Easy Pork Stir-fry

You know, I’m not going to lie – it happens to the best of us, there’s days where you just really cant be bothered with getting too creative and when you have grumbles coming from all corners of the house because they’re hungry, getting something on the table ASAP is your top priority!  This is a really simple, tasty stir-fry, which I kind of refer to as a bit of a “cheating” meal when it comes to cooking it (its not by any means unhealthy though!).  Also, if you want to make everything from scratch, you can do that too, just takes a bit longer to prep the veg!

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Easy Pork Stir-Fry

Prep time ~15 minutes, Cook time ~ 15 minutes Serves 4-6 people

6 large Pork Spare Ribs, cut short ways, into 0.5-1cm batons

1 large onion, cut into thin wedges

1 tbsp crushed garlic

1 tbsp peanut oil

1 tsp sesame oil (optional)

850g bag Birds Eye Frozen Oriental Veg (or any other variety that you like)

1 sachet Maggi Sweet & Sticky Pork Sauce (you can find it with the other meal bases)

1 pack Thin Hokkien Noodles (cooked as per packet instructions)

1/4c Oyster and Sweet Chilli sauces

  1. Heat your oils in a large wok until hot, add onion and garlic, cooking until onion just starts to soften.
  2. Add pork pieces, and cook, stirring until browned all over.
  3. Get your noodles soaking, before adding the veggies and sauces to your wok and stirring thoroughly.
  4. Continue cooking until veggies are hot, and sauce has thickened slightly, then add drained noodles to wok and stir.
  5. Serve immediately with a nice cold beer or a cider.

Spaghetti Carbonara

This would be one of my husband Alex’s favourite pasta dishes, as we call it, Car-banana!  Who doesn’t love those gorgeous tendrils of carbohydrates, bathed in shiny, creamy eggs and piled high with crispy, salty bacon.  Did someone say bacon? OOOOH BACON. Then there’s the lashing of fresh shaved parmesan, herbs and just to add a little bit more grown up bang, a sprinkle of fresh birds eye chili!

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Spaghetti Carbonara

Prep time ~15 minutes, Cook time ~ 10 minutes – Total 25 minutes. Serves 6

500g Fresh spaghetti or linguine

Rock salt

12 rashes bacon (just the streaky bit, keep the eye for breakfast!), sliced in to 1cm batons

8 large eggs or 10 medium eggs, beaten lightly

1c grated parmesan cheese

2 tbsp fresh chopped basil

4 birds eye chili, finely sliced (seeds out if you dont like it too hot, or left out if you like it tame)

Fresh ground black pepper

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, season generously with rock salt, and cook pasta to direction as per packet – I find with fresh pasta, if you start the pasta just as you start cooking the bacon, it times quite nicely.  Drain the pasta, reserving approx 1/2c of the cooking water
  2. Drop the bacon into a just warm pan, then turn the heat up and cook for approx 8 minutes until its nice and crispy and has produced a bit of oil.  Add the cooked spaghetti and reserved water and stir.
  3. Add the beaten eggs, parmesan and a generous sprinkle of black pepper and toss to coat then continue cooking for a further 2 minutes – its REALLY important to keep the pasta moving at this point or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs and bacon.
  4. Once the sauce is nice and creamy, add the basil, and chili, and serve with some extra shaved parmesan.

ENJOY!

~LC

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

This cheesecake is one to pull out when you’re looking to be a bit fancy, its smooth, balanced and just that little bit POSH!

Prep Time 30 minutes, Cooking Time 30 minutes + chilling time, Serves ~12

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White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake

1 1/4 cups choc ripple biscuits biscuits, crushed

1 cup cream, lightly whipped

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

2 tsp McKenzies Gelatine powder dissolved in 1/4 cup boiling water, cooled

200g fresh raspberries

200g White Chocolate, melted

3/4 cup sugar

500g block PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened

75g butter, melted

Jelly Topping

400g fresh or frozen raspberries

2 tbsp caster sugar

2 tsp McKenzies Gelatine Powder extra, dissolved in 1/4c boiling water

  1. Combine the biscuits and butter and press into the base of a greased 22 cm spring form pan.
  2. Beat the PHILLY, sugar, and lemon rind until smooth. Stir in the gelatine mixture and fold in the melted white chocolate and cream
  3. Pour 1/3 filling into base and spread evenly, scatter half fresh raspberries over mix, pressing gently into the cream mix, then top with another 1/3 of the mix, and repeat with remaining raspberries, before topping with remaining filling.  Ensure the cake has a nice smooth finish before placing in the refridgerator to set.
  4. While cheesecake is setting, place extra raspberries and sugar into a small pot and heat over low heat until raspberries have cooked down, and sugar is dissolved.  Pass mixture through sieve to remove seeds and cool slightly.  Add dissolved gelatine and mix thoroughly.
  5. Once raspberry jelly is made, and cheesecake has set to the touch on the surface, carefully poor jelly mix over the top, before placing back in the fridge for 2-3 hours or until totally set, being careful to ensure cake is level.

Toblerone Cheesecake

This one would have to be, without a doubt, my all time absolute FAVOURITE cheesecake, and more than a few friends will put in a special dessert request for this one if they’re coming for dinner!

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Toblerone Cheesecake

1c chocolate biscuits crumbs (Choc Ripple Works Well)

1/4c Almond Meal

80g Butter, melted

500g Philadelphia Cream Cheese

1/2c caster sugar

200g Toblerone Milk Chocolate, melted

1/2c thickened cream

Dollop Cream

Fresh Raspberries

1. Combine biscuits, almond meal and butter, press into 20cm springform pan. Chill.

2. Beat philly and sugar with electric mixer until smooth, beat in melted Toblerone and cream till will combined

3. Pour into base and chill for 2-3 hours until set, or overnight. Serve with Dollop cream and fresh raspberries.

Moroccan Lamb Shanks

Original recipe from Taste, however I added a couple of little extras to boost the yum factor.  These went down magnificently, even the fussier family members licked their plate clean!

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Moroccan Lamb Shanks

2 tbsp good quality olive oil

4 lamb shanks

3 chorizo sausages, quartered lengthways and diced, fried and then drain on paper towel

2 red onions, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tbsp Harissa Spice mix

425g can crushed tomatoes – I try and use Australian grown where I can

1c beef stock

400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

400g sweet potato, peeled and diced in 1cm cubes

1c polenta

1 litre chicken stock

30g butter

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add lamb shanks. Cook, turning, for 5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to an ovenproof dish.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, garlic, spice mix and remaining oil to frying pan. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft. Add tomatoes and beef stock. Bring to the boil. Pour over lamb. Cover dish tightly with aluminium foilPlace lamb in oven. Cook for 3 1/2 hours. Stir in chickpeas, chorizo and sweet potato. Cover and return to oven. Cook for a further 1 1/2 hours or until lamb is tender. Remove from oven. Season with salt and pepper..
  3. Meanwhile, bring stock to the boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add polenta in a thin, steady stream, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring, for 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture comes to the boil. Remove from heat. Stir in butter. Spoon polenta onto plates. Top with lamb shanks. Spoon over sauce.

Beef and Pasta Bake

This is one of the first things my mum let me make, which speaks for itself.  The original recipe comes from the wonderful world of The Women’s Weekly.  Its dead easy, very tasty, loaded with healthy goodness.

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Beef & Pasta Bake

4 tsp good quality olive oil

2 large onions, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic crushed (or 3 teaspoons of garlic from a jar)

4 rashes of bacon, finely diced

3 small carrots, finely diced

3 stalks celery, finely diced

500g button mushrooms, sliced

1kg beef mince

2 x 400g cans condensed tomato soup

2/3c tomato paste

2 tbsp tomato sauce

2 tsp dried oregano

500g spiral pasta (I prefer the high fibre pasta, but any is fine)

2 cups grated cheese

1/2c grated or shaved parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan; cook the onion, garlic, bacon, carrot and celery, stirring, until the carrot is just tender.  Add mushrooms and cook a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add mince, and cook, stirring until mince has browned, breaking up any lumps.
  4. Add soup, tomato paste, sauce, and oregano; then simmer, covered for 15 minutes or until mix has thickened.  Season to taste.
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until just cooked, drain then add to beef mix.
  6. Place into a large retangular baking dish, then top with cheeses.  Bake in oven for 15 minutes until top is golden brown.