A Small Whoops

Coconut icecream suddenly appeared on the shelf at Aldi. Seems nice, said I, at the end of our shopping trip. I assumed healthiness, like Kramer assumed that his tupperware would be returned.. That was one heck of a mistake on my part.

I normally check the labels before I buy anything, but it was late, the store was about to close, and really how bad could it be?

It could be REALLY REALLY bad.

In a 500g container of icecream, these folks packed in just over 125g of sugar.

AKA 30 teaspoons. AKA Half a cup.

So when I finally went to eat it, I looked at the container and was horrified. That is insanity. I’ve made coconut icecream before in my own icecream maker and I added 0 sugar. Absolutely none. It does not need it. I do not need to eat this icecream. I will just make my own instead. ;)

food

Will You Like To Know More Part 2

More Decathlon!

The goggles start from $3.50 and they have an enormous range of them. If you can’t find a pair here I would be very surprised. They also have corrective lenses for same goggles at very reasonable prices.

There is a huge choice of swimming outfits.

When it is time to pay, you place your items in this box and it reads the RFID chip. Also Decathlon is a membership warehouse though membership is free. You can sign up on arrival and scan the membership card on your phone into the Stocard app, so that you can use it when you check out.

That was the first time I ever saw the Stocard app but you can be sure I am now making great use of it – I have scanned in 15 membership/loyalty/rewards cards which I used to carry with me everywhere – which is MADNESS if you think about it. Madness! And I am going to check my special hiding place because I took out a lot of cards I don’t use a while ago.

The app has an option to turn on the “card assistant” so when you approach a store your phone will pop up a notification to easily access the card for that nearby store. This does not seem to work for Coles, though, at least for me.

After we bought the rollerblades, we wandered back over to IKEA for afternoon coffee and a wander, and to get my curtains. They had this little setup which looked like perhaps Harry Potter or Indiana Jones might have just walked away from.

Our favourite KALAS is now available in a new colour. I’m not such a fan of it – I prefer the rainbow set – and apparently The Other Half is banning me from buying any more of these anyway. I feel like you can never have enough KALAS bowls and plates. Microwave and dishwasher safe, unbreakable, so useful.

We did not buy this even though both of us really wanted to. We flipped it over and stood there and watched the gorgeous gold “sand” melt through the hourglass, and then we did it again, and yet another time, while we debated whether we could/would/should buy it.

What would we use it for? Did we need it, or did we just really want it? In the end we chose not to buy it, but will it be like Indiana Jones choosing the holy grail? Did we choose poorly, or wisely?

We left IKEA around 3pm and headed back down the coast. We had a destination in mind – Eat Street is on every Thursday night in Wollongong and the weather was perfect for it – cold but not windy. We have been once before and apparently I did not blog about it here, which surprises me but then again there is a lot of stuff I don’t post about.

I got Poutine from La Poutine food truck. Mine had bacon and ground beef on top with the cheese curds and gravy. It was awesome. Perfect for a cold night.

The other half got some loaded fries – they had cheese and a spicy chipotle aioli – from Norma’s Burger Bar plus a burger.

He chose the same stall last time and when he enjoys something he tends to stick with it.

Soon after we finished our food, we were on our way home, after a very long day out. We planned to head out for a run & rollerblade (I run, he rollerblades) the next day, and a bushwalk sometime over the weekend, too. But that is a story for another day.

Decathlon, food, IKEA

Will You Like To Know More

I ask this question a lot to the great annoyance of people around me. Sometimes *I* will like to know more, and finding this new building in the carpark of IKEA Tempe was one such occasion.

It was recently my birthday – no, I don’t tell people and I don’t celebrate them for the most part – but I was asked by The Other Half where would I like to go for dinner, and I chose the Korean BBQ that we have visited a few times in Campsie, a couple of hours drive away.

My parents were most unthrilled by this concept – a 4 hour return trip just to eat dinner? But they did not understand, this is two hours of all you can eat Korean BBQ with a sushi buffet, a hot food bar, and desserts. It is like the old days of all you can eat Pizza Hut, only more healthy.

