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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Russian Nutcakes Recipe

A girlfriend of mine from the states, made these great little teacakes when I was visiting and I loved them so much I asked her for the recipe to bring home and make for myself. I forgot I had it for a while and when I found it in a long forgotten handbag, I got it out and made them to see if they were as nice as I remembered. I am happy to say they are and as they are just so easy to make, I am sure you will enjoy making them yourself. There are not a lot of ingredients in them but they taste really yummy.


250g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
125g icing sugar - sifted
2 1/2 cups SR flour
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt


Cream butter, icing sugar and vanilla together.
Mix flour and salt together and stir into batter.
Add nuts and mix all together.
Chill until cold.
Set oven temperature to about 190C in a fan forced oven.
Roll into balls and place on an ungreased oven tray and bake for around 10 - 12 minutes.
Take out and roll in a little icing sugar while still warm. When cool, roll again in icing sugar.
Can be stored in an airtight container for several days.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Date & Sweet Potato Cake Recipe

I first tasted this delightful cake at a luncheon organised by the Arthritis Foundation and I had to ask the lady who made it if she would give me the recipe. I'm glad to say that she cheerfully obliged me with it and I would like to share it with you. Although it takes a little time, it is simple to make and a great cake to serve at an afternoon tea party or a luncheon.


100g pitted dates - chopped
600g sweet potato - peeled and chopped
250g softened butter
300g caster sugar
4 eggs
300g SR flour
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup walnut halves - toasted


Grease and line a 22cm springform cake tin.
Preheat oven to 180C.
Place sweet potato pieces in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer until soft then drain off and mash or process until smooth. Set aside. Can use microwave if prefered.
Beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
Add the mashed sweet potato.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, dates and walnuts and mix thoroughly.
Spoon batter into the cake tin and bake around 40 minutes or until cooked through.
Turn cake out on a wire rack and allow to cool.
Dust with icing sugar and serve with caramelised sweet potato strips.


1 small sweet potato
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup sugar
50ml water

Peel about 20 strips from the potato and set aside.
In a saucepan, place honey, sugar and water. Over a low heat bring to the boil.
Boil until the syrup thickens slightly (about 5 minutes)
Add the sweet potato strips and simmer for 3 minutes.
Remove and let cool on a foil lined tray.
Arrange over top of cake to serve.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mushroom Risotto Recipe

I love a good risotto and think that it is one of those dishes that when you make it, you wonder why you don't do it more often. This is quite a simple risotto recipe and one that is great served with chicken or just by itself. I often add cut up chicken to it.


500g various mushroom varieties - sliced
2 tablespoons butter
40ml good olive oil
1 leek - thinly sliced
1 litre good chicken stock ( I often make my own)
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup pecorino cheese - grated
1/4 cup parmesan cheese - grated
2 tablespoons fresh parsley - chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced (can use bottled crushed)


In a pan, heat the butter and add the mushrooms. Cook for a few minute then remove from pan and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large pan or wok. Add the garlic and leek and cook for several minutes or until soft.
Put chicken stock in a large saucepan and heat until simmering.
Add the rice to the garlic and leek and stir for a minute, just to coat the rice.
Add the wine and cook until liquid is absorbed.
Add the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring continuously until all the liquid has been absorbed and rice is cooked through.
Stir in the mushrooms, cheese, parsley and serve immediately.
The rice should be lovely and soft but also quite sloppy as this is the correct way to serve risotto.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Thai Red Chicken and Pumpkin Curry Recipe

I love thai food but have to admit that I don't make mine as hot as most recipes call for. This delightful curry was served up by a friend who is renowned for her quick and easy recipes. This one is just so easy to make and I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did when I tasted it.
Often in my recipes I use peanut oil instead of olive oil. The only reason for this is because I use scanpans to cook in and you cannot use olive oil in them. So if you are not using scanpans, then use olive oil if you prefer.


4 chicken thigh or breast fillets
1 tablespoon of good oil ( I use peanut)
2 tablespoons good red curry paste
2 cups diced pumpkin (use either butternut or jap)
1 400ml can coconut milk (I use organic)
2 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
plain flour
1/2 cup coriander leaves to serve
steamed rice


Slice the chicken and dip in some lightly seasoned plain flour.
Heat the oil in a large pan and brown chicken lightly.
Add curry paste, garlic and ginger and cook another minute.
Add pumpkin and coconut milk and simmer gently for about 15 minutes.
Add the lime juice and coiander leaves.
Serve with steamed rice and some green vegetables such as broccoli and beans.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cabbage Rolls Recipe

In Bunbury, where I grew up, there was a row of houses along the estury where the local greek fishermen lived. Our dad used to go out with them when he was a young man and so he loved to take us to their homes to watch them bring the catch in. I am sure that is where I got my love of fishing and boating. There is nothing better than going out in a boat on the ocean, to fish or just enjoy the peace and serenity of being on the water.
This recipe was given to my mum by the mother of one of those greek fishermen. She didn't speak any english but let my mum watch how she made this recipe so mum could write it down to make if for us when we got home. I can still remember the delightful aromas that use to always be coming out of that kitchen, whenever we went there.
This is a very economical recipe and one that not only the adults, but also the kids will enjoy.


