Recipe Index

I finally got round to compiling a recipe index. It’s a work in progress, but it will do for now. Enjoy…

Chicken

Meat

Pasta / Risotto

Breakfast

Lunch

Soup

Sides

Sauces

Baking

Key

  • (NC) = No Carb
  • (LC) = Low Carb
  • (V) = Vegetarian

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One Pot Pasta: Bacon, Tomato and Basil

I’ve always been a huge fan of one pot meals. For obvious reasons. Less effort to make, less effort to clean. I discovered this recipe on a particularly lazy day and adapted it to fit in with what I already had in my kitchen. Because the height of all laziness is cooking without having to go to the shop. I prefer to think of it as being resourceful though..

It ended up being so easy and delicious that this recipe, and the numerous variations that can be tossed in will certainly become a staple in my life.

One Pot Pasta: Bacon, Tomato and Basil

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

What you will need:

  • 1 Packet of Spaghetti (Or any long pasta)
  • 1 Punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Onion Sliced
  • 4 Cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons of Basil Pesto
  • 1 Teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
  • 4 cups of water
  • 250g of Bacon
  • Salt and Pepper

Now Martha’s recipe is vegetarian, but since I didn’t have any fresh basil leaves or Parmesan I thought it could use some bacon. Everything is better with bacon.

  1. Chop your bacon into bite sized pieces and fry it up. (I just cut mine with scissors over the hot pan) Once it’s nice and brown, set it aside.
  2. Throw everything into your pan all together. Add the water and crank up the heat.
  3. Stir it around until the pasta is nice and soft.
  4. Add the bacon bacon and the end.

Done, dinner is ready in 10 minutes.

I do think it could do with a bit of green next time. So I will either add the fresh basil as Martha suggested, or maybe even some baby spinach. Yum.

 

Sunday Roast Beef

I’ve made many a roast in my day but I have never before attempted a Roast Beef. Lamb and chicken are my go-to when it comes to roasts and I’ve even dabbled in pork from time to time. But I’ve always been quite intimidated by the thought of a roast beef so I thought I would give it a bash.

Being that this was my first time trying a Roast Beef there are a few things I would change next time round. Call this a learning experience, if you will.

I initially had planned on buying a Picanha and trying to roast it in the oven. It’s this beautiful cut of beef that my friends ana I will often have on the Braai. It has a delicious layer of fat on the top that I imagined would be like a cross between pork with crackling and roast beef. mmm. BUT, alas, there were none in the shop, so I settled on a regular hunk of roast beef.

The recipe is pretty easy and takes about 2 and half hours from start to finish, most of that time can be spent drinking beer on your couch (or hanging up laundry depending on the kind of Sunday you are into).

Sunday Roast Beef

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

What you will need:

  • 1 kg of roast beef
  • 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes (I used a tomato medley.)
  • 1 bag of Pickling onions (Baby Onions)
  • 1 bunch of leeks
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 8 Carrots
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Dried Thyme
  • Course Salt
  1. You want to take your beef out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before you are going to roast it. Remove it from the packaging and place it in your roasting tray allowing it to reach room temperature and to breathe. Pat it down with some kitchen towel to dry the beef. This will help it brown. (I forgot to do this). Sprinkle with some course salt..
  2. Preheat your oven to 240°C. Peel your potatoes, chop them into quarters and put them on the stove to boil until they are par boiled. (Until you poke them with a fork and they slide off.) Empty them out into a colander and shake them around to roughen up the edges a bit.
  3. While you were waiting for the potatoes to boil you can prepare your baby onions. Just chop the ends of and peel off the skin and keep them whole. It is a bit more of a chore to use baby onions than regular onions, but the flavour is so worth it. Place the baby onions and cherry tomatoes around your beef roast. Keep some onions aside for the carrot dish. Pop four cloves of garlic in there peeled and whole. Drizzle your roast beef with some olive oil. Stick the rosemary in the pan (anywhere) and pop it in the oven. Turn your oven down straight away to 200°C.
  4. Now for your roast potatoes, this is the best way to get them nice and crispy: Coat an oven pan with a thin layer of olive oil. Put it in the oven to heat up for about 5 minutes. Then pour your potatoes into the pan with the hot oil, be careful to pour them away from you so you don’t burn yourself. Put them in the oven. Do not touch them for at least 40 minutes. Then you can flip them over.potato
  5. While the potatoes and the beef are in the oven you can prep your leeks and carrots. I chose to do these as a side veg as it’s a nice light side dish, to compliment the heaviness of the beef. Cut the tops and bottoms off your leeks, rinse and slice down the middle length-ways.  Peel your carrots and slice down the middle as well. Place these in an oven dish with the remaining onions and sprinkle with a bit of dried thyme. No need to add any oil, the onions will create enough moisture.veg
  6. You should have about half an hour now to go relax with a beer or hang up your laundry or whatever. After your beef has been in the oven four 1 hour (Apparently it’s 30 minutes for every 500g) remove from the oven and set aside to rest. I covered mine in foil to keep it warm.beef2
  7. Once your beef is well rested your veg and potatoes should be ready. Slice the beef and enjoy.

