Day 15: Rum Balls

Mmmmm, Rum Balls. 

I have a recipe for rum balls, handed down from my Mum, that I have been using for years. It’s hand written in an old recipe book and every year I dig it out just to check I have the right quantities. Here’s the recipe.

1. Add 2 tablespoons of dark rum to 1 cup of sultanas and leave to soak for a few minutes. Set aside.

2. Crush ten Weetbix.

3. Add 1 tablespoon of sifted cocoa.

4. Add the rum soaked sultanas and 1 can condensed milk.

5. Mix together well.

6. Grab the kids and get them to help to roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls. TIP: If you wet your hands and the kids hands first the mixture won’t stick to them.

7. Finally, roll the balls in coconut.

8. Hide them away in the fridge in an airtight container for Christmas day, if you can!

The Best Steak Marinade

I love marinades for steak and I think I might have found my favourite yet courtesy of Mia on the Jamie Oliver website. Here’s her recipe, and at the end my steak marinated and ready to cook.

2 stalks rosemary
bunch fresh thyme
1 garlic clove
handful of sweet cherry tomatoes
2 small red dried chilies
juice of 1 pretty juice lemon
handful basil
sea salt
fresh ground pepper

This is a simple marinade that builds upon the tomato and garlic base. The best thing to do is to quickly blitz the marinade together earlier (the night before, or in the morning) and then give your meat a chance to marinate for a good 3 hours. Cover it and set it in the fridge until 1 hour before you’re ready to grill. Let it stand at room temp until you’re ready to go!

Tip: Gently poke the meat with a fork all over before applying the marinade.

This recipe will marinate 2 good-sized steaks (250 grams each).

I doubled the recipe to marinate this much steak.  The end result was really spectacular. Full of flavour and very tender meat (although it may have been tender to start with!).

Slow Cooked Lasagne

My great friend Katy gave me a recipe not so long back for lasagne made in the slow cooker.  I’d never attempted anything like this in the slow cooker so I was keen to give it a try. Yesterday was perfect – we were heading out for Halloween trick or treating and I really wanted dinner ready when we returned.

Of course – when I checked the recipe I didn’t have most of the ingredients so I had to do a little improvising.  Here’s the final recipe that I used…including substituting the beef mince for my devine Silverwood Organics lamb mince (have you ordered yours yet???).

Slow Cooked Lasagne

2 cloves garlic
1 x 400g can whole peeled tomatoes
1 x 400g can spicy tomato soup
500g organic lamb mince
1 whole carrot
½ capsicum
1 zucchini
fresh herbs (rosemary, parsley, chives, oregano)
1 cup hot water
250g small lasagne sheets

2 tsp cornflour
1 large egg
¾ cup milk, sour cream or mixture
1 cup grated tasty cheese
paprika, optional

Turn the slow cooker on to HIGH to preheat and coat the bowl with non-stick spray.

Put the garlic, carrot, capsicum, zucchini, (I peel mine so the kids don’t notice it in there!) and fresh herbs into the food processor and wizz until finely chopped.  Add canned tomatoes and wizz again. Combine these vegetables with the mince, canned soup and hot water. Mix well to combine.  

Spread one third of the meat mixture evenly over the bottom of the slow cooker bowl. Place half the lasagne sheets over the meat. Repeat the layering with another 1/3 of the meat mixture, the remaining pasta then cover with the remaining meat mixture.

To make the topping, mix together the cornflour, egg, milk/cream and cheese. Pour this over everything in the slow cooker and sprinkle with paprika (optional).

Turn the slow cooker to LOW and cook for 8-9 hours.


 The verdict: absolutely delicious. Not quite the same texture as traditional lasagne but really beautiful. The house was filled with the most amazing smell when we arrived home from trick or treating. And everyone’s plate was empty at the end of the meal (despite all of the lollies that had been gobbled up on the way home!).

Thank you Katy for sharing your fabulous recipe – I’ll have to make sure I have all of the right ingredients next time!

Pink Cupcakes for Pink Ribbon Day

In honour of Pink Ribbon Day today, and my dear friend Rachel popping over for morning tea, I whipped up a batch of Pretty Sour-cream Cupcakes. That’s actually the name of the recipe, as opposed to a description of how I thought they looked.  But they did indeed look quite pretty and they tasted great – if I do say so myself!

And, I got to use my brand new cake dome. Isn’t it gorgeous!  I picked it up at Peter Baker Finch over the weekend.

If you aren’t, or haven’t already attended a Pink Ribbon event you can donate money and purchase some really lovely pink things via the Pink Ribbon Shop website.


On Friday my box of organic lamb arrived from Silverwood Organics.  It was well worth the wait!

I had decided a few weeks back when I ordered the lamb that the first thing I would cook would be a rack of lamb. I’d even chosen the recipe – but I decided this one looked a little tricky so I turned to my favourite New Zealand cooking magazine – Cuisine and found a couple of great recipes for lamb that I brought together to make our first Silverwood Organics lamb dinner.

Assyrian Lamb Racks with Pea Salsa (recipe below), crash-hot potatoes (a favourite from Jill Dupleix) and roasted carrots, parsnips, pumpkin and beetroot.

And there’s still so much lamb left. Stay tuned for more creations from the Silverwood Organics lamb pack.

Pea Salsa (published in Cuisine May 2006)

1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 cups frozen baby peas
1 spring onions, finely sliced
10 fresh mint leaves, finely sliced
1/3 teaspoon wasabi paste
1 dessertspoon olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring 500ml water to the boil with the salt and blanch the peas. Refresh in iced water then puree lightly so that there is still plenty of texture. Stir in the spring onion, mint, wasabi and oil and then season to taste.

Form into quenelles (ovals) using 2 dessertspoons, making 2-3 per serving.

My Nan’s Date Loaf

A few weeks back my Mum gave me a hand written recipe book that used to belong to my grandmother (in the guise of an old school exercise book).

In there I found a recipe for a date loaf, including a little note to highlight that it was ‘good’!

I had heard my Mum talk about this date loaf that my Nan would often make for her and her brother and sister to enjoy after school.

Infact, I even had in my baking tin collection the loaf tin, the metal ‘lid’ and rock that my grandmother used to make the perfect flat date loaf. 


I simply had to give the recipe a go. It was very simple and tastes quite delicious. Being the sentimental gal that I am I enjoyed it with a cup of tea using the cup, saucer and plate that was my Nan’s.