All about Microwave Ovens and Recipes

Microwave Garlic bread

Fresh Homemade Garlic Bread In Microwave Oven

Image Credit – by Praisaeng

Microwave Cooking

Microwave cooking is a cook’s best friend, so much can be cooked, easier and without fuss.

These days with the modern kitchens, well-built appliances, you have an easy to care for a clean kitchen, and microwaves ovens are one of them, very quick to master up a meal in a few minutes, when you are short of time and family are waiting for a meal to be served.

There are not many meals that cannot be cooked in a microwave, it is just a matter of following some good recipe books on a microwave, and a little experience, it is quite simple for the average cook, hope this page will help you achieve that.

Tip for Microwave Cooking

Remember: Microwaves cannot be stored in the food.

When you eat food cooked in a microwave oven you are not eating microwaves.

Modern Kitchen

Photo Credit – Suat Eman / – the Modern kitchen. 

Microwaves Oven Tips – What are Microwaves?

How does a microwave oven work?

Micro meaning small or electromagnetic waves are a form of radiant energy.

Microwaves travel at 2450 million times a second, as fast as the speed of light and also travel in a straight line.

In a microwave oven, these waves are concealed within the oven itself and are reflected off the walls and door.

Once the doorknob or handle is released all microwave energy stops.

As microwave energy comes into contact with a substance it is reflected, transmitted or absorbed.

Only when this energy is absorbed is heat produced in cooking, microwaves are reflected by metal, transmitted through paper, glass, china, ceramic, wicker or wood products and plastic utensils and absorbed by water in the food.

  • Microwaves cannot be stored in the food.
  • When you eat food cooked in a microwave oven you are not eating microwaves.
  • Microwaves are colorless, odorless and tasteless. They do not affect the flavor of the food.

When you plug in your microwave to a normal 240-volt power outlet, power is fed to a transformer which converts low voltage line power to the high voltage required by the magnetron tube.

The magnetron is the heart of the microwave oven, it converts electrical energy to microwave energy and then the energy is directed into the oven cavity.

When microwaves enter food, they simply cause the liquid or moisture molecules in the food to vibrate at a fantastic rate, friction, created by this vibration produces heat and this is conducted through the food.

Convection Microwave 


Photo Credit A microwave oven with convection feature

Food cooked in the convection microwave can be cooked quickly, as in an ordinary microwave oven, yet come out browned or crisped as in a convection oven.

Advantages of Microwave Cooking.

There is no preheating of the microwave oven, as you do for conventional ovens, this will save time as well as cutting down your fuel bill.

Food cooks more quickly but looks and tastes the same as conventionally cooked food, in fact, you will find vegetables do taste better as the true flavor is retained by using only small quantity of water and the nutritional value is far better for you and the family.

Food can be cooked in the dishes you serve to the table, no extra washing up.

Leftovers can be reheated and served without drying or loss of flavor.

Microwave ovens do not heat up the kitchen.

It remains cool and pleasant at all times.

With the Sunday roast, cook enough for the next day, cover with glad wrap and place in the refrigerator and reheat the next day or when required, take only about three minutes to heat, or deep freeze it and use at a later date, will take about 5 mins all depends what size meal you have saved.

Important Points to Remember for Microwave Ovens

Strips of aluminum foil may be used to cover areas of food that appear to be overcooking, like chicken wings, drumsticks or the tail of a fish, but NEVER allow the foil to touch the oven walls as the wall cause “arcing” and could damage the oven.

Do not cover food completely with foil as this reflects microwave energy and the food will not cook and can also damage the oven.

Don’t operate the oven empty.

Don’t attempt to cook eggs in the shell. Pressure will build inside the shell and it will explode.

How a Microwave Oven Works

About the Video above

Bill details how a microwave oven heats food. He describes how the microwave vacuum tube, called a magnetron, generates radio frequencies that cause the water in food to rotate back and forth. He shows the standing wave inside the oven and notes how you can measure the wavelength with melted cheese. He concludes by describing how a magnetron generates radio waves.

Useful Tips about Microwave Cooking

Maybe you used a microwave for heating food but have never cooked in a microwave oven for cooking.

  • Microwave cooking does not change your whole idea of cooking.
  • Your everyday recipes can be used.
  • But remember to cut down the cooking time.