But when I told them our nephew would be meeting us, they got on board. Well, mostly, there was still some grumbling and “I can’t believe we’re going all that way“. I mean these are people that complain about going 7km to eat dinner, so I was expecting this. I was also expecting the end result – which is they go, they eat, they LOVE it, and they demand to go back.

I did not take any photos as we were too busy eating, drinking, cooking on those little charcoal BBQs in the middle of the table, and me personally I was peeling a lot of prawns, who wants to pick up their phone in the middle of that with prawny fingers? Oh, the prawns, you guys. They are so delicious cooked on that bbq. I set a target of eating 19. I failed. Mainly thanks to the sushi, which was also great.

Here is a lovely blog post with photos – Se Jong Korean Bbq Buffet, Campsie. Since that post they have installed extractor fans inside which make things a lot less smoky.

On the way home we stopped in at IKEA so Mother could get some small side tables for her guest rooms, and just so we could wander the halls happily. This is when we discovered the Decathlon building. We resisted the HUGE slices of cheesecake because we’d just eaten for 2 solid hours but we did get coffee before the long drive home.

How do I find out more? Usually via my phone. I went to the Decathlon website and the very first thing to appear was a set of rollerblades – a secret message to us that we needed to return soonest – as The Other Half has been looking for rollerblades for some time now after his wheels biodegraded as a surprise to us. We decided we would return the next weekend, BUT..

The following week, it turned out that The Other Half had little work to do at work, and instead of wander about trying to make work or create work, he arranged to take 2 days of his 5 weeks of holidays which he has been collecting up for some time now. And thus we found ourselves in the Polo on a Thursday, heading up to Sydney. We ate the Swedish Meatballs overlooking the store, and when we finished lunch we strolled across the carpark to check out Decathlon.

It turns out this place is bizarre. A sports warehouse, you would expect all the usual brands, Nike, Adidas, maybe Reebok, etc. But there was not a single known brand to be found. The brands here are all brands I had never seen before. They are all specially made for this company.

Even so the range of items is incredible, and the sports they have specific equipment for are many not well represented sports in “regular” sports stores in Australia. When have you seen a horse riding aisle at your local Rebel Sports? I was so stunned to see it I did not even take a photo! But I might have to go back for some jodhpurs and riding boots – both starting at $28.

Would you like to know more? Here is the Wikipedia page, here is their Tempe website where you can take a 360 degree tour of the store, here is their regular website where you can search for items, and here are some of my photos from inside the store.

These are jumpers suitable for golf, and walking. I liked the teal one.

I took this photo to send to Sephyroth – cricket bats are not exciting to me but he is a fan. ;)

Look at all these socks especially sent to tempt me, but I did not buy any. Good Snoskred!

This is part of the camouflage section, for hunting, fishing, and various other hiding yourself in plain sight sports.

I just really liked this photo but I also thought the camo shorts $29 and trousers $36 were very good value. The Other Half will like to try some, at some point.

Most of these skate shoes were between $30-49. This would be excellent value when you have teenagers, I suspect. In fact I saw a lot of great value kids stuff, it felt like they cater very well for kids here.

Ah, finally the section we are looking for.

But our day out was by no means over yet, and this day was so full of awesomeness, I will need to make another post to tell you more. If you’d like to know more tune in next Wednesday! :)

Never fear those in Melbourne, Decathlon will be opening in Box Hill in November. As usual Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Darwin, Tasmania, you are SOL. Jump on a plane, Tempe is right next to the airport though it is a bit of a hike from either terminal, mainly because there is a large container terminal in the way and no access road. I would recommend a taxi, if you are in urgent need of reasonably priced sports equipment.

Decathlon, food, IKEA

Mathematical Protein Soup

I’ve been buying Whey Protein Isolate in bulk from Bulk Nutrients since 2016 now. The quality is excellent. I get the raw flavour AKA totally unflavoured because I like to add my own flavours to my shakes, and if you get raw protein you can add it to soup without even blinking. Yes, soup. Sounds crazy? It actually isn’t, though I suspect I am one of the few people on the planet who do this.

I bought 5kg of protein in December 2017. One serving of protein is 40g though sometimes I use a little less depending on how active I have been and how long it is till my next meal. My protein shake is very filling so if I have left my shake a bit late, I will not be hungry enough for dinner unless I cut down the amount of protein to 30g.

