Category Archives: Recipe

Pecan Pie:

This recipe is for Heather, and in memory of my mother who adored nuts.

Mothers day card with rustic roses on wooden board borrowed from the Internet

Mothers day card with rustic roses on wooden board borrowed from the Internet


84-98g butter                                                                                                                                              196g plain flour (1/4 of which can be wholemeal)                                                                                      salt                                                                                                                                                                       1 tablespoon sugar                                                                                                                                            I egg

1. To make the pastry, place the flour, butter and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and process until the mixture just begins to come together.

Turn the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Shape into a disc and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

Pecan filling:

3 eggs, lightly whisked                                                                                                                            185ml (3/4 cup) maple syrup                                                                                                                     100g (1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar)                                                                                                50g butter, melted                                                                                                                                       195g (1 1/2 cups) pecans

2. Preheat oven to 200*C

3. Roll half of the pastry into a round and line a heavy based pan. Allow pastry to rest in fridge for a further 30 minutes, if you have time. (I don’t usually manage this and it is still OK).

4. Cover pastry with baking paper and fill with rice or dried beans.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove paper and rice or beans and bake for a further 8 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temp to 160*C.

6. Meanwhile to make the pecan filling, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, sugar and butter in a medium bowl. Stir in pecans.

7. Pour mixture evenly into warm pastry case. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes** or until just set in centre. Place pie on wire rack and set aside for 40 minutes or until completely cool. **( mine took an hour!)

*This can be made into 10 small pies using 2cm-deep, (8cm base measurement) fluted tart tins with removable bases and a 15cm diameter cutter.





Another naughty:

Liza and youngest grandchild, Hazel

Liza and youngest grandchild, Hazel

April is a month full of birthdays for us. This carrot cake can safely be made the day before, as it keeps well. We have Hazel turning one, so I decided to make this as I know her parents enjoy this cake. As we also have house guests, the cake will be handy to have on hand. Since it is a cake without butter, I feel it is a little healthier than some.

Luxury Carrot Cake


275g/ 10 oz plain flour                                                                                                                       2 tsp. baking powder                                                                                                                         1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda                                                                                                                       1 tsp. salt                                                                                                                                                      2 tsp. ground cinnamon                                                                                                                     1 tsp. ground ginger                                                                                                                           200g/ 7oz dark soft brown sugar                                                                                                       100g/ 31/2 oz castor sugar                                                                                                                      4 large eggs, beaten                                                                                                                           250 ml / 9fl oz sunflower oil                                                                                                                       1 tsp vanilla essence                                                                                                                                  4 carrots, peeled and shredded                                                                                                    (about 450 g/ 1 lb)                                                                                                                                     380g/ 14 oz can crushed pineapple, well drained                                                                             125g/ 4 oz pecan or walnuts toasted and chopped.


175g/ 6 oz cream cheese, softened                                                                                                              50g/ 2 oz butter softened                                                                                                                             1 tsp vanilla essence, ( I use a squeeze of lemon juice)                                                                             225g/ 8oz icing sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Lightly oil a 33×23 cm/ 13×9 inch baking tin. Line the base with non stick baking paper, oil and dust with flour.

2. Sift the first 6 ingredients into a large bowl and stir in the sugars to blend. Make a well in centre.

3. Beat the eggs, oil and vanilla essence together and pour into the well. Using an electric whisk, gradually beat drawing in the flour mixture from the side until a smooth batter forms. Stir in the carrots, crushed pineapple and chopped nuts until blended.

4. Pour into the prepared tin and smooth the surface evenly. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 50 minutes, or until firm and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before removing from the tin and discarding the lining paper.

5. For the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla essence, ( or lemon juice), together until smooth, then gradually beat in the icing sugar until the frosting is smooth. Spread the frosting over cake. Refrigerate for about 1 hour to set the frosting, then cut to serve.


A Special Occasion Treat:

This fruitcake is a rich one and suitable for those occasions that warrant something really special.   Rose, from Canberra, gave me this recipe.

Christopher's birthday cake un-iced

Christopher’s birthday cake un-iced

My Uncle's 92nd birthday cake.

My Uncle’s 92nd birthday cake.


My aunt’s 90th birthday cake.


