french onion soup

french onion soup

french onion soup

The other day I read that Viresh Maharaj, CEO of Sanlam Employee Benefits: Client Solutions said, “if the middle class was a country it would be relegated to junk status.” Phew, this is startling, he goes on to say that 46,46% of the people who participated in Sanlam’s Annual Benchmark Survey, could not meet their financial commitments. Naturally, this causes considerable financial stress…and I have to tell you I feel that pain too.

To what can this be attributed, I ask? Should we blame Zuma because he showed Pravin the door? Actually, we have only ourselves to blame for the simple reason that we to often choose to live beyond our means. Short-term debt such as credit cards, motor payments and personal loans is the very source of this financial stress. Sigh.

I too decided to investigate why my credit card was going through the roof – and it was easy to see why. A convenience store such as Woolworths is eating away at my credit card. I just want to buy a bag of tomatoes, but fifteen minutes later, I have R600 worth of groceries! Times this by four and again by twelve and that’s R4 800 debit on your credit card over a 12 month period!
Just like that. #MoreStress.

With the onions being plentiful, my Irishman whipped up a wonderful French Onion soup. Low carb and all. The rich flavours of the onion soup were rounded off with a cabbage and parmesan crouton. Talk about innovation.

If there ever was a time to tighten the belt and take responsibility for your financial future, that time is now. Being more economical with your grocery purchases does not mean you have to go hungry – just be smart with your money. If you are wise you can still eat like a king – and with less financial stress you will be able to sleep better and live better.

French onion soup with cabbage and parmesan crouton
(serves 6)
30 ml olive oil
50 g (55 ml) butter
1.3 kg onions, cut into rings
handful of fresh thyme, leaves picked
6 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 bay leaf
1.3 chicken stock
black pepper
Cabbage and parmesan crouton
60 g cabbage, finely sliced
60 g parmesan, grated

Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion, thyme, garlic and bay leaf and stir well until covered in oil and butter. Reduce heat and cook for 25-30 minutes with lid on. Stir occasionally. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper. Without lid simmer for 25 minutes. Heat oven to 180 °C. Divide the cabbage into six individually buttered ramekins and place the parmesan on each. Bake for 20 minutes or until brown on top. Ladle soup into soup bowls. Carefully take the crouton out of the ramekin (I used a spoon) and place on top of soup. Serve immediately.

#lowcarb Italian feast with #shareGalbani

#lowcarb Italian feast with #shareGalbani

gioie della tavola – the joys of the table

Italian Meatballs #lowcarb

The Italians know best when it comes to food and family. As a nation, their history, their customs and their love of family seems to have been forged around the dinner table. There is something so unique and so special about their traditions that I often feel that somewhere in my heritage or a previous life I must have been part Italian. When it comes to food, there is simply nothing better than sitting around a table with friends or family sharing a day filled with good food and wine – just like the Italians do.


Being on low-carb food regimen (…yes we are still going strong), you may think that preparing an Italian feast may prove a little tricky with all the pasta, gnocchi, bread and the likes. But as I gleefully found out that with the right cheese in hand and a touch of creativity, you can make a three course feast that is as good as any Italian mamma’s lunch.

Low-carb pizza
For starters, I had to create something that in a way imitated bread or pizza. I made a low carb base from cauliflower topped with generous pieces of Galbani’s fresh mozzarella. The cauliflower base was both crispy and extra cheesy, and the topping of salty pancetta mixed with the scented basil provided the perfect ‘antipasto’ for my Italian feast. Click here for how to video!

Low carb pizza

Cheesy meatballs with tomato sauce
Moving onto the main dish, I know that nothing beats a good, homemade Italian meatball served on a bed of pasta. I added grated Galbani mozzarella cheese to the meatballs. Instead of pasta I replaced this with zoodles. For those not in the know – and watching their waistline, zoodles are uncooked strips of zucchini and the perfect healthy replacement for pasta. Just ask your local supermarket for a supply as most stock them these days.

Low carb spaghetti and meatballs

Pears and figs with honey and lemon scented mascarpone
For dessert I kept it simple with whole pears and figs poached in a cinnamon and vanilla syrup. I flavoured the Galbani mascarpone with a dash of lemon juice. The fresh fruit paired brilliantly with the lemony mascarpone; it was subtle yet a little tangy.


It was a special and delightful kind of feast…and such a beautiful way to celebrate with friends and familia.


Low-carb pizza
(makes three small pizzas)
800 g cauliflower
3 large eggs
30 ml parsley chopped
250 ml (1 cup) Galbani mozzarella cheese, grated
75 ml (+- 1/3 cup) parmesan, grated
2.5 ml salt
2.5 ml ground black pepper
9 slices pancetta, crispy fried
250 ml (1 cup) Galbani fresh mozzarella, torn
15 tomatoes on the vine
olive oil
handful fresh basil
handful rocket
maldon salt

Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Chop cauliflower up in smaller pieces and blitz into a “rice” like texture in the food processor. Place cauliflower into a big bowl and cook (uncovered) in the microwave for 10-12 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave. Once cooked, allow to cool for a few minutes. Scoop cauliflower into a cheesecloth or clean dishtowel and squeeze as much liquid out as possible. The more liquid you get out, the crispier the pizza base will be. Put the cauliflower back into the bowl and add the eggs, parsley, grated mozzarella, parmesan, salt and pepper and mix well. Divide mixture in three to form three basis. Pat dough down into a baking pan on a sheet of baking paper. Make sure not to make your bases too thin. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
Take out and add the pancetta, mozzarella and tomatoes. Pop it back into the oven for a further 10 – 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Give it a good drizzle of olive oil and finish with some basil, rocket and maldon salt.

