From the Den kitchen–January 2022

A busy month with a few new recipes, some picked by the kiddos as they are still on holidays and picked some new recipes for us.

We love sloppy Joes so were keen to try a chicken version. These were good. Think I prefer them to the beef version. And silly me didn’t save the recipe.

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Chicken rissoles were next up and these are pretty good. great the next day too.

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Slow cooking is a favourite of mine when we’ve got a busy day. just chuck it all in and turn it on. Slow Cooked Honey Mustard Chicken is a new family favourite.

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We often have Taco Tuesday but this time we mixed it up and had Enchiladas. These are so good.

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I often buy Chicken Kiev but due to covid related food shortages they haven’t been available, so when it was just hubby & me for tea one night I searched on Cookidoo and found a recipe. It made a few so could make it when the kiddos are home too.

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Something not chicken – Glazed honey balsamic pork chops. Hubby actually enjoyed these even though he’s not a fan of balsamic vinegar. I could have eaten 2.

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Baked Riti was a recipe picked by the eldest. She loves spag bol but the rest of us a so sick of it. This is a yummy compromise.

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Nachos was next on out list of something else apart from Tacos. These were spicy and I only used half the chilli. Will make again, maybe with even less chilli or bought taco seasoning.

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and finally I decided to try a new meatloaf recipe as our usual has mince & sausage mince but I only had mince. This was nice but think I’ll stick with our usual.

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What have you been cooking this month? Until next time….

My planner set up in 2022

Not much is really changing this year in my planner (you can read my 2021 setup post here). I’ll still be using my combo of the Planners Anonymous Note to Self B6 Melody for Spring/Summer and Northern Lights B6 Melody for Autumn/Winter…… unless I get a new cover for my birthday at the end of January, or through the year *fingers crossed*

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Inside I’ve got my B6 pocket in Water droplets (blue) from DesleyJane Plans to house my most used weekly stickers. At the moment they are stickers from Luscious Labels, KHD Stickers, Moby & Co and Kmart monthly planner stickers (sadly these are no longer available)

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Page lifters at each end of the planner made by me using the Planners Anon Note to Self digital kit. Printed on 200gsm paper and glued to some cardstock.
Dashboards by DesleyJane Plans. I currently have Pink Petals and Water Droplets (blue). Dark Romance is in my Northern Lights planner.067

and finally – Planners Anon luxe B6 inserts. January is Masquerade. I’m hoping Planner Love will be available soon so I can use that for February.

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Want to check out Planners Anonymous AND get 10% off your first subscription order? Click on this link and sign up 🙂

In the Den Kitchen–December 2021

To start off December we had leftovers from another cooking of the brisket recipe we first did in October. This time we decided to try the leftovers in tacos. Such a great idea. Brisket is turning out to be a super versatile roast to do leftovers with. I just heated up the meat and shredded it then heated some tortillas. Usual taco fillings and you’re done. Quick and easy and everyone can serve themselves.

Next up this month was Plum Jelly Meatballs. A win, everybody liked them. Added to our book of recipes.

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Honey chicken is a favourite in this house so we had to try the Recipe Tin Eats Crispy Honey Chicken. It lives up to it’s name. It stays super crispy.

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I love fried rice and this Garlic Chicken Fried Rice was a winner.

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Another brisket roast but this time it’s Slow Cooked Honey Soy Beef Brisket. So good. Also great the next night heated up and served in crepes.

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Christmas and we were asked to cook a Turducken. This is the recipe we used. Ended up giving it a little bit longer but it was still moist and delicious. No picture for this one as I forgot.

The last new recipe for this year was cooked on New Year’s Eve and was Air Fryer Sticky Chicken Bites.  Served with a cheesy potato bake.

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Thanks for following along in 2021. I hope you tried something new and I look forward to sharing some new recipes with you all in 2022.

Holiday baking – Shortbread

It’s Christmas time and I thought I’d share some of my favourites to cook during December. Seriously though these are good any time of year.

First on the list is Shortbread. This is the recipe my Mum used and I have a feeling this is the recipe that comes from my Grandmother so it’s a proper Scottish one. I can’t remember if I’ve shared this one before but if I have, oh well, here it is again.

Shortbread

My Mum's shortbread recipe

  • Electric mixer
  • Baking trays
  • 185 g plain flour
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 125 g butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. Preheat oven to 160C.

  2. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Set aside.

  3. Add all ingredients into mixer bowl.

  4. Mix until well combined. Mixture should form a smooth ball.

  5. Roll out until desired thickness (between 5mm and 15mm) and cut circles.

    Place on tray. Re-roll remain mixture and repeat until all dough is used.

  6. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until lightly golden.

  7. Let sit on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

  8. Optional: sprinkle with extra caster sugar once cooked.

  • Can be mixed in a Thermomix. Add all ingredients, mix speed 4 for 10 seconds or until well combined.
  • To cook in an air fryer – 180C for about 10 minutes.
  • To cook in a traditional wooden mould. Flour your mould well. Tip out extra flour. Press dough into mould then turn out onto baking paper. Tap hard to release the dough. You may need to tap a few times.
Biscuits
Scottish

From the Den Kitchen– November 2021

Another quiet recipe month but here you go…

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Creamy Chicken & bacon pie filling on the Thermomix recipe community. This is sooo good. Bonus points to as it makes a super yum pasta sauce.

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Another Cookidoo recipe – Cider brined pork chops. They were ok. Hubby enjoyed them but he loves pork.

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Chicken fajitas. Think these were a big hit with everyone as the whole lot went that night. No leftovers.

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Bangers & Mash with Onion Gravy. Not so much. I think I’d just much prefer bangers and mash with onion, no gravy.

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One pan chicken alfredo. Hit or miss. Not one the kiddos liked. Neither of the adults were really a fan either.

Back next time with all our December recipes, there will be a few. Lots of sweet treats.

Happy December

and happy first day of Summer (& nearly Winter). The weather here is gorgeous today and I’m enjoying the cool breeze from the air con.

Lots going on here this month

  • end of school shenanigans. Pool parties, presentation assembly, big finding out if she’s made student leader in 2022, getting end of year reports and finding out class placements for 2022.
  • Summer holidays. No big plans as yet. A few day or weekend trips around the state so be on the lookout for some new posts in our Travel Tasmania series.
  • Christmas and all that entails.
  • Summer solstice, thinking we might beach it this year.
  • I’ve got a few blog posts scheduled on different topics, the first will be up tomorrow.

That’s about it at this stage. Hope you all have a great month.

In the Den Kitchen–October 2021

A quiet month on the new recipe front, well meal wise anyway. We were given a bunch of lemons so cooked a few sweet lemony treats too.

The Slow Cooked Beef Brisket with BBQ Sauce from Recipe Tin Eats was so good. Everyone wants it cooked again so that’s a win.

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Remaining meals were Thermomix recipes from Cookidoo.

The Asian Chicken Noodle salad was delicious. Not everyone was a fan but I’d happily have it for a light summer meal or lunch. Would work pretty well for a bbq side too.

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We usually do either beef or chicken for our go-to Mexican meal but decided to give Beef Fajitas a go for something different. All I can say is we now have a third option for Mexi meals. I think this would work well so look for that in a future post.

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The only meal we made with our lemons was Hunter’s Lemon Chicken Rissoles. Really good. Too much basil for some but meh, not my problem. Made quite a few so I had some the next day for lunch and froze some for later.

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I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a real fan of ‘fried’ rice done in the Thermomix but I think Chooky Rice might just change my mind. It does make HEAPS though (well heaps for our family) so there was leftovers.

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Onto our lemon recipes……

I made a batch of Lemon Butter. I’ve got a few recipes but as I’m trying to use our new Thermomix more, I tried the one on Cookidoo. Pretty good.

We made Lemonade, which the big has decided is her current favourite drink, so I’ve made 3L. It’s nice on it’s own over ice but really nice with fizzy lemonade or sparkling water. We also tried Mint Lemonade. That was not so much of a hit. I liked it, and I’ve frozen it to see if it makes good ice cubes over summer.

One of the recipes I made for tea called for Lemon Olive Oil, so I made my own using this recipe (minus the thyme).

Finally I cooked up a batch of goodies for lunchboxes – Noughts & Crosses biscuits and Lemon cupcakes with Citrus syrup,  These disappeared before I got pictures but the lemon cupcakes are so moist and very lemony. Will be making them again.

What have you been cooking lately?

Travelling Tasmania: Lilydale Falls and the Abandoned Tunnel pt 2

In part 1 of the post, we visited Lilydale Falls. We travelled a few kilometres up the road to visit the Abandoned Tunnel.

The tunnel is part of the now unused North Eastern Line which opened in 1889 from Launceston to Scottsdale. According reports and newspaper articles I read looking into the history of the tunnel, work on the tunnel began in 1885 with the last brick being laid in 1888. It is 705 meters long and lined with one million bricks. Construction involved 70 men and no accidents were reported. The surrounding area became known as Tunnel and the nearby station, no longer standing, was Tunnel Station. With the increase in road travel, the line usage slowed from the 1960s and stopped all together in 1992.

image of abandoned train tunnel. Location: Tunnel, Northern Tasmania

Recently there has been discussion to open more parts of the line back up to walkers and cyclists, with a 24km section between Billycock Hill and Scottsdale is already in use since 2015.

Anyway, enough of the history. We wanted to visit after hearing stories about it and numerous photos on different tourist sites. Oh and it’s reportedly haunted.

To get there, from Lilydale Falls, follow Golconda Road for about 4 kms until you reach Tunnel Road. Drive for another 2km until you reach Tunnel Station Road and follow that for about 180m where you will see a small sign saying Tunnel. Park your car on the road side and follow the track towards the tunnel (about 200m).

