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July 31, 2012

Melt-in-your-Mouth Dessert

This is one of our favorite desserts - summer, winter and all in between. 

I have served this with custard, ice-cream or whipped cream.

It's really a dessert which melts in your mouth and the main thing is - the ingredients is standard pantry stuff, so no need to rush out to get something to make this specially.


Just one thing before we get on to the recipe ... did you know that one can BUY Pinterest followers?  If you do - what are your thoughts about that?


Melt-in-your-Mouth Dessert

1/4 cup Golden Syrup
1/4 cup Butter or Margarine
1/4 cup Sugar
Pinch Salt
4 Extra-Large Eggs
3/4 cup Cake Flour
1 t Bicarbonate of Soda
1 cup Milk

1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Butter or Margarine
1/4 cup Sugar

1.) Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F). Spray a 20 x 20cm oven dish with Spray 'N Cook.
2.) Heat the Syrup, Butter or Margarine, Sugar and Salt until the butter and sugar are just melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
3.) Beat the Eggs in a medium bowl and add the Syrup mixture whilst beating continuously. Add the Flour and mix until well combined.
4.) Dissolve the Bicarbonate of Soda in a little of the Milk - Add the remaining Milk to the batter, followed by the dissolved Bicarbonate of Soda. Beat well. {The batter is more like a liquid }
5.) Pour into the prepared oven dish and bake for 45 minutes - Remove from oven.
6.) A few minutes before the dessert has done baking, heat the Milk, Butter or Margarine and the Sugar in a small saucepan until bubbly.
7.) As soon as the dessert is out of the oven, poke holes with a fork all over - Pour the Milk mixture over and let stand until all the liquid has been absorbed.

The Dessert and Liquid just getting on their merry way...

Serve with Custard, Ice-Cream or Whipped Cream ! (This dessert cuts very nicely into whatever shape you want and it lifts out easily)

Hope you'll enjoy this as much as we do.... also very nice cold.... 

Ciao for now,

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July 30, 2012

Bacon And Mushroom Pasta

Bacon and Mushroom Pasta in a delicate, light sauce ~ This dish is ready in under 20 minutes and enough for 6 full servings

I couldn't get enough of this Bacon And Mushroom Pasta last night - it was soooo good ! A huge plus is that the dish is ready in under 20 minutes

Chocolate Almond Gateau

Feels good to be back and share another recipe with you!

This was my first try at a Gateau and it actually turned out quite well.  I knew it will taste good .. chocolate and sponge fingers ...

I used a standard loaf pan which of course is a bit smaller at the bottom and bigger towards the top. My sponge fingers did not line up 100% but I sliced it easily - next time I'll use a large rectangular plastic lunchbox or something similar.

There was a little leftover this morning, which Roy had for breakfast! I opted for a plain Nutella sandwich {I know, neither are very healthy as a breakfast, but very enjoyable...}

Chocolate Almond Gateau

175g (6 oz) Unsalted Butter, softened
75g (3 oz) Muscovado sugar (or any soft brown sugar)
175g (6 oz) Plain Chocolate
100g (4 oz) Ground Almonds
3 TB Brandy, divided
1 cup Fresh Cream, whipped, divided 
3 TB Water
24 - 28 Sponge Fingers

1.) Line the bottom and sides of a loaf pan with foil.
2.) Beat the Butter and Sugar until creamy.
3.) Melt the Chocolate and add to the Sugar mixture - Add the Almonds and one tablespoon of the Brandy as well - mix until well combined.
4.) Add half of the Whipped Cream to the Chocolate mixture and fold in gently.
5.) Mix the remaining two tablespoons of Brandy with the Water - Dip the un-sugared side of the Sponge Fingers in the Water mixture (just to moisten... not to saturate) - Arrange the moistened Sponge Fingers, sugared sides down on the bottom of the loaf pan - there should be room for 8 Fingers.
6.) Scoop half of the Chocolate mixture on top of the Fingers - spread out evenly. Add another layer of Fingers, followed with the remaining Chocolate mixture. End with a final layer of Fingers (sugared side up).
7.) Use foil to completely cover the top and refrigerate for an hour. (I put mine in the freezer for 40 minutes)
8.) Remove the Gateau from the loaf pan - peel off the foil lining. Use a dessert spoon (dip into hot water every now and then) to smooth the sides.

