Choosing a new pillow

I recently made a purchase that changed my life, so I’ve decided to take you on my journey of choosing a new pillow!

For a while now, my sleep has been poor due to waking up during the night and then in the morning feeling lots of bodily aches and pains. I had put these down to getting older and started to dread going to bed at night due to such discomfort. Should we invest in a new mattress? Is this how life is going to be from now on? After many months, I was at my wits’ end. Something needed to change! I was getting very tired!

Before going down the drastic (and expensive) path of purchasing a new mattress, I decided to do a bit of an experiment. I had a contour memory foam pillow (had it for many years) which I thought I loved because of the support it offers and how it aligns your spine as you lie on your side. I wondered whether my beloved memory foam pillow was perhaps getting a bit old and hard. For a week I swapped this pillow with a standard polyester pillow from the spare room. Even from the very first night, I slept better and woke without ANY aches or pains in my body. Maybe just a fluke?? Well, after the week was up, I didn’t have a single aching night. I felt so much better. So I decided I needed to go out and buy a decent new pillow.

Because I have had my contour memory foam pillow for so long, I thought it would be good for a change to go back to a standard shape pillow like my trial polyester pillow from the spare room. (There is nothing wrong with contour memory foam pillows. I will probably go back to having one again one day) Then I determined my list of requirements for my new pillow:

  • not too high, but not too low either
  • not hard, but softness that will last (I don’t want it going flat after two weeks)
  • ideally I’d like to be able to wash in the summer time when it can dry well
  • made in Australia if possible

Australian wool pillow

After much research, I decided on this wool/polyester combination pillow. It is made in Australia from Aussie wool and the wool content should make it last longer than full polyester pillows. The label says you can spot clean it and dry it flat so I intend to wash it in the washing machine on a gentle cycle and dry flat on a very hot day in summer to ensure that it dries fully inside.

I have had my new pillow for over a month now and I am very happy with it. No aches or pains in bed anymore. Maybe old age isn’t here just yet after all!

New pillow

I realise that choosing the right pillow is a very individual thing and what might be comfortable and just right for me, may not suit you at all. I’m not trying to sell you this pillow, I’m just telling you my story and how the right pillow can make a big difference to your sleep. Good night!

Trina xx

NOTE: This post is not sponsored. All opinions and suggestions are my own.

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Asian inspired meatballs and noodles

Today I’m going to share with you my Asian inspired meatballs and noodles. This recipe is really yummy and is one of the few meals that we don’t have leftovers of! We.eat.the.whole.lot. And I reckon you might too.

My favourite thing about the meatballs is that they are cooked in the oven and then thrown into a pan to be coated in glaze. The meatballs are sealed nicely from being in the oven so they don’t stick to the pan and it’s an easy way to glaze them. I find it really difficult trying to fry meatballs in a pan when they stick and come apart during the browning process. This way is so much better. The glazing process is really easy. No time-consuming brushing, just roll them around and they glaze up beautifully.

Asian inspired meatballs and noodles

Asian inspired meatballs and noodles

Ingredients

    The meatballs
  • 500g pork & veal mince
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp yellow curry paste
    Meatball glaze
  • 2 Tbsp cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
    Noodles
  • 4 noodle cakes (I use 3 minute Asian noodles)
  • 3 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • broccoli & cauliflower, steamed (enough for your family, cut into small florets)

Instructions

    The meatballs
  1. Preheat oven to 200 deg C.
  2. Line a pan with baking paper.
  3. Combine all ingredients.
  4. Form around 15 small meatballs.
  5. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until brown and cooked through.
  6. Set aside.
    Glaze
  1. Add ingredients to pan.
  2. Cook over medium high heat until bubbly.
  3. Add meatballs and move them around to coat with glaze.
    Noodles
  1. Place the noodles in a large saucepan.
  2. Add boiling water to cover and cook for 3 minutes or until they separate easily and are cooked.
  3. Drain well.
  4. In the same saucepan, add sesame oil, olive oil and garlic.
  5. Cook for one minute.
  6. Add honey, soy sauce, steamed vegetables and noodles. Toss to coat.
  7. Serve the vegetables and noodles with meatballs on top.
  8. Serve
http://trinamichellehouse.com/asian-inspired-meatballs-and-noodles/

Of course you could substitute different vegetables into the noodles. You can also use chicken mince, turkey mince or beef mince in the meatballs. You can also substitute different types of noodles (eg rice noodles or egg noodles) and you can also use rice instead of noodles if you wish.

