Recipe For Chicken Curry

I had some left over chicken breasts and decided I would make a stuffing of roasted red pepper with a tomato sauce. But, after a walk on the beach I really did not feel like the whole process and turned my mind to making a green curry. Alvin gave us a lovely recipe for a green curry paste and so in my usual fashion, I set about making it. So, why read the list of ingredients first? I mean, I never do, so why start now? Well, if I had all the ingredients, I would have made a green curry. But, I did not have lemongrass and so my green curry became a curry – and not a very strong one either as I used less chillies. I will add lemongrass to my shopping list so that I can make the curry paste to share with you. In the meantime, enjoy this dish – we certainly did :)

"Chicken Curry"

Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 30mls coriander leaves, chopped
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 5mls shrimp paste
  • 5mls ground cumin
  • 10mls coriander seeds, crushed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 30mls fish sauce
  • 30mls canola oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 15mls lime juice
  • 400mls coconut cream
  • 60g asparagus, cut in half
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
  • 80g exotic mushrooms, cut in half
  • 10 sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 15mls palm sugar
  • 15mls fish sauce
  • 30mls lime juice
  • 10 Thai basil leaves
  1. place the ingredients up to but not including the coconut cream into a blender
  2. process until all the ingredients have combined
  3. place into a pot and bring to a simmer
  4. add the coconut cream and bring back to a simmer
  5. add the bottom halves of the asparagus
  6. add the chicken breasts and simmer for 10 minutes
  7. add the rest of the asparagus, the mushrooms and the peas and bring back to a simmer
  8. add the palm sugar, the fish sauce and the lime juice
  9. stir in the Thai basil leaves
  10. serve on a bed of jasmine rice

Click on the links for conversions and notes.


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Fennel plants are annual or perennial and can reach 1.5m or more, with one to several erect, hollow stems coming from the base and bearing fine, glossy aromatic pinnnate foliage. The tiny yellow flowers, borne in umbels, are used in pickling and the small seeds are very aromatic.

"Apple And Fennel Sauce"

Apple And Fennel Sauce


Fennel prefers a light, well drained slightly alkaline soil in a sunny position but is adaptable and tolerates the cold very well. Raise all fennel varieties by seed sown in spring. Propagate perennial forms by division in spring. Cut down and remove old stems. Harvest foliage and flowers as required. Harvest seeds when ripe then dry and freeze for a few days to kill any insects. Lift roots in autumn and dry them.

Slice the raw bulb thinly and add to salads, or cit in half and roast as a vegetable to bring out its sweetness. See here for a pan fried fennel recipe and here, for a cake recipe. Use fresh fennel leaves in salads, salad dressings and vinegars, with fish, pork and seafood dishes, or as a garnish. The dried seeds are used in cakes and breads, Italian sausages, salads, pickles, curries and pasta and tomato dishes.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs


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Cooking With Alvin Quah

I had already booked my flights to Johannesburg when I saw the notification that Alvin of Master Chef Australia fame would be cooking at the Good Food Studio at the Pick N Pay in Hurlingham. Straight away I contacted Cindy and we decided to do the Hands On Cooking experience. At the time of booking I was not aware that Alvin was here through the Good Food and Wine Show. As you might know, through them and DSTV I cooked with Jonathan Daddia earlier this year.

"cooking with alvin"

cooking with alvin

We arrived early at the studio and were made welcome with a choice of coffee or tea – I had some rooibos before moving into the demonstration area where we watched Alvin prepare the two dishes we would be cooking ourselves. The room was not adequately prepped which is a pity as it distracted Alvin from his chat with us. He spoke about his experiences with food and his previous trip to South Africa and I made sure when I chatted with him I found out a bit more about him. He is amazing – friendly, open and a laugh. His food style is like mine – good ingredients and comfort meals.

"cindy and alvin"

cindy and alvin

After the demonstration we were split into two groups – each kitchen can take 16 people and we cooked in pairs. Of course Cindy and I chose the only station prepped for one person – but they quickly got me an apron and we were on our way. I am so used to my very sharp knives and as usual, the knives at these studios are blunt. We also had to get someone to bring us tongs and go searching for a tin opener and we were missing ingredients.