Decorate with the remaining Whipped Cream and serve.



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July 20, 2012

Red Wine Cream

If you like a glass of Red Wine, you will love this easy dessert. Even if you don't like Red Wine you'll like it.

I only have a glass or two of  alcohol a year - then I'll definitely have a good Dry Red Wine ! Roy will enjoy a beer or two maybe every few months and I'll take a sip from him - that's enough - not as if I don't like alcohol or have anything against it - it just doesn't work well when you're on certain medications.

Cheri absolutely hates it when I cook or bake anything with Wine, Beer or any other alcohol in it. She'll walk in the door, smell it, and tell me exactly what I've used and what she thinks about it ! Rude kid, yeah? But she'll eat whatever, otherwise it's bread and butter.

Now, don't get me wrong ... she likes a glass or two of Wine - just not in cooking.  

Same thing with Dimitri, he again believes the only place Peanut Butter belongs with, is on bread - I make my own PB Cups and various other recipes with Peanut Butter but he refuses to eat it if it's not a normal Peanut Butter sandwich. 

Can't please them all !

Very Creamy Mousse Dessert

Red Wine Cream

1 Packet (90g) Raspberry jelly (Jello)
300ml Boiling Water
150ml Red Wine (I used Dry)
250ml Fresh Cream
Extra Whipped Cream, slightly sweetened - to decorate

1.) Dissolve the Jelly in the Boiling Water and add the Red Wine - chill (but do not let it start to set)
2.) Whip the Fresh Cream until stiff peaks form - Fold in the cooled Jelly mixture until well combined
3.) Pour into individual serving dishes/glasses and chill for 3 - 4 hours until set.

Decorate with the Sweetened Whipped Cream (A Raspberry would look great with this, but I couldn't find any)

Ciao for now,


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BBQ Beef Baps

This is what I make when I am too lazy in a hurry or just don't feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

With Cheese or without - just as good!

Sometimes I will make this in the morning if I have a busy afternoon and just leave it till dinner time. A quick re-heat and all is fine (Does not dry out - as long as it is kept covered)

I like this recipe because it is not too saucy, but definitely not dry. 

BBQ Beef Baps

2 TB Butter
2 Onions, finely chopped
2 Green Bell Peppers, cored, seeded and sliced thinly
2 t Garlic,crushed
6 TB Dark Brown Sugar
2 TB Worcestershire Sauce
2 TB Mustard
3/4 cup Tomato Sauce
4 TB Cider Vinegar
Salt & Pepper, to taste
700g Cooked Ground Beef (Mince)

8 Baps or Hamburger Buns

1.) Saute the Onion, Green Bell Peppers and Garlic in the Butter until soft but not brown.
2.) Add the Dark Brown Sugar, Worcestershire Sauce, Mustard, Tomato Sauce and Cider Vinegar to the vegetables in the pan - Cook over low heat for 5 - 10 minutes.
3.) Add the Cooked Ground Beef to the sauce mixture in the pan - Season to taste.
4.) Stir well until combined and heat through gently.

Spoon the BBQ Beef mixture into the Hamburger buns - (Add cheese if preferred).

ps; I usually cook the Ground meat at the same time as cooking the sauce, then both are ready at the same time.



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July 19, 2012

Best Marinade in Existence

You have to try this Marinade ! It really is the Best Marinade in Existence !

A Pinterest pin I tried, tested and was very happy with!  This is absolutely the best Marinade in Existence. No store-bought ( or any of my current homemade marinades ) come even close to this marinade.

Blanc-Mange with Stewed Fruit

I think this is the most delicious dessert I've ever made ! For some reason I always have a fear when making anything in a mould and have to turn it out - three reasons .. my stuff always break or it did not set properly or it sticks to the mould.

Years ago, must be about 10 or 12 years, I bought a Tupperware mould, quite fancy, with a lid and a smaller mould which made the "hole" in the middle (the smaller one can be used on it's own as well). Well, it was still brand new when I used it for the first time yesterday and it did the magic!

