Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Turkey Today?

Turkey it seems is making an arrival on the everyday cooking scene. No longer is it just for Christmas but it is now a standard every day meat, who would have thought hey!

So I stumbled across Turkey Today and it has great recipes for using turkey in ways you would never have though of. But you know what's best of all? Turkey mince is half the price of chicken mince and better for you! WOW the things you find out..........

I have four favourite recipes from the site

Mexican Turkey Meatloaf
Soy and Sesame Turkey Balls
Thai Turkey Cakes
Turkey, Feta and Green Onion Rissoles

There are many more recipes so have a surf and find your favourite, I guarantee you will find a way to use turkey that you haven't thought of before.......

The Long Awaited Return of Master Chef.........and Lemon Diva Cupcakes

Well I have to say I am very excited, the long anticipated return of Master Chef Australia has begun and it is living up to it's expectations. I have fond memories of last years series and many of it's recipes have become a staple in my cooking repertoire. From George's lesson on the perfect steak (my husband's favourite) to the winning Lemon Diva Cupcakes made by Julie (All my friends favourite) I had a ball and learnt a few things along the way.

This year I am also pleased to say that I am in the possession of a Tivo and so there will be no missed episodes for me, no logging onto the website to find the bit my old PVR failed to record.

So in memory of last years successful series and the release of Julie's cookbook Our Family Table, here is the Lemon Diva Cupcake recipe enjoyed by one and all of my nearest and dearest friends!


100gm unsalted butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
finely grated zest of 3 lemons
1 1/3 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup milk

125gm unsalted butter
2 cups icing sugar
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsiuis
  • Beat butter,sugar and extract until thick and creamy
  • Add the eggs one at a time beating after each addition
  • Add the lemon zest and mix through
  • Add half the flour and half the milk and stir to combine, repeat until mix is just combined
  • Pour into patty pans filling to 2/3 full
  • Bake for 20 - 25 minutes
  • While cakes cool make icing
  • Beat butter and lemon juice until smooth
  • Gradually add the icing sugar until mixture is thick
  • Pour into a piping bag and ice the cakes
Eat and enjoy! These are a sure winner in my house! She also sometimes substitutes orange or lime for lemon.

Butterscotch Bars

I recently stumbles across the fabulous website Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and am really enjoying browsing through her recipes. She is the kind of cook I would love to be, using new products making her own products and very adventurous! Anyway this is her recipe and it is fantastic!

I made it on Friday night and my four year old has been begging me to give him a piece every day since. I will be glad when it is out of the house! Please also note that she made it with left over Easter Eggs as an alternative to just normal chocolate chips, how lavish is that hey!!

Anyway have a browse round her site it is worth a trip to a fellow Aussie's site!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Pot-Roast Meatloaf

Here is another one of Jamie Oliver's fabulous recipes. I have really been enjoying his work lately and he makes great recipes for when you have large gatherings of friends or family. I have 10 for dinner every second Friday so I am always looking for easy recipes that feed hoards!


2 medium onions, chopped
olive oil
salt & pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
12 crackers (he uses Jacob's cream crackers but you can't get them here so I used premiums!)
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp Dijon mustard
500gm minced beef
1 large egg
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 chilli, chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
400g can chickpeas, drained
2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 sprigs rosemary
12 slices of bacon or pancetta (I leave this off if I am trying to be a bit healthy)
1 lemon

Method - Meatloaf
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  • Place one onion in a large fry pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Add the cumin and coriander, fry stirring every 30 seconds for about 7 minutes
  • Put in a large bowl to cool
  • Crush the crackers until fine and add to the bowl with the oregano, mustard and mince beef.
  • Add the egg and more salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands
  • Shape into a large football shape and rub with a little oil
  • Place it in a casserole dish and place in the oven, bake for half an hour
Method - Sauce
  • Place the remaining onion, garlic and chilli in a large pan with some olive oil, the paprika and salt and pepper. Cook for seven minutes stirring often.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce, chickpeas, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Method - Finishing Off
  • Place rosemary in a small bowl, remove the meatloaf from the oven and pour the oil over the rosemary.
  • Spoon the sauce around the meatloaf
  • Lay the slices of bacon/pancetta over the top of the meatloaf
  • Scatter over the rosemary
  • Place it back in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the bacon/pancetta turns golden

Cabbage and Jamie Oliver..... What a Match!

