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These are tried, tested and much loved recipes. Our families and friends are always unselfish and devote themselves to taste-testing these delicious creations and demand them repeatedly time and time again.

Our aim is to share with you our favourite meals and the little tricks and tips we have learnt along the way.
Time is precious.
Food is expensive.

Both are resources too valuable to waste.

We want to share recipes that deliver delicious, nourishing meals - making the most of your time and ingredients.

Life is way too short for bland, disappointing food.
So ... Feed your inner cook - and Enjoy!

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Passionfruit Curd - Tangy and Sublime.


One of my favourite childhood memories was helping my Nana cook.  Or should I say, hanging around her tiny kitchen, being a  perfect child with the eternal optimism of licking the spoon, or on rare occasions, being given a bite of some freshly baked treat.  
Nana's passionfruit butter tartlets were sublime and memorable -  a family Christmas tradition and annual indulgence.  I do wish I had paid more attention because although I remember the flavour so well, I do not remember the special knack Nana had of transforming a few ingredients into the taste of a Queensland summer. My lovely cousins unearthed her handwritten recipe but so far, I have not had much luck perfecting her method.  Therefore, I have shamelessly amended Mamma Marmalade's lemon curd technique,   no-fail-lemon-or-lime-curd   which was courtesy of Beth Dunham's blog  (Beth Dunham never-fail-lemon-curd) . Thank you for sharing!


Passionfruit Curd by  Feed Your Inner Cook
Passionfruit Curd by  Feed Your Inner Cook



Passionfruit Curd by  Feed Your Inner Cook
Passionfruit Curd by Feed Your Inner Cook
Passionfruit Curd by  Feed Your Inner Cook
 
Ingredients
6 tablespoons of softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 large free range or organic eggs & 2 egg yolks
6 passionfruit - pulp

Method
Cream butter and sugar, together for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
Add eggs and yolks one at a time still mixing on a low speed, continue beating for another minute or two until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Add passionfruit and mix on a slow speed until incorporated it will appear curdled but have no fear it will be a success! 

Next, place curd into a small saucepan on low heat on the stove top. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the mixture is heated through and no longer appears curdled.  
Increase heat to just medium and still stirring for approximately 12 minutes or until it is the consistency of whipped cream.  

Pour into clean jars and allow to cool.

Curd will keep in the fridge for a week or freeze for later.

Thank you  Darling Nana, 
                   my Lovely Cousins, 
                   Beth Dunham 
                  and Mamma Marmalade
Enjoy!  Colleen 

Monday, 18 May 2020

Meatballs and french onion gravy

Winter and Covid 19 lockdown combined, make it the perfect time to prepare and enjoy some comfort food.  In addition to being delicious, these light and tasty meatballs are Keto friendly. The original recipe called for chicken mince but I have substituted with beef mince, which works perfectly. They are easy to make because you bake the meatballs.  If you could stop eating them in one sitting, they would be a wonderful stash to have in the freezer.

Great for school lunches (when school returns) or make them smaller and enjoy as a party snack (when we are allowed to party again).






Ingredients

Meatballs

500 g beef or chicken mince
1 egg (organic or free range)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup almond meal or bread crumbs
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 medium onion, diced
1/3 cup parsley, chopped

Gravy

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon onion powder (if you have)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Mozzarella or Gruyere cheese

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

Either grease an oven tray or line with baking paper
Combine all the meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Stir to combine.
With wet hands take a dessertspoon of mixture and roll into a ball and place on oven tray.

Bake in the oven for approx. 20 minutes.

Whilst the meatballs are cooking, heat a frypan on the stovetop.
Add butter, olive oil and sliced onions to the pan.
Cook on medium to low heat for 25 minutes until the onions are soft and slightly brown, Stirring intermittently.

Add beef broth, fresh thyme, salt, pepper and onion powder. Stir to combine, bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer for 10 minutes, until it thickens.

Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce, cook for a few minutes and then top with the cheese. Cover for 3 minutes until cheese is melted.

Serve, garnished with chopped parsley or thyme.

A new family favourite.

