May 31, 2013

budget meals - hamburgers

The other night I had a moment where I looked in the fridge and it was BARE. There was mince in the freezer and a little bit of salad. It was looking quite grim. I couldn't even make spaghetti as I had run out of pasta and tomato sauce!

I defrosted some mince, I freeze portions of mince (about 250grams), this is usually enough for tacos or spaghetti for the 4 of us. I popped the defrosted mince into a bowl and sprinkled some salt, pepper and dried oregano in. Mixed it all around and formed 4 smallish hamburger patties. I didn't add any breadcrumbs or egg or anything to bind. Just formed them and popped them back into the fridge for a while to firm up. I buy the best quality mince which is about $11 per kilo.

I make all the bread we eat in the house so I took out some dough I had preprepared and made a fresh loaf. A loaf of my bread costs us about $2.50 to make and is as good as any Pane or artisan loaf you can buy.

I had a couple of onions rolling around in the bottom of the fridge so I sliced them up, softened them in a small saucepan with a little butter, then added 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey per onion (so 2 of each in this case) and cooked it down to a jam consistency.

So when Guy came home I cooked up the hamburgers, toasted some bread, salad on the plate and some lovely onion jam and we had some very fancy homemade hamburgers.

Now obviously you don't have to make your own bread or have bread at all. I thought the onion jam added a fancy touch to what would otherwise have been a pretty boring meal, and the whole thing together was super tasty. I was so proud that I'd managed to make a 'silk purse out of a sow's ear' with my mince and onions.

All up this probably cost me well under $10, it was just for the two of us though. If I included the kids I'd say it would have cost around $12. The meat patties were only small but 2 was enough for us and the kids would only have needed 1 small one each.

May 30, 2013

budget meals - lamb and vege soup

I am by no means a budget guru or a chef but I often find with so called budget friendly or family meals that they are heavily bulked up with rice or pasta. I have been looking at what I cook for my family lately and watching the cost and think I have some pretty good, healthy, budget friendly recipes to share. I can feed my family of 4, generally with leftovers for lunch or dinner the next night, for around $10 to $15. Some nights we do lash out and spend more than $10, especially if Guy and I are having a really nice piece of steak or something, but in general I keep the cost down.

So my first recipe is for a yummy lamb and vege soup. This makes heaps and is excellent for freezing.

2 medium sized lamb shanks - about $9
packet of soup mix (beans, split peas, chickpeas etc) - $1.65
2 carrots, 2 potatoes, 1 parsnip, 1 swede or turnip, 1 onion - about $4
2 handfulls of pasta (macaroni etc) - about $1

Cut the veges into chunks and place in a large stock pot with the lamb and the soup mix. Fill the pot with water and place on the stove on a medium to high heat.
Bring to the boil and reduce to a rolling simmer. Simmer for 2 - 3 hours. The water will turn to stock and the soup mix will make it thicken. The lamb will cook and start to fall off the bone. You can remove the bones from the stock and shred the meat. 10 mins before serving throw the pasta in to cook. You can make it without the pasta but I personally like lamb soup with pasta for some reason. You could use a cheaper cut of lamb if you wanted. You can also throw in some frozen peas or cut up beans close to the end for extra green.

This meal last night served the 4 of us, I froze a generous lunch sized portion and there is enough left to reheat for everyone's dinner tonight. I reheat in a saucepan and add a little water. Even husband Guy likes this and he is one who doesn't consider soup to be a 'real meal'.

May 25, 2013

what's on my hook and under my needle

I'm going to make a concerted effort to blog more. I love instagram with its quick bursts of info on the go but blogging is my first love and I am aware that many people aren't actually on instagram or Facebook and rely on blogs.

Here are a few recent snippets to get us up to speed:

Miss Amelie will soon be getting a doona cover made from this cute birdy fabric and lined with soft flanelette. I bought this fabric quite a while ago and stashed it and finally this week I hit on the perfect project for it.

I've been working on this ripple blanket for a while. It is for a friend's baby and it is nearly winter here so I need to crack on and finish it.

I've now made 5 of these Aussie themed baby wraps and bubs in England and Canada will soon be wrapped in them.

This is a yummy homemade muesli bar I've started baking for the little Guy's school lunches. Very yummy, endless variations and nut free as the school policy dictates.

And I've been walking! My last new year's resolution was to do some exercise and I've finally found a way that fits in with all our routines. Twice a week I walk up to the school to pick up Guy and we then walk home. It's a 6km round trip and I do it pushing Amelie in our big pram, all up hill on the way there and downhill on the way home. We have been trying to do a family walk on the weekends too. So I needed some sweet new shoes so as not to ruin my feet.As I spend the mamajority of my day in ballet flats or thongs I needed very minimal and flexible shoes. Hopefully these will do the trick.

Ok I think that's enough babble from me for now. Have a good weekend everyone :)

May 15, 2013

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day - winners!

Congratulations to Debbie, Carmen and Maureen who have been chosen by the random number generator thingy and are the 3 winners from Giveaway Day.

Please check your inbox for an email from me :)

May 5, 2013

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day (or Week)

Dear Blogger,

Please forgive me, it's been over a month since my last post. I have limited excuses. Except life and kids and school holidays etc etc.

But I'm here to make it up to you. It is Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day again and I'm back to participate - in triplicate!

That's right - I'm offering 3 prizes - and they are pretty good prizes I think. There are no hoops to be jumped through or planks to be walked. Just leave me a comment with your email address and I will do random type things to determine the 3 winners.

Of course if you'd like to head over to your Facebook account and 'like' my page :
Or follow me on instagram: user name: meandmy2guys
then I would be eternally grateful. But it's not mandatory. :)

Anyway prize A: A goody bag crammed with all sorts of fun and pretty things.

Prize B: A bag stuffed with fabric - and we're talking YARDAGE peeps, not just little bits. Some of them are smaller but some of them are a couple of metres!

Prize C: Custom made doilies! You can choose the colours from my range and I will make you either 4 small (8cms diameter) , 2 medium (12cms) or 1 large (24cms) doily. The picture shows 2 small and 1 medium so you can get a drift of the sizes.

So there you have it - my THREE offerings for Giveaway Day. As I said just leave a comment on this post by midnight on May 12th and I will pick 3 winners.

Thanks for coming and playing :)

No closed. Thanks!
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