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Saucy Asian Meatballs

On Sunday, a few of us got together to have dinner and afterwards play a bit of Nintendo Wii & 30 Seconds. Our host made a few traditional Bulgarian dishes while everyone else brought a little something as well. In the end, we were around 10 people with enough food to feed an entire football team and the reserves. It goes without saying: I was very very happy! =)

I wanted to make something light but most importantly something that is quick & easy. I came across a post for Saucy Asian Meatballs on Gimme Some Oven. Without actually looking at the recipe – I decided to make these. (I was pretty much won over by the pictures). However, I had to change the recipe a little due to constraints on ingredients and practicality. The original recipe asked for ginger (which I didn’t have) and it didn’t call for any salt or pepper at all. So I pretty much had flavour-less meat balls after the first try. After adding a fair amount of pepper & garlic, salt and coriander powder, the 2nd batch was a vast improvement. Also, if you like eating raw meatballs you can follow the recommended cooking time on the original recipe. I had to keep them in the oven for 15 - 18 minutes.

Ingredients for the Meatballs

  • 800g ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons garlic
  • thinly sliced green onions
  • Breadcrumbs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • coriander powder

Preheat the oven at 200C and combine the ingredients above. Use as many cups of breadcrumbs until you are able to shape balls with the mixture without it falling apart. Add as much salt & pepper to your liking to the mixture. Place the balls on a greased baking sheet and bake for 15 -18 minutes.

Ingredients for the Sauce

I must admit, I did cheat a bit making the sauce. I didn’t have most of the ingredients that were placed on the original recipe. I did however have Royco Sweet & Sour Sauce – just add boiling water, whisk a bit and it’s done. I also added:

  • 1 tablespoon of Macadamia Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of Soy Sauce
Saucy Asian Meatballs
 
Saucy Asian Meat Balls
 
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Plum Crumble Cake

Ingredients for the Base

  • 150g Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 100g Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g soft Butter

Combine 150g flour with a pinch of baking powder. Then add vanilla exteract, 2 eggs & 100g butter (place it in the microwave for a few seconds if its still too cold). Mix the ingredients thoroughly until it forms dough. Let it cool off in the fridge for a 20 minutes and spread the dough evenly in the baking tin afterwards. Then, use a fork to punch a few holes into the dough.

Place in an preheated oven for 10 -12 minutes at 200C.


 

Ingredients for the Filling

  • 8 plums
  • Sugar (depending on your preference - I didn't measure, just covered the top)

Place the plump onto the cooking tin on top of the base. Add sugar as seen in the picture below. You can also add plump marmalade & cinnamon to enhance the flavour.

 

Ingredients for Crumbles

  • 150g flour
  • 100g sugar
  • 100g soft butter

Add the ingredients to a bowl and use a mixer to knead the ingredients until you are satisfied with the size of the crumbles. Add them on top of the plums in the baking tin. NB: Make sure to cover the the sides as well.

Place in a preheated oven for about 40 minutes at 200C.

 

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Seared trout with spinach

The other day I popped over to my sister’s house for lunch. Now we have a little bit of a thing going, she goes shopping and then I raid her cupboards for the ingredients I want, and cook. It’s a win-win situation for the both of us.

So you can imagine my excitement when I peered inside the fridge and saw some beautiful fresh trout fillets. The pieces were thick, smelt like the sea and had a perfectly shiny skin – just right for a light searing.

If your fillets have a row of pin bones running through them it isn’t a problem as you can pull them out with a pair of kitchen tweezers. Just rub a finger against the “grain” of the bones to feel where they are, and then gently pull each one out, with the “grain”, in the direction which it faces.

This meal is perfect for dinner or lunch. I made a lighter option and served it with baby spinach, but if you throw in some baby potatoes or seasoned couscous, you have a meal fit for a hungry king. My “lighter” option was actually enough for 4 or 5 not-so-hungry people. But there were 3 of us and we were hungry, so we ate it all. And it was great.

Trout Fillet Trout Fillet served with Spinach

Find the recipe inside

 

 

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Stuffed Peppers for 4 people

This is probably one of my favorite dishes and it's so easy to make. Also, it can be tuned with some special flavors if you like! Beef can be combined with rice, barley, pasta, cheese or just veggies to fill the peppers.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large red Peppers

  • 500 g minced beef

  • 1 Can peeled small tomatoes

  • possibly a pinch of cayenne pepper

  • chopped garlic

  • 200 gr grated mozzarella

  • Rice

Instructions:

  1. Wash the peppers and take out the inside

  2. Cook in boiling water for 15 minutes

  3. Fry the minced beef in pan

  4. season with a little cayenne pepper

  5. Add chopped garlic and mix well

  6. Put the peppers in a greased casserole dish and fill them with the beef.

  7. Add the mozzarella on top.

  8. Cover with aluminum foil and put it in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes

  9. Then remove the foil and leave it for another 2 - 3 minutes to let the cheese melt.

  10. Serve with rice on the side.

Stuffed Paprikas for 4 people

 

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Beer Can Braai Butt Chicken

Yeah, this one has an awful name, but it’s pretty awesome. Marinade a chicken for a good 24 hours before cooking. Open a can of beer and drink half, then spoon in a table spoon of your marinade. Shove, I mean, insert the beer up the chickens’ rear end. Place the entire thing balanced upright in the centre of a hot, closed braai and about an hour later, voila!

