Saturday, August 29, 2009

Coles Fare

Thai Curry In Clay Pot, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


This menu is really taking it's time taking shape. I have the main ingredients worked out. I got my groceries from Coles as I had to go into the regional centre. The weisswurst and dim sim wrappers I had collected beforehand locally, and the cooked chicken.

Tuesday from last post: Tuna & Mushroom Spaghetti
Wednesday from last post: something with cooked chicken, changed it to Lemon Paella

Thursday ~ Spicy Kumara & Beans
Friday ~ Chicken wraps for two, spur of the moment, though I did think about it as I knew there were be only two of us
Saturday ~ Pies, Chips & Peas
Sunday ~ Weisswurst
Monday ~ Spaghetti Bolognaise
Tuesday ~ Curried Mince & Vegies
Wednesday ~ Sausage Casserole
Thursday ~ Pork & Ginger Dumplings
Friday ~ Pork Mince & Brussels Sprouts
Saturday ~ Italian Sausage Fettucine
Sunday ~ Lamb Sausage Pilaf
Monday ~ Lamb Chops & Greek Salad
Tuesday ~ Turkey Mince as Turkey & Cranberry Burger
Wednesday ~ Beef Sausages as Mediterranean Hot Dogs

Baking: Jam Doughnut Muffins

Gardens in the Street

I was reading a post about the roadside plantings in Tennessee. I agree they are beautiful. I know a town that has extra little bulbs and annuals and things in the street plantings. It is beautiful sometimes. This particular garden had gorgeous nerines under the gum tree last autumn, and this is the winter version.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Stinging Nettles

I was driving around a large sheep farming area on Thursday, and I'm sure I had my chance to pick some stinging nettles. Usually they are under a tree as they are on sheep farms. I should know I grew up one one. But these were on the roadside, maybe the soil washes there. It is a time of year where they are lush. I also remember what stinging nettles look like. I probably had gloves in the car and a bag, but as always, having another 2 hours or less to drive dampened my enthusiasm. I wonder if I will be going by next year?

My Mum had some sheep a few years ago before she moved into town again. We had some soil from there in pots and some plants came up, but we weeded them then thought better of it. The last little plant we didn't look after.

I couldn't choose which photo to publish with it. Not sure if they are the same the world over. Have a look at these fantastic photos.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Weisswurst Adventures

I think I have cooked my goose this time. I have bought two packets of Weisswurst, that confirms I am definitely living in a German area, and have found no recipes to make them into something. I know you are not supposed to do that, but that is what I want to do. I went to the shop for milk and bread. Our freezer is still at the new house, so we don't have bread stocked up as usual. Saw the Weisswurst and bought it. Always on the lookout for meat.

Main Dish:
How To Cook And Eat Bavarian White Sausages

I feel like I shouldn't ruin a good weisswurst and perhaps should make these pretzels, or ask the family to take it on. Maybe even buy the mustard.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Spicy Kumara (or Pumpkin) & Beans

This is a recipe I use for pumpkin and kumara or orange sweet potato. I have heard of another color they sell here, have no idea about that one. The kids often get tricked as the pumpkin and sweet potato look the same. I hope my picture is not offensive. I have made a pumpkin pie from a friend from MN recipe, I am wondering now about sweet potato pie. It must taste really nice as well. Do you use the same spice for it?

This is a favourite standby recipe, and a cheap recipe that we have used often since I found it in a magazine. I didn't really have much experience cooking kumara at that point. We just buy about a 1kg or 2lb of kumara and put it in the pantry and it sits there until we are ready to use it, or the pantry challenges kick in.

Spicy Kumara & Beans

Serves 4

1kg (2lb) kumara or sweet potato, halved and cut into lengths or pumpkin may be used if preferred (we use whatever we have)
2 tablespoons 40ml or nearly 3 US tablespoons olive oil
1 red capsicum/bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 US tablespoon or 15ml red curry paste (we keep it in a jar in the fridge indefinitely)
400g can diced tomatoes or 13oz
400g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup (125ml) (US cups are 200ml) vegetable stock
50g or nearly 2oz baby spinach leaves (English spinach not chard)
rice and tzatsiki, to serve (we don't usually bother, not necessary)

Preheat oven to 200oC, (180oC is 350oF). Toss kumara in a baking pan with half of oil. Bake for 20-30 mins, until tender.

Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a large saucepan. Saute capsicum, onion and garlic for 4-5 minutes, until tender. Stir in red curry paste and cook for 1 minute.

Stir in tomatoes, kidney beans and vegetable stock. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes. Add kumara and baby spinach. Season to taste. Serve with rice and tzatziki.

