Fall of the bone easy Balsamic braised lamb

I love balsamic vinegar.

This is a very easy recipe. I make a big pot and if you are a small family, you can have it the day after. It keeps for two days in the fridge.

30ml (2 tbsp.) cooking oil, plus extra if needed

1 large onion, peeled & roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1kg Stewing lamb

salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste

250ml (1 cup) three grape Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

250ml (1 cup) red wine

500ml (2 cups) vegetable stock

1 sprig rosemary, leaves only


  1. Heat a deep large pot over high heat. Add the oil, onion and garlic, sauté – taking care not to burn for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the lamb and brown in batches, add more oil if needed. Add all the browned lamb back into the pot and season.
  3. Reduce the heat and add the vinegar, wine, stock and rosemary. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 and a half hours until the lamb falls off the bone. If the sauce has not reduce. Remove the lamb and cook the sauce until it’s reduced. Add the lamb back and serve with a warm home baked bread.

Rich moreish oxtail

Recipe, photo and styling by Thulisa Martins

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1,2kg oxtail
30ml (2 tbsp.) flour (cake or bread)
2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
45 ml (3 tbsp.) cooking oil, plus extra if needed
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 long celery sticks, sliced
45ml (3 tbsp.) Red wine vinegar
410g (1 can) tomatoes & herbs
500ml beef stock (if you like cooking with wine, you can use 250ml red wine and 250ml beef stock)
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut in half
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful cherry tomatoes to serve



1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C.
2. Lightly coat the oxtail with flour and set aside.
3. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and sauté the red onion in the olive oil for about 30 seconds. Add the garlic and celery, sauté for another 30 seconds.
4. Add the oxtail and brown, about 2 minutes. remove the meat from the man and transfer onto an oven proof large dish.
5. Add the red wine vinegar to the saucepan and stir for 30 seconds to get all the flavour and juiced off the pan. top this onto the oxtail.
6. Add the tomatoes & herbs, stock and cook for 3 hours in the oven until the meat falls off the bone. In the last 45 minutes, add the potatoes.
7. Serve warm with rice and your favourite vegetables.

UMNGQUSHO….it is samp

This is how I served my samp this weekend.

Those that are close to me would know that I am really trying to eat healthier – no carbs, just lots of veggies and protein. Somehow I just know at the back of my head that life is way too short to miss out on some of the amazing taste experiences in this world.



So this weekend I just had to make umngqusho (samp – just samp). My hubby started it by soaking the samp on Friday night and I just had to then cook it  (willingly so) :).

This is a super easy recipe to make and its so creamy, delicious and the best way to entertain your guests.LRM_EXPORT_2813327258944_20191007_084127907

Umnqhusho ( Creamy Samp)

Serves 6

easy to make

recipe, styling & photo by Thulisa Martins


3 cups samp, plus enough water to soak

5 cups water for cooking

1 cup (250 ml) vegetable/ chicken stock

Salt and black pepper to taste

For the sauce

3 fresh sprigs of rosemary

2 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed

1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

250 ml double thick cream

To serve:

Roasted garlic & butter brown mushrooms

small handful Parmesan cheese, grated

tomato & onion salsa

For those that still enjoy meat – serve with beef steak too.



  1. Soak the samp overnight in enough water to cover. This step can be skipped if you forget to soak, the samp will just take a little longer to cook.
  2. Drain the samp and place in a medium to large sauce pan. Add the five cups of water and stock and cook for about an hour or until samp is soft and fully cooked.
  3. To make the sauce. Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat, Sauté the rosemary and garlic for 3 minutes. Stir in the cream and pour over samp and mix through just before serving.
  4. Serve with garlic roasted brown mushrooms, grated Parmesan, tomato & onion salsa and steak if preferred.


Roast Vegetable Tart

I used ingredients in my fridge to make this super easy delicious tart.



This recipe is basically putting together roasting vegetables that I had in my fridge, cheese sauce and short crust pastry.

If you do not fancy making your own short crust pastry –then use a shop bought one.


Roast Vegetable tart

Serves 6

Medium effort to make

Takes about 1 hour to prep

Recipe, photo and styling by Thulisa Martins


For the Pastry

250g Cake flour

Pinch of salt

50g matured cheddar cheese, grated

150g butter, cut into blocks

1 egg yolk

30ml ice cold water



30ml (2Tbsp) olive oil, plus extra if needed

5ml (1 tsp) crushed garlic

5ml (1 tsp) crushed fresh ginger

2.5ml (1/2 tsp) crushed green chillies

800g fresh roasting veg mix

Salt and pepper to taste

500ml cheese sauce or add grated cheese to white sauce


Sweet chilli sauce to serve, optional

Edible flowers to serve, optional



  1. To make the pastry, mix together the flour, salt, cheese and butter with a food processor or use your fingers to mix until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the egg yolk and water, mix into a dough – do not over mix.
  3. Rest for 20 minutes in the fridge. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  4. To make the filling, heat a large deep frying pan on high heat, add the olive oil, garlic, ginger and chilli and fry, taking care not to burn the garlic, 1 minute.
  5. Add the roasting veg and sauté for 5 minutes until the veggies are brown – not soft. Add a little more olive oil if needed. Season to taste.
  6. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out into a rough round shape, about 3-5mm thick and line into a 20cm baking tin, blind bake for 10 minutes. Now as mentioned previously – this pastry can be bought ready made from your local store.
  7. Fill the blind baked pastry with half the vegetables and then top with cheese sauce. Finish with a heaped layer of vegetables on top. Bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
  8. Serve warm topped with edible flowers and sweet chilli sauce and a light green salad.


Hemp & Pistachio Cheese cake

All content by Thulisa Martins.


All I can say about this cheese cake is that you have to try it.!.. its creamy and delicate and the nutty pistachios compliment it so well. The raspberries just add that lovely tart berry flavour to complete it, mouth watering stuff. It was great to develop this recipe. I love to play in the kitchen trying out new things and this one was worth it. I loved taking the pictures of this lovely beauty.


For the crust

160g coconut biscuits, crushed

60g butter, melted


For the filling:

10g hemp powder

1 medium sized avocado, peeled and pip removed

250g medium fat cream cheese

250g full cream plain cottage cheese, smooth

80g castor sugar

250ml double thick cream

Small handful pistachio nuts

Small handful raspberries


  1. Grease a 20 cm pan/ serving dish.
  2. Mix together the biscuits and melted butter and press onto the bottom of the dish. Chill while preparing the filling.
  3. To make the filling blend together the hemp, avocado, both cheese’s and sugar until smooth on a free standing blender, about 3 minutes. Add the double cream and blend for another 1 minutes until mixed through.
  4. Spread the filling mixture over the biscuit crust and smooth the surface using a flat knife. Refrigerate to chill for at least two hours. This can be chilled overnight to take out the stress of prepping too much on the day.
  5. Just before serving toast the pistachio nuts, cool and sprinkle over the cheese cake. Top with fresh raspberries, dust with more hemp powder and serve.
  6. tip…you can use some of the pistachio’s chopped into the filling. I just like mine smooth.

EASTER ON A PLATE. the best way to celebrate!

All content by Thulisa Martins.


A hot cross bun served warm is just the best thing for Easter.

Either just with butter oozing and melting on the bun…

or a bit exciting with fresh figs, cream cheese and a hint of fresh herb to add an earthy note to the dish.

My dear reader I love sweet things. Yet they must just not be too sweet for me. A balance of sweet, acid & fruity with creamy cheese and melt in the mouth good quality chocolate does the trick.

Toasting my Hot cross buns just before serving is just the thing for me.

Yes it is simplicity on the plate and a great experience in your mouth and true soul food.



Enjoy my lovelies… you deserve it! Put your feet up with your favourite music in the background and peace that surpasses all understanding! You deserve it.

Easter Cookies made easy


This recipe is the same as the ‘Pretty in pink’ post cookie dough. After rolling, just cut the dough with Easter bunny and egg shaped cookie cutters.

Get the entire family involved – its fun. What I will share besides the pics in this post.



So the dough is very soft after beating and gets very hard when refrigerated.

Just pop it into the cling film even if it looks a bit too soft, cover and refrigerate.

Knead it a bit to make it more pliable after refrigerating and use the rolling pin with flour or icing sugar to prevent from sticking.



When rolling, keep on pushing the dough together and it will become more manageable as you continue to roll. Lift the dough and sprinkle with flour or icing sugar underneath to prevent from sticking to the surface or roll onto cling film.


Be creating with your garnish – I like to be playful and also use some fresh fruits as well and herbs.

I hope that helps and happy baking.


The Best Crunchy salad for any occasion

Crunchy Apple and white rock salad


Very easy to make

Serves 4

2 medium sized apples, sliced

Handful baby spinach leaves

150g Green bean, blanched

Handful strawberries, halved

Two heaped tbsp., sprouts

100g White rock cheese with cranberries

Salt and cracked black pepper to taste.


Lemon juice and olive oil.


  1. Toss all the ingredients together and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
  2. This salad goes really well with chicken, Italian meats (such as Prosciutto Crudo) and pork.
  3. For those that like cream dressings a dollop of French style mayonnaise can be added.

TIP…dip your apples into lime cordial water – makes the apples keep their colour for longer and do not make them taste sour like when you use lemon water.

1 cup water and two table spoons cordial

Recipe and photo by Thulisa Martins

10 minute kale… a perfect side



I recently ordered vegetables from this amazing initiative: umthunzi farming community. An initiative that supports sustainable organic urban farming from seed to consumer. This Kale was part of the offer for the week and it is super easy to make. Great as an Easter lunch side or any other dinner party. It felt amazing making this.

All you need is a bunch of Kale, washed and roughly chopped

60 ml (2 TBSP) extra virgin olive oil

Salt and black pepper to season

150 ml medium fat cream cheese



  1. Heat a non stick saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and kale.
  2. Saute for 2-3 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Saute for another 3 minutes until soft yet still firm (so not too soft).
  3. Add dollops of cream cheese and serve.

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