Japanese Mince and Rice ....

This is so yummy and so simple. Last time I made this, I had some ground beef (mince) already cooked and in the freezer. I took that out in the morning to thaw, set the timer on the rice cooker and then only had one step to do when I got home.

Here's what you do.

500g beef mince
cooked rice (i like sushi rice best)
3 Tablespoons Sake
3 Tablespoons Mirin
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

All you do is cook the mince in a bit of oil, add the sake, mire and soy and continue to cook until the juice is gone. I did this on a med heat. Then you just stir that through the rice. You can shape it into onigiri (as shown below) or just eat it. Lately, we've opted to just eat it !! 

And  I add a little bit more soy sauce to my bowl ...

French Toast

Seriously, does life get any better than a plate of french toast ?

I looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove french toast ! Always have. It was one of my favorite special breakfasts that my Mom used to cook for us when we were kids.

And it's so easy to make !

You just need eggs, milk, vanilla and bread.

Just beat an egg (or two, depending on how much you are making) Add milk. Mix. Add a bit of vanilla. Mix. There's no real measurements and you can't really go wrong. I probably add a cup or two of milk to each egg.  Mix this in a bowl that is big enough to fit a piece of bread in, flat.

Heat a big skillet or frying pan to a medium heat. Add butter to the pan so your toast doesn't stick. You could use oil but the butter gives it an amazing flavor.

Dip the bread into the egg/milk mixture, one at a time and then add to frying pan. (You want the bread to have the mixture coating both sides well.)

Cook the one side til golden brown, then flip.

Repeat til you have enough to feed everyone you are feeding !

We top with butter, pure maple syrup and powdered (icing) sugar.



Slow Roasted Pasta Sauce with Meat


Sometimes, when you throw something together, it just works OUTSTANDINGLY. 
This was one of those times.

It was a tag team effort.

I cooked a package of ground beef (mince).  Just in a fry pan with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Rory roasted a big roasting tray full of tomatoes (halved), garlic cloves, and red onion. 
Again ... with olive oil, salted and peppered. 180C/375F for one hour.

When the tomatoes were done, I threw them in the blender, whizzed them up til they were done.
Oh ... yeah ... we added some fresh herbs to the blender too.
Oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme.
Maybe a bit of basil too ...

We put that in a small pot with the meat. 
Probably only left it on the heat for 10 or 15 minutes. 

Rory added a bit of water to thin it out.
(We thought about wine but we didn't want to mess with the flavor because we loved it !)

Served on pasta with fresh Parmesan.

Delish !

What We Ate ~ Week 11 ~ 2012

I have no idea what we ate Sunday night.
I do not have a photo on my phone and my brain cannot recall a week ago !!

Slow Roasted Pasta Sauce with Meat This was delicious !

Non-Meatball Greek Chicken An experiment. A successful one.

Sandwich night. 
Mine was ham, provolone, dill pickle, seed mustard, mayo and avocado. 
 Toasted. So yum !

Thursday night was crazy. My work place flooded ! Dinner ended up being eaten standing at the counter eating food that the caterer didn't want to go to waste after her event had been cancelled due to the flood ! Alia and I brought some of that home for the boys and stopped for hot chips to go with it on the way home. No photo though. I was too pooped to even think about that !

I was at a training course over the weekend with a big international flair. This was dinner one night. African food. Greens. Pap (Maize). Boerewors. Chicken in a tomato type sauce. It was all delicious. My favorite bit was the greens !!

I believe this is a Nepali dish but I didn't catch the name of it. It was a beef stew sort of thing.

Spaghetti Carbonara (ala Mama S.)

Spaghetti Carbonara (ala Mama S.)

1lb of Pasta (any long spaghetti pasta of your preference)
3/4lb of Bacon
½ cup of Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons Butter (melted)
4 Eggs
1 cup of Parmesan Cheese (the type that comes in a plastic
can in the pasta aisle)

Start pasta water boiling, but don’t add the pasta yet.

Chop bacon into half inch pieces and fry it till it is very crispy. Drain the grease off a couple
times during the cooking process so that the bacon fries and does not simmer. You need to have approximately 2 tablespoons of the grease left in the pan when the bacon is crispy. Add cream to the pan with the bacon and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cream cooks down to just a coating over the bacon.

Melt butter and set aside.

Beat the eggs well. Stir parmesan cheese into the beaten eggs. Let it set for a few minutes to allow the cheese to soak into the eggs. If there is liquid (eggs) remaining after the cheese has been allowed to soak for a bit, stir in more cheese and repeat the process until the mixture resembles cooked cream of wheat.

When all of the above steps are completed, cook the pasta according to package directions (make sure it stays al dente).

The next steps need to happen quickly, so BE READY!

