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Monday, November 22, 2010

Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

When I was in the states I discovered that americans love their sweet potato pies. I tried a few different versions of this famous pie and loved them all. They serve it up for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I got this recipe off my friend in Seattle. I have made it several times for friends here and they all loved it. I am sure that once you try it, you will become a fan of this great american traditional pie. You can always substitue the sweet potato for pumpkin if preferred. I would recommend that you use either butternut or jap pumpkin as they are sweeter.
It is easy to make. I have made it using my own shortcrust pastry recipe and also just using the bought frozen ones from the supermarket. Either way, the pie will taste really yummy.
You can always halve this recipe if you only want to make 1 pie but advise making the 2 pies as they will disappear very quickly.

3 large sweet potatoes - about 1 kilo (2 1/2 lbs)
1 1/2 cups sugar
125g butter (1/2 cup)
4 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 x 375ml can evaporated milk(12 ounces)
2 x 22 - 24cm (9 inch) shortcrust pie cases

Preheat oven to and a baking tray to 180C (375) or 170C if fan forced oven.
Place potatoes unpeeled in a large pot of water and boil until cooked. Remove and cool slightly by running under cold water. Remove skins from them.
Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl on electric mixer and beat until smooth.
Add butter and sugar and beat well. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in spices, vanilla essence and milk.
Pour into unbaked pasty cases and place on a baking tray, nearer to the middle of your oven.
Bake for approximately 1 hour, then test if cooked. Insert a clean knife into pies and if it comes out clean then you know they are cooked. If not, continue cooking for another 5 -10 minutes and check again.
Remove from oven and let them cool down on a wire rack.
The pies will rise up similar to cooking a souffle but will subside as cooling.
Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
They are suitable to freeze for up to 3 months.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Spiced Roast Chicken

A friend served this up at a luncheon I went to at her house. It was so delicious I asked her for the recipe to test it out on David. He loved it as much as I had and so I now want to share it with you. This is one of the best recipes I have made and know that you will love it once you have made it for yourself. It is one of those recipes that you will make again and again.
It calls for fresh herbs but when I made it, I didn't have them so just used dried instead. It was still delicious so you could use either and still love it.

12 chicken portions with skin on (drumsticks and thighs are best)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds - roughly ground (or dried)
1/2 bunch fresh thyme - chopped (or 1 large teaspoon dried thyme)
4 cloves fresh garlic - finely chopped (can use bottled)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
zest and juice of 1 lemon
60ml good olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 200C.
Score the skins of chicken and place in a large baking dish.
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and pour over chicken pieces, making sure that you rub it into the skin really well.
Roast in oven for approx 1 hour or until the chicken is lovely and golden and the skin crisp.
Serve with homemade potato salad and some crusty bread.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Broccoli Salad

My sister-in-law Angela dished this yummy salad up at a barbecue at her place. She was given it by a family member in Canada. Everyone at the party loved it and so I asked her for the recipe to add to my site. She didn't give me the exact quantities of each ingredient in it so I made a salad up myself and have hopefully got it right. It tasted great so I am happy with my results. I found that it tasted even better the following day and that is because the sultanas had a chance to swell overnight.
You can always play around with salads and either add or take away, depending on personal taste. I know that once you make this wonderful dish, you will want to make it again and again.

1 large broccoli or 2 small
3/4 cup sultanas
1/2 medium size red onion (could use a white salad onion)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup grapes (if out of season use 1 - 2 kiwi fruit instead)
1/2 cup Miracle Whip mayonnaise
3 - 4 rashers of lean bacon

Fry or grill bacon till nice and crisp. Remove from heat and dice while still warm. Set aside to cool down.
Wash broccoli thoroughly and cut into small florets. Place in a large mixing bowl.
Finely slice the onion and add to bowl.
Toss in the sultanas and grapes, or if using kiwi fruit, peel and dice, then add to bowl.
Add the sunflower seeds, bacon and mayonnaise and give a really good stir so it is well combined.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Leave for at least 5 hours or preferably overnight.
Serve with meat, chicken or fish. Especially great with a barbecue.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Raspberry Coconut Slice Recipe

My mum used to make the best ever coconut slice and was one of my dad's favourite recipes. I always think of dad whevever I make this. I can remember that often when mum made this, he would be waiting around for it to cool down enough so he could grab a piece of it to eat.
I have tasted lots of versions of this simple recipe but I believe that this one is the best around.
Whenever you are making cakes or slices, only ever use butter in your cooking as it gives it a much nicer taste and it just makes them so much better than using margarines. If you have to use a lower fat one, you can find butter that is lower in fat and still does not have oil added to it. I sometimes use one that also is lower in salt.

1/2 cup caster sugar
90g butter
1 egg
2/3 cup plain flour
1/2 cup SR flour
1/2 cup raspberry jam
2 eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 cups coconut

Preheat oven to moderate. 180C for normal oven or 170C for fan forced.
Lightly grease a 19cm x 29cm lamington tin.
Cream butter, egg and sugar together in a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Sift both flours together and fold into mixture in 2 lots.
Spread the mixture into the lamington tin then top with the raspberry jam. Spread this out gently and evenly over.
Spread topping over the jam and bake for around 35 minutes or until a light golden brown on top.
Make your topping by beating the eggs lightly with a fork in a small mixing bowl. Add the sugar and coconut and beat together.
Remove from oven and when cooled, cut up into squares.
You can substitute raspberry jam with apricot jam for a variation.

Weekender Biscuits Recipe

I love biscuits that are easy to make, taste great and not a lot of ingredients in them. These little cookies are always very popular with the littlies and great ones for them to make, with your supervision.

125g butter (do not use margarine)
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup sultanas
1 cup SR flour
2 cups cornflakes - lightly crushed

Preheat oven to a moderate temperature. Around 180C or 170C for fan forced oven.
Lightly grease 2 oven trays.
Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and beat well.
Fold in sifted flour and sultanas and mix well.
Drop teaspoons of mixture into cornflakes and roll lightly through.
Place on oven trays, allowing for biscuits to spread.
Bake for approx 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
Should make about 30 biscuits.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Carrot and Apple Slice Recipe

This recipe was given to me by a friend who likes to take shortcuts whenever possible. In this recipe she has used a packet carrot cake mix so I have used it as well. Normally I would never use packet cake mix but as her slice was really delicious, I have conceded this time.

