The last couple of weeks at Chez Bee

Some of the goings on around my neck of the woods…

Mushroomy goodness prepared by Mr Bee

Mushroomy goodness prepared by Mr Bee

Harvesting and drying parsley seeds from our garden

Harvesting and drying parsley seeds from our garden

The annual tomato preserving marathon

The annual tomato preserving marathon

15 minute Jamie's continue... with this example being thai beef Jamie style

15 minute Jamie’s continue… with this example being Thai beef Jamie style

A very yummy apple cider that we drank at a very cosy and welcoming little bar

A very yummy apple cider that we drank at a very cosy and welcoming little bar

End of summer fresh borlotti beans from the farmers' market with rocket, pancetta and soudoug

End of summer fresh borlotti beans from the farmers’ market with rocket, pancetta and sourdough

Posted in A farmers' market cornucopia, Dinner, Drinks, Food, Gardening, Snapshot | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Update on the Jamie challenge

As I mentioned in my new years post, Mr Bee and I are working our way through Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals, cooking one recipe each a week.  We’re having so much fun.  It adds quite an amount of novelty and anticipation to our meals knowing that at least two recipes a week will be completely new to us. And both of us have tried techniques and food that we haven’t cooked before.  Mr Bee even ended up making harissa because we were having trouble finding it in the shops!

A selection of our meals so far:

Jamie Tuna

p 156 Seared Asian Tuna.  Delicate, sophisticated flavours.  My first go at cooking fresh tuna and if it wasn’t so expensive, I’d be eating it at least weekly

Koh Samui Salad

p 162 Koh Samui Salad.  British cabbages must be tiny because I used the half a cabbage suggested and we ended up with a mountain of cabbage that just diluted the lovely flavours.  Since then I have not let the speed of the meal mean that I stopped using the general cooks knowledge, 1/2 a cabbage is a heap and I should have known it would be way too much

Lamb Kofte

p 108 Lamb Kofte.  Pistachios and honey on lamb kofte are a taste sensation!  I could take or leave the couscous dish though

Chicken Tikka

p 26 Chicken Tikka.  Very nice.  We had run out of yoghurt when Mr Bee made this so he substituted butter for the sauce.  It actually worked quite well in a very rich over the top kind of way



p 232 Ricotta fritters.  Very, very yummy.  It’s very important to cook the fritters in a nonstick pan as the first batch in the cast-iron stuck like troopers.

Prawn cocktail

p 128 Prawn cocktail.  Forget the 70s appetiser. This is tasty and full of fresh flavours.  The tomato bread is so easy and tastes divine. Perfect for a hot summers day.


Posted in Breakfast, Dinner, Food, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Oh this recipe is just soooo delicious.  And it’s easy to make, I mean you are actually meant to burn the pork a little 😉  It’s my take on a recipe from this month’s Donna Hay Magazine.  It’s completely un-authentic anything but it is scrummy


Crispy pork

  • 400-500 g pork
  • 2.5 cm/ 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 anchovy fillet, finely chooped
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup chilli jam
  • 1 tbsp mild vegetable oil e.g. sunflower

Add everything except the oil to a bowl.  Mix well. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 30 min.

Heat the oil in the fry pan on high heat.  Add the pork mix and fry for ~12-15 min or until the pork is nice and dry and starting to go a little blackened and caramelised.  You’ll need to stir it regularly so it cooks evenly and you only get minimal amount of pork sticking to the frypan base.

Serve with rice, steamed green veg of your choice (beans, snow peas, broccoli etc) and a healthy sprinkling of finely chopped basil, mint and spring onions.

The recipe makes enough meat for four people


Posted in Dinner, Food, Recipe | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lemon, ginger, mint and honey refresher

This summer, much of Australia has been plunged into heatwave after heatwave. It’s been so hot that the Bureau of Meteorology has needed  to add extra colours to its temperature graphs to show how high the temperatures are reaching.

And so, to keep our fluids up at Chez Bee, we have been drinking  A LOT of a very refreshing twist on home-made lemonade.  Maybe you’ll find it refreshing the next time you’re in a heat wave or just want a cool drink on a summers day?

To a large glass add about four thin slices of fresh ginger, 3 or four sprigs of mint, the juice of half a lemon and a heaped teaspoon of honey.  Of course, all of these ingredients are too taste so experiment around until you find the right combination for you. Muddle this all in together.  You especially want to have the honey well mixed in and the ginger and mint well bruised.  Fill up with water and plenty of ice cubes.  Enjoy!

Lemon, ginger, mint and honey refresher

Posted in Drinks, Environment, Food, Recipe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yummy sounding recipes from around the blogosphere

Hi folks

Some yummy sounding recipes from around the blogosphere that I would like to try.  As I was gazing at them I thought that maybe you’d like to try them too.

So here they are:

May your 2013 be at least as good as these recipes sound yummy!

