Monday, 30 March 2009
This Crustless Savoury Tart is perfect for Sunday nights (or just lazy nights) and left over magic! I'm going to give you the original recipe but I am also going to give you a few ideas on what you can add or leave out (there really are no rules on this). You can serve it hot or cold, you can make it as a whole or in muffin cups.
Crustless Savoury Tart
½ Cup Milk
1 Onion Chopped
1 Tomato Chopped
1½ cup of grated cheese
1 Tsp of Garlic
1 tin Corned Meat chopped into pieces
200g Viennas (Hot dogs) sliced into pieces
1 Tsp Thyme chopped
2 TBSP Flour
Salt and Pepper
Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
In a bowl beat eggs, milk,cheese, garlic, parsley, mustard, salt and pepper together.
Saute onion and meat for a few minutes until onion is soft and the meat is slightly browned.
Add the flour and fry for another minute.
Grease a large glass dish - which is suitable for oven to table (or you can use muffin tins).
Place the meat mix in the baking dish and pour over the egg mixture - mix to combine.
Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until cooked and browning.
Now for the things you can add or leave out :
Smoked Snoek or Salmon (I would then leave out the corned meat and hot dogs)
Cut down on the amount of cheese
Use Chorizo instead of hot dogs - or leave it out altogether - Last night I only had 2 hot dogs in the freezer, and it worked well.
Use any leftover cold meats you have on hand or make it vegetarian
Thursday, 26 March 2009
While making your own pickles might not be as convenient as buying them, it is very simple and you can adjust the flavours to suit you own tastes - not to mention the "WOW factor" of taking out a bottle of your own homemade pickles !
There are many complicated pickling recipes out there - which require days of preparing and waiting, but this only takes about 10 minutes to prepare (just long enough to sterilize your bottles and lids in boiling water) and only 2 days in the fridge
Easy Vegetable Pickle
1 fresh Cucumber sliced into ½ inch batons (the same length as the height of your bottle)
5 or 6 Large Carrots sliced into ½ inch batons (the same length as the height of your bottle)
Slices of fresh Garlic
a few Bay Leaves
Whole fresh chillies (I used this with the carrots)
For the pickle mixture (the amounts can be changed to suit your taste)
2 Cups of Water
1¼ Cup of Vinegar (White wine vinegar works best for me)
¾ cup of Sugar
3 teaspoons of Salt
10 black peppercorns (or more if you lazy to count them)
Place all pickle ingredients the in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer until the sugar has melted.
Leave the liquid to cool - check the taste and adjust to your liking - you might want it slightly sweeter or more tart.
Sterilize your bottles and the lids in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.
Place the vegetables and spices in your hot bottles, cutting them to fit the bottle.
Pour over the cooled pickle liquid and seal the jars.
Place in the fridge for 2 days and then enjoy!
Try experimenting with the flavours, by using sliced onion, green beans, radish or anything that takes your fancy.
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
I have climbed it from every side and never grow tired of the views, both from above and below. Now we have a chance to vote Table Mountain as one of the 7 New Natural wonders of the world. I hope that all the photos which I have shared with you over the past 2 years have not been in vain and that you'll vote for this majestic mountain.
In case you're not sure how beautiful it really is,
or just how high it is...
Click here to vote for Table Mountain.
Now to something which is just as popular in Cape Town - Dahl. I've made it before, but certainly not enough. The evenings are cooling down and Autumn has a arrived, which is a relief after the few weeks of heat we had earlier this month, so this dish works very well now.
This is my version of brown lentils. I have no idea what it should taste like, but this certainly works for me.
Rose's Brown Lentils
250g Brown Lentils
2 Onions Sliced
½ Teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
1 Green chilli chopped
15ml Fresh Thyme
1 Sachet Tomato Paste
250g cut Button Mushrooms
10ml Mother-in-Law Curry powder (or whatever is your favourite curry powder)
10ml garam masala
Fry the fenugreek seeds until they start to change colour.
Add the onions and fry until soften.
Add the curry powder and fry for 1 minute.
Add the lentils, the chopped chilli and the water.
Simmer for 35 -40 mintues until the lentils are soft.
Add more water if neccessary.
