Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Home Made LCM Bars...

Home Made LCM Bars...

I haven't blogged for ages. As I said to a friend the other day, I am working myself to the bone on family, friends, work and home. And I'm happy about that.

But another friend put a call out for ideas for her Sunday bake fest - and I was making these today, for the return to school lunch boxes, and so I promised her I'd blog the very simple and easy recipe for home made LCM bars.

These are no healthier than the sugar filled packaged bars you buy at the shops, but they are certainly easy and cheap and popular, so I tend to make them for my three lovely kids on occasion.

I can also lay no claim to the recipe - I suspect these have morphed from a back of the cereal box recipe.



Ingredients:

1 heaped tablespoon butter
125g Jersey Caramels
300g Marshmallows
6 cups Rice Bubbles
Chocolate sprinkles

Method:

~ Line a lamington tin with foil and spray lightly with spray oil
~ Use a large pan and melt the butter
~ Over a low heat, add the Jersey Caramels and the Marshmallows and stir to melt them into the butter - this takes for ages by the way - just keep the temp low and keep stirring
~ Working quickly, add the Rice Bubbles and stir in really well to combine - it's a sticky mess of spun sugar by this stage
~ Remove from heat
~ Dump the whole lot into the lined lamington pan and press down firmly using a sheet of baking paper, so that the whole lot is even and compressed
~ Top with a handful of sprinkles and chill in the fridge for a few hours
~Cut into squares or bars and wrap for lunchboxes.

Enjoy!

Lucy xx



Monday, 25 June 2012

Bread Baking Giveaway!

I promised, last week, a bread baking giveaway, and here it is.

The weather has been cold and wet, so we have baked bread, this weekend. The smell through the house has been sensational!

Kitchenware Direct have put together a brilliant package of everything you will need to get your bake on, and this giveaway includes over $125 worth of professional baking equipment of the very highest quality:




Basic bread with fresh yeast
1 large loaf or 24 rolls
Ingredients:
25g fresh yeast
½ tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
500 ml of water
2 tablespoon of oil
about 1 kilo of plain flour

Method:
1. In a large bowl, add 500ml blood temperature water – luke warm.


2. Add crumbled up yeast, salt, sugar and oil, and stir until the yeast has dissolved.

3. Pour in half of the flour and knead using your hands, add more flour and knead it in every time.


4. Keep adding flour and kneading until you have a smooth dough that doesn’t stick to your hands or the bowl. It should be soft, springy and smooth to the touch. Then knead on the bench for about 5 minutes.


5. Now find somewhere warm, it should be 22- 25 C. Cover the dough with a clean tea towel and let it rise for 30- 60 minutes until its' double the size.



6. Tip it out on a floured surface and knead until most of the big air bubbles are gone.

7. For a loaf: Grease a large loaf tin. Roll the dough out to a rectangle and roll it up and place in the tin.




8. For rolls, cut 24 lumps of dough, roll them into round balls and place with two fingers apart on a baking tray with baking paper on.
9. In all cases, cover with a clean tea towel towel and leave it to rise to double the size: about 20 minutes.

10. Bake in a preheated oven at 220`c, for 30- 40 minutes for the loaf, 10- 15 minutes for the rolls. Cool on a rack.


Notes:

1. In winter, to create a perfect proving space, turn your oven on very low (25`c) whilst you’re making the dough. Then turn the oven off. Then you can prove the dough in the oven – draft free and warm.


2. When baking the bread, place a casserole dish half filled with boiling water in the oven. (You want hot steam within the oven.) The steam makes bread. Keep the casserole dish in the oven the whole time you’re baking the bread.

3. 25 gram of yeast is 1 tablespoon of dry active yeast.



4. You can buy fresh yeast from supermarket deli-counters and from health food shops.

To enter this giveaway to win all this glorious bread baking equipment, all you need to do is leave me a comment, telling me which kind of bread you'd bake if you won...

Entry is for Australian residents only.

Winner will be drawn at random next Monday 2nd July.

Please feel free to share on Facebook and Twitter for extra entries.

Enjoy!



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I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank the team at Kitchenware Direct for their ongoing support of Aussie blogging - they really understand SEO, and they "get" that Aussie bloggers have influence, trust capital and also high authority.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Slow Cooker Sausage Casserole

Slow Cooker Sausage Casserole

slow cooker crock pot sausage casserole


I have made mention of my new gadget before - my 5-in-1 Multi Cooker  and it's ideal for this slow cooker sausage casserole recipe. (And for more sensational recipes using a pressure cooker, just go here - it's a really great Pressure Cooker Recipe site!)

