Tag Archives: food

Sufferin’ succotash, we’re eating succotash!

When I saw the recipe for Bacon-wrapped chicken with succotash I immediately thought of watching Looney Tunes as a child and Sylvester spluttering all over the place “Sufferin’ Succotash”.

Succotash is no meal to suffer over though.

It’s a frugal combination of beans, corn and bacon brought together with a dash of cream.

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For a quick, tasty, mid-week dinner you can’t go past this recipe. And if you’re like me, you’ll probably find most of the ingredients already in your pantry or fridge.

Enjoy!

X Bree

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Filed under April, easy, family friendly

Good riddance April!

Oh me, oh my. Thank goodness April is over. What a month.

I have to confess. I really struggled to stay motivated this month. REALLY struggled. Fussy kids and unappreciative husbands nearly made me want to quit. It made me think “why? why? why?”

The other thing that I was overwhelmed by was my need to cook every single cover recipe. What was I thinking when I set that as a ground rule? This month I was good – I didn’t leave them all to the last two days. But I was totally overwhelmed by all the chocolate. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE chocolate as much as the next person. But out of the twelve April cover recipes to cook, nine were sweets and eight of those included chocolate (the other one was caramel). Blah!

Here’s a little secret. I’ve taken to halving the dessert recipes. Why? Because the cover recipes are often so decadent (cream, chocolate, sugar etc) and I am very conscious of only consuming these types of things in small quantities. Otherwise my hips and my health can’t handle it! They also often have a very short shelf life and as a family, we just can’t get through them quick enough, even after sharing the leftovers with our extended family.

And here’s a confession. I actually didn’t cook all twelve covers this month! I know. I know. What a disappointment. But I really couldn’t bring myself to do it. (I only skipped one) Please forgive me? It won’t happen again…

Here's the cover I skipped this month...

Here’s the cover I skipped this month…

On to the fussy kid saga…

Pretty much every night B4 asks me “what’s for dinner?” His usual response is either tears, or hysteria, or running screaming from the room, or a combination of the three. It turns out he’s more of a meat and no veg kind of guy. Like that is ok… Yes, there are nights that he goes to bed hungry.

After more than my fair share of these shenanigans this month, I took him aside one night and asked him what he really wanted to have for dinner. Turns out it was lasagna. A simple request, and one that I will fulfil sometime in May. Until then, he has to keep trying the new stuff I am making.

On another occasion, after a week of very poor dinner eating on B4’s behalf, I was driving to my parent’s house where B2 and B4 were to have dinner and a sleepover. Around the corner from my parents house B4 piped up with “I wonder if grandma is going to make me something yummy for dinner?” I replied with something like “well of course honey. Grandma always cooks yummy dinner.” B4 then replied “yes and I will love it and eat it all up!” (Because I never cook anything you love. And breathe…)

Sure enough, grandma produced the trifecta – roasted chicken, roasted lamb and roasted potatoes. The boys proceeded to inhale their dinner like they hadn’t eaten for a week. (sigh)

So, in honour of the sh#ttiest month ever, I present you with my high’s and low’s – what I loved to eat, what I didn’t and what I’d make again:

The High’s

  1. The cook-a-long. How freaking awesome was it? I was completely overwhelmed by how much people really got into it. I can’t wait for May. Thank you so much, everyone!
  2. Meat-free Monday – I have really enjoyed going meat-free on a Monday and have found that it is a pleasure to create delicious, flavoursome, meat-free meals. My children may disagree!
  3. Huevos Rancheros (Apr 2008, p. 86) – definitely recipe of the month. Simple. Tasty. Delicious. A great Saturday morning brekky. Give it a go.

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The Low’s

  1. Chocolate fondants – COVER (Apr 2008, p. 74) or as someone so politely commented on Facebook “steaming poo”. Thanks Paul. LOL. Something went terribly wrong. Not sure I care enough to try to correct it and make them again.
  2. Pear & ginger crisp (Apr 2002, p. 114). Another dessert disaster. Curdled, eggy, grossness.  May we never speak of it again.
  3. Pearl barley risotto with roast pumpkin, capsicum & rocket (Apr 2009, p. 126). There was a huge uproar in the house when I served this up for meat-free Monday. I think the concept is good, but the execution was not so good.

