Recipe For Home Cured Pork Belly

I vowed when I gave up smoking that I would never become an ugly non smoker and that I would always remain a tolerant ex smoker. However, this has not been the case. We have a friend who is the most selfish smoker I have ever met. One night when we were at a restaurant the owner delayed each and every one of the courses as she kept getting up to smoke. Her husband was cross with the restaurant but I totally got where they were coming from as the food needed to be served hot, and we were a table of 12! Another night she got into the car with 3 of us who are non smokers and she lit up. I opened the window even though it was a bitterly cold evening and she told me I was pathetic for being affected by the smoke. I have had a few really bad bouts of bronchitis and the smoke from cigarettes and fires is intolerable as it affects my lungs. She further made her smoking uncomfortable for a group of us when she insisted on smoking in someone else’s apartment and I kept on walking away from where she was and she kept on following me. But this still did not make me cross until we went away! We were told that we could not smoke indoors and if anyone did, the barge would be stripped, cleaned and refitted, at our expense. As Dave had paid for the barge on his credit card this literally would have been at our expense, and not at hers! She lit up one night and as she was not actually smoking the cigarette told me she was not smoking inside. Being pedantic of course she was right, but it was still a smoking cigarette! And then she did it again after I asked her not to smoke, and she said they would never know as they could not see her! #FFS that very instant turned me into that non smoker. I explained the cost implication of her actions and she could not care less! It totally got to me as I was never an inconsiderate smoker. And I tolerate considerate smokers but I will not tolerate her smoking ever again.

Thankfully, I did not need to light a smoker to make Home Cured Pork Belly (bacon) at home. Whereas pork can be smoked, curing it is more traditional and the Wiltshire cure appears to be the oldest known recipe for bacon. I have used some of those ingredients, together with Peter Goffe-Wood’s recipe for Home Cured Bacon that I downloaded from Mastering Meat 2 as inspiration. I have used celery seeds instead of saltpetre as they are a great source of natural nitrates.

Home Cured Pork Belly Recipe For Home Cured Pork Belly

Home Cured Pork Belly

Recipe For Home Cured Pork Belly
  • 500g pork belly (bone out weight), the fat end if possible and it must be fresh, rind on
  • 10g celery seeds
  • 5g coriander seeds
  • 2g whole cloves
  • 3g black peppercorns
  • 480g coarse salt
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 100g fructose, divided (you can use sugar if you prefer)
  1. Place your pork onto a wire rack and place the wire rack over a dish
  2. Place the dish into the fridge and leave for 2 hours to dry
  3. Use kitchen roll to pat dry the pork belly
  4. Place the celery seeds, coriander seeds, cloves and peppercorns into a mortar and crush with a pestle
  5. Place the salt into a bowl and mix in the spices and thyme
  6. Remove 100g of the mix and add 20g fructose and mix well to make your curing mixture
  7. Sprinkle 50g of the curing mixture in a thin layer into a ceramic dish (suitable size for your pork)
  8. Place the pork rind side down on top of the cure mixture
  9. Cover the top of the pork with the remaining cure mixture, patting it down firmly and making sure the sides are covered as well
  10. Place into the fridge, uncovered, overnight
  11. The following day, remove the pork belly and wipe off the excess cure mixture using kitchen roll and pat dry
  12. Wash out your dish and dry thoroughly
  13. Repeat the curing process
  14. Do this for 5 days in total before rinsing the pork belly to remove all traces of the curing mixture
  15. Dry with kitchen roll and wrap in wax paper
  16. Store in an airtight container in the fridge
  17. Notes
  18. Your bacon can be frozen and needs to be defrosted in the fridge before using
Cooks Notes
Change the spices to suit your taste but the celery seeds must stay in as they provide the nitrates needed for curing

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

Home Made Bacon Recipe For Home Cured Pork Belly

Home Made Bacon

Disclosure: own the copyright to Pete’s recipe and it has been used with their permission. This post is in line with my blogging policy.

