Toffee apples

This is a crofton (pretty sure it is anyway) apple tree that I planted in 2007. I am pretty impressed with the amount of fruit it has produced this year for a young tree, about 20 kilos.

Toffee Apples

12 apples
12 sticks
1/4 cup water
1 cups sugar
tsp vinegar

To make the toffee, in a heavy based pot over a low heat, simmer the sugar, vinegar and water. Do not stir and keep it to the lowest heat possible. It will take 10- 15 minutes to start to caramelize and turn a golden brown, keep a careful eye on it or it will burn quickly.

Put the sticks in the apples and dip in the toffee and leave to cool and set.

Maggie did the sticks

Then Maggie took the photo


And some pics from the next time we made them in April 2017. This time we bought the apples from the Hansens apple shed in White Beach, gorgeous little Lady in the snow apples. I only made half the toffee recipe and it made 12 little toffee apples.



Blue warhou with a warm zucchini salad


This beauty called blue warhou or snotty trevally was still swimming around in the ocean a few hours ago. We are so lucky in Tasmania to be surrounded by such amazing produce, ‘fresh fish’ from some mainland city fish shops is at least 6 days old.

I cooked it and served it with a warm zucchini salad, with zucchini, tomatoes, dill, mint and garlic from my garden, and the snowpeas were given to me.

4 200 gram pieces fish
2 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon oil

2 large zucchinis
1 cup snow peas
4 large tomatoes
100 grams fetta
1 large clove garlic
2 tablespoons fresh dill
1 tablespoon fresh mint
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil

To make the salad: slice the zucchini in 3 ml width slices lengthways. Roll the zucchini  in a little of the olive oil, and grill on a griddle plate or pan fry. Chop the tomato, and fetta into about a 1 cm dice, crush the garlic, slice the mint and the dill and toss altogether with the olive oil, lemon juice and the warm zucchini, season with a little salt and pepper.

To cook the fish: season the flour with a little salt and pepper and coat each piece of fish in the flour. Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and fry the fish, first skin side up for 2 minutes and finish cooking skin side down, to get a crispy skin, for a further 4 minutes or until cooked.

fish and zucc

Apple and blackberry pie

mags picking

Maggie picking the blackberries


steph with apple

Apples from our tree.

2 cups self raising flour
¼ cup icing sugar
125 grams butter
½ cup milk
1 egg white
1 tablespoon caster sugar

4 apples
1 punnet blackberries
1 Tablespoon corn flour



 Turn oven on to 180 c

To make the pastry, in a bowl or the food processor blend or mix, flour with the icing sugar and butter until it is like fine crumbs, then mix in the milk. Put on a floured bench roll out 2/3 of the pastry for the base and sides of a 20 cm pie dish and the other 1/3 rolled out for the lid. Leave to rest for at least 20 minutes.

 To make the filling, peel and dice ,into 1cm pies, the apple and put in a pot with about 1 tablespoon of water and cook until the apple is cooked but firm. Cool. Toss berries in the corn flour and mix with the apple mix and fill pie. Stick lid to base with the egg white and egg white the top and sprinkle with caster sugar. Put a hole in the top for stem and bake for about 25 minutes

slice of pie

Wallaby fillet with thyme roasted beetroot, fetta and cherry chutney


Beautiful cherries, direct from the farm in safety cove road Port Arthur, $6/kilo for seconds what a bargain!

I made a cherry chutney to serve with, pepperberry wallaby fillets on a warm salad of thyme roasted beetroot, silverbeet and fetta.

This recipe serves four
4 wallaby fillets
1 tablespoon pepper berries
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon oil

 2 large beetroot
5 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup silver-beet or spinach leaves
120 grams fetta

 Cherry chutney
1 small red onion
200 grams cherries
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar

To make the chutney, halve and take the pips out of the cherries. Dice the onions and put in a small pot with the cherries, vinegar and sugar and cook over a low heat for about ½ hour until cherries are cooked and soft.

 Peel and dice the beetroot, and chop the thyme and bake in a moderate (180 degree) oven for about 30 minutes, when the tray is still hot toss through the spinach and fetta.

To cook the wallaby, crush the peppercorns and pepper berries and mix together then roll the wallaby fillets in them to coat them.

 Brush the fillets with oil and cook in a hot pan or hot grill on the BBQ, turning regularly for about 8 minutes for medium rare. Wrap the meat in foil and let it rest for about 10 minutes.

