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January 2014
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March 2014

Friday Food: 15 Minute Tomato Pasta Sauce

This recipe was inspired by Sarah Carey's 15 Minute Marinara Sauce, which has nothing seafoody in it at all. I watch her videos regularly and cooked the Baked Ziti. Of course I had to make the tomato pasta sauce first!! 

I added a few extra ingredients that I deem unmiss-outable, and used crushed tinned tomatoes. Why bother to blend up whole tomatoes?? You should cool the sauce and then freeze it, and it should keep for about six months. Of course you can use it straight away, as I did. I poured my sauce into a bottle, just so it looked relatively nice, a frozen batch is pretty boring.

If you have a tall sided skillet or pan, that's the one to use. The liquid will evaporate quickly. I used my largest saucepan and made a double batch so I actually cooked mine for half an hour. I wasn't in a hurry.


15 Minute Tomato Pasta Sauce    makes 2 1/2 - 3 cups

  • 820g tin of crushed tomatoes - I just realised these used to be 880g
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped, they are quicker to prepare than an onion
  • a little olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tspn of caster sugar


Bring the pan to a medium high heat, add the olive oil and fry the garlic and spring onion for about 30 seconds, just until they are beginning to smell delicious.

Garlic and onion

Add the tinned tomatoes, salt, pepper and sugar. Bring to the boil. Turn down just until you have a regular simmer, the bubbles should be forming obviously and popping. Cook for 15 minutes.

Begin the boiling

It should have thickened to a pasta sauce consistency. If not, cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and add any extra seasoning.

Now the boiling is over

Pour into freezer containers and cool for an hour or so. Cover with a tea towel just in case. When cool, put on the lids and freeze for up to 6 months.

15 minute pasta sauce


PEnnsylvania 6 Not My Number

Well, telephony can be even stranger than you think. This morning my internet stopped working and then the phone rang. It was Pradesh from Telstra telling my my phone line was fixed. I told him it wasn't broken in the first place and wouldn't give my name, address or number. He told I didn't have a silent number, and I assured him I did!! The number he'd rung turned out to be my next to next door neighbour's!! Somehow he had managed to connect their number to my phone and mine to theirs when he was twiddling the wires in the pit.

The next door neighbour in the middle helped us negotiate the situation and about an hour later EVERYONE had their phones and internet back. We laughed. What else can you do??? It made for a nice friendly team-building neighbourhood chat!!

I have been away from The Internet so long people had babies, operations, moved house and who knows what else. Meanwhile I have pretend knitted two scarves with tape. One for my aunt and one for Mrs GardyGardener.

Scarf blue and grey

I did this whilst watching all of the first season of Elementary. I was not very supportive of the show as I felt they had copied Sherlock from the UK. So, I just pretended that although the people were called Sherlock and Holmes, they were a different Sherlock and Holmes and that seems to work quite well. As a detective show about a deductionist and his associate, it is pretty fabulous.

This week we are sewing a paper pieced block for out quilts. It is a cute block, and I can easily show the others how to cut simple rectangles to make the chevrons.


Peri found something yucky to chew at the dam. It required quite a lot of concentration and powerful jaw crunches, the only type of crunches that ever happen here.

Peri chomps

Gilly has been splashing in the paddle pool and then digging an ever deeper hole in the dry and dusty garden. We have not had rain for a very long time and it is getting droughty. I must sound disappointed when I say 'Oh' at her muddiness, because she looks so sad. I am not cross. We all paddle in the pool and play a watery game to get clean.

Gilly is muddy

Gilly has a new slow you down eating plate. Sharon, The Lovely Librarian, sent me a link to this plate and so I bought it straight away. I call it The Green Mountain Plate. When I dish up the food, I just put one cup aside for Gilly, and pour it all over the GMP. Then she spends many happy minutes licking up all the hidden treats. I love her crinkled up nose, so cute!! Peri is not interested at all, even for something really tasty. It is too much like hard work.

Gilly's green slow plate

I bought a new cook book for The Labradors. 

New cook book

I plan on baking one new thing every week, and I shall start with this one. Sounds good enough to eat!!


The Typepad has decided I can't post any more pictures today, so it must be time to finish.

On Thursday I am off to The Hospital to be a Patient Partner for the Doctors-in-training. They ask me lots of questions, and poke and prod me a little. I get a chance to speak to a captive audienced!!!

My ankle is healing up very nicely, and I must remember to do my exercises. I tend to think once something is almost better, I can give up. That is exactly the wrong time to stop.

On Friday we are all of to The Vet so Peri and Gilly can be vaccinated. It is very exciting and we are already all a-quiver!!!

PEnnsylvania 6-500

Friday Food: Noodle, Corn & Bacon Loaf

I was driving home from afternoon tea with The GardyGardeners when I suddenly realised it was Friday, after 6pm, and I had not given one thought to Friday Food. Oh no.