The beef was a little too over done for my liking. Which is funny because I was scared of it being under cooked. But this was fun and not as scary as I had first thought. I’ll have to give it another go to see where I went wrong. I either cooked it too long or I wasn’t meant to cover it in foil while it was resting, or both. I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.plate

My Latest Obsession: Master of None

I have a number of series that I watch over and over again, that suit different moods and that I gravitate towards when I need a pick-me-up or because I’m too tired or lazy to go through the rigmoral of trying something new. The tried and tested shows that I know I can watch after a long hard day while eating my leftovers because I’m too lazy to cook and I can unwind with a glass of wine. I’ve recently added new inventory to this list.

I had been interested in trying out Master of None after it showed up on my Netflix feed because it stars Aziz Ansari who was incredible in Parks and Recreation. However, I was hesitant because I imagined it to be a show staring his character, Tom, and I thought that might be a bit exhausting to take on. Boy was I wrong.

I enjoyed this show so much that immediately after I finished the second season, i started it again right from the beginning.master-of-none-poster

 

Not only is it hilarious and current and diverse, but the methods of story telling are so different from what I’ve seen before. It mimics the way we actually interact with people, not in a sitcommy “always have the perfect come back” kind of way. And Aziz has proven to me that he can be an incredible dramatic actor as well as being stellar at comedy.

Two of my favourite episodes are the ones that follow a different kind of narrative to the norm. The first is the Thanksgiving episode where it shows the evolution of his friend, Denise’s, coming out story. The other is where it follows the lives of everyday people as they interact with eachother, cementing the concept of sonder.

Of course then there are the few episodes in season two where he lives abroad in Italy. The visuals, the food, the language. It’s all beautiful.

I highly recommend this show to EVERYONE. It’s certainly up there in my top 5 favourites of all time.

 

My Latest Obsession: The Financial Diet

Usually when I get home from work I spend a bit of time sitting outside trying to unwind. Most times with a glass of wine and now that it’s winter, sometimes a cup of tea. I try to spend as much of that time “screenless” because I spend most of my day on my computer and I try not to jump from one screen to the next (the TV). But more often than not I end up opening YouTube on my phone and watching some of the latest videos from the various channels I subscribe to.

A lot of the channels I subscribe to are comedy channels but a few of them are also channels about subjects that I find interesting like film techniques or the latest developments in technology.Capture

A channel that I recently stumbled upon, The Financial Diet, is one that I don’t watch a lot of because listening to people talk about financial advise is not always the best way to unwind after a hard day of work. But the girls on this channel are always positive and they have great advise from their real world experience.

The video I watched most recently really spoke to me because it was about something that I had been feeling unconsciously and didn’t realise it was a universal feeling. Ah the wonderful thing about the internet.

So the subject of their video is something called the Impostor Syndrome, which is quite common for people to experience when they’ve just started a new job or recently been promoted into a new position.

