Wednesday, 31 December 2008


Want something quick and special for New year's Eve?? Try this recipe - it takes 20 minutes to make - just refrigerate and drink - tastes just like the real thing!!! 1/2 pint cream -- chilled 3 large eggs -- chilled 4 ounces cane syrup -- chilled (make by boiling sugar and water until it starts to thicken) 6 ounces vodka -- chilled 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Beat eggs well and add cream gradually beating all the time until well blended. Beat in the cane (sugar) syrup followed by the vodka. Add the vanilla. Bottle. The Avocaat should be very thick.
You can serve it as it is or with a cinnamon stick to stir the thick drink or a touch of nutmeg on top. A touch of orange peal also makes a different variation!
Avocaat with soda water also makes a good long drink.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Fruit Balls


Saturday, 20 December 2008

Baked Chimichangas

8 flour tortillas -- 8 inch 1 1/2 cups chicken breast halves without skin -- cooked, cubed 2 ounces cheddar cheese, low fat 3/4 cup salsa
Avocado to garnish Preheat oven to 400°. Mix filling ingredients. Warm tortillas until pliable (about 5 seconds each in microwave or in nonstick skillet). Wet one side of tortilla and place wet side down. Spoon on filling ingredients. Fold to hold in filling. Spray baking dish with nonstick coating. Lay chimichangas seam side down on baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Garnish with avocado and olives if available - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Avacado Soup With Pancake Garnish

A Christmas starter with a difference. If you had excess avocados during the season and froze them, then this is a good way to use your produce. 1 Tablespoon Butter 1 Tablespoon Cake Flour 1 Medium Grated Onions 3 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock - a stock cube can be used 1 Cup Milk 4 Large Avocados -- mashed Pancakes -- shredded
Parsley for garnish 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 and garnish with parsley

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Christmas pudding - basic recipe

Gone are the days when I sweated over a hot stove boiling Christmas puddings - in Zimbabwe the temperatures go higher and higher and a hot kitchen is not a happy one.
This recipe is fail proof and quick and easy. It cannot be distinguished from a traditionally made pudding! 50 grams flour, white 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 75 grams bread crumbs (fresh) 100 grams dark brown sugar 100 grams suet -- or butter or holsum 150 grams sultanas 125 grams Currants 25 grams chopped peel ( if individual fruits are not available use cake mix!) 1/2 grated rind and juice of a lemon 2 large eggs 2 tablespoons treacle 75 milliliters beer -- stout if possible 2 tablespoons brandy Sieve all dry ingredients together except the breadcrumbs. Stir in all remaining ingredients until completely mixed - the mixture should be sloppy. Place mixture into a lightly greases 1/2 litre pudding basin (1 pint) Cover with clingfilm and make a slit in the top to allow steam to escape. Cook on microwave high for 10 minutes. Allow to stand for 10 minutes after cooking - sprinkle with brandy and serve or freeze. You can store the pudding for up to one month in the fridge. Serving Ideas : Serve with brandy butter or brandy sauce. NOTES : Can be made in small egg poachers of cups and served as individual puddings. You can use mixed fruit or a combination of any dried fruits that you like. 1/4 cup of almonds or pecan nuts may be added as can glace cherries. These should be in addition to the other fruit.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Mince Curry or Vegetarian Mince Curry

Curry is always good and this one is ideal for a hot day - served with rice and a few sambals it is a meal in a moment - ideal when one does not know when the power will be off or on!!!!! It can be made in a pot on the stove if there is a power cut and one has a gas ring! It takes a little longer but the effect is the same.
30 Milliliters Oil 1 Large Onion -- chopped 2 Cloves Garlic -- sliced 20 Mm Fresh Ginger Root -- chopped 1 Kilogram Ground Beef or equiventent in soya mince soaked and flavoured 1 Stick Cinnamon Stick 3 Whole Cardamon -- seeds 3 Whole Cloves 1 Milligram Allspice -- ground 15 Milligrams Ground Red Masala 5 Milligrams Cumin Powder 5 Milligrams Coriander Seed -- ground 2 Large Tomatoes -- peeled/pureed 250 Grams Potatoes -- peeled and sliced 1 Milligram Salt -- to taste Place oil in dish - add onion, garlic and ginger - microwave on high 3 minutes - stirring once. Stir in remaining ingredients, cover and microwave on 70% power until potatoes are soft - about 30 minutes. Season to taste.

