Creamy Tomato Soup with Gorgonzola and Roasted Tomato Bruschetta

July 20, 2014 in bread, Crush mag recipes, Snacks, Soups, vegetables


Cream of tomato soupI included this creamy tomato soup as one of my monthly “Midweek Meals” recipes for Crush online magazine’s Art Issue (41). This truly is my favourite soup of all time, so much so that I’ve been making it for years! In an attempt to shoot a stylish take on “soup and bread”, I served this soup with garlicky bruschetta topped with gooey gorgonzola and slow roasted assorted baby tomatoes. I think I achieved the “yum, I need to eat you now factor”, yes?

If you’re not a fan of gorgonzola, replace with mozzarella, creamy goat’s cheese or Fairview’s Cambozola. What I love about this soup is that it’s easy with no faffing involved. It’s thick, rich and creamy with just the right amount of sweet and tartness. Try this combo and let me know what you think.

Keep warm!!

Cream of Tomato Soup with Roasted Tomato and Gorgonzola Bruschetta

Serves: 6

4 large leeks, sliced
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 T (30 ml) butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cans whole tomatoes
2 T (30 ml) tomato paste
1 large potato or sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 ½ (375 ml) chicken stock
1 T (15 ml) sugar
¼ t (1.25 ml) of freshly ground nutmeg
2 bay leaves
handful of basil leaves, chopped
+- 125 – 250 ml cream or milk
Salt and pepper to taste

250 g assorted baby tomatoes
1 T (15 ml) olive oil
1 T (15 ml) balsamic vinegar
1 t (5 ml) brown sugar
1 t (15 ml) parmesan infused olive oil or extra virgin olive oil
3 T (45 ml) chopped basil leaves
8 slices of ciabatta
Olive oil
1 peeled clove garlic
125 g creamy gorgonzola, sliced
basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In a medium pot, sauté the leek and celery in butter until softened. Add the garlic, tomatoes, paste, potatoes and chicken stock. Cover and bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simper for + – 40 minutes – or until potatoes are tender (will take longer due to the acidity in the tomatoes).
Place the baby tomatoes on a baking tray drizzled with olive oil and balsamic. Season and sprinkle with sugar. Roast for +- 25 minutes. Place into a bowl and add chopped basil leaves and oil. Season to taste.
Remove soup from the heat. Add the basil leaves and puree with a stick blender until smooth, add the cream while blending until you’ve reached your preferred consistency and creaminess.
Place back onto the heat to warm through.

Hop over to my Bits of Carey website to see how to prepare these delicious gorgonzola and slow roasted tomato bruschettas.

Roasted Baby Potatoes: 3 Ways

July 16, 2014 in Roasts, vegetables

trio of roasted baby potatoes
My goodness, am I craving the humble potato!  I don’t know about you but all this LCHF/Banting hype just makes me want to rebel and eat a bowl of creamy mash and inhale a platter of crispy roasted potatoes. I haven’t been converted into a “banter”, I simply try to follow a Low GI diet and exercise. When I feel like carbs, I’ll eat carbs – in moderation of course! I eat what inspires me (and what I’m shooting for clients, LOL). I’m not thin, but I’m not overweight either – and I’m happy with that. Each to their own hey? Whatever works for you ;-)

So with that in mind, I need to pay homage to baby potatoes. You get so many awesome varieties now, I’m loving the pink fur from Woolies and similar “ fingerlings” from Checkers. Check them out next time you are shopping. I thought I’d share 3 ideas on how to roast baby potatoes. First up, we have them wrapped in streaky bacon and rosemary (yes, bacon love), then we have spicy hasselbacks and lastly but certainly not least are my favourite, crushed rosemary and rock salt tatties. These potatoes make awesome additions to any roast or braai.  Give ‘em a bash!

