Sunday 22 May 2022

Potato Quinoa And Chives Cakes

Righto, I'll admit it here - I am not a massive fan of quinoa (or kale, or yeast flakes or any of that kind of thing), but you have to try everything once.  Well, maybe not mass murder or monkey brains :-)  This recipe is from Jane Grover's book Our Delicious Adventure - her account of her family's travels around Australia.

You could do this the hard way or take the easy route like I did, by using quick-cook quinoa.  Jane's method is to soak the grains overnight in lemon juice so it can ferment a bit, then you rinse and drain, and pat it dry and boil it, and ....  Her flavourings on the other hand are very simple, with just some chives and salt and pepper as the flavouring.  Soooo, I went to town and kept adding things 'cos I just don't know when to stop ...  So the optional extras are all mine. 

Makes 12 chunky little beauties!


190g./6.7 oz quinoa - (I used the quick-cook stuff) 

190 mL/6.4 fl oz water

4 large potatoes (approx 900g./32 oz), peeled and chopped into chunks

100g./3.5 oz butter

1/2 tsp salt

5 Tbs fresh herbs, chopped (yep, I went for parsley and chives)

1 tsp salt

ground black pepper - about 1 tsp

1 large egg

1/2 tsp dried garlic granules or 1 clove garlic, grated (optional)

1/2 tsp chicken stock powder (or use your fave flavour) (optional)

2 tsp gochugaru or dried chilli flakes of your choice (optional)

3 Tbs parmesan, grated (optional)

1 Tbs sesame seeds (optional)

2 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes (optional)

80g./3 oz cooked chicken, finely chopped (you guessed it! Optional)

1-2 Tbs roast capsicum, finely chopped (optional)

4-5 Tbs EV olive oil, or plain veg. oil for frying

Told ya Jane's recipe is very simple on the ingredients!


Follow the instructions on the quinoa packet!  The quick-cook version needs equal amounts of grains and water but yours may need something different

Then get on to the potatoes: Boil or steam or microwave them till tender; drain, add the butter and salt, and mash to your liking (I like a few lumps)

Tip the quinoa and the potato mash into a large mixing bowl; add the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT the chicken and capsicum (and Evoo)

Stir it together, or get your hands in so it's all nicely mixed

Grab a large frypan, add 2 Tbs of the oil, heat it till bubbly, then drop in half cups of the mixture (I made 4 at a time)

Pat them down gently with a spatula/egglifter

Cook for 4-5 minutes per side till beautifully browned; flip 'em and cook on the other side

Place them on a lined baking tray and shove into a low oven to keep warm

Now cook the next batch of 4, adding another 1 Tbs of oil if needed

Yep, into the oven they go when done

Add the chicken and capsicum to the last bit of the mix, stir it in, and fry up the last 4 patties/cakes using another Tbs of oil

Serve with tomato relish, and a salad, or even in a bun - like a veggie burger


These are tender little babies so if they start falling apart in the pan, just pat them together again

I used organic, gluten-free stock powder

Don't use that disgusting garlic powder stuff!  I used actual garlic that is dried into granules

Obvs. you can cook however many cakes at a time you want!  Four fit in my pan beautifully

I wonder if 2 eggs would be better?

mash the tatties with the butter and salt

the mash and the cooked quinoa

everything into the bowl

mixture ready for the pan

half-cup portions (sorry for blurry photo)

start frying in the oil

ready to keep warm in the oven

crunchy and tender and tasty

an interesting book

© Sherry M.

Wednesday 11 May 2022

Polish Strawberry Kisiel - AKA Strawberry Fruit Pudding

This is a very simple pudding; it's basically fruit juice thickened with flour.  I will confess right here - mine did not thicken much at all.  Really, you could just about drink it (which apparently is also a thing).  Not sure why?  Not enough flour?; not the right kind of flour?  Who knows?  Still tasty though.  The original recipe calls for potato flour which I didn't have, but I read that you can use other flours like cornflour or arrowroot - so I did :-)  Apparently potato flour has a slightly earthy taste which I didn't fancy here.  

Soft foods are good for me at the moment.  I had a back molar tooth out last week (maybe a wisdom tooth?), and it's giving me a hard time.  The socket (?) is feeling okay, but my jawbone is being a right mongrel.  Drugs are my friend right now :-)  And warm, salty mouth washes every couple of hours.  My dentist should just take over my bank account.  And he reckons I need another crown.  OMG!  

This is a slight adaptation of a recipe from Rose Petal Jam by Beata Zatorska and Simon Target.  Beata was born in Poland, but migrated to Australia and became a family doctor in Sydney.  This book is about her travels back home after twenty years.  Gorgeous photos and interesting tales.  But no nutty bling for her :-)  Nor did she mention divvying up the cold water into two amounts; in fact her recipe just suddenly mentions using another 100 mL of water for the slurry.  As my dessert was a wee bit runny, I decided that next time it would be best to use the 500 mL for both the fruit mixture and the slurry.  


Serves 6-7:

ready for the bling


500g./1 lb 2 oz strawberries or fruit of your choice - fresh or frozen

500 mL/17 fl oz water, divided into 400 mL and 100 mL

6 Tbs (85g.) caster sugar

8 tsp (24g.) arrowroot or potato flour or cornflour (see Notes)

a splash (about 1/8 tsp) rosewater - optional

juice of a small lemon - maybe 40-50 mL

2 tsp Chambord or other fruit liqueur - optional

For the topping:

a handful (50g. or so/2 oz) pecans or walnuts or your fave nut, chopped roughly

more strawbs, sliced

chocolate Flake bar, broken up

raspberry or strawberry pearls - optional!


