Nan’s Chocolate Sauce

This recipe is from my dad’s mum, who I never met because she passed away before I was born.  When my dad was growing up my nan went to work in a hotel kitchen to help make ends meet, and that where she learned the recipe for the most amazing hot chocolate sauce. My dad learned the recipe from my nan, and I learned it from him. It is super simple and you can adjust it to suit your taste. 


  • 2 tbls Butter
  • 2 tbls Cocoa (if you are using a dark chocolate cocoa, you may want to reduce the amount a little)
  • 2 tbls Sugar
  • 4 tbls water


  • Melt the butter, and mix the cocoa and sugar.
  • Add the water and mix gently until it all has mixed through and smooth.
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Crock Pot Beef Stew

Crock Pot Beef StewFollowing on from my adventure into crock potting with my Tomato Soup, I’ve decided to now try a beef stew. I normally don’t like beef stews because the meat can be very tough, but with a crock pot the hours of cooking softens the meat beautifully and imbues all the flavours together. This is definitely a newly discovered family favourite.


  • 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 ¼ tbsp water
  • 500g beef stew meat
  • 4 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 3-4 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1¾ cup beef stock or broth
  • 1 tin diced tomatoes


  • Whisk together the  vinegar,  flour, salt, pepper and water in the bottom of a crock pot.
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients, and mix well.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours, or until meat is tender.

Recipe based on source.

Cinnamon Bun Cupcakes

Cinnamon CupcakesWho doesn’t love cinnamon rolls? It is completely one of my favourites. The trouble is that I often just don’t have the time (or inclination) to work at creating a dough and let it proof and i would love to just bomb it all in a bowl and off you go. I found this recipe, and it’s definitely a winner. It gives you just enough cinnamon sugar flavour without all the hard work.


  • 2/3 cup (150g) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups milk

Ingredients – Icing

  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350 F/175 C. Line 18 muffin cups with cupcake liners.
  • Set out the butter and eggs for 30 minutes to allow to come to room temperature.
  • Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  • Beat butter in a mixer on high for 30 seconds. Gradually add the granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes or until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture alternately with the milk into the egg mixture. Beat until just combined.
  • Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter into the prepared cupcake liners. Sprinkle one teaspoon of the brown sugar over the batter. Top the brown sugar mixture in each cup with the remaining batter. Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar mixture over the batter.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the oven and transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack. Allow to cool completely.
  • Mix the milk into the icing sugar a little at a time and then dollop or drizzle onto the cupcakes.

Original recipe source.

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