Smoked Salmon Fillet with Parsley Potatoes & Cream Cheese Spread

I love when my Husband decides to cook, and I love how he always knows he can ask me for help! Today, he came up with this meal all on his own, I couldn’t be more proud.

Smoking meat has become a regular thing in our household. Bacon, steaks, chicken, fish, you name it, we smoke it! Today however was the first time we smoked salmon fillets in our Nipper Kipper smoking box. Now I am asking myself “Why didn’t we do this sooner?!”.

This meal is easy and delicious, even if you can’t smoke it, the salmon would be just as delicious pan fried in some butter, or even baked in the oven.

Next time you are out to impress, why not try this?

Prep time – 10 mins, Cooking time 30 mins, Serves 4

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Smoked Salmon Fillet with Parsley Potatoes & Cream Cheese Spread

4 fillets salmon, skin on

8 baby chat potatoes

1tbs butter

Small bunch fresh parsley – chopped finely

1/3 small red onion – chopped finely

225g tub cream cheese

½ cup dark brown sugar

2 cups balsamic vinegar

Small bag rocket

4 tbs grated parmesan cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Place your potatoes on to boil.
  2. If you have a smoking box, or small BBQ that will allow you to smoke meat, do so to the salmon according to your smoker’s instructions. Place salmon skin down, and smoke for about 25mins. If you do not have a smoker, feel free to pan fry or oven bake (covered).
  3. While salmon is smoking, heat the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a shallow frying pan or saucepan over a medium heat, stirring every few minutes. Keep at a simmer for 20mins, or until the glaze is reduced by half and will coat the back of a spoon.
  4. While glaze is reducing, prepare your cream cheese spread by combining the cream cheese, chopped onion and half the parsley and mix well, set aside.
  5. When potatoes are cooked, drain and add remaining parsley and butter, stir until the potatoes are coated.
  6. On your serving plates take a small amount of rocket as a side salad and sprinkle each with about a tablespoon of parmesan.
  7. When the salmon is cooked, assemble your meal with salmon skin side up, salad, cream cheese and potatoes, and drizzle everything lightly with the balsamic glaze.
  8. Enjoy!

~A

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Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken and Broccoli

There is nothing better than stumbling upon food inspiration and then thinking about making that meal for a few weeks, and then finally being able to make it and it being better than your wildest expectations! That’s exactly what happened to me a few weeks ago, and tonight I finally had a chance to create this delicious, protein packed dinner.

My inspiration came in the form of another food blog called Show Me The Yummy, their Thai Peanut Noodles made my mouth water just looking at them. I knew I had to make them because a) noodles and b) Asian flavours. That’s like totally my thing! I knew I would never get away with just noodles and egg for dinner, the hubby would never allow it (the man needs his meat!), so I chucked in some chicken and broccoli (because I’ve eaten really badly this week – stress eating as Saki-pup was in vet hospital for a few nights – I thought I should add something green).

This dish was a hit, hubby loved it, Saki (now home) loved it when I dropped some chicken and I super duper loved it!

Why not give it a try yourself 🙂

Prep time – 15 mins, Cooking time – 15 mins, Serves 6-8

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Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken & Brocolli

180g packet of ramen noodles

1 heaped tbs minced garlic

¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

2 tbs dark brown sugar

1 tbs sesame oil

1 tps fish sauce

¼ cup smooth peanut butter

Sides

2 skinless chicken breasts – diced

1 large head of broccoli

Topping

Fried eggs (as many as you need per dish)

1 bunch spring onion – finely sliced

Fried spring onion

Sesame seeds

Chilli flakes (optional)

  1. Put noodles on to boil as per packet instructions and mix all sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Stir fry the chicken in a small amount of oil and when no longer pink add broccoli and stir fry until just soft. Set aside and keep warm once cooked.
  3. When cooked, drain the noodles and mix sauce through while hot.
  4. Fry eggs in a lightly oiled non stick pan. Keep sunny side up and cover with a lid to cook the top, you want these slightly runny as the yolk mixes amazingly with the peanut noodles.
  5. Place noodles in a bowl and top with chicken, broccoli and egg, and garnish with spring onion, sesame seeds and chilli flakes.
  6. Enjoy!

~A

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Creamy Chicken and Spinach Pasta

This is one of the easiest and yummiest pasta recipes I know how to make. It’s at the point now that I don’t even use a recipe , I usually just go by feel, but tonight I decided to actually work out how much of everything I use and here it is just for you! This does make quite a lot, so feel free to dial back the amounts if you don’t want left overs.