I have not always been a fan of cabbage. I remember it from my childhood boiled and not very tasty. But Jamie has two particularly great recipes for cabbage and they are just moreish! So get into the winter veggies as the weather starts to turn cold. My sister just loves the second recipe and I send her home with left overs every time we have it and you would think I gave her a winning lottery ticket!

The first is Braised Bacon Cabbage....Yum!


1 savoy cabbage finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
6 rashers of streaky bacon, chopped
olive oil
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp butter
1 chicken stock cube
salt & pepper to taste

  • Place the olive oil in a pan and heat, add the bacon and stir until crisp and golden
  • Stir in the garlic and the 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce and the butter.
  • Add the V=Cabbage stir well and turn up the heat to high
  • Dissolve the chicken stock cube in 285ml water pour it in to the pan.
  • Place a lid on the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Season with the salt and pepper if needed
Eat!! I will guarantee there will be none left!

The Second recipe is Red Cabbage Braised with Apple, Bacon & Balsamic Vinegar


Olive Oil
250g Streaky bacon, sliced
1 tbsp Fennel Seeds, bashed
1 onion, chopped
2 Apples, peeled and chopped
1 red cabbage, chopped into chunks
salt & pepper to taste
150ml Balsamic Vinegar

  • Heat olive oil in a pan add the bacon and fennel seeds, cook until golden
  • Add the onion and cook until golden and sticky
  • Add the apple, cabbage, salt, pepper and Balsamic Vinegar, stir well
  • Put the lid on and cook over low heat for an hour, stirring every now and then
This goes really well with Corned Beef!

Best Ever Chilli Con Carne

This one is a Jamie Oliver recipe and it is fabulous! Nice and rich and really really tasty!


2 mediums onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 red capsicums, chopped
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
salt & pepper to taste
400g tin chickpeas, drained & rinsed
400g tin kidney beans, drained & rinsed
2 x 400g tins diced tomatoes
500gm beef mince
1 bunch coriander, chopped
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • Using a large pot, place 2 tbsp olive oil and heat
  • Add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery and capsicum, cook til starting to soften
  • Add the chilli powder, cumin, cinnamon and salt & pepper
  • Cook stirring for 7 minutes until soft and lightly coloured
  • Add the chickpeas, kidney beans and tomatoes
  • Add the mince beef, breaking it apart with your spoon
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and coriander, bring to the boil and cover.
  • Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for about an hour, stirring every now and then
Serve with rice, guacamole and lime wedges

Cook Book Fever

I must admit to being very slack lately with my recipe blogging so I will try and get a few in today! Have been very much into the buying and reading of new cook books since Christmas, browsing their fabulous pages and drooling over the recipes that I intend to try. I think I am suffering from Cook Book Fever! Here is a list of my recent purchases / gifts.........
  • The Helenic Heart - George Calombaris
  • Cook with Jamie - Jamie Oliver
  • Feed Me Now - Bill Granger
  • Master Chef 2009
  • Crunch Time Cookbook - Michelle Bridges
  • Woman's Weekly Slow Cooking
  • My Family Table - Julie Goodwin
I know a vast list but each and every one was worth it! I am especially liking the Woman's Weekly Slow Cooking. I dragged out the forgotten slow cooker and am busy working my way through the recipes. The advantages to a sloe cooker is that you can get it going and then there is basically nothing to do come dinner time. The down side is that you simply move the dinner preparation to the morning instead! See there is no way to escape the task. So now I will blog some of my most favourite recipes!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Tom Yum Soup

This soup has become a staple for my Husband's lunch box. He likes the soup really really hot and spicy but you can adjust it to your own taste. And the best thing is it is from Michelle Bridges "Crunch Time Cookbook" so it is also good for you as well!


4 cups water
2 tsp Tom Yum Paste
60g baby corned, halved
50g Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp soy sauce
1 bunch baby bok choy, chopped
1 bunch coriander leaves
1 spring onion, sliced
1 lime

  • Place the water in a saucepan and bring to the boil
  • Stir in the Tom Yum paste
  • Add the corn (and any harder vegetables you might be using - see tips) and simmer for 5 minutes
  • Add the mushrooms and spring onions and simmer for a further 5 minutes
  • Stir in the soy sauce and bok choy simmer a further 5 minutes
  • Add the coriander and lime juice just before serving

Just some tips!
  • I use the dried Shiitake mushrooms they keep really well and the simply dehydrate in the soup!
  • I use lime juice not a fresh lime tastes the same but cheaper and keeps well
  • My husband likes it really hot so I add 4 birds eye chillies at step 2
  • I chuck in whatever vegetables I have left at the end of the week
  • It freezes really well!