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December 31, 2012

Lazy Cook's Hawaiian Pizza

Quick pizza base - 2 sheet pan sized pizzas

You can make and bake this Lazy Cook's Hawaiian Pizza faster than your Pizza Restaurant can deliver! And it is much tastier, you can still choose your toppings or use what you have on hand.

ULTIMATE Breakfast Sandwich

This is truly THE Ultimate breakfast sandwich. Strangely enough, I think it is the way the tomatoes are prepared which brings out the flavor of every other ingredient.

Again, this started out by me following a recipe...might I add here, "for a healthy sandwich" .. but then once again I started fiddling around !  Not so sure whether it is all that healthy as the recipe intended it to be, but in my own defense - I used brown bread, although not wholewheat low-G.I. and it has Spinach, ,,,healthy enough, I think!

We also did not have it as a breakfast, but as a late lunch/early dinner kind of thing. Some restaurants offer breakfast all day, and some all night long, therefore I take it there are other people liking breakfast any time of the day.  

Enough blabber. Here is my version:

ULTIMATE Breakfast Sandwich

{enough for 4 huge sandwiches}

4 Extra-Large Eggs, boiled 5 minutes, sliced   {I forgot about mine and it overcooked, 
                                                                                             but was still nice}
3 - 4 Large Tomatoes, sliced thick
1 t Sugar
1 1/2 t Garlic, crushed
1 1/2 t Dried Oregano
2 TB Olive Oil
Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper
250g Bacon
8 Large or 16 Small Spinach leaves, rinsed and large veins removed
4 slices Gouda cheese
8 slices Brown Bread, toasted

1.) Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg C (400 deg F) - line a baking sheet with baking paper.
2.) Place the Tomato slices on the prepared baking sheet - sprinkle a little Sugar over each slice, followed by the Garlic and Oregano - drizzle with Olive Oil - bake 15 - 20 minutes until the Tomatoes start to caramelize.
3.) Meanwhile, cook the Bacon in a medium pan until crispy {or to your preference} - remove from pan and keep aside.
4.) Using the same pan - saute the Spinach leaves for only a few seconds - the leaves must only just start to soften - remove from heat.
5.) Start building your sandwich - slice of toast, cheese, bacon, egg, tomato, spinach and top off with another slice of toast.

Hope you enjoy !

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December 30, 2012

Strawberry Jam & Chocolate Puffs

We are back to puff pastry. After my debacle with the Donut Cupcakes, I thought I'll stick to something that is hard to mess up !

And I owe you a sweet treat post, the last couple of posts were mainly savory and crafts.

Look at the jam and chocolate oozing out of the pockets, and the way I placed them none of the three inside ingredients "mingled", every bite gave a different, yet complementing, taste.

You can first mix the jam, cream cheese and chocolate, before scooping it onto the pastry and get a mixed taste at once, or make them the way I did.

Strawberry Jam & Chocolate Puffs

{recipe makes 6 long-ish triangles}

1 Roll Frozen Puff Pastry, defrosted
6 t Cream Cheese, softened
6 t Strawberry Jam
6 t Chocolate, broken into small pieces {a nice Milk Chocolate}
1 Egg, beaten
Icing Sugar, for dusting
Extra melted Chocolate for drizzling

1.) Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg C (400 deg F) - line a baking sheet with baking paper.
2.) Roll out the pastry a little thinner - cut in half, lengthwise, then cut each piece into three pieces - it should be somewhere between a square and a rectangle.
3.) Place a teaspoon each of Cream Cheese, Strawberry Jam and Chocolate in the center of each piece of pastry - brush all the edges with a little beaten Egg - take the one corner of the pastry and fold over to the opposite corner to form a long-ish triangle - use a fork to seal the edges.
4.) Place all six pastries on the prepared baking sheet - brush with beaten Egg and make a small slit into each top - bake 20 - 25 minutes or until golden and puffed.
5.) Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack - dust with Icing Sugar and drizzle with melted Chocolate.

As soon as the drizzle has set, it can be served.

No Baker Wants To See THIS !

