Homemade lasagne!

My hubby is a massive fan of Garfield the cat! And just like Garfield he loves his lasagne! This makes a very large dish, enough to feed 12 with a salad. It can be frozen in portions, and heats well. Because of that, it is my go-to cooking for a friend meal because they can store it away for the days they need a little love. It also happens to be the dish my hubby asks for frequently…. Have a go! I promise it is easy, and fresh, full of taste!

               

Meat sauce ingredients

4 button mushrooms, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 red onion, diced

1.3Kg premium lamb or beef mince

2 sprigs rosemary, chopped

4 sprigs parsley, chopped

700 g passata sauce

Salt and pepper to your liking

 

White sauce ingredients

125 g butter

½ – 3/4 cup plain flour

4 cups of milk

Salt and pepper to your liking

Other ingredients

250 g box of lasagne sheets

Salt and pepper

½ cup parmesan cheese, grated

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

 

Method

Splash a little olive oil in a pot and saute your onions, then add your carrot and mushrooms. After a few minutes on medium heat, add the mince and cook until mostly brown. Add most of the herbs (I leave a little for sprinkling on the top later), and the passata (a pure tomato sauce). Simmer on low for fifteen minutes or so. Whilst that’s simmering heat the butter in a saucepan. Once melted add the flour and whisk. If you like your sauce really thick add the ¾ cup flour, if you like it as viscous as honey, add only ½ a cup of flour. Add the milk and season to your liking. Constantly stir the milk into the butter mix until it seems combined. Leave without stirring on medium heat for a few minutes and it will start to thicken. Once it starts to bubble a little, whisk again and keep on heat until it is the thickness you like. Take off the heat.

And now for the build! Place one layer of pasta sheets on an olive oil sprayed deep rectangular oven dish. Then spoon about a third of the mince on top, then pour some white sauce on top, then cover with another layer of pasta. Repeat this twice more. This means you end up with three layers of everything, ending on the white sauce. Sprinkle your cheddar and parmesan cheeses on top and place your lasagne in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 45 minutes. Serve with a lovely salad and it will be a scrumptious meal!

Homemade lasagne!

Best ever choc chip cookies

These really scrumptious. That’s all there is to say!

Ingredients

125 g butter

1 egg

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup plain flour

1 cup self-raising flour

Splash milk

1 tsp baking powder

4 tbs cocoa powder

Handful of white choc chips or chopped white chocolate

Method

Basically put everything together and combine well. Place heaped tablespoons on a lined baking tray about 5 cm apart and bake at 180 degrees Celcius for around 20-25 minutes until a little golden brown. You’ll smell them and know they’re ready! Let them cool on the trays….. but warning! Some might go missing as they cool….. if the kids are around, they’ll go like the best biscuits ever, cause they are!!

Best ever choc chip cookies

Slow cooker purple lamb

In this dish the lamb goes a deep burgundy colour due to the fact that it is surrounded by purple carrots! The liquid that is produced during the slow cooking can be used to make the most exquisite, rich gravy you’ll ever partake of! This dish is fabulous for weeknights as it’s a slow cooker affair, but can be adapted for a dinner party too!

Ingredients

1kg rolled lamb

2 cups vegetable stock

5 garlic cloves

Rosemary sprigs

Oregano sprigs

Salt and pepper to sprinkle

6 purple carrots

Method

Place everything in your slow cooker and slow cook for 5 ½ hours. Ta da! That’s it! ‘Pull’ the lamb apart, and serve the carrots too! I do use the leftover liquid, about a cup and a half, to make a gravy – and it is the richest, darkest most mouth-watering gravy I’ve ever tasted! On this particular night I served the lamb with steamed broccolini, which is such a compatible companion for the carrots and lamb!

 

Slow cooker purple lamb

Father’s chocolate birthday cake!

What do you give a wonderful man who does so much for his community and friends?! A cake! Our Parish Priest is a lovely man who does like to indulge in a little chocolate from time to time, so a chocolate cake was in order for his birthday party, and I was asked to create it. What a nerve racking honour! So with determination and love, I set out to make the finest birthday cake I could, and this is what turned out. It’s no mighty extravagant thing like on tv, but it is humble, and good on the inside! Have a go yourself and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the simpleness of this scrumptious little beauty!

 

Ingredients

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup caster sugar

¾ cup cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 cups plain flour

2 eggs

3 tbs sour cream

¾ cup milk

1 cup hot chocolate, I use Jarrah sachets

½ cup olive oil

 

Frosting ingredients

350g dark chocolate

180ml sour cream

1 ½ cups icing sugar

 

Method

Combine the sugars, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt and stir around until mixed together. Add the wet ingredients now; eggs, sour cream, milk, hot chocolate and oil. Use an electric mixer on a medium speed for a couple of minutes. The mixture will be thin and a little glossy from the hot water in the hot chocolate. Pour the mixture into 2 baking tins that are greased or lined. For this particular cake I used a 22cm round cake tin and filled it almost half way, then poured the rest of the mix into a 10cm base high tin. Place both cakes into a moderate oven, about 180 degrees Celsius for about 30 to 40 minutes (depending on your tins) – just keep an eye on them. At the 30 minute mark if they look done touch the top and if it springs back it is ready, if not it needs a bit more. Let the cakes cool in their tins.

For the frosting I have used my age old sour cream dark chocolate frosting! Place the cream in a saucepan over low heat and heat without boiling, when warm add the chocolate and stir until silky smooth. This will take a few minutes. Sift in the icing powder and stir briskly or use an electric mixer for a minute or so.

Once your cakes are cool, assemble together with a little frosting in between, then frost the outside with as little or as much as you like. The quantity provided allows for a relatively thick coating. On this particular wonderful occasion, I have used Australian native wildflowers to decorate. I hope you enjoy your beautiful cake as much as we did celebrating a brilliant man. Love and peace. xo

 

Father’s chocolate birthday cake!

Rigatoni with lamb

Once a week I slow cook a large piece of lamb, pickled pork, or beef cut. This enables me to feed the family decent food for the next couple of days without the crazy mid-week dinner rush. It also means we are eating beautifully slow cooked meat with all its nutrients several times a week! This pasta is almost a ragu style, and is easily adaptable. I hope you like this really easy, fresh dish!

 

Ingredients

1 carrot, chopped

3 sticks of celery, chopped

Handful of parsley

1 cup vegetable stock

1 onion, diced

3 tomatoes, chopped and a little squished

¼ cup tomato paste

¼ cup water

2 cups leftover pulled slow cooked lamb

Salt and pepper

Rigatoni pasta

 

Method

Splash some olive oil in a pan and sautee the onions for a few minutes, then add the carrot and celery. Keep on medium heat for a few minutes, then add the stock, tomatoes, paste, lamb and water. Salt and pepper if you like, and add the fresh cut parsley. Let it simmer on a low heat for about fifteen minutes so the flavours can combine. Whilst this happens make your pasta according to the packet directions. Once the pasta is al dente, drain and stir it though your sauce.

Rigatoni with lamb