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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tomato Marmalade

My mum used to make all her own sauces, jams and preserves when we were growing up and so our kitchen always had wonderful aromas coming from it. I also used to do my own preserving but alas, as the years have gone by and being able to buy cheaper from the supermarkets, I seem to have stopped making my own. When you don't have children at home anymore, it just doesn't seem to be worth the effort at times.
I always want to make some homemade preserves etc around the christmas period, to give to friends and family members. This is a recipe that my mum made sometimes for my dad, as he loved all the various types of chutneys and sauces.


1 kg tomatoes - peeled and sliced (keep any juices from it)
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 small orange - quartered, seeded and very thinly sliced
1/2 lemon - halved, seeded and very thinly sliced
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 1/2 cinnamon sticks


Place tomatoes, sugar, orange and lemon in a large heavy based saucepan and stir over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
Wrap clove and cinnamon sticks in a piece of muslin, tied with kitchen string and add to the tomato mixture.
Boil gently for about an hour or until the marmalade gels. (To test, drop a spoonful of this into a saucer of cold water. Push around with your finger and if it wrinkles or firm, it is ready)
Ladle the hot marmalade into hot sterilised jars and seal while still hot.
Turn jars upside down, resting on the lids, until cool.
Make sure you have sterilised the jars ande lids like this: Wash thoroughly in hot soapy water. Rinse and dry. Place in a large saucepan and boil for around 10 mins. Remove and dry thoroughly with a very clean tea towel.
Pour the marmalade into them while jars are still hot.
Marmalade will keep, sealed for up to 6 months in a cool pantry. When opened, refrigerate for up to 3 months.
Makes 2 cups (500ml)

Lemon Cream Rice

A friend gave me this recipe that she loves to serve to her family. It is easy to make, economical and tastes really delicious, especially if you like a slightly tangy taste to it. You can always change the lemon to orange if you prefer.


1 cup medium grain rice
1200 mls milk ( I use hi-lo)
1 cup cream
1/2 cup sugar
grated zest of 1 1/2 lemons


Put rice in a large size saucepan with the milk and lemon zest and bring to the boil on medium heat. Reduce heat when boils and just simmer gently for about 30 minutes or until rice is cooked and the milk has been absorbed. Make sure you stir often to stop rice burning or sticking to the pan.
Remove from stove and stir in the cream and sugar and mix through until it is soft and creamy.
Serve on its own or with some vanilla icecream.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hazelnut Chocolate Truffles

Around Christmas time, I start to get in all the ingredients I will need for my special Christmas treats that I make each year for family and friends. I get many recipes given to me each year and I try them all out to see which ones I will make for the coming season.
I don't have a name with this recipe so cannot remember who gave it to me. It is most likely to be from my sister Mandy, who is such an excellent cook, especially when it comes to sweet treats at Christmas time.
I know that once you have made these, you will make them every year as they are just so yummy and every bit as good as the 'You know who' ones.
I don't put the hazelnut in the centre when I make them as some of the kiddies don't like ones with nuts in, but they are really lovely to add a whole hazelnut to the centre of each one.


3/4 cup icing sugar mixture
2 tablespoons good cocoa
375g milk cooking chocolate (use a good one)
6 tablespoons butter (do not use margarine)
1/4 cup whipping cream
24 whole hazelnuts (optional)
1 cup ground hazelnuts - toasted


Sift icing sugar and cocoa together into a large bowl.
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a medium size saucepan.
Add the cream to this and the cocoa/icing sugar mix. Continue to cook over a low heat until mixture is thick and really smooth.
Pour into 8 inch square baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Using a spoon or melon ball scoop, shape into small round balls about the size of a walnut.
Press a hazelnut into the centre of each ball and reshape.
Roll in the toasted ground hazelnuts and place each one into a very small patty papers. I like to use the gold or silver ones at Christmas time.
These will keep for about 2 weeks, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sweet Potato Salad Recipe

This is a recipe that was given to me by a friend from the states. She says that it is one that is much used over there as everyone loves it. I have tried it myself and have to say although a lot different to our usual potato salad here, it is well worth trying as it is delicious.


4 large sweet potatoes
2 granny smith apples
2 green onions (could use white)

Poppy Seed Dressing:

1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1/2 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds


Cook potatoes with skin still on, whole in boiling water for about 25 minutes or until just tender but not overcooked. Drain and cool.
Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch slices.
Cut apples into thin wedges, slice green onions.
Arrange 1/4 of the potato slices, apples and green onions in a large salad dish and drizzle with 1/4 of the poppy seed dressing. Repeat layers three times in the same order.
Cover and chill in refrigerator until using.
This is great to serve at a barbecue.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Potato Dumplings Recipe

This is a very easy dumpling recipe to make and is a favourite amongst my polish friends.
I was given this recipe by a friend many years ago and it is so easy to make that I am sure once you have tried it you will make them again and again.
You could make this as a side dish with your main meal or else use them on top of a good casserole or goulash recipe.


5 to 6 large potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed roughly
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 cup flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup diced bacon, including the fat- lightly fried
Large saucepan of boiling water


Mix all ingredients apart from the bacon in a large mixing bowl.
Form small balls about the size of a walnut and drop into the boiling water for about 5 minutes or until they rise to the top of the water. Only cook a few at a time.
Remove the dumplings with a large slotted spoon. Cook the remainder the same and then set aside, covered to keep warm.
When all are cooked, drizzle the cooked bacon bits over the dumplings just before serving.

