This was a generous serve for 3-4

Seafood stew

200g marinara mix per person

200g diced tomatoes per person (tinned is fine)

1 large garlic clove per person

1/3 cup white wine per person

1 tablespoon of butter per person

Continental parsley. Separate leaves and stalks. Finely chopped

Lemon zest. Salt and pepper. To taste


Heat a pan

Quickly melt the butter and then throw in the marinara mix and garlic and sauté for a min or two.

Add the wine.

Add the parsley stalks and tomato.

Pop a lid on and simmer for 5 mins.

Garnish with lemon zest, parsley leaves, salt and pepper.


So I had a 1kg bag of blood oranges… what to do…

First – blood orange curd

Second – blood orange cake

Third – blood orange marmalade

I found this recipe – make it in a blender! Sold!

I started with this recipe – https://www.christinascucina.com/sicilian-orange-cake-using-entire-orange-peel-juice-pulp/ – and of course vaguely (not really) followed it.

3 blood oranges – cut into eighths and remove all seeds

125g melted unsalted butter

1/2 cup full cream Greek yoghurt

1 cup caster sugar

4 eggs

2 cups self raising flour

Icing drizzle – optional

Zest of a blood orange

2 tablespoons of blood orange juice

1.5 cups of icing sugar

Glaze – optional

Juice of a blood orange

100g caster sugar


Preheat your oven to 170 degree Celsius fan forced

Line your cake tin with baking paper or muffin tin with patty pans. Makes about 18 muffins or one large cake.

In a blender combine all ingredients except the flour.

Blend on the highest setting for a full 2 minutes.

Pour in to a bowl. Fold through the flour with a spatula until all the lumps are gone.

Transfer to tin / cake pan

Muffins bake for 20 minutes

Large cake bake for 45-55 mins until the knife comes out clean

Cool for at least 1 hr before icing

But if you’re using the glaze, it needs to go on while the cake is hot, straight out of the oven!

Bring the orange juice to a simmer

Add the sugar and stir until dissolved

Simmer until syrupy

Brush over cake/s as soon as they come out of the oven


So, this starts with the usual – see a recipe ( https://www.goodfood.com.au/recipes/cauliflower-cheese-and-bacon-pasta-20200824-h1q7t1) be inspired, kind of follow it, but also not really…


500g bag rigatoni – cooked for 2 mins under suggested cooking time on the packet as it will be baked

500g bag of cauliflower florets. Thawed. Cut into small chunks

25g butter

200g bacon

The white part of 1 leek. Halved. Finely sliced.

2 crushed cloves of garlic

100g butter

2 tablespoons of plain flour

1.5 cups full cream milk

300ml cream

100ml sour cream

1.5 cups shredded tasty cheese

1 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup Parmesan

Salt and pepper


Chop up the thawed cauliflower and place it at the bottom of a large colander

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water – 2 mins under suggested time

Reserve 1/3 cup pasta water

Drain over cauliflower in the colander

Leave there while you do the sauce –

Heat oven to 160 degrees Celsius in a fan forced oven.

Melt 25g butter and crisp up the bacon.

Then add the leeks, cook until softened.

Add the garlic and stir through.

Add the flour and stir thoroughly.

Add the milk and stir through until smooth.

Add the cream, sour cream, and shredded cheese.

When thick and smooth, remove from the heat.

In a massive pot or bowl, combine the pasta, cauliflower, and sauce. Stir thoroughly.

Season to taste.

Place in baking dish (2 small or 1 large)

Top with breadcrumbs and Parmesan.

Bake for approx 30-40 mins until bubbling at the edges and golden on top.


Rich. Wintery. Full of flavour.

It’s been so cold here, I had a craving for a hearty beef stew. It took much longer to prepare than I had anticipated (I did a double batch) but it’s definitely worth it in the end.

This is the original recipe I found – https://www.recipetineats.com/irish-beef-and-guinness-stew/comment-page-16/#comments but I fiddled with it a bit and added some other ingredients

This recipe is pretty easy to double or halve.

Serves 6.


600g chuck steak (you’ll need to trim off the thick fat and cut in to 1cm cubes – ending up with about 500-550g)

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1.5 teaspoons of garlic – freshly minced

6 purple French shallot onions – peeled, cut in to 1cm chunks

200g finely diced bacon

3 level tablespoons of plain flour

440ml can of Guinness

4 tablespoons tomato paste (salt reduced)

750ml stock – I used beef, but any good stock will do (salt reduced)

3 medium carrots – peeled, halved, cut into 1cm pieces

2 long outer stalks of celery – peeled, halved, cut into 1cm pieces

2 medium zucchini – peeled, halved, cut into 1cm pieces

Optional #1 250g baby potatoes – cut into 1cm chunks *exclude if making into pie

Optional #2 1 cup frozen peas

2 bay leaves

3 thyme sprigs

Freshly chopped parsley for garnish

Salt & Pepper to taste


Ok. This is the bit that takes the longest

In a large pan or the bottom of a large pot, heat the oil and fry off the meat until it caramelises. This can take up to 15 mins. The meat will release loads of water. Just be patient. Keep moving the meat about until the water evaporates and the meat is caramelised.

