Monday, December 5, 2011

New Recipes

I can't believe it's been a month since I've updated! I have been so lazy with taking pictures, so here are the links to a few great recipes that I have made over the past month that I will definitely make again.  I will post the full recipes and pics when I make them again.

Key Lime Pie 
(for the crust I used some gluten-free tea biscuits instead of graham crackers)

Pumpkin Cheesecake 

Pumpkin Pancakes


Taco Seasoning

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Roast Chicken with Caramelized Shallots

This is a really quick and easy weeknight dinner that I make sometimes.  It uses ingredients that I usually have on hand and it's the kind of thing I make when I don't feel like making dinner.  It's really packed with flavour.  Next time I may double the sauce because it really is very good.  I serve it with mashed potatoes and green beans. 

Roast Chicken with  Caramelized Shallots
Serves 4


  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 4 large shallots, peeled and minced
  • 8 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken (I used boneless skinless chicken breasts) 
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Minced fresh parsley
What you do:

Preheat the oven to 425˚ F (220 C).  In a baking dish large enough to hold all the chicken pieces in a single layer, combine the olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce and shallots; whisk to combine.  Toss the chicken in the mixture, coating with shallots.   Season with salt and pepper.  Place the chicken pieces in the pan so they are skin-side up.

Bake for 10 minutes, until the chicken pieces begin to brown on top.  Turn the pieces of chicken over and spoon some of the juices and shallots over the top.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the shallots are caramelized.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle lightly with fresh parsley.

Recipe Source: Annie's Eats

Unbelievable Chocolate Cake

Ok friends, this cake is truly unbelievable.  I'm not a big cake maker, so I was expecting this to be a major let down, but boy was I wrong!  This was possibly the best cake I have ever eaten!  You might as well just cut a piece off and glue it straight onto my thighs because I have been eating all the leftovers.  The frosting does take some time because you have to let it completely cool before mixing in the butter, but it was worth it!

Here's my 2-year-old enjoying some for his 2nd birthday party this weekend:

Unbelievable Chocolate Cake

*Makes two 8-inch or 9-inch cake layers or bake in 9 x 13 inch pan
  • 1 ¼ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 ¼ cups warm water
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
What you do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180 C), making sure the baking rack is in the middle of the oven. Prepare your cake pans by cutting out a piece of parchment or wax paper to line the bottom of the pan. Grease the pans, place the parchment or wax paper in the bottom of the pan and lightly grease again. Dust the pans with flour (or cocoa powder if you don’t want the white dusting on the finished cakes). Set the pans aside.

Using a fine mesh strainer, sift together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add the eggs, yolk, warm water, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Mix on low speed (with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer) until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake the cakes for about 32-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Do not overbake! Remove the pans from the oven and set the pans on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Gently run a thin knife around the edges of the pans and unmold the cakes, removing the parchment paper liners from the bottom of the cakes. Let them cool completely, top sides ups, on a wire rack.

Trim the tops of the cake layers with a long serrated knife to make them level. Frost as desired (I highly recommend this life-changing frosting).

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pot Roast

I have been searching for a great pot roast recipe for ages and now I have finally found one!  The Pioneer Woman has come through for me again.  This is really great, no frills pot roast.  The best I've tried and I will definitely be making this again.  Serve with mashed potatoes.

Pot Roast
Serves 4


  • 1 whole (4 To 5 Pounds/ 2 kg) Chuck Roast
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 whole Onions
  • 6 whole Carrots (Up To 8 Carrots)
  • Salt To Taste
  • Pepper To Taste
  • 1 cup Red Wine (optional, You Can Use Beef Broth Instead)
  • 2 cups To 3 Cups Beef Stock
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme, or more to taste
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, or more to taste
  • optional: mushrooms, garlic 

What you do:

Generously salt and pepper your chuck roast.

Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or you can do a butter/olive oil split).

Cut two onions in quarters and cut 6 to 8 carrots into 2-inch slices (you can peel them, but you don’t have to). When the oil in the pot is very hot (but not smoking), add in the onions, browning them on one side and then the other. Remove the onions to a plate.

Throw the carrots into the same very hot pan and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so.

If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pan. Place the meat in the pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.

With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a whisk to get all of that wonderful flavor up.

When the bottom of the pan is sufficiently deglazed, place the roast back into the pan and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway (about 2 to 3 cups). Add in the onion and the carrots (and mushrooms and garlic), as well as 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary and about 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.

Put the lid on, then roast in a 275F (135C) oven for 3 hours (for a 3-pound roast). For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours.

Recipe Source:  The Pioneer Woman

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Yum! This was great! Total take-out fake-out!  The only thing I might do differently next time is perhaps use a touch less sugar. Although, I'm not sure I want to mess with this sauce too much because it really was great.  

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Serves 3-4 

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg.  Shake off any excess egg. Fry in the oil until brown but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. Mix sauce ingredients (below) together and pour over chicken.

  • ¾ cup sugar 
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
Bake for one hour at 325 degrees. Turn chicken every 15 minutes so it is evenly coated with the sauce. Serve over rice.

*Mel's Note: if you like extra sauce, double the sauce ingredients – pour half over the chicken and follow the baking directions in the recipe and pour the other half in a small saucepan. Cook the sauce on the stovetop at a simmer for 8-10 minutes until it reduces and thickens. Serve it on the side of the chicken. 

Recipe Source:  Mel's Kitchen Cafe 

Peanut Butter Cookies (gluten-free)

My husband has celiac and has to eat gluten-free (can't have wheat, barley, oats, or rye), but the problem is that I really like things made with regular flour.  I don't really like gluten-free flour and honestly, I just don't want to eat gluten-free flour.  I don't want my hubby to miss out on yummy treats though, so it's great when recipes like this come along that just happen to be gluten free.  The recipe for these cookies comes from my neighbour and they are actually quite tasty!

Peanut Butter Cookies
yields about 18 cookies 

  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
What you do: 

Mix together, spoon onto a tray, and bake for about 10 minutes (oven about 180 C/375 F).  Don't over cook, they easily burn!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


This is just your basic recipe for sweet crepes.  I've been using it for so long that I can't remember where I got it from.  I prefer using nutella and banana as a filling, but you could use whatever you like!  Cinnamon and sugar, whipped cream, fruit, anything really! 


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup milk

Whisk all the ingredients together well.  Batter should be quite thin with no lumps.  Heat a small amount of butter in a non-stick crepe pan or frying pan and pour about 2 Tablespoons of batter into the pan and quickly swirl the pan around to produce a very thin crepe. Cook until the top loses its wet appearance. Sometimes I even flip it over for a few seconds. 

Slow Cooker Chili

 This chili is great!  Thick and hearty and extremely tasty.  And best of all, it's easy!  I served it with baked potatoes, but you could also serve with corn bread or rice.

Slow Cooker Chili 
Serves 4 – 6

  • 1 kg mince beef 
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped red capsicum 
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 or 2 (400g) cans kidney beans, undrained
  • 2 (400g) cans Mexican-style stewed tomatoes with jalapeño peppers and spices, undrained
  • 6 oz. (340 g) tomato paste
What you do:
Cook the beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until brown, stirring to crumble. Add chopped onion and the next 6 ingredients (onion through garlic), and cook for 5 – 7 minutes or until onion is tender. Place meat mixture in an electric slow cooker, and stir in beans, tomatoes, and tomato paste.
Cover with lid, and cook on low-heat setting for 4 hours. Spoon into bowls; sprinkle with cheese and sour cream.

Note: The chili can be made on the stovetop if you don’t have a slow cooker. After adding the beans and the tomatoes, bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, partially covered, 1 1/2 hours.

Recipe Source: slightly adapted from Amy Bites

Baked Oatmeal

I love this baked oatmeal.  My 2-year-old loves it too.  He walks around asking for "more baked oatmeal" all day long!  I've made it with quick oats and regular rolled oats and I think I actually prefer the quick oats version.  You can use any fruit you want, I just use what I happen to have on hand.

