Monday, July 28, 2014

Chicken Paprikash (Secret Recipe Club)

Secret Recipe Club time! This month I was assigned Loving Life by Kirstin. Kirstin is a mum of 2 teenage daughters and blogs about her everyday life and all the delicious food she makes for her family. She has lots of great recipes to choose from and there were 3 which really caught my eye - the Texas Caviar, Candied Spiced Chickpeas and the Watermelon Cake.

But, there was one which I simply couldn't go past - Chicken Paprikash. Does anyone else remember that scene from When Harry Met Sally? 'Waiter there is too much pepper on my paprikash'. You can find it here if you have no idea what I'm talking about!

So Chicken Paprikash is essentially a Hungarian chicken soup flavoured with paprika. Or it's supposed to be. Mine turned out more like an Hungarian inspired chicken and dumplings! Even if it didn't turn out quite like it was supposed to (make sure you visit Kirstin's blog for a way more attractive photo of this dish) it was absolutely delicious. Really hearty and warming and perfect for the the chilly Winter weather we've been having here. I served it with a dollop of sour cream for the rest of the family.

Please don't be put off by this photo, it tastes WAY better than it looks here!!

So I'm not sure if I actually did something wrong or there was a mistake in the original recipe but there really wasn't enough liquid to make this a soup, even when I doubled it. I wanted to message Kirstin to ask her but then my recipe wouldn't have been secret any more! Either way, it was totally delicious and well worth making.

Paprikash inspired Chicken and Dumplings
Recipe adapted from Loving Life

1 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic
1 kg chicken thigh fillets, each cut into 6 pieces
2 tbs Sweet Hungarian paprika
2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth/stock
1 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Add the oil to a large pot over medium heat and fry the onion until it starts to soften before adding the garlic and cooking for another minute or so. Add the cut up chicken and fry until brown. Add the paprika, water and stock and simmer for 1 to 1 ½ hours.

To thicken the soup (which I completely forgot to do):

1 tbs cornflour or arrowroot flour
2 tbs milk

Mix together the cornflour and milk in a small bowl and once combined, add in a small amount of the hot soup and stir until blended. Return the mixture to the pot and stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the dumplings (if not already there).

To make the dumplings:

2 cups plain flour (I used spelt flour)
2 ts baking powder
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk (I used rice milk)
Pinch salt

Mix the dumpling ingredients together in a medium bowl and then drop by tablespoonfuls either directly into the soup or in a pot of gently boiling water. Simmer until the dumplings float.

Serves 6.

Thanks for a great recipe Kirstin!

Secret Recipe Club

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Double Chocolate Cookies (Wheat and Fructose Free)

Wheat and Fructose Free Double Chocolate Cookies ©

More school holiday baking today and these double chocolate cookies were a big hit!

Most things that say 'double chocolate' include both melted chocolate and chocolate chips. Oscar and I are dairy free at the moment (apart from a small amount of butter) and we had no Lindt 85% which is our dairy free chocolate of choice, so I invented these!

These cookies give a really intense chocolate hit with the raw cacao and cacao nibs. They are quite a grown-up chocolate cookie although my 3 and 5 year old taste testers couldn't get enough. We have been eating most of the batch straight from the freezer where they are lovely and chewy with a bit of crunch from the cacao nibs. SO good!!

Double Chocolate Cookies (Wheat and Fructose Free)

125g softened butter
100g dextrose
125g wholemeal spelt flour
50g white spelt flour
40g raw cacao powder
1 ts baking powder
1/2 ts bicarb soda
1 egg
1 tbs rice milk
1 tbs cacao nibs

Preheat oven to 180 degrees / 160 degrees C fan-forced. Line 2 trays with baking paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, dextrose, cacao powder, baking powder and bicarb.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, vanilla and egg with an electric beater until thick and smooth.

Fold in the dry ingredients and the cacao nibs until just combined.

Roll the mixture into 24 balls and place on the prepared trays, allowing room to spread. Flatten each cookie with your fingertips then bake for approx 10-12 minutes. Make sure you take them out when they are only just done so you get a gorgeous slightly fudgy middle!

Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before turning out to cool completely.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Roasted Strawberry Chia Seed Jam

Roasted Strawberry Chia Jam - from

The other night right before bed Oscar requested scones with jam for breakfast, and being the awesome mum that I am, I obliged! It's the school holidays after all, and really who wouldn't want to wake up to fresh scones with homemade jam??

Rather than make a typical sugar-filled jam (which I've only ever done once), I decided to make a chia jam instead. Chia seeds have become incredibly popular these days and why not? These tiny seeds are packed with fibre and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as calcium, manganese and phosphorus. We use them daily, sprinkled on porridge, in smoothies and in baked goods.

This jam worked brilliantly. The roasted strawberry flavour was delicious and it set beautifully. The kids loved it on their scones fresh from the oven and it was just as tasty the next day when we polished off the leftovers.  So easy and a great alternative. I will definitely be making this again and playing with different flavour combinations.

Roasted Strawberry Chia Seed Jam

1 cup sliced frozen strawberries
1 tbs rice malt syrup
1 tbs orange juice
3 tbs white chia seeds

Place the strawberries, syrup and orange juice in a small oven proof dish and stir together. Place in the oven and roast at 180 degrees celsius for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, add the chia seeds and mix well to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes before stirring again. Allow to cool and eat immediately or store in the fridge for a couple of days, if it lasts that long!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Raspberry and Coconut Muffins

Raspberry and Coconut Muffins ©

The last month or so has been really busy with things on at Oscar's school, Charlie starting kindy and me starting my Naturopathy course. Yep I am now officially a student for the first time in 15 years and loving it! 

But it's school holidays here now which means I have all three of my monsters munchkins home with me which is making it tricky to find time to study. It also means lots of noise, mess and 'I'm hungry mummy!' 

I've been a little more organised this time around and had a bit of plan for the holidays before they started. Nothing set in stone just a rough idea of what was happening, which days we would be home and who was around for a playdate and when. I also planned what I wanted to cook and bake. Yesterday was a really chilly day and it was wonderful to be in the kitchen with my big boys making some delicious biscuits and muffins next to the warm oven while my little one slept upstairs. A picture of domestic bliss!

In all seriousness I am not only trying to have some qualtity time in the kitchen with the kids but also build up a stash of snacks and meals for the freezer so life will be a little easier once school goes back. Afternoon tea time can be particularly busy because Noah is ready for a feed as soon as we pick up the big boys and really isn't happy to wait while I prepare anything for the older ones! 

Yesterday we made some Cornflake Biscuits which I have blogged about before and also these yummy Raspberry and Coconut Muffins. The recipe comes from a fellow Brisbane mum who has self-published her own sugar-free recipe book! You can find her website at Hungry Tums or she is also on facebook.

In other exciting news we have just ordered a ... thermomix!!! The price has put us off for years but the more I see and hear about them and just what you can do with one, the more convinced I've become that it will be a great investment. Being able to make our own rice and nut milks, ground almonds and flours etc will be amazing. Not to mention all the wonderful meals. I've been reading the Quirky Cooking blog for a few years and ordered her gorgeous cookbook as well so keep an eye out over the coming weeks and months for lots of thermomix recipes!

Raspberry and Coconut Muffins
Very slightly adapted from Hungry Tums

1 cup dextrose
1 ¾ cups self-raising flour (or plain flour with 2 1/2 ts baking powder sifted through)
1 cup dessicated coconut
2 eggs
¾ cup coconut milk
150g olive oil
pinch of salt
1 ts vanilla extract
1 ½ cups frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 170°C fan-forced. This recipe makes 16 muffins so either grease and line 1 and a bit muffin trays or use 16 individual silicone muffin cases on a baking tray (what I do).

In a large bowl, use a whisk to stir together the dextrose, flour, salt and coconut. Add the raspberries and toss through.

Place the eggs, vanilla, oil and coconut milk in a small mixing bowl or jug and whisk to combine. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir only until just combined. Do not over-mix!

Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin trays and then bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked (they will be golden brown and spring back when pressed lightly in the middle).

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Delicious warm from the oven but they also thaw out beautifully after being frozen. 
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