Archive | September 2011

i feel like i need something else

Ever get that feeling?
I do, all the time.
Having something great, but you want it to even be BETTER.
                     and 
         and             
and     
Each is great on their own, but when they come together they are AMAZING (I’m talking to you, Mr Darcy).
Except this one, no Homer, not a good idea.
I’m a bit of a condiment addict.  I’m not as far gone as my brother and sister-in-law, whose fridge is probably 3/4 condiments, but I definitely have issues.  It’s that vinegary sweetie goodness that jazzes up any remotely plain meal and just makes it hum.  I love Indian food – not for the creamy curries or fluffy flaky fresh breads, but for those condiment platters.  Spoon please.
Before I continue, and give you promised recipe, I need to make a slight detour.
You’ll thank me.  Just trust.  Believe.
I’m going to let you in on one of my greatest combination discoveries.  It’s a little out there, but it works.  Or at least I think it does; let me know what you think.  Ready?
 plusplus 
plus plus a sprinkle of   equals awesome.
If you didn’t quite get that – carrots, tahini, hummus and pickle/relish sprinkled with a touch of salt.  You MUST have a little of each component on each carrot stick.  Use any kind of pickle/relish, but you’ve gotta have it for the touch of sweetness.  Correct me if I’m wrong.
Onto a recipe……
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 medjool date, chopped finely
  • 1 1/2T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 brown onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3T water
  • 1/4t dry mustard powder
  • 1/2t sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Gut your peppers and place under grill; same method as here.
Once the peppers are grilled and skinned (so barbaric, gutting, grilling and skinning) chop peppers roughly into chunks, and place in saucepan with all other ingredients, except onion and garlic.
Dice onion and garlic, lightly saute in fry pan under fragrant and soft but do not brown.
Add onion and garlic to saucepan with other ingredients; bring to the boil and simmer until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed.
Let the mix cool down (no food processor explosions thank you very much; I have been on the receiving end of one, and it was NOT pretty).  Process until smooth in a food processor or blender.  Makes around 3/4C.
This sauce is delicious.  It’s kind of like the capsicum version of a tomato ketchup; sweet and vinegary.  The addition of some Italian herbs would be great.  It would make a kick ass pizza sauce base.  It’s nice to make something WITHOUT a truckload of sugar (ahem, ketchup- I know you’re good, and I want to drink you- but I can do without the sugar hangover, thanks anyway) and realise that you don’t really need it.  The natural sweetness of the capsicum is brought out by the grilling, and the lone date creates the perfect balance with the vinegar and salt.
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throw another snozzie on the barbie

I’ve been reading The Happy Herbivore, and I must say, it’s brilliant.  So many recipes I want to try (stupid, stupid broken oven) and lots and lots of inspiration.  I’ve always wanted to experiment with vital wheat gluten, so I have followed Lindsay’s method in making these ‘snozzies,’ (my word for sausages).  I’ve never been the biggest fan of sausages.  Meat ones really gross me out.  Viper was a vegetarian for 10 years before we met.  His downfall happened to be a cold, greasy lone sausage sitting sadly on the edge of the grill at a friend’s bbq.  Many beers had been consumed.  That sausage looked far too appealing (beer goggles for a sausage!?) Viper needed the flesh of a beast (really doubt there is much “flesh” in a generic sausage, more like sawdust and bits they scrape off the floor in the butchery).

That was that, Viper was no longer a vego.  After the sausage incident, he went on a meat eating rampage- he said he needed and wanted anything with blood.  These days, however, Viper is pretty healthy.  He makes his own little packed lunches (which he gets teased about by his workmates as they tuck into their rotty meat pies and cans of coke) and happily eats what I serve up in the evenings.  I’m trying to bulk up our evening meals with extra protein and carbs, and this meal fits the bill. Viper has a pretty physical job, plus he bikes to and from work (about 20km a day).  I guess I’m trying to convince him that vegetarian/vegan meals can be satisfying and delicious – he always says (jokingly I hope, grrrrr) ‘Where’s the meat?’