"salad for drunken and bruised chicken"

salad for drunken and bruised chicken

That aside, we had a great time cooking duck curry and bruised and drunken chicken – and Cindy and I enjoyed the curry we made afterwards for lunch with a glass of wine.

"green duck curry"

green duck curry

I have no intention of entering Master Chef South Africa but was amazed at the fact that out of 32 people there 6 were entering. I know you have to prepare a cold meal for the interview and I was astounded that people were considering salads – that seems to plain in my opinion. A dessert or terrine seems the obvious and I think it is going to be the non obvious dishes that get a second glance. Alvin did say that they are interested in the person, which of course makes sense. It is a long hard slog – 12 weeks away from home and Alvin told me how much he missed his partner, and how many relationships have broken up after the show. I could never be away from Dave for that long – even the 5 nights this trip was long enough.


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The Versatile Blogger Award – Take Four

I am so blessed – Jen who blogs at Zestybeandog’s Blog has awarded me The Versatile Blogger award. Thank you so much for being a part of my blogging family :)

The conditions for this award are:

  • You must thank the person who awarded you by linking back to their post
  • You have to list 7 interesting things about yourself
  • You have to pass the award on to 15 other new or newly discovered blogs

More trivial information about me: (and if I have repeated any, apologies)

  1. I tried to write the initials of a boyfriend into my thigh with a razor blade – I am a bleeder and so did not succeed – I however still have a thin scar where I tried
  2. I stopped growing when I was 13 and am 187cm – quite tall for a 13 year old
  3. I have never made Greek food
  4. My 2012 holiday is all booked and planned – we are going to Scotland
  5. I tried offal for the first time ever at the Cape Winelands Cuisine launch
  6. I have just planted beans – that my tortoise is eating
  7. I hope to see the Northern Lights before I die
"Cape Winelands Cuisine Food"

Cape Winelands Cuisine Food

I am passing the award on to the newest blogs in my blog roll:

  1. Crumbly Plum
  2. The Spamwise Chronicles
  3. Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide
  4. Talin Orfali
  5. Yvette’s Twisted Vines
  6. Olives And Artichokes
  7. Colonialist’s Blog
  8. Reflection’s From A Cloudy Mirror
  9. Savoring Every Bite
  10. Commander In Chic
  11. Mr Bunny Chow
  12. Forgotten Beast
  13. Another Day In Paradise
  14. Hope* The Happy Blog
  15. The Rowdy Chowgirl


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Recipe For Chicken Noodle Soup

The 7th of every month sees the Crazy Cooking Challenge reveal. This month we were challenged to make a chicken noodle soup. In trying to share with you bloggers from South Africa, I chose to make Spill’s recipe. Clare has an abiding passion for food, and also lives in the beautiful Western Cape. This dish was amazing – a must do again type of dish. It served us not only for supper, but for lunch for me the next day! It is delicious and the mint is a must have refreshing herb that compliments the dish so well.

"Chicken Noodle Soup"

Chicken Noodle Soup


Chicken Noodle Soup
  • 500mls chicken stock
  • 500mls vegetable stock
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2.5cm root ginger, chopped
  • 2 deboned skinless chicken breasts
  • 200g noodles
  • 285g tinned corn
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 10g mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 small chilli, sliced
  1. pour the stock into a large pot and add the garlic, ginger and chicken
  2. bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes
  3. make sure the chicken is tender before removing
  4. use a fork to shred the chicken
  5. return the chicken to the pot and add the noodles, corn, the spring onions and the soy
  6. bring to the boil for 2 minutes – check that the noodles are soft
  7. pour the soup into bowls and then garnish with the mint leaves and chilli

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by Helen of Fuss Free Flavors

To see more posts from the Crazy Cooking Challenge click the linky below:

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…


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Ready Steady Cook: Challenge

With ushering in a new year I am also going to be changing a few things on my blog. The first change will be my weekly food challenge These will now become monthly food challenges and I will issue them the first Wednesday of every month. There will be a deadline for each challenge for the last day of the month at midnight. If there is a prize or give away with the challenge, this will be announced with the following months challenge, together with the previous challenge round up. My challenges are open to any blogger anywhere in the world.

