Kayzy's Kitchen

I love food! One of the greatest blessings of this life is to be able to share a meal with family or friends, and when I can share a favourite recipe it increases my enjoyment, so although we can't sit down together, I'd like to share some of my tried and true recipes with you. If you use any of the recipes and like the result, this will enlarge the blessing.

THE RECIPES


DAD'S CURRY SAUCE WITH PRAWNS AND VEGETABLES

I love this easy recipe, firstly because my Dad gave it to me and I think of him each time I make it, and secondly because it tastes great. Dad is no longer with us, but his good cooking lives on!
Featured Recipe
Dad made this sauce to serve with prawns and rice, but I often use hard-boiled eggs instead, or chicken, or tuna.
    1.    Heat  2 Tablespoons oil (or less) in a pan.
    2.    To the pan, add 1 clove garlic, 1 roughly chopped onion, 3/4 cup carrot strips, 1 teaspoon curry powder or paste, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar - saute until onion is softened.
    3.    Add 3-4 Tablespoons flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
    4.    Add 450mls (3/4 pint) milk, and 150mls (1/4 pint) water and stir until sauce is mixed well, and there are no floury lumps.
    5.    Cook until sauce thickens.
    6.    Serve with rice and prawns, or other protein such as hard-boiled eggs, tuna, salmon, or chicken.
NOTE: I add extra veggies as well, like cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, peas, and even diced potato or pumpkin, cooking them separately and adding to the sauce when serving.
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KAY'S TOMATOEY VEGETABLE MACARONI CHEESE


Ingredients:
250g dried macaroni
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 zucchini, 2 carrots, cut into large julienne strips or diced
1 cup cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
1 large red capsicum, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 cup chopped silverbeet
1 cup corn kernels
2 cups milk
¼ cup plain flour
30g 50% less fat butter (I used Devondale Light)
1 can chopped tomatoes
3 Tablespoons chopped oregano
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
125g grated cheese
¼ cup dried breadcrumbs
2 sliced tomatoes
Optional: ½ cup bacon pieces, dry fried till cooked



  1. Cook macaroni in boiling water till al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a small splash of olive oil in a large saucepan, add onion and celery and saute gently until onion is soft. Add garlic and cook another minute. Remove onion mix from the pan.
  3. Microwave (or steam) the vegetables until just cooked.
  4. While vegies are cooking, melt butter in the pan, add floura and mix well, cook on low heat 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add milk, stirring constantly until sauce thickens to avoid lumps forming. (Hint: if lumps do form, use a stab blender, flat backed egg slide, or potato masher to smooth them away).
  6. After sauce thickens, add a can of chopped tomatoes, chilli flakes and oregano, and mix well.
  7. To the sauce mix in the cooked vegetables, onion mix and cooked macaroni, and reheat, stirring gently. At this stage add the optional cooked bacon pieces, if using.
  8. Stir the grated cheese (reserve one-third of the cheese if you want a crunchy topping) , and when cheese has melted the dish is ready to serve, or proceed to step 9 for the crunchy top option.
  9. For a crunchy topping, transfer the macaroni cheese mix into an ovenproof casserole dish and top with sliced tomatoes.
  10. Mix the reserved grated cheese and ¼ cup of dried breadcrumbs together, and sprinkle over the tomatoes.
  11. Place the casserole dish under a preheated griller or in a hot oven and cook until cheese melts and topping becomes crunchy. Serve with green salad.
    Note: Sorry - I forgot to take a photo of the dish with a crunchy topping! I was in a hurry to get it to a shared meal with friends.

FRUIT SLICE (pictured in the centre of the plate)

250g dried fruit, finely chopped or minced (apricots, apples, prunes, cranberries, etc)
2 cups coconut
1 cup icing sugar
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
Extra coconut, crushed nuts or icing sugar (to coat the slice or balls)

  1. Mix all ingredients (coating) together, and form into small balls or a long roll.
  2. Toss in extra coconut, icing sugar or crushed nuts. 
  3. Set in refrigerator. 
  4. If you have rolled your mix, when it is firm, cut into small circles, as pictured. 
  5. In hot weather, it may be advisable to keep in the refrigerator. However, I have not needed to do this. 