Baked Oatmeal
Serves 4


  • 1 1/4 cups fruit (blueberries, peaches, banana)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2  large eggs 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¾ cups butter, divided (56g and 113g)
  • 2 cups rolled oats (I used quick oats and it was great)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 4 Tbsp.  brown sugar
What you do:

Preheat oven to 350° F (180 C).

Melt butter; pour 1/4 cup into the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle fruit and 2 Tbsp of brown sugar on top of the butter. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, honey, eggs, remaining butter and vanilla.  In a large bowl, whisk together oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.  Pour over the fruit and smooth the top. Sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp. of brown sugar.

Bake at 350°F for 40 to 50 minutes (20 min if you used quick oats), or until browned on top and fruit is bubbly. Allow to cool slightly. Serve with milk or cream. I topped it with a dollop of vanilla yogurt and it was fantastic!

Recipe Source: slightly adapted from Becky Bakes

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Slow Cooker Asian Chicken

 This recipe is from my sister.  It was AWESOME! It seems like it's not enough sauce, but trust me, it's plenty of sauce!  Serve with white rice and steamed broccoli. 


  • 1 3-4lb whole chicken
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed lite brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sherry or apple juice
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 green onions, halved + trimmed
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
What you do:

Wash/dry chicken, remove giblets, neck, + excess fat. Put chicken in slow cooker breast side up.

In bowl combine: everything I said above. Pour over chicken, cover and cook on high for 3.5-4.5 hrs.

Remove chicken.

Remove and discard onions. Add 2 tbsp cornstarch abd 1 tbsp water to sauce. Stir over heat. Toast 2 tbsp of sesame seeds and serve on top of chicken and white rice with a side of broccoli.

Recipe Source: My sister

Burger Patty Melts & Special Sauce

Ok, these burgers are awesome.  They are basically a combo of a grilled cheese sandwich and a hamburger.  The sauce is simply divine! Served this with my Cajun French Fries and baked corn on the cob.  Now, if you are doubling the amount of beef, then I wouldn't necessarily double all the other ingredients.  I got 700 g of beef last time and doubled the ingredients and it was a bit oniony, so I may just stick to the original amounts next time. 

Burger Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (~450 g) 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion grated
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • butter
  • wholemeal bread (or gluten-free bread)
  • slices of cheese
 What you do:

In a medium bowl, combine the meat, grated onion, egg, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Form into 6 thin patties.

Heat a bit of olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the patties for about 3 minutes per side, or until browned. Remove from the pan and place on paper towels to drain. Set aside. Drain the grease from the skillet.

Spread the butter on one side of each slice of bread. Place butter side down in the skillet. Top each with a slice of cheese and a burger patty. Top with the remaining cheese, if desired, and a final slice of bread, butter side up.

Cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove from the heat and serve with special sauce (recipe below).

Recipe Source: Serious Eats

Burger Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • small squirt of mustard 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

*Mix all sauce ingredients together. set aside. 
Recipe Source: Unknown

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nutella Cuppy Cakes (only 3 ingredients!)

Ummm, what?!? Only THREE ingredients for these yummy bites of goodness! So easy and quick! Top with whipped cream and you have yourself the perfect little dessert!  I also made some for my hubby with gluten-free flour and he said they were good too. They are best straight out of the oven, but you can also pop them in the microwave the next day for like 10 seconds and they are still quite good. 

Nutella Cuppy Cakes
Yields 12 mini muffins

  • 1/2 cup Nutella spread
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Line a 12-cup mini muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
  2. Put the Nutella and egg in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth and well blended. Add the flour and whisk until blended.
  3. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins (about 3/4 full).
  4. Bake until a pick comes out with wet, gooey crumbs, 11 to 12 minutes. Let them cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve immediately or cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Recipe Source:  Yadira's Crafty Adventures

Pumpkin Apple Spice Muffins

 These are some great muffins!  I made them for the mothers in my toddler's play group and they were well-liked by all.  The only place you can get canned pumpkin in Australia is to order it from USA Foods, a store in Melbourne that stocks American food. 