You really can just make your favourite marinade, but here are a few options:

Simple and Easy
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
100ml olive oil
100ml oz fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste

Hot and Spicy
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon barbecue spice
½ teaspoon peri-peri
3 cloves crushed garlic
100ml olive oil
Salt, to taste
Chilli flakes, to taste
 
Fresh and Fruity
1 lime, juice and zest
1 orange, juice and zest
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 finely chopped red chilli or more if you like it haaawt
Salt to taste

Sweet and Salty
100ml honey
100ml soya sauce
50ml Hot English mustard
50ml Wholegrain mustard
3cm ginger, finely chopped

Smokey and Sweet
150ml tomato sauce
150ml chutney
1 teaspoons barbecue spice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
3 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
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Quick Beer Bread
A light bread that is given warmth and depth through quite a substantial amount of beer. It’s great left plain, or in the final 5 minutes of cooking, sprinkle on some grated yellow cheese and even some spring onion. Thick slices, slathered with butter are great for a gourmet sandwich and dunked in to soup, it is just fantastic.
  • 4 cups of flour
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups of beer
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
 
Preparation:
  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  2. Mix the beer and egg and add to the dry ingredients.
  3. Knead together to form a firm dough.
  4. Place in greased loaf pan and bake at 190 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes. (Or until a skewer/knife comes out the centre of the bread clean)
  5. Remove from pan immediately and allow to cool. 
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Amarula Cocktail Recipes

Amarula, the Spirit of Africa, has just introduced two new refreshing cocktail recipes that reflect the vibrancy of spring and summertime in the Southern Hemisphere. These two cocktail recipes can be found inside this post along with the recipe of the springbok shooter.

  • Amarula Citrus Passion combines Amarula, orange liqueur, passion fruit curd, orange syrup and a touch of white chocolate ganache shaken and poured over ice and garnished with orange zest.
  • Amarula Cherry Pop involves a fun, layered mixture of Amarula, Oude Meester Peppermint Liqueur and maraschino cherry syrup, served in a double shot glass and rounded off with a juicy maraschino cherry.

Springbok Shooters Amarula Cherry Pop Amarula Citrus Passion

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Thai Red Curry

I love me a good curry. I want my curry to be so hot and spicy that I break out into an awkward forehead sweat – sexy, I know.

There are so many varieties of curry that I am not being very descriptive. The truth is I really do love them all, except when the curry is so full with cinnamon sticks, star anise, curry leaves, cloves, cardamom and other bits and pieces, that eating it become more of a chore then it is worth.

If you are still getting used to eating curry (I don’t know how this is possible in South Africa) a really good place to start is with one of the Thai variety. Thai curries are made with coconut milk which adds a delicious rich creaminess. It is also very easy to regulate the heat in a Thai curry, because you choose how much chilli to put in it and if somehow you still make a mistake, just add more coconut milk and you are good to go.

Thai curries all start with curry paste, be it Green, Red or Golden. Depending how proactive you are, you can make this paste yourself or you can buy it from your local supermarket (haha I have always wanted to say that).

Thai Red Curry

I have done both and to be honest, as lovely as a homemade curry paste really is, the quality of the bought variety is perfect so if you aren’t in the mood to make your own, it really is ok. I won’t tell.

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Wine Making at Home DIY-Style

 

Home Wine Making When I think of a bottle of wine, the juice of fermented grapes immediately comes to mind. But there are also other ingredients one can use to make excellent and quality wine. Some of these ingredients include root vegetables, blackberries, plums, cereals, flower petals and rose hips. You certainly won’t find many of these types of wine at your local supermarket but they are not as difficult to make as you might think. You also don't need any expensive exquipment - so why not just make some yourself...at home!

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Mousakke Recipe

At the risk of being attacked by a hoard of Greek’s, I would tentatively like to describe Mousakke as lasagne without the pasta.

Mousakke is layers of vegetables and mince in a tomato based stock, which is then topped with savoury “custard” that sets into a creamy and rich sauce. Because each element has to be made separately and then layered to create the final dish, people think that it’s difficult to make. But as per all of my recipes: it isn’t.
 
