A Family Favourite

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**This post has been updated from 2016 in December 2020.  I have made a couple of amendments to correct errors in the recipe and added photos taken today while making this dish in preparation for our Christmas holiday menu.**

As promised yesterday, here is the recipe for cold curried chicken.

Cold Curried Chicken

3 – 4 chicken breast fillets (around 800g)
1 onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons butter
6 teaspoons curry powder (adjust for personal taste as required)
3 – 4 tablespoons flour
900ml chicken stock
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons red currant jelly
150ml cream
Salt and pepper

Cold cooked rice
French dressing

Steam the chicken and shred into bite-sized pieces.  

Melt butter, add onion and cook until soft.  Add curry powder and cook for 5 minutes.  Add flour and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes. 

Gradually add the stock and stir until blended well.  Bring to the boil while stirring then simmer gently for 10 minutes.  Blend until smooth.

Add lemon juice and red currant jelly.  Mix well and allow to cool.  Stir in cream and season to taste. 

Combine the chicken and curry sauce in a shallow dish and chill before serving. 

Toss the rice in a little French dressing before serving.

I have successfully made this gluten-free by using gluten free flour to thicken it.  You may need a bit more flour if using gluten free.  I also substituted evaporated skim milk instead of the cream.  You can make your own evaporated milk using equal parts of milk powder and water.  If you want it a bit creamier just add more milk powder.

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.

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Friday Favourites – Mango & Avocado Salad

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This week I want to share what is probably my favourite salad.  The recipe for this Mango and Avocado salad came from the Women’s Weekly BBQ cookbook which was published about 20 years ago.  My copy of the book has disappeared in the intervening years but I make it pretty well as it was in the book apart from the dressing.  The finished salad looks appealing and has a combination of textures.


Lettuce leaves
1 large avocado
1 large mango
2 – 3 rashers shortcut bacon
¼  cup walnuts

Spread the lettuce leaves on a large platter.  Slice the avocado and mango.  Lay the slices over the lettuce.  Dice and dry-fry the bacon until crisp.  Allow to cool and sprinkle over the salad.  Chop the walnuts and sprinkle on the salad.


100g natural yoghurt
1 teaspoon French mustard
1 dessertspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine the ingredients.  Add a little milk if necessary to make it a pouring consistency.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad immediately prior to serving.


Since I no longer have the book I cannot be certain of the original.  I know the dressing was based on cream and quite rich so I changed mine to suit our tastes.  I have also used pecan nuts which make a nice change from the walnuts.  Canned mango may be used if you do not have access to fresh mango.  Young loose-leaf lettuce is best but is you are using larger leaves you can roughly tear them into smaller pieces.

2011-12-09 01Here is the salad without the dressing or the walnuts.  Some of the dinner guests have food intolerance issues so I just serve the chopped nuts in a small side bowl to be added as desired.  I usually drizzle the dressing over the salad at the last minute or it tends to become soggy.

This salad has become a firm favourite with our family and friends and I hope you have an opportunity to try it out.

Introducing Friday Favourites – Best Banana Cake


Today is the beginning of a new feature, ‘Friday Favourites’ where I will share one of my favourite recipes.  I hope to include a photo as well as the hints, tips, variations and shortcuts that are what makes a ‘tried and true’ recipe so appealing.

How often have you made a recipe that simply does not live up to the description or the photo which attracted you to it in the first place?  Here is an opportunity to bypass the less than stellar successes.

Streamline and simplify your cooking and recipes, then you will be more inclined to cook.  Remember the line, “whip up a batch of scones”?  It was what women of my grandmother’s generation could do when company was imminent.  The recipe and method were simple, ingredients always to hand and they knew the recipe off by heart.  I do not pretend to be able to make scones so I will stick to what I can do well.

It seems that there as many banana cake recipes as there are people in the world and I feel as though I have tried most of them.  In my opinion this one is as good as you will get.


1/3 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed banana (2-3 bananas, depending on size)
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup milk

Beat oil and sugar until smooth.  Add beaten eggs, one at a time then beat in mashed banana and vanilla.  Sift flour and combine dry ingredients, add alternately with the milk and stir until mixed well.  Pour into a greased, lined loaf tin.  Bake at 180 degrees for 45 mins or until an inserted skewer comes out cleanly.

That is the recipe, now for the reality.

This is a great recipe and it can be made using 2 utensils – a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon.

I do not sift the flour – in fact I do not own a sifter!

I use 1/8 cup of skim milk powder mixed with the dry ingredients and add ½ cup of water in lieu of the milk.

The eggs are not pre-beaten before I add them at the same time.

I use an empty butter wrapper to line the base a halfway up the side of the tin.  I keep used wrappers in the refrigerator specifically for lining cake tins.

The cake may be iced with your choice of frosting but it is just as nice plain.  I slice and freeze the cake in a container in the freezer.  Individual slices can easily be removed for snacks or packed lunches.

Enjoy and have great weekend.