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, 26 April 2016

Orange, Almond Cardamon Puddy Cake

This is the type of recipe I love to share.  My gorgeous Cousin Emily kindly sent me her 'always perfect Orange Almond Cake' recipe in response to my SOS for a dessert cake which was DairyFree and GlutenFree.  Emily was right! As usual!  

This dessert cake was perfect - we shared it during our recent grape-picking weekend at the sublime Pyramids Road Winery where they specialise in hand-made wines. 
This puddyCake (my description of a cake to serve for dessert) was moist, flavoursome, easy to transport - did not need heating or refrigeration - and addressed some guest's dietary requirements. I did make a small alteration to Emily's recipe - Hayden's Adventures  suggested adding poppy seeds and a pinch of cardamom to the cake and a splash of lime juice to the syrup. Amazing results!  So, whichever way you choose to serve your PuddyCake, the results will be devoured by everyone! 
Thanks Cousin Emily and Hayden! 
Orange Almond Poppy PuddyCake by Feed Your Inner Cook
Orange Almond Poppy PuddyCake by Feed Your Inner Cook

Orange Almond PuddyCake by Feed Your Inner Cook
Orange Almond PuddyCake by Feed Your Inner Cook
Serves 12 – 16

Preparation       1 hour – 2 hours for boiling oranges, then 1 -2 hours to cool slightly
Preparation      20 - 30 minutes
Cooking           45 min – 1 hour
Syrup               30 min – 45 minutes


3 Navel Oranges –  whole.  Good sized, heavy. 
   Well washed, organic if possible. Navel oranges do not have seeds

1 teaspoon Baking Powder.  (should contain corn-starch, not wheat. If gluten free is important – read label)
6 eggs
1 ¼ cups Castor Sugar
4 cups Almond Meal  (500 gram)   
¼ cup Poppy Seeds
¼ teaspoon Ground Cardamom

1 ½ cups Orange Juice – strain to remove pulp.  Use good quality, fresh juice
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Water

½ of one lime – juice only


Place the whole oranges in a very large deep saucepan and cover with water.
Bring to boil and continue to boil for 1 – 2 hours until very soft.  Depends on skin thickness. 
Remove from water and allow to cool approx. 1 hour minimum to 2 hours.
TIPS and HINTS: Boiling reduces the bitterness and makes entire orange soft – soft playdough consistency.  I tried using a microwave method but the flavour was not nearly as good – I will stick to boiling.

Preheat oven to 180 °C regular oven. Fan forced 160 °C. 
(I found just under 170 °C  was okay with my oven on fan assist).

Use a 24 cm Springform cake tin.  Line the base with baking paper, allowing some extra at sides outside the tin, to help with removing cake after baking. 
Grease base and sides with Butter (NB NOT butter if requiring DairyFree cake) thus I use Macadamia Oil to ensure cake is Dairy Free or you could spray with one of those Cooking Oil sprays if you want.

Cut the cooled oranges up roughly (check there are NO seeds) and add oranges, including any escaping juice, into a Food Processor.
Puree the oranges, add the baking powder and blitz again to combine.

In a medium bowl, combine the almond meal, poppy seeds and cardamom.

Using an Electric Mixer, add the eggs and sugar into large bowl.  Whisk until thick and pale.

Change whisk to the mixing paddle.  Gently fold in 1/3rd at a time alternating orange puree, then the almond mix.  Check all is gently combined.

Spoon or gently pour mixture into the prepared pan.
Dust with a little castor sugar and decorate with some blanched almonds if you like.

Bake 50 min to 1 hour.  Check at 45 minutes.  Turn pan around if browning unevenly.
Cake is cooked when firm to touch in the centre and golden. Should be moist but firm.
Cover with alfoil to keep moisture in.   If transporting, leave alfoil cover on.

Cool in the pan 15 minutes before removing from tin (or leave in for easy transporting)

Serving options (depending on your dairy free requirements)
Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar (optional), the syrup, cardamom flecked thick cream or sour cream or yoghurt.