Prep time – 10 mins, Cooking time – 20 mins, Serves 8

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Creamy Chicken and Spinach Pasta

2 skinless chicken breasts – diced

1 large brown onion – finely sliced

1 tbs minced garlic

1tbs chicken stock powder

250g frozen chopped spinach

600ml cream

½ cup water

500g pasta (I used large spirals)

3 heaped tbs wholegrain mustard

½ tbs honey

Salt and pepper to taste

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  1. Put a large pot on to boil for the pasta while preparing the ingredients.
  2. Put pasta in to cook. In a large frying pan/wok on a medium heat cook onion and garlic in some olive oil until onion is soft then add the diced chicken. Sprinkle chicken with stock and cook until chicken is slightly golden and no longer pink.
  3. Add water, spinach, cream, mustard and honey and stir through.
  4. Once pasta is just cooked add to chicken mixture and cook for a further 10 minutes on a low heat.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Enjoy!

~A

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Cornbread

Cornbread is a staple of Southern style cooking and is just generally yummy and can be eaten whenever you want! (That’s the rule in our house anyway!) This recipe is relatively simple and a great addition to any Southern style meal (like this Slow Cooker Honey Parmesan Pork Roast!).

Why not try it the next time you make something saucy as it’s perfect for mopping up your plate after a meal.

Prep time – 20 mins, Cooking time – 30-40 mins, Serves 12

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Cornbread

1 ¾ cups Cornmeal*

¾ cup plain flour

4 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp bi carbonate of soda

1 tsp salt

¼ cup sugar

2 cups buttermilk

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

2 cups corn kernels (canned is fine, make sure it is drained)

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  1. Pre-heat your oven to 220 degree Celsius and place a heavy based cast iron pan inside to heat up.
  2. In a bowl mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, bi carb, salt and sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the buttermilk, eggs, oil and corn kernels.
  4. Make a hole in the dry ingredients mix and gently pour in the wet ingredients and mix well. Your batter should be wet. Don’t worry!
  5. Take your cast iron pan out of the oven and pour in some oil/butter/bacon fat (all of these will work, you just need enough to coat the bottom of the pan). If you don’t have a cast iron pan a baking dish that has been well buttered will also work.
  6. Into your hot pan gently pour the batter, you should hear a sizzle as the batter starts cooking. Place immediately into the oven and cook for 30-40minutes or until golden and a skewer comes out clean.
  7. When cooked removed from oven and let sit for 10mins. Turn out onto a rack and allow to cool further.
  8. Enjoy with your favourite meal or just on its own, this cornbread will be super yummy either way!
  9. Enjoy!

~A

*If you can’t source cornmeal, polenta will also work, it’s basically the same thing, just not milled as finely as cornmeal.

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Slow Cooker Honey Parmesan Pork Roast

My Hubby is obsessed with anything southern, slow cooked or smoked. I don’t blame him really, so am I!

Slow cooking is one of my favourite things to do. Most nights in our household are full of extra curricular activities, be that indoor soccer, agility training with Saki-pup or Japanese sword training, so there isn’t much time left to prepare a proper meal. That’s where the slow cooker comes in! Quick prep the morning of, or night before then chucked in the slow cooker to cook all day, and come home to the house smelling amazing with a delicious meal ready at our fingertips. Who wouldn’t like that!?

Prep time – 10 mins, Cooking time – 6 hrs, Serves 6

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This roast recipe is one my husband found while perusing the internet and insisted that we make it for a big family dinner this weekend. Coupled with corn bread, coleslaw and potato bake, this roast is just perfect.

The principle of this roast is really very simple, and you can change up your marinade and sauce as you see fit. So why not give it a go next time you don’t feel like slaving away in the kitchen. Let your slow cooker do the hard work for you!

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Slow Cooker Honey Parmesan Pork Roast

2kg boneless pork loin roast

2/3 cup grated parmesan

½ cup honey

3tbs soy sauce

1tbs dried basil

1tbs dried oregano

3tbs chopped garlic

2tbs olive oil

½ tsp salt

2tbs corn flour

¼ cup chicken stock

1tsp sugar

  1. Turn slow cooker to high and place roast and any juices from roast into the slow cooker.
  2. In a bowl combine parmesan, honey, soy sauce, basil, oregano, garlic, oil and salt.
  3. Pour mixture over roast and cook on high for the first 2 hrs, reducing to low for the remaining 4 hours or as long as it takes for a meat thermometer to read 160 degrees.
  4. Once cooked remove the meat and set aside.
  5. Strain remaining juices from the slow cooker and place liquid into a small sauce pan over a low/medium heat.
  6. Mix the corn flour and chicken stock together (make sure there are no lumps).
  7. Add corn flour mixture to the slow cooker juices and simmer until thickened, stirring well. A teaspoon of sugar or more honey can be added if you feel the sauce needs to be sweeter.
  8. Pull roast apart with a fork into rough chunks and serve with glaze and your favourite sides.*
  9. Enjoy!

~A

*for a delicious side option why not try this delicious Cornbread recipe. It goes perfectly with this dish to soak up all those yummy juices!