If using fresh fruit, you will need to rinse, hull and slice up; otherwise just tip the frozen slices (or fruit juice) into a medium saucepan

Then pour the 400 mL water, plus the sugar, in with the fruit

Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and let the fruit soften for about five minutes

Place a sieve over a medium bowl, (don't forget the bowl) and tip the fruity mass into the sieve

Press out all the juice with a large spoon, leaving behind the pulpy bits in the sieve and pour the juice back into your pan

Make a slurry with the arrowroot/potato flour and the other 100 mL of cold water (see photo below)

Then slowly mix it into the fruit juice, stirring constantly till the mixture thickens (or maybe not - tee hee)

Now add the rosewater, lemon juice and liqueur (if using)

Let it simmer gently for another minute, then leave to cool slightly

Spoon/pour into ramekins and let it cool in the fridge

Add the nuts, extra fruit, chocolate shards and fruity pearls on top

Some recipes say it's best hot, some say cold; I liked it cold


You can even use bought orange juice from the shop!

Arrowroot is AKA tapioca flour

Flake bar is light and flaky, and breaks up into shards very easily, but you could chop up or grate some regular chocolate

The bling was my idea; the original recipe is just the thickened fruit juice

ingredients gathered

fruit, water and sugar in the pan

strain the fruit and press out the juice

make a slurry with the flour and water

simmer and stir with the slurry

simmer for a few minutes till it thickens

ready for the fridge

bling bling bling!

all blinged up and ready for the eating
(hands courtesy of our English/Aussie friend visiting from the UK)

© Sherry M.

a beautiful book

Sunday 1 May 2022

In My Kitchen - May 2022

This is the third long weekend in a row here!  We had Easter; we had Anzac Day and now we have Labour Day.  I baked up a storm of Anzac biscuits last weekend for our local Historical Society's Anzac Day service.  As long-term readers may remember, my granddad fought at Gallipoli during the First World War.  Such a young lad to go off to such horror.  And he never really recovered from his war wounds; he was in and out of hospital his whole life.

The weather is finally changing at last!  I even wore a (light) scarf on our afternoon walk the other day.  We are heading down south to Canberra (our capital city) in a few weeks where it will be freezing for us poor Queenslanders.  I am taking MANY coats and scarves.  But for now, I am sitting here in a tee-shirt, enjoying the afternoon breeze.  Let's head off to my kitchen round-up, before I get stuck into the several short stories I am intending to write before we go away.   

In My Kitchen:

snipping parsley and chives for the freezer

I love having herbs in the freezer, so I snip them up and shove 'em into freezer bags.  Et voilĂ !  Ready to pour into a stew or a soup.

there were many seedy chicken pasties made

Our friends were unwell, so I made some pasties for them so they didn't have to worry about meals.  Quite tasty, I have to say.  I do love me a whole heap of seeds!  These had white and black sesame seeds plus poppy seeds.  Do you remember all the fuss a while ago about people turning poppy seeds into opium/heroin?  I didn't even know you could till they told us :-)  The same with the painkillers they used to sell; you could make 'em into hardcore drugs.  Who knew?  A wee bit hilarious for us innocents.

and hand-carved wooden spoons by Thea Conway

As regular readers are aware, I am obsessed with hand-carved wooden spoons.  These are eating spoons, made by an Aussie lady.  I do find the bowls a wee bit shallow, so I will use them for cooking mostly.

I bought this

Not really a fan I have to say.  It was expensive, and I don't really like the flavour.  I may try making my own version next time, but without the dried garlic!  And I always have heaps of seeds in the pantry :-)

here we have semi-dried tomatoes in EV olive oil

I bought these for the pizza pie I recently blogged.  I drowned the leftovers in EV olive oil, and into the fridge they went.  So handy for other dishes.

Easter gifts from my cuz

My cuz sent these to me for Easter.  So sweet of her!  I adore that bunny plate.

It has been a busy April, and I have much to do in May before heading off for our road trip.  Covid restrictions have been lifted, and we seem to be heading into normal life again.  What a weird world it has been!  Hope yours is coming along well too.

oops, nearly forgot my curveball!

This is another wee sculpture from our mate Dion.  I have several of his works; this is L'il Dusty who sits on my desk, watching me type.  So cute.  And as a tribute to our Pa: in uniform, going off to war as a teenager in 1915.  They didn't even have the proper uniform or insignia at that stage.  Lest we forget!

Bertie Jackson aged 17

So let's get to it, global friends and new friends.  Join us for another IMK post.  And here's how to do it:

IMK posts are about your kitchen (and kitchen garden) happenings over the past month.  Dishes you've cooked, preserves you've made, herbs and veg in your garden, kitchen gadgets, and goings-on.  And a curveball is welcome - whatever you fancy; no need to be kitchen-related (see the artwork above).  

The link is open from the first of the month to midnight on the thirteenth of the month.

Options for adding your post to IMK:

1. Add via the Add Link button at the bottom of this post.  Instructions can be found on the sidebar of this page, under the Add your IMK link OR:

2. Comment on this post, providing a link to your post so I can add it manually to the list below OR:

3. Email me:, with your link or any queries about the link process, or if you would like it to be added after the 13th ('cos I can sneak it in; I know the boss)

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter