Recipe For Spicy Chicken Livers

Chicken livers form a staple part of the diet in any Jewish household. We serve chopped liver at Passover, together with chopped herring, gefilte fish and chicken soup with matza balls. We make chicken liver pâté to serve with rye bread which is one of my favourite ‘asides’ to make. My recipe is full of butter and I had to stop making it each week when the pounds piled on. Chicken livers sautéed quickly in a pan is another firm favourite. And despite these three dishes being common to my heritage, I have never blogged about them. For the Enkosi Cookathon we were tasked with making spicy chicken livers. Please click on the link to see the original recipe for the dish, what is here is what I did.

"spicy chicken livers"

spicy chicken livers


Spicy Chicken Livers
  • 30mls olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 250g chicken livers
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 15g fresh coriander
  • 30mls lemon juice
  • salt to season
  • 15mls cream
  • 15g butter, melted
  1. heat 15mls olive oil in a large frying pan
  2. sauté the onion and the garlic until soft
  3. add the chicken livers and cook thoroughly
  4. mix the chilli, coriander, lemon juice, salt and 15mls olive oil in a mortar and pestle
  5. remove the livers from the heat and chop them up
  6. add the relish and the cream
  7. mix well and pour over the butter

Click on the links for conversions and notes.


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Recipe For Creamy Pasta With Beef

I am loving being in The Secret Recipe Club, as I have met so many bloggers! The time difference is the only thing that does not work well for me – the afternoon’s for me are busy, and so I only get to the posts the day after they are published. This month my assigned blog is Good Thymes and Good Food. Rachel is originally from Florida (where some of my family live) and she now lives in Atlanta. I have been to the airport there countless of times, but have never been out of the airport as I have always been in transit. Rachel is a stay at home mom – how blessed her son is :)

As I also participate in Presto Pasta Nights and my draft folder is empty of pasta recipes, I chose the first pasta recipe I found on the blog. It had so many of my favourite ingredients in the recipe, I knew it would be great, even before I tried it. I chose not to do a holiday recipe, as that is the farthest thing on my mind right now. This is the busiest time of the year for me work wise. I made a little extra for the freezer – there may be a night soon that I don’t have time to cook!

"Creamy Pasta With Beef, Sundried Tomatoes And Mushrooms"

Creamy Pasta With Beef, Sundried Tomatoes And Mushrooms

Creamy Pasta with Beef, Sundried Tomatoes and Mushrooms for The Secret Recipe Club:
  • 4 rashers streaky bacon
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 250g ground beef
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 120g mushrooms, chopped
  • 60mls sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 15g butter
  • 30mls olive oil
  • 45mls flour
  • 375mls chicken stock
  • 80mls cream
  • 200g pasta
  • 125mls frozen peas
  • 125mls grated Parmesan
  1. add the bacon to a frying pan over a medium heat and cook until crisp
  2. remove from the pan and chop
  3. sauté the onions and the garlic until soft
  4. add the beef and brown
  5. season and add the mushrooms and cook until soft
  6. add the sundried tomatoes and the bacon and leave to simmer
  7. in a separate saucepan melt the butter in the with the olive oil over a low heat
  8. add the flour and cook for at least 30 seconds
  9. add the stock while whisking the whole time
  10. whisk in the cream
  11. add 1 cup of the sauce to the meat and leave to simmer for 20 minutes while you bring your pasta water to the boil
  12. cook the pasta as per the package instructions
  13. add the peas and heat through
  14. add more sauce to your liking
  15. add the Parmesan and allow the cheese to melt
  16. loosen the sauce with the pasta water before tossing in your cooked pasta

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by Rachel who blogs over at The Crispy Cook

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Cape Winelands Cuisine

I am originally from the Northern Suburbs of Johannesburg, and grew up in an area where Italian was the second most spoken language. I am a not quite third generation South African – my paternal grandmother was born here, but not my father. My maternal grandparents were immigrants, and my mother was born here. Afrikaans was not a language I succeeded at grasping. Then, over 10 years ago we moved to what was known as the Boland. We border on the Overberg – two very Afrikaans areas. And, in order to do business, I had to improve my Afrikaans. I am now confidently twee taalig (bilingual) to the point where I could understand the wonderful interview format of the launch of Cape Winelands Cuisine.

