Saturday, 3 February 2018

Home made creamed corn

Hello my lovelies!

I have some news! So, as per usual, over the holiday season I overindulged in delicious food, and now my waistline is feeling it! The hubster came home from work one day, saying that they were going to have a 'biggest loser' competition at work, so, me being the supportive wife that I am, I decided to embark on a journey of weight loss with him. It's been two weeks so far, and I've lost 3.2kg which I'm pretty proud of :)

While we were out on our walk this morning, a thought popped into my head. Why not write a new recipe book, based on low cal, high flavour foods? I've tried recipes over the years that have been rather bland, and I can tell you, as a foodie, I need the flavour. So, over the next few weeks/months, I'm going to work on some new recipes with lower calories, but still a great flavour, to put into a cookbook :)

Now, for my recipe (and one that will be in the cookbook),

Homemade Creamed Corn

serves 4

5 fresh corn cobs
1 small onion, diced
1/2 a red capsicum, diced
1 clove crushed garlic
I Tbsp butter

*this recipe does involve a little bit of splatter, so an apron is recommended*

Firstly, peel the outer layers off the corn cobs, and make sure you snap off the knobbly bit at the end so you have a flat surface to work with. Stand the cob on a cutting board, and using a large, sharp knife, slice down each side to remove the corn kernels.

Now for the messy part. Turn your knife around, so that the blunt side is against the corn husk, and slide it down the cob to get the 'corn milk' from inside.

This is what it should look like when you're done

Do this for each corn cob and add to a large bowl.

Finely dice your onion and add to a large frying pan with the butter. Fry for a minute before adding the garlic.

Dice your capsicum and add to the bowl with the corn.

Once onion has softened, pour the bowl of corn into the pan, making sure to scrape out all the milky bits - this is what makes it creamy.

Season with salt and pepper, and add about 1/3C water. Cover and simmer for approx 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  If it starts to stick, add a little more water and give it a stir.

Serve this on toast or as a side dish.

There you have it, my first low cal recipe! I will keep y'all updated on the progress of the book as I go. But for now, enjoy your weekend, and happy cooking!

Monday, 1 January 2018


Hello, my lovelies!

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year! I had a busy few days cooking my first crispy roast duck, an 11kg ex breeder turkey (you can get these from Crozier's Turkeys), a risotto, soup and pie made out of the leftover turkey! So today, I'm going to share a few of those recipes with you :)

First off, this was my first attempt at cooking an ex breeder turkey so I wasn't entirely sure of cooking times. I did mine for 10 hours, though I think 8-9 would've been enough.

Here's what I did:

Pull turkey out of fridge ahead of time to bring it back up to room temperature. Preheat oven to full blast while you make the stuffing.

Pork and fruit stuffing

500g pork mince
diced onion
garlic, crushed
breadcrumbs - fresh or dried
dried apricots, sliced
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a pan and slowly fry onion and garlic until soft. Dice cranberries and apricots and add to the pan. If using fresh breadcrumbs, add them too to soak up some of that flavour. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, mix pork with onion and fruit mix, egg and season with salt and pepper.

Separate around a third of the mix for the turkey, and place the rest in a greased ovenproof dish. Add a few slices of orange/mandarin on top and set aside until the turkey is cooked.

Stuff the third in the turkey neck, then wrap the skin back over it.


Firstly, remove giblets and give the bird a rinse.

You want to keep the turkey off the bottom of the tray so it's not sitting directly in the juices. To do this, place an onion (chopped in chunks), some carrots and garlic cloves in the tray along with the turkey neck. Sit the turkey on top.

Now, to keep the moisture in, you can either rub butter over the skin, or using the back of a spoon, push a gap between the skin and the meat and push the butter in there. Season the bird with salt and pepper.
Place a chopped mandarin in the cavity along with a sprig of rosemary.
Cover the entire bird in tinfoil and pop in the oven, turning down to 180C for a store bought bird or 160C for an older bird. You want to allow around 45 minutes per kilo, and allow resting time too.

An hour before your bird is ready, remove the foil and if you like, add some bacon strips across the bird before placing back in the oven.

When it is done, set the bird on a dish/tray and cover with tinfoil and a couple of tea towels. This will keep the heat in. I rested mine for 2 hours and it was still piping hot.

While that is resting you can get onto your gravy and cooking those roast veggies!

Turkey risotto (based on Jamie Oliver's risotto recipe)

leftover turkey meat
half a pack of arborio rice
splash of rose wine
chicken/turkey stock
cream cheese
leftover gravy

Heat a pan with oil, or if you saved any of the turkey flavoured butter (from roasting) you can use that for an extra flavour kick. Add diced onion, carrot and leek to the pan and cook until softened.

Meanwhile, heat a pot of chicken stock or use turkey stock if you've managed to cook up your bones already ;) You'll need approx 4-5 cups of stock.

