Thursday, 13 December 2012

Walnut, Goat's Cheese & Wild Rocket Salad

Walnut, Goat's Cheese & Wild Rocket Salad

The latest issue of Real Living magazine is jam packed with Christmas ideas. I'll be entertaining a lot over the Christmas period and one particular salad recipe grabbed my attention, it looks simple and delicious.

Walnut, goat’s cheese & wild rocket salad

Ali Irvine
Walnut, goat’s cheese & wild rocket salad
Photo: Katie Quinn Davies

Serving size: Serves 8
Cooking time: Less than 30 minutes


1 1/4 cups walnuts, chopped roughly
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
1 eschalot, chopped finely
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
250g wild baby rocket leaves
300g goat’s cheese in ash, crumbled into pieces (we used South Cape Goat’s Cheese in Ash)

Equipment: Sharp knife; frying pan; wooden spoon; large mixing bowl

Heat frying pan over medium heat. Toast walnuts for about 10 mins until fragrant, tossing occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.

Make dressing Meanwhile, combine white wine vinegar and sugar in bowl; stir to dissolve sugar. Add eschalot and extra virgin olive oil. Season and stir to combine. 

Add rocket leaves to bowl of salad dressing and toss well to coat. Arrange salad on serving platter.

Serve Scatter over walnuts and crumbled goat’s cheese. Serve alongside the Christmas turkey.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Baked Lamb Chops

Finding myself with only chops to cook for dinner, I went looking on the internet for something inspirational that I could do with them. is a great resource for recipes, you can just put into their search engine the ingredients you have and it matches you with a recipe. On this day the site suggested Baked Lamb chops with pumpkin. It was so delicious and simple. I just had to share with you.

1 golden nugget pumpkin, cut into wedges, deseeded
olive oil cooking spray
8 lamb loin chops, trimmed
1 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup orange juice
2cm piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
175g baby green beans, trimmed, steamed

1. Preheat oven to 200C. Line baking tray with baking paper. Place pumpkin wedges onto prepared tray. Spray with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, place chops into a large oven proof baking dish. Combine marmalade, orange juice and ginger in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture onto chops. Turn to coat. Place chops in the oven under pumpkin. bake for a further 35 minutes or until chops are cooked through and pumpkin is golden and tender. Place chops onto serving plates. Drizzle with pan juices. Serve with pumpkin and beans.

I placed a wire rack over the chops and cooked the pumpkin on the rack so it could absorb the flavours from the meat below.
This is such a simple and tasty recipe. My family loved it.


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb

This is a hearty dish that simply melts in your mouth. A great crowd pleaser that requires no last minute preparation. Instead it can be cooking slowly in the background, oozing sensuous smells, while you enjoy your guests company. 

1 leg of lamb
1/2 litre of red wine
1 litre of tomato juices
1 can of peeled tomatoes
3 onions chopped
4 cloves of garlic crushed
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped thyme
1/4 of preserved chopped lemon if you have some.
Salt and pepper
1 can of chickpeas
1 can of butter beans 

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celcius. Trim all the fat off the lamb. Put the the lamb into a casserole dish with the red wine, tomato juice, peeled tomatoes, onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme salt and pepper.
Cover and heat in oven for 4 hours. After 4 hours add the chick peas and butter beans. Increase the heat to 200 degrees celcius and cook uncovered for another hour. 
This is great served with cous cous, rice or mashed potatoes. The meat will just fall off the bone. 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Apple Tart

 This apple tart is very easy to make and dare I say fool proof?


1 sheet of puff pastry
2 or 3 apples (depending on size)
1/2 cup of brown sugar(make it a generous 1/2)
Squeeze of lemon juice.
Pinch of salt


  1. Thaw puff pastry sheet and cut in the middle
  2. Core and slice apples. 
  3. Squeeze lemon juice over apples.
  4. Mix apples and sugar in a bowl. 
  5. Add pinch of salt.
  6. Arrange fruit down the middle of each pastry sheet.
  7. Place on a tray in a preheated (180 degree) oven.
  8. Cook until pastry is brown and crunchy.
Enjoy, xToni

Monday, 15 October 2012

Prawn Risotto

One of my favourite dishes is risotto. I can eat it with almost anything. I often make it simply with green prawns and everyone in my family loves it.

