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!

Saturday, 26 October 2013


Speedy, delicious and easy to prepare. This sesame and oregano lavosh from Annabel Langbein means you can create impressive crackers that rival those expensive store bought types at a fraction of the cost.


1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup whole meal flour
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup water

Extra salt flakes and extra virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 165 degrees Celsius
Line oven tray with baking paper.
Combine the flours, sesame seeds, oregano and salt in a bowl.

Combine oils and water together and add to the dry ingredients, stirring to form a soft pliable dough.

Divide the dough into 4 portions.

With a floured rolling pin and board, roll each piece as thin as possible. Cut each rectangle into strips measuring about 4cm x 17cm and roll again.  They should be virtually see-through.

Carefully place strips on lined oven tray, brush with extra oil and sprinkle over salt.

Bake for 15-18 minutes until crisp and pale golden.

Cool and store in airtight container.

Perfect for the festive season!

Mamma Marmalade

Thursday, 24 October 2013

How to line a cake tin - the lazy way

I am aware of how completely lazy this idea is, however sometimes my failure at paper cutting in Kindy haunts me and thwarts my endeavours.  This supremely lazy cake tin lining is only suggested for those times when you want to make a cake on the quick-quick and when outer appearances are not paramount.

Grab lots of clean clothes pegs.
Tear off sufficient kitchen baking paper (the nonstick variety) to generously line your cake tin.
Gently prod the paper into place.
Sometimes it helps if the tin has had the tiniest wipe of water prior to inserting the paper.
Prong as many clothes pegs all around the edge as needed to hold in place.
Some minutes later and surprisingly quickly, the paper simply surrenders to it's new shape.
Remove the pegs and pour in your filling.

I always have a supply of pegs in my kitchen drawer (some are still in the laundry!)
Pegs are really helpful around the kitchen and,  regardless of the odd looks from the family, I use them in a multitude of ways to secure items. 

Happy Baking ...

                                                                Enjoy!   Colleen

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Christmas Cake and Pudding step by step. Part 2 - Chopping the Dried Fruit

Previously, we  posted about " Preparing the Dried Fruit for use in Christmas cakes and Puddings ". 

The fruit has bathed in the rum for a couple of months and it is now about 10 weeks before Christmas.

So, it is time to chop up your soaked Christmas fruit ready for baking later on. 

Be sure to play Neil Diamond's "A Very Cherry Christmas" CD whilst working through this preparation stage. I can guarantee no-one will come near to disturb your singing and dancing time. Aah! Lovely.

This is the easiest part and helps you feel prepared for the baking stage.
There is not a lot of chopping needed. The aim of this stage is to roughly chop your fruit so it is evenly sized for even cooking, but still identifiable as dried fruit.  Please do not over-process. Because of the liquid, it will soften very quickly and you want it to just start to adhere together a little. 

But, If you decide you want to use some fruit to make a fruit pate`  or some fruit-mince then it can be chopped finer.


There are a couple of options for chopping the steeped fruit.

First option.

Use a bench food processor with a strong motor and large bowl with a sharp blade attachment. 
Be sure all parts have been thoroughly cleaned.
Tip all the soaked fruit and any remaining liquids into the processor bowl.
Pulse for a few seconds at a time - this will be very quick. So stay with the processor.
If necessary, carefully use a scraper to loosen the fruit from the blade and do another quick pulse to ensure all the fruit has been chopped.
Empty back into the bottle, re-seal and clean thoroughly around the bottle to remove any stickiness.
Repeat for each reserved bottle.

Second Option.

Leave the fruit mixture in the bottle. Place the bottle on a damp towel on a solid surface to help stop it moving about.
Remove the lid and using very clean kitchen scissors, snap the scissors through the fruit to chop evenly (as per previous suggestion).
If unable to cut in the bottle, use a clean bowl and snip through the fruit, then return fruit to the bottle.
Empty back into the bottle, re-seal and clean thoroughly around the bottle to remove any stickiness.
Repeat for each reserved bottle.


Once you have ensured bottles have been properly re-sealed and clean, pop them back into a dark corner of a cool cupboard until ready to cook those cakes and puddings.

                                                              Enjoy!  Colleen

Friday, 11 October 2013

Lemon Luscious Cheesecakes in little Jars

Thank YOU!   In addition to our wonderful and dedicated Email Subscribers, Twitter, FaceBook and Circle followers - our little blog has ticked over the 10,000 Hits milestone!  It was just over a year ago that we embarked on our recipe sharing journey - so THANK YOU for your continuing support and interest in our Blog - we really appreciate your interest and feedback.  

and now  ...   a fitting Celebration No Stress Dessert!