Cheesy meatballs with tomato sauce
500 g mince
1 onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
170 ml (2/3 cup) Galbani mozzarella, grated
1 egg
handful of finely chopped parsley
1 garlic clove, grated
5 ml salt
2.5 ml pepper
5 ml psyllium husks (you find this at any good grocery store)
Tomato sauce
200 ml extra virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, whole
handful fresh basil
900 g Rosa tomatoes
black pepper
500 g courgette noodles, cooked as per packet instruction (I prefer it raw)
olive oil
handful of Galbani mozzarella, grated

Mix all the meatball ingredients very well together, form into golf ball sizes. Set aside
Add the olive oil, garlic and basil leaves to a large pan. Heat very slowly on low-medium heat – we want to infuse the oil with the garlic and basil. Infuse for about 5 minutes –don’t burn the garlic. Add the tomatoes, turn up the heat to about medium high and cook for +- 20 minutes without the lid. You will see the tomatoes will start to burst open and infuse with the olive oil. Season generously with salt and freshly grounded black pepper. Add the meatballs and cook another 20 minutes or until done. Stir carefully now and then but don’t break meatballs. Scoop courgette noodles in a large serving bowl and top with the meatballs and sauce, finish with a drizzle of olive oil and grated mozzarella.

Pears and figs with honey and lemon scented mascarpone
3 lemons, zested and juiced
250 ml honey
3 cinnamon sticks
seeds of one vanilla pod
1 L water
6 pears, skin on
18 small fresh figs, skin on
250 ml Galbani mascarpone
pinch of salt

Place the lemon zest, honey and cinnamon sticks, vanilla seeds and water in a pot and bring to boil. Add the whole pears to the boiling liquid and turn down to simmer. Let it poach until the pears are soft (about 45 minutes). Switch off the heat. Add the figs for only three minutes to the hot liquid. Transfer the fruit into a serving bowl. Continue cooking the liquid until a thin syrup. Discard the spices and pour over the figs and pears. Mix the mascarpone, the juice of the three lemons and salt together (I used all the juice, but taste till you like the it). Serve dollops on the fruit.

Vanilla vintage-koek vir ma

Vanilla vintage-koek vir ma

Vanilla vintage cake

Terwyl ek hier sit en skryf sit my ma voor die gasverhitter in die sonnetjie in my sitkamer en luister na RSG se oggendstorie met die nuwe Sarie Kos op haar skoot. Haar ogies val-val toe. Babs gee kort-kort ‘n kuggie, want die bors sukkel ook maar deesdae. Ek weet nie altyd of sy slaap en of sy net rus nie. Sy is nou 87 en die jare stap aan. Wat ‘n voorreg dat sy my nog kan kom geselskap hou terwyl my Ier vir besigheid in Johannesburg is.

Babs stap deesdae stadiger, haar skouertjies raak effens krommer en sy word al hoe meer vergeetagtig, iets wat vir ons almal voorlê. Soos sy altyd sê: “Oudword is nie vir sussies nie, my kind.” Haar sagte broosheid maak my hart baie seer en ek wil haar net druk, soen en koester. Ek onthou Babs wat hokkie gespeel het, Babs wat my drie stoute broers met ‘n stywe hand beheer het, Babs wat tot laat aande skoolwerk nagesien het, elke dag gesorg het vir kos op die tafel, my rokkies gemaak het, my truie gebrei het – ek is so dankbaar ek het haar as my ma gehad. Sy was (is!) pragtig, energiek en ‘n liefdevolle mens. Sy is vandag nog net so pragtig-grys, maar die energie is nie meer daar soos wat dit was nie. Ek besef ek is baie bevoorreg om Moedersdag met haar te kan deel.

Koekbak en koekversier is nie heeltemal my forte nie; ek hou van kook en sukkel om ‘n koekresep soos ‘n wetenskaplike aan te pak. Ek wil altyd iets verander en julle weet dit werk nie met bak nie. Bestanddele moet mos presies afgemeet en geweeg word en niks kan met die oog geskat word nie. Vandag het ek Herman Lensing se sponskoekresep gebruik en ma se gunsteling, ‘n vanieljesponskoek gebak. Ek het op die koop toe sommer ‘n koekversierkursus bygewoon. Wat ‘n kreatiewe belewenis! Ek het my meesterstuk (ja, ek spog lekker) met een van ma se 51-jaar oue teekoppies en ‘n klein koolkoppie uit my tuin, wat die droogte oorleef het, afgerond. Ek is gek daaroor!

Gelukkige Moedersdag, Ma. Dankie vir alles wat ma vir my oor die jare gedoen en beteken het. Ek het jou lief met my hele hart. En gelukkige Moedersdag aan al die ander ma’s wat net so goed vir hul kinders is. Wat sou ons sonder julle gedoen het?

