17 March 2014

Menu Plan Monday Challenges

post tropical storm sunrise over Wellington

Menu Plan Monday

Corned Beef
Carrots and cabbage

Thai Chicken Wraps

Miniature Beef mince and Cheese pies
Green Beans

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken Tagine

Basa filets baked with Lemon and Garlic Butter
Fries (or Chips)

Potato Soup


Naturally, grocery shopping in a new country will have its challenges. We have moments of wonder - how fresh and delicious the New Zealand produce is - and we have moments of disbelief - how expensive things are. Let's just say we're not eating Cheerios so much any more. Milk is between $5 and $6 for 3 litres. That's not quite a gallon. Sometimes I realize I've been standing in the meat department for 10 minutes trying to convert kg to lbs and decide if I am getting a good deal. The bottom line is that some of our staple meals just won't work here, and some of them will, with some tweaking. Boneless, skinless chicken breast is not gonna happen here. I refuse to pay the same price I paid for a huge bag of Costco chicken in the US for 3 chicken breasts here. Nope. Needless to say, I am so very glad I brought a Costco size container of chipotle chile powder.

Pepperoni is called "pizza salami". Bell peppers are called "capsicums". Ground meat is called "mince" and for a wild switch, lamb is cheaper than beef. "Chili powder" is cayenne pepper - I think. Whatever it is, it's hotter than Hades for sure. While there is every flavor of canned tuna, there is no grated Parmesan, no cornstarch and no corn syrup (not actually complaining about that). I have been looking for steel cut oats, but I haven't found them yet. What I'm saying is every trip to the market is a challenge and an adventure. 

On the bright side, school children all bring their lunches from home, so no kids begging for hot lunches that I know they won't eat. Also, my favorite thing so far, they actually have an hour for lunch. Imagine. Time to eat and play. Even though they aren't supposed to share food, I know there's some trading going on. Odds one of my kids will try a marmite sandwich? Probably low, but you never know.

11 March 2014

Hello from Wellington, New Zealand!

I've been away. For quite a while. Over the last 6 months, my family has been in the process of moving to New Zealand. At the end of August, we said goodbye to Denver and spent the next couple of months visiting family in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and California while we waited for our visas. In January we said hello to Wellington, New Zealand, where we will make our home for as long as it is good to make it our home.

It can be a little windy in Wellington

We spent some lovely time at the beach trying to relax and unwind from the craziness of the last few months. Doesn't hurt to arrive in the middle of summer!

We are finally in a house. The house is great. Big rooms, big windows, lots of sun and a gorgeous view of the water. We are mostly unpacked and the kids are in school, and I have the luxury of getting back to some of my hobbies.

Stay tuned for new recipes, sewing projects and photos of our adventures here in New Zealand!