As someone who has changed jobs and career paths many times I know all too well the uneasy feeling of starting a new job. Everything is new, it takes time to adjust to new surroundings and a new environment and I’ve gathered that it takes about 3 months until I start to feel “settled”. So when I start to feel overwhelmed or frustrated for not being as on top of things as I should be, I try to remind myself that I”m still settling in and that everything will be ok.

These lovely ladies have included 5 Tips on how to handle impostor syndrome. And I for one, think they have given some great advise.

There are a number of people in my life who are also starting new jobs or progressing in their careers and I think they would benefit from this too.

Even if you aren’t currently embarking on a new adventure, I would recommend checking out their channel. There’s some really useful tips, some that I wish I had heard earlier in my 20’s.

 

Famous Mushroom Sauce

So here it is, the moment you have all been waiting for. I am about to divulge the recipe for my famous mushroom sauce. I may lose a few friends after this, simply because I’m pretty sure some people only keep me around in case I spontaneously whip up a serving of mushy sauce.. but.. that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.capture

I’ve always stood behind my philosophy of good food is made to be shared, and good recipes as well. It irks me when I enjoy something someone has made and when I ask for the recipe they tell me no. Why? Why won’t you share? Why would you give me a taste of something so heavenly and then force me to live my life without it?

Perhaps I’m being drammatic..

Nevertheless, this mushroom sauce is easy to make, but not so easy that I haven’t managed to stuff it up a number of times. I’ll give you a few tips so that you can learn from my mistakes. Although, even when it goes wrong, it’s still really great.

  1. Don’t crowd your mushrooms. Fry them in batches and let them brown nicely before adding more or they will have too much moisture and will taste soggy. (This is more of a tip from Julia Child, but it still stands).
  2. Don’t forget to add your sprinkling of flour before you add the cream. If you add it after your sauce will be gloopy instead of smooth.
  3. Don’t let the cream boil. Rather let it simmer while stirring consistently. It will thicken, just be patient.

Famous Mushroom Sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 x Punnet mixed/button mushrooms, sliced.
  • 250ml Fresh Cream
  • 1 Tbs Cake Flour
  • 2 Tbs Butter
  • 2 Tbs Soya Sauce
  1. Heat the butter in a frying pan or Saucepan.
  2. Fry your mushrooms until brown.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and mix well
  4. Add the cream
  5. Let it simmer while stirring until it thickens
  6. Add the Soya Sauce

 

You can also make it ahead of time and then reheat it.

Serve with steak, chicken schnitzel, burgers, steak rolls etc.

 

Grilled Cheese and Garlic Brown Mushrooms

These cheesy garlic mushrooms were first brought to my attention by my friend’s father at a family braai. He grilled them on a snackwhich machine and I fell in love with them instantly. This was 5 years ago and I’ve been meaning to recreate this taste sensation since then.

 

On boxing day last year I heated up some left overs and we had some brown mushrooms in the fridge. Finally, this was my chance. But my sister didn’t own a snackwhich machine so *shrug* I decided a frying pan would work just fine. and boy, did it work. 20170108_133557.jpg

I’ve since made them in a different style as well, which is grilled in the oven on an oven rack, and I substituted cheddar cheese for Feta. Damn, they were delicious.

I would recommend serving these heavenly mushrooms as finger snacks before a braai or as a side dish for dinner or breakfast. The only trick is to be generous when applying your butter and garlic.

Grilled Cheese and Garlic Brown Mushrooms

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 x Pack of Brown Mushrooms

150g Butter

2 tsp Crushed Garlic

Cheddar Cheese

  1. Slice the cheese into thin square slices about the same width as the mushrooms.
  2. In a bowl, mix the butter and garlic together. Room temperature butter is best.
  3. Apply about half a tsp of garlic butter to each mushroom
  4. Add some buuter to a frying pan and fry up the mushrooms
  5. As they start to brown, lay the cheese on top.
  6. Once the cheese is melted, remove from the pan and enjoy

Tip: You will always need more than you think you do

My Latest Obsession: Dodie Clark

I stumbled upon an amazing Singer/Song Writer today and I am currently OBSESSED. I found one of her songs nestled in a playlist on 8Tracks called Saphic Love Songs, or something of the sort. And Have spent the better part of today listening to Sick of Losing Soul Mates on repeat.

