Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shortbread Christmas tree

I used a cookie tree making kit from Kmart to put this together. It had 5 different sized Star cookie cutters and a dowel and a base and a hole cutter in the box.

The shortbread recipe from the side of the McKenzies rice flour box is nice and firm and it holds its shape when cooked, here it is.

Traditional Shortbread Recipe

225g plain flour
115g rice flour
115g caster sugar
225g butter (at room temperature)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Cut up the butter into slices, put into a medium sized mixing bowl. Sift the flours over the butter, add the caster sugar and the vanilla essence.

Rub the butter into the sugar and flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs then turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and pliable. Form into a

Cut the dough in half. roll each portion out to a depth of approx 10 - 12mm. Use shape cutters to cut out the desired shape. Place carefully on a cookie sheet leaving room for expansion. Prick patterns into the dough with a fork if desired.

Bake for 20 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the shape, in a cool oven, 155-160 degrees for fan forced, slightly warmer for conventional ovens. Cool on trays fro 5-10 mins them move to a wire cooling rack. Store when completely at room temperature.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Shepherds Pie

Shepherds Pie

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 500 g minced meat
  • 1 large Onion grated
  • 1 large carrot grated
  • 2 tsp Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Gravy mix (Gravox or similar)
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Rosemary
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 kg Potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
  • 50 g Butter or Margarine
  • 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°
  2. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender while making the meat filling.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan until hot. Season the mince and fry in the oil over moderate to high heat until browned. Stir the onions, carrot and garlic in as well. Mix the gravy powder into the Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce and herbs then pour over the meat mixture, stir well, add the water and chicken stock cube, stirring constantly, bring to the boil and simmer until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Drain the potatoes when they are soft enough to mash. Mash them well with the butter or margarine, salt and pepper and olive oil, and about 2 tbsp grated Parmesan. Check for seasoning.
  5. Spoon the mince into the bottom of a large ovenproof dish. Using a large spoon, layer the mashed potato generously on top of the mince, starting from the outside and working your way into the middle. Sprinkle some extra grated Parmesan cheese over the potato. Fluff up the mash potato with a fork to make rough peaks. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tangy Lentil Soup with Silverbeet & Zucchini

This is a delicious Lebanese version of a popular Middle Eastern brown lentil soup to serve as a main meal that even kids will love! Great for making ahead as the flavour continues to improve. Freeze leftovers in meal sized glass containers for an easy lunch.


2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
500 g brown lentils, picked over for stones, washed, drained
1 tsp salt
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1 cm cubes (350 g)
1 bunch silverbeet, base trimmed, washed and shredded into 1 cm strips (600 g)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Freshly ground black pepper, optional
1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
Juice of 2 lemons


  1. Warm oil in very deep soup pot (e.g. 8 litres capacity) and sauté onions until soft.
  2. Add lentils, salt and 2 litres of water, cover with lid, and bring to the boil. Turn down heat slightly and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add potato cubes and continue cooking for approximately 10 minutes.
  4. Add zucchini, silverbeet, garlic, pepper and 1 extra litre of boiling water and continue cooking for another 5 minutes until the green vegetables just start to soften.
  5. Stir in coriander and lemon juice and serve in bowls. Three ladles per bowl provides for a main meal serving. Serve with bread, if desired.

Serves 8

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Morning Snack

On our morning walk we stopped at MDonalds. I had a Mango Smoothie from the Cafe.

When I came home I looked up the nutrition information on it. Boy o'boy, and it was 4.5 ww points. I didn't think it would be so high. I know not to have another, I would have been better off with a juice or a skinny latte with an apple. Or even better still take a snack with me, something like 8 nuts in my pocket which is only 0.5 points.

Chick Pea Tagine

I made this dish for dinner last night. I am following a diet plan and I wanted a dinner with low points. I wanted to use rice but I didn't want to have the fat of a risotto, so I decided to use the Tagine.