Mamma Marmalade

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Savoury Cheese and Spinach Buttermilk Scones

How good is it to visit your family bearing home baked treats, still warm from the oven, to share?  The cheesy savoury aroma is irresistible. Wilbur likes his with a little butter and vegemite.  You could almost feel virtuous as there is lots of green spinach goodness and no sugar. 
Best eaten just after baking or the same day. These would be a great crowd pleaser for breakfast or brunch too.  I doubt there will be any left over!  
Enjoy!  Colleen

Savoury Cheese Scones. Feed Your Inner Cook
Savoury Cheese Scones. Feed Your Inner Cook
Preparation   20 minutes
Cooking        15 - 20 minutes
Makes           approx 22 - 24 

Ingredients
3 cups Self Raising Flour
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Mustard Powder  
dash ground White Pepper
1 cup (firmly packed) baby spinach leaves - finely chopped
3 cups grated Cheddar cheese  (reserve 1/3 to 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top)
1 tablespoon Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 1/2 cups greek yoghurt and 1/2 cup milk stirred together OR  2 cups ButterMilk

Method
Preheat oven to 200 ℃ and line 2 scone trays with baking paper.

In a large bowl : Sift together -  the Self Raising Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, Mustard Powder and Pepper.

Stir in with a knife - the grated cheese, Parmesan and chopped spinach into the flour mix.

Make a well in the middle of the mixture and gently pour in the combined yoghurt/milk stirring with the knife until just combined and all flour incorporated.  Don't overstir or it toughens the flour.

Use two dessert spoons to dollops blobs of mixture onto your trays - should get about 10 per tray.  I usually get about 20 in total. Leave a few centimetres between each to allow for spreading.

Sprinkle the reserved grated cheese over the scone mixture.

Bake for approx 15 - 18 minutes.  Test with a skewer, and cheese with be golden melted on top.

Serve hot.  Eat as they are or as Wilbur recommends, split apart and spread with a dash of butter and a little vegemite.

So yummy.   Enjoy!   Colleen






Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Lemon delicous pudding

It has just started to turn cool here in Northern New South Wales and with the onset of the cooler weather, it is the perfect time for indulging in a warm pudding.  Citrus grows well here so we are now harvesting plenty of limes, lemonade fruit and lemons.  This recipe comes from Stephanie Alexander a woman who admire.  Her "Kitchen Garden" program in Australian schools is a fantastic initiative.

I would love to share this pudding with my dear friend Sue who visited last year and I unwittingly used plain flour instead of self raising flour (what a disaster)!



Ingredients

2 lemons
60g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
3 organic/free range eggs, separated
3 Tablespoons self raising flour
1 1/2 cups full cream milk

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

Grease a 1 litre pie tin or oven dish with butter
Zest one of the lemons and juice both
Combine butter, zest and sugar in a food processor and whiz to cream the ingredients
Then add egg yolks
Add flour and milk alternately until a smooth batter is formed.
Scrape the mixture from the sides and blend in lemon juice.
Transfer batter to a clean bowl.

Beat with a hand mixer, egg whites until fluffy, fold gently into the batter
Pour batter into prepared oven dish.
Place oven dish into a baking dish and pour kettle boiled water in to come half way up the side of the oven dish.

Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean from cake topping.

Allow to cool if you can resist and then serve with cream or ice cream.

Delicious in name an delicious in taste.

Mamma Marmalade

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Spiced Prunes with Orange Syrup. A perfect dollop for your Rolled Oats.

I never understand why prunes get a bad rap. They are simply dried plums and a great way to add extra fruity flavour to so many dishes.  I love rolled oats for brekkie especially with a scattering of blueberries and raspberries. But sometimes it is great to change it up with a scoop of luscious prunes that have been soaked in spiced orange juice and a scattering of flaked almonds.  Simple, easy and perfect for a good start on a  mild Autumn morning.  If you have some left over, they make a great quick dessert with the addition of a splash of Armagnac, Brandy or Grand Marnier and a drizzle of cream or custard. Prunes and spiced orange -  delish any time of the day.  Enjoy!  Colleen


Spiced Prunes & Orange. Feed Your Inner Cook
Spiced Prunes & Orange. Feed Your Inner Cook
 Preparation and cooking    10 minutes

Ingredients
Couple of handfuls of pitted prunes (sometimes I add a few big golden sultanas)
Juice and zest of 1 or 2 oranges  - depends on amount of juice 
Spices - a pinch each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.  
1 star anise.  Optional 
             Or use a pinch of ground cardamom for a change
Water

Method
In a saucepan, mix the spices into the orange juice along with the zest
Add the pitted prunes and  (perhaps)   add a touch of water so there's enough liquid for prunes to sit in.
Bring to a gentle simmer and very gently stir to soften the prunes and the juice to thicken to a soft syrup.   Taste the syrup and add a little extra spice if you think it needs it.
Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly. They soften very quickly, stay with the pan.