1 packet carrot and walnut cake mix
175g butter - melted (do not use margarine)
1 cup desiccated coconut
300ml tub sour cream
2 eggs - lightly beaten
1 tablespoon icing sugar
400g tin pie apples
extra icing sugar to serve

Preheat oven to 180C or 170C in a fan forced oven.
Grease a 19cm x 30cm lamington pan, lined with baking paper on bottom and sides.
Ignore the cake mix instructions on packet and follow as below.
Empty cake mix and the walnuts into a large mixing bowl. Add the coconut and butter to the mix and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Press mixture evenly over the base of the lamington pan.
Cook for 25 minutes or lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan.
In a medium size mixing bowl, place sour cream, eggs and icing sugar and whisk well to combine.
Place pie apples over the cool slice base and pour the sour cream mixture over them.
Return to oven and cook for a further 30 minutes or slice is firm to touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool down in pan.
Refrigerate slice until it is cold.
Remove from pan and cut into squares.
Serve with some dusted icing sugar on top and some whipped cream on the side (optional).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mini Ricotta, Basil and Tomato Quiches Recipe

Quiches are one of those wonderful recipes that can be adapted to suit all taste buds.
I have tasted the genuine ones in Paris and I loved these little quiches that we ate at a wonderful little quaint restaurant in the 6th Arrondissement. I have tried to copy them and with the help from the waitress I have come up with these lovely little delights. I have changed them to suit a busy lifestyle. Over there, they made their own pastry but here I have just used frozen puff pastry.

3 sheets frozen puff pastry ( I use the one with butter)
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated tasty cheddar cheese
300g ricotta cheese
2 green spring onions - finely sliced
2 tablespoons fresh basil - finely chopped (can use basil in the tube)
4 eggs
1/3 cup fresh cream
12 grape or cherry tomatoes - halved
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 180C.
Lightly spray a large 12 hole muffin pan with some olive oil spray.
Using a 10.5cm round cutter, cut out 12 rounds from the pastry and line each muffin hole with it.
Beat the eggs together with beater till just starting to become fluffy. Do not beat too much. Add basil, cream, cheeses, onions and ricotta to eggs and mix through until combined. Add a little salt and pepper to taste.
Pour equal amounts into each pastry case and top 2 halves of tomatoes into each quiche with the cut side facing up.
Cook in oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown and you can see they are set.
Remove and allow to cool for several minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool down.
Serve with a lovely tossed salad and some fresh crusty bread. These taste just as good hot or cold.
You can store in an airtight container for several days in the refrigerator.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Raspberry Cocktail Recipe

Whenever summer comes around, I am always thinking up new cocktail recipes to try out at our next barbecue. There are always wonderful fruits and berries available then and they make really great cocktails.
This recipe was given to me by a hostess who always comes up with really great cocktails. It has raspberries in it but you could easily substiture strawberries if you prefer. It is alcoholic so not suitable for the littlies.

1/4 cup water
14 cup sugar
1/2 cup frozen or fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
750ml bottle of chilled sparkling white wine
fresh orange rind and extra raspberries to decorate

Combine water and sugar in a saucpan. Stir over a low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil then add the raspberries. Return to boil then once it has just boiled remove from the stove. Let the mixture cool slightly.
Using a hand held blender, blend the mixture until smooth. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve to remove seeds. Add liqueur and stir through.
Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
To serve, place 1 tablespoon of the mixture into flutes and slowly top up with the sparkling wine.
Decorate with orange rind and the extra raspberries.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Creamy Mustard Dressing Recipe

I always prefer homemade sauces and dressings and this is one of those ones that is very simple to make. Once you have tried this you will never go back to buying one from the supermarket. This is so much nicer and will become one of the family favourites.
It is not suitable to store for long periods and I only recommend that you keep it for a couple of days in the refrigerator in an airtight jar or container.

1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons brown vinegar
1 teaspoon Djion seeded mustard (can substitute a mild english one)
pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a screw-top jar and secure lid thoroughly.
Shake together until well combined.
Drizzle over your favourite chargrilled vegetables, pumpkin, pasta or potato salad.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Roast Pumpkin and Spinach Salad with Maple Syrup Recipe

I love anything with pumpkin in it so when a girlfriend made this wonderful salad, I just had to get the recipe from her to make it myself. It has been given the thumbs up from David, hereby known as the recipe taster. It is so easy to make and you will be a hit with your friends when you serve it up at your next barbecue.
This recipe uses Maple syrup but you could easily substitute that for honey if prefered. Either way, it is a delightful salad and one that goes great with chicken or beef.

750g jap or kent pumpkin - peeled and cubed into 2cm pieces
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
100g baby spinach leaves - thoroughly washed and dried
1 tablespoon light tasting olive oil
1/4 spanish (red) onion - thinly sliced
1/2 cup walnuts - halved
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Dijon Dressing:
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons light tasting olive oil
2 - 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For salad, place pumpkin, syrup and olive oil in a large bowl and lightly season with the salt and pepper. Toss through to combine all ingredients.
Lay pumpkin in a single layer on an oven tray that has been lined with baking paper.
Cook in a hot oven of 240C for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
To make dressing, place vinegar, oil, mustard and syrup in a small bowl or jug. Lightly season with salt and pepper and beat well with a whisk.
To serve, place the still warm salad in a nice serving bowl and add the spinach and walnuts to it. Drizzle some of the dressing over salad and toss through to combine.
Serve with some lovely fresh crusty sourdough bread.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tourtiere (Pork Pie) Recipe

Tourtiere is a French-Canandian pork pie which is traditionally served on Christmas eve after attending midnight mass. There are many variations but most believe that it originally was made from pork, game birds such as wild ducks, rabbits and venison.
Today it is mainly made with pork, garlic, mashed potato mixed in and celery.
My mum used to just make it with pork, a little herbs and puff pastry from the supermarket. As my dad loved anything made with pastry, it was always a popular pie in our house.
I have given the recipe here that my mum used to make but you can always experiment with adding a few other things to it if prefered.

