The evenings have been rather cold the last week. It’s warm and nice in the afternoon sun but the temperatures drop very quickly after 4 o’clock. Not surprisingly, I’ve been craving for comfort food and for the first time, cooked some real, hearty, true blue Aussie beef stew. I found this recipe on the internet and it sounded easy and straightforward enough. I was a little suss on how the flavours were going to turn out but I think I was just paranoid. The stew tasted delicious!
However, when I make this stew again, I will make the following changes to the recipe. I would use something stronger than paprika. I only had smoked paprika and it just wasn’t spicy enough. I think a touch of chilli or mustard powder could be the way to go. I omitted the wine and used vegetable stock but I would definitely use a good beef stock next time. I also replaced celery with carrots. I’ll probably use both instead of just the carrots. Other than that, this recipe is definitely a keeper.
After making one yummy stew, I was ready for the next one very soon after. The recipe is from an Australian Women’s Weekly recipe book. I don’t know which one it’s from as the recipe was photocopied and given to me. I think it was the one called Cheap Eats and the recipe is called Italian Chickpea Stew. I feel like a good girl for making this. It’s got all the good stuff my body would appreciate – tomatoes, vegetables and chickpea. Very nice, except that my stomach is sensitive to too much tomatoes and I had reflux for days! Richard enjoyed it thoroughly though.
To carry on with my good girl theme, I decided to make muesli bars again, instead of buying store bought ones. The new term begins tomorrow and Richard goes through a box of muesli bars each week. I was pretty much over them halfway through last term. This no bake recipe appealed to me for several reasons. The obvious one is that there is no baking involved. The other reason is that the chocolate layer is a combination of chocolate AND peanut butter! The bottom layer holds all the goodness of oats. Without further ado, feast your eyes on the No Bake Chocolate Oat Bar.
I modified the recipe slightly by using only 90grams of brown sugar, increased the peanut butter from 1/2 to 2/3 cup, substituted semi-sweet chocolate chips to dark ones and halved the quantity, and lastly, added a small handful of chopped peanuts. It turned out just the right sweetness as the reviews were saying that the oat bar is very rich and sweet. I also use a slice tray so I just had a layer of oats and a top layer of chocolate, instead of sandwiching the chocolate between two layers of oats. Still worked beautifully. Now the challenge is to try to make it last the whole week!