Firstly I must apologise for the lack of quality of my photos. I'm not a food photographer by any means, and these have all been snapped quickly on my phone as I don't have time to set up my camera and fancy lighting, props and such when I have four starving children demanding to know when dinner is ready!
So...away we go.....
Monday - During the day I feed my kids sandwiches, toast or cereal for breakfast, and then they get sandwiches for lunch. Nothing exciting here. I will also have toast or perhaps a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich, which I cook up in the fry pan....having put butter on the OUTSIDE of the bread, so it's extra unhealthy. It's delicious. For dinner on Monday we had this ridiculously good leg of lamb. It was a small one, but perfect for the kids and I because my husband has been away shearing this week. It's rather backwards, because when we are short of cash we eat like kings, meaning that I dive into the stock of home grown meat in our freezer, and this means finding legs of lamb, pork shoulders and other enormous slabs of meat to roast. My husband butchers our animals himself, so this process doesn't cost us anything, plus NOTHING compares to home grown meat, lamb especially. I did my usual roast potatoes, pumpkin and carrots, served it up with some peas and gravy and we were away. There was plenty of meat left over which I cut off the leg, stuck on a plate and wrapped up for the next night's dinner.
After dinner I made some ice cream (not for dessert!), but we were running low. I have two ice cream containers that I have on rotation, so when one runs out I make more, so there is always a bit in the fridge. My recipe for this can be found here. It's really sweet, so you only need to serve a little bit. I find that the mini ice cream cones work well for the kids. They love them and you can give them the littlest bit of ice cream and they are still happy.
I also made a Hedgehog Slice. This is my Nan's recipe, and one that my Mum used to make often. I need to have a supply of either cakes, biscuits or slices in the pantry because my eldest needs snacks in his lunchbox at school and my pre-schoolers are bottomless pits.
This recipe calls for 250 grams of butter so it's not for the faint hearted!
Tuesday - Tonight's dinner was simple, we had left over roast lamb which I fried up in fry pan with some onion, garlic, beef stock, gravy powder, peas and mint sauce. I then made some mashed potato and made Shepherd Pies. I used mashed potato for the tops of the pies so they would be more filling and so I wouldn't use as much pastry. It was a bit of a 'Let's make this stretch as far as we can' effort and I was feeling very 1940's while I was doing it!
Wednesday - Another day of sandwiches (boring but cheap and substantial) and for dinner we had exactly the same as last night, although there was more potato to lamb ratio going on. Since my four year old only paddled in his Bread and Butter Pudding the night before I decided that I would make a Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding, which I haven't made for ages, but it's really quick and easy.
It also only has two tablespoons of cocoa throughout the whole recipe so it's not too rich, which is perfect for kids. After dinner I had another empty ice cream container so I made more ice cream, so there was now plenty in the freezer.
Thursday - Another toasted cheese and tomato sandwich kind of day (Mmmmm...they're just so good) and I filled the kids up with tinned spaghetti and more sandwiches. I must put in a plug and thank the Earl of Sandwich of this incredible invention, it is proving to be a life saver in these lean times! Anyway dinner wasn't very exciting. I had a packet of pasta (the nicer egg ribbon pasta, not the dried stuff) which I simply plopped a jar of pasta sauce and cheese on to. Some nights I just can't be bothered.
However I did make more cordial today (recipe here) and a Wheetbix Slice, which is also my Nan's recipe. Wheetbix is an Australian Cereal and comes in these individual mini brick shape bits of wheat cereal, which my daughter loves, although I think are pretty tasteless. They go really gluggy really quickly (blergh!) and if she splashes it around and gets it on the floor or table you have to be pretty quick to wipe it off because it sets like concrete. I'm dead serious.
The cordial makes up about 2 and a half bottles and lasts me about 2 months. It's really easy and works out as a cheap way to have cordial. The oranges and lemons in this batch came from my parent's orchard, so it's a lovely batch of extra home made cordial!
This is the Hedgehog and is a big hit with my kids. It's really quick and easy to make, which is the type of recipe you need when you have lots of kids who are always eating you out of house and home.
Friday - I gave my kids Scrambled Eggs With a Face for breakfast this morning, which basically means slopping scrambled eggs in a bowl and drawing a face on with tomato sauce. Classy, I know, but they love it. I had toast with bread I had baked the other week, which I pulled out of the freezer this morning. At the moment I am baking a loaf of bread in my bread maker, however I didn't use a pre-prepared bread mix, rather did this one from scratch. I haven't done it this way in the bread maker before, so we will see how it goes! Dinner tonight is likely to be $5 worth of chips from the Fish and Chip shop up the street because my eldest son has a ballet concert and I have to be there by 6.15pm!
Anyway, that's my week of cooking and baking! I hope you've found it somewhat interesting!
What are your best quick and easy meals or sweet treats to make?