While Peri and Gilly ate their dinner, I perused the front page of and there, crying out to be created, was Noodle, Corn and Bacon Loaf. Just the thing to give to MrsDrWho for school lunches this week, or lunch at home on Cup Day.

Ordinarily I would have supplies, but since the Summer has been so hot I have not been restocking the cupboards very efficiently. So I popped out to the supermarket for some cheese, noodles and corn and I was ready to cook. The noodles come in two stay fresh sealed packets. MrsDrWho prefers peas to zucchini, but I think I could also use capsicum, baby spinach or broccolini. Other than that I pretty much followed the recipe.


Noodle, Corn & Bacon Loaf    serves 4

  • 200g of 'fresh' Singapore noodles
  • 1 tbspn olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced - I prefer red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 200g bacon, diced
  • 1 cup corn kernels - tinned
  • 1 cup peas - frozen or a small zucchini, grated
  • 1/2 cup grated tasty cheese
  • 1/3 cup self raising flour
  • 5 eggs
  • salt and pepper if you need it

Preheat the oven to 180*C, 160* fan-forced and line a loaf tin with baking paper.

Bacon onion garlic

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and cook the onion, garlic and bacon for 4-5 minutes, or until it is starting to brown. Cool for about 10 minutes, though I only lasted 5.


Meanwhile put the noodles in a bowl, cover with boiling water and stand for 1 minute. Drain and chop roughly with a knife.

Mix it up

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, add the cheese, corn, peas, noodles and flour. Mix gently but thoroughly to combine.

Ready to loaf tin

Finally mix in the bacon, onion and garlic.

Loaf baked

Spoon into the loaf tin, smooth down the top and bake for 50-60 minutes. I left mine for the whole 60 minutes. It felt firm on top and was golden.

Leave to stand for 15 minutes in the loaf tin and then turn out and cut into slices. I think you could also bake individual muffin tin sized teeny tiny loaves as well.

Noodle corn and bacon loaf

Then pack in your lunch box and off you go. Remember, this really needs to be kept refrigerator cold. I am not sure of the rules and regulations, so please bear this in mind if you are taking Noodle Corn & Bacon Loaf for lunch.

Ankles Aweigh, My Boys, Ankles Aweigh!!

Ouch. Just over a week ago Peri and Gilly and Sandy ran to greet Rafa as he came through the gate at the dam. It was classic Silent Movie as all three ran right past him and towards the smelly dead thing up the road. Rafa just turned and looked at them, nonplussed.  As I was striding purposefully towards them I trod in a hole, hidden by the grass growing over it, and really hurt my ankle. It was taking a long time to heal, and though our Nurse at LSG and the Exercise Physiologist looked at it and said it wasn't broken (thank goodness) I went along to the physio today.

Ankles aweigh

He drew on my foot to illustrate the underlying structure. I have torn about one third of my ligaments, which is good news really, and I have two exercises to do, and I don't have to go back. Of course my ankle really hurts tonight because I have been doing my exercises!!!

Peri and Gilly are very happy because it has been cooler for the last few days. The weather forecasters keep promising rain and coolness, so we have our fingers crossed. Gilly has been spending a lot of time in the paddle pool, and Peri has been lying under the buzzy bushes. She gets covered with them. I think she likes having them brushed out.

Peri buzzy Gilly pool

I sewed a dress for Toddler Zoe's second birthday. It is from an old pattern book given to me by MrsDrWho's mum and is translated from Japanese. There were no instructions, just a pattern to draw. Luckily it fitted her perfectly and she looks as cute as a button, click though to see!! I bought some old fashioned looking quilting fabric and made the dress with French seams and Hong Kong binding.

Dress for tz

When Toddler Zoe's dad was a little boy he loved the But Not The Hippopotamus book.

 I knitted an armadillo for Toddler Zoe as well!!

But Not The Armadillo

We started sewing our Block of the Month quilt for 2014. This year we are picking blocks we like from some free BOMs. The first block is a Wonky Star with different centre options. I'm using a combination of St Patrick's Day fat quarters and some lovely Australian themed prints. There are kangaroos on some of the wonks!! MrsDrWho is using a Laurel Burch Mermaid set and MrsReno is making babies' quilt using blue, yellow, pink and green blocks.


I sewed a Microwave Bowl Holder for MrsDrWho at Christmas. Sadly for her, she's not really been able to use it because Caramello has decided that it is a special bed entirely for her benefit. The Insul-Bright makes a great crinkly noise. I am going to have to sew MrsDrWho another one to protect her from the searing heat of a bowl of microwaved food.


Fingers crossed, my Internet Problems seem to be properly sorted out. I have been able to lie in bed and watch hours of Ice Skating from Sochi on my Ipad and stream radio on my computer without it dropping out. Huzzah. I just wish the very competent and efficient people I ultimately spoke to could have helped at the start.

