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RECIPE: Roasted Veggie Risotto

Colder weather means my kids love a warm lunch and who can blame them.  When the ice is still melting when they sit down to eat then a warm healthy lunch is perfect.  My slow cooker sadly stopped working earlier this year so I took advantage of the situation and upgraded to an all in one cooker.  I have never used a pressure cooker but I am quickly becoming a convert for things like this.  I popped this all in the cooker while I boiled the kettle and by the time we finished breakfast the kids and I had a delicious, healthy lunch ready for our thermos.  This recipe can also be cooked in the oven but will take a little longer.  I’ve included both methods so you can choose what suits.

Pressure Cooker Risotto Recipe

RECIPE: Roasted Veggie Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 litre Chicken stock
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of roasted veggies – used leftover pumpkin, sweet potato and carrot
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan cheese

 

Oven Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.  Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a 5-litre ovenproof dish with a lid over a medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until it is soft.  Add roasted vegetables and stir.
  3. Add the rice and stir so that it is coated with butter.  Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the  stock and bring to the boil.   Cover and place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  5. Remove from the oven and stir through the parmesan cheese.  Season with freshly ground pepper to taste.

Pressure Cooker Method:

  1. Add all the ingredients to the pot.
  2. Set to cook for 14 minutes in the pressure cooker.
  3. Vent steam as needed
  4. Season, add cheese and stir.  Enjoy!

Happy Cooking!

Natalie

RECIPE: Rainbow Blondies

All this cold weather is pushing me into the kitchen.  The kids and I recently made these delicious rainbow blondies and they were not only delicious but gave us some colour on a cold grey day.  These would be perfect for a cake stall, birthday party or as a special lunchbox treat.  Grab the aprons and the kids and have some fun in the kitchen over the holidays.

Rainbow blondies recipe

RECIPE: Rainbow Blondies

Ingredients:

  • 250g white chocolate, chopped
  • 125g butter, chopped
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 & 1/3 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup 100’s & 1000’s

Ganache

  • 180g white chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup thickened cream

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Combine butter, sugar, 125g white chocolate and milk in a medium saucepan.  stir over low heat for 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and chocolate is melted.  Transfer mixture to a large bowl and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk egg, flour and baking powder into cooled chocolate mixture until just combined.  Gently stir in remaining chopped chocolate and 1/3 cup 100’s & 1000’s.
  4. Pour mixture into the cake tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs clinging.  allow to cool completely in the pan.
  5. Make the ganache.  Place chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl.  microwave on 50% stirring with a metal spoon for 2 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Refrigerate for 1 hour until thick and spreadable.
  6. Spread blondies with ganache and sprinkle with remaining 100’s & 1000’s.  Stand for 20 minutes and cut into squares and serve.

Happy Baking!

Natalie

 

Recipe: Muesli Slice

Miss 11 enjoys lunch boxes as much as I do and often comes home with requests of what friends have in their lunch boxes.  Thankfully I’ve got great friends who share their winning recipes with me.  This recipe is a winner with Miss 11 and her bestie so I’m sure it will be a hit with your kids too.  I made a batch and popped some in the freezer for those days when the cupboard is bare.

Recipe: Muesli Slice

Recipe: Muesli Slice

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 & 1/2 cups wholemeal plain flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup mixed dried fruit
  • 60g butter
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Line a slice tin with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine oats, flour, mixed fruit and sugar.
  3. Place maple syrup and butter in a microwave jug and cook in the microwave on high for 2 minutes stirring once.
  4. Carefully mix in water and bicarbonate soda and pour into dry ingredients, mix to combine.
  5. Press into the tin and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Cool in the pan and slice.

Happy Baking!

