Ginger Men

25 November, 2011

  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 125g butter, at room temperature
  • 100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) golden syrup
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 375g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Plain flour, to dust
  • 150g (1 cup) pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 8-10 drops red liquid food colouring
  • 8-10 drops green liquid food colouring
  • Smarties, to decorate

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush 2 baking trays with melted butter to lightly grease.
  2. Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat until combined. Stir in the flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Press dough into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
  3. Meanwhile, place egg white in a clean, dry bowl. Use an electric beater to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add icing sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Divide icing among 3 bowls. Cover 1 bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Add red colouring to 1 bowl and stir until combined. Add green colouring to remaining bowl and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
  4. Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out until about 4mm thick. Use a 9cm gingerbread man cutter to cut out shapes. Place on trays about 3cm apart. Repeat with any excess dough.
  5. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven. Transfer to a rack to cool.
  6. Place prepared icings in small plastic bags. Cut a small hole in a corner of each bag. Pipe icing over gingerbread men to decorate. Finish with Smarties.

The icing actually worked for me!! OMG!

Icing (that works for me!)

26 July, 2011

Icing that actually worked for me! Hopefully, not a once off occasion!

90g butter
1/4 tsp orange essence
1 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp milk
yellow, pink or orange food colouring

Beat butter and essence in a small bowl with an electric beater until light and fluffy. Beat in sifted icing sugar and milk in 2 batches. Beat in a little of the desired food colouring.

Fairy Cupcakes

21 July, 2011

110 g caster sugar   
110g butter/marg/spread
2 eggs, lightly beaten
110g self raising flour
1 tsp vanilla bean extract ( I just used vanilla extract)
25g icing mixture



  • Preheat oven to 190°C. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.
  • Combine sugar, spread, eggs, flour, a pinch of salt and vanilla into a large mixing bowl. Beat with electric beaters for 1 minute, or until thick and well combined. Spoon into prepared muffin tray.
  • Bake for 18 - 20 minutes or until risen and firm. Remove cup cakes from tray and transfer to a cake rack to cool completely.

  • Mix the icing sugar with a little water and food colouring of choice to make a smooth icing. Spread onto cakes. 

I cannot make icing to save my life - just ice them how you want to ice them!

Chocolate Mug Cake for Two

01 June, 2011

I probably should not have been introduced to this, coz it's very very dangerous! I always have the ingredients in the house and it takes literally minutes before you're eating delicious warm cake. Evil. Especially when you're trying to lose weight like I am.    :)

(courtesy of Nigella Lawson and thanks to Sara, who shouldn't have told me)


    • 4 tablespoons flour
    • 5 tablespoons sugar
    • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
    • 3 tablespoons milk
    • 3 tablespoons melted butter/oil
    • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips plus extra for sprinkling
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    Serves: 2
    1. First add the flour, sugar and cocoa into the mugs or the bowl; mix well.
    2. Add the milk, butter/oil, chocolate chips and vanilla extract and stir well. Add the beaten egg.
    3. Sprinkle with some chocolate chips and cover with a microwave proof cling film.
    4. Microwave on medium-high for 1 minute and then for another 30 seconds. It should be cooked but moist and gooey in the middle.
    5. Allow to cool and eat greedily with some cream or ice cream.

    Australia's Biggest Morning Tea

    24 May, 2011

    Who doesn't like morning tea?

    The Cancer Council's fundraiser "Australia's Biggest Morning Tea" is on again soon!

    So, if you're looking for inspiration - you can start here and make your way over to here for some new ideas! Enjoy!

     Morning Tea Recipe Swap @ Help!Mum

    I'm going to put the kettle on right now!

    Lemon Chicken

    22 May, 2011

    Lemon Chicken (using the slow cooker / crockpot)

    4 chicken marylands, about 1.2 – 1.5 kgs OR 8 chicken pieces such as drumsticks OR 1 whole size 15 chicken cut into 8 pieces 
    1-2 tbsp plain flour
    sea salt and black pepper
    2 tbsp oil
    2 onions, diced
    2 cloves garlic, finely diced
    1 tsp sumac (optional)
    1 tbsp coriander seeds
    500ml chicken stock or water 
    2-3 sprigs thyme leaves
    3 lemons

    Place flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag and add chicken pieces. Shake the bag to coat the meat.
    Heat oil in a large high-sided fry pan and brown the chicken pieces on both sides for 2-3 minutes in batches. Transfer chicken to the crockpot of a slow cooker or a large casserole dish as they are browned.
    Add onions, garlic and coriander seeds to the oil and sauté for 3 minutes or until the onions start to soften. Transfer to casserole or crockpot.
    Add stock or water to crockpot plus thyme leaves, sumac and the juice of two lemons. Slice the third lemon into thin slices and add to the casserole.
    Cook on LOW for 5 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.
    (thanks to Sandra at The $120 Food Challenge)
    I have no idea what 
    sumac is, so it's not going to be in my dish. Also, I only have dried Thyme.