200 g koekmeel
20 ml bakpoeier
10 eiers
210 g strooisuiker
10 ml vanieljegeursel
120 g botter, gesmelt
vanielje botterversiersel
teekoppie en piering

Verhit oond tot 180 ˚C. Sif meel en bakpoeier saam. Herhaal die proses drie keer – dis belangrik om te verseker daar is baie lug tussen die meelkorrels vasgevang. Breek eiers in skoon mengbak en voeg suiker en vanilla by. Klits teen hoë spoed vir 8 – 10 minute of tot dik en skuimerig. Vou gesifte meel en bakpoeier versigtig by eiermengsel in. Gebruik ‘n groot metaallepel en vou in die vorm. Voeg gesmelte botter by en vou weer versigtig in. Voer 2 x 25 cm-koekpanne met bakpapier uit en spuit goed met kleefwerende kossproei. Verdeel mengsel tussen die twee panne. Bak vir 20 – 25 minute of tot goudbruin en gaar. Keer uit en laat afkoel. Versier met vanieljebotterversiersel, ‘n teekoppie en iets uit jou tuin wat die droogte oorleef het.

Tjoef tjaf…hoender- en blomkoolpilaf

Tjoef tjaf…hoender- en blomkoolpilaf

Deesdae tussen die woel van die werk, die inboks, die verkeer, die afgraderings en om by die Zuma-proteste te wees, is daar nie tyd om te lank in die kombuis te werskaf nie. Ek weet wragtig nie hoe my ma en pa met voltydse werke, vier kinders, twee honde en vier katte deur hulle lang lys van verpligtinge gekom het nie én dan was daar nog elke dag ‘n feesmaal op die tafel.Ek sukkel klaar om my vol-nonsens-Ier elke aand kos te gee tussen al my moet-doen-dinge vir die dag en my twee hondekinders, Frankie en Robbie. Was die mense van duisende jare terug ook so besig?

Chicken Pilaf

Ja, ons voorvaders was altyd aan die gang met ‘n oorlog of drie, hulle moes heeldag slawe aanmoedig om stene te kap, te trek en bo op mekaar te pak, en dan moes hulle ook so nou en dan ‘n steniging bywoon. As hulle ‘n epos wou stuur het hulle lank gesit en dit met ‘n bytel en hamer uitgekap. Daar was ook nie ‘n Woollies of kitskos restaurante om die hoek nie. Hulle het gaan soek vir hulle vleis en kos, dit self verwerk en dit kon dae lank geduur het voor ou Flintstone met iets oor die skouer by die grot aangekom het.

Chicken and cauliflower pilaf

Onse voorouers het wel toe al rys geëet om hulle honger mae vol te hou – dit is al toentertyd suksesvol gegroei en verwerk. Dit kon, baie belangrik, vir lang tye gestoor word en ook saam gesleep word as hulle vyande op hulle spoor was, of as hulle moes wegskarrel van wettelose barbare.

Pilaf was een van die disse wat die Indiërs, die Turke en die inwoners van antieke Persië geëet het vir daaglikse voeding asook vir godsdienstige feeste. Dit is ‘n fancy woord vir gegeurde rys wat sy naam kry van die Turkse pilav en is gesond, heerlik, veelsydig en vinnig om te maak. Die gewas word eers in olie saam met geurmiddels gebraai en word dan in ‘n aftreksel gaar gekook. Jy kook dit nie met water soos ons met Tastic-rys maak nie.

Vandag gebruik ek die heerlike Oosterse geure komyn, mosterdkorrels, borrie en rissies om my pilaf te geur. Die blomkool en hoender werk perfek saam en met ‘n bietjie kruisementjogurt en vars koljanderblare is dit ‘n gesonde, lekker en vinnige ete in een pan.

Minted jogurt
As jy ook een van daai mense is wat saam met die hoenders opstaan en saam met die uile gaan slaap, beveel ek dié vinnige pilaf aan…nie net om jou tyd te spaar nie, maar ook om jou familie te beïndruk. Vir my is dit boonop ideaal, want die oorskiet pak ek deesdae na ‘n Zuma-optog as padkos in. Viva Pilaf.

Vinnige hoender- en blomkoolpilaf
(genoeg vir vier)
45 ml olie
450 g hoenderfilette, in blokke gesny
1 medium ui, fyn opgekap
375 ml basmati rys (of rys van jou keuse)
5 ml borrie
7.5 ml komynsaadjies (of fyn komyn)
7.5 ml mosterdsaadjies
5 ml rissievlokkies (opsioneel)
625 ml hoenderaftreksel
400 g blomkool, in klein stukkies gebreek
1.25 ml sout
een suurlemoen, in wiggies gesny
een groot handvol vars koljander, gekap

Verhit die olie in ‘n groot pan of pot oor medium-hoë hitte. Braai die hoender vir ‘n paar minute tot bruin. Skep uit en hou eenkant. Draai hitte af na medium. In dieselfde pan braai die ui tot sag. Voeg die rys, borrie, komyn, mosterd, rissie by, roer goed deur en braai vir drie minute. Voeg die aftreksel, hoender en blomkool by en kook stadig met deksel op vir omtrent 25 minute of tot die rys gaar is en die pan effens droog is. Geur met sout en bedien met suurlemoenwiggies, vars koljander en kruisementjogurt.

easy #lowcarb pumpkin skin #chips with basil mayo

easy #lowcarb pumpkin skin #chips with basil mayo

I never thought I would say this … but folks we (my husband and I) are low-carbing … or Banting or Atkins or whatever you want to call it. But we are doing it my way. Not the perfect Tim Noakes or Dr A’s way. Nope, we are not Banting or Atkins fanatics and will never be, but this is for now our practical journey to weight loss and a better health.