Spoon some of the spiced prunes over rolled oats or similar.
OPTIONS
Add a splash of milk to your Rolled Oats along with a sprinkle of ground flax seeds, a dollop of yoghurt,  OR a sprinkle of ground cinnamon OR a scattering of flaked almonds.  OR everything!


Refrigerated leftovers, either at room temperature, or gently warmed, can be served as a quick dessert with your choice of cream etc.

ROLLED OATS

This is such a simple way to prepare oats and makes them taste rich and creamy.

1 Cup Rolled Oats   (NOT the Quick brand)
3 Cups Water

Place the oats and water in an airtight container in the fridge overnight.
The next morning - pour the water and softened oats into a saucepan.
When you cook them - use a wooden spoon and stir gently and regularly - in the one direction.  I know ! - but I think it improves the flavour!
Gently bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer until they begin to thicken, continuing to stir regularly. 
Serve and enjoy!  Colleen


Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Coronation Chicken

Coronation chicken is a mixture of cold cooked chicken, herbs, spices and a creamy mayonnaise based sauce. Great as a salad or sandwich filling.  Originally created to be included in the banquet for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.  I had some left over cooked chicken tournedos and was looking for a nice lunch dish, so this is what I came up with for our Isolation 2020 lunch.


Ingredients

500g of sliced/diced cooked chicken
2 Tablespoon mango chutney
1-2 Tablespoons sultanas
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
3 Teaspoons mild curry paste/powder
4 Tablespoons good mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons sour cream or yoghurt
1 Tablespoon chopped macadamia nuts
1 Tablespoon chopped celery
Salt & Pepper

To garnish

Chopped chives
Lettuce cups


Method

In a small bowl, mix the mayo, yoghurt, curry powder, cinnamon, chutney and sultanas together, season with salt and pepper

Combine chicken, nuts, celery with mayo mixture.

Serve in lettuce cups topped with chopped chives.

An Oldie but a goodie

Mamma Marmalade

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Orange and Cranberry Cake with Orange Citrus Icing

Flavours and aromas bring back childhood memories. Citrus reminds me of collecting oranges, mandarins and lemons with my Grandmother in her backyard. The scent perfumed hands and of course my clothes because I routinely dropped the fruit and wiped my hands all over myself. Mucky kid.  Later in the kitchen my Grandmother would toss a few ingredients together and, as the cake baked, her kitchen transformed into a fragrant orange orchard. Sadly, that Grandmother never wrote down recipes but this sublime Orange cake by Belinda Jeffery reminds me of that aroma as it now fills my kitchen with it's warm citrus breeze of orange sunshine and memories.   Belinda Jeffery suggests you brush hot cake with Orange Glaze (at end of post) and then spoon over the icing as well.  Wow!
   Enjoy!  Colleen


Orange Cranberry Bundt by Feed Your Inner Cook

       Orange juice syrup

Orange Cranberry Bundt by Feed Your Inner Cook









Preparation    40 minutes  (including icing preparation)
Cooking          1 Hour 15 minutes .. plus needs to cool before icing

Ingredients

6 - 10 oranges 

zest first then juice and strain - prepare syrup first (see below) 1 juicy orange should yield between 3 - 4 tablespoons juice, but I find some have been bit dry lately. Because simmering then reducing juice liquid you need to start with more juice.

NB this zest and juice is used for the cake, glaze and the icing. 
Recipe needs 10 tablespoons of concentrated juice - 3 tablespoons for cake, 4 tablespoons for glaze and 3 tablespoons in icing.  So you need to start with at least 24 - 30 tablespoons, or  1 1/2 cups to nearly 2 cups squeezed juice.
Any left over syrup can be used later - smoothies, muffins etc etc

PLUS

3 cups plain flour    (Reserve 1 tablespoon to dust cranberries)
1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
tiny pinch of ground cardamom  OR  ground cloves - Optional
3 eggs - room temperature
2 cups sugar
250 gram butter - cut into small chunks, room temperature
1 cup Buttermilk    OR   3/4 cup yoghurt and 1/4 cup milk combined
100 gram dried cranberries (craisins) - Optional but lovely addition

Belinda's Orange Glaze 
1 cup Icing Sugar mixture  OR  I use 1 cup pure icing sugar sift with 1 tablespoon cornflour
1/4 cup of your prepared Orange juice syrup - see above  (or 4 tablespoons)

30 gram butter - melted.

