Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mango Salad

I made this salad to go with some grilled lamb chops that had a mango/curry sauce on them. It was so light and delicious. Was able to use the spinach and spring onion from our veggie patch.

You will need

Packet of baby spinach leaves (or around 5 cups) or your other favourite leafy vegetable.
2 spring onion stalks chopped
1 mango sliced (I added a tin of mango slices too to cut down on cost, but you could add another mando instead)
juice from tin mango
handful snow peas chopped
1 cup cucumber- finely cut
1 avacado cut into slices

prepare it all and put into your salad bowl, pour the mango juice over at the end.

Chicken and Broccoli pasta

Quick and easy meal that used our home grown broccoli!

You will need
2 chicken breasts diced
2 cups broccoli pieces
2 spring onions chopped
handful parsley
2 cloves garlic
1 cup grated parmesan (or shaved)
250 mls cream (I used light thickened cream)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 chicken stock cube and 1/2 cup hot water or half-1 cup of chicken stock

1.Cook chicken in pan until nearly cooked
2. Add in garlic and broccoli
3. once the broccoli has been cooking for a few minutes add in the onions, cream and let it simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Add some salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add in the parsley and cheese at the last minute (saving some cheese to put on once you have served into bowls).
5. Serve with your favourite pasta, I used linguine. Top with some extra parmesan cheese.

Kids loved this, I have made it again and I didn't use stock but put some chicken seasoning on the chicken instead, still tasted pretty similar. I have also added mushrooms. Asparagus would be great with this too, and some bacon!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm still here

Hi all, I'm still here, just been a little snowed under lately and haven't experimented as much. I have made a broccoli (home grown!!) pasta and a chicken mango salad that I need to blog about. And I will hopefully next week!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thai/Vietnamese Inspired Chicken Salad

I wanted to try an asian style salad I saw in a magazine. I did change it alot as there didn't seem to be that many things they had in their salad to make it filling enough.

After eating it I comfirmed that I don't like this type of asian sauce. Give me soy, honey, ginger, garlic. But not fish sauce and lime and coriander and mint. But hey, you might like those things! If I were to do it again I would use a different type different type of dressing. Maybe balsamic, or lemon, or even soy and honey.
What you will need:
I was lazy and used a bag of mixed lettuce and spinach leaves...
half red capsicum (pepper)
1/2 cucumber
cherry tomatoes (around a punnet)
1 carrot cut into matchsticks
1 stick celery
handful snow peas
1-2 chicken breasts
handful of fresh mint
handful of fresh coriander
1/3 cup lime juice
1/3 cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 chilli finely chopped (I didn't add the chilli).
1. place chicken breast in pot and cover with cold water. Place on medium heat and when it starts to boil, turn it down to simmer, cover with a lid and let it simmer for around 10-12 mins or until cooked. Once it is cooked shred the chicken.
2. Cut all the salad ingredients and place in a bowl
3. Put shredded chicken into salad bowl and pour over dressing.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Menu for the week

Our menu for the week

Monday- Lamb Yiros
Tuesday- Honey Lemon Chicken with Rice
Wednesday-Beef stroganoff
Thursday- left overs
Friday-Vietnamese inspired Chicken Salad

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Greek Style Lamb Yiros

I LOOOOVVVEEEEEE Yiros! I thought it was time I made some of my own as I never really get to them much as we don't buy take away that often.

Very easy and delicious. Grace (4 yrs old) LOVED it. I was surprised, she doesn't normally like lamb, or lettuce but she gobbled it up and asked to have it the night after too :) The lettuce was grown in our own veggie patch, as well as some of the herbs that I put in the marinade.

What you will need: (for 4 people)

1 tomato sliced

2 cups lettuce sliced

1/2 red onion sliced

Yiros bread

Lamb marinade

500 gms lamb (I used leg steaks which are nice and tender and have alot of meat. You could use back strap, or use left over roast lamb, or just use plain old lamb chops and just cut the meat off) I cut my lamb into strips, you could do strips or chunks.
3-4 garlic cloves crushed or finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon sumac (dry you can get it in the herb section)

1 teaspoon thyme (fresh or dry)

1 teaspoon oregano (fresh or dry)

1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon all spice

juice and rind of 1 lemon



3 tablespoons olive oil

Yogurt (tzatziki)

Greek Stlye yogurt (I used a 200 ml tub but that was way too much, unless you want to use it as a dip the next day too) so perhaps only 100ml for just the yiros

1/2 continental cucumber (around a cup) peeled, and de-seed, then grated.

juice of 1 lemon

2 garlic cloves (crushed or finely chopped)


parsely (1 tablespoon)
optional is mint or oregano
1. Cut lamb and herbs for the marinade and place all of those ingredients into a air tight container and place in the fridge (preferbly for atleast 4 or 5 hours so you can really get the taste).
2. Place the yogurt, lemon juice, herbs, cucumber into a bowl and stir around, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for the same amount of time as the lamb. (taste to see if you want to add more of anything, your tastes will be different to ours).
3.Heat pan or grill and cook lamb until its cooked to your liking (some like it rare, medium etc).
4. Slice the salad ingredients.
5. Place yiros bread in warm oven wrapped in foil for a few minutes or in the microwave (without foil!!).
6. Once lamb is cooked you can assemble your yiros. No real art to it, whatever takes your fancy. We put some lettuce, tomato and onion down, lamb on top and the yogurt and then wrapped and enjoyed :)
Serve with fries or garlic bread

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Menu this week

Monday- Greek style lamb yiros
Tuesday- Crispy chicken with tomatoes and garlic
Wednesday-Lamb chops with mango
Thursday- Honey mustard chicken cutlets
Friday-Spaghetti bolognaise
Saturday- Spaghetti bolognaise
Sunday- Taco's

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

chicken and mushroom pies

I adapted this recipe from one I saw on Better Homes and Gardens

I only made 8 pies as I was in a rush to get them out in time. The original recipe called for ALOT of mince which I think would of made atleast 24 pies. So I know that to make 12 it would of been around half of the quantity. So if you want to make more just double the mince.