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Chicken, Corn and Noodle Soup

I had a really hard time figuring out what to say to introduce this meal. Its been a tough couple of days in our household. A very good friend suffered horrible injuries in a freak accident which landed her on the operating table and now in hospital for at minimum a week.

When I got home today from seeing her, the last thing I wanted to do was cook but I knew I should make something. I had a look and found that we had left over BBQ chicken and enough in the pantry to create this comforting soup. It turned out to be just what I needed.

That whole chicken soup for the soul stuff? They might actually be onto something. Just wish I could have taken some in so our friend didn’t have to eat hospital food!

If you read this, please send good vibes to our dear friend for a speedy recovery!

Now, on to the yummy stuff!

Prep time 15 mins, Cooking time 15 mins,  Serves 6

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Chicken, Corn and Noodle Soup

420g can sweet corn kernels

420g can creamed corn

270g packet dry ramen noodles

1 small bunch spring onion

2 eggs – beaten

1tbs sesame oil

3tbs soy sauce

1 litre chicken stock

1 ½ tbs corn flour

5 tbs water

½ BBQ Chicken – shredded (I used left overs so about ½ a chicken was more than enough)

1 inch piece of ginger – grated

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  1. Bring stock to the boil and add in one strand of spring onion and the grated ginger.
  2. In a bowl mix the two tins of corn and add soy, oil and beaten eggs mixing till combined.
  3. Add corn mix to the stock. Stir well and removed strand of spring onion.
  4. Add shredded chicken to the stock mixture.
  5. In a cup mix the corn flour and 5 tbs water making sure there are no lumps.
  6. While the pot is boiling, add the corn flour and water and stir until thickened slightly.
  7. Add ramen noodles and cook until tender.
  8. Serve topped with sliced spring onion and your favourite crusty bread.
  9. Enjoy!

~A

Sesame Ramen Noodles

Our time in Japan last year for our honeymoon saw us eating many questionable things, especially when we had a stay at a ryokan (traditional accommodation). I’m talking breakfasts with more eyes than I have fingers, and easily 7 different species of sea creature on each plate! While that was an experience, we tended to lean more to things that we could recognise when out and about. Noodles of every kind fast became a favourite!

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While we were in Hiroshima we found this great looking noodle store attached to the main train station. We thought great! Normal food! Well… kind of… We took our seats and were given a menu. The menu seemed to indicate a hotness scale to the food. 1 being so bland that no one would even think about being so boring and 100 being insanely hot, we are talking surface of the sun. Well let me tell you, I think we got played hard at this place! We, being simple Australians thought we better stick to the basic boring number 1 on the scale, but when ordering the lovely young Japanese man suggested (persuaded, shamed us into…) getting at least a number 2 on the scale. The starting level he said. So being the nice folk that we are, and not wanting to insult anyone, we agreed. Number 2.

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Have you ever eaten something so hot that your lips tingled for a hour afterwards? Well I hadn’t until that day. Middle of a Japanese summer and I am literally on fire. It was the strangest thing, the noodles were amazingly delicious but so damn hot! The more you ate the better you could deal with the heat and the more delicious the noodles became, but once you stopped it was like the surface of the sun was your new lip gloss.

The most strange thing for me is since I’ve had these noodles in Hiroshima I’ve wanted more! So here is my attempt at Sesame Ramen – way less like the surface of the sun but still just as yummy!

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Sesame Ramen Noodles

3tbs sesame oil

3tbs peanut oil

¼ cup soy sauce

2tbs rice wine vinegar

3tbs white sugar

4 cloves of garlic – finely chopped

Ground cayenne pepper to taste

Chilli flakes to taste

180g packet of ramen noodles

1 small bunch of spring onion finely sliced to serve

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  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add ramen noodles and cook as per packet instructions.
  2. While the ramen is cooking in a small bowl mix oils, sugar, vinegar and garlic. Add spices now if you wish, and mix well.
  3. After draining the noodles simply stir through the sauce and serve hot.
  4. Top with finely sliced spring onion and extra chilli flakes.
  5. Enjoy!

Tip: I always make the bulk of the mixture with less heat (chilli) and add a little more later by mixing a small bowl of soy sauce and sesame oil with added cayenne pepper for those that love their noodles spicy!

~A

Thai Red Curry Pork

I’m a sucker for a good red curry – my absolute favourite would have to be a red curry duck, but this red curry pork comes a very close second, loaded with red curry and creamy coconut milk, a nice crunch of fresh vegetables and sprinkle of chopped peanuts and chilli to top it off, and if you want to add a few more healthy bits, there’s even a scoop of nutty brown rice hiding under the gorgeous spicy coconut broth.  Incredibly simple, quick and easy, its certainly one to keep the hungry crowds from rioting for a few hours at least!  This recipe is structured to be a bulk cook, but by all means, scale it back by half if you only have a small crowd.

