Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tempting Tempura

Putting a twist on the old fish and chips the Tempura way. 

For lunch today I couldn't decide what to cook for the kids. They're usually very hungry after a long day at school and the first thing they'll ask is...

                 "What's for lunch? I'm so hungry!!"

So I had some fish fillets on hand and a couple of potatoes, why not give it a Japanese theme. I knew I had a packet of tempura batter somewhere at the back of the cupboard and a few fresh shitake mushrooms, daikon, green french beans and onions to spare in the fridge. The only thing I had to come up with was the tempura dipping sauce.

Now the expert at making Tempura in the family is my dad, he'll always manage to get the batter just right and everything would look like it came straight from a japanese restuarant......but he's miles away back in Sydney. ....But that didn't stop me from calling him today just to check what his secret to successful Tempura was.... "Ice, just remember the ice!"


150 g tempura batter mix
150 ml ice cold water
handful of ice cubes
vegetable oil for deep frying

200g fish fillet, sliced
mushrooms, thickly sliced
daikon, thinly sliced
potatoes, thinly sliced
green french beans, cut in 2' lengths
onions, sliced

1. Place the tempura batter mix in a medium bowl. Pour the ice cold water into the bowl and add a couple of ice cubes. The ice cubes will keep the batter cool and this makes the batter crispy when it's deep fried. Use chopsticks to stir the mixture. It should be a slightly runny batter, not too thick. 
2. Heat the oil for deep frying. Test the batter by placing a little bit of batter.
3. Dip the ingredients one at a time in the batter. Use long cooking chopsticks for deep frying. Coat each with the batter and deep fry each ingredient until golden. Drain on paper towels. Serve the tempura while hot.

Tempura Dipping Sauce

1 tbsp dashi stock granules
2 tsbp soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
1 cup water

1. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Remove from heat and serve.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Gone Bananas

Now what do you do when you have too many bananas in the kitchen?
        You make lots of Banana Bread! It's quick to make and you can pack loads of sweet bananas into a moist, hi-fibre, healthy, full of flavour bread. 

It's one of those comfort classics that everyone has a mum or aunt making it. For me, the all time best banana bread is the one my Mama (grandmother in Chinese) makes.....
                              it is THE BEST!!! 
A beautiful golden brown banana bread that's moist and delicious......ah but I can't give you her recipe (real family secret!!!) but you try mine.....

Banana Bread

80 g butter
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 bananas, ripe, mashed
2 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
**optional 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
**optional 1/2 cup sultanas

Preheat the oven to 180C.
1. Mash the bananas in a bowl.
2. Cream the butter and brown & caster sugars. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla essence and mix well. Add the eggs. You can add the walnuts and sultanas as well.
3. In a separate bowl sift the flour,baking powder and salt. Fold in the flour mixture, alternating with the milk and stir until combined.
4. Grease a loaf tin and line it with baking paper. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for about 40-45 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave the banana bread to rest for about 5 mins before you remove the tin. Cover the bread in cling wrap and you can eat it when it has cooled. My grandmother would always cover the bread so that it would always stay moist.

Whenever I make this I would slice the bread in thick slices because a thin slice is never enough. You can also serve this like a cake by icing the top with a simple honey cream cheese frosting.

Honey Cream Cheese
125 g cream cheese, soften
1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp honey

1. Cream the cream cheese until soft. Add the icing sugar and honey and stir until its smooth. Spread the frosting on the top of the banana bread. I use the same frosting but doubled on my Carrot Cake.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Walnut, Pumpkin, Sultana Bread

There's something about freshly baked bread that just invites you to have a slice or two. Is it the aroma of that freshly baked bread that fills the whole house and takes your breath away?

It's like a trigger awaking the senses of taste and smells of comfort. Warm crusty bread, melted butter dipping, the first crunch into that crust and that soft chewy centre. 

I remember as a kid having to eat wholemeal, wholegrain and any type of brown bread because it was "good for you". It was a special treat to eat white bread without any of those nasty little wheat grains. My brother and I use to crave for the white stuff!!! 

My mum would always buy those strange looking breads, the knotted buns with poppy seeds/ toasted sesame seeds, the pull-apart breads, round breads, farmer's bread, crusty Italian breads, gourmet vegie infused breads and anything that had a seed in it....... sunflower/linseed/rolled oats/cracked corn/pumpkin/rye/barley...and anything that just didn't look like normal white bread. 

