I hope you believe me when I tell you that these muffins are really, really good. No need for a big cake muffin when you have one of these apple and cinnamon treats. Add a cup of coffee ☕️ and you are ready to start your day. If your household is like mine (where anything good doesn’t last the day), be quick to grab or hide one.
PREP: 50 min
BAKE: 5 min @ 450 degrees, 12 min at 400.
1/2 cup Flour
1/4 cup golden yellow Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
2 Tbsp Walnuts, finely chopped
3 Tbsp unsalted Butter, melted
3 Apples, peeled, chopped & 🍎 *precooked
2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
pinch of Salt
1/2 cup unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/4 Walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup Buttermilk
Preheat oven, prepare muffin tins with wrappers, chop your apples and cook in saucepan for 12 min (see below) 🍎.
In a small bowl, mix together your streudel topping which includes your flour, sugar, baking powder, spices and walnuts. Add melted butter and form crumb like mixture.
In a separate bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt. Add butter to flour mixture and blend it in with your thumb and fingers until mixture has course texture. Toss in Apple and walnut pieces.
Mix together eggs and buttermilk and then gradually add to flour mixture. DO NOT OVER MIX.
Add batter (heaping 1/4 cup) to muffin tin.
Top with streusel mixture, generously covering tops and then bake in oven till lightly browned.
TIP: 🍎 An extra step worth completing is to cook your chopped apple pieces in 1 Tbsp of butter and 1 Tbsp brown sugar on medium heat for about 12 min or until Apples are soft.
Looking for the perfect Minestrone style recipe? Search no more, especially if you love pasta and beans. Pasta and Fagioli is a traditional Italian dish that is certainly one of my favourites. It is nutritional, economical and extremely tasty, but don’t take my word for it, make it yourself. Half the fun is trying to pronounce the word ‘Fagioli’ !
( Fah— Jo—Lee)
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp Garlic, finely chopped
2 Carrots, chopped
2 Celery sticks, chopped
1 can (796 ml) Italian Plum Tomatoes
1 can (398 ml) Stewed Tomatoes
1 can (398 ml) dark red Kidney Beans (plus liquid)
1 can (398 ml) white Kidney Beans ( plus liquid)
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
3 cups of Chicken Broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tsp Oregano, Basil
1/2 Tsp Salt
5 Hot Italian Sausages (or mild if you prefer less spicy)
Pasta—I used Farfalline (butterfly shape) but you can really use any small pasta shape you like (small shells, elbow etc)
In a deep pot, add oil and when hot, add garlic and onions and sauté.
Then add vegetables, tomatoes, beans & tomato paste and cook couple of minutes longer, continue to stir.
Next add broth, water and vinegar.
While broth mixture is simmering on medium heat, remove sausage casings and brown meat in a frying pan. When cooked, drain off excess oil and add to broth mixture.
The sausages will have their own flavouring, so taste the broth while you add the spices and adjust to your preference.
When mixture has cooked for approximately 1 1/2 – 2 hours, add cooked pasta just before serving.
TIP: Don’t be afraid to experiment when using a recipe as it is only a guide. You may want to cut the sausages into pieces to change the texture of the dish or increase water amount for more of a soup consistency. Be creative and have fun.
Whether you add Shrimp, Chicken or keep it simple, Orzo Salad is always a crowd pleaser. I always love a dish you can make the night before and have it taste even better the next day.
1 pkg Orzo Pasta
1 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small jar Roasted Red Peppers, drained & chopped
1 small jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts, chopped
1 can Black Olives, sliced
Cooked Prawns (or cooked & cubed chicken)
Your favourite Vinaigrette (or try 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 Tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar), dash of salt & 1 Tbsp minced garlic)
Oregano, Basil, Black Pepper to taste
Cook Orzo pasta in pot of boiling water.
Drain pasta and add 1 Tsp of Olive Oil to pasta so it does not stick together.
Place drained pasta in a bowl and add Peppers, Artichokes, Olives and Prawns.
Then add dressing, mix and refrigerate (cover). You can experiment by adding some of the juices from the artichoke jar, but taste your pasta salad first!
TIP: You can also add Avocado 🥑, Feta cheese and/or Fresh Dill to this dish for more taste, nutritional value and colour. If you do decide to add Avocado, best to incorporate it just before serving and pick one that is not too soft.
Next time you think about cracking open a jar of tomato sauce, STOP and consider making it from scratch. The aroma, taste and satisfaction of cooking your own sauce will make it all worthwhile. The use of fresh tomatoes is best, but if you don’t have time toblanch/peel tomatoes (and most of us don’t) then canned tomatoes can be the next best alternative.
