Monday, February 26, 2007

A Savoury Turnover?

Posted by MANDI at 8:38 PM 3 comments

Growing up we called them "pasties" (that's "paa-stees for you in the U.S.) but the recipe I tried today called them beef turnovers. Personally, I think that turnovers should be sweet - like apple or apricot or custard. Hmmm... now I have another idea to try!


I have to admit that while I was making these I was a bit concerned about how they would turn out but I was pleased (and relieved) with the end result. They were tasty, although could do with a little more seasoning, and we all enjoyed them. Hubby was especially vocal in his approval. I did have a few problems with the pastry, first it wouldn't defrost then it wouldn't stick properly when I was pressing the sides together - I had 'egged' the sides and was using a fork as directed but the pastry didn't want to co-operate - but you couldn't even tell after they were cooked. Another concern was the amount of liquid in the mixture but when it was left to cool it thickened up nicely and was fine. The herbs I added were just what I had on hand, I'm sure lots of other ones would be great too.


Sorry, no photo - the batteries in the camera are dead dead dead and someone forgot to charge the spare set (Yes, that would be me but I'm officially blaming Hubby!)


Beef Turnovers
adapted slightly from Meals From The Freezer
in The Australian Women's Weekly Cookbook Series


Serves 8

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium brown onion, chopped coarsely
600g minced (ground) beef
2 medium carrots, chopped coarsely
2 medium potatoes, chopped coarsely and par boiled
¼ cup plain flour
3 cups beef stock
2 cups frozen peas ’n’ corn mix

1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil

1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
6 sheets ready-rolled puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten

Heat oil in a large heavy-base saucepan; cook onion, stirring, until soft. Add beef; cook, stirring, until beef changes colour. Add carrot, and blended flour and stock; cook, stirring, until filling mixture boils and thickens. Stir in peas and corn, cooked potato, basil and parsley; cool.

Cut six 18cm rounds (I used a bread plate as a stencil) from the pastry. Join pastry scraps together and cut two more rounds.

Preheat oven to hot. Place one-eighth of the filling in the centre of each round; brush edge lightly with egg. Fold pastry over to enclose filling; press edges together to seal. Brush turnovers, both sides, with egg (very tricky – I just brushed the top!); place on lightly oiled oven trays.

Bake uncovered in hot oven for about 20 minutes or until pastry is browned and turnovers are heated through.

An Update: The batteries charged in time for me to take a photo of the leftovers. They weren't the best looking of the turnovers but they were what was left (and we had them for tead the next night).

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Chicken and Pizza. Together.

Posted by MANDI at 8:11 PM 4 comments
I'm typing this post in the ad-breaks during the end of Ugly Betty and it may go over into Grey's too. Apologies up front for any errors! You guys are really important to me but McSteamy and McVet beat you any day LOL.


So, to tonight's dinner... It was tasty, simple and looked impressive. The whole family dived in so it was deemed a winner in our house!


Chicken Pizzola
from the Ugly Binder




Serves 4

½ cup diced lean ham
½ cup thinly slice button mushrooms (didn’t have any)
½ red capsicum (pepper), seeded and finely diced
1 tomato, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped (left this out and it didn't suffer any for it)
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon shredded basil
4 chicken breasts, flattened
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup low fat grated mozzarella cheese (I used cheddar)

Place ham, mushrooms, capsicum, tomato, garlic, green onions and basil in medium bowl. Stir to combine

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place chicken breasts on tray. Spread each breast with 1 tablespoon tomato paste. Spoon ham mixture evenly over each fillet. Top with cheese.

Cook Chicken fillets in moderate oven (180˚C) for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked and topping is golden. Serve with salad and crusty bread.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I Got Offered A Job!

Posted by MANDI at 9:07 PM 5 comments
We're still working out details but the regional centre for the University up here offered me some lecturing work. I am stoked! I have also taken on some after-school tutoring for a couple of primary school kids - one is dyslexic, has ADD and other learning difficulties too so she should be lovely and challenging while the other just needs a bit of motivation to do as well as he can rather than being satisfied with what he can get away with. On top of all that I have a workshop tomorrow night! Life here is busy, but I kinda like it.


