Thursday, February 25, 2016

Go green with Broccoli Bites, a very healthy sugar free snack for Adults and Children

Go straight to the recipe here:

Broccoli Bites

Broccoli Bites served with  tomato chutney

I am going green with Broccoli. What I love about these mini broccoli scones or mini fritters, however they fall onto the baking tray, is that they are only the size of a couple of mouthfuls. These little babies are small enough to enjoy a mouthful or two and if I want more, I just eat a few of them. Mind you they look larger in my photograph than they actually are. I don't look at them the same way as I do at savoury or sweet muffins in the coffee shops and think that I can't eat all of that. Purchased muffins are getting bigger and bigger, needing to be shared or just encouraging waste.  These ones also hold their shape without needing to be cooked in mini muffin pans. I really think they are meant to be Broccoli Balls, however I was in a hurry when I made these and took the photo, so they became mini fritters or mini pancakes. They still taste great. You can place your own stamp on them.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Flourless Chocolate Patty Cakes for Valentine's Day

Indulge yourself with these gluten free and very low sugar Chocolate Patty Cakes (Cupcakes)

I found this recipe on the Healthy Chef website and just had to make these as a treat for Valentine's Day ♡♡. They are deliciously moist with lots of rich chocolate flavour, low on sugar, and took inside 20 minutes to prepare. This is such a clever recipe, which can accommodate most allergies, and can be modified to suit the dietary requirements of most guests.

We have been very busy lately, planning a road trip from Cairns along the Savannah Way and into Western Australia and down to Perth. There will be some camping involved, and we will  also be staying in cabins and hotels when the muscles need some pampering. I have been planning some camping meals of course and Mr. HRK who has discovered online shopping for camping equipment, bought us a Dream Pot. We cooked our Corned meat and vegetables in our new Dream Pot a couple of nights ago which was exciting. It's like having an extra powerless slow cooker on hand to use in the kitchen. So now I am trying out new recipes and planning some meals for the trip. There will be more of that later on the blog. 

We are also going to be first time grandparents, hence the trip to Western Australia for the birth, so I am also extending my skills and sewing some little things for the new addition to the family. 

It is all very exciting, and lots of projects are in progress. These chocolate delights were a nice deviation from the other projects.

Flourless Chocolate Patty Cakes (Cupcakes)


1 ½ cups almond meal/ground almonds, or hazelnut meal
¼ cup good quality cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten free if needed)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla paste or extract
¼ cup  macadamia nut oil or olive oil (I used macadamia)
¼ cup full cream milk or almond or soy (your choice)
2 tablespoons organic maple syrup or honey

Let’s Cook:

Preheat your oven to 160 deg. C.
Combine the almond/hazelnut meal, cocoa powder and baking powder.
Add the eggs, oil, vanilla, milk  and honey, then mix well with a good spoon to form a smooth batter.
Spoon into 12 small individual patty tins or cases.
Bake for 25 minutes until risen and cooked through. They will start to crack slightly on the surface when cooked which looks nice.

Serve with Greek yoghurt or raspberry puree, or cover with chocolate icing, depending on the occasion, or serve just on their own.

If you are feeling very intolerant to gluten, lactose, or nuts etc this recipe works very well. Other substitutes can be used. e.g. For nut free cupcakes substitute almond meal for ¼ cup coconut flour, then increase number of eggs to 4, and add an extra tablespoon of honey or maple syrup.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Blueberry pancakes on Pancake Tuesday

Our good friend Paul arrived this morning with delicious blueberry pancakes for Pancake Tuesday, such a treat and a lovely surprise. Apparently Pancake Tuesday is an Anglican tradition, however this
recipe was taken from the old Presbyterian cookbook .  I'm sure I've got a copy somewhere.  There are so many recipe treasures contained in those old church and school cookery books.

Paul said this recipe is just two cups of everything.  What an easy way of remembering a recipe. I'm not great at remembering recipes but this sounds memorable.

Then this afternoon I hosted Mahjong so more cake.

A perfect day really, don't you think?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Marilyn's Heaven in a Bowl Custard



Jump straight to the recipe:

This is one of those recipes which I am sure will become part of the McNee clan's cooking repertoire. Marilyn goes back a long way as a teaching colleague of Neil's, and came to the Retiree's lunch at our place last week with a plum pudding left over from Christmas, a cheesecake, and this nostalgic custard. What I love about Marilyn's generation, is that she has no qualms about taking a shortcut with her cooking when necessary, hence the use of the Vanilla Instant pudding mix in this recipe. I should also mention she taught Home Economics for many years, hence her cooking, and her dressmaking etc is highly respected.

Neil was so excited by this custard, that I felt almost guilty that I don't cook more of it for him. In this heat we are experiencing at the moment, it is brilliant to be able to just mix up the ingredients for a recipe, chill it in the frig and it is ready. No cooking involved. I took a bowl of the custard which was leftover from the Retiree's lunch over to Kati's the following day for her birthday lunch. She found it in her frig that evening, and renamed it Heaven in a Bowl. I think she and little Leon ate it all in one sitting.

Neil remembers when the Vanilla Instant Pudding craze started when he was a just a boy living in Toowoomba. He often played over at his neighbour's house in the afternoons, where they sometimes made the pudding for dessert. Occasionally he was offered some, and as a lad he was in heaven when that happened. I don't remember my Mum ever using instant puddings, except perhaps jellies, as I think she cooked most things from scratch. However, in those days in Rockhampton they didn't frequent shops or the very scattered supermarkets as often as we do now.

The addition of the sprinkle of nutmeg in this pudding gives the dish an individual flavour, akin to that of homemade custard.

Marilyn’s “Heaven in a Bowl” Custard


1 Vanilla Instant Pudding (Cottee's) (found at Woolworths with the jellies, custards etc.)
300ml Cream
300ml Full cream milk (or concede and use low fat milk because of cream being added in the recipe)
Sprinkle of nutmeg


  1. Add milk and cream to a bowl.
  2. Sprinkle in the pudding mix.
  3. Beat with an electric hand beater until the mixture is thick enough.
  4. Sprinkle with ground nutmeg and mix in.
  5. Place covered bowl in the refrigerator and allow to set. This won't take long.
  6. Whilst this is a custard it will set as a pudding consistency.
  7. Serve with fresh fruit, frozen mango, plum pudding or whatever you are serving or just eat it on it's own as comfort food.