Take a guide for timings from the cookbook supplied with your oven and learn to open the oven door and test or stir the food just as you would with conventional cooking.

  • Never overcook as this cannot be rectified.
  • Undercook and then you can always give a little more time to complete the cooking if required.

Microwave Oven Cooked Chicken.

Microwave Chicken small

Microwave Cooking – Poultry

Tips for best results for cooking chicken

Poultry (Chicken) is very nice cooked in a microwave oven as the flavor and moisture are retained.

Ensure that poultry is fully thawed prior to cooking: the microwave oven will do this in a much shorter time than by conventional methods (approximately 30 mins).

  • After thawing remember it must be washed, dried and prepared for cooking.

Chicken Pieces with bone – HIGH – 8-10 mins per 500 grams, 185 F / 85 C, Standing Time 15 mins

Chicken Filets – HIGH – 6 mins per 500 grams, 170 F / 75 C, Standing Time Nil

Turkey Whole – HIGH for 10 mins then reduce to Medium 10 mins per 500 grams, 177 F/ 80 C, Standing time 15-20 mins.

Turkey Hindquarters – HIGH 8-9 mins per 500 grams, 177 F/ 80 c Standing time 10 Minutes

Duck – High 8 mins per 500 grams, 177 F/ 80 c, Standing time 15 minutes


Cooking a ROAST CHICKEN in a Microwave

1 x No 15 Chicken (1.5 KG)

1 onion

Seasoned salt or barbecue sprinkle


1. Wash and dry chicken, place breast side down into a micro proof baking dish.

Cut onion into quarters and place inside the bird.

If desired, legs may be secured together with string or elastic band.

2. Sprinkle with seasoned salt or barbecue sprinkle and cover with paper toweling.

3. Microwave on high 15 mins. Turn chicken over and cook a further 15 mins.

4. Remove chicken from baking dish. Wrap in foil and allow a standing time of 15 mins before serving.

TIP –  Your favorite stuffing may be used to season chicken, cooking time remains the same.

Helpful Tips for Cooking Microwave Vegetables

By microwaving your vegetables, you save the food value.

If you boil most of the food value is discarded down the sink and very little nutritional value left.

Microwave cooking of Vegetables is superb, so little water is used and the color, flavor, and vitamins are retained within the vegetable.

Vegetables should be covered during cooking to trap the steam. This keeps them moist and hastens the cooking time.

Choose a casserole dish with a lid or use glad-wrap, to cover the utensil.

Use a shallow, wide dish for asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower to keep a single layer rather than pile vegetables on top of each other.

Piling creates a density resulting in longer and uneven cooking.

Remove any covering away from hands and face to prevent steam burns.

Vegetables cooked with their skins on, for example, jacket potatoes, should have the skins pierced prior to cooking to prevent bursting.

Frozen Vegetables can be cooked in their original packages, just pierce the bag as no additional liquid is necessary.

Season, before serving.

Glad freezer bags are also suitable for cooking vegetables, just twist the end and tuck under, no metal ties.

Cooking time will vary depending on quantity and type of vegetable used, however, it is advisable to test occasionally for doneness.

Keep in mind that cooking will continue for a brief period after the Vegetables are removed from the microwave oven.

Overcooking will result in dehydration, toughening the vegetables.

Here is a quick way to cook cauliflower that retains the flavor.

Cauliflower Au Gratin


1/2 head cauliflower,

1/4 teaspoon salt,

1/4 cup water


1. Break the cauliflower into flowerets, wash and cut stalks with a sharp knife.

(the stalks are a lot firmer and by cutting they will cook better).

Place flowerets into a large pie dish plate (stalks down) with the larger pieces around the outside and small pieces in the center.

Sprinkle with salt and pour over the water.

2. Cover with glad wrap and microwave on HIGH 8-10 mins (depending on size, of cauliflower).

Drain off excess liquid, reserve for sauce.

3. Return glad wrap covering over cauliflower and allow to stand while making the sauce.


2 tablespoons butter,

2 tablespoons flour,

salt and pepper,

300 ml milk or a mixture of milk and cauliflower liquid

grated cheese,

dried breadcrumbs


Place butter into a micro proof mixing bowl, cook on HIGH 40 seconds to melt.

