Sunday, 24 November 2013

Porcupine meatballs

I have been making this recipe for a very long time and it is another one of my favourites.  Great served as a meal with vegetables or as leftovers the next day on toast topped with grated cheese.

Porcupine meatballs 
Makes 14 meatballs

  • 2 x 435g tins tomato soup
  • 1 1/2 litres water
  • 1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1kg lean beef mince 
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 70g ham, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup uncooked rice

Slow Cooker instructions:

Step 1
Into the slow cooker, add tomato soup & water.  If you have a small cooker, reduce the amount of water. Add mixed herbs & stir to combine. 

Step 2
In a large bowl, add mince, onion, eggs, breadcrumbs, ham, salt & rice.  Combine all ingredients with your hands.  

Step 3
With your hands, form mixture into balls approx 5cm diameter.  Gently place each meatball into the soup mixture.  Ensure all meatballs are covered in liquid.  Add more water if necessary. 

Step 4
Cook on high for 4 hrs or low for 7 hrs.  

Stove top instructions:

Step 1
Add tomato soup, water & herbs into a large pot.  

Step 2
In a large bowl, add mince, onion, eggs, breadcrumbs, ham, salt & rice.  Combine all ingredients with your hands.  

Step 3
With your hands, form mixture into balls approx 5cm diameter.  Gently place each meatball into the soup mixture.  Ensure all meatballs are covered in liquid.  Add more water if necessary. 

Step 4
Bring to boil then cook for 1hr & 15 mins.  Gently stir with a large spoon occasionally whilst cooking to ensure meatballs don't stick to the bottom of pot.  

Step 5
To test if ready, break apart a meatball.  The balls are ready if the rice inside is cooked through.

- Fridge, covered or in airtight container for up to 3 days
- Freeze, covered for up to 4 months.    

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Chocolate balls

This is the perfect recipe in the lead up to Christmas but I tend to make them all year round and keep them in the freezer.  Chocolate balls make a lovely Christmas gift by placing in a glass jar & wrapping with ribbon, great in lunch boxes, at any party or as an accompaniment with tea & coffee. 

Chocolate balls
  • 1 pkt milk arrowroot biscuits
  • 1 x 230g sponge cake (store bought or home made)
  • 4 cups desiccated coconut (split in recipe)
  • 3 Tbspn cocoa
  • 2 x 400g tins condensed milk
Step 1
Line a large airtight container with baking paper & set aside.

Step 2
Place the biscuits in a zip lock bag & crush with a rolling pin until it resembles crumbs.  This can be done in a food processor or Thermomix to save time.  Transfer crumbs to a large bowl.

Step 3
Break the sponge cake into pieces.  Over the top of the bowl, rub each piece between your palms until it resembles crumbs.

Step 4
Add 2 cups of coconut, cocoa & condensed milk.

Step 5
In a separate bowl, add remaining 2 cups of coconut.  This will be used to coat the balls.

Step 6
Mix the chocolate mixture with your hands until well combined. Wet hands & roll the mixture into balls. Coat with coconut & place in lined container.  Repeat with remaining mixture & refrigerate until balls have set.

In fridge, in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
In freezer, in airtight container for up to  months. 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Tips to save you time & money on your food bills

I have a hungry husband and 3 children so shopping on a budget is a 'must' in our house.  We don't have money to burn (who does?) and I find that I can keep the food bills low by planning ahead.  Each week, I sit down with a copy of 'Food before 5' and it takes about 10 mins to choose 5 meals to cook this week and write a list of ingredients I need.  I stick to my list whilst shopping (within reason) and this helps eliminate food wastage and impulse purchases.  I check my list of recipes for the week which I have pinned up on my calendar and each day I choose a meal from the list - depending on the time I have and what we feel like :)

Rachael Hallett from Click Your Heels - Professional Organisation has stopped by and given us some tips on meal planning. This is what she has to say:

Spending less is always something I keep in mind and my food budget is not immune. I like to eat flavoursome meals which are easy to prepare and fit well within my budget. This can be really hard to accomplish with today’s busy lifestyles.

My yearly food budget is pretty modest and I enjoy the task of creating balanced, flavoursome, budget friendly meals. To help me keep my food budget under control I use several tools. I have a set budget, I stock up on some items at Costco and I meal plan.

Meal planning is probably the best tool any home cook can use. It saves you loads of money on wasted foods and eliminates stopping at the shops every afternoon to grab that missing ingredient. It’s also very quick and easy, requiring less than 30 minutes per week to plan breakfasts lunches and dinners.

If you really want to slash your grocery bill, here are a couple of my handy hints:
  •  Plan around your schedule! Busy evening on Thursdays? A meal from ‘Food Before 5’ could be perfect.
  • Make all your lunches ahead of time then just grab and pack in the morning. Most simple sandwiches and baked goods can be frozen and will defrost perfectly while sitting in a lunch box.
  • BE FLEXIBLE! Life happens; don’t be too ridged in your meal planning. It’s okay to just go with the flow now and then.
If you need help getting started and motivation to keep on going then why not purchase a Deluxe Meal Planning Folder from my website  See below for details.

More about Rachael: My name is Rachael and I am a full time employee, part time house wife and also help my husband run his plumbing business. I not only love to save myself time and money where I can, I have to.

I am passionate about helping people also save their time and money so I started Click Your Heels – Professional Organisation. As a part of my business I have created a meal planning folder which includes heaps of information on meal planning, templates for planning and shopping along with some simple meal ideas. You can find more information about my services on my website or purchase a meal planner via the online store.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Quick & simple quiche

This is a no frills recipe that is very tasty and can be tailored to suit your family's taste.  Put it on your menu this week. 

Quick & simple quiche

  • spray oil
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups diced filling of your choice (can include mushrooms, bacon, spinach, ham, onion, corn, zucchini, leek etc.)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Step 1
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Spray a quiche dish or medium baking dish with oil. 

Step 2
In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, butter & flour until well combined.

Step 3
Stir in cheese, filling, salt & pepper.  

Step 4
Pour into quiche dish & bake in preheated oven for 40 mins or until cooked through.  

Storage In fridge, covered for up to 3 days.
This recipe & more can be found in 'Food before 5'.  Purchase for only $19.95 from

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Chicken Kiev balls

This recipe is a great one however it didn't make it into my cookbook as it takes a little longer to prepare. To include a recipe in 'Food before 5' they had to be quick, simple, affordable & can be made ahead of time.  The Kiev balls are simple, affordable & make ahead but do take a little time to prepare so here it is and I hope you enjoy them!

Chicken Kiev Balls 
Makes 12 balls

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 150g butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped parsley (fresh or dried)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 kg chicken mince
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • olive oil spray 

Step 1
Make garlic butter - combine garlic, butter & parsley and stir until well combined. Spoon onto a sheet of glad wrap & roll into a sausage shape.  Twist the ends and place in the freezer to allow butter to harden. 

Step 2
In a small bowl, beat 2 eggs with a fork.  Set aside.  

Step 3
Place breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Set aside. 

Step 4
In a large bowl, combine chicken mince, 2 eggs, flour & salt.  Mix with hands until well combined.   

Step 5
Remove butter from freezer & cut into 12 equal pieces.  

Step 6
Wet your hands to make it easier to handle the mixture.  Taking handfulls of the mixture, form into fist size balls & place a piece of garlic butter into the centre of each ball.  Smooth the mince around the butter to ensure it is completely enclosed by the mixture so it doesn't leak out. Flatten the ball slightly and smooth around the edges. 

Step 7
Dip the Kiev's into the egg mixture and then into the breadcrumbs until they are fully covered. 

At this stage they can be cooked immediately, refrigerated or frozen. 

To cook:  Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place balls on a lined oven tray & spray liberally with oil.  Cook in preheated oven for 25-30 mins.  Turn over half way through cooking. 

Tips It is best to make the garlic butter ahead of time and keep it in the freezer. 

Storage Freeze, in airtight container for up to 2 months.