Thursday, June 30

Susan's Polynesian shrimp fried rice


  • 1 cup small cooked shrimp (prawns)*
  • 8 rings canned pineapple, drained and retaining juice
  • 1/2 large carrot
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 white, sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 green/spring onion, white and green sections
  • 2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, or as needed
  • 1 teaspoon minced/crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger**
  • 3-4 cups cold cooked rice, scented jasmine or basmati if possible
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons light soy sauce or sweet soy sauce***
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder, or to taste (Indian curry powders, such as Madras, are also good for a kick)
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh small peas
  • 1/2 cup cubed, cooked ham
  • Sugar, to taste (omit if using sweet soy sauce)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and chopped (optional)****
  • Garnish as desired (see the recipe directions for suggestions)
  • small amount of toasted, shredded coconut for garnish
  • small amount of toasted, sliced almonds for garnish
  • salt & pepper to taste


Day ahead:
  1. The day ahead, I pre-cooked the long grain rice and put it in the refrigerator in a sealed bowl over night. Cold rice is easier to cook in the wok later and gets less sticky.
  2. I also quickly pan-fried the shrimp (about 2 minutes)
  3. I lightly toasted 1/4 cup shredded coconut (cool, then store in a sealed bowl)
  4. I lightly toasted 1/4 cup sliced almonds (cool, then store in a sealed bowl)

Day of:
  1. Peel and chop the onion. Put in small bowl to the side.
  2. Mince/press 2-3 cloves of garlic and put in a small bowl.
  3. Grate the fresh ginger and add to the bowl with the garlic. Put to the side.
  4. Cut the shrimp in half if desired and put into a bowl to the side.
  5. Cube ham and add to the shrimp bowl.
  6. Cut the pineapple rings into small wedges. Add to shrimp/ham bowl and put to the side.
  7. Wash/dry and grate the carrot and put into a medium sized bowl.
  8. Wash/dry the bell pepper, remove the seeds and cut into bite-sized chunks. Add to the bowl with the carrots and put to the side.
  9. Wash and finely slice the green onion. Put in a small bowl.
  10. Add the curry powder to the green onion bowl and put to the side.
  11. Next, arrange your small bowls in the order of which you will add them to the wok. This makes life much easier.
  12. Heat a wok or large, deep frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the oil, rotating the pan so that it coats the bottom and sides.
  13. When the oil is hot and shimmers, add the onion. Stir-fry for 1 minute. The onions will soften and begin to look opaque.
  14. Add the garlic& ginger and stir-fry for about 30 seconds only. You do not want to burn the garlic.
  15. Add the saved pineapple juice.
  16. Immediately after juice, Add the red bell pepper, peas, and carrots. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes. The vegetables will start to cook.
  17. Add the pineapple, ham, and the shrimp. Stir-fry briefly.
  18. Add the rice, and cook for about 2 minutes, continually stirring and tossing until it becomes shiny.
  19. Stir in the soy sauce.
  20. Stir in the green onion, curry powder and sugar. Taste and adjust the seasoning and salt/pepper to taste, if desired.
  21. Serve hot.

*Use whatever size shrimp/prawns that you like. Make sure that they are deveined and shelled. If large, cut into pieces.

**Freshly grated ginger really works the best. I keep a ginger root in a freezer bag and grate directly while frozen.

*** Depending on where you live, different types of soy sauce are available and still can be used. If you are using a light soy sauce (ie Kikkoman type) then omit extra salt. If using a sweet soy sauce, omit the sugar. If you are using a mid-sweet/salty soy sauce season to taste.

**** The jalapeno is completely optional. Also, you can substitute any chile that you want. If you want it hotter, you a hotter chile and keep the seeds. If you don't want it spicy, omit the chile.

Garnish Suggestions: toasted coconut, crushed peanuts, and/or fresh mint sprigs or cilantro. While the coconut and almonds may sound a bit odd to some, they really do work in the dish and add another layer of texture and flavor.

