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Monday, August 30, 2010

Individual Blueberry Cakes!

Little Blueberry Cakes!
Just the way my son loves them, oozing with  blueberries!

I used a silicone sunflower mould for the little cakes.

The recipe yields 6 little sunflower cakes.

125g butter, softened
2/3 cup of castor sugar
1tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups cake flour,sifted
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
75g blueberries
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 160 degree C
Place butter , sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat until pale and creamy. Gradually add the eggs one at a time and beat well.
Add the flour, baking powder and milk and beat until combined.
Fold in the blueberries.
Spoon into the moulds and bake until the skewer comes out clean, about 25 - 30 minutes.
Turn out immediately onto a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Enjoy your little cakes, Wes!

Weekly Menu: 30 August - 3 September

A healthy week at Solomon this week. My youngest is off to a team building camp with his school, so the three at home need to look after the waistlines a bit.

Monday: Salmon steamed in a chinese basket.
1x 250g salmon piece per person.
Lemon grass
Olive oil.
Vine tomatoes.
Balsamic vinegar.
Steam your fish in the basket on a piece of kitchen paper in order for it not to stick.
Drizzle with olive oil, a sqeeze of lemon, salt and pepper to taste and lemon grass and steam til done but nice and tender. This only takes a few minutes.
Grill vine tomatoes with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Serve on a bed of mash potatoes with a healthy green salad.
Canneloni stuffed with  Spinach and Feta in a belchamel sauce sprinkled with Parmesan.
Ready made Canneloni
Cooked spinach
Crumbled feta.
a basic white sauce
Fresh parmesan cheese.
Stuff the canneloni with the spinach and feta.
Make your white sauce. I like to add a pinch of grated nutmeg.
Salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the canneloni which are neatly packed in your casserole dish.
Sprinkle over te Parmesan and bake at 180 degree C for 45 min until bubbly and golden.
I am going to serve with the salad I found here at
StoneGable Panzanella.

loaf of Ciabatta bread cut into cubes and fried in olive oil.
olive oil
 a clove of fresh garlic
fresh herbs, like basil and a little parsley cut up roughly
ea salt
Rosa tomatoes cut in half
1/2 cucumber, quartered lengthwise and chopped
1/2 red onion, sliced paper thin
Carrot, sliced paper thin
balsamic vinegar.
For a South African twist, add a few shavings of biltong( cured dried wild meat cut thinly)

Ostrich bobotie with Tiobe!
I am having people for dinner so the recipe is enough
for 10 to 12 people.
If you can't get ostrich (South Afrcan meat) you can substitute for extra lean beef mince as ostrich is a healthy lean meat.
2 Tablsp olive oil
2 thinly sliced onions
2 cloves of garlic crushed
2 tsp masala
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp tumeric
juice of 2 lemons
2 Tbls Worcestor sauce
1 Tblsp apricot jam
1 tsp chutney
1 T blsp tomato paste
100ml sultanans
1 apple peeled and diced finely
1 cup roasted pine nuts
3 slices of white bread soak in 2 cups milk
2 kg ostrich meat
salt and pepper to taste
4 eggs
8 frsh lemon or bay leaves
Preheat oven to 180 degree C
Heat your oil in heavy based frying pan. Add onion and garlic and all the spices and fry for 1 min to develop the  flavour. Add lemon juice,tomato paste, sauce, jam, chuctney and fruits. Soak the bread in milk and squeeze out all the milk but reserve. Mix the bread with the mince and add to the spices and fry in saucepan together.
Spoon the mixture into a greased oven dish. Beat the egg and the milk . Season with salt and pepper and pour using the back of a spoon over the meat mixture.
Press a bay/lemon leaf or two on the topping. Bake for 30 min in a bain marie in the oven.
Serve immediately with Tiobe.
Tiobe ( a traditional Shangaan dish!)
3 cups of veg stock
250ml green beans
 2 carrots chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
125ml mixed nuts
500ml maize meal (2 cups)
Bring the stock to the boil.
add the veg and cook til done.
Add the nuts and maize meal and stir well again.
Cover and boil for 15 to 20 min. Stir thoroughly and serve with the bobotie.

