Friday- BBQ chicken pizza, Feed The Family for $15 or Less, Sophie Grey

20130830_171555OK, so I didn’t do very well in sticking to this recipe, I did try. I will just write out the basics here as everyone has their own favourite pizza dough and things to put onto pizza.

1 Small boneless chicken breast, skin removed and cut into thin slivers

1/2 cup store BBQ sauce

2/3 Pizza sauce (primo recipe on p111 of book)

1 quantity of All purpose pizza dough

1/2 red capsicum diced

1/2 grated cheese

Oven 220c

Combine the sliced chicken and half the BBQ sauce

Mix the remaining BBQ sauce with the pizza sauce

Roll out the dough to roughly 34cm circle

Place on baking tray

Spread sauce over the dough, scatter on the chicken, capsicum and cheese

Bake for 15-20 mins.


I used a different dough recipe, I love the Paul Hollywood pizza dough recipe and I stick it in the bread maker on dough setting. I time it to finish about an hour before we plan to eat.  For pizza sauce I do cheat a bit and use the squeezy tube stuff, I think it is Gregg’s. It gives a nice taste and doesn’t go soggy. I roll my dough out on the baking sheet I plan to cook the pizza on and I dust it with a cornmeal/flour mix. I have got good at getting it nice and thin. With the chicken, I couldn’t bring myself to put raw chicken on it, I cooked it first and it still took on lots of the BBQ flavour.


Gave me new ideas for chicken and BBQ sauce.

Just had to add a photo for me of the Bread making king- Paul Hollywood. One day he will answer me on twitter.

Paul Hollywood

Tuesday- Caramelised onion and sausage tart, 100+ Tasty Meals by Sophie Gray


This was never going to be a pretty dinner, it tasted good though. We had corn and a few chips with it. It was hard to know what to have as it had so many things on it.

You can find Sophie Greys website here- The Destitute Gourmet

Oven 210 C

1 1/2 sheets of frozen or 1 block of puff pastry

4-5 pork sausages

2 potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 apple, peeled, cored and diced

caramelised onions  (see foot note *)

1 cup of beef stock

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp cornflour

1 tbsp water

Roll pastry out to a rectangle, place on a greased baking sheet

Score a 1 cm boarder with a sharp knife, do not cut all the way through

Prick the centre with a fork

Fry sausages until browning and just cooked through

Boil potatoes for 3-5 minutes in a small pan until just soft, drain

Remove cooked sausages and slice

Return them to pan with potatoes and fry until potatoes turn golden

Add apple, caramelised onion, stock and balsamic vinegar

Simmer until apple is soft and sauce reduced

Combine cornflour and water, add to mix

Spoon onto pastry evenly

Bake for 25 minutes until edges have risen and filling hot.

* Caramelised onion- (p62 of 100 + tasty $10 meals)

1 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, thinly sliced

1 tbsp brown sugar

heat oil in a small pan

add onion, gently fry until they are a good dark colour

add brown sugar and cook until they are a rich caramel colour


The only change was decreasing ingredients by 1/3 but using full amount of caramelised onion. I only used 3 sausages and 1 sheet of puff pastry as there are 3 of us.


I would make this again. It did feel fiddly as it was a new recipe. I would cut down on the time by cooking the sausages in advance. It would also be a good way to use up left overs.

Monday- Noodles with slivered beef and red capsicum, Delicious by Sophie Gray

Delicious by Sophie Gray, also on the Healthy Food Guide website.


280g pack dried egg noodles/ fresh egg noodles
350g beef, thinly sliced (use rump steak or schnitzel)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoons kecap manis
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
2 cups bean sprouts
a squeeze lime juice
2 handfuls chopped fresh coriander
Heat oil in a wok or frying pan and seal beef strips. Toss in capsicum and stir-fry for a few minutes. Add  kecap manis and chicken stock and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Step 2 Rinse noodles if using fresh or prepare according to packet directions if using dried, and stir into wok. Add lime juice and coriander and lastly toss in bean sprouts, folding quickly through noodles. Add more stock at this point if you like your noodles more ‘saucy’. Pile into bowls and eat with gusto.
I had to add a sliced onion and about a 2cm cube of fresh ginger. They went in at the same time as the capsicum. They were needed.
We added our own coriander and us grown-ups had a bit of chili too. We all added a bit more lime, I used a squeezy bottle as I was unable to buy a lime.
We loved it. I do rather a lot of Asian inspired food and this was different and will be used as a recipe base again. Miss Muffin chose a good one.

The Dinner Rut Situation – Problem Solved

So, I gave myself a challenge and made it public via my facebook page-

“I am in one of those dinner low spots. The place where it seems like you eat the same old things over and over. It makes me feel as if I have nothing to blog about.
I have decided to fix this with a challenge. This challenge is 6 days, 6 new recipes. This afternoon me and Miss Muffin will search through the recipe books and find recipes, write a shopping list ready for Sunday and spend some quality time together. I will post the menu as soon as it is set in stone”

20130822_152538So we hunted through my many, many books. Miss was Almost helpful, she did come up with half the ideas with a bit of coaching. We managed to reduce the pile and came up with 6 meals that were not hugely different from how we usually eat but had that extra something. We varied the meats too and I even saw a way to be efficient.


