Recipe: Belgium Cupcakes, Afghan Biscuits

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BELGUIM CUPCAKES

Ingredients
125 gm butter softened but not melted
1/2 cup of sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnimmon
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 cup of flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup of milk
12 tsp black current jam

Method
Preheat oven to 180’c regular bake or 160’c fanbake
Beat butter and sugar until lightens in color and is fluffy, add eggs one at a time and beat in, add vanilla and beat.
Sift dry ingredients and fold in with the milk
Place half the batter into cupcake patty cases in a tin and use a teaspoon to make a well for your black current jam to be spooned in
Once spooned some jam to each center top with the other half of your batter.  15 mins in your oven

Optional: You can do a egg white and icing sugar frosting and sprinkle with raspberry jelly crystals if you want too.

AFGHAN BISCUITS

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Afghans:
Ingredients

200gm butter
1/2 c sugar
1 & 1/4 c flour
1/4 c cocoa
2 c cornflakes

Method
cream butter and sugar, then sift in flour and cocoa, lightly crush the cornflakes and fold in.
make into loose balls and lightly press down onto floured trays
10-15 mins at 180’c or 160’c fanbake

Optional: you can make a choc buttercream icing and top with walnuts

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Crock pot Meals

Its winter! Out comes the crockpot…

You can cook literally anything in these contraptions! I’m going to organize my crockpot meals into a category of their own so I can come back to them at a later date.  I kindly loaned my two crock pot books that I brought with my fly buys and sadly the person has not graciously returned them.

Right – onto it!

Tonight’s Dinner – Crockpot chinese chicken

Some cheap cuts of chicken on $8 a kg at countdown (bone in) add a pack of noodles… some peas, carrots and fried onions. toss in some garlic, some salt and pepper and go to work for the day!

Sounds too simple? well that’s the point, crock pot meals have to be thrown together before you go to work, and you come home to a smell of it slaving away cooking itself all day…

The only downside is you have to be organized…. you have to pull your meat out the night before, and get up a little earlier to get it going in the morning… but for a instant, cheap, nutritious meal it is worth being organized.

Cleanup is a breeze as you soak it in the sink overnight for a rinse out before you load it the next morning.

So I am going to be looking for some Japanese inspired crockpot recipes… shouldn’t be hard since its vegetables… and what do you get when you add crockpot + vegetables? soup… lovely winter warming, comforting soup.

I have a packed of kings soupmix in the pantry… its got tomorrows dinners name on it… it is worth paying that little bit more than buying the cheaper brand as it has unique ingredients in it.

Sage and Sprouts with Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Yum! this is going on my to-do list for next week! Big thanks to WP Dinner of Herbs blog for this and hope you don’t mind me re blogging it 🙂

Dinner of Herbs

Sage and Sprouts with Sweet Potato Gnocchi | Dinner of Herbs

I do my best to keep my promises.

So, as promised last time, here is the short, simple recipe for what to do with all that homemade sweet potato-whole wheat gnocchi you just made.  Simple, healthy, enjoyable!  What more could you ask for?

The Recipe

Ingredients

1/2 Homemade Sweet Potato-Whole Wheat Gnocchi recipe

1 lb brussel sprouts, frozen

garlic

onion

sage

olive oil, optional

Servings: 4 small servings

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add the brussel sprouts and cover with lid.  Let cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until the sprouts no longer appear frozen.  Remove the lid, and sprinkle on the garlic and onion powder.  Add the gnocchi (and olive oil, if you wish) and fry.  Stir every once and awhile to prevent burning.  Serve when warmed through, and sprouts and gnocchi are lightly browned.  Enjoy!

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Meal Help! Recipe: Green Soup

I need ideas for quick winter breakfasts, porridge is getting boring… what do YOU have for breakfast?

Tonight’s dinner is about to go into the crock pot, we are starting to feel a bit stodgy with all these two course meals, so tonight we are going for a light meal, and skipping dessert… giving our body a break and time to cleanse before the new week of meals begins… I will have to keep the heavy-ness of meals in mind when planning them.  Once this is in the crock pot I’m going to hit the gym gear (we have our own set up at home) and then sit in the sunshine with our three dogs, and the kids.  We have snow forecast next week so the hour of sunshine is well received each winter morning!

INGREDIENTS
1 head of broccoli chopped up
1 large leek sliced up thin
1 potato peeled and 1x1cm squares
1 clove garlic crushed
3 cups vegetable stock
salt & pepper
olive oil

add just before serving
75ml lite cream/or milk
some chives

STEP 1
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Fry all the vegetables with salt pepper and garlic, and olive oil, until browned and tender.  Do the harder stuff first, like the broccoli stems, potato then leek then broccoli florets.

STEP 2
Transfer it all to your crock pot and put on low with the stock to do it’s thing for the day.
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STEP 3
Use your stick blender to puree it just before serving and add the optional cream/milk and chives if you want.
OPTIONAL
Throw a loaf of bread in the bread maker on a timer to be hot when you serve dinner, we usually do this but we are wanting a lite and cleanser meal tonight so we’ll skip it this time.  What I do with soup bread is throw a packet of store dry soup mix, like french onion into the bread mix to flavor it.

Recipe: Chocolate Self Sauce Pudding, Stirfry Sauce

OK so I’m getting my cooking mojo back! but I’ve ms-paired the main and dessert tonight… we are too full from the main to even think about the dessert… doncha hate when that happens! I will have to pair this pudding with a lighter meal next time I think.

