the best olive oils in South Africa honoured at the #SAOliveAwards

the best olive oils in South Africa honoured at the #SAOliveAwards

Tokara 111x300 the best olive oils in South Africa honoured at the #SAOliveAwardsSouth Africa’s leading olive oil producers were honoured with gold medals at the annual SA Olive Awards last night. A total of 17 exceptional extra virgin oils received gold medals in three categories.

1. Delicate olive oil: Cederberg Olives, Muiskraal and Porterville Olives.

2. Medium olive oil: Tokara and Willow Creek clinched 2 gold medals each while Gabriëlskloof, Groote Vallei and Rio Largo Olive Estate each won one gold.

3. Intense olive oil: L’Ormarins, Marbrin Farm, Morgenster Estate, Mulderbosch Vineyards, Rio Largo Olive Estate and The Ou Pastorie.

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easy rich + real #fudge

easy rich + real #fudge

Fudge brings back so many childhood memories. I have such fond recollections of standing with mom in the kitchen making these sweet treats and then sitting somewhere quietly nibbling away on a few blocks. This is such an easy recipe I have been making it for years – you just throw everything into a pot and let it cook until the mixture turns into a soft sludge. To make things even easier I use an electric whisk to get it to that lovely fudgy consistency.

Fudge 1 easy rich + real #fudge
Fudge 2 easy rich + real #fudge

easy rich + real #fudge
  • 250g butter
  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 175ml full cream milk
  • 2T syrup
  • 800g sugar
  • 2t vanilla essence
  • Sugar thermometer
  • 30 x 20 cm tin or bowl, greased
  1. Put the butter, condensed milk, milk, syrup and sugar all together into a heavy bottom pot or pan and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Boil until the mixture reaches 118 °C or the soft-ball stage. When the fudge is at soft-ball stage, remove the pan from the stove and stir in the vanilla. With an electric whisk beat for about five minutes, by which time the fudge will have thickened to the texture of stiff peanut butter. Pour into prepared baking. Smooth the top of the fudge as well as you can. Allow to cool and then cut into squares.
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World’s first Banting restaurant opens in Cape Town

World’s first Banting restaurant opens in Cape Town

Last Thursday I had an exclusive peek into the new Banting Kitchen in Green Point, 47 Main Road (in front of Cape Royale Hotel), Cape Town. Tim Noakes and his many Banting fans will be extremely happy about this new eatery. The entire menu is based on Banting ingredients, ranging from home smoked salmon (delicious!), mussels in cream, lasagna, steak to the always popular cauli-mash through to dessert. As is to be expected, the dishes are obviously very rich given all the cream and butter – and as you know where there is cream and butter – it is always delicious.

Two things stood out for me – the bread and the dessert. On our arrival we were offered bread and butter and I have to admit that I was somewhat sceptical about the bread – I’ve have tried to bake Tim Noakes’s bread – and it was not pleasant. But the bread I had at The Banting Kitchen was surprisingly good and tasty. Banters who miss their slice of bread will find this a real treat.

And then the dessert, it’s just so hard to get a Banting dessert without that awful xylotil (sugar substitute) taste. Yet, I had the most wonderful-lemon panna cotta and baked cheesecake. I could not taste the xylotil and both were absolute winners. Our waitron, Brilliance was, well just brilliant … his friendly face and his knowledge of the menu was refreshing and he certainly lived up to his name.

For more information, visit or contact via telephone on 021 – 430 0506. Join The Banting Kitchen on Facebook (TheBantingKitchen) and Twitter (@bantingkitchen).

TBK oriental spiced cream cheese chicken supreme World’s first Banting restaurant opens in Cape Town

main | oriental spiced cream cheese chicken supreme

TBK Home smoked salmon starter copy 1 World’s first Banting restaurant opens in Cape Town

starter | home smoked salmon

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curried mushroom spuds

curried mushroom spuds

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall inspired these delicious spuds. He loves the combination of potatoes, mushrooms and curry and I love it too. It’s simple, tasty and oh so delicious!

