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Thursday, August 27, 2020

Spicy Lentil Dahl


I was inspired by THIS RECIPE by Colleen Howard at Australia’s Best Recipes. I’ve changed the ingredients to suit what I had on hand (I was missing curry powder) and my own tastes, and also changed the cooking method. It’s quick, easy, and economical, and makes a nice accompaniment to butter chicken, having a different seasoning mixture.


1 large carrot, sliced into coins

2 cups beef bouillon

1 cup red lentils, rinsed

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon garam masala

540 ml tin Aylmer Accents spicy red pepper diced tomato*


In a medium pot, bring bouillon and carrot to a boil for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, lentils last, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Makes 4 servings


*if you have to substitute a different style of diced tomato you may wish to add a few drops of hot sauce


Monday, August 17, 2020

Chocolate Trifle

Luxurious, decadent, and super easy. And it doesn’t heat up the kitchen. You will need: 

one recipe microwave sponge cake (the chocolate version)

one recipe microwave custard (the chocolate version)*

½ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream

1 cup whipping cream

Once the cake is cool, cut it into ¾ inch squares. Line the bottom and sides of a large bowl with it. Drizzle the Bailey’s over top. Pour the cooled custard over that. Shortly before serving, whip the cream and spoon it over the top.

You can also make this in individual bowls.

Makes 6 generous or 8 reasonable servings.


*this will come out nicer if you substitute cream for some of the milk


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Found and Tested: Microwave Custard

I love custard, but I don’t often make it because it’s so time-consuming and painstaking to do on the stove. Between the continuous stirring so the milk doesn’t scorch and never knowing for sure if it’s reached the thickening point and can be taken off the heat, I just don’t bother. So when I found THIS RECIPE on the Australia’s Best Recipes website, I knew I had to try it.

It’s quick, it’s easy, and it comes out scorch- and lump-free. I did make one change to the directions, and that was to start by combining the sugar with the cornstarch to make the paste, rather than adding it to the milk.

I think there’s a chocolate version, and possibly a trifle, in my future.

Microwave Custard: The Chocolate Version

Place four squares of Baker's Chocolate in the bottom of the microwave container together with the milk. Stir every minute or so until the chocolate melts and the milk boils.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Homemade Ice Cream – No Ice Cream Maker Required

When I first saw this recipe for ice cream, using only evaporated milk, icing sugar, and vanilla, I was sceptical. But I had the ingredients on hand so I figured I’d give it a try. It does work. We’re not talking gourmet ice cream here, but it’s at least as good as some of the economy brands and a lot cheaper. And with no cream or eggs, and lots of air, it’s not bad for calories either.

Many of the versions I saw online described it as soft ice cream. It seemed more like regular ice cream in look and texture to me but it does melt very quickly so I recommend small portions and keeping it in the deep freeze. I’d love to give credit to the originator of the recipe but haven’t been able to find who that is. Some of the people posting it say their grandparents used to make it, so it’s obviously been around for a while. 

1 12 ounce can evaporated milk, refrigerated at least 24 hours (I used 2%)

1 cup icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla


Whip the evaporated milk in a large mixing bowl. It should only take a minute for it to expand into a fluffy mass. Gradually beat in the icing sugar and the vanilla. Transfer the bowl to the freezer for 45 minutes to an hour. (I put the beaters in the fridge during this period.) Rewhip for a few seconds. Repeat two or three times more. Transfer to a freezer-proof, airtight container (old ice cream tubs work well) and freeze for several hours before serving.

Makes around 8 or 9 cups