21 November 2011

Lemon Goodness

The main part of this meal (the Paprika & Lemon Baked Chicken) was planned for Saturday night dinner but sadly the chicken wings hadn't defrosted (even after a whole day & night in the fridge). So it wound up being a Sunday night dinner and it was fantastic. I paired it with lemon green beans and pearl couscous, so there's three recipes with this post.

Paprika & Lemon Baked Chicken 

The full recipe is available on the taste website: click here. I made the following changes:
  • Substituted the chicken thighs for 1kg chicken wings
  • Doubled the paprika
  • Lemon olive oil
  • No onions (still hating them while pregnant)
  • Dried oregano (I just sprinkled it over and I don't think I used 1/4 cup)
  • Dried chilli flakes (again just sprinkled over & didn't measure)
  • Only used 1tbsp brown sugar
  • Squirted some bottled lemon juice into the sauce as well (I'm slightly obsessed with lemons if this post doesn't already demonstrate that!)
Lemon Green Beans (adapted from Kayotic Kitchen)

  • Frozen green beans (I just guesstimated enough for 2 of us but there was probably enough for 4 small serves)
  • 1tsp minced garlic
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3tbsp lemon olive oil
  • 1/2tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2tsp dried parsley
  • 1tbsp lemon pepper
  1. Throw the frozen green beans in a microwave safe container (with lid). Mix up all the other ingredients and pour over the green beans. Put in the microwave (covered) for 5-6mins. Voila it's done. 
  2. You can save the liquid and then pour it over the pearl couscous if you choose to have couscous with it. 
Pearl CousCous

  1. Heat lemon olive oil in small saucepan and add 2 cups of stock (I used vegetable), bring to boil.
  2. Add the pearl couscous and mix then add whatever seasoning you want, I added a bit of dried parsley and some lemon pepper. Cook for 8-10mins on a simmer.
  3. Pour the green bean liquid in while there's still about 2-3mins cooking time left.
  4. Once done (there shouldn't be any liquid left) it's ready to go. 
There was lots of yummy sauce left with the chicken so I poured that over the chicken and couscous once I'd plated the whole thing up. All of it worked really well together and I'll definitely be making it again. It's also nice to have another side to add to my repertoire seeing as I'm in love with green beans at the moment. The whole meal was also relatively cheap (especially if you have most of the items in your cupboard).

The whole meal probably took about 40mins to cook but in total I'd give yourself an hour if not a little longer.

20 November 2011

Cajun Chicken Pasta

This was delicious (and yet another recipe sourced from the Pioneer Woman). I've always been a fan of pasta with lots of sauce but I've never really gone the tomatoey route. If you look in my cupboard you'll see a few big jars of tomato based pestos but check out how many basil ones there are in my fridge - that's my weakness and my favourite as well! But on with this yummy pasta which is neither basil nor tomato related but a great throw it all in the pan dish (and relatively cheap too). Now this served 2 but with lots of leftovers, most of my recipes could feed 4 people I reckon because I like to make sure we have food for lunch the following day.

  • Chicken thighs or breasts (2-3 - enough to feed who you want to feed)
  • Pasta (any type & again enough to feed who you want to feed, I generally use 2/3 of a bag)
  • 3tsp Cajun seasoning (or in my case Cayenne Pepper)
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 1 red capsicum (sliced & diced)
  • 1 green capsicum (sliced & diced)
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (but you can use real tomatoes)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup cream (I used the Philly Cooking Cream)
  • Chopped parsley to serve
  • Lemon pepper, salt... to season if you want


1. Cook pasta according to packet directions.
2. Cut up the chicken and sprinkle with Cajun seasoning (1.5tsp is recommended but go with what you want). Heat 1tbsp of oil & 1tbsp of butter in a non-stick pan and start to cook chicken (let it brown on one side before turning). Once the chicken is browned on both sides (usually 1 minute on high heat) put on a clean plate and cover with alfoil. If you have a lot of chicken don't over load the pan and do it in batches.
3. Add remaining oil and butter to pan (don't clean it in between) and once heated add the capsicum & garlic and sprinkle with cajun seasoning (you can add some salt if you want). Cook over a very high heat, you want the capsicum to go a little black, for at least a minute stirring gently and then add your tomatoes. If you used canned tomatoes then cook these down a bit due to the juice in the can. Once that's all cooked through put the vegetables in a bowl off to one side.
4. Still have the pan over a high heat and add the wine and chicken stock. Cook for 3-5 minutes and scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the good bits floating around. Reduce the heat to medium-low (this is where my stove sucks and I wish it wasn't electric!) and pour in/dollop in the cream stirring constantly. Once the sauce has thickened have a taste (best part!) and add any extra seasoning you think it may need - this is usually where I add more cayenne pepper & lemon pepper - if you like spice you want this sauce to be spicy so keep adding away.
5. Add the chicken and veggies back to the pan (including all the juices from the plate/bowl - can't forget those goodies). Stir & cook until it all starts bubbling away and then add the pasta and make sure you cover it in the sauce/chicken/veggies. Once it's all heated through you're ready to go. Serve with chopped parsley.

