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.
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)





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
Black pepper
Garlic powder
Herbs (sage and oregano are good - so is rosemary)

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.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Quick and East Chocolate Pots

An easy dessert that can be prepared the day before - rich and creamy it is very good after a light meal.
You can vary the pots by using white chocolate or milk chocolate instead of the dark unsweetened chocolate.
7 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3 tablespoons orange liqueur or brandy with a little orange juice or essence to flavour
1 1/2 cups whipping cream, whipped

Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Heat chocolate and sweetened condensed milk in double boiler or a bowl set over a pan of hot water. Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is blended.

Stir in liqueur, adjusting to taste, and let mixture cool to lukewarm. Stir about a fourth of whipped cream into chocolate to lighten mixture. Then fold in all but one large spoonful of remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate remaining cream to decorate tops. decorate cream with slivers of orange peel and some chocolate shavings.

Spoon mixture into pots-de-creme pots, individual souffle cups, or small dessert dishes. Chill in freezer about 30 minutes, or in refrigerator if serving time is more than 30 minutes away. Decorate each dessert with a dollop of reserved whipped cream.

Makes 8 servings,

Recipe can be prepared up to a day ahead and stored, covered, in refrigerator.

Microwave Version

Chocolate may be melted in the microwave oven. Place chocolate in a small Pyrex bowl. Microwave on 50% power until softened (2 to 2-1/2 minutes). Stir until smooth. Do not overheat or chocolate will scorch around edges and won't blend smoothly. Add sweetened condensed milk, stir to blend, and continue as above

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Tinned Tuna Curry

Quick and easy - ideal to serve to unexpected guests.This is a  light curry with an unusual flavour - originally from a Ranch Motel Newsletter but adapted by me - this will serve two to three people but can easily be increased to serve a crowd.  It is better if the sauce is slightly runny as the wonderful flavours can be soaked up by the rice. Once you have tried it you can increase the heat of the curry powder but, although a chili freak - i think the milder curry gives a better flavour.

2 large onions -- chopped
1 large green pepper -- chopped
1 apple -- chopped
1 tin light meat tuna in oil
2 teaspoons turmeric -- heaped
1 teaspoon fish masala or mild curry powder
1 teaspoon dried herbs
ground black pepper
1 carton cream or sour cream
1 handful cashew nuts -- optional

Fry the onion green pepper and apple until onion is translucent in the oil from the tuna
Add the turmeric and curry powder (you can use all curry powder or fish masala if preferred)
Fry until spices have absorbed some of the oil
add the tuna and the mixed herbs
Jut before serving add cream to make a thick sauce - this can be sour cream if liked
Add a handful of cashew nuts (optional)
Serve with Basmaati Rice - poppadoms  and a glass of white wine!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Filo Cheese snacks

These snacks are ideal with drinks and can also be used as an appetiser - serve three or more on a plate with some colourful salad such as tomato, avocado and black olive.  They can also be made in individual ramekin dishes for a more substantial starter or light lunch.
vegetable oil, to coat muffin tins

1 cup  ricotta or cream cheese cheese
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese or cheddar if mozzarella is not available
1 egg
2 tablespoons mixed herbs or herb of your choice
1/4 cup finely minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon pressed garlic
8 sheets filo dough
4 tablespoons butter (plus 1 teaspoon), melted
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil 2 muffin tins. In blender or food processor, puree cheeses. Add egg and blend mixture well.

Stir in  dill, parsley, and garlic into cheeses. Spoon mixture into a bowl and cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate while proceeding with next steps.

Stack sheets of filo dough on a clean, dry surface. Brush each sheet with 1 teaspoon melted butter, and lay buttered sheets one on top of another. Cut piled sheets into 24 squares of 2-1/2 inches each.
Press squares into muffin tin cups, and spoon 1 tablespoon cheese filling into each. Fold edges of filo over filling and lightly brush top of each filo pastry with remaining butter.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, watching carefully so that pastries do not burn. Remove from tins, and let them cool slightly before serving.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Zimbabwe meatballs

This is a recipe with an added punch - ideal for a cold day - or served with a salad on a hot one!  Garlic bread also goes very well with this.

