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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Chicken Breasts in Filo Pastry Recipe

Michael, who is my boss, loves cooking and he is quite a good cook. He often brings in really great looking recipes that he has made for his lunch, which is often left overs from dinner the night before. He came in with spinach and ricotta canneloni recently so I will be getting that from him to add to my site. I have asked him to pass on some of his favourite ones so I can include them on my recipe page for you to try out. He gave me this recipe as he says it is easy to make and tastes really great. This will serve two people so you can easily double it for four.


2 fresh chicken breasts
1 bunch english spinach
125g reduced fat feta cheese - crumbled
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 egg
2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes - chopped (optional)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 clove garlic - crushed (can use bottled crushed garlic)
olive oil
4 sheets filo pastry

Preheat oven to 180C.
Drizzle some olive oil over spinach then gently cook in a large saucepan until wilted. Drain off any liquid.
Add the feta cheese to this and mix through.
Slice the chicken breast almost through, then open out like a butterfly.
Place all ingredients inside chicken and fold over.
Place each breast on 2 sheets of filo pastry and fold it into a parcel.
Glaze a little beaten egg over each parcel and place on oven slide.
Cook for about 1/2 hour. Pastry should be lovely and golden brown.
Serve with either a tossed salad or some lovely coloured vegetables such as carrots, broccoli and sweet potato.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Custard Kisses Recipe

One of my favourite cooks is Aunty Joy. I began collecting recipes from her about 40 years ago. She used to have a farm and like most farmers wives' she was an excellent cook. Just give her a few basic ingredients and she could turn out the most delicious recipes. This is a recipe that I got from her about 35 years ago and I used to make them all the time for my kids, who just loved them. I am still making them and they still are popular with whoever I make them for. They are just so simple and easy to make and you will like them as much as I do, once you have tried them. They are a cross between a biscuit and a cake and best eaten within a couple of days; if they last that long.


1 cup SR flour
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons custard powder
1 egg
few drops vanilla essence
little milk


Preheat oven to 180C. Grease an oven tray lightly.
Cream butter and sugar.
Add egg and lightly beat.
Sift flour and custard powder and add to mixture.
Add a little milk to combine but mixture must remain thick.
Drop in heaped teaspoons onto tray and cook in oven for about 20 minutes or until cooked.
Remove from oven and ice with a little vanilla icing while still hot. this is just to glaze them but not to overpower them.

1 tablespoon butter - melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup icing sugar
few drops of milk to make the icing thin

Sticky Date Pudding Recipe

This has to be one of my all time favourite pudding recipes. The first time I ever tasted this was at a luncheon at the ladies group at church where my mum went. One of the ladies there named Jeanette was the best cook I had come across and she always made something that everyone wanted the recipe for. I don't know if she made this pudding but it tastes like something she would have made. One of my favourite winneries, down south from Dunsborough serves this up and whenever I go there, I have to have it as it is just so delicious. Try this recipe and I am sure you will love it as much as I do. This recipe is to serve 20 people so you could halve it and still have enough to serve a large dinner party.


4 cups chopped pitted dates
4 cups water
1 teaspoon bi carb soda
175g butter - at room temperature (do not use margarine)
2 1/4 cups brown sugar - firmly packed
6 eggs
3 cups SR flour
thick pure cream to serve (alternatively use vanilla ice cream)


3 cups brown sugar - firmly packed
3 cups cream
250g butter - chopped
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons orange rind - shredded


Grease a 25 x 35cm baking dish and line base and sides with baking or greasproof paper.
Combine dates and water in a large saucepan and bring to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in the bi-carb soda and let stand for about 5 minutes.
Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in sifted flour, then the date mixture. Pour into prepared dish.
Cook in a moderately slow oven of 160C for about 1 1/4 hours or until cooked when tested. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack.

SAUCE: Combine all ingredients in a large pan and stire over a low heat, without boiling until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil then simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.
Serve pudding hot with the hot sauce poured over and some cream or vanilla ice cream over the top.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Baked Chicken Risotto Recipe

My mum didn't make a lot of rice dishes other than rice puddings for my dad. He just loved rice puddings and couldn't seem to get around having it used any other way. I do remember that he got to enjoy a really good fried rice though, so maybe that is why mum began to experiment a little bit more with rice as a main meal. I came across this recipe in her file and although I never had it at mum and dads place, I decided to try her recipe and see if I enjoyed it. It is quite an easy risotto to make and one that I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did when I made it.


