Banana bread muffins

Makes 6-ish large (or more small) muffins.

Preheat oven to 325 F/160 C. Lightly grease muffin tin or use liners.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinamon, and nutmeg.
In a separate bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Then mix in eggs, vanilla, and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir wet mixture into dry mixture until just moistened.
Spoon into muffin tins. If desired, sprinkle with brown sugar now instead of adding it to the topping mixture later.
Bake for 17-22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. If desired, poke holes into the top of your muffins and drizzle with topping. Let cool and enjoy.
Note: while cooking, they may steam a lot. This is normal- lots of banana makes for a very wet batter.

Hummingbird's Nectar cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes.
Preheat oven to 350 F and line a muffin tin.
Combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a big mixing bowl.
Add eggs and oil, gently stirring until moistened.
Add vanilla, pineapple with juice, pecans, and bananas, and stir until incorporated.
Divide evenly into the tin and bake for 25-30 minutes.

One-bowl chocolate cake

Preheat the oven to 160°C / 320°F (fan/convection) or 180°C / 355°F (standard). Grease and line a 20 cm (8 inch) circular cake tin with baking paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together milk and vinegar. Allow to sit for 5 minutes until thickened. Whisk in oil, eggs, brown sugar and caster sugar. Sift over flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Whisk together until well combined. Whisk in boiling coffee (or water).
Pour into prepared tin and place in the lower half of the oven. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until well risen and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean (don't open the oven until at least the 45 minute mark). The top may crack slightly but it will sink back down once the cake cools.
Allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Simple vanilla cake

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 355°F. Grease and line a 20 cm (8 inch) round cake tin with baking paper.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together plain flour and baking powder. Whisk in sugar.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Add melted butter, milk and vanilla essence. Whisk altogether until well combined (the butter may solidify and make the batter a bit lumpy- this is okay).
Pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Berry frosting

Frosts 12 cupcakes.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, drizzle berries with lemon juice. Microwave on high for five minutes. This will keep the frosting from becoming water, while the lemon juice keeps the flavour bright.
Let the berry mixture come to room temperature, then combine berries, butter, vanilla, and salt in a big mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

Homemade fondant

Add the water to your marshmallows in a large microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 second intervals on high until fully melted. Sift in 5 cups of icing sugar (you can add more as needed), then grease your hands generously and knead in the icing sugar until the consistency is sticky and stretchy. When you stretch it might look grainy, that's normal its marshmallow texture. Add food colouring as needed/wanted.

Chocolate chip cookies

I invented this recipe myself! :D

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cream butter, egg, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Use a spoon or spatula to fold in the flour, mix in the soda/powder, and then fold in the chocolate chips once the dough is combined. Start with 1 cup of flour and add more as needed until the dough is a dough consistency.
Roll into balls 1 inch in diameter. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until the bottoms are browned. Transfer immediately to a wire cooling rack.
If you have too much flour and the dough is very crumbly, they will still bake well, they just won't spread that much. The cookies will be quite pale because there's no brown sugar in this recipe (I didn't have any).

Spice Cake

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease an 8x8 pan. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and sugars until well combined. Add oil and whisk. Add applesauce, buttermilk, and vanilla extract and mix in with a wooden spoon or something.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves into a smaller bowl. Add it to the batter a third at a time, mixing until just combined each time.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
(For a 9x13 pan: double the recipe and bake for 45-50 minutes)


Dinner rolls

Makes 12 rolls.

Combine the yeast, sugar, milk, and water in a bowl. Mix and set aside for 5 minutes or until the yeast has bloomed. Add ¼ cup salted butter and 1 egg. Mix well.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or large bowl if kneading by hand, add 1 ½ cups flour, salt, and yeast mixture. Mix for a couple of minutes, the dough will be very wet.
Add 1 cup of flour and mix until combined. The dough will still be quite wet. Add another ½ cup flour, mix. Continue to add flour, ¼ cups at a time as needed. Once the dough starts to come together, stop adding flour. Add 1 tbsp softened butter, knead for 2-3 minutes.
Move the dough onto a flour-dusted work surface and begin to knead, stretching out the dough and pulling it into the center. After about 5 minutes add another tbsp of butter, and continue kneading for 5 more minutes. If the dough is still sticky, continue kneading, and add 1 more tbsp of butter if required.
Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
Pinch and divide into 12 balls. Place into a greased baking dish, any size that will comfortably fit all the balls. Cover and rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C. Brush the buns with the egg wash. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
Brush with butter and sprinkle with flaky salt.

Pickling/brining vegetables

Choose vegetables that are naturally firm, the fresher they are the crisper they'll stay after pickling. Trim off stems and ends. Every ingredient after water is optional.

Prepare the vegetables for pickling by washing if necessary and slicing. You can slice them however you want. I like to thinly slice onions, make carrots and cucumbers into spears or discs, and leave small things like cherry tomatoes whole.
Label your jars!
Divide the seasonings and spices of your choosing evenly between your jars (bigger jars will need more spices). Then add the vegetables.
Bring your vinegar mixture to a boil until the sugar and salt is all dissolved, and pour into your jars. A funnel is useful for this. Tap the jar against the counter a few times to remove the air bubbles and if necessary top off with more vinegar mixture.
Seal the jars and let them cool on the countertop. Once cooled, put them in the fridge.
They finish pickling in 6-8 hours but are more flavourful after 1-2 days.
Tightly sealed in a glass jar they last 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.