Fruit slice and Easy Coconut Macaroons

 EASY COCONUT MACAROONS (pictured around the plate edge - and one on top!)

2-1/2 cups coconut
3/4 cup castor sugar
2 Tablespoons self-raising flour
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Put coconut, sugar and sifted flour into a mixing bowl.
  2. Stir in lightly beaten egg, milk and vanilla.
  3. Mix all ingredients together well.
  4. Roll mixture into walnut-sized balls, pressing well together.
  5. Place on oven trays, lined with aluminium foil (no need to grease)
  6. Bake in moderate oven 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. (Makes about 30).

 ALMOND BREAD



 3 egg whites
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 cup plain flour
125g (4 oz) whole unblanched almonds
  1. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, gradually add castor sugar, and beat until dissolved.
  2. Fold in sifted flour and whole almonds, combining well.
  3. Fill into a very lightly greased loaf tin (20cm x 10cm) or 2 small tins (20cm x 7cm). Bake in a moderate oven 30-40 minutes.
  4. Leave in the tin until completely cold. Wrap in aluminium foil and put aside for 1-2 days.
  5. Using a very sharp knife, cut into wafer thin slices.
  6. Place slices on oven tray, put into a slow oven 20 minutes or until slices are completely dry and crisp.



 LEBKUCHEN (GINGERBREAD)


60g butter
2/3 cup golden syrup
1-3/4 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of sodea
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cocoa
30g mixed peel
2 Tablespoons plain flour, extra
Raspberry or strawberry jam
125g dark chocolate
  1. Melt butter over low heat in medium sized saucepan
  2. Add golden syrup, bring to boil, remove from heat and leave standing for 10 minutes.
  3. Add sifted dry ingredients, milk and finely chopped peel, stir with wooden spoon until smooth, cover, stand at room temperature for 1-1/2 hours. The mixture will become thicker.
  4. After this time, turn mixture onto a surface dusted with the extra flour. Knead lightly, workin on only enough of the flour until the mix loses its stickiness.
  5. Roll out the mix to about 3mm (1/8 inch) thickness. Cut out with cookie cutters in Christmas shapes or hearts (I had to use teddy bears also!) Place on lightly greased trays, leaving a little room between each for spreading.
  6. Using the end of a wooden spoon, gentlypush an indentation into centre of the biscuit, being careful not to push right through. Fill with a dot of jam.
  7. Bake in moderate oven 8-10 minutes or until golden. Leave on trays until completely cold.
  8. Melt chocolate in microwave, 30 seconds at a time until melted enough. Alternatively, melt chocolate in a bowl or double saucepan over simmering water. 
  9. Cover the base of each biscuit with chocolate, either by dipping or spreading with a knife. Wipe off excess around the edges, and place jam-side down on trays until chocolate is firm. This should make approx. 40-70, depending on how thinly you roll out the dough.

PIE FLOATER – KAYZY STYLE

 

The star of this dish is the soup, which is delicious on its own - and addictive! But if you want to use it as the main component of a homemade Pie Floater  (South Aussie classic), this soup will raise the floater to a higher level of culinary delight!

Curried Green Pea Soup with extras
500g frozen peas
200g cauliflower, chopped
100g Silverbeet or spinach, chopped
50g reduced fat butter or margarine (I used Devondale Light)
2-3 Tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons curry powder
4 cups water
3 teaspoons chicken stock powder
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint
salt, pepper
Optional: ½ cup evaporated milk, cream or fresh milk
  1. Boil water in a large saucepan
  2. Add peas, cauliflower and spinach to water, reduce heat and cook until tender.
  3. Remove vegetables and water from the pan to a bowl. If you have a stick blender, proceed to step 4. If not, puree the vegetables, mint and a little of the vegetable water in a food processor or blender until smooth, then proceed.
  4. Heat butter in the pan, add flour and curry powder, stir until combined. Remove pan from the heat.
  5. Gradually add vegetable water to the pan, stirring well to combine and prevent lumps forming.
  6. Return pan to the heat, add stock powder, and stir until stock boils and thickens.
  7. Reduce heat, add the vegetables and fresh mint to the pan, and blend with stick blender.
  8. Reheat the soup, test for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. If desired, add optional evaporated milk, cream or milk to the soup and reheat before serving, but I think this soup is delicious enough without this option. Serves 4-6.
    Note: Cauliflower and spinach may be omitted from this recipe without affecting the flavour, but I think their inclusion makes the soup yummier.