The recipe in the cookbook was for a chorizo-style spicy sausage, but I’m shaking things up a bit and going for a tomatoey-herby number.

(Adapted from The Happy Herbivore’s Spicy Sausage recipe)

Snozzies:

  • 1t garlic granules
  • 1t onion flakes
  • 1/2t dried thyme
  • 1/2t oregano
  • 1/4t paprika
  • 1/4t rosemary
  • 1/8t cayenne pepper
  • 1/2t sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 4 sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2C cooked beans (cannelini, pinto, navy, whatever you have)
  • 1/4C TVP
  • 1/4C nutritional yeast
  • 3/4C vital wheat gluten
  • 1T soy
  • 1C water
Mix all of the seasonings together in a bowl.
In a food processor, pulse beans, sundried tomatoes and seasonings.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the bean mix with TVP, yeast, vital wheat gluten, soy and water.  Mix well.

Get your hands in there and make sure everything is combined.  Knead for a few minutes.

Divide mix up – I wanted smaller sausages so I ended up cutting these in half getting 8.  Just depends how big you like your sausage. Cough.

Wrap up like a little present in aluminium foil.  Make sure they are nice and tight (this will help you to get a nice snozzie shape).  Twist ends.

Cook for 40 minutes in a steamer.  Chill in fridge for at least 4 hours.
When ready to serve, cook up in a lightly misted fry pan.
I can’t get enough of this side dish.  It really is an awesome alternative to mashed potatoes (not that there is anything wrong with a nice comforting pile of mashed spud, just going for variety).  Sprinkle a little nutritional yeast on top, oh yes.
Millet ‘Mash’
This can be a great meal for babies  – just omit any salt/stock/white pepper.  A touch of cracked black pepper is fine to get them used to a bit of seasoning.  A small amount of cheese folded through goes down a treat too.
  • 1/2C cooked millet (I cooked mine in vege stock for a little flavour)
  • 1/3 large cauliflower, steamed until tender
  • Sea salt, black pepper AND white pepper to taste.  I like seasoning.
Combine all ingredients.  I tried to mash with a potato masher, but I am too weak and was in a hurry.  Food processor = much easier and smoother.
Comfort food ahoy. These really do have the taste and texture of sausages.  Viper said it was the best vegetarian sausage he’d ever had.  Woah.  Served with steamed greens, onion jam and roast red pepper sauce (new sauce creation… YUM, will post recipe soon).

breakfast for Misty and me, 2 ways

Breakfast is the best.  It’s the most exciting meal of the day.  I would eat breakfast for every meal if I could (I do sometimes, but Viper tells me off).  Now I have a hungry little monster to feed as well as myself, it’s a lot easier to double up and eat the same.  You can use any grain, any dried fruit, any spice for this recipe – you are limited only by your imagination.  I’m just on the apricot-coconut train after this.  Due to the fact I’m cooking for a littlie; I’m more conscious about what goes into the food I prepare (no added salt, avoiding preservatives etc.)  Particularly with dried fruit, look for varieties that are sulphur free and don’t add sugar.  You can spot the sulphur free apricots from a mile off- they are brown compared to their fluorescent orange sulphuric cousins.  Don’t let this put you off, as their flavour is amazing, almost like caramel.  Deep, dark and deliciously sweet.

  • 1/2t ground cinnamon
  • 1/3C quinoa
  • 1   400ml can coconut cream* or milk
  • 5 organic sulphur-free turkish dried apricots, chopped finely (you can sub in any dried fruit)

 

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan


Bring to the boil, then turn the heat as low as it will go and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed
Turn of heat, put a lid on saucepan and let the quinoa soak up the rest of the liquid.

 

*Note* If you use coconut cream, the mix will solidify if you chill it (thus being the nature of coconut oil) Just let it come back to room temperature, zap in microwave or reheat on stovetop.

I add a pinch of salt to mine- just brings out the flavour, similar to salting oats.   Top with toasted coconut flakes, nuts, fresh fruit or just eat it as is.  Admittedly, not the most attractive looking dish, but I’m not complaining while I’m eating something rich, sweet and really really good for me.  If you’re complaining about appearances then I’m not sure we can be friends.

