In the Den Kitchen–May 2021

End of the month and we’ve got some more new recipes for you. Not as many this month as we’ve been focusing on family favourites.

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Creamy French Chicken Potato Bake
Sooooooo good. A great winter staple. Chicken, potatoes, creamy. Yum.

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Slow cook sizzling Mongolian beef
Personally not really a fan of this one. Not sure why. Hubby loved it.

Air Fry pork belly bites.
Hubby made this one for Mother’s Day tea. Was super yummy. He can’t find the recipe again.

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Pork tenderloin with Creamy Mustard Sauce
Another Recipe Tin Eats one. Was good. Might make a few changes to the sauce though as we’re not a fan of the tarragon (to be honest we did use dried not fresh). Going to give it another go using chives & parsley.

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Slow cook beef stew
The website name says it all – Damn Delicious. Simple and delicious. One of the best stews I’ve eaten.

Homemade LCMs
Super easy. This one is a thermomix recipe. Miss A made these and was very impressed with her work. We used pink & white marshmallows and stirred through some choc chips (which melted slightly) and 100s and 1000s. Will be adding this one to the lunchbox snacks list.

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Creamy French onion chicken pasta bake
This was so good. We took out the mushrooms (cause heathens in my house don’t eat them) and spinach and added carrot, onion, peas & corn. Put it in 2 smaller containers and we had the leftovers for lunch the next day.

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Honey garlic chicken tray bake
Another super yum recipe. We added a heap of other veggies to fill it out a bit more.

In the Den Kitchen–April 2021

No where near as many recipes in April, but some yummy ones no the less.

Cheese & Bacon Rissoles

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Quick & relatively easy. Super yummy BUT a pain in the rear when it comes to cooking as they just fall apart when you cook them. Will make it again but do some tweaking and report back.

Beef Cannelloni

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Made this one without the spinach, cause I’m the only one who eats it. Have had requests for this one again so taking that as a hit.

Chicken Curry

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Think this will be our go to. Super easy and yummy. Also the leftovers my delicious pies.

Chicken meatballs with homemade Tzatziki (I do want to try the souvlaki in this recipe too)

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Takes me back to my childhood when we’d grab the pita pockets, fill with salad and whatever meatballs Mum had cooked. Leftovers (if there are any) make a delicious lunch. Also decided to make my own tzatziki to spoon over it. Eldest decided it would make a great lunch dip with veggie sticks. *thumbs up* Littlest actually ate these but said she didn’t like them when asked if she’d eat them again.

Butter chicken

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I LOVE butter chicken. It’s been years since I made my own from scratch. This one is good and spicy. I only added half the amount of hot spices too. Hubby said it was perfect.

Finally this month we had French Onion Sausages and Cheesy Mash

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So good. Everyone enjoyed it and asked for seconds. In the recipe book it goes!

In the Den Kitchen–March recipes

Lots more new recipes this month, so strap in, it’s a long one.

First up we have a recipe from RecipeTinEats (we’re trying LOTS from there this month) – Honey Garlic chicken.

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Thoughts…. loved it. sauce didn’t really thicken up but it was super yum. Could have had seconds, if there had been any.

Egg & Bacon sausage rolls. Simple as. Mix up some cooked bacon, egg and a little cheese. Put your puff pastry in the sausage roll maker. Add the mixture. Top with more puff pastry and cook for 10-15 minutes. Want a pizza version? Make a mix of tomato (or bbq) sauce, cooked diced onion, diced salami or twiggy sticks, diced ham and pizza cheese.

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Greek Beef pasta bake. Kind of lasagne, kind of not. I’m not a huge fan of lasagne in general but this was ok. Feta in the pasta layer always a yum though.

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Noodle salad. Made this one mainly as a lunch option for the big kiddo. She wasn’t overly keen so I had it for lunch for a couple of days. Flavour improves each day.

