Tag Archives: ricotta cheese

spiced ricotta pancakes + figs + naartjie honey

spiced ricotta pancakes + figs + naartjie honey

“Peel a fig for a friend and a peach for your enemy” – English proverb

ricotta pancakes with figs

I love figs. Such an ancient fruit, yet still with us today … I also agree with the believe that figs are a symbol of abundance, fertility and sweetness. So when my eyes caught a few fresh figs on the shelf in the supermarket the other day, I had to have them and do something with them. They were dark purple, plump and looked so ripe and juicy. I had ricotta at home and I decided to make ricotta pancakes with figs. Using Nigella’s Ricotta Hotcakes as a basis I changed her recipe by adding a few spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves as well as naartjie zest – which just gave it that ‘pick-me-up’ spicy-citrus flavouring.


I am also curious to dig a little deeper, and scratch below the surface when it comes to things that interest me, so I read up about figs and came across these interesting facts.

Fig Trivia – 10 Fig Facts

1. The Blossoms
Fig trees have no blossoms on their branches – the ‘fruit’ that we eat is the blossom and is pollinated by a special type of wasp. Many tiny flowers produce the crunchy little edible seeds that give figs their unique texture.

2. Calcium and Fiber
Figs are one of the highest plant sources of calcium and fiber. Eating a half cup of figs has as much calcium as drinking a half a glass of milk. The food value increases with drying – one dried fig has almost as much calcium as an egg – listen up moms!

3. The Calorie Value
There is approximately 50 calories in one large fig.

4. The Garden of Eden
Many believe it was figs that were actually the fruit in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, not apples.

5. Fig Puree
Fig puree can be used to replace fat in baked goods.

6. The scientific name – Ficus carica
The common fig is a deciduous tree that grows to heights of up to 6 meters in the genus Ficus, from the family Moraceae, known as common fig tree. It is a temperate species native to the Middle East.

7. The Family
Figs may not look like it, but did you know that figs are a member of the mulberry family?

8. The Language
English – Fig
Spanish – Higo
Afrikaans – Vy
French – Figue
German – Feige
Italian – Fico

9. The History
Figs are originally from small Asia and are one of the first fruits cultivated ever. The Greeks made mention of them and around 60 BC and Plato promoted the fig as being an important nutrition for athletes. A story is known of the Greek government that had forbidden all exports of figs once in order to assure themselves of a good outcome at The Olympic Games. The ancients Greeks knew about 29 fig sorts. Today there are more than 600 different fig types.

10. Idiom
English Idiom: “I don’t care a fig”
Meaning: Complete lack of concern about an event.
Origination: Probably originates from the abundance of this fruit.

Source: valleyfig.com, foodandtravel.com.au, caloriecount.about.com, wikipedia.org, crfg.org,


spiced ricotta pancakes + figs + naartjie honey
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 5
  • For crumpets
  • 250g Ricotta cheese
  • ½ Cup milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 100g Plain flour
  • 1t Baking powder
  • 2t Naartjie Zest (you can replace with orange)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of cloves
  • Butter for frying
  • Naartjie honey
  • 1 Cup honey (I used orange blossom honey)
  • Juice of one orange or naartjie (you can replace with orange)
  • 1t Naartie peel
  • 1 Clove
  • To serve
  • 5 Fresh figs - quartered
  • 5t Crème Fraiche
  1. For pancakes – Mix the ricotta, milk and eggs together and then add all the dry ingredients - mix everything together. Don’t overwork the mixture. Heat a bit butter in a non stick pan – then “spoon ” a dollops of batter into the pan and cook each pancake for about a minute each side till golden brown.
  2. For honey - simmer all ingredients for 5 minutes and allow to cool down a bit.
  3. To serve - Drizzle with syrup + add the figs + the Crème Fraiche.


passion fruit cups = food porn with no age restrictions

passion fruit cups = food porn with no age restrictions

easy passion fruit cups

My husband, Rick, buys our weekly veggies on a Friday – yes, he does ladies … and there is always a surprise or two in the veggie basket for me … some exotic or peculiar addition to tickle my culinary brain. It’s kinda like a mystery box that I get to explore over the weekends. Last week, he walked in with a punnet of passion fruit. Passion fruit or granadilla as they are more commonly referred to in these parts is one of the most flavoursome of fruits and it takes something really simply to migrate it to an extraordinary level.

Curiosity got the better of me and did a little research on the World Wide Web… to my shock and horror it took me straight to a few porn sites! Clearly, these purveyors of porn were taking liberal interpretations of this innocently delicious fruit. I immediately closed my computer and ran to my fridge to cool down! As it would then happen, I had some Ricotta cheese in the fridge so I decided to mix the two – it set my taste buds racing. I loved it.

