The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Sunday 16 February 2014

Easy and economical weekend food.

Every weekend we have a pizza night or a toastie night. It is easy, yummy and uses up left overs. So, as I do it I go through the fridge so come Monday I know what we have, what needs using, and then do my grocery shop from there.

A really good way to make very easy pizza bases is the method where you use a cup of yoghurt and mix into plain flour. If I am doing this I allow 2 cups flour per pizza and then add some yoghurt and milk to make a dough. I find I need to press this dough into pans as I can never get it to roll. But it is cheap, delicious and works amazingly!

I keep all kinds of things suitable for pizza bases in the freezer. Since they are going to be cooked and covered in toppings I look every time I go to the supermarket in the area with the bread mark downs. Last week I got a packet of Lebanese Bread, six large rounds, for $2.30. So that will make 6 pizzas. Now 6 pizza bases here are about $12!  Other breads I buy for this are actual pizza bases marked way down, turkish bread (I would cut in half to be long thins) Lebanese bread, focaccia bread... anything kind of flat really!

When the kids were little I found muffins split made great bases for lunch box pizzas. Or even just bread, crisped up a bit and then covered in pizza topping and baked. A tray of these then cut in half gave me a few days lunch box/after school snacks etc. 

Also I would put out the ingredients and get kids to assemble their own pizzas and say ok do one for tomorrow and put them in the oven...

A supply in the freezer means pizzas are only ever a few minutes away. I cannot see the pint of making one pizza. Saturday I made five with my Lebanese Bread bases. So it goes like this... I did not have any tomato paste so I used a jar of spaghetti bolognese sauce and that worked fine. I had some frozen bacon so that was the meat. I had a couple of brown onions so I sliced them thinly. Left over camembert from Valentines Day. I had no tomatoes but I had some left over sun dried ones so I used them. Grated cheese. Sprinkle of oregano from back garden pot. 

Now other candidates could have been pineapple, left over roast pumpkin, onions or sweet potato, left over roast chicken, lamb, beef... capsicum, mushrooms, tomatoes, any cheeses and really just so many things! 

Then I did have left over rocket from Valentines Day also. So that was my topping. 

They were yum!

What -ever's -laying -around -pizza is not really a good name but that is what it is. 

This gave me pizzas to send on Sundays fishing trip so that was done. I gave Chloe a pizza as a gift, that is probably a dinner and two lunches for her. Andy has one today for lunch box and I froze one. I know they were around $3 each or under.

Now the lovely pizza place near us makes good healthy pizza and they are divine and around $20 each. So my haul was worth $100!

If I had little kids I would have done a tray of mini ones for lunch boxes so Monday and Tues would be half ready to go to school. 

These nights are really good! I have had a letter from Lisa and like many of us she has a meat loving husband. Keeping the budget under control and feeding meat lovers is a big subject. But if your meat loving man has some likes ie pizza, hamburgers, even pasta dishes or possibly mornay, steak sandwiches.... anything else he likes other than just a slab of meat then make the most of those loves. Because in all of them a little bit of meat can go a really long way. If you become a star at these "take away" type dishes you will save a fortune! (and he will think you are amazing!)

Other nights we will have a toastie and in winter/autumn we might do jaffles in the fire. It is the same deal, use up what we have and use massively marked down bread I keep in the freezer to do it. I usually pay 40c a loaf for bread for this and get a heap of these nights from one loaf. Again if I am doing this I will make a couple of extra. The next morning I will heat up the extra one and wrap it in foil and that will be hot breakfast on the road for Andy. He loves that. 

Every family would have favourite combinations. When I was little Mum did cheese, bacon and pineapple. I thought this was positively gourmet. (Still love it!)

Last night we did them... I had turkey, cranberry, camembert (those left overs) and rocket. (also leftovers and needing using up) it was so yummy. 

Well, we had a wonderful weekend, the left overs are used up, I know what's in the fridge and today I go shopping. I see what the best buys are then plan my meals from those. 

I got my garden bed all re done yesterday and it is great, all the rain we had everything is growing like in the tropics. This is my basil from a couple of weeks ago and I have been picking it!

In my menu planning I will make sure we have salads with basil over these next few weeks! (note to self) and give away some as I know if I trim it that it will keep growing and it is perfect right now. Haloumi cheese needs to go on the list or some soft mozzarella and some ripe tomatoes.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and gets off to a wonderful start to the new week! xxx


  1. Yum! We also like to make the yogurt pizza bases or use other suitable flat products. I just love haloumi (heavenly haloumi as our family call it here) with tomato and basil...mmm yummy. NQR here in Victoria have had Lemnos organic for $1.50 a block! Your herbs look fabulous Annabel, so lush and healthy. I love fresh basil and mediterranean flavours of any kind. I also like to buy fetta fresh from the deli when it is half price and freeze it wrapped in small finger like blocks. They defrost quickly to add to salads like pumpkin and couscous. A few nice extras like pine nuts (also get them sometimes half price) really lift a simple meal into gourmet.

    1. Kaye would you believe... my total favourite food is Greek. I could live on it. I try and cook and serve that kind of food and style. Possibly we were separated at birth or something as it is adding up that way! xxx

  2. Hi Annabel,
    Yet another great subject!
    My meat-loving husband loves pizza and pasta dishes (for an Englishman, he loves his Italian food!!), so I have been creative in the past with that. He loves seafood pizza (did I mention he has expensive habits??), so I get some prawns (about 200g does the three of us), some anchovies, mushrooms and sprinkled with cheese, and he thinks he's in heaven!!! I must bring these out again, I'm sure my son would love pizza for dinner, too!
    Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Little Moo this is great news, the pizza and pasta factor are real stretchers. Little mini pizzas are just wonderful for school lunch. As you say it doesn't take much seafood or meat to make a meal this way. These things are a big bonus. Another stretcher can be soup or desert... some sweets are actually pretty nutritious ie baked custard, baked apples... old fashioned stuff. I will tend to serve a desert when I have served soup. Sometimes these are a saving too.xx

  3. Must try the yoghurt pizza base. I have bought cheap bread here, at $1.50 loaf, but it does not freeze well. Inedible. So I pay the usual $5 at the supermarket and get a loaf that is useful for more than one day. I appreciate KayeB's tip to freeze left-over fetta. Food does not go on special at half price here in the NT.

    1. It is hard when there are no big specials Louise. If you can get flour at a good price that may be your best bet. Cheeses do freeze very well, that is a good tip, as some do spoil or begin to go mouldy. I freeze soft cheeses too that are left overs and they tend to end up on the pizzas!


I really appreciate your comments thank you! The aim of my blog is the be a place of encouragement and happiness. Very rarely is anyone rude. Actually only twice so far! If you post a rude or aggressive comment I will read it but not publish it, thanks for

Spam is never published... if you are advertising a product or selling website your comment wont be published. I am inundated with stuff about drugs, horses and weird things! I am not going to publish this stuff! Thank you.