Feta and Paprika Cheese Straws

It is fair to say, I love a good dip. Cheese ball, hummus, salsa, pesto, or just the well-known kiwi onion dip. Yip, dip rocks! Needless to say I’m often on the lookout for things to dip in dip.

From memory, they were big in New Zealand in the seventies, being cheap and relatively easy to make. I came across this recipe in the one of the midweek papers a couple of weeks ago. To be honest, at the time, I was more caught drooling over the plum sauce recipe than the straws but since I am very much plum-less…I had to make do.

A word of warning – these are very addictive! Pair them with some homemade plum sauce and you’ll have yourself a rather attractive looking snack! They’re best eaten warm from the oven, but if you need to make them ahead, leave them to crisp up in a cool oven before removing to an air-tight container – they’re less likely to soften.

Feta and Paprika Cheese Straws

  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 60 grams butter, diced
  • 1/2 a cup grated cheese
  • 1/2 a cup feta cheese, crumbled

To make the cheese straws, preheat your oven to approx 190 degrees. Grease an oven tray. Sift the flour and paprika into a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. I found I had to add a little more water to the mix at this stage as it seemed a little dry! Stir in both the grated cheese and the crumbled feta cheese.

Next, lightly beat the egg and add to the mixture. Stir until a dough is formed and then roll out on a floured surface. You want to make sure the dough is roughly 5mm thick before slicing into strips. I  found a pizza cutter (if you have one!) was ideal for this part.

Transfer the strips onto a cooked tray lined with paper. Lightly brush with a bit of milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Bake for around 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack and store in an air tight container.

This recipe makes approximately 16 straws.

Banana Muffins

Muffins, muffins, what to write about muffins?

I personally think muffins are completely underrated. Or should I say, homemade muffins are completely underrated. My opinion of muffins is often tainted by the cafe or supermarket type – often too dry, too dense, too sweet…….I could go on. They really make you forget how incredibly moist and delicious a fresh, baked-from-scratch muffin can be.

A muffin recipe would have to be one of the easiest recipes to follow. So easy and often with very few ingredients, you can have these in the oven in 10 minutes flat. The greatest thing about this recipe is that the *best* banana aroma fills your house as they bake…

Banana Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 ripe bananas

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Spray 12 cup muffin tray with cooking spray.
Sift flour into a bowl then add sugar, oil and milk. Mix well but do not beat. Add mashed bananas and fold through mixture. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 mins until golden.