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.