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Another Trip to Simply Good and Golden Circle Factory Outlet-April Edition

Tuesday, 30 April 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

These combined trips up to Morayfield are becoming quite regular, the two shops, Simple Good and Golden Circle Factory Outlet are only a block away from each other so it makes sense to pop into both while we are at it. We now shop at Simply Good for things such as laundry and washing up liquid, oats, nuts, spices, rye flour, and so on. They have an amazing range of products in bulk and every time I go I find something else I use that I can buy without plastic packaging. This is what we bought last Saturday.

Our big strong bag with all the empty jars ready for the trip to Simply Good

Back row, form left-dishwashing liquid, laundry liquid, oats, shredded coconut, sesame seeds, almonds.

Front row, from left-bicarb soda, walnuts, macadamias, smooth peanut butter, thyme, cinnamon and cashews.

Bargains from Golden Circle Factory Outlet

We love to go to the Golden Circle Factory Outlet as you really never know what you'll find, we try to buy only products in glass or recyclable packaging but Tim Tams and chips are yet to come in glass😜

We snaffled some absolute bargains, whole egg mayonnaise for $2 a jar, coconut oil for $3.00, jars of marinated artichokes for $2.00 and a litre of chicken stock for $1.00. There is always multi buy bargains to be had also, the baked beans are always 6 cans for $5.00, the crackers were 3 packets for $5.00 and the chips were 3 for $4.00 on the 150 gram French Onion Dip flavour and the Tomato Salsa 80 gram chips were 3 for $2.00 and the Tim Tams were $1 a packet. The chips and biscuits are definitely not essentials but they will be a fun afternoon snack while camping next week.

Have a lovely day,

Three Years Ago-What we don't buy


How To Cook Quinoa in the Thermomix

Monday, 29 April 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

Last Thursday evening I made a fabulous Curried, Savoury Mince and instead of rice I served Quinoa with it, for a change. I have been using my Thermomix to cook steamed rice in and the results are fantastic, the rice is always light and fluffy. I love Quinoa too and have always had good results using this method but it is even better in the Thermomix. Really ultra light and fluffy, non soggy, Quinoa grains.

It is as simple as simple can be, start by rinsing the Quinoa really well, I do this with a fine sieve over a bucket to catch all the rinsing water. It takes a lot of water to rinse Quinoa and I hate to waste that much water.

I then let the Quinoa soak in some water for 10 to 15 minutes just to soften the grain a little before steaming.

Drain the Quinoa well and transfer to the steaming basket of the Thermomix

Cook for 12 minutes/Varoma/Speed 1

Once it has finished it's first steaming, give it a gentle but through mix

Cook again for 12 minutes/Varoma/Speed 2

Once finished it's second steam, let rest for another 5 minutes with the TM measuring cup off to let the steam escape, this will ensure perfectly cooked, really light and super fluffy Quinoa

What is your favourite grain or side to serve with a savoury dish?

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-Sunny Side Up Sunday
Two Years Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week
Three Years Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Sunny Side Up Sunday

Sunday, 28 April 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

Today I am grateful for my morning routine. During the week my alarm goes off at 4.40am, now I don't always get up at that time, but I am mostly in the kitchen by 5am, along with Ninja, our little black cat. I feed her and then she goes and waits at the front door to be let out the front for a little while.

I then empty the dishwasher, make our fruit salad and yoghurt breakfasts, blog for about 30 minutes and then it's time to take the little woofs for their morning walk, I always call her in before setting off, she then finds a place to sleep the day away.

I thrive on routine and order, I don't mind doing the same thing day in day out and I am grateful for my simple life.

What are you grateful for today?

Have a lovely day,


What we bought, spent and ate this week

Saturday, 27 April 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

This weeks shop was actually done last Wednesday, as Lovely Hubby works on Thursdays and, of course, the shops were closed on Good Friday. I didn't want to buy the fruit so early in the week, so I popped to Aldi on Sunday to top up with fruit so it would be fresher and last the week.

We've been hitting around about the $100 dollar mark, grocery wise, for the last couple of weeks, which is lovely, I know if I was really serious about saving even more on groceries, I could, but as I've mentioned before, we have decided to not buy fruit and veg pre-packed in plastic and also to buy meat from an animal that has had a better life, it's a decision made with the environment and respect for the animal, in mind.

This coming Friday, we will be leaving to go camping up the beach, I say beach this time, as our most favourite camping ground, Noosa North Shore, is closed for regeneration. It will give us a chance to use of off-road camper trailer to its full potential. You know I only just realised, last night, that next weekend is also a long weekend with the May Day public holiday on Monday, that means that our beloved beach with be super busy with traffic and campers. We have always sworn never to go up the beach when it's holiday time or a public holiday, whoops! I think we'll be in for a busy time.

