Sunday, 13 October 2013

Pantry fillers

I've been at it again :) Bread, tomato sauce, muesli, biscuits and the yummiest meal ever!  I've been trying to be as 'goo' free as possible.  The tomato sauce  however, does have vinegar in it, but I figure this is ok for two reasons:
1- I used white vinegar not malt vinegar
2- If I am making it myself then I know what has gone into it, rather than buying it and knowing only what they allow me to see on the label.

The yummiest meal ever, also had some sweet chilli sauce in it (but only a Tablespoon), though you could probably make it without.

Anywho, I managed to make a round loaf of bread this week which wasn't too bad - a little doughy though.  I also attempted bread rolls

As you can see they are quite rounded!  They did taste quite nice though - we had them with the homemade tomato sauce, and burger patties (mince, breadcrumbs, egg, wholemeal flour, curry, bbq sauce, salt and pepper).

Tomato Sauce (recipe care of Katie)

1/4Tbsp salt
1/4tsp curry powder
1/3tsp mustard powder
1 onion diced finely
125ml white vinegar
125g raw sugar
1 tin tomatoes (or 500g fresh tomatoes)

Mix all ingredients together and boil for 1/2 hour.  I would recommend putting it through a blender if you want a smooth consistency.  I doubled this recipe and got three jam jars worth out of it.  For those of you who haven't done a lot of preserving etc - you sterilize jars first (I boil i large pot while sauce is cooking).  If you pour sauce into jars while still hot and put lids on, they will reseal so that your sauce  will last.

This recipe is the closest to Watties that I have found so far :)

My muesli this week consisted of: rolled oats, all bran, dried blueberries, chopped pecans, coconut and the same liquid as last time (olive oil, honey, brown sugar).  Very tasty even if I do say so myself :)

The biscuit recipe I made, is one from the goo free cookbook.

Chocolate Chippie Bikkies

250g butter
2tsp baking soda
1/2C raw sugar
2C flour (organic stoneground)
1C dark chocolate (lindt or other goo free)

Cream butter and sugar, add remaining ingredients.  Mix then roll into balls (Tbsp size) and place on baking tray.  Flatten slighly.  Bake at 180 C for 15-20 mins

Now I used Signature Range dark chocolate drops, not goo free, but better than most other baking chocolates.  When I first tasted these biscuits I thought they were a little plain and perhaps needed a little vanilla in them, however I grew to love them!  Especially dunked in coffee!  The kids all loved these ones too - my son thought they were similar to cookie time cookies so that's gotta be a good thing!  A lot of butter though I know.  I may try and alter the recipe a little.

Before I get onto the yummiest meal ever, I thought I would share some things that I think everyone should know how to do.  So easy  and yet most people buy ready made - and really you can use what you have at home and save yourself a bit of money :)

Firstly - Stock.  Everyone can do this!  Whenever you have a roast (or you can buy soup bones for this also), don't just throw away the bones.  Put them into a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil.  If you have any leftover gravy, veges etc you can throw them in there too.  Simmer for several hours, until it has reduced down quite a bit.  Drain through a sieve and freeze for later use.

Gravy.  Using the cooking juices from the roast meat (first removing excess fat) place over heat.  Whisk in some flour (you only need a tablespoon or two) this will thicken it a lot, so you will need to add some boiling water.  Keep stirring until you have the consistency you like.  You can also add jam or sauce to the gravy for extra flavour - also wine can be added.

Now .... Drumroll please ...

Chicken Potatoes and Bacon!

This recipe was on Facebook, and I finally made it last week.  The best recipe off Facebook so far!

1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cubed (1″)
6-8 medium skin on red potatoes, cut in 1/2″ cubes
1/3 c olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp hot sauce (more if you like it HOT)


2 c fiesta blend cheese
1 c crumbled bacon
1 c diced green onion

How to Make:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9X13″ baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and hot sauce. Add the cubed potatoes and chicken and stir to coat. Carefully scoop the potatoes and chicken into the prepared baking dish..
3. Bake the potatoes and chicken for 55-60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes, until cooked through, crispy, and browned on the outside. While the potatoes are cooking, fry your bacon (about half a pound).
4. Once the potatoes and chicken are fully cooked, remove from the oven. Top the cooked potatoes with the the cheese, bacon, and green onion. Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Ok, so I used one chicken breast not a pound, I used white potatoes, garlic salt instead of powder and salt, and sweet chilli sauce instead of hot sauce.  I also put the "sauce" ingredients directly into the dish and then added the chicken and potatoes to it and mixed them round.  It will look like you have excess sauce, but because you keep stirring it, you are basting it in the extra stuff and end up with very little left over.

It was absolutely devine!  I highly recommend this one guys.  If you only make one of my recipes that I share with you - this should be it!

Anyways, I shall leave you with that mouthwatering meal idea :) Have a great week guys!  Happy cooking!

Thursday, 3 October 2013


I lay in bed the other night trying to sleep, and all I could think about was what I was going to write on my blog!  I had it perfect.  Do you think I can remember how it went??  Frustrating!  It went something like this ...

