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Roast Asparagus

8 Nov

I’ve managed to get back in the habit of taking photos of food for the blog.  But then I don’t get around to posting for a while, and since my “style” tends towards drive-by-cooking I can never remember exactly what I did by the time I DO remember to to blog it.

Hence the silence.

Anyway, one thing I do remember is how I cook spuds.  And since they kindly included themselves in the photo I know how I cooked the asparagus.  Technically they were baked, not roasted, because there was no meat involved, but it would be the same if there WAS meat in there, so I’m sticking with roasted.

Roast Asparagus

I have my oven on 200c/400f to bake potatoes.

Trim the woody ends of asparagus.

In the last ten or 15 minutes of baking time chuck your asparagus in too, lightly sprinkle with salt if you want, and roll in whatever fat you have in there.

Turn and check each five minutes ’til they look good.  The ones in the photo were cooked for 15 minutes.

Convince your children that yes they do like asparagus, and they have so eaten it happily before, and they just need to get used to it again because it is a seasonal food.

All done!

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For more great recipes check out the Tasty Tuesday link ups at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.



Hassleback Potatoes

6 Sep

When I was having a look around at recipes, they are traditionally made with butter and breadcrumbs, so I decided to see what I could come up with.

Turn the oven on hot – 220c/430f

I used six potatoes.  First of all you want to slice the scrubbed spuds almost all the way through, at distances of a few mls.  The slices won’t necessarily spread at this point, it might happen during cooking.


Place the spuds in whatever baking dish you will use.

Next I crushed four cloves of garlic, mixed it with about 4 Tbs olive oil and 1 tsp salt (I totally forgot to measure), and spooned that over the top of the potatoes before putting them in the oven.  Bake for about an hour, and you are all done.   The sky is the limit with what you use as a topping, I definitely plan on making these again and mixing it up with the flavours. 🙂

My one caution would be, if you’re wanting a fancy looking dinner, don’t do these if it’s your first time.  I got a couple that looked right, but cut right through in a couple of places, and didn’t cut deep enough in others.  They were yummy for the family, but if I was doing them to impress others I would’ve gone through several more potatoes!



Vegetable Noodles – easy as can be.

15 Feb

Take one marrow, peel the skin and discard it.  While whatever sauce you are going to use cooks keep peeling and peeling.  Run the peeled ribbons under the hot tap, and there you have it.

I usually salt the water when I cook pasta, so I found these diluted the flavour of my sauce a little.  With a sprinkle of salt on them before topping with the sauce they would have been perfect.

(Editing to add this to Tasty Tuesday, check it out for loads of recipes.)

KFC Flavour Seasoning, and it’s gluten free!

21 Dec

It's yummy on wedges too!

  • 2 Tb salt
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 2 Tb pepper
  • 4 Tb paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 Tb mustard
  • 1 Tb thyme
  • 1 Tb basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 Tb powdered ginger

Mix together.  TaDa!!

Okay, a few more details. 😉  For the ingredients that are not already powder I throw them all in the coffee/spice grinder and give them a quick whizz.  This makes lots, which suits me fine because that way I have it ready in the pantry.  For wedges I just shake it on the spuds before cooking.

For chicken….. it can just be sprinkled on, but for a more authentic KFC style…. where I got this recipe from originally it was for little cubes of chicken, I cut the chicken in to strips instead if I’m doing it this way.  Coat your chicken in flour (to make your egg stick), then coat it in a little whisked egg (to make the seasoning stick), then coat it in the seasoning.  Shallow fry the chicken in oil to set the seasoning a little, then pop the chicken in a moderate oven (on foil) until it’s cooked through.

Whenever I’ve used this on pieces such as drumsticks I have just shaken it on rather than doing the whole sticky egg routine, it gives it a nice flavour, but it’s not the same as KFC.  Dad-of-the-Tummies has done drumsticks in the KFC fashion, but I don’t know what he did because I hid from the kitchen.  In my defence, BT5 was only two days old, and we had spent the afternoon out taking photos of the kids at the spot we had our wedding photos taken because it was our tenth wedding anniversary, and the day before that had been BT2’s birthday…. I was a little tired.  Plus I needed to not over do things because BT2’s birthday party was the next day.  Anywhooo, I don’t know what he did, I just know he made a big mess and dinner was late (good thing he tidies up after himself ;-)), but it tasted nice.  The only critique I remember hearing from Dad-of-the-Tummies is that the coating wasn’t as thick as KFC.  I must get around to experimenting with it myself some time!