Spuds 800 curried mushroom spuds



curried mushroom spuds
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
(Recipe adapted from Three Good Things)
Serves: 2
  • 2 baking potatoes, +- 270g each
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 t mustard seeds
  • 1 t cumin seeds
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 fat garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2 t strong curry powder
  • 30 g of butter
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Handful fresh coriander, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C and bake the potatoes for about an hour or until completely tender. Meanwhile, heat the oil over a medium heat and fry mustard and cumin seeds for about 1 minute.
  2. Add the mushrooms and fry for 5 minutes until tender and brown. Then add the garlic and curry powder and fry for another minute. Set aside.
  3. Halve the baked potatoes. Scoop out most of the baked flesh into a bowl, leaving each potato skin with a 5mm thick shell of flesh.
  4. Mash the scooped-out potato with the butter and some salt and pepper, then lightly stir in the curried mushrooms.
  5. Spoon the mixture back into the potato shells and heat through in the oven for 10–15 minutes. Serve with some fresh coriander.

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#pasta and bean soup | pasta e fagioli

#pasta and bean soup | pasta e fagioli

I made this lovely pasta e fagioli (pasta + bean soup) the past weekend. This is the best-known peasant dish in Italy and Antonio Carluccio’s recipe. He says that every Italian region, sometimes every town, has a pasta e fagioli, which is a charming and warming cucina povera (“poor kitchen”) dish. It can be very thick or more soupy according to the area of its origin.

Antonio sees this soup as the benchmark of every restaurant! If a chef cannot make it properly, then he is not a good, nor conscientious chef.

Its easy and delicious. Enjoy!

DSC06651 2 800 #pasta and bean soup | pasta e fagioli

DSC06654 2 800 #pasta and bean soup | pasta e fagioli


#pasta and bean #soup | pasta e fagioli
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Pasta e fagioli
Serves: 6
  • Serves 6
  • 300g fresh borlotti beans, or 200g dried beans soaked in cold water overnight and drained (I used 400g tinned beans)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • a few pieces of cured Italian ham (I used a packet of good bacon)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 basil leaves
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 liter chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • Salt and pepper
  • 150g tubetti pasta (I used macaroni)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to serve
  1. Put the beans into a heatproof earthenware pot or large pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook gently, allowing one hour if using fresh beans, 1½-2 hours if using dried. Don't salt the water or the skins will remain tough. When soft, drain and puree half of the beans in a blender or food processor, then mix together with the whole beans.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion and bacon and fry until softened. Add the basil, rosemary, stock, chilli if using, tomato puree, beans and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, then add the pasta and cook for 7-8 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.
  3. Leave to stand for 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to mingle. Reheat if you like, but in Italy soups are more often served warm rather than hot, even cold in summer. Top each portion with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


DSC06681 2 800 #pasta and bean soup | pasta e fagioli

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#pork fillet with cumin apples + crushed potatoes

#pork fillet with cumin apples + crushed potatoes

Pork is such an economical yet extremely tasty cut of meat. I bought 5 fillets at the deli in Joostenberg the other day for R60. It was those thick cuts with the minimal fat on. This is one of Rick’s favourite dishes and this is comfort food at its best. Enjoy.

Varkfilet Anel Potgieter 800 #pork fillet with cumin apples + crushed potatoes



#pork fillet with cumin apples + crushed potatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 400g pork fillet
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Cumin apples
  • 2 sweet apples like Royal Gala
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 20g butter
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin or cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • pinch of salt
  • Crushed potatoes with wholegrain mustard
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 30g butter
  • ⅓ cup milk
  1. Apples - Heat oil and butter in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the apples, cumin, cinnamon and salt and cook for 4 minutes. Add the honey and cook for a further 4 minutes - stirring occasionally. Once tender, remove from pan.
  2. Pork fillet - Season your pork fillets with salt and pepper and place these into the same pan in which you have cooked the apples. Fry for 4 minutes on each side. It depends on the thickness of the pork, so test the pork before serving to make sure that it is cooked through.
  3. Crushed potatoes - Boil potatoes till cooked and drain. Add the salt, mustard, butter and milk. Mix with a fork and crush the potatoes with fork.

