Category Archives: Recipes

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

Easy Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread – Super easy to make, very forgiving, it’s a quick homemade version of your favourite cinnamon bread.


Dry Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Wet Ingredients:

3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups sour cream (Note 1)
2 tsp vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar:

4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon powder
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed


Preheat oven to 180C/350F (all oven types).

Grease a loaf tin approximately 21 x 11 cm / 8″ x 4″ and line with baking paper, leaving overhang (see video).

Place Dry Ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.

Place Wet Ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk until combined.

Place Cinnamon Sugar ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine (it should be like a slurry, see video).

Make a well in the Dry Ingredients bowl. Pour in Wet Ingredients, then mix 12 – 15 times until just combined (few lumps ok, see video).

Spoon about 1/4 of the batter into the tin (about 3/5″ deep) and smooth surface.

Dollop about 1/3 of the Cinnamon Sugar over the batter.

Top with half the remaining batter. Dollop the remaining Cinnamon Sugar over the batter. Drag a butter knife back and forth (lengthwise and cross wisto make the swirls. Top with remaining batter – dollop it on, the more the Cinnamon Sugar is moved about, the more swirls.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Then remove and cover with foil, and bake for a further 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Stand in the tin for 5 minutes before lifting it out onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool before slicing (can still be warm but don’t slice while hot, may crumble). Moist and flavoursome enough to eat plain but a little extra butter doesn’t hurt.

Recipe Notes

1. You can substitute the sour cream with yoghurt. Full fat Greek or other non sweetened yoghurt is best, but even a low fat one will work.

2. Don’t stress if you don’t get lots of swirls. I was actually undecided whether to do swirls like you see in the photos, or a thick strip of cinnamon sugar in the middle because that concentrated buttery cinnamon sugar is SO GOOD! So whether you get swirls or end up with larger pockets, it’s a win either way (swirls look better but I swear larger pockets taste better!).

Quick note : The reason I cover the cinnamon sugar with batter rather than having swirls on the surface is because the cinnamon sugar will burn if it’s exposed on the top of the bread for whole time it’s baking. It’s ok if some bursts through while baking, you just don’t want any of it on top when you first put it in the oven. Hence why I do swirls BEFORE covering with batter.

3. Baked goods like this are always best served on the day of making it, but this keeps exceptionally well because it is so lovely and moist. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Also freezes great!

4. Feel free to add raising, other dried fruit, raspberries, blueberries, nuts, choc chips etc. The batter is quite thick so they will disperse well once baked (with thin batters, they sink).

5. Serves 8 to 10. I say 8 to be safe.


Chicken Tamale Casserole

Once the base is done cooking, cover it with enchilada sauce, shredded chicken and lots of cheese, then bake some more.


1 package (8.5 oz) corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy)
1 can (14.5 oz) cream-style corn
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp cumin
2 cups shredded taco cheese blend, divided
1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce
3 cups shredded cooked chicken, from rotisserie chicken

Optional Toppings:

diced tomato
sour cream
shredded lettuce
sliced black olives
chopped green onions
finely chopped cilantro


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9×13 inch casserole dish with non stick cooking spray, set aside.

In a large bowl combine the corn muffin mix, cream-style corn, eggs, milk, chile powder, cumin and 1 cup of cheese. Stir till combined then pour into the casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and use a knife to pierce the cornbread mixture several times all over. Pour the enchilada sauce all over the top of the casserole. Top with the shredded chicken and remaining cheese. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing into pieces and serving with optional toppings. Enjoy!

Notes: Substitute the shredded chicken for equal amounts shredded pork or beef if desired.

Creamy Carbonara

Servings: 4


8 ounces spaghetti uncooked
6 oz pancetta chopped
2 cups half and half
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese freshly grated, plus more for garnish
1 tsp pepper freshly ground
4 tbsp basil chopped


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Add the pancetta to a large skillet and saute over medium-low heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a bowl using a slotted spoon.

Add the half and half to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Whisk the egg yolks into the sauce. Whisk in the Parmesan cheese. Stir in the black pepper. Taste for salt and season if needed. I find no salt is needed since the cheese adds plenty of saltiness.

Add the cooked spaghetti, bacon and basil to the skillet and toss well to combine.

Garnish with more Parmesan cheese if desired and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Half and Half: Half and half has 12 percent fat content. Heavy cream can also be used. It is also called heavy whipping cream because it’s whipping cream with a milk fat content between 36 and 40 percent.

Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. Make sure to refrigerate within two hours of cooking

Baked Broccoli Cheese Balls

Baked Broccoli Cheese Balls – outrageously delicious as a meal or bites to serve at a gathering! Served with a Yoghurt Lemon Sauce.
Servings: 3


2 cups (packed) roughly chopped soft cooked broccoli (well drained) (13 oz raw broccoli) (Note 1)
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 eggs
3/4 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar, Colby or Tasty cheese)
2 shallots / scallions, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
Black pepper
Olive oil spray

Garlic Lemon Yoghurt Sauce:

2/3 cup plain yoghurt
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (adjust to taste, depends on fat % of yoghurt used)
Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 200C/390F (all oven types).

Line tray with baking / parchment paper. (Note 2)

Place all ingredients (except oil spray) in a bowl. Mix well to combine, mashing up the broccoli as you go (like when you are cooking mince).

