Easy savoury tart



Sunday mornings are the perfect time to cook eggs and bacon for breakfast; however, for me, that means getting out the toaster, and dirtying several pots and pans. This morning I decided I’d make a quick and easy egg tart. This recipe could be changed up in so many different ways – add different veggies: tomato, capsicum, onion, asparagus, avocado, spinach, kale, beans, peas, mushrooms, grated carrot or zucchini etc; use leftover roasted pumpkin or sweet potato; leftover roasted meat; different cheeses, like feta, Parmesan, Gouda; fresh herbs – basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, chili, thyme; dollop some pesto on before the cheese; or add some leftover pasta sauce, bolognese, curry, or puréed veggies to the tart before adding your eggs. The combinations are endless, depending on what’s in the stores and what’s in season…have fun with it!

The two ingredients essential to this dish are puff pastry and eggs, so the rest of the recipe is flexible as to what you add. It’s also perfect for brunch, lunch, or a light dinner.

1 sheet ready made puff pastry
4 large free-range eggs
2 rashers bacon, diced
1 spring onion, finely sliced
6 mini bocconcini, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease a shallow pie dish.
2. Line dish with pastry, folding over edges to fit the dish. (I prefer to fold in the edges, rather than trimming the pastry, as it goes extra puffy and crunchy on the edges!)
3. Crack the eggs into the pastry case, making sure they’re evenly spaced.
4. Sprinkle over the bacon, spring onions, and cheese.
5. Bake tart for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the eggs are set.
6. Once cooked, remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a plate and serving.

Serves 2-4.
This dish is best served warm, but can also be served at room temperature or cold. Keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Creamy, cheesy mushroom risotto (vegetarian, gluten free)


Well Autumn has well and truly set in here in Canberra, and I find myself cooking a lot of hearty, warming, comfort foods. This concoction was the perfect blend of creamy rice, buttery mushrooms and parmesan cheese…and was a fantastic dinner, or lunch for any leftovers (if there are any!). I purchased some dried porcini mushrooms this week and added them to the risotto…definitely gave it a beautiful flavour and added a rich colour, but you could easily leave them out if they are unavailable. Most supermarkets and deli’s stock dried porcini mushrooms, and they can be added to lots of dishes to add flavour.

From start to finish this risotto takes about half an hour to cook, so great for a weeknight dinner if you are short on time! Give it a try…I promise you won’t regret it!

mushroom risotto


12-15 large button mushrooms, sliced

1 tbsp dried porcini mushrooms

1 large brown onion, finely diced

3 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup white wine

4 tbsp butter

3 tbsp olive oil

1 cup arborio rice

2 L stock (chicken or vegetable)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese (+ extra for serving)

2 spring onions, sliced

Parsley for garnish (optional)



1. Put porcini mushrooms in a mug/bowl, add 1 cup boiling water and  let re-hydrate for 5-10 minutes.Once soft take out mushrooms and put to one side. Keep the mushroom liquid, ensuring you leave the gritty bits at the bottom of the cup and not in your risotto!

2. Place large saucepan over medium heat and bring stock to the boil. Once boiling reduce heat to low and keep simmering.

3. Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add 2 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil. Add button mushrooms and saute for 3-5 minutes until golden brown and soft. Place mushrooms in bowl to one side.

4. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to frying pan and cook the onion until soft and golden. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add rice to pan and stir through oil, onion and garlic until well coated.

5. Add the white wine to the rice mixture and cook until reduced. Once all wine is absorbed, add the porcini liquid to the pan, ensuring you leave the dregs of grit in the bottom of the cup.

6. Once all porcini liquid has been absorbed, slowly start adding the stock, one ladle at a time. Give the pan a good shake in between each addition of liquid, and stir occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. Keep adding your stock a ladle at a time for 10-15 minutes, or until your rice is al dente, or firm to the bite. It shouldn’t have any floury or chalky texture, but should still hold it’s shape and be firm.

7. Add the mushrooms to the rice and stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and spring onions and stir until cheese has melted.

8. Serve risotto topped with an extra sprinkle of parmesan cheese and some chopped parsley (if you like). You could always add different herbs to this – basil or thyme would work really well with the mushrooms.

The best choc chip cookie recipe I’ve found so far!


I love a good choc chip cookie, but I’ve found it hard to find a recipe that I actually LOVE. Until now.

I found a great recipe on Pinterest (original here: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/05/13/chewy-chocolate-chunk-cookies/), but decided to change it up to make them even better. I ended up taking these to work and got a fantastic response – everyone loved them. The best part of this recipe is the fact that you don’t have to cream the butter and sugar! That’s right…no electric mixer required.

It is essential that you refrigerate the batter for at least 2 hours, but it will keep in the fridge for up to a week and also freezes really well. I’ve also made a different version for Christmas – white chocolate, coconut and cranberry (recipe to come), but the possibilities are endless as to what you can add. Just use the base mix and use your imagination!

Never have any time for whipping up fresh cookies? Why not make the dough, roll it into a log in cling wrap and freeze it? You can take out the log and cut off single cookie servings, meaning you can cook a fresh cookie or two for your afternoon cup of tea in 13 minutes (cook straight from the freezer!). How awesome is that?! This is going to be one of my holiday activities…prepping cookie dough so I’ve always got some on hand!


– 2 1/4 cups plain flour

– 1 1/2 tsp baking soda

– 2 heaped tsp cornflour

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 170g butter, melted

– 1/2 cup brown sugar

– 1/4 cup castor sugar (I used raw castor sugar)

– 2 eggs

– 150g 70% cocoa chocolate, chopped finely/grated

-150g dark choc chips


1. In a large bowl add flours, baking soda and salt and grated chocolate and stir to combine.

2. In a separate bowl add sugars to melted butter and whisk until smooth (don’t worry if the butter and sugar doesn’t mix together, something magic happens when you add the eggs and it all combines). Add eggs and whisk to combine.

3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add choc chips and stir.

4. Refrigerate dough for minimum 2 hours.

5. To cook: Preheat oven to 180degrees Celsius. Grease and line cookie sheets with baking paper. Take tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Place on tray and lightly press the cookies so they aren’t balls. Bake for 12-13* minutes and cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

* Baking time depends on how soft or crunchy you like your cookies. I baked mine for 12 minutes and they were slightly crunchy on the outside and gooey and soft in the middle. Add a couple of extra minutes bake time if you like crisp, crunchy cookies.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week (not that they’ll last close to that long!).


5 ingredient peanut butter cookies


So it’s been a fair while since I’ve put up a new post. I’ve been flat out making my first ever quilt (will put up a post about the process and finished product once completed), so experimental cooking has been put on the backburner for a while.

I found the original recipe for these biscuits on Pinterest (link here: http://fitness.popsugar.com.au/Recipe-Gluten-Free-Peanut-Butter-Cookies-31100053), however I’ve changed the method a bit, because creaming anything was just too much work the day I tried this recipe! They turned out delicious and crisp on the outside with a soft centre, and are actually quite healthy because they contain no refined flour or white sugar and are packed with peanut butter and oats – yum! I’ll admit, the first time I made these cookies I pretty much ate about 10 of them when they came out of the oven. Yeah…not so healthy if you eat that many!!

These would be perfect for kids to make as they only take approximately 15 minutes to prep and cook and are super easy. So give them a go…you won’t regret it and will probably want to make another batch straight away!!


1 cup peanut butter (organic or supermarket brand)

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp bicarbonate soda

2 cups rolled oats


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and line a couple of biscuit trays with baking paper.

2. Add peanut butter and brown sugar to bowl and microwave for 1 minute until soft.

3. Whisk in eggs to the peanut butter/brown sugar mix.

4. Stir in baking soda and oats until combined.

5. Roll tabelspoons of mixture into balls and slightly flatten on tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges start turning golden brown.

Makes approximately 30 biscuits.

Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Baked banana fritters with butterscotch sauce


My mum has always made the most delicious butterscotch sauce, usually served drizzled over a slice of pumpkin flan – deliciousness!! It was one of those foods that as a child I’d hide behind the open door fridge and finger-scoop straight out of the container into my mouth. Butterscotch sauce and chocolate ganach – couldn’t (and still can’t!) resist! It sets and goes fudgy once it’s cold, so perfect for sneaking big spoonfuls! I think it could be eaten on just about anything, but it’s super special on ice cream, pancakes, waffles, crepes or French toast. Paired with these baked bananas, it’s a treat that you could eat any time of day.
The bananas go crispy on the outside and soft in the middle once baked and only have a tiny bit of spray oil – so they’re actually quite healthy…until you add the sauce! They are also gluten free, as is the sauce – so great for my coeliac friends.
Eat them while they’re hot and fresh out of the oven, drizzled (or in my case, swimming!) in butterscotch sauce.