Pie Floater Instructions
  1. Buy (or make) meat pies – any variety will do, but plain meat pies are fine. (I will add a recipe for meat pie at a later stage.)
  2. Reheat pies in a moderate oven until hot (15 minutes).
  3. Pour a good serve of curried pea soup in a large soup or pasta bowl, allowing room for the addition of a pie.
  4. Place a pie (upside down if you are a traditionalist) on top of the soup in each bowl, and watch it sink!
  5. Swirl a splodge of tomato sauce or ketchup on top, and serve! If you are really bold, add a dash of vinegar also. I don't think this adds anything to the dish, but some pie floater officianados swear by it.
    Note: You will need a soup spoon to eat this culinary masterpiece.



APPLE GINGERBREAD PUDDING 

Here's another old favourite of mine. I love apple, lemon and gingerbread, and to have them all in one dish is yummmy!
Last week I made it for the first time in years and wondered why it had taken me so long.

Ingredients:

  • 140g (5 oz) plain flour
  • 1 dessertspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 60g (2 oz) butter
  • 60g (2 oz) brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons golden syrup or treacle
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups stewed apple
  • 1 dessertspoon lemon juice
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar (if apple is unsweetened)
  1. Preheat oven to moderate (180 degrees celsius; 350F)
  2. Sift flour, ginger, cinnamon and soda into basin.
  3. Rub in butter; add brown sugar.
  4. Beat egg, and golden syrup, and milk together.
  5. Pour into flour and mix quickly and lightly.
  6. Combine apple, lemon juice and extra sugar, if needed.
  7. Lightly grease an ovenproof dish, and add apple to the base of the dish.
  8. Pour gingerbread mixture over the apple.
  9. Bake in moderate oven for 40 minutes or until cooked (test with a skewer). (Keep an eye on the gingerbread, and if it browns too quickly reduce the oven temperature slightly.)
  10. Serve warm with whipped cream and lemon sauce (see recipe below).

LEMON SAUCE 

Lemon Sauce
This dessert sauce is a great standby - so easy to make, and wonderful on crepes, pancakes, waffles, or anything else you can think of.
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • juice of 2-3 lemons
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 3 teaspoons cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  1. Put the water, butter and half the sugar in a saucepan. Bring to the boil.
  2. Beat the eggs, lemon juice, cornflour and the remaining sugar in a bowl.
  3. Pour the boiling water mixture onto the eggs and mix well.
  4. Return the mix to the saucepan, add the grated lemon rind, and cook until thickened, stirring constantly.
  5. Add the vanilla and mix in well.  Makes 1-2 cups. 
  6. This sauce should keep well in the refrigerator for at least a week.

 

FRUIT CRUMBLE

This is a wonderfully comforting dessert for a cold winter's evening in front of the fire.
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup Self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 3 Tablespoons butter (I used Devondale 50% less fat butter)
  • Optional extras: 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup walnuts, slightly chopped
  • 1kg fruit, e.g. apples, rhubarb, peaches, apricots, or combination, either fresh or canned.