"Cape Winelands Cuisine"

Cape Winelands Cuisine

This recipe book combines the history of the region and celebrates the cultural heritage of the Cape. It reflects the development of food since the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck in the 17th Century. Hetta van Deventer has showcased the very best the region has to offer. The book will appeal to both locals who want to know more about the historical foods of the area, as well as tourists who want to take home a memento of their vacation in our beautiful country. The recipes are about traditional South African foods with the focus on the Cape Winelands. One of the most touching aspects of the interview was how the recipe book was referred to as their baby! Hetta, Mickey and Jacques have created a large baby but despite its size, it is not fully inclusive as there are too many recipes to have put them all in the book. It does however include all the popular dishes, not only the common ones. The recipes keep in mind that not everything is readily available but it does include South Africa’s heirloom vegetables. These old fashioned recipes have been reworked to suit today’s modern palate. Seasonal produce is very important and the regional concept is specific to the book. The dishes are Afrikaans in origin and the Afrikaans names have been used. There is something in it for everyone with a concept of the family table being emphasized.

"Cape Winelands Cuisine Recipe"

Cape Winelands Cuisine Recipe

Our arrival was marked with some interesting dishes and refreshments. I did not try the ginger beer with rose geranium, but I am definitely going to make myself this drink the next time we have a hot summer’s day. The oyster and marrow pie was a unique burst of flavour in my mouth. I found them a bit sweet and also steered away from the traditional cupcakes – kolwyntjies – and mosbeskuit on offer. I decided to save my sugar allocation for dessert and I was glad I did.

"Cape Winelands Cuisine Food"

Cape Winelands Cuisine Food

Lunch started with a Cape bokkom salad. It was a first for me trying dried salted fish and it is something I would use again in my cooking. The pickled fish was lovely and when I told Dave I had eaten pickled fish he was amazed as he did not know I liked it. He was more amazed by this than by the fact I had also tried offal brawn. The mini Cape meatballs, better known as frikkadelle were not to my taste. Rolpens is another offal dish, known as andolie by the French Huguenots. This dish was not only introduced to the new world here, but also in Louisiana where andouille is a Creole ingredient found in jambalaya. I tasted the pickled tongue which reminded me of my grandmother and enjoyed the lovely homemade bread.

"Cape Winelands Cuisine Sweets"

Cape Winelands Cuisine Sweets

I was slightly baffled that we were not given a choice of main courses but thankfully Linda suggested we share and I got to taste her lovely pan fried Franschoek trout which was served with a sweetcorn fritter, a red wine sauce and turnip dauphinoise. My sweet and sour pumpkin and lamb stew was no match for the fish, but the accompanying wine and company more than made up for it. The dessert of sweet soup with fruit sorbet and fresh berries went down a treat and was followed by coffee. Coffee was accompanied by biscuits, Cape fruit tarts, macaroons, apple marmalade, kwartiertertjies (samosas), oblietjies (small waffles) with cream and cheese tart and preserves. I managed to get a small collection to bring home for David and he really enjoyed the lot.

"Cape Winelands Cuisine Recipe Cards"

Cape Winelands Cuisine Recipe Cards

Our lovely gift included these recipe cards, and I am looking forward to trying them out. Thank you to La Motte for inviting me to this launch.

Disclaimer: I was an invited guest at the launch and my invitation was not dependent on me writing a blog post. This post is in line with my blogging policy.


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Friday’s Food Quiz Number 68

Cray fishing season is in full swing and I get three hours on a windless day to do what ever I want. I have started by putting some granola in the oven and as soon as I have done the quiz set by Pink I am going to start on my Fresh From The Oven challenge for this month.

1. Who introduced Turkeys to Europe?

The Americans? 

2. What is Gammon?

a cut of ham referring to the hind leg of a pig

3. What are the three main ingredients of the cocktail Cosmopolitan?

I have convinced myself that these are good for my health, as I have kidney stones! Vodka,   Triple Sec and cranberry juice

4. What are Mince pies filled with nowadays?

Dried fruit, spices, apples, zest and Brandy

5. What is a Bundt cake?

A cake that has a distinct ring shape

"Lavender Surprise Bundt Cake"

Lavender Surprise Bundt Cake

6. Where did Panforte originate from?




7. What is sprue?


8. What is fresh coriander called in America?


9. In which country is stollen a traditional Christmas cake?




10. What is Chami?

I am stumped! 


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Recipe For Barbecue Sauce

When I was first diagnosed as being sucrose intolerant cutting sugar out of my diet was easy. I read the labels of everything in my fridge and pantry and threw out all the food I could no longer eat. Since then I have become a label reader. I had to toss my favourite provitas and forego desserts. Something my sweet tooth has never adjusted to totally. After a few months of this I once again had a weight loss problem and I consulted with a nutritionist at the Diabetic Association. She told me to trust my taste buds and to not eat anything that tasted too sweet. As I have grown older, my intolerance is not so bad and it is controlled by the intake of chromium. But, I never push it unless I am ordering dessert in a restaurant. So, I do not buy bottled sauces and prepared products. For my meatloaf recipe I had to make my own barbecue sauce and without looking for a recipe I just made one up. Not sure if it tastes like the real thing as I have never tasted bottled Barbecue Sauce but it worked well in this recipe, which is what mattered to me.