#1's cold is still dragging on. He's snuffly but it won't turn into a 'proper' cold. #2 is still snotty and grotty but her temp is closer to normal. She's still eating huge amounts so it doesn't appear to be disrupting her appetite LOL. Thankfully she slept much better last night. I used one of those plug-in eucalyptus smelly things (hmm... now there's a great description LOL) and that seemed to really help.


Sorry, no recipes today. I have been a bit bored with cooking the last few days. Besides not having much time I haven't been grabbed by the urge to make anything. Normally I have a few recipes lined up that I'm dying to try but I'm all out. I think I'd better schedule a trip to the library in around the food shopping tomorrow.


I do have a picture to share though. It's one of my favourites from our trip.



#1 and his Pop

- the tyre swing at Pop's house-

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tired... But Here

Posted by MANDI at 9:26 PM 3 comments
I am SOOOO tired. #2's cold is still very much present and making her very grumpy. She finally settled down to sleep at 4.30 THIS MORNING!!! Aaaggghhh! She did go to sleep through the night but only stayed that way for twenty or so minutes at a time, then it took me another twenty minutes to get her calmed down and back to sleep so we got to do it all over again. So far, tonight is looking better (touch wood!) - she's been in bed three-and-a-half hours and only woken up once. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. One pleasant side effect of this is that we had a very lazy day and I switched the tv on at midday, not something I do very often, thinking we could watch Dr Phil and have a rest on the couch together. I was on the wrong station and the midday movie was just starting so #2 and I got to watch one of my favourite chick-flicks: 10 Things I Hate About You. We mostly lay on the floor and cuddled although she did hop up and dance during some of the music-y bits - it is a fun soundtrack and she's heard it enough times in the car!

Anyway, to some cooking. We made cookies on the weekend and for healthy (well, healthy-ish, they don't have any chocolate LOL) cookies they are really yummy. Another recipe from Bill Granger and another success. I could be seriously in love with Bill. You know if I wasn't already seriously in love with Hubby and Bill wasn't seriously in love with his wife and... well you know what I mean!

Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies
From Bill Granger's
Every Day


150g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup soft brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
2 1/3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line 3 large baking trays with baking paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl and mix lightly. Add the oats and raisins and stir together.

Roll tablespoons of the mixture into ball and place on the baking trays. Flatten the balls with a fork dipped in flour. Bake the cookies for 20 minutes, or until pale golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 30

Monday, February 19, 2007

Urrggghhh!

Posted by MANDI at 8:50 PM 0 comments
The kids are sick with a cold. Nothing serious but #2 is snotty, grumpy and not sleeping so neither is Mummy! Those who know me in real life know that this is not pretty, or fun!
Back tomorrow with some yummy cookies we made on the weekend.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Not Bad For A Sunday Night Dinner

Posted by MANDI at 7:23 PM 3 comments





I decided that I needed more room on my cookbook shelf so ruthlessly went through my magazines and cut out lots of recipes before tossing the mags out. I now have more room on my shelf for new magazines and lots more recipes to try in the Ugly Binder. Because I was being (somewhat) organised at the time I even managed to write the name and issue of the mag on each recipe! This one was easy and tasted okay - perfect for an easy Sunday night dinner.





Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake
from Australian Table, Nov 2006






Serves 4 (very generously)

300g rigatoni
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
2 chicken breast fillets, cubed (I used tenderloins)
1½ tablespoons cornflour
1 1/3 cups low-fat milk
¾ cup grated low-fat tasty cheese

Cook rigatoni in a saucepan of boiling salted water according to packet direction. Add broccoli for last 4 minutes of cooking time. Drain.
Meanwhile, spray a non-stick frying pan with cooking oil and heat on high. Cook chicken for 5 minutes, until browned and cooked through. Combine cornflour and ¼ cup of milk in a jug. Place remaining milk in a saucepan and bring to boil. Whisk in cornflour mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until sauce thickens. Stir in ¼ cup of cheese and season to taste.
Combine rigatoni, broccoli, chicken and sauce. Place in a 20cm square ovenproof dish. Place under a preheated grill for 1-2 minutes, until golden. Serve.




Thursday, February 15, 2007

It Is Too Hot!!

