Common Chaos Chronicle

Not everyone can lay claim to the ownership of their very own MONSTER SQUAD!!!

Monster Squad Meal Planning – Week 4! April 14, 2011

Filed under: Menu Plans — commonchaoschronicle @ 9:49 pm
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Firstly I must apologise to my readers for being a day late. I’m afraid I spent Wednesday night frying my own brain trying to teach myself how to use Adobe Photoshop…… Massive Fail.

I will get there eventually but it certainly wont be quick!!!

Masterchef eat your heart out....It's Chef Zafirah

Lets hope my meals this week are nothing like my understanding of HTML coding….

This week has to be super easy and super organised as it will be our ‘busy’ week of the holidays!

We will pick up Mackenzi (My Step-daughter) tomorrow,ย  so we will be out and about doing most of our holiday activities while she is with us. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

THURSDAY

Lunch: Steamed Dim Sims

Dinner: Provincial Chicken

 

 

FRIDAY

Lunch: Take-Out in Ballarat

Dinner: Pasta Bake & Garlic Bread

SATURDAY

Lunch: Chicken Nuggets & Chips

Ice-Cream with Ice Magic.... Such A Treat!!!!

Dinner: Homemade Pizzas

SUNDAY

Lunch: Picnic Basket Lunch

Dinner: Beef Casserole & Mash

MONDAY

Lunch: Nachos

Dinner: Chicken Kebabs & Flavoured Rice

TUESDAY

Lunch: 2 Min Noodles

Dinner: Chicken Parmas & Scalloped potatoes

WEDNESDAY

Lunch: Toasted Ham & Cheese Sandwiches

Dinner: Homemade Fried Rice with Mini DimSims & Mini Spring Rolls

 

AFTERNOON TEA & SNACKS

Tinned Two Fruits

Cheese & Biscuits

Popcorn

Carrot Sticks

 

BAKING

Mini Muffins

Easter Biscuits

 

I might even go as far as preparing a few deserts this week….. LOL, after all, it is the holidays!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monster Squad Meal Planning – Week 3! April 6, 2011

Filed under: Menu Plans — commonchaoschronicle @ 7:52 pm
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Meal plan time is upon me again and this week I want to include something we don’t usually have. Thanks to Jai’s suggestion, I have added Beef Taco’s to the menu. Perhaps I will allow the children to suggest a meal every week. ๐Ÿ™‚

After devouring one of my mother’s home made pasties for lunch today, I have decided to give pie making a go this week aswell. We have 2 pie maker machines between us so I am planning on dedicating one evening to a massive pastry bake up.

Baking a big batch of home-made pies will give my hubby a bit of variety in his lunches (he takes a pie for lunch to work everyday) and also fill the freezer for lunches or dinners where we need something quick and easy.

Tisk Tisk... Use your spoon Veruca!!!

This weeks Menu Plan:

Thursday

Lunch: 2 Min Noodles

Dinner: Honey Mustard Chicken on White Rice

Friday (Last day of TERM 1)

Lunch: Sandwiches

Dinner: Beef, Lettuce & Tomato Taco’s

Saturday

Lunch: Steamed Dim Sims

Dinner: Pasta & Garlic Bread

Sunday

Lunch: Salad & Cold Meat Rolls

Dinner: Baked Spuds with Baked Beans or Beef Sauce.

Monday

Lunch: Sandwiches

Dinner: Slow Cooker – Chicken Casserole

Tuesday

Lunch: Soup & Crusty Bread

Dinner: Mc Donalds (Family Movie Night)

Wednesday

Lunch: Tin spaghetti Jaffles ( Toasted Sandwiches)

Dinner: Oven Baked Fish, Chips & Calamari Rings

Afternoon Tea: Cheese & Vegemite Saladas, 2 Min Noodles, Shapes (Biscuits), Two Fruits, Microwave Popcorn.

Baking this week will include:

* Pies

* Sausage Rolls

* Mini Muffins

* Pikelets

* Easter Shaped Cookies

So that’s the plan for this week.

Thank-you once again to Katrina from The Organised Housewife for her constant inspiration and enthusiasm in the everyday tasks we must complete. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Organised Housewife
 

Monster Squad Meal Planning Week 2! March 30, 2011

Filed under: Menu Plans — commonchaoschronicle @ 6:06 pm
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Meal Time Mess!!!

