Is there anything more comforting than a meal from our childhood? Or perhaps the smell of a favourite cake cooking or something bubbling on the stove. There is something truly therapeutic in the process of preparing a favourite dish that your Mum or Grandma has passed onto you.
We've put the call out for cherished recipes handed down from our Mums...You will find below a selection of recipes that have been generously shared with us (generous - as we know that it is not always easy to part with the secret behind a truly fantastic signature dish).
We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. If you'd also like to contribute, please email to email@example.com so that they can be added to this post.
Old Faithful Apricot Chicken
By Lo Corcoran @los_kitchen
There’s nothing complicated or ‘chef-y’ about this recipe. Some may say it’s a bit boring; too 70’s for their liking. I don’t mind though. Some food trends come and go; think zucchini spaghetti, fancy tacos or sweet brioche burger buns (I’m not a massive fan of any of these things). But this apricot chook has lasted the test of time.
You can’t find an easier dinner to feed the whole family than this old faithful apricot chicken. Affordable, reliable and ever so comforting, it was one of my favourite meals growing up (and still is!)
Using minimal ingredients such as: an onion, some garlic, a sachet of French onion soup and a tin of apricot nectar, the only other things you need are the chook, some flour and a bit of salt and pepper. I prefer to use minced garlic from a jar so it can be thrown together really quickly. A bit lazy you might say? Yep. Totally. This is one of those easy recipes that once you’ve made it before, you’ll be able to do it in your sleep. The ultimate dish for a busy weekday.
For full blogpost go to @los_kitchen
- 1 x kilo of thigh fillets (or chicken drumsticks)
- 1 x brown onion, chopped in to thin wedges
- 1 x teaspoon of minced garlic
- 1 x 400 gram tin of apricot nectar
- 1 x sachet of French onion soup
- A couple of tablespoons of plain flour, for dusting the chicken
- A dash of olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- A splash of water
Steamed rice, cous cous, mashed potato or pasta to serve.
- Dust the chicken pieces in flour and season with salt and pepper.
- Add a dash of olive oil to a large fry pan and fry the chicken on all sides, in batches, until browned nicely. Reserve in to the slow cooker.
- In the same fry pan (and adding a dash more olive oil if needed) sautè the onions and garlic until softened, being careful not to burn.
- Add the apricot nectar and French onion soup and stir to combine. Add a splash of water.
- Pour sauce over the chicken and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4, or until meltingly tender*.
Serve with either mashed potato, boiled rice, pasta or cous cous and some steamed veggies. Shop olive oils here
- Beware that the cooking time will vary depending on how much chicken you choose to cook and whether or not you have added veggies.
- Use any type of chicken: thigh fillets, breast or drumsticks.
- If you don’t have time to cook it in the slow cooker, after browning the meat and sauté-ing the onions and garlic, pour it all in to a casserole dish and bake in a moderate oven for 1.5-2 hours or pop on a lid and cook it over the stovetop on low for a similar cooking time. Cook until the chicken is nice and tender.
- If you do ‘up’ the amount of chicken to feed a crowd, use two tins of apricot nectar and two soup sachets.
- If cooking this when friends are over, I often add a handful of dried apricots also.
- This is a great dish to feed a lot of people with. Perfect to pop on in the morning and walk in the door to dinner already cooked.
- You could also serve the chicken with some toasted slivered almonds scattered over the top.
Fool-Proof Butter Cake
By Alison Ruskin Rowe @alruskinrowe
I've been licking beaters and every skerrick out of a butter cake bowl as long as I can remember.
This was my nana's recipe and it has been modified by my Mum. Mum was a busy, full-time English school teacher who had better things to do than spend time creaming butter and sugar. My nana on the other hand would craft the batter into delicate patty cakes iced with either chocolate or pink icing with coconut on top. Always when we visited there was a large batch sitting on top of her fridge, just out of reach so we wouldn't eat them all in one go. I can still remember the joy of pulling off the first patty cake wrapper and sinking my teeth into the pink icing. They never lasted long.
- 125g butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup of caster sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla (or a cap of the lid will do)
- 3/4 cup full cream milk
- 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
- 2 cups soft icing mixture (for icing)
- An extra 60g butter (for icing)
- Dash of milk (for icing)
- Vanilla to taste (for icing)
- Coconut (as much as you desire to top icing)
- Mix together eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick and creamy.