Checkers Fingerling potatoes
trio of roasted baby potatoesBacon and Rosemary Roast Potatoes:

Serves: 6

500 g baby potato of your choice
250 g streaky bacon
a few rosemary sprigs
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 200 Deg C.
Cut the bacon rasher in half and wrap a piece around each potato together with a sprig of rosemary.
Season and drizzle with olive oil.
Roast on a baking tray for +- 45 minutes or until potato is tender and bacon, crispy.
Variation: Replace rosemary with fresh sage or thyme.

{If you would like to know how to do the spicy hasselbacks and crushed rosemary and rocksalt tatties – visit my official Bits of Carey website.}

Trio of roasted baby potatoes
trio of roasted baby potatoes


Gnocchi ‘n cheese with bacon & mushrooms

June 30, 2014 in Pasta

gnocchi and cheeseIt’s no secret that I love a saucy, cheesy, bubbling pasta bake. One of life’s greatest comforts in my opinion. I decided to go next level with my usual mac ‘n cheese. I used ready made potato gnocchi from Woolworths instead of macaroni and I have to say, it was absolutely divine!  Soft melt-in-your-mouth pillows of gnocchi smothered in smoky bacon, cheese & mushroom sauce, heaven I tell you! I will most certainly make this one again. Enjoy with a  simple salad of wild rocket and rosa tomatoes.

Bacon & Mushroom “Gnocchi Cheese”
Serves: 4

500 g ready made gnocchi boiled in salted water for +- 2 minutes ( Do not overcook – once risen to the surface, remove, drizzle with olive oil and set aside).
375 ml milk
1/2 onion, thickly sliced
2 bay leaves
1/2 t (2.5 ml) black peppercorns
125 g streaky bacon, diced
2 T (30 ml) butter
250 g brown mushrooms, sliced
2 T (30 ml) flour
1 c (250 ml) grated mature cheddar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c (125 ml) grated cheddar for topping

Preheat the oven to 220 deg C.
Place the milk, onion, bay leaves and peppercorns into a small sauce pot and heat until steaming (don’t boil). Remove from the heat and allow to infuse.
Heat a medium heavy based pot and fry the bacon until crispy, add the butter and heat until melted. Add the mushrooms and saute until softened and browned.
Strain the milk and discard the onions etc. Add the flour to the bacon and mushroom mixture and stir until well combined. Add the milk and stir vigorously until no lumps are present and the mixture is thickened (this will take a few seconds).
Remove from the heat and add 1 c of grated cheese. stir until well combined. Season to taste.
Place gnocchi in a medium oven-proof dish and cover with the sauce. Sprinkle with 1/2 c of grated cheese.
Pop into a hot oven for +- 15 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
Serve with a rocket and rosa tomato salad.

gnocchi and cheeseThanks for popping in!

To visit my website, please click here


Roasted Butternut “Pizzas” with Bacon, Gorgonzola & Sage

June 24, 2014 in LCHF, Meat, Snacks, vegetables

Roasted butternut pizzeas with bacon, gorgonzola and sageI spent a few days wondering how I could prepare an easy, “nutritious”, low carb pizza of sorts. I’ve done the Caulipizza which was super yummy but it does involve a bit of work. So I thought, why not simply cut rounds from the seedless section of a large butternut and use them as “pizza” bases?  The rounds are roasted until tender and then topped with any ingredients that pair nicely with butternut (I used gorgonzola, crispy fried bacon, fresh sage and parmesan cheese) and roast for a few minutes in the oven again until golden and bubbling.  Try other cheeses like feta,  chevin or camembert  (Fairview’s “Cambozola” is delish!). How’s this for a fuss free satisfying supper?

Roasted Butternut ‘Pizzas” with Bacon, Gorgonzola and Sage

Makes: 8 – 10 “pizzas” – depending on size of butternut

1 large butternut with a long seedless section, sliced into 10 cm rounds – leave skin on for extra fibre and texture ;-)
Willow Creek Parmesan Infused Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
+ – 250 g streaky bacon, diced and fried until crispy
+- 100 g gorgonzola cheese, broken into pieces
+- 8 sage leaves
1/2 c (125 ml) grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
Drizzle butternut rounds with parmesan oil and season. Roast for 40 -45 minutes or until tender. Turn heat up to 220 deg C.
Top each round generously with remaining ingredients and place into the oven for +- 10 minutes or until golden, crisp and bubbling. Drizzle with a bit more parmesan infused oil.
Serve immediately!

