Sunday, December 9, 2012

Couscous Salad

I think this is my favourite salad ever.
So quick.
So easy.
So YUM!!

Serves 2 - 4

Get This -
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 Lebanese cucumber, seeds removed, diced
  • 1/4 red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons semi sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons sliced black olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 4 anchovies chopped finely
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • fresh parsley
Do This -
  1. Place the couscous in a large bowl. Place the stock in a saucepan, bring to just boiling point, then pour over the couscous. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Fluff couscous with a fork and season with salt and pepper. When couscous is cold, stir in the cucumber, onion, tomatoes, olives, capers and anchovies.
  3. In a separate small bowl, combine the olive oil and lemon juice, add to the couscous and stir until well combined. Top with chopped parsley.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

White Chocolate and Macadamia Rocky Road

Perfect for Christmas gifts or to take to Christmas parties.
It tastes divine!

makes 24
Get This - 
250g packet marshmallows, halved100g packet dried cranberries110g packet macadamia nuts, roughly chopped60g pistachios (optional)1/3 cup (35g) desiccated coconut2 x 180g blocks good-quality white chocolate, chopped

Do This - 
  • Grease a 20cm square cake pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang on all sides.
  • Combine marshmallows, cranberries, nuts and coconut in a bowl. Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high for 1-2 minutes, stirring with a metal spoon every 30 seconds, or until smooth.
  • Pour chocolate over marshmallow mixture. Mix well. Spoon mixture into prepared pan, pressing down with a spatula. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. Using a warm knife, cut into squares. Serve.

I used less craisins (which I hope are the same as dried cranberries because that's all I could find) and added some chopped lolly snakes for extra chew and colour.

From and tweaked to my own liking

Linking this post to -

Monday, November 26, 2012

Double Choc Chip Biscuits

Another one for the lunchboxes.


makes 22

Get This -

125g butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, at room temperature
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup white or milk choc bits
1/2 cup dark choc bits

Do This -
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl until pale and creamy. Add egg and mix until well combined. Sift flour and baking powder over butter mixture. Add milk and stir until just combined.
  3. Add white and dark choc bits. Using hands, knead dough to evenly distribute the choc bits.
  4. Using 1 heaped tablespoon of mixture at a time, roll mixture into balls. Place on baking trays lined with baking paper. Using the heel of your hand, flatten biscuits slightly (allow room for spreading).
  5. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, swapping trays over in oven after 10 minutes, or until light golden. Allow biscuits to cool on trays for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


Recipe of the Week

Is anyone else tired of thinking, 'What will I cook for dinner tonight?'?

I know I am.
So let's see if this helps.
I'm putting up my Recipe of the Week every Monday.
If you'd like to link up your recipe of the week, we might all be able to plan our weekly meals without having to do any thinking of our own!

Will it work?
Time will tell....

The rules are easy. Your recipe must be...

a) quick
b) easy
c) healthy (well, relatively)

Here's my recipe for this week. I love this after a weekend of eating too much!
It's light yet filling. And great on a hot night.

Chicken BLT Salad - click on the link and it will take you there just like magic!

Add your
to the linky below.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Anzac Biscuits

Grandma made some of these on the weekend and the kids loved them so much we had to make our own!

Makes about 24

Get This -

1 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons golden syrup or treacle
150g unsalted butter, chopped
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda

Do This -

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C.
  2. Place the flour, oats, sugar and coconut in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  3. In a small saucepan place the golden syrup and butter and stir over low heat until the butter has fully melted.
  4. Mix the bicarb soda with 1 1/2 tablespoons water and add to the golden syrup mixture. It will bubble whilst you are stirring together so remove from the heat.
  5. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix together until fully combined.
  6. Roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls and place on baking trays lined with non stick baking paper, pressing down on the tops to flatten slightly.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Caramel Treats

My kids were pretty happy with me when I made these on the weekend!
And they're loving them in their lunch boxes.

makes about 24

Get This -

1/4 cup butter
125g soft caramels
300g white marshmallows
6 cups rice bubbles

Do This -
  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add the caramels and marshmallows. Stir until completely melted. Remove form heat. Add rice bubbles and combine unl rice bubbles are well coated.
  3. Using a wet spatula or waxed paper, press the mixture evenly inot a 32 x 22 x 5cm pan coated with cooking oil spray. Cut into 5cm squares when cool.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Recipe of the Week

Is anyone else tired of thinking, 'What will I cook for dinner tonight?'?

I know I am.
So let's see if this helps.
I'm going to put up my Recipe of the Week every Monday.
If you'd like to link up your recipe of the week, we might all be able to plan our weekly meals without having to do any thinking of our own!

Will it work?
Time will tell....

The rules are easy. Your recipe must be...

a) easy
b) quick
c) healthy (well, relatively)

Here's my recipe for this week. It's what I'm cooking tonight and it's my 'go to' recipe when I really don't feel like cooking (okay, so that's pretty much every night, but we only have it once a week...promise!)

Spaghetti Bolognese - click on the link and it will take you there just like magic!

Mmmm, my mouth is watering already!
Now I can't wait for dinner.

