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June 30, 2012

Three Meat Savory Tart

Easy, mix and bake Savory Tart, perfect for dinner, lunch and can be served warm or cold

Today we did some grocery shopping at two of the busiest supermarkets ! After all that, all I wanted to do was to put my feet up and relax. Fortunately dinner is not a problem, as I decided to make this Three Meat Savory Tart, which is always a life saver, time wise, as well as that my family loves this tart.

June 28, 2012

Strawberry Yoghurt Tart

We actually live in quite a confusing world - I've noticed that more and more since I started this (mostly) foodie blog. 

When I just started (yeah, I began with Pinterest .. ), I found that I sometimes actually enjoyed the posts more than the recipe! That's the main reason I started this blog - to interact more with other bloggers. Well, I pinned a couple of thousand recipes, projects etc. 

Right, so what is confusing - Graham Crackers, huh? what's that - and it's in every second recipe. Another thing - Crescent rolls .. in a can? No way, I was lost, totally! And what about jelly, some countries call their jam, jelly .. okay, I worked that one out. But I knew Jello is what we call jelly. Now, only a couple of months ago, I noticed that most of our stores now carry the BRAND "Jello" which could be either jelly or instant pudding - but is it stronger than our jelly or not - because of the weight difference? .. no idea (still have to test something). 

For today, a last question (and I have no idea who I'm actually asking..) why can't we have Reese's Peanut Butter Cups ..?? Oh why not? I can make them, but really, it's much quicker to open a box or bag.

To give you more info on the Tennis biscuits which I love to use - it's a normal sweet biscuit with Coconut and very absorbent, so when making a dish like this one today, the Tennis biscuit layer will go softer when a liquidy (I don't know where I get these words..) mixture is added to it, but it will remain strong enough to act as a bond. I had some questions about this and what can be used instead, but to tell the truth .. I do not know what is available in other countries, therefore I can only tell you what a Tennis biscuit is. Hope this will help - and maybe if you can tell me more about a Graham Cracker .. ;-) I know, one can google it, but that will only give you ingredients and recipes.

A quick look again to remind you what today's post IS about ;-)

Strawberry Yoghurt Tart

3/4 pack (of a 200g) Tennis Biscuits
2 Cans (410g ea) Strawberries in light syrup
80g box Strawberry Jelly
1 TB Lemon Juice
2 TB Sugar
250ml (1 cup) Plain Yoghurt
2 x 175ml tubs Strawberry Yoghurt
Whipped Cream & Fresh Strawberries to decorate

1.) Line the bottom of a rectangular 20 x 30cm dish with the Tennis biscuits, keep one or two biscuits to crumble over.
2.) Drain the Strawberries but keep 150ml syrup aside - Chop half of the Strawberries into fairly small chunks - leave the other half whole.
3.) Heat the retained Strawberry syrup until very hot. Add the Jelly, Lemon juice and Sugar - stir until all is dissolved.
4.) In a large mixing bowl - add the jelly mixture, Strawberries (chopped and whole), Plain Yoghurt and the Strawberry Yoghurt - mix well to combine all ingredients.
5.) Pour over the layer of Tennis biscuits and refrigerate until set. ( about 2 hours)

Just before serving, decorate with Whipped cream, Fresh Strawberries and crumbled biscuits.

Till later,

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June 26, 2012

Pea, Egg and Feta Salad

Pea Egg and Feta Salad

We are smack-down in the middle of Winter but I still love a good salad. Most Winter time meals are comfort foods, like a stew or a hearty meat pie - and what better side than a salad, and this Pea Egg and Feta Salad is perfect.

Bacon Wrapped Dogs in a Blanket

Bacon Wrapped Dogs In A Blanket ~ Forget the rolls and serve Bacon wrapped hotdogs this way for dinner or lunch #Dinner #HotDogs
Over the years I have seen many recipes for  a this or a that "under a blanket" but never actually made it.

This dinner we had last night started with me having an absolute craving for the Baby Marrow Feta Salad {recipe will follow in the next post}.

I started looking for something to pair it up with, braai (BBQ), maybe a stew (remember we're in the middle of Winter ! ) or something new ..?? That's when my eye caught this old print-out in my recipe file - it was originally shared by Huisgenoot , local magazine in SA.

What a winner ! I decided not to call it a "something under a blanket" as this is more like a soft biscuit and blanket made me think it'll be a somewhat softer cover. (I have no idea if you know what I mean by softer, I just can not think of any other description right now ;-)   ).

Anyhow, before we get on to the recipe, how many of you decide first on a side or salad and THEN the main ??  Bit backwards , isn't it? Well, I'm glad I tried this recipe and will for sure make it again.

