Friday, 11 June 2021

In My Kitchen, June 2021

It's Winter, we're loving the change of season, and hot delicious beef pies are always popular here in tropical North Queensland when the weather turns so chilly. It's been down to 5 degrees the last two mornings, however the days are sunny and sublime but still cool. I made a dozen Beef Pot Pies last week, it was an easy way to feed 11 people, with one left for us for lunch the following day. Tennis players are hungry people. It's a pleasure to be in the kitchen right now, however I am torn, as the garden is also calling me for attention, and the beautiful sunshine outside is demanding to be enjoyed. This post is part of the monthly In My Kitchen series, a global event,  hosted by the lovely Sherry from Sherry's Pickings. I hope you enjoy it.

I used my Aussie Beef  Saltbush Stew recipe to  make the these  Beef Pot Pies. I kilo of beef chuck steak cooked up beautifully in the slow cooker, and was the perfect amount for 12 pies. I topped the meat up with some separately sauteed mushrooms, and they were delicious. The red wine I added just might have helped as well. Luckily I have 12 matching white ceramic dishes, so I  spooned the beef filling into the dishes, and then used bought puff pastry to cover them. Normally I would make my own shortcrust pastry, but I had a sticky date pudding to cook as well so I took a shortcut with the pastry. They were delicious. I used an egg wash of beaten egg and a little bit  of milk, so that they browned up as required. Here's the link to the Beef Stew recipe if you missed it before. I posted about my Sticky date pudding quite a few years ago when I was new to blogging, and that post needs updating, however I use that recipe all the time, it's delicious. Here's the Sticky Date Pudding link.

These are the photos of the Beef Pot Pies being cooked and assembled.

Ready for cooking in the Slow Cooker

Waiting for the Puff Pastry

 In my last post about my Greek Inspired Cauliflower, I mentioned a Speed Peeler, and asked if anyone had one or had heard of it. The reason was that Jamie Oliver mentioned one in his Cauliflower recipe that I had based my recipe on. No-one seems to have heard of it. Well no surprises that when I googled it, a speed peeler is one of Jamie's kitchenware products, available on sale at Woolworths here in Australia, probably in the UK and other countries too.  I'm not rushing out to buy one as I think my vegetable peelers do a great job, and I think I might have bought one like this before during my long culinary vegetable peeler purchasing history, which has since broken as they all eventually seem to do, for me anyway.

Here is the link to the infamous 3 in one Speed Peeler if you want to take a look.

Jamie Oliver 3 In 1 Speed Peeler Each | Woolworths. Mystery solved.

I've also been doing a little bit of online shopping, and bought a 12 cup Mini Bundt Pan from Kitchen Warehouse. I  still have to try this tray out, but I have a nice little bundt cake recipe in mind which I was so excited about when I first saw it. It might have to wait in the queue though until after the holidays.

Red Rosellas, also known as native Hibiscus are fruiting well up here in the North. Friends P & J left for holidays a couple of weeks ago, and as a parting gesture suggested that I pick the rosellas from their bush and make jam or whatever I wish with them. They've been picked, this is them in the photos below, so perhaps this weekend they will transform into Jam, if not, they will be deseeded and frozen until I have more time. However, if you have any ideas about what else I can do with them, I would love to hear from you.  Rosella jelly is also an option. Rosella Jam is one of my favourite jams, delicious with hot scones and cream, and lots of it.

Freshly picked rosellas

Rosellas still on the bush

We always eat salmon at least once a week, and this is generally a simple meal with vegetables, or I might bake it in alfoil with fresh grated ginger, soy sauce and vegetables.  However this time I was excited that I could add some of our home grown radishes to our plate, which were very crisp and mild flavoured, and sprinkled with delicious home grown dill. It's impossible to grow this herb here in the tropics in Summer as the humidity results in a white mildew forming all over the plant. I have three dill plants growing so well at the moment so I'll be using dill as often as I can in the kitchen during Winter. I just love the flavour. Notice the salmon skin will peeled off, and that is a treat for Locky our dog.

Last Wednesday night was the first match in the State of Origin Rugby League football season, where Queensland and New South Wales battle it out on the football field for supremacy. It's an historical competition, where players are selected according to the State they grew up in, either Queensland or New South Wales, not the team they play for so there is a lot of passion involved.  Townsville, also in tropical North Queensland scored the sought after location for the first match last night as Covid ruined the chances of the usual southern City rivals hosting the match. This was the first ever match held outside an Australian  capital city and Townsville and Queenslanders were on a high. So was Mr. HRK who has a very strong inherited football gene running through his veins. So he cooked dinner from scratch, and I have called his pizza, Make It Like a Man Pizza. He did very well and it was delicious.

