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Shredded Beef Rolls

July 15th, 2014 | Posted by Rebekah in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

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School is back in full swing and so are most extra-curricular activities.  To parents this means lunch boxes, uniforms, homework, and lots and lots of rushing around.  So week-night meals need to be kept simple.  And you don’t get much easier than a Crockpot meal, just chuck it all in, turn it on and inhale the aroma that will fill your house for the rest of the day.  Sometimes I find Crockpot recipes include ingredients I prefer not to use (like cans of soup) or ones I simply can’t find in the stores so I tend to take the ingredients I love to use and come up with my own concoction.  This is one of those recipes.

Shredded Beef Rolls


1 Large Blade Roast (About 1 1/2 – 2kg, and you can use something like Topside if you prefer)

1 Large Onion, thinly sliced

1 Cup Tomato Puree

1/3 Cup Lemon Juice

3 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce

2 Tbl Brown Sugar

2 Tbl Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Pepper


Place the roast in your crockpot and lay the onion slices on top.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.

Pour sauce over the top of your roast, place the lid on your Crockpot and let it work it’s magic on LOW until the meat is cooked through.

Once the meat is cooked through, remove from the Crockpot to a large pan or cutting board and shred using two forks. Place meat back into the juices in the Crockpot and keep on WARM setting until needed.  Remove meat from juices just before serving.

Notes:  Again, this is one of those times that you need to go by how fast you find things cook in your Crockpot.  Mine cooks things faster than most (which I’m not fond of, but it’s what I’ve got right now, so I’m using it).  My Crockpot took about 5-6 hours to cook this roast on the LOW setting, but others may take 8-9 hours.

Lemon Pepper Chicken

July 10th, 2014 | Posted by Rebekah in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


Every mum needs a stash of last minute meals and what could be easier than grilling some chicken breasts while you make a salad or steam some veges?  And check out those Parmesan Encrusted Potato halves in the background (recipe coming soon!).

Lemon Pepper Chicken


4 Chicken Breasts, boneless and skin removed

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Lemon Juice

1 Tbl Lemon Pepper

Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese


Combine the oil, lemon juice and lemon pepper in a bowl.

Add the chicken and allow to marinate for as long as you can.  This does’t mean hours and hours, or overnight.   Remember, it’s a last minute meal, and if left too long the acid in the lemon juice will start to cook the chicken and it will take on a white appearance, so we are talking 30 minutes to an hour here.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.

Sprinkle the chicken with parmesan cheese and grill or bake in the oven at 180C until the chicken is cooked through.



Source of Original Recipe:




Have you ever shopped for a full grocery order during the school holidays?   I’m talking the  “We don’t have ANY food in the house and my trolley is so full it has a slight lean to one side and keeps steering in that direction, AND I have a large packet of toilet rolls sitting on top of the handle of the trolley about to fall on the two dozen eggs I have sitting in the toddler seat”  kind of order.  Well, that was me yesterday.  Mr8 was watching the kids and I was determined to grab as much food as I could and enjoy a little Me Time as I wandered up and down the aisles.   Unfortunately it seemed that every other parent in town had the same idea, except that they weren’t as lucky as I was and had to bring their kids with them, so the place was packed.

When I first arrived I thought I had picked the perfect time to stock-up…..the place was practically empty.  But then, as I was half way through the fruit and vege. section (which I know I should leave to last so the grapes and bananas don’t  get squashed in the bottom of the trolley, but I never do) THEY arrived!  Mums, Dads, kids and Grandparents, they were everywhere.  I don’t know what happened, maybe a kids session at the movies had just finished or something, but it seemed like every parent with school-aged kids converged on my local supermarket.  And my peace ended!!