Meatballs are a great favourite with our family and so are tomatoes which we grow in the garden.  I like to make a salad with tomatoes, olives and feta cheese to go with this dish.

1 1/2 pounds minced meat - fat free

3 slices white bread, with crust removed
30 milliliters garlic, finely chopped or garlic powder to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (or to taste) or 1 pinch cumin seed, pounded
butter or oil for frying
1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded or 1 tablespoon tomato paste diluted with: 1 1/2 cups water or 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
Chili powder or chopped chili to taste
1 egg (optional)
1/4 cup red wine, or to taste

Soak bread in cold water and squeeze out the excess well. Mix meat, bread, garlic, and cumin together; form egg-shaped meatballs; roll lightly in the flour.
Heat butter or oil in a deep frying pan. Fry the meat balls until brown on all sides.

Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and put them into a pan. Pour the tomatoes (or diluted tomato paste) into the pan with the butter or oil used for frying the meatballs and cook together for 3 to 5 minutes Serve with rice or pasta..

If you are using both the egg and wine,  use 1 more slice of bread.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Glutenless pastry crust

If you have a friend who cannot eat gluten but you want to serve a savory starter or sweet pie that everyone can eat try this recipe - it is light and is suitable for sweet dessert fillings as well as savory fillings. It will also work as a pizza crust!
1 cup rice flour (if possible brown)

2 tablespoons tapioca flour - An easy way to make tapioca flour is by grinding old fashion pearl tapioca in a coffee grinder
1/2 cup sesame seeds, ground (or pecans, or other nuts) An easy way to grind sesame seeds is in a coffee grinder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
5 tablespoons vegetable shortening, or oil
3 tablespoons water (maybe a bit more)

Oil a pie dish.
Combine flour, ground tapioca, ground sesame seeds, and salt in a bowl. Cut shortening (or oil) into flour mixture (using a fork and a knife). Add water and mix. You want the pastry to be wet enough so that when it is pressed together, it sticks together (forms a ball easily). Often times it will not be wet enough after adding the amount of water called above, but it is better to start with less water and add more as needed; so if it is not wet enough, you will need to add additional water one tablespoon at a time to achieve a good moist dough.

Place pastry into the pie dish and press it gently on the bottom and up the sides. Using a fork, gently poke small holes all over the crust (so it does not puff up).

If filling with a non-bake filling, such as lemon merangue pie, bake the crust in a 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven (no need to preheat oven) for 25 to 30 minutes. Let the crust cool before filling.

If using pie crust with a filling that bakes, quiche, fill crust and bake as directed for the particular pie filling.

Makes 1 medium to large pie crust.

For a lower fat crust, take out 1 to 2 tablespoons of shortening/oil.

Could use any combination of the following non-gluten flours: brown rice flour, whole-grain millet flour, whole-grain amaranth flour, and/or whole-grain teff flour OR if you don't mind using a flour with gluten then what ever you have available!
Notes: - .


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Special Chili Meatloaf in a pan

A one pan meal to help warm up a party of six - economical and tasty!
1 1/2 pounds fat free mince

3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup salty biscuits, crumbled
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups mashed potatoes, prepared
1 11-ounce can whole kernel corn combined with choppd  red and green peppers, (drain corn)
1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
Sharp cheese, shredded

Heat oven to 375ºF. In large bowl, combine meatloaf ingredients (first 7 ingredients), mixing lightly but thoroughly; gently press into bottom of 9-inch square baking pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until no longer pink and juices run clear. Carefully pour off drippings.

Meanwhile in medium bowl, combine all topping ingredients except cheese. Spread over meatloaf to edges of pan; sprinkle with cheese (1/2 to 1 cup). Gtill 3 to 4 inches from heat 3 to 5 minutes or until top is lightly browned; cut into 6 rectangular servings.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Potato Cheese bread

With cooler weather in the air this is the time to serve soup and bread in the evening.
This bread is an ideal accompanyment to soup - tasty and easy to make.

