Accidental Potatoes

So ... the other night I was trying out Salt Crusted Chicken from one of my Jamie magazines. I was supposed to use a casserole dish that was about the same size as the chicken. The one I wanted to use was a bit bigger so I decided to stuff a few whole potatoes around the chicken. So ... you can bake the potatoes however you like but these ones were baked with a kilo of rock salt covering them (and the chicken) ... baked on 200C for an hour and a half.

I had planned to serve the chicken with some sweet potato wedges and avocado/slow roasted tomatoes on toast ... also out of the Jamie magazine. As it turned out though, we ended up having drinks with our neighbors til a bit later than expected so I didn't have the time I thought I'd have to prepare. So ... I took a few short cuts and served the chicken with these potatoes.

2 potatoes

A couple of handfuls of basil leaves

1 lemon

4 avocados

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper



So ... you throw the basil leaves in the pestle and mortar and smush them up. Squeeze in juice of half the lemon, a couple blubs of olive oil and a bit of salt. Keep going until it's a 'drizzleable' sort of sauce.

Smush up the avocados. Squeeze in juice of the other half of the lemon, salt and pepper. Mix. Add chopped tomatoes.

Cut open the hot baked potatoes and top with the avocado mixture, rocket, feta and the drizzleable pesto ...

Mom's Banana Bread

I can't believe this recipe is not on this blog ! I've searched and searched and can't find it though, so it mustn't be. Rory made this yesterday and after my facebook status update about it, I got a couple requests for the recipe. I was certain it was on the blog but ... not so ! Well, it needs to be ! I love this banana bread, especially when Rory makes it for us !!


2.5 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 TBLS salad oil (we use canola)
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
At least three bananas (we always use the ones with black skins that we keep in the freezer)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional (we never add nuts)

Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Prepare pan(s) with baking paper, or by rubbing with oil/dusting with flour. Mash the bananas with a fork on a plate. Throw all the ingredients except the bananas and nuts into a bowl. Mix on medium speed for about a minute, scraping the bowl constantly. (If mixing by hand, beat it vigorously till all the lumps are gone.) Mix in the bananas, then stir in the nuts. Bake for 45-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center come out clean.

Cool in the pan for a short time, them remove. Consume immediately if you want big bunks and melted cream cheese or butter (or both !) on it. Cool thoroughly if you want to be able to slice it properly.

Wrapped in foil, banana bread freezer beautifully.

Lemon Soda ... on Lime

Andrea posted this photo on her facebook page on Christmas Day.
I took one look at it and HAD to KNOW what it was !!

Lemon Soda is an Indian drink called Nimbu Pani (thanks for that little bit of info, Gareth!) and all I can say is thank you India ! And thank you Andrea ! It is refreshing and oh so smoooooth ....

For one 16 oz glass:
3-4 tablespoons simple syrup
One muddled lime (sometimes more!)
Fill the rest of the glass with soda water (club soda) or tonic water.
Sprinkle salt.

Put in the freezer for a bit to chill.

You can drink them like that or you can add a "blub" of tequila, gin, vodka or ... whatever floats your boat. Last night, I added tequila to ours.

Do you need to know how to make simple syrup ? Yeah ... I did too ! It's simple ! (imagine that !) All you do is boil one cup of water. Add one cup of sugar. Take the pan off the heat. Stir and let cool. Simple, right ?!

Mmmmmm ! I want to make some more !

Rory's Rustic Ham Bone Soup

So, we had an amazing ham for Christmas dinner (I'll post that recipe later !) Rory wanted to do something with the ham bone so he searched on line, found a basic recipe and modified it ... Here is what he made. We loved it !