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Thai chicken skewers with Peanut sauce. So good. Skewers were a little over done but it was the first time cooking them in the air fryer. Note to self – Peanut sauce is for dipping, not making a quick satay chicken.

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General Tsao chicken. One hubby picked from our air fryer cookbook. Big thumbs up from everyone except the fussy child.

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Chicken curry. Changed this one up a bit and added snow peas instead of frozen peas. Love a good curry, especially with coconut cream or milk.

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Lamb koftas with yoghurt dressing and flat bread. This one has already gone in our cookbook of recipes to do again. Delicious. Flat bread recipe is super quick and easy. Fussy miss actually cooked this one for us (with help & supervision) and actually tried it. She loved the flat bread and salad, not so much the koftas or dressing.

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Beef with broccoli think everyone enjoyed this one. Added a few extra veg as not everyone in our house eats broccoli

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and finally this month…

Beef stir fry with Honey Pepper sauce Another super yummy stir fry for our favourites recipe book. Takes about 15 minutes too which always a win in my book.

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In the Den Kitchen–it’s soup time

Hubby was in charge of choosing our new recipes this fortnight and he loves his soup so soup it was. He found a recipe for a creamy chicken soup and added it to the list.

We’d had a roast chicken the night before and I used it to make one of my Mum’s favourite recipes – Crusted Chicken Noble. I’ll have to share the recipe because it such a yummy meal. Mum used to whip it up when we were having family over for a meal. After the meal I boiled the bones and wings using the recipe here to make my own stock.

Anywho, onto our soup recipe. It came from the site Recipe Tin Eats. We’ve added a bunch of recipes from there to our try list.

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Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 g / 3.5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup / 75 g flour
  • 1 garlic clove , minced
  • ½ small brown onion , finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot , diced
  • 1/2 red capsicum/bell pepper , finely chopped
  • 1 small celery stick , diced
  • 2 cups / 500 ml chicken stock / broth , preferably low sodium
  • 3 cups / 750 ml milk , any fat %
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp EACH garlic powder , onion powder, dried thyme, black pepper (“Spices”)
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup cooked chicken , diced or shredded
  • Croutons

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes until partly translucent but not browned.
  2. Add carrots, celery and capsicum, cook for 1 minute to soften.
  3. Add butter and melt. Then add flour and mix until incorporated, and stir constantly for 1 minute.
  4. Add broth, mix until flour is incorporated, then add milk. Mix to combine, then add salt, Spices, chicken and peas.
  5. Bring to simmer, mixing occasionally to stop bottom of sticking. As it heats, it will thicken – about 4 to 5 minutes. Don’t let it bubble.
  6. Once thickened to your taste, adjust salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve garnished with croutons and fresh thyme if desired.

Would I do anything different next time? Add more chicken meat. Omit the black pepper but add some at the end. It’s definitely one for the book though and we’ll make it again.

Fat Mum Slim Photo-a-Day

I keep trying to do a full year of this. Don’t think I’ve made it yet. Maybe this year??

Anyway here’s January’s list

1. THIS IS ME
2. PAPER
3. A CAR
4. SO COLOURFUL
5. A PET
6. FLOWERS
7. THE SKY
8. I ATE HERE
9. A CLOSE-UP
10. SOMETHING NICE
11. SHOES
12. TECHNOLOGY
13. SOMETHING IN NATURE
14. HOLDING SOMETHING SMALL
15. I LOVE THIS SMELL
16. I CAN DO THIS
17. IN MY CUP
18. I LOVE THIS FOOD
19. MORE THAN ONE
20. A FRIEND
21. WATER
22. ON THE FLOOR
23. SUNSET
24. THIS IS FUN
25. A SWEET TREAT
26. WHERE I STOOD
27. A PATH
28. THIS IS MINE
29. LUCKY
30. SUMMER/WINTER
31. THIS IS ALSO ME

and my photos

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Super Saucy Chicken Chop Suey

Chicken is one of our favourite things to cook. Hubby would eat it nearly every night if he could. Hence why the first 2 new recipes we tried this year are chicken.