{Serving suggestions}:
Serve with a crisp rocket and tomato salad
Delicious with pork chops,  roast chicken or a juicy steak

To see more of my recipes, visit my website, like me on Facebook or follow me on twitter ;-)

roasted butternut "pizzas" with bacon, gorgonzola and sage


Fragrant Lamb Curry

June 13, 2014 in Curries and casseroles, Meat

Lamb curry Make dad this mouth-watering, fall-off-the-bone Lamb Curry for Father’s Day on Sunday.  This curry is so flavoursome – a myriad of spices, garlic, ginger, chilli, tomatoes and what ties it all together is coconut milk and fresh coriander.  Lamb knuckles rock my world when it comes to stews and curries – they add so much flavour to a dish, stewing lamb or mutton will also work a treat. Serve with sambals, roti and chutneys (I’m loving “Quality Pickles” chutney range).  This recipe makes quite a bit of sauce, so definitely do some basmati rice cooked in coconut milk to mop up all that saucy goodness! Lamb curry
Fragrant Lamb Curry
Serves: 6
1 kg lamb knuckles
1 T (15 ml) vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves
2 T (30 ml) grated ginger
1 t (5 ml) chilli paste
3 T (45 ml) medium curry powder(blend)
1 t (5 ml) ground coriander
1 t (5 ml) ground cumin
4 cloves
6 squashed cardamom pods
¼ t (1.25 ml) nutmeg
1 T (15 ml) turmeric
1 cinnamon quill
5 dried curry leaves
1 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
1 ½ c (375 ml) hot lamb or mutton stock
1 c (250 ml) coconut milk
30 g fresh coriander, chopped
Salt to taste

For the method, please hop over to my website.

In other news…

I am proud to announce that I am officially an AMC Cookware Brand Ambassador!  When they asked me to have a look at their new gourmet range and also try out their Speedcooker® and electric frying pan and portable induction“Flux cooker”, how could I refuse? This brand has been around for years,  it’s the brand that our moms and aunties swear by and now I see why.  I spent a few months playing around with their products and I have to say, this is honestly my go to cookware  now. I enjoy them because they are not too heavy(easy on the back, haha!), they have solid thick bases and they don’t have any hot spots when cooking. I’m sold on their Visiotherm® lid knobs which allow you to monitor the temperature and minimise moisture loss. Did you know that you can cook without any oil, fat or water? I found this very interesting when I attended one of their cookery demonstrations. Also I find that these pots heat up quickly over a lower heat setting and retains the heat which in turn reduces electricity usage up to 40%! The gourmet range has stainless steel handles which I love, and the lid knobs come in different colours which you can change when your kitchen colour scheme changes.  The cookware is now induction cooker friendly too! The prices are on the higher end but what you get is excellent customer service and a lifetime guarantee on this reliable cookware. It’s the type of cookware that you’ll purchase once and never again. And did you know that you can buy this cookware online now?  Have a browse  This Lamb Curry recipe is my first of many monthly recipes sponsored by AMC Cookware, I will also have a few giveaways over the next few months, so watch this space! Lots of exciting things to come.

amc logo 2

Coq au Vin with Butternut Mash

June 5, 2014 in Chicken, Curries and casseroles

Coq au vin with butternut mash

Coq au vin is one of my favourite winter casseroles. To be honest, I can eat this classic French dish all year round. Succulent chicken, mushrooms, bacon and baby onions cooked in a rich red wine sauce – YUM. Delicious served on a bed of fluffy rice, creamy mash and I have to say I enjoy this dish on creamy roasted butternut mash – it adds a pleasant sweetness to the whole dish. Give it a go!  I’m really looking forward to sharing more of my favourite winter warmers with you over the next few months. Winter food is truly my kind of food! Keep warm xx

