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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.