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Crockpot Chicken Fajitas

October 28th, 2013 | Posted by Rebekah in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

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What’s your crazy night?  Ours is probably Thursdays because the girls have dancing  in the evening, so on Thursdays the Crockpot is my friend.  I found this recipe for Crockpot Fajitas in one of the new cookbooks I found in my Mother-In-Law’s kitchen cupboard a couple of weeks ago, and it’s a keeper. It’s hard to find good crockpot recipes that don’t contain cans of soup or packet mixes, so if you have any “Can’t Do Without” crockpot recipes, I’d love to hear from you.

I just popped the Crockpot on while the kids were at school, made a salad, grated some cheese and checked that I had tortillas in the cupboard and sour cream in the fridge, then went about my day knowing dinner was as good as ready.

Crockpot  Chicken Fajitas


securedownload (3)1kg Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

1 Onion, thinly sliced

1 Red Capsicum, sliced

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Chilli Powder (start with 1/2 tsp if you don’t like things spicy)

1 Tbl Lime Juice

1/2 Cup Chicken STock

8-10 Warmed Tortillas

To Serve:


Sour Cream


Lettuce, tomatoes etc


Lightly oil the base and sides of your crockpot.

Slice chicken breasts into strips (on the diagonal) and place in the bottom of the crockpot.

Layer the onion and capsicum over the top of the chicken.

Combine the cumin, chilli powder, lime juice and chicken stock in a bowl and stir to combine.

Pour this mixture over the top of the chicken, onions and capsicum, place the lid on the crockpot and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Times will vary according to your crockpot.  Mine always cooks much faster than the times given.

Remove chicken mixture from the crockpot and disgard the juices.

Serve on warmed tortillas with your favourite toppings.


Source of Original Recipe:  Easy Slow Cooker Cookbook by Barbara C. Jones (recipe has been slightly modified)

BBQ Chicken

October 27th, 2013 | Posted by Rebekah in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)



Excuse me a moment while I do a little boasting and admire my two perfectly roasted chickens.  Perfect, did I say Perfect?  Why yes I did, and they were quite spectacular.  Even if I do say so myself.  In fact, I can see myself roasting a few more chickens in the near future.  Maybe for Christmas even.

You may have noticed I’ve been a little busy lately (hence my lack of recipe sharing), and when I say busy I don’t just mean the usual “I’ve got 8 people in the house” busy, I mean crazy busy.  And this Saturday was no exception.  A fun birthday party in the park in the morning followed by grocery shopping and the dreaded housecleaning, so I was in no mood for a complicated Saturday night dinner.  But Saturday is traditionally our family dinner night, so I wanted to make something special yet still easy.  And you don’t get much easier than asking Mr8 to fire up the Weber, chop up a few lemons and cloves of garlic and throw two chickens on the BBQ now do you?

I have only attempted to roast a chicken once in my mothering history, and it was a total disaster.  Mr8  and I were living in super-hot North Queensland with our first child and were celebrating Christmas alone, far away from any family, so we thought we would try roasting a chicken like his mum does at Christmas to make us feel like we were having one of our usual family Christmases.  Problem was it was so hot we placed the chicken on the BBQ and went back inside to enjoy our air-con and left the chicken on the BBQ a little longer than we should have.  Well, quite a bit longer actually.  Verdict:  We were better off to buy a Roast Chicken from Woolworths.  And for the past 13 years that’s what we have done….until now!  I took the plunge, chose a simple recipe and everything worked out perfectly.  And because I roasted two chickens we even have left-overs.

So my  number one tip for those of you who are reluctant to give chickens a try is to choose a decent sized chicken, not a puny little one that will cook in half an hour.  Then choose a simple recipe and go for it.  Oh, and don’t forget that the bird’s on the BBQ!

