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Pumpkin Pops

July 30, 2012 in DESSERT, VEGETARIAN

About a week or so ago I was trawling the net, as one does sometimes, and came across a recipe for pumpkin poppers that I rather fancied. My mom used to make the most fabulous pumpkin fritters when we were kids and the memory of those had me scrambling to try out this recipe. Of course I pimped and adapted it to suit my needs and seeing as it is my favourite season….ClemenGold time I added some of those magical citrus fruits in and this is what I came up with…..

These were totally addictive and my two grandsons loved them…….the citrus cut through the spicy sweetness and I will definitely be trying them again. I would also like to try and bake some which is how the original recipe said they were done but I didn’t have a small muffin pan at the time. 

Please pop over and find the recipe for these delicious little pops of flavour here

Tyler and Jay are getting so big. They went fishing yesterday and Jay caught his first fish. So much excitement. Ty is already a regular fisherman :)

Have a great week,

browniegirl xx

Sexy Valentine Food Prawn Mango Avo and Asparagus Salad with Goats Cheese

February 14, 2012 in MAIN MEALS, SALADS

Happy Days people……here is a continuation of my sexy food theme for Valentine’s Day. Please pop over there and read all the information that I have already given for aphrodisiac foods and essential oils. I am an old romatic at heart. My lifetime Valentine and I have shared 37 Valentine’s Days already. Of course, to have a lifetime Valentine the sentiments of Valentines Day should be carried through into every day of our lives together and I think that we have achieved that pretty well. We have had our times of not getting on well. All couples experience that. But we have grown closer and more in love through them, and despite them all. I have a wonderful forever Valentine. Feet of clay, imperfect, but with a heart full of love and caring for me. I love you MY Valentine….thank you for sharing your heart and life with me xxxxx


300g Prawns – shelled with tails left intact, deveined and briefly dropped into boiling water until pink

1 Mango – peeled stoned and sliced lengthwise

1 Avocado Pear – stoned and sliced thinly then each slice cut into halves

½ Red Pepper – deseeded and thinly sliced lengthwise

Small bag of Rocket

100g Asparagus – washed, bottoms cut off then dropped into boiling water for 3 minutes refresh in cold

50g Blueberries

½ Chilli – deseeded and finely sliced

½ Cucumber  sliced into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler

Micro Rocket Greens

1 Red Spring Onion – finely sliced at an angle

100g Goats Cheese Chevin Fairview


Place the mango slices on the plate then add  prawns

Add the rest of the ingredients randomly

Sprinkle over the sliced chilli and micro greens

Drizzle generously with the vinaigrette and grind over a bit of black pepper

Serve with crusty country bread to mop up the delicious juices



90ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ ClemenGold – finely grated zest (use orange if you don’t have ClemenGold)

20ml ClemenGold Juice (use the juice that dribbles out while segmenting for the salad)

15ml Lemon Juice

10ml Honey

5ml Dijon Mustard

½ Clove Garlic – crushed or finely grated

Small piece of fresh Ginger – peeled and finely grated

Few Mint Leaves – finely chopped

½ Red Chilli – deseeded and very finely chopped

½ Vanilla Bean – split and seeds scraped out

Salt Flakes and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper


Whisk all together in a small glass bowl and set aside until needed


We enjoyed our Valentines picnic with some JC Le Roux bubbly, I dropped some fresh raspberries into each glass. Such a beautiful floral scent and flavour, released by the raspberries, permeated the bubbles. Le sigh! Le Good Life:)

Our dessert was simple – chocolates, strawberries, blueberries and some ice cold black seedless grapes with the rest of the bubbles!

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone out there. And I include all the singles too. Don’t limit love to only one day a year….love is so precious it deserves a HUGE place in our everyday lives. Not only romantic love, but that all encompassing, unconditional, accepting, working love that is so essential to living joyous, fulfilled and peaceful lives!

browniegirl xx

 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never dies”1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

PS I am going into hospital tomorrow morning for more follow up surgery to the procedure that I underwent in June 2011. I see lots of soup, smoothies, jelly, ice cream and yoghurt in my foreseeable future. But this salad was a wonderful send-off. Catch you all on the flip side.

And please dont forget to give me a bit of blog love and vote for me in the EatIn DStv Foodnetwork Blog Awards…a BIG thank you to all who have already voted. It is only a once off vote!

Originally blogged here as part of a series of posts for ClemenGold 

Eat something sexy, its good for you – Fig & Smoked Salmon Salad

February 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

GO ON! EAT SOMETHING SEXY! It’s good for you!

With Valentine’s Day falling in the middle of the hottest month of the summer season I have always turned to salads and the fresh produce aisles at the local stores to plan and prepare my picnic. We always end up having a picnic, one of life’s simple pleasures, just the place differs… depending on what the weather is doing. I don’t enjoy sand or dust with my meal so if the south easter is blowing we resort to plan B and enjoy our picnic indoors or on the patio if it isn’t too bad. I love going for sunset picnics at this time of year as the sunsets are spectacular and I am such a sunset freak. I have to get my regular dose of Dopamine you know….mind you I do get that from eating as well…so combining two simple pleasures like eating and watching a sunset gives double the pleasure :)

I usually plan my salads around what produce I am able to find when I do my shopping so no picnic is ever the same. But my one rule of thumb for what I do buy is that I look out for all those natural aphrodisiac ingredients…you know, those that are supposed to ummmm….increase your interest in your partner! ;)

The interest in aphrodisiac foods began when Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, rose from the sea on an oyster and then gave birth to Eros. The first aphrodisiac food was born. An aphrodisiac food is one that is believed to stimulate libido and enhance sexual performance. These foods have been used as far back as the Romans and the Greeks to increase sexual powers. During those periods, people were concerned about fertility and sexual performance more so than passion itself, so a great amount of time was spent on determining what aphrodisiac foods would help these two separate concerns.

You will find all of these on a good aphrodisiac food list: salmon, prawns (both so sexy to eat!) figs, asparagus, avocado, oysters, caviar, champagne, chocolate, vanilla, almond, truffles, chilli, basil, garlic, honey, rocket, ginger, mustard, seedless green and red grapes, mango, papaya, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries

Of course the Puffer Fish is also considered both a delicacy and an aphrodisiac in Japan. If the poisonous gland is not properly removed, the tiniest, teeniest, weeniest taste is DEADLY. The flirt with death is said to give a sexual thrill. Ummmmmm, I don’t think so Mildred!! Not recommended, unless you are in Japan in a speciality restaurant and the chef shows you his certification and proof that he has never killed anyone and you’re in the mood for that particular kind of thrill!!!

If you would like to know more about aphrodisiac foods you can go and read here..

So then, switch off those pesky cellphones, slip into something sexy, get the groove on in your kitchen with the food of love, set the table, scatter those rose petals baby (Cleoptra was such a clever woman, poor Mark Anthony never stood a chance!), crank up the old love songs, burn some erotic essential oils (for example bergamot, rose, geranium, sandalwood, ylang ylang, black pepper and cardamom oil  – these make a fabulous massage oil as well when 1 -2 drops of each are mixed into 50mls of a carrier oil like almond oil – you can thank me later! ;) ), light the candles and pour the bubbles! It is time for a little bit of romance darlings!!

“Sometimes your nearness takes my breath away; and all the things I want to say can find no voice. Then, in silence, I can only hope my eyes will speak my heart.”

Robert Sexton



90ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ ClemenGold – finely grated zest (use orange if you don’t have ClemenGold)

20ml ClemenGold Juice (use the juice that dribbles out while segmenting for the salad)

15ml Lemon Juice

10ml Honey

5ml Dijon Mustard

½ Clove Garlic – crushed or finely grated

Small piece of fresh Ginger – peeled and finely grated

Few Mint Leaves – finely chopped

½ Red Chilli – deseeded and very finely chopped

½ Vanilla Bean – split and seeds scraped out

Salt Flakes and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper


Whisk all together in a small glass bowl and set aside until needed

Sexy Black Fig Smoked Salmon Mozzarella and Basil Salad


(Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Sexy Salad in Happy Days With The Naked Chef)

6 Black Figs

1 ClemenGold (or orange) – peeled and segmented (no pith or skin (keep the juice that runs out for the vinaigrette)

3 Radishes –  finely sliced

100g Smoked Salmon – torn into ribbons

1 Mozzarella Ball – torn into pieces

Few Basil Leaves

Micro Rocket leaves

Black Pepper and Salt Flakes


Slice  a cross through the figs stopping before you cut right through. Squeeze open and place on a serving plate

Weave the ribbons of salmon around and between the figs

Randomly add the torn mozzarella ball and the basil and micro greens

Drizzle generously with the vinaigrette and serve with fresh crusty country bread


Coming up soon my sexy prawn, mango, avo & asparagus salad with goats cheese and micro greens!

Until then, have a wonderful weekend!

browniegirl xx

Originally blogged here

Tame your Dragon with these Citrus Wontons

February 6, 2012 in DESSERT

Are you self-confident, innovative, brave, impulsive, compassionate and a perfectionist who is strong and decisive? Do you not care to listen to the advice of others? Like being in command? Then you were most likely born during the Year of the Dragon, the mightiest of all the Chinese Zodiac signs.

The Chinese year 4710 began on the 23rd of January 2012, and of course this is The Year of the Dragon. The Year of the Dragon comes around every 12th year . Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth day, when the moon is brightest. So, much is being celebrated all over the world by Chinese and non Chinese alike.

To enter into the mood I decided to make a dessert.  My inspiration for this recipe came from Amy at she wears many hats  My eye caught her photograph that had been pinned onto Pinterest so I followed the link and found her recipe. I pimped it a bit to suit my ingredients that I had to hand

Citrus & Mascarpone Wontons




4 ClemenGolds – canned mandarins will also do)

2.5ml Chinese 5 Spice Powder

15ml Brown Sugar

10ml Cornflour

Mascarpone Cheese

Wonton Wrappers (I couldn’t find any around here so settled for phyllo pastry)

Peanut Oil and Vegetable Oil – enough to cover about 2.5cm of your saucepan base


Peel and segment the fruit (catching the juice that runs out in a bowl as you do so)

Place in the bowl with the juice and add the 5 spice powder, cornflour and sugar. Mix well and set aside

Open up Wonton Wrappers (if using the phyllo pastry as I did brush melted butter on sheets and layer 2 or 3 on top of each other. Cut them out into squares

Place a small dollop (about half a teaspoon) of Mascarpone Cheese into the centre of each square or wrapper, add a teaspoon of the ClemenGold mixture then wet the edges of the pastry, fold the one corner over to the opposite corner to form half a triangle then fold over the other corners all to meet in the middle. Fix with a bit of water

Repeat with all the wrappers.

Heat up some oil (I used half and half peanut and vegetable oil) in your wok or saucepan and add the wontons a couple at a time and fry until golden brown all over

Set aside on paper towel to drain while you complete the rest of them

When cool dust liberally with icing sugar and serve as is or with some vanilla ice cream.

I made a yummy dipping sauce to dip my wontons into:

Mix together until dissolved :

50g Dark Brown or Muscovado Sugar

1 teaspoon Lime Juice

¼ teaspoon Five Spice Powder

Few drops Kikkomans Soy Sauce

20ml Hot Water

Serve alongside the Wontons or pour over ice cream as I did and enjoy!