Posted by MANDI at 8:16 PM 5 comments
The past week or so has been stinking hot! It's not just the heat, the humidity has been high so it has been hot and sticky. Today's minimum was 27.8˚C (82˚F) at 7.07 this morning and at 7.30am we hit an 80% humidity reading. Nice... NOT! Our high was 42.1˚C (108˚F) at 1.31 this afternoon when the humidy had dropped to a bearable 27%. It's currently 8.30pm and we have 33˚C (91˚F) with a humidity of 53% - yep, the air-con is still on and I have a sneaky feeling it will be on all night long.
So, on a hot, sticky and generally revolting day what is the best after-school-snack?



WATERMELON!


Straight from the fridge, icy cold, naturally sweet, ever-so-juicy, Watermelon!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Love in a Biscuit

Posted by MANDI at 8:52 PM 2 comments
Strictly speaking these are supposed to be made with a round cookie cutter but as it's nearly Valentine's Day (and I don't have a small round cutter to cut the middle circles out) I went with heart shapes. These are yummy but a bit fiddly because of all the butter in the cookie dough. The voice of experience says, "don't try this when you have kids who want to help and a 17month old who has just worked out how to stand on a little chair so she can not only see what is happening on the bench but can grab everything too!" That said, Offspring #1 and a friend had a fabulous time painting the jam filling on with pastry brushes, so they can still be invovled.




Linzer Biscuits
The Margaret Fulton Cookbook (2006)




200g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
½ cup caster sugar
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup raspberry jam
½ cup apricot jam (I just used raspberry)
½ icing sugar (optional)



Beat the butter and vanilla until creamy. Add sugar and beat well. Fold in the flour, sifted with the baking powder and spices. Add the beaten egg and mix to combine, Form the dough into a ball, flatten into a disk and chill, wrapped in cling wrap for about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Halve the dough and, one at a time, roll out on a floured board and cut into 4-5cm rounds (I used a heart shape cutter). Re-roll the scraps once. Place on ungreased baking trays, allowing a little room for spreading. Using a small cloverleaf or round shape cutter (I used a small heart shape cutter), cut out a 15mm circle frm the centres of half the rounds.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. Just before serving, spread with slightly warmed jam on the plain rounds and top each with a ring. Sprinkle, if liked, with icing sugar.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

See you round like a...

Posted by MANDI at 8:35 PM 5 comments
Yep, Rissoles for tea! I know, boring. Actually they were pretty tasty with a dash of Soy and Worcestershire Sauce and my secret ingredient (okay, it's grated cheese!) and the kids wolfed them down so I can't complain too much. However, I did make some seriously good bread to go with dinner. When I used to make bread it always turned out stodgy. It was too dense and very heavy, so we never really enjoyed the end results very much. I was told that the humidity up here would make breadmaking difficult but the two loaves I have made so far have turned out great. This one had heaps of flavour without being overpowering and was lovely and light and fluffy. It was delicious warm and just as good cold for sandwiches.




Italian Herb Bread
Adapted slightly from The Bread Machine Book
by Marjie Lambert



3 tablespoons olive oil
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
3 teaspoons dried mixed Italian Herbs (eg, basil, oregano, thyme, etc)
180ml water
90ml milk
1½ teaspoons sugar
1½ teaspoons salt
500g bread flour
2¼ teaspoons yeast

Heat oil in a small frying pan. Add the garlic and herbs. Saute for 2 minutes, taking care not to let the garlic scorch or it will turn bitter. If necessary, remove the pan from the stove. The herbs will continue cooking in the oil's heat.


Put the herb oil and the remaining ingredients in the bread tin in order suggested by your bread machine instructions. Set for dough. Press start


Butter a 24cm loaf tin.


Remove dough from bread machine and punch down. Let it rest 5 minutes. Put dough into prepared tin. Loosely cover and put in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.


Bake the loaf in a preheated oven at 180˚C for 30-35 minutes. When cooked it will sound hollow on the bottom.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

There Goes Her Modelling Career!

