Read + Write + Report
Home | Start a blog | About Orble | FAQ | Blogs | Writers | Paid | My Orble | Login

Making meals

July 5th 2014 06:26
baby rough cooking

There has been a lot of cooking happening around here lately, but comparatively, not a lot of eating (although my tummy has certainly been getting bigger!).

The fact is, we have been working hard to fill our freezer full of tasty, nutritious meals, because in a matter of weeks we will be welcoming Rough Cooking Junior into the world. Yes - our very own little food critic will be born very soon, and Mr Rough Cooking and I are both excited and terrified by the prospect.

In an effort to appear totally cool and in control of the situation, I have been preparing a few meals to put in the freezer so that when we are all sleep deprived and teary, we will at least have something to eat.

Freezer food

Here in Australia it is the middle of winter, so everything is pointing to casseroles (which is handy, because they are much easier to freeze than salads!). So far I have made:

Boeuf Bourguignon
Beef Stroganoff
Apricot Chicken
Chicken Cacciatore
Pumpkin and chickpea stew
Chilli con carne
Massaman Curry
Pumpkin soup
Chicken and leek parcels
and for a bit of sweet temptation, I made these.

There are a couple of other things I have on the 'nice but not necessary' list so we'll see how we go.

As well as the 'joys of motherhood', I am looking forward to spending a little bit of time off work, and making the most of some extra time to spend in the kitchen. I am also looking forward to some more time in the garden so we can get our veggie patches, fruit trees and chickens into full swing. The next few months is certainly going to be an adventure!


Meatballs with quinoa

May 3rd 2014 23:27
meatballs and quinoa

We're coming into winter here in the southern hemisphere, and along with the new cooler season comes a renewed focus on comfort food and meals in bowls that you can hold in your hands to warm you up on the inside and out.

One of these meals, which is a favourite in our household, is meatballs. Meatballs are a very versatile food. We make them with a variety of meats, with a variety of herbs, and also serve them with a variety of sides.

This recipe is a variation on one from a Donna Hay magazine. It uses a fairly traditional beef meatball flavour, but the interest here lies in the use of quinoa. Quinoa has been spouted as a 'super-food', but I don't really subscribe to this type of hype. I think it is tasty, I think it is quite good for you, and I think it works really well in a number of meals, and this is just one of them.

Meatballs with quinoa

2 cups quinoa
400g beef mince
1 tablespoon dried oregano
¼ cup grated parmesan, plus extra, to serve
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, crushed
olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
600ml tomato purée (tomato passata)

Soak the quinoa with 3 cups of water for 15 minutes. Place in a saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Set aside.

Meanwhile, mix the mince, oregano, salt, pepper, parmesan, egg, and half the garlic in a bowl. Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook for 6–8 minutes or until cooked through. Set aside.

Add a little extra oil and cook the onion and remaining garlic for 6 minutes until softened. Add the purée and cook for 4 minutes or until thickened slightly. Return meatballs to the sauce and mix to coat. Top the quinoa with the meatballs and sprinkle with extra parmesan to serve. Serves 4.

Cheesy fennel scrolls

March 4th 2014 09:29
cheesy fennel scrolls

What's that you say? It's March? No. It can't be, because I was on here just the other day, and it turns out that was January...


OK, maybe you're right.

During the past few months I have definitely been cooking, and most definitely eating. One of my favourite things that I made is the more wholesome, savoury sister to these delicious morsels. Don't get me wrong. When I say wholesome they are still absolutely delicious (and they carry a fair bit of cheese, so they're not really all that good for you), but you could happily eat them for dinner with some pickled bits and pieces and not feel that you had to have a lettuce leaf the next night.

This recipe is a variation of Deb's from Smitten Kitchen. Her original is launded as a breakfast bun, but I find her inclusion of onion to be a bit overpowering for the morning. Instead, I prefer these with the use of a fennel bulb instead, and I made them mid-morning, making them ready to devour at lunch...