Easy Honey Mustard Dressing Recipe

I like home made dressings the best but if you are in a hurry and wish to serve a honey mustard dressing, this one is quick and easy to make and almost as good as home made. You can substitute the dressing for a low fat/cal one if you are watching your weight.


2/3 cup good mayonnaise ( I like Miracle Whip)
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
pinch sea salt
pinch paprika


Combine all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl with a metal spoon or fork, making sure all are mixed well. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready for use.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pasta and Fish Salad

When we were in England we spent a few days with David's cousin Marie and her husband Mick. Apart from having a wonderful time with them, we got to eat wonderful fresh veges from out of their garden. Marie says that nearly all of the vegetables they eat are out of their garden. How wonderful to taste purely organic vegetables again. The tomatoes were so sweet and nothing like the tasteless ones bought from the supermarkets.
Marie likes to make up really easy, simple dishes that have lots of flavour and great to eat. This recipe was one that she seemed to just throw a bit of this and a bit of that into it and it came out tasting wonderful. I have tried to remember exactly what went into it, so forgive me Marie if I have left anything out.


1 pkt vegeroni large spiral noodles (the ones with the 3 different colours)
1 medium size tin tuna ( I have also substituted this for large sardines that have been boned)
some cooked makerel fillets from the deli dept ( I used tinned ones)
1/2 red onion - diced
1/2 yellow capsicum (can substitute green) chopped
1/2 red capsicum - chopped
2 heaped tablespoons good mayonnaise ( I used Miracle Whip)
Can add some little red grape tomatoes if desired
cracked black pepper and sea salt to taste


Cook pasta as per directions on packet. Do not overcook as you want them al dente.
Remove and place in large colander. Rinse some cold water through them and drain well.
In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients and stir through until well combined.
Season with salt and pepper and place in refrigerator until needed.
Serve with some nice crusty italian style bread. This makes a great lunch or an entree for dinner.

Baked Fish with Fresh Herb Breadcrumbs

We went to a wedding recently and the hotel served up this beautiful baked fish with fresh herbed crumb topping. It was just divine and everyone was commenting on how much they enjoyed it.
I rememberd that my mum used to do a similar recipe so I have added a couple of extra ingredients to the one she used to make and made it up for our dinner to see if it was as good as hers or the one the hotel made. My husband David was very impressed and told me it was wonderful, especially as I used such a beautiful fish when making mine.
I always use the freshest ingredients I can and I always go for the much better cuts of meat or fish. I used Red Emperor fish for my recipe but any large fish fillets would do. It needs to be nice and thick otherwise it will dry out and not taste anywhere near as good.


400 - 500g piece of thick white fish fillet
1 1/2 cups of fresh white breadcrumbs with crusts removed ( I use a food processor to crumb the bread)
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley (could use dried if no fresh available)
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon dried coriander
good amount of freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon melted butter
Extra tablespoon melted butter
1/4 cup cream
juice of 1/2 lemon


Preheat oven to 200C in a fan forced oven.
Process fresh bread to make breadcrumbs.
Add other ingredients and mix thorougly in a small bowl until well combined.
Place the extra melted butter in a small baking dish.
Pile the crumb mixture over the top side of the fish and press down firmly so it sticks to the fish well.
Place the fish (skin side down) in the baking dish and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 180 and bake a further 10 minutes.
Remove fish carefully from dish and place dish on top of stove and add the lemon juice and cream to remaining butter in dish. Stir over low - medium heat until it thickens slightly.
Place fish on plates, pour the cream juices over it.
Serve with some green beans, carrots and a nice tossed salad with a little Italian dressing poured over. I chopped up red capsicum, lebonese cucumber, chopped sring onions and little red grape tomatoes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Gingerbread Cake Recipe

This delicious cake has olive oil in it instead of butter. It was given to me by a lovely lady who always makes the best cakes. It is a really moist cake and a favourite wherever I take it. Try it for yourself and I know you will be making it again and again.


1 1/2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup SR flour
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup good olive oil ( I use a light tasting one)
1 cup golden syrup
2 eggs - lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk (can use hi-lo)


Preheat oven to 180C.
Grease a deep side slice pan 21cm x 31cm and line with baking paper.
Sift flours, bi-carb soda, ginger and mixed spice into a large bowl.
Add sugar and mix well.
Combine oil, golden syrup, egg and milk in another small bowl or jug. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Pour mixture into pan and bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a skewer, inserted into cake, comes out clean.
Cool for about 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool.
Ice with orange icing.


2 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar
1 orange - grate rind and sqeeze juice
chopped walnuts

Place icing sugar into a small bowl. Add grated rind and approx 1/4 cup of the juice and blend until a smooth paste. Can add a little softened butter for a creamier mix. Spread over slice and top with walnuts.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bacon and Cheese Savoury Muffin Recipe

I just love muffins, both sweet and savoury. Often I will make them for breakfast when we are having guests stay over. They are easy to make and everyone loves them.
This recipe was given to me by a friend many years ago and they are a family favourite in our house.


