Archive | March 2013

Vegetarian Quiche

Quiche’s are another quick and easy meal to make. Below is a vegetarian version using spinach and zucchini.

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet of short crust pastry
  • 1 pack of swiss cheese sliced
  • 300ml light fresh cream
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g spinach
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced thinly
  • Salt & Pepper

Steps

  • Heat oven to 200 degrees.
  • Line Quiche plate with pastry.
  • Divide cheese into 3 lots and lay first lot of cheese over pastry.
  • Cook onion in fry pan until soft then set aside. Cook spinach in pan for a few minutes until wilted, then squeeze liquid out of leaves by hand and set aside.
  • Fry zucchini for a few minutes.
  • Layer spinach and half of onion then cover with next lot of cheese. Layer zucchini and the rest of the onion, season.
  • Cover with remaining layer of cheese.
  • Mix eggs and cream together in pouring jug. Pour over the layers.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 200 degrees, then bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees.
  • Remove from oven and set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Ready to serve, enjoy.

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Slow Cooker Series: Beef Stroganoff

This is a very quick and easy slow cooker meal, great for the colder days. It only needs approximately 10 minutes prep time and then 5 hours later dinner is ready. Recipe serves 6 people and is suitable for freezing.

Ingredients

  • 2 onions sliced
  • 500g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1kg blade steak, cut into strips
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 3/4 cup of sour cream
  • 1 tub of tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of english mustard
  • 220ml Beef stock
  • Salt & Pepper

Steps

Place all ingredients into the slow cooker except for the mushrooms and sour cream, mix well to combine all ingredients. Cook on high for 5 hours. 1 hour before serving add mushrooms and combine well. Approx 15 minutes before serving add sour cream. Serve with pasta or rice.

I shredded up the beef for my son so he could eat it easily with a spoon. He loves slow cooked beef, it’s an easy way to get him to eat beef other than just mince. Enjoy.

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How to keep busy when waiting for labor to start…

I’m almost 39 weeks pregnant with my second. There have been many signs that labor could begin but it hasn’t. All the signs were pointing to an early labor but I’m still here, waiting. What to do, what to do, here are some suggestions if you are in a similar position.

15 things to do when waiting:

  • Create a scrap book for the new baby
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Read a pregnancy/baby book
  • Get a manicure or pedicure, or both!
  • Try a new recipe for dinner
  • Watch your favourite movie
  • Look at some birth announcement designs
  • Triple check everything is ready for the baby
  • Call your mum
  • Have a picnic with your family
  • Make a belly casting of your belly
  • Have a lunch date with a friend
  • Go window shopping
  • look at your baby name list, write out your favs.
  • Try to relax

There are many more things that could be added to this list. I am so excited to meet this baby and so over being pregnant, it has to be any day now, right?

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Planting herbs & vegetables in March

If you are looking to plant some herbs & vegetables this March & April, here are some suggestions with yummy recipes to suit.

  • Beetroot, plant in March/ April, harvest from June.
  • Carrots, plant in March/ April, harvest from July.
  • Coriander, plant in March/ April, harvest from May.
  • Rocket, plant in March/ April, harvest from May.

Yummy recipes below to try.

Beetroot, Rocket, Feta and Walnut Salad at http://allrecipes.com.au/recipe/13945/beetroot–rocket–feta-and-walnut-salad.aspx

Carrot & Coriander Soup http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/member-recipes/Classic%20Carrot%20and%20Coriander%20Soup/3138

Coriander and cumin spiced carrots http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/14719/coriander+and+cumin+spiced+baby+carrots

Caramelised carrot & rocket salad http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/1666/caramelised+carrot+and+rocket+salad

Check out more herbs & vegetables suitable for planting this season at http://www.gardenate.com/

Slow Cooker Series: Moroccan Spiced Beef Stew

I tried a beef slow cooker recipe tonight, and thankfully it was another winner. Delicious in fact!

My son was especially excited once he knew there were apricots in the dish. This dish has a lovely subtle sweetness that both you and the kids can enjoy.

Moroccan Spiced Beef Stew (Recipe from book ‘Slow Cooker’ By Parragon Books www.parragon.com/lovefood)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 225 ml red wine
  • 700g chuck steak, cut into 5cm pieces
  • 130g dried apricots, diced
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 125ml water
  • Chopped fresh coriander to garnish
  • cooked couscous, to serve

I also added 2 diced carrots and 2 diced celery sticks. Just so I could get more veggies into the dish as my son enjoys them.

Steps

  • Heat the oil in a large fry pan, add the onion (and carrots/ celery if including) and cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Add the salt & pepper, cinnamon, ginger and cumin, cook, stirring for 1 minute.
  • Add the wine and bring to boil, cook for 1 minute. Transfer mixture to the slow cooker.
  • Add the beef, apricots, honey and water, stir to mix. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 9 hours, until the mean is very tender.
  • Serve hot with couscous, garnished coriander.

Enjoy

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Slow Cooker Series: Chicken & Apple Pot

Recently I was given a slow cooker, I am very excited about this as I have wanted one for a while now. I have begun testing all the slow cooker recipes I have been collecting the past year, so many to choose from. I hope you enjoy the slow cooker series. Yum!

Chicken & Apple Pot

(Recipe from book ‘Slow Cooker’ By Parragon Books www.parragon.com/lovefood)

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 chicken portions, about 175g each
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml clear apple juice
  • 150ml chicken stock
  • 1 cooking apple, cored and cut in quarters
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-2 tsp clear honey
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks ( i used red as yellow wasnt available)
  • Salt & Pepper

To garnish

  • 1 large or 2 medium eating apples, cored and sliced
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

Steps

  • Heat oil in heavy based frying pan. Add the chicken and cook over a medium-high heat, turning frequently, for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to the slow cooker. Add the onion and celery to the pan and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, until softened. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, then remove the pan from heat.
  • Gradually stir in the apple juice and stock, return to heat and bring to boil. Stir in cooking apple, bay leaves and honey, season to taste. Pour the mixture over the chicken in the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 6 1/2 hours, until the chicken is tender. Stir in the pepper, re-cover and cook on high for 45 minutes.
  • Shortly before serving, preheat the grill. Brush one side of the eating apple slices with half the melted butter and sprinkle with half the sugar. Cook under the preheated grill for 2-3 minutes, until the sugar has caramelized. Turn the slices over the tongs, brush with the remaining butter and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Grill for a further 2 minutes. Transfer the stew to warmed plates and garnish with the caramelized apple slices and the mint. Serve immediately.

I served with crusty bread as there was plenty of sauce for dipping. The next day I served the left overs with a side of mashed potato which married perfectly. If you want more veggies in this meal, double the quantity of celery and cooking apples. You could also try adding potato wedges to the meal at the same time you add the celery. Give it a try! The family thoroughly enjoyed it, great flavours.

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