So a quick math workout – 1000g of protein = 25 servings. Therefore each 1kg bag of protein should last me 25 days.

I should have got 125 days of protein out of this last order, right? However on weekends we often both have a shake, which muddles up the maths. There is now a new variable, which is The Other Half having protein shakes for lunch at work. It would be fine maths wise if it were X days a week. But it never works out that way.

What I usually do is wait until I open my last 1kg bag and make another order of 5kg. But this time I did a little maths first.

It costs me $7 flat rate shipping no matter how much I order. Also when you buy more, the price is slightly cheaper. Here is a quick table. OMG listen to me doing maths like I like it! ;)

.10 cents per serving does not seem like a big saving. When you consider there are 375 servings in 15kg, it works out to $37.50. But you also have to consider, if I bought 3x 5kg, I would have to pay an extra $14 in shipping. Suddenly we are up to $51.50 in savings. I’m going to buy the protein anyway, it keeps long term, and I won’t have to order it again for some time, so we bought 15kg.

We’ve worked a rough calculation for how many protein shakes The Other Half might have, and essentially we think this is enough protein for the two of us for 250 days. If that turns out to be correct, I will next need to order protein in December 2018, but I might be able to make it to January 2019, because I only just opened the final 1kg bag from the last order.

Protein Soup

If you do a quick google there are not a lot of places talking about adding protein powder to soup, so it is not Officially A Thing. But I did it all last winter and it worked out great for me. With my present thyroid issues I really feel the cold so a shake with frozen stuff in it is not the most optimal for me on very cold days.

It works best in soups you have whizzed up to a creamy consistency. You do need to stir it in well – whisking might work best but I just use a spatula and stir like a person possessed. You could also use a immersion blender, like the Thunderstick.

If you want to see other places you could squeeze in some extra protein, here are a couple of good articles – 15 Genius Ways to Add Protein Powder to Foods41 Sneaky Ways to Add Protein Powder Into Every Meal.

health, Soup

Chicken Cacciatore

Celery, green pepper/capsicum, my massive jar of garlic which I never thought I would get through which is now 2/3 empty, chopped anchovies, carrots next door to them, zucchini on the blue plate, olives, mushrooms fresh from the freezer.

With The Other Half going camping, this is a great opportunity to use ingredients he does not enjoy eating but I love eating. Chicken Cacciatore is #1 on my list to make when he is away.

Firstly because I can make a big saucepan full of awesomeness. Secondly because I can add in mushrooms, anchovies and olives not at the *end* of the cooking process but in the correct places – as I would have to if making it for The Other Half to consume.

Thirdly because this is the kind of meal that gets better each day it remains in the fridge. Fourthly, I can pack it full of vegetable goodness when nobody is looking.

I added some celery in this time. Not a normal addition to my recipe but I had some in the fridge and the chooks apparently do not like to eat it.

I think everyone has their own version of this – the traditional one has capers but I did not have any of those on hand. Mine has always had anchovies because I love their saltiness.

I always start by frying the anchovies and garlic in a combination of olive and coconut oil. Then I add in all the vegetables to sweat in the hot pan for a good 10 minutes, stirring regularly.

In a separate frypan I poach the chicken in white wine, covering with a lid. One can do it in the same pan as the vegetables. I just prefer to poach the chicken separately to save a little cooking time. I like to do this while the vegetables sweat, then add everything – chicken and remaining white wine – in with the vegetables.

Once the vegetables have had their steam bath – towards the end you can throw in some red wine to make it extra steamy – you add in the chicken then your tomato elements and extra red wine if you like it. Today I used passata and chopped tomatoes, sometimes I will put in some tomato paste as well.

Now the tricky part, at least for me. I like to let this simmer on the stove for a good couple of hours before eating. This would be easier if it did not smell so awesome. If like myself you cannot resist, a small bowl of this topped with parmesan may tide you over until the flavours have merged together.

This is not really a traditional recipe because I am not giving you amounts or telling you exactly what to put in here. This is the ultimate in fly by the seat of your pants cooking.