Must say, I think it's because of the recipe too {whink} as it really set nicely and took only about 3 hours of chilling.

The Blanc-Mange and the Glaze is a recipe which I gawked looked at for years as well. I found it in one of my favorite cookbooks Spyskaarte vir Elke Seisoen by Annette Human (available in English as SEASONAL MENUS).

The Fruit I stewed, as I think, my Granny used to do it - but I could be wrong. Anyhow, the whole dessert was delicious. Oh, I already said that ...

Blanc-Mange with Stewed Fruit

Stewed Fruit;

250g Mixed Dried Fruit (I used a pack containing: Peaches, Apples, Apricots, Prunes and Pears)
300ml Water
1 Cinnamon stick
3 TB Sugar

1.) Simmer all the ingredients for 20 minutes until soft. Remove from heat - drain and keep aside until completely cooled.


5 TB Cornflour
4 TB Sugar
1/4 t Salt
3 cups Milk
1 Egg
1 t Vanilla Essence

1.) Place 700ml of the Milk in a pot on medium heat.
2.) Meanwhile, mix the remaining 50ml Milk with the Cornflour, Sugar and Salt. Add the Egg and Vanilla and whisk well.
3.) As soon as the Milk in the pot reach boiling point - add the Cornflour mixture slowly, stirring continuously.
4.) Simmer until thick, stirring all the time (3 - 5 minutes)
5.) Remove from heat, let cool for about 2 minutes and pour into a mould which was rinsed in cold water (use the mould wet).
6.) Chill for 3 - 4 hours before turning out.

Glaze;  (make the Glaze shortly before serving)

1 1/2 t Cornflour
2 TB Water
1/4 cup Fine Apricot jam
1 t Butter or Margarine
2 TB Sherry (or any other sweet wine)

1.) Mix the Cornflour and Water until smooth in a small sauce pan - Add the Apricot jam, Butter or Margarine and simmer over medium heat until thick - Remove from the heat and add the Sherry - stir well.
2.) Let the Glaze cool completely before serving.

Serve the Blanc-Mange with the Stewed Fruit and some Glaze drizzled over.

Hope you enjoy!


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July 18, 2012

Best EVER Chicken Pie

Bacon, Mushrooms, Cream, Spinach & more in this Best EVER Chicken Pie

I Must have made this best ever Chicken Pie dozens of times over the years. I do not think I have ever tried another version, as this one is so good!

Ginger Choc Truffles

Sooo, it's Madiba's birthday today - yes, the man is already in his 90's!

Happy Birthday Mr Mandela !!!

He is such a wonderful man who had so many dreams, visions and hopes for this country, but sadly not all {I should say "most"} did not come true - no I'm not going to talk politics - just want to make a point that everything is not what it seems in South-Africa.

I made these amazing truffles only twice, no reason other than I forgot about them !

After last night's batch, I'll definitely make them more often - it's now a family favorite... and of course quick and easy. This took about 10 minutes to make and another 10 - 15 minutes to set.

I used mini cupcake liners and the recipe made 40.

Ginger Choc Truffles

200g Ginger Biscuits, crumbed (as fine or coarse as you prefer)
300g Good quality Chocolate
1 t Ground Ginger
1 t Vanilla

1.) Mix the Ginger biscuit crumbs with the Ground Ginger.
2.) Melt the Chocolate and add to the crumb mixture - stir to combine
3.) Add the Vanilla to the mixture and mix well.
4.) Scoop a teaspoon full of the mixture into each cupcake liner.
5.) Chill until set and serve.

I dusted mine with a too much bit of Icing Sugar. VERY  ADDICTIVE !!!

Till later, {behind on my posts again}


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July 16, 2012

Caramel Yoghurt Dip

Only 2 Ingredients in this Caramel Yoghurt Dip !

This day did not start off well. It's cold - okay, that's to be expected, we're smack-down in the middle of Winter, but I think it's an age related thing ... every Winter seems to be colder than the previous Winter ! 