 Grand Marnier Fruit Cake

500g sultanas

250g mixed peel

125g raisins

125 dates

125 prunes

125g glace apricots

125 glace pineapple

60g blanched slivered almonds

60g walnut pieces

1 tablespoon grated orange rind

½ cup Grand Marnier (I use Cointreau)

½ cup caster sugar

¼ cup orange juice

250 g butter

½ cup brown sugar

5 eggs

2 cups plain flour

Place sultanas and peel in large basin, chop all fruit the same size as a sultana and add to the basin. Mix in almonds, walnuts and orange rind.

Sprinkle castor sugar evenly into heavy based pan, place over medium heat, cook until sugar is beginning to melt and brown, gently stir sugar until completely melted and golden brown.

Remove from heat, add orange juice, return to hear, stir constantly until toffee pieces are dissolved. Do not boil mixture; this will evaporate too much of the liquid. Add Grand Marnier, strain to remove any small pieces of toffee; cool.

Place fruit mixture in airtight container or large jar, which has a tight fitting screw top; pour Grand Marnier mixture over fruit mixture. Seal with plastic lid, stand overnight. Next day, invert jar or moisten mixture well. Do this for 10 days.

Beat butter until soft, add brown sugar, and beat until combined. Add eggs one at a time; beat only until combined before adding the next egg. Pour fruit mixture into large basin, add creamed mixture, mix well; use your hand for most efficient mixing. Add sifted flour; mix well.

Prepare a deep 20cm square or deep 23 cm round tin by lining base and sides with three thicknesses of greaseproof paper. Bring lining paper 5cm above edge of tin. Spread mixture evenly into tin, bake in slow oven 3 to 31/2 hours. Brush top evenly with about 2 tablespoons extra Grand Marnier, cover with aluminum foil. Leave until cold before removing from tin. To store cake: remove foil and tin, do not remove lining paper, wrap cake securely in plastic food wrap to make airtight, store in cool dark place, preferably in refrigerator. This cake will keep for at least a year.

Decorate cake with Marzipan and then a firm icing. These can be bought and rolled out using icing sugar to stop sticking. Marzipan oranges can be made to decorate this cake with some green leaves.

If nuts are a problem, I use the same weight in ginger or currants instead. If you like nuts and don’t want to ice, cover top with split almonds. Hope this appeals to someone out there, it is really a delicious treat! Happy cooking!






Sausage rolls:

Food for the Soul (and the stomach) by Michelle W.                                                                       Tell us about your favourite meal, either to eat or prepare. Does it just taste great, or does it have other associations.

If I’d been asked this question earlier in my life I would definitely say a roast dinner; be that chicken, lamb, beef or pork. As a child the roast was a traditional meal that was cooked on Sundays whilst we were at church. It was the condiments that made it special, either: stuffing, apple- sauce, mint sauce or cranberry sauce. The associated memories of eating as a family brings back a flood of warm feelings.

These days our eating habits have changed to many simple but tasty recipes. Eating fresh fruit before the meal has become the norm. One simple recipe that my beloved adores is sausage-rolls.

left over cold ones!

left over cold ones!

  •  This takes three sheets of frozen pastry, cut in half, (as I’m a lazy cook these days).
  • Mix chicken or pork mince with a finely cut red onion, I grated carrot, herbs from the garden, a big dollop of honey and pepper and salt.
  • Divide mixture onto the 6 long pastry pieces, and add beaten egg to edge of one side.
  • Roll each long roll and divide into four and cut slices into top.
  • Apply egg to top of sausage rolls and pop into a hot oven until cooked. 200 degrees for 20 mins, depending on oven.
  • Eat with homemade relish and Bobs your uncle!

This is a simple meal, that can be made a little healthier with a salad.




Christmas treat:

A tradition in our family is to make these biscuits over the festive season. They are probably more relevant to the Northern Hemisphere, but we still enjoy having them here in Australia. My Austrian/Italian mother-in-law gave me this recipe in 1967 when I first married her son. I’m sure she’d be delighted for me to share them with you all.

 Vanilla Kipferl with love 😘

454g plain flour

454g butter

Pinch of salt

227g ground almonds or hazelnutsIMG_1250

227g castor sugar

2 teaspoon vanilla essence

Sieved icing sugar or castor sugar

The biscuits can be made in the mixer, but care must be taken not to over mix the sugar and butter.

On the board: put the mixed salt, flour and nuts on the board, make a well in the centre for the butter cut into chunks and the sugar. Work these together with the fingers, then gradually work in the surrounding flour etc. until a dough is formed.

