Saturday, 25 July 2015

Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball

I have not come across an easier appetiser to prepare and take to a function as this cheese ball!  

Nath a friend of mine invited me to an aroma party one very cold, grey winter afternoon.  I must say I did take half my freezer stock with me for nibbles along with this cheese ball.  I spent a fantastic afternoon eating and chatting with the boys,  All of whom asked for the recipe for this cheese ball.

As promised Gents here is the easy peasy recipe!

250gm package cream cheese
3 spring onions, chopped
3 slices middle bacon, chopped and cooked
1 cup grated tasty cheese
1 tablespoon ranch dressing, Dry or liquid

Slice spring onions finely both green and white parts.

I get my dry ranch from USA Foods great place to get those elusive American products.

Chop, cook and drain you bacon, leave to cool.

Place all your ingredients in your mixer bowl and mix until combined about a minute.

Use your spatula to scrape down the sides of your bowl and form your ball.

Use a little extra grated cheese, or you could use chopped herbs here, to roll your ball in and coat.

Allow your ball to firm up in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  Serve with a nice crisp dry biscuit.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Olive Cheese Bread

This has replaced Garlic bread in our house as a new staple.  You can make this up ahead of time and freeze it or you can make a batch of the spread and freeze it ahead for a party.  

If you don't like olives you can substitute roasted red peppers or chopped bacon.

3 x panna di casa rolls
300 gm pitted kalamata olives
2 spring onions
115 gm butter, room temperature
1/2 cup mayonnaise
350 gm grated tasty cheese

I find that you need to pat your olives dry slightly before you chop them otherwise your mixture gets a little sloppy.  Ruffly chop your spring onions and olives.

In your mixer combine your butter, mayonnaise and grated cheese.

Add your chopped olives and spring onions and mix with your mixer until combined.

Slice your rolls in half and place on a lined baking sheet.

Top generously with the olive mixture.  At this stage you can set aside and refrigerate for later, freeze on baking tray for bagging later or cook.  If you are going to freeze them do so on a baking sheet then bag later or you will get your lovely topping all over the inside of the bag.

Bake in pre heated oven at 170C for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

Don't burn your fingers when you cut it or your mouth when you scoff it!

Melty, cheesey, olivey goodness.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Chocolate Malt Cupcakes with Vanilla Malt Buttercream

I think just about everyone has seen the original recipe for this floating around the Internet.  Head over to Taste and Tell to have a look at Deborah's other fantastic recipes.  I have been wanting to make them for a couple of weeks and this week made sure I had the ingredients in the cupboard.  I however buggered up and got Malt Extract not Malted Milk powder. 

I am standing in the kitchen staring at this liquid that is similar to Treacle but smells of Malt and think .... I wonder if this will substitute for the powder??  I did look at my watch and wonder if I could be bothered making a dash to the supermarket, however decided against it.

Well it did work out and while we were out this afternoon dropping the kid off at the movies with his bestie, made the other half go to the supermarket (his most hated place in the world) for the Malted Milk Powder for the buttercream.

Happy Birthday Gail!


2 1/4 cups plain flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons bi carb soda
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cup malted milk powder
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


250 gm unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup malted milk powder
2 1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In your mixer bowl combine the milk and malt powder, mix until combined and the powder is dissolved.  Beat in the eggs and oil until combined.

In another bowl combine your dry ingredients flour, sugars, cocoa and bi carb soda.  Mix with a whisk to combine.

Slowly add your dry to your wet ingredients, when all dry ingredients added then add the sour cream and vanilla.

Scoop into your cupcake liners, fill 2/3 of the way full or your cupcakes will overflow while cooking.  Bake at 180C for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before icing.

Buttercream:  Whip the butter until light and fluffy.  Beat the malt powder into the butter for 2 minutes.  Beat in the icing sugar one cup at a time until combined, add the vanilla extract and then whip on high for 5 minutes. 

Pipe your buttercream as desired and top with Maltesers.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Sticky Date Pudding with Toffee Sauce

Winter is comfort food time and well nothing says comfort food like Sticky Date Pudding with Toffee sauce!

This recipe can either make one LARGE pudding or 4 smaller ones that are easily cooked in foil containers and frozen for later.

I love these foil trays, they are great for freezer meals, easy to freeze and stack and in this case easy to bake a pudding or cake in.

I love this pudding.  It is so easy to make, stick it all in a food processor and your away.

300gm Pitted Dates
1 1/2 teaspoons bi carb soda
1 1/2 cup boiling water
150gm butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup self raising flour
3 eggs

150gm butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup cream

Roughly chop your dates.

Place dates, bi carb and water in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes.

Place dates, butter and sugar in food processor and blend until smooth.

Place flour and eggs in processor with date mixture and blend.

Spread batter into the foil trays or buttered baking dish.

Bake in 180C pre heated oven 20 minutes for smaller trays 30 for larger trays or 40 to 60 for a full sized baking dish.  Allow to cool totally prior to pouring toffee sauce over if freezing.

In a saucepan combine butter, sugar and cream.  Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until sauce thickens.

If freezing allow to cool prior to pouring over cold puddings, cover and freeze.

If serving straight away, serve with either ice cream or cream.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Freezer Meals, Cakes and Treats.

I was having a look through some old posts this week and noticed that a lot of my posts are of things that can be frozen and re heated later or cooked when defrosted.  So I thought it might be handy if I put them all into one place for your to browse through.

I have put the recipe links in categories to make it a bit easier.  

I double my batches for a lot of things and what I am not going to use then I will freeze for later. Freezing is a great way of using up food that is close to use by and if you get a great special on bulk meat for vegetables.

Party Foods.



These soups and any soups really can be put into zip loc bags, make sure there is no air in the bag when you seal it and lay flat on a tray in the freezer until frozen then you can stack for easy storage.


All mains can be frozen in these fantastic foil containers.  Cool the food and when cold place the paper lid on the container and write the meal name the time for cooking/reheating and the temperature to cook at.  This allows for easily finding and cooking meals.  Fool proof for most people, well most people will read the instructions when they pull stuff out of the freezer normally.


Cakes and Cookies.

Cakes and cookies are fantastic to freeze and pull out when you have guests coming at short notice.  Or if you just feel like something sweet but cannot be bothered cooking.  When freezing cakes wrap in Baking paper once cool and then cling wrap them tightly, freeze on a tray or flat surface, stack when frozen.  Cookies place them on a lined baking tray as dough balls and freeze, bag in a zip loc bag when frozen.