Bacon Wrapped Dogs In A Blanket

2 cups Self-Raising Flour
1 t Salt
6 TB Butter, melted
1 cup Buttermilk
1 cup Full Cream Milk
2 TB Mustard Powder (don't skimp - this gives an awesome flavor)
6 Rashers of Streaky Bacon, halved
2 Tins (390g each) Viennas, in brine, drained
1 TB Parsley for garnish (I forgot to add it before I took the 1st photo - but it's on the next!)

1.) Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F). Spray a 20 x 30cm oven dish with Spray 'N Cook.
2.) Sift together the Flour and Salt. Beat the Butter, Buttermilk, Milk and Mustard Powder together and add to the Flour.
3.) Beat until there are no more lumps in the batter - pour into the prepared oven dish and spread to an even layer.
4.) Twist a piece of Bacon around each Vienna and just squeeze into the batter - repeat till all is done.
5.) Bake 40 - 50 minutes until a tester comes out clean and it is golden brown.
6.) Garnish with the Parsley and serve.

June 24, 2012

Strawberry Bread

BIG  NEWS - I just received an E-Mail informing me that my little blog "WITH A BLAST" has been featured on the weekly FOODIE  BLOGROLL !! I am so excited as I only started in May 2012 and definitely did not expect this {I'm smiling, smiling and can not stop...- oh my 15 minutes of fame}

Are you a member ? If not, you are free and welcome to apply through the widget displayed in my sidebar !

Okay, my 15 minutes of fame is up - on to today's recipe. 

I've never made Strawberry Bread - first bake and first success. Moist and really ... well, strawberry-ish! I saw a link on one of the linky parties this week, pinned it and decided to print immediately as I had all the ingredients on hand.

The recipe is just enough for a medium loaf and with our family going overboard on the desserts, I think I'll double the recipe next time!

Strawberry Bread

1 1/2 cups Fresh Strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
1 cup Sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups Flour (I used Cake Flour)
1 t Baking Powder
1/2 t Baking Soda
1/4 t Salt
1 t Cinnamon
2 Eggs 
1/2 t Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Butter, melted and cooled

1.) Place the Strawberries in a non-metallic bowl and add 1/2 cup Sugar. Set aside.
2.) Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F) - Spray a loaf pan with Spray 'N Cook and line the bottom with baking paper.
3.) Mix together the remaining 1/2 cup Sugar, Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt and Cinnamon.
4.) In a separate bowl, beat the Eggs until foamy, add the Vanilla and the cooled melted Butter, whilst beating continuously.
5.) Stir in the Strawberries to the Egg mixture, and mix with the dry ingredients.
6.) Transfer to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 - 70 minutes until a tester comes out clean.
7.) Remove from the oven, leave in pan for 5 minutes then turn out to cool on a wire-rack for 20 minutes.

I served the bread, sliced, with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream and a few fresh strawberry slices. 

A number of goodies attracted my attention on Miz Helen's Country Cottage and I'll definitely visit her blog more often. You have the link above - go check out her blog {unless I'm the only one late to this party!}

Ciao for now,


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Yoghurt Choc Strawberry Meringues

What a combination !

I bought {yeah, I'm too lazy to make them myself}, meringue nests at the supermarket during last week. At the time I had no idea what I wanted to use them for and the packet sat on the kitchen counter asking me everyday ".. what's your plan with us..?".

When I looked at them this morning, I thought today is the day. First I baked a Strawberry Bread and had quite a few strawberries leftover. I know, just a week or so ago, I mentioned that all the strawberry recipes were starting to drive me crazy. But who can walk past a punnet of bright red strawberries and not wanting to buy some. Not a question, a statement!

Right, the name of the recipe start with Yoghurt Choc - here's where this come in:

I started off with melting 4 TB Yoghurt Chocolate together with 1 1/2 TB Coconut Oil, added about a teaspoon of the Melted chocolate into the bottom of each of the meringue nests and placed it for 3 - 4 minutes in the freezer to set.

Meanwhile I hulled and chopped 1/2 cup of Strawberries, placed it into a small saucepan, added 2 TB of Sugar and brought it to boiling point over medium heat. I then added 2 t Cornflour and stirred continuously until it thickened.

I removed it from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes and then topped the Chocolate in the meringue nests with the strawberry mixture.

What a treat ! and SWEET - I only managed two but between Roy, Jacobus & Dimitri they were all gone 15 minutes after serving. {they did not expect the Yoghurt chocolate in the center and were quite surprised - I guess in a good way, as all these meringue nests disappeared in a flash}

Change the chocolate flavor, add more chocolate and less strawberry mixture - just as you wish, but I found the Yoghurt flavor gave this a bite of sourness and together with the sweet strawberry topping this was just right.

