Baked Cheese, Spinach and Tomato Risotto

Risottos are so good! You are going to love this baked cheese, spinach and tomato risotto recipe. It’s super quick and easy because it is baked. None of this standing over the stove for half an hour ladling stock into the pot business (I end up drinking far too much wine while I pass the time doing this!). Baking it is so much better. You just get the risotto started on the stove then whack it in the oven for a while and you’re done! Dinner is ready before you know it.

Here is my latest easy baked risotto recipe:

Cheese, tomato and spinach risotto

Cheese, tomato and spinach risotto


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 250g cherry tomatoes (or 2 tomatoes roughly chopped)
  • 1 handful of baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (tasty or cheddar)
  • 4 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 deg C (400 deg f)
  2. Place the olive oil, diced onion and tomatoes into a large pot and cook on the stove (medium heat) until onion is clear and tomatoes have softened.
  3. If you are using cherry tomatoes you can gently mash them to break them down or just leave them whole.
  4. Add the arborio rice and hot chicken stock to the pot. Place the pot in the oven (covered with lid on) for around 20 minutes. The stock should be absorbed and the rice cooked through.
  5. Remove from the oven and stir in the grated cheese, spinach and parsley.
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy every mouthful.

The only thing I may change about this recipe in the future is the quantity. It serves 4 but they are not huge serves. Everyone here had enough to eat but if you have big eaters at your place you might like to size the recipe up (maybe double it and have leftovers). Alternatively, you could add some other vegetables to bulk it out a bit, like broccoli and cauliflower for example.

Baked risotto

Make my cheese, spinach and tomato risotto after a busy day because it’s so quick to prepare and you can relax or do other things while your oven does all the work. Let me know if you make this risotto at your place. It’s so tasty and great for young children (the cheese makes it irresistible to them). It’s perfect for Meatless Monday, but if you’d like to jazz it up you could add some cooked chicken or even a sneaky can of tuna. You can serve this risotto with a side salad if you like but I think it’s perfect just on its own.

Trina xx


I am no stranger to the baked risotto. I’ve told you about them before. Huge fan. If you’d like some more easy risottos like this one, here are my previous baked risotto recipes:

Trina’s Baked Tomato Risotto Recipe

Leek and Barley Risotto

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

“Y” by Marjorie Celona

“Y. That perfect letter. The wishbone, fork in the road, empty wineglass. The question we ask over and over. Why? . . . My life begins at the Y.”  So begins the latest book I’ve been enjoying, “Y” by Marjorie Celona.

"Y" by Marjorie Celona

The story is told by Shannon who was abandoned as a newborn by her troubled young mother on the steps of the local YMCA. She was swaddled in her mother’s dirty sweatshirt and had a Swiss Army knife nestled in by her feet. A random man, Vaughn, witnesses the young girl placing the baby on the doorstep from his car.

"Y" description

Swiss Army Knife

Shannon was shuffled from foster home to foster home until she was taken in permanently by single mum Miranda and her daughter Lydia-Rose at the age of five. She remained with Miranda and Lydia-Rose who gave her a good humble home, despite Shannon’s restlessness.

Shannon grows up knowing that she was abandoned and longs to know the story of her parents.  Where did she come from? Who were they? Why, oh why did they abandon her?


In “Y” by Marjorie Celona, Shannon tells her childhood story, but she also narrates the chapters telling the backstory of her parents. Her language carries an innocence and honesty that draws you in and makes you want to know more. She tells us about her lazy eye that can’t see and her blonde Afro hair (who did she inherit that from?).

Shannon’s birth mother, Yula, is a fascinating character with her own set of troubles. By the end of the book my heart ached for Yula. She was so young and vulnerable and with good intentions. The book develops Yula’s character really well and I love the way her story was told by her daughter Shannon.

"Y" quote

In her quest to uncover the mysteries of her origin, Shannon finds Vaughn and together they form a unique friendship. Because he witnessed Shannon’s abandonment he too is curious as to the circumstances surrounding it. He becomes Shannon’s accomplice and someone she can count on when things get tough.

This book is a profound look at family, belonging, forgiveness and gratitude. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Trina xx

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Old fashioned chocolate slice


Here is the recipe for my (Mum’s) old fashioned chocolate slice.  If you grew up in Australia you probably know this one. It’s a classic. You might know it as chocolate crunch slice or chocolate coconut slice.

It’s pretty too.

Old fashioned Chocolate slice

I reckon this old fashioned chocolate slice was made almost on a weekly basis in our house when I was a young girl. It’s very quick and easy to make and it is so yummy. I really love the way the mixture sticks together in a big buttery blob when it goes into the pan. After it has cooked it sets as it cools so that it’s really crunchy and delicious.

In our house it was iced with chocolate icing then topped with hundreds and thousands, so of course that’s how I make it for my kids now too. Once cool, this old fashioned chocolate slice cuts nicely and will store really well in an airtight container for around a week (I promise it will be eaten long before this!). It also freezes very well, even with the icing on it.

