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Monday’s MOG Mac ‘n cheese

June 28, 2010 in Meatless meals, Pasta

MOG: Mushroom Onion and Green Pepper Macaroni Cheese. Joosh up your mac ‘n cheese by adding some flavourful ingredients to the cheese sauce.

I’m quite proud of myself, we finally had a meatless Monday! It’s hard when your hubby loves meat, but he was very happy with this!(even licked out the dish!) There’s plenty of protein in the milk and cheese anyway!



MOG Mac and Cheese

Serves 2 large portions


What you’ll need:


1 large cup macaroni, cooked until al dente

50 g butter

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 green pepper, chopped

2 large brown mushrooms, sliced

50 ml flour

2 cups (500 ml) milk

1 cup (250 ml) grated cheddar cheese

Freshly ground salt and pepper

TOPPING:1/2 cup (125 ml) grated cheddar or parmesan


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees

In a large pan, saute the onion, green pepper and mushrooms until soft.

Remove from the heat and add the flour, coating all the veggies.

Return back on the heat and add the milk, cook on high, stirring constantly until thickened.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and season.

Add the cooked pasta and stir until well combined.

Pour into 2 individual baking dishes or 1 large one.

Sprinkle with some cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes for small ones or 30 minutes for a large dish.

Serve with a green salad.


Try with fried bacon, ham, roasted veggies, spinach and feta, left over chicken – whatever you have at home!

Lazy Sunday’s Beef in Red wine casserole

June 27, 2010 in Curries and casseroles, Meat

Beef cubes slow cooked in Shiraz until tender served on a bed of sweet potato mash topped with Parmesan shavings…



Serves 4


You will need:


1/4 cup flour

500 g beef goulash

1 T olive oil

1T butter

2 onions, sliced

2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

4 carrots, thickly sliced

500 ml Shiraz or good red wine of your choice

250 ml hot beef stock

3 T / 45 ml tomato paste

2 T / 30 ml sugar

3 sprigs of Fresh rosemary


Coat meat in the flour.

In a large pot, brown the meat in the heated oil and butter then remove and set aside.

In the same pot saute the onions and carrots for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes.

Return the meat to the pot followed by the wine, stock, paste, sugar and rosemary.

Cover and simmer gently for 2 1/2 hours or casserole in the oven at 160 degrees for the same amount of time.



About 30 minutes before the casserole is ready,  prepare the sweet potato mash.



Ol’ Fashioned Milk Tart

June 23, 2010 in Pies, Sweet treats, tarts

 This baked milk tart is a classic SA favourite! Homemade melt your mouth pastry, smooth and velvety filling with a generous sprinkle of heart warming cinnamon… Picture this with a freshly brewed pot of coffee…mmm…heaven!



What you’ll need:


For the pastry

2 T butter – please not margerine!

2 T sugar

1 egg

3/4 cup self raising flour

pinch of salt


Blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor or with an electric beater until it all clumps together to form a dough.

Press into a lightly greased 24 cm tart dish. Chill in the fridge while preparing the filling.


For the Filling

2 cups milk

2 eggs, separated

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cake flour

1/4 cup corn flour

pinch of salt

2 T butter

1 t vanilla essence

Ground cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Heat the milk in a medium pot(do not boil).

Beat the yolks and sugar until creamy and light then add the flours and salt – the mixture will be quite thick.

Add some warm milk to the egg mixture and then return all of it to the pot. Bring to the boil and whisk constantly until thickened.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla.

Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form and fold into the custard.

Pour into the chilled pastry case and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake for +- 30 minutes.


*Try with frozen puff pastry


Well done to Bafana last night, although we didn’t get through, we played with heart and that’s all that matters!


1 dish cookin’ : Succulent Roast chicken and Greek style veggie couscous

June 21, 2010 in Chicken, grains and pulses, Roasts, vegetables

I am allergic to dishes. I don’t know if it started from a young age when my big bro and I used to argue over who would be washing the dishes after dinner or if it developed during the days when I was working just after my studies, being the youngin’, I (like many) was a tool that did all the icky dish washing after a service -even before and during now that i think about it! So I see red when I see dishes and white light when I have to do them! So over the years I learnt to adapt my cooking so that I have the least possible dishes most of the time.


So below is one of my 1 dish wonders!


Basically, the chicken gets roasted with the veggies, 5 minutes before the end of cooking you toss in a cup of hydrated couscous and mix it well with the veggies. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Done.