2. Add flour, salt, and pepper, stir well, cook a further 30 seconds on HIGH.

3. Gradually stir in milk, cook on High 2 minutes, stir around outside of bowl return to oven a further 2 1/2 minutes on HIGH.

4. Beat sauce well, pour over cauliflower.

Sprinkle with a mixture of cheese and breadcrumbs.

Return to the oven for 2 mins on HIGH to melt cheese and reheat cauliflower.

If desired place cauliflower under a conventional grill to crisp and brown instead of this last 2 minutes cooking.

P.S. You can prepare this CAULIFLOWER AU GRATIN dish while cooking your meat in the conventional oven and brown under the grill, just before serving.

I will be adding more Microwave recipes, hope you try cooking in your Microwave oven, it is easier than you think.

Spotted Dick Pudding

Spotted Dick Pudding

Spotted Dick Pudding

I’m sharing an old British pudding (which is a dessert) the Spotted Dick, it is a very weird name for a dessert, but a dessert my mother made very often, and I love it, so I am sharing it with you, hopefully, one day you too may enjoy it.

The earliest recipes for spotted dick pudding are dated back as far as 1847, it is traditionally boiled in a cloth.

My mother’s family came to New Zealand in early 1900 century, every time my mother cooked it, it made me happy, I loved it and still do, but must humans would properly turn their nose up when I tell you how it is made.

Let’s Make Spotted Dick!

Spotted Dick Pudding Links – Link to the recipe also.

I haven’t added the original Spotted Dick Recipes as it will be duplicated so you will find the traditional recipe in the links below if you are interested.

Spotted dick is made with shredded suet, all though I do not use it now, I just use butter, but if I had a packet of Shredo, (Shredded fat from animals), I would use it.

  • What Is Spotted Dick Anyway?
    Spotted dick is a traditional British pudding made from suet or mutton fat. The suet is mixed with other ingredients, such as baking soda, flour,
  • Spotted Dick back on council menu
    Council chiefs have reversed a decision to rename the pudding Spotted Dick after receiving abusive letters and accusations of political correctness.
  • Traditional Spotted Dick Pudding Recipe
    Pudding, the backbone of British food and none more than a Spotted Dick Pudding. The name of this classic English pudding usually will raise a smile or look of abject horror

Pudding in Cloth


Photo Credit

This pudding has been prepared with a traditional cloth rather than a basin.

Little more about the spotted dick pudding

There are many things you can serve this type of dessert with, vanilla custard, treacle, ice cream, a nice syrup – lemon flavored, chocolate, whipped cream, or even straight cream, instead like my husband those types of desserts he would just put milk on it, my dad loved it just by adding sugar and straight cream, (not whipped) to it, it wasn’t too bad like that, as it wasn’t a sweet pudding, I used to love crunching the sugar in my mouth as I ate it.

Now the main thing that made Spotted Dick Pudding a special for me was the cooking of it in a pudding cloth, ( which is usually an unbleached calico cloth used for boiling a pudding). I liked the outside of it the pudding the best.

Preparing a new pudding cloth for boiling a stream pudding

You only need to do this the first time, once you have used it once it all good to go ahead and add your boiled pudding as below preparing for boiling the pudding.

Soak in cold water overnight next day boil it for about 20 mins, once you have done this, keep it especially for boiling puddings, I always wash it every time after use in cold water to take the pudding dough of-of it then wash in hot water using no powder, hang out to dry and always put it away for the next boiled pudding.

Preparing for boiling the pudding

Preparing for boiling the pudding add the square (it all depends on how big your pudding is but about 60 centimetres – 24 inches,) into boiling water for about a minute, drain excess water off, sprinkle about 1/2 cup of flour on the hot cloth, shake of excess flour, and pour or place your pudding onto the prepared calico cloth, grab all the outside edges together, going around making sure there are no gaps and tie tightly, (leaving a little space for the pudding to swell), with string.

Place a saucer in the bottom of the pot (to prevent pudding catching on the bottom), fill the pot about 1/3 full of building water, making sure the water is boiling, place the prepared pudding in the cloth on the saucer slowly to keep water boiling (be careful that you don’t overflow the pot as you are adding the pudding), and cover with pot lid, now if it is boiling a little dry, which it will in most cases, you can add more boiling water to it, ( just boil extra water in electric jug and add boiling water to the pot quickly, on the edge of the pot, not the cooking pudding).

