Archive for the Cooking Category

Lamb Salad ~ Thai Style

Posted in Cooking, Family, Friends, Random, Recipe on October 1, 2010 by Mandy



2 lamb eye of shortloin/backstraps
100 g salad leaves
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, sliced
1 red salad onion, thinly sliced
2 fresh mangoes, sliced
1 tbsp sweet Thai chilli sauce
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp chopped coriander or mint


1. Brush the lamb lightly with a little oil. Season each with salt and pepper. Preheat the char-grill pan or barbecue to hot before adding the meat.

2. Cook on one side until the first sign of moisture appears. Turn lamb once only.  Rare is soft, medium feels springy and well done is very firm. Remove lamb from heat, loosely cover with foil and rest lamb for 2 minutes before serving.

3. While lamb is resting toss salad leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, onion and mango slices in a salad bowl. Combine all remaining ingredients in a screw top jar and shake well to make a dressing. Slice lamb thinly on the diagonal. Toss the sliced lamb in the dressing, then with salad. Serve immediately.
Tips: Replace the with lamb eye of shortloin/backstrap with lamb fillet/tenderloin or lamb round or topside steaks.

You can use a brush to lightly oil the meat. Or you can use a light spray of oil.

Always rest meat after cooking. This gives the juices in the meat a chance to redistribute, giving a moister and more tender result. Transfer the roast to a plate and loosely cover with foil, stand the meat to rest in a warm place.

Chicken Breast with Pumpkin and Orange Butter

Posted in Cooking, Family, Friends, People, Random, Recipe on September 29, 2010 by Mandy

I once believed Pumpkins only came out on a Halloween night and with a glowing candle shimmering through the holes of its scary cut out face. Now I couldn’t imagine life without it, I love Pumpkin… is so easy to cook with, it cooks quickly, and has to be the most versatile vegetable of all!!  This recipe’s easy to make, absolutely juicy and tender and goes perfect on a bed of pumpkin.  Try it, you’ll love it!!


Finely grated rind of 1 orange
1 bunch tarragon, finely chopped
30g unsalted butter, softened
1 chicken breast, skin on
2 tablespoons olive oil
400g butternut pumpkin, diced
30g tablespoons butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
Juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons honey
100g green beans, steamed to serve


1. Preheat oven to 220’C.

2 Combine orange rind, tarragon and butter in a small bowl until well combined. Gently pull skin away from the chicken breast and stuff with 2 tablespoons of orange butter, reserving the remaining mix. Place in a baking paper-lined roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Remove chicken from pan and allow to rest. Reserve pan juices.

3. Cook pumpkin in a medium saucepan half filled with boiling water for 7-10 minutes or until tender. Drain well, return to saucepan and mash. Add butter, season with salt and pepper and mix to combine.

4. Heat a medium frying pan over a medium heat, add pan juices and onion and panfry until golden. Add orange juice and honey and reduce by a quarter. Add remaining orange butter and stir until butter has melted.

5. To serve, arrange a spoonful of pumpkin mash in the centre of a serving plate, top with chicken and drizzle with orange sauce. Serve with green beans on the side.

Pumpkin and Walnut Damper by Yvette

Posted in Cooking, Friends, Musings, People, Random, Recipe on September 22, 2010 by Mandy

Today I am honored to introduce you to my Australian girlfriend (now living in beautiful Italy).  Yvette has so much passion for cooking and creates the most interesting and mouth-watering culinary delights. Please visit her here and share in her stories about their vineyard, her love for roses and recipes.

 Each and every season has its colour palate and Autumn is no exception. Vivacious oranges and reds, yellows and burnt ambers…

 With all these wonderful warming hues, I couldn’t resist buying some fresh butternut pumpkin and making this recipe of pumpkin and walnut damper.

This recipe is one of our favourites, piping hot with a little melted butter. The original recipe is for a covered barbecue but works well in a hot conventional oven.

Recipe: Pumpkin and Walnut Damper 

3 cups self raising flour

50g butter

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 1/2 cups mashed pumpkin (about 600g pumpkin)

1/3 cup natural yogurt (approximately)

Line a 20cm round cake pan with oven proof paper. Place in a mixing bowl,sifted flour and rub in butter.Sir in nuts, pumpkin and enough yogurt to mix to a soft ,sticky dough.

Turn dough onto floured surface,knead until smooth.Place into prepared pan and cook in high oven for about 30 minutes or until damper sounds hollow when tapped.

The outside layer should be crusty.

This damper isn’t bread so the texture isn’t light, but delicious the same.Serve on it’s own or a great compliment with cheeses, dried fruits and nuts.Tasty-!

Have a look  at A Beautiful  Mess, pizza it is…and Beauty and Bedlam. who host Tasty Tuesday’s a great way to  bloghop, and catch up with some of the recipes and favourites around  our world.

Enjoy! Have a great Tuesday…


Thanks Yvette 🙂 xxx

Aussie Beef Burgers – Weekend bliss!!