Then, later this morning, I slipped and fell - .. yeah I know {picture the way someone steps on a banana peel and do the split} - that was me. Funny thing, whilst I'm there on the floor, agonising in pain, I think to myself " .. Gee Linda, you have the correct pose which athletes take when getting ready for the Ready .. Set .. when they are about to do the 100mt sprint.." Only- I never got to the GO part - however, I did miss falling into the open garbage bag ... suppose I must be thankful for at least that as you know what goes into the garbage!

This afternoon, I'm in the laundry, hubby in the lounge, when we heard a crash {seriously, the man thought I fell again ..}. Anyway, upon investigating, we found a candle, set in a wineglass, which were at the BACK of my craft case, broken on the floor - no draft, no one there, dogs outside and as I said it was in the back BEHIND other stuff ... Weird ..

Done laughing..?? Okay, this post is not exactly a recipe - 2 ingredients - 1 step ! but I'll write it down as a recipe, just because I feel like doing it right.

Caramel Yoghurt Dip

Enough dip for 5 individual servings {and leftover for 1 more, which I ate on it's own!}

1 cup Plain Greek Yoghurt
1/2 cup Caramel Condensed Milk  (I use Nestle's brand)

1.) Mix the two ingredients and serve with fruit.


July 15, 2012


I had a patch of wall in my bedroom screaming for something.  First, I wanted to transfer the two pictures of Dimitri and Cheri onto canvas, but the resolutions weren't good enough - and I really like these specific photos. All of the pictures I used were printed from an inkjet printer.

Step by step : this started out as a cheap three-legged table, painted plain white, about 500mm in diameter.

I used PicMonkey to make the following {this was the opening song at our Wedding reception ! } I picked my favorite lines, our names and date of marriage  -  our bedroom has a beach theme, well sort of...we're getting there...

I ended up using this picture as well as 2 of the children with a separate picture above theirs {again done on PicMonkey} describing them as being the ANCHORS of our lives, which they are - xoxo to them!

When I'm working with Decoupage, Mod-Podge or any of their cousins, I always use a craft knife to cut out the edges {it gives a softer edge than when cutting with scissors, which in turn makes it easier to apply the coating as well as the blending - paper onto wood etc}

I started to paint "waves" {free-hand} roughly from top to bottom using ordinary craft paint -  dries within 10 minutes if thinly applied as I did.

Once I did all the wavy lines, I gently used sanding paper to make it look a little distressed - see bottom line.

I then started pasting the pictures {after I sprayed the fronts, with aerosol hairspray, to seal the ink from the inkjet printer} using Craft Varnish - works fine as a bonding, not only Sealing, and gently rolled all air bubbles out - starting from the middle outwards.

Repeated with all the other pictures and when I could feel all were dry, I started to apply the Craft Varnish, I did one coat - waited to dry about 20 minutes and repeated this process five times until smooth.

I wanted to use a thick rope around the sides {to fit in more with the beach-theme}, but decided to use what I had on hand, which was some blue/white nylon rope.  Not sure whether I am totally satisfied but I can always change that later. Thus far, I kinda like it.

Sooo, for the moment, this is what the wall looks like above our entertainment center - my MASTERPIECE hangs just a bit higher than eye-level.

We'll see whether I still like the blue/white Nylon rope next week, if not, I'll put a thick rope around {or I might be lucky and find an actual boat steering wheel ... }



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Liebster Blog Award

I have received, with a lot of love and appreciation, the Liebster Blog Award from Debi over at Adorned From Above !!

What a lovely surprise to think that someone else in the world would think that my very, very new blog is worthy of this Award.

Thank you again, Debi!

Liebster is German for dearest (Very close to our afrikaans word, LIEWE, which means the same). This Award is meant for blogs with less than 200 followers - as a way of encouraging them!

The Rules are:

1.) Link back to who gave you the award
2.) Post your award on your blog
3.) Pass the award on to 5 fellow bloggers with less than 200 followers
4.) Let them know you've nominated them

Here are the ladies, whose blogs I immensely enjoy, who I am nominating:

1. Kerry from Oh So Amelia
2. Christine from First Home Love Life
3. Sophie from My Happy Place
4. Yammie from Yammie's Noshery

Please visit these ladies' blogs - this is a versatile list, I am sure you'll find them interesting.

Have a nice Sunday {We're freezing our behinds off in South-Africa!)


