Thursday, April 24, 2014

Chewy Anzac Caramel Slice

This is a simple recipe that takes the traditional Anzac cookie to a whole new decadent level. I bet you won't be able to stop at just one ... They are really delicious.

BASE: 1 1/2 cups SR flour 1/2 cup brown sugar 140grams butter ... mix and bake in a 20x30 baking paper lined tray in a low oven (about 170 degrees) for about 12 minutes.
FILLING: A tin on condensed milk 50mls golden syrup and 50 grams butter ... microwave to melt, mix together and set aside to cool slightly.
TOPPING: 1 cup oats, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup coconut and 50 grams melted butter ... mix together.

Pour filling onto the base add topping and press slightly then bake again gently for another 10 to 12 minutes until golden and bubbly. Allow to cool in the pan and slice to serve.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Quinoa Mango Magic

Give this recipe a go if you like a touch of the sweet in your salad and I promise that you will love it. I adapted a recipe I found and I hope that  you will continue to adapt to suit your own tastes. Quinoa will take on the flavours of ingredients added to it and this salad is delicious with a nice balance of sweet and sour because of that fact.
Quinoa Mango Salad


  • Slowly simmer 3/4 cup of washed quinoa in 1 and 1/2 cups of chicken stock until all liquid has been absorbed. The quinoa will be cooked in about 20 minutes.
  • Place the warm grain into a bowl and add 1/2 cup sultanas or cranberries and 1/2 teaspoon each of ground fennel powder and salt. Mix through and leave to cool.



  • To the cool quinoa add 1 cup of diced mango and 1/2 pomegranate.
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped coriander leaves and stems add a nice crunch or  parsley and the juice of 1/2 a lime squeezed over the top.
  • To turn this into a meal stir through some baby spinach or other salad leaves and top with diced avocado if you desire.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Simple Tiramisu

Simple Tiramisu

This is one of my favourite desserts. I find it very hard to resist in any Italian restaurant where I expect it to be stunning. I am attempting to show you that this is a very simple dessert that any of us can make at home with very few ingredients. Give it a go and I promise it will soon become a signature dish of your own.



  • Separate 3 eggs into two bowls.
  • To the whites add a pinch of salt and beat to firm peaks.
  • To the yolks add 1/4 sugar and beat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is thick and whitish in colour.
  • Add yolks to whites and little by little mix in a 250 gram tub of mascarpone  that has been bought to room temperature.
  • In another suitable bowl add a couple of cups of strong good quality coffee... and some marsala or your favourite alcohol if you wish.

  • Quickly pass the sponge fingers through the coffee and place directly into your serving bowl. I prefer a flat dish but any of your favourite dishes or bowl will do. The biscuit fingers will very quickly absorb the coffee so speed is essential.
  • Layering alternatively with the prepared mascarpone cream ... Large flat dish I have done two layers and I guess a loaf tin size you will most likely get three layers out of a large pack of sponge fingers.
  • Dust the top layer with a dark good quality cocoa powder
  • Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Spicy Eggplant

Spicy Eggplant
I had heard of fenugreek but had never cooked with it so when I was given some I was inspired to experiment with this new found spice. It smelt delicious with a slight curry powder flavour but not spicy on its own. The resulting recipe is delicious and can be as spicy or not as you like by adding or omitting chilli and chilli powder.



  • Pan fry a large cubed eggplant in a little oil and butter until a nice golden colour. Remove from the pan.
  • Add a good splosh of oil to the pan along with a 1/2 teaspoon of each cumin, sesame seeds and crushed fenugreek seeds. Fry until the cumin go golden brown and then add a thumb sized piece of chopped fresh ginger, a couple cloves of garlic and a diced green chilli and cook for a minute or two.
  • Then add 2 finely diced onions and gently fry for about 10 minutes until everything is softened.
  • At this point return the eggplant and add 1/4 cup of tomato puree and a 1/2 teaspoon of both ground coriander and turmeric along with about 3/4 teaspoon of salt.
  • Finally add about 1/2 cup (small can) of coconut milk and a handful of fresh coriander leaves.

No two ways about it I am not a lover of eggplant but I have to say this vegetarian meal or side dish is the exception to my rule. I really loved the soft veg and the lovely flavours created with this recipe.
* If you like it extra spicy add some chilli powder at the point you add the turmeric.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Creamy Garlic Seafood

Simple and Scrumptious ... although not low in calories I am sure a less decadent recipe could be adapted to suit any requirements.


