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NEW HANGRY CHEF!!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
Ok, I know it's February. I've been busy, so I'll say HAPPY CHINESE LUNAR NEW YEAR!
What have I been busy with you ask? Well, since I last posted, which I'm sorry to say was 6 months ago, several big life-changing things have happened...

Firstly, we finished building a house, sold the house we were living in and moved into the newly built house.

For anyone who has built a home from scratch before you will know there's lots to do to get it ready to be liveable once the actual home is complete- fencing, driveways and footpaths, landscaping (which is still on our to do list!), furnishing, dog-proofing, organising, decorating... The list goes on!

We're still going and we moved in in November. No doubt it will take us years to get things settled and established. But the biggest challenge of getting into the house and making it liveable is over. Now to settle in at our own pace, after all, we live there now- we have plenty of time to make it 'o…

Beef Burek

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I love anything with flaky delish pastry, adding meat and/or cheese brings me nothing but joy (and probably explains my high cholesterol 😆) this burek recipe is probably something I wouldn't attempt normally but we made it at work and it was so yummy I wondered where it had been all my life.

I'll note that I used store-bought filo pastry rather then making the proper pastry. Hats off to all the baba's out there slaving away to stretch and pull filo from scratch but I don't have the patience to do that at this point, but if someone has a sweet old baba who would like to show me I'll never say no!!

You will need...
1 small brown onion, peeled and finely diced
400gr beef mince
1/2 cup picked parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus 1 extra teaspoon for cooking
2 eggs (if using large or jumbo eggs only use one)
4 Tbsp Greek yoghurt (unflavoured, natural)
3 Tbsp water
12 sheets filo pastry
Canola spray for greasing
Lemon wedges to serve

Stuffed Capsicums

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You will need...
5 small-medium sized red capsicums
300gr quinoa
600ml chicken stock
200gr tinned cherry tomatoes
150gr chorizo
1 small red onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 heaped teaspoon of paprika
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 bunch parsley, washed and finely chopped
1/2 cup pinenuts
2 Tbsp lemon juice (add a bit of grated rind too if you like)
2 cups cheese (I used grated cheddar)

Method..
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Spray a large, deep baking dish with cooking spray.Rinse and drain quinoa, place in a heavy-based saucepan with the stock and tinned tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered until quinoa is soft and liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, peel and dice the onion and chorizo. Heat a little olive oil in a non-stick frypan and cook on med-low until onion is softened and chorizo lightly browned. If chorizo has leached oil- drain on absorbent paper towel.  Once quinoa is cooked, add onion and chorizo mix, garlic, herbs, pine nuts, pepp…

Oreo Cheesecake

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I've been so busy the last few weeks that I haven't had a chance to upload this recipe from Easter. I had a few weeks off work recently and I ate my weight in sugary treats like this one. I don't regret a thing- except for the fact that my jeans button is about to pop and take out an unsuspecting passerby.

I didn't do too much of my own cooking while I was off work, mainly opting to eat out (Patissez for a Freakshake, Mama's Buoi for yummy Vietnamese fare.. Not to mention eating at local spots- including Crafted LIVE a BBQ and Beer festival).. But I did decide to crack out a diabetes extravaganza for Easter.
It's a simple Oreo cheesecake, but I overloaded it with Easter eggs, more Oreos of the peanut butter kind and persian fairy floss. You don't need to go crazy and add all the stuff I did, the cheesecake on its own is delicious and rich but in my 'expert' (fatty) opinion I think it needs some sugary glamorisation.
You will need... 1 packet of reg…

Turkey Meatballs with Chorizo in Tomato Sugo

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So I overindulged over the weekend, which is usually standard practise but this weekend was extra-indulgent because I turned THIRTY. Yep, I'm officially an adult. NO! You can't make me!!! Ok, but really, I celebrated turning thirty by pretty much eating and drinking all weekend. Needless to say my thirty-year old body is not what it once was and I am feeling the pain of the rich food overload.

In true old-lady style I thought I would make a hearty yet healthy dinner on Monday night to sort-of balance out all the pizza, fries and cake I ate over the weekend, so putting some turkey mince to good use I make some gluten-free meatballs in a nice rich tomato sauce with some green beans on the side (and not a starchy vegetable in sight!)



You will need...
500gr turkey mince
1 large egg
1/4 cup gluten free flour such as rice or coconut flour
1 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
100gr skinned and finely diced chorizo sausage (cos the thing needs some flavour!)
1/2 a large brown onion, finely dic…

Croissants

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I have finally decided to try my hand at Croissants, they have always daunted me for some reason. It's probably because I'm not a one for patience, which is one of the main ingredients in croissant-making.

I've rarely made puff pastry, opting for store bought every time. I'm not proud to admit it, but I'm just not interested in spending such a huge amount of time laminating dough (you know, all the folding of the butter in the dough so you get all the layers required in a good puff). But I'm conquering my fears and making croissants which uses the same technique of laminating dough, with the added fun of using a yeast-risen dough (yay more waiting).

So here goes my first attempt at croissants... I was already worried when the recipes I looked up online told me that I definitely WOULD NOT get these right the first time. Well, thanks for the vote of confidence guys! I feel like maybe this doesn't apply to me seeing as these recipes are targeted at at-home ba…

Braised Beef Spanish Style with Chimichurri

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This recipe is a revelation and once you make it it will end up being a staple in your cooking rotations. You will notice that I keep the beef and sauce separate, and only combine the two when reheating. The reason I do this is so that I can make a large batch, portion the beef into zip-lock bags and freeze them, along with pouring the cooking liquid into ice cube trays, freezing and then also into zip lock bags for portion control.  
This way I can reheat the beef and sauce whenever I like. Also, keeping the beef separate to the sauce means that it can be used in a whole different manner of ways. I've used it in curries- cooking veggies in coconut milk with red curry paste and then adding the beef at the end as an easy week night dinner. It can be added to salads, pizzas and even stir-frys. 
Or you can just eat it once cooked with the sauce over a bed of rice or with some vegetables or roast potatoes on the side as I did with our meal. I highly recommend making the chimichurri t…