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I am on leave until the 8th of January. I will start replying to blog comments then. I wish you all a safe festive season.


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Col’Cacchio Pizzeria

Situated in the Western Cape, KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng provinces Col’Cacchio Pizzeria offers truly authentic Italian pizzas. They have recently had this years’ Food With A Story Celebrity Chefs offers which Dave and I caught the end of but did not sample. We went to the Stellenbosch pizzeria for a quick lunch and I can tell you that the pizzas are a generous portion.

ColCacchio Pizzeria Stellenbosch ColCacchio Pizzeria

Col’Cacchio Pizzeria Stellenbosch

You can create your own starting from R60 for a margherita base or choose a gluten free base for R80. Toppings range from R6 to R52 but it is definitely cheaper to choose a standard pizza. The average price for a vegetarian pizza is R87 and for the meat / fish options R100. Compared to what we paid in Venice last year, these pizzas are extremely well priced. Other than the 36 standard pizzas on offer there is also a selection of 5 Banting pizzas. This low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet is not something I agree with, but there are a lot of people following this way of eating and so Col’Cacchio has introduced a 21cm pizza base made from cauliflower, psyllium husks, egg, Parmesan and seasoning. All are served with a Banting-style side salad of lettuce, carrots, cucumber, egg, parmesan and radish. And if you are with a friend who wants to share, there are half and half pizzas which reflect the most popular choices. The menu includes pasta at an average cost of R87 per dish. The new menu was launched this month so if you are a regular visitor to Col’Cacchio Pizzeria you might find something new to try.

Prostituto ColCacchio Pizzeria


I chose the Prostituto pizza (R99) which is served on the standard 31cm base (30cm had I chosen the gluten free option) without tomato sauce. It was topped with bacon, spinach, avocado and feta and is the standard pizza I order when we are out. It needed the addition of salt which I don’t mind as this is one thing you cannot take off if the restaurant over salts a dish. Dave had the Siciliana (R92) which is topped with Italian anchovies and olives. He added chilli to his which is served on the side and they were the perfect heat. I tried the garlic which is also served on the side together with separate Parmesan and it was well cured – meaning it did not leave an after taste in my mouth. The pizza base is thin, just like you would get in Naples, and crispy. The toppings are perfectly portioned and I did not leave hungry.

Siciliana ColCacchio Pizzeria


We were served by an extremely helpful waitress and I can only hope that this is the standard set by the company for all of its Pizzerias. Take a look at their website to find the closest pizzeria to you.

Disclosure: Dave and I did not pay for our meal which was offered to us by KL PR & Events on behalf of Col’Cacchio Pizzeria in exchange for a review. This post is in line with my blogging policy.

I am on leave until the 8th of January. I will start replying to blog comments then. I wish you all a safe festive season.


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Recipe For Blueberry Cake

Hard To Resist This Blueberry Cake Recipe For Blueberry Cake

Hard To Resist This Blueberry Cake

I was with a group of people sitting around a table listening to them compare their debt levels. The majority of people in the group are spending more than they are earning. I listened as one explained how she was spending more on a store card than she was paying. And another piped in with how she had gone to her bank and got a loan to pay off a store card, but as soon as she had paid off all that she owed, she walked into the store and spent money on the card. Another person complained about not having money to shop during her lunch hour every day but she regularly shops at Woolworths for luxury items. Some people have had their parents come to their rescue and pay off their debt. It seems that they are not taking responsibility for their debts. They seem to think that credit on a credit card is money they have, rather than money they owe. People buy cars that they cannot really afford and somehow don’t seem to care! The saying having your cake and eating it comes to mind here. This Blueberry Cake is all for eating, and not for keeping. It needs the syrup to keep it moist and a thick layer of icing. Please do not skip the syrup stage as the cake will be dry and you will be disappointed, which is what happened to me the first time I baked it.