200-250 gms chicken mince

120gms creamed cheese

1/2 onion (or 1 leek stalk)

6-7 medium sized mushrooms

2 garlic cloves

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon sage

1/2 chicken cube stock

3 tablespoons boiling water

2 tablespoon bread crumb

2 sheets shortcrust pastry

2 sheets puff pastry

egg (for eggwash)


Preheat oven to 210 celcius

1. Chop mushroom, onion (or leek), garlic and fry these in some oil. Add salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock cube and the water. Set aside to cool or place in the fridge (will take around 15-20 mins)

2. Whilst the mushrooms are cooling take out the frozen pastry as they need around 15 mins to thaw out.

3. Grease (or spray with oil) 12 pan muffin tin

4. once the mushroom mixture is cool add the chicken mince, sage, bread crumb and creamed cheese to the bowl and mix well.

5. Cut circles in the shortcrust pastry that will leave a 1cm height over the top of the muffin tin (so bigger than an egg ring) and brush with egg wash. Place these in the bottom of the muffin trays and fill with the chicken mixture.

6. cut smaller circles of the puff pastry (an egg ring is a good size) and place on top of the pies with some egg wash and crimp the sides with a fork.
7. Place in the oven for 15-20 mins, until the tops are nice and brown.

review- The recipe said to use shortcrust but I think it would of been fine to use puff down the bottom also. The kids LOVED the pies and so did the hubby :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

chicken and mushroom pasta

This was really quick and easy, it kind of reminded me of a chicken stroganoff type of thing.
the kids scoffed it down, Grace doesn't always eat all of her tea but she did with this and even asked for more mushrooms!! This recipe served 2 adults and 2 small children (and there is enough for left overs- so would feed 4 adults)
You will need:
2 chicken breast cut into cubes or pieces
6-7 medium sized mushrooms sliced
1/2 brown onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
Tin of cream of mushroom soup (I used campbells)
1 chicken stock cube in 1/2 cup hot water
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1 teaspoon dried sage (or fresh if you have it)
2-3 handfuls of baby spinach chopped
3 tablespoons of thickened cream
handful of parsley chopped
parmesan cheese to serve on top
Heat some oil in a pan and cook chicken, when almost done add the garlic and onion
Add salt and pepper and sage
Add mushrooms and cook for a minute or so
Add soup and chicken stock and heat through
When its almost done cooking (reduce heat to simmer)add in the baby spinach to heat them and some of the cream and let it simmer for a few minutes.
Serve with your favourite pasta (my kids like the curly pasta)
Top with some parsley and parmesan cheese before serving

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mango Chicken

My sister in law made this a few years ago (and I LOVED it) I have changed the quantity a little on somethings so I will put the way I make it (I've lost her original recipe anyway!).

2 chicken breasts diced
1/2 brown onion chopped

1/4 teaspoon curry powder

2 1/2 tablespoons mango chutney (I use sharwoods green label)

1 mango sliced

1 tin mango sliced
1 1/2 -2 cups coconut milk
As with everything taste it and see if its to your liking. If you like things a little hotter then add some more curry. If you really like the coconut flavour add more milk.
1. cut chicken into pieces and heat in a pan until browned
2. chop onion and mango
3. Place onion in pan and cook for a few minutes.
4. Add the chutney, curry powder and mango and cook for a further minute or two
5. Add the coconult milk and allow to simmer for a minute or so before removing from heat.
6. Serve over some cooked rice.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Chicken Kebabs

Chicken kebabs are so easy and great for summer, but any time of the year really.
This recipe made about 12 kebabs. My husband had 4, my friend and I had 3 each and the kids had one each.


Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup vinegar (white)

1-2 teaspoon oregano (fresh or dry)

2 cloves garlic

1 red onion cut into chunks so that you can skewer them later
1. Make marinade in seal proof container (plastic ones with the lids that are good, tupperware type things)
2. Cut 2 chicken breasts into chunks and place in the marinade and place in the fridge for 3 hours minimum.
3. 30 mins before you are ready to start assembling the skewers soak them in water for 30 mins so they don't burn when you put them on the grill.
4. Choose your favourite vegetables and cut into chunks that can be put on skewers. I like to use different coloured peppers (capsicum) and pineapple, along with the onion that is in the marinade.
5. Assemble your skewers, alternating the veggies and chicken etc.
6. Grill on a hot plate or bbq grill until cooked.
7. I like to serve with steamed rice and salad, or grilled potato and salad.
Review- I have made these so many times and they are always a hit with the kids and the adults. The only thing that *some* children don't like is the red onion (and some fussy kids don't like the pineapple).
other things you could add to the kebabs are things like zucchini and mushrooms. I also use the same marinade for lamb kebabs.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mango chutney with Lamb

I have this recipe book that I got from the supermarket, one of those "quick meal" books and they had a mango chutney on grilled lamb chops. Super idea I thought.

There is a lovely mando chutney made by Sharwood's that I have used before. So I brushed that onto the lamb chops and grilled them on the bbq grill. (I don't have a pic because my battery was flat the night I cooked).

Then I was planning on making a mango salad but fresh mango's were $8!! So I bought a tin of mangos and used half of the tin. I placed it in a pan, with 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder and warmed that up so it was like a paste with small chunks of mango.

Once the chops were cooked I placed them on the plate and put the mango paste I had made on top.

The kids didn't eat it (they don't really eat lamb) but hubby and I loved it. I don't like hot curry or anything so for me the flavour was just right but Hubby would of preferred a little more curry powder. So taste it as you go and get it right for your taste.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sweet and Sour chicken

I love sweet and sour chicken so decided to make my own. There are so many different recipes out there, so I looked at about 4 different ones and came up with something similar to those (and different in some ways too). I can't believe there are some that tell you to add food colouring though! LOL. I won't be doing that thanks. I like lots of veggies, so add or take if you want.

This will serve 4 adults well (it did 2 adults and 2 children with left overs for two more adults).

2 chicken breast cut into pieces

1-2 carrots julienne style

1 stalk celery chopped

handful of snow peas

1/2 red capsicum (pepper)

1/2 green capsicum

1/4 onion chopped

1 garlic clove chopped

1 cup cauliflower

large tin of pineapple (or you can use fresh pineapple like I did, around a cup or so I think).