If you prefer rolls then use the dough only setting on your machine and then shape into rolls - or you could make it by hand ........
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream or sour cream
1/2 cup potato cooking water
1/3 cup plain mashed potatoes, room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups bread flour
3/4 cup diced sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup diced onion
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Place all ingredients in your machine in the order recommended by your machine's manufacturer. Place the pan in your machine. Select the Basic/White cycle and press start.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Jelly Cookies

I have just invested in some non stick silicone trays - this works perfectly with them!
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 package (3 oz.)  gelatin any flavor
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix flour with baking powder. Cream butter, gradually, add sugar,and gelatin,
beating well. Beat in egg, and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture. Mixing
well, force dough through cookie press onto ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle
with additional gelatin,same flavor. Decorate if desired. Bake at 400 deg.about 8 min. or until edges are golden brown.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Beetroot in sour cream

We have a large amount of beetroot in our garden so we like to use it in different ways and this an good accompaniment to both hot and cold dishes.
500 Grams Beetroot, washed

125 Milliliters Water
3 Milliliters Salt
200 Milliliters Sour Cream
4 Large Spring Onions, chopped

Cook beetroot in the water with salt on high in the microwave 12 minutes.

Peel and slice and arrange in overlapping layers in a round dish.
Pour sour cream over beetroot and heat in microwave until hot - about 4 minutes - sprinkle with spring onions.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Meatballs with Whisky Sauce

This lifts the hunble meatball ino a class of its own!
4 slices packaged white bread, crustless and crumbled

1/2 cup milk for soaking
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme or three sprigs fresh time taken offthe stalk
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary or 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup finely diced onion,
1 tablespoon oil to cook onions until softsoft
1 3/4 pound ground beef or, chicken
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs for coating
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
2 ounnets white mushrooms, stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup Scotch whiskey
1/4 cup coarse-grain mustard
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups beef stock,
1/4 cup beef stock
1 bay leaf fresh or dried
6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch rounds
2 teaspoons sugar
3 leeks, white parts only, cut into 3/4-inch rounds
3 stalks celery, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch lengths
1/3 cup minced parsley, for garnish
Boiled potatoes or cooked rice for serving
If you substitute  chicken for beef , then season the poultry mix with
thyme and sage and omit the coriander
Soak the crumbled bread in the milk for 15 minutes or until softened. Squeeze out the excess
moisture and transfer the soaked bread to a food processor along with the egg,
thyme, rosemary and coriander. Process until combined, then add the cooked
onions, 2/3's of the meat, salt and pepper to taste, and process until blended.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the remaining meat and mix with your hands.
Roll the meat into thirty two 1 1/2-inch meatballs, then roll the meatballs in
the dry bread crumbs, coating all sides.
In a 6- to 7-quart casserole, over moderate heat, heat the vegetable oil
and 2 tablespoons of the butter. In two batches, brown the meatballs making
sure they are crisp on all sides. When they are brown, remove them with a
slotted spoon to a plate. Add the shallots to the remaining fat in the
casserole and saute for a couple of minutes or until tender. Add the garlic
and mushrooms and saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Add the whiskey
and boil, scraping up the juices on the bottom of the casserole into the
whiskey and simmer for a minute or so or until the whiskey has almost
evaporated. Add the mustard and the flour and cook for a minute. Add 2 cups
of the beef broth and bring it to a simmer, whisking all the while. Add the bay
leaf and simmer for a couple of minutes. Adjust the seasoning and return the
meatballs to the sauce (the dish can be made a day or two in advance up to this
point). Simmer the meatballs, uncovered, to heat them and finish cooking them
while you make the vegetable garnish.
separate 12-inch skillet over moderate heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the
remaining butter. Add the carrots, sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup of beef
broth. Cover and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until partially cooked. Add the
leeks, celery  and 3/4 cup of water. Cover and simmer for 10
minutes longer or until the vegetables are tender. Uncover the skillet,
evaporate the liquid over high heat until the vegetables are glazed. Add the
remaining tablespoon of butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Discard the bay leaf. Spoon the meatballs onto a plate and top
with mushrooms and gravy. Scatter glazed vegetables over the meatballs and
garnish with the parsley. Serve with boiled potatoes or rice.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Bran Microwave English Muffin Bread

This is a new twist on a brakfats brad - good for you and also delicious!
4 cups all-purpose  white flour
1 1/2 cups 100% bran
2 packages  Rapid Rise Yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups milk
/2 cup water

In large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, bran, undissolved yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda. Heat milk and water until very warm (125 to 130ºF). Stir liquid into dry ingredients. Mix in remaining flour to make smooth batter.

