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RECIPE: Quince Paste

Quince is a fruit that is not often used, well not in my circles anyway.  Many years ago we discovered quince jelly and it is sensational on fresh toast with a cup of tea in the morning.  Since that fateful taste my husband decided we needed our own quince tree.  It’s pretty blooms excite us every spring when we think of our autumn harvest and cook up. This year I decided that we would also make quince paste instead of throwing the fruit away after the jelly was made.  I love quince paste with a sharp cheddar or manchego cheese on a lazy afternoon with friends and now we have 2 trays full of paste for a few hours work and a couple of dollars.  If you’re keen to tackle the quinces then give this recipe a try when you’re bottling up you quince jelly.

Homemade quince paste

RECIPE: Quince Paste

Ingredients:

  • 1.8 kilos of quince, washed, peeled, cored and roughly chopped.
  • 2 strips of lemon peel, no white part
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • about 4 cups of white sugar, yes now you know why it tastes so good and why you have a small amount.

 

Method:

  1. Place the quince and lemon peel in a large pot and cover with water.  Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook until the quinces are soft, approx, 30-45 minutes.
  2. Strain the water from the puree (use this for your jelly, the recipe is here).  Keep the lemon peel with the quince and puree the fruit in a food processor.
  3. Measure the puree and add the same quantity of sugar.  If you have 4 cups of puree you need 4 cups of sugar.
  4. Heat the puree and sugar on a medium- low stove.  Stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Add the lemon juice.
  5. Cook on a low heat until thick and dark pink, approx 1-2 hours.  Stir occasionally but be careful of it bubbling and burning you.
  6. Line a slice tray with baking paper and pour the puree in.
  7. Bake in a low oven 75C for a few hours until set.  Allow to cool then place in the fridge.
  8. Cut into portions and wrap in cling wrap until needed.

Enjoy!

Natalie

RECIPE: Mexican Chicken Dip

Here is a fast and easy dinner idea or warm dip to share at a winter BBQ.  This dip was a hit a recent trivia night we went to and I suspect had something to do with us being in a tie-breaker.  Well, probably not really but I like the idea.  If you’re after a quick dinner with a BBQ chook then give this a go after training or at the end of a long school week.

RECIPE: Mexican Chicken Dip

RECIPE: Mexican Chicken Dip

Ingredients:

  • BBQ Chicken, skin removed and meat shredded
  • 1 jar tomato salsa
  • 400g can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of shredded tasty cheese
  • 1 avocado chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion finely diced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup coriander
  • Corn chips to serve

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan forced. Remove the meat and skin from the chicken. Discard the bones and skin. Chop chicken and place the chopped chicken in a lightly greased shallow ovenproof dish. Stir in the tomato salsa.
  2. Drain and rinse the black beans.  Sprinkle the beans over the chicken mixture. Top with cheese. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the mixture is bubbling.
  3. Combine the avocado and lemon juice in a bowl and stir to combine.  Add sour cream and onion and stir.
  4. Spread avocado mixture over the top of the cheese and sprinkle with coriander.
  5. Serve with a bowl of corn chips and dip and enjoy.

This dish could also be served onto tortillas for a mexican feast.

Enjoy!

RECIPE: Blueberry Zucchini Cake

Our veggie patch is exploding with zucchini’s, so I had to find some new recipes fast!  This cake is moist and the zucchini undetectable to both Miss 11 and hubby, that made my heart sing!  I made this cake in a rectangle tin and cut it up into portions and froze for an easy lunch box treat.  If you need a recipe to use up your zucchinis or just want a new treat recipe then give this one a try.

lunchbox treats

RECIPE: Blueberry Zucchini Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup oil of your choice, I used extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons Vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups grated and drained zucchini, you can peel if you wish to hide the green
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon bi-carb soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 punnet of blueberries, washed

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 175C and grease a lamington pan.
  2. Squeeze the moisture out of the zucchini and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar together.  Fold in the zucchini.
  4. Slowly add in the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Gently fold in the blueberries and pour the batter into your prepared lamington pan.
  5. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Cool for 20 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a wire rack.
  7. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve or cut into portions and freeze.