Now you know I love kids, I have six.  But parents shopping with multiple kids have multiple things on their minds and when they stop their trolleys in the middle of the aisle so no-one can get past, they aren’t doing it deliberately, they’re just trying to remember exactly what it is they are looking for, compare prices, mark said item off their list if they have one, and keep an eye on any kids they can’t fit in their trolley.  I know, I’ve been there.  I remember once when Mr8 was away for 4 weeks and I had to shop for a birthday party I was throwing that weekend and I had no choice but  to take all 6 kids.  They were being unusually helpful and agreeable, so I just kept shopping, grabbing as much as I could until I thought they had had enough.  Two trolleys later (with the Teenager pushing the second trolley with a toddler on-board), we headed for the check-out.  And that’s when everything went Pear-shaped.  They completely lost it!  As we left the check-out with what was left of my sanity I smiled sweetly at the check-out operator and in my most jovial voice said  “And they were doing so well!”  Then I made a hasty retreat.

So I know how hard it can be to shop with kids.  Personally I avoid it at all costs.  And yesterday  these kids were being pretty good, but every shopping aisle was packed and it easily added an extra half an hour to my trip.  Especially when I headed to the check-outs to find only three open, each with at least three full trolleys lined up, yet nobody was choosing to go through self-serve.  So off I went to self-serve, grabbed a second trolley and loaded everything into that trolley after I bagged it.  The lady supervising was very impressed and told me I had done a pretty good job.  I was in and out of there before I knew it.  Maybe I have a future at Woolworths!

Once home I unpacked everything and decided that while I potentially had everything I needed to make anything the family wanted for dinner, I was way too tired and it was going to be steak and chips.  Which brings me to the sauce.  A great sauce can take  an ordinary meal and turn it into something special.  And I think this Creamy Mushroom Sauce is pretty special.  It’s super-easy, super-quick and a real crowd pleaser.  Nobody cared that I had slightly burnt some of the chips and the kids even tried the mushrooms.  I chose to add some white wine for that extra punch of flavour, but it’s completely optional (though I highly recommend it).  So if you’re looking for a way to jazz up a quick meal of steak and chips, I’d give it a go.



1 tsp Olive Oil or Butter

150g Button Mushrooms, cut in half, then sliced

150ml Thickened Cream

1/4 Cup White Wine (optional)

1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper, or more to taste

1 tsp Ground Sea Salt (I just used regular)

2 Cloves Garlic, crushed


Heat the oil or butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add the sliced mushrooms and garlic and stir-fry them until they are lightly browned, taking care not to burn the garlic.  Then reduce the heat to medium.

Add the cream, white wine,  salt and pepper and bring the sauce to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer the sauce,  stirring occasionally while you cook for approx. 5-8 minutes.  Watch carefully that the cream doesn’t over-boil.

Once the sauce has reduced by half, serve steak.



Adapted from a recipe found at:


Country Chicken Pot Pie

July 3rd, 2014 | Posted by Rebekah in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Winter has finally made it’s presence known this week.  To be honest, I was starting to doubt that those chilling winter winds were ever going to arrive, but they have and it’s time to change-up the dinner menu and start making the family some winter warmers.  So I’m re-visiting a family favourite and sharing some of my cheaty secrets as well.

This Chicken Pot Pie is a huge favourite around here with even The Vegemite Kid cleaning his plate, veges and all!  It’s makes quite a large batch, so it’s up to you whether you make 2 pies (freezing one for later) or one huge pie like us to feed a family of 8.  It’s one of those meals that I like to keep in the freezer for nights when getting a meal on the table just doesn’t seem do-able.  And if you do find yourself driving home  without any idea what’s for dinner, just make a quick stop at the shops to pick up a BBQ Chicken,  and you will have your meal on the table in no time.


Country Chicken Pot Pie


Country Chicken Pot Pie1 Cup Carrot, diced

1 Cup Celery, diced

1 Cup Onion, diced

1/3 Cup Butter, melted (or I use a little Olive Oil)

1/2 Cup Plain Flour

Cups Reduced Sodium Chicken Stock

1 Cup Light & Creamy Evaporated Milk

4 Cups Cooked Chicken, diced or shredded (You could cheat and use a bought BBQ Chicken)

1 Cup Frozen Peas, thawed

Salt and Pepper to taste

4 Sheets Frozen Puff Pastry or 2 Pie Bases and 2 Sheets Pastry (or make your own)


In a large pan, sautee the carrot, celery and onion in melted butter or oil until onion is soft and translucent.

