Hiya!

I wasn’t on last night – there was stuff happening and I went out. Before I went I made myself a baked potato with our home-made cider baked beans.

Yes, I will put up the recipe for the baked beans soon. Well, when I get to sit down for more than a few minutes straight, that is.

I’m pleased to report that the lemon sponge was a bit of a hit, and I have been instructed to post the recipe – and soon.

Luscious Lemon Sponge.

Luscious Lemon Sponge.

Yes’m!

I went to a linen party last night where, in my head, I furnished a yet to be built house several times over with soft stuff. Then I decided I’d better get the thing built before I filled it, or moving again would just shatter me to smithereens. I did come home with these though.

Naw!

Naw!

Thanks, Rachel. ūüôā

The Accidental cat hasn’t attempted to eat them yet, but it’s only a matter of time…

Today, I visited a friend in hospital and took them a few small jars of Lemon Butter, because hospital food. And this evening The Boy and I checked out a new burger joint for Fry Day to celebrate something kind of momentous.

We have a mortgage.

Yes, my dears, the Linguistic Nerd within me felt the need to point out that this word means  Рliterally РDeath Pledge. In fact, my heart has been racing so much over the last few days as we neared closer to this point, that I almost expired before it transpired.

Okay. I’ll stop now.

Little jars of sunshine to start the spring

Little jars of sunshine to start the spring.

Anyway, all this means that I’ve not cooked anything all day. This will change tomorrow. I’m rather tempted to go to the Lakeside Market and buy beans, but we really don’t need any. It’s just that the weather is gorgeous for a change and should be savoured.

Instead, I think I will probably be here. Cleaning. My home looks like a midden but slightly less organised. This has to change and I’m feeling well enough to tackle it, well, some of it.

I’m going to do a 15 mins clean in the kitchen and dining area before I go to bed so it looks a little less chaotic at breakfast tomorrow.

Hopefully I’ll also get a post or two written before the photographs in my folders overflow and engulf the computer…

Night all!

 

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Luscious Lemon Sponge

I promised I’d start doing this again, so here goes!

From Woolworths was got:

  • 5 kg Laucke Multigrain bread mix $12.57
  • 2 l Cadbury Vanilla ice cream ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† $ ¬†5.00

Total = $17.57

The cold stuff

The cold stuff

From Aldi:

  • 500 g Pizza cheese ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$4.79
  • 500 g Dairy Spread ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$2.99
  • 500 g Fish fillets ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$3.99
  • Beef silverside ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† $8.58
  • 500g steakhouse fries ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$2.49
  • 500 g frozen stir fry veg ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† $1.99
  • Pork Loin Roast ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$15.36
  • 1 kg SR flour ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$0.75
  • Wholemeal tortilla wraps ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$1.99
  • 1 kg ¬† Caster sugar ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† $1.99
  • 1 kg Plain flour ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† $0.75
  • 4 x corn snack packs ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$2.29
  • 1 x Microwave brown rice pack ¬† ¬† ¬† $1.49
  • 1 x 700 ml Passata ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$1.59
  • 2 x 400 g plain diced tomatoes ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$1.18
  • 1 x 400g tomatoes w. herbs ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$0.59
  • 1 x 800 g can pie apples ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$2.99
  • 1 x 397 g can condensed milk ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$1.69
  • 1 x 455 g jar Vegemite ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$6.59
  • 1 x 400 ml tin coconut cream ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† $0.89
  • 1 x 400 ml lite coconut cream ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$0.89
  • 1 x 250 g jar minced garlic ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$1.19
  • 1 x 500 g squeeze pack honey ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$5.49
  • 1 kg brown onions ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† $1.29

Total = 76.44

The main haul.

The main haul.

And looking at that picture,¬†I’ve just realised that I bought two cans of condensed milk but was charged for only one!

And from the greengrocer:

  • potatoes ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† $1.80
  • Granny Smith apples ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$1.78
  • Red capsicums ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$2.19

Total = $5.77

A total spend of  $99.78

And I’m happy with that. The ‘fun’ things this week were the ice-cream so we could have something naughty in the freezer ūüėČ and the passata. I want to use some in the pressure canning I’m doing and, when I saw it there, I grabbed a bottle. I need to check out the recipe I want to use to see what else is needed, but I’ve made a start.

Tonight our dinner was Almost Fried Rice using some of the leftover corned beef from Sunday dinner.

Dinner

Dinner

And I spent a goodly part of the day mixing up a lemon sponge for my Thursday lunch group. There were a couple of small mishaps – but it’s all ready to go now.

Luscious Lemon Sponge

Luscious Lemon Sponge

Hopefully, they’ll be able to overlook my truly horrendous effort at icing it, because it now looks truly hideous.

