This is such a tasty dip, easy to make, inexpensive, quick and versatile!
Use it as a dip with veggie sticks or pita chips. Spread it on bread instead of butter or mayo. Add it to a salad plate. Or just eat it off the spoon!
3 cups cooked chickpeas (or use 2 cans, rinsed and drained)
5 - 6 garlic cloves, minced
3 spring onions, finely minced
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp soy sauce
salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
Put all ingredients in a food processor or blender and purée. You can cut down the garlic if you don't like it as strong. Serve as a dip or sandwich spread.
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
Before you fill your cupboards with bulk items, you may want to review the average "life" of those products you are considering purchasing. Ask yourself if you have adequate storage space, freezer space, and how much your family enjoys the products you are purchasing. This is a list of the average life of some common pantry and fridge/freezer foods.
Meat & Poultry - Uncooked:
Chicken/Turkey - 9 months
Steaks, beef - 6 to 12 months
Chops, pork - 4 to 6 months
Chops, lamb - 6 to 9 months
Roasts, beef - 6 to 12 months
Roasts, lamb - 6 to 9 months
Roasts, pork and veal - 4 to 6 months
Stew Meats - 3 to 4 months
Ground meats - 3 to 4 months
Organ meats - 3 to 4 months
Butter/margarine - 6-9 months
Cheese, soft and spreads, dips - 1 months
Cheese, hard or semi-hard - 6 months
Eggs in shell- Do not freeze
Ice cream - 1 months
Milk / Cream- 3 weeks
Dried Food Items - Shelf Life:
Baking powder/bi-carb soda - 18 months
Bread Crumbs - 6 months
Cereals - 6 months
Flour/cake mixes - 1 year
Gelatin/pudding mixes - 1 year
Herbs/spices - 6-12 months
Milk, nonfat dry - 6 months
Pancake/pastry mixes - 6 months
Pasta/noodles - 2 years
Potatoes, instant - 18 months
Rice, white - 2 years
Sugar, white - 2 years
Sugar, brown, - 4 months
From Debt Free, Cashed Up and Laughing
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
This is a recipe from my mother's recipe book. It was originally in pints and ounces, I converted the measurements to metric when I started making it. It really is as easy as mix and let it steep. I like it because it doesn't have the traditional anchovies in it, but still has a good bite. The longer the sauce matures the hotter it becomes.
2 L vinegar
30g chopped garlic
30g cayenne pepper
30g whole cloves
1 tin treacle
2 large lemons
Mix all ingredients together in a plastic bucket and stir to dissolve salt. Chop the 2 lemons and add to the mixture (skin and all). Cover with a tea towel or a cheesecloth. Stir daily for 6 days. Strain and bottle. Leave at least two weeks in a cool, dark cupboard to mature.
I use the glass 3 litre Ocean Spray cranberry juice bottles to store the sauce and decant into a smaller bottle for kitchen use.
This sauce just improves with age - the longer you leave it, the better it gets.
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.