#hake curry

#hake curry

Stokviskerrie 2 800 #hake curry

Everytime Easter comes around I remember with fondness our family holidays in Durban. For a week or two we lived on ice cream and sandwiches during the day, but in the evenings when we were all beached out, sunburnt and hungry my mom made us delicious grilled fish with salads . Today with this spicy Indian hake curry I want to pay tribute ton Durban, my mom and dad and to say thank you for affording us the opportunity to slip away for our annual adventure to the coast. Such carefree and happy times for our Free State family!! icon smile #hake curry

Stokviskerrie 3 800 #hake curry Stokviskerrie 800 #hake curry  


#hake curry
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 600g fresh hake, cut into large blocks
  • 1 large onion, grated (220g)
  • 3T cooking oil
  • 1T garlic, grated (about 4 cloves of garlic)
  • 1T ginger, grated (one big thumbful)
  • 2T Father-in-law masala / medium masala
  • 1 chillie, chopped
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup water (250ml)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Fresh coriander (lots of it)
  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pan and fry the onion for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, masala and fry for 3 minutes. At this stage if you need a bit of extra oil… add another tablespoon.
  3. Add the tin of tomatoes, water and salt and let it simmer for around 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add your hake and simmer for 7 minutes until the hake is cooked through. Do not stir it again otherwise the hake blocks will fall to pieces.
  5. Scoop this curry from the pan into a roti, add lots of coriander, roll up and enjoy.
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#eat out awards

#eat out awards

My gosh what a wonderful surprise to win the Eat Out Award for best local food blog for the second time in a row! lifeisazoobiscuit turned 2 years old on the 12th of April 2014 – the same day I received this prestigious award at the Stellenbosch Slowmarket. How’s that for a special birthday present for ‘biscuit?

I have to admit I am ecstatic but humbled by the many people who have put so much faith in me. I am still bubbling with all the excitement but have been so blessed in being able to share my love for food on my blog and even more blessed to have people like you reading my blog. So thank you all for this award.

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Here are some of my fellow blogger friends and colleagues who made it to the Top 8 – check their blogs out … all are so deserving and brilliant:

A Foodie Lives Here – Sarah Graham
The Food Fox – Ilse van der Merwe
The Kate Tin – Katelyn Williams
Real Men Can Cook - Fritz Brand
Simply Delicious – Alida Ryder
Sardines on Toast – Kobus van der Merwe
Food with a Story - Carlin Archer and Deni Archer

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#love this wellington

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#best confectionery – ooh la la

A complete list of winners of the Eat Out Zonnebloem Produce Awards

Best New Product – Sorbetiere sorbet
Best Small Producer: Baked Goods – Babylonstoren
Best Small Producer: Confectionery – Ooh La La
Best Small Producer: Dairy (Other) – Jenny’s Clotted Cream
Best Small Producer: Dairy (Hard Cheese) – Chrissie’s Country Cheese AND Fynboshoek (tied)
Best Small Producer Dairy (Fresh Cheese) – Buffalo Ridge
Best Small Producer: Earth – Harvest of Hope
Best Small Producer: Grocery/Condiments – Quality Pickles
Best Small Producer: Paddock (Cured) – Woodview Wagyu Beef
Best Small Producer: Paddock (Fresh) – Greenfields Free Range Beef
Best Small Producer: Paddock (Poultry) – Dargle Ducks
Best Small Producer: Seafood – Wayfarer Trout
Innovation Award – Melfort
South African Heritage Award – Oranjezicht City Farm
Best Free-Range/Organic Producer – Farmer Angus
Outstanding Outlets – North: Cheese Gourmet (Johannesburg)
South: Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants (Cape Town) – East: Sprigs (Durban)
Outstanding Markets – North: Neighbourgoods Market (Johannesburg)
South: Neighbourgoods Market (Cape Town) – East: I Heart Market (Durban)
Best Local Food Blog – lifeisazoobiscuit.com by Anél Potgieter

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one minute #banoffee pies

one minute #banoffee pies

Karamel 1 800 one minute #banoffee pies

{my front teeth for anything caramel}
Everyone who knows me well, knows that I would swap my front teeth for any dish that has caramel in. Whether it is the old favourite; the peppermint fridge tart or those fudge blocks that you get in those long red and white boxes… you know the one, those fudge blocks with the corrugated top edges. Or what about those Wilson’s caramel flavoured toffees that I find in my bag every time I stop at the garage shop for a litre of milk?

