Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stockpiling and Thrift Shop Finds

Today was the first fortnight that I have planned to start building our stockpile. I have planned to spend about $10-$20 a fortnight buying things for our stockpile. I will slowly over time increase that amount each fortnight so that I am eventually just stockpiling and buying other bits that we need.

I was very happy to see the Raguletto pasta sauce that I buy was out for just under half price! So I bought 6 jars! There was a brand of toothpaste that I have never heard of before, huge tubes too fro $1 each! A 4Ltr container of olive oil for soap making while it was out on a super bargain, half price at $20!I bought 5. I also bought some more Milo as it was on special and some milk powder and sultanas as I know we'll need them soon enough.

So here is the start of my stockpile. Oh I bought a some garbage bags too lol
Think I might have to get some pretty paper to clean up that shelf a little bit.

I popped into one of the op shops here too and picked up a few good things. I was hoping to find a rotary grater, I miss mine since it broke and also an old stick blender to use specifically for soap making. But neither were to be found.

Instead I found a couple of vintage pillowcases and a nice basket that will house a christmas present later on.

See the white pillowcase?  can you guess what the print is????

Isn't it full of vintagey christmasy gorgeousness!!!! Not quite sure what I'll do with it yet. Maybe find a cheap pillow and use it as a cushion??

Take Care

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Menu Planning 29th September ~ 12th October

I LOVE Ikea Meatballs! I have to have them whenever we go there. Which isn't that often really seeing as we live about 90 minutes away. Every time we visit I swear I am going to get some stuff to make my own and never do. Well that was until our last visit. I didn't buy the meatballs, I'll make my own, but I grabbed a nice jar of Lingonberry jam and 4! yes 4! packets of the meatball sauce!
Brian's not that keen on them, Eli loves them though. So I have planned to have them on a night when it's just me and the little ones home! And I will be treating ourselves to some chips to go with them!

I'll be freezing extras from many of the meals for Brian to have at work for dinner.

So here is the rest of this fortnights rather varied {thanks to a well stocked freezer} menu plan:

Thurs ~ Baked Spuds topped with left over bolognaise sauce 
Fri ~ Buderium Beef Casserole
Sat ~ Broccoli and Cauli Cheese soup with home made bread {broccoli and cauli are so cheap right now!}
Sun ~ Apricot Pork {like apricot chicken but with diced pork leg instead}, rice and vegies
Mon ~ Roast Chicken and lots of veg
Tues ~ Slow Cooked Lamb Shank Casserole and veg
Wed ~ Marinated drumsticks and veg

Thurs ~ Marinated Pork Spare Ribs and veg
Fri ~ Ikea meatballs
Sat ~ Chicken Pot Pie 
Sun ~ Roast Pork and veg
Tues ~ Honey Baked Marylands and veg
Wed ~ Spaghetti Bolognaise 

Pure Fruit Cookies {new recipe}

Linking up with :
The Organised Housewife
I'm and Organizing Junkie

Take Care

A couple of things.....

You may have noticed that I have added a Recipes tab to my blog. You can now find all my recipes that I post easily here. No more traulling trough all the posts.
A big thank you to Marcia for fixing up the colours for me :)

Secondly it came to my attention that some people have been unable to post comments on my blog. The lovely Sue from DTE suggested that I change my comments settings and it's now working like a charm! So if you have tried to comment before and have been unable, please try again, I'd love to hear from you.

Have a wonderful day.

Take Care

Monday, September 26, 2011

First Christmas present made!

It's finished!!!
Can't go into too much detail in case the lovely person it's for is reading.
I'll be sharing all my secret Christmas makings in detail after the big day.

Are you making any christmas presents this year?

Take Care

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Slow Cooked Sausage Casserole

I was browsing through the Stay At Home Mum Facebook page and came across some girls talking about this sausage casserole. I didn't have any tomato soup or even a tin of tomatoes so I adapted the recipe to suit what I did have.

Beccis Slow Cooked Sausage Casserole
Snags - enough to feed your family (I used 12)
3/4 cup tomato chutney (I used Rosella but home made would be awesome!)
1 onion, sliced
2 rashers bacon (I used picnic bacon)
1 can baked beans (I used ham flavoured)

Pop all the ingredients in your slow cooker (grill them first if you wish and cut them up if you like, I left mine whole) and cook on high for about 3 hours. Stirring occasionally.
Serve with lots of scrummy vegies and that's it!

I think this would make a great addition to brunch too. Add a couple of slices of thick toast from some homemade bread and top with a fried/poached egg or two mmmm.

Take Care

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Christmas WIP

Wonder what these might be?????

Take Care

Soap making part2

So today's the day I got to turn my soap out.
I tried to turn it out this morning but the bar molds were still quite soft so I left them for a few more hours.
The one I had put in the plastic container was ok though, so I turned that out and cut it.