Blueberry Cake Recipe For Blueberry Cake

Blueberry Cake

5.0 from 1 reviews
Blueberry Cake
This cake needs the addition of the syrup to keep it moist
for the syrup
  • 70g sugar - I used fructose
  • 190mls water
  • 125g fresh blueberries
for the cake
  • 200g butter
  • 250g caster sugar - I used fructose
  • 3 eggs
  • 500g flour
  • 10g baking powder
  • Reserved syrup, divided
  • Reserved blueberries
for the icing
  • 90g butter
  • 140g cream cheese
  • 7.5mls vanilla extract
  • 560g icing sugar, sifted - I used fructose
  • 50g fresh blueberries
for the syrup
  1. Place the sugar and the water into a small saucepan
  2. Bring to the boil
  3. Reduce the heat, add the blueberries and simmer for 5 minutes
  4. Set aside to cool
  5. Strain and set aside the berries and the syrup - you will use the syrup for the batter and after baking
for the cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
  2. Grease and line a springform cake tin
  3. Place the butter and sugar into a stand mixer bowl
  4. Cream together for 5 minutes
  5. Add one egg at a time and continue mixing between additions until combined
  6. Sieve together the flour and baking powder into a large bowl
  7. Add a couple of tablespoons of the flour to the stand mixer bowl together with 125mls of the reserved syrup
  8. Mix until combined
  9. Continue adding a couple of tablespoons of the flour at a time, and mix on a low speed, making sure the flour is combined before adding more
  10. Once all the flour is combined, fold in the blueberries
  11. Pour into your tin and smooth out the top of the batter
  12. Bake for 45 minutes
  13. Remove from the oven and poke holes into the cake
  14. Pour over the left over syrup
  15. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes
  16. Remove from the tin and leave to cool completely before icing
for the icing
  1. Place the butter and cream cheese into a large mixing bowl
  2. Cream together for 5 minutes
  3. Add the vanilla extract and icing sugar
  4. Continue beating until thick and completely combined
  5. Ice the cake and decorate with fresh blueberries

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A Slice Of Blueberry Cake Recipe For Blueberry Cake

A Slice Of Blueberry Cake

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The Cairo Affair, Olen Steinhauer

The Cairo Affair opening line: On February 19, 2011, two days after the Day of Revolt, the first kidnapping occurred in London, and over the following seventy-two hours similar scenes occurred in Brussels, Paris, and New York.

The Cairo Affair The Cairo Affair, Olen Steinhauer

The Cairo Affair

Sophie Kohl is not who she appears to be! She is a woman who loves her husband but has an affair. Her husband is a diplomat accused of selling American secrets. Her lover is a CIA agent who makes the accusation. They are tied together by Cairo, a city undergoing transformation due to the Arab Spring. Sophie is back in Cairo to discover why her husband was assassinated and who ordered the killing. His will not be the only death and the past will always come back to haunt Sophie.

This book is full of mystery and intrigue, spy agents and double agents and segues seamlessly from the past to the present. The story is told from a few people’s perspectives, and this helps give an overall feeling for what really happened, both years ago, and more recently. I could not put the book down and can highly recommend this as a book worth reading.

First published in the United States of America by Minotaur Books in 2014

ISBN number 978-1-782-39269-9

Paperback – 408 pages

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

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Recipe For Pâte Brisée

Are you a touchy feely person or do you prefer to keep your arm’s distance from people? I love cuddling my husband, hugging my nieces and I don’t mind touchy feely instances with people I know. One of my best memories is when Mark was about 5 and crawled into my lap for a hug and told me it was his best day ever. This same feeling came back when he hugged me in June the day before he moved overseas. Saying this, there is one person I know who I don’t like being hugged by. He is a customer and has always been touchy feely. I know he means nothing by it, but I cannot stand it when he touches me. I cannot put my finger on why this makes me squirm but it does. He behaves all touchy feely in front of his wife, or Dave, but still it makes me all awkward. When it comes to baking and cooking, I don’t mind getting touchy feely at all. I use touch a lot of the time to know when my pastry or bread is the right consistency but sadly I cannot lend you all my fingers to understand this. I recently made a Pâte Brisée which needed a lot of my touch to get just right. Here I share with you what I hope is a perfected recipe. I used the pastry to make my version of a custard tart using dulce de leche.

P%C3%A2te Bris%C3%A9e Recipe For Pâte Brisée

Pâte Brisée

4.0 from 1 reviews
Pâte Brisée
  • 250g flour, sifted
  • a pinch of fine salt
  • 165g caster sugar - I used fructose
  • 125g butter, cubed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with 15mls chilled water
  1. Place the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl
  2. Make a well in the centre and add the butter and the egg
  3. Knead quickly and shape into a ball (you might need to add more water at this stage but do not exceed 15mls )
  4. Do not worry about the butter still being visible
  5. Wrap the pastry in foil and place into the fridge for an hour
  6. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently
  7. Roll out (not too thin) and bake blind
Dulce De Leche Recipe For Pâte Brisée

Dulce De Leche

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

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Raphaels at Asara, Stellenbosch

Dave and I were meeting friends at Raphaels, the restaurant at Asara wine estate, for dinner. We arrived early and so we decided to sit in the Sansibar lounge and have a pre-dinner drink. They have the largest selection of single malts I have seen outside of Scotland and we both read the whisky menu to make our choices. Dave had a Springbank 10 year old (R45) from Campbeltown which is salty in flavour, and I had a bourbon cask matured Arran (R47.50), which is full of citrus and sweet fruit. The most expensive single malt on the list costs R2440 per tot!

Asara Wine Estate Raphaels at Asara, Stellenbosch

Asara Wine Estate

Once our whisky’s were drunk we left the bar and made our way to the restaurant as our friends arrived. Bev and I tested the couch at the table before deciding that the wing back chairs were more comfortable. The wine list is quite comprehensive and reasonably priced and Dave chose the Asara Vineyard Collection Merlot 2011 (R120) to accompany our meal. The wine displays red berries on the nose and is a smooth well balance wine.

Sansibar and Raphaels Raphaels at Asara, Stellenbosch

Sansibar and Raphael’s

Bread rolls were placed on the table while we read the menu. Dave, Bev and I started with mussels (R75) which were succulent and served in a fantastic broth, with toast. Eric had the game terrine (R80) to start. Bev and I had the lambs liver (R110) for our main course, done medium as per the chefs recommendation. Mine was a bit tough and the mash needed salt. It was served with really good onions. Dave had the pork belly (R170) and Eric had beef fillet (R195) served with a pepper whiskey sauce (R25) as their main courses. The average cost of a main course is R152.00

Mussel Starter Raphaels at Asara, Stellenbosch

Mussel Starter

For dessert Bev had the Lemon Tart (R60) which was amazing with the tart lemon taste making your mouth pucker. I had Madagascar crème brûlée (R55) which was excellent. It was served with shortbread biscuits that Dave enjoyed, and an apple sorbet that was not fantastic. Overall the meal was great and we will go back.

Lambs Liver Raphaels at Asara, Stellenbosch

Lambs Liver

The service was above average and the staff were friendly. However, they need to have someone manning the front desk at all times. There was a function downstairs the night we were having dinner and the noise from the speeches was invasive! When we asked the waitress to get them to turn the sound down she looked at us blankly! The restaurant is beautifully laid out with high end crockery and cutlery and proper napkins on the tables.

Madagascar Crème Brûlée Raphaels at Asara, Stellenbosch

Madagascar crème brûlée

Open Monday to Sunday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Contact them on +27 21 888 8000 – reservations recommended during holiday season.

