Visit me at hellolittlehouse.com!

Jun 18, 2012 | No Comments

Sticky date cookies with text

Thank you to my loyal eatwithnat readers – you’ve inspired me to share more with you!  Visit me at hellolittlehouse.com where I’m getting organised and creative and learning to love this little house of mine.

You’ll see that I’m slowly transferring all of my eatwithnat recipes to my new blog, but I’ll also be sharing many more of my simple favourites with you.  I hope you’ll drop by!

And as for these little sugar-dusted drops of sticky date goodness… oh my.

 

hello-little-house

Indian rice pilaf with spicy mince

May 29, 2012 | No Comments

Indian rice pilaf - with text

This is a great recipe, but the real star of this dish is the rice.  It’s one of those versatile recipes that you can build so many simple meals around.  You can’t really tell from the photo, but the flavour comes from a mixture of cumin seeds, caraway seeds, turmeric, garlic & onion.  A great combination.

I’ve actually tagged this as a ‘kids’ recipe because it’s one of my boys’ favourite dinners – just the rice on it’s own with a few peas thrown in.  I don’t blame them.  It’s pretty great.  In fact this would be up there as one of our top 5 family meals.  It’s simple, it’s flavoursome and I know that as long as I have thawed mince on hand, I can have a great meal on the table in 20 mins.

If spicy mince isn’t your thing, try serving the rice with sliced tandoori chicken breast or a simple pumpkin and cauliflower curry.  Yum!

 

Indian rice pilaf with spicy mince

Recipe source: The Australian Women’s Weekly
Cooking time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. caraway seeds
1/8 tsp. ground turmeric
1 cup basmati rice
2 cups chicken stock
500g beef mince
1½ tsp. curry powder
1/3 cup sweet chilli sauce
¼ cup water
4 green onions, sliced thinly
2/3 cup frozen peas
Coriander leaves, roughly chopped, to garnish

Method
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium saucepan.  Add onion, garlic, seeds and turmeric and cook until onion is soft.  Add rice and stir over heat until rice is coated with oil.  Add stock, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to very low.  Cover & cook for 12 minutes. 

While rice is cooking, heat remaining oil in a frying pan.  Add mince and cook until browned.  Add curry powder and cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.  Stir in sweet chilli sauce, water, green onions and peas.  Cook, stirring occasionally until peas are soft and heated through.

During this time, keep an eye on the rice and once it has cooked for 12 minutes, remove from heat, keep lid on and stand for another 5 minutes or until rice is tender.

To serve, top pilaf with spiced mince and coriander leaves.

Berry cup with brown sugar crumble

May 21, 2012 | No Comments

Berry brunch cup with brown sugar crumble 2 - with text no website

A simple photo for a simple dish!

I was invited to brunch recently where we each brought something to share.  There were a few things to consider when planning what to take – nothing too sweet for 10am in the morning, something that would travel well and most importantly, nothing complicated.

I decided to try a slightly fancier version of my everyday breakfast of Greek yoghurt, rolled oats and blueberries.  Not everyone has a palate for the tartness of Greek yoghurt, so I toasted the rolled oats with shredded coconut and brown sugar for a little crunchy sweetness.

All the berry cups were eaten, including mine, so I’m going to call it a success.  I think I’ll also use this in the future as a quick & refreshing dessert.  Any leftover crumble can be stored in the freezer in a Ziplock bag.  The only danger being that the crumble tastes delicious on vanilla ice-cream as a late night treat!

 

Berry cup with brown sugar crumble

Ingredients
1 cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup natural Greek yoghurt
1/4 cup traditional rolled oats
1/4 cup shredded coconut (not desiccated coconut)
2-4 Tbsp. brown sugar

Method
In a small bowl combine rolled oats, coconut & brown sugar.  Add brown sugar to your taste.  Toast in moderate oven until oats & coconut are turning light golden brown.  Divide berries between two small glasses (I used frozen berries).  Dollop yoghurt on top & sprinkle generously with oat mixture.

Best ever Rocky Road

May 4, 2012 | No Comments

Rocky road

This recipe comes with a warning: if you have no sense of self-discipline (like me) then I suggest you run as far away from this as possible.  Seriously. 

If you think you’re safe because you’ve never been a fan of Rocky Road, then let me tell you that this will convert any Rocky Road hater.  Believe me.

I know, I know.  I’m building a pretty tall pedestal for this recipe.  But it tastes fantastic and any time I have served it someone has asked me for the recipe.  See for yourself.

 

Rocky road

Recipe source: my friend Nicole

Ingredients
2 x 200g blocks of Cadbury’s dairy milk chocolate, broken into pieces
250g bag Pascall’s pink & white marshmallows, cut into halves
4 x Fry’s turkish delight bars, chopped into peanut-sized pieces
1/2 to 1/3 cup unsalted roasted peanuts

Method
Lightly grease a small slice tray and line with baking paper.  Ensure all ingredients are prepared – chopped, measured etc. because once the chocolate has melted you will have to work quickly.