Add your
to the linky below. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Potato Bake

Hubba wanted to cook a roast on his new Weber barbecue tonight so I thought a potato bake would be the perfect accompaniment. The only problem...I've never cooked a potato bake before! So I put the call out on Facebook and Twitter and six lovely ladies came to my rescue with six different recipes! I particularly liked this recipe from Sass. But I ended up putting the ideas together to make my own version. It had to be very plain because I was attempting to entice my 8yo Mr Fussy into trying something new. This is what I came up with...

The bad news is Mr Fussy wouldn't even try it.
The good news is Hubba loved it! And so did I!!

Serves 4

Get This -

6 potatoes
300mL cream
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon plain flour

Do This -
  1. Preheat oven to 180degC.
  2. Peel and slice the potatoes.
  3. Place in the bottom of an oven proof dish and sprinkle generously with salt.
  4. Whisk together the cream, milk and flour.
  5. Pour over the potatoes.
  6. Cover with alfoil and bake for 40 minutes.
  7. Remove the alfoil, sprinkle with grated cheese and bake uncovered on 200degC for a further 20 minutes.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Caramel Popcorn

Last week we went to a country show and my boy tried caramel popcorn for the first time. He LOVED it. When I told him I thought I could make it his eyes lit up like the fireworks we watched that night! So tonight, I found this recipe on and made some. It is soooo good! We've packed some to take to the movies tomorrow.

Makes 14 cups

Get This -

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup popping corn

  • Caramel

  • 125g butter, chopped
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • Do This -

    1. Line a tray with baking paper. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 pieces of popping corn. If corn slowly turns around in a circle then oil is hot enough.
    2. Add remaining popping corn. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. When corn starts popping, shake saucepan gently. Remove from heat when corn stops popping. Transfer to a large bowl, discarding any unpopped corn.
    3. Make caramel: Combine butter, sugar and honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Bring mixture to the boil. Boil, uncovered, without stirring, for 5 to 8 minutes or until light golden.
    4. Remove from heat. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and stir until popcorn is coated. Spread over prepared tray. Set aside to cool. Break into pieces. Serve.

    Friday, September 14, 2012


    Pikelets are great for a Sunday breakfast, or morning tea when someone drops in.
    Some people like them with sugar sprinkled on top. *gag*
    My kids like them with honey or syrup.
    I quite like them with jam & cream.
    But being a savoury person, my favourite topping is butter and grated Romano cheese!

    makes 25

    If you can remember "1", you will always remember this recipe!

    Get This -

  • 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
  • 1 tbs caster sugar
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Melted butter, to brush, plus extra knobs to serve

  • Do This -
    1. Sift flour and sugar together into a bowl with a pinch of salt.
    2. Whisk milk and egg together, then add to dry ingredients, whisking until smooth.
    3. Heat a non-stick fry pan over medium heat and brush with a little melted butter. Drop level tablespoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and cook for half a minute or until bubbles appear on the surface.
    4. Turn over and cook other side for 1 minute until golden.
    5. Allow to cool and serve with butter, and whatever else takes your fancy.

    Sunday, September 2, 2012

    Chilli Con Carne

    Serves 2 - 3

    Get This -

    250g mince
    1/2 medium onion
    1 can diced tomatoes
    1 can red Mexican Chilli beans
    salt, pepper & chilli flakes to season
    avocado or guacamole, sour cream and coriander or spring onions to serve

    Do This -
    1. Saute onion until soft.
    2. Add mince and stir until browned.
    3. Add tomatoes and can of beans.
    4. Season to taste with salt, pepper & chilli flakes.
    5. Mix well and simmer for 10 - 15 mins.
    6. Serve with rice, pasta, tacos or jacket potatoes.
    7. Add avocado or guacamole and  a dollop of sour cream on top.
    8. Finish off with some fresh coriander or sliced spring onions.

    This one is almost too easy, that's why I love it! :)

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

    4 Ingredients - Too Easy Chicken Nuggets

    Too easy is right!! These are so easy, and so yummy.
    Miss 4 gobbled them up and asked for more.

    As the title suggests, I found these on the 4 Ingredients website.

    serves 2 - 4

    Get This -

    2 chicken breasts, cut into bight size pieces
    1 cup(120g) breadcrumbs
    1cup (125g) organic mayonnaise
    1 tbsp. butter, melted

    Do This -

    1. Preheat oven to 180C.
    2. Coat chicken with mayonnaise and roll in breadcrumbs.
    3. Lay on a baking paper lined baking tray.
    4. Drizzle with a little butter and bake for 20 minutes.

    I didn't even use the butter, so it was only 3 ingredients and a winner!

    Monday, July 30, 2012

    Julie Goodwin's Cheesy Tuna Pies

    Just for a change - photo by ME!