2 chicken breast fillets - sliced
2 cups arborio rice
3 cups chicken stock ( I make my own using chicken carcasses)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks - finely sliced
2 cloves garlic (can use bottled crushed garlic)
400g tin diced tomatoes
2 medium zucchini - sliced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded parsley
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
roasted cherry tomatoes with cracked black pepper - to serve


Heat oil in a large pan or wok.
Add leeks and garlic. Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally till tender.
Stir in lemon rind, chicken and rice to coat in oil mixture.
Add stock, tomatoes, zucchini and half the cheese and parsley to mixture. Bring to the boil then transfer to a baking dish and put in oven.
Cook in a moderate over of 180C for about 25 minutes or until the rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
Serve with the roasted cherry tomatoes that have been seasoned with the cracked black pepper.

Mushroom Sauce Recipe

I love either onions or mushrooms on my steak and have tried many recipes to see which I like the best. This mushroom sauce recipe is quite rich and definitely not your usual one. You will never use packet sauce mixes once you have tried home made ones.


25g dried porcini mushrooms
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 small leek - chopped finely
3 cloves garlic - chopped finely (can use bottled crushed garlic)
25g butter
1/2 cup wine - either red or white
4 field mushrooms - sliced
1 cup cream
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
olive oil


Soak porcini mushrooms in the boiling water for about 10 - 12 minutes.
Fry the leek and garlic in butter until soft. Add the wine, porcinis, liquid from the soaking and salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 4 - 5 minutes.
On a heated grill, drizzle some olive oil over the field mushrooms and cook for several minutes or until soft. Add them to the sauce mixture. Add cream and simmer until it has reduced to a thickened consistency.
Grill your prefered steaks then top with the mushroom sauce.
You should always let any meat you cook, sit for several minutes before serving. I always cover my meat with alfoil and let it rest before dishing up.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Chicken Laska Recipe

I found this recipe in my mums recipe file so it must be at least 15 years ago she had it given to her. I can't remember mum ever making this so I decided to try it and see how it turned out. I have to say it is delicious. I have adapted this to suit someone who needs to cook low fat or even diabetic recipes. I will put it down the way I found it and also give my adapted version. I actually prefer this cooked the low fat way. This recipe serves four.


2 large chicken breasts - around 400 - 500g
1 small carrot - cut into thin strips
1/2 red capsicum - thinly sliced
large handful bean shoots
1 tablespoon fresh coriander - chopped
4 - 5 spring onions - sliced
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger - finely chopped
1 teaspoon Rak Pak Chee (Thai cooking paste in bottle)
3 - 4 teaspoons massaman or red curry paste
1 tin good coconut cream
1 teaspoon tumeric
2 cups good chicken stock ( I make my own from chicken carcasses)
1 dessertspoon cornflour
asian noodles - about 2 cups
1 dessertspoon peanut oil


Thinly slice the chicken breasts.
Heat wok and add peanut oil. When starting to smoke, add chicken, garlic and ginger and cook for several minutes. Do not brown the chicken.
Add carrots and capsicum to wok and cook for another couple of minutes.
Add stock and the other ingredients apart from coconut cream, flour and noodles.
Blend the flour with the coconut cream and add to pan. When mixture thickens, add the noodles and simmer for a few minutes, then serve.
To make this low fat, use bottled garlic, ginger, coriander and a can of light and creamy carnation milk with coconut instead of coconut cream. Instead of using peanut oil, spray the wok with some cooking spray instead. This will taste just as good and you have almost no saturated fat in the recipe. If you are on the weight watchers point system, you would only have 4.5 points for a serve of this.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fish & Chips

My dad had a boat and was always out fishing. He would bring home lovely fish such as jewfish, snapper and whiting. My favourite fish is jewfish which is found off the coast of western australia. We all loved fish, especially the way my mum would cook it. Dad even had a fish smoker and sometimes we would smoke fish such as herrings. I loved fish done in batter the best and my mum had a couple of ways of doing the batter. I love it in beer batter but I tried this way of cooking the fish and have to say that it is delicious. It was a recipe that a girlfriend gave me and I am sure you will love it once you have tried it. Serve it with a home made tartare sauce, which I have included.


2/3 cup plain flour
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
olive oil
4 pieces white fish such as snapper or whiting
potatoes for chips or wedges


Preheat the oven to 200C.
Spread flour out on a flat plate and season well with the salt and pepper.
Beat the eggs together with the milk and pour into a bowl.
Toss the breadcrumbs into 2 teaspoons of oil and season with some salt and spread out on a separate plate.
Dip the fish in the flour, shake off excess and drop into the beaten egg mixture.
Remove fish, letting excess egg drip off then roll in the breadcrumbs.
Place fish on an oiled baking tray.
Toss the potatoes in a little oil, seasoned with salt and spread out on another baking tray.
Bake the both for 25 - 30 minutes or until cooked through and breadcrumbs are golden.


