Thursday, 29 April 2021

Chocolate Chip Banana Bars

 

When you have an abundance of ripe bananas, you should give this classic from Gran's book a whirl. This is the easiest recipe and is great for smoko or add yoghurt or ice cream for a yummy dessert. There are plenty of bananas in this recipe so I think you can call it a healthy snack to go with your cuppa...

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 very ripe bananas about 1 2/3 cup

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil any type
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chocolate chips divided

METHOD:

Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease or line with baking paper, a 40cm x 25cm tin.

Peel bananas and mash. Stir in brown sugar, oil, milk and eggs until combined. Add in dry ingredients and stir. Fold in 1/2 the chocolate chips.

Spread the batter into the prepared tin and sprinkle remaining chips on top. Bake 18-22 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely and cut into squares.

Makes 24 bars.

Enjoy xx


TIPS:

  • I use chocolate drops or buttons because gran used to but i'm sure it would be just as scrummy with chips if that's what you have to hand.
  • Using coconut oil gives a lovely flavour
  • replace the flour with wholemeal flour to make them a little more filling
  • Eat one while they are still warm and the chocolate is all melty... so good (this reminds me so much of gran, she always let us take one before they ahve cooled on the bench!)

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Beef Thai Green Curry - slow cooker



With beef that litterally falls apart, pumpkin, beans, and a rich aromatic sauce this is the ultimate mid-week comfort food that you will roll out time and time again. Perfect for busy working people, it takes hardly any time to throw together and is the perfect end to a chilly winters day. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg of stewing steak cut into 2cm chunks, fat trimmed
  • 1 Brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 Tblsp Thai Green Curry Paste
  • 1 Tblsp Crushed garlic
  • 1 Tblsp Minced Ginger
  • 1 Tblsp Lemongrass paste or fresh chopped lemongrass
  • 1 Red chilli - finely diced or 1 tsp of chilli flakes
  • 1 Tblsp Fish sauce
  • 1 Tblsp Raw honey
  • ¾ cup Coconut milk
  • ¾ cup Beef stock/broth
  • 4 fresh Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • ¾ tsp Salt
  • 1 cup diced Pumpkin - 1cm x1cm
  • 20 long Green beans - chopped
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 cups Jasmine rice

METHOD:

Brown the meat in a pan, once browned put in slow cooker. Int othe same pan, add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and lemongrass. Stir through for 2-3 minutes until it smells delicious. Add to the slow cooker and stir through the meat to combine. Add all of the remining ingredients and stir to combine.

Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Once its cooked, stir through the baby spinach.

Cook the rice and serve. 


TIPS:
  • Curry Paste: 2 Tblsp Thai Green Curry Paste makes a mild curry. To make it medium, add another tblsp of paste. I use the Valcom brand.
  • Lemongrass paste: I use the tubes that you find in the fresh food section by the fresh herbs.
  • Kaffir Lime leaves: Find them in the vege department or in a bottle in the specialty food section. You can swap it out for lime peel or leave it out altogether.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Brunch Toast Cups

 

Gran used to make these for us in the school holidays and she said she used to use them as a smoko option for the shearers when they were farming. They have become my weekend go-to for a light lunch or if I know we need something quick or transportable (and little people love them too!). They are perfect for sending off in the lunch bag with the farmer for days of mustering when they need the energy but a hot lunch isn't an option and you can put pretty much anything in them, making them perfect for using up left overs too. 

INGREDIENTS
  • 6 pieces of bread
  • Butter for spreading on the bread
  • 1/2 tin of spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup chopped spinach
  • 2 rashers of bacon (New Zealand farm raised please)
  • 6 eggs (or 3 eggs mixed with 1 cup cream)
  • 1 cup Grated Tasty Cheese

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Grease a large muffin tin. Butter the bread and place butter side down into the muffin tin. Mix the spaghetti and spinach together and then spoon into each bread cup, using even amounts in each. Chop the bacon and place even amounts in each cup. The eggs can be cracked in to each cup whole or beaten and pured into each cup. I prefer beaten because it soaks into the bread and makes it a little bit like french toast. Top with grated cheese. Place in the middle rack of the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes.