Adapted from recipe from Australian Table August 2005.

Other Table recipes here.

Sweet Potato Pie


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Juggling Act


Today my food shopping adventures meant happening on the circus. No fog, no rain, and not too cold. I hope to take my little girl to the circus, she has seen circus elephants but hasn't seen the circus. It has been to our town or nearby twice since we have lived here. She was two when we moved. Previously as a baby she saw the circus elephants as well. In our hometown we visited them whenever they came to town.


The last two days from last week were:
Wednesday ~ fresh pizza from the local supermarket
Thursday ~ Low-fat Pasta Carbonara
I don't feel I have enough to go all the way to Thursday again this week, but Tuesday is fine.

Thursday ~ Chicken Snitzel Burgers
Friday ~ Pork mince chow mein
Saturday ~ Tuna Casserole
Sunday ~ Warm Sausage (pork) pasta salad
Monday ~ Curried Pork Sausages with Pumpkin
Tuesday ~ Essential Chow Mein & Rice
Wednesday ~ Spaghetti Bolognaise
Thursday ~ Mexican Mince with Rice
Friday ~ Pea & Ham soup with Krankys
Saturday ~ Sausage Casserole
Sunday ~ Fusili, Broccoli & Pumpkin Bake (didn't buy the cheese for it last time as we were going away and wanted to make sure we had enough money)
Monday ~ Lemon Zucchini & Chicken Pasta

Think I will buy (since it is still shopping day) a small can of tuna for:

Tuesday ~ Tuna & Mushroom Spaghetti
Wednesday ~ Chicken Chow Mein (uses cauliflower)

Baking: Berry & Apple Tray Bake

Sunday, August 9, 2009

It's all happening

This is the lane near our new house. Lots of works going on. Hopefully it will mean a new sewerage system soon. We are very lucky. I remember visiting this lane in 2001 and thinking it was so different to my hometown. Not sure what changed in the meantime on the right side of bottom pic, I know the other side is still the same. We were going to buy that property.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Recipe for Chili Plum Sausages


Out of desperation, I came up with this recipe adapted from one on the Taste website. We all enjoyed it and would make it again.

Our version of Warm Sausage Pasta Salad

500g dried penne pasta
100g green beans, trimmed, cut into 4cm lengths (optional)
8 lean beef chipolata sausages or 500g chili plum sausages
200g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 small red capsicum, finely chopped
400g can corn kernels, drained
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
100g baby spinach
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 onion thinly sliced


Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, following packet directions, until tender. Add beans for last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain. Return to pan when the other ingredients are ready.

Meanwhile, heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add sausages. Cook, turning, for 6 to 8 minutes or until cooked through. (We slice them after they are partially cooked.)

Cook onion, add mushroom and capsicum to frying pan. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until capsicum is tender. Add mushroom mixture, sausage, corn, tomato, spinach, oil and lemon juice to pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Serve.

Adapted from Sausage Pasta Salad.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The plastic bag issue

Image by flickr (click)

Living where we are, there are no plastic bags in our supermarket. There is another supermarket down the road, but I think most use the supermarket in town. The next town to buy food in is 50 minutes away, and another in the other direction 60 minutes away.

I was interested the other day in my shopping trip to Target at the regional centre 1 1/2 hours away. I am not sure how long it has been since I went there. I was asked if I wanted to pay an extra 10c for a compostable bag. When that was full the check out lady had to ask me again if I wanted to buy another one. I like them, they have a nice feel to them.

I knew there was such a bag developed in Australia. I found it on a forum awhile back where they tried to introduce them to Coles. With Coles/Myer and all the takeovers or whatever happened to their finances, perhaps any new management decided to take on the bags (if they are the same ones) for Target. Apparently it is not food that is the largest section of plastic bag use, so putting them in Target is a great idea. They are a nice neat fit for the clothes, they don't flop around in them. The old address for this topics was:" target="_blank">

So I guess you can tell I don't watch normal TV? Here is the ad for it. I am pleased, and here is a news release for it. I can understand the feeling of the other people who were upset. However, corn starch bags sound good, and it would great too if the take aways had them, as I think they must be a high user of them.

Myself personally the no bags policy in our town has had a big impact on my life as I drive 50 minutes to shop to avoid this. Our town doesn't take boxes for free at the tip, which could be a reason the shop has no bags in the first place.

Having said that, our fruit comes in a rather large box, and we find we love them and use them for all sorts of things.

Plastic Bag Woes with all the links to my struggle with the loss of plastic bags. Our old hometown didn't keep up with this pan to get rid of bags in the supermarket, and they don't have a Target.