I have been making this sausage casserole on and off for years - it's ideal for using up leftover barbecue sausages and leftover veggies. Or of course you can make it all from fresh, from scratch.

Either way, it is so simple - and a great way to introduce little kids to the idea of casserole or stew...

All of these measurements are adaptable to whatever you have - it's that kind of chuck it all in together and it'll work recipes...

Slow Cooker Sausage Casserole

Ingredients:

500g (1lb) sausages, chopped into chunks. (Please note that I use standard Australian BBQ sausages which are links in casings. But common sense suggests that any sausage in casings would work just fine...)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced roughly

2 carrots, sliced
1 cup of cold water
¼ cup tomato sauce
¼ cup barbecue sauce
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
35g (approx 1.5oz) packet French onion soup mix


Method:

~ Brown the sausages in the olive oil, and then add the onions and carrots
~ Add to your slow cooker
~ Combine the water, all the sauces, and the French onion soup mix in a measuring jug and whisk together
~ Pour over the sausages and veggies
~ Set to slow cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on slow.

Serve with mash and steamed green veggies or corn.

Enjoy!

What's your stand by easy dinner that you always fall back on?



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(And thanks to Brad from Kitchenware Direct for the chance to try the 5-in-1 Multi Cooker)

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Baking Muffins in an Electric Frying Pan...

Despite only being a few years old, my oven blew up last week. Annoyed? Yes.
Anyway, it's given me an excuse to buy an new one, and the upside is that the old busted oven badly needed a clean, so at least I have been reprieved of that worst chore in the world task.

In between times, though, I have a pile of rapidly browning bananas that the kids want me to turn into choc chip banana muffins.

So, how to bake cakes and muffins without an oven? How to cook muffins or banana bread in an electric fry pan?

I remember my Granny once telling me that when she built her house in the late 1930's, before their kitchen was installed, that she baked cakes in her old Sunbeam.

So I have been experimenting with baking in my electric fry pan.

The recipe I used was this one here - a firm favourite with the kids for lunchboxes -

3 ripe bananas
2 cups Bran flakes or All Bran (or whatever cereal you're trying to use up!)
1½ cups skim milk
2 eggs
3 tablespoons light olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1½ cups self-raising flour, sifted
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
1 cup chocolate chips


1. Take a large mixing bowl and mash up the bananas
2. Add the cereal cereal and the milk and combine and leave to one side for a few minutes
3. In the meantime, find a cooling wire rack that will fit into the electric frying pan
5. Find a muffin tin or a cake tin or a loaf tin (metal or silicone) that fits into your electric fry pan


6. Preheat your electric fry pan to it's highest temperature, with the cooling rack and baking tin in it, with the lid on.
7. In a measuring jug, beat together the eggs, the olive oil and the vanilla. Pour into the muffin mixture, and combine.
8. Add the flour, sugar and choc chips, and stir to combine - but don't over mix.



9. Spoon the muffin mix into the muffin/cake/loaf tin and put the lid on.



10. Bake for one hour.
11. Cool on a wire cooking rack.



The result? They are good! They are heavier than normal, and stickier, but this actually works well for lunchboxes I think!

This post is proudly bought to you by my broken oven and a whole load of chocolate chips.

It is also bought to you by the wonderful crew at Kitchenware Direct who are kindly sponsoring me to attend the Digital Parents Conference at the end of March. Thanks to Brad Russell of Kitchenware Direct who has also organised a great offer for me to take to the conference too!



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Friday, 27 January 2012

Lemon Melting Moments...




The kids go back to school on Monday.

We have nothing much more planned for this last weekend of holidays aside from lawns and laundry.

I realise I have to deal with the lunchbox monster again as of Monday.

So I asked Olivia (who is just about to go into year three. How did THAT happen?!) which home made baked treaty thing she loved best.

Straight away she told me that she loves "Grannies chocolate crumble cake" best, but her second best favourite is "the crumbly round white biscuits squashed together with lemon icing stuff".

Ahhh, they'd be Lemon Melting Moments then...