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pumpkin + sweet potato + pear bake with orange olive oil

pumpkin + sweet potato + pear bake with orange olive oil

The olive tree is surely the biggest gift of heaven – Thomas Jefferson

I grew up with sunflower oil and butter but these days I have five different extra virgin olive oils next to my stove. Ordinary olive oil for frying my chicken breasts, truffle olive oil that I add to my mashed potatoes, orange olive oil that I sprinkle on my pumpkin before I put it into the oven, parmesan olive oil to be added in good measures over hot pasta and then lime olive oil for dressing my salads. Olive oil is a completely natural oil (straight from heaven, I would say) with no preservatives added.

DSC06481 2 pumpkin + sweet potato + pear bake with orange olive oil

SA Olive Association
In South Africa, the SA Olive Association keeps a watchful eye over our olive industry and if you want to be sure that you have a good South African olive oil you should be on the lookout for the organization’s seal of approval on the bottle. SA Olyf se seel van goedkeuring pumpkin + sweet potato + pear bake with orange olive oil

Now, how should a good olive oil taste?
Well, once tasted, it should have fruity flavours such as apple and this should be followed by a bitter taste at the back of your tongue, giving way to a sharp peppery sensation in the back of your throat. Feel free to take a half teaspoon of olive oil, put it in your mouth, breathe the oil in as if you are tasting wine and see whether you experience theses sensations.

Beware of oils that smell or taste winey, metallic, musty or rancid.

Interesting facts and tips about olive oil
• Use olive oil while it is still young and fresh. It is not like wine which gets better as it gets older.
• Store oil in a cool, dark place.
• Do not store the olive oil in the refrigerator, the condensation will promote oxidation.
• Olive oil is more heat stable than, for example, sunflower oil and can be reused seven times.


pumpkin + sweet potato + pear bake with orange olive oil
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 800g pumpkin, unpeeled and sliced
  • 500g sweet potato, unpeeled cut into fingers
  • 2 pears, unpeeled, quartered
  • 60g butter, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons orange olive oil (this can be replaced with ordinary olive oil and the juice of one orange)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 ° C. Place the butter on a baking tray and then the pumpkin, sweet potatoes and pears. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and cumin seeds and bake for 30 minutes. Mix the honey, sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the pumpkin and bake for a further half hour.

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lunch at the purple house in the bo-kaap + koe(k)sisters

lunch at the purple house in the bo-kaap + koe(k)sisters

Last week Cape Town Tourism invited me to have lunch at The Purple House in the Bo-Kaap.

Faldela Tolker Purple House 800 lunch at the purple house in the bo kaap + koe(k)sisters

Faldela Tolker prepared an authentic Cape Malay lunch for me, La Carmina (CNN TV Host) and Cape Town Tourism.

Waal St 800 lunch at the purple house in the bo kaap + koe(k)sisters

Wale Street – the heart of the Bo-Kaap. The Bo-Kaap is tucked into the fold of Signal Hill.

We visited the Bo-Kaap museum, a social history museum that documents life in the area. A visit to the museum is a must and I felt I was stepping back in time. You are not allowed to take pics inside the museum.

Atlas Trading 800 lunch at the purple house in the bo kaap + koe(k)sisters

I buy all my spices from this 70 year old shop. The first thing you will notice is the strong and fragrant spice smell.

Mr Ahmed 800 lunch at the purple house in the bo kaap + koe(k)sisters

Mr Ahmed weighing some spices.

Spices 800 lunch at the purple house in the bo kaap + koe(k)sisters

I always add a bit of Atlas’ mother-in-law masala to my masala mix.

