Tuesday, November 22, 2011

♥ halibut with grapefruit, parsley, red onion & shiitake mushrooms ♥

this healthy and tasty recipe is courtesy of chef jimmy bradley and can be found in "the red cat cookbook."

what you'll need...
♥1 1/2 large pink grapefruits
♥3/4 cup torn flat-leaf parsley
♥1/4 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
♥1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
♥coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
♥1 tablespoon heavy cream
♥1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, plus 1 tablespoon for fish
♥dash of hot sauce
♥1/2 cup grapeseed oil
♥10 ounces shiitake mushrooms, caps only, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
♥4 skinless halibut fillets (6 ounces each)

what you'll do...
1. slice the top and bottom of grapefruits with a paring knife. set one of the flat sides on your work surface. from top to bottom, following the curve of the fruit, cut away peel and white pith. trim off any remaining pith. holding the grapefruit over a medium bowl, cut along both sides of 12 segments, staying close to the membrane, to release; discard any seeds.

2. squeeze juice from remaining sections into a small bowl, discarding any seeds. you should have about 1/2 cup juice.

3. add parsley, onion, and olive oil to bowl with grapefruit sections; season with salt and pepper and gently toss to combine. cover and set aside.

4. pour grapefruit juice into a small nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. continue boiling juice until reduced to a thick glaze, about 5 minutes. whisk in cream and let reduce for 1 minute. remove saucepan from heat and whisk in 1/2 cup butter, one piece at a time. whisk in hot sauce and season with salt and pepper; cover and set aside.

5. heat 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium heat. add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until beginning to crisp, about 4 minutes. season with salt and pepper; set aside, covered, to keep warm.

6. heat remaining 1/4 cup grapeseed oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. season halibut fillets with salt and pepper and place them in skillet. add remaining tablespoon butter and let melt to prevent fish from sticking to pan. cook fish, turning once, until opaque, about 3 minutes per side.

7. divide mushrooms evenly between 4 serving plates. top each with grapefruit salad and a halibut fillet. spoon over sauce and serve immediately.

♥ eggs benedict ♥

what you'll do...
♥1 tablespoon white vinegar
♥8 large eggs
Hollandaise Sauce
♥16 slices bacon
♥4 english muffins, split in half, toasted

what you'll do...
1. Fill a large saucepan with about 4 inches of water, add vinegar, and bring to a boil. Fill a shallow dish or pie plate with warm water. Reduce heat under saucepan to medium, so water is just barely simmering. Break 1 egg at a time into a small heat-proof bowl. Gently tip bowl into water; carefully slide egg into water. Repeat with remaining eggs.

2. When eggs begin to become opaque, remove them from the saucepan with a slotted spoon in the order in which they were added. Transfer the eggs to the dish of warm water. This process should take about 3 minutes.

3. Prepare the hollandaise sauce, and set aside, keeping it warm.

4. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add Canadian bacon, and cook until well browned on both sides. Divide bacon among the English-muffin halves. For each serving, use a slotted spoon to remove one egg from warm water; set spoon and egg briefly on a clean cloth or paper towel to drain. Gently place the egg on a bacon-topped muffin, and spoon the reserved warm hollandaise sauce over the top

Monday, November 21, 2011

♥ spinach and gruyere souffle ♥

souffles are much simpler to make than you think. just stir egg yolks and spinach into cheese sauce to create your base. all thats left is to fold in egg whites and bake.

what you'll need...
♥2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for baking dish
♥1/3 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
♥5 cups (5 ounces) packed spinach, trimmed and washed
♥2 tablespoons flour
♥3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
♥1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese
♥coarse salt and ground pepper
♥2 large eggs, separated, plus 2 large egg whites

what you'll do...
1. preheat oven to 375 degrees. butter a round 1-quart tall-sided baking dish and dust with breadcrumbs; set aside. in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons water over medium-high. add spinach and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted, about 4 minutes. transfer to a strainer to cool; press to release liquid.

2. in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium until bubbling. add flour and whisk until a paste forms. continue to cook until pale blond in color, 2 to 3 minutes. whisking, gradually add milk. cook, whisking, until lumps are gone and mixture is thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. remove from heat. stir in cheese until melted; season with salt and pepper. transfer souffle base to a large bowl.

