Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blueberry Banana Bread

MMMMMM! Now this is some good eats! It is based on several different banana bread recipes from and I decided to add blueberries because I just happened to have some. It's super moist and soft and honestly, perfect!

  • 250g plain flour
  • 150g regular sugar (I used organic)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • a few grinds of iodized sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 115g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 large or 4 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 packet of blueberries
What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Grease the bottom and sides of a loaf tin, or line with grease proof paper (I lined with grease proof paper for easier clean up).
  2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients - flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients - mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.
  3. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients bit by bit, just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. Add the blueberries here too. **IMPORTANT: Do not overmix the batter** There should still be traces of flour. Over mixing will result in tough bread.
  4. Pour the batter into the loaf tin. Bake in the middle of the oven for 60 minutes, until the bread is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. The bread is easier to slice when it has cooled.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lasagna: simple, yet amazing!

This is a family recipe. I have tried to modify it in the past by adding spinach and/or other veggies, but nothing is as good as the original. Since veggies are good for you (you should be eating 5 servings per day!), please serve them on the side! This recipe easily feeds 3, possibly even 4 people. We have 2 small baking dishes, so I always make a gluten-free one with meat for Mark and a whole-wheat one without meat for me. The picture is of Mark's meat one.


  • Lasagna sheets (preferably organic whole wheat, or use gluten-free if you have Coeliac like Mark)
  • ~ 400 g (14 oz) shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (please, no dried crap!)
  • 500 g (~18 oz) Ricotta cheese (yes, you need this much for such a little lasagna!)
  • Marinara sauce (you can use meat sauce if you must)
What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F) and cook the pasta sheets if they aren't instant.
  2. In a small (8 x 8 inches), square glass baking dish (if you want to use the large one, you need to double the recipe), spoon sauce in the bottom of the pan (to prevent the noodles from sticking)
  3. Lay down one layer of noodles (if you are using the instant kind, be aware that these noodles will grow during the baking!)
  4. Layer in this order: ricotta (a thick layer of this is best), mozzarella, parmesan cheeses
  5. Spoon marinara sauce over the cheeses
  6. Lay lasagna noodles on top of the marinara sauce
  7. Spoon more marinara over the noodles and repeat until done (sauce, noodles, sauce, cheeses, sauce, noodles, sauce, cheeses, ....)
  8. End with the cheese layer
  9. Bake in hot oven for 40 mins or until bubbly (I like to cover with foil first and half way through remove the foil)
*note: you can freeze either before baking or after

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Creamy Semi-Dried Tomato and Mushroom Pasta

This is one of my favourites! It's quick and easy, plus it's very good the next day for lunch! This recipe yields about 4 servings.


  • Chicken breasts cut into strips (optional)
  • ~ a heaping 1/2 cup of semi-dried tomatoes (like sun-dried tomatoes, but a bit softer)
  • 3/4 of a jar of your favourite organic tomato sauce
  • ~3/4 or 1 cup of heavy/thickened cream
  • ~ 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • Organic whole-wheat penne pasta
What you do:

Cook the chicken any way you like. I think grilled would be best, but if you don't have a grill, then saute the chicken in a pan with butter and olive oil. Set aside.
  1. Start the pasta water boiling.
  2. Chop up the semi-dried tomatoes (or put in food processor) and saute in pan (same pan chicken was in).
  3. Once the tomatoes are going, add sliced mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are soft
  4. Add tomato sauce and cream (the sauce should be pink in colour).
  5. By now the pasta water should be boiling. Add the pasta to the water.
  6. Add the chicken to the sauce and simmer until pasta is ready
  7. Drain the pasta and mix the sauce and pasta together really well so that the pasta is coated with the sauce.
  8. Serve into bowls and top with a lot of freshly grated parmesan (none of that dried crap!)
  9. Enjoy with some crusty bread!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sticky Chicken Legs... MMMMM!!

The sauce for these chicken legs is honestly amazing. One of the best things I have ever eaten. It's an old family recipe from my mom, but I think I may have modified it slightly. It tastes best when served with baked corn on the cob and roasted potatoes. I suggest using organic, free range chicken legs, and organic honey and ketchup. This recipe makes enough sauce for about 7 regular sized chicken legs.

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • more than 1/2 cup honey (maybe 3/4 of a cup)
  • several shakes of Worcestershire sauce (gluten free of course!)
  • a few shakes of apple cider vinegar
  • ~ 1-2 tsps of brown sugar
  • ~ 1/4 - 1/2 tsp each of paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder
What you do:
  1. Preheat oven to about 350 F (180 C).
  2. Mix all of the ingredients up in a bowl.
  3. Line the legs up in a roasting pan or glass dish (8 legs should be enough for 2 ppl) and brush the sauce all over them. If you don't have a brush, then dunk the legs in the sauce real good. I find that the sauce sticks best to the legs when they are dry. So, after washing the legs in water, dry them off with a paper towel.
  4. Bake in a hot oven until done! It usually takes about 30-40 minutes in my oven. You might want to cover it for the first 15 minutes with tin foil, and leave uncovered for the rest of the time. Leaving it uncovered increases it's stickiness, which is key to the yumminess.
  5. Serve with baked corn on the cob* and roasted potatoes**
*Baked corn on the cob (I promise this is better than boiled!): Shuck the corn. Put corn on a square of tin foil. Top with freshly ground salt and pepper and a large square of butter. Wrap the corn in the tin foil (1 corn per foil square). Bake for about 15-20 min or until done.
**Roasted potatoes: In a bowl, mix cubed potatoes with salt and pepper and olive oil (and maybe some butter too if you want). Roast in oven for the entire time the chicken is cooking. They are done when crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stuffed Mushrooms (vegetarian version)

