Banana Muffins with Honey and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

Is it a muffin or is it a cupcake? This is a tricky one and an age old debate. From what Dr Google has told me, a muffin can be sweet or savoury, is likely to have a chunky batter and loaded with fruit, or veggies if savoury. Cupcakes, on the other hand are just a mini cake, therefore likely to be sweet and ALWAYS have icing. So, by definition, these could be cupcakes or muffins, but I think the use of wholemeal flour and sweetness being derived mainly from bananas, classifies them as a muffin.



Mark and Claire both love helping me in the kitchen at the moment. Mark helped me make these muffins while Claire was at childcare. Muffins are an easy thing to include the kids in the making of as they usually just involve putting everything into a bowl and mixing, making it quick and easy, which is good for the short attention spans of little people. Lining up the muffin patty pans is also a good task that they can complete, while I give the mixture the proper mix it needs 🙂


Muffins are a good snack as they are filling and wholesome. These ones are made with wholemeal flour, not much sugar and bananas, which will keep both kids and adults going until the next meal. Muffins also freeze exceptionally well. They can be made with or without the icing, but who doesn’t love a good cream cheese icing? And this one with honey and cinnamon is great!



A good recipe to keep up your sleeve to use up over ripe bananas.

Enjoy xx


  • 1 1/2 cups wholemeal plain flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed firmly
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 90g butter, melted
  • 2 large over ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Honey & Cinnamon Icing

  • 150g cream cheese
  • 90g butter
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare a muffin tray for ~15 muffins.
  2. Place flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda into a medium sized bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Place the banana into a bowl and mash.
  4. Add the banana, beaten eggs, melted butter and vanilla into the dry mixture and mix well until all ingredients are combined.
  5. Spoon ~1/2 a cup of mixture into muffin tins and level out.
  6. Place into pre heated oven and bake for ~25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the top. Allow to cool.
  7. Once the muffins are completely cool, prepare the icing.
  8. Place cream cheese and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth. Add icing sugar, honey and cinnamon and beat until combine.
  9. Place a good tablespoon on each muffin and smooth out.
  10. Refrigerate or freeze until needed.

Hot Cross Buns


With only 2 weeks until Easter, I thought it was time to do some recipe development and come up with a delicious hot cross bun recipe.


Hot cross buns are quintessentially Easter, along with the chocolate eggs, and I know that a lot of people dislike the fact that they are available from Christmas, but I think, if they sell, then make them. They are delicious and a great little snack to keep you going. I personally prefer the smaller ones as they can be enjoyed daily as part of a healthy balanced diet, whereas the big ones can be a bit ridiculous and often as many calories as a mars bar.


The key to hot cross buns is the spice and I’ve found over the years that a lot of the recipes don’t have enough spice. I have included cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice in this recipe, but you could use whatever spices you like, such as ginger, star anise or cloves as well. This batch of hot cross buns makes 32 small buns, however, you could make them bigger and make about 20-24.


I have also had a bit of a play around with flours and have ended up using a combination of wholemeal flour (for some added fibre), plain flour and bakers flour, which helps to make them a bit more light and fluffy due to the higher gluten content of bakers flour. Dried fruit is another key element to hot cross buns. I think that mixed peel is essential in hot cross buns, but a lot people dislike it. I have paired it with sultanas and currants, but once again, you can use whatever dried fruit you like or even make them into chocolate chip hot cross buns if you wish.


The kids absolutely love hot cross buns, so making them myself is really a no brainer, and they freeze exceptionally well and ready with a 15 second zap in the microwave or toasted in the oven or toaster. The kids helped me roll the dough into balls and thought they were pretty clever. They also found the process of adding the cross to be quite entertaining.




If you haven’t tried making hot cross buns before, give them a go for Easter this year. They are a bit time consuming, but pretty easy overall.


