Something Sweet Challenge To Use Almonds

The biggest challenge for me is to bake something new. I have my trusted cake recipe and so I tend to stick to that once a week for our post dinner treat. So, to challenge myself I have taken the first recipe out of my file.

To challenge you, you are to bake something using almonds.

Remember, if you take part in the challenge you must link back to my blog, and leave a comment here for me to let me know you have done the challenge.


Mandy from The Complete Cook Book has preserved peppadews. Pretty Little Thing has added a marmalade with infused vodka to the challenge.


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Presto Pasta Nights Round Up

This is my second time at hosting Presto Pasta Nights and I am hoping that my second attempt at getting all the posts listed will look a little bit better.

Janet who blogs on over at The Taste Space started the challenge off with her recipe for Sea Weeds and Greens Salad (Kelp Noodles with Wakame and Radish Sprouts). I have tried radish sprouts but have never come across Kelp Noodles and so will have to keep my eyes peeled.
Stash of The Spamwise Chronicles has cooked Penne With Olives, Heirloom Tomatoes and Herbs. His minimalistic approach to cooking means you can have this meal on the table in less that half an hour.
Johanna from the Green Gourmet Giraffe has made a Meaty Cauliflower and Walnut Lasagne. This is a great vegetarian meal perfect for Meatless Mondays.
Joanne from Eats Well With Others made Pasta with Creamy Avocado Sauce. I love anything with avocado and this dish I am told will give you superpowers!
Gay, who is hosting next week, blogs as A Scientist in the Kitchen. She has made Quick and Easy Bell Peppers and Squid Stirfry With Spaghetti. This is a dish I could tuck in to with ease.
Graziana who hails from Sicilyblogs over at Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herbs) has made Spaghetti with Sorrel and Basil Pesto. I have some blood sorrel growing in my garden so this is great inspiration, grazie tante.
Elly, from elly says opa! Made Pumpkin Penne with Arugula, Mushrooms and Romano. Elly prefers her pumpkin sweet, but says this is a great savoury way to enjoy this vegetable.
Ruth, the founder of Presto Pasta Nights, blogs over at Once Upon A Feast. She made Tangy, Spicy Shrimp and Chorizo Pasta. These are two ingredients that I think marry very well together.
I submitted two recipes to this week’s presto pasta nights – one for my 500th post! Take a look at my duck egg ravioli with exotic mushroom sauce

© duck egg ravioli with exotic mushroom sauce

© duck egg ravioli with exotic mushroom sauce


 and my chicken sesame noodles

© chicken and sesame noodles

© chicken and sesame noodles

Thank you to everyone who took part this week and I wish you all a great weekend!


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Chicken in a Mushroom Broth

I have recently learnt that the Chinese traditions teach that mushrooms are natures remedy for a cold. In Jewish tradition chicken soup is the cure for all ills. Melding the two traditions together I came up with this nutritious broth to be served with chicken. Modern science has proved that both mushrooms and chicken are good natural remedies.  Mushrooms contain both Vitamin C and Zinc as well as Vitamin B1; B2; B3 and B5. They contain the minerals Phosphorous, Potassium, Sodium and Calcium. So, all in all these are a healthy nutritious ingredient. Chicken is known as nature’s antibiotic and the best way to get all the goodness is to chew on the bones! This is the one thing I love to do – a learnt behaviour from my Dad, and something Dave does not do. So I get double the pleasure when I make roast chicken for dinner. In fact, I would rather get served the carcass than any other part of the chicken as I love picking off all the soft meat and gnawing away.

© mushroom broth chicken

© mushroom broth chicken



500mls chicken stock

4 chicken pieces

salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

25g dried porcini mushrooms

2 cobs corn, corn taking off the cob

2.5cm root ginger, julienned


preheat the oven to 180° Celsius

bring the stock to the boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer

season the chicken and cook in the oven for 40 minutes

use 2 ladles of the stock to rehydrate the mushrooms for 20 minutes

add the corn to the stock

add the mushrooms and the poaching liquid to the stock

add the ginger to the stock for the last 5 minutes of the chicken’s cooking time

Printable Version


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Recipe For Clemengold Ostrich Fillets

When I posted my recipe for Ostrich Fillets with a Red Wine Jus there were a few questions as to where, what, how. So I thought I would share with you some interesting facts from the Ostrich South Africa Website.

  • More than 65% of the world’s ostriches are being found in South Africa and South Africa also accounts for 80% of ostrich products in the world
  • Oudtshoorn, in the Klein-Karoo (Southern Cape) is the ostrich capital of the world.
  • Meat, is exported mainly to Europe.
  • Because of the meat’s health characteristics ( almost no fat and cholesterol), it is a sought-after product.

Ostrich is a new addition to my kitchen. It is readily available in our supermarkets, but I have not really been enthused about it until I started treating it like game, instead of beef. If you do manage to find some, I hope you will buy the meat and try it.

"Ostrich Fillets With Clemengold Juice"

Ostrich Fillets With Clemengold Juice

Clemengold Ostrich Fillets
  • juice of 1 clemengold
  • 6 juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • 1cm root ginger, sliced
  • 200g ostrich fillets
  • 15g butter
  1. make a marinade with the juice, juniper berries and ginger
  2. marinade the fillets for at least 20 minutes
  3. heat the butter in a frying pan and cook the ostrich for 2 minutes per side
  4. allow to rest while you reduce the marinade into a jus

Click on the links for conversions and notes.


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Curry Plant

The leaves and the flowers are used of this plant, that releases a mouthwatering fragrance of curry each time you brush past it. This is an upright plant that will grow into a semi-sprawling shrub of about 60cm. It has densely arrayed needle-shaped leaves which are covered in fine hairs. These give the plant a silvered appearance.

photograph sourced from Wikipedia

This plant requires an open sunny position and a very well drained soil. Plants may suffer temporary die back after light frost. If your temperature drops below 5°C then plant under protection for the winter.

You can prune and shape the shrub. It does not do well in prolonged rain so to avoid any fungus which may grow on the foliage mulch around the plant, and ensure it has good air circulation. You can use this herb picked fresh.

Add sprigs to eggs, rice and vegetable dishes to impart a mild curry flavour, but only cook briefly.

This plant is not to be confused with a curry tree. The curry tree leaves are what you use traditionally for Indian cooking. You can plant a curry tree in a container and it prefers a warm climate and must be placed in full sun, but it will survive in partial shade.

photograph sourced from Wikipedia

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs


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Recipe For Tapas Tomatoes

I did not manage to get my tapas recipe in on time for the food24 competition so decided it would be perfect for this month’s vinatics. I just love nibbling while drinking and even more so when it is with friends. We have done a fair bit of entertaining this past month and the one thing I know about myself is that I need to eat when I drink. Tapas make the perfect sense to start an evening off with – a small bite or two to whet the appetite, as well as to make sure the wine does not go down on an empty stomach. We were tasked to choose something from the KWV Classic Collection and this was my choice as it goes down perfectly at the start of a warm evening.



Chill the pinotage before serving and enjoy! This tapas was inspired by my gezpacho however, some people like my husband do not like raw onions, and so I needed to cook the ingredients before serving them. I grew up eating raw onions, but since I have stopped eating them raw to suit Dave’s palate, I have found them quite offensive in some dishes. The raw onion flavour overpowers everything else. These little tapas are a perfect way to start the evening – a little slurp of something before tucking into the wine, and the conversation.

"Tapas Tomatoes"

Tapas Tomatoes

Tapas Tomatoes
  • 2 roma tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 red pepper, cut in half and deseeded
  • 2 garlic cloves, cut in half (you can leave the paper on)
  • olive oil for sprinkling
  • salt for seasoning
  • small handful of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon lemon infused olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • handful of flat leaf parsley
  • 150mls vegetable stock
  1. preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
  2. place the tomatoes skin side down into a baking tray
  3. play the red pepper skin side up into the baking tray
  4. add the garlic and then sprinkle with olive oil
  5. season with salt, and add the thyme
  6. bake for 20 minutes and then leave to cool
  7. heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the onions until soft
  8. add the paprika and the cumin
  9. remove the garlic from the skins and add to the onion
  10. roughly chop the tomatoes and the pepper
  11. add them to the onions with any of the juices
  12. place all of the ingredients into a blender with the parsley and the stock and process until smooth

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

Edit September 21st: I have withdrawn my entry from the Vinatics competition as it does not quite comply with food24’s rules of blogging about the actual evening and publishing photographs of my guests. 


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Recipe For Chicken And Sesame Noodles

I had mixed feelings with the first month of my participation in The Secret Recipe Club, on the one hand the ups are all the lovely new bloggers I met, and who I am now following. On the down side was the fact that the person whose blog I was given did not leave a comment on my post! I wonder if she did not like the rendition I made of her meal? This month, my blog assignment is *jam hands*. Ali is from Montana and is a mom of two. We both have the same feeling about people being nice – I however think mascara is an every day necessity! I chose Ali’s Funky Chicken and Sesame Noodles as it sounded exactly like something we would eat and enjoy :) I changed the pasta to noodles and added some green beans for colour and crunch. Dave really enjoyed this meal, enough so that he took the left over chicken to work for lunch the next day.

"Chicken and Sesame Noodles"

Chicken and Sesame Noodles

Chicken And Sesame Noodles
for the chicken
  • 60mls brown sugar I used fructose
  • 60mls soy sauce
  • 60mls teriyaki sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5mls chopped ginger
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • soy bean oil for cooking
for the noodles (for 2 people)
  • 180g ramen noodles
  • 60mls soy sauce
  • 90mls sugar I used fructose
  • 30mls sesame oil
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 30mls sesame seeds
for the chicken
  1. mix the sugar, soy, teriyaki, garlic and ginger in a bowl
  2. stir until the sugar has mostly dissolved
  3. add the chicken and coat well with the marinade
  4. cover and leave in the fridge for 2 hours
for the noodles
  1. using a jar, mix together the soy, sugar and sesame oil
for the meal
  1. heat the oil in a wok and the water for the noodles
  2. cook the spring onions for the noodles if you don’t like them raw – we don’t
  3. set aside
  4. remove the chicken from the marinade and seal – discard the marinade
  5. cut into bite size slices and then finish cooking in the wok while you boil your noodles
  6. shake the noodle sauce until well blended
  7. drain the noodles, return then back to the pot and pour the sauce over the noodles
  8. add the spring onions and the sesame seeds and mix the noodles so that they are well coated
  9. place the noodles into a bowl and add the left over sauce to the chicken while it is still in the wok
Cooks Notes
we added 50g green beans to the wok for a minute so that they were nice and crunchy

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by ME!


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How To Sterilize Glass Jars / Bottles

I do not go in for the whole rigmarole of the canning process. I have been using this method to sterilize glass with great success for over 20 years, and reckon it works!

"ClemenGold, Lime And Ginger Marmalade"

ClemenGold, Lime And Ginger Marmalade

fill your clean glass jars / bottles with boiling water and empty

then place in the microwave on full power until dry

put the lids into boiling water and use straight from there to seal your jars / bottles

"sterilize a glass jar"

sterilize a glass jar


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Presto Pasta Nights 232 – and an Ingredient Challenge

I am a regular (read weekly) contributor to Presto Pasta Nights which coincides with the Tandy Tuesday pasta dish I make every week. This week, Ruth of Once Upon A Feast has entrusted me to host Presto Pasta Nights for the second time and I am super excited to see what dishes make it to the round up on the 23rd of September. I am combining this with my Ingredient Challenge and hope that my regular weekly food challenge participants will take part. Obviously, this week, the challenge is to cook something using PASTA and any other 5 ingredients of your choice (this does not include oil, salt and pepper)

"PPN 232"

PPN 232

If you take part in Presto Pasta Nights, please link back to PPN as well as my blog. Send an email of your link to:

lavenderandlimeblog (at) gmail (dot) com and cc Ruth Daniels rsdaniels (at) gmail (dot) com

you can still take part even if you don’t have a blog my emailing me the recipe you want to share.

the cut off time is Thursday September 22nd at midnight whereever you live!


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Recipe For Duck Egg Ravioli

If you are a regular reader to my blog you will know I am a self confessed Woolworths Baby. Woolworths in South Africa is the equivalent of Marks & Spencer in the United Kingdom. The majority of all my shopping is done at Woolworths, from the food we eat, to the clothes we wear, and everything in between. Woolworths have their own magazine, Taste, and I have every single copy. I subscribe so that I can read it before it hits the shelves. I have also seen my name in the magazine on more than one occasion. Recently, Taste decided they would have their own blogging platform and I moved my South African blog over to them. This morning in my inbox, was my bi monthly newsletter and there was my photograph with:

Much-loved and followed SA blogger Tandy of Lavender and Lime blogs for TASTE! Read her yummy post on lamb burgers.

In celebration of this lovely accolade, I decided to devise a recipe show casing duck eggs. This is a new product on the shelves at Woolworths, and I have been buying 6 a week since I first saw them. Duck eggs have the most amazing yellow yolk – and it is large. They make the creamiest scrambled eggs you can imagine and so far I have used them to make mayonnaise and cookie dough. Duck eggs are now available locally at selected Woolworths stores so if you find them, do buy them!

"Duck Egg Ravioli With Exotic Mushroom Sauce"

Duck Egg Ravioli With Exotic Mushroom Sauce

"be careful now!"

be careful now!

"seal the edges"

seal the edges

"trim the edges"

trim the edges

you will notice, these are not the same shape as in the photograph of the meal. The first time did not work out properly, so I did them again. This shape meant less pasta, and the thinness of the pasta meant a better texture. The cold egg yolks meant they were nice and soft when they were opened.


Duck Egg Ravioli With Exotic Mushroom Sauce
for the ravioli
  • 100g pasta flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • flour for dusting
  • 2 duck eggs, separated (at fridge temperature)
for the exotic mushroom sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, cut in half and sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 200g exotic mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable stock
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 rashers back bacon, finely sliced
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons cream
for the ravioli
  1. mix together the pasta flour, salt and egg with a fork
  2. form a dough in the bowl before turning out – the dough should be neither too wet nor too dry so add flour / water if necessary
  3. dust a surface with flour and knead the dough for 5 minutes
  4. you want a smooth, silky dough
  5. cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for half an hour
  6. cut the dough in half and roll out each piece to number 6 on your pasta machine
  7. cut each sheet in half
  8. carefully place an egg yolk into the centre of each ravioli sheet
  9. use the egg white to moisten the area around the yolk
  10. carefully place the second sheet on top and join together
  11. you need to get all the air out and not break the yolk!
  12. trim the edges
  13. cook in boiling salted water for 3 minutes
for the exotic mushroom sauce
  1. heat the oil in a large sauté pan and sauté the onion and garlic until soft
  2. add the mushrooms, the stock and the salt and allow the mushrooms to cook down
  3. add the bacon, chilli flakes and thyme
  4. you may need to add some water at this stage to loosen the sauce
  5. when you put the ravioli in the water to cook, add the cream

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

"the end result"

the end result

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted next week by ME!


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