The Cook’s Brag Book

quick dinners 1

I have a “cooking” weekend planned this weekend. There are Christmas cakes to bake – my, how fast that time has come around! The brandy bottle will need refilling…

Additionally, I have selected a number of dishes to cook and freeze for week day dinners. The process so far has been to select the menus, list the ingredients required required, order the ingredients online to be delivered prior to the weekend, so that Saturday is Ready, Cook, Freeze!

Dried fruit for the Christmas cakes will be set to soak on Saturday for Sunday baking. I like the brandy to steep in so that the fruit is plump and juicy. I will make at least two cakes. I may make an Irish Tea fruit cake, as it has “cheaper” ingredients as well and uses black tea instead of brandy. That can be a pre Christmas treat.

The meals are all basically one pot meals so I can have a couple on the go at once, hopefully. I remembered to order extra freezer containers as well! We only have two fridge freezers, no large deep freeze, so I can’t make too many meals ahead.There must be room for ice, for our drinks!

The planned menu is :

Spring Chicken Paella

Easy Chicken casserole

Fruity Lamb Terrine

Honey Mustard Chicken Pot

Chicken and White Bean Stew

Mediterranean vegetables with lamb


As well as :

Carrot-zucchini sweet quick bread

Chocolate and orange cake (my two favourite flavours to mix!)


Whenever a recipe requires sugar, I use dextrose, which is available in Australia in the home brewing section of the supermarket, or from health food shops in 1 or 2 kg bags. We have tried to eliminate as much sugar as possible form our diet over the last couple of years.

And no doubt, while I am cooking and baking I shall take photos to share with you mere mortals, because let’s be honest, what is the point of all this back breaking, exhausting work if I don’t get to brag, appear like a domestic goddess, and make you all feel inferior? The fact that we might eat healthier meals and make my life easier in the long run, is just the added bonus!

And of course, if I don’t do anything, you will never hear another word about it!

cook 1


5 thoughts on “The Cook’s Brag Book

    • Yes, all we tipsy cooks are in the kitchen. When I went to the “bottle shop” as we call our liquor stores, the old gent at the counter and I laughed about the seasonal rush on brandy. My cake takes 3/4 of a cup to soak the fruit and then a little over the weeks as I “drip feed” the cake so that it is really moist. The rest of the bottle seems to “evaporate” as the year progresses!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Christmas cakes! And it was just Halloween a week ago. I was approached yesterday by a neighbor’s child who was selling Christmas wreaths for his Boy Scout troop. I hated disappointing him, but I just am not ready to admit it’s time to gird one’s loins for the holidays. We still have pumpkin spice crap littering the supermarket shelves.


    • Once Father’s Day is over in September the stores go into Christmas mode, with just a blip trying to get the kids hooked on halloween but it really isn;t taking that much. I think due to be being summer here, Christmas is a lot less traditional – no mad cookie baking for a start.


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