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May 31, 2012

Bottom Sauce Chocolate Cups

What is a meal without a dessert ? Yeah, I suppose you will survive .. I try to make a dessert at least every second day, although it seems a nice something sweet, should be eaten every day.

Not good for the waistline, though  ;-) . The other night Cheri told me I have to stop now, it's not good for her figure. Right, but I'm not forcing them to have some, but of course nobody declines !

These Chocolate cups are dangerously very good. The sauce are poured over the batter, but once out of the oven you get this thick, sweet, chocolate sauce at the bottom.

I serve them with unsweetened Whipped cream because the pudding is sweet, but the sauce is unbelievably nice and sweet. These delicious desserts can be served any time of the year, and just plain Vanilla ice cream is a great topping as well.

I tried to get a good photo showing the sauce at the bottom - the ramekin on the right which I took a scoop out, came out best. I used standard size ramekins and got 4 servings from this recipe, but it can also be baked in a larger dish. (Your choice)

Here's the recipe:

Bottom Sauce Chocolate Cups:

Recipe used from this cookbook: Gesinskos - by Christelle Erasmus (one of our best Cookbook authors). If you can get any of her books - grab them - they're all awesome!

60ml Margarine, melted
175ml Sugar
1 Egg, whisked
5ml Vanilla
250ml (1 cup) Cake Flour
20ml Cocoa
2ml Salt
10ml Baking Powder
175ml Full cream Milk

300ml Boiling Water
250ml Brown Sugar
25ml Cocoa

1.) Pre-heat the oven to 160 deg C (325 deg F)
2.) Beat the Margarine and the Sugar together in a medium bowl. Add the Egg and Vanilla and mix well to combine.
3.) Sift together the Cake Flour, Cocoa, Salt and Baking Powder. 
4.) Add half of the Flour mixture and half the Milk to the Sugar mixture. Stir to mix and repeat with the leftover Flour and Milk.
5.) Pour batter into a lightly greased/sprayed dish or ramekins.
6.) In a saucepan, boil the Water, Brown sugar and Cocoa for a few minutes - Pour the sauce gently over the batter - do not mix, but it's not a train-smash if some of the sauce leak into the batter.
7.) Bake 25 - 30 minutes.

Serve immediately with cream or ice-cream.

This is a chocolate lover's dream dessert - hope you will try it (and enjoy! )



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May 30, 2012

Creamiest Cheese Mac and Bacon

The Creamiest Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon you will ever have ! { 30 minute meal }

Every family has their favorite Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Some with meat, some without ... we love our meat, and a main meal, without meat, just would not work for us. This Creamiest Cheese Mac and Bacon has been our favorite for years.

May 28, 2012

Avocado, Cherry Tomato & Corn Salad

Avocado Corn and Tomato Salad
(Updated photo)

We braai (BBQ) a lot - I mean, who watches a Rugby match without the grill on?  Speaking of Rugby, I am a enormous gigantic HUGE fan of the Blue Bulls.  Always have been, and always will be .. got that?? ALWAYS!

Now in our house it's a bit complicated - everyone has a different team we support .. yeah, it can get serious on a game day ... ME : Blue Bulls      ROY : Sharks      DIMITRI : Lions/Hurricanes       CHERI : Stormers  

Right, but we all agree - Rugby & a Braai goes hand in hand.  No matter the weather...

Avocado, Cherry Tomato & Corn Salad


1 cup Frozen Corn
1 cup Halved Cherry Tomatoes (I like Italian, nice and sweet)
1/2 Onion, thinly sliced
1 Large Avocado, cubed into bite-sized pieces, sprinkled very lightly with lemon juice, to avoid discoloration


1 TB White Vinegar
1/2 t Dijon Mustard
30ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pinch Salt
Pinch Black Pepper, freshly ground

1.) Boil the Frozen Corn for 7 - 10 minutes, drain and let it cool completely (If you're in a hurry, keep it in the colander under running cold water for a minute) 
2.) Place all the Salad Goodies in a salad bowl and mix gently
3.) Mix together all the ingredients for the Vinaigrette and drizzle over the Salad - mix slightly
Keep in the fridge till ready to serve. 

This recipe can easily be doubled/tripled.

Avocado Corn and Tomato Salad
(Updated Photo)
 Hope you'll try this quick and delicious Avocado, Cherry Tomato & Corn Salad soon!

May 26, 2012

Easy Yoghurt-sicles

This is something which, when you see it, it's like " .. why didn't I think of that .." !

I Got this idea, a couple of weeks ago, from Pinterest (of course..) and knew I have to try it and see if it really works, or will it be a watery, icy business - you know what I mean...

I used the "sticks" from my basic Popsicle maker - top right (but the wooden sticks will work just as well) - just pushed it right through the foil cover of the yoghurt cups. Popped it into the freezer compartment overnight and had one for breakfast the next morning.

