Australia Day

January 26 is the national day Australians celebrate being Australian. The date represents the day a British flag was flown at Sydney Cove in 1788.

There is a lot of argument about this date of January 26 at this moment, whether it’s the particular date or the reason behind it, has caused quite a discussion.

After reading the pros and cons I understand why people are upset about it all.

Anyway, why not change the date, it makes sense. So many of the indigenous people feel strongly about it, and they were here first and the most affected by the early white settlers.

That’s all I  am going to say, this is cooking blog for goodness sake.

At our Australia Day gathering our family had roast lamb and lamingtons.

As Aussie as it gets!



Happy Australia Day, enjoy yourself on whatever date it is.

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Homemade Muesli

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Homemade Muesli

Ok, breakfast for the most people consists of a quick coffee or boxed cereal in the morning as they rush out the door to the days activities.

I like my breakfast in the morning because I know if I don’t I will be climbing the walls looking for a quick fix like a chocolate muffin or a dodgy egg and bacon roll, and that’s not a good start.

This breakfast deserves getting up an extra few minutes to enjoy. You would pay big money at a cafe for this. So relax and enjoy this muesli before starting the insanity of the day.

Ok, lets start at the beginning, this is what you will need. Get this ready the day before.

Ingredients
4 cups of oats
1 cup chopped macadamias
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
4 tablespoons honey
375g/13oz mixed dried fruit

To serve
Greek yoghurt
Stewed apples
Toasted coconut
Toasted Almond flakes
Blueberries

Directions
In a large bowl mix oats, nuts, seeds and coconut. In a saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil and 4 tablespoons of honey, making sure not to let boil.

Mix the heated honey/oil mixture into with the dry ingredients, making sure its all well coated.

Place into a large baking dish and place into a preheated 180C/350F oven for 17-20mins. THIS IS IMPORTANT, make sure to stir the muesli every 6 minutes moving the ingredients from around from the edges into the centre. This will evenly cook the ingredients. BE CAREFUL nuts have a way of all of a sudden burning, so keep an eye on the muesli towards the end. The muesli should only have a golden colour to it.

Once cooked set the aside to cool. Stir in your favourite dried fruits, I’m using a mixture of dried fruits. Place in an airtight container ready for breakfast time.

In the morning, place muesli into a bowl, add a dollop of Greek yoghurt, some stewed apples, and to top it off with some toasted shredded coconut, toasted flaked almonds and a few blueberries. Pour on your milk of your choice, and you are ready to start the day head on.

Roasted Capsicum Hot Pizza Sauce

Sometimes you just want a bit of extra flavour on that pizza. Something that just tops off a great pizza. For years I have been using either a store brought pizza sauce or a can of tomato concentrate. Then I thought what the heck, I will make my own.

Where does one start, first I wanted a little heat, jalapeños first came the mind. Secondly, I love roasted capsicums and lastly it has to have tomatoes. So, after I made my sauce, my daughter puts it on her eggs in the morning and even has been known to mix it in with spaghetti.

You will need
2 red capsicums
30g/1oz jalapeños chilli (I use the type in a jar)
1 can of 400g/14oz tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions
Cut the capsicums in half and remove the seeds, core and any of the white flesh inside. Flattened the capsicum out and place them onto a piece of aluminium foil making sure there is plenty of extra foil around the capsicums. Place under a grilled/broiler until skin has blackened.

Once done wrap the capsicums in the aluminium foil, ensuring no gaps in the foil. The idea is the steam from the hot capsicums will help make it easier for the skin to peel off. Wait at least 30 minutes before attempting to peel the capsicum. They can hold their heat.

Once the capsicums are cooled and peeled toss them into a blender with the can of tomatoes, jalapeños and salt. Blitz until well mix together.

Add a splash of oil to a pan on medium heating cook the crushed garlic for 30 seconds making sure not to brown the garlic.

Pour in the capsicum mixture in the pan and gently reduce for 30 minutes to enhance the flavours.

Once cooled pour into a jar and refrigerate.

Makes approximately 2 cups of delicious pizza sauce.

 

 

Homemade vege and meat pasties

This is a firm favourite in our family. I can’t tell you how many times that I have made this, for lunch or dinners. The kids have taken half a pastie in their lunchbox, which tastes just as good cold. With a squirt of tomato sauce, it’s a meal by itself.

You will need
400g pumpkin diced
600g potato diced
1 corn cob stripped
70g parsnip diced
1 cup/200g peas
200g carrots diced
1 onion diced
500g mince beef
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
6-7 sheets puff pastry
1/4 cup milk

Directions
Steam all the vegetables for 15 minutes.
Place a splash of oil into frying pan and cook onion for a few minutes.
Add meat and cook until brown. Add hoisin sauce and mix well.
Once cooked mix vegetables and meat together and allow to cool.
Lay a sheet of pastry on a tray lined with baking paper.
Place 2 scoops of mixture on one side of the pastry.
Brush edges with milk and fold other the other half of pastry.
Fold over edges and with a fork press down edges, poke holes for steam.
Brush over with milk.
Place into an 180C/350F oven for 30 minutes.

This should make between 6-7 pasties.

 

Date Pecan & Cacao Balls

In our house these balls are made as a snack. My daughters all play sport and these balls are packed full of energy and natural fibre when they need a boost. The cacao powder gives them a slight chocolate taste. Remember to treat them as a snack as dates are also high in calories.

Date, Pecan & Caco Balls
Makes about 17 balls

Ingredients
115g/4oz pecans
200g/7oz Medjool dates, remove pips
2 tbsp raw organic cacao powder

Method

  • Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until a crumbly consistency.
  • Scoop out a tablespoon of mixture and make a ball with your hand.
  • Drop a few balls into a container with a little extra cacao powder and shake to coat the ball.
  • I can’t tell you how long they will keep as they only last a day or two at our house.

Chilly outside, this will warm you up

As the song goes, “baby it’s cold outside…”, is an understatement. Bring on summer is all I can say. Until then it’s beanies, scarfs, long coats and porridge. There are thousands of porridge recipes out there, this is mine. Its one breakie that I look forward too. It’s simple, filling and quick. Using dates adds sweetness and flavour to the dish. One of the best things about this is the amount of fibre from the oats, chia seed and dates. You can use whatever type of milk suits your taste.  Enjoy and have a lovely day.

Breakfast jealously

They say food unites people together. Well, I have a daughter who is studying thousands of kilometres away on the other side of the world. She is a self proclaimed foodie too. Although I miss her a lot, we regularly chat on FaceTime or imessage each other with a new recipe or an Instagram post has caught our attention or what what we cooked for dinner. For a while we were exchanging photographs of our breakfast, trying to make the other jealous. Smoothies, muesli, fruit, eggs or just plain old toast with homemade peanut butter was always popping up.

PS. We do talk about non food things as well, but it doesn’t last long.Mushrooms-on-toast_1825-WP