Then there is my all time favourite, the tin of caramel condensed milk. This is just too much for me to resist. I have to confess, I can demolish one of those tins all on my own without a twinge of the slightest guilt.

{one minute banoffee pies}
My friend Peter came to visit the other day and he wanted something sweet. I decided to take my secret tin of caramel – yes, i always hide a tin of caramel behind a wall of tinned food in my pantry – and make some quick banoffee pies.

{rick and the tinned cream}
I had a packet of digestives, caramel and bananas in my kitchen. The only ingredient that I was short was cream so I sent Rick to go and buy some cream. He came home with a tinned cream. Well, it made it even easier. This took a minute to assemble and between the three of us we polished off the lot in double time. What an absolute treat!

Karamel 2 800 one minute #banoffee pies

One minute #banoffee pies

Digestive biscuits
1 Tin of caramel

Smear a thick layer of caramel onto the digestive biscuit. Add a generous dollop of cream. Top it off with a few thin slices of banana.

karamel 3 800 one minute #banoffee pies

Karamel 4 800 one minute #banoffee pies

Karamel 5 800 one minute #banoffee pies

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cinnamon #pancakes filled with childhood memories

cinnamon #pancakes filled with childhood memories

Pannekoek2 800 cinnamon #pancakes filled with childhood memories
{my childhood food festival}
Every year in the small town of Wepener in the Free State where I grew up there was always a big farm show. For all the “tannies en omies” in the district and surrounding towns, it was always a large and important affair.

The fair was a place to show off your best livestock or your best cookies, melktert or baked goods with everyone competing for that treasured blue rosette. For me, the show was something to look forward to – it was my food festival … like the Taste of Cape Town and the Good Food and Wine show today.

Pannekoek8001 cinnamon #pancakes filled with childhood memories

{cinnamon pancake}
In the food hall, all the tannies were there standing next to their gas stoves in their frilly and colourful aprons, cooking everything from babotie, curry offal to jaffles and pancakes. Well, what is a food festival without the traditional pancake and cinnamon sugar?

Yes, the cinnamon sugar was sprinkled by the tablespoon full onto the “just-out-of-the-pan” fluffy slightly-burnt-pancakes. These featherlite, rolled up pancakes were just treat.

I remember those happy childhood memories, returning from the show late in the evening, climbing into bed with a full stomach and a happy and contented smile. I was filled to the brim with those delicious pancakes, but … the pancakes and the food fair also filled and fed my soul. The same way food feeds my soul today.

{vintage large quantity pancake recipe}
Today I want to share tannie Dollie van Heerden’s age old large quantity recipe Wepener pancakes. I found her recipe in an original copy of “Beproefde Resepte” (Proven Recipes), a local selection of recipes typed up by my mom for the school, so many years ago.

Tannie Dollie van Heerden’s tried and tested pancake recipe
I am not going to bother with converting the old measures of weight with the current metric system…as they say…you can “just google it!”.

30 cups of water
30 eggs
5 lb flour
1 bottle of cooking oil
3 tablespoons of salt
1 ounce of baking powder

Whisk the eggs together well. Add water, little by little to the eggs whisking all the while.
Sift the flour into the egg mixture. Add the salt and keep mixing until all the flour, water and eggs have mixed together. Lastly, whisk the cooking oil and baking powder together and pour into hot frying pan. Please note that the oil is only added for the first pancake. Fry until golden brown.

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#healthy lunch box salad

#healthy lunch box salad

my whole life I wanted to be thinner

DSC01674 2 800  #healthy lunch box salad {my whole life i wanted to be thinner}
In matric I was a size 10, but I wanted to be an 8. In my student years I was a 12 but wanted to be a 10. As time went by, I found myself shopping for clothes in the “fuller figure” department. Such lovely words … “fuller figure”. It kind of makes you feel thinner. But perhaps more importantly, it makes you feel less alone. You actually feel part of the “fuller figure” society.