BBQ Chicken

securedownload (2)Ingredients:

1 Decent Sized Chicken (around 2kgs)

1-2 Lemons chopped into chunks

3 Cloves Garlic chopped into chunks

Salt and Freshly Cracked Pepper

Tooth Picks

Olive Oil


Ask your husband or significant other to fire up the barbie, unless you are exceptionally talented (which I’m not!), and can do it yourself!

Now there seems to be a little controversy these days as to whether or not you need to wash your chicken, but for me it’s a must to make sure the cavity has been cleaned out properly.  You know, the yucky bit, the number one reason I don’t usually roast a chicken.  So wash, or don’t wash, it’s up to you.

Stuff the lemons and garlic chunks into the cavity of your chook and use the toothpicks to seal the opening.

Massage some olive oil into the skin of the chicken, sprinkle on some salt and freshly cracked pepper and place onto your BBQ with the lid on until cooked through.

Cooking times will vary according to the size of your bird, but the recommended time is 1 hour per 1kg of weight.  So, my 2kg bird took pretty close to 2 hours to cook perfectly.

Serve with roast vegetables or a salad.

And if you are feeling especially clever, while the chicken is cooking you can make a special dessert like I did, Chocolate Mousse Cake with ice-cream.


Sate Beef

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

Sate Beef 1


My Mother-In-Law has a secret!  Nothing really earth shattering, but I’m pretty excited about it.  She has secretly been  updating her supply of  cookbooks.  She shared her little secret with me a couple of weeks ago when we went to The Sunshine Coast for a weekend catch-up.  There we were, standing in the kitchen when I remembered I wanted some recipes out of her Chinese Cookbook, and when I opened the cupboard, lo and behold, what did I find, but cookbooks!  Lots of them!  Stacked to the top of the cupboard.  Somebody had been adding to their collection, and I planned on making the most of it by sitting out on their beautiful verandah with a cup of coffee, a pen and a notepad (I prefer to copy recipes by hand rather than photo-copy.  I know, it’s crazy, but it’s my thing.  Just like I will never read a novel on an iPad or the like, I prefer books.  You know, paper….pages you turn!)

With an over-abundance of recipes available on the internet, I rarely splash out and buy myself a cookbook, but I love them and would love to have a bookshelf over-flowing with a wide variety of books by different cooks.  Notice I say cooks, not chefs.  I love recipes I can make without fuss and feed to my family before they give upon me and head for the nearest drive-through.   I’m actually compiling a cookbook wishlist to give to Mr8, just in case he’s stuck for Christmas gift ideas.  Which reminds me, Pioneer Woman’s Holiday Cookbook is just about to be released!

This particular recipe is one my MIL often makes when she is preparing a Chinese Banquet for a dinner party or birthday and we love it. So last Sunday night when I was trying to think of something I could make quickly so that it would be ready in time for us to sit down and watch  X-Factor, I decided to give it a try.  Yummo!  And it’s so easy I may just try making my own Chinese Banquet one day.

Sate Beef


500g Rump or Blade, thinly sliced

1 1/2 tsp Soy Sauce

Dash of Pepper

2 tsp Sesame Oil

1 tsp Cornflour

2 Tbl Water

2 Tbl Oil


1 Clove Garlic, crushed

1 Medium Onion, roughly diced

3 tsp Sate Sauce

2 tsp Dry Sherry

1 tsp Curry Powder

Pinch Salt

2 Tbl Water

2 tsp Soy Sauce

1/2 tsp Sugar


Trim the meat of any fat and slice as thinly as you possibly can.  You may like to pound the slices flat, but I don’t bother.

In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, pepper, sesame oil, cornflour and water and mix well.

Add the meat to the bowl and toss to thoroughly coat the meat in the marinade.

Set aside for 20 minutes.

Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the beef until brown.  Remove from the pan.

Add the onion to the pan with the crushed garlic and sauté gently until the onion is transparent.

Combine the sate sauce, sherry, sugar, curry powder, salt, water and the soy sauce in a bowl.

Add mixture to the onions in the pan and stir until boiling.

