Polenta & Chilli Muffins

Lovely ‘little breads’ boasting a warm herbaceous flavour.

With Hubby spending so much time on the road driving the truck, muffins are the ideal fuel to keep him motoring along. They’re also jolly well nice with a cup of tea!

For these wee beauties you’ll need to start by setting your oven to 200c to pre-heat whilst we crack on with the batter. These muffins are really quick & easy, bursting with fabuliciouz flavour!

Line a muffin baking tin with patty pan papers & set aside.

Into a large mixing bowl goes, 175g of Self Raising Flour along with 175g of Polenta, 85g of caster sugar & 2 teaspoons of baking powder. Give them a mix up then add in 55g of grated cheddar cheese, a good sprinkling (about a tablespoon worth) of dried mixed herbs & 3 teaspoons of chilli paste (I use the Korean Chilli Paste from our local Asian Grocer – it wallops a heck of a lot more punch!). Stir all of that together & set aside.

Meanwhile, grab yourself a mixing jug & pour in 1 cup of milk before cracking in 1 egg & adding 1 teaspoon of mustard (I use a mild German mustard to balance out my chilli paste, but by all means, use a good English one if you really want to hurt!). Melt 85g of butter gently on the stovetop & add that into the wet ingredients in the mixing jug in a slow trickle, whisking the entire time so that you don’t accidentally cook that egg!

Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients & pour your wet ingredients in. Stir it all until it’s just combined into a batter, don’t over-mix it.

Divide the batter evenly into the prepared patty pans & pop it into that 200c oven to bake for 20 minutes.


Easy Peasy Chicken Bake

Some day’s you just gotta stop at the shop for a BBQ chook on the way home!

But here is what you can do with it when you get there.

Firstly, shred that BBQ chicken, make sure to get all the meat off it before disposing of the carcass. If your fam-bam is anything like mine, they’ll happily devour the skin for you!

Next, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a frypan & then sauté off 6 finely diced bacon rashers along with 2 finely diced onions. When they’re all lovely & cooked down, add in the shredded chicken. Combine that lot before pouring in 3 cups of chicken stock, give it a jolly good stir, then leave to simmer away for 5 minutes.

Season ever so generously with salt & white pepper, then pop in enough cooked rice to thicken the sauce up. Set it aside to cool a wee bit while your oven heats up to 180c.

Pour the filling into a pie dish, then top with whatever crumb floats your boat before crowning with shredded cheddar cheese & a nice sprinkling of Parmesan cheese too.

Bake in the 180c oven for 20 minutes.

Salad of Fish, Baby Spinach & Eggplant Fritters

A different kind of offering to your standard fish & chips!

The eggplant looked really good at the shop the other day, so I bought it without having a clue what I wanted to do with it, only that I’ve really missed plucking these delectable delights from my own garden, oh how I miss our wee veggie patch, so this is what I came up with.

First, you’ll need to peel & slice an eggplant into round discs. Lay them out on paper towel & sprinkle a generous layer of salt over them. This draws out all the bitter liquid so definitely not a step to skip! Place another paper towel over the top & leave them be for a good 15 minutes. After which, simply pat off all the excess salt & liquid from the eggplant discs.

Now they’re ready to crumb.

In one bowl make up an egg wash, so that’s 2 cracked eggs with a splash of milk & don’t forget to season generously with salt & white pepper before whisking.

In a second bowl, pop in whatever crumb floats your boat & also remember to season generously with salt & white pepper.

Dip an eggplant disc into the egg wash, then the crumb to completely coat it, & set aside. Repeat with all the discs.

Heat enough oil that it covers the entire bottom of your frypan & a wee bit more. We’re shallow frying people! Get those eggplant fritters in, cooking one side at a time before turning to the other side then setting aside to drain off any excess oil. Now I just sit a cooling wire over an oven baking tray to drain things when I fry, but plenty of people like to use good old paper towel too.

Now for the fish.

Into a plastic bag place about a tablespoon of flour & season it generously with salt, white pepper & paprika. Toss in a sliced up fish fillet & shake, shake, shake to coat all those fishy pieces!

Shallow fry off the fish in the same oil as you used for the eggplant & set them aside to drain as well while you crack on with the spinach.

Heat a good glug of Extra Virgin Olive Oil ever so gently in a small wok, or pan, whatever you have to hand, & fry off a couple of cloves of garlic before tossing in 500g of baby spinach leaves until they wilt down nicely. Take that off the heat & transfer into a mixing bowl. Season with salt & white pepper before finally squeezing over the juice of half a lemon & give it a jolly good toss to combine all those luscious flavours through.

So, I plop a healthy amount of spinach in the bottom of my bowl before crowning with the fried delights.

On a side note, you probably don’t want to do what I did on this one which is to take a lovely photo to share, be half way through greedily devouring the meal & suddenly remember the cheese sitting on the bench which was supposed to go on top! Crumbled Fetta would of been lovely over this dish. Cest la vie.

Croquettes with Spiced Aioli

Golden crisp crunch gives way to soft fluffy potato complimented perfectly with a bold flavoured dipping sauce.


