"Waldorf"-Style Chicken Salad

For 2 people (easily doubled or tripled or whatevered):

2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 large apple, cored and diced
dash lemon juice
1 large stalk celery, diced
1/4 cup walnut pieces
3/4 cup yogurt (preferably Greek)

Toss apple pieces with lemon juice to prevent browning. Add remaining ingredients and mix.

Serve as is, in pita pockets, on bread, however you like. Wonderful (and easy) for supper on a hot summer day!

Spaghetti Bolognaise in the Crock Pot


I've been making my spaghetti sauce like this for years ... but this is the first time I've let it simmer all day in the crock pot. I'll do it that way EVERYTIME now ... it was sooo good. So much more flavor infusion !!

I don't use exact measurements. I add how much I like and then adjust for taste !
500g (1lb) mince (ground beef)
1 onion, diced
garlic to your taste preference, chopped to your size preference
button mushrooms, sliced
kalamata olives
dry white sherry
brown sugar, maybe 1/2 a tablespoon
fresh oregano
fresh parsley
fresh basil
fresh chives
2 dried bay leaves
a few big cans of tomatoes
tomato paste
tomato puree
1 jar of Five Brothers Roasted Garlic Sauce (optional)

Start by sauteeing all the garlic and onions together. Add the mince (ground beef) and brown. throw the mushrooms in for the last couple of minutes. Put in crock pot and add all your cans of tomatoes, you sauce (if using) some tomato puree, and tomato paste. I just do it to a nice thick consistency ... Add herbs. I only chop the chives. The rest, I just pick off the stalks and throw 'em in. As you can see, I like it herby !! Add your kalamata olives. A bit of a weird ingredient but if you like olives you will probably love this ! It gives the sauce such a nice flavor !! Add your sherry and the brown sugar. (to take the edge of the acidity of all those tomatoes !! ) Cook on low all day !!

I filled my crock pot when I made this and it fed us for dinner, lunches the next day and I still have two big dinner with a lunch the next day portions that I froze for later !! I figure, if you're making it ... make lots ! It's minimal extra effort now for a great pull out of the freezer on a 'for whatever reason I can't cook tonight' night !!

Apple Sanga


A few weeks ago we tried this Maple Apple Cheddar Melt but I feel that's too hard to remember and since I live in the land of abbreviations, I decided to call ours Apple Sangas. Don't try to figure it out. I don't know why but Sanga is short for Sandwich is this land down under.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that this recipe came from Closet Cooking ... possibly my favorite cooking blog of all time. I want to eat everything he posts !! EVERYTHING !!


Apple Sanga ~ adapted from Healthy Food For Living who adapted it from Closet Cooking !!


1 medium apple, peeled, cored, & sliced thin ~ I used Granny Smith, I think.
Olive Oil
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
ground cinnamon
2 slices whole wheat sandwich bread
sliced tasty cheese (cheddar)


Heat oil in nonstick pan over medium heat. Add apple slices and maple syrup. Cookuntil the apples are soft, about 5 minutes. Make sure you keep stirring, you don't want the apples to burn. Stir in the ground cinnamon. Lay cheese slices on one piece of bread. Spoon apples over cheese and top with remaining piece of bread. Put in sandwich press. Press til bread is browned and cheese is melted.

Delicious ! We all liked these !!

I served them with Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli ...


Mango Lassi

1 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 cup ice cold water
1 mango
3 T sugar

Combine all ingredients in a blender.
Blend about 15 seconds or until frothy.

Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

This is also quite lovely with rum.
But if you make grown-up lassi, add more sugar.

Channa Dal (Curried Chickpeas)

The recipe in the book was much more labor intensive. It involved dried chickpeas, toasting several different spices and whatnot. I simplified it a lot by using canned chickpeas and my nice curry powder - it had all of the spices the recipe called for and then some. Anyway, this is SO simple and quick to make and YUMMY!

1 14oz can chickpeas
4 tsp curry powder
1 cup chopped onion
2-3 cloves pressed garlic
1 T grated ginger
3 T butter
1-2 T chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)

Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add onion, garlic and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until onions are soft and golden. Add curry.

Add chickpeas and a 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low until liquid is reduced to a nice sauce (feel free to turn up the heat if you get impatient!).

Place chickpeas in a serving dish and sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves.

Murg Dahi (Yogurt Chicken)

Important! Chicken needs to marinate, plan ahead accordingly.

Despite the rather bland and boring name, this chicken dish is spicy and delicious! The chicken is super tender and bursting with the flavors of northern India.

