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!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Hearty Spiced Carrot and Garlic Soup

I love reading Nigel Slater's cookbooks because he connects the veggie patch and it's bounty with simple wholesome cooking.  This warming Carrot Soup is a perfect example.  Whilst the carrots may not come from my backyard, I like the way I can transform a bench laden with vegetables into such  flavoursome and satisfying bowls of sunny colour in the midst of winter.

Preparation       10 minutes
Cooking              1 hour.   Most of this is simmering on the stove and stirring now and then.

Makes a lot.  Freeze some in portion size containers.    (Naturally, you could reduce amounts to make less but it does freeze well)


Splash Olive Oil
5 brown onions, sliced
5 cloves crushed garlic
2 kilograms carrots, peeled and chopped.  I like to pick up a bag of bargain ‘juicing’ carrots
800 gram tin crushed tomatoes
½ red chilli, sliced.  (leave out or add more to your taste)
Good amount freshly grated pepper
1 litre Salt – reduced Chicken Stock
Small handful red lentils

1 – 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
Extra water from a recently boiled kettle
Chopped parsley
Chunks of toasted crusty bread


Use a very large deep pot (with a lid) because you will be using a stickblender to moosh it up later and you don’t want an orange splattery kitchen

Warm a little oil in the pot and soften the onions, then add the garlic and chilli.
Add the carrots and allow them to cook and steam to soften slightly.
Stir through the tomatoes, stock, pepper and lentils.
Pop on the lid and let simmer for 40 minutes
Check the carrots with a knife to check they are soft and cooked

Taste. Add a tablespoon of the soy sauce.  Taste again and if needed add another tablespoon of soy if desired. Adjust the seasoning with extra pepper, salt or soy if you want.
Allow to cool a little then use a stickblender to moosh until smooth.
If it is too thick, add a little recently boiled water and re-blend until desired consistency.

Add some cubes of cooked chicken
A tin of rinsed, drained corn kernels
Stir through some chopped parsley or mint or dill.

Serve with chunks of crusty bread
                           Enjoy!    Colleen

Friday, 18 July 2014

No Fail Lemon or Lime Curd

I have a confession, even though I sign off as Mamma Marmalade I struggle with making delicious lemon curd without the tell tale signs of over cooked eggwhite streaks through my mixture.  But thanks to the wonder of the internet and the generosity of fellow food bloggers I found this foolproof lemon curd technique, courtesy of Beth Dunham.  I like to have a mix of lemon and lime juice.

6 tablespoons of soft butter
1 cup caster sugar
2 large free range or organic eggs & 2 egg yolks
2/3 cup lemon and lime juice


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 lemon/lime juice 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 until the mixture is heated through and no longer appears curdled.  Then increase heat to medium and still stirring for approximately 15 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.


Mamma Marmalade

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Broccoli wth lemon butter

If you are tired of plain steamed broccoli, then give this a try. This is more of a tip than a recipe. 

Thank you to ceramic artist Kim Aitken for the gorgeous bowl.


1 head of broccoli
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup slivered almonds


Steam the broccoli.

In a small saucepan melt the butter, then add the lemon juice and zest.

Pour the butter over the broccoli and top with the slivered almonds.

Mamma Marmalade

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Fragrant Ras el Hanout Slow Cooked Beef with Lemon

Be warned.  Cooking this meal will fill your home with the most amazing aromas and the family will be demanding "Is dinner ready yet? I'm starving".  And - it will taste even better.  
Ras el Hanout is a beautiful Moroccan spice blend meaning "Top of the Shop" and it's flavours are key to this recipe. You can later use the remaining spice blend to flavour rice, couscous, chicken or lamb dishes.

Oh -  This makes seriously good leftovers for lunch the following day - or breakfast! 
Inspiration comes from a recipe in “The Feast goes On”  by the Monday Morning Cooking Club as featured in Delicious Magazine.  I hope you enjoy my version as much as my family does!

Preparation     20 minutes
Cooking          15 minutes on stove top   PLUS   3 ½  hours in oven
Serves              6  or 8 smaller servings 


2 kg Chuck steak – trim away the thick white fat (should have about 1.5 kg meat) then cut meat in 4 cm cube chunks

Splash olive oil
4 level teaspoons (1 tablespoon) Ras el Hanout.  HINT:  Available from Delis.

