In My Kitchen August 2014

Celia from Fig Jam And Lime Cordial has grown the in my kitchen contributors from a handful of us to somewhere around the 50 mark. I try and read each post every month as I just love taking a peek into everyone’s kitchens. I hope you enjoy this month’s peek in to mine!

I was gifted a lot of grapefruit and other that the curd I made, I also made some grapefruit cordial. Before I could make the cordial I had to order a bottle. It was slightly smaller than I anticipated (I didn’t look to see how many mls it took!) but it is perfect for cordial.

Cordial Bottle In My Kitchen August 2014

Cordial Bottle

In the post where I mentioned my muslin Sherry recommended that I buy some Chux cloths. After entering the term into Google I realized that were the blue kitchen cloths that I use to clean my plates when taking photographs. I went out and bought a roll straight away. I have used one already to make ricotta and what a pleasure! I have cleaned the cloth, but I now know that if it turns out too messy I can just toss it.

Kitchen Cloths In My Kitchen August 2014

Kitchen Cloths

When testing a recipe from Lorraine’s cook book I made pork cheeks. The result of that was a lot of lard! I have already made some Yorkshire puddings with the lard – it is amazingly sweet.

Lard In My Kitchen August 2014

Lard

I have chosen to make my own bacon following on from my Mastering Meat course. I had to find saltpetre for the recipe so the first step has been done.

Saltpetre In My Kitchen August 2014

Saltpetre

My parents came for their annual visit in June and brought with them my birthday present. Lucky me I could open it straight away! It is a lovely tea pot which came with 4 different flowering buds. Each one tasted the same icon wink In My Kitchen August 2014 I just love it and am using it for my herbal infusion teas as I can brew a pot at a time and leave it standing for 3 days, enjoying a cup a day.

Tea Pot In My Kitchen August 2014

Tea Pot

The new PR agency for Canderel have sent me a hamper to try out. I usually always have their chocolate at home as they are sugar free. I look forward to trying out the other products as I have only used Canderel Yellow to date.

Canderel Hamper In My Kitchen August 2014

Canderel Hamper

After the Knorr Function we were sent home with an amazing bag which I will take overseas with me for shopping. In the bag was a huge selection of goodies. I have given the sauces and cook in bags to my step son James and kept the stock pots for myself. The salad dressings are all at work as Dave has salad every day for lunch. James is most enthusiastic to try out all his products and it gives me great pleasure to spread the joy.

Knorr Hamper In My Kitchen August 2014

Knorr Hamper

I have been sent a selection of Chinese teas from Teavivre. I have yet to try them as I am using up my oldest teas first. Once I have done so I shall let you know how they taste.

Teavivre Tea In My Kitchen August 2014

Teavivre Tea

After Germany won the world cup Checkers sent me a bottle of German Wine. They have a fantastic selection of international wines and I have been fortunate to taste quite a few.

Wine From Checkers In My Kitchen August 2014

Wine From Checkers

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Recipe For Grapefruit Curd

In 2001 Dave brought home the sweetest, cutest puppy and we named her Patch. What we should have named her was Houdini, given how often she escapes from the house. She started this habit when someone broke a panel off our wooden gate. She spent the night on someone else’s couch and loved it! We repaired the gate and shortly after moved home and so we ‘puppy’ proofed the new place by putting in a metal gate. However, she found gaps in the fence between us and the neighbour and as she found one, and we ‘patched’ it up, she found another. Our next move curbed her houdini tricks as she could only escape if someone let her out the gate! Our final move was in 2005 and since then we have spent a lot of time preventing her from running away. The metal gate from the first move was used for the pedestrian gate and every other piece of fencing and the drive way gate was created to prevent her escaping. For a long time, the only way she got out was if someone let her. And then we got a puppy. Molly could fit through the gate gaps and so we fenced them up. And Patch learnt to climb the fenced bits and head out through the top gaps. For 4 years we have chased our tales preventing her from escaping. The penultimate idea was to create a sign across the gate which would give her no purchase. On Saturday night we were sitting at a friend, watching the rugby and in walked Patch! She always runs straight to Nico – a good 2 kilometres away from us, and over a main road. To remedy this we have had a new gate made. The gaps are too small for her to squeeze through and go right up to the top! Hopefully the fact that they are at an angle will prevent her climbing right over the top.

Grapefruit Curd Recipe For Grapefruit Curd

Grapefruit Curd

One thing that will disappear quickly, and you will not mind is this grapefruit curd. It needs a fair amount of time and care to make it nice and thick, but the stirring will be so worth your while.

Grapefruit Curd Topped With Swiss Meringue Recipe For Grapefruit Curd

Grapefruit Curd Topped With Swiss Meringue

Recipe For Grapefruit Curd

Ingredients:

  • 100g butter
  • 125g caster sugar - I used fructose
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • zest and juice of 2 grapefruit

Method:

  • Melt the butter over a bain-marie
  • Place the sugar and the eggs into a jug
  • Add the zest and strain in the juice
  • Whisk together until completely mixed
  • Add this mixture to the butter slowly over the heat
  • Stir continuously until thickened
  • Place into sterilized glass jars while still warm
  • Top each glass jar with a piece of parchment paper, making sure it touches the curd
  • Leave to cool completely before sealing the jars
http://tandysinclair.com/grapefruit-curd/
 Recipe For Grapefruit Curd

For conversions click here

I am submitting this recipe to Simple & In Season which is being hosted this month by Sally who blogs over at My Custard Pie.

Simple In Season Recipe For Grapefruit Curd

Simple & In Season

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A Weekend In The Winelands

I often get asked what people should do and where they should eat when visiting the winelands. I have decided to compile a short post on a weekend in the winelands so that I can refer them all to one post. This is by no means everything one can do in this beautiful region of the country, but it is certainly my top list of things to do and places to eat.

Plan to land at Cape Town International Airport on Friday afternoon as early as possible. The traffic leaving town is quite hectic and it could take you an hour to get to your accommodation. I recommend that you stay at The Country Guest House at 96 Winery Road. We spent our 10th wedding anniversary there and the rooms are extremely well appointed and you can sit outside and enjoy a sundowner while taking in the spectacular view.

Book that night for dinner at 96 Winery Road. This saves you from having to travel any more on the day. Be sure to leave space for their famous crème brûlée which has been on the menu since 1974!

96 Winery Road A Weekend In The Winelands

96 Winery Road

On Saturday morning breakfast will be served in the most beautiful setting and you will be offered a large choice of buffet items, as well as a hot breakfast. After you are done, head on down the R44 towards Stellenbosch. Stop at Cavalli Wine Estate to visit the art gallery and memorabilia rooms at the wine tasting centre. Don’t worry to do a wine tasting here. For your first wine tasting head on up the Allandale Road and follow the signs to Uva Mira. The wines are fantastic and the view is spectacular. After this drive through Stellenbosch and go to Warwick Wines. After your wine tasting have a picnic on the lawns or in one of the pods. Make sure to book and enquire to find out if you can do the tour of the vineyards. On your way back to your room, stop at Muratie. Even if you do not feel like another wine tasting, you need to try their port and see the cellar which is quite unique.

Warwick Wine Estate A Weekend In The Winelands

Warwick Wine Estate

Dinner on Saturday night is going to be something special. Book at The Restaurant at Waterkloof Wines and if it is summer get there early enough to watch the sun set over False Bay. After 13 years I never tire of this! Sit by the fire if it is winter, or on the balcony in summer while you sip on your wine and look at the menu. It changes seasonally so I cannot recommend any one dish for you to try but so far I have only had fantastic meals when we dine there.

