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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Melanzane alla parmigiana

This week I realised I have not really posted much on my blog about our holiday to the US last October. We returned home to the Christmas rush and now it’s already autumn! When we [...]

Chicken Tikka, not quite Caesar, salad!

It's fascinating origins It is thought that chicken tikka masala was invented by an immigrant Pakistani or Bangladeshi chef in England in the late 1960’s. By the 1980’s it was so popular it was the [...]

Spanish Paella, a delicious one pot meal

Paella (pronounced pa-ee-ya) One of the joys of travelling is eating traditional dishes. Once I have experienced a dish in its original environment it is often difficult to replicate the flavours and textures. In Spain [...]

Pineapple fluff – a retro dessert

Do you day dream about nostalgic foods from your past? I do! During the past 2 weeks I have had a stream of house guests, including two sets of cousins visiting from the UK. As [...]

Grilled grapes for your cheese platter

You simply have to try Grilled Grapes at least once! It was a cool evening and needed to add something interesting to the cheese board. I had read about baked grapes, but not wanting to [...]

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Melanzane alla parmigiana

For 6-8 serving you need 2 medium white onions, coarsely chopped 2-3 plump cloves of garlic 20ml canola oil 2 cans chopped tomatoes 5ml oregano Salt and ground black pepper to taste 2-3 medium-sized aubergines 30ml cake flour 3ml ground black pepper 3ml dried oregano 3ml salt 1egg, lightly whisked Approximately 1cm canola or any [...]


Carrot, banana & pineapple cake

For a large cake you need 2 cups (250g) roughly chopped pecans or walnuts (reserve ½ cup for decoration) 3 cups (370g) cake flour 10ml baking powder 5ml bicarbonate of soda 15ml ground cinnamon 2ml ground cardamom 5ml salt 2 cups mashed banana (2-4 ripe bananas) 1 x 432g can pineapple crush 500ml (2 cups) [...]

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