Challenge: Buttermilk Or Soured Cream

This weekend I am going to try and bake as much as possible. I have a challenge or two to complete and it should be fun. I did not bake last week so this entire week we have had no cake for dessert. I am sure going to make up for it tomorrow.

The challenge this week is to bake something sweet using buttermilk or soured cream.

Don’t forget to link back to my blog if you take part in the challenge – and leave me a message that you have done so. Take a look at the Regional and Seasonal challenge if you would like to stand a chance of winning something.

Tandy

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Recipe For Venison Stew

We were very fortunate to be given some Springbok from a friend at a very reasonable price. He charged us R100 (€10) for two loins, a shoulder and a leg, plus some bits and pieces for stewing, etc. The springbok is our national animal – it is venison, and our rugby players are known as the Bokke. Here in South Africa, we take great pride in our rugby – it is the national sport. It is also the sport that brought a nation together when we won the world cup in 1995. It is one of our proudest moments when the shout of “Joel you beaut!” was heard across the world as Joel Stransky kicked the winning points of the match. Springboks, as there name suggest, bounce all over the show – much like the thoughts in my head at present. This post has taken a path all of its own, much like my recipes do when I start cooking with no real plan in mind.

"Springbok Bredie | Venison Stew"

Springbok Bredie | Venison Stew

Bokkie (Springbok) Bredie – Venison Stew
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 250g venison, cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish rub
  • 1 400g tin whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 400g tin waterblommetjies, drained
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2 potatoes, quartered
Method
  1. heat the oil in a casserole pot
  2. brown the venison, remove and set aside
  3. add the onion and sauté until soft
  4. add the rub (you can use any Spanish inspired spices)
  5. when you can smell the spices return the meat and the juices to the pot
  6. add the tomatoes, waterblommetjies, wine and potatoes
  7. cover and simmer for 50 minutes
  8. remove the lid and allow the sauce to thicken

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

ps waterblommetjie is a water hawthorn, which is indigenous so the area where I live. If you live in Australia, England, France and America (specifically California) you should be able to source them.

Tandy

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Recipe For Tapas Tomatoes Chicken

This blog post follows on from my Tapas Tomatoes post even though it has not appeared in my blogging time line in that order. I usually try and write a post a day – but as I am quite ahead of myself in blogging (even though I am behind date wise) I have quite a few posts scheduled in my draft folder. My tapas tomatoes recipe was entered into the Food24.com Vinatics Competition. I sent an email with the link to Cathy who deals with the wine side, and Caro who deals with the food side on food24, with my entry. Unfortunately, the reply for Cathy sent by Caro came to my email address by mistake. And I was hurt and upset that I was spoken about in such a manner ostensibly behind my back. So upset, that this is the first blog post I have actually written for ten days as my blogging words have left me. A throw away remark seems to have hit an arrow into a fragile part of me. I have forgiven Caro her words, but the fact remains that her words took away my mojo. Words once spoken can never be taken back. I hope that my words never cause hurt nor harm. In the same way I speak only positive things I hope my recipes are a positive as well.

"Tapas Tomatoes Chicken"

Tapas Tomatoes Chicken

Tapas Tomatoes Chicken
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 4 chicken pieces
  • 1 portion tapas tomatoes
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 60mls yoghurt
Method
  1. heat the oil in a casserole dish
  2. season and brown the chicken
  3. add the tapas tomatoes and the white wine
  4. cover and simmer for 40 minutes
  5. remove the lid and add the yoghurt

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

Tandy

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Dandelion

Dandelion flowers make a delicious wine and the vitamin rich, slightly bitter young leaves are used in cooking and the roots are used to make herbal ‘coffee’. Dandelion is a perennial with a thick, fleshy, deep taproot and a rosette of coarsely toothed leaves. From the leaves emerge many unbranched flower stalks, each terminating in a double golden yellow flower. The flowers are followed by spherical balls of seed which are dispersed by the wind.

photograph sourced from Wikipedia

Dandelion will thrive if you dig the soil deeply and enrich it with rotted compost. It requires a sunny situation and prefers a neutral to slightly alkaline soil. Sow the seed directly into the soil in spring. The plants die down in winter. Cut spent flowers to prevent reseeding.