2 tablespoon tomato sauce (ketchup)

1 teaspoon ground ginger or fresh if you have it

1 garlic clove chopped finely

1/3 cup vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoon corn flour (starch)

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons oyster sauce (you can just add 4 of soy sauce if you don't want to add oyster sauce).

Juice from the pineapple (probably 1/3 cup or you can do what I did and finely chopped the fresh pineapple and squeezed what I could from the remainders).

Mix until combined and set aside to add last minute to the chicken and vegetables.

1. Cook chicken in wok until almost brown, add onion and garlic.

2. Place veggies into wok and stir fry until almost cooked.

3. Add sauce and warm through.

4. Serve with your favourite rice.
Review- this was perfect for us. I made the tastes to suit us, so please, taste ALL THE TIME when you are cooking as you may prefer it sweeter, or with more sour. The kids loved it, they eat all those veggies I put in it. And they love rice.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mongolian Beef

Mongolian Beef was delicious! Such simple flavours but so so nice. Hubby even wanted seconds but there was none :)

This made enough for 2 adults and 2 children

500gms beef (I used stir fry beef that was already cut for me) most recipes say to use flank steak
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup corn flour (corn starch)
1/2 teaspoon ginger (I used powdered)
1 tablespoon (2 cloves) garlic chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce (or you can just use 1/2 cup soy and no oyster sauce)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 green onions (spring onions)
1/2 brown onion
salt and pepper to season
1. Coat your beef strips in corn flour and let sit for around 10 mins (this seems to be important, don't know why)
2. Heat oil in pan and add garlic and ginger and fry til just brown. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce and brown sugar and water and let boil for around 2 minutes, then emove from heat.
3. Heat 1/4 cup oil in wok or other pan and fry the beef until almost cooked (it will cook again later so no need to over cook and make it tough). Remove from the pan and let it drain on some paper towel.
4. Remove excess oil then add the onions and fry for a minute or so. Add the meat back, fry for another minute. Add the sauce and mix well.
5. Serve with rice and your choice of sides. I lightly stir fried some yellow and red capsicum (peppers) and zucchini.
REVIEW- I have made this twice now, exactly the same way and I wouldn't change anything. The kids love it too which is good.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Lemon cookies

I found a lovely easy recipe for lemon cookies HERE. So I won't repeat the recipe. I will say that I doubled it so I got around 20 cookies. They spread a bit too so leave adequate space. My lemon icing doesn't look as good as the ones from Delightfully sweets ones, but they taste lovely :)

Maple Syrup chicken

This was a really easy meal to make and so tasty! I did forget to add the mustard though, so be interesting to try it again with it. It was gorgeous without too though!

2 chicken breasts or you can use thighs, drumsticks etc (this served 2 adults and 2 children)

pinch of sea salt

pinch of black pepper

3 tablespoons really good maple syrup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon thyme

(1-2 tablespoon English or French mustard which I forgot to add)


Season chicken with salt and pepper

Place the oil, syrup, thyme and mustard into a oven proof dish with the chicken pieces, cover chicken with the syrup sauce and place in preheated oven at 180 degrees C for around 30 mins or until the chicken is cooked. I used skin on breast so that we had a nice crispy skin and also keeps the chicken moist while its cooking.

Serve with your choice of veggies. I served with rice and vegetables.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Menu this week

So this week we will be eating

Maple Syrup chicken
Shepherds Pie
Mongolian Beef
Lamb with roast pumpkin and spinach salad
Honey Lemon chicken

and something else, not sure just yet. Might see what meat is on special and go from there :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Non-spicy Jamaican Jerk chicken

A friend of mine always talks about having jerk chicken and I never really knew what it was until I asked her a few weeks ago. I was glad that I did! It's delicious!! Now I didn't add the scotch bonnet pepper (chilli) but if you want to then feel free. This is the non- hot and spicy version :)

Marinade will cover 5-6 chicken breasts well.

You mix everything in a blender so you don't have to cut things that finely as the blender will do that for you.

1 onion chopped

4 cloves garlic

3 spring onions (green onions)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup orange juice

zest and juice from one lime

1 tablepoon all spice

1 tablespoon dry thyme

1 tablespoon black pepper

1/2 tablespoon sea salt

3/4 tablespoon nutmeg

3/4 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon brown sugar (I didnt have any so I used white and it was fine)

1/4 tablespoon ground ginger

Put all ingredients into a blender and mixed until combined well.

Pour over chicken pieces and leave to marinade (min 1 hour) best results over night (I did mine for about 6 hours). You can make slits in the chicken and press the marinade in (known as to "jerk the chicken"). Place in pre heated oven at about 200 celcius for 30 mins or until cooked, or place on grill.

Traditionally it seems to be served with rice and beans (peas) in Jamaica which is rice cooked in coconut milk with kidney type beans and spices added to it. I served with mashed potato and veg so the kids would eat it :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mini hamburgers (mince patties)

This is a really easy dish to make, great for BBQ's.

500gms minced meat (ground beef)
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
1/2 onion chopped finely
1-2 garlic cloves
good handful of fresh chopped parsely
1 egg
1/2 cup or 1 cup bread crumbs (I played it by ear)
sea salt and pepper to season

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, you will have to use your hands to really work it all through together. Once mixed get about 2 tablespoons worth in your hand and shape into a mini hamburger or pattie. cook until meat is done in the middle (about 20 mins on a BBQ).
Makes around 10 (serves 4 people)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I have always wanted to try these since I saw them on a tv show and they kept raving about how good the cake was.

I've found a few great recipes from various blogs and cookbooks and taken what I thought was the best ingredients and methods.

2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
good pinch slat
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
6 tablespoons ( 2 bottles) red food colouring
60 gms (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon bicarb soda

Cream Cheese frosting
The recipe I followed had LOADS of icing left over so I will give you an estimate of the cream cheese of which I think should be used instead.
190-200gms cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups icing mixture
1. Beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy
2. Add vanilla and beat well
3. Sift icing sugar and add gradually to the mixture. I like it so its firm enough to pipe onto the cupcakes, so if you need to add more icing sugar you can do so.