The photo above is a boiled Christmas pudding, it gives you an idea of how to tie the cloth when making the Spotted Dick dessert.

This is my recipe that I cooked for many years for my own family back in the 1970’s they loved it.

It is a version of the Spotted Dick recipe

This link may be helpful if you need to convert the cooking Units.

Spicy Spotted Dick

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup mixed fruit – sultanas currants raisins
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 cup boiling water in which is dissolved 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 ozs butter


  1. Method:
  2. Put all ingredients in a bowl except the boiling water.
  3. Rub in the butter.
  4. Add the boiling water and mix well.
  5. It may appear a bit sloppy, but it will turn out a lovely pudding.
  6. Tie up in cloth as preparing for boiling a pudding above.
  7. Boil two hours.
  8. Serve well with vanilla custard.
  9. Hope you enjoy it, great on a cold winters day.
  10. If you are making it for 6 or more people, double the recipe, boiling a little longer, it won’t take much longer.

Spotted Dick Suet Pudding and Custard

A traditional cloth boiled Christmas Pudding still showing the skin.


Photo Credit

A traditional bag-boiled Christmas Pudding still showing the “skin”.

If it is of any interest to you.

The photo above is a Christmas Pudding boiled in a cloth, the cloth has been removed and it’s left like that to mature.

The pudding is aged for a month or even a year. It can age for a long time because it has so much alcohol in it, it never spoils.

Tradition Christmas Pudding Recipe

800px-Christmas-pudding-flamesPhoto Credit  Christmas pudding being flamed after brandy has been poured over it.

Tradition Christmas Pudding 

Traditionally puddings were made on or immediately after the Sunday “next before Advent“, i.e. four to five weeks before Christmas. They mature, bringing the flavor more intense and keep very well, in fact, many families keep one back from Christmas to be eaten at another celebration later in the year, often at Easter

Christmas pudding is a dessert traditionally served on Christmas Day (December 25). My mother always made a Christmas pudding every year, after getting married I continued making them, actually the year she died she enjoyed her last Christmas in my home using her recipe.

I have been making Christmas puddings for 50 years for my family, so here I am, after that many Christmas puddings, I must be an expert, and I have never had my family refuse to eat them yet.


Photo Credit

Helping mother with Christmas pudding preparations

In my early years as a teenager, I would always help my mother prepare the Christmas Pudding, and my mother believed, that as tradition everyone in the household, or at least, every child, give the mixture a stir and made a wish while doing so. I know I had more than one stir while mixing it, maybe that is why my wishes never seem to come true. We always included small silver coins in the pudding mixture, which could be kept by the person whose serving included them. The usual choice was a silver threepence or a sixpence piece. The coin was believed to bring wealth in the coming year.

It is only in the last five years that I have stopped putting coins in the Christmas pudding, I know coins pose a choking hazard, but I never had anyone choke, because they all knew there were coins in it, but they took them out with their spoon and never swallowed them, because no real silver coins are available, no one ever got sick for eating Christmas pudding that had coins in it.

Every year I would search through the house looking for threepenny or sixpenny coins. There wasn’t a money box, drawer or handbag that wasn’t searched. They were all boiled up and added to the family pudding. The family used to see which one of them would get the most coins.

Once we changed to cents and dollars, there seemed to be ten and twenty cents added. Yes, and father never got any money in his, even when I made sure he had a coin as he would pass it over to someone else’s plate when they were not looking. At the end of the meal, everyone would take their money wash it, count it up, to see who got the most.

It was really great fun which the whole family joined in and the grandchildren loved it, it was the highlight of their Christmas dinner, which they looked forward to every year.

