Something new around here

School holidays start for us here in Tasmania next week and we have 2 weeks off school. With COVID, travelling outside our state still really isn’t a thing (even though both hubby & I are both fully vaxed) so we’ve decided that we’re going to play tourist in our own state AND take you guys along for the ride.

We’re making a list of where we want to go and what we want to see so if there is anywhere in Tasmania you’d like to see, let us know and we’ll do our best to add it to our list.

Follow along on our adventures by following the tag Travel Tasmania & on my instagram using #nightwolftravelstas

In the Den Kitchen–August 2021

And so another month is over and we have a bunch of new recipes to share and a new kitchen toy but more on that later in the post.

Started off with some Asian flavours trying Hoisin pork fillet with stir-fried Chinese greens. Big thumbs up from everyone, including the little who is now more interested in cooking and also trying what she cooks.

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Then we moved to flavours of India and a really yummy Chicken Korma. Again loved by all.

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Something quick and easy for a friend’s birthday – Creamy Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti. He lives alone so he often gets to join our food trying adventures.

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More pork with Oven Baked Pork Chops with Potatoes. Awesome now I have my oven fixed and didn’t have to try cooking this in the air fryer. Very yummy.

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And another pork recipe to round out the month – Brown Sugar Slow Cooker Pork. This was soooo good but next time we’ll use a different cut of pork so we get more meat.

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And a sweet treat for the lunch boxes – Flourless Fudge Brookies

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I’ve been wanting to upgrade our Thermomix since the TM6 came out and hubby surprised me with the new one at the beginning of the month (thank you tax return) so the remainder of the new recipes this month are from Thermomix’s Cookidoo recipe website.

I chose a bunch of recipes and the first the kids picked was Meatball Subs (served on homemade Hot Dog Rolls). We also tried Sous Vide steak with Béarnaise Sauce, Sticky Sesame chicken,  Chunky bolognaise, Paprika chicken w Paprika sauce, Pork belly w spring onions and homemade honeycomb (so good!)

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Until next month, keep cooking!
(and let me know if you try any of these recipes and what you thought of them)

In the Den Kitchen–July 2021

This month, the littlest has been so much more interested in helping cook meals, even if she doesn’t end up eating them. We are implementing the new rule that if she cooks it she has to try it and she might find that she actually likes it!

The first recipe she cooked was old fashioned rissoles. Nice and easy. She wasn’t too sure to start with but ended up demolishing a whole one, so calling that a win.

A white plate containing 2 beef rissoles, potato gems, tomato, lettuce & cucumber.

I had been feeling like a new stir fry recipe for awhile so decided to whip up Hoisin beef stir-fry. I love Hoisin sauce with pork so was interested to see how it would go with beef. Good stuff. Everyone ate it, most of them picked out the veg they don’t like *eye roll*

White bowl containing a mound of white rice and Hoisin Beef Stir-fry

Biggest wanted in on the cooking action so I thought a super easy, set and forget slow cooker recipe would suit her.  Slow cooker chicken chow mein.

White bowl containing a splade and chicken chow mein.

Decided to go a little fancy with Crispy, Creamy Chicken Cordon Bleu with a Dijon sauce. OMG don’t try this if you want something quick and easy. Yes it is fiddly but so worth it.

White plate containing mashed potato with a dollop of butter, chicken cordon bleu with dijon sauce.

Looking for something super easy to whip up? This one is great when your kids ask if their bestie can stay for tea. It does take about 45 minutes to cook though. Not my Mum’s porcupine meatballs (not the actual name but they aren’t my Mum’s recipe LOL)

White plate containing porcupine meatballs and potato gem

Another quick & easy one to whip that is great hot or cold is Easy Savoury Bacon Slice. So good. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like with the corn but it got a big thumbs up especially from the big who wants me to make it again on a school night so she can take it to school cold.

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Party Planning 2021

It’s been awhile since I shared any party planning here and since I’ve just started planning for my youngest’s birthday next month I thought I’d get back into it.

First thing we discussed was a theme. Actually it was what she wanted to do – she wanted the pool (it’s an indoor one), then it was art party and finally she decided to just have a party, especially when we mentioned she could invite more friends. Then it was a theme – this year’s suggestions included: mermaids, cats (which we did last year), art, llamas, bunnies and finally, the one she picked, Winter Wonderland.

Next we looked at date and times. We ended up picking afternoon so it wouldn’t clash with winter sports, especially when her bestie plays soccer. Her birthday falls on a Sunday so we have to decide if she wants the day before or weekend after.

After all those things we had to decide on location. Our place isn’t ideal for kids parties, we’d used the in-laws last year, so it came down to hiring the local hall if available or using Dad’s. Dad has property so that gives us more options for party games outside and he’s happy for us to have the party there.

Now that is all decided it’s time to start a new section on my Party Pinterest board for keeping all the ideas in one place. You can check out all my party pins by going here, then checking the Winter Wonderland section.

From the Den kitchen–June 2021

Light on the new recipes this month.  Have been re-cooking lots of favourites. This month we tried…

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Air Fryer Pork bites (different from the last lot). Yummo. I love pork belly done in the air fryer.

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Satay chicken So much better than the bottled sauce I usually buy. Added a bit extra peanut butter. Reading through the reviews a lot of people said they add half water, half coconut milk so I’ll try that next time.

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Slow cooked Beef Stroganoff. Pretty good. Love being able to just chuck everything in the slow cooker and leave it til it’s time to eat.

and some sweet treats,

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White chocolate raspberry muffins

Weet-bix Slice

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.