375g pkt frozen puff pastry
500g pork mince
1 small brown onion - peeled and chopped
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon chopped herbs (if using dry just use about 3/4 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brandy
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
extra egg yolk - slightly beaten


Combine the pork mince, onion, egg yolk, herbs, brandy, salt and pepper and let stand for 1 hour to marinate.
Preheat oven to 220C or 210C if using a fan forced oven.
Heat butter in large frypan and brown the pork mixture over a high heat. Cook for a couple of minutes then remove from pan and set onto a large plate or dish to cool.
Divide the pastry in two and roll out one half to fit a 20cm (8 inche) circle. Glaze the edge of this with half the beaten egg yolk and place it onto a greased baking slide. (You can use a pie dish if you prefer but I like it made this way)
Mound the meat mixture onto the pastry, leaving a about 1cm or 1/2 inch around the edges free of any meat.
Roll out other half of pastry to form a 25cm (10 inch) circle. Decorate with the back of a knife in a swirling pattern for a nice effect and brush with egg yolk.
Bake your pie at 220C (or 210C fan forced) for 10 minutes then reduce oven to 180C and bake for another 35 minutes or until lovely and golden brown on top.
Can be served hot or cold with a lovely tossed salad.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Beef Stroganoff Roll Recipe

I joined a weight watching group several years ago and over the time we have changed more into a get together group that exchanges recipes, new ideas, fellowship and a bit of group therapy thrown in when needed. We laugh over some of the extreme ideas thrown around, body image and everything else that such a diverse group brings to our sessions.
This recipe was given to me by Jill, who made it for us at a luncheon we had to celebrate her birthday. We all tried it and agreed it was definitely one to make at home for our own families.

500g low fat mince steak (heart tick one)
1 pkt beef stroganoff sauce mix
1/4 cup tomato sauce (ketchup)
1 medium size egg
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes (can use fresh)
1 tablespoon dried chopped chives
1 cup cottage cheese (I used low fat)

Combine meat, sauce mix, tomato sauce and lightly beaten egg in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
Press mixture out flat onto a sheet of glad wrap, into an oblong shape.
Combine parsley, chives and cottage cheese and spread over meat mixture. Do not take the cheese mixture completely to outer edges of meat.
Roll the meat up as for a swiss roll, using the glad wrap to help with the rolling.
Place meat roll onto a microwave safe rack (seam down) and cook on MEDIUM HIGH for 15 minutes. May take more or less, depending on age and power of microwave.
Serve hot with a nice tossed salad or vegetables.

Bobotie Recipe

My friend Jacqui gave me this recipe and said it is one of those dishes she makes that the whole family enjoy. Although her recipe is for slow cookers, you can easily adapt it to cooking in the oven if you don't have a slow cooker. I will give you both ways of cooking it. You will find that the flavour is enhanced by doing it in a slow cooker so well worth investing in one, especially as there are so many wonderful recipes around now using them.
Bobotie is a traditional South African dish using spiced minced meats with an egg topping that many say, originated from the Dutch East India Company. It is a recipe that has slight variations, depending on individual tastes, and most housewives in South Africa will have their favourite version of this popular dish. You can use beef, pork or lamb in this but I have given you a simple one, using minced beef.

2 slices fresh white bread
1 cup milk ( can use hi-lo)
1 large brown onion - peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
750g lean mince steak (heart tick one)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon chutney
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
2 medium size eggs
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 cup seedless raisins (optional)

METHOD: (slow cooker)
Tear bread up into small pieces into a medium size mixing bowl and pour the milk over.
Heat oil in a large frypan over medium/low heat and saute the onion and mince steak until browned.
Add the curry powder and cook another two minutes. Turn heat down to low and add sugar, vinegar, chutney, raisins, seasoning and lemon rind.
Squeeze out the bread and reserve the milk. Add the bread to mixture and continue cooking for another minute, stirring through.
Turn mixture into the slow cooker.
Beat eggs with the reserved milk and pour over top of mixture.
Cook for 2 hours on high temperature then reduce to low and cook for a further 3 hours.

METHOD: (traditional)
Same as for slow cooker until just before you add the egg/milk topping.
Turn mixture into a lightly greased ovenproof dish and cook for 35 minutes at 170C. Remove from oven and pour over the beaten egg/milk mixture and cook for a further 25 - 30 minutes.
Serve with steamed yellow rice and extra chutney in a side dish.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cauliflower Cheese with Bacon Recipe

I always like experimenting with traditional dishes and this is one of those old time favourites that I have given a bit of a twist to.
If you prefer it without the bacon, just delete that from the recipe. You will find that the kids will love it with the bacon and it encourages them to eat their vegetables.
This amount will serve at least 6 adults so you can always halve it if cooking for less.

1 small cauliflower or half a large one
1 brown onion - peeled and chopped
4 rashers of short cut bacon - diced
30g (2 tablespoons) butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 1/2 cups milk (can use hi-lo)
1 large teaspoon dijon mustard
3/4 cup tasty cheese
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (can use wholemeal if preferred)
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
extra 1/2 cup cheese
sprinkle of nutmeg (optional)

Preheat oven to 180C
Steam or microwave cauliflower florets until only just cooked but still firm. Place into an ovenproof dish that has been slightly greased with a little butter.
Heat butter in medium size saucepan and when starting to bubble, add onion and about 2/3 of the bacon. Cook over moderate heat until softened. Add flour to this while still over heat and continue to stir for about 2 minute or until the flour is thoroughly cooked.
While still over heat, add the milk, all at once while continuing to stir the mixture. Don't worry that it will go lumpy as it won't and will be nice and smooth once it is cooked. Bring it to the boil and then turn heat down to low. Add the mustard, 2/3 cup cheese and the parmesan cheese, a sprinkle of nutmeg, salt and pepper.
When cheese is completely melted pour over the cauliflower. Top with the fresh breadcrumbs, extra cheese and bacon.
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until the top is lovely and golden.
Serve as a side dish to your favourite roast or meal.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mongolian Beef Recipe

I love Mongolian lamb that you get at good chinese restaurants and if you prefer lamb then you can substitute that for beef.
I have used beef in this recipe as some people don't like the mild taste of lamb. Either way, you will find that this is a really easy recipe and very tasty.


2 teaspoons peanut oil
2 - 3 cloves of fresh minced garlic (can used bottled)
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped ginger (can used bottled)
1/3 cup soy sauce (can use salt reduced or light)
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup brown sugar ( I use dark)

To make sauce, place the oil in a med size saucepan and set over mod heat. Lower heat slightly if needed as you don't want oil too hot. Add the garlic and ginger to pan and then quickly add sauce and water to pan so as the garlic doesn't burn. Dissolve the sugar in the sauce then increase heat until sauce boils. Gently boil until sauce thickens which should be approx 2 - 3 minutes. Remove from stove.