Drain pasta. Don’t rinse! Return pasta to the hot pasta pot. Stir butter into pasta. Pour egg mixture onto hot pasta and quickly stir until all of the pasta is coated with the egg mixture. (Eggs will cook from the heat of the pasta) Stir in bacon mixture.




(serves approximately 4 people)

It is good as it, but some people enjoy topping their carbonara with red pepper flakes and/or garlic powder.

Blueberry Pancakes

Jono (10) and I tag teamed the other morning for breakfast.  He made the pancakes ... entirely on his own !  (It took right on an hour ... !  but did I mention that my ten year old made pancakes ?  on his own ! from scratch !)

This is the pancake recipe he used ...

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients til just mixed. A few small lumps is fine. Cook the pancakes using a 1/3 measuring cup to add the batter to the pan. You know how to cook pancakes right ? Depending on how hot your stove is, cook on a medium to low heat. Flip the pancake once the bubbles start popping ...

I made the blueberry sauce.  Easy.  Sweet.  But also Tart.  Delicious.
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Over medium heat,  combine  blueberries, water, sugar and lemon juice. Stir frequently,  bring to a boil.  Slowly add cornstarch mixture.  Let thicken ... only took a couple minutes.  And it happened FAST!!  Stir in vanilla and lemon zest.  

All that's left to do is pour it on top of your pancakes !

Non-Meatball Greek Chicken


It's been necessary that I cook out of the freezer/pantry this week ... The other morning I pulled out chicken mince and a box of frozen spinach with the intention of making Spanikopita Meatballs.  When I got to time to cook dinner, I had run out of time !!  I decided to try a short cut.  It worked.  Instead of making meatballs and baking them in the oven, I just cooked everything in the big electric fry pan.  It tasted THE SAME !  Just not rolled up into balls !

So, here's what I did ...

chicken mince (ground chicken), 500g
red onion, diced
garlic cloves, diced
frozen spinach, thawed
greek seasoning
olive oil

Sautee garlic and onion in olive oil for a couple minutes then add the chicken mince.  When chicken is almost cooked through, add the spinach and seasoning.  Cook until chicken is fully cooked. 

Serve on rice with soy sauce and tsatsiki ...
Easty Tsatsiki 
No measurements ... just mix greek yoghurt, finely diced cucumber and a couple squeezes of lemon juice.

Guac Salad


This salad is so yummy and fresh.
 And it's just guacamole ingredients, just not chopped and smushed !

So ... just make as much as you need depending on how many people are eating it !

avocado, chopped
cherry tomatoes, halved
red onion, slivered

fresh coriander (cilantro)

a squeeze of lemon

salt and pepper


SJG Potato Salad

My brother in law brought a delicious potato salad to Christmas dinner this year ! Of course, I had to know how he made it. He told me the ingredients. I used most of them ... but not all. I've made this twice. The second time was better than the first and the key was the garlic and how I cooked it. Here's how I did it ...

What you need:
Potatoes, chopped (smallish bite size pieces)
Eggs, hard boiled
Bacon, chopped
Kewpie Mayo
Garlic, sliced (I used a head of garlic)
Red Onion, finely diced

What you do:

There are a few components to this potato salad.  None of them difficult.  There aren't really measurements.  It's all pretty much to taste.

Preheat oven to 180C/375F

You'll need to boil the potatoes to your desired tenderness.  While those are boiling, cook your bacon.  I like it crispy. 

Once the oven is preheated, put the garlic slices and a bit of olive oil into an oven proof ramekin. Cover with tin foil and roast in oven til browned and smelling AMAZING !  (You could just fry the garlic if you wanted but I think the roasting adds so much flavor !) (The first time I made it, I roasted the head whole and then added it to the mayo and mixed it through ... I found the taste of the garlic got lost ... not so when I tried it this way the second time !)

Once potatoes are done, mix through kewpie (japanese mayo) to taste, salt and pepper, capers, bacon & red onion.  Mix.  Slice eggs and add to top ...

Serve.  Try not to eat the whole bowl by yourself !

PS ... Steven also adds corn and parsley.

Buffalo Boneless Tacos

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and had to try it !  I'm so glad we did ! They were delicious !  

We didn't follow her recipe exactly though.  Here's how we made ours ...

2 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless, cut into small pieces
whole wheat flour ... to coat the chicken
olive oil
1/2 cup hot sauce (I used Franks)
1 Tablespoon butter

For serving ...
shredded lettuce, I used mesculin as I have it in the garden at the moment.
1/4 of a red onion, diced and mixed with fresh coriander
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
ranch dressing or sour cream
spring onions, sliced thinly
shredded tasty cheese
flour tortillas

Coat chicken pieces with flour and cook in a frying pan with a bit of olive oil. 

