Recipe For Cupcakes

No children’s birthday party could be complete without the obligatory line up of cupcakes. In fact, for an entertainment factor, you could bake the cupcakes and then set up an icing station and decorating station so that each child gets to ice and decorate their own cupcake. I have seen this idea work very successfully at the Good Food and Wine Show and the Nicoletta stand was full of children, and very grateful looking parents. When the boys were younger I developed a recipe for caramel cupcakes as this was Mark’s favourite flavour and his request. Since then I have used this cupcake recipe with great success, but just a plain vanilla flavour. For Nicola’s second birthday party I made a batch of pretty purple iced cupcakes to go with her Barbie birthday cake:

Cupcakes Recipe For Cupcakes


This photograph and the recipe to follow have been published in Lavender and Lime. In February of this year I received the most beautiful gift of a three tiered stand. It is perfect for the middle of the table, and I am sure to use it on many occasions. I decided that the first time it would appear on my table would be for something special, and so I chose the Eat For The Earth Lunch to showcase it. As the gift giver had also gifted me some cupcake holders, I knew that cupcakes were in order – and what a lovely dessert it turned out to be. It was the first time ever I had tried the sugar free version and I was very impressed with the lightness of the cupcakes. They stayed moist for the few days that they lasted after being baked which was also great. For Nicola’s cupcakes I used a butter icing which is easy to pipe. For mine, I made an icing out of cream, honey and some Honest Chocolate Spread. I could have piped it, but my piping bag is in the freezer with the left over boudin blanc and I had forgotten to get some disposable ones!

Cupcakes On Stand Recipe For Cupcakes

Cupcakes On Stand


Makes: 12 cupcakes


  • 500mls cake flour
  • 15mls baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 375mls castor sugar - I used fructose
  • 100g butter
  • 190mls water


  • preheat the oven to 180? Celsius
  • sieve together the flour, baking powder and salt
  • in a large bowl beat the eggs with an electric mixer
  • add the castor sugar gradually until the mixture becomes white and creamy and more than doubled in volume
  • in a small saucepan heat the butter and the water until just about to boil
  • remove from the heat and fold into the egg mixture alternating with the flour mix
  • pour the mixture into cupcake cases and bake for 15 minutes
 Recipe For Cupcakes

I am submitting this recipe to the food24 competition


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Basil Infused Tomato Pasta

The past two weeks have been exceptionally hard, and part of what has been difficult is making the choice to put Maxine to sleep for the right reasons. I never wanted to have any lingering doubt that we had just given up on her. Giving up is so easy to do. It is what I sometimes feel like doing when business is bad, like it is now. But I know I cannot just give up. I cannot give up on friendships and I have never given up on a challenge, life or love. Some weeks it is exceptionally hard to come up with a pasta recipe – but Tandy Tuesday is ‘set in stone’ for me, and I cannot give up doing at least one pasta post a week. This week I am sharing with you a pasta recipe from January – it is not seasonal so it can be enjoyed all year round.

c2a9 basil infused tomato pasta Basil Infused Tomato Pasta

© basil infused tomato pasta



1 tablespoon basil infused olive oil

125g cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 chilli, deseeded and sliced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

10 olives, depipped and halved

1 tablespoon crème fraîche

10g parmesan, grated


while your pasta is cooking heat the olive oil in a large frying pan

add the tomatoes and allow them to warm up

add the chilli and the garlic and cook till soft

add the olives and warm through

add the crème fraîche and make sure your pasta sauce is warm

toss the pasta through the sauce and top with the parmesan

Printable Version 

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by Juli of Pictures of all my Princesses 


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The Post House, Greyton

Situated in the beautiful village of Greyton, The Post House restaurant offers a really pleasant dining experience. Greyton is worth the drive, and you can walk through the streets popping in and out of all the local establishments. There is a Saturday market but we went on a Sunday and so missed this. We did however enjoy the solitude of the area, and noted how clean and well kept the homes and businesses are.

