Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Wednesday, July 25, 2018

    Pork Chops in Creamy Tomato Sauce

    What I am loving about regularly cooking for several people…
    (who will eat anything, well almost everything,) on a daily basis...
    It gives me a chance to try out some of the many recipes I read everyday
    So much inspiration, most, really so so simple and so so tasty
    Just perfect

    Recently staying with my Hawkes Bay Hosts, I came across this on the Better Recipes Site, submitted by Rachel Popa
    Pork Chops in Creamy Tomato Sauce... of course, as usual, I often make some changes to make the recipe my own
    Usually to add some extra flavour
    This time I added Onions...Everything tastes better with Onions
    Plus I used Passata instead of canned tomato sauce recommended by the recipe writer
    And for extra seasoning some Vegeta Powdered stock.
    Thumbs up from the hosts


    4 Pork Chops
    2 teaspoons Garlic powder

    Sea Salt and Black Pepper
    1 tablespoon Olive oil
    1 onion thinly sliced
    1 cup Tomato Passata
    1/2 cup cream
    1/2 cup hot water with 1 tsp Vegeta dissolved
    1/4 cup basil chopped

    First, preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
    Trim excess fat off the pork chops
    Place the fat in a cold pan and slowly raise heat to medium and render it
    Perfect for browning the chops

    Sprinkle pork chops in garlic powder
    Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Brown in the fat over medium heat… for about two or three minutes on each side.
    Set aside
    Add olive oil to pan and add onions
    Lightly sauté till translucent
    Meanwhile mix Passata, Cream and hot water with powdered Vegeta
    Add to onions in the pan
    Cook for about 2-3 minutes
    Add chopped Basil
    Place the pork chops in a baking dish, and pour onion sauce over pork chops..
    Bake covered in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until pork chops are cooked through.
    Tear some basil leaves over the top

    Serve with Mashed Potato and other vegetable of choice… we had Brussel Sprouts and Cauliflower
    NB: Mary used the leftover sauce mixed with some fried bacon to smother some pasta
    Waste not want Not, Another Dinner...always a winner

    Tuesday, July 24, 2018

    Best Leftover Lamb Roast Dish

    My Friend and Host Mary had bought a rather large leg of lamb
    It was to feed 5 of us but obviously… it could have fed probably 8-10
    So even before we had leftovers, I did a search for a way to use them up
    Of course there is always Shepherds pie BUT we wanted something different
    Epicurious had a recipe that inspired me. I made a few changes
    So so simple and so so tasty
    Beautiful flavoured rice
    Cant get much better than that, I reckon
    Not only did we have lamb but also gravy and mint sauce leftover, so perfect
    AND there was still lamb for a sandwich the next day

    To serve 4
    Heat oven to 175C
    Grease a casserole dish with butter

    3 Tablespoons butter
    2 medium onions peeled and thinly sliced
    1 1/2 cups leftover Lamb
    1 cup of leftover gravy including 1/2 cup mint sauce
    1 1/2 cups of stock (I used powdered stock in water
    1 clove garlic
    1 1/2 cups basmati rice
    1/4 cup chopped parley

    Extra parsley for garnish

    Saute onions in butter until soft and delicately browned
    Add rice
    Stir and cook for about 5 minutes till rice is almost toasted
    Mix together gravy, mint sauce and stock and parsley
    Add to pan
    Stir well
    Add leftover lamb and parsley
    Bring to boil and turn into Casserole dish
    Into oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes when rice is cooked and has absorbed most of the liquid
    Check at 25 minutes to make sure it not drying out
    Garnish with extra chopped parsley and serve

    Saturday, July 14, 2018

    Orange, Ginger and Pinapple Marmalade - Using the Oranges

    Our Lucy has an amazing Orange Tree
    We have oranges loads of them
    I have been trying to find ways of using them
    Of course I juiced some
    after a few days as the juice took on, a not off, but stronger taste. I decided to make some syrup
    which is beautiful over ice cream
    Haven’t got quantities but it was about 1/3 sugar 2/3 squeezed orange juice