So when I was sent away to school and got to eat all that white bread. I started to really miss all those healthy breads, that simple nutty taste giving it tons of flavour. But most of all it was those memories of the breads mum use to give us as kids, and that is the comfort of home......Thanks mum for all those "it's good for you" breads. I just can't get enough of it now.

Walnut, Pumpkin, Sultana Bread

1/2 cup green pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped roughly
1 batch of Japanese Bread

1. Make up the Japanese Bread  and follow the same method. Add in the green pumpkin seeds, sultanas and walnuts and knead until the dough is smooth. It might get sticky but just add some extra flour.
2. Let the dough rinse until at least double about 40 mins - hour. Punch the dough down and knead into 4 equal balls. Roll the balls into ovals and roll it up again. Place 2 rolls into each loaf tin and repeat. Leave it to proof again for 40 mins - hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 180 C and bake for 25 mins or until it is golden brown.

*** Hint. I find if you heat the oven for about 5 mins and turn it off, it's a great place to proof the dough. Just remember not to heat it too long and cover the bowl with a damp tea towel.

Deep Fried Seafood Tofu

I'm a big fan of tofu esp; japanese tofu (egg tofu), steamed tofu, mapo tofu, and any soup with soft tofu in it. 

As a kid whenever we were at a chinese restuarant, one of my favourite dish to order was this Deep Fried Seafood Tofu. I've had it so many times but couldn't figure out how to make it, so with a little experimenting on the family this is it.

Deep Fried Seafood Tofu

2 pcs soft tofu
2 pcs egg tofu
150g prawn or fish paste (you can mince this yourself with a meat cleaver)
1 egg
2 tsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
2 tsp carrot, finely chopped
1/2 tsp chicken stock cube
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
pinch of salt
corn flour to coat the tofu
vegetable oil for deep frying

1. Mash up the soft tofu and egg tofu. Add the fish paste, egg, carrot, coriander, stock, salt & pepper. I would normally alternate between the fish and prawn paste but you can also add both. Combine it until it's smooth. For this I usually use a hand blender for a few quick pulses.
2. Prepare a greased dish for steaming. Pour the tofu mixture and spread it evenly. 
3. Heat a steaming pan and place the tofu mixture for steaming. Reduce the heat to  medium and steam for about 20 mins. Remove and cool before cutting.
4. Heat the oil in the wok for deep frying.
5. Cut the tofu in small rectangular shapes and coat them in corn flour. Coat it evenly and dip them into the oil for deep frying. Fry until it is golden brown and drain on the paper towels. Serve them with mayonnaise or sweet thai chilli. I usually serve them with thick mayonnaise. (I'm a big fan of mayonnaise and Dutch frite sauce!!)

Meat Pie on a bed of Mash

Feeling a little homesick for an Aussie Meat Pie...... 

So for tonight's dinner I dusted off the Breville pie maker and put together my version of a meat pie, which is similar to my Cottage Pie with a twist on the presentation.

It's been years since I had a meat pie, not the party pies or the mini-pies but a  real hearty pie. The last one I had was about 6 years just outside of the Capital Theatre, down at Haymarket  from Harry's Cafe De Wheels. A Harry's "Tiger" meat pie, mashie peas, mash and tons of gravy!!! ....a real touristy thing but real meat pie icon.

I clearly remember that day because it was also the day of the BIRDs, the day that Ash would remember too.....Here we were eating our pies in the park and down came this huge flock of pigeons and seagulls surrounding us, all chanting like in Nemo, "Mine, MIne, Mine"..............and till this day my daughter can't stand the sight of birds!!

Now with this recipe I also made the shortcrust pastry but you can use supermarket ones or even bread, which I sometimes do for a quick pie.

Meat Pie on a bed of Mash

300 g beef mince
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tsp worcester sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 cup water
1/4 cup red wine
2 tomatoes, chopped roughly
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced thinly and chopped
ground cracked pepper
sea salt to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add onion and garlic to saute. Add the mince meat and gently stir until browned.
2. Add the worcester sauce, soy sauce, tomato sauce, tomato puree, pepper and stir. Add the chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, peas, tomato puree, wine and water. Bring to the boil, simmer covered for about 15mins, until the tomato has soften and add salt to taste. 
3. Remove the filling and cool. You can use this meat sauce to disguise a lot of vegies for the kids and they wouldn't know it!!