Add the tomato paste, the mushroom, the sugar and the garam masala.
Cook for another 10-15 minutes.
Stir in the fresh thyme leaves just before serving.
Monday, 23 March 2009
I have been feeling so much better, and the knee is doing great, so we decided to take a long walk along Blouberg Beach. I have never been to Blouberg when the wind is not blowing, and when ever I think of Blouberg, I think of kites and wind surfers!
As you can see from the photos the views from Blouberg are postcard beautiful.
This simple Monk Fish and Chorizo Sausage dish is quick to prepare and filled with warming flavours.
Monk Fish and Chorizo Sausage
2 Monk Fish Fillets (enough for 2 people)
10cm piece of Chorizo sausage (or spicy sausage equivilent)
½ teaspoon chilli Flakes
Oil for frying (only use if needed)
Slice the sausage into 1cm thick slices.
Fry in a dry pan until you have rendered most of the oil and they are nice and crispy.
Slice the monk fish into medallions about 2cm thick and add to the sausage, together with the chilli.
You can add a little oil to stop it from sticking (this will only be needed if your sausage did not contain much fat).
Keep frying the fish until it is just done and coated in the juices.
Give a squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste.
Serve hot with oven baked chips.
I ended my wonderful weekend watching "The Bucket List", I would recommend this movie to everyone - it is an eye opener as to how little time we have on this earth and how important it is to live life to the full - don't miss a thing and never leave something for tomorrow, because : "Forty-five years goes by pretty fast." - " Like smoke through a keyhole."
Here is another quote from the movie which really touched my heart :
Friday, 20 March 2009
Yesterday, I was very lucky to be able to attend the first day of the last test between
As promised here is the recipe for the Spicy Pilchard Fishcakes, which we took on our last hike. They are perfect for picnics and would go down very well at the cricket too.
Spicy Pilchard Fishcakes.
1 410g Tin Chili Pilchards
52g Packet of Smash (Instant mash potato)
1 grated Onion
2 Chopped chilies (Optional)
Oil to fry
Empty the pilchards into a bowl, with all of the sauce.
Mash the pilchards and then add the onion, the Smash and the chilies (if using).
Leave to chill in the fridge for about an hour (this makes it easier to work with).
Form into cakes and fry on medium hot heat until browned.
Serve hot or even better chilled.
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
I don't suppose many of you can remember where you were this day 14 years ago. If you were in Cape Town you would have woken to an overcast day which cleared later, there was also slight South Easterly breeze blowing. Nelson Mandela gave his acceptance speech for the Africa Peace Award in Durban, Michael Jordan announced he was ending his 17 month NBA retirement and the Spanish princess Elena married Jaime de Marichalar y Saenez Tejad.
I hope that day is coming back to you now, because for me it's as clear as if it were yesterday. On 18 March 1995, I married my soul mate and the love and happiness I felt on that day, pales in comparison to what I feel every single day since. I still feel like that young bride, standing in the church saying her vows and that is because Keith has never once made me feel any less special than on that day. Even though I know when I look in the mirror, things are not as fresh and perky as back then - he doesn't seem to notice and is far too in love to care!
I have a husband who gives more love than he recieves, he treats me like a new bride every single day of our lives together. He understands what a bad day is, without me having to explain. He never stops me following my dreams, no matter how bizarre they might seem.
He hates gardening, but will still do all the heavy lifting. He has tasted more food experiments than any normal laboratory rat would be expected to do.
He's my friend, my protector and my lover - he's my HUSBAND!
To celebrate our anniversary I baked something very special, something I have never made before and just like my marriage, it is better than I could have hoped for.
Keith's Chelsea Buns
Adapted from Kenwood
450g cake flour
7g easy blend dried yeast
pinch of salt
100g butter, room temperature
100g caster sugar
200 room temperature buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
grated rind of 1 lemon
100g dried fruit cake mix
50g flaked almonds
2 Tbls Lemon marmalade mix with 2 Tbls hot water
1. Sift the flour into the bowl and add the yeast, half the butter and half the sugar. Fit the dough hook and blend on speed 1 for 1 minute, until combined. Add the egg and milk and blend on speed min for 1 minute, until a soft dough forms. Continue blending on speed 2 for 2 minutes.
