A trip down memory lane – my 7 links

My friend Mandy who blogs as The Complete Cook Book has paid forward the “7 Links Challenge” by nominating me.  The purpose of the challenge is to select posts from 7 categories from your blog and invite other bloggers to do the same. Karen, from Back Road Journal has nominated me as well. I want to thank both of you for your kindness icon smile A trip down memory lane – my 7 links

The 7 categories are:

  1. Most Popular Post
  2. Most Controversial Post
  3. Most Helpful Post
  4. Most Beautiful Post
  5. Most Surprisingly Successful Post
  6. Most Under Rated Post
  7. Most Proud of Post

This is a great way to unite bloggers from all over the globe and to re-introduce a few old and forgotten posts which may not have received any recognition from when we were still newby bloggers.

My 7 are:

Most Popular Post taken by the number of views, this is my recipe for Lamb Shank Curry

Most Controversial Post I don’t think I have posted anything yet that is controversial. Maybe I should? 

Most Helpful Post How to make Chinese Five Spice Powder

Most Beautiful Post For me this has to be the post about my recipe book

Most Surprisingly Successful Post My post about my Masterclass with James Martin

Most Under Rated Post The post I did for Project Food Blog – Burmese Chicken Curry

Most Proud of Post my recipe for crème brûlée  as it has been randomly tested by other bloggers with great success

I am paying this forward by asking the following bloggers to participate:

  1. Celia – Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
  2. CityHippyFarmGirl
  3. JamieAnne – A Dash of Domestic
  4. Linda – Fired Up Cooking SA
  5. Sawsan – Chef in Disguise
  6. Chica Andaluza
  7. Jacqeline – Tinned Tomatoes


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Friday’s Food Quiz Number 62

My friend Pink has been busy and this is the first quiz she has posted in a while. I am relieved as I have been very busy as well, but I am going to answer this now while I sit getting a massage from the clever cushion icon smile Fridays Food Quiz Number 62

1. What is a Mille Feuille?

The literal translation is a thousand leaves and refers to a puff pastry dessert that has crème patisserie between the layers of puff pastry and often a berry fruit is included

2. What is the national dish of Indonesia?

This one is hard to guess as the country is made up of various regions including Bali where I have been to. The population is mostly Muslim but Bali has a higher Hindu population. The one thing I saw a lot of was rice paddies and so a rice dish would be my guess. Nasi Goreng?

3. Percentage wise, how much water does a mushroom contain?

I gave away my mushroom notes before reading them – too much to do, too little time – to a friend who I know will read them and so I would have to guess here: 20%

4. What is Ponzu?

A condiment in my fridge! A citrus based sauced used in Japanese cooking – the base is mirin, rice vinegar, dried tuna flakes and seaweed. 

5. What is the national fruit of India?

I have never seen fruit served in an Indian restaurant but given than mango features prominently in the condiments I would have to guess mango?

6. What is the difference between a pawpaw and a papaya?

They are the same tropical fruit

7. What is “Caldo verde” and what is the main ingredient?

green soup and the main ingredient is kale

8. What enzyme does pineapples contain that tenderizes proteins?

bromelain – this same enzyme works as an anti inflammatory

9. What is Amchoor more commonly known as?

I do not know this!

10. What is a Machiato?

Macchiato is what I order and most often have to teach the person how to make. It is an espresso with a dollop of milk


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Recipe For Dried Mushroom Biscotti

I must have tested ten biscotti recipes, and each and every one has been different in some way but all have had the same results! They have not worked. So, when I was at lunch at Delheim for the mushroom day and we were presented with a chocolate mushroom cookie for dessert I knew the mushrooms would work much better in a biscotti. I told Nora this, and she promptly told me to go and make them. So, I had a great idea, but I did not have a great recipe. Trusting Sue when she said her recipe was so easy to make and that they worked, I risked all and used it. Knowing that baking is part chemistry and part instinct, I adapted the recipe to suit the dried mushrooms. The first part of the test was actually making them and the second part was taste testing them. I took them with to quiz night, and the 4 people who had one all said how great they were. Chantelle came around for morning coffee, and she left this comment on Delheim’s facebook wall:

These are AWESOME!! I had the pleasure of having one with my morning coffee!!!!