Add in what you like in the amounts you like, and it will still work. Don’t like anchovies? Just fry garlic then add in the vegies. Don’t like X vegetable? Don’t add it in. Don’t like to cook with wine? Don’t use it. Don’t want chicken? Add in the meat of your choice, or no meat at all if you prefer. Find the tomato sauce a little thin? Add in tomato paste.

Happy Making It Your Own! :)

recipes

Good News Protein

proteinshakes

I do not “preach” about many things in life. Sure, I can suggest solutions on a myriad of subjects based on my personal experiences, and I do that here on my blog.. Travel. Eating out. How to avoid scammers. The importance of booking directly with a company rather than a via third party website. How to go from not running at all to running 5kms at a time without stopping – these are either already written posts or they are posts for another day.

I have struggled with my weight all my life. Guess what? It is no longer a struggle for me, and a big reason for it is my lunch time protein shake.

When I talk about protein shakes, I sometimes feel like I am trying to spread the good news and often folks just aren’t buying it. I want to be very clear about this.

Protein shakes changed my life forever

When I mention protein shakes to folks who ask me how I lost my 25kg (55 pounds), I will hear the same things over and over. They sound like this –

“I had a protein shake and it tasted terrible”

Yes, it probably did. I’m guessing you had a pre-flavoured protein shake. Those shakes contain artificial sweeteners and they all taste bad as a result. I do not know why flavoring must = sweetener, but apparently everyone involved in protein thinks it must be super sweet to make people drink it.

MY FIX – I buy raw protein without flavouring. I add my own flavour. I could serve my shake in a milkshake glass with whipped cream on top and you would have no idea that you were drinking a protein shake. You would think you are getting a frappe from Starbucks or Gloria Jean’s.

But unlike the frappe from Starbucks or Gloria Jeans which on average contains 30g of sugar, my shake has just 2 grams of sugar, which comes from the frozen banana. I do not add any sweetener to my shake because I feel the banana gives me all the sweetness I need, but if I did need to add some I would go with a touch of maple syrup.

Their shake might have between 6-10g of protein – mine will have 37g of protein. Their shake will have around whopping 30-40g of carbs, mine has just 13g. Their shake will be 300+ calories. Mine is 220.

“I can’t just have a shake for lunch”

Actually you can. I do it all the time. I tell you, if I drink the shake and wait 20 minutes, I will no longer be hungry and I will remain not hungry for at least 2-4 hours after I drink the shake, maybe even longer.

And you don’t have to just have a shake if you don’t want to. You can add healthy snacks on the side. My go-to snacks are usually olives, hommus with carrot sticks, or nuts of some kind. However all the nutrition you need is more than likely right there in that shake, and adding snacks adds extra calories.

“How can I do a shake at work?”

Preparation is key. If you are like me and you don’t mind taking a bag or box in with you, then you can take your Nutri-Ninja with you to work. I measure out my protein ahead of time and have that in small containers and I take a small freezer pack with my 1/2 frozen banana and frozen coffee ice cube. I drink my shake right out of the cup, rinse it in the sink when I am done, take everything home with me when I go, then wash the cup and blender attachment at home that night.

You could buy two Nutri-Ninjas and keep one at home and one at work, or you could invest in some kind of cheap second blender to keep at work.

“Shakes are so boring”

Shakes certainly do not have to be boring. I can drink a different flavoured shake every day of the week if I want to and I can get a little creative about it. Because my shake is so low in calories I do not mind adding something decadent to it once in a while.

I might throw in some dark chocolate to give an extra dimension. I like to add peanut butter powder for a bit of extra savory flavour and if I don’t have any PB2 on hand I might add in a scoop of peanut butter. I sometimes treat myself on weekends by adding a few teaspoons of whipped cream. Salted caramel sauce is a good way to add extra taste.

The bottom line is, I love how my shake tastes and I don’t see any need to change it. I am a big coffee lover, I love chocolate, I love cinnamon, put these things into my shake and I am happy.

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I wrote back in 2016 about my adventures with protein. My current shake recipe looks like this –

40g RAW flavour WPI protein powder
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
35g-40g frozen banana – I break them into pieces and freeze.
100mls almond milk.
100mls brewed espresso coffee
1 frozen espresso coffee icecube.
(instant or filtered coffee will also work)

food, health

Freezing Mushrooms

yobnbase1000

As part of the No Spend Days I have added into my Year Of Buying Nothing challenge for this year, I wanted to give freezing mushrooms a try. I have never frozen mushrooms before, but I have become a lot more creative in the freezing things department since our deep freeze arrived.