First throw some chopped shallots and garlic and coriander root into a pot. 

 Add olive oil and gently fry for a few minutes.

 Add two cups of risotto and stir until oil has covered risotto.

 Now stir in small amounts of chicken stock allowing the risotto to soak up the stock before adding a little more. This could take 15 to 20 minutes so you need to make sure you are free of all distractions as you need to stir constantly to avoid the risotto sticking.

 Splash in about a 1/4 of a cup of white wine in the early stages of absorption and allow it to be absorbed before continuing with the chicken stock. 

You should use about a litre of stock but if you find that the risotto is not cooked fully after using all the stock, then just use water for the last few minutes of absorption.

 When the risotto is 3/4 cooked, throw in some chopped asparagus and red capsicum and stir through.

Finally add about 500 grams of peeled green prawns and some chopped coriander, stir through and turn off the heat and cover. for about 5- 10 minutes.

 I find that the heat cooks the prawns perfectly and because its done at the last minute they're not rubbery from overcooking.

The risotto is cooked if it feels spongey, not hard in the centr in the centre.

 A squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle  of coriander leaves and its done!

Simple,  delicious and very satisfying.

Giulia x

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Potato Bake

Lately, whenever I need a recipe I seem to go straight to google. My recipe books are sitting unopened and gathering dust. What I love about google is that you can just type in a few ingredients and up comes a delicious recipe, most of which are print friendly. 

I have had varying degrees of success over the years with making a simple Potato Bake. I don't know why this is a problem for me? I seem to be able to get it perfect one day or something dry and revolting the next, nothing in between.

So yesterday I went looking on the internet for a fail proof recipe and woo la up comes this little gem, Exclusively Food. All the recipes are print friendly and come with step by step photos and instructions.

Creamy Potato Bake Recipe

A rich, creamy sauce oozes from between layers of tender potato slices in this cheese-topped potato bake. We like to use desiree potatoes in this recipe; they retain their shape and have a nice flavour.

We use a 20ml tablespoon and 250ml measuring cup for all of our recipes.

300ml (1 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons) cream (35 to 40 percent fat)
166ml (2/3 cup) milk
1 medium garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1kg potatoes (about six medium-large desiree potatoes)
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper, or to taste
100g (1 cup, firmly packed) grated tasty cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (180 degrees Celsius fan-forced).

Stir cream, milk and garlic together in a medium bowl or jug.

Peel potatoes and cut into 3-4mm thick slices.

Layer the potato slices, seasoning with salt and pepper between the layers, in a 2.6 litre capacity baking dish. We use a baking dish that is about 6cm deep. ©

Pour cream mixture over potato.

Tightly cover the baking dish with greaseproof paper then aluminium foil.

Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes, until potato is tender when tested with a skewer or knife. Discard the paper and aluminium foil.

Increase oven temperature to 220 degrees Celsius (200 degrees Celsius fan-forced). Sprinkle potato with grated cheese. Return potato bake to the oven, and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden.

Allow the potato bake to stand for about 20 minutes before serving. Alternatively, store the cooked potato bake in the refrigerator, and reheat in the microwave or oven. ©

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Bacon and Vegetable Soup

One of the good things about cold weather is the food. Hearty stews and casseroles, slow cooked meals and delicious soups.

Bacon and Vegetable Soup 

Ingredients: (these may vary slightly) 

2 teaspoons of olive oil 
1 leek, trimmed, halved, washed and sliced 
2 or 3 garlic gloves, crushed 
4 rashers of bacon, chopped 
1 celery stick, trimmed, chopped 
1 large carrot, peeled, chopped 
1 small swede, peeled, chopped 
1 parsnip peeled, chopped 
1 medium zucchini, halved, sliced 
1 medium potato, peeled, chopped 
1/2 sweet potato, peeled, chopped 
1/3 cup of pearl barley 
400 g can Crushed tomatoes (crushed is better  but if only have diced that's ok
6 cups chicken stock 
1 tablespoon of fresh herbs eg basil 


1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook leek and garlic Stirring for a few minutes before adding bacon to brown slightly 

2. Add veggies 

3. Stir in barley, tomato and stock 

4. Simmer until vegetables are tender 

5. Add fresh herbs, Stir.

6. Serve

I made damper to go with mine, but any crusty bread would be perfect!


