Category Archives: Side Dishes

Zucchini Slice

01.05.15 Sam and James at the beach 00049

3 1/2 cups zucchini (375g)
5 eggs
1 large onion
90g ham or bacon pieces (optional)
1/2 cup oil
1 cup SR flour (160g)
1 cup grated cheese (100g)
salt, pepper, mixed herbs (to taste)

Preheat your oven to 170C (350F).

Grate coarsely (or chop) zucchini, onion and cheese.  Add chopped ham, if adding, and all remaining ingredients.  Spray shallow dish with ‘pure and simple’.  Tip in mixture.

Put into oven and cook for about 30 __ 40 minutes or until brown all over and firm.

Good hot or cold.

*I don’t measure zucchini __ I just use 3 medium sized ones. A trick I learned from my daughter is to grate the zucchini separately and squeeze the water out, otherwise it can turn out too wet and it takes a lot longer to cook.  If I use bacon pieces (and I don’t always) I buy them already done and grated cheese in the packet.  I don’t measure the cheese, just pour a heap in __ probably more like 2 cups.  I also add a tin of drained mixed veggies. ~ Veronica

We met Veronica and Dave through their grandchildren when we first came to Australia.  The kids all love the beach and now we get together every school holidays and sometimes in between.  What Americans call bars, Australians call slice.  Whatever it’s called, I love this recipe.  Most recently I made it with leftover roast asparagus and carrots chopped and cottage cheese that needed to get used.  I left out the oil as there was plenty on the roast veggies.  It was so yummy.  It’s a good recipe to play with, is good hot or cold and perfect for lunches.  The best part is that James actually eats it.  There’s not many things I can say that about. ~ Karla



Kris’ Fancy Green Bean Casserole

Here’s an instructional of what I do in this ever changing recipe.


  • 2-3 cans undrained green beans (2 cans makes a small, very un-green bean casserole casserole, 3 cans makes a normal sized “gourmet” green bean casserole)
  • AT LEAST 1 pound decent quality cooked and chunked bacon (SAVE THE GREASE)
  • 1 cup turkey or chicken stock (the best I’ve ever done was with burned/blackened/reduced turkey stock from a thanksgiving turkey done in an electric roaster, the boxed stuff just isn’t the same)
  • 1/2 medium-large onion (I like yellow spanish), sliced or thick chopped
  • 1 washed and roasted poblano pepper: use tongs or a fork stabbed into it’s core to hold the pepper over a gas burner on high, toasting to taste, as one would a gigantic green marshmallow (blistered/blackened is fine). Remove seeds and sliver (you can leave the seeds or substitute a few serrano peppers for a bit of a kick)
  • 12oz fresh mushrooms, washed, bottoms of stems sliced off and cut into chunks
  • 1 jar premium small artichokes in water (yes, it’s important to use the premium ones) drained and cut into 1/4s (or 1/2s if they’re very small)
  • 1/2 cup roasted pine nuts: spread pine nuts into single layer on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes at 350° until golden brown (it’s very easy to over brown if you’re not standing there watching, yum to yuck in seconds once they get to browning)
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 can milk (use empty soup can)
  • 1 6oz package French’s Fried Onions (the white cheddar version is WAY Better!)
  • 6oz fine shredded Itialian 5 cheese blend (Kraft’s is mozzarella, provolone, asiago, parmesan, & romano)

Get the oven pre-heating. Fry up the bacon, cut into chunks, and SAVE THE GREASE. Pour green beans (with liquid), 1/2-all of the bacon grease (depends on how greasy the bacon is) and turkey stock into a large pot and put on low to medium-low heat (the longer you take warming, the more flavor the stock and grease impart). Get soup and milk warming on low in a separate pot (you can add some cheese if you like). Stir both pots occasionally. Prep the onion and poblano and add to the beans once they’re hot. When the onions are cooked, prep and add mushrooms. When the mushrooms are cooked, drain the liquid. Add artichokes, pine nuts, heated soup and bacon. Homogenize. Pour mixture into a casserole dish and top with fried onions, then the cheese blend. (I like using a large enough casserole dish that the casserole ends up around an inch & 1/2 deep) 

