In My Kitchen – August 2011

July is my birthday month, and so there are lots of new things in my kitchen:

I received a promotional copy of Baked & Delicious and I have already made lebkuchen from the magazine.

c2a9 baked delicious1 In My Kitchen   August 2011

© baked & delicious

My friend Karola gave me this:

c2a9 chalk board serviettes and fridge magnets In My Kitchen   August 2011

© chalk board, serviettes and fridge magnets

Erica and Ilanda gave me this:

c2a9 hidden valley olive oil In My Kitchen   August 2011

© hidden valley olive oil

I bought this from Cindy as she got two by mistake:

c2a9 infinity table In My Kitchen   August 2011

© infinity table

for those of you who don’t know, we live in our garage which has been converted into a cottage. Space is limited and things have to find the best home they can!

Dave and his Mum got me this:

c2a9 kitchen aid pasta attachment In My Kitchen   August 2011

© kitchen aid pasta attachment

and my sister got me this:

c2a9 kitchen aid sausage stuffer attachment In My Kitchen   August 2011

© kitchen aid sausage stuffer attachment

I made some kumquat atchar from a recipe on the foodmonger’s blog

c2a9 kumquat atchar In My Kitchen   August 2011

© kumquat atchar

My friend Dena got me this:

c2a9 le creuset spoon spatula In My Kitchen   August 2011

© le creuset spoon spatula

my friend Anna got me these – I always need more measuring spoons than I have:

c2a9 measuring spoons In My Kitchen   August 2011

© measuring spoons

I ordered an Alice Waters book from excus1ves online and I won this for ordering!

c2a9 the flavor bible In My Kitchen   August 2011

© the flavor bible

Thanks Celia for inspiring me to share my kitchen icon smile In My Kitchen   August 2011


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Friday’s Food Quiz Number 61

We were away for the weekend and so I am only getting to the quiz this morning. Thanks Pink for all the hard work that goes into this quiz icon smile Fridays Food Quiz Number 61

1. What is a Fraisier?

Thanks to all the blog posts last week, I know this refers to a cake, and not the TV sitcom

2. What does the cooking terminology “Balloutine” means?

This was the Top Chef quick fire challenge this Saturday night, and the same dish I had for my 40th. A ballotine is a protein that has been boned, stuffed and rolled and is then poached or braised. 

3. What is the difference between a Sorbet and a Granita?

A Sorbet is made from sweetened water and a purée of fruit to which you can add alcohol. A citrus or savoury sorbet is often served as a palate cleanser. A granita, which is similar to a sorbet in ingredients has a coarser texture. 

4. What toxin in potatoes causes it to turn green when exposed to sunlight?

Something that happens to mine quite often! Solanine?

5. What is the meaning of the term “tartness”, when describing a taste?

Something that is sour?

6. What is a Biscuit Joconde Imprime/Entremet?

a decorative cake consisting of many layers

7. Fennel is native to which countries?

Greece and Italy

8. What is a Kulfi?

An Indian dessert which is milk based 

9. Which one of these four is not a stone fruit? Peach, Pomegranate, Mango or Cherry?


10. What is Elachi more commonly known as?



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Getting To Know More About Each Other

My friend Mandy who blogs over at The Complete Cook Book has devised a list of questions in order for us to get to know each other a little better.

1.  What is your favourite non-alcholic drink?


2.  What is your favourite alcoholic drink?

Red wine

3.  What is your favourite food?

Roast Chicken

4.  What is your least favourite food?

Over ripe tomatoes are not my favourite, and I do not like green peppers or cooked pineappple.

5.  What do you eat that others think is really weird?

I like to suck the heads of prawns

6.  What is your favourite thing to cook/bake?

I love to bake my simple cake and I will cook pasta any night!

7.  If you could only chose one, would it be sweet or savoury?


8.  What time do you usually eat your dinner during the week?

I start to get everything ready when the news starts at 19h00 and we are done by the time the weather is finished around 19h30

9.  What kitchen item/s have you never owned?

A pressure cooker

10. What tip would you give to a newby cooker / baker?

Use the best possible ingredients you can afford and buy top quality products!

11. What is the best vegetarian dish you have eaten?

I was a vegetarian for a long time and I used to make a stuffed teenage marrow that was really tasty!