Shortcrust Pastry

1 1/2 cups plain flour
90 g butter, chilled and chopped roughly
3 tbsp cold water

1. Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and add the chopped butter. Rub in the butter until is resembles breadcrumbs. 
2. Add in the cold water and knead into a ball. It might get a bit too sticky but just work it until it's smooth. Wrap it in cling wrap and place it in the fridge for 30 mins. I normally put it in a plastic kitchen bag as it's easier to handle than using a wrap.
3. Roll the dough onto a floured surface and use the pie cutters or shape it to fit the pie moulds (if you're using pie moulds in the oven).

Pie making
1. Preheat the pie maker for about 8mins or until the light switches off OR preheat oven for 180C.
2. Layer the pie moulds with the shortcrust pastry and fill with the meat filling (about 1/2 cup or more). Don't over fill the pie as it will eventually ooze out at the side!! Cover with the pastry top and seal the edges.
3. Cook in the pie maker for about 8 mins or until the top is browned. I lost my pie cookbook that can with the pie maker so i just check to see if it has browned, all depending on what pastry you use.
For the oven you can egg wash it if you like. Bake it in the oven for about 10-15mins or until it browns.
4. Serve it on a bed of mashed potatoes, topping it off with tomato sauce.

Meat Pie on a bed of Mash (I would have loved  to put mashie peas on the pies but the kids would never eat it)

Mashed Potatoes
This is one of the few cooking tips that my hubby taught me!! Microwaved mashed potatoes.

about 6-7 large potatoes, thoroughly washed and scrubbed
30 g butter
1 1/2 - 2 cups of warm milk
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 microwaveable pie dish (I use a pyrex pie dish)

1. Wash and scrub the potatoes. Prick the potatoes with a fork, making sure it's thoroughly poked. This will release the steam and won't let the potatoes explode in the microwave!!!
2. Arrange the potatoes in a microwave pie dish, cover with a microwaveable cover with a vent for 12mins on high.
3. Remove from the microwave and use a fork and knife to peel off the skin.
4. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and mash it with a potato masher or fork. Add the butter, cheese and stir. Gradually add the milk and pour as much as you need for the right texture of mash. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I would sometimes use a Desiree (red) potato and leave the skin on for a rough mash. The kids can get a little fussy over it seeing the skin but it's lots of fibre and I love the rough texture of the mash this way.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bake Off

I guess I've been a little too enthusiastic lately with baking bread but it's really Gggoood all credit to Christine's Recipes Tangzhong Method of baking. I've baked 5 loaves to date!!

Tonight I'm baking bread with a spin on the recipe with a little walnuts, green pumpkin seeds and juicy sultanas. 

There's this bakery near my hubby's office and they bake this delicious Muesli Bread so tonight I'm going to try and recreate it. Wish me luck!

...............Only obstacle with baking it tonight is Earth Hour starting at 8.30pm so hoping to get this done by then. 

Plus, I'm making Meat Pies so keep u posted later tonight.
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Friday, March 26, 2010

Paprika Chicken Wings

Just having a break from cooking today, just relaxing with the kids.

After a long hot and humid week I thought a dip in the pool would be a great way to start off the weekend. Esp. with this dry spell we seem to be going through, everything just calls out for water.

SpliSh, SplaSh around the pool always calls for a tasty snack to fill up those hungry tummies and what usually goes down with a swim for my kids is the ever ready Paprika Chicken Wings.

It's quick to put together and they'll gobble it up wanting more....that's what the little one does.

Paprika Chicken Wings

1 kg (about 12) chicken wings, drumstick and wings cut, tips removed
2/3 cup plain flour
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
vegetable oil for deep frying

1. Clean and dry the prepared chicken wings. Remove the tip and cut into drumsticks and wings.
2. Mix flour, paprika, salt and pepper into a large bowl and cover the chicken wings with mixture. Make sure all the wings are fully coated. Leave it for 10 mins.
3. Heat the oil for deep frying. Fry the wings in batches until golden brown and drain over paper towels. I normally would fry the skin side first and fry the drumsticks and wings separately so that they cook evenly.

Splish Splash .......where's the rain?

Can you believe it's been extra hot and so humid these past few days and there's only been just a sprinkle of rain to keep us cool.