Preheat the oven to moderate (about 180 degrees celsius).
You now have 3 choices of method for fruit:
  1. If using fresh fruit, chop or slice into bite-sized pieces  and place uncooked chopped fruit into casserole dish large enough for fruit and topping.
  2. If using canned fruit, (825g can or 2 x 425g cans), place fruit into a casserole dish large enough for fruit and topping.
  3. If using cooked fresh fruit, place chopped or sliced fruit into a microwave or stovetop/oven safe casserole dish, add sugar to your taste if needed (I used apples and rhubarb, so added 1/4 cup sugar). Microwave or stew the fruit till just cooked. Leave fruit in the dish.
  4. Rub together all the crumble ingredients until mixture is crumbly, or pulse in a food processor (I did this) until crumbly.
  5. Mix in optional walnuts and oats.
  6. Sprinkle crumble mix over the fruit in the casserole dish. (I scrunched the mix  in my hands a little as I was sprinkling it on the fruit, to compress into slight lumpiness rather than breadcrumb consistency, but this again is optional - it will still work well if you don't do this.)
  7. Bake until fruit crumble topping is golden brown and feels firm and biscuity. The time will vary, depending on the depth of the crumble and fruit.
  8. Serve warm or hot, with custard (see earlier recipe Mara's Marvellous Egg Custard below), cream or ice-cream.

LUMBERBIRD CAKE


I have a compulsion to experiment by adding to recipes I like - a risk that sometimes pays off, other times can be somewhat disappointing or strange  (e.g. when I tried to use psyllium husks as a thickening in stir-fry - warning, don't try it!) In this case, I have combined elements of two well known cakes, the Lumberjack and the Hummingbird cakes, and the recipe worked really well. It is quite a low-fat recipe, with the only butter being in the topping. Give it a try and see what you think.

Ingredients
  • Cake: 
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup dates, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
  • 1 banana, mashed  (optional - I added one small one)
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup apple sauce or stewed rhubarb
  • 3/4 cup crushed pineapple
  • 2 egg whites (or 1 whole egg and 1 egg white)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 2-1/2 cups Self--raising flour
  • Topping:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (desiccated is ok too)
  • 60g butter (I used Devondale 50% less fat butter and it worked well too)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius - a moderate oven.
  2. Place water and dates into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and add apple sauce/rhubarb and bicarb soda to the saucepan and mix through. It will froth. Let this mix cool down, and then add crushed pineapple and optional banana.
  3. Beat 2 egg whites and sugar together for 1 minute, then add this to the fruit mix.
  4. Add the Self-raising flour and mixed spice all at once, and gently fold through until combined, being careful not to beat the cake mix, as this will make it tough.
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased 8" cake tin or 2 log tins (this is what I did) and place in a moderate oven for approximately 30 minutes.
  6. While the cake is baking, in a saucepan combine the topping ingredients and heat until the butter is melted and sugar dissolved. After cooking, this topping will turn into a crisp coconutty toffee on the cake - yum!
  7. After the cake has been cooking for 30 minutes, pour the topping mix over the cake (I divided the mix between 2 log tins, adding a little more coconut) and continue baking until the cake is cooked through - approximately another 15 minutes, or until firm to the touch.
  8. Remove the Lumberbird cake from the oven and leave in the tin until cool before turning out, or if having for dessert with cream or ice-cream it is lovely served warm.
  9. Enjoy!

Note: Both pineapple and banana may be omitted - just use 1/2 cup less flour.

 

 

KAYZY'S CHOCOLATE CAKE

Another family favourite, and this cake is even a little bit healthy, because it contains rolled oats, although you'd never know.  It is lovely and moist, and keeps very well, if there's any left, that is!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 100 g (½ cup) butter
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Method
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  1. Simmer the water and rolled oats in a medium sized saucepan for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and add in the cocoa and brown sugar.
  3. Mix in remaining ingredients, either by hand or using a hand-held mixer. You can do the mixing in the saucepan – no need for a bowl (less washing up).
  4. Grease a 20cm (8”) square or ring cake tin (or 2 log tins), line the base of the pan with baking paper, and pour the cake mix into the pan.
  5. Bake at 180°C and bake for 30-40 minutes or until cooked.
  6. Ice with chocolate icing, and top with walnuts or coconut.