Ham Bone ... with about 1 cup of ham chunks that aren't good for sandwiches
½ pound (250g) dried red lentils
6 cups water
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, chopped
5 cloves garlic, a couple minced and a couple roughly chopped
1 red chili, diced
1 (420g) can of tomato puree
¼ cup canola oil
handful of roughly chopped fresh basil and parsley leaves
1 tsp garam masala
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse lentils thoroughly. Combine ingredients and bring to a boil. Then cover and simmer for 2 hours. Remove bone from soup. Pull ham off of bone and gather up big chunks that have fallen off ... chop it up and return to soup. Discard the bone.

That's it. Dead easy. You could also do it in the crock pot ... 8 to 10 hours on low.

We served it with buttered sour dough bread and Rory sprinkled a few chili flakes on top of his ...

Last Menu Plan for 2010 !

Wow ... Can you believe Christmas has come and gone ? What a year ! We've been a bit all over the place with our planning ... and our eating for that matter ... it's been a busy month !! We're both on holidays now. I've been feeling a bit off in the guts and I suspect it has a lot to do with how we've been eating. I'm feeling awfully keen to get back to something more normal ...

The weather has been a bit funny this summer. It's supposed to be boiling hot this time of year but for the most part it has been rainy, dreary and a bit on the cooler side. Not cold. Not really even cool. Just cooler ... and definately not boiling hot. Not that I'm complaining, it just makes it tricky to plan because tomorrow could be anything !

Since it is holidays and we don't have to work this week ... I'm doing ALL NEW recipes !! I'm super excited about it !! All JAMIE OLIVER recipes too ... I was given Jamie's Ministry of Food for Christmas. And I just got Jamie's 30 Minute Meals not too long ago. Both of these cookbooks are AMAZING ! I've also got a stack of Jamie magazines that I've been reading ... Here's what we'll be having ....

I can't wait !!

Monday ~ 27 Dec 2010
From Jamie's Ministry of Food ...
Chicken Rogan Josh (pg 81)
Naan (I'm so excited to make this again since we got our grill/broiler fixed this week !!)

Tuesday ~ 28 Dec 2010
From Jamie's 30 minute meals ...
Spaghetti All Puttanesca, Crunchy Salad, Garlic Bread and Silky Chocolate Ganache (pg 54)

Wednesday ~ 29 Dec 2010
From Issue 13 of the Jamie magazine
Chicken In Salt Crust (pg 85) I've wanted to try chicken this way for some time !
Avocado & Slow Roasted Tomatoes on Toast (pg 33)
From Issue 12 of the Jamie magazine
Sweet Potato Wedges with Salsa (pg 122)

Thursday ~ 30 Dec 2010
From Jamie's 30 Minute Meals
Tasty Crusted Cod, My Mashy Peas, Tartare Sauce, Warm Garden Salad (pg 140)

Friday ~ 31 Dec 2010
I'm not going to plan for Friday yet ...
it's New Years Eve and who knows what we'll end up doing !?

Saturday ~ HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011 ~
I'm going to leave this day open for leftovers, something out of the freezer or SPONTANEITY !

Sunday ~ 2 Jan 2011
From Jamie's 30 Minute Meals
Killer Jerk Chicken, Rice & Beans, Refreshing Chopped Salad, Chargrilled Corn (pg 106)


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

Mint Chocolate Christmas Cookies


2 1/4 cup Flour
3/4 cup Cocoa
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup shortening ( I know! Who watches their calorie intake during the Holidays anyway!?)
1/2 cup Softened Butter
3/4 cup White Sugar
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs (beaten)
2 tsp Vanilla
2 cups andes mint chips

1 cup powdered sugar (to roll the cookies in before baking)

Preheat oven 350 degrees

Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt together, set aside.

In a standing mixer beat together the shortening and butter until creamy.
Add both sugars and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla and mix. Next, add the flour mixture and mix until smooth. Fold in the mint chips.

Roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and then roll in the powdered sugar to fully coat.
After placing them on the cookie sheet, flatten the balls into 1/2 inch thick..
Bake 10-12 minutes. After removing from the oven let cool about one minute on the cookie sheet before moving to a wire rack.


