FRESH FROM THE BLOG
From the Kitchen
Preparing food in my home has been my foremost passion. I thrive on reading and researching what is fresh, locally produced and delicious, designing a menu, preparing it and serving it in the most beautiful and appetizing way possible. The joy that I have in sharing beautiful and delicious food with our friends and family cannot always be expressed in words….. but, I will try to do so!
I will include what is new and on trend in both ingredients and equipment, and of course who is influencing and tantalizing my palate via books, blogs or restaurants. There is so much to share and write about.
Dining In & Out
Enjoying food prepared by others is part of our pleasurable indulgences! We are privileged to be surrounded by some of the best restaurants in South Africa, but we don’t only dine out at so-called fine dining establishments. I am always seeking the best we can find, be it a burger, fish and chips or a hearty curry. I am not an enthusiastic baker, but a cozy coffee shop with unusual pastries and delicious cakes attracts my attention.
This is not a forum for reviewing occasions or restaurants, but it is one for sharing new experiences, flavours, textures and environments that inspire.
Travel & Adventure
The joy of retirement is that we are able to often slip away to local places of interest for a few days. At least once a year we try to get away to an interesting international location. Gourmet tourism fascinates us. Our trips are carefully planned to explore the food and wine of the area. We also enjoy the environment and cultural experiences, and of course these factors often impact on the local cuisine.
I usually bring my travel taste experiences back home and they often impact on my cooking style.
Wine & Accessories
My husband Mark, and I share an interest in wine. We both have independently completed various Certificates and Diplomas in Wine and only recently reduced our wine book library to about 1600 books!
We belong to a number of wine tasting groups, where we have the opportunity to formally taste and explore many wines and styles. We regularly spend a few informal hours tasting what is new in the magnificent Cape Winelands. In addition to this, we always taste and study the wines wherever we travel. We even found a rather delicious Chenin Blanc in Thailand!
Here I will share some of these vineous adventures with you.
From the Garden
My inspiration in the kitchen often comes from the garden. I am motivated to start cooking when I harvest a bowl of freshly picked tomatoes or a handful of crisp spinach, herb or kale leaves, but more about that as the seasons progress.
The flower garden also impacts on our meals as I always stroll around the garden to see what is available before I plan my table setting. Other than on the roses, I do not use insecticides, so edible flowers are used.
I love visiting gardens on my travels. The formal gardens of Europe and the exotic Asian gardens fascinate me.
LATEST FROM THE BLOG
Rasam….. the healthiest Indian soup you’ll ever eat!
When I spent a few days on a ‘spice island’ in Kerala one of the highlights was enjoying a massage every day. For the rest of the time I sipped G&T’s in hammocks strung between [...]
Fig Leaf Ice Cream
I have been intrigued with fig leaf ice cream for some time and just waited for fresh figs to be available (to serve with the ice cream) before I made a batch! In the meantime [...]
Salmon or Trout with a Korean Glaze
Salmon or trout coated with a gingery miso glaze and grilled or baked is one of my favourites, but I took this one step further by changing my glaze to be gochujang based. Why gochujang? [...]
Quinoa Salad with a ‘Green dressing’ and Avo
In the summer I try to replace heavier carb based salads with lighter grain salads. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is currently my favourite grain. It has been around in South America for centuries where it was [...]
Salad savvy and 4 easy salads Salads can be appetizing and exciting or boringly old fashioned! When planning your salad menu consider variation in colour, texture, nutritional balance and flavour. Also consider how the salad [...]
Gammon with a Korean twist and cooked in 30 minutes!
Instead of the usual recipe I decided to use a Barbeque Korean Beef Rib recipe and I cooked it in the pressure cooker. What a success! The Korean flavours worked so well with the smoked [...]
Chilli Con Carne, Chilli Beef
My friends and family will exclaim: “What? She never eats mince!” Yes, that just about correct! After years at boarding school where anything made from mince smelt and tasted of rancid fat and bone-meal, I [...]
Rasam – South Indian ‘health’ Soup
You need 60g black tamarind (the tamarind fruit in a block, with seeds, not the bottled paste), cut into chunks About 6cm chunk of fresh ginger, cut into thin slices 15g fresh turmeric or 15ml powdered turmeric 1 large green chilli, roughly chopped 5ml salt 1,5 litres water 15ml sunflower oil About 1 cup of [...]
Fig Leaf Ice Cream
For 1 litre (about small 10 scoops) you need: 6-8 medium fresh fig leaves, preferably young leaves, washed and dried 500ml cream 350ml milk 100-125ml sugar pinch salt 3ml vanilla extract (optional) 5 large egg yolks 25ml honey, (warmed, if it's not pourable) To prepare Place the washed fig leaves on a wire rack in [...]