When I bought the yoghurt, I specially wanted to test the creamy flavored ones. Well, the creamy taste was still there, no watery icy-ness, and I liked it even better than the standard yoghurt. It did not melt at all whilst eating, as is normally the case with most popsicles.

Point is: it was a great pin - glad I tried it - will definitely freeze some more!

Want to know what happened on the dining room table??  My little Chorkie girl, Chichi ! I was sitting at the top-end of the table busy with a crafty mess. (Post will follow once it's a craft again and not a mess).

Anyhow, I moved my very tall wineglass center piece to the one corner to have some more space to work with "the mess". Chichi decided to jump onto the chair and the table, she must've been curious about what I was doing - next moment - CRASH!!!! I nearly, you can guess what, myself, used some rather strong words .. but was out of my chair so quickly as Chichi was now on the floor, which was littered with shards of glass, picked her up and fortunately she was fine (just shaken).

I will not replace this particular type of center piece again as I already had to replace it after Roy and my son's friend, Jacobus broke the first one. Must be a sign - I. can. not. have. a. tall. wineglass. with. red pebbles(to resemble wine).in. my. house.

Now the BIG NEWS for today

We have a new PUPPY - a very cute Jack Russell.  He does not really have a name yet (T-Rex is an option). Dimitri is supposed to name him, we'll wait and see ... Chichi was very lonely after Peki and Demon died, and as she is still a puppy herself, the other 3 dogs are too old to play with her. So yeah, I thought it a good idea to get no-name-yet a new puppy.

In the photo top right, the puppy is sleeping next to me, Chichi, as you can see is not happy at all. This was on the first day - Second day, and they're already best friends!!!!!! The pic at the bottom right .. Dimitri is spoiling "puppy" with an empty (but still lickable.. haha) cup of vanilla custard. I know, I know, puppies are not supposed to get even a lick of that, but really...

The bigger photo: Puppy in the other dogs's foodbowl - oh my word, we forgot to hide it from him on the first day! He just got right into the bowl and started his self-found lunch - lucky for his little stomach and the fact that we caught him so quickly - he is okay and I gave him his own puppy food.

I'll be busy for a couple of days with "the mess" which I hope will actually turn out to be awesome nice and then do a post on that, but do not hold your breath!

Bye Bye for now (Almost midnight and Chichi is begging me to go to bed)

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May 22, 2012

Split Pea and Ground Beef Soup (Slow-Cooker)

Old-fashioned Split Pea Soup but with Ground Beef ! Easy slow-cooker recipe

This is what it looked like this morning when I opened my door - cold and really miserable, ugghh (sigh) BUT, perfect for my slow-cooker Split Pea and Ground Beef Soup !

May 20, 2012

90 Minute Sweet Party Platter

90 Minute Sweet Party Platter ~ 6 Different flavors !

Ready-made shells with the following fillings:

1.) Caramel Condensed Milk with coconut and cherry toppings
2.) Dark Chocolate Mousse with whipped cream
3.) Peppermint Crisp
4.) White Chocolate Mousse with drizzled dark chocolate and sliced strawberries
5.) Lemon Meringues - very zesty
6.) Milktart (no-bake) with cinnamon topping

We have a baking supply store not even 5 minutes away. Normally I like to make my own pastries/shells, but now and then I need to have some snacks ready in a flash. That's where this store comes in so handy, they get freshly baked shells (about an inch in diameter), sold in packets of 100, regularly.

What's so great about these shells?,  they can be frozen and when needed, you need only take them from the freezer and thaw at room temperature for an hour or two. The freshness is still there, as long as you've put them in the freezer as soon as possible after purchase. I usually do not freeze them, because I know I'll use most of these little gems on the same day.

Some of the fillings I've used for years in larger tarts with proper crusts and the works, but as you'll see I cheated used a few short-cuts as well - that is the point for today's post. Quick, easy and awesome very tasty.

Recipes for the fillings:

Caramel Condensed Milk with Coconut or Cherry Topping (15 filled shells)

3/4 can (of 397g) Caramel Condensed Milk
Red Cherries and/or Coconut
15 Ready-made shells

1.) Pour the Caramel condensed milk into a small bowl and just mix slightly with a fork until smooth.
2.) Fill the shells either by using a piping bag or a teaspoon
3.) Top with Cherries or Coconut and place in the fridge till ready to serve!
(Agreed.. this was a no-brainer, but an extra idea for a nice mixed platter)

Dark Chocolate Mousse with Whipped Cream (10 filled shells)

1/4 cup (60ml) Full Cream Milk
12.5g Dark Chocolate (chips or any easy melting kind)
1 t (5ml) Cocoa
1 Egg, separated
25 ml Sugar
1/2 t Unflavored Gelatin
12.5 ml Cold Water
2 Drops of Vanilla Essence
30 ml Fresh Cream, Whipped
10 Ready-made shells