When will it rain?????

...............It just isn't the same these days, the climate has changed............

And what can we do about it?

Support Earth Hour 8.30pm March 27th

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lemon Butter

Zesty, Creamy Mmmmmmmmmmmm Lemon Butter

Today's cooking is dedicated to my sister, she absolutely loves lemon butter and it's up there with her other favourites; Mint Sauce.

I was suppose to make a big batch of this when I went over to see her but just never got around to making it so I'm making this for you, Kimmy.

Lemon Butter

80 g butter
2 lemons, grated and juiced
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
2 egg yolks
1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp cornflour
1/4 cup water

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the lemon juice, rind and egg yolks and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves.
2. Mix the cornflour and water together and pour into the lemon mixture. Stir until the mixture thickens and is able to coat the back of the wooden spoon.
3. Pour the lemon butter into sterilised jars and allow to cool. Keep the lemon butter in the fridge. You can keep this for up to 2 -3 weeks and you can also use it as a lemon filling for lemon meringues, etc. I just love this on toast, it's just so simple that way.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Dinner, dinner, dinner.............tonight's dinner.

What do you want for dinner???

The quickest response for that question would always come from Tristan, hands down...

Mum, I want Lasagne!!!!

I don't think he would be able to to survive without a serving of lasagne at least 3 times a month. He simply loves it! And it's not that often where he'll gobble up every morsel of food on his plate, esp. when there are vegetables involved.

So here's my lasagne recipe, quick and easy to put together. I'd often add vegetables to this lasagne without the kids knowing, simply by chopping it up finely or just letting it cook through with the sauce.


5oo g mince meat (chicken or beef)
4oo g tin of tomato puree + 1 tin of water
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
400 g tin of whole tomatoes
OR 4 tomatoes, chopped roughly
2/3 cup of mushrooms/carrots, chopped finely
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp sweet basil
cracked black pepper
sea salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
lasagne instant sheets

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Saute the onions and garlic until soft. Add the mince meat and cook until browned. Sprinkle in the herbs. Add the tomato puree plus 1 tin of water. Add tin of whole tomatoes or chopped fresh tomatoes and other vegetables (carrot/mushroom) I'd often disguise vegetables into the lasagne as it's so easy to blend them in without the kids knowing. Stir and bring to the boil, simmer with lid on for 15 mins. The meat sauce should have plenty of sauce and the vegetable soft. Remove from heat.

Cheese Sauce
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
3o g butter
2 tbsp plain flour
2 cups of milk
salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and stir. Pour in the milk. Add the parmesan cheese and stir constantly to remove any lumps. Increase the heat to medium and cook until sauce creamy and thick. Remove from heat.

Preheat the oven to 180C.
1. Layer the meat in a rectangular baking dish first and then follow with the instant lasagne sheets. Repeat the meat layer and another lasagne sheet layer. Cover the last layer with the meat sauce mixture making sure that all the lasagne sheets are fully covered in the sauce.
2. Pour the cheese sauce over the last meat sauce layer, covering all the top. Sprinkle the cheese sauce with grated parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 mins or until the cheese sauce is golden brown.

You can either prepare this dish in a large rectangle ovenproof dish or 2 smaller ones.
Lasagne can be tricky to make but once you get the hang of getting the right amount of liquid in the sauce to cover the layers it's easy.


Gingerbread has always been a favourite of mine and now a fav with the family.

As far as I can remember my earliest memory of eating gingerbread was probably at the age of 6. Christmas time of course! It was a huge gingerbread house the size of a chubby house covered in big slabs of gingerbread, iced together with lashings of white icicles made from white frosting. The rich deep brown thick slabs of gingerbread and the smell of ginger......yum. I just wanted to pick away at that house and eat it just like Hansel & Gretel!!

Another fond memory of gingerbread that comes to mind is our first Christmas together with my hubby. He had ordered a huge gingerbread house for me and it was really a sweet gift but it took me forever to eat that house! As much as I love gingerbread it totally cured me of my craving for gingerbread for the year!

My most recent gingerbread moment was last Christmas in Sydney when I woke up early (7am) that morning to make a Gingerbread Christmas Tree . I had procrastinated the whole week leading up to Christmas promising my mum that I'd make it. Waking up early is something I don't usually do voluntary but it was really nice to have the whole house smelling like ginger and the whole family coming downstairs for breakfast with the Gingerbread Christmas Tree as the centre piece! ...That was a memorable Christmas with the fam!!!

