Roast vegetables

It seems crazy to have a roast vege recipe, but some people don’t know how to do a good roast veg. When I was 16 I had to do the family cooking, and there were no blogs, and no recipe book had roasting vegetables – it was a given you knew – so this is for anyone out there who is like me; I had no idea but wanted to make nice hearty meals. You’ll be fine with this! Just remember the smaller the veg the hotter the oven and less cooking time. The larger the veg the lower the oven temperature and the longer the cooking time.


Whatever veges you have!

For this particular roast I used;

4 button squash cut in half

3 carrots, cut into half centimetre widths

A handful of green beans

5 potatoes, cut into pieces about the size of a whole walnut

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Here’s another version without the squash!


Toss your veges in a drizzle of olive oil so they are nicely coated. Place on a roasting tray (you can pre-warm it before putting them on or line with baking paper). Now sprinkle some salt and pepper over them. Bake at 190 degrees Celsius for about 25 minutes. If you like your vegetables bigger, chop them bigger! That will increase cooking time to 1 hour and degres the temperature to 150 degrees Celsius. If you like extra crispy spuds, I suggest boiling them first for a few minutes and then baking them under a high heat for 10 minutes – but that’s another recipe! I hope you like your roast veges, they truly are a great way to enjoy the flavours of the Earth!

Roast vegetables

Golden syrup dumplings

My mother made golden syrup dumplings a few times a year and I just love love love them!! I’ve made them for years, and now my son has been making them for years too! This is an easy recipe you can make your family with just a few basic ingredients in a short timeframe. Add to that these little darlings are completely sinfully scrumptious and you’ve just got to make some for yourself!!

Ingredients for the sauce

2 tbs butter

¾ cup brown sugar

125 ml golden syrup

100 ml milk


Ingredients for the dumplings

1/3 cup milk

100 ml golden syrup

2 tbs butter

1 ½ cups self-raising flour



Put all the sauce ingredients together in a large saucepan that you have a lid for. Cook on medium heat until it boils and then turn it to low. In a separate bowl rub the butter and flour in together until crumbly. Stir in the milk and golden syrup intermittently. The dough will be sticky but able to be moulded by a spoon. Using a tablespoon, place heaped tablespoons of the dough into the syrup. This mixture makes us around 12-15 depending on how generous the tablespoons are! Once in the saucepan, simmer on low covered with a lid for 25 minutes. Serve with ice-cream and spoon extra sauce on top! Sometimes we drizzle melted white chocolate on the top – oh boy that is delicious! Enjoy this family favourite, we certainly do!

Golden syrup dumplings

Brussels bog

So we like Brussel sprouts! Confession time over! If you have a teenager or toddler who isn’t so into them, this will help them along because they are smothered in butter and bacon – winning!


500 g brussel sprouts

8 bacon rashers

60 g butter

Handful parsley

1 onion

Salt and pepper to your liking

Dash olive oil



Splash the olive oil into your pan and add the onion, saute. Now add the butter and the bacon and fry together. Whilst that’s going boil your sprouts for about 5 minutes on a rolling boil. Stir the bacon and onion mix and it will break up into little bits with the heat, don’t forget to season to your liking! Drain the sprouts and add it to the pan. Chop your parsley and add it in too. You should see everything take together, all the flavours mashing and having a party! Serve whilst still hot and enjoy!

Brussels bog

Beetroot & cashew nut dip

This is my go to dip for parties and weekend antipasto boards – give it a go – so simple and so tasty – it really is just 3 ingredients and 2 minutes!



2 large roasted beetroots with 1/4 cup water or 300g canned beetroot, chopped in their can juices

1 handful of cashews, lightly salted

A handful of parsley, ripped



Place all ingredients in your blender, magic stick thing, Nutribullet and blitz! Ta da! You’re done!

Beetroot & cashew nut dip

Easy caramel sauce

My family love caramel sauce! We use it on waffles on Bathurst morning, on ice-cream with caramel popcorn on movie night, as a side to scrumptious cakes… the list goes on! Making your own caramel sauce is pretty easy, and way less costly compared to buying it. This recipe makes about a cup, which is all we can handle at once! Have a go, you’ll fall in love!

Served with vanilla ice-cream and caramel popcorn! Feb 2017 166


6 tbs butter

1 cup caster sugar

½ cup cream


Served with waffles and bananas!Feb 2017 153


Put the butter in a saucepan and melt on medium heat. Add the caster sugar and swirl the pan a little until al coated. Now leave it! Don’t touch it! After about 3 minutes, give the saucepan a swirl, whilst twirling your hips too (it makes for good effect)! Leave it on the stove again. You will see the colour starting to darken and the sauce take shape. Once the colour has darkened and is bubbling a little, take off the heat and add your cream, stirring with a metal spoon. Vigorously stir the cream, no hip actions required, until combined and pale brown in colour. You can serve the sauce hot, or alternatively for a thicker sauce, cool it down and then place in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. This makes quite a thicker sauce. Please use this delicious sauce as you wish!

Straight outta the saucepan!

Feb 2017 149

Easy caramel sauce

Great white chocolate and toasted coconut slice

This treat just looks so scrumptious and beautiful, and tastes sinful! You can have the colours suit the décor of your Christmas party – if I was red and white I would use smashed candy canes in lieu of the pastel coloured boiled lollies, or I would choose darker coloured boiled lollies depending on the colour scheme. So no matter what colours you choose, this will look fabulous, and taste so naughty! Have a go, it is a simple pleasure that the kids can do on their own, it is tasty and enriches the festive vibe of your table!



300g white chocolate

1 cup rice bubbles

½ cup toasted coconut flakes

12 coloured boiled lollies

A sprinkle of little edible pearls



Place the lollies in a small plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin until crumbly. Melt the white chocolate over a pot of simmering water or in the microwave. Add the rice bubbles and toasted coconut. Spread into a baking tray lined with baking paper. Now sprinkle the bashed boiled lollies on the top and the little sparkles. How pretty is that!! Leave in the fridge to set if you live somewhere humid (we are in Queensland, Australia). Otherwise, if it’s snowing out, on the bench will set it fine! Chop into squares are serve to your family and friends!

Great white chocolate and toasted coconut slice

Spanish sardine pots

These are fabulous as a breakfast or a dinner. And so simple! I do not often cook with canned meat, in fact, I think sardines and anchovies are it! Because we have recently moved I had to run down the cupboard and use things up so we had some quite inventive dinners! This is a keeper, I’m making this again!!


Ingredients to make 4 pots

3 slices of light rye or a choice of bread you like

4 eggs

1  tin of sardines in tomato sauce

Handful of grated cheese you like

Handful of parsley, roughly chopped


Tear the bread and place it in the bottom of each pot/ramekin. Place some sardines on top, breaking them up a little with a fork. Crack an egg on top and pierce the egg with the fork to spread it out. Decorate with a little grated cheese and bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 15 minutes. When they are ready, pop them out and sprinkle some parsley! Enjoy your delicious fish pots!



Spanish sardine pots