Creamy Garlic Seafood


  • In a large frying pan gently melt 125 grams of butter along with a large clove of crushed garlic and a few threads of saffron.
  • When bubbling gently and the delicious smell of garlic is wafting add a couple of tablespoons of plain flour and cook gentle for at least a minute.
  • To this mixture add a teaspoon of mustard and two tablespoons of dry white wine and stir through.
  • Gradually add about two cups of chicken stock until you have a nice thick creamy sauce.
  • Final touch of deliciousness is about 1/2 cup of cream.


This sauce can be prepared in advance and kept covered to prevent a skin forming until required.
  • Warm sauce through and add the seafood of your choice I have used cubed fish and prawns as these both take only a couple of minutes to cook through ... fish will break apart easily and prawns will be a soft pink in colour when cooked.
  • Heaps of fresh diced parsley finally to serve.


Served pictured on a bed of rice which has been cooked using the absorption method.
  • Pan fry a finely diced onion in a knob of butter until softened add 1 cup of rice and stir through to coat ...
  • Add two cups of chicken stock cover and bring to the boil then simmer gently until the liquid is absorbed.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cherry Chocolate Dump Cake

A tin of cherries - a handful of fresh cherries - a woolies home brand chocolate cake mix (on special for $1) and 50 grams of melted butter ... it is bloody delicious!
A dump cake because you dump the whole thing into the one pan.
Fruit in the bottom ... sprinkle over the cake mix and pour over the melted butter ... bake for 35 minutes until bubbly ... needs cream or ice cream neither of which I have ...
Moist and gooey in the middle with the best crunchy top ... give it a go and let me know what you think

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Home made Indian banquet

- Coconut Water Dahl 
- Curried Vegetables
- Quinoa

Coconut Water Dahl - Curried Vegetables - Quinoa
This menu can be cooked at the same time and all will cook in about 20 minutes ... on the table in about 40 minutes even with preparation being taken into consideration ... why not give it a go as its ingredients  cost very little and when served decorated as described could easily be taken for authentic Indian cuisine by your family. 

Curried Vegetables


  • Prepare what ever vegetables you prefer ... I have used large chunks of pumpkin, sweet potato, broccolini and baby spinach leaves.
  • In a adequate saucepan place a little oil and fry off a couple of teaspoons of mustard seeds, and the same of cumin seeds along with a couple of bay leaves until popping and fragrant.
  • Sprinkle into this mix a good dessert spoon of curry powder and then add the root vegetables and stir to coat and start the cooking process ... 
  • Finally cover with water and bring to the boil then lower the heat and cover to cook for about 15 minutes ... add the lighter vegetables such as broccoli about halfway though and finally the spinach that just needs to wilt add at the very end and stir through to serve. 

Coconut Water Dahl


  • In a large saucepan soften off a diced onion for a few minutes and then add a couple of teaspoons of fresh grated ginger a couple teaspoons of ground cumin a touch of cayenne pepper to your liking and a 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric ... when fragrant 
  • add 2 cups of red lentils and 2 cans or 600 ml coconut water and 400 ml water and cook for 15-20 minutes ... add more water as this cooks if you prefer a soupier rather than thick Dahl.
Quinoa (as an alternative to rice)
  • Cook about a 1/2 cup per person by the absorption method instructions on the packet and by using coconut water or ordinary water or a mixture of both will give you a nice sweet flavour.
Serve these dishes in the centre of the table presented in individual bowls and sprinkled with fresh coriander, piping hot ... top the Dahl with a little natural yoghurt or serve on the side so the family can add their own as they choose. I don't make mine spicy at all however if you do the yoghurt becomes a cooling source of flavour.

If there are any left overs ... heat and serve the next day ... curries intensify in flavour the following day ... Yummo!!!



Friday, June 14, 2013

Potato Topped Chunky Salmon Pies

These are very simple individual pies which can be cooked and ready to serve in no time flat ... great for a breakfast to impress a light lunch with a salad or an evening meal with vegetables ... I have even eaten this for afternoon tea ... because I can!