1. preheat oven to 175C (350F) and line cupcake trays with cupcake papers
2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl, set aside.
3. In a small bowl, mix the food colouring and cocoa to form a smooth paste
4. In another mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add the cocoa paste. Beat for 60 seconds.
5. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add half the buttermilk and mix until combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk.
6. Mix the vinegar and bi-carb soda in a small bowl. When the mixture has stopped fizzing, add it to the batter and stir well to combine.
7. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake trays BUT only fill 3/4 full as they will rise. Bake for around 20 mins or until you can touch the top without it sinking, or a skewer comes out clean.
8. Leave cupcakes to cool on a rack and ice with the frosting when cool.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bread and Butter Pudding

I didn't realise just how easy this is. Hubby LOVED this when he was little, so thought I would make it for him :)

60 g (2 oz) raisins
2 tablespoons orange juice
butter (to spread onto the bread)
orange marmalade
6 slices GOOD QUALITY bread (or just ordinary bread which is what I used) You could also use raisin bread
3 eggs
3 tablespoons caster sugar
3 cups (24 fl oz) nilk
3 tablespoons cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon soft brown sugar (demerara)
Soak the raisins in the orange juice for 30 minutes. Butter the sliced bread and then spread some orange marmalade on each slice too. Cut the bread into triangles, either 4 or 2 from each slice (no need to remove the crust but you can if you wish). Arrange the bread in a 1 litre ovenproof dish.
Combine the eggs and sugar. In a saucepan slowly heat the milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon til it is just warm. Then add this to the eggs and sugar and mix well.
Drain the raisins and add this orange juice to the custard mixture.
Scatter the raisins over the bread and pour the custard over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins- 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180 C (350F). Sprinkle the pudding with the brown sugar and bake for 35-40 mins or until the custard has set and the top of the pudding is golden and crunchy.
Serve with ice cream or cream

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Best Playdough recipe

This is a recipe we used at kindy and it lasted the week long with 45 kids using it every day. With my kids it lasts for a few months!!

2 cups plain flour

1 cup salt

4 tablespoons cream of tartar

2 tablespoons cooking oil

food colouring

2 cups boiling water

Place all dry ingredients into mixing bowl, add the water and food colouring and mix with wooden spoon until all combined.

Turn out onto floured bench and knead dough until nice and smooth (be careful it will be a little hot).

Store in air tight container or zip lock bag.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Carrot Cake

Taken from a Family Circle cookbook.
3 eggs

1 cup (8fl oz) oil

1 1/4 cups (7 1/2 oz) soft brown sugar

1 1/2 cups (6 oz) self raising flour

1 teaspoon bi carb soda

pinch of salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1 2/3 cups (8oz) grated carrot

For the frosting

125 g (4oz) softened cream cheese

30g (1oz) butter

1 cup( 4 oz) icing sugar

2 teaspoons orange juice

pecans or walnuts to scatter on top

1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350F) and grease a 9 inch cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.

2. Combine eggs, oil and brown sugar. Add the sifted flour, soda, salt and cinnamon and beat until the mixture is smooth.

3. Add carrots and nuts and mix well

4. Pour mixture into the tin and bake for 45 mins or until a skewer put into the middle comes out clean (my fan forced oven took around 40 mins).

5. Once cooked, remove from oven and leave to rest for about 20 mins and then turn out onto cooling rack.

6. To make cream cheese frostind, put the cream cheese, butter, sifted icing sugar, and orange juice in a bowl and beat until it is spreadable. Spread over cake once it is cool and scatter some nuts on the top.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What are we eating this week?

I've had a few comments that we eat really well. I just thought we ate normal with one or two extra special dishes thrown in LOL.
I guess we are blessed to have such great food, money to buy that food, and great ideas through tv, the net, magazines, cook books on how to cook things a little differently.

This week hasn't been that exciting really.

Spaghetti bolognaise (2 nights)
Orange, ginger, honey chicken
Marinated lamb steaks and veggies
Beef stew
Chicken drumsticks with a floured coating and chips
Roast chicken and veggies

We have also had the chocolate balls, and today I am going to make a carrot cake mmmmmmm

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Orange, ginger and honey chicken

This was a sweet and tangy sauce that was made over grilled chicken. It was lovely.

200 mls (1 cup) orange juice, I had to use store bought juice as the oranges in the shop were gross
juice of half a lemon
1 and half tablespoons orange marmalade
1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons honey

2 chicken breasts

salt and pepper to season chicken

1. Season chicken and place in pan or on grill and cook through

2. Once cooked remove chicken or place it to the side and add the other ingredients to the pan, stirring til marmalade is dissolved.

3. Let simmer for a few minutes (if you have removed the chicken now is the time to place it back in)

4. Serve with generous spoonfulls of the sauce.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Chocolate and Coconut Balls

An easy and delicious sweet treat to make. My daughter helped me, and glad she did, what a mess!!

What you will need:

250g plain sweet biscuit crushed finely (something like Marie is good)

400g tin of sweet condensed milk

4 tablespoons cocoa

1 row of chocolated finely grated

shredded coconut

chocolate sprinkles

Mix all the ingredients together and then form small balls. The easiest way to do is to roll them in the palms of your hands, its sticky and messy :)

Roll balls in the coconut and sprinkles mixture.

Place on a tray to cool in the fridge for around 30 mins.

Store in air tight container for up to 5 days (if they last that long!!)

Makes around 40 balls

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes

I was inspired to try making these after I saw them on another blog HERE.Thanks for sharing your recipe with me!! I ended up changing a few things as I thought cocoa was meant to be added so I added it, and I changed a little thing in the frosting too.

1 cup milk

4 room temperature eggs

1/4 cup canola oil (I used vegetable oil as that is all I had)

1 cup caster sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla extract or essence

2 1/2 cups plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon bi-carb soda

1 cup cocoa (you probably could add a little more if you want it more chocolatey, and I think next time I will add some chocolate pieces to make it even gooier)

1/4 cup strawberry jam.

1. Preheat oven to 175 C and line 2 x 12 hold muffin tins with cupcake papers

2. In a mixing bowl or food processer beat eggs, milk, oil and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and ingredients combined. Add the vanilla and beat for another minute. I have also seen recipes that say to add the eggs one at a time, so I guess you could do that too.

