Pizza Bases


Since I was at home today I took advantage of the extra time and made tortillas to use as pizza bases.  I found the recipe on Simple Savings and it is very simple.

2.5 cups of flour (I used 1/2  white and 1/2 wholemeal)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons oil
3/4 cup warm water (I used slightly more – probably due to the wholemeal flour)

2012-05-03 01Mix ingredients in food processer until combined.  Knead dough for 5 minutes then leave to rest for 15 minutes.  Divide into about 10 pieces and roll out thinly.  Cook in a hot pan and set aside when cooked.  Keep covered with a damp teatowel.

2012-05-03 02Here they are ready to use for pizza bases.

2012-05-03 03I was happy with the result and the pizzas were a success.  Unfortunately we were too busy preparing and eating the pizzas to stop and take photos.  Maybe another day I will remember.  We used 2 tortillas and the rest are in the freezer for another time.

Friday Favourites – Lemon Tart

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I mentioned yesterday that ‘Friday Favourites’ will only appear when there is something really special that I want to share.  This is one such recipe.

2012-04-27 01LEMON TART

1 quantity of sweet pastry.  See this previous post about making pastry, the sweet pastry recipe is towards the bottom of the page.


2 eggs
2 lemons
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 dessertspoon butter

Separate the eggs.  Beat the egg yolks, water, juice and ring of the lemons.  Place mixture in a saucepan with the sugar and flours.  Blend carefully over a low heat until the mixture boils and thickens.  Remove from the heat.  Beat in the butter and allow to cool.  Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture.  Spoon the mixture into the tart shell and sprinkle with coconut.  Chill.

Serve with ice-cream or cream.

NOTES:  You will have an egg white left from the pastry if you use my recipe so I usually add it to the other egg whites so I get a bit more to mix into the tart.

Filling The Freezer


I spent yesterday afternoon in the kitchen and here are some of the results.

A batch of pastry used to make 12 mini meat pies

and 3 meal-sized pies (pastry tops only)

Trifle – using leftover sponge from when I made a Dorothy the Dinosaur cake 6 months ago.

Zucchini and carrot quiche – to use up some of the eggs we have in abundance.

Banana cake – more eggs

Lemon Delicious – eggs and lemons

It makes good economic sense do do a batch of baking while the oven is turned on.

I also made refried beans in the slow-cooker, lasagne sheets (more eggs),  spreadable butter, chopped up chillies to dehydrate them and picked 2 kg of cherry tomatoes from the neighbour’s garden.  They are now frozen waiting for me to have time to make tomato sauce.

The freezers are full and we have plenty of food for the days when I don’t have the time or energy to cook a meal from scratch.  Do you do a big cook-up in one go?

Friday Favourites – Date & Ginger Loaf


This is my variation on a gingerbread recipe I have had for years.  It is a soft, cake-like gingerbread, not hard, biscuit-style gingerbread.  The recipe came from my mother but I do not know any more about the origin of it.


1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup treacle
1 cup hot water
2 and 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped dates

Cream the butter and sugar, add egg and beat well.  Combine water and treacle.  Combine all of the remaining ingredients except the dates.  Add the treacle mixture alternately with the dry ingredients.  Finally, mix in the dates.  Pour into a greased, lined tin.  Bake at 170 degrees for 45 – 55 minutes.

2012-02-10 02The original recipe did not have the dates in it.  This is a versatile cake as it can be served as a dessert  with custard, sweet white sauce or caramel sauce.  It is also makes a nice cake for morning tea.  I usually slice it and add to our packed lunches.

2012-02-10 03

A Chilli Kind of Day

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I went down to the garden this morning to pick the bell chillies. Here they are ready for me to slice and de-seed them.

2012-02-04 01While I was picking them I noticed the other chilli bush which I call Birdseye chillies.  I have never picked or used them as I am sure they would be too hot.  The bush looks pretty in the garden, especially as the chillies ripen.

2012-02-04 02Here is the bush after I had picked most of the red ones.  I decided to check Google and see if I could make Tabasco sauce as I knew I was getting to the point where I would need to buy some more.  Sure enough, there are dozens of recipes on the internet so I decided to try it.  From the photos I saw on the internet my bush is what are called tabasco chillies in the USA.

