Articles in Category: Recipes

Lazy Girl's Indian Lime Pickles

Village Journal 310


  • 8 limes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed oil (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2cm-piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 125g (3/4 cup, lightly packed) brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar

Cut each lime into 8 wedges and then each wedge into half again. Place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt. Cover and set aside in a cool dry place, stirring occasionally, for 2 days.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and cook for 30 seconds or until the seeds start to pop. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander and chilli powder. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until aromatic.

Stir in the limes and liquid they've created, water, sugar and vinegar and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occa- sionally, for 15 minutes or until the mixture is thick.

Spoon into sterilised glass jars. Seal and set aside for 1 week to develop the flavours. 

Lazy Girl's Quick & Delish Apple Pie

Lazy Girl's Quick & Delish Apple Pie


3-4 apples

6-8 cloves

Juice of 1 lemon or orange

125g butter

2tbs sugar

1tbs cold water

1 egg whisked

2 cups SR flour


Stew apples & cloves in juice until just soft. Remove from saucepan and place in pie dish

Melt butter in the same saucepan to save washing up!

Add flour and sugar…mix well. 

Add water and whisked egg…mix well.

Use hands to flatten out small sections and place on top of apple in dish…for variety you can also a few pecans, chopped macadamias or shredded coconut to the pastry.

Cook for 40mins at 180C or until top is golden brown. Serve with all the usual suspects!

Play around with your filling by adding some sour cherries or pears or dried apricots to the apple…really anything that takes your fancy will work!



Mary O’Brien

Nasty Little Bugger Be Gone Spray


As the owner of pets and small children I find wee beasts such as Ticks a nightmare and am always on the hunt for something I can use that doesn’t contain awful chemicals and I may have found it.

If your one of the few who don’t know be warned. Ticks carry lime disease: an inflammatory disease characterised at first by a rash, head- ache, fever, and chills; later by the possibility of arthritis, neurological, and cardiac disorders. One little tick can yield a huge problem for both you and your pet. So why wait around for something to happen? Let’s get started!


10 drops rosemary essential oil 7 drops cinnamon essential oil 3 drops cedar wood essential oil 2 Tbsp. sweet almond oil


Add all the oils into a glass jar and shake well. To use simply take some in your hand rub together and put it where ever you need it to go.

Another good trick is to use rose geranium essential oil; it is a good tick repellent for animals. Simply put a drop between the animal’s shoulder blades and at the base of the tail before you go outside. 

Natural Deoderant



- 1⁄4 cup coconut oil (virgin organic ideally)

- 1⁄4 cup baking soda

- 1⁄4 cup corn starch (sometimes called corn flour)

- 10 drops of your favourite essential oils


A glass bowl and glass jar with a lid


  • Combine all the dry ingredients and stir well
  • Add the oils try include Lavender and Teatree oil for their antiseptic proper- ties
  • Pour into the glass jar and keep cool or it will liquefy. Keep in the fridge is fine. 

Oh I dream of Tagines… #257

Meanderings of a Domestic Goddess


Hi there Hinterlanders, yes I have added another pot to my vast array of kitchen accoutrements! This time it is a Moroccan tagine. Tagines, a name that refers both to the rich North African stews and the vessels used to prepare them, are among the best loved of all Moroccan dishes and it has become mine as well.

Here is a recipe for a chicken tagine, but if you are vegetarian, just leave out the chicken and put a large tin of chickpeas in, both ways are equally delicious. If you use the chickpeas, it won’t take as long to cook.

You will need a tagine pot and also a diffuser for the gas flame or the electric coil of your stovetop. Diffusers are less than $10 and stop things from burning. Tagines range from about $50 upwards. My suggestion is to save up and buy a good one for better results. If you don’t have a tagine, try using a thick bottomed pot or pan with a tight fitting lid (and save up for the tagine).

The secret is in layering the ingredients and in NOT stirring the dish.

Start here,

• Put some oil in the pot (about a tablespoonful) 
• Then add enough thickly sliced onions to cover the bottom (about 1-2 cm thick) 
• Add chicken thighs without any skin or bone (or the chickpeas) 
• Sprinkle with a lot of garlic cloves sliced up and a red chilli finely chopped 
• Add 3cm piece of ginger finely sliced 
• Sprinkle liberally with Ras al Hanout or Tagine seasoning Mix (Get these from a good deli or spice dealer) 
• Slice potatoes thickly and layer on top 
• Add sweet potatoes sliced the same
• Now add a tin of diced tomatoes and a stick of cinnamon 
• Slice an eggplant thickly and rub with salt- leave for five mins and wash the salt off, then add eggplant to the pot (layering of course) 
• Add slices of capsicum, some fresh coriander and cilantro and a good bit of cumin (think at least a teaspoon), and lemon pepper 
• Tuck slices of preserved lemon in all the spaces • dd a cup of stock 
• Now — put the lid on and put on really low to cook. Walk away, don’t look for at least 2-3 hours. Resist the smells and the urge to peek. 
• Serve with couscous and fresh crusty bread.