Chill for one hour.

To form biscuits: try not to use any flour on the board as this will toughen the biscuits.

Pinch off pieces the size of a walnut and roll between palms into small balls. Roll each ball into a ‘pencil’, about 3/4 inch thick and 21/2inches long, then bend into a crescent. Arrange on ungreased sheets, leaving about 1inch between biscuits, as they may spread a little. Bake in a slow, moderate oven for 18 minutes or until a pale golden colour. Carefully lift onto a cooling tray and leave for three minutes to firm up, then dip into a bowl of icing or castor sugar.



More Muesli?

Continuing yesterday’s post I’m adding some more muesli recipes from ‘Eating Your Way to Health’ by Ruth Bircher, translated and edited by Claire Loewenfeld.

3D Apple Muesli with Yoghourt

(For slimming diets and for those who cannot tolerate milk, Tarter in flavour, stimulates digestion.)

Ingredients: Per person:

1 level tablespoon rolled oats (or 1 dessertsp. medium oatmeal)

soaked for 12 hours in 3 tablespoons water.

3 tablespoons yoghourt

1 teasp. Lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey or 11/2 tablespoon brown sugar

1 large apple (or 2-3 small ones)

1 tablespoon grated hazelnuts or almonds


  1. Mix the yoghourt to a smooth consistency with lemon juice.
  2. Add to the oats, stirring well, and mix in the honey or sugar.
  3. Prepare and add the apple as in Basic Recipe No.1.
  4. Sprinkle nuts over the finished dish and serve immediately.


5 D. Muesli Made From Soft or Stone Fruit                                                                      (Especially rich in vitamin C)                                                                                               Ingredients: As for Basic Recipe No. 1 D, substituting for the apple:

5-7 oz. strawberries, or raspberries, loganberries, red and black currants, blackberries, bilberries                                                                                                                                            OR                                                                                                                                                       5-7 oz. cherries, peaches, apricots, plums or greengages


For Soft Fruit

  1. Select, wash and hull soft fruit.
  2. Crush with fork or wooden spoon.

Continue as Basic Recipe 1 D

For Stone fruit:

  1. Select, wash and stone.
  2. Chop up or reduce to pulp in electric liquidizer.

Continue as Basic Recipe 1 D.


7 D. Muesli Made From Dried Fruit:

 If no fresh fruit is available Muesli can be prepared from dried fruit, i.e. apple rings, prunes, dried pears or apricots (not dried figs, dates or raisins).

Ingredients: Per person:

As for Basic Recipe No. 1 D, omitting apple.

31/2 oz. dried fruit, washed and soaked for 12 hours.


  1. Put the soaked fruit in electric liquidizer.
  2. Add this puree to the Basic mixture- see recipe 1 D.

NOTE: Care must be taken that the dried fruit is of good quality, without preservative or bleaching agents, otherwise troublesome gastric and intestinal disturbances may result.

1 ounce = 28 gms.

I hope you get a chance to try one or more of these recipes, or a combination of these ideas!



Fellow blogger, M-R, mentioned that she’d like a recipe about muesli. I’ve copied the basic recipe out, but if anyone would like any from the list at the end, I’m very happy to copy more. Today I am going to quote from this wonderful book I bought back in the early 1970s when I was living in Zurich, as it has been my standby for all of that time. It is: ‘ Eating Your Way to Health’, Ruth Bircher, Translated by Claire Loewenfeld, published by Faber 1961.

All the Year Round

The original recipe for Muesli, worked out by Dr. Bircher-Benner, should be considered a prescription rather than a recipe. If closely followed it will not only provide the best balance of essential nutrients, but experience has shown that people will not become tired of it, if regularly taken once or twice a day- something which may easily happen if richer and more elaborate versions are offered.

Any apple which is juicy, tart and white fleshed is recommended…  I am omitting varieties, as these will vary according to where you are living. Mixing varieties is recommended.

Later on in the seasons, when home-grown apples tend to become dry and tasteless, their flavour can be improved by the addition, just before serving, of some freshly-grated orange or lemon peel, orange juice or rose hip puree.

Basic Recipe

Note: Before any of the following Muesli recipes can be prepared, the rolled oats or oatmeal must be soaked beforehand for 12 hours. It is not necessary to soak the quick-cooking varieties if they have to be used. They are, however, not so valuable since heating processes have been used in their manufacture. The less heat a cereal has undergone, the greater will be its value.