Coq au vin on creamy roasted butternut mash

Serves: 4

1 T (15 ml) butter
1 T (15 ml) cooking oil
8 chicken thighs and legs ( I used skinless this time, but you can leave skin on, just brown well.)
12 baby onions, peeled
125 g streaky bacon or smoked pork rashers, diced
250 g portobellini or button mushrooms, sliced (brown mushrooms work a treat too – lots of flavour)
1 celery stick, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 T (45 ml) cake flour
300 ml full bodied red wine
125 ml strong chicken stock
25 ml old brown sherry
1 T (15 ml) tomato paste
1 t (5 ml) sugar
1 t (5 ml) dried thyme
1 t (5 ml) dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly chopped parsley

For the method and my secret to making the most addictive butternut mash ever( My husband can’t get enough of it),  visit my site where you’ll find even more comforting dishes! C xx

Coq au vin with roasted butternut mash

Sticky Peanut Butter and Banana Pudding

May 30, 2014 in Baking, desserts

Sticky peanut butter and banana puddingWith the wintery weather approaching, I thought it was time to bake my first sticky pudding of the season. I naturally thought of a sticky banana pudding with peanut butter sauce because I am nuts over this flavour combination at the moment.  I rummaged around the kitchen and found everything I needed for this pud. This is a great pantry pudding and it’s so easy to prepare.  Serve this delight with vanilla ice cream and happiness is!  Enjoy and keep warm :-)

Sticky Peanut Butter and Banana Pudding

Serves: 6

3 T (45 ml) butter
1/2 c (125 ml) milk
150 ml sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c (375ml) self-raising flour
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 bananas, thinly sliced

Peanut butter sauce:
200 ml milk or cream
125 ml sugar
50 ml smooth peanut butter
1/2 (2.5 ml) caramel essence or vanilla essence

For the method, simply hop over to my official website.

Sticky peanut butter and banana pudding

Porcini Mushroom Croquettes

May 27, 2014 in Meatless meals, Snacks, vegetables

Porcini croquettes

This dish is inspired by La Mouette’s drool worthy and highly addictive truffle croquettes. When Nouvelle Mushrooms sent me a packet of their dried porcini mushrooms my first thought was Porcini Croquettes. Little mouthfuls of crumbed and deep fried creamy mashed potato mixture with porcini mushrooms, a hint of truffle infused olive oil and parmesan cheese. For dipping, I made a quick a tarragon and lemon mayo dip but a melted garlic butter will also be amazingly good. Yum yum yum…

This is my recipe entry for the Nouvelle Mushrooms #MushroomLove food blogger competition.

porcini croquettesPorcini Mushroom Croquettes
A lovely meat free Monday dish, starter or snack but also a mouthwatering accompaniment to succulent steak or rack of lamb with greens.

Makes: +- 12

4 large floury potatoes, baked for 1 hour @ 180°C.
15 ml butter
15 ml truffle oil (or to taste)
1 egg
1/3 c (80 ml) Nouvelle dried porcini mushrooms hydrated in hot water until soft, then drain excess liquid out and finely chop.
3 T (45 ml) finely grated parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste

½ c (125 ml) seasoned flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 c (500 ml) dried coarse breadcrumbs
Oil for frying

Tarragon and lemon mayo mayo:
½ c (125 ml )creamy mayo
1 clove garlic
15 ml chopped fresh tarragon or 3ml dried
juice and zest of ½ lemon

Remove cooked potato from the skins and mash with butter, truffle oil, chopped mushrooms, parmesan and egg. Season to taste.

Allow mixture to cool in the fridge before rolling into balls.

Roll potato mixture into balls using a heaped teaspoon for each. Generously roll in seasoned flour, then dip into egg and lastly a good coating of breadcrumbs. Allow to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before frying.

Heat oil for deep frying and fry the croquettes for +- 4 minutes or until evenly golden and crispy and cooked through in the centre.

