Friday, February 28, 2014

Day 56 - Pickled Curried Cauliflower

In Mudgee we had pickled curried cauliflower on a salad.  It was so yummy.   So after finding a recipe and getting some last minute pep talk from a friend back in Canada (thanks Christine!!!) I attempted to can.  I will let you know how they taste after the 2 weeks is up. 

Brine Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 3 ½ tbsp kosher salt

Pickle Ingredients

  • 3 lbs cauliflower
  • 1 ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 ½ tsp curry powder
  • ¾ tsp crushed red pepper (optional - adds spice)
  • ¾ tsp turmeric

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Day 55 - Chinese Night

This mommy had a long day.
Since 7:45am I had been on the road and in the lovely pouring rain (that we need) while attending a swim meet and rugby training.   So needless to say this mom was tired , wet and cold and didn't want to deal with the dinner complaints.   So in steps the hubby who picked up some take away (because when he asked what was for dinner ...... well I think his life depended on it)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Day 54 - Huevos Rancheros

My husband and I first had this dish in Thunder Bay when friends came to go ice climbing.  They cooked it up for us for breakfast.  How I cook this changes each time.  You are suppose to have a fried egg on top of a tortilla.  We do scrambled because of picky kids and sometimes they just want the eggs.  You can just do a plain salsa on top of the eggs or when we are creative we do a black bean salsa type sauce or pinto beans like above. ( search the internet for one that suits your family I am sorry I can provide you one as mine changes so much) Top with some cheese and avocado, or some fried onions and cilantro and dig it.

Day 53 - Slow Cooker Cheat Pork Stew

Found this recipe on this website:

It is a winner in the new recipe trials of this house.  This is the version of ingredients I put in my slow cooker. 
  • 2 small onions, thinly sliced 
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • ½ pound  carrots
  •  salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds of pork shoulder, cut into 1.5 inch cubes or a 4 pound bone-in pork shoulder roast
  • 1 tablespoon favorite seasoning blend
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 small cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 cup Marinara sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of aged balsamic vinegar

Monday, February 24, 2014

Day 51 - Rib Roast

  • 1 (about 2kg) beef standing rib roast
  • 2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 2 red onions, cut into quarters
  • 2 heads of garlic, halved widthways
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (40g) plain flour
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) port
  • 2 cups (500ml) beef stock
  1. Preheat oven to 230°C. Season beef with salt and pepper. Spread fatty side with the mustard. Combine parsley, chives and thyme in a bowl. Sprinkle herb mixture over mustard. Place in a roasting pan.
  2. Arrange onion and garlic around beef. Drizzle with oil. Cook for 20 minutes in oven. Reduce temperature to 180°C, and cook for a further 1 hour 15 minutes for medium (or until cooked to your liking).
  3. The gravy, place the roasting pan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, for 2 minutes or until bubbling. Add the port and bring to the boil. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until gravy boils and thickens. Remove from heat

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Day 50 - Cinnamon Buns and Tea

500ml flour
50ml white sugar
12ml baking powder
Mix above ingredients.
In a cup beat an egg, combine with melted 80ml of butter and 80ml of milk.
Add the liquids to the dry ingredients .
Roll into an rectangle shape about 1/4 inch thick.
Spread the filling over the dough.
Roll up and cut.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes on a 375F or 180C Oven

50ml white and brown sugar
5 ml cinnamon
50ml melted butter

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014

Day 48 - Black Sesame Seed Trout with Scallops and snow pea salad at the Mudgee Brewery

In Mudgee NSW for a Girl Guide Weekend.  Out to dinner at the Mudgee Brewery.  It had live music,  great beer and nice dinners.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Day 47 - Chicken Stroganoff

2 tsp butter
2 tsp olive oil
chicken breast cut into strips
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
 3 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp thyme
1/4 cup white wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup sour cream
fresh chopped chives
salt and pepper

Brown the chicken in butter and oil.  Season with salt and pepper.   Add onions and mushrooms until soft and then season with paprika and thyme.  Add white wine and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil then lower and add sour cream.  Garnish with chives and serve over hot noodles.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Day 46 - Porcupines

I think I got this recipe off my mother.  Can't be sure.   I will give her credit though. 