12. What is the easiest meal you can cook?


13. If you could only grow 3 herbs in your garden, what would you grow?

Rosemary, Thyme, Flat Leaf Parsley

14. What would you use as a substitute for salt?

Herbs and spices

15. What 5 items would you pack for a quick and easy picnic or day out?

Pink Champagne, Hard Boiled Eggs, Chocolate Brownies, Vegetable Crisps, Tomatoes


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Regional and Seasonal Challenge To Use Butter And Herbs

In the Southern Hemisphere it is winter, and a week ago we were walking around in t shirts. Now, the snow has arrived in the provinces surrounding us, and I am sure we will awaken soon to snow here in the Helderberg. It is cold, we had a black south easter over the weekend, and my herb garden has finally given itself over to winter. Cooking seasonally for me means soups and stews, casseroles and slow cooked rich dishes. My friends however are cooking summer fruits and salads in the Northern Hemisphere!

the challenge this week is to cook something using: butter and herbs

Remember there is no end date to this challenge! Please link back to my blog if you take part in the challenge and leave me a comment here so that I can include you in the round up.


Cindy has made use of roast chicken, which you will always find in her fridge. Pink has made chocolate and dried Turkish apricot muffins.

I want to say a special thank you to JamieAnne. Your post from Thursday really touched me!

ps we are going away today for the weekend and I might miss some posts for the challenge – you will be in next week’s round up icon smile Regional and Seasonal Challenge To Use Butter And Herbs


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Saffron Potatoes Recipe

In my opinion, there is no reason to save something for a rainy day. Why keep the best crockery for special guests? Or your best dress for a special occasion? In my life, each day is treated as special. I apply this same philosophy to my cooking. If you are going to spend money on spices you need to use them. They will go stale if they sit in your cupboard adding colour to your shelves. They need to be used so that the full fragrance and colour can be soaked up by your food. In fact, go now and throw out all the spices and herbs that have been there and not used for a year! Buy dried ingredients as you need them, date the bottle when you open them and toss them after a year. And that is being generous. Whole spices will last longer but you need to dry fry them and grind them as you need them. Remember to keep them in sealed containers and in a dark place. Sunlight and heat affect the quality of what is in the bottle. Also, don’t skimp here! You need to buy good quality products if you expect good quality meals. Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice and I think along with Chanel No. 5 perfume, it is more expensive per ounce than gold! But, do not let this deter you. You need to have a small amount of saffron at hand at all times – for all sorts of dishes. You use a few strands at a time so it will last you!

Saffron Potatoes Saffron Potatoes Recipe

Saffron Potatoes

Saffron Potatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 boiling potato per person, halved
  • A few strand of saffron
  • 15g butter
  1. add your potatoes and saffron to a pot of cold water and bring to the boil
  2. cook until the potatoes are done
  3. drain and add the butter


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Recipe For Tomato and Aubergine Chutney

Chutney is a word we have borrowed from the Hindi language and even though the condiment is from South Asia, it is an extremely common ingredient that can be found in most South African homes. In fact, when I went to Germany earlier this year Michelle asked me for Mrs. Ball’s Chutney. This is a truly South African product, and when we were growing up came in one flavour only. The brand has grown, and all sorts of flavours are now available. Unfortunately for me there is no sucrose free one available on the market and so I have resorted to making my own for the past 20 years.

Tomato and Aubergine Chutney Recipe For Tomato and Aubergine Chutney

Tomato and Aubergine Chutney

Tomato and Aubergine Chutney
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
adapted from Food & Home Entertaining July 2005, page 69
  • 500g Roma tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 200g aubergines, finely chopped
  • 200g red peppers, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 300g onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 180g sugar – I used fructose
  • 150mls white wine vinegar
  • 7.5mls salt
  • 5mls coriander seeds
  • 7.5mls ground paprika
  • 5mls cayenne pepper
  1. place the tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, onions and garlic into a sauté pan over a medium heat
  2. you want everything to get really hote
  3. cover and reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. add the balance of the ingredients and stir until the sugar has dissolved
  5. continue to simmer with the lid off for 20 minutes, or until the liquid has dissolved
  6. you want a chunky chutney consistency
  7. stir towards the end of the cooking time to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of your pan
  8. cool and place into sterilized glass jars for storing
Cooks Notes
Please note, do not be too exact with the vegetable measurements, just get as close as you can!