"Barbecue Sauce"

Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue Sauce
  • 60mls ketchup
  • 15mls Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 drops Tabasco
  • 5mls soy sauce
  1. mix the ingredients together to combine


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Recipe For Fudge

The 7th of every month sees the Crazy Cooking Challenge reveal. This month we were challenged to make fudge. I was so pleased when my google search revealed my friend Sam’s blog – Drizzle and Dip. However, two attempts at fudge making were not successful. I am not sure why, as I have never made fudge before on the stove top – but the recommended temperature of 118° Celsius was reached both times – and by the time it got there, it had gone past the fudge stage and all you could smell was burnt sugar. It was more like toffee gone wrong than anything else. My friend Shirley sent me her fail safe recipe and she told me not to adjust the quantities as it will not work if halved. I wonder if this could be the problem as I halved Sam’s recipe as I wanted to try a sugar free version first. In quite a state with the 7th looming, I tweeted for help and my friend Carey recommended I use her recipe. Dave used to make fudge when he was a child and so he popped in to the kitchen to help – which was great, as I could take photographs. He says this fudge is good, and I can tell you it is easy to make. Do give it a try!

"fudge making"

fudge making

Makes: makes 24 squares
  • 4 cups sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 can full cream condensed milk
  • 125g butter
  • 30mls corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  1. put the sugar, water, condensed milk, butter and syrup into a large pot (this is to prevent it boiling over)
  2. heat gently allowing the sugar to dissolve
  3. raise to 115° Celsius and keep it boiling for about 30 minutes until it caramelizes and thickens
  4. do not let the fudge get above 118° Celsius
  5. watch the bubbles change and when they are big in the middle you are at the fudge stage
  6. check this by dropping a small amount into water – it should for a soft ball
  7. remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and vinegar
  8. beat the fudge with an electric beater on a low speed to avoid splash backs which can result in bad burns (use lavender essential oil on a burn straight away to prevent blisters)
  9. do this until the colour lightens and it has thickened and it has started crystallizing against the side of the pot
  10. pour into a lined rectangular dish and cool until firm enough to cut into squares (about 20 minutes)
  11. allow to stand for 1 hour before removing from the dish


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Recipe For Pasta With Beef Ox Liver

I love chicken livers but have never been brave enough to try any other livers. Dave keeps telling me how nice they are and then a couple of months ago I saw that Woolworths have started stocking beef ox liver. It cannot be frozen and when I saw it I could not buy them to use straight away and so I ‘filed’ the information away to use at a later stage. Then while I was in Johannesburg my dad got some liver and we made it for supper. It was really good, and I knew I could make a recipe for pasta with liver when I got back home. Dave was most surprised when he saw the livers in the shopping and I think we both enjoyed the rich iron flavours of this dish. My gran taught my mother to steep the livers in milk first – I did not do this but I did ensure that I did not season the livers until they were sealed. This gave me tender liver bites and it is the one ‘trick’ I will use again when making livers of any kind.

"Pasta With Beef Ox Liver"

Pasta With Beef Ox Liver

Pasta With Beef Ox Liver
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, cut in half and sliced
  • ½ teaspoon sugar – I used fructose
  • 500g beef ox liver
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  1. while your pasta water is coming to a boil, gently heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan
  2. sauté the onion with the sugar over a low heat until very soft and golden
  3. remove and set aside
  4. heat the remaining oil and pan fry the livers over a medium heat to seal
  5. as soon as they are browned, remove and slice
  6. deglaze the pan with the wine
  7. add back the onions and liver plus any juices from slicing the liver
  8. season to taste and stir in the cream

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by Jamie of Cookin’ with Moxie


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Friday’s Food Quiz Number 67

Yes, it is Monday and no, you are not confused. It is just that I do not blog over the weekends or while on holiday and so the Friday quiz is being done today – Monday. I am at home bed resting with flu – this is not the right time for me to get sick, so the remedies better work. Pink has been doing these quizzes when she can – do go and take a look! Here are my answers:

1. Why do apples and potatoes turn brown when sliced? the enzymes in the apples and potatoes react upon exposure to oxygen to turn brown

