Beef Stroganoff

This one’s an improvised Strog recipe we cooked up on Tuesday night.


  • 1kg Beef, cut into strips
  • 3 very heaped tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon(?) paprika
  • 200 grams mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 medium onions, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped into fine pieces
  • 300 ml sour cream
  • 1 can (400ml? I forget how big these are) tomato purée
  • 1 litre beef stock (mostly used because I needed to use it up, I normally cook with stock cubes)
  • Wine
  • Wide egg noodles (tagliatelle)
  • Oil and butter for frying


  1. In a bowl, mix the flour and paprika, then use this to coat the beef strips.
  2. In a generous amount of olive oil and/or butter, cook the mushrooms and onions until soft and golden. Add the garlic.
  3. Add the beef strips and cook until sealed.
  4. Add the stock and bring to the boil, stirring. The litre I used proved to be a bit excessive and I spent some time reducing it.
  5. Add the tomato purée. Allow to simmer. We added just a little cinnamon at this point but I don’t think it really had any impact on the overall flavour.
  6. Add the sour cream and stir in thoroughly. If necessary, use corn flour to thicken the gravy.
  7. Serve with tagliatelle noodles!

Serves 8-ish


It seemed at first that the amount of mushroom and onion I used was going to be too much, but based on all of the other quantities used I think the dish turned out quite well. It might have been able to support up to another half kilo of meat. Finding sour cream in less than a 300ml tub was difficult and it seemed the tomato/sour cream ratio worked out quite nicely here too so I wouldn’t really think that reducing the mushroom and onion amounts would be necessary.

I’d normally use red wine in a strog but we were out of it, so I substituted white instead. Seemed to have worked ok.

Using less stock or using stock from cubes instead of from a carton would probably work better too. It’s a nice rich flavour though 😀

Garlic Chicken

This recipe originally comes from here but since it’s so simple I just wing it these days. Here’s an approximate transcription of the version I cooked up last Sunday.


1kg chicken breast fillets

Lotsa breadcrumbs. I crumbed 8 slices of bread this time, though that’s more than I usually do.

I like to toast my bread before crumbing it. To get them sufficiently dried out, I stick two pieces into each slot of the toaster and toast them on the minimum setting. Then I flip them inside out so the dry crusty sides face each other and toast them again.

Grated parmesan cheese. 1/2 cup to 1 cup. I eyeballed the amount I wanted out of the shaker.

Herbs. I like using thyme and oregano.

GARLIC. Lots of chopped garlic. I probably chopped up the equivalent of a small bushel worth of garlic.

Olive oil. 1/2 cup to 1 cup.


In a separate bowl, combine the garlic and oil. I usually add a bit of salt to the oil if I remember. Zap these in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Prepare the crumbing by mixing together the breadcrumbs, herbs and parmesan. Add pepper to taste.

Dip each chicken fillet into the garlic/oil mixture then cover with the breadcrumbs.

Lay pieces in a baking tray.

If you are as generous with the crumbing as I am, you’ll probably have lots of crumbs left over. Layer these over the chicken and drizzle remaining/additional oil over the top.

Cook in oven at 200°C for 30-40 minutes

Serves 6. Works great served with mash potatoes!

I totally forgot to take photos throughout the cooking and preparation. Here’s the pieces that remained after we’d extracted dinner and lunch serves 🙂

Butterfly Cupcakes

Not quite as speccy as these butterfly cupcakes, but delicious nonetheless!

I found this recipe here and although it feels redundant, I’m transcribing the recipe in case that site disappears or something. I was pretty sad when the original blog post with my bacon and choc-chip cookies recipe disappeared…!



115g butter or margarine
112g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
225g (1 1/2 cups) self-raising flour, sifted (I never bother with sifting)
145ml (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon) milk


188ml (3/4 cup) thickened cream
1 teaspoon icing sugar
About 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons jam (about 60g)
Extra icing sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (180 degrees Celsius fan forced).
  2. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer until light and creamy.
  3. Gradually beat in eggs.
  4. Add half the flour and stir in by hand. Stir in half the milk. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Beat with an electric mixer for just a few seconds, to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
  5. Spoon the mixture into patty pans.
  6. Bake for about 13-15 minutes. The cupcakes are ready when a knife or skewer inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean. Also, the cakes will bounce back when lightly pressed in the middle.
  7. Allow cakes to cool completely before cutting and filling.
  8. Hold a sharp, pointed knife at a downward angle and cut a shallow cone from the top of each cupcake.
  9. Cut the cone in half to create the ‘wings’.
  10. Whip cream with icing sugar until thick.
  11. Place about 1/2 teaspoon of jam in each cake.
  12. Top with a heaped teaspoon of whipped cream. Position the ‘wings’ in the cream. Place a small dollop of jam between the wings and dust with icing sugar.

Makes 15 cupcakes.


Sunday is the day I chuck some recipes on the blog so that I don’t lose them.

Here’s the cannelloni recipe I currently use. It’s nice but not perfect, so within the next couple of weeks I’m hoping to find a new recipe to try out and post up here. Let me know if you’ve got a good one!

My biggest problem with the recipe is probably not the recipe’s fault. I’m just super slow at preparing it. The real challenge will be to find a recipe I can prepare faster.

Anyhoo, courtesy of Women’s Weekly:



  • 1kg Spinach, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 500g ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (120g) grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint (I usually skip this)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
  • 250g cannelloni tubes

Creamy Tomato Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1.6kg canned, diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) pouring cream
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar


The sauce

  1. Heat oil in large saucepan; cook onion, stirring until softened. Add garlic.
  2. Add tomatoes (I frequently blend the tomatoes first for John’s benefit and to skip out on the blending later when the sauce is hot) and bring to the boil.
  3. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.
  4. Cool for 10 minutes, blend or process sauce with cream and sugar until smooth. (Since I’ve blended the tomatoes earlier already, I just add the cream and sugar)

The Cannelloni

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. Cook washed, drained spinach in heated large saucepan, stirring until wilted. Drain; when cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess moisture
  3. Combine spinach in bowl with ricotta, eggs, 1/2 cup of parmesan and the herbs. Fill cannelloni with this mixture.
  4. Spread a third of the sauce into a 24cm x 35cm-ish dish, top with pasta tubes then top with remaining sauce. Because instant pasta tubes are usually tiny, you can usually get a couple of layers of the pasta tubes in.
  5. Cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle pasta with remaining parmesan; cook for an additional 15 minutes or until pasta is tender and cheese is browned lightly.

The supposed stats:

Prep + cook time: 1 hour (yeah right…)

Serves: 6

Photos to come ‘cos I’ve left my phone somewhere and need to fetch it.

[edit] Photos!

Tune in next week to find out what to do with the cream you’d have left over out of a 300ml container.

Bacon and Choc Chip Cookies

I made these tonight. My recipe is below:

This recipe makes about 45 smallish cookies.

– 250g butter
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 1/2 cup white sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
– 1 egg
– 3 cups plain flour
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 150g dark chocolate chips (The original suggests a fair bit more chocolate – and you can use white/milk chocolate or a combination if you prefer. This time I went with milk chocolate)
– 350g short cut bacon (I like to use rashers as the melty fat parts are the best 😀 Previous recipes suggest ~1kg, but that’s rather excessive. I’ve found 6 rashers to be a good guide.)

(You may also want to consider using almond or hazelnut essence, or real nuts.)

Dice  about four of the bacon rashers into small pieces
Cut fairly large slices out of the remaining two, squares roughly 2 to 3cm. These will be used to top the cookies.
Fry, in a few separate batches, in a dry nonstick pan on high heat until well cooked and a little crispy. The topping ones you want to be especially crisp
Put on absorbent paper to get rid of excess oil.
Put in fridge while doing other stuff.

Melt the butter slowly. Add the sugars, egg and vanilla essence. Stir until it’s consistent.
Add the flour/baking soda and stir until it’s a wettish dough.
Add the chocolate and stir until it’s all through the mixture.
Add the bacon and stir again.
Basically you want a consistent mixture of all the ingredients after you make the dough.

Preheat the oven to 180.
Make balls of dough and stick them on a cookie tray, evenly spaced out. The balls don’t need to be very large. Squoosh the balls a bit so they’re a little flat.
Put them in the oven and cook them until they’re golden brown, this will take around 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your cookies.
Cool them for a while on a cooling tray before eating.

I like to top my cookies with a glaze comprised of icing sugar, vanilla essence and cinnamon. For a batch of 45 cookies you might be looking at around half a cup of icing sugar. The ratio of these ingredients is up to personal preference. Then put your bacon topping on.

Original recipe can be found here though the blog it originally appeared in no longer exists.

Tonight’s endeavour went a lot faster than some of my other cookie-making attempts, and the results were a bit different from the last lot. The batter seemed ‘creamier’ than usual when I started forming cookies out of them and might have warranted a little time in the fridge to firm up. I also was a little short on the bacon so they don’t quite hit you with that bacon-ny impact. Maybe if I made these more often I’d get better at making them 🙂