Friday, 28 November 2008

French Dry - Petit Fours -


Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Cape Brandy Tart

This is just so quick and simple to make and always enjoyed. It is equally at home as a dinner party dessert or a family pudding!
200 Milliliters Boiling Water 150 Grams Dates -- chopped 5 Milligrams Baking Soda 25 Milligrams Butter 120 Grams Sugar 150 Grams Flour -- sifted 10 Milligrams Baking Powder 1 Large Egg -- beaten 50 Grams Pecans -- chopped **** Sauce **** 200 Grams Caster Sugar 200 Milliliters Water 15 Grams Butter 50 Milliliters Brandy 5 Milliliters Vanilla Pour boiling water over dates and set aside to soften - add baking soda, butter and sugar and beat well with a wooden spoon. Sift flour and baking powder into mixture - add egg and nuts - mix well and pour into a greased 230 mm round flan dish. Place on rack and microwave at high 10 minutes. Make sauce: Combine sauce ingredients and microwave on high 3 or 4 minutes until boiling. Pour hot syrup over the warm tart and serve with cream or custard - warm or allow to cool and serve with whipped cream and nuts.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Brandy Balls

A sweet treat for after dinner or when sitting around the TV. 150 Grams Dark Chocolate 150 Grams Milk Chocolate 12 1/2 Milligrams Butter Melt Together Combine With: 175 Grams Coconut 5 Milliliters Vanilla 75 Milliliters Brandy ROLL ALL INTO TEASPOON SIZED BALLS AND ROLL IN COCAO AND LEAVE ON GREASEPROOF PAPER TO COOL. SERVE IN PAPER CASES.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Magdalen Venison

I adapted this recipe from one of Robert Carrier's which in turn was based upon an Oxford University recipe! Each year venison is taken from the University herd and eaten at high table.
I do not eat much meat and do not like killing animals but in the situation we find ourselves in Zimbabwe - any food is welcome and we have been fortunate enough to be given the odd piece of venison to cook.
The treatment of the meat ensures that it is tender and flavoursome. 7 pounds venison (approximately) 4 tablespoons butter 4 tablespoons olive oil (sunflower will do if olive oil is not available) 1/2 pound bacon 12 prunes anchovies
*******Marinade******* 1 large onion -- sliced thin 2 medium carrots -- sliced thin 2 tablespoons olive oil 750 milliliters dry red wine -- at room temperature 3 sprigs parsley 1 sprig thyme 1 whole bay leaf -- optional 6 cloves garlic -- crushed 5 whole black peppercorns 1 teaspoon gin (or two juniper berries - or two drops juniper oil)
**********Sauce******* marinade juices -- reduced 1 tablespoon butter -- mixed with 1 tablespoon flour 1 shot port wine 2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
*******Garnish******* 12 whole Chestnuts -- glazed -- if available 20 small onions -- glazed 20 small mushrooms -- sauteed in butter Wipe venison with a clean cloth. Make marinade as follows: Slice onions and carrots and sweat them gently in the olive oil. Place vegetables in a china or earthenware or glass casserole - not metal - and add wine, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, pepper, and gin. Soak the venison in this mixture for between three days and one week in a cool place, turn 3 or 4 times a day so that all the surfaces of the meat are exposed to the liquid and are kept well moistened. The longer the meat is marinaded the gamier the flavour. To cook the meat: Combine butter and olive oil in a heavy bottomed cast iron or stainless steel pan with a tight cover. Add the bacon and saute until crisp and golden. Drain the venison from the marinade wipe dry and stuff with stoned prunes that have in turn been stuffed with anchovies.
Brown the bacon slightly in the olive oil.
Add the butter and brown the venison lightly in the fats with the bacon. Boil down the marinade juices until half the quantity and strain over the meat. Cover and cook in a moderately slow oven - 325 degrees f /mark 2 gas until meat is tender. (About 2 hours) Add more wine if necessary. To make the sauce: Remove the juices from the meat and bring to the boil. If necessary thicken with the butter which has been creamed with the flour (beurre manie). Add the port and redcurrant jelly and blend together with the juices being careful to dislodge any crusty bits on the side of the pan. Strain the sauce, which should be dark and rich over the venison and serve with the chestnuts (if available), the onions and mushrooms used as garnish.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Apple Struedel