July 14, 2012

Stencilled Napkins

Noticed how expensive Napkins are these days? Especially for special occasions .. and I can never find exactly what I want.

Make your own! It's so easy (pre-schoolers can do this if using a ready-made stencil and not the ironing)

Buy a stencil (craft- hardware stores), DIY magazines like to share templates, or look for a picture (magazines, internet, books specializing in templates or draw your own) 

Use a large alphabet/numeric stencil for words or numbers. The possibilities are endless.

I usually make my own Napkins, cut to my preferred size, the type of fabric for the event - or jazz-up your old plain ones.

I have only included a few which I've made over time. Note, the silver Rose on the black fabric and the red Rose on the white fabric were made from the same stencil.

The gold Flower on the white fabric is only part of a bigger stencil which I chose to use here.

-You'll need a cutting mat and craft knife first of all if cutting your own stencils. 
-A picture
-Sheet of stencil plastic - craft- and stationery stores keep these in different thickeness' (Buy 2 or 3 different ones to find the one you best work with)  
-Fabric Paint (these are cheap and you can pick from a huge selection - or mix your own colour)
-Foam roller and pan - you can use a paint brush as well but I find a roller works much better
-Tic-Tac Glue - this is a non permanent glue and it will stick your stencil to the fabric without any residue afterwards (Usually you also only need to apply a small amount once, and it'll stay sticky for many projects)
-Fabric Napkins
-Iron (to set the paint permanently into the fabric)

Photo above - I used the picture on the left to cut out the stencil in the following photo. The template on the right was used to cut another stencil which I only used the far-right flower for the gold painted Flower.

I took the photo of this stencil after a few uses to make it easier to see what it looks like.

The fun part ! Paste a small amount of Tic-Tac Glue to the back of the stencil - use a small brush to make sure all parts are covered as well as at least 15mm (little less than 1/2 inch) around the edges of the picture. Wait 5 minutes for the Glue to get sticky - Place the stencil on the preferred area of the Napkin to be painted (glue side down on the fabric) - use the wooden/plastic end piece of a small brush and gently press down on all the areas of the stencil which has glue underneath.

Paint over the exposed (open) areas with either a roller or a paintbrush - Rather start with too little paint than too much - you can always go over the area again. Wait a minute or two and gently pull your stencil free from the fabric (you'll find the stencil is still sticky enough for many more uses). Depending on the thickness of your paint, wait until it is dry to the touch (Because I use a roller my paint is never too thick and it dries within 5 - 10 minutes)

Last, but very important, iron your masterpiece (between 2 sheets of paper or old fabric) on both sides. This will make it permanent and now you can use and wash them normally.

See HERE how I cut a stencil straight from wallpaper!

This is really a lovely, relaxing craft and I hope you'll try it (if you're new to this) and enjoy it as much as I do!

Ciao for now,


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Choc,Caramel & Ice Cream Mini Cones

For some or other reason Supermarkets know just how to get parents riled up!

You get to the pay-point, waiting (not always so patiently) and the kids start nagging for all the candy the supermarket decided to display right there .. after two or three NO! NO! shouts you finally tell them to just take something.

Although, I must admit, when my kids were still younger, they never over-estimated their luck with me .. they knew, right there and then I'll give them a whack on their little behinds (No, I'm not a monster, and it didn't happen a lot). And no tugging on me.. that's always been a no-no. 

Of course they loved going to the store with Roy, whatever they wanted, just magically ended in the basket! And Daddy paid! End of story. 

Right, to get to today's snack - {Don't like it, but I have to admit I am just as guilty as the kids here} - Most of our stores have a box of these little Caramel filled Mini Cones topped with chocolate and sprinkles, on the counter.  All of us love this little treat and will easily grab handfulls some when paying. Usually, before we even reach the car - they're all gone!

Whilst at the counter today, I gave the box a look {as did Roy...} but then I remembered I have ready-made mini cones at home - before we left the store, I had already decided how I'm going to give it a try on my own. No need to be a rocket scientist ...

Everything you need : Mini Cones (or regular, or the little ones which can be used for cupcakes) / Chocolate / Caramel / Marshmallows / Ice Cream / Topping - I used Rainbow Bubbles.

