Some Salads

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I am currently sifting through some old blog notes and recipes that have not previously seen the light of day.

I will post them here as I think they are worth remembering for the coming months as the weather heats up.


1 chicken breast fillet (steamed and shredded)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (chopped)
2 tablespoons walnuts (chopped)

Combine the ingredients and dress with mayonnaise.  Chill.

Serve with other salad as desired.


Lebanese cucumber (thinly sliced)
Onion (thinly sliced and separated into rings)
Good quality salt (I use Himalayan pink)

Layer the cucumber and onion rings in a shallow dish, adding a fine sprinkle of salt to each layer.  Chill and allow to stand for about an hour before serving.

I do not have a photo of this very simple, yet tasty, salad.

PEAR SALAD (Serves 2)

1/2 pear, cored and sliced thinly
Small stick of celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal
6 walnuts, chopped
Parmesan cheese, shaved
30ml lemon juice           }
5ml balsamic vinegar   } – Dressing
5ml olive oil                     }

Arrange the pear, celery and walnuts on the plate.  Combine dressing ingredients and drizzle over salad.  Top with shreds of parmesan cheese.

Here it is served with grilled salmon and coleslaw.

It is useful to have a selection of simple, appetising dishes for when the weather is hot and inspiration for meal preparation is often lacking.

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 – 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.