Category Archives: Food

After school snack.. Raisin toast cups

July 31, 2015

cups

So regular readers would know I’m not great with my kids in the kitchen.. Wish I was… but I’m not. However, this (not even a) recipe, they can help and it won’t do your head in.

All you need to do is grab however many slices you want to use, cut the crusts off (don’t throw them away though, you can bake them as well and the kids can dip these into yoghurt for breakfast or something), then between 2 sheets of baking paper use a rolling pin to roll them out until they are nice and thin and then mould them into a greased muffin tin. Pop them into a preheated 180c oven and bake for about 15 minutes. As raisin toast burns quick you’re best to keep your eye on it. Once nice and golden and crispy pull them out of the oven and leave them to cool down a touch in the tin.

Fill them with whatever you like, I have used vanilla yoghurt and sliced fruit. I have also filled them with vanilla custard and it tastes just like Christmas!

Easy as! :)

Bacon and zucchini slice.

July 20, 2015

image from Donna Hay

image from Donna Hay

So last week I said I was going to give you the heads up on a recipe or two that ties in with what’s on special at either Woolies or Coles. This week it’s shortcut bacon form the deli at Woolies for $9.90kg which is about $7 cheaper than normal. I find shortcut bacon much easier and saves mucking around cutting the rind and the fat off, therefore saving a bit of time and is probably that touch healthier for us all.

If you look at the “Odd Bunch” line of fruit and veggies you can pick up a bag of zucchinis for around $2. Also the great thing with this Donna Hay recipe is you can use up any old bread you’ve got lying around. This is great as it’s an easy dinner you put together and throw in the oven and serve with a nice salad, and because this is something the kiddies love any leftovers can go to school in their lunchbox. Enjoy! Click here for Donna’s recipe.

Sick of spending money on food?

July 15, 2015

 

photo-1424847651672-bf20a4b0982bAbout a month ago I put out a couple of questions on Facebook about how much you all spend on an average weekly shop and what are the things you buy the most. Thank you to all of you who responded as it was pretty helpful. On average around $300 a week for a family of 4-5 seems about right. Most of you  jump out to the shops every few days for bread, milk and fruit and still end up spending more while you’re there.

I’m not going to tell any of you how to save money or how to not go to the shops every few days because this is exactly what I do as well. But…. what I have found is how to not do it quite so often.  The answer….. junk mail. Yep… it’s a pain in the arse I know but it can actually be really helpful if you just give it a bit of your time.

Time….. I understand is something we all don’t have much of but if you just organise yourself a short amount of time I promise it will make life a tiny bit easier. This is what I do….

First have a look through your supermarket catalogue of choice and check out this weeks specials and then do yourself up a meal plan for the week accordingly. Obviously there won’t be everything on sale that you would like for the week but by seeing what’s cheap you can work your way around a few good recipes without spending a small fortune. E.g… bananas are cheap.. you know the kids eat bitchloads of them so that’s great, but then what about making banana cake or muffins for the freezer for school lunches. Or freezing some which makes smoothies or even a quick ice cream easy. English muffins is a great one, great for breakfast but then also great made into mini pizzas for after school or with Nutella, banana and strawberries for after dinner. (Half each I find is enough … for the kids anyway). Or what about ham… sandwich staple but then what about making dinner with it as well. Things like pasta, quiche or I make an awesome impossible pie with ham and leek (which I will post on here later) and the kids LOVE it!

These are obviously only just examples of what I try to do, just to cut down on spending soooo much money.

Another good thing to do is sit down with a coffee (or wine if you need it) and flick through your favourite cookbooks or foodie magazines and bookmark things you think sound good/know you’d like and work your way accordingly through them with things that are on sale. Write out your meal plan for the week including extra things you will make like dessert and school snacks and make sure you take the list with you to do the shopping, just so you know what it is you will need to avoid trips back to the shops where you think you will spend $5 and inevitably end up spending an easy 50.

So from now on I’m going to pick one thing each week from either Woolies or Coles and link up a recipe to help you out. (Easier if I link it to other sites as they make meals look much prettier then I do!)

