My Menu - Bonnie - 31 October 2011

Rory and I planned a quick menu together on the way to Movie World on the weekend ! Here it is ...


(this will be our first try of this!)



Cauliflower Shep Pie ?


PS ... are all of the links showing up the same color ? What color ? I have them all set to the same color, but when I preview it, half of them are purple and half of them are green. I'm pulling my hair out trying to figure out what the heck I'm doing wrong !!!

Ice Blocks for Healthy Kids

Remember we had Jono guest blogging earlier in the week ?  Well, today we have Alia ... my 7 year old daughter .... we have been making our own ice blocks for years now.  The kids love them and I don't have any problem with them eating them because they are totally fruit !!

Here you go, in Alia's own words (and spelling) ...


Hello my name is Alia and I am going to tell you how to make ice blocks. First you get some fruit and put it in a blender or food prowseser. I yoused 3 mangos, 3 bananas, 2 kiwi, frozen berries, a hole tub off strawberries and 4 cups off water. Then you get your fruit and put one off the fruits in the blender or food prowseser and wall it is on por some water in it to make it smouth. Next por it in the ice block contaners. After that put them in the freezer and once thier frozzen tack them out and run it under hot water to open them. Finily eat them I hope you injoy.

Mommy's Translation:

prowseser - processor
yoused - used (i love how she spelled that one !)
hole - whole
off - of
wall - while
por - pour
smouth - smooth
ice block contaners - ice block molds
thier frozzen - they are frozen
tack - take
finily - finally
injoy - enjoy

AND ... she's listed out the total ingredients which was pretty clever as I had written down for her what she did in each one and she's added them all together !

For the mango one, I chopped up three mangoes. She added a banana (that had been frozen for banana bread) and maybe 1 cup of water.

For the strawberry one, she cut the green leaves off one punnet of strawberries, added a banana (again, frozen but thawed) and water.

For the kiwi one, I skinned 2 kiwi fruits for her. She added a (you got it ... previously frozen) banana and the water.

For the berry one. We had an open bag of mixed berries in the freezer that no one was eating. We let them thaw then she threw them in with some water.

Super easy. Fun for the kids to make. (apart from the chopping/peeling of a few of the more fiddly pieces of fruit, she did ALL the work !) Super yummy. The kids love these. And best of all. Healthy.

Jono's Roasted Pepper and Chicken Pasta Salad

We have a guest blogger today ! My boy Jono, who is nine, almost ten (!) cooked dinner for us last night. He got the recipe out of a cookbook he was given for is his birthday, but he made a few small changes.  I asked him this morning if he wanted to write a blog post about it and he was pretty excited to do it ! So ... here you go, in his words ...

hi i am jono and i am going to tell you how to make a roasted pepper and chicken pasta salad

you will need:
2 chicken breasts
1 yellow bell pepper
1 bag of any pasta
1 red bell pepper
a handful of rocket
for the marinade:
2 tbls olive oil
lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper
for the dressing:
4 tbls olive oil
3 tbls rice wine vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbls green pesto
a bunch of chives
a handful of chopped parsley

first boil some water then get your two chicken breasts and wrap them in cling film. then bash the chicken with a mallet until flat put the chicken in a container and mix in the olive oil lemon juice garlic salt and pepper put in the fridge for 20 minutes. cut the peppers in half and take out the inside then put them under the grill until skin is black. then soak then in water until ready to pick up then pull off the skin and slice them. cook pasta according to packet heat a frying pan to a medium high heat put chicken in and pour marinade on top. once cooked cool for a couple minutes while cooling chicken put pasta in a bowl with peppers and rocket slice chicken and put into the bowl pour the marinade on and mix and it is done. 

Notes from Mom : I didn't want to change any of how he wrote his instructions so here are a few tips (translations) from me ...

bell peppers = capsicum

rocket = arugula

cling film = glad wrap.  saran wrap.

grill = broiler

We made the pesto for the dressing.  We used sweet and greek basil, just a handful or so.  Then added maybe a tablespoon of pine nuts, maybe the same of freshly grated parmesan, added a blub or two of olive oil.  A bit of salt and pepper.  We used the stick blender on that.  Then we just added the rest of the dressing ingredients to that and blended it some more, again ... with the stick blender.