I freeze a lot of fruit which gets used in protein shakes plus espresso coffee shots, most of our meat is purchased in bulk and frozen, sometimes for up to 6 months if the deal is a good one. I even freeze watermelon rinds for the chooks to enjoy on a hot day.

Sometimes these challenges can actually create super awesomeness. If I could manage to freeze the mushrooms, I could do a big bulk cook up every so often, whack them in the freezer, and every Thursday take out a packet for use on Friday. If I can do it in one hit, on a day that is not Friday, while listening to music or a podcast, and then have mushrooms for 2 months.. Wow that would be so great! Even greater would be if I can stock up when they are on special.

I have been pre-cooking my mushrooms for our weekly pizza for some years now, after one of my home made pizzas became very soggy and waterlogged due to mushroom moisture. There is a LOT of moisture in mushrooms.

cook1

How much moisture? I had two punnets of 375g bbq flat mushrooms from Aldi. I prepared them and cooked them in the oven. I then weighed them to find I now had 375g total of mushrooms – I had lost an entire 375g in the cooking process!

Mushroom preparation has been the annoying part of my Fridays for a long time now, and sometimes an annoying part of Thursday or Wednesday or whatever day I remembered that I needed to get fresh mushrooms for Friday and would head off to the supermarket *just* to get mushrooms. And while I was there, I would tend to buy other things – maybe things we did need like milk or vegetables, and sometimes things we did not need.

The part I least like is having to rinse them before chopping, but they do grow in soil and manure, so that is always going to be something I do, to satisfy my germophobic brain.

So I knew the moisture factor could be a problem when it came to freezing them. I did some reading and found that pre-cooking was recommended before freezing, so I just followed my normal steps –

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rinse mushrooms, chop & lay them out on baking paper on a tray, cook for 12 minutes @ 200C (395F)

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then blot with paper towel to remove excess moisture, and lay out on paper towel to drain.

drain1a

Normally this is where the mushroom meets the pizza base. But not today. Today we have some new steps. Foodsave the mushrooms, then place them in the freezer. There is still quite a bit of moisture in these mushrooms even after cooking and draining, and that is the brown liquid you see in the next photo – which was taken after the mushrooms have been frozen.

frozen1

The foodsaver is the best thing we ever bought, it saves us enormous amounts of money because I can buy food when it is on extreme special and when I freeze it I never have to worry about freezer burn.

Then on Thursday night, I take the mushrooms out of the freezer and place them in the fridge to defrost. On Friday when it is time to build the pizza, I open the packet and place them on some paper towel to drain – as there will still be some mushroom moisture trapped inside the packet.

foodsaved2

This process is 100% a keeper for me. I tried two different types of mushroom – Aldi calls them “whole” and “bbq flat”. The next time mushrooms are on special, I will buy up and freeze. And now I am thinking of other things I can bulk prepare and freeze – capsicum is next on our list, just last night I froze some leeks.

foodsaved3

Every week I make pizza and it is the best pizza I have ever made, since last week. This time was no exception to the rule. I use the Aldi pizza bases, topped with pizza sauce, pizza cheese, mushrooms, olives, pineapple, capsicum, feta cheese, ham, bacon, pepperoni, more cheese, then an egg is poured over the top.

pizza

It was just far easier, having done the mushroom preparation a couple of weeks beforehand.

2018yobn, food

Meal Planning Presently

At the end of 2016 The Other Half had a health scare which led to us completely re-vamping how we eat. Most everything is made from scratch in our house now and this is due to the large amount of sodium found in processed foods, whether it is tinned, frozen, jar sauces of most kinds or even things like bread can be incredibly salty.