1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup dark brown sugar + 1 tsp
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large ripe bananas
1 egg white
1 cup fresh cream
125g butter, cubed
Spray oil

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Mix almond meal, coconut, 1 tsp brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and mix to combine.
3. Peel bananas. Cut each banana into four logs.
4. Whisk egg white with fork in a bowl until smooth. Roll bananas in egg white in batches and then roll in almond coconut mix.
5. Place your coated bananas on the baking tray, lightly spray with oil and bake for 10 minutes or until golden.
6. To make sauce: Put sugar and butter into a small saucepan and whisk until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Add cream and stir to combine. Simmer until sauce thickens. Serve the bananas hot drizzled with sauce.

Store the sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

Za’atar – Middle Eastern Spice Blend


Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend that is full of flavour and super versatile when it comes to it’s uses. I guess it is to middle eastern people what garam masala is to Indians, satay sauce is to Thai people, or master stock to Chinese people…each family has their own version of the recipe. It’s nice because you can change the ratio of ingredients according to taste – there is no right or wrong way of doing it! You can use it as a dip with crusty bread and olive oil, add to oil to make a paste to spread on pizzas or toasted sandwiches, sprinkle on any meat or seafood and grill, fry, bake or BBQ. You can also add it to tagines, casseroles and slow cooker meals, roasts, kebabs and sprinkle it on vegetables or salad…the possibilities are endless! No matter how you use this magical mix, I can guarantee that it makes anything taste amazing! It’s got a delicious aroma, with a slightly lemony taste from the sumac. This recipe made a big batch, but I took some over to my sister for her to try…she loves za’atar so hopefully she likes my version!
Quick and easy to make, all ingredients can be found at Woolworths (Coles don’t have sumac), it lasts months in an airtight jar/container stored in a dark place AND it tastes unreal…what’s not to love?!



6 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried majoram
2 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp sea salt
8 tsp sesame seeds
8 tsp sumac


Dry roast the sesame seeds in a pan over a low heat until golden in colour. Add all other spices in a jar/bowl. Once the sesame seeds have cooled add to the spices and mix to combine.

Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months.


Pork, ginger and spring onion pot stickers


I LOVE Asian food…Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, but I don’t make as much Asian style food as I’d like. I’m pretty hopeless when it comes to stir-fries and curries…until my recent soba noodle and chickpea curry successes. I’ve got laksa and Tom Kha Gai down pat and these little parcels of heaven – pork, ginger and spring onion pot stickers…yum! They’re easy to make and you could make them vego/vegan by leaving out the mince and adding extra vegetables. Either way you make them they are a perfect snack or accompaniment to a meal. You make a fair few in a batch, so freeze them in a container until you need them. To cook from frozen I find it better to steam them for about 8 minutes and then put them in the frypan to brown. You can skip the stock step because they’ll have already been steamed – easy!



300g pork mince
1 pack gow gee wrappers (30/pack)
2 large spring onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large thumb size piece ginger, grated
1 small carrot, grated
4 wom bok (Chinese cabbage) leaves, thinly shredded
Small handful coriander, chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp hoi sin sauce
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

To cook:
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup chicken stock

To serve:
Soy and sweet chili sauce


1. Put mince, ginger, garlic, spring onions, carrot, wom bok, coriander, hoi sin, soy sauce and sweet chili sauce in a bowl and mix thoroughly until evenly combined.
2. Take a wrapper and place a small teaspoon of mince mix in the middle. Wet your finger/pastry brush and wet half of the edge. Fold in half and press edges together, starting in the middle and working your way to the edges, making sure you push out any air pockets before sealing. Press the dumpling on a flat surface to give it a flat bottom and crimp the edges to ensure it’s sealed. Repeat until you have used all the wrappers.
3. To cook: heat a large frying pan on the stove. Add olive oil and cook dumplings until lightly browned on the bottom. Add chicken stock to pan and quickly add a lid to trap the steam. Cook the dumplings until the stock has evaporated. Make sure you move them around otherwise they’ll stick to the pan. Serve with soy sauce and sweet chili sauce.