Remove from the pan/pot and set aside.

Caramelised chuck steak

When the pan is hot again, add the finely chopped bacon and fry until crispy. Then add the French shallots and cook for about 3 minutes, until they begin to soften.

Bacon and French shallots

Add the carrots, fry until they begin to soften. Then the celery. Cook for a few minutes more.

Adding the carrots and celery

Add the beef, then sprinkle the flour over the top, stirring thoroughly for a few minutes to cook the flour through for about 1 minute.

Sprinkle the flour over and cook through thoroughly

Add the Guinness. Cook for 2 mins.

Stir through the tomato paste, garlic, stock.

Add the baby potatoes. Omit this step if you are making this stew for a pie.

Add the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

Bring to the boil, then turn down to low for 2 hours. Lid on.

After 2 hours, stir in the zucchini. Bring up to medium heat and cook for another 45-60 mins – until the zucchini is tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened.

If you are turning this in to a pie, add the peas 25 minutes before the end.

When you are happy with the consistency of the sauce, the meat is tender, the veggies are cooked through. Serve and enjoy.


Eat on its own, with a generous garnish of freshly chopped parsley. – a good hunk of fresh buttered bread stick would be nice to dip and enjoy.

Serve on rice or mashed potato.

Use a pie machine to turn into pies – short crust on the bottom and puff on the top – frozen pastry works just fine!

Pot pie – fill a casserole dish or individual ramekins, top with puff pastry, brush with egg wash – bake until golden.

Make Beef and Guinness puff pastry triangles. Make sure the sauce is really thick. Leave a steam hole on the top. Egg wash and bake.

Can be made grown up size or toddler fist size

Can be made big or small


1.5 cups flour – I used spelt but any plain flour will do

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey or sugar or over ripe banana mashed if you prefer)

1/2 cup Greek Yoghurt

1 egg, whisked quickly with a fork before incorporating

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/3 cup milk (I used full cream milk)

One cup of fresh apple – peeled, cored, chopped, cooked in the microwave for 6 mins or so, blended into paste

A tiny bit of lemon zest. Zest of about 1/4 of a lemon *optional

1 generous cup of frozen blueberries – added at the last second (or any berry you prefer)


Preheat a fan forced oven to 160 degrees celcius

Line a large muffin tin with patty pans or spray a silicone mini muffin tin

In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together

In a small bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together

Whisk the wet ingredients through the dry ingredients

Add the blueberries at the last second and fold through with a silicone spatula

For large muffins – use a spring loaded ice cream scoop to disperse the batter

For mini muffins – use a teaspoon – approx 2 heaped teaspoons

Bake! Some very interesting shapes.

For large muffins – about 22 mins

For mini muffins – about 15-17 mins

Remove when golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean

Allow to cool for about 45 mins

Enjoy warm

Sometimes GF cakes are disappointing. A friend put me on to the Woolworths Brand GF mix and it’s pretty good. Avoid the icing mix it comes with – it’s sickly sweet.

So – lets pimp these cupcakes!

Woolworth Gluten Free vanilla cake mix. If you’re going to make a round Victoria Sponge style – use two boxes, one for each half to sandwich together. DISCARD THE ICING MIXTURE!! Make nice icing from scratch. The icing mix is horribly sweet.

It’s really important that you follow the instructions on the box. If it says mix with electric beaters for 2 minutes. You’ve got to do the full two minutes. Trust me!

Preheat a fan forced oven to 160 degrees Celsius.

As per the instructions, I added 60g melted unsalted butter, 150ml full cream milk, 2 large eggs.

I then added the zest of half a large lemon.

Mix well.

I lined a muffin tin with patty pans and used a spring loaded ice cream scoop to ensure there was the same amount of batter for each cupcake.

At the last minute I grabbed some frozen blackberries from the freezer and pushed 2 or 3 into each cupcake.

**If I was using blueberries or raspberries, I would have folded them through at the very last minute so that they don’t melt and bleed through the mixture.

Bake until cooked through and golden – this was approx 18-20 mins for my oven.

