Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Pulled pork recipe (slow cooker)

I have been searching for a good pulled pork recipe for many many months but every recipe I found had elements that didn't appeal to me.  I wanted 2 things - tasty and easy!

Finally I found a recipe that was both of these things and received rave reviews.  I adapted it slightly and the result was lovely.  I might try a gravy version next.


Recipe adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/92462/slow-cooker-texas-pulled-pork/


  • Spray oil
  • 1 large onion
  • Pork shoulder roast - approx 1.8kgs
  • 1 cup smokey BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup sugar - I used raw sugar
  • 1 Tbspn worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme

1. Spray base of slow cooker with oil.

2. Dice onion and place in bottom of slow cooker.

3. Place pork in slow cooker - fatty side up.

4. In a jug, add BBQ sauce, vinegar, stock, sugar, worcestershire sauce, garlic and thyme. Stir and pour into slow cooker.

5. Cook on low for 10 hrs or until meat is falling apart. Try not to remove the lid during cooking time.

6. Remove pork from cooker.  Remove excess fat.  Shred pork with a fork and place back into the slow cooker to soak up some juices.  Serve on fresh roll.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Vegetable stock paste - NO THERMOMIX REQUIRED!

I am sure that you have heard many of those who own a Thermomix rave about the awesome vegetable stock paste that you can make and how much flavour it has.  Now... I have a Thermomix and do love making the stock paste but out of interest, I tried to make it the conventional way and even though it wasn't the same as the TMX version, it was still fantastic and tasted exactly the same.

I have recently been on holidays in North Qld and whilst at my parents place, my mum and I decided to try to recreate the vege stock paste without the TMX.  The concentrated paste is additive and preservative free and is packed full of flavour from the vegetables.

It is absolutely perfect to use in any recipe that needs chicken or vegetable stock.  I even use it in place of beef stock.

It is a very simple recipe to make but it does take a little longer using this method.  It doesn't take too much time and effort though and the paste goes a long way and can be stored in your fridge for months.

To make 1 cup of vegetable stock - just add 1 Tbspn of paste to 1 cup of water.

Just because you don't have a Thermomix, doesn't mean you can't enjoy flavoursome meals using the vege stock paste.


Vegetable stock paste

- 2 sticks of celery
- 2 carrots
- 1 onion
- 1 tomato
- 1 zucchini
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 Tbspn oil
- 150g rock salt

1. Roughly dice all vegetables and place in a food processor with garlic and parsley.  Process until chopped into very small pieces.  Depending on the size of your food processor, this may need to be done in 2 batches.  You can also use other vegetables you have on hand such as broccoli, cauli, spinach etc.

2. Tip the processed contents into a saucepan and add oil and rock salt.  Cook on the stovetop on medium/high heat for 20 mins.  Set aside to cool.


3. Pour back into food processor/blender and puree until smooth.  I couldn't get it as smooth in the food processor than I can in the TMX but the flavour is still there even though the consistency is a little different.

Store in a jar in the fridge for up to 3 months.  Use 1 Tbspn to 1 cup of water.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Chewy chocolate slice

Finally, this recipe worked!  I have made a few 'chewy' chocolate slices now and none of them have turned out chewy but were instead dry and crumbly.  With the addition of rolled oats, this slice is chewy and delicious and extremely easy to make.



  • 125g butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbspn cocoa
  • 2 Tbspn hot water
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/3 cup self raising flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 Tbspn cocoa
  • 2 Tbspn hot water
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius (fan forced).  Line a slice tin (18cm x 28cm) with baking paper. 

2. In a large bowl, whisk butter and sugar together.  

3. Add egg, cocoa & 2 Tbspn hot water and whisk until very well combined. 

4. Add plain flour self-raising flour.  Stir to combine.  

5. Add oats and stir through.  Pour into tin and press down evenly.

6. Bake in oven for 20 mins.

7. While the slice is baking, make the icing.  Add all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.  When slice is removed from the oven, spread the icing over it immediately so it melts across the whole slice.  Refrigerate to set then cut into slices and watch it disappear!


