Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Menu plan recipes

As promised, here are some of the recipes for this weeks menu plan...

SUNDAY: I buy such a large roast for each Sunday, as after everyone has 2-3 slices with dinner there is plenty left to make the meat pie later in the week ( that is why I said make extra roast veg save leftover gravy & greens too) There is also some for cold meat and pickle sandwiches.
The cauliflower cheese is easy, boil or steam your cauliflower pieces (dont throw out the stems when you chop it up! I put them through the food processor and add it to the chicken soup) Make a basic white sauce and fold a couple of handfulls of grated cheese through it, put cooked cauliflower in an oven dish, pour sauce over and sprinkle with a little nutmeg. Bake it for around 15mins on 200 degrees until its bubbly and golden.
Chocolate pudding; Cream 180g butter, 1 &1/2 cups sugar and a dash of vanilla extract mix in 2 beaten eggs. alternately fold in 1 cup of milk 2 cups of SR flour and 1&1/2 tablespoons GOOD cocoa
spread batter over the bottom of a fairly deep cassarole dish. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of cocoa over the top. Then carefully pour 2 cups of boiling water over the top. Bake at 180 degrees until the middle cracks a little and it springs back to touch( about 30 mins) serve with runny cream.

MONDAY: Everyone does spaghetti bolognaise in their own way I like to add bacon. What I refer to as a "childrens salad" is iceburg lettuce, carrot pieces, tomato, yellow capsicum, cheese pieces and chopped boiled egg. I toss all of this with a little salad creme/mayonaise the kids love it!

TUESDAY: Meat and veg pie is very simple. take all the leftovers from the roast ( leave some meat for sandwiches) chop them all up and put in a bowl, mix through mashed up cauliflower cheese and reserved gravy. Make a quick shortcrust pastry, line a pie tin or two if there is enough, fill with the mixture put the top on and brush with eggwash,( I sprinkle sesame seeds on top). Bake at 200 degrees until beautifully golden.
Cheese Penne is just cooked penne noodles tossed in a little butter and some grated cheese while hot.

WEDNESDAY: "Carrot Stew" ( we call it this because of a book called The tawny scrawny lion that the children loved when they were little) Chop the chuck steak into pieces, and dice an onion and a couple of bacon rashers, brown in a frypan and put in the crockpot( slow cooker) Chop 1 of the kilo bags of carrots, 2 stalks of celery, the sweet potato and 3 regular potatoes add this to the crockpot. Pour over 1 tin of tomatoes, add 2 tablespoons of gravy powder a teaspoon of dried garlic, a teaspoon of english mustard and a splash of red wine if you have it, otherwise dont worry( Port is BRILLIANT just dont tell hubby!) Put it on low in the morning and it will be ready for dinner around 5ish.

THURSDAY: Spinach & Ricotta canneloni, defrost the frozen spinach and mix through the ricotta cheese. Put mixture into a piping bag and pipe into canneloni shells. Lay the shells in a single layer over a lasagne dish. Finely dice a 1kg bag of carrots, a brown onion and 3 celery stalks. Saute these in a little butter and olive oil with some garlic, add 4 tins of tomatoes,a cup of chicken stock and a hand full of fresh oregano (dried will do but use less) Put 3/4 of the sauce into a food processor and blend until thick. stir this back into the remaining unprocessed sauce. Spoon sauce liberally all over canneloni shells in dish and be sure they are properly covered. Top with grated cheese and bake on 160 degrees for an 45mins-an hour let it stand for 15mins before serving.

FRIDAY: is self explanetary. Use half the mince to make your burger patties ( the other half was for the bolognaise) I make the buns with my bread recipe. The chips are the frozen ones from Aldi.

SATURDAY: Chicken Soup, This does take some preparation. On the night before, put a whole chicken in the crockpot along with onion skins (I save them from the onions I chop for the burgers), celery tops, a few garlic cloves and 3 dry bay leaves. Top it up with water to cover the chicken and set on low overnight. In the morning, remove the chicken and place aside in the refridgerator. Strain the stock into a bowl or jug and also refridgerate. Later when its cold, remove the layer of solidified fat from the top of the stock ( save this if you like, it makes great dripping for a savory short crust pastry). finely dice 2 brown onions and in a large pot, ( I use my big cast iron one) sautee in a little butter and olive oil with 2 teaspoons of crushed garlic, a teaspoon of dried rosmary and the zest of a lemon. Put any celery and carrots you have left for the week through the food processor and cook with onions for a couple of minutes until they soften. Pour in the strained chicken stock and bring to a simmer, meanwhile, pull half the chicken meat off the bones and add to your stock, ( you can save the rest for sandwiches) put all the other vegetables you have left for the week including the brocolli and cauliflower stalks through the food processor and add to the soup. At this point I add a packet of frozen spinach portions and a couple of teaspoons of massel chicken stock powder. Once you have it back up to a rolling boil you can add some abc soup pasta or some pearl barley if you have some in your pantry store. I serve the soup sprinkled with some grated cheese.
Rasberry Pudding; The cake batter is the same as the above chocolate pudding just dont add the cocoa. Spread an entire box of frozen raspberries, 1/2 a cup of sugar and 1/2 a cup of water on the bottom of a buttered  cassarole dish then pour the batter over and bake at 180 degrees for around 30 mins until golden and the center cracks and springs back to the touch.
Custard; Cream 6 egg yolks, 125g sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add 60g of plain flour and stir to make a paste. Put 500ml milk and a knob of butter in a saucepan and bring to the boil. When at the boil add 1/2 the milk to the egg mixture whisking vigorously until smooth then whisk in  the remainder. Return mixture to the pan and bring to the boil to thicken ( approx 2 mins) allow to cool a little and serve poured over raspberry pudding. This custard will set when cold so it is also perfect for tarts, vanilla slice, trifles etc.

