Posts filed under ‘Menu planning’

Menu Planning Monday


Welcome to Monday.  Fingers crossed this is a great week, and that I can get life a little more sorted – I am feeling very much behind the 8 ball! We need to go back to the hospital on Tuesday for a check up so wish us luck. Other than that, we’ll both be catching up on paid work that got neglected last week, and trying to reclaim our house which is less than domestically blessed at the moment! 

 My cooking mojo that I found the other week has deserted me. I am seriously tempted to have nothing but spaghetti bolognaise all week – in fact, scratch that, I would really just like to have a week of toast for dinner. White toast, toasted until its just about to burn, with lashings of pure New Zealand butter. And a cup of tea.

 But, Hubby would starve, and I would probably end up raiding the biscuit tin every night and end up the size of a house.  

I can’t complain too much (just try to stop me!) – things are starting out well – I have been given a blog award – thank you so much PlanningQueen .    I will give some serious thought as to who to pass it on to.

Well, if I can’t have toast every night, then begrudgingly, this what we shall have:

Monday nightchill con carne which is pretty much Monday night standard fare! I can always motivate myself to feast upon a large bowl of this with mashed avocado, lashings of fatty sour cream and chilli sauce. Pure comfort food in my book.

Tuesday nighthome made potato wedges (cut your potatoes while they are raw, par boil for 10 minutes, then toss with a splodge of olive oil and some salt. Bake at about 200 degrees celcius for 40 minutes or so, turning once or twice during the cooking. I’ll serve them with some eye fillet steak with lots of veggies 

Wednesday   falafels with rice, pita breads, salad and hummus. One day I’ll get around to making my own hummus – I hear its very easy in a slow cooker.    

Thursday – I am on dinner duty Thursday for a lady in our coffee group who has just had a baby, very exciting. So I am making some calzones with lamb, caramelized onion and tomatoes which will be great for our dinner, and easy to transport too.  I use the breadmaker to make the calzone dough – its so easy. I will do up some salad in a small container on the side, and hopefully I’ll have time to make some desserts as well – just not sure what yet. 

Fridayspaghetti bolognaise and a very large glass (or 3!) of red wine to go with it. And I think I’ll make some garlic bread. I do this by making some dough in the breadmaker. Then, pop some garlic butter into the middle of the dough as you make the rolls, and bake for 30 minutes.

Have a truly wonderful week everyone, and for more inspiring meal ideas head over to 


March 24, 2008 at 3:33 am 4 comments

Menu Planning Monday

Welcome to Monday. This is shaping up to be a rough week. Munchkin is sick, I am sick, and I have work (paid work as well as mummy work) piling up around my ears. So the meals for this week are going to be very dull, but hopefully will get us through the week without resorting to the local Thai takeaway. 

Monday nightchill con carne from the freezer, with rice, fresh avocado and some grated carrot.  I feel like I need a little spice in my life, so I’ll be generous with the Tabasco sauce.  (Defrost chilli, rice in ricemaker, chop avocado, grate carrot, plop on some sour cream … even Hubby can manage that!) 

Tuesday nightspinach and bacon carbonara.

Basically I fry off the bacon and spinach in a large saucepan. I then add 1 egg well beaten with a generous splodge of cream, and the cooked spaghetti, with a little of the pasta liquid if it needs it. It’s a really simple dinner. 

Wednesday nightspicy pork and rice.

I froze some of this from the last time, and will mix it with rice and steamed cabbage for one pot dinner . 

Thursday garlic chicken with home made tomato pasta sauce and penne. 

When I buy chicken I chop it into strips and freeze it with garlic and olive oil and some lemon rind. So its beautifully flavoured and ready to go.  

Easter Friday – its going to be takeaway night I think … or eggs on toast which is kind of easter-ish right??? Have a great week y’all.

March 17, 2008 at 12:39 am 1 comment

Home-made toys for the craft-impaired

Those that know me well know that I have very limited abilities with needle and thread. I failed sewing at school. As an adult I actually tried a dressmaking class once and at the end of the term I was still struggling to thread the machine. I was the only student in the class to come away having not finished a single item.

I deeply admire people like WaldorfMama, and would love to be able to create such beautiful things for Munchkin. But alas, things like that will be only be achieved with mummy’s Visa.

So, for the other mere mortals out there who shudder everytime someone says ‘just make it yourself’ here is my list of the home made toys that ‘work for me’.

A pretty tin takes the place of the usual saucepan for banging wooden spoons.


Pegs … pegs … pegs


Bandannas and scarves


Look what you can do with a wooden box!


And because at least my mother-in-law can knit! The woollen ball is a real favourite in our house.

Knit ball

For more Works for me Wednesdays this week visit Rocks in my Dryer

February 27, 2008 at 3:41 am 4 comments

Menu Planning Monday


Welcome to another week dear readers

The highlight of last week’s culinary efforts was meatloaf mania. I have taken a photo, but its hard to show meatloaf looking fabulous isn’t it. After Pak n Save ran out of the Blue Cod that I had planned, and with no other fish looking particularly tempting, I decided to try meatloaf.