These chips will definitely satisfy your savoury carb craving

These chips will definitely satisfy your savoury carb craving

How on earth did this happen?
Our GP told my hubby and I that we both needed to lose a few kg’s – a few? I think she said this just to make me happy. I know I need to lose at least 20kg’s and my man, well I think he is sexy the way he is, but he has a something of a beer belly and he is also keen to get a little fitter … or is it just a little less out of breath when he reached for the remote?

So …?
Well, it has been two weeks and I have lost an astounding 2.5 kg’s! Really? This morning I thought my scale was broken but no, I really have lost the weight.

It IS a schlepp!
I found that it is a schlepp to plan meals. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s going to be easy. Be prepared. I have been working from the very comprehensive books by Tim Noakes (The real meal revolution), Vickie de Beer (My low carb kitchen) and Inè Reynierse (Low carb is lekker twee) – and of course the internet. The difficult part is not the protein but the side dishes that has to be served alongside the protein. Tell me honestly, how much cauli-mash and salad can a person eat? But I am starting to get the hang of it and will share my journey with you.

Week 1- Get rid of …
Get rid of all the bread in your house… including those frozen croissants and ciabatta’s in the freezer. Pre-low-carbing, I found myself quickly defrosting a roll and then … well the rest is history.
Get rid of all my hidden sweets and sugars. Yes, go into each and every cupboard, under your bed, throw out those chocolates and the tins of caramel and the smarties. Give it away! Hubby struggled with it… can you believe I found out he was stashing sweets in MY car! Hahaha.

Shop simple
It can be very daunting to think you have to change your kitchen, household and shopping patterns. I used The real meal revolution’s green list to start with but I added small apples to my list.
Get your meat and freeze these in portion sizes. Buy loads of veggies to start. Make Vickie de Beer’s broth and get some feta cheese, olives and fresh herbs to pimp your salads.

I did not buy special oils, flour or mayo. I threw all the flour out in my home and am still using olive oil, normal cooking oil and my fav brand of full fat mayo.

Our menu so far
Breakfast: boiled eggs, omelette with cheese etc.
Lunch: Salad (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers etc) with the previous night’s protein.
Dinner: Protein and veggies (beans, cauliflower, pumpkin, cabbage)
Snacks when hungry: 30 g biltong + apple + Vickie’s broth.

How to help you with that savoury carb and starch craving
One of the veggies I was quite surprised that you are able to eat while on the low carb plan is pumpkin. So bought a whole pumpkin (at the moment it costs R20 at Fruit & Veg). I peeled and cut the pumpkin into blocks and froze it. I reckon with one whole pumpkin you will be munching on these orange blocks for a month or two.

Pumpkin - Anel Potgieter
Delicious and satisfying pumpkin skin chips
I looked at the skin of the pumpkin and did not want to throw it away, so I tried to make chips! Well … let me tell you it’s divine and definitely has a great bite to it – very much like potato chips. With a bit of salt and basil mayo it satisfies that starch-craving at least one night a week. And no I did not make my own mayonnaise – I just use my favourite C&B full fat mayo. Also the oil – I am not going to buy the expensive Coconut oil – I used canola oil – finish klaar! Remember its my way, the practical way but not the perfect way. But it seems like it is working!

Good luck if you are starting this journey. If you have any tips and hints or questions please email me at

Scrumptious pumpkin chips with basil mayonnaise
Pumpkin skin with a bit of flesh on
Oil for deep fry
125 ml mayonnaise
10 basil leaves, finely chopped

Cut the pumpkin skin into small strips – about the same size you like your potato chips. I fried it then at 160 °C for exactly 2 minutes. That is it. Put on paper towel to drain the excess oil. Mix the mayo and basil together … and Bob’s your uncle. Enjoy!

green + gold cake for our #proteas – #NZvSA #ProteaFire

green + gold cake for our #proteas – #NZvSA #ProteaFire
My tribute to our Proteas

My tribute to our Proteas

Are we not all proud of South Africa’s #cricket team the Proteas? According to my husband it is taboo to talk about rugby, unless of course you are talking about the Rugby 7’s. It is ok to talk about the cricket though.

The other day, a client asked me for a Protea cake – something he could show off to his Kiwi visitors after the game against the Black Caps. He was confident our boys in Green and Gold were going to take the cake with some ease and overs to spare. He was so right!

Creating the cake
I have to admit, it was a challenge for me to create something that would make our boys proud, but with a light green icing, some edible gold leaf (you can find this at art shops) and some proteas, I think I managed. Do not ask me the measurements for the green icing colour – I added drop for drop until I was happy with the colour.

I used Donna Hay’s chocolate buttermilk layer cake recipe and her frosting for between the layers. I had to double the recipe in order to attain the right height for the cake. It’s really delicious, moist and dense.

Donna Hay’s chocolate buttermilk layer cake

1 cup (250 ml) water 125 g butter, cubed
1/3 cup (35 g) cocoa powder, sifted
2 cups (300 g) flour, sifted
1 t (5 ml) baking soda, sifted (bicarbonate of soda)
2 cups (440 g) caster sugar
2 eggs ½ cup (125 ml) buttermilk
1 t (5 ml) vanilla essence/extract
Chocolate cream cheese frosting
100 g unsalted butter, softened
500 g cream cheese
2 cups (320g) icing sugar, sifted
½ cup (50g) cocoa, sifted

Pre-heat oven to 160 °C. Place water, butter and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the butter has melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Place flour, baking soda and sugar in a bowl, add the cocoa mixture and whisk to combine. Add the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and whisk again. Divide mixture between 2 greased and lined 20cm round cake tins, then bake for 40-45 min or until baked through when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out the cakes onto wire racks and allow to cool completely. For the frosting: place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl. Using an electric mixer beat for 6-8 minutes until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar and cocoa and beat for a further 6-8 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
To assemble, slice off the round tops of each cake layer to produce 2 smooth, flat layers (I use a sharp long bladed knife). Place one layer on a plate, spread with frosting, then put remaining half on top and cover with frosting.

#stellenbosch street soirées

#stellenbosch street soirées

One of my favourite food and wine tasting experiences was recently at the bi-monthly Stellenbosch Street Soirée. Presented by Stellenbosch Wine Routes, this regular pop-up wine and food tasting event transforms the lower part of the historic town’s Drostdy Street (in the shadow of Moederkerk) into a culinary haven for connoisseurs and students alike. The Soirée is a great event to go to with friends, and to make some new ones. Expect live music, great food and loads of wine.

Stellenbosch Street Soiree

Dates: 8 and 22 March 2017
Time: 6pm – 8pm
Where: Drostdy Street, Stellenbosch
Cost: R70 (includes tasting glass and unlimited tastings)
More info:
Contact +27 21 886 4310 or +27 21 886 4330

Tip: Go early because the tickets sell out fast.

Tasting wine in the shadow of the Moederkerk

Tasting wine in the shadow of the Moederkerk

Upbeat vibes by talented local musicians

Upbeat vibes by talented local musicians

Snack on some delicious bites

Snack on some delicious bites

Chat to local wine farmers like Nora Sperling-Thiel from Delheim

Chat to local wine farmers like Nora Sperling-Thiel from Delheim

Enjoy the best local wines

Enjoy the best local wines

If you want to stay over try the luxurious Life and Leisure Guest House

If you want to stay over try the luxurious Life and Leisure Guest House

Look at this  dreamy bathroom!

Look at this dreamy bathroom!

sweet omelette with figs and brandy chocolate sauce … for your #valentyn

sweet omelette with figs and brandy chocolate sauce … for your #valentyn

Tomorrow is the most important love day of the year… Valentine’s day. Yes, I do make my husband supper every single night, but on Valentine’s day I try and make him something he really loves. Rick loves eggs – he can have eggs for breakfast lunch and supper – in fact given the choice I think he would eat eggs for 365 days of the year. The other thing he loves is chocolate and … figs. Tomorrow, I am going to say I love you with this sweet omelette with figs and brandy chocolate sauce. It might sound strange to think of a sweet omelette but I have to admit, it is delicious. It is simple to prepare and with a glass of bubbly provides the perfect Valentine’s breakfast…lunch or light dinner.
omelet with figs and chocolate

My friend Emile Joubert also suggested the following fillings: salmon and cream cheese, bacon and cheese and chopped fresh herbs

omelet for your valentine

Sweet omelette with figs and brandy chocolate sauce
(Serves one)
3 figs, quartered
5 ml butter
5 ml sugar
15 ml brandy
Brandy chocolate sauce
25 g cream
50 g chocolate, cut into small pieces
15 ml brandy
3 eggs
pinch of salt
15 ml sugar
10 ml butter
To serve
2 fresh figs, quartered

Figs: Fry the figs in a pan with butter and sugar until soft. Add the brandy and flambé. Set aside.
Chocolate sauce: Heat the cream and poor over the chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth. Add the brandy and stir well.
Omelette: Crack the eggs into a bowl, add salt and sugar and blend with a fork. Heat a 22 cm non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the butter and brush around the surface of the pan. Pour the eggs into the centre of the pan and stir vigorously with a rubber spatula for 5 seconds. As soon as a semi-solid mass begins to form, lift the pan and move it around until the excess liquid pours off into the pan. Using your spatula, move it around the edge of the egg mixture to help shape into a circle and loosen the edge. Let the omelette sit in the pan for 10 seconds without touching.
Shake the pan to loosen the eggs mixture from the pan. Add the figs and juice to the omelette. Using your spatula, fold over one-third of the omelette. Slide the omelette onto a plate and fold over the other side so that the omelette is a tri-fold. Smother with chocolate sauce and serve immediately with fresh figs and a glass of bubbles.