 Serve the wallaby thinly sliced with the salad and the chutney.

wallaby cherry

Zucchini, sage and garlic with fettuccini

ing 7

From our vegie patch sage, garlic, silver beet, zucchini basil and oregano.

Zucchini, sage and garlic with fettuccini
3 medium zucchini
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
1 cup spinach or silver beet
2 table spoons Basil
1 tablespoon Oregano
1 tablespoon Sage
350  grams dry Fettuccini
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
80 grams parmesan
Salt and pepper

girls cooking

Slice the zucchini into a 2ml slice lengthways and then cut each slice into a 6 ml strip. Finely slice the onion, crush the garlic, chop the herbs and wash and shred the spinach. When just about ready to serve Cook the pasta for about 8 minutes in boiling water or follow the directions on the packet. (I will add fresh pasta recipe and demonstration separately soon)
Heat the oil in a heavy based pan, sauté the onion and the garlic, until soft, add zucchini slices and butter and cook for a further couple of minutes until tender, and herbs and spinach and cook for a further minute then season with salt and pepper and toss through the hot pasta. Serve immediately with the parmesan grated or shaved on top

zucchnin spag (1 of 1)


It got the kids approval!!


A good stock is the essential for a lot of meals. Sauce and gravy need a meat stock, laksa, soups, risotto, casseroles all benefit from a vegetable, meat, chicken or fish stock. At home there are plenty of premade stocks, cubes and powders available and they are convenient, but not always economical, for the better quality varieties. Stocks are extremely easy and economical to make, and if you use the slow cooker they are don’t need any attention. I also only use off-cuts for stocks and you can collect these while you are cooking, and keep them in a freezer bag in the freezer ready for when you need to make a stock. These may be the greens and ends from leeks, ends and peels from carrots, end and some peel from onions, ends and some peel from garlic, ends of tomatoes or discarded seeds, stalks from parsley, bacon rind, celery leaves and ends. Some times I might need to balance out the off-cuts with some fresh vegetables from the above list.
If you buy your meat in bulk, for example a side of beef direct from the farm like I like to, you will have bones to use up, or if you fillet whole fish, or ask your fishmonger for some frames, or bone out your own chickens or ask the butcher for some frames and bones.

Beef Stock
1 kilo beef bones
500 grams of off cuts from the above list
2 bay leave
5 peppercorns
teaspoon salt
4 sprigs thyme

In a baking tray put all ingredients and bake in a hot oven until browned, about 40 minutes. Put in a large slower cooker and cover with 4 litres of boiling water a simmer on low for 8 hours. Strain cool in the fridge, remove any fat that has set on top and use or freeze.

Chicken stock
1 kilo chicken bones- Or a whole chicken or drumsticks, if using the whole chicken or drumsticks make sure you keep the meat for the soup
500grams offcuts from above
2 bay leaves
5 peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
4 sprigs of thyme

Put all ingredients in the slow cooker and cover with four litres of water and simmer on low for 4 hours. Strain and cool in the fridge, remove any fat that has settled on top and freeze or use.

Fish stock
1 kilo fish frames
500 grams offcuts
bay leaf
5 peppercorns
4 sprig of thyme
teaspoon salt
Put all ingredients in a large slow cooker and cover with 4 litres of water and cook for 1 hour on the low setting.

To turn your stock into a sauce
To make what is now commonly called jus,  but I was taught its called demi-glaze, from a beef or chicken stock take two litres of stock and add 100 grams of tomato paste and 300 ml red wine and reduce by half in  a heavy base pot on a low simmer and season with salt and pepper.

ideas of flavours that you can add to your jus are, sage or other herbs, quince paste, port, onion jam, peppercorns, pepper berries or figs

Breakfast triffle

Serves 4
1 ½ cups rolled oats
2/3 cup apple juice
1 Tablespoons sultana
1 teaspoon dried pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon almond flakes
1 grated apple

600 ml yogurt

2 punnets berries

To make the Bircher muesli, grate the apple into a bowl and mix with the oats, juice, sultanas, seeds and almonds. Refrigerate overnight.

Serve the muesli layered with the yogurt and fresh berries

Like this recipe? Find more in my first cookbook The Real Food for Kids Cookbook. When you cook this please let me know how you go with it and share it with your friends!