Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Chocolates Galore

I have been silent but am now back online - will be putting up some new recipes this week.

I have just published my first e-book as a kindle - this is a chocolate making course and can be found at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006ZW63ZS.


Monday, 29 August 2011

We had a glut of small but tasty bananas and so I thought I would try to use my basic microwave recipe and adjust it for bananas and pecans - this was the result!
1 and 1/2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 eggs
1 cuo light brown sugar
8 small or 4 large bananas
1 cup milk ( that’s right no fat except for the milk!)
1 teaspoon vanilla.

Mash bananas in a food processor – add all other ingredients and process until smooth
Add ½ cup or more of pecan nuts (or other nuts) or chocolate chips.

Mix until incorporated into the mixture – nuts can be chopped or whole.

Place in a microwave safe cake baker or silicone baking mould and bake in high for between 8 and 10 minutes until the cake draws away from the sides of the pan and the centre is just slightly undercooked at the surface. Leave for five minutes to cool – turn out and ice with your favourite icing or dust with icing sugar.

This is a variation on my microwave cake which I use all the time – flavoured with chocolate or coffee or almond – any flavour you like!

We are at high altitude so you may have to adjust the baking powder and/or the length of time for the baking

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Chicken Liver Pate

This is just the easiest chicken liver pate ever - and it tastes divine!

Take 1 kilo of chicken livers, 2 chopped onions, 1 punnet of mushrooms and cook together with a small amount of butter and olive oil in a large pot.  When livers are cooked through season to taste with salt and pepper, Tabasco sauce and brandy.  let cool and then transfer to a food processor or liquidiser.  Add cream or creme fraise -  you can add more after processing - and proce3ss to the desired consistency.  Add more cream or cream fraise now and put into small pots.  It will keep in the fridge for 3 days or freezes well. 

This can be used on its own or added to other dishes to improve and change the flavour - my favourite is chicken fried in olive oil and butter - then the pate added to make a thick and tasty sauce - ideal served with a fresh vegetable and a baked potato.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Vegetable and Lentil Crock Pot

I have just been introduced to a slow cooker - our elder son does not need his and so it has entered my kitchen!  I am hooked - a wonderful way of cooking meat so it is really tender and tremendous for lentils or beans.

Her is the recipe i made at the end of the week - what was left over i made into rissoles - this fed the two of us, my husband and myself for three meals!

2 1/4 cups dried green or brown lentils, rinsed and drained
4  carrots quartered and cut into 2 inch pieces
3 medium leeks halved and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (white parts only)
2 cups cubed red potato with skin
2 minced garlic cloves or 1/2 tsp powder
one large garlic bulb - whole with outer skin removed
1 tin diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups water or stock - can be made with a stock cube of your choice
1 tin of condensed cream of mushroom soup or your favourite or 1 packet soup mix and 500 ml of water
3/4 cup tomato juice
3/4 tsp dried basil  or more if using fresh - must be finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme or finely chopped fresh
1/2 tsp pepper
Sour cream
Add all ingredients to slow cooker except for the sour cream and turn heat to high - check after 4 hours and taste - then check again when 6 hours has gone by.

You can vary the flavours by adding celery, soy sauce, Worcester sauce or other flavouring - you may need to add some salt.

Pour sour cream over the casserole when ready to serve. 

This is good on its own, with crusty bread or with a baked potato.


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Deap Fried Onion Rings

Sorry I have not posted for a time but Internet problems have made any contribution almost impossible!

I have now discovered the easiest and best way of making deep fried crispy onion rings that stay that way even if not eaten immediately!

Take your onions and slice them - not too thinly.
place them in a container and cover them about half way with milk (full cream).
Mix them round in the milk and when well covered put in enough plain white flour to make a good paste and cover each onion ring.
Heat your deep fryer to the temperature recommended by the manufacturer and add the onion rings.
Fry until golden brown and crisp
Salt to taste when you remove them or allow your guests or family to salt to their taste.

Excellent with fish, chicken, steak or almost anything - or as a snack on their own with a good dipping sauce.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Individual meat loaves

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 onions chopped finely
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons  salt
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 1/2 pounds ground beef - fat free
1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
2 extra-large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup ketchup
                                                                   1/2 cup cheddar cheese grated
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not brown. Take the pan off the heat, add the Worcestershire sauce, stock, and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the minced beef, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix lightly with a fork. Don't mash or the meatloaf will be dense. Divide the mixture into 6 portions and shape each portion into a small loaf on a baking sheet lined with a silicone pad. Spread about a tablespoon of ketchup on the top of each portion. Bake for bout 35 minutes, until the loaves are cooked through. Place the cheese on top and finish off in the oven until the cheese melts
Serve with mashed potatoes and green peas or green beans,

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Banana Ice Cream

I have been experimenting with my banana ice cream (recipe published earlier) and have found that by adding honey (about 3 tablespoons) and some cardamon powder the flavour and texture are greatly improved. You can also add peanut butter - crunchy or smooth - another good alternative!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Home made Tomato Puree

What could be better - tomatoes fresh off the plant - and so easy!