    I had an unsuccessful try at making orange crisps
    They certainly didn’t look like Martha Stewarts and the skin was very bitter
    So I persevered and finally found a recipe for Orange Marmalade,
    which also had Crystallised Ginger and Crushed Pineapple 
    On a website called Susan Can Cook
    Thank you Susan I am very proud of it
    So to make this Marmalade
    My oranges were odd sizes so I ended up with about 3 cups of peeled oranges
    I used a special sugar designed Jams not sure if it made any difference

    This should make 4 medium size jars
    e.g peanut butter size

    So :You need
    Zest and segments of 5 large oranges
    4 cups water
    2 x 400 gms crushed pineapple in juice
    Heaping 1/3 cup crystallised ginger, diced small
    Juice of one lemon
    1 Kg Sugar

    Thoroughly clean jars and lids
    Make little circles of Baking paper to line the lids
    While the marmalade is cooking place the jars in a heated oven 160C to help sterilize and so they won't crack when you add the very hot jam
    Place several saucers in the freezer.

    Peel the zest from the oranges and chop
    Remove the white pith and discard
    And segment the oranges
    Place the zest and the diced ginger in a heavy bottomed sauce pan with 4 cups of water.
    Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.

    Place orange segments, pineapple and juice and lemon juice in a large heavy bottomed stock pot. Add the simmered zest, ginger and the poaching liquid to the fruit. 
    Add the sugar.

    Bring to a boil. Boil until marmalade reaches gel stage -
    Stir every so often to make sure it doesn't catch
    This will take 30-40 minutes.

    To test set, pull one of the saucers out of the freezer and scoop a teaspoon of the marmalade onto it. Allow to cool.
    If it mounds or makes wrinkles when you push it, it is done.

    Remove from heat.
    Stir for 2-3 minutes to distribute fruit.
    Carefully ladle into hot prepared jars.
    Wipe rims and top with lids and rings.

    This should make 4 medium size jars
    e.g peanut butter
    Look At That
    Just toasted a crumpet
    Butter melting all over it
    Topped with MY Marmalade
    It was delicious
    Well!!! I'm a very proud person

    The Best Gluten Free Banana Cake-So Light and Moist

    I have just made a gluten free banana cake
    It is superb, I’m so impressed 
    It’s light and moist. Yummo

    My experience with Gluten Free, is not always great but this recipe...Wow
    Perfect for lunch. Soup of course as it is a ghastly day here in Auckland
    One of my Granddaughters is not good with wheat. 
    We usually bake with Spelt flour.
    I'd run out and its not easy to find so, instead, I bought Edmonds Gluten Free Self Raising Flour 
    On the packet there is a recipe for Banana cake
    In the fruit bowl , there were some well ripened bananas
    So I thought I'd whip one up

    What a find, I will definitely make this again
    Its a one pot wonder as well

    125g butter cubed
    3/4 Cup brown sugar firmly packed 
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 Cup mashed bananas (2 large ripe bananas)
    1 egg , lightly beaten 
    2 1/2 tablespoons milk
    1 1/2 Edmonds Gluten Free self raising flour 

    Pre-heat oven to 170C conventional...150C fan
    Grease and line a 20cm square tin

    Put butter, sugar and vanilla into a medium saucepan
    Stir over moderate heat till melted
    Remove from heat 

    Stir bananas into mix
    Add egg, flour and milk

    Pour mixture into prepared cake tin, smooth surface
    Bake for 30 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean
    Cool in tin for 10 minutes

    I iced it with an orange butter icing 
    1 Cup icing sugar
    2 Large tablespoons butter
    Zest of a medium orange and juice of half of it

