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Steak with Moroccan Seasoning

August 10th, 2013 | Posted by Rebekah in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


Not much to say this Saturday night  (I’m a little partied-out!) except that it’s quick, healthy and very, very tasty!

Diabetic FriendlyMoroccan Rubbed Grilled Steak

Serves 4


1 tsp Ground Allspice

1 tsp Ground Cumin

1 tsp Ground Ginger

1 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Ground Coriander

1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper

4 Steaks of your choice, trimmed of visible fat


Preheat your pan or grill to high.

Combine all of the spices together in a small bowl.

Sprinkle seasoning over both sides of your steaks to taste.

You should have enough seasoning left over to pop into a snap-lock bag or air-tight container and use another day.

Then you just cook the steaks to your liking, and when they are done set aside to rest for a few minutes before serving.

Recipe Source:


Coconut Cake

August 9th, 2013 | Posted by Rebekah in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Coconut Cake


It’s quick, easy and not to mention dense and moist.  This Coconut Cake will keep the kids happy after school this afternoon, and it may even give you a few minutes to yourself with a cuppa as they polish it off.

Coconut Cake


1 Cup Coconut (dessicated or shredded is fine)

1 Cup SR Flour

1 Cup Milk

1 Cup Sugar


Preheat your oven to 180C.

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.  Don’t over-mix.

Pour into a greased or lined loaf tin and bake for approx. 40 mins.

Ice with your favourite icing:  lemon, orange, vanilla or maybe chocolate to make it taste like a Coconut Rough.  Remember those?


I try really hard to make meals the whole family will eat.  Sometimes I break the rules, like on the weekend if I’m trying to have a Date Night At Home with Mr8.  That’s when I’ll make something the kids really want for dinner, set them up with a movie and some popcorn and make something special for us to enjoy once they have gone to bed.  I used to wonder if this was selfish, but I think the kids need to go to bed at a relatively decent hour on the weekends so they don’t wake up cactus on Monday morning.  And I make sure their meal and dessert is special too,  so I think I’m playing fair.  Plus mums and dads need together time too so they can keep it together for the rest of the week.

But what I have found is that kids surprise you with what they actually will eat.  So I generally dish up the same meal for everyone (with my Polka Face on so they can’t tell if  I’m not sure they will like it) and expect everyone to at least taste it.  And if they really don’t like it, or refuse to have any, then they get something really boring for dinner like a sandwich, some yoghurt and fruit.  Most of the time they’ll try it.  And they all tried and came back for seconds with this Savoury Italian Grilled Chicken with Marinated Vegetables.  Some of the vegetables like the yellow squash and mushrooms were a bit hit and miss with the kids, but overall the meal was a success.  Plus I popped some rice on the side of the plate to keep The Vegemite Kid Happy.

Diabetic Friendly
And did I mention that it’s classed as Diabetic Friendly? Which actually just means that it’s a healthy, well balanced meal.  Nothing out of the ordinary, just healthy, fresh food, the kind we all should be eating on a regular basis.

Savoury Italian Grilled Chicken


P62115066 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

3 Cloves Garlic, crushed

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1/4 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped

1/4 Cup Fresh Rosemary

1 Tbl Parmesan Cheese

1/4 Cup Melted Butter


Trim Chicken Breasts and sprinkle both sides lightly with pepper.

To make the marinade, blend the basil, olive oil, butter, garlic and parmesan cheese together until smooth.

Coat both sides of the chicken breasts generously with the marinade and place in the refrigerator while you chop the veges.

Once ready to grill, remove the chicken from the fridge and place under the grill (as I have done), or cook on the BBQ until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.

Serve with the marinated vegetables.