Posted by MANDI at 8:18 PM 3 comments

Offspring #2 took a tumble today - rather than walking (running!) through the door she fell out of it, down the little step and scraped her face along the bricks on the outside of the doorway. She has a nice scrape down her cheek and a couple of grazes on her chin but you would have thought the world was ending if you had heard her scream. A quick Mummy-cuddle, a wipe with a cool flannel and she was off and racing again. The bounce-back time for a 17 month old is incredible!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Banana Sunday

Posted by MANDI at 8:21 PM 2 comments
Yeah, I know it's only Friday but Lady Lunchalot is all set to celebrate the return of bananas to Australian fruitbowls, lunchboxes and recipes after the devasation of Cyclone Larry. I paid $2.28/kg here in Red Dirt Central this week, so much nicer than the $16 or so dollars/kg that we were faced with not so long ago. Sunday has been officially declared "Banana Sunday" by Her Ladyship so go check out her blog on Monday for the round up on some yummy 'nana recipes. Here's my contribution. It's yummy, easy and highly unlikely to last as long as the keeping time - mine's already half gone and I only made it this afternoon!



Ginger Banana Cake
from The Australian Women's Weekly
Cakes and Slices Cookbook


90g butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
¼ cup caster sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 egg
2/3 cup mashed bananas (2 medium-sized 'nanas did the trick)
1½ cups self-raising flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon milk (you might need a little more)

Lemon Frosting
1½ cups icing sugar
30g butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice, approximately (I used milk instead)

Preheat oven to 180˚C. Grease a 20cm ring pan, line base with paper, grease paper.
Cream butter, golden syrup and sugars in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg, beat until combined, then beat in banana. Transfer mixture to large bowl, stir in sifted dry ingredients and milk.
Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake in moderate oven for about 45 minutes. Stand 5 minutes before turning to to wire rack to cook. Spread cold cake with frosting.
Lemon Frosting: Combine sifting icing sugar with butter and enough juice (or milk!) to mix to a spreadable consistency.

Keeping time: 2 days

Thursday, February 8, 2007

More Vegies?

Posted by MANDI at 8:47 PM 4 comments



I think that because my kids eat pretty much anything and everything I serve up, I tend to have fairly high expectations. I know that I have blogged about vegie-heavy dishes in the past and had people comment that there is no way their kids would eat something with that many vegies (Hi Kazza!) but the kids eat it so I keep making stuff like it. This time however their adventurous little tastebuds let me down. I figured: vegies, lasagna, cheese sauce. What could go wrong? Ummm... roasted vegies is what went wrong. They both dug in happily, took one mouthful and spat it out. Being the fabulous kidlets they are they tried again. And spat it out again. At that point #2 just threw hers off the high-chair tray while #1 attempted to be more tactful and asked, "Mum? What is this stuff? I don't think you cooked it right." (Yeah, he is so my kid - tact not being a strong part of my personality either LOL) They ate sandwiches and yoghurt for dinner while Hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed our Roasted Vegetable Lasagna. Want to know the ironic bit? I got the recipe from a kids cookbook!





Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
adapted from DK Children's Cookbook by Katharine Ibbs




2 cloves garlic, crushed (I forgot the garlic, but it still tasted great)
1 onion
2 large carrots, peeled
1 large zucchini
1 red capsicum (pepper)
1 green capsicum (pepper)
1 medium eggplant (aubergine)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon tomato paste
400g can diced tomatoes
fresh lasagna sheets
salt and pepper
olive oil


for the sauce
500ml warm milk
60g butter
30g plain flour
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated


Preheat oven ot 220˚C. Cut the onion into wedges and then chop the other vegetables into chunks.
In a roasting tin, mix the oil, rosemary and garlic with the vegetables to season. Add salt and pepper, if desired. Roast for 35 minutes, shaking the tin occasionally.
Gently warm the tomatoes and tomato paste in a large saucepan. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the roasted vegetables. Over a low heat melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour and then whisk in the milk. Stir until thickened. Add half the cheese.
Lower the oven to 190˚C. Spoon a third of the vegetables into thebase of the lasagna dish and top with a third of the sauce then lay lasagna sheets over the top. Add another third of the vegetables and sauce and top with lasagna sheets and finish with the remaining vegetables and sauce. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top and bake for 35 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

As I said, Hubby and I thought this was delicous. It wasn't difficult to make, in fact I made it earlier in the afternoon and then cooked it in time for dinner. I really prefer lasagnas that have been prepared the night before and left to sit for 24hours so the flavours go through everything but I wasn't quite organised enough for that.





Wednesday, February 7, 2007

I Shoulda Added The Spice!