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Recipe For Ginger Beef Patties

I loved watching Come Dine With Me – and I even had a challenge around the theme. And now, Come Dine With Me is coming to South Africa. A friend asked me if I was going to enter and my answer was and still is, NO. Would I really want 3 strangers digging through my house? NO WAYS. Would I want my personal life exposed on National Television? NOT ON YOUR LIFE! But, would I be able to do it? Of course yes. It is really easy with a week’s notice or less to knock together a three course meal. I am super organized and I don’t even need a whole day to do it! It would be nice however to win the prize but even that is not enough of an incentive to face the risks involved. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do think I could win, it’s just that I don’t want to take part! I like to prepare meals where the only people telling me how good they are, are the people I love and care about! I don’t mind them snooping through my drawers and in fact they would not find much of anything worth commenting on! They might comment on the fact I have a LOT of spices or that I collect kitchen gadgets – but then, that would not make for exciting television so I probably would not qualify in any case. But, if you are keen and live in the metropolitan areas of Johannesburg, Durban or Cape Town do give it a go. Oh, and did I mention, I don’t live in Cape Town, so that can be my excuse. These patties are a perfect and easy dish to prepare, whether for a meal for people dining with you, or just for the family, and they are a winner in Dave’s eyes.

Ginger Beef Patties Recipe For Ginger Beef Patties

Ginger Beef Patties

Ginger Beef Patties Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 15mls lemon infused olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2.5cm piece root ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 250g ground / minced beef
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 5mls sumac
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • flour for dusting
  • 15mls olive oil
  • 15g butter
  1. heat the lemon infused olive oil in a pan and sauté the onion, garlic and ginger
  2. when the onion is soft but not coloured, remove from the heat
  3. when cool add to the beef
  4. season generously and then add the sumac
  5. mix in the egg – use your hands if you find it easier
  6. dust your hands with the flour and shape small balls with the beef
  7. rest in the fridge for 30 minutes
  8. heat the olive oil and the butter in your pan
  9. cook the patties until they are done to your liking

Click on the links for conversions and notes.


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This delicious culinary herb has been used since Roman times and has a delicate flavour between tarragon and parsley. It is indispensable in French cuisine. It needs to be added raw or at the very last minute to a dish when it has been taken off the heat.

220px Anthriscus cerefolium Kervel plant Chervil

photograph sourced from Wikipedia

Chervil is an annual plant with delicate and lacy, fern like foliage that forms a low growing rosette. The tiny white flowers, borne in umbels on slender stems are followed by thin black seeds. Chervil requires good drainage and a moist soil that is close to neutral, preferably enriched with compost. Grow chervil in a lightly shaded position as excessive sun exposure will cause the leaves to burn and turn rose pink. In warm climates grow chervil in spring, autumn (fall) and winter. It has some cold tolerance and will withstand light frost.

Scatter the seeds over the soil, press down lightly and water regularly. Seedlings emerge after two weeks and plants are ready for harvesting from about 8 weeks. Chervil has a long taproot system and does not transplant well. It will not germinate in soil that is too warm. Light shade will promote lush growth and you can extend the season further by using protective cloches.

Water regularly and harvest the leaves from the outside, using scissors. Leaves can be frozen in sealed plastic bags. Chervil flowers, leaves and roots are all edible. The faintly anise flavoured leaves are most frequently used. The curly leaf variety makes a nice garnish. Its delicate flavour is destroyed by heat or drying. It goes well with glazed carrots, and in butter sauces and cream based soups. Freeze some chervil into ice cubes to add a refreshing summer taste to fruit drinks. Use in a butter with fish, meat or poultry cooked on the braai (BBQ)

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs


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Recipe For Crayfish Curry

It sounds so wonderful to be thought of as the first South African Master Chef. Ben introduced me as a possible contender for the South African production when I cooked with Jonathan Daddia. For those of you who have watched or are watching, Jonathan is a contender for Master Chef Australia season 2. I love the idea of competing but it could never be a reality. I cannot imagine living in a house with 23 other people. Just living with Dave is enough. And then actually sharing a room and sleeping in a single bed in a dorm style room. Oh, and did I mention sharing a bathroom with strangers? Can you imagine how my OCD personality when it comes to cleanliness could be freaked out by a stray hair, or sock! I am a neat freak in the kitchen and my cupboards and fridge are super organized. I am even tempted to sort my friends fridges out for them when I visit. I do not like mess! I would miss my routine, my dogs and most of all, I would miss my husband! I do not like to share some things, but the one thing I do share is recipe ideas. The first time I came across poppy seeds in a dish I liked, was at Pomegranate and I have shared the idea of using poppy seeds in my crayfish curry.