Be good and keep baking, cooking, crafting ... and sharing!

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Sweetcorn Muffins

With some main dishes I like to add something besides rice or mashed potatoes. (as a starch).

Example : a Savory Tart - rice or mash won't do .. just a side or a salad, no, .. I want my starch! (as well as the side or salad).

From start to into your mouth - 30 minutes !  This is also great as an anytime snack, just butter, or with some grated cheese, sounds good.

I have two different favorite recipes for savory muffins which I use as a side with a meaty dish - this Sweetcorn Muffin and a Cheese Muffin. Cheri prefers the Sweetcorn and Dimitri the Cheese. Not always sure about Roy .. he's not a picky eater, but I know he likes both the Sweetcorn and the Cheese.

We have a rule (one of many !), if I make a new dish, they must give me an honest feedback, from very good to, please never again. My family knows if they're not truthful and tell me it was good, I'll make it again and what good will that do ? It'll be them suffering through a lousy dish again - right?

This is a good one, even though Dimitri has his preferences!

Sweetcorn Muffins

source: slightly adapted from the cookbook by Annette Human-Spyskaarte vir elke Seisoen (available in English as Seasonal Menus)

2 cups Cake Flour
1 TB Baking Powder
1/2 t Salt
2 Extra-Large Eggs
about 1/2 cup Full Cream Milk
1 Tin Sweetcorn

1.) Pre-heat oven to 200 deg C (400 deg F). Spray a 12 hole muffin pan with Spray 'N Cook.
2.) Sift the Cake flour, Baking powder and Salt together.
3.) Break open the Eggs in a measuring cup and fill to the 1 cup mark with the Milk. Whisk the Eggs and Milk together. Add the tin of Sweetcorn to the Egg mixture and stir well to combine.
4.) Add the Sweetcorn mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (do not over-mix)
5.) Spoon into the muffin pan holes and bake 20 minutes until light brown.
6.) Remove from oven, leave to cool in the pan for a minute or two, transfer to wire rack.

As soon as you can slice them, serve - best with just butter!



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June 23, 2012

Moist Ginger Bread

Moist Ginger Bread

This moist Ginger Bread is so soft, it is almost like a melt-in-the-mouth pudding ! Butter is not really needed, but I do like that tiny bit of buttery taste with the bread.

June 22, 2012

Sausage,Vegetables and Rice Casserole

Sausage Vegetables and rice Casserole ~ Use any meat you like in this complete meal recipe ~ various cooking times - YOU choose ! #LayeredDish #CompleteMeal #QuickPrep

This is a very filling dish, containing meat, vegetables and rice. The great thing about this is YOU choose how long it must be cooked.

Maybe, you want dinner on the table within 2 hours (from start to serving) or you quickly want to put it together, pop into the oven and do something else for 3 hours ... or 5 hours ?? Without the need to check on it .. If you work close to your house - slip away at lunchtime, layer --> oven, go back to work and when you get home your meal is cooked  ;-)

We never have any leftovers - you might want to add a salad on the side, but it's really not necessary .. check out the recipe and decide whether you want to add anything else !

* I usually use Boerewors (South African Sausage), but have made it before with chicken, pork sausages and even lamb rib chops.

I've also played around with the vegetables - used green beans, carrots, with the apple and without, mixed vegetables ... the possibilities are endless.

Sausage Vegetables and rice Casserole ~ Use any meat you like in this complete meal recipe ~ various cooking times - YOU choose ! #LayeredDish #CompleteMeal #QuickPrep

Sausage Vegetables and Rice Casserole

6 Servings

500g Baby Potatoes, peeled and sliced (about 3mm thick)
2 Onions, cut into rings
2 Apples, cored, peeled and cut into slices
500g Butternut, cubed 
1 TB Butter or Margarine
1 1/2 cups Rice, raw
Salt & Pepper
1kg Sausage (I used Boerewors - see my note above for variations)*
400ml Beef stock

Special note on pre-heating of the oven : I explained above this dish can be cooked  in the oven for different times - Take your pick from here : To bake for 1 1/2 hours 180 deg C (350 deg F) - 3 hours 160 deg C (325 deg F) or - 5 hours 100 deg C (210 deg F).

