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Cute as can be Mini Cherry Pound Cakes…..

July 3, 2013 in baked goods

Mini cherry pound cakes 71 770x1024 Cherry and Almond Mini Pound CakesCherry Pound Cake is nothing new here on My Easy Cooking, but previously I made one big loaf cake and had to share with neighbors and friends because we could not finish it. This time, I wanted to bake smaller cakes and add a bit of ground almonds for added deliciousness! The classic Cherry Clafoutis is perfect during the cherry picking season, but a glazed cherry is a totally different thing to deal with. Glazed cherries are mostly used in fruit cakes, cookies, fruit bars and even covered in chocolate, they are just perfect!

I added some ground almonds to the pound cakes and also topped the cakes with flakes almonds. I loved the coarser texture and the nutty taste with the sweet, sweet cherries.

 - Replace the vanilla with the zest of a lemon for a refreshing difference.

 - Replace the flakes almonds with a lemon and icing-sugar glaze.

Mini Cherry and Almond Pound Cakes

Mini cherry pound cakes 6 639x1024 Cherry and Almond Mini Pound Cakes

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Coq au what????

June 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

Under Cover Coq au Vin....

Coq au What??????? My hubby’s reaction when I told him what was for supper!

Coq Au Vin  in essence is an ordinary French chicken stew, but if you choose your ingredients wisely, there is nothing ordinary about this dish. In fact, it is hard to imagine that a few mushrooms, some countryside bacon or lardons, a delicious red wine and  a couple of handfuls of herbs, can become such a flavorsome stew.
The “coq” in Coq Au Vin refers to an old rooster or bird that is traditionally used, because the bones of an older bird, yields such fragrant stock. I am not going to lie to you, honestly, I do not have the time to hunt for “older birds”, but I do use Elgin free-range chicken and have never been disappointed, so for me it was the obvious choice. So although in the eye of a coq au vin purist, I may have compromised by not using an older bird, there are other steps in the recipe that I think are as important and you should not skip or alter them. I know that I swore to never make another after the glorious Meraai se Paai which featured here not so long ago, but this is not a pie…..rather an

Under Cover Coq a vin

Rich, flavorsome and delicious with or without a blanket

More delicious Chicken Recipes…

Vegetarian Spaghetti Carbonara for Meatless Monday

May 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

Simple, yet quality ingredients!

The idea of a vegetarian Spagetthi Carbonara will surely send  shivers down  the spines of those who love this classic Italian dish. I know of one person in particular who will most probably put a ban on this post and that is Fritz from Real Men can Cook. After all he made a perfect Spaghetti Carbonara at the Cheese Festival this year….why would I want to mess with such a divine dish?
Simple reason actually, after tasting Fritz’ version made with Guangiale, which is an unsmoked bacon made from the pig’s cheeks, ordinary bacon was simply not going to cut it for me… Furthermore, after watching the ever-so-sexy Giorgio Locatelli  in action at this year’s Good Food and Wine Show I realized again that any dish made with top quality ingredients (even if only two or three) is better than adding  ingredients just for the sake of adding it…. So  because I did not have Guangiale, I decided to go virgin……meatless……… vegetarian! Can a pasta dish with just three ingredients taste good? Oh yes, I bet you it can, give it a go!!!

Vegetarian Spaghetti Carbonara

Simplicity = Perfection

More Vegetarian Dishes

Thai Chickpea Curry

 Curry Beans

 Mexican Bean Crumble

Scrumptious Moroccan Chicken Pie

April 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

Moroccan Chicken Pie

This Moroccan Chicken Pie was so delicious and if this is the kind of quality tried and tested recipes I can expect to find in Jane-Anne”s new cookbook, I certainly cannot wait for its arrival on our shelves mid 2012. I have yet to meet another cook, who is more meticulous with measurements and writing down a recipe…..
I met Jane-Anne at the first Foodbloggers Indaba where she was a co-speaker and I remember her talk as if it was yesterday and then already she emphasized the importance of testing and testing a recipe to make sure it is correct. After all, people trust your recipe when they go out and buy the ingredients, so we as  bloggers, authors and recipe developers have a responsibility not to break that trust.
Enough preaching…..Jane made this delightfully different chicken pie when she came to cook in my kitchen with two other bloggers, The Foodfox and Food and the Fabulous.
I was fascinated by the way she cooked the chicken, but all the trouble and effort was so worth it, the pie was so scrumptious with hints of the Middle East with the last sprinkling of cinnamon on the top. So next time you want to try something special for dinner, give this Moroccan Chicken Pie a go!