Over the years, I must have tried every diet under the sun. From the soup diet, low calorie diet, Weigh-Less, Weight Watchers to the diet shakes and the rest. I am also sure some of you can remember those over the counter diet tabs that made your heart beat at a thousand miles an hour?

funny pics weight watchers diet pills  #healthy lunch box salad {2014}
Well, it is now 2014 and I can with confidence announce that I have won my battle with weight. I may not thinner per se but I have won my psychological battle with weight . How did I do it, you may ask? It required a huge mind shift in order to correct the unhealthy relationship that existed between me and food. It took a journey of deep self-introspection to establish the link between my being and the food choices I had been making.

It was a very difficult and challenging journey of discovery to say the least, yet it was one of the most enriching detours of my life. I discovered that food needn’t be the crutch it always was. Food did not have to be my best friend. But most importantly, I discovered myself! A self-confidant, strong and successful woman. A woman that looked beautiful when she looked at herself in the mirror in spite of the extra kilo’s she carries.

{it’s all about pre-planning}
Today, I eat three balanced meals a day. I had to learn to be organised! Pre-planning here is the absolute key. One needs to know what you are going to eat, and when you are going to eat it. These days, I pack myself a healthy salad to work and the sprinkle it with the best red wine dressing and Maldon salt which I keep in my drawer at work.

Naturally, I do occasionally give-in to the second slice of milk tart or that irresistible portion of home-baked chicken pie. Hell, just yesterday I ate a whole block of chocolate in front of the TV. But, it is okay…. Because I am okay!

DSC01691 2 2 800  #healthy lunch box salad  

#healthy lunch box salad
I always use whatever fresh ingredients I have available in my fridge as well as fresh herbs from my garden. The vinegar and salt I keep in my drawer at work.
  • Cabbage, sliced
  • Cucumber, sliced
  • Carrots, sliced or grated
  • Yellow peppers, sliced
  • Green peppers, sliced
  • Olives
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Coriander, chopped
  • Basil, chopped
  • Chicken, from last night’s dinner
  • Cannellini beans or chickpeas
  • Salad Dressing
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Maldon salt
  1. Add all ingredients in tupperware and take to work. Then sprinkle generously with Maldon salt and red wine vinegar.
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cupcakes + reach for a dream

cupcakes + reach for a dream

1 DSC 0487 cupcakes + reach for a dream

image . clara correia from c-magic photos

{meet waseemah}
Watch us bake cupcakes.

This story is not a story about a cupcake nor a cupcake recipe but it is about a beautiful young woman called Waseemah Sait. She is a living wonder, an extraordinary 16 year old who received a liver transplant at the tender age of one. She has a passion for baking cupcakes and loves to watch baking programmes on TV. A week or two back Waseemah did a school project. Her project was a poster detailing her wish list for the next five years. The poster shows that she one day becomes a famous pastry chef and then running her very own bakery in the UK! How lovely is that?

vertical 800 b cupcakes + reach for a dream

image . clara correia from c-magic photos

{reach for a dream}
So you may ask what does this have to do with me? Well Reach for a Dream contacted me last week to see if I could in some way assist in bringing some sunshine to Waseemah’s life who has already experienced so many challenges …

vertical 800 a cupcakes + reach for a dream

image . clara correia from c-magic photos

{expresso | thrusday | 20 march | 0650}
I then contacted the lovely Katelyn from Expresso and asked if it is ok if Waseemah could come and bake with me on the show. The answer was an overwhelming yes. So Thursday at 0650 I am going to be baking with this courageous young woman. But there is more, Katelyn, being the wonderful person she is did not stop there … she has organised a little surprise for the young Waseemah on Thursday after the show … but at this stage I am not letting the cat out of the bag.

Waseemah and I will be baking and creating our very own cupcake zoo on Thursday morning. Waseemah, these cupcake pics are specially for you – I hope they make you smile. icon smile cupcakes + reach for a dream See you Thursday.

{cupcake recipe}
Ok, now for the part about the cupcakes. I am not ashamed to say that the cupcake mixture is from Woolies (it is just as good as any home baked cupcake!). The little collection of animals are from Banks in the Cape Quarter.