She plays a lot of her songs on Ukulele, which I’ve heard is one of the easiest instruments to learn. Hmm.. I should get one… but what is super awesome, is that she has another video where she explains the lyrics of Sick of Losing Soulmates, and includes a tutorial on how to play the song on guitar.Capture.PNG

So when I got home today, I dusted off my guitar, searched my house for my guitar tuner (No, I can’t tune a guitar by ear and yes I found my tuner in the most bizarre place) and I started learning how to play the song. I’m a little rusty, but I am finally inspired to start playing again. Which I’ve been saying I’m going to do for years. So yay!

It’s very rare to find people that have gone through similar experiences. And that is why I love YouTube. It has such an incredible collection of people who share their stories with you and every now and then you stumble across something great. Which is what happened today. I almost want to reach through the screen and hug this girl, because she has so eloquently put my feelings into a range of beautiful songs.

Ok, I’ve got to get back to practicing that song now, but let me know if you can recommend any more hidden gems in the comment section below.

Be Present

So I had a look through my New Years resolutions from last year (Benefit of posting them into the interwebs, they cannot be avoided) and it appears I got half of them half right. Which I’m gonna say is a win! Because nobody’s perfect.

SO last year I made 8 resolutions, partly because 8 is my lucky number, and also because I could only think of 8 things I need to improve…

BUT this year, I’m going to scale it down a bit, and just make ONE resolution. You heard me right, just one.

And that is, (drum roll please) to live in the moment. (I almost wrote to try to live in the moment, but there is no try).5f2b2f39c4954bee276366f9ce578337

I am a naturally a planner. I make lists, I think of possible outcomes, I try to avoid risk.

And it’s stressful and exhausting. I feel like I used to be more spontaneous and carefree but somewhere along the way I’ve become a planner, and it’s got to stop! I blame adulthood…

I mean, obviously there are many things in life that require forward thinking. But with most things you can just play it by ear (Or play it by beer) and you will be fine, if not better for it.

Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.

So, I am making a concerted effort to stop and smell the roses. Enjoy the meal I am eating, without planning what I am going to eat next. Take in the conversation and the experienced529f4cbd005ab6ac6c1b6e3d799882d. And know that if anything does go wrong, that I will be able to handle it, I will make a plan and I will be just fine.

Happy New Year everybody! Hears to a great year, I think it’s going to be the best one yet.

 

 

Party Punch

When I lived in a digs with 3 other girls we would often throw house parties that would start out relatively calm and end up in debauchery. The main culprit was the delicious and deadly punch. Sweet but not too sweet. Just enough that you can’t taste the alcohol. And boy, is there a LOT of alcohol in it.

So just be warned if you decide to try this recipe, your party will be awesome, but the punch is stronger than you think, so pace yourself if possible.

92e80456-efca-449d-8b19-de1bfca4d5d4We would usually mix it all together in my little cooler box. That way you can throw in a bag of ice to keep it cool and the lid keeps anything unwanted out of the punch (Dog furr, dust, grass, sand – depends on your environment) But I think the main reason we used my cooler box is that it is the biggest vessel we owned.

I would also recommend a ladle or even just a spare plastic cup to scoop the punch into your cups. Plastic cups are a must have, else there will be broken glass everywhere.

I can’t remember the exact recipe we used to make. My digs mate taught me this recipe and she used to use litchi juice concentrate (yum) which I haven’t been able to find, so I used fruit punch flavour and it was delicious. But I suppose you could use any flavour, as long as the concentrate is thick and syrupy.

 

Party Punch

  • Servings: 30
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 x 750 ml Bottle Vodka

1 x 750 ml Bottle Vin coco

1 x Bottle Fruit Punch Concentrate

3 x 2l Bottles of Lemonade

1 x packet of Ice

Mix them all together. Enjoy