First I covered my hands with a couple of bread bags and secured them with rubber bands.

2012-02-04 03Then I set to work.

2012-02-04 04Here are 4 trays of sliced and de-seeded bell chillies ready to go in the dehydrator.  Once they are dried I will be grinding them to make chilli powder.

I adapted a couple of recipes I found for the tabasco sauce and this is my version.


150g of hot chillies
2/3 cup white vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup white vinegar, extra

2012-02-04 05Chop the chillies (including seeds) roughly (I actually put them in whole), place in a small saucepan with vinegar and salt.  Bring to the boil, simmer gently for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Blend until smooth.  Add another 2/3 cup vinegar and combine.  Press through a fine strainer.  Discard the residue.  Pour liquid into sterilised bottles.  Store for 2 weeks before use.

2012-02-04 06WARNING:  THIS IS VERY HOT!!

Friday Favourites – Tuna Patties


I posted a comment on this post at Frugal Downunder this morning and promised that I would do my Tuna Pattie recipe for Friday Favourites this week


425g can of tuna
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
2 large potatoes, cooked and mashed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Black pepper

Drain and flake the tuna.  Place in a bowl with other ingredients and combine thoroughly.  Form into patties, dust lightly with flour and fry in a little oil.

Drain and serve with salad or steamed vegetables.


I have tried all sorts of variations when making these patties but find that the combination of potato and rice provides the best binding agent.

I use arborio rice but any shortgrain rice which is well-cooked should work.  Do not add any milk or butter when mashing the potatoes.  The quantities are fairly flexible depending on how far you are trying stretch a tin of tuna.

I freeze these patties and they make a quick and easy meal when you are pushed for time.

You can vary them by using salmon or any freshly cooked fish.  I have made them using leftover poached salmon and they were really delicious.  Seasoning can be adjusted to suit – I have used lime juice, celery salt and French mustard at various times.  You are limited only by your imagination.

I do not have any photos to go along with this post but I do hope you are inspired to experiment with this very basic recipe.

Make Your Own Pasta


I have finally set some time aside to try out my pasta maker.  It is an attachment for my Kitchen Aid.  Here are some photos from my effort on Sunday afternoon.

2012-01-31 01The mixer with flat blade

2012-01-31 02Ingredients – flour, salt, eggs, water

2012-01-31 03Pasta roller

2012-01-31 04

Spaghetti cutter

2012-01-31 05Lasagne sheets – cut, floured and packaged for freezing.

2012-01-31 06Spaghetti – dried, coiled into a nest and ready to refrigerate or freeze.

I also made fettucine which we had for dinner that night.  I don’t think I will ever buy dried pasta again.I am very pleased with the results of my first attempt and am looking forward to experimenting with different flours and flavourings.

This is another food that I have complete control over the ingredients.  I have also eliminated more packaging from our lives.

Friday Favourites – Savoury Quiche


At the risk of sounding monotonous, here is another quiche recipe.  I use different fillings depending on what is available but the principle remains the same.



1 quantity of shortcrust pastry.  The recipe is here.  I use a 25cm (10 inch) quiche dish and this is more pastry than I need.  You can freeze the excess or use it and make something else while the oven is turned on for the quiche.


4 eggs
Cream/milk/milk powder/evaporated milk
1/2 cup grated cheese
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 rashers shortcut bacon, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
Free choice – could be asparagus, mushrooms, corn kernels, spinach, tomato slices

Lightly fry the bacon and onion.  Spread mixture over the base of the quiche.  Add whatever other filling ingredients you choose and top with the grated cheese.  Beat the eggs with milk and or cream.  I usually use milk powder and water mixed in equal proportions to make a slightly richer mixture.  Add the cayenne pepper.  Pour over the filling until it is within about 1cm of the top of the pastry shell.  Bake in 180 degree oven for about 40 minutes.

2012-01-27 01

I did not get an opportunity to photograph the finished product before dinner last night so here is what is left.  I have cut it into portions to freeze.  We will then have it in our lunches next week.

I love recipes like this that allow for a degree of flexibility depending on the available ingredients.  It is a great way to use up a few sad vegies from the crisper.