- 1 lb of ground beef ( I used chicken)
- 1/2 cup uncooked rice
- salt and pepper
- sliced onion, green pepper, carrot
- 3 cups of tomato juice

Mix the ground meat, rice and salt and pepper.   Form into balls and place in a cooking pan.
Throw some of the sliced veggies over top of this.   Then pour the tomato juice over top.
I cover my dish and the bake at 350F or 180C for about an hour.  Serve with mashed potato and more vegetables. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Day 45 - Korean Slow Cooked Ribs

My kids love ribs.  I think it may be inherited as my dad likes them.   I was talking to him while I was preparing these in the slow cooker.   I think if they could my mom and my dad would have been over for dinner.   I have never mastered making ribs.  Until this recipe.  It worked great and everyone enjoyed it.

  • 6 pounds of bone-in pork ribs
  • salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium pear or Asian pear, peeled, cored, and chopped coarsely ( you could use an apple)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped (jar of minced garlic works well too)
  • onion , roughly chopped
  • good shake of ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons of fish sauce ( don't think it would hurt it if you didn't have this in it)
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar ( I just used regular)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
Salt and Pepper the ribs and stick under the broiler for 5 minutes each side.
Then place them in the crockpot with the ribs pointing up or on their sides.
Combine the next 8 ingredients in the blender and mix until smooth.  Pour over the ribs.
Cook for 10 to 12 hours on low.
I stuck them under the broiler again for a little bit after I removed them from the slow cooker just to crisp it up a bit.  It was awesome.  Pulled off the bone,  very tender. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Day 44 - Slow Cooked Sticky Wings

Found a slow cooker recipe for wings.  Mixed the below ingredients into slow cooker and put it on low for 4 hours.   Then put under the broiler for a bit to crisp it up. 

  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 inches fresh ginger (piece, peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 lbs chicken wings (halved at joint, wing tips discarded)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Day 43 - Grape Spiders and Popcorn

Sunday and nobody in the mood to cook.  Dad makes old fashioned popcorn on the stove with butter and we make spiders (Australian) or floats (Canadian). 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Day 42 - Fajita's

I cooked up some leftover chicken and then added some fajita spice.  Sauteed some onions and peppers.  Kids like rice in there fajita's.  Mix it with some cheese and salsa.  It isn't fancy but it works. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Day 41 - Vietnamese Salad Rolls

Having an appetizer after work party at my house.   This is one of the appetizers on the menu. 

Vietnamese Salad Rolls
Rice Paper Sheets
Rice noodles
cucumber, or carrots, or bean sprouts, or lettuce, whatever you like
cilantro and Vietnamese mint if you have it
Cook your shrimp and rice noodles
Moisten the rice paper sheets.  Then put all ingredients on top and roll up like a soft taco making sure all ends are tucked in.
Make sure your surface is damp and then place them on a damp tea towel so that don't dry out or stick to the plate before you can serve.
A Vietnamese dipping sauce,  a peanut sauce or a hot chili sauce can be made to drip your roll in. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Day 40 - Sushi from Orange

In Orange, NSW all day.   So picked up Sushi for dinner tonight.  A mixed plate.  Yummy. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Day 39 - Take Out Chinese

It is day three of over 40 degree weather.  I don't feel like moving let alone cooking.  Hubby picked up Oyster Sauce Chicken ,  Seafood Chow Mein and Fried Rice.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Day 38 - Popcorn and Milkshakes

Owen has brought home, home reading this week.  The first book we got was Chop and Pop and it was about making popcorn and milkshakes.   So I thought perfect for this hot weather and a tradition that both Eric and I had with our families most often on Sunday nights while watching the Disney channel on Sunday.   It hit the spot. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Day 37 - Roast Chicken

Had all intentions of taking a photo of the beautiful chicken just out of the oven in the roasting pan. But...... I forgot so this looks like a lot of the last few days photos.  Sorry.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Day 35 - Beef

Cooked up a steak and split it up between us all with some veggies and mashed potato. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Day 34 - Chicken Burgers Last Minute

Hubby brought home a last minute guest.   So nothing fancy but chicken burgers and some leftover salad from last night. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Day 33 - Dinner Guests

Had dinner guests from my husbands work.   Garden salad,  Bocconcini, tomato and basil salad, wild rice,  and stuffed chicken breasts. 

