Berry Pops

Looks Naughty, but it’s actually Nice.

A fun way to start your day with a healthy breakfast treat.

This is a definite Kids in the Kitchen recipe where Mini-Me simply loves to help out, making her breakfast icy-pops. They’re fun, They’re fast & They’re absolutely fabuliciouz!

But these 3 ingredient wonders aren’t just for kids! This is also a fantastic way for you grown-ups to get a healthy start to your busy days too when you’re on the run.

Nothing could be easier! Simply pop into a mixing jug 250g of any type of delicious berry that floats your boat & give it a good old whazz up with Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender), before decanting 340g of Coconut Yoghurt into the jug, along with a teaspoon of local raw honey. Give it another jolly good mix up, then pour into awaiting icy pop moulds & pop into the freezer to set.

Now you have no excuses to not get that great, healthy start to your day!

Tanz Tip – I have allergies & with having moved around the country so much, the very first thing I do in a new area is to seek out a jar of local raw honey! It’s the quickest way to expose my body to the local pollens & it’s absolutely fabuliciouz too.

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Strawberry & Cream Muffins

Delicate delights to tempt your tastebuds with over a cup of tea.

It’s nice to be just a wee bit naughty sometimes. Mini-Me joyously licked the beaters dripping with frosting & Hubby’s eyes lit up like it was Christmas when he plodded in from a hard day’s work to find these awaiting him. It’s these little moments that mean the absolute world to me. No matter what else life may be throwing my way, I am always grateful for my wee Fam-Bam & cherish these simple memories the most.

Time is my most valued luxury.

Pre-heat your oven to 200c so it can get nice & warm whilst you make the batter. Also ensure you’re prepared & ready to go by lining  a 12 cup muffin tray with pretty paper cases.

To start these gorgeous wee muffins, grab a mixing bowl & in goes 225g of plain flour along with 1 teaspoon of baking powder then stir in 140g of caster sugar with a wooden spoon.

In a mixing jug, pour in 100ml of milk before cracking in 2 eggs. Then gently melt 140g of butter over a low heat & ever so slowly trickle the melted butter into the milk & eggs. The trick to doing this without cooking those eggs is to grab a balloon whisk & get a good solid stirring action happening before you start the butter trickling in. It is imperative that you keep that whisk moving the entire time & for a wee bit after all the butter is incorporated in. In the spirit of a certain blue fishy, “Just Keep Whisking, Just Keep Whisking”.

Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients then start pouring in your wet ingredients a little at a time, stirring it in as you go. Just be mindful not to over-mix it.

Spoon a blob of batter into the bottom of each patty case then plop just a teaspoon of strawberry jam into the centre of each one before dolloping the rest of the batter on top of each to seal the surprise inside.

Pop those in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. When they’re firm to the touch, lift them out to set aside on a cooling wire.

To make the gorgeous simply must have frosting, grab another mixing bowl & in goes 50g of softened butter, 85g of icing sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk & a squirt of Vanilla Paste (that would be about 1/2 a teaspoon for the more accurate among us). Using your hand held electric beaters, beat that lot until it’s nice & smooth, finger dip-able lusciousness!

Spoon over a wee bit of frosting onto the top of each muffin & decorate with a half strawberry.

Toblerone Fondue

Sweet strawberries dipped seductively in Decadently rich chocolate

~ have I got your attention? 

This one goes out to all the lovers! For those who adore the simple pleasures unashamedly. Those who wish to indulge quickly, without too much build-up ahead of the main event. It’s a classic for good reason.

To keep this one Gluten Free, I use the Mountain Bars available from Aldi, but if you don’t have any dietary requirements then the original recipe calls for Toblerone Bars.

I use 4 Mountain Bars which is 400g, but I believe the Toblerone Bars may work out at 375g as the closest.

Set yourself up a Bain Marie, which is a pot of gently simmering water over which you set a heatproof bowl, being very mindful to never allow the water to touch the bottom of the bowl.

Break up the chocolate into the bowl & add 150ml of luscious Double Cream. Then just stir that until it melts into a glorious dark liquid.

Have chilled strawberries at the ready for dipping & you’ve got yourself some instant romance!

Tanz Tip ~ using the Toblerones or Mountain Bars, elevates this chocolate fondue to a whole new level with the nutty, nougat bits spread throughout.

Chicken Mornay

This absolute Classic Comfort Food has been somewhat lost to the

inferior supermarket frozen cardboard box variety.

Well, no more!

You will be amazed at just how much more flavour you will enjoy from making the

proper, old skool, recipe at home.

I love busting out my old recipe books from the 1970’s to take a gander about the food from my childhood & then introducing fond classics to Hubby & Mini-Me. Being a farm kid, we did things a wee bit differently to the city folk, but simple food is quite often the best food.