DSC02085 2 8001 cupcakes + reach for a dream

DSC02114 2 800 cupcakes + reach for a dream

DSC02128 2 800 cupcakes + reach for a dream

DSC02148 2 800 cupcakes + reach for a dream

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easy cooking with nina timm

easy cooking with nina timm

Nina 1 smaller 199x300 easy cooking with nina timm
It is often challenging to write about someone you know very well and who has so many talents and skills – it makes it difficult deciding where to start. icon smile easy cooking with nina timm They say the beginning is always a good place to start … so … it was the very same Nina Timm who was there at the very start and birth of lifeisazoobisuit. You see, I had no clue how to even begin to take food photographs, how to write recipes or even babble about food let alone blog. It was then that a friend of mine said I should contact Nina.

Out of the blue one day I plucked up the courage and emailed the food warrior and pioneering spirit behind myeasycooking. I asked her if it would be ok for me to come and visit her to just chat about food. Goodness, it was one of those days in my life that I will never forget. Nina welcomed me with open arms, with such kindness, patience, Nina took my hand and guided me, she nurtured me through the first unsettling and intrepid steps of what was to become the most amazing blogging journey. Nina taught me about photographs, she introduced me to the food world and introduced me to many of the crazy and lovely people who paint the colours across our local food canvas.

nina’s recipe book
Last week Nina launched her own recipe book, easy cooking from nina’s kitchen.

To read more click here.

Nina Timm English easy cooking with nina timm

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my sister-in-law’s #asian salad

my sister-in-law’s #asian salad

My sister-in-law, Siobhan is just such an amazing woman. Since I married Rick she has welcomed me with open arms. She is just so caring, considerate, beautiful, sexy and has this great knack for making lovely, delicious and healthy food. This past Christmas she made this delectably spicy Eastern Salad.

DSC00818 8001 my sister in law’s #asian salad

DSC00904 800 my sister in law’s #asian salad

DSC00714 800 my sister in law’s #asian salad

DSC03803 800 my sister in law’s #asian salad


my sister-in-law’s #asian salad
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 2 small baby cabbages, finely sliced (or two cups of sliced cabbage)
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 200g green beans, thinly sliced
  • 200g baby corn, thinly sliced
  • 100g unsalted cashews, crushed
  • 2 spring onions, chopped diagonally
  • a large handful coriander, chopped
  • Dressing
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tblsp soy sauce
  • 1 red chillie, chopped
  1. Chop and grate all the fresh ingredients.
  2. Mix all the salad dressing ingredients well.
  3. Mix all salad ingredients together with the salad dressing and there you go. Scrumptious, healthy and just irresistibly delicious.
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peanut butter + rice krispies blocks in just 6 minutes = #microwave magic

peanut butter + rice krispies blocks in just 6 minutes = #microwave magic

DSC01340 2 800 peanut butter + rice krispies blocks in just 6 minutes  =  #microwave magic

Inspired by my friend Herman Lensing’s article in the Sarie recently I decided to make something in my microwave. Life is just so fast these days that I think we need to relook this genius kitchen accessory and have a solid appreciation for its talents and uses.

{mom’s microwave recipe book}
The microwave has played a critical role in the evolution of our culinary history – and something I never quite thought about. I decided to ask my mom if she had any microwave recipe books … well, she gave me 3 books plus a thick A4 book that she had put together herself over many years. It was made with one of my fathers’ old railway note books – mom cut and pasted recipes from different magazines and created an entire microwave recipe collection *lovely and so special to me*.

I found this really lekker peanut butter block recipe in her book. The marvelous thing was it only took me 6 minutes to make!

{rediscover the microwave magic}
We often tend to forget what an impact this wonderful machine had on our lives growing up … and even today. So dig out a few yummy microwave recipes … and rediscover the magic of the microwave!

