Thursday, March 24, 2011

ANTS CLIMBING TREES.........this my friends is a recipe not about the little black guys lol

OK now that I have established that I'm not talking literally about the little 6 legged critters that inhabit our yards around the world, I would like to share with you a recipe that my kids thought would be fun to try.  I found this recipe quite some time ago on the internet somewhere and stashed it away, never quite game to actually try it lol because the name kinda freaked everyone out.  Well in my new found determination to try out all these recipes I have been storing away for the last few years, we  have given it a go.......and the results, weren't too bad at all.  The kids all really liked it.  While it isn't a recipe that I would make on a regular basis, it is something that is quick and easy to whip up, especially when you have a lot of kids to feed!

Please note that the photo was taken of a double batch as I wanted leftovers. I also didn't add the chillis, nor did I garnish with coriander, simply because I didn't have any coriander and my kids don't like things too hot so I thought the chilli sauce would suffice on its own.

This is a dish which is of Chinese origin.  It is apparently so named because the mince is meant to look like ants climbing up a tree (the noodles).  I didn't quite see it like that but lol I guess sometimes you need your imagination turned on.  Overall though it was quite a nice dish.  Next time I will serve it with stirfried veggies as well, or maybe even mix the stirfried veggies through it to make it less noodly.

200 grams rice noodles
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce (low salt)
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
1 teaspoon cornflour (non wheaten)
350 grams lean pork mince
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon ginger
1-2 red chillies, chopped (I left these out)
2 teaspoons hot chilli sauce
2 shallots, sliced
coriander sprigs for garnish (optional)
extra chilli for garnish (optional)

Place the noodles in a bowl of hot water and soak for 15 minutes and drain.
Combine soy, sugar, sesame oil, Chinese rice wine and cornflour in a bowl.  Add mince and mix to combine.  Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.
Heat peanut oil in wok.  Add garlic, ginger and chilli.  Cook for 30 seconds.  Add chilli sauce and mince and cook for 5 minutes until browned.
Toss through noodles until combined.
Serve sprinkled with shallots, chilli and coriander.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Well this is a great example of what can happen when you leave a 10 year old in charge of baking!!

Said 10 year old does a great job gathering everything he needs and is feeling super confident that he can do this.  So mum leaves him to it.  From afar Mum watches, in between ironing.  Everything is going well so Mum just concentrates on her Mount Vesuvius of  ironing piles.  After a little while it goes very quiet in the kitchen.  Then I hear StepDad walk past and an "oh I see, no that doesn't look quite right".  For about 10 minutes the two of them umm and ahh and try to work out the problem.  When it finally gets to the better of them Mum gets called in to diagnose the Case of the Runny Mixture.  Mum simply walks over there, looks and says "how much flour did you put in the bowl", to which son responds..."3/4 of a cup, just like it says".  Mum then laughs and says "hmm, you might want to take another look at the recipe"....yep sure enough it actually said 3 3/4 cups!!!

The adjustment was then made and voila, we had biscuit mix!!!  The only problem was that the chocolate chips had melted due to the hot butter being poured over them without sufficient flour to protect them from the heat lol.  So due to not having any more chocolate chips to add, we have ended up with chocolate biscuits intead of chocolate chip ones.  Oh well, they are pretty yummy anyway!!


250 grams butter
1 Cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3 3/4 Cups Self Raising Flour
1 Cup Chocolate Chips

Melt the butter.  
Mix the melted butter with the sugar, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well.  
Add flour and chocolate chips.
Drop teaspoonfulls onto greased trays and cook for 10-15 minutes.  
Makes approximately 40 biscuits.

Friday, March 18, 2011



6 Chicken Breasts
1 cup Milk
½ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt, pepper
½ teaspoon dry English Mustard
pinch of dried mixed herbs
1 egg
2 teaspoon oil
8 tablespoons finely chopped almonds
Plain flour, seasoned
2 extra tablespoons oil
30 grams butter

Soak the chicken breasts in the milk mixed with curry powder, nutmeg, salt, pepper, mustard and mixed herbs, in fridge for 24 hours.  The next day drain.  Beat the egg and 2 teaspoons of oil together.  Mix breadcrumbs and almonds.  Dip the breasts in flour first, then egg, then breadcrumbs and almond mixture.  Heat together the oil and butter in a large pan and fry the chicken breasts until golden brown and tender.  Serve immediately.

This recipe was a brand new one that I have never made before. It appealed to me at the moment because we were following "The Flat Belly Diet" back in January and as this has almonds coating it, it is a great source of MUFAs, as recommended by the diet.

I was a little unsure as to whether the kids would like it, as I have never marinaded chicken breasts in milk before and I wasn't sure how it would turn out.  As you can see by the plate though, I made sure there was a generous helping of mashed potato on th ekids plates as that is something that will get eaten no matter what.  The motto for our house is that any new recipe should be served with either mashed potato or some type of pasta so at least the younger kids will be guaranteed to eat at least part of their meal lol.

In this case I shouldn't have worried.  This schnitzel was divine.  Marinading it in the milk made it so moist and juicy, it was just beautiful.  The kids all loved it.  Next time I make it I will probably add a few more almonds as naturally cutting the breasts in half gave me 12 schnitzels  rather than the six and due to a lack of time I wasn't able to slice up more almonds. 