Marinated Grilled Vegetables


P62115111 Spanish Onion cut into wedges

4 Medium Carrots cuts into bit-size chunks

1/3 Cup Olive Oil (I thought this was too much, so I will probably use only 1/4 cup next time)

1/2 tsp Dried Rosemary, crushed

1/4 tsp Dried Marjoram

Pepper to taste

6 Baby Yellow Squash

1 Large Zucchini cut into bite-sized chunks

1 Green Capsicum cut into large chunks

1 Red Capsicum cut into large chunks

1 Cup of Mushrooms, quartered

1/2 Cup Snow Peas, sliced


To make the marinade, combine the oil, rosemary, marjoram, and pepper in a bowl.

Place all of the vegetables in a large dish and pour the marinade over the top.  Toss to ensure the vegetables are completely coated in the marinade.  You can easily throw in any stray veges you find lurking in your refrigerator that you want to use up.

Refrigerate for at least an hour.

When ready to cook, drain the vegetables, reserving the marinade and place them on the grill or stir-fry them in a wok until tender.  Alternately, you could thread them onto skewers and cook on the BBQ, basting with the reserved marinade.

These recipes are adapted from recipes found at




Shredded Beef Chimichangas

August 3rd, 2013 | Posted by Rebekah in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)



I found a great little recipe for Shredded Beef Chimichangas the other day, but it seemed unnecessarily fiddly to me, so I changed it up a bit and converted it to a Crockpot Recipe.  I’m in love with my Crockpot at the moment and I’m building a collection of recipes I can turn to in a pinch.  My whole family loves Mexican food, so it was a safe bet that they would all devour these Chimichangas, even The Vegemite Kid who thought that this Shredded Beef was the best!  If you’re a true lover of Mexican food like Me, you’re probably going to want to double the spices in this recipe, but I have written the measurements I used below to make it kid-friendly and I have put the measurements I am going to use next time in brackets.  My kids don’t mind a bit of spice.

Shredded Beef Chimichangas


1 1/2 – 2kg Roast Beef  (I used a Blade Roast)

1 1/2 Cups Beef Stock

3 Tbl Red Wine Vinegar

1 tsp Chilli Powder (2 tsp)

1 tsp Cumin (2 tsp)


approx. 4 Tbl Butter, melted to brush Tortillas


Grated Cheese

Sour Cream

Salad and Rice


Place your roast in your Crockpot.

In a jug, combine the beef stock, red wine vinegar, chilli powder and cumin.

Pour this mixture over the roast, place the lid on your crockpot and set it on the LOW setting.

Cook for at least 5 hours, or until the beef juices run clear.  Every Crockpot is different, I know mine seems to cook a lot faster than the time specified, so just keep an eye on it, but try not to remove the lid unless you are sure it is cooked.  You don’t want to lose precious cooking time because your crockpot needs to come back up to temp.

Once your beef is cooked through, remove it to a large baking dish or cutting board and shred it using two forks.


Return your shredded beef to the juices in the crockpot and give it a good stir around so that the beef is thoroughly coated and can soak up the flavour from the juices.

Preheat your oven to 180C.

Now it becomes a bit of a production line.

Working with one tortilla at a time, brush both sides of the tortilla with melted butter and lay it in the baking dish you intend to use.

Spoon some shredded beef down the centre of the tortilla, leaving enough space around the edges to fold them in over the beef.

Fold the edges of your tortilla in to the centre enclosing the beef like an envelope and turn seam-side-down in your baking dish.

Once all tortillas have been filled and folded place your baking dish in the oven for around 8 – 10 minutes until they start to brown a little.

Serve your Chimichangas with sour cream, salsa, grated cheese and some rice and a green salad on the side.

Traditional Mexican Rice would be a perfect side dish for these Chimichangas.

This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe found at:


Healthy Tandoori Chicken

July 31st, 2013 | Posted by Rebekah in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Tandoori Chicken


Let me start by telling you something about myself that you might not already know.  I’m not always very organised.  Well, I kind of am, otherwise this house of 8 would be in complete and total chaos instead of  the occasional chaos we are currently experiencing.  I’m a planner.  I like to make lists and plans for the day, and the week, it’s just that I tend to over-plan and think I can get more done than I actually can.  And this leads to chaos, or in this instance not starting dinner as early as I should have.