3 1/2 to 4 lbs chicken pieces, skinned
1 tsp salt
1 green chili, finely chopped (I used a Serrano)
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cups fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
1 T fresh ginger, chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cups (1/2 stick) butter, melted

Prick chicken pieces all over with a fork and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine salt, chili, yogurt, cilantro, ginger and garlic and mix well. Pour over chicken, cover bowl, and refrigerate for six hours to overnight.

To cook chicken, preheat over to 400F. Pour half the melted butter into a roasting pan. Put the chicken into pan and pour yogurt mixture on top. Place pan in middle of oven and roast for about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and continue roasting, basting frequently with remaining butter and pan juices, for about 30 minutes, or until chicken is done.

Remove chicken and place on a serving platter. Pour sauce over chicken and serve immediately.

Mom's Hot Apple Cider

This is repost of my Mom's Hot Apple Cider recipe. I'll add a couple of notes in red ... and a photo of the batch I made the other day ! So yummmmy ... and perfect for right now ... winter in Australia !!!


Starting post from Mom now ...

This has long been a tradition at the family holiday gatherings. It is so easy, I start it last thing before I go to bed and wake up to the most amazing perfume ever! It's healthy, too!


-1 bottle apple cider, the bottle that's about 1/2 gallon (I can't find cider here so use 2 litres of apple juice)
-1 bottle cranapple juice--same amount as the cider (Cranberry Apple Juice ~ 2 litres)
-whole cloves (I fill my tea ball nearly half full of them and throw the ball in--keeps the cloves from getting in my cup (yuck!))
-2 cinnamon sticks
-a pinch or two of powdered ginger (add to taste, but remember it will get stronger since it will simmer overnight)

Throw everything into the crockpot, set to low and simmer overnight. (I continued to let it simmer all day long too and wow ... when I got home from work and had it again it was even better than first thing in the morning)

(If you need to make a second batch, good luck, because it isn't nearly as good heated together on the stove, or heated on high in the crock pot till it's hot. The flavors really need to blend for all those hours.)

P.S. All of the comments in parentheses are things I have discovered by doing wrong, ignore them to your taste buds' peril!

P.S. again.......as you get ready to enjoy this yummy drink, clink your mugs and give thanks to the Giver of All Good Gifts, and hug everyone nearby!

PS from Bonnie ... this makes a HUGE BATCH so make sure you have people to share it with or reduce the measurements.

Fruit Salad For Lunches

I remember, years ago, thinking that a friend of mine was brilliant because she made a fruit salad at the beginning of the week and she and her husband ate it all week long. I have finally started doing it from time to time. I'm not sure why I don't do it every week because I love it when I do !


Especially when there is such a wide variety of yummy yummy fruit available !!


I just chop it up when I'm making lunches on Sunday night, store it in a big tupperware and each night when I make lunches, I scoop it into our individual tupperwares for taking. One time I stored it in the individual tupperwares on the Sunday but it took up way too much room in the fridge ...

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - 21 June 2010


Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie

So, yeah ... never got back to put links in to last week's post ! Ha ha. I have, however, got most of the recipes I promised, done and scheduled to post throughout the week !! Be on the lookout for them ... there's some good ones ! And I have more to follow. We made homemade whole wheat pretzels yesterday. With a homemade havarti cheese sauce that was simple and delicious ! Today we are trying our hands at making corn nuts. The dried corn kernels have been soaking in water in the fridge for three days so this afternoon we will fry them ...

Tonight is Alia's night to cook but she helped me last night. And I think I'll have to change her night to Sunday and possibly Jono's to Friday or Saturday. Week nights are just hard. And there's a new exercise class starting tonight that I'm going to go to ... it would just make me feel rushed with her and I don't want that.

Last night she did hors d'ouvers. She picked the ingredients at the grocery store, and then prepared most of it on her own ! She served three types of crackers, three cheeses, ~ including the worlds best Camembert ( ! ) kabana, salami, two different olives, grape tomoates, spinach & parmesan dip w/cashews, and perrier to drink ! She did so well and was so proud of herself. I love that.

She and Jono are both developing a love of cooking ... they already had the love of eating ! ha ha. But it's neat to see them interesting in the preparation. We were watching Masterchef last night and two of the contestants got to spend time with Jamie Oliver ( um ... yeah ... I'D LOVE THAT !!! ) and in the intro, it said he (Jamie) has been cooking since he was EIGHT ! We're like "Jono ... you are eight now !! How cool is that ??" He was pretty chuffed about it !

Anyway ... enough blabbing !! ... here's the menu for this week ...

Since Alia 'cooked' last night,
we'll do the originally scheduled Black Bean Chili Soup tonight.


I'm going to pull one of the frozen spaghetti sauces (that I made last week)
out to thaw and all I will have to do is make the pasta and some sort of veggie ...


I am going to make tortilla espanola ... and take a new photo !
That one is shockin' !! I'll serve it with steak cobb salad ! Yum Yum !!


Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup
I can feel my belly warming already !!

Jono wants to make tacos. We'll make the tortillas.
And we're going to try this taco seasoning.
I'll post our taco recipe after we make them ... we'll be mostly making them up !!

I'm not sure that we will be home for dinner Saturday night.
But if we are ...we'll so something simple like grilled cheese or eggs on toast.

Alia wants to make quesadillas.
We'll have leftover tortillas from Jono's tacos on Friday so ~ perfect !
And we'll have chicken, cilantro rice, salsa, avocado all available to fill them.
And cheese too ... of course !!!
Can have a quesadilla without the queso !!

Well ... there you have it ! Another week of eatin' at our place !!

Bex and Liz Eat Stuff...a menu plan

I'm very excited about this week's food. I hope Bex is too, since she was gone this weekend and I menu-planned without her!

French Omelet
Green Salad

Yogurt Chicken
Curried Chickpeas
Mango Lassi
(I'm trying out two new recipes from my Indian cookbook! Recipes to follow...)

Rockies Game
(I will be having nachos or some equally delicious non-food item at the ballpark!)

Steak Fajitas

BLT Salad
Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Julia Child's recipe!)



It got unseasonably cold here recently, so we wanted something warm to sip by the fire. I came across this recipe in an Indian cookbook I have that I've never used. If the deliciousness of this recipe is any indication of the others, I will be using this book a LOT! I did cut down the amount of cloves and cardamom as I am easily overwhelmed by the latter and not overly fond of the former. I also left out the 1 T fresh ginger called for as I didn't have any. This is the version I used:


3 cups water
2 sticks cinnamon
7 cardamom pods
7 whole cloves
3 T black tea leaves
1 cup milk
3 T sugar

In a medium saucepan, bring water, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves to a boil.
Turn off heat, add tea, and cover pan. Let stand for 3 minutes.

Strain liquid into another saucepan. Add milk and sugar.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

As soon as tea begins to boil (or you lose patience and figure it's hot enough,
whichever comes first), pour into cups.

Serve immediately.

Making Mayonaise ~ The Video

In December of last year, I made my first batch of mayonnaise ... it was great tasting but soooo hard ! It took soooo long ! Not what you want to hear when making mayonnaise ...

After that, my Mom and my cousin had the aioli-sytle throwdown and discovered a new way to make mayonnaise ... a super easy way.

And just to clarify ... aioli and alioli are the same thing. The first is French. The second is Spanish. And I stand corrected !!

Here is the definitive mayo recipe ... the one I use all the time now ... the one I'm going to show you in this video. This 58 second video that shows making it from start to finish and even a shot of me speaking some unintelligible gobble-de-gook at the end !

It is seriously so simple. If you don't believe me ... and you have a stick blender ... try it, just to prove me wrong ! :)

Onion Rings


These are so yum.
And easy ... I think. I haven't actually made them.
Jono (8) does most of it ...

Rory found this recipe and we've modified it, like this ...

1 large onion, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 & 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk, or as needed
3/4 cup homemade bread crumbs ... just throw whole wheat bread (we use the ends mostly) into your food processor ... whizz til crumbed. I save the bread ends in the freezer and throw them into the food processor frozen ! Too easy !
salt to taste
oil for frying, or as needed


Heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).

Separate the onion slices into rings, and set aside. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.

Coat onion slices with flour mixture & set aside. Whisk the egg and milk into the flour mixture using a fork. Coat floured rings with this batter.

Spread the bread crumbs out on a plate and coat onion slices with them.

Deep fry the rings a few at a time for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to paper towels to drain. Season with salt, and serve.

Delicious !

We ran out of bread crumbs and were too lazy to make more so we tried some with just the batter ... they were fantastic as well. Like big clumps of battered onion ... sort of like the bloomin' onion at Outback Steakhouse !

The Havana and The Aunt Millie

Last night was Jono's turn to help cook. He wanted to do another Cheese and Burger Society burger. He chose #28 ~ The Havana and we also tried #8 ~ The Aunt Millie. Both were good but would have been much better had we had the right bread. Unfortunately, the bread I was trying to make, turned into a big fat fail ...

Here it is in it's new home ~ the garbage !!


But not to worry, Rory stopped at the store and grabbed a french loaf on his way home. Only problem, it was a bit hard. We pressed it in the sandwich press which made it a bit flatter but it was still too hard for a burger !!

You ready for the pictures ? Here's Alia's ...


And Jono's ...


And Rory's ...


And mine ...


I had one of each ... and I did mine as open face sandwiches ...


But couldn't eat more than half of each of them ...


Can't wait to have the leftovers for lunch ... but will skip the bread this time !!

