Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Have a Nosey, then.

I love grocery shopping. I don't know if it's because it's my regular (too regular if you look at my bank stantements) outing or if it's because I get to peep in other peoples trolleys and see what they get. The best way to try a new product is a recommendation, right? Here are the products I love and can't live without.

Aldi organic pasta sauces, about $3. Coles organic tomato sauce (I will eat regular sauce, but begrudgingly, this tastes awesome).

Gluten Free wraps! $2 at Bilo. Stoked, they look really soft. GF icecream cones, little and great for vegies as a novelty for SB, who isn't a huuuuge fan.

I am totally in love with these pegs, totally recycled and recyclable, can go in the dishwasher...and in greeeen my favourite colour. I'm sure I've seen these at Bi-lo, Coles and Woolies at some point.

I am trying to reduce the amount of crap we eat, we are in the habit of getting 'treaties' every day. SD has upgraded to 2 chocolate bars and a packet of chips a day...and he insists on getting me a family block of chocolate. I've cut down on that, I can make it last about 16 hours, but I think he probably buys me that so he doesn't feel so bad about eating rubbish. So I'm stocking the house up with the good stuff. NO MORE MIDNIGHT SERVO RUNS. We aren't even pregnant! Actually, SD piled on the kilos in sympathy of my pregnancy. I guess I delivered and baby and he had no deadline...perhaps he is still pregnant?
I'm impressed with both of these, although I'm disappointed the supermarkets are no longer stocking 'Sir Thomas Chipman' organic corn chips, cause they ROCKED. ( If you see any, please let me know where)

My new impulse replacement - for omega oils and all that good stuff.

Cleaning products we use...these seem to be the most earth friendly in a supermarket. We love the body wash, it's only $3 (cheaper again from Crazy Clarkes) and it's cruelty free.

The breastfeeding association recommends lux flakes, so I know they are good. And this is the first time trying out this Seventh Generation stuff. Are you sick of your dishwashed glasses getting frothy when you fill them with water? I suspect that means too much powder has been used...I realise it gives you an indication of how much to fill, but chances are, your dishwasher came with a packet of 'Finish'. Perhaps they made a deal, if the dishwashing companies made the sections bigger, they could give them free powder, which means you use more, buy more.....

I freakin LOVE this hommus and won't bother with any other type, thankfully it's also organic.  I love Nuttelex. No animal products in it suggests that no animals were harmed in it....
Nimbin cheese is by far the tastiest cheese I have found, and I'm an addict. What I especially like is that the rennet use in it is not made from animal intestines...so it's totally vegetarion. Just don't tell my father in law, it's his favourite cheese and for some reason, he would stop buying it. I am on the hunt for a non-animal rennet shredded cheese...I swear Home Brand used to be....ah well, might just have to start shredding the Nimbin for SB.

Being gf can get quite expensive, so I buy a few cereals - some tasty, some bland and mix it up for breakfast. SB pours bits of this in and bits of that....and if I'm not eating it with him, he can throw in a few Fruity Bix and Cheerios. My breakfast stash includes these tasty cornflakes, amaranth for protein, muesli, almond meal, sultanas, LSA mix and brown rice pops.

My new Deceptively Delicious book certainly has me buying more and eating more vegetables than usual. Going to try get through this all week and freeze the rest. I'm getting my healthy on!

I am also a huge fan of A2 milk and Jalna Vanilla yoghurt. If you are interested in what is in your food, check out the labels of yoghurt and compare them to Jalna or the Organic one with the fruit on top (green lid).

Okay, off to cook tea now. What food items do YOU recommend?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I heart....

My new Sunbeam food processor. Whilst on the hunt, we didn't look up reviews on the web, as is my usual preparation for a big purchase. We did however, check out prices at a few stores before deciding on an Oscar Mini by Sunbeam. I bought all my vegetables and thought just before I started, I double checked the reviews...and well, they were ALL bad. It took all the strength I had not to open it and use it anyway.....I have a problem with self discipline (I will just put some dishes in the dishwasher, and then quickly check my mail, then hang out most of the washing, oh look! Duplo!) and I'm really stoked I held out.