TIPS:
  • I prefer beaten because it soaks into the bread and makes it a little bit like french toast
  • If you are short on eggs or like a more french toast texture, beat three eggs and 1 cup of cream together and pour evenly into cups and let it soak into the bread.
  • Swap the spaghetti for baked beans
  • Swap the bacon for slices of cooked sausage (or keep both!)

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Roll Up Scones

This recipe is published in the Waihi School cook book "Fuel for your family" it has been shared from the recipe book of a country mum. I'm sure thousands of these have been served up to hungry farmers around the country over the years, its the buttermilk that makes them so good and I love that you can make them sweet or savoury depending on whatever takes your fancy on the day.

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 cups self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar for sweet scones, 1 Tblsp for savoury scones
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100g butter
  • 400ml Buttermilk, approximately
METHOD:
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celcius. Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Grate in the cold butter and mix through with a knife. Turn out onto a floured board and using a gentle touch, form into a rectangle shape approximately 2.5cm thick. Spread with desired topping. Roll as you would for pinwheel scones and slice. Place on baking paper. Cook for 10-12 minutes.

IDEAS FOR TOPPINGS:
  • Basil and pesto with cream cheese
  • Relish and cream cheese
  • bacon, cheese and tomato relish
  • bacon, cheese and spinach
  • chilli jam and cream cheese
  • date and orange. Soak dates first in orange juice
  • Rasberry and peach
  • Lemon curd
  • Rasberry and mango
  • Apricot and almond
Enjoy xx

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Bechamel Sauce

This is a classic sauce that can be used as a base for heaps of recipes. Low and slow is the way with this one and it is best served with heaps of cheese and pepper!

INGREDIENTS
  • 50g flour
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
METHOD:
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, cook until bubbling while stirring with a wooden spoon. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat. Continue to stir over 4-5 minutes and thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and add cheese if you wish to make a cheese sauce.

TIPS:
  • Cook the roux until it is golden and nutty smelling, you don't want the sauce to taste of raw flour but be carefull not to brown- it changes really quickly and if it is overcooked it will not thicken.
  • Warm the milk, it will cook faster and you will avoid the splatter fest that comes from adding cold milk to hot roux.
  • Add the milk slowly, add about 1/4 cup first and stir though until the sauce is smooth. Adding it all at once is a fast track to lumps! Then add slowly whilst stirring until it is all added and the sauce is thickening.
  • Cook it well! Once all the milk is added and the sauce is thickened, dip a spoon in the sauce and coat the spoon. Run your finger across the spoon, the sauce should not fill in the wiped away stripe. Once it is cooked, then add the seasoning and cheese.
Enjoy xx

Gran's Chicken & Vege All-in-one Lasagne

 

Gran was amazing at looking in the pantry and emerging with something to feed our family- I swear that lady could turn flour and water into a banquet at the drop of a hat. I'm still honing this skill and doubt very much that I will ever come close to her amazing home cooking. She did however leave this gem in her recipe book which is the perfect comfort food as well as for freezing in small portions for your little people. I think she would have been pretty thrilled to think her recipe is feeding little tummies.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tin Tomatoes
  • 1/3 Tin of Water
  • 250g Spinach- chopped
  • 100g Mixed Frozen Vege
  • 2 Carrots- grated or finely chopped
  • 1 Head of Broccolli -stalk included (chop finely or pop in the food processor)
  • 400g Chicken- diced
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 50g Butter
  • 2 1/2 Cups Milk
  • 1 Cup Cream
  • 150g Spaghetti Noodles broken into 3cm pieces

METHOD:

Make a Bechamel sauce with the flour, butter and milk. In a slow cooker, put all of the veges, water, pasta and chicken. Stir through the Bechamel sauce and add the cream. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Serve with grated cheese and lots of cracked pepper.