Enjoy xx


  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cups bakers flour
  • 1 1/2 cups wholemeal plain flour
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup currants
  • 3/4 cup sultanas
  • 30g mixed peel, finely chopped
  • Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
  • 1 tbs dried yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 4 tbs water


  • 1/3 cup castor sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup water


  1. Place lukewarm milk, 1 tbs of the brown sugar and the yeast into a small bowl, stir and set aside for 5 minutes or until it becomes foamy.
  2. Place flour, spices, rind, salt, dried fruit and remaining sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attached.
  3. Once the yeast mixture is foamy, add to the stand mixer and turn speed to medium to combine. Add butter and lightly beaten egg and mix until dough comes together. You may need to stop the mixer occasionally to press the dried fruit into the dough.
  4. Beat for about 5 minutes, or knead by hand for ~ 8 minutes.
  5. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough into the bowl, cover with cling wrap and place into a warm spot for 1.5 – 2 hours a or until the dough doubles in size.
  6. Knock the dough down and knead on a lightly floured surface for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Divide the dough into 32 pieces for small buns or 20-24 pieces for larger buns. Roll each piece into a smooth ball and place onto a baking tray about 1cm apart. Cover and place into warm spot for another 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare the mixture for the crosses by mixing the flour and water together into a smooth paste. Once the 30 minutes have passed, apply the crosses by putting the flour mixture into a zip lock bag. Cut the corner off the bag to make a piping bag. Carefully apply the crosses then place buns into oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped on top.
  9. While the hot cross buns are cooking, prepare the glaze by mixing sugar, water and cinnamon together in a small saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
  10. Once the hot cross buns are cooked, remove from the oven and brush glaze over the buns.
  11. Enjoy straight out of the oven or store in an airtight container or in the freezer.


Potato Salad

A potato salad is a fabulous addition to any barbecue and is also a good alternative to mashed potato, jacket potato or oven baked potatoes. The other bonus is that it is actually quick and easy to make, with the most time consuming part being waiting for the potatoes to cool.


A lot of potato salads use mayonnaise and sour cream as the dressing, but I like to use a thick Greek style yoghurt with a small amount of mayonnaise and herbs and mustard to give the flavours. The yoghurt makes the dressing higher protein and lower fat than if you were to use mayo and sour cream.


The humble potato often gets a bad wrap, being a high GI carbohydrate, but it is actually very good for you. It is a good source of dietary fibre, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate and potassium. The key is to not go overboard. By cooking and cooling a potato (as you would in a cold potato salad) the starch structure of the potato actually changes, increasing the resistant starch, which resists digestion and promotes gut health, feeding the good bacteria in the large bowel. A cooked and cooled potato is also a lower GI option, meaning that it causes less of a spike in blood sugar levels, making it more suitable for individuals with insulin resistance or Diabetes. I also like to leave the skins on for a potato salad, as a lot of the nutrients in a potato are stored in the skin, and the skin is adds more dietary fibre to the dish. You can also use sweet potato or a combination of the two for something different.


Another thing to keep in mind when making a potato salad is to use the number of small-medium potatoes per person you are feeding. ie. if you are feeding 4 people, use 4 small to medium potatoes to get the portions right.IMG_9275

If you are time poor, you could boil the potatoes and leave them to cool in the fridge overnight or throughout the day and then pull them out, put the dressing together and you would have a potato salad in about 5 minutes at the end of the day.


I have found that the kids can be hit and miss with potato salad, even though potatoes are one of their favourite foods. Kids, in general, often prefer foods that are less flavoursome and more bland than adults and I think that it is the dressing that throws them. Often, when we have potato salad, if I can’t be bothered enduring the battle, I will just leave some potatoes out undressed, so they can just have boiled potatoes instead – makes for more peaceful meal times!!

Enjoy xx


Serves 4

  • 4 small to medium potatoes
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 3 rashers bacon, fat trimmed, diced
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled (optional)
  • 3-4 heaped tbs thick Greek style yoghurt
  • 1 1/2 tbs whole egg mayonnaise
  • 1 small gherkin, finely diced
  • 1 tsp baby capers, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs dill, finely chopped + a sprinkle to garnish
  • 1 tbs parsley, finely chopped + a sprinkle to garnish
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Chop potatoes into 2-3cm cubes and place into a pot of boiling water. Cook for ~15 minutes or until potato is tender but still holds its shape. Once cooked, drain water and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Allow to cool slightly before refrigerating to cool completely.
  2. If using eggs, place them into the boiling water with the potato to cook.
  3. Heat a medium sized frypan over medium heat. Add bacon and onion and cook, stirring, until bacon starts to colour and onion becomes translucent. Allow to cool.
  4. To make the dressing, combine yoghurt, mayonnaise, gherkin, capers, mustards, dill and parsley into a small bowl. Mix well to combine and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Once the potato is cool, place into a large bowl. Peel and roughly chop the eggs (if using) and add to the potato along with the bacon and onion. Place dressing on top and using a large spoon or your hands, gently mix to coat thoroughly. Place into serving bowl and garnish with reserved herbs.