We replaced it with a bigger Sunbeam and it's like, my new baby. I kiss it tenderly and hold it close. So far I've blended roasted sweet potato, roasted butternut pumpkin, zuchinni and carrots to puree. I froze it all in organised Tupperware splendour (in the hamburger patties containers) and bpa free milk storage cubes. I kept a little of the pumpkin out and did the following things to encourage SB to eat some vegetables.

- Spread on toast with corn and cheese, grilled (he wasn't interested, but I was only too happy to eat the vibrant orange toast - so bright it was hard to believe there was no colouring, I hate artificial colouring).
- 2 parts pumpkin to one part nutella. Sadly, he'd just gone to the toilet and was very suspicious of what I was trying to get him to eat. Whatevs, I ate it. I couldn't even taste the pumpkin! Genius.

The house is now clean and ready to be totally messed up now that all of our guests have arrived. It will be interesting to see the damage. Thankfully we have outsourced Christmas

How will your house hold up after Christmas? Hope you have a great one and get at least something to make your housewifery journey better.....I suspect cook books! There is a funny thing with SDs family, if you want something in particular, they won't get it....which sucks because I could really do with some kitchen scales and a kitchen timer. Will have to look them up on ebay, I guess that way I can make sure they are second hand and retro enough for my kitchen.

- SH

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wanting to make meal times easier...

I've been thinking about ideas to make meal times easier. Do you have any to add?

- Plan a weekly dinner schedule, and shop for it, freezing meat.
- Take the meat out of the freezer to defrost in the fridge overnight.
- Peel vegies and leave in water in the fridge? Maybe do this during the
day whilst on the phone or whilst kids are sleeping.
- Make enough for leftovers for lunch, or freeze some for an easy night.
- Add a tin of chickpeas/lentils to pastas to make them filling and leave
more for another meal/serve for more people.

- Night before prerp - Pour eggs and chopped vegies, cheese and milk into
a sealable container and stick in the fridge to simply pour and cook an
omlette/scrambled eggs in the morning

- If spending the day out, prepare lunches the night before. I find it
really hard to do the morning chores and packing bags if I have to make
and pack lunches too.
- I buy yoghurt in a kilo tub to save packaging. Then I'll get the days
serve, pour in some flaxseed oil (don't use if you're pregnant) and some
LSA or extra Organic Strawberry Jam if it's not sweet enough.

Better go, out for the day and I didn't think to prepare lunch last night, that was this mornings idea!


Monday, December 14, 2009

I cooked!

And it was probably too good to give to a dog for once!

I have raved about Jessica Seinfield's 'Deceptively Delicious' before, and I will continue to do so here. I didn't buy this book to trick SB into eating things he doesn't want to, entirely as we do baby led weaning (more of that on my Sausage Mama blog). I just didn't know how to cook vegetables - brocolli always failed for me and cauliflower, so, well I just didn't go near it.

This book is so explicit in it's instruction, and just doesn't assume I already know the basics. Did you know, I cooked roasted butternut pumpkin the other night? There was no oil required and it was AWESOME. I also roasted a beetroot! Delicious and far better than any tinned beet I've ever had. Both of these vegies were so RAD that they never made it to the freezer (nor the food processor, seeing as we don't even have one then).

SB wasn't interested, his top tooth was coming through and he's going through a real sweet and salty stage (this means he will only eat yoghurt, organic peanut butter and organic strawberry jam on toast, chocolate in any form, buscuitsand chips - arghhh). He turns his nose up to any vegetable and alot of fruit and so the guilt of these nutrients he hasn't been getting recently is being dissolved with this book.

We also cooked Green Eggs (a total hit! SB also likes anything with organic tomato sauce from Coles). I'm not only hoping for incidental nutrition for SB, but for SD who also is in the habit of having treats everyday, and these will not be limited to: 2 snickers bars, a large packet of doritos, a bottle of coke and a frozen coke. This treating means I am also bought Cadbury Bubbly bars. I honestly only eat them to be polite (most of the time. The rest of the time I inhaaaaale them). I need to eat healthier too. I like to prepare my body years in advance for pregnancy (last time I was healthy as for 2 years before conception). I even go to the extent of buying wheatgrass shots instead of chocolate on a shopping trip.

