Friday, November 2, 2012

Pumpkin 'Crack' Soup

Ok, i have this recipe for curry pumpkin soup that my cousin LOVES. She calls it my crack soup because she can't get enough of it!!! Every time we have a sewing day at my house, we have to have it :D

Anyway, it's another one of my recipes that i make with varying amounts of ingredients - basically depending on what i have in my cupboard!!!


A few cups of Pumpkin (Butternut is nicest, in my opinion)
2-3 Potatos
1-2 Carrots
1 Onion
Curry Powder
Chicken Stock
Evaporated Milk


1. Roughly chop all of the veggies
2. Heat some oil in a pan and throw the veggies in, mixing for a couple of minutes
3. Add 1-2 teaspoons of curry powder, depending on how spicy you like it
4. Pour the chicken stock in until the veggies are covered. I usually need about 1/2 litre. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, until all the veggies are nice and soft.
5. Take the pot off the heat and wizz it all up
6. A few minutes before you are going to serve it, add some evaporated milk, stir it through and reheat

I like to have some sour cream with my soup and it's lovely with some cracked pepper on top too!!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Flourless Orange and Almond Cake

Well, it's been a while since i've posted, but i'm going to try and share a recipe a week, especially in the lead up to Christmas as things get busier and we have more guests around!!!

I cooked this recipe the other day and it is AMAZING!!!! The moistest, yummiest cake you will ever eat!!! I made it using Nutura sugar, which is a new 'sweetener' that is all natural and doesn't contain any of the nasty things that have given sweeteners a bad name. So it's a low calorie, high protein, gluten free snack!! Great to have on hand for 3:30itis!!!


"Quick and Easy Cakes" by Bay Books


2 Oranges
1 1/2 cups (280g) ground almonds (note - i actually used half almond, half coconut, measuring by the cup, as coconut is a lot lighter :D)
1 cup (250g) caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon Cointreau (i didn't have any in the cupboard, so i didn't use it)
6 eggs, lightly beaten


1. Place the whole oranges in a saucepan, cover with pater and place a small plate or bowl on top to keep the oranges submerged - like this:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

2. Gradually bring to the boil, the reduce and heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until very soft. Preheat the oven to moderate (180C/350F/Gas 4). Grease and line a 23 springform tin. I actually used a Tupperware round silicon form which is bigger than this, and it works out fine :D

3. Cut the oranges into quarters and leave to cool. Remove an pips, then blend in a food processor until very smooth. I dont' actually own a processor, but i used a stick wizzer with a blender attachment, so you can definately do this with a blender, or probably even a stick wizzer in a bowl :D

4. Add the ground almonds, sugar, baking powder, vanilla essence and cointreau and, using the pulse button, process until just combined.

5. Add the egg and process again until just combined - do not overprocess.

6. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes, or until firm and the cake leaves the side of the tin. Leave to cool in the tin. Dust with icing sugar to serve if desired.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Basic Curry

Welcome to 2012 everyone, and happy new year!!!

Sorry it's taken me so long to blog recently - it's been a bit mad around Christmas!! I hope you all had a delicious Christmas with friends and family :D

My family came to stay over Christmas, and my dad (who is a VERY fussy eater) asked me to cook the same recipe twice!! A very rare thing for me dad :D Mum just asked for the recipe off me - you know you're cooking is going OK when your mum is asking you for your recipes!!! So, i thought i'd share it with you all.

This curry recipe is very basic, and doesn't really have measurements, but i tend to make it as a chicken/turkey curry or a sausage curry - it's a great way to use up left over roast meat or a leftover BBQ chook :D

Basic Curry Recipe

Heat pan and cook some finely chopped onion in some butter.

Add curry powder (1-2 tsp should do the trick) and cook for 1 minute.

Add flour (1-2 tbsp should do the trick) and cook again for 1 minute.

Add stock while stirring constantly. If i'm making a chicken/turkey curry i use chicken stock. If i'm making a sausage curry i use beef stock. You will need enough to just cover all the veggies and meat when it's added.

Bring to the boil.

Add meat and veggies and season to taste. Stir and allow to simmer.

If the curry is too thin, add more flour. If there is not enough sauce, add more stock or water. You may then need to add flour as well :D

Hope this helps you use up some of your leftovers, and enjoy a hearty home-cooked meal at the same time!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sausage Rolls

Home-made sausage rolls are so easy, quick, cheap and yummy!!! A great treat for Saturday lunch - and fantastic for parties. And the best part about making your own is that you can add whatever you want! It's a great way to get extra veggies into a food kids love!

Puff Pastry
Chopped Onion
BBQ Sauce
Sausage Mince

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
2. Take puff pastry out of freezer and allow to defrost flat - will take about 10 minutes.
3. Mix mince, onion, sauce and bread crumbs until combined. One portion of sausage mince from the grocery store (~$2) needs ~3 tablespoons of sauce and ~6 tablespoons of breadcrumbs.
4. Add in any extra ingredients you wish - veggies etc. and mix thoroughly.
5. You can get two lengths of sausage roll from each pastry sheet. Form the meat mix as so:


6. Cut pastry in half, apply a bit of egg wash to pastry on one side of meat, then roll pastry around meat, brushing top with egg. Cut into desired lengths and place on tray in oven for 20-30 minutes.