This recipe is very versatile and can adapt to whatever vegetables you have in your fridge. Just chop them small and steam them before adding them to the noodles. A garnish of chopped fresh coriander added at the end would be a great addition to this recipe.

Asian inspired meatballs & noodles

The flavours in the glaze and the noodles are delicious and give this dish a lovely Asian flare. The curry paste in the meatballs is also a great addition and not something I usually do (but must remember to do in the future!).

Have fun with these yummy Asian inspired meatballs and noodles. The kids will love it and you’ll be making it again and again.

Trina xx

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TMH weekly menu 2

I haven’t given you a menu for a while so I thought it was time to put together the TMH weekly menu 2. You can find the TMH weekly menu 1 over here.

There is now quite a varied selection of recipes here at trinamichellehouse.com and they can be mixed and matched to suit so many different occasions as well as for every day cooking.

As you probably already know, I love to meal plan. You can read my blog post about it over here. It really does make life easier and I feel so much more organised. I think it also helps me to use my freezer effectively too. I can deliberately use things that need to be used up.

The menu below includes links to all the recipes (or links to my blog posts which will have the recipe linked if it’s not one of my own recipes).

Meatless Monday

Curried lentil lasagne

This is a winner. It doesn’t taste too “lentilish” (I’m not usually a huge fan of lentils) and the kids really loved this one.

Curried Lentil Lasagne in dish

Tuesday

One pan Spanish chicken and rice

It’s a one pan wonder that’s for sure!

One Pan Spanish Chicken and Rice recipe review

 

Wednesday

Tasty Shepherd’s Pie

This has delicious flavours that make you want to keep some leftovers for lunch the next day!

Tasty Shepherd's Pie in dish

 

Thursday

Baked fish with lemon cream sauce with crunchy popcorn veggies 

Baken fish with popcorn veggies

You can even use frozen fish fillets for this recipe. It was really easy and tasted amazing.

Friday

TMH Yum Yum Bowls

These are great for a Friday night. Everyone can get in and create their own meal.

TMH Yum Yum Bowls on table

 

Extras

Here are a few things for the school lunches and for tasty snacks:

Crispy date and choc chip slice

Crispy date and choc chip slice

Anzac biscuits – the easy way

Anzac Biscuits - the easy way

And now for dessert…..

Gingerbread with caramel sauce

This is irresistible!

Gingerbread with caramel sauce

I hope you find some recipe inspiration in this blog post. Sometimes I forget the things that I have made in the past and need reminding. These are all family favourites in this house so I hope some of these dishes find their way to your kitchen table.

Trina xx

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Garlic lime chicken & creamy rice

Tonight’s dinner was garlic lime chicken & creamy rice. This recipe is really simple and the chicken can be either cooked in the oven or in the slow cooker, your choice!

Garlic lime chicken & creamy rice

Garlic lime chicken & creamy rice

Ingredients

    Garlic Lime Chicken
  • 6 chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dry ginger
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp quick cooking tapioca (optional)
    Creamy Rice
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli & cauliflower, chopped into small florets
  • 1 handful baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions

    Garlic LIme Chicken
  1. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a medium jug.
  2. Place chicken in a slow cooker or oven safe dish.
  3. Pour sauce over chicken.
  4. Cook in slow cooker 4-6 hours (on high) or up to 8 hours (on low), or cook in moderate oven for 1 hour with the lid on, then remove the lid and continue cooking in oven for 20 minutes to brown.
  5. Serve on creamy rice.
    Creamy Rice
  1. Saute garlic, celery and carrot in butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat until fragrant about 3-4 minutes).
  2. Add rice and stir to coat in butter. Then add caulflower and broccoli.
  3. Add water, milk and salt and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to a slight simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  5. Remove from heat. Stir in parmesan cheese, spinach and parsley. Cover and rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with the chicken.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/garlic-lime-chicken-creamy-rice/

 

The chicken

To make things even quicker on the day, you can freeze the sauce and the chicken together. Just make sure you thaw it in the fridge overnight and don’t cook from frozen or harmful bacteria may grow.