1.) Pre-heat oven to your preferred degree/time. Spray a large oven dish (with a lid) with cooking oil.
2.) Saute the Onion rings in the Butter/Margarine until soft and light brown. Set aside.
3.) Place the Rice on the bottom of the oven dish, add half of the onion rings on top, add all the apples and arrange evenly over the onion rings, now place half of the potatoes in a single layer and season with Salt & Pepper, rest of the Onion rings next,  followed by the remaining potatoes - season lightly again. Add all of the Butternut, spreading to cover the potatoes, ...again, slightly season.
4.) Cut the Sausages (or other meat) into pieces and add on top of all the vegetables. 
5.) Gently pour the Beef stock over the meat.
6.) Place in the oven - use your preferred oven temperature/time.

No need to check on this .. let the oven and the dish do it's thing !

Creamy Oreo Dessert

Creamy Oreo Dessert

I never actually bought Oreos for myself, the kids asked for some now and then but other than on those occasions I did not know much about these cookies. Not just a cookie to dip in a glass of milk, oh no !

In this Creamy Oreo Dessert, the cookies are used as the crust - gives my very trusting Tennis biscuit crust a good run. To be honest, I wouldn't be able to choose just one, as the one biscuit is as versatile as the other.

June 20, 2012

Crispy Provolone Salad

Crispy Provolone Salad ~ Delicious, quick last minute salad #Salad #QuickAndEasyRecipe

Here is a recipe for a quick and easy salad ! Only 3 salad ingredients, but it's the dressing that makes this Crispy Provolone Salad special.

June 19, 2012

Mushroom Beef Grilled Cheese

Mushroom Beef Grilled Cheese

I was busy tapping away on my laptop this afternoon when my hubby asked what's for dinner tonight ?  Dinner..??  Wow, where did the time go?  Anyhow, this is how the Mushroom Beef Grilled Cheese started taking shape in my mind.

June 18, 2012

Peppermint Crisp Tart

Who can say no to a piece (not slice) of Peppermint Tart ?

Delicious ! Does not look like much until you taste it, out of this world and with such simple ingredients as well.

One thing about this particular recipe: it does not slice well, no way, you use a LARGE decent sized spoon and dish it up, then sit back and just ... enjoyyy.

Kids and adults all go crazy for this tart/pudding. I suppose it is really a pudding and not a tart, whatever, you can call it the way you like.

Forget the layers of biscuit and use it as a filling for .. uhm, meringues, ice cream cones, ready-made mini shells ... and the list goes on.

Here we are;

Peppermint Crisp Tart

1 packet Tennis Biscuits, or what you normally use in layered puddings, if unavailable
250ml Fresh Cream
5ml Peppermint Essence
1 can (397g) Caramel Condensed Milk
1 Medium size Peppermint Crisp Chocolate, grated

1.) Whip the Fresh cream until stiff, adding the Peppermint essence during whipping.
2.) Gently fold in the Caramel condensed milk to the whipped cream.
3.) Use a 20 x 20cm (8 x 8") dish and place a single layer of  Tennis biscuits at the bottom. Pour half of the Caramel mixture over the biscuit layer and repeat ending with a layer of Caramel mixture.
4.) Sprinkle the grated Peppermint Crisp Chocolate on top.
5.) Refrigerate 1 - 2 hours before serving. (It will only set slightly - that's okay, you want it that way!)

Serve on it's own or maybe an extra dollop of unsweetened whipped cream - it's a very sweet recipe, therefore you might want to "balance" it out with something unsweetened? As always, up to you!

I'm going to play with Chichi and Rex for a while now, be good, till next time!


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Oxtail (Slow-Cooker)

The BEST Slow-Cooker Oxtail recipe ever !

Roy's all-time favorite dish - Slow-Cooker OXTAIL ! I do not make this a lot, as it is a very rich dish, red meat and all that, but there was never a question what would be the main dish on Father's Day .. He never actually asked for it, but after 27 years together, I think we can read one another's minds ... really, I do believe that. One thing they {anyway, who is this "they" everybody, me included, always mention ..? mmm} say, which I absolutely do not believe is the fact that the longer two people are together, the more they look like one another .. no, no, no waayy!

Decadent Chocolate Cake

Anyone watch the Rugby Saturday ?  In South Africa Rugby is HUGE ! Really, when our provincial teams play against each other or in a Series like the Super Rugby (4 teams each of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia), you stand by your team. Mine of course is the Blue Bulls - as I said in a previous post, always has been and always will be !

But ... enter the world of International Rugby ... all (well, most {whink} ) South Africans stand together. Suddenly the provincial team players you hated last week, are now the BEST. This past Saturday the Springboks (see my badge on my profile pic !) won the second of three matches against England. Great stuff, there are a lot of new players, new combinations etc, but we'll climb our way to the very top again. That's the way in the Rugby World in South Africa.

