Dinner recipes – Starter tomato soup

Dinner recipes

Dinner recipes
Dinner recipes are my favorite. The last meal of the day means it should be balanced, healthy and also the taste buds should be satisfied. First part of the dinner recipes is the starter, my favourite is vintage tomato soup. Some do cheat and use a tin of soup or the instant soup powder but I still go the old way and I am going to share my recipe with you this post. Ingredients : 1 Kg chopped tomatoes, 2 cups of water, black salt, sugar (1 tablespoon) butter 100 gm, black pepper 20 gm, oregano seeds 5 gm and Basil leaves for garnish. Method: Boil the chopped tomatoes and strain for half an hour. Most of the water will drain., save a this to use later. Then using a sieve pass the pulp through to remove seeds and peel. Then heat a pan and add butter and sugar to the tomato pulp. Cook for two minutes and add black salt and one cup of he saved water. Let the mix boil and then add another cup of water. Let it simmer until the soup thickens a bit. The soup is ready for serving. Add black pepper, Basil Leaves and oregano seeds as garnish. Sip away at the soup. It tastes so much better than instant soups.

The Cocktail from Strawberries – Made in New Zealand


This time I will be sharing a new cocktail from New Zealand and believe me it is awesome.Shopping for Christmas party I recently came across a real nice cocktail. Since New Zealand Christmas is in summer season cocktails I select should take the season in consideration. But this new cocktail mix branded as PASSIONBERRY is perfect for Christmas. It is 50% natural strawberry juice and pure distilled white spirit 9% v/v.

The pre-Christmas party I had on the 24th December had this unique cocktail blend. In only an hour the cocktail was finished by the guests. They were all discussing the new cocktail I had introduced. I took the centre stage and explained them about this new entrant in native New Zealand cocktail.

The cocktail is all natural with no added sugars and the goodness of naturally ripened strawberries. The best part is the calorie factor. The cocktail carries only 59 calories in a single serve, so you can indulge in the sweetness of the amazing cocktail.

It is also very simple to make. You can simply pour out of the bottle over crushed ice to get the nice color and flavor. Instead you can mix it with champagne or any other white spirit to get the high. One recipe suggested by the makers is blending the cocktail with ice in a blender to make frozen strawberry daiquiris. It is available in four flavors – (1) Original Strawberry (2) Strawberry Vanilla (3) Strawberry Green Apple and (4) Strawberry Coconut. Enjoy this natural cocktail this summer only at $23.99 per bottle.

Cookie Exchanges

Cookie exchanges are a fun, social way of meeting with friends and neighbours and sharing your own special treats, recipes and chatting over tea and  coffee. They are easy to turn into an annual event, perhaps near one of your favourite holidays. Some recipes are handed down generation to generation but some of us need solid guidance and turning to a cookbook is completely acceptable. Cookie exchanges usually are set up by social invitations and casual phone calls. Coming up with activities to do as a group is also a good idea to keep the mood cheery.

Woman making cookies in retro kitchen

For an exchange ask bakers to write down all the ingredients in each recipe so that it is visible to the guests just in case of allergies. By asking each contributor to bring two dozen ensures enough are available to share, everyone gets a sample on their tasting plate. Some like to number the cookies and have an anonymous vote for first place. The creator can receive a token gift such as a bright pink spatula or a new oven mitten.

Baking should be fun and sharing sweets and holiday cheer is a perfect combo. Use your imagination and you´d be amazed what a group of women with a sugar buzz can get into. Happy baking and it would be fun to hear how your cookie party turned out!

Unbeatable Easy Cupcakes – Variations of.

Lemon Cupcakes, easy to make all in one mixture. light and delicious
So pretty and tasty too

got a call last week from a friend asking if I could make 24 cupcakes for a children’s party as she had run into difficulties – apparently her boss needed her to work the morning of her nephews party and she had promised the cupcakes to her sister. I said it would not be a problem and I could do them in the morning of the party and she could pick them up on her way there.

I decided to do lemon cupcakes: For 24 you will need

250 gm flour; butter; sugar and 4 eggs. Juice and grated rind of a lemon

Beat all the above together with a small amount of yoghurt added to make the mixture a smooth dropping (not runny) consistency.

I add the lemon rind at the beginning and the juice towards the end of the mix.

Put into cup – I use a 5mm ice cream scoop, far less messy and more even than spoons. Bake 180 for 20-25mins.