I made these as a little appetizer last night before dinner (we had roast chicken and mashed potatoes) because we happened to have all of the ingredients on hand. Mark loves these and so do I! This recipe is a modified version of a family recipe.


  • 1 small chopped onion
  • butter
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • bread (use gluten free bread for the gluten free version)
  • 1 egg
  • parsley
  • sage
  • salt and pepper
  • milk
  • finely shredded parmesan cheese (none of that dried crap!!)
  • mushrooms with stems removed and cleaned

What you do:

  1. Sauté onion in a little butter and EVOO and remove from pan when golden.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the bread chopped up in tiny pieces, egg, parsley, S&P, sage, and parmesan cheese. Add milk as needed according to moisture.
  3. Add sautéed onion.
  4. Scrunch up with fingers until well mixed.
  5. Stuff mushrooms and bake for 10-15 minutes or until mushrooms look soft and ready to eat.
  6. ENJOY!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Honey Mustard Sauce

Tonight we had some coconut fried chicken for dinner. It was nothing to rave about (although, as usual, Mark thought it was awesome), but the honey mustard sauce that I invented was actually quite tasty! Hubby said it was something spesh! I didn't take a picture, but it just looks like honey, but creamier. This recipe makes wayyyyy more than you need for 2 people.


  • ~2 Tblspns mayonnaise
  • Honey (I just poured a lot in the bowl... probably nearly double the amount of mayo)
  • a big squirt of mustard (maybe a couple of teaspoons)

What you do:

Stir all the ingredients together really well! I think it would probably be good with some shake and bake chicken (will post a recipe in the future).

Saturday, July 4, 2009


OH. MY. GOD. These are to die for. I don't usually eat dessert, especially because I am pregnant, but sometimes I just have to have something sweet!! Mark can't have them because they have gluten in them, but don't worry, I baked him a gluten-free chocolate cake so that he wouldn't feel left out. Anyway, if you don't like these, then there may be something wrong with you. This recipe makes about 18.


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 pound (115 g) of cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

What you do:

  1. In a medium bowl whisk flour, baking soda and cream of tartar; set aside. Cream butter on medium speed until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Beat the mixture on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the eggs and beat on low until fully incorporated. Do not overbeat.
  3. On low speed, add the flour mixture and beat until fully incorporated. Remove dough and wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
  5. Combine some cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
  6. Pinch off pieces of chilled dough and roll into 1 inch balls. Drop the balls into the cinnamon sugar and coat thoroughly. Place balls 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the cookies look dry and feel firm.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sweet Potato Burritos

These are YUMMMMMMY! You would have to be a fool to not like these. I have no idea how I came up with this recipe, but it has become a staple in our house. This recipe feeds 2 extremely hungry people or 3 not really very hungry people or 2 hungry people, with a little bit of leftovers for lunch the next day.


  • 4 small sweet potatoes (or 2 large ones) chopped up
  • 1 small brown onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • ~1 tspn cumin
  • ~1 tspn mexican chili powder
  • ~1/2 tspn paprika
  • cayenne to taste
  • whole wheat tortillas (use corn for gluten free)
  • salsa
  • cheese (Australian grocery stores have no variety, so I have to use "tasty" cheese, but surely there is something more authentically mexican in the US)
  • serve with sour cream and guacamole
Step by step instructions:

First, put the sweet potatoes in a pot of water over heat.

Then, get the onions going in a fry pan with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. After a little bit, add the chopped garlic and sauté everything until onions are translucent.

Add the can of red kidney beans and the spices (cumin, chili powder, paprika, cayenne, and some freshly cracked pepper).

When the sweet potatoes are done (water is boiling and when you prick with a fork they seem ready to be mashed), hand mash them and add to the onion and bean mixture. Mash everything together into one big mess. Feel free to add more of all the spices at this point. It should look something like this:

Fill the tortillas with the filling and top with salsa and grated cheese. (Mark has celiac and is therefore allergic to gluten, so his burritos have to be kept separate from mine).

Bake on high heat until the tortillas are nice and CRISPY! Crispy is key to the yummy taste! Serve with sour cream a guacamole and enjoy!!

note: the picture of the finished burritos at the beginning of this post are of mark's gluten-free corn ones. They don't look as crispy as normal whole wheat tortillas.