Polpetta Con Riso (Italian-style Porcupines)



Polpetta Con Riso - us Aussies would simply refer to this dish as 'Porcupines' - but as I have given this family classic a distinctive Italian twist, I thought it more apt to give it an Italian name also.  Besides, it makes them sound so much more fancier!

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Greek Spinach & Cheese Pie (Spanakopita)


Now that the weather has cooled off, and winter's finally here, I've been craving comfort food.  To me, nothing is more comforting than a delicious homemade pie.  Lately a week hasn't gone past that I haven't baked a pie, whether it be a savoury one for dinner or a sweet and syrupy one for dessert.  I'm pretty sure my love of pie is due in no small part to its lovely buttery pastry.  It doesn't matter if it's a crumbly shortcrust, a buttery puff, or a crispy filo pastry, I'm happy to eat them all, although my favourite would have to be puff!  Whilst nothing beats a good stodgy meat-filled pie, sometimes I feel like a lighter vegetarian option, and this Spanakopita fits the bill perfectly.

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Apple Honey Cake


Sunday would have to be my favourite day of the week.  Sundays mean family time - we spend the day relaxing, lazing about in our pjs until late, reading books, catching up on work around the house and garden, cooking and eating.  I always try to bake something for afternoon tea, and this recipe is perfect to enjoy with a cup of tea on a slow Sunday.  I discovered the recipe in an issue of Country Style magazine last year, and I've been making it ever since.  It's so good!

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Savoury Eggy Crumpets

This recipe was inspired by my favourite chef, Jamie Oliver, and is based on his 'Eggy Breakfast Cumpets' recipe from his cookbook 'Jamie at Home' (which you can find here).  I adore eggy crumpets for breakfast - they are super easy to make and taste delicious.  This recipe serves 2 people (or one very hungry person *cough *cough).  By all means play around with the flavours like I do - use different herbs, omit the chilli if you don't like it spicy, or add a little grated parmesan cheese.  It doesn't matter what you do, it will taste fantastic either way.  

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Greek Lemon Potatoes


I adore potatoes!  They are such an incredibly versatile vegetable, and can be transformed into all manner of delicious dishes.  This recipe is one of my favourite ways to prepare them.  What makes it even more special is that it's my mother's recipe.  Her Greek Lemon Potatoes are quite renowned among friends and family, and there's not often an event where they don't make an appearance.  Over the years, the job of making these potatoes has been passed on to me, which I happily relish as they are extremely simple to make.  Whilst some of the ingredients used in this recipe are not considered traditionally Greek, my mother has tweaked the dish over the years and the resulting flavour is absolutely delicious.  The trick is to cut the potatoes uniformly so each piece is roughly the same size, so they cook evenly.  The liquid is an important part of the cooking process as you are essentially steaming the potatoes for the first hour of cooking, rendering them soft and fluffy, before uncovering them and cooking them for a further half hour to reduce the liquid and brown the potatoes.  These potatoes are perfect served as an accompaniment to any meal, but are especially lovely next to a good roast.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

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Tuscan-inspired Pasta Sauce


Pasta is possibly one of the easiest meals to whip up on a busy weeknight.  Having a few good sauces in your repertoire means you can serve up a simple, healthy and delicious meal to the family in next to no time at all.   When it comes to sauces, I like to experiment and come up with new flavours.  My experimentation generally comes from a place of desperation most nights, as I frantically rummage through my fridge and pantry to see what I can throw into a pan in order to make dinner.   Pasta is very forgiving as 9 times out of 10, whatever you team with it will work out.  This sauce is one of those that came about as I only had a few ingredients to work with.  The good thing about this recipe is that the ingredients can be adjusted depending on what you've got in your fridge at the time. Ultimately, whatever veggies you decide to use, this sauce is flavoursome, healthy and delicious.

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Ginger Golden Syrup Loaf


There is nothing I love to do more on a rainy day than bake.  There's something cosy and comforting about cranking up the oven on a cold day and filling the house with the delicious aroma of baking.  But by far, the most rewarding part is being able to enjoy the fruits of your labour with a nice cup of tea curled up on the couch.  Today, while the weather was miserable outside, I passed the time baking this Ginger Golden Syrup Loaf.  I came across this cake recently when my sister-in-law baked it for Easter.  I absolutely loved it!  It is soft, light, and rich in flavour.  It turns out that the recipe is one of Rachel Allen's from her cookbook 'Cake'.  I'm a huge fan of Rachel's, as not only is she Irish, but she is an amazing cook and her recipes are delicious.  The best part about this cake is that it's really easy to make, which is handy if you have some unexpected guests drop in.

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Chicken with Lemon & Haloumi


If you're looking for a really quick dinner to whip-up that's delicious and hassle free, then look no further than this recipe - it's an absolute winner!  What's not to love about something you can cook in one pan, is quick and easy to make, and gives you time to enjoy a glass of wine (or two) while it bakes in the oven.  That's my idea of heaven on a busy weeknight!

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Middle Eastern-inspired Lentils


Lentils aren't necessarily something everyone has tried, or indeed many people rave about, but hopefully once you've tried this dish you'll be converted.  My family love this meal - in fact my kids are always really happy when I tell them I'm making it for dinner.  It is super easy to make (one of those one-pot-wonders), is hearty and delicious, and most importantly it's healthy.  Lentils are a protein powerhouse packed with iron, folate and potassium, as well as being a rich source of dietary fibre.  Plus they are low in calories and contain virtually no fat!  Now don't get me wrong, I'm not into super foods or anything - I'm more of a super flavour type of advocate ;) - but lentils are one of the original foods touted by health experts and fanatics, and when cooked right they are truly amazing!  The other good thing about this dish is that not only is it great as a stand-alone meal, but it also goes well served with rice, macaroni, or mashed potato.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

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