Monday, September 28, 2009


Asparagus is available for most months of the year, but it is at its best in spring. While most of us are familiar with the more common green asparagus, it also comes in white and purple varieties.

Nutrition notes:
Asparagus is low in energy (one spear contains just 3 calories) and is cholesterol free. It’s a good source of folate, which helps your body make new blood cells and also helps prevent birth defects in pregnant women. It also contains fibre, potassium and vitamin C, one serve of asparagus providing a quarter of our daily vitamin C requirements.

Look for asparagus that is brightly coloured with firm, green stems and full heads. It’s best to buy bunches with spears of the same thickness so they cook evenly.

Asparagus can be kept in the crisper section of the fridge, where it should last for about three days. Alternatively, keep the stems moist by standing them in about 1cm of water, cover with a plastic bag and place in the fridge. It’s a good idea to remove any rubber bands or ties from around the stems before storing.

Trim the coarse, woody stems. With a peeler or knife, cut away any blemishes and then rinse under running water. You do not need to peel asparagus, but some people do prefer it this way.

- Steam or cook asparagus in boiling water for a few minutes, then drizzle with lemon or lime juice and cracked pepper.
- Pop some asparagus on the barbecue for several minutes, then sprinkle with low-fat fetta or goat’s cheese.
- Add a few stems to your usual salad or risotto to give it a new twist and added nutrition?
- Serve raw with the usual carrots, celery and cucumber when offering guests crudités and dips.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New York cheesecake

Preparation Time 30 - 420 minutes
Cooking Time 90 minutes
Serves 10

1 x 250g pkt plain sweet biscuits (such as Arnott's Nice)
125g unsalted butter, melted
750g cream cheese, at room temperature
215g (1 cup) caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
2 tbs plain flour
4 eggs
1 x 300ml ctn sour cream
120g fresh or frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 160°C. Line the base of a 23cm (base measurement) springform pan with non-stick baking paper.
Place the biscuits in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely crushed. Add the butter and process until well combined. Transfer to the lined pan. Use a straight-sided glass to spread and press the biscuit mixture firmly over the base and side of pan, leaving 1cm at the top of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
Meanwhile, use an electric beater to beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon rind in a large bowl until just combined. Beat in the flour. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until combined. Stir in the sour cream until just combined.
Pour the cream cheese mixture into the base. Place the pan on a baking tray and bake for 1 1/4-1 1/2 hours or until just set in the centre. Turn oven off. Leave the cheesecake in oven, with the door ajar, for 2 hours or until cooled completely (this will prevent cheesecake from cracking). Place in the fridge for 4 hours to chill.
Top the cheesecake with the raspberries. Cut into wedges to serve.

Source: Good Taste - May 2008, Page 93
Recipe by Kathy Knudsen

Special-K 19Sep09: I made this for a friend's BBQ tonight and it was a big hit. I used two regular and one light cream cheese and regular sour cream and 200g frozen raspberries.

- Use 2 Weight watcher's cream cheese and one regular cream cheese for a great light texture & use 2/3 of the sugar.
- use 500g of cream cheese and 3 eggs. Fold through some frozen blueberries just before you put the mixture in the tin.
- add blueberries to the mix and use low fat sour cream and 500g low fat cream cheese and 250g full fat cream cheese.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

How long can you store meat in the freezer?

Refrigerator / Freezer
Steaks and Roasts - 3 or 4 days / 6 to 12 months
Ground Beef - 1 or 2 days / 3 to 4 months
Cooked Beef - 3 or 4 days / 2 to 3 months
Chicken (Pieces) - 1 or 2 days / 1 year
Chicken (Whole) - 1 or 2 days / 6 months
Cooked Chicken - 3 or 4 days / 4 to 6 months
Pork Chops and Roasts - 3 to 5 days / 4 to 6 months
Cooked Pork - 3 to 4 days / 1 to 2 months
Sausage - 1 or 2 days / 1 to 2 months
Sausage (Cooked) - 3 to 5 days / 1 to 2 months

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Soup ideas

Try thickening soups and stews by using tinned beans - stick blend them to a puree first then add them. Kidney beans for beef, chick peas, butter beans, cannellini beans for chicken. This adds protein and fibre as well as all the other beany goodness.

If you like to use gravox for colour - try 1/2 teaspoon Vegemite instead

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Lemon Slice

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup coconut
125g butter, melted
1 packet Marie biscuits
juice and rind of 1 lemon

2 cups icing sugar
lemon juice, to desired consistency
2 dessertspoons coconut

Crush biscuits, add coconut and butter and mix well.
Spread into a tray and set aside to cool.
Mix icing sugar with lemon juice and coconut and spread over base.
Sprinkle extra coconut over and refrigerate to set.

Source: Mum

Lemon Cheesecake

6oz butter
1 packet Marie biscuits, crushed
8oz packet Philadelphia cream cheese
1 packet lemon jelly
juice and rind of 2 lemons
large tin evaporated milk, chilled
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp boiled water

Grease tin well.
Melt butter and mix with biscuits.
Place jelly, juice, rind and water in a pan and heat until the jelly dissolves.
Set aside to cool.
Beat cream cheese and sugar and vanilla in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters until creamy.
Beat evaporated milk until light and fluffy and stands in peaks.
Add jelly mix and mix well together.
Pour into biscuit case and set.
Decorate with fruit.

Golden Syrup Biscuits

1 egg
125g butter
3/4 cup castor sugar
1 Tbsp golden syrup
1 1/2 cups self raising flour

Beat butter and sugar, add egg and syrup then flour.
Place teaspoon sized portions on greased tray and bake at 180C for approx 180C


2 cups sugar
2 cups boiling water
1 oz gelatine

Boil together for 20 mins then beat until white and stiff.
Set aside on a plate to set.
Form into balls and dip in cocoa mixed with milk and roll in coconut
OR plate in tray to set and cut nto squares and roll in coconut

Banana Bread

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup mashed banana
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together and bake at 350F for approx 45-60 mins.
If baking in muffin tray - approx 20mins