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Apr 12 17

North African Inspired Lamb Salad

by damian

This is a semi made-up recipe.


  • Lamb back straps
  • A washed tin of chickpeas
  • Two smallish red and one green capsicum
  • A zucchini
  • A carrot
  • Pearl couscous
  • Salad mix
  • Red onion
  • Veggie stock
  • Sumac
  • Tunisian Harissa


  • Wash all veggies and cut them according to taste.
  • Wash all veggies and cut them according to taste.
  • Sprinkle a little salt on the meat
  • Sprinkle some of the sumac and harissa onto a plate
  • Rub the spices into both sides of the meat
  • and let it sit.
  • Dice the onion
  • Cook the onion in a little oil until soft and translucent
  • Add the pearl couscous and cook it a little until it’s starting to brown
  • Add in the veggie stock (check the couscous packet to see how much you need).
  • Cover and simmer.


  • Heat a little oil in a solid frying pan
  • Toss the cut veggies through and briefly stir fry them.
  • Remove them from the pan.

When the couscous is cooked

  • Heat the frying pan again
  • Cook the back straps – One and a half minutes per side.
  • Remove them and cover on a chopping board with foil to rest.


  • Deglaze the pan with a little wine
  • Add in the veggies and the chickpeas. Heat them up a little
  • Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Place a handfull or two of the salad mix onto each plate.
  • Spoon the couscous over the salad mix
  • Tip the veggie mix over the couscous
  • Thinly slice the lamb and arrange it on the top of everything.
Aug 9 15

Muesli Bars

by damian

A Block of Muesli BarsHomemade muesli bars are about a quarter the price of commercially made bars. They are super simple to make, and you know exactly what is in them.






  • Either some pre-made muesli or make some yourself (even cheaper)
  • Wholemeal flour
  • Cinnamon
  • Some sugar
  • A few lightly beaten eggs
  • Some cold water


  1. Mix the dry ingredients together
  2. Mix in the eggs. Carefully add a small amount of water until the mixture is like a very thick cake mixture
  3. Spread it out on baking paper in a baking dish. About 2cm thick.
  4. Bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  5. When it’s baked, cool it on a wire rack and then cut it into blocks with a bread knife.
Jul 29 15

Spaghetti Bolognese – Remix

by damian

A while ago, Ella posted a recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese. This is my version.


  • two medium onions
  • 1kg mince
  • 2 tins Ardmona Australian vine ripened tomatoes
  • About a 1/2 cup hot vegetable stock
  • Dry mixed herbs
  • Dry basil
  • Sweet paprika
  • 1 medium beetroot
  • 2 fat carrots
  • 1 1/2 red capsicums


  1. Soften the onion in a little oil
  2. Add the meat and brown it
  3. Add the herbs and spices, mix them in well.
  4. Add the stock and the tomato. Add extra hot water if required.
  5. Grate the carrot and the beetroot, roughly chop the capsicum and add.

Bring it to a gentle boil, then turn it down and simmer it for about 90 minutes.

Bonus tip: Wash the grater, board, knife and your hands in cold water after grating the beetroot and it won’t stain.

Apr 20 14

Ella’s Basic Mug Cake

by Ella

This is a really simple recipe that can be made anywhere without proper measuring implements and can be adapted to make the desired cake.


  • 1 mug sugar
  • a large scoop of butter (approx. 80g)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 mugs self-raising flour (or plain flour and 3 tsp baking powder, or in case of no baking powder use plain flour and 1 1/2 tsp bicarb soda)
  • Milk or fruit juice (orange, lemon, etc.) enough to reach desired consistency
  • Any flavour desired (cinnamon, cardamom, cocoa, citrus zest, etc.)


  • Heat oven to 180 C and grease a cake tin.
  • Cream butter and sugar together until well mixed and creamy – if mixing by hand, don’t worry about it being perfectly creamy, just make sure it is well mixed. It helps if the butter is at room temperature.
  • Add the egg and beat well – again, if mixing by hand don’t stress if it is not beaten as much as you will like. The cake will be lighter the more the egg is beaten into the mixture, but it will still work if the egg is not beaten a huge amount.
  • Fold in the flour and spices etc. Add liquid until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Bake for about 30 mins in the oven until the  cake is golden on top and it springs back when touched lightly on top.


  • Orange, cardamom and honey. Add orange zest, cardamom and honey as the flavouring and use the juice of one orange as the liquid.
  • Cinnamon: This is a very plain cake. Use cinnamon as the flavour and milk as the liquid.
  • Mugged Cherry Pudding: This is a pudding created with the help of Anna. We used one bottle of drained Aldi preserved cherries but fresh cherries would work well. Grease a ceramic baking dish and line the bottom with brown sugar. Spread cherries on the brown sugar, then spread a basic cinnamon batter over the top. Bake until cooked then serve with the reduced syrup off the cherries and cream or ice cream.
  • To make dairy free substitute margarine for butter and soy milk for milk.
Dec 2 12

Marcus’ Sweet and Sour Chicken

by damian

Sweet and Sour ChickenI generally don’t like sweet sour when eating out – it always seems a little, well, ‘gluggy’. Marcus cooked this version for us after learning how to make the dish at school and it was surprisingly good. Well done, Ms McVean!