2. What is another name for an Oyster mushroom? abalone mushroom

3. What is the difference between “Coconut milk” and “Cream of coconut”? coconut cream is the first extract and coconut milk is the second extract when making this product from fresh coconut – read here for more on how to make this at home yourself

4. Can baking powder being used as a substitute for baking soda? I would have to guess no, as baking soda is an ingredient in baking powder and baking is chemistry

5. Are clarified butter and butter ghee the same? yes

6. Where did Key lime pie originate? I am going to guess Florida America as that is where I think Key limes come from, and Americans make pies out of anything

7. What is the name of the vegetables in the following photo?


8. What is black pudding? blood sausage

9. What is Aspic? a savoury dish of ingredients set in gelatin

10. If a dish is called “A la Provencale”, what does it contain? garlic, tomatoes and olive oil


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Taste Blog Star

For the November Issue of Taste Magazine, I was featured as the blog star, together with my recipe for duck egg ravioli. Here is the complete ‘interview':

"Taste Magazine"

Taste Magazine

1. When did your love of cooking begin?

I really started loving cooking when I moved out of home and started cooking for myself. But, my earliest baking memories are from when I was a child and I baked with my grandmother for the Jewish High Holy Days.
2. When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog in September 2009 because I wanted to write a restaurant review. It just took off from there, and now I am posting at least three recipes a week.
3. Where did the name Lavender and Lime come from?
I started writing a recipe book in 2001 and that was the name of the book. I decided to call my blog the same so that when the book was published there was already a link.
4. What is your favourite part of blogging?
The interaction with my readers, and the amazing friends I have made, both in the virtual world, and in real life
5. What is your day job?
I am a branch manager for a hardware wholesaling company and a motor spares accessories company. I also run my own business selling natural and organic products.
6. What, apart from blogging are your hobbies?
My first love is motor sport but I also love to read and exercise, by taking walks on the beach with my dogs.
7. What’s your favourite fallback meal?
It would have to be roast chicken. I always use Woolworths organic chickens and I make a trivet of chicken wings. The chicken gets stuffed with herbs, lemon and garlic and this recipe never lets me down.
8. What is the most adventurous meal you’ve ever made?
The most adventurous recipe would have to be the dried shitake mushroom and apricot biscotti that I made for Delheim wines. The most adventurous meal is the duck egg ravioli I have made as prompted by this interview.
9. What dish do you steer clear of making because it’s a) too convoluted, b) too complicated?
I have yet to come across a recipe I won’t try, and if I don’t get it right the first time I will try again. In fact, the simplest of recipes has taken me the longest to perfect.
10. What food blogs do you follow?
I read a lot of food blogs! I read most of the blogs on Taste, and some of the ones on food24 plus a wide selection of local and international blogs. I have a daily few which include amongst others The Only Cin from South Africa, Fig Jam and Lime Cordial from Australia, Chica Andaluza from Spain and The Kitchens Garden from America.

11. Tell us a bit more about your blog’s weekly challenges? And your daily diary?

The weekly challenge is my way of getting through all the recipes I have collected over the years. I do a regional and seasonal challenge once a month to highlight that we need to support our local farmers. The daily diary is a pure transposition of my paper journal I have kept for years. There is something so permanent about putting it on line and I really get to look back over my day and see that there is always something to be grateful for.
12. Which three ingredients would you take to a desert island?
Garlic, oil and pasta
13. What kitchen gadgets wouldn’t you be able to live without?
I have a lot of kitchen gadgets – my bread maker gets used once a week but I could live without it! I think it would have to be my Wusthof Chef’s knife, and my Scanpan pots – the rest of the gadgets are just to make my life easy, but with a good knife and a good pot, you can cook anything.
14. What would your last meal on earth be?
This changes depending on when I am asked. But, I think it would have to be roast chicken with all the trimmings.
15. What is your food philosophy?
Eat local and eat well. If you treat your food and your body with respect, you will be healthy.


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Pasta Maker For Sale

I have a very well loved pasta maker that I would like to sell. It is the Atlas 150 model. The body of the machine is entirely made of Nickel-Plated and Chrome-Plated Steel for long-term resistance to corrosion.  The rollers include an opening for the handle (included) and motor (not included) to fit. The included handle and clamp have hand grips made of ABS suitable for food use. Included are two recipe books with detailed instructions in various languages and basic recipes. Roll out perfect pasta dough to the exact width and thickness you prefer with the Atlas Pasta Maker. It comes with a cutter for angel hair pasta and taglietelle as well as a ravioli maker. The total value of this is R1426 – excluding P&P. If you would like to purchase this from me, please let me know. I want R1000 for the entire lot.

"Pasta Maker"

Pasta Maker

This has been sold!


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