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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Cooking for Medium to Large Households.'s LiveJournal:

Monday, April 20th, 2009
6:44 pm
BBC story about number of recipes people know.
Britons know 10 recipes by heart

The average Briton can make 10 meals from scratch without having to look at a recipe, a survey suggests.

Spaghetti bolognese is the most popular dish, with 65% of people saying they know the recipe by heart.

Ten most widely known recipes

Spaghetti bolognese (65%)
Roast dinner (54%)
Chilli con carne (42%)
Lasagne (41%)
Cottage or shepherd's pie (38%)
Meat or fish stir fry (38%)
Beef casserole (34%)
Macaroni cheese (32%)
Toad in the hole (30%)
Meat, fish or vegetable curry (26%)

Rest of story at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8007081.stm

The only one of those I can't do without a recipe is toad in the hole, because I'm hopeless at remembering batter recipes. I suppose I could do it without a recipe if I used boxed mix. I'm a bit puzzled meatballs or tuna and potato patties didn't make the cut, but then again not every country has the love affair with rissoles that Australia does.
Tuesday, April 14th, 2009
4:29 pm
Friday, April 10th, 2009
6:41 pm
rainbow cupcakes
Rainbow cupcakes are a new easter tradition in our house.


The really good thing about them? If time is short, you can just use a package mix with food coloring added. Nothing sucks like a tradition that has no shortcut you can take.
Thursday, March 19th, 2009
5:01 am
envelope file
I like this receipt file made using envelopes
and think it would be very handy not just for tax purpose, but also for storing grocery receipts to go over at the end of the year to see where the money went.
Monday, March 16th, 2009
2:47 am
Tuesday, November 11th, 2008
12:06 am

The picture on that site... with a freezer full of stacked flat-frozen ziplocs, all labeled on the end with stick on labels. No more flipping through a container of ziploc casseroles and stews to find the one you want. Yes yes yes.
Monday, October 13th, 2008
8:32 pm
Measuring tape on inside of pantry door.
Today I decided to add about 60 cm of measuring tape to the back of my pantry door, under a layer of thick transparent sticky tape. I should be able to pick up a free measuring tape at IKEA next time we go there.

This should make things easier when I'm searching for a cake pan or baking dish of a particular size. We do have measuring tapes and such in the house, but they tend to go missing. I'm not too bad at estimating pan sizes, but my eldest daughter who is learning to bake packet mixes needs a visual guide to help her.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
11:08 am
An incredibly depressing article.

Do people really think like this... that somehow it is not OK to serve bought stuff, and in order to hide such foods we have to waste a good deal of the time we shelled out good money to save by buying such foods in the first place?

Sheesh. I think some people's diets could do with less fussing about hiding or justifying their food decisions. That might even leave more time and energy for actual cooking on occasion, instead of doing things like dilute canned icing with a bit of milk to make it look less perfect.
Sunday, September 14th, 2008
5:27 am
Tuna Mornay.
Trashy Tuna Mornay.

2 sachets of generic brand cheese sauce powder made up into cheese sauce (approx 500 millitres total)
1 large can tuna, drained and then flaked into the cheese sauce
1 generic brand can of corn kernels
about a cup of frozen peas
mix and pour into casserole dish
sprinkle with breadcrumbs... maybe dot them with dabs of butter if you can be bothered, I can't be bothered. Crushed crackers, crisps or corn ships would probably work too.
bake until the breadcrumbs brown
Total cost about AU$5

I'm quite capable of making cheese sauce from scratch, but with the price of cheese around here, getting a decent cheese flavour by adding shredded cheese to home made bechamel would have added another couple of dollars to the cost of the meal, taking it out of the price range I favor for weekend lunches. Certainly, if you can get real cheese cheap enough use real cheese, but don't for a moment feel guilty about forgoing all the fat in real cheese in favor of some trashy cheese flavoring in a packet sauce.

I think what really makes trashy tuna mornay work is the that the strength of flavor in the tuna distracts from the fact that everything else involved is kind of trashy. Also, the little bit of crunch in the corn kernels tricks you into thinking "mmmmmm, fresh" rather than "WTF is this over processed crud?"

Crossposted to trashy_eats. Because sometimes trashy is where it is at if the price is right.
Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008
1:09 am
Crumble topping

1 pale cake mix (white/vanilla/lemon/butter, generic or name brand, it's all good)
Equal volume of rolled oats (probably about two cups worth)
One tablespoon of butter or margarine per 250ml cup of dry ingredients.

Mix dry ingredients. Melt butter and rub well into dry ingredients.

