Friday, 23 September 2011

A classic, with a twist

I never was a fan of devilled sausages. I love sausages, I love apples, but to me, they just don't go together. Or at least, the cooked apples just feel wrong with the sausages. Its a texture thing more than anything I think.

Anyways, we got this cookbook a while back - The Watties Kiwi Favourites Cookbook, and in it was a recipe for devilled sausages. Hubby and the older 2 boys would often cook dinner most weekends, and would normally follow recipes from this book. Nobody had tried the devilled sausages recipe yet, but I randomly had the urge to make it one night, and started it, only to realise we were out of apples. So that's when I started adapting this recipe.... I dug out a tin of pineapple, and thus my love of devilled sausages began - it just worked perfectly. The pineapple stays firm when cooked and the flavours are divine. It tastes so good, that I felt the need to share it.

So here's my revised recipe....

Kate's Devilled Sausages

8 Sausages (I use 14 - a kilo of countdown's precooks - to feed my troop... I then cut the sausages up, easier for the kids... you don't need to use precooks, I only do cuz they are cheap)
an onion, sliced (I cut into quarters then slice, easier for the kids)
1 cup boiling water
1/2 tsp Vegemite/marmite (I tend to do 1tsp)
1/4 - 1/2 c tomato sauce (I tend to do more as I use more sausages)
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (a decent big squirt does the trick)
1/2 tsp prepared mustard (I tend to do about 1tsp, for kicks)
A tin of pineapple in *juice* (not syrup). (I use pineapple rings and cut them up into pieces, as the pineapple pieces are too chunky for my liking. You could use crushed pineapple if you don't like hot chunks of pineapple) - Keep the juice

In a non stick pan, brown the sausages on all sides. Then add the onion and cook for 2 minutes.
Dissolve the Vegemite/marmite in the boiling water then add to the pan with the rest of the ingredients (minus the juice).
Simmer for about 10 minutes, then I add the juice, and simmer for a further 10 mins or until the sauce has thickened.

Serve with rice or mashed potatoes, and steamed vegies (or if you forget to do the vegies, quickly pop some frozen mixed veg into the microwave like I had to last night, oops!).

Monday, 19 September 2011

Organising my pantry one beer box at a time

OK, as a whole I love my kitchen. It is large and spacious. And the pantry is fantastically large but the problem is that it is SO BLOODY DEEP! And not only is it deep, but its TALL too. I have a top pantry and a bottom one. The bottom one is for storing back up supplies mostly (and the tray of eggs, and potatoes etc). Its easy to reach the back of that one. But the main pantry, well..... I suddenly had enough!

It started back in August, was trying to bake Mr4's birthday cake, and cupcakes etc for his party. I knew I had bought sprinkles for the fairy bread in the fortnightly shop nearly 2 weeks prior. But do you think I could locate the container anywhere? No of course not! So a couple of weeks after his party I decided enough was enough (we have been in this house for 1.5 years now,  I'm surprised it took me this long to do something about it lol!) and I was going to sort out the baking shelf... I did not have a plan in place, I just pulled everything out. And I refused to put it back until I had a better system in place.

Luckily for me and my pantry, I was all inspired from Pinterest ;). I decided I needed containers to group like ingredients together, then I can just grab the container. But I didn't want to spend any money either, which took me back to square one. Thought further and realised cardboard boxes would work, so went out to the recycling bin to see what I could find. That's where I found 2 empty beer boxes (thanks to hubby).

Cut them down and just used the bottom half. I had one box for cake decorating ingredients, and one for bread making ingredients. I then realised I needed another for the rest of the random small loose ingredients. That's when the waiting game began. Ya see, hubby generally only buys one box of beer a week. So yay, a week later finally my baking shelf was sorted.


Organised Mess!

Now however, I am trying to sort out my next problem shelf - the one I keep all the dinner type stuff (cans, spices, packets etc). Its a mess, I can never find the spices I want, and end up using whatever is at the front but not a lot from the back. So today I grabbed the box from the recycling (just in time, rubbish goes out tomorrow night) and the big sort of that shelf has started now. I think I'm about 3 weeks away from getting that shelf sorted.... then it will be on to the medicines on the highest shelf (impossible to reach anything on that shelf!).

Just Plain Mess...

 Lucky hubby is a good sport, keeping me in supply of beer boxes.... Because it's hard for him ya know?

Sunday, 18 September 2011

I discovered Pinterest - uh oh!

So a couple of weeks ago I discovered pinterest. I'm a bit slow compared to many. But I found it. And sure enough, I was hooked. I now have so many ideas, so many recipes to try. So many craft projects. Oh I am so inspired! But reality hits and I don't actually have the time or money to undertake most of these projects. Bugger. But it feels pretty damned cool to be feeling this inspired... I used to be pretty artistic before I had kids. But then I guess I got lazy. And cheap. Why does everything have to cost money? So instead of being arty, I tend to bake a lot. In my blog you will probably come across a lot of yummy recipes I am trying out. A lot of them are thanks to pinterest...

Which takes me to today. I am baking something I found on pinterest. This blog post here, from The Girl Who Ate Everything - Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies!

I made my own changes of course. I made my brownies from scratch as opposed to a box mix (you see, I'm too cheap to buy box mixes). I had a bit of a hiccup - appears I hadn't written on my shopping list that we were practically out of icing sugar! Not to worry, I sent hubby and the 4yo off to the shops to save the day.

Drool over this! Watch your arse and hips grow, just by looking! Now go make some, they are seriously far too good to just look at. And I suspect they would be even better if you aren't using dairy free alternatives... as you can see on the chocolate topping, there is oily residue left over from the "spread" I used... don't know if it's just how I mixed it, or what, as I haven't tried it with normal butter....

Here is my altered recipe:

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies

Brownie Base - (recipe my good friend Nicola gave me)
200g butter (I used budget table spread -its dairy free, it works... oh and its cheap!)
1/2 c cocoa
2 c brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 c flour
2 eggs
optional ¾ c choc melts added after eggs

Preheat oven to 180Âșc. Melt butter and cocoa in a large saucepan. Add sugar and vanilla, then remove from heat. Add flour then eggs. Add chocolate melts (optional). Mix all together, then put into a lined and/or greased 13" by 9" slice pan. Bake for 20 minutes. 

Once the brownies have thoroughly cooled down, give them about an hour or so, then follow on with the rest of the recipe

Peanut Butter Filling
1/2  cup butter, softened (again, budget table spread - works fine)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I used crunchy because that's what we happen to have, it just gives a more bitty texture)
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk - (Pams rice milk I used here, its fine)

In medium bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over brownie base.
Now onto the topping:

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used Pams choc drops, they are dairy free)
1/4 cup butter (again, Budget table spread, I was a lil concerned it wouldn't set properly but its fine, however seems to have some excess oil lol)
In small microwavable bowl, microwave topping ingredients uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds; stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes; spread over filling. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set.
For brownies, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

YUM. I have just been on a weight loss mission the past 3 months. I have finally reached my goal weight (BTW, if you are looking to lose weight, I HIGHLY recommend Somehow, after eating these brownies, I think I will have to start tracking my calories again haha!