While they were cooking, I whipped up a quick batch of cream cheese icing –

125g softened cream cheese at room temp

3/4 cup icing sugar

65ml cream

A tiny dot of vanilla bean paste

Mix well with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.

When the cupcakes are cool, you can ice them. I put the icing in a zip lock bag. Squeeze into one corner of the bag. Snip the little tip off, and when you’re happy with the width, pipe away to your hearts content. I also added a few white chocolate drops to make the flowers pretty.

Here’s the recipe for my lemon curd if you want to cut them in half and fill (or if you’re making a big cake and you’re sandwiching two halves together) https://enjoyeatwatch.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/lemon-curd-lemon-butter/


I made this with SPELT flour to be FODMAP friendly. Works just as well with normal flour

1/2 the mixture. Loaf cake
1/2 the mixture. 12 cupcakes.

I wanted a moist carrot cake recipe, so I used this for inspiration – https://www.inspiredtaste.net/25753/carrot-cake-recipe/

Of course, I did it my own way and they were delicious.

Batter makes – 2 x round/square cakes for doing a sandwiched cake, 1 loaf and 12 muffins, or 22/24 cupcake/muffins


1kg bag of carrots. Peeled. Top and tailed. Grated (I used a food processor grating attachment. Easy)

2 teaspoons mixed spice

1 1/3 cups vegetable oil

1 cup raw sugar

1/2 cup molasses

1 cup pecans. Toasted. Place a few whole aside for decorating and chop the rest

1/2 cup currants or sultanas

5 eggs

2 1/4 cups plain flour (I used spelt and coconut flour)

2 teaspoons baking soda

4 teaspoons baking powder

Fluffy icing

250g softened cream cheese at room temp

1 1/4 cups icing sugar

1/3 cup cream

1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Whole pecans for decoration


Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius fan forced.

This is my way of getting maximum flavour

In a large bowl combine – carrot, sugar, molasses, spices, oil, currants. Stir. Sit for one hour at room temperature.

Pre whisk the eggs and then add them.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda over the wet mixture. Add the chopped pecans.

Fold together with a spatula.

Spray/line your baking tins.

I did one loaf and 12 cupcakes. You could do two rounds and then use icing to sandwich.

Loaf – bake 35 mins

Cupcakes – bake 18 mins

Whole baking. Mix the icing ing refits together with an electric hand beater until smooth.

When a skewer comes out clean, they are ready.

Remove from oven and allow at least 45 mins to cool.

Transfer icing to a piping bag or zip lock bag if you want to create a design. Otherwise smooth over thickly with a knife or silicone spatula.

Decorate with whole pecans.


So I stumbled across a recipe on another great food blog – https://smittenkitchen.com/2020/03/chicken-leek-and-rice-soup/

Of course, it didn’t go to plan. I accidentally added double the rice. Then had an unexpected phone call for two hours and when I came back it was no longer soup – it was practically risotto! Well, it would have been a no stir risotto if I’d used Arborio rice. So, you’ve got two options. Soup or no-stir-risotto. It’s up to you! I’ll gone too the directions for both.

No stir risotto. This is jasmine rice. Next time I’d use Arborio if I wanted no-stir-risotto.


3 leeks. Halved. Rinsed. Finely chopped

2 large celery stalks. Finely chopped.

1 medium peeled carrot. Finely diced.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons butter

6 cups of stock. Fresh is better. Powdered is absolutely fine. (I used 500ml stock. 1L water and veggie stock powder) because that’s what was in the cupboard.

5-6 large chicken thighs. Skinless. (Approx 550g)

Soup – 3/4 cup jasmine rice

No-stir-risotto – 1 cup Arborio rice (and an extra cup of boiling water)

3/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley – stalks and all

1/4 cup finely chopped dill – stalks and all

Salt to taste – depends on the salt content of the stock

Pepper – I used a heaped tablespoon of Aleppo Pepper. It’s magical. But if you can’t source it, freshly ground black pepper will be fine. Just less magical!

1 lemon – zest and juice


Heat olive oil medium-high heat in a large pot.

Add leeks, celery, and carrot salt. Stir for about 5 mins until leek is soft and carrots are softening.

Add the butter and the garlic and stir for another 5 minutes.

Add stock, water, and chicken. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cover, simmering for 30-45 minutes, until chicken is very tender and cooked through.

Remove chicken with tongs and set on a cutting board.

Soup: Add jasmine rice and return the heat to a low simmer, cover with lid, and cook for 20minutes, until rice is tender.

No-stir-risotto: add the Arborio rice and the extra cup of boiling water. Bring to the boil. Put the lid on. Turn off the heat completely and leave to sit for 30 minutes.