1 cabbage
500g mince steak
1 can tomato soup (Use a good one)
2 heaped tablespoons uncooked rice
1 large brown onion - chopped
couple good pinches dried mixed herbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste


Remove the stem from the cabbage. In a large stockpot place the whole cabbage in and cover with boiling water with some salt. Cook on top of stove until about half cooked. Cabbage must be soft enough to roll up without splitting.
While the cabbage is cooking, do the filling.
In a large frypan or wok, add a little olive oil and gently cook onions for several minutes.
Add the mince steak and cook through for several more minutes.
Add the uncooked rice, dried herbs, tomato soup and salt and pepper and simmer for about 5 minutes.
When cabbage is cooled just enough to handle, remove leaves, one at a time and place a tablespoon of meat mixture on an edge of the leaf then roll up into a parcel. Make sure the sides are well tucked in or else it will spill out when cooking.
In a large saucepan, arrange rolls in layers until you have used up all the cabbage.
Cover the rolls with any mixture left over and then add enough water to just cover.
Cook on top of stove until a lot of the liquid has been absorbed and rice is completely cooked through.
Serve with a lovely greek salad or some coloured vegetables.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni Recipe

This is another recipe given to me by my boss Michael. He brought this in to work one day for his lunch and it looked so good I asked him for the recipe. I was having someone coming for a sunday lunch and the husband was vegetarian so I thought that this would be great to serve up for the main course. I used my favouite pumpkin soup recipe, handed down by my mum and finished the meal off with my husbands favourite apple crumble dessert. The luncheon was a huge success and as all these recipes are on my webpage, you can use this for a great winter lunch or dinner party.


1 box of cannelloni shells
1 - 2 bunches english spinach
420g ricotta cheese
2 cloves crushed garlic (can use bottled)
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup tasty grated cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 x cans crushed tomatoes (I use organic)
2 teaspoons basil (I use the basil in a tube)
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
extra 1/3 cup grated cheese


Preheat oven to 200C.
In a large bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta, egg yolks, 1/3 cup grated cheese, nutmeg and garlic and mix well. Add some salt to taste and mix all together.
Fill the dry cannelloni shells with mixture and set aside.
In a medium size saucepan, place oil, crushed tomatoes, basil, and some salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approx 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Pour half the tomato sauce in a large ovenproof dish then place a layer of the filled cannelloni tubes on top of this.
Pour over the remaining sauce then sprinkle the other 3/4 cup of grated cheese over the top and bake for approx 30 minutes. Test with a skewer or fork and if needed give another 5 minutes.
Serve with a lovely fresh green tossed salad and some crusty italian or garlic bread.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Diabetic Pumpkin Soup

I tasted this soup recently and asked for the recipe to add to my webpage. The lady who made it served it with yummy roasted parsnip chips and it really finished it off. It is different to my usual pumpkin soup in that it has a slightly asian flavour to it. Try this soup and I am sure that you will enjoy it as much as I did.


1 kg pumpkin ( I use butternut)
1 brown onion - peeled and chopped
25g fresh ginger - peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic (can used bottled crushed garlic)
2 teaspoons good oil such as peanut or corn
750 ml vegetable stock
150g low-fat natural yoghurt (greek style)


2 parsnips - peeled and thinly sliced with potato peeler
2 teaspoons oil


Preheat oven to 200C.
Peel and cut pumpkin into cubes. Place with ginger in ovenproof dish and roast for 25 minutes.
Prepare the parsnip chips and brush with the oil. Lay on oven tray and roast in oven for about 20 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Take out and set aside.
In a large pan, heat the oil and gently cook the onion and garlic until soft but not brown.
Add pumpkin and ginger and pour in the vegetable stock. Bring to boil and simmer for about 15 - 20 minutes.
Pour soup mixture into blender and blend until smooth. Return to pan and bring to boil. Stir in the yoghurt and add a little sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
Pour into heated soup bowls and top with the parsnip chips and serve with some fresh crunchy farmhouse style bread or rolls.