 

Ahhh it’s that time of the week again… Meal planning madness…

 

I’m really feeling a little uninspired about cooking this week coming, so I have tried to plan quick and easy meals to prepare.

 

Last week when I did the shopping I kept within my budget but somehow ended up doubling up on some items. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

That means that tomorrow morning when I hit the supermarkets, I might actually SAVE some money!!!! How exciting!!!

 

Just goes to show that with a little time, planning and organisation you really can make a difference with your budget. LOVE THAT FEELING ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

So here goes:

 

Thursday

Lunch: Dims Sims

Dinner: Fettucine Bolognese

 

Friday

Lunch: Take-away snacks as we will be out!

Dinner: Satay Chicken & Veges on White Rice

 

Saturday

Lunch:Party Pies and Sausage Rolls

Dinner: Roast chicken tortilla Wraps & Oven baked Chips

 

Sunday

Lunch: Sandwiches

Dinner: Sizzle Steaks, Scalloped Potato & Corn Cobs

 

Monday

Lunch: Tin spaghetti with soldiers! (Soldiers are toast slices cut into 3 strips)

Dinner: Homemade Hamburgers, Curly Fries & Packet Pasta

 

Tuesday

Lunch: Sandwiches

Dinner: Family Movie Night – Take Away – KFC

 

Wednesday

Lunch: Pumpkin Soup & French Stick Bread

Dinner: Lasagna from the freezer (Last week’s vegetable laced lasagna) & Crunchy Potato Wedges

 

 

 

This week I am going to add an afternoon tea element to my meal plan. On Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays the kids have no activities and come straight home from school absolutely starving…. or so they say….

 

So this weeks options for afternoon tea include

 

* Microwave Popcorn

* Cheese & Vegemite Saladas

* 2 Min Noodles

 

 

So that’s the Monster Squad Meal Plan for this week. Check in next week for some more meal ideas. I hope it has inspired you to start your own plan! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

Monster Squad Meal Planning! March 27, 2011

Filed under: Menu Plans — commonchaoschronicle @ 8:37 pm
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Hungry Jai

Weekly menu planning has not only saved me a fortune at the supermarket, it has solved the common issue of wandering aimlessly up and down the aisles with not a clue of what to serve up for dinner.

 

I have also found that planning the meals in advanced has allowed me to be more organised and prepare much healthier, filling meals.

 

I sit down of a Wednesday evening once the kiddies have gone to bed and I plan my following weeks menu. My menu plan starts on a Thursday each week as this is the day I do my shopping.

 

When planning the menu I have to take into consideration after school activities and other family commitments and schedule in meals that have appropriate preparation and cooking times.

 

I hadn’t considered posting my menu plan before now but I must thank Katrina from The Organised Housewife for her inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

Here is this weeks plan.

The beginning of our Lasagna

THURSDAY

Lunch: Sandwiches

Dinner: Honey Mustard Chicken on White Rice

FRIDAY

Lunch: Tin Spag Jaffles (Toasted Sandwiches)

Dinner: Lasagna & Wedges

SATURDAY

Lunch: Hot Dogs

Dinner: Honey & Sweet Soy Stir-fry Chicken with Hokkien Noodles

SUNDAY

Lunch: Steamed Dim Sims

Dinner: Beef Casserole (Slow Cooker). Mashed potato & Mixed Vegetables

MONDAY

Lunch: 2 Min Noodles

Dinner: Ravioli & Garlic Bread

TUESDAY

Lunch: Sandwich

Dinner: Pizza – Movie Night

WEDNESDAY

Lunch: Leftover Pizza / Sandwich

Dinner: Chicken Schnitzel & Creamy Scalloped potato

I must confess to not being much of a Baker, however I do occasionally have a go. This week I saved a massive amount of time preparing the kids lunchbox snacks when my mum offered to do the baking. ๐Ÿ™‚

She prepared

* A chocolate cake

* A double batch or pikelets

* A batch of Blueberry Mini Muffins

* A batch of Banana Mini Muffins

I individually wrapped these items and popped them into the freezer. Each day when I prepare the lunch boxes I will just pull out what I need from the freezer and it will be defrosted well before they eat it. Saves time and money on lunch box snacks. These snacks should last 2-3 weeks ๐Ÿ™‚

So that’s it for this weeks plan.

 

Thanks again to THE ORGANISED HOUSEWIFE for her inspiration!

