Church lunch

The other Sunday we had a community lunch after church: Church lunch! It was a Pot Luck situation.

So what to make?

I wanted to be able to make the lunch the day before so that Sunday morning wouldn’t be such a rush. After much thought, I decided you can’t go wrong with a pasta salad and a chocolate slice for dessert.

The pasta salad recipe is here:

Church lunch pasta salad

Church lunch pasta salad

Ingredients

  • 500g elbow pasta (you can use any shape!)
  • pinch salt
  • jar of sundried tomato pesto
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • sundried tomatoes
  • baby spinach
  • parsley

Instructions

  1. Boil pasta and salt until the pasta is al dente.
  2. Drain pasta and place in salad bowl.
  3. Immediately add the pesto, grated cheese, sundried tomatoes, baby spinach and parsley. Stir through.
  4. Once slightly cooled, cover with cling wrap and store in the fridge until ready for church.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/church-lunch/

You will notice in the recipe that I didn’t give you quantities of ingredients. I just add the ingredients until I think it looks right.  It’s really a case of make it according to your own taste.  For example, if you like your pasta salad really cheesy (like we do) be generous with the cheese but if you’d like to go dairy-free then leave it out.

Another thing to note, add the ingredients to your pasta while it is hot so that the cheese melts through and the spinach wilts a bit.

You could add other things to this pasta salad, such as mushrooms, feta, parmesan cheese, diced capsicum, etc.

So now for the chocolate slice.

Which one?

Naughty Girl Slice

I struggle to look past The Whack-It-In Together Naughty Girl Slice. See my blog post for the recipe over here. This slice is so quick to make and everyone loves it.  It’s always a huge hit. So today when I made this slice, I had to make two.  One to take tomorrow and one for us to eat today.  Yep, it happens every time!

So there you have it.  I had this church lunch made in around an hour (including washing the dishes as I go). Quick, easy and yummy.  I was looking forward to going to church that Sunday!

What do you make for a Make’n’Take lunch situation?  What are your go-to “bring a plate” and pot luck recipes?

Trina xx

Gingerbread with Caramel Sauce

Last February I watched an episode of My Kitchen Rules and the Gingerbread they made stayed with me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

I found the link to the gingerbread recipe (it’s here), printed it out and kept it close.  Didn’t make it until this week, over a year later!! I hadn’t forgotten about it though. Oh no. It was always on the list of things I must make.

Gingerbread with caramel sauce

The MKR recipe is actually called “Grandma’s Gingerbread (with Rum & Raisin Ice Cream)”.  No time to make the ice cream, so I just made the gingerbread part.  Didn’t change the recipe.  It’s fantastic just the way it is, except, that it probably needed ice cream! I decided to use the gingerbread as a pudding for dessert one night so I made this caramel sauce (and got the tub of ice cream from the freezer). This caramel sauce is so easy it’s almost embarassing.

Caramel Sauce

Ingredients

  • 8 heaped Tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter

Instructions

  1. Combine the sugar and the butter in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring slowly to the boil and cook for 1 minute.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/gingerbread-with-caramel-sauce/

I drizzled the caramel sauce over the warm gingerbread and it was delicious.

As the caramel sauce cooled, it started to solidify because of the butter in it.  (This is when the stroke of genius hit.) While it was still pliable, I spread the remaining caramel sauce over the remaining gingerbread like icing. Now, we have options. If someone wants to have a piece of gingerbread and eat it like cake, you just cut and piece and away you go.  If you’d like it like a pudding, you cut a piece and warm it up in the microwave.  The caramel icing turns into caramel sauce again and you have pudding with drizzled caramel sauce.

As usual, this recipe is super easy to make. The gingerbread is nice and moist and keeps for days in an airtight container. It feeds a crowd and would be perfect for a huge dinner party or an Easter dessert. Enjoy this Gingerbred with Caramel Sauce combo.

I think you should make it.

Trina xx

“The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold

You will notice that my copy of “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold is a bit tattered.  I bought this book at a school fete recently.  It was recommended to me so I was prepared to look past the ripped cover and give it a go.

The Lovely Bones

It is a very strange book.  I will not be reading it again.

“The Lovely Bones” is a murder story, told by the girl who was raped and killed not far from her house when she was fourteen years old. Susie Salmon died and went to heaven. She tells the reader all the grim and gorey details right from the start.

Her family and the police are left to try to figure out what happened to Susie. Her friends are also shocked by this tragedy and never really recover.  Susie watches them all from her place in heaven.

Susie misses her earthly life and gets very absorbed in watching her family and friends, finding it  hard to let it go.  She even manages to get involved in their lives as they go on to grow up, fall in love and do all the things she didn’t get to do in her life. I found this aspect of the book very hard to accept.  Susie describes her heaven and I guess her description of heaven is very different to how I expect it to be.  She doesn’t mention God at all in heaven which is also very different to the heaven I am looking forward to.

