Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Ok, so it is not a traditional Risotto, and it is nowhere near as creamy, but it is a bit of a different take on the oven baked Risotto that I have made in the past. It was quick and easy, and the family seemed to enjoy it. The texture will vary based on the amount of stock used for cooking, and the amount of cream and cheese added at the end, but it cam be easily tweaked to get the desired result.

Firstly, I diced my onion, chicken, and bacon and sautéed them in some oil and butter until the onions were translucent, and the chicken just cooked through. I then added 2 cups of rice and stirred until it was all coated in the remnants of butter and oil. I then tipped this mixture into the rice cooker and added about 2/3 cup of diced pumpkin. I pored over some chicken stock, gave it a stir, then put the lid on and turned the rice cooker to ‘cook’.

When the rice cooker switched itself to ‘warm’ (ie: keep warm) I left the risotto sit for a while with the lid on. While this was happening, I prepared some baby spinach leaves, and fried some mushroom to add to mine, as no-one else eats mushrooms. I then put the risotto in a large mixing bowl to stir through the baby spinach, some cream and parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, I simple sprinkled with a little extra parmesan, and added the mushrooms to my bowl.

Ingredients (feeds 5-6 easily)

500g chicken breast, cut into about 2cm chunks

2 rashers bacon, diced

1 small onion, diced

2/3 cup pumpkin, cut into about 1cm pieces

1L chicken stock (I used stock cubes)

handful of baby spinach leaves

4 mushrooms, sliced

cream, parmesan, salt and pepper to taste


Sautee chicken, onion and bacon in oil and butter.

Add rice to frying pan and stir well until each frain is coated, and starts to appear translucent. Transfer to rice cooker.

Add pumpkin, and stock, then stir well.

Place lid on cooker and turn on to cook. Once cooking has ceased, leave lid on for approx 10 minutes.

Fry mushrooms, or any other extras, and wash baby spinach.

Place risotto in large bowl and add cream, parmesan, salt and pepper, baby spinach, and mushrooms. Stir well, and add extra cream if desired to obtain a suitable consistency.

Note: if you like a more ‘liquid’ risotto, maybe try cutting the amount of rice by half a cup. I haven’t tried this yet, but I will next time as this made so much risotto!!

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Today was the perfect baking day. The sun was nowhere to be seen, and instead the sky was filled with grey clouds and intermittent rain. So, like I said, the perfect day for baking.

I spent most of the afternoon in the kitchen making scones. Lemonade scones, m&m scones, and pumpkin scones. I used the same (well, almost) basic recipe for all three varieties too!

I used this very basic lemonade scone recipe, and altered it where appropriate.

3 cups Self Raising flour

1 cup thickened cream

1 cup lemonade

I combined all ingredients in a bowl, and used a bread and butter knife to mix into a sticky dough.

I turned the dough out onto a floured pastry mat and kneaded the dough until it became soft and smooth, rolled it out until it was about 3cm thick, then used a scone cutter dipped in flour to cut my scones.

Scones were baked in a 200 degree (celcius) oven for 12-15 mins, until lightly golden. You can tell if they are done as they sound hollow when you tap the bottom.

I used the exact same recipe and cooking directions for the m&m scones, and just added the m&ms while combining the other ingredients. I didn’t measure these, just put in what I thought would work.

For the pumpkin scones, I again used the same basic recipe, but substituted the lemonade for just over 1 cup of mashed pumpkin.

To prepare the pumpkin, I removed the skin and seeds, and chopped the flesh into large chunks. I placed these in a microwave safe bowl, and loosely covered in cling wrap. I cooked the pumpkin until it was soft, and easy to mash with a fork. I chose to cook it in the microwave, as I find it brings out the natural sweetness of the pumpkin, something I can’t achieve with boiling.

When the pumpkin was cool, I added it to the flour and cream, and combined them in a bowl, before turning out onto a well floured pastry mat. This dough was a lot wetter than the other batches, so I kept sprinkling self raising flour into the dough as I kneaded it, until it became nice and smooth, and was no longer sticky. Be sure to be gentle while doing this, as over kneading can result in tough/hard scones.