Anyhow, you must be wondering why all the rugby talk ?  Because we have a cookbook called "Springbok Kitchen" where old and new players show their way in the kitchen. Yes, this cake recipe is from none other than our fast, very experienced wing Bryan Habana.

I've made it several times and it is DELICIOUS - and exactly what the name says - "Decadent".

4  Layers with different Fillings !

Decadent Chocolate Cake

very slightly adapted by me from this cookbook "Springbok Kitchen"

1 cup Cake Flour
2 TB Cocoa Powder
2 t Baking Powder
1 cup Castor Sugar
1/2 cup Canola Oil (I used Sunflower Oil)
1/2 cup Boiling Water
4 Extra-Large Eggs, separated
1 t Baking Powder 

1 can (360g) Caramel Condensed Milk
3 TB Apricot Jam
2 TB Coconut (I use fine)
4 cups Icing Sugar, sifted
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
250g Butter, room temperature (I used Margarine)
about 5 TB Water
Cherries and Toasted Flaked Almonds for decorating

1.) Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F) - Spray 2 x 20cm diameter cake pans with Spray 'N Cook and line the bottoms with baking paper.
2.) Combine the Cake Flour, Cocoa Powder, Baking Powder and Castor Sugar. Mix the Oil and Water and add to the dry ingredients. 
3.) Whisk the Egg Yolks and add to the mixture - mixing well.
4.) Beat the Egg Whites with the extra 1 teaspoon Baking Powder until stuff. Gently fold into cake batter.
5.) Divide the mixture between the two prepared pans and bake 20 - 25 minutes until spongy when touched.
6.) Remove from pans, let cool on wire rack and then cut each cake in half (you will now have 4 layers - they're quite thin, but the fillings must still be added).
7.) Mix the Caramel condensed milk and Apricot jam together. Divide the mixture into two and add the Coconut to one half. Sift the Icing sugar and Cocoa powder together. Cream the Butter and slowly add the Icing mixture - add the water and beat in (a little more or less can be used)

*****To Assemble: Place the bottom layer of cake on a plate - Spread with a quarter of the Icing/Cocoa mixture. Place another layer of cake on top and spread with the Caramel/Coconut mixture. Place the third layer on top and spread with another quarter of Icing/Cocoa mixture. Place the last layer of cake on top and spread with the Caramel/Jam mixture. Use the remaining Icing/Cocoa mixture to ice the sides of the cake. Finally decorate with Cherries and Almond flakes*****

The longer this cake stand - the better it gets. I always try to make it a day before, but the cake rarely makes it to the following day !

Enjoy - and let me know whether you're a supporter of Rugby or if you're  following this sport at all.



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June 15, 2012

Pork Tenderloin In Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Ultimate comfort food ! Juicy Pork in a creamy Mushroom Sauce

What a crazy week this has been ! This is when I truly appreciate quick, delicious and easy recipes and this Pork Tenderloin in creamy Mushroom Sauce never lets me down. Not time-wise or in taste

June 14, 2012

Bacon Peas

Bacon Peas

This Bacon Peas recipe is one of my all time favorite sides.

June 13, 2012

Low-Fat Chicken And Vegetables

Do you find some days, you wake up and just know .. I'm not going to like today? No reason .. yet .. you just get that FEELING ..

Today was one of those. Yesterday a new cleaner started to work for us (the previous one lasted a little over two months, before I told her that I needed someone with a bit more initiative and that, really, after two months, when I ask her to do something - please note, ASK not tell, that she should do what has been asked of her).

I am a total control freak, very set in where and how I put my stuff. Also, if you're cleaning my house, that better be 100%. I, myself ... no good at cleaning, ironing etc, although I enjoy doing the laundry - washing, hanging and even folding. That's why we PAY someone to clean, and I do not like paying for a useless no-good cleaner ! 

Yes, I am very angry - the one who started yesterday, did not even know how to wash dishes, she lied about ironing, didn't do what was expected of her, and I laid down the do's and don'ts beforehand - TOTAL DISREGARD from her side! This morning took the cake - told (not asked .. I'm beyond that now) her to do something and she did her own thing. Well, by 10am I paid her in full for the two days and just sent her on her merry way.

There is so much unemployment in our country, you'd think people would take their jobs a little more serious, but no, everything is expected to fall in their laps. Not so with me, maybe before - NO MORE!

Anyhow, my whole sad story has absolutely nothing to do with the recipe, I just wanted to vent... sorry.  I'm looking up all recipes I used some time ago when I had to wanted to loose some weight. Cheri decided she wants to eat healthier as do my cousin, Erica, which I mentioned in my post on a recipe for Low-Fat Beef.

