December Recipe: Chicken!

by Elsa Winckler

A recipe for what I call the Chicken dish

  • 100 mil extra virgin oil
  • 150 ml plain white flour
  • 60 ml paprika
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 free-range chicken, portioned
  • 20 small baby onions, peeled
  • 2 green peppers, grilled, peeled and pitted
  • 2 gloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 5 ripe tomatoes peeled and pitted (or canned – not the same, but works if you’re in a hurry)
  • 50 ml salted buter
  • 20 small fresh mushrooms
  • fresh parsley and basmati rice

Heat the oil in a casserole.

Mix flour, paprika and seasoning – cover chicken with mixture. Brown the pieces.

Add baby onions

Cut green peppers in strips and add.

Add garlic

Cut tomatoes in strips – catch all the juices and add.

Add enough water for the dish to simmer.

While the chicken is cooking (should take about an hour), melt butter in a pan, allow it to brown and add mushrooms. Fry until they have caramelised.

When serving, pour mushrooms over dish, add parsley and same with basmati rice.


This recipe concludes our month of delicious treats – we hope that you got a few laughs, some inspiration, and more than a few delicious new treats to try!


Discover beautiful South Africa in this sweet, heart-warming Cinderella story about a blogger, a billionaire, and one chance meeting.

December Recipes: Mango Trifle

by Lee Christine

Here is my Mango Trifle recipe which is really Marion Lennox’s. She published it in the Hearts Talk magazine back in 2010 and I’ve made it for the last five years. It’s now a Christmas staple in our family. 🙂


Make trifle in a large, glass bowl so you can see the layers. It looks impressive. It’s a stress free dessert too because the custard and jelly can be made the day before which makes it really easy to assemble on the day.


  • 1 supermarket or home made sponge cake. I use the supermarket ones. Slice the sponge in half.
  • Custard Powder. Make the custard according to the instructions. I use full cream milk and add a teaspoon of vanilla.  I also double the amount of custard powder so it’s thick in the trifle.
  • Mango Jelly. Make up according to the instructions.
  • Mangoes.
  • Whipped cream sweetened with vanilla. I use thickened cream.
  • Lemon butter or curd.
  • Sherry or orange juice, whichever you prefer.



Cut the sponge in half and using the lemon butter or curd make a lemon butter sandwich. This is your first layer.

Sprinke cake with sherry or orange juice.

Layer of custard.

Layer of mango jelly or you can use lemon jelly if you prefer.

1st Layer of mangoes. Set aside the really good slices for the top.

Thick layer of whipped cream sweetened with vanilla.

Final layer of mangoes using the good slices.

You can make this really big. It feeds a crowd! Enjoy!



Kicking off a brand new romantic suspense series from Lee Christine is A Dangerous Arrangement: a violinist with a secret, a billionaire with a problem and a race against time set on the beautiful Amalfi Coast.

December Recipes: A Classic English Sponge

by Tory Hayward

A Classic English Sponge… Tory-Style

Now look. I don’t want to boast or anything.  But I’ve got a bit of a reputation when it comes to baking cakes.

Yep… I have actually won an award for being The Worst Baker of Cakes Ever Seen. I. Am. That. Good.

Naturally I don’t let this utter lack of talent with things-bakery deter me.  Oh no siree.

Recently I decided to tackle The Classic English Sponge.

At first things started out ‘reasonably well.’  ‘Reasonably well’ in my world means I didn’t forget to add any ingredients.  In fact it all began so well I was fairly confident of that rare event… a baking win.

I really should’ve know better.

The trouble started when I took the cake out of the oven and turned out onto the cooling rack.  It became immediately obvious that the inside of the cake was still LIQUID.  I could tell this by the way the liquid part leaked rapidly across the benchtop, down the cupboard door and was helpfully tidied up by Sebby, my spaniel, as it dripped onto the floor.

Thinking quickly, I flipped the cake back into its pan, and shoved it back in the oven.  I ended up with this…


Twice-baked Sponge


And when I turned it out again…




So I kind of squished it back together


No one will notice



And covered it in icing sugar

1000w-4 2

Ta daaaaa….


Should you wish to recreate this masterpiece check out my favourite Delia Smith Sponge recipe…

Tory Hayward also writes as Caitlyn Nicholas. Look out for her new romantic suspense coming out next year.


The world is in peril, and only she can save it…

December Recipes: Grandma’s Chocolate Cake

by Nicole Flockton

When my brother and his wife and daughter came and visited me in Houston in December 2012 he told me every Christmas Eve he makes our Grandmother’s chocolate cake. It’s a very easy recipe and tastes awesome!

  • 2 Cups Self Raising Flower
  • 2 Cups Castor Sugar
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 250g Butter – Melted
  • 4 Eggs
  • 4tbs Cocoa
  • Method:

Pre-heat over at 250C

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth.

Pour mixture into greased cake tin and place in pre-heated oven until cooked in the centre.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.



From Nicole Flockton comes the intense, emotional conclusion of her bestselling Bound trilogy…

December Recipes: Curry Prawns

by Suneeti Rekhari

Christmas Prawn Curry (Or when Prawn Cocktails just won’t do!)

Serves 4 (or 2 v greedy) people


  • 20 King Prawns (shelled, veined, cleaned and tails left on)
  • 2 Spanish onions (diced)
  • 3 tomatoes (chopped finely)
  • 1 Tsp tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely diced)
  • 1 green chilli (or more depending on your heat tolerance) sliced lengthways
  • Handful of fresh curry leaves
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh coriander leaves (chopped finely)
  • 2 Tsp oil salt to taste
  • Spices:
    • 1 Tsp cumin seeds
    • 1 Tsp Asafoetida powder (you can omit this if you can’t find it in your grocery store)
    • 1 Tsp turmeric powder
    • 1 Tsp coriander powder
    • 1 Tsp cumin powder
    • 1 Tsp chilli powder


Heat oil in frying pan. Add cumin seeds and asafoetida powder, fry until they start to sizzle.

Add onion and salt and fry for 3-4 minutes, till nicely caramelised and brown.

Add the rest of the spice powders and fry for 30 seconds.

Add garlic, tomatoes and tomato paste. Fry for 5 minutes, when the oil starts to separate. Add fresh curry leaves and fry for a minute. The kitchen should be smelling like heaven right about now!

Turn up the heat (in the pan) and add prawns. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes – until the prawns turn pink and juicy. Add green chilli.

Your curry is ready. Serve with a sprinkling of fresh coriander and lime wedges. Enjoy watching it disappear in seconds!


A fresh, exciting, funny, fabulous take on New Adult Paranormal about an enterprising matchmaker…and her paranormal clientele.

December Recipes: Boxing Day Turkey Chili

by Kate James

Every Christmas my partner brines and smokes a whole turkey, and every Boxing Day I dismantle what’s left of it, freeze most of the meat, and make stock (in the pressure cooker, I don’t have all day for this!) from the bones. And I always put aside four cups of chopped meat for this chili, which I stole from and adjusted to make it super easy (and Australian-produce-friendly). The original recipe says this will feed eight to 10 but I gotta tell you it’s more like four in my house.

Note: when I make this it always has a slightly smoky flavour because the turkey has been smoked, and this is a very good thing; if you want to reproduce this, maybe throw in a teaspoon or so of smoky paprika or a glug of a smoky bbq sauce. Chili-making should never be reduced to an exact science!


  • 2 fresh red chillies (super-hot little birds-eyes or a less searing chilli? your choice)
  • 2/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • 2/3 cup chopped red capsicum
  • 1 leek (white part only)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup corn flour
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken stock (I use my fresh turkey stock)
  • 2 x 440g can beans (I like black beans, but kidney or borlotti would be fine – mix’n’match for variety if you like!), drained
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 4 cups diced cooked turkey


Seed and chop the chillies, chop the garlic, onion, celery, capsicum and leek.

Melt butter in pot: add chillies, onion, celery, capsicum, leek, garlic and oregano. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

Add the flour and spices, cook 5 minutes.

Add the sugar and stock and bring to simmer.

Mix beans, turkey and corn, and add to the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes. You’re done!

If you’ve managed not to just wolf it down straight away, garnish with grated cheese, red onion, sour cream and fresh coriander.


Kate James will be taking on the role of Managing Editor at Escape Publishing, while Kate Cuthbert is on parental leave.

December Recipes: Love Bites

by Narrelle Harris

I invented this recipe this year with advice from my vegan niece in part so we could have a new family traditional food together.



  • 250g pitted dates
  • 1 dessertspoon coconut oil
  • ½ cup almond meal (+ ¼ cup extra)
  • ½ cup dessicated or shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons raw cocoa powder (optional)


  • Natural crunchy peanut butter, crunchy (should be fairly thin and easily spread)
  • 1 punnet raspberries (or blueberries or whatever berry you like)
  • Thick coconut cream (thickened, separated cream from an unshaken tin of coconut cream. I used a 200g carton of KanTong coconut cream)


  • Blend dates and coconut oil in a blender until it is a thick paste.
  • Add ½ cup almond meal and the dessicated/shredded coconut and mix by hand until it forms a dense, sticky dough.
  • Roll the dough into small balls in the well of your hand and then flatten the balls into a disk.
  • Use the extra ¼ cup of almond meal to coat the case of the disk, so the sticky base won’t stick to the plate. (Makes twenty bases)
  • Lay disks out on a plate, almond-meal side down.
  • Spread a level teaspoon of natural crunchy peanut butter on top of each disk.
  • Add a few berries to the top of each disk.
  • Add a dollop of coconut cream on top of the berries.
  • Eat!
  • Try to stop.
  • Fail.
  • Eat some more.


  • Add 2 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder to the base mixture for that chocolately taste.
  • Add goji berries, almond pieces or other dried fruits and nuts to the base for different textures and flavour bombs
  • Add more almond meal to get a drier, more biscuity base.
  • If the coconut cream is too thin, make it thicker by adding chia seeds to coconut milk/cream and letting it sit for a while until you have a cream topping of the right consistency.


Traditionally, leather is an anniversary gift. One couple is about to take that in a very non-traditional way…


Recipe: Oranges in Syrup

by Marnie St Clair

Oranges in syrup is our go-to Christmas dessert (along with home-grown-raspberry pavlova – yum!). It offers a number of advantages: it can be made a day or two in advance, and keeps well; it’s pretty light, so no matter how much you overloaded your plate in the earlier stages of the meal, there’s always room for this deliciousness; and… liquor to taste – hello! Perfect for reviving any flagging Christmas spirits.

Oranges in Syrup

  • 6 oranges
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Galliano (Cointreau or Grand Marnier also suitable, or go crazy with whatever you have in stock)
  • ½ cup pistachios

Make a sugar syrup. Stir sugar into water over medium heat until sugar dissolves and water comes to boil, then leave to simmer for five minutes. Cool and add liquor to taste (I believe the original recipe called for about a tablespoon, but let the needs of the day be your guide).

Skin and slice the oranges kind of thin (say 5 mm). Add slices and juice to a serving bowl.

Pour syrup over oranges and leave to pickle.

Just before serving, top with chopped nuts (they go a bit soggy if added too early).

Nice served with plain yoghurt although I like it best as is.



She went from having everything to having nothing—except what she really needed.

December Recipes: Chocolate Smoochies

by MA Grant

My family is full of readers and whenever we get together (rarer times now since I live in Alaska and everyone else is in California), my mother rereads us our favorite children’s books. Laura Joffe Numeroff’s If You Give a Mouse a Cookie was a favorite for me and my sisters, and now my niece and nephew love it just as much. Even better, there’s a companion cookbook which has a family favorite recipe: Cousin Bitsy’s Smooches (or, as they’re known in my family, Chocolate Smoochies). The recipe is simple and addictive.



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup softened margarine
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • approximately 30 unwrapped Hershey’s Kisses
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit (175 degree Celsisus or Gas Mark 4).
  2. Mix together all the ingredients except the Kisses.
  3. Drop one-inch balls of dough onto a greased/parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Press a chocolate Kiss into the top of each cookie.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the bottom edges of the cookie are golden brown.
  5. Cool cookies on a wire rack (to avoid molten chocolate Kiss burns).



Best friends do everything together—including falling in love…

December Recipes: No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Slice

by Shona Husk

It’s hot in Australia during Christmas so the last thing you really want to be doing is baking. This recipe is super quick and only uses one pot… it’s no bake peanut butter chocolate slice!

As the name suggests there is no baking, just the painful 2-3hrs as you wait for it to set in the fridge. On the plus side you can lick the pot as there are no raw eggs!

Here is the original recipe:

I changed some of the cup measurements to weights because you can stick the saucepan on the scales and add to the pot (plus have you ever tried to put peanut butter in a cup and then scrape it out? Not fun. Ditto for the honey.).

Melt these together:

  • 1 cup peanut butter (250g, crunchy or smooth it doesn’t seem to matter. Maybe live dangerously and try almond butter?)
  • 1/2 cup honey (150g)
  • 1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil (80g)

Stir these into the saucepan with the melted stuff:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts, whatever you have in the pantry)
  • 1 1/4 cups dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (220g dark chocolate)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Press into a slice tin or whatever pan you have handy and put in the fridge. Lining the pan with baking paper will make it easier to get out.




No you can’t cut a slice off the edge…okay you know you want to…




Okay! Now you can cut it into small pieces. Small because this slice is rich.



Shona Husk’s sexy new adult series about emerging rock band Selling the Sun concludes this month with a story about a woman who doesn’t want to connect, a man who’s forgotten how and the friendships that save our lives.