I am not expert at using the Tagine yet, it is supposed to be a slow cooker but I am finding that everything cooks quite quickly. Maybe I will have to use a very low heat. I am also finding that the liquid content needs to be low as it bubble out from under the "lid" if there is too much. I am still experimenting.

Consider making a yoghurt sauce to serve in future as it was a little dry. It would then bump up the points a little, but considering that I had yoghurt for sweets (with rock melon), I could have halved my dessert serve and used the other half in the sauce.

Serves 2 each serve is 4.5 ww points, it is 1 serve each of protein and cereal and 3 serves of vegetables
1 cup drained canned chickpeas
240g gold sweet potato
240g kent pumpkin
1/2 cup arborio rice
1 onion cut into quarters
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp stock powder
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground oregano
2 small red chillies
1/4 red capsicum
2 stalks celery
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups water

Heat the tagine base over a low heat, lightly spray the base with an olive oil spray. Add the onion to the tagine to saute, then add the rice so that it toasts a little. Pour over half the water, it will steam and bubble, so be careful.

Add the spices and stock powder. Next add the chick peas, chillies, garlic, celery and capsicum, stir to combine. Push the chunks of pumpkin and sweet potato into the rice then pour our 1 tbsp lemon juice and the remaining water.

Cover the tagine with the lid and place into a moderately warm oven for 40minutes to finish cooking. Season to taste with the remaining lemon juice and freshly ground salt and pepper.

Serve with a large fresh salad of cucumber, snow peas and greens.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Banana Ginger Muffins

I have been given some news this week, I have diabetes. In order to manage it correctly I will have to make some changes. This involves some learning about the right foods to eat. Also I will have to exercise at the right times. I need to develop regular meal times and incorporate regular snacks also. Here is a recipe that I found at the American Diabetes Association website, the page was titled Breakfast On the Go. It seems that the americans are keen on the exchanges program, I don't know a lot about it but I will keep researching.

Makes 1 dozen/ serving size: 1 muffin

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes


2 cups all purpose flour (use some whole wheat if deisred)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg
1 egg white
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 bananas, mashed
2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger (or use 1 tsp. ground)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
  2. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Mix well, but gently. Do not overbeat.
  3. Pour the batter into 12 sprayed non-stick muffin cups. Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes until center comes out clean and the muffins are lightly brown. Remove the muffins from the oven and cool 10 minutes in the pan. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool them completely.

Exchanges: 2 starch

Calories: 156
Calories from fat: 29
Total fat: 3 g
Saturated fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 18 mg
Sodium: 83 mg
Carbohydrate: 28 g
Dietary fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 7 g
Protein: 5 g

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Roasted Tomato and Onion Tarts

Tart Shells
250g cream cheese at room temperature
350g butter or margarine softened
400g plain flour
Blend the cream cheese and butter. Stir in the flour untill just blended. Chill for about 1 hour. shape into 36 balls. press into the base of muffin pans to make a shallow shell. Bake for 10-15 mins before filling and baking for a further 10 mins.
Roast Tomato and Onion Filling
36 small Roma tomatos
15 small/medium onions
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2tbsp Olive oil
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese combined with
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Slice the tomatos lengthwise and place on a baking paper lined baking tray. Peel the onions and cut into wedges, toss the wedges in a small amount of olive oil to lightly coat, brush the remaining oil over the cut surfaces of the tomato. Sprinkle the cut surface of the tomato with the sugar, then the salt and then the pepper. Bake the tomatos slowly in a cool oven for approximately 1 hour, then add the onions to the baking tray and bake for a further hour.
To assemble the tarts, brush the inside of each tart with the Dijon mustard, sprinkle with a small amount of the cheese blend. Evenly distribute the roasted tomato and onion into the cases and sprinkle the remaining cheese, before baking for the last 10mins. Sprinkle fresh chopped oregano leaves over the warm tarts prior to serving. Serve with eggs bacon, baked beans and sausages for a hearty breakfast. Serves 36