Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Shop smart, cook clever, waste less

Read in the Qantas magazine yesterday that Jamie Oliver has a new book published, on how to be more frugal with our recipes and ingredients, use home grown produce, and shop at farmers markets etc, which strikes a chord with me, not that I am considering buying the book at the moment. I love recipe books though and will take a look at it. Instead of using cream imported from Switzerland or moss imported from Russia, buy local and waste less.

Then I saw Margaret Fulton interviewed,  who is advocating the same idea of supporting our local farmers more to ensure variety of produce, shop at the Farmers Markets, and grow your own if possible. Simplicity is key.

Great ideas and and I love the whole rustic approach to cooking and presentation.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Damper Scones

A Devonshire tea, with tea, scones, jam and cream,  is a must when spending time with family and friends. This is my no fail damper style scone recipe given to me by my neighbour, Jodie.


3 cups Self-Raising Flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 pinch salt
300ml cream + 300ml for whipping
300ml water
Jam, butter and extra cream for serving

  1. Pre-heat oven to 220*C.
  2. In a large bowl sift the flour and salt.
  3. Add the sugar.
  4. Pour in the cream.
  5. Add 1/2 the water and stir with a butter knife.
  6. Add the remaining water if required. Mix until like a bread dough mixture.
  7. Spray and flour a baking tray.
  8. Pour mixture onto tray.
  9. Score top with a sharp knife.
  10. Brush with milk.
  11. Cook in hot oven at 200*C for 17 to 20 mins.
  12. Allow to cool.

Low-fat Chicken Burritos Enchilada Style

Mexican food is so tasty and this Enchilada dish is easy as well. Ingredients can be easily increased to feed a crowd. I have also used  pre-cooked chicken for this recipe and that works well and saves time.


120g chicken breast fillet, chopped
1/2 cup shallots, chopped
1/2 cup green capsicum, chopped
1/2 cup 99% fat free canned re-fried beans
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp taco seasoning
2 tbs water
4 large tortillas
1/1/4 cups salsa
40g reduced fat tasty cheese, grated

Let's cook:
  1. Preheat oven to 200oC. Coat a small baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Coat a non-stick frypan with cooking spray and brown chicken. Add shallots, capsicum, and mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Add re-fried beans, parsley, taco seasoning and water to pan and stir over heat until combined.
  3. Spoon a quarter of the filling across the centre of each tortilla and roll up. Place in a baking dish and pour salsa over burritos. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
  4. Serves 4.
Serve with sliced fresh tomato and shredded lettuce.

Cherry Ripe Balls

I just found this recipe via a post on Facebook:  and I think it will be added to our Christmas repertoire this year.

Cherry Ripe Balls Recipe


  • 5-6 cherry ripe bars (6 if you want a stronger cherry ripe flavour, which I prefer)
  • 1 packet of Nice biscuits (alternately use choc ripple or any other biscuit)
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (get the Aldi’s brand if you can, as Nestle is a highly unethical brand – and Aldi’s is cheaper to boot)
  • Desiccated coconut for rolling
Makes about 30 if you use a heaped teaspoon size for the balls (as shown).

Cherry Ripe Balls Recipe – Method

  • Simply place the cherry ripe bars, biscuits and cocoa in a food processor and blend. Be careful if you have a stick/hand blender – several members have blown theirs up doing this! If you don’t have a food processor, you can use zip lock bags and attack them with a rolling pin – freezer bags are not thick enough and will break open.
  • Once you’ve got your mix ready, add the can of condensed milk, mix in well and roll into balls, covering with coconut. You might like to add some red food colouring to the coconut, or use red sprinkles instead of coconut or some other variation. Leave them to set in the fridge and you’re done!

Cherry Ripe Balls Recipe – Variations

We’ve had some great suggestions for variations to this recipe. You can substitute the cherry ripes for whatever you like – some members have tried mint slice, crunchie, peppermint crisp (these come out very gooey, I added around half a cup of coconut to try and ‘dry’ it out more!), boost bars, oreo, tim tam and more – even mixing a combination of them. You can also finish the balls by dipping them in chocolate to make them even naughtier!
If you don’t have or use Nice biscuits, you can use something similar like Marie, arrowroot or choc ripple (especially good with a peppermint bar substitute).

Cheat's Pad Thai

This recipe is take from the Food & Wine section of the Saturday Australian with David Herbert. I also add shredded chicken to this recipe.

Small bunch coriander
Vegetable oil, for frying
200g uncooked prawns, shelled
2 spring onions
1/2 long red chilli, chopped
300g fresh pad thai noodles
85g bean sprouts
1 egg, beaten with a fork
Juice 1 lime, plus wedges to serve
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon roasted peanuts, roughly chopped to serve.

Finely chop coriander stems and roughly chop leaves. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and fry prawns, spring onions, chilli and coriander stems for 1-2 minutes, or until prawns are pink. Add noodles, sprouts, egg, lime juice, fish sauce and sugar. Toss over high heat until egg is cooked and everything is combined and heated through. Remove from heat, stir in most of the coriander leaves, then divide between 2 large bowl. Scatter with remaining coriander and peanuts, and serve with lime wedges. Serves 2.