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RECIPE: Chicken and Cashew Tray Bake

I am forever on the hunt for quick and easy, nutritious and delicious family dinners.  This chicken and cashew tray bake ticked all the boxes for me and was a winner after rugby training.  I cooked rice in the rice cooker and had all the vegetables and chicken prepped before we left.  If you’re after an easy weeknight dinner, then give this a try.

weeknight dinner recipes

RECIPE: Chicken and Cashew Tray Bake

Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 6 tablespoons salt reduced soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • ¾ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon fresh minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • ½ cup water plus more as needed to thin out the sauce

Chicken and vegetables

  • 2 medium skinless boneless chicken thighs or breasts cut into small cubes
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2  of bunches of broccolini, cut the stalks up as well or 1 ½ cups broccoli florets about 1 head
  • red capsicum, diced
  • 2/3 cup roasted unsalted cashews

Method:

For the sauce:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, honey, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, cornflour and water until combined.
  2. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and bubbles. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the chicken and vegetables:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a large sheet pan with baking paper or foil, spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Season chicken with salt and black pepper then drizzle spoonfuls of sauce over the chicken coating well on both sides. Reserve at least half of the sauce for later.
  3. Cook in preheated oven for 8 minutes then remove the pan.
  4. Arrange the broccoli florets, capsicum and cashews in a single layer around the chicken. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and drizzle spoonfuls of the sauce and toss everything to coat.
  5. Return to the oven and cook for another 8-12 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.
  6. Remove pan from oven and drizzle with remaining sauce. Serve over rice or quinoa and garnish with shallots and sesame seeds, if you like.

Happy Cooking!

Natalie

 

RECIPE: Halloumi, Vegetable and Pearl Couscous Salad

Lemons and chargrilled vegetables remind me of lazy summer days.  This winter has got me longing for BBQ’s, warm days and carefree living with the kids so I decided to hunt out a new recipe to help get me through the last of winter.  This salad is absolutely divine and served warm alongside some meat from the bbq, it will be devoured before your eyes.  Reheat the leftovers, if there are any, for lunch the next day.

salad recipes

RECIPE: Halloumi, Vegetable & Pearl Couscous Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups pearl couscous
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 2-3mm thick slices
  • 200g halloumi, cut into 3mm thick slices
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1/2 cup basil, shredded
  • 1/2 cup continental parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 red capsicums, chargrilled and shredded, you can use some out of a jar.
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat a large heavy based fry pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and once hot add the pearl couscous and the garlic. Toast the couscous for a minute or so and then add the stock. Bring to a simmer and then turn down the heat and allow it to continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes until water is absorbed and the couscous is al dente.
  2. Add tomatoes and half the parsley to the couscous, stir through. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
  3. Wipe the pan clean and put back on medium-high heat. Add a little bit of olive oil and cook the zucchini in batches until they have some colour and are cooked through.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Wipe the pan again, put it back on the heat and once hot add your halloumi slices. Cook for a minute or two on each side until golden.
  5. Toss the zucchini and capsicum through the couscous along with the remaining parsley, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  6. Season with salt and black pepper then scatter with the halloumi and basil. Drizzle with olive oil and serve in a large bowl.

Happy Cooking!

Natalie

RECIPE: Coffee Caramel Slice

Not being a coffee drinker I didn’t think I would like this slice but was after something different to serve for morning tea with friends.  The coffee in this easy no-bake recipe was so delicious with the caramel that I’m on the lookout for similar recipes.  If you need a new morning tea recipe, give this one a try.

caramel slice recipe

RECIPE: Coffee Caramel Slice

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter, chopped
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee
  • 250g malt ‘o’ biscuits crushed
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 200g milk chocolate, chopped

Method:

  1. Grease and line a slice tin with baking paper, making sure the paper extends over the edges.
  2. Combine butter, condensed milk, golden syrup and coffee in a small saucepan over low heat and cook stirring for 5 minutes, or until melted.
  3. Increase the heat and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring for 5 minutes or until thickened slightly.
  4. Combine crushed biscuits and almonds in a large bowl, stir in butter mixture until well combined.
  5. Press biscuit mixture into the prepared pan, level the surface and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
  6. place chocolate in a small bowl and melt chocolate in the microwave at 50%, stirring every 30 seconds.
  7. Pour chocolate over the biscuit base and level the surface.  Place back in the fridge for an hour or until the chocolate has set.  Cut into squares and enjoy.