3. Sift flour, baking powder and bi carb soda together and then add half to the wet ingredients. Beat for 30 seconds and then add the remaining flour mixture. Beat until combined.

4. Fill the cupcake tins halfway, then add a teaspoon of jam in the centre of each cupcake (the original recipe used a heavy jam that sank, but mine didn't). If you aren't using a heavy jam that sinks I would then place a little more mixture over the top so the jam is not exposed and spills out.

5. Bake for 20-25 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

5. Allow to cool and then frost with the whipped cream buttercream (recipe below).

Whipped Cream Buttercream Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter (or 125 gms), softened

2 cups icing sugar (the original called for 6 cups but 2 was more than enough for the 24 cupcakes)

2 tablespoons boiling water

1/4 cup thickened cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (essence)

1. Cream butter and icing on low speed. Once combined increase speed and slowly add the boiling water and vanilla.

2. Add the cream and beat until thick and fluffy

3. I used a piping bag to put the cream on top of the cakes, but you could just spoon it on also.

4. Top with half a fresh strawberry. If you are going to be saving these for later top with the strawberry just before serving.

Strawberry shortcake

For my 30th birthday this year my mother and sister got a bakery to make a rich chocolate mud cake in the shape of strawberry shortcake.

In honour of this cake and because I found a sweet as recipe I will make some chocolate strawberry muffins too and will post what happens.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Orange, lime and pineapple grilled chicken

This was a lovely light and tasty marinade that I put over some chicken drumsticks yesterday. I saw something similar on Little Chef and I website, but was wanting to use my pineapple juice that I had (I love pineapples) and thought this would be a great combo. Went great with the punpkin and spinach salad I did the night before, just added some roast potatoes for some more carbs :)

8 drumsticks (for 2 adults, 2 kids)

1 orange with the zest and juice

1 lime with the zest and juice

small handful chopped continental parsely

half red onion

1 tablespoon sugar

1/3 cup pineapple juice

Place the jucies and zest with the parsley and onion in a zip lock bag or air tight container and mix the chicken pieces around so they are all covered. Best to marinade a few hours before cooking so they get the full flavour. I also threw in the orange and lime skins that were left over after juicing just for extra flavour.
Place chicken on hot grill, or you could bake in the oven until cooked through.

My chicken for some reason took a LONG time to grill and I had to end up putting it back on when I began to eat as I noticed down the bottom it was a tad undercooked still. So make sure you leave adequate time to cook your chicken to go with the sides.

It was delicious, kids and hubby loved it :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Roast Pumpkin, capsicum and baby spinach salad

Tonight I made a DELICIOUS salad to go with our scotch fillet steak and mashed potato. I am still drooling from the taste. I wonder if my hubby will notice that he doesn't have any on his plate when he gets home from work???? :)

Here's what you will need

Serves 2, so adjust to make for more people

preheat oven to 200C (400F)

Around 1/4 or 400gms pumpkin or squash (I used butternut) chopped (I cut them into pieces about 3-4cm long)

2 garlic cloves chopped

1/2 red onion sliced

1/2 red capsicum (pepper) sliced

sage (I used dried sage, sprinkled over the veggies)

olive oil (drizzle over the veggies)

sea salt to season

baby spinach leaves (I used about half a packet or around 250 gms)


2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove finely chopped

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon sugar

crumbed feta is optional

Place all the veggies into a roasting tray and roast in the oven for around 30 mins, or until it has a nice crispiness and colour to it.

Wash baby spinach leaves and place in bowl.

Remove veggies from oven and start on dressing.

Place all the dressing ingredients in saucepan and heat until sugar and honey is dissolved (you will have to taste to see if its to you liking. I had mine so it was a little tangy but also tasted the sweetness of the honey).

Place veggies on top of baby spinach and drizzle the dressing over the top.

I had a little dressing left over that I drizzled over the steak.

Tweaks: I forgot to add the feta til I was half way through eating, it was awesome without it, but just as good with it (I love feta). You could also add roasted beetroot, or some crispy sweet potato crisps too.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Honey Crackles

Here's how to make yummy cornflakes, great for kids parties (and for adults too :P)

pre heat oven to 150C (320 F)

4 cups cornflakes (16 oz I think)

1/3 cup sugar (2.8 oz)

90g butter (3oz)

2 tablespoons honey

patty pans

makes around 24-28 patty pans of the smaller size (not muffin tray size)

Place cornflakes in large mixing bowl

Over low-medium heat melt the butter, sugar and honey until all dissolved.

Pour over cornflakes and mix well

Spoon into patty pans and place in the oven for around 10 mins.

Remove from oven and place on wire rack, then place in fridge to cool.

keep stored in an air tight container will keep for a few days (well not really, you cant resist so they are gone in a day or two )

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Banana Cake

Love this recipe, its from a Family Circle cookbook called Cooking: a commonsense guide.

125g butter (4 oz)

1/2 cup (4 oz/125 g) caster sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 1/2 cups (or roughly 4 bananas) mashed ripe bananas

1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

1/2 cup milk (4 fl oz or 125 ml)

2 cups (250 g/8oz) self raising flour

Butter Frosting

125g (4 oz) butter

3.4 cup (90g/3oz) icing sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

I also added a few drops of vanilla essence

1. Preheat oven to 180c (350F)

2. Grease a 20cm (8inch) cake tin (I use a rectangle, you can use whatever though)

3. Using beaters or food processor beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy.

4. Add the eggs that have been lightly beaten gradually.

5. Add the vanilla essence, mashed banana and beat until combined.

6. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Dissolve the bicarb soda in the milk (in a separate bowl or cup).

7. Using a metal spoon, fold in the sifted flour (sift into a separate bowl) alternatley with the milk into the large mixing bowl with the other mixture. Stir until the ingrediants are just combined and smooth.

8. Spoon mixture into tin and smooth the surface.

9. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. (my oven is fan forced, it took around 40-45 mins). Leave the cake in the tin for 10 mins before turning onto a wire rack.