More of Jane-Anne’s Scrumptious recipes 

Mini Meatloaves

 

 Rum and Raisin Chocolate Truffles

Fruity Chicken Bake

April 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

Sticky, lip-smacking chicken

Lip smacking, rib sticking, finger-licking fruity chicken bake. Sorry folks, got a bit carried away, but be prepared to write this recipe down quite a few times. You can of course just send them to My Easy Cooking and save yourself the trouble. Unless of course you want me to be your closet chef…I don’t mind at all, just make the fruity chicken, you’ll be so glad you did.
This has been such a fantastic week. So many amazing things have happened for which I am so grateful. I have learned that persistence and dedication pays off and that every dark cloud does indeed have a silver lining. I will reveal all these wonderful new things to you in days to come, but for now all I can say is….”stick around!”
Talking about “Stick(y)” around….this Fruity Chicken Bake is just that….. sweet and sticky and utterly delicious!

Fruity Chicken Bake

Another helping?

More Chicken Bake recipes

Creamy Dreamy Mushrooms Sauce

April 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

Crumbed Hake with Mushroom sauce

This is the mushroom sauce you have always been dreaming of. Ser-i-aasssss, (Serious) people, you have to trust me on this one. My “critics” voted this the best sauce I have ever made and after literally sitting with the pot and a spoon, I have to believe them.The sauce is so versatile, not only can you enjoy it on fish, baked potatoes, chicken or steak, but…..
with very little effort it can easily be converted into a soup or even a delightful souffle. Before I get to the recipe, I want to just share some news…
Tonight I will be doing a charity cook-off with celebrity chef Sonia Cabano at the Chere Botha Special School Fundraising event at the Nelsons Creek Wine Estate.
Schools with special needs are very dear to my heart and I don’t know how many of you know this, but in my former life, I have taught children with special needs for about 15 years. Sadly, these schools often stand in the back of the line when it comes to government funding etc. so I am happy to do my little bit tonight to help them raise much needed funds.
I do hope the theory “never trust a skinny chef” works, otherwise I do not stand a chance against the most talented and accomplished chef, Sonia Cabano!
This mushroom sauce is the one I will be making tonight and I hope ( hold thumbs) the guests will also like it as much as my family did.

Creamy Dreamy Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients
30 ml olive oil
50 g butter
2 cloves of garlic – crushed
1 onion – chopped or grated
500 – 600 g mushrooms – use different varieties and sizes
50 ml brandy
250 ml cream or Simonsberg Cream Cheese
a little milk of needed
salt and pepper
1 lemon
chopped herbs (optional)
freshly grated nutmeg

Method
Wipe your mushrooms clean with a damp cloth and cut them into even sized pieces. the small mushrooms can be left whole. If using shiitake, just remove the woody stems and use just the caps. Heat the oil and butter in a big skillet or pan and saute onions and garlic until soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms. Saute until the mushrooms have browned and slightly caramelized. Add the brandy and flambe the mushrooms until all the liquid has evaporated. Now add the cream or cream cheese and allow to gently cook/melt to make the most divine sauce. Season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Lastly, but most importantly, add  some freshly grated nutmeg and chopped herbs of your choice.

Mushroom sauce on baked potatoes

For more Mushroomy goodness, please visit

My Easy Cooking

Food and the Fabulous Chicken Tagine on RSG

April 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

This Chicken Tagine by Ishay from Food and the Fabulous is a welcome belly warmer after all the Easter Buns, Chocolate treats and other sweet temptations like my first batch of Easter Macarons with White Chocolate and Passion fruit Ganache. I don’t know about you, but I can only eat so many sweet things and then my body goes in food-alert mode. This Chicken Tagine  definitely stilled my cravings for proper food….

Preserved Lemons

When Ishay came to my kitchen a few weeks ago, the first thing I spotted when she unpacked her bag, was the beautiful jar of preserved lemons, which she assured me, is dead-easy to make. However, when I looked at Ishay’s recipe, I gasped at the list of ingredients and asked if we could simplify and shorten the list of spices. The answer was short and sweet: “NO!” I am so glad I lost that argument, because the aroma in my kitchen  was something too intoxicating to describe and the taste….simply sublime. If you read the recipe, it may seem too long, but it really is quite simple, brown onions in a pan, brown chicken, add together with everything else and pop in the oven, easy as pie!