He made the dough from scratch, cooked the pizza on a granite block in the BBQ of course, as that's what a man does. He used the Turkish flatbread recipe we used a few weeks ago for our Turkish Feast dinner and it was crispy and delicious and much quicker than the traditional pizza dough recipes we have used before. He halved the Turkish flatbread recipe as we only needed two pizzas,

Firstly the Cooks note: This recipe makes 4 large flatbreads, however if you prefer them smaller like pita bread,  cut the dough into 8 portions. 

If you can't find Greek style yoghurt, use regular yoghurt and reduce the water  in the recipe to 1 1/4 cups.

The flatbreads also make crispy and delicious bases for pizza. The smaller ones are excellent as pita or pocket breads.

Use plenty of plain flour when you are rolling out the flatbreads to prevent them sticking to the bench, and use a floured rolling pin


(No oil needed to cook)

4 cups Plain Flour 

1 sachet (7 grams or .25 ounce) active dry yeast 

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C, if you are pedantic, we're not)

1/2 cup Greek-style yoghurt

1 tablespoon white sugar

1/2 tablespoon salt (the original recipe used 1 tablespoon but we thought it was slightly too salty, up to you)


1. Dissolve the yeast, sugar and salt in a small bowl with the warm water. Add the water and the yoghurt to the flour and mix well. The dough will be nice and soft but not sticky. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured bench and shape it into a ball. 

Now cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow it to rise at room temperature for 3 hours. ( We place ours in the warm laundry, where our hot water system happens to be, and close the door, and it sure did rise!)

2. Cut the dough into four triangular portions. Shape the dough into rounds and flatten each round on a well floured bench as though you are making pizza dough. We flattened ours out further with a floured rolling pin so that it was a larger and thinner flatbread and it was perfect.

3. To cook your flatbread, choose either the BBQ or a cast iron skillet. As Mr. HRK was cooking, he chose to use a pizza stone in the BBQ, which worked like a dream. Preheat the BBQ or stove to a medium-heat. Place one round of dough on the BBQ or skillet and bake until the brown spots on the bottom, about 1 minute. Flip the bread and bake for another minute. Remove the bread and wrap it up in a clean tea towel to keep warm. We separated them with baking paper like you do with pancakes in case they stuck together with humidity around, but it really wasn't necessary.

For the whole Turkish Feast backstory about these pizza bases you can find it by clicking on this link:

Oh did I forget to give you the score from the game on Wednesday? Well it was an annihilation by New South Wales over Queensland, however the food in our kitchen was great. Better luck for the next match hopefully, always optimistic.

It's been a busy week's cooking with the pie dinner last Friday night, then Mahjong was on Tuesday afternoon at my place so I made one of my favourite cakes. A generous neighbour gave me some lovely, juicy limes from their backyard tree, so I baked my Lime Syrup and Coconut Cake, you can click on this link for the recipe. Always a favourite, served with yoghurt,

Delicious and tangy Lime Syrup and Coconut Cake

Cooking the lime syrup

Grating the lime zest

My Apple and Sour Cream Cake Slice is always a great stand by when I'm in a rush and need to make a slice quickly. So as well as the Lime Coconut Cake I also made this slice on the morning that my afternoon bookclub were meeting at my place. We all take turns at hosting book club so it only comes around once or twice a year. While our Mahjong group traditionally eat just cake with coffee , the Book Club ladies always put on quite a spread for afternoon tea, so I know that a cake, a slice and a nice cheese platter will all be eaten, particularly in this cooler weather. It's always a lovely afternoon, with lots of interesting discussion. The book we read for yesterday's meeting was Bruny by Heather Rose. Yes as in Bruny Island in Tasmania. It's a work of fiction, but really gets you thinking about a lot of controversial and very relevant topics currently. A great read.

Phew, I've been chopping and dicing a whole large cabbage all morning, 2 1/2 kilos of it in fact, as this is the perfect amount to fill my new Davis & Waddell Sauerkraut crock. It was a birthday present from good friends back in February, and now that we have some cold weather, it's the perfect time to use it. Hopefully the fermentation will progress well, and I can bottle some sauerkraut in a few days. This is my Green Cabbage Sauerkraut Recipe if you feel inclined to start fermenting as well.