MAY 2010

c2a9 the posthouse restaurant The Post House, Greyton

© the posthouse restaurant

The Posthouse is well known to all South African television advert watchers as the place where the Bells advert was shot. It is one of my favourite adverts, and I am sure to run around Scotland next year shouting “Dougal it’s an emergency” to every flyfisherman I see. The restaurant has an extensive selection of whiskeys and a good selection of wines which on average are not cheap. We chose a Raka Pinotage (R120) which was well priced and perfect for a lunch time meal.

The menu is quite vast and Dave chose the 3 course set menu which was a starter of tomato soup, a main course of lamb with vegetables and a dessert of chocolate pudding (R85). He could have chosen the butternut or the vegetable soup, both of which looked good going to other tables. I chose the creamy chicken livers to start (R55) and then could not decide between the gourmet chicken burger (R55) and the roasted butternut salad (R50) for my mains.

Dave said that his soup was good, and it was served with lovely home made health bread. My livers were very tasty, but had a hint of chilli that was not mentioned on the menu. They were served with softly toasted French loaf.  I chose the salad which was served cold – which I did not expect and it needed salt. The vegetables on Dave’s main course were good. My salad was lacking in spinach – which was meant to be a main ingredient.

The service is friendly but not perfect – Dave’s plate was cleared before I had finished my salad, and his pudding was served before my plate was cleared. The waitress did not ask why I left half the butternut on the plate. Dave’s dessert was a warm pudding with custard and he said the meal reminded him of a childhood holiday where they stayed in a hotel and a 3 course meal was served every night.

Contact them on 028 254 9995


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Friday’s Food Quiz Number 56

My friend PinkPolkaDot has posted this week’s quiz, and here are my answers. If you would like to do the quiz, please pop on over to her blog to let her know.

1. What is “elachi” more commonly known as?

cardamom. I bought some white cardamom in France in the most beautiful bottle.

2. What spices are traditionally in Garam Masala?

cinnamon, mace, cardamom, rose petals, coriander, cloves, cumin, fennel, bay leaves … and to see the rest, click above for the recipe

3. What is bhajias?

Indian sweets

4. To which family does watercress belong?

the cabbage family

5. What are the main ingredients of Halva?

Sesame seed paste / tahini and sugar. I once ate only halva for a few days and experienced my first and last bout of air sickness and I have not had any halva since

6. What is the culinary term for soaking fruit or vegetables in a sugar and alcohol syrup to infuse flavour?


7. What are the ingredients of advocaat?

this reminds me of egg nog at Christmas, so I would guess, eggs, sugar and Brandy

8. Caraway seeds are native to which continent?

Asia or Europe. There seems to be a shortage of these seeds at the moment as I cannot find any!

9 Which country produces the highest quantity of pineapples?

I know it is not Swaziland! I have eaten pineapples all over the far east, Australasia and the America’s and I am going to guess Hawaii

10. What does “to flute” mean?

could it be when you make an opening in the top of a pie and use one of those pie flutes to let the steam out?


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Something Sweet

I love to bake, and usually my weekend baking is the same chocolate cake, or a variation thereof. So, the something sweet challenge is to get me baking something new, something I have not tried before. Please do the challenge, even if you use a tried and tested recipe!

The challenge this week is to bake something spices

If you take part in the challenge please link back to my blog, and leave a comment here that you have done the challenge. A weekly round up will be done each Friday. As usual, there is no end date to the challenge.


Mirimoo has come up with a beautiful spicy pork dish. Cindy made a hearty stew with butternut and short ribs. Mirimoo has also contributed a stuffed gem squash recipe. Mandy has shared with us a family recipe for pumpkin pie.

Don’t forget, if you live in the JHB region, you can win this!


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Maxine May of Dromedaris

12/5/2002 – 10/6/2011

maxi Maxine May of Dromedaris

© maxine may

Yesterday my darling baby we sent you to chase rabbits and hopefully you will be pain free. You were loved from the first moment I set my eyes on you. Every day since March 2004 has been a gift. For that we owe a deep sense of gratitude to Bruce, Brenda and Megan for doing everything they could to save your life, and your leg. You never once complained about having to go for surgery every three days or cried when we changed your dressings twice daily. And in the last 6 months you have not once shown how much pain you must have been in as the arthritis set into you spine so badly that your good leg was no longer functioning.