This recipe was given to me by the legendary Mrs Buckwell. It is easy to make and I have been told by an Austrian that it is better than her mother's strudel! If you are at a lower altitude than Harare you may have to cook it for less time - take off about 10 minutes - if it sounds hollow when tapped than it is ready. This is one of my family's favourites - I hope you like it! Serve with lashings of whipped cream if you can get it - or is a slimmer version is required try home made or Greek yogurt! **** Pastry **** 1 Pound Flour 1 Large Egg Yolk 1 Tablespoon Oil 1 Pinch Salt Lukewarm Water Strudel 1 Pound Melted Butter 10 Large Apples, Peeled -- and sliced (you can use tinned apples - they work just as well) 1 Cup Sultanas Cinnamon 1 Cup Caster Sugar 2 Cups Bread Crumbs -- fried in butter Use enough water to make a pliable dough with the flour, egg yolk, oil and salt. Knead for 20 to 25 minutes being very rough with the dough dropping it from a height onto the table and throwing around. Cover and let rest ten minutes. Place on a well floured tablecloth or sheet and roll into an oblong. Pull and stretch with hands until very thin - almost transparent. Sprinkle with melted butter using enough to barely cover the dough. Cover with apples and sprinkle with more butter, sultanas, cinnamon, caster sugar and white bread crumbs. Cut the thick edges off the dough - flap over the short sides and sprinkle these with more butter. Hold cloth and roll up loosely longways until the join is underneath. bend into a horseshoe shape and put into a pan of melted butter - spoon butter over the roll so it is well covered and sprinkle with caster sugar trying not to get any onto the baking pan. bake slowly at 375 degrees until golden and hollow sounding to touch. About 1 hour. Dust with icing sugar when cold.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Apple and dusty berry crisp

With berries in season at the moment one sometimes has to think very hard to ring the changes. this recipe is easy and very fresh and delicious - just right for this time of year. It is also quick and easy to prepare. One can ring the changes by using different berries in season. 1 can sliced apples -- there should not be no juice 1 tablespoon lemon juice vegetable cooking spray 250 grams dusty berries or rasberries or a mixture of both 1 cup regular oats -- uncooked 3 tablespoons butter or margarine -- melted 2 tablespoons honey 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg Combine apples and lemon juice; toss gently. Place apple in a 10 x 6 x 2 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; top with raspberries. Combine oats and remaining ingredients; sprinkle evenly over raspberries. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and apples are tender. (Per serving: 160 calories; 3.7 g fat; 0.7 g saturated fat).

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Anti Stress Recipe

This tea if taken on a regular basis calms one's nerves and stops the stress - very much needed in these days we live through in Zimbabwe.
It may be sweetened with honey.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Tuna salad

This is a good luncheon salad or starter for the hot weather. It is tasty, does not need extra salt and takes minutes to prepare. Served with a bowl of avocados and some good homemade bread - preferably wholewheat it is a full meal for 3 or 4 people. If you are serving it as a starter use olives to garnish and serve on a bed of lettuce. It can also be used to stuff tomatoes and make tuna sandwiches or rolls. 1 can Tuna in oil -- a small tin will feed 3 people 1 large green pepper -- chopped 4 medium fresh tomatoes -- chopped 1 tablespoon Chili mayonnaise -- a little more or less (use more Tabasco if this is not available) 4 tablespoons salad cream or mayonnaise -- a little more or less 4 drops Tabasco sauce -- I like the green one! 6 sliced olives - black or stuffed -- black give a better contrast Mix altogether - it will be sloppy - keep chilled until ready to eat and serve with good homemade bread. A dish of avocado seasoned with balsamic vinegar and olive oil goes well with this salad. Double up quantities if you need to serve more people. If you are interested: Only 132 Calories per serving ; 4g Fat (27.7% calories from fat); 14g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 8mg Cholesterol; 171mg Sodium.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Banaoffee Pie Or Pudding

Banaoffee pie is an all time favourite and if you want a slightly lighter pudding try it without the crust. I think that the original version needs no additions but some people like to add chocolate pieces or curls to the decoration. Try and get bananas that are not too ripe - especially if you are using them for decoration as well. I have tried this using a caramel filling instead of the condensed milk - but it is not quite as good. 1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk -- caramelised 1 Large Pie Shell 6 Large Bananas -- sliced lengthways 1/2 Pint Whipped Cream 1 Teaspoon Coffee Powder, French Flavor 1 Teaspoon Ground Coffee or coffee beans Caramelise the condenced milk by boiling in an unopened tin for 3 hours. Place in a pie shell. Cover with sliced bananas. Add the coffee to the cream and spread on top of bananas. Decorate with coffee granules or ground coffee or coffee beans. Choclate pieces and banana slices can also be used for decoration but remember to brush banana slices with lemon juice so they do not discolour. Serving Ideas : Make without crust and serve as a pudding.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Inflation in the Kitchen!

