Mindy Belle

Life in the Country

Italian Meatballs




3 Tablespoons fine breadcrumbs

A small amount of milk, to soak

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

4 Shallots, finely sliced

2 Cloves of garlic

3 Tins of whole Roma tomatoes

1 Tablespoon of dried or fresh Basil

1 Tablespoon of dried or fresh Oregano

Freshly ground sea salt and pepper

10 Green Olives – stuffed

1 carrot finely diced

1 Zucchini finely diced

1 Broccoli broken into small pieces

500 g Fresh ground mince beef

3 garlic cloves

Flour to dust

2 Tablespoons of olive oil for shallow frying.


Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl, pour over enough milk to cover.

Leave to soak, Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Start the sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium to large pan.

Fry shallot and garlic for a few minutes add the carrot,zucchini, Broccoli,

cook for about 5 minutes. Add the can tomatoes, herbs and olives.

Cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes while you prepare the meat balls.

Place the mince meat in a bowl, add the breadcrumbs (squeeze excess milk before adding to beef) add the garlic and season with salt and pepper.

Roll heaped tablespoons of mince to a ball and roll in flour to dust.

Heat a large fry pan with olive oil and shallow fry the meatballs until brown.

Pour the sauce into heatproof serving dishes, add the meatballs and cook for 10 minutes in the oven.

Serve with garlic bread and fresh pasta.


Better than la porchetta 🙂  said my boys.






Chilli Chocolate Hot Cross Buns



  • 2 x 8g sachets of yeast
  • 1 ¼ cup (310ml) milk, warmed ( not hot )
  • ¼ cup (60g) caster sugar
  • 4 cups (600g) plain flour
  • 2 tsp  chilli powder or flakes
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp freshly ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground salt
  • 60g unsalted butter, melted
  • 11/2 cups (250g) dark or milk chocolate bits or 3/4 cup fruit & 3/4 cup choc bits.
  • 2 x 60g eggs
  • 1/3 cup (50g) self-raising flour
  • ¼ cup apricot jam for brushing


  • Whisk yeast, milk, caster sugar until the sugar dissolves. Set aside for 10 minutes. Sift plain flour, chilli,  mixed spice, cardamom, salt into a large bowl. Use your fingertips to rub in butter.

  • Stir in chocolate bits, eggs and yeast mixture and mix until a soft dough forms. Turn dough onto a floured surface. Put in large greased bowl. Cover and leave in warm spot ¾ hour. Turn dough onto a floured surface, punch down, and cut dough into 20 pieces, knead each piece until smooth balls.


     Place balls into 30cm x 20cm greased tray. Set aside for ¼ hour.

     Meanwhile, preheat oven for 200ºC, combine S.R flour with ½ cup water to make a smooth paste. Pour past into a zip lock bag, snip top and pipe crosses onto each buns.

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Bake buns for 20 minutes or until golden and the buns sound hollow when tapped.

          Hot cross buns 2

While buns are still hot brush the tops with apricot jam.

Eat warm for best results.

Enjoy 🙂

Thankyou Anzac Buscuits

Thankyou anzac busuits



2 1/2 cups of Thankyou Fig & Pear Clusters

1/2 cup of plain flour

1/2 cup dried cranberries ( to represent the poppies)

100g Melted butter

1/3 cup Golden syrup

1 egg lightly beaten


crushing clusters

Pouring golden syrupBuscuits on the tray


1.Crush the clusters in a bag and add to a large bowl.

2. Mix in the plain flour and cranberries to the clusters.

3. Melt the butter in a small pan add the golden syrup.

4. Add the beaten egg to the bowl mix well then pour in the butter and golden syrup mixture.

5. Mix well and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.


6. Roll into 1 heaped tablespoon balls and flatten.

7. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

8. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes at 170 degrees  until lightly golden.

Enjoy 🙂

Buscuits on plate





Asparagus Pie


3 Sheets of Puff pastry

1 Lasagne dish

8 Eggs

600 mls cream

4 Rashers bacon – finely chopped into squares

2 tsp mustard

100g grated mixed cheese

400g Fresh Asparagus  (leave whole remove base 1 cm)

Salt, Pepper

Preheat Oven 180 degrees

Grease dish with butter, cut one piece of pastry in half and cover the base of the pie dish

and up the sides of the dish with pastry.