You had the most amazing temperament and the children have loved your kisses and good nature. You were the best ‘sister’ to Patch and she is bereft that your basket came home without you. I will miss you my nunu’s!

Maxine not only had the most awful spinal arthritis which would have resulted her in not being able to walk within the next two weeks, she also had a tumour near her heart which was pushing the trachea out of position.

Thank you Brenda, Megan and Chantel for taking care of Maxine and to Cottage Vets for trying all you could to see what was wrong with Maxine and especially big hugs to Megan who did the hardest thing yesterday and was there when they put you to sleep. Maxine did not recognize me when I went to say goodbye but I know she knew she was loved right to the end and she will hold a special place in our hearts forever.


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Recipe For Pesto Princess Chicken

One of the sponsors of this year’s Food Bloggers Indaba was Pesto Princess. They offer up the most amazing pesto’s and each one is better than the next. The company ticks all the right boxes for me, and if ever I buy pesto, theirs is the one I go for.  I have taken this blurb off their facebook page:

  • About 10 years ago, Kathleen Quillinan discovered pesto for herself, and tried her hand at it with the help of a 1970’s orange blender from a junk shop. She started selling to friends, small supermarkets and deli’s, and soon had to hunt for factory premises and staff, since there was definitely a more appreciative audience out there for her pesto than for her previous endeavours – that of an opera singer!

I first came across this product when we moved to the Western Cape 10 years ago, and her husband told me the story of Kathleen wanting to be an opera singer – I am glad for my palate that her dream of singing did not come true. One of the lovely products in my overflowing goody bag from the show was a bottle of Red Pesto which is made from sweet red peppers and sun dried tomatoes. I used this pesto to create a dish I could cook in my tagine as I prefer slow cooking chicken to ensure it stays moist.

Pesto Princess Chicken Recipe For Pesto Princess Chicken

Pesto Princess Chicken

Pesto Princess Chicken


  • 15mls olive oil
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 2 chicken drum sticks
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 1 onion, cut in half and then sliced
  • 125g mushrooms, sliced
  • 200g rosa tomatoes, cut in half
  • 15mls olive tapenade
  • 15mls red pesto
  • 125mls white wine


  • heat the olive oil in a thick bottomed pot
  • season and brown the chicken
  • remove from the pot and sauté the onion until soft
  • add the mushrooms, the tomatoes, the tapenade and the pesto
  • put the chicken back in the pot and add the wine
  • allow to simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes
  • then take the lid off and cook for a further 10 minutes to thicken the sauce
 Recipe For Pesto Princess Chicken

PS I really need to pay attention to my background in my photo’s – here you can see the corner of my stove and the lovely Le Creuset Oval Casserole that was gifted to me


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Oak Smoked Red Bell Pepper Chicken

I love new products, which explains why I have a kitchen drawer and cupboard full of lovely goodies waiting to be used. One new (to me) exciting product that I came across last year was the Oak Smoked Red Bell Pepper from the Smoking Shed – a company co-founded by our very own blogger Sam Linsell of Drizzle and Dip. I had used the product very successfully with steak before I decided to come up with a recipe specifically for chicken. Your kitchen will have this lovely smell of oak hanging around, and the flavour the seasoning adds to your food is really fantastic. I would highly recommend that you take the time out to find this wonderful condiment.