 

BEEF AND BANANA CURRY


This is one of our favourite quick curries - wonderful on winter's night.
  • 500g lean minced steak
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (with a little butter for richness if liked)
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed or chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons curry paste or powder (I used Patak's Madras Curry Paste but use any you like)
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 to 1 chopped capsicum
  • 1 stalk celery including leaves, chopped
  • 2 cups beef stock (or water, with 1-2 teaspoons beef stock powder)
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 bananas, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 50g sultanas (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut essence (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons oat bran (or you can use cornflour mixed with a little water) for thickening the sauce.
  • 400g (or more) mashed potato
  1. Heat oil in a large pan and fry beef and onion until browned.
  2. Add garlic and curry paste/powder and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots, capsicum, apple and celery to the pan and stir in well.
  4. Add the stock and tomato paste, cover and simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes, mixing in the oat bran after 15 minutes. If you are using cornflour to thicken the curry, add it after 30 minutes and bring the curry to the boil.
  5. Stir in the bananas and sultanas and heat through. 
  6. Pour curry mix into a shallow serving dish.
  7. Pipe or spoon a border of mashed potato around the edge of the dish.
  8. Put dish under the griller to brown the mash slightly, if desired. 
  9. Serve with green vegetables, cauliflower, etc.
Note: Instead of mashed potatoes, the curry could be served with steamed rice. However, the mash goes wonderfully with this curry, so I usually stick to this.

 

COTTAGE PIE

 

This recipe, adapted from one found in the Australian Women's Weekly magazine, March 21, 1979 edition, is a great favourite of mine.
  • 1kg lean minced steak
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato ketchup or sauce
  • 1 beef stock cube crumbled, or 1 teaspoon beef stock powder
  • 1 Tablespoon each of chopped parsley, fresh thyme and oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup water, extra
Topping
  • 750g potatoes
  • butter, salt and milk to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (moderate).
  2. Heat oil in large pan, add mince, onion and carrot, and cook over a high heat until meat is well browned and broken up. 
  3. Pour off any surplus fat.
  4. Add water , and stir in remaining ingredients. Mix well.
  5. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered 20-25 minutes, or until meat is tender.
  6. Remove from the heat and add combined flour and extra water. Return pan to the heat and stir until mixture boils and thickens, reduce heat and simmer a few minutes longer.
  7. Add meat mixture to a medium sized ovenproof casserole or lasagne dish.
  8. Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender; drain.
  9. Mash potatoes until free of lumps, adding salt, butter and/or milk to taste. Keep the mashed potatoes firm, though, or it may sink into the meat mix!
  10. Spread or pipe the mashed potatoes on top of the meat mixture. Decorate the top with diagonal fork pattern. 
  11. If liked, you can add some sliced tomatoes to the top of the pie, and sprinkle with grated cheese - Mmm! cheese is always good!
  12. Bake in a moderate oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until potato is golden brown.
  13. Serve with carrots and green vegetables such as broccoli, beans, etc.
  14. Enjoy!

MARA'S MARVELLOUS EGG CUSTARD

My dear friend Mara gave this recipe to me many years ago, and I always use it on stewed fruit, winter puddings and of course ye old Christmas pud! Again, it's so easy - no double boilers needed with this one.
Egg Custard with Stewed Apple
  • 600 mls milk
  • 2-3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornflour for thin custard (or 2 Tablespoons for a thicker custard)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  1. Keep 2 Tablespoons milk aside to  mix with the cornflour.
  2. Put the remainder of the milk into a saucepan with the sugar, and bring to the boil.
  3. Mix 2 Tablespoons milk with the cornflour.
  4. Beat egg and combine with cornflour paste.
  5. When milk and sugar have boiled, take the milk off the heat and pour it over the egg and cornfour mix, stirring well.
  6. Pour custard into the saucepan again, and return it to the boil on a low heat, stirring constantly.
  7. Add vanilla essence to the custard, mix well and serve.
    Note: This custard is just as nice served chilled.


LOW-FAT BAKED CHEESECAKE


 I have modified an original recipe taken from the cookbook "Symply Too Good to be True" No. 3, by Annette Sym. This cheesecake is enjoyed by all who taste it, and I prefer it to the higher fat versions - try it and see what you think.

