Easy Peasy Potato Salad

When I was a uni student and flatting with mates, whenever one was required to bring a salad or a dessert to a BBQ, I had my two standard dishes that I would bring.  Every single time.  Most likely because I had no idea how to do anything more elaborate and complicated and that these dishes required no effort whatsoever.

Those dishes were Chocolate Ripple Cake and this Cheat’s Potato Salad.

I got this recipe from a dear friend of my mothers who always makes the best salads!  I have been making it for almost twenty years and I still bring it to almost every BBQ that I attend and it’s always a winner! The beginning of daylight savings here in Victoria seems to herald in the BBQ season so I dare say it’ll be getting a good run in the coming months.

Lee-Ann’s Cheats Potato Salad

chat/small/mini potatoes
mayonnaise
bacon pieces, fried 
spring onions, thinly sliced

Boil the potatoes on the stove top in boiling water until the potatoes are cooked.  Let it cool down a little before popping them in a bowl and spooning mayo over the top.  If the potatoes are still too hot, the mayo goes a little yellow and it won’t stay on the top of the spuds.  Sprinkle the bacon and spring onion over the top of the mayo and you’re done.  

No need to put in the amounts, because it really doesn’t matter.  It’s all personal preference really.  I will say however that I have always used Kraft mayo because it has such a great tang, but you can use whatever mayo you like!



You can find plenty more simple recipes over here where I’m building a collection of 
my favourite easy peasy recipes.  

Do you have a staple food that you always bring to parties?

Is there a dish that you’ve been making forever that you’ll never get tired of?



Spinach, Cheese & Corn muffins

In the weeks after my recent op, I had many friends drop around with meals and goodies with I was extreeeeeeeemely grateful for!  The biggest surprise winner for my kids were some muffins made by my friend Anna.  I mean, they had green stuff in them and hers had three times more and in much larger pieces than mine in the pic above!  They chose them over her delicious handmade sausage rolls and had a couple each!

SPINACH CHEESE & CORN MUFFINS

2 cups SR flour
1 can of corn kernels
1/2 cup grated cheese
1/4 cup of chopped chives
2 cups of roughly chopped spinach
1 cup milk
1 egg
80g melted butter
2 tbs polenta

1.  Turn oven on to 200 degrees celcius.
2. Grease 12 cup capacity muffin tin.  Or just use muffin cases.
3. Combine flour, corn, cheese, flour & spinach in a mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.  
4. Combine milk, eggs & butter in a jug and pour into the well.  Using a wooden spoon, mix together until just combined. Try not to overmix (difficult with kids involved!)
5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tins and sprinkle with polenta.  (The kids love this bit).
6.  Pop in the oven for 20-25 mins.  

They are particularly delicious fresh out of the oven with lots of butter!

Just like these, these & these lunchtime winners, they freeze well and are great to bring out and reheat when needing a yummy lunch or snack.



We have made them a few times since and they are still a hit.  

I always have lots of eager & adorable helpers in the kitchen.  


Can’t seem to get away with cooking on my own.  Is it the same at your house? 



For more easy peasy recipes, head over here.

Some EASY PEASY treats

We made this super quick and easy LCM bar equivalent slice last week from Katrina at The Organised Housewife and they disappeared VERY quickly.  With the ingredients of only rice bubbles, peanut butter, marshmallows & butter it is not healthy in the slightest, but sooooo good and so quick to make!  Winner!

Thanks to your fantastic suggestions here and on facebook, we used some of our mandarines in this delicious mandarine cake.  Another winner!  Anna always makes cooking with the kids fun due to her fantastic illustrations that make it sooooo easy!  Thanks Anna!  

Do you ever cook recipes that you find on blogs?

I’d love to know if you have ever tried any Frog, Goose & Bear recipes.  I am so glad that I have got so many of my regular easy recipes on this site now.  I don’t even use my recipe folder any more, I just go straight to my blog for the recipe.  Particularly handy when away from home, or if someone asks me for a recipe!  
Always a thrill as I’m actually not a great cook. I have many, many disasters as my poor family members will attest!  I’d rather be doing other things than cooking, so any recipe that is quick and easy and is also delicious is definitely a winner in my book!  I figure there are many people in the same boat which is why I share recipes on my blog which make me look good with little effort from myself and no need for great cooking skill!


EASY PEASY DESSERT – BAKED PEACHES

Before Summer is completely over, I thought I’d share this deliciously easy dessert with you…


Simply cut your peaches in half, taking out the stones.  
Place the peaches on to a baking tray and cover liberally in brown sugar.


Then pop them in a 220 C (428 F) oven for about 20 mins 
or until the sugar is melted and the peaches have softened.

Enjoy with icecream or cream!


Do you love summer fruits?  

Do you have any great summer fruit recipes?

For some more easy peasy desserts head over to the FGB easy recipes page.

EASY PEASY BANANA POPS

With the hot, hot weather in Melbourne this weekend and bananas back to an affordable price, we’ve made some quick and easy banana pops!


Simply peel bananas, chop in half, stick in a paddlepop stick and pop it in the freezer for a few hours.  

A perfectly healthy summer treat!  
This same method also works very well with large strawberries – 2 or 3 to a stick.  
I’m sure it would work well with a multitude of fruits!

As with most of the ideas on this blog – this one came from my Mum.  She always has a box of these in the freezer at her house for when the kids come to stay.  Thanks Mum!  ;)
I have also seen something similar on ‘playschool’ with the bananas dipped in honey and then rolled in coconut which might well be worth a try also!

What do you do on summer days when it’s very, very hot?
I think we might just have to get the black plastic out again…

AN EASY PEASY CHOCOLATE CHRISTMAS…

It is a little Christmas tradition in our house, starting from my childhood, to make little Christmas puddings.  Before you go getting all impressed at my skills in the kitchen, it is simply an Arnott’s Chocolate Royal biscuit with some white chocolate, a jaffa and some sliced mint leaf lollies.  I love an cheat’s easy peasy recipe.  You might remember these from last year.


This will be our MOPS craft activity today. Nice and simple as per usual.  While Goose & Bear were at school & kinder yesterday, Frog & I made a few samples and packaged some up as gifts to give to the ladies who look after the kids each fortnight at MOPS.


I feel like I have melted an enormous amount of chocolate over the last few weeks for various recipes.  My new favourite thing to do since, by trial and error I’ve discovered the fool-proof, no-fail chocolate melting technique.  Stay tuned later this week for a post on melting chocolate and another easy peasy chocolate recipe.


A little reward for the jaffa and mint leaf placer…
or was that just plugging the hole to stop the incessant “can i have one, can i have one, can i have one, can i have one… can I lick the spoon, can I lick the spoon, can I lick the spoon…”


Oh look there is one of the clay tags that we made last week.


And a pudding for one…


With the leftover white chocolate still in the saucepan, I tried something I’ve wanted to do for a while.  We made some Candy Cane bark.


Simply add a few drops of peppermint essence to the melted chocolate, pour onto a small tray covered in baking paper, then sprinkle some crushed candy canes over the top and let it set.  
We based our recipe on this one over here.  



 Once set, you break it into pieces and package into nice little gifts.  
This was so ridiculously easy.  Next time I would like to try a mixture of dried cranberries and pistachios on some dark chocolate, and without the essence, for a more adult Christmas treat.  I’ve also seen it done with layers of white and milk chocolate or swirling the two together.  The possibilities are endless.


For more easy peasy recipe ideas you might like to check out the FGB easy recipe page.


What are your easy peasy ‘go-to’ Christmas recipes each year?  Do share.

EASY PEASY HEDGEHOG SLICE

Marie Biscuits & Sweetened Condensed Milk are two ingredients that I always, always have in my cupboard.


When one is required, last minute, to ‘bring a plate’, some people find it much easier to just pop down to the shop and grab a packet of biscuits, but for me it’s not always convenient to do that, and I find it easier to just make a quick slice late the night before than go to the shop at that time.  Often I’m home alone at that hour anyway and it is not an option with sleeping kids.

With these two ingredients I can make:
                                             choc-peppermint slice (new for me – thanks Julie!)
or the longtime favourite, and once again a childhood favourite from my mother…

HEDGEHOG SLICE
2 pkts Arnott’s Marie Biscuits*
2 tbspn cocoa
1 cup dessicated coconut
1 395g can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup mini marshmallows
200g melted butter

1. Crush biscuits.  
(Most finely crushed, while still leaving quite a few larger pieces)
2. Mix all ingredients together.
3. Press into a greased slice tin.
4. Refrigerate for approx. 20 mins or until hard.
5. Ice with chocolate butter icing. 
6. Sprinkle icing with shredded coconut or hundreds & thousands.