Here is the recipe:

Old fashioned chocolate slice

Old fashioned chocolate slice


  • 1 cup Plain flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa
  • 185g butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
    For the icing
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa
  • 30g butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbs hot water


  1. Sift dry ingredients into bowl, add melted butter and vanilla. Mix well.
  2. Press mixture into greased 28cm x 18cm lamington tin.
  3. Bake in moderate oven for 20 minutes or until cooked.
  4. Cool in tin.
  5. When cool, ice with chocolate icing and sprinkle with hundreds & thousands.
  6. Cut into squares when icing has set.
    For the icing
  1. Sift icing sugar and cocoa into small bowl.
  2. Add melted butter and water.
  3. Mix well until the icing is smooth and glossy.
  4. Add more water or icing sugar as required.

This old fashioned chocolate slice is a delicious treat. Take it with you when you visit friends, take it on picnics, make it for your workmates. Everyone will love it and people might remember it from their childhood too!

Give this recipe a go at your place. It’s easy enough for the kids to whip up after school or on the weekend. Make a yummy afternoon tea treat for your family.

Trina xx

PS I’m not going to pretend this slice is healthy…’s definitely in the “special treat” category, but as part of a balanced diet I think you should give yourself permission to have a piece and enjoy every crumb!

ALSO: I have some other great chocolate slices you might love too: Check them all out!

Chocolate Fudge

Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Slice

Crispy Date and Choc Chip Slice recipe

Grandma’s Bars recipe

Everyday Brownies

The Whack-It-In-Together Naughty Girl Slice

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Vegetable Omelette

My Vegetable Omelette recipe is hardly even a recipe. It’s really quick to make and yummy though so I thought I’d talk to you about it and you might like to make it for your family.

Sometimes when I have thought of the hero of our dinner time, I struggle to think of the supporting act. We might be having some roast chicken or even just sausages for dinner. But what will we have with that? Steamed veggies feature quite often but sometimes I like to jazz things up and make something just as easy but a little bit more interesting.

Vegetable Omelette

So, here’s what you do for my

Vegetable Omelette

Place cubes of potato, sweet potato or any chopped, cooked vegetables (totaling around 1 1/2 cups) into the base of a greased (smallish) oven dish. Tonight when I made this I used chopped potato, sweet potato, brussels sprouts and broccoli that I had lightly steamed in the microwave.

Top vegetables with grated cheese.

In a bowl, crack 4 eggs with 2 Tbsp milk. Season with salt and pepper and then beat with a fork.

Pour egg mixture on top of vegetables in baking dish. Top with extra grated cheese.

Bake at 200 degrees C (uncovered) until golden. It takes around 40 minutes, depending on how big your oven dish is.

Veggie Omelette

See how simple that is! So delicious and yummy, you will be making this one all the time. My Vegetable Omelette also makes a fantastic lunch. When things are baked in the oven they win extra points in my book because you are free to go off and do other things while the oven does all the work for you. This recipe is another prime example of that!

I hope you enjoy this easy-peasy recipe idea. It’s actually a great Uni student meal! Beats 2 minute noodles anyhow. Give this a go, you will be glad you did.

Trina xx

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

“Slow Horses” by Mick Herron

“Slow Horses” by Mick Herron is not a book about jockeys or pony club. It’s a spy novel featuring Jackson Lamb who governs Slough House.

Set in London, Slough House (not in Slough, but in the Borough of Finsbury) is a dirty, damp dump of a building and it’s occupants are dubbed the “slow horses”. Slough House is a dumping ground for disgraced officers (the slow horses) where they live out their days performing mundane tasks. Jackson Lamb makes sure that the slow horses understand that they will never redeem themselves and be restored to high profile work at Regent’s Park.

"Slow Horses" by Mick Herron

River Cartright believes that he was given inaccurate information (deliberately) which led him to botch up a surveillance assessment. This landed him at Slough House with the other slow horses. “Slow Horses” mainly follows River but also the other members of Slough House. I found that there are lots of characters to keep track of and three have similar names: we have Hobbs, Hobden and Ho!

The boring nature of the work leads River to discover that one of his workmates has been following Robert Hobden, a well-known journalist. River is suspicious of Hobden and his possible involvement in an incident that suddenly comes to light. A Muslim teenager, Hassan, is kidnapped and a video threatening his decapitation appears on the internet. River begins to dig deeper and starts to uncover things he wasn’t expecting to find.

The story continues to follow River and events involving him and his workmates as they begin to uncover conspiracies within both Regents Park and Slough House and try to save the life of innocent Hassan. The story also leads the reader through the terrifying experience Hassan is subject to as the slow horses race against time to save him.

The characters are complex, the plot takes unexpected turns and of course all the slow horses are curious as to what the others did to deserve being placed at Slough House.

This is the first in a trilogy featuring Slough House, Jackson Lamb and the politics around the complex world of spy investigation.

“Slow Horses” by Mick Herron is not the sort of book I would normally read (I actually picked it up out of my husband’s “to read” pile!). My husband will love this one and if you love crime and spy investigation novels then this one is for you!

Jackson Lamb thriller

Want to hear something funny?

There are a few laugh-out-loud moments in this book. For example (I know this sounds childish but I laughed!), sometimes the men fart and the context of these incidents made me chuckle. You don’t get farting in novels very often.

On that note,

Stay tuned ’til next time!

Trina xx

Print Friendly, PDF & Email