TannieSpace

geekery, drawing and then some

Posts about food (old posts, page 1)

Shopping lists

img

[Updated: 2009-12-11: I no longer recommend Shopper, as of version 5.0. This paid app started to display ads and other cluttering info. See my newer post for more info ]

I generally make a shopping list when I go out buying groceries (about once per week). I used to go nearly every oter day, and spent money on food I hoped I could eat (but usually couldn’t) which turned into one big waste pile which didn’t feel good, money and waste wise. I put myself on a ‘shopping list diet’ basically, not buying anything that’s not on the list. I check the pantry and the fridge before I go out and note what I need to buy. I read somewhere that if it wasn’t important enough to put on your list while checking pantry and fridge, it’s certainly not important enough to buy in the store just because you see it.

I do stray from this a bit, sometimes, when in the store I remember I need to buy dog-cookies (not in my pantry, so I don’t see that I need too) or better, when they’re on sale. I want to have a good enough stash of dog-food and treats for my dog. So occasionally I will stray from the list a bit, however, in general, the list really works. I have basically cut my grocery spending by at least 40% (yes, I did overspent horribly on groceries for a while).

For my shopping list making I’ve used Shopper for iPhone since September last year (and I admit I’ve strayed from the list a lot until last month, nothing to do with the program). I love the way it works, though I have flirted with other programs in the meantime. See, what I missed was the option to set the price based on store (to see where I could get the best deal). Realising today I had never e-mailed them to tell them that, I went to the website and found an entire page about Shopper v3 with all the functions I missed.

Now I can’t wait for it to come out. I’m sure I’ll love it. I love Shopper v2 for its simplicity already. Can only get better… ;)


Cooking and such.

I seem to have lost my cooking-foo. The whole meal / menu-planning doesn’t work for me, I can’t figure out the big secret. I did stumble on Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday which hopefully give me some inspiration / ideas on how to tackle this.

I did some laundry and cleaning today and paused for drink and food, and then stumbled upon Kay’s cheese-onion butterflies and I thought ‘oh yes! want those!’ so I chopped up my last onion (oops, how can I run out of onions), got the grated Gouda from the fridge, the puff pastry from the freezer and it went completely wrong. It fell apart and I ended up smashing it a bit. It doesn’t look very presentable anymore, and I put it in the oven anyway.

Not feeling the cooking-love today.

ETA: They tasted very good. Ate them all. Tummy hurts now… Cheese snacks


Random casserole recipe.

I came up with a random casserole recipe by just tossing stuff together. I have tons of cans with food from my compulsive food-buying so I just mixed what I thought would work (my cans are mostly 1 person portions):

  • 1 small can of brown lentils
  • 1 small can of baked beans in tomato-sauce
  • half a courgette (zucchini I believe you weird USians call it)
  • about 200 grams of baked mushrooms (a leftover, baked in butter and garlic salt, tasty!)
  • 1 small can of cream of mushroom soup (at least, I think you call it that, I’d just call it ‘creamy mushroom soup’)
  • two handfuls of grated cheese (ah well, cup, handfuls, who needs exact science!)

I mixed everything together apart from the cheese, put it into oven-dishes, and topped it with cheese. My cans contained about 200 grams of lentils / beans (about 7 US-oz). The soup was a one-person portion, around 230ml / 7.5oz. I don’t think the exact amount really matters, the general idea / proportion counts more. I think replacing either the lentils or beans with ground beef/pork will also work pretty well (I want to try a tofu version some time soon).

I just love courgette and mushroom…

I did forget to season it with pepper and salt and herbs, but it tasted pretty good just like this, probably thanks to the soup being already seasoned. I liked the mixture of creamy soup and tomato sauce.

I put it in my toaster-oven for about half an hour on 400°F / 200°C, but it’s a toaster-oven, so YMMV.

I ate a tasty portion, put another in my bento for tomorrows lunch and have two portions left for later in the week / freezer. Normally this would make two portions I think. Or maybe one and a half.