Mother-in-law’s chicken liver pâté with my bacon-onion jam

Mother-in-law’s chicken liver pâté with my bacon-onion jam

I don’t like chicken liver pâté … I LOVE it. My mother-in-law, Marie Robertson, makes a mean, charming old-school chicken liver pâté. It has a nice chilli bite and enough brandy to give it a good kick. It’s smooth and tasty and is, with the pink peppercorns and my bacon-onion jam, one of the best pâtés I have ever tasted.
_Hoenderlewers - Foto Anel Potgieter 800

chicken liver pâté with my bacon-onion jam

My mother-in-law’s chicken liver pâté with pink peppercorns

Enough for 4
15 ml olive oil
15 ml butter
250 g chicken livers
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small red chilli, thinly sliced
30 ml brandy
1.25 ml salt
1.25 black pepper
125 ml cream
30 ml butter
5 ml pink pepper corns

Heat the olive oil and butter in a frying pan. Add the chicken livers, garlic and chilli. Cook the livers for a couple of minutes on each side, until lightly coloured – but still a little pink in the middle – if you overcook them they will lose their smooth texture and become grainy.
Pour in the brandy. If you’re using a gas hob you can flame it until the alcohol cooks off, but watch your hair! Simmer for a minute or so, then take the livers off the heat and tip them into a food processor. Blitz until you have a smooth purée. Add the salt, pepper and cream and continue to blitz. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl. Melt the butter and pink peppercorns in a little pot. Spoon over the pâté. Leave to set in the fridge for 1 hour.

Bacon-onion jam
250 g bacon, diced into cubes
15 ml oil
3 medium onions (350g – pealed), grated
15 ml Dijon mustard
2.5 ml powdered ginger
170 ml balsamic vinegar
50 ml dark brown sugar
2 ml salt
2.5 ml black pepper
50 ml water

Heat the oil in a pan and add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat is completely rendered and the bacon has started to crisp. Add the onions, mustard, ginger, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, salt, pepper and water. Stir to combine, then cover the pot, lower the heat and allow the mixture to cook undisturbed for 15 or 20 minutes. Remove the top, stir again and then partly cover the pot. Allow the mixture to cook until most of the liquid is gone and the onions have achieved a dark brown jam texture, approximately 60 to 70 minutes. Remove mixture from heat, and allow to cool slightly. Spoon the jam into a jar or bowl, then allow to cool completely.

tuna-poke-bakkies + salm-poke-bakkies

tuna-poke-bakkies + salm-poke-bakkies

Tuna Poke bowlAloha! Ek sien elke jaar verskriklik uit na wat volgende die koswêreld gaan laat gons. Die afgelope paar jaar het gefermenteerde kos, piekels en askos (kos wat op kole of met kole gemaak word) hoogty gevier. Julle wonder seker oor 2017… Wel, haal uit die hoela-hoeps en druk julle tone in die sand. Vanjaar kom die grootste kostendens, poke-bakkies, van die tropiese eiland Hawaii.
Poke (uitgespreek as poh-keh) beteken nie die ‘poke’ wat vieslike vreemde mans op jou Facebook-blad doen of ‘n wrede gekafoefelry nie. Poke is ‘n Hawaiiese werkwoord wat ‘om te sny of te kap’ beteken. Eeue oue poke-bakkies bestaan uit gemarineerde blokkies rou seekos soos tuna, salm of seekat wat dan op rys in bakkies bedien word. Mense, dié unieke gereg is my soort kos, maar my vol nonsens, vleis, rys en aartappels Ier wou nie sy mond aan my ge-poke-ery sit nie. Ja, dit vat meer as net ‘n ge-‘poke’ om hom te verlei.
As jy mooi daarna kyk is poke-bakkies ‘n tipe van gedekonstrueerde soesji. Soos met soesji, is die geheim dat jy die beste kwaliteit vars vis moet gebruik. Dit moet nie visserig ruik nie en jy moet dit so vinnig moontlik ná aankope gebruik. Maak ‘n sojasousmarinade van jou keuse deur byvoorbeeld gemmer, knoffel, koljander en rissies by te voeg. Ek het my vismarinade verder met sesamolie gegeur en gebalanseer met ‘n bietjie rysasyn. Met die rys kan jy ook lekker speel: gebruik gewone rys, soesji-rys, bruinrys of quinoa. Die rys word dan warm saam met die koue vis bedien. Klink miskien vreemd, maar die kontrasterende warm en koud is deksels lekker. Rond af met gerasperde beet en snytjies radyse. Heerlik, vars, voedsaam en gesond.
Salmon poke bowl

Hier het ek ‘n marinade van sojasous, gemmer, wasabi en suurlemoensap gemaak en dit met gerasperde wortels, avokado en babamielies afgerond. Ono!
Ek het nog altyd net van Hawaii gedroom: die warm seewater, die bedwelmende kleurvolle blommekranse, die polsende marimba-musiek en die vars seekos. Gelukkig kan ek nou ‘n stukkie van die droomeiland met ‘n lekker ou poke ervaar.