I used a square of polystyrene, Roy made some holes, then I covered it with foil and pressed the Mini Cones into the holes to stand upright. (Easiest way for me)

Melt the Chocolate and scoop a small amount into the bottom of each cone.

Next pipe in some Caramel up to about one centimeter (1/2 inch) from the top. (I used a plastic bag with a smallish hole as a teaspoon would've been too big)

Melt some Marshmallows {might well be the last time I work with sticky mallows!}, use a very small spoon to add a little to the top of each cone.

Soften the Ice-Cream slightly, pour into a piping bag and pipe over the top to look like a miniature ice-cream. I had to wiggle these hands and whatever else because it started to melt (remember these are tiny). Top with a Rainbow Bubble - quickly take a photo !! Quick! Quick ! and get it in the freezer until you're ready to serve.

I made 20 which I thought were plenty for only 4 adults but they lasted only 10 minutes! And I only had 2 !

Well, that's a rule in our house (ugh, I imposed this .. ) first come, first served - and well I got to my own party dessert too late...

Later {I have a little craft post coming up!}


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July 12, 2012

Apple & Pineapple Cake Tart

Apple and Pineapple Cake ~ Delicious, gooey Winter dessert #WinterDessert #AppleDessert #AppleRecipe

Tonight's dessert - Apple and Pineapple on a cake layer with a cream sauce poured over the hot dessert and back into the oven for another 5 - 8 minutes .. not a cake and not a tart, BOTH.

Bacon And Spinach Quiche

Bacon, Cheese, Sausage and Spinach in this easy Quiche

I have never made a quiche .. until I thought up this Bacon and Spinach Quiche. I also do not know whether this can really be classified as one ? The only quiche I have ever had was the favorite "Lorraine", at restaurants or from Woolies!

Bacon & Cheese Bread{mix & bake}

By now you should know I love "mix & bake" breads. Still haven't used the Breadmaker!

This awesome bread can be baked in a regular loaf pan or, as I do, in a round cake pan. Just looks better, different, you know - cut it in triangles, as you'd cut a cake or in squares ... 

It has a slightly sweet taste, but that makes it all the more of a taste sensation.

I found the recipe for this in my Springbok Kitchen cookbook. What's more, it is a recipe by Bakkies Botha ! .. I hear you, no idea who he is? Right, then you're not a Rugby fan - that's okay, but I am, as I've said tons a few times before, I AM A HUGE SUPPORTER and Bakkies did not only play for the Blue Bulls (my provincial team), but he played for the Springboks for many years.

Anyhow, I made this bread a couple of times already and it has never flopped. 

Straight out of the oven - can you smell it?? Bet you can ...

Bacon & Cheese Bread{mix & bake}

1 1/4 cup Self-raising Flour
1/2 t Salt
3 TB Sugar
250g Back Bacon, fried and roughly chopped
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
1 TB Freshly chopped Parsley (or 1 1/2 t Dried)
2 TB Sunflower Oil           (Bakkies uses Canola - but I don't like Canola)
2 Extra-Large Eggs
3/4 cup Milk

1.) Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F) - Spray a cake pan or loaf pan with Spray 'N Cook and line the bottom with baking paper.
2.) Sift the Flour, Salt and Sugar together - Add the Bacon, Cheddar and Parsley and stir to combine.
3.) Beat the Oil, Eggs and Milk together in a separate bowl - Add to the Flour mixture and mix well.
4.) Place in the prepared pan and bake 50 - 60 minutes.

Remove from oven, leave to cool in pan for 5 minutes - Serve warm with butter!

Run along ... I know you're going to make it now!  ;-D

Till later,


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July 11, 2012

Apple, Cabbage and Cottage Cheese Salad

This is my favorite skinny salad  and kids love it too

Delicious !  This Apple Cabbage and Cottage Cheese Salad is great for dieters or if you want a super healthy salad.

Mixed Vegetable Mornay

This Mixed Vegetable Mornay is one of the creamiest and best side dishes I serve regularly - and NO leftovers ever !