The Organised Housewife
 

Let’s play Vegetable Hide & Seek!!!! March 25, 2011

Filed under: Recipes On A Budget! — commonchaoschronicle @ 11:21 pm
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Levi waits for his take-out dinner ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

As the main shopper and cook of our household I am growing very tired of the constant whingeing and whining from one child or another (that includes the HUSBAND!!!!) that they don’t like ‘this’ or they don’t like ‘that’ at meal times.

It’s quite literally doing my head in.

As a mother and wife I want to provide them with nutritionally sound meals that they enjoy, but this has become more than just a challenge.

In the last 6 years we have spent more money than I care to count up and put on stacks of weight due to consuming convenience & pre packaged foods. Why? Because it’s quick and because it’s easy.

I don’t like to cook, I’ve never considered myself to be anything more than a ‘hack’ in the kitchen and I was fresh out of new and interesting ideas to appease the hungry mob. So I decided it was time to ask for help and get some ‘home cooking lessons’.

 

A dear family friend was more than happy to step up to the plate and give me a few pointers.

The sauce spiked with vegetables...

 

My criteria:

It had to be within the budget.

It had to contain vegetables.

It had to be somewhat convenient.

 

So her suggestion was a Bolognese Sauce and we would use it to make up a large family lasagna. Hmmmmm YUM!

Now here comes the fun part….Not only did we create the most delicious tasting sauce known to mankind, we did a little blending of ‘this’ and some more blending of ‘that’ and before we knew it, the sauce was more vegetable than mince meat and there was no way of ever even knowing it!

That night I served up this delightful smelling homemade lasagna to the Monster Squad. Bare in mind that they had only ever eaten the prepackaged frozen variety before….. AND THEY LOVED IT!!!!

Even asked for seconds!!! So for the first time in years I had found something that all of them would eat without complaints! ๐Ÿ™‚

Now the kids were none the wiser but Brian knew I was up to something. The king of “I don’t eat veggies” was on to me and my sneaky plan to poison him with goodness….. He demanded to know what I had stashed in this ridiculously delicious meal…. So I let him have it…

Ahhh the secret hidden ingredients...

 

In that sauce I had hidden:

My massive bowl of blended vegetables!

* Carrots

* Zucchini

* Pumpkin

* Broccoli

* Mushrooms

* Onions

* Red & Green Capsicum

 

 

Yes that’s right folks the man who doesn’t eat his vegetables had admitted defeat and said he loved the lasagna!

 

That’s what I call SUCCESS!!!

Add the veggies in once the meat has browned.....

 

So now when I make up a batch of sauce I make up a monster sized pot of it. I use it in my lasagna, spaghetti bolognese, on Baked Potatoes and will try it with a mexican feel sometime in the future. It freezes perfectly and makes the evening meal convenient when the sauce is already prepared and ready to go!

 

 

Thank-you my dear family friend, I cannot wait for your next session of cooking ideas and advice! ๐Ÿ™‚


 

Sundried Tomato & Bacon Pasta Bake. March 10, 2011

Filed under: Recipes On A Budget! — commonchaoschronicle @ 9:11 pm
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Pasta Bake on a budget ๐Ÿ™‚

To create this dish I buy my ingredients from Aldi. I will quote actual item prices and a price as per what I actually used in the dish.

Salami, Diced Bacon and Garlic Bread.

Actual $1.15 – 1kg Penne Pasta – Used 3/4 packet approx $0.86.

Actual $1.99 – Sun-dried Tomato Sauce x 2 Jars – $3.98.

Actual $2.69 – Hot Salami (Pre Packed) Whole Packet – $2.69.

Actual $2.49 – Diced Bacon Pieces Whole Packet – $2.49.

Actual $1.59 – 1kg Bag Frozen Mixed Vegetables – Used 1/2 bag approx $0.80.

Actual $3.79 – 500gm Block Tasty Cheese – Used 1/3 of the Block approx $1.26.

Actual $1.69 – 2pk Garlic Bread – Used both $1.69

So my shopping bill came to $18.87 but because I still have partial ingredients left over for other dishes, I will calculate the cost of the pasta dish on what I actually used.

Mixed Veges and Tasty Cheese.

This comes to a grand total of: $13.77

Now for $13.77 this recipe makes a massive massive amount. When I made it today, it filled a large glass baking dish, a medium ceramic baking dish, plus after tea there was still enough leftovers for a big lunch serving tomorrow.

