grilled #nectarine salad

November 28, 2014 in Salads, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Yesterday the sun was out, and I decided to make this most delicious grilled nectarine salad. The rocket and the edible flowers come out of my garden and seemed to be a perfect combination. In celebration of the onset of summer, I jazzed it up with a fennel dressing. Taste the summer season. Beautiful.
nectarine salad

3 medium yellow nectarines, halved with stone removed
1 T olive oil
1 t caster sugar
50 g baby rocket
4 bocconcini balls
Salt and pepper
½ t salt
¼ t fennel seeds
¼ t chilli flakes
½ t finely grated lemon rind
2 T olive oil
1 T white balsamic vinegar
1 T lemon juice

Combine salt, fennel seeds, chilli flakes and lemon rind in a snap-lock bag. Pound with a rolling pin until finely ground and fragrant (You can also use a pestle and mortar). Combine with the other dressing ingredients and set aside. Heat a griddle pan. Drizzle the cut side of the peach or nectarine with the olive oil. Sprinkle cut side with sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, cut-side down, for 3 minutes or until caramelised. Turn. Cook for 1 minute or until heated through. Transfer to a plate. Cut each of the fruits half in half. Set aside. Arrange rocket on a large plate. Tear each bocconcini ball into 2 pieces. Top rocket with the bocconcini balls. Top with the slices of griddled nectarine. Season with pepper. Whisk dressing and drizzle over the salad.

#cabbage + pancetta with peas and mint

October 14, 2014 in Vegetables

When people hear the word cabbage I often see them cringing – thinking of how they were forced to eat cabbage in school and varsity hostels. Even between kale, cauliflower and brussels sprouts it was often seen as the poor cousin of the vegetable. Today I have taken the often disregarded, humble cabbage and turned it into a five star dish.

For recipe go to


World’s first #Banting restaurant opens in Cape Town

August 26, 2014 in News

Last Thursday I had an exclusive peek into the new Banting Kitchen in Green Point, 47 Main Road (in front of Cape Royale Hotel), Cape Town. Tim Noakes and his many Banting fans will be extremely happy about this new eatery. The entire menu is based on Banting ingredients, ranging from home smoked salmon (delicious!), mussels in cream, lasagna, steak to the always popular cauli-mash through to dessert. As is to be expected, the dishes are obviously very rich given all the cream and butter – and as you know where there is cream and butter – it is always delicious.

Two things stood out for me … to read review go to

main | oriental spiced cream cheese chicken supreme

main | oriental spiced cream cheese chicken supreme

starter | home smoked salmon

starter | home smoked salmon

pasta and bean soup | pasta e fagioli

July 29, 2014 in Soup

SONY DSCI made this lovely pasta e fagioli (pasta + bean soup) the past weekend. This is the best-known peasant dish in Italy and Antonio Carluccio’s recipe. He says that every Italian region, sometimes every town, has a pasta e fagioli, which is a charming and warming cucina povera (“poor kitchen”) dish. It can be very thick or more soupy according to the area of its origin.

Antonio sees this soup as the benchmark of every restaurant! If a chef cannot make it properly, then he is not a good, nor conscientious chef.

Its easy and delicious. Enjoy!

For recipe go to

#pork fillet with cumin apples + crushed potatoes

July 25, 2014 in Pork

Pork is such an economical yet extremely tasty cut of meat. I bought 5 fillets at the deli in Joostenberg the other day for R60. It was those thick cuts with the minimal fat on. This is one of Rick’s favourite dishes and this is comfort food at its best. Enjoy.

For recipe go to

Pork Fillit

pumpkin + sweet potato + pear bake with orange olive oil

July 16, 2014 in Vegetables, Vegetarian


I grew up with sunflower oil and butter but these days I have five different extra virgin olive oils next to my stove. Ordinary olive oil for frying my chicken breasts, truffle olive oil that I add to my mashed potatoes, orange olive oil that I sprinkle on my pumpkin before I put it into the oven, parmesan olive oil to be added in good measures over hot pasta and then lime olive oil for dressing my salads. Olive oil is a completely natural oil (straight from heaven, I would say) with no preservatives added.

To read more about olive oil and to get the recipe go to


cookie swap 2014

July 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

Please join us baking and exchanging some cookies at Cookie Swap 2014 on the 2 August 2014 at Dear Me in Cape Town and at Happy Me in Greenside. Its fun! Bake some cookies, bring them to the venue and swap your cookies with the cookies of the other participants.

