If you don’t feel like reading my boring intro, or are just here for the food, skip towards the bottom for the recipes! – Amy xx
As many of you will know, we have downed our rucksacks and left our nomadic lifestyle behind, for a year hiatus in Christchurch. This doesn’t mean we are no longer travellers! As most people affected by wanderlust will know, although it leads to a rich life, it can be a little rough on the bank account. Stopping off in one place in order to work can remedy this issue reasonable easily. New Zealand is the perfect country (in my mind) to use as a base while replenishing said bank accounts. After Australia, it seems tiny – in a good way! The fact that we can rent an apartment, have jobs, make friends who we don’t have to say ‘adieu’ to after just one week, yet still travel around and explore amazing places makes it ideal for us. It keeps itchy feet at bay – just about. However, there has been one teeny tiny hiccup. After being here a month, I have yet to find work.
Christchurch is a city still being rebuilt after the 2011 earthquake, this means that builders, plumbers, painters, carpenters etc. are in great demand. Devin’s painting experience got him a job within weeks (thank goodness one of us has useful skills), yet my background in retail and childcare have so far gotten me nowhere. I am actually looking through jobs as I write this (multitasking is great, huh ladies?) and man, do I wish I were a carpenter… $45 an hour? Yes per-lease! Alas, about 80% of the jobs out there are for ‘tradies’, which leaves me frustrated, with a still dwindling figure in my bank account, and lots of time to fill. Which brings me to the whole point of this article! FOOD.
Oh, the joys of having a kitchen once more! Our love of food isn’t only restricted to our time spent travelling. It isn’t just the eating side of things, but also the cooking, experimenting, trying out new tastes. I have therefore taken advantage of my ‘spare time’, and spent an awful lot of it slaving over a hot stove. Oh yes, I always have dinner ready by the time Dev has finished work, as well as his lunch and breakfast too. Quite the little housewife (except I won’t clean). No, truth be told, I am hopeful that my spare time will be cut significantly shorter by that job I am going to get soon (gotta stay positive, Amy) and so I need to make the most of it. Right, yes, back to the point… Food.
Breakfast is an important meal, right? But if you are like me, fifteen minutes extra in bed is worth a lot more than a slice of toast. This week, I have been working on quick breakfast meals, that even we can manage to make at 6am. Here is what I went with:
Two Minute Breakfast Burritos
Sausage, meat or sliced (I used last night’s leftovers!)
Mushrooms, fried (preferably in lots of butter)
Hash browns, or fried potatoes
Your favourite breakfast burrito fillings.
Prep all your fillings – this takes the longest and creates loads of washing up. Just concentrate on all the extra sleeping time you will be getting though!
Microwave the wraps for a few minutes to soften them up. This will stop them from cracking when you are rolling them up.
Place your pile of wraps and all your fillings on a table where you can easily reach everything.
Cut as many squares of baking paper as you have wraps and place them in a pile next to you (with a marker, unless you want surprise burritos.)
Place your beautiful burrito on a square of baking paper, and wrap it up tight. Write the fillings on the outside and chuck it in the pile! Now, repeat, repeat, repeat…
Pop all your burritos in a large freezer bag and into the freezer they go.
To heat, just unwrap the baking paper, re-wrap in a damp square of kitchen paper (paper towel) and microwave for two minutes! If you made really fat burritos, they may need to cook for a little longer. Being careful not to burn yourself, eat it up! Ready for the day ahead.
Banana, walnut & chocolate muffins
Sorry, America. British cooking units for this one!
2 large bananas, mashed
40g walnut pieces
80g chocolate drops
350g plain flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
100g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 200C / Fan 180C and grease muffin tins.
Sift the flour and baking powder together into a mixing bowl.
Add the sugar and salt.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the eggs and milk.
Once evenly mixed, fold into the flour with the mashed bananas, the chocolate drops and walnut pieces.
Spoon the muffin mixture into greased muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes until golden.
Remove from oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes – if you can resist that long.
These keep well in an air-tight container for up to a week. Microwave one and enjoy with a cup of coffee in the morning (of afternoon, or evening, or with ice cream for dessert…)
So that is it for now, just cooking to take my mind off things for a while. It really is food for thought. I hope you enjoy the recipes!