Pumpkin Apple Spice Muffins
Yield: 2 dozen

  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice**
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice**
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
What you do:
Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.

Combine pumpkin, butter, and eggs in another bowl and add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.

Fold in chopped apple and spoon into greased muffin pans, filling two-thirds full.

Combine 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice; sprinkle evenly over muffins. Bake at 350 degrees (180 C) for 20 minutes. Remove from pans immediately, and cool on wire racks.

**Mel's tip: if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, use the following combination: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon cloves. Mix together and woila! – you have the equivalent of 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (and it is much cheaper than buying it premade).

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Baked Cajun Fries

These baked fries are pretty awesome.  Crispy, tasty, yum!!  They make an excellent side dish for things like sloppy joes and sticky chicken legs.  This particular night I served them with ribs, which I didn't really care for so I won't be including that recipe on this blog.

Baked Cajun Fries
Makes enough for 2-3 people to have as a side dish for dinner 

  • 2 teaspoons Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • a few shakes of cayenne 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 regular potatoes
What you do: 
  1. Preheat oven to 230 C (450 F)
  2. Slice potatoes into thirds and then slice each portion into 3 or 4 wedges.  
  3. Mix the spices and olive oil together in a bowl, add the potatoes and coat thoroughly.
  4. Spread out into a single layer onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  They will get crispier if you have more space between them. 
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until done. You could even put them under the broiler for the last few minutes if you like.  ENJOY!

The Best Lasagna

I have made a few different lasagna recipes (including that of my Italian grandmother) and sorry nan, but this one takes the cake!  Everything holds together so perfectly and the flavour is just right, and most importantly it gets Mark's approval! Check out Food Wishes for a video.  Since Mark is gluten-free and I don't feel like eating his gluten-free pasta, I have to make this recipe in 2 smaller dishes, but I'm sure the amount of ingredients would be the same in one big dish.

Oh and you know what else?  You can use all these same ingredients for baked ziti (or baked penne) if you like.  Just cook the pasta, drain it, mix it with pasta sauce and the cheese mixture from below, spread it out in a large glass baking dish, top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese, cover with foil and bake for an hour (take cover off for the last 15 minutes) and VOILA! You have some excellent baked ziti!

Yields two 20 x 20 cm baking dishes

  • Lasagna sheets (it's best if you soak them in warm water first, but you can skip this if you are in a hurry)
  • A large jar of your favourite pasta sauce (or if you have the time, make your own!)
Cheese mixture:
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 kg (2 lbs) ricotta cheese
  • 225 g (8 oz) mozzarella cheese, cubed or shredded
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese 
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
What you do:

Soak the lasagna sheets in warm water for ~30 minutes and mix together the ingredients for the cheese mixture in a bowl.  Then:
  1. Spoon some sauce on the bottom of the baking dish
  2. Lay out the lasagna sheets in a single layer
  3. Spread out some of the cheese mixture over the noodles
  4. Drizzle some sauce over top the cheese mixture (don't use too much or it will be too saucy!).  You could even just do a few big globs
  5. And then do as many layers as you want in this order: noodles, cheese, sauce, repeat
  6. For the final layer you sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan cheeses over top the sauce
Bake covered for 30 min and uncovered for 30 min in 190 C (375 F) oven.

Let it cool for about 10 minutes and then enjoy! 

Recipe Source: Food Wishes

Friday, September 16, 2011

Corn Potato Chowder

This corn chowder is actually really really tasty.  I developed it myself and after a few attempts, I have tweaked it so it's just perfect.  P.S. the pinch of cayenne pepper is absolutely essential, it won't make it spicy!

Corn Potato Chowder
Makes 4-6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups water (or chicken stock)
  • 3 small red potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 3 cups frozen sweet corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • freshly ground black pepper
What you do: 
In a stockpot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the onion and celery begin to soften.