It's nearly Halloween, isn't it?

It’s nearly Halloween, isn’t it?

I hate icing. Do you think it shows? ¬†The Boy tells me that, once it’s cut up and on their plates, no-one will care what it looks like.

Until tomorrow, lovelies.

 

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Budget decadence.

I’m sorry.

I didn’t do what I said I would. I got a lot done today, but unfortunately none of it had to do with this blog.

I wanted to though!  I promise. Really truly.

I was waylaid by completing my tax return. This should be relatively straight forward. It never is though. I invested my lump sum from when I was invalided into a managed trust. The tax statements/reports from there never arrive until September and contain all sorts of eldritch entries that require me to search through and experiment with various entry points on etax until they match the place they are supposed to go. The fact that they now list the places they go is massive improvement from a few years ago, when they did not.

This confusion and frustration was compounded by the Accidental Cat appearing at 15 minute intervals and yowling at me (at volume) to open a door…

I ended up locking her behind another one entirely.

This is new...

This is new…

However, t’is done. Also, since I cashed out the trust to put toward the house deposit, I won’t have these issues again. Happy dance, my place, now.

I did, however, get the celebration breakfast done.

I took these frozen croissants,2015-09-06 11.48.04

cut them in half and filled them with pieces of this small wheel of brie.2015-09-06 11.53.35

then heated them until the croissants were warmed through and smelled beautifully buttery and the cheese was all melty and runny.

Budget decadence.

Budget decadence.

We have a home loan and soon will start to build. Another happy dance.

On the blog front, I’m guessing I should do a post on how to do these croissants for Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day, or any special occasion, breakfasts …coming soon.

Also planned – a few posts on easy home-made cleaning solutions.

Tonight I’m abdicating catering responsibilities and waiting to see what The Boy serves me.

Because I can.

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Hello my lovelies.

I’m sorry I wasn’t on yesterday.

I went off to our plot at the Ballarat Community Garden and didn’t get back for 3 and a bit hours.

Before

Before

After all that weeding and mulching I was ever so tired and typing and internetting wasn’t really something I felt up to.

After.

After.

Thankfully, I had put a corned beef on to cook in the slow cooker before I left, so there really was nothing left to do for dinner.

That is, beyond mashing some spuds and cooking the Pak Choi I had just plucked from the aforementioned plot.

I had been followed home by a massive rainstorm, so it was doubly nice to tuck in to my meal knowing that (a) I had missed a drenching and (b) I didn’t have to do anything else that evening.

Dinner.

Sunday Dinner.

Today, I finally finished the shopping and hit the green grocery – so I’ll be publishing lists tomorrow. I also managed to make some Lemon Butter¬†with my friend Althea’s eggs, and my friend Stephen’s lemons.

Little jars of sunshine to start the spring

Little jars of sunshine to start the spring

Then I started an experiment. There is a recipe for ginger beer in my mother’s collection and I have been meaning to try it for some time. This is that time. I’ll tell you in a few days if I was successful, but this is how it looks right now.

Ginger beer?

Ginger beer?

Tonight we shopped the fridge and I had vegetarian bean curry and the boy had honey teriyaki chicken; both over rice.

Tomorrow we will be starting the day with a celebratory breakfast. I have some brie in the refrigerator and some croissants in the freezer. These two shall be combined.

ūüôā

We have finance, Peeps. Life is good.

 

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Steamed basmati and quinoa

Last night we had a blackout that lasted for a very, very long time. The Boy was not impressed as he was in the middle of a ‘ranked’ League of Legends game when it went out. ¬†It didn’t come back until 4 am.

Sigh.

The sun, however, rose as per regular programming and I zipped off to the monthly produce swap at the local Community Garden. I now have 2 dozen eggs from a friend’s backyard chooks and I shall enjoy coming up with things to cook with them.

I’ve been given oodles of lemons lately, so Lemon Butter would seem to be the most obvious first choice…

I also inspected our plot and decided a whole lot of weeding needs done – and soon. When I got home I discovered that the lettuce seeds I’d planted a few days ago in my mini-hothouse are sprouting already. Spring really is here.

Budding lettuce seedlings.

Budding lettuce seedlings.

I recently found a slow-cooker Honey Teriyaki Chicken recipe. It called for chicken breasts, but I had some tenderloins in the freezer waiting to be used. So that was dinner tonight.

Honey Teriyaki Chicken

Honey Teriyaki Chicken

It was served with mixed vegetables over a steamed mix of basmati rice and quinoa, which was quite tasty.

Steamed basmati and quinoa

Steamed basmati and quinoa

The Boy gave it the thumbs up, so I may post the recipe in the future.

