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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Potatoes in Garlic & Cream

I love this recipe. It is just so simple and easy to make and your guests will love you for it, even if they won't love the calories that go with it. I serve this if I am having a main meal that is not too heavy or spicy. As this is quite a rich side dish it goes better with meals such as a barbecue or roast meat meal.


4 large potatoes
300 ml carton whipping cream
1 clove crushed garlic (bottled crushed will do also)
chip or chicken salt to taste
cracked black peopper to taste


Peel and slice the potatoes. Place a layer of potatoes in a shallow oval oven dish. Mix the garlic through the cream and add the salt and pepper to this. Pour some of this over the potatoes and continue a layer of potatoes then one of cream mix, finishing with the cream. Sprinkle a little paprika over the top of the cream and bake in a hot oven for about 20 minutes. Turn heat down to medium and cook a further 35 - 40 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through and the top is a lovely golden brown. I like to serve with green vegetables such as broccoli or brussel spouts and a yellow vegetable such as baby carrots or pumpkin, then you get all the lovely colours and flavours with your side dishes and it looks great when you serve.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Dutch Pea & Ham Soup

This is the real dutch way of making pea and ham soup. I also love the aussie way of making this lovely rich thick soup and I have also got this in my free online recipes. The dutch way of making it is to use green split peas but if you prefer the yellow ones, you can also make it with them. I love to use a pressure cooker to make my soups in as it is so much quicker in cooking time and keeps all the lovely flavours in.


1 small pkt green split peas
1 large brown onion - chopped
1 extra large potato- peeled and diced
1 bacon hock or bacon slab
1 polish or dutch sausage (salami style)
approx 1 1/2 - 2 litres water
salt and black pepper to taste


Soak peas overnight or for at least 8 hours. Pour off this water then cover with fresh water, the bacon hock, diced potato, onion and some salt and ground black pepper to taste. Cook for at least 2 hours on top of stove or else use a pressure cooker and follow time stated. It is usually about 25 minutes after you have it up to correct pressure. Once your soup is cooked, the meat should fall away easily from the bone. Remove the meat and chop it up, then return to pot. Peel sausage and slice up and place in the soup. Serve with some lovely fresh crusty bread and it will make a complete meal out of it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pea & Ham Soup

This is a favourite soup in our family and I usually make it just the way my mum did. Sometimes I like to make it the dutch way and that is also a rich, thick and very filling soup. I will share both recipes with you. I always use a pressure cooker to make my soup but if you don't have one you will need to cook for at least 2 hours. Some of the old styled cookers do not recommend cooking pea and ham soup in them as they may explode. I can remember as a young girl, my mum using hers always to make it and never having any problems with it. As long as you follow the exact instructions with your cooker, and never fill the cooker over about 3/4 full and you will be okay with using one. I love them as they are so quick and you get the full flavour of the food as well as always being so perfectly cooked. Once you have used one, you will wonder how you ever survived without it.


1 large bacon hock
1 large brown onion
2 carrots
1 large parsnip
3/4 of a small packet of yellow split peas
sea salt and black pepper to taste
fresh parsley - chopped
water to cover to 3/4 way up pressure cooker


Soak the peas in cold water overnight or for at least 8 hours. Dice onion, carrots and parsnip and put in the pressure cooker. Add the drained split peas, the bacon hock and little salt and ground black pepper. Cover with water until your cooker is about 3/4 full. Set pressure cooker on top of stove or hotplate and secure lid. Bring up to pressure and then reduce heat to correct level as stated with your pressure cookers book. Cook for approx 25 minutes or suggested time in the book for pea and ham soup. Turn off the cooker and always let the pressure down before you try to remove the lid. Once the pressure has been removed, take off the lid and remove the bacon hock. It should start to fall away from the bone easily. If it doesn't, it means you haven't cooked it long enough and you may need to cook for another 5 minutes or so. I like to cut the meat up into small pieces and return to the soup. Add the chopped parsley and return cooker to stove to heat through again.Taste for correct amount of seasoning and if needed, add a little more salt and pepper. Serve with some fresh crusty bread.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Potato Fritters

I can remember mum making these for us and as they were such a family favourite, I want to share them with you. For some reason, mum called them Mock Kingfish and I still have no idea why they were called this. They are just so simple to make and with only 2 ingredients in them, also very economical. Kids especially, as well as the adults will love them, so try them and see for yourself. I have made them with a little chopped onion and bacon on ocassions and they also go down really well.