Chiappini Street 800 lunch at the purple house in the bo kaap + koe(k)sisters

La Carmina in the colourful row of houses in Chiappini Street.

Samoosas 800 lunch at the purple house in the bo kaap + koe(k)sisters

Starters | Chicken and corn samosas + chilli bites

Tomato Bredie 800 lunch at the purple house in the bo kaap + koe(k)sisters

Tomato bredie with flavoured rice.

Koesisters 800 lunch at the purple house in the bo kaap + koe(k)sisters

We finished this perfect lunch with traditional koesisters.

Cardomon Tea 800 lunch at the purple house in the bo kaap + koe(k)sisters

Make your own cardamom tea by adding five cardamom pods to a pot of tea.

Koesisters vs Koeksisters – recipe Lanice Snyman via food24

There are two types: koeksisters and koesisters (without the “k” in the middle).
KOESISTERS Spongier, plumper and spicier than koeksisters (spelt with a “k”) – and never plaited – these traditional Sunday morning Cape-Malay treats were hawked by District Six children, to enthusiastic response from passers-by.


lunch at the purple house in the bo-kaap + koe(k)sisters
  • 500g cake flour
  • 100ml sugar
  • 2ml salt
  • 10g (20 ml) instant dried yeast
  • 10ml ground ginger
  • 10ml ground cinnamon
  • 10ml ground aniseed
  • 5ml ground cardamom
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 200ml milk
  • 200ml water
  • desiccated coconut
  • Syrup
  • 500ml water
  • 250ml sugar
  • 1ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 10ml butter
  1. Sift together flour, sugar, salt, yeast and spices into a bowl. Lightly mix together the oil and egg, and mix thoroughly into the dry ingredients.
  2. Mix together milk and water, heat to blood temperature, and mix in to form a soft dough. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and set aside in a warm spot until double in bulk (about 2 hours, depending on the weather).
  3. Roll out with your hands on a lightly oiled surface into a sausage about 5cm thick. Cut into 2cm lengths, form into flattened doughnut shapes and arrange on a tray; leave space for rising. Cover and set aside for about 30 minutes until double in size.
  4. SYRUP Bring the water and sugar to the boil in a large saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil uncovered for about 5 minutes until thickened to a light syrup. Stir in the bicarb and butter.
  5. Deep fry the koesisters in medium-hot oil for about 5 minutes, turning constantly, until golden, crisp and cooked through. Drain briefly on kitchen paper. Add to the syrup and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Lift onto a serving plate and sprinkle with coconut.

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cabbage and lamb bredie for six for under R50

cabbage and lamb bredie for six for under R50

Koolbredie 800 cabbage and lamb bredie for six for under R50

If there ever was a man who could work with a small amount of money and still eat like a king, it was my father, Coen Potgieter. Dad taught us all how to count our pennies without being stingy and taught us the valuable lesson of how to eat like a king on a cash-strapped budget.

Yes, my parents were very smart – they bought their meat in bulk, we packed, marked it with one of those big fat koki pens just before it was put into the freezer.
I remember when the whole family used to go fishing on Saturdays. Of the fish that we caught, some of them were cut up into thick slices and frozen whilst the other portions were made into curry fish and stored in the pantry. Growing up we also had a huge garden and our parents taught us how to grow our own fruit and vegetables.

These lessons have stayed with me my whole life. So last month when I bought one of those bulk packs of lamb for R69.99 p/kg, I packed it, labelled it and froze it – just as we always used to do when I was young. A few days later I hauled a pack out of the freezer and made this glorious koolbredie. It serves six people – all for under R50. By the way the cabbage came out of my garden. Dad would have been proud.