ICING recipe – I just guess with the quantities – sorry!  But it is roughly 2 cups of icing sugar, 1 tbspn cocoa, 2 tbspn soft butter & enough boiling water to make it correct consistency.  

Do you have a recipe that uses these two ingredients?  
I’d love to give it a go and add it to my repertoire!

For more easy peasy recipes, you might like to check out the FGB easy recipes page.

* This batch was actually made using a packet of teddy bear biscuits.  They did the same job.

EASY PEASY CHOCOLATE WANDS

Thanks to my friend Josie, who first made these for Bear’s Rocket Party these have become my new favourite party food!  After enjoying these at his friend Johnny’s birthday party, Bear loved them so much that he specifically requested them for his own party.

Grissini bread sticks dipped in chocolate and covered in sprinkles!  So yummy and very popular!

With my party glasses on, I can see these with crushed nuts, crushed pistachios, dried cranberries or crushed candy canes at Christmas time.  I can see them with white chocolate mixed with different coloured food dye to make pink, green or yellow wands.   I have seen pretzel sticks done the same way, but I just can’t get past the salt on the pretzels mixed with the sweet of the chocolate and pretzels are not quite as common here in Australia as they are in the US.


I was pretty excited to see Bear’s Rocket Party on Bird’s Party Blog today.

Stay tuned for a cute Cheeky Monkey Party that we went to last weekend.  You might even see these choc. sticks featured!  The party was hosted by the same clever Mum who put on the gorgeous rainbow party earlier this year.
If you’re after more party ideas, head on over to the FGB party page.


DIY CHOCOLATE BOWLS

Just to keep with the sugar theme that we seem to have going on this week…

we made something that I’ve been meaning to try for a very long time.
Our own chocolate bowls!  For a more elaborate tutorial and where I got the idea from in the first place head over to the very clever Bakerella.

These were made by children, so were not the neatest of bowls, but it did not affect the taste!  One of the children, who will remain nameless, thought they would like to create a bowl larger than anyone elses and tried to cover a majority of the balloon in chocolate only to discover when it was time to pop the balloons that it all cracked into tiny pieces.   The rest of us, with a bowl shape (and not greed) in mind, simply dipped the base of our balloons* in the melted chocolate as thickly as possible and placed it on some baking paper to set.  We put them in the fridge, as we wanted them to set quickly, but you probably wouldn’t need to.

Then we set about making our icecream in a bag and had hoped to be eating icecream out of our chocolate bowls within 10 minutes.  In the end, the icecream wasn’t ready until later, so we ate our chocolate bowls with some leftover strawberry and chocolate instant pudding** from the night before and a few strawberries.

I have seen these chocolate bowls (albiet a little fancier) on the front cover of a Donna Hay Kids mag made using white chocolate mixed with pink & green food dye – I’d like to try that next!  What a fun and impressive, yet super simple dinner party dessert!
For more easy peasy recipes, you might like to check out the FGB easy recipes page

* We used normal balloons blown up very small, but water balloons would be best.
**instant pudding - another food from my childhood that I happened to see on the supermarket shelf and had to give it a try!

EASY PEASY HOMEMADE MAYO

While in the middle of making chicken sandwiches recently, Mr FGB discovered that we were out of mayonnaise.  So, I scavenged through to the very back recesses of my recipe folder and after a little searching pulled out my mothers homemade mayonnaise recipe.  We grew up with this mayonnaise, and this page comes from a lovingly written out recipe book that my Mum gave me when I first moved out of home over 17 years ago now…. but I’m not sure if I ever made it.  I got lazy and we just buy it.  Sorry Mum.  I think that is going to change now though as this was yum.

It’s quite yummy, doesn’t include egg and is very, very easy.
If you can’t read the image above in Granny’s writing, the recipe is as follows…
GRANNY’S MAYONNAISE
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
1 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon powdered mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt.

Mix together and put in jar.

For more easy peasy recipes, head over here.

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