Cheesy scrolls

3 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
7 grams instant yeast
1 cup milk
55 grams melted butter, plus extra to brush


1/2 cup grated fennel bulb (about 1/2 a bulb)
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon salt

To make the dough, combine the flour, salt and a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the yeast into the milk until it dissolves, then pour the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients, along with the melted butter. Mix together until the dough forms a ball.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 8 minutes, until smooth. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with glad wrap. Leave in a warm place until it doubles in size, about two hours.

Roll the dough into a rectangle, about 12cm by 16cm. Mix filling ingredients together and spread thinly over the rectangle, leaving a 1/2 inch border at the short ends. Roll tightly from one short end to the other. With a sharp knife, cut the log into 12 event pieces.

Line a pan with baking paper and stand each roll on the tray, with enough room between them so they can expand slightly. Brush the tops with the extra butter, then cover with glad wrap and leave to rise again, approximately 2 hours.

Preheat over to 180 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden brown and the cheese bubbles from the centre. These are best eaten immediately.

cheesy fennel scrolls


Leek and chicken (or turkey) parcels

January 2nd 2014 05:20
chicken leek parcels

Similar to what my sister and I do at my grandma's place every 6 weeks or so, a friend and I have been doing some hard-core cooking at home to fill our freezers with delicious morsels

[ Click here to read more ]

sweet potato spinach frittata

With a basket full of eggs staring me down the other night, and feeling like something a bit lighter for dinner after a week of heavy eating, I turned to an old favourite in the form of a frittata. I find frittatas to be a bit like risottos – the basics are always the same, and then you can add in a bit of whatever you have on hand. I had on hand some sweet potato, some spinach and some pine nuts – so we had a sweet potato and spinach frittata

[ Click here to read more ]

Caramalised onion tarte tatin

November 26th 2013 10:35
onion tarte tatin

It always surprises me how ‘sweet’ lots of vegetables are. Onions, carrots, pumpkin, leeks – they just need a little bit of butter or oil and some patient, gentle cooking time. It’s not really a surprise then that a dish which is traditionally made with fruit and served as a dessert also works very, very well when made with vegetables. Tarte tatin is one of my favourite dishes out there. It is such a simple idea, to cook your fruit or vegetable until they are beautifully golden and caramalised, and then add a sheet of pastry over the top to hold it all together. It is certainly one that is well worth having in your repertoire

[ Click here to read more ]

North african squash and chickpea stew

November 11th 2013 05:35
pumpkin and chickpea stew

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (or Hugh Feathery What'shisface as he is affectionately known around here) is fast becoming one of my favourite 'celebrity' chefs. His River Cottage Veg Everyday book is very popular in our kitchen, and among my friends, it is the most common book that we share

[ Click here to read more ]

Japanese pancakes

November 3rd 2013 10:38

Way back when, we hosted a Japanese dinner party for friends, with everyone bringing along a course to share. One of our friends made some delicious cabbage pancakes, and pretty soon after that I asked her for the recipe and started making them regularly - I love the ways some recipes fall into your repertoire

[ Click here to read more ]

Meet my new space

September 7th 2013 04:03
rough cooking kitchen

Welcome to my new kitchen

[ Click here to read more ]

Changing up your default flavour

July 10th 2013 12:01
lamb shanks

My default flavourings for lamb shanks have always been rich, hearty and tomato-based, which when slow cooked meld together for a delicious, mouth watering taste which seems both sumptuous and extravagant

[ Click here to read more ]

More Posts
1 Posts
1 Posts
1 Posts
451 Posts dating from July 2008
Email Subscription
Receive e-mail notifications of new posts on this blog:
Moderated by Helen Randell
Copyright © 2012 On Topic Media PTY LTD. All Rights Reserved. Design by
On Topic Media ZPages: Sydney |  Melbourne |  Brisbane |  London |  Birmingham |  Leeds     [ Advertise ] [ Contact Us ] [ Privacy Policy ]