500g rump steak
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup cornflour
1 large green onion (either shallots or spring onions)

Using a very sharp knife, slice the rump steak against the grain in about 1/4 inch (6mm) thick slices. It is easier if you tilt your knife on a 45 degree angle.
Dip the meat into the cornflour and rest for a few minutes before cooking.
Heat the oil in a large frypan or wok until it just begins to smoke. Add the meat to the oil and cook for about 2 minutes or until it just begins to brown at the edges. Make sure you stir the meat around so it cooks evenly. After another couple of minutes remove meat and set on paper towels to drain off excess oil.
Place pan back over heat and return the meat to the pan. Add the sauce and gently simmer for 1 minute.Add the onion to pan and continue cooking for 1 - 2 minutes until satisfied it is well combined.
Serve with jasmine rice and some stir fry vegetables.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ginger Kisses Recipe

Have you ever bought ginger kisses from the supermarket and wanted to make them for yourself. The recipe is just so simple and easy to make and you get a lot more for your money out of making them yourself as well as being so much nicer than the shop bought ones.
I have made the cream filling plain, with coffee and with some preserved ginger in it and I have to say that they are all equally as yummy. The ones from the shops have the plain filling so try experiementing to see which one you prefer.

125g flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
115g butter ( better than margarine in cooking) softened at room temperature
85g caster sugar
1 egg - at room temperature
2 teaspoons golden syrup (can use honey)
1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1 tablespoon hot water

30g butter
120g pure icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoons boiling water

Preheat oven to 180C or 170C for fan forced oven.
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until combined then add the golden syrup( or honey).
Sift flour, baking powder and spices together and fold into mixture until just combined.
Dissolve bi-carb soda in the hot water and add to mixture and stir through.
Line two oven trays with baking paper and put small teaspoonful of the mixture on them.
Bake for approx 10 minutes or until cooked. Remove from oven and cool on cake racks.

To make filling, beat softened butter and icing sugar together with an electric beater. Add the vanilla essence and continue beating until fluffy. Add boiling water, a little amount at a time and continue beating during this process. When light and creamy put aside and when kisses are cooled down sandwich two together with small amount of filling.
You can add a little amount of hot percolate coffee instead of water or add some instant coffee (about 1 teaspoon) to the boiling water. Instead you may like to add a little amount of preserved ginger ( about 1 tablespoon) which has been finely chopped to the mixture with the water. This is a lovely alternative.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pumpkin, Chicken and Spinach Risotto Recipe

Risotto is one of those recipes that I don't make very often but whenever I do, I wonder why I don't make them more. If you don't eat meat then you could always leave the chicken out and add some pine nuts or cashews to give it a little extra taste.
This is very simple to make and only takes around 30 - 35 minutes to cook.


1 litre of good chicken stock (ideally, make your own)
500g chicken thigh fillets
1 brown onion - peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic - crushed
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 kg butternut pumpkin (butternut squash) peeled and diced into bite size cubes
150g baby spinach
3 - 4 tablespoons fresh parmesan cheese - finely grated


Dice chicken into bite size cubes.
Heat oil in a large saucepan or frypan and add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is nice and golden brown then remove it from the pan.
Add onion to the pan and cook for approx 5 minutes or until softened.
Add garlic, pumpkin and rice and cook for about 1 minute.
Pour the chicken stock in, bring to boil, then stir through. Place lid on pan and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rice is just cooked. Stir occasionally.
Remove from heat and stir in the spinach, parmesan cheese and chicken.
Cover again with lid and let stand for another 5 minutes to make sure the chicken is heated through.
Serve with a small side dish of extra shaved parmesan cheese and some fresh crusty bread and butter.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baked Onion Rings Recipe

Do you love the onion rings from the Fast Food outlets? If you do you will love this recipe for baked onion rings as it is so much better than any available on the market.
This calls for dipping the onion rings into a milk mixture and then into a pancake mix.
I always make my own pancakes but you can substitute a bought mix if you prefer. Just make sure it is not a sweet one.

I use a very basic one for this.
1 1/2 cups SR flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 small egg (optional)
1/4 teaspoon bi-carb soda (cooking soda)
1 tablespoon melted butter

If you don't have any buttermilk in the fridge use normal milk with 1/2 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice added to it to turn slightly sour.
Sift flour and bi-carb together and then add all other ingredients and blend throroughly together.
Set aside and allow to stand while making up the rest of the recipe for onion rings.

INGREDIENTS: ( for onion rings)

6 white onions - peeled and sliced
2 large or 3 medium size eggs - beaten
1 cup milk
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 cups homemade pancake mix or bought mixture
Oil for deep frying ( I use peanut oil)


Separate the sliced onions into rings.
Blend milk, eggs, salt and pepper in a bowl. Soak the onions in this for 30 minutes.
In a separate bowl, prepare the pancake mixture.
In either an electric deep fryer or a large heavy based frypan, heat the oil to recommended heat for deep frying. Do not let the oil smoke or it may be too hot. Test by dropping just 1 onion ring into the oil and check it is the right temperature.
Take onion rings out of milk mixture and dip into the pancake mix. Drop into hot oil and fry until golden brown. You will need to do this in batches as if too many at once will reduce the heat and they will not cook properly. Transfer them onto paper towels to drain off excess oil.
Pack the rings firmly but not too hard into a loaf pan and bake at 200C for approx 15 minutes then remove from oven and turn out onto a serving plate.
Serve with some dipping sauces such as sweet chili or any of your favourites.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mexican Pizza Recipe

When I was in the states I was taken to a Mexican restaurant and my friend ordered this amazing pizza using tortillas. I loved it so much that I wished I had the recipe for it. On telling another friend over there about it, she promptly got out this recipe she had made many times and said that most people had a similar one to hers. Bobby made it up for me and I have to admit that it was just as good, if not better than the one I had tasted at the restaurant.
Once you try this I am sure that the whole family will love it. It takes a little time to make them up but well worth the effort. Just get the family members to help making them.


500g mince steak (ground beef)
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons water
8 flour tortillas
1 cup of either vegetable shortening or peanut oil
1 can refried beans (optional)
2/3 cup mild salsa
1 cup grated cheese
1 cup tasty cheese - grated (if in the USA use Monterey Jack)
1 ripe diced tomato
1/4 cup sliced black olives (optional)
1/4 cup green onion - chopped


Brown mince steak in a large pan over medium heat in a small dash of oil to stop from sticking. Drain off any excess fat or oil from pan.
Add salt, dried onions, paprika, pepper, chili powder and water and let the mixture just simmer over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. stirring often.
Heat shortening or oil in a separate pan over a medium to high heat. Don't let the oil smoke or it will be too hot. Fry each tortilla for about 40 seconds on each side or until a nice goldne brown and then remove and drain on paper towels.
If using the refried beans, heat them in a small saucepan on top of the stove.
Preheat your oven to 190C or 200F.
To make up the pizzas, spread 1/3 of the refried beans on top of one tortilla. Spread 1/4 of the meat over this and then another tortilla. Place 2 tablespoons of salsa on top of tortilla, then spread tomatoes on top of this. Divide the cheese, onions and olives and spread them over the top.
Place the pizzas in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes so the cheese is melted.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chicken Biryani Recipe

When the weather gets colder I always turn to food that is both satisfying and comforting. I especially love all in one recipes such as soups, stews and rice dishes.
This is a quick and easy way to make a really tasty Indian Biryani Chicken dish. It cuts out all the preparation of doing it the traditional way and the end result is very pleasing to eat and so tasty.
I always use the milder sauce mixes when cooking curries or hot food as David doesn't like his food too hot. You can always use a hotter one if you prefer.


1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
1 420g jar of Biryani Sauce ( I use Sharwoods coconut & curry leaf )
500g chicken thigh fillets
1 cup water
1 cup basmati rice


Dice the chicken into cubes about 3cm.
Rinse the rice through a colander until the water runs clear.
Heat oil in a large pan and sprinkle the spice mix from sauce bottle and stir through. Cook about 1 minute, just so it releases the spice aroma. Add the sacue from the bottle and cook for another minute.
Add your chicken and stir through. Sprinkle the rice over chicken then add the cup of water. Mix thoroughly making sure that the rice is fully covered by the liquid.
Bring to the boil then place lid on pan and reduce heat to just simmering. Do not remove lid once you have done this. Cook for about 20 - 25 minutes then remove from heat. Allow to continue steaming for another 10 - 12 minutes.
Serve with some roasted cashews on top and with some warm Naan bread.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Creamed Vegetable Soup Recipe

I'm sure that by now you know how much I love soup in the winter months. I have been going back through all the recipes I have collected over the years and ones from my mum's recipe folder.
I love that this recipe calls for the vegies to be roasted first. It is a lovely thick and creamy soup and one that is really easy to make. This is a great one for making for sunday lunch.


1 large carrot - peeled and roughly chopped
2 medium or 1 very large parsnip - peeled and roughly chopped
about 350g or half a butternut pumpkin - peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon good olive oil ( I use a light tasting one)
1 tablespoon butter
1 brown onion - chopped
1 - 2 cloves fresh garlic (depending on your preference)
4 cups good chicken stock
1/3 cup cream
extra cream to serve
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 180C.
Place pumpkin, parsnip and carrot in a roasting dish and drizzle with the oil. Lightly season with some sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Cover with some foil and roast for approx 40 minutes or until cooked. Take foil off and roast for a further 10 - 15 minutes or until browning up in colour. Remove from oven.
Place butter in a large stockpot and heat on stove. Add the onions and garlic and cook over a medium heat until just soft. Add the roasted vegies and stock. Continue cooking until soup mixture boils then reduce heat till it is just simmering. Cook for about 20 minutes and then remove from stove.
Allow to cool down slightly and then add the cream. Puree soup using either a bamix (hand held blender) or a blender. Make sure you do not fill the blender too high, but rather do it in several batches.
Serve with some lovely crusty bread or rolls. You can always make croutons instead if you prefer and drizzle a little cream around each serving bowl with a little sprig of parsley on top.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Raisin and Walnut Fudge Squares Recipe

This delightful recipe is definitely not one for the dieters but it is delicious. It is a great one to serve with coffee after a dinner party.
I actually got this recipe when over in the UK. I got talking to the owner of a wonderful little coffee shop where it was served and she actually was good enough to give me the recipe. Thank you so much Diana for allowing me to share it here.


125g butter (do not use margarine)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup plain flour
2 eggs - well beaten
1/3 cup seedless raisins
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
50g unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla essence


Preheat oven to 170C
Beat butter until light and creamy. Gradually add the sugar making sure to beat well after each addition.
Melt chocolate in a small bowl over a saucepan of boiling simmering water. Or use double boiler saucepan. When melted, add to the creamed mix. Mix together and then add the well beaten eggs and mix until combined.
Sift flour and stir through the creamed mixture until just combined. Do not overbeat.
Lastly, add the vanilla, raisins and walnuts and stir through.
Pour into a slice baking pan that has been lightly greased and lined with baking paper.
Bake for approx 30 minutes or until cooked through.
Let cool before turning out. When cool cut into squares.

Peanut Butter Muffins

These little muffins are really delicious and so easy to make. The kids and the grownups will love them. I cannot remember who gave me this recipe but thank you for it and I hope you get to see it on my recipe site.


3 tablespoons butter or 1/4 cup
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 cup SR flour
good pinch salt
1/3 cup milk


Preheat oven to 170C
Cream butter and peanut butter together. Add the sugar and beat lightly. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat lightly till combined.
Sift the flour twice with the salt. Add flour and the milk, alternatively and mix well after each addition.
Place patty papers into a 12 place muffin tin and fill each one about 2/3 full.
Bake approx 30 minutes or until cooked.

You may like to add some chopped peanuts on top of the muffins before you bake or top with a small amount of vanilla cream icing when cool with a few chopped nuts sprinkled on top.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pickled Cucumber Recipe

When I was in the states, I noticed how everyone seemed to love pickles. I found a lot of them to be too sour for my taste but then I was given this recipe of how to make your own using Dill Pickles, which are just small cucumbers. I have tried this and it is just so much better than the bottled sweet gherkins that we get in the supermarket. Trying to find the best sized cucumbers to make it was a bit of a challenge so I just use normal small cucumbers.


10 medium cucumbers
8 cups sugar
5 teaspoons salt
4 cups spiced vinegar (or pickling vinegar)


Cover whole cucumbers with boiling water and allow to stand overnight.
Drain off water and repeat again until the 5th day.
On the 5th day, drain the water off and slice cucumbers into 1/2 inch or 1.3 cm pieces.
Combine sugar, salt and vinegar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour over cucumbers and let stand for 2 days.
On the 3rd day, bring to the boil and seal in hot sterilised jars.

To sterilise jars, place in large pot and cover with hot water. Bring to the boil and let stand in the boiling water for about 5 minutes. Remove and dry thoroughly and pour the pickles into the hot jars and seal.

Tomato Soup Recipe

When winter comes around one ofmy favourite things is homemade soup. I am one of those cooks who often just throws in whatever I think will make a great soup. I also love collecting recipes from friends and family members who have a favourite one to pass on.
I found this recipe in my mums recipe book and I think she got it from an italian lady who used to share recipes with her. I have adapted it slightly to suit me. It is just so much nicer than any you can get out of a tin or packet and I am sure you will love it as much as I do once you have made it.