The best!!!!!!

Orange Ring Cake #266

Hello everyone,

hope you have your winter woollies out! Here is a simple cake that is really ‘never fail’. It is quick and immensely satisfying when served with a good cup of tea or coffee. This is in memory of my partner’s grandma, as it was one of her regularly made cakes. Enjoy!

Orange Ring Cake

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 dessertspoon of Cornflour
  • ½ cup of Milk
  • 1 cup SR Flour
  • Rind of 1 Orange
  • Preheat moderate oven (approx 180°C), grease a ring tin very well
  • Separate eggs, beat egg whites very stiffly, add yolks one at a time and beat well.
  • Gradually add sugar and beat until thick, add orange rind. Fold in well sifted flour and cornflour and baking powder- do this lightly- don’t beat at this stage.
  • Boil milk and add, stirring only until evenly mixed.
  • Pour into pan and bake for 30-35 mins.
  • Ice with orange icing and hide from the family if you want it to last.

Playing with Pizzas #262

Hinterland Domestic Goddess

Hello hinterlanders,

Doesn’t matter is it is winter or summer, day or night, or if your crew is young or old, there is always room for a pizza or two on the weekend.

I’m not talking about a pizza that comes encased in it’s very own cardboard clothing, inundated with grease by the time you get it home, or those little microwave or quick heat oven wonders that can live for centuries in your freezer. I’m thinking of real honest to goodness home made pizza. But, I hear you say, you are busy, life is chaotic and home made pizzas take AGES to make. Well I disagree, and with a little judicious planning pizzas, delicious, unique and good for you, can be on your table with a minimum of fuss.

Let us start with the basics. Pizzas are made up of two essential design elements. The base and the toppings.

The Base

Like all fantastic food, get the foundations right and you are on the way to success. Pizza bases are usually a leaven base (meaning they contain a rising agent such as yeast) and they can be thin and crisp, or deliciously thick and breadlike. Usually mine are in between. I love the substance of the base and it should support the filling chosen, but too thick will risk a doughy and undercooked result which does not bode well for enjoyment.

If you are really in a hurry and don’t want to mess around with mixing flours and tweaking the balance to get a good dough, try a pizza dough mix. The absolute best I have found is from Basic Ingredients Home Bread, a wonderful enterprise based I Brisbane. You can purchase a whole lot of great breadmaking ingredients from them online, so go to They also provide great recipes and general breadmaking tips.

If you want to try from scratch, try the following recipe.

Authentic Pizza Dough Recipe


I recommend cooking by weight. It is fast, and easy to get the exact hydration (water to flour ratio). Personally, I do not use recipes or a mixing cup when I cook dinner usually, but pizza and bread dough is different. Being exact counts, and nothing works better than a digital scale.

500 grams good quality 00 flour or pizza flour, ordinary plain flour will not produce a good result

325 grams water 

10 grams salt

3 grams active dry yeast, ensure it is fresh

Mix the dough in a stand mixer slowly for two minutes, faster for 5 minutes, and slow again for 2 minutes. Cover the dough and let it rise for 1 1/2 — 2 hours, or until double (that’s why pizza need cooking on a weekend, unless you happen to be a home during the week). Punch it down and push out the air bubbles. Form the dough into a large ball, then cut it into three equal pieces.

To make your pizza balls, shape each piece of dough into a ball. Gently roll your dough into a ball, then stretch the top of the ball down and around the rest of the ball, until the outer layer wraps around the other side. Pinch the two ends together to make a smooth ball with a tight outer “skin”. Set your ball seam-side down where it can rest. Dust your pizza balls with flour, and store them under a damp towel, or under plastic wrap. This will prevent the outside of the ball from drying out and creating a crust, and becoming difficult to work with. The top of the pizza ball should be soft and silky.

Your pizza balls will need to rest for about an hour to become soft and elastic, so that they can be easily stretched into shape. If you won’t need your dough for more than an hour, refrigerate it until you are ready to start.

Preheat your oven and remember pizza cooking is short and sharp and HOT — at least 220-240 degrees in a domestic oven. Better still, get a wood or gas fired pizza oven built outside and make it the centre of you pizza experience. There are lots of do it yourself plans and also premade kits available. This is my aim for 2011, to have a courtyard and pizza oven ready for lots of friends and family gatherings.

The Toppings

Well, here the sky is the limit. Just don’t be limited by the ‘standard’ topping view that has lots of cheese. Be creative!

