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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.