Sunday roast

Sundays are a lazy day, mostly. Once all the housework’s out of the way, or procrastinated away, one thing I love to do is spend time reading cooking books and magazines, planning what I could cook for dinner without the rush of the after-work rush.

As I was flicking through, making myself hungry, I asked J if he had any ideas, me said I never make him pasta bake. I argued with “I cooked pasta three times this week” but in his eyes it’s not the same.

So I built a meal around pasta bake.
So tomato pasta bake, cheesy potato and cauliflower, and roast beef was the plan, with a french onion soup to start.
I say it was the plan because it didn’t quite turn out as expected.

The french onion soup (I thought) was pretty good. J thought it had way too many onions in it. I agree, but loving onions I didn’t mind it as much.
The recipe was from a Donna Hay magazine, and was pretty much cook onion and garlic, add white wine and beef stock. Serve.
It was a nice broth, so maybe next time I just take all the onions out of J’s serving and put them in mine.

The cheesy cauliflower and potato was probably the laziest way to make a potato bake or cauliflower cheese. I don’t think it could even come under that category. The potato and cauliflower were boiled for about 3 minutes just so they didn’t have to do all their cooking in the oven. That went into a casserole dish, on top of that went a tin of (low-fat)cream, some mustard powder, grated cheese, salt, and pepper. That went in the oven for an hour.
I could have taken the time to make a decent sauce, but I simply couldn’t be bothered.
When I served it, I just had to take the cauliflower and potato out of the cream. There was rather a lot of it, too much really. But it still tasted good.

The pasta bake I was scared of. Given that it was the only item that J had actually requested I was slightly nervous that it wouldn’t live up to expectations.
So I boiled some penne, and I made a sauce out of a tin of tomatoes, some Worcestershire sauce, some dried chilli flakes, and some water to wash out the tomato tin.
That all went into a lasagne dish, with some cheese grated over the top.
It was probably in there for too long so it was a tad crispy on top.
But that wasn’t the biggest disappointment.

The roast beef.
First time I’ve cooked roast beef.
Well… silly old me didn’t read the instructions properly. There was a note (in little tiny writing) above the instructions, saying “per 500g”.
Now I didn’t read that. I just saw the cooking times and went with that.
So after half an hour we had one very rare piece of beef.

Now I’m colour blind, specifically I have trouble telling shades apart. The difference between red and brown, pink and red, white and light pink; those tiny variances in colour which mean the difference between cooked and uncooked.
So I served up the beef uncooked.

Back it went into the oven for another half an hour.
The little bits that I had chopped off only needed 10 minutes.
So we ate the rest of the meal, and then had some bits of meat.

After half an hour in the oven we took it out, wrapped it in foil and let it rest (as you’re meant to do). After half an hour I thought it just might be cool enough to make into sandwiches.
Lo and behold, it still isn’t cooked!
Back into the oven for another 20 minutes.
This time, sod it! I’m not waiting for it to cool, I’m just hacking into it and checking if it’s cooked.
Chopped it in half, right down the middle.
It looked cooked (J verified my colour deficient opinion).
So it cooled so I could make sandwiches (it was about 9:30 at this point).
20 minutes later it looked slightly less cooked, but probably just a little on the rare side.
Into sandwiches it went.

Note to self – buy a meat thermometer.

So a rather staggered meal, of oniony soup, crispy potato bake, overly creamy potatoes and cauliflower, and undercooked meat which then took another hour.
It was mostly edible. But when a meal is described as edible it’s not generally a good thing.





the joys of homeownership – post flooding

My house is a shambles.

There is flatpack everywhere.

More importantly part of my bed is blocking the thoroughfare from the kitchen to the fridge. Needless to say, that made dinner a very awkward exercise, having to straddle a piece of flatpack to get between the oven/sink and the fridge/the rest of the house.

And of course it ended in disaster.

I burnt the vegies, burnt myself on the casserole dish I was cooking the vegies in, dropped the lid of said ($80) casserole dish (thankfully it just smashed the handle and I didn’t cut myself), and the gravy didn’t thicken.

But the lamb was still delicious.

I put together a chest of drawers and an underfloor box, J put together the wardrobe and a spare cupboard.

And tonight we get to assemble the bed. And then that’s it.

I am really looking forward to not sleeping on a mattress on the floor.

The lady at Ikea who put the wardrobe order through put through 2 x cupboard doors when we only needed one, but thankfully they’re going to come and pick them up (and give me a refund).

And then (hopefully) my house will be back in a controlled state of dysfunction, not the uncontrolled.

I will be so glad once this has all been sorted and my house will be back to normal.

I am so grateful that I had insurance and RAC sorted it all out (I’m not one for product placement but credit where credit’s due).

They paid for the hotel (that we witnessed the incident leading to the dead body being found, but that’s not their fault), we got all the money back for the clothes, furniture, carpets, and peripherals that got damaged.

Now if only my strata would actually fix the plumbing problem.


The flatpack was all between the kitchen and the fridge.


Wine is essential when putting together flatpack.



A completed chest of drawers/bedside table.


The lamb roast.


And the failed gravy. More corn flour next time perhaps. And less flatpack.

Pork sauce fail

I wasn’t sure I wanted to post this one. It was a bit of a fail.
Well the pork was cooked perfectly (thanks babe) and the cauliflower mash just hit the spot (thanks me) but the sauce was something else. Something else.

We were still at the hotel so we were making do. I didn’t have flour or cream or any of the usual components of a good sauce.

So the sauce was comprised of onion sautéed in butter, then white wine was added.
Instead of cream, we added milk (which immediately split and looked terrible). Then in an attempt to save it, grated cheese was added.

The end result was a really thin sauce, with clumps of melted cheese.
Not good.
But my boy still insisted that it tasted good even if it wasn’t the desired result.
But here it is…
Pork sauce fail.