Dave (who enjoyed them by the way) took them to the racetrack, and the result was good. But the proof would really be when Nora herself made them. This is what she had to say:

Hi Tandy

Just finished my biscotti!!! Even Rudi my son tried some – he does not like the idea that there are mushrooms in but they smelled so nice he had to try.

I used a field mushroom I picked in the mountain yesterday and it weighed exactly 99.50 gm… think the recipe was made for it.

Thanks for taking the trouble to share it with me – I am passing it on to a friend in Italy if this is ok with you.

Regards Nora

So, I hope you give them a try – and if you don’t want to try mushrooms do what I did for my second batch and use pistachios and dried sour cherries, or use your imagination and go wild!

Dried Shitake Mushroom and Apricot Biscotti Recipe For Dried Mushroom Biscotti

Dried Shitake Mushroom and Apricot Biscotti

Dried Shitake Mushroom and Apricot Biscotti
  • 50g butter
  • 225g cake flour plus a little extra for dusting
  • 150g castor sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2.5mls baking powder
  • 100g dried mushrooms
  • 75g dried apricots, sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 5mls vanilla extract
  1. preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
  2. melt the butter in the microwave and cool slightly
  3. sieve the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into a large bowl
  4. add the mushrooms and the apricots and mix in well
  5. in a small bowl whisk together one of the eggs and the yolk of the second egg, the vanilla extract and the butter
  6. retain the second egg white and whisk slightly to break it up in case you need it to bring the dough together
  7. make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the egg and butter mix into it
  8. stir until it forms a dough, you might need to add some or all of the left over egg white to achieve this
  9. divide the dough into 2 equal pieces
  10. very lightly dust a work surface with a little flour and shape into 2 logs, each about 20cm long
  11. cover a large baking sheet with non-stick baking paper and place the logs on it leaving plenty of space between them
  12. bake for 40 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch
  13. remove from the oven and cool for 20 minutes
  14. using a sharp knife slice the biscotti logs on the diagonal into slices and arrange standing up in a single layer on the baking sheet
  15. return to the oven for 20 minutes to allow them to crisp up

If I were to make them again I would substitute the vanilla essence for truffle oil and I would add half a teaspoon of finely ground star anise.


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Recipe For Lime And Coriander Marinated Lamb Chops

I hardly ever think that what I do or say is taking the moral high ground but something has happened recently that made me think about moral issues. I never share a secret and so I expect the same from the people around me. But, who do you trust? I know I can trust a friend I have had for the last 30 years. I have been told so many secrets by so many people and sometimes I wonder if telling Dave counts as breaking the trust, but I know deep down, that it will be a betrayal. And so, I have secrets from my husband. I am the keeper of people’s sad / bad / not good things. Things that have happened to them, feelings that they have for other people, situations they have found themselves in. So, recently a friend shared something with me that was sacred – but she shared it with other people as well and one person broke her confidence which set about a chain reaction of events. People had to hide the truth of what they knew and I had to act in a way that conflicts with my moral compass. I want to tell the person to be aware and to not share her secrets, but if I tell her then she might cotton on to the fact that her secret has already been shared. She is going to find out eventually and I imagine she is going to be cross and angry, hurt and devastated. Even though the secret has been shared from a place of love, is that a good enough reason to break someone’s trust? I am in conflict here and most often when I face a dilemma I cook something to still my mind. I create a recipe to share with you, my reader. I let you into my confidence by not keeping kitchen secrets.