As with any recipe the more often you do this one the quicker it is to make. I'd say you're looking at 20mins prep time (with all the chopping) and about 20mins cooking time (factoring in your pasta...).

18 November 2011


Ok so I haven't been very good with this blog. I've got a few restaurant reviews up my sleeve (including Rockpool at Burswood) and lots of recipes. Including 'my best dessert yet' - courtesy of my Mother-in-Law a Caramel Apple Cheesecake.

With Bubs due on Monday I might go a bit quiet again (for obvious reasons!) but I'll try and get back into the swing of things and have more posts for you all. In the meantime I hope you've been enjoying yummy food and life has been treating you well.

20 September 2011

Review: Soda Cafe - North Beach

Andreas and I went for a drive along the coast a couple of weekends ago when the weather was perfect. Being pregnant I kept changing my mind about where we wanted to eat (I'm sure Andreas was ready to kill me!). We decided on The Wild Fig but luckily it was too busy and we u-turned back to a cafe I'd seen called Soda Cafe. It didn't really look like much from the road but in this case looks were definitely deceiving.

It looked more like a restaurant than a cafe and the prices did reflect this, not that I would consider what we ate to be overpriced but it wasn't the cheapest spot to go for lunch. When we got there it was pretty busy and the only spot they had was a table in the sun (yes please!).

Now forgive me because this was a couple of weeks ago and pregnancy brain is finally starting to get the better of me - 'the videos are in the dishwasher' is just one of the funnies that's come out of my mouth. The reason I'm asking for forgiveness is that I can't really recall what the names of the dishes were or the costs. (ok I've now uncovered the menu on their website so you can check that out...pregnant brain strikes again)

What I did like about the menu was that you could nominate a main size or entree size. Suprisingly this pregnant lady has been going for smaller servings lately (I've finally learnt that my eyes are too big for my stomach!). I order the squid and Andreas ordered the burger. My squid came with a corn salsa, fried jalepenos (oh my god I could have eaten an entire bowl of them they were that good) and sour cream. I finished the entire meal which rarely happens (especially if a salad type thing is involved). Andreas' burger came with chips, yummy, and whilst he wasn't 'raving' about the meal like me he did enjoy it. I ordered an iced-coffee which has become my beverage of choice and it was pretty strong but I enjoyed it. I can't really remember much about it so it obviously wasn't amazing but the meal definitely stood out.

So if you're looking for a yummy place to eat, great service (the waitresses were great, attentive without being pushy) a good view and don't mind spending a little extra I highly recommend the Soda Cafe.

Soda Cafe on Urbanspoon

16 September 2011

Exotic Sides

Peas are my 'something green', seeing as I'm always trying to get more veggies on our plate at dinner time. Unfortunately there are only so many peas you can heat up in the microwave and throw on the plate before you get bored so I turned to the good ol' internet to solve the problem. And solve the problem it did (plus added some extra greens in the form of spinach as well). In stepped the Vegeta website, because it was a side I didn't go as snap happy as I usually do so please appreciate the end result! This accompanied a steak and some yummy (if not very well done) potatoes.

  • Enough peas and spinach for however many people you need to feed (keep in mind the spinach will wilt)
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp lemon rind
  • 2 tsp fresh mint
  • 2 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • 50ml water (the recipe also suggested adding 30ml sherry too but I don't have that in the house!)
  1. Cook peas (follow instructions on back of packet) - unless you're really gourmet in which case why are you reading this blog!
  2. Melt the butter in a large pan (over medium heat) and throw in all the other ingredients (except the water) - stir them all together.
  3. Add the water and simmer for 10mins . Just before the end add the peas and stir.
This was definitely a yummy surprise in our house and I'd highly recommend it if you're looking for something to jazz up your sides. It's also pretty handy because most people will usually have most of the ingredients in their cupboards and if not it'd be easy to make substitutions.