Fragrant Chicken Tagine

For the recipe and method how to cook this fragrant Chicken Tagine, visit

My Easy Cooking

Tune into RSG tomorrow morning just after 9 (100-104FM) to join Ishay and I as we prepare this dish together. Or listen online here!

Easy Easter Breakfast Buns or Roll on RSG

March 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

Easy Easter Buns

If you see the recipe for this my Easy Easter Breakfast Buns you will kick yourself and say: “Now, why did I not think of that?” Maybe you have and if so, drop me a line, I am eager to try new things. With Easter around the corner, long weekends ahead and all my children at home, I love spoiling them for breakfast. There is something to be said for coffee brewing and something sweet baking in the oven. what a way to wake up?
I have to admit that my children are not too keen on eating dried fruit. They love the fruit rolls and fruit sticks , but dried peaches, pears and raisins are not on their Top 10 list, but if  I sneak raisins into their muesli, muffins and favorite sticky buns, they cannot resist. In my house dried fruit find its way into chutneys, relishes, stews and even the odd chicken pie, but for those delicious recipes you will have to wait.

With Easter weekend in mind, I decided to share this easy recipe with you, two recipes actually, but the same ingredients… the secret here is the shortcut of buying your dough rather than making it from scratch. So the ingredients are exactly the same for both recipes, just treated in a different way, but you will get the just of it as we go along.

Bring the coffee......

Easy Easter Breakfast Buns/Roll

makes 16 small buns or 1 round roll enough for 6-8 people

Ingredients

1 kg ready made bread dough – buy from your local bakery
250 ml brown sugar
125ml butter
5 ml fine cinnamon
250 ml chopped pecan nuts
1 cup Sultanas
1 egg

For the photo tutorial on how to make these buns/roll,

visit My Easy Cooking

Eat In DStv Food Network Produce Awards – A memorable day!

March 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Eat In DStv Food Network Produce Awards Ceremony was held at the Slowfood market at Oude Libertas in Stellenbosch on Saturday 24 March 2012 and it marked a definite highlight of my career. What an amazing event it was too. Anelde Greeff and the planning committee of this event , must have been beside themselves with excitement when they woke up to such a glorious day in Stellenboch.I have to say, it has to be one of South Africa’s most beautiful venues for a market.
After a few photos and an early morning nibble here and there , we set off to the amphitheater for the award ceremony.  Our own Food Network Star entertained us with her quirks and funny chirps, but soon the real stars, the small producers lined up to receive their much deserved awards. As Jenny mentioned, Eat In, should be commended for putting all the artisans on the map, it truly was remarkable to see the passion and dedication amongst them.

When Anelde started talking about the blog of the year, I had no idea who she was talking about. My money was on Colly or Sam, two phenomenal bloggers who are great sources of inspiration to me. When she said “Nina Timm from My Easy Cooking”, I was overwhelmed.( to the point of nearly wetting myself). I only have a heart filled with sincere gratitude for the support I get from my family, my readers and also the listeners to my program every week. Thank you!

For more photos of this wonderful event and the results, visit My Easy Cooking

 

Chef Caro cooks jam on RSG !

February 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

Caro_laughing

The first time I met Chef Caro from Food24 was at some or other launch and I remember thinking: “What a life, to do just food every day?” I thought that all the staff at Food24 spent their days in this beautifully styled and fully equipped kitchen just thinking up new recipes each and every day (ok, Caro this is the part where you laugh really, really hysterically).

Caro's tomato-chilli-jam

Luckily for them and for me, I learned that working at Food24 requires much more than cooking skills…..
I think as bloggers we tend to put a  lot of effort in what we do, be it writing or styling or photography. We love the “emotional strokes” we get form our faithful followers. Positive feedback on Twitter, Facebook and comments on our blogs, keep us going. Well, a lot of what I  do, is part of my day job, but yes I do love the support from all the followers and readers, it makes the long hours in the kitchen and in front  of the computer worth while. The ladies and gentlemen at Food24, Chef Caro included, does a lot of hard work, most of it is behind the scenes and sometimes all they get is criticism and flack and the positive feedback that we get, eludes them.
I decided to invite Chef Caro de Waal to cook with me on RSG, because well, she can cook!

Read the whole story here!

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