So tonight we had Stir Fry, Chicken, and Risotto.
I absolutely loved cooking with the Wok – it’s brand new, I got it on sale at the warehouse 50% off! I think it can just stay on the stove top permanently, gosh one pan cooking is a joy!

In my stirfry I put, carrots, celery, broccoli, pepper, cabbage, sesame seeds, sauce. Dinners total foods come to TEN if you count the sauce.
Pudding is fruit + pudding + small scoop icecream bringing the total to THIRTEEN – very happy with that… lunch, breakfast and morning tea should be getting us well over twenty foods for the day, I’m trying to reach thirty foods a day if you are wondering what I’m going on about… basically the more variety you get in your meals… the more nutrients, and as long as you get the right portions… you won’t end up overeating 🙂  see below half plate of vegetables, 1/4 of protein, 1/4 of carbs.

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Stir fry Sauce Recipe:
Tip the juice from a can of fruit salad into your wok of vegetables, squirt in some soy, a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle over half a handful of brown sugar, and drizzle over stay 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar… and just keep tossing your vegetables with the tongs as they cook… too easy.

Chocolate Self Sauce Pudding Recipe:

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STEP 1
sift 1 & 1/2 cups of self raise flour, 1/4 c of cocoa, and add 3/4 cup of brown sugar.
in another bowl whisk two eggs and 3/4c of milk
in another bowl microwave melt 90gm of butter and let it cool while you heat the choc sauce

Sauce for the pudding:
STEP 2
180gm dark choc broken up
2 cups of milk
put in a small pot and continually stir while it heats and melts.

The butter should be cool enough now… mix all your step one ingredients into a cake like batter and put into a buttered casserole dish
Pour the step two sauce into the casserole dish over the back of a large serving spoon (so it fountains into your casserole dish and doesn’t break your batter)

Bake for 45 mins at 180’C

Serve with the tin of fruit salad and some vanilla icecream.

Recipe: Rice Pudding

Ok so Omelettes are NOT my forte… actually cooking’s not my forte’ that’s the hubbys forte… baking and cupcakes and desserts… that’s got me all over it!

So what happened?

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Well I was aiming for the MAX foods to see just how many I could squeeze into a meal… I did really well, but tossing in some finely diced silver beet to the egg/water/soy omelette meant it was textured… and I couldn’t get it to smoothly leave the pan! darn! so It got hidden under the finely sliced vegetables that were meant to be rolled up inside it… it’s ok… the husband scored me a 6/10 for trying, I gave myself a 4/10 and the kids gave me 28/10… bless their little hearts… and since they scored me so high they have to eat it all! ha!

So I roasted some bok choy and yellow capsicum w. broccoli/olives/tomato/cheese and drizzled with some olive oil served on some savoury noodles.
The nori rolls were without the nori since they were stacked as pieces of omelette, freshly sliced vegetables and some diced purple cabbage.  The main difference with this meal is – everything is miniature! all portions are so little, that you can only but savour and love their taste, colors and textures.

Dinner didn’t present visually how I had planned, but it was tasty, satisfying, and packed full of nutrients.

On a quick count I got: TWELVE different foods into our dinner meal – great result!

Then add ice-cream and rice custard pudding!! and my total comes to: SIXTEEN 🙂

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Rice Pudding Recipe:

(1) Microwave:
1 cup rice, 400ml water on high for 10 minutes.

(2) Prepare the oven:
Fill a roasting dish half way with water and put in the oven at 150’C fanbake
Get six ramekin dishes either buttered or oil sprayed and place evenly in the water to warm up

(3) Beat with a fork (for around 2 mins):
2 Eggs, 1.5 cups of milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla essence

(4) Combine cooked rice with egg/milk/sugar/essence and ladel into your ramekin dishes

(5) Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and bake for 50 mins.

Recipe – Egg & Nori Rolls

This is basically an omelete with a sheet of roasted seaweed placed on it, then thinly sliced (done in my mandoline slicer) vegetables.  Its a great way to get your protein (eggs) and vitamins/minerals (vegetables) in a really quick prep time, and probably the most low fat way too, we will be adding some meat to ours, maybe some spring-water tuna.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp wasabi paste
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 8 eggs, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 20g (1 tbs) butter
  • 4 sheets sushi nori (roasted seaweed)
  • 1 carrot, peeled, cut into thick matchsticks
  • 2 celery sticks, trimmed, cut into thick matchsticks
  • 40g snow pea sprouts, stems trimmed
  1. Whisk the soy sauce, wasabi and 60ml (1/4 cup) of the water in a small bowl until well combined. Cover and set aside until serving.
  2. Crack the eggs into a large jug and add the remaining water. Add salt and use a fork to whisk until well combined.
  3. Heat 1 tsp of the butter in a 20cm non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat until foaming. Pour a quarter of egg mixture into pan and tilt pan until mixture covers base. As omelette begins to set, lift edge so uncooked egg runs underneath. Cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes or until omelette is set. Slide onto a large plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Repeat in 3 more batches with remaining butter and egg mixture.
  4. Place the omelettes in a single layer on a clean surface. Top each with 1 nori sheet. Divide carrot, celery and snow pea sprouts among nori sheets, placing down the centre. Roll the omelette up tightly. Trim edges and cut the rolls in half. Arrange on a serving plate and serve with the wasabi mixtureRecipe from taste.com