Thursday: A little Moroccan MAGIC!
Chicken tagine served on a bed of couscous.
For the Tagine:
3 tablsp olive oil
5ml each cumin and coriander seeds toasted.
Saffron or a pinch of tumeric
2 whole chickens cut into pieces: thighs, drumsticks, wings, breasts cut in half
salt and pepper to taste
ginger 1 tsp
100ml chicken stock
2 sticks cinnamon
2 tomatoes diced
3 preserved lemon wedges, remove flesh and cut skin in strips.
some black olives
1 1/2 cups of dried turkish apricots! (woolies are the best!)
Dry fry the seeds and spices. Combine the spices and seeds with the chicken and leave to marinate for 1 half
Heat half the oil  in your tagine. Brown your chicken.
Heat the other half and fry the onion, ginger and garlic til soft. Return the chcken, add tomatoes, stock and cinnamon.
Preheat the oven to 160 degree C and place the tagine in the oven. Cook for 1 hour, then add lemon wedges and apricots and cook further for 30 mins.
For the couscous:
Add some stock to the couscous. Separate the grains with a fork. Stir in some olive oil, pumpkin seeds and cashew nuts and a few apricots. Add fresh mint, parsley and chives all finely chopped and serve with the tagine.

Steak on the braai with oven baked potato dish and grilled Meditteranean Vegetables! Traditional South African fare!

For the Baked Potato Dish:
8 Potatoes
2 - 3 cloves of garlic.
1 Tbsp thyme
Salt and pepper.
500ml cream.

Slice potatoes very thinly. Layer in casserole, Sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme and garlic. Pour over cream and bake at 180 degrees til golden brown.

Go on Enjoy!

See you soon!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


"Every moment of this strange and lovely life from dawn to dusk is a miracle."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Wesley! A Bird's Nest Tablescape.

Our oldest son is celebrating his birthday today.. I set a little table for us in our sunken lounge this morning thinking of him! I so wanted to do my tablescape outside with my many feathered friends chirping in the background but we are experincing gale force winds and I live near the sea!  So had to make do inside instead!

Happy Birthday dear precious son! We are truely proud of you!

I was in a nearby little town from home, Port Alfred, last weekend and found a little treasure shop in their mall. I bought this little "Bird's Nest" teaset there. It is stamped Gifthous. Even if not a collector's item, I am sure to treasure it and have many a cuppa from it! The teaspoons are antique silver heirlooms.

I am linking to Susan at 'tablescape thursdays' . You can find it here  or click on it in my right hand bar! .Susan's post is awesome!! and so are the many others. If you have time,won't you scroll down to my previous post to see just how we should be counting our blessings daily and spare a thought for these poor folk!
Please come along with me!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Matthew's Ground! The other side of South Africa's Rainbow!

The next time you stop to take tea....

Spare a thought for the "forgotten people of Matthew's Ground". This is an area just outside my hometown where impoverished people live... there is no running water, they share 3 communal taps and use a bucket toilet system.
It is a close knit community living below the bread-line comprsing 50 families. Those children that are lucky enough to go to school have to walk kilometres to get to the nearest school..most don'y go to school and unemployment and Tuberculosis are  rife!
They rely on the Anglican church for a decent meal once a week which consists of soup and bread!
Most of the elderly don't have identity books so have no hope of getting a state pension.

However, they don't want to move, saying they feel safe in their area, which looks like a garbage tip.
This is a very sad affair and one of many in Sourthern Africa.

I am saddened by the thought that there are people who have to live under these conditions, not only here in South Africa but all over the world! I salute people like the jounalists that bring the plight of these people to the fore and I truely wish that there was more that I could do for them!
My grateful thanks to the local paper, especially the journalist, Lynn Shaw, who wrote this article. PS I trust I'm not treading on toes but just wanted to highlight the plight of these people.
You can
Should you wish to get involved please email me at and I will put you in touch with the Anglican Church.
All photos were taken by "The Herald" .
Have a Blessed Day!

I am linking to for Teatime Tuesday. There are beautiful teascapes there, please join me.
I am also joining Susan at today! Always love visiting all the tablescapes there!
for Show and Tell.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Menu Plan: 23rd - 27th August.

Monday: It's always a busy day for most of us, so it's good to know at the end of  a chilly winter's day, something hearty is waiting in the pot for us...and it's basically looked after itself.
If you take time to brown your meat and vegetables before transfering to the cooker, you're sure to end up with an awesome meal in your crock pot!

Slow Cooker Lamb:

1kg lamb knuckles
2 chopped onions
1 clove of fresh garlic
1tsp each thyme, salt and freshly ground pepper.  2 bay leaves
2 tsps sugar
1 tin of tomato paste/pasata
Chopped celery, parsnips, carrots.
1 lt of either meat or vegetable stock.
1 tin of peeled tomatoes.
Method:  Brown the meat first rolled in a little flour with the onion and other root veg. Transfer this to the crock pot and add the stock, tomatoes, paste and herbs and seasoning. Check for seasoning as you will possibly need to add more salt and pepper.
First set the pot on high then reduce after an hour.
Serve with fresh veg and brown rice.