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup (115g) plain flour

  • 1/4 cup (45g) icing sugar

  • 1/3 cup (50g) custard powder (or cornflour)


  • Icing

  • 60g butter, softened, extra

  • 2/3 cup (110g) icing sugar

  • Juice and zest of one small lemon 

    1. Preheat oven to 160`c
    2. Line 2 cookie trays/baking sheets with baking paper.
    3. Use an electric mixer to beat butter until pale and creamy. Add the flour, icing sugar and custard powder (or cornflour) and then use a wooden spoon to stir to combine.
    4. Using your hands, roll teaspoonful of the dough into balls. Place the balls 3cm apart on the lined trays.
    5. Use a fork dusted in icing sugar to gently flatten. Bake in the preheated oven, swapping trays halfway through cooking, for 20 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
    6. To make the icing, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and icing sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the lemon rind and juice and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
    7. Spread the icing mixture over the flat side of half the biscuits and sandwich together with remaining biscuits.
    8. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

    Tell me, do you make homemade stuff for your kids lunchboxes? What is their best favourite?
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    PS I have linked, through this recipe, to a whole load of beautiful bakeware on Kitchenware Direct. I shall be linking to them ongoing for a few reasons. I have worked with them before, and the lovely people at Kitchenware Direct have been kind enough to sponsor my attendance to the upcoming Digital Parents Conference. As well as this, they are a brilliant online store for all my cooking requirements and I use them a lot!

    Monday, 19 December 2011

    Road Trip Fodder (Banana Chop Chip Cereal Muffins...)



    We head off on a road trip soon. This gives me a need to reduce pantry stocks, AND plan yummy road trip car snacks.

    This recipe uses up all of the bits from the bottom of the cereal boxes - all the crumbs that the kids won't normally eat!

    And now that bananas have dropped back down in price, I can use them abundantly in baking again!

    I am made these muffins this morning, and stashed a heap in the freezer straight away (they freeze well) so that they are as fresh as a daisy when I take them out the night before we get in the car to travel east.

    The rest got eaten for morning tea at the pool. The kids are in a Swim Survive program this week, that is, apparently, hungry work...

    Banana, Chocolate and Cereal Muffins


    Ingredients 


    3 ripe bananas
    2 cups Bran flakes or All Bran or Guardian (or whatever cereal you're trying to use up!)
    1½ cups skim milk
    2 eggs
    3 tablespoons light olive oil
    1 teaspoon vanilla essence
    1½ cups self-raising flour, sifted
    2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
    1 cup chocolate chips

    Method


    1. Preheat oven to 180`c
    2. Grease a 12-hole muffin pan. (Or use muffin papers or large cup cake papers - this is easier for lunch boxes and travelling.)
    3. Mash the bananas in a bowl, then crumble in the cereal and stir in the milk and the vanilla essence.
    4. Set aside for 10 minutes.
    5. Then beat together the eggs and light olive oil, then add to the banana mixture.
    6. Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl and add wet ingredients and choc chips.
    7. Stir until just combined, then spoon into the muffin pan and bake for 25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into
    the centre comes out clean.
    8. Cool on a wire rack, and eat warm from the oven or freeze. (I let them cool, then put them into a container, unwrapped, with a lid, and freeze them in the container.)

    Tell me your favourite road trip food?



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    Thursday, 1 December 2011

    Quinoa Tabbouleh with Chicken

    Today I have the lovely Tatum guest posing for me. We met, just recently, in real life, and it was a delightful pleasure, as is Tatum's blog and her recipes...

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Hiya :)  I am Tatum, I blog at From Somewhere in My Imagination and I am very excited to be guest posting for Lucy.  I am a busy person, wife and mum of four.  I'm a mining engineer, crafter, sister, daughter, blogger, friend and domestic goddess (well in the kitchen at least) to name just a few of the roles that make up who I am.



    I grew up with some distorted views on my own body image that I have slowly, but surely (mostly) gotten over as I've gotten older.  These days it just seems odd to me that I saw myself as 'needing to loose weight' when I weighed around 10kg less than I do right now.  I sit comfortably within a healthy BMI range and these days my key indicators are how I feel and look in the mirror, not how much I weigh.
    I love to exercise, for the most part I love to run but finding time can be tricky.  I also love food.  Last year I completed a round of Michelle Bridges' 12WBT, what I learnt from that program will stay with me for life.  What it boils down to, Calories in & Calories burnt = weight loss, no rocket science needed!

    Ever since, when I am feeling the need to trim a bit out of my diet I aim to cut my own meals back to around the 300-350 calorie mark.  Today I am sharing one of those with you.

    Over the years I have heard quite alot about quinoa, often hearing it referred to as a 'superfood'.  As much as I love food I can be a bit reluctant to try new things, in case they taste awful!