Grease two 8 1/2- × 4 1/2- × 2 1/2-inch microwave-safe loaf pans; sprinkle with cornmeal. Spoon batter into prepared pans; sprinkle tops with additional cornmeal. To rise: cook, uncovered, on MEDIUM (50% power) for 1 minute. Let rest 10 minutes. Repeat cooking and resting until batter doubles in size. To bake: cook one loaf at a time, on HIGH (100% power) for 5 minutes or until top is no longer moist. Let rest 5 minutes in pan. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack. Slice and toast to serve.

Good served with jam and whipped cream - or butter an honey.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Popcorn Balls

We all like popcorn - especially the savory kind - lots of butter and salt or even coated in cheese.
This is different and makes a lovely sweet treat.  ideal for children's parties or just to have when sitting around watching a good movie!
1 cup unpopped - pop in the ususal way
1/4 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup  syrup (flavour of your choice - honey, maple, caramel)
1 teaspoon butter
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Pop popcorn, salt to taste. Combine all other ingredients except soda in a saucepan. Boil to the soft boil stage (use a  candy thermometer if you have one ). When you reach soft boil stage, stir in baking soda. Pour caramel sauce over popped corn.

To make popcorn balls, wait until cool enough to handle. Coat your hands with butter. Form balls, but don't pack. Wrap in plastic wrap. Enjoy!
These do last for a few days wrpped this way so can be made ahead but are better fresh.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Baked Garden Tomatoes With Cheese

Excuse my silence we have had massive power cuts and Internet problems
This is an ideal recipe to use up all the glut of tomatoes that always seem to be ready at the same time.   those tomatoes you have now. This versatile dish is great as a side dish , on toasted baguette slices or brown toast, as a zesty omelet filling, or on grilled fish.
2 tablespoons  olive oil
3 garlic cloves -- chopped (or to taste)
1 medium onion -- chopped
1 3/4 pounds fresh  tomatoes -- cut 1/2" pieces or use cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese - (packed)
1 cup freshly-grated Romano cheese - (packed)
(Other cheeses may be substituted but they must be flavourful)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Oil 11- by 7-inch baking dish.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat.
Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add onion and sauté until soft, about 6 minutes. Add tomatoes, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.

Mix in chives; season with salt and pepper.
Transfer tomato mixture to prepared baking dish; sprinkle grated cheeses over. Bake until cheese melts and begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes.

For a change add chopped fresh basil leaves and/or small cubes of mozzarella cheese or use yellow and green tomatoes with the red ones to add summer color.
If you feel adventurous add some red and green pepper slices.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Red Pepper Soup

3 tablespoons butter or margarine 4 medium red bell peppers -- seed, cut in strips (add a chilli if you like it hot)
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stocksalt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper -- to tastesour cream

1. In a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add peppers.
2. Cover; cook peppers over medium heat until tender, about 8 minutes.
3. Pour peppers and liquid into a food processor or blender (if you use a blender, you may have to process in 2 batches). Process 2 minutes.
4. Return soup to pan and add stock. Season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper; heat until hot.
5. Serve soup with a dollop of sour cream on top, or thin sour cream with milk or water and swirl it into soup. Do not stir.
Makes 4 cups.
* Timesaver Tip: Soup can be prepared through step 4 up to 3 days ahead and stored, covered, in refrigerator. To serve, heat and complete step 5.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

The Easiest Cheesecake

I am always looking for easy recipes and sometimes find or invent them because I do not have all the ingredients for a standard recipe!
This cheesecake came about for just that reason - I could find no cream on the supermarket shelves and I did not have any lemons!