1 large brown onion - peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil ( I use a light tasting one)
1 clove fresh garlic - crushed
1 bottle of italian tomato pasta sauce ( I use the 700ml size)
1 litre chicken stock
4 very ripe tomatoes - chopped (Can halve cherry or grape tomatoes instead. About 1 punnet)
1 cup small pasta shells (optional)


Heat oil in large pan and saute onions and garlic for 3 - 4 minutes. Add fresh tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the bottled tomato sauce, chicken stock and pasta shells. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat and cook for a further 25 - 30 minutes or until pasta is tender. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

I like to place some tasty cheese on top of some toast slices and brown under the grill to serve with the soup.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Diabetic Chocolate Mousse Recipe

I have to admit to loving anything that has chocolate in it and now that I know it is good for you, in moderation, I am always looking for new recipes that feature it.
My sister Mandy makes delicious chocolate mousse but as it is loaded with chocolate and cream, not suitable for diabetics. This recipe is by no means as delicious as hers but it is better than the diet ones you find in the refrigerator section of the supermarket.
I got this recipe off a girlfriend of mine who made it with sugar. I have made it with splenda and also half sugar and half splenda. You can adapt it to suit yourself.
Make sure that the evaporated milk is really chilled before whipping or else it will not whip up properly.


1 sachet of gelatine (10g)
2 tablespoons good cocoa powder
375ml can reduced fat evaporated milk (I use Carnation Light)
1/2 cup water (125ml)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup slenda
1 teaspoon vanilla essence


Mix gelatine and cocoa together in a small bowl or jug. Slowly add the cold water to this and stir until a thin paste.
Heat in the microwave until the gelatine melts. Do not boil.
Pour chilled milk into a large mixing bowl and beat on high speed of electric mixer until really thick.
Add sugar, splenda, hot cocoa mix and vanilla essence. Beat all together until well combined.
Pour into indivdual dishes and put in the refigerator until set.
This will make 12 small serves. Each one is approx 200KJ and around 1.4g fat.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding Recipe

Whenever we were having guests over for dinner we would always ask mum to make her yummy self saucing chocolate pudding.
This has always been a family favourite and one that is great for those cooler winter months. It is such an easy recipe to make and I know it will be one that your family will ask for again and again.
I always serve mine up hot and usually place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top or some whipped cream in a bowl on the table for those who want it slightly richer.


1 cup SR flour ( I use organic)
1/2 cup fresh milk (can use hi lo)
60g butter
3/4 cup sugar (either white or brown)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
extra 2/3 cup sugar
extra 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups boiling water


Preheat oven to 180C.
Grease an ovenproof round casserole dish that will hold 6 cups.
Heat butter with the milk in a small saucepan on top of the stove until the butter is starting to melt. Turn off heat but leave on stove until the butter is melted. Remove and let cool for 2 minutes.
Pour milk mix into a medium size mixing bowl. Add sifted flour and cocoa, then vanilla essence and sugar. Mix thoroughly either with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer.
Pour into the casserole dish.
Combine extra sugar and cocoa and mix through so there are no lumps in the cocoa.
Spoon over the top of the pudding mixture and then gently pour over the boiling water.
Bake for 30 - 40 minutes.
Serve hot.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chilli Con Carne Recipe

When the weather begins to cool down, I start thinking about lovely hot winter soups, casseroles and other hearty dishes.
I have tried various recipes for Chilli Con Carne and have two that I make, depending on who I am cooking for. For people who love the tradional way with fresh chillies I cook one and if making it for my husband David or others who don't like it so hot I use a mixture of chilli flakes and sweet chilli sauce. The sauce gives it a different, slightly sweet taste which I love. I can use as little or much as I like to get the required mildness that David prefers.
If you prefer a more hotter recipe, substitute for a small fresh red chilli which if you don't deseed it, will be very hot.


500g of lean mince steak
1 large brown onion - peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic - peeled and crushed
1 large red capsicum - deseeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon good oil
400g can crushed tomatoes
2 large fresh tomatoes - chopped
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
440g can red kidney beans - drained and washed
250ml beef or chicken stock
sea salt to taste
extra 1 dessertspoon oil
steamed rice and sour cream to serve


Gently fry the onion, garlic and capsicum for a couple of minutes in oil in a large frypan over a low heat.
Add the dried spices and continue cooking until the aroma is released from the spices. Remove and turn out onto a plate.
Return frypan to heat and add another dessertspoon of oil to it. Fry the mince over a medium heat until browned.
Add the onion mix back into the pan, as well as the fresh and tinned tomatoes and cook for a further 5 - 6 minutes.
Add stock, sweet chilli sauce and tomato paste. Continue cooking over moderate heat until it starts to boil. Cover with lid then reduce heat and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Add kidney beans and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
Serve with steamed rice and some corn chip. On the side place a bowl of light sour cream with some fresh chives added to it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Diabetic Roasted Pumpkin and Parsnip Soup

If you are diabetic or watching your weight, then this delicious winter soup is ideal. It is full of goodness but has hardly any fat in it.
If you don't need to worry about fat, you can always substitute the skim milk with light cooking cream for a richer, creamier taste.


1 brown onion - peeled and chopped
2 large carrots - peeled and roughly chopped
2 large parsnips - peeled and roughly chopped
350g butternut pumpkin - peeled and cubed
spray oil such as olive or canola
3 teaspoons vegetable or chicken stock powder
3 cups hot water
1/4 cup skim milk ( or light cooking cream)


Preheat oven to 200C.
In a large baking dish, place carrots, parsnips, pumpkin and onions. Spray some oil over them and roast for approx 25 mins or until they are golden brown and tender.
Remove from oven and place in a large saucepan. Add the stock powder, water and skim milk (if using cream, add it later, just before serving). Season with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Cook for approx 10 - 12 minutes and then remove from stove to cool down slightly.
Using either a blender or hand held blender, process soup until smooth.
If necessary, add some more water to achieve right consistency and if using cream instead of skim milk, add this and then reheat gently on stove.
Serve with some crusty bread.

Meatloaf Recipe

As food prices are spiralling it is important to go back to basics with cooking. Often the cheaper cuts of meat, when cooked correctly, have much more flavour than the more expensive ones. This is where slow cookers, pressure cookers and oven baking ensure that you get the best out of the cheaper cuts.
My mum used to make the best meals out of just using mince steak and I can always remember the wonderful aroma whenever she made this meatloaf recipe. It is just so simple and easy to make and will serve 4 large servings.