    Mix the butter and Icing sugar then 

    add juice till you get a spreading consistency

    Ice your cake, you wont be disappointed

    Tuesday, July 03, 2018

    Almost Instant Chicken Soup - Lunch for One - Waste Not Want Not

    I can never throw away any chicken bones or scraps. It makes the best stock and such a good base for so many things
    So in the fridge, was a lovely jelly like jar of stock, complete with some chicken fat, good for that extra flavour
    My mission... to turn this lovely stock into a almost instant lunch for one,
    For that extra seasoning, I added some Vegeta Powdered Stock
    Such a good product
    Slosh of olive oil
    Take 1 onion peeled and sliced
    1 red pepper, de-seeded and rough chopped
    1 stick celery finely sliced
    1/2 small carrot grated
    1 tablespoon chopped red chili
    1 teaspoon grated ginger
    2 teaspoons Vegeta 
    2 cups chicken Stock
    2 teaspoons coconut sugar
    juice of 1/2 small lemon or lime

    Into a saucepan add olive oil over med heat
    Add onions saute till softened a little 3-4 months
    Add pepper, celery, carrot, chili and grate the ginger into the mix
    when the vege soften add the Vegeta Stock powder

    Add Chicken Stock...Bring to boil 
    Not for long though
    5-7 minutes will be enough
    Add the coconut sugar and the lemon or lime juice, just to balance the flavour

    Lunch is served
    Delicious and healthy whats more
    If you have some coriander, (I didn't)...a few sprigs would be a welcome addition

    Monday, July 02, 2018

    Pesto Noodles with Beef and Olives - A Treat for The Gluten Free

    Some members of the Family are temporarily removing Grains and Carbs from their diet to try and clear up small medical problem.
    No worries for, due to a good friend, I have access to Paleo Cookbooks
    Paleo - Perfect for GF People
    So last night we had this Pesto Pasta as they called it...I say noodles because it is not Pasta as we know it
    Nevertheless it is delicious
    I have this fab little tool that I purchased just so I can make vege noodles
    Works wonders with courgettes
    So this dish has these courgette noodles tossed with Pesto 
    Then added to tasty Fried Mince, and Onions, seasoned with Olives and some Garlic powder
    Was so, so popular with the family

    You need
    2 cups fresh basil
    1 clove garlic
    1/3 cup Pinenuts
    1/2 cup lemon juice
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/2 tsp salt

    2 tab butter
    1 med onion peeled and diced
    1 kg minced beef
    1 tsp garlic powder
    8-10 stoned black olives chopped 
    Olive oil
    9 med courgettes turned into noodles 

    Make the pesto
    Place basil, garlic and Pine nuts in food processor
    Drizzle in lemon juice, olive oil
    Add salt to pesto to taste
    Set aside

    In a pan add a splash of olive oil
    sauté courgette noodles till just soft
    Toss the pesto through the courgettes
    Drain noodles, if they are a bit wet 
    Could be a bit over-powering

    Heat butter in large skillet
    Add onion, sauté until soft
    Add beef to pan
    Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder
    Continue to sauté until beef in fully cooked
    Add courgettes to mince with the olives
    Serve with a smattering of coriander leaves

    Wednesday, June 27, 2018

    Sausage, Pumpkin and Mushroom Bake - Can't eat Pasta? - Use Kumera Chips

    Let’s Eat what We Have
    It was a very cold day and the thought of going out to buy supplies was not on the agenda
    So...I opened the fridge

    There were some chicken sausages, not really enough to feed 5 people
    So I surfed the net

    There are a couple of food issues currently in the family
    Someone is keeping away from wheat
    So the dish I was going to make was a Penne Bake

    So I substituted Penne for cooked Kumera Chips
    Just lightly roasted
    And by the way This is good for a Gluten Free diet
    I grabbed a pumpkin out of the garden
    Turned it into Pumpkin Purée
    Just cut into pieces, bring to the boil and simmer till tender
    Remove skin and blend till it is smooth
    Season with S & P to taste
    I had mushrooms
    Onions, garlic, herbs
    Great let’s go

    So I peeled the kumera, cut into chip size
    Toss with oil, season with Salt and Pepper
    roast in 180C oven for about 10 minutes
    Don't overcook them, you want them to stay in shape, not turn to mush