DSC01320 2 800 peanut butter + rice krispies blocks in just 6 minutes  =  #microwave magic

DSC01253 2 800 peanut butter + rice krispies blocks in just 6 minutes  =  #microwave magic

DSC01305 2v800 peanut butter + rice krispies blocks in just 6 minutes  =  #microwave magic


peanut butter + rice krispies blocks in just 6 minutes = #microwave magic
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 24 big blocks Preparation time: 5 min Cooking time: 6 min
Serves: 24 blocks
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup golden syrup
  • 1 cup soft brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 6 cups rice krispies
  • 1 cup peanuts
  1. In a 3L bowl add the peanut butter, syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla essence. Microwave for 6 minutes stirring every minute.
  2. Now add the peanuts and rice krispies and pour the mixture into a buttered dish (about 30 cm x 20 cm). Flatten with a spatula.
  3. Let it cool down and cut into blocks.
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#garlic bread – go big or go home

#garlic bread – go big or go home

Garlic 2 800 #garlic bread   go big or go home

Oh how we just LOVE garlic bread – but… in my household the average French loaf garlic bread that you buy in the shops is just always too little. We want more – we always want more of that buttery garlic inside and the crusty outside … dammit, I just want more of the flavoursome bread!

So, I decided to take your normal sliced, average bread loaf and make this into a BIG garlic bread for my friends the other day. This is an adaptation or should I rather say step-up of the normal garlic loaf. My friends were all crazy about it but the only thing – it was still not enough!! But … everyone at least had a few delicious slices to savour. icon smile #garlic bread   go big or go home

It’s your choice how much garlic you want to add to the butter – but in my case, this would be loads … let’s face it, it’s not called garlic bread for nothing!

I say go big or go home!

Garlic 3 800 #garlic bread   go big or go home

Garlic 1 800 #garlic bread   go big or go home

Garlic 4 800 #garlic bread   go big or go home

Garlic 5 800 #garlic bread   go big or go home


#garlic bread – go big or go home
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 1 loaf of sliced white bread
  • 250g butter
  • 6 garlic cloves, grated (you can add lots more)
  • Aluminium foil
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 °C.
  2. Soften butter till it reaches a spread consistency. Add the grated garlic and mix well.
  3. Smear garlic butter between the slices and pack the bread together again. Also remember to smear the heels of the bread as well as the outer crust for that added crispy garlic toasting
  4. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 1h15 in preheated oven.
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rick’s flourless chocolate pots and the beer … make it or fake it…

rick’s flourless chocolate pots and the beer … make it or fake it…

CF 1 800 rick’s flourless chocolate pots and the beer ... make it or fake it…

A weekend away with my wonderful foodie friends is always full of culinary adventures. A recent getaway was no exception. My dear hubby was commissioned to make a dessert for supper one evening. He decided to take Nigella’s choc pots as a base and give it his twist i.e. he added vanilla, berries, crème fraiche … but …

When Rick does get into the kitchen on these “country weekends” it is always with a beer or two… or three … On this specific evening spurred on by the beer he forgot to add the flour to the mixture! Anyway Rick soldiered on without the flour … well, lo and behold it came out perfectly! I could hardly believe it but these delicious chocolate pots had still retained their fluffiness and that thick, silky, rich, gooey, chocolateness inside … and yes, without the flour! icon smile rick’s flourless chocolate pots and the beer ... make it or fake it…

CF 3 rick’s flourless chocolate pots and the beer ... make it or fake it…


rick’s flourless chocolate pots
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 115g butter (he used salted)
  • 100g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 Tbsp flour(rick omitted this :-))
  • ½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped
  • Fresh berries of your choice
  • 4 Tbsp crème fraîche
  • 4 ramekins + 1 Tbsp butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Butter the ramekins with 1 tablespoon butter.
  3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water. Set aside to cool.
  4. In another bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla seeds and salt with an electric beater and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the cooled butter and chocolate mixture and mix through with a spoon. Divide the mixture between the 4 buttered ramekins.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes, by which time the tops will be cooked and cracked and the chocolate gooey underneath.
  7. Serve with fresh berries and crème fraîche either in the ramekin with a spoon or carefully turn it over on a plate.
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i chatted to alida ryder

i chatted to alida ryder

Everyone loves Alida.

Yip, she is such an inspiration for any foodie out there. She has inspired me as a blogger and continues to astound me with all her ventures, adventures and successes when it comes to food. She started a blog, then published two recipe books, is a regular on TV and one cannot turn a page in any one of our many foodie magazines without coming face to face with this ever-resourceful and truly inspirational woman.