Not only are the supermarket shelves in Zimbabwe empty but the costs change from hour to hour. I thought this picture would be of interest - it displays two till slips and shows, how, in a matter of days (09 to 13 June 2008)we went from thousands of dollars to millions of dollars!
Cooking here is very difficult with constant power cuts (usually when one has a loaf of bread baking), lack of ingredients (many people have to import everything from milk and butter to flour and frozen vegetables) and cost of anything on can find during a foraging trip to the shops!

Homemade Liptauer Cheese

This is another easy recipe which can be served as a spread or a dip - very authentic and bursting with flavour. Its wonderful pink colour makes it an attractive addition to a snack platter or buffet table.
When cream cheese is not available on the supermarket shelves we make our own.
16 Ounces Cream Cheese 1/2 Cup Butter -- softeneed 6 Tablespoons Sour Cream 2 Tablespoons Onion -- minced 8 Medium Anchovies 2 Teaspoons Dry Mustard 2 Teaspoons Caraway Seed 2 Teaspoons Paprika Salt And Pepper To Taste 1 Teaspoon Capers -- if available Blend all together in a food processor. Allow to mature 24 hours if possible. Serve with crackers, rolls or rye bread!

Copy Cat Boursin Cheese

Boursin Cheese is one of our favourites - but unobtainable here in Zimbabwe - so here is what we use instead - and it is a very good copy. Try and use only the leaves of the herbs as the stalks give it a gritty texture.
12 Ounces Cottage Cheese, Creamed 6 Cloves Garlic -- crushed -- or to taste 1 Teaspoon Salt -- or to taste Thyme -- to taste Basil -- to taste Oregano -- to taste Marjoram -- to taste 6 Tablespoons Sour Cream
Blend all well together using a food processor. Chill overnight to develop the flavour. Serve with french bread or crackers.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Simple Chilli Rellanos

This is a classic Mrs Buckwell recipe - good for lunch or supper and served with a salad.
We grow and eat both chili peppers and green peppers in our garden - even without water they flourish! this version is cool - extra chillis can be added!
2 ounces butter (or marg) 8 ounces flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons thyme, crushed 1 large egg, beaten 4 tablespoons milk 8 ounces green peppers, sauteed 1 large onion, sliced 1 pound ground beef, lean (or use soya mince for a vgetarian flare!) 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon piri piri paste 1 tablespoon flour, to bind 2 ounces flour 1/2 cup grated cheese (or more if liked) 16 fluid ounces milk Make scone dough for base with butter, flour salt, thyme, 1 egg and milk. Press into a large ovenproof dish. Top with 8 oz green peppers - sauteed. and a mixture of the onion ground beef,salt and pepper, piri piri paste and flour. Place another layer of peppers on top of this. Mix together the 2 oz of flour, milk, grated cheese and 4 eggs. Pour over the meat and peppers. Bake at 375 degrees for about 1 hour at the bottom of the oven - it should be golden and firm to touch.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

German Mustard

Mustard is difficult to find in Zimbabwe at the moment but most people have a supply of mustard powder - the hot English kind - hanging around and at one time we could only buy the wholegrain mustard powder!
This recipe keeps well in and out of the fridge and is good with any cold meat or chese - also good in cooking!
80 Milligrams White Mustard Seed (or wholegrain mustard powder) 80 Milligrams Mustard Powder 80 Milliliters Warm Water -- to mix 250 Milliliters Cider Vinegar -- or Dry White Wine 25 Milligrams Dark Brown Sugar 8 Milligrams Salt 5 Milligrams Grated Onions 3 Milligrams Garlic -- crushed 2 Milligrams Ground Cinnamon 2 Milligrams Ground Allspice 2 Milligrams Ground Turmeric 1 Milligram Ground Cloves 12 1/2 Milligrams Corn Flour Combine mustard seed and powder with water and set aside for 10 minutes. Place all other ingredients except cornflour in a small saucepan and bring to boil (or microwave on high) - reduce heat and simmer for 5 or 6 minutes - or continue to microwave for 3 minutes. Mix corn flour to a paste with water and add to vinegar mixture and bring to boil stirring until thickened. Cool vinegar mixture and then place with the mustard mixture in a blender and process until as smooth as you prefer. Cover and put into jars. Keep in fridge if possible. makes about 440 ml.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Basic White Microwave Cake