First up is lamb forequarter chops from Woolies at $7.99kg.. These are super cheap and easy as to use in the slow cooker. Now, this is not the prettiest looking dish in the world but my god it is tasty and if you have leftovers it is awesome on toasted sourdough or even mixed through some pasta.  Lamb Obsession from Slow Cooker Central is just superb.

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Or if you think you would like something  perhaps a little lighter you could try Lamb Chops in Ratatouille from Taste.com.au. Both I have made before and both are equally as delicious and the kids eat them.

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Cheesy corn damper dip.

June 10, 2015

damper

This is a staple in my house, certainly not something for an occasion… although it is perfect for such things but it is also just as perfect for Sunday lunch or an easy dinner.

Super easy and seriously tasty.

Here’s what you need to do.

Preheat your oven to 180C and take the top off your damper and scoop out the insides and put it all on a baking tray and into the oven for around 15-20 minutes.

Next in a little olive oil fry off 3 rashers of chopped bacon, 3 chopped spring onions and a clove of garlic. Once all sweated down nicely add 1 tin of creamed corn and around 1/2 tsp curry powder. (I usually do this by eye, y’all know how hot you like things). Next add 1 cup of grated tasty cheese and 1 carton of sour cream. Add salt and a good crack of black pepper and let simmer through until all the cheese has melted.

Pull out your damper and put on your serving platter, add the dip straight in and arrange the other bread bits and away you go. You are very welcome.

Restaurant Review… Paymasters Cafe Newcastle.

May 8, 2015

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Last saturday night while it was absolutely flogging down outside, I was cosy and warm sitting with a glass of Pinot Noir inside Paymasters Cafe, and I won’t lie, I was pretty bloody happy. Paymasters is a Newcastle icon, perfectly situated at the end of Foreshore Park on the other side of Customs House.

I have been going to Paymasters for years and every time I go there it is always perfect. When it came time to organise my husband’s 40th birthday last year it was the only place we thought of. Perfect for group bookings, with either a set menu or A la Carte available. What is so good about this, is that unlike other places where it is obviously just too much trouble, Paymasters will split bills. Not only split them but will give you an individual number for yourself or as a couple so there is no need for calculators or that awkward moment at the end of the evening when that one friend packs the shits because he had one less drink than you. This system is fantastic and really should be implemented by other establishments, but for some reason isn’t.

As for the food, it doesn’t matter what you are after you won’t be disappointed. The Autumn A la Carte Menu fits the season perfectly. The Garlic Prawns are legendary and are a stand out on their own, however last Saturday night my choice was the Baked Goats Cheese for entree, the Braised Lamb for main and of course dessert is a must so I went with the Eton Mess and oh my god…… seriously, the nicest thing I have eaten in quite a while. It’s not a difficult dessert… it’s only meringue, berries and cream but wow… absolute perfection. I want to go back again just to eat that alone! If you were to take the children with you for some reason, they are looked after as well with their very own special little Children’s Menu.

Legendary Garlic Prawns

Legendary Garlic Prawns. Photo courtesy of Paymasters gallery.

If you are thinking more about breakfast, the Weekend Menu is divine and I can personally vouch for the deep pan buttermilk pancakes with bacon and maple syrup. Soooo good!!!

Paymasters is still as good as ever and is perfect for anything from date night to a hens night. To contact them head to their website. You won’t be disappointed… I promise!

 

Lemon drizzle cake.

April 19, 2015

 

This cake is so easy even the most unaccomplished person in the kitchen wouldn’t have a problem with it. It’s a recipe from Tana Ramsay (the prettier, more sedate of the Ramsays) and is sure to please everyone. It’s tangy but not over the top and yes it’s……moist. I hate the word too don’t worry. This is perfect for school lunches or perhaps just for you with a cup of English Breakfast for afternoon tea. I have even served this for dessert warmed up with a dollop of greek yoghurt. Perfect. Head over to the BBC Good Food website to check it out.

Midweek meals..

March 10, 2015

PicMonkey Collage

I have carried on before in articles about how important I think it is to have a meal plan in place for the week, fortnight or if you’re SUPER organised the month. So much easier if you spend an hour writing out meals you will have over the coming week(s) and shop accordingly as so you have all the ingredients and not having to duck out to the shops to buy one thing and end up spending an easy 50. We all do it, don’t worry it’s not just you.