This was DELICIOUS !!!  It served four of us for dinner, and there were three small portions left over for lunches .... luckily I didn't need a packed lunch today since it's my day off !!  Wooo Hooo !!!

// My Menu // Khrista - October 24-30, 2011

Can I fast forward to Sunday?! I am SO excited about our traditional annual pumpkin carving and pumpkin soup! I can't wait!!! 

The Bendeguz

So ... the other day my husband was craving Eggs Benedict. But it was already way past breakfast time and we didn't have any of the ingredients anyway so we just left it.  Then our friends invited us to come have pizza for dinner.  We never turn down pizza with Craig & Jodie ... this was no exception !  Rory threw out the idea of making an Eggs Benedict Pizza.  Craig was up to the challenge and the rest my friends, is history !  Mouth watering, record breaking, best pizza eva history !

So, how do you make it ?

You'll need your favorite pizza dough recipe. This one had a nice thick crust.

Roll out your dough.  Top with "funky lime" garlic and the oil you cooked it in.  (funky lime garlic ... heat olive oil in a small frying pan. Add freshly minced garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, til light brown ... DON'T BURN IT !! Burned garlic is bitter and yucky !)

Top with mozzarella cheese and sliced bacon.  Cook the pizza til cheese/crust are golden.

While pizza is cooking, make hollandaise sauce and poach a couple eggs. (recipe here)

Once pizza is cooked, drizzle hollandaise sauce on top, top with baby spinach leaves and poached eggs.

Try not to make groaning noises when you eat this ... (but don't be surprised to find that is an effort in futility !) 

Baked Brie

We had this at a friends house last year on Christmas Eve and I've wanted to make it ever since !  I don't think they did the jam though ... that was the addition of the friends we made this with last night !

This was so easy ! Not to mention DELICOUS !

All you need is:
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
1 wheel of brie
strawberry jam

All you do is:
Put the brie on top of the pastry. Top with strawberry (or your choice of)jam. Fold the pastry up to wrap the jam covered brie. Bake in 400F/200C oven til pastry is golden. We did it for 25 minutes last night ... I might try a little longer next time. 

Serve with crackers or fresh slices of crusty bread.
SO stinkin' yum !

Cranberry Buttermilk Scones with Sweet Orange Glaze

I LOVE scones....I make them all the time. Today I decided to tweak one of my favorite scone recipes and what happened was the most delicious scones I've ever made! And it's easy too!

Makes 16 medium size scones.


- 3 Cups Flour
- a heaping 1/3 Cup Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 3/4 Cup Cold Butter
- 1 Cup Buttermilk
- About 3/4 Cup Dried Cranberries (I like a lot so I just dump them in without measuring.)
-A couple Tablespoons heavy cream for brushing.

Preheat over 400 degrees F.
(I use a kitchen aid but if you don't have one your fingers or a pastry blender will work just fine.)
In your bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
Chop your butter into cubes and throw into the bowl. Turn kitchen aid to stir and mix until the butter is about the size of peas.
Add the buttermilk and mix until combined then add the cranberries.
Dump onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two balls.
Pat each ball into 3/4 inch thick rounds. Next, cut each round into 8 wedges and place on a greased baking sheet.
Brush the tops with cream and bake for about 14 minutes or until lightly browned. It is easy to over cook these without realizing it so keep on eye on them. There is nothing worse than a delicious scone with a burnt bottom.

While they are baking, whip up the glaze.
About 1 cup of powdered sugar
About 1 teaspoon of grated orange zest
About 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice.
As you can see, I'm not certain on the measurements for the glaze. I just mix it with a fork until it looks and tastes right.....hmm...Sorry about that.
You want it to be thick enough to spread across the top of the scones once they come out of the oven.
Let the scones cool about 15 minutes before adding the glaze.
Brew a pot of coffee while you wait for the scones to cool. Perfect for a blustery, autumn day!

My Menu - Bonnie - 18 October 2011

I didn't get my groceries done on line last week. It was a crazy busy week and before I knew it, I hadn't been home long enough to sit down and shop before the cutoff time to have my groceries delivered on my day off ! And after that, the week just kind of had me running behind it, hanging on for dear life. Don't get me wrong, it was a fun week and I loved it, I just didn't get the on line shopping done ! So yesterday morning I planned my menu and hit the shops in the afternoon.

