Australia · recipe · traditions · Uncategorized

Ice-Cream Christmas Pudding

Living in a warm climate at Christmas time can have some definite disadvantages, the most obvious for me being that I have never experienced a white Christmas!

However, on the bonus side, how many people  in the northern hemisphere would have ever have had the inclination to experience the pure joy of finishing off their Christmas dinner with a sumptuously divine Ice-Cream Christmas Pudding? This is but one of advantages of life in Australia!

It was only about ten years ago that I first made this summer Christmas pudding. It has become such a tradition since then that Christmas just wouldn’t be the same with out it. (Mind you, I also make a traditional pudding, which can be eaten with hot custard).

Ice-Cream Christmas Pudding

1/2 cup chopped raisinsIce-Cream Christmas Pudding

1/2 cup sultanas

1/2 cup currants

1/4 cup glacé cherries, chopped or whole

1/4 cup mixed peel

1/4 cup chopped dried apricots

1/4 cup brandy, rum or fruit juice

1 litre softened chocolate ice-cream

1/2 cup blanched almonds, toasted & chopped

1/2 cup cream

Thickened cream to serve.

Combine all of the dried fruits in a bowl, add the brandy, rum or fruit juice. Stir the liquid through the fruit & leave to stand, covered, over night. (Don’t be tempted to add extra alcohol as the pudding will not freeze successfully with any addition to the specified amount!)

The next day, mix together the soaked fruit, softened ice-cream, almonds & cream. Stir well to combine, then pour into a 5 litre pudding bowl.

Cover & freeze overnight, or until required.

To remove the pudding from the bowl, immerse the bowl for a few seconds in some hot water. Turn the bowl over onto a serving plate.

Serve with thickened cream or cold custard.

cooking · herbs · Muffins · recipe

Sweet Potato & Herb Muffins

On the first day of the school holidays, my 12 year old son was so happy! With school finally over for the year, summer here and Christmas just around the corner, my boy, like many other school aged children, has a lot to be thankful for!! 🙂

My boy has his priorities right too. First day of the holidays had him inviting his best mate since kindergarten over to our place for a sleep-over.

These two boys have been partners-in-crime for years! With their heads together, they concocted their plans for the next 2 days, which included, on day one, swimming and alternating between playing cricket in the back garden and watching it on television. Later that afternoon and with wallets filled with their combined pocket money, they took themselves up to our local service station, returning half an hour later with all the supplies they would need for their planned day of fishing the following day.

When lunch time arrived on day one, both boys were looking for something light but substantial to eat, so I baked another family favourite for them –

Sweet Potato & Herb Muffins.

You will need 2 mixing bowls.

Combine in the first bowl –

2 cups self-raising flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

200 grams grated tasty cheese

1  1/2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

Pepper to taste.

In the second bowl, combine –

1 egg

1 cup milk

1 cup cooked & mashed sweet potato

Beat together well, then pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir to just combine, without over mixing.

Place about 1/4 cup of the mixture into each cup of a well greased muffin tin.

Bake in a pre-heated 220 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes. This mixture makes 12 muffins.

Cool the muffins  slightly in the tin before turning out. They are absolutely delicious eaten while still warm, cut in half and with a dollop of fresh butter on top!

Any left overs, if they aren’t all devoured immediately, can be re-heated to enjoy the next day also. 🙂

Note – If you prefer, the sweet potato can be substituted with 1 cup of cooked and mashed pumpkin.

Bananas · chocolate · cooking · Muffins · Uncategorized

There’s Nothin’ Like a Muffin!

School’s out for the year and what better way for a 12 year old to celebrate the Grand Finale of his primary school years than with a freshly baked batch of Chocolate & Banana Muffins.

A firm favourite in our household for a number of years now, these mouth watering muffins fill our home with one of the most comforting aromas of all!

Chocolate & Banana Muffins

Stir together in a large bowl –

2 cups self-raising flour

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 teaspoon salt

In another bowl, mix together –

100 grams melted butter

1 cup milk

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 cup (2-3) mashed bananas

Tip the bowl of well combined wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold together until the flour mixture is moistened. Don’t overmix.

Thoroughly grease a muffin tray, or alternatively place 12 muffin patty cases into the muffin tray.

Divide mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cases, about 1/4 cup per case.

Bake in a pre-heated oven, 220 degrees, for approximately 12-15 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly in the tin before turning out.

cooking · mangoes · recipe · traditions · Uncategorized

Green Mango Chutney

Green Mango Chutney
Green Mango Chutney

With my beautiful mango tree producing fruit like crazy this summer, Green Mango Chutney was a certainty. I also knew exactly which recipe I would be using.

For the last goodness-knows-how-many years I have been hearing about my husband’s grandmother’s famous Green Mango Chutney recipe. It has just about become folklore in our family!

I must admit that I have made a couple of variations to the original recipe, but only ever so slight. To change anything too drastically would be sacrilege! Grandma’s recipe uses ground ginger, where I have used fresh. Also, Grandma added salt to all of the other ingredients, whereas I sprinkled salt over the raw mangoes and left them standing overnight.



1.5 kg green mangoes, peeled & sliced (For 1.5 kg of mango flesh, I used 6 whole mangoes.)

50 g freshly ground sea salt

2 cups white wine vinegar

700 g (approximately 4 1/2 cups) brown sugar

150 g sultanas or raisins

150 g fresh ginger, chopped, or 1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 – 1 teaspoon chilli powder (or 6 dried red chillies, chopped)

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 onion, chopped

METHOD – Toss mango thoroughly with the ground sea salt in a large stainless steel bowl or saucepan and leave to stand, covered, overnight.

Tip mangoes into a colander and drain well.

Place well drained mangoes into a large stainless steel saucepan or stockpot and add all of the other ingredients.

Bring pan to the boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

When pan is boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.

Bottle immediately in clean, warm, sterilised jars and seal tightly.

This chutney is best left for a month or two to mature, but tastes great immediately if you can’t wait that long!

Enjoy!! 🙂

Green Mangoes
Green Mangoes

The CWA & The LOA (AKA…Country Women’s Association & Law of Attraction!)

Last week, whilst reading my favorite magazine, a letter to the editor caught my eye. The author of the letter told her story of having purchased, in 1984, from an antique store in England, a copy of a Coronation CWA (Country Women’s Association) Cookery Book, for the (pricey) sum of one pound!

On reading her letter I made a mental note to keep an eye open for a copy of a CWA cookery book myself, preferably old, but any year would do. When time permits I enjoy browsing through second hand book stores and hoped that I may find such a gem on my next visit.

In the meantime, I asked my mother-in-law if she had a copy of my husband’s grandmother’s recipe book, compiled by one of the grandchildren after grandma’s passing. I knew that grandma’s famous Green Mango Chutney recipe was in this book and my husband has raved over this chutney for years!

My mother-in-law was happy to lend me the book, then went on to tell me that she had another cook book that I may be interested in….The Coronation Cookery Book Compiled by the Country Women’s Association of N.S.W.”! She had purchased the cookery book herself, when still a young teenager and on a visit to her older sister at Wagga Waggacwa-cookbook1, in southern N.S.W. She would lend that to me also, if I was interested!

Her little gem, slightly worn, with a few loose pages and yellowing with age, although still in surprisingly good condition, is the 6th edition of the book, printed in 1951, with 30,000 copies issued.

Now, if I could JUST work out how to use the Law of Attraction to bring everything else into my life that I want there…..

I’m working on it!!! 🙂