Valentines Dinner A Weekend In The Winelands

Valentines Dinner

Sunday after another scrumptious breakfast pack your cases and head out on the R310. Stop off at Spier to take in the Eagle Encounter. Lunch must be at Pomegranate Restaurant situated on the Vergenoegd Wine Estate where you will get to see the duck parade. Sit outside if the weather permits and you might even see a fish eagle flying above you. Michael makes an amazing duck dish which I usually always have. Be sure to have one of the estate wines with your lunch as they are the best of the bunch in my opinion. You are only about 25 minutes from the airport so book a late afternoon flight to get you back home.

Pomegranate Restaurant A Weekend In The Winelands

Pomegranate Restaurant

Disclaimer: I have not been compensated in any way for this post. It has been done at my own discretion. If you do go to any of these places please let them know I sent you! This disclaimer is in line with my blogging policy.

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Recipe For Lavender Surprise Cake

The other day I was driving up the road and saw a gentleman pushing a shopping trolley. This is quite a common occurrence where I work as we have a second hand scrap metal dealer close to our office. The trolley pushers collect scrap metal and other recyclables from around the area and take it to the dealer for some money. This is the only income they earn and in my mind at least they are doing something to earn a wage. But, the surprise in the trolley was not the scrap metal, but the children in the trolley. My first thought was “oh sweet’, and then I realized that the children were being pushed around because the probably had no where else to be. They were not in school, being looked after in a safe environment, and probably their parents’ are homeless. We have a new neighbourhood watch in our area and they have taken to confiscating these trolleys. Basically they are taking away the persons only means of earning a livelihood, and in the case of the person I saw, his only means of keeping his children with him, and safe, while he works. I find this victimisation so unnecessary and wish those people doing the confiscating would think of proactive ways to give these people a hand up, rather than kick them down! We have one gentleman who collects our scrap metal once a week. He saves us the hassle of getting rid of it, and he earns himself money for food – a basic most people take for granted.

Lavender Surprise Bundt Cake Recipe For Lavender Surprise Cake

Lavender Surprise Bundt Cake

My lavender surprise cake was just that, a surprise. I had no idea what to expect when I cut it open and I was so impressed with how it worked out! You don’t have to use purple food colouring like I did, I just wanted something to match my blog. I am sure if you try this with any colour combination it will work out just as well, and you too will be surprised.

Lavender Surprise Cake Recipe For Lavender Surprise Cake

Lavender Surprise Cake

Lavender Surprise Cake

Ingredients:

  • 350g flour
  • 300g sugar - I used fructose
  • 5mls bicarbonate of soda
  • 5mls baking powder
  • 5mls salt
  • 250mls buttermilk
  • 375mls canola oil
  • 5mls lavender vinegar – you can use any vinegar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2.5mls lavender petals – if you cannot find these, use rose petals or even fresh herbs
  • 5 drops gel food colouring of your choice

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 160° Celsius
  • Spray a bundt tin if it is not non stick
  • Sieve the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl
  • In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, oil, vinegar and eggs
  • Add these to the dry ingredients and mix until combined
  • Pour off half the batter into the bowl you used for the wet ingredients
  • To one half add the lavender petals and mix in well
  • To the other half mix in the food colouring and mix in well
  • Pour the coloured batter into the tin and make sure it is evenly distributed
  • Now pour the lavender batter into the tin
  • Use a skewer and lightly mix in the batters together – you just barely want to see some streaks
  • Bake for an hour
  • Remove from the oven and turn out and leave to cool completely before cutting
http://tandysinclair.com/lavender-surprise-cake/
 Recipe For Lavender Surprise Cake

For conversions click here

Blog-checking lines: For the July Daring Baker’s Challenge, Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to bake a cake. But not just any cake; she asked us to add in a special surprise for our eyes as well as our taste buds!

