Monday, April 26, 2010

Lemon Loaf

I felt like cooking something sweet a couple of weeks ago, but since it had recently been Easter and I was still suffering a chocolate overdose, I didn't really want to cook with that which usually runs through my veins!

It was late at night (no shops were open to get fresh ingredients) so I had to make do with what I had in the pantry. I had the basics and a few lemons knocking about the fruit drawer of the fridge. After going through a few cookbooks and my fave recipe website I settled on a lemon loaf recipe from the

Six ingredients and an hour later, I was sitting down with a big cup of tea and munching on a lovely warm piece of cake.

The cake itself was gorgeous! It was light and fluffy with a wonderful sweet/sour topping made by combining some lemon juice and sugar. This cake is one my darling Pete has practically begged me to make again. (A sure sign this recipe is a keeper!)

You can get the recipe here:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes

For your simple viewing pleasure - here is a rich chocolate cupcake I made my darling Pete last week for his 28th birthday.

It's decorated with vanilla buttercream, white sprinkles and (of course!) a candle.

The recipe itself is nothing special, but here's a hint for all you bakers out there - dissolve a teaspoon of instant coffee granules in a tablespoon of boiling water before adding it to the cupcake mixture. (Note: this amount is suitable for a batch of 12.) The coffee flavour isn't obvious but it creates a slight bitterness which off-sets the sweetness of the chocolatey cake.

And Pete loved his cupcakes! :)

Friday, April 2, 2010


Everyone knows what ratatouille is. The main ingredients are garlic, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, capsicum/peppers and herbs. It's light, healthy and an awesome way to increase your veggie intake. :)

The Italians have their own version of ratatouille called giambotta. Similar ingredients, different herbs and in my opinion, so much tastier!

Now, this giambotta recipe is pretty flexible - if you hate zucchini, supplement it with eggplant, if you prefer green capsicums to red, then use green. Play around with the types of vegetables and make the giambotta to suit your own tastes.

(Serves 2)

Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 onion, finely sliced
5 button mushrooms, quartered (I tend to use tinned champignons if the veggie crisper is looking a bit pathetic and empty!)
1 zucchini, cut into chunks
1 red capsicum/bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 chilli, deseeded and sliced
3/4 cup vegetable (or chicken) stock
3 ripe Roma tomatoes (or 1/2 tin of tomatoes), chopped into large chunks
Freshly shredded basil
Salt and pepper

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large non-stick pot or pan. Over medium heat, saute the garlic, onion and mushrooms until the onion has softened a little.

Add the zucchini, capsicum and chilli and saute for a minute or two. Add the stock, turn the heat down and simmer very gently for about 5-10 minutes. Add the tomatoes then simmer for a further 10 minutes or until the veggies are very tender and the stock has been mostly absorbed.

Stir in the fresh basil and season well with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Serve the giambotta topped with a fried egg or plenty of crusty sourdough bread to mop up the veggie juices.

Alternatively, blend the giambotta for a sneakily healthy pasta sauce that the kids will never know is made up of veggies!