    I recently (finally) tried quinoa for the first time and am a total convert!  It is expensive compared to other grains (I'm talking $6-$7 for 500g at the supermarket...look in the health food section) but a little goes a long way.

    After cooking up my first batch I quickly had ideas for plenty of other ways to use it.  I'll definitely be using it as a substitute for rice in dishes like pilaf and sushi and it's also a great replacement for cous cous.  I don't think my family would notice if I served it with curry instead of rice and I'm pretty sure I could get away with replacing it as the side to stir fry.

    For my first experiment I 'replaced' the cracked wheat you would normally use in tabbouleh and incorporated chicken to make an 'all in one' warm salad.

    Quinoa Tabbouleh with Chicken - Serves 4 -  320 calories/serve

      Quinoa2

    Ingredients

    150g (raw weight) quinoa
    300g Chicken Breast, preferably free range
    50g Low Fat greek yoghurt
    1 tsp Sumac
    1 punnet Cherry tomatoes, halved
     2 lebanese cucumbers, peeled and cut into batons
    1 large, wholemeal pita bread, toasted in hot oven for about 7 minutes until golden brown.
    Leaves from 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, washed well.
    Juice of 1 lemon

    Method

    Mix together the yoghurt and sumac, use to coat the chicken breast and set aside while you get started on the quinoa and chop the tomatoes and cucumber.
    Cook the quinoa in water according to the instructions on the packet.  Be careful not to overcook it because it will get a bit mushy.
    Drain the quinoa and leave it to cool.
    Heat a grill plate or the barbecue and cook the chicken breast.  Leave aside to rest.
    Wash the parsley well and pick the leaves from the bunch.
    Toast the pita bread in a hot oven until golden brown and crispy.
    In a large serving bowl mix together the tomatoes, cucumber and quinoa.
    Add the chicken, parsley and lemon juice.  Finish with the broken up pita bread and season to taste with freshly cracked pepper.
    Serve to the table, divide into serving bowls and dig in.

    Quinoa-salad1

    Hope you give the keen-wah a go and enjoy it as much as we did!
    I post recipes regular (both low cal and regular ones) so if you'd to see more you might like to "Like" my facebook page here or follow me on twitter, where I talk all kinds of nonsense!

    Tatum xx

    Monday, 28 November 2011

    Oh Mrs...(Mrs Fields Double Choc-Chip Cookies)

    One of my lovely Twittery friends, Vanessa, kindly sent me a recipe the other day - via photo, from a recipe book of hers.

    It's another "freezer cookie" -  meaning the dough can be frozen and then sliced off and baked whenever you need to whip up a batch.

    And let me tell you, you are probably best off not making too many of these at a time - they are as rich and as indulgent as the name and the recipe indicates...

    Mrs Fields Double Choc-Chip Cookies

    (This recipe makes 48 large cookies - I have kept these quantities as when I made them yesterday I wanted a stash of the dough in my freezer for future use.)


    1 cup soft brown sugar
    3/4 cup caster sugar
    250g butter or margarine
    3 large eggs
    2 tspn vanilla essence
    2.5 cups of self raising flour
    1/2 cup cocoa
    2 cups (375g!) choc chips

    1. In a large bowl (I used my stand mixer) mix the sugars together and add the butter. Cream together until the mixture changes colour and goes all creamy.
    2. Add the eggs and the vanilla and mix well, until the mixture looks light and fully.
    3. Sift in the flour and cocoa and add the choc chips. Mix until combined.
    4. Divide the mixture into four and roll each portion into a roll and wrap in baking paper to freeze.
    5. When you want to bake, remove the dough from the freezer, and slice off however many cookies you need. (Each roll will yield approx 12 large cookies)
    6. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and cook at 1601c for about 18 minutes.
    7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool


    They are, quite simply, the richest, most luxurious cookie I have ever baked...and I feel a little smug warmth knowing that I have a huge stash of the dough ready to be baked at a moments notice, whenever required.
    (My children have the best lunchbox treats ever!)

    Enjoy!

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    Monday, 21 November 2011

    Expresso Cheesecake


    Espresso Cheesecake

    This recipe came from a girl I met in Darwin, who was a part of my original mothers group. She loved to bake. I have kept the recipe for over seven years. It's a sensational cheesecake. Not too sickly. Ideal for desert, or to serve with the coffee it takes it's flavour from.

    The lovely husband, who is generally not much of a fan of deserts, is partial to a slice of cheesecake. And he is a coffee lover. He has asked me to make him a cheesecake on more than one occasion, so yesterday I indulged him. I dug this recipe out and it came out as perfectly as I remember eating it before.