4 large eggs
4 - 5 large potatoes - grated
sea salt and black pepper to taste


Beat 1 egg until frothy then add one of the grated potatoes and a little salt and pepper. In a very large frypan or flat griddle, melt some butter and when very hot add heaped tablespoons of mixture onto it. Cook for approx 4 minutes then turn over and do the other side. When you are sure that the potato is cooked through, remove and continue beating 1 egg at a time and 1 grated potato and repeat process until all used up. The reason for doing it this way is to stop the egg mix going flat from the starch from the potatoes. They will also rise a lot better by making this way. These are best served hot with tomato sauce (ketchup). Make sure that you cook heaps of them as they will disappear as soon as you slide them off the hotplate.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Onion Jam

A couple of years ago when down south at Margaret River, I bought this beautiful bottle of onion jam. Obviously they wouldn't give away their renown recipe so I decided to look around for recipes that when made, tasted as good as theirs. This is a little different in ingredients but after making it, I decided that it was just as yummy. It is great to serve with cold meats such as ham, pork or beef. It is also a great little gift idea for giving at christmas or holiday times, especially if you use nice jars and dress them up with pretty home made covers on the lids and bows to decorate. I tie a nice bow around the covered lid and then place a little white spoon through the ribbon. I love this recipe and I know you will too once you have tried it.


4 kg brown onions - cut into rings
6 cups malt vinegar
6 fresh bay leaves
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
7 cups soft brown sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt


Place onions and vinegar in a large saucepan. Add the bay leaves, mustard and cumin seeds and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 45 minutes. Add sugar and salt and stir over low heat until fully dissolved. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes or until thick. Skim off any scum that forms during cooking with a slotted spoon. Remove the bay leaves. Spoon immediately into sterilised, warm jars and seal. Invert the jars and leave to cool. Label them and store for 3 weeks before eating. This will allow the flavours to develop. You can store your jam for up to a year in the pantry or for 6 weeks in the refrigerator once they have been opened.
To sterilise your jars wash thoroughly in hot soapy water or the dishwasher. Before using them place in an oven at 120 C for 20 minutes. The jars should be completely dry before you use them.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pumpkin Rice Cakes

I received this recipe from a friend who had discovered it in a magazine while waiting at the doctors surgery. I have often found some great recipes this way but if you want some out of a magazine that isn't yours, either just write it down or else ask if you can remove it as nothing is worse than reading an interesting article and going to the next page to continue and you find the page has been torn out. I usually always carry a pen and paper in my handbag now so I am always prepared for it.


600 g pumpkin, peeled and cubed ( I use kent or butternut)
1/3 cup olive oil (use virgin light tasting)
1 onion - finely diced
2 cloves garlic -crushed (can use bottled crushed)
1 3/4 cups calrose rice
1 teaspoon bottled crushed chilli or flakes
4 cups vegetable stock
3/4 grated tasty cheese - like romano
1/2 cup frozen peas
3/4 cup seasoned plain flour or breadcrumbs
1/3 cup fresh chopped coriander
lemon mayonnaise - see below
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 200 C. Toss pumpkin in 1 tablespoon of the oil then spread on oven tray and season to taste. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until golden and tender. Heat 1 tabelspoon oil in a large saucepan on high. Saute onion and garlic for 3 - 4 minutes until the onion is transparent. Add rice and chilli and cook, stirring for 1 minute. In a medium saucepan bring stock to the boil. Add hot stock to the rice mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring until all liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender (approx 20 minutes). Stir cheese, peas and coriader through the pumpkin mixture. Transfer to a large bowl, cool, then chill until cold and firm. Roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls. Flatten slightly and toss in seasoned flour or breadcrumbs. Heat remaining oil in a large frypan or wok on medium heat. Cooki risotto cakes in 4 batches for 2 - 3 minutes on each side until golden. Serve with lemon mayonnaise.

Lemon Mayonnaise:
Combine 1/2 cup whole-egg mayonnaise with 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest and a little lemon juice. Season to taste.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Basic Meatloaf Recipe

Everyone has their own favourite and simple meatloaf recipes and I have had this one in my recipe book for so long, I cannot remember who gave it to me but I think it was Aunty Joy. She always was cooking up easy and tasty meals to serve her farming family so it probably came from her. I had forgotten how nice this easy meatloaf recipe was so decided to cook it again to see if I loved it as much as I remembered. It is something that you can serve hot with vegetables or even slice up and serve cold with a salad for summer months. I like to have a jug of gravy on the side to serve with mine. I never ever make package gravy as home made is always so much nicer.