While we're away, I have decided to have a break from blogging. I usually try to blog everyday and I still really enjoy it, but I am feeling rather tired and jaded at the moment, I don't know whether you have noticed it, but I think I need a break. Hopefully a week at the beach will be just the tonic I need.

Now on with the food-

What we bought

Veg from the Northside Discount Fruit Barn 

The Aldi Shop

What we spent 
Northside Discount Fruit barn-$40.90
Aldi-$36.60 + fruit bought on Sunday-$18.15 (raspberries, blueberries, red paw paw and bananas)

What we ate

Friday-This is actually lunch, Panko Coated Reef Fish, Salad and Chips with this Lime Aioli, neither of us wanted dinner but I did make this Upmarket Tuna Pasta Bake later that afternoon and gave some to my sister when I saw her that night

Saturday-Super Special Creamy Salmon and Potato Bake and Roasted Asparagus

Sunday-Honey and Maple Glazed Baked Ham and Roast Veggies

Monday-Upmarket Tuna Pasta Bake with Roast Pumpkin and Roasted Broccolini

Tuesday-Honey and Maple Baked Ham with Spinach and Leek Mashed Potato, Roast Pumpkin and Roasted Broccolini

Wednesday-Tempura Whiting with Steamed Basmati Rice and Choy Sum

Thursday-Curried Savoury Mince with Quinoa, Papadums, yoghurt and chutney, recipe coming soon

What did you make this week? Did you have lots of leftovers from Easter? How did you use them up?

Have a lovely day,

Two Years Ago-Water Keffir

This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Friday, 26 April 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

What a fabulous week it's been, with Easter last weekend and ANZAC day yesterday, I have been home quite a lot, which I just love. Yesterday was spent doing a bit of gardening, dog washing, baking bread and quilting, it was just lovely not to have to be anywhere and just stay at home.

I now have the top of the quilt ready for assembly, I just need to pop up to Spotlight on Saturday for some backing material and the bamboo batting and I will probably finish the little quilt on Sunday. I had originally thought I needed about 120 tiny houses to make the quilt the approximate finished size I wanted it to be, but now that I have made all those tiny houses I have found it to be a bit too big. You see it needs to be about the same size as the other little finished quilt as they are for my grandnieces, I can't have one bigger than the other!

Along with the quilting on the weekend I want to experiment with a couple of recipes that have been swirling around my head, it involves pumpkin and that is all I will say at the moment. I have lots of home grown pumpkins hanging around at the moment and I don't want any to go to waste.

Here's what else I have been up to on the frugal front-

1. Added a scoop of worm compost from our worm farm when planting out some seedlings last weekend, this should give them a good head start.

2. Cut another one of our home grown pumpkins then wrapped each section tightly in foil to keep it fresh. I find doing this keeps the pumpkin for a very long time. 

3. I also de-seeded and dried all of the seeds from the pumpkin, I know I have way too many but I just can't help myself.

4. Planted out the old pineapple tops from last growing season. I cleaned up the spiky tops by removing any daggy or dodgy looking straps and then "screwed" the spiky top into the potting mix. I now have 7 new potted pineapples to enjoy watching grow and produce new pineapples. The whole process takes about 18 months to 2 years but it's fun and free.

5. Finished the quilt top using up fabric from my stash

Over to you, how to did you save money this week?

Have a lovely day,


Honey and Maple Ham Glaze

Thursday, 25 April 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

Today I thought I would share my most favourite glaze for baking a ham, it uses everyday ingredients and is really easy to do. I don't go to the bother of cutting diamond shapes into ham fat, not do I feel the need to decorate it with cloves. I just remove the skin on the ham and just before popping it in the oven I brush it with this super sweet and delicious glaze.

I then give the ham some more love every 15 minutes until done, by that time you will have golden burnished bits over the ham and the baked ham will be succulent. We only buy ham twice a years, at Christmas and Easter, this year, for Easter we bought quite a large piece of boneless ham from our new Butcher. He smokes his own bacon and ham and the ham is really lovely just as is, but baking it, in this glaze just makes it even more special.

This particular ham was quite the odd shape, like it had been tightly tied up with string around the middle, so it was quite hard to take the skin off, it certainly wasn't pretty, hence no photos of the ham before it was baked, but it was delicious. We have been eating the ham for lunches and dinners since Sunday and will slice and freeze the rest of it.

Now on with this simple glaze.