This meal fed 8 of us for dinner and then the next day we all had a chicken schnitzel sandwich with salad for lunch......I love meals that leave enough for left overs!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


My husband makes the best meatloaf, although I may be a little biased.  Before I met my Hubby, I was never a fan of Meatloaf at all.  Well he converted me and now it is a much asked for thing even by the kids.  We alwways make sure to make a double batch so that we have enough for weekend lunches.  The kids all love a warm meatloaf and sauce sandwich on the weekend.  If we don't have the meatloaf on the Friday night, we just wrap it in alfoil and freeze it and then just bring it out and reheat on the weekend as required.

The following recipe will make two large meatloaves.  We find one will easily feed 6-8 of us.  That allows two generous slices each.  And before anyone asks lol, no I didn't just plonk the meatloaf onto the kitchen bench, it is on a clear glass cutting board which is just a bit difficult to see in this piccie lol.


2kg Beef Mince
1kg Sausage Mince
2 onions chopped
1t Oregano
1T Garlic Powder
Sprinkle of Bush Spices
Sprinkle of BBQ Sprinkle
1T Worcestershire Sauce
½ C BBQ Sauce
½ C American Mustard
1C Tomato Sauce
1 egg
½ C Breadcrumbs

Put all items into a mixing bowl and using your hands, mix in well.  The mixtures shouldn’t be too wet, but should hold form.  Form into 2 large logs and place into two baking trays which have been sprayed with oil.  Drizzle with more Mustard, BBQ sauce and Tomato Sauce.
Bake in moderate oven for approximately 1 hour.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crumbed Sausages and Child Challenges

Following on from my last post where I shared my recipe for my famous (well in my home at least lol) chicken stirfry, the following night we had crumbed sausages.  My kids love crumbed sausages.  We find it a great meal to whip up when you are feeling a little brain dead in the "meal idea" area!!  As you can see, the kids can't resist having just a little more of the chicken stirfy that was left over either lol.  Normally we would just serve it with veggies and mash.

1kg sausage mince
Garlic Powder
Bush Spices
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, place sausage mince and sprinkle on garlic powder, bush spices and salt and pepper.  There are no real measurements, just go by sight and smell, adding more if necessary as you mix.
Using your hands, mix all thoroughly together.
Shape into small sausage shapes and roll in breadcrumbs, coating them well.
Deep fry until golden brown and then place into a 150 degree oven to keep warm and to continue cooking.
Serve with Mashed Potato and Vegetables.

You can use whatever herbs/spices you have on hand or like in your snags.  These are our favourites at the moment.
Other than cooking crumbed sausages life in our house hasn't been all that eventful.  It has been a tough couple of weeks emotionally for me with Mr10 deciding that going to school is not what he wants to do each morning.  I can get him there but getting him to go to his classroom is a massive struggle.  The last few days he has gone off to help Bob the handyman/gardener in the school to take his mind off the morning routine.  This seems to work, well it did until this morning when Bob's job he was doing with Rhiley finished a bit quicker than it should have and Rhiley came walking back to get his bag from the office and saw me.  That was it he refused to go to school.  I had to drag him into the office and leave him crying with Bob who said he could help him pack his gear up before heading to class.  I just don't understand my boy at all at the moment.  After school he is fine, says he had a good day etc etc.  He even gets up in the morning ok and goes to school ok it is just that separation time in the morning.  The school is suggesting that maybe I should get him in  to see a counsellor or something as they are just pulling different strategies out of thin air.  I tell you, my older two boys never had these problems and this is truly doing my head in.

Oh well, I guess life wasn't meant to be easy right???????

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Stir Fried Chicken and Hokkien Noodles Recipe

This would have to be one of the kids favourite meals and I love it too because I always make enough to ensure leftovers for a couple of days worth of lunches too lol.

This recipe is simple and straight forward and although I don't use a recipe as such I thought I would share my "approximations" with you.  Everyone should cook this as even my "I hate vegetables" kids chow down on this without so much as a "eww" or "I don't like..." coming from their mouths!!


1.5kg of chicken breast, cut into cubes
1kg hokkien noodles (remove these from the bag and pour over boiling water to remove the excess oil and to break them up a little so they are easier to work with)
1/4 cabbage sliced thinly
1 onion, sliced
1 capsicum, sliced
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup green beans
2 carrots, sliced julienne style
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup bean shoots
Other veggies as you wish (mine vary every time I make it)
Kepac Manis Sauce
Dark Soy Sauce

To make, simply add a little oil to your wok and cook the chicken until cooked through.  Place in a baking pan in the oven to keep warm.
Cook onion until transparent and then add the other vegetables (except the bean shoots).  Cook for a couple of minutes until veggies are just cooked.
Add in the hokkien noodles and stir through to combine.
Add in some Kepac Manis and Dark Soy Sauce until you get the desired colour/taste suitable for your family.  (The Kepac Manis sauce adds a lovely flavour and the dark soy sauce gives it its wonderful colour).
Toss in the bean shoots.
Serve and eat while hot.

I quite easily feed 2 adults and 6 children with this and still have plenty left over for lunches.  The above photo was taken AFTER we had all had a bowl, this was just the leftovers lol.  This recipe fills my wok to the brim!