Ingredients:
(1) Cake base:
  • 15 plain sweet biscuits/cookies (wheatmeal, arrowroot, etc.)
  • 3 Tablespoons skim milk
  • cooking spray
  1. In a food processor (or with a rolling pin) crumble the biscuits, then add milk and blend together.
  2. Coat a 22cm (8-9 inch) springform cake tin with cooking spray, and press the biscuit mix into base, using the palm of your hand.
  3. Refrigerate while you are making the filling.
(2) Filling:
  • 125g fresh ricotta cheese
  • 500g plain low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon rind, or to taste (I use more)
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sultanas or dried cranberries
  • 1 apple chopped (berries or apricots are nice too)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar (or substitute some of the sugar for raspberry or apricot jam)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 3 Tablespoons plain flour (if using jam as part of the sweetening, add 1 tablespoon flour extra
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen berries for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C fan forced, or 180 degrees otherwise.
  2. In a clean food processor bowl, add the cheeses, rind, lemon juice, essence, and sugar, and process until smooth and sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add eggs and combine well.
  4. Add flour and combine well.
  5. Add sultanas and chopped apples and mix in by hand.
  6. Pour mix over the biscuit base.
  7. Bake for approx 1 hour until set.
  8. Remove from oven and gently release the springform to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Leave the cake to cool on a cake rack before removing the base. Place the cake on a plate and refrigerate until nicely chilled.
  9. While the cheesecake is cooling, process the berries until smooth to make a sauce/coulis. You can add a little icing sugar and lemon juice if necessary, but I don't usually do this.
  10. Serve the cake on a nice plate, with a little sauce drizzled on top, and pour some extra sauce over each slice served.
  11. If the waistline is not a concern, it is also nice to serve with a little whipped cream, but not essential for enjoyment of this dessert.
Note: For the cheesecake pictured, I substituted 1/3rd cup raspberry jam for some of the sugar, added an extra tablespoon flour. To serve, because it was a special occasion I thinly spread whipped cream on top, and then fresh berries. 
Another Variation: If you haven't got ricotta cheese you can substitute this for low fat cream cheese, more cottage cheese, or even half cream cheese, half yogurt - it's hard to spoil this recipe!


BEST BANANA CAKE

This lovely moist cake is a great way to use overripe bananas. When my bananas look too ripe to eat fresh, I just throw them into a plastic bag and into the freezer, and they're ready for when I make this cake!
Ingredients:
125g butter, melted (using a 50% less fat butter like Devondale Light is successful too)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs
3-4 medium bananas (very ripe)
1 level teaspoon bicarb soda
2 Tablespoons milk (approx.)
1-1/2 cups Self-Raising Flour, sifted
Pinch of salt

  • Preheat oven to moderate (180 degrees C / 350 degrees F)
  • Dissolve the bicarb soda in the milk.
  • Mix together eggs, sugar, milk and bicarb, vanilla, sugar, in a food processor or blender - process well.
  • Add roughly chopped bananas and melted butter - process.
  • Add flour and process till mix is smooth. If using 4 bananas you can add a little more flour (about 1/4 cup), but it's OK without it too.
  • Pour mix into greased and lined baking tin. This mix will make a 23cm round cake, or 2 loaf cakes (see picture).
  • Bake for approx 35-45 minutes, depending on size of tin, until cake cooked.
  • When cool, ice the cake with lemon icing/frosting, and top with chopped walnuts or coconut.
NOTE: Of course, the cake also can be made successfully by hand mixing or using a normal kitchen mixer, such as a Kenwood or Sunbeam mixer.





BERRY HAZELNUT CELEBRATION CAKE

Meringue Cake - 2 layers
(for 3 layers see bracketed quantities)
2 egg whites (3)
1-1/2 cups castor sugar (2-1/4)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (3/4 tsp)
1 teaspoon vinegar (1-1/2 tsp)
1 teaspoon cornflour (1-1/2 tsp)
4 Tablespoons boiling water (6 Tbs)
50g ground hazelnuts (75g)
Filling and Topping
600mls cream (250ml for filling & 350ml for top & sides of cake)
185g dark chocolate
1/4 cup water
500g berries (raspberries, strawberries mulberries - whatever you have)*
* Apricots or pineapple and passionfruit would be really nice instead of berries too, or another fruit with a bit of acidity.