Now, here’s the cheaty bit!  If I haven’t pre-cooked my chicken, which more often than not is the case, this is where I toss in my diced chicken and let it cook through before adding the flour in the next step.  And it has made absolutely no difference to the tenderness of the chicken, so this is my new way of doing it.

Add flour, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

Continue stirring as you add the chicken stock and evaporated milk.  The sauce will bubble and thicken, becoming nice and creamy.  And, if you have kept stirring you won’t have lumpy sauce.  If you absolutely hate evaporated milk, you can use 1/2 Cup Milk and 1/2 Cup Cream.  We just went with the healthier option.

Add your chicken (if you haven’t already), peas, and salt and pepper to taste.

While your filling is cooling, prepare your pie cases by placing your base in the oven until it turns a nice light golden colour.  This prevents the pastry from going soggy once you have added the filling.  If you are using puff pastry, lightly grease your pie plates and line with your sheet of pastry, trimming the edges as needed, then place in the oven to cook a little.  Sometimes I don’t use a base at all and just have a top on my pie.

Once your bases are ready, add your filling and cover with your remaining sheets of pastry, trim as needed, and if you feel the need, as I did, use your left-over pastry scraps to decorate your pie.  Tuesday I decorated it with the traditional leaves, but I have made love hearts and even little messages on the tops of my pies.  Give it a try!



I’ve always wanted to try poaching pears, and I have seen it done so many times on My Kitchen Rules that one night I decided to give it a go.  The verdict was a thumbs up from the family, and as long as you make sure your pears are cooked through but not over-cooked, it’s relatively easy.  Having said that, remember that I wasn’t cooking for an army of hungry people who wanted their dessert NOW!!  I was only cooking for family, so getting the pears right wasn’t too difficult.  My no. 1 tip would be to buy pears that are as close to being the same size as possible.

Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Poached Pears


750ml (3 Cups) Water

200g (1 Cup, firmly packed) Brown Sugar

1 x 7cm Cinnamon Stick, roughly broken

3 large (about 280g each) just-ripe Beurre Bosc Pears, unpeeled, cored, cut into thick wedges.  I quartered them.

Low-fat Natural Yoghurt or Ice-Cream to serve.

Yes, I went for the Ice-Cream!!


Using the saucepan you plan to cook the pears in, trace a circle onto a piece of non-stick baking paper and cut it out.

Combine the water, sugar and cinnamon in a large saucepan over low heat.

Cook, stirring for 2 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.

Add the pears and stir to coat them in syrup.

Place your baking paper circle on the surface of the pear and syrup mixture and cook, covered, for 10-15 minutes or until the pears are tender.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to serving bowls.

Increase the heat to high and bring the syrup to the boil.  Continue to boil uncovered for another 5-10 minutes or until the syrup thickens slightly.

Drizzle the syrup over the pears.

Serve immediately with yoghurt or ice-cream.

Recipe Source:

BBQ Shredded Chicken

June 24th, 2014 | Posted by Rebekah in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


Are you counting down to the school holidays?  I know I am.  And I’ll be needing some quick and filling lunches to keep my bunch happy and this BBQ Shredded Chicken will do quite nicely.  It’s a crockpot recipe which means it’s a time-saver and it’sperfect for a relaxed weekend lunch, quick dinner before the kids head out for after school activities, or in my case feeding a crowd during the holidays.  We usually serve ours wrapped in tortillas, but I think it would be perfect on fresh crunchy bread rolls.

BBQ Shredded Chicken


1 Onion, cut in half and then thinly sliced

1kg Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

1 Cup Tomato Puree

2 Tbl Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tbl Dijon Mustard

2 Tbl Molasses

1 tsp Onion Powder

1 tsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

1/2 tsp Tabasco Sauce

1/2 tsp Salt

Tortillas or Fresh Bread Rolls to serve


Scatter the onions on the bottom of your crockpot.

