Monday, January 16, 2012

Chicken Vegetable Potato Bake

Last week, the day I did the groceries, I wasn't really feeling like cooking anything spectacular so I brought home a BBQ chicken, thinking we would have chicken and salad for dinner.  My mind started ticking over and I realised we did that the week before and it felt a little boring.  So I thought I would do a potato bake, then it turned into a chicken and vegetable potato bake, I kind of just made this up as I went along.  It was enjoyed by all.

Chicken Vegetable Potato Bake

                                1 BBQ chicken
                                6 small potatoes
                                1/2 sweet potato
                                2 spring onions
                                1 carrot
                                1 zucchini
                                1 packet French Onion Soup mix
                                250ml sour light cream
                                olive oil
                                your choice of grated cheese for topping I used Colby
                                and Mozzerella

Turn on oven to 200°C/390°F.   Pre-boil chunkily sliced potatoes until just cooked, then drain.  I don't peel my potatoes, however I did peel the sweet potato.  Slice carrots and zucchini and lay them on the bottom of a baking dish. 

The next layer is the chicken pulled off the bone and spread across the zucchini and carrots.  Slice the spring onions and sprinkle over top of chicken.

Then layer the pre-boiled potatoes over the chicken and spring onions.

Mix the packet of French Onion soup mix and the sour light cream together, add a dash of milk to make it a little more runny consistency and make it spread a bit further, pour over top of potatoes.

Finally sprinkle cheese over the top and bake in the oven for 30mins until golden brown.

Serve with a salad.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Strawberry Jam

When we visit my mum in Queensland in the September/October school holidays we always buy lots of strawberries from the farm down the road.  They are the best, juiciest and most full strawberries I have ever tasted.  They sell large ones, that are perfect as well as the not so perfect and 'jam' strawberries, little ones they can't sell at the market.  These little ones still taste amazing and are very cheap.  I think I brought back 6 kgs of strawberries.  I cut up and froze half to use in smoothies and cooking and the other half were cut up for jam.

Strawberry Jam 

                              3kg strawberries, hulled, halved
                              3kg white sugar 
                              Juice from 1/2 a lemon

Cut strawberries into whatever size you like.  I cut mine into quarters as I don't really like lumpy strawberries in my jam.  You can cut half into quarters and the rest into halves or even whole if you like fruity lumps in your jam.

Place strawberries in a saucepan and stir through sugar. Leave for 1-2 hours while sugar softens the fruit.

It really becomes juicy

Add lemon juice (fresh from my mums tree) then cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fruit is soft.

Cook mixture until fruit is mostly dissolved and jam coats the back of a spoon. Fill the jars with jam, somewhere I read that you seal the lid and turn the jar upside down and allow to cool and the lids will automatically seal. It seemed to work for me, when the jam was cooled I opened a jar and the lid popped just like it should do.  I also stored my jam in the fridge as it didn't set totally but had a good thickness to it, and I just want to make sure it won't go off.

I think I filled about 7 or 8 jam jars that I had tucked away for this occasion.

It is just so delicious on a piece of home made bread, there is nothing quite like your own home made jam.