The first lot wasn’t that successful, and had the consistency of a meat pate. It tasted nice but!

So last night I decided to try again and it was, she says modestly, fantastic.


500g beef mince

250g pork mince (please use free-range pork – think of the piggies!)

1 onion very finely chopped

2 slices of stale bread

1/4 cup chopped cooked spinach

1 carrot

at least 4 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 egg

1/3 cup gourmet barbeque sauce

a large handful of parsley and a good few sprigs of fresh thyme

Mix everything together really well in the food processor. Place in a lined loaf tin and bake for 50 minutes at 180 degrees fanbake. Serve with tomato sauce, mashed potato and market-fresh vegetables.

Anyway, on to this week:

Monday: I want to use up the rest of the veggies I bought at the market (I turned most of them in to pasta sauce for the freezer) so I’ll have sausages, sweetcorn, and a mix of steamed veggies.

Tuesday: Chill con carne, of course!

Wednesday: I have some yummy spice mixes that I got for Christmas, so I’m going to do a spicy chicken dish, with rice. I’ll report next week if it works.

Thursday: More chicken I think – I made a double batch of chicken with lemon and garlic and popped some in the freezer. Its great in sandwiches with salad, mayo, and some home made potato wedges on the side.

Have a great week everyone.

February 17, 2008 at 8:36 am 1 comment

Menu Planning Monday

Is it just me or is 2008 going by too quickly. I’m still very much in summer mode and its a shock to be in the second week of February.

I’m so pleased I have started posting my meal plans each week – I’m not sure I would get around to it otherwise.

 This week’s menu at our place:

– Monday night: Mexican night with the extended whanau – refried beans, chicken quesadillas, quacamole – what could be better.

– Tuesday night: Fish night – hopefully Blue Cod if they have it at the fish counter again. I will do it stir fried with lots of broccolli, capcicums, carrots, sweet chilli sauce and limes, and serve it with rice.

– Wednesday night: Spaghetti bolognaise with salad

– Thursday night: Garlicky chicken – marinate chicken breast strips in a little olive oil, lots of garlic, parsley and chilli. Pan fry until golden and crunchy, and serve with steamed new potatoes, corn on the cob and salad. Munchkin’s chicken will be the same, but with less garlic and chilli!

– Friday night: Calzones: I’ll make a batch of bread dough in the breadmaker and use any leftover meat, veggies, cheese and tomato paste. Its a great way to turn leftovers into something scrummy.

 Have a great week everyone.

 For more meal plans check out

February 11, 2008 at 8:20 am 3 comments

Menu Planning Monday again

Well, its Tuesday morning here in NZ but I figure better late than never! We had a gorgeous weekend away with our extended family, and I’m a bit behind on the domestic front as a result.

So Sunday night’s dinner was toasted sandwiches!

Monday night was the good old stand-by spaghetti bolognese and salad. I make a huge batch of bolognese sauce and freeze it so I always have it on standby. Its Munchkin’s favourite.

Tuesday night (tonight) we’ll have fish. I think I’ll have a go at making fish fingers (mash fish, potato, egg, parsley and minced shallot or onion together then coat in egg and breadcrumb) with salad. This way I can use cheaper fish – the budget’s a bit tight at the mo!

Wednesday I’ll cook some lamb chops, and make a crust of garlic, mint and lemon rind. (Using a mortar and pestle crush the garlic, mint, lemon rind, and enough olive oil to make a paste. Push this in on one side of the lamp chop)

Thursday I’m working in the afternoon and DH will be looking after the munchkin so things will be a bit crazy. I think we’ll have sausages, steamed new potatoes, and a very basic salad.

Friday If I get around to it we’ll have a picnic – so I will make a bacon quiche to take along.

Have a great week everyone.

February 4, 2008 at 6:42 pm Leave a comment

Toddler lunches

Making lunch for my nearly 15 month old seems to stretch my culinary patience.

When I worked I always always bought my lunch. 9 days out of 10 it was sushi – its one of the few things I really miss about working.

When its just me and the Munchkin lunch can be a pretty sad affair, and more than once lately she has had a tin of Only Organics Beef and Spring Vegetables – her favourite – while I have scoffed down a piece of toast and jam once she is asleep. Hardly nutritionally balanced for me- and I hate feeding her jarred baby food!

 On good days I cook something for the both of us.

Here are some of the favourites I thought I’d share:

– pita breads with cheese and baked beans, or mashed avocado

– spinach and cheese mini muffins

– macaroni with cheese sauce and mooshed up broccoli

– penne with tuna and tomato pasta sauce

– penne with pumpkin and feta

– marmite roll ups (rolled up on brown bread and cut into little pieces)

– boiled egg and toast

– omelettes filled with anything interesting from the fridge

– fruit salad and yoghurt

January 29, 2008 at 8:27 am Leave a comment

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