    Filling

    675g Philadelphia Cream Cheese ( I used the extra light one)
    2 eggs
    3 tablespoons cornflour
    1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
    225g caster sugar
    1 strong short black (or two teaspoons of instant coffee disolved into 2 tablespoons of hot water, cooled.)
    250ml light thickened cream, whipped

    Base

    250g Marie or Granita biscuits, crushed finely in a food processor
    115g butter, melted

    1. Preheat oven to 150`c

    2. Mix together crushed biscuits and melted butter. Press mixture firmly onto base and sides of a lightly greased 20cm spring-form tin or loose bottom tin. Refrigerate until required

    3. Blend the cream cheese in a food processor or stand mixer until smooth

    4. Add the eggs one by one, until combined

    5. Keeping the processor/mixer on low, add the cornflour, the vanilla and the sugar

    6. Add the coffee

    7. Remove the mixture from the processor and tip into a large bowl & set aside.

    8. Whip the cream. Then, ssing a whisk, combine the whipped cream with the cheese mixture.
    7. Tip all this into the cheesecake base and bake for 25 minutes

    8. Leave to cool, then refrigerate to chill.

    If you do try this, let me know how you go?

    And if you have any other sensational cheesecake recipes, I'd love you to share...

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    Monday, 14 November 2011

    Bottom of the Box Biscuits (Breakfast Biscuits!)

    Bottom of the Box Biscuits (Breakfast Biscuits!)

    I aspire to be an organised and efficient Mummy. Sometimes I am just rubbish though. And I read blogs and mess about on Pinterest whislt I should be feeding my children breakfast before school. And so this biscuit is brilliant - it's a mobile breakfast! I made a batch yesterday morning - perfect for dolong out all week...)




    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup butter
    1 egg
    3 tablespoons orange juice ( I used the juice and pulp of one whole orange)
    1 teaspoon vanilla essence
    1 1/2 cups plain flour (or wholemeal)
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    2 cups of cereal (Sultana Bran, Buds, Cornflakes, Rice Bubbles, Just Right – whatever you have…all the leftover bits from the bottom of the cereal boxes…)

    Preheat oven to 200`c.
    Cream together sugar and butter.
    Beat in egg, orange juice, and vanilla.
    Sift in the flour and the baking powder, stir well to combine
    Stir in your cereals to combine
    Drop onto ungreased baking tray and bake at 200`c for about 10 minutes
    Allow to cool a little and then transfer to cooling rack.

    Store in an airtight container and dish them out for breakfast if you are running around late....or for morning tea. Or for lunchbox treats...

    Last week I was lucky enough to attend another brunch with Kelloggs and Brand Meets Blog. I was given all sorts of boxes of cereal to try. Hence I had to find a recipe to use up all of our old faves! I ♥ Kelloggs, I really do. They are a class act. It was a wonderful opportunity to stretch my marketing and Mum brain, and sensational to get together with a charismatic bunch of Adelaide and Perth bloggers. They did not ask me to write any of this. I just like to.

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    Thursday, 3 November 2011

    Freeze ahead marinated chicken...


    I am out of the house a lot next month and I'm trying to get organised and plan ahead, so that I'm organised enough to maintain my healthy eating. (If I'm time poor or feeling stressed and busy, often I run the risk of slipping up in terms of what I eat...and I am guessing I am not alone here?!)

    So, my plan for today is to stack the freezer a little, with healthy meals. Lasagne has been made already, as has a big batch of chilli con carne, as well as some tuna mornay.

    My preference though, moving into warmer weather, tends to be for more grilled lean meats. Which are quick and easy to cook for all of us, if we get home late.

    So I realise I might  as well buy chicken breasts in bulk, and then marinade them in bulk, and then put bags of marinading chicken into the freezer. Then, on the days I know I am going to need a quick and simple healthy meal, I can just take a bag of pre-marinaded chicken out of the freezer, and it'll be instantly ready to cook at dinner time...



    I generally marinade boneless, skinless chicken breasts - trimmed of all the fat and icky bits. Sometimes I find breast meat a bit bland, and so often they need a little marinade to add some decent flavour. We eat chicken breast a lot - it's lean and low in calories and fat, hence mixing it up a little with different marinades is ideal.

    Traditionally marinades combine an acid, like lemon juice, yogurt, or vinegar, with some oil and flavoring ingredients like salt, pepper, herbs, fruits, and mustard. I do use a small amount of oil in a marinade - it helps the texture of the meat and it means that if you grill the chicken on a BBQ or cast iron griddle, the meat doesn't stick and shred apart. Plus this gives the marinade more flavour.