A Slice Of Lavender Surprise Cake Recipe For Lavender Surprise Cake

A Slice Of Lavender Surprise Cake

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Recipe For Baked Arancini

When I made arancini the first time, Corina mentioned that she had baked hers when she made them. As I moderate my comments, both Kathryn and Mary Frances had not seen Corina’s comment, nor had they seen each others’ asking if these could be baked. I am always up for a challenge, and decided to try and bake arancini stuffed with cheese as part of a meal. On the Friday afternoon before I made these I went shopping with my friend Nadia. We were browsing the aisles for snack food and when I saw the vegetable crisps I decided to buy them to use for this recipe instead of making them. This was a short cut I was willing to take as I know how long it takes to form the arancini. The nice thing with baking them is that you don’t have to stand over a deep fryer and watch them or indeed fry them in batches. I loved the crunchy exterior and the gooey interior and would make these again for sure.

Baked Arancini Stuffed With Cheese Recipe For Baked Arancini

Baked Arancini Stuffed With Cheese

Baked Arancini Stuffed With Cheese

Ingredients:

    for the risotto
  • 800mls chicken stock
  • 250g arboria rice
  • 2g salt
  • 8 saffron threads
  • 30g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • for the arancini
  • 80g mozzarella cheese (the one you use for pizzas)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 80g crumbed vegetable crips

Method:

    for the risotto
  • Bring the stock to the boil in a sauce pan
  • Add the rice, salt and saffron
  • Bring back to the boil and cook for 15 minutes
  • Remove from the heat and after 1 minute, beat in the Parmesan
  • Set aside to cool completely
  • for the arancini
  • Preheat the oven to 160° Celsius
  • Wet your hands and using a serving spoon, scoop some rice into your palm
  • Shape into a large ball and then press your thumb into the centre to make a hole
  • Fill the hole with 10g of mozzarella and seal up and shape back into a ball
  • Wet your hands and repeat until you have used up all the rice - I made 8
  • Now beat the egg whites and dip one of the balls into the egg whites
  • Place the rice ball into the crumbed vegetable crisps and coat completely
  • Lightly compact the crisps with your hand and place the arancini into an oven proof dish
  • Bake for 20 minutes
http://tandysinclair.com/baked-arancini/
 Recipe For Baked Arancini

For conversions click here

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The Millhouse Kitchen, Somerset West

When The Millhouse Kitchen opened on the Lourensford wine estate Dave and I went to enjoy a meal. This was two years ago and little has changed. The menu which is rustic Italian with French influences, then and now is inspiring, and the food mostly good. When we went the first time I put the poor service down to them having only just opened, but after our experience on Saturday night this must be a result of lack of interest. The venue is wonderful and during the day you can sit outside and enjoy the amazing view. We sat close to the fire, within site of the open kitchen and far away from the pub area.

The Millhouse Kitchen The Millhouse Kitchen, Somerset West

The Millhouse Kitchen

The wine list consists only of Lourensford Wines which are available per glass or per bottle and are well priced to suit any pocket. We chose the River Garden Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013 (R95). As soon as we ordered this our waiter informed us there were only 3 bottles available. I was not sure why a restaurant situated on a wine estate could not have stocked up before dinner service on the wines, and this was a theme to continue through the night. Our wine was brought to the table and Hans told the waiter he would not be having wine. However, the waiter could not have been listening as after Dave had tasted the wine, he poured for Hans. I took over that glass and Hans ordered a brandy and coke, and Kaz ordered a cocktail from the very good list of options. It took some time for her cocktail to arrive, and the waiter blamed the bar for the slow service. The wine is fruity and slightly dry with a lovely nose and a light hint of berries. There is also an excellent selection of single malt whisky’s which are well priced. Corkage is R35 / 750ml for wine and R50 / 750ml MCC and sparkling wine.

Mussel Starter The Millhouse Kitchen, Somerset West

Mussel Starter

I ordered the mussels to start and these were served in a cider cream flavoured with oregano (R65). The 11 mussels were very flavourful and succulent. I was brought a bowl for the shells which was great attention to detail and I placed this bowl on the side plate. I was not sure why we had side plates and butter knives as we were not offered bread before our starters arrived. When the waiter cleared the starter plates he removed the side plates and we were under the impression bread was not on offer. However, we then saw the waiter bringing bread to other tables. When we asked why we had not received our bread he told us it was not ready from the kitchen before our starters arrived. However, when it was served it was cold! This means to me that he forgot. The bread on offer was focaccia with cheese, onion and tomato or ciabatta. Dave, Hans and Kaz each had a slice which was served with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and butter.

Slow Cooked Lamb Shank The Millhouse Kitchen, Somerset West

Slow Cooked Lamb Shank

My main course was a slow cooked lamb shank (R135) that was served off the bone and was really dry. The buttered mash was bland and cold, and I am not sure if it was not heated or if the cold bowl had something to do with this. The slow roasted vegetables were really nice and I used all the sauce to moisten my meat. I left the potatoes after one forkful. Both my main course and starter could be considered ‘finger food’ but I was not offered a finger bowl after each course.

Crème Brûlée The Millhouse Kitchen, Somerset West

Crème Brûlée

I was quite impressed that the dessert menu included a gluten free option as well as a cheese board. I chose the crème brûlée which was excellent. There was a crunchy crack to the brûlée and the custard was smooth. It was served with biscotti and strawberries. Our waiter appeared to not know the menu when he told Hans that there was no hot chocolate on the menu. Maybe he meant to say there was none available as when we checked the menu it was there, and when we asked him he said that the restaurant had not ordered any! Dave ordered an espresso which finally arrived cold after all of our desserts. Once again the waiter shifted blame and said that he had watched them pour it but the cup was cold. Dave had seen the cup standing on the counter so we knew the waiter had forgotten to bring it. And frankly, if he had felt it was cold he should have asked for a new one to be made. Expect to pay an average per head of R123 for the main meal.

The bad service resulted in a below average tip and I hope that this prompts the waiter to look at why he was not rewarded to the amount he expected to be. However, despite the food being excellent as far as everyone else at the table was concerned, I won’t be going back there in a rush.

Contact them on 021 847 2328 or pop in Tuesdays to Sundays for breakfast, lunch or dinner or Sundays for breakfast or lunch.

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Recipe For Sourdough Baguette

A couple of years ago I was gifted a subscription to the Reader’s Digest magazine. I read it from cover to cover while walking on the elliptical trainer at gym, to occupy my mind and stave off the boredom of walking for 15 minutes and getting nowhere! In the one issue I read about how baguette is meant to smell of apples or pears when torn open. I will be visiting France later this year and will test this out every day, as our lunch always consists of baguette with cheese and other accompaniments. When I read that Celia had used cider to feed her starter with great success, I decided that a good way to get the apple scent into my baguette would be to use cider together with the water in the preparation of the dough. I have tested this recipe for sourdough baguette using water only, and it works just as well, so if you do not drink alcohol and don’t cook with it, you can still make this baguette. I made one loaf with both apple cider and another with pear cider, as well as my perry and they each lend a lovely scent to the baguette.

Have you ever smelt a loaf of bread when breaking it open?

Sourdough Baguette Recipe For Sourdough Baguette

Sourdough Baguette

Sourdough Baguette

Ingredients:

  • 200g fed sourdough starter
  • 600g bread flour
  • 100g water
  • 200g cider
  • 10g fine salt

Method:

  • Place all of the ingredients into a large bowl
  • Mix by hand until all the flour is incorporated
  • Knead the dough in the bowl for 2 minutes
  • Cover with cling film and leave to prove for an hour
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes
  • Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with cling film
  • Leave to prove until doubled in size
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface
  • Divide in two and shape each piece into a baguette shape
  • Cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove for an hour
  • Preheat the oven to 220° Celsius
  • Slash the dough and place into the oven and bake for 30 minutes
http://tandysinclair.com/sourdough-baguette/
 Recipe For Sourdough Baguette

For conversions click here

 
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The Tombs, Clive Cussler

The Tombs opening line: The barbarian equipment was enormous, a great city that moved from place to place at whim of its unquestioned leader, the High King.

