Friday, 23 November 2012

Easy and inexpensive Pad Thai

I love finding easy and inexpensive new recipes. When I saw this I thought, I can SO make this. And I tried it. What a joy this was. My husband loves it, I've served it for dinner guests, and I've made it just for a few girlfriends for lunch. It's easy and I usually have all the ingredients for the basic recipe at home!

I mix it up a little, adding prawns, chicken or vegetables to fill it out a little But the combination of coriander and lime is always a winner in my house! I often substitute the rice noodles for thin udon noodles or plain old spaghetti/fettucini - and it's still delicious!

Give it a go and let me know what you think.

Easy Pad Thai

Serves 4
8 ounces dried, wide and flat rice noodles
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 scallions (green onions), white and green parts, separated and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 large eggs, light beaten (optional)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts
  1. Soak noodles according to package instructions. Drain.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, lime juice, and soy sauce.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  4. Add scallion whites and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add eggs and cook, scraping skillet with spatula until eggs are almost set (about 30 seconds). Transfer eggs to a plate.
  5. Add noodles, scallion greens, and sauce to skillet. Cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are soft (about 1 minute). Add egg mixture and toss to coat, breaking eggs up gently.
  6. Serve noodles with lime wedges, topped with cilantro and peanuts.

Monday, 19 November 2012

A Year of Saving

We're eleven months in with our savings year and it's been incredibly difficult. We haven't used the credit card since March (we had to buy tickets) but we've paid it off. Being credit free is a serious challenge. But it is making me into a much more money conscience person - which is a good thing.

What is the most difficult is seeing something I want, not need, but not buying it because I do not have the cash. another reason is not wanting to spend good money on something I do not need. It's cut down my impulse buying considerably.

I've also become a huge fan of the pound shop and charity shops. I've had some great finds at both of these. I belong to a women's social club and I've bought many things from other members who've advertised on our website. I've even sold a bunch of things through it and eBay.

Another thing that has changed dramatically for me is cleaning. I never cleaned. I hated it. I had a housecleaner who came once a week and cost a fortunre. I cut that expense out and just got down to it. I have different rooms/tasks for each day of the week. Here's a small sample:

Monday: clean bathroom and kitchen counters: mop both floors. Do all laundry
Tuesday: vaccum entire flat and dust all shelves in lounge, clean kitchen appliances
Wednesday: Clean bedrooms and wipe down all bedroom furniture
Thursday: Walk house cleaning fingerprints off everything vaccum entire flat
Friday: Windows and mirrors! mop kitchen and bathroom.
Saturday: relax
Sunday: maintenance on whatever needs doing.

It really works for me. And I have developed a love of cleaning. Well, maybe not a love, but the feeling of really going at something and making it sparkle is truly satisfying. I attack my oven (cooker) with toothbrushes, microcloths, toothpicks and scrub brushes. It gleams! I really love that. Before I never even noticed if it was clean or not!

My next battle is organisation. I need to wrangle the toys in this place. They are out of control. Any tips?