    Freezing the marinaded chicken means that the chicken doesn't go mushy (which it tends to do if you leave meat marinading just in the fridge for too long.)
    I use fresh herbs in marinades as much as possible - either from the garden or from the veggie section at the supermarket. Dried herbs will do though - be generous!
    I mix the marinades in a heavy duty zip lock bag, then add the trimmed chicken breast, and then squish it all around a bit, and then throw it into the freezer, labelled.

    Some tasty marinading ideas that work well are:

    Lemon and Herb - The juice and zest of fresh lemons, Olive oil, fresh thyme and oregano, and black pepper
    Teriyaki - The juice and zest of fresh oranges, sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce
    Chinese - White vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, ground five-spice, garlic, soy sauce, and ground pimento
    Mexican - The juice and zest of fresh limes, canola oil, garlic, chilli, and Cajun seasoning
    BBQ - White vinegar, vegetable oil, brown sugar, tomato ketchup, mustard, salt and paprika
    Greek - Greek yogurt, olive oil, diced onion, garlic, oregano cinnamon, nutmeg, white pepper, parsley
    Indian - natural yogurt, vegetable oil, tandoori curry paste, tomato puree
    Satay - sweet chilli sauce, peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger.

    Would this work for you?

    And if anyone has any other time saving healthy meal ideas, let me know?


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    Monday, 31 October 2011

    Roasted Pumpkin and Honey Soup


    I was at a conference this weekend, and for supper we were served a beautifully light and delicious soup. Without bread or butter or croutons. It was all I ate on Saturday evening,  and it was SO satisfying and creamy. It felt incredibly comforting and decadent, but was so light and healthy and delicious.

    Hence I am trying to replicate it, so that I can stash a batch in the fridge, for some very healthy light dinners for myself...


    Roasted Pumpkin and Honey Soup

    1 butternut pumpkin, cubed
    1 red onion, cut into wedges
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    Spray oil
    750 ml chicken stock
    1 ½ tablespoons honey
    2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    Salt and pepper, to taste

    Creamed low fat cottage cheese to garnish
    Snipped chives to garnish

    1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
    2. Coat cubed pumpkin with oil, garlic and place on roasting tray.
    3. Scatter onion throughout pumpkin.
    4. Cook pumpkin and onion for 40 minutes or until golden and caramelised.
    5. Heat stock and add cooked pumpkin, onion, honey, mustard, pepper and salt.
    6. Simmer gently for 20mins
    7. Blend until soup has a smooth consistency, either with a stick blender or in a processor
    8. Garnish with the creamed cottage cheese and snipped chives.


    If you have any really healthy but deliciously decadent tasting soup recipes, share with me?

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    Sunday, 23 October 2011

    Melt and Mix Smart Cookies...


    These are lower fat than usual cookies. And they're a melt and mix method - heaps easier on the arm - no creaming of butter and sugar, so I didn't bother to even get my mixer out.

    They're  packed full of low GI fibre and fruit, and use a lot less sugar than a standard cookie recipe.They're also low GI...so ideal for recess to keep energy levels high.

    The recipe calls for no eggs, so it's an ideal biccie for kids school lunchboxes - my kids are (thankfully) not allergic to anything, but other children in their classes are, so I tend to be a little cautious...

    I got the recipe off the back of a cereal box, and I've adapted it a little for ease. The kids love them, so they have become a very quick and easy Sunday afternoon baking job.

    Melt and Mix Smart Cookies

    2 cups Sultana Bran
    1/4tsp bicarbonate soda
    150g butter or margarine
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    2 cups wholemeal self raising flour
    1/2 cup orange juice
    Zest of 1 orange or 2 lemon
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

    Method:
    • Melt the butter.
    • Mix all of the dry ingredients in mixing bowl until well combined.
    • Combine the butter, orange juice and vanilla essence and then add to the dry ingredients.
    • Stir well to combine.
    • Take a tablespoon of mixture, roll into balls, and place onto non-stick baking sheets and press down lightly with a fork.
    • Bake at 160`c for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets before transferring to wire cooling tray.
    • Store in an airtight container.
    Makes approximately 24.

    This is a rare healthy cookie recipe that my kids actually like...
    Tell me your best healthy lunch box treat? Link me to a recipe?

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    Thursday, 13 October 2011

    Out of the glut rut...