Rather than draw up a meal plan each week, for the last year or so we have been sticking to a fairly regular 7 day rotation. It goes like this –

cottagepie

Monday – Cottage Pie

I make a very large tray of this – it is essentially my savory beef mince recipe doubled with low-sodium gravy instead of soy sauce and then topped with sweet potato mash and cheese. We now have massive stainless steel trays from IKEA. The 6 remaining serves become lunches for The Other Half for the remaining 4 days of the week.

garmy

Tuesday – Rotating Random Day

This will usually be some form of chicken with vegetables. It might be garlic parmesan chicken (pictured above) or sweet and sour chicken. It could be pepper steaks – chicken for me, beef for The Other Half – with vegetables. It could be chicken kievs with cheesy potatoes. It could be chicken and bacon pasta – though that is fairly rare for us these days.

fishnchips

Wednesday – Fish and Chips

We buy fish fillets already crumbed and frozen. We like Aldi crumbed fillets.. I do make the chips from scratch – sweet potato for me, normal potato for The Other Half – and I have created my own spice mix to go on them now without any salt but my chips get a generous coating of salt once they are cooked. I sometimes have a big bowl of baby peas with parmesan sprinkled over the top with mine, and the other half has carrots, corn and peas.

meatballstin2

Thursday – Muffin Tin Meatballs

This is one of our most favourite meals of the week and it is incredibly simple to make. You just put carrots, a leek, baby spinach or brussel sprouts into a food processor, add in your meat, a couple of eggs, put it into a muffin tray, sprinkle some cheese on top and cook.

We also have made this into “Meatza” and we now alternate between the two because Meatza is even easier – just cut the mix in half, and then spread it out onto a baking tray with a spatula into a flat shape – square or circular, like you would a pizza sauce on your pizza base or even like if you were making a meringue. Top with a little pizza sauce and cheese. Cook it for 35 minutes and you are done.

pizza

Friday – Homemade Pizza Night

My pizza is awesome. I usually pre-cook my mushrooms in the oven for 12 minutes to take some of the moisture out otherwise you end up with a soggy pizza. Some of you may know I have been on a quest to try freezing mushrooms and I will tell you all about that on Wednesday.

My pizza has mushrooms, capsicum, ham, bacon, olives, feta cheese, pineapple, pepperoni, and right before it goes in the oven I pour an egg onto it smack bang in the middle of the pizza. If you have never had egg on a pizza, you need to try this the next time you make one. It slowly oozes through all the other toppings while the pizza cooks in the oven in a deliciously eggy way, fluffing up and holding everything together beautifully. In pizza houses they call this the “Australian” pizza but it usually just has ham, cheese, tomato sauce and egg.

This is the one night of the week where The Other Half might get close to his sodium limit because he likes everything meat on his pizza. But because we’ve done so well for the rest of the week, it does not cause many issues.

Saturday – Leftover Homemade Pizza Or Out

Our pizza makes 6 slices so we usually eat 3 the first night and 3 the second.

Sunday – Roast Or Random Things.

It might be a roast of some kind if we found one we like on special. It might be Hayden’s pies from the freezer heated up. It might be Vili’s pasties. If we went out on Saturday night, we might eat our leftover pizza.

Breakfast & Lunch

For breakfast The Other Half likes crumpets with cheese. I used to have a small bowl of cereal or a mini quiche but these days I am having a protein coffee for breakfast which lasts me until 2-3pm. Lunches for me before protein coffee were always my protein shake – it is gorgeously cool in summer – but now I just have a small snack, usually ham and avocado and/or egg on a cruskit.

In winter last year I did experiment with adding protein to our vegetable soups and I loved that just as much as the shakes, however since I found protein coffee that would just be too much for me. The Other Half has cottage pie, tuna pasta bake, fake lasagne or healthy chicken strips.

The Plan For 2018

This year I will be trying to add in even more vegetables to our meals. The big problem I have is – the other half has an allergy to cellulose. Certain vegetables and almost all fruits he cannot eat, and this is a great shame as he loves apples and watermelon but cannot have them. He can have pineapple cooked on a pizza or in sweet and sour chicken but usually not raw.

Some vegetables he can eat as long as they are cooked – these include carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, spinach, capsicum, tomatoes, swedes, turnips, parsnips, pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, leeks and onion. We do pretty well when winter vegetables are in season and he gets a big serving of at least two usually three or four vegetables in his cottage pie lunches. In autumn, winter and spring I often make a big pot of vegetable soup each fortnight from whatever is left in the fridge.