Blanch the leaves for culinary purposes by covering them from the light for 2 to 3 weeks before harvesting in late spring, and before flowering occurs. Lift the roots at the end of the second season. Both leaves and roots can be dried for herbal use.

The variety ‘thick leaved’ has leaves that can be used fresh in salads or cooked like spinach. Make a fizzy soft drink from fermented dandelion root.

Dandelion acts as a diuretic!

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

Tandy

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Recipe For Coppa And Courgette Pasta With Exotic Mushrooms

I do not like moral dilemma’s. I don’t want to have to argue with myself whether telling or not telling is a good thing. Or alternatively, whether telling or not telling is a bad thing. I am sitting here knowing a friend of mine is hurting herself with her choices. She is making them from an adult, grown up perspective and so I should sit back and allow her to do so. But her choices are hurting her. They are hurting her physiologically and psychologically and it breaks my heart to see her hurting so. But, if I tell her that I know she is doing this she may just pull out of our friendship. That would mean not being there when she really needs someone. I also don’t want her to hide the issues surrounding her, as in the end that would be worse. So, I feel I am left with no choice but to let her carry on making decisions which are harming her. I will have to hope someone else will confront her and tell her. Maybe that is being a bit cowardly, but I really don’t know what other choice to make right now! At least for dinner, this choice was easy. I looked in my fridge, found some coppa, courgettes and mushrooms and made a simple pasta.

"Coppa And Courgette Pasta With Exotic Mushrooms"

Coppa And Courgette Pasta With Exotic Mushrooms

Coppa And Courgette Pasta With Exotic Mushrooms
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 slices of coppa, sliced
  • 150g exotic mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 5 courgettes, thinly sliced
  • 20g Parmesan grated
Method
  1. while your pasta is cooking heat the olive oil in a large frying pan
  2. add the coppa and the mushrooms
  3. when they mushrooms start to soften add the garlic and the courgettes
  4. thin the sauce out with a tablespoon of the pasta water
  5. add the parmesan with the pasta and toss all together

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by Kirsten who blogs over at From Kirsten’s Kitchen To Yours

Tandy

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Big Bottle Wine Event

I am doing a picture review of the big bottle event only. Cindy who invited me to join her has done a fantastic review which you can read here. Below is a photograph of Cindy, and the gardens of the Cellars Hohenhort Hotel. The venue was well suited to this event and there were only a few occasions where I felt there was not enough space for all of us.

"big bottle event"

© big bottle event

these bottles represent just a few of the wines we tasted – I was impressed with most of them and I discovered a few new wine estates that we will visit this coming summer on our days off from work.

"big bottle event"

© big bottle event

the next two photographs get a special mention! Notice my empty glass next to the champagne. The guy serving the champagne not only refused to give us a taste, he would not even speak to us. BAD FORM! I drink a lot of champagne, so you can all guess which one won’t be on my shopping list! The second photograph depicts Idiom wine, and their perfume. The perfume is made to match the notes of the wine and I loved it. I have a huge collection of essential oils and wish I could recreate the scent.

"big bottle event"

© big bottle event

the last photograph collection is of the canapes we enjoyed. Taking center stage is the steak tartare which to my taste buds was the best taste of the day and I had more than one! The left corner is a sea urchin from which I sipped on a fish broth. The least favourite was the bottom right of fois gras mousse with vanilla. It was too sweet and nothing like the amazing fois gras I have tasted in France.

"big bottle event"

© big bottle event

Tandy

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Friday’s Food Quiz Number 65

I had the luxury of a Saturday morning to myself, loafing on the couch, sipping on coffee and watching the rugby – bliss. Pink has posted this week’s quiz, and here are my answers:

1. Is couscous a grain or pasta?

cous cous is a grain

2. The dish “Osso bucco” uses what cut of meat?

shin

3. What is “bubble and squeak” made off?

potatoes and cabbage, and any other left over vegetables from a roast dinner

4. Which fruit is used in a black forest cake?

cherries

5. What are the small snacks served with drinks in Spain called?

tapas

6. What is “Ciboulette” more commonly known as?

chives

7. Which herb flavours a béarnaise sauce?

tarragon

8. What is Finocchio?

fennel

9. What is Madiba’s (Nelson Mandela’s) favourite dish?

spaghetti

10. What kind of fish is used in rollmops?

herring

Tandy

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Chocolate Chip Cookies For The Crazy Cooking Challenge