Anyway, since that day I kept a supply of gingerbread at home esp. now that my "little trouble maker" needs a ginger fix daily!

Here's my Gingerbread recipe. I like to vary the shapes to keep it interesting.


125 g butter, soften
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 cup plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup golden syrup

Icing (optional)
1 egg white
1 1/2 cup pure icing sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 180C.
1. Beat the butter & sugar until light and creamy.
2. Add egg yolk and beat until combined.
3 Sift the dry ingredients and stir into the butter mixture with the golden syrup.
4. Mix into a light dough and knead gently onto a lightly floured surface.
5. To shape the gingerbread you can either roll the dough in between 2 sheets of baking paper or hand shape it. The dough should be roughly 3 - 5mm in thickness for biscuit cutting. For a quicker way to shape the gingerbread I would smooth out a handful into my palm and use a flour biscuit cutter to cut out the shape rather than on the floured surface. The dough can be very sticky so be careful when using the rolled out method and remember the flour the biscuit cutter before you cut. You can use a variety of biscuit cutter so to make it interesting.
6. Bake for 8 -10 mins until lightly brown. The gingerbread should be soft and chewy.

Japanese Style Bread (Tangzhong Method)

Over the recent holidays I really got into this really simple and delicious bread using this method of bread making called Tangzhong method.

I actually came across this recipe posted by Christine's Recipes Japanese Style Bacon and Cheese Bread last Christmas but never thought about making as I've always thought bread making was just too difficult. All that work for a loaf of bread but nothing beats the aroma of freshly baked bread....MMMmmmmm

Since my first adventure with bread making, I've just about made as many variations I could think of that the family would eat but there's so much more to bake. So anyway thanks to Christine for posting this recipe it's now a family fav!!

My first attempt at this recipe was the Bacon and Cheese Bread but I replaced the bacon with Turkey Ham. It was really easy and it was finished up in no time. The other variations I tried out was Cheddar Cheese, Cinnamon Sugar and Chocolate.

.................Try it!!!

Japanese Style Bread (Tangzhong Method)

Tangzhong Starter50 g plain flour
250 ml milk
1.Mix flour and water till it is smooth in a small saucepan. Stir it constantly with a wooden spoon over medium heat and so that it doesn't stick or burn the pan. 

2. The mixture will get thicker and you'll see lines appearing in the mixture for every stir you make.  The mixture is ready at this point and you will have the 65°C TangZhong.
3. Transfer the hot Tangzhong into a bowl and cover it with cling wrap making sure that it touches the surface of the mixture to prevent it from drying up. Cool the mixture to room temperature before using it. You can also refrigerate it and use for another day but it should be used within 3 days. I would normally chill it for about 30 mins before I use it.Discard the mixture if it changes colour.

Japanese Style Bread
400g plain flour, extra flour
Tangzhong starter
125ml milk, warm
1/2 tsp salt
50g sugar

1 egg
5 tsp dry yeast
50g butter, soften

Chopped ham and cheddar cheese

1. Place ingredients in a bowl and make a well, adding the tangzhong starter, egg, milk and butter and knead until it forms a dough. The dough can get really sticky so add extra flour and knead the dough until it is smooth but not elastic.
2. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel until it doubles in bulk or for about 40 mins - 1 hr. I would normally preheat the oven at 180C for about 4 mins and turn off the heat and use the oven to proof the dough.
3. Punch down the bread dough when it has doubled in bulk and knead into 4 equal portions. Cover the dough with cling wrap and let it rest for 15 mins.
4.Shape and roll out the dough into ovals. Sprinkle the fillings and place it seal side down into 2 greased loaf tins for another 40 mins - 1 hr or until dough is double in size.
5. Preheat the oven to 180C and bake for 25 to 30mins.
Remove bread from the tins and cool on rack.

The best thing about this recipe is that you can vary the fillings and shape of the bread. You can also form the bread into buns and bake on a tray.

Japanese Style Bacon and Cheese Bread (Tangzhong Method 湯種法) - Christine's Recipes: Easy Chinese Recipes

Lost & Found

You know when u have "lost" something and u thought u saw it just the other day moments.