    I was in the supermarket the other day, and one of those sample ladies accosted me - with a locally made balsamic beetroot relish. It was sensational. Utterly delicious.

    I was candid with her and told her I would not be buying any from her. She looked surprised - and I explained that we have a glut of beetroot ready to come out of our garden. (The lovely husband and his gluts are well known...)

    Luckily we all, including the kids, love beetroot.

    So this weekend I took yet another bucket of beetroot from the garden of my lovely husband, and tried to replicate the balsamic beetroot relish I tried in the supermarket.

    Beetroot Relish

    Ingredients

    • 1.5kg fresh beetroot, top and tailed and peeled
    • 3 brown onions, peeled and finely chopped
    • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
    • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
    •1cup white vinegar
    • 80ml (1/3 cup) fresh orange juice
    • 250g caster sugar
    • 300g brown sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
    • ¼ teaspoon mixed spice

    Method

    1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
    2. Chop beetroot into quarters and place in a large baking dish, covered in foil.


    3. Bake for an hour until beetroot is soft
    4. Place onion, apple, vinegar, orange juice, sugar and spices in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves.



    5. Process the cooked beetroot until roughly chopped – not a fine puree.
    6. Add the beetroot to all other ingredients and simmer for an hour, until the mixture thickens slightly.




    7. Spoon the hot relish into sterilised jars. Seal.



    Enjoy on burgers, with cold meats, or in sandwiches. Or on a cracker with some goats cheese or Philadelphia...

    Tell me, beetroot - do you love it or hate it?


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    Sunday, 9 October 2011

    Chocolate Rice Bubble Slice...



    My Mum, in her day, was an expert at no bake slices and treats. I found this recipe the other day, tucked into a recipe book of hers. It looks like it was clipped from a cereal box...

    I remember she made this for our lunch boxes.

    In turn, I made this slice, with Lexie, yesterday. And we shall pop it into lunch boxes.
     
    It is a much less sickly version of a chocolate crackle - and there is no copha at all so this slice has a much less greasy feel with a much lower fat content.
    Chocolate Rice Bubble Slice
    • 3 cups Rice Bubbles 
    • 4 tablespoons golden syrup
    • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
    • 2 tablespoons butter 
    • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
    • 3 drops of vanilla essence
    • 100's and 1000's (sprinkles)
    Put syrup, sugar and butter and cocoa powder into a pan, and melt whilst stirring until everything is smooth and combined.
    Remove from heat, add vanilla essence and Rice Bubbles.
    Mix well and press well into a greased lamington pan. Mark into squares.
    Alternatively, divide mixture between 12 patty cases in a muffin tin.
    Put in the fridge to set.

    Store in an airtight container in the fridge.



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    PS This post was not sponsored by Kelloggs. (But I make no secret of the fact that I think Kelloggs are tops.)  This recipe is great as it reminds me of being a kid, and I gravitate toward easy no bake recipes. And I adore chocolate.  And so do my children. What's not to love?! ♥

    Monday, 19 September 2011

    Homemade Lemonade...


    When life brings you lemons, it may be tempting to grab the tequila and the salt, but sometimes it's just more appropriate to grab some sugar, and a jug, and make lemonade.

    Which, with our glut of lemons that seems to be inexhaustible, we have done this weekend. The weather in Adelaide has been utterly glorious. We have taken some huge long hot and steep walks, and my lovely husband ran the Adelaide City to Bay Fun Run; so chilled lemonade has been the perfect tipple for us all.

    Homemade Lemonade:

    The squeezed juice of 10 lemons (about 2 cups)
    1 cup caster sugar
    1.5 cups boiling water
    1.25 ml bottle sparkling mineral water*

    1. Combine the lemon juice, the caster sugar and boiling water in a large jug
    2. Stir well to ensure the sugar is totally dissolved
    3. Add fizzy mineral water and ice cubes and lemon slices to serve

    * And if you have none, normal water is nearly as good...it still tastes delish.
    I have also made a batch of the lemon and sugar and water syrup and poured it into ice cube trays and frozen it. I figure it's an effective and easy way of preserving the lemon juice in syrup form, in readiness for a long hot summer of lemonade...

    Do you have fruit trees?

    Tell me your most refreshing tipple?


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    Sunday, 11 September 2011

    The Nuts and Bolts of it...


    We had a movie night last night - the lovely husband and I, and the kids, all snuggled down for a movie. We watched The Secret Garden with Maggie Smith. It was utterly delightful. An oldie but a goodie.

