Philly cheese and chocolate chip cupcakes are a family favourite

FAMILY FAVOURITE: Julie Winnett's philly cheese and chocolate chip cupcakes were a lunchbox staple and remain popular to this day. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

FAMILY FAVOURITE: Julie Winnett's philly cheese and chocolate chip cupcakes were a lunchbox staple and remain popular to this day. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

WHEN you're still cooking a recipe 25 years after you first found it, it's probably a sign that you're onto a winner.

That's certainly the case for Wodonga's Julie Winnett.

Her recipe for philly cheese and chocolate chip cupcakes has been a staple in the Winnett family for years.

It's featured in the lunchboxes of her three children, two of whom now study and work in Melbourne, as well as countless other occasions.

In part thanks to its simplicity, in part just because it tastes good, Mrs Winnett said the family favourite had relatively humble origins.

“I picked up the recipe from cooking show on television about 25 years ago,” she said.

“The cream cheese gives it a nice texture on top, then you get the nice chocolate muffin underneath.

“I've picked up a lot of other recipes from cooking shows over the years.

“Every second show at the moment seems to be a cooking one.

“Every now and then I'll see something and write it down, I used to do it a lot more often when the kids were in school though.

“Even when we cook dinner now, our leftovers tend to last a bit longer now the kids have grown up.”

Cooking has always been a passion for Mrs Winnett.

She opted to undertake work as an apprentice chef after initially considering becoming a dietitian – but her original career choice still shines through in her cooking.

“Originally I wanted to be a dietitian, but I didn't want to move away from home,” she said.

“I loved cooking and I love food, so I ended up becoming an apprentice chef at the Corowa bowls club.

“The chef there at the time was Swiss, so I picked up a lot of European touches from him.

“With most of the things I cook now I try to reduce the sugar in them a little bit.

“My husband's family has a history of diabetes, so he's watching his sugar at the moment.

“It's probably something we should all be doing a bit more.

“I prefer to cut back on things like that as opposed to trying to cut them out completely.”

It isn't just sweets that the Winnett family has developed a taste for – three night a week they eat vegetarian meals for dinner.

“My favourite reciped have probably changed a lot over the years,” Mrs Winnett said.

“I've enjoyed making some vegetarian food lately.

“I've made a lot of vegetarian pasta, cannelloni, that sort of stuff.

“Ingredients like spinach, sweet potato, ricotta and pumpkin are all really good.”

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