2 - 3 sweet spiced gherkins - chopped
1 teaspoon chopped capers
parsley - finely chopped
1/2 lemon - juiced
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
2 teaspoons gherkin juice
Blend all together in small jug

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Diabetic Pumpkin Scones

As I love anything with pumpkin in it, I am always serching out recipes that feature it. Recently a girlfriend served up the most delicious pumpkin scones I had tasted and so I decided to adapt her recipe to make it suitable for diabetics. Once you have tried these you will never make them any other way. Whenever you make scones, you should have everything ready before you start as it is important to make them in the quickest time from start to finish. Your touch should also be light and whenever rubbing butter into the flour, always lift the flour high above the bowl at the same time. This is the secret to great scones and if you follow these instructions you will always serve the lightest, best scones around. These can be frozen and need to be thawed then can be reheated in the oven for about 5 mins at 160C.


2 1/2 cups SR flour (could use half white and half wholemeal)
35g low fat butter or margarine spread
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1 cup Butternut pumpkin - cooked and mashed when cold
1 cup low fat vanilla yoghurt
1 tablespoon brown sugar


Preheat oven to hot (220C) in fan forced oven.
Lightly grease or spray a non-stick baking tray.
In a large bowl, sift in together the flour and spice.
Rub butter into this using your fingertips.
Make a well in the centre and quickly add the pumpkin, yoghurt and brown sugar together.
Cut through with a bread and butter knife to mix. Do not use a spoon or fort as this will over-mix and make it tough.
Turn out onto lightly floured surface and gently knead through. The less you knead the better as this keeps them light and fluffy.
Cut out scones either with a knife or round cutter. A knife is always better as takes less air out of the scones.
Place onto oven tray and bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until cooked through.
Quickly remove from oven and place scones in a clean cotton tea towel and wrap it over and around the scones. Leave for 5 minutes then unwrap and serve.
*Note: By wrapping in a tea towel it helps the scones stay light by the steam it creates inside the towel.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Baked Chicken, Pumpkin and Leek Frittata Recipe

I found this recipe in my mums recipe folder and remembered that one of the ladies from her homemakers group had given it to her. I decided to make it and see if I liked it. I have to say it is quite delicious and as I love anything with pumpkin in, I thoroughly recommend you try this recipe for yourself. Although it is a little bit fiddly, it is easy to make and worth the effort.


about half a butternut pumpkin
6 chicken tenderloins
cooking oil spray
2 leeks - finely sliced
120g english spinach leaves
3 cloves garlic - finely chopped (can use bottled crushed garlic)
8 eggs
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1 cup plain low fat yoghurt (I use greek style)
100g low-fat feta cheese - crumbled
baby spinach leaves to serve


Peel pumpkin and cut into 3cm pieces. Place in a microwave dish and cook for a few minutes until just tender. Remove and place in baking dish that you have sprayed with the cooking oil.
Bake in a moderate oven (180C) for 15 - 20 minutes and browned. Remove dish from oven.
Arrange chicken in dish in a single layer and spray with a little more oil then cook for 10 minutes. Remove dish from oven and let chicken cool. When cooled, shred the chicken.
Spray a shallow ovenproof dish with cooking oil.
Heat a non-stick frying pan and spray with cooking oil. Add leeks and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for around 5 minutes or until leeks are tender.
Add spinach to leek mixture and cook until wilted. Remove pan from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Whisk eggs and yoghurt in a large bowl with electric beater until well combined. Stir in fettaf, spinach mixture, chicken and pumpkin. Pour the mixture into the prepared ovenproof dish.
Cook in moderately hot oven (190C) for about 30 minutes or until set.
Serve hot or cold with some baby spinach leaves for decoration.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Mustard Cream with Basil

This recipe was given to me by a friend who is always serving delicious side dishes and sauces to go with her favourite recipes. I loved this and just had to add it to my file. It is just so easy to make and is great served with everything from chicken to lamb, pork and beef. You could also serve it with cauliflower and broccoli for a change from a white sauce. This will keep for a day or two in the refigerator but cannot freeze or microwave.


1/4 cup good dry white wine
2 teaspoons olive oil (always use a good oil)
300 ml cream
1 clove of garlic (can use bottled crushed garlic)
1/4 cup finley chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard


Heat oil in a small pan. Add the garlic and cook gently, stirring all the time so it doesn't burn.
Add wine and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, incovered until liquid is reduced by half.
Add cream and mustard. Cook, stirring all the time until the sauce thickens and reduces to be about a cup.
Remove from the heat and stir in the basil.