Cabbage 800 cabbage and lamb bredie for six for under R50


cabbage and lamb bredie for six for under R50
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 4 tablespoons oil (R2.00)
  • 500g lamb on the bone, cut in large cubes (R35.00)
  • 1 large onion, grated (R3.00)
  • 1 clove garlic, grated (R1.00)
  • 3 medium potatoes, quartered (R5.00)
  • 1 kg of cabbage, about half a cabbage, sliced finely (R0.00 - from my garden)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • juice of half a lemon (R2.00)
  1. Fry the meat in oil for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown - stirring constantly. Do not try to shorten this process. Add the onion and cook for a further 5 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients and cook slowly for at least one and a half hours until the meat is tender and cooked though. It should be dry but still juicy. Finally add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve with a thick slice of fresh bread.

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Matt Preston’s no knead bread

Matt Preston’s no knead bread

Witbrood en Botter 800  Matt Preston’s no knead bread

Who bakes bread these days? Not me. I buy the best bread on Saturdays at the market and I actually do not have the time for the kneading and proofing. The other day I was watching Masterchef and saw Matt Preston making his no-knead bread. This is definitely my kind of recipe. Simple ingredients, simple techniques (if any, that is) and when Matt Preston says it will work who am I to argue? He took flour, yeast, salt and warm water – mixed it all together, put the whole lot in the fridge overnight and baked it the next morning. ..and hey Presto!

I did the same and it turned out to be the first perfect bread I have ever baked. For people like me and for whom baking bread is a big challenge, I want to encourage you to try this recipe. It is simple, delicious and just impossible for it to flop.

Witbrood 800  Matt Preston’s no knead bread


matt preston’s no knead bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 kg bread flour, plus extra to dust
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant dried yeast
  • 950ml lukewarm water
  1. Combine flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Stir in water until the ingredients are all well combined. Cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate overnight.
  2. Remove bowl from fridge 1 hour prior to baking, and allow the mixture to come to room temperature.
  3. Preheat oven to 220°C. Line baking sheet with baking paper, and generously dust sheet with flour. Divide the dough in two and place the two pieces on the tray. Bake for 1 hour or until golden, and the inside sounds hollow when knocked on the base.

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breaking bread with the two greedy italians

breaking bread with the two greedy italians

During the recently held Good Food and Wine Show I had the amazing privilege to meet and interview two of my all-time food heroes, Gennaro Contaldo and Antonio Carluccio (Two Greedy Italians). With a freshly baked Matt Preston bread, fresh farm butter, a bottle of South African red wine and soetkoekies I sauntered off to meet these two larger than life icons.
Two Greedy Italians 800 breaking bread with the two greedy italians

What do you think of Matt Preston’s bread?
G: Mhhh delizioso. I am mad about this. It is brilliant. Grazie! I just love the cloth that it is wrapped in – just like a good Italian mamma would serve it.
A: Ahhh, this breod is fantastic, but I do think it could have been baked for a little while longer. (Thank you chef)

Butter on bread?
G: I personally do not like butter on my bread but I am crazy about butter in my espresso. The next time you have an espresso add a tea spoon of butter to it. So good. You have to try it. (I shall, I shall!)
A: Ahhh, ok Gennaro stop it now, try a piece of bread with some of this fresh butter on it. Mmhhh, magnifico!

About South African soetkoekies
G: Mamma Mia, this is fantastico! I am tasting so much love. Antonio, dunk your biscuit in the wine! Don’t be shy.
A: It is absolutely lovely, mmhhh, I can taste the cinnamon, cloves and ginger and the wine brings out the spicy flavours. Mhhh! Wow bellissimo!

10362849 680304688684029 1585273176369874945 n breaking bread with the two greedy italians

my two new zoobiscuit fans

Would you drink wine with breakfast?
A: Oh yes, definitely. Did you know that Leonardo da Vinci enjoyed a glass of wine with his breakfast? In Venice, I saw an old menu that belonged to him and there was wine being served with the breakfast.
G: Yes, my father is 96 and each morning he has a small glass of wine with his coffee. Genuine. He has coffee with milk and right alongside it is a small glass of red vino.