Remember, I bake it to feed at least 8. If you have a smaller family, cut the recipe in half,

Pasta Bake Sauce.

or make up 2 big dishes and freeze one for another night. As long as your ingredients havent been frozen previously, you can freeze it for a few months ๐Ÿ™‚

Ok, Heres what I do….

Bring a large pan of water to the boil.

Tip in 3/4 pkt of penne pasta, cook until pasta is al dente (don’t let it get too mushy as it keeps cooking a little in the oven).

While the pasta is cooking,

Place the bacon pieces in to a large sauce pan on a low heat.

Cut up the Salami into 1cm strips, add to pan.

The Large glass dish.

Add 2 jars of Sun-dried Tomato Sauce, Stir in.

Add 1/2 bag of Mixed Vegetables, Stir in.

Add 1/2 cup of water, Stir in.

Let the sauce simmer while the pasta boils.

Grate up 1/3 of the block of Tasty Cheese.

Once the pasta is ready, drain it and pour it back into the pan.

Pour the heated sauce through the pasta and mix well.

Have your baking dish ready. Sprinkle a small amount of grated cheese on the bottom of the dish. Spoon a thick layer of the mixed up pasta in to the dish. Like a lasagna, cover with a layer of cheese. Repeat until your baking dish is really full.

Cover your dish with foil (stops the cheese going black and burnt quickly) and place in the over for an hour or so. I set my oven between 180 – 200 degrees celsius. You can remove the foil 10 mins before taking the dish out the oven to give the bake a crisp top.

Side View of the Layers. Yum Yum!

Dont forget to put your garlic bread in aswell. I wrapped mine in foil and placed it on the bottom of my gas stove when I put the bake on and it was perfect when i took it out at dinner time. If you can’t pop it in at the start, put it in half an hour after you have put the pasta in.

The preparation time of this dish is around 20 mins, and the baking time is an hour or so. If you are baking it from frozen use a lower heat and bake for at least 2 hours. Nothing worse than a frozen bit in the middle ๐Ÿ™‚

So there you go, that was dinner tonight. We all have full bellies, the wallet isn’t hurting and they got their fair share of vegetables!! In the Frozen Vege Mix I saw, broccoli, carrots, beans, peas, corn and red capsicum. That’s a win in this house!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Let me know if you try it, or need further instructions.

If you don’t have an Aldi supermarket within reach similar products can be purchased in other stores.

Dinners Ready!!!!

ENJOY!

 

 

Need to feed an army on a budget?

Filed under: Recipes On A Budget! — commonchaoschronicle @ 1:48 pm
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I have often be asked how I can afford to feed such a large family with todays constantly rising grocery prices. It’s not easy I can tell

One Satisfied Guzzler!

you, but it is possible! In installments I will share with you some of our all time favourite budget recipes and meals.

 

Now I am in no way a dietitian, health food expert or qualified chef.ย  I am a mum on a budget and do my best to feed the tribe without the need for a second mortgage. Here’s how I do it:

Jac’s Budget Meal Planning!!!

* I sit down the night before I do the shopping and plan my following weeks meals. I also check out the catalogs for specials!

* I first shop at Aldi. Here I buy the basics. Generic items that can be used in many meals. I also get some freezer type snacks here too.

* Then I buy the things that I can’t buy at Aldi from Safeway. I find them the cheaper of the major supermarkets and it is the biggest one we have in town here.

* If I have spotted a decent special in the weekly catalogs I will go to that specific store to buy it.

 

End Of Year Treat - Pizza Hut!!!

* I will often buy in bulk, separate into portions when im home and freeze.

 

* I don’t buy a lot of fresh veges – I buy plenty of frozen veges, they seem to keep much longer and eliminates the need to purchase them throughout the week. I do however buy potatoes, carrots and pumpkin fresh + others if the meal plan requires it.

* When I create my meal plans I place meals that have the same ingredients close together so I can buy in bulk and share it out over a few days. For example, Nacho’s require sour cream, as do our baked potatoes. Sour cream doesn’t last very long once open so I might plan the Nacho’s for a monday and the baked potatoes for a tues or wed. This eliminates the need to buy 2 tubs of sour cream. ๐Ÿ™‚

With my next round of meal planning I am going to try keeping the daily food budget to a minimum. Our evening meal is the biggest meal of our day and I hope to feed us (7) + my mum for $20.00. That’s the goal anyway!!! ๐Ÿ™‚