We all need a basic cake recipe that is quick and reliable - and a microwave cake is just the thing.
Sandwiched togather with butter cream flavoured to your taste - or with jam it makes an excellent offering for tea. Serve with fruit and dust with icing sugar for a delectable dessert.
This is not exactly a budget cake but it is very good!
4 Large Eggs 300 Grams Caster Sugar, sifted 249 Grams Flour, sifted 20 Milligrams Baking Powder 1 Milligram Salt 115 Milligrams Butter, softened 190 Milliliters Milk 5 Milliliters Vanilla Extract
Beat eggs and sugar until light and creamy. Blend dry ingredients into egg mixture. Microwvae butter and milk on full 3 to 4 minutes. Stir well and gently fold in flour mixture. Add vanilla. line 2 flan dishes with baking paper. Pour mixture into flan cases and microwave one at a time on a baking rack - medium high 3 minutes then full 2 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out. sandwich together and decorate.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Princess Margaret's Boozy Delights

I understand this was one of her favourite desserts. It serves six and is the ideal end to a rich meal. I have made and served this recipe in Zimbabwe on many occasions
5 Milligrams Gelatin 250 Milliliters Cream 25 Grams Caster Sugar 25 Milliliters Brandy 25 Milliliters Sherry
(You might want to use the last of a bottle of a liquor or whisky instead. Brandy and Sherry are not always available in Zimbabwe these days!) 12 1/2 Milligrams Almonds (use macadamia nuts if almonds are not available. Dissolve gelatin in water (microwave 30 seconds). Lightly beat the cream and sugar add the brandy, sherry and ground nuts. Stir in the dissolved gelatin. Pour into little pots and chill.
Serve on its own or with finger biscuits or strawberries!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

No eggs? Try these oatmeal cookies

Oatmeal Cookies without eggs 1/2 cup margarine 1/3 cup oil 1 cup dark brown sugar - packed 1 cup white sugar 1/3 cup milk - or a bit more if necessary 2 tsp vanilla 2 1/2 cups flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp bicarb 1 tsp salt 3 cups oats 1/2 cup raisins (if liked) Cream margarine and oil together. Then cream in the sugars. Add the milk and vanilla. beat until smooth. Beat in flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Mix - add oats and raisins and blend well. bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the undersides are staring to turn brown.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Avacado Mousse

With Avocados in abundance the following mousse recipe is easy and economical. Served with brown bread and an addition of tomato slices it will make a starter or a light summer lunch. 275 Milliliters Chicken Stock Or Dry White Wine 20 Grams Gelatin 2 Large Avocados, ripe 150 Milliliters Mayonnaise 10 Milligrams Spring Onions, chopped Salt And Pepper, to taste 12 1/2 Milliliters Worcestershire Sauce 1 Dash Tabasco Sauce 150 Milliliters Cream, lightly beaten Dissolve gelatin in chicken stock or wine. Place remaining ingredients except cream in a food processor and process until smooth. Add gelatin mixture. Fold in cream and pour into a greased mould. refrigerate until set. - turn out onto a plate for serving garnished with green pepper strips or black olives. Avocados are good for you and this dish is sure to become a favourite for both family meals and entertaining. It is reputed to have been a favourite of Princess Diana and originated in the kitchens of Althorp.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Chocolate cupcake in a mug

Our younger son sent me this recipe. It takes 5 minutes and is ideal for someone in a hurry who loves chocolate - Alex has a microwave and is always in a hurry. He is a lecturer in anthropology at the University of South Africa. Comment was made by one of his friends: "Guys I tried this and it is so quick and easy!!!I would suggest you put half a teaspoon of baking powder in and half a teaspoon of salt. Very nice!!!" Just follow the pictures! Ingredients: 4 Tablespoons cake flour 4 Tablespoons sugar 2 Tablespoons cocoa 1 Egg 3 Tablespoons milk 3 Tablespoons oil 1 Mug

Sugar and Cocoa


Spoon in one egg


Pour in milk and oil

Mix well

Put in microwave for 3 minutes on maximum power (1000watt)

Wait until it stops rising and sets in the mug

Tip contents out of mug onto saucer and enjoy!

Sit back and enjoy with coffee (in a different mug!)

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Corn Bread

My silence has been due to power cuts (yesterday 20 houirs) and internet failure! Anyway today we are up and running and the sun is shining! This is an ideal corn bread to serve with chili con carne or a good hearty soup 250 ml yellow mealie meal 10 ml baking powder 2 ml salt 410 g cream-style sweetcorn 1 chilli, chopped (optional) 125 ml milk 2 tsp baking powder 65 ml oil 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 250 ml grated mature Cheddar cheese 40 ml sesame seeds Method Preheat oven to 180 ÂșC. Mix together polenta, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Add sweetcorn, chilli, buttermilk, oil, eggs and half the cheese. Mix well. Pour into a greased 20 cm square baking tin. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and sesame seeds. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until set and golden. (If bread begins to brown too soon, cover with aluminium foil.) Cut the corn bread into squares and serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Apple Strudel