500 g sausage meat
500 g minced steak
1 medium brown onion - chopped
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 eggs - lightly beaten
fresh parsley - chopped
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
1 clove garlic (can use bottled crushed garlic)
1 carrot - finely diced
2 stalks celery - chopped
1/3 cup milk
2 rashers bacon
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cider vinegar (optional)
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 - 1 teaspoon sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 F.
Soak your breadcrumbs in the milk in a large bowl. While this is soaking, proceed with other preparations. In a large frypan or wok, melt the butter and cook the onions, celery, carrot and garlic over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Put lid on pan and continue to cook on a low heat for about another 5 minutes or until carrot is cooked through. Remove from heat and add vinegar, allspice and worcestershire sauce. Add all of this to your bread and milk mixture. Add your meat, bacon, eggs and parsley and mix it through with your hands until well combined. Put your mixture into a large loaf tin that has been lined with alfoil with enough overlap to cover meatloaf. Place the loaf tin in a large baking dish that has been set on the middle shelf of your oven and bake uncovered for approx 1 hour. If meatloaf looks like it is becoming too brown or dry on top, wrap your alfoil over it and then bake for about another 30 minutes. When cooked it should start to pull away from sides of tin but still have some juices around the loaf. This will keep in the refigerator for 3 - 4 days.

Pumpkin Soup

I have been making my much requested pumpkin soup for about 20 years now and I always follow the same recipe. I have tried different variations of this popular soup but always come back to my original recipe. If you are slimming or on an eating program then just leave out the cream. I often do and serve the cream on the side so people can add this to their own taste. Always use butternut pumpkin as it tastes so much better than other varieties.


1 kg butternut pumpkin (squash)
1 large brown onion
1 carrot
2 - 3 teaspoons chicken stock powder (can use 2 cubes)
5 cups water
sea salt and black pepper to taste
tablespoon fresh chopped parsley (can use dried)
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 carton of whipping or thickened cream


Chop onion roughly. Peel and cube pumpkin and peel and slice carrot.Melt butter in large stockpot. Add the onion to this and saute on low heat until just transparent. Mix in the stock powder and a little water to combine. Add the other ingredients and pour over the rest of the water and turn heat up on high until the soup begins to boil. When boiling, turn heat down so it is just gently bubbling. Place lid on pot and cook for approx 20 minutes or until vegetables are very soft and break away when touched with a spoon or fork. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Using an electric hand blender, such as a bamix, blend all together until thick and smooth. Add your cream just before you are going to serve or else serve it on the side. If you do not own a hand blender, then a benchtop blender will do. Just make sure you allow soup to cool quite a bit more if you use a benchtop blender. Serve as your entree with some lovely crusty bread.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pumpkin Scones

Pumpkin scones are an australian icon and everyone will have their own version of this recipe. I like to keep them simple as I love them just out of the oven, hot and with lots of butter running down the sides when you eat them. Always use butternut for your pumpkin as they don't taste the same using other varieties.


1 cup butternut pumpkin (squash)
2 cups SR flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 large tablespoon butter (softened)
1/4 teaspoon salt


Cook pumpkin, mash then set aside to go cold. In large bowl, beat butter, sugar and salt until creamed. Add egg and mix until soft and fluffy. Add sifted four and combine gently by hand. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead slightly. Do not overdo this as it will take the air out of your scones and make them tough. Press out (do not use rolling pin) by hand and either cut with scone cutter or else use a knife. A knife is always best as the cutter by pressing down on your dough can also take the air out of them. Place on a floured oven tray and cook in hot oven for about 12 - 15 minutes or until risen and golden brown on top. Take out and immediately wrap scones in a clean cotton teatowel and leave until ready to serve. You can add some sultanas for something different. I have made these with half sugar, half splenda and they also taste good.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fish Mornay

One of my mum's friends gave gave her this receipe a long time ago, when money was tight and people had to economise as much as they could. The more you had to feed, the more vegetables and sauce was added to make the food go around. Over the years we have modified it a little so that you don't lose the lovely salmon flavour by overcrowding it with too many other ingredients. I love the taste of corn so always add it to my recipe. If there is anything in it you don't like, just leave it out. As always, use only the best ingredients with your recipes and you will enjoy them so much more. If you are economising, just add more veges but always use good canned salmon or tuna in this receipe.