Cake is equally delicious served at room temperature with warm syrup and creams etc as above.

Orange Lime Syrup   -  This is seriously delicious
1 ½ cups Orange Juice – strain to remove pulp.  Use good quality, fresh juice
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Water

½ of one lime – juice only

Using a medium saucepan, combine the orange juice, sugar and water.
Bring to boil and then simmer for 20 – 40 minutes until thickens and becomes syrupy.
(I pop a wooden spoon across the pan during the simmer and never had a boil over)
Just as it thickens,  add the ½ lime juice and continue to simmer until syrupy.

If you accidentally take it too far – just add a splash of hot water and simmer and stir until desired consistency.
Orange Almond Poppy PuddyCake by Feed Your Inner Cook
For more information check out
Hayden's Adventures     for 4WD adventures and food ideas  
be sure to visit Pyramids Road Winery  for hand-made artisan wines in the Granite Belt, Queensland Australia                         
                                             Enjoy! Colleen

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Spice and Rosemary Roasted Nuts

When friends drop in for a visit it's great to serve an alternative to the ubiquitous dips and crackers. The flavour is not overpowering - and you can vary the mix to your preference.

I adapted Nigella's recipe with a few added spices and replaced butter with Macadamia Oil to make it dairy free. These nuts transport easily if you want to take something to share at a gathering and really hit the spot during our grape-picking weekend at Pyramids Road Winery.   Hope you enjoy making and sharing these delicious nuts at your next event!

Spice and Rosemary Roasted Nuts by Feed your Inner Cook
Preparation  15 - 20 minutes
Cooking        7 - 15 minutes
Combining    5 minutes


600 gram total of  assorted unsalted nuts - Brazil nuts, Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds, Macadamias, Cashews    -  a mixture of whatever varieties you prefer

Spice and Oil Mixture
2 - 3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2  teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2  teaspoon dried Chilli Flakes (optional)
1/2  teaspoon Garlic Powder  
shake of dried Rosemary leaves
2  teaspoons Maldon Sea Salt - crushed  PLUS   extra for sprinkling later
2    teaspoons Dark Muscovado Sugar   OR Dark Brown Sugar
2    teaspoons OverProof Bundaberg Rum  OR regular Bundaberg Rum (optional)
1 - 1 1/4 Tablespoons Macadamia Oil  (a little goes a long way!)


Mix the spice and oil mix (without nuts) in a large bowl, ready for AFTER nuts baked

Preheat oven to 180° C  (oven must be at temperature before adding the nuts)

Prepare 2 oven trays with alfoil and baking paper and spread the nuts over the trays without crowding the nuts too tightly    NB nuts only

Toast the nuts in the oven approx 10 minutes (watch so they don't burn!) til lightly golden.

Remove from oven. Turn oven off and leave oven door closed.
Pour hot nuts into the prepared spice mix and mix through.
Spread the spiced nuts over the oven trays again and return to the OFF oven for 5 minutes or so to intensify the spiced mix.  Check they are not burning.

Remove from oven.
Allow to cool slightly and check for flavour  - add a little extra salt or chilli etc to your taste preference.

Serve warm   OR   at room temperature.

If storing in airtight glass containers - allow to cool completely beforehand.


for more information about handcrafted wines see  Pyramids Road Winery
on the Granite Belt near Stanthorpe Queensland.  Hand made and wonderful!
Spice and Rosemary Roasted Nuts by Feed your Inner Cook
                                           Enjoy!   Colleen

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Smoky Barbeque Sticky Chicken Wingettes