Melt chocolate in a glass or metal bowl over simmering water.  Ensure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl to prevent chocolate from burning.  Stir chocolate occasionally until all the chocolate pieces have melted and the chocolate is smooth.

Remove saucepan from heat but keep bowl about hot water in saucepan.  This will prevent the chocolate from cooling too quickly.  Work quickly and add all other ingredients, stirring until everything is covered in chocolate.  Transfer mixture to slice tray and refrigerate until firm. 

Notes
-  Quantities of add-in ingredients can be adjusted to suit your taste
-  The quality of ingredients you use will affect the final result – I always use Pascall marshmallows
-  For a nut-free version you can substitute crispy M&Ms (thanks to Dawn for this tip!)

Spicy bean & bacon soup

Apr 15, 2012 | No Comments

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This soup ain’t pretty.  In fact I almost gave up on this post altogether.  But what this soup lacks in good looks it makes up for in flavour, so here I present my Spicy Bean & Bacon Soup in all it’s unattractive glory. 

If you’re not a fan of artichoke hearts or have never tried them, give them a chance.  You might be pleasantly surprised!

PS. My apologies to my (few) readers who have been waiting patiently for this long overdue post.  I’m having a blog dilemma and still can’t decide if this has taken my recipe fascination from happy hobby to blog burden.  Stay with me – I’m getting back on track!

 

Spicy Bean & Bacon Soup

Preparation time: less than 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
1 brown onion, chopped
4 bacon rashers or 8 short-cut rashers, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
440g can artichoke hearts, quartered
440g can crushed tomatoes
440g can cannellini beans, drained
1/3 cup sundried tomato pesto
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. minced chilli (or to taste)
Celery tops (approx. 1/2 cup)
Salt & pepper to taste

Method
Fry bacon, onion and garlic in large saucepan until onion is soft.  Add pesto and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add carrot and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.  Add tinned tomatoes, artichokes, cannellini beans, celery tops and chilli.  Refill empty tomato can with water and add to soup.  Continue to add water until soup is desired consistency.  (I like my soup chunky so I only added 2 cans of water). Bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for 3-5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Tips
The celery tops have a strong flavour, so don’t get too excited when adding them to the pot.

Tiny teddy racing cars

Feb 25, 2012 | 3 Comments

Tiny teddy racing cars

Drive it like you stole it! 

These were my first introduction to the world of kids party food (thanks Caitlin) and I couldn’t believe that something so creative could be so simple.  I especially love that the expressions on the Tiny Teddy’s faces seem to match their race car driving perfectly.

Like this one…

Cranky tiny teddy

He must have gotten into a fender-bender on the track.  Or maybe he’s still peeved about what happened earlier…

IMG_6378

Sorry little buddy.

IMG_6367  IMG_6369 

 

Tiny teddy racing cars

Ingredients
Fun size chocolates (Mars bars or Milky Ways)
Smarties
Musk Life Savers
Tiny Teddies
Small quantity of chocolate icing (or a chocolate icing pen)

Method
Lay out all of your ingredients.  Cut your musk lollies in half & chop the legs off the Tiny Teddies (apologising to each one of course).

If you are using homemade icing you can make your own piping bag by putting it in a Ziplock bag and snipping the corner edge.  Pipe a dollop of icing onto each Smartie.

Glue the Smarties onto the side of each chocolate bar.  Put a little dollop of icing on the ends of the musk lollies and stick your steering wheels on the front of the cars.  Lastly put a little icing on the cut ends of the Tiny Teddies and put the drivers behind the steering wheels.  You might need to push the teddies down into the chocolate bar, but don’t push too hard or you’ll end up with smashed cars.  Refrigerate to set the icing.

Slow cooker honey soy chicken

Feb 16, 2012 | 2 Comments

Slow cooker honey soy chicken

I’m totally in love with my slow cooker.  I know that for some people it’s just one of those appliances that takes up valuable space in the kitchen and gathers dust.  But not mine.  At least once per week – summer or winter – my slow cooker is the main attraction in my kitchen. 

Now I’m not particularly adventurous when it comes to recipes for the slow cooker.  I have a handful of family favourites that are on high rotation in my meal planning.  So I’ve been on the lookout for new flavours and stumbled across this Honey Soy Chicken.

It’s really simple to prepare and is best cooked if you’re going to be out of the house all day – the smell of it cooking will drive you crazy!  I found it was a very intense flavour though so a little bit goes a long way and it is best served with rice and simple greens.

 

Slow cooker honey soy chicken

Recipe source: Adapted from this recipe (first seen on Pinterest)

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 4-6 hours

Ingredients
3 large or 4 medium skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup plain flour
Salt & pepper
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup tomato sauce
1 brown onion
1 tsp. crushed garlic
Dried chilli flakes (optional)
2 tsp. cornflour
Sesame seeds to garnish

Method
Turn slow cooker onto high setting.  Put flour, salt & pepper in a sandwich bag and coat chicken breasts.  Transfer chicken to slow cooker, discard flour.  Slice onion and add to slow cooker.