Add rice to the onion and stir through to coat. Splash a bit of rose or white wine in the pan and cook for a minute or two.
Slowly ladle stock into the pan, one ladle at a time. You want to make sure the first lot is soaked up before you add the next one. It takes a bit of time, but it's worth it, trust me. You don't need to constantly stir, but you do need to keep an eye on it, stirring before each ladle is added.

When the rice is fluffy and tender, add one final splash of stock and remove from heat. Stir through around 25g butter, a large dollop of cream cheese and around 1/3C grated parmesan.

To top this off, make a small well in the centre of each dish and pour in some leftover gravy - this really adds a boost and makes the dish!

There you go, a few recipes to try next Christmas, or perhaps at your next mid-winter get together :) I hope you have a great week!  Happy cooking!

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Stuffed Capsicum and Salad

Hey, my lovelies!

How's everything going?  I hope you're all organised for Christmas!  I've got a duck chilling in the fridge for tomorrow night, and a huge turkey defrosting in the fridge at my parent's place for our second Christmas in a few days time :)  (And yes, I plan on sharing those meals too)

Anywho, tonight I made some yummy stuffed capsicums and a simple salad for dinner, and I finally remembered to take pics!  So, here's what I did:

Stuffed Capsicum

Small capsicums - however many you require. I used red, though I'm sure the other colours would work just as well.
Coconut oil

Preheat oven to 180C
Heat the oil in a frying pan while you dice the onion. Toss that in the pan with two cloves of crushed garlic and cook until softened.
Add mince and break up. Cook until browned.
Add diced carrot and courgette - or any other vegetables you have on hand - and mix through.  I had a little bit of a Beefy Mince flavour sachet leftover from another day, so I mixed some of that through, however, you could use tinned tomatoes or your favourite spice mixes - Chinese five spice would be nice.
Leave to cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, chop tops off the capsicums, remove seeds, and place into a baking dish - you may need to pack them in tightly so they don't fall over.
Scoop spoonfuls of mince mix into each capsicum and place lid back on.  Pop in the oven and cook for around 20 minutes - more if they are larger capsicums.
Remove from oven and sprinkle grated parmesan and cheddar on top then place back in oven for a further 5 - 10 minutes to melt.

Serve with a salad.


Iceberg lettuce
Grated cheese
Tomatoes, chopped
Balsamic vinegar.

Wash and chop lettuce, spreading across a platter.
Chop tomatoes and dot around the platter, along with blueberries.
Grate cheese over top.
Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

*You could also use strawberries and/or grapes, and feta in place of grated cheese for something different.

There you go! I yummy summery meal for you to share with your loved ones :) I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas! Happy cooking!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Satay Turkey Meatloaf

Hello my lovelies!

As you know, I was challenged to make some meals with Crozier's Turkey mince, and this time, I made a turkey meatloaf and served it with a brown rice and quinoa salad.  It was delicious!

Here's what I did:

Satay Turkey Meatloaf

500g free range turkey mince
1 small onion, diced
1/2C fresh breadcrumbs
2Tbsp peanut butter, I used a smooth one
1Tbsp soy sauce

Combine all ingredients in a bowl
Form into a loaf shape and place in a baking dish
Bake at 180C for approximately one hour.

*If you like, you can brush a small dollop of BBQ sauce over top about half an hour before taking out of the oven.

Brown Rice and Quinoa Salad

1C brown rice and quinoa mix
corn kernels
sun-dried tomato feta

1Tbsp lemon juice
1Tbsp soy sauce
2Tbsp olive oil

Cook brown rice and quinoa according to packet.
Chop capsicum and add to bowl with corn
Drain rice and quinoa and add to the bowl
combine sauce ingredients and mix through the salad
Add crumbled feta before serving.

And there you have it!  Two fabulous dishes to enjoy with your family.
Don't forget to check out Crozier's Turkeys website.  They're the only Free-range turkey farm in New Zealand :)

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Enjoy the rest of your week and happy cooking!

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Turkey Meatballs!

Today, I was given a challenge to come up with a recipe using turkey mince from Crozier's Turkeys - the only truly free range turkey farm in New Zealand!  Of course, I jumped at the chance.  As most of you know, I always cook a turkey in the festive season, and the turkey's from Crozier's are amazing!  I even got the chance to take a walk around the farm and see them roaming in the paddocks.  Very cool.

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Anyways, here's what I made:

Turkey Meatballs

500g turkey mince
1 small apple, grated
1/2 red onion, grated
1tsp nutmeg
small handful of parsley, chopped
season with salt

In a bowl, combine the above ingredients and mix until combined.  I like to get in there with my hands to make sure there are no clumps of anything.

Using damp hands, form small balls - I got 21 out of this batch.  Set on a plate and place in the fridge to firm while you prepare the salad.


Iceberg lettuce, washed and sliced
Capsicum, diced
Tomatoes, diced
Avocado, diced
Carrot, grated
sunflower seeds

I dressed this with a raspberry vinegar.