My Christmas Pudding

Traditional Christmas Pudding Recipe

  • 1 cup sultanas
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup currants
  • 1 cup shredded suet
  • 1 cup standard plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups soft breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon brandy


  1. METHOD:
  2. Put sultanas, raisins, currants into a large bowl.
  3. Add suet, mixing to combine.
  4. Sift flour, baking powder, mixed spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt into the fruit mixture.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Add breadcrumbs and mix through.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat brown sugar, eggs, and milk together.
  8. Add to the fruit mixture, mixing thoroughly to combine.
  9. Stir in brandy.
  10. Spoon mixture into a well greased six cup capacity pudding basin.
  11. Cover with pleated greaseproof paper or foil.
  12. Secure with string. leaving a loop to lift the pudding when cooked.
  13. Place a trivet or old saucer in the bottom of a large saucepan half-filled with boiling water.
  14. Carefully lower pudding into the saucepan, making sure the water comes two-thirds of the way up the sides of the basin.
  15. Cover and cook for 5 hours, making sure water is constantly bubbling.
  16. Check water level from time to time.
  17. Remove from saucepan when cooked.
  18. Leave until cold.
  19. Wrap well and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  20. Steam for a further 2 hours before serving.

Christmas Cooking.

Christmas is a very special time of the year, a time to celebrate in joyful wonder, a time to embrace longstanding traditions and establish new ones. What better treat than baking a Christmas pudding which is really the making of a special Christmas bring the cheer to all.

How To Make The Perfect Christmas Puddin

Did you have coins or other tokens such as a tiny wishbone (to bring good luck), a silver thimble (for thrift), or an anchor (to symbolize safe harbor) in your Christmas Pudding? Love to know – Please leave an answer in the comments

Brandy Sauce.

Of course, you cannot have a Christmas Pudding without the Brandy Sauce, this is what my family loves.

I usually double the recipe, if there is any left over, it is nice to eat cold like custard.

Can be heated up for next day if you have any Christmas pudding over.

Brandy Sauce Ingredients

  • 55 grams butter
  • 55 grams corn flour
  • 570 ml milk
  • 55 grams fine caster sugar
  • 5 tbsp Brandy


  1. METHOD:
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
  3. Add the cornflour and stir to create a thick paste.
  4. Cook for 1 minute taking care not to burn.
  5. Using a hand whisk, slowly add the milk, stirring vigorously.
  6. Continue whisking until thick smooth sauce is formed (about 5 minutes).
  7. Do not have the heat too high or the base of the sauce may burn.
  8. Add the sugar and whisk until dissolved.
  9. Lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes stirring from time to time.
  10. Finally add the brandy, taste for desired flavored.
  11. Serve with the Christmas pudding.

How to make brandy sauce

NanoPoblano 2017 – Day 23 – What do you call a Dessert?

NanoPoblano 2017 – Day 23 – What do you call a Dessert?

#NanoPoblano 2017

Pie for Dessert

With Thanksgiving here, I thought this post would give you food for thought as you are enjoying your sweets.

What do you call a dessert?

Sweets – Pudding, Dessert, or cake with a cocktail after your main meal.

What Is A Pudding?

In my younger days, we always called a Dessert “Pudding”, but in recent years you do not hear the word “Pudding” I thought I would check out what a pudding is. Though many don’t like to admit it, using the term pudding or dessert has connotations of class. Using “Dessert” is thought to be posher than a homely pudding.

This distinction has eroded with more traditional recipes making a fashionable comeback in recent times; many restaurants (including top end eateries) using Pudding to refer to the sweet course on menus.

Types of Pudding, baked, steamed and boiled puddings, which I still make and the family love them.


Sweets – Desserts.

Homemade desserts or sweets are the easiest way to make inexpensive and delicious sweets, desserts or puddings for that special occasion Also when you make it yourself, you know exactly what has gone into the dishes you feed your family.

Cold desserts are always a joy to serve to guests, no one can pass on a good sweets dish, it is something you just cannot resist.

Sometimes it is just called a dessert with a cocktail after the main meal.

But a hot steam pudding with custard is even better when the weather is cold.

Fruit Crumble

Fruit Crumble


  • 2 cups stewed fruit – e.g. apple plums apricots
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup standard plain flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  1. METHOD:
  2. Place stewed fruit in the bottom of an ovenproof dish.
  3. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  4. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl.
  5. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  6. Stir in sugar.
  7. Spoon the mixture over fruit.
  8. Bake at 375F for 30 minutes or until pale golden
  9. If you would like a Wholemeal Crumble, replace flour with wholemeal flour. Increase the butter to 1/3 cup of butter.
  10. Nice with Custard or ice cream.

What do you call a dessert, love to know you thought’s about this post.