This month, the Crazy Cooking Challenge is to make chocolate chip cookies. Being sucrose intolerant, this is one recipe I have not tried before, as it necessitates chopping up whole sugar free chocolate, and I have never really been bothered to go to all that work for a simple cookie. However, being challenged I set about searching the South African web pages for inspiration.
Photobucket

As you can see from my widgets, I am a yuppie chef and so I went to their on line magazine and found an article on the science behind chocolate chip cookies and so used their recipe to create my sugar free version. I have a digital scale and it shows ounces and grams and so the grams in the recipe are the exact measurements. However, you can round them up / down to the nearest whole reading and it will work out the same.

© chocolate chip cookies

© chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 113g butter (4oz)
  • 141g sugar (5oz) – I used fructose
  • 1 egg
  • 169g flour (6oz)
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 80g chocolate chips
Method
  1. cream the butter and the sugar
  2. add the egg and mix well
  3. gradually beat in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, and salt
  4. stir in the chocolate chips
  5. place the cookie dough in some cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour
  6. preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
  7. form small balls and place them on a baking sheet
  8. press the balls flat with your thumb – don’t forget to leave space between them
  9. bake for 8 minutes

Please see my Secret Santa post here for the season of giving!

Tandy

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Something Savoury

I am posting the challenge today, instead of tomorrow morning as I have a community post scheduled for this evening which will have to double up as my Saturday post. Last week I issued the Regional and Seasonal Challenge which includes a give away – do go and take a look at it!

This week the challenge is to cook something savoury using shin.

If you take part in the challenge please link back to my blog in your post and here:

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This link back will close next Friday but you can do the challenge anytime you want and I will include you in the round up.

Tandy

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Recipe For Mixed Mushroom Ragu

My mom’s friend has become my friend on facebook. It is quite a thing this social networking. I am slowly becoming better at it. However, I have hidden my facebook profile so that ex school ‘friends’ cannot find me. I reckon that after 30 years if I have not spoken to someone they are really not my friend!

I am a JD Robb fan and she writes books set from 2058 onwards. She talks of off planet which are the inhabited planets other than earth. Dave and I live off planet as far as some of our family is concerned. So, facebook is a great way for me to know which cousin is pregnant, which nephew is in a relationship and even maybe soon which niece is getting married.

I am facebook friends with quite a few bloggers, some of whom I have met in real life, and others who are just a status line on my wall. I consider each of these friends important as I ‘talk’ with them everyday. So, back to my mom’s friend. Carol and Michael used to live in South Africa and I have had the pleasure of eating at their table. They now live in London, and Carol shared this recipe for mixed mushroom ragu with me. I have changed it a bit from the original: I did not have onions and I used Port instead of Sherry due to my sucrose intolerance.

"Mixed Mushroom Ragu"

Mixed Mushroom Ragu

Mixed Mushroom Ragu
 
Ingredients
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 5mls coriander seeds, crushed
  • 30mls red wine vinegar
  • 5mls soy sauce
  • 15mls port
  • 10mls tomato paste
  • 10mls soft light brown sugar – I used fructose
  • 150mls vegetable stock
  • 350g mixed mushrooms, sliced – you can use button, chestnut mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, shitake etc.
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
Method
  1. put the shallot, garlic, coriander, vinegar, soy, port, tomato paste, sugar and stock into a large saucepan
  2. bring to the boil and reduce the heat
  3. cover and simmer for 5 minutes
  4. uncover the saucepan and simmer for 5 more minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by half
  5. add the mushrooms and simmer for 3 minutes
  6. season to suit your palate
  7. remove the mushrooms from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a serving dish
  8. keep warm, if serving hot
  9. boil the juices for about 5 minutes or until reduced to about 75mls
  10. check your seasoning and then allow to cool for 2-3 minutes
  11. pour over the mushrooms
  12. serve hot or well chilled
Cooks Notes
NOTES FROM CAROL
I don’t often use oyster mushrooms, I usually mix button and chestnut, or even just chestnut.
I also don’t always reduce the liquid because it is rather nice when it is a little bit more runny.

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

Tandy

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