TIPS:
  • You can make this and freeze in portions for little people meals.
  • Change up the veges depending on what is in season or you have in the fridge.

Enjoy xx 

Tuesday, 2 February 2021

How To Cook Broad Beans

Broad Beans were on my 'OK but not super keen on them' list until I learnt how to prepare them. Double podding, or double shelling is the process in which you get rid of the tough outer skins and use the bright green, tender tasty little morsels hidden within the beans and it's super easy! Broad Beans are great for salads, teamed with BBQ and adding to pasta dishes. They are easy to grow too- win win!

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g Borad Beans (or however many you have picked from the garden for dinner!)
METHOD:

Remove the beans from the pod. Bring a pot of water to the boil and place the beans in the water. Boil for 2 minutes. Drain immediately and place in a bowl of iced or very cold water to stop the cooking process. Gently squeeze each bean until the middle pops out. Discard the outer skins.
Serve cold in a salad, reheat as a side or stir through your favourite pasta or risotto dish to add vibrant colour and taste!

Enjoy xx

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Summer Vegetable Fritters

 
My grandmother used to say things that we would be all well served to take on board- one of these such statements was that "just because you have a lot of something doesn't mean you should waste it". She was talking about vegetables but it pretty much applies to everything in life- including money, friends and love!
During the summer in particular you can end up with a bit of a glut of some veges, these little fritters are a great way to use some of them up, especially when they are getting close to past their best. They are also a pretty handy trick for getting veges into the kids, and they freeze well so they can be a great addition to lunch boxes well after these veges are out of season.

INGREDIENTS

You can vary the vegetables you use depending on what you have on hand:
  • 1 cup of grated potatoes
  • 2 cups of grated/ finely chopped vegetables of your choice- carrots, spinach, onion, broccoli, corn, peas
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground corriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 3 eggs
METHOD:

Grate the potatoes and then wash and drain. Grate or finely chop the remianing vegetables (I use my Tupperware Turbo Chef to chop them up).
Beat the egss. Mix the dry ingredients and the beaten eggs until you have a smooth batter (try not to over-mix because the fritters will be tough). Add the vegetables and stir through the batter. Heat a large pan and add oil and/or butter to fry the fritters. Add heaped teaspoons of batter to the pan to create small fritters (small fritters are easier to cook all the way though without burning the outside). Fry until golden on both sides.
Serve as a side with dinner, as a yummy healthy snack or light lunch.

TIPS:
  • You can make these in big batches and freeze the fritters, a quick heat in a frying pan will make them just like when you first made them. 
  • Serve them in a stack with bacon or smoked salmon and some horseraddish mayo (see recipe here) for a quick and yummy brunch or lunch.
  • These are a great addition to your kids lunch boxes. When we were kids, Gran used to put the mixture into metal cookie cutters in the pan- we obviously thought they tasted better when they were a cool shape!?!
  • You can add chilli if you like them with a little bit of spice
Enjoy xx

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Roast Chicken & Noodle Soup


If you have a roast chicken for dinner, there is always a bit left over and of course you have the bones. This recipe is a great way to get another meal from those leftover bits and get the satisfaction of making something rich, warming and delicious from scratch for your family.