Fry bacon until lightly brown, sprinkle on the base of the pie. Line Asparagus long the base over the bacon side by side in a row.

Beat the eggs,cream, mustard and until smooth and pour over the Asparagus and bacon, sprinkle with cheese and salt & pepper.

Bake for 30 mins until pie is set, cover with foil lightly after 20 mins to avoid the pastry over cooking on the edges.

Sit for 10 mins after removing from the oven to set then slice and serve.

Serves 6-8 people


Red Velvet Cupcakes

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12 tablespoons unsalted butter ( room temp )

1 3/4 cup cups of White Sugar

2 large eggs

2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa

4 tablespoons red food colouring

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups full cream milk

3 1/4 cups plain flour ( sifted )

1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Frosting Ingredients

150 grams Cream cheese ( room temp)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter ( room temp )

4 cups of sifted icing sugar


  1. Set oven to 180 degrees
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy 3 – 5 mins
  3. Add eggs one at a time.
  4. Add Cocoa, food colouring, vanilla
  5. in 1/3 batches add milk & Salt then the flour   ( one then the other in turns )
  6. last mix the cider vinegar and baking soda and quickly add to mixture and beat for a minute.


Scoop heaped desert spoons of mixture into pans lined in a muffin tray – approx 1/2 full pan

Bake for 18 minutes Test with a screwer Cakes will spring back and the top will look cooked.

Bake for 18 minutes
Test with a screwer
Cakes will spring back
and the top will look cooked.

Frosting Method

  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter
  2. Slowly add the icing sugar 1/4 cup at a time
  3. Beat to finish, until light and fluffy

Cool the Cupcakes on a wire rack, then fill a sandwich bag with frosting chop the corner off the bag

and frost each cake with a swirl and push down the middle to finish.

Makes approx 22 large cakes 🙂

Enjoy !

Fish Curry



3 Barramundi portions  or equivalent fish ( cut into large chunks)

1 large onion or 2 small onions – finely sliced

11/2 teaspoons of dried chilli flakes  or a few fresh small red chilli’s finely chopped.

2 tablespoons Fresh ginger – finely chopped

1 tablespoon  Garlic- crushed

1 teaspoon Turmeric powder

1 to 2  teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander seed

1 can of diced tomatoes  or 6 small fresh tomatoes ( chopped )

1 can chickpeas and juice

2 cups of Okara  chopped to 2 cm pieces

4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Lime juice – to taste

Salt to taste


Heat oil in a large pan, cook the dry spices. then add onions & ginger and garlic.

Fry for a few minutes, if too dry add a little more oil.

then add the rest of the ingredients ( except lime & Fish )

Cook for 5- 10  minutes on a low heat, add the fish pieces and lime juice.

Simmer on low until the fish pieces are cooked.

Serve with Basmati rice and fresh coriander as a garnish.

Enjoy ! 🙂

Ginger Carrot Cake – Gourmet Traveller recipe April 2015 ( made with beautiful Makayla)

300 gm coarsely grated carrot (about 2 carrots)
200 gm (1 1/3 cups) plain flour
160 gm each caster sugar and brown sugar
120 gm shredded coconut or coconut flakes
100 gm oats, blitzed in a food processor
2½ tsp baking powder 2 tsp each ground cinnamon and ground ginger ½ tsp finely grated nutmeg and ground cloves
Finely grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
200 gm sour cream
100 ml almond oil
3 eggs
To serve: chopped roasted hazelnuts, and carrot thinly shaved crossways and tossed in orange juice, brown sugar and cinnamon   Salted butterscotch frosting 30 gm butter, coarsely chopped 30 gm brown sugar 2 tsp golden syrup 100 gm sour cream 450 gm pure icing sugar, sieved


  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Butter two 22cm-diameter springform cake tins and line bases and sides with baking paper. Stir carrot, dry ingredients, rinds and ½ tsp sea salt in a large bowl to combine and make a well in the centre. Whisk sour cream, almond oil and eggs in a separate bowl until smooth, add to well and stir to combine. Divide among prepared tins, smooth tops and bake, swapping tins halfway through cooking time, until golden brown and a skewer inserted withdraws clean (45-50 minutes). Cool in tins for 15 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
  • 02
  • For salted butterscotch frosting, melt butter in a saucepan over low heat, then stir in sugar and golden syrup until smooth and sugar dissolves. Bring to the simmer and stir continuously until slightly thickened (1-2 minutes), stir in sour cream to combine, then remove from heat and stir in icing sugar until smooth. Stir in 1½ tsp sea salt flakes and set aside to cool to spreading consistency (15-20 minutes).
  • 03
  • Spread half the frosting over the top of each cake, then stack one cake on top of the other. Scatter with roast hazelnuts and the shaved carrot to serve.

