Category: Recipes (Page 1 of 2)

My invented salad

1 butternut pumpkin cut into bite sized chunks, roasted with salt, pepper, sage, olive oil and garlic
Green beans, blanched
Baby spinach – as much as you an handle
Semi-sundried tomatoes

OK. So I haven’t actually made the above, due to an excess of organisation (not something that occurs in my life with any regularity). I roasted the pumpkin last night so I wouldn’t have to do anything that involved the oven on a day of 38 degrees, like roast anything but myself. And here is the IMPORTANT NOTE. If you roast pumpkin as described, and can hardly postpone emptying it all in between your incisors, the one place you do NOT put it? In the fridge. As I wasn’t going to use it until the next day, I’m not sure where I should have put it, but regardless of this, when you put roast pumpkin in the fridge, somehow water collects in the base of the bowl and it all goes soggy and unintelligble.

Having spent a good hour in a 40 degree hotbox, known as my study, trying to make the desktop computer boot off ANYTHING but the ThinkPad hard drive, I was at the end of my (admittedly short) tether. I did not even notice the state of the pumpkin until I began tossing the baby spinach, beans and tomato through it. Which is when I began to mutter meaningful obscenities, and M came and removed me from the kitchen. He fried up the rescueable pumpkin, turfed the spinach, threw in more tomato and a whole lot of eggs and called it a fritata. I called it a bloody excellent salvage job. And didn’t even ask where the beans had got to.

Skippy, Skippy, Skippy the base of my stew…

Oh, the wonders of my positive posting. Let me tell you of my wondrous new dish. I must begin by admitting that my dishes are few, and now that I’m off dairy, I am even more culinarily (yes, it is a word. now.) challenged. I have been trying to get dinner sorted during Z’s final nap of the day so it’s ready to eat just before the nightly wrestle of getting her into bed – because the faux wood walls of the trailer are not conducive to cooking activities after the Kraken is asleep.

What I would REALLY like is a slow cooker. I am so annoyed at myself for not buying an old 1970s one in the Rhyll Bazaar about a year ago. I picked it up and put it back and ummed and ahhed like an idiot. And now I mourn it. Anyway. The point of this whole thing is STEW!! I have made it three times over the last three weeks, and, man, two days ago – I totally nailed it. I would have paid to eat it (forgive my enthusing – my kitchen escapades are few). Oh. Admittedly, I didn’t make it up all by myself – I was inspired by this recipe.


1 zucchini
2 carrots
6 small, or 3 large potatoes
1 big sweet potato
a wodge of cauliflower
some green beans
a handful of black French lentils (one of my three recent innovations)
a handful of pearled barley (my second innovation)
red wine (my third, and best, innovation)
kangaroo steak cut into bites
an onion
a leek (if you want)
4 cloves of garlic
bay leaves (a fourth, forgotten innovation)
2 stock cubes (yeah – I have not ever got around to making my own stock. watch the purists pale.)

Chuck some oil in the bottom of a big pot (while you wish for a le creuset) then put in chopped up onion, garlic and leek. Cut up the kangaroo while the oniony things soften, give the cats a bit each, and put the rest in the pot – stir it now and again until it’s brown. Put in some wine. While that’s happening cut up the other vegies. If you don’t have heaps of time, put all the potatoes in the microwave and steam them until they are semi-cooked.

Wodge all the vegetables into the pot and marvel at it for a while. Then pour in your water/stock so your ingredients are still sticking out of the top. Add your lentils and barley. They will absorb some of the liquid, so you might need to add more, depending on how you like it. Oh! And put your bay leaves in as well. There. Tip some more wine in and put a lid on it. Leave it to simmer for maybe half an hour to an hour – however long it takes.

Then it should be all ready to be silently ladelled into bowls once the baby is finally asleep, or, more likely, as she grizzles in a tired manner at your feet while you scarf it down. It’s good with crusty bread. And it’s even better the next day. Yay! I am a CHEF!

*The title of this post refers to this, which you probably wouldn’t know unless you’re both OLD and live in AUSTRALIA.

A total crock and the Soup Nazi! No soup for you! (I ate it all.)

I forgot! One good thing that came out of our sleep school visit was this: on the way home we stopped in Dandenong for a wander to try and get over our hell day and to avoid the peak hour traffic.

“Oh,” I said, “Let’s go to Saver’s before it closes. I want to keep looking for the crock pot I will never find.”

M was utterly amenable, as he was so happy to have escaped sleep school more or less intact. “OK. Let’s go.”

We wandered in, and I held out little hope for my long wished for crock pot. And yet. When we walked up the back to the electrical goods area, there it was!! Sitting there, all orange and 1970s looking. I immediately told M that it was probably a fabulously reincarnated Saffy the Orange Cat – but instead of the settings Eat/Dribble/Purr there was Off/Low/High. They’re the same colour and everything!

I grabbed Saffy the CrockPot off that shelf so fast that I purred blurred. It is ace. It was THIRTEEN DOLLARS. Did I say it was ace? I like having its orangeness in the corner of the kitchen. My kangaroo stew kicks arse in it like never before (that pun was really actually unintended. sorry.), and I made chicken soup the other day from a proper real chicken carcass, and I have to say it was probably the best soup I ever concocted (admittedly it was with the help of the reliable Single Dad’s Cookbook but I did add my own trailer flourishes.)

This is not my decorative lace tablecloth, or my crock pot. But it’s exactly the same as mine. Woo!


Miaow! The Chicken Noodle Soup!
Put chicken carcass in excellent slow cooker/crock pot
Cover with stock (obviously not stock you have made yourself and frozen as this would be waaaay too organised. Use a cube. Use two!)
Cut up and onion and a stick or two of celery and chuck ’em in.
And a few bay leaves.
Leave it all to cook in your excellent crock pot. I left it on low for about four hours.
Then. Tip the lot through a colander/sieve into a bowl.
Tip the liquid back into crock pot. Pick out all bits of chicken and stick them in the crock pot too.
Cut the kernels off three corn cobs. Throw them in. As much white wine as you can bear to spare (not much – we need it for sanity around here).
Put in the pasta of your choice. Mine was the one shaped like tiny stars about as big as a grain of rice. Now. Here’s the weird thing. Two hours later when we imbibed it, the soup had gone all creamy special, and there were no little pasta stars in sight. It was divine. But if you want your pasta to retain a sense of itself and not dissolve into the soup, add it nearer to the time you’re going to eat. Although it was accidental, I liked how it turned out. The corn! The corn! The corn stayed fabulous and still had texture and some bite. I was so relieved I didn’t buckle and buy a tin (I almost did, but I’m so tight that I went for the cobs – they were cheaper and didn’t have added salt and sugar).

Recipes and Go!

I just made Pip’s Uber Famous Teriyaki Chicken. It was very delish. The recipe called for mirin and sake, neither of which I had on hand, but google told me that dry sherry would carry it through – so I sent M down to the bottleshop (a place with which he is not unfamiliar).

It turned out beautifully. And reminded me of my other favourite chicken dish which I may have mentioned on here before, but I am tired and can’t check, so I’ll just mention it again – Vietnamese Rice Bowl – a recipe I found quite by accident. It was so great that we ate it every week for a few months; and now have been ‘resting’ it. Over-indulgence. Gah.

I heard a lovely song today. And if I hadn’t spent so much on grocery shopping this week I would have chucked $18 and bought the album. It’ll keep. I found the song via Loobylu and it is Jonsi (from Sigur Ros) with a song called Go Do. You can stream the album here.

And one more thing. For those who love to muse over EtsyEtsy Lush.

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