350 ml of cream cheese
1 packet of lemon jelly (you could use any flavor you fancy!
I biscuit crust pie shell (I like to use ginger biscuits)

Make up the jelly with half the quantity of water and let cool until like syrup
Whip the cream cheese until really smooth and then beat in the jelly.
Pour into your biscuit crust and let set - decorate with fresh fruit of your choice

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Banana Pancakes

A different breakfast treat - or serve as a dessert with lots of whipped cream and maple syrup.
1 and a half cups light brown or white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups milk
2 tablespoons oil
2 medium ripe bananas -- finely chopped

Combine flours, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix together milk and oil and stir into dry mixture just enough to moisten all ingredients. Fold in banana. Spoon onto a hot, well greased griddle. Turn once.

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Friday, 12 March 2010

Oh no, no baking powder!

Ever run out of baking powder - or don't like what is available?

You can make your own baking powder by combining 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda with 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar. It is gluten free. Measure it out carefully because too much or too little can upset a recipe's balance.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Baked Eggs With Crabmeat

This is a simple and exotic starter if you add the sherry or brandy and use some creative garnishing. Serve with Melba toast or crusty bread.

8 ounces crabmeat -- canned or frozen
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Dash of dry sherry or brandy if likd
salt and pepper to taste

Pick over the crabmeat and remove all the stiff membranes. Beat the eggs slightly with a wire whisk, add milk and seasonings, and beat a little more. Stir in the crabmeat and pour into individual buttered casseroles. Cover and bake in a medium oven (350F F) 30 minutes. Serves four.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Apricot Couscous Pudding

Talking of couscous - if you like it as much as our family does then try this recipe for a change! You can use any dried fruit you like - peaches, pears or even prunes! 1/2 cup milk 3 tablespoons sugar 1/4 cup dried apricots 1 vanilla bean -- pulp scraped or vanilla essence 1 1/2 cups steamed couscous 1 container apricot flavored yogurt - (8 oz) 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon Heat milk, sugar and apricots (chopped) in medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer, remove from heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Add pulp from vanilla bean to milk (or add essence) and whisk to combine. Pour mixture over couscous in bowl and add yogurt. Stir to combine. Divide evenly among 4 custard cups, sprinkle with cinnamon and refrigerate for 1 hour. This recipe yields 4 servings.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


Want something different to serve with a meat or chicken dishes - try this very easy and tasty alternative to rice or potatoes.
Couscous is a grain that is quick to prepare. try alternatives - use chopped macadamia instead of pine nuts or omit the currents and add some chopped chili or green and red pepper.
Make a full meal by adding cooked pealed prawns! delicious - but leave out the currents again! 4 tablespoons unsalted butter - (1/2 stick) 3/4 cup chopped onion 3 cups Chicken Stock - use a cube
1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper 1 1/2 cups couscous 1/2 cup pine nuts -- toasted 1/4 cup currants Melt the butter in a large saute pan, add the onions and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper, raise the heat to high and bring the stock to a boil. Off the heat and add the couscous. Cover the pan and let it sit for 10 minutes. Add the pine nuts and currants to the couscous, stir and serve. This recipe yields 6 to 8 servings.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Fudgy Chocolate Delights

100 Grams Butter 25 Milliliters Golden Syrup 200 Grams Tennis Biscuits -- lightly crushed 25 Grams Raisins 50 Grams Candied Cherries 150 Grams Baking Chocolate -- CHOPPED ****Icing**** 50 Grams Baking Chocolate 25 Milliliters Milk 25 Milligrams Butter 175 Grams Powdered Icing Sugar -- sifted Melt butter and syrup and stir in biscuit crumbs, fruit and chocolate - mix well - (chocolate should melt completely but butter not become oily). Press into a cling wrap lined 500 gram loaf tin and refrigerate overnight if possible. Turn out onto a serving plate and remove cling wrap. Place icing ingredients except icing sugar in a bowel and melt. Add icing sugar and beat in well - spread over loaf and mark with a fork - serve sliced - decorate with extra cherries if required or nuts such as pecan halves.
A tot of brandy, rum or whiskey may be added with the melted butter and syrup - this makes it an ideal end to a special meal.
You may serve it with whipped cream or even a good ice cream but be warned it is very rich.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Fresh Fruit Sorbet in Seconds