Return the beef to the pan and cook until the beef is tender.  This will take about 1 minute.

Serve with steaming hot rice.


Recipe Source:  Women’s Weekly Chinese Cookery Class Cookbook

Greek Yoghurt Chicken Salad

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



School holidays are an excellent time to try out new lunch box recipes with the kids.  If they totally hate it I can make them something quick and easy like a Vegemite Sandwich so they don’t starve, and if they like it…Bonus!!  And if Mr8 and I like it, Double Bonus!  This one is rated a Love from me because at the moment my girls and I don’t seem to be able to get enough of Craisins.  We love them.  Just yesterday I went to do some baking and found an empty packet.  I put them in everything from muesli bars to biscuits to, well, apparently salads.  You can make the chicken and craisin filling in advance and keep it in the fridge for quick lunches on the go, picnics and lunch boxes.

Greek Yoghurt Chicken Salad


2 Cups Cooked Chicken, chopped

1/4 Cup Diced Celery

1/4 Cup Dried Craisins

1/4 Cup Plain, Greek Yoghurt

1 Tbl Mayonnaise

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Pepper

Salad fillings of your choice


Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.

Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavours to combine.

Serve with salad in a wrap or sandwich, or serve on a salad with crackers.

Recipe Source:

By now you know we’re a carb loving, garlic and chilli devouring kind of family.  Yes, even the smallest member of our household loves a good dose of chilli with her pasta.  Weird I know, but I guess it’s just what they have grown up on.  So, for us this dish is one I can serve to the whole family, but for most people out there I’m guessing it would be something you might whip up for the adults when the kids are having chicken nuggets and chips.  Am I right?

This is my take on a version I saw Geoff Jansz make many, many years ago.  I loved it so much I didn’t write down the recipe.  That doesn’t sound like me at all!  But the ingredients are very basic, so it wasn’t difficult to re-create last week when I had a craving for pasta and chilli. It’s one of my favourite last-minute meals. Hope you like it.

Pasta Amatriciana


Pasta AmatricianaOlive Oil

2-3 Cloves of garlic, diced or minced

1 large onion, finely diced

5 Short Rindless Bacon Middle Rashers, diced

1/2 tsp Crushed Chilli Flakes

800g Can Diced Tomatoes

1/2 Cup Water

Salt and Pepper to taste

500g Penne Pasta

1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese


Gently heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a medium sized pan or saucepan.

Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion becomes translucent.

Add the bacon and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the chilli flakes and cook until the bacon begins to brown.

Add the tomatoes and water and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to simmer and allow the sauce to bubble away until it reduces to a thick, tomatoey sauce.

Meanwhile cook your pasta according to packet directions.  Make sure you don’t over-cook your pasta.

After you have drained the pasta, add it to the tomato sauce along with the parmesan cheese and stir to combine.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with more parmesan if you like.

Indian Chicken Bites

October 2nd, 2013 | Posted by Rebekah in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Indian Chicken Bites


This is one of those meals that I like to keep for a Friday night.  It’s quick and easy, but feels like you are having Indian Take-away.  And it’s not too spicy for the kids either, so even my picky eater, The Vegemite Kid (who, I might add,  even tried gravy with his roast beef the other night!) loved it and asked for seconds and thirds even.  And he totally devoured the Cinnamon Chilli Roasted Potato Bites I served on the side, but predictably passed on the Po’dunk Sauce.  You Do Not! want to pass on the Po’dunk sauce!  I found this one over at Barefeet In The Kitchen, but originated from a cookbook called “Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick and Easy Indian Cooking”. Might have to get myself a copy of this one.

Indian Chicken Bites


6 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts, diced

3 Tbl Olive Oil, divided

1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Thyme

1 tsp Paprika

3/4 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp Tumeric

1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper


In a large bowl, combine the spices with 1 Tbl of the Olive Oil.  Stir to combine the spice mix and then add the diced chicken, tossing to ensure it is totally covered with the spice mixture.