While the chicken is cooking, chop, dice or shred all your other bits and pieces to serve ...

Once chicken is cooked, toss in mixture of butter and hot sauce.

All that is left to do is assemble ... and eat !! 

What We Ate ~ Week 10 ~ 2012

Welcome to a week of super easy meals !
(Except for Sunday night)

Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas

I made a couple of changes ... I used flour tortillas. And I added potato. Other than that, I pretty much followed the recipe. I topped with greek yoghurt and spring onions.

Asian Chicken Salad (yeah, I know we just had it last week ! but I still had half a cabbage that needed using .... ) I served it with some store bought potato salad, because Rory finds this doesn't fill him up.

So, last week when I made onigiri with mince, I had too much mince (ground beef) so I froze half of it once it was cooked but before I added all the bits for the onigiri. This week, I decided to use that for a quick and easy dinner. I stirred 3/4 of a jar of salsa (that I found in the back of the fridge!) through the mince and then heated it up. I chopped avocado, lettuce, black olives, red onion, and tomato. Shredded some cheese, and served with flour tortillas. Easy. Yummy.

Make your own toasted sandwich night. I just put out the ingredients. Ham, cheese, dill pickle slices, tomato slices, mayo, mustard ... We each made a sandwich to our own liking and toasted it in the sandwich press. Served with a small bag of chips.

Two minute noodles. Cheap. Easy. Unhealthy. Tasty.

Hot dogs with finely diced red onion, finely diced dill pickle, ketchup, mustard and sauerkraut.

Rory's carbonara, store bought garlic bread and black olive salad.

I'm hoping to get back into posting recipes regularly ! We're coming to the close of our busiest month of the year ! WOO HOO !! I've got two recipes coming your way this week ... for sure ... I've already written them and scheduled them to post over the next few days, so watch out for those !

What We Ate ~ Week 9 ~ 2012

2 Minute Noodles

Pesto Cheese Chicken, Roasted Cauliflower and Carrots, Sauteed Mushrooms.

Onigiri with Mince, Guac Salad, and Corn on the Cob

Pumpkin Soup and Toasted Turkish Bread

Asian Chicken Salad

Spaghetti Aliolio

What We Ate ~ Week 8 ~ 2012

We've been wanting to try aburi scallops at home for a while ! Rory got me one of those little blow torches for cooking for Christmas and this is the first time we used it. It'll be time to do another sushi post soon ... I've got a few recipes to share !

Black Bean Chili Soup

Another amazing recipe I found on pinterest ... Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas with Creamy Salsa Verde. Oh man, these were good ! I changed them a little bit but I want to try them again before I post my modified recipe ! In the mean time ... you should really try the ones I linked !! I served it with steamed broccoli.

And two more from pinterest. The fish ... Stuffed Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce (except we didn't stuff the fish) and this Deconstructed Guacamole Salad.

So, I probably won't bother with the salmon again, it was ok but there are too many other recipes I want to try (!!). The salad on the other hand ... OH YUM !!! Simple. Delicious. Will make it again and again.

Thursdays are crazy ... we are all over the place with sports and work and til late. So, the kiddos had plain pasta with parmesan cheese and it was eggs on toast for Rory and me.

On Friday night we went to our friends place for pizza. I never even thought about pulling out my phone to take a picture ! Getting out of routine does that to me ... although, going over to their place for pizza is pretty darn routine ! :)

Last night we had take away Indian with our next door neighbors. Again, that whole getting out of routine thing threw me with the photo ... but I did remember before I took my plate to the kitchen so there you go !  This is the remnants of Chicken Lahori and Prawn Saag.  


What did the rest of you eat ?  

I'd love to know ...

Pancake AND Cinnamon Roll ???

As is becoming the norm, I found this recipe on Pinterest. I didn't do it quite the same as her though. I started too but it didn't work for me ... so, I did something different.  Here's what I did ...

For the Cinnamon ...
4 tbls melted butter
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 tbls ground cinnamon

Stir ingredients together and set aside.

For the Glaze ...
4 tbls butter
2-ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered (icing) sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Heat butter over low heat until melted. Add cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth and glaze like. Set aside.

You could use your favorite pancake recipe for this. I tried hers and quite liked them.

For the pancakes ...
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients til just mixed. A few small lumps is fine. Cook the pancakes using a 1/3 measuring cup to add the batter to the pan. You know how to cook pancakes right ? Depending on how hot your stove is, cook on a medium to low heat. Flip the pancake once the bubbles start popping ...

I cooked them individually and served them on individual plates. As each pancake is cooked and plated, top with a spoonful of cinnamon mixture and then glaze. Swirl and serve.