Hearty Vegetable Soup:
Need to be healthy today and tomorrow as Thursday is Wes's birthday and we will make a celebration birthday meal for him!

Roughly chop celery, leeks, carrots, onion and fry with a nice big piece of soft shin meat, bone in, this allows for extra flavour. Add 1 cup of dried split peas and a cup of barley. Add 1 lt of vegetable stock and allow to boil for altogether for about 45mins. Add salt, pepper to taste. Let this simmer for +-2hrs.
I then grate 2 potatoes on the course grater together with finely grated 2 carrots.
Let this all simmer until you are ready to serve and all the veg are nice and soft.
Serve with a crusty bread. Delicious for this chill we are experiencing just before spring!

I am trying a new recipe today. I found it at Stonegable and savouring time in the kitchen.
You can click on the Stonegable link on my right hand bar! Stonegable must be one of the most beautiful blogs I have read! True inspiration. I have adjusted it to suit the Cheese we get here in S.A.
Here goes the recipe:
Baked Zucchini Pie:
3 cups grated baby marrows, squeeze the juice out.
1 small onion chopped
1 cup flour
1/2 cup of strong cheddar
1/2 cup of mozzerella
3 eggs beaten
1/4 cup oil
4 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese (reserve 1 tablespoon)
1tsp each basil and thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
freshly ground black pepper.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Grease a pie plate.
In a large bowl combine all ingredients except 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Blend. Spoon the mixture into pie plate.
Bake for 40 - 45 mins til brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle over parmesan cheese reserved.
Cool and serve with a nice big green salad fill of fresh leaves dressed with balsamic, cherry tomatoes,feta, olives, avocado and garlic croutons!
Wesley's Birthday celebration.
Slow roast leg of lamb baked for 8 hrs until the meat falls off the bone! Stuffed with garlic, drizzled with olive oil and Rosemary freshly picked from my garden.
Roast potatoes, broccoli cheese, carrots in parsley and butter! and Brown rice.
For desert, I am baking (attempting!) a Dutch apple cake! with lashings of cream.
I will put the recipe for this cake up soon. But have to  say it's my son's favourite cake/desert!
Stir fried skinless chicken, peppers, mushrooms and garlic on top of linguine with Parmesan shavings and cherry tomatoes.

Enjoy your week.

Sunday! How to overcome discouragement.

Then the people of Judah said, "The work crews are worn out, and there is too much rubble. We can't continue to rebuild the wall." Nehemiah 4:10 (GWT)

The four words of discouragement:

Choose to resist, Say, "God help me get my eyes off the problem, off the circumstances and keep my eyes focused on YOU."

Have a blessed day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dinner with the Big 5!

A few weekends ago I was treated beyond all expectations!
We were at the beautiful Pumba Game Reserve very near to my home!

We could n't believe our luck, we saw the Big 5 and the White Lion which I have never seen other than in enclosures...Here are some more photos.....

A little too close for comfort!!

For more information on this game reserve, go to

for Tablescape Thursday and Romantic Home's Show and Tell at

See you soon!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Menu: 2 - 6 August Part 2

I'm back! My nerves are finished!

I've just taken my youngest for a driving lesson in my "bakkie" in extreme traffic...anyway, I have the rest of what's for dinner at Solomon for Thursday and Friday.

I have so many ripe avo's , the result of bargaining with my favourite coloured man at the park.
So for Thursday I thought of Salmon fishcakes, mashed potatoes and a little avo salsa!
We use tinned Salmon ,or you can use fresh,
For 4 people, I use 2 big tins, 3 boiled and grated potatoes, 2 grated onions, 1 finely grated raw carrot, seasoning, a little fresh thyme and parsley. Mix thoroughly and add flour and a beaten egg to bind.
Roll and coat in flour and fry in hot oil 'til nicely brown.
Serve with the mash and the avo salsa! I combine avos, tomatoes, a little spring onion with salt, pepper and a dash of white wine vinegar. This is how my mother taught me to make it! Delicious!

Friday! Grilled Stuffed Aubergines and Sweet multi coloured Peppers with a bolognaise Sauce and covered in a creamy, oh so creamy, cheese sauce. (Especially made for me and honey as the boys are out on the town!) Serve with a good crisp white wine and fresh baguette for mopping up all the sauce!
There you have it, another week of I can get on with my office work and not worry about what's for dinner for the week!

Bon Appetit!