Until tomorrow.

If only I ate a plant-based, whole-foods diet.

Today was a day when I got things done in spite of myself. After managing to hunt down someone on a nearby road crew who could move the truck that was parked across my driveway, I finally got to my lunch group. This was done via a local bakery.

Yes. I squibbed on making something, but I was tired. One of my friends at the group surprised¬†me with a little box of a lovely home-made, gluten-free Buckeye Slice though. It is being savoured slowly…

And doesn't that look fabulous?

And doesn’t that look fabulous?

Then I celebrated the fact that we have conditional approval on our financing¬†(Yippee!) and treated myself to my first¬†haircut in a l o n g time. It’s one of those things I stopped doing in order to save some cash. I’m tidier now. It feels good.

Turned out the hairdresser’s brother had just been diagnosed with MS, so I found myself giving a potted lecture on the subject …

After this, The Boy readily agreed to helping me with the shopping. Bless him.

We drove out to look at our block of land first. It remains where we left it. This was reassuring.

Some of the haul.

Some of the haul.

Then we hit the shops. Bread mix was bought and a couple of largish lumps of meat, alongside assorted other edibles. All that remains is the fresh vegetables – and that can wait. I have my regular IV tomorrow and no shopping will follow that.

I get taken to lunch on days when I have the drip; that’s always nice.

However, fear not! ¬†I will resume my posts listing what I bought where, and for how much. Just not tonight or tomorrow, ‘kay?

We’d bought some frozen fish fillets¬†as something different and then thought¬†we’d do home-made fish and chips for dinner.

That didn’t happen.¬†I’m tired, he’s feeling down – we need nutrition not nasties.

So I mixed up a Vegan Tikka Masala instead. As you do.

I sautéed some onion, carrot and celery (natch!) in my French oven while I thought about what to do next. I decided a spoonful or two of Tikka Masala paste from a jar in the fridge would go well, so I fried that off and added some lite coconut cream, a tin of red kidney beans and a tin of chick peas.

Some Bok Choy was sliced and added – after I had persuaded the Accidental Cat that it was not something that she wanted to eat. This cat was definitely fed in the kitchen by her previous humans, the merest rustle of anything and she comes running.

Oooh, too spooky for me!

Oooh, too spooky for me!

Then the rest of the Tuscan Kale we were given on the weekend was sliced and added to the curry with a small red capsicum I diced.

I heated up a mix of some cooked brown and basmati rice I had in the refrigerator and dinner was served.

15 minutes from go to whoa. Fast food people. $5 worth.

Chick pea tikka masala.

Chickpea Tikka Masala.

Try it.

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The Accidental Cat wants chicken

Today I managed to get dressed a few hours after the rest of the country had lunch.

Thankfully, last night I had retrieved a packet of Asian flavoured beef  from my freezer, so I popped that in my baby slow cooker on low.

And the after" pic.

Dinner

Then I washed several loads of laundry and got them hung up on various contraptions around the house.

Tomorrow is supposed to be shopping day – although I sincerely doubt that is going to happen – so I did a bit of a freezer stocktake. We have quite a bit of frozen mince, some chicken tenderloins and a butterflied chicken roast in there, so we’re at no risk of protein deficiency any time soon. However, I have a hankering for some corned beef and might hunt some out while shopping.

Speaking of which, I may have to recruit The Boy to help me out with it this time. This can be a fraught situation. ASD and supermarkets are not natural bedfellows; the fluorescent lights, piped music and all the other audio and visual stimuli can very easily overload an Aspergian¬†brain with data. Softly, softly…

Anyway, I decided to deprive the BBQ chook in the refrigerator of its remaining flesh, bag it all¬†up and freeze; the meat for quick meals later and the carcass for stock when I’m running low.

Chicken on ice

Chicken on ice

Of course, this is what suddenly appeared at my feet as I opened the bag of chicken…

The Accidental Cat wants chicken

The Accidental Cat wants chicken

I thinks she likes chicken. It’s only a hunch, mind you, but she seems quite keen.

I have cooked some rice and am about to eat my beef before heading off to a book club meeting without having read the book, because eyes don’t work.

I have my lunch group tomorrow and I have no idea what I’m going to take. All suggestions welcome.

ttfn

Howdy do.

Today was the start of spring and Ballarat turned on the sunshine. The Accidental Cat discovered the OUTSIDE for the first time under the watchful eyes of the other two clowder members.

The Boy headed off to work and I baked chocolate chip biscuits.

The biscuit barrel is full.

The biscuit barrel is full.