Well, I spent the better half of this morning looking for Jacob's red shoe. I remember him playing with it the other night and making the mental note to put it away, but of course I forgot. So now I had only one shoe.

...................Oh how very frustrating!!!!

So, anyway I turned up the toy boxes looking for it looking high and low for this stupid shoe. Sweating and crazy obsessed with finding this shoe. Jacob must have thought I was playing with him, having seen me going pulling out all his toys from his toy boxes.

And of course it was in the most obvious place any 15 month would put it........... tv cabinet!!!!

.........Aaarrgggghhhh!!!! mummy moment

I'm now looking for Tristan's dictionary

Am I getting forgetful again???

Roasted Lemon Garlic Chicken

I love the taste and smell of lemon in any dish, it just gives a fresh twist with the all the citrus flavours. So for today's challenge while I was out picking up my kids from school I managed to pop into the supermarket and pick up some lemons, which I had originally intended to make lemon butter. (for tomorrow's recipe!)

Instead of making lemon butter I used the lemons for this simple roasted chicken dish with a twist of lemon and a dash of cayenne pepper. I would normally roast chicken the same way, layering the chicken on a bed of sliced onions and roasted garlic and pureeing the roasting juices to give it a thick gravy and just varying the marinade and herbs.

Roasted Lemon Garlic Chicken

4 chicken thighs
1 lemon, juiced and sliced
1 medium onion, sliced thickly
1/2 whole garlic, leave in the skin for roasting
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup dry white wine/ dry sherry
30 g butter, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
dash cayenne pepper

Preheat oven 180C.
1. Wash and dry the chicken. Cut the chicken thigh at the drumstick joint but not completely. Slit slightly on the drumstick and thigh.
2. Juice and slice the lemon. Arrange the sliced onion, garlic and lemon into the centre of the roasting tray.
3. Arrange the chicken on the bed of onion, garlic and lemon. Pour the lemon juice on the chicken and sprinkle the cracked black pepper, salt and cayenne pepper on the chicken. Scatter the butter around the chicken.
4. Pour the chicken stock and wine around the chicken. Bake the chicken for 35min or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and browned.
5. Remove the chicken from the oven and arrange in a casserole dish. Remove the slices of lemon. Remove the garlic skin and squeeze the roasted garlic and remaining pan juices into a pan. Using a hand blender puree the pan juices, onion and garlic. Reduce the pureed juices at medium heat and reduce till it thickens. Pour around the chicken pieces.

*Serve with rice. The roasted lemon garlic sauce can also be used as a salad dressing.

Chocolate Chip

One of my kids fav biscuit recipes is this yummy and easy Chocolate Chip.

For a long time I've always tried to bake biscuits for the kids rather than buy them. Something natural and simple has always been the key to the biscuit recipe, and of course easy to bake.

I like to get the kids involved with baking because it gives them something creative and gives them an opportunity to make something in the kitchen which they wouldn't normally get to do.

So during the holidays last week, Ash and her cousins made a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies which they made on their own with a little helping hand from mum. That batch didn't last long so today, straight after school Ash pretty much made her first batch of biscuits on her own and this is the recipe for those yummy Choc Chips.

Chocolate Chip Biscuits

150 g butter
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed firmly
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2oo g chocolate chips or darking chocolate roughly chopped
1/2 cup desiccated coconut

Preheat the oven to moderate 180C.
1. Beat the butter, sugars and yolk until light and creamy. Add the vanilla essence, combine well. Whenever I make biscuits I would normally just use a wooden spoon to cream the butter it's a bit more work but you can always use an electric mixer if you like.
2.Gradually add the flour, baking powder, desiccated coconut and the chocolate, stirring all ingredients until combined into a soft dough.
3. Shape the biscuits using your fingers, about a tablespoon of the mixture into a rough ball. I've never really liked well formed, uniform shaped biscuits so the roughly shaped biscuits are my fav and the best because the always give that homemade look.
4. Arrange the biscuits on a tray leaving room for the biscuits to expand. Bake for 15 mins or until lightly brown. Cool the biscuits on the trays. This biscuit is crisp but if you like a more chewy biscuit you can bake the biscuit for about 12 mins. * The tray doesn't normally have to be prepared with baking paper but you can if you like.

* You can store these biscuits in an airtight container and it should keep for about a week.


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