Posted by MANDI at 9:49 PM 3 comments
No-one in my family really eats spicy food. When I say family I mean just my little family here in Red Dirt Central, the rest of 'em are very adventurous! Anyway, Hubby has an ulcer, I just don't like it and little kids and chillis don't always go together so well. Although I do know several families with kids who love spicy food I know many more who don't. My point, and yes I do have one, is that I purposely omitted the chilli from this recipe and, sadly, was left with a somewhat nondescript meal. If I was to make it again I'd add some of (though maybe not all) the chilli and give the kids baked beans for tea. Otherwise this seems an awful palavar for fairly ordinary meatballs!



Spicy Chicken Meatballs
Bill Granger's Every Day




Serves 4
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
500g minced (ground) chicken (I had 600g)
3 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs (I used more, probably another 3)
50g pancetta, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsely
sea salt
500g cherry tomatoes, halved
freshly ground black pepper
125ml chicken stock

to serve
500g wholwheat fusilli, cooked (I used regular spirals)
parmesan shavings


Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Heat 1 tablesppon of the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook ,stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the coriander and chilli and cook for 1 minute.


Put the chicken in a bowl with the breadcrumbs, pancetta, parsley and salt. Add the spiced onion and mix well with your hands. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm the mixture. Wet your hands with cold water to stop the mixture sticking and roll it into small meatballs.

Put the cherry tomarotes on a baking tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oilve oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the meatballs on a second lined tray and drizzle with the remailing oil. Roast the tomatoes and meatballs in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are golden and the tomatoes are starting to pucker.

Put the stock and tomatoes in a saucepan and add the meatballs. Simmer for 5 minutes and season to taste before spooning over pasta and serving with parmesan shavings.

Monday, February 5, 2007

#1's First Day Off

Posted by MANDI at 7:56 PM 1 comments
Poor Offspring #1 has a stye. No, not his bedroom, although that was particularly piggy-like today! It's on his eye. It came up a couple of days ago as a little white spot but when he woke up Sunday morning it was huge and looked so sore. We took off to the hospital in the afternoon, partly because it was swelling at an alarming rate and partly because there was no point waiting to get an appointment with the Dr today. The waiting time for appointments at the local GP's is currently one week and that's to see any Dr, not the Dr of your choice! Anyway, the Dr on call at the hospital said it was a stye, prescribed some antiboitics and hot compresses and said #1 wasn't to go to school until the stye had popped or gone away. So... today I have had a perfectly well, but very grumpy young man who wanted to be at school but wasn't allowed to be. He doesn't like the hot compresses - yes I'm careful not to make it too hot and burn the kid - he says the medicine tastes "eerrrrrkkkk" and he's "booooorrrrrrreddddddd". We have done 'school-work', coloured, played cars, played blocks, done more colouring and watched kids tv. He has also: tortured his sister, moaned, whinged, whined, moaned some more, tortured #2 some more and complained that he was hungry... A LOT!! Several times I got him sorted and left him happily involved in some sort of activity and right on cue, just as I was up to my elbows in something, he got bored/hungry/fed up. I really hope he wakes up in the morningwith his eye miraculously healed but I have a not-so-pleasant feeling that I'll have him here tomorrow too. Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Hey Pesto!

Posted by MANDI at 4:23 PM 5 comments
We had a BBQ for dinner. Nothing fancy, just steak for Hubby and I and some sausages for the kids and salad to go with it but I decided to have a go at some fancy schmancy bread to liven things up a bit. It was really tasty - the bread was light (I added a little extra water and was glad I did so), the pesto was yummy and I was pleased with the end result. You'll notice that it didn't get really brown after it was cooked, that's because I cooked it in the microwave and while it does cook things well and browns them somewhat it doesn't achieve the same level of 'browning' as an oven. Anyway, for your approval I present...




Pesto Swirl Bread
The Bread Machine Book by Marjie Lambert




For a 675g (1½ lb) loaf
175ml water
(I added an extra 50ml)
90ml milk
1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
1½ tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons salt
400g bread flour
165g wholewheat flour
1 tablespoon yeast
6 tablespoons pesto
(I used sundried tomato pesto from a jar)

Put all ingredients except pesto in bread tin in order suggested by your bread machine instructions. Set for wholewheat bread, dough stage (or like mine, just dough). Press start.

