Lime Cashew Noodles

I’ve had a couple of goes at these Lime Cashew Noodles recently.  This recipe has needed a bit of tweaking but I’ve finally nailed it (according to my girls!). The flavours in the sauce are delicious and the texture of the cashews add another dimension to the dish. I’ve also tried a few different vegetable combinations in my Lime Cashew Noodles in order to come up with this combo, although, as usual, the recipe is flexible in regards to the veggie content.

The best thing about these noodles, other than the texture and flavours, is that it’s really quick to throw together.  The chopping of the veggies is the part that takes the longest. The actual cooking part only takes a few minutes. I have had great success at chopping my veggies in advance and even combining all the sauce ingredients in the pan ahead of time, then just coming along and cooking it up.  By the time the noodles were done the rest was cooked and ready.

I did find that a little water was required in the pan after the veggies were added to the sauce, otherwise the veggies would stick to the bottom of the pan and be a bit dry. Once a scoop of water was added I placed the lid on the pan so that the veggies could steam.  If you want your veggies to be a bit crunchy, like a stir fry, then leave the lid off and add the noodles straight away.  You may not need to add any water to the pan in this case.

Lime Cashew Noodles

Yield: 4

Lime Cashew Noodles

Ingredients

  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 1 red capsicum, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green beans, chopped
  • 1 cup cashews (unsalted - but salted work too!)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 1 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 pkt dried noodles (enough to feed family of four)

Instructions

  1. Prepare all the veggies according to the ingredient list above.
  2. Heat an oiled frying pan on medium-high heat.
  3. Add the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, lime juice and garlic. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the cashews and stir to coat. Saute for two minutes.
  5. In a separate saucepan, commence cooking of the noodles.
  6. Add the vegetables to the sauce in the pan. Stir to combine with the cashews and sauce.
  7. Add a splash of boiling water, then place lid on pan to allow vegetables to steam and soften.
  8. When noodles are ready, add them to the vegetable mixture in the pan. Use tongs to gently mix the noodles in until all is lightly coated and heated. Add more water at this point if you want the sauce to be more runny,
  9. Serve in bowls and enjoy!
http://trinamichellehouse.com/lime-cashew-noodles/

This was a super-quick Meatless Monday meal.  Add this dish to your menu this week and I hope your family enjoy it as much as we did.

Start thinking about what you will do with all the extra spare time you will have because this meal will not take you long to make!

Trina xx

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Plum Tart

I know, it’s another dessert recipe from me but you need to make this plum tart this week. It is the week after Easter and I’m sure you are still busy catching up with friends and family these school holidays.  This recipe is a bonus treat that you might like to make for everyone.

Plum Tart

Plum Tart

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets puff pastry, just thawed
  • 2 Tbsp caster sugar
  • 825g tin whole plums in juice
  • 2 Tbsp cornflour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Raw sugar to sprinkle on top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Grease a 20cm pie dish.
  2. Line pie dish with one sheet of pastry, trim to suit.
  3. Bake for 10 min or until almost cooked. Once out of the oven use a spatula to flatten the pastry where it has puffed up.
    Make the filling
  1. Drain the juice from the tin of plums into a saucepan. Add cornflour and caster sugar.
  2. Place saucepan onto medium heat and whisk until sauce is smooth and thick.
  3. Meanwhile, chop plums and remove seeds. Spread chopped plums out over partly cooked pastry base.
  4. Pour thick sauce over the top and spread evenly.
  5. Cut heart shapes out of second puff pastry sheet and arrange over tart.
  6. Brush pastry hearts with beaten egg.
  7. Sprinkle tart with raw sugar.
  8. Bake 15-20 minutes or until top is puffed and golden.
  9. Remove from oven and either serve immediately or allow to cool, then refrigerate or freeze until required.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/plum-tart/

This year I made this plum tart before Easter and froze it, just like I did with the raspberry brownie bites. The plum tart is a delicious dessert that was so nice to thaw and reheat on a day that didn’t allow me time to make a fancy dessert. After I had made the tart I just left it in the pie plate it was cooked in, waited until it had cooled completely before covering with 2 layers of cling wrap.  Once wrapped so that it was airtight, it was ready to go into the freezer.

One of the things I really like about this plum tart is that it’s comfort food, yet isn’t heavy and over filling. You can serve it with ice cream, cream or custard.  In hot weather you could serve this tart cold, straight from the fridge (not freezer!).  I also like that it uses tinned plums, so can be made at any time of year.

For best results…

Thaw in the fridge overnight. The next day, remove all cling wrap before placing in a 180 deg C oven for around 30 minutes or until reheated to your liking.  Reheating in the oven ensures the crust and top retain their crispness.

Plum tart

I hope you enjoy this tart.  It was a huge hit at our house after a big afternoon at the footy.  It was so good to come home to a delicious dessert like this! Let me know if you make this one.

Trina xx

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Raspberry brownie bites

We’ve been making these raspberry brownie bites for a long time now. The recipe is simple and every time I make it it goes down very well. I thought you might need it this week as you contemplate what to whip up for Easter.

I found this recipe on the internet on the “Taste” website. This website is Australian and has lots of great recipes.  You might like to check them out (and let me know if you find something you think I’ll like!). Unlike most recipes I come across, this one didn’t need “improving”! We love it just the way it is.

Raspberry brownie bites

Click HERE for the recipe. You must print it out and keep it.  It’s the perfect dessert and travels well.