The perfect dessert option for our Diner en Blanc menu would be a great inclusion for any picnic occasion – (or anytime!) – easy, pre-prepared, portable in lidded jars and no mess – and no leftovers – guaranteed delicious! It is also excellent prepared as a regular single cheesecake.

My take on Nigella’s recipe adds a few drops of Limoncello and our best tip is use a lemony lemon curd and ‘taste taste taste’, add the lemon juice slowly in drops til the flavour is perfect for you.

We have a lovely local tradition in my neighbourhood – on Election Voting Days, the School and Church groups have fundraising stalls that sell the most delicious chutneys and divine home-made Lemon Curd. I ensure I stock up on these necessities! Lemon Curd is the heart of this recipe – so a big thank you to all the cooks who supply our community fairs and school fetes – Yum!

Preparation:  25 - 40 minutes (once the ingredients are at room temperature)
Baking:  None!
Chilling:  6 hours minimum, preferably overnight
Makes:  1 regular size (22cm tin?)  or  4 - 6 - 8 jars, as depends on size of jar


1 packet biscuits – 150 gram -  I used Anna’s Almond Thins 150g but any ‘Digestive’ or plain ‘Arnotts Nice’ style biscuit are fine. For a regular ‘tin’ cheesecake use 250 gram packet. See ‘Tips and Hints’ below.
Melted butter –  for 150 gram of biscuits, melt 40 gram of butter but you may not need that much. If using 250 gram biscuits, increase the melted butter to 90 gram.  See ‘Tips and Hints’ below.
Small shake of ground cinnamon – not too much
Almond flakes – about 30 gram – lightly chopped – you want smaller pieces but not powdery
Dessicated coconut - about 30 gram

500 gram Cream Cheese cubed and softened to room temperature
350 gram Lemon Curd – room temperature – it needs to taste good, don’t bother with a bland one
Zest of one lemon but it must be very very finely grated so not to stick between teeth!
NB - Reserve the lemon as you may need to add some of the juice – a drop at a time later on
And also
These additional measurements will depend on the flavour of your lemon curd, so as a guide
Pinch icing sugar
Half a pinch of sea salt
¼ teaspoon of Limoncello – Italian Lemon Liqueur
A little of the juice of the reserved lemon

Base – similar for both jar and single styles.  See Tips and Hints for more details.

Crush the biscuits and add the flaked almonds, coconut and cinnamon. Mix to combine.
Slowly add the melted butter for the desired consistency.  VIP See Tips and Hints below.
Sprinkle lightly into the jars. Do not press down. Leave on bench whilst preparing Filling.

Filling – same method for both jar and single cheesecake

Put the softened cubed Cream Cheese in the bowl of an Electric Kitchen Mixer and beat til soft.
Add the lemon curd and lemon zest and beat to combine, increasing speed to incorporate some air. 
Now the fun bit
Add as you think needed – tasting all the time and mixing well after each small addition
– pinch icing sugar, dash of seasalt, dash Limoncello and few drops lemon juice.

When you are happy with the flavour, gently spoon the mixture into the jars
Refrigerate at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

Suggested options
Perfect on their own but you could offer raspberry coulis or whipped cream or sliced fresh berries as special extra toppings.

Serving ideas
Jars – wide enough for guests to easily get a spoon in.  Firm fitting secure lid.
Glasses – great option for at home BBQs etc.  Just ensure the glass is thick and sturdy enough to cope with guests scraping the spoon around your glass. 
Once, for a different recipe, I used those double walled Bodum glasses – lovely – except the dessert base had hardened to the glass and my very strong guest broke through the glass wall attempting to remove the dessert – lucky I had a spare dessert! Not an event I would care to repeat.

Tips and Hints

Biscuit crumbs
       if serving in a jar or drinking glass container: 
it is important the crumbs are a damp but loose sand texture – you do not want the crumb base to set hard or it will be too difficult to scoop out during eating. So it will need less melted butter. You want to moisten the crumbs and have a looser texture that does not ‘set’ in the bottom of the jar. The addition of the flaked almonds helps keep it looser.  Also, don’t pack or press it into the bottom of the jar.  Keep it loose and fluffy texture.
-        if serving as a regular whole cheesecake: 
increase the amount of biscuit crumbs and the amount of melted butter because you will need to cover the tin base and crumb will need to set firm to give a strong base. You can push and press it firmly into the base so it will adhere together. Chill in fridge whilst preparing Filling.

Transporting Cheesecake Jars to the picnic
Ensure the lids are firmly secured, cheesecakes have been well refrigerated then place in the coldest part of the esky.  We do not recommend eating dairy products that have been kept unrefrigerated for extended periods. You know the rules: keep the esky well stocked with ice and in a shady cool spot and eat these treats within a food-safe time.

Enjoy!  Colleen