Put Your Money Where You Mouth Is

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am competitive and I'm talking about the frothing at the mouth, crazy-eyed type of competitive. It can be anything, from a sporting activity, to being the best cook, or the downright tedious. I secretly time myself to see how fast I can hang out the washing, I currently have a PB of 4 minutes 34 seconds.

I am not proud of this trait and I am constantly in a struggle to control it everyday. But try as I might I slip back into old habits and create a competition in my head that the person I am competing with is usually not aware of. This competitive nature is what gave me my idea for the first post for Project Food Blog. You see, the person I like to compete with most is myself, and hopefully if I can pull this off it might make some people out there realise that even they will be able to put the Macca's bag down and start cooking too.

So let me get into the details of this post and how it will work. I am going to attempt to cook a 3 course meal for 6 people for under $45.00 and 45 minutes.

The rules for this challenge of mine are as follows:

1. All items of food must be purchased with $45.00. This also means that if a container of ice-cream costs $4.00 and I only use a quarter of the container, $4.00 must be taken from my budget. The only allowance I have made, is for oil, salt and pepper as they are things that all kitchens should have and so are not included in the budget.

2. All food must be cooked within 45minutes. With the following conditions:

A: Entree and main must be served within the 45 minute time frame.
B: Dessert must be ready by the end of the 45 minutes but can be served after the time frame.
C: There will 5 minutes total pause time in which I can take photos and will not be allocated toward the total time. However during this "pause time" no food may be touched.
D: I can preheat ovens and grills before time starts.

So that's the business part taken care of, let’s get back to it.

I created my blog to help encourage everyday people to be able to cook everyday meals for their families. I wanted my recipes to be cheap, and something that you could prepare without it feeling like a chore. Some people have come back to me and said, "But you love to cook, you don't have children so it’s easy for you to do" and you know what they are right. I don’t have restrictions that mums or people who "can't cook" have. So I thought to myself, "What if I create a task that would push me, really push me, stress me out even?". Hopefully it would encourage these people who may lack time and skills to go to my blog and try just one of my recipes.

My competitive nature wasn't the only reason I joined Project Food Blog. I want to be the next blogstar because I'm your everyday person. I don't have any special training, or extraordinary food knowledge. I want to make food more relatable to everyone. To show or perhaps inspire everyone to cook. By becoming the next blogstar I can get my philosophy out there and create this wonderful community in which everyone can cook at least one meal. That is my eutopia, just chuck in a lifetime supply of coffee and chocolate and we are good to go.

So let’s get cracking, because as you know, I have very little time to spare.



Avocado Salsa Bruschetta

Avocado Salsa Bruschetta

French Stick 320g $ 2.15
Avocado $ 1.89
Cherry Tomatoes 250g $ 1.95
Red Onion $ 0.72
Danish Feta $ 1.65

TOTAL $ 8.36

BBQ Beef Skewers with Green beans and Baby potatoes

BBQ Beef Skewers

Budget Bulk Steak $10.61
Soy sauce $ 1.09
Garlic $ 0.40
Red Onion Already paid for in Entree
2 x green capsicum $ 2.77
Bamboo Skewers $ 1.58

Green Beans 375g $ 1.90

Baby Potatoes $ 1.69
Butter $ 1.29
Parsley $ 1.90

TOTAL $23.23


Banana Tarte Tatin

Banana Tarte Tatin

Bananas $ 2.15
Butter Already paid for in Main
Sugar $ 1.59
Vanilla Ice-cream $ 3.99
Pastry $ 3.49

TOTAL $11.22

TOTAL $42.81

5:45 Cut Beef into chunks
5:48 Marinated meat, spent nearly a minute looking for the garlic crusher, talk about not being prepared
5:49 Beef in the fridge and cut french stick into slices
5:50 Brushed bread with olive oil
5:52 Bread into oven
5:53 Diced onion
5:54 Turn Bread Over
5:56 Chopping tomatoes
5:57 Bread taken out of the oven
6:00 Avocado and feta chopped and mixed together
6:01 Put butter in the pan
6:02 Spooned salsa onto bread
6:03 Added sugar to butter
6:04 Put potatoes on
6:06 Slicing banana for Tarte Tatin and took caramel off
6:08 Put caramel in banana in dish, placed pastry on top and put into the oven
6:10 Cutting capsicum and red onion
6:11 started assembling the kebabs and took out entree
6:16 Put kebabs on BBQ
6:18 Cutting Beans
6:21 Chop parsley added to butter in a bowl
6:22 Watching kebabs turning when necessary
6:25 Put beans on the steamer
6:28 Drained potatoes and added tossed in butter
6:30 Turned everything off


I didnt actually get the main plated up. I did however get everything cooked and plated up by 6:35. So even though I'm not perfect (seriously who is) I made it through. I DID IT. So there is no excuse now, pick a recipe and cook it, that is all you have to do is.

Now here is the disclaimer, please be aware if you attempt this challenge your kitchen may end up looking like this.


  1. Mel trust me when I say, that is a relatively tidy kitchen. I love tart tatin for a quick & easy dessert.

    This is super impressive to me, especially because I can't seem to escape Woolworth's for a weeknight dinner for 2 for less than $60

  2. ballsy and i like it! Congrats on a job well done!!

  3. This post cracked me up because sometimes I'm the same way, but I'd never attempt a dinner party in 45 minutes unless my sous was Chen Kenichi. Looks like you've done two challenges already, can't wait to see your third (technically, second). Best of luck, you've got our vote!

    Lick My Spoon

  4. interesting challenge! i don't think i could have accomplished it - but bravo to you!

  5. Love your competitive spirit. The minute to minute countdown is hilarious. I enjoyed your entry and you got my vote. Good luck!

  6. hey ya! you have a lovely blog here. Stumble upon your blog through foodbuzz. :) I voted for your blog. hope that helps. Good Lucky !!!! feel free to drop by!!

    have a lovely weekend
    jen @ www.passion4food.ca


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