Uuhhmm, yeah... what shall we say about this picture?  What do YOU see?  Yes, a huge mess ... And that, just when I started to think I might be a baker after all, ga,,,, now something like this can really bring my big head back to earth.. 

I am not even going to share the recipe with you...Haha, I do not think you would want to make this one!  And, surely, I did nothing wrong, I followed the recipe to a T, therefore it must have been the recipe, right? Right??

Okay, joking over - I have no idea what went wrong here but it could have been too much butter? 200g to 2 1/2 cups of flour / or maybe it should have been plain flour and not self-raising flour / or the liners {quite expensive "cups" I might add} which did not expand as normal paper liners / or something just plain stupid I did wrong.

Anyhow, I shared this to give you 1.) a laugh !!!! Haha, it's okay, I am laughing the loudest !  and 2.) to show you what I don't normally share on the blog, but if it tastes okay-ish... we still eat it, and hope we will  be alive the next day.

What was it supposed to be ?  Strawberry Jam Donut Cupcakes ..... no resemblance at ALL !

Hope you have all have a lovely day!

I might be linking this up to some of these cool parties:

December 29, 2012

Caramel Mini Donuts

Feather light, soft Caramel Mini Donuts are always welcome on a sweet platter and are also always the first to disappear !

I hardly ever use my donut maker, which I bought two or three years ago. Mainly, because it was packed away in the corner of one of my kitchen cabinets. I am a huge fan of anything caramel and therefore these Caramel Mini Donuts were first on the list.

Chicken in Pastry

Puff pastry ... what a great invention!  No, I am not talking about homemade, that would drive me crazy. I am talking about the ready-made and rolled, store bought frozen rolls.  There are always a couple of rolls in my freezer, but the past few weeks there was a shortage of the specific brand I use and my supply ran out.

Unbelievable that being without a roll or two of Puff pastry, could make me feel as if  we had a huge pantry/freezer crisis. Fortunately, it seems the brand I like, is back and it's already flying off the shelves in the stores.

But, let me tell you about today's recipe - I wanted something in a Puff pastry... okay, I think we got to that point ... I was thinking of chicken inside, but not a chicken pie, so I went through my stock {which is very low by now after all the holiday cooking and baking thus far}, and I came up with the following recipe - delicious and good enough to share with you:

Chicken in Pastry

(6 portions)

Avocado Oil {any other Oil will do}
6 Chicken Fillets, flattened to about 1 1/4 cm thick (1/2 inch)
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 Large Red Bell Pepper, sliced
6 Large Spinach Leaves {or 12 small}
6 slices of Provolone cheese
6 TB Cream Cheese, smooth - sweet chilli flavored
1 Roll frozen Puff Pastry, defrosted
1 Egg, lightly beaten

1.) Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg C (400 deg F) - line a baking sheet with baking paper.
2.) Heat the Avocado Oil in a medium pan - season the Chicken with Salt & Pepper and cook until done - remove and keep aside - add the Red Bell Pepper and saute until soft - remove from pan and keep aside.
3.) Add the Spinach leaves to the same pan and saute until just starting to soften {it must not wilt} - remove from pan and keep aside.
4.) Roll the Puff pastry a little thinner and cut into 6 rectangular pieces.
5.) Place a Spinach leaf on one half of each pastry piece - top with a Chicken fillet - followed by the Red Bell Pepper and the Provolone cheese.
6.) Spread a tablespoonful of Cream Cheese on the other half of the pastry - fold this piece over the side with the Chicken, pinching close all the open edges  - brush with the beaten Egg and place on the prepared baking sheet.
7.) Bake 25 - 30 minutes until golden and puffed.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did.

Ciao for now,

Linking up with these cool parties:

December 28, 2012

A Review of 2012 {Your Faves}

2012 in Review !  I should say 7 1/2 months in Review - counting from my first food or craft related post which is, strangely enough, also my Pick of the bunch.

