Monday, May 23, 2011

Assyrian Ruby Stew

I came across this recipe about 5 years ago. I made it and I really enjoyed it (probably because I didn't use lamb - lamb makes me sick). Apparently the recipe was found on a clay tablet that was found in the 4000 year old ruins of one of the palaces there.

Assyrian Ruby Stew

As much fatty mutton, leek, onion, and beetroot as you feel like cooking. Dice the mutton and beetroot, and thinly slice the leek and onion. Add salt to taste.

Bring to the boil in a half-half mixture of beer and water, cover and simmer for a couple of hours or until meat is deliciously tender, and the stew a deep ruby red.

The author I nabbed it from notes: serve with rice - freezes well, and still yummy microwaved.

How I made it
1 kg Chuck Beef (aka Casserole Beef - can also use gravy Beef) Diced into cubes
2 Large Leeks, sliced
2 Brown Onions, sliced
4 Large Beetroot, Diced into cubes
Salt to taste.
2 cubes beefstock
2 bottle of Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier
Approximately 600ml of water

Caramelise onions and leeks in a little bit of butter. 
Add in the meat and brown off.
Add in all other ingredients.
Bring to the boil in a half-half mixture of beer and water, cover and simmer for a couple of hours or until meat is deliciously tender, and the stew a deep ruby red.

I haven't made it in a while, so can't add photos (will add to this post the next time I make it though). It has got to be one of the easiest recipes that I have ever made. If you have a slow cooker, it would probably be ideal in there!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Margaret Fultons Flash-fried Beef and Vermicelli Salad, also Anzac Slice

Beef and Vermicelli Salad

I came across this recipe at Woolworths. Now, I am usually a Coles girl when it comes to supermarket chains, but my husband is a Woolworths man. Since I insisted on all 5 of us shopping together, he has insisted that it is done at Woolworths.
I saw this recipe as part of their recipe collection and thought it looked nice and easy and tasty (I then went and bought all the ingredients at Coles a few days later : p )
Let me just state, I support Coles because they are West Australian owned, he supports Woolworths because he gets frequent flyer points. As a side note, I love the Magaret Fulton/Woolworths advert that pokes fun at the Coles meals for under $10. Cracks me up every time.

Okay, so onto the recipe ... here it is (with my alterations. Next time I make it, I will make further alterations - written in red)

Margaret Fultons Flash-fried Beef and Vermicelli Salad


200g rice vermicelli noodles
1 Lebanese cucumber, halved, shaved with a vegeatble peeler to make ribbons
1 large carrot, shaved with a vegetable peeler to make ribbons
½ cup mint leaves, plus extra to garnish
1⁄3 cup coriander leaves, plus extra to garnish
2 tbs extra light olive oil
500g blade steak, sliced thinly (next time I will be buying a cut of quality steak and cooking that whole and medium rare, letting it rest and then thinly slicing it to get a juicier and tastier cut of meat)
2 tbs chopped toasted peanuts
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs Kecap Manis Soy sauce (the sauce was lovely and fresh, but it was missing something)
1 red chilli, seeded, finely chopped (optional)


1. Place noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to stand for 5 minutes then drain, rinse with cold water, sprinkled lightly with oil (I used olive) and mixed through (to prevent it all sticking together in a clump) and set aside. Noodles should be tender but firm.
2. Meanwhile, to make dressing, combine lemon juice, sugar, fish sauce and chilli in a small bowl. Toss noodles together with cucumber, carrot, herbs and dressing and set aside.
3. Heat oil in a large non-stick wok or frying pan on high. Quickly stir-fry beef in hot oil until colour changes. Place beef on noodles and serve. Pour over dressing and scatter with a few extra herb leaves and peanuts.

End Verdict:
Lovely light dish - better suited to warm days ie Spring/Summer. The recipe says it makes for 4, but jeez they are massive serves! You could get away with feeding 6-8 with this dish. We have heaps left over, so tomorrow I am off to get some rice paper rolls to make vietmanese fresh spring rolls for lunch!
And making them into Fresh Spring Rolls turned out to be super easy!

Anzac Slice
Anzac Slice


1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup shredded coconut
150g butter, chopped
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease and line a 3cm-deep, 19cm x 29cm (base) slice pan with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at long ends.
2. Combine flour, oats, sugar and coconut in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre.
3. Place butter and syrup in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until smooth. Combine bicarbonate of soda and boiling water in a jug. Remove butter mixture from heat. Stir in bicarbonate of soda mixture. Add to flour mixture. Stir to combine.
4. Transfer to prepared pan. Using the back of a spoon, press mixture evenly into pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Cool in pan. Cut into squares. Serve.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Gingerbread people, butterflies, batman signal and tarantulas! As per children request.

The recipe is originally from
I found this to be one of the best icing recipes (for cookies) that I have come across. The recipe itself is lovely. Next time I make it I will also do an adult batch with some chilli added :)


  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 125g butter, at room temperature
  • 100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) golden syrup
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 375g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Plain flour, to dust
  • 150g (1 cup) pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 8-10 drops red liquid food colouring
  • 8-10 drops green liquid food colouring
  • Smarties, to decorate


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush 2 baking trays with melted butter to lightly grease.
  2. Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat until combined. Stir in the flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Press dough into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
  3. Meanwhile, place egg white in a clean, dry bowl. Use an electric beater to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add icing sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Divide icing among 3 bowls. Cover 1 bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Add red colouring to 1 bowl and stir until combined. Add green colouring to remaining bowl and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
  4. Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out until about 4mm thick. Use a 9cm gingerbread man cutter to cut out shapes. Place on trays about 3cm apart. Repeat with any excess dough.
  5. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven. Transfer to a rack to cool.
  6. Place prepared icings in small plastic bags. Cut a small hole in a corner of each bag. Pipe icing over gingerbread men to decorate. Finish with Smarties.
**Personal notes: You have to really knead this recipe or it is too crumbly. Or you can just add a bit more butter. I would also reduce cooking time. I averaged 7 minutes. The ones that went in for longer ended up burned around the edges.