    Serves 4

    Prep time - 10 minutes
    Cooking time - 25 minutes

    Get This -

    1 x 375g packet macaroni
    50g butter
    1 medium carrot, diced small
    1 brown onion, diced
    1 cup frozen baby peas
    1 tin corn kernels
    1/4 cup plain flour
    1 1/2 cups milk
    2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    1 cup grated tasty cheese
    425g tin tuna in brine, drained
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
    1 cup fresh bread crumbs
    Olive oil spray

    Do This -

    1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (180 degrees Celsius fan forced).
    2. In a large pot of rapidly boiling, salted water, cook the pasta to packet directions. Drain.
    3. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the carrot and onion. Saute gently until the carrots are soft. Add the peas and corn.
    4. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to coat all the vegetables well.
    5. Pour in 1/2 cup milk and stir until it is all incorporated and starting to form a thick, doughy sauce. Add another half a cup and repeat. Add the last of the milk and cook for a minute more, stirring.
    6. Toss in the mustard and cheese and stir until the cheese has melted. Add the tuna; break up any huge lumps but don't stir too much after this or the tuna will disintegrate and become mushy. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
    7. Stir the pasta gently through and divide between 4 ramekins or small pie dishes. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top and give a little spray of olive oil.
    8. Bake for 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crunchy.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    Hokkien Noodles with Prawns

    Image and (tweaked) recipe from

    Serves 4

    Get This -

    450g thin hokkien noodles
    1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
    300g green prawn cutlets
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    400g fresh stir-fry vegetables
    2 tbs kecap manis
    2 tbs fresh lemon or lime juice
    1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

    Do This -
    1. Place the noodles in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 2 minutes or until tender. Drain.
    2. Heat a large wok over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of the oil and heat until smoking. Stir-fry the prawns and garlic for 2 minutes or until they change colour. Transfer to a plate.
    3. Heat the remaining oil in the wok. Add the vegetables and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes or until tender crisp.
    4. Add the noodles, kecap manis and lemon juice to the wok. Return the prawn mixture to the wok and add the basil. Toss until combined and heated through.

    Sunday, June 10, 2012

    Beef & Vegetable Korma

    This curry is a perfect winter warmer, and so simple! All you need is time to let it simmer.

    Serves 4

    Get This -

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 600g diced beef
  • 1/2 jar korma paste (I used Patak's)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 2 zucchinis, chopped
  • 150g cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 3/4 cup (200g) Greek-style natural yogurt
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh coriander
  • Steamed rice, to serve
  • Cooked pappadums or naan bread, to serve

  • Do This -

    1. Heat half the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add half the beef and cook stirring 1-2 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining oil and beef.
    2. Add onions to the pan and saute until lightly browned.
    3. Return the beef to the pan and add the korma paste, vegetables and 1/2 cup (90g) of the yogurt. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 2 or more hours.
    4. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the chopped coriander and stir the remaining coriander through the curry. Spoon the curry onto the rice and sprinkle with the remaining coriander. Serve with the remaining yogurt and pappadums or naan.

    Note - you can add any vegetables you have or like to this curry.

    Wednesday, May 30, 2012

    Curly Fettuccini & Meatballs

    Serves 4

    Get This -
    500g mince
    1 onion, diced
    2 cloves of garlic, crushed
    1 egg
    1 cup of breadcrumbs
    3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
    5-6 basil leaves, roughly chopped
    1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
    2 bay leaves
    2 tablespoons tomato paste
    2 tins diced tomatoes
    1 teaspoon brown sugar
    olive oil, for cooking
    curly fettuccini (or regular fettuccini or spaghetti)
    grated parmesan to sprinkle

    Do This -
    1. In a large bowl add 1/2 of the chopped parsley, 1 garlic clove, mince, breadcrumbs, egg, parmesan cheese and a generous pinch of black pepper & salt. Mix with hands until well combined.
    2. Heat some olive oil in a large pot to a medium heat and add onion & and remaining garlic clove. Fry till translucent and fragrant.
    3. Roll the meatballs then brown them in the pot with the onions & garlic.
    4. Add the tomato paste, canned tomatoes, the remaining chopped parsley, basil & bay leaves, sugar, salt & pepper.
    5. Turn to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Or longer for more flavour. If the sauce seems a little dry add 1/2 cup of water.
    6. Serve with curly fettucinni and sprinkle with parmesan and basil.

    Monday, May 28, 2012

    Fi's Minestrone

    I found this recipe on Fi's blog Mummy Daze and thought it looked so good and so easy that I'd give it a go! It's absolutely delicious!!

    Not my image, as per usual!

    Serves 4 - with enough for seconds and leftovers

    Get This -

    2 tablespoons oil
    onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    3 tablespoons tomato paste
    800g tinned tomatoes
    2 teaspoons stock powder
    4.5 cups cold water
    2 medium potatoes, cubed
    1 large carrot, diced
    zucchini, sliced
    1/2 broccoli, chopped finely
    1/2 cup frozen peas
    750g tin cannellini beans, rinsed and strained
    1/2 cup macaroni/broken spaghetti pieces
    1 tablespoon sugar
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    2 cups fresh baby spinach (if you have some)
    salt & pepper
    fresh basil
    serve with a dollop of pesto

    Do This -

    1. Add diced bacon, onion, crushed garlic and oil to large pot. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes or until onion is softened.
    2. Add tomato paste, tinned tomato, stock and water. Cover, and bring to the boil. Add potato and carrots. Cook, uncovered for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
    3. When you are nearly ready to serve, add the beans, zucchini, broccoli, peas and pasta. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until pasta is just tender. Add sugar and vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in baby spinach leaves just before serving.
    4. Ladle into bowls and dollop with pesto and basil. Serve with toasted bread or oven-baked rolls - whatever you have handy.