Entry fee: R50 for bakers and R100 for non-bakers
Charity to benefit: Bake-for-profit – a programme
All swappers should let the organisers know of their intention to participate via Facebook: RSACookieSwap
CPT Venue: Dear Me | Cape Town
JHB Venue: Happy Me | Greenside
DBN + PTA: tbc
Hashtag: #CookieSwap4

For more information: Ishay |

CookieSwap4invite 2014

lunch at the purple house in the bo-kaap

July 7, 2014 in Travel

Last week I had lunch at The Purple House in the Bo-Kaap with La Carmina (CNN TV Host) and Cape Town Tourism. Faldela Tolker prepared an authentic Cape Malay lunch for us in her purple house. For more images of this wondrful day and Lanice Snyman’s Koesister recipe go to

Beautiful Faldela Tolker in front of her bright purple house.

Beautiful Faldela Tolker in front of her bright purple house.

These Koesisters were to die for!

These Koesisters were to die for!

Matt Preston’s no knead bread

July 1, 2014 in Baked Goods


Who bakes bread these days? Not me. I buy the best bread on Saturdays at the market and I actually do not have the time for the kneading and proofing. The other day I was watching Masterchef and saw Matt Preston making his no-knead bread. This is definitely my kind of recipe. Simple ingredients, simple techniques (if any, that is) and when Matt Preston says it will work who am I to argue? He took flour, yeast, salt and warm water – mixed it all together, put the whole lot in the fridge overnight and baked it the next morning. ..and hey Presto!

I did the same and it turned out to be the first perfect bread I have ever baked. For people like me and for whom baking bread is a big challenge, I want to encourage you to try this recipe. It is simple, delicious and just impossible for it to flop.

Recipe on


breaking bread with the two greedy italians

June 24, 2014 in Zoo Talk

During the recently held Good Food and Wine Show I had the amazing privilege to meet and interview two of my all-time food heroes, Gennaro Contaldo and Antonio Carluccio (Two Greedy Italians). With a freshly baked Matt Preston bread, fresh farm butter, a bottle of South African red wine and soetkoekies I sauntered off to meet these two larger than life icons.


Two Greedy Italians - 500_edited-1

What do you think of Matt Preston’s bread?
G: Mhhh delizioso. I am mad about this. It is brilliant. Grazie! I just love the cloth that it is wrapped in – just like a good Italian mamma would serve it.
A: Ahhh, this breod is fantastic, but I do think it could have been baked for a little while longer. (Thank you chef)

Butter on bread?
G: I personally do not like butter on my bread but I am crazy about butter in my espresso. The next time you have an espresso add a tea spoon of butter to it. So good. You have to try it. (I shall, I shall!)
A: Ahhh, ok Gennaro stop it now, try a piece of bread with some of this fresh butter on it. Mmhhh, magnifico!

About South African soetkoekies
G: Mamma Mia, this is fantastico! I am tasting so much love. Antonio, dunk your biscuit in the wine! Don’t be shy.
A: It is absolutely lovely, mmhhh, I can taste the cinnamon, cloves and ginger and the wine brings out the spicy flavours. Mhhh! Wow bellissimo!

my two new zoobiscuit fans

my two new zoobiscuit fans

Would you drink wine with breakfast?
A: Oh yes, definitely. Did you know that Leonardo da Vinci enjoyed a glass of wine with his breakfast? In Venice, I saw an old menu that belonged to him and there was wine being served with the breakfast.
G: Yes, my father is 96 and each morning he has a small glass of wine with his coffee. Genuine. He has coffee with milk and right alongside it is a small glass of red vino.

What will each of you cook if you wanted to seduce a lady?
A: Something exceptional, but not complicated because one needs time to seduce her (says Antonio with a broad and mischievous grin). Mhhh, I think I would prepare tortellini served with shavings of truffle. Then for dessert some lovely white strawberries, with a few drops of lemon juice and a sprinkling of fine sugar. (Oh, Antonio!)
G: Antonio, you must please serve a good Rosé with that. I shall make something decadent with lots of chocolate in.

bread and wine with my two food heroes

bread and wine with my two food heroes

For which famous people have you cooked?
A + G : Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Luciano Pavarotti, Robert De Niro, Princess Margaret en just recently Pippa Middleton.

Antonio, are you a chef or a cook?
A: A cook cooks with passion and a chef cooks because he must. I believe a chef has more fun in the kitchen with food. I see myself as a cook because I cook with passion when and how I want to, and I enjoy myself thoroughly.
Gennaro, who is your food hero?
G: Antonio of course! (Shows with a big hand gesture to his friend of thirty years). He taught me a lot and when you eat his food, you eat part of Antonio!


so chuffed

so chuffed

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