This recipe was originally given by Mrs Buckwell to all her students in Zimbabwe. She was a remarkable lady. I first met her when I was making commercials with a film company - she was demonstrating recipes for Gloria Flour. It was amaizing - we never had to do a reshoot of any of her work - she never fluffed a line or made a wrong move. When a young lady left school in what was then Salisbury, there were two things she had to do - take a Mrs Buckwell Course and work as a waitress at the bamboo Inn. Sadly both these institutions are now gone. I have adapted the recipe for Zimbabwe conditions and suggested alternative ingredients (Mrs Buckwell would not have approved!!!) Serving Size: 12 Preparation Time: 1:00 **** Pastry **** 1 Pound Flour 1 Large Egg Yolk (I often use the whole egg rather than waste the egg white) 1 Tablespoon Oil 1 Pinch Salt Lukewarm Water 1 Pound Melted Butter 10 Large Apples, Peeled -- and sliced (Tinned apples also work very well - two small tins are needed for this amount of dough) 1 Cup Sultanas (Mixed fruit can be used although not traditional) Cinnamon 1 Cup Caster Sugar (Bron can be used if caster or granulated sugar is not available) 2 Cups Bread Crumbs -- fried in butter (or margarine - if you must!) Use enough water to make pliable dough with the flour, egg yolk, oil and salt. Spread an old sheet on your kitchen table and dust with flour. Knead for 20 to 25 minutes being very rough with the dough dropping it from a height onto the table and throwing around. Cover and let rest ten minutes. Place the dough on the well floured tablecloth or sheet and roll into an oblong. Pull and stretch with hands until very thin - almost transparent. I also use a rolling pin as this helps to make the dough thin and even. Sprinkle with melted butter using enough to barely cover the dough. Cover with apples and sprinkle with more butter, sultanas, cinnamon, caster sugar and white bread crumbs. Cut the thick edges off the dough - flap over the short sides and sprinkle these with more butter. Hold cloth and roll up loosely long ways until the join is underneath. Bend into a horseshoe shape and put into a pan of melted butter - spoon butter over the roll so it is well covered and sprinkle with caster sugar trying not to get any onto the baking pan. Bake slowly at 375 degrees until golden and hollow sounding to touch. About 1 hour. Dust with icing sugar when cold. I have made this with other fruit such as pears and even apples and berries - Mrs B is probably turning in her grave! You can make one large strudel or two smaller ones from this amount of dough.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Cherry Tomato Tart

I have been silent for almost two weeks - power cuts and slow or non existent Internet speeds have made it impossible to update this or any of my other blogs or web sites. This is the norm now in Zimbabwe. Today I am online and will, I hope, be able to post more often. One always wonders what to do with cherry tomatoes - they are good in salad but one tires of them. This is a way to use up the fruit. It makes a quick light lunch if served with salad and good bread - or a starter to be served before a chicken or pork dish. 375 grams puff pastry 200 grams feta cheese 1 tablespoon chopped chives 1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves 2 tablespoons olive oil 250 grams cherry tomatoes, halved -- (8 3/4 ounces) 1 teaspoon white sugar 3 tablespoons grated parmesan or other strong cheese Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Roll the pastry out to a rectangle about 10 x 14 inches, place on to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Fold in the edges of the pastry to make a border pinching the edges together, prick the base with a fork and chill for 30 minutes. (If preferred this can be made in a round shallow cake tine. Mash the feta cheese with the herbs, then spread over the base. Place the tomatoes, cut side up over the goats cheese, season well with salt and pepper. Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg, bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven sprinkle with parmesan then return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Baking Powder Doughnuts

A teatime treat or something to go with the morning coffee - doughnuts hit the spot. Working in Harare I would always arrive at work very early - often long before anyone else. I made a point of stopping at the local bakery - usually 'Bakers Inn' and picking up a doughnut to have with my coffee which I made before doing anything else! Somehow doughnuts have that wonderful comforting effect on me. Coffee and doughnut downed i was ready to start the day! This is an easy recipe and goes a long way. Don't re-roll the centres of the doughnuts but fry them - decorate or roll in sugar and serve separately. 4 1/2 cups Sifted flour 3 1/2 teaspoons Baking powder 1 teaspoon Salt 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon 3 Eggs 1 teaspoon Vanilla 3/4 cup White sugar 3 tablespoons Softened butter or margarine 3/4 cup Milk Beat eggs and sugar. Sift flour, salt, spice and baking powder. Add vanilla, melted butter or margarine, milk and dry ingredients to egg and sugar mixture. Make a soft dough and roll to 1/3 inch thick. Cut as for doughnuts using a cutter or a glass - with a smaller cutter for the centres and drop into hot oil (375 degrees). Fry until golden brown. Serve plain or roll in confectioners sugar or ice with vanilla or chocolate icing.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Fresh Herb Bread