Lime And Coriander Marinated Lamb Chops Recipe For Lime And Coriander Marinated Lamb Chops

Lime And Coriander Marinated Lamb Chops

Lime And Coriander Marinated Lamb Chops
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice – freshly squeezed is best
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy bean oil
  • 1 2.5cm piece root ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • lamb chops
  1. place all the ingredients into a Ziploc bag and allow the chops to marinade for at least an hour
  2. cook the chops to your own taste


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Recipe For Coriander Pesto Pasta

A few years ago Dave and I decided that we would get a new side by side freezer/fridge for our joint Christmas present. The one I wanted will not fit into our new kitchen and so I had to settle for something different. It works well for the OCD part of me as the freezer drawers are marked – meat, chicken, fish, vegetables and ICE CREAM! It has a DIY ice maker and loads of freezer space. Given that I like to cook in rotation: meat, chicken, fish, vegetarian – the freezer works really well for me.  I buy my meat and chicken as needed, and in bulk and then I freeze in portions. I then take out the protein we are having, and the meal we end up eating is decided by the protein we have out. The day after I made the coriander pesto, we had chicken on the menu, and so I decided to use the two ingredients to create this dish.

Coriander Pesto Chicken Pasta Recipe For Coriander Pesto Pasta

Coriander Pesto Chicken Pasta

Coriander Pesto Chicken Pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 skinned and boned chicken breasts, sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • ⅛ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon coriander pesto
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
  1. while the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan
  2. season and seal the chicken and remove from the pan
  3. sauté the shallot until soft
  4. add the chilli flakes and the chicken
  5. stir in the pesto and the crème fraîche
  6. you may need to loosen the sauce with at least 1 tablespoon of the pasta water

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by Jennifer from For Such A Time As This


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Recipe For Coriander Pesto

My friend Kim has sent me this recipe which is a good heavy metal detox. One of the ingredients in this recipe is dulse. Living in a little village, we don’t even have a health shop let alone a specialty food store. So, I headed to town (read Somerset West) and not one of the three health shops I went to keeps dulse. Dulse is a red alga. Not only is it a good source of vitamins and minerals, it also contains trace elements and is a good source of protein. For people on a vegan diet, this would be essential. This pesto is really amazing in both taste and texture. As it is a heavy metal detox, Kim recommends that you only eat a couple of teaspoons a day. It freezes well so make it when coriander is in season and you will be able to enjoy this pesto all year round.

Coriander Pesto Recipe For Coriander Pesto

Coriander Pesto

Coriander Pesto
  • 500mls packed fresh coriander
  • 160mls wheatgerm oil &/ or olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 50g Brazil nuts
  • 55g sunflower seeds
  • 55g pumpkin seeds
  • 60mls lemon juice
  • 10mls dulse powder (as I could not find this, I did not use it)
  • Salt to taste
  1. process the coriander and oil in blender
  2. add the garlic, nuts, seeds, lemon juice and dulse and pulse until the mixture makes a paste
  3. add a pinch of salt to taste and blend again
Cooks Notes
Store in dark glass jars if possible

For conversions click here


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Recipe For Tomato Chicken Curry

I am a super organized person and a stickler for routine. In fact, only after reading Who Moved My Cheese did I learn to let go! However, I like things to be as they are – shopping on Mondays, gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays, reps calls on Wednesdays and Nadia on Friday’s. With all this routine you would think my time in the kitchen would be the same. But sadly, no, I do not do any mise-en-place. I never get everything lined up as I did in a professional kitchen. I just follow the recipe and get things out as I get down the list of what to do next. My friend Kim sent me a recipe for prawns in coconut milk with chilli and curry leaves, and the first thing I did was use chicken! Then, as I went to open the pantry cupboard for the coconut milk I discovered it was finished! Ha, ha, serves me right you are all thinking. Not to be outdone by the recipe, or the fact that I had been making this delicious curry for an hour, I used a tin of crushed tomatoes. And, if I say so myself, this was one awesome curry and worth repeating! I hope if you try it you enjoy it as much as we did and as they say in South Africa ” ‘n boer maak ‘n plan ” (a farmer makes a plan).

