Try these mini wine ice cubes this new years.

If you are like us in SA and are having a hot summer holiday season, then these mini wine ice cubes are just the thing to chill your beverages. They can also be made with water or a clear fruit juice. I have seen lots of friends who forget to chill white wine and then use water ice cubes to chill the wine which intern dilutes the good stuff. These will chill your beverage while the flavour is not affected.

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Recipe:

makes about 6 to 8 cubes

250 ml white wine or apple juice- same wine you will be serving for your guests.

small handful fresh berries of your choice

6-8 shot glasses or you can use an ice tray.

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Method:

  1. Fill the glasses or ice tray with fresh berries.
  2. Carefully top the glasses/ tray with wine or juice.
  3. place in the freezer and freeze – about 6 hours until frozen.
  4. tip – I used some rosemary in mine as well – this adds flavour and makes it easy for the ice cube to come out of the glass as it can just be pulled using the rosemary stem. this is optional…Happy Entertaining.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impress this New years with the best cocktail snacks ever!

If you have not yet thought about your new years cocktail party snacks yes – then hopefully these ideas would come in handy. they are great for any cocktail dinner party.

The Meatball nachos with a mango salsa are always popular. My family loves the BBQ chicken with herb stuffing (as promised the stuffing recipe is published) and the Bisto (tomato and onion relish).

Then for a light dessert nibble, the apricot bites filled with Baobab and honey Greek yoghurt is a hit.

check out the recipes at the end of the post.

 

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Taco recipe

Takes about 30 minutes to prep.

Very easy to make

You’ll need:

1 avocado, peeled and cut into cubes

6 taco shells

12 cooked meatballs

Mango Salsa

80ml blue cheese salad dressing

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To make the mango salsa:

1 firm mango, peeled and cut into cubes

Half red onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1 hot chilli, seeded and firmly sliced

Small handful rosa tomatoes, roughly chopped

Small handful fresh coriander, chopped

Method:

  1. Warm the taco shells briefly and fill with meat balls.
  2. Mix all the salsa ingredients together in a small bowl. Fill equal amounts onto the taco.
  3. Drizzle with Blue cheese salad dressing, add avo and serve.

To make the bisto

This relish was always called Bisto in my neighbourhood. To this day – we still love to make Bisto and serve it warm with a traditional South African sausage – Boerewors.

My Niece Bonie makes the best bisto ever! And she was generous to share her recipe.

You’ll need:

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium sized tomato, chopped

1 tea spoon dried basil

1 Tbsp smoked chilli flakes (not heaped)

2 Tbsp brown sugar (not heaped)

¼ cup water

1 Tbsp creamy mayonnaise

Pinch of salt

 

Method:

  1. Fry the onion over medium heat in the olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add the tomatoes, basil, chilli, brown sugar and water. Cook for about 10 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the mayonnaise and season with salt to taste.
  4. Then to assemble the cocktail dish, carefully place BBQ mini chicken kebabs into a glass together with the stuffing and bisto, repeat with the rest of the glasses. Check out the stuffing recipe below. Garnish with sliced rosa tomatoes. Bisto is enough to make 6 portions.

 

The Stuffing Recipe:

4 slices of white bread, blitzed into crumbs (use bread that a day or two old preferably)

1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped

Handful fresh coriander, chopped

20 ml softened butter

Salt and black pepper to season

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Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients with a spoon until well mixed and either use to stuff into meats such as leg of lamb or chicken. I sometime use my hands to press the stuffing to be intact and hold together.
  2. Or for this recipes. Roll into balls and flatten. Bake in the oven at 180°C for about 10 minutes until firm and slightly golden brown.
  3. For extra flavour, chopped fresh sage can also be added.

 

The apricot recipes:

20 fresh firm and ripe apricots, halved and pip removed

2 medium sized white flesh nectarines, pip removed, peeled and finely mashed

2 heaped Tbsp baobab fruit powder

2 Tbsp double plain yoghurt

2 tsp raw honey

To garnish

Small handful fresh raspberries

2 Tbsp baobab fruit powder

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Method

  1. Flatten the apricots a little to make room filling. I used a back of a spoon to do this.
  2. Mix together the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl and use a teaspoon to fill the apricot halves.
  3. Garnish with fresh raspberries and sift over with more Baobab powder.
  4. I made my Baobab powder by blitzing dried Baobab fruit until a powder.

Happy Entertaining.

 

 

 

 

The Best Christmas Dinner I ever hosted

This year I just had to write about my Christmas.

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Being a mother of three – it can be quite tricky to churn out a big dinner. I loved everything, the prep, the food, and the company. My Theme was about being chilled, fun, not being stressed and serve beautiful food for my guests.

The first thing for me was to jot down the menu – as with any prep, the menu is the foundation of how you execute any dinner party. My menu had to have some super easy components, some technical ones and prep that could be done the day or night before. The shopping was done the week before where possible and some meats frozen. I also defrost them (the big cuts of meats)a day or two prior to cooking.

 

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So see below was the initial menu plan. I say initial because the starter had to be changed the morning of the Christmas dinner – someone left the fish outside the fridge and it was no good to use (oh snap!). So we had platters of pigs in blanket, smoked chicken nibbles and espitada’s off the skewer instead – it ended up being fab after all the stress it caused me. In any case, the ice cream was done the day before and frozen – just ready for the garnish and serving. The Gammon was poached, for every 500g (poached for 30min). My Gammon was massive – took four hours. This meant though while it was poaching away – I could do other things.

The lamb stuffing could also be made the day before – I just made mine on the day with the help of my lovely niece Bonie. I love making stuffing from scratch. I will soon share a yummy stuffing recipe that can be used for New year’s eve party snacks. So I only had three things in my oven (and they also really cook themselves in the oven) so less stress again! that’s the chicken and the lamb. Inbox me if you would like me to share a roast lamb recipe!

Oh the bread can be done the day before and just warmed on the day. I also asked my lovely cousin Njongo to make it into muffin pans – looks cute!

I was not shy to ask for assistance – My Niece and her friend, the boys (Okuhle and Sinaso Martins) – everyone had so much fun helping.

 

The Menu:

Asian salmon & trout fish cakes on a bed of rocket

***

Gluhwein poached gammon with plum sauce

Garlic, rosemary and sage stuffed leg of lamb

Ox tongue

Thyme, garlic, lemon & honey roast chicken

Hassel back potato wreath

Corn bread wreath with pate or dip

Festive salad

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A bouquet of ice cream

 

Dessert made easy

I just had to share this post.

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Photography by Thulisa Martins

Food styling by Soxolo Ntoni (@Sox) and Yonela Mbovane (@Yols)

This is what my niece and her friend decorated. They took some shop bought cake and pumped it up a notch with fresh fruits and edible flowers. Who says they had nothing to do with this dessert…I say they did – looks fab!

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So my dear reader, when you are pressed for time: buy something and just add your magic touch and then ugqibile (you’re done)!

This December, I will spend less time in the kitchen and more time with my family and friend – catching up :). Thank you Sox and Yols, I am inspired.

I know, I know – I will do a few things here and there from scratch – otherwise I would not live with myself :). I love scratch cooking.

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The Best culinary school ever!

ICT – Infinity culinary training I am so grateful to have come across you.

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I am also grateful for Marisa Munroe, my Mentor who introduced me to you. This is what the essence of life is all about – the spirit of ubuntu…when we all forget about our selfish desires and just focus on building one another other to make this world a better place.

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ICT – the shortbread cookies are gone, I got them today as I was at my grad last week and had kids sick and the other at prom night – how I wish I got them earlier. The shortbread was so yum and buttery, short and moo-rish!. my kids also loved them. The letter got me 99.999 percent in tears – I had to keep my cool in my new department. I am humbly grateful- Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Big ups to you Siphasethu for making the best cookies ever. You must open a bakery!

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