I love a good chop suey so thought this would be a hit. I was right, everyone loved it, even the super fussy one.

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You can check it out at

https://www.taste.com.au/recipes/super-saucy-chicken-chop-suey-recipe/yjgfsjzm

My planner setup for 2021

Well, wasn’t 2020 an interesting year. Stuck at home. Schooling from home. Endless Zoom calls. Not a real lot to put in the planner….

If you read my post from this time last year (thanks for sticking around and if you are new, Welcome!) I was in the Planners Anonymous Planner Babe TN. Well Sami did not disappoint and released the gorgeous Northern Lights Melody (more about that in a bit), as well as another 7 Melody planners.

What is a Melody Planner? To quote Planners Anon….

“The concept behind the melody is simple. We wanted to create a planner that is flexible and able to grow and change as you do. Inspired by life and music, this planner is composed from the ground up. The cover has the unique ability to segue between rings, strings, discs, booklets and book bound inserts.

How will you use your Melody?”

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I bought the Northern Lights one as soon as it was released but decided not to go with the rings bundle, cause I was not really a rings girl (been there done that) but after a few months caved and ended up going rings & strings. Fast forward another few months and they released the Note to Self Melody.

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I bought this one and the rings bundle as well. So I currently have a Spring/Summer planner (Note to Self) and an Autumn/Winter (Northern Lights) AND I’ve gone back to rings for my inserts.

After all that, here’s my setup for 2021 (at this stage anyway)

  • Cover – Planners Anonymous Melody Planner with rings and strings
  • 2021 B6 Single Page Monthly + Tracker Printable Insert from Annie Plans Printables
  • Dashboards by DesleyJane Plans. I currently have Pink Petals, Dark Romance and Water Droplets (blue)
  • Pocket also by DesleyJane Plans in Water Droplets (blue) for the stickers I use every week
  • Monthly inserts from Planners Anonymous that came with the rings bundle. They are hoping to have them as a separate purchase soon.
  • Custom made dot grid TN insert in the back for collections & notes. I just made this myself by cutting down some A4 dot grid paper to B6 and made a cover from the Planners Anonymous Planner Babe freebie (which you can grab, along with other freebies, here)

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So that’s my planner for 2021 in a nutshell. How are you planning this year?

In the Den kitchen 2021

Going back to this series as one of my plans for this year is to try at least one or 2 new recipes a week, so expect more recipe sharing.

First for the year is Apricot chicken rissoles. The recipe came from Taste and you can find it here.

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What we thought: Big thumbs up from 3. One isn’t eating much still but loved the potato. One day she’ll eat more *sigh*

What we’ve been cooking (12 recipes in 2020–Sept to Dec)

Going back and counting I actually made our 12 new recipe in August. Well actually it’s the 11th cause I’ve made the Chocolate slice before, so September is recipe number 12 and the rest are bonuses.

You can check out the rest of the recipes…

January (Ham Mashed Potato Cakes)

February (Tuna pasta bake)

March, April, May (Focaccia, Banana Choc Chip biscuits, Naan bread, Green chicken curry)

June, July (Butter chicken, slow cooker lasagne, Mongolian chicken, One pot honey BBQ beef brisket, Chocolate slice)

August (Oven baked Thai chicken meatballs)

Some of the other new recipes we tried between September and December included

Creamy chicken and mushroom pancakes

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As part of Wild University, we did a Charcuterie Class with Lea aka The Platter Girl. I made some mini boards using my gorgeous platters from Flat Out Bottles.

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Another new recipe – Old school lemon chicken. Sooooo good. We’ve made this a few times and it’s pretty close to the restaurant version.

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Finally, there’s this Chicken chow mien. Suoer quick & super easy for yummy school night meal.

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