You will notice in the recipe that the chicken sauce has the addition of quick cooking tapioca (or sago). I have never seen this in a recipe before but it adds something different to the dish. If you don’t have any tapioca in your pantry or it isn’t your thing, you can simply leave it out.

As you might see in the photos, I have removed the skin from the chicken. This is an optional step. I find it a lot easier to do this with the chicken partly frozen. However, if you love the skin then by all means leave it on and enjoy it!

You can use the chicken thigh pieces as the recipe states, or substitute thigh fillets  or breast fillets or drumsticks.

Garlic lime chicken & creamy rice dinner

The rice

This creamy rice is a really great side dish that goes with so many things. You are going to love it. It is really cheesy and it’s a great way to hide a few veggies.

With only one cup of rice, the veggies make this side dish enough to serve four (with the chicken), but if your family are big eaters you might like to double the recipe.

Garlic lime chicken & creamy rice meals

So you can make the chicken and the rice together as one meal or make them separately with different accompaniments, either way they are delicious! This is another quick and easy meal idea I thought you might like. Make it at your place and tell us how it goes.

Trina xx

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Quick bread rolls

We made these quick bread rolls as a side dish (to accompany chicken meatballs) this week. I was amazed at how fast they are to make and the recipe made heaps. They were a huge hit in our house so I thought I would let you in on something good!

I found this recipe years ago and filed it in the “must make” pile of recipes. We only just made it this week and I can’t believe we never made it sooner! These quick bread rolls will now be a regular feature on our table.

Quick cheesy bread rolls

I found the recipe over here originally but here it is if you want to make it right now:

Quick bread rolls

Quick bread rolls

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups Self Raising Flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 160g grated cheese
  • 6 slices honey ham, chopped finely
  • 1/2 bunch chives, chopped finely (I left this out)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • twist black pepper
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 200 ml water (maybe more)

Instructions

  1. Pre heat oven to 200 deg C.
  2. Add all of the ingredients in to a large bowl, reserving a small amount of cheese to sprinkle on just prior to baking).
  3. Stir the ingredients together until a dough is formed and add more water if needed.
  4. Form the dough into a ball shape or into 4 equal balls (or eight equal balls!).
  5. Place the dough balls on a baking tray and shape into rough, round loaf shapes.
  6. Slash the tops with a sharp knife 3 times (I forgot to do this bit) and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the tops.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes if you are making just one big loaf. Cooking time reduces if you choose to divide your dough into smaller balls. Eg, if you form 4 balls, bake for around 20 minutes. Bake for 15minutes if you have eight dough balls.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/quick-bread-rolls/

We made 4 dough balls and they were pretty big (they are filling!). They smell and taste amazing straight from the oven with a generous spread of butter. Yum! They are delicious for lunch or as a side dish or accompaniment to soup.

Damper bread rolls

I saved one roll to reheat the next day and see what it was like. After just 10 seconds or so in the microwave, I had a fresh warm bread roll again! So good!

Because these quick bread rolls don’t have any eggs or butter they are a little bit like damper. You could make this bread for camping, put it on your stick and cook it over the camp fire. Your camping friends will be so impressed!

Variations

You could make different variations of these quick bread rolls. Next time I will ramp up the herbs by adding oregano and parsley in addition to the paprika. Bacon can be substituted for the ham and different cheeses can be added for extra decadence. Olives would make this bread incredible too.

Make these quick bread rolls for your household immediately! They are quick, easy and super yummy.

Trina xx

 

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