  For those entertaining the troops, there are a few do ahead elements, which will make your life easier on the day your guests arrive.

Easter Egg Cake Read more →

Chocolate Chip Balls

16 Mar
March 16, 2014

‘A thought popped into my head.  Why aren’t we just frying the bees in coconut oil and be done with it?  Sprinkle with some toasted popped quinoa, a dash of  maple syrup infused with chili?  That way we would be receiving a full dose of bee gut into our digestive systems.’

What on earth inspired that thought to enter my head?  It was a discussion on the benefits of eating bee pollen compared to normal run-of-the-mill pollen, that bee pollen involved the digestive juices of bees, which was actually the benefit.  Of course when I got home I had to find out what bee pollen actually was.

Paleo Chocolate Chip Balls Read more →

Heston’s Hot Cross Buns

14 Mar
March 14, 2014

I was wondering how long it would take the Heston for Coles range to appear for Easter festivities.  After a couple of very successful years of Australians going bananas for puddings and mince tarts, we can now purchase Heston’s buns for Easter.

If you have been reading Belly Rumbles for a while, you will know how irate I get when I see hot cross buns and Easter eggs appearing on the major two supermarkets’ shelves days after Christmas.  I refuse to purchase them.  I am a stickler for hot cross buns on Good Friday and chocolate Easter eggs only the week of Easter.  It use to be only from Easter Sunday, but I have mellowed in my old age.  Otherwise I feel their significance on their respective days is completely lost.  Please note that I have no issues with those that chow down on hot cross buns and Easter eggs leading up to Easter.  If it makes you happy, go for it, life is too short.

Heston at Coles hot cross buns Read more →

Who Won Recipe to Riches Australia Season 1?

13 Nov
November 13, 2013

Recipe to Riches Australia has now come to an end.  I will admit I have had fun road testing the winning recipe each week.  Though part of me is quite happy to regain a semi normal Wednesday.

No more running out to Woolworths first thing in the morning.  No more tasting, cooking or re-heating the weekly winner.  No more under the pump reviews being written.  No more being picked on regarding mistakes in my writing, due to the haste of getting it published.  No more hastily taken and edited photos.  No more internal stress in trying to get it all up for you to read ASAP.

I can breath again!

If the series runs again next year, will I do it all again?  You bet I will!

Last night’s final gave us a little insight of what went on behind the scenes of the show.  Getting recipes to market was a major undertaking.  Some of the products outperformed the leading brands in their category, a little bit of retail madness. Read more →

Judgement Dinner, Recipe to Riches

10 Nov
November 10, 2013

Last Wednesday evening a dinner party was arranged like no other.  A group of food bloggers and foodie friends gathered together to predict who we felt should win season one of Recipe to Riches Australia.

Over the past 11 weeks I had purchased an extra few packets of each weeks’ winning product.  The idea was to put all the products through their paces one more time.  One last complete road test to decide who’s product should be the Recipe to Riches Season 1 winner.  Who would win $100,000 and find their product on Woolworths shelves for good?

As you can see from the above photo it was a fun night.  There was even opera sung as pizzas were being whipped up in the kitchen. Read more →

Butcher’s Secret Hearty Stew, Recipe to Riches

30 Oct
October 30, 2013

Apologies for how late my review of this week’s Recipe to Riches product is today.  Has been a bit of a stress filled day at Belly Rumbles’ HQ.  More about our overflowing sewerage and my cloud accounting woes in a future post.  Let’s just cut to the chase as it is nearly Thursday as I type this.

Episode 10 of Recipe to Riches this week.  That means only one more winning recipe to come before the all over winner is announced in episode 12.  This week it was all about classic dishes.

I will be honest,  I wanted Andrew & Judy’s Grand L’Orange Roast Duck to win.  I know a lot of people enjoy duck but aren’t comfortable cooking it at home.  They have tried and failed, and not bothered to try again.  Or the thought of cooking duck is just too daunting.  I also do enjoy the odd duck breast.  This ready to heat product I thought was a winner.

Alas, I knew the duck wasn’t going to win.  My theory was that the finished dish would have been priced way too high to make it a viable contender.  This was sort of confirmed by judges comments.  Luv-a-Duck do an okay pre-made range of duck dishes, but the range isn’t cheap.  With those figures in my head, I knew the duck wasn’t going to make it.

I didn’t want Justine’s Lamb Shank Risotto to win.  Purely as I don’t eat lamb, nothing against Justine, she seemed very lovely.

My second preference for winner, Susie, made it through with her slow cooked oxtail stew. Read more →