3. in a food processor, pulse spinach and egg yolks until coarsely pureed. add 1/4 cup souffle base; pulse until blended. stir spinach mixture into remaining souffle base. (to store, press plastic wrap against surface and keep at room temperature, up to 4 hours.)

4. in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 4 egg whites and pinch of salt on medium-high until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat), about 3 minutes. in 2 additions, gently fold egg whites into souffle base. pour batter into prepared dish and bake until souffle is tall, browned, and firm to the touch, about 35 minutes. (avoid opening oven during first 25 minutes of baking.) serve immediately.

♥ bacon, egg and toast cups ♥

try cooked, crumbled sausage in place of bacon or make a vegetarian version with sauteed spinach and dress things up with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese

what you'll need...
♥3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
♥8 slices white or whole-wheat sandwich bread
♥6 slices bacon
♥6 large eggs
♥coarse salt and ground pepper

what you'll do...
1. preheat oven to 375 degrees. lightly butter 6 standard muffin cups. with a rolling pin, flatten bread slices slightly and, with a 4 1/4-inch cookie cutter, cut into 8 rounds. cut each round in half, then press 2 halves into each muffin cup, overlapping slightly and making sure bread comes up to edge of cup. use extra bread to patch any gaps. brush bread with remaining butter.

2. in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium, until almost crisp, 4 minutes, flipping once. (it will continue to cook in the oven.) lay 1 bacon slice in each bread cup and crack an egg over each. season with salt and pepper. bake until egg whites are just set, 20 to 25 minutes. run a small knife around cups to loosen toasts. serve immediately.

standard muffin pans come in 6- or 12-cup size; if baking 6 items in a 12-cup pan, leave empty space in between. nonstick pans are nice but not essential. beware of very thin pans, which often lead to burning. place pans on a baking sheet to make them easier to get in and out of the oven.

♥ herbed mushroom custards ♥

for smooth and creamy custards, bake them in a bain marie. this method ensures even, gentle cooking.

what you'll need...
♥4 tablespoons butter
♥2 and 1/2 pound mixed mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
♥3 garlic cloves, minced
♥1 cup heavy cream
♥1 large egg
♥1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
♥coarse salt and ground pepper

what you'll do...
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. add mushrooms and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms begin to brown, 18 to 20 minutes. let cool slightly.

2. in a large bowl, whisk together cream, egg, parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. stir in mushrooms, and divide among eight 6-ounce ramekins.

3. line a roasting pan (just large enough to hold ramekins) with a dish towel; place ramekins on towel. transfer to oven, and pour enough boiling water in pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins. bake until custards are just set, about 30 minutes. carefully remove ramekins from water.

♥ potatoes anna ♥

this classic french dish can be baked up to eight hours ahead. let it cool completely, then cover loosely with foil, and refrigerate. to serve, reheat in a 350-degree oven...

what you'll need...
♥6 medium russet potatoes
♥6 tablespoons butter
♥coarse salt and ground pepper

what you'll do...
1. preheat oven to 450 degrees. using a food processor with a slicing blade or a sharp knife, slice potatoes as thinly as possible, 1/4 inch thick or thinner. (do not place sliced potatoes in water; the starch is needed to bind the layers.).

2. brush bottom of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with 1 1/2 tablespoons butter. starting in center of pan, arrange potato slices, slightly overlapping, in circular pattern, covering surface. brush with another 1 1/2 tablespoons butter; season well with salt and pepper. repeat for two more layers.

♥ goats-cheese stuffed mushrooms ♥

what you'll need...
♥olive oil for baking sheet
♥3 slices white sandwich bread
♥1 small garlic clove, coarsley chopped
♥5 ounces goats cheese, crumbled
♥1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
♥1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
♥coarse salt
♥2 packages white button mushrooms, stems removed

what you'll do...
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.

2. In a food processor, pulse bread and garlic until fine crumbs form; set 1/2 cup aside. To food processor, add goat cheese, parsley, and red-pepper flakes. Season with salt, and pulse filling until combined.