Ingredients for Honey and Maple Ham Glaze, from left 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons each of honey and maple syrup and 1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard

Mix all ingredients together until brown sugar has dissolved 

Anoint your ham with some of the glaze before popping it in a 170 C oven or BBQ, as my ham weighed 3.5 KG's I baked it for about 45 minutes or until golden and burnished. I brushed it with the glaze another two times while it was baking. If your ham is larger or smaller you will need to adjust the amount of glaze and the cooking time.

Sliced Baked Ham

Easter Sunday-served with roast veggies 

Tuesday-served with Leek and Spinach Mashed Potato, Roast Pumpkin and Broccoli and a big blob of horseradish cream 

Over to you, Dear Reader, what is your favourite recipe for baked ham?

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-Asian Chilli Relish

Whole Egg, Lime Aioli

Wednesday, 24 April 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

For Good Friday lunch, we had a little get together with our son, his partner and her lovely family. We each did something to contribute to the lunch so there was no stress involved and we ended up with a delicious lunch. Lovely Hubby and Son panfried some reef fish, a beaut salad was made by our son's partners Mum, the chips were made by our son's partner and I made a sticky date pudding and this Lime Aioli to go with the fish.

I have been wanting to make a mayonnaise for some time in my Thermomix and as I had some spare time on Good Friday morning I researched several recipes for a mayo or aioli. I combined a few recipes and came up with this one. Wow, it is easy, thick, tangy and just delicious with the fish and the salad.

Ingredients for Whole Egg, Lime Aioli, clockwise from right-1 egg at room temperature, 1 fat garlic clove, peeled, juice of 1/2 a lime, 1 heaped teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a good grind of salt and pepper and 250 gram of mild flavoured oil, I used Rice Bran Oil

Chop garlic for 1 second, speed 7, scrape down sides and repeat

Now add the egg, Dijon and lime juice

Set timer for 4 minutes, 37 C on speed 4 and "Cook" for 1 minute

With 3 minutes to go-

Hold the MC in place, fill the TM lid (with MC in situ) with oil, it should reach the top of the rim. Lightly hold the MC in place while it "Cooks" for the remainder 3 minutes. The oil will slowly and steadily drip down into the TM jug and emulsify with the flavours in the TM bowl

At this stage it will be quite thin and pourable 

Pour and scrape into a serving bowl or jar and pop it into the fridge for a couple of hours before serving. It will thicken on cooling

As you can see, I had this divine Lime Aioli with everything, the salad, the fish and the chips

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-Two Ingredient Naan Bread
Two Years Ago-No Blog Post Today
Three Years Ago-Fruit and Spice Loaf

Ham, Cheese and Croissant Breakfast Bake

Tuesday, 23 April 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

Two recipes in a row! AND two recipes in a row, inspired by the same blog "A Pinch of Yum" it really is the most lovely, honest and pictorially beautiful blog, I love it so much and it is mostly all about good food.

I have fiddled with the original recipe, halving the quantity as well as subbing in a different kind of cheese, I have used just ordinary grated tasty cheese from Aldi and it worked a treat. This breakfast bake is truly delicious and apart from slowly caramelising the onions, which takes a bit of time, comes together very quickly. It then bakes for up to 35 minutes or so, you want it just cooked and a little golden on top.

The croissants will be slightly crunchy and golden on top and the filling soft and comforting underneath. I think you could make it up the night before then bake it just before breakfast, for an easier morning. It reminds me of this recipe, a splendid savoury bread pudding, all soft bellied and crunchy topping with loads of flavour and of course it is easy, as most of the recipes I post are.

I know it is called a breakfast bake but I could eat it at anytime of the day and if you double the recipe I think it would be a fabulous dish to bring along to a large gathering, breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Ingredients for Ham, Cheese and Croissant Breakfast Bake, clockwise from top, 1 1/4 cups of diced ham of choice, 60 grams of baby spinach leaves, washed and dried, 6 eggs, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/2 an onion sliced into half moons, 3/4 cup of grated cheese of choice and two croissants, cubed

Preheat oven to 175 C. Slowly caramelise the onion in a little oil and butter with a pinch of salt and brown sugar 

Turn heat up to medium, add the ham and sauté for a couple of minutes

Add the spinach 

And let it wilt down, it will only take a minute or two, remove from heat

In a large bowl whisk the eggs and milk together 

In a smallish, greased casserole dish, add the onion, ham and spinach mixture followed by half the grated cheese

Pour over the egg mixture 

Top with cubes of croissants and the remainder of cheese. Gently press the croissant cubed into the eggy mixture. You'll want some submerged and some sitting on top

Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes or until just set, remove the foil and continue to bake until golden, about another 5 or 10 minutes

We loved this little recipe and I'm sure you will too, make it this weekend!

Have a lovely day,