I went back a couple of hours later and the bar molds seemed ok to turn out. Most were fine, but a couple were still a little goopy on the bottom, you can see that in the bar on the right at the front.
So I think next time I'll leave them the full 24 hours and insulate them more.
I had only placed two tea towels on top of them. They are out in my craft room which isn't insulated (enclosed carport) and last night was meant to get down to 4C, so I don't think they were warm enough.
But they'll be fine to use once they dry out.

I have woken with a headache today that isn't leaving me alone much so think it's a good idea to leave the soap making for today. Hopefully I'll get to make some tomorrow though.

Take Care

Friday, September 23, 2011

I soaped!

Yep I finally got to make my first batch of soap today!! I am so excited!

I decided that Rhondas V2 (coconut and olive oil) was a great place to start.

It made more than I thought. Thought I'd only half use the second mold ooops. Looks like I need to get another one. so I improvised and used a small container I had in the plastics cupboard. I'll probably cut it into four and use it as a tester.
This batch is unscented. I wanted to concentrate on getting the process right before I play with fragrances etc.
I hope this batch is going to be ok. I am worried that I may not have brought it to trace enough, so we'll have to see.
Fingers crossed. Can't wait to turn it out tomorrow.

Take Care

Menu Plan 20th ~ 28th September

Ahhhhhh it's so good to be back menu planning again!

We have been away on holiday to the gorgeous Great Ocean road for nearly three weeks. Then when we got home there was no meat in the freezer and not much in the cupboards so we had to wing it until shopping day and our bulk meat buy up.

I normally menu plan for a fortnight but seeing as we didn't shop til part way through the fortnight this menu plan is for just over a week.

Tues ~ Beef Casserole in the slow cooker. Made a double batch and froze for Brians work dinners
Wed ~ Breakfast! Pancakes for the kids, bacon and eggs for me. Brian and Randall not home
Thurs ~ Spaghetti Bolognaise. Again made double some for Brians dinner, plus a smaller container of sauce which will top some baked spuds one night soon
Fri ~ Marinated Pork Spare Ribs and veg
Sat ~ Sausage Casserole
Sun ~ Roast Pork
Mon ~ Chicken and veg soup
Tues ~ Baked Marinated chicken pieces and veg
Wed ~ Rissoles and veg

I haven't really baked this fortnight. No room to freeze anything, but mostly because we have been rather busy.
I did bake an Orange and Custard Cake for my mums birthday and another Anzac Cake to take to a craft day yesterday.

Take Care

Bulk Meat Buying

We love to buy meat in bulk. Not only do we save lots of money, it's nice to have a bit of variety in the freezer.

We do most of our meat buying from the Gawler River Cattle Co. They have weekly specials which are published on their site as well as in the Sunday mail each week.
The staff are friendly and helpful and the shop is cold (of course) but well set out and clean.

{pork leg roast, herb and garlic marinated drumsticks, celery leaves for stock and putting in my corned silverside}

This fortnight we got some excellent bargains.
7 huge Pork Leg Roasts $4.99/kg
5kgs Pork Marinated (or plain but I prefer the marinated ones) $7.99/kg
10kgs BBQ Sausages $3.99/kg
10kgs Chicken Marylands $2.49/kg
5kgs Exotic Marinated Chicken pieces $1.49/kg
5kgs Herb and Garlic Marinated Drumsticks $2.99/kg
10 whole size 15 chickens $4.50 each!

{top shelf: cooked pumpkin etc, second shelf: mince, third: diced bolar, fourth: sausages, fifth: more mince, 6th: bits n pieces, 7th diced pork and frozen veg}

I grabbed 6 roast porks for meals. They are huge too will probably be able to do something with the leftovers. Plus I grabbed a nice big 4kg+ leg and diced it up for casseroles, got 5 meals out of that, plus the dogs got the bone and rind.
The whole chickens were meant to come marinated but they only had two done up so they gave me about half a kilo of dry marinate to go with the other chickens. I prefer to have my chicken plain so I can do what I like with them so I have a heap of dry marinate in my pantry now yay!
We spent nearly $400 there and the guy who I assumed was the manager gave us a huge piece of bung fritz to take home too, we love their fritz!

Then we headed over to Specialty Foods for some bulk bolar roast @ $6.99/kg. I grabbed two whole bolars which was just under $10 worth. I asked the butcher to slice it nice and thick for me so I could dice it easier when we got home. The butcher will slice for free but dicing costs and extra $1/kg :) We also wanted 20 lamb shanks @ $1.50 each! Bargain! They were frozen not fresh and came in boxes of 30 so we went for that. They were still completely frozen when we got home but the meat wasn't stuck together so I was able to bag it up easily.