I also want to try and mix in some new recipes on our random Tuesdays, and I also want to focus in on making the meals I bulk prepare for lunches of The Other Half the best they can be. I will be looking for some new recipes to try out here, too.

One of our biggest problems has been finding oven baking trays which are reliable long term. Sure, they all start out nice, but before you know it the non-stick coating is peeling off and then the tray underneath begins to rust. Ceramic ones have never been that great for us, they eventually crack and break and they are not always easily available in Holy Sheeyit! Are You Really Cooking This Much At Once size. :)

I’m going to look into this some more, in particular the kinds of pans used in commercial cookery because that is essentially what this is, just on a slightly smaller scale, but if anyone has ideas I would love to hear them.

Updated Thursday 2nd August – Just to add in some other small changes we have made. We did find great stainless steel baking trays at IKEA for a very reasonable price. I will try to add a post about protein coffee next week on the blog and link to it here when I have done it.

Bread – we have found an excellent bread mix from Laucke that we can make ourselves and the sodium level is not too high. The Other Half could have a couple of slices of this but he usually just has one and cuts it in half if he wants a sandwich.

cooking

The Treat Factory, Berry

tf1

Hidden out the back of Berry is a rather fabulous place called The Treat Factory. I only discovered it thanks to a local Facebook group where someone was looking for some pickling salt, and another member suggested to look in the downstairs area of the Berry Treat Factory.

That’s funny, I thought. I did not know they had a downstairs area. It turned out after over 10 years of living here I had never been to the REAL Berry Treat Factory which is way off the main street and hidden away behind the train station, at the very back of some commercial units.

tf2

So on a weekend not long afterwards, we made the trek to the Treat Factory and discovered so much awesomeness. Above you see their famed downstairs area. You can find all kinds of magical things here, everything from actual Australian dried apricots to hot sauce.

tf6

We have been back several times to buy many of their made-on-site goods, which can also be found at the Berry Markets where they often have a stall and in various shops. I took some photos to share with you.

fridges

They have gluten free and regular pastry in rolls and blocks, frozen pasta, cheeses, free range eggs, muesli..

tf8

The treat factory has all kinds of goodies for sale, including lots of chocolate covered nuts and chocolate treats, many of which would make great gifts to take home for friends and family. They also have some samples of the things for sale that you can try.

tf7

My personal favourites are the lime aioli and the tomato relish. The dark chocolate coated nuts – particularly the almonds – are a regular purchase for us, and the dark chocolate covered coffee beans are must buy if you like that kind of thing. We will continue going back and trying different things until we have tried them all. ;)

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They have local honey, too.

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The large bags of lollies are excellent value in my opinion at just $9.50. They are super huge!

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On this trip we bought tomato relish, dark chocolate coffee beans, belgian chocolate mini frogs, a large bag of dark chocolate almonds and the wicked hot chocolate chai flavour for me, a small bag of the almonds plus some rock and jams for a gift for someone else.

tf9

Thanks to a different Facebook group, I found out they had opened a milk bar with gelato made on site right next door to The Treat Factory, we have now been there twice and I will post about that on Wednesday.

Berry, food

The Flagon

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As much as I love my Beerenberg tomato sauce, I do kinda resent having to pay $4.45 for a 300ml bottle which last us maybe a week in sausage roll season.

And because we have chosen to take sausage roll season into the summer this year with our meatballs in a tin, which is essentially sausage rolls without the filo pastry, we have been consuming quite a lot of sauce.

When a family member travels to RADelaide (yes that is what those of us who lived there but left do call it, because we do still love it) we make one small request.

Can you visit the Beerenberg factory shop and pick us up a flagon of tomato sauce? Pretty please?

And our wishes were granted.

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300ml VS 2 litres. This should last us a short time! ;) I have no idea how much the flagon was as I did not buy it. But you better believe we will enjoy every single drop of it. If you have not tried Beerenberg tomato sauce, I highly recommend it. I think what makes it so incredible on the tastebuds is the apple they add.

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They make a large range of products and I have never had a bad one yet. The jams are lovely, too. The one thing I do not love are the labels with random names on them. At least they changed the tomato sauce one back to a normal one.

food, Happy Snoskred