First I want to mention what an awesome eye-opener blogging turned out to be. It is fun, mostly, but on occasion there are posts {or news which gets worldwide attention} which is heartbreaking, especially when a blogger opens herself/himself open and just speak from the heart - maybe, problems in the marriage, or with the kids, illness or the death of someone close to them.  I read these, and I feel for their problems, however, I do not always comment as there are situations where there really are nothing to say. It is a way for that specific blogger to get something off the chest. {I know, I wrote one or two posts like that as well}

But, look at the bigger picture, we make friends, good friends at that! We get to share recipes and crafts, try out one another's recipes and it is just amazing to see all the talent out there in the world. Most of my inspiration comes from blogs which I follow and link parties.  I started with Pinterest at the beginning of the year and quickly became intrigued with the bloggers world and I knew ... this is something I want to be a part of. Instead of using Pinterest only as a re-pin station, I started Contributing as well - of course, there are millions of pins out there, but now I know, mine is also floating around.

I think that is enough chit-chat ... first I want to share my own PICK of the bunch, which was my first foodie post as well as my first featured post I have received from a link party.






                                             TOP 3 RECIPE POSTS




Top traffic sources:

1 - Google
2 - Pinterest
3 - A Bowl Full of Lemons
4 - Trap!t
5 - Weekend Potluck

I Hate spammers with a passion but have to laugh/cry at some comments left:

1 - ".....blah, blah, ..can you help me to set up my own website?..." Followed by - visit me at my website XXX  -- Now really !

2 - ".... I found your information very informative and delightful..."  this was a comment on a heartbreaking post I did about the killing of my doggies

3 - " ... blah, blah... I think you might need some help in writing your posts..." Followed by - visit me at my website how to get a boy back

A Few funnies I found when people are searching with a few words:

1 - chorkie hairstyles - while I have a chorkie, she has a normal hairstyle which grows at it's own will and is not supposed to get a haircut in a certain style

2 - lions in South African streets - I promise, there are no lions running loose here!

3 - what is an ox? - okay.... I will not comment here

There are so much to talk about regarding blogging and whatever else "goes on behind the screen" ... if I carry on, I might have to include a blank list for 2013 because I will still be writing this post !!  {And keep in mind I am still regarded, by myself included, as a newbie in blogland with less than 8 months experience}

I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you have a spare moment, check out some of the TOPS.

Ciao for now - and waiting anxiously for 2013 to begin - it always feels so fresh to start a New Year !

I might be linking this post to some of these cool parties:

Italian Zeppole

I have never heard of Zeppole before I made this delightful, almost donut like, sweet treat. Will I make it again..?  Most definitely !  The kids weren't here and I would love to make these as it is exactly the type of treat they like.

A few days ago I bought some Ricotta cheese for something else I had in mind, but Murphy's Law played a trick on me again, the Blueberries were off just as I wanted to use them.  I will eat Ricotta as is, but I really wanted to try a new, sweet, recipe.

When I found this recipe, the name sounded a little familiar, but I couldn't place it. End of search - I made the Zeppole and I strongly recommend it to anyone who have never tasted this before.

I found the recipe on Allrecipes and it was submitted by ARVILLALAR.

Italian Zeppole

{recipe enough for 20 - 25}

Oil, for deep fry

1 cup Flour
2 t Baking Powder
Pinch Salt
1 1/2 t Sugar
2 Eggs, beaten
1 cup Ricotta cheese {mash it up with a fork}
1/2 t Vanilla Essence

1/2 cup Icing Sugar, for dusting

1.) Heat Oil in a deep-fryer.
2.) Place the Flour, Baking Powder, Salt and Sugar in a medium pan and stir to mix - add the Eggs, Ricotta and Vanilla to the pan - mix gently over low heat until combined - batter will be sticky.
3.) Remove from heat and {it is recommended to use a spoon but I used my hands} take spoonfuls of batter, about 2 1/2 centimeters (one inch) in diameter and place into the hot Oil - cook until golden, using a slotted spoon, transfer them onto a paper towel and immediately roll/dust in Icing Sugar.  Repeat until all the batter is finished.

Serve warm.

Be warned:  these little donut-like cookies are addictive !


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Spaghetti Carbonara

Pasta must be one of the most versatile starches around.  Looking at the amount of recipes, consisting of some kind of pasta, in recipe books as well as all over the net, we have a lot of pasta lovers all over the world.