I dished it up in in the empty granadilla cups. Be tempted with these forbidden fruits, it is after all food porn – with no age restrictions.

passion fruit cups easy and quick


passion fruit cups = food porn with no age restrictions
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 250g Ricotta cheese
  • 20g Icing sugar
  • 125ml Fresh Granadilla pulp from about 3 to 4 large-sized granadillas
  1. Scoop out the granadilla pulp, mix all the ingredients together…and put back into the granadilla shells. Put in fridge – serve cold…with a sultry smile.


12 international foods to try before you die – #1 fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce

12 international foods to try before you die – #1 fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce

12 international foods to try before you die - #1 fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce

On Spring Day I found myself reading an article posted on the Independent Traveler site written by Lori Sussle – “12 International Foods to try before you die” – it’s kind of like a “food bucket list” for us ordinary people [see the full list below].

The first item on the list was Vietnamese Spring Rolls or Fresh Spring Rolls. Spring Rolls are normally associated with the freshness and vitality that comes with the onset of Springtime and are versatile, healthy and easy to make.

You can prepare either vegetarian Spring Rolls or add seafood or even meat and eggs, whatever your heart delights – but the most important thing for me when serving a fresh spring roll … is the dipping sauce. The sauce needs to compliment the ingredients inside the roll – you can make peanut sauce, soy based sauce or sweet and sour sauce etc. I decided to make spring rolls with ricotta cheese and my own dipping sauce – yip – I think the foodies will tell you that it is somewhat of a no-no to fuse Italian with Eastern cuisine. Well it worked – East meets West … its delicious and the ricotta adds a lovely creaminess to the roll.

In my recipe I cannot specify the quantity of ingredients you will need as this depends on how many Spring Rolls you would like to make or how “fat” you would like to make them…but I have included a list of suggested ingredients with a link to a YouTube video which shows you how to make your own fresh spring rolls. Try my dipping sauce – its fresh, salty, sour and sweet all at once and adds just another dimension to eating this Eastern treat.

12 international foods to try before you die - #1 fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce

An accidental tourists’ culinary bucket list ….

“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed pope mobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald’s? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.” — Anthony Bourdain

1. Vietnamese Spring Rolls – fresh spring rolls is a Vietnamese delicacy known as gỏi cuốn. Depending on the region, spring rolls are made in different manners with different ingredients.
2. Gnocchi – come in various shapes and guises and are soft dumplings made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, potato and egg.
3. Meze – is a selection of small dishes served in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Balkans as either a breakfast, lunch or even dinner – with or without drinks (I prefer it with drinks… ). In Levantine cuisines and in the Caucasus region, meze is served at the beginning of all large-scale meals.
4. Lobster Roll – a traditional lobster roll that contains the fresh cooked meat of a lobster, tossed with mayonnaise and served on a grilled hot dog bun or similar roll, so that the opening is on the top rather than on the side.
5. Churros and Chocolate – a churro, sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut, it is a fried-dough pastry—predominantly choux-based snack. There are two types of churros in Spain, one which is thin (and sometimes knotted) and the other which is long and thick (porra). They are both normally eaten for breakfast dipped in hot chocolate or café con leche.
6. Kangaroo meat – is a meat from any of the species of kangaroo. It is produced in Australia from wild animals.
7. Saag Paneer– is an Indian and Pakistani dish consisting of spinach and paneer (Indian farmer’s cheese) in a thick curry sauce based on pureed spinach.
8. Ćevapčići – is a grilled dish of minced meat, a type of kebab, found traditionally in the countries of southeastern Europe.
9. Poutine – is a French Canadian dish, made with French fries, topped with brown gravy and curd cheese.
10. Completo – is a hot dog variation eaten in Chile, which, is usually served with ingredients such as chopped tomatoes, mayonnaise, sauerkraut, a variation of the sauce américaine, chilean chili, green sauce and cheese. It is normally a lot larger than the American type of hot dog we have come to know.
11. Queso Helado – is reminiscent of frozen rice pudding flavored with cinnamon. Some say it’s like creamy shaved ice. It’s made from sweet milk with a touch of coconut or cinnamon.
12. Ktefa – traditional Moroccan dessert made by layering fried or baked warqa pastry with sweetened fried almonds and custard sauce flavored with orange flower water.

Source: Info from various internet web pages


asian fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce
  • Dipping Sauce
  • 60ml Sweet chillie sauce
  • 2t Fish sauce
  • 1t White vinegar
  • 1t Chillie flakes or one fresh green chillie chopped
  • 3T Fresh coriander – chopped
  • 80ml Water
  • Spring Roll
  • Rice paper wrappers – soaked in luke warm to warm water until soft. Don’t soak for too long as it will break easily
  • Vermicelli – soaked in boiling water till soft
  • Carrots – julienned in +- 6cm lengths
  • Cucumber - julienned in +- 6cm lengths
  • Spring onion – finely sliced in +- 6cm length
  • Avocado slices - +- 6cm lengths
  • Bean sprouts
  • Ricotto cheese
  1. Dipping Sauce: Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Spring Rolls: Youtube video