The first challenge for the year is READY STEADY COOK! 


The blogger version is similar to the TV version. Each person will be assigned a blogger to give a mystery bag of 7 ingredients to. I will provide the list of pantry ingredients and from your bag, you have to come up with a starter, main course and dessert.

The deadline for submitting your name for this challenge is the 10th of January. Please complete the form below if you would like to take part. Please note, a pantry ingredient is something that is non perishable.


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2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 40,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 15 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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In My Kitchen – January 2012

I wish for you all a 2012 that is full of your dreams and wishes, that your cup will always be full, and that you have all that you need. May it be a better year than 2011 and may it hold only joy. And even as I wish this for you, I wish it for myself. I know that there will be sad days in 2012 but I hope that they are few and far between. To start off my year, welcome to what was new in my kitchen in December. Santa visited me this year with a surprise package from Australia:

"secret santa"

secret santa

Dave and I were blessed with our love for each other and our hearts are full.  I have a special dedication for Celia who blogs over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial – thank you for your enthusiasm in getting us all to show you a peep into our lives. I have been inspired by you to start my kitchen garden and to keep a record of what I buy. If you want to show us all a peep into your kitchen, please link back to Celia so that she can include you in her round up.

This photograph of my fridge was taken the day after Christmas – there are a lot of left overs and a few tomatoes on the right of the photo that I got from the farmers market. Moddergat Organic Farm have a market every Saturday morning at L’auberge De Paysan and it is really worth going to.

"in my fridge january 2012"

in my fridge january 2012

and the saying on my chalk board for December:

"december quote"

december quote

I gave John Faure, the winemaker at Vergenoegd a gift of a bottle of Adoro and in return I got a gift of their MCC – this lovely dry pink bubbly has a beer bottle top which is quite different to opening a cork. But the same sound emitted when Dave ‘popped’ it – and the bubbly has a beautiful floral note.

"vergenoegd little flower mcc"

vergenoegd little flower mcc

With the remodel of my cottage kitchen my one rack was moved. I have re-arranged all the bits and pieces and so I have some left over space for new things.

"my 'new' kitchen rack"

my ‘new’ kitchen rack

I would like to say thank you to yuppiechef for the two knives I received from them this year – one at the Food Bloggers Indaba and the other after my participation in the Enkosi Cookathon.

"my knife collection"

my knife collection

I am a bit of a knife collector and these are not all the knives I have – and I use all of them! So, I am sure you are all wondering what was in all those lovely wrapped presents – take a look here!

"my lovely gifts from yvette in australia"

my lovely gifts from yvette in australia

Despite all my good intentions the only recipe book writing I did was the introduction. But, I will dedicate time to this project as I want to get the book launched soon! Anyone who knows exactly how to create an e-book can please share the ‘secret’ with me.


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Recipe For Festive Wreath

This month’s Fresh from the Oven challenge was set by Michelle who blogs over at Utterly Scrummy Food For Families. I decided to make the festive wreath using my kitchen aid stand mixer, but decided not to even attempt Michelle’s directions for the actual making of the wreath, but rather to repeat my cinnamon buns layout and make a wreath using my pizza pan. To make the wreath more festive I lit a sparkler shaped in a star for the photograph. The taste is like a Chelsea bun and Dave and I each had one for after lunch dessert. I took the wreath to my cousin to add to their table for evening snacks and we were left with two to come home with. They do not keep very well, so make that your excuse for eating the whole lot in one day.