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Recipe For Chocolate Candies

When we were younger, my sister and I lived next door to 2 boys who were the same age as we were. We would climb the wall between our houses to play and sometimes we would even play ball games over the wall. I remember spending a lot of time with them having fun. We would climb trees, have picnics on the roof or in the Rolls Royce and it was there that I learnt to play chess. At the same time I was an avid reader, and my books included the Secret Seven series. I remember lying in bed at night and imagining that there was a secret passageway into our neighbours house. If I just concentrated hard enough, the passage would open and I would be able to walk there at any time. Of course, this never happened! But if it had, I would have been able to do a lot of things without anyone knowing icon smile Recipe For Chocolate Candies One thing I do not need to hide and keep a secret are these Chocolate Candies. They are a sweet treat that are good for you! They contain ingredients one could group as super foods, and they taste good. I hope you give them a try and enjoy them.

What did you imagine when you were a child?

Chocolate Candies Recipe For Chocolate Candies

Chocolate Candies

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Candies
These sweet treats have a health factor that make you want to eat more!
  • 80g coconut oil
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 135g honey
  • 2.5mls vanilla extract
  • Pinch of flaked salt
  • 45g cacao nibs
  • 45g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
  • 45g dried blueberries
  1. Place the coconut oil into a small sauce pan
  2. Over a low heat, melt the oil
  3. Add the cocoa, honey, vanilla and salt and whisk to mix
  4. Stir in the nibs, nuts and berries
  5. Remove from the heat and pour into a lined baking tin
  6. Place into the fridge to set before cutting into candies
Cooks Notes
You will need to keep these candies in the fridge to prevent them from melting.

I have made these using 15g cacao nibs, 45g goji berries and 60g dried blueberries with great results.

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

Healthy Chocolate Candies Recipe For Chocolate Candies

Healthy Chocolate Candies

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Out And About: Friday 5 December 2014

“Please remember others in need” were the words spoken when as a group we dropped off gifts and a R1000 Checkers voucher at Al Noor orphanage.

Al Noor Out And About: Friday 5 December 2014

Al Noor (image courtesy of Go4Word)

On Tuesday I was out and about with Checkers thanks to an invitation from Go4Word, attending this years’ #AllYouLove4Less Christmas dash. We started our morning with a coffee tasting and Greek biscuits and then headed out to participate in a trolley dash to choose Christmas presents for 39 children who live at Nazareth House. We were given a list with their ages, and a budget of R4000 from Checkers to spend. We split our team into the number of children in each age group and I have to thank each and every one of my team members for the great effort they made in choosing the best gifts! Jeani, Kath, Cath, Nina, Bernice and Dylan you guys rock and even though we were not the winning team (I was pushed out of the way so that the other team could claim this victory) we won the hearts of these children, and that is what counts. After our trolley dash we headed to lunch which included wines from Checkers Odd Bins selection. Once we had eaten our full, we went to the orphanage to present the children with gifts. This was a humbling experience and makes me determined to carry on with my theme of grace and gratitude for the year to come. If this was not enough of a gift, we were sent home with a goody bag including a bottle of MCC, Christmas crackers and salt and pepper grinders.

All You Love 4 Less Out And About: Friday 5 December 2014

All You Love 4 Less

Disclosure: I was invited to attend this function and my invitation was not based on me writing a blog post. This is in line with my blogging policy.

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Recipe For Guava Ice Cream

I cannot remember where we were, or what the conversation was, but someone mentioned the term domestic blindness and I wrote it down, thinking it would be a great topic for a post. Domestic blindness is the inability to see something that is plainly visible. Well, I am not sure about you, but I think this is a term that can be ascribed to any male living with someone. Dave suffers from this in the most profound way. He will open a cupboard looking for something, and shut it after a few seconds, exclaiming quite loudly that he cannot find whatever it is he was looking for. I will then go to the very same cupboard, open it and take out the item, without having to look further than the front row. This will happen when he looks in the drawers as well, so it is horizontal and vertical spaces that he has this issue with. Sometimes I find it most frustrating, and other times, quite endearing that he needs my help! One thing Dave does not need my help with is making dessert every night – which in his words he makes from scratch. What he really means is that he puts it into the bowls for us to enjoy. As I had been gifted so many guavas I made poached guavas to go with my guava ice cream.