Allow to marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat remaining 2 Tbl Oil in a large pan over high heat.

Add the chicken, and sauté until all sides of the chicken are golden and the chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken from the pan immediately when cooked to avoid it drying out in the pan.

Serve with Cinnamon Chilli Roasted Potato Bites and Po’dunk Sauce.



A Rapunzel Birthday

September 27th, 2013 | Posted by Rebekah in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


So, who do we know that would be crazy enough to plan a last minute children’s birthday party, send invitations out and cater for it all with a week’s notice?  O.K.  Yes, it was me.  Why a week’s notice?  Well, it seems a lot of children were born in August the year Miss 6 entered the world, and most of these children also planned birthday parties this year, which meant we had to take the first free weekend we could get.  Not to worry though, a party is a party, no matter when it is thrown, and as you know, all kids love parties!  So a September party it was.

Not everything goes to plan when you are hosting a birthday party.  A change in weather, illness, baking flops etc. and carefully laid plans can easily be tossed into the air at the very last minute, so you can just imagine me checking the weather forecast every day and jumping out of bed the morning of the party and heading straight for the nearest window to make sure there were no clouds in the sky.  Lady Luck was on our side, the weather was perfect, wonderful friends turned up early to the park to help us with setting up, and the only thing that didn’t go to plan was my Rapunzel Tower Cones filled with Eggless Pink Marshmallow.  I ran out of time to make them, but as it turns out we really didn’t need them.  There was plenty of food to go around.

I’m a fanatical planner when it comes to my kid’s birthday parties.  I love every minute of it, deciding on a theme, helping Mr8 create the invitations, selecting the party food, the shopping for party bags and favours, the Piñata, the games, the costumes, and most of all…….THE CAKE!!  I even make a detailed plan for the three or four days leading up to the party, listing everything that needs to be achieved on each day.  Yes, I LOVE my kid’s parties.  And while throwing together a party in a week is tough, it is do-able and heaps of fun.

So I started with a Theme.  I had my heart set on a fairy party, but Miss6 reminded me that she had one of those last year and that she would prefer a Rapunzel party.  Excellent!  We went to a Rapunzel party last year, so I knew the perfect venue (a beautiful local park with gorgeous flower beds in full bloom for the Carnival of Flowers).


Entertainment? I knew it would be difficult to plan all of the party games myself and buy all of the prizes at such short notice, so we called “Sparkles”, our favourite face painting Fairy come Clown come Pirate and party hostess to see what she had available.  Luckily she had two spots available that Sunday, so we planned our party for 10am – 12pm, asked Sparkles to come as a fairy because Rapunzel is a fairytale, and to host the games as well as do the face painting and make balloon animals.  There, entertainment sorted!  I have to mention that Sparkles also stuck around to help out with the Piñata (bought by me), and the cutting of the cake, even though we went way overtime.  Thank you so much Sparkles!


Sparkles painting the face of one of Miss 6's gorgeous little friends. (I'm careful to only use photos  of children whose parents have given permission). And if you would like Sparkles' contact details, you can message me on my FB page.

Sparkles painting the face of one of Miss 6′s gorgeous little friends. (I’m careful to only use photos of children whose parents have given permission). And if you would like Sparkles’ contact details, you can message me on my FB page.


We first met Sparkles at one of our Kindy’s Family Fun Days.  Children are mesmerized by her, she has a real talent for face painting and has always managed to produce special on the spot requests from the kids.  Some people are just especially talented in that area I guess.  She plays the best party games, joins in with the kids and looked like the Pied Piper as they followed her around the park.  Not to mention the reduction in stress levels for the hosting mum who has her hands free to take photos and really enjoy her kid’s special day, and take the opportunity to mingle with the other parents.

Next we picked out the Invitations, asked Mr8 to tinker with the lay-out a bit, change some wording and print them off for Miss 6 to give to her little friends.