- Melt butter and add milk to it.
- Sift half the flour and add half the milk/butter mixture and stir to combine.
- Add other half of flour and milk/butter mixture.
- Pour into a prepared round cake tin and bake at 180 degrees celsius for 40 minutes. (Check at 25 minutes)
- While the cake is cooking cream extra butter and vanilla and add in soft icing mixture. Add enough milk to make icing smooth and creamy.
- Once cake has cooled, ice with icing and top with desired amount of coconut (or none if you don't like it.) It is possible to add cocoa or food colouring for desired chocolate icing or coloured icing, and also use the mixture to make patty cakes.
Mum's Bread and Butter Pudding
by Belinda at Hold Cottage @hold_cottage
My mum has always been the baker in our family. Rarely do we have a family dinner without 'sweets' made by Mum. Anything from a simple butter cake iced with vanilla icing and 100's and 1000's, to delectable seasonal tart. But for our family, Mum's bread and butter pudding is what screams familiarity and comfort. Walking into the house while the pudding is baking is the best part. That smell, it means home. It's always warm and full of eggy custard with just the right amount of spice. It's even better when Mum uses raisin bread as the base and then serves it with vanilla ice cream and double thick cream. Lets hope one of us can learn to make it as good as Mum!
- 60g mixed raisins and sultanas
- 2 tablespoons orange juice (or brandy)
- 30g butter
- 4 slices good quality bread
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons caster sugar
- 3 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons cream
- 1 /4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon demerara sugar
- Preheat the oven to moderate 180C (350F).
- Soak the raisins and sultanas in the orange juice (or brandy) for 30 minutes.
- Butter the slices of bread (and jam if you like), remove the crusts or leave them on if you prefer and cut each piece into 8 triangles. Arrange the bread in a lightly greased 1 litre oven proof dish.
- Combine the eggs with sugar, milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon and mix well.
- Drain the raisins and sultanas and add any liquid to the custard mix.
- Scatter the soaked raisins and sultanas over the bread and pour custard mix over the top.
- Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour (not absolutely necessary).
- Sprinkle the pudding with demerara sugar (lots) and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the custard has set and the top of the pudding is crunchy and golden.
Note: use good quality bread. Ordinary sliced white will tend to become soggy when it soaks up the milk. Fruit loaf works really well too.
I hope you like it. Belinda x
By Hannah Calcino @the.urban.farmhouse
Basil Pesto is the hallmark of my childhood. It was a permanent fixture in our fridge and our daily lives. I have vivid memories eating it by the spoonful while sitting at the kitchen bench with my Nana and there was always a glass jar of it rattling around the bottom of our car fridge as we ventured away on outback family trips. Countless basil bushes have grown on our patio and when I moved to a cattle station in 2019 and was no longer close enough to nip home and replenish my supply of pesto, I tried - albeit unsuccessfully, to grow my own basil in the scorching heat in order to remedy my predicament.
In my family, consuming store-bought pesto is a sin, and I wasn’t even aware you could buy it from the supermarket until I was in my late teens. Our family recipe was originally cultivated by my aunt, who in turn taught my Nana and my mum the art of the perfect pesto. It is a homage to our Italian heritage, and we have been known to provide pesto as a gift for any occasion.
The beauty of this recipe is that it is so versatile. You can enjoy it on its own with pasta, mix it with shredded chicken and use as a jaffle filling, add extra oil to make the most delectable salad dressing or eat is slathered on top of fresh white bread. However you use it, promise me this – you will showcase it in all its glory.
- 4 cups of loosely packed basil
- ¾ cup grated parmesan
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped.
- ½ Tbs Salt
- 1/3 cup Pine nuts
- ½-3/4 cup of Olive Oil
- Place all ingredients in a food processor.
- Blitz until combined and a thick paste has formed.
- Taste test and adjust to suit preference.
- Place pesto in a glass jar and cover with a thin layer of oil.
- Store in fridge
- If necessary, substitute ½ the amount of basil for baby spinach.
- You can substitute the pine nuts for any other nuts or pepita seeds. Shop nuts here
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