"Festive Wreath"

Festive Wreath


Festive Wreath
for the dough:
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 420g flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar – I used fructose
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • 50g softened butter
  • 1½ teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • 315mls lukewarm milk
for the filling:
  • 50g softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar – I used fructose
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 45g flour
  • ½ cup blanched almonds – I chopped half of them
  • ½ cup dried apricots, chopped
  • milk for glazing
for the icing:
  • 30g chocolate
  • 5g butter
for the dough:
  1. place the milk into a pot on a low heat while you measure out the balance of the ingredients for the dough
  2. using a mixer with a dough hook, add all the ingredients into the bowl
  3. knead for 10 minutes until the dough forms a soft ball that springs back when lightly pressed
  4. turn the dough out of the bowl and lightly grease the bowl
  5. roll the dough into a ball and place back into the bowl
  6. cover with clingfilm and leave to rise for 45 minutes in a warm place
  7. near the end of the proving time make the filling so that it's ready to use as soon as the dough has proved
for the filling:
  1. beat together the butter, sugar, extract and flour to make a paste
  2. fold in the nuts and the fruit
  3. knead the dough for a minute and then roll out in a large rectangle shape on a well floured surface
  4. position the dough with the longest edge facing you
  5. spread the filling over the bottom edge, then roll it up
  6. use a sharp knife and cut the roll into 1 inch (2.5cm) slices
  7. place the slices into a pizza pan around the edges, joining each slice together and pushing each one flat
  8. leave to prove for 45 minutes before preheating the oven to 200° Celsius
  9. glaze the exposed surfaces with milk
  10. bake for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through*
for the icing:
  1. once you have taken the wreath out of the oven melt the chocolate and the butter in the microwave
  2. drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the wreath
Cooks Notes
* I checked at 22 minutes and one side was slightly darker than the other!

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

I then decided to make the wreath again in my bread maker. I have a Breville Ikon that allows me to select a dough setting and so I used that. I also decided to make the wreath itself differently by cutting the rolled out dough into two and making a filling for each half. I used the same filling as above for the one half and a dried cherry and pistachio nut filling for the second half. I rolled each one up lengthwise and then twisted them over each other to make a rope and laid it out around my pizza pan. It was not as easy to do as the bun layout so you need to be careful not to split the dough – I was not that careful as I tried to untwist the dough and redo it! This however made no difference to the outcome. This had a lovely taste with the pistachio’s really coming through. It had less of a Chelsea bun taste than the first recipe even though the base ingredients were the same.

"Festive Wreath Made In A Bread Maker"

Festive Wreath Made In A Bread Maker


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Secret Santa Round Up

I want to thank each and every blogger who signed up for Secret Santa – even those I had to disappoint as they were the only bloggers in their country. I had a few bloggers pull out after the assignments were set and to this end I have to thank a friend for stepping in at the last minute to take part. Some bloggers who signed up failed to follow up – but, that is their loss.

"Secret Santa"


The first blog post is from Blue Jellybeans from Spain. Having only two bloggers in Spain taking part, they were each other’s Secret Santa and you can read all about Chica Andaluza’s gift here. I was surprised as I did not put my name in the hat so to speak, but I did get a gift box, full of lovely goodies – take a look. Pretty Little Thing has showcased her gifts here. Sous Chef Secret Santa sent her some interesting products which you can see here. Mandy got a lovely bounty from Colleen. Teri, The Freshman Cook got an amazing gift from Bexx. Bexx’ Santa chose to stay secret, but you can see what she sent here. Usha received some treats and some seeds – take a look.

I will continue to edit this post as I see more blogs surfacing.

In the meantime I would like to wish each and everyone of my reader’s a blessed Christmas and / or Hannuka if you are celebrating. And whether you do or don’t celebrate, have a great December. We are on leave from work from the 15th of December until the 9th of January – and I am taking leave of blogland for that time as well. This is the time of the year I get to celebrate my wedding anniversary and do things that I don’t get to during the year, like write about our holiday we took in France this year April and May. I will also start work on my second recipe book and cook and bake up a storm. I will be back here with a post on the 28th however, so do come and take a look then.

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly


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