Natalie

RECIPE: Baked Zucchini Chips

Master 9 has enjoyed growing zucchinis and tomatoes over summer and we’ve just enjoyed the last of them with this recipe in April.  I love that the garden brings him so much joy and I love watching him burst with pride when I serve a dish made from his harvest.  Of course, this year we have had to endure a puppy who too enjoys the garden but also likes to relocate our crops.  Needless to say, this year’s harvest was even more rewarding having survived a hot summer and a digging, chewing puppy.  If you love zucchini or are planning on growing some next summer then save this recipe.

zucchini recipes

RECIPE: Baked Zucchini Chips

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Panko Crumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 210C. Coat a cooling rack with oil spray and place on a baking sheet; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine Panko, Parmesan and Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  3. Working in batches, coat zucchini in flour, dip into eggs, then coat in crumb mixture, pressing to coat.
  4. Place zucchini onto prepared baking sheet.
  5. Place into oven and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Happy Baking!

Natalie

RECIPE: Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls

RECIPE: Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 1 cup warm water
  • ¾ cup room temperature buttermilk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 3 TB regular yeast
  • ½ TB salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 5-6 cups bread flour

Filling

  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cinnamon

Frosting

  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • enough milk to make it spreading consistency.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190C and line a lamington tray with baking paper and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, mix together water, buttermilk, sugar, melted butter and yeast. Allow to sit for 15 minutes..
  3. Add in salt, eggs and flour. Mix for 10 minutes and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Prepare your filling by mixing together melted butter, brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  5. On a floured service, roll dough into a 30 x 40cm rectangle.
  6. Spread your filling over the top and roll up. Cut into 12 large rolls, cut the ends and throw away.
  7. Place rolls on a lamington tray covered with baking paper.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  9. While baking, mix together the frosting ingredients. Spread on warm rolls and serve.

Happy Baking!

Natalie

RECIPE: Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

We’ve had sick kids for weeks now and so I thought what better lunch is there when you’re sick than soup.  This recipe is absolutely delicious, full of flavour and even better when you can throw all the ingredients in and let the slow cooker do all the work for you.  I have frozen the leftovers in batches so that I can send it to school in their thermos when the weather turns to freezing over the coming weeks.

Slow Cooker Recipes

RECIPE: Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1500ml Chicken stock
  • 600g chicken breast, whole
  • 1& 1/2 cups diced carrot
  • 1 & 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove. minced
  • 2 bay leaves, I used 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, I used 4 small sprigs of fresh thyme and removed the stems
  • 1 bundle of Soba Noodles, I used 2 and made it more like noodles than soup.

Method:

  1. Place all the vegetables and garlic into the slow cooker and place chicken breasts on top.
  2. Pour in stock and herbs.  Set to cook for 8 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and add the noodles and cook for another 20 minutes.
  4. Put the chicken back in the soup, stir and serve.

Enjoy!

Natalie

 

RECIPE: Chocolate Weetbix Slice

An easy, chocolate coconut slice that uses things in the pantry means it’s a winner in my house.  Perfect for the cake stalls and afternoon teas that are needed at both school and work.  This one has been around for years, it’s nothing new but it has fast become a classic in its own right.  Give it a go with the kids and you’ll be sure to impress.

 

RECIPE: Chocolate Weetbix Slice

RECIPE: Chocolate Weetbix Slice

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 weetbix biscuits crushed
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa, 2 for the base and one for the icing
  • 150g butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 & 1/2 cups icing sugar mixture
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • Freckles or 100’s & 1000’s to decorate

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.  Lightly grease a 16x26cm baking pan and line with baking paper.
  2. Break up biscuits and place into a medium mixing bowl with coconut and sugar.
  3. Sift flour and 2 tablespoons cocoa over the bowl and mix to combine.
  4. Melt butter and pour over the dry ingredients.  Add vanilla and mix well.
  5. Spoon mixture into a prepared pan and press down to level.  Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked.
  6. Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a small bowl.  Add water and stir well.  Ice slice and decorate with freckles or leave plain and cut into squares to serve.
  7. Happy Baking!

Natalie

Recipe: Lemon & Chia Seed Muffins

These zesty muffins were an instant hit in the lunch boxes and I had to quickly snaffle the rest away to the freezer.  If you’re after a tasty addition to the lunch box then grab the aprons and head to the kitchen with the kids.