Potato Croquettes are an absolute crowd pleaser & are the perfect vehicle to carry a plethora of fabuliciouz flavours! This is my base recipe which pairs wonderfully well with my strong Spiced Aioli.

You’ll need to start this one the day before you want to serve it.

I begin by steaming 750g worth of peeled & chopped up tatties. I prefer to steam, rather than boil, so the potatoes don’t get waterlogged. It just makes it even fluffier!

Once they’re tender, grab a masher & give them a good squish up. It’s really important that you don’t mash them in a food processor because they get way too smooth for this recipe.

Next, add in 2 tablespoons of butter along with 1 lightly beaten egg, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg & season generously with salt & pepper. Stir it all in to mix well then spread the mash out onto a flat plate, cover it in tin foil & pop in the fridge overnight.

The following day, divide your chilled mash up into equal sized portions & roll into sausage shapes. Then comes the good old crumbing production line!

  • Bowl 1 – plain flour
  • Bowl 2 – 2 lightly beaten eggs
  • Bowl 3 – whatever kind of crumb floats your boat

Once all of your Croquettes have been through each bowl, add them to a tray which you then need to cover with tin foil & pop back in the fridge for another 2-3 hours to firm up again.

Deep fry time! Get your oil nice & hot before carefully sliding in each croquette to turn a beautiful golden colour. Drain the excess oil from them & they are good to greedily devour!

But Wait! There’s More!

I promised you a fabuliciouz Spiced Aioli to dip those deep fried potato pillows of loveliness in.

This is where my food processor I got in the Christmas sales has been an absolute game changer!

Into the bowl goes 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 12 drops of tabasco sauce, 2 teaspoons of salt & 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Give that lot a jolly good whazz until it’s all blended up nicely. Now, with the machine still running, start to pour in a slow, steady stream of 1/2 cup of olive oil until it’s gorgeously smooth. Add in 8 cloves of crushed garlic & process it until it’s also smooth & Voila! Instant Aioli! Pour into a pretty bowl to serve with your Croquettes.

Prawn & Pineapple Salsa

Tender Prawns from the deep pair perfectly with Sweet Pineapple of the Land,

It’s a Tropical Surf n Turf!


Now this is my kind of salad! Warm & Juicy packing a huge flavour punch without a lettuce leaf in sight! This is what I want plopped in front of me on a warm Summer’s day with an icy cold glass of white wine to wash it down.

The Pineapple Salsa part is what you want to do first so all of those big, bold flavours have time to settle down & make friends rather than be jostling for attention. So, grab yourself a bowl & into that goes half a decent sized pineapple that you’ve peeled & chopped up roughly along with 1 finely chopped red chilli, 1/2 cup of fresh mint from the garden that you’ve also chopped up finely & the juice of 1 lime. Give that lot a jolly good mix up with your hands & set aside.

Next, throw 300g of fresh raw prawns at the Hubby to go sacrifice at the alter of burnt offerings (aka the BBQ). Cooking them on the BBQ just puts that wee bit of smoky char flavour into the prawns, but if for any reason that doesn’t float your boat, then you can easily just cook them up in a wee splash of heated oil on your frypan. Prawns are awesome as they tell you exactly when they’re cooked by rather conveniently changing colour to a gorgeous pink shade when done. It doesn’t take very long so don’t walk away.

Meanwhile, crack on with making the sauce. Simply melt 100g of butter in a small saucepan before adding in the zest of the lime you took the juice from (I tend to zest it first & set it aside before cutting it open to juice as I find that easier but I know that chefs will say I lose the essential oil by not doing it straight over the pan which is a huge flavour loss so do whichever way works for you) along with a finely chopped red chilli & 10g of freshly grated ginger. Stir that for a couple of minutes to cook it all off before finally seasoning with a good pinch of salt.

When the Hubby brings in the cooked prawns, pop them straight into the butter sauce to coat them generously.

Arrange your Pineapple Salsa on your serving platter, then crown it with all those luscious prawns & drizzle just a smidge of the butter sauce over the top.

Tropicana Balls & Dip

A mild meatball just perfect for dunking into a vibrant dip!


My Tropicana Balls & Dip will liven up any party, especially when you’re making a Festive Feast on a budget! Easy to make ahead of time to serve cold or fry off quickly for a pop of hot to be washed down by some bubbles.

Into a mixing bowl goes 500g of veal & pork mixed mince, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 1 finely chopped red chilli, 1 teaspoon of raw sugar, a splash of fish sauce & then season generously with white pepper. Give that lot a jolly good mix about with your hands before rolling into bite sized balls.

Heat up a wee bit of peanut oil in a frypan & shallow fry the balls until cooked all the way through. Drain them on some paper towel & set aside.

To make the dip, drag out good old Mr. Buzzy (aka stick blender) & into a jug goes 100ml of natural yoghurt along with 1 sliced up banana, 1 sliced up avocado & the juice of half a lime. Blitz that lot until it’s nice & smooth.

This is a brilliantly quick & easy appetiser that keeps your Festive Feast on budget!

Fish Cakes

Golden encrusted discs housing a

fabuliciouzly soft & flavourful gift from the deep.