    And instead of our usual popcorn, we opted for a snack that I realise is also an oldie but a goodie.

    Harking back to the 1980's where the humble pack of french onion soup mix seemed to appear in all sorts of recipes, this was a reminder of my own family movie nights when I was a child...

    Nuts and Bolts Snack Mix

    2 Cups Nutrigrain cereal
    2 Cups Crispix cereal
    3/4 cup mixed nuts
    100g pretzels
    50g rice crackers (I used BBQ flavor)
    1 x French Onion Soup mix
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    Spray oil

    Preheat oven to 150`c
    Combine all the dry ingerdiants into a large bowl and combine
    Add soup mix and garlic powder and combine
    Spray a baking tin with spray oil and add the snack mix
    Spray a little more spray oil on top
    Bake for 15 mins

    I worked out that 1 cup of this mix is equal to 320 calories.

    Allow to cool and serve in front of a movie...

    (We had none left, as the kids loved it, but you can store in a airtight container and serve it up as recess snacks for lunchboxes?)

    It made me realise how morish these morsels are, and how I can mindlessly eat loads.

    So, today I also devised a low fat and lower calorie option:

    Healthier Nuts and Bolts Snack Mix

    2 Cups Special K
    2 Cups Mini Wheats
    3/4 Cup roasted salted fava beans
    1/2 cup roasted chick peas
    1/2 cup sultanas
    50g rice crackers
    1 x packet French Onion Soup mix

    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    Spray oil

    Use the same method as above.

    One cup of this healthier version is equal to 280 calories.

    So only a small saving on calories. BUT, when you compare the actual nutritional values, the healthier version is half the fat, much highter in protein, and more than double the fibre. I suspect that the healthy version is more genuinely filling, with less sodium and much lower GI.

    What healthy options do you munch on in front of a movie? I'd suggest that fresh fruit or cut up veggie sticks would be the best option. However, if you want to live a little, what to you go for?

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    PS Despite my love of all things Kelloggs, this is not a sponsored post in any way. I just like their cereals and the food I can throw together to make snacks! Chocolate Crackle anyone?! xx

    Sunday, 4 September 2011

    Get your bake on...A Giveaway!

    It only takes a quick flick through some of the recipe posts on my blog to realise that whilst I am very clear on the benefits of healthy eating, I also tend to bake a lot of treaty things for the kids. Morning tea, lunchboxes, recess, afternoon tea - all require a little something.

    And I love to bake. With or without the help of the kids, I love the therapy and peace that I gather from baking.

    I love to know there is a big stash of homemade things ready for the kids to help themselves from.

    My own Mum was famed, in her day, for her treaty little baked items. I suppose I like to replicate that feeling of home baked abundance? She used to have an old fashioned spritz biscuit press. I loved it when she bought that out for an afternoon baking session.

    So when I spotted this modern day version of a cookie press on the Kitchenware Direct website I was intrigued. And straight away I wanted to try it. (I am, after all, a self professed gadget girl!)


    My lovely husband was sceptical, to be honest. He loves a homemade biccie along with everyone else but was suspicious, I think, of an electrical cookie press.

    The cookie press comes with all the attachments in the box, for both biscuit shapes and icing nozzles.

    The instructions are idiot proof, and come with recipes that work perfectly with the press.
    (I am generally fairly haphazard when it comes to recipes - not so this time - I followed to the letter so that I could indulge in the most buttery flavour and most melt in the mouth consistence!)

    And the gadget worked perfectly.


    So simple, so fast! I am a Mummy who gets persuaded into cake stall production twice a year for school. The next cake stall will see my time reduce and my output increase - I shall make these cookies my signature contribution!

    My daughter Lexie has helped me make these biscuits using the Cuisinart Cookie Press - she loved its clever gadgetry and the fact that she can operate it safely by herself without brute strength!

    So impressed by the cookie press, I asked the lovely team at Kitchenware Direct if they would like to put together a stash of baking utensils as a giveaway for my readers.

    Together we put together a pack, containing the everything you need to bake up a storm:



    If you would like to win a baking set (valued at approximately $100) made up of the following lovely items, all you need to do is:

    • Make sure you are following my blog
    • Pop on over to the Kitchenware Direct Facebook page and "Like" them - you'll be glad you did - their specials are amazing and they run a lot of cool competitions and giveaways...
    • Leave me a comment telling a childhood baking memory...
    • Open to Australian residents only
    • Closes midday Monday 12 Sept CST
    • Winner notified via their blog/email