Roughly chop the chicken. Return the chicken and chopped herbs to the rice. Stir though. Add the Aleppo pepper, lemon zest and juice. Stir through thoroughly. Taste for seasoning, add salt if required.


Soft and fluffy muffins. Sticky tangy lemon curd top.


75g melted butter. Cooled to room temp

Zest of one small lemon

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

1 large egg

3/4 cup whole milk Greek yoghurt

1 1/2 cups self raising flour

About 1/2 to 1 cup of lemon curd – my recipe can be found here https://enjoyeatwatch.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/lemon-curd-lemon-butter/


Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius fan forced

Line a muffin tray with paper muffin liners

In a large bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, zest, lemon, yoghurt.

Then whisk through the melted butter.

Then the flour.

It’s quite a thick batter.

Use a spring trigger ice cream scoop to evenly fill the muffin cups.

Press a teaspoon down half way through the batter to make a well and fill with a teaspoon of curd – right in the centre

Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 mins

Remove from the oven and leave in the tray to cool for an hour.

Then enjoy!

Blueberry Muffins

I was craving blueberry muffins on a cold and rainy winter’s day. I came across this recipe – https://smittenkitchen.com/2010/08/perfect-blueberry-muffins/

Of course… I had to tweak it just a little. So this is what I did –

• 70 grams unsalted butter, melted

• 1/2 cup white sugar

• Finely grated zest from a small lemon or approx half a large lemon

• 3/4 cup plain unsweetened whole milk Greek yogurt

• 1/4 cup full cream milk

• 1 large egg

• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

• 1/4 teaspoon salt flakes

• 1 1/2 cups self raising flour

• 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries

• 3 tablespoons raw sugar for sprinkling

Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius fan forced Line a muffin tin with paper liners or spray each cup with a nonstick spray.

Melt butter in the bottom of a large bowl and whisk in sugar, zest, yogurt, milk, vanilla extract, salt, and egg until smooth.

Gently fold in flour and then the blueberries.

Do this gently – so you get a wonderful marbled effect.

Divide between prepared muffin cups using a spring triggered ice cream scoop

Sprinkle each with a pinch of raw sugar.

Find someone to lick the bowl –

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then the rest of the way on a rack for about 50 minutes.


A delightful foodie colleague sent me this recipe. The original can be found here – https://cookieandkate.com/turmeric-whole-roasted-cauliflower-recipe/

Of course I didn’t manage to follow it to the letter – so here’s what I did…

Ready to carve!


1 large head of cauliflower

1 bottle of olive oil – don’t worry you (probably) won’t use the whole thing

Salt and pepper

Yoghurt dressing – 1/2 cup whole milk yoghurt, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 tablespoons olive oil, juice of half a lemon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/4 teaspoon tumeric, 1 pinch of chilli powder or cayenne, 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Garnish – freshly chopped parsley and mint and coriander, a sprinkle of roasted pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds


Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius in a fan forced oven

Cheat #1. Steam the cauliflower for 25-30 mins in the microwave as your oven comes up to temperature

Drizzle 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil over the cauliflower and use your hands to coat it evenly. Sprinkle with salt and roast for 40 minutes

After 40 mins, remove from the oven temporarily in order to –

Pour another 1½ tablespoons of olive oil and the lemon juice over the cauliflower, especially into the crevices. Return the cauliflower to the oven and roast for another 15 minutes.

Remove the cauliflower from the oven and spread 1/2 of the yogurt sauce all over. Roast for another 15 minutes.

Remove the cauliflower from the oven. It should be tender outside and fork-tender inside. Transfer to a nice serving dish. Baste the cauliflower with the pan justices. Top the cauliflower with the rest of the sauce and sprinkle with the herbs and seeds. Carve.

Well, I am so glad I was brave and tried something new. Perfect winter warmer. Humming with spice. So fragrant. It’s a nice alternative for a flavour surprise.

Simmering away…
Garnished and ready to eat!

Bolognese is something I’m rather finicky about… but I saw Marion’s video pop up on Facebook and I was feeling brave on a cold cold night. https://www.marionskitchen.com/marions-spaghetti-bolognese/ – here is her original recipe for full credit.

So, my version…

Serves 4 – easily doubled to serve more or pop some in the freezer.


1 tablespoon vegetable oil.

500g mince – I prefer equal parts veal/pork or beef/pork

1/2 onion – very finely diced

1 medium carrot, peeled and grated

1 heaped tablespoon of tomato paste

400g tin of crushed/diced tomatoes

Refill 400g tin with water

1 tsp stock powder – I used Massel veggie stock because it was close to hand. Any stock will do.