Without any further "that's life" stories, here is the recipe: (I used my pressure cooker to cook the chicken)

Low-Fat Chicken & Veggies

a recipe slightly adapted by me from this cookbook by Christelle Erasmus "Gesonde Gesinskos"

4 Large Chicken Fillets
2 Onions, chopped roughly
3 Carrots, peeled and cut into rings
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
500 ml Water
2 t  Seasoning (I used Aromat - use your favorite, if Aromat is unavailable)

250 g Mushrooms, sliced
1 Large Green Bell Pepper, chopped
20 ml Vegetable Oil (I used Sunflower Oil)
15 ml Flour
1/4 cup Cornflour
200 ml Fat-Free Milk
1 t Salt
50 ml Medium Sherry

1.) Place the Chicken, Onion, Carrot, Black Pepper, Water and Seasoning into a pressure cooker (you can use a normal pot a well - it might just take a bit longer). Cook on pressure for 15 - 20 minutes. Remove the cooked chicken and vegetables with a slotted spoon and keep aside. Retain 300ml of the liquid.
2.) Cut the Chicken into bite-size pieces.
3.) Heat the Vegetable oil in a large sauce pan and saute the Mushrooms and Green bell pepper until soft.
4.) Meanwhile mix the Flour, Cornflour and the Milk until smooth in a separate medium-sized bowl. Add the retained Chicken stock to the Milk mixture together with the Salt and Sherry. Add to the Mushroom mixture in the pan and let simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens. Stirring continuously (5 - 7 minutes)
5.) Add the Chicken and other vegetables to the saucepan, stir gently to mix it all up again - Simmer for a minute or two until the chicken is heated through.

Serve with Brown Basmati Rice.

Ciao for now,


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Lemon Meringue

Lemon Meringue ~ No frills, no-fuss Lemon Meringue with an easy crust #LemonMeringue #LemonPie

Love a slice of Lemon Meringue - especially a nice zesty piece ?

Then this recipe is for you. Easy, quick to make and only 15 - 20 minutes in the oven... but you'll have to wait a little while for it to cool and set, of course you knew that ! I refrigerated mine for about an hour (I couldn't wait any longer..) Still sliced well, don't you think?

June 12, 2012

Coconut Honey Cake

Coconut Honey Cake

Seems I'm on a Coconut frenzy these last couple of weeks, but what can I say .. I love Coconut ! If you like a moist Coconut Honey Cake for dessert or as a tea time snack then this recipe is for you.

June 10, 2012

Coconut Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist, delicious Coconut Bread with a divine Cream Cheese Frosting

As I mentioned some time ago, I want to try out as many of my Pinterest pins as possible. Some things, like coconut, I pin immediately ! I'm a total coconut freak, food, drinks and even the smell of those tanning lotions. Don't you just love that smell?...

Some of my pins, I try out as soon as I can, whereas, others like this Coconut Bread with cream cheese frosting - IMMEDIATELY ! I have made this twice already, both times it turned out perfectly, although I made some minor changes to the original recipe.

Macaroni Cheese And Tuna

Simple, quick, easy and economical, yet so delicious Tuna Casserole

Macaroni Cheese and Tuna is one of our regular dinners on our monthly menu. This recipe is simple, quick and very economical.

Pineapple Cheesecake (No Bake)

I have been making this No-Bake Pineapple Cheesecake for years and it is still one of our favorite desserts

Strawberries, strawberries ... right, I love strawberries, but really, after a month of reading, looking, pinning and eating strawberries, I've had enough. This Pineapple Cheesecake, which is a no-bake recipe, is an amazingly creamy dessert.

June 7, 2012

One-Pot Beef And Vegetables (Low-Fat)

One-Pot Beef And Vegetables (Low-Fat) is a filling, nutritious meal, ideal for anyone who wants to cut their fat intake.

Low-Fat Beef and Vegetables One Pot

Every now and then I go on a diet - I'm the yo-yo type .. you know weight up, weight down! This One-Pot Beef And Vegetables, which is so low in fat, is always on our monthly menu, whether I am dieting or not.

June 5, 2012

Wallpaper-Fabric Painted Craft Storage

Wallpaper-Fabric Painted Craft Storage ~ How to turn a bookcase into a Craft Storage with matching sides and front {painting fabric using wallpaper} #FabricPainting #CraftStorage
We needed to move my craft supplies from the storage/crafts room we used before, as we need the space for something else. What to do .. ?

I like to use "unusual" spots for something. See photo on the left?  We broke out the top of the wall (on the left-side) in our passage, a couple of years ago, built in a counter, which opened up the kitchen, added some bar stools and now use it as a Breakfast bar.

