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What we bought, spent and ate this week

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Hello Dear Reader,

And hello to our second day of lockdown in the greater Brisbane area, we are in lockdown till Thursday evening however I have a feeling that it will be extended to include Easter and beyond, we'll just have to wait and see. The panic buying has started so it will be interesting to see what LH will be able to buy today when he goes shopping. 

LH and our son went away for two nights for a fishing competition, they both love it and I don't mind some quiet time at home either, I can please myself what I eat and I don't mind eating the same thing for many meals in a row. On Thursday night I made a big pot of Broccoli Cheese soup for dinner which we both loved and then I had the rest of it for lunches and dinners till Sunday lunch. 

Here is what else we bought, spent and ate last week-

What we bought and spent

Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$20.89


What we ate

Wednesday-Pan Fried Fish with salad and chips, this seems to be our go to Wednesday dinner, we're having it tonight too.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday-Broccoli Cheese Soup

Sunday-One Pot, Bacon and Chorizo Penne 

Monday-Honey Prawns, steamed Basmati Rice and asian greens

Tuesday-Tomato, Chilli and Basil Prawns with Linguini

The above dish used the last of the home grown tomatoes that I had semi dried and then frozen in jars, in amounts similar to "a can" of tomatoes. I have to say they were delicious, so much more flavour then "normal" canned tomatoes. I will definitely preserve any excess home grown tomatoes this way again. 

What did you make this week for dinners?

Have a lovely day,


Bills Corn Fritters

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,

I thought I would post this recipe today as I think it would be a great little lunch or light dinner leading up to Easter Sunday for those of us who still observe abstaining from meat on Good Friday and Easter Saturday. I was bought up a Catholic and what can I say, those observances stick like glue! I always loved Easter growing up, maybe even more than Christmas and can remember taking part of Stations of the Cross in Gympie, we used to walk a loop around the streets surrounding the beautiful gothic style Catholic Church, I was always mesmerised. 

My childhood memories of Easter always included Salmon Rissoles, I know, how very Aussie and Retro, a large can of salmon, mashed potato, onion and parsley rolled in egg and breadcrumbs. I don't know why, but mum always used Kelloggs cornflake crumbs to "crumb" anything she was frying, don't get me wrong though, they were absolutely delicious. And on Sunday Nan would make an egg and bacon pie, her pastry made with dripping. 

This is Bill Grangers recipe and I have used my Thermomix for ease, but any food processor would be up to the task. Ever the rebel, I used frozen corn kernels for this recipe, as that is what I had on hand and they were still delicious.

Add 2 cups of defrosted corn kernels, 1/2 a red onion, chopped, 1/4 cup of coriander (I grow Mexican Coriander or Sawtooth Coriander) chopped, a good grind of salt and pepper and 2 eggs to the TM bowl. 

Blitz for 3 seconds on speed 6, scrape down sides and repeat

Pour and scrape blitzed ingredients into a large bowl and add another cup of defrosted corn kernel, 1 cup of plain flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder 

And gently mix to combine, let rest for 1/2 an hour to let the flavours mingle 

Fry spoonfuls of the mixture in a medium hot pan with a splash of oil till golden brown on both sides

I served ours with an avocado salsa which is just a chopped avocado, about a cup of sliced small tomatoes, more chopped coriander to taste, some finely chopped red onion, salt and pepper and a good squeeze of lime juice over the top. 

Over to you, what are some of your Easter memories?

Have a lovely day


A Lovely Sunday

Monday, 29 March 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,

I hadn't slept well during the night and I was awake quite early on Sunday morning but I forced myself to stay in bed till 6am. Once up I emptied the dishwasher and made a cup of tea then I took the little woofs for their 20 minute morning walk, when we got home it was breakfast time for the girls, I warmed through some steamed rice and they woofed it down. My breakfast was smashed avo and triple brie topped with a perfect egg on the last slice of Socca which I had toasted and a cheeky hash brown 

After breakfast I put on the towels to wash, cleaned up the kitchen, took out some chicken stock and bacon from the freezer to use in a recipe for dinner. Then I made the bed, got ready for the day and headed outside before it got too hot. My outside job list was to feed and turn the compost bin and cut back the dying back pumpkin vines, however, the mint which lines the entire walkway in between the shed and the house had also died back and had left a terrible mess so I donned some gloves and started to pull it out. Well, about an hour later after I had pulled out the majority and blower vac'd all the dead leaves this is what it looked like, so much better. Then I fed and turned the compost bin, it was quite hard going and I hurt my back pulling out the compost turner. This has happened before when I didn't use good posture (bend at the knees and lock my core) so this morning I am paying for it. 

Then I started on cutting back the messy looking pumpkin leaves that had started to die back, I have 14 lovely pumpkins to finish maturing on the vine and have a mixture of Butternut, JAP and Japanut (see blog post here about this variety of pumpkin) 

The pumpkin vine that was growing out from underneath the compost bin had also started to die back, it only had one JAP pumpkin on it but unfortunately I accidentally snapped it off the vine way before it was ready and only has a little bit of stalk left attached to the pumpkin, it will probably rot, we'll just have to see how it goes. 

We had big buckets and every spare watering can full of water from the amazing rain we had last week, the first flush system on one of the tanks trickles water when it rains so we put buckets ect there to catch all the water, so I used this water to hydrate all the potted plants, citrus trees, Paw Paws and ginger, it is amazing that even after all that rain how quickly the soil dries out.

The yard is quite messy at the moment as we are having our driveways and patio area revamped, they had ground back the existing finish which was a stamped concrete, before the rain arrived last week, we are hoping for some sunshine this week so they can finish the job. The stamped concrete was very nice but it has dated and was looking tired, so it was time for something new and fresh. 