Add potatoes then water to pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Partially cover and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are completely soft.  Add corn and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in milk and cream and heat very gently for 1 minute more. Add the pinch of cayenne pepper.

Puree with stick blender to your desired thickness. You can add a tablespoon of corn starch if you like.

Season with pepper and cayenne, ladle into bowls, serve with crusty bread.

Oven-Baked Chicken Nuggets

I made these for my 2-year-old to have for dinner and he loved them!  Will definitely be making them again for him.  I served them with rice mixed with peas, and corn. 

Oven-Baked Chicken Nuggets 

  • 1/2 pound chicken cutlets, pounded thin and cut into strips (or cut into nuggets)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • garlic powder
  • salt
What you do

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 C).  Place the beaten egg on one plate for breading, and the panko on another plate. 

For each chicken nugget, dip it first in the egg, and then in the panko, and place it on a wire rack over a baking sheet (like what you would use to cool cookies).  If you don’t have a rack, just place the chicken directly on a baking sheet, but you will need to turn them halfway through baking.  Sprinkle the garlic powder and salt across the chicken fingers.

Bake the chicken fingers for about 10 minutes, and then increase the heat to 450 degrees (230 C) and bake for another 10 minutes.  Serve warm, with honey mustard or ketchup.

Recipe Source: Sugarlaws

Banana Cake with Nutella Buttercream Frosting

I've tried many different banana bread and cake recipes.  This one is my favourite.  It's simple, moist, and very tasty.  It's perfect.  I served it with Nutella Buttercream frosting this time, but this cake can be served without any frosting and it's still awesome. 

Banana Cake
Yields 1 x20cm round cake or 1 x 30cm oblong fluted cake
The recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 24cm round cake tin.


  • 125 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 125 grams sugar
  • 2 medium bananas, very ripe
  • 2 eggs (about 60g each)
  • 125 grams plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  •  icing sugar, Nutella, or whipped cream for serving 
What you do

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.  Line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.

Beat the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy and the sugar has dissolved.  Cut the bananas into a few pieces and add to the butter and sugar and beat until the banana is fully incorporated into the batter.  Add the eggs and beat well.

Sift together the flour and baking powder and add to the batter, beating until the batter is light and fluffy.  Scoop the batter into the prepared cake tin and level the top.

Bake at 180°C/350°F for about 35-40 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  When cooked, remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.  When cool, remove carefully from the tin.

Dust with icing sugar to serve.  I used Nutella Buttercream frosting (see recipe below).

Recipe Source: Chocolate Chilli Mango

Nutella Buttercream Frosting
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
What you do
Beat butter until smooth. Add the Nutella and beat until combined. Gradually add the powdered sugar and continue mixing. Add 1 tablespoon of milk. Add another tablespoon if necessary in order to reach the desired consistency.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Herbed Breaded Chicken

These chicken drumsticks are a surprisingly tasty and easy dinner that I sometimes make for myself when Mark is away on business.  I haven't tried them with gluten-free breadcrumbs, but I will next time.  They pair nicely with potatoes (either mashed or perhaps potatoes au gratin) and green beans or salad.

Herbed Breaded Chicken 

  • 1 pack of chicken legs (mixed drumsticks and thighs are fine too - about 8 medium sized pieces)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley (dried or fresh is fine)
  • 2/3 sprigs fresh rosemary (dried is also fine - about 1 1/2 -2 Tablespoons will do)
  • 6 leaves chopped fresh basil (dried is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar 
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cub plain bread crumbs 
  • 1-2 Tablespoons butter
What you do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C fan forced)

Place chicken parts in a bowl, add garlic, all herbs (dried or fresh), salt, pepper, vinegar and olive oil and toss/coat chicken very well.  Sprinkle bread crumbs over top (bread crumbs will absorb all liquid) and coat chicken

Lay chicken out in a roasting pan - be sure to place any bits of the bread crumb coating on the chicken, as the goodness should not go to waste.  Pat with butter on top and roast for 35-40 minutes.