650g pure beef mince ( I like to use one with a little bit of fat to give it flavour and moisture)
1 medium brown onion - peeled and chopped
2 medium size eggs
2 slices fresh white bread
1 medium size fresh tomato (organic is best)
small amount of sea salt
bush seasoning with mountain pepper
1/4 teaspoon hamburger seasoning (optional)
1 tablespoon dried or freshly chopped parsley


Preheat oven to 180C in fan forced oven.
Cut crusts off bread. Slice thinly into fingers and then finely chop them.
Finely dice the fresh tomato. Do not have to remove skin.
Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and with your hands, mix through thoroughly so all ingredients are well combined.
Tip mixture into a non stick loaf tin and bake for approx 1 hour. Test at about 50 minutes and if you prefer the mixture slightly medium rare, you can take out then.
This is delicious served hot with creamy mashed potato, carrots and green beans. You can make a thin gravy, using the juices left in the pan and pour over meat and potatoes.
It can also be served cold with a lovely tossed salad and some crusty bread.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Swedish Meatballs Recipe

I love meatballs done in various sauces and one that I really like to make are Swedish meatballs. This recipe is suitable to use for Italian meatballs in tomato sauce or even with a satay or chilli sauce.
If you like the traditional Swedish sauce that they serve with theirs, then I have included one that was given to me by a friend who had a swedish mother-in-law and she says that it is an authentic recipe. In the states you can purchase beef gravy in a can and you just add some light cream to that and heat in a sucepan. I haven't seen it in Australia so always make my own.


1 small brown onion - finely chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon butter
extra tablespoon butter
300g lean minced steak
300g minced pork
1 large cold boiled potato
1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs (can use wholemeal)
1 cup milk
1 egg - lightly beaten
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (optional)


Gently saute onion in the tablespoon butter until just transparent and take off heat to cool.
Soak the breadcrumbs in milk for 8 - 10 minutes.
Mash potato and place in a large mixing bowl.
Add all other ingredients apart from oil and extra butter.
Shape mixture into small balls about the size of a walnut.
Using clean frypan, fry the meatballs slowly, in the oil and butter, until browned on both sides.
transfer to a plate that has been covered in paper towels, to drain off excess oils.
Place on dinner plates and pour over the cream sauce. Serve with lingonberry jam, ( a Swedish fruit) mashed potatoes and some green beans.


100 ml cream
200ml light beef stock (or half stock, half water)
1 desertspoon corn flour
little light soy sauce to taste
salt and pepper to taste

To make, blend flour with some of the cream to make a smooth thin paste. Add the stock, soy sauce, seasoning and remaining cream. Stir over a low to moderate heat in a small saucepan. Make sure you stir continuously so it doesn't become lumpy. When it boils, reduce heat and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Light Satay Chicken Recipe

I love cooking but am always having to watch my waistline as it tends to thicken more than I like in a very short space of time. Every few weeks we go onto low fat recipes and I often add a lot of diabetic cooking whenever possible. This is not classed as a diabetic recipe but when you look at the ingredients in it, I am sure that it would be suitable for diabetics.
I think that it tastes as good as a full fat recipe and you enjoy it knowing that it is healthy for you.

700g chicken mince
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 cup wholemeal breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon corriander powder
white of 1 egg
1 1/2 cups jasmin rice


Combine mince, breadcrumbs, egg white, corriander and cumin together in a large bowl. Shape into small balls and roll in a little flour to stop them sticking.
In a large saucepan, spray with a little olive oil spray and brown the balls on both sides.
Turn heat right down and make up the satay sauce.
Add the sauce to the chicken balls and gently simmer for approx 20 minutes or until cooked.
Serve with steamed jasmin rice and some lovely colourful vegies such as baby carrots and beans.


2 tablespoons light peanut paste ( I use crunchy)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons curry paste (I use red but you can use any)
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 - 2 tins light carnation coconut milk

Slowly add the milk to the other ingredients as this is easier to blend them together.

Tropical Rum Punch Recipe

Whenever summer time comes around, I always think of punch when planning a party or barbecue. When my children were small, it always had to be non alcoholic of course but when they grew up I loved to experiment with different drinks to find one that I liked. I still love non alcoholic ones and sometimes just add a little bit of spirits to spice them up. You can always omit the alcohol and add ginger beer to it and it will still taste great.


1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup guava juice
juice of half a lime (can use lemon if prefered)
30ml Cointreau
1 cup Bundaberg rum
pineapple and orange slices to garnish


Mix all ingredients together in a large jug.
Pour over tall glasses of ice and top with fruit to garnish.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Italian Breadcrumb Recipe

I can still remember vividly, the aroma of my mums cooking wafting through the house and the wonderful memories it brings back. One of my dad's favourites was forequarter lamb chops done in egg and breadcrumbs. Sometimes mum would add some italian seasoning to them as my dad loved all italian and greek food.
I have changed her recipe for this slightly to give it a little bit of extra tang. I have also omitted the egg and milk, to buttermilk.


1 cup dry breadcrumbs (could use cornflake crumbs)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley - chopped (can use 1 tablespoon dried)
2 tablespoons oregano ( 1 teaspoon dried)
1 desertspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon basil ( 1 teaspoon dried)
2/3 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

You can store these in an airtight container for several days in the refrigerator and up to a week if using dry herbs.
Dip chicken breasts, lamb or pork chops in buttermilk first then into the breadcrumbs.
Place in a baking dish with a thin layer of olive oil.
Bake in oven at 180C for between 45 mins to 1 hour, depending on thickness of meat.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ricotta and Mushroom Tart Recipe

This uses Filo Pastry which is available in the refrigerator section at your supermarket. My mum used to make this recipe using shortcrust pastry and you can use that if you prefer. I think that this is so much nicer, using the Filo. It is very easy to make and great to serve with a lovely tossed italian style salad or just on it's own for lunch.


