Lemon Yoghurt Cake

I found the last couple of lemons on my tree today. What better way to use them than in a lemon yoghurt cake drizzled in lemon syrup.  This cake is so easy and so delicious. I dare you to stop at one slice!

 

                        lemon yoghurt cake

 

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper.

 Ingredients

Cake

  • 125 grams butter
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 1 ½ cups self-raising flour
  • 6 tablespoons plain Greek yoghurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 lemons, rind grated

Syrup

  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons caster sugar

Preparation

Cake

  • Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs.
  • Add flour, lemon rind and yoghurt and mix well.
  • Pour into tin and smooth the top.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes

Syrup

  • Mix lemon juice and sugar and heat in the microwave for 1 minute on full power.
  • After removing cake from oven, prick the top with a metal skewer.
  • Pour over the lemon juice while cake is still hot.
  • Leave until cold before removing from the tin.

Serve with cream or ice cream. I like to dust the cake with icing sugar before serving. 

 

                         lemon y cake

Easy Vegetarian Pad Thai

This recipe is super easy and super delicious. No need to ever buy jars of sauce from the supermarket again when you can make your own with staples from your pantry. This is a very forgiving recipe, you can tweak it to suit your taste buds.

 

veg pad thai

Vegetarian Pad Thai

INGREDIENTS

Noodles

  • 200 grams Pad Thai noodles
  • 2 eggs, made into an omelette and finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 mushrooms finely sliced
  • ½ capsicum finely diced
  • 1 carrot shredded or finely sliced into matchsticks
  • ½ cup frozen peas (defrosted)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger finely chopped

Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoons sambal oelek (or Sriracha sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Garnish

  • 1/4 cup coriander
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons dried fried onions
  • 1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped

 

 

DIRECTIONS

  • Place noodles in a large bowl. Pour over boiling water to cover and let stand for 10 minutes or until soft. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  • In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, sambal oelek, lime juice, canola oil, peanut butter and brown sugar. Whisk until combined.
  • Heat the canola oil in a large fry pan or wok and add the garlic, ginger, carrot, capsicum and mushrooms.  Fry for 1 minute and then add the noodles and sauce stirring through until combined.  Add the egg omelette and peas and lightly stir through.
  • Garnish with coriander, spring onions, peanuts, fried onions, chilli and bean sprouts.

 

Note:  Coriander, chilli  and peanuts can be omitted. Chicken and or prawns can be stir fried and added.

Lemon Drizzle Cake

This cake is easy to make and so delicious. It is buttery and sweet and tart, a perfect cake for dessert or for when friends are coming over.

 

lemon drizzle cake

Serves: 8-12

Preparation time: 15 to 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 150 grams butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/ cups  self-raising flour
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (395 grams)
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zest of 1 lemon peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 160°C.
  • Grease and line a 20cm flute or bundt tin.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until it is pale and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, 1 at a time.
  • Fold in the flour and condensed milk until just combined.
  • Place mixture in the tin and bake for 45 minutes. Test the cake with a skewer, if it comes out clean the cake is done.
  • While the cake is cooking, place the lemon juice and sugar into a small saucepan. Heat gently until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Stand cake in tin for 5 minutes transfer to a serving plate.
  • Drizzle the warm syrup over the warm cake.

Serve warm or cold with whipped cream and/or ice cream.

Mongolian Beef

This is a really tender stir-fried beef in a salty sweet tasty sauce. This dish that can be prepped and on the table in 20 minutes!

 

mong beef

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 500 grams  steak (sirloin or similar cut), sliced thinly
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chilli sauce i:e sambal oelek
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup spring onions, finely sliced
Preparation
  • In a small bowl combine all ingredients except the beef and spring onions to form a sauce.
  • Heat the oil in a wok/pan over medium-high heat, add the beef in small batches (keep cooked beef in a bowl once cooked) and saute until just cooked, about 2-4 minutes.
  • Add all the cooked beef back into the wok/pan Add the sauce to the pan and cook for a minute or until it thickens a bit.
  • Remove from heat, mix in the sesame oil and serve over steamed  rice garnished with the spring onions.

Note: If you don’t have Hoisin sauce you can substitute Oyster or Teriyaki sauce instead.