Tandoori Chicken needs to marinate for an hour before going into the oven, but in this case I had about 30, maybe 40 minutes max before I needed to get it on.  Mr8 had a meeting Monday night and needed to walk out the door by 6:30pm and I was determined that we were going to eat as a family before he left.  Not that we don’t every other night, we do, it’s just easier to get everyone sitting and eating and dinner over and done with before he leaves.  Somehow my “Get to the table…..NOW!!” isn’t as convincing as his.  I wasn’t that worried about shortening the marinating time because the flavours used are pretty powerful and as it happens the flavour didn’t suffer one bit.  In fact I threw in a couple of extra chicken breasts thinking leftovers might be handy, but everyone came back for seconds and my plans for a Tandoori Chicken Burger for lunch the next day went out the window.  There’s no heat in this marinade, it’s just packed full of flavour, so the kids loved it, and they’d probably love it even more if you used it to make Tandoori Chicken Kababs at your next BBQ.  I served it with some baby potatoes and a green salad, but you could also serve it over rice and maybe put some stir-fried veges on the side, or maybe try that burger I was dreaming about.

It’s quick and easy, and perfect for a mid-week meal.

Healthy Tandoori Chicken


1/2 Cup Plain yoghurt (you could use Greek)

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

1 Tbl Fresh Ginger, minced

1 tsp Paprika

1/2 tsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Turmeric

1/2 tsp Garam Masala

1/4 tsp Coriander

1/4 tsp Salt

3 tsp Lemon Juice

6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

(This makes plenty of marinade, so I threw in some extra tenderloins with the 6 very large chicken breasts I was using)

Citrus Mayonnaise

3 Tbl Mayonnaise

2 tsp Lemon Juice


Combine the first ten ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.

Spread marinade evenly over both sides of the chicken breasts and place them in your baking dish.

Place in the fridge for an hour to marinate.

Preheat your oven to 180C.

Bake your marinated chicken breasts for approx 35 minutes, or until cooked through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before slicing.

Combine the mayonnaise and lemon juice and serve as a dipping sauce, or if you are making a burger, spread over the bread, and top with slices of chicken and salad.

This recipe is adapted from a recipe found at

Our Sunday Night Menu

July 30th, 2013 | Posted by Rebekah in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)



Manic Monday is over and it’s time to finally catch up on some recipes I have been meaning to post for a while now.  Best do it before I forget what I have photographed and start guessing!  So let’s start with Sunday, it’s fresh in my mind and as I mentioned on FB, Mr8 made quite a spectacular Orange Infused Baked Rice Pudding.  Oh yes, it was good!

Sundays are even busier than Mondays in our house.  I know it’s meant to be a day of rest and everything, but if I stopped to put my feet up on a Sunday I would find myself ripping my hair out come Monday morning, ironing uniforms, packing lunch boxes and filling drink bottles with an extra 3 or 4 loads of washing waiting for me, including bed sheets.  Not a fun picture is it?  So on Sundays we do what we have to do and try to mix it with a bit of  fun somewhere in between.  I’m guessing most families are the same.  But if I can take a shortcut like using my Crockpot and then taking my husband up on his offer to make dessert, then that’s what I’m going to do.

So, with no further ado, here is our Sunday Night menu, Italian Beef Casserole and Orange Infused Baked Rice Pudding. Both dishes were spectacular and well worth trying (they got the thumbs up from the kids).

Italian Beef Casserole

Serves 4

(we double this recipe)


Italian Beef Casserole1 Green Capsicum

1 Red Capsicum

1 Tbl Olive Oil plus 2 Tbl extra

600g Chuck Steak (I used Round Steak)

Plain Flour

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 Onion

3 Cloves Garlic

1 Large Stalk of Celery, finely diced

1 Large Carrot, peeled and finely diced

400ml Can Diced Tomatoes

400g Can Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed

2 Cups (500ml) Beef Stock

1 Tbl Capers (optional and I didn’t use)

2 Tbl Fresh Parsley, very finely chopped


Preheat your oven to 180C.