    You could use an oven :put into 
    covered casserole in a preheated 160°C oven and cook for 2 hours.

    Breakfast Muffins

    Breakfast Muffins

    8 eggs
    ¼ cup sour cream
    1 tsp salt

    Heat oven to 180°C and spray muffin cups. Divide your choice of additions into the cups and set aside.  Whisk or use blender to mix eggs, sour cream and salt and pour into muffin cups until they are almost full.
    Bake 20-25 minutes or until eggs are light brown and puffy and set.

    (thanks to Sandra at The $120 Food Challenge)

    I'm making mine with black olives, capsicum, feta and mushrooms and ham. Omit the salt if using feta.

    Spaghetti with Meatballs

    Spaghetti with Meatballs

    1 large or 2 small brown onions
    2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
    2 thick slices day-old bread
    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    300g beef mince or a combination of pork and beef mince
    2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
    2 tbsp oil
    1 x 400g tin tomatoes
    1 x 600ml bottle passata
    300g spaghetti or fettuccine
    parmesan to serve

    Peel and roughly chop one small onion or half the large one, then add to the bowl of a food processor and set the other half to one side. Add one clove chopped garlic to the onion. Soak the bread slices in a little warm water for 20 seconds then squeeze the water out and add the damp bread to the onion, together with salt and pepper.
    Process on low until the onion is chopped and the breadcrumbs are fine, then add the mince, parsley, and about 3 tbsp of milk and process until the meat mixture is smooth and well combined.
    Roll heaped tablespoons of the mixture into balls between slightly damp hands and place them on a clean plate.
    Heat the oil in a heavy-based large saucepan or a deep frypan over medium heat. Add the meatballs, a few at a time and gently brown them on all sides. Remove them and set aside to drain on paper towel while you finish cooking them in batches.
    Finely dice the remaining onion and garlic. Use the same cooking pan as before and add onion and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until the onion softens and starts to turn colour. Add tinned tomatoes, 1 cup water and the bottle of passata and bring to the boil, scraping up the bits off the bottom of the pan and stirring them through the sauce. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of sea salt to taste. Reduce the heat to low.
    Fill a large pasta pot with cold water, cover and bring to the boil.
    Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover and gently simmer for 30 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through. Increase the  heat slightly and remove the lid from the pot and let the sauce reduce and thicken over the next 10 minutes while you cook the pasta.
    Cook the spaghetti in the boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes according to the directions on the packet or until al dente. Drain the spaghetti and return to the hot pot.
    Serve the spaghetti piled high in the bottom of shallow bowls and pile the meatballs and sauce on top. Pass around the parmesan cheese and let everyone help themselves.

    (thanks to Sandra at The $120 Food Challenge)

    Corn Fritters

    Indonesian Spiced Corn Fritters
    3 fresh or frozen corn cobs OR 2 1/3 cups frozen or well-drained canned corn kernels
    3 large green chillies, de-seeded and sliced finely
    ½ cup plain flour
    ½ cup rice flour
    ¼ tsp baking powder
    large pinch sea salt
    2 tsp ground  coriander
    1 tsp sugar
    ½ tsp cayenne or chilli powder
    1 tsp asafoetida* OR 1 clove crushed garlic
    oil for frying; 6 large macadamias (optional)
    ¾ cup cold water
    ½ cup (about one stalk) finely diced celery including the leaves

    Coarsely chop or crush the corn kernels in a blender or food processor very briefly to give a mixture of crushed corn and corn pieces
    Mix the flours, baking powder, sea salt, coriander, sugar, chilli, asafoetida in a bowl and mix well to combine.
    Heat a little oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the nuts and toss well until they are golden brown. Remove from the oil, drain well and finely crush the nuts in a  blender or spice grinder or mortar and pestle until they are a powder.
    Add about three-quarters of the water to the flour and spice mixture, a little at a time and whisk with a balloon whisk until the flour is completely incorporated and you have a very smooth but very thick batter.
    Add the corn kernels, crushed nuts, finely chopped chillies and celery to the mixture and stir well to completely combine. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more water – you want it to be thick but a spoonable batter.
    Heat a large heavy-based fry-pan over medium heat and add enough oil to come 1.5cm up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil, then drop in heaped tablespoonfuls of the corn batter. Cook about three at a time for 4 minutes on each side. Cook until they are golden brown and crispy on each side. Remove, set aside and keep warm while you finish off the remaining batter.
    Serve at once with some basmati rice, or some dhal. You could also serve with poppadums.

    (thanks to Sandra at The $120 Food Challenge)
    I'm omitting the asafoetida and using garlic, and leaving out the macadamias (although they'd be a nice touch). I don't know if I actually have rice flour, so if I don't, I'm going to use 3/4 cup flour in total instead.