INGREDIENTS

Chicken Stock (this is the base of your soup):
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 chicken carcass picked clean of meat and cut into pieces
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 large carrots roughly chopped
  • 1 celery sticks roughly chopped (use the twiggy bits from the top- not the leaves)
  • 1/2 large onion roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme

Roast Chicken Noodle Soup
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • 2 celery ribs chopped
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • ½ tsp dried mixed herbs
  • ½ cup risoni or orzo pasta
  • 1 200g pack of Vermicelli Rice noodles
  • 2 cups cooked chicken shredded or chopped
  • Salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Use a large pot – I use my big cast iron casserole dish. Heat oil over medium-high heat and add chicken carcass pieces and cook, turning occasionally, until bones and any remaining skin are browned. There will be bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. These are the yummy tasty bits!
Add a splash of the water to deglaze the pan and scrape all the browned bits off the bottom. Add the vegetables, water, and salt. Bring to barely a simmer (watch closely to make sure it never comes to a boil as that can make your soup cloudy).
Simmer for 90 minutes, scraping fat off the top occasionally, and checking to make sure your broth has not started to boil.
Discard large pieces of bone and vegetable before straining broth through a strainer. Rinse your pot to remove any chicken or vegetable remnants (there is often gritty bits left behind) and return broth to pot. Bring to a simmer and add carrots, celery, onion, risoni pasta and herbs. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Stir in the Vermicelli Rice noodles and chicken last (these don’t need cooking, they will soak up the broth and be ready in 5 mins).
Add more salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute to make sure the chicken is heated through.

Enjoy xx

Friday, 25 January 2019

Chicken Pan Pie


I threw this together last night for tea, I had forgotten how much i used to love Gran's pan pies full of creamy deliciousness. Using ingredients that most of us have in the house all the time, this is a great way to fill up the farmer and the family. Great served with seasonal veges and new potatoes or on its own, chicken pan pie is an easy dinner option and it can be adapted to make several smaller pies too. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • Olive oil for the pan
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 6-8 chicken thighs trimmed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 400gm button mushrooms, cut into quarters
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup cream 
    • If you don't have cream, substitute with 1/2 cup of sour cream or 1/2 cup milk mixed with 1/4 cup of mayonaise
  • 2 Tblsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tblesp chopped tarragon 
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 sheets of store bought rolled puff pastry
    • can substitute with filo sheets (as I did in the photo)
METHOD:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Heat the oil in a deep oven proof frying pan (I use my big old cast iron pan for this recipe) over high heat. Add the onions to the pan and cook for 2 minutes until golden. Toss the chopped chicken through the flour to coat, add it to the pan and cook, turning for 5-6 minutes or until brown on the outside. Add the mushroms and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the stock, cream, salt and pepper, lemon and tarragon and simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has reduced to become thick. Lay the sheets of pastry on top of each other and cut a circle that will fit neatly inside the rim of the pan, or use 4x 2 cup ramekins. Place the pastry on top of the chicken, transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden. SERVES 4

Enjoy xx

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Raisin, Oat and Chocolate Chip Biscuits



In a farm house, it is essential that the tins are filled with yummy things that go well with cups of tea. These cookies are delicious, and go well with tea. They also remind me of gran, she used to say that the oats and raisins made them healthy- which meant I was allowed two. I have since found this to be just something Grandmas say when they want to make an excuse for allowing small children to eat more than one biscuit.... got to love gran xxx

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 175g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 150g dark chocolate chopped into chunks
METHOD:
Preheat the over to 160 degree Celsius. Place vanilla, brown sugar, caster sugar, butter and egg in the food processor and and process until combined. Add the flour, baking soda and oats. Process until combined. Add the raisins and chocolate and mix together with a spoon. Roll one tsp of mixture at a time into a ball and place on a baking try lined with baking paper. Make sure you leave room for them to spread out. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they are golden. Leave on the tray to cool for 5 minutes and then transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy xx

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Chalk paint- some tips


I hadn't used chalk paint but had found it hard not to be a little intrigued about what all the fuss is about- you can't look on Pinterest without something being painted with the stuff! So I thought I would give it a whirl. I have written this blog to share some of the things I have found about chalk paint since that first project. I suggest you give it a try- it is a bit addictive and you tend to paint anything that isn't nailed down but it is a great way to give new life to something shabby or destined for the tip.
There are a few options on the market for chalk paint. The paint from Newton's Paints is really well priced and comes in little tins if you are a bit scared of investing too much to begin with. It is also available to buy online. There is the Annie Sloan products which are also good and available in loads of places, but I like to buy NZ made. Check out newton's online store HERE .
I thought that the 'no sanding' bit sounded like me and so on a sunny afternoon I cracked into it.
I rescued this little sidetable from the burn pile (the farmer tried three times to put it back on there!) and created this funky little striped table!
The ugly table that I started my chalk paint journey with.