Think Mac & Cheese ... every home has their favorite {or three} recipe. We like all sorts of pastas, and try to use them in many different ways, from known recipes to the unknown to the accidentally discovered dishes.

Just think, how many times have you found a packet of Tagliatelle, Spaghetti, Screw Noodles or any of the others, in your pantry - had a look around what else is on hand and voila! you come up with a new dish ?  Yes, sometimes a thrown together dinner works, and other times not even the dogs want it !

Well, I stuck to a known dish this time which is a no fail - best of all, and my favorite to add to a post ... quick, easy and delicious.

Spaghetti Carbonara

{6 generous servings}

1 packet {500g} Spaghetti
250g Bacon
2 t Garlic, crushed
3 TB Butter
3 Extra-Large Eggs, beaten lightly, place in a medium bowl
1/2 cup Pecorino Cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

1.) Cook the Spaghetti as per the instructions on the pack - {when done, retain 1/4 cup of the liquid}
2.) Meanwhile, fry the Bacon in a large pan until crispy - break or cut into pieces - add the Butter and Garlic, cook over low heat for a few minutes.
3.) Add the Cheeses to the beaten Eggs, stir to mix and add Salt and Black Pepper to taste.
4.) Drain the Spaghetti when done {remember to keep 1/4 cup of the hot liquid aside} and add to the Bacon in the pan.
5.) Spoon a little of the hot retained pasta liquid into the Egg mixture, mix and repeat until you have a thick glossy sauce - add the Egg mixture to the hot Pasta/Bacon and mix well to combine {the heat of the Pasta will "cook" the Egg mixture}

Season with more Salt & Pepper if needed and serve immediately.

Hope you enjoy this classic spaghetti dish !

Bye-bye now,

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December 27, 2012

Coca Cola Spare Ribs

Coca-Cola Spare Ribs

Sweet/savory and sticky !  That is the way I like my spare ribs ... and Coca Cola - oh yes, this is me!!!

This marinade can be used for any kind of meat, lamb, beef, chicken, whatever you like sticky.  It can also be used only as a basting sauce, which is how we made these ribs. If marinating, leave for 4 hours or overnight, turning your marinade container regularly.

I served the ribs with Coca-Cola Onion Rings - recipe below:

Coca-Cola Spare Ribs

{after reducing, this recipe will give you about 3 cups of marinade/baste}

2 t Ginger, crushed
4 t Garlic, crushed
1 TB Rosemary, finely chopped
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 TB Fennel Seeds
2 t Ground Cumin
2 t Paprika
4 cups Coca-Cola
1/2 cup Treacle Sugar
3/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup Tomato Sauce

3 medium Spare-Ribs
Salt & Freshly ground Black Pepper

1.) Pre-heat the oven to the maximum grill setting  {these can be made on your BBQ/Braai as well}
2.) Place all the ingredients {except the Spare Ribs and Salt/Pepper} into a medium pot - bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring now and then, until reduced to about 3 cups - cool 30 minutes before use.
3.) Place the Spare Ribs on a roasting pan {or BBQ/Braai} - season with Salt and Pepper - brush liberally with the marinade and grill, turning regularly and basting with more of the marinade, until cooked through and caramelized.

Serve with lots and lots of serviettes ! 

NB: Leftover marinade can be stored in the refrigerator.

Coca-Cola Onion Rings

1 cup Flour
Pinch of Salt
Just enough Coca-Cola to make a yoghurt-like consistency
Sliced Onion Rings
Extra Flour for coating
Oil for deep-fry

1.) Mix the Flour and Salt - add Coca-Cola until you have a batter with the consistency of yoghurt.
2.) Coat the Onion Rings in Flour, dip into the batter and deep fry until golden - drain on paper towels and serve.

December 26, 2012

New Year Candles

I have been playing with glitter!  Even my poor, innocent doggies are covered in glitter... but, look what I made to share with you today!

Most of us are still trying to recover from Christmas crafts and wrapping - not even to mention, cooking and baking - so I am bringing you some ideas which you can make quickly.  This is all really just dressing-up candles and candle holders to fit in with a New Years occasion.