Happy cooking!

Natalie

 

RECIPE: Mars Bar Fudge

Ok, so this is not a lunch box treat and nor is it made for school, in fact, I think this is best served at work morning tea or sold at the school fete’s cake stall.  Whatever you do, do not let the kids discover this one because I promise you if they do you won’t get any!

 

mars bar recipes

RECIPE: Mars Bar Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 4 Mars Bars, chopped
  • 400g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 395g tin of condensed milk

Method:

  1. Line a square cake tin with baking paper and set aside.
  2. Place the milk chocolate and condensed milk into a medium saucepan over a low heat.
  3. Cook the condensed milk and chocolate until the chocolate has melted and the ingredients have combined.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and quickly stir through the mars bars.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and place in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours to set.
  6. Remove the fudge and cut into squares
  7. Find a place to hide it from the rest of the family :)

Happy cooking!

Natalie

 

RECIPE: Berry Yoghurt Muffins

Mixed berries are always popular in our house and are devoured whether they’re fresh or frozen.  These delicious muffins are happy with either fresh or frozen berries which makes them an all year round lunch box treat in our house.  I love baking and freezing our treats so that I know I have a ready supply for the impromptu after-school catch-up or crazy day lunchbox.  If you have a berry fan, give these a try.

berry recipes

RECIPE: Berry Yoghurt Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 250g mixed berries washed and hulled, I used half strawberries and half blueberries
  • 2& 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup extra-light olive oil
  • 1 & 3/4 cup strawberry yoghurt

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190C.  Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases.
  2. Chop half the strawberries and cut the remaining halves into wedges.  Leave the blueberries whole unless they are really big.
  3. Combine flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar in a bowl.  Add egg, oil, yoghurt and chopped strawberries & blueberries.  Stir until just combined.
  4. Spoon mixture into cases and press strawberry wedges into the top.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until browned and firm to touch.  Stand in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer onto a rack to cool.

Happy Baking!

Natalie

 

 

 

RECIPE: Zucchini, Halloumi & Sprout Fritters

Fritters are a great way to get some extra veggies into the kids.  These fritters, just like the humble brussel sprout divided our table in an instant!  Hubby and I loved them with the word “addictive” being thrown around, the kids, on the other hand, reached for the salad.  If your family loves sprouts or you would like to try a new fritter recipe then give this one a go, just be prepared for the grumbles if they aren’t a favourite.

 

Zucchini fritters

RECIPE: Zucchini, Halloumi & Sprout Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 400g Brussels sprouts, finely shredded
  • 2 zucchini, grated
  • 225g halloumi, grated
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1/2 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/3 cup milk

Method:

  1. Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat.  Add the sprouts and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until they are tender.
  2. Transfer sprouts to a medium bowl and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the zucchini, halloumi and egg and stir to combine.
  4. Add the flour, milk and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.  Pour 1/4 cup portions of mixture into the pan, allowing room for spreading.
  6. Cook for 2 minutes or until golden underneath.
  7. Turn and cook for a further minute until golden and cooked through.
  8. Transfer onto a plate and repeat until you have used all the mixture.
  9. Serve with a salad and some greek yoghurt or just enjoy them on their own.

 

Happy cooking!

Natalie

 

RECIPE: Easy Slice

This delicious slice is a superhero, able to change and adapt to the taste buds of the whole family.  Once you have made the base you can add any icing you like such as passionfruit or even coffee.  Give it a try this weekend for an easy no fuss treat to enjoy with the family.

RECIPE: Easy Slice

RECIPE: Easy Slice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 1 egg

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.  Grease and line a slice tin with baking paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, place all ingredients in and mix to combine.
  3. Pour mixture into the pan and bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Let the mixture cool then ice and decorate as you like.  Cut into serves and enjoy!

Happy Baking!

Natalie

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

 

 

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