  • 2 chicken fillets, skin off, diced into 2cm squares.
  • 2 cloves garlic, skin removed and chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 1 small piece green ginger, peeled and chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup pineapple pieces
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 small carrot
  • ¼ green cucumber
  • ½ green or red capsicum
  • 1 small onion

Sweet & sour sauce

  • ¼ cup pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons cornflour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water


Mix garlic and ginger with soy sauce in a small bowl. Add chicken.

Roughly chop the capsicum and onion
Slice the celery, carrot and cucumber

Prepare the sauce: Combine pineapple juice, vinegar, cornflour, sugar and water in a
small bowl. Set aside.

Heat half the oil in wok on medium heat for 30 seconds.

Fry chicken pieces until browned all over, turning often, until cooked.

Remove chicken from wok and place in a clean bowl.

Add remaining oil to wok and add vegetables. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes or until slightly soft.

Add chicken back into the wok. Stir well and then add liquid sauce mixture. Stir well until
boiled and thickened slightly.

Finally add pineapple pieces and warm through.

Serve with rice.


Nov 17 12

Leslie’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

by damian

Choc Chip CookiesI’m a huge cake fan, but every now and then I love to have a biscuit with a cup of tea. This is the second recipe that Leslie gave me while we were camping. She said that it’s a recipe that her mother made, and originates from a book called “The Canadian Cookbook“. So yes, they are cookies, not biscuits!

For a dairy free alternative, substitute margarine for the butter, and use dairy free choc chips.


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup  brown sugar
  • One egg
  • 1 1/2 cups of sifter self raising flour
  • 1 cup chocolate  chips


Gradually cream sugar and butter

Beat an egg – add in and mix well

Add in the flour

Fold in a cup chic chops

Put small walnut size dollops onto baking paper

Bake for 8 mins on 180deg C


You can add 1/2 cup walnuts, and also a teaspoon of vanilla essence if you like.

Nov 14 12

Leslie’s Zucchini Slice

by damian

Zucchini SliceThis is a dish that Leslie pre-made for lunches over Cup weekend. We were camping at Lake Catani, and she prepared enough to feed several dozen people. There is something about eating good food when you have spent the entire day outside that made the dish extra special.

Ella prepared this version for us, and substituted the cheese for a dairy free soy based cheese, which worked beautifully. Leslie told me that you can make a variation with bacon and / or corn.


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 3 cups grated zucchini (this is approximately two large zucchinis)
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup grated cheese or a soy based substitute
  • Salt and pepper to taste.


Beat the eggs.

Add the flour, mix it in.

Fold the rest of the ingredients in, mixing gently but well.

Grease a baking dish, pour the mixture in.

Bake for 40 minutes at 180deg C.

Zucchini Slice - Out of he Oven


Nov 10 12

Fennel and Radish Salad – Our version of Jamie Oliver’s Dish

by damian

We saw this on a Jamie Oliver cooking show. We tweaked it a little by adding almonds. You can leave the almonds out if you like and the dish will still be lovely. It’s so simple to prepare that it’s seems like cheating!


The quantities are pretty much dependant on how many people you’re preparing the dish for and your tastes. It doesn’t matter – you can’t go wrong.

  • Fresh Fennel
  • Fresh Radishes
  • Whole almonds
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil


Toast the almonds lightly. Allow them to cool.

Use a food processor to slice up the radish and fennel.

Remove the mixture and throw the almonds  into the food processor and chop them.

Mix it all together in a bowl, add some lemon juice and oil, toss and serve. Yum!


Oct 2 12

Thai Inspired Beef Salad

by damian

This is a lovely, fresh, easy to make salad that can be the entire meal if you add some (say) rice noodles.

This recipe was brought to you by Victoria’s prompting!

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 bunch bokchoi
  • 1 large bunch coriander
  • 2 and 1/2 spring onions
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 large rump steak

Steak Marinade

Salad Dressing

  • 1/2 spring onion
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • some cider vinegar
  • splash of soy
  • 1 fresh chilli


Combine the steak marinade ingredients, coat the steak and leave it to sit for an hour or so in a glass bowl.

Wash and chop the bok choy, coriander, spring onions and cucumber and toss in a salad bowl.

Combine the dressing in a jar, screw the lid on (tightly) and shake. Taste it, and add extra vinegar and / or soy as you see fit.

Cook the marinated steak on the BBQ to your desired taste. Rare is better…

Remove the steak once it’s done and rest it, covered in al-foil for ten minutes or so.

Slice the steak thinly – about 2mm thick slices are perfect.

Toss the sliced steak over the rest of the salad, pour the dressing on and toss to combine.

Sep 19 12

Golden Syrup Pudding

by Ella

This is an amazing, sweet and sticky pudding that is perfect for a cold winter’s night with vanilla ice-cream. I found this recipe in The Age’s Sunday Life magazine and it is by Marion Grasby. If you want something with lots of sugar in it, this is perfect. The original recipe says that it feeds 6, however it easily feeds at least 8 after a decent meal.


  • 100 g butter
  • 1 cup golden syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • icing sugar, to serve
  • vanilla ice-cream, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Grease a 6-cup-capacity ovenproof dish.
  2. Place butter and 1/2 cup golden syrup in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring until combined. Remove from heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar and self-raising flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in melted butter mixture, egg and milk, and stir well until combined. Spoon mixture into greased dish.
  4. Mix remaining brown sugar and plain flour. Sprinkle this mixture over  the top of pudding.
  5. Combine boiling water and remaining golden syrup. Gently pour mixture over to of pudding and bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Scoop warm pudding into bowls, dust with icing sugar and serve with ice-cream.