When I made these raspberry brownie bites this week, I doubled the recipe and made two.  We took one of them (straight from the oven!) to a friend’s house.  We were invited over for dinner and I was in charge of bringing dessert. I thought that the raspberry brownie bites would be perfect. When it was time for dessert I just cut the brownie into serves in the tin and warmed them up on a plate before placing them in serving bowls. We added a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it was delicious.

Raspberry brownie bites yum

The other tin of raspberry brownie bites I let cool completely before turning out into an airtight container. This went into the freezer and I will pull it out over Easter when our house is full of people.  It will be an effortless dessert! It will serve 8 very generous servings, but can serve up to 12 quite comfortably.

Blessings to you and your family as you celebrate Easter this year. Other blog posts I have done that might be helpful to you for Easter are the Easter Egg tomb (the perfect table centerpiece), chocolate coated caramel fudge and my delicious chocolate fudge.  Check them all out!!

Trina xx

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Baked sweet and sour veggies

For Meatless Monday this week I made Baked Sweet and Sour Veggies. This recipe was so easy and versatile.  It can be adapted to suit your mood or your fridge contents.

This week we had Baked Sweet and Sour broccoli and cauliflower with rice. This veggie combination was really delicious because of the textures.  I recommend it!

Baked sweet and sour veggies

Baked sweet and sour veggies

Ingredients

  • 5-6 cups chopped veggies
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • rice to serve
    Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (white vinegar is ok)
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch + 2 Tbsp cold water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 220deg C and grease a baking sheet. Combine veggies with oil in a freezer bag, shake to coat.
  2. Add corn starch to the freezer bag and toss to coat again.
  3. Transfer coated veggies to greased pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until the veggies have softened and start to brown.
  4. While the veggies are cooking, prepare the sauce: Add the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic salt and tomato sauce to a small saucepan. Stir and bring to the boil. In a small bowl or glass, whisk together the 1 Tbsp corn starch and cold water until dissolved and smooth. Add to the saucepan and stir until thickened. Then lower heat to a simmer.
  5. In a large heat-proof bowl, combine the veggies and the sauce.
  6. Serve with rice.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/baked-sweet-and-sour-veggies/

There is one thing I struggled with about this recipe: it has sugar in it.  I know sugar is taboo these days and I agree that we should limit it in our diets, so I added just a small amount in this meal. I guess its hard to make the “sweet” in sweet and sour without using anything sweet!

Other vegetables that work really well in this recipe are eggplant, capsicum, zucchini and onion. Let me know if you try other veggies that work well in this. The cornflour and oil that the veggies are tossed in prior to baking really seem to make the texture of the veggies special.

If you need to feed a crowd, you can easily double or triple the sauce recipe and make a tonne of rice to accompany your veggies. People will love it.

Meat?

Yes, you can add cooked chicken or brown some beef or lamb and add them to the bowl with the veggies and sauce. That’s what makes this recipe so great.  Leftover roast chicken would be delicious added to this.

 

My Baked Sweet and Sour Veggies tastes a bit like take-away, and is definitely more cost effective! This is a handy little recipe that you can whip out to make an ordinary meal pretty special. I love having recipes like this one tucked into my book of everyday gems. And now you can tuck it into your book too and use it whenever you like!

Trina xx

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“Luckiest Girl Alive” by Jessica Knoll

I’ve just finished reading “Luckiest Girl Alive” by Jessica Knoll.  Here is my book review!

As you know, I loved the book “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn (here is my review of that one in case you missed it!). “Luckiest Girl Alive” by Jessica Knoll is along the same lines.

"Luckiest Girl Alive" by Jessica Knoll book review

It’s about Ani FaNelli who seems to have it all.  She has a gorgeous, rich fiance (I imagine him as being gorgeous) and she has a great job as an editor at a glamorous women’s magazine.

Ani is full swing in wedding planning mode when she is approached by a documentary producer and asked to tell her side of some events that happened at her school during her high school years. This opens a can of worms for Ani.  She has been fighting hard to push these events aside and enjoy her transformed life.

As Ani’s story unfolds, more and more twists and turns are revealed, as well as more struggles she has had to conquer along the way. At the age of fourteen, Ani was gang raped.  This created great confusion for her at the time, as she struggled to make sense of it and taunted about it by her peers. More trouble ensued after this, with a final major incident occurring at school that would change her life and destroy others for ever.

"Luckiest Girl Alive" blurb

The documentary forces Ani to revisit the incidents from her past, as well as the people.  She discovers more about herself and the life she really wants and deserves during this time.

“Luckiest Girl Alive” is written from Ani’s perspective and gives great insight into her personality. To me, Ani is quite funny and I can relate to some of her quirky feelings, although, there were parts of this book that made me feel very uncomfortable.

Only after reading this book, did I discover that the author, Jessica Knoll, was able to draw on her own experiences of being gang raped as a teenager and being bullied by classmates. I am very upset for her as this book really delves into the affects of such abuse and how she never fully heals.

from "Luckiest Girl Alive"

I think you have to be a bit tough to read “Luckiest Girl Alive” by Jessica Knoll.  It had me hooked and I couldn’t put it down, but it’s not for everyone. Only read it if you loved “Gone Girl” or “Girl on a Train”. AND it’s definitely not one for the kids.  It’s adults only.

Trina xx

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