10. to make frosting- beat the butter, icing sugar and lemon juice with beaters until smooth and creamy. Spread onto the cooled cake.

STORAGE- the un iced cake can be kept for one week in an airtight container. Or you can freeze it un iced for up to a month. I store it with the icing in the fridge and keep it for up to 4 days, although its usually all eaten by then :P

Monday, July 20, 2009

Italian Chicken Casserole

This was based loosely on a recipe I found on the Masterchef Australia website from Campbells using their chicken stock.

Now the recipe that follows is what I used for 12 drumsticks (so for 2 nights worth, you would probably cut the quantities of some things down, so I will write that next to what I used).

preheat oven to 220c or 428 F

12 chicken drumsticks (recipe called for 8 for 4 people)

1 onion chopped

2-3 cloves garlic chopped

1 zucchini chopped

3 potatoes chopped

2 carrots chopped(recipe said 1)

I also added

1/2 red capsicum (pepper)

1/3 bunch celery or 2 stalks I guess

4 mushrooms

1/3 cup plain flour

1/4 cup red wine

500 mls chicken stock

4 tablespoons tomato paste (tomato puree)

salt and pepper for seasoning

I used dried herbs as I didn't have any fresh ones on hand, i didn't measure this but I am guessing it was around 1 tablespoon of each of these



1. Cook chicken in pan/dish on the stove for around 5 mins or until just brown on the outside

2. Add in onion, garlic cook for a minute

3. Add in vegetables and cook for a few minutes (I had WAY too much for my small saucepan so I couldn't do this as long or as well as I wanted)

4. Combine in a jug the wine, 1/3 cup plain flour, stock, tomato paste and herbs

5. Pour juices into the pan and place in the oven for around 45 mins or until chicken is cooked.

I served with rice, you could serve with pasta or some nice crunchy bread too

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What are we eating this week?

I am pretty sure I have the days figured out for what we are having this week. We are trying to cut down on costs across the board, so there is not going to be as many fancy things each week, and some repitition through the week but you do what you have to do :)

Monday- beef schnitzel, baked potatoes with mushroom and bacon and cheese topping (and steamed veggies)
Tuesday-Italian chicken casserole with rice
Wednesday- Italian chicken casserole with pasta
Thursday-Lamb chops and vegies (chicken sausage rolls for the kids)
Friday- Spaghetti bolognaise (steak and vegies for Arch)
Saturday- chicken pasta bake
Sunday-chicken pasta bake

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Honey Lemon Chicken with Fried Rice

So yesterday on a kids show they made Fried Rice and I decided that we would do it too but wasn't sure on what to do as the main part. I love honey and lemon so thought I would do a chicken dish. I did a search on the net and found an AWESOME blog which he had done EXACTLY what I wanted to do (not deep fry etc) I added one or two differences to it though. Here's his blog to check out :http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/2009/06/honey-lemon-chicken.html

So for my recipe I used 2 chicken breasts and I sliced them down the middle so they were thinner. Then I seasoned them with salt and pepper and cooked them in the fry pan til cooked through and removed from the pan. Next I added to the pan 1/4 cup chicken stock, juice and zest of 1 large lemon and around 2 tablespoons of honey ( I didn't really measure that, but you would have to taste the sauce anyway to see if you have the balance right). Then the original recipe said to add some grated ginger, but I had some powdered so I added maybe 1/2 tea spoon of that or maybe a teaspoon (I didn't measure).Then I added in 1 chopped clove of garlic and one chopped stem of spring onion. Let it simmer for about a minute then added the chicken back in and then served.

I also made a fried rice, the rice I only cooked that day though so it wasn't as good as it could of been. We added corn, capsicum, celery, carrot, onion, garlic, egg, bacon, oyster sauce and soy sauce. Oh and some frozen peas!!

The meal was AMAZING. Like seriously DELICIOUS. We even went back to the pan to dip our fingers in the left over jucie LOL

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Menu this week

Soooo I am a little lost with new things to try at the moment, and kind of have a cold so its sort of basic this week.

Lamb chops and veg
Crispy chicken drumsticks with tomatoes and garlic
Roast Lamb and veg
Beef Stew (2 nights)
Home made pizza
Something else with chicken, not sure yet, or maybe left over spaghetti bolognaise that's in the freezer.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lamb Chops (For Jessica)

Here is the lamb chops that we use. We prefer the forequarter chop as it's bigger and cheaper than the small "chump" chops that they call them. You can also get the backstrap of lamb which is lovely but VERY expensive. We also have lamb roast of which I have posted a blog about a few months ago.

I cook them on the inside grill. I use a seasoning I get from the grocery store that a Greek family makes. It has various herbs, spices, some flour, chicken stock etc. Its a dry seasoning. Its YUMMY :) I have also marinated with Emglish Mustard, red wine vinegar and parsely. Rosemary and lamb were made to go together so sometimes I just put sprigs of rosemary on the chops too. And rosemary, garlic and red wine is devine on the roast lamb.

I like my lamb almost well done, so if its slight pink, I take it off and let it rest. You can eat it rare/medium too.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Meals for the week

Ok here is the menu for this week. I didn't bother last week as Nath was sick and I didn't have time to write about it :) Thanks Jessica for checking up on it!

Monday- scotch fillet steaks and vegies (kids are having chicken sausage rolls)
Tuesday- Roast chicken with lemon, garlic and thyme
Wednesday-Lamb chops and Vegies
Thursday-Chicken and pumpkin pasta
Friday-pasta left overs
Saturday- ?
Sunday- chicken breasts with a sundried tomato pesto sauce and roast vegies

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Menu for the week

So I am writing the days next to what we are having but its really give and take depending on my mood :P
Monday- Baked chicken breast in foil with cherry tomatoes and asparagus- served with roast veg
Tuesday- lamb chops and veg
wednesday- crispy baked drumsticks with tomatoes and garlic served with roast veg
Thursday- Shepherds pie and garlic bread
Friday- left overs
Saturday- going for tea with Arch, mum and kids will have beef stir fry
Sunday- roast chicken with lemon and thyme and veg

Monday, May 25, 2009

Stuffed chicken breast

Last week I made a stuffed chicken breast and it was awesome.

