Snap, Sizzle & Cook

Sharing my love of food

Archive for the month “September, 2013”

My Heritage Day (24 September)

For my non-South African followers, Heritage Day is a South African public holiday celebrated on 24 September. On this day, South Africans across the spectrum are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions, in the wider context of a nation that belongs to all its people (read more here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heritage_Day_(South_Africa)

My Heritage day started off very early.  My body clock does not know the difference between public holidays (sleeping late) and work days.

Like a large number of other South African (I’m sure), we planned to have a braai (barbeque) to celebrate our heritage (read more about braaing here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regional_variations_of_barbecue#South_Africa

Because of my early start, I thought I’d get my side dishes done so that I could relax for the rest of the day.  It worked out pretty well as I had everything sorted by about 10:30 (like I said I had an early start – 5:30 to be precise).   I am generally a very organized person and don’t like to be busy after guests have arrived.   I decided to make a potato salad, mielies (corn on the cob), pea fitters (my favourite) and chocolate mousse tarts.  I invited my lovely sister-in-law who’s company I always enjoy as well as her friend whom I am very fond of.  We had a lovely afternoon, chatting up a storm and having a good couple of laughs.  I am a social junkie and just love entertaining, so my Heritage Day was very enjoyable and very special with family and friends.
Heritage Day
Getting back to the food, my potato salad is made a very traditional South African way and that is with equal amounts of condensed milk to mayonnaise just to give it a lovely sweetness as opposed to the tartness of just the mayonnaise.  I make my potato salad with boiled potatoes diced (6 potatoes), add a diced onion, one grated egg, seasoning,  125ml mayonnaise and 125ml condensed milk.  One word……..yummy!  You can change the consistency if you wish it to be less sweet. I grated another egg on top for garnishing.
Heritage Day
To make these delicious pea fritters, follow the recipe below which I got from the October 2012 issue of Food and home magazine (http://www.foodandhome.co.za)
250g frozen peas
125ml milk
2 large eggs
30g cornflour
200g cake flour
2.5ml baking powder
100g feta crumbled
30ml fresh mint, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Oil for frying

Method:
Boil the peas in a saucepan for 2 minutes. Refresh under cold water and drain. Puree half the peas in a food processor until smooth and set aside. Combine the milk, eggs, cornflour, flour, baking powder and pureed peas in a bowl. Add the remaining peas, feta, mint and seasoning. Mix gently. Heat the oil in a large non stick frying pan over medium heat. Add tablespoons of the mixture to the pan, frying in batches until golden. About 3 minutes on each side. Drain the fritters on a paper towel. Serve with crumbed mozzarella cheese and lots of fresh lemon and mint.

Mielies done on the braai

Mielies done on the braai

Heritage Day
I cheated slightly with my dessert because I used Moirs box mousse for the filling of my tarts.  Click here for the tart casings recipe.  Follow the box instructions for the Moirs mousse.  Once done, place the mousse into a piping bag and pipe gently around the tart casings. Top with a cherry and voila! Delicious!
Heritage Day

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We Blog for Love Launch

Sandile Nene is an inspiration to all of us no matter how young or old or what industry of work we are in.  He is young, vibrant, trendy, driven and fascinating.  I just love his enthusiasm and caring spirit that he has for people.  Sandy (as he is affectionately known) is a blogger with a passion; to unite other bloggers, encouraging support for each other and creating a “bloggers network” via different forms of social media.

Sandy in the middle, me on the right and Cath Jenkins daughter Cameron

Sandy in the middle, me on the right and Cath Jenkins daughter Cameron

From his passion for blogging, his brain child, SA Bloggers (#WeBlogForLove) was born (http://www.weblogforlove.com).  The official launch party took place on Friday 27th September 2013 at The Xef, 124 Florida Road, Durban.  It was a well attended launch and local bloggers got to meet one another in person and exchange twitter handles.  A couple of fabulous people I met last night included:

Hazel from @beautyshoutbox (http://www.beautyshoutbox.co.za)
Cathy from @cathjenkin (http://www/cathjenkin.co.za)
Justin from @thexef (https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-XEF/386510374799032)
Philippa (http://www.coffeyandcake.blogspot.com)
Megan (http://www.stuffed-feeling.blogspot.com)
Lee-Anne (http://www.blog.hellopretty.co.za)
Mbali (http://misymb.blogspot.com)
@iluvDBN – (http://www.ilovedurban.co.za)

….and then ofcourse there were Nicola (whom I came with) from http://runoncoffee.blogspot.com/ and follow her on twitter @NicolaLMeyer as well as Faeema @fayinthemaze (http://www.thesparklinglabyrinth.wordpress.com).