What will each of you cook if you wanted to seduce a lady?
A: Something exceptional, but not complicated because one needs time to seduce her (says Antonio with a broad and mischievous grin). Mhhh, I think I would prepare tortellini served with shavings of truffle. Then for dessert some lovely white strawberries, with a few drops of lemon juice and a sprinkling of fine sugar. (Oh, Antonio!)
G: Antonio, you must please serve a good Rosé with that. I shall make something decadent with lots of chocolate in.

photo 800 breaking bread with the two greedy italians

wine + bread with my two food heroes

For which famous people have you cooked?
A + G : Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Luciano Pavarotti, Robert De Niro, Princess Margaret en just recently Pippa Middleton.

Antonio, are you a chef or a cook?
A: A cook cooks with passion and a chef cooks because he must. I believe a chef has more fun in the kitchen with food. I see myself as a cook because I cook with passion when and how I want to, and I enjoy myself thoroughly.
Gennaro, who is your food hero?
G: Antonio of course! (Shows with a big hand gesture to his friend of thirty years). He taught me a lot and when you eat his food, you eat part of Antonio!


photo 2 800 breaking bread with the two greedy italians

so chuffed

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breakfast + wine – i say yes!

breakfast + wine – i say yes!

Lebanese lone wolf eggs 800 breakfast + wine   i say yes!

I am not a breakfast person. I would rather choose any other meal where I can drink wine. You are probably thinking I am stark raving mad, but to raise a glass of wine with a meal and to toast to life, happiness, health or whatever, is to me an appropriate way to dine.

I do have to admit that sipping on a glass of wine over breakfast has for many years escaped me – well that was until I recently visited my good friend Louis, who lives in Spain.

Lu is a country boy from Willowmore in the Easter Cape who moved to Castelion in Spain. On the first morning of my visit to him, he surprised me with a very simple Spanish breakfast… pan tumaca. Directly translated this is bread and tomato. Naturally, Louis in his usual flamboyant manner served this with a glass of Spanish red wine and the two of us celebrated with a toast to the good life and lasting friendships.

Anel en Louis 800 breakfast + wine   i say yes!

in spain with my good friend louis verwey

Following my visit to the continent there was just no stopping me. These days, very few breakfasts in my house are served without a glass of good red wine! One of the better breakfasts to enjoy …along with a tipple is John Whaite’s Lebanese Lone Wolf Eggs.

Lu, I am looking forward to your visit in December. I shall be making you a breakfast, open a a bottle of the finest red so that we can raise a glass to our friendship and your health!


Lebanese Lone Wolf Eggs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe adopted from John Whaite Bakes
Serves: 2
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic cloves, grated
  • ½ red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sumac ( you can replace the sumac with a teaspoon of lemon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (I used pomegranate jam - otherwise use a tart berry jam)
  • 200g chopped tomatoes (1/2 can)
  • Leaves of two sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 eggs
  • Pita breads to serve
  1. Fry the onions in oil for about 5 minutes in a small frying pan.
  2. Stirring occasionally, add the garlic, chilli, sumac, paprika, cumin and ground coriander. Stir well so that the spices coat the onions.
  3. Add the tomatoes and pomegranate molasses. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow the ingredients to gently bubble for about 5-10 minutes - or until the sauce is a good, thickish consistency.
  4. Stir in the thyme, fresh coriander, salt and pepper. Please taste and season the sauce.
  5. Crack in the eggs and allow the whites of the eggs to cook completely while keeping the yolks soft.
  6. Serve at once with pita bread. (…And a glass of good red!)

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easiest + most delicious sprite scones = revolutionary + unconventional

easiest + most delicious sprite scones = revolutionary + unconventional

Poppie se skons 2 800 easiest + most delicious sprite scones = revolutionary + unconventional I don’t like scones.   Yes, there you have it … I have disliked this dry tea time treat for years.  For me a scone is only edible the moment it comes out of the oven, spread with an even layer of butter that must be permitted to soak into the dryness of the scone. Then I add an unashamed serving of apricot jam paired with an equally generous serving of cream.  I also have to wash the whole lot down with at least two cups of freshly brewed tea!