Start off by dicing up 2 succulent chicken thighs into small, bite sized pieces. Heat a splash of oil in a fry pan, drop in a teaspoon of minced garlic to gently warm through before adding in the chicken. Season it ever so generously with salt & white pepper then cook it off properly & set aside.

Next, into a large saucepan goes 1 tablespoon of butter. Gently melt that over the lowest heat setting possible then remove & add in 1 tablespoon of plain flour along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Give it a jolly good stir to incorporate before popping back onto that lowest heat setting & continue stirring for a minute or so to cook off that flour taste. Pour 1 & 1/4 cups of milk into the pot slowly, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lemon & then season with salt & paprika to your taste (if you have a Hungarian Hubby, you’ll be heavy handed on the paprika!).

Add the chicken to the sauce & stir through. You may like to increase the heat to a medium flame at this point, just to give it a wee bit of thickness.

Pop the mix into a heatproof oven dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs & finally crown with shredded cheddar cheese & grated Parmesan.

That goes into the oven just to brown lightly & melt that luscious cheese.

Serve your Classic Chicken Mornay with rice on the side.

I like to boil my rice in chicken stock with a handful of frozen veggies thrown in & allow the grains to absorb all the liquid to plump up full of flavour!

Honey Glazed Lamb Roast

Sweet, Succulent, Sexy

This is not the Sunday Lamb Roast of old!

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Australia is ‘infamous’ for putting our Lamb Roast above everything else, even dates with Hollywood celebrities (a pun there for us in a certain age group!) But this Honey Glazed Lamb Roast recipe takes this classic Sunday favourite to a whole new level! Enter the Asian influence.

Firstly, you want to work out your total cooking time. Now this is done by choosing if you want pink inside or well done lamb. For pink, allow 20 minutes per 500g + an extra 20 minutes. For well done, allow 25 minutes per 500g + an extra 25 minutes. You will also need to rest the meat for 15 minutes after roasting before carving to serve.

For example, I had a 1 kilo Lamb Shoulder rolled roast so my total cooking time was 75 minutes for well done.

Place a lamb shoulder roast that’s been boned & rolled onto a rack in a roasting dish & pop it into a 200c oven for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make your glaze…..

In a small saucepan, gently warm 1/2 cup of honey before adding in the juice of a lemon, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger & a good pinch of Allspice. Blend that lot together nicely & set aside.

When the first 15 minutes is up, turn the oven down to 180c & start the basting process with your glaze. You will want to brush the roast every 10 minutes with a wee bit of the glaze for the entire cooking time left but do make sure that all that sticky goodness does end up in there!

When time is up, remove the roast from the oven & pop it onto a board. Tuck it in with it’s own tin foil blankie to rest & crack on making the gravy!

Place the roasting dish on your cooktop burner & add in 1 cup of hot chicken stock. Get the heat going underneath to bring it to the boil & deglaze all that yummy goodness that’s stuck to the bottom of the pan. Just keep stirring until it reduces nicely & turns a gloriously deep rich brown.

Strain the gravy through a fine sieve before pouring into your gravy boat to serve with the meat.

Peppermint Patties

A refreshing sweet treat to enjoy with your cuppa.

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Well hello & Welcome to 2018! I’m back! This year, I intend to step up the blog to the next level! Don’t worry, I will be staying true to my core identity here of Few Ingredients, Maximum Flavour BUT this year, I shall be moving beyond the basic into more fabuliciouz territory whilst maintaining SIMPLICITY as the key to my recipes. I do hope you’re as excited as I am to get cracking in the kitchen cranking out home-made goodness.

For my first recipe of 2018, I’m taking a look at what to do with all those leftover candy canes from Christmas! Why, you bake biscuits, of course!

Grab yourself a mortar & pestle to pulverise a dozen leftover candy canes. Now if you don’t have one of these wonderful kitchen tools, then pop the candy canes in a heavy duty plastic bag & whack them good with your rolling pin! Just think of all the angst you’ve just been through with any difficult times during the festive season & you’ll have those things fully crushed in no time! Then just set that aside.

Into a mixing bowl goes 1/2 cup of softened butter along with 3/4 cup of caster sugar. Cream those together before adding in 2 eggs & giving it a jolly good stir. Pop in 2 cups of self raising flour & get that incorporated into a lovely dough.

Right, back to those crushed candy canes. Scoop out 3 tablespoons & set that aside for later, then add all the remainder into the biscuit dough. Make sure you really mix it in well so that gorgeous minty-ness spreads right throughout the whole thing!

Next comes the fun part! Rolling balls! Simply break off bits of the dough & roll into balls between the palms of your hands before placing on baking paper lined trays. Make sure you leave a decent amount of room between each ball as these bikkies spread!

Pop those into a 175c oven for 15 minutes to turn a lovely golden shade.

Meanwhile, remember the reserved candy cane dust??? Mix 3 tablespoons of icing sugar through with it & keep at the ready.