    I served it with parmesan instead of pesto, and fresh basil.

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    Bacon & Cheese Mini Muffins

    Makes 30

    Get This -

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 short-cut bacon rashers, finely chopped
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup extra light olive oil
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 2 eggs

  • Do This -
    1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a 12 x 1 1/2-tablespoon (30ml) capacity mini muffin pan.
    2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add bacon. Cook, stirring, for 6 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Drain. Allow to cool.
    3. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in sugar, cheese and bacon. Whisk milk, oil, sour cream, eggs and pepper in a jug. Add to dry ingredients. Use a metal spoon to combine.
    4. Spoon mixture into muffin holes to almost fill them. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Stand for 5 minutes in pan before turning onto a wire rack. Repeat with remaining mixture. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    From and tweaked a little.

    Saturday, May 12, 2012

    Devilled Sausages

    As you know, I do not like using packet mixes or bottled bases. Who knows what's in those things!
    So here's an easy recipe for devilled packet required!

    Serves 4

    Get This -
    • 500g beef or pork sausages
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 125ml water
    • 2 onions, finely sliced
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tablespoon mustard
    • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
    • 1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
    • fresh parsley

    Do This -
    1. Heat oil in pan and brown sausages until cooked.
    2. Remove sausages and chop into chunks.
    3. Fry onions in the same pan until soft.
    4. Combine all other ingredients with the water to make a sauce. Add to sausages and onions and stir until sauce begins to boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally and cook for at least 10 mins, but the longer the better. I like at least an hour.
    5. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or your favourite herb. Serve with mashed potato or sweet potato, or on a bed of steamed rice with vegetables.

    This recipe is from with a few tweaks.

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

    Thai-Style Curry

    This recipe is like a choose your own adventure story book.

    You choose the type of curry.
    You choose as many or as few vegetables as you like
    You choose the meat or tofu...and come up with your own special thai-style curry.

    Serves 4

     Get This -

    • 2 tbsps thai red or green curry paste
    • 400ml coconut milk
    • 2 tbsps fish sauce
    • 2 tbsps brown sugar
    • 1 tbsp lime juice or 1 kaffir lime leaf finely shredded
    • 400g - 500g diced chicken, pork, lamb, or prawns peeled and deveined. Or 300g tofu, diced and lightly fried
    • fresh coriander
    • 4 cups jasmine rice (cooked)
    Choose your vegetables -
    • small can bamboo shoots (drained and rinsed)
    • small can water chestnuts (drained and rinsed)
    • 125g baby corn spears, halved diagonally
    • snow peas or snow pea sprouts
    • capsicum
    • carrots
    • brocolli
    • cauliflower
    • shallots or onions
    • beans or sugar snap peas
    • zucchini

    Do This - 

    1. In a wok or large saucepan, over medium high heat, combine coconut milk and curry paste, heat and stir constantly until the majority of the paste has dissolved.
    2. And fish sauce, brown sugar and lime, stir until dissolved.
    3. Add meat or tofu, stirring gently until well incorporated.
    4. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
    5. Add vegetables.
    6. Simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, until meat and vegetables are cooked through.
    7. Serve over rice and top with coriander.

    Friday, May 4, 2012


    I'd never made coleslaw before. But today I thought I'd give it a go.
    I don't know why I waited so long, it's easy!
    And sooooo much better than any store bought coleslaw.
    It was the perfect accompaniment to our easy Friday night frozen fish & chips!

    I haven't added measurements for this recipe because you can add as much or as little as you like to suit your taste.

    Get This -
    • sugar loaf cabbage, finely shredded
    • purple cabbage, finely shredded
    • shallots, finely shredded
    • carrot, grated
    • fresh basil, finely shredded
    • mayonnaise
    • lime juice
    • salt & pepper

    Do This -
    1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and serve.
    2. Too easy!

    Thursday, April 26, 2012

    Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake with Spinach & Semi-Dried Tomatoes


    Serves 4

    Get This -
    • 250g dried pasta
    • 2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped 
    • 100g baby spinach leaves
    • 300ml light thickened cream
    • 3/4 cup semi-dried tomatoes
    • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
    • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

    Do This -
    1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a 5cm-deep, 20cm x 28cm (base), 8-cup capacity baking dish.
    2. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water for 10 minutes or until tender.
    3. Drain pasta and return to saucepan. Add chicken, spinach, cream, tomatoes and 1 cup parmesan. Toss until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
    4. Spoon mixture into prepared dish. Top with mozzarella and remaining parmesan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Spoon pasta bake onto serving plates. Serve.

    Recipe from

    Thursday, April 19, 2012

    Crispy-topped Cottage Pie


    Serves 4

    Get This -

    • olive oil
    • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 750g beef mince
    • 1 cup beef stock
    • 400g can diced tomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons plain flour 
    • 2 carrots, peeled, diced
    • 1 cup frozen peas
    • 500g Desiree potatoes, thinly sliced
    • 100g tasty cheese, finely grated

    Do This -
    1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic, stirring, for 8 minutes or until soft. Add tomato paste. Cook for 3 minutes.
    2. Increase heat to high. Add mince. Cook, stirring, for 8 minutes or until browned. Add stock, water and tomatoes. Bring to the boil. Stir in flour and carrots. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Add peas.
    3. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 10-cup capacity ovenproof dish. Spoon in mince.
    4. Combine potatoes, 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, and salt and pepper. Arrange one-third potatoes over mince. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Repeat layers, finishing with potatoes. Drizzle with a little oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Increase heat to 230°C. Remove foil. Bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden. Serve.