But a few days ago I decided to ask Tannie Poppie for her unique scone recipe.  She was quick to comply: “Take 500 g self-raising flour and add 250 ml fresh cream and 330ml (x1 tin) of Sprite. Mix the batter and scoop in cupcake baking tray.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 200 °C until done.  This scones just melt in your mouth … try it out and do let me know what you think”.

Naturally, I could not hold back my surprise and excitement.  It is so simple and in less than an hour I had a Tannie Poppie-sprite-scone in my mouth (that hour included my time going to the shop to buy Sprite)!  It was not dry and had a feather like texture that just melts in the mouth.  All that I can say is that it is revolutionary and unconventional.  Tannie Poppie…you rock!


easiest + most delicious sprite scones = revolutionary + unconventional
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 500g self-raising flour
  • 250ml fresh cream
  • 330ml Sprite (1 small tin)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Optional
  • 1 egg, whisked (egg wash)
  1. Sift the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the cream and sprite and mix well. Scoop in cupcake baking tray. Brush with egg wash and bake at 200 °C for 12 – 15 minutes until done.

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salty lamb rib + wheat and bean risotto

salty lamb rib + wheat and bean risotto

Rib 800 salty lamb rib + wheat and bean risotto

Like scenes from the iconic movie, Thelma and Louise, Errieda and I let out an excited whoop as we saw the signboard “Vanwyksdorp Mall”.  We never saw “the mall”, but rather found ourselves in the midst of an Easter market in the middle of the Little Karoo.  Who would have thought?  It was like stepping into a live film set of the locally produced Faan se Trein.  “It is as if a production crew was specifically instructed to make this Easter market wonderland for the two of us”, said Errieda with contented surprise.  We were in our own food and people Utopia!

Van Wyksdorp Teken 800 salty lamb rib + wheat and bean risotto

Our first stop was “The Barking Frog”, for a cup of coffee.  Henry informed us that the “Barking Frog” was open 7-days a week and sometimes an entire tour bus would make its way over the mountain pass and long gravel road all the way from Mossel Bay.  A cup of coffee would set you back R15, a milk tart, toasted sandwiches and pastries could stretch the budget by between R15 and R22.   Errieda had the chicken pie with a crunchy salad with fresh raw baby corn.  What a marvellously, refreshing surprise – right in the middle of this isolated town.

The Barking Frog 800 salty lamb rib + wheat and bean risotto

Just in front of The Barking Frog, we met Pam Du Toit, selling her home-grown bok choi and deep purple eggplants along with her fresh herbs and purple cauliflower plants.  I found myself wondering again in awe “… bok choi and eggplant in Van Wyksdorp?” Well, yes … I found it in the middle of the Klein Karoo.

Many hours later, with the locals still lingering in the beer tent with their ice-cold beers and music we made our way back along to our mountain retreat.  We may have left our footprints in those very dusty tracks but it was the people, the food, the barking frogs that left their prints in our hearts.

As the sun set over this beautiful part of the world, I decided to it would be fitting to make an oven roasted lamb ribs with a wheat and green bean risotto.

Where is Van Wyksdorp?
Van Wyksdorp is located on the R327, 42 kilometers from Ladismith

The Barking Frog
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Van Wyksdorp