Enjoy ! 🙂

Lamb Shank Soup



Serving 4 – 5 people

  • 3 – 4  tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Lamb Shanks
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Carrots chopped
  • 3 Potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 Parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 4 sticks of Celery finely chopped
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 1 litre boiling water
  • 6  small Roma tomatoes chopped.
  • 1 tin Chickpeas and juice.
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Zaatar
  •  1 teaspoon Thyme
  • Salt and pepper – seasoning
  • Fresh Parsley chopped
  1. Heat oil in a large stock pot/saucepan.
  2. Brown shanks well all over.
  3. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Add onions and garlic to pan.
  5. Sauté until onions are tender.
  6. Stir in carrots, potatoes, parsnip.
  7. Cook for 1 minute.
  8. Blend in remaining ingredients.
  9. Return shanks to pot.
  10. Bring to the boil.
  11. Reduce heat.
  12. Simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until tender and lamb falls off the bone (add more liquid as required).
  13. Transfer shanks to a board.
  14. Remove meat and chop roughly.
  15. Add meat to soup.
  16. Heat gently.
  17. Serve with bread.

Chicken Soup


Version 2  My version of mum’s recipe 🙂

1 Litre of Chicken stock

2 Tins of Creamed Corn

3 Spring onions- finely chopped

500g of Shredded Chicken

2 Tablespoons of Butter

4 cm cube of Ginger finely chopped

2 Leeks finely chopped

Method as mum’s recipe below.


Ingredients – My Mum’s recipe from the 80’s

1 pkt Chicken noodle soup or French onion soup

2 tins of Creamed Corn

3 spring onions – finely chopped

1 Roast chicken – flesh removed shred into small pieces

2 Tablespoons Butter

Boiling water

Fresh ginger finely chopped  ( optional )


Heat butter in a large pan

Add the spring onions and cook slightly

Then the French Onion with the creamed corn

Cook for a minute or two

Add boiling water approx 1.5 Litres or 8 cups to the level you prefer

lastly add the chicken pieces

Bring to boil and cook until soup thickens a little approx 30 minutes.

Enjoy 🙂

Street food – Chicken Meatballs Recipe by: Miguel Maestre


My version of Miguel’s Recipe

Serves: 4


Meatballs: 250g chicken mince

1 chorizo sausage, finely chopped

4 eschallots, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/3 cup finely chopped parsley

1 tbsp smoked paprika

salt and pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

To serve: 1 cup finely shredded red cabbage

1 carrot, finely shredded

¼ cup parsley leaves, torn

juice of ½ a lemon

4 soft white rolls

Garlic Mayonnaise: 250 ml (1 cup) light olive oil

juice of ½ a lemon

1 egg (out of the fridge)

1 garlic clove



 Preheat the oven to 180°C
  1. Combine the chicken mince, chorizo, eschallot, garlic, parsley and paprika in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Using clean hands mix until well combined.
  2. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Fill a small bowl with water and, using wet hands, roll the mixture into meatballs about the size of a golf ball. Place meatballs on the oven tray.
  3. Heat the olive oil in an oven-proof frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning regularly, for 5 minutes until evenly caramelised.
  4. Transfer the frying pan to the oven and cook for 2−3 minutes until the meatballs are just cooked through.
  5. For the mayonnaise, place the oil, lemon juice, cold egg, garlic and a pinch of salt in a tall jug. Using a stick blender, blend the mixture for 2−3 minutes or until thickened.
  6. Combine the cabbage, carrot and parsley and in a bowl. Pour over the lemon juice, season to taste and toss to combine.
  7. Divide the salad between the rolls, top with meatballs and drizzle with mayonnaise. Serve immediately.

Enjoy ! 🙂

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