In a small bowl mix together honey, soy sauce, tomato sauce, garlic and chilli flakes.  Mix thoroughly and pour over chicken.

Cook on high for 4-6 hours or until chicken is thoroughly cooked and sauce has darkened.  Once cooked, remove chicken from slow cooker and shred into large pieces and return to slow cooker.  Stir thoroughly to coat chicken in sauce.  Alternatively you can skip this step and serve chicken breasts whole.

If you feel like the sauce needs thickening, dissolve cornflour in small amount of water and add to slow cooker.  Allow to simmer for approximately 10 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice and sprinkle chicken with sesame seeds.

Chocolate coconut slice

Feb 3, 2012 | 4 Comments

IMG_6085

Moving house is not fun.  In fact I read somewhere that it’s the third most stressful thing you can do, after death and divorce.  Yep, that sounds about right.  But I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel of boxes when my pantry was unpacked and the recipe books were settled on the bookcase. 

So it’s time to get my cooking mojo on in the new kitchen!

Everyone seems to love this simple slice and I’m always asked for the recipe.  Which doesn’t surprise me considering I asked my friend Jodie for the recipe the first time I tasted it!

 

Chocolate coconut slice

Preparation time: barely 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup coconut
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 Tbs cocoa powder
125g butter, melted

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Grease and line a small slice tray with baking paper.  Mix all ingredients until well combined.  Press into slice tray and bake for 25 minutes.  Cover with chocolate icing while still hot and sprinkle with coconut.  Allow to cool before serving.

 

Chocolate icing

300g icing sugar
20g cocoa powder
3 tsp butter, softened
2 Tbs milk (or more if needed)

Combine all ingredients and add additional milk until the icing is smooth in consistency and easy to spread.

Greek salad bites

Jan 20, 2012 | One Comment

IMG_5917

This isn’t so much a recipe but rather a brilliant little idea.  In our house we call these ‘the man salad’ because they are the first thing my husband requests whenever we host a BBQ and every time they are served they are eaten by the dozen by the men and kids.  In fact, you can see one of my little monkeys hovering in the background waiting to pounce…

Greek salad bites - Harrison (2 of 2)

Just one more minute Harrison!

Because they are such a novelty for the kids, they also make a quick and easy lunch during the week.  My little monkeys love to be involved in the preparation too but the olives tend to go missing before they make it onto the toothpicks.

 

Greek salad bites

Recipe source: I spotted these in a magazine once but I don’t know which one or when

Ingredients
Cherry tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters
Pitted Kalamata olives, cut into halves
Continental cucumber, cut into circles then into quarters
Fetta, cut into cubes
Olive oil (optional)

Method
Assemble salad bites on toothpicks starting with tomato wedge, then olive, cucumber and finish with fetta.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil just before serving if desired.

Tips
The cherry tomatoes I used were extra large, so I cut them into quarters.  If your tomatoes are small, halves will look great too.

The fetta can crumble easily so I would suggest keeping the salad bites in the fridge until just before serving.  Also, don’t push the toothpick all the way through the fetta because it will break the cheese.  I’ve tried both hard & soft fetta and both of them become fragile when skewered so choose one that has great flavour.

Teacup apple crumble

Jan 13, 2012 | 6 Comments

IMG_5711

I love simple cooking and I especially love having recipes on hand that I can throw together at a moments notice with what I have in the pantry.  Enter teacup apple crumble!

I cheat and use tinned pie apples which makes this an excellent ‘emergency’ dessert.  The emergency being an unexpected dinner guest or a serious dessert craving…

While I try to avoid using too many tinned ingredients, these pie apples come in their purest form.  That is no added colours, preservatives, sugar or salt – just 100% pure cooked apple.  They were actually recommended to me by my children’s health nurse when my first born was starting solids.  They were cheaper than tinned baby food and just as good.  I’ve kept a tin or two in the pantry ever since.

IMG_5548  IMG_5571

IMG_5600  IMG_5614

 

Teacup apple crumble

Preparation time: 8-10 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients
1 x 400g tin of pie apples (I use Ardmona brand)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp self-raising flour
3 Tbsp desiccated coconut
1 Tbsp butter

Method
Preheat oven to 180C (350F).  Fill 2 or 3 teacups with pie apples.  Combine all other ingredients in a medium bowl and use fingers to crumble butter through dry ingredients ensuring you remove any lumps from the brown sugar.  Finished mixture should be a fine crumble.

Top teacups with crumble mixture and bake in oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.  Allow to cool slightly before handling and serving as the teacups will be very hot.  Serve with a dollop of ice cream, cream, vanilla custard or all three!

Serves: 3 moderate serves or 2 generous ones