    Note - to hide the vegetables from Miss 4, I grated the carrot and swapped frozen peas for grated zucchini.

    This recipe is from

    Wednesday, April 18, 2012

    Carrot Cake

    This morning my Miss 4 saw Timmy from Timmy Time baking a carrot cake.

    So of course she wanted to bake one, too.
    I hate to bake, but she is very persuasive, so I went to my go-to recipe website, and found this recipe. By some miracle I had every ingredient needed (but only 1/2 the amount of cream cheese for the icing).

    So, we baked it.
    She looks so cute in the apron I made for her
    The best thing about baking...licking the bowl!
    And it fell to bits when I tried to get it out of the tin. Next time I won't skip the baking paper lining!!

    It still tasted amazing!

    Ours did not look this good
    (as you will see below)

    Serves 12

    Get This -

  • Olive oil, to grease
  • 2 (about 300g) carrots
  • 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup (75g) plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (80g) brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (185ml) oil
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) golden syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

  • Icing

  • 250g spreadable cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup (80g) icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

  • Do This -
    1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease a 20cm (base) round cake pan lightly with oil, and line with non-stick baking paper. Peel and grate the carrots, and set aside. Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon into a large bowl.
    2. Put the brown sugar, oil, golden syrup, eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl. Use a balloon whisk to mix until combined.
    3. Pour the oil mixture into the dry ingredients. Use a wooden spoon to stir gently until just combined. Stir in the grated carrot.
    4. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 1 hour. Set aside for 5 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
    5. To make the icing, place the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Use a wooden spoon to mix until well combined.
    6. Spread the icing over the cake.

    This is our cake.
    The icing is green because she likes green.
    And it's not her birthday, but really, what is a cake without candles?

    Monday, April 2, 2012

    Spaghetti Bolognese

    I know the really simple way to make this is to brown some mince, add a jar of prepared sauce and add to pasta, but it's so easy to make your own. It tastes heaps better and you know exactly what you're eating, too.
    With illnesses, ailments and disorders on the rise I have to wonder if it has something to do with the mountains of processed foods we eat with all the additives, preservatives & chemicals. I don't like to use any bottled sauce bases anymore.

    Serves 4

    Get This -

    500g beef mince
    1 brown onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    2 cans diced tomatoes
    4 tablespoons tomato paste
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 beef stock cubes
    a shake of dried oregano
    a shake of dried thyme
    a shake of dried tarragon
    a pinch of cinnamon
    a pinch of nutmeg
    1/4 red lentils
    1/2 to 1 cup vegetables, eg carrot, zucchini, cauliflower, capsicum
    1/2 cup water (I swish out a can of tomatoes & use that)
    salt & pepper
    fresh parmesan, shaved/finely grated
    fresh basil
    spaghetti or other pasta

    Do This -

    • Heat oil in large pot.  Saute onions & garlic until translucent.
    • Add vegetables, stock cubes & herbs.
    • Add mince and stir until browned.
    • Add tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute.
    • Add all other ingredients and simmer.
    • Sauce will be ready in about 20 minutes, but I love it after a few hours of gentle simmering...much tastier! 
    • Just before you're ready to serve, cook pasta according to the instructions on the packet.
    • Drain pasta, serve in bowls with the bolognese sauce on top and finish with fresh shaved parmesan and chopped basil.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    Rice Paper Rolls

    This recipe is from and tweaked a little.


    Makes 12

    Get This -
    • 1 cup shredded barbecued chicken
    • 1 lebanese cucumber, cut into matchsticks
    • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
    • 1/2 cup beansprouts, trimmed
    • 1/3 cup fresh vietnamese mint leaves
    • 1/3 cup fresh coriander leaves
    • 1 tablespoon lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 12 x 22cm rice paper rounds (see note)
    • sweet chilli sauce, to serve

    Do This -
    1. Combine chicken, cucumber, carrot, beansprouts, mint, coriander, lime juice and fish sauce in a large bowl.
    2. Place 1 rice paper round in a medium bowl of lukewarm water for 15 seconds or until just soft. Place on a clean tea towel or paper towel.
    3. Arrange 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture along the centre of rice paper round. Fold ends in and roll up firmly to enclose filling. Repeat with remaining rice paper rounds and filling. Serve with sweet chilli sauce.

