lettuce wedges with blue cheese dressing

December 9, 2014 in Salads, Vegetables, Vegetarian

This time of the year for me is all about fresh, fast and simple food. But also food that still make your taste buds go … Pow-Wow! This absolutely scrumptious salad was mentioned to me by Kokkedoor Winner, Johnny Hamman and I decided to make my own blue cheese dressing. Well needless to say my husband orders it at least once a week from my kitchen. It is summery and just simply splendid! Give it a bash…it is wow!
by lifeisazoobiscuit.com


you can replace the sour cream with yogurt like i did here

you can replace the sour cream with yogurt like i did here

Lettuce wedges with blue cheese dressing

1 large iceberg lettuce , cut into six wedges
125 ml sour cream
3 T mayonnaise
2 t dijon mustard
1 T white wine vinegar
50 g good blue or gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
micro herbs

Combine all the dressing ingredients then scoop generously over the lettuce slices and garnish with micro herbs.

christmas baking frenzy

December 4, 2014 in Baked Goods

Let me be totally honest, I am not the best of a bakers however when December finally comes around I invariably find myself caught up in a pre-Christmas baking frenzy. There are baking tins everywhere with me measuring, beating, whisking and tasting. I do not think I am alone in this festive baking bedlam. Whether your preference is for ‘soetkoekies’, ginger biscuits, “ystervarkies” (lamingtons), Hertzoggies or just your regular oats biscuit – for better or for worse we are all participants in the annual, global cookie bake bonanza.

Dine's "Pon's ystervarkies

Dine’s “Pon’s ystervarkies”

I chatted to Dine van Zyl, SA’s very own “boerekos” queen. Her favourite cookies at this time of year are “ystervarkies”. But these are not your traditional chocolate and coconut “ystervarkies” (lamingtons)but a delicious mix of dates and nuts rolled in cornflakes. Once prepped and baked, these enticing nibbles look like small porcupines (ystervarkies) that have just rolled in dried leaves and crept out from under a tree. To cute and such a treat…

It was her father’s favourite, and hence the name, “Pon ‘s ystervarkies”. These are utterly delicious and adorable! Thank you Dine.

“Pon’s Ystervarkies”
250g soft butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg
2 cup flour
1 t baking powder
1½ cup walnuts , chopped
½ cup dates, chopped
2 ½ cups cornflakes

Beat the butter and sugar and mix in the egg. Sift the flour and baking powder and fold it into the butter mixture. Add the nuts and dates and mix well. Take teaspoons full of the dough, roll these in corn flakes and place the cookies carefully on a baking tray – be cautious not to crush or break the cornflakes. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 180ºC .

For the soetkoekies recipe click here.


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 lifeisazoobiscuit.com


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 lifeisazoobiscuit.com

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 lifeisazoobiscuit.com

#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 lifeisazoobiscuit.com

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 lifeisazoobiscuit.com


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 www.learntoearn.org.za 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 | ishay@gylc.co.za

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 lifeisazoobiscuit.com

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!