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
1 large Onion, chopped finely
2 stalks Celery, chopped finely
1 Carrot, chopped finely
2 cans (796 ml+ 398 ml) Plum Tomatoes
1 (398 ml) can Stewed Tomatoes
1 (156 ml) can Tomato Paste
Hot Sauce, to taste
Wedge (with rind) of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
Oregano, Basil, Garlic powder, Black pepper, to taste
In a large, deep skillet fry garlic and onions in hot oil until soft. Add celery and carrots and fry for couple more minutes on low heat.
Next add tomatoes (& juices), paste, small handful grated parmesan, spices, hot sauce and stir. Using fork, crush tomatoes into smaller chunks, depending on preferred consistency.
Cook on medium heat, simmer for approximately 45 min. Continue to stir occasionally. Taste and add more spice as needed.
When mixture has thickened, place directly on any cooked pasta you desire. Garnish with fresh basil 🌿 and cheese 🧀 .
TIP: Cut off the Parmesan cheese rind (quarter inch thick) and cook it in the sauce until softened. This adds great flavour BUT I cannot be responsible for the fight over that soft, gooey piece of cheese!
An easy dish to make but so, so good and fairly healthy for you. The four main ingredients include pasta, cheese, spinach and sauce. It’s a simple meal that will also impress. Hope someone out there tries it. I would love to hear from you.
1 box Jumbo pasta shells
2, 500g Ricotta cheese
3/4 cup spinach, drain if frozen
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups or so Mozzarella cheese, be generous
1 jar favourite Tomato sauce
Black pepper to taste
Dry Basil to taste
Fresh Basil for garnish
Boil large pot of water. Add pinch of salt.
Add large pasta shells to water and cook al dente, approx. 15 min.
Drain pasta and add a touch of olive oil so pasta does not stick.
While pasta is cooling add Ricotta, parmesan, spinach, pepper and basil to large bowl and mix.
Stuff pasta with cheese mixture, one shell at a time.
Add a bit of sauce to the bottom of a baking dish and then place stuffed shells on bottom in rows, close together.
Top with rest of sauce so pasta is covered.
Add a generous layer of mozzarella cheese and top with pepper and basil.
Cook at 350 degrees C for about 45 minutes or until bubbly. Add fresh 🌿 basil for garnish.
Do you have a favorite meal? Mine is Pasta & Fagioli. The type of food we are drawn to can hint to our ethnic roots. Now that is not to say that we don’t enjoy foods from other cultures—I love wonton soup and on occasion crave Indian food. I do, however, find myself drawn to the smells I grew up with as they often remind me of my childhood experiences—like fresh basil or oregano, especially on the top of homemade pizza (hungry yet?). This week I will try and post my daughter’s favorite dish, stuffed pasta shells with ricotta. When I asked her why she loves it so much she said “ It has the perfect blend of cheese and pasta and nothing is more Italian than that”.
🍐Inspire: Make someone their favorite dish when they least expect it.
I would love to hear what you made, why and the reaction.
Nothing says warmth and comfort like chilli. It was not really a dish I grew up with, but one you learn when life gets busy with work and kids and you’re
making an effort to eat healthy. My secret ingredient is hot sauce. Another tip is to have tacos or sloppy joes the next night with the leftovers.
1 1/2 lbs ground beef, lean
2 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
Oregano, Basil, Garlic Powder, Hot Sauce, to taste
1 green pepper, chopped
1 can mushrooms/ or fresh, chopped
1 can corn kernels, drained
1 can stewed tomatoes
2 Tbsp of tomatoe paste
1 can of white kidney beans, drained
1 can of brown beans, drained
1 can of red beans, drained
1 large jar, tomatoe sauce, your favourite
Cheddar cheese, to taste
In a large skillet, drizzle in oil and when hot add chopped onion. When onion is tender, add in ground beef and cook for a few minutes until browned. Add spices to taste.
When meat is cooked, remove from heat and drain off excess fat and place temporarily aside. In same skillet add garlic and fry until slightly browned (don’t burn it!). Then add vegetables, including green pepper, mushrooms and corn and cook until softened. To vegetables, add stewed tomatoes and paste, mix and cook for a few more minutes.
In a large pot, add in cooked ground beef and cooked vegetable mixture. Continue to add the beans and tomatoe sauce and then let simmer on low for approx. 1 hour, stir occasionally. Taste just before serving as you may want to add more spices to your liking, especially the hot sauce if someone in your house is addicted to Sriracha —you know who you are…..
Mix in some grated cheddar cheese and add a bit for garnish if you like.