Wheeeeeeee! I sure am in for one heck of a busy year. I'll be juggling two jobs, as well as my duties as a wife, mother, and general all round awesome person (hee hee!). Plus there's all that crafting I'd like to do - I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I kinda like to make things. And then blog about them!Ahem.
So how to fit it all in? By starting with one of my FAVOURITE things to do: Make a list. In this case, a rather big list. Which is sorta comprised of a whole shebang of other lists.
For starters: Keep up with the monthly menu plan. Once a month I sit down with my favourite cook books and various food websites, and compose a menu plan for the entire month. People think it's crazy, but I love it. I always know what we are having for dinner, and I can really cut down on food waste by planning effectively. For example, if I know I'm using half a carton of cream in a recipe one night, I make sure that I include a recipe to use up the rest over the next few days. Or I might make up a huge batch of tomato sauce one night, some of which is used for that evenings pasta, then the next night on pizzas and the rest squirreled away in the freezer for cannelloni on the 12th. It does take me a little bit of time initially to do the menu plan, as I make a new one every month based on the seasons and what fruit and veg is available, but it saves me heaps of time on a weekly - heck, even daily - basis if I follow it properly. And it saves money as well, as we don't arrive home in a big tired heap after forgetting to do the supermarket run and resort to take-away instead. I will admit, there are nights where it doesn't all go to plan, but that's why there is always cupboard staples lurking in the pantry so I can rustle up a basic but cheap pasta if need be.
Aha! Pantry staples! That leads nicely into my next point. As part of the year of being organised/saving money/not creating waste I've decided to make Monday cooking day. Once a month I want to make my own stock, so I don't buy the stupidly expensive stuff from the store in plastic packaging. I also aim to, on a weekly basis, make up a batch of muffins or biscuits at the start of each week. I don't know about you, but life feels so much better if the biscuit tin is full! This Monday gone I made up the above Raspberry and Coconut muffins, and stashed a whole bunch in the freezer, so they can be brought out as needed for school and work lunches. Ja, ja, I am a genius! I also plan on cooking a big pot of soup up once a week in the cooler months, so the Tyger can take some to school on chilly days for her lunch, and I can gorge on it for breakfast. Seriously, if I was told by a doctor that I could only eat soup for every meal for the rest of my entire life, I wouldn't really be that upset. In fact, I might leave their office with a veritable spring in my step, such is my love for soup.
I am also sticking to my weekly schedule planner, which is written up in bright pink laminated paper, and lives next to the fridge. It details all the events in our lives, from what time piano lessons are to when I need to hand in a freelance article to reminders to hit up and bakery and buy more bread. It's sorta daggy, and unfortunately highly visible when people come over, but dang it does the job of keeping us all on track. It's also brilliant for keeping on top of school stuff for Tyger, like fitting in extra reading or knowing which day P.E is.
So that's my plan. I'm going to be highly organised, with loads of goodies stashed in the freezer, saving money and using up that craft stash. That's the aim, anyway - maybe you should check in a months time to see how well I'm faring!
What was that? You want the muffin recipe? Well, since you read all the way down here, I suppose you should have it, as a reward for lasting so long through my blather!
Raspberry and Coconut Muffins
2 cups self raising flour
3/4 cup raw caster sugar
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
125g butter, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, whisked lightly
300g frozen raspberries, thawed
1 - Preheat oven to 180C, and line a twelve hole muffin tray with muffin cases.
2 - Sift the flour into a bowl, then mix in the sugar and coconut. Make a well in the centre, and then add the butter, buttermilk and eggs. Stir until combined, and then add in the raspberries.
3 - Spoon into the muffin cases, then bake for 22 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: Also very, very good with frozen mixed berries.