1.) Pour the Milk, Dark chocolate chips and Cocoa into a small saucepan - Heat, while stirring continuously, till the chocolate is melted.
2.) Whisk the Egg yellow in a small bowl - From the chocolate mixture, add spoon by spoon to the egg, ensuring the egg heats slowly - Stir the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture in the saucepan, stirring all the time (about 2 minutes), until the mixture has thickened. Do not boil the mixture. Remove from heat.
3.) Sprinkle the Gelatin over the cold water, wait till softened, 1 - 2 minutes. Add the Gelatin to the Milk mixture, stir until Gelatin is dissolved. Now add the Vanilla and mix.
4.) Fill the shells with a teaspoon - Whisk the Egg white until stiff, fold he Whipped cream in and decorate. Place in the fridge till set (5 - 10 minutes) or till ready to serve
(This mousse sets fairly quickly as it is only a small amount per shell, therefore you need only wait a minute or two before decorating with the Whipped cream)

Peppermint Crisp Filling (15 filled shells)

1/2 cup (125ml) Fresh Cream
1/4 can (of 397g) Caramel Condensed Milk
Small Peppermint Crisp Bar
15 Ready-made Shells

1.) Beat the Fresh cream until stiff. Fold in the Caramel Condensed Milk.
2.) Fill the shells (teaspoon works best)
3.) Grate the Peppermint Crisp and sprinkle over the mixture - Refrigerate (10 - 15 minutes) or until ready to serve.

White Chocolate Mousse drizzled with Dark Chocolate and sliced Strawberries (15 filled shells)

1/2 box (of 150g) Moirs White Chocolate Mousse
100 ml Full Cream Milk
25g Dark Chocolate (chips or easy melting)
1 - 2 Fresh Strawberries, sliced
15 Ready-made Shells

1.) Pour the Mousse into a medium bowl - Add the Milk and beat on low for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides and bottom and beat on high for another 2 minutes.
2.) Fill the shells (teaspoon works well, but you can use a piping bag)
3.) Melt the Dark chocolate (use your own preferred way - I use the microwave, 30 seconds, stir, and another 30 seconds, should be smooth and runny) - Drizzle over the Mousse and decorate with sliced Strawberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve - will set in 3 - 5 minutes.

Lemon Meringues (filled 10 shells)

1/4 can (of 397g) Sweetened Condensed Milk
30 - 40 ml Lemon Juice (according to your preference, I like real zesty, so I used 40ml)
Tiny pinch Salt
1 Egg, separated
Tiny pinch Cream of Tartar
20 ml Caster Sugar
10 Ready-made Shells

1.) Pre-heat your oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F).
2.) Beat the Condensed Milk, Lemon juice and Salt together with the Egg yolk and fill the shells, almost to the top.
3.) Using clean beaters, beat the Egg white and the Cream of tartar until stiff. Add the Caster sugar slowly while beating. Spoon or pipe the meringue mixture over the filling.
4.) Bake 10 - 15 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire-rack.
Refrigerate until ready to serve or it can be served as soon as cool.

Milktarts (no-bake) with Cinnamon Topping (filled 15 shells)

1/4 can (of 397g) Sweetened Condensed Milk
160 ml  +  40 ml Full Cream Milk
4 t (20ml) Cornflour
Tiny pinch Salt
1 Egg, beaten in a small bowl
2 Drops Vanilla Essence
1 1/2 t  Butter or Margarine
15 Ready-made Shells

1.) Stir the Condensed milk and 160ml Milk in a saucepan over low heat - bring to simmer.
2.) Mix the 40ml Milk with the Cornflour and add to the simmering Condensed milk mixture. Stir continuously until thick. Remove from the heat.
3.) Add spoonfuls of the mixture to the beaten egg to increase heat in the egg slowly.
4.) Pour the Egg mixture to the thickened Milk mixture, whilst stirring all the time. Return to heat and cook slowly until it resembles a thick custard. (3 - 5 minutes). Remove from heat.
5.) Add Butter/margarine and the Vanilla.
6.) Spoon into shells while still warm (this start to set quickly as well) - Dust with Cinnamon.
Refrigerate 15 - 20 minutes or until ready to serve.

That's it, guys! Amaze your family or friends with your extremely hard work 90 Minutes Treats. All 80 of them........ 

May 15, 2012

Caramel Coconut Bars

Caramel Coconut Bars

(Updated photo/post 05/18/2015)
I did not plan on making these Caramel Coconut Bars a couple of days ago, but at the very last minute I decided to update some of my old posts with new photos.

May 14, 2012

Coffee Jellos

Coffee Jellos

First recipe post .. right, most people (as I understand it) start their mornings with a cup or five of coffee.  Therefore my first post is about Coffee.  Me, not really a coffee lover - maybe a cup once a month with some rusks or a bag couple of cookies. However, I can indulge in these Coffee Jellos every single day !