I prefer to use beef or lamb mince rather than chicken mince, which isn’t as easy to cook and doesn’t bring any colour to the dish. Alternatively, you can make a vegetarian Mousakke which is delicious when also topped with breadcrumbs.
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large aubergines, sliced (½ cm in thickness)
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 500 g minced beef or lamb
  • 4 tomatoes, sliced
  • 150 ml stock (beef or veg)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 eggs
  • 45 ml milk
  • 45ml cream
  • salt and pepper
  • Oil for frying
Method
  1. Fry the aubergines till soft, set aside.
  2. Fry the onions till soft and golden, set aside.
  3. Brown your meat. Do not cook to much at once or it will boil and go grey.
  4. Layer aubergine, mince and onion until dish is almost fill. Top with sliced tomato.
  5. Mix the stock and tomato paste and pour over. 
  6. Bake in the oven at 180°C for about 30 minutes.
  7. Beat the eggs, milk and cream, season well and then slowly pour this mixture over the meat. The custard must remain “floating” on top of the Mousakke.
  8. Place back into the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce is set and the mixture is firm and golden brown. 

 

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Sweet and Sour Chicken Noodle

 In movies, what take away is always first choice? Chinese.

Why? Because it is quick, it’s simple and it a crowd pleaser.

Authentic Chinese food is wholesome and rich. It has a richness which is brought to it through its simple cooking process and aromatic ingredients.

So this may not be a truly authentic recipe but it’s delicious, it’s very easy to make and it really has made a lot of people in my life extremely happy. Especially me.

 
Ingredients: Feeds 3 hungry people
  • 4 chicken breasts, flattened and cut into bite-size chunks
  • ½ cup corn flour
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for medium frying
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced for garnish (optional)
  • 2 red chillies, thinly sliced for garnish (optional)
  • 250grams noodles, cooked
 
Sauce
  • 1¾ cups water
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2½ tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
 
1. Firstly you need to make the sauce. In a saucepan combine wet ingredients and then add the dry ingredients. Whisk till smooth and thick. Set aside to reheat later.
 
2. Flatten the chicken breasts slightly and cut into chunks. (A simple way is to place the breasts between layers of plastic wrap, then hit them with a rolling pin).
 
3. Make the batter by placing cornflour in a bowl and slowly adding the egg yolks, salt, pepper and water. Mix thoroughly. Don’t worry, the mixture will be very thick. Just make sure you get rid of all the lumps.
 
4. Dip the chicken into the batter, allow excess to drain and fry till golden and crispy. Since stoves vary, try one piece to test the cooking time. You don’t want your batter to burn and the chicken to be raw. Be sure not to overwhelm your pan with too much chicken, as this brings down the temperature of the oil and the pieces will stick together
 
5. Put your crispy chicken pieces on your freshly cooked noodles, top with a generous helping of the reheated sweet and sour sauce and sprinkle with the spring onions and chilli.
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Microwave Mug Cake

I haven’t got much of a sweet tooth so I am not one to keep chocolate or cake or anything of the sort at home. However sometimes I do get that little craving which annoying knocks on the inside of my skull saying, “Hey Kayli.. *knock knock* yeah you.. pssst, Kayli. I want chocolate. Now”.

 
As much as I LOVE cooking, I HATE baking. It’s mainly because I hate following recipes and when it comes to baking; measuring and weighing and counting and all that boring stuff, is so necessary.
 
That’s why this Microwave Mug Cake is the perfect way to satisfy your chocolate craving, without it being a complete pain. I know it sounds strange, but it really is amazing. You have to eat it literally as soon as it comes out of the microwave as that’s when it is the most delicious. Don’t burn yourself though. It’s hot. And if you do burn yourself, don’t try suing me, I warned you.
 
Microwave Mug Cake
 
I know it’s not the healthiest cake or the classiest for that matter, but you know what? I don’t care. It tastes great.
 
Ingredients:
  • 4 Tablespoons cake flour
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 Whole egg
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 3 Tablespoons oil
  • As much vanilla ice-cream as you choose to devour (optional)
  • A Mug
Instructions:
This is a one bowl, urrr, I mean mug, dessert. All the ingredients (other than the ice-cream) go into the mug as follows:
  • Mix flour, sugar and cocoa:
  • Spoon in 1 egg
  • Pour in milk and oil, and mix well to break up any lumps.
  • Put in microwave for 3 minutes on maximum power (1000watt)
  • Keep your eye on it and wait until it stops rising and sets in the mug
  • You can either tip out the cake into a bowl or just put a scoop of vanilla ice-cream into the mug.
You can also add chocolate chips or nuts or flavored liquor such as Frangelico to give it a bit of a twist. If you try any other additions which work out well, let me know!
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Creamy Peri-Peri Chicken Liver Pasta

 Many people are terrified of the concept of eating liver. I understand that it is different from your average drumstick and the consistency can take some getting used to, but chicken livers, cooked well, are truly just delicious.