Cocktails were served on arrival as well as light snacks which of course I tucked in to and enjoyed with my Ice Tea. Cath Jenkin from http://www.cathjenkin.co.za welcomed everyone and immediately announced a lucky draw of R1000.00 voucher from CAT Apparel which guess who won *wink wink*.  You guessed it, Ms Lucky herself, Nicola Meyer (www.runoncoffee.blogspot.com).  Later on in the evening another R1000.00 CAT Apparel voucher was up for grabs which Faeema (www.thesparklinglabyrinth.wordpress.com) won.  Two very lucky ladies indeed!  Once Cathy was done with her intro’s and giveaways, she handed over to Sandy who did a wonderful job of welcoming everyone and thanking them for supporting his initiative.
After the welcomes and thank you’s, we mingled with the other bloggers swapping information, tweeting and doing our social media thing.  Such fun!  We were fed the most amazing pizza’s which The Xef prepared and which kept us all happy.  It was like a conveyer belt of deliciousness.  They just kept on coming!  Thank you very much to The Xef and staff.  You have no doubt won me over and I’ll definitely be back for more.
We Blog for Love LaunchSandy took the mic again this time giving away a fabulous Rain Africa hamper (http://rainafrica.com/) which I was hoping “had my name on it” but alas, no such luck!  The lucky winner was @iluvDBN (www.ilovedurban.co.za).  Enjoy your hamper and know that I am green with jealousy!

Even though I have a pathetic case of laryngitis, I had a great evening. I didn’t stop talking for one minute despite my “deep, husky voice”.  I’m glad I made it!

A lovely goodie bag was given to each blogger which consisted of a soap from Rain Africa (http://www.rainafrica.com), a Dermalogica sample (http://www.dermalogica.co.za/) and one of my “must have” handbag accessories, a tin of Blink mints (https://www.facebook.com/blinkmintssa).

As I’ve said earlier, Sandy you are such an inspiration to many and such a dynamic young man, you’re definitely going places and you have my full support.  I look forward to our next event!

You can follow Sandy on twitter @sandyneneSA , his personal blog http://www.sandynene.com/ and follow http://www.weblogforlove.com

The National Cookie Swap Event – Durban 2013

The day finally arrived with Durban hosting her first (of many) National Cookie Swap events.  As a first for Durban, I must say that I was immensely impressed with the turnout.  A very enthusiastic group of about 24 (out of 30) eager Durbanites turned out at the fabulous Piatto Restaurant (http://www.food24.com/Restaurants-and-Bars/Restaurants/Piatto-Florida-20120207) in Florida Road to swap their beautiful, home-made cookies with eachother for a charity in Cape Town called Khayelitsha Cookies  (click here to read more about the National Cookie Swap concept).

As the saying goes, “A picture speaks a thousand words”, I will therefore leave the pictures to do the talking.

Our fabulous venue on the Florida Road strip in Durban

Our fabulous venue on the Florida Road strip in Durban

Taking pics while we wait for the other guests to arrive

Taking pics while we wait for the other guests to arrive

Faeema (http://thesparklinglabyrinth.wordpress.com/ & @fayinthemaze) with Verushka (http://spicegoddess.wordpress.com/ & @verushka143)

Faeema (http://thesparklinglabyrinth.wordpress.com/ & @fayinthemaze) with Verushka (http://spicegoddess.wordpress.com/ & @verushka143)

chit chat

chit chat

Cookieswap3 - Durban 2013

Michelle and Melanie

Michelle and Melanie

Cookieswap3 - Durban 2013

Me and Nicola (Nicola is a lifestyle blogger with her own blog called http://runoncoffee.blogspot.com/)

Me and Nicola (Nicola is a lifestyle blogger with her own blog called http://runoncoffee.blogspot.com/)

Faeema explaining the charity that Cookieswap 2013 will be supporting which is Khayelitsha Cookies (http://khayelitshacookies.co.za/k2/home.html)

Faeema explaining the charity that Cookieswap 2013 will be supporting which is Khayelitsha Cookies (http://khayelitshacookies.co.za/k2/home.html)