Crayfish Curry With Poppy Seeds Recipe For Crayfish Curry

Crayfish Curry With Poppy Seeds

Crayfish Curry With Poppy Seeds
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 2.5cm piece root ginger, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 125g rosa tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tin coconut cream
  • 2 crayfish tails, cut into chunks
  • salt for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • Small handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  1. heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan and add the onion
  2. sauté until soft and then add the ginger, garlic and chilli
  3. add the canola oil to ensure the onions do not colour
  4. in a pestle and mortar, blend the cardamom, coriander, cloves, cumin and turmeric
  5. add to the onions and as soon as you can smell the spices, add the tomatoes
  6. when the tomatoes start cooking add the coconut cream
  7. allow the coconut cream to come to a gentle boil
  8. add the crayfish and adjust the seasoning
  9. add the poppy seeds
  10. as soon as the crayfish is cooked, mix through the coriander

Click on the links for conversions and notes.


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Baked And Delicious

I was very fortunate to be contacted by Eaglemoss Publications in connection with the new magazine about to be launched in South Africa. Baked & Delicious will feature a collection of over 400 recipes, and the publications come with a selection of silicone bakeware  to collect. Each issue consists of seven sections and these include celebration cakes; classic cakes; bread and savouries; desserts; patisserie and fancy cakes; biscuits and bakes; and better baking. Over 60 issues have been planned and each one will also include cook’s tips; origins of dishes; final flourish tips; variations; and expert advice. Each subscriber to the magazine will get a storage binder for the copies, which is important to ensure that you can store the magazines without damaging them; 3 storage tins; a cake slice; and an electronic kitchen scale. The last is an essential ‘ingredient’ to successful baking as baking is all about chemistry and ensuring your ingredients are accurately weighed out to ensure they react together properly.

If you choose not to subscribe you can purchase the magazine in your local newsagent, and then chose the issues you would like. The silicone bakeware collection will include cupcake cases; brush and spatula; loaf pans; quiche case; heart shaped moulds; cake pans; Madeleine moulds; mini-muffin cases; petit four cases; ring moulds; and icing sets.

baked delicious Baked And Delicious

baked & delicious

In the first issue a colourful collection of cupcake cases was included, and I will be testing these with my cupcake recipe and reporting back on how they work. The contents page lists the recipes you will find in the issue, together with a short description. There are 8 recipes in the first issue, as well as a better baking technique and information on how to use silicone bakeware. Each issue will be 26 pages and the magazine will be distributed every two weeks.

lebkuchen Baked And Delicious


One cannot judge a good quality magazine on its glossy pages and fantastic photographs alone, so I chose a recipe that did not call for sugar to test. This way, I would be testing the recipe as is, without substitutions. I chose the Lebkuchen (page 18). I halved the recipe as I did not have enough honey to make a complete batch. The list of ingredients is concise but I would have swapped the steps in stage 1 around so that the butter and honey would be melted completely by the time I had finished measuring the dry ingredients. I do not like measuring honey in liquid measure as you can never get the honey out of the measuring container without oiling it first. I much prefer to weigh honey and so I can share with you that 100mls of honey equals 155g. The recipe did not tell me how long to leave the mixture to solidify but I went to watch a recording of Top Chef and that is about 40 minutes of viewing. I must say, I was quite skeptical about the mixture firming up and half expected to have a gloopy dough, but it firmed up properly and I could roll the biscuits out without any extra flour. I used my silpat instead of parchment paper for the baking. After 15 minutes my biscuits were nice and golden and I took them out of the oven to cool. They were soft as I lifted them off the silpat onto my wire cooling rack, but by the time they had cooled they were nice and firm. The biscuits are lovely and crunchy and the spices come through well.

If the proof of the pudding is in the eating, then I can recommend that you subscribe today. Recipes that work are what will make this publication a huge success.

disclaimer – even though I received the magazine free of charge, I was not asked to write a favourable review, nor did I receive payment for this review. This post is in line with my blogging policy.


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