1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 small red or brown onion - finely chopped
3 rashers rindless bacon ( I use shortcut but you will need an extra rasher with this) diced
2 cups SR flour
1/2 red capsicum - diced
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup grated cheese (tasty is best)
3/4 cup good mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup parsley leaves - finely chopped
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 200C.
Grease a muffin pan (either 6 large or 12 small)
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and bacon and cook for a few minutes or until onion is soft. Add capsicum and cook for a further minute, then remove from heat.
Sift flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, cheese and capsicum mixture. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir until well combined and make a well in the centre.
Beat eggs, mayonnaise and milk together in a small mixing bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Pour the milk mixture and parsley into the well and gently stir through with a wooden or large metal spoon until just combined.
Spoon mixture int muffin holes to 3/4 full and bake for 15 - 20 minutes in oven.
Muffins are cooked when a skewer inserted into them, comes out clean.
Remove from oven and stand in pan for a few minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool slightly.
Serve either hot or warm as they taste better this way.
Can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for 3 months.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Homemade Pasties Recipe

My mum used to make the most delicious pasties for us and whenever I make them I can still picture mum in the kitchen getting them ready to put in the oven. Often she would make just one large one in a baking dish as with a family of seven to feed it was much easier than making individual ones. Most times mum made them with homemade shorcrust pastry but sometimes when she made individual ones she would make them with puff pastry.
I sometimes make individual ones with half of them puff and the other half with shortcrust pastry. This way you can have one of each.

frozen shortcrust pastry sheets to make 8 circles
500g good minced steak
1 large brown onion - peeled and chopped
1 carrot - peeled and chopped
1 swede or turnip - peeled and chopped
2 potatoes - peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 egg - slightly beaten
sea salt and black crushed pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 200C.
Combine vegetables and mince steak in a very large bowl. Add seasoning to taste.
Cut pastry into 8 circles, using a bread & butter plate as a guide.
Divide mixture up and place in the middle of each circle. Brush some beaten egg around the edges of the pastry.
Fold edges together, joining in the middle. Pinch together so it is sealed well.
Place on oven trays that have been lined with baking paper. Brush remaining egg over the top of each one.
Bake for about 10 minutes at 200C then reduce heat to 180 and cook for another 35 minutes.
Serve hot with homemade tomato sauce or sweet chilli sauce.

Any left over shortcrust pastry, mum would always make dad a jam tart as he loved them so much. I often turn the leftover into an apple strudel. For this I just slice up a couple of granny smith apples, a little raw sugar and some raisins. I like to put the apples and raisins in a dish and cook slightly for about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes in the microwave. Roll out the remaining pastry, sprinkle with a little raw sugar, place the mixture in the middle of pastry and roll over and pinch the pastry together to hold it in place while cooking. Cook for about 20 minutes in oven at around 200C.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Passionfruit, Banana and Orange Jellies

My dad loved jelly (jello) and my mum always had some made up for him in the refrigerator. Sometimes she just made up packet ones and other times she would make up lovely home made recipes for him. This is one of the ones that I can remember her making up. It is so easy to make and worth taking that little bit of extra effort by making your own.


1/4 cup passionfruit pulp (about 4 passionfruit)
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons CSR smart sugar ( I use half sugar and half splenda)
2 1/2 teaspoons gelatine powder
fresh banana slices to serve (mango is also nice)


Divide the passionfruit between 4 serving glasses
Blend orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan, stirring over a low heat until dissolved. Remove from heat and sprinkle gelatine over the top.
Whisk until gelatine has dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly.
Spoon gelatine mixture over the passionfruit pulp.
Refrigerate fir about 2 - 3 hours or jelly has set.
Serve topped with sliced banana or mango and some light vanilla icecream if desired.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Warm Potato Salad with Sweet Chilli Sour Cream Recipe

When I was in the states a friend of mine there cooked up a wonderful texan style barbecue. She made this wonderful potato salad dish that I want to share with you. It is very easy to make and once you try it I am sure it will become one of your family favourties.


1 kg potatoes - halved and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil (or peanut will do)
3/4 cup light sour cream
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
2 green onions - chopped
1/4 cup coriander sprigs
Sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sesame seeds - toasted


Preheat oven to 200C.
Place potatoes in a single layer in a roasting dish. Drizzle the oil over and season with salt and pepper. Turn over and coat other side. Roast for 45 - 60 minutes. Turning occasionally. When golden brown and cooked through remove from over and cool for 5 minutes.
Place potatoes in a large bowl or serving dish.
Combine sour cream, chilli sauce and green onions in a jug. Pour over the potatoes. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over them with the coriander sprigs.
This goes really well with barbecued pork, steak or chicken.


Low Fat Sweet Potato and Chickpea Patties

I came across this recipe that was given to me in 1995. I had forgotten about it so decided to make them last week to see how they tasted. I think that if you are diabetic, on a low fat diet or vegetarian then you will really enjoy them. They make 8 good sized patties so a serve is 2 patties. A serve is 1250 kj and has just 1.1g saturated fat.
I loved the mango yoghurt dressing that went with them.