Cookieswap3 - Durban 2013
Cookieswap3 - Durban 2013

I loved these - Indian Spice Biscuits

I loved these – Indian Spice Biscuits

Crunchies

Crunchies

Some of the gorgeous cookies

Some of the gorgeous cookies

Nicola L Meyer made these gorgeous Custard Biscuits

Nicola L Meyer made these gorgeous Custard Biscuits

Cookieswap3 - Durban 2013

Rice Crispy treats

Rice Crispy treats

My "letterpress" cookies

My “letterpress” cookies

getting to know eachother (@NicolaLMeyer, @TheDbnite, @adhirk)

getting to know eachother (@NicolaLMeyer, @TheDbnite, @adhirk)

The Durban Cookieswap3 attendees

The Durban Cookieswap3 attendees

Beautiful Faeema (@fayinthemaze) doing the raffle draw

Beautiful Faeema (@fayinthemaze) doing the raffle draw

Liz from @lizlaughalot as well as @foodevotion

Liz from @lizlaughalot as well as @foodevotion

Just love the wine rack

Just love the wine rack

Nicola and Theresa with the goodies they received on auction - Follow Nicola on twitter @NicolaLMeyer and follow Theresa @theDBNite.  Liz from @lizlaughalot and @foodevotion in the background

Nicola and Theresa with the goodies they received on auction – Follow Nicola on twitter @NicolaLMeyer and follow Theresa @theDBNite. Liz from @lizlaughalot and @foodevotion in the background

Goodie Bag - Thanks to all the sponsors

Goodie Bag – Thanks to all the sponsors

Original Cocktails – Join the Cocktail Revolution

When I recently received a call asking if I would sample some Original Cocktails and blog about it, I was delighted and no doubt said yes.

The first time I was introduced to this refreshing range of combination drinks was at the Taste of Durban event in July this year.  I was totally blown away by the variety available as well as the convenient “bag in a box” packaging.

In my “taster” package I received two samples. Firstly the Singapore Sling which is a combination of lime, pineapple and orange juice. It is a delicious and fruity mixture and bound to stir up your taste buds.  The second sample, called Mojito is bursting with flavours of lime, mint and rum and bound to quench your “cocktail” thirst.  For more information on this amazing range of drinks, log on to this website and join the Cocktail Revolution!

Singapore Sling - Image courtesy of http://www.originalcocktails.co.za

Singapore Sling – Image courtesy of http://www.originalcocktails.co.za

I am giving away an Original Cocktails Party Pack to one lucky reader.  All you have to do to receive this amazing package is to like the Original Cocktails Facebook page, follow them on twitter  (if you are a “tweeter”) and fill in the comments block on this blog with your name, region and telephone number.  The lucky reader will be contacted by the end of September to come and collect their Party Pack and to join the Cocktail Revolution.  Good luck!

Butternut Risotto

I don’t often make risotto, but when I do, I am reminded once again of how good it is. Risotto is such a versatile ingredient because anything can be added to make it a delicious meal. Of my favourites are mushroom risotto, roasted vegetable risotto, chicken risotto and now my spicy butternut risotto.

You will need:
small butternut, cubed
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
1/2 onion, finely diced
1.5 cups of risotto
1 litre chicken stock
1 tbsp. butter
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp curry powder
4 cloves garlic
seasoning

Method:
Place the butternut and garlic cloves (whole) on a baking tray. Drizzle and toss with olive oil and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes or until butternut is soft and tender. Set aside.
Melt butter, add onions and red pepper. Saute for 5 minutes. Add cumin, coriander and curry powder and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add a cup of stock to deglaze the pot. Stir around for about 2 minutes for the flavours to infuse. Add butternut, remaining stock, seasoning and rice. Give a quick stir, turn heat down to very low, place lid on pot and allow to cook, covered for 40 minutes. The rice should be well cooked (soft between your fingers), but not stodgy.

Smoked Paprika and Lentil Soup


You will need:
30g butter
4 stalks of celery, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
3 potatoes, diced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
150g red lentils, washed
7.5ml smoked paprika
2.5ml ground pepper
Salt
125ml cream
2 litres home made chicken stock (click here for recipe)

Method:
Saute the celery, red pepper, potatoes and garlic in the butter for 10 minutes stirring continuously. Add a ladle of stock to the veggies is the pan starts to brown. Add the smoked paprika, pepper and salt and continue to sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining chicken stock and red lentils and simmer on low heat for 1 hour. Taste and add more salt if necessary. At this point I turn the stove off, add the cream, stir and replace the pot lid. Leave the soup for about half an hour to rest before liquidizing. Serve with fresh crispy rolls or bread.