This stays nice when it is cold too.  I plan on whipping up a batch of the seasoning today, then cooking chicken strips on Christmas Eve, popping them in the fridge, and taking them to lunch with the in-laws on Christmas Day.  I have no doubt they’ll be a hit.

(I’m adding this to Tasty Tuesday, check it out for loads more recipes!)

Seafood Sauce/Dressing

2 Dec

This was a total MacGyver meal, so there aren’t a lot of measurements, but I’ll do my best.

Salad, with prawns lightly coated in Seafood Sauce.

Slop a bit of oil in the bottom of a pot, squeeze the juice from half a lemon in too, add half a dozen chopped garlic cloves, and turn on to medium heat.  Dump in a 300g bag of prawns (they were the frozen, ready to cook type) and a bit of salt, and put the lid on.

While it is cooking away get the rest of your meal done.  We had this with a simple salad (lettuce, grated carrot, capsicum, cucumber, and there would have been avocado too except I forgot to put it in), but it would go well with pasta or pizza.  I plan on using the leftover sauce on a seafood pizza.

Stir it occasionally to make sure the prawns are cooking right through.  By the time the salad was ready the oil/lemon/prawn juices combo had reduced and thickened a bit. I added about half a Tbs tomato paste (a.k.a. however much is left in the little pot in the fridge), a Tbs cornflour (mixed with a little water), stirred them through, then mixed in enough milk to get the consistency I wanted.  I then added the juice of the other half of the lemon, and salt to taste.

For the salad I scooped the prawns out and placed them on top, then swirled some of the sauce over each portion after it was dished.  This was definitely a hit with everyone who could eat it.  (Alternative dinner was provided for Bottomless Tummy 2. ;-))

Cheats Gravy

29 Nov

One night last week I needed gravy, but I needed it in a hurry.

I usually make gravy the proper way – thickening the cooking juices (I make sure to have some onion and/or garlic in with the meat to flavour the gravy, for another cheat…. it can be cut up little and thrown in right at the end if you forget to cook it slowly with the meat), adding a little bit of water, stirring, a bit more water, stirring, a little more water, a little more stirring…. the result is great, but it’s not exactly speedy!

I thought what’s the worst that can happen?

Pour the desired amount of water in to the roasting dish (if you want a cup of gravy use a cup of water, and a bit more to allow for evaporation), sit it on the turned-on-high element, and continue to mash potatoes, pack picnic gear, assemble the cornflour*, tell children to be ready five minutes ago, or all of the above.

*For each cup of gravy use 1Tb cornflour, mix it with a little water.

Once the water boils stir it a bit to make sure all the yummy bits have come off the bottom of the dish, then add the cornflour mix, stir, salt to taste, and you’re done!

****A note on cornflour gravies – I leave it a bit runnier than I used to when thickening with wheat flour.  I find a thin gravy consistency works best, while if it’s a thick gravy it tends to go all gluggy after sitting a few minutes.  It doesn’t need to be watery, it just needs to be on the thin side of gravy.



Quick Pasta Sauce

8 Nov

I diced the onion, and drained the boiling water off the pasta, but Bottomless Tummy 3 did the rest of this, she’s just shy of five years old.

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 400g tins tomato (I buy cut tomatoes, in juice)
  • 1 Tbs sugar (adding sugar removes the thin, tinny taste of canned tomato)
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 500g / 1lb meatballs
  • Salt to taste

Fry the onion until glassy.  Add the other ingredients, simmer until everything is hot.  Either serve over pasta, or stir pasta through, depending on the shape you use.  Bottomless Tummy 4 chose (gluten free) penne, so we stirred it through.

Check out lots of other recipes at Tasty Tuesday.

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