We’ve made it to December! And with festive gatherings just around the corner, I thought it apt to share 10 of my favourite recipes published over the years. These are recipes that I make regularly and they remain favourites no matter the occasion.

I also want to share that there is a year end sale in the shop. As a thank you to all the support this year I have passed discounts of up to 50% on all the ceramics, wooden tableware and e-books. Knowing the items are used and loved in their new homes is the best feeling plus I need to make some space for the new pieces I’m working on during the holidays (aka yet another South African travel ban).

The first recipe is this quick and easy Pesto Parmesan Pastry Tree. A delicious appetiser of puff pastry filled with pesto and parmesan, then cut into the shape of a Christmas tree and baked till puffed up and golden. To see how to make it, click this link to my Instagram account to see the video. 

Another great appetiser or snack with drinks are these Courgette and Ricotta Tzatziki Bruschetta. Fresh, summery and delicious.

Christmas in the southern hemisphere invariably involves a barbecue and these Pork Belly Kebabs will be a definite hit. With delicious Asian inspired flavours it is a great alternative to the usual Christmas pork belly recipes.

Pork Belly Kebabs

Tandoori Roasted Carrots is one of my favourite veggie dishes and one we make constantly make and enjoy. Loved by veggies or carnivores alike as a side or part of a vegetarian main. My favourite way to eat any leftover carrots is piling them on a fresh garlic naan, slathered in yoghurt and sprinkled with chopped chillies.

Tandoori Roasted Carrots

A festive meal is not festive without a large serving of delicious roast potatoes and my top suggestion are Donna Hay’s Polenta Parmesan Roast Potatoes.

Polenta Parmesan Roast Potatoes

Christmas in summer makes a frozen dessert the top option and this Frozen Zabaglione spiked with brandy and espresso is the perfect choice. Bonus that you don’t need an ice cream maker.

Or keep it classic Italian but still frozen with this utterly delicious Frozen Tiramisu by Donna Hay.

Frozen Tiramisu

Need to bake a cake but don’t want a fruit cake? This Lemon Ricotta Cake is a zesty winner and the most popular recipe on my blog. The recipe calls for a quarter cup of lemon zest, that is not an error, you want all that zesty lemon flavour. The cake is not only delicious but it is also a gluten free treat.

Vibrant, delicious and the epitome of a summer holiday you can not go wrong with a glass of Watermelon Lemonade. Beware though, this goes down a treat so you might have to double the recipe.

Frozen Watermelon Lemonade l heinstirred.com

My favourite sweet snack is a batch of Caramel Popcorn with Coffee Salt. Utterly delicious, the golden caramel colour is fit for a glamorous party and once you’ve started nibbling it’s hard to stop.

Caramel Popcorn with Coffee Salt

One bonus recipe to make it 11 and this one is so worth it. South Africa’s favourite chocolate bar as an ice cream cake. It will be smiles all round with a Peppermint Crisp Ice Cream Cake.

Peppermint Ice Cream Cake

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy and joyous festive season. Who knows what the new year holds for us all but may it be healthy, happy and of course delicious.


If you are looking for more quick, easy delicious meal ideas, I have a new e-cookbook, EVERYDAY TRAYBAKES, and it is now available as a digital download.

The aim of the 18 recipes in EVERYDAY TRAYBAKES is to spark fresh cooking inspiration with new ideas and interesting flavour combinations. From Asia to the Middle East and Mediterranean, while firmly remaining within the realm of easy cooking, the book is proof that delicious, wholesome meals do not need hours of prep. The recipes range from unpretentious weeknight family dinners, spur of the moment entertaining, easy breakfasts for a crowd and modern ideas with vegetables. No book of mine will be complete with a sweet ending and there are 4 sweet baking recipes that require no special baking skills, in fact the pudding is mixed in the dish you will bake it in.

Recipes include Thai Green Curry Spatchcock Chicken, Oven Baked Masala Omelette with Paneer, Salmon and Leek Traybake with Herb Dressing, No Boil Pasta Bake with Shiitake Mushrooms and Pangrattato, Sichuan Pepper Chicken and Potatoes, Rocky Road Squares and Vanilla Milk Soak Sheet Cake

You can get the book by clicking here

Sparkling JOYA® Apple Sangria
Baked Buttermilk Chicken Bao



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