For this recipe you will need:

  • 500 grams fresh chicken livers, rinsed, sinew removed and halved.
  • 250ml cream (or Orly Whip for the non-dairy alternative)
  • 1 large brown onion, chopped
  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1cm crushed ginger
  • 1 heaped teaspoon paprika
  • 30ml/1 shot brandy (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
  • Spring onion to garnish
  • 300 grams spaghetti or penne (or your favourite pasta)

Process:

  1. Rinse the livers under cold water and remove the sinews which join the two halves.
  2. Season with crushed salt and pepper and set aside
  3. In a pan, fry off your garlic and ginger and tomato paste for 20 seconds before adding your paprika and cayenne pepper and the onions which you fry till golden..
  4. Into this mixture add your livers and chopped tomatoes.
  5. Do not over stir the mixture as you do not want to break up the livers, but keep your eye on the pan as you don’t want them to stick.
  6. Once the livers have started to brown, add a shot of brandy.
  7. The alcohol in the brandy must cook out for 30 seconds before you add your fresh cream.
  8. Turn the heat down to low and allow the livers to simmer slowly. Ideally, livers should be served pink in the middle so cooking time shouldn’t be more than ten minutes.
  9. Just before serving add a handful of chopped spring onion
  10. Place a generous serving of livers and gravy on your perfectly cooked pasta of choice (penne works brilliantly) and top with another sprinkle of spring onion.

DE-LI-CI-OU-S.

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Fanta Cake

As some of you know, it was my birthday on the weekend and on that special occasion, we baked a Fanta Cake. I tweeted on Friday, that Fanta Cake must surely be the best cake in the world. You must forgive me, I wasn't thinking clearly as I was very excited. 

It’s not the best cake in the world – not really. However,  it’s the best birthday cake in the world! I know fans of Charly's Bakery will object,...but I'm talking about cakes you can actually make yourself! 

Add
-4 eggs
-300mg sugar
and stir
 
Add
-1 cup oil
-1 cup Fanta (Orange)
-1 packet vanilla sugar
-300mg flour
-I packet baking powder
and stir. Spread it on a baking tray. Bake at 180 – 200 C for 30 mins
 
Cover the pastry with 2-3 cans of peaches, and spread glaze on the fruit. Now add whipped crème on top. Finally, sprinkle the crème with sugar & cinnamon! All done!
 
Fantakuchen
 
Fanta Cake
 
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Watermelon Pops

Watermelon Pops

I just came across this simple "recipe" for a great summer snack. I know part of eating a watermelon is making a mess - but it doesn't have always have to be like that. This is perfect for a kid's birthday party or when entertaining guests during the summer. 

Frozen Watermelon 

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 Watermelon
popsicle sticks
Foil
Cookie sheet

 

 

 

 1) Cut the watermelon in half. Reserve one side for the "pop holder."

2) Cut thick ring slices of watermelon. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes from the watermelon slices.

3) Insert the craft sticks into the watermelon shapes, taking care not to poke it through.

4)Place on foil lined cookie sheet and freeze for a few hours.

5) Stick the watermelon pops in the remaining half of the watermelon to serve.

 
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Nussecken

This is the first recipe, I’ve published on this blog - there might be some confusion. Also, I’m translating this from German into English – it’s not that easy, especially if you aren’t really familiar with all the baking terms. But I will try my best. Nussecken will change your life - True Story!

 
I know its Christmas on Friday, but you still have time to make these! It’ll be worth it!
 
Ingredients for the Pastry:
·         200mg flour
·         1 pinch of salt
·         60g grounded almonds
·         70g sugar
·         1 egg
·         125g cold butter
Ingredients for the covering:
·         3 table spoons cream
·         150g butter
·         175g sugar
·         3 table spoons honey
·         300g grounded hazel nuts
·         Cream
 
Knead ingredients for the pastry and keep it cool while you prepare the covering. Later you will roll it out on a baking sheet and cover the top with cream.
 
For the covering, dissolve butter, sugar and honey. Add the hazel nuts and boil it up for a short while. Add cream to the mix and stir. Let the mixture cool off and then spread it onto the pastry.
 
Baking time: 15 – 20 minutes at 200 – 220 C. Cut the pastry into triangles while still hot.
 
(Read entire post for pictures)
Hope everyone can follow this! Enjoy… And Merry Christmas. 
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