Mixed Vegetable Mornay is one of the very best sides I serve regularly - ever had Haddock Mornay or Lobster Mornay ? If not, you are totally missing out !

Coffee Creamer Pie

Coffee Creamer Pie ~ A.K.A. the Cremora Tart ~ dreamy creamy ! #CremoraTart #SweetPie

Creamy, don't you think..?  I can vouch for it - it is delicious, creamy, not too sweet and it tastes a lot better than the version in the supermarket.

I do not really drink coffee, and when I do, it's a nice cup of  "Milk-Coffee" or Iced Coffee. About a year ago, I saw this in various supermarkets as the CREMORA Tart. It certainly looked good but I thought I'd rather stick to something I know and like, than spending a fortune on treats which might end up as an early Christmas gift to the dogs...

Then, I actually did buy one, more out of curiosity as everybody talked about this amazing CREMORA Tart, and you know - one must keep up with the Jones' !

I liked it - then I found this recipe in a MOIRS booklet, made it myself - and yes, then I LOVED it ! The store-bought tart was not as creamy {think they used half of the required Milk powder to make a bigger profit .. what else?}

Coffee Creamer Pie ~ A.K.A. the Cremora Tart ~ dreamy creamy ! #CremoraTart #SweetPie

Coffee Creamer Tart

adapted from a MOIRS booklet

1 Box (175g) Oreos, crumbed
100ml Butter, melted

500g Cremora Coffee Creamer powder
250 ml Ice-cold Water
15 ml Rosewater (optional)
1 x 385g can Condensed Milk
200 ml Lemon Juice

Melted Dark Chocolate, Walnuts and Cherries to decorate  

1.) Mix the Oreo crumbs and the melted Butter - press into the bottom of a 20 x 30cm dish.
2.) Place the Cremora powder in a large mixing bowl and add the water, mix well - add the Rosewater, Condensed Milk and the Lemon Juice.
3.) Use an electric beater and beat for at least 5 minutes (the mixture will almost triple in volume) - pour onto the crust.
4.) Refrigerate at least 2 - 4 hours until set.

Decorate with Melted Dark Chocolate, Walnuts and Cherries. 

(A hot knife will make cutting much easier - keep a bowl with hot water close and dip the knife every now and then)



July 10, 2012

Tip For Shiny Houseplants

I am one of the worst wannabe tried to housewives !  I hate cleaning, ironing and whatever else one does around the house. Two things I don't mind doing, is dishes (don't believe in a dishwasher - never even had a desire to buy one) and doing the laundry, although I told the kids they must do their own now - why? because they won't make the effort of just collecting their stuff from the laundry room after I washed, hanged to dry and folded it!

Anyhow, I tried this "housewifey" thing for a while and realised why I can not stand it - I am a perfectionist (I know it sounds as if I'm contradicting myself..). I'll start cleaning something and get so obsessed with it to be absolutely perfect, that I do not have time left for the 101 other stuff - another reason cleaners do not last long at my house. 

I have always said a housewife have the hardest job on earth - I have the utmost respect for them. I have spent most of my life in an office, and I complained about the stress, the bosses, the colleagues but there is no comparison to being a housewife.

Okay, my tip is so simple - we live very close to an old mine and with the wind in SA, our houses do not stand a chance against the dust. Start one side of the house, dusting, end on the other side, and the dust has already formed again where you started.

This is all you need to have lovely shiny potplants {Got this tip many years ago from a colleague whose wife do this}:

Left: A little Milk & Cotton swabs         Right: The arrows show 2 leaves I've already done.

So easy and it lasts for weeks, also doesn't collect dust as quickly - Take a cotton swab or those round make-up cottons (as in pic) - Dip in milk and wipe the leaves gently, top and bottom. Wait to dry and it'll look like the AFTER photo {I know, I know ... the plant needs water, I know!}

That's the tip for today - if you want to know why I'm taking trouble with this one plant (especially me capable of killing plastic plants - also don't believe in those: plastic plants bring bad luck! Really, I'm a sucker for all those old tales) read on:

Today 10th July - my Dad passed away 4 years ago. I am very sad, usually we go away for a couple of days, as he died at my house and until this year I just couldn't stand being home on this date. Today, I'm fine - I accept the fact that he is in a better place and I do believe he is with my Mom and other loved ones no longer with us.

