Saturday, 26 April 2014


Hi-de-ho my lovelies!  I hope you have all enjoyed your long weekends of late.  We chose to stay at home this time, and caught up with good friends and good food.  And before you ask, yes, I did use them as my guinea pigs for some things :)

First up though, I would like to say that I have now created a Facebook page (here) specifically for Calamity Jayne, where you can keep up to date with my blogs, post suggestions for me to make, or even ask me questions.  You're welcome :)

Now, as the title suggests, I have made a few vege dishes this last week.  Two of which, I got from Facebook, and one from a magazine.  I also made a chicken fried rice and noodle dish which was A-Maze-ing!  So I'll start with that one.

I know it's normally fried rice or fried noodles, but I couldn't decide what I wanted so decided to combine the two and I have to say, it was a great choice.  For those of you who have never tried to make one of these meals, you really have to give it a go, it's so easy and you can adjust the taste to suit you.  I think a lot of the time it tastes better than the takeaway places (and probably better for you too).

Chicken Fried Rice and Noodles

1 chicken breast, diced
1-2 squares of egg noodles
1 C cooked rice
Carrots chopped finely (matchsticks)
2 eggs
1 tsp garlic crushed
1 tsp ginger crushed
2 tsp Soy Sauce

Slice chicken and put in a bowl with soy sauce, ginger and a splash of oil - I use Olive Oil.  rub it in and then leave it to marinate for about 15 mins.
Heat a little oil in a wok and add chicken.  Cook for 3 - 5 mins until cooked, then remove and set aside.
Crack eggs directly into pan and stir with wooden spoon - you want to cut it and turn it, a bit more like an omelette.  When cooked, remove and set aside.
You may need to add a splash more of oil to the pan.  Add onions - you can use spring onion or regular brown onions, finely sliced.  Add carrot too and cook for a few minutes.  Add peas and garlic.  You can also add cabbage, beans, corn - whatever veges you like.
Add cooked rice and noodles, with another splash of oil and soy sauce.  Toss and heat through.
Add chicken and chopped egg to the pan and continue to heat through.  Add more sauce if needed.

Obviously this recipe can be made with just the rice or noodles if you don't want both.  You will need to adjust the amount to suit.  This also works as a meatless meal too or alternately, you could substitute chicken for pork.  So many variations you can use.

The next meal I have for you is a Zucchini, Corn and Feta Tart.  I found this recipe in the 'That's Life' magazine.  I have to say, feta and zucchini  is such a good combo!  I had a little bit of each leftover before I put it in the oven and tried them together and Oh My God!  Delicious!
(for those of you who don't know, zucchini and courgette are the same thing - I have been asked this before)

Zucchini, Corn and Feta Tart

2 sheets pastry (recipe said shortcrust but I used flaky)
2 small or 1 large zucchini
1/2 pack of feta
125g corn kernels
4 eggs
1/3 C cream
1/3 C grated parmesan
1 Tbsp mint

Lay pastry sheets on top of each other and roll to enlarge to approx. 30cm.  Line a quiche dish with this and trim to fit.  Prick base and line with baking paper and rice/beans - place in oven 200C to blind bake.  Approx 15minutes.  Remove and let cool.  Reduce heat to 180C
Meanwhile, heat 1Tbsp oil in pan over medium heat and cook thinly sliced zucchini for a few minutes until just tender.
Arrange half zucchini over base, sprinkle with half the feta and all the corn.  Whish eggs, cream, parmesan and finely chopped mint together.  Season with salt and pepper. Pour over base.  Arrange remaining zucchini and feta around the top of the quiche.  Season with pepper.
Bake for 35 minutes or until set.

The last two recipes are kind of similar principles but different ingredients.  Once again in my haste to serve, I forgot to take a picture of one of the dishes, so I'll post the pic that went with the recipe so you can see the deliciousness.
One is Loaded Cauliflower (similar to that of loaded potatoes) and the other is Broccoli and Corn Casserole.
To be fair, I think the cauliflower recipe is better and would work with both cauli and broccoli.  I did however adjust a few things in the broccoli recipe so it could very well be my fault. Anywho, here are the recipes:

Loaded Cauliflower

1 large head of Cauliflower cut into bite size pieces (approx 6 cups)...

6-8 strips of bacon cooked and crumbled (Cooked in oven at 400° for 20 mins)
6 Tbs chopped Chives
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sour Cream
2 cups Colby Jack Cheese ( may use cheddar)
8 oz container sliced mushrooms
Preheat oven to 425°
In a large pot boil water and cook Cauliflower for 8 - 10 minutes, drain and let cool.
In a large bowl combine sour cream, mayo, 1/2 of crumbled bacon, 3tbs chives, 1 cups of cheese,mushrooms and cauliflower and mix well... place in baking dish and cover with remaining 1 cup of cheese and rest of bacon crumbles. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted. top with remaining 3 Tbs chives and serve.

Ok, so I omitted the mushrooms for this recipe and probably could have used a larger head of cauli.  I also used red onion (finely diced) in place of chives, and Edam cheese in place of Colby.  This was soooooo good!  Perhaps a little too creamy - but I eyeballed the ingredients rather than measuring, and again, with a larger head of cauli it might have been spread out a bit better.  I do think that if you had cauli and broccoli mixed together this would be fantastic.

This is the other one:

Corn & Broccoli Casserole with Bacon

2/3 cup almond flour
1/2 cup cornmeal...

3 Tablespoons granulated Swerve or Stevia
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
pinch of sea salt
1/3 cup almond milk
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
1 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 bag of frozen broccoli
1/2 package bacon, diced and cooked to crisp
1 cup grated cheese - whatever kind you like

Combine flour, cornmeal, sweetener, salt and baking powder in a small bowl.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking dish (I used a 13" x 9").

Melt the butter over low heat; dice up and cook bacon to crispy, drain grease and then allow to cool on paper towel. Lightly steam the broccoli, drain and then dump into the baking dish - spread it evenly out.

Open the cans of corn and pour into a medium sized bowl. Add into this the melted butter, sour cream and milk. Mix well. Now add in the dry ingredients and mix until no lumps. Pour over the broccoli.

Bake for about 55 minutes. Remove and sprinkle the bacon & cheese on top. Return to the oven and bake another 5 minutes or until cheese is all bubbly. ~ Enjoy!!

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Now if you note the part at the bottom (this was also at the bottom of the first one), I really don't see how this could possibly be part of a weight loss support group!  The ingredients in here are not exactly the best for you - which is partly why I changed a few things. 

1: I thought that 1/2C of butter to cook your bacon in and then add to the dish was a bit of overkill - Bacon certainly doesn't need butter to cook in, but as I thought it might be important for the rest of it, I kept it in, but reduced it to 25g

2: I used fresh broccoli not frozen, and only used one head, though again, probably could've use two.

3: I only used half a can of each corn and 1/2C sour cream, again, I thought it was a bit much. 

4: I used plain flour and milk ( I didn't have almond flour or milk)

5: I used regular sugar and sour cream as opposed to light or artificial sweeteners - that stuff is nasty!  Anything "Light", "lite", "diet" is not good for you!

So after all those changes, what I ended up with, was something that looked a bit like cornbread with broccoli in it, and ,melted cheese and bacon on top.  It did taste good though, just not a casserole texture, a bit more doughy.
In my opinion, it could have been made without the flour and cornmeal, with just the creamed corn, corn and sour cream to make up the saucy part, topped with cheese and bacon.  Or if you combined some of each recipe and did Broccoli, corn, cauli, red onion with sour cream, mayo, cheese and bacon, I think that could be a winner!

Anyways, hopefully that has given you some ideas of vege dishes to try with your family.  Might be a good way of sneaking veges into your children! 

I'm going to leave you with a couple of pics of some sweet stuff that I made this week also :) I had to share the pie as it's by far the coolest looking pie I have ever made!  If you want to make one similar you will need a lattice cutter which you can get from Kitchen Kapers.

Enjoy the last day of your long weekend.  Happy cooking!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Easter treats

First up, cookbook is finally finished and edited!  Hopefully it will be sent off tomorrow, and then we play the waiting game.