I always want something easy or delicious (or both) the night I do shopping otherwise I might not want to make it ... I find grocery shopping can make me really exhausted ! Anyone else like that ?

So, last night was sushi ... YUM !

Sesame Seed Chicken Bites

Jamies 30 minute meals ...Tasty crusted cod, mashy peas, tartare sauce, warm garden salad. We've made this before. Sooooooo good !!

Another from Jamies 30 minute meals but this one is one we haven't tried before.
Killer Jerk Chicken, rice and beans, refreshing chopped salad, chargrilled corn.


Friday and Saturday ... who knows ?! 
Last Friday we did panko crusted fish, antonio's potatoes and salad. 
and then Saturday we went out with friends for Thai ! YUM !

Eggplant Burgers

Look, I know the photo leaves a little something to be desired but I'm going to make myself a light box ... hopefully on the weekend ... and then I'll be able to take good food photos at night !

But ... don't let the photo deter you from trying this ! I loved this. My kids loved this. My husband loved all but the eggplant.

And it was easy. Easy peasy.

Eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch slices. Salted and set aside.
Tomato, sliced
Mushrooms, sauteed with a bit of garlic powder

I started with the caramelized onion.  When that was about done, my husband grilled the eggplant and burger patties.  I sauteed the mushrooms.

To assemble ... eggplant, burger, tomato, mushrooms, onions ... the kids added cheese to theirs.  I had ketchup.  Rory had sweet chili sauce.  Jono has those two and BBQ sauce !

menu plan monday // Khrista 10.10.11

I've been doing a rotating menu/grocery list system for about a month now with great results.
I created four separate weekly menus and compiled a master grocery list for each week.
Usually on the weekend I will print out the next week's grocery list, mark off items I have on-hand, add items from my running list in the kitchen, and then go shopping.
It's been great not having to sit down once a week and produce a new menu, and compile a grocery list.
The above menu was added to the rotation this weekend. Some of our favorites.
(I will post the "Spicy" Spaghetti recipe this week! ;)

Spicy Chicken Soup

This was delicious. I used this recipe as a base but I made a few changes. If you are a kitten tongue like my cousin Pam, then you probably won't like this because it is SPICY !! But ... I pulled out some chicken before I added the chipotles, and cooked it in plain broth for Alia ... she liked that.

olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
7 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 chicken breasts, chopped into small bite size pieces
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
6 cups chicken broth
1 bunch cilantro
Juice of 2 limes
S & P
avocado, sliced for topping

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil, add chicken. Cook til just about cooked through. Add chipotles, adobo sauce, and chicken broth. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Top with avocado.

The original recipe said to top with the tortilla chips ... we didn't but Rory added a few crackers and Jono added sour cream to cool his down a bit.

This fed the four of us for dinner, with corn on the cob on the side, and there was one bowl leftover for Rory's lunch. Next time I might use three chicken breasts to stretch it a bit further ...

Crock Pot recipes

Raechel - a favorite blogger that I secretly read - got a new crock pot at a garage sale and is itching to use it. She's compiling a list of yummy recipes here. (I added a link to our Greek Lamb With Spinach and Orzo to her list!) And in case you are wondering about the lovely crock pot recipes already on this wonderful blog...check them out here.

Happy Fall everyone (or spring for those in Australia!)

My Menu - Bonnie - 5 October 2010

I don't go to work on Wednesday's anymore. I have found that planning my menu early in the week, doing the shopping online and having it delivered on Wednesday is working really well ! Hence, the reason I am planning Wednesday to Tuesdays now.

Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers
Sauteed Leafy Greens

Raw Lasagna on Big Honkin' Mushrooms
corn on the cob

I'd like to make pasta on the weekend but we'll see what ends up happening

Weekends are pretty flexible around here so
I'm not going to plan Saturday until closer to the day !

Eggplant Burgers
I'm going to use our meat patties ...

Rory's Salmon
Sauteed Mushrooms

Chimichanga Lettuce Wraps


I'm going to make refrigerator pickles this week. OH YUM ! I can't wait.