If you have a bread maker making fresh bread to go with soups or stews should be second nature. Homemade bread has so much more flavour than the shop made variety. One can ring the changes on a basic recipe to make something very special. This recipe uses fresh herbs. Buy a few herb plants and plant them outside your kitchen door - they flourish well in the Zimbabwe climate and once you are used to using them you will never go back to dried herbs out of a packet! This bread cuts well and has the most amazing aroma. It smells so good fresh from baking it is hard to resist letting it cool before eating! 1 cup Plus 2 tbl milk 2 tablespoons Margarine or butter 3 cups flour 2 tsp Chopped fresh sage leaves 1 tbl Chopped fresh basil leaves 1 tbl Chopped fresh oregano leaves 2 tsp Chopped fresh thyme leaves 1/4 cup Chopped fresh parsley 2 tbl Sugar 1 tsp Salt 1 1/2 tsp Yeast (dry) Place on the ingredients in the bread machine in the order they appear above. It is important to do this so that the yeast does not come into contact with the liquid too soon. Select basic white cycle. Use medium or light crust colour.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Frying Pan Cottage Pie

Nothing is better on a cold winter's day than the welcoming smell of a really hearty cottage pie. This one uses mince - or if unavailable, as is often the case in Zimbabwe - or you are vegetarian - uses soya mince. Prepare the soya mince by soaking it in about 1 1/2 cup of water to 2 cup of mince. Add to this flavouring as you soak it - in Zimbabwe we have a mixture called Usavi Mix - this is a flavoured powder that comes in flavours such as beef, chicken and onion and tomato - or a soup mix will do just as well. I use a whole packet to my 2 cups of soya mince. When you cook the mince the mix or soup powder will cobine with the moisture in the soya mince and thicken and make the gravy. Be careful not to add salt until cooked as some soups or mixes can be very salty on their own. This recipe is ideal for anyone forced to use a gas ring to cook with during our long power failures (9 hours yesterday!) 1 pound ground beef or 2 cups of prepared soya mince with liquid from the soaking 1 large chopped onion 2 cups whole corn kernals or baby corn cut into 1/2 inch lengths 2 cups frozen peas thawed - if not available or for a change use 2 chopped green peppers 2 tablespoons tomato puree 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules (if using mince - obmit if using soya mince) 1/2 cup boiling water 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1/2 cup sour cream 3 1/2 cups mashed potatoes -- prepared with milk and butter or margerine 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese - if available In a large frying pan, cook the beef or soya mince and onion over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink - if using soya mince cook until the onions are soft. Stir in the corn, peas, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce and garlic. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, dissolve bouillon in boiling water. Combine cornstarch and sour cream until smooth; stir into beef mixture. If using soya mince just stir in the sour cream. Add bouillon if using. Spread mashed potatoes over the top; sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook until potatoes are heated through and cheese is melted.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Curried Melon Starter

This is a lovely fresh starter ideal to serve before a chicken or pork main course. Easy to make and always a big hit. Choose your curry powder carefully - a medium strength is best. 4 cups melon balls -- mixed or use watermelon on its own 1 teaspoon curry powder 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or if unavailable use bottled lemon juice 1 teaspoon honey 1/2cup yogurt Lettuce or cucumbers for garnish Mix curry powder, lemon juice and honey in a small bowl. Stand 5 minutes. Whip in yogurt. Stir curry mixture into yogurt then fold in the melon balls. Chill for 10 minutes. You may add kiwi fruit or finely chopped onion to the mixture for a change.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Stuffed Marrow Rings

It always amazes me how the marrow patch goes on and on. Long after you think that the last marrow has been harvested another one turns up in your vegetable rack. What a treat they are - you can stew them, fry rings of the vegetable, stuff the whole marrow and serve with mashed potatoes and a good gravy or sauce, make it a vegetarian meal or a meat meal depending on your stuffing, cook it with onions and peppers and tomatoes for a vegetable stew or use this tasty dish to ring the changes! You will need: 1 Marrow 2 Onions, finely chopped 2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped 4oz Mushrooms (if available - you can use Oyster mushrooms or replace with some celery) 1 tsp Cumin Seeds 2g Coriander 2g Parsley 1 tbspn Oil (olive if possible) 2oz Black Olives, chopped (omit is not available) Salt & Pepper 4oz Cheese, grated 5oz Rice Instructions Cut the marrow into thick rings about 1 inch across. Wash the rice and place in water and bring to the boil. Once cooked remove from the heat and wash through with hot water. Meanwhile add the oil to a heavy-based frying pan and gently heat the onion and garlic. Mix in the cumin seeds after a minute and heat through for a further 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms or celery (finely chopped), coriander and parsley and cook for a further 6 minutes. Add seasoning. Combine the rice and black olives with the mixture in the pan. Pack into the marrow rings and cover each ring in grated cheese. Place in the oven for half an hour or until the marrow is tender. A good gravy made with browned onions goes well with this dish.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Mealie Meal Cookies

