Spaghetti Bolognaise aka “Sk betty”

So this working mother thing requires a heck of a lot of organisation, especially with 2 children under 4 who are starving & tired when they get home from child care. So Thursday being the day off and market day I decided to make a supply of Spag Bol or Sk betty as it’s become known by Zachie.

You will need: (to make this much and enough for 3 adults & 3 kids)

1.5 kg Minced Beef

2 large brown onions, diced

2 large cloves of garlic, crushed

3-4 large mushrooms, diced

4 400gm tins of crushed gourmet tomatoes.

handful of chopped parsley

lug of olive oil

2 tsp smokey paprika

Salt & pepper

3 bay leaves

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 cup tomato paste

3 tsp powdered beef stock (Massell)

3 tins of water

In your largest pan fry off the garlic & onions until they’re translucent, add the diced mushrooms & fry off. (I dice the mushrooms fairly finely so they’re about the size of the mince meat) then add the meat in batches so that it is all browned & broken up before you add more, you want to fry & brown the meat not stew it. Once it’s all cooked & mixed in you add all the crushed tomatoes & fill the tins with water and add 3 tins worth of water, add tomato paste, paprika, beef stock & salt & pepper to taste.

Don’t add too much salt at this stage as you can always add more towards the end of cooking. Add the chopped parsley & bring to the boil, simmer gently for 1 &1/2 hours stirring regularly until the sauce thickens. Pack into freezer proof containers & freeze, when I am freezing sauce I leave it a little runnier than I would if I am serving it straight away so that when the time comes to use it I can simmer it a little to increase the flavour.

This quantity gave us 2 large 2 litre containers 1 small one for the kids and a bit leftover which I was thinking I could put on nachos or something.

To serve, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook spaghetti until it’s al dente, approx 12-15 mins, serve with lots of grated parmesan.

P.S. The gourmet tomatoes I get from UCG wholesalers in Preston – Bell Street they’re 79c a tin, so unless the supermarkets have them on special, that’s the best buy in my opinion, also love Annalisa tomatoes too.


I have had a bit of a look around this lovely baking blog and there are lots of delicious recipes that we may never have heard of here in Oz, so I figured I’d share her ideas as well

Baker on the Rise

I’m baking and learning about new confections with the TWD baking group. This Tuesday’s recipe is rugelach. I had never eaten it or made it before. I wasn’t even sure how to pronounce it (the dictionary says rŭg’ə-ləKH). What I have learned is that rugelach are traditional Jewish pastry-like cookies. The fun part is they can have endless flavor combinations. A cream cheese dough is spread with jam, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, then filled with nuts, dried fruit, or even chocolate. Rugelach cookies can be rolled into a crescent shape or rolled and cut pinwheel style. As with every TWD blog post you can find the recipe at this week’s hosts: The Urban Hiker and My Baking Heart.

So this baking adventure took me three days. The first day I made the cream cheese dough in my KitchenAid mixer.  I had no problems here and wrapped it well and let it sit in the refrigerator for…

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Passionfruit Cake

Delicious? Yes it is and oh so easy to make.. Light, fluffy and something you could easily whip up in no time… I promise!

You will need:

250g Butter

400g Sugar

1tsp Vanilla extract

2 large ripe passionfruit (the Pulp only)

4 eggs

300g Self Raising Flour

200ml Milk

What to do:

Pre heat your oven to 170 degrees celsius or 320 farenheit. Grease & line the base of a spring form tin, measuring 26cm.

Cream the butter, sugar & vanilla until it’s light & fluffy and the sugar is dissolved. Add the eggs one at a time and beat after each addition. Add the passionfruit pulp, mix and then slowly add the milk beating on a very low speed, then spoon in the sifted flour, mix well, but not too much, say for a minute or so. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for approx 40 mins.

Would go beautifully with some passionfruit icing as well and whipped cream on the side, but hubby isn’t a fan of icing so I went with icing sugar (powdered sugar).

Enjoy! xx

Chocolate Pecan Brownies

I had an urge for chocolate yesterday so I should at least share this recipe with you all, it’s very delicious, easy to make and something you can get the kids involved in making too, although Sophie isn’t that interested in eating it at this stage. No great loss there I say… This recipe is a bit lighter & cakey rather than stodgy as brownies often are, I am not sure whether it’s me, the oven or what, but they are yummy so I am not concerned.


You will need

1 cup of Pecans roughly chopped

250g Butter softened

1tsp Vanilla

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups plain flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 tsp baking powder

What you do

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Cream the butter, sugars & vanilla until light & fluffy, add the eggs one at a time mixing well between each addition. Sift the flour, cocoa & baking powder and then fold into the batter, add the chopped pecans & mix well. Pour into a lined tin, I used a round 26cm spring form tin which was lined on the based & sides greased. This resulted in good sized chunks of brownies about 3-4 cm high. Not too big, not too small. Bake for 40-50 mins or until your skewer comes out clean when tested, cool in the tin and guard with your life.

Raw Pistachios

I saw these and thought the colours were just beautiful. Love the Preston Market, any market for that matter, wherever you live seek out your local market, farmers market or green grocer so that you can support your local suppliers rather than the big supermarkets. You will undoubtedly get better & friendlier service, better quality, more bargins and lots of interesting seasonal finds like these!