Needs a careful eye kept on it during the baking to see it doesn't burn.
Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
10:18 am
A follow on from this post

So now I have blocks of stewed apple and pear in the freezer waiting to be used.

Now begins the search for the perfect keep-in-the-freezer crumble topping recipe. Ive found plenty of online references to keeping a container of crumble topping in the freezer to use as needed, apparently it works just fine and doesn't clump up when frozen.
Sunday, August 17th, 2008
12:45 pm
Re-used plastic take out containers are the best thing in the world. Well not quite, but they sure are useful for packaging up home cooked food for someone who is heading out the door to a place where everyone else is going to be eating takeaway they've picked up on the way.
Wednesday, August 13th, 2008
4:48 am
ziplocs fit 9 inch pyrex dish perfectly.
I have discovered that food frozen flat in sandwich size ziploc bags creates a frozen food block that fits perfectly in the 9 inch square pyrex baking dishes.

Not only does this make the variation of tamale pie made with polenta easier to produce, it makes it easy to produce perfectly layered pie.

Also, this has increased the chances of me cooking cheap fruit from scratch for freezing by oh, about ten times, because I can just throw in a block of frozen cooked apple or whatever when making a crumble as easily as using a can.

Current Mood: awake
Thursday, July 31st, 2008
7:44 pm
The Duggar Family Recipes...

I find their tater tot casserole somewhat disturbing, but that may be partly because I'm Australian and tater tots aren't so popular here.
Saturday, July 26th, 2008
6:20 pm
Or as the Americans know it, cornmeal grits. Amazing how in Australia it is seen as slightly fancy Italian cooking and in America it is seen as working class food.

This recipe


is simple, gives the right proportions and fed two adults and two kids. If you've got teens you might want to make more... or you might want to make more anyway so you can set it in a narrow loaf pan for slicing and frying the next day.

This goes particularly well with the freezer chili I've posted about earlier, or with a tomato and meat pasta sauce.
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008
11:51 am
Pumpkin Soup for the Freezer
Cook large quantities of pumpkin for a dinner vegetable.

After dinner is over and you are tidying up, use a stick blender to puree the remaining cooled pumpkin with grated ginger, cracked pepper and maybe a bit of cumin or coriander. Freeze in suitable containers. When serving, heat and dilute with milk or stock.

I find this is excellent frozen in single servings for a lunch for myself while the kids are at school, or in large quantities for a quick family weekend lunch with toasted cheese sandwiches.
Saturday, July 19th, 2008
5:10 pm
Frozen flat trick.
5 kilos of minced beef is a lot of minced beef. I'm going to be cooking it all up and freezing as finished product, but I may still be trying out the freezing flat technique I found on youtube.


Edit: Tried the freezing flat technique, it works really well. I suspect it would work even better if I got two rigid chopping boards and froze the ziplocs between them.
Tuesday, July 15th, 2008
11:42 am
Golden Syrup Dumplings

A traditional Australian favourite, Golden Syrup dumplings. There are plenty of recipes out there, but the link goes to one I've tested and liked. Somehow these say "teenager food" to me... for when you've got a house full of hungry growing kids who will happily eat until your wallet is bare.
Monday, July 14th, 2008
12:49 pm
Quick and easy freezer chili.
This is one of my favourite homemade convenience foods because it is easy at every step of cooking. It is economical to make when minced beef is on sale, and thaws and reheats nicely in the microwave with just one stop partway through to break it up.

2kg of minced beef
2 jars of plain tomato pasta sauce
garlic powder
chili powder
dried thyme

Brown the minced beef, mix in the jars of tomato pasta sauce and spices/herbs to taste, boil down until almost dry. Adjust seasoning again close to end of cooking time. Cool, and package in two large ziploc bags that will make suitable sized blocks of frozen chili to fit into a microwave proof dish you own.

I don't ever put red kidney beans in this before thawing, because beans tend to go to mush in the thawing process and canned beans are an easy last minute add in after the chili is thawed. However to sneak in some veggies and extend the meat I do sometimes grate a little carrot into the pan before I boil off the liquid, and finely chopped capsicums are good then too, when cheap. Someday I'll try lentils as an extender.
10:47 am
I have created this community as a place designed to be friendly to those of us who are the primary cooks for medium to large families. Membership is open to people no matter what their family size, but the focus is definitely on what it takes for one person to feed many people day in day out for weeks, months or years.

For the moment I am concentrating on getting into the routine of regularly making posts here myself, and am not yet actively promoting the community, but people are welcome to join should they find their way here.
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