Rose-tinted Recipes

Rose-tinted Recipes : Stir Fried Kiwi Chicken


This nondescript, slightly dirty and tatty notebook has been with me since I was 18.

When I was 18 I was in a position to buy my own home with, the then, love of my life.  We weren’t wealthy but the ’80s was Thatcher’s era and house buying was the thing to do.  We both had jobs in the city after our A-levels and you could borrow 4 x your joint salary and the amazingly fabulous rate of 9.8% (!!!).

My mum was quite a pastry chef , she’d loved cake and pudding making and used the richest ingredients to produce the most delicious , stodgy homemade delights.  She was also an excellent no-nonsense cook (and still makes the best roast potatoes known to man).

This grubby little book is basically filled with my fave tried and tested recipes that I’ve (mostly) made up myself over the years.

I’m a great one for cooking in the style of Ready Steady Cook (remember that show). Ainsley Harriott would have two contestants invent a dish from a small selection of ingredients that would be ready to serve in 30 minutes.  My earlier years cooking was all about quick.  My more mature cooking is still about speed but also about limiting the washing up.  Mostly it’s about avoiding any waste and making use of everything in the fridge before it goes off.

You will often find me staring into the fridge at 6:30pm thinking “what can I make for dinner” and lifting out an aubergine and a pack of sausages before rushing to Google and typing ‘recipes using aubergine and sausage’.  There’s usually plenty of ideas.  I’ll then take those suggestions and tweak them into something of my own.  I’ll use the recipe to learn a technique or pairing and then do my own thing.

Usually I just improvise and make it up as I go along and when Hubby says “you can make that again” , I have to assure him that I can’t because I didn’t write it down.  I would however, be able to come up with something similar.

Occasionally I’ll make a recipe exactly per the page and I usually feel its lacking and make it again with a few ‘intuitive tweeks’ resulting in an improved dish on another occasion.

Once or twice there have been disasters.

The jam making that resulted in the saucepan being binned.  No amount of chiselling or industrial tool would remove the baked on sugar/raspberry cement from the base.   Then there was the  chocolate banana muffins that didn’t rise and were like stones, which I then proceed to make into the base of a trifle (so as not to waste them) assuming the jelly would soften them up , only having to fish out the choc/banana stones and throw them out to the birds who proceeded to turn their nose up at them for 3 days before I gathered them up and threw them in the dustbin.

Anyway I thought it might be nice if every now and then I shared one of the recipes from my little brown book and you might like to try it or tweak it yourselves.

Two things I notice when flicking through it.

  1. Some of the early recipes are very basic/simple to make indeed
  2. there are A LOT of cheesecakes

So here we go.  the very first recipe I transposed into my book, and one I probably haven’t made since me and my first love split, so maybe 30 years ago.   I can’t even remember what it tastes like.  Perhaps I’ll give it another outing.  If you try it, let me know how it tastes and looks (photos welcome )

Stir Fried Kiwi Chicken


1lb boneless chicken breasts

2 tblsp crushed garlic

2 kiwi fruits

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cornflour

1 tblsp groundnut oil

1tsp sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp chilli bean sauce


cut chicken into cubes and toss in the salt and cornfluor

heat the groundnut oil in a wok with the garlic.

Add the chicken and stir fry until cooked (about 5 mins depending on size of chunks)

Add chilli bean sauce, sugar and chopped kiwi  – stir for 1 minute

Add sesame oil, stir and serve



Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger

Mission Mindfulness
Shank You Very Much

(14) Comments

  1. I am not good with combining fruit and meat, but I am intrigued to try this one. I love the recipe book. I have one of these two that I started when I headed off to uni at 18. Thanks for sharing with the #DreamTeam

    1. Berni Benton says:

      thanks for making me a #dreamteam featured blogger. Am so happy xxxx

      1. My pleasure xx

  2. I love simple recipes like this, and I love having only a few dishes to wash even more! 😁 #DreamTeam

  3. #thesatsesh ohhh i love the idea of kiwi and chicken – i guess its a similar flavour to either mango or pineapple with chicken…to the supermarket i go looking for a box of kiwi’s 🙂

    1. Berni Benton says:

      so? have you tried it? xxxx

  4. I’ve certainly never thought to put kiwi and chicken together but I can see it may work! It’s so great that you have kept this book over the years. Thanks for joining up at #thesatsesh xx

  5. Glad you decided to share some recipies . I am desperate for some new inspiration , we tend to fall into lazy some old meals most weeks habits here so looking for lots of new recipies. Thank you for adding to #blogcrush

  6. Ah, I love cooking too, and I have a binder full of recipes I’ve collected over many years as well. I’m allergic to kiwi but it occurred to me that I could try this recipe with pineapple. What do you think?

    1. Berni Benton says:

      we do don’t we – i have several i just fall to most of the time. Its really nice going through this old book. My next aim is to remake them all

    2. Berni Benton says:

      definitely – funnily enough i make pineapple chicken only he other day

      1. How was the pineapple with the sesame–a good combination?

  7. Berni Benton says:

    Hi Kate. Yes the Thatcher years – after that the rates rose to 13.5% many of my friends had to hand their keys back – it was a very sad time. Not sure how we managed . Sorry about your brother. must be terrible but glad it brought back a memory – Let me know how your son does with this one x

  8. Love the story behind this recipe and am stunned at how you could buy a house so very young. Those were the days although for many they stored up future troubles so maybe not. Anyway, will give the recipe a try. You brought back fond memories of the brother I lost last August who introduced me to kiwi fruit back in the Eighties in his flat in Kensington – seemed like another world to me as a Yorkshire lass. Happy days. Thanks for the recipe which I will do with my 12 year old son who has aspirations to be a chef one day #BlogCrush

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