Icing
1 cup Icing Sugar mixture  OR  I use 1 cup pure icing sugar sift with 1 tablespoon cornflour
3 tablespoons of your prepared Orange juice zest syrup - see above

Method
Preheat oven to 150 ℃ and butter and flour large bundt tin (approx 26cm)

TIPS AND HINTS Belinda Jeffery suggests to place bundt tin on top of preheating oven, with small chunk of very soft butter that will melt from warmth of heating oven.  Then use a pastry brush to thoroughly brush the melted butter really well coating inside of bundt tin.  Tip a small amount of flour into the bundt tin and thoroughly shake and wiggle the tin so the flour covers the insides.  Shake out the excess flour and set the prepared tin aside away from the warming oven.

Orange Zest and Juice Syrup
Add all the strained zest and juice to a very small saucepan.  Very gently simmer the juice stirring with a wooden spoon until quantity halves and juice thickens and flavour intensifies.  Set aside to cool.

Cake
Place the dried cranberries in a small bowl and roll with sprinkled reserved tablespoon of flour. This separates and stops fruit clumping in cake later.  Set aside.

Sift the flour, Bicarb, salt and spice into a bowl
In a food processor, whiz the eggs and sugar for 1 minute
Add the chunks of butter and whiz for another minute until thick and creamy
Add the buttermilk, 3 tablespoons of prepared orange syrup and whiz for 10 seconds.
Transfer the eggy butter orange batter into a large bowl.
Add a third of the  sifted flour mixture into the batter and gently fold in with a large metal spoon.  Add another third, fold and then the final third. Don't overbeat - just enough so the flour is incorporated into the batter.
Finally fold in the floured cranberries and stir through.
Spoon the batter into your prepared bundt tin and smooth surface.
Bake for approx 70 minutes.  Check and rotate if necessary.  Test with a fine skewer in cake middle that comes out clean.
Cool the cake in the tin on a wire cake rack for 10 minutes. 
(NB Belinda Jeffery suggests you brush hot cake with Orange Glaze (at end of post) and then later on also spoon over the icing as well.  If you decide to use glaze, this it the stage to brush hot cake ,after it is removed from tin, with prepared Glaze until absorbed)

Remove the cake from the tin carefully.  Use a fine palette knife to carefully loosen around the edges and middle of cake tin.  A few gentle thumps around the outside also help to loosen the cake.  Place the cake rack on top of cake surface.  Gently invert the tin and the cake should gently drop to the cake rack.  If not, turn it back up and check where it is sticking and invert again.   Allow cake to completely cool on the rack other icing will not set properly.  
Make the icing during this time.
When cooled, place on serving plate or stand.  Spoon the prepared icing over the cake allowing it to trickle into the swirl edges.  Leave it to set.  

Belinda's Orange Glaze 
Whisk orange glaze ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth.
Brush the glaze over the still hot cake after it has been removed from tin. Place some paper under the cake rack to catch glaze drips.
Keep brushing all over the cake until all absorbed.
Leave to cool completely.  Glaze will form a fine crackly coating.  Ice cake as per recipe.

Icing
Sift the 1 cup Icing Sugar mixture  OR  I use 1 cup pure icing sugar sifted with 1 tablespoon cornflour into a medium bowl.  
Add 2 tablespoons of the Orange syrup.  Reserve the other tablespoon as different sugars absorb liquids differently.  Add the remainder a bit at a time for desired consistency.
Mix together until no lumps and add the remaining juice until icing is smooth, thick but able to be spooned onto cake and set firm.

                                          Enjoy!   Colleen





















Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Lemon butter biscuits

I found this fantastic biscuit recipe on an old school friend's facebook post. One of the nicer aspects of fb is to contact friends from the past. Plus a great recipe sharing facility.  This clever recipe replaces eggs and butter with already made lime/lemon curd.  You can use shop bought if you want, I had just defrosted (yes it freezes very well) some sunshine lime curd I had made previously.

lemon/lime curd recipe  (scroll to the bottom of the link)



Ingredients

1 cup coconut
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup lemon or lime curd

Method

Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius

Line a baking tray with oven proof baking paper

Mix all ingredients.

Chill in the refrigerator for 15 mins.

Roll out between glad wrap.  This is tricky

Cut shapes with a sharp cookie cutter

Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the edges go golden

They taste supurb


Mamma Marmalade




Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Soffritto - Sublime, Simple Freezer Stash

During this difficult Covid19 time, wherever we are on this planet, we are encouraged to wash hands, stay home and minimise the spread of this awful disease.  Listen to the Medicos. Stay home.  Stay safe. 
One of our pleasures when staying home is cooking.  We are using this time to prepare for winter meals - soups, stews and curries etc.  
An easy way to have a handy supply of starting ingredients for these basic meals is to prepare and freeze some soffritto -  which is essentially onion, carrot, celery and optional herbs softly fried.  
So many recipes from differing cuisines start with these 3 ingredients.  I tend to chop mine quite finely whilst Mamma Marmalade uses diced pieces in her soffritto.  I make some just with the key vegetables, another stash with added herbs, some are a onion garlic mix whilst the final stash is onions only.   
You can freeze your stash in freezer safe containers or freezer bags - I portion them in a bag then pop these into a named reuseable freezer zipbag.  In readiness for times when I only need a tablespoon or two - I flatten the soffritto into a freezer bag and use a chopstick or similar to create divisions that are easy to break off as needed.  However you decide to create your Soffritto Stash,  it is so satisfying to have some veggie goodness in the freezer ready to transform into nourishing hearty meals later on.    Enjoy!   Colleen 
PS the 2 books were borrowed before our Library closed due to virus restrictions.  Miss my library.  

Soffritto by Feed Your Inner Cook

Library books borrowed. Feed Your Inner Cook

Soffritto by Feed Your Inner Cook

Soffritto by Feed Your Inner Cook

Soffritto by Feed Your Inner Cook
Preparation and cooking - approx 20 minutes

Ingredients   - volume will depend on how much you want to cook.  Adjust as needed.

IF you finely dice one veg, then you need to finely dice all to the same size.   Keeping the same size helps with cooking, the eating experience and final meal presentation

RATIO - think of a plate divided into three with even amounts of each vegetable 

3 - 4 onions - diced  OR  very finely diced 
2 - 3 carrots, peeled.  Diced  OR very finely diced   
4 sticks of celery.  Diced  OR very finely diced.

Olive oil 

You can also add crushed garlic  and  leeks if desired.   TIP:  Mamma Marmalade tells me  cooked then frozen garlic loses it's potency so she prefers to add later when soffritto used.  

OPTIONS
You can saute your soffritto with a handful of herbs if you are planning on making a meal later with Italian flavours.  A little rosemary, thyme, parsley.,  OR a few sage leaves  or add some bay leaves during the cooking.  What you prefer.

I make some stash with the key vegetables, another stash with added herbs, another is an onion garlic mix whilst final stash is onions only.  

METHOD
Gently heat the olive oil in a wide frypan.
Saute the onions and carrots then add the celery. 
Add the bay leaves   and/ or  chopped herbs if using. Stir in the garlic if using.
Continue to stir until vegetables have softened and started to turn golden.
TIP:  Never let the soffritto burn.  It will taste bitter and ruin your dish later.

Remove from heat.  Allow to cool and place into freezer safe containers or freezer bags.  OR flatten soffritto into freezer bag, use chopstick or similar to create small portions. 
Freeze.    Thaw as required and use as the base for soup, stews etc.   Enjoy!  Colleen


Thursday, 26 March 2020

Osso Buco with Gremolata and Polenta

It is starting to get a little cooler in Australia and with all the self isolation of Covid-19 it's the perfect time to be self sufficient with cooking delicious, nutritious meals. Beef shin is a cheaper cut of meat but ideal for slow cooking. The addition of vegetables and herbs not to mention red wine makes this flavour packed. And next night we topped with ready made puff pastry and had a delectable pie.





Ingredients

3 or 4 x veal shanks
2 Tablespoon plain flour
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 medium carrots, diced
2 sticks celery, sliced
1 x 410g tin, diced tomatoes
2/3 cup red or white wine
1 cup beef/chicken stock (homemade preferably)
2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
Cooked Polenta to serve

Gremolata

1 garlic clove, crushed
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon rind


Method

Preheat slow cooker that has a saute function, otherwise brown on the stove in a fry pan and transfer to a slow cooker.

Dredge veal shanks in the flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
Add oil to slow cooker
Add floured shanks and brown on all sides.
Remove to a plate
Add a little more oil to slow cooker and tip in diced onion, carrots and celery.
Stir until soft, add garlic
Add in Tomato paste and stir
Then add, veal shanks, tin tomatoes, dried herbs and wine.
Close lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Gremolata - combine together in a bowl

Serve with Polenta cooked as per packet instructions.

Delicous

Mamma Marmalade