Here are some of the favourites we serve at Ottopia:

Potato, rosemary and red onion: Cook the potatoes whole-microwave is easy and quick — and slice into rounds, and spread across the pizza base with fresh rosemary leaves and thinly sliced red onion. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with cracked pepper and sea salt. Add parmesan shavings if you want, but only a few.

Turkish sweet potato and Tomato: Cook you sweet potato and lightly mash, slice fresh Roma tomatos, use a base spread of a good Turkish dip mix, or make your own by blending kashmiri seasoning with a little creamed cheese. Cover the base with the dip or cheese mix (thinly) and then distribute the sweetpotato and tomato. Top with chopped parsley or a little fresh coriander and a sprinlke of red onion slices.

Marinated Lamb, with mint and garlic: Slice a lamb rump very thinly and marinate in your favourite lamb marinade. If you haved got one, try 3 big tablespoons of a greek spice mix call nistimini with olive oil. Cook the marinated lamb quickly in a hot skillet. Spread the lamb slices over your pizza base adding baby spinach leaves, garlic, mint leaves and either shavings of romano cheese or some broken boconchini cheese. You could also crumble fetta if you don’t have the other cheeses on hand. Top with thinly sliced red onion slices and a drizzle of olive oil.

A More Traditional Topping Approach: Use a really good tomato paste or pasta sauce and spread it thinly on the base. Try topping with sliced tinned artichokes, or grilled eggplant, steamed veges, or if you have an urge for ham, get some good smoked ham and slice it thinly. You could also use anchovies, salami, olives, caperberries, grilled charred capsicum slices, semi dried tomato, and balsamic marinated onions. and to top it all off use a really nice romano and/or mozzarella cheese to finish it off before popping in the oven.

Chicken with pineapple and satay: Grill thin slices of chicken or grill a whole chicken breast and slice. Spread a good satay or peanut sauce thinly on the pizza base. Add chicken slices, thinly sliced fresh pineapple, chopped cilantro, sliced red onion, and a little thinly sliced capsicum and if you like it warmer, a thinly sliced chilli. Top with a little cheese if you want but it is not necessary.

Dessert pizzas: Try a cream cheese spread on the base and then add apple slices and cinnamon, mascarpone blobs and fresh figs, red jam on top or the creamed cheese and topped with shavings of cocoanut. Really decadent is spreading the base with a chocolate ganache and then topping with black cherries and some mascarpone cheese.

An important consideration when topping your pizza. In the case of pizza toppings, more is definitely NOT better. An ideal pizza will reveal small windows of the base or at least the spread on the base. If you ‘pile’ the toppings, they will become a wet soggy mess during cooking and your pizza will disintergrate on slicing. If you have lots of toppings- make more pizzas!

Precious Prune Cake #265

Hinterland Domestic Goddess

Hi hinterlanders. This cake is great!!!!!! Doesn’t look fancy, but has an amazing flavor and richness. It is a special blend of moist prunes and spice and has been a hit with friends and family on these cool winter evenings.



1 cup prunes – make sure you buy pitted prunes
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
¾ cup vegetable oil
1-½ cup SR flour
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon garam masala or allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract


1 cup sugar
½ cup milk
½ teaspoons bicarbonate soda
1 tablespoon treacle or golden syrup
¼ cups butter
½ teaspoon natural vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Cover prunes with water. Bring to a boil and cook until soft and mashable, about six minutes. Remove from heat, drain water, and mash with a fork.

Mix together oil, sugar, and eggs on low with your mixmaster.

In a separate bowl, sift together all dry ingredients.Connor B Fitz

Combine wet and dry ingredients, add milk and vanilla and stir gently until just combined. Throw in the mashed prunes and stir gently to combine. Do not overmix- this mixture is not smooth.

Pour mix into greased baking dish (9 x 13 inches) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Make sure you do not overbake this cake.

Make the icing when the cake has about 5 mins left to cook.

Combine all icing ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a slow boil. Boil without stirring for about 5 minutes, or until icing starts to turn dark. Do NOT allow icing to reach soft ball stage-it should be caramel in color, but not sticky like caramel, and should be easily pourable.

Remove cake from oven, leave in the pan and pour on icing immediately, spreading it over the cake with a spatula. Allow it to rest and serve warm.

If there is any left the next day, just pop it in the microwave and zap it until it is warm before serving.

Salmon Patties #258

Meanderings of a Domestic Goddess

Hello Hinterlanders,

This month I’m talking about an old favourite in our house, that can be made as sophisticated or as simple as you like. Salmon Patties are a great for kids meals, but they work just as well for an alfresco lunch or Sunday night dinner with a fresh green salad. Be creative with your salmon cakes and add some different spices to change the flavour. This recipe makes about six salmon patties. I usually serve them topped with mayonnaise and chopped dill. If you want to make these for nibbles or for entrees just make the patties smaller, they are great finger food.