On to today's project - When we bought our scullery cabinets a while ago, we received a standard chipboard bookcase for free. Roy painted it white, as I wanted to use it in the storage room, so just plain white was okay, then...

Now, I had to move my craft supplies to a more "public" space - the passage ! That corner always did seem a bit lonely, anyhow, so the Craft Storage moved there (This is only part of my supplies - must still figure out a way/place for the rest) .. Point is, I couldn't leave it like that - open, plain white, not even painted 100% !

Right top is what it looks like now from the corner/side - wallpaper on the side and painted fabric, to match the wallpaper design, in front - that's the right bottom pic.

Here is what I did :
Wallpaper-Fabric Painted Craft Storage ~ How to turn a bookcase into a Craft Storage with matching sides and front {painting fabric using wallpaper} #FabricPainting #CraftStorage

Photo left - I used white linen to make a curtain, with eyelets.   Photo right - those are standard wooden cabinet knobs, but I've glued (using wood glue) it to the corners, as Roy drilled some holes into the "middle" piece of the knob for the dowel stick to fit in.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of doing the actual wallpaper, but it's really very simple - First photo on the left shows what I've used (Spray Adhesive and a Spray Sealant). I measured the sides of the book case, leaving a one inch border all round, cut the wall paper using zig-zag scissors.

I turned the bookcase on it's side, after which I sprayed the wood, as well as the back of the wallpaper with the Adhesive, waited about two minutes and slowly started from one side to press/rub it down with my hand. I used a rubber craft roller and rolled out any bubbles which might have formed (always do this from the center outwards). Ended spraying it with the sealant and gave it another coat after 5 minutes. 

After that, I left it overnight to completely bond before flipping the case over to do the other side the next morning. WALLPAPER DONE!

Wallpaper-Fabric Painted Craft Storage ~ How to turn a bookcase into a Craft Storage with matching sides and front {painting fabric using wallpaper} #FabricPainting #CraftStorage

The second, third and fourth photo's show how I made the stencils and painted the fabric. I cut out the two different sized flowers from a piece of wallpaper using my craft knife (2nd picture). Third photo - I applied some tac-tac glue (not permanent and won't leave any stickiness behind) to the back of the cut-out stencil, (this type of glue only needed to be applied once as it stays on the stencil) waited about 5 minutes for the glue to "settle" and then (4th picture), placed it in position, and started to paint over the stencil using fabric paint and a small craft foam roller.

A foam roller works very nicely as you can start with light strokes, press harder (should you want a darker color) or apply another coat.  I decided to do 3 of the larger flowers in a row, 2 of the smaller flowers in the second row and repeated down to the bottom of the curtain.

Wallpaper-Fabric Painted Craft Storage ~ How to turn a bookcase into a Craft Storage with matching sides and front {painting fabric using wallpaper} #FabricPainting #CraftStorage

I painted the lines/leaves freehand style and wasn't really concerned for it to be perfect. On the two photos at the right, I filled in some of the minor .. but necessary, details to the flowers (of course trying to copy as best I could from the wallpaper - because, me ?... no Picasso! ). Once all the painting was done it needed only to be ironed (I iron both sides) to make the paint permanent. Always use an old thin piece of fabric under and over when ironing.

The curtain is now ready to be threaded through the eyelets with the dowel stick ! When dirty, wash and iron normally.

I quite enjoyed this as it was my first dealings with wallpaper and I haven't done any fabric painting in over a year ! (Must say .. the wallpaper made a very strong stencil and I'm keeping it for future projects).

Hope you found something interesting here, (I had other ideas for the front of my new Craft Storage-case.. but, yeah, they don't always work out and then one must - shake the head, loosen those braincells and something will pop-up)

Wallpaper-Fabric Painted Craft Storage ~ How to turn a bookcase into a Craft Storage with matching sides and front {painting fabric using wallpaper} #FabricPainting #CraftStorage

June 4, 2012

Coconut Friands

Coconut Friands

This is another recipe I found on Pinterest and have made several times already. Never a flop, just light and fluffy and oh, soooo coconutty !

I've only made two tiny changes to the original recipe for these Coconut Friands.

Mushroom & Sausage Pie

Mushroom & Sausage Pie ~ Full of flavor with peppers, mushrooms and more #SavoryPie #MushroomPie

Things are a bit hectic at the Nortje home the last couple of days. Dimitri's friend, Jacobus is moving in with us and we decided to convert our storage room (a.k.a. my craftroom !) into a room with bathroom for him.