It is always handy to have a recipe for nibbles to share - satisfying flavours, crowd pleaser and travels well to the venue.  I made these very moreish Sticky smoky chicken wingettes as nibbles to share on a recent grape picking weekend at the superb Pyramids Road Winery near Stanthorpe in Queensland.  Warren and Sue Smith make stunning hand-crafted award winning wines - be sure to drop in whilst visiting the Granite Belt or check out their boutique wines at Pyramids Road Winery.  
Smoky Barbeque Sticky Chicken Wingettes by Feed Your Inner Cook
Preparation  10 minutes and overnight marinating (4 hours minimum)
Cooking        25 - 30 minutes     

1 – 1 ¼ kg Chicken wingettes – found at most butchers or supermarkets – chopped in half, wing tip removed -  for ‘chew off the bone’ ‘eat with your fingers’ nibbles

Sticky sauce Ingredients

½ cup Barbeque sauce 
2 tablespoons Caramelised Onion Jam  (store bought is fine – Beerenberg South Australia make a nice one available in many shops   http://www.beerenberg.com.au/

3 garlic cloves crushed
2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
1 teaspoon dried Chilli flakes   (optional)
½ teaspoon  ground White Pepper
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
10 – 12 stems of fresh chives – very finely sliced  PLUS extra for garnish at end
Splash of sesame Oil (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste (optional)

Cooking oil spray for during baking

Serving Options
Sweet Chilli sauce
Greek yoghurt
Lemon wedges


Place a large plastic freezer bag in a bowl.

Using a measuring Jug – combine the sauce ingredients – Taste and adjust/add  extra chilli etc to your preference.  Pour into the plastic bag.

Add the chicken pieces and gently massage well to coat with marinade.
Store in fridge and turn the plastic bag regularly to toss with marinade. 
Leave overnight or 4 hrs minimum.

Preheat oven 220° C.   Don’t put chicken in until oven is ready and hot.

Prepare 2 oven trays – cover with alfoil and baking paper.

Remove chicken pieces from plastic bag, shaking off excess sauce. Place on tray without crowding pieces.

Pour the extra marinade into a very small saucepan and if needed brush a little onto any pieces that might have missed a marinade coating.   Too much sloppy sauce will just steam instead of caramelising.

Cook for 10 minutes.  Turn the pieces, brush with tray juices.  Then very quickly lightly spray with oil  (this helps render the fat)

Cook for 10 minutes and repeat above process.
Cook for further 5 -10 minutes repeating above process  ie Chicken cooks 25–30 min total.

Whilst chicken is cooking – boil the remaining marinade for 10 minutes in very small saucepan until thick and sticky.  Important to boil well as sauce has been in contact with raw chicken.  May need to add a splash of water if starts to dry out too quickly

Remove cooked chicken from oven.  Drizzle with the sticky boiled marinade sauce.
Serve warm with the suggested sides.

PS  I precooked these chicken pieces and the sauce, took them to our grapepicking weekend at the beautiful Pyramids Road Winery http://www.pyramidsroad.com.au/ where I reheated them for 10 mins and then drizzled with warmed sauce – still delish and were great to share!


                Enjoy!  Colleen

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Gnocchi Gratin

What a clever idea!  Nigella puts a twist on making traditional potato bake by swapping Gnocchi for sliced potatoes. This one tasted delicious but could have had a tad more oven time to turn it golden.


250 g mascarpone
60 ml milk
4 Tablespoons grated parmesan
Freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 x 400 g packets of fresh gnocchi
2 Tablespoons breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius

Combine mascarpone and milk in a large flat bottomed oven proof frying pan, (large enough to add the cooked gnocchi later in one layer)
Warm until the mixture starts to bubble, turn heat off and add 3 tablespoons of the grated parmesan cheese, stir to combine and melts.
Add ground pepper and freshly grated nutmeg and salt to taste.
Take the pan off the heat.

Boil salted water and cook gnocchi according to the packet instructions.

Drain the gnocchi, add it to the sauce turning well but gently so they are all covered in a single layer.
Top with remaining grated parmesan and bread crumbs.

Bake for 15 minutes until bubbling and golden.

Serve immediately.

Mamma Marmalade