c2a9 oak smoked red bell pepper chicken1 Oak Smoked Red Bell Pepper Chicken

© oak smoked red bell pepper chicken



150g yoghurt

1 teaspoon oak smoked red bell pepper

2 chicken wings

2 chicken thighs

salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 rashers bacon

2 tomatoes, chopped

½ cup white wine

1 cup frozen peas

1 teaspoon arrowroot


place the yoghurt and the bell pepper into a ziploc bag

season the chicken pieces and add to the yoghurt

seal the bag and gently rub the yoghurt over the chicken pieces

refrigerate for 30 minutes

heat the olive oil in a pot

cook the bacon until the fat has rendered down

remove and brown the chicken thighs – reserve the yoghurt

chop up the bacon and add back to the pot with the tomatoes, yoghurt and wine

cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked

add the peas and cook until hot

thicken the sauce with arrowroot

Printable Version


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Broad (Fava) Bean and Pea Farfalloni Recipe

I wanted to write a series of recipes to submit to a magazine for consideration and started with the concept of doing pasta recipes. But, in the very month I wanted to send them in, the magazine did a whole series in preparation for the Argus Cycle Tour. Completely having missed the boat on that one, I saved the recipes but once again, pasta was in fashion with the Comrades Marathon. I am going to put my thinking cap on and come up with another series of recipes for the magazine, but in the mean time I will share with you the recipes I jotted down. Fava beans in Italy are known as broad beans here and in the UK and are a vibrant green bean that has to be double podded to enjoy to their fullest. This takes time and effort, but it is well worth it. Medically these beans are quite interesting and so I would recommend that you do not eat them raw. They are rich in tyramine and so should be avoided if you are taking Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors.  However, if you have Parkinson’s disease or hypertension, they are a recommended addition to your diet.

c2a9 broad bean and pea farfalloni Broad (Fava) Bean and Pea Farfalloni Recipe

© broad bean and pea farfalloni

Broad (Fava) Bean and Pea Farfalloni


  • 140g broad beans
  • 15mls olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 140g frozen peas
  • 30mls cream
  • 15mls fresh thyme leaves, picked


  • put the water for your pasta on to boil
  • when your pasta water has boiled, place the broad beans into the water and boil for 5 minutes
  • remove and refresh in cold water
  • now start cooking your pasta as per the packet instructions
  • in a large frying pan, heat the oil
  • sauté the shallot until soft
  • season with salt and add the garlic
  • when the garlic is soft, add the peas
  • add the cream and season to taste
  • add the thyme and allow to gently cook while you pod your broad beans
  • add the broad beans and adjust the seasoning before adding the pasta
  • you may need to add 1 tablespoon of the pasta water to loosen the sauce
 Broad (Fava) Bean and Pea Farfalloni Recipe

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


 some information sourced from Wikipedia

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Friday's Food Quiz Number 55

It is Monday and I am doing Friday’s quiz posted by my friend PinkPolkaDot. Please see her blog if you would like to take part. Here are my answers:

1. Kimchi is a fermented condiment from which country?

Korean – this is thanks to reading Lara’s blog all about her one year stay in Korea, teaching English

2. Name three Asian greens?

Bok Choy, Choy Sum, Mustard Greens

3. If I talk about Fuerte, Pinkerton and Hass, what am I referring to?

Avocados – in season right now!

4. What is Tahini?

A paste made from Sesame seeds

5. Pad Thai is one of the national dishes of which country?


6. What are the main ingredients of Pad Thai?

rice noodles, chicken, tamarind sauce, bean sprouts, fish sauce, coriander, lime and chillies (I am trying to figure out what I put in my Thai dishes)

7. What is Tamarind?

the tamarind fruit resembles a broad bean pod, and the pulp is used to make tamarind sauce by soaking it in water.

8. What is considered as the three ingredients of the Asian “holy trinity” in culinary terms?

chilli, garlic and ginger

9. What is the main difference between Scotch whiskey and Irish whiskey?

 Whisky or Scotch, refers to whisky produced in Scotland and is barrel fermented in oak barrels. Irish Whiskey (notice the spelling differences) has to be fermented in wooden barrels.

10. Under what circumstances is Panga on SASSI’s green list?

I am still not convinced that SASSI is 100% right with its allocation of certain fishes to specific status’ but for Panga trawl bycatch is considered orange and linefished panha is green.


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