Of course, after all this hard work in the kitchen, it was really nice to sit down with a cup of coffee, and enjoy the fruits of my labour. I served the lemonade scones with jam and whipped cream, and we ate the pumpkin scones warm with butter. I also like golden syrup as an alternative on both the lemonade and the pumpkin scones. The kids at the m&m scones with nothing on them, but I think they’d be great with nutella 😀

Yep, I said this many times while both making, and eating, these divine chocolatey, treats!

The first time was when I realised how much sugar and butter I was putting into my body….the next was when the mix became so thick I could barely mix it with my wooden spoon (it was VERY tar like!)…and finally, I exclaimed it multiple times whilst devouring the sweet, rich, mounds of chocolate goodness.

I have seriously never tasted anything like these brownies, that has not come from a box! I have also never had so much success in achieving a rich, gooey, brownie before. I took them to a BBQ on the weekend, and they were a hit! So, do you want the recipe?

Of course you do! And I am going to link you up baby!!!



You can find the recipe for “Good Ol’ Homemade Brownies” over at Buns In My Oven, and I DO suggest you have a go at baking them! Not only were they FAN>TAS>TIC!, but I really enjoyed the process of baking them. I will pop the recipe at the bottom of the post for you to read through, but first, my pics!!

Good Ol’ Homemade Brownies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. In small saucepan over low heat, melt butter completely. Stir in sugar and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow sugar mixture to boil.
  3. Pour butter mixture into a large bowl or stand mixer, beat in cocoa powder, eggs, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  4. Stir in the flour and chocolate chips until well combined.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until a tester comes out mostly clean. The edges should be set and the center should still look slightly moist, but not uncooked. Cool on a wire rack.

On that note, I think I might go bake a batch now, ready to have with vanilla ice cream after dinner tonight xx

The Organised Housewife

This is not the way I would have thought to describe the combination of carrot and pineapple….but it really is! They go SO nicely together in the following recipe, that even my 7-year-old is in love!

Now, this is not my personal recipe, and admittedly I only looked into making these after my husband came home from work raving about some muffins that a co-workers wife made, so it is a bit of a “keeping up with the IT wives” scenario lol.

In my Meal Planning post, I listed these as part of my baking, and obviously sparked some interest, so as requested by Katrina a.k.a. The Organised Housewife, I am sharing this recipe with you 🙂

Carrot and Pineapple Muffins

Now, as I stated before, this is not my recipe, I found it over at Best Recipes after having a good old Google, and all I can say is WOW! I am totally not a carrot-type-cake person, but these muffins are delish! So moist, slightly sticky on top, and terribly moreish. I add a little extra cinnamon, because frankly, I LOVE the stuff in baked goods, but other than that, I don’t change a thing about this recipe.


1 cup plan flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarb soda

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 carrot, finely grated

1/2 cup drained, crushed pineapple

2 eggs

2 Tbsp oil (I use vegetable)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp mixed spice (I used all spice as it was what I had on hand)

The ‘how to’

Sift flour, baking powder and bicarb into a bowl. Add sugar and mix well.

Add grated carrot, pinapple, eggs, oil, cinnamon and mixed spice, and stir until just combined.

Spoon into greased muffin tray, or cupcake cases, and bake for 15-20mins at 180.

Stand for 5 mins, then cool on wire rack.

Enjoy 🙂

So, tomorrow is fortnightly grocery shopping day, which means meal planning and shopping lists. Not only am I on a mission to get organised for family meals and lunchbox treats, but I am now also on a mission to do it on a budget. I want to save some serious $$ on our grocery bill. I have found meal planning has helped shave a bit off the cost, but I need to take it 1 step further. Where to start though? Well, I decided to trade out some of the more ‘expensive’ meals, for cheaper alternatives. So, gone from the menu are lamb casserole, and fancy dishes, and added in their place are some old favourites.

