fried rice.

today we went to a community lunch at church. everyone brings along a dish to share. i cooked fried rice as it’s easy to make a large amount and it tastes good! this was loosely based on a number of recipes i looked at but i improvised in the end.

in it was:

5 cups chilled, cooked rice (cooked night before and kept in fridge)

500g small cooked prawns in 1cm pieces

1 bunch spring onions, sliced finely

1 cup frozen peas, thawed in cold water and then drained

100g speck, chopped into 1cm pieces

6 small lap cheong (chinese sausage), sliced

salt-reduced soy sauce, kecap manis, fish sauce, lemon juice and sesame oil – to your taste

5 eggs, dash of water and salt and pepper to make omelettes to garnish (make thin ones, then roll up and slice)

to put it together:

1. in a non-stick pan, cook the speck and add in sliced chinese sausage. once heated through, add in peas and two-thirds of the spring onions (including the white bits)

2. add rice and stir, breaking up lumps with your spoon. once separate, add sauces to taste – i start with soy, then fish, then kecap manis – you don’t want it too salty or too sweet. then i add some drops of sesame and the lemon juice. taste and adjust.

3. once the seasoning is good, add in the prawns and heat through. taste again to check seasoning.

4. spoon into/onto serving dish. place slices of rolled-up omelette on top and scatter with remaining spring onions.

fried rice.


tomato and zucchini bake.

this is another recipe found in suzanne and kate gibbs’ ‘the thrifty kitchen’. it’s a great book which i would recommend. it is packed full of ideas about how to get the most out of your food. i won’t be posting the recipe as it doesn’t belong to me however the book is available online.

i was after a recipe that i could cook on the weekend, freeze in a portion size and be able to take to work for lunch. it’s got a good serve of green veg and a heap of protein from some eggs and a little bit of cheese. i swapped normal sr flour for wholemeal and put low-fat cheese in.


tomato and zucchini bake


i saw this recipe in a freebie magazine from the locality my parents live in and i thought i’d give it a go.

pide, how i understand it, is a pita local to turkey. it’s similar to pizza in the sense that it is a dough topped with ingredients and then baked.

we filled ours with silverbeet, greek feta, tomato, spring onion, a small amount of minced beef and a sprinkle of cheese.

i used my electric mixer and the dough-hook attachment to mix and knead the dough because, frankly, i hate getting flour all over the kitchen which is what would have happened if i did it by hand! i had a lot of the dough left over which is in the freezer.

the finished product was quite nice, but a little heavy for me so i’m not sure how quickly i’ll be making it again. 


muesli bars.

i recently became married and have taken it upon myself not to let husband eat packaged food at work for snacks as it’s full of rubbish (chemicals, sugar, artificial this and that). he was after something he can eat with minimal noise and mess at his desk.

i found a recipe for muesli bars in the book ‘the thrifty kitchen’ by suzanne and kate gibbs. i won’t post the recipe as it does not belong to me but you can find their book to purchase online.

it’s unusual for me to do so but i mostly followed the recipe only substituting wholemeal self-raising flour instead of normal sr flour and adding some dried apricots.

husband’s had a taste and seems happy so that’s great. i cut the batch up and put the slices in snap-lock bags in the freezer. i was worried it would be a bit too crumbly but it seems to be holding together!

muesli bars

banana and raspberry bread.

i made this at husband’s request because we had some bananas going black pretty quickly. it’s another suzanne and kate gibbs’ recipe out of ‘the thrifty kitchen’. i had all the ingredients on hand which is amazing as i don’t bake regularly. the addition of raspberries is gorgeous. the recipe calls for frozen raspberries which is great. i get mine from aldi and they are very good quality and value. a great thing to have in the freezer.

i have cut the bread into slices and popped it in the freezer. i wrapped the slices in baking paper and then put them into a zip-lock bag.

banana raspberry bread

vodka vanilla beans.

i first saw this idea on one of my favourite cooking shows which is called ‘barefoot contessa’ and is hosted by ina garten. it’s one of my favourites because i love the look of the area where it is set – east hampton, new york, usa.

the idea is that you let the vanilla beans seep in the vodka for a number of months and then whenever a recipe calls for a vanilla bean you can just slice the end off the seeped bean and all the seeds rush out in the form of the best and most pure vanilla extract. you can also use the vanilla-infused vodka for cocktails.

i always seem to buy vodka in duty-free and it never gets used (and i am really bad at scraping vanilla beans) so this recipe is for me.

i ordered 100g (approx. 25 beans) of vanilla beans from ‘the essential ingredient‘ and put about 22 in the jar with 1L of absolut vodka.

now the waiting begins…

vanilla vodka