Prep time 15 mins, Cook time 10 mins, Serves 8

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Thai Red Curry Pork

2 tbsp peanut oil

2 brown onion, cut into thin wedges

1 jar Ayam red curry paste

1.3kg pork fillet or loin steaks,sliced thinly

3 x 400ml can coconut milk

2 tbsp fish sauce

4 tsp brown sugar

2 large red capsicum, diced

400g can baby corn pieces, drained

400g green beans, trimmed, halved crossways

1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

2 large red chillies, thinly sliced (optional)

  1. Heat peanut oil in large heave based pan, then add onion, cooking until just soft
  2. Add curry paste and saute until onions are coated and paste is fragrant, which should be 2-3 minutes
  3. Add pork and stirfry for a further 5 minutes, until pork is browned.
  4. Add coconut milk, sugar, fish sauce and vegetables, stir and bring to the boil, simmer for a further five minutes.
  5. Serve on a bed of rice, and top with fresh sliced chilli and peanuts.

Kick back with a glass of your favourite white wine (or red if thats your chosen poison) and wrap your taste buds around this bad boy, I guarantee you’ll want to lick your bowl clean when nobody is looking! Cheers ~ LC

Chicken Roulade

It looks a bit fancy, and a bit complex, but looks can be very deceiving! This simple chicken roll-up is a winner, seen here served with a simple garden salad, crunchy butter grilled asparagus and a bed of creamy polenta, it’s a good hearty meal.

Prep time 20 minutes, cook time 30 minutes, Serves 4

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Chicken Roulade

6 chicken thigh fillets, bashed out to 5mm thick

1/3c sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped

1/3c roasted capsicums, roughly chopped

1/2c button mushrooms, quartered

3 squares of your favourite cheese – if you like soft cheese, use 6 slices

1/2c plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

1/3c white wine

1/3c chicken stock

1tsp wholegrain mustard

1/3c thickened cream

1/2c Polenta

2c chicken stock extra

1 tsp butter

  1. Place sundried tomatoes, capsicum and mushrooms into a food processor and blitz until finely chopped.
  2. Spread each chicken thigh with approx a tablespoon of the blended mix and spread to cover.  Place 1/2 square of cheese at one end of each thigh, and roll up tightly, securing with toothpicks, roll in seasoned flour. WARNING – this can get a bit messy and fidley, but dont stress, it WILL come together.
  3. Heat oil and butter in large frying pan, once frothy, add chicken cooking for 4-5 minutes on each side until golden.  Once golden on all sides, pour wine and stock into pan and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, turning chicken every minute or so.
  4. Remove chicken from pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes.  Add mustard seeds and cream to remaining liquid in pan and stir to combine, place back on low heat.
  5. Meanwhile cook polenta by brining stock to boil, add polenta in a steady stream, stirring constantly until thick, add butter and cook a further 2-3 minutes.
  6. Slice chicken into 1cm slices and serve on a bed of polenta with crispy asparagus topped with wine and mustard sauce, and a side of garden salad (or whatever takes your fancy really!)

This is a fancy favourite of ours, if you’re feeling a little bit less fancy, you can serve this bad boy straight on the plate (skip the slicing) with some mash and colorful veg.

Enjoy ~ LC

Squid and Cashew Stir-Fry

Crunchy and sweet this stir fry has quickly become a favourite. You can use your favourite veggies or just what’s left over in the fridge that needs to be used up. Either way teamed up with lightly battered squid, sweet sauce and cashews you cant go wrong!

Prep time 10 mins, Cooking time 15 mins, Serves 4

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Squid and Broccoli Stir-fry

2 heads broccolini – chopped into small heads

1 punet mushrooms – halved

3 carrots – julliened

1 clove of garlic – chopped finely

3 bunches pak choy –  chopped into thirds

2 tbs brown sugar

1tbs fish sauce

1tbs soy sauce

1tbs sweet chilli sauce

3 squid tubes – sliced into inch wide strips and scored in a cross hatched pattern

1 cup plain flour

1/2 tsp Tuscan seasoning

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup peanut oil – for stirfrying and shallow frying

1/3 cup cashews

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  1. Prepare the squid by slicing and scoring.
  2. Place flour, salt and Tuscan seasoning in a bowl and mix. Dust squid in flour.
  3. Shallow fry squid until just golden. Make sure oil is very hot. Set squid aside.
  4. In a small bowl mix sugar, fish sauce, sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce.
  5. Heat a tbs oil in a wok and stir fry all veggies except the pak choy until just tender. Add pak choy and stir fry for a further minute. Remove from heat and drizzle with sauce. Mix though.
  6. Plate up stir-fried vegetables and top with squid and cashews.
  7. Enjoy!

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