Apple, Ginger and Caramel Tart

I recently attended the Good Housekeeping/Love to Bake Workshop (click here for blog post) where Tina Bester (Queen of Tarts) demonstrated to a very enthusiastic group of ladies how to bake lovely tea time treats.  One of the tarts which she demonstrated was the Apple, Ginger and Caramel Tart and I must say that even though all the pastries and cupcakes were delicious, this one took top prize for me.

For Tina’s recipe, you will need the following:

Crust:
300g Moir’s Ginger biscuits, crushed
120g butter, melted
6-8 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and cored
125ml water
55g castor sugar
40g Moir’s Ginger preserve, thinly sliced
Caramel:
130g brown treacle sugar
180ml golden syrup
60g butter, melted
4 eggs
80ml pouring cream

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Combine the crushed ginger biscuits and melted butter in a bowl and mix well.  Pour into a loose-bottomed tart tin and gently press the mixture into it.  Bake it blind for 8 minutes.

In the meantime, peel the apples, core and quarter them.  Place them in a pot with the water and castor sugar and cook the apples for 8 minutes.  Drain them and place them cut side down on the ginger biscuit base.  Dot thin slices of ginger preserve between the apples.

Combine all the ingredients for the caramel in a bowl and whisk well.  Pour the caramel over the apples, filling the tart shell to the top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, checking the tart half way through the cooking time.  You might need to cover the edges with foil towards the end of the cooking time so that the crust does not overcook.  The tart should have a slight jiggle in the centre.  Serve with a light dusting of icing sugar and dollops of thick cream.

Traditional Bobotie

I grew up in the Cape so Bobotie is part of my staple diet.  This sweet spicy dish is infamous to the Cape Malay community but the origins of this tasty meal dates back to Dutch recipes as early as the 1600’s.  The dish is prepared with minced meat and topped with egg custard and then baked until set.  When I make this dish I normally make double because in my view, there is nothing more tasty than left over’s from the day before stews, curries and of course Bobotie.

For this recipe, you will need the following:
1 Packet of beef mince (500g)
30ml butter
1 onion chopped
15ml mild curry powder
5ml turmeric
15ml cumin
Salt
1 stick of cinnamon
¼ cup seedless raisins
45ml chutney
30ml sugar
2 slices of crustless white bread
125ml milk
3 bayleaves
For the egg custard:
2 eggs
150ml milk

Method:
Soak the break in 125ml milk until completely saturated.  Squeeze as much milk out of bread and mash with a fork.  Set aside.
Saute onions in butter till transparent.  Add curry powder, turmeric and cumin and fry off for 2 minutes.  Add mince and stir with a fork to remove clumps.  Add seasoning.  Remember to taste as you go along.  Add more seasoning and spices if you like.  Add chutney, sugar, cinnamon stick, raisins and bread and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Taste again and adjust flavours as you prefer.  Transfer meat into an oven proof dish.

For the custard:
Mix the milk with the eggs.
Pour over the mince mixture and place the bay leaves on top.  Bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes or until the egg has set.  Grill for 2 minutes to brown.

Love to Bake Workshop

On Wednesday 4th September I was super lucky and I guess privileged to occupy the very last available seat at the Good Housekeeping/Love to Bake Workshop.  This well attended and “delicious” workshop was held at The Benjamin which is a beautiful little boutique hotel situation on a very trendy and vibey strip of Florida Road in Durban.

The guests were treated to a variety of fruit juices, tea or coffee on arrival.  We were spoilt with the most delicious hors d’oeuvres which were served by a group of lovely ladies walking around with platters making sure we didn’t go hungry.

The purpose of the workshop was to celebrate the Year of the Tart (2013) with Moir’s and their range of delicious baking products as well as demonstrations by our very own Queen of Tarts, Tina Bester.  Tina also endorses the colourful range of Love to Bake cookware from Clicks which was used throughout her demonstrations.

Carmen Clegg (Senior Advertising) from Good Housekeeping Magazine as well as Snowy Kruger from Moir’s were our very gracious hosts who got the “taste buds going” by explaining the concept behind “Celebrating Tarts” and The Year of the Tart”.

Tina Bester got demonstrating on 2 beautiful tarts as well as THE most yummylicious (if that’s even a word) red velvet cupcakes.  The tarts that our very talented Tina made were Chocolate and Pear tart, Apple, ginger and caramel tart and then last but not least Red velvet cream cheese cupcakes.   Click here to get the recipes.