The Stuffed Chicken breast recipe:

Chicken breasts cut a pocket into them (6 breasts)
marinate overnight or just 2 hours minimum in;
2 tbsp mayonnaise, 1/4 cup honey mustard, tbsp olive oil, tbsp red wine vinegar, basil , oregano, and rosemary.  ( I put it in a ziplock bag, shake it up and leave in fridge overnight)
Then stuff with; cup mozzarella cheese, fresh spinach 1 cup, 1/2 cup red peppers choppped fine, black pepper, and garlic.  (mix all those together before stuffing in the pockets of the chicken breasts)
Then bbq.   They are nice and moist and lovely.

The Bocconcini Salad is:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 600g ripe tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 x 220g ctn baby bocconcini, drained, torn in half
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, large leaves torn 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Day 32 - Kids Happy Meal

Dad away for dinner tonight so I am doing the not so healthy chicken nuggets out of a box with corn.  Some days mom just can't put greens on a plate!!!

Day 31 - In Season Corn on the Cob

In season corn on the cob here in Australia.   When I saw it I got very excited and well grabbed a few dozen.   You see both my husband and I grew up on farms.  So when corn was in season it is perfect and we usually had it minutes old.   We pretty much had it for every meal and there was no limit.  So tonight it was just corn on the menu and as much as you liked.   The rest we froze up for meals later.  5 large bags in the freezer.   Happy campers we were tonight.   All 5 of us. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Day 30 - Veggie and Rice Noodles with Chicken and Tangy Peanut Sauce

 (I used this below recipe by Kitchen Confidante but modified it to what I had around and the kids would eat.  Thank you Monique Wye for supplying the fresh zucchini from her garden)  I used some rice noodles as well and cut up a few more veggies that the kids like to it.  I didn't blanch the veggies and I cooked the chicken instead of shredding it.  If I took a photo of the kids plate it wouldn't be all mixed together everything has to be separate with them!!!  

  Zucchini Noodles with Chicken and Tangy Peanut Sauce

Though you can certainly slice the squash and carrots into ribbons by hand, a julienne-style peeler or mandoline will make the job a breeze. If you want to use a peeler to julienne the squash, it is best to choose medium to small zucchini and summer squash - they should be no wider than than the width of the peeler. Also, topping these zucchini 'noodles' with chicken and peanut sauce is just a suggestion for a simple healthy meal, but these fresh vegetables are a great foil for tomato based sauces as well.


2 cooked chicken breasts, either boiled or pan-fried
4-6 medium-sized zucchini and summer squash
2 large carrots
About 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
About 1-2 tbsp sesame seeds
Peanut Sauce:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic (or more)
1/2-1 tsp granulated sugar (depending on taste)
At least 1/4 cup water, add 1-2 more tablespoons depending on texture


First, prepare your chicken breasts by either shredding the chicken (if you prefer to boil it) or by dicing it (if you prefer to pan-fry it). Set the chicken aside.
Next, make the peanut sauce by whisking all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Start by adding 1/4 cup water as the recipe suggests, and if the sauce is too thick for your taste, add additional tablespoons water to reach desired consistency.
Lastly, prepare the zucchini, squash, and carrot ribbons by using a mandoline or by using a peeler designed to julienne vegetables. If using the peeler, hold the stem end of the squash in one hand and drag the peeler from the top to the bottom to create the ribbons. Julienne all the vegetables, keeping the carrots separate from the squash and zucchini. Briefly blanch the vegetables in a pot of boiling water by adding the carrots first for about 2-3 minutes, and then adding the zucchini and squash for another 1-2 minutes (it gets tender very quickly). Drain the hot water, immediately add cold water to stop the cooking, and once the vegetables have cooled, drain the water again.
Assemble the dish by putting some of the vegetable ribbons on a plate and topping them with diced or shredded chicken, then the peanut sauce, and chopped cilantro and sesame seeds. Serve at room temperature, but can also be served cool (if you would like to refrigerate ingredients before serving).

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Day 29 - Fondue

Owen's request for dinner.  He likes this fancy meal.   We use either chicken or vegetable broth to cook the meat in.   Fun and they love to do this meal. 

Day 28 - Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Found these pumpkin, spinach, and feta stuffed chicken breasts wrapped in bacon at the Coles grocery and decided to try them with a salad.  Wasn't too bad.