Tomato Pistou

100 gr.(good quality) sun-dried tomatoes in oil reserving oil for later *
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 twig fresh rosemary
  • 1 twig fresh thyme
  • 4 leaves of fresh basil
  • 1 spanish pepper
  • small pinch of seasalt or 1/2 as much table salt salt.
  1. Put all ingredients into the food processor and blitz until everything is chopped very fine and well mixed.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste
  3. Add a bit of the oil from the tomatoes
  4. Serve with slices of fresh baked crusty bread as a spread.

Wednesday, June 29

Strawberry Scones

  • 1 cup hulled and finely diced fresh strawberries
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus a little for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • A lemon, for zest
  • 6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon light cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Heat your oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, using a few spots of butter or cooking oil to stick it in place. Set the baking sheet aside.
  2. Place the diced strawberries on several sheets of paper towel to absorb their juice. Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Zest half of the lemon into the ingredients, taking care to remove just the outermost skin and not the white pith.
  3. Cut in the butter with two butter knives or a pastry blender until the flour-coated pieces are the size of peas. Add the strawberries, tossing them gently with a fork to coat them.
  4. Make a well in the mixture. Blend the 1/2 cup of light cream and the vanilla extract in a measuring cup and pour them into the well. Using as few strokes as possible, gently stir the dough until it forms a ball. Let the dough sit for 1 minute.
  5. Clean and flour your hands and dust your work surface with flour. Place the dough on the floured surface and knead it gently three or four times. Transfer it to the large baking sheet and pat it into an 8-inch circle. Using a lightly oiled pizza cutter or a serrated knife, cut the dough into 8 wedges, as you would a pizza. Use a small spatula or pie server to carefully separate the pieces, leaving at least an inch between them.
  6. Brush the tops of the scones with the remaining tablespoon of light cream, then sprinkle the surfaces with sugar. Bake the scones until the outsides are crusty and starting to brown, about 18 minutes. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then slide the parchment and the scones onto a wire rack to cool for another 20 minutes before serving.

French toast with confit figs & vanilla ice cream


  • 6 large figs
  • shot of port
  • shot of liqueur
  • shot of white wine
  • 100 gr. sugar
  • 8 pieces stale, crustless white bread
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • sugar for garnish
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 liter milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • pats cream butter
  • 1 star anise
  • pinch of salt
  • Vanilla ice cream
  1. -In a Medium tolarge (non reactive pan) add liquers, sugar, vanilla pod, anise together and warm gradually to dissolve all sugar.

    -add figs and make sure that the figs remain in an upright, standing position. Make sure that the liquid covers the figs so that the flavors are absorbed.

    -Allow figs to cook until soft.

    -In a medium mixing bowl, add eggs and milk, and a pinch of salt and whisk until lightly frothy.

    -With a metal cooking ring, cut out large circles from each slice of bread.

    -Put each circle of bread through the egg mixture (both sides) and remove from egg mixture. Set aside on plate for frying.

    -In a small, flat bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon together for dredging. Set aside.

    -In a large frying pan, melt a pat of butter and fry the french toast rounds until crispy and golden on the outside.

    -Remove each french toast round when done and dredge through the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

    -Center the french toast round in the center of the plate. Place a fig center atop the french toast round.

    -Place a scoop of (good quality) vanilla ice cream next to fig on french toast round.

    -With a spoon, spoon a bit of the syrup from fig pot over the ice cream, fig, and french toast.

    -Serve immediately.

-Serves 6

Moist Yellow Cake

Recipe from Susan
This is one of my all-time favorite recipes! I have yet to make a bad cake with it and simply love the velvety texture of it.



* 3 cups (330 g) cake flour

*1 Tbsp baking powder

* 1/2 tsp salt

* 1 cup (8 oz or 230 g) unsalted butter, room temperature

* 2 cups (454 g) granulated sugar

* 5 large eggs

* 2 tsp vanilla extract

* 1 1/4 cups (10 fl oz or 300 ml) buttermilk


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter and line with parchment paper two 8x2-inch (20x5-cm) pans. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. Cut up the butter into 1-inch pieces and place them in the large bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment or beaters. Beat for 3 minutes on MEDIUM-HIGH speed until the butter is light and creamy in color. Stop and scrape the bowl. Cream the butter for an additional 60 seconds.