My first attempt to cook from my pantry has turned out pretty well. Very pleased :D

Now I have to think of something to cook with my forgotten-but-stil-ok small sweet peppers…


Mmm bread.

I still have issues eating bread, so I’ve made a bit of my own (totally abused my rice-cooker for it too!). I like pita-breads, they seem to work well, so I searched for a recipe and found one. I will cut the recipe into 1/3 (this worked pretty well with my previous bread), because 1/4 means too many calculations and weird things (call me lazy ;) ).

I’ll still make eight, just eight small ones :D

They’ll fit in my bento too!


What not to spend money on…

I’m a bit of a compulsive spender. There, I said it.

Unlike others, I don’t buy shoes or clothes. I buy boxes. And organising stuff. Sites like The daily planner and The container store make my heart beat faster. And Thinkgeek.

Oh, and pens.

And I buy a lot of food.

Only on occasion do I not use the things I purchase, this happens maybe a couple of times per year. I don’t buy 50 pairs of shoes, new skirts because they’re on sale etc.

But I am a compulsive spender and this has to stop. I have more pens than I could possible ever get empty (granted, drawing just goes a lot better with the right pen, but I have multiple so that shouldn’t become a problem any time soon). I have a gazillion (lovely) boxes. No more buying food when I have plenty in my pantry. Make shopping lists and stick to them. Time to grow up ;)


Making (bento) lunches.

img img img

I’ve made a few lunches for work, either in my little food-containers or in mr. Bento. It has worked pretty well for bringing my own food along, and making sure I eat enough.

I received my new Laptop Lunchbox which will let me more easily transport my tasty burritos. It turned out smaller than I thought, not a bad thing at all. It looks slightly bigger than a regular lunchbox and has convenient separate containers. From the website I learned most people found too many lids annoying, so they only put one lid on one of the larger containers. I would have liked more lids (but I knew this when I bought it), but I guess worst case, I can order an extra set of inside containers. So far, I like the size, I like that it comes with a spoon and fork and it closes easily.

Hopefully in a couple of days I’ll receive my other bento-box, for more food fun.

I went out to the market today and bought veggies, and then purchased panko, chick-pea flower, rice sheets, mirin and sake at the chinese store so I’ll have a good base of basic ingredients. I want to make spicy lentil snacks, japanese dry curry and vegetarian cake provençale. Tasty!

[gallery link=”file”]


Preparing to re-enter the world of the working.

Yesterday wore me out, I fell asleep after dinner (again) and slept till morning (again) on the sofa (again, much warmer than the bedroom).

I spent most of the day continuing to not move much on the sofa. I did take a lot of time finding the perfect backpack for me. My other backpacks still work fine, so technically I probably shouldn’t buy yet another one (but I still have less backpacks than most women purses or shoes! so ha). My daypack can hold up to 20 liters, which suffices for either groceries or going anywhere and bringing my own food and drinks (some of it at least), but not both at the same time, which means I can’t decide to pop buy the store after work (I’ll start work again soon, so I will want to buy food on my way home to save time and travel)

My other, slightly larger backpack, could probably do both, but borderline, with its (I think) 23 litres. It would get tight but would fit with not too many groceries. It feels a bit uncomfortable though, when it gets heavy. It’s more or less very handy for clothes and laptop, but not so much for groceries. The hip-band doesn’t do much for distributing the weight.

imgSo I found the Vaude Gallery Air. It holds about 30 litres (a bit much, yes) but has straps to tighten it, so it becomes more flat. It has a raincoat (yay) and can expand with an extra 5 litres (yay). It has a great back (I have the same thing on my really large backpack) so you can have ventilation between your back and the pack, or wear it tightly to your back. imgI needed a thermos (yes, needed, I don’t drink as fast as normal people and with a thermos I can take my time and still enjoy a hot beverage), I looked around at Siggs and found the Metro Mug. It holds 380ml or 13oz which means I can take a pretty large amount of hot beverage or soup (maybe even stew) to work with me. Or, I bring soup, have that, and fill it up with hot tea and milk at work. Win-win! Mmmm tea with milk.

imgI also ordered a normal water bottle, even though I won’t drink water from it. It comes with its own cup. I could use it for beverages that don’t need to stay that hot or cold. It has an optional neoprene jacket to keep it cooler / warmer for a longer time, so I may purchase that if needed. Or, I could just fill it up with booze ;)

I have plenty of containers to bring food in, and after searching found a handy small ovendish that I’ll bring along to work as well, in case I need to heat something up (I don’t like heating stuff up in plastic, eek). I have several and should it break I won’t cry over it.