Serves 2

You will need:


600 g Mixed roasting veg(I used PnP Greek style veg – it has feta, sundried tomatoes and olives added)

2 chicken breasts on the bone

olive oil

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 cup couscous mixed with 1 cup of warm water or stock

Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 200 degrees

Place the veggies in a roasting pan, toss in a little olive oil, season.

Place chicken on top of the veg. Season. Sprinkle with the zest, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.

Roast for 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and set chicken aside. Mix couscous with the veggies in the tray and top with the chicken again.

Roast for a further 5 minutes – just to heat up the couscous.

Serve with Tzatilki or lemon wedges.




Happy monday all :-)


Dumplings anyone?

June 17, 2010 in bread, Soups

Big, soft and stodgy dumplings in homemade split pea soup – what could be more comforting?


2 cups split peas, soaked for 30 minutes and rinsed

Oilve oil

250 g diced bacon

2 onions, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

+- 1.5 L chicken stock

Salt and pepper

Freshly ground nutmeg

Heat a bit of olive oil in a large pot and saute the bacon until crispy. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.

Pour in the stock, cover and simmer for +- 1.5 hours or until split peas are soft and mushy(would be quicker in a pressure cooker!). Use a potato masher to loosen and break up the peas – no need for a blender. Add more hot water if too thick. Season.


1 cup of self raising flour

+ – 200 ml water

1 egg

Salt and pepper

1 t dried mixed herbs

Combine all the ingredients together and form into “dumplings” with 2 tablespoons and drop into the hot soup, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes.

No need to serve with bread, enough starch there – believe me! Although I love to eat buttered white bread with pea soup.

I posted this today, because I am indeed in need of some comfort! I’m not one to moan, groan and blog about my personal life, but it has really been a trying 2 weeks! So please excuse me:

My mom went into hospital 2 weeks ago to have her gal bladder removed(which is apparently a standard thing), but ended up staying in hospital until yesterday! She had many complications, but we were relieved to find out she could come home. However shortly after that news, I got a phone call from my dad saying that my eldest brother was in surgery – he was in a bad car accident! So mom’s out, brother’s in! So I went to see him after the surgery,  my big brother, so pale and fragile – it broke my heart! Broken arm, both feet are injured and his knee – he is going to need reabilitation for months. He is still in ICU for monitoring, fortunately his vitals are good. It could have been worse, we are all grateful that he survived! I’m worried about my mom though, she should be in bed resting, but she is understandably freaking out!

So if anyone is feeling as drained as I am( or you are feeling defeated from the soccer game last night!), do yourself a favour and make yourself a pot of soup with comforting dumplings!

Just a thought I need to share, when tragedy hits, you reflect:

Life is so fragile, we take it for granted that we could lose our loved ones in an instant. We should slow down and appreciate who and what we have everyday. :-)

Lovies C x

Thai Sweet Potato Soup

June 15, 2010 in Meatless meals, Soups

Thai Sweet Potato Soup


Thick, satisfying and full of Thai flavour! This will warm you up during this Icy weather!


(the hubby’s fave)


You will need:



Serves 4


1 T Canola oil

2 T Yellow, green or red curry paste

1 bunch of leeks, sliced

250 g cubed sweet potato

250 g cubed butternut(or sweet potato – I use a bit of butternut for colour)

2 cups weak chicken stock(I use Ina’s)

1 tin lite coconut milk

Large handful of coriander

Fish or soy sauce to taste


In a large pot, add the paste and leeks to the heated oil and saute until soft and glossy.

Add the sweet potato/butternut, stock and 1/2 the coconut milk, stir well, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until soft.

Add the remaining coconut milk and 3/4 of the coriander and blend with a hand blender or food processor until smooth.

Season with some fish or soy sauce and garnish with coriander.


* Use yellow paste for mild and red if you like it HOT!

*You could use onions instead, but I love the subtle flavour of leeks



Feeling warm yet?


C x

Butternut Ravioli in Rosemary butter with Feta and Pumpkin seeds

June 14, 2010 in Meatless meals, out and about

On Saturday, J and I had lunch at House of Pasta in Long street. Oh my Heaven’s, I will be back soon! I was like a kid in a candy store! The most divine pizza I have ever tasted. Fabbio(the owner) is so passionate about his food and products, just aims to please. We left with bags and bags of gnocchi and ravioli etc.  So when I got home, my mission was to prepare the butternut filled ravioli the best way possible to ensure the flavours were not lost.

So I got thinking, a burnt sage butter would be nice, didn’t have sage though. So next option, rosemary. I would toss the cooked ravioli in a rosemary butter and add some salty feta and crunchy pumpkin seeds! Finished off with some Parmesan Shavings and pepper. Result!

