Sunday, 16 November 2014

You know it's hot when...

It gets to 6 in the evening and you realise you haven't eaten anything all day   :S

Seriously.  I've been drinking lots of fluids, but I don't recall actually eating anything yet.  Lol.  Maybe my body knows that eating food will just mean my metabolism will create heat energy.  And it's just too hot for that today?  Who knows.  The prediction was for 40*C, but I think we only got to 38*C (100.4*F).  It certainly didn't feel as hot as 40*C (104*F). 

Oh wait!  I've nibbled at bits and pieces today.   So I haven't gone completely food free.  I'll tell you more in just a minute...

We have a long weekend this week because of the G20 summit. 

I have seriously never known my neighbourhood to be so quiet!  There was lots of media noise about Brisbane being a ghost town and I would have to agree.  It was actually kind of eerie.  I live in an inner city suburb - normally there's lots of movement and action and noise.  Friday it was silent.  So strange.

Instead of getting out of town, like most of the people must have done, I chose to stay at and get some things done at home.  Namely cooking.

That's right.  I chose to spend a weekend when the temperature was 35+ both days, in the kitchen with the oven on or the stove going.  Often both at the same time. 

Why?  Because I'm crazy.  : /

No, of course not really. But I needed to make hay while the sun shone.  And my hay making was getting myself organised meal-wise.  I've noticed the past few weeks I've been busy, both during the week and the weekend.  So busy that I've been neglecting to eat properly.  I've been grabbing lunch from a local greasy spoon often backing that up with some form of takeaway for dinner.  Or worse: ice-cream for dinner.  O_O  So, I realised that had to change.  So I took the opportunity this weekend to cook ahead some foods to keep in the freezer.

      Oh Yeah!  Did I say?  I bought that upright freezer I'd been thinking about back in October.  The Good Guys had a model that was going on clearance.  Whilst originally a few litres smaller than I was thinking about - for half the price of similar sizes, I wasn't going to be choosy!  Only paid $445 for a 180L freezer.  Bargin!

 I made:
  • Mexican Mince - My take on chilli con carne.  I dose it up with cabbage, grated zucchini, grated carrot, spinach and 5 bean mix, on top of the mince, onion & tin tomato.
  • Mushroom & Bacon quiche - with light shortcrust pastry, light sour cream, zucchini and shallots.  The bacon I use are those cubed bacon bits.
  • Chicken & Mushroom quiche - using leftover roast chook.
  • Devilled sausages - Look ma, no packet mix!  Added carrot for extra vege.
  • Chicken Curry Pasta Bake - this I used a jar of curry simmer sauce for.  I added some grated zucchini for extra vege.
  • Peanut Satay stir-fry - chicken, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onion, celery, carrot, zucchini, green capsicum, green beans
  • Beef stroganoff - again, not using a packet mix.  Lots of mushroom.  Steak, zucchini. 
  • Creamy tomato sauce & filled pasta - you know, using those fresh filled pastas?  Angiolotti, ravioli, and so on.  And apart from using the most vegetably tomato pasta sauce I can (I LOVE Five Brothers' Summer Vegetables pasta sauce!) I add in (have you guessed?) grated zucchini and carrot.  
Not bad for a weekend's work, right?  And some of those I have already portioned up with a side of frozen vege.  So all I have to do is take a plastic carton from the freezer, defrost it and nuke it, and tuck in!

I am also going to get a salad mix going too.  Red cabbage, lettuce and baby spinach.  Chop/Shred a big bowl of it and put it in a ziplock bag - grabbing some to add to lunch each day, or as a side with dinner.  I came up with this salad mix a few years ago and I tore through it like there was no tomorrow.  It became the base for other salads that I adapted from day to day.  Sometimes adding cold brown rice, or carrot, or beetroot slaw, or cucumber, or whatever I had handy.  I even adding dressing some days, other days I didn't.  I'm hoping that I get a similar reaction this year.  I figure because I haven't done it for a few years, I'll be all excited and "why did I ever stop doing this?  This is fantastic!"  Lol. 

In any case, being busy this weekend cooking food, washing dishes (!) and portioning food, I ended up only eating the scrappy bits left over in the cooking dish in order to clean them up before dumping them into the sink.

So, with that in mind, it seems about time for me to portion up the next chunk of cooking.  That Mexican Mince is still really warm and I finished cooking it at 4pm.  !  That's how hot it is here.  O_O 

And I'm going to put on some rice so I can have the stirfy for dinner.  With a side of salad.

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