Streusel Topped Banana Muffins

This a great way to use up those overripe bananas everyone seems to have lurking in their fruit bowl. This is an easy recipe you can whip up for morning or afternoon tea. Lovely served with a dusting of icing sugar and butter. It’s so hard to stop at just one! A cooking tip: Don’t buy those expensive paper muffin cases. It is so easy to make your own. Cut 12 pieces of baking paper into 14 cm squares. Take each square of paper and fold it into a triangle and then fold that triangle into another triangle. Unfold the paper and place over a hole in the muffin baking tray. Press down the paper using a glass to help shape the paper. Carefully spoon the muffin batter into each paper liner.

muff 2

 

 

 

Serves 12

Ingredients

Muffin mixture

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ripe bananas – mashed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 70 grams melted butter (allow to cool)
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream

Streusel topping

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans

 

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 180 C and line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  • Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, mix together bananas, sugar, egg, sour cream and melted butter.
  • Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Spoon the batter into the paper liners.
  • In another bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, nuts and cinnamon.  Rub the butter through until it looks like sand. Sprinkle generously on top of the muffin batter.
  • Bake the muffins for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.


Vanilla Slice

This is the ultimate vanilla slice recipe. It is very similar to the slice sold in many restaurants and coffee shops. I always used to order this dessert in my favourite Italian restaurant. I googled for hours to try and find this recipe as I wanted to recreate it at home. Luckily for me a friend gave me the recipe. I could hardly believe one of the key ingredient was Sao biscuits! This dessert is best made the day before to allow it to set properly.  I dare you to wait that long!   vs 9 Serves 12 Requires: I large container about the size of a meat baking tray/largest pyrex baking dish Ingredients

  • 2 litres of milk
  • 280 grams custard powder (about 3/4s of a packet)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 250 grams unsalted butter (sliced or cubed for quicker melting)
  • Sao biscuits (usually  a 250 gm and a bit packets depending on the size of the container)
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 500 grams cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence

 Preparation

  • Warm 1.5 litres of the milk and add butter and sugar.
  • Beat together the remaining 500 mls of the milk, custard powder and baking powder.
  • Pour into the warm milk, bring to the boil, turn down to a low heat and continue to stir at all times. Custard must be very thick (spreadable).
  • Layer Saos in the bottom of the dish, carefully pour over the custard and cover in a layer of Saos.
  • Place in the fridge to cool down.
  • Beat the cream and vanilla essence until stiff.
  • Crush 4 Sao biscuits and add the icing sugar, mix together.
  • Spread the cream over cooled Sao/custard mixture
  • Sprinkle the crushed Saos and icing sugar over cream.

Note:

  • A mixture of half custard powder /half cornflour can be used for this slice.
  • Sao biscuits are an iconic Australian savoury cracker biscuit manufactured by Arnotts for over 100 years.  They have a light texture that is achieved by rolling the dough into thin sheets, then carefully layering it to give distinctive bubbles and crumbs.
  • Best made the day before to allow the slice to set properly.

Smoked Cod Patties

As a child in the sixties, smoked cod was a staple meal in my household. My mum would gently poach it in milk and serve it with a white parsley sauce, mashed potatoes and vegetables. It was real comfort food. My husband also grew up eating smoked cod on a regular basis and he often requests it. I like to try and come up with different ways to serve this budget friendly fish. These patties are really delicious served with a salad and homemade tartare sauce. I think they are even better the next day gently reheated in the microwave and served between 2 slices of fresh bread. I guess you know now what I will be having for lunch tomorrow!

smoked cod

Serves 2 (3 fish cakes each)

 

Ingredients

  • 2 smoked cod fillets
  • 2 cups milk
  • 200g of mashed potato, seasoned
  • 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • 50g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3 tablespoons chives, chopped
  • 50g seasoned flour
  • 2 eggs beaten (1 for the patties , 1 for crumbing)
  • 100g of panko breadcrumbs
  • Oil for frying

Preparation

  • Place the milk and fish cod into a deep frying pan. Bring to the boil and reduce to simmer for about 5 minutes or until the fish turns opaque. Remove fish gently from the liquid and when cooled, remove the skin and any bones, and then flake the fish.
  • In a bowl, mix the fish, mashed potato, cheese, mustard and chives. Beat an egg and add it to the mix to bind. Split the mix into six equal portions and shape into round cakes with your hands. Place on a plate and leave in the fridge to firm up.
  • When the fish cakes are firm, cover them in seasoned flour, dip into the beaten egg, and then into the breadcrumbs ensuring they are well coated.
  • In a large frying pan, cover the base with oil. Fry over a medium heat for 10 minutes, turning half way through.
  • Place the fishcakes on kitchen paper to drain and serve with tartare sauce and salad.