Thursday, 10 September 2015

Banana cake with coffee cream

Bananas are plentiful at the moment and I have a bench full that are getting very ripe, very quickly. This recipe is very moist and quite different to my banana bread recipe which is much more dense.  I am not a coffee drinker but I think a milk coffee icing goes perfectly with this cake.


Banana cake with coffee cream

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 large bananas (mashed)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
Coffee cream
  • 1 tsp instant coffee granules
  • 1 1/2 Tbspn boiling water
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbspn butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.  Grease a 20cm round cake tin.

2. In a small bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

3. Add eggs and beat well.

4. Add milk and bananas and beat until combined.

5. Sift in bi-carb and flour and fold through.

6. Pour into cake tin and bake for 40 - 45 mins or until cooked through.  If cake is browning too quickly, cover with a sheet of baking paper to prevent the top from burning.

7. Remove from oven and leave in tin for 5 mins.  Turn out onto wire rack to cool.


8.  Dissolve coffee in boiling water.  Add to a small bowl with icing sugar and butter.  Beat until smooth.  Spread over cake and top with toasted coconut.

Monday, 24 August 2015


Rissoles is a classic Aussie meal but this recipe is from my Italian Nunna.  It was a tough job nailing her down and committing her to a recipe as she normally cooks by sight and feel with no measurements.

She uses a few slices of bread, soaked in water and this is what gives the rissoles their moist centre.   If you can't be bothered with this step, just substitute in a cup of breadcrumbs instead which is what I do sometimes.

They are delicious and would also be great cooked as meatballs and served with spaghetti and a tomato based sauce.

I hope you enjoy them,


  • 2 slices of bread (or 1 cup breadcrumbs)
  • 1kg lean beef mince
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup finely grated cheese
  • spray oil for cooking

1. In a small bowl, place 2 slices of bread. Cover with water & let the bread soak.

2. In a separate large bowl, place all remaining ingredients.

3. Squeeze water from the bread. Break bread up into small pieces & add to the meat

4. Using both hands, mix the mince & bread mixture together until well combined.

5. Form into patties & refrigerate or freeze until required.


Spray the base of a large frypan with oil. Over medium to high heat, fry the rissoles for
approx. 5 mins on each side or until cooked through. Cooking time will vary depending
on the size of the rissoles. Be gentle when turning as they may break apart.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Choc chip muffins

You don't need any fancy equipment for this recipe - no thermomix, no electric mixer - just a large bowl and whisk. They only take a few minutes to make and taste delicious! Great for lunchboxes or to keep in the freezer for emergencies.

(Simple home cook)

Choc chip muffins

  • 125g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tbspn honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 3/4 cup choc chips

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.  Liine a 12 muffin pan with cases.  I ran out of cases so I just cut up some baking paper into squares and pushed them into the muffin pan instead.

2. In a large microwave bowl, add butter.  Microwave until melted.

3. Add egg, milk & honey.  Whisk until combined.

4. Add sugar & flour and mix well.

5. Add choc chips and stir through.

6. Spoon evenly into cases and bake in oven for 18 mins or until cooked through.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Quick chicken curry - 5 min prep!

This is one of my favourite quick and easy meals.  It takes only 5 mins to throw it all in the slow cooker and it can sit there and cook away and make my house smell amazing!  Tastes great served on rice or cauliflower fried rice (http://asimplehomecook.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/cauliflower-fried-rice.html)


Quick chicken curry - 5 min prep!
  • 1kg chicken thigh fillets
  • 1/2 cup curry paste - you can use korma, red or whatever you like. 
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 400g tin diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 120g pkt baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup sour cream

1. Add chicken into slow cooker.

2. In a jug, mix curry paste with tomatoes, sugar and stock.  Stir to combine and pour into slow cooker. 

3. Add spinach leave & stir through.

4. Cook on low for 5 hrs or high for 3.5 hrs or until chicken is cooked and tender.

5. Just prior to serving, stir in sour cream.