Now, if you want to get a little CRAZY with me, try this:

  •   Lightly beat 1 egg to 1 cup of your quinoa mix and add 1/4t baking powder.  If you or your little one isn’t eating eggs yet, sub in a flax ‘egg’ – 1T ground flaxseed, mix in 3T water and left to ‘gel’ for 10 minutes.
  • Spray a pan lightly with oil.  I’m a geek and use a little cookie cutter, so they are all the same size.  Old habits die hard.
  • Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, over a moderate heat.  Top with nut butter, jam, syrup, cream cheese, oh so many choices.
There we have it.  Same breakfast, 2 ways.  Crap picture, but tasty nonetheless.
Mix makes 1 large serving of hot cereal plus 12 cakes (5cm in diameter).
Misty would rather the measuring spoons.  Sure buddy, knock yourself out – all the more for me.

Trial, and trial

This is what happens when toys are left out in Boosty’s domain.  Poor old mauled Ted… one eye and half a smile not looking so good.  This Ted was a gift from the nurse after Misty’s 6 month vaccinations – I don’t think they give them to every baby, but Misty decided to spew on Ted – he was instantly ours.   Boosty also enjoys Misty’s plastic spoons and clothes pegs.  I have about 6 pegs left which is definitely not enough considering the amount of washing I do daily.

So I think this is going to end up as a weekly trial until Viper is satisfied – Muesli Bars.  He said the first batch I ever made him were the best; I haven’t the foggiest what I put in that batch (hence my need for a blog).

1/3 C raisins, finely chopped

1/3 C coconut

1/3C sesame seeds

1/4C oat bran (or oatmeal)

1/4C rye flakes (rolled or quick oats would be fine)

1/2C cornflakes

1/4C cashews, chopped

1/4C almonds, chopped

1/3C tahini

1/4C pepita butter

1/4C honey

1/4C soy milk

1/4t sea salt

  • In a dry fry pan, toast (in batches depending on your size of pan) sesame seeds, coconut, oatbran, rye flakes.  As I have said, my oven is broken, so to get that nice roasty toasty flavour, particularly from the nuts and seeds; I toast.  You can keep them raw; it’s just a flavour thing.
  • Mix all of the toasted ingredients with salt, dried fruit and cornflakes.  Cornflakes came out of the woodwork today, as we have ridiculous amounts of them (Viper digs, oh he digs the flakes) and I knew he wouldn’t really appreciate a huge oat bran/rye contribution.  Just a little added crunch factor (acutally I didn’t want to sacrifice all MY breakfast ingredients)
  • Carefully melt together honey and nut butters.  Again, I just used what I had on hand (pepita butter lurking in back of fridge).  This time, due to the claggy nature of pepita butter, I decided to chuck in some milk for extra lubrication.  Stir in 1/4C milk (dairy, rice, almond, it doesn’t matter).  Simmer for a few minutes (see this post )
  • Stir into dry mix, and working quickly, press into a lined baking tin.
  • Leave to set… usually I chill in fridge to speed the process along, but this time it came together really quickly.  May be due to the fact that I got distracted by Misty while boiling honey, and possibly cooked it a tad too long.
  • Cut into bars and await Viper’s Verdict.
I preferred this version (trial #1) by far.  Probably due to the fact that I LOVE chia, flax etc, while Viper said that they reminded him of these:
Thanks, thanks a lot supposed love of my life.
Anyway, this new version is a little crumblier (possibly due to cornflakes?) and crunchier.  I like my muesli bars a bit more chewy and sticky – and I don’t really like cornflakes.
Viper’s Verdict: HE said he liked them better than the first batch (!)  He enjoyed the addition of cornflakes, and requested ‘more of that tahini flavour’ next time.
Interesting; I dug the first batch.  Bring on round 3.