A marriage made in heaven. Sweet butternut, salty feta and butter, mild rosemary undertone, nutty parmesan and crunchy pumpkin seeds .When I ate this, the room suddenly went quiet and all I could focus on was this bowl of sexy pasta. J even commented that it was a “party in his mouth and everyone’s invited!” ha ha!

In short, simple delicate flavours…can’t beat that!




Now doesn’t that sound yum to you?


P.s Beeeewwwwwtiful fresh pasta House of Pasta, well done!


Happy monday all!


Soup for me tonight…bbbbbrrrr :-)

Mrs Balls Chutney Chicken Wings

June 8, 2010 in Chicken, Roasts, Snacks

Sink your teeth into these sweet and sticky wings. Mrs Balls comes to the rescue in my kitchen every now and then.

These wings are the perfect couch dinner accompanied by hot and spicy samoosas!

Easy uncomplicated South African nibbles. Finger lickin’ good!


You will need:


8-10 chicken wings, trim the pinions/tips off (I personally like it on!)

1/2 cup Mrs balls Peach Chutney( or flavour of your choice)

1/4 cup mayo

30 ml olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees

In a bowl, combine the chutney, mayo, oil and pepper together. Add the chicken wings, make sure they are well coated.

Arrange onto a non-stick baking tray and roast for 45 minutes until golden and sticky!

Serve on a platter with samoosas and sweet chilli dip.




More eye candy to tempt you…




Did I make those samoosa’s from scratch? NO!  My MIL brought us a huge bag from a friend of hers who makes them for a living.  Love it! We froze them and just fry as we need!


I will post my easy “samoosas” as soon as I make them again! :-)

Chicken Pumpkin and Leek pie

June 7, 2010 in Chicken, Pastry, Pies

This is truly delicious and so comforting. I love chicken, pumpkin and leeks, so why not all together? Also why not throw in some cinnamon and nutmeg? All in all, amazing together!


Chicken pumpkin and Leek Pie


serves 4


You will need:


2 Chicken breasts on the bone

500 ml prepared chicken stock

500 g cubed pumpkin

Pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar

Olive oil

knob of butter

4 leeks, sliced

2 TBS flour


1 x 400 g roll puff pastry

1 egg


Preheat oven to 180 degrees

Bring the stock to the boil, add the chicken and cook covered for 10 minutes. *Remove chicken and allow to cool and then shred. Reserve +- 250 ml Chicken stock.

*Meanwhile: Place the pumpkin and spices in a colander, cover and steam over the boiling chicken pot until tender.

In a large pan, saute the leeks in the oil and butter until soft and golden.

Stir in the flour to coat the leeks, add the pumpkin, shredded chicken and reserved stock. Heat through until nicely thickened. Season with salt and pepper.



Spoon the mixture into a greased pie dish. Shape the dough to fit your dish and and place over the mixture. Make a little cross in the middle to allow the air to escape. Beat the egg and brush evenly over the pastry dough.


Bake for 30- 40 minutes or until pastry is golden and crispy.

serve with salad

* I served it with fruit and nut couscous(cranberries, sultanas, orange zest pecan nuts, parsley, mint etc)




Happy Monday all!


C x


4 Cheese and Sweet chilli Quesadillas

June 3, 2010 in Meatless meals, Snacks

My days at work revolve around food… from writing, to cooking to teaching! So when I get home I try to find the easiest route to get food on the table – but never sacrifice flavour and creativity! So below is one of our midweek light meals. We love to eat this with Tzatiki dip(buy from any store) or make your own – it is healthier and a change from sour cream and guacomole!





You will need:


4 Tortilla Wraps

Sweet chilli sauce

1/2 cup grated Colchester cheese

1/2 cup grated Mature cheddar(18 months)

1/2 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan

1 wheel of Feta cheese, crumbled

Freshly milled pepper


Spread sweet chilli on 2 tortillas and sprinkle half of the cheese on top of each. Dollop with a bit more sweet chilli and season with pepper.



Now cover both with the two other tortillas



Fry each one in a ungreased non stick frying pan until golden and crispy (Remove when the cheese has melted in the centre.)



Cut into quarters and serve with Tzatiki, sour cream or Guaco

Serve with a crispy green Salad


I am so excited! I am going to finally buy a new oven and hob, to think I have being doing all my cooking with a 2 plate Breville and a tiny counter oven for months! YAY!


This week has flown by ?!


Have an awesome weekend all