Ok so here are some things I have learnt about chalk paint since this first table project:

  • THE BRUSHES: you don't need the fancy brushes that cost the earth, but a good quality brush will make the job have a nicer finish- talk to your hardware store about what is a good option- make sure you tell them you are working with chalk paint. I used the brushes from Newton's paint which start at $12.50 NZD, I have used a sponge for a small picture frame which gave a different effect again. or you could use a roller if you want a really smooth finish on a tabletop or something.
  • THE WAX: Get a brush for the wax, a piece of cloth will work but a brush is so much easier and gets into all the little corners. This also helps not using it all at once. The first time I did it, I used about half a bottle (of the liquid wax) on this little table and that was not necessary- in this case less is more. Also I found that the waxing step isn't as scary as I thought it was- it is actually quite easy and fast. I used two coats of wax on my table because I thought the top might last a bit better, I waited 24 hours between coats and it is really hard.
  • DARK WAX TIP: Have a damp cloth near by when applying dark wax. Applying dark wax can be very scary and intimidating at first. Every time I begin to apply it to an already beautiful chalk painted piece of furniture I hesitate. Here is a bonus tip: you always want to apply dark wax right after you have applied your clear wax. It makes it go on more smooth and is easier to spread around.  Don’t worry, you are not going to ruin your masterpiece with this intimidating darkness that you think will never come off. If you want, (here is another bonus tip) take a paper plate and plastic spoon and mix a little clear wax with your dark wax. This will give your antiquing vintage look that you are trying to achieve a soft finish. I like to have a clean damp cotton rag (old white t shirt) near by when doing a dark wax application just so I can spread it around easier or I can completely wipe off areas I'm not totally stoked about,  I have done that a few times!
  • BUFFING: Put your back into it! Also wait till tomorrow before you attack it, you get a better shine when the wax has had enough time to set. I used cheesecloth and it works really well. there are brushes available but I haven't tries so i cannot comment on their finish.
  • MIX THE PAINT: Make sure it is mixed properly. I sat my tin upside down for a bit and then gave it a bloody good shake. That seemed to do the trick.
  • THE FIRST COAT: I looked at my first coat and thought that I had been spun a yarn about how good this stuff is- it looked awful. However that coat dried in under and hour and I put the next coat on- then we were looking pretty sharp. The first coat was really rough and quite patchy with lots of brush marks. Once I put the second coat on, it smoothed out heaps and I wanted the brush texture so I applied it in all different directions to get a textured finish, you could be careful with your strokes following to grain to get a smoother look or apply it with a roller for a really even finish. But please do not panic at what it looks like in the beginning- more coats brings your project to life.
  • You can see the brush strokes in the paint, which is what I was after but you could follow the grain with a brush or apply with a roller to get a smooth finish. This is after the second coat.























  • LAYERS: layers work really well, if you want that chipped through vintage look of many years of painted layers then just paint multiple layers and chip each one as you go. Or just take some rough sandpaper and take some areas of paint off to make it look worn through to the next layer. There are some really good tutorials online for that and then wax it at the end. Or if you want stripes or patterns then just wait for the layer to dry, mask it up and paint straight over it. Then wax it to finish it. I used house paint for the stripes on this because I wanted to use the same colour I had on something else. You can create this with multiple layers of chalk paint though and there are heaps of colours available.

