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, 28 October 2015

Creamed Rice with a Golden crust - simply yum comfort dessert

Sometimes simple, classic flavours and a few ingredients produce a perfect dessert result - creamy, home-style comfort food.  Wilbur will testify that my Creamed Rice recipe is delicious - piping hot from the stove or baked with a golden crust - or cold with stewed fruit - simply good!  And yes, I had to move fast to snap this photo!!

Preparation                  5 minutes
Cooking               20 - 30 minutes - needs regular stirring whilst on stovetop.  
Baking (optional)        15 minutes   OR     pop under a hot grill until golden

Ingredients      I have included measures for small and large sizes.

                                   Small                                   Double
Rice                           5 tablespoons (1/2 cup)       1 cup
Boiling water               1/2 cup                               1 cup
Milk                            3 cups                                6 cups
Sugar                         3 tablespoons                      6 tablespoons
Vanilla extract             1/2 teaspoon                       1 teaspoon
Cinnamon or nutmeg   pinch                                  1/2 teaspoon

Optional for baking
                    Additional sugar and cinnamon or nutmeg to sprinkle over prior to grilling


Place rice in a large saucepan.
Cover with the boiling water and simmer rapidly until water almost evaporates.  
Stir constantly and watch it carefully. Do not boil dry. 
Slowly add the milk and stir well.
Bring to a slow boil.  Stir constantly and keep an eye on it as likely to boil over.
Reduce to a simmer.  Stir regularly.  Remove any 'skin' that forms.
Add the sugar, vanilla and cinnamon or nutmeg.
Stir and slowly simmer until thick and rice is cooked.  Taste to check rice is soft.

If you are going to bake the rice, leave it a little sloppy. 
If planning to use unbaked, simmer until desired consistency, spoonable, but not runny.

pour into a greased baking pan.  Sprinkle additional sugar and cinnamon or nutmeg on top.
Bake under a grill until golden.  OR  bake in moderate oven for approx 15 minutes.

Enjoy!  Colleen


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Asian Bean Sprout and Mango Salad

With summer entertaining fast approaching, having a varied repertoire of interesting salads is a must. This salad from Jamie Oliver is a welcome change to the boring lettuce, cucumber and tomato combo. Light and refreshing with the mango, crunch from the bean sprouts and cashew nuts and soy sauce, sesame oil and coriander round out the Asian flavours.


Bunch of fresh coriander
400g packet of bean sprouts
Olive oil
100g cashew nuts
Honey for drizzling
1/2 fresh red chilli
1 small ripe mango
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
1 lime or lemon


Set aside a few sprigs of coriander for decoration, pick the leaves off the rest of the bunch and place in a large serving bowl.
Finely slice the coriander stalks, add to the bowl, and add bean spouts.
Wrap cashews in a clean tea towel and bash with a rolling pin, place in a frypan and on a low heat add some olive oil and toasts and turning occasionally until golden.
Remove from the heat and add a good drizzle of honey.
Finely slice the chilli and mango and add to the salad bowl.
Tip the honey toasted cashews over the top.
Dress with lugs of soy sauce, sesame oil, and extra virgin olive oil and the juice of the lemon/lime.

Toss to combine with your hands.

Decorate with saved coriander sprigs.

Crunchy fresh and delicious.

Mamma Marmalade.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

White Bean (Cannellini) Spread with Rosemary Garlic Oil

Diner en Blanc is in almost here!!!!  Our preparations are almost complete - and here is a sneak peek at the dip we will be serving for our 'nibbles' whilst we set up our magical white picnic! The magic of this dip/spread is the mild but satisfying flavours that don’t compete with whatever cuisine you might eat later on and it does not ‘overload’ the tastebuds with overpowering flavours. 

I almost insist on serving this dip with celery.  In fact, Wilbur enjoyed it so much he forgot he was even eating celery – never his first choice of green vegetables – and he agreed that the celery was the magic accompaniment – high praise indeed. The fresh, crunchy but subtly juicy bite lifts the white beans and … it’s just perfect together! (ok ... I love celery … is it obvious?).  This is my take on Heidi Swanson’s from “Super Natural Everyday”. 

Enjoy!    and ... "Happy Diner en Blanc" 

Makes approx. 400 -500 gram

Serve with celery – washed, dried, de-stringed and cut into approx. 2 inch narrow batons.
Cover and store in fridge.  I really like the dip to be almost room-temperature and the celery to be cold and crisp to get that crunchy contrast.

Preparation                  10 minutes
Cooking /assembly      20 minutes, including toasting almonds and infusing the Olive Oil

80 ml Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small garlic clove – sliced
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves –  the leaves from an approx. 12cm stalk

100 gram flaked almonds – lightly toasted.  Allow to cool.  NB  Retain 1/3rd for garnish

1 x 425 gram (approx.) tin White Beans  (Cannellini) – rinsed and well drained
Sea Salt – ground
1 – 4 tablespoons Lemon Juice  (need to add a little at a time – depends on ‘lemony-ness’)
1 Stalk of Italian Parsley – leaves only – finely chopped – reserve a few specks for garnish
60 – 125 ml HOT water  (usually approx 60 ml but sometimes a dash more – rarely 125ml)
White pepper – to taste
Zest of ½ lemon – NB a little for the dip and a little for garnish

In a small pan warm the Olive Oil with the garlic and rosemary until it just starts to barely sizzle. Remove from heat and allow to infuse for 10 minutes or so.
Strain the oil through a sieve into a jug and discard the used garlic and rosemary.

In a food processor – Pulse  2/3rds  of almonds so they are just starting to look crushed.

Then Pulse again to just combine the added white beans, ½ teaspoon Salt, a little white pepper, parsley, with 1 tablespoon  lemon juice and  2/3rds  of the rosemary Oil.

Add 60ml of the Hot Water and Pulse again – you want a thick, ‘dip’ consistency.
Stir in a teaspoon of the lemon zest.
Taste.  You will probably need to add more pepper, lemon juice and maybe a little more salt.  Taste again until you are happy with the flavour – (seasonal lemons vary in intensity).

If necessary, add a little more water – a tablespoon at a time – to get the desired consistency.

Spoon into your serving dish and make a few very small indentations on top.
Cover and cool in the fridge.

To serve
I think it is best removing dip from fridge about 15-30 minutes prior to serving if possible.

Sprinkle with the remaining almond flakes, lemon zest and parsley specks.
Drizzle with the remaining Rosemary Oil and it will pool in the little hollows.

                                 Enjoy!  Colleen

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Coffee and brown sugar tray cake

This cake may not be a winner in the looks department but it sure is a winner in the light, fluffy and tasty department.  One bowl cooking at it's best. Thank you Donna Hay.


1 cup (175g) brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups (375g) self raising flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups (330g) caster sugar
4 eggs
11/2 cups (275g) milk
250g melted unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
60 melted unsalted butter extra


Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius

In a small bowl combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, eggs, milk, melted butter (cooled) and vanilla, whisk until smooth.
Pour half the batter into a greased and lined with baking paper, metal slice tin (20cm x 30cm).
Sprinkle over the coffee granules and half of the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.
Pour the remaining batter on top and spread evenly.
Sprinkle remaining brown sugar and cinnamon over and spoon extra melted butter over the top.
Cook for 50-55 minutes until skewer inserted comes out clean.

Delicious on it's own or made into a dessert by topping with good quality ice cream.

Mamma Marmalade