I take as many tomatoes as I have and place them in a microwavable bowl - make a cut in each tomato and put a few sticks of celery and/or a couple of carrots with them.  I also like to use a couple of lime leaves and a bay leaf.

Microwave on high for 25 minutes.  Give them a stir and then cook again for 15 minutes.

Remove from the microwave and let cool. Season to taste with salt and pepper - and add a top of port - this makes all the difference!  Do not add garlic - do this when you use the sauce or your puree will taste rancid.

Then liquidise!  There you have it!  Freezer and enjoy when there are no tomatoes in the garden.

I have also added chillies as well to make a chilli tomato sauce for pasta - wonderful!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Baked Cherry Tomatoes

A lovely way to serve cherry tomatoes - this brings out their sweet flavour and is a wonderful dish to serve with chicken or even macaroni cheese!
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup onions, chopped
4 cups cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup packed brown sugar, or honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, buttered
Wash and drain cherry tomatoes; remove stems.

Melt butter in pan. Add tomatoes, 6 tablespoons brown sugar or honey and salt.
Cook very slowly until liquid evaporates. Be careful not to let tomatoes stick or scorch.
Put mixture in baking dish. Top with buttered bread crumbs and remaining brown sugar or honey.
Bake in preheated 350-degree oven until crumbs are browned about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

What to do with leftover cheese bits!

Any left-over cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup dry white wine - to one pound of cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened  - to one pound of cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves to taste
1  garlic clove or to taste
You may use any left-over cheese you wish, such as Cheddar, Parmesan, Provolone, Fontina, Mozzarella, Camembert, Brie. Make sure that you use a combination that is not too salty.

Remove any rind from hard cheeses. Grate hard cheeses and cut others into 1/2-inch cubes. Place cheese, wine, butter, herbs, and garlic in a food processor and blend until smooth, approximately 2 minutes.

This can be served immediately or refrigerated for at least 1 hour for a firmer consistency. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Use as a dip - spread  - or put on bread toasted on one side and toast under the grill for a very different toasted cheese.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Christmas Hash

Got leftover Turkey/Chicken and Ham? And what about that smooth pate in the fridge - use this recipe to make a fabulous Hash that is good enough for a dinner or lunch party!

Fry one onion cut into small pieces.
Fry in a little butter.
Add your leftover chicken/turkey or ham (or a combination of meats) shredded into small pieces.
Fry until hot but not brown
Add your pate and it will melt into the butter.
Add a glass of white wine and/or a tot of brandy
Add some cream to make a thickish sauce - garnish with parsley and serve with with either mashed potato or slices of really good bread.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Banana ice cream

We have a glut of bananas and after serving them as pudding, as an accompaniment to curry and making banana loaf and freezing loaves - what do you do next?

I discovered the solution - make ice cream!  (as long as you have power to freeze it!)

This recipe is easy and  fool proof!

Take your bananas and freeze them overnight (if you have power).
The following morning peel them and put them into your food processor and process until smooth - add about one tablespoon of honey per banana - you can add more if you have a really sweet tooth - and freeze again!

You now have ice cream available for puddings - parfaits or just to spoon out of the freezer when you need something sweet!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Crocodile Eggs

Good as a starter or a snack!  A treat for your 'hot' loving friends.

2 teaspoons prepared chili sauce
2 teaspoons minced capers
2 teaspoons minced green onion
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon paprika, salt and fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
vegetable oil

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup beer, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
3 tablespoons minced green onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Using small, sharp knife; cut 1 1/2 inch slit at stem end on side of each chili. Scrape out seeds; do not tear stems. Rinse out chilies. Drain on towels.


Mix next 9 ingredients. Season filling with salt and pepper. Spoon about 1 t into each chili (do not overstuff; chili should close). Arrange chilies on baking sheet.
Refrigerate.
Heat 3/4 inch  oil in heavy large skillet to 350F.

Blend in remaining ingredients in large bowl. Dredge each chili in mixture, coating completely. Add chilies to skillet (in batches; do not crowd) and fry until golden brown, turning once, about five minutes.

Drain on paper towels and serve.

Makes 36

Friday, 22 October 2010

With avacados falling off the tree on a daily basis we have given them away, eaten them as a starter, as a salad and this is a delightful alternative!
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Cake Flour
1 Medium Grated Onions
3 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1 Cup Milk
4 Large Avocados, mashed
Pancakes, shredded

Melt butter and fry flour in this until golden brown but not dark.