So here I thought I would make it a little easier for you and have sourced 7 meals that aren’t too difficult and easy on the funds.  These are not my recipes… they have come from other talented people who make food look much prettier than I do!

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1. Chicken and Chorizo Paella from Jamie Oliver.

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2. Cauliflower Mac and Cheese from Donna Hay.

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3. Sesame Peanut Noodles from Nigella.

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4. Smoky Chicken Kebabs with yoghurt dipping sauce from Foodies Agenda

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5. Zucchini Slice from Taste

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6.. Baked Mushroom, Bacon and Spinach Risotto from Donna Hay

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7. Fish cakes with Pea Mash from Taste.

Now, you obviously don’t have to have all 7 of these particular meals in a row… It’s just for some inspiration. We all need it when it hits 4.30 and we’ve got no clue!

Peanut Butter and Nutella cookies

February 24, 2015

cookies2 words that make me happy.. Well 3 really. Peanut Butter and Nutella. Put them together and there just simply can NOT be anything bad about that. You must make these but don’t forget you can’t really send them off to school for the kiddies. That’s if they last long enough for the kiddies to even try them. These straight from the oven are something else!

You should have everything you need in your pantry already which makes these even better. Here we go..

 

 

  • 115gr softened butter
  • 3/4cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2cup white sugar
  • 1/2cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2tsp vanilla
  • 1/2tsp bicarb soda
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/4cup Nutella

Preheat the oven to 180c and line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. In a stand mixer beat together the butter, peanut butter and sugars for about 4-5 minutes or until pale and fluffy. Add in the egg and the vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour, salt, and bicarb soda and fold in with a wooden spoon or spatula until just combined. Heat the nutella in the microwave for around 30 seconds and pour over the dough. Fold through gently so you get the appearance of a rippled effect. Put the dough in the fridge for around 10 mins just to cool down a touch, and then roll the dough into small balls. Leave a little space between them all as they spread out a bit.

Bake for around 10 mins and then remove from the oven. They will be quite soft but they do harden as they cool down. Although, I can’t seem to let them cool down enough before I eat them. But then again, I have a problem.

Slow cooked Mexican chicken.

February 12, 2015

a3  So I am all about getting dinner on the table as hassle free as possible… and without spending a fortune. This Mexican chicken is just delicious. Throw it in the slow cooker for a few hours and a little finishing off at the end and you’re done. It uses chicken breast which is unusual in the slow cooker as normally you would use thigh so it doesn’t dry out, but I think this has so much liquid in it it’s completely fine. You’re going to need…

  • 2 chicken breasts, each cut into 3 pieces
  • sachet of taco seasoninga1
  • jar of mild salsa
  • carrot
  • onion
  • tin of tomatoes
  • celery

 

I mix the taco seasoning throughout the tin of tomatoes so as its mixed through thoroughly but then all you do is throw it on the slow cooker on low for about 6 hours or high for about 3. After this time remove the chicken and pull it apart with two forks.

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Transfer the chicken and all the tomato mixture that’s still in the slow cooker into a baking dish and stir through a can of kidney beans. Once combined, throw over some grated cheese and put under a hot grill until the cheese has browned. Scatter over some spring onions and that’s it!

Once it is cooked I serve it with a simple salad… shredded lettuce, cherry tomatoes and avocado and also serve it with some tortillas, sour cream and a squeeze of lime on top.

If you wanted to cut down on the carbs it would still be delicious with some mixed leaves and a good dollop oIMG_7578f guacamole on the side. Or….. I think next time I might sit with the entire dish and a bag of corn chips.

Nutella mug cake

February 9, 2015

Ok so I will be honest with you, this is most certainly not my recipe but ohhhhmygod!! It is cakey, puddingy perfection. I mean it’s Nutella, how can it be bad?

The recipe is from a blog called Tammileetips, the ingredients are obviously American but we have everything that’s the same and its all metric measurements so no need for converting.

If you plan on making this, wait until the kiddies are in bed so you don’t have to share. Or, if you’re nicer than me go ahead. All it needs is a bit of vanilla ice cream and some quite time in front of the tv and you, my friend.. are very welcome.

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