Now that the weather is so cold, Locky needed a new coat to keep him warm. He was a real head turner in the pet shop and no wonder as he looks so cute in his orange coat. We suspect he likes it.

That's all for now folks. 

Hope you have something very enjoyable planned for this weekend.

Warm wishes,


  1. Lots of good stuff! Those red rosellas are absolutely gorgeous. And those hot beef pies are sensational. Mr. HRK is a talented chef :-)

    1. Thanks Angie, the red rosellas are pretty aren't they, and cook up really well to make a delicious jam. My hubby does enjoy making pizza.

  2. Everything looks so delicious! Have a great weekend. :)

    1. Thanks Martha, it's been another busy weekend using up fresh produce, but it's great to be productive.

  3. Please send me that extra beef pie! ;-)

    1. Ha ha, Jeff it's long gone, but there will be more I'm sure. So easy to bake up. Halve the quantity and freeze some, for Ron. Thanks so much for your interest.

  4. Beef pies look like a great way to serve people good food in preportioned quantities.

    best... mae at

    1. Thanks Mae, I like to make individual dishes of food for dinner guests, so uncomplicated.

  5. Yes it is pie weather and your look really good. I am going to give the pizza dough alternative a go as it looks easy and quicker than normal. Thank you cheers

    1. Thanks Bernie, we find these flatbreads crisp up so well and are fast to make. I'm very happy to have this kind of pizza made for me. I hope you like it, please let me know what you think.

  6. hi pauline
    i'm intrigued with that speed peeler. years ago i bought a Luke Nguyen peeler but i never used it. it was way too complicated for me :-) Locky looks so adorable doesn't he? My sauerkraut turned out really well this year; i was so happy with the amount of bubbles and tang! Your pizza looks marvellous as does the slice and the pies! perfect food for this great winter weather we're having! take care and keep warm and thanks for joining in with IMK! P.S. are you going to use for email subs now? I'm giving it a go.

    1. Hi Sherry, Yes I will give follow it a try. We've still got to the end of June haven't we to make the change? My sauerkraut is looking good I think, but of course as soon as I started the fermentation it has turned quite warm, still not as hot as summer. It smells good.Cheers, Pauline

    2. yes we have till end june to make the change. i'm going to get hubby to help me this week. i don't think it matters if people get double emails about our posts for a short while! as far as i can work out, we don't need to do anything about Feedburner (not even delete the subscribers as some people suggest) because their emails will stop automatically from Feedburner and will then take up the slack. Oh boy - i hope i've got this right ...

  7. How beautiful to have fresh rosellas, the color is so vibrant. Delicious looking pies too, nothing like comfort food to keeping you warm during winter months.

    1. Thanks so much Moya, it's lovely to hear from you. The rosellas are a sensational colour aren't they, and the jam cooks up into a beautiful red conserve as well. Rosellas are quite easy to grow here in the tropics. Cheers, Pauline

  8. I have a speed peeler and use it mainly for carrots and really very little else. Those pizzas look very loaded! And you could make a syrup with the rose hips? I made your chocolate and honey cake on Saturday and it went down a treat :)

    1. Interesting about the speed peeler, he's marketing his merchandise in his recipes, something I haven't noticed before, his right I suppose. Yes Make it Like a Man pizzas are loaded:)Ha, Ha good word for it. Thanks for the feedback on the chocolate and honey cake. I love the recipe. Thanks so much Tandy

  9. I want to be in your kitchen! So much good stuff. :-) And I can never resist a beef pie!

    1. Thanks KR, yes beef pies are always a hit here too, especially in cooler weather. However we have become quite particular about our beef pies, some are definitely better than others.

  10. Oh those beef pies look so amazing! I have never heard of a speed peeler and I have no idea how they can speed up the peeling? I love the look of those rosellas

    1. Thanks so much for your interest in my blog, d o s.
      The speed peelers are very clever marketing by Jamie aren't they?:)We made some very nice rosella jam, the rosellas were so fresh and fleshy. Cheers, Pauline

  11. It's freezing here at the moment so those beef pot pies are calling my name! :D

  12. Lorraine I hope you are coping ok with all of the Covid problems in NSW again, Queensland is on alert too. Difficult times again. It's cold here today as well, and a hot pie would be delicious. Thanks so much for visiting,Cheers, Pauline


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