Let cool, then you can use a cake comer to take out the middle

I then decorated the top with whipped fresh cream and lemon sprinkles as requested by my friend. I normally top with 7 minute frosting making miniature Lemon Meringues.

Apparently the kids and moms really enjoyed them and my friend admitted I had made them…I now have orders for two more parties….Go me!!

A delicious throw together

This week I was struggling with what to make, due to all sorts of reasons I did not get to do my regular shop: car problems; time problems; not feeling too good, bit of a cold. all added up to pretty bare cupboards. So I took what I had and must admit it, made a tasty meal that I will try again. So thought I would share it:

I courgette cut into cubes, I grow a lot of courgette or zucchini in my garden so always have some in the freezer, can’t wait to try this with fresh ones. Mentioning freezer that something else that broke last week but fortunately I was able to purchase another one before my food spoilt, read more on how I did that.

250-300 grams minced meat ( I used chicken but I would think any would do. 1 onion, dried sage, garlic cloves and noodles. packet of cream of chicken soup. Don’t worry your noodles are safe.

Beautiful tasty courgettes, also called zucchini, so versitile savooury or sweet dishes

I gently fried the onion and then added the chicken and garlic, fried until the colour changed. Then I added the courgettes and garlic, these I fried for about 2 minutes. I then added the packet of soup and mixed gently in ( this over low or no heat) I then stirred in approximately 750 ml of warm water. I left to cook for about 10 minutes on low then I added the  noodles – I guess you could use fresh or dried but I only had dried in my cupboard.I added some salt and fresh pepper at this stage along with a bit of chili pepper for a bit of a kick. The soup and noodles thickened up nicely making a really nice sauce. I topped with some grated cheese and ate with crusty bread. If I say so myself it was delicious. I am already thinking about variations…have a go and let me know what you think or any changes you made.

Beef Stew with Carrots

I love to experiment with veggies and meat. Last week, it was snowing and I had some beef and carrot left in the refrigerator.So, I made an effort to do something new with these ingredients and a new recipe of Beef Stew with carrots came into being. I also added some potatoes to enhance the curry. I would like to share the way to make this amazing dish.

Beef stew with carrots and potato

First take the beef and cut into small pieces. Then just add olive oil and leave it to season for half an hour. Add some salt so that beef absorbs some oil.

Meanwhile just make paste of onions and garlic and add some wine to this mix. Also cut the carrot vertically into thin pieces.

Heat some olive oil for a minute and add the cut beef pieces. Simply cook over gentle flame for 10 minutes.


Take out the half cooked beef in a pan and keep it. Cut some onions into small pieces and add to the oil left in the pan you were cooking the beef. There is no need to add extra oil.

Cook the onions till it is brown in color. Add the garlic and onion paste made earlier in wine. Cook the mix for around 10 more minutes, and then add cumin powder. Cook for another 5 minutes and add the carrot first and then cut potatoes. Allow the carrot to cook for 10 minutes and then add the beef. Add salt now and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Add a cup of water and some cream if you want.

Result is a yummy, fat free dish you can relish with bread or rice.



Simple 2 ingredient cookies

As I love baking and have recently decided to be a little more health conscious I thought I would try out a fellow food blogger’s healthy recipe for 2 ingredient cookies. That’s right, only 2 ingredients! Now who could be so lazy to miss out on this goodness?


What are the two ingredients you ask? Banana and Oats! Not only are these cookies easy to make, they are vegan, low fat, low sugar. There are many different ways you can enjoy and change up the recipe a bit based on your personal taste. I will share the recipe with you below:

You need:

  • 2 large old bananas
  • 1 cup of oats (gluten-free works too!)
  • Optional mix-ins: chocolate chips, vanilla extract, cinnamon, raisins,chopped nuts, peanut butter, coconut flakes, cacao nibs, etc.



  • Mash the bananas
  • Mix in the oats with the mashed bananas
  • Add in mix-ins of choice
  • Form cookie shapes (this recipe should make 16 small cookies)
  • Bake for 15 minutes at 350 F (176 C)
  • Let cool for 10 minutes
  • ENJOY!

These “cookies” are addicting, good luck if you only want to eat one :), but remember that they are pretty much guilt free. Remember, if you do end up eating them all, it’s only 2 bananas and 1 cup of oats!

They could also be enjoyed as breakfast, a snack, or a healthy dessert. I’ve made these a few times now and even shared them with my friends, everyone has loved them! If you decide to try out the recipe, please share in the comments below with what you thought of it! Happy baking!