This is a lovely light dessert for a hot summer's day. It can be made with almost any soft fruit and a tot of vodka, rum. brandy or whisky elevates it to a real dining experience.
4 cups fresh fruit -- see directions 1/2 cup fresh orange juice sugar to taste 1 pinch salt mint or fresh fruit -- for garnish For fresh fruit: Use 4 cups of sliced strawberries or peeled peaches, nectarines, kiwi fruit, bananas, papayas, or mangoes. Before freezing, toss peach, nectarine, or banana slices with about 2 tablespoons lemon juice to prevent browning. 1. Spread sliced fruit in one layer on a baking sheet. Freeze, uncovered, until frozen solid. 2. Place frozen fruit and orange juice in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape work bowl as necessary. If your machine struggles to process the frozen fruit, let fruit stand 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature to thaw slightly. Depending on the size of your blender or food processor, you may have to process fruit in several batches. 3. Add sugar and salt (amount of sugar will depend on the sweetness of the fruit). Makes 3 to 4 cups (about 6 servings). Sorbets can be made about an hour before serving and held in the freezer. After about an hour, the edges get icy and the mixture must be re-processed.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Birthday Cake For a Diabetic Recipe

I have had several requests about a birthday cake for diabetics - this one is courtesy of Information About - there are other recipes on this site as well. It sounds so good that even non diabetics should enjoy it. Use ordinary unsweetened whipped cream. Birthday Cake For Diabetic Recipe Ingredients: 2 cup sifted cake flour 2 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 6 tbsp margarine, softened 1 1/4 tsp vanilla 1/4 tsp almond extract 1 cup sugar 1 egg 3/4 cup milk 1/2 cup sugar-free strawberry jam 1 cup nondairy whipped topping Preparation: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 8 inch round cake pans with parchment paper or waxed paper. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. With an electric mixer at medium speed, cream together margarine,vanilla and almond extract until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating constantly. Add egg; beat until mixture is fluffy. Then, stirring with a spoon, add the dry ingredients alternately with milk, stirring after each addition until batter is smooth.Turn into the prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until done. When cool spread the strawberry jam between the layers. Spread whipped topping on the top. Store in refrigerator until just before serving. If you want you can add a drop of red food colouring to the whipped topping before putting it on top of cake. Birthday Cake For Diabetic Recipe provided for you by Information About

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Chard Tart

This is a bit complex but really good. i use 'Bright Lights' chard in red and yellow - they have a nice mellow flvour.
=== crust === 1 package active dry yeast 1 teaspoon sugar 1/4 cup warm water 3 tablespoons sour cream 1 egg 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons butter -- softened 1/2 teaspoon salt === filling === 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large onion -- thinly sliced 1 red bell pepper -- seeded, sliced thin 1 pound Swiss chard -- (preferably ruby -- chard) 1 egg 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves salt -- to taste black pepper -- freshly ground, to -- taste 3/4 pound cheddar cheese -- grated Combine the yeast, sugar, and water in a small bowl, and let sit until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the sour cream and egg, then stir in 1/2 cup of the flour and the butter and salt. Add the yeast mixture and mix thoroughly. Gradually add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour until a soft dough is formed. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until it is no longer sticky, adding a bit more flour if needed. Place the dough in a buttered bowl, turning to butter the entire surface. Cover and let dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. For the filling, heat the oil in a skillet, and slowly sauté the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper slices and sauté for 5 minutes longer. Preheat the oven to 350F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Carefully rinse and clean the Swiss chard and chop coarsely, including the stems. Cook the chopped chard and stems for 2 minutes in the boiling water. Drain the chard and squeeze out as much water as possible. Stir together the egg, basil, pepper, salt, and the cooked chard. Grease a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Punch down the dough and roll out on a floured surface to form a 14-inch circle. Fit the dough into the tart pan, trimming the excess from the edges. Spread the onion and pepper slices over the bottom of the tart shell. Cover with the Swiss chard mixture, then top with the cheese. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden. Cut into wedges and serve hot. This recipe serves 10 to 12 as an appetizer or 4 to 6 as a light lunch.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Zimbabwe Fondue