For flavour variations try some of the following added to your mix;
chopped capers or caperberries to the pattie mix
sundried tomato finely chopped
use red onion instead of brown or white
if you are out of white potatoes try using some orange sweet potatoes.


200g cooked potato (boiled, steamed or microwaved). You will need about 2 medium potatoes for this recipe.
210g tin salmon (this should yield about 130g of salmon meat).
1 tablespoon (20ml) mayonnaise
2 teaspoons finely chopped Italian or curled parsley
1 large egg yolk 
2 tablespoons grated onion
Salt and lemon pepper to taste
1 egg
1 tablespoon of milk
About 2 tablespoons of plain flour
Rounded 1/2 cup of dry breadcrumbs
oil, for frying


Roughly mash cooked potato and allow to cool slightly.

Remove skin and bones from salmon and flake into large pieces.

Place salmon, potato, mayonnaise, parsley, egg yolk, onion, salt and lemon pepper into a bowl.

Gently stir ingredients to combine.

Refrigerate mixture for about 30 minutes to firm up.

Place egg and milk into a small bowl and beat together with a fork.

Shape cooled mixture into about six balls, and lightly coat each ball with flour.

Roll a ball in egg and milk mixture then coat with breadcrumbs, flattening the ball slightly to form a patty shape. Repeat with remaining balls.

Heat oil in a frying pan. Cook patties over medium heat for a few minutes on each side, until patties are golden brown and cooked through.


Spicy Chickpeas and Spinach #256

Meanderings of a Domestic Goddess

Here’s a hearty vegetarian meal for weekday nights or as a great dish for an Indian Curry Feast. Hope you all enjoy it!


1 onion
2 large fresh tomatoes, or 1 tin of diced tomatoes
1 x 400g can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 tsp sunflower oil, or other flavourless vegetable oil
1/2 tsp asafoetida (optional)
1 packet of frozen spinach, defrosted
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1 1/2 tsp mild chilli powder (or hot if you like it that way)
1 tablespoon of coriander
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 tsp amchoor (dried, powdered mango) - optional
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp tamarind concentrate or if you don’t have any use lime juice
175ml (6fl oz) water


1. Peel and chop the onion. If using fresh tomatoes, chop them finely. Drain the chickpeas and rinse them well.

2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the asafoetida (if using) and the onion. Cook, stirring, until the onion is slightly golden and softened - if it begins to stick, add a small amount of water and unstick it.

3. Add the spinach and tomato, and stir for 3 minutes.

4. Add the salt, chilli powder, cumin and coriander, amchoor (if using), sugar and tamarind concentrate or lime juice. Stir in the chickpeas and water, and simmer gently for 10 minutes more.

5. When water is gone, and the thick green sauce sticks to the chickpeas, the dish is ready.

If you want a really rich dish and you don’t mind dairy products, add a cup of chopped feta cheese right at the end about 5 minutes before serving.

Quick and easy and really yum!


Vegan Lasagna #263

Hinterland Domestic Goddess

Mmm…. cool nights and wanting comfort food but I have a vegan coming to dinner! How do I make lasagna with no dairy, meaning no cheese! Try this delicious vegan lasagna, simple to make and delicious to eat. It is even better when it is reheated the next day!

Serves 8

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Baking time: 1 hour


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ cup chopped onions
4 or 5 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon dried basil ( or 3 tablespoons of fresh if you have some in the garden)
½ teaspoon salt 
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ½ cups chopped mushrooms
3 cups tinned tomatoes with juice, chopped.
½ cup dry red wine


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup fresh chopped basil
300 grams fresh spinach, steamed and drained
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 cakes firm tofu (300-350 grams each, cubed)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper 
Enough lasagna noodles to make 3 or 4 layers, try to use fresh- much tastier than the dried lasagna noodles.

1. Warm the oil in a saucepan. Add the onions, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper and sauté on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the chopped mushrooms and sauté for another 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and wine, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes while preparing the filling.
3. Preheat the oven to 350º. Lightly oil a 9 x 13 inch lasagna or baking pan.
4. In a blender or food processor, process the oil, basil, spinach, garlic, tofu, salt, and pepper to make a thick, smooth filling. Scrape down the sides with a spatula, as needed.
5. Spread about one fourth of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover with a layer of noodles, then half of the filling and ladle on another fourth of the sauce. Repeat the layers of noodles, the rest of the filling, and one fourth of the sauce. Finish with a final layer of noodles and the rest of the sauce.
6. Cover and bake for about 45 minutes. Uncover and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.

Serve with crusty bread, good red wine and lots of good company.

If you don’t have a good lasagna pan, go and see the great people at The Kitchen Shelf in Lismore and they will advise you.


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