T.F.C – Tanz Fried Chicken

Succulently juicy chicken encased in a fabuliciouzly seasoned crust –

oh yeah!

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When I was a little girl on the farm, we used to drive the half hour to Lismore every weekend to treat ourselves to the only fast food take away around – you know the one, the colonel 😉 shhhhhh! So Fried Chicken really grew to become a comfort food for me even though I’m Australian. Since becoming aware of being Celiac, this is something I have truly missed as there is not a single item on that particular ‘restaurants’ menu I can devour. So what’s a girl to do? Make my own, of course!

I choose to keep it really simple after watching heaps of footage on the Food Network of American kitchens in how they prepare their Fried Chicken, but by all means, feel free to muck about with creating your own secret herbs & spices blend.

To start, I bung into a bowl some Gluten Free plain flour & season it with salt, white pepper & paprika (I get my paprika imported direct from Hungary so the quality really does show), mix that really well & then use it to coat boneless chicken thighs. I do a double coating for extra yumminess.

Heat up a good amount of oil in a large frypan & simply shallow fry your chicken on both sides until cooked through.

Remove from the hot oil onto a paper towel lined tray or plate to drain & serve alongside creamy mashed potato & gravy.

Roast Meat Fritters

All Aussie kids know that leftover Sunday Roast means Meat Fritter Monday!

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It’s an Aussie classic icon of a recipe that has comfort food written all over it! This is definetly my sort of recycling! It’s so quick, ever so easy & oh so Fabuliciouz!

Start by chopping up your leftover roast meat into small pieces & set that aside. Be mindful of sneaky hubby fingers stealing the loot!

Grab yourself a mixing bowl & into that goes 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, 1 egg & then season generously with salt & pepper before whisking the daylights out of it.

Carefully mix through the batter whatever chopped up meat has survived the hubby’s carnivorous kitchen raids & we’re ready to cook.

Heat up some oil in a fry pan, we’re shallow frying so make sure it’s enough, not just a glug here. Then drop spoonfuls of meat infused batter into the hot oil, just like making pancakes really. When you see that they’ve browned coming half way up sides of fritter, then it’s time to flip them (pants on job with hot oil people!) to cook the other side.

When both sides are cooked, lift them out onto a plate lined with kitchen paper towel to drain.

I serve these with any leftover veggies as well for a completely recycled meal or they’re great on their own as snacks or even whack them on a sandwich cold for lunches through the rest of the week.

Gluten Free Mini Quiche

Mini Me had her birthday party yesterday but instead of serving the usual chips, lollies & fairy bread, she had a Glitter Tea Party featuring Pigs in Blankets, Fruit Salad in noodle boxes, Pink Iced Tea (Strawberry & Turkish Apple), Pastry Cheese Sticks & these wee rippers of a Mini Quiche!

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Simply Pre-heat your oven to 180c while you pop 10 patty cases into a muffin tray. Line them with a slice of round meat each, I’ve used Turkey slices in this instance but I’ve also done this with both ham  & chicken slices in the past.

Grab a mixing bowl & whisk up 6 eggs before seasoning with salt & pepper. Pour into the meat lined cases.

Top each one with shredded cheddar cheese & some torn fresh parsley.

Whack those in the oven for 20 minutes or until they set.

These went down an absolute treat with the little & big kids alike.

Roasted Pumpkin Salad

Confession time – the one & only thing I’m extraordinarily fussy about is salad!

For me, it must feature warmth & banish lettuce!

I have but one exception to this rule with Caesar, but that’s not today’s story!

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For this wee beauty you’ll first need to peel & roughly chop up half a butternut pumpkin into bite sized cubes. Throw those into a baking tray & toss to coat them in a generous amount of cumin & paprika. Drizzle with oil & whack in a 180c oven for 1 & 1/2 hours to roast & caramelise.

Next, break up half a cauliflower & bung in your steamer to soften nicely.

Grab out a large frypan & heat up a glug of oil. Fry off a teaspoon of minced garlic whilst wilting some spinach leaves & throw in some sliced up sundried tomatoes. Add in the roasted pumpkin & steamed cauliflower, toss through before finally crumbling over a 200g block of feta cheese.

Now that’s a salad!

Pork Satay

Hubby went back for seconds on this one whilst Mini Me put down her fork & dove right in with her hands! What a mess! But, at least they enjoyed it.

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Grab a marinating dish, I must admit I do love my Tupperware one with the lid, and into that goes 200ml of coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter & 2 teaspoons of curry powder (I use Keens). Give that lot a jolly good stir about to get it all nicely incorporated into a luscious marinade.

Bung in 500g of pork stir fry strips & lavishly coat in the marinade before placing in fridge overnight.

Next comes my precious………

It’s wok time!

Heat up a solid glug of oil in the bottom of your wok to fry off some carrot sticks then whack in the pork strips along with all the marinade. Stir fry until pork is cooked, throw in a handful of frozen peas, keep stirring until they’re tender & serve straight over cooked vermicelli noodles. Garnish with a few roasted coconut chips for crunch if that floats your boat.

It’s Chompin Time!

Damper

It’s Sop Up Season!

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Damper is one of those quintessential Aussie-isms that has somehow gotten lost from our kitchens over the years. Not in my household, though! This is just perfect to whip up in the oven to break into steaming hot chunks for dunking into all those soups & stews on a bitterly cold evening.

Start by lightly greasing a baking tray & either lining with some baking paper or dusting in a wee bit of flour.

Grab a large mixing bowl & bung in 2 cups of self raising flour, a teaspoon of sugar (I use raw), a good pinch of salt & a teaspoon of butter. Give that a jolly good mix up to ensure your butter is well dispersed before adding in 1 cup of milk. Stir to form a manageable dough, it will be sticky.