Step 1: The Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to moderate (140-160 degrees celsius)
  2. Place all meringue ingredients in electric mixer bowl (I use a Kenwood mixer with the whisk beater)
  3. Beat mix on high speed for approx. 15 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved and meringue is very stiff.
  4. While the meringue is beating, prepare trays (2). Cut enough baking paper to line the trays, and draw a 20cm circle on each piece of baking paper (or greaseproof paper).
  5. Lightly spray the paper with oil spray, and dust with cornflour, shaking off the excess.
  6. When meringue is ready, divide the mix into two and spread on the papered trays, within circles drawn.
  7. Sprinkle the meringue circles with ground hazelnuts, and with a knife swirl the nuts into the meringue.
  8. Smooth the tops of each meringue cake and bake in oven for approx. 40 minutes or until the meringue is crisp to touch (it will still be nice and chewy on the inside).
  9. When cooked, remove from the oven and cool on the trays. When completely cold, remove the baking paper from the cakes.

Step 2:  Decorating the cake

  1. Whip the cream
  2. Wash and hull the berries (if using strawberries, slice in half lengthwise)
  3. Chop the chocolate (or pound it in a mortar, with a pestle - very satisfying!).
  4. Place chocolate and water in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and stir until melted.
  5. Place first layer of the meringue cake onto a serving plate, flat side down.
  6. Spread thin layer of melted chocolate over the meringue.
  7. Spread a layer of whipped cream over the chocolate, and cover with berries, leaving enough to decorate the top of the cake also.
  8. Spread the underside of the second meringue cake with melted chocolate, and place chocolate side down on top of the first,
  9. Cover the top (and sides if desired) of the cake with more whipped cream, and decorate with berries.
  10. To finish, drizzle melted chocolate over the cake in thin streams.
  11. Refrigerate until serving. This cake may be prepared several hours before serving. It serves 6-8 people.
NOTE: The pic shows the cake I cooked for Kirsty's birthday with 3 layers - I increased the meringue recipe by 1-1/2 times to do this. I didn't increase the filling/topping quantities, except for the fruit - I just spread cream and chocolate a bit thinner.

 MARTIN'S MEMORABLE CHICKEN
A favourite in our household. 

Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup tomato sauce/ketchup
  • 1/3 cup vinegar (I use cider, but any will do)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt (or 1 clove garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 onions, sliced into rings
  • 8 medium chicken portions (e.g. drumsticks, thighs)
  • 1 good sprig of rosemary, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary)
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Skin the chicken pieces. (If you wish, brown the chicken in a little olive oil - I don't usually bother.)
  3. Mix the sauce ingredients together.
  4. Place chicken pieces in a shallow casserole dish.
  5. Cover with onion rings.
  6. Pour the sauce mix over the chicken, distributing evenly.
  7. Sprinkle with rosemary.
  8. Cover the casserole dish with a lid or alfoil and bake for approx. 1 hour or until chicken is tender.
  9. Serve with rice and vegetables.
Variation
To the sauce ingredients add
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 fresh chilli or 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cummin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1 sliced capsicum, red or green
  • 1/2 can tomatoes or 1 cup of chopped fresh tomatoes
On top of the chicken, in the casserole dish, add
  • 2 sliced potatoes

KAY’S NUT LOAF
I posted this recipe before Christmas, but I think it's worth sharing again.
Ingredients
315g unsalted mixed nuts, finely chopped
100g peanuts or sunflower seeds, or cashews, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
100g wholemeal breadcrumbs made from stale bread
125g ricotta or cottage cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary*
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano*
125mls tomato sauce/ketchup
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
* Note: Dried herbs may be substituted - use approx. 1/3rd quantity, or to taste.
  1. Combine all ingredients and season with S&P to taste.
  2. Press mixture into a lightly greased 15 x 25cm loaf tin. Bake at 180oc for 45 minutes or until firm. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before turning out of the tin. May be served hot or cold - I think it's yummy either way.
.
HELEN'S SAVOURY SCONES

This recipe comes from an old friend, Helen - a great cook. I am often asked for the recipe when friends taste these scones.
Original recipe

    •    2 Tbs parsley
    •    1 onion, chopped
    •    1 carrot, grated
    •    ½ cup (125g) mature cheese
    •    1 egg
    •    1 Tbs butter
    •    2 cups SR flour
    •    ½-1 tsp Salt and cracked pepper to taste
    •    ½ cup milk
    1.    Rub butter into flour until like breadcrumbs.
    2.    Mix in all other ingredients with a knife – no need to knead this mixture.
    3.    Spoon mix onto greased tray and bake in hot oven (200 celsius) 12 minutes. Makes approx 12 big scones. They freeze well.