Place your two capsicums on a small roasting tray and lightly drizzle with oil.  You could use a pastry brush if you prefer.

Roast capsicums in th eoven for approx. 40 minutes, turning them over a couple of times to roast on all sides until their skins blacken and blister.

Remove your capsicums from the oven and place in two separate plastic bags.  Seal the bags and allow your capsicums to steam for a couple of minutes before gently rubbing the skins through the plastic.  The skins should rub off quite easily.

Remove the capsicums from the bags, peel away any remaining skin and remove the membranes and seeds from inside the capsicums.

Slice lengthways into fine strips and set aside until needed.

Combine flour, salt and pepper to taste in a fresh plastic bag.

Dice the beef into 2cm cubes and add to the flour mixture.  Tie a knot in the end of the bag and toss the beef in the flour to coat thoroughly.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan.  Add the beef in small batches, lightly browning on each side.  Careful not to cook your meat through, we only want to seal each side.  Remove each batch to your waiting crockpot.

Once all meat is done, add the remaining oil to your pan and add your carrots.  Cook for 1 minute.

Add the celery, garlic and onion to the pan and cook until vegetables have softened.

Add the diced tomatoes, cannellini beans and stock and bring to the boil, stirring well and scraping any bits off the bottom of the pan for flavour.  This is when you would add your capers if you were using them.

Add half the parsley and bring to the boil.

Add capsicum strips and stir through the mixture.

Pour this mixture over your beef in the crockpot.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or HIGH for 5 hours.

I cooked mine on low and the meat was very tender.

Remember, every crockpot is different and you may need to adjust the cooking time to suit your appliance.

Serve with small pasta and scattered with the remaining parsley.

We topped it off with a crusty loaf of  Sour Dough bread to mop up the sauce.

Recipe Source:

Notes:  This recipe may be cooked in the oven in a large casserole dish at 140-150C for 3 hours.


Orange Infused Baked Rice Pudding


P62716242 Cups (500ml) Milk

300ml Cream

1/2 Cup (100g) Medium Grain Rice, rinsed and drained (We used Basmati because that’s all we had, and it worked!)

1/2 Cup (100g) Sugar

1 Cinnamon Stick

1 tsp Vanilla

Pinch of Ground Nutmeg, plus extra to sprinkle

2 Strips Orange Rind (you can use Lemon Rind)

2 Egg Yolks


Preheat your oven to 160C.

Combine the milk, cream, rice, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg and orange rind in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it reaches a simmer.  This could take about 5 minutes.

Remove mixture from the heat and set aside for about 15 minutes to infuse.

Remove the cinnamon stick and add the egg yolks, stirring to combine.

Pour the rice mixture into a casserole dish with a 4 Cup/1 Litre capacity.

Sprinkle with extra nutmeg.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the rice is tender and the custard has set.

Remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes before serving with ice-cream.

This recipe is Mr8′s adaptation of a recipe he found at

Notes:  Why not try adding some Dried Apricots?  Just soak them in some boiling water to soften, and then dice them into bite-sized pieces and toss them in.

Chicken Tacos

July 25th, 2013 | Posted by Rebekah in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Chicken Tacos


After an afternoon of helping the kids finish off their homework for the week, I suddenly found myself with nothing planned for dinner last night.  Ouch!  Then Chicken Tacos popped into my head.  I’ve never made them before, but they looked quick and easy and my kids love tacos.  So I found a recipe and off I went.  Unfortunately, after a taste test we decided that the chicken tasted like, well, just chicken!  Hmmm, lots more spices needed, so I went off on my own tangent, as I usually do with recipes I find, except that I’m usually pretty good at writing down the ingredients as I go.  But this time I was in a hurry, Miss5 had already snuck off to my room and gone to sleep early and I knew the others would be starving after concentrating on their homework for so long, and I didn’t write anything down.  But the tacos were so good that I sat down after dinner and tried to remember measurements.  My kids don’t mind a bit of spice and heat so I’ve underestimated a little for you, but if you like it spicier you can play with the measurements.  This is just a place for you to start.  I think I might even like Chicken Tacos better than Beef.  And don’t forget to top them with my Sensational Salsa.  I know I’m boasting, but it’s really good!

