Easy Asian Beef and Egg Noodles

Hello Dear Reader,

Do you want a simple, throw it all together and really delicious dinner that is on the table really quickly? Well, look no further than todays recipe, please don't be put off by it's rather dull and anaemic appearance, it is truly a dinner, that what it lacks in looks, makes up for in flavour. You can easily halve the recipe but we all love leftovers at Maison Chain, so I knew it would be great for a few lunches as well.

I have fiddled with the original recipe that I found over at Mels Kitchen Cafe to reflect our taste and the ingredients I had at home, I have also used my homemade nut butter in this recipe but I think any nut butter would work.

Are you ready? On your marks, get set, cook.

Ingredients for Easy Asian Beef with Egg Noodles, clockwise from top right-
1 kg of lean beef mince, 1/4 cup of nut butter of choice, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, a good sized knob of ginger, peeled and grated on a microplane, 3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled and grated on a microplane, a handful of coriander, finely chopped, 1/4 cup of light soy sauce, 1 teaspoon or more of chilli flakes, 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (I use Massel stock cubes) 1 tablespoon corn flour, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce or to taste, 2 teaspoons sesame oil and 275 grams of fine egg noodles

In a large, non stick, heavy based frypan, fry off the mince till browned, breaking up any lumps as you go

Meanwhile in a jug combine the stock, nut butter, brown sugar, chilli and soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chilli flakes, grated ginger and garlic and corn flour

Pour this sauce over cooked mince and let blip away for 10 to 15 minutes on medium low heat until thickened and reduced

Sprinkle over chopped coriander

And serve with cooked noodles and asian greens

The noodles I buy are fine egg noodles that take less than 2 minutes to cook, they come in little nests so you can take out as many as you need, I used 7 for this dish which was exactly, 275 grams. This Easy Asian Beef would be equally lovely served with steamed rice or quinoa to mop up the lovely sauce. It is super duper easy, takes hardly any time to put together and is really delicious, I say give it a whirl today. 

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day.

Easy Roast Pumpkin and Chorizo Frittata Slice

Hello Dear Reader,

I have a bit of a pumpkin theme going at the moment, as now that this magnificent pumpkin is cut, I want to use it while it is at its prime. I have had this recipe bookmarked for a while and, as always, I have tinkered with the original recipe and replaced the steamed sweet potato called for in the recipe, with spicy, herby, roasted pumpkin. Nothing cranks up the flavour more than roasting something, in this case, its pumpkin cubes, coated in ground cumin, dried oregano and a splash of oil to make the spice and herb stick, roasted until golden and just cooked through.

The other main flavour, which I have been using quite a bit of lately, is Chorizo, we buy the Aldi brand, which comes in a two pack, I find it full of flavour and not too oily and the price is just right. I roasted the pumpkin a few hours before I put this dish together, using the instructions below.

Put pumpkin cubes into a bowl and sprinkle over ground cumin and oregano and a splash of oil, mix to coat, roast in a preheated 180 C oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until just cooked through and golden

Ingredients for Roast Pumpkin and Chorizo Frittata Slice, clockwise from top right-
a couple of good handfuls of spinach, washed and spun out, 2 x Chorizo, sliced into rounds, 1 large onion, finely diced, 2 to 3 garlic cloves, grated on a microplane, 1 cup small tomatoes, sliced in half, 500 grams of pumpkin, cubed and roasted with 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin and dried oregano, and 8 large eggs

In a non stick, heavy based frypan, sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is turning transparent and is smelling wonderful

Add the chorizo and sauté until the onions are just starting to colour

Throw in the spinach leaves

And cook until just wilted, remove pan from heat and let cool a little

Beat the eggs and then pour half into a greased casserole dish, mine measures 32cm x 24cm x 6cm from the outside edge

Add the onion, chorizo and spinach mixture to the beaten eggs

Lay over the roasted pumpkin and halved tomatoes, then pour over rest of beaten eggs. Bake in a 180 C oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden, puffy and set in the middle

Serve with green veg or salad of choice

This is a lovely light dinner and it's even better cold the next day for lunch. Easy and delicious.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Wednesday.

Lentil, Pumpkin and Cashew Curry

Hello Dear Reader,

This recipe came about because of a magnificent pumpkin I bought back with us from our trip up North to Cairns. On the way up and back, we stopped in at Cardwell to have lunch and a cup of tea and coffee, it was such a picturesque place to have a break, I could have easily stayed longer.

On the way up, this little beach side park was almost empty, except for a coffee van and takeaway food van, a few other couples and some council workmen, but on the way back, the place was jumping, lots of food trucks, 3 school bus loads of kids and teachers, loads of travellers and a lovely man selling fresh lychees and home grown pumpkins.

We bought a big bag of the sweetest, juiciest lychees I have ever tasted and one of his lovely pumpkins, it was a good size pumpkin and sounded hollow when I tapped it, indicating it wasn't sappy and it was ready to cut. The lovely gentleman said he grew the pumpkins himself as a hobby and the money goes into his grandchildren's bank accounts, I thought it was a lovely story.

When I cut it opened, I wasn't disappointed, it was bright golden yellow with firm flesh and loads of fully formed seeds, all meaning it would be a sweet and sensational pumpkin. Gosh I do gush don't I? But I truly do get very excited by beautiful produce.

Anyway, I wanted a recipe to let this beaut pumpkin shine and this recipe does exactly that. I have fiddled with the original recipe to use ingredients already in the pantry and fridge. I love that it is all flavour without the heat so it is suitable for the whole family.

Ingredients for Lentil, Pumpkin and Cashew Curry, clockwise from top centre,
700 grams pumpkin, cut into 2 cm cubes, a bunch of broccolini or any green veg of choice, 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric, 2 teaspoons mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 cup red lentils (I had just under 1 cup) 1/4 cup raw cashews, toasted in a dry frying pan, a good thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated on a microplane, 1/2  a red onion, finely diced, 1 can diced tomatoes and 500 ml chicken or veggie stock (I use Massel stock cubes, which are vegetarian friendly)

In a large, heavy based, non stick frypan, sauté the red onion and ginger until fragrant

Add the turmeric, cumin and mustard seeds and again sauté until fragrant

Then add the pumpkin cubes and coat in the aromatic mixture, gently frying off for 1 to 2 minutes

Then add the stock, can of diced tomatoes and lentils, turn heat to low, pop on a lid and let blip away for 15 to 20 minutes or until pumpkin is cooked through but still holding its shape

Steam the broccolini or other choice of green veg until just tender, blanch in iced water to stop the cooking and to keep the bright green colour, then drain well. Stir the drained veggie and roasted cashew through curry and you're ready to serve

Serve with what a curry is usually seen out and about with-steamed rice, yoghurt, chutney and papadums

This is a hearty, delicious curry with no heat, but loads of flavour. It does make quite a big pan but it's great as leftovers for lunches the next day or if you're feeding a crowd. 

Have a terrific Tuesday.

Home Made Paste Cleaner

Hello Dear Reader,

I have used Gumption for what seems like forever, so did my Mum. It has always been there, amongst the cleaning products, quietly waiting for me to reach for it, when I need a little muscle in the cleaning department, there is nothing much it can't clean. I mostly use it on the bench tops, the glass stove top and inside the oven door and microwave.

That was until yesterday, when I found I had only a smear of it left and I needed to finish cleaning the oven and microwave. Instead of heading out to buy some, I googled a recipe for homemade paste cleaner. There were quite a few different ones and I sort of combined a few and came up with this one.

It is made of everyday ingredients, that most of us living this quieter, more simple life will already have at home, washing soda, bicarb soda, dishwashing liquid, essential oil of choice and some water to make it into a paste. Simple and very effective.

You could, quite easily, not add the essential oils, making it even cheaper to make at home.

Ingredients for Home Made Paste Cleaner, from left-
1 cup of washing soda, 1 cup of Bicarbonate of Soda, 30 drops of your choice of essential oil (I used lemon and orange) 3 or 4 good squirts of dish washing liquid

Sift the washing soda and bicarb soda into a ceramic bowl

Now add the few squirts of dishwashing liquid and give it a good mix

It will start to look a bit damp

Now start adding some water, a little at a time until it reaches a paste consistency

Add the essential oil and mix through

Scrape into a container and seal

You simple wet a cleaning cloth, rub it over the paste and clean as usual, rinsing when finished. I did a price comparison and this is how it worked out:


1 cup of bicarb soda    =275grams at Aldi      = 98c
1 cup of washing soda=300 grams at Coles    = $1.20
Dish Washing liquid=Earths Choice at Coles  = 9c (approx)
30 drops essential oil=I use dOTERRA           = $1.35 (approx)

TOTAL=$3.62 with essential oils or $2.27 without


$5.39 average price

Have you made this paste cleaner, what do you think of it?

Have a lovely day

One Year Ago-My Annual Flybuys Shop

Sunny Side Up Sunday

Hello Dear Reader,

Today I am grateful for the beauty and colour of the evening sky this week, I wouldn't see it at all, if we didn't walk our little dogs, late in the afternoon. This was the sunset sky, late Monday afternoon, aren't those colours amazing? Sunrises and sunsets happen every day, you just need to turn up.

What are you thankful for today?

What we bought, spent and ate this week

Hello Dear Reader,

This week was an expensive week, grocery shopping wise, it was due to the combination of buying some convenience items like BBQ chicken and grated cheese, some naughty items like chips, savoury biscuits and chocolate (on special) and a very expensive battery for our smoke alarm. I almost fell over backwards when I saw the cost of this little battery-$16.00, yes, absolutely necessary but very expensive. I know buying quality will outlast a dozen cheaper ones, so in the end we would be saving money.
What we Bought
Shopping from Northside Discount Fruit Barn

Meat from Marjax Meats

Shopping from Coles

What we Spent
Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$61.19
Marjax Meats-$19.50

TOTAL-$205.56, wow that's a big week!

What we Ate
Friday-Chicken, Avocado and Mango Nachos, this is a dish that my darling daughter used to make for us when she first started working. I don't know if she just made up the recipe or she was told about it, either way it's a fab Friday night dinner. Its just a bought BBQ chicken mixed with a jar of salsa, avocado and mango chunks, then layered with cheese and corn chips and baked in the oven, so yummy and it feels like a naughty treat.

Saturday-We enjoyed a cheese platter with the cheeses we bought from Gallo Dairyland on the Atherton Tablelands, these cheeses are just divine, so creamy and delicious 

Tuesday-Quick and Easy Asian Beef with Egg Noodles and Bok Choy, recipe coming soon

Wednesday-Tempura Whiting with steamed basmati rice and Pak Choy

Thursday-Red Lentil, Pumpkin and Cashew Curry with steamed basmati rice, yoghurt, chutney and papadums, again, recipe coming soon. This is such a gorgeous curry, all flavour with no heat.

So, that was the week that was on my families table, what has been on your family table this week? Do you find some weeks more expensive than others, grocery wise?

Have a lovely day

Back to Top