    Monday, March 26, 2012

    Fettuccine with Asparagus, Parmesan, and Prosciutto

    Serves 4

    Get This - 

    1 teaspoon olive oil
    100g thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into strips (or 4 finely chopped bacon rashers)
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    1 cup pure cream
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    Salt and pepper
    500g fettuccine
    2 bunches of asparagus trimmed and cut into pieces
    1 cup grated parmesan
    ¾ cup chopped fresh basil

    Do This -
    1. Cook fettuccine as per instructions on the pack.
    2. Heat oil in large nonstick pan over medium heat until just smoking.  Cook prosciutto until lightly browned and crisp, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to paper towel-lined plate.
    3. Add garlic to pan and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in cream and lemon juice and simmer until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.
    4. Add asparagus to the pot of pasta with 4 minutes left of cooking time.  Reserve 1 cup cooking water, drain pasta and asparagus, and return to pot.
    5. Add sauce, ½ cup reserved cooking water, parmesan, and basil to pot and toss to combine, adding remaining cooking water as needed.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle portions with crispy prosciutto.  Serve.

    Saturday, March 24, 2012

    Waldorf Salad

    This is my new favourite salad for lunch.

    Get This -
    • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • iceberg lettuce, shredded
    • 1 celery stalk, trimmed, chopped
    • 1 granny smith apple, cored, chopped (or any apple will do, I like Fuji apple) 
    • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional)
    Do This -
    1. Mix mayonnaise and lemon juice in a bowl.
    2. Mix all other ingredients in a serving bow.
    3. Add mayonnaise dressing and toss.
    4. Top with nuts

    Today I've also added tinned salmon, fetta and coriander.
    It's also good with cooked chicken and basil.

    Friday, March 23, 2012

    Lamb Massaman Curry

    This recipe is from the Australian Women's Weekly.

    I love how easy a lovely curry is!
    And the longer it's cooked, the better.
    So my favourite thing to do is put it on in the early afternoon and walk away.
    Then when dinner time's done!
    From the Australian Women's Weekly
    Serves 4
    Get This -

    1kg lamb shoulder, cut into 3cm cubes
    100g diced onion
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    210g jar Valcom massaman curry paste
    2 x tins quality coconut cream
    2 tablespoons fish sauce
    2 tablespoons lime juice
    1 tablespoon salt
    4 tablespoons palm sugar (or 2 tablespoons brown sugar)
    200g potato cubes (2cm)
    fresh coriander roughly chopped

    Do This - 

    1. In a deep pan (5 litre with heavy base ideal) heat oil and cook onions until they change colour to a light caramel colour. Add curry paste and stir for several minutes on medium heat. Add half-cup coconut cream and stir.
    2. Bring to the boil and add fish sauce. Bring back to the boil again, add lime juice, salt and sugar.
    3. Pour in remaining coconut cream and bring to nearly boiling then add lamb and potato. Stir occasionally. Simmer on very low heat without lid for 90 minutes or until meat is tender.
    4. Garnish with coriander. Serve with steamed rice.

    Thursday, March 22, 2012

    Beef and Black Bean Noodle Stir-Fry

    Another recipe from

    This is what I call cheating...opening packets and bottles. But this is pretty good cheating, don't you think?

    It's not the tastiest meal I've ever had. But it's not bad for something quick and easy.


    Serves 4

    Get This -
    • 1 x 400g pkt hokkien noodles
    • 1 tbs olive oil
    • 400g beef stir-fry strips
    • 1 brown onion, halved, thinly sliced
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 1 x 500g pkt Woolworths Fresh Family Vegetable Stir-Fry
    • 80ml (1/3 cup) water
    • 1 x 300g btl Asia at Home Black Bean Stir Fry Sauce
    • 1/3 cup fresh coriander leaves

    Do This -
    1. Place the noodles in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and set aside for 3 minutes or until tender. Drain.
    2. Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a wok over high heat. Add half the beef and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with 1 teaspoon of oil and the remaining beef.
    3. Heat the remaining oil in the wok over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and stir-fry for 1 minute or until the onion softens. Add vegetables and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the vegetables are tender crisp.
    4. Use a fork to separate the noodles. Add the noodles and black bean sauce to the wok, and toss to coat. Add the remaining water to the sauce bottle and seal. Shake until well combined. Pour into the wok. Add the beef and toss to combine.
    5. Divide the stir-fry among serving plates. Top with the coriander to serve.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2012


    Not my photo, I always forget to take photos, too busy eating!
    Makes 16 small rissoles

    Get This -

    250g beef mince
    1/2 carrot, grated
    1/2 zucchini, grated
    1/2 onion, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon grated parmesan
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon tomato sauce
    1 teaspoon mustard
    2 slices grain bread, crusts removed and broken up into small pieces

    Do This -

    1. Mix everything together well (with your hands, of course) in a mixing bowl.
    2. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
    3. Roll into small balls, sausage shapes or patties.
    4. Shallow fry until browned all over and cooked through.

    My friend Julie makes gravy with her rissoles and this is how she does it.

    2 tbspns flour, 2 cups chicken stock, 1 tbspn tomato paste, mixed together in the pan the rissoles were cooked in. It's my new favourite thing! I love gravy!!

    Saturday, March 17, 2012

    Mini Asparagus Frittatas

    Makes 12

    Get This - 

    • 5 eggs
    • 1/2 cup pure cream
    • 1/4 cup grated tasty cheese
    • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed, thinly sliced
    • 2 tablespoons chopped semi-dried tomatoes
    • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
    • handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

    Do This -
      1. Preheat oven to 190°C/170°C fan-forced. Grease 12 hole patty pan.
      2. Whisk eggs, cream, cheese and garlic together in a jug. Season with salt and pepper.
      3. Combine asparagus, tomato, basil and onion in a bowl. Spoon evenly into holes of prepared pan.
      4. Pour egg mixture over asparagus mixture. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden and set.