Posted in Cooking, Family, Friends, Random, Recipe on September 20, 2010 by Mandy


500g beef mince
1 onion, finely diced
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp BBQ sauce
1 tsp Oregano Leaves
2 carrots, grated
2 tsp Thyme Leaves
2 eggs
½ cup breadcrumbs


1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

2. Divide mixture into 12 portions and roll into patties.

3. BBQ burgers on a medium heat for 7-8 minutes on both sides and serve on toasted buns with sliced tomato, beetroot and rocket.

Siciliamo (veal) with Crumbed Eggplant and Tomato Sauce

Posted in Cooking, Family, Friends, Musings, People, Random, Recipe on September 17, 2010 by Mandy

The weekend is upon us, this is an easy recipe for that late afternoon get together with your friends, one I intend making again this weekend (Sunday) Just a great day of doing nothing too much, except being treated to good food and lazing around!  It is an impressive meal, the name wants you to run out the back door but,  believe me when I say it truly is very special and so tasty.  You should give it a try…your family and friends will love you!!!!


Tomato Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
400g can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons caster sugar


150g slice veal topside
1 cup fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, crushed
¼ cup romano parmesan , grated
30g romano parmesan, thinly sliced
25g mild vecchiet salami, thinly sliced
1 egg, hard boiled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil

Crumbed Eggplant

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup plain flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 medium sized eggplant, cut into thin slices and halved
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C.

2. For tomato sauce, heat oil in medium saucepan over high heat. Add garlic, tomatoes and sugar and bring to the boil. Season with salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 8 – 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

3. Pound both sides of veal with a meat mallet until thin. Combine breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic and parmesan in a medium bowl and sprinkle over one side of veal.

4. Arrange cheese slices, salami and egg along the length of veal, leaving 2cm at each end. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Gently roll veal lengthways and using kitchen string, tie a knot at one end of the meat roll. Wrap the string along the meat roll lengthways tying knots all the way down the roll trying a final knot at the other end.

6. Heat oil a large frying pan over a high heat and cook for 2 – 3 minutes on all sides or until browned. Remove from pan and place onto a baking paper-lined baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Remove string and cut into 2-3cm slices.

7. For crumbed eggplant, combine breadcrumbs, cheese and parsley in a shallow dish. Place flour onto a plate and combine egg and garlic in a shallow dish. Dip eggplant, 1 slice at a time, into flour. Shake off excess. Dip into egg wash then coat with breadcrumb mixture, pressing crumbs firmly with your fingertips.

8. Heat oil in a large frying pan over a high heat and add eggplant in batches. Fry each slice for 1 – 2 minutes on each side or until crispy and golden, repeat with remaining eggplant slices. Remove from pan and place onto a plate lined with paper towel to drain.

9. To serve, arrange Siciliamo on top of tomato sauce with eggplant to the side.

Drumsticks with Parsley and Lemon….and more!!

Posted in Cooking, Family, Friends, People, Random, Recipe on September 16, 2010 by Mandy

A middle of the week dish…does not take long to prepare at all… approximately 10 minutes to get everything ready and 20 minutes later, you’ll have this juicy chicken drumsticks ready….I serve it on a bed of couscous to soak up those lovely juices but you can use mashed potatoes or whatever your preference.  The lemon juice makes this really succulent and gives it a different flavour. This is another one of the Masterchef recipe’s that I’m totally obsessed with.  Most probably the best investment I made in buying their latest cookbook…I am yet to come across a recipe that failed!!  Big Kudo’s to them I say!!!!


1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 large lemon
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 
8 chicken drumsticks (from deli)
2 truss tomatoes, diced
1 Sheppard avocado, diced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper


1. In a medium bowl combine the garlic, parsley, lemon rind, 3/4 juice of 1 lemon and olive oil. (Alternatively, the marinade can
be made by pulsing ingredients together in a food processor until just combined). Score the drumsticks by making 2 slits about 2 cm
apart on both sides of the drumstick with a sharp knife. Place the drumsticks in a large bowl and pour half of the parsley mixture over
the chicken, reserve other half of marinade. Mix well then cover and refrigerate for 10 mins.

2. Preheat a barbecue grill to medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook the drumsticks on the hot grill for
15-20 mins or until the chicken is cooked through to the bone, or to an internal temperature of 75°C.

3. In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, avocado, 1/4 juice of lemon and olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Spoon the tomato and avocado salad onto the centre of 4 serving plates and place 2 chicken drumsticks next to the salad on each plate. Drizzle the reserved parsley sauce over and around the chicken and serve.




1 x 85g packet  Original Raspberry Jelly

500g Marie biscuits, finely crushed

1 x 400g can sweetened condensed milk

3 cups desiccated coconut

1 tbsp cocoa powder


1.  Prepare the  Original Raspberry Jelly according to pack instructions and allow to cool, but do not set.
2.  Place the crushed Marie biscuits into a large mixing bowl and mix in the condensed milk, cooled Aeroplane Original Raspberry Jelly liquid, 1/2 cup of coconut and cocoa powder.
3.  Once combined, roll mixture into golf sized balls and then coat into the remaining coconut. Place rum balls into the fridge and set for 4 hours and serve.