I simply adore Fish Cakes & would order them every time at one particular restaurant in Sanctuary Cove on Australia’s iconic Gold Coast. I haven’t found them that good any where else in the nation……until I started making my own! Hubby goes absolutely wild for these, devouring them greedily as if he’ll never experience them again. It is such an easy recipe, but that’s what a lot of good food is ~ Simple.

Start by frying off 750g worth of fish fillets in a wee bit of heated oil. I use Basa which is about 4 fillets. Then you’ll need to flake them up into small, mince like, consistency in a bowl.

Add in 300g of mashed potato (this is a great way to use up cold left overs!) along with 1/2 a bunch of chopped up flat leaf parsley, 1 teaspoon of hot cayenne pepper & then whisk 1 egg well & pop that in the bowl too.

Combine that lot well & then season generously with salt.

Rest the mixture in the fridge for half an hour then shape into cakes, dust with a wee bit of plain flour & shallow fry over a medium heat until each side is lusciously golden.

Drain any excess oil off your Fish Cakes before serving with a colourful salad & lemon wedges.

Spinach Dip

This Retro Classic is a breeze to whip up & with only 3 ingredients!


This four day pseudo long weekend, created by the iconic Melbourne Cup horse race in the world’s most liveable city, always marks the start of our Festive Social Season. It’s a time where we glam up in a fashionista style unlike any other day of the year! I love pulling on my fancy frock, securing a stunning fascinator to my tresses & downing a glass of celebratory bubbles.

Alas, tis not to be this year as we must quickly pack up our belongings to depart our mountain top abode! We reluctant nomads are being forced on the move again due to the sale of yet another rental property. Not to the other side of the country this time, though, just sliding down to the bottom of this big hill.

But, I digress. It’s always lovely to have simple, easy foods to pick at & nibble throughout any party but especially at the races. This classic Spinach Dip is a proven crowd pleaser & it’s high time it made it back onto our Celebration Tables!

Simply bring a pot of water to the boil & throw in the contents from a 120g packet of fresh baby spinach leaves. Let them boil away to wilt then drain them & allow to cool ever so slightly.

Meanwhile, empty a 300g tub of sour cream into the pot & add in a 30g packet of spring vegetable soup mix then mix that in thoroughly along with the spinach.

Cook over a medium heat, stirring continuously, until it thickens up nicely then set aside to let the flavours develop for at least 15 minutes but it’s much better if you pop it in the fridge overnight.

Traditionally, this dip is served in a hollowed out round cob loaf with the scooped out bread being used to dip with but when needing Gluten Free, rice crackers & carrot sticks get devoured just as quickly!


You won’t believe how easy this Spanish classic,

adored the world over,

is to whip up in your own home kitchen!


When Mini-Me looked up at me with terribly sad eyes saying how much she misses her hot cinnamon doughnut treat since being required to maintain a Gluten Free diet, it absolutely shattered my heart. I mean, what was I supposed to do except go to my pantry, grab my Gluten Free Flour & make my wee poppet some Churros!

This is such an easy doughnut to make at home & this recipe will easily provide you a party platter worth of delectable delights.

Start simply by popping 1 cup of water along with 100g of butter into a medium saucepan & bringing that to the boil, stirring until the butter is melted, before removing from the heat.

Next, add in 1 cup of plain flour & a good pinch of salt. Stir with your wooden spoon to combine it well & when the dough starts to come away from the side of the pan then cover the top with some plastic wrap & allow to stand for at least 15 minutes or until it’s cooled.

Then it’s just a case of beating in the eggs. You’ll need 3 eggs in total, lightly whisk each separately to add in one at a time, beating the dough well after each addition to combine it.

Spoon the dough into a piping bag which is fitted with a star nozzle.

Heat up 1 litre of oil in a large saucepan to nice & hot. Squeeze lengths of the dough into the hot oil, using a sharp knife to cut the dough between each one. Fry for a couple of minutes until they turn a lovely golden colour. Remove from the oil to drain on a cooling wire set over a tray then dust with Cinnamon Sugar.

Meanwhile, break up 200g of good quality dark chocolate into a small saucepan & pour over 1 cup of milk. Pop that on the stove over a gentle heat to melt, stirring continuously, until the chocolate is melted & the dipping sauce is smooth & slightly thickened.

Serve the fabuliciouz Churros with the luscious chocolate dipping sauce & bask in the glory!

Watermelon & Honey Slushie

Warmer weather on our mountain top gets us in the mood to party!


Who doesn’t love a refreshingly cool fruity concoction on a warm day?! This combination of juicy watermelon with the sweetness of honey will definitely give your taste buds a tingle! And I’m sure that the booze hounds among you out there will very quickly work out how to sully this one 😉

It’s another easy 3 ingredient wonder of awesomeness from me to lift up your Summer!

Simply start with 6 crushed ice-cubes, add in some roughly chopped watermelon (about 2 cups worth which is a smaller wedge of the melon) & drizzle in a teaspoon of honey (I always use a local raw honey).

Grab good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to blitz that lot into a fabuliciouzly cool slushie!