Saturday, September 26, 2015

Family Food Friday - Banana's

I am always on the lookout for a bargain when it comes to any grocery. Often though with fruit and vege it is difficult as they are cheap due to age and the need to use now. The bargain of the month for me was yesterday. I stopped at the fruit, vege and meat market on the way home and could hardly contain my joy. $5 for a 20kg box of bananas (or you could buy them for $2.99 per kilo) and $5 for a box of yellow tamarillos.
Even the lady at the checkout could not understand what you could do with all that, getting ripe quickly, fruit. So it was cheap as they were sold as old, or euphemistically, "salad bananas". 
But even if you do nothing except give them away and keep three kg for yourself it is still cheaper than buying by the bunch.

So first I gave some bunches to my relatives. Then I skinned and broke up bananas and onto a tray. This went in the freezer. We have a smoothie machine and bananas just make all smoothies much smoother and creamier. As it is coming into summer the kids will be able to take a piece of banana from the freezer to make the smoothie colder.
Then I made a huge pile of banana muffins, using every muffin container that I had. Super quick and easy and diary free. These also go in the freezer for school lunches. We make our lunches the night before. So get one out of the freezer, into your lunchbox, how easy!!

I have still some leftovers but I am taking 5kg to church tomorrow as we have a pot luck lunch and they have asked for fruit and veges.

I feel satisfied, thrifty and virtuous. What a great start to the weekend (now all I have to do is tackle the tamarillos - why do we call them tree tomatoes?)

Monday, September 21, 2015

It's a finish and some flowers

Well I have decided that the little projects, which can be finished easily, are the things to do as I try to balance my life working, being a mum, participating in our family and all the other stuff I want to cram in. This little project is inspired by a blogger on the other side of the world, who I follow, Tiina. She makes the most amazing zip bags all the time.
This is going to be filled with "perk me up" items for a lovely young lady going to university. Any suggestions for what to put into it? I have been focussed on food and need to think of other fun things. 
If you follow the blogs of other NZ and Australians, you will start to see the photos of spring coming in. Love love the huge variety of daffodils.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Back into sewing

It has taken a long time for me to feel like sewing again. But lots of things are sorted so now I feel I am on a roll. Signed a new contract at work, sorted my sewing room and read a really inspiring article about just making changes by 1%. So am attempting to sew just for half an hour a day.
I finished these two blocks last night and quilted them. They will be a zip pouch for a lovely young lady who is going to Medical School next year. We will miss her. sigh. Anyway, am feeling more inspired with the little bit of sewing and a bit more exercise in my day.
patchwork zip pouch

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Family Fun

On the weekend the boys made the biggest hut ever!! The entire lounge was gone. I got shot while I was taking these shots. Then I was informed they had a food hatch and biscuits and chips would be acceptable, 
It was hard getting photos due to being shot all the time. So I went outside and took a photo from the outside in. The boys had not thought about the winder and it was quite funny.
We all went to the Cheviot spring festival. I stayed behind as I was attending a gardening lecture. The boys went over to Gore Bay and got soaking wet and had a fab boys day. 
Making toast and drinking hot apple cider. 
Playing dodgem with the waves, the waves won!! 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Headbands - Christmas is coming

I have found this YouTube video on making headbands and they are soooooooo simple.
The reason that it is about Christmas coming is this. This year the family Christmas is at our house and I have decided that everyone's present is a home made Christmas Cracker. What goes in a Cracker? The noisy thing, a toy, a joke, and a hat. So I decided to make headbands for all the females as their "hat". So still a few to go!!! But so easy. Get your bag of scraps.
I ironed them straight onto the interfacing rather than cutting separately as the video does.
Sew two sides together and put in the elastic. Sew Simple!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Spelling corrected, a finished quilt top

I have finally fixed the spelling on my embroidered blocks and the quilt top is finished. I did not have to buy any material to get it to this stage. It was all from my stash. The only thing is that the dark blue has run out and I really need that for the binding.
These embroideries are all memory verses from Jakobs first year at Rangiora New Life School. Jakob likes the quilt but says "what will I do with it?" As he is quite a sentimental chap I was a bit surprised at him not taking to it immediately.  
So now I am on the issue of how to quilt this together. Due to the stitching this could be difficult. Or I just ignore the stitching and do an continuous line quilting. Hmmm. So sort of a finish and sort of a WIP.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Family Food Friday - Mac'n'Cheese

macaroni cheese

This is what Family Food Friday is about. Cooking quick, healthy meals that pack in more veges, taste delicious and reduce waste. When using a cauliflower do you throw out all these leaves that surround the white part? Not in this meal.
Did you know that the white part is just the flower so the stalks and greenery are leaves which can be used just like cabbage. So when making Mac'n'Cheese or in NZ it is called Macaroni Cheese, I put an entire cauliflower head in. And no one notices!!!
Here are the chopped up leaves put into the pot of part cooked pasta  - all good - no wastage here.

The gorgeous cheesy sauce ready to pour over the pasta and cauliflower.

Family Macaroni Cheese
20 minutes to make - 30 minutes to bake
This makes two dishes - one to eat tonight and one to put into the freezer for a busy day.

1 packet of dried pasta of your choice
1 Head of cauliflower - stalks and all - chopped into large pieces
2 onions
bacon if you feel like it
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp mustard powder (here in NZ it is known as English Mustard)
1 litre trim milk
2 cups grated cheese

Put a big pot 3/4 full of cold water and 2 teaspoons salt onto the stove, put a lid on and complete the rest while waiting for this to boil.
Chop the onions reasonably finely and the bacon and put into a frying pan. Cook on medium heat until bacon looks done and onions going golden. Do not cook so hot that it all browns. (If not using bacon you will need a tablespoon or two of oil). Add the mustard and flour so it coats the onion and bacon and let it cook for a couple of minutes so the flour will not taste raw. Pour the milk into the pan and stir well so there are no lumps. Let it come to the simmer and stir occasionally until thick.

Into the big pot of boiling water pour the whole packet of pasta. Once it has cooked for about 5 minutes add the chopped stalks and cauli and cook another four minutes. Drain in a colander and put back into the big pot. Add the sauce and 1 1/2 cups cheese, stir and put into an oven proof dish.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes at 180 deg cel.

A gorgeous break in Rarotonga

Woo hoo, A holiday with no kids for 11 days. Bliss, relaxing and warm! BTW it was an early 20th wedding anniversary present to ourselves....