This recipe feeds a crowd, so you might like to halve it if you are only feeding 3 or 4 people.

Chicken Tacos


(these are estimates only)

5 or 6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts poached in Chicken Stock and then shredded, discarding stock

Olive Oil for the pan

1 large Spanish Onion, diced

3 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped or minced

1 tsp Chilli Powder

2 tsp Cumin

2 tsp Paprika

2 tsp Garlic Powder

2 tsp Onion Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1 tsp Oregano

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 – 1 1/2  Cups Crushed Tomatoes (start with 1 Cup, and if mixture appears too dry add more.  It’s a personal preference thing)

Taco Shells, salad, cheese, sour cream and salsa to serve.


After you have poached your chicken breasts and shredded them, dicard the stock.

Dice your onion and combine all of the dry spices in a bowl.

Heat oil in a large frying pan at medium heat and add the onion, cooking until the onion has softened.

Add spices to the pan and stir to combine with the onion.

Once the spices are fragrant add the shredded chicken and toss to coat the chicken completely in the spice mixture.

Cook for 1 minute, then add the diced tomatoes.

Stir to combine, adding more tomatoes if the mixture is too dry for your liking.  You may even choose to use more than 1 1/2 cups, it depends on how you like them.

Once the mixture has heated through and you have done a taste test  to make sure it is just the way you like it, remove the chicken from the pan to a serving dish.

Serve chicken in Taco Shells  with all of your favourite toppings.

Notes:  This chicken can be served many ways, in taco shells, burritos, a taco chicken salad etc.  It would also freeze well.

Happy Cooking!




Peach Cobbler

July 24th, 2013 | Posted by Rebekah in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Peach Cobbler


I don’t usually fuss too much with desserts on weeknights, but Peach Cobbler is a sinch to throw together while you get dinner ready, so there’s really no excuse not to make it, now is there?!  Oh, and it contains fruit, so you could even try arguing that it’s not even really a dessert until you add the ice-cream on the side.  Not buying it?  OK, well just try it tonight and see why my family is loving Peach Cobbler.  It’s also fantastic made with Apricots which are my personal favourite.

Peach Cobbler


DSC09903-00280g Butter

1 Cup Plain Flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

3/4 Cup Sugar

1 Egg

2/3 Cup Milk

1 Small Can Peach Slices (or Apricot halves)


Preheat your oven to 200C (or about 180 fan forced)

Chop your butter and place it in the bottom of your baking dish, then pop it into the oven to melt. Watch carefully so it doesn’t brown.

In a large jug, whisk together the flour, baking powder, egg, sugar and milk, until it becomes a batter checking there are no large lumps.

Remove your tray of melted butter from the oven and pour your batter mixture into the tin. DO NOT MIX!!

Arrange your peach slices decoratively in rows over  the top of the batter.

Place in the oven for approx. 30 minutes or until it is golden on top.

Slice into squares and serve with cream or ice-cream.

Even your fussy eaters should love this one.

Recipe Source:





As much as I love to hide myself away in the kitchen trying out new recipes, on busy days I love the convenience of turning on the crockpot and walking away.  This recipe for Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken will tickle your taste buds and have you coming back for more.  There are no fancy ingredients and it only takes minutes to throw together before you head out the door.  And when you come back home you will be greeted with the most glorious aromas wafting through your house.  Then all you have to do is shred the chicken, thicken the sauce, serve it over some rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Easy!