It is amazing how quickly you can change your mind on something that you felt so passionately about.  I was so sure that after listening to the talk (WhooHoo lady) that I could change things for the better for my family.  Sadly I have already had some hurdles to overcome.  I started off guns a blazing, baking cupcakes, biscuits and my own bread.  I bought the proper coffee and chocolate.  I made my own chocolate spread even!  (I know what you're thinking - "Super mum!  Where does she find the time?" lol probably not, but I can dream)

As it turns out, the proper coffee, although it is nice, is too expensive (hubby was not impressed when I told him how much it cost), chocolate tastes more like fudge - and as you know I am a self confessed sweet tooth freak, but I'm not a huge fan of fudge.  We then discovered that Lindt 85% chocolate is pretty goo free, I was so excited!  Until I tasted it - Bitter!  I like creamy chocolate that melts in your mouth.
The cupcakes and biscuits turned out pretty good, and I thought the cupcakes were rather tasty fresh from the oven.  However.  The panella has a completely different taste to white sugar - more like a dark muscavado type sugar.  My daughter will not eat my baking now :(
The bread and the chocolate spread both worked well I'm proud to say.  They both don't look like much, but they taste awesome!  Eli and I really like them, hubby thinks they are ok, and the girls both seem "iffy" on it.
I am embarrassed to say I caved the other day and did a total "diet binge" spend!  Chocolate, lollipops, wine, chips and dip! 

So I think, I may have to still do some "normal" food and not all goo free to keep everyone happy.  I am still determined to make my own bread, and make the chocolate spread instead of buying nutella.  I will still endeavour to buy as goo free as I can, but there are some things I can't give up - chocolate for one, and bacon is another!  I generally make a lot of our food from scratch as you all know, so I think in the grand scheme of things, we probably don't eat too badly really.

Anyways, I have some recipes for you in case you would also like to try the goo free lifestyle :)

Homemade Chocolate Spread

2 tsp whoohoo cacao
2tsp honey
1tsp vanilla paste
50g butter
20ml olive oil

This only made a small amount but you don't need lots.  Blend it all together and spoon into a jar :)  I used the pure cacao, but I will try it with cocoa powder when I have finished this lot and let you know if that works the same :)
*Tegan I know you are probably going to laugh that the leaf is in focus and not the spread but I couldn't get it to do what I wanted it too! :)

Homemade Muesli

Rolled Oats
Dried Cranberries
Chopped almonds
Olive Oil
Panella (sugar)

Heat oil, sugar and honey until sugar has dissolved. 
Mix other ingredients together and then pour liquid over top.  Mix.
Put in oven at 180C for 30-40 mins stirring occasionally to ensure all ingredients are coated and toasted.
When golden, leave to cool.  Delicious!

I have plans to try to make my own BBQ sauce this weekend.  It's not going to be easy, but I will give it a go!  I would also like to attempt to make some aioli - Katie is begging me to come up with a recipe that is goo free!  I have a few ideas, so will also try those this weekend and let you all know how they go. 

I have two bread recipes I will share with you.  The first is one I got from the WhooHoo lady.  So simple too - no kneading required!

Mrs Grants Loaf

  • 700g Stoneground Wholemeal Organic Flour
  • tsp sea salt
  • 15g fresh compressed yeast (ask your local baker, health food store,New World bakery also stocks)
  • 1 rounded tsp raw honey
  • 600mls lukewarm water
  • large loaf tin or 2 small ones.

Place flour and salt in a bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre. (In cold weather microwave flour for 15 sec to help warm it up).
In another bowl crumble yeast and add honey. Then add 150mls water until smooth and creamy. Leave for 10mins, then pour yeast plus remaining water into the well in the flour. Mix with hands from the sides of the bowl to the centre until the dough feels like elastic and away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will be wetter than a standard dough.
Place dough in prepared greased tin/s and cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for 25 to 35 mins until dough has risen approx 1cm. Preheat oven to 200 degrees, sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake for 35 - 40 mins. Once you think the bread is cooked flip out of tin and tap on the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow like a drum its cooked if not place back in the oven for another 5 mins. Best eaten within 4 days, can freeze up to a month.

Now I split it into two loaves - as you can see by my picture, they didn't rise heaps, so I would stick to one loaf.  I also misread the recipe and I added the entire amount of water to the yeast at once. 

The next recipe I have for you is one that I adapted slightly from a bread book.

Oatmeal Bread

1C rolled oats
1 1/2C water
14g yeast (compressed or dried)
1/2C warm water
1tsp honey
1/2C warm milk
1/2tsp salt
3 1/2 - 4 1/2 C organic stoneground flour (I used this and wholemeal as I didn't have enough)
extra rolled oats for the top

Combine oats and water in a pan and over low heat, stir until water is absorbed (3mins)  Place in large bowl and leave until lukewarm
If using compressed yeast, crumble into a bowl (dried just place in bowl), add honey and warm water.  You want yeast to dissolve so if compressed you will need to mix a bit.
Add yeast, milk, and salt to oats and stir to combine.
Add flour 1C at a time until a soft dough forms - I needed the full 4 1/2C
Turn onto a floured board and knead for 10mins adding extra flour if needed.  Place dough in oiled bowl (large) and brush oil over top.  Cover with clingfilm and leave in warm place for at least an hour (until well risen)
Punch down dough and knead for 1min.  Divide into two.  Pat out one portion and make a rectangle, roll it loosely and place seam side down in greased loaf tin.  Divide extra portion into three and plait.  Place on top of first roll and stretch it gently to fit.  Sprinkle with more oats and push gently.
Cover with cling film again and leave for a further 45 minutes or until it has risen to top of tin.
Preheat oven to 180C and bake for 45minutes or until inserted skewer comes out dry.  Set aside for 10mins before turning out onto a wire rack.

So there you go, my eventful week of trials!  Hopefully next week will be more successful!  Enjoy your weekend, and Happy Cooking!