    Veg Enchiladas

    Veg Enchiladas

    1 tbsp oil
    1 onion, finely diced
    2 cloves garlic
    2 long green chillies or to taste, de-seeded and finely chopped
    2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
    2 medium zucchini, cut into 1 cm dice
    1 cup frozen, tinned or fresh corn kernel
    1 x 400g tin refried beans
    ½ jar enchilada sauce
    salt and pepper to taste
    10 tortillas
    1 cup grated mozzarella or tasty cheese

    Preheat oven to 180°C.
    Heat oil in a large heavy based frypan over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and chilli and sauté for 5 minutes until softened and starting to colour. Add carrots and continue to sauté for a further 3 to 4 minutes, then add zucchini and corn kernels. Stir well until the zucchini softens – about one minute – then add half the enchilada sauce and all the refried beans. Stir thoroughly to combine and warm through, then remove from heat. Season to taste.
    Spoon enchilada mixture evenly along the centre of a tortilla then roll up the tortilla to completely encase the filling. Place the enchilada in a long baking dish. Continue filling and rolling all the tortillas and place them in the baking dish.
    Spoon remaining enchilada sauce over the centre of the rolled tortillas then sprinkle with the grated cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and golden.
    Remove from oven and serve at once with a tossed salad.

    I have no idea what enchilada sauce is, so I'm just going to use salsa.
    (Thanks goes to Sandra at The $120 Food Challenge)

    Sandwich Sushi

    Sandwich Sushi

    Store: not suitable to store more than 24 hours
    Freeze: not suitable to freeze

    9 slices sandwich bread white or wholemeal (large loaf works best)
    310g can creamed corn
    4 large thin slices double smoked ham
    1 small carrot
    1 small Lebanese cucumber
    200g can pink salmon
    200g can shredded chicken
    ¼ cup walnuts
    ½ red apple
    4 tablespoons whole-egg mayonnaise
    2 to 3 iceberg lettuce leaves
    1 small avocado

    Peel and slice cucumber into ribbons (run the peeler down the length of the cucumber once it is peeled to create ribbons)
    Grate carrot
    Cut the crusts off the bread
    Place bread onto a flat surface
    Use a rolling pin to flatten bread slightly
    Spread corn over 3 slices, leaving a 2cm strip free of filling along 1 edge
    Top with ham, carrot and cucumber
    Roll up to enclose filling
    Cut each sandwich into 3 rounds.

    Place salmon and 2 tablspoons mayonnaise into the B2b small bowl
    Mix gently to combine
    Arrange lettuce over 3 slices of bread, leaving a 2cm strip free of filling along 1 edge
    Top with salmon mixture and avocado slices
    Roll up to enclose filling
    Cut each sandwich into 3 rounds

    Add apple, walnuts and remaining mayonnaise to the turbo chef and chop till fine
    Spread chicken over remaining 3 slices of bread, leaving a 2cm strip free of filling along 1 edge
    Top with apple mixture
    Roll up to enclose filling
    Cut each sandwich into 3 rounds

    (with thanks to "365 Tupperware Recipes in 365 Days" on facebook)

    Ham and Pineapple Muffins

    Ham and Pineapple Muffins

    Makes: 21
    Store: Refrigerate for up to 3 days
    Freeze: up to 1 month in Airtight Container

    2 cups self-raising flour
    2 tablespoons caster sugar
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    225g can pineapple pieces in natural juice, drained
    80g shaved ham, chopped
    1 cup grated tasty cheese
    2 eggs
    3/4 cup milk
    1/2 cup olive oil

    Preheat oven to 200°C
    Wash 3 muffin forms in hot soapy water and dry well
    Sift flour, sugar and baking powder into the B2B large bowl
    Add pineapple, ham and cheese and stir to combine
    Using a fork, whisk eggs, milk and oil together in the B2B measuring jug until combined
    Add to dry ingredients
    Use the spatula to stir until just combined.
    Two-thirds fill muffin holes with mixture
    Bake for 15 to 22 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand for 5 minutes to cool slightly before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely

    (with thanks to "365 Tupperware Recipes in 365 Days" on facebook)

    Easy Chicken Curry

    Easy Chicken Curry

    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 small onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    3 tablespoons vindaloo curry paste
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon paprika
    1 bay leaf
    1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
    1/2 teaspoon white sugar
    salt to taste
    2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    1 cup plain yoghurt
    3/4 cup coconut milk
    1/2 lemon, juiced
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    Dice Chicken Breasts into bite size pieces
    Add oil & onion to the base of the Stack Cooker
    Cook uncovered on high (800W) for 3 minutes
    Stir in garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, paprika, bay leaf, ginger, sugar and salt
    Cook on high (800W) for 2 minutes
    Add chicken pieces, tomato paste, yoghurt, and coconut milk
    Cook on high (800W) with the cover on for 12 minutes
    Stir and cook for a further 5 minutes with the cover off
    Remove bay leaf, and stir in lemon juice and cayenne pepper
    Cook on high (800W) for 5 more minutes
    Serve with rice & naan bread

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