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If you are like me and do not like to use a spread that is not butter but find that in winter it is too hard to use on bread.

Then here is a way you can double the amount and make it spreadable, without adding anything unhealthy or increasing the fat.

Simply soften 1 lb or 1/2 kilo of butter place in your food processor with 1 cup of oil, any healthy oil will do I use rice bran. Add all of the oil slowly then add enough pure water to make a soft consistency { or you can just add more oil }   I also add 50mls of colloidal silver, but this is just my choice and not vital.  The butter will look a lot lighter the same as a margarine spread but without all the additives. Plus you will have double the amount and it tastes good too so win win. Store in your usual butter container. You can also use this in your recipes if you use all oil and no water so you have the same fat content.

extended butter

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3 days of leftovers = mini quiche for lunch

Thinking of making lunch today I had a look in my fridge, and the leftover ingredients from the previous 3 nights of dinners were not looking very appealing.

I had about a cup of cooked basmati rice, 10 pieces of  roasted potatoes and a cup of cooked vegies. With just leftover rice and vegies I usually make fried rice with eggs stir fried into it, but I wanted to use up the potatoes too. Usually a frittata springs to mind, but this usually sticks in my frying pan.

So to start with preheat the oven to 160 % fan bake

Mix together rice, potatoes and vegies and fry in a Tbs of oil, 1 tsp curry pdr, 1 tsp sea salt and a shake or two of mixed herbs plus a good grind of pepper until heated through.

Beat 5 eggs with a couple of  Tbs of milk  then add the other ingredients from pan. Heap into muffin pans { I used the silicone ones } and bake for 20 mins until  cooked through.

If I wanted to spend a little more time in the kitchen a few mushrooms, garlic and cheese would be a nice addition to these little quiche, but they were  quite passable for a snacky lunch with some sweet chili sauce.

You can use whatever leftovers you have in your fridge, could be chicken, ham, sausage or just some grated cheese grilled on top of the quiche. As long as you have some eggs to bind it all together. They would also make a more substantial meal with a side salad.

Mini Quiche

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A few days ago I went out for a lunch treat with my daughter, there was a new cafe opened up not too far away called  ” The Block ” this was a reference to the name of the area that it was in.

It was owned by a young guy my daughter informed me, who had spent many years working in a burger bar. He had saved most of his wages to have his own place, good on him I thought he did well.

I didn’t want a big lunch so we had a quiche and a coffee….well my family know how I am usually disappointed with  eating out I am really hard to please. It annoys me that you pay for a meal that is supposed to be made by a professional cook/chef and I can usually dish up a better meal myself at home for a fraction of the cost. I expect better or at least as good as mine ! I’m not a cordon -bleu chef by any means but an everyday dish should be easy to get right. RIGHT ?

I was pleasantly surprised though because I actually enjoyed it, the quiche had a potato hash base and not the usual pastry. As a side note I hope they keep up their standards as I have also noticed that when a new place opens up the meals are good but they slip after a while.

I liked it so much that later I replicated the dish for my family, made a large dish yesterday to take for lunch at my son’s place. We had a side salad with it, and some bunny cookies that we had left from Easter Sunday. Do try my recipe and let me know how you like it.

The recipe below served about 8  portions.

10 all purpose potatoes

1 Tbl cornflour

4 Tbl oil

7 eggs

1 onion

200 – 250  grms grated cheese

1/4 cup milk

250 grm mixed vegies of your choice

Sea salt & pepper

1 tsp mixed dry herbs

Turn oven on to heat about 160

Peel and grate potatoes and onion and put them in a colander to drain, make sure to get as much liquid out as possible. Squeeze them out if need be and mix together with the oil 1 beaten egg and the cornflour.

Press the mixture into an oiled baking dish and place in the middle of your oven for 35-40 mins until the edges are browned.

Meanwhile cook the vegies lightly and drain well, beat the remaining 6 eggs with milk, season with herbs and salt & pepper [ here this is personal choice I use 1-1/2 tsp salt and 12-18 grinds of pepper ]

When the hash base is browned remove from oven, spread half the cheese over the base add the vegies pour on the beaten eggs and top with the rest of the cheese.

Cook for another 30 -40 mins until eggs are set and cheese is melted. Serve with your favourite  salad and dressing, I like sweet chillie sauce with mine 🙂

Hash brown quiche

Hash brown quiche

Hash brown quiche

Hash brown quiche

Hash brown quiche

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This is the nicest fudge brownie slice and is a favourite in my home. It’s a little crispy on the top and fudge’y in the centre. You don’t need fancy dark chocolate, just chocolate chips or buttons. Dark, milk or white it doesn’t matter just whatever floats your boat. Go on make it now you know you want to satisfy your chocolate craving…but be warned cut into small slices !

200grms of butter
2 cups of sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups of cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chocolate chips or chocolate buttons

You can half this recipe

Grease and line with baking paper a 9 x13 in” pan or whatever you make your slice in. and preheat the oven to 160º.
Mix together the butter and sugar in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave, stirring about every 30 seconds, until the mixture is bubbly and smooth (you can also do it on the stove top if you want).  Mix together the cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and flour and add to the butter mixture. Add in the whisked eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out into the corners. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a wood skewer comes out clean, cool on a baking rack.

Dust with icing sugar when cooled and cut into squares or slices.