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More please…

  1. Mascarpone, prosciutto & rocket pizza – COVER (Apr 2007, p. 12). Homemade pizza. Yum!
  2. Roast pork steaks with tomatoes and pine nuts (Apr 2005, p. 139). A few simple ingredients packed with flavour. It was a winner.
  3. Mushroom carbonara (Apr 2012, p. 84). Another recipe with a few simple ingredients that translated to a delicious, easy, weeknight dinner.

Did I mention that neither B2 nor B4 ever complain when offered dessert, or pizza?

Here’s a link to the full list of what I cooked in April.

And to end the month of April, here is the most memorable piece of feedback I got from Mr Picky Palette during April, which pretty much sums up the month:

Me: How was your dinner honey?
Mr Picky Palette: I ate it didn’t I?

The end.

X Bree

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When life gives you lemons…

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” – Dale Carnegie

It’s a simple message, and such an optimistic one. But when faced with a HUGE surplus of big, fat, juicy lemons from the tree in my backyard, it’s a message I take quite literally. It’s something I have never done before, but I decide to make lemonade. Hooray!

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The lemon tree in our yard is not the prettiest tree. It has met with a variety of creepy crawlys and other citrus pests over time. But it is organic. And it seems to have thrived from all the rain we had over summer. In fact, we have been picking some of the biggest, juiciest lemons I have ever seen. The skins imperfections have not affected the juicy goodness inside. But it does mean the lemons are no good for zesting.

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So back to lemonade…

The day I decided I was going to make lemonade I was back flicking through all the April delicious. magazines as I had found myself a bit short on recipes this month. Sure enough, I came across a recipe for lemonade – not that a recipe is really needed. It’s as simple as adding sugar to lemon juice to suit your tastes and heating to dissolve the sugar. Not exactly rocket science. But in my attempt to make a healthier version I replaced the caster sugar with organic rapadura sugar and reduced the amount of sugar by about half. The end result was a brownish coloured syrup that was sour, sour, sour. Borderline undrinkable. Oops…  So I just added more sugar. Second attempt, result? A brownish coloured syrup that was a nice balance of sweet and sour.

Now where’s the vodka and soda?

X Bree

P.S You can read more about rapadura sugar here if you are interested. (It’s not a plug to buy this woman’s product, just a great Australian reference)

P.P.S If you want some lemons, just drop me an email… 🙂

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Filed under April, easy

April cook-a-long: Wrap-up

Wow! What a week. Thank you so much to each and every one of you for participating in our very first My delicious year cook-a-long! I am overwhelmed and humbled by the enthusiasm and support you have all shown towards this initiative.

Thank you to those who had the courage to share your dinner with us on the Facebook page. What a great effort! In honour of braving the social media critics, I wanted to share a summary of some of the pictures and feedback shared.

“Yum!! It was a huge hit in our house…” – Denica

“Needed a bit more soy sauce……but yummy!!!!!  Oh and we used a coconut curry paste……more for our taste!!!!” – Melissa D

“I used red curry paste instead of korma (less sat. fat). Advice is to have everything out ready to go, as it doesn’t take long to cook. Yummy!” – Sherry

“Yummy, quick and easy… Thanks for organising tonight’s cook-a-long Brig. So nice not to think about what to cook!! What’s for dinner next month?? Everyone check out my delicious year for inspiration!” – Lisa

“Just had ours, really yummy, even my 14yr old had seconds!!…already started eating before I realised I should of taken a photo. Looking forward to next week Wednesday….thanks Brigitte. This is a really great idea!!!” – Meegan

“Really enjoyed this dish. Very tasty. Added capsicum for colour. Kids enjoyed this dinner …” – Daniel & Jodie

“Thanks for the inspiration Bree…that was yum!!! The only thing I changed was not adding coriander…I’m not a fan.” – Melissa O

“Here’s my version. Have never cooked green prawns before and was pleased it was a success. Was extremely tasty but would tweak it next time to halve the noodles and stock and add more prawns. Looking forward to May’s cook-a-Long.” – Alina

My goal for the cook-a-long was to:

  • give you the night off from planning what was for dinner by providing you with a recipe and a shopping list
  • inspire you to try something you many not have cooked before
  • provide you with a recipe that was flexible, one that could easily be modified to suit all tastes
  • provide a platform to share your experience .

