Category Archives: Eating

Self saucing microwave pudding; or Why I need to start exercising

Two blog posts that I’ve been meaning to write lately are probably connected so I guess it makes sense to join them.

Exercise. Something I haven’t really ever done consciously, it’s just always been part of my lifestyle – biking/walking to work. Although my two munchkins keep me moving plenty I’m feeling now that my youngest is one it’s time to focus on that pregnancy belly. So when I stumbled on to this link to fighting belly fat exercises the other day, I thought I should give it a go. Time will tell if I stick with it, and if it makes a difference, but maybe by writing it down here I’ve got a better chance of keeping it up.

Now, enter the evil microwave self-saucing chocolate pudding. Seriously. My belly fat does not need any help! But this is just so darn easy and SO good! I can’t even remember how I came across this recipe but it is decadent.

I basically follow what is in the linked blog post, summarised here:

  • Mix equal parts (~ 1.5 Tbsp): sugar, cocoa, self-raising flour, milk
  • Sprinkle with: /li> 1 tsp cocoa, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp water
  • Zap it for 30-40 seconds
  • Top with a little ice cream, or even milk, and enjoy!
  • Made this today while both girls napped and added a few pieces of chopped pear. Yum!


    Too hot to roast the chicken

    We’re working on budget meals in my house these days so when I saw a plump looking chicken in the shops for a good price I thought a roast chook would make a perfect mid week meal. Trouble is, we are having a bit of a heat wave so I didn’t want to turn on the oven…

    Enter the BBQ. No rotisserie spit in our hand-me-down barbecue so it was time for me to learn how to butterfly a bird.

    Yes, I’m 37 and I’ve never butterflied a chicken. Heck, most of the time I buy boneless/skinless breast and thighs so I don’t need to deal with the raw meat more than necessary. I have to admit – I liked chopping this bird up. Maybe I’ve become less squeamish or maybe I’m just more ready to accept where my food is coming from, but I liked preparing the chicken pieces myself.

    I followed these instructions for how to flatten a chicken, and used the honey balsamic glaze from that same recipe when barbecuing. I ended up just cutting it into quarters instead of leaving the two halves since by the time I’d taken out the backbone and breast plate they were only held together by skin.

    Easy, delicious, and economical.

    Homemade sausage rolls

    Didn’t get any pictures but I need to jot down how I made these because we all loved them!!

    Approx ingredients were:

  • 1 large yam
  • 5 green/spring onions
  • 1 large zucchini
  • handful of breadcrumbs
  • grated cheese
  • ~500gm quality sausage mince*
  • 2 eggs plus 1 white
  • 1 egg yolk for brushing tops
  • 6 sheets frozen puff pastry
  • Grate or finely chop all the veggies, mix well.
    Cut pastry to size and roll with sausage filling.
    Brush tops with yolk.
    Bake 20+ min in hot oven (180-200 C) on tray lined with baking paper.

    The first time I made these I took them out 5 min before finishing, mopped up any fat and flipped them over. I didn’t bother the second time and they were just as good.

    I’m sure you could put in different veggies and adjust the breadcrumbs based on how watery they are.

    * I used an Italian pork/veal/fennel blend from our local butcher

    Been rewatching The Sopranos

    So I thought is take a stab at Baked Ziti!

    Following this recipe, it’s pretty elaborate so I’ve split it over two days. Today I’ve made the Sunday Sauce and we’re having the meats and a bit of the tomato sauce on polenta. Mixed in a few frozen peas for colour and serving with creamy cauliflower soup.

    Will let you know tomorrow how the baked ziti works out!



    Update the next day…

    In the morning I was talking with the hubby about how elaborate making this baked ziti was and wondered if it might be easier to just use tomato sauce instead of the fancy many-meats Sunday Sauce. Well, that was before we tried a bit of the cold Sunday Sauce while I was assembling the Baked Ziti.

    “It’s like liquid meat,” he exclaimed.

    It was that good. Then combine it with pasta and three kinds of cheeses – wow.




    The under-appreciated Leek

    Every year it seems there is another trendy food: like coriander/cilantro, tarragon, pomegranate, coconut anything, etc. I’d like to nominate the humble leek. Lately I’ve found that many of our favourite recipes contain leeks and if I leave it out, the meal is bland.

    I make a mean creamy chicken mushroom casserole that is flavoured with tarragon and mustard but it is the leek that really nails it to make this one of our faves. Leeks can be added to pretty much any soup (butternut pumpkin with leek is a personal favourite). I love this chicken pot pie recipe, with leek of course. And of course a straight leek soup is heavenly.

    But tonight I tried a new recipe where I was surprised to find leek: Moroccan Lamb Eggplant Stew. Now I haven’t tried this recipe without the leek – but it was so good as is that I don’t this I’ll mess with it! I served it with couscous and we both loved it so much that we polished our plates before I had a chance to think about taking a photo. I don’t think miss 2 will be as big a fan as the adults are – a bit too spicy for her your taste buds, but we’ll try tomorrow anyways.

    What’s your favourite leek recipe?

    Coconut sugar cookies

    My first attempt at actually including my almost two year old in the baking process was making these sugar cookies. Somehow, we didn’t make too much of a mess, the cookies turned out great, and she learned a new word : cook.

    The recipe I loosely followed is based on a healthy sugar cookies recipe found here, but I tweaked the ingredients:

      Sift together

    • 1 cup plain flour
    • 2 cups self raising flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • pinch salt

    • 1/2 cup caster sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup butter
      Add to sugar/ butter and beat

    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 mashed banana
    • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
      Combine wet and dry, form into two balls and chill for at least an hour.
      Roll out dough, cut into shapes.
      Bake in 180 C oven for ~10 min.


    Modified Jamie’s 15 min gorgeous greek chicken couscous chicken

    When my second baby was born I received the Jamie Oliver cookbook 15 Minute Meals, five and a half moths later I’ve finally had a chance to try one of the recipes.

    I made a few changes to the recipe to make it easier (because Jamie’s 15 min is more like 60 for me) and to suit my tastes. It worked out so well and the whole family were fans so we’ll definitely be trying this again and others in the book.

    Earlier in the day I marinated 2 chicken breast with the juice of 2 lemons, oregano, allspice, olive oil.

    At dinner time, while the chicken was on the BBQ, I chopped up a couple of capsicum (red and green peppers), a small chili, and some spring onions.

    I didn’t want to think about flavouring the Couscous so I bought a package of seasoned feta cheese instead of dealing with herb choices. Lazy, I know, but the book’s version of this recipe called for dill and I’m not a huge fan.

    Mixed together: couscous, chopped veggies, cooked frozen peas, feta, and chopped BBQ chicken. Topped with store bough tzatziki (seriously Jamie, if I’m going to try and make a meal in 15 min I’m not going to make my own tzatziki!)

    If only is remembered to take pics before we ate it. Next time…