Dec 13: Lunch Out; Peruvian Meat Sauce with Rice Noodles

Lunch

With mother in tow we had lunch with our niece at The Locale in a nearby suburb. Foodie Greg and mother had an interpretation of a cubano, which they thought was very tasty. Foodie Philip’s Wagu Beef Burger was, unfortunately over cooked, and our niece’s sandwich was overpowered by the mustard on it. The restaurant has a good reputation and some of our group had eaten there before and enjoyed the meal.

Our critical comments were well received, and suitable apologies made, so it seems this was one of those slip-ups that occasionally happen. Certainly the intent is to cook the Wagu Beef Burger to medium.

Lunch today cost an average of Au$14.63 or US$10.68. (It in fact cost less because the two imperfect meals were charged at half price.)

Dinner

The Foodies cooked Peruvian Meat Sauce,a.k.a. Red Curry and Pink Peppercorn Meat Sauce, we had on Sep 29th. This time with rice noodles that mom had precooked and froze. Sadly we had to cook without the pink peppercorns, which were unobtainable locally.

Tonight the recipe made four serves even without a salad, but without the precise breakdown of local prices here in Australia, I’ll simply refer back to the pricing for our last outing.

  • 1lb of Prather Ranch ground pork is $9.30 or $3.10 per serve
  • Limes were $1.56 and about half went into the dish, or 26c per serve
  • The can of coconut milk was $1.99 or 66c per serve
  • Red curry paste is $3.69 a jar and we used 1/4 or 31c per serve
  • The soy adds 42c per serve
  • Add 35c for the toasted coriander, pink peppercorns, rice wine and cornstarch
  • Rice noodles are $3.56 per 14oz box, we used about 1/2 of the box, or 60c per serve.

Dinner tonight was good, as there was a misreading of the amount of soy and consequently tonight the dish was a little salute, and it cost an estimated $5.70 per serve. Because of the amount of soy the dish was a dark brown and not photogenic at all.

Dec 12: Ham, Cheese and Pickle Roll; Rib Eye and Salad

Lunch

For lunch the Foodies had a multigrain roll with ham, cheese and home-made pickles.

Lunch was again supplied by the Foodie’s mom.

Dinner

Tonight we enjoyed the second of the  amazing 500g (about 1 lb) bone in rib eye steaks purchased out of mom’s largess on Saturday.

Served with a salad kit from the local supermarket.

  • Rib eye works out to US$6.57 per serve
  • Salad kit was Au$1.63 or US$1.19 per serve.

While the Foodie’s mom bought the rib eyes, the meal works out to $7.76 per serve.

Dec 11: Ham and Pickle Roll; Roast Chicken and Vegetables

Lunch

In what is rapidly becoming habit, the Foodies had a white roll with ham and home-made pickles.

Lunch was again supplied by the Foodie’s mom, but would cost around $2.00 if paid for.

Dinner

Back to Foodie Philip’s brother’s for dinner with just the five of us. Brother had roasted his own chicken and roasted vegetables under the grill. All very good, and, again, free to the Foodies.

Dec 10: Ham, Cheese and Pickle Roll; Rib Eye with Peas and Boiled Potatoes

Lunch

For lunch the Foodies had a multigrain roll with ham, cheese and home-made pickles.

Lunch was again supplied by the Foodie’s mom.

Dinner

The Foodies’ mom had a very successful day so she purchased some amazing 500g (about 1 lb) bone in rib eye steaks. It was decided that we’d only cook one and slice it, losing someone the eye appeal of the bone in ‘Viking’ style presentation, but making it a more appropriate serving size.

Served with ‘classic’ (for our mom) boiled potatoes and microwaved peas.

While the Foodie’s mom bought the rib eyes, it worked out to Au$9.00 each  or SU$6.57 per serve.

Dec 9: Ham, Cheese & Pickle Roll; Chicken in Honey Mustard Sauce with Broccolini

Lunch

For lunch the Foodies had a multigrain roll with ham, cheese and home-made pickles.

Lunch was again supplied by the Foodie’s mom.

Dinner

Once again the Foodie’s mom supplied dinner: an easy-to-prepare meal of cubed chicken breast with a cook-in honey mustard cook-in sauce, with mashed potato, boiled carrot and boiled broccolini.

Unfortunately the food-of-our-youth was largely boiled-to-death vegetables and we revisited that again tonight! Sadly over-boiling vegetables puts all the nutrition down the drain, while making the food unappealing. The cook-in sauce was okay.

