Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Monthly Menu Plan - February/March


Now that school has resumed, and all the assorted after-school activities are back with a time-gobbling vengeance, organisation is paramount to ensuring that I have a happy state of mind. Seriously - by the time I get home after work (particularly on the days we are up at 4:45 for sports training) I pretty much have no brain power left and limited energy. Once again, the menu plan saves the day! I'm trying to make dinner ahead of time on our super busy days, and on our not-so-crazy days ensuring the dinners are pretty easy (yet still healthy) to put together. Because I don't know about you, but neither my budget nor my insides cope well with take-away!

Week One:
Monday - Spinach and ricotta cannelloni (note: instead of using passata I make up a chunky tomato, lentil and carrot sauce to really boost up this meal)
Tuesday - Slow cooker chicken and lentil curry, double batch (half now, half in freezer)
Wednesday - Potato and leek soup with garden salad and garlic bread
Thursday - Lentil and cauliflower pilaf with minted yoghurt
Friday - Zucchini pasta with rocket salad
Saturday - Tofu burgers with coleslaw
Sunday - Bean enchiladas with brown rice and left-over coleslaw

Week Two:
Monday - Tomato and macaroni cheese bake with salad
Tuesday - Slow cooker Rogan Josh (from freezer)
Wednesday - Red lentil and pumpkin soup with garden salad and cheese toasties
Thursday - Coconut lentil dhal with saffron rice
Friday - Roasted vegetable galettes with salad
Saturday - Home-made lentil and beef burgers (half now, half in freezer)
Sunday - Taco cornbread waffles

Week Three:
Monday - Rustic bean lasagne with green salad
Tuesday - Slow cooker chicken and lentil curry (from freezer)
Wednesday - Roasted tomato and lentil soup with Greek salad and pita bread
Thursday - Lemon pepper pilaf
Friday - Corn fritters with coleslaw and garden salad
Saturday - Home-made tacos with bean filling and all the trimmings
Sunday - Silverbeet, broad bean and rice soup

Week Four:
Monday - Pumpkin and pasta bake with salad
Tuesday - Slow cooker beef stew with polenta (half now, half in freezer)
Wednesday - Chicken and lentil soup with garlic bread
Thursday - Risotto with peas, zucchini, lemon and pancetta with rocket salad
Friday - Tomato and basil pasta with garden salad
Saturday - Home-made lentil and beef burgers (from freezer)
Sunday - Vegetable and lentil soup with silverbeet

Week Five:
Monday - Salami and vegetable pasta bake with garden salad (add in mushrooms, carrots and zucchini)
Tuesday - Slow cooker lamb tagine (half now, half in freezer)
Wednesday - Potato and silverbeet soup with salad and rolls
Thursday - Italian vegetable risotto with salad
Friday - I think I might hand the apron to Galump and let him sort dinner out on this night - I'm spent!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Year of Vintage Sewing : January : Simplicity 4688

Red Vintage Dress #1

So here is the very first dress of my Year of Vintage Sewing challenge - Simplicity 4688. I like this dress. I mean I really, really like this dress. After all, you can't go wrong with a red frock. I only wish that the pattern had requested a pair of falsies bras would be worn with it, because seriously - those bust darts  in their original state really needed some filling out!

Not being in possession of either a falsie bra nor a ginormous pair of dangerously pointy bazookas, I had to do some fiddling before I got those darts to result in a more, er, natural shape. Trust me - I deeply regretted my choice not to do a muslin first as I unpicked and remodelled those darts for the tenth time! But I got there in the end by taking out the excess in the side dart and elongating the dart itself. Phew! Because this is just not my favourite look!

Nope. Never. Ever. Happening.

Red Vintage Dress #2

So darts were tamed, and once that was all sorted the rest of the dress came together quite easily. The pattern requested that the bodice be lined, but the technique involved sewing the lining pieces to each of the bodice pieces before doing the darts, which I thought would just be messy. Plus there were facings, so I skipped the lining all together. If I was making the dress in a silk dupion I would have lined it, but since it is made out of cotton I decided it really wasn't worth the bother.

How about the skirt, hey? Talk about rooooooomy! I was under the impression from the pattern illustration that the skirt would be tulip-shaped, but instead it was just a pleated straight skirt. They fooled me with the fancy pictures! There are many good things about this skirt: I can easily ride my bike in it, and I could totally eat all the burritos I wanted and nobody would ever catch sight of my protruding gut. The bad things: it catches the wind like it's trying to green power all of Melbourne, and the temptation to burrito binge whilst wearing it is substantial. However, for somebody who doesn't walk so much as stride with excessive vigour, it's a good skirt.

Red Vintage Dress #3

The hem is hand-stitched, as are the zipper and bodice facings. I did make the tie belt, but darned if I could figure out how to make it look right. All my efforts to tie it around my waist just made the bow look drunk, so I gave up and ditched it for the pics.

All in all, it was a fun project. Luckily my measurements (strange pointy breasts aside) matched up, so I didn't need to make any major alterations. All I need now is a pair of long white gloves and some decent helmet hair and I could rock da frock like the slightly-daft looking pattern ladies!

Red Vintage Dress #4

Project Notes:
Pattern - Vintage Simplicity 4688, size 12 bust 32
Fabric - 3 1/8 yards (2.8 metres) of red cotton with lycra from The Fabric Store
Notions - 35cm invisible zipper, iron-on interfacing