Reading through the feedback I am so thrilled to see people cooking with ingredients that they haven’t used before, modifying the recipe to suit the tastes of your family (lots of different types of curry pastes used) and lots of children who happily ate their dinner. What a winner!

Now April’s cook-a-long is over, it is time to start thinking about next month. The date for the May cook-a-long will be Wednesday 8 May. Lock it in your diaries. I would love to hear from. What you would like to cook? Or maybe what wouldn’t you like to cook? Perhaps you’d like to suggest a “core ingredient” a la Masterchef-style?

Ultimately though, the cook-a-long will always remain affordable, achievable and delicious!

Tell your friends!

X Bree

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Filed under April, Cook-a-long

Roast pork steaks with tomatoes and pine nuts

Roast pork steaks with tomatoes and pine nuts

Love a quick weeknight dinner. This one is a winner. Only five ingredients: lean pork steaks, a punnet of cherry tomatoes, a splash of balsamic vinegar, a handful of pinenuts and a handful of basil. So much flavour from just a few ingredients. So easy to adapt for one person or ten. Serve it with your chosen carb. Here’s a link to the recipe.

2 Comments

04/04/2013 · 9:37 am

Moving on from March

Moving on from March

Moving on from March

And so here we are, another month down. Where is this year disappearing?

Another month of cooking fabulous, delicious things, without too many failings or freak outs!

Here’s a quick recap of the highlights:

Top 3 sweet treats

  1. Plum tray bake (Mar 2012, p. 66)
  2. White & dark chocolate jaffa swirl cake (Mar 2007, p.93)
  3. New York vanilla cheesecake with blueberries – COVER (Mar 2005, p. 25)

Top 3 easy weeknight dinners

  1. Stir-fried rice with chilli tuna (Mar 2004, p. 72)
  2. Beef and vegetable stir-fry (Mar 2006, p. 40)
  3. Chilli salmon noodle salad with lime & herbs – COVER (Mar 2009, p. 89)

Top 3 cheap and cheerful and vegetarian!!!

  1. Greek bean & silverbeet stew (Mar 2007, p. 138)
  2. Root vegetable & chickpea tagine (Mar 2012, p.70)
  3. Pasta puttanesca (Mar 2003, p. 146)

I feel like I am starting to get my groove on with this whole little challenge now. It feels really comfortable.

Some people have asked me how I go about choosing what I make so as I start a new month, I thought I might give you a brief insight into how I approach each month:

  • In the last week of the month prior, I pull out all of the magazines for the next month. (of which there are twelve)
  • Starting in 2002 I start looking through each magazine and tagging the recipes that catch my eye or appeal to my tastes. I do this fairly quickly, so as not to get too caught up in the stories or other bits and pieces in the magazine. (otherwise you can imagine this would take me a week!)
  • The next step is to write a list of all the recipes I have tagged and where they come from. I do this by year.
  • Once this is complete, this is the list I go to each week to create my menu plan. It is a quick glance system where I can choose a good balance of sweet or savoury, easy or difficult recipes to cook based on my time and other commitments that week. For example, I save complicated or time consuming recipes for the weekend when I have more time.

I hope that this gives you a little insight into how I find the time to cook my family a delicious meal every night.

I would really like to thank each and every one of you who have taken the time to read the blog, leave a comment or like what I am doing.

I am particularly chuffed by how many of you have already signed up to take part in the very first My Delicious Year cook-a-long. In case you are yet to sign up, the recipe and shopping list is out now. Head over to the My Delicious Year facebook page to be kept up to date with what is going on. And mark your calendar for Wednesday 1o April.

I look forward to continuing to share My Delicious Year with you!

X Bree

P.S You can find a full list of what I cooked during March here

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April cook-a-long: Recipe reveal

Hello friends,

Here is the moment you have all been waiting for. The details for the April cook-a-long are here.

I have chosen a recipe that I hope you will find easy, fast and affordable.

The possibilities are endless. If you are not particularly fond of prawns, feel free to swap them for something you enjoy. Try chicken or a firm fish fillet or even fried tofu.

Don’t forget that this month’s cook-a-long will take place on Wednesday 10 April.

Once you are finished cooking, take a moment and capture a photo your meal. Post your picture and comments on the My Delicious Year Facebook page or share it on instagram using the hashtag #cookalong and tag @mydeliciousyear.

I can’t wait to see how you all go.

X Bree

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Filed under April, Cook-a-long