Turn the dough out onto the prepared tray & shape it into a flattish ball, I then like to use my finger to gently create spikes all over for the crunchy bits.

Whack it in a 220c oven for half an hour (30 minutes) & then It’s Chompin Time!

Tanz Tip – this is also a fabuliciouz alternative to scones when served with jam & cream mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Cheesy Beef Stew

Absolutely perfect for these chilly Melbourne nights, this hearty rich stew will warm the very cockles of your soul.

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 Once again, not the prettiest photo ever taken, but when we’re talking cold weather comfort foods it’s all about the flavour! Mini Me declared this to be Fabuliciouz & said, “You’re definitely making this again mum!”. Hubby couldn’t talk, too busy eating, but nodded enthusiastically in agreeance.

Now, if you don’t have any left over mashed potato, you may want to start by whipping up a quick batch of that – use say about 8 or so decent sized tatties (about 700g worth). Set it aside for later in the recipe.

Grab a deep sided large saucepan & pop a good glug of oil in to heat up. Brown off 500g of beef mince ensuring you season generously, as always, with salt & pepper. Tip in a can (400g) of diced tomatoes & give a jolly good stir. Next, add in 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, a good handful (about a tablespoon worth) of mixed dried herbs, a tin (425g) of Mexican Beans & 300ml of beef stock. Stir that really well to combine & reduce it a wee bit on a simmer.

The Mexican Beans have a wonderful sauce that they come in which is full of fabuliciouz spices so that gives a lot of flavour to the stew.

Transfer the filling to a casserole dish before turning your attention to the mashed tattie.

To the mash, add in a 200g tub of cream cheese & a very generous helping (about a tablespoon) of paprika. Mix it in really well so it’s all combined evenly.

Spoon that over the filling in the casserole dish & then crown it with an obscene amount of grated cheddar cheese.

Whack it in a 200c oven until the cheese is golden & good & proper melted! Usually takes about 15 minutes.

Stuffed Pork Roll

It may not be the prettiest thing ever but oh my goodness, the flavours are Fabuliciouz!

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Hubby was extremely pleased when I whacked this down his plate, he hooked right in 🙂

Start by laying out a juicy piece of pork snitzel then layer it in the middle with a slice of bacon, followed by a slice of swiss cheese, then lovely roasted peppers & finish the stuffing with another bacon slice before seasoning with salt & pepper.

Next, roll up the snitzel from one end & secure with a bamboo stick. Then roll in flour, dunk in well beaten egg & finally coat in your chosen crumb (I’ve used corn crumb).

Bung a good glug of oil in a frypan to heat up & shallow fry until golden.

Then dig in!

Tackling the Diabetic Diet

I am absolutely blown away by our newly found knowledge that we actually don’t need to change a thing to accommodate Mini Me’s diabetes.

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To say we were shocked when the doctors announced Diabetes is now going to be apart of our life would be an epic understatement!

For a person like me, the issue of FOOD was one of my first questions. What do I need to change to feed my little girl? What do I need to do differently? What is our lifestyle going to be now?

 I must admit, I was harassing medical staff a wee bit with my bombardment of thirst for information.

To my pleasant surprise, I have discovered we actually don’t need to change a thing with our actual diet – Mini Me just needs to eat more! She’s such an active little girl. The temptation, we were warned, of parents with newly diagnosed Diabetes children is to put them on a low carb diet, however this would be detrimental to their health. Kids are naturally super active so need the carbohydrates in a well balanced diet to regulate their blood glucose levels.

And here I was thinking it was going to be all about the sugar!

Whilst, yes, we do need to be aware of simple sugars in her diet like lollies & cake, there is a reason these things are called treats. They are not to be consumed all the time. Mini Me was relieved when the doctor said she is allowed to have her birthday cake at her impending celebrations. In her words, “it wouldn’t be fair mum if everyone else got to eat my birthday cake & I couldn’t” – I absolutely agree!

What I didn’t realise is that the foods to watch for Diabetics is actually the carbohydrates. You know, things like bread, pasta, rice, potato – practically our entire diet!

Basically, people with Diabetes need to follow the diet that everyone should be on anyway – a healthy balance of the five food groups with low fat & low sugar. We need to look for Low G.I foods to maintain steady blood glucose levels.

The Diabetic Diet should contain wholegrain breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, fresh vegetables & fruits, milk, cheese, yoghurt, lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts & legumes.

Sounding familiar right?! So generally speaking, the Diabetic Diet is fabuliciouz & something our family has been doing all along anyway. Avoiding highly processed foods, avoiding fast & junk foods, eating lots of whole foods & cooking from scratch so we can control what goes into our bodies.

As a part of our Homeschool Personalised Learning Program, we’ve already started learning about sustainable living with Mini Me planning her Food Garden, so I think this will help enormously with her understanding of what is happening in her little body. I shall now look forward to sharing our Food Garden with you.

And so it Begins……

Whenever life throws you an unexpected detour, simply yell

PLOT TWIST

and just get on with it.

So I am currently in the Intensive Care Unit of a major hospital in Melbourne. It’s our 4th night of beside vigil alongside Mini Me. I won’t lie, she’s in a bad way. A war is raging in her little body between pneumonia, severe asthma & now a brand new player has hit the battle field – diabetes.

You may not see any new recipes from me for the coming week, I’m kind of preoccupied right now, but when I get back I can already see a higher purpose developing for me out of all this trauma. In addition to my own Gluten Free dietary requirements, I will also need to plunge, head first, into the Diabetic Diet.

It’s a brand new world……..