So, my backpack survival kit will contain: - nifty backpack - Metro Mug, with soup or tea with milk (mmm) - waterbottle+cup with some other beverage - about 3 portions of food / snacks, either in mr Bento or in my separate containers - cuttelery (possibly getting a new set for this) - cloth/towel, for drying used stuff and wipe hands with (might just cut up an old t-shirt for this) - ziploc bag with medication (1 dose MTX, 1 dose folic acid, several naproxen / paracetamol, 2 dose of plaquenil, spare set of contacts, small bottle of disinfectant for hands, 2 sachets of ORS salts, 1 (lip)balm and I probably forgot something) - with the weather probably safe to add extra set of gloves, hat, scarf, jumper of some sort, extra pair of socks

Just the basics. At least I can say, I’ve come prepared…

At first I thought I wanted to bring too much, but the more I think about it, the more I know I’ve only listed the bare minimum…..


A drawing of food.

Vegetables . I had to make food, and after throwing it in the pan to warm up I started drawing and got distracted. I feel pretty good about how this turned out, I haven’t done any drawing in ages (two or three months) because of my increased arthritis, and I found it didn’t start hurting more when drawing this. Possibly caused by having a painkiller less than an hour before though :)


Midnight snack

imgHaving to eat every two hours means I often have a (post)midnight-snack. Tonight I enjoyed a nice little potato-gratin with cheese and cream. Small enough to not fill me up too much, but large enough to properly feed me and get me through my night of sleep.


Pizza muffins ftw!

Pizza muffins!On the lookout for tasty easy snacks to make my life without a stomach a breeze, I happily stumbled over Kay’s foodblog. This Dutch Girl Cooking has plenty of tasty and easy to make recipes accompanied by beautiful photography that makes my mouth water.

Now, my photos don’t even come close to hers, but check the photo for the results of my attempt to make Pizza muffins! The recipe didn’t ask for any weird stuff, I basically had everything. I did replace the pizza sauce with some home made pasta sauce which made them a bit sweeter (next time I’ll use pizza sauce, I promise). I made a small batch, liked it, and then realised I had a lot of dough left. I froze it in batches, so now I only have to take one out, put it in a small ovendish and heat up that muffin. The ones on the photo turned out a bit too large for me, I adjusted the frozen batch accordingly. Also, because I don’t eat ham I added an extra load of Gouda cheese :)

I don’t like sweet stuff very much, and these savoury muffins just make my day.


Macaroni and cheese, Tannie-style.

I wanted Mac ‘n’ Cheese, because I had never had it before. I looked at recipes online and they all said something else (though they agree it needed ‘macaroni’ and any type of cheese).

So I decided to make my own recipe with what I had in my cupboards. I used less cheese than most recipes recommended, which worked out very well for me.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup macaroni
  • 125 ml cr√®me fra√Æche
  • 25 gram parmesan, grated, or flaked (1 oz)
  • 50 gram cheddar cheese, chopped (2 oz)
  • 25 gram parrano cheese, grated
  • tbsp pepper, grounded
  • dashes Maggi seasoning sauce

Directions:

Cook macaroni until al dente. While macaroni cookes mix cr√®me fra√Æche with parmesan, cheddar and pepper, and if desired add a few dashes of Maggi seasoning sauce.

Put macaroni in oven dish and mix in the cr√®me fra√Æche and cheese. Top it off with parano.

Put in oven for about 30 minutes (or until top becomes golden) on 225° celcius.

(Serves 4) Mac 'n' Cheese, Tannie-style.