Bake at 350° until cheese is golden brown


Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Chili

Makes 6-8 servings

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 5 hours

Total time: 5 hours 30 mins


1 tablespoon butter
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 large orange bell pepper, diced
2 cups sweet onions such as Vidalia, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 pound Italian hot sausage, removed from casing
1 pound 80/20 ground beef
1 pound chorizo (pre-packaged and available in most supermarkets)
2 12-ounce cans tomato paste
2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 16-ounce can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 22-ounce can Bush’s Grillin’ Beans (Bourbon and Brown Sugar)
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes (or less for less heat)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 ½ tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less for less heat)
Shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
Saltine Crackers to serve with chili

In a large sauté pan, melt butter in two tablespoons of oil over medium heat.

Add bell pepper, onions and garlic and sauté for 8-10 minutes to caramelize the vegetables.
Pour this into a large slow cooker.

Heat the pan to medium high and add the remaining oil.
Add sausage meat, ground beef and chorizo meat and cook until meat has browned.

Scrape all of this into the slow cooker with the vegetables.
Then add all other ingredients to the slow cooker, except cheddar and crackers.

Stir, cover and set slow cooker to low and cook for five hours.
Stir after five hours.

To serve, dish out into bowls, top with cheddar cheese and serve with the saltine crackers.

This is my favourite chilli recipe. 

~Jason S.

Creamy Potato Bake

1 large tub of cream (600ml)
1 packet french onion soup mix powder
Potatoes & sweet potatoes (cut into 1/4 inch slices) 
Onions (optional)
Shredded cheese 

Layer potatoes and sweet potatoes into a 9×13″ oven proof dish. Mix cream and soup mix together pour over potatos add a little shredded cheese to top cook at 180C for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours. Its done with the potatoes and sweet potatoes are tender. 

I volunteer at the kids’ school canteen which is run by Vanessa. We’ve become good friends and this year Vanessa invited our family to join her vamily for Christmas dinner. She served these potatoes. The savoury/sweet flavour is an addictive combination that both Mom(Marty) and I really enjoyed. They’re fabulous fresh,  cold the next morning or reheated as leftovers. Thank you Vanessa for being a good friend and sharing your recipe with us!

~ Karla (Vanessa’s recipe)

Special Sweet Potato Casserole

539153_10151026216878435_1003249866_nSweet Potato Mixture:
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (can substitute w/ canned sweet potatoes)
1 cup sugar—if using canned sweet potatoes, reduce this amount*
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs-well beaten
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans (I use about 2 cups, because I like lots of pecans)
1/3 cup butter, melted

* I use half brown sugar and half granulated white sugar.

Crust: Combine brown sugar, flour, pecans, and butter in mixing bowl and set aside.

Sweet Potato Mixture: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs, and butter in a mixing bowl in the order listed. Mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle/spread the surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with the crust mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes (uncovered). Allow to set at least 30 minutes before serving. Makes 8-10 servings


Potato Bake

Weinermobile1 can Campbell’s condensed broccoli-cheese soup
½ cup sour cream
7 small red potatoes (approximately 1 ½ lbs.), cut in quarters
2 medium onions, cut in wedges
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
For a Little Extra Kick Add:
¼ tsp. hot sauce (optional)

In large-sized bowl, combine the soup, sour cream, and optional hot sauce, then add the potatoes and onions, making sure to coat them well.

Next, in a 12×8 inch baking dish or 2 quart casserole dish, spoon in the potato mixture into an even layer and then sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Place dish into a 375°F heated oven and bake for 50 minutes or until the potatoes are “fork-tender.”


Lemon Rice Pilaf

+Little Frank with Grandma Lena12½ T. olive oil
¾ c. minced onion
1½ c. rice
1 can chicken broth
½ c. water
¼ c. lemon juice
¾ t. grated lemon peel from outside of lemon
¼ t. ground pepper
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion & sauté until tender. Add rice & sauté 2 minutes. Add remaining ingred. & bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover & cook until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. (Same goes on this recipe – don’t skip ingredients.)