In a frying pan, heat a small amount of coconut oil (1tsp or less) on a medium/high heat.  Add meatballs to the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until browned.  Serve with salad and roast potatoes.

If you think this recipe sounds like something you'd like to try, make sure you head over to Crozier's Turkeys page and give them a like, grab yourself a pricelist and purchase from these fantastic free range farmers!

Anywho, I hope you enjoyed this recipe :) Happy cooking!

Friday, 6 January 2017

Birthday Cake

Hello again!  Yes, I know, two posts in one day!  Crazy!

So, today was my daughter's birthday party, and you know what that means - cakes!  Now, if you have followed me for a while, you will probably recall that I seem to have a tendency to have birthday cake disasters.  This time is no different!  Though, I did manage to make them look alright in the end.

Now, my daughter chose cupcakes that looked like ice cream sundaes.  I realised that the candle we had bought was too large for a cupcake, so had to make both cupcakes and a large cake.  No big deal, right?  

So, this is what happened:
First of all, I made the cupcakes.  Just normal chocolate cupcakes, from a recipe that I've used several times.  When I spooned the mix into the cases, I realised that they wouldn't rise high enough for what I needed, so in my infinite wisdom, I decided to add a marshmallow into the centre of each one.

The problem with this, as I quickly remembered after I'd put them in the oven, is that when you heat marshmallows, they expand and then deflate, creating a crater.

Ok, so that was a bit of a fail, but I soon remedied it by placing another marshmallow on top before icing.

To make these look like ice cream sundaes, I melted white chocolate buttons, and slowly poured a dollop over the top, smoothing it around to make it look like ice cream.

Once that had set, I then melted some dark chocolate buttons, and placed a blob in the centre of each cupcake, allowing it to run a little.  I added sprinkles and an M&M to the top.
I think they turned out pretty cute, don't you?

Cuteness aside though, there may have been a tad too much chocolate, because they were a touch hard to bite through!  Oh well, I know for next time!

As for the cake.  I had high hopes for this.  I had picked a silicone cake mould in the shape of a rose, because it had the right shape to make the top of the sundae.  It also, however, had a lot of ridges in the pan, which apparently did not want to let go of said cake.  This is what it looked like:

I know what you're thinking - delicious!  Right?  Lol
As you can probably tell, it's a red velvet cake, so instead of white chocolate, I made a cream cheese icing - just because it would be wrong not to.

For anyone who hasn't made this before, you use around 1/4C cream cheese, 1/4C softened butter and around 1C icing sugar - I also like to add some lemon essence or lemon zest.

I had forgotten to buy another piping bag, so I did the old trick of cutting a corner out of a bag and using that.  I got about 3/4 of the way through before the nozzle came squeezing out and I had to rejig my bag to a different corner.  By this stage I had quite a lot of icing on my hands.
Once I managed to get that finished, I again melted some dark chocolate and poured on top - take my advice, don't do it as thick as I did - not the easiest to cut!
Before the chocolate sets, add sprinkles and M&M's or whatever you are using to decorate.  I also took this moment to stick the candle in - also probably not my best idea as it became stuck in the chocolate.  I know, I'm such a pro!
Anyways, I think it turned out alright in the end:

Anywho, I hope you've enjoyed my little ramblings, and perhaps I've inspired you to try and make your own ice cream sundae cakes :)
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and Happy Cooking!

Pulled Pork

Hello my lovelies!

Anyone who is on my FB page will have seen that I was making jam and pulled pork the other day, so I thought I'd jump on here and share my recipe with y'all :)

This is the first time I have attempted pulled pork, so I did some research and took bits from several recipes to combine them into my own one!  Let me tell you, the house smelled divine!  
I used my slow cooker, so it was hassle free, and by the end of the day, the meat just fell apart.  I didn't use a bone in roast, but a pork belly, so the fat fell off and the meat was perfect.

Here's what I did:

Heat a pan to medium high and sear the edges of the roast.  (From what I've seen, a lot of people use a shoulder roast, but I really loved the belly - it looked like it might not have a lot of meat on it, but believe me, there was plenty.)

Place meat in slow cooker on low.

Using the same pan, add a diced onion and a clove of garlic, crushed with a splash of Olive Oil.
1/4 C cider vinegar
1/4 C tomato sauce
1/4 C shiraz or any other red wine you have handy
1 Tbsp cranberry jelly
1/2 C water
1/3 C brown sugar
1tsp chinese five spice
salt and pepper to season

Simmer for five minutes before pouring over the meat in the slow cooker.
Cook for around 8 hours, turning occasionally.

When ready to serve, use tongs to pull it out - I needed to use two sets to get a hold on it - and place on a chopping board.  Using forks, start to pull the meat apart.

I then added it back into the cooker to coat in the sauce before serving.

We just had this in some buns with some new potatoes on the side.  It was delicious!  Definitely a make again :)

I'm off to prepare for my daughter's birthday party!  Have a fantastic weekend and Happy Cooking!