I had a chat to Alida to find out a little more about her, her love for all things foodie and her next great adventures.

Alida 800 i chatted to alida ryder

How do you eat zoo biscuits?
I haven’t actually eaten a zoo biscuit in ages but I always used to nibble the icing off first (… with extreme care, I might add) before eating the rest of biscuit.

Where did your passion for food originate?
I grew up in a food-loving family with a gran who ran her own hotel and catering business. She taught me so much about food and cooking. It is with much fondness that I can recall the days she spent baking cookies with me, the kitchen table groaning under the weight of all her amazing foods that used to be part of our Sunday lunch family ritual.

Tell me a bit more about your latest recipe book?
I’ve have been sitting with this idea for” Cook from the Heart” for the longest time and was so excited when I could finally start working on it. I really wanted to create a book that focused on the emotions behind cooking and eating. The book is divided into 8 chapters, each chapter encompasses a certain emotion and I must say, I am so incredibly chuffed with it.

Name your three favourite recipe books?
Nigella’s Kitchen, Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries (vol 1 & 2) and Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem.

What interesting stuff are you busy with at the moment?
My publisher has already started haunting me for a third book so I’m trying to zone in on a concept (I think I just have too many ideas…). I’m also busy with lots of recipe development for Woolworth’s website which keeps me very busy. But I Have to admit, it is so incredibly exciting and such a dream brand to work with. I’m also always thinking of new and exciting things for my blog and ways to keep it up to date. I really love the fact that I have a space where I can just play and have fun and take risks. It’s very liberating.

Tell us about your involvement with Food and Home magazine?
I did a winter pudding shoot for them for their June issue. It was a whole lot of fun – as they gave me the freedom to develop the recipes (within their guidelines, of course), style and shoot. It turned out to be just one of those dream assignments for me.

Who are your culinary heroes? And why?
I have so many. I love Nigella because I think she made cooking sexy again and along with Jamie. They have seemed to have really inspired people to start cooking again. I love Heston Blumenthal for obvious reasons. He’s playful and an absolute master at what he does. Nigel Slater is my absolute favourite cookbook author as his writing evokes such emotion and finally, I’d have to say my gran. She was so patient in the kitchen (something I still struggle with daily). She taught me how important it was and is to cook with love.

Describe your perfect meal?
Wow, that’s hard as I really do love all food. My perfect meal would probably start with Carpaccio with lots of Parmesan and fresh lemon and dense seed bread with lots of butter. This would be followed by a juicy cheese burger with a hint of chilli and crisp Parmesan-truffle fries. There would have to be a cheese course and finally, a perfect Crème Brulee.

“Onthou kos” or ”moderne skeppings”?
Onthou kos with edge. icon smile i chatted to alida ryder There’s nothing like food that is steeped in nostalgia.

What are your favourite flavour combinations?
I am of the belief that fresh chili, garlic and lemon can make anything taste good.

Your five favourite ingredients to cook with?
Chilli, garlic, lemon (duh!), butter and lamb …. OOoh… and bacon!! icon smile i chatted to alida ryder

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roasted tomato + feta salad

roasted tomato + feta salad

final 2 8003 roasted tomato + feta salad

Tomatoes + feta + basil has always presented a really classic combination. By slow roasting the tomatoes one is able to extract that deep, concentrated sweet flavour. My suggestion would be to serve this salad with a slice of toasted sourdough bread or just as a spritely side dish at your summer braai.

Watch me make this by clicking here.