The Tombs The Tombs, Clive Cussler

The Tombs

I love historical dramas and this one is a fantastic read. We follow the path of the Fargo’s, a wealthy American couple, as they trace the treasure tombs of Attila the Hun. Not only is the book a real page turner, it is full of interesting facts. I am so determined to take a trip back to Rome to explore the catacombs after reading this book.

Written together with Thomas Perry, Clive Cussler has once again given me a perfect read. I can highly recommend that you buy this book, and the others in the Fargo Adventure series, which I will be on the lookout for.

First published in the United States of America by G.P. Putnum’s Sons in 2012

ISBN number 978-0-241-96173-5

Paperback – 409 pages

Disclaimer: I was sent the book to review by Penguin Books South Africa. I was not required to write a positive review. This disclaimer is in line with my blogging policy.

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Recipe For Champagne Ice Cream

I wanted to make a special ice cream to serve with a plum tart tatin I was making for a dinner party. Tart tatin is my go to dessert and ice cream is one of the easiest treats for me to make. This champagne ice cream seemed like the perfect one. I was given a bottle of champagne from Leopard’s Leap and decided to use this for my champagne ice cream. I was telling a friend of mine who is from France about the ice cream and she suggested I use vanilla as the spice for the ice cream. I had some vanilla powder at home, and used this and not vanilla bean for the champagne ice cream. I am sure a vanilla beans would work just as well, and even some cardamom might add an interesting dimension to this champagne ice cream. I will let you experiment!

Plum Tart Tatin With Champagne Ice Cream Recipe For Champagne Ice Cream

Plum Tart Tatin With Champagne Ice Cream

Champagne Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 250mls champagne
  • 400mls milk
  • 100mls cream
  • 5mls vanilla powder
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 80g sugar - I used fructose

Method:

  • Place the champagne into a small saucepan and bring to the boil
  • Set aside to cool
  • Place the milk, Cream and vanilla into a saucepan
  • Bring to blood temperature over a medium heat
  • Whisk the egg yolks and the sugar together until you reach a ribbon stage
  • Pour half of the milk onto the egg yolks and whisk until mixed
  • Return the mixture to your saucepan
  • Stir with a wooden spoon until a custard forms and remove from the heat
  • Sieve the custard into a pouring jug
  • Mix in the champagne
  • Cool overnight and then churn in an ice cream churner as per the manufacturer’s instructions
http://tandysinclair.com/champagne-ice-cream/
 Recipe For Champagne Ice Cream

For conversions click here

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Four And Twenty, Wynberg

My parents made their annual visit to us in June and the plan for the day was that Dave and my dad would go to the motor racing, and my mom and I would go for lunch. My mom had read about Four And Twenty and so we decided to make our way to the Southern Suburbs. It was pouring with rain, and given the amount of water on the ground, Dave reckoned the racing would not be fun and so he decided all 4 of us would go for lunch. We managed to find parking quite easily in the road and luckily for us there was a table available. They do not take reservations on Saturdays and I was told when I called that they are full from breakfast time, but a table of 2 should not be a problem.

Four Twenty Four And Twenty, Wynberg

Four & Twenty

They serve local organic produce from Tenterden Children’s Home Project where possible. The average main course price is R83 which I consider high for lunch. I chose a brandy cask aged cider to drink (660mls for R58) which is one of the nicest ciders I have had in South Africa. The wine list is good, with a good representation of local wines and good prices.

The Decorations Four And Twenty, Wynberg

The Decorations

For my lunch I chose the sandwich of the day (R65) which was one slice of bread, topped with avocado, feta and chicken mixed with a honey aioli and served with a side salad. The side salad was lettuce only and had quite an oily dressing. The sandwich itself was extremely tasty and the portion was generous.

Sandwich Of The Day Four And Twenty, Wynberg

Sandwich Of The Day

The dining area was very noisy and overly warm. The staff are extremely friendly and most helpful. They are open Tuesday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm and Sundays 9am to 4pm. Contact them on 021 762 0975 

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