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The mood was perfect with the rainy weather. I would highly recommend wearing boots if you go in Winter or Spring. It was very wet in the tunnel and the kids and I came out with soaked feet. DSC_0637

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Is it haunted? Well, the kids were making enough noise to wake the dead but we didn’t see or hear anything apart from running water and the crunch of gravel underfoot. There is a sense of something though about halfway along. This is were a lot of people report feeling ‘something’.
Hubby & I plan to go back another day and take another look. Who know maybe we’ll find something?

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This is a great place to go for a walk, take a torch though and a great place to photograph for the architecture, the railway itself, the textures and the flora.

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Where are we off to next? Who knows but I’ll be sharing it here.
Until next time!

Travelling Tasmania: Lilydale Falls and the Abandoned Tunnel pt 1

We were going to start out Tassie adventures locally in George Town and surrounds as that is where we are based but it was recently school holidays so we decided to visit one of the nearby falls.

I visited Lilydale Falls when I was younger, most likely with relatives visiting from Scotland, but had never been back so seemed like the perfect place to start. And it’s one of the closest falls.

The falls are located in the Lilydale Falls Reserve, about 25 minutes North of Launceston. It’s a relatively easy 6-10 minute walk from the car park along a dirt and duckboard path, then down some stairs to the base of the first falls.

image of a dirt path leading under a train bridge. Location: Lilydale Falls Reserve, Tasmania image of wooden stairs. to the right of the image is moss covered rock image of a group of people standing, looking at a waterfall. The waterfall is the bottom fall at Lilydale Falls Reserve, Tasmania. 

Image of waterfall and surrounding plants. Bottom falls at Lilydale Falls Reserve, Tasmania.

Another 3-4 minutes up the path and you are on a viewing platform at the second falls.

image of a dirt path next to a flowing river. Location Lilydale Falls Reserve, Tasmaniaimage of wooden viewing platform at the top falls, Lilydale Falls Reserve, Tasmania.image of waterfall. Top fall, Lilydale Falls Reserve, Tasmania.

I could seriously spend awhile here taking photos when the weather is dry.

image of manfern growing on rocks. Location: Lilydale Falls Reserve, Tasmania. image of tree trunk that looks like a contorted face. Location: Lilydale Falls Reserve, Tasmania. image of moss growing on rocks. water is trickling over rocks. Location: Lilydale Falls Reserve, Tasmania. image of moss growing on rocks. Location: Lilydale Falls Reserve, Tasmania. image of plants and moss trailing over rocks. Location: Lilydale Falls Reserve, Tasmania.
image of moss growing on trees. Location: Lilydale Falls Reserve, Tasmania. image of green moss growing on rocks,covered with dry leaves. Location: Lilydale Falls Reserve, Tasmania.

Back at the car park is a well maintained public toilet, play area and an undercover BBQ area. If there is already a group there, you are most likely going to have to wait for a BBQ though.
The car park has parking spaces for campers and motor homes. There is also an undercover building with tables and a fireplace, which I’m guessing can be used by campers.

The day we went was overcast and then it rained on the way back. The paths and rocks can get a little slippery, so watch your step.
We gave up waiting on the BBQ area as it was completely taken over by a small group of tourists who weren’t keen on sharing with a family so we packed up the car and headed to our next location.

A few kilometres up the road is a place called the Abandoned Tunnel and we’ll cover that in part 2.

In the Den Kitchen–September 2021

Wow it’s the end of September already. More recipes for you this month.

Littlest loves potato gems and pommes so I decided to give Pop Pom cottage pie a go. Well she didn’t like the pommes with melted cheese but apart from that she ate the lot.

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Creamy Chicken & potato gem pie. Again another recipe to try and tempt the littlest to try something new. Wasn’t a fan and was grumpy that I’d used all the potato gems. The rest of us enjoyed itIMG_E4025

Hubby found a Air fryer pork belly recipe on Tik Tok so we tried it. Very yummy.

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We actually tried a recipe that wasn’t a hit with anyone – slow cooker braised steak & onion. Don’t know what it was about this but we won’t be having it again.

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Chicken & Ham lasagne. So yummy but needed something as it was a bit dry. Maybe some more cheese next time.

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This satay chicken stir fry was really yummy. Biggest decided she didn’t like it because it had peanuts on it. She eats peanuts & likes them. Think she was being difficult.

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The Thermomix recipes this month where Chicken Teriyaki, Mongolian Lamb, Beef Stroganof, Quiche Lorraine, Meatloaf, Chinese Pork & finally Beef Burgers. 

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Everything got the thumbs up, especially the burgers which were called the best burger recipe I’d ever made. It made enough to freeze some AND littlest actually ate one! She helped make them and she’s been told if she makes it she has to try it. Seems to be working well as she’s finding more things she likes so Yay!!

Sweet treat this month was self saucing butterscotch pudding. Very yummy.

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Tik Tok recipe trends are a bit of a thing in our house. Can highly recommend trying the air fryer crumpet garlic bread.

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