1 large garlic clove – minced/crushed

1 whole Star anise

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs of thyme

1 sprig of Rosemary

1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes

1.5 tablespoons of soy sauce

1/4 cup full cream milk

2 heaped tablespoons of grated Parmesan

Zest of half a lemon

Fresh basil and grated Parmesan to serve


Heat the tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the mince and spread it out in the pan. Season with a sprinkle of salt and allow to sear for 3-4 minutes or until you get a nice deep colour on the bottom of the mince. Then break the mince up with your spatula.

Add the onion,m and carrot. Mix through and cook for 5 minutes to allow the onion to soften. Then add the garlic. Stir through the tomato paste until well combined. Then pour in the crushed tomatoes and the stock. Add the star anise, bay leaves, chillies, thyme, rosemary, soy sauce. Turn the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 60 minutes, being sure to check that the mixture doesn’t become too dry…if it does just stir through a little water.

Remove the lid and stir through the milk. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Use tongs to remove the star anise, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary stalks. Remove from heat.

To serve, add the spaghetti straight from the boiling water into the bolognese sauce (do this in a separate clean pan if you’re not using the full amount of sauce). Add a little of the pasta cooking water, the parmesan cheese, and the lemon zest. Stir the pasta and sauce over high heat for a few minutes until thick and glossy. Serve with fresh basil and more Parmesan.

Let’s eat!

This one was actually without spinach. Just ricotta, Parmesan, spring onion, garlic, basil. But I didn’t manage to get a photo of the spinach and ricotta ones before they were all eaten. Sorry!

250g chopped frozen spinach. Thawed and squeeze out all liquid

250g ricotta

Zest of half a lemon

1 spring onion – halved and finely chopped

1/3 cup Parmesan

Salt & Pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon freshly minced/micro plane garlic

A couple of finely shredded basil leaves

3 short rust pastry sheets – base

3 puff pastry sheets – tops

Makes 12 pies


Preheat the pie machine

Mix all ingredients together with a fork until evenly distributed

Line the pie machine with short crust pastry bases

Use a 1/3 measuring cup to distribute the filling

Place the puff pastry tops on

Close the lid

Wait 6-8 minutes until golden brown and cooked theough


So, I was totally inspired by this recipe – which I didn’t follow properly – https://www.notquitenigella.com/2020/07/27/palak-paneer-halloumi-indian-spinach-curry I’ve adapted the quantities and it worked really nicely for 5-6 serves.

Serves 5 generously. 6 with rice and naan

  • 750g chopped spinach (thawed frozen spinach works fine)
  • 75g cashews – whoops. Totally forgot these
  • 500g halloumi, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Rice bran oil spray for frying the haloumi
  • 4 tablespoons of vegetable or rice brain oil for frying the spices/onion etc
  • 3 teaspoons cumin seeds – I used ground
  • 3 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1.5 onions – peeled and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • Same amount ginger, peeled and diced (as the garlic)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 level teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt and a wedge of lemon
  • Nice on buttered basmati rice with toasted cumin seeds and some naan


I totally skipped the first step by accident and I didn’t even have cashews – but this is what you’re supposed to do –

In a blender – the spinach, 50ml warm water, the cashews

…. so mine was more like a spinach curry stew. Next time I’d blend half the mixture and keep half the spinach leaves for texture.

Fry the halloumi pieces until golden on both sides adding a little oil to the pan if needed (you won’t need much oil). Set aside.

Golden fried cheese – is there anything better?

Dry fry the cumin and garam masala in a frypan.

Add oil and then add the onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, tomato paste and chilli and fry for 5 minutes. Add the stock and spinach and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the halloumi and serve.

Serve with a good dollop of natural yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon. Nice on some buttered basmati rice with toasted cumin seeds and fresh naan.


600g Salmon Steak – serves 3


600g salmon steak (or 3 x 200g salmon fillets)

2 whole lemons – thick sliced approx 6 or more slices each

A bunch of dill

50g butter – sliced

Salt and pepper

Baking paper and aluminium foil


Preheat a fan forced oven to 200 degrees Celsius

Place a piece of foil on your backing tray – 3 times the size of your fish

In the centre – place a piece of baking paper just a tiny bit larger than the fish

Layer the slices of 1 lemon and half the dill

Lay the salmon on top

Season with salt and pepper

Lay the butter Slices over the top, then the remaining dill and lemon

Wrap the short ends of the foil towards the middle. Then roll the long ends over until the fish is completely sealed

Bake for 20 minutes – DON’T OPEN THE OVEN!

Then turn off the oven – and leave inside for a further 10 minutes

Then serve – I like to serve it on mashed sweet potato and with a side garlic spinach.