Friday, 19 August 2016

Baked Chorizo and Sweet Potato Risotto

When I published the third edition of  2 Weeks of Dinners for Five I did not imagine that it or the baked risotto would raise so much interest. I’d like to thank everyone who expressed an interest in this recipe and apologise for delay in getting it out to you. I hope your patience will be rewarded with what I believe is a pretty darn tasty meal.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Lasagne Bolognese Recipe

Lasagne bolognese is simple enough to make but it does take time. Don't worry, most of it is cooking time, it's just not a meal that you can whip up on a spur of the moment whim.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Two weeks of Dinners for Five. Budget Meal Plan #3

I’m asked so often to share my shopping lists and meal plans which is why I have shared these past 6 weeks with you.
We don't just feed our family on less than $150 per week. It includes washing and cleaning products, personal hygiene etc. And we feel we live quite well.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Simple Vanilla Cake Recipe

A good Vanilla Cake is a must have recipe for any home Baker. The lightly crisp crunch on the outside and a soft fluffy center make this vanilla cake recipe my all time favorite and most turned to when I need something sweet, simple and elegant.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Ultimate Winter Warmer - Chorizo Soup

A hearty soup served with a side of crusty bread. It's the ultimate winter warmer. The addition of chorizo adds a depth of smokey, well spiced flavour which, coupled with the diced tomatoes, seems like a match made in heaven.

Romantic jargon translation: It’s got a spicy sausage in it and it’s bloody delicious!

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Two weeks of Dinners for Five. Budget Meal Plan #2

Entering this fortnight after a low cost two weeks weighing in at $170 I knew I had little chance of replicating those results. Supplies were low, it was school holiday chaos and the plan was not properly thought out. Still, in the interest of keeping it real, here it is.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Essential Beef and Gravy Pie Recipe

I have a whole collection of what I call “Blank Canvas Recipes”.
These are recipes in their most basic form that can be changed up to create any number of variations.

This is one such recipe. We’ve curried it, we’ve pepper steak and mushroomed it, we’ve hidden extra veggies, herbed, spiced and, on the odd occasion, made a real mess of it. What can I say? It happens. When you like to get experimental in the kitchen (we’re cooking here, stay with me) there's no guarantees you'll get it right first time, every time. But at least with a good base recipe, I'm always off to a good start.

Why puff pastry on the bottom? That's just how I like it. If you prefer to use shortcrust, the method is still the same.

Beef mince pie

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Versatile Tomato and Herb Sauce

Pasta, Gnocchi, Pizza, Baked Potatoes….
I use this sauce as a base for a number of different meals. It's so simple. It can be premade and refrigerated or frozen in portions and can be added to or used as is. It's also super cheap, coming in at less than $1.50 per 500g.

Versatile Stir Through Tomato Sauce


1 teaspoon oil
1 brown onion
3 cloves garlic
1x 400g can diced tomatoes
1 Tbls tomato paste
2 tsp basil
¼ tsp sage
1 tsp sugar

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Two weeks of Dinners for Five. Budget Meal Plan #1

Meal plans are always the key when it comes to keeping costs down but I must admit, I'm more of a free form plan kinda gal myself. I like to have options, or at least think I do, and be able to alter the plan to fit

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Damper - The Five Minute Bread

Damper, otherwise known as Bushman's Bread, is Australia’s soda bread. Traditionally this bread was made from nothing more than flour, salt and water, making it a convenient option for drovers and stockmen who needed to rely on non perishable ingredients while travelling.
Thankfully I've never had to traverse the Australian outback without an Esky, or even a car for that matter.

We love this bread with soups, casseroles or even just smeared with butter while the bread is still warm. Fresh bread is at it's best when it's still warm.



3 ½ cups self raising flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons caster sugar
40g butter
½ cup milk

Friday, 1 July 2016

Blueberry Slice

The price comparison right now for Blueberries in Sydney is about $39 per kilo for fresh vs as low as $8 per kilo for frozen. Now I'm not going to tell you that frozen blueberries are as good as fresh but they are close enough, particularly considering the price difference.

Mr.4 loves to 'help’ with this recipe and by “help”, I mean munching down on frozen berries while I cook. Although I protest at how many he eats, secretly I'm celebrating a win.

Blueberry Slice

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¾ cup plain flour
¾ cup self raising flour
160g (1 ¼ cups) Frozen Blueberries
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
60mls rice bran oil
¾ cup milk

•Preheat oven to 180°C
•Combine flours and sugar and mix with a fork until all lumps are gone.
•Blitz 130g (1 cup) of the blueberries until pulverised.
•Add pulverised blueberries, oil, vanilla and milk and stir until mixture is well combined then gently stir in whole blueberries.
•Pour mixture into lined slice tray and bake for 30 minutes.
•Allow slice to cool before cutting into 18 serves.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Homemade Macaroni Cheese Sauce

Macaroni cheese is not high on my favourites list. Ok, it doesn't get anywhere near making my favourites list. The kids, however, seem to think quite highly of it. Why should I deny them such a simple pleasure?

Homemade Macaroni Cheese Sauce

*Enough sauce for up to 350g pasta

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Full-time Parent Claims 'Sanity Day'.

"You don't work. Why would you need a day off?"
Full time parents are often guilted out of putting their children in daycare.
The decision to forgo paid employment to stay at home with your children negates any rights to personal time out, bathroom and lunch breaks, personal space, silence and the last slice of cake. 
Why would a stay at home parent even need to put their kids in childcare? 

Friday, 10 June 2016

Beef Stroganoff

I should start by telling you, I know very little about traditional Slavic dishes. This recipe was in fact inspired by a Swedish meatball sauce I had found over a year ago. Unfortunately I lost the original recipe link but I have used a variation of it before in this Creamy Mushroom Pasta.

You don't have to use canned mushrooms. I choose them for price and availability. Fresh mushrooms will need to be added a little earlier to soften, then about 1/4 cup of water added.

Beef Stroganoff

5 medium potatoes
1 Tablespoon rice bran oil
2 teaspoons