Scoop up a heaped tablespoon, then press in firmly. Flick out into your hand then form into a ball. Place on tray. Repeat with remaining mixture – should make 15 – 18 balls.

Spray with oil then bake for 25 minutes, or until the surface is slightly crisp and golden.

Serve with Lemon Yoghurt Sauce – it also goes great with ketchup.

Sauce: Mix ingredients together then set aside for at least 20 minutes to allow the flavours to meld.

Recipe Notes

1. This can be made with fresh or frozen broccoli. If using fresh, you’ll need 1 giant head or 2 medium heads. Ensure the broccoli is cooked until soft so it is easier to “mash” and mould into meatball shapes.

Chopping and cooking fresh broccoli: Cut the florets off the broccoli then break up into medium pieces. Cut the thinner stem into about 1 inch pieces. If you want to use the thick main stem, peel the outer skin (which is tough) then cut into 1″ x 2/5″ batons. Boil water in a large saucepan (or do this step in a steamer). Plonk the stems in first, cook for 2 minutes. Then add the florets and cook for 3 minutes, or until soft. Drain well.

2. Storing: Cool then place in an airtight container. For a quick reheat, use the microwave, or otherwise reheat in the oven. These also freeze well once cooked. Can be made ahead, form balls, then refrigerate (not freeze), then bake later.

3. Gluten Free Option: Sub breadcrumbs with 3/4 cup almond meal.

Apple Pie Bites 3


1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon apple pie spice, and additional apple pie spice (about 1/4 teaspoon) for sprinkling on top of crescent rolls
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 small Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced into 8 (1/2-inch) slices
1 (8-ounce) can Pillsbury Original crescent rolls
For the apple pie spice
1-1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and apple pie spice. Set aside.

Melt butter and toss apple slices in butter, set aside.

Arrange crescent roll triangles on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Evenly distribute brown sugar mixture onto each triangle.

Sprinkle each triangle evenly with the chopped pecans.

Place an apple slice on the wide end of each triangle. Wrap crescent roll dough around each apple.

Brush each crescent roll with remaining butter. Sprinkle lightly with additional apple pie spice.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Sheet Pan Chicken Souvlaki

Serves 4

2 pounds skin-on chicken thighs, bones removed
1 pound small red potatoes, halved
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 medium red or yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and sliced into 1/2-inch strips
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400F. Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven while the oven is heating.

Season the chicken and potatoes with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt. Place the chicken skin-side down in the middle of the hot baking sheet. Add the potatoes, cut-side down, around the edge of the baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the oil, garlic, oregano, and basil a small bowl and whisk to combine; set aside. Place the peppers with the remaining oil and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl and toss to combine; set aside.

Flip the chicken skin-side up. Brush the chicken with the lemon-herb mixture. Scatter the peppers around the chicken. Bake until the chicken and potatoes are crispy, and the peppers are tender and browned around the edges, about 15 minutes more. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before serving.

Parmesan Crispy Roasted Potatoes

Make these Crispy Roasted Parmesan Potatoes for your Sunday roast or pass them around at a party.
Servings: 4 – 5 people


1.5 lb baby potatoes, halved (about 20 – 24 potatoes)
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Parmesan Mixture:

1/2 cup grated parmesan, the sand-like type
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or sub with onion powder)
1/2 tsp dried oregano or thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt (I use table salt, leave out to lower sodium)
1/2 tsp black pepper

Dipping Sauce (Optional):

3/4 cup sour cream, or sub with plain yoghurt, or a combination of both
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions/scallions, plus more for garnish (or chives)


Preheat oven to 400F.

Mix Parmesan Mixture in a bowl.

Drizzle oil in 9 x 13″ glass baking dish. Tilt pan to spread all over the base.

Use a spoon to scatter the Parmesan Mixture over the base. Spread as evenly as you can. Once sprinkled, do not touch – don’t try to spread it.

Place potatoes cut side down, pressing firmly.

Optional: drizzle top of potatoes with a touch of oil or spray with oil, then sprinkle with salt.

Bake potatoes for 35 – 40 minutes or until they are soft and the parmesan crust is deep golden (you can check through the glass!)

Rest for 5 minutes. Then use an spatula to cut between every 4 or so potatoes (i.e. cutting through the parmesan crust which bonds between each potato), then scoop up 4 or so potatoes and flip them upside down so the cheese side is up on a serving platter.

Serve with Dipping Sauce, if using, and sprinkle over extra green onions if desired. Serve as a side dish or as nibbles.

Recipe Notes

Use the grated parmesan that has a sand-like consistency sold in the refrigerated section. I take no responsibility if you try this with the grated parmesan sold in the aisles. Shredded parmesan doesn’t go as crispy.

For freshly grated, use 1.75 oz parmesan and a fine grater (microplane). Don’t measure by cups because the volume of fresh grated parmesan is far greater than store bought for the same weight.

This works in a metal pan as well but I find the potatoes come off slightly easier from glass. Don’t try lining with baking paper, you’ll lose some of the crispiness.

Leftovers/Make Ahead: Cool then refrigerate. Place in a baking pan cheese side UP and bake at 400F for 5 minutes or until just heated through and cheese is crispy again. It’s not quite the same as freshly made, but it’s still darn good.