500g sweet potato (orange)
1 can 420g of organic chickpeas
1/3 cup couscous
2 cloves garlic crushed(can used bottled)
1 lightly beaten egg
3/4 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup low fat greek style natural yoghurt
2 tablespoons good mango chutney (not hot)


Peel sweet potato and cut into rounds. Place in single layer on a microwave plate or dish, cover and cook on high for 4 - 5 minutes, depending on power. You may need to do in a couple of batches.
Place drained chickpeas and potatoes in a large bowl and mash through until almost smooth.
Add couscous, garlic, garam masala, egg, salt and pepper and mix through with your hands until well combined.
Place oil in a large non stick pan on medium heat. Wet your hands and mould 8 patties out of mixture. Drop in pan and cook for about 4 - 5 minutes on each side.
Mix yoghurt and chutney together in a small jug or bowl and serve together with a nice green salad.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Rockfish Bessie - Recipes

Rockfish Bessie - Recipes: "Rockfish Bessie

5-6 lbs. Whole Rockfish
1 Onion
1 Lemon
1 Lime
Corn Husks
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat over to 375F.

Make sure the fish is clean of all entrails. Slice the onion, salt and pepper it and place it in the cavity.

Chop the cilantro and slice the lemon and lime and place it on top of the fish. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of the fish then salt and pepper the top. Cover the fish entirely in corn husks and then wrap the fish in tin foil.

Place fish in a baking pan and place in the over. Bake for 30 minutes and then flip it over carefully and bake for another half hour. If the meat flakes, its ready.

Serve with salsa, rice pilaf, black beans and fried plantains."

Beef Stir Fry Asian Style


2 teaspoons cornflour
1 tablespoon mirin or dry sherry
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 cup water
400 g rump steak, trimmed of fat and thinly sliced
1 cup green beans, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons salt-reduced soy sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
200 g broccoli florets, fresh or frozen
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon peanut oil
Asian style stir fry beef

1. Combine the cornflour, mirin, sesame oil and soy sauce in a bowl. Add the meat and stir to ensure that all of the slices of meat are evenly coated. Allow the meat to absorb the flavours for at least 15 minutes.
2. Heat the oil in a wok or frypan and cook the onion, garlic and ginger until soft but not browned. Toss in the meat and cook over a high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add the broccoli, beans and water to the pan and cook until the vegetables are just tender but retain their vibrant green colour (approximately 3 to 4 minutes).

Notes: Enjoy experimenting with some of the Asian greens that are now becoming widely available. If the greens have fleshy stalks you can use them in stir fries. Try replacing the broccoli and beans with � bunch each bok choy and Chinese broccoli (or other Asian greens)."

Salad - bean

1 X 440g can four-bean mix, drained
1 X 420g can corn, drained
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 red and green capsicum, diced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl."

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mock Chicken Recipe

I can still remember my mum making this whenever we had to take a plate of sandwiches to an event. She would make up several different fillings but mock chicken was always my favourite. There are quite a few variations to this popular recipe and mine is probably the easiest one of them to make. Try it as I am sure the kids as well as the adults will love this.

1 large brown onion - finely chopped
1 large ripe tomato (organic is best) - chopped
1 tablespoon butter
few sprinkles of dried mixed herbs ( 1 - 2 teasp)
2 eggs - beaten
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated cheese

In a small saucepan add butter and onion and cook through on low heat for 1 minute.
Add the tomato, salt and pepper and the mixed herbs and cook through for another 1 - 2 minutes.
Add the egg and gently stir through with the herbs and seasoning.
Add the cheese lastly and just stir through then set aside to cool down.

Coconut Chocolate Squares Recipe

I went to a luncheon at a friends home and she served these delightful little squares up for afternoon tea. They were so delicious I asked her if she would share her recipe with me so I could then share it with you. These would make an ideal gift idea for someone who has everything and you don't know what to get them. Just buy a lovely little plate that matches her decor, place a paper or real lace doily on it and then arrange the sqares on top. Cover with clear cellophane, bringing up over plate and tying with a pretty bow.

125g chocolate ripple biscuits (Arnott's are a good one)
25g salt reduced or unsalted butter - melted
1/2 cup dark cooking chocolate - melted
1/2 cup milk cooking chocolate - melted

2 1/2 cups desiccated coconut
1 can condensed milk ( I use Nestle)
2 eggs - lightly beaten


Grease and line an 18cm x 28cm slice dish. Sides as well.
Process or crush biscuits until finely crushed.
Add the butter and combine well.
Press into the base of the slice dish and set in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes or until firm.
For filling, mix all ingredients together until well combined.
Spread over the top of biscuit base and cook in a moderate oven approx 180C for 20 minutes or until nice and golden.
Remove from oven and let cool down in the dish. Remove from dish when cool and cut up into small sqares.
Place melted dark chocolate into a small plastic bag, twist around till chocolate is in one corner of the bag. Snip across the corner and squeeze out over squares in a zigzag fashion.
Repeat this with the milk chocolate, in another small bag, zigzagging across the other way of the dark chocolate.
Return to the refrigerator until set.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sweet Potato and Roast Capsicum Soup Recipe

I love it when the cooler weather comes around and it is time to start making hearty soup recipes to warm you up. I was given this recipe by a lady who served it up at a luncheon I went to. It is very easy to make and has a lovely flavour to it. She added organic canned lentils to her recipe but I like it just as much without them.