1 large can salmon or tuna - drained
1 small onion - chopped
1 small can corn kernels (fresh or frozen can also be used)
2 tablespoons peas (fresh or frozen are best)
1 small carrot - diced
2 - 3 handfuls of pasta shells, spirals or macaroni (not spaghetti)
2 tablespoons butter
2 large tablespoons plain flour
600 - 750 ml fresh milk (I use hi-lo)
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
250 g pkt tasty cheese - grated
squirt lemon juice


Cook pasta until still very firm and drain. Microwave or boil veges, including onion until about half cooked and set aside. In large saucepan heat butter over fairly high heat and when starting to boil, quickly add the flour, salt and pepper and continue stirring so it doesn't burn. Keep cooking for several minutes or until mixture starts to change colour to a golden brown. Very quickly pour in about half of your milk, while mixture is still on a high heat and stirring continuously. Add the rest of the milk while still stirring. Don't worry if it looks a little lumpy at first as it will become smooth as it begins to cook. You always should cook the flour first when making any type of sauce and by making it this way, you don't get lumpy sauce and it tastes so much better. Lower your heat to medium and continue to stir as the sauce is cooking. When it begins to boil, turn heat right down to simmer and add 3/4 of the grated cheese to the sauce. Put all your other ingredients into a very large bowl with a squirt of lemon juice and mix together until just combined with a wooden spoon. Pour 3/4 of the sauce over this and mix through. Pour all the mixture into a large casserole or lasagna dish then pour the rest of the sauce over and make sure it covers the mixture well, especially around the sides. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over your mornay and then sprinkle a little paprika over the cheese. This gives it a lovely colour when cooked. Cook in oven at a moderate to high temperature until cheese is bubbling and turns a lovely golden brown. Usually about 20 minutes will do. Serve with some lovely crusty bread and any other side vegetables that you like. Do not serve with starchy vegetables as you have enough in the mornay.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fish Cakes

I love fish cakes and I always use salmon for mine but you can use tuna if you want to save a little money on them. When I was a little girl I can always remember being allowed to mash the potatoes up for mum when she was making them for us. They are easy to make and so very tasty that you will love having them, especially during the summer as they go down well with a tossed salad and a glass of chilled white wine.


1 large tin of salmon or tuna
1 small to medium size onion
1 large egg
2 large potatoes
fresh parsley - chopped
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
sea salt and black pepper to taste
approx 1 tablespoon lemon juice
extra breadcrumbs
Peanut or olive oil for shallow frying


Boil potatoes and then mash them and allow to cool slightly. Chop onion up finely. In large bowl add all ingredients and mix through with your hands as this really combines the ingredients well.
Shape into patties, dip in extra breadcrumbs and fry in large frypan or wok until browned on one side then turn over and cook the other side. They should only take several minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels and serve either hot or cold. I serve with a lemon wedge and a small bowl of tartre sauce on the table for those who want it.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Citrus Sponge Fingers

I tasted this recipe at a morning tea I went to recently and it was so yummy that naturally, I had to ask the hostess for the recipe for my recipe site. I am sure that once you have tried this one, you will be wanting to make it again and again.


1 can condensed milk ( can use the light one)
300 ml carton of thickened or whipping cream
juice 1/2 lemon
3 teaspoons gelatine
2 tablespoons just-boiled water
1 pkt sponge finger biscuits

Jelly Topping:
85 g packet orange-flavoured jelly (jello)
1 cup boiling water
2 oranges, segmented


Grease and line an 18 x 28 cm slice tin. Trim the ends of the biscuits and cut in half lengthways. Place biscuits in the base of tin, cut-side down. In a large bow, beat together condensed milk, cream and lemon juice. In a small bowl or jug, whisk gelatine vigorously into the water until dissolved. Cool slightly then beat into the milk mixture. Let mixture stand for about 10 minutes until thickened. Pour over the biscuit base and chill in refrigerator or 1 - 2 hours or set firm.
For topping, combine jelly crystals and water in bowl or large jug and stir well until dissolved then cool to room temperature. Arrange orange segments over your filling then carefully pour over the jelly. Chill for 2 - 3 hours or until set. Use a warm knife to cut into squares and then serve.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thai Beef Salad

This is one of my all time favourite summer recipes and I make it often for David and myself when we want something really healthy and also great if you are watching your weight as there is no fat in it apart from a light spray of olive oil for cooking the steak. Once again, I always only use the very best ingredients in the market. I would much rather have a small serve of a really tender, beautiful steak than a huge piece that is so tough you can hardly digest it.