Recipe: Lemon & Chia Seed Muffins

Recipe: Lemon & Chia Seed Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup lemon Greek yoghurt
  • 1 Meyer lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place eight muffin liners in a muffin tin.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together olive oil, sugar, yoghurt, and lemon juice and zest until fully combined. Add egg and vanilla, and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in two additions, stirring until just combined. Fold in chia seeds.
  5. Pour batter into muffin liners, filling 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until muffins are golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Happy Baking!

Natalie

RECIPE: Condensed Milk Vanilla Pound Cake

RECIPE: Condensed Milk Vanilla Pound Cake

RECIPE: Condensed Milk Vanilla Pound Cake

Sometimes I like to mix it up a little in the kitchen and try out new recipes.  I have been wondering about Pound Cakes for months as they continue to turn up on Pinterest and Facebook.  Master 9 loves vanilla and Miss 11 loves cake so I figured this one would be a winner, it didn’t disappoint.  I finally used my rose bundt tin which has been intimidating me for years and I must admit it wasn’t as scary as I thought.  This cake can be made in a loaf tin, sliced and enjoyed as a treat in a lunchbox or for when you’re on morning tea duty.  Pop on the aprons and have some fun making this with the kids, there’s plenty they can do for this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/3 cups plain flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C and grease a 22 x 11.5cm loaf tin
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar on a high speed until light and fluffy – about 2 minutes with paddle attachment in a stand mixer
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg until well blended.
  5. Add condensed milk and vanilla to the butter mixture and mix until combined.
  6. Slowly add the dry ingredients in with the mixer on low speed until well combined.  You may need to increase the speed as you go.
  7. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 60-65 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto a rack and cool completely.

Happy Baking!

Natalie

 

RECIPE: Apple Roses

This recipe did the rounds on social media a few years ago but I never had the right moment to make them until this year.  Miss 11 had a Beauty and the Beast birthday party and so I thought they were the perfect thing to serve at her high tea birthday celebration.  They were remarkably easy, delicious and perfect for our Belle.  If you’ve got a Beauty and the Beast party coming up or you just fancy making an impressive finish to a family dinner then give these a try.

Beauty and the Beast Recipes

RECIPE: Apple Roses

Ingredients:

  • 2 sheets of puff pastry, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons of jam, I used quince jelly but apricot or a berry jam would be great too
  • 2 red apples, cored, halved and thinly sliced
  • Plain flour for dusting the surface

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C and grease a 12 muffin tin with oil spray or butter.
  2. Microwave the apples in the bowl for about 3 minutes 800W, to make them slightly softer and easy to roll.  If you prefer, you can also simmer the apple slices with the water in a small pan (on the stove). The apple slices should be cooked just enough to bend without breaking. If they break, you need to cook them a little more.
  3. Sprinkle flour over your surface or baking mat. Using a rolling pin stretch the dough into a rectangular shape of about 30 x 22 cm. Cut the dough into 6 strips, each about 5 x 22 cm.
  4. In a bowl, place three tablespoons of apricot preserves with two tablespoons of water. Microwave for about one minute (or warm up on the stove) so that the preserves will be easier to spread. Spread a thin layer of preserves on each strip of dough.
  5. Arrange the apple slices on the dough, overlapping one another. Make sure the top (skin side) of the slices sticks a little out of the strip. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  6. Fold up the bottom part of the dough.  Starting from one end, carefully roll the dough, keeping the apple slices in place. Seal the edge at the end, pressing with your finger, and place in a regular muffin cup.
  7. Do the same for all 6 roses. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until fully cooked.  Make sure the pastry is fully cooked on the inside before removing the roses from the oven.  If after the first 30 minutes the apples start to burn on top, move the pan to a lower rack of the oven and finish baking. You can also cover loosely with aluminium foil for these last 10-15 minutes, to avoid burning the top. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.

Happy Baking!

Natalie

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