Monday, 2 July 2012

Smoked Salmon Penne

A Sunday night favourite of ours is Smoked Salmon Penne. Its quick and delicious.

  • 2 tbl olive oil
  • 2 sliced shallots
  • 300g smoked salmon 
  • finely grated rind of a large lemon
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1 fresh red chili chopped
  • thinly sliced red capsicum (1/4 -1/2)
  • 4 tom tomatoes cut in half
  • asparagus sliced thinly (optional)
  • 400g of penne
  • 400g 95% fat free carnation milk
  • chopped parsley and or coriander 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • an egg whisked 
1.Cook penne in boiling salted water.
2.In a pan, fry chili, shallots and garlic for 1-2 minutes in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
3.Add sliced capsicum and fry for a further 2 minutes. 
4.Add tin of carnation milk, salt and pepper to taste, asparagus and grated rind of the lemon and simmer for a further 2 minutes. 
5.Add sliced salmon and chopped parley and or coriander and simmer for a further 2 minutes.
6.Drain pasta and add to the salmon mixture in fry pan. Stir in a raw whisked egg to thicken.

Serves 4

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Kids Finger Food

Whenever we have friends over or my little girl has a play day, I always serve my home made hummus for the kids. They love it and the best thing is that it can be served with healthy or not so healthy dippers! My recipe is simple.  I just use the recipe because its simple, fast and healthy.
There's no way my child would ever eat a chic pea on its own, so what a perfect disguise for something that you know is good for your kids. 

600g tin of chickpeas drained and rinsed.
3 garlic cloves crushed
100ml olive oil
2tsp ground cumin
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbl tahini paste
Place all the ingredients into a food processor and combine.
Add a 1/4 cup of water and process until smooth.
Serve with turkish bread or chopped fruit and vegetables or crackers and cheese.

Pinned from

This is so cute! I found this on Pinterest. What a fun way to serve hommus for littlies! Check out the sprigs of parsley in the top of the baby carrots. Nice!!

From G.x

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Mexican Wedding Cake

This would have to be the easiest and most delicious cake I have ever made and you don't even need a wedding as an excuse to create it. Its limited ingredients defies all logic, as it tastes like you've spend hours soaking fruit and combining nuts with what tastes like double the ingredients that it actually contains. Better still, is the way you just toss in all the ingredients, mix them and bake! My kind of cooking!
2 cups of castor sugar
2 cups of plain flour
2 tsp of baking soda
2 eggs beaten
1 cup of chopped walnuts
425g crushed pineapple with the juice
Mix ingredients until combined and bake at 180 degrees for 45 minutes.

125g icing sugar
125g margarine
2 tsp vanilla essence
250g philodelphia cheese.
Mix until smooth and creamy and smother thickly over top and sides of cake. 
Take my word for it, it really is to die for.
Excellent for any morning or afternoon tea delight!!
From G. x

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Rich Chocolate Cake

Guess what my kids are having for afternoon tea? Chocolate Cake!!!

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients (serves 12)
         200g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
         200g butter, softened
         1 cup dark brown sugar
         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
         3 eggs, at room temperature
         1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
         2 tablespoons cocoa powder
         1/2 cup milk
         chocolate curls or shavings (optional), to serve (see note)
         Chocolate icing
         200g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
         1/2 cup thickened cream
1.            Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line base and side of a 6cm deep, 22cm (base) round cake pan.
2.            Place chocolate in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on MEDIUM (50%) for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, until almost melted. Stir until smooth. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
3.            Using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Add melted chocolate. Beat until well combined. Sift flour and cocoa together. Fold half the flour mixture into butter mixture. Add half the milk. Stir gently to combine. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and milk. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth surface. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
4.            Stand cake in pan for 15 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Spread icing over top and side. Top with chocolate curls, if using. Serve.
5.            To make chocolate icing: Combine chocolate and cream in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, until almost melted. Stir until smooth. Set aside for 30 minutes or until thick enough to spread.
         To make chocolate curls, run a clean potato peeler down the side of a block of chocolate, allowing curls to fall onto a plate.

I didn't make the icing, just dusted with icing sugar!
Photos are a little dark, but you get the idea.......

     T x


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