We served these with homemade onion rings ... I'll post THAT recipe tomorrow !


As for the way we made these burgers ... we didn't do them EXACTLY like the C&BS ... you can check out their website if you want the EXACT recipe ... but we did ours like this ...

The Havana
Beef Patty
Swiss Cheese
Dill Pickles
Yellow Mustard
Pressed French Bread

The Aunt Millie
Beef Patty
Rocket (Arugula)
Red Onion
Kalamata Olives
Pressed French Bread

Did I mention I can't wait to eat the leftovers for lunch ??

Homemade Mac and Cheese - Unprocessed

This one is the baked one ... won't do that the same way again. It dried it out too much.

We love the homemade mac and cheese that I grew up on. The only problem turning it into an unprocessed meal was the cream of mushroom soup ! After talking to my Mom ... I decided to try making a white sauce with itty bitty mushrooms in it, to replace the c.o.m.soup ... IT WORKED !! It's a tiny bit more effort than throwing in a can of cream of mushrooms soup but it's unprocessed !! Hooray !!

So ... here's what I did.

Chop up a red onion, caramelize in olive oil. This takes a while ... 20 ? 30 minutes. Add 3 finely diced mushrooms. Add 6 TBLS butter. Melt. Slowly add 6 TBLS whole wheat flour. Mix. Very slowly add 3 cups of milk. Mix til desired consistency. Add salt and pepper. Mix. Add cheese. I probably did 1.5 cups cheddar and .5 cup mozarella. Too much. Will change amounts next time. Mix cheese in and keep on heat til melted. Add cooked (whole wheat) pasta to sauce. Stir. Done.

This one is not baked ... it was much better but too cheesy.

Rory was saying we should
try adding some spices ... and then I found
THIS recipe ...
which we will try next time,
and also add cardamon (Rory's suggestion).
Will let you know how that turns out !

Any other suggestions are very welcome !!! This is a work in progress !!

Bex and Liz Eat Stuff - A Menu Plan

We have found the kitchen!!!! Nothing is quiet as crazy as moving. Unless of course you are moving in and around going out of town for two weddings and a funeral. Yeesh! But we have persevered and figured out how to fit all of our kitchen toys into one tiny apartment kitchen. I'll post pictures soon...we are especially excited about our spice rack!

On to the menu plan! (and hey! it's even Monday!)

Tortilla Espanola
Green Beans
Homemade French Bread

Angel Hair with Red Clam Sauce

Chef's Salad
(with tomatoes from our very own tomato plant, Bob)

Broccoli and Tofu Stir Fry


Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - 14 June 2010


Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie

I didn't make a menu plan last week ... and I didn't cook for eleven days ... weird ! Early Tuesday morning of last week, I got a call from my Mom letting me know that my Grandma had died. I was on a plane the next morning, flying from Australia to Ohio, USA ! I spent nine amazing days with various family members ... and three with my whole family, including both parents, all three siblings, all of my aunts, uncles and cousins on that side of the family.

It was just me who went. The kids stayed home with Rory. His Mum was here for a few days to help out but for a week, he was on his own. He wowed my facebook friends by posting photos of what he was cooking ! For those of you who missed it ...


His homemade nachos with homemade salsa, homemade guacamole and sour cream.
The only bummer about these nachos is that I didn't get to eat them ...


And then this ... from the Cheese and Burger Society. It's #7 - The Farmer John.

French Bread made into French Toast ... Hamburger Patty ... Cheese ...
Bacon ... Hash Brown ... Onion Rings ... Homemade Onion Rings !

Our eight year old son ate this entire burger !


I got back Saturday. I slept through dinner that night. Last night we did an easy throw together pasta and then today I planned my first menu and headed to the shops with Alia to get this weeks food ! It's lookin' pretty good ! Here's what we're having !

It's Alia's night to pick the meal and help me cook.
She chose ...
Homemade Mac and Cheese
Tonight, she and I will perfect it, take photos
and I'll post an unprocessed recipe this week !!!

Spaghetti Bolognaise ~ my own recipe.
I'm going to let it simmer in my crock pot all day long ~ a little experiment.
I'll post the recipe for this one too !

Jono picked Burgers from the Cheese and Burger Society !
He and Rory are going to try #28 The Havana.
Alia and I are going to try #8 The Aunt Millie.
We'll be doing two different breads.
Should be interesting.

We'll also do homemade onion rings on the side.

Another Crock Pot Meal. A new one.
Garlic Chicken Farfalle ... I'm going to use spirals but Farfalle sound better.

Lemon Grilled Chicken
Cauliflower and Broccoli

Rosemary Chicken Pizza
Funky Lime Pizza

Black Bean Chili Soup

I'm going to come back and put links in later ... if I get a round tuit. We'll see !