2.5kg corned beef
1 large onion, studded with 6 cloves
6 peeled and sliced carrots
8 new potatoes, peeled and cubed
Some dried thyme
A bunch of parsley
2 heads of cabbage, quartered
3 tbsp prepared horseradish
Boil the beef, onion, carrots, potatoes, thyme and parsley in a large pot of water. Simmer and cook for 3 hours.
Remove sediment and the thyme, parsley and onion. Add the cabbage and simmer for a further 20 minutes or until the cabbage is cooked. Remove the meat and divide into pieces. Remove and season the cabbage heavily with black pepper.
On a large plate surround the beef with the cabbage, carrots and potatoes. Prepare the horseradish sauce by whipping the cream and adding to the horseradish.
From the Beef, Lamb Pork Recipe File
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
200ml sour cream
200g mushrooms sliced
1/4 cup sliced black olives
2 spring onions, finely sliced, including the green, about 1/4 cup
2 stalks very finely chopped celery
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup grated cheese, divided
To make the crepe batter, beat the eggs, salt, flour and milk together until smooth. This is a very thin batter, you're making crepes, not regular pancakes.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Lightly grease the base with a butter. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan and swirl it around to cover the base. Cook 1 minute. Carefully flip. Cook 1 minute. Repeat until all the batter has been used.
To make the filling:
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Spray a lasagne dish with cooking spray.
Combine the sour cream, mushrooms, olives, spring onion, celery, chicken and 1 cup of the cheese in a bowl. Mix to combine. Place a heaped tablespoon of the filling in the centre of each crepe. Fold ends over and roll up. Place in baking dish. Bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheese over the top, return to oven and bake another 10 minutes until cheese is melted and golden.
These little bite-sized morsels of cheesy goodness are great fingerfood for a party, a nice starter to a meal or the perfect nibbly to enjoy with drinks. Serve them warm with a sauce for dipping - tomato or sweet chilli are good - and watch them disappear.
Cheesy Potato Bites
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups oil to fry
1/2 tsp. paprika
Boil or steam the potatoes until fork tender.
When the potatoes are cooked, mash well, adding salt, pepper and paprika.
Drop a tablespoon of the mashed potato on your hand and make it into a shape of a ball, now press the edges so it becomes flat.
Shape it into a well shape so you can fill it in with the cheese.
When your shape is right, add a teaspoon of grated cheese and shape the potato around it to make a ball so the cheese is completely enclosed in the potato.
Heat the oil on medium heat.
Fry the potato balls until they are golden brown.
Drain on brown paper or paper towel.
From the Vegetables Recipe File
Tacos are one of my favourite quick, in a hurry, meals. They're cheap (I only use about 200g mince), healthy with loads of fresh salad and everyone loves them.
The problem is, if you use the hard taco shells, the filling falls out as you eat it, and they can go soggy.
Here's the solution, and it's so simple you'll wonder why you never thought of it.
To keep taco fillings inside their shells, line the shell with a leaf of lettuce before adding the meat and other toppings. The lettuce will stop the taco shell from going soggy and hold the filling even if the shell starts to break.
This Valentines Day say I Love You with some extra special homemade biscuits, decorated especially for Valentines Day.
Use our Bargain Bikkies recipe, you'll get around 100 decent sized biscuits from this recipe for approximately $4.00.
7 cups SR flour
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 dessertspoon vanilla essence
Cream butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Mix vanilla essence with eggs and add to butter/sugar, mixing well. Add the flour. The mixture becomes quite stiff at this stage but make sure all the flour is thoroughly mixed in.
Now comes the fun part – creating different varieties of bikkies.
Divide the dough into portions – 4 is a manageable number – and flavour each portion.
Cornflake: Take spoonfuls (tea- or dessert- depending on how big you want them) of dough, roll into balls and then roll in crushed cornflakes. I have also used the Weetbix crumbs from the bottom of the box too.
Choc Chip: Mix ½ cup choc chips through the dough. Then either roll into balls and freeze or bake, or into a log.
Thumb Prints: Roll into balls, flatten out and then poke a dent in the middle of each bikkie with your thumb. Add a dollop of red jam.
Sultana: Mix through a handful of sultanas
Sugar Cookies: Brush the tops of the biscuits with a little milk or beaten egg white and sprinkle generously with coloured sugar. To make the coloured sugar just put some sugar in a plastic bag and add food colouring, a drop at a time, massaging well into the sugar until the desired colour is reached.
Apricot & Almond: Chop a few dried apricots and add with ¼ cup chopped almonds.
Cherryripe: Add a packet of glace cherries, 1/4 cup choc bits and 2 tbsp coconut.
Coconut & Cranberry: Add 1/2 cup dessicated coconut and 1/2 cup Craisins to the mix. Roll into logs or shape into balls and flatten.
Bake in a moderate oven for 10 minutes or until golden. Watch with the choc chip variety that they don’t burn on the bottom – the chocolate melts and may catch on the tray.