    So you need
    200 gms chopped mushrooms
    400 gms Chicken Sausages
    3 tablespoons butter
    1 large onion chopped
    2 cloves garlic minced 
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
    1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
    2 cups pumpkin puree
    1 cup grated Gruyere Cheese (you can use cheddar)
    1/2 cup cream
    Sea salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
    500 gms Kumera chips or of course penne pasta
    1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

     In a frying pan cook the sausage till just brown

    Cool and slice diagonally, set aside
    Add a tablespoon olive oil
    add mushrooms season with Salt and pepper and cook till brown
    Meanwhile in another pan
    Melt butter and saute onion and garlic
    Till translucent about 10 minutes
    Add sage and grated nutmeg
    Transfer to a big bowl
    add pumpkin, sausage, mushroom, cream, Gruyere Cheese
    Taste and season with S & P if needed

    Add cooked chips to sauce
    Pre-heat oven to 180C

    Transfer mix to a greased gratin dish,
    Top with grated Parmesan
    Bake for about 30 minutes till bubbling
    Whoops I forgot to take the photo, when I removed the dish from the oven
    The Greedies couldn't wait
    I served with Baby Bok Choy
    I normally associate Baby Bok Choy with Asian Food
    but if you cook it this way, it goes perfectly with other flavours

    For 5 people
    1/8 cup unsalted butter
    2 cloves garlic minced
    3 Bok Choy washed thoroughly and cut in half
    1 cup chicken stock

    In a large frypan melt butter
    Add Garlic, season with S & P
    Cook till garlic fragrant but but not brown
    Lay bok choy in pan
    Gently saute, turning once
    add chicken stock and cook till bok choy is tender
    Turn occasionally
    It will take about about 8 minutes
    It's a new basic in our house

    Sunday, March 04, 2018

    Bagel Crisps Again - Another Triumph

    We needed some nibbles to have with wine pre-dinner
    So I decided to make Bagel Crisps again
    But when I removed the bagels from the Freezer I discovered that they
    were pre cut
    Not deterred I cut them into batons
    Tossed them with Olive Oil, Parmesan and S&P
     Threw them onto a baking tray. No need to grease
    Pre heat oven to 170C

    Bake for about 5-7 minutes till crisp
    Perfect with drinks

    Crispy Pasta Bake with Chicken, Spinach and Tomatoes

    This pasta dish is cooked on a shallow baking tray
    So it becomes nice and crispy on top
    Wonderful flavours
    It was very popular in our house and these amounts fed 6, with leftovers for lunch
    I made breadcrumbs from Vogel’s Bread, instead of Panko, which gave an excellent flavour

    Just crumb them in food processor or blender

    I bought a rotisserie chicken from the market.
    Very easy, then make stock with the bones, Waste not want not
    I found this recipe on the Epicurious Site, once again, such a good site for anything
    You will need a large shallow baking tray to cook  and serve it on

    500 gms short pasta, such as penne or fusilli

    1 cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or your favourite bread, crumbed
    1 cup grated Parmesan, divided
    4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    Sea salt
    Freshly ground black pepper,
    1 350gm packet frozen spinach leaves
    2 punnets cherry tomatoes, halved
    1 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    4 cups shredded cooked chicken
    1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella (about 6 ounces), divided

    Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. 
    Meanwhile, mix Panko/breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup Parmesan, 2 Tbsp. oil, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper in a medium bowl.
    Toss spinach and tomatoes with 1/2 tsp. salt and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil on a large rimmed baking sheet

    Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
    Return Pasta to pot
    Add sour cream, mustard, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid,                
    and remaining 3/4 cup Parmesan and pepper;                                      
    Stir until smooth

    Stir in chicken and 1 cup mozzarella, adding more pasta cooking liquid if needed, until evenly coated
    Transfer to sheet with spinach and tomatoes
    Top with Panko mixture and rest of Mozzarella
    You can get to this step earlier in the day
    Then you just need to bake
    Place tray with pasta mixture, into preheated oven until cheese is melted and top is lightly browned, 5–7 minutes.

    If you have prepared earlier it make take a little longer maybe 10 minutes
    To make sure it is heated right through