Happy Baking!

Natalie

 

 

Recipe: Lemon Chicken & Parmesan Rissoles

Lunch boxes can get a little boring for me so I’m always after quick and tasty protein to add to my salad.  These rissoles have a delight zesty zing which is delicious served with a garden or greek salad.  Whilst these are great in the lunchbox they are always welcome on my dinner table as well.  If you’re after a bit of zing midweek or something different in then give these a try.

 

Recipe:

Recipe: Chicken, Lemon & Parmesan Rissoles

 

Ingredients:

  • 500g chicken mince
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind, finely grated ( I zested a whole lemon for added zing)
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • Olive oil for frying

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper
  2. Combine mince, egg, garlic, breadcrumbs, lemon & parmesan cheese in a medium bowl and make rissoles.
  3. Place flour on a plate and coat the rissoles after you have rolled them.  Place on a clean plate, cover with glad wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes
  4. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over a medium heat.  Cook rissoles in batches, for one to two minutes or until browned.
  5. Place browned rissoles on the baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through.

Happy cooking!

Natalie

RECIPE: Zucchini, Mushroom and Bacon Slice

This delicious slice is perfect to pop in the lunchboxes.  I made a batch that only lasted a few days in our house because it was so tasty.  The recipe comes from Taste.com.au and is a quick and delicious was to get some more veggies into the lunch boxes.

RECIPE: Zucchini, Mushroom and Bacon Slice

RECIPE: Zucchini, Mushroom and Bacon Slice

Ingredients:

  • 250g zucchini zoodles or grated and moisture squeezed out.
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 250g diced bacon
  • 200g sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 240g smooth ricotta
  • 7 eggs
  • 1/2 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 165g tasty cheese, grated

 

Method:

  1. Line a lamington pan with baking paper and preheat the oven to 180c.
  2. Heat oil in a medium frypan and cook onion until soft,  add bacon and cook until lightly brown.  Add mushrooms and stir until golden and soft.  Remove from heat and cool.
  3. Place the ricotta in a large bowl.  Add eggs one at a time and whisk after each addition until smooth.  Whisk in flour, and baking powder until combined.
  4. Stir in half the cheese and the bacon mixture and mix well.
  5. Pour into the pan and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes until set.

 

Happy baking!

Natalie

 

Recipe: Australia Day Trifle

We’re celebrating Australia Day with a BBQ and friends on Friday and apart from lamb on the bbq we were after an Aussie dessert.  Australia Day trifle came to mind and has been tried and tested by the family so we’re set for some fun.  If you’re celebrating with friends this weekend or just enjoy a trifle then give this quick and easy dessert a go.

Australia Day recipe

Recipe: Australia Day Trifle

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 slab store purchased unfilled sponge cake
  • Sweet sherry
  • Red jelly crystals
  • Blue jelly crystals
  • 500mls custard
  • 500mls thickened cream
  • 1 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essences
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries

Method:

  1. Make the red jelly according to the instructions on the packet.  Pour the jelly mixture into a medium round glass bowl.  Add some chopped strawberries to the jelly.  Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 4 hours to set.
  2. Make the blue jelly according to the instructions on the packet and pour into a container to set in the fridge.
  3. Cut the slab sponge up into 3cm cubes and place into a shallow container.  Pour over 1/4 – 1/4 cup of sweet sherry so that there is enough for the cake to soak up.  Place cake into the fridge.
  4. Once the jelly is set, remove from the fridge and get ready to assemble.
  5. Place the cake on top of the red jelly and pour custard over the top.
  6. Cut the blue jelly up and cover the custard layer with the blue jelly.
  7. Pour the thickened cream, sugar and vanilla into a medium bowl and mix until the cream is whipped, making soft peaks.
  8. Cover the blue jelly with the thickened cream and decorate with strawberries and blueberries.  Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.

Happy Australia Day!

Natalie

 

 

RECIPE: Green Bean, Sugar Snap Pea and Cranberry Salad

Christmas may be over but our BBQ season will be here for a while yet.  I love BBQ’s and I’m always on the hunt for a new and exciting salad to add to the repetoire.  This delicious salad still hints of the festive season with its colours and I’m grateful that I found it on Donna Hay’s website.