Then I ran out of energy and sat down for quite a while. Tonight we will “shop the fridge” for our dinner, choosing from the leftovers that are there. We have Chilli Mac, Thai green curry and Lentil and barley casserole – so we’re not exactly slumming it!

I suspect I’ll go the macaroni, just quietly.

Speak soon.

Stuffed Baked Apple

Hello everyone – and a special hello to all our new subscribers!

*waves frantically and tries to look interesting*

*runs out of energy*

When you have MS you have good days, bad days and days from Hell. Today was closer to the latter than many I have had lately. I am fatigued, badly fatigued.

But that’s okay. I know it will get better eventually. In the meantime, all I can do is the best that I can – and that includes eating well.

We decided that we would do risotto¬†for dinner tonight using some of the cold BBQ chook in the fridge. Around midday I realised that there was no way I could stand and stir a pot for the required time, so The Boy was asked if he would like to make one in the pressure cooker. Predictably, his eyes lit up and fulsome consent sprung forth…

I think he likes the idea that it could explode but probably won’t.

Pressure cooker risotto.

Pressure cooker risotto before liftoff.

Anyway, I prepped the vegies and chicken for him.

It was at this point that I learned that the Accidental Cat can smell a BBQ chook from the other end of a very long house and can move startlingly fast. Meal preparation was therefore accompanied by detailed explanations that we do not feed kittens in the kitchen…I don’t think I was heard really. Sigh. We’ll get there.

The Accidental Cat

The Accidental Cat

Dinner went swimmingly and used some arborio rice, a diced BBQ chicken breast, an onion, a small red capsicum and two stalks of celery with some of our home-made chicken stock and a few bits of freshly harvested broccolini from our allotment.

Chicken risotto.

Chicken risotto.

We then tucked into some of the stuffed apples we didn’t eat¬†last night, accompanied by some ice cream The Boy had bought me to cheer me up. (Isn’t he sweet?)

Just dessert.

Just dessert.

I’m hoping to post the recipe for it in the next day or so – energy levels permitting. Apples, a bit of brown sugar, rolled oats and dried fruit combined to make a wholesome sweet treat that ticks an awful lot of health boxes. ¬†See? Things can only get better!

In the interim, the biscuit barrel in the fridge is empty. I plan to make some cookies tomorrow…fingers crossed. I’m also working on this fortnight’s shopping list and it’s shaping up to be a big one. I didn’t buy any groceries last fortnight. Instead I purchased some mason jars for pressure canning, stocked up on some dishwasher tablets that were selling for 75% off, and bought some bulk instant coffee for The Boy.

My pantry needs feeding.

Today, bread was baked.  It was enriched with home-ground flaxseed and some steel cut oat groats that I want to use up.

Then the smallest slow cooker was filled with the makings of a lentil and barley hotpot¬†with a slight variation. The Boy isn’t keen on the texture of the dried shiitake mushrooms that I like to add to it, so this time I thought I’d do something different.

Dried Mushrooms.

Dried Mushrooms.

I piled the dried mushrooms into the little electric coffee grinder- that I use for grinding everything except coffee – and pulverised them.

Dried mushroom powder.

Dried mushroom powder.

Then I added the mushroom powder to the chicken stock and continued as per normal. This way I got the mushroomy¬†aroma that I adore and he didn’t have to deal with sensory issues. This is what is known as a win/win.

Some of yesterday’s Tuscan Kale bonanza was also added to the pot. We had it for dinner served over steamed basmati¬†rice.

Lentil and Barley Hotpot

Lentil and Barley Hotpot

But before that we reduced a heaping pile of killer rose debris to a much smaller, smouldering pile of ash and charcoal. It was very satisfying.

However, it caused me to reflect on how skills are being lost – especially after three abortive attempts to get the pyre lit. My mother used to woman the incinerator at our house (before the advent of recycling bins) and I regaled The Boy with tales of yesteryear when everyone’s Sunday afternoon usually included one or another neighbour’s smoke from ‘burning off’ household waste of some kind. ¬†Usually blowing directly onto someone’s freshly laundered sheets.

I now smell of wood smoke. The cats are viewing me with suspicion.

We followed this caveman-like feat with some very civilised Loaded Hot Potato Chips and collapsed in front of the telly.

Loaded hot potato chips

Loaded hot potato chips

I decided (in my deranged exhaustion) that I wanted to try something I’d never done before for dessert. I decided this about 10 minutes before I was going to serve dinner. I’m an idiot.

Anyway, I spent about 20 minutes searching for a recipe in my book collection and then asked Mr Google. For dessert I made some Baked Stuffed Apples.

Stuffed Baked Apple

Stuffed Baked Apple

I was too tired to eat them.

There were leftovers.

A ma√Īana todos.