When the biscuits come out of the oven, leave them on the trays for a couple of minutes to firm up & you also don’t want to burn your fingers! When they’re cooled slightly to be able to pick up, just press the top of each biscuit gently into the spiked up icing sugar mixture to coat it generously before popping onto a wire cooling rack.

Seriously, these Peppermint Patties are so absolutely fabuliciouz, you’ll be stocking up on extra candy canes just to be able to make them!

Semi-Dried Tomatoes

Fill your kitchen with the intoxicating aroma

of roasting garlic, herbs & sun ripened tomato.

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This absolutely gorgeous addition to my Gifts From The Kitchen series will have the savoury lovers salivating! It’s a wonderfully practical culinary shortcut to enhance pasta & pizza dishes throughout the festive hangover.

Simply start by using an apple corer to cut out all the middle cores of the tomatoes before placing them into a pot of boiling water for 20 seconds only! Remove them immediately to plunge into a bowl of ice & water to cool.

Now I know that doesn’t actually sound like enough time to achieve anything at all, but trust me, it does! This is what allows you to be able to peel the skins off the fruit.

Once you’ve peeled all the skin off, cut the tomatoes in half & place them straight onto a baking tray.

Drizzle them with a wee bit of olive oil, then season with salt & black pepper. Throw on a few garlic cloves that you’ve peeled & ‘squashed’ with either your palm or the flat blade of your knife & sprinkle over some dried mixed herbs, or you might like to just throw on some thyme sprigs if that’s more your thing.

Bake them in a 140c oven for 4 hours before then putting them straight into a clean jar, topping with olive oil & screwing on the lid to seal.

Strawberry Chips

Celebrate the arrival of Summer in Australia with these 

Sweet pops of naturally healthy goodness.

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With all the excesses of Festive Feasting, this is a lovely wee recipe to let you feel good about indulgence again. Whether you enjoy them on their own as a sweet snack or use them as garnish to punctuate your other luscious treats, they are sure to be a winner!

The beauty of these Strawberry Chips is just how EASY they are to make too! You get a lot of bang for your buck on this one.

Simply chop the tops off your strawberries before halving or quartering, whichever size floats your boat. Then lay them on baking paper lined trays & pop them into a 100c oven for 3 hours.

That’s it!

Told you this one was super easy!

Cashew Butter Slice

Decadently creamy layers of nutty goodness with a luscious chocolate crown.

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How can anyone go past a gorgeous home-made chocolate topped slice?! It’s one of the simple pleasures in life & the first recipe in my 2017 Christmas Gifts From The Kitchen series.

This slice is made in 3 stages to get those 3 layers so prepare to spend some time with it.

To create the base layer, simply combine 2 tablespoons of coconut syrup with 1/3 cup of cashew butter in a mixing bowl. Next, stir in 1 tablespoon of a good quality cocoa powder. Finally, add in 1 cup of  desiccated coconut & prepare to get your hands messy! Mix all of that together really well before pressing into a cake tin or baking pan that you’ve lined with baking paper. Pop that lot in the fridge for half an hour.

Next comes the middle layer. This one is super easy! In a small, heatproof bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of coconut syrup with 6 tablespoons of cashew butter over a pan of gently simmering water until it gets nice & soft which makes it more pliable to work with. Press that gently over the base layer & get it back in the fridge to set for another hour.

Finally, the luscious crowning chocolate glory! Over a pan of gently simmering water, melt 200g of milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl then simply pour over the slice & spread. You guessed it…..back in to set in the fridge it goes.

Now, because you’ve been smart & lined the tray with baking paper at the very start, you can simply lift the set slice out onto a chopping board! A great trick when cutting this up is to have a jug of boiling water on the bench next to you & constantly dip your knife in so it heats up, making it glide through the slice easily.

Fish Cakes

Golden encrusted discs housing a

fabuliciouzly soft & flavourful gift from the deep.

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I simply adore Fish Cakes & would order them every time at one particular restaurant in Sanctuary Cove on Australia’s iconic Gold Coast. I haven’t found them that good any where else in the nation……until I started making my own! Hubby goes absolutely wild for these, devouring them greedily as if he’ll never experience them again. It is such an easy recipe, but that’s what a lot of good food is ~ Simple.

Start by frying off 750g worth of fish fillets in a wee bit of heated oil. I use Basa which is about 4 fillets. Then you’ll need to flake them up into small, mince like, consistency in a bowl.

Add in 300g of mashed potato (this is a great way to use up cold left overs!) along with 1/2 a bunch of chopped up flat leaf parsley, 1 teaspoon of hot cayenne pepper & then whisk 1 egg well & pop that in the bowl too.

Combine that lot well & then season generously with salt.

Rest the mixture in the fridge for half an hour then shape into cakes, dust with a wee bit of plain flour & shallow fry over a medium heat until each side is lusciously golden.

Drain any excess oil off your Fish Cakes before serving with a colourful salad & lemon wedges.