Vegan broccoli pasta

I love broccoli.  It’s amazing; such a fresh, almost sweet flavour – and it looks like a little tree to boot.  Viper and I used to live in Melbourne, near the Vietnamese precinct – we would get on our bikes and load up our backpacks (geeks) with fresh Chinese broccoli (massive bunches for $1 each).  Lightly steamed with oyster sauce, woah daddy, it’s a winner.  Oh now I want to go off on a tangent about all the glorious food to be eaten in Melbourne.  I don’t miss Melbourne; I miss Melbourne’s FOOD.  An example of such would be the Vegie Bar – I took my Mum here for lunch while she was visiting for a weekend.  I think we went back twice in 24 hours.  My Mum’s not even a vego.  Enough said.  If you ever go to Melbs, put on the Must Eat list.

Seems like the broccoli season is cranking here; there’s copious amounts of the stuff, and it’s super cheap.  I’m loading up on the green goodies, big time.  Broccoli usually ends up in Asian style stirfrys or salads in this household.  Today, I’m experimenting.  Not sure if it’s a good idea, but I’m going with it.

A broccoli pasta dish? A VEGAN broccoli pasta dish?  There will be no hiding behind a thick creamy layer of cheese (which covers a multitude of cooking sins).

1 medium head of broccoli, roughly chopped

1 medium brown onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 1/2C vegetable stock (check the ingredients if you are using stock cubes as there are some DODGY brands out there which include fish extract- in the supposed vegetarian versions).

1/4C nutritional yeast

1/4C vegan cream cheese

1/4t dried oregano
1/4t fresh or dried thyme
1/2t sea salt or more to taste
1/8t ground white pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
Pasta of choice


  • Cook off onion and garlic in a fry pan. You just want to soften them here, let the onion go translucent, but don’t brown.  It’s all about getting those flavours going.  Set aside.
  • Bring your stock to the boil, chuck in broccoli and cooked onion and garlic.  This will not need much cooking; you want to retain the majority of nutrients from the broccoli and keep that gorgeous green colour.  Once tender, take off heat immediately.  Strain the vegetables, and keep your stock for thinning of the sauce .  You can keep any leftover stock in the fridge or freeze in ice cube trays for future dishes.  Waste not want not; I’m cheap.
  • Pulse veges in a food processor, adding about 3T of your stock liquid to get things moving.

  • Add all other ingredients (except pasta!) to food processor, and mix until smooth, adding more stock if necessary
  • Transfer back into a saucepan, and reheat when ready to use (you will need to add more stock on reheating as it will thicken a bit)
  • Cook pasta according to directions on pack (I used a wholemeal spaghetti)
  • Toss together cooked pasta and broccoli sauce.  Serve with this little vegan ditty:
Worked out that the grilling part of my oven still works, score!  This side salad would be easier and better done on the bbq, but we have no gas in our bbq gas bottle.  Yip, we are useless.  Poor Misty; I pray he turns out OK- having parents like me and Viper.
Simple grilled Veg salad:
1 large red capsicum
8 buttons mushrooms
3 zuccinni
1/4t fresh or dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4t sea salt
  • Take the ‘guts’ out of the capsicum, rinse with water just to make sure you get all of the seeds out, and place on a baking tray.
  •  Whack the grill up high (200 degreesC/395F) with the tray on the 3rd rung down so they don’t burn before they cook.  Keep an eye on them-you are looking for the skin to char and bubble, and the capsicum to get fragrant. After about 20 minutes, or when you are satisfied with the charring of your capsicum, turn off the grill and leave peppers in the oven to cool down.
  • Peel skin off peppers and cut into strips
  • Slice mushrooms.  Saute in a fry pan which has been lightly misted with olive oil.
  • Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper.
  • Slice your zuccinni, and pop under grill as you did the capsicum.  Grill for 5minutes on each side.
  • Slice zuccinni into ribbons and toss with mushrooms, capsicum and….
Viper’s Vinegrette:
3T extra virgin olive oil
2T balsamic vinegar
1/4t wholegrain mustard
1/2t sweet chilli
  • Whisk together ingredients.  This makes a tad more than needed, but it keeps well in the fridge.  We just a have a bottle ready and waiting as it goes with anything.  Viper impressed me during our ‘courtship,’ by whipping up this little number.
Serve up: garnish with additional cream cheese, fresh herbs, or if you are a weirdo like me, mix it all together in a disgusting looking (but delicious) mess.
Feel good about eating something that has not harmed or tormented any animals.
Give Viper the death stare as he covers EVERYTHING in cheese.

