Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sweet and Sour Sauce

Sweet and sour sauce

This is a sweet and sour sauce that I made up by combining a few recipes I found and trying to remember what my friend used to put in the one she made that was so good.

Syrup from 1 can of pineapple chunks
¼ cup tomato sauce
¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp mustard
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 ½ tbsp corn-starch mixed with a bit of water

Place all the ingredients except the corn-starch in a small saucepan and bring to the boil until everything is dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the corn-starch and water. Stir until it thickens to the desired consistency.

This sauce is great with chicken or pork and any that is left over will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Buttercream icing

One of my new years resolutions this years is to learn to make the perfect cupcakes so I started by baking some for my birthday. The actual cupcakes were just average but I'm quite proud of the icing so I thought I'd post the recipe. It's really good.

2 cups  confectioners sugar (icing or powdered sugar), sifted

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk or light cream

Assorted food colors (if desired)


With an electric beater beat the butter, milk, vanilla essence and food colouring until soft.

Add the icing sugar in a few batches and keep beating untill smooth and fluffy. (You might need to add a few more drops of milk)


Look how pretty.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Fresh Tomato Soup

This is a great nourishing soup that is super easy and quick to make.

10 tomatoes
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp dried herbs
1tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Roughly chop the onion and fry in a medium sized pot with the olive oil until soft.
Chop the garlic and add it to the pot.
Roughly chop the tomatoes (it is great if you have a couple of different kinds of tomatoes to add variety of flavour).
Add the tomatoes, the stock and the dried herbs to the pot and allow to simmer for about twenty minutes until the tomatoes are soft and breaking up easily.
Blend the mixture thoroughly with a stick blender until smooth. (If you want to be extra fancy you can pass the mixture through a sieve instead for a more uniform texture.)
Bring back up to the boil and serve immediately.
To garnish thinly slice a couple of basil leaves into ribbons and sprinkle on top.
Another great addition is to add some frozen corn right before serving.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Spicy Iced Christmas Cookies

I made these cookies as a Christmas treat for all my co-workers. They came out really well.

Essential equipment: Festive cookie cutter shapes.


3 cups flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
180g butter
¾ cup dark brown sugar
¾ cup golden syrup
1 egg

Icing sugar
Assorted food colouring


Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
Add the golden syrup (you can also use molasses or treacle) and the egg.
Sieve in the dry ingredients.
Mix together well to form a smooth dough. If the mixture is too dry you can add a few tablespoons of milk as needed. If it is too wet add a bit more flour.
Divide the dough into two or three portions, wrap them in cling film and refrigerate for at least two hours to firm up.
Roll out chilled dough on a well floured surface until it is aprox ½ a cm thick.
Use cookie cutters to cut out festive shapes.
Place on a greased or lined baking tray and bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade.

Once the cookies are cool you can have fun icing them. Sieve a few table spoons of icing sugar into a few different bowls and add a few teaspoons of water and a few different drops of food colouring to each one. You can then either pipe or spread the icing on. 

I did mine in blue and white and they turned out really cute.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meat and Gravy

This is a great wholesome meal for anyone looking for some home cooked comfort food.

1 onion chopped
1 packet beef strips (get the appropriate amount for the number of people you are feeding)
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons beef stock powder
Dash of soy sauce

Fry chopped onion until soft.
Mix the beef, flour and spices.
Add the beef to the pan and stir fry until brown (you may have to scrape the flour mix off the bottom of the pan a few times to avoid burning).
Add recently boiled water from the kettle to the pan until all the beef is covered.
Add the beef stock powder stirring until it dissolves fully.
Allow to simmer until the water has reduced to a thick gravy and the meat is tender.
Before serving stir in a dash or two of soy sauce.

Serve with mashed potato and nice carrots.

Creamy mashed potato

There is nothing better than mashed potato and it is super easy to make.

Potatoes (generally one per person plus one for the pot)
Large knob of butter or margarine
Dash of milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel the potatoes and chop into rough cubes.
Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water for approximately 20 minutes (they are ready when a fork goes into them easily).
Drain the potatoes in a colander and return them to the warm pot.
Add a large dollop of butter or margarine and a dash of milk (if you have any handy cream is even better)
Mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher until smooth (take special care to mash thoroughly and get rid of any lumps).
Add salt and pepper to taste.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Garlic feta and herb pasta

This is a great pasta dish for when you just want a quick easy meal. it is a ice convenient meal for one or can be expanded to feed as many people as you like.


1 tablespoon butter (aprox.)
1 tablespoon flour (aprox.)
½ cup milk (aprox.)
50g of feta
1tsp crushed garlic or 2 cloves finely chopped
1tsp mixed dried herbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Pasta of your choice


You start this sauce by making a basic white sauce. You can adjust the amounts of butter, flour and milk you use according to how many people you are feeding. Begin by melting the butter in a small saucepan on a low heat. Add the flour and mix together until they form a smooth paste. Allow to simmer for a few minutes then begin adding the milk a little bit at a time. Stir continuously as you add the milk until it forms a smooth mixture. Keep adding milk until it you have a good pouring consistency. Then add the feta, herbs and garlic. You can also add a ¼ teaspoon of hot English mustard for added flavour.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Finally cook some pasta of your choice, macaroni noodles or pasta shells work particularly well, pour the sauce over the cooked noodles and serve immediately.

To make this dish even more indulgent you can add some chopped ham, bacon or smoked chicken to the sauce before serving.