Ten Things In The Last 2 Weeks…

Do you ever get the feeling that time has somehow slipped into overdrive and that each week is actually going even faster than the one before?   I do.  That’s the feeling I have right now.

I can’t believe how quickly time has passing and that it’s already April!

My plan to blog weekly with updates on what we’ve been cooking and eating, well frankly, it’s fallen a bit behind.   2 weeks behind to be exact.   We’ve had a lot of cooking adventures since then- but the time has passed in the blink of an eye!

I’ll try to summarise but so much tasty stuff has happened and I feel like I’ve conquered a few culinary mountains.

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Day 18- this is hardly a challenge

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More than half of the way through No red meat December and quite frankly I’m a bit bored.  This is not challenging.  This is not that hard.  I don’t feel like I’m denying myself anything and really I’m not.  Giving up red meat for 30 days is a lot easier than I thought it would be. 

 Let’s get one thing straight.  I LOVE Beef.  I’m a child of the 80s and vividly remember the Wendy’s ‘Where’s The Beef’ campaign.  Hamburgers, steaks, I can’t really think of what else you make from beef but you get the picture.  When I was a little girl and my father would ask me what I wanted to eat, I would apparently always answer “steak”.  He used to do a voice as an imitation of little me saying “steak” which was quite funny.  And Funny because it was not the voice of a little 7 year old girl, more of a Bill Cosby/John Belushi comedic voice, anyway, it was gold.  And accurate because I love and have always loved Steak.  If I were to die tomorrow, I can almost promise you that my last meal would involve a rare-ish steak, béarnaise sauce, chips, with mint chocolate chip and cookies n cream ice cream for dessert.  I haven’t put a lot of thought into it, but that would probably be my all time favourite meal.

Knowing this, and knowing that I always choose beef as a choice of filling, topping, or protein, I thought this would be a really tough challenge. 

 But it’s not.  And I’m disappointed.

 I’m not sure whether I’ve gone for the easy option by considering pork white meat and not red.  (Let’s face it marketing works on me, and to me pork is “the other white meat”)  There is a fair bit of debate on the internet as to which camp pork belongs to so I don’t feel like I’ve knowingly cheated but I feel like I must be cheating because it’s just.too.easy.  It could be because right behind a juicy steak on my list of favourite foods, is a nice juicy pork chop.  If my Dad is to blame for my love of red meat, my mom gets blamed for my love of pork.  If I had to pick one meal for my mother to make it would be her famous (in my eyes) breaded pork chops with white rice, corn, peas, and of course apple sauce on the side.  There has to be apple sauce otherwise it’s just not quite right. 

 I know I shouldn’t complain as I eat my Ham, cheese, and tomato sandwich (ok, no I’m not actually eating one right now) but you know what I mean.  Can I challenge be a challenge if it’s easy???

 Clearly next month we’ll have to step it up a notch!  Will we go fully vegetarian?  Liquid while the sun is up? Vegan before 6? (see article here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/09/mark-bittman-vegan-before-6-vb6_n_3224415.html) I’m not sure what January has in store, but it will be tough.  I’m ready to get back to the Challenge part of the Challenge.

It’s sooooooo hot….

But that’s not what this post is about!  But, really, for those of you not in Sydney- it is hot- about 37 degrees Celsius (over 90 Fahrenheit) at 10:30pm.  HOT HOT HOT!  Especially for a city where not everyone (and not us) has air conditioning!

But who cares about that when there’s dinner to be made- which is really what this is about!

Now that we’re back to the grindstone and The Runner swims on Tuesday nights and I have my (pole) dance lessons which means that we’re not home until about 9.  So, I thought it would be a great idea to test out my new Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals cookbook.   It seems like a great idea, healthy, quick meals that I can whip up when we get home and have on the table ASAP, thus avoiding the problem of getting home late and eating late (normally because I’ve decided to make something that takes an hour).  

To be honest, it wasn’t too bad.  On paper and in practice it worked, I’m a semi-fan.  

SEMI, I said.  Firstly, the pork tacos were good, not amazing, but good.  Secondly, the meal did not take 15 minutes.  In fact, I’m not sure how it could be done in 15 minutes without a sous chef or helper.  I managed to complete the meal in just under 18 minutes from the time that the pork hit the frying pan BUT it was probably about 28 minutes all up.  Jamie definitely didn’t include the time it takes to find all the ingredients in the house and he definitely didn’t include going to three different stores to find black beans (in the end kidney beans were fine, although I’m still puzzled by where all the black beans have gone!)  Also, he kind of left out a few things like that you need to do, like put the taco shells in the oven and he wasn’t overly specific about a few things like how small to cut the spring onions.  Also he suggests grating the apple, which turned out to be a great way to make apple juice, rather than apple for a salad.  Not a major thing but figuring out the little things he left out added some time to the whole process and was a bit annoying.  The recipe worked but I also realised that deep down, I’m only a semi fan of Jamie Oliver.  He’s a bit annoying and I actually don’t like the way his cookbooks are written.   They’re just a bit unstructured and hyperactive.  I don’t follow cookbooks to the letter normally anyway, but, I don’t know, this one just annoyed me a bit.

I’m not going to abandon them completely- I like the idea of a yummy, clever 15-20 minute meal for Tuesday nights  – especially since there’s enough for lunch tomorrow.  You can’t really go wrong there!  Like I said, it was tasty, I just need to get Jamie Oliver’s voice out of my head now…. and find a way to cool off!!!

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Also, we’ve picked a book for Sunday!   If you want in on dinner, let me know!