Butter a 24cm loaf pan.

Remove dough from bread machine and punch down. Let rest for 5 minutes. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface to form a rectangle about 20cm wide and 40cm long. Spread pesto evenly over surface. Roll the dough into a fat, 20cm cylinder. Tucking the edge under, put it in the loaf tin. Loosely cover and put in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.

Bake the loaf in a preheated 180˚C oven until top is golden an a skewer inserted in the bread comes out clean, 30-35minutes. Remove the bread from the tin and put it on a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

School has Started

Posted by MANDI at 7:53 PM 3 comments
The new school-year started on Wednesday and Offspring #1 began pre-primary at yet another school. He has a staggered start so spends the first couple of weeks attending for part of each day then launches into full-time school. #2 is already lost without him and I must admit that I think I'll take a while to get used to him not being around. He starts school at 8.20 so it has been a bit of a rush to get ourselves organised each morning - I do as much as I can the night before but after the very long summer holidays being woken by the alarm at 6am has been a rude shock. Of course with the early school times up here he is home again just after 2.30 so he is still here for a good part of the day.


Here he is on the first day of school. He's in 'normal' clothes because the school is still waiting for their uniform shirts to be delivered. Poor #1 was most put out to discover that his "nu-niforms" wouldn't be here in time for school, although I was able to get his school shorts.



Friday, February 2, 2007

Something Sweet

Posted by MANDI at 8:58 PM 0 comments



Apricot and Coconut Slice
torn out of an ad in a magazine!







250g pkt sweet plain biscuits, crumbed
1 cup dried apricots, finely shopped
1½ cups dessicated coconut
195g can sweetened condensed milk
125g butter
1¼ cups milk chococlate buttons


Line base of 18cm x 28cm lamington pan with baking paper
Combine biscuit crumbs, apricots and coconut in a medium bowl
Place sweetened condensed milk and butter in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter is melted and ingredients are combined.
Pour into dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Press mixture into pan and refrigerate until set.
Pour melted chocolate buttons evenly over the slice. Allow to set. Cut into 24 squares.



On a day when you don't want to turn the oven on but are in the mood to "cook" and, more importantly, to eat these are delicious, very more-ish, and a hit with young and old alike. As I'm not too fussy about sticking with specific brands of food (generally - of course there are some exceptions) I have removed the direction to buy the brand being advertised!



A word from the wise (well I can be LOL) - although you might like to cut these into decent size square, a little really does go a long way.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

So Simple

Posted by MANDI at 1:58 PM 0 comments



Zucchini and Pumpkin Frittata
From a recipe leaflet from the supermarket




1 kg butternut pumpkin, seeds removed, peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small brown onion, sliced
300g zucchini, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
4 eggs
3 egg whites
1 cup light feta, crumbled
½ cup low-fat cheddar cheese, grated

Steam pumpkin for 10-12 minutes, or until tender, drain well. Preheat oven to 180˚C.

Heat oil in frypan. Cook onion for 2 minutes. Add zucchini, saute for 3-4 minutes. Add basil.

In a large bowl whisk together eggs and egg whites, add feta. Stir in pumpkin and zucchini. Mix well. Season to taste.

Pour into lightly oiled 25cm x 17cm baking dish;sprinkle with grated cheddar. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden and firm.

I made this a while ago and meant to post it but other things got in the way. In the meatime I made it again, and again, and ... Well you get the idea. This has become a firm favourite. I have taken a few liberties with the original recipe and last night's version had a mix of vegies - I just aimed for a kilo and had pumpkin, carrot, potato, sweet potato and brocolli as well as a handful or so of frozen peas and corn to go with the zucchini. If I have had enought of meat I serve it with a salad, we have also had it to go with a nice steak. Yesterday was a busy day and we all ended up eating at different times so this was all I served. It works each and every way and is polished off quick smart by whoever is doing the eating in this house. Tonight there will be a fight over the leftovers, probably between Hubby and #1!


A couple of hints to make this dish even easier/better:
Buy soft feta so you don't kill your hands trying to crumble it!
Be sure to steam your vegies - if you boil them they end up too 'wet' and the end result is somewhat soggy (still tastes okay but not as good as it can be)
Use medium sized eggs. If the eggs are too big it takes ages to cook.


 

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