1 small red chilli – deseeded and finely sliced.   OR     ½ to 1 teaspoon Dried Chilli flakes.
HINT: Taste your dish before adding the Chilli as the Spice Blend has Cayenne Pepper

¼ teaspoon each of Sea Salt and Pepper
3 onions - sliced
4 cloves garlic – crushed
1 large tin (approx. 800 gram) crushed tomatoes
¼ cup water
3 preserved lemon segments – Rinsed. Use the rind only, finely shredded.  Discard flesh and white pith.
1 tablespoon Honey
½ bunch coriander - chopped  
½ bunch Flat leaf parsley – chopped
1 tin Chick Peas - rinsed and drained
Plus:  Small handful red lentils on standby and maybe some water from a recently boiled kettle


Preheat oven to 140-145˚ C. 
Use a large deep tight-lidded casserole dish that can be heated on stovetop and oven.

Heat a little oil in the pot then add the onions and brown slightly, uncovered. Add the garlic.
Add and brown the cubed meat stirring well.
Stir through the Ras el Hanout, salt and pepper.
Pour in the tomatoes and water along with the preserved lemon and honey.
Stir well and simmer for 5 minutes.
Taste and add the chilli to your taste. (I use ½ to 1 teaspoon dried Chilli Flakes)
Remove from stove.
Add a small handful of combined chopped coriander, parsley.

Cover pan with lid and place in oven.

Cook for 3 hours.  Check after 2 hours to ensure meat is still covered with liquid and moist, stir.

At the 3 hour stage – recheck and stir. If you feel it is a little watery add some red lentils to thicken. 
Or if needed a little water from a recently boiled kettle.
TIP:  It should be approaching the consistency of meat so tender it is ready to fall apart surrounded by a thick lusciously rich and moist gravy.
Add the cooked Chickpeas and stir through.

Cook for a further ½ hour .      NOTE:   This will be   3 ½ hours in oven in total
Remove from oven. I like to serve from the casserole dish as it helps keep it warm.

Scatter some of the combined parsley and coriander over the top.  Or Mint if you prefer.

Have warmed bowls ready and serve with steamed greens, perhaps some chunks of Turkish Bread and a bowl of Greek yoghurt.
                                                             Enjoy!      Colleen

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Labna - make your own - Low Fat, Quick, No Fuss, No Cheesecloth needed

Labna is a great addition to so many dishes when you want a thick creamy dollop without much fat.
I use Low Fat Greek Yoghurt yet it still tastes so rich and smooth.  
I make my own Labna by simply straining Greek Yoghurt overnight to remove the whey.

Some recipes suggest adding salt - but I don't - which allows me to use my Labna in either sweet or savoury dishes. 

No need to muck around squeezing yoghurt through cheesecloth either when you only want a small amount - use a Herbal Tea diffuser (like the one pictured) and the work is done for you!  

I really like this small strainer - it holds enough yoghurt to make dollops for all the family,
- it sits neatly in a coffee mug so less likely to get bumped over in the fridge and it has a lid.  
- easy to wash up.  I pop mine in the dishwasher top shelf.  Easy. Perfect.
here's how easy it is.
Spoon Low Fat Greek Yoghurt into a clean tea strainer.  Or, if making larger amounts you could use a larger strainer like the one in the photo below.  
Use a tall coffee mug as it is surprising how much liquid (Whey) will be removed.
Pop the lid on and leave in the fridge overnight.  
The prepared Labna, which has now thickened, can be used in so many savoury or sweet recipes.
The key to my version is small amounts prepared and used fresh.

If you want to store the Labna for a few days, roll into small balls and place in a sterilized jar with thyme stalks and top with Olive Oil.  Keep refrigerated.

HINT:  Mama Marmalade recommends tossing the whey over your garden beds for the nutrients.
You could also reserve the whey and cook it in various recipes. 

Try Labna dolloped over a warm plate of farro and mushooms  
or Pearl Barley and chicken
or roll small balls of Labna in Dukkah
for the sweet tooths
crumpets or chunky fruit toast with a spoon of Labna and a drizzle of honey and cinnamon.
The list goes on and on.  

                                                                      Enjoy!   Colleen