Heart shaped cookie cutters will turn these biscuits into creations of love. Roll the dough out to about 5mm thick and use heart shaped cookie cutters to cut the biscuits. Kids don’t only like hearts. Let them experiment with other shapes in the cookie cutter arsenal if they want to. They can even design shapes of their own with the dough pieces that are too small to cut.
This mixture freezes really well. You can simply flash freeze the individual bikkies and then bag them, ready to bake. Or you can roll the mixture into logs and freeze. Then simply thaw a log, slice and bake.
Semi-dried tomatoes are expensive to buy, over $20 a kilo from the deli, but they are so, so simple to MOO. All you need is the tomatoes, a dehydrator or oven, some herbs and patience - the drying takes a while.
I bought tomatoes this week for just 49 cents a kilo so even with the cost of running the dehydrator to dry the seven kilos I'm way ahead, in fact I'll be able to dry the lot for less than half the price of a kilo from the deli.
To prepare your tomatoes cut them into quarters. Cut out the stem scar and any thick hard part of the core.
Use a teaspoon to carefully scrape the seeds away (if they're your own heirloom tomatoes you can save the seed to plant next year), leaving as much of the pulp as you can.
Make a herb marinade using basil, oregano, salt and garlic. I use a ratio of 1 teaspoon of each herb to 2 teaspoons of salt. Depending on the amount of tomatoes you are drying you may need to increase these quantities.
Arrange the tomato wedges cut side up on the dehydrator trays. Sprinkle a little of the herb mix over each piece of tomato. Set the dehydrator to 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees F). Follow the directions for loading the trays.
After 4 hours, use a spatula to turn the tomatoes and gently squash them down with your hand.
Dry another 4 hours. Turn again and gently squash.
Continue drying until they are done to the texture you prefer.
Pre-heat oven to 80 degrees Celsius.
Line baking sheets with silicone paper. Lay the tomato quarters cut side up on the trays. Sprinkle with herb mixture.
Place trays into oven.
Prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon.
Turn and squash after three hours.
Dry another three hours, turn and squash.
Continue drying until done to the texture you prefer - this can take up to another 3 - 4 hours.
The time it takes to dry the tomatoes will depend on the tomatoes, the humidity in the air, the efficiency of your oven or dehydrator - they won't all be ready at once.
Check them after the second round of drying, some may be ready to take out then. They are ready if they are dry and wrinkled, but still pliable, a bit like a dried apple or apricot.
Ripe tomatoes are best for this. If they are too firm, sit them on the bench for a couple of days to ripen naturally.
It is important to make sure the tomatoes are dry enough, or they will go mouldy in storage. If you're not 100% confident, then simply pack them in a sterilised jar and top with fresh olive oil. Put the lid on and keep them in the fridge. You can add a few sprigs of basil or oregano to the jar too. The herbs will flavour the tomatoes and the oil, which can be used for cooking or on salads after the tomatoes have been eaten.
Last year the kids gave me a waffle iron for Mother's Day and I love it. I'm not a gadget fan, but this is one that has been well used in the 8 months we've had it.
Waffles are so quick and easy to make, no need to buy a $4 packet of waffle mix.
We have them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert - not all at once! With fruit, syrup, ice-cream, custard, jelly, baked beans, eggs, sausages - the toppings are limited only by your imagination and pantry supplies.
1 cup SR flour
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
Mix all ingredients together, beating until smooth. Heat waffle iron. Pour 1/2 cup batter per waffle into the wafflie iron. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until waffles are golden and crisp.
I love the convenience of mixes ready to go. At the moment I have chocolate cupcakes, tea cake, sultana muffins, cranberry muffins, cream of chicken soup, taco seasoning, spaghetti seasoning, pizza dough, doughnuts, instant custard, white sauce mixes all in jars (I love them too) or ziplock bags. I print the ingredients and method either onto a label or straight onto the jar or bag with a Sharpie so anyone can take a mix and make it. Means Wayne or the children can help me with baking or meal prep without my supervision or even input.
Annabel, over at The Bluebirds are Nesting (Blue Wren in the forum) is doing a series on pantry preparedness. She posts a new topic each week and this week it was mixes.
I love mixes. They are a vital component of my pantry, my stockpile and go a long way towards helping to keep our grocery bill to $320 a month.
I can't remember the last time I bought a cake mix. Hannah bought a couple last year and made them, red velvet cupcakes if I remember correctly. We HATED them - they tasted so fake, had a horrible after-taste and left a greasy, thick feeling in our mouths. And they were expensive.
During MOO Month I shared my go-to chocolate cake mix recipe.
A few years ago I put together a small ebook of mixes, called Make Our Own….Mixes. It's one of the more popular downloads in the member's centre, having been downloaded almost 32,000 times since it was first published! That's a lot of people MOOing mixes, or with the knowledge to MOO them.
Annabel was asking for a Bisquick recipe. Bisquick isn't a common ingredient in Australian recipes, but as the Internet makes it so easy for us to find and try recipes from other countries, and as it is a popular product in the USA and Canada, knowing how to MOO it means we can try these recipes, save money on the packets and keep the nasty ingredients out.