Sweet Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken


4-6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

Salt and pepper

1 Cup Honey

1/2 Cup Soy Sauce

1/2 Cup Diced Onion (I used a Spanish Onion just because I love them!)

1/4 Cup Tomato Sauce

2 Tbl Olive Oil

2 Cloves Garlic, Minced (I used at least 3, but I’m a garlic lover)

1/4 tsp Chilli Flakes

2 tsp Cornflour dissolved in 3 Tbl Water

Sesame Seeds

Rice and Veges to serve


Season your chicken breasts lightly with salt and pepper and lay in the bottom of your crockpot.

In a bowl, combine the honey, soy sauce, onion, tomato sauce, oil, garlic and chilli flakes and then pour this mixture over your chicken breasts.

Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or on HIGH  for 3-4 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through.  Every crockpot is different, so keep a good eye on your chicken to ensure it doesn’t dry out.

Remove the chicken from the crockpot, leaving the sauce behind.

Dissolve the 2 teaspoons of cornflour in the 3 tablespoons of water and add to the sauce in the crockpot.

Stir to combine, place the lid back on and cook the sauce on HIGH for ten minutes until it has thickened.

While the sauce is thickening, shred the chicken with two forks and then return it to the crockpot and toss to coat completely with the sauce.

Serve over rice with veges of your choice and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Recipe Source:


New Improved Crockpot Yoghurt

July 22nd, 2013 | Posted by Rebekah in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)



Sometimes you have to tinker with a recipe to get it just the way you like it.  And that’s how I’ve been spending my Saturdays, tinkering with my Crockpot Yoghurt recipe so I can get it just the way we like it.  For a start, milk comes in 3 litre bottles, not 4, so I’ve adjusted it to use one 3 litre bottle.  That way when I’m at the supermarket I can just grab one extra bottle of milk for yoghurt.  I’ve also decided to add all of the sugar and the gelatine (which I have also increased) when I add the natural yoghurt, and it’s working perfectly.  We like to flavour most of our yoghurt, so I have increased the gelatine to 10 teaspoons to allow for the puréed fruit which makes your yoghurt runnier.  So far this recipe is a winner with the kids, great in muffins and I have been using the unflavoured natural yoghurt in other recipes like my curries with positive results.  Yoghurt making is my new Saturday morning habit.  I pop on the crockpot then walk away and clean the house for a couple of hours, come back, add some sugar, gelatine and natural yoghurt, then walk away for the afternoon.  It couldn’t be easier, or cheaper.  Depending on the flavour, I think we are spending a maximum of about $4.50 for 3 litres of yoghurt!  Last week I made, Vanilla, Peach and Mixed Berry.  Yum!!

New Improved Crockpot Yoghurt


3 Litres Milk

1/2 Cup Active Culture Plain Yoghurt

1/2 Cup Sugar

10 tsp Gelatine

Vanilla, Pureed Fruit etc. to flavour


Pour the milk into your crockpot, set it at low and walk away for 2 1/2 hours.

After 2 1/2 hours, unplug your crockpot and leave it sit for another 3 hours.  You want your milk to come down to a luke warm temperature, no lower, so keep an eye on it.  You want to be able to put your finger in the milk and keep it there comfortable for at least 10 seconds without burning your finger.

Take 2 cups of your luke warm milk and combine it in a mixing bowl with the sugar, gelatine and natural yoghurt.

Pour this mixture back into your crockpot, give it a quick whisk, put the lid on and wrap your entire crockpot in a thick towel and leave it to sit for 8 hours.

The longer your yoghurt sits beyond the 8 hour mark, the more tart and tangy it will be, so set your timer!

After 8 hours, remove the towel and place your yoghurt into the fridge to chill and you’re done!

Congratulations!  You have just made Yoghurt!

How easy is that?

If you have new flavour combinations to share, pop over to my FB page, we’d love to try them.


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