This week I have something for all those crème egg fans out there!  I happened to see this on Facebook and had to make it!  It's called Easter egg fudge, though I don't really see it as a fudge, more of a slice perhaps.  Anyway, it's so simple to make - way easier than I would have expected, and it really does taste like the real deal - old school crème egg!  Hubby actually wants to buy a large hollow egg, drill a hole in it and have me fill it with the gooey centre!

Crème Egg Slice

Two blocks of Milk Chocolate
1/4C butter
1/2C corn syrup (glucose syrup)
1tsp vanilla
3C icing sugar
pinch salt
3Tbsp milk
Yellow food colour

Beat butter and syrup until well combined.
Add vanilla, icing sugar, salt and milk.  Beat until smooth - I happened to find this ended up in a big blob rather than a smooth cream, I added a smidge more milk to soften it, but left it reasonably firm - makes for less mess when eating.
Remove a small portion and add yellow food colour to this, mix.
Melt one block of chocolate and spread in the base of a square tin - their picture had thicker choc, but you really don't need more than this.  I used a 20cm tin. LINE IT FIRST
Spread/blob white mix over choc base, get it spread as evenly as possible.  Blob yellow around.
Melt second block of chocolate and spread over top.
Chill for 30mins then cut into squares.  I would recommend this as I didn't slice it up so the longer you leave it, the more the chocolate cracks when you slice it.  The only problem is that it is gooey still after 30mins.  The longer you leave it the better it stays together.

I also made some Hot Cross Buns - though I didn't think about taking a photo until we'd already eaten them!  They were awesome.  I used the breadmaker recipe, but I'll share it with you anyways, you may be able to try it in your own breadmaker or perhaps try it from scratch.

350ml water
1 egg beaten
3Tbsp milk
2Tbsp oil
1tsp salt
2Tbsp sugar
4C high grade flour
1Tbsp cinnamon
1Tbsp mixed spice
1tsp bread improver
2 1/4tsp yeast
When the beeps sound, add 1C sultanas 1/4C currants

When dough is ready, you shape it into 18 balls and place on oven tray with greased clingfilm overtop, leave it to double in size.
Mix together 1/4C flour with 2Tbsp water to form a batter, using a piping nozzle, make the crosses on top.
Bake for 20 mins at 190C
You can glaze them, but I thought they were fine without.

I found a recipe for energy bars, which is again super simple and very tasty.  My problem was that I didn't process it enough so it didn't hold together as well as it should have, so I decided to add a few extras and turn it into a muesli bar.
Firstly, for just the energy bar all you need to do is 1C date, 1C nuts of your choice and 1C dried fruit processed until fine and forming a dough type consistency.  You can also add chocolate or seeds.  I used dates, cranberries, brazil and almond nuts plus a small handful of dark chocolate.

If you want to make it into a muesli bar, then you don't need to process it as much.  Add about 1C rolled oats to it (after blending).  In a saucepan, heat 25g butter, 2-3Tbsp honey/golden syrup/maple syrup and 2-3Tbsp brown sugar.  Heat until bubbling and cook for a few minutes.
combine with dry ingredients and press into a slice tin.  Bake at 180C for around 15mins until starting to brown a little.

Another sweet treat I made, is White Chocolate and Pecan biscuits.  This recipe is from the Hummingbird bakery cookbook.  The recipe calls for you to freeze the dough before slicing and baking and yields only 24.  I decided not to freeze the dough as it was perfectly pliable and not in need of freezing in my opinion.  I managed to get 48 decent sized biscuits out of the same recipe.

White Chocolate and Pecan Biscuits

250g butter
100g caster sugar
200g brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2tsp vanilla
400g plain flour
1/2tsp salt
1/4tsp baking powder
100g white chocolate (I put in a few dark ones too)
70g Pecan nuts chopped

Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well.  Add vanilla.
Add flour, salt, baking powder and mix until a smooth dough is formed.  Add chocolate and pecans.
Roll into tablespoon size balls and place on baking tray with room to spread.  Press down gently.
Bake at 170C for 10-15mins until edges are golden.