Do you suffer from domestic blindness, or does your partner suffer from this?

Poached Guavas With Guava Ice Cream Recipe For Guava Ice Cream

Poached Guavas With Guava Ice Cream

Guava Ice Cream
for the guavas
  • 150g water
  • 150g sugar - I used fructose
  • 1 star anise
  • 300g peeled weight guavas, cut in half
for the crème anglaise
  • 300mls milk
  • 200mls cream
  • 1 star anise
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 80g sugar - I used fructose
for the guavas
  1. Place the water and sugar into a sauce pan
  2. Bring to the boil and stir until the sugar dissolves
  3. Boil for 5 minutes and then reduce the heat
  4. Add the guavas and poach for 30 minutes until soft
  5. Strain and retain the simple syrup for future use, discard the star anise
  6. Purée the guavas and leave in the fridge overnight
for the crème anglaise
  1. Gently heat the milk and the cream with the star anise in a sauce pan until blood temperature
  2. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until reaches a ribbon stage
  3. Pour half of the milk over the eggs, whisking the entire time
  4. Pour the eggs back into the sauce pan and stir with a wooden spoon over a medium heat until a custard form
  5. Strain and place into the fridge overnight
for the ice cream
  1. Whisk the guavas into the crème anglaise until completely mixed
  2. Churn in your ice cream maker until the desired consistency
  3. Place into a freezer container and freeze

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In My Kitchen December 2014

This is a very short instalment to end off the year and share with you what is new In My Kitchen. I want to take the opportunity to wish Celia (from Fig Jam And Lime Cordialand her family a blessed Christmas. I love these #IMK posts and I cannot wait to come back in 2015 and share more with you.

This month I have done a lot of baking. I did not post the recipe for the cupcakes that I made. They were part of a competition for Yuppiechef and I used a sponge cake recipe that was given to us, to make these cupcakes. I did not win but my effort was rewarded with a voucher and I have used that to get myself some new attachments for my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer.

Baking for Yuppiechef In My Kitchen December 2014

Baking for Yuppiechef

We received the most beautiful table gifts at the launch of La Bella Restaurant and Bistro and I have left this cheese board on our table as a permanent fixture. I love the texture of the wood! It came with a cheese knife and fork set.

Cheese Board In My Kitchen December 2014

Cheese Board

I reckon I have the largest collection of Kitchen Aid attachments and I cannot stop collecting them. I already have drums for medium and coarse shredding as well as slicing and I have now added a potato grater, a drum for stripping (Julienne) and one for fine shredding. I hope to test the fine shredder on horseradish when it is next in season.

Kitchen Aid Optional Drums In My Kitchen December 2014

Kitchen Aid Optional Drums

I had a 15% discount voucher for Le Creuset from the latest issue of Taste Magazine and I used it to buy an espresso mug in their new colour palm.

Le Creuset Palm In My Kitchen December 2014

Le Creuset Palm

We have an 8 seater dining room table and I wanted 8 espresso mugs to use for desserts. I now have 8 and I cannot wait to use them.

Le Creuset Espresso Mugs In My Kitchen December 2014

Le Creuset Espresso Mugs

At the Baleia Bay Wines launch we were given a wine opener and bottle stopper. I love that the wine opener has a bottle opener on it as well, as that is something most useful in our house.

Wine Opener And Bottle Stopper In My Kitchen December 2014

Wine Opener And Bottle Stopper

I want to thank each and every one of you for taking a peek into my kitchen. I hope that you come back next month to see what is new.

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