Oh….and seeing as this is the month of luuuuurve………

Dragons will give in to love, but won’t give up their independence. Because they have quick, sometimes vengeful, tempers their partners need to be tough-skinned. Dragons enjoy others who are intriguing, and when they find the right partners, they’ll usually commit to that person for life. If you would like to read more about the Year of the Dragon you can go here

Happy Chinese New Year to all my readers,

browniegirl xx

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Spiced Citrus Tarte Tatin with Butter Puff Pastry

January 23, 2012 in DESSERT

Tarte Tatin……the word conjures up cold nights and comforting food eaten around the fireside with a delicious glass of sweetish wine to accompany it. Tarte Tatin also conjures up visions of firm crisp apples and caramel and delicious puff pastry. So easy and simple to prepare and yet so delicious and comforting. ClemenGold also conjures up wintry thoughts as it is a winter citrus and only available for that season….but I turned both into a wonderful summery delight this past week.

The new year has firmly entrenched itself and 3 weeks have just flown past in a blur. Here in the Western Cape where I live we have been overwhelmed by a heatwave of massive proportions. I have not been able to bear spending any time in my kitchen during the days. Nights are oppressive and everyone is battling to sleep. I think airconditioning companies have been benefiting from it all. In the bowels of my freezer I came across a bag of ClemenGolds this past week that I had popped in there towards the end of the 2011 season. As I was contemplating them the idea of using some for a tarte tatin  came to mind. Using my favourite spices of course for my ClemenGold goodness. It ticked all the right boxes for me….quick and easy to prepare and delicious with a big scoop of icy cold vanilla ice cream! I was sold on the idea and this is what I came up with…

Spicy citrus deliciousness with vanilla ice cream


Serves 4-6

Easy to prepare


1 roll good quality Butter Puff Pastry – thawed but still cold

2 ClemenGolds (or other clementine/mandarin if you cannot get the ClemenGolds)

125 g butter

100 g Light Brown Sugar

½ Lemon – juice only

5ml NoMU Sweet Rub

1 Vanilla Pod – split and seeds removed with the tip of a sharp knife

2 star anise

1 Egg – lightly beaten for brushing the pastry


Wash and slice the ClemenGolds thinly (leaving the delicious peel on) and set aside. I am so in love with my new Lassar ceramic knife that is perfect for this job :)

Unroll the puff pastry and, using your skillet as a measure, cut out a circle  about an inch wider all round than the size of the skillet that you are using. Set aside in the fridge until needed

Place the skillet (it needs to have an oven proof handle) onto the hob over a low to moderate heat

Place the butter, sugar, sweet rub and lemon juice into the skillet and melt all together without stirring

Add the vanilla seeds and pod and star anise

Allow the mixture to caramelize and turn a medium golden colour giving it a bit of a shake every now and again.  Don’t allow it to go any darker than that as it can burn very easily

Remove the pan from the heat and place the ClemenGold slices in the caramel in circles, overlapping the slices slightly and placing the last one in the centre of the pan so the whole base is covered

Set aside to cool for 10 – 15 minutes

Preheat oven to 200C while the caramel is cooling

Remove puff pastry from the fridge and place it lightly over the top of the caramel in the skillet. Fold and tuck the extra bits down the sides carefully as the caramel might still be hot enough to burn your fingers

Brush lightly with the egg wash and bake on the middle shelf in the oven until the pastry is puffed up  and a deliciously medium golden brown colour

Remove from the oven then place a large flat serving plate over the top of the skillet

Using oven gloves or a couple of folded dish towels hold the plate and pan tightly together and in a quick motion flip them over and place plate down  on to the counter

Remove the pan – if any slices have remained behind gently lift with a spatula and place back into position

Allow to cool slightly then remove the star anise and vanilla pod and cut into wedges

Serve with whipped cream, crème frâiche or ice-cream (personally I prefer the iciness of ice cream with the still slightly hot tarte tatin!)

browniegirl tip: Wash the stickiness off the vanilla pod then let it dry thoroughly on your windowsill in the sunlight. Once dry pop it into a jar of sugar and cover tightly. In a week or two you will have delicious vanilla sugar for all your baking needs :)

To interact with Lassar ceramic knives visit their facebook page or take a peek at the Essentials page in the latest Crush online magazine edition to see how to slice and dice an onion…the Lassar way!


browniegirl xx