Place the chicken on top of the onions.

In a medium bowl, combine the tomato puree, vinegar, mustard, molasses, onion powder, cumin, garlic powder, tabasco and salt.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and cook on LOW until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily with a fork.

Remove the chicken from the crockpot and shred with two forks.  Return chicken back to the crockpot and stir to coat completely with the sauce.

Serve hot wrapped in tortillas or on fresh bread rolls that you have heated in the oven to make them nice and crunchy.

Notes:  Cooking times will vary with each crockpot.

Adapted from a recipe found at:

Home-made Brown Sugar

June 21st, 2014 | Posted by Rebekah in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)



The other day I was happily baking away when I discovered that Mr8 and the kids had used up ALL of the brown sugar on their porridge.  So I figured there had to be a way to make my own right?!  And there is!  I kid you not, you can make your own brown sugar in a matter of minutes with only 2 INGREDIENTS!  Hmmm, that sounds like the title of a potential book…..maybe not.  Anyway, it can be done, with absolutely no fuss at all, so here we go…..

Home-made Brown Sugar


3 Cups White Sugar

2 Tbl Molasses


Place the sugar and molasses in a medium sized mixing bowl and stir together.  Now, you can do this using the paddle attachment on your electric mixer, but as we all know, I am without one at the moment because I blew the motor when I took my eyes off  it making Eggless Marshmallows, so I did this by hand using a dessert spoon.  And to tell you the truth, you don’t really need to use a mixer, it’s just extra washing-up.

Once all of your white sugar resembles brown sugar, transfer to an air-tight container and store in your pantry.  It’s as simple as that!

Notes:  If you want to make Dark Brown Sugar, gradually  add more molasses until it’s just how you want it.  And molasses may not be something you usually stock in your pantry (mine was left over from Christmas baking), but it’s worth grabbing if you see it in your supermarket.  It makes the best Gingerbread.


I have no idea where this recipe originated from, but I found it at http:

Chicken with Teriyaki Hoisin Sauce


If I’m looking for a quick week night meal I usually serve something with rice.  Rice is quick, it’s filling and it goes with any number of things from stir-fries to mexican to goulash.  Not to mention that if you are lucky enough to own a rice cooker you can just flick a switch and walk away to prepare the rest of the meal while the rice COOKS ITSELF!!!!  Rice cookers are great little gadgets, and I picked mine up at Kmart for around $19 I think.  It’s not fancy, but it does the job and cooks up to 5 cups of rice perfectly, which is handy because I tend to forget all about it and let it bubble away, slowly turning into something resembling white porridge.

Last night was a busy one, we had homework to finish off, clothes to pick out for Free Dress Day at school,  and Mr 8 had a late meeting.  So it was a rice night.  But I still had enough time to make this quick, yet amazing dish.  The sauce is so more-ish and the kids were begging for more.  I made a few minor changes to the original recipe (as I do) making it less salty and using fresh garlic because, well, why use granules when you have beautiful, fresh, Australian grown garlic sitting on the bench staring at you?   And it’s perfect for those nights when you have after school activities and you need to get a head-start on dinner while the kids are at school.  Just cook the chicken and the sauce ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to eat.  Then it’s just  a matter of re-heating the chicken pieces in a pan over Medium Heat until almost heated through, then adding the sauce and tossing the chicken through the sauce to coat all of the pieces until the sauce is nice and hot.  If you add the sauce too early it may burn and we don’t want that.  Or if you’re super hungry, just use the microwave.

We will definitely be making this dish again!

Chicken with Teriyaki Hoisin Sauce



3 Tbl Light Brown Sugar

2 Tbl Soy Sauce

1 Tbl Rice Wine Vinegar

1 Tbl Hoisin Sauce

1 Tbl Water

1 tsp Sesame Oil

2 tsp Cornflour

1/4 tsp Garlic Powder

1/8 tsp Ground Ginger

To Cook the Sauce:

Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk to combine.  Continue to whisk as you bring the sauce to the boil, then reduce to a simmer until the sauce thickens.  It will have a lovely syrupy appearance.  Remove sauce from the heat and set aside to cool while you cook the chicken.



