We Made Roast Beef!

The hubs complains that I never try anything new, so I decided to make roast beef. After loads of whatsapp tips and advice from my chef SIL, we ended up with this:

Roast Beef

All things considered, it went quite well. All three boys approved of the flavour – not that anything could have gone wrong since it’s just salt, pepper and olive oil with a hefty chunk of beef – so I think it’s safe to say that this one’s a keeper. I thought I’d better record the instructions so we can replicate it in the future.


  • 700g beef (best cuts – sirloin or fillet)
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • olive oil
  • crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp butter


  • tie up the beef with string to make a uniform log.
  • massage the beef with salt, pepper and olive oil.
  • heat the grill pan over the stove – make sure it’s screaming hot.
  • sear the beef until all surfaces are brown.
  • place a few cloves of crushed garlic under the beef and add a tablespoon of butter over the beef.
  • put the whole grill pan into the oven at 200C for 20 minutes.
  • transfer the beef to a plate and cove with foil.
  • let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting.


I got my beef already prepared from the supermarket so I didn’t have to tie it up. Unfortunately, the cut I bought was eye-round and it was very tough. I’ve been told by the chef that the best cuts to use are sirloin or fillet. If you go with ribeye, you need to make sure you need to cook it for longer to render the fat or it may be texturally challenging to consume.

The purpose for searing the meat over the grill pan is to seal it. It’s an extra step but it prevents the blood from oozing out of the meat.

For gravy, use Bisto gravy powder.

Recipes: Slow-Cooked Chicken Casserole with Zucchini and Corn

Slow Cooker recipes are always good to have around for those days when you know you’re going to be rushed for time after school. You can set it and forget it earlier in the day before the chaos (i.e. while the kids are still in school) and dinner will be ready when everyone comes home.

This recipe is a safe one for the boys because we don’t stray too far from flavours they know and like. Though they grumble about the veggies, at least they eat them. Sometimes I think they grumble only because they feel they have to or I might start to think I can get away with feeding them any kind of vegetable.

Slow-cooked Tomato Chicken Caserole


  • Chicken Maryland
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced into quarters
  • 1 zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 100ml water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • dash of black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic paste


  • Place chicken, onion, zucchini and corn into the slow cooker pot.
  • Mixed everything else together in a bowl and add to the slow cooker pot.
  • Set to cook on high for 2 hours or auto if you’re putting it on earlier in the day and heading out.

Breadmaker Recipe: Wheat Germ and Honey Bread

One of the difficulties I have with my boys is that they’re texturally challenged. There are certain foods they won’t eat, not because there is anything wrong with the way it tastes, but because it’s just “wrong” texturally. Unfortunately, bread is one those foods – it’s either right, or it’s wrong. There is no room for compromise.

There is a particular loaf of bread that we buy from the bakery that both boys agree with. Unfortunately, it’s not always convenient for me to get that bread and sometimes they’re out of stock, so I’ve been trying to find a bread recipe with the same texture. I wasn’t having much luck until a friend shared this one with me…

White Bread with Wheatgerm

The recipe is for a larger loaf that is meant to be made by hand so I had to adjust it a little to make it work for my breadmaker. I also removed the bits I didn’t think would go down well with the boys and we ended up with this:


  • 238g bread flour
  • 25g wheat germ
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5g dry yeast
  • 20g butter
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 138ml water


  • Place water, honey and butter into the breadmaker mixing bowl.
  • Add flour, wheat germ and salt.
  • Make a well in the center and add the yeast.
  • Turn on the machine to dough function.
  • When the dough function has completed, wait one hour for the dough to rise.
  • Turn on the machine’s bake function.


  • Although we have a knead and bake function, I’ve stopped using it because the dough rising is sometimes a bit unpredictable. If the baking function comes on before the dough has risen sufficiently, I end up with a very dense bread that’s texturally challenging even for me.

Work in Progress: Creamy Tomato Base Risotto in a Rice Cooker

After our successful Chicken, Mushroom and Spinach Risotto in a rice cooker, I was inspired to try a tomato-base recipe which I borrowed from here and modified it like so:

Tomato Risotto

And before you comment – yes, I know… It looks more like porridge than risotto and I was sorely tempted to change the name from risotto to porridge. Then again, what is risotto but an Italian porridge?


  • 200g chicken fillet, diced
  • 1 c arborio rice
  • 1 L chicken stock (I used Campbell’s real chicken stock)
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 200g prawns
  • 400g tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • dash black pepper


  • Stir fry the chicken and prawns and set aside.
  • Turn on your rice cooker with the rice pot in place and the lid open. Heat the olive oil and butter, add onions and garlic paste.
  • Stir in arborio rice until it is nicely coated with the oil.
  • Add tomatoes, zucchini, and chicken stock.
  • Start your regular rice cooker setting.
  • Once the rice cooker gets going, open it up occasionally to give it a stir.
  • When the rice is cooked, add chicken, prawn, pepper and parmesan cheese and give it a stir.


  • This recipe is a work in progress and we will be making more changes in future but we are keeping the base recipe since it has shown promise – the fussy boy didn’t hurl it back in disgust.
  • The main comment was that it tasted like ABC soup porridge so we’ll need to do something to give it a more Italian flavour:
    • The tomato flavour wasn’t strong enough so perhaps some cherry tomatoes/tomato paste/tomato sauce might do the trick.
    • Many other recipes add Italian herbs and/or basil which may give it a more – we omitted it because the fussy boy won’t eat that.
    • Can also try adding cooking wine – about 1/3 of a cup
    • Needs more cheese before it can be classified as “creamy”
  • The current recipe is too wet (more like porridge than risotto) so we’ll need to scale back the liquid a little – say 200ml?

More notes after we modify next time…

Chicken Mushroom and Spinach Risotto

Hubs saw this interesting list of recipes that you can make with a rice cooker and suggested I try it out. So here’s my modified version of the risotto recipe (I had to edit the recipe ingredients to remove the “sure lose” ingredients).

#chicken #mushroom #spinach #risotto for dinner tonight - #easy #ricecooker #recipes


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 250g portobello mushrooms
  • 500g chicken fillet
  • 60g melted butter
  • 2 c arborio rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 L hot water
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 1/3 c parmesan cheese
  • 80g of spinach


  • Stir-fry olive oil, onions, chicken and mushrooms for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Mix melted butter and rice in the rice cooker bowl.
  • Mix half the chicken stock with pepper, salt, garlic – add to the rice and butter mix.
  • Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add cheese, chicken, onions, mushrooms, spinach, and the remainder of the stock.
  • Cook for 20 minutes (open and stir occasionally so the rice doesn’t burn at the bottom).
  • Ready to serve.


DH gave it the thumbs up. “It’s a keeper,” he said. Best meal he’s had in a while, too. Pity G1 and G2 didn’t agree.