fruity love (not that kind)

I go sick for anything apricot flavoured.  Apricot is so underrated; it deserves better recognition.  It’s goes amazingly in so many dishes, sweet or savoury.  I dream of…

  • Apricot, coconut and vanilla oat cookies
  • Apricot, cinnamon and WHITE chocolate muffins
  • Dried apricot trail mix with DARK chocolate and almonds
  • Moroccan style tagine with chickpeas and apricots
  • Spicy apricot sauce on chicken, fish or tofu
  • Awesome awesome awesome toast topping of peanut butter and APRICOT jam. Simple. Good.
  • Roasted apricots, drizzled with maple syrup and topped with sweet labneh and crushed walnuts
Ok, ok I’ll be quiet now.  I will follow up with recipes; just a teaser, I think you can work out the toast-topper yourself though.
I got thinking ’bout apricots as I was deciding on dinner for Viper and myself; it’s time for our weekly dose of fishy Omega 3s.  Salmon time.  Not Hammer, Salmon.
Viper will think this is weird, but it’s my turn to choose our flavour topper for the fish.  I’m going with:
1tsp soy
A nubbin of fresh ginger (I always call things ‘nubbins’ and it’s kind of gross http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernumerary_nipple)  I used about a 1cm square piece.  Chop/grate VERY finely.
1t apricot preserves:
I love these jams.  Expensive, but worth it.
So I spread this mix on a whopping piece of salmon that Viper and I will share.
Viper’s Verdict:  I actually suggested this combo last week, and he said, ‘ew, don’t know if that will work……’ (after tasting)……..
‘Your marinade is BEAUTIFUL – what is it!? Totally use this one again.’   Ha.  Lou= WINNER.
My love for apricots has that warm lovely childhood nostalgia attached to it.  I remember sitting in my Nan’s backyard with bags and bags of apricots off her friend’s tree.  It was time for jam making, and me and my sister were enlisted to break open all the apricots and remove the kernels.  I like it when the kernel has a loose bit inside and rattles around; it’s like a mini-maraca.  My mum warned us, ‘don’t eat too many, you’ll get a stomach-ache.’  Did I listen?  No.  Did I eat a ridiculous amount of apricots?  Yes.  Was I shitting through the eye of a needle later in the day?  Yes.  Do I regret my behaviour?  No.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.
For the love of apricots.
What’s your “default” fruit flavour?  The one you can never go past?  The one you secretly wish you could elope with?

spaghetti and meatballs, balls

I’m kind of getting in the habit of making everything that Misty eats in pattie/bite/ball form.  He’s at that stage where he wants to feed himself and gets angry at me trying to shove a spoon in his mouth.  Alright then buddy, do it yourself- makes my job easier.  Another bonus to serving meals like this is the vegetable-sneaking.  Misty pretty much eats most veges at the moment but I’m sure he’ll go through a stage of rejecting some or all of them.  Serve ’em up a tasty meatball, and they’ll have no idea what veges were blended into it. Sucker.

Spag Bol Balls:

100g organic beef mince

1/2C cooked pasta

2t dried mixed Italian herbs

1 clove garlic, crushed

1T tomato paste

1 medjool date, chopped and softened in 1T boiling water

2 carrots, grated

Freshly ground black pepper

2T rolled oats (or breadcrumbs)

1T grated parmesan (optional)

The key to these little balls is actually overcooking your pasta.  The extra starch helps them bind together without an egg  (Viper ate the last few for breakfast, thanks dude).