Christmas Cinnamon Buns

I was going to post this recipe last year and have had the photo sitting in a post ready for the recipe ... since LAST CHRISTMAS !! ha ha. Well, here it is ...

We love cinnamon buns. I only make them at Christmas ... and maybe if someone requests them for their birthday breakfast !

This year, I combined two recipes ... The dough came from my Breville bread maker hand book and the icing came from all recipes ... The Clone of a Cinnabon

I use a bread maker for the first part ... the sweet dough.

Water 290ml
Egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3.5 cups flour
3 tablespoons powdered milk
1 teaspoon bread improver
2.25 teaspoons yeast

Throw it all in, turn it onto the dough setting and come back when it is done. Then you roll it out. The recipe says to roll it into a 40cm x 38cm square. Mine was for sure a rectangle ... no where near a square. I'm so not sure what difference it makes. ANYWAY ... then you melt 3 tablespoons of butter and brush 1/2 of it over the dough. Combine 4 tablespoons of brown sugar with 1.5 tablespoons of ground cinnamon and spread that over the buttery dough. You can also add chopped pecans but I never have.

Roll that up. Slice into 2cm thick slices. Put it into a baking dish (with either grease or baking paper cuz these are sticky !), cover and let rise til doubled in size. (20 minutes or so ?)

Bake in preheated 180C/350F oven for 25/30 minutes. Mine NEVER take that long. Yesterday I set my time for 15 minutes and then again for another 5 and they were done ...

While they are baking...

Make the icing ...

3 oz/85g cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1.5 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt (i just did a pinch)

Beat above ingredients to desired consistency ... spread on warm rolls before serving ...

Yesterday, I enjoyed mine with a mug of my Mom's crock pot apple cider that I cooked all night long so that our home smelled like Christmas when we woke up Christmas morning ! We ran our air conditioner all day yesterday ... it was WONDERFUL ! I drank hot apple cider and pretended it was winter !! Merry Christmas !!

Senator Russell's Sweet Potato Souffle

(table decorations H.L. ~ original photo E.O.)

We were invited to share Thanksgiving with friends this year and I was given the task of making Senator Russell's Sweet Potato Souffle. A favorite in the family ! NO PRESSURE ! ha ha. I had never made this dish before but I had eaten it once so I had that at least ! Anyway ... it turned out well and I think it will be a regular at our future Thanksgiving feasts !

(recipe D.L.)

Don't you just love handwritten recipes ? I do !!

You can pretty much see everything there to make it ... But a couple little things I should tell you. You can start with 1/4 cup sugar and taste as you go. I added a little bit more than 1/4 cup but didn't get up to 1/2 cup. Actually I double the recipe and for that whole thing I used 3/4 of a cup. It depends on the sweetness of your sweet potatoes ... and palate, I suppose :)

AND ... mash the potatoes smooth. My friend who gave me the recipe said "you're not lookin' for rustic here, you're lookin' for smoooooth ..." I used my food processor.

For the Aussies ... 350F is 180C.

I forgot to take a photo ... can you believe that ? ME ?? Forgetting to take a photo ?? Of food ?? Crazy !! Luckily, photos went up on facebook and I found this one ... well, sort of ...

Edited 15/12 ... the photographer of this photo emailed me the original after he saw the ridiculous photo I posted in it's place !! Thanks !! Here is the photo I wanted to have here ...

(photo by E.O.)

I could NOT for the life of me get the photos off of facebook ! Seriously !! I could drop and drag but when I clicked on the photo on my desktop it just took me back to facebook. I did 'save photo' but then when I clicked it told me no such photo existed ! Stinking thing ! Never one to be defeated ... I just took a photos of the photos with my iPhone ... emailed them to myself and voila ... !

I hope you make this soon. It's YUM YUM YUM !! If it wasn't summer, I'd be making it again today ....