The bare concrete ready for it's new finish

Next job was to cut back the two mock orange plants we have in pots, they had started to get leggy with long fronds that looked terrible. This is how they look now, more compact.

And this is how I looked after all that, one hot mess mama, red in the face and sweaty. I wear this old hat, a long sleeved light weight shirt and an apron over the top when gardening. 

After all that I headed inside, the time was 11.30, no wonder I was hot and sweaty, I went for a cold shower, re-dressed and posted a few items of Facebook market place-

These rocks went for free

This old sand pick also went for free

And these books went for $20 the lot

I put the greenery from the mock orange in a vase and then had some lunch which was the last of the broccoli cheese soup from Thursday's night dinner. I put the towels in the dryer to dry, as I like the towels nice and soft and as it is the only load that goes through a full cycle in the dryer, I don't stress about the power used.

The boys arrived home about 2pm from their fishing competition, unpacked and then LH started to burn back some rogue grass that had grown between the rocks and concrete at the front, if the driveway reno starts tomorrow this area needs to be free of grass. 

I started making some bread about 2.30, it's a new to me recipe using some greek yoghurt I had lurking in the fridge. This is how it turned out, I think the recipe is a keeper.

While the bread was proving I boiled some eggs for lunches this week as well as washed, spun out the lettuce and put it into a paper towel lined container. I then made an egg salad for my lunch at work today. 

I hung the towels up from the drier and then started to form the dough ready for its second rise, I wrapped the tin with the dough in it in a damp tea towel and let it rise again for about 30 minutes then popped it in the oven. While the bread was baking I washed up and left the kitchen clean ready for dinner. We left for our usual 1/2 hour doggy walk at 5.10 and started on dinner as soon as we got back home. I tried a new recipe last night, a one pot, creamy bacon and chorizo pasta, it turned out lovely, although the pasta, being cooked in the sauce, was a bit gummy. All in all it was a lovely Sunday.

Hope you had a good weekend and a lovely week ahead,


This Weeks 5 Frugal Things

Friday, 26 March 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,

Just a quick in and out today as I am running a bit late this morning. I was fortunate to receive the first of two Covid 19 vaccines yesterday afternoon and have had a wild night of vivid dreams and have a very sore arm this morning, but apart from that I feel fine. 

Here is how we saved money this week-

1. Went Op shopping and came home with 6 items for a total spend of $49.25, that works out to be $8.20 per item, not too shabby. Although I must say Op shops have put their prices up to. I am sure I could go to Kmart, Best and Less or Target and buy similar clothing but it is not just the cost of the item it is saving clothing from landfill and not buying into fast fashion that motivates me.

2. Made another batch of thick and creamy vanilla yoghurt

3. Washed, par-dried and hung all the clothes to prevent ironing, I am not an ironer and all of the clothes I bought on Sunday have been washed, par dried in the drier and hung up straight away. I won't waste precious time on something I see as not necessary. 

4. Fed and turned the compost heap, it is looking and smelling great, each week it gets the shredded paper from the office, a weeks worth of coffee grounds and all the kitchen scraps.

5. Made a meatless meal last night of The Very Best Broccoli Cheese Soup, we just love this soup!

How did you save money or time this week?

Have a lovely day,



Thursday, 25 March 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,

I have been an "Op shopper" for most of my adult life, way before it was as popular as it is today, any clothes I need, I always hit the Op shops first to see if I can find what I'm looking for, sometimes I am lucky other times I come out empty handed.

I don't have a lot of clothes as I am always, thankfully, in a uniform at work and my home uniform is always shorts and t-shirt/top for summer and jeans and long sleeved t-shirt for winter. I really am not too bothered by fashion, but I do like to look nice and comfort will always come before how I look. So with that in mind I went through my wardrobe on Saturday and culled a few items that were either uncomfortable or just worn out, fully intending to go Op shopping on Saturday afternoon to spruce up my wardrobe a bit. 

What I found though, when I walked into the first Op shop, was that I was so overwhelmed by so much stuff and how many people were in the shop that I almost left as soon as I stepped inside. I have thought about why I felt that way and I think it is because I have filtered out so much of life and curated my life to such a degree that looking at stuff isn't pleasurable to me anymore. Another thing that comes to my mind quite regularly lately is how much time I have left on this earth, I'm fine, healthy, strong, but there is that niggling thought of "what if" and I don't like it at all. I will be 54 this year and I most certainly have lived more than half my life, unless I live to be 108, but have I really lived this life I've been given? Have I done enough, seen enough, experienced enough? I feel, right now, that the answer is no I haven't. 

So on Sunday I had another go at visiting a couple of my local Op shops, this time I went with a plan, I needed some new tops and a pair of 3/4 white pants to replace an old pair that had seen better days, there wasn't as many people in the shops and I gave myself only one hour to visit two stores, so I knew I had to be focused. And this is what I came home with-

 Rockmans 3/4 white turned up jeans, I will probably just hem these as I think the big cuff looks weird on me-$8

Rockmans blue and white 3/4 sleeve loose fitting top-$9

Tokito blue/mauve and white sleeveless top-$9

Portmans long sleeved navy top-$9

Target black and white loose fitting top-$2.25 (half price special)

Review sleeveless floral dress-$12

I bought the dress on a whim, I'm not normally a floral dress kind of girl but I thought it might be nice for Easter Sunday lunch and it fits like a glove.

Are you an Op shopper? What is your best bargain?

Have a lovely day,