Grate your carrots and place in food processor with garlic, herbs, pepper.  Pulse to get nice and fine.  Add tomato paste, mince, pasta, parmesan (if using) the softened date and water (I know this sounds weird but it’s for a touch of sweetness to offset the tomato; it works- trust me).

Pulse until a meaty paste is formed.  Add the rolled oats to dry up the mix a bit.

Wet hands, roll mixture into balls.  My oven is broken, so I pan fried these in batches of 8, in a fry pan lightly misted with olive oil spray.  I kind of just rolled them round the pan for about 5minutes until they were nicely browned.  The mix is quite soft, and the balls only firm up slightly on cooking- baking in a moderate oven for about 10-15 minutes (turning a few times) would be easier.

Viper stole some.  Viper approves.

Sugar sugar

As a kid I used to LOVE lollies.  Licorice all sorts, gummy worms, coke bottles, pebbles, jelly beans, jet planes, milk bottles, red frogs, I wasn’t fussy.  Give me anything with a whopping sugar content, and I was a happy camper.

Milo wasn’t just a hot drink for me; it was a seasoning.  It went on cereal, icecream (so GOOD) into my mouth by the spoonful – when I did actually make a hot Milo to drink; it consisted of 1cup of milk, 6 tablespoons of Milo and 3 tablespoons of sugar.  Yeesh.

These days sugar isn’t such a great mate of mine.  I try and avoid the refined stuff as it makes me feel like ARSE.  I pay the price if I go overboard; stomach issues, huge energy slumps to the point of feeling as if I’m walking through concrete, and skin breakouts.  All pretty normal reactions to a white sugar overload.  I am totally a sweet tooth – give me the sweeties over savoury ANY DAY… I just try and keep it closer to nature.  In cooking and just for general sweetening I use honey, agave, maple syrup, medjool dates, fruit juice and molasses.  I eat ridiculous amounts of dried fruit.  It seems to work for me; my energy stays pretty stable, and it’s a lot more interesting flavour wise to chop and change rather than just dip into the sugar bowl.  In most recipes, I will try and replace refined sugars; especially now I’m cooking for Misty – at least he doesn’t know lollies exist yet.  I am so going to pay the price when that day comes.

Sticky but not so sugary Onion Jam:

1kg onion (brown or red doesn’t matter)

2T honey dissolved in 4T of hot water (maple syrup or agave also work well)

1t oil of choice (olive or coconut are my usual suspects)

1t sea salt (or more to taste if you are a salt freak like me)

3T balsamic vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Peel onions, slice thinly into little ‘rainbows’ (that’s what they look like) or whatever takes your fancy, it’s pretty fool-proof.  Chuck into a large pot with the honey dissolved in water and the oil.

Get the heat as LOW as possible and cook for around 1 hour, keeping an eye on it and stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent sticking and burning.  The onion will release all it’s water and sort of stew itself in that. The longer the onion cooks and reduces, the sweeter and jammier it becomes.  It is a little time consuming, but definitly worth the effort as the end product is the onion’s natural flavour and sweetness – not just full of added sugar.  When the onion has cooked down enough, add in the vinegar and allow to reduce again for around 20 minutes.  Finish with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt – taste and adjust seasonings.

Once cool, spoon into jars and store in the fridge.  The sky is the limit for this recipe – added herbs, spices, different vinegars – red wine is also a really nice addition (add in 2T and omit 1T of the vinegar).  I kinda like it as is – keeping condiments simple is good so whatever you are eating them with is the star.  This is awesome on  grilled cheese sandwiches, with a barbequed sausage (apparently), on burgers (meat or veg varieties) and just as general food crack (makes food wicked knickers good).

Made with red onions and a dash of shiraz

I grate soap

I’m a cheapskate.

I know it, and I’m not afraid to admit it.

I actually do grate soap; Viper thinks I’m a nutter.  I grate goat’s milk soap and use it with baking soda, white vinegar and tea tree oil to wash my clothes and Misty’s nappies etc.  This little habit is not entirely a money saving one; I have super sensitive skin, and any kind of washing powder causes me to break out in eczema.  It’s just a bonus the process is environmentally and budget-conscious.

