Banana Bread

Banana bread has to be the easiest type of cake you will ever make. You can mix everything with a fork and a wooden spoon and you don’t need an electric mixer to beat any eggs. Basically mash the bananas and combine with the flour, sugar and eggs /oil and your done. This banana bread has a twist with lime juice/zest, shredded coconut and olive oil instead of butter.bbread

Chocolate cake with brandy raisins and orange zest

This cake is from an old Maggie Beer cook book I came across. It is super rich and full of chocolate, inside and on top! It uses almond meal with a bit of a flour which could be substituted out to make it gluten free. It’s best to serve this cake the day you make it as I put it in the fridge overnight and it dried out a little unfortunately. Still a great recipe if you like rich, dense chocolate cakes!

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Cannelloni with braised meat

This dish was inspired by an Italian cooking show, Made in Italy, I came across the other day.

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The photo doesn’t really show the dish however behind the crusted layer of sauce are rows of homemade cannelloni filled with mozzarella and veal mince. Making the pasta from scratch is time consuming but well worth the time. Practice makes perfect. Putting the cannelloni together was a lot harder than on the show! (funny that). Anyway, still delicious, and I am still amazed at how only a few simple ingredients make such incredible meals.

Stuffed baby eggplants

These bite-sized baby eggplants are a great idea for starters when entertaining friends. The stuffing is garlic, breadcrumbs, parsley, parmesan cheese and an egg plus the insides of the eggplants that have been lightly fried in olive oil. Top with extra parmesan and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

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Kohlrabi

Cooking for me is about learning and experimenting with new ingredients, flavours and combinations. Sometimes this means getting inspiration from others, following recipes or sometimes going with my own ideas. When I saw this vegetable I didn’t even know what it but was curious as to what was underneath it’s purple and funny looking skin. It is actually a German turnip or cabbage and can be eaten raw or cooked. I baked it with truffle oil like any other hard vegetable. Without giving away the taste, I can say I will be buying this again.

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Take a chance in the kitchen and buy something you’ve never had before. You’ll be surprised at what you can find in your local fresh food shops. Happy 2015 everyone!

Frittata

There is something therapeutic about cooking a frittata. Once I have fried my base ingredients, on this occasion chorizo and mushrooms, I add the whisked eggs and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. The slower the simmer, the better. IMG_2861

This frittata also has silverbeet and dollops of fresh ricotta. When the frittata is almost cooked, place it under a hot grill to give it a nice golden finish.
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Mix up frittatas with a variety of ingredients. This one has roasted potatoes, pumpkin, italian sausage and feta.

Lamb shanks

I have a lot of favourite dishes but for slow cooking this has to be one of the best.IMG_2764

Behind the tomatoes, onion and celery you can see the shanks. They have been slow-cooked for over 3 hours in red wine, chicken stock and diced tomatoes (in an oven as I don’t own a slow-cooker). You only need a few ingredients to make this dish work as the slow-cooking does the hard work for you. Once ready, the meat will literally fall off the bone… definitely worth the wait. Serve with mash potato or polenta if you are adventurous, and of course red wine.

Mussels from Brussels

Change of scenery when Belgian flavours took over my kitchen and palate thanks to a special guest appearance from a wonderful Belgian chef. The beauty of this dish is that you have two meals in one. The mussels were delicious as always, however, they were cooked in a vegetable broth that compliments them very well. We simmered the broth for 45 minutes with a mixture of shallots, onions, celery, leeks and carrots. Use your imagination to create your own flavours.

mussels from brussels!

Belgium’s best kept secret is best served with “frites”. Homemade of course. Use different types of potatoes to mix things up.

Bon appetit!

Salmon, kale & feta frittata

Salmon and eggs go so well together. Usually for a cooked breakfast I will go out but this morning it was raining, miserable and my flatmate and her friend were terribly hungover and in need of food. The key to a frittata is to be patient. Simmer the eggs on the stove top and then transfer under the grill for a few minutes to brown the top. There are so many variations you can do for a frittata. Be inventive and try something different yourself. This one also had mushrooms. Substitute the salmon for salami, chorizo or remove all together and add beetroot or potatoes for vegetarians. Guaranteed to please hungover friends and family.

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