A few months before he passed away, he bought this very plant, it was still small and he was as happy as a child, his whole apartment was full of plants, but for some reason only he knew, this plant just made his day when he bought it.

True enough, this is the only plant that's survived this long in my house (and mainly due to Roy, who knows how much I want to keep it alive - he'll water it every now and then, fortunately it doesn't seem to need a lot of water or attention).

A bit about my Dad - I was Daddy's girl, we had a great understanding, we could fight up a storm but it always ended well. I tried not to be disrespectful to my parents but I was a problem teenager, I was like a crazed lunatic (never, ever did drugs however, thank God I never put my parents through that).

Both of us had also, at some time or another, swung a fist in defence of the other - LITERALLY !

Dad was also a great friend to my kids, not just a grandfather, they as with anyone else, could speak to him about everything and anything and he actually listened, asked questions, showed interest - thing is - one just knew he took everything you said to heart. 

Many people, sadly most of them, relatives, never tried to understand him, never bothered to get to know him - of course there are the odd exceptions. He was marked as the black sheep in the family and that was that. He was no saint, not at all - he was a real naughty dude (with all respect said) but in light of what I now know, thanks to modern medical tecnology, I finally realised what the problem had been as I now suffer from it - yeah, it's a real illness which I won't go into - this post is already running a bit long.

One more thing -  any of your Dads ever went clubbing with you and your friends and actually had some of the same friends you had ? Right... he was not an ordinary father - he was an extra-ordinary DAD.

I better go water the poor plant, and I think I might have to re-pot it soon?? Ideas??



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July 9, 2012

Banana Cream Pie{Microwave}

I do not use my microwave oven nearly as much as I could. It is mostly used to re-heat something or to soften butter or cream cheese. One thing I always make in the micro is White-/ Cheese sauces. I can not make these sauces on the stove top - have tried a few times and it was always a disaster.

Something else I never use the microwave for, is defrosting, and I believe many people mainly use it for just that! Weird ... {I defrost the old-fashioned way - take it out of the freezer the night before, and that's almost always leftovers or puff pastry - we do not like to buy meat with the intention to freeze, I buy every day or every second day, except every December}

When I pinned this recipe, via Ziplist , I really thought I'll convert it to something that can be baked in the oven, but ended up making it in the microwave as per the recipe. 

Banana Cream Pie{Microwave}

adapted slightly, as we do not have Graham crackers in SA

1/3 cup Butter, melted
1 1/4 Tennis Biscuit crumbs
1 TB Sugar

1/2 cup Sugar
2 TB Flour
2 TB Cornstarch
2 1/4 cups Full Cream Milk
3 Egg yolks, beaten slightly
2 TB Butter, room temperature
1 t Vanilla
1/4 t Salt
1 - 2 Medium firm Bananas, sliced
Whipped Fresh Cream, Tennis biscuit crumbs & Extra Banana slices to decorate

1.) Mix the Butter, Tennis biscuit crumbs and Sugar - press into a microwave safe dish (I  used a silicone pan), bottom and sides.
2.) Cook uncovered on HIGH for 1 1/2 minutes until firm. (My oven is a 1000watt) - Remove and cool completely.
3.) Meanwhile in a large microwave bowl, combine the Sugar, Flour and Cornstarch. Gradually beat in milk until smooth.
4.) Microwave the Milk mixture, uncovered, on HIGH for 8 minutes until thickened, stirring every 2 minutes. Stir in a small amount of this hot liquid into the Egg yolks. Gradually add the Egg yolk (which is now slightly warmed) to the Milk mixture. Cook 1 minute longer until bubbly, stirring every 15 seconds. Remove from the oven.
5.) Stir in the Butter, Vanilla and Salt until the Butter is melted - Cool 20 minutes stirring every 3-4 minutes.
6.) Arrange the sliced Bananas in the crust. Top with the filling. Cover and chill overnight to set.

Decorate with Whipped cream, biscuit crumbs and extra Banana slices just before serving.

Another recipe I can tick on my Pinterest board! {Thousands still to go...}

Bye-bye now,


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