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!

cake

Cannelloni with braised meat

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

cannelloni

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.

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!

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!