Posted in Dinner, Drinks, Food, Inspiration, Lunch, Recipe, Snapshot | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to 2013

Hello everyone,

How are you?  I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing Christmas-New Year period.  At Chez Bee it was all about family, friends and food.  Oh and soaking up the way that time seems to slow down and, even though I live in a major city, everything is so quiet and peaceful for a week.  Lovely, just lovely.

Of course there was lots of delicious food both at Chez Bee and at other people’s homes we visited.  But I was enjoying the company so much that I don’t have many photos to share.   Just  a couple to give you some idea.

Christmas fruit cake

I was also the lucky recipient of a couple of food related presents:


Which brings me to Mr Bee’s and my food resolution for 2013.  We eat lovely, healthy and sometimes indulgent food at Chez Bee but hmmm, even the most tasty food can get a bit a “stale” and boring after a while.  We both work hard so it’s always a battle to put yummy, tasty and interesting food on the table during the week.  As you can see above a lovely person gave me Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals.  Mr Bee suggested that we work our way through every recipe in the book, to help us with getting a bit more variety onto our plates mid-week.  We’re now into the fourth week of two recipes per week. Of course, as always, Jamie know’s what he’s doing with food.  The recipes take a little longer than 15 minutes but they are fast and tasty and we are enjoying ourselves and learning new cooking ideas and tips.  I won’t post every meal here just the odd one to let you know how we are going.

Jamie meal 1

Jamie meal 2

Wishing all of you the best for 2013.

Posted in Books, Dinner, Food, Health, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Summer meals at Chez Bee

Prawn dinner

Smoked salmon dinner

quinoa patties

Yes the prawn and smoked salmon meals with home-made tartare were delicious but what has me all excited are the quinoa patties.  I’ve never cooked with quinoa before and man, were these scrummy.  They are a Bill Granger recipe out of the December Delicious magazine (Australian edition).  Lemon rind, fetta, mint, parsley and cummin added just the right depth of flavour to the  nuttiness of the quinoa.  I am a convert.  If you’re looking for something to do with quinoa you can try them out for yourself: the recipe is here.

Posted in Dinner, Food | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Honey, date and brandy ice cream

Definitely an adults only indulgence with a hint of Christmas about it from the brandy…

  • 100 g dates, sliced to a thickness depending on preference
  • scant half cup of boiling water
  • 200 mL of cream
  • 600 mL of vanilla custard
  • 1 heaped (or heaping depending on your country of origin) dessert spoon of honey
  • 3 dessert spoons of brandy
  • 1 ice cream machine 🙂
  1. Place your dates in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over them.  Stir and mash a bit with a spoon.  Once they have cooled to luke warm place them in the fridge to cool down completely.
  2. In a larger bowl, mix all the ingredients together.
  3. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes for everything to become very cold.
  4. Place in your ice cream maker and run according to the manufacturers instructions.  On mine it is 40 minutes.
  5. Eat immediately if you like your ice cream semifreddo  or freeze for another 1-3 hours depending on preference.

I must admit that I was intrigued by a Delia Smith ice cream recipe that used store-bought custard so I tried that out for this recipe as I didn’t have time to wait for home-made custard to cool completely.  It tasted just as good as if the custard had been home-made so seems to be a very good cheat’s trick.  You can however make your custard from scratch as I will probably do most times.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, don’t despair.  You could either buy a good quality vanilla ice cream, leave it on the bench for 15 minutes, stir through the flavouring ingredients and refreeze.  Or, make the full ice cream recipe and just take it out of the freezer about every hour, give it a stir and replace, until the ice cream is frozen. Not quite as good as a machine but much better than no home-made ice cream!

Posted in Dinner, Food, Make your own, Recipe | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Seasonal and local

Tonight’s dinner was so yummy I had to share it.  Plus, it just happened to come together as a completely local (Victorian)  and seasonal main course (except for the condiments).  I’m always quite impressed when we manage to pull off local meals without specifically trying to.  It means it’s just becoming part of how we live rather than something we’re specifically trying to achieve.

And for dessert, the latest ice cream: brandy, honey and date.  It’s not local ingredients but it was locally made.  It’s  the first time I haven’t followed a recipe religiously and instead made it up myself.  I’ll post the recipe later in the week, but for now here’s a taste…

Posted in A farmers' market cornucopia, Dinner, Ethics, Food, Local | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My new toy

We bought an ice cream maker.

The first batch was chocolate and I was far too concerned with enjoying it to even think about taking a photo.  It was quite possibly the best chocolate ice cream I have ever eaten.  Do not ask me how much cream was in it.

I have slowed down just enough with the second batch to take a quick snap shot to share….

Strawberry ice cream with little chunks of strawberries……Mmmmmm

Details: Cuisinart ICE-100, with an internal compressor and the outside coloured in go-faster red.

Posted in Food, Make your own | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments