Sunday, May 02, 2010

Banana Choc Chip Miffins

Why miffins?  Well, instead of admitting to a typo (me?!  Never!!!), mini muffins are now known as miffins in our house!  As a general rule, I am not a fan of baked banana goods.  Give me a real, fresh banana anyday.  But these muffins are chocolatey and banana-ery without having that typical banana bread taste.  It may be the sour cream?  I don't know, but I'm not complaining!  It's a great way to use up those sad looking bananas that sit in our fruit bowl all on their own and just know they aren't going to be eaten. 

  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 small bananas mashed
  • 3/4 cup chopped milk chocolate or milk chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  2. Place flour, baking powder & sugar in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together sour cream, eggs & oil until combined.
  4. Fold into the flour mixture with the banana & chocolate, stirring until just combined.
  5. Spoon mixture into muffin tray, bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Allow to stand in the tray for 5 mins.
  7. Cool on a wire rack.
Makes 12 muffins or 24 miffins

My Notes
  • Using 2 large bananas as opposed to the 2 small bananas as listed in the ingredients doesn't make a difference to this recipe. 
  • I always add more choc chips of any colour, it wouldn't be right if I didn't! 
  • If I have only a bit of sour cream left in the container, I add that in too.  Doesn't seem to make any difference to the end result.
  • For me, these muffins stick to paper muffin pans so I generally use the silicon ones for these.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Roast Chicken, Slow Cooker Style

I have been keen to try using my slow cooker for more than just casserole-y type dishes for a while now.  And while I can cook a mean corned beef in it, my family can only eat so much corned beef (excluding Owen, he would eat his corned meat every single day)!  So roasting a whole chook in my slow cooker was a challenge I have been meaning to try for a while.  The cooking/prep part was fine, but the 'roasting' part just didn't sit right in my mind.  To say I was skeptical would be an understatement.  I am one of those people who isn't a fan of throwing raw meat in my slow cooker, so a whole chicken was a giant leap!  I am more than happy with the outcome.  The meat was juicy and tender but still firm. I will be making this a regular dinner for my family!
  • 1 1.4kg whole chicken (approx weight of a small chicken from Coles)
  • 1 large lemon
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon + 1 pinch rosemary
  • 45g butter
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery sticks
  • salt and pepper
  • twine
  1. Pat dry the chicken, inside and out.
  2. Roughly chop the lemon and peel the garlic. 
  3. Combine the rosemary, garlic cloves and lemon.  Fill the cavity of the chicken with the lemon mix. 
  4. Tie the legs together and tuck the wings under the body (my chicken's wings were already tucked, thanks Coles!).
  5. Using the butter, brown the chicken in a frypan on all sides.
  6. Roughly chop the onion, carrot and celery.  Place these in the bottom of the slow cooker.  These veges help the chicken to cook evenly and not stick to the bottom of the slow cooker.
  7. Add the browned chicken, pan juices, chicken stock and salt and pepper to the slow cooker.  Sprinkle the pinch of rosemary over the chicken.
  8. Cook on low for 6 hours. 
My Notes
  • My slow cooker is a 3.5L, that's why I only used a small chicken.  That chicken size fed the four of us dinner plus two lunch size leftovers! 
  • I served the chicken with roast veges and blanched green beans as the skin on the chicken stays soft and I felt that it required some different textures to complete the meal.  I don't think I would serve it with 'soft' veges, such as mashed potato or potato bake.   
  • After 5 hours in my slow cooker, I removed 3 cups of stock and still had a quarter of the slow cooker filled with stock.  
  • I used Greens Chicken Gravy Granules for the first time as well.  The verdict:  Tasty and easy!  I didn't even need Marc to stand at the stove, stirring the gravy while I dished out dinner!   

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Chocolate Mud Cake

Yesterday afternoon I decided that Marc and I would need something nice for supper, for after the kids had gone to bed.  What better than a chocolate mud cake then?  One of my all time favourite web sites, Exclusively Food have a super easy recipe for Chocolate Mud Cake with Chocolate Ganache Icing on their web site, so I thought I would give it a try.  Everything I have ever attempted out of their extensive repertoire has worked perfectly, so I was pretty sure this cake of theirs would follow suit.

As always, the recipe was easy to follow with pictures throughout the instructions and some great comments by both the authors of the blog and their readers/testers.

The recipe calls for buttermilk, which I didn't have, so I substituted this with 1 tablespoon vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup.  But please keep in mind that you only need 1/2 cup of buttermilk for the recipe.  I did forget this, and had poured almost all of the cup of milk into my egg/oil/vanilla mix before realising my error!

Because the cake took so long to cook, and I needed to feed the three boys dinner, the cake was put aside for the night (probably a good thing) before getting ganached today!

And here is my end result.  I'm pretty impressed with it - even though I thought I had stuffed it up!  It has great texture and flavour and is not over chocolatey (yes, that is a word in my vocabulary!), but chocolatey enough to not need to go back for a second slice (although I'm sure you could twist my arm!!).  My two taste-testers were very happy with this one!


Monday, October 12, 2009

On a quest... so stay tuned!

I need to find the motivation to try new recipes again. This little family of ours has all but slumped back into The Usual. And The Usual is not interesting enough for me! So. I am once again on the look out for more new meals to try, whether they be desserts (my favourite thing to make/bake!) or main meals or lunch box ideas for the little people. I have three willing taste testers, and a camera that needs something other than Harvey Boys to photograph!