This is a classic with a difference - a clove or two of finely chopped garlic would add to the flavour - if you line this! I often add a teaspoon of dry mustard to the flour as our cheese, at the moment, is very bland - this is a choice you can make - sometimes a bit of salt is also needed depending on your taste and the flavour of the cheese. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 2 cups milk 2 finely chopped red and yellow peppers mixed 1/2 envelope dry onion soup mix 1 pound cheese - cheddar or good tasting Gouda Put flour into fondue pot. Gradually add milk, cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Add peppers and soup mix. Gradually add cheese, stir until melted. Reduce heat to maintain slight bubbles during serving. Dip cubes of French bread, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, ham cubes. You can replace the milk with dry white wine - add a very small tot of vodka if you do so that the cheese does not go stringy.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Gluten Free Shortbread

We have friends who cannot take any wheat - and so this is a good recipe to give them - you can coat the shortbread's in chocolate and sandwich them with butter cream for an extra treat!
If you can eat wheat - well they are just as delicious!
½ cup cornstarch 175 grams butter (3/4 cup) 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar 1 cup rice flour Sift the dry ingredients. cornstarch, sugar and rice flour together.
Add butter. Mix with hands until soft dough forms. (or use a food processor) Refrigerate one hour. Shape dough into 2 1/2 cm balls. Place about 3 cm apart on greased cookie sheet Flatten with lightly floured fork. Bake at 150 C for (300 degrees Fahrenheit) 20-25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Variations Coated Shortbread Form balls as above. Roll in finely crushed corn flakes or crushed nuts. Jelly Shortbread Press top of ball with thumb. Add a dab of jelly. Nuts and or Zest Mix in 2 Tbls. finely chopped peel and/or 2 Tbls. finely chopped nuts. Flatten with lightly floured fork.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Cheese lasagna

An entirely vegetarian lasagna! Cheese and vegetables together with sauce and noodles make this an unusual and tasty alternative to meat lasagna. 3 tablespoons Olive oil 1 cup Minced onions 1 cup Thinly sliced green peppers (I like to use red and yellow and often increase the amount) 2 Garlic cloves -- minced (or to taste) 1 1/2 teaspoons Salt 1/4 teaspoon Pepper 1/2 teaspoon Oregano (if using fresh increase the amount to taste) 2 tablespoons Chopped parsley 1 can Tomatoes 1 can Tomato sauce 1/2 cup Grated dry Gouda or Edam cheese 1/2 pound Lasagna (no cook variety) 3/4 pound Swiss cheese -- sliced 1 1/2 pounds Cottage cheese Heat the olive oil; cook the onions, green peppers and garlic in it for 10 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cover and cook over low heat 30 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons Gouda cheese. Spread 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of a 12- by 8-inch baking dish. Arrange alternating layers of the lasagna, Swiss, cottage cheese, a sprinkling of the Gouda and spread with sauce; then repeat until all the ingredients are arranged in layers in baking dish. Cover with remaining sauce and sprinkle top with remaining Gouda cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven 35 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 8. Accompany by a good green salad and garlic bread.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Coconut Surprise.