To those outside of New Zealand, I must apologies, the Kiwi books dominate. Sophie Gray books are available in the UK, at least the latest ones.

Well, drum roll. Here is the list. I will highlight and link to each day as we write it up.

Monday- Noodles with slivered beef and red capsicum, Delicious by Sophie Grey

Tuesday- Caramelised onion and sausage tart, 100+ Tasty Meals by Sophie Grey

Wednesday- Chicken lasagne, World Kitchen by Nici Wikes

Thursday- Chilli con carne meatballs, Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver

Friday- BBQ chicken pizza, Feed The Family for $15 or Less, Sophie Grey

Weekend meal – One pan chicken couscous, Easy Good Food Slow Cooker Favourties .
                               Mexican chicken stew, Easy Good Food Slow Cooker Favourites

Cooking with my Destitute Gourmet books

I will report back as soon as I have cooked something.
I have 5 Destitute Gourmet (Sophie Gray) books and love them all. I have cooked lots from 100+ Tasty $10 Meals so decided to start with this one.
I am not doing a dinner each night this week but over the next few weeks I will only use this book. At this point I am not going to type the recipes up. I have contacted the Author to see if she would mind and what makes her feel happy. 
** On speaking to Sophie gray via Facebook I have deicide not to publish the recipes. They are available in the book, obviously or you can find a way to contact me. @muffinmum works on twitter.
The first dinner-
Honey mustard beef with seasonal greens ( page 68)
As you can see my version came out a little different. The original recipe called for blanching the veg and then adding to the sauce. I cooked the beef and added it to the sauce and put the dish under a heated grill. I then stir fried our mixed veg (carrot, green capsicum, broccoli, onion, red cabbage) and added the beef/sauce.
We all really liked the taste but next time I will add some chilli and a little more curry powder.
Orzo salad with Chilli basil chicken p72
To be very honest, I didn’t think we would all like this as it is rather fusion. Miss7 read the title and worried about the chilli. I used mild sweet chilli sauce.
Miss7 dug straight in, she wasn’t sure about the orzo but the dinner vanished. Hubby and I both enjoyed it. 
I served it with some corn on the cob and chilli corn bread.
Cowboy casserole p36
This dinner was basically a good way to make Bolognaise more interesting. I had a portion on the freezer and mixed it with some baked beans, pasta and topped it with cheese. It was them baked. It made a nice alternative and was good for that freezer portion that wasn’t quite big enough for the 3 of us. 
Linda’s chicken couscous p18
I have never thought of couscous as something to roast but it was very lovely.  There were soft bits and crunchy bits. Miss loves chicken drumsticks but the grown ups aren’t fans. Next time I would use breasts and add a bit more flavour, probably some cumin, coriander, paprika and lemon.
I really would recommend this recipe, certainly makesd a difference to the normal chicken roast.
And another stunning and different to the norm dinner-
Spianata p 58
Before I forget to mention it, I added an extra cup of flour (3 cups) to this recipe. I also cheated slightly and did the dough in the bread-maker on dough setting. I thought that was rather clever of me.
I roasted some veg when last nights couscous was cooking and used bits up from the fridge for this meal. I was unsure about how nice it would be with just   Parmesan in it but resisted the urge to add feta. I was glad I did as it was a lovely dinner. The crust was different to a calzone or pizza and it was very tasty. I would defiantly make this again.
Lonely sausage risotto p 56
This was another time saving meal as I already had the sausages cooked. I had to hide them from Miss who learnt the joy of a good cold pork sausage and would have eaten them all up. I used 2 sausages and made the addition of peas.
I love risotto but with things in it the other 2 are not keen on (creamy) so it would good to actually make this and find they both liked it. Miss wasn’t too sure about the rice but she will get there.

The easiest Cheese Scone recipe in the world

I have adapted this recipe from Sophie Gray, when I say adapted I mean that I don’t measure but just use enough mixture. I often make me and Miss a scone each if the oven is going on. So here you go-
Self raising flour
Grated cheese
enough milk to form a dough
Use equal amounts of SR flour and grated cheese
Stir in the milk until you have a dough -I use a fork for this
Splodge the mix on a greased tin and top with a little cheese
Cook for around 15 minutes at around 180 or whatever you are putting the oven on at.
For the ones in the photo I plopped Miss a scone out first and the added Dijion mustard to the remaining mixture- yum.

Baked Paprika Chicken

I really enjoyed this dinner, we all did. It was one of those easy tasty meals. I placed the roasting pan on the table and served up from there with bread ( 5 minute of course). This meant we could all take our favourite bits. I stole lots of the feta.
Destitute Gourmet- Everyday Smart Food for the Family p 40, Sophie Gray.
Altered to my way.
Chicken for the number of people- I used 2 breasts between 3 of us.
4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut into thick slices
1 large onion, cut into thick rings
1 capsicum, sliced
Salt and pepper
1 400 g tin of tomatoes (I used Italian flavoured chopped toms)
2tsp paprika
80 g feta cheese
olive oil
Lighly grease the bottom of a large roasting pan with the olive oil
Lay potato slices, then onion and capsicum over the bottom
Place chicken on top, I chopped breasts into roughly 3.
Empty tin of toms into a bowl and stir in paprika
Spoon over the pan.
Bake for 30 mins at 180
Crumble feta over the dish and return to the oven for 20 mins.