Tomato Chicken Curry Recipe For Tomato Chicken Curry

Tomato Chicken Curry

Tomato Chicken Curry
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 chicken pieces
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds (I used a mixture of brown and black)
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 x 2.5cm root ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • juice of half a lime
  • 10 curry leaves
  1. heat the oil in a heavy based pan, over a medium – high heat
  2. brown the chicken and set aside
  3. add the mustard seeds and when they start popping add the fenugreek seeds
  4. add the onion and sauté until soft without browning the onion
  5. add the garlic, ginger and chillies and cook until the onions become golden
  6. add the spices and salt and allow to cook until you can smell the spices
  7. add the chicken, the tinned tomatoes, the lime juice and the curry leaves
  8. cook for 40 minutes to ensure the chicken is cooked through


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Recipe For Red Pepper Sauce

I am quite an aware person, and I know my short comings. One of them is that I love to talk! I really enjoy a good conversation and can chat away for hours. I do know that sometimes I need to listen as well icon smile Recipe For Red Pepper Sauce This said, I have met someone who talks more than I do, and who does not stop to hear what other people have to contribute to the conversation. Quite sad actually, as there are people out there who have better knowledge on certain topics and this person is missing out on learning more about things they are passionate about. Part of my daily conversations includes the one at night, over the butcher’s block that Dave and I have about dinner. We always talk about what we are cooking and how to cook it. Sometimes he does not listen properly – but most times he does. This red pepper and tomato sauce is a great example of how we arrive at a simple meal.

Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce Recipe For Red Pepper Sauce

Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce

Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce
  • 15mls olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 60mls vegetable stock
  • 15mls tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  1. heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the shallot until soft
  2. add the tomatoes, pepper, vegetable stock, tomato paste and garlic
  3. cook until soft and has a nice sauce consistency

For conversions click here


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Recipe For Cumin Crusted Pork Fillets

I much prefer to make my own rubs, marinades, curry blends, stocks and sauces than buy premade, salty, full of all sorts of unpronounceable’s! To this end I have a drawer packed full of spices and herbs and often this is my inspiration for a meal. If you are going to make your own rubs etc. you will need a non stick pan for dry frying them, a mortar and pestle for rough grinding, and a spice (read coffee) grinder for fine grinding. Remember, if you use a coffee grinder for your spices do not use it for coffee!

Cumin Crusted Pork Fillets Recipe For Cumin Crusted Pork Fillets

Cumin Crusted Pork Fillets

Cumin Crusted Pork Fillets
  • 5mls cumin seeds
  • 5mls ground cumin
  • 5mls coarse salt
  • 5mls black peppercorns
  • 2 pork chops
  • olive oil for rubbing
  1. dry fry the cumin seeds until you can smell the fragrance coming off them
  2. add them to a mortar and pestle and grind together with the ground cumin, salt and pepper
  3. pat dry your pork chops
  4. rub olive oil over them
  5. rub in the spice rub
  6. cook over a medium heat until done


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For more than 3000 years coriander has been cultivated for its aromatic foliage, roots and seeds. All of these have been found in the tombs of the Pharaohs. Coriander resembles flat leaf parsley although it is more tender in texture forming rosettes of long, thinly stalked leaves arising from a crown. The leaves are dissected into wedge shaped segments developing a fern like appearance. Vietnamese coriander is a leafy perennial used in tropical areas. The leaves of Mexican coriander (cilantro) are strongly aromatic.

220px Cilantro alsterdrache Coriander

photograph sourced from Wikipedia

Coriander needs good air circulation, a sunny position and adequate fertilizing. Sow this annual directly into the garden in spring after the last frost. Weed the crop regularly and protect the plants from water stress. Harvest the seed crop when half the seeds on the plant have turned brown. Tie harvested stems into bunches and then hang them upside down in paper bags to trap the falling seed. Once the plant is full size, harvest foliage to use fresh at any time.

The pungent leaves and stalks are popular in Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, South American and Mexican cooking, in salads, soups, legume dishes, curries and stir fries. In India the leaf is used in types of fresh chutneys. Long cooking destroys the flavour of the leaves so add them just before serving. Roast the seeds to enhance their flavour. Used whole or ground their mild, slightly sweet taste works well in sweet and savoury dishes and in sauces such as harissa. The fibre in ground seeds absorbs liquid and helps to thicken curries and stews. The root has more intense flavour than leaves. It is used in Thai cooking especially, pounded into curry pastes. You can try my lamb tagine or these Thai inspired meat balls.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs


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