Instead of me creating a new blog solely for this purpose, I thought I'd just use The Cookbook - after all, it's been neglected for so long and it too needs to be needed for something other than looking back at recipes to double check quantities etc from once new recipes that have now become the norm at our house.

So. Stay tuned... There will be something new I've tried on here soon!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Chewy Apricot and Chocolate Cereal Bars


200g rice bubbles

100g chopped dried apricots

60g pecan nuts (optional)

100g butter

125g golden syrup

85g plain or white cooking chocolate broken into pieces


Combine the rice bubbles and apricots in a mixing bowl.

Put the butter, golden syrup and chocolate in a small saucepan and heat gently until melted.

Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until well coated.

Press the mix into a shallow slice tin (lined). Refrigerate to set.

Cut into desired bar size when firm.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sultana Lunch Cake

350g sultanas
225g butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
3 1/2 cups plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 180.
Lightly grease a 20 cm cake tin and line the bottom.
Cover sultanas with water and boil for 10 minutes. Strain and cool.
Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs one at a time, beating well.
Add sultanas, sifted flour, baking powder and salt.
Stir in milk.
Pour into prepared tin and bake for 90 minutes, or until cooked.
(it only took 65 minutes in my oven at 140!)

Here's the finished product :)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Easy Potato Bake

1 packet of potato and leek soup mix
1/2 cup grated cheese
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (I just use cheapie packet stuff you get in the pasta sauce aisle)
Approximately 5 or 6 potatoes. This all depends on size and how many people you are serving. I usually use 3 medium sized potatoes for the two of us.
3/4 cup milk

Preheat your oven from anywhere between hot to moderate. It really depends on your oven. You're aiming for a good temperature to cook the potatoes through and then brown the cheese, without burning the top.

Combine the milk and packet soup mix in a jug and set aside.
Peel and thinly slice the potatoes.
Layer about half the potatoes on your baking dish and pour over half the milk and soup mix.
Top with half of both cheeses.
Repeat the potato, milk and cheese process.
Cover the baking dish loosely with alfoil and bake for about half an hour or until the potatoes are soft.
Remove the alfoil and put the potato bake in the oven until golden brown.

Allow a few minutes to cool before serving if you've got time - this gives the juices to cool and settle a bit, making it easier to dish out.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Chocolate Decadence

Here's something very naughty, but very yummy that you could give a try for Valentine's Day :)

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Butter six ramekins or custard cups. Melt chocolate and butter slowly: You can do this in a double boiler, over, not in, simmering water, or in microwave, stirring to prevent scorching. Stir until completely smooth.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer until frothy, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir vanilla and salt gently into beaten eggs. Fold half of egg mixture into chocolate mixture, mix well. Then fold remainder of egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Pour chocolate and egg mixture into prepared ramekins.

Line a roasting pan with a damp kitchen towel. Place ramekins on towel, inside roasting pan. Butter a piece of foil big enough to cover entire pan, and cover the ramekins, buttered side down. Place roasting pan on oven rack. Fill roasting pan with boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake 5 minutes, then remove foil and bake 10 minutes more. Remove ramekins from water carefully.

Let cool on wire rack for at least 3 hours. Cakes will firm up as they cool.

Serve in the ramekins and garnish with whipped cream, berries (frozen work really well if that's all you can get) and for that restaurant look, a shake of icing sugar for good measure, and serve.

Refrigerate unused portions - these left overs taste really good even a few days after!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Pumpkin & Apple Curry

Thanks for updating the blog Meegs.

Here's a new one from me:

1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
500 g / 1.1 lb pumpkin or butternut squash, deseeded, peeled and cubed
800 g / 0.9 lb baking potatoes, cubed
1 medium cooking apple, peeled, cored and diced
2 tsp mild curry paste
1 tsp turmeric, plus extra to garnish
2.5 cm / 1 inch fresh ginger, finely chopped
2-3 bay leaves, torn into pieces
1 vegetable stock cube
50 g / 2oz raisins
4tbsp fromage frais, to serve
bread or rice to serve

1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes until golden. Add garlic, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and apple. Stir in the curry paste, turmeric, ginger and bay leaves.
2.Add 500 ml / 1.05 pints water, the stock cube, raisins and plenty of seasoning. Bring to the boil, stirring, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender.
3. Spoon into bowls and top with the fromage frais and a pinch of turmeric. Serve with flatbread and/or rice.

Takes 45 mins. Serves 4-5.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Calling All Cookbook Contributors!

Happy New Year Everyone!

To welcome 2007, we have upgraded to the 'new and improved' Blogger, which means a few things have changed:
  1. You may not see your name listed under Contributors as per 2006. This is because we all need to have a new Google account now. If you haven't already, you will need to log in as per normal and set up a Google account. Then you will be back on the list of Contributors to our blog. At this stage I am just assuming this is what will happen automatically and that it won't be any more difficult than that...
  2. Blogging your recipes will still be the same, however we can now categorise our recipes, so please label your post in the box located below the text box.
  3. Categories (or Labels) I've already set up include: Mains, Vegetarian, Treats, Chocolate, Pasta, Salads, Soups, Chicken, Fish, and Breads. You get the drift... Please add more in if we need them.
And I think that's it! While I haven't had a good look around to see what else has changed yet, I'm sure you guys will have found more good stuff we can have a play around with in the new Blogger. Just make sure you post about it to let us all know :)