Here is how to do it

1 chicken breast per person, skin on is best, keeps it moist.

Sea salt


Feta that's been crumbled or chopped up

Basil and Oregano (fresh is best, otherwise just the dry stuff)

Olive oil

Make a slice down the breast so that there is kind of like a pocket along the side of it. Then combine the feta, and herbs and push this into the hole that you have made. Drizzle some olive oil over the top of the breast (skin side up) and season with salt and pepper. I cooked in a fry pan but it took way too long and was a little tough in some parts, so I wouldn't do it like that again. I normally cook my breasts in a roasting tray in the oven which is pre heated to 200c so I think that's almost 400 F and it takes about 40 mins to cook. You could also wrap it in foil and cook it in the oven that way for around the same time.
I then added some butter, lemon juice and some chicken stock to the pan and sort of made a mini gravy type sauce to pour over the top.
You could also stuff the breast with ricotta, sundried tomatoes, olives and other herbs.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Yummy Mini Quiches

I made some mini quiches today for Arch to take to work, instead of his normal stash of chocolate and junk food along with the odd piece of fruit. My SIL gave me a recipe for them, but I kind made my own up anyway.

Makes about 18

2 sheets puff pastry

3 eggs

1 or 2 tablespoons thickened cream

2 or so tablespoons grated cheese

2 spring onion sprigs finely chopped

50gms ham finely chopped

half tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsely

salt and pepper

1 tomato cut finely

Pre heat oven to 180 celcius

grease 2 muffin trays (12 cup ones) (I only have one, so I just saved the mixture in the fridge til the first lot were ready)

Beat eggs, then add all the ingredients to the bowl and mix.

Using a egg ring or something similar cut the pastry and then place the pastry at the bottom of the pans. Use 1 tablespoon of mixture for each little pan of pastry.

Place in oven and cook for around 20 mins or until golden on the top, leave to rest for a few moments before placing in an air tight container. They will keep for 2-3 days. You can eat them hot or cold.

What's on the menu this week

I am trying a few new things this week.

Monday-Grilled lamb chops with sweet potato chips (thanks to Jessica for that idea)
Tuesday-chicken breasts stuffed with feta, basil and oregano with a roast tomato, lemon and herb risoni (both new dishes)
Wednesday- Grilled steak with vegies
Thursday-Shepherds pie, garlic bread
Friday- Shepherds pie and garlic bread
Saturday- roast lemon chicken and vegies
Sunday- tomato chicken pasta bake (using left over chicken from night before).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Roasted Chicken with asparagus and cherry tomatoes

Last night I did a variation of a Jamie Oliver recipe.

2 chicken breasts with skin on (each person gets one breast, you have to have each breast in its own foil parcel).

50 gms butter (real butter, not like in a tub)

1 clove garlic

6 sprigs fresh thyme

sea salt

freshly ground pepper

1 lemon

1 bunch asparagus

10 or so cherry tomatoes

Preheat oven to 200 celcius

Make a parcel of foil, by getting a long piece of foil (about your arms length) and fold in half, then fold up all the sides to make a little foil dish for everything to sit on.

Cut cherry tomatoes in half, place half of these in each foil parcel.

Snap ends off asparagus and place half the quantity in each parcel.

chop up the clove of garlic and take off the leaves of 4 sprigs of thyme (use the other 2 sprigs as decoration for the top of the chicken breast)

Add the garlic and thyme, salt and pepper to the butter which has been cut into 2cm pieces (so they can fit under the skin of the breast).

Place as much of the butter under the breasts as you can, put remaining butter around the breast in the foil. Grate the grind from the lemon onto both breasts and then squeeze the lemon onto both breasts.

fold up the foil as around the breast making sure the juice etc can't escape, but leaving room for air and the skin to brown a little.

place on a tray in the middle rack of the oven. Takes around 25-35 mins to cook depending on your oven. Pour a little of the juice left in the foil as you serve it onto the plate.

I served with roasted vegetables.
The way Jamie does it is serves it with fresh rosemary and white wine (I didn't have any white wine) but you could also use basil or taragon, they both go well with chicken too.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On the Menu this week

I was finding it hard this week what to decide to cook, so I just really looked for meat that was on special and decided what to cook while I was shopping.

Monday- Beef Stirfy with Hokkein noodles
Tuesday- OH MUMMA crispy chicken with cherry tomatoes and roast/steamed vegies
Wednesday-lamb chops and vegies
Thursday- chicken breasts stuffed with a garlic/lemon/thyme butter and roast vegies
Friday- Lasagna
Saturday-chicken schnitzel and vegies
Sunday- home made pizza's.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pasta with chicken, roast pumpkin and spinach

So last night I tried to re create this pasta dish I had tried when we were on holiday. I looked on the net for a few ideas and took a few of them and added my own in. It was really delicious, it could of used a dash of something else maybe, not sure what, could of been that I used low fat cream and not full fat cream...

So first of all I got half a pumpkin (butternut would of been great, but I could only get a jap pumpkin) and cut it up into 1cm or so pieces. I cut half a red onion finely and 2 cloves of garlic. I put all this in a roasting pan with some olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. I roasted them for about 20 mins I think on 200 celcius.

Then I cut up 2 chicken breasts into about 1-2 cm pieces and the rest of the onion. I had some frozen spinach so I de thawed that in the microwave. (Meanwhile the water was on for the pasta). Then I cooked the chicken and onion til browned and then added the pumpkin and spinach. When the pasta was almost cooked I added about 300-400mls cream, 2 handfuls of continental (flat leaf parsely) some more salt and pepper and a handful of parmesan cheese.

To serve I used Fettucine, but I think they used liguine in the place I had it. I added some extra parsley and parmesan cheese on the top once it was in the bowls.

Tonight I am going to add some feta to the left overs and see what that is like. Pine nuts could be added too for extra texture.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Menu for the week

So I am going to try 2 new things this week, a new lamb dish and a new chicken pasta dish. I had this awesome pasta dish while we were away so I am going to try and recreate it, I looked online and think I found recipes for it too.