2. Remove the bowl and store in a warm place. Cover with lightly oiled clear - film and leave for about 1- 2 hours, until well risen and doubled in size. Meanwhile grease a 23 x 28cm baking tin.
3. Fit the bowl and dough hook and knead on speed 2 for 2 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 30cm square. Spread the remaining butter over the dough leaving a 2.5cm (1in) border.
4. Scatter over the remaining sugar, spice, lemon rind, cake mix and almonds. Then roll up. Cut the roll into 12 slices and arrange in the prepared tin well apart. Cover with lightly oiled clear - film and leave in a warm place, until doubled in size. 5. Bake in an 190°C for 25-30 mintues. 6. Remove from the oven and brush with the marmlade mix.
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
Eating simple food at a picnic is one of things which makes me very happy. These simple bagel dogs are easy to eat, don't require serviettes or plates but still leave you feeling like you've eaten a complete meal. I think the secret is choosing a good sausage - don't skimp and buy those cheap and nasty viennas - buy a decent sausage with lots of flavour and if you can handle it, a little bite is also nice.
1 Batch of this dough
8 Sausages ( I used country sausage, with lots of herbs and spices)
You will have extra dough - which you can then freeze to use as needed.
Leave the dough to rest for an hour.
Pre-heat your oven to 200°C.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
Break off pieces of dough and roll into sausages about 30cm long, then flatten slightly.
Wrap the dough tightly around the sausages and pinch the edges.
I made two kinds - one with gaps between the turns and others touching.
Place 4 wrapped sausages into the water and gently boil for 4 minutes
Sprinkle with sea salt or crushed chili.
Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for about 15- 20 minutes until the dough is cooked.
Repeat with the other 4 sausages.
Leave to cool slightly before eating.
Can be served warm or cold and are great for lunch boxes and picnics.
Monday, 16 March 2009
This weekend we went back to the Kogelberg. This hike is one of the most beautiful we have done but it does take alot of determination to hike for 6 hours and still have a smile on your face at the end.
We took a long break (2 hours) at the half way mark (18kms). I packed a really good picnic and will run a "mini -series" this week with the recipes.
Friday, 13 March 2009
Everything is growing so well at the moment. I have beans, radish, egg plant, 2 kinds of chillies, swiss chard, rhubarb (seedlings still), raspberries, blackberries, sage, thyme, oregano, lemon thyme, lavender, a fig tree, 2 plum trees , snails , worms and weeds! I also have 3 rose bushes, which I am trying to learn how to care for - thank you Google!
As you can imagine this keeps me rather busy and my husband is worried he is going to have buy a horse and cart soon and hit the road selling vegetables!
Here I have some pictures after last night's pre-supper harvest - can't get any fresher than this, and no need for any fancy cold-chain protocol, you just Pick 'n Eat!
Thursday, 12 March 2009
Now whatever the reasons building up to them not paying their rent for 2 months, some of it just plain stupidity, it brought home to me exactly how self absorbed I can be. I went home last night and thanked God for every good thing which I have, including my housekeeper's menopause!
I still can not face cooking any big meals and salads are still on the menu. This simple steak and butternut salad with a balsamic reduction is both filling and light at the same time.
Warm Steak and Butternut Salad
Qualities vary according to servings
Steak cooked medium rare (or as you like it)
1 Butternut roasted with a little sugar and olive oil and then cooled.
A tossed salad with any ingredients which take your fancy -
My salad included the following :
Place the salad on the plate and top with warm sliced steak and cooled butternut cut into chunks.
Drizzle with the balsamic reduction.
The Balsamic Reduction
½ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
Place both ingredients in a small saucepan and heat.
Boil gently until reduced by about ½.
I served this with a onion and garlic focaccia.
I had small piece of pizza dough left in the freezer, which I just defrosted, rolled out to about 1cm and then topped with onion slices, garlic and drizzled with olive oil and baked in a very hot oven for about 10-15 mins.
Drizzle with more olive oil before serving hot.