Once chicken is cooked through, finish off in the broiler for 3-5 minutes (watch well so it doesn’t burn) so bread crumbs darken and chicken fat crisps

Remove chicken from pan and place on a dish.  Enjoy!

 Recipe Source: Tina's Nom Noms

Perfect Blueberry Muffins

Well, these are pretty much the most perfect blueberry muffins.  I've tried many different blueberry muffin recipes that claim to be the best, but this one really is!  Of course it's good, it's from Smitten Kitchen. 

Perfect Blueberry Muffins
Makes 9 to 10 standard muffins

  • 5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces or 71 grams) unsalted butter , softened
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (I omitted this)
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces or 191 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon (7 grams or 1/4 ounce) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
  • 3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces or 105 grams) blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, don’t bother defrosting)
What you do:

Preheat oven to 375°F (190 C). Line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners or spray each cup with a nonstick spray.

Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well, then yogurt and zest.

Put flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a sifter and sift half of dry ingredients over batter. Mix until combined. Sift remaining dry ingredients into batter and mix just until the flour disappears.
Gently fold in your blueberries.

The dough will be quite thick (and even thicker, if you used a full-fat Greek-style yogurt), closer to a cookie dough, which is why an ice cream scoop is a great tool to fill your muffin cups. You’re looking for them to be about 3/4 full, nothing more, so you might only need 9 instead of 10 cups.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean (you know, except for blueberry goo). Let cool on rack (ha), or you know, serve with a generous pat of butter.

Recipe Source: Smitten Kitchen

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bread

This was great, healthy bread.  It tasted healthy, but in a good way.  This is the second time I've made it and I will definitely make it again.  Henry and I made it this morning and had it for morning tea.  It was yummy! 

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bread
Yields 1 loaf

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar 
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

What you do:

Combine oats, milk and raisins in bowl, cover, let stand for 20-30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Line loaf tin with parchment paper. 

Beat olive oil and sugar in small bowl until smooth.  Add eggs,  one at a time. Whisk until well incorporated, before adding the next one. Stir in yogurt and vanilla. Stir in oat mixture.  In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Combine wet and dry ingredients.

For the topping, combine oats, cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Rub in butter with your finger tips until mixture becomes crumbly. 

Pour cake batter into prepared loaf tin. Sprinkle with topping . Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick come out clean. Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Source: Anja's Food 4 Thought

Refrigerator Pizza

This is my favourite pizza.  It's called refrigerator pizza because I was looking in my refrigerator one night and this is what I had lying around.  The combination of ingredients is so tasty that I now use these toppings every time!

Refrigerator Pizza

Makes about 2 large pizzas and one little pizza

  • 500 g mushrooms sliced
  • 1 red capsicum sliced thinly  
  • 1 red onion sliced thinly 
  • 3 cups of raw spinach 
  • cherry tomatoes   
  • Grated parmesan cheese  
  • Feta cheese 
  • Grated mozzarella cheese

What you do: 

Make your pizza crust dough and bake the crust ahead of time (or use store bought).  Then preheat the oven, and pizza stone if using, to 500° (260 C) while you prepare the toppings.

Sauté the vegetables in a couple of teaspoons of olive oil while the crust bakes (I like to use garlic olive oil, but that's not essential)

Assemble the pizza as follows:
  • Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of good quality olive oil over the pre-cooked crust.
  • Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the drizzle of olive oil. 
  • Spread the sautéed vegetables, one by one, over the pizza.  Their order doesn’t matter.  
  • To finish off the pizza and to prevent the topping from burning, crumble the feta cheese over everything and then end with the mozzarella cheese.
Place the pizza in the 500° (260 C) oven on the preheated pizza stone. If you don’t own a pizza stone, a pizza pan works just fine and doesn’t require preheating.  If you don’t have a pizza pan, use a cookie sheet.  It cooks fairly quickly, so watch it and remove when it starts to brown.