Happy Thanksgiving my Friends.


NanoPoblano 2017 – Day 23

NanoPoblano 2017 – Day 19 – Fresh Summer Salad

#NanoPoblano 2017 – Day 19 – Fresh Summer Salad

Fresh Summer Salads

Fresh Summer Salad Meal

Fresh easy non-cook summer recipe, I just love salads.

In the southern hemisphere it is nearly summer,  salad time I enjoy a nice crisp salad on a hot day, while in the northern hemisphere winter is just around the corner, still anytime of the year is time to enjoy cool crisp salads.

That word summer sounds good to me, had enough of the wet cold weather of winter.

Summer salads are a meal most people can’t resist, and they are easy, if there is one vegetable you don’t like well leave it out, no one will probably even miss it.

A salad is easy to make, a little of this and a little of that and you have a new recipe.

That sounds great to me, most times I go with the flow of what salad veggies are available.

I have never found a fresh salad refused by anyone yet, most humans enjoy new favors and usually want the recipe.

So what makes a salad?

Salads are a celebration of the season’s freshest offerings and when tossed in delicious dressings, their flavors and textures come alive to enjoy.

The best salad greens are the ones picked fresh from a homegrown garden the taste of fresh is perfect.

Here’s a recipe that requires no cooking and can be prepared in a few minutes.

A chicken salad like this one is a great way to extend a cooked chicken to feed a crowd, or you can make it from the left-over Sundays dinner for a light tea in the evening, nice any time of the year.


It is not a very clear image but it tastes better than it looks. CHEERS!

Lemony Roast Chicken Slaw


  • 1 purchased rotisserie chicken, or leftover chicken
  • 2 carrots peeled
  • 1/2 small cabbage
  • 1 red pepper finely sliced with seeds removed
  • 3 tbsp mint leaves chopped
  • DRESSING: Juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley chopped


  1. Remove chicken flesh from bones-discard skin and bones.
  2. Shred or slice chicken flesh into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Cut carrots in half lengthways, then thinly slice on an angle.
  4. Coarsely shred cabbage.
  5. Combine all salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
  6. Whisk dressing together and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pour dressing over salad, toss well and serve.

Believe me, this is a tasty meal that can be used with a barbecue even if you are not serving chicken.

Happy Salad Days.


What is Nano Poblano?

 It is thirty posts in the month of November for National Blog Posting Month (or as we call it over in Cheer Peppers town – NanoPoblano!)

No Pastry Pie

No Pastry Pie

No Pastry Pie

When I cook, even though I am only feeding two. I still cook far too much, so I have leftover stew.

I use up the stew for a nice pie without the pastry for the next day’s tea.


2 lbs beef steak

1 oz flour

salt and pepper

1 oz of butter

1 onion

water (about 2 breakfast cup)

2 tablespoons of sweet Chilli sauce

4 med size diced carrots

2 cups diced pumpkin

1/2 cup diced parsnips

1 cup of frozen peas

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

Cut the meat into pieces ( I like them quite big), roll in seasoned flour and brown in the hot butter, (if you add a little oil to the butter when heating up the pan the butter will not burn), brown in the butter.

Put the meat, onion, and sweet chili sauce into a saucepan and add the water. Simmer for about an hour or until the meat is tender.

Add the diced vegetables and soy sauce about 1/2 hour before serving, and cook.

Before I serve I thicken the stew with a little cornflour, season with a little salt and pepper and mixed with cold water.

Pie redy for Potato

Pie ready for the mashed potato.

How to make the pie

Grease an ovenware dish, (10×8) and lined it with 5 slices of toast thick bread buttered, buttered side down, I like grain bread but any bread will do.

Add the left-over beef stew, which I warm up in the microwave, but not too hot, as it will soak into the bread, you don’t have to warm it up, only it takes a while to heat it through, in the oven.

Add the left-over mashed potatoes which I had with the stew the night before.

Pie with Potato added

Pie with Potato added.

Cook in the bottom of the oven, 400F (200c) for about 40 mins.

Usually, about 10 mins before cooked I lift the oven tray up higher, add grated cheese and grill until brown.

Cooked Pie

The bottom of the pie when cooked is nice and crunchie you can serve it with mash potatoes and peas.