We all had a fabulous afternoon and were thoroughly spoilt with delicious food and goodie bags. At the end of the afternoon, Carmen Clegg did a lucky draw giving away some seriously fabulous gifts and I was extremely lucky to get a Moir’s gift bag full to the brim of lovely baking ingredients.  An afternoon that I look forward to repeating again next year!

See picture gallery below.

Moir's - Once upon a Tea time entrance

Moir’s – Once upon a Tea time entrance

Seating arrangement with goodie bags

Seating arrangement with goodie bags

The demonstration workstation

The demonstration workstation

Lovely little garden setting

Lovely little garden setting

friendly waitress

friendly waitress

Tina has written 5 cookbooks and these were for sale at the workshop

Tina has written 5 cookbooks and these were for sale at the workshop

Queen of Tarts banner

Queen of Tarts banner

The Love to Bake range available exclusively at Clicks stores

The Love to Bake range available exclusively at Clicks stores

Lucky me to have a pic with the Queen of Tarts herself

Lucky me to have a pic with the Queen of Tarts herself

Meeting up with lifestyle bloggers and friends, Nicola Meyer from the blog http://www.runoncoffee.blogspot.com and Faeema from the blog http://thesparklinglabyrinth.wordpress.com

Meeting up with lifestyle bloggers and friends, Nicola Meyer from the blog http://www.runoncoffee.blogspot.com and Faeema from the blog http://thesparklinglabyrinth.wordpress.com

I also met Shirley from  http://cuizine.co.za/ who is also a food blogger

I also met Shirley from http://cuizine.co.za/ who is also a food blogger

Carmen Clegg from Good Housekeeping Magazine welcoming us all to the workshop

Carmen Clegg from Good Housekeeping Magazine welcoming us all to the workshop

Snowy Meyer from Moir's  explaining the celebration of The Year of the Tart

Snowy Kruger from Moir’s explaining the celebration of The Year of the Tart

Tina in action

Tina in action

Apple, ginger and caramel tart

Apple, ginger and caramel tart

Chocolate and Pear tart

Chocolate and Pear tart

Red Velvet cupcakes

Red Velvet cupcakes

The entrance to The Benjamin Hotel

The entrance to The Benjamin Hotel

beautiful little hotel

beautiful little hotel

Contents of the goodie bag

Contents of the goodie bag

The Moir's hamper that I won (yay me!)

The Moir’s hamper that I won (yay me!)

National Cookie Swap


This year, Durban will be hosting her first of many National Cookie Swap events. A cookie swap is an event where a group of people (not exclusive to bloggers, cooks and foodies) get together to do exactly that: swap cookies. It is a fun event where people from Twitter and other social media platforms have an opportunity to meet, have a drink, mingle and go home with as many cookies as they came with.

Everyone brings 60 cookies or treats (can be choc clusters too, the idea is not complication but participation). You bake 2 trays of small cookies or 4 trays of normal sized cookies- et voila, 60 cookies. Cookies are swapped, sampled and taken home to enjoy with family. So you basically leave with 60 cookies, non of which are your own.

Cookie Swop is a charitable cause inspired by the annual New York Cookie Swop.  This year Cookie Swop will be supporting Khayelitsha Cookies which is an organization that empowers, educates and assists women in the community with employment within the business. All funds raised from ticket sales, the auction of sponsored prizes will go to KCC. This is what they say:

“We are in desperate need of funding as we don’t receive any funding from the government, and we need to relocate our factory to 1 large premise, as we currently have 3 separate premises in a business park.  What is also very important is that we purchase our staff new factory shoes, and chairs to sit on while producing.  So if I may ask that our aim is for our staff, to better their working conditions by enabling us to utilize the funds to purchase much needed factory shoes (at R250 per pair = R12 500) in total.  So whatever contribution we can get towards the shoes, every cent helps.  What is most important is creating awareness and educating people about who we are and what we are, so this is the most assistance you can give us, as this will enable us to grow our brand, and get people to go purchase the cookies in retail stores national soon”

This year the cookie swap will be held at 12 noon on 14 September at the following venues:

Cape Town:  Dear Me http://www.dearme.co.za/

Durban:   Mookie Noodles:  http://mookinoodles.co.za

JHB, Moema’s:  http://www.moemas.co.za/

Number of Participants: 30-40 per venue

The FB page is here: https://www.facebook.com/RSACookieSwap

and the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/507929649290403/

For more information on this phenomenal event, please log on to the Cookie Swap Facebook page and like, like, like

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