salty lamb rib + wheat and bean risotto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • Lamb ribs
  • 2 lamb ribs
  • salt
  • pepper (I prefer white pepper , but you can also use black pepper )
  • aluminium foil
  • Wheat and green bean risotto
  • 1 cup wheat
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (not dried thyme)
  • 300g green beans – cut half in the length and then sliced in two
  • 150g parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 250ml double cream
  • Cook the wheat, salt and fresh thyme for about 45 minutes until almost cooked - the wheat should still have a bite. Add the beans and cook until the pot’s bottom is dry. Add the Parmesan cheese and cream and simmer for another 5-10 minutes until thick
  • Pan fried tomatoes
  • 200g tomatoes on the stem
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Maldon salt
  1. Lamb ribs - Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Sprinkle a good amount of salt on both sides of the ribs and rub it in with your hands. Sprinkle a little pepper over the lamb. Cover with foil and bake in oven for an hour. Then take the foil off and bake for another hour.
  2. Wheat and green bean risotto - Cook the wheat, salt and fresh thyme for about 45 minutes until almost cooked - the wheat should still have a bite. Add the beans and cook until the pot’s bottom is dry. Add the Parmesan cheese and cream and simmer for another 5-10 minutes until thick
  3. Pan fried tomatoes - Fry tomatoes over medium heat in olive oil in a pan until begin to burst open. Remove and sprinkle with salt.

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milk tart + tea cups + merry-go-rounds

milk tart + tea cups + merry-go-rounds

image 1024x682 milk tart + tea cups + merry go rounds

Milk tart – they say that time changes everything, and everything changes with time…but does it? I think time is like a merry-go-round … it is only your view of things that changes, not the merry-go-round … … the “melktert” never changed.

I grew up with “melktert” with almond essence, puff pastry and cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. It brings back many fond and happy memories. A kaleidoscope of “Kerk bazaars” (church fete’s) and of course the “koek en tee na kerk op Sondae” at our home (cake and tea after church on Sunday).

Watch me make this by clicking here.

Pastry twirls 8001 milk tart + tea cups + merry go roundsmelk tert ekstras kleiner1 milk tart + tea cups + merry go rounds

The most lingering memory of the milk tart for me was custard inside the tart shell. This recipe is one of those versatile recipes that gives you the freedom to decide how you want to use it…either in a traditional puff pastry shell, or one where you create your own biscuit base or what I did … I thought I would update this age old classic without trying to change its history or heritage so I served it in my Mom’s tea cup and I added a few a Amaretti biscuits or cinnamon twirls allowing the memories of the past to dwell in the sweetness of the present. I have

My mom and I made it just the way that we remembered….I went to visit her the other day and we milled about in the kitchen, talking and laughing about those times when we were much younger … the many different stories of how to make milk tart and how to bring the best tart to the bazaar, we talked about family, we giggled like young girls as the milk boiled over and the maizina mix splattered all over the kitchen counter, we counted how many “melkterte” we had made together over the years and then we counted the blessing we have been able to share – then and now. For just a few hours I was again on that merry-go-round … me, my mom, the milk tart and a heap of happy memories….

Dankie Ma. Lief vir jou.

 milk tart + tea cups + merry go rounds


milk tart + tea cups
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 2 Cups of full cream milk
  • 110 g Sugar
  • ¼ t Salt
  • 2 Large eggs separated
  • 50g Maizina powder mixed with some of the milk (mix through until it has that thick cream consistency)
  • ½ t Almond essence
  • 1T Butter (not margarine)
  • Cinnamon Sugar Mixture
  • 50ml Sugar
  • 5ml Ground cinnamon
  • Amaretti biscuits
  1. Mix the milk, sugar and salt in pot and bring to boil.
  2. In the meanwhile beat the egg yolks slowly adding the Maizina.
  3. Pour this mixture very slowly in the milk mix - I use a hand egg-beater to mix it in - to avoid lumps
  4. Cook for 5 minutes till cooked.
  5. Add the almond essence and the butter. Stir well.
  6. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks start to form then slowly fold this in the custard.
  7. Please always taste again for seasoning.
  8. Pour in cups, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and serve with amaretti biscuits or cinnamon twirls.



cinnamon twirls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • Cinnamon twirls
  • ½ roll puff pastry, cut into 1cm x 8cm lengths
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  1. Cinnamon twirls - Brush the pastry strips with the egg wash.
  2. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle this over the pastry.
  3. Twist each pastry strip into a straw-like twirl.
  4. Place on baking tray and bake for approximately 11-12 minutes at 180 C – until cooked and golden brown.





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