500 g trimmed rump steak
1/2 thinly sliced red onion (spanish)
2 lebanese cucumbers - peeled, halved and chopped
1 punnet cherry or grape tomatoes
1 bunch fresh coriander- chopped
small bunch fresh mint - chopped
iceberg lettuce


Heat barbecue or hot plate over high heat. Spray some olive oil spray on it and place the steak on top. Cook for several minutes on each side, turning only once. Do not overcook as this will dry the steak out and make it tough. Take off hot plate and let sit while you are making your salad and dressing. Combine the onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, coriander and mint in a large bowl. Cut your steak into very thin slices and add to the salad. Pour over half the dressing (recipe below) and toss through. Put the remaining dressing in a small jug to have on the table if your guests require more on their salad. I prefer my dressing without the fish sauce, but if you like it in other asian cooking, you will love it in here.

1/3 cup sweet chilli sauce
1/2 cup lime juice
2 large teaspoons brown sugar
(optional) 1 large teaspoon fish sauce

In a small jar or bowl, mix all ingredients together to blend well.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Salmon Dip

This was given to me by Judy, who has shared lots of her favourite recipes with me. I love serving simple things like dips, pates to start off either a cocktail party or casual barbecue. Sometimes I just serve them with crackers and dipping breads and other times I like to serve them with lots of fresh vegetable sticks or florets. This is an especially lovely dip and once you have made it, I am sure it will become one of your favourites as well. Make sure that you don't compromise by using cheaper generic brands when making this or any other of my recipes. They never taste as good as using the best ingredients.


415 g can red salmon (use a good brand)
60 g light cream cheese
1/4 cup thickened cream
3 spring onions, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Using an electric blender, blend salmon, cheese, cream and lemon juice long enough to puree. Pour into a bowl and add onions and dill and mix in well. Serve with dip toasts.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Basic Meatloaf Recipe Italian Style

Everyone usually has their own variation of this time tested easy meatloaf recipe. I have several simple meatloaf recipes that I make and this is the best meatloaf recipe if you like it a little bit different.


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 brown onions - chopped
1 kg good minced steak (I love topside or rump)
3/4 cup good pasta sauce
2 1/2 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
1 - 2 cloves garlic or bottled crushed garlic
2 eggs
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
finely grated rind of 1 small lemon
40 g melted butter


Preheat oven to 200 C. Grease a deep loaf tin and line with baking paper or unwaxed lunch wrap paper. Heat oil in a large frypan or wok and add the onions and garlic. Cook for several minutes or until onion is transparent. Combine the mince, sauce, 1 cup of the breadcrumbs, lemon rind, eggs and half the onion mixture in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Using your hands is the best way to really combine the ingredients. Spoon this into the loaf tin then combine the remaining breadcrumbs, onion mixture, parmesand and butter in a bowl. Spoon over the meatloaf and bake for 30 minutes. Cover top loosely with alfoil to prevent over-browning and then coook for a further 20 minutes or until cooked through. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin then lift out onto a plate to serve. Serve with a nice tossed salad and some crunchy italian bread.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sangria Punch

This is one of those recipes that you keep making again and again when you are having a summer barbecue or party. Most hostesses will have their own variation but I love this one as it is simple to make and delicious.


1 bottle merlot or cab merlot
250 mls dry ginger ale
juice of 1 orange
juice of 1 lemon
60 mls brandy
250 mls lemonade
slices of orange, lemon and lime
slices of peaches soaked in brandy and a little sugar


Pre-chill ingredients overnight for best results.
Place all ingredients in punchbowl. Adds lots of ice and serve.

Corn Relish Dip

Whenever we are having a party that requires some nibblies with drinks before the meal, we always make this simple dip. There is nothing to it but it certainly tastes great and so much better than pre-packaged dips from the supermarket. I always use a really good brand of corn relish as I have tried the generic ones and they do not taste anywhere near as good as the better brands.


1 can Nestles reduced cream
1 bottle of corn relish

Blend the two together until they are well combined. Place in a bowl in the refridgerator until ready to serve. Serve with either fresh vegetables or crackers.