Late winter in the garden - lots of baby kale, calendula, and sugar snap pea flowers.
It’s late winter and I’ve been trying to keep dinners cheap-ish and comforting. We don’t eat out much - there aren’t a lot of places to eat out around here - so I feel like it’s important that dinners are something to look forward to? I’m looking forward to spring/summer eating. But these are some of my favourite dinner recipes lately -
- Ham & Cheese Puff Pastry Pie. + salad. I’ve served this a few times when we’ve had people over and I didn’t feel like spending the day in the kitchen. Served with a side salad, it’s completely simple and amazing. Everyone loves it and there’s never leftovers.
- The orange, goat cheese and beet salad from Flour, Too. Which I can’t find a recipe for? But it’s just rocket/arugula with a basic orange vinaigrette, roasted beetroots, segments of orange and goat cheese. With toasted walnuts if you like.
- Rosemary focaccia + salad
- Smitten Kitchen lasagna. Which. Seems, at first, like a marathon. Now that I’ve figured out to make double so there’s leftovers for a week, it’s been on solid rotation. When you’re buying the ingredients it seems expensive, but you get so many meals out of it that it all works out pretty cheap in the end.
- Shutterbean’s bacon fried rice. It seems to get better with age. For lunch, two days later, it’s transportive.
- The best, easiest Thai yellow curry. I use coconut cream instead of coconut milk, and add an extra tablespoon of paste, but otherwise this is a really great, basic recipe. I love curries, but I’m not very confident about cooking them, and the “make your own paste, grind your own spices” recipes are a bit beyond me. So this is the perfect starting point if you’re the same. I use a tiny bit of chicken and mostly vegetables to keep it on the cheap side.
Names that Tess will answer to -
- Tessa monster (Tessa monstaaaahhhh!)
- Hair monster
- Little meringue
- Pea pod
"You stopped a live one today, honey. I’m an international cougar!"
So into this.
Favourite smoothie at the moment - frozen banana and peanut butter. This makes enough for two large glasses -
- 2 frozen bananas, peeled and chopped.
- 1.5 cups of milk/soy, whatever milk you use.
- 4 tbsp of almond or peanut butter.
- 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt.
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey.
- 1 tbsp flax meal or LSA meal. (If you’re in Australia, Coles has actually started stocking LSA meal, which is blended linseed/sunflower/almond meal, and it’s really cheap. It was pretty surprising.)
Today was a good day. I did a little bit of work. I made a big batch of super lemony hummus. I talked to Tess a lot. I turned the compost. We went to the library and I borrowed armfuls and armfuls of cookbooks. I visited the nursing home and saw my favourite older lady, Joan. I picked flowers and arranged them in her buttonhole and told her she was beautiful. She thinks I’m a man? I think because I have a shaved head? Always telling me what a nice young man I am and a fine young man. And I think that’s why she likes me, especially, and flirts with me and sits next to me all the time. And I don’t dissuade her of that notion because I think the whole thing makes her feel good? So I pay her special attention and bring her flowers and tell her she’s beautiful and fancy. I did lots of laundry. I am making lasagna for dinner.
If you haven’t already seen it, Leanne Brown’s Good and Cheap is a great free cookbook for budget eating. Click the link to view, or download it via her website. The meals are based around a budget of $4 a day. There’s great recipes for comfort food, dinners, salads, curries, breakfast stuff, snacks, etc. This is her website -
She also has another free cookbook called “From Scratch”, and her general blog has lots of nice, cheap recipes.
Winter presents for friends who visit. Spinach for pie, lemons for desserts, lemon balm for tea. All from the garden.
And my favourite/best winter salad - rocket/arugula with orange vinaigrette, roasted beetroot, orange and Meredith Dairy goat cheese.
Also - Slowly, slowly, trying to master rye bread. Sewing and fabric. Lots of laundry, lots of dishes. Winter wind howling in the dark. Dental surgery. Rosemary oil. Anxious dreams. Turning the heat on in the afternoon before it gets dark.
One of my best friends live texting our girl gang while she gives birth to twins is some next level shit. Like, no biggie just snapchatting my girls while I wait for the next contraction. 8 hours and counting. In awe of how next level she is.
Thanks so much to everyone who gave advice on running/shin splints. A few people suggested running at a slight incline - I tried that today and it totally worked! I was able to complete the run without any problems and felt amazing. When I was close to finishing I craned my neck around the gym until I found James and gave him a crazy beaming grin like “AHM GUHN MAKE IIIIIIIT!!!!”. So thanks. You guys are the best. The best.
What does everyone eat? What do you cook for yourself? What do your dinners mostly look like? What are you eating tonight?
James gave me a pair of pants to mend, said he’d ripped a small hole in the crotch, and I was like “just leave them on the table so I don’t forget”. Then I picked them up and keeled over laughing.
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