Final 800 roasted tomato + feta salad


roasted tomato + feta salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 500g baby tomatoes, halved
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 200g feta cheese
  • handful of basil leaves
  • salt and black pepper for seasoning
  1. Mix the tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar together and roast in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for one hour. Take out of oven, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, mix well and let it cool down. Taste for seasoning.
  2. Let it cool down to room temperature.
  3. Crumble the feta and add to the tomatoes and the juices. Serve with torn basil leaves.

final 3 800 roasted tomato + feta salad

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macerated cherries with crème fraiche for the new year

macerated cherries with crème fraiche for the new year

final 4 8001 macerated cherries with crème fraiche for the new year

{2013 roller coaster}
What a year 2013 was? It was like one of those runaway roller coaster rides that takes you to the highest of highs and lowest of lows and as it winds its way to the end of its track, one is left with a sense of both exhilaration and relief. I think I had one of those years…. So much so that I have to start 2014 with these happy + fun, alcohol-drenched cherries. Perhaps I am being a little dramatic, but these little fruits are like one of those great big firework displays announcing the New Year … so colourful, bright and celebratory.

{happy new year}
I hope 2013 has treated you well and wish that this year will be an awesome one!

Thanks for reading my blog and a very Happy and Blessed 2014 to one and all…. !

{meaning of macerate}
Macerate | ˈmasəreɪt/
soften or become softened by soaking in a liquid

Final 1 8002 macerated cherries with crème fraiche for the new year

final 2 8002 macerated cherries with crème fraiche for the new year


macerated cherries with crème fraiche for the new year
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
  • 500 g fresh cherries
  • 200 ml grappa
  • 200 ml marsala wine
  • 1 Tbsp muscovado sugar (or any soft brown sugar)
  • 250ml créme fraiché
  • 2 Tbsp muscovado sugar
  • a few mint leaves, chopped finely (do not leave this ingredient out!)
  1. Mix the grappa, wine and sugar together and pour over the cherries. Let it stand in the fridge for 24 hours.
  2. Just before serving mix the créme fraiché and sugar together – the sugar will melt it naturally.
  3. To serve: scoop some crème fraiche on a plate, add a few cherries and then sprinkle with chopped mint leaves.
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open watermelon sandwich from #freshstop

open watermelon sandwich from #freshstop

final 2.JPG 800 open watermelon sandwich from #freshstop

{freshstop is fresh}
Yesterday whilst filling up my car with fuel, I had a few minutes to spare so I decided to pop into the Caltex Freshstop. Well, wowzer was I surprised!

Yes, there were the usual selection of convenient fast foods and fabulous coffee to go – but there was a host of other fresh ingredients as well. Have you seen the amazing array of fresh fruits from watermelon, melons and apples? Then the fresh vegetables like my favourite baby tomatoes, green beans, lettuce and a selection of cheeses, yogurts and nuts too? How did I miss that?

{watermelon and tomato? yes!}
The watermelon and tomatoes reminded me that I had been toying with the idea of a tomato, watermelon combination for the last year but just never got my head around it. But recently, I read that Chef Gabriel Kreuther from the Modern in New York combined the two and the flavours were absolutely superb. So I decided there and then to whisk watermelon, tomatoes, feta cheese and pistachios off the shelf and headed home to start experimenting.

{perfect summer dish}
I decided to make an open watermelon sandwich with roasted tomatoes topped with feta, pistachios and mint. The sweet and the savoury elements of this summery salad are just too divine. The ice cold sweet watermelon with the concentrated savoury flavour of tomatoes makes for a perfect combination and the pistachios and mint gives everything that extra taste and texture. It is fresh and interesting and would make a perfect starter for a summer meal or as a side salad to a braai.

So, this summer when you need fresh ingredients to perk-up your summer meals remember to pop into your closest Freshstop – no hassle and no fuss.

WM2 800 open watermelon sandwich from #freshstop

WM 3 800 open watermelon sandwich from #freshstop

DSC07407 800 open watermelon sandwich from #freshstop


open watermelon sandwich from #freshstop
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • Roasted tomatoes
  • 500g baby tomatoes, halved
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Other salad ingredients
  • 900g watermelon
  • 200g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 100g pistachios, shelled
  • small handful of fresh mint leaves, torn
  1. Roasted tomatoes – Mix the tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar together and roast in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for one hour. Take out of oven, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and let it cool down.
  2. Taste for seasoning. You will want to serve it with the watermelon at room temperature.
  3. To assemble – Place a slice of watermelon on a plate as the base of your dish and add a few tomatoes on top. Crumble some feta over the dish, top with pistachios and finish with a few mint leaves – sprinkle with a few drops of the balsamic-tomato juices.
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