Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cooking Hints and Tips

A few things I learned this week:

  • If you find a recipe with anchovies in it, but don’t like anchovies, you can swap them for sardines and vice versa in most cases.
  • Crushed Cream Crackers can replace breadcrumbs in a recipe.
  • Got lots of leftovers bits and pieces of fresh foods?  Stir-fry it in a wok and serve on cooked rice with salt and pepper.
  • Minced/Ground beef can be replaced with vegetarian mince in any recipe, and vice versa.
  • Tomato Soup can be switched for Cream of Mushroom Soup in most recipe’s to vary the flavour a bit (and vice versa).
  • Marinate meat the night before use (and store in a fridge) to allow it to fully absorb the flavour.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Grocery Cupboard and Fridge Basics

Today I was reading a magazine which listed a couple of basic items that should be in your grocery cupboard.  I noticed a few differences on that list compared to mine, so I thought I would share my list with you.  With these items you will be able to make at least 3 decent dinner meals from scratch…


  • Frozen vegetable mix
  • Frozen stir-fry mix
  • Minced / Ground beef
  • Chicken Fillets
  • Fish Fillets


  • Milk
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Bread
  • Margarine / butter
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Fresh Baby Potatoes (they last a week or two in a fridge)
  • Fresh Carrots (also last a week or two in a fridge)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Peach Chutney

Dried Herbs and Spices:

  • Italian Herbs
  • Thyme
  • Sweet Basil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Garlic Flakes
  • Mild Curry Powder


  • Can Shredded Tuna
  • Can Tomato and Onion Mix
  • Can Peach Slices
  • Spaghetti
  • Ramen Noodles (two-minute noodles)
  • Macaroni
  • White Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking Powder
  • 1 Box long life milk (for emergencies)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Bovril
  • Honey / Syrup
  • Custard Powder
  • Jelly Powder
  • Can Condensed Milk

And with these items I can make the following meals:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Breakfast Scones

Makes:  about 8 (depending on size)


  • 1000ml (4 cups) cake flour
  • 2ml (half teaspoon) salt
  • 30ml (3 heaped teaspoons) baking powder
  • 80ml (4 tablespoons) margarine or butter
  • 1 egg
  • 250ml (1 cup) buttermilk
  • 125ml (half cup) water


  1. Preheat oven to 240ºC (460ºF)
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
  3. Rub in the margarine, handling as quickly and lightly as possible.
  4. In a separate bowl beat egg together with buttermilk and water.
  5. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients about half a cup at a time, mixing with hands or a wooden spoon. 
  6. Do step 5 until all the liquid has been added or until a medium to firm dough is formed. 
  7. If the dough becomes sticky then add flour until it is neither crumbling or sticking to your fingers.
  8. Pat or roll (with a rolling pin) the dough on a floured surface and cut scones 3cm thick.  I use a drinking glass coated with flour instead of a cookie cutter.
  9. Place on a greased baking sheet some distance apart (the scones rise) and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  10. Take out of oven and allow to cool enough so they can be handled with your hands.
  11. Cut in half, spread with butter and serve with jam and whipped cream or grated cheese.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Egg and Cheese Toast

I made these for breakfast some time back. It is really nice, much like a fried egg on toast, but without all the grease from the oil.

Ingredients (this is per person):

  • 1 slice of bread

  • 15ml Margarine/butter (1 tablespoon)

  • 1 egg (separate yoke from white)

  • salt to taste

  • 25ml cheddar cheese (grated) (about 2 tablespoons)

  • Parsley and paprika (optional)


  1. Toast the bread lightly

  2. Spread the bread with margarine (or butter)

  3. Beat the egg white until stiff

  4. Spoon the egg white over the bread, sprinkle with salt and hollow the center of the egg white (like a little valley!).

  5. Place the egg yolk in the center/hole and spread the remaining white over the yolk.

  6. Sprinkle with cheese.

  7. Place the bread under the top element of the oven and toast until brown and the egg yolk is cooked.

  8. Garnish with parsley and paprika.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cheesy French Toast


  • 4 slices of bread
  • 25ml cheese (grated)
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 125ml Margarine (for frying)


  1. Place cheese on 2 slices of bread, sandwich with the other 2 slices.
  2. Beat eggs. milk, salt and pepper together.
  3. Dip sandwiches into egg mixture.
  4. Melt margarine and fry slowly on both sides until bread is golden.
  5. Serve hot!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Chocolate Peppermint-Crisp Fudge

Chocolate Peppermint-Crisp Fudge

Makes: 20cm x 20cm x 1.5cm slab


  • 375ml (1.5 cups) sugar
  • 150ml (0.6 cups) evaporated milk
  • 30ml (2 tablespoons) butter
  • 500ml (2 cups) marshmallows cut into smaller pieces
  • 300g (roughly 3 slabs) dark chocolate
  • 5ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla essence
  • 1 bar Peppermint Crisp (broken or grated into pieces)


  1. Line a 20cm x 20cm (7.8 inch) tin with foil.
  2. Heat the sugar, evaporated milk and butter together in a saucepan / pot
  3. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
  4. Boil for four to five minutes then remove from the heat.
  5. Stir in marshmallows, chocolate and vanilla essence until melted.
  6. Pour into the lined tin and sprinkle the peppermint crisp over the top.
  7. Leave to set in the fridge for 24 hours.
  8. Remove from tin and peel off the foil.
  9. Use a sharp knife to cut into blocks of the desired size.