La’s version of Emplesalad (with added Emple tweaks)
1 zucchini

2 bunches asparagus

Carlic infused olive oil

100g toasted pepitas

Generous handful each of mint and flat leaf parsley

100g Danish feta

Splash of olive oil

Dash of lemon juice

(I also added a punnet of halved cherry tomatoes that had been oven roasted in garlic infused olive oil and then added these to the salad with 1/2 a tin of butter beans)

Slice zucchini, asparagus, place in bowl. Drizzle with garlic infused olive oil and leave to sit for a few minutes. Grill zucchini and asparagus. Once cool, add remaining ingredients and mix well. Try not to eat it all in one go…. try!

My cousin made this decadent chocolate mud cake for her daughter’s 4th birthday. It was ridiculously delicious!

It was perfect – she made x3 quantity for a big sheet cake, decorated with Nutella and smarties. (Use a simple chocolate ganache if there are people with nut allergies)

200g dark chocolate, chopped

250g unsalted butter, chopped

1 tbs instant coffee

100ml milk

1 2/3 cups (250g) self-raising flour

40g Cocoa

250g caster sugar

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

150ml sour cream

Step 1

Preheat oven to 160C. Grease a deep 23cm springform cake pan and line with baking paper.

Step 2

Place the chocolate, butter, coffee and milk in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water) and stir until smooth and melted. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.

Step 3

Sift flour and cocoa powder into a bowl, then add sugar. Fold into the chocolate mixture with eggs, vanilla extract and sour cream.

Step 4

Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake in the oven for 60-70 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with some moist crumbs sticking to it but no raw cake batter. Set aside to cool completely in the pan.

Step 5

Remove the cooled cake from the pan and spread with the Nutella/ganache,  and decorate. 

In the words of Edina Monsoon from AbFab – “Health Health Health Sweetie!”
There’s a few steps involved – but it’s worth it.
Image result for pear butter cake
The pears

1kg of pears – peeled

In a large saucepan bring 6 cups of water to the boil.
1 tablespoon of honey
1 stick of cinnamon/casia bark
8 juniper berries
8 cloves
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg
1 split vanilla bean

Bring to the boil for 2 minutes.
Add the pears.
Bring to the boil then lower to a simmer.
Simmer until the pears are tender, 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the pears.
Remove the pears.
Strain the spices from the poaching liquid.
Bring to the boil and reduce the liquid to 3/4 cup.

Cool the pears (ideally overnight)

Slice and remove core


The Butter-cake Mix
125g butter, melted (room temperature)1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup caster sugar (or 3/4 cup of reduced pear juice)

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted (I used fine self raising spelt flour)

1/2 cup milk (you may need to add more or less depending on the texture of the cake)

the zest of 1/2 a large lemon (or a whole small lemon)



With and electric mixer beat butter, sugar/pear juice, eggs.

When smooth add the milk, vanilla, and lemon zest, then slowly incorporate the flour.

Stop as soon as the mixture is smooth.



Preheat oven to 160 degrees

Line your cake tin, Pour in HALF the cake mix

Lay HALF the pears on the top of the batter

Pour remaining cake mix over and smooth it out, lay the remaining pears on the top.

Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes

TURN OFF THE OVEN – Leave in the oven for 20 minutes

Remove from the oven

Sit IN THE TIN for 20 minutes

Allow to cool. (When it comes out of the oven, it almost has a crust. If you store it overnight it becomes lovely and fluffy)

* it is a nice touch to glaze it with maple syrup, warm 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and brush over the cake. *

Store in a Tupperware.

Serve after popping in the microwave for 30 seconds – it’s so soft, warm, and fluffy. It is nice on it’s own or with a dollop of custard.

I’ve been making this for years, tweaking it each time. Here’s the most recent incarnation…

1 spring onion (finely chopped)

3 Boxes of Frozen Spinach (thawed)

200g Danish Fetta (crumbled)

300ml Cream

3 Eggs

1 Box of Latina Fresh Lasagna Sheets (you will only use about half) – in the fridge section of the supermarket

1 bottle of good quality tomato puree (again, you’ll probably only use about half) – I recommend Provisco Sugo

1 cup Pizza Cheese

Cracked black pepper to taste

Serves 6



Preheat your oven to 160degrees

In a large mixing bowl

Add the three boxes of spinach, spring onion, Fetta, Cream, eggs, pepper

Stir through with a fork.


In your lasagna dish –

One thick layer of the spinach Sauce

One thin layer of the tomato Puree

One layer of pasta

Repeat until lasagna dish is full

Top this with the tasty cheese followed by parmesan

Bake at 160 degrees for 45 minutes

Until the cheese is golden brown

*its better to cook it low and slow or you’ll burn the top and the middle will be raw.


The kids made these during their kitchen class, delicious!



800g butternut pumpkin,   peeled,    seeded    &    chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 cups carrots, grated

4 cups cooked brown rice

2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

1 teaspoon lemon rind

¼ cup sesame seeds

1 tablespoon chia seeds

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup pumpkin seeds



Preheat oven to 200C.

Place pumpkin on a lined baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper.   Roast   for 20 minutes or until tender.

Place a   tablespoon of coconut   oil in a   frying   pan over medium heat and cook the   onion   and carrot   until softened.    Add the   garlic and cook for another   minute.   Set   mixture   aside.  

Place pumpkin & sunflower   seeds   into a   blender   and blend   for 15 seconds. Place in a   bowl and mix with the chia and sesame    seeds.

Combine pumpkin,    onion/carrot mixture, brown rice, lemon rind & parsley into a bowl    and combine well.

Season with salt/pepper.

Divide the   mixture   into 1   heaped    tablespoon balls and flatten slightly.

Carefully, roll   balls into seeds   mixture   and brush   with olive oil.

Place on a   lined    baking tray and roast for about 20 minutes or until golden.


When La told me she wanted to cook this, I was dubious… They were delicious!


Crispy on the outside, luscious on the inside, the salsa verde cuts through the richness. 

I’m not a big fan of onion, we substituted spring onion and it was great!

Effortless pulled lamb

You will need:
Boneless shoulder of lamb
Spice rub – I used the Masterfoods Moroccan spice
400g of diced tomatoes
3/4 cup of boiling water
1/4 stock cube (beef)
2 finely sliced cloves of garlic

On cold nights I like to serve on couscous with vegetable ragout. As a summer alternative, you can serve it on a tortilla with tzaziki, salad leaves, and tomato.

Rub the spice mix on the lamb. Ideally the night before and leave in the fridge.

Ensure the lamb has been about of the fridge for at least half an hour before cooking.

Preheat oven. As high as it will go.
Pour tomatoes into a lasagna dish. Dissolve stock cube in the boiling water and add. Add the sliced garlic.

Lay the lamb on top. Skin side up. Cover the dish tightly with foil.
Place the dish in the oven – still on full whack – and cook for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 150degrees Celsius. Cook for 5 hours.

Remove from the oven. Place in a serving dish. Using 2 forks, shred the lamb. You may wish to add a few tablespoons of the pan juices and mix through the meat.