Then came The Menu:

Jelly Cups (Rapunzel & Flynn's boat in blue water jelly cups)

Jelly Cups (Rapunzel & Flynn’s boat in blue water jelly cups)

Cup 'n' Saucers

Cup ‘n’ Saucers

Tiny Teddy Cars

Tiny Teddy Cars

Chocolate Crackles

Chocolate Crackles



Butterfly Fairy Bread

Butterfly Fairy Bread

And the usual Party Food Favourites

And the usual Party Food Favourites

Watermelon (always one of the first things to disappear)

Cheerios & Sauce


Coloured Popcorn (gross if you ask me, but a special request from the Birthday Girl)

A Savoury Platter for the parents

Juice Poppers of various flavours and bottles of water

And of course, a Rapunzel Birthday Cake

Once all of my food shopping was done I needed to organize the Party Bags.  I went with Pink Paper Bags sealed with a pretty puffy sticker for the girls and dinosaur bags for the two little boys attending.  That’s our Piñata in the background.

Party Bags

Party Bags

Home-made Playdough is always a favourite party favour of mine, but being time-poor I opted for bought gifts.  I found some great bags filled with flower-shaped sunglasses, necklaces, enormous rings and bracelets for the girls and for the boys I found binoculars, sticky hands, yo-yos and matchbox cars.  Then I topped the bags up with lollies and balloons.


My favourite part of party planning is The Cake.  I would normally agonize over every aspect of the cake, but this time I was relieved when Miss 6 requested a Rapunzel Doll Cake.  Easy, I can whip one of those up the night before the party and not be stressed about it.  These cakes look amazing, but don’t require half as much effort as you would think and you can easily hide or rectify any mistakes you might make along the way, so don’t hesitate if your little girl asks for one, have a go!

So, what does Rapunzel wear to her own party?  Why a Rapunzel costume from KMart of course ($20 well spent I might add), and a long golden plait made from a ball of wool purchased at Spotlight for $2.49 (Bargain!).


The birthday girl had a wonderful time, and the day ended with Rapunzel and her friends up a tree going through their party bags as Rapunzel dangled her long golden braid for her prince to climb.

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!"

“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!”


P.S. Mum went home, had lunch and slept on the couch until 5pm!  Clearly a result of having only 3 hours sleep the night before, but well worth it to see the smile on our little girl’s face as she laughed and played with her friends!

All party recipes can be found here on under the Snacks heading.





Butterscotch Pudding

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



It’s school holidays, and I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m living in the kitchen.  And while I love cooking, I’d rather be enjoying this time playing with my kids, going to the park, shooting bubbles with our new water pistols and trying out new craft activities.  But I do enjoy something sweet at the end of a long day of playing,  so this dessert is perfect.  It takes just minutes to prepare, is  a real hit with the kids and tastes so, so Butterscotchy!  Oh, and I double it to feed our family of 8.  Who says you can’t play and enjoy your desserts too?

Butterscotch Pudding


1 Cup Self-Raising Flour

3/4 Cup Sugar

60g Melted Buttter

1/2 Cup Milk


30g Butter, chopped

2 Tbl Golden Syrup

1 1/2 Cups Boiling Water


Preheat your oven to 180C.

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and pour into a greased oven-proof dish.

Mix the sauce ingredients together in a jug and pour over the top of the batter.  I pour the sauce over the back of a spoon to avoid making wells of sauce in the batter.

Bake for approx. 30 minutes or until it is golden on top and the cake appears cooked.

Perfect when served with ice-cream on the side!

Recipe Source:




Chicken Quesadillas

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

I’m playing catch-up with my housework today after spending the past week preparing for Miss 6′s Rapunzel Party in the park, so I thought I would share a quick recipe that’s really handy for when times get busy.  If you ask me, quesadillas are really just a fancy form of toasted sandwiches, and you can fill them with anything you would normally put in a toasted sandwich.  But just remember they don’t seal around the edges, so if you go for anything really runny like baked beans or spaghetti, it’s going to drizzle out and it will be hot!