All these can be adapted to suit your color scheme - I am a glittery, shiny New Year's person {but Silver, Gold, Blue and Black are my favorite colors for NY}

Candle holders - on the left I added a shiny, colorful ribbon all round the top, with a simple tea-light inside {see further down for dressing up tea-lights}
On the right I have first used a blue glitter glue pen - around the top as well as to write the 2013 ! thereafter I sprinkled some more silver glitter over the wet glue an waited for it to dry - also only a simple tea-light in here. 

Just look at the transformation of a standard boring tea-light !  On two of them I glued ribbon around the aluminium holders and the third tea-light got a coat of black paint - rolled in silver glitter whilst still wet {I think this has to be my favorite of the three ! } 

Last, but not least - an old silver candle ! I added some plastic bead stars and presto! looks new and ready for another type of occasion !

One more idea if you run out of tea-light holders - put them on top of an upturned glass... or inside ! 

I hope this post have helped you with any ideas and I would love to hear {and see!} what you have been up to for New Year !!

***Also see HERE for New Year Confetti Holders***
Ciao for now,

Linking up with these cool parties:

New Year Confetti Holders

Easyand inexpensive  DIY New Year Confetti Holders

Glitter and Confetti ... a must for any New Year celebration !  Add to that some Gold or Silver and you have a party !  Whether it is at the table or lounging around counting the minutes and then the 10..9..8....

Here are a few ideas which are all quick, easy and inexpensive for New Year Confetti Holders - you should have everything on hand

2013 Glowing Tophat

Looks familiar..?  It should, this is exactly the same basic decoration I made for Christmas !

Remember my Glowing Snowman Hat?  Okay, if not here is a picture to remind you:

To see the basics on how to make the hat go HERE , but if you happened to have made one, then you only need another 15 minutes or so to transform the Snowman Hat into a 2013 Tophat by doing the following:

Remove the red and white felt pieces, replace it with a silver ribbon.
Say bye to the tiny gift boxes and the Christmas holly.
Add New Year candles {or other NY decorations} - if you want to have a closer look at the small tea-light candles and the votive holder, click HERE and you can see how I made those.
I used my red glue glitter pen to write the 2013 and added some more silver glitter whilst the glue was still wet.  And the same for the top - see below

Updated to suit New Year !

This was a real quick one, but there are not really much time between Christmas and New Year {unless you started much earlier with the New Year decorations...}

Enjoy crafting !

Linking up with these cool parties:

Spicy Indian Chicken & Litchi Salad

Summer time calls for salads !  This salad, though, can be served warm or cold.  With all the spices this is actually perfect for Winter as it will warm you from the inside out.

Regardless of the season, this is a delicious, full flavored salad. I made the salad during the morning and kept everything in the refrigerator until it was time to serve - perfect for a hot day's late lunch/early dinner.

If you want to serve it warm, cook the ingredients as per the recipe, keep warm until all is done and then add the litchis when serving.

Spicy Indian Chicken & Litchi Salad

500g Chicken fillets, cut into chunks
2 TB Curry Powder
Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
2 TB Vegetable Oil
1 t Black Mustard Seeds
1 t Cumin Seeds
6 Cardamom Pods, husks removed
12 Curry Leaves, fresh
1 t Garlic, crushed
2 t Ginger, crushed
1 Red Chilli, chopped
150g Mangetout {Snow Peas}
250g Asparagus, trimmed
Handful Coriander Leaves 
6 Curry Leaves/Mint Leaves, to garnish
10 - 12 Litchis, peeled, depipped and halved
Lime Juice, to taste

1.) Place the Chicken Fillet chunks in a bowl and cover with the Curry Powder - shake the bowl to get the powder all over the chicken - season to taste with Salt & Black Pepper.
2.) Heat the Oil in a large pan - add the Mustard Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Cardamom, Curry Leaves, Garlic, Ginger and Red Chilli - cook until the spices start to pop - remove from stove and pour Oil and Spices in a small bowl - keep aside.
3.) Heat the pan and cook the Chicken over high heat until done - remove and keep aside - add the Mangetout to the pan and cook until just tender {must still be crispy} - remove from pan and keep aside - add the Asparagus and cook until just starting to soften.
4.) Place the cooked Chicken, Mangetout and Asparagus on a serving plate - add the Litchis, Curry or Mint Leaves and Coriander - drizzle with Lime Juice and a little of the retained Oil and Spices, serve the remaining Oil/Spices on the side for each person to add to his/her liking.

Serve warm immediately, or chill in the refrigerator {not the bowl with the Oil/Spices} and serve later.  More Salt and Pepper can be added but I think that is each persons own decision.  I do not like something too salty and Roy prefers a lot of Salt again.

Hope you enjoy and if you really are not a salad person during Winter - pin this one for Summer ! Good and wholesome ...

Ciao for now,

Linking up with these cool parties:

December 25, 2012

Chilli Bites

Excellent snack for any occasion {or no occasion...}.  You can make it as hot as you like and serve them with or without a dip.

We have a local Indian store who makes and sells Chilli Bites and Samoosas on Fridays and Saturdays. If you are late, you will be out of luck!  They have been around since long before I was even born, it is a store who gets passed down the generations.

I have tried the ready-mix types before, and I was very disappointed - it really had no flavor and if you need to add ingredients, you might as well make your own... which is what I did, and I have to say, this is very close to the ones the Indian store sells. 

Besides a little chopping, they are very quick to make.

For an equal chilli-ish snack have a look at my CHILLI BEEF SAMOOSAS

Chilli Bites

{makes about 25}

1 cup Chickpea flour {Chana}
1/4 cup Self Raising Flour
1/4 cup Flour
2 Curry Leaves {fresh}, chopped finely
2 t Garlic, crushed
1 Large Red Chilli, seeded and chopped finely
1 Large Green Chilli, seeded and chopped finely
1 Egg
1/2 t Salt
1 t ground Cumin
1 t ground Coriander
1/2 t Turmeric
2 t Baking powder

About 1/2 cup Water

Oil, for deep-fry

1.) Mix all the ingredients well - add Water until a thick dough has formed.
2.) Spoon heaped teaspoons of dough into the Oil and fry until golden and cooked through (1 1/2 - 2 minutes)

Serve with or without a dip - Plain Yoghurt or a sweetish dip will go great with these.

Hope you enjoy !

New Year Cream Cheese Candy CLOCK

Right, let's get on to New Year !  2012 was a particular bad and painful year for our family for various reasons which I am not going to bore you with now.

I, for one, truly hope that 2013 will be much better, not only for us, but that is a wish I have for all of you who had a not-so-good 2012.

The recipe I used for this Clock was on Allrecipes, which you can find HERE

I made a larger batch as this Clock is the size of a medium pizza and about 8mm thick.

This is the original recipe which will give you about 60 small candies or you can double/triple the recipe to make a big CLOCK.  

I have made the Clock and then a few smaller candies to see how long each takes to dry - the Clock had to stand overnight and the smaller ones about an hour.  They do not dry out rock hard, it is still soft in the center.

New Year Cream Cheese Candy CLOCK

95 - 100g {3oz} Cream Cheese, plain, softened
1/4 t Peppermint Extract {if using Essence, increase quantity until you are happy}
3 cups Icing Sugar

1.) Beat the Cream Cheese and Peppermint Extract until smooth - add half of the Icing Sugar and keep beating until all is combined and smooth.
2.) Knead in remaining Icing Sugar with your hands until well mixed.
3.) If making small candies, roll into small balls, place on a baking sheet and flatten slightly using a fork - leave to dry for an hour or two {keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator}

For the CLOCK:

- I tripled the recipe - formed it into a big ball and flattened it 
- As a size-guide I placed a round paper plate on top of the flattened candy and cut it out with a sharp knife
- Left to dry about 3 hours, then I sprinkled it with edible glitter and used edible ink pens to draw the numbers etc.
- Lastly, I cut it into wedges and left the candy to dry completely

On New Year's Eve day, starting at 13:00, eat a wedge every hour on the hour as a sort of countdown .... I would highly recommend the whole family to pitch in as a large candy as this one, will only mean trouble if eaten by yourself !


Linking up with these cool parties:

December 24, 2012

Chilli Beef Samoosas

Chili Beef Samoosas ~ Spicy, hot snacks ~ perfect to add to a savory platter #Samoosas #Snacks

I made SAMOOSAS !!  First time in my life, and I grew up on these delectable snacks.  

To be honest, after the first three I wanted to give up ... I am a very impatient person and when I could not get the hang of folding the pastry immediately, my blood pressure shot up miles high!

BUT, once I got the fold right, it was easy going - remember to brush the pastry all over with water, before you start folding ... and follow the instructions {on folding} on the pack.  Now, the next part I am typing in red because of personal experience - if you are used to working with chillies - skip it, otherwise please take note:

Use plastic gloves when chopping chillies !!!!  If you have sensitive hands, as I do, you will get CHILLI BURN - you can google it, it is true and it is sore. Washing my hands with Lemon Juice helped a little but the next day I still had a bit of burn.

Chilli Beef Samoosas

{recipe makes 50 - 60 samoosas}

1 TB Butter
1/2 Onion, finely chopped
1 Red Chilli, finely chopped
1 Green Chilli, finely chopped
2 Fresh Curry Leaves, chopped finely
1 t Ginger, crushed
1 t Garlic, crushed
2 t Masala
1kg Ground Beef {lean}
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste

Samoosa Pastry, defrosted

Oil for deep fry

1.) Melt the Butter in a large pan - add the Onion, Chillies and Curry Leaves - saute until the Onions are soft - add the Ginger, Garlic and Masala - fry for 1 minute.
2.) Add the Ground Beef and cook until done and most of the moisture has evaporated - season to taste with Salt & Black Pepper - let the mixture cool for 30 minutes.
3.) Place filling on the Samoosa Pastry and fold as per the instructions on the pack {remember to brush with water}
4.) Deep fry in batches until all is done {about 1 minute per batch}
5.) Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Serve with a sweet chilli sauce - I used a Sweet Chilli Cream Cheese.

Enjoy this little hot snack and if you so wish, add some more chillies !

December 23, 2012

Coconut and Cardamom Cupcakes

As you will notice, this is my first cupcake recipe which I am sharing on the blog !  It's not as if I never bake cupcakes ... I am a total klutz when it comes to decorating/frosting them.

Right after I had seen this recipe for Coconut and Cardamom Cupcakes, in one of our local magazines, I knew this will be the one which I can manage to decorate and share with you all. Why..?? the "frosting" of course !! - it is a marshmallow topping, and above all a very interesting and tasty cupcake recipe overall.

December 19, 2012

Tabbouleh {salad/side}

What is Tabbouleh?  A side dish or a salad.. I know technically a salad IS a side dish, but I think this is much more.

I have seen the name before but never really gave it a second thought, until I saw a picture {ah, pics - they can lead us to who knows where...} - it looked great and the ingredients are fairly simple enough.  I did some googling and it is an Arab/Lebanese originated recipe, which is basically finely chopped {mainly Parsley} vegetables and herbs combined with a starch - in this case it happened to be Couscous, which I like. The links in Google mentioned Mint as one of the main ingredients, but I do not much like Mint in it's leafy form and fortunately the recipe I followed also made no mention of Mint.

The recipe I am sharing today was from a magazine Fresh Living - the December 2012 edition.

Tabbouleh {side/salad}

{6 side servings}

Zest & Juice from 1 Lemon {1/4 cup juice}
3 TB Olive Oil
2 cups Boiling Water
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 cup Couscous
1 Handful Parsley, chopped finely
1/2 Red Onion, chopped finely
1/2 Cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and chopped into small cubes
3 Ripe Tomatoes, chopped into small pieces

1.) Beat together the Zest/Juice of the Lemon, Olive Oil, Boiling Water and Salt & Pepper - add the Couscous - cover and set aside for 15 minutes - fluff with a fork and add the remaining ingredients - mix.

Serve as a side/salad or have it as a light lunch.


Bye-bye now,

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December 17, 2012

Egg-Less Eggnog

Easy, delicious recipe for Egg-Less Eggnog

I have never had Eggnog before !  It always looks and sounds so delicious, but I am not one for raw egg and every recipe I have seen contains raw egg and I had gone in search of an Egg-Less Eggnog recipe.