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    Chicken Pasties

    This was my first attempt at making pasties.
    It is a little time consuming but very easy.
    This amount makes a lot of pasties so I cooked half and froze half.
    They froze really well, I wrapped them in baking paper so they wouldn't stick together.

    Makes 12

    Get This - 

    • 30g unsalted butter
    • 1/2 onion, chopped
    • 1 tsp curry powder
    • 1/2 carrot, peeled, grated
    • 1 sticks celery, chopped
    • 5 button mushrooms, chopped
    • 1 cup shredded, barbecued chicken
    • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
    • 1 tbs plain flour
    • 1 cup chicken stock
    • 3 sheets puff pastry, defrosted
    • Milk or egg yolk, to brush pastry

    Note - You can change the vegetable to suit your taste, or to use whatever you have in the fridge. I used carrot, zucchini (finely diced, not grated), cabbage and corn.

    Do This -
      1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add onion and curry and fry until onions are soft but not brown. Add carrot and celery and cook for 1-2 minutes.
      2. Add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken and corn and stir until combined. Stir in flour, then gradually start adding stock, stirring, until mixture thickens. Set aside to cool.
      3. Cut each pastry sheet into 4. Add about 2 spoons of the mixture to the centre of a piece of pastry. Fold over a corner diagonally to enclose the filling and form a triangle. Use a fork to seal the edges, then brush with milk or egg yolk.
      4. Repeat with remaining pastry and mixture. Place on a lined baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
      5. Serve with a green salad or steamed vegetables

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    Pumpkin & Red Lentil Soup

    I love pumpkin soup. But I've never made it before...until now.
    It's so easy, why did I wait so long?
    Another one from, the best place to go for recipes!!

    Serves 4

    Get This - 
    • olive oil
    • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
    • 2 tsp ground cumin seeds
    • 1 tsp ground tumeric  
    • 1kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, cut into 1cm-pieces
    • 175g (3/4 cup) red lentils, rinsed
    • 1L (4 cups) water
    • 2 x vegetable stock cubes
    • natural yoghurt & fresh coriander leaves, to serve

    Do This -
    1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add olive oil. Add the onion and cook, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and cumin/curry powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic.
    2. Add the pumpkin, lentils, water and stock cubes. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, for 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkin and lentils are soft. Set aside to cool.
    3. Ladle half the lentil mixture into the jug of a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a clean saucepan. Repeat with the remaining lentil mixture.
    4. Place the soup over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until heated through. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Ladle among serving bowls. Top with the yoghurt and coriander to serve.

    Monday, February 20, 2012

    Mushroom & Tomato Frittata

    I'm still a little shocked at how easy and quick and tasty this recipe is!
    It's a new favourite!!
    I found it on and changed a few things.
    I added some bacon, changed the parsley to coriander and cooked it in the oven because I don't have a grill.

    Serves 4

    Get This - 

      • 20g butter
      • 200g Swiss brown mushrooms, thickly sliced
      • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into wedges
      • 4 eggs
      • 75g mature cheddar, coarsely grated
      • 2 bacon rashers, diced
      • 1/4 cup fresh coriander roughly chopped
    Do This -
    1. Preheat the grill to high or the oven to 180deg.
    2. Melt the butter in a non-stick frypan over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms, bacon and tomato wedges, and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until tomato and mushrooms have softened.
    3. Lightly beat eggs with 1 tablespoon water in a large bowl. Stir in cheese, coriander, and the mushroom and tomato mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
    4. Melt remaining butter in the frypan over medium-low heat. Add the egg mixture, stir briefly, then cook for 5-6 minutes until golden underneath and nearly set. Place pan under hot grill for 3-4 minutes or until just set and top is golden. Or pour the mixture into a flan/quiche dish and bake in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes until just set and top is golden.
    5. Serve with your favourite salad.

    Friday, February 17, 2012

    Beef Stroganoff

    I am a big fan of stroganoff.  I've posted a chicken one, now here's a beef one.  Too delicious!

    Serves 4

    Get This - 

    • 1/2 cup plain flour
    • 500g beef fillet steaks, cut into 2cm-thick strips
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 large brown onions, halved, sliced
    • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 3 cups beef stock
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 2 teaspoons paprika
    • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    • 200g button mushrooms, halved
    • 1/4 cup sour cream
    • chopped spring onions to garnish

    Do This -
    1. Place flour in a snap-lock bag. Season with salt and pepper. Add beef strips. Seal bag and shake to coat. Remove beef. Place in a bowl.
    2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook mushrooms, onion and garlic for 4 to 5 minutes or until soft. Transfer to a plate.
    3. Add remaining oil and beef to pan. Cook for 5 minutes or until browned. Return mushrooms, onion and garlic to pan. Add stock. Bring to the boil. Add tomato paste, paprika and mustard. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, stirring, for 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream. Cook for 1 minute or until heated through.
    4. Serve with mashed potato, rice, pasta or (my favourite) rice noodles. And top with spring onions.