4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts diced into bite-sized pieces

1 Tbl Olive Oil

Freshly Cracked Black Pepper, to taste

2 Cloves Garlic, diced or crushed

To Cook Chicken:

Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat.

Once oil is hot, add chicken pieces and garlic, sprinkling lightly with pepper.

Toss chicken occasionally as you cook to ensure all pieces are cooked through evenly.

When chicken pieces are cooked through and no longer pink inside pour over the Teriyaki Hoisin Sauce.

Toss chicken pieces through the sauce to ensure they are completely coated in the sauce.

Serve with rice.

Notes:  A double batch of this recipe fed our family of 8 with only 3 or 4 of us eating an adult-sized serve, so I’m going to say that a single batch of this recipe will serve 3-4 adults.


Source of Original Recipe:



Being the Carb-Lover that I am, I love pasta, so I have tried my fair share of fettuccine alfredo recipes.  But this recipe is by far the most Amazing Fettuccine Alfredo I have ever tasted.  Mr 8 and the kids couldn’t get enough of it.  I chose to serve it with a seasoned, grilled chicken breast and a green salad, but it would be perfect served all by itself.

Fettuccine Alfredo with Bacon

4 Servings (1 Cup per Serve)


1 Packet Refrigerated Fresh Fettuccine

2 slices Bacon Rashers (or more if you really love your bacon)

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

1 Tbl Plain Flour

1 Cup Milk (Lite Milk works just fine)

2/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1/2 tsp Salt

2 Tbl Fresh Parsley, chopped

1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper


Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting any added salt or fats.

Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 Cup of the cooking water.

While the pasta is cooking, cook the bacon in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat for approx. 4 minutes, or until crisp, stirring occasionally.

Remove bacon from the pan, reserving the drippings.

Add the garlic to the pan and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Sprinkle flour over the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Gradually add the milk, still stirring and cook for 2 minutes or until the mixture becomes bubbly and slightly thick.

Reduce the heat to low and gradually add the cheese, stirring until the cheese melts.

Return cooked bacon to the pan.

Stir in the salt and reserved 1/4 cup of cooking water.

Add hot pasta to the pan and toss well to combine, ensuring the pasta is completely coated in the sauce.

Sprinkle with parsley and pepper and serve immediately.

Source of Original Recipe:


white sauce

White Sauce gets a bad wrap as being difficult to make and often turning out lumpy.  Well, when it comes to white sauce I’m not very patient and I tend to add all of my milk at once and it never comes out lumpy! A fluke maybe?  I like to think I am just extraordinarily gifted in the area of White Sauce, but I will say that I whisk it madly the whole time, so maybe that’s my secret…..Never stop Whisking!!    If you’re like me, lacking in patience but loving white sauce, you might like to give this microwave recipe a try.  The original recipe calls for 2 cups of cheddar cheese, but I think some parmesan adds flavour, so I use 1 cup cheddar and 1 cup parmesan.  It’s really simple, and hasn’t failed me yet.  I have also used it to make some Macaroni Cheese for the kids, and when I have run out of Chicken Stock I have just increased the amount of milk used and made a basic cheese sauce.

Simple Microwave Cheesy White Sauce


3 Tbl Butter

3 Tbl Plain Flour

1 Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese

1 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

2 Chicken Stock Cubes

500ml Milk


Place the butter in a large microwave safe container and microwave for about 30 seconds, or until bubbling.

Add the flour and mix well to combine.

Pop back into the microwave for another 30 seconds to cook out the flour.

Using a whisk, slowly add the milk, making sure there are no lumps.

Crumble the chicken stock cubes into the sauce and add the grated cheese.

Stir thoroughly.

Microwave in 30 second increments and whisk well in between until the cheese is melted and the sauce is lovely and smooth.

Recipe Source:


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