2 meduim - large size sweet potato (kumara)
2 red capsicums
3 - 4 medium size roma tomatoes- quartered
1 medium size red onion - peeled and chopped
1 - 2 cloves garlic (can used bottled crushed garlic)
5 cups good vegetable stock
olive oil
sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 180C.
Peel potatoes and roughly chop. Place in baking dish and toss in a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for around 15 minutes.
Remove seeds from capsicums and cut into pieces. Add these to baking dish together with onion, tomatoes and garlic clove. Sprinkle some more olive oil over to just coat and bake for another 20 minutes or until cooked through.
Transfer to a stockpot and add the vegetable stock. Boil then reduce heat to simmer for about another 15 - 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Blend with a hand blender or food processor until smooth.
Add the lentils if you want them to this and some more seasoning if needed. Serve with a little swirl of cream or natural yoghurt on top and some nice fresh crusty bread or rolls.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Veal in Wine Casserole Recipe

Whenever the colder weather approaches I start going through all my recipes for soups and casseroles that I have collected over the years. Some I use all the time and others I have forgotten about. I often pull out a recipe that has been given to me by a friend or family member. Once I make it again I then realise that I kept it because it was a really great recipe.
This one was given to me by a family member from Holland. They originally used chicken but when over visiting in Australia decided to adapt it to use veal instead. I have made it both ways and have to admit that I like the mild taste of the veal but you could use chicken or pork as well and it will taste good.


750g stewing veal
1 large brown onion - peeled and diced
2 medium size carrots - peeled and chopped
150ml white wine (I use chardonnay or similar)
30g butter
30g flour
1 stock cube (use chicken or vegetable)
125g fresh button mushrooms - sliced
2 tablespoons cream
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
sea salt and mountain pepper.


Dice veal and place in large saucepan or stockpot.
Pour in 500ml water, wine, oinion, carrot and some sea salt and mountain pepper. Set on meduim heat until beginning to boil then turn down heat to just simmer for about an hour. If you have a pressure cooker, when pressure is up, cook for about 12 minutes then turn off to let the pressure come down.
Strain the liquid from meat and save.
In a medium size saucepan melt the butter and add the flour to this. Stir continuously while pouring over the saved liquid. Add the stock cube to this and bring to boil.
Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for several minutes.
Blend in cream and egg yolk and add to the mixture then add the lemon juice.
Place the meat into a casserole dish and pour the mixture over. Gently heat through but do not allow to boil as it will make the sauce curdle.
Serve with steamed rice and some green beans or broccoli. If prefered use creamy mashed potato instead of rice.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lamb in Cider Recipe

I like to be a little adventuous sometimes in my cooking and am always looking out for new ideas. My family and friends have been a great source over the years and this recipe was made by one of my husbands english relatives. I had never used apple cider in my cooking so it was something we hadn't tried before. We loved it so I would like to share it with you.


1 leg of lamb
500 ml of good apple cider ( I use alcoholic but can use non alcoholic if preferred)
2 - 3 tablespoons honey
fresh rosemary
1 large leek
1 - 2 parsnips
1 - 2 large carrots


Preheat oven to 190C in a fan forced oven.
Place leg of lamb in a large baking dish that has been lined with alfoil.
Evenly spread the honey all over the lamb.
Put some small slits in the meat and place the rosemary sprigs in them.
Cut the parsnips, carrots and leek up and place beside the meat.
Pour the apple cider over meat and vegestables.
Tuck the alfoil all around the meat and vegetables and roast for approx 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally with the juices in pan.
Remove alfoil and continue to cook for another 20 - 25 mins then remove from pan.
Reserve the juices left in the pan to pour over the meat and veges for serving.
I like to roast some potatoes in a separate baking dish and steam some brussel sprouts to serve with it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Potato Bake Recipe

Most of us have a favourite version of this popular dish and I have several that I make. This recipe was given to me by Sonia, whom I work with. She served this up at a recent barbecue at her place and it was so yummy that we were headed back for seconds. Be warned, it is not for the fainthearted. It is quite rich but definitely worth the calorie intake. Try this and I know you will keep making it over and over again, especially when having casual dinner parties and barbecues. Sonia just makes it up to suit the amount of people she needs to serve. I have worked out approx what you would need to serve 6 people, but that would depend on how many helpings they go for.


4 large potatoes - peeled and thinly sliced
3 rashers of bacon - diced
1 large brown onion - thinly sliced
1 pkt french onion soup
1 cup grated tasty cheese
200 ml cream
100 ml fresh milk
Sea salt and fresh grounded black pepper to taste.


Preheat oven to 180C in a fan forced oven.
Lightly grease a large rectangle oven dish.
Place a layer of potatoes in the bottom, then a layer of bacon and onions and a sprinkling of the french onion soup. Continue layering until you finish with a layer of potatoes.
Mix the cream and milk together and pour over.
Sprinkle the cheese over the top then a light sprinkling of sweet paprika over this.
Place in an oven and bake for about 1 hour or until potatoes are cooked through.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hash Brown and Bacon Bake Recipe

When I was in the states, the friend I was staying with loved to cook up some traditional american style recipes using potatoes or hash browns. This is one that I loved and she made it either using hash browns or potoatoes. You can make this whatever way you like and it will still taste great.


4 cups cooked potatoes - grated
10 bacon rashes - cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup buttermilk (can use normal)
1/3 cup onion - chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (can use crushed instead)
1 tablespoon butter - melted
1/2 teaspoon paprika


Preheat oven to 180C.
In a large bowl place all ingredients except butter and paprika. Combine together.
Transfer to a 9 inch pie plate that has been lightly greased.
Drizzle the butter over the top of mixture and sprinkle with the paprika.
Bake for approx 40 - 45 minutes or until lightly brown on top.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Coleslaw KFC Style Recipe

I have to admit to loving the coleslaw that you get at KFC. When I was in the states, my girlfriends mother made this coleslaw and said it is as close to the real thing that you can find. I have to agree with her on this as I think it tastes just like the one from there. She says the secret is using tarragon vinegar and Miracle Whip mayonnaise. Try this recipe and I am sure you will love it.


