Stuffed Mushrooms

These mushrooms stuffed with garlic, onion, breadcrumb and Parmesan cheese smell amazing as they’re cooking, and taste amazing once they’re done. My mom has made this recipe along with Sunday roast dinners for as long as I can remember. She passed the recipe down to me, and now I make it whenever I get the chance. This recipe is vegetarian and could also be made vegan if you leave out the cheese and replace with your favorite cheese substitute. They’re easy to make and everyone will want to know the recipe.

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Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was of the mindset that overripe bananas = banana bread, or banana muffins until I found this recipe. I find most banana bread or muffins heavy and overpowering, so finding this recipe was extra exciting. These are cakey, fluffy cookies that aren’t too sweet and have a light hint of banana. (Don’t worry, the coconut is optional, if you don’t like coconut.) Next time you have leftover bananas and don’t want bread, give this a try!


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Smokey Corned Beef Brisket with White Barbecue Sauce

Pastrami and slow smoked beef brisket are both delicious, but most people (myself included) don’t have a smoker, or the time. This recipe has an ingenious shortcut that will leave you with the next best thing. By starting with corned beef, the brisket is already brined and thus the cooking time is a lot less. It has a dry rub of smokey paprika and other spices, which results in a deliciously savory brisket that goes great with white barbecue sauce. Have it on a sandwich or with potatoes and a green salad.

Unfamiliar with white barbecue sauce? It’s served in the American Deep South, and is a white creamy, vinegary sauce with horseradish and mustard. It’s typically served with smoked chicken but goes amazingly well with this pastrami-esque smokey beef brisket.

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Chicken, Cream Cheese and Chive Parcels

There are various recipes floating around the internet for this, but my version is a bit healthier and just as easy. These freeze very well and make for great weekday lunches, and, as usual, they’re very adaptable to suit your tastes. Want to throw in some different spices? Go for it. But this recipe is the version I always end up with, and it’s always been a hit.

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Orange Chocolate Chip Biscotti

These twice-baked cookies are a staple at many cafes and are perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. I made these using orange and vanilla extracts, but naturally other extracts will yield a great result. If I had chocolate chips on hand I would have added them, but they’re fine without. They’re light and crispy and are always a hit at brunches or dinner parties. They are even better the next day after they’re baked, and they also freeze quite well.

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Easy Artisan No-Knead Bread

I got this recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day, and it’s amazing. I slightly lowered the amount of salt in the recipe, but it’s seriously a “no fail” technique for delicious crusty bread with a great texture. It requires no kneading, and you just dump all the ingredients into a big container, stir it around, put the lid on, let it sit on the counter for 2 hours, and tah dah. Bread dough. If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t.

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For Fitness and Frugality: Make Your Own Spice Mixes

I’ll admit it – when I lived in the US, it was all too easy to resort to spice mixes for making chili, marinades, etc. That was until I realized just how many preservatives, dyes, and sugars are in many of those mixes. Price wasn’t a factor until I moved to Australia and the prices of those same (imported) spice mixes started making them all the more unappealing. If you’re willing to spend a short amount of time, you can make a lot of the most popular spice mixes out there from scratch – thus saving you money and the hassle of reading all those tiny labels.

This site has shortcuts to recipes for many of the most popular mixes out there. In this case I’m happy because Old Bay Seasoning isn’t even available in Australia, and now I can make it myself.

Save Money on Seasonings – MYOM (Make Your Own Mix)