This is my Bisquick recipe. I use it to make biscuits, scones (if we are camping, otherwise I make Lemonade Scones), crumble topping, shortcakes, pancakes, pastry, as the base in impossible pies and quiches - it's very versatile.
MOO Bisquick Mix
6 cups plain flour, sifted
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter
Step 1. Measure the sifted flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Use a wire whisk to blend thoroughly.
Step 2. Cut in cold butter using a pastry cutter until thoroughly incorporated. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 months.
This makes 6 cups of mixture. I pack it in 2 cup portions in ziplock bags in the freezer because I don't have room in the fridge.
I keep most of my mixes in the freezer. Why? Well firstly because I don't have the shelf space for them. Secondly, some of them contain butter or oil and need to at least be refrigerated.
They can be used straight from the freezer, if there are any clumps just break them up before you add the wet ingredients.
Here are two of the ways I use it.
MOO Bisquick Scones
2 cups MOO Bisquick mix
2/3 cup milk.
Mix to a dough. Gently press out to about 2cm thick. Use a glass or scone cutter dipped in flour to cut into rounds. Place on a baking paper lined scone tray. Bake at 210 degrees Celsius for 12 - 15 minutes or until risen and golden.
MOO Bisquick Banana Nut Bread
This delicious banana bread uses MOO Bisquick as a shortcut. With the addition of cream cheese and walnuts you have one of the easiest and nicest banana breads you've ever tasted.
2 cups MOO Bisquick mix
1 cup sugar
250g cream cheese, softened
3 medium bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Grease and line the base of a loaf pan. Beat sugar and cream cheese together until smooth (it's easier if you use the mixer for this step). Add in the mashed bananas and eggs, and beat until well combined. Gently stir in Bisquick and walnuts, until just moist. Spread evenly into the loaf pan and bake for one hour. Cool completely before serving.
This is a very moist banana bread, it doesn't rise to a high loaf, and it's just great for using up brown or black bananas. It also makes a great Gift in a Jar - just pack the dry ingredients in layers in a jar, add a label with the ingredients needed and the method. Add a pretty jar topper and a ribbon and it's ready to go.
Mixes are great. MOO mixes are even greater. If you haven't tried to save money, time and energy with MOO mixes, give them a go. I'm sure you'll love the convenience and the cost.
Boxed (or packet) cake mixes are convenient - to a point. You still need to add the wet ingredients, usually egg, water or milk, butter or oil, so what you're paying up to $9 for is basically flour, sugar, a rising agent, flavouring of some kind and then a whole lot of things you can't pronounce and really shouldn't be eating.
That cake mix convenience ends up costing you up to $11!
If you make a cake from scratch you'll use flour, sugar, butter or oil, milk or water, an egg or two, flavouring of some kind and if you didn't use self-raising flour, a rising agent (baking powder or bicarb soda, depending on the recipe). And your cake will cost you under $2!
Now cake mixes are supposed to be convenient time savers because you just dump the contents into the mixer, add the wet stuff and beat for 3 minutes.
If your recipe is a one-bowl mix, like the I've shared below, you do the same thing - dump all the ingredients into the mixer and beat for 3 minutes.
It may take you a minute to measure out the flour, sugar and flavourings so a from scratch cake will take you 1 or 2 minutes longer to get to the baking stage. At a saving of up to $9 a minute or two is nothing.
And they will both take about the same time to cook too, so no saving there.
If you really love cake mixes, and I confess I do, you can quite easily make your own.
When I'm baking a cake I get out a half a dozen ziplock bags and measure out the dry ingredients for 7 cakes, the one I'm baking and 6 to put in the cupboard. The bags are labelled with the type of cake the ingredients will make - chocolate, coffee, butter, sultana, cherry or whatever, a list of wet ingredients and the instructions. I do this a lot so I have marked the bags with a Sharpie. Once the mix has been used the bag is washed and dried and put away ready to use again - and the instructions are already written on it.
This is a quick chocolate cake I make into MOO Cake Mixes.
Quick Chocolate Cake
3 cups SR flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 cups cold water
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp white vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
You can double, triple, quadruple the quantities (I measure out 7 lots at a time). Put the dry ingredients into ziplock bags and seal. Label the bag and add a list of the wet ingredients and the instructions.
To make a cake add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.
One quantity will make 2 dozen cupcakes or two 20cm square cakes. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 25 - 30 minutes for 20cm cake (or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean). Bake for 12 - 15 minutes for cupcakes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cranberry Orange Nut Bread
2 cups plain flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp orange zest
3/4 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
2 tbsp melted butter
1 egg, beaten
2 cups craisins* chopped roughly
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease and flour a 9x5x3 loaf pan.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and bicarb soda into a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, melted butter, and beaten egg. Slowly add the wet ingredients into the large bowl with the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined - do not over stir. Add the craisins and the walnuts and fold in until combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand in loaf pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and let rest for several hours before serving. Makes 1 loaf.
*Craisins are dried cranberries and are available in the dried fruit aisle of your supermarket.