1 small cabbage- finely diced
1/4 cup carrot - finely diced
2 tablespoons minced white onion
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup Miracle Whip mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar (can use white wine)
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice


Make sure your cabbage, carrot and onion are finely diced then place in a large bowl.
Blend remaining ingredients until smooth then pour over the cabbage and mix well.
Cover bowl with cling wrap and refridgerate for several hours or overnight, which is best.
This amount will serve at least 10 people.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Crisp Roast Pork Belly with Caramelised Syrup

I never used to use pork belly for roasting until a friend of mine served this delicious roast up at a dinner party. I was amazed by how wonderful it was so asked if I could share her recipe with you. I have seen quite a lot of different ways of cooking the belly and Jamie Oliver also has a great recipe on his site for doing it a different way. This would be a great entree if having a large dinner party or else as mains for a dinner party for 4 - 6 people.


1.2 - 1.5 kg pork belly
sea salt to rub in
olive oil
freshly ground black pepper.


1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup chicken stock
juice of an orange
orange peel
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.


Preheat oven to very hot 220C for fan forced.
Score the skin of the pork about a centimetre apart with a very sharp small knife. Make sure you don't cut into the meat.
Rub plenty of sea salt into the scores, making sure you get well into each mark. Brush off the excess salt. Turn meat over and lightly season the underside with salt and black pepper.
In a baking pan, spread a little olive oil in the bottom and place the pork belly in the pan skin side up and place in the hot oven. Drizzle a little more oil over the pork.
Roast for about 25 - 30 minutes or until the skin is starting to puff up into crackling.
Turn heat down to 180C and roast for about another hour.
Remove and baste with any fat in the bottom of the pan.
Set aside for 15 minutes while you make your cramelised syrup.
Serve the pork sliced with the syrup drizzled over it, some creamy mashed potatoes, green beans and some sweet mustard on the side.


Put the sugar, vinegar and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan and cook, stirring continuously, over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. bring to the boil and simmer for about 5 minutes, until syrupy.
Stir in the chicken stock and simmer another 5 minutes, until slightly reduced. Add the orange juice and peel and reduce heat to low. Simmer very gently until thick and syrupy.
Season to taste.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Stuffed Potato Skins Recipe

I have to admit to loving potato skins and am always on the lookout for different ways of doing them. I limit myself to making them only on special occasions, such as barbecues or cocktail parties as I would end up eating too many of them if I had them more often. This recipe was given to me by Judy, a friend of mine. She is a great cook and was always treating us to some really special recipes, this being one of them.


5 - 6 baked potatoes
1 tablespoon butter - melted
3 spring onions - chopped
3- 4 rashers bacon - cooked and diced
3/4 cup grated cheese
sour cream (I use the light one with garlic and parsley)
some spring onions - thinly sliced (green part only)
season salt (can use plain sea salt)


Preheat oven to 180C.
Cut cooked potatoes in halves and remove most of the insides. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle a little salt on them.
Bake or about 15 - 20 minutes or until just crisp but not dried out.
Remove from oven and sprinkle the cheese, bacon and onion over them.
Return to oven and heat until cheese is melted.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and then put the spring onions over.
Can use snipped chives instead if fresh ones are available.
You can cut the potatoes into quarters instead of halves if using for a party.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Fruit and Nut Bar Recipe

I am always looking out for easy slices to make and a hostess at a clothing party I attended served these little bars up for afternoon tea. I thought they were quite tasty so I asked her for the recipe. They are super easy to make and I am sure you will enjoy them as much as I did.


1 cup pitted dates - chopped
1 cup mixed nuts - chopped ( I just used walnuts)
2 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
4 cups rice bubbles - lightly crushed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup dried peaches - chopped


Preheat oven to 180C
Beat eggs till light and fluffy then add the sugar, beating through until mixture thickens.
Add the other ingredients and mix through.
Press into greased 23cm x 23cm tin and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and mark into bars with a knife before cooled down.
You could also use dried apple instead of peaches for a variation and if dieting you can substitute the sugar for artificial sweetener such as splenda.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Diabetic Chocolate Mousse Recipe

My husband loves chocolate mousse and is always buying the little weight watchers ones from the refrigerator section at the supermarket. On seeing how much they cost, I decided to look around for a suitable recipe that not only saves us money but also one that tastes great as well.
I found this recipe on a site that lets you share them and decided to make it myself to see if I thought it was good enough to share with you. I found it quite tasty and I am sure that once you try it you will agree with me. When using artificial sweeteners, always look for one that does not contain aspartame.


1 sachet of gelatin (about 30g)
1/4 cup water
1 cup low fat milk ( I use Hi-Low)
1/2 cup good cocoa powder
1/3 cup sweetener (I use Splenda)
1 cup light cream - whipped
flake chocolate or chocolate curls to decorate.


Sprinkle the gelatin over water in a small saucepan and let stand for a couple of minutes. Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
Stir 1/4 cup of the milk into the cocoa powder to make a paste then gradually stir in remaining milk.
Pour into gelatin and add the sweetener to this.
Refrigerate until it begins to thicken, approx 25 minutes.
Remove from fridge and fold in whipped cream.
Spoon mixture into serving glasses and refrigerate for 2 - 3 hours.
To serve, garnish with some crumbled flake or chocolate curls.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Baked Ricotta Recipe

Have you ever ordered baked ricotta at a restaurant and the cost is around $10 to $12 for an entree serve? I have as I love it so much. I have a friend who had her own restaurant and it was one of her most popular items on the menu. She eventually sold her restaurant and she gave me her recipe for this lovely dish. It is just so easy to make and once you have tried it out on your friends, they will keep asking you to make it again. It is great as an entree or even as the main course for a luncheon, served with a tomato salad and some fresh crusty bread. I like to use turkish or ciabatta bread.


1 - 2 teaspoons good olive oil
1 tablespoons pine nuts
1 - 2 cloves of crushed garlic (can use bottled)
100g english or baby spinach
500g ricotta cheese (can use low fat)
1 egg - lightly beaten
1 tablespoon chives (optional)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)


Preheat oven to 180C in fan forced or 200C regular oven.
Lightly grease a six hole muffin pan of 1/3 cup capacity.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy base frypan on medium heat. Add the pine nuts and garlic and cook through until fragrant.
Wash the spinach thoroughly, blanch in hot water, then chop roughly.
Add the spinach to the pan and gently cook for a minute or two. Remove from heat and let cool down.
Stir the beaten egg through the ricotta, making sure it is well combined.
Add this with the parmesan cheese and snipped chives to the spinach and mix thoroughly.
Fill the muffin pan and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden on top and slightly cracked on the sides.
Remove from oven and cool in pan. Using a knife, run around edges then gently slid off onto plates for serving.
Serve with a tomato salad or some baked deli sized trussed romano tomatoes.
To bake tomatoes, place in a shallow baking dish, sprinkle with a little virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Bake about 12 - 15 minutes or until tomatoes begin to cave in.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Roasted Beetroot Dip Recipe

This is the other beetroot dip recipe I promised. It takes a little more effort to make but once you have tried it I am sure you will agree that it is worth it. I love this version of a favourite dip.


4 fresh beetroots
2 cloves garlic (can use bottled)
300ml tub of greek style yoghurt or light sour cream
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
100g roasted cashews
1 teapoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cummin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 200C.
Scrub the beetroots gently and remove the stems.
Wrap individually in alfoil and roast in oven for approx 1 hour or until cooked through. Turn occasionally.
Remove from oven and when cooled enough to handle, rub beets to remove skin.
Chop nuts in a food processor, then add the beetroots and process until just smooth.
Add other ingredients and process slightly till mixed well.
Serve with turkish or lenanese breads or dipping crackers.
Leftover dip can be froze or stored in an airtight container for several days in the fridge.

Beetroot Dip Recipe

I first tasted beetroot dip about 3 years ago and loved it so much I asked the hostess for her recipe. She gave me 2 recipes. One is a very simple one to make and the other one takes much longer, has more ingredients but is definitely worth the effort to make. I will share the both of them with you to try.


1 can (450g) of baby beetroots
1 cup greek style plain yoghurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground cummin
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Coaresly chop the beetroots and place in a medium size bowl with all other ingredients.
Combine well and add a little salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with pieces of turkish bread or other dipping sticks.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ricotta and Asparagus Pizza Recipe

I love pizzas and am always on the look out for something a little different to make. A friend served this up for a girls luncheon one day and I have to say, it is delicious, especially if you like asparagus. She made it with pita bread but you could also use lebanese as a base. It is quite easy to make and well worth the effort.


4 pita breads
300g ricotta cheese ( I used light)
200g fresh asparagus - blanched and thinly sliced
12 slices of prosciutto
1/4 cup finely grated lemon rind
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
olive oil
parmesan cheese - to serve


Preheat oven to 200C.
Place pita breads on oven trays and drizzle with a little oil.
Put ricotta, lemon rind, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and stir through to combine.
Put the mixture over the top of the pita breads, then top with the asparagus and prosiutto.
Drizzle a little more oil over this and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until cheese is golden.
Remove from oven and top with finely grated parmesan to serve.
Serve with a lovely tossed salad on the side that has some balsamic vinegar drizzled through it.

Porcupine Balls Recipe

I came across this in an old recipe file of mine and can only assume that I got it from my mother many years ago. I used to make these for my children when they were young and have to admit that I hadn't made them for a long time until just recently. They are so easy to make and everyone from children to adults will like them so I recommend them if you want something inexpensive and tasty to make.


500g mince steak ( I use a good one)
1 brown onion - peeled and finely diced
1 clove garlic - crushed (can use bottled)
1/2 cup uncooked rice ( I use basmati)
1 large egg
fresh parsley - chopped
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs ( I use multigrain or wholemeal)
sea salt and black pepper to taste (optional)

1 large can good tomato soup
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
sea salt and black pepper to taste


Mix all ingredients together, using your hands.
Roll into balls about the size of walnuts and place into an ovenproof dish.
Pour sauce over the top and bake in a moderate oven for 45 minutes.
Serve over the top of mashed potato and carrots and beans on the side.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lamb in Apple Marinade Recipe

I love lamb and am always looking out for new recipes to use it in.
This recipe was given to me by a lady who, with her husband, were sheep farmers. They obviously had an abundance of lamb to use so she used to create lots of different ways to serve it.
I have used this recipe with lamb as well as with pork and I have to say they both taste equally as good using this recipe.


1 1/2 kg lamb chops (can use chump or loin)
1 small brown onion - peeled and finely chopped
1 small piece of fresh ginger - peeled and finely chopped
1 cup fresh apple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 cup good oil
1 tablespoon cornflour
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste


Combine all the marinade ingredients apart from cornflour, together in a large jug or bowl.
Arrange chops in a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over them and place in the refrigerator for several hours, turning occasionally.
Remove from the marinade and cook on a hot barbecue or grill for several minutes on each side. Do not overcook them.
Blend the cornflour with marinade and stir over a low heat until it thickens. Simmer for a few minutes then either pour over chops or serve on the side in a small jug.
Serve with either a tossed salad or with some nice coloured vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots and a jacket potato or french fries.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Low Cholesterol Whipped Cream Recipe

I girl I know has a cholesterol problem and has asked me to look out for recipes that are suitable for this. I have been asking around and a friend gave me this great recipe. She calls it whipped cream but it is really ricotta cream.
I made this myself and have to admit that although not a lot like the real thing, it was delicious and something that you would certainly grow to love, instead of using real cream.
If you need to lower your cholesterol I recommend that you scout around as there are lots of lovely recipes out there. This has only 14 calories per serve, 0.4g sat fat and 28mg of cholesterol. When you compare that to using traditional cream, it is a big difference.


1/4 cup low fat ricotta cheese
sweetener to equal 2 teaspoons sugar (I use Splenda as it contains no aspartine)
1 teaspoon unflavoured gelatine
3 tablespoons non fat milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence


Blend the milk and gelatine together and stir over the top of a pan of boiling water.
Add other ingredients and mix until well combined.
Store in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.

Beef Burgundy Recipe

I love french cooking because of the delicious flavours and the addition of wines and good stocks that is often used in their cooking.
This is quite a rich tasting recipe but one that is wonderful to serve on a cold winter's night. You will find that it is one of those dishes that the men will love you for so it is worth the effort.
I love to serve this quite simply with mashed potatoes, beans and some carrots as you don't want to take away from this wonderful stew.


1 kg blade steak
2 - 3 rashers rindless bacon - chopped
1 tablespoon brandy
6 small white onions
200g fresh mushrooms
1 clove garlic - crushed (can use bottled)
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup red wine
1 carrot - peeled and sliced
sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste


In a large pan, gently fry steak, bacon and onions until browned.
Warm brandy over low heat then ignite and pour over meat.
Add the mushrooms, garlic, stock, wine, carrot and herbs. Lastly, add the seasoning.
Place the lid on pan and gently simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
If you prefer, transfer to large casserole dish, cover and cook in slow oven for same amount of time.
I have even used a pressure cooker as well as a slow cooker for this and other stew recipes and have found both to be equally as tasty when cooked. The beauty of a pressure cooker is that it only takes 25 minutes to cook, so if time is limited, I thoroughly recommend that you use that.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Chocolate Coated Strawberry Recipe

This is another recipe that my friend Margaret gave me to make when having a dinner party. I love to serve them up on the same platter that I put her chocolated coated macadamia recipe on. This is just so simple to make and always looks and tastes wonderful.


30g (1 oz) copha
250g dark cooking chocolate
2 punnets of strawberries (don't use the really large ones)


Melt copha and chocolate together in a small saucepan, over the top of a pan of simmering water. Do not allow any water or steam to get into the chocolate.
Wash strawberries and dry on paper towels.
Dip the strawberries into chocolate and set on a tray, lined with baking paper.
Place in the refrigerator until set.
These are at their best if served the same day of making them.

Chocolate Macadamias Recipe

A friend who used to do quite a bit of entertaining used to come up with some wonderful recipes, especially finger foods, including delightful chocolate recipes. She shared several of her favourite ones with me and this is one of them. This is just so easy to make and they taste divine. Next time you are having guests over for dinner, try these and I know they will love you for it.


270g dark cooking chocolate
230g macadamia nuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut


Roughly chop nuts. Add to bowl with the coconut.
Melt chocolate in saucepan over the top of a pan of simmering water. Do not allow any water or steam to come into contact with the chocolate or it will ruin it.
Pour melted choclate over nuts and coconut and mix together until well combined.
Place heaped teaspoons of mixture onto a try lined with baking paper.
Place in the refrigerator until set.
Can store in an airtight container for several days in the fridge.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Potato Scones Recipe

About 38 years ago a farmers wife gave me this recipe. She used to make them often at breakfast time for when the shearers came for the shearing season and they were always a big hit. I loved them so had to get the recipe so I could make them for myself. I am sure you will love these as much as I do once you have tried them. They are very easy to make and taste yummy with a small dob of butter on top while still hot.


30g butter (do not use margarine)
125g (4 oz) SR flour
250g potatoes - cooked and mashed
1/2 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper
small amount of milk
extra butter for frying


Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Add the pepper.
Rub the butter into flour with finger tips.
Add the mashed potatoes with enough mild to make a stiff dough.
Turn out onto floured surface and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick.
Cut into rounds with a scone cutter.
Place extra butter in heavy based pan and cook for approximately three minutes on each side.
Serve hot, topped with a small glob of butter.