I love a good bargain; most of my shopping is done at opp shops (thrift stores).  I get a buzz off scoring something for a few measly bucks… it’s an addiction (one that is cheaper and healthier than crack).  I’m sure my family and friends are sick of me saying, “and it was only $3!!” after they comment on some article of clothing or trinket.  That’s why I’m a fridge scraper, I’m cheap.  I think it’s part and parcel of my OCD; must get things cheaper, squirrel away savings for a rainy day that never comes.

Complete opposite of Viper.  Let’s not go into that.  I’ll just get mad.

While I scrimp and save, Viper buys records.  The collection is this times 5 and growing.

Really though, I can’t complain too loudly; now we are parents (with no family nearby) we can’t go out to gigs anymore… no babysitters.

These days, it’s all about hanging out at home.  Once Misty goes to bed, it’s our own music, our own beverages, at home.  It’s actually really good.  No crappy music;  we are the DJs (with a pretty kick ass collection at our finger tips).  No annoying drunk bogans breathing beer fumes and ciggie smoke in my face as they try and strike up a conversation that I do NOT want to be a part of.  Best thing (again, I’m cheap) no watered down $8 drinks.  I’m the bartender. Yeah.

The only thing I’m not stingy about is food.  As Viper says, some girls buy shoes, I buy food.  I have no problem spending on good food; as I have said before, Michael Pollan’s theory of buy better, eat less is one I adhere to.  Forking out the bucks on a small amount of organic meat, eggs and local (not farmed) seafood is no skin off my nose.  It tastes better, is better for my family, and at least the creatures that have been sacrificed to fill our bellies have had some form of decent life beforehand.  So maybe I wear out my undies until the elastic snaps (gross; mmm saggy) and some (all) of my cardigans have holes in the elbows but at least we eat well and are healthy.

All in all, becoming parents has been a good kick in the bum to be sensible about spending.  Basically we can’t go out and party like we used to, so we have adjusted into our new roles by altering our activities to suit.  We can still enjoy a nice drink on a lovely spring evening, listening to cranking tunes in a cosy environment… we just don’t have to leave the house to do it any more, and that’s OK with me.

a whippy kind of weekend

I’ve always found Mr Whippy creepy.  The fact that they stalk through neighbourhoods, sculk around playgrounds and sift along the beachside playing that unnerving little jingle really irks me.

“Follow me children, I have delicious frosty confection inside my truck.”

There is something sordid and pied piperish about the whole things.

Maybe I’m just a twisted cynical woman.  Don’t get me started on Christmas mall Santas.

Anyway, Mr Whippy (or the Whipster as I like to call him) does amuse me, as we seem to have a dedicated posse of them that peruse our neighbourhood daily.  What makes it excellent entertainment is that Boosty starts howling when that little jingle starts up.  You get that Whipster, Boosty.  I used to love that cone that was dipped in the psychedelic pink sherbert stuff.  mmm sugary sherberty chemicals; my poor parents.

On to the tasks of the day…..

  • Misty food making
This attractive gloop will end up as some sort of pattie for Misty, I promise.  Rice, lentils, a flaxseed ‘egg’, a touch of cheese and herbs.  Baby-style arancini?
  • Milk making and seed sprouting
Every time I make my own milk, I go on a rant about how amazingly cheap and easy it is.  Have to do it more often.  Today is the day for brown rice milk, and copious amount of it.  I think I went a bit overboard in cooking rice, as I ended up with double what I needed.  I froze  half for my next milking adventure.  Pretty much I blended 1C cooked brown rice with 3C warm water, left that to sit for a half hour, then strained through cheesecloth, squeezing out all the excess.  I then added salt, agave and a touch of maple syrup (all depending on your own tastes).  I used 2t salt, 2t agave, 2t maple. BOOM. Rice milk ahoy.
  • Now, to keep this one OUT of the pantry (fail, and fail once more)
Good thing he hasn’t consumed any Whipster treats today;  that glint in his eye is not sugar induced, it’s all natural.