We've never really used the bathroom - except for storage - therefore it needed a bit of attention and the actual room was screaming for a new lick of paint as well. Roy is mostly busy there, as I absolutely hate, hate do not like to paint, well, not walls and ceilings anyway.

My part is to move all the craft goodies somewhere else in the house, ugh - we. do. not. live. in. a. Palace! I am actually doing this as a project which I am taking pics of as I'd like to share the end-results with you. Hopefully I'll be done in a day or two ;-)  Hint: Old bookcase - Wallpaper - Painted Fabric.

Mushroom & Sausage Pie

600g Sausage (I used Boerewors, but I have tried it with pork sausages as well, any medium spiced sausage will do here)
2 TB Oil
2 Red Peppers, cubed
250g White Button Mushrooms, halved or quartered if you have very large mushrooms
2 Onions, finely chopped
3 t Minced Garlic (I use the ready-minced bottled type)
1 TB Flour
500ml Boiling Water, 1 Beef cube mixed in (use 2 cubes if your choice of sausage is not spicy)
1 Roll Puff Pastry, defrosted
1 Egg, beaten

1.) Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F) and spray a rectangular baking dish (20 x 30cm) with Spray 'N Cook.
2.) Fry the Sausage until fully cooked and cut into bite size pieces. Set aside.
3.) Heat the Oil in a large frying pan, add the Red Peppers, Mushrooms, Onion and Garlic. Saute for a few minutes until the onion browns. Add the Flour and stir until well combined with the vegetables.
4.) Add the Boiling Water (with the beef cube dissolved) and the Sausage to the mixture.
5.) Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
6.) Transfer mixture to the prepared oven dish and cover with the Puff Pastry. Slice off any extra pastry, you just want it the size of the oven dish.
7.) Paint with the beaten egg, make sure to make a slight cross incision in the middle of the pastry (for steam to escape)
8.) Bake 15 - 20 minutes until pastry is cooked, puffed and browned.
9.) Serve immediately.

We've never had any left, sooo,  I can not tell you whether it'll keep for the next day {whink}

Hope you will enjoy this!

Ciao for now


Nutella Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookie

The other day I was sitting here, on my usual couch, thinking (Normally it's dangerous when I start the thinking thing..) I really have a craving for something -- but what ?

Knew I had 4 jars some Nutella and Cream cheese and a light bulb went on in my head, well, more like those red blinky things along the road....

Anyhow, this is another recipe I made as the blinky lights hit me in the kitchen.  Guess what, everybody loved them !

When done this is quite a large Cookie (not sure if cookie is the right descriptive here).

I made most with the filling baked INSIDE the cookie but just to try, I made a few with the Nutella (cookie on the right) on top. Must say, I prefer the Nutella inside...

Here's what I did:

Nutella Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookie:

1 1/2 cups Flour  (I always use Cake Flour)
1 t Baking Powder
1/2 t salt
250g (8oz) Cream Cheese, softened
1 stick (125g  /  1/2 cup) Unsalted Butter, softened
180ml Sugar
1 Large Egg
1 t Vanilla Essence
1 cup Tennis Biscuit crumbs (or Graham)
1/4  - 1/3 cup Nutella

1.) Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F) and line a baking sheet with baking paper. The paper I use need no extra spraying, but if you're not sure, spray it lightly with Spray 'N Cook.
2.) Mix the Flour, Baking Powder, and Salt in a bowl an set aside.
3.) Beat the Cream Cheese, Butter and Sugar until creamy - about 2 minutes. Add the Egg and Vanilla and beat until well combined.
4.) Reduce your beater's speed to low and add in the Flour mixture, keep beating until a dough has formed.
5.) Refrigerate for 30 - 40 minutes - dough must be firm. Remove from fridge and roll into balls (slightly bigger than a golf ball). 
6.) Make an indentation in the ball and add a teaspoonful of Nutella inside - just take the sides of the dough and fold it over the Nutella ("sealing" the Nutella inside).
7.) Roll the balls in the Tennis biscuit crumbs, coating all over - then press it down slightly as you'd do when making patties. (but not too much!)
8.) Place on the prepared baking sheet - leave enough space all round as these cookies expand quite a bit during baking. Bake 15 - 18 minutes until nicely browned.
9.) Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 15 minutes on the baking sheet - the cookies will be quite soft and need to set a bit before handling.
10.) Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before serving.

The amount of Nutella added may seem a little for such a big cookie, but I think it had just the right bite, I mean, you do still want to taste the sweet cream cheese-iness as well ...

Now I need to get back to my Craft - project, so that I can share those details with you as well, in the hopefully  near future.

Bye Bye,


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