RECIPE: Green Bean, Sugar Snap Pea and Cranberry Salad

RECIPE: Green Bean, Sugar Snap Pea and Cranberry Salad

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 250g Green bean, trimmed
  • 250g Sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup craisins

Method:

  1. Place the vinegar, garlic, sugar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Cook the beans and sugar snap peas in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 2 minutes or until tender. Drain and refresh under cold water.
  3. Place on a dish and sprinkle with the pine nuts and cranberries.
  4. Drizzle with the red wine vinegar dressing to serve.

Enjoy!

Natalie

RECIPE: Aussie Christmas Salad

I’ve been looking for a few new salad recipes.  I love Donna Hay’s recipes but this one had a few ingredients I didn’t have so I substituted and it was delicious.  We loved the flavours and the colours are perfect for a hot Aussie Christmas.  If you’re after a new salad, give this one a try;

Quinoa Salad Recipe

RECIPE: Aussie Christmas Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups White quinoa
  • 750ml Water
  • 3 bunches asparagus, trimmed, blanched and chopped
  • 100g Fetta cheese
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • Cracked pepper
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water

Method:

  1. Place the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and reduce heat to low.
  2. Cook for 12 minutes or until almost tender.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to steam, covered, for 5 minutes or until tender and the water has absorbed. Set aside to cool.
  4. To make the pomegranate dressing, place the honey, balsamic glaze, oil and water in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  5. Place the cooled quinoa and half the dressing in a bowl and toss to combine.
  6. Top with the asparagus, fetta cheese, pomegranate seeds, and almonds.
  7. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and sprinkle with pepper to serve.

Enjoy!

Natalie

RECIPE: Mint Slice Balls

I made these delicious chocolate mint balls for a P&C meeting because sometimes they run for a few hours and I need something to keep me awake.  Needless to say, they were enjoyed by all including my kids who managed to snaffled a few away for their lunchboxes.  These would make a great gift for Christmas tied up in little bags.  If you’re after an easy gift idea or something to share at the next Christmas party then give these a try.

RECIPE: Mint Slice Balls

RECIPE: Mint Slice Balls

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet mint slice biscuits
  • 80g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • Desiccated coconut for coating

Method:

  1. Place some coconut into a small bowl and line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Place the biscuits in the food processor and pulse until crumbled.
  3. Add the cream cheese and blend until it combines.
  4. Using damp hands roll the mixture into small balls and place on the baking tray until you have used all of the mixture.
  5. Roll the balls in the coconut and place in the fridge until required.

Enjoy!

Natalie

RECIPE: Peppermint Crisp Slice

The kids and I love peppermint so making this slice didn’t take much convincing.  It was incredibly easy and even better that there was no baking involved!  I think this could tie in beautifully as Christmas gifts or as a plate to share at a Christmas party, just swap the peppermint crisps for candy canes for some added festive colours.  Get out the aprons, food processor and slice tin and have some fun in the kitchen with the kids.

No Bake Peppermint Slice

RECIPE: Peppermint Crisp Slice

Ingredients:

  • 250g Marie biscuits
  • 1 tin Sweetened condensed milk
  • 140g Peppermint crisp bars (4 in total)
  • 200g Chocolate, milk or dark

Method:

  1. Line a slice tin or square cake tin with baking paper.
  2. In a food processor, crush the biscuits and empty into a medium bowl.
  3. Crush the peppermint crisp bars in the food processor and put 3/4 of them into the bowl, pout the rest aside to decorate the slice.
  4. Mix the biscuits and peppermint crisp together to combine.  Add the sweetened condensed milk to the bowl and stir to combine.
  5. Pour the mixture into the tin and push down with a spoon to make it smooth.
  6. Melt the chocolate in the microwave on 50% for 2 minutes, stirring often until melted.
  7. Pour melted chocolate over the slice base and sprinkle with remaining crushed peppermint crisps to decorate.
  8. Place in the fridge for a couple of hours to set then slice and serve.

Happy cooking!

Natalie

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