The only day really set is Saturday, when I will make the pasta dish for a friend who is coming over while Arch is out. The other days I will make what I feel like :)

Monday-Chicken pieces with lemon and herb in the oven with vegies
Tuesday-spaghetti bolognaise
Wed- leftover spaghetti
Thursday- Lamb cutlets crusted with bread crumbs, rosemary served with grilled vegies and feta salad
Friday-Beef stir fry
Saturday- Chicken pasta with roast pumpkin and spinach
Sunday- not sure yet, see what there is in the fridge etc and what I feel like. Something not complicated though as its mother's day so I am taking a day of rest :P

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Menu for the week

by the way every thing is made from scratch that I make, unless its like beef stroganoff or chicken carbonara, I use jars and add the meat and vegies etc to it. But yeah, the rest is made from scratch, best way to eat so you can control the ingredients and fat content.

Monday- Beef and Vegie stirfry with rice
Tuesday- Marinated chicken breast (tomato and herb) with mashed potato and salad
Wednesday- Lasagna, garlic bread and salad
Thursday-left overs
Friday- chicken schnitzel and vegies
Saturday- lamb chops and vegies
Sunday- home made pizza's.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Roast Lamb

So first of all get yourself these things

Leg of lamb you can use a shoulder too (I usually use 1kg leg for 4 people, ask your butcher how much more you might need).
3-4 stalks of rosemary

sea salt and freshly ground cracked pepper

Olive oil

4 cloves garlic cut into quarter sized pieces

half glass red wine (cooking wine ie cheap wine is what I use)

Vegies for roasting (ie potato, pumpkin-butternut squash is best, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip)

Preheat oven to around 220c (around 430 F) (fan forced, so if its not fan forced, make it a few degrees warmer).

Cut little slits into the lamb a few cms apart, all over the top of the lamb and at the sides (and if there is a shank, do it there too).

Into these slits place garlic and rosemary sprigs (so break small sprigs off the stalk).

Season the lamb with salt and pepper and drizzle over some olive oil. Then pour over roughly half a glass of red wine.

Place in oven, you can turn it down to around 200c now (if not fan forced make it a few degrees warmer). Meanwhile peel any vegetables you want to roast, like potato, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, parsnips etc. I usually place the potatoes (that have olive oil, salt and pepper and some left over rosemary thrown on top) into the oven about 45 mins after the roast goes in, and then after about 10-15 mins I put the other vegies in with the potatoes. Some people place it all in one dish (ie lamb and vegies) but I don't, sometimes the vegies aren't done, or are done too quick).

After about an hour of cooking the lamb, take it out and baste it again with the juices that have formed in the pan (if it has all dried up, add a little water to the pan and a little wine and then put that over it).

The lamb this size takes around 1.5-2 hours to cook. You can take it out around 1.5 hours and check how its going by just cutting a small slice through the side, if its still quite rare then just leave it for say 20 mins and then check again. If you find the top is burning, you can place some foil over the top before you put it back in. You take it out when the meat has a slight pink colour to it, only slight, unless you like your meat rare then take it out when its a little pinker. Take it out of the pan and let it rest on a cutting board. The vegies should now also be done.

While its resting make up some gravy. I use a powder gravy max and pour in the juices from the pan, you can make your own gravy though, there are loads of different ways to do it on the net.

Then carve the meat, no real way to do it, I don't like it really thick, so I cut mine thin, usually you cut away from you. And you're done!! Now dig in before it gets cold!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mmmmm what's cooking this week?

Monday- chicken tenderloins marinated in olive oil, mustard, thyme served with crunchy roast potatoes and other roast vegies.

Tuesday- Roast Lamb with red wine, garlic and rosemary with roast veg

Wednesday- Taco's

Thursday- chicken drumsticks with mashed potato and salad

Friday-lamb chops with mashed potato and salad

Saturday -home made pizza's

Sunday- hmmmm not sure yet!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What's been cooking?

I got a few great recipe books for my birthday (Yes Jamie Oliver were some of them)!! So this week I have made two dishes from Jamie's Dinners book. Here are the recipes, please try them yourself! So easy!!

Crispy Chicken with Sweet Tomatoes

4 chicken legs joined (I used 8 drumsticks instead)

sea salt (this is a must, gosh it tasted good, I added 2 pinches) and fresh ground black pepper

big bunch basil, leaves picked, stalks cut up

I used 1 punnet cherry tomatoes (red) and I could of added yellow ones, but they didn't have any so I used 3 large yellow roma tomatoes quartered.

1 bulb garlic broken into cloves

1 fresh chilli finely chopped (I didn't add this)

olive oil

(optional- tin of cannellini beans, drained or few potatoes)

Preheat oven to 180. Season chicken pieces and put them into snug-fitting pan in one layer. Throw in all basil leaves, stalks and tomatoes. Scatter garlic cloves and chilli and drizzle with some olive oil. Mix around a bit. Place in the oven 1.5 hours, turning the chicken and tomatoes halfway though until the skin is crisp and meat falls off the bone.I served with mashed potato and salad. You could add this to some pasta too.

Jools' favourite Beef Stew

olive oil
1 onion chopped
handful sage leaves (I didn't have this)
800g stweing steak or beef ( I used boneless beef steaks)
sea salt and freshly ground pepperf
lour to dust
4 carrots peeled and halved (I cut them smaller so the kids could eat)
1 sweet potato (he has 2 parsnips, I hate parsnips)
1/2 butternut pumpkin
500g potatoes quartered
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 bottle red wine
285 mls veg stock (i had beef stock, so I just used 1 cup of that and the rest was water)
.zest of 1 lemon
handful of rosemary leaves picked
1 clove garlic peeled, finely chopped.

Preheat oven to 160 clecius (I cooked this in a pot on stove top for 1.5 hours then I put in oven for the last hour). Put some oil into pan, add onion and sage leaves and fry for few minutes. toss meat in a little seasoned flour then add to pan along with all vegies, tomato paste, wine, stock and stir. Season with pepper and just a little salt. bring to boil, place lid on top, then cook in preheated oven until meat is tender (sometimes this is 3 or 4 hours- it was 2.5 for me). once its cooked you can turn oven down to about 110 and hold until you are ready to eat. We ate it with some nice crunchy continental bread.