Fudg'y brownie slice

Fudg'y chocolate brownie slice

A quick desert for afternoon tea, or for your high tea with finger food treats.

One day I will post a great picture of  high tea, complete with 3 tier plates a pot of tea, crust less sandwiches cut on the diagonal, sausage rolls and pastries and dainty tea cups. For now I hope you don’t hold it against my recipes for my attempts at  photography. Plus my 3 tier plates and dainty cups are always boxed up !

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Last night my son and his partner and the two youngest came over for dinner. We made a chicken roast and had a movie ready for them to watch…

“Hotel Transylvania” what better movie snack to give them while watching a creepy movie than ‘Creepy finger Cookies’ I didn’t see them for Halloween so thought I might make them for movie night. Plus some yummy fudgy brownie slice. So recipe follows for fingers, brownie slice in another post later –

2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence [ or almond, lemon etc., ]
100 grms butter [ 1 stick ] softened
1/2 cup icing sugar [ powdered sugar ]
1/2 cup brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

Sliced almonds

In a bowl add the two types of sugar, vanilla, a pinch of salt and the beaten eggs, stir well.  Next stir in the softened butter, add the flour and stir until it’s all combined.

Chill it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

If it’s still too sticky to roll add some more flour, use a tsp measure to roll into finger shapes. Or roll portions into a log and cut into pieces to roll, I made mine in 2 batches. I put half the batch of dough in the fridge for another tray the next day. Half of the dough made about 26 fingers.

Creepy finger cookies

Put rolled fingers onto a baking tray lined with cooking paper. Insert a sliced almond into the finger tip, then pinch in for knuckles and use a sharp knife to make marks on the fingers…[see photo]

Creepy finger cookies

Bake in a pre-heated 160c oven for 8-10 mins

Cool in the tray on a rack, when cool use a clean brush to dust them with cocoa powder.

Creepy finger cookies

Even the big kids all loved them, surprise your family and friends by bringing in a plate of creepy finger cookies to have with their cuppa any time of the year.

Not just for Halloween !

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When I first started cooking many years ago whenever I made lasagne I made it to the traditional recipe. With the meat sauce and a cheese sauce, but as I got to be more accomplished in the kitchen I began to find ways to save time and money.

You don’t need to make two sauces or buy expensive tomato puree to get the same great taste and look of lasagne just one…the meat sauce.

So this is what you need to make either beef or chicken lasagne:

500 grms beef or chicken mince

1. 400 grm can chopped tomato’s

5. cloves of garlic

1. Tbls oil if you are using chicken mince, I don’t think you need it for beef

Pkt of lasagne pasta

200 – 250 grms cheese

1. tsp curry powder

1. tsp sea salt

1. tsp mixed dry herbs

2-3 Tbls tomato sauce or ketchup

3-4 mushrooms chopped

Fry the meat together with garlic, mushrooms, curry powder, salt and herbs until the meat is cooked through. Add the can of tomato’s and ½ cup of water continue to cook until it is heated through.

At this point you can decide if you would like to also add some vegetables, I use whatever frozen vegies I have, about 200 grms plus a couple of cubes of frozen spinach and cook with the sauce.

Then add half of the cheese [ I just cube this as it will melt in the sauce ]   Taste to see if you need to add more salt, cheese or tomato sauce.

Place a layer of pasta sheets in your oven proof dish add some meat sauce. Repeat this until you have used all the sauce and you have about 3 layers of pasta ending with the meat and cheese sauce. Grate the rest of the cheese and sprinkle this over the top, then leave your dish of lasagne to sit for a while before cooking.

35mins before you are ready to eat put your dish in the middle of a 160c oven

Test after 30min with a wood skewer to see if it is cooked through

Serve with a salad or more vegies, we have salad usually…Enjoy

Lasagna

Lasagna

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Every morning for breakfast and most evenings for supper I have homemade muesli

It’s really easy to put together a nourishing breakfast that will see you through until lunchtime.

I make a big batch that lasts me for quite a few weeks.

So here is my recipe for making your own

Ingredients:

1 bag of rolled oats

1 box of allbran

1 box bran or wheat flakes

1 box ricies

500 grms mixed raw nuts

300 grms raisins or sultanas

150 grms shredded coconut

1 packet or 100 grms each of: sunflower seeds / pumpkin seeds / seseme seeds / chia seeds

These are a rough estimate of amounts plus maybe you can buy the seeds and nuts from your bulk store at the supermarket and estimate how much you would like in your muesli.

I sometimes just mix all together but mostly I toast the oats coconut and seeds first. It helps too if you have a couple of large buckets that you keep especially for mixing

Method:

Spread the oats in a large baking tray and grill on high moving them now and then to toast evenly. You can drizzle a very small amount of oil or honey in the pan first but it’s not necessary.

When toasted pour them into your bucket

Toast the coconut very briefly and add that to the oats

Mix all the seeds and nuts into the baking tray and toast those briefly, add to your bucket

Add remaining ingredients to the bucket then empty the whole lot into the empty bucket to mix

You will need to do this several times from one bucket to the other until it is thoroughly mixed

Then fill your cereal containers and admire 🙂

I usually have some left over to fill a bag to give away, my daughter likes to take it to work for breakfast. Eldest son loves to take home some muesli from Mum it’s much nicer than the shop brands.

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