Ahhh, Spring. Season of puppies, foals, flowers and if we’re lucky, a bit of rain. I’m planting Zinnias. My favourite flowers! They are so pretty, easy to grow (my thumb’s not so green!) and they last for ages as cut flowers.
What about you? I’ll shortly be mailing out some little planting presents all of lovely customers to help them celebrate Spring. Heirloom variety flowers and veggies to get planting in the garden with the little people … A great way to celebrate spring, start conversations with the kids about where food comes from and enjoy the great outdoors and for me, a great way to celebrate our business growing with our customers – those lovely little people!
Here’s what gardening can look like at our house…
I imagine posts just about us might get a bit boring after a while, so I thought I’d introduce you to some of our country friends every now and then too. Today you will meet my friend, Robin Schmidt. Robin is one of the founders of The Bush Kitchen where they share classic easy to follow recipes with easy to get ingredients and cheats for time poor cooks. Interestingly, and I know I'm getting off track, this gorgeous family picture below was taken at Lark Quarry, an aweome place in Western Queensland to take kids for holidays - we're planning a trip soon! A site preserving the tracks of over 300 stampeding dinosaurs. Amazing!
When I invited Robin to share some of her favourite Spring recipe dishes with our this post, I asked her what “wear your country heart on your sleeve” meant to her and her family, and this is what she said: “Wear your country heart on your sleeve" for me, is about being proud of where I've come from and sharing my love of all things country with my friends and family. I'm really looking forward to spoiling my nieces and nephews with some Born Country Baby clothing for Christmas. Yes, I know it’s months away still...” Bless her!
Robin hails from Aramac in Western Queensland, Australia where she is raising a family with her partner, Colin. Tell us some more about Aramac, Robin: “Aramac is a town of around 340 people and supports mainly the beef cattle and wool industries. Aramac’s biggest claim to fame is the Harry Redford Cattle Drive and associated social events which are hosted annually each May. Tourists from all over the world converge on the town to enjoy long days in the saddle, camping under the stars and fantastic bush cooking.”
I’ll hand over the rest of this post to Robin to share her story and her favourite recipes celebrating Spring. Thanks for joining us and I welcome your feedback on our Facebook page where this blog is also shared. Why not send us some happy snaps of you in the garden with the little people?
Cheers, Sonya and the Born Country team XO
When Sonya first asked me to do this blog I jumped at the chance, after all how hard could it be? Then I discovered the reality is very hard indeed, when I asked what she wanted in it, Sonya told me just to give you all a quick rundown on me, the story behind The Bush Kitchen and some spring recipes - and that’s when I really freaked out… <deep breath>
Hi, I'm Robin and I'm a cooking addict - I LOVE trying new things and my solution to not feeling like cooking is usually to pick something complicated and time consuming that uses a lot of pots and pans. It drives my other half up the wall, he usually enjoys the end results but just doesn't see the need to own more than one frypan and one saucepan - seriously.
My kids Connor (7), Riley (6) & Caleigh (3 going on 13) love it but then they don't have to wash up afterwards either! LOL. It also means I'm constantly on the lookout for something new to try, however, living this far out we don't get a lot of the more exotic ingredients. The Bush Kitchen started as a result. Originally intended as a Facebook group for people to share their favourite recipes and tips, The Bush Kitchen has now evolved into something else following discussions with friends about how many people are turning to pre-packaged foods due to working long hours and being time poor. We also commiserated about how the simple process of creating classic mashed potatoes was becoming a lost art. And so, The Bush Kitchen Facebook and webpage was born. While both are very much a work in progress, I have big plans for them and I hope that they (and the fact that I am not a chef just an average home cook!) will encourage people to cook from scratch rather then turning to pre-packaged processed foods.
So there is the little about me and The Bush Kitchen, any questions? No? Good :)
Now for the fun bit, the recipes! To me Spring is a time of new beginnings and with the nights slowly warming up and still no mosquitoes yet, it’s perfect barbecue weather! Which is why I decided to share some quick and easy recipes that are perfect for barbecues or as afternoon snacks for the kids. It’s a Friday afternoon and my kids are fresh home for school. My house smells pretty darn good, all because I have these little beauties in the oven so they can have a ‘picnic’. Not sure if this qualifies me as Mum of the Year or just a sucker but anyway...
Those on the left are my cheat’s version of Puff Dogs and on the right are some quick and easy (not to mention tasty) Savoury Scrolls. You can prepare both in around 15 minutes from scratch and they take about another 10-15 minutes in a 220 degree Celsius oven.
For the Puff Dogs you will need 1 piece of Kabana (I like the cheese version best) or any other sausage you prefer, not the cocktail ones but ‘cause the whole point of this recipe is to cut down on work – you can use them but that requires lots of fiddly cutting things to size.
First put a squiggle of tomato sauce along top of pastry like so:
Next, position Kabana carefully (ha!) on top of sauce:
Sprinkle cheese over rest of pastry. There is a reason for this madness and not just ‘cause I love cheese, it helps to hold the pastry layers together whilst cooking…
Next you just roll it up like so:
Then slice into desired sizes & pop onto a baking tray lined with baking paper:
Pop into oven and by the time you have the next recipe ready to go in they are almost ready to come out. Say hello to the finished product!
Now for Savoury Scrolls… You can use whatever you want for these: ham, pineapple and tomato paste is a great alternative or make a sweet scroll by spreading with Nutella or butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. That’s our favourite!
For this recipe you’ll need some more puff pastry. Approximately 4 sheets to 1 jar of salsa. Bacon, 1 rasher or equivalent in bacon pieces per pastry sheet and cheese to taste. Here’s how we make it:
First we dice the bacon:
Spread salsa over pastry like so. You’ll notice I don’t go right to the edge, I’ll show you why in a little bit…
The next step is to sprinkle bacon over top:
And the grated cheese last of all:
Then you roll up into a sausage shape and slice into roughly 1cm thick pieces. This is where I show you why I don’t go all the way to the edge:
^^ No matter what I’ve tried I always end up with topping oozing out the end as soon as I start cutting, best way I’ve found of dealing with it is to not be too generous with toppings and to slice entire roll before you start to place on your baking tray. Make sure the tray is lined with baking paper and allow plenty of room between them so they cook evenly. Pop into a 220 degrees Celsius oven and bake until golden brown:
Both of these recipes are also good cold, if they last that long! They rarely do in this household! Sonya will post the printable recipe sheet a delicious and easy dessert or party treat – Choc Mint Crushcakes as well as both the recipes we covered today on the Born Country Baby Facebook page - pop over and save a copy for your recipe book!
Hope you enjoy all of these dishes as much as we do :)
from Robin of The Bush Kitchen