4. Add the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the eggs one at a time.

5. Reduce the mixer speed. Stir vanilla into the buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. Mix just until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.

6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a knife. Lift up the pan with the batter, and let it drop onto the counter top to burst any air bubbles, allowing the batter to settle.

7. Center the pans onto the lower third of the oven and let bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the cake is lightly brown on top and comes away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Note: Let the cake cool in the pan. Storage: Double wrap the cake in plastic wrap. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Cheese & Onion Pie

This is a fabulous pie from the Hairy Bikers i make it regular recipe HERE

Hairy Bikers Meat & Potato Pie

This is a large pie but, the quantities can easily be halved and its delish.....
For the pie filling
  • 2.75kg/6lb braising steak, cut into cubes

  • 3 medium onions, chopped

  • 2.75kg/6lb potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks

  • 1 tbsp beef extract

  • 4 tbsp gravy granules

For the pastry
  • 500g/1lb 2oz plain flour

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 125g/4½oz margarine, cut into small cubes

  • 25g/4½ oz lard (crisco or trex), cut into small cubes

  • 125ml/4fl oz cold water

  • 1 free-range egg, beaten

  1. For the pie filling, put the beef and onions into a large, lidded saucepan and season with salt. Pour in enough water to cover the contents of the pan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, put cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 2½–3 hours, or until the meat is tender.

  2. Meanwhile, for the pastry, tip the flour and salt into a bowl, and add the cubes of margarine and lard. Using your fingertips, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture has the texture of breadcrumbs, and no large lumps of fat remain. Add the water and mix with a cutlery knife until the pastry begins to come together. Add more water very gradually if needed. Knead the dough lightly, shape into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until the beef mixture is cooked. (Alternately, blend the flour, salt, margarine and lard in a food processor until the mixture has the texture of breadcrumbs. With the motor running slowly add the water through the funnel, until the mixture starts to come together.)

  3. Once the meat has been cooking for two hours, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  4. Cook the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain and set aside.

  5. When the meat is tender, remove the pan from the heat. Ladle some of the liquid from the meat into a jug to cool. Mix together the gravy granules and meat extract, and gradually add to the cooled liquid, mixing in thoroughly. Pour over the meat, and heat gently until simmering. Once simmering, remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.

  6. Remove the pastry from the fridge. Cut a small amount of pastry and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to a 3mm/⅛in thickness . Cut the pastry into thin strips. Dampen the rim of a 28 x 38cm/11in x 15in pie dish with water, and line the rim with the strips of pastry.

  7. Strain the meat and onions, reserving the sauce. Spread the meat and onions in an even layer in the base of the dish. Layer the potatoes on top of the meat and onions. Pour the reserved sauce over the filling, until just below the top of the potatoes. Reserve any remaining sauce.

  8. Roll the remaining pastry out on a floured work surface to a 3mm/⅛in thickness, and cut to the size of the pie dish. Brush the strips of pastry on the rim of the dish with beaten egg, and place the pastry lid on top. Press the edges to seal, and brush the lid of the pie with the remaining beaten egg. Cut a few slits in the lid of the pie to allow steam to escape.

  9. Cook in the preheated oven for 50–60 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown and the filling is bubbling inside.

  10. Serve the hot pie with the reserved sauce on the side.

Tuesday, June 28

Japanese Salad

This is from Suzie
1/2 C. Olive oil
1 TBSP sugar (splenda)
3 TBSP wine vinegar
4 TBSP soya sauce
1/2 Tsp pepper
2 packs soup mix from Ramen package
1/2 C. Almonds toasted
2 tsp sesame seeds
1/4 C sunflower seeds
1/2 C chinese noodles
2 packages of Ramen noodles
3 dhallots
2 C bean sprouts
Med size cabbage shredded
Toss all together + Enjoy!