My favorite focaccia bread

2 teaspoons yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1 tablespoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary or any other rustic italian seasoning you might have on hand.
optional: green olives, caramelized onions (i like to use red), roasted garlic on the side.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix warm water and sugar with yeast. Let stand about 5 minutes. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the flour to the bowl. Dissolve salt in 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the mixture. Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Add more flour if necessary.

Turn the dough out onto a counter and knead a few times. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil so it doesn't form a skin. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes - 1 hour.

Coat a sheet pan with a little olive oil. Once the dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto the counter. Roll and stretch the dough out to an oblong shape about 1/2-inch thick. (a rolling pin works best.) Lay the flattened dough on the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven 400 degrees. Brush the dough with olive oil before adding your toppings. Bake 15-20 minutes.

Bonnie Made Slumgullion !!

I made the slumgullion last night !

I won't put the full tablespoon of chili powder in it next time ... it was a bit spicy !
I'll start with 1/2 a tablespoon and go from there ...

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - 6 December 2010

So, Jamie and I decided not to make anything from his new cookbook this week ... Soon though !

Here we go for this week ... needed simple and stuff I knew !!


Israeli Cous Cous Salad


Salmon Salad


U2 concert !!!
Who knows what, or if, we'll eat !

Spagh Bol from Freezer


Lamb Skewers with Mango Chutney

Want more menu plans ?
Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie

jamie plan

oh ... hello ... jamie and i are just planning this week's menu !

Overnight Oatmeal

****Just typed this whole recipe out and then deleted it when I was trying to format it...SOOOOOO FRUSTRATING!! Not gonna format it this time...what you see is what you get. Wish me luck...****

We've been making/enjoying this recipe for a while. Suprised it hasn't made it's way to the blog yet! It's soo yummy on chilly winter days. Really it's yummy any day! I don't have any photos of it at the moment. Hopefully, someone will add one eventually :-)

Overnight Oatmeal

1 1/2 cups steel-cut oats
6 cups water

(or 1/4 cup oats to 1 cup water)

In a large saucepan, boil the oats in water for 1 minute. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature.

The next day, uncover the oats and bring to a boiler over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the oatmeal is cooked and creamy but still a little bit chewy - about 10 minutes.

Serve hot or store in sealed container in the fridge to be reheated.

Top with favorite oatmeal toppings.


Donna's Satay Chicken and Thai Salad

I was eating a salad at work the other day and a friend poked his head in and said "You gotta get Donna to give you the recipe for the salad we had last night !" Of course ... the moment I saw her, I asked for the recipe ... and it wasn't but a couple of days later and I was making this culinary delight !

Now, I know you've already added Nancy's Osaka Chicken to your list of recipes to try but it needs to be a chicken sort of week ... you MUST try this one too !!

For the Satay Chicken ...

1 kilo of chicken tenderloins (I just used chicken breast - cut into biggish bites)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon oil
I tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 clove garlic

Mix and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Skewer and cook em up! (I didn't skewer mine b/c I was cooking in a hurry !)

Satay sauce

1 tsp veg oil
2 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tsp chili sauce (I use sambal oelek) (and I used chili/garlic sauce)
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oil in small saucepan. Add ginger and garlic, saute for 30 seconds. Add broth, and remaining ingredients. Stir and reduce heat. Simmer for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

This makes more than is needed for the skewers so you could even halve the recipe.

You can adjust the consistency of the sauce depending on how you like it by either adding more or less broth. Spice can also be adjusted by adding more chili.

For the salad ... (based on THIS recipe but modified a tiny bit)

3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
1 tablespoon natural 100% peanut ~ peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon chili/garlic paste
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons peanuts

To make the dressing ... throw everything but the peanuts in a food processor and whiz it up. Then add the peanuts and whiz some more. Done.

2 cups spinach and rocket ... or your preferred salad greens
1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts
2 tablespoons thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves
1 carrot, julienned
1/2 a red capsicum (bell pepper), thinly sliced
a handful of snow peas, thinly sliced

Combine ... and drizzle with dressing.

Top with chicken !!

YUM !!