week of dinners

I love cooking! Which is just as well, cause I also love eating! And I have a husband who couldn’t cook to save his life…so the household story goes; I cook, he eats, he fills my need to be praised for my cooking. It’s win/win!

Here is last week’s dinners:

the menu pegged to the kitchen wall


smoked chilli chicken burger

Recipe by Donna Hay (Fast, Fresh, Simple) Smoked chilli chicken burger

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp  smoked sweet paprika
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 x 200g chicken breast fillets, trimmed and sliced lengthways
2 bread rolls, halved (*I used a long baguette, cut into half)
rocket (arugula) leaves, to serve
lemon mayonnaise:
1/4 cup (85g) store-bought whole-egg mayo
1 tbsp lemon juice

To make the lemon mayo, place the mayo and lemon juice in a bowl and mix to combine. Combine the oil, paprika and chilli and pour over the chicken. Preheat a barbecue or char-grill pan over high heat. Cook the chicken for 2 minutes each side or until cooked through. Spread the rolls with the lemon mayo and top with the rocket and chicken to serve. Serves 2.


angel hair pasta with shelled-crab

Date night! Jay & I went to Raffinato’s Cocktail bar and Restaurant in Pyrmont for a lovely date night. The company was fantastic, the wine was good, too bad about the food… [read my review here]


One of the coldest days in May (11-14°C) and the first of three State of Origin clashes between NSW Blues (cockroaches) and QLD Maroons (cane toads)! While we watched the game, I served up:

Mexican corn & bean salad with grilled pork

1tsp ground cumin
1tsp chilli flakes
2 lean pork rib-eye fillets (or whatever cut you prefer)
oil spray (or 1tbsp olive oil) for cooking
2 cobs of corn, kernels cut off
1 (400g) can of kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
4 shallots, diced
2 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 avocado, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Mix cumin and chill-flakes and rub over pork. Grill pork over mid-high heat, 3 mins on first side, 2 mins on the other side. Cover and set aside.

Fry corn kernels for 2 mins or until brightly coloured. Add in beans, stir and cook for another minute before adding in tomato and herbs (coriander, parsley, shallots & chilli). Season to taste. Take off heat, add lemon juice.

Serve corn and bean salad on a plate, topped with pork steak and dressed with diced avocado. Serves 2.


roasted carrot & parsnip salad with grilled scotch fillet

Roasted carrot & parsnip salad; recipe by Donna Hay (fast, fresh, simple)

3 carrots, peeled and quartered
3 parsnips, peeled and quartered
2 tbs oil
1.5tbs ground cumin
2 tbs honey
2 tbs lemon juice*
1/2 cups coriander (cilantro) leaves
85g labne or creamy feta
1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts, halved
1 tbs sumac

* this is where I deviated from the recipe as I found the dressing mix needed an acidic balance.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Place the carrot and parsnip in a ceramic baking dish. Combine the oil, cumin and honey (& lemon juice) and pour half the mix over the veggies. Cover and cook for 15 mins, then uncover and cook for a further 15 mins or until the veggies are tender. Divide the veggies between serving plates and top with the coriander, labne/feta and hazelnuts. Pour over remaining honey mixture as a dressing and sprinkle with sumac. Serves 2.

(I forgot all about the feta, so it doesn’t appear on my dinner plate!)


…night Jay, James & I ate pizza and drank copious glasses of wine. I did not cook! I’ll move that meal plan to next week.


Saturday night we listened to music, slow danced in our lounge room and cooked ribs.

ribs dry rub

Spice-roasted ribs. Recipe by Donna Hay (fast, fresh & simple)

1kg American-style pork spare ribs or baby-back ribs
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 160°C. Cut the ribs into 4 sections. Combine the paprika, chilli, sugar and salt. Rub generously over both sides of the rubs and place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Cover with aluminium foil and roast for 1 hour. Remove the cover and increase heat to 220°C. Bake for 15 mins or until browned.

chinese cabbage, finely shredded
red cabbage, finely shredded
red capsicum, finely shredded
red radish, thinly sliced
1 carrot, grated
1/4 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp whole egg mayo
2 tbsp lite sour cream

Ribs and 'slaw

Published by thisismelly

Mel @thisismelly lives a life of adventure, gets lost in farmer’s markets, regularly indulges in movies, loves to whip up gourmet meals in the kitchen, swears that one day she will learn to speak French properly, adores candles and fresh flowers, married her high school sweetheart, visited 19 countries and counting, fears an apocalyptic rage-virus, regularly spoils her cavoodle Harley, loves walking along the harbour, is decorated with ink, muddles her right & left, seasonally switches between blonde and brunette, has soul-mates, favours painted nails & dangly earrings, always orders the 'plateau de fromages', is obsessed with British or Scandinavian crime fiction, detests creepy-crawlies & people who take too long to order coffee, gives terrible directions, makes up crazy dances for her devilishly handsome husband, believes in good, would always be dressed in Saint Laurent, Gucci & Chloe if she could, adores Tex-Mex & Japanese, loves the smell of rain & evening jasmine, may be addicted to Instagram&Pinterest, is always on the hunt for a really good macchiato, is James Taylor’s biggest fan, gets rowdy with tequila, dreams every night, takes pickles, jalapeños & dried fruit for movie snacks, would hate a world without French champagne, adores Pantone 1765, almost always wishes she was lying on the sand in the sun, is an inconsistent Paleo convert and although she is a hopeless Francophile she will forever be smitten with Sydney.

2 thoughts on “week of dinners

  1. Hi Melly ive started doing a week menu as well and saw Donna Hay doing these ribs nice and easy thinking of doing them. How did they taste?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: