Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Quesadillas with Caesar Salad

It really is the simple things that make the tastiest meals some times. Just top a tortilla with refried beans, some salsa, some corn kernels and some sliced up shaved ham. Add finely chopped cilatro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Top liberally with mozzarella cheese, and another tortilla. Fry in a hot pan until underside is golden, and then quickly and carefully flip over to fry the other side. You'll spill cheese on the pan until you get the hang of this, so it would be best to use a non-stick pan. Cut into wedges and serve with salad.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Three Cheese Pasta

Sorry, I didn't really have a recipe for this one. I cooked some pasta, threw some broccoli florets in for the last 5 minutes, and some halved and trimmed snow peas in for the last minute before draining. Fried some sliced mushrooms, and some bacon. Threw in 1/3 cup crumbled feta, and a tbsp of cream cheese. Topped it with grated mozzarella on serving.

Nothing to it really.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Country Chicken with Tarragon (slow cooker)

Country Chicken with Tarragon
8 chicken thighs
500g baby potatoes, halved
1 onion, halved, then segmented
150ml apple juice
2 large sprigs tarragon, leaves only
4 Tbsp cream cheese
1 cup frozen corn kernels
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the chicken in a fry pan with a little oil, over a high heat.
Put the potatoes in the slow cooker and top with the chicken.

Return the pan to the heat, add the onion, and fry until golden. Deglaze with the apple juice, and allow to reduce by half. Add the tarragon leaves, then pour over the chicken. Cover with the lid and cook on HIGH for 3 hours.

Remove the potatoes with tongs, draining well, and keep warm. Remove the chicken to a chopping board, and shred finely. Drain sauce into a frying pan, add the cream cheese and corn, and bring to a boil, until sauce has thickened. Season to taste, and add the chicken, and warming through. Serve with the potatoes.

Menu Plan Monday


Country Chicken with Tarragon (slow cooker)


Three Cheese Pasta


Quesadillas with Caesar Salad


Thai Chicken Fettucine


Agnolotti & Broccoli Bake


Mojito Chicken Sandwiches

Chips at Mum's

Check back during the week for the recipes, and as usual, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for literally hundreds of other menu plan blog posts, and please come back here for Kids Cooking Thursday when we make Jaffa Cupcakes.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Slow Cooker Chimichangas

Slow Cooker Chimichangas
600g blade steak
1 can diced tomato with basil, garlic and oregano
1 green capsicum, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup red wine
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano

12 flour tortillas, fajita or regular size
shredded mild cheddar or Mexican cheese blend
vegetable oil for frying

Toss everything except the last three ingredients in the slow cooker on LOW for 8 hours, or until meat is tender and pulls apart with a fork. Pull the meat apart with a fork ;) and stir back through the mix in the slow cooker.

Lay out tortillas, and place a handful of cheese on each one. Top with a few spoonfuls of meat mixture (use a slotted spoon, straining as much juice off as you can), and fold closed like an envelope.

Fry in hot oil until golden and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper.


Master One liked unfold and "squeesh, squeesh!" his

Saturday, March 27, 2010

So Yummy Risotto

Due to both my local supermarkets not having any sage in stock, and an abundance of other substitutions, I'm going to post this recipe as I made it, and not the original from the cookbook.

Pumpkin, Tarragon & Baby Spinach Risotto
Based on the Squash, sage and walnut risotto from Slow Cooking by Katie Bishop
1 kg butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, cut into 2-3cm cubes
4 sprigs Tarragon
1 red onion, peeled, halved, thinly sliced
2 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil (I used garlic infused)
350g risotto rice
1.3L chicken stock
100g baby spincah leaves
Freshly grated Parmesan to serve

Place the pumpkin, tarragon, onion and garlic in the dish of your slow cooker. Drizzle with the oil. Cover with the lid and cook on HIGH for 2 hours, stirring once halfway through. Pumpkin should be just tender. Add the rice and stock, stirring through, but be careful not to smoosh the pumpkin. Reduce heat to LOW and cook for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Turn the heat off, and stir through the spinach leaves. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and serve topped with plenty of shaved Parmesan. Serves 6.

The name comes from Miss Four, who proclaimed it as such, and who thought the original, more descriptive title was too much of a mouthful.

This was an entry for
The Cookbook Challenge: Week 19 - Rice.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bacon, Zucchini and Lime Penne

Based on this recipe from, this unusual combination came about because I didn't have any lemons in the house. Likewise with the sour cream. It rained all this afternoon, so we had to make do. Luckily I had ranch dressing still in the house.

Bacon, Zucchini and Lime Penne
500g penne (or pasta of your choice)
250g shortcut rindless bacon rashers, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 large zucchini, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
zest and juice of one lime
2 Tbsp sour cream (or Ranch dressing)
grated parmesan cheese, to serve

Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water. Meanwhile, fry the bacon, garlic, onion and zucchini until golden. Add the zest and lime juice, stir through, and add the sour cream. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Serve with shaved parmesan cheese.

Flash Game Friday


Very simple concept, but how far can you go?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Stegosaurus Calzones

This was a highly popular twist on a favourite of ours. My kids love Calzones, any which way, so shaping them like dinosaurs could only make things better.

Miss Four and Master Five had hawaiian calzones, and DP had pepperoni. Master One and I had Funky Lime Pizza filling in ours, and I'm pleased to say that in the last 5 months, his tastes have developed enough for him to like like lime and feta. He had tomato pasta sauce as the base sauce, like everyone else though, and I used ranch dressing as a base for mine. I also added the lime juice and coriander to the chopped vegies in a bowl, waiting for the dough to be ready. (Plus we had pineapple too, a nice addition to the mix)

I used a new dough recipe, made in my bread maker on the dough cycle:
200ml water
1 Tbsp garlic olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 teaspoons yeast

It wasn't hard to make the calzones dinosaurified. Before rolling your dough out, reserve a little for legs. Then roll out, and top with your preffered sauce and toppings. Leave a little larger border sauce free than you would normally. When you fold the dough over, drag one corner out to make a tail. Then pinch the sides closed with your finger and thumb, and, using the thumb and finger of your other hand, gently pull down the pinched piece to make a spike. Repeat for the whole back. When you get to the end, squoosh the two sides together, and draw out into a long neck. Fold it up and across to make a head. Brush with a little oil, garlic oil is particularly nice, and cook as per your usual calzone recipe.

Kids Cooking Thursday: Cinnamon Scrolls

Another Cooks Club Challenge from the Forums. This one held a first for us - cream cheese icing! I'd never made or eaten it before, and now I see why Americans use it so much! Yummo! Below is the recipe as given for the challenge (with our photos though!). We used the bread maker, and subsitituted craisins for the currants, because I don't like currants. I think they are crunchy, bitter, tiny, inferior sultanas. If you are going to eat a dried grape, it may as well be a full sized one. We cooked them for 20 minutes at 180C.

¼ cup lukewarm water
1 cup milk, slightly warmed
125g butter, softened
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup sugar
5 cups plain flour
pinch of salt
2 x 7g sachets dried yeast

1/3 cup currants
1/3 cup sultanas

80g butter, softened
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon

To make dough, place ingredients in breadmaker in following order: water, milk, butter, eggs, sugar, flour, salt, yeast.
Start bread maker on dough setting, and add currants and sultanas during last few minutes of kneading time. (Some breadmakers beep when time to add extra ingredients.)

(My breadmaker is a bit small for this amount of ingredients and didn’t mix properly at first, so I had to stop it and mix it up a bit with a spoon, then start it again. It worked beautifully after that.)

When dough cycle is finished, take dough out of breadmaker onto benchtop and knead into a ball. Leave to rest for 10-15 minutes until dough relaxes.
(I forgot to add my currants and sultanas while the machine was kneading, so when the dough was finished I kneaded them in by hand.)

Alternatively, to make dough by hand: dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl. Place milk and butter in a medium saucepan and heat until butter is melted. Sift flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre and add eggs, and milk and yeast mixtures. Stir until a dough forms.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes, working in extra flour if dough is too sticky. Add the currants and sultanas during the last 2 minutes of kneading. Turn the dough into a large, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Keep the bowl in a warm place and let the dough rise for 30 minutes to an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Roll dough out into an oblong. I made mine approximately 40cm in length and maybe 20cm wide. It was about 1cm thickness. The original recipe says to make the oblong longer and the dough thinner, but that makes a thinner crisper scroll rather than a soft bun-like one which is the type we like. :D

Spread dough with most of the softened butter, saving some to spread over scrolls once they have been cut. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar and cinnamon. The original recipe says to melt the butter but we find it easier to spread softened butter over the dough with our hands.

Roll the dough up from the SHORT end, swiss-roll style, to make a log.

Cut the log into 2 ½ - 3 cm slices and arrange on a baking tray which has been lined with baking paper. Leave a slight gap between each scroll. Spread scrolls with remaining butter. (As you can see, I got 10 scrolls from my dough. Doug gets about 16. It doesn't really matter, they'll just be larger or smaller.)

Cover loosely and leave until they have doubled in size (mine took about 20 minutes). Bake in a moderate oven for 20-30 minutes (mine took about 20 mins). I used fan-forced on about 170.
Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes on a rack.

Spread with icing.
(I forgot to put them on a cooling rack first, and spread with icing while they were still on the tray. Also, I used WAY too much icing as my Douglas forgot to tell me he only uses half the icing recipe and I made the whole quantity. So if you think mine look a bit over-iced, you’re right!! But they were still good! I have written out the CORRECT icing quantity to use; you may even like to use less than this, according to taste.)

125g cream cheese, at room temperature
50g butter, softened
1 ½ cups icing sugar
1-2 tsp milk

Beat cream cheese and butter until soft.

Gradually add icing sugar and continue beating until well combined and soft.
Add milk until icing is desired consistency. (Mine turned out really soft and fluffy.)


Note where her feet are!

If you'd like to join in with Kids Cooking Thursday please leave a permalink to your own Kids Cooking Thursday post, as per the rules.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Foodie-In-Training

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Crunchy goodness all round!