Be careful when grilling the top as it can burn very quickly, as it nearly did with my pie.


Steak With Lightweight Roast Potatoes and Mushrooms


A couple of weeks again I posted a recipe for valentine day.

I got quite a good response to it.

Today Sunday 28th February I was looking for ideas for Sunday’s tea.

Decide to have Steak and Mushrooms, I’m sharing the recipe I use with you.

It’s the last weekend in summer here in New Zealand, feeling a little sad with the thought of winter ahead.


750-gram piece of well-trimmed sirloin steak, (no fat)

2 teaspoons horseradish cream

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

2 teaspoons brown sugar


1 Tablespoon oil

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

1/2 cup port or medium-sweet sherry

2 cups beef stock

4 flat (field mushrooms, chopped

6 button mushrooms, finely sliced

2 teaspoons cornflour

pepper to season


6 small to medium starchy (roasting) Potatoes

1-2 tablespoon olive oil

Preparing The Steak Method:

1. Heat a non-stick frying pan and when very hot add the beef fillet.

Cook quickly over a high heat, browning the fillet evenly on both sides.

Transfer to a board.

2. Mix together the horseradish cream, mustard and brown sugar.

Spread this mixture on the top and bottom of the fillet of steak.

Place on a foil-lined baking tray.

3. Place in a 220c oven, turn down to 200c and cook for 25 mins.

Set aside to rest for 10 minutes, before carving and serving with

Lightweight Roast Potatoes, freshly steamed vegetables and mushrooms.

Preparing Mushrooms Method:

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion.

Cook over a moderate heat for 7-10 minutes until the onion is soft, but not colored.

Add the garlic and cook for a further 1 minute.

2. Add the port or sherry and simmer until reduced by half.

Add the beef stock and chopped field mushrooms and simmer until reduced to 1 1/4 cups.

Strain and return to a clean saucepan.

Add the sliced button mushrooms and simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Mix the cornflour with a little water to make a smooth paste and stir into the saucepan.

Simmer for 1-2 minutes until thickened.

Season with pepper before serving.

Lightweight Roast Potatoes Method:

1. Peel the potatoes and place in boiling salted water.

Boil rapidly for 5 minutes.

Drain and return to the saucepan.

Shake the potatoes over the heat to rough up the outside edges.

Alternatively, use a fork to score the outside of the potatoes, so that the edges are rough.

2. Roll the potatoes in the oil so that they are evenly coated and place on a baking tray.

3. Cook at 200c for 15-20 minutes until golden.

Steak Mushroom Sauce

I decided to make a  Mushroom Sauce, didn’t have a nice recipe, I found one on YouTube, will try it, let you know tomorrow what I think of it.It was delicious

It was delicious, worth making, I made it with farm grown mushrooms, I think it makes a difference to what mushrooms you use.

Delicious Chocolate Valentine Day Dessert


Image: ponsuwan /

Delicious Chocolate Valentine Day Dessert

Chocolate is yummy at any time, this dessert you will love it, as much as you love your loved one.

There’s no need to dress up and dine out for a special occasion, valentine day is an important day to most couples, sometimes a romantic dinner at home is as inspiring to a happy couple as a night out on the town.

A tasty dessert is usually high with calories, but that’s what makes it special because it’s a treat for a special occasion.

Chocolate Bombs

Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Bombs

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream
  • shaved chocolate.

1. Place sugar, cocoa, coffee and water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to the boil, then simmer for one minute.

2. Whisk the egg yolks with an electric mixture until light and fluffy.
Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add the hot syrup in a continuous fine stream.
Continue beating until the mixture is thick and it forms a ribbon pattern when the beater is pulled away.

3. Refrigerate bowl for 30 minutes to chill the mixture.
Whip the cream and fold into the chilled chocolate mixture with the coarsely chopped chocolate.

4. Line six teacups with plastic food wrap.
Divide mixture among prepared cups.
Place cups in the freezer for at least six hours, preferably overnight, to set.

5. Turn out and remove plastic wrap to serve.
Decorate with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

This is a divine chocolate dessert that will tempt your sweet tooth.

The nice mould shapes of the bombs are the result of the teacups being lined with the food wrap.

This recipe serves six. It keeps well in the freezer if you only need two, leave the other four in the freezer for another day.