  • TO DISTRESS OR NOT TO DISTRESS: With this little table I didn't because I quite liked it the way it was but I have on projects since. This is quite easy and you can do it before or after the wax step- just on the google machine and find some projects that others have done to get some ideas about how distressed you want something to look. I found the thread on screws, steel wool and coarse sandpaper are the best (it sort of depends if you care about damaging the wood underneath as to how rough you want to be- sand paper is going to just damage the paint). I suggest buying something cheap or rescuing something that is being thrown out to have a practice on.
Have fun!
xx Abby

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Hot Summer Vege and Bacon Salad

This time of year there is so much growing and coming ready for the table. It is a time of dining outdoors and throwing everything on the BBQ, it is also a really busy time on the farm so we are all about things that are healthy and yum but mainly that are fast to make!
Most of these ingredients can be grown yourself or picked up at a roadside stall at this time of year, eating seasonally is a healthy option but it is also easy on the pocket!

INGREDIENTS:
  • Fresh Asparagus (a bunch is about 300gm)
  • A handful of new peas or whole snowpeas- whichever you have
  • 2 Kumara cubed
  • 2 rashers bacon
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 12 Cherry Tomatoes
  • A sprig of rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • Cracked pepper and rocksalt to season
METHOD:

Wash your asparagus and snap the bottoms off the stalks and chop in half. Steam the asparagus for about 3 minutes and then plunge into cold water.
Take your cubed kumara and toss in a little olive oil and finely chop and add your rosemary. Roast on 180 degrees for approx. 20 minutes. About 5 minutes before the kumara is ready put the bacon, red onion and cherry tomatoes in the oven to roast also (I put them all in together on one dish).
In a pan on the stove heat a little olive oil (and/or butter if you choose). Add the asparagus and peas and toss to heat through and brown slightly. Remove your roasted veges and bacon form the oven. Take your bacon and roughly chop into pieces. Now combine everything together, season with salt and pepper and serve either as a main or as a side with something off the BBQ.

TIPS:

  • Replace any of the ingredients with what you have in the garden- beans, baby beetroot and baby carrots roasted are all scrummy.
  • If you have the BBQ on, you can cook all the veges on there- maybe just par-boil the root veges a little to get them cooked all the way through.
  • I haven't used a dressing as I felt that there was enough olive oil in the process but if you love condiments then live little- throw them on there, an aioli would be pretty good i recon!


Enjoy xx
A

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Tomato, Olive & Mozzarella meatballs

This recipe is such a favorite in our house- the farmer even asked for it on his birthday! Buffalo Mozzarella bocconcini (which is just the name for small balls of mozzarella) is by far the best to use but sometimes the budget or availability don't make that possible so the packet stuff is fine. I often roll this one out for visitors as it goes really well with a glass of wine and is easy to make double amounts of if you have more than 4.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 c fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 c milk
  • 750g beef or pork mince
  • 1/3 c basil pesto
  • 1/3 c chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
  • sea salt & cracked pepper
  • 2 Tblsp olive oil
  • 500g cherry tomatoes (slice in half & remove the seeds)
  • 1/4 cup oregano sprigs
  • 1 c green olives (or whatever olives you like- I often used stuffed)
  • 200g baby bocconcini
  • 1 cup basil leaves
METHOD:
In a bowl place your bread crumbs and pour over the milk. Stand until the milk has absorbed. Place the mince, pesto, breadcrumb mixture, parsley, salt & pepper in a bowl and mix well to combine. Beat the mixture with a spatula for 2 minutes until smooth. Roll 1/4 cupfuls of the mixture with meatballs.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Heat the oil in a non stick pan and cook the meatballs, in batches, for 2 minutes each side each side or until golden but not cooked through. Transfer the meatballs into a baking dish with the cherry tomatoes, oregano, olives and bocconcini. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the meatballs are cooked through. Sprinkle with the basil leaves and serve with crusty bread.