I'm not wanting to support Cadbury anymore. There are many delicious chocolate companies who practice Fair Trade - Greens Organics are awesome, and I'm pretty sure Whittakers are made in New Zealand (I must look into this further). If you are unaware of the child/slave labour involved with the chocolate companies I suggest you google it.........Okay I just did and one site said that Cadbury were the most supportive of Fair Trade so perhaps they have changed their ways...oh dear, I need a better reason to give it up....how about buying locally? Supporting smaller businesses. Yes, that's what I'll do. Time for me to get researching again, my information is out of date perhaps!

I don't know about you, but I love the feeling of buying fresh produce at the market and shoving it into my green bags (or Star Wars bags, or Tonka Truck bags as it were) or walking out of the organic, gluten free butcher with a brown paper bag (cheaper sausages than Woolies!)...I refuse to buy fresh produce from Coles or Woolies if it is not made in Australia. Also if their price tag is emblazened with 'has been exposed to sulphur dioxide'. All of those pesticides, chemicals and preservatives I need to get more savvy about. Cancer is practically an epidemic at the moment - is food the cause? It certainly can't be ruled out.

I only buy free range eggs - and I'm about to take a stance and not eat eggs from restaurants if they are not free range (you can bet good money that the Coffee Club aren't serving free range!). I was a vegetarian up until I could no longer hack tofu and chickpeas when I was 8 weeks pregnant. I will eventually go back to no meat (but I think I'll keep fish, preferably fish that isn't being over-fished). I won't buy leather (I'm open to second hand leather however). I think it's really important to be informed consumers - to know the process our food has taken to be on our plate, the process in which the cows were obtained from poor families (tricking or lying) and the ways in which they were killed (usually painfully, infront of other distressed cows who know their turn is next).

I still have alot of stuff to learn about fair trade and ethical consumption of anything. If you are interested in learning more, a great and effortless way to start is to watch a film narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, with music by Moby. This is certainly not recommended for children. If you decide to still eat cage eggs, buy leather and wear fur after seeing it, I don't mind, just as long as you have made the informed decision from watching it to support your use of these products.

Anyway, this blog has certainly gone on a tangent! In the Night Garden is over so I must go play with my son now.

Let me know what you think....


Sunday, December 13, 2009

I have a confession...

I was really grossed out by the advert where the woman uses the raw chicken to wipe down the benches. Am I alone on this? Ever since, I can't help but inspect family members cloths and scrubbing brushes and replace them when no one is looking...

My confession is....up until recently, I was buying antibacterial disposable wipes to clean the highchair. So those ads really worked! So wasteful I know and it makes no sense because I'm a cloth nappy user, but I just wasn't mentally ready for taking on any other method when I just had to clean so much and I wanted the highchair to not harbour any germs that may make SB sick.

I then found a roll of Chux cloths - available in blue, green or red - cheapest at Priceline (about $3-4 dollars) - and now I throw the days worth into the wash and re-use them. About $5 saved a week by doing this, and the Chux literally take up no space in the machine or in the line.

I have seen people cut a square of each colour Chux and laminate them on a small poster, to remind people that the blue cloth is for the bench, the green is for the bathroom and the red is for the floor. Not a bad idea really, I get grossed out by contamination (thank the gods I don't have a blacklight!).

Do you know what does confuse me? When people don't have handsoap in the kitchen. Don't they wash their hands before preparing food? Or after touching meat? I used to get very annoyed when I was a checkout chick that we weren't allowed soap in the kitchen, and had to touch at least 2 door handles to wash our hands in the bathroom, before touching those 2 doors again to go out and walk through the kitchen to walk out and handle peoples fruit and veg on the checkout. Just crazy.

End rant.

Oooh the first entry...

This blog will follow me on my journey from being a totally amateur housewife, to a totally organised and non-deperate housewife.... I will document my adventures learning how to cook (I currently fry and boil everything) and be super duper routined and eco-friendly, minimising my ecological footprint.

If you have any tips or recipes you could recommend, please feel free to email them to sausagemama@gmail.com or simply post them as a comment. An interactive facebook page has been created if you wish to discuss with others ideas...hope you enjoy :0)