Again, food was supplied by the Foodies’ mom.

Dec 8: Steak Sandwich; Thai

Lunch

Intentionally or not, the Foodies are reliving the food of their youth. Yesterday meat pies and sausage rolls; today a good old steak sandwich. Except this was a really good, kicked up version at at Travino’s in Warner’s Bay (Newcastle-ish).

Great bread, a really good aioli, steak with good beef flavor and moderately tender, and lightly grilled onions. Not quite the TipTop white bread (think Wonderbread) with hot plate grilled onions and BBQ sauce of our youth, and all the better for it.

Lunch today was Au$18.00 or about US$13.15, which was pretty reasonable for the quality of food served.

Dinner

For Foodie Philip’s birthday celebration his brother took the family to his favorite Thai restaurant – Benjamas. I’m pretty sure it’s the only restaurant he frequents!

We had a variety of food, all of which was tasty, including a Prawn (shrimp) and cashew stir fry (Foodie Philip) and Pad Thai (Foodie Greg).

As brother paid for it, dinner was (again) free.

 

Dec 7: Chicken Pie & Sausage Roll; Lamb Chops with Potatoes, Peas and String Beans

Lunch

The Foodies went visiting their old stomping grounds in the heart of Newcastle (NSW, Australia) and ate at the semi-famous Harry’s Cafe de Wheels: a meat pie shop in a converted tram. Despite Anthony Bourdain’s gushing over their Sydney outlet, Harry’s meat pies and sausage rolls are, at best, average.

The chicken pie was okay; the sausage rolls suffered from over-exposure to the heating drawer which dried the outside. A little water in that heating draw would solve that problem.

Lunch today was Au$10.60 or US$7.74

Dinner

Dinner was once again hosted by the Foodie’s mother with a very classic Australian meal: meat and two veg! We had three vegetables but the star of this meal were the lamb loin chops, which are much more popular (and affordable) in Australia.

Dinner tonight was again at no cost to the Foodies.

Dec 6: Brunch out; Roast Chicken and Salad

Lunch

Although the Foodies mostly associate with Foodie Philip’s family, this morning we had brunch with Foodie Greg’s niece. She collected us and we went to a nearby suburb for a rather good breakfast meal, although almost at lunch time.

Foodie Greg had Australian style baked beans, eggs and sourdough toast. Australian style baked beans are more tomato based, and much less sweet than US baked beans. Foodie Philip had “the big breakfast” of eggs, bacon, hash brown, sourdough toast, sausage, spinach, mushrooms and vine tomatoes. All very good. Foodie Philip’s meal is today’s featured image.

Today’s lunch averages at Au$20.50 or US$14.95 per serve.

Dinner

Foodie Philip’s mother once again prepared dinner: the remainder of the roast chicken and salad, with ham as an additional protein.

Once again there was no cost to the Foodies.

Dec 5: Meat Pie and Sausage Roll; Family Dinner

Lunch

The first thing these ex-pat travelers want when back in Australia is a meat pie and sausage roll, so that’s what we had while dining with our mother and a friend of hers.

Being a coffee shop and not a take-out, the meal was more expensive than expected for such simple fare at Au$8.50 for the combination, or US$6.20.

Dinner

Tonight’s meal was the first time Foodie Philip’s extended family was together for a meal. Ever. In the time the Foodies have been living in the US Foodie Philip’s brother remarried and we gained another branch to the family tree, and it was the first time Foodie Greg met many of the extended family.

Dinner tonight was an excellent eye fillet with boiled whole potatoes and a garden salad, all of which were very good.

Dec 4: Fish and Chips; Roast Chicken and Salad

Lunch

The Foodies had a very late lunch after arriving in Sydney at 9am, going through immigration, baggage claim and customs and then catching a train to Newcastle. It was 2pm before we were able to get a bite to eat: fish and chips from a local store.

The fish was perfectly cooked in a good batter while the chips* were creamy on the inside and crisp on the outside, just as they should be.

*Australian chips are more like US steak fries: somewhat larger.

Lunch today cost Au$5.50 or $4.05 US.

Dinner

Dinner was with our mother/mother-in-law who had purchased a roast chicken and prepared salad vegetables – iceberg, tomato, avocado and mango – to go with it.

Mother paid for dinner tonight.