On the way home we stopped off at the butchers at Seaford. They have the cheapest mince around at 2kgs for $9.90, I grabbed 20kgs, mince is a budgeting families best friend. I did notice that it seemed a little fattier than usual this time round and the price had gone up 90c so I'll keep an eye on that and see if we continue to buy from there or not.

Our freezer are full to the brim now. I was hoping to do some meal cooking for the freezer for Brians work dinners, but I have no room now. Oh well, will just have to wait a few weeks.

Take Care

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mums Birthday Cake

It was my lovely mums birthday on tuesday. Here is a pic of us a couple of years ago on mothers day.

We invited mum over for dinner and Ethan had insisted on making Grandma a birthday cake. He wanted a spider cake. Those that know my mum will know that she has a full on phobia about spiders so that was not going to be appropriate at all! I tried to convince Ethan that she would like my Orange and Custard cake with Cream Cheese icing, but he would not go for it. He told me that 'Grandma will say it's yuck!'. Bad luck kiddo it's what I am making.

The recipe come from a family Circle cookbook entitled 'Cooking a commonsense guide'. It's such an easy recipe.

Orange Custard Cake
2 cups SR flour
1/3 cup custard powder
80g butter, chopped (I used marg)
1 1/3 cups caster sugar (I used normal sugar)
3 eggs
2 teaspoons finely chopped orange rind
1 cup orange juice
125g cream cheese
icing sugar (a few cups worth, I didn't measure ooops)
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 180C
Grease and line a deep 23 cm round cake pan. (I split mine between two sandwich pans this time round_
Sift the flour and custard powder into a bowl.
Rub in the butter and sugar. (I blitz mine in the food processor)
Add the eggs, rind and juice and mix until smooth.
Pour into your prepared pan(s) and bake for 50 minutes (mine only took about 30 minutes as they were thinner).
Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.

For the icing:
Beat the cream cheese with an electric beater until smooth.
Add in a cup or so of icing sugar and beat to combine.
Add in more icing sugar and repeat.
Add in the milk and beat to combine.
Add more icing sugar until the icing is off a nice thick consistency.

For this cake I spread some of the icing between the two layers and then topped the cake with the remaining icing. I actually had a little too much so it's in the fridge in a covered container awaiting some nice carrot muffins I think.

Take Care

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Big Boy Beds!

My gorgeous boys are ages 3 and 2 now. We have been wanting to put them into big boy beds (single beds) for a while. So that was always going to be the plan when we got back from holidays. We were going to save a bit then layby them. We want them in single beds but seeing as we rent we thought it was a good idea to have the option for them to turn into bunks in case we have to move and they are in a smaller bedroom. Their current bedroom is HUGE! Bigger than our master bedroom in our last house and that was a decent size!
The bed we had decided on was $499, plus a couple of mattresses and linen we were going to be looking at over $1000. Not cheap but needs to be done.

Then yesterday morning my lovely Fiance was browsing the local buy and sell Facebook page and saw a bunk similar to what we wanted posted. $100 plus one older mattress. It had been listed a few weeks ago while we were away, no comments about it, so thought I'd ring the lady and see if it was still available.
It was! And even better she lived about 200 meters away! I had mum birthday cake in the oven (another post coming soon about that) so popped over once that was cooked.
The bunks were rather knocked around but thought it could easily be fixed. Plus what 3 and 2yo's aren't going to knock furniture around? Ours certainly will.
It was a little loose but figured it could be tightened up no problems. The Brian found a few brackets holding stuff together as he was pulling it apart. Bugger, oh well, we'll deal with it. They could be hidden no stress.
So we piled it in the car. All bar the mattress fitted so Brian walked it home while I drove the car home carefully.

We then had to go buy another mattress. Grabbed a 6" high density foam one on the cheap for Eli, Ethan will have the other mattress. Picked up the quilt sets I had laybyed last week and a few extra things we needed and home we went to get it all set up.

Brian got stuck into staining the bed to hid the scratches. Worked a charm! Wish I had taken before pics.
I washed all the new bedding and got it out drying. Was a perfect day for it too.
Then I set to taking pics of the toddler beds for sale and dismantling it all.

We set the news beds up after a slight rearrange of the room (room is now set up as a mirror image of how it was before) and the kids loved it!

This is what it looked before, pic taken a few months ago form the bedroom door

and here's the room now:

 from the doorway

 a close up of the beds. Ethan has a crocheted blanket I made years ago on the foot of his. They both have teddys knitted by their Nan. The blue bears on their beds are what Brian bought them when they were first born. Eli loves to sleep with the puppy on his bed. It's actually Ethans puppy that Brians aunt bought when Ethan was born but Eli's claimed it.

We switched the side the beds were on so that you didn't walk straight into a bed when you walked into the room. The set up for the cupboards is pretty much the same.

I have some banners in the making with their names on them to go above their bed and plan to make some art to hand on the blank wall too.

Take Care