Tomorrow I am off to have my hair cut. I have not been able to brush it properly for the last few days because I killed a Huntsman spider, which we always called tarantulas when I was little, with half a can of fly spry in the bathroom. Oh I made such an awful noise when I had to make the link and see a spider on the page even though I was squinting, that Gilly came to save me: she's a brave girl!!

Anyway, it died on my brush and I covered it with a piece of paper. I have had to use a new brush and stand far away from the mirror and the dead covered spider. Not a good resulting look. I have another Huntsman in the car and one on the dining room ceiling. I can't spray that in case it falls on me. I have a BIG spider phobia and can't bear even thinking about the way their legs move. Eeerk.

I did accidentally mark all the Blog posts on my Bloglovin' as 'Read' so I have just made a comment or two and moved on. You just can't go back.

And last, but not least, I made another Donna Hay ice cream slice for supper at Sewing.

Raspberry ripple cheesecake ice cream

It's Raspberry Ripple Cheesecake Ice Cream slice. Here's a quick precis of the halved recipe. First smoosh together 125g raspberries and 80g pure icing sugar to make a kind of puree. Make a base by mixing 200g crushed biscuits (I like Granita), 40g melted butter and 40g pure icing sugar. Press into a lined 20cm square tin. Freeze till needed. Then beat 125g Philadelphia cream cheese with half the seeds from a vanilla bean for 6-8 minutes. Add 125g fresh ricotta and beat till just combined. Slowly beat in 1 litre softened vanilla ice cream. Gentle fold in half the raspberry mixture and spoon into the tin. Then swirl the rest of the raspberries on top. Freeze for at least 4 hours and it is ready to eat.

Anchors Aweigh

Friday Food: Old-fashioned Meat Patties

Patties, or rissoles, were a favourite food when I was a little girl. We ate them for tea with sauce, not gravy, and then had pattie sandwiches for lunch the next day. I longed to have the very popular rainbow waxed lunch wrapping paper, but we usually had the plain. A rainbow-wrapped lunch always tasted better.

Mum didn't dip them in egg and breadcrumbs, but I think she added a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce. These may be plain and simple, but they are just right with new potatoes, peas, carrots and gravy. My meal tonight reminded me of long ago tea times.

While the vegetables were cooking, I made the patties. I didn't even refrigerate them, I cooked them straight away. I used fresh parsley instead of dried herbs and I finely chopped the onions rather than grating them. Grated onions really make me cry hard.

This recipe is from the March 2014 Super Food Ideas.


Old-fashioned Meat Patties    makes 8 and serves 4

  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 brown onion, grated (or finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tspn mixed dried herbs
  • salt and pepper to season
  • olive oil for frying

Place all the ingredients, except for the olive oil, in a large bowl. Using clean damp hands, gently mix together. Although I usually encourage fervent mince mixing to encourage emulsification, you want the patties to be light and not compressed really at all.

Mincing it up

Gently form into 8 round patties, about 2cm high.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. You can actually see the meat cooking up the side of each one. I prefer mine to be cooked all the way through- not a hint of pink thank you, so I cooked them for the full 8 minutes.


Rest the patties briefly on some kitchen paper to soak up any excess fat. There wasn't actually any really, as I used very little oil and the mince was lean.

Cooked through

Serve with boiled potatoes, carrots and peas. Home made tomato sauce would be perfect and they are delicious cold the next day. Mum always made extra!!!

  Patties for tea

Friday Food: Coconut Ice Cream

Well, last week when I said The Internet, The Broadband and The Wireless were fixed: I was wrong. I think they are all fixed now. I am not dwelling on it.

The ice cream I made for Knitting Curry Day was warmly, or cooly, received. Today is is warmly and tomorrow it will be hotly, so I decided to go with something that was quick and easy: No churn coconut ice cream with a toasted coconut embellishment.

So here we go...


Coconut Ice Cream   makes almost 2 litres

  • 600ml thickened cream
  • 1 395g tin condensed milk
  • 1 270ml tin coconut milk (or cream)
  • extra shredded coconut for toasting

You'll need some airtight containers, I used the take away kind from the supermarket and almost filled two 1 litre containers.

Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Then with the speed as low as possible, pour in the condensed milk and the coconut milk. I chilled the two tins of milk to help the ice cream freeze a little more quickly- well I like to think that anyway. Turn the speed up to high for a few seconds to make sure everything is properly mixed.


Pour into containers, seal well and then freeze for at least 5-6 hours. Of course overnight is better.

  Fill and freeze

Meanwhile, place the shredded coconut on a foil lined tray and place under the grill. You have to watch it like a hawk as it can go from not cooked to burnt-to-a-cinder in a split second. When it was half as toasted as I wanted I mixed it together a little to help it brown more evenly. You toast it until it is the colour you prefer.


Then seal in a container.

  Coconut toasted

Serve the ice cream with the toasted coconut.

  Coconut ice cream

It is also absolutely delicious with black sticky rice. Yum. Please excuse the messy bowl, I had seconds and I don't usually even eat dessert.