Friday Favourites – Zucchini Quiche


A friend gave this recipe to me nearly 30 years ago.  It seems to be commonplace now but at the time it was a real novelty.  I use it for main meals, packed lunches and finger food depending on the the serving size of the pieces.  The ability to serve it either hot or cold just adds to the versatility.


350-400g zucchini, grated
1 cup grated cheese
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup self-raising flour
¼ cup oil
5 eggs
Black pepper for seasoning

2012-01-20 01
Place all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and combine.  Spread in an ovenproof dish and bake for approximately 45 minutes at 180 degrees.

2012-01-20 02

2012-01-20 03
I love this recipe for several reasons.  It allows me to make use of the things we produce – eggs, zucchini and onion.  The recipe is one of the most forgiving and versatile ones I have come across.  At various times I have used 1 less egg, substituted milk for 1/2 of the oil, used up to 100 g more or less of zucchini, substituted half of the zucchini for other vegetables such as grated carrot, diced capsicum or corn kernels.  The results may not be perfect but it is definitely edible.

The quiche is usually served with salad here, but the options are almost endless.

2012-01-20 04
I am pleased to say that all of the salad is home-grown except for the capsicum.  The eggs, zucchini and onion are also home-grown and even the oil I used is local avocado oil.

Please let me know if you are inspired to try this recipe if you are not already familiar with it.  I trust that you will enjoy the results as much as we do.

NOTE:  To make this gluten-free, I use gluten-free flour and add 2 teaspoons of baking powder.

Friday Favourites – Choc Nut Fruit Mince Truffles

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This recipe is not a favourite of long-standing but I have made it previously at Christmas and it was a big hit.  So here is a special Christmas treat.  This is from the Woolworths free ‘Fresh’ magazine, December 2009.


1+1/4 cups raw sugar
3/4 cup marmalade
3 large oranges, rind finely grated and 1 cup juice
2 large lemons, rind finely grated and 1/3 cup juice
50ml Cointreau (optional)
375g sultanas
300g prunes, finely chopped
300g pitted dates, finely chopped
200g glace cherries chopped

1. Combine sugar, marmalade, orange rind and juice and Cointreau in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to the boil.
2. Add chopped fruit and stir until well combined. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often for 8-10 minutes or until plump. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
4. Spoon fruit mince into sterilised jars.



As the original recipe states, the Cointreau is optional.  I do not use it.  I also just store the mixture in a container in the refrigerator.  It has lasted perfectly well for 4 months that way.

Once the fruit mince is made you can use it in any way you would normally use fruit mince.  The mixture is very rich and quite sticky so if you were making fruit mince pies I would add grated apple to the mix.  Stewed apple would be another option.  I may try that as I have lots of stewed apple in the freezer.

Today, I used the mixture to make the Choc Nut Fruit Mince Truffles.


375g dark cooking chocolate
80g butter, cubed
1 cup prepared fruit mince (from recipe above)
1/2 cup almond kernels, finely chopped
cocoa, for coating
chocolate sprinkles, for coating


1. Break chocolate into pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until smooth. Remove bowl from heat. Slowly add butter, 1 cube at a time, until well combined and smooth. Add fruit mince and nuts. Stir to combine. Cover bowl and place in refrigerator for 1 hour or until mixture is firm.
2. Roll 2 teaspoons of mixture into balls. Roll balls in cocoa or chocolate sprinkles to coat. Place onto a large plate. Cover and refrigerate until firm.



200g milk chocolate
50g butter, cubed
1 cup prepared fruit mince (from recipe above)
1 cup almond kernels, finely chopped
1/2 cup coconut
Extra coconut, for coating

As you can see, I have changed this recipe quite a bit.  The amounts of chocolate and butter are reduced, nuts increased and coconut added.  I found that the mixture was much too chocolatey for my liking and too liquid to roll.  If you use the quantities from the original recipe they could be dropped from a teaspoon onto a tray in random shapes.  It is entirely a matter of choice.

I use milk chocolate and roll the balls in coconut.  They are ideal to freeze and you can remove as few or as many as you need at any time.  The quantities in my recipe made 32 balls.

These balls are quite rich so do not make them too big.  They make a great festive gift in a pretty jar or wrapped in cellophane.  If you have them in the freezer, they an easy offering if you are taking a shared plate of sweet treats to a function.