You can freeze the sausage rolls once they are made. Best to unfreeze them naturally, rather than putting them in the microwave, because of the pastry.

A note on freezing

If you buy the sausage mince fresh and use it fresh, you can freeze the rolls after they have been made. If you buy the mince frozen, or freeze the mince before you make the rolls, you need to cook the sausage rolls before you freeze them. Also, did you know that puff pastry can be thawed and refrozen? Very handy when you're making this sort of thing, as you often don't know how many sheets you'll need! I find i need 2.5 sheets for one portion of sausage mince.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

What to do with leftover cake

OK, i know this probably isn't an issue you deal with on a regular basis, but if you've got a birthday coming up (or you just had one!!), chances are that you've got lots of cake left over!! My son just turned 2 and i made twice as much cake as necessary, plus i had the off-cuts from turning a rectangle into a number 2! WHat did i do with the leftovers? Well, with the offcuts i turned them into trifle!! A very cheap and easy dessert that will go a long way! All you need is some cake, custard, cream (although, i don't like cream, so i leave that off and only my husband adds it!), jelly (49c a pack at woolies!) and a can of fruit (about $2 from woolies). How easy is that!

Everyone does trifle different, but i layer cake first, and then drizzle with some sherry if no kids are going to be eating it (which is very rare for me these days!!!), then i layer the drained fruit (i'll add in any bits of fruit i have in the bowl which are about to turn too), custard and then jelly on the top. WHat could be easier?

I've made 'single serve' trifles before too - same idea and same sort of layering. Last week i had some jelly that i'd made with some strawberries set in it that i wanted to do something a little extra - plus i was trying to amuse my toddler in that crucial 10 minutes before food is on the table!! Along with the jelly, what i had on hand was some choc chip cookies and ice-cream, so we broke up the cookies in the bottom of each bowl, then added some jelly and extra strawberries and finished with some ice-cream on top. We put them in the fridge while we ate dinner to allow the ice-cream to just melt a tiny bit over it all and when we served them it was perfect - hubby couldn't believe how much he liked it!!! What a quick, easy crowd pleaser :D

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pumpkin & Feta Pasta

I got this recipe off the Facebook page "$120 food challenge" and my hubby just LOVES it!! I've actually altered it a little, and you can do the same!! Take out anything you don't like and add in anything that you do like or have in the cupboard!!

The "$120 food challenge" is a really great Facebook group - it's by a mum who has a budget of $120 to feed her family per week - so most of the recipes she posts are really cheap to make!!


Olive Oil
Rosemary/Mixed Herbs
Lemon Zest
Lemon Juice
Pine Nuts
Salt & Pepper


Ok, there's LOTS going on with this recipe, but the beauty is that you can do them ahead of time and then just throw it all together at the end!

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Dice pumpkin into small pieces & place on roasting tray with oil, freshly ground pepper an half the rosemary leaves or mixed herbs. Put in oven and bake for 30min/until done.
2. Place pine nuts on oven tray and place in oven to cook for ~5 minutes. Keep a pretty close eye on them because they cook really quick!! Alternatively, you could fry them in a pan.
3. Cut up 8-10 cloves of garlic and place in a bowl. Mix with more olive oil and the remaining herbs. Dice fetta into 1cm pieces and mix through garlic and oil. This forms the pasta sauce, so use heaps of olive oil!!
4. Cook pasta ~15 minutes before serving (or 15 minutes after pumpkin has been put in oven if you are doing it all at once)
5. Dice bacon, zucchini and onion and fry.
6. When everything is ready and you are ready to serve, mix all the ingredients together quickly and serve! A recap, this will include:
- pasta
- roasted pumpkin and herbs
- feta mix
- fried bacon, zucchini and onion
- pine nuts
- lemon zest and juice to taste


Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Fortnight Menu

OK, proof that i DO do a menu a fortnight in advance:

Tonight: Steak Sandwiches
Mon 7/11: Carbonara
Tues 8/11: Apricot Chicken
Wed 9/11: Spaghetti Bolognaise
Thur 10/11: Chicken Snitzel & veg
Fri 11/11: Tacos
Sat 12/11: BBQ ribs with corn on the cob and potato bake
Sun 13/11: Satay Chicken
Mon 14/11: Imperial Beef & Fried Rice
Tue 15/11: Sugar spiced pork cutlets & corn fritas
Wed 16/11: Lamb patties with beetroot & tzatziki (new recipe for us!)
Thur 17/11: Chicken wings & veg
Fri 18/11: Slow roasted lamb with roast veg (another new recipe!!)
Sat 19/11: Rice noodle salad (look out world - 3 new recipes in 1 week!!)
Sun 20/11: Chicken enchilladas

Now, i can make everything up to Friday with what i've got already, so i'm going to get the groceries delivered Friday morning and we get our fresh fruit & veg every saturday morning at the markets. It cost us about $15 for fruit and veg for the week yesterday and i think the only thing i missed was carrots, which is only about $1 from the shops - and i don't have to get any of them until Tuesday :D I'll keep you posted on how much my Friday shop is for the rest of the fortnight!

I'll probably try and stretch this shop out to the following Tuesday as well, when i'll do another grocery delivery (i like to do them Tuesday and Friday because my son is in daycare and i find it easier without him around!!). I know i've got at least one meal already made in the freezer, and we might have pizza one night, so that should do us!!!