So there you have it, some lovely Easter treats to share with your family.  I hope you all have a fabulous long weekend.  Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Making the most of your ingredients!

Good day to you kind people of blogland :) I hope you have been having a wonderful week and are enjoying the sunshine.  I have been rather busy in the kitchen of late, and have many things to share with you.  I was lucky enough to be given a bag of black boy peaches which only had a few days left in them.  I was able to make Peach Jam and Peach Sauce with those.
I made lasagne - with my own home made lasagne pasta, the Malteser Slice that you may have seen floating around on Facebook, oh and the Lemon Meringue Pie also from Facebook.  Satay Pork Meatloaf with BBQ Sauce (I know right?!),  and a Roast Chicken, apricot, cranberry and camembert pie.  Oh my mouth is watering just thinking about it all again!

So let's get started! 
Malteser Slice - this one was shared on my Facebook page as a suggestion for me to make :)

 250g pkt milk arrowroot biscuits (or other sweet biscuit)
• 2 cups rice bubbles
• 125g butter
• 400g tin condensed milk...

• 2 Tbsp cocoa
• 185g pkt maltesers, cut in half
• 200g white chocolate

1. Line a slice tin (18cm x 28cm) with baking paper.

2. Place biscuits in a zip lock bag & crush with a rolling pin to a fine crumb consistency. This can also been done in a food processor to save time. Pour into a large bowl along with the rice bubbles & ¾ cup halved maltesers.

3. In a saucepan over medium heat, add butter, condensed milk & cocoa. Whisk until melted together & smooth. Cook for 1 minute.

4. Pour over dry ingredients & mix until combined. Press into tin.

5. Break white chocolate into a bowl & heat in microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring each time until smooth.

6. Pour over slice. Press remaining maltesers into the chocolate. NOTE: if you intend to refrigerate or freeze the slice for longer than 1 day, press the maltesers into the chocolate with the cut side down. They will stay crunchy. Refrigerate/freeze until set.

Tips: to keep your white chocolate glossy & stop it from cracking, add 1 Tbspn melted copha to the melted chocolate prior to pouring onto

Storage: In fridge for up to 1 week.

Ok, so this was super yummy, however, I think perhaps cornflakes may work better than rice bubbles.  They go kind of chewy and I think maybe cornflakes might be a bit crunchier and more afghan like.  I also used less chocolate - it's sweet enough without the extra, I probably used about 150g at the most - just eyeballed it.  You really only need to cover the slice, not have a thick layer.  And our big bags of maltesers are 155g not 185g so I used less of those too.

Lemon Meringue Pie - I saw this on Facebook myself, and as this is my husbands favourite dessert, I thought I had better try it!  It's way easier than making a curd for the inner and very tasty, again super sweet though.  The recipe called for a pre-bought pie crust, but I had pastry in the freezer so used that instead - I semi pre cooked it, which worked fine (so I didn't let it brown, it was in for about 10minutes).  If you used a digestive biscuit base or something similar, it may be less sweet.

1 Tin Condensed Milk
3 Large Eggs
½ Cup Lemon Juice...
½ Cup Castor Sugar...

1 x As Easy As Pie Crust


1. Heat oven to 160 degrees
2. Separate egg whites and yolks into 2 different bowls
3. Whisk egg whites until stiff - (Must be able to turn bowl upside down without it falling out!)
4. Add castor sugar slowly and continue whisking – set aside
5. Mix egg yolks and then add tin of Condensed Milk
6. Measure half a cup of lemon juice and add to yolk mixture
7. Beat for about a minute – mixture will start setting
8. Add egg mixture to READY MADE PIE BASE
9. Top with Meringue and spread evenly on top
10. Bake at 160 for 25 minutes.
11. Cool pie on oven rack

So with this one, I whisked the egg yolk and condensed milk together until combined before adding the lemon juice.  I also served this warm instead of refrigerated.  I did find that there was syrup at the bottom of the pan - but hubby just tipped that over top!