Stappe om poke-bakkies te maak
1. Kies die bakkies: besluit op die grootte van jou porsies
2. Kies jou basis: witrys, bruinrys, soesji-rys, basmati-rys, quinoa
3. Kies jou proteïen: tuna, salm, seekat, garnale, kammossel
4. Kies jou marinade: sojasous, knoffel, gemmer, sesamolie, rysasyn, rissies, suurlemoensap, wasabi, mayonnaise
5. Kies jou groente: wortels, beet, komkommer, radyse, avokado, sprietuie, uie, babamielies, ertjies
6. Kies jou ander geurmiddels: koljander, sesamsade, rissies, ingelegde gemmer, spruite, mikro-kruie


Bedien 4
400 g vars tuna
60 ml sojasous
2.5 ml sesamolie
20 ml rysasyn
5 ml gemmer, gerasper
2.5 ml knoffel, gerasper
2.5 ml rissievlokkies
500 ml gaar rys van jou keuse, warm
80 ml rou beet, gerasper
2 radyse, fyn gesny
‘n handvol vars koljander, gekap
sojasous vir bediening

Sny die tuna in blokkies. Meng die sojasous, sesamolie, rysasyn, gemmer, knoffel en rissievlokkies saam. Gooi oor tuna en marineer vir ‘n uur in yskas. Skep ‘n halwe koppie rys in elke bakkie, rangskik die tuna, beet en radyse bo-op. Bedien met vars koljander en meer sojasous langs die kant.

400 g vars salm
60 ml sojasous
5 ml wasabismeer
20 ml suurlemoensap
5 ml gemmer, gerasper
500 ml gaar rys van jou keuse, warm
4 babamielies, gesny
60 ml wortels, gerasper
1 avokado, in blokkies gesny
‘n handvol vars koljander, gekap
sojasous vir bediening

Sny die salm in blokkies. Meng die sojasous, wasabi, suurlemoensap en gemmer saam. Gooi oor die salm en marineer vir ‘n uur in yskas. Skep ‘n halwe koppie rys in elke bakkie, rangskik die salm, babamielies, wortels en avokado bo-op die rys. Bedien met vars koljander en meer sojasous langs die kant.

#freekeh salad with cherries + mint + cashew nuts

#freekeh salad with cherries + mint + cashew nuts

Freekeh SaladFreekeh is young green wheat that has been toasted and cracked. It is utterly delicious with an earthy, nutty flavour – and has a fantastic bite to it. This salad is salty and sweet with a lovely sweet and sour dressing. You can replace the pomegranate syrup with pomegranate molasses. The fresh cherries are divine with the dish, but figs will also do the thing.

Greenwheat Freekeh can be ordered online at and is available nationwide at various Spars, delis and branches of the Wellness Warehouse.

Freekeh salad with cherries, mint and cashew nuts

200 g freekeh, cooked in salt water as per the packet instruction
2 spring onions, chopped
handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
handful of mint, chopped
15 fresh cherries, pitted and quartered
60 ml cashew nuts
Salad dressing
60 ml olive oil
60 ml pomegranate syrup
30 ml grape vinegar
black pepper

Combine all the salad ingredients in a salad bowl. Mix the salad dressing ingredients together and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Dress the salad and tuck in.

prawn + chicken skewers on the #braai – #ShareTheOriginal

prawn + chicken skewers on the #braai – #ShareTheOriginal

Chicken and Prawn Skewers

To celebrate a 100 years’ of Sedgwick’s Old Brown, I made summery prawn and chicken skewers – marinated overnight in a Sedgwick’s marinade. It was a delightful combo of flavours with the sweet marinade giving the skewered chicken and prawn a deep and enchanting taste. I also made a crunchy salad with a lovely dressing. The result… a perfectly, light yet satisfying summer lunch. Scrumptious, healthy and just irresistibly delicious.

The Original Sedgwick’s Old Brown has been part of the South African history and culture for a 100 years now. No, it’s not a ‘60’s thing or a 70’s thing… it is not something that just your folks used to enjoy. Ask your grandparents…I bet they will be able to tell you a Sedgwick’s story or two…and such stories go back generations to 1916. At that time World War I was going on; the light switch was invented and Albert Einstein completed his formulation of a general theory of relativity. Since 1916, The Original Sedgwick’s Old Brown has become part of our heritage.


In my student days, come June every year, we made the trek to the Grahamstown Festival. And those who know the Eastern Cape … well June is freezing cold. We used to stay in tents on the outskirts of the town, in the evenings we huddled around the fire, old faithful Sedgwick’s kept the conversation going – and kept us warm at night. I remember the many hours we sat around the fire mesmerized by Johannes Kerkorrel en die Gereformeerde Blues Band and Johnny Clegg. We also could not stop talking about the talent of Paul Slabolepszy and Andrew Buckland. More often than not, the length and depth of those conversations, depended largely on how many bottles of Sedgwick’s we had… 🙂 Those were the days.

Sedgwick's Old Brown
Prawn and chicken skewers on the braai
Serves 6
18 prawns
500 g chicken, big chunks
100 ml Sedgwick’s Old Brown
60 ml red wine vinegar
5 ml salt
1 garlic, grated
45 ml coriander, chopped
juice and grated peel of ½ lemon
2 pinches smoked paprika (optional – I just love the smokey flavour)
5 ml chilli flakes (optional – I also love a bit of a bite)
salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together and marinade the prawns and chicken for at least 4 hours. I left mine to marinade overnight. Thread chicken and prawns onto skewers (soak wooden skewers in water first to prevent scorching on a braai or grill), leaving a small gap between each piece for even cooking. Season with salt and pepper. Braai for about 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the prawns have turned bright pink.