This fortnight I have:

1. added 2 meals based around tinned tuna

2. made the most of bulk buying cheap. premium mince, and incorporated 4 mince dishes.

3. replaced steak and veg, with beef casseroles using cheap cuts of meat

4. subbed out 1 chicken thigh/breast based meal, with cheaper chicken drumsticks

5. switched to a basic pasta bake, rather than the usual chicken/spinach/ricotta canneloni that can sometimes add up when it comes to $$

6. searched the fridge/pantry to see what curry pastes and condiments I had left

With that in mind, here are the first weeks dinners 🙂

Image Credit: Julie Goodwin

Friday- Home made beef rissoles and vegetables, served with gravy

Saturday- Tuna Mornay

Sunday- chicken burritos

Monday- Slow cooker beef casserole

Tuesday- Cottage Pie

Wednesday- Tandoori chicken, rice, and steamed greens

Thursday- chicken and cheese pasta bake


Carrot and Pineapple Muffins

Carrot and Pineapple Muffins

Choc Chip cookie dough (for freezer)

Cheese and vegemite scrolls

The Organised Housewife

My husband made this one night, when we had a whole heap of apples that needed to be used up. I was most impressed that he took it upon himself to do some baking, and Oh. Em. Geeeee!! I was amazed by the results. The crumble was crisp and crunchy, and the texture of the apple was spot on. It was awesome served with vanilla ice cream.

Of course, when we had guests over for dinner on a separate occasion, it was a no-brainer that this crumble had to be the last course in our feast.

Recipe from All Recipes

The Perfect Apple Crumble

Serves: 8

  • 7 large green apples
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1tsp cinnamon (ground)
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup coconut
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon (ground)
  • 2 tsp nutmeg (ground)
  • 2/3 cup butter (melted)
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
Prep: 45 minutes | Cook: 45 minutes
Peel and core apples, then cut into rough 1-2cm cubes. Place apples in large saucepan and cover with water. Simmer (but don’t boil) covered with lid on med-high until apples are just tender but not too soft (usually 5mins once water is simmering). Drain apples well and place in large bowl
Combine caster sugar and cinnamon (ensures even spread), then toss through the apples. If you like the apples to be less sweet and more tart you can omit the sugar in this step, though there may be excess juice as a result.
Combine flour, brown sugar, rolled oats, coconut, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl until evenly mixed through.
Melt butter (do not burn or boil it) and add vanilla essence to butter, stir through.
Add butter mix to dry ingredients and mix well using a fork. Ensure all ingredients are moist and mixture has a crumbly texture.
Place apple mix evenly in medium casserole dish. Spread crumble mix over top of apple. Bake at 180 degrees C for 30-40minutes, or until crumble topping is slightly browned.
Serve with vanilla icecream, cream, or custard and ENJOY!
The Organised Housewife

Yes, this is an exciting development, and I generally avoid them at all costs! But this one was different. This one was home made. By me!

I’ve never made a meat pie before, but I had a heap of mince, and wasn’t sure what to do with it. For some reason, I just went with pie……so off to Google for a recipe! I ended up using this one from, and it was very simple. I did, however’ leave out the mushroom, and I added some extra gravy powder as my gravy was a bit too runny for my liking.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 sheets frozen ready-rolled puff pastry, partially thawed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 100g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
  • 600g beef mince
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons beef gravy powder
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Grease a 3cm-deep, 20cm (base) round glass or ceramic pie dish. Line base and side with 1 pastry sheet. Trim excess. Place dish on a baking tray. Line pastry case with baking paper. Fill with ceramic pie weights or uncooked rice. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are light golden. Remove weights and paper.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion has softened. Add mushroom and herbs. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until mushroom has softened. Add mince. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up mince, for 5 minutes or until browned. Add wine. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or until liquid has almost evaporated.
  3. Combine gravy powder and 1 1/2 cups cold water in a jug. Add to pan. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Spoon into pastry case. Top with remaining pastry. Press edges to seal. Trim excess. Cut a small cross in the centre of pie top. Brush top with egg. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Stand for 5 minutes. Serve.