One aspect of this book that I found interesting, that is the way the characters all grieve differently and find it hard to understand each other.  There are communication break-downs and strange behaviour that continues for years after. The lives of Susie’s family and friends all change forever.  This is true of tragedies.

I realise that this book isn’t supposed to be like a true story, it is a work of fiction.  I just didn’t love it.

If you read it and love it, let me know!

Trina xx

TMH Iced Coffee

I have been making this TMH Iced Coffee since I was a teenager.  Seriously. I kid you not.

Whenever I go out and order an iced coffee, I am always disappointed. Always.  This is because it just doesn’t compare to my TMH Iced Coffee and it has cost me more money than I think they should cost (especially if they have been stingey with the ice-cream).

TMH Iced Coffee

My recipe for iced coffee comes with variations.  Let me explain:

One of my teenage daughters now indulges with me in what has become an iced coffee ritual in our house. I do let her have coffee but if it’s an after school treat, later in the day, then I substitute decaffinated coffee and she is none the wiser. (Shh!)

If I am enjoying an “adult” iced coffee with a friend (okay, yes I have been known to drink this one alone too…) I will add a splash of Kahlua to a shot of espresso coffee in the recipe.  This version, my friends, is the ultimate TMH Iced Coffee for adults. It doesn’t get any better than this.

There is something very important that I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned to you yet. It’s the vessel in which the TMH Iced Coffee must be made in and consumed from.  I have to have mine in the large size Tupperware Quick Shake container.  Get rid of the lid and that awkward round shaker insert.  The large container is the perfect size for mine and I use the small one for my daughter. If you don’t own one of these, go immediately to your local Tupperware representative (or try the Op Shop!).

Once your TMH Iced Coffee has been made, whichever version your prefer, sit back, relax and be amused when your Tupperware container gets stuck to the coaster from condensation. Gets me every time.

Let me know if you make this recipe….I’m pretty confident it can’t be improved on. 😉

TMH Iced Coffee

TMH Iced Coffee

Ingredients

  • One Tupperware Quick Shake container (just kidding - use your favourite glass...around 500ml)
  • Coffee: Either 2 tsp instant coffee + 2 Tbsp boiling water
  • OR 2 shots of espresso coffee
  • 2 ice cubes
  • Milk (whatever type of milk you drink - I prefer Light Milk)
  • Kahlua - optional
  • 2 - 3 generous scoops vanilla ice-cream

Instructions

  1. Boil the kettle while you find the Tupperware Quick Shake container and discard the lid and shaker insert thingy.
  2. Measure out instant coffee (Can substitute espresso coffee here).
  3. Add 2 Tbsp boiling water (if using instant coffee).
  4. Add ice cubes.
  5. Pour milk over ice cubes until container is 3/4 full
  6. (Add a decent swig of Kahlua here if you are making the deluxe adult version).
  7. Add vanilla ice-cream.
  8. You will need a straw and a long handled spoon to complete the situation.
  9. Sit down and relax - use a coaster.....I dare you!

Notes

Decaffinated version: Substitute decaffinated instant coffee or use decaffinated espresso coffee shot. Iced Chocolate version: Substitute drinking chocolate for the instant coffee.

http://trinamichellehouse.com/tmh-iced-coffee/

Trina xx

“Little Pretty Things” by Lori Rader-Day

I have just finished “Little Pretty Things” by Lori Rader-Day. I was at our local library a few weeks ago (yes, it takes me a while to read a book – not enough hours in my day) and I decided I’d just wing my next read.  Scouring the shelves for the one that would pop out at me. “Little Pretty Things” caught my eye and my interest.  This might be a good read! Was it?

Little Pretty Things book review

Absolutely!  I got sucked in to this book and had to know how it would unfold.

“Little Pretty Things” by Lori Rader-Day is about a girl called Juliet (I say “girl” but she’s actually a 28 year old woman) who hasn’t done much with her life since high school.  Juliet cleans rooms at the Mid-Night Inn and still lives with her mother. Back in the good ol’ days, Juliet was on the high school track team, her life devoted to running.  Well, not just running, competing. Her rival and best friend, Maddy, always won and Juliet could never keep up with her. Both in running and in life.

After high school, Maddy moved away and the girls lost touch, until one night, Maddy comes to stay at Juliet’s cheap motel. She arrives looking like she’s got it all.  A beautiful coat and a huge engagement ring. Things that Juliet can’t afford or have. Looks like Maddy has topped her yet again.  The girls catch up at the bar. It’s an opportunity to remember the old days.  Try to rekindle their friendship.

But that night at the Mid-Night Inn there is a murder.  Juliet was there.  Her fingerprints are all over that place. Did she do it?

I like this book because it has lots of twists and turns and just when you think you understand Juliet, she does something silly.  She gets involved in the investigation of Maddy’s murder, determined to clear her name and find out who did it. Who was Maddy these days? What was her story?

This book is a little bit like “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn, but tamer. If you liked “Gone Girl”, you will like “Little Pretty Things” by Lori Rader-Day.

Let me know if you read it and what you think.

Trina xx