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 :

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.