Creamy cauliflower soup

2 tablespoons butter
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 sticks celery, chopped
2 leeks, finely chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cauliflowers, cut into small florets
water to cover
3 stock cubes
2 bay leaves
salt and white pepper to taste
300ml cream

In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, celery, leek, potato. Cover and gently cook for 10 minutes. Add cauliflower, stock, water and bay leaves.  Bring to the boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves and discard. Add cream. Season with salt and pepper.  Blend until smooth.

Homemade garlic bread

1 French stick
100g butter (softened)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 180 fan forced.
Cut French stick into 2cm slices – be careful not to cut right through to the bottom. On a plate mash butter, garlic and parsley with a fork until soft. Spread slices (both sides) with butter mixture. Wrap bread in foil leaving the top open to crisp. Bake for 10 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Cheese and spinach bourekas

400g ricotta cheese
11/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Small bunch silverbeet, finely chopped (8 stalks)
1 egg, beaten
3 sheets puff pastry
Egg to brush over tops
Sesame seeds to garnish

Preheat oven to 200.
In a large bowl mix all ingredients together. Defrost puff pastry. Cut into squares (9 small or 4 large). Place a dollop of mixture in the centre of each square. Wet edges of pastry by rubbing your finger along the edges. Seal to make a triangle.
Brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 15 mins or until golden.
Makes  27 small

Spinach, rocket, pear and parmesan salad

300g baby spinach
240g rocket
2 firm ripe pears, thinly sliced
Sunflower seeds toaste
parmesan cheese, shaved
1 cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste

Combine dressing ingredients and set aside.
Place spinach and rocket on a platter.
Add pear and gently toss through salad.
Garnish with sunflower seeds and parmesan cheese.

Mini cheesecakes

36 jam tartlets
3 x 250g cream cheese
6 eggs, separated
11/2 cups sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
Grated rind of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 180.
Line a muffin tin with patty pans.  Place a jam biscuit in the base of each patty pan. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice. and lemon rind.  Mix until well combined.  In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff.  Fold into cream cheese mixture and pour over each biscuit base. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is just beginning to brown.
Sprinkle with icing sugar just before serving.
Makes approx 36