Sweet Potato and Corn Fritters

The inspiration for this meal was literally too many sweet potatoes in the fridge and lots of corn that needed to be eaten, growing in the garden.


Fritters are such a versatile food. They are quick and easy to make and they make a great breakfast, lunch, snack and even dinner. They are a great way to get in a good dose of vegetables and can be topped with a poached egg or bacon or tuna to add a quality source of protein to make a meal. Consider popping some of these fritters in kids lunch boxes as well, they are still quite delicious when cold.


I have made these particular fritters twice in the past few weeks and the kids have really enjoyed them, which makes me really happy as fritters have been hit and miss in the past. Today Mark said to me “Mum, I love your fritters so much. I want you to make them for lunch everyday”…high fives for me!


A lot of people aren’t so keen on sweet potato and would rather stick with pumpkin and potato, however, sweet potato has a lot of health benefits. It is a low GI carbohydrate, meaning it won’t spike blood sugar levels like regular potato will, making them suitable for individuals with Diabetes. Sweet potato is also an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C and dietary fibre. So, if you aren’t a fan of sweet potato, I recommend that you try it again, starting with these fritters.


Enjoy xx.


  • 400g sweet potato, peeled
  • 1 corn cob, kernels removed
  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • 2 tbs coriander, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup SR flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup natural yoghurt
  • 1-2 tsp sweet chilli sauce


  1. Place the sweet potato into a steamer basket and cook until tender. Mash and set aside to cool.
  2. Place sweet potato, zucchini, corn, onion, coriander, egg, flour and milk into medium sized bowl and mix well to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste, mix well.
  3. Heat a non stick frypan over medium heat. Place heaped spoonfuls of mixture into the frypan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Repeat with remaining mixture.
  4. To make the sauce, mix natural yoghurt and sweet chilli sauce together.
  5. Serve fritters as they are, with salad or poached egg and bacon.

Fritters will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or will freeze well for up to 6 weeks.




Almond and Pecan Granola

Granola has been on my list of things to experiment with for age and I have finally got there.


Ever since I started making my own muesli bars and having them as a snack crumbled over yoghurt, I have seen the need for homemade granola in my life. Even though the muesli bars, when crumbled are essentially granola, I needed a more nutritionally sound version, which didn’t have chocolate and butter as ingredients, so it could be a healthy, family friendly breakfast option.



Claire (2 and a half) has always been a bit funny with breakfast and especially so since the arrival of her little sister Elise, 3 weeks ago. I am yet to find a fool proof breakfast that she will happily eat most days without a 30-40 minute nagging and bribing ordeal. I am hoping that this granola is a solution, as she enjoys my muesli bars with yoghurt. Fingers crossed!!


The key ingredients to a granola are:

Oats – old fashioned rolled oats. These provide a low GI source of carbohydrates and soluble fibre.

Nuts/Seeds – these can be any type of nut or seed that you have on hand. Today I have used almonds, pecans, peptitas, sunflower seeds and buckwheat groats. Nuts and seeds provide a good source of protein to help to keep you full.

Fats/oil – Fats and oils help the granola to clump together and contributes, along with the sweetener, to the caramelisation. I have used coconut oil this time, but I am keen to try olive oil at a later date. You could also use butter, but the oils will make the granola more crispy.

Sweetness – the natural sweetener or sugar adds to the crispiness and caramelisation of the granola. I have opted for natural sweetness so have used dates soaked in boiling water combined with freshly squeezed orange juice, maple syrup and coconut oil. I love the natural sweetness that dates soaked in boiling water gives – its something that I use often when baking as well. Other options for sweetness include honey, brown sugar and rice malt syrup.

Flavour – this includes spices, salt and vanilla, which are all added in small amounts, but together complement and enhance the flavour of the base ingredients. Dried fruit can also be added to granola, but is best added at the end, once the granola is out of the oven. I have opted for no dried fruit in this batch.



Enjoy xx.


  • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded or flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 50g dates, chopped
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped)


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Chop the dates and place into a small bowl, add boiling water and set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Place oats, nuts, seeds and coconut into large bowl and mix to combine.
  4. Mix cinnamon, ginger and salt in a small bowl and add to oat mixture once combined and stir well.
  5. Once the dates have sat for 10 minutes, add the orange juice and maple syrup and using a stick mixer, blend until smooth. Place this mixture into a small saucepan along with the coconut oil and vanilla and heat over medium heat until boiling, stirring occasionally.
  6. Pour oil mixture into the oats and stir well, ensuring that the dry mix is thoroughly coated.
  7. Spread out onto prepared baking tray and bake for ~30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the tray in the oven after 20-25 minutes to allow the granola to cook evenly.
  8. Once cooked, allow the granola to cool completely before placing into a container. If you want large clusters, then the less handling the better.
  9. Serve with yoghurt and fruit for a delicious breakfast or snack.