I know it was a really long post, I do hope that the menu plan and these recipes are helpful to somebody!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A menu plan with a difference

My dream kitchen!
Today I am showing you not just my menu plan for the week, but also how I budget, and some of the recipes that I use. I shop for $280.00 per week, this includes cleaning products but not pet food. This is obviously a small budget to feed a family of 8 and I would like to share how it can be achieved without compromising on quality and still maintaining a balanced healthy diet.
Achieving this means that more of our income can be put towards childrens clothing, shoes, school fees etc, not to mention the occasional trip to the quilting store( yay!) and family outings.
I suppose the first thing I should tell you is that I make almost everything from scratch, including 2-3 loaves of bread a day. Baking my own bread makes a BIG difference, it costs about 50c a loaf and I know exactly whats in it. I might also mention it is fantastic warm with melty butter and honey! My recipe is here

I like to cook and run my home the old fashioned way, yes it can be hard work but it really does make a happy family!

Here is my menu for the week,

SUNDAY- Roast with baked potatoes, pumpkin, carrots and onion. ( make extra roast veg and set aside) Cauliflower cheese and baby peas.* Dessert- Chocolate pudding with cream.

MONDAY- Spaghetti bolognaise with childrens salad.

TUESDAY- Meat and vegetable pie with cheese penne, broccolli, carrots and baby beans.

WEDNESDAY- "Carrot Stew"(beef cassarole) with hot bread and butter, baby peas & beans and corn on the cob.

THURSDAY- Spinach and riccotta canelloni and a simple salad.

FRIDAY- Homemade hamburgers with chips and milkshakes.

SATURDAY- Chicken soup with hot bread and butter. * Dessert- Rasberry pudding and custard.

weet-bix or porridge
tinned fruit
eggs on toast with bacon
bakedbeans on toast with bacon

Meat, cheese and pickle or Egg, lettuce and mayonaise sandwiches.
Little bolognaise pizzas. (weekends)
Fresh fruit

Vanilla cake

Crackers, apples and yoghurt.

We do not buy any softdrinks, fruit juice or cordials. I never have, sometimes I may buy some lemonade or make some cordial for a treat, usually its for an occasion or a picnic. The children happily drink milk, water, herbal or green tea. I drink alot of herbal teas and green tea and Shane has a green tea in the mornings and a cup of coffee after dinner.

I shop at 3 different supermarkets, ALDI, COLES and WOOLWORTHS.
I only go to woolworths for my Crisp ironing starch and the dry yeast for the bread, as the others dont stock either of them. I dont get the yeast in sachets it is better value to get Lowan yeast in the red container and measure by the teaspoon when needed. ( keep it in the fridge once open)
I will copy out for you the list/receipt for each store.

4x 3 litres full cream milk
1 box froz rasberries
2x 500g froz baby peas
1kg bag froz green beans
2x box froz spinach
2x 500g block butter
500g block cheese
1 tub ricotta cheese
600ml cream
2 500ml tubs yoghurt
1 bag froz crinkle cut oven chips
6 250g tins of diced tomatoes
1 litre bottle olive oil
700ml bottle tomato passata
500g jar tomato paste
1kg pkt spaghetti
500g pkt penne
1 tin pineapple slices
1 tin beetroot
4x 825g tins of peaches or two fruits in juice
700g jar of honey
2 pkts crackers
1kg white sugar
3doz eggs
dishwashing liquid 99c
dishwasher tabs $7.99
laundry liquid concentrate $4.99
laundry soaker $2.49
3kg roast pork shoulder
2kg beef mince
1x $5.00 pkt budget bacon
1x $5.00 froz chook
1kg chuck steak

TOTAL- $ 153.50

2 boxes canneloni shells
tin of chicken massel stock powder
425g box coles traditional gravy mix
3x 2kg coles plain flour
1x 2kg coles self raising flour
3x 900g bags coles rolled oats
2x 500g coles soft icing sugar
20 pack white Quilton 3ply toilet paper.

3kg navel oranges
3x 1kg bags carrots
4 sweet corn
med kent/jap pumpkin
500g zuchini
3 kg potatoes
1kg brown onions
1 spanish onion
1 large gold sweet potato
500g broccoli
2 lettuce
1 cauliflower
5 kg apples
1/2 a celery
3kg bananas
1 kg tomatoes

TOTAL- $115.00

lowan dry yeast
1x can Crisp starch

TOTAL- $9.80

As you can see the grand total comes in at just under $280.00, I will post some of the recipes later this week for anyone who may like them. I'm considering doing a few more budget shopping list and weekly menu plan posts, I thought perhaps they may be helpful?  I would love you to let me know if it would.
Have a lovely afternoon!