I won't share my Peach Jam recipe as it turned out similar to the Apricot Jam I made earlier in the year - a bit runny.  It still tastes awesome and could double as a dessert sauce, but it just didn't set as well as I wanted it to.  I know that peaches aren't a good setting fruit and need pectin and acid, I added lemon juice and tartaric acid to the pot, but I'm not sure if I just didn't add enough, or needed more sugar or what it was. 
My Peach Sauce (savoury) turned out great though!

Approx 2kg Black Boy Peaches chopped and stoned
2 green apples peeled and chopped
6 small tomatoes chopped
2 small onions chopped
2 cloves crushed garlic
750ml malt vinegar
60ml Raspberry Vinegar
1 Tbsp Salt
1C sugar
1tsp cloves
1tsp ground ginger
pinch cayenne pepper
black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to the boil - I didn't bother peeling the peaches or grinding the cloves as it all goes through the sieve later.
Keep it boiling for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Pour through a wire sieve and push it through to get all the liquid - does require a bit of time and elbow grease.
Return to the heat and simmer until it has reached the consistency you like.
Pour into sterilised jars/bottles.

Satay Pork Meatloaf with BBQ Sauce

This is a combination of two recipes I love.  My Mums recipe for meatloaf has this amazing BBQ sauce that you pour over, so I have used this, with my satay pork meatball recipe (with a bit extra)turned into meatloaf.  Brilliant!
Now because we have allergies in the family, I split it into two loaves and made one satay and one without.  So you can do the same, or make one loaf by doubling the recipe of each loaf.  You would also need to allow extra time for cooking if making just the one loaf.

Satay Pork Meatloaf       (enough for 2-3 adults)                                                         
250g pork mince
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 carrot, grated
1/2 courgette grated
1 egg
1/2C breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
3Tbsp peanut butter
2-3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sweet chilli sauce

*to make it without the satay, just omit peanut butter and add a smidge more of the sauces.

Combine ingredients - best way to get it all mixed together is with your hands - best tools in the kitchen!  Form it into a loaf shape and place in a greased 1" (min)deep casserole dish.  Bake for 20 minutes at 180C.  Remove from oven and pour BBQ sauce over.  Return to the oven for a further 35-40 mins until cooked through.  Baste it regularly during that time.  When you serve it, spoon a little extra sauce over top too.  Great with mashed potato.

BBQ sauce: In a small saucepan, combine - 25g butter, 1/2C water, 1/2C tomato sauce, 1/4C Worcestershire sauce, 2Tbsp vinegar, 1 tsp coffee powder, a squirt of lemon or lime juice, 1/4C brown sugar.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins.

Lasagne is really quite easy to make.  If you can make a Bolognese sauce then you're half way there.  I did use homemade pasta, but obviously you can also use bought pasta sheets.  The fresh stuff does taste better though.
Basically, you cook onions, garlic and mince  until brown.  Add tin of chopped tomatoes in puree, 2 Tbsp tomato paste, salt and pepper and simmer.  You can also add grated veges, herbs, spinach, whatever you fancy.  You also need to make a thick cheese sauce - I'm hoping you all know how to do that.  It's really not hard and everyone should be able to make this - much better than that packet stuff!
You then layer everything in your casserole dish - mince, cheese, pasta, mince, cheese, pasta.  Pour over cheese sauce and top with more cheese - bake for 45minutes until golden and bubbling.

I wasn't even going to include this one, but hubby made me take a photo as it was so awesome looking!

Roast Chicken, Apricot, Cranberry and Camembert Pie

We had a roast chicken with stuffing (homemade again) flavoured with dried apricots and cranberries.  The leftovers are what I used to make this pie and it was fabulous.
You can add leftover veges, gravy and stuffing for extra flavour.

First up, cook some onion and garlic in a little oil until softened.
Add leftover chicken, stuffing and veges.  Heat through.  Add leftover gravy and/or chicken stock - I used both so roughly 1/2C gravy and 1C stock.  Stir and heat through.
Line a deep dish with pastry and pour mix in.  Lay some camembert chunks around the top and place pastry over top.  Seal and slice top.  Bake for about 3/4 hour at 180C

And that's all folks!  I hope you all have a great weekend and get into that kitchen!  Happy cooking!