This recipe pairs two unlikely ingredients with each other, red wine and coconut. The acidity of the red wine and the sweetness of the coconut flavored custard together with refreshing mango flesh make this dessert a real summer treat.This is an ideal recipe to serve at the end of a summer meal.
For the gelee 1 bottle, 750 ml (25 fl oz) red wine, a light red wine like a Pinot Noir, Gamay or Beaujolais is preferable ¼ orange, zest only 180 g (6 oz) granulated sugar 5 black peppercorn 2 whole cloves 3 egg whites 3 gelatin leaves, soaked in cold water
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring gently to simmer. Simmer for about minutes. Set aside to cool. Carefully strain the mixture through a cheesecloth. Measure the liquid. You will need 750 mL. Add water as necessary to get required amount.Heat up the wine mixture to 60 C (140 F), then add the softened gelatin. Stir to dissolve the gelatin completely. Place the mixture over an ice bath to cool it. Occasionally stir the mixture. It should firm up slightly after about 15 - 20 minutes in the ice bath For the coconut custard 300 ml (10 fl oz) whole milk 100 ml (3 1/3 fl oz) heavy cream 1 whole egg 6 egg yolks 70 g (2 1/3 oz) granulated sugar 60 ml (2 fl oz) coconut milk and rum mixed in equal quantities 90 g (3 oz) ripe mango flesh diced 30 g (1 oz) granulated sugar For the coconut cream Bring the milk to boil, take off the heat and leave to cool In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, the whole egg and the egg yolks and whisk well until foamy Add the egg mixture to the milk, place back onto the heat and under constant stirring with a wooden spoon bring the mixture to simmering until it thickens. Be careful not to boil the mixture, as the eggs would coagulate. The mixture should cover the wooden spoon well, as a sign that the custard is cooked enough. Immediately transfer in a new bowl, add the cream and the coconut milk and rum and cool over ice until completely cold. Place the chopped mango at the bottom of the serving glass, then top with the red wine gelee. Place in the fridge. Chill for 20 minutes until gelee is firm enough to hold up the coconut cream. Top with the coconut cream and smoothen out the surface with the back of the spoon. Chill until ready to serve.Before serving, sprinkle the granulated sugar over the surface of the coconut cream and then torch it to a nice golden color.
Decorate with grated coconut and glace cherries or any fruit - be inventive!
Serve immediately.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Brownies

This is a change from the traditional brownie - easy to make and easy to eat - you will not have many left in your cake tin once the family gets to them!!!!!!!
2/3 cup macadamia nuts (almonds and pecans also work well) 1 cup plain flour -- plus 2 tbsp. 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup butter 1/2 cup sugar 2 tablespoons water 9 ounces white chocolate (use slab chocolate or chocolate chips) 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. If nuts are salted, blanch in boiling water to cover for 30 seconds to remove salt. Rinse under cold running water and transfer to a baking sheet. Toast in a 325 degrees F oven until golden brown. Let cool, then coarsely chop. If nuts are unsalted, just toast and chop. 2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 3. Place butter, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cut 6 ounces of the white chocolate into large (1- or 2-inch) chunks and the remaining 3 ounces into small (1/4-inch to 1/2-inch) chips. 4. When butter has melted, remove from heat, add the 6 ounces white chocolate chunks and stir until chocolate melts. 5. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until just blended. Stir in the 3 ounces of white chocolate chips and the nuts. 6. Spread batter in a greased 8- or 9-inch square baking pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack, then cut into squares.
You can ice them and place in paper cases for a festive touch! * Time saver Tip: Brownie batter can be made ahead and frozen before baking. Line an 8- or 9-inch square pan with heavy-duty foil. Spoon batter into pan. Freeze batter, uncovered, until frozen solid. Remove from pan and wrap tightly. Label and date package. Freeze at 0 degrees F up to 4 weeks. To bake, peel foil from batter and place in greased pan. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven until skewer inserted in center comes out clean (40 to 50 minutes). Microwave Version: Chocolate may be melted in a microwave oven. Place butter and chocolate in a small glass bowl. Microwave on 50% power for 1 minute, stir, then continue microwaving 1 to 3 minutes more. Stir until smooth. Do not overheat or chocolate will scorch around edges and won't blend smoothly. Stir in sugar and water and continue with step 5.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Crispy Garlic

Ever wondered how the restaurants make the crispy garlic they serve with steak or other dishes?
Well here is a simple and quick way to make it! We serve it on steak or chicken, pork or almost any meat and also on spaghetti!
Very tastly and garlic is so good for you!
Take a tablespoon of butter - must be butter - marg does not work! Put into a pirex or other very heat proof dish. Add about a large handful of chopped (not too finely) garlic.
Place in a microwave and microwave on high for two minutes - then microwave at minute intervals until the garlic is brown but not dark brown or it will be bitter.
Remove from the microwave and cool.
Serve over meat or spaghetti!