Chocolate Cupcakes

Recipe from Jane Leong
"Mix All Together Chocolate Cake" recipe, it is really easy and the kids love them. 1 cup plain flour (135g) sifted, 4 rounded (heaped) tablespoons cocoa (sifted), 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 cup caster sugar (225g) about 120g butter (softened), 1/2 cup milk, 2 eggs at room temp, bit of vanilla essence. Put all ingredients in a bowl and beat until combined and smooth. Put in the patty pans and bake at 180c for around 18-20 minutes. Good luck!..hope it works??

Bread Sauce

Recipe HERE


Recipe from Caroline
My favorite recipe comes from mama cherri's soul in a bowl cookbook: 225 gr. butter, 225 gr. plain flour, 225 gr. yellow corn meal, 1 tablespoon baking power, 1 teaspoon salt, 125 gr. caster sugar (optional but better if you add it, cornbread should be a little sweet), 2 large eggs, 475 ml milk (preferably full fat but semi skimmed is also good) - Set the oven to 180 C. Put the butter in a 23 cm round or square baking tin and place in the hot oven to melt (I just melt mine in the microwave), Remove once melted. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add the eggs, milk and melted butter, stir with a wooden spoon, working fast so the butter doesn't harden. Pour the mixture into the warm baking tin, place in the oven and bake for35-40 minutes until risen and golden brown. Serve immediately - with butter (and jam or honey).

Caroline's Hot Sauce

‎2 dried new mexican chili peppers, 1 dried ancho pepper & 1 dried chipotle pepper. Dry roast the peppers in skillet till just browned (slightly roasted). Remove from skillet and soak for 40 minutes in 1 1/2 cups luke warm water. Remove stems from peppers and put peppers and the water they soaked in into a blender with the following ingredients: 2 garlic cloves pressed, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp packed brown sugar, 1 tsp lime juice (lemon also ok as substitute), 1 tsp vinegar (I use apple cidar vinegar for the extra taste) & 1 can tomato blocks. Puree in blender then transfer to jar. Keep refrigerated! It's that easy :-)

Garden fresh tomato pie

4 eggs
2/3 cup of milk
2 green onion, sliced
2 tablespoons of a chiffonade of basil
Couple pinches of chopped parsley
Large pinch of kosher salt
About 8 turns of the pepper grinder
1 overflowing cup of shredded mozzarella
3 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
Homemade or store bought pie crust
Place the uncooked pie crust in a glass pie pan, turning the edges under and crimping them. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned. Set aside.

Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with two layers of paper towels. Slice the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and lay them out on the paper towels to drain. Sprinkle lightly with salt and cover with another layer of paper towels. Let sit while preparing the other ingredients.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk until well blended. Add the green onion, basil, parsley, salt and pepper and mix well. Add 1/2 of the cheese and all of the bacon; stir and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Depending on the size of the tomatoes, reserve about 10 of the prettier slices for the top. Chop up the remaining tomato slices and add to the egg mixture; stir. Pour the egg mixture carefully and evenly over the tomato layer; carefully smooth out. Around the outside edges of the pie, line up the remaining 10 sliced tomatoes, slightly overlapping them.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Remove and sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the top. Add a rim of aluminum foil or a pie shield around the edges of the pie to prevent it from over browning. Return to the oven and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until center is set. (Times are estimates as ovens vary.)
Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Carols sour cream waffles

1 3/4 cup flour (i do either gluten-free mix or 5-granenmeel)
1 T sugar (i use brown)
1T baking powder
1/2 teasp salt;
8 T unsalted melted butter;
1 cup melk;
1/2 cup sour cream;
3 large eggs....
fresh fruits, jams, syrups, yoghurt, whatever you want your topping to be...

Grandma Mac's Waffles

2 cups flour
3 Tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsps. sugar
1 Tsp. salt
3 eggs separated
1 1/2 cups milk
6 T. melted shortening (I use oil as this is an old recipe before vegie oil I think)

Beat the egg whites stiff, combine the dry ingredients in large bowl. Mix together eggs, milk and oil. Add to dry ingredients just to mix through but don't beat it just make sure in is blended. Then fold in egg whites.