We had a bit of a feast tonight. Unfortunately there isn't much to post about, because the chicken came pre-split and marinated from Coles, and we had crunchy smashed spuds and this salad on the side. The potatoes I just boiled in their skins, in a pot of water with some Maggi seasoning added. When they were cooked, I drained them, and smooshed them lightly with a fork. Then I placed them in an oven tray that I'd sprayed with oil spray, sprayed the potatoes, and lightly salted them, before adding a quick grind of fresh pepper.

Using spray oil is the key for smashed potatoes, because if you use pouring oil, and try to toss them, they fall to bits.

Then just roast them in the same oven as the chicken, 50 minutes @ 180C.

It really is a shame I don't have the recipe for this chicken, because it was so moist and flavourful. Also so cheap, as it was on sale this week for $7! Sooo good... If you get a chance to try the Whole Split Lime & Coriander Chicken sold at Coles, I urge you to give it a go!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday


Penne Bolognese with Broccoli and corn


Roast Lime & Coriander Chicken, Smashed Potatoes, Crunchy Ranch Noodle Salad




Stegosaurus Calzone


Bacon, Zucchini & Lime Penne


Pumpkin, Tarragon & Baby Spinach Risotto (slow cooker)


Chimichangas (slow cooker)

Check back during the week for the recipes, and as usual, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for literally hundreds of other menu plan blog posts, and please come back here for Kids Cooking Thursday when we make Cinnamon Scrolls.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Super Simple Chocolate Mousse

I know I made chocolate mousse only recently but this was such an easy recipe, and it was for the Cooks Club Challenge on the Taste.Com.Au forums.

Super Simple Chocolate Mousse
Serves 4-6
60gm Milk chocolate
2 eggs, separated
2T caster sugar
Grated milk chocolate, to serve

Break chocolate into small pieces, place in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water to melt. Remove from heat when melted.
Whisk the whites until stiff peaks form. Add the caster sugar and blend well.
Lightly beat the yolks into the melted chocolate.
Add the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and fold in gently, mixing well.
Pour into serving glasses/mugs and chill in refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving.
Grate some milk chocolate over top before serving.

I made a half batch, using Toblerone chocolate. It took a long time to set, and was a bit runny, probably because of the lower quantity of chocolate in 30g of Toblerone. But it was super delicious regardless. I ended up putting it in the freezer to try and firm it up a little, but forgot about it overnight. It made a lovely choc-honey ice cream that wasn't too hard to eat straight from the freezer, and I'll be using this recipe again to make ice cream!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bananas in Mars

Bananas in Mars (Taken from 4 Ingredients)
4 firm bananas
2 mars bars

Cut a slice in the banana skin halfway down its middle. Slice up mars bars and poke into the slit.

Wrap in alfoil and place in oven or on the bbq and cook for approx 3-5 minutes. Remove and turn out onto a plate.

These were going to be cooked on the bbq, only weather conspired against us, and I had to use the oven instead. I cooked them for 15 minutes at 200C, but I think they could have gone for longer, or at a higher temperature. The kids loved them though. I'd forgotten how good roasted bananas were!

This was an entry for
The Cookbook Challenge: Week 18 - BBQ.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Warm Lime Pudding

Taste & Create time again, and this month I was partnered with Carol from No Reason Needed. Deep in her archives (Dec '07) I found a delicious sounding pudding, I thought perhaps might be what we call Self Saucing Pudding here in Australia (It wasn't). I don't usually have lemons around, but I've been on a lime kick lately, so I do have those. The recipe here for Warm Lemon Pudding is exactly what I used, only with (3) limes instead of lemons. It took longer to cook than I expected, perhaps because I used the bottom shelf of my oven, perhaps because it was supposed to be runnier than I thought. I eventually took it out of the oven when the top had set. Even after that, the middle was still goopy. I guess that's how it's meant to be.

Goopy, but delicious looking

I garnished it with a sifting of icing sugar, and a hefty sprinkle of hot chocolate mix, then each serve got a scoop of ice cream, and another sprinkle.

No extra sprinkle for Master One, his ice cream was too photogenic!

The chocolate and lime flavours made my tongue do a happy dance. It served all 5 of us, just. With ice cream. After a big dinner. It was filling, but I could have eaten more. It was kind of like inverse Chinese food - you can eat heaps while you are eating but feel so full 5 minutes later.

Flash Game Friday

Apple Season

I've linked to various Orisinal games before, but it's hard not to. The games there are always simple to understand, and crazily addictive.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Kids Cooking Thursday: Picnic Quiches

We made mini quiches for lunchboxes and picnics today. We followed my family quiche recipe with a few adjustments - it's flexible like that. We used a bunch of spring onions, unfried, instead of brown onion. That way Miss Four could chop them up with scissors straight into the bowl.

I also added some chopped semi-dried tomatoes, and chopped roast capsicum. We cooked them in muffin cases, which takes much the same time as a big one, but they cool a lot quicker for little tummies impatient to eat them!

It makes 18 muffin sized quiches, and takes 25-30 minutes at 180C.

If you'd like to join in with Kids Cooking Thursday please leave a permalink to your own Kids Cooking Thursday post, as per the rules.