This recipe for Chicken Quesadillas comes from, my favourite freezer cooking website.  I’ve been visiting 30 day for at least 15 years now and it’s loaded with freezer cooking tips and recipes from cooks all over the world, so if you have a spare 15 minutes (did I say 15 minutes?  I meant at least an hour!), pop over to their site and try to stop yourself from bookmarking a heap of dinner ideas for the freezer.  I’ve made a few changes to the recipe (no surprise there), and if you are in a super hurry you can use a BBQ chicken from the shops.  Also, how much chilli you use is up to you, leave it out altogether if you like.

Chicken Quesadillas

Serves 8


P40605941 1/2 Cups Cooked and diced or minced Chicken

1/4 Cup Reduced Fat Sour Cream

1 Cup Thick and Chunky Salsa

1 Cup Shredded Tasty Cheddar Cheese

1 tsp Chilli Powder

8 Flour Tortillas

Side dishes like a tossed green salad and mexican rice are great with these quesadillas.


Combine the chicken, sour cream, salsa, cheese and chilli powder in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

At this stage you could place the mixture in a freezer bag, seal and label it and pop it into the freezer.

Now I like to heat my mixture up a little in the microwave to make sure it is heated through and the cheese melts properly before I place it in my tortillas.

Lightly spray or oil a frying pan and heat to the same temperature you would use for toasted sandwiches.

Lay your tortillas out on a flat surface and divide the chicken mixture evenly between them.  Place the mixture on one side of your tortilla only, leaving a margin around the edges.

Fold your tortilla in half over the filling and place into the frying pan to toast.  When the underside has slightly browned, flip over to toast the other side.

Serve with your favourite side dishes or on their own for a quick snack.

Notes:  You don’t have to use the fold over method, if you like you can just spread the filling over one tortilla and place another one on top, just like a toasted sandwich.  Just be aware that when you cut it in half your filling may spill out.

Source of Original Recipe:

Dijon Chicken

August 20th, 2013 | Posted by Rebekah in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Dijon Chicken


You may have noticed by now that we eat a lot of chicken.  A LOT OF CHICKEN!!  In fact, my first cookbook may very well be called “101 Ways With Chicken”.  What do you think?  Catchy?  But chicken is just so versatile.  You can throw it into the crockpot, make a curry, chicken balls, burgers, roast it, marinate and grill, bbq or make it into kebabs, put it on sandwiches, on top of a salad, stir-fry it……the list goes on and on.  It makes a great last minute meal, so you’ll see a lot of chicken recipes around here.

I’ve been making this version of Dijon Chicken for about 15 years now.  It’s my version of one of the first Freezer Recipes I ever tried and it has stuck.  Mr8 and the teenager have often requested it on their menu for the annual Space Pilots Father and Son Camp.  And to keep the teenager happy, this is where I should also mention that he has sadly outgrown Space Pilots, but lucky for Mr8, The Vegemite Kid is hanging out to go next year.

You can bake it like I have here, BBQ it, cube your chicken and make Kebabs or place it in the freezer for another night.  Or, if you are like me this week, whip it up at the last minute and place it straight into the oven.  The flavours will still be there, maybe not as intense as if you had marinated it for hours, but still delicious just the same.

Dijon Chicken


4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

1 Tbl Dijon Mustard

2 tsp Lemon Juice

1/8 tsp Black Pepper

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

Optional:  A little Lemon Zest for those of you who like a bit of Zing!


Combine mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, garlic and zest (if using) in a large freezer bag and swish it around until it is thoroughly combined.

Add your chicken breasts to the bag, seal it and swish away, making sure the chicken breasts are thoroughly coated in the marinade.

At this point you can label your freezer bag and pop it into the freezer for later use.


Cook chicken breasts using your chosen cooking method until the chicken is cooked through, the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear.

Serve chicken with your favourite side dishes.

Notes:  In my cooking world, Swish is, in fact, a technical term!

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