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
The weather is unbearably hot, my computer has been on the blink on and off for 3 weeks, I've had house guests for a month, I have been without a car for 2 weeks, I'm involved in the launch of a new church in Sea Point, my housekeeper is going through menopause and did I mention it's unbearable hot? So you can see coming home and spending time in the kitchen is not a priority.
Never the less, my family still have to eat, no matter what the weather and because of the weather we eat later, so suppers are generally light with lots of salads.
I saw this salad in a deli last week, but at R85/Kg, it definitely didn't fit into my budget. Lucky for me I know the ladies at the deli and they shared the recipe with me.
Chinese Cabbage Salad
2 Cups Finely shredded white Cabbage (only use the outer leaves, not the hard white part)
4 Finely chopped Spring Onions (White and green parts)
1 Cup Hot Cooked Chinese Noodles ***
60ml Toasted Flaked Almonds
30ml Toasted Sesame Seeds (I used the black ones)
45ml Grape Seed Oil (or canola oil)
10ml Sesame Oil
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine - check the seasoning.
I cut the noodles slightly to make mixing and eating easier.
*** Make sure the noodles are hot when you add them to the salad, so it softens the cabbage slightly.
This salad is best served chilled.
to do with the time
we have rushed through life trying to save
Thursday, 5 March 2009
On our last visit I noticed a new product the were selling - Smoked Lamb rib. I was very intrigued and immediately bought one to try. The owner's wife explained that in the past they have always found that lamb ribs were slow sellers, and were forced to sell them on special. They then came up with the idea to cure and smoke the whole rib and since have not been able to keep up with supply!
Once you try this, you will see why they can't keep up - it is my new favorite meat product. It works equally well roasted and on the braai (BBQ). The meat is soft, juicy and full of flavour. It is the closest to smoked pork rib you can find.
I have not seen in locally unfortunately, but have got a few in my freezer so at least I am sorted until our next trip.
For dessert I decided to make a peach crumble, inspired by Brownie at Kitchen Diary. I didn't follow her recipe, but never the less it still came out very good. You can change the topping recipe to suit your tastes - more nuts, less granola, more sugar, more butter - it is very hard to get it wrong.
Peach and Granola Crumble
3 Large ripe Cling Peaches
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Mix this together and place in a greased pie dish or baking dish about 18cm².
75ml Sugar (more if you like it sweeter, but I find peaches are already very sweet)
100ml cold Coconut oil or cold butter (coconut oil is solid when stored in the fridge)
50ml Ground Almonds
150ml toasted Muesli or toasted granola (try to use one that also has fruit and nuts)
25ml cold butter cut very small or grated (optional, but advisable)
Mix all these ingredients together well.
Use your fingers to rub in the coconut oil/butter.
Place over the fruit layer and then dot with the extra butter.
Bake for 30-40 minutes in a oven at 180°C.
If the top is browning too quickly, place some foil on the top to protect it from burning.
Serve hot (not straight out the oven) with custard.
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
But before I get to that, I would like to talk economics... Homemade style.
The new buzz words worldwide are "credit crunch" and "recession". If you haven't heard either of these words, you're either too rich be effected or too poor to care.
A credit crunch is often caused by a sustained period of careless and inappropriate lending which results in losses for lending institutions and investors. Hence the fact that all the banks are in serious trouble.
Even if you don't feel the credit crunch, everyone is feeling the recession and the global food crisis. A simple trip to the supermarket will show the escalating food prices and how little your money can buy compared to last year (or in some cases last week).
I like to save money on little things and find that simple changes to my buying options can actually save me, leaving space in my wallet for that slab of imported chocolate.
One example of this is the humble chicken breast. If you buy the breast with the bone and skin you pay about R20* per kilo. Opting for the skinned and boned pack will knock you back upwards of R40* per kilo. Even taking the weight of the bones out of the equation, you are still saving at least 75%, and you can still use them for stock and soups. (** prices correct at going to press).
Nothing can be simpler than de-boning and skinning a chicken breast. Even those who are seriously pressed for time can spare an extra 5 minutes and save, all you need is a sharp knife and a pair of scissors. And if you think you can afford to spend the extra - why not save that money and donate it to a worthy cause (my retirement account number is available on request).
This simple Stuffed Up Chicken Breast is so easy to make and a real budget beater when you look at the cost of buying it ready made. The best part is you can customise it to suit your mood or your pocket, however large (or small) that might be.