Crunchy vegetable salad

Serves 6
500 ml cabbage, sliced
2 large carrots, grated
200 g green beans, thinly sliced
200 g baby corn, thinly sliced
100 g unsalted cashews, crushed
2 spring onions, chopped diagonally
a large handful coriander, chopped
Salad dressing
30 ml sugar
30 ml Sedgwick’s Old Brown
45 ml vinegar
15 ml sesame oil
30 ml sunflower oil
15 ml soy sauce
1 red chilli, chopped

Chop and grate all the fresh ingredients. Mix all the salad dressing ingredients well. Mix everything together.

#soetkoekies with festive butterscotch windows

#soetkoekies with festive butterscotch windows

Outydse soetkoekies with butterscotch windows

How festive and lovely are these old fashioned soetkoekies? To make these I used my old soetkoekie recipe and added these fun Christmas butterscotch windows. The little windows aren’t just pretty but it gives the overall cookie an extra crunchy texture and delicious caramel flavour. The comforting aromas of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg brings back such happy memories of my grandmother’s farmhouse kitchen. Happy baking!

They also make a perfect Christmas gift

They also make a perfect Christmas gift

Soetkoekies with festive caramel windows
Recipe makes 45 cookies
4 x (250ml) cake flour
1 ½ cup (375ml) castor sugar
1 tsp (5ml) ground cinnamon
1tsp (5ml) ground ginger
1tsp (5ml) ground cloves
½ tsp (2.5ml) nutmeg
½ tsp (2.5ml) salt
1 cup (250ml) butter, room temperature
¼ cup (60ml) cooking butter, melted
1 tsp (5ml) bicarbonate soda
5 Tbsp (75 ml) luke warm water
1 egg, beaten
15 butterscotch sweets

Sift the flour, salt and spices together. Add the sugar. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Dissolve the bicarbonate soda in the water and add to the beaten egg. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture to make a dough. Knead until thoroughly mixed. Divide dough into two, then wrap in cling wrap and chill for at least two hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Roll out the dough (take out of fridge 5 minutes prior rolling out) on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 5 mm and cut out circles. Use small Christmas motif cutters to cut shapes out of the centre of the circle cookies. (You can re-roll any extra dough to make more cookies). Put the dough circles on a lined baking tray. Using a pestle and mortar, crush the butterscotch sweets into a course powder, then fill the holes with the crushed sweets. Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes until the edges have just browned. If you see there is little holes in the window just add a bit more butterscotch and pop back in the oven for another minute or two. Leave to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool down completely.

trendy + sexy + healthy #potato #salad?

trendy + sexy + healthy #potato #salad?

Potato SaladOne of the biggest food trends over the past few year or so is ‘burnt’ or ‘ash’ food. Yep, you heard right. These terms are given to food that has been cooked on ash – or with ash (i.e. ash butter) and has sometimes a burnt or charred exterior. With this dish, I baked my potatoes first, then I flash burnt them over hot coals. A mixture of cottage cheese, lemon juice and fresh herbs gives this potato salad an austere and rather aristocratic look and flavour.

Flash braaied potato salad with fresh herbs
5 large potatoes
250 g fat free cottage cheese
30 ml chopped parsley
15 ml chopped dill
15 ml chopped basil
15 ml fresh lemon juice
extra virgin olive oil
black pepper

Preheat oven to 180°C. Bake potatoes for an hour until cooked. On very hot coals flash burn the whole potatoes. Let the potatoes rest directly on the coals – turning occasionally. Mix the cottage cheese, parsley, dill, basil and lemon juice together and paint on a wooden board. Once the potatoes have cooled cut into chunks and place these on top of cottage cheese. Season with salt and pepper… and a splash of olive oil.

#cremora tart trifle

#cremora tart trifle


This ladies and gentlemen, is one of those spur of the moment creations. I combined the old faithful trifle with another old faithful – Cremora tart. Everyone loves both, I thought…so why not combine them? It is utterly delicious and you have to give it a try this Christmas.

Cremora tart trifle
Serves 8-10
1 packet strawberry jelly
250g Cremora
250 ml ice-cold water
1 tin condensed milk
180 ml lemon juice
1 Swiss roll
150 ml sherry
500 ml thick custard
200 g strawberries
15 fresh cherries

Prepare the jelly as per the instructions on the packet and allow this to set. Place the Cremora in a bowl and add the ice water. Whisk this well then add the condensed milk and continue to whisk until smooth. Add the lemon juice – just a little bit at a time until all the juice has been mixed in and the mixture has thickened. Place the bowl in a refrigerator for 30 minutes. Cut the Swiss roll into thin slices and layer this in a pudding bowl. Sprinkle with sherry. Spoon half of the Cremora tart mixture over this. Then pack another layer of cake and sprinkle with some more sherry. Add sliced strawberries on top of the cake. Spoon the custard over. Add a last layer of cake and sprinkle with sherry. Now scoop the remaining Cremora tart mixture over. Loosen the jelly with a spoon and spread this over the top of your trifle. Finish with fresh cherries.