Kay’s variation on recipe
I add herbs, like oregano and lemon thyme, and even the tops of celery, including the leaves – a handful, and substitute the salt for garlic salt. Capsicum, sundried tomatoes, chopped bacon, etc can be added too, but you may need to adjust the amount of flour/butter – I just throw a bit more in if the mix looks like it needs it.


    1.    Put the flour and butter into the food processor and process till like breadcrumbs
    2.    Add the  cheese (cheese may be omitted – the flavour of the scones is still great) onion, carrot and herbs, and process until chopped to desired size.
    3.    Add the egg and milk and process on slow-medium until mix comes together, adding more milk if necessary. The dough should be fairly moist, but able to be shaped.
    4.    Empty mix onto a scone tray and spread out to an even height. With a knife, cut through the dough to score it into squares (the number depends on the shape/size of your tray).
    5.    Bake in hot oven (200ยบ C) 12 minutes. They freeze well.
    6.    Serve when cold, with butter. 


SHORTBREAD
 This shortbread recipe is great to use for Christmas gifts. You could include the recipe with the shortbread as a bonus gift!



 
500g butter
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup icing sugar
1 cup brown sugar
5 cups plain flour
castor sugar
Lemon rind and juice of ½ lemon (optional)
  1. Cream butter and vanilla. Add sugars (and lemon rind/juice if using) and mix well.
  2. Mix in flour a little at a time, beating very well between each addition. Dough is done when it pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl and feels slightly dry (rather than sticky) to the touch. This may take slightly less or more than the 5 cups of flour.
  3. Knead dough lightly and press out ½ inch thick onto a baking tray, and score the dough into fingers – this is the easiest way. Sprinkle with castor sugar.
  4. An alternative is to roll the dough to about ½ inch thickness and cut into shapes with biscuit cutters (stars, hearts, etc.). Place biscuit shapes on a baking tray lined with baking paper (optional). Sprinkle with castor sugar.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes at 150C, or until light brown. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with more castor sugar.
  6. If you have used my easy method of pressing into a tray and cutting fingers, immediately rescore the cuts on the tray to make sure the fingers will break cleanly when you separate them.
  7. Leave shortbread to cool.
KAYZY’S FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS CAKE
 This is by far my favourite Christmas cake recipe, and terribly addictive
 
.
1 kg mixed fruit (or 250g. chopped Raisins, 125g chopped glace cherries, 125g chopped mixed peel, 250g. Sultanas, 250g. Currants)
125g. chopped blanched almonds
2/3 cup brandy OR orange juice
210g. plain flour
60g. self raising flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
250g butter
250g. light brown sugar
2 tablespoons marmalade OR dark jam, 1 dessertspoon vanilla essence
4 eggs
Optional Topping: see below.
  1. Line an 8" round cake tin with two layers foil and two layers greaseproof paper. Mix all the fruits, peel and nuts together and sprinkle with the brandy OR orange juice.
  2. Sift together the flours, salt and spices.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add the jam and vanilla essence and beat again.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each one, then alternately add the fruit and flour mixtures.
  5. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Place the mixture in the prepared tin. Topping 1: Decorate top of cake with blanched almonds. Topping 2: see step 8 below.
  7. Bake in a slow oven for approximately hours. Cool in tin.
  8. Topping 2: The day before you use the cake arrange on top of the cake pieces of your favourite nuts, e.g. walnuts, almonds, pecans - cherries, glace pineapple, ginger, Raisins and Sultanas.
  9. Make a toffee glaze by boiling together equal quantities sugar, water and sieved apricot jam. Drizzle this over the fruit 'n nut topping and leave to set.



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