Stuffed Up Chicken Breasts
De-boned and skinned Chicken breasts (one per serving)
Mozzarella Cheese cut in blocks about 1cm wide and 3.5cm long
Nomu Tomato and Chilli pesto (you can use any flavouring you like - a basil pesto would work very well too)
2 beaten eggs (this is enough for at least 4 breasts)
Flour for dusting
Breadcrumbs (homemade or shop bought)
Salt and pepper (or even a little chilli?)
Oil for frying
Cut a small pocket in the thick side of the breast. Do not cut through the surface.
Fill with a little pesto and the cheese block.
Do not be tempted to over fill it, or the cheese will just cook out and burn.
Close the hole and secure with a toothpick.
Dust with flour.
Dip into the egg.
Dip in the bread crumbs and season.
Leave to rest if possible for about half an hour (this is not necessary, just preferable).
Warm a pan to medium heat, add a little oil and fry one side until golden brown.
Turn over and bake in a hot oven, about 200C for 10 - 15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the breast).
Leave to rest for 5 minutes in a warm place, remove the toothpick and... SERVE!
My husband does not like cooked cheese, so I filled his with bottled jalapeños - and even this chicken hater pronounced it as "GREAT"!
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
There are so many tourist spots that as a local we so often miss out on, or keep promising ourselves to try and never get the time to go. You actually need to have a visitor from out of town to motivate you to make the effort.
Yesterday we went to Butterfly World. We have been promising ourselves to go there for months now, and I can't believe it'd taken this long to get there. When you walk through the entrance door, the first thing to mind is -"Wow, look at all the butterflies!". It sounds really stupid, I mean what do you expect when you go to Butterfly World?
I certainly didn't expect to walk into a very hot tropical forest full of live butterflies! I was like a kid in a candy shop - pointing my camera at everything. You walk through a forest with 1000's of butterflies, each a different colour, each more beautiful than the last. It's like Paris Fashion Week!
And just when you think it can't get more exotic, you walk into another room crammed filled with the ugliest creatures on the earth - it's almost like a sick joke. On the one side you have these beautiful butterflies in the most extraordinary colours and then you have the reptiles and spiders - talk about Cinderella and the ugly sisters! Shame, they not that bad, I guess their mothers love them too.
So as it was my mother-in-law's last night with us, and knowing her love for dessert I decided to try something new. In the last month I have seen 3 recipes for Buttermilk Tart, in 3 different magazines. A very traditional pudding made by grannies all over South Africa. As I am not a granny, I decided to change it slightly and pimp this old classic right into the 21st century.
Coconut Milk and Orange Blossom Tart
10ml Orange Blossom Water
5ml Baking Powder
400ml (1 can) Coconut Milk
Dessicated Coconut for sprinkling
Oven Temp at 180C
Cream the butter and the sugar.
Add the eggs and the orange blossom water and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients and blend.
Add the coconut milk and the buttermilk and mix well again.
Grease a baking dish (I used a Pyrex dish about 16cm square) and sprinkle coconut around the base and the edges.
Pour in the mixture and sprinkle a little coconut on the top.
Bake for about 30 minutes until cooked through.
It will rise, so make sure your dish is deep enough.
If the coconut is browning too fast place a piece of foil on the top to stop it from burning.
Serve warm (not hot) with vanilla ice cream.
Monday, 2 March 2009
Saturday morning we were up early for a short walk along the pipe track on Table Mountain. The views in the early morning when everything is clear are magnificent. This walk is suitable for everyone, no climbing but with beautiful views of the mountain and the sea.
On Sunday we were very graciously taken by a good friend for a boat trip. We went from the Waterfront to Clifton and back past Robben Island. The weather was so good, even the whales were out enjoying a perfect Sunday afternoon.
While I had such a wonderful weekend, there were those who spent the weekend fighting fires in Sommerset West. Thank you to all the firefighters, many of which are volunteers, for risking your lives to save our city. We really do appreciate you and pray for your safety.
Jeremiah 17: 7-8
It is not your business to succeed, but to do what is right : when you have done so, the rest lies with God.
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