Love is…

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.

IMG_5100

 

Try this chocolate bark which will go down very well when entertaining (you can serve it as dessert with vanilla ice cream). This is also a great gift to pack beautifully into a gift box with tissue paper when invited to a dinner party. I used milk chocolate, yet dark chocolate also goes down well.

All you need to do really is melt the chocolate then pour it onto a cut grease proof paper (making sure the paper is big enough), top with fresh berries and sprinkles of your choice. Enjoy. also see the tips section below.

IMG_5018

Tips:

  1. Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate. Or place water into a pot and top with a heat proof bowl (do not let the water touch the bowl). Place roughly chopped chocolate into the bowl. Heat the pot on medium heat (the water should simmer not boil). Melt the chocolate while stirring.
  2. After melting the chocolate, remove from heat and keep on stirring until the chocolate is slightly cooled and thick prior to pouring onto the grease proof paper.
  3. This is so quick and easy to make. If using fresh berries, the bark has to be eaten on the day. dried berries can also be used to keep the bark for at least a week.

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.

IMG_4854

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.

IMG_4847

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.

 

IMG_4749

IMG_4761

IMG_4751

IMG_4726

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

IMG_4730

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

IMG_4692

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

IMG_4702

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.

IMG_4565

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.

 

IMG_4548

 

IMG_4550.JPG

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

***

A bouquet of ice cream

 

Dessert made easy

I just had to share this post.

IMG_4384

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!

IMG_4386

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Best culinary school ever!

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

IMG_4390

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.

IMG_4400

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!

What to do with whole chicken

Roast it! the left overs can be used for sandwiches or salads.

…by Thulisa Martins

 

img_4048.jpg

So every Sunday I aspire to cook and plan meals for the week. I have a chalk board where I write all my dinner plans and try to stick to that as much as possible. Most of the cooking is done over the weekend or even marinating some meats to be cooked during the week – to make it easier when we get home.

I also try and cook something that take a bit longer to prep for the weekend and serve it then. Hence this yummy chicken roast done last week had to be shared.

All I did was to collect herbs from my garden pots – thyme & parsley and used it to stuff underneath the chicken skin with lots of plaas botter (farm butter – now that another post on its own) to enhance the flavour. Then the chicken was seasoned with freshly crushed pepper and sea salt. Then I stuffed it with whole lemon and garlic.

I roasted it at 180°C (every 500g for 30 minutes). It was delicious.

Next to it I scattered some roasting potatoes coated with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper and red onion wedges to roast together.

This one pot roast is great served with a luscious salad over summer or a warm green pea salad over winter/ roasting veggies.

This week I started getting the kids more involved with dinners – will see how that pans out. We enjoyed our roast chicken made effortlessly.

IMG_4041

What to do with kids this summer

Dear precious reader, I just had to share this memory with you.

IMG_4111

I have been so busy lately with my Dad in hospital and work load elevating again while having to man the fam. I have been blessed with a great husband, still a man J yet just complimenting me in all aspects of my busy buzzing life! Not only has he been dragged to go to a vegan restaurant, he has been a foodie of note.

I felt that my 13 year old is drifting away – growing too fast. Then after a work outing doing an amazing race, I told my son Sinaso about our work experience and he was super excited about it. So then we ended up doing the red bus (not a race) yet hop on and off was such a great adventure for us. We also included the canal cruise – just the two of us (we absolutely had so much fun and loved it – sorry no pics just a memory at this stage) we were in the moment. This particular weekend, Mava (my Hubby) was travelling.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then I felt a bit guilty as I thought that the other two kids were a bit neglected – joys of Mother of three –  Hence the birth of making popsicles with all kids came about. We bought juice and coloured some with food colouring to make the different colours. I love berries – so a blueberry and pear one for me was good J.

We had so much fun and had to remake more. This summer we are so going to make lots to freeze so that we have enough in our freezer.

I was inspired by the galaxy! (you are my galaxy) as said by Diane in a photo-shoot that I went to J hence the coloured vibing some galaxy notes.

My Bo Kaap experience!

IMG_2431

 

I was fortunate to be amongst a group of lovely product developers to visit Bo Kaap in Cape Town for the Bo Kaap cooking tours. I had not been in this area for years. Our product development manager really inspires us with these outings.

Not only was I looking forward to seeing the beautiful colourful houses, yet the cooking lesson was such an exciting part as well for a Foodie like me.

 

We started off by walking up to visit the spice shop (a BONUS), every spice you can think off – BOOM SHAKALA! I am definitely going back to buy some spices.

We then moved to learn more about the history of the area and Cape Malay which originated from Southeast Asia.

Ok my biggest was going back to Zainie’s house and learning how to make some fundamental Cape Malay dishes. The best being rooti’s – see how I smashed it on my instagram page J – a real hands-on experience – just the way I like it. Then we got to stuff our faces with some light, more-ish deep fried roti offcuts – DELISH!

 

The atmosphere was homely, relaxed and super informed. I surely will host a Cape Malay inspired dinner soon – watch this space!

Amongst other dishes – folding the samoosa’s was a bit tricky but we got there, we were given some tricks and I took lots of pics. We also enjoyed making and eating the Daaltjies (Chilli Bites). Hopefully one day when you visit Cape Town, you can join this lovely experience or hit a short left if you are already in Cape Town.

IMG_2456

I am not going to share the recipes we were given – hopefully you will choose to go and experience them yourself or treat a loved one to a course.

See –  http://www.bokaapcookingtour.co.za/ for more info.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