And Alia is going to make Coconut Bars out of a new cookbook she got for her birthday !


Zucchini & Eggplant Rolled "Cannelloni"

I combined parts of this Grilled Zucchini Roll recipe and this Eggplant Cannelloni recipe to get to this ... Jono and I loved it. Rory thought the goats cheese was a bit bitter. Alia ... well, we won't go there.

I think next time (yes, there will be a next time for sure !) I will add ricotta to the mix to try and reduce the bitter taste Rory didn't care for.

1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices
3 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices

150g (5.3 ounces?) goats cheese
kalamata olives, I just scooped a couple spoons out of the jar, chopped
capers, 1 or 2 teaspoons
2 tablespoons fresh parsely, finely chopped

salt and pepper
olive oil

spring onions, about 6, chopped
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
juice of 1 orange
2 large red bell peppers (capsicum)

Roast your bell peppers. This is easy. Cut them into large pieces & remove seeds. Put them on tin foil, skin side up under the griller (broiler). Grill (broil) until the skins are black. Remove to a bowl of water. Skins should peel straight off.

Salt the eggplant on either side and let sit while you prepare the zucchini. Brush both sides of zucchini with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush both sides of eggplant with olive oil.

BBQ the eggplant and zucchini ... eggplant took about 3 minutes each side. Zucchini probably only needs 2 minutes each side. You just want them soft enough to be able to roll.

Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Saute spring onions and garlic til golden. Add bell peppers and orange juice. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until peppers are soft, or until you remember to check it ! (oops) Cool. Zoop Zoop. (blend with stick blender)

Turn oven on to 400F/200C.

While the sauce is simmering, mix goats cheese, olives, capers and parsley in a bowl. Scoop about 1/2 a tablespoon of the filling at the end of each slice of eggplant and zucchini. Roll up. Lay seam side down in baking dish. Top with sauce. Bake about 15 minutes.

Greek Lamb with Spinach and Orzo

I'm reposting this to see if I can get the labels to work. For some reason they have never worked on this post, which means they don't show up in the table of contents which is ANNOYING !

Also ... this is really good and you should cook it NOW !


This is a Crockpot recipe, so I expect full rewards for its awesomeness Bonnie! hehe.

1 2lb boneless lamb roast
1 T dried oregano, crushed
1 T finely shredded lemon peel
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t salt
The juice of 1 lemon
5 oz. box fresh baby spinach
16 oz bag of orzo, cooked according to package directions
8 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 can chicken broth for just in case.

Trim fat from roast. If necessary, cut roast to fit in the crock pot. In a small bowl combine oregano, lemon peel, garlic, and salt. Sprinkle evenly over sides of lamb raost; rub lightly with fingers. Place lamb in cooker. Sprinkle lamb with lemon juice.

Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high heat setting for 4 to 5 hours (we do the low setting)

Remove lamb from crock pot. Shred meat into bite sized pieces, removing any oogies, set aside. Add spinach to cooking juices in crock pot (we add 1 can chicken broth as there didn't seem to be enough cooking juices), stirring until spinach is wilted. Add cooked orzo, feta, and lamb; stir to mix.

Top with a squeeze or lemon or some hot pepper paste if desired.

PS ... Orzo is called Rissoni in Australia !!

Cinnamon Roll CAKE ?!

I saw this recipe on pinterest and had to try it ! It was absolutely delicious !! Here's how you make it ...

For The Cake Layer:
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted

For The Cinnamony Sweet Layer:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoon flour
1 Tablespoon cinnamon

For The Glaze Bit:
2 cups powdered (icing) sugar
5 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the cake layer ingredients together ... only adding the melted butter slowly after the other ingredients are mixed. Butter a 9X13 pan and pour in the cake layer.

Mix the cinnamony sweet layer ingredients together until well combined. This won't spread over the cake layer so you kind of have to drop it in blobs ... do it evenly. Then get a knife and swirl it. It won't be a smooth cake top ... that's cool.

Bake at 180C/350F for 30-40 minutes. Mine was still wet in the middle at 30 minutes and perfect at 40 ... or maybe it was 45. You'll just have to test it ...

Mix up your glaze and drizzle over the cake while it is still warm.