Mix mayo ingredients together. Serve croquettes immediately with tarragon mayo, micro herbs and chopped chives.

porcini croquettesIf you haven’t already and you’re a fan :-) , please like my facebook page, follow me on twitter or visit my website


Caulipizza with Mushrooms & Prosciutto

April 10, 2014 in Baking, LCHF


I finally gave into the viral “banting” sensation that is “Caulipizza”. If you haven’t heard of it already, it is a carb free (no flour at all) pizza base made of fresh cauliflower, mozzarella cheese, a bit of parmesan and eggs. I made it this week for J and I and we were both pleasantly surprised. Look, if you’re not a fan of cauliflower, you ain’t gonna like it but having said that, it’s a pretty subtle flavour coming through and if you top it with ingredients that complement the earthy sweetish cauliflower taste – you’ll be transported to a foodie nirvana. I chose to top mine with thin slices of brown mushrooms, prosciutto, fresh rocket, parmesan shavings and truffle infused oil – Oh my yum, mouth-watering stuff. Also, it really does feel like you are devouring a pizza, although, you find yourself getting satiated rather quickly – which is a good thing. The whole point of doing a caulipizza is to cut out carbs without feeling deprived and losing weight in the process. Yay! I’m in love with caulipizzas.

After looking at loads of recipes over the internet, I’ve come up with a mixture that works pretty well and it makes 2 large pizzas. To see my step-by-step photo gallery, hop over to my official Bits of Carey website. Enjoy and may the cauliflower be with you ;-)

Caulipizza with mushroom, prosciutto, rocket, parmesan shavings and truffle infused oil

Makes 2 large pizzas

Cauliflower pizza base:
1 large head of cauliflower, grated
2 c (500 ml) grated mozzarella cheese
¼ c (60 ml) finely grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste

½ c (125 ml) grated mozzarella
1 c (250 ml) very thinly sliced brown mushrooms
pinch of dried thyme
8 slices prosciutto, Parma ham or Black forest ham
1 c (250 ml) wild rocket
Truffle infused olive oil

Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Microwave or steam the cauliflower for 10- 12 minutes until soft. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Mix with the cheese and eggs until well combined. Season well.
Divide mixture between 2 baking paper lined baking trays. Press down firmly to form thin bases. Par-bake for 12 minutes.
Top par-baked bases with mozzarella and sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden and crispy around the edges.
Top with prosciutto, rocket, parmesan shavings and a little drizzle of truffle infused oil. Season again.
Eat immediately!





Chicken & Pork Sausage Cassoulet

March 19, 2014 in Chicken, Curries and casseroles, Meat

Chicken and pork sausage cassoulet

I’m sitting at my desk happily gazing through the window at the rain pouring down here in CT. Am I the only one that gets excited when it rains? I love the smell, the freshness and the chill in the air, it makes me feel alive! And because I’m a sucker for rib-sticking comfort food, I couldn’t ask for better weather today. So with that in mind, I’m sharing one of my favourite recipes I did for Crush issue 21. My chicken and pork sausage cassoulet. It’s the perfect dish to warm the hearts and bellies of family and friends. Tender chicken pieces, juicy pork sossies, smoky bacon, tomatoes, red wine , cannellini beans – it’s a kitchen sink full of robust flavours!  All topped with fresh breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese to make a crusty gratin topping. Cutting out  the carbs? Leave the breadcrumbs out and you’re good to go. Enjoy!

Chicken and Pork Sausage Cassoulet

Serves: 6-8
Prep: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes

1 T (15 ml) sunflower  oil
8 free range chicken drumsticks and thighs
8 good quality pork sausages

250 g streaky bacon, diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, diced
2 large carrots, diced
250 g button mushrooms
1 t (5 ml) dried thyme
3 bay leaves
1 c (250 ml) red wine
2 tins whole tomatoes
2 fat cloves garlic, chopped
1 t (5 ml) sugar
1 tin cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper to taste

Crumb topping:
1 c (250 ml) fresh breadcrumbs
3 T (45 ml) grated parmesan
Handful Italian parsley, chopped

For the method, please hop over to my official website.

chicken and pork sausage cassoulet

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