enjoy xx
A


Sunday, 26 April 2015

Little puddings

Sorry about the rubbish photo- lets call this dessert 'rustic'! These little guys must have been made a thousand times in our house, I'm sure my sister is laughing as she reads this post. This recipe is a bit 80's really, microwave deserts were all the rage then but who cares- they are yummy! A great treat to make with the kids, they love watching them explode out of the cups in the microwave!
Add some vanilla ice cream or custard to make a delicious little dessert.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 Tblsp jam
  • 50g butter
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c flur
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c milk
METHOD:
Lightly grease 4 straight sided coffee mugs. Put 1 Tblsp of jam in each mug. Put butter in a bowl and microwave until melted (about 30 seconds). Add sugar and egg and whisk well. Sift in flour and baking powder. Add milk. Mix it all well. Put mixture evenly in the mugs on top of the jam. Put mugs in microwave, cook on high for 3-4 minutes. Stand for 1 minute. Run knife around the edge and tip out.

Enjoy xx
A

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Chicken, Prawn and tomato paella


This is the best recipe for those that have not tried making paella before. I was a bit scared of making paella the first time because I thought it looked hard to make and that it would take all day but that is not the case, especially with this recipe.
If you can get some devine seafood and have the time to potter and make the sauce etc, then seafood paella is to die for (and is not as hard as you  might think) but on a weeknight when the troops need fed- this is a great option. This paella is full of flavour, makes the kitchen smell AMAZING and all in half an hour (which includes 20 minutes to enjoy your wine while it simmers away).

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 ½ Tblsp olive oil
  • 1 x 200g chicken breast fillet, trimmed and chopped
  • 200g green (raw) prawns (shrimp), tails intact
  • 2 Chorizo sliced 
  • 1 small brown onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp moked paprika
  • ¾ c (150g) medium-grain rice
  • 1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1 ¼ c (310ml) chicken stock
  • flat-leaf parsley leaves and lemon wedges, to serve
METHOD:


Heat 1 Tblsp of the oil in a medium non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the chicken, chorizo and prawns and cook for 4–5 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Set aside and keep warm. Add the remaining oil to the pan with the onion, garlic, chilli and paprika and cook for 2 minutes or until softened. Add the rice, tomato and stock, stir through and reduce heat to low. Cover. Cook for 20–25 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed. Stir through the chicken, chorizo and prawns and cook for a further 1 minute. Top with parsley and serve with lemon wedges. Serves 2.

Enjoy xx
A

Friday, 17 April 2015

The best day ever!

On Friday the 13th (yes black Friday) of February, the farmer and I got off the farm for the weekend and had ourselves a wedding! It was amazing, to be surrounded by our closest family and friends for a weekend of fun, love and laughter (lots of laughter). A special thanks must go to our amazing wedding party that worked tirelessly to make it all come together and that really are incredible people xxx and to everyone that was a part of our day, the experience was incredibly humbling and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts
All the boys had their own handkerchief for the day

the shoes in teal

the farmer and his main men

Our lovely and talented aunty Karen did our flowers

Our cute and cheeky nephew Angus

Tekapo is stunning




The Mt John woolshed really came together and everyone fitted! 30 more than ever before...

The farmer's mother made the cake and his very clever sister iced it


Each placemat had our guests name, some puzzles and a special message to them, a nice way to thank them all
the weather was very kind


one of the farmers projects was to make these letters- he did an amazing job xx

The hangover only lasts a day, the memories last a lifetime

When a farmer gets married, you need plenty of meat!

Ribeye rolls, so darn good


A special thanks to the chef xxx Kelvin is not only a great friend he is also one very talented chef!

Each table had a ploughman's board to start

"girl food" as described by the farmer



100 dozen beers, 4 cases of white, 4 cases of red, 40L pimms, 40L punch, 4 cases of bubbles and some fizz....

a quick change into cowboy boots ready for the dancing!!

dessert was tasting plates, 160 slices of cake and not one left!

and into the night the party went....