Add the onion and the chicken stock and milk.
Beat so there are no lumps.
Boil for ten minutes.
Add avacado and whisk well - serve with the shredded pancake.
This should be made close to the time you ant to serve the soup.
Serve with crusty bread or rolls and a good quality butter.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Banana Dream

This is such an easy dish to put together and is really very rich.
ideal for the end of a summer luncheon!
300 ml heavy cream

2 bananas (or equivalent amount of some soft fruit such as peaches, strawberries or other berries) (tinned fruit also works well but needs to be drained)
broken meringue
Coconut (optional)

Crush your meringue and mix into the cream  together with the coconut if you are using this - add your fruit - pile into one large pretty glass dish or individual dishes and serve.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Orange Honey Cake

I once had  a honey cake baked by a Greek friend - this is very like her recipe - and it is so easy to make!
Frost with a butter cream icing or just dust with icing sugar!

1 cup  honey
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon orange zest or more if you like a realy intense flavour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch baking soda
Butter, for greasing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together honey and eggs until thoroughly mixed and smooth. Stir in orange zest. Sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add slowly to egg mixture folding in gently.

Lightly grease a cake pan with butter. Add the mixture to the pan and bake. After 30 minutes check for doneness with a wooden skewer. (If it comes out clean, you are done. If not, give it another 5 minutes and check it again).


Saturday, 28 August 2010

Pork fillet with cheese

This is a tasty way to serve pork - you can vary the cheese paste flavour by using Worcester sauce in the paste or even changing the flavour more by using a strong blue cheese in place of cheddar.
1 Large Pork Tenderloin (fillet), sliced

1/2 Cup Cream
1 Teaspoon Mustard
Seasoning, to taste
45 Grams Cheddar Cheese, grated
1/4 Pint Yogurt or cream or sour cream
100 Grams Chopped Onions, fried
3 Tablespoons Butter.

Slice fillet into pieces 15mm thick and flatten and season with herb salt.

Fry in butter until brown.
Place onions in a shallow oven proof dish - lay pork pieces on top.
Mix cheese with cream, yogurt and mustard and spread over fillets.
brown under a grill.
Serve with creamed potatoes and salad or chips (french fries) and carrots and beans or spinach

Friday, 20 August 2010

Anti-Sress Tea!

This is something different!  i have used it for years and it works!
90 Stalks Vervain, SMALL

60 Sprigs Rosemary, SMALL
30 Sprigs Lavender, SMALL (with flowers)

DRY IN MICROWAVE.

POWDER IN FOOD PROCESSOR.
MAKE TEA using ONE SMALL TEASPOON TO A SMALL POT OF BOILING WATER POURED OVER THE INGREDIENTS.

ALLOW TO DRAW 15 MINUTES AND DRINK AS REQUIRED PREFERABLY BEFORE BEDTIME.

UP TO THREE CUPS MAY BE TAKEN PER DAY.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Home Made Veggie Burgers

Are you a vegetarian or do you have friends who are?  Now you can join in the braai like everyone else with these delicious veggie burgers - vary the flavours to suit your taste - you can use Marmite instead of BBQ sauce if you wish.

1 cup walnuts or other nuts to yur taste
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1 onion
2 tablespoons bbq sauce or other sauce
Salt
Black pepper
Garlic powder
Herbs (sage and oregano are good - so is rosemary)
Flour

Blend the walnuts, rice, BBQ sauce, and spices into a paste.
Saute the onions and add them to the mix.
Add enough flour so that it forms a workable dough.
Shape into patties and sprinkle flour onto the outsides of the patties.
Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Shallow fry, or grill, or bake (they hold together reasonably well on the grill, only slightly more crumbly than an actual hamburger is.) until brown.  Serve as you would a normal hamburger.




Serve with extra BBQ sauce on a bun, perhaps with onion, lettuce, tomato, or whatever else you want on it. Makes six.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Mushroom Croquettes

This makes a lovely lunch dish - serve with a salad and some crusty bread.
Small croquettes make an excellent starter.
1 1/2 pounds fresh white mushrooms, divided
1 large onion, quartered
1 large garlic clove
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 3/4 cups bread crumbs, divided
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
17-ounce meatless spaghetti sauce
17-ounce Alfredo sauce


Trim mushroom stems.
In the container of a food processor, combine 1 pound (about 6 cups) of the mushrooms, the onion and garlic; pulse just until coarsely chopped.
In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until hot.
Add mushroom mixture; cook and stir until mushrooms are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat; spoon into a large bowl.
Stir in 1 1/4 cups of the bread crumbs, the cheese, egg and pepper.
Form into ten 3-inch long croquettes.
Place remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs on a plate or sheet of waxed paper; beat an egg and place in a soup bowl or other shallow container, place flour on another plate - coat croquettes with flour, egg and then  bread crumbs.
Slice remaining 1/2 pound mushrooms; set aside for later use.
In a large frying pan, over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until hot. Cook croquettes on both sides until browned, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium pan, over medium heat, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil until hot. |
Add sliced mushrooms; cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes.
Stir in spaghetti sauce; cook until hot, about 2 minutes. Serve over croquettes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.