Culinarily Challenged Cook

I am the first to admit my cooking leaves A LOT to be desired, but there are a few things (very few) I'm told I do well and they're all easy-peasy:

Omelettes, Roast Lamb Rack, Bolognaise, and Salads are my thing. (Things I don't burn)

So here are my first few contributions to the millions of online recipes:  

HoiSin lamb rack with cherry tomato salad.

Take a rack of lamb, cut it in half and weave the halves together…

Then smother it in Hoisin sauce and bung it in the oven for 45 minutes. Put the timer on!

If you don't want to be bothered roasting, tossing your lamb cutlets on a grill pan with the Hoisin brushed over them (liberally) on each side as you turn them is also to die for and super-fast.  

While that’s cooking I halve the tomatoes, and throw them in a bowl with a good helping of goats cheese (the sort you get in a jar of oil and herbs), add olive oil and a generous splash of Carmelised Balsamic.

That’s my problem. I’m not much of a waiting kind of girl, I’m too restless and I’ll inevitably wander off and start tidying, cleaning folding washing…right up until the smoke detector goes off. 

Salads are more my thing; and guests and their offspring have always taken second helpings of this one so I know they’re not faking:

Chicken and pear salad with tortellini.

A meal in a bowl and it has two of my most important prerequisites: it’s fast (you can precook the tortellini) and very hard to ruin.

To serve 2 and one child:

4 browned chopped chicken thighs
2 cups of cooked tortellini
2 finely slice pears (apple is a decent substitute)
Whatever salad greens you like ( I favour iceberg lettuce myself)
Generous splash of olive oil
Caramelised Balsamic to taste.  
You can add goat’s cheese or shaved parmesan too if you’re a cheese junkie  

Method: Whack it all in a bowl and toss it.

I do a variation on this – leaving out the tortellini and adding some rare, sliced lamb back strap to make a warm lamb salad.

Child Friendly Quickies

If you think this photo is cute check out the video at the end :0)

Hoisin Chicken with Rice

This is one of Pinkster's favourites and it' as fool-proof as it is fast:

Brown some chopped chicken thighs in butter and a bit of minced garlic.
  •  Use breasts if you want to - I prefer thighs because they tend not to be so dry
  • I always keep a jar of minced garlic in the fridge because I cant be arsed faffing around with and washing up a garlic crusher.
Then douse them in Hoisin sauce and a dash of olive oil to finish cooking them through ( about another five minutes depending on how big your chicken pieces are).
I cheat cooking the rice, always, using Uncle Ben's express microwave Basmati rice (Aldi's version is great too). 
I can never get rice this perfect and I always, always burn another saucepan trying.

Super-cheesy corn omelet with ham and mushrooms

This is super nourishing fast food - takes about 5 minutes to prepare;

Without trying to reinvent the wheel here, lots of people can make decent omelettes, I know that. But my own secret to fluffy filling omelettes is simply: a tablespoon each of cream & creamed corn beaten with the eggs.
Not only has it more flavour than just eggs, but it fills me up enough to keep me going all day.

But for those of you who are equally as challenged in the cuisine department as I am (I'm still trying to perfect the soft boiled egg) it would be remiss of me not to include this in recipe format:

2 x 60 gm eggs
1x tablespoon creamed sweet corn
1x table spoon of pouring cream

2 slices of shaved ham
3 large mushrooms sliced
grated cheese - as much or little as you like

  • cook the sliced mushrooms in a buttered Teflon frypan till they are becoming soft
  • break the eggs into a mixing jug with the creamed corn and cream and beat this mixture while your mushrooms are cooking
  • remove the mushrooms from the pan and pour the omelette mixture in to cook
  • when the omelette is lifting at the edges and moves back and forth if you gently shake the fry pan, its ready to turn
  •  after flipping it, put the mushrooms, ham and cheese on one half then fold the other half over the top and serve.

There are a world of variations here - avocado is a nice addition, smoked chicken works just as well as ham.  The trick is the sweet-corn makes it fluffier and adds a bit more substance, flavour and fibre.

Pinkster's favourite Cheesy Bolognese

This takes very little hands-on preparation time and it makes around five single serves.

500 gms mince (we like lamb but you can use beef or veal)
1/2  finely chopped onion
1 tspn crushed garlic (I use the pre-crushed one you buy in a jar)
1 tub of tomato paste (by tub I mean those portions you can buy that look like yogurt tubs - but it equates to about 100gm)
2 tins of diced tomatoes
1 1/23 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

  • With a splash of oil, brown the meat in a large fry pan with the onion and garlic
  • add the rest, mixing well, &  put it on to simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Add  grated parmesan cheese and mix that in well too
  • Serve what you need over cooked pasta add grated tasty cheese on top.

This will make enough to freeze for about another four fast meals. Put the rest into small containers for the freezer; then as needed, nuke them for about a minute in the microwave and you're set to go again.

One day I may post my photos of my own cooking, but usually meal times are at that point in the day where I'm more interested in cracking open a bottle of something to calm my nerves, rather than get out my camera (which the small person would inevitably want to play with). Besides, too often what I cook tastes better than it looks...

Instead I hope you enjoy this footage of She-Who-Worships-Pink eating her favorite spag-bol...


  1. Thanks for easy recipes. I might try the hoisin lamb rack:)

    1. You're very welcome Sita :0) If you don't want to be bothered roasting, tossing your lamb cutlets on a grill pan with the Hoisin brushed over them (liberally) on each side as you turn them is also to die for.

      Also nice are chicken thighs whole or chopped cooked in a fry pan with Hoisin served with white rice. I brown these first in butter and garlic.

      I'm even more addicted to Hoisin as I am to Caramelized Balsamic!

      good luck