With no cookies in the supermarkets and children home on school holidays always wanting something to munch on you might find this recipe good and economical. Fill the cookie jar and keep the family happy! It is also ideal to make ahead and freeze for when you have little time - or are missing some of the ingredients. Keep a few logs in the freezer and you can have freshly baked cookies in minutes! 1 cup butter or margarine - 1/2 pound 1 cup sugar (white or brown) 2 egg yolks 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind 1 1/2 cups sifted plain flour 1 cup yellow mealie meal Cream butter or margarine and sugar, then add remaining ingredients and mix well. Shape into a log, about the same diameter as the size of the cookies you want and chill for an hour. Cut into slices and bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Banana Cake

This is a very nice cake if you have the ingredients - it will use up milk that has gone sour and all those extra bananas from your tree! Ideal with a cup of tea or coffee and can be served iced or just dusted with icing sugar 2 1/2 cups  sugar 1  cup  shortening or butter or margerine 4  eggs 1  cup  sour cream (or soured milk will do) 2  teaspoons  baking powder 3  cups  all purpose flour 1  tablespoon  vanilla extract 6  very ripe bananas -- mashed (2 1/2 cups) Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans and set aside. Cream together the sugar and shortening or butter. It will be dry and crumbly. Add the eggs an beat well. Mix in the sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. Add to the creamed mixture and beat well. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla and mix well. Divide evenly between the cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Hummus in Zimbabwe

This is a snack that can be made part of a selection of appitizers to be served with drinks. If you don't have black olives don't worry - use green olives or decorate with gerkins or cherry tomatoes. 2 tins Canned Beans ( chick peas are traditional, butter beans are good but any local beans will do) Olive Oil -- as required 3 Tablespons Sesame Seed paste (tehane)(if not available use seseme oil to taste) 6 Large Garlic Cloves Salt And pepper -- to taste 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice -- to taste Olive Oil -- for garnish Parsley -- for garnish Black Olives -- for garnish Place drained beans, sesame seed paste, oil and garlic in blender and blend until smooth - add seasoning and lemon juice. Place on a large shallow platter - pour olive oil over and garnish with parsley and black olives. Cover if to be served later. Serve with pita bread

Friday, 29 February 2008

Fried Cabbage

Cabbage always seems available in Zimbabwe and if one is lucky enough to grow green or red cabbages this colourful dish is sure to please. Try using one green and one red cabbage for real contrast! 1 small Onion, finely chopped 6 tbsp. Oil 1 large Tomato, sliced 1/2 tsp. Salt 1/2 tsp. curry powder 1 med Cabbage, shredded (red or green) 2 each Carrots, sliced into thin rounds and cooked until just starting to become soft 1 each Green bell pepper, chopped Over moderate heat, fry the onion in oil until lightly browned, stirring to prevent scorching. Add tomatoes, salt & curry powder & continue to stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add cabbage, carrots & pepper & mix well. Pour in about 1/2 c water. Cover the pot, reduce heat & simmer until the liquid is abosrbed & the cabbage is still slightly crunchy.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Wacky Chocolate Cake

No eggs? No electricity (but you still have gas for the gas stove)? try baking a wacky cake with no eggs and no need to beat the mixture! 1 1//2 cups flour 1 cup sugar (brown or white) 3 tablespoons cocoa 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 teaspoon vinegar (white or brown) 5 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 cup cold water Mix flour, sugar. cocao, baking powder and salt in a square or oblong pan Make three wells in the flour mixture. In one put the vanilla, in another the vinegar and in the third the oil. Pour the cold water over the mixtures and stir. You can add nuts to the mixture if you like - the cake tastes very much like brownies and the addition of the nuts makes it very special. You can also dust it with icing sugar after baking or make a fudge icing and pour this over the cake when baked. No need to beat. Bake at 350F oven until it springs back. And if you do have power - you can bake it for 6 to 8 minutes in the microwave!