Potato Topped Chunky Salmon Pies


  • I made four pies with a simple short crust pastry by using about 3/4 cup of plain flour about 100 grams of cold chopped butter processed into a crumb mixture and bought together into a soft dough using an egg. Purchased pastry sheets will simplify this dish even further. 
  • I have non stick, pop out bottom flan cases. I ran a fork over the pastry base of the pies and blind baked the pastry until just golden to keep them crisp ... do this first or while you prepare the filling.
  • Meanwhile put on some potatoes to cook for the mash topping ... 3 medium sized potatoes did my four pies.

The filling couldn't be simpler and can be modified as with all recipes to suit your own tastes. I have used salmon here but I intend to use barramundi and oysters next time to try and reproduce my all time favourite pie ever tasted when crossing the Nullarbor.
  • Gently soft fry some finely diced onion with a large knob of butter. Try not to get too much colour on these.
  • To make the thickened white sauce add a couple of tablespoons of plain flour and fry the flour for a minute or so to cook it through.
  • Gradually add to this enough milk, a little at a time, whisking as you go to keep it smooth until you have quite a thick sauce ... by keeping this thick your pies will hold together nicely.
  • Stir through to coat about 200-300 grams of chunky diced salmon, a large handful of a tasty cheese like a crumbled feta or maybe a blue cheese along with a hand full of fresh herbs of your choice such as parsley, chives, dill or all of these. Season carefully as some cheeses are quite salty and white pepper to suit ... you don't want to over cook at this stage as the fish will get its final cook when browning and heating to serve.
  • Turn off the heat and cool this mixture down in the fridge for a few minutes before adding to the cooled pastry bases.



  • Compile the pies and top the mash with a little grated cheese. When you are ready to serve bake in a moderate oven until golden brown and heated through.



Friday, June 7, 2013

Quinoa (Anzac) Cookies

Can they get any more delicious - absolutely!
Quinoa (Anzac) Cookies


My inspiration comes from my cousins (Judy Miragliotta) recipe of yummy traditional Anzac Biscuits however for my delicious morsels I have changed it to suit me and made them with Quinoa flakes instead of the traditional oats used in Anzacs and another bonus twist I have added 50/50 coconut flour and plain flour ... you can use just plain flour if you choose but I just love the extra coconut flavour boost.



  • Mix all of your dry ingredients together in a large bowl ... 1/2 cup plain flour, 1/2 cup coconut flour, 1 cup of quinoa flakes, 1/2 cup raw caster sugar, 3/4 coconut (desiccated or the moist shredded one).
  • In a small saucepan melt together 150 grams of butter and two extra large tablespoons of golden syrup ... gentle simmering roll for a minute or two to achieve a nice caramelised golden colour.
  • To this mixture add a 1/2 teaspoon of bi-carb soda that has been dissolved in two dessert spoons of water ... while the mixture is still frothing add it to the dry ingredients and combine.
  • Form into biscuit size balls and flatten them to bake on baking paper in a gentle oven until golden brown ... these biscuits are very soft when first out of the oven so let them cool on the tray so as not to break them.



Mixing up a recipe to suit yourself and your family or adapting the ingredients to hand is what in my opinion cooking is all about. Loads of fun trying new ideas. Some will be successful like this one and some not so. 
Give your ideas a go you may be pleasantly surprised.



Monday, May 27, 2013

Gado Gado with Peanut Sauce

My Gado Gado is a selection of warm blanched vegetables  and salads served with a delicious peanut sauce and topped with a hard boiled egg. You can choose to purchase a ready made sataty sauce or very simply make your own.


Gado Gado with Peanut Sauce

  • Blanch or steam a selection of vegetables I have used snow peas, sweet potato, pumpkin, cabbage and cauliflower... these should still have a little crunch to the bite.
  • Display these seperately on the serving plate and add a layer of satay sauce.
  • Top this with your selection of salads I have used tomatoes, capsicum and cucumber.
  • Top with some more warm satay sauce.
  • Finally add a hard boiled egg and shredded corriander.


Simple Peanut Sauce

  • In a medium saucepan soften some diced onion, chilli and garlic in a little peanut oil until the onion is translucent. 
  • Add about 200 grams of unsalted peanuts to toast.
  • When golden brown whiz up into a paste in your food processor.
  • Return to the saucepan and add a can of coconut milk a dash of fish sauce, the juice of a lime, a splosh of ketjap manus and a couple of tablespoons of palm sugar. 
  • Simmer gently until the sauce reduces and thickens ... delicious home made sauce however if you decide to buy one please choose a quality authentic sauce as it is a very large part of the success of this dish.