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    Rice Cakes

    Tonight I had some left over cooked rice.
    I'd usually make fried rice with it, but I did that 2 nights ago, so I went looking for something else.
    I found a recipe on for rice cakes that used smoked chicken. But I didn't have any chicken so I substituted bacon and added some sour cream to make sure they wouldn't be too dry.

    They were really tasty! A bit like mini quiches, but without flour, which is always good for me!

    Makes 12

    Get This -

    1 - 1 1/2 cups cooked basmati rice
    4 bacon short cut rashers, diced
    2 tablespoons semi-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
    1/3 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
    1 cup grated cheese
    1/3 cup grated parmesan
    1 tablespoon sour cream
    3 green onions, thinly sliced
    1/4 cup basil leaves, finely shredded
    3 eggs, lightly beaten
    salt and pepper

    Do This -
      1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 12 hold muffin pan.
      2. Fry the bacon until cooked, then leave to cool.
      3. Place rice, bacon, dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cheese, parmesan, onions, basil, eggs, salf and pepper into a large bowl. Mix well to combine.
      4. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cakes are firm to the touch and light golden. Stand in pan for 5 minutes. Run a flat-edged knife around edges of cakes. Turn onto a wire rack.
      5. Serve with salad. Tonight's salad was coral lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red onion, capsicum, lebanese cucumber, fetta and avacado dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
    These would also be great lunch box idea.

    Saturday, January 28, 2012

    Pad Thai

    This is a version of a recipe I found here.

    Image found here

    Serves 4

    Get This -

    250g rice stick noodles
    500g chicken thigh fillets, sliced thinly
    2 clove garlic, crushed
    2 teaspoon grated ginger
    1 red capsicum, sliced into thin strips and strips halved
    1 large carrot, cut into matchstick
    4 spring onions, sliced thinly
    2 cups bean sprouts
    1 or 2 red thai chilli, sliced thinly
    2 tablespoons chopped palm sugar (or brown sugar)
    2 tablespoon soy sauce
    2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon fish sauce
    1 tablespoon lime juice
    3 eggs
    fresh roughly chopped coriander leaves
    chopped peanuts
    Chilli flakes and sesame seeds (optional)

    Do This -
    • Prepare rice noodles according to directions listed on package.
    • In a mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime juice and fish sauce, set aside.
    • Heat oil in a wok or large and deep non-stick pan over medium-high heat. 
    • Once hot add chicken and saute until cooked through, about 4 - 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate, leaving oil in pan. 
    • Add capsicum and carrots and saute 1 - 2 minutes then add garlic, ginger, spring onions and bean sprouts saute 1 minute longer. 
    • Push veggies to edges of pan and crack eggs into center. Cook and scramble until eggs have cooked through. 
    • Add in chicken, noodles and sauce and toss everything together and cook 1 - 2 minutes.
    Serve warm topped with cilantro, peanuts and optional red pepper flakes and sesame seeds.

    Friday, January 27, 2012

    Honey Soy & Ginger Chicken Noodle Stir Fry

    I love a stir-fry!!

    Serves 2

    Get This -

    1 chicken breast, trimmed, cut into strips across the grain
    3 tablespoons soy sauce
    1 tablespoon honey
    1 tablespoon oil
    2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
    4cm piece ginger, finely grated
    1 small onion, cut into thin wedges
    1 medium carrot, cut into thin sticks
    handful of green beans, trimmed, halved diagonally
    (Or whatever stir-fry vegetables you have eg capsicum, snow peas, brocolli, baby corn)
    enough noodles for 2 (I prefer rice noodles, but you could use hokkien, udon, stick noodles, or even a packet of 2 minute noodles)

    Do This - 
    • Combine chicken, soy sauce, honey, garlic and ginger in a bowl.  Let stand for at least 5 minutes to marinate. (An hour in the fridge is better)
    • Cook noodles according to the instructions on the pack.
    • Drain chicken and reserve marinade.  Heat oil in a large wok or fry pan over a high heat.  Add chicken and stir fry for about 2 minutes, until just cooked.  Remove chicken from wok.
    • Add vegetables one at a time and stir-fry until cooked through.
    • Add chicken, drained noodles and reserved marinade, combine until heated through.
    • Serve with chopped herbs or spring onions.

    Saturday, January 21, 2012

    Chicken BLT Salad

    I love salads on a Summer night.
    This one is perfect!!


     Serves 4

    Get This -

    Olive oil
    500g single chicken breast fillets
    4 lean bacon rashers, excess fat trimmed, cut into thirds
    2 baby cos lettuces, leaves separated, washed, dried
    2 vine-ripened tomatoes, thickly sliced
    1 avocado, halved, stone removed, peeled, thinly sliced
    4 boiled eggs
    caesar salad dressing

    Do This -
    • Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Add to the pan and cook for 3 minutes each side or until well browned. Thickly slice the chicken across the grain.
    • Add the bacon to the pan and cook for 4 minutes or until crisp.
    • Remove the bacon and place chicken back into the pan. Stir until cooked well all through.
    • Divide the lettuce, tomato, avocado, chicken and bacon among serving bowls. Drizzle dressing over the top. Finish with a boiled egg cut in half.
    *I like to add some shaved parmesan as well. You could also have it with croutons.