Honey Roasted Beetroot and Cauliflower Salad

I love the ease of meal preparation in Summer – throw some meat on the BBQ and serve it with some salad…simple!


This salad was particularly easy, as I pre-prepared most of it earlier in the day, between feeding Elise, while Mark and Claire were at Kinder and childcare, respectively. If you would prefer the beetroot and cauliflower to be warm, then it can most definitely be made just before serving.


Beetroot is a vegetable that grows very well for most of the year. We have heaps of it in the garden at the moment and it can stay there, within reason, until it is ready to be used (if they are getting too big, I’d recommend picking them as they can get quite woody). Pairing the beetroot with cauliflower, especially roasted cauliflower, is a great combination. The caramelisation of the roasted cauli works so well with the bitter-sweetness of the beetroot. You could also add some nuts or seeds to this salad for some crunch – walnuts, hazelnuts or peptise would work really well.


On this particular occasion, we had this salad with steak and sausages (for the kids), but it would be an excellent accompaniment to a fillet of salmon, white fish or chicken. The kids enjoyed it, once they actually tried it! I find this is often an issue with kids – they say they don’t like something before they have actually tried it, so we make them try something before they say they don’t like it, and in most cases, they do enjoy it.


Enjoy xx


Serves 4 as a side

  • 3 medium beetroot, peeled
  • 1/3 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 large handfuls of rocket leaves
  • 50g feta
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Peel beetroot and cut into ~3cm x 3cm pieces and place into a bowl. Add 1 tbs honey, 1 tbs balsamic vinegar, 1 tbs olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and stir to coat. Place onto baking tray and bake for 45 minutes.
  3. Cut the cauliflower into medium sized florets and place into a bowl. Add 1 tbs olive oil and season with salt and pepper, stir to combine. Once the beetroot has been cooking for 25 minutes, add the cauliflower onto the same tray and cook for the remaining 20 minutes. Remove from the oven once the cauliflower is golden brown and the beetroot is tender. Allow to cool.
  4. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients into small jar and shake well to combine.
  5. To assemble salad, place rocket into bowl, top with roast cauliflower and beetroot. Crumble feta over the top and dress. Gently toss to combine.

Choc Orange Bliss Balls

Bliss balls are a great snack, they are super easy and quick to make and freeze well. I made this batch last week to stock up the fridge in preparation for the arrival of our 3rd child. So, I am writing this as I sit here on my ‘holiday’ in hospital while little Elise Ivy sleeps…


Even though all the ingredients in these little balls are healthy and whole foods, they are still calorie dense little morsels, so portion control is essential. If you know you are going to have more than one, then make them smaller, but if you are satisfied with one, then a ping pong sized ball is fine.



The taste of these are initially a chocolate flavour, but the orange rind and zest gives more of a jaffa or choc orange after taste, which is delightful! I happily give these to the kids, but as with the adults one is enough and I’ll often make some smaller ones for the kids – they love them.


You can use whatever nuts you have for this recipe, but flavour wise, I would recommend almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts, or a combination of the three.



Give them a go!


Enjoy xx


Makes 15-20 ping pong sized balls

  • 15 medjool dates, pit removed
  • 1 cup of nuts (I used almonds and walnuts)
  • ½ cup shredded coconut, toasted
  • Zest and Juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • 2 tbs cocoa powder
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • Dessicated coconut to roll


  1. Toast the coconut, by heating a small frypan over medium heat and adding the coconut. Stir regularly until golden brown.
  2. Place nuts into food processor and blend on high for ~30 seconds or until nuts are crushed but not so fine that they resemble a powder. Add in the dates and pulse to break down. Add the coconut, oats, chia seeds and cocoa. Blend on high for ~20 seconds to combine ingredients.
  3. Add zest and juice and blend on high until all ingredients come together.
  4. If the mix appears too dry, add some water and if too wet, add some more oats.
  5. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Using wet hands, roll mixture into ping pong sized balls then roll in coconut. Repeat with remaining mixture.
  7. Store in the refrigerator.