5 sheets filo pastry
60g butter
250g fresh mushrooms - sliced
2 cloves fresh garlic - crushed
1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
200g fresh ricotta cheese (can use light)
2 eggs - slightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream (can use light)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
extra 75g butter - melted
sea salt and freshly ground cracked pepper


Preheat oven to 180C.
Melt the first lot of butter in a frying pan and add the sliced mushrooms. Cook on high for a couple of minutes until they soften slightly. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another minute. Stir in the thyme, rosemary and nutmeg. Remove the mushrooms from pan and drain off the liquid.
Place filo pastry under a damp tea towel so they wont dry out. Take a sheet out and brush with the melted butter and fold in half. Place another sheet on top and repeat the process. Then line the pastry into a 23cm shallow tart tin with a loose base, allowing it to overhang the edges.
Beat the ricotta, eggs and sour cream together and season to taste. Spoon half the mixture into the tin, then add the mushrooms. Top with the remaining ricotta mixture and bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until firm. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over top to serve.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Caesar Salad and Dressing Recipe

I love to try out Caesar Salads at good restaurants to see if they actually make the dressing themselves or just use bottled.
I have been known to cheat sometimes but when I take the time to make my own, it is just so much better than any you will find in a bottle.
I have used the traditional recipe here but if you want it a little bit creamier, add a couple of tablespoons of light sour cream to it when blending. It is just that little bit more delicious.
For a more substantial meal, I put chicken in mine. You can use a barbecued one from the supermarket. I like to use fresh breasts. Slice them fairly thinly and dip in egg and cajun breadcrumbs. Fry very quickly in shallow peanut or olive oil for just a couple of minutes on each side. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to absorb the oil. When cool, place over salad.


2 baby cos lettuces
4 - 5 rashes rindless bacon - chopped
1 tablespoon good virgin olive oil ( I use the light flavour one)
small can anchovies
50g shaved parmesan cheese
4 hard boiled eggs
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper (optional)


Separate the lettuce leaves and wash thoroughly in cold water. Dry with a clean tea towel, making sure that remove any wilted bits. You can either leave the leaves whole or cut them in half lengthways and then across once.
In a frypan, heap the oil and fry the bacon until lovely and crisp. Remove and place on paper towels to absorb any oils left on. When cool, mix with anchovies and cheese through the lettuce.
Make your dressing and pour over salad. Halve or thickly slice the boiled eggs and place over the top of salad with a little extral shaved parmesan cheese on top. Season with salt and pepper if prefered.


2 eggs
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 garlic cloved - crushed
1 - 2 anchovies - chopped
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons light sour cream (optional)


Bring some water to the boil in a small saucepan. Put eggs in and only boil for 1 minute. Remove immediately and run under cold running water until cooled down. Remove shells.
In a small mixing bowl or glass jug, mix the all the ingredients apart from the olive oil. Combine well and while whisking, add the oil, a little at a time in a steady stream so it combines together well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
If you are adding sour cream to it, you add it to the ingredients from the start of mixing.

Any bread can be used but I love to use Turkish bread as it is just a lovely variation. Slice into 6 - 8 mm slices. Mix a little olive oil infused with crushed garlic. Brush lightly over both sides of the turkish bread and place oven at 180C for about 12 - 15 minutes or until lovely and golden. Remove from oven and cool before adding to salad.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cream of Asparagus Soup Recipe

I have always loved asparagus recipes and can remember my mum making dad aspargus soup as it was one of his favourite.
This is a lovely rich one that is easy to make and very low carb so if you are following a low carb diet, you will love this recipe.
Once you have tasted home made soups you will never eat ones out of a can ever again.


1 kg fresh asparagus spears
1 medium size brown onion - finely chopped
1 large tablespoon butter
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves - chopped (can use basil in the tube)
1 litre vegetable stock
250 ml cream ( 1 cup)
celery salt ( about 1/2 teaspoon)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


Remove the woody part from the asparagus spears. Remove the tips and blanch them in boiling water for just a minute or two. Rinse in cold water and set aside for later use. Chop the spears into large chunks.
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onion and cook for a few minutes over low heat until transparent and slightly golden. Add aspargus chunks and continue cooking for another couple of minutes. Stir continuously so it doesn't burn.
Add the vegetable stock, basil and celery salt. Turn heat up and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and cook, with lid on for approx half an hour. Test and when the asparagus is well cooked, remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Process in a blender until lovely and smooth.
Return to saucepan and add the cream. Do not allow soup to boil. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Add the asparagus tips to soup and serve immediately.
Serve with lovely fresh crusty bread or home made garlic & herb bread.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Christmas Cherry & White Chocolate Slice Recipe

I love making lots of different truffles, slices and biscuits at christmas time and am always on the look out when I visit my relatives and friends for new recipes to add to the next christmas menus.
This delicious slice was made by one of my friends and I just had to ask her for her recipe. I loved it and I am sure that you will too once you have tried it for yourself.
This would be just as lovely served up at Easter time or any other special event.


125g unsalted butter
120g white cooking chocolate broken up ( use the best available)
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups red and green glace cherries
1/2 cup white cooking choc bits


Preheat oven to 180C or 160C for fan forced oven.
Grease a 20 x 30cm slice tin. Line base and sides with baking paper.
Put butter and white chocolate in a small saucepan over a pan of simmering water. Do not allow any water or steam to enter the choc mix as it will ruin it. Stir until smooth and creamy. Remove from heat.
Put sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat until well combined.
Stir in the chocolate mixture, then sift the flour and baking powder into it.
Gently fold in half of the cherries with the white choc bits.
Pour into slice tin and lightly scatter with remaining cherries.
Bake for approx 25 - 30 minutes or until lightly golden. When a skewer comes out clean, remove from oven and let stand for 8 - 10 minutes before turning out on a cutting board.
Cut into small squares and lightly dust with a little icing sugar if desired.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hummus Dip Recipe

I always prefer home made dips to the pre-package ones from the supermarket. It is quite easy to make your own. They taste so much better and you get so much more dip than if you bought them ready made.
Hummus is such a healthy one and is great to serve with some turkish or pita bread.


1 400g can of organic chickpeas
1 tablespoon tahini paste (this is made from sesame's and is available in the health section)
1 clove of freshly crushed garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil (80ml)
sea salt


Place chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and oil in a food processor or blender and process until nice and smooth.
Turn out into a dip serving bowl and arrange the turkish or pita breads around it.
Add a small amount of finely chopped parsley on top to garnish if prefered.

Caramelised Onion Recipe

I have always loved the smell of onions cooking and could never have steak without some served with it. To turn your onions into caramelised is so simple. Just a couple of extra ingredients and you will have your guests asking if there is any more onions.
I love to make this and put on top of mashed sweet potatoes and serve with a lovely piece of sirloin steak or even with T bone's.


2 large brown onions
2 tablespoons sugar (brown is best)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons buter or olive oil ( I prefer butter)


Heat butter or oil in a large frypan over medium heat.
Add the onions and cook for about 8 - 10 minutes or until softened.
Add the sugar and vinegar and continue cooking for about another 2 minutes or until onions have caramelised.
Take off heat and add to your meat or vegetables.
You can store for up to a week, in a sealed jar in the refrigerator.