Ingredients:  Per person:

1 level tablespoon rolled oats (or 1   1 tablesp. Sweetened condensed

desertsp. Medium oatmeal)                   milk

soaked for 12 hours in 3                         1 large apple (or 2-3 small ones

tablesp. water                                            about 7 oz./ 84g. in weight)

1 tablesp. Lemon juice                             1 tablesp. Grated hazelnuts or



  1. Mix lemon juice and condensed milk to a smooth cream.
  2. Add to oats, stirring thoroughly.
  3. Wash apples, wipe with cloth and remove tops, stalks and any blemishes.
  4. Using a two way or Bircher grater, grate apple into mixture, stirring frequently to prevent discolouring.
  5. Sprinkle nuts over the finished dish and serve immediately.

Note: 1-2 tablesp. Water or orange juice can be added if required, depending on the variety of apple used and the length of time they have been in store.

This basic recipe gives the idea, and there are many variations such as:







 NOTE: Apricots and plums should be avoided by anyone suffering from gastric and intestinal complaints.

D stands for diet.



Pondering thoughts:

Yesterday we went to our dentist, a bit of a hike, but worth having such a reliable man on the job. It gives me an opportunity to check out the magazines, and yes, I found a recipe for you:

Cherry, Halloumi and Lentil salad.

I shall simplify it and let you use a tin of lentils.                                                                              Mix:                                                                                                                                                            3 Tbsp. virgin olive oil                                                                                                                          1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar                                                                                                                 ½ teaspoon Dion mustard

and let lentils marinate in this mixture.


225 g. Halloumi cheese, cut lengthwise into thick slices.

Cook the cheese to brown.

150g. Cherries pitted and halved.

1 Tbsp. chopped mint

½ red onion sliced finely

Wild rocket

Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over the top.

If you don’t have cherries any juicy fruit could be added, like white nectarine, peach, or mango or fresh sweet ripe pear.


On the way home, my recent post came to mind where I wrote about our friend dying. Tony, nicknamed ‘Bopper Boy’, (as he always played the latest music and loved his trendy car), appeared. Well, a sleek, swanky American left hand drive car drove up behind us, (that he would have loved). Chris said,

‘Looks like Bopper Boy’s behind us!’

By the time it passed us, I had no time to take a photo, as my phone has a code to be typed in etc. We were both amazed to see his initials on the number plate, ‘TB 1968.’ What a strange coincidence!

So to fill his character out a little more, I’d like to share his last e-mail with you, which shows his quirky sense of humour. His spirit will live on in our lives:

Tony B.

Tony B.


A hungry bloke walks into a seedy cafe in Glasgow.
He sits in the counter and notices a Jock with his arms folded,
staring blankly at a bowl of chili

After ten minutes of just sitting there staring at it, the hungry
bloke bravely asks.

“If you aren’t going to eat that, mind if I do?”

The old Jock slowly turns his head toward the young bloke and says.

“Nah, ye can gae ahead.”

Eagerly, the young bloke reaches over and slides the bowl over to
his place and starts spooning it in with delight.

He gets nearly down to the bottom and notices a dead mouse in the chili.

The sight was shocking and he immediately pukes up the chili
back into the bowl.

The old Jock says. “Aye, that’s as far as I got too.”

Pear Chutney

This recipe is for Maggie: Yesterday I made 24 medium jars of pear relish, and tasting it last night we were delighted with it. Please don’t think we quaff such large quantities, they are distributed throughout the family and a few friends…

Pear Chutney

10.896 Kg /12lb pears           3 teaspoons cayenne pepper

14 g  / 1/2 oz of salt                1/2 oz cloves

5 1/2 Kg / 6lb. sugar                2 onions

12 cups / 3 pints vinegar           56 gm. / 2 oz. root ginger

Put ginger, cloves and onions in a bag and boil in vinegar. Cut pears in small pieces and cook gently till tender, adding sugar. Once sugar is there it does need stirring. Remove bag.  (I did add some cornflour, a couple of tablespoons mixed to a paste to bring a little thickening).  Bottle and seal. I found I had too much juice, so strained the last bit and tipped it out the excess juice.

This I cooked in two large pots, it really needs a jam pan. Half quantity would make 12 jars.


Pear Chutney 29th April 2014