Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Another quick dinner recipe

Here's another quick weekday dinner that makes a decent lunch reheated.

In a baking dish, I put a can each of black beans, lentils and cannellini beans. (I really wanted chick peas but didn't have any in the cupboard.) Add two cans of crushed tomatoes. I also added a chopped onion and a couple of diced bacon rashers as they were hanging around in the fridge looking lonely.

I added some crushed garlic, it's optional. I used a couple of cloves from this one below. It's cold smoked, looks terribly gourmet, was a bit expensive and I wish you could smell it through the internet because it's amazing! Unfortunately, a bit like my smoked chicken adventure, once you get past the fragrant outer layers, inside, well, it's pretty much just regular garlic :(

Anyway.... the real key ingredient is this one below - sweet smoked paprika. Don't be shy with it! 

Give it all a stir. I then wrapped some chicken thighs with prosciutto (you could use regular bacon - again, it's just what was in the fridge...), nestled them into the beans, sprinkled some more paprika over the top, covered with foil and banged it in the oven at the usual 180C.

I probably should have taken the foil off and browned the prosciutto a bit, but I was working and forgot and then everyone was hungry so we just ate it. It doesn't look overly pretty, but it's really tasty -  smokey and yum! -  filling and on the healthy side.


Sunday, 23 October 2016

Mother of the Year

A friend's young adult daughter recently sustained an ankle injury that required a trip to casualty and an x-ray.

Gee, said the doctor looking at the results, when did you last break your ankle?
I haven't, replied the daughter, somewhat bewildered. You actual have, said the doctor, I can see it on the image.

Needless to say, my friend was aghast to think her daughter, at some stage in her childhood, had suffered a fracture and she'd failed to notice. She said she felt terrible.

Oh goodness, I said, I'll raise you!

When Elle was about three, back in days before everyone was so litigious, games like 'Stacks On' where completely acceptable at creche. That when for entertainment, the kids literally jump on top of each other and make a big pile - go figure why that's fun but they all thought it was hilarious. During one game, Elle was launched upon by a much bigger 5 year old and complained for days about a sore shoulder.

You may recall that Drink a glass of water is my panacea for all things wrong with the kids, but after a few days of continual complaining, occasional weeping and no apparent improvement, I felt a trip to GP was finally warranted. He send us straight to the sports medicine centre for an x-ray which confirmed she had broken her collar bone. Whoops.

Anyhoo.... on the upside, there is no treatment for a three-year old with a broken collar bone. The GP made her a sling (he assured me it was more for psychological benefits than anything else) and on we went.

The difference between my friend's daughter and Elle is that she had no recollection of even a mumble about a sire ankle - I think I win!

Friday, 14 October 2016


Our household loves a bit of 'rat' as we call it. It's an excellent way to painlessly boost everyone's veggie intake, leftovers can be eaten cold or reheated for lunch and it's dead simple. What's not to love?

Like much of my cooking, the 'recipe' is quite free-range, but I"m sure you'll get the drift, catch what I'm throwing or even smell what I'm cooking!

Here goes:

Chop the following into similar sized pieces (helps them cook evenly)
  • 4 mid-sized eggplants 
  • About 4 zucchini
  • About 4 red capsicums
  • Button mushrooms (or not if you don't like mushrooms)
  • 3 or 4 onions - I quite like the red Spanish ones for this but brown will do as well
  • You can also throw in some rosemary sprigs and cracked black pepper (I don't use salt)
I try and keep everything touching the baking dish's base and give the pieces some space so they get well roasted, browned and a bit crispy, so spread them over two trays. If they're too crowded they can steam and be a bit soggy. 

Douse liberally with olive oil and throw in the over at 180C; fan forced if you're in a hurry. After about half an hour, give them a toss to get the other side browned. I actually don't know how long it take but allow an hour and just look at them when you think to!

The veggies all shrink a bit so once they're done you can throw them all into one dish. Add a couple of cans of chopped tomatoes and torn fresh basil or oregano leaves if you like them and they're around. I add black olives and occasionally even some capers if I'm feeling so inclined. These all give plenty of saltiness so you probably don't need to add any. (You can add feta to the cold leftovers for lunch too, which is pretty yum.)

Throw it back into the oven to get it hot again (the tomatoes cool it down) and it's ready to go!

Have it with steak, baked chicken breast, salmon - even snags, You could serve some green beans as well if you wanted - and dinner's done!

The Moroccan Bath

The girls and I have come up to Dubai for a few days to escape the Melbourne winter. It's in the 40s so we've thawed out - quickly. ...