Posted in Cooking, Family, Friends, Musings, Random, Recipe on September 15, 2010 by Mandy

The absolute best, richest and easiest one-bowl chocolate cake recipe! It’s heavenly and made by combining EVERYTHING in a food processor…and within just over an hour…”Bob’s your Uncle”!. 

Bob’s your uncle (sometimes elaborately Robert’s your father’s brother) is a commonly used expression mainly in Britain, Ireland and Commonwealth nations. Typically, someone says it to conclude a set of simple instructions to mean, “and there you have it,” or “you’re all set.” For example, “To make a ham sandwich, just put a piece of ham between two slices of buttered bread, and Bob’s your uncle.” 


200g butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 eggs
200g dark chocolate, melted
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
220ml thickened cream, whipped

Chocolate icing
1/3 cup thickened cream
200g dark chocolate, chopped


1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line base and side of 22cm (base) springform cake pan. Combine butter and sugar in food processor using the processing blade. Process until combined. Add eggs one at a time, process until combined. Add melted chocolate and process, scrapping down sides as required. Add the flour, cocoa powder and milk. Us the pulse button in short bursts until combined.
2. Spoon cake batter into cake pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand for 10 minutes in pan before releasing the side. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
3. Use a serrated knife to cut the cake in half. Place the base onto a cake stand or serving plate. Spread with whipped cream. Sandwich together with cake top.
4. For the icing, combine the cream and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring with a metal spoon until melted and smooth. Pour warm icing over the cake, allowing it to drizzle down the sides. Stand 15 minutes to allow icing to set.


Scrumptious Pot Pie with mushrooms, veggies and Golden Mash.

Posted in Cooking, Personal, Random, Recipe on September 14, 2010 by Mandy

My American friends are entering cooler weather soon and for that middle of the week comfort food, this is the perfect recipe to fill you with warmth, love and just happiness all around. This easy and delicious recipe simply uses just a handful of ingredients but produces mouth-watering results that can be enjoyed by all. You will come back for more, I promise!!! 


2 tsp oil
750g lean beef mince
200g button mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, cut into 1cm dice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup plain flour
1 x 1 litre pack  Real Stock – Vegetable
1 cup frozen peas
1 sheet frozen ready-rolled puff pastry, just thawed
800g potatoes, peeled, diced


1. Preheat oven to 220ºC.

 2. Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add mince, mushrooms, carrots and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until browned.

3. Stir in flour. Gradually add 2 cups Real Stock and stir until combined. Bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens.

 4. Stir in peas then transfer to a 1 ½ litre (6 cup) capacity pie or casserole dish. Top with pastry and trim any excess. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

 5. Meanwhile to make mash, place potatoes and remaining stock in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 10 – 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Drain potatoes reserving the stock. Mash potato, adding enough reserved stock to make a smooth mash. Serve with the pie.


Posted in Cooking, Family, Friends, People, Random, Recipe on September 13, 2010 by Mandy



1 x 1 Litre pack  Real Stock -Chicken
1 leek, finely sliced
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
2 tbsp olive oil
1kg green king prawns, peeled, cleaned, tails removed*                       
3 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup white wine
200g punnet cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, shredded
½ cup cream


1. Heat stock in a saucepan on medium heat until almost simmering. Reduce heat to low. 

2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large heavy based pan over medium heat. Add leek and cook for about 2 minutes or until soft. Add the rice and stir until well coated with oil. 

3. Add a ladleful of the heated stock, stirring until the liquid is almost absorbed. Continue the process, adding a ladleful of stock at a time until all the stock has been added and the rice is just cooked.  This should take about 15-20 minutes.  Place lid on risotto, and set aside. 

4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add the prawns and cook for about 2 minutes, turning once until just cooked.  Add wine and cook for 1 minute or until wine has reduced by 1/2.   Add cherry tomatoes, basil and cream and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the cream has thickened slightly.

5. Gently stir the prawn mixture into the risotto.   Garnish with extra basil leaves if desired.

Chicken and Spinach Lasagne

Posted in Cooking, Family, Friends, Random, Recipe on September 9, 2010 by Mandy

I know it’s heading towards cooler weather for my American friends and someone  special asked me to post a lasagna recipe…so without further ado…here it is…it’s a personal favourite of mine and has a special place at my table!!  Enjoy oxox


1 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
500g chicken mince
4 tbsp tomato paste
400g can diced tomatoes
500ml pack  Real Stock – Salt Reduced Chicken
6 instant dried lasagne sheets
80g baby spinach
125g light cream cheese
1 cup grated tasty cheese


1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Heat oil in a saucepan over high heat. Add onion & garlic, cook for 2 mins.

 2. Add chicken mince & cook until browned.

 3. Stir in tomato paste, tomatoes & stock. Bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce heat & cook for 10 mins, stirring occasionally.

4. Spread some of the chicken sauce on the base of a 1 ½ Litre (6 cup) capacity lasagne or baking dish.  Top with three lasagne sheets. Continue layering with chicken sauce, baby spinach & remaining lasagne sheets, finishing with chicken sauce. Top with small dollops of cream cheese then sprinkle over grated cheese. Bake for 20 mins or until golden brown.

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