3. Spoon filling into each mushroom, and roll filled side in reserved breadcrumbs. Place on prepared baking sheet; bake until mushrooms are tender and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

♥ fried mozzarella ♥

what you'll need...
♥1 cup flour
♥2 large eggs
♥1 cup dried breadcrumbs
♥1 teaspoon dried thyme
♥coarse sea and ground pepper
♥1 pound bite size mozzarella balls
♥2 cups vegetable oil
♥tomato sause for serving

what you'll do...
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place flour in a bowl. In another bowl, beat eggs. In a third bowl, combine panko with thyme. Season each with salt and pepper. Working with 2 bocconcini at a time, dredge in flour, shaking off excess, coat in egg, and roll in breadcrumbs, pressing gently to adhere.

2.In a small saucepan, heat vegetable oil over medium-high until pinch of breadcrumbs sizzles and floats to the top when added. Fry bocconcini, 4 at a time, until golden brown, turning occasionally, 2 minutes per batch. With a slotted spoon, transfer balls to paper towels to drain and season with salt. Keep warm in oven and repeat with remaining bocconcini. Serve with tomato sauce for dipping.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

♥ peanut butter toffee cookies ♥

what you'll need...
♥3/4 cup flour plus more for fingertips
♥1/4 teaspoon baking soda
♥1/8 teaspoon salt
♥4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
♥1/2 cup sugar
♥1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
♥1 large egg
♥2 chocolate-covered toffee candy bars (1.4 ounces each), chopped

what you'll do...
1. preheat oven to 350F. in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking sode and salt

2. in a large bowl, with a electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. add peanut butter and egg and beat until smooth. with mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture. stir in toffee

3. using 1 level tablespoon batter per cookie, drop onto baking sheet, about 1 inch apart, flatten slightly with floured fingertips. bake until edges are golden brown, 16 - 18 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. transfer cookies immediately to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

♥ yummy 6 herb linguine ♥

nothing could be simpler (or more satisfying) than a dish of pasta flecked with a mix of fresh green herbs and dusted with parmesan cheese.

what you'll need...
♥2 teaspoons olive oil
♥2 medium onions, finely chopped
♥2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
♥8 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
♥1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
♥1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
♥1/2 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
♥1/2 cup dry white whine
♥12 ounces linguine
♥1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
♥1/4 cup flat leave parsley leaves, plus springs for garnish
♥1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
♥2 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated - about 1/2 cup

what you'll do...
1. heat covered 6-quart pot of boiling water on high and add 1 teaspoon salt

2. meanwhile, in a 10-inch skillet, heat oil on medium. add shallots and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. add garlic, sage, oregano, rosemary and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper. cook for 1 minute, stirring. add broth and wine. heat to boiling on high. reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 mintes or until reduced by half, stirring then remove from heat

3. while sauce cooks, add pasta to boiling water and cook as label directs. finely chop basil and parsley and set aside.reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water. drain pasta and return to saucepot. stir in wine mixture along with chives, basil, parsley and reserved pasta water. toss until well combined

4. divide pasta among 4 serving plates and top with parmesan

nutritional information (per serving)
calories - 415
total fat - 8g
saturates fat - 3g
cholesterol - 13mg
sodium - 500mg
total carbs - 68g
dietary fiber - 3g
sugars --
protein - 18g
calsium --

Thursday, September 1, 2011

♥ fat free and low cholesterol chicken cordon bleu ♥

this must be one of the yummiest recipes i've found so far in my search for the best fat free or low fat dinner YET! my man's still riding the healthy dinner wave and i'm splashing along - not that i mind at all...

i couldn't find the fat free swiss cheese so i spend about an hour scratching through all the cheeses at our local shop and just took the one that had the least amount of fat content.

fat free and low cholesterol chiken cordon bleu

what you'll need...
♥4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
♥4 slices nonfat swiss cheese
♥4 slices smoked turkey ham
♥1/2 cup nonfat bread crumbs
♥1 egg white
♥1/4 skim milk
♥onion powder
♥garlic powder

♥chicken broth in a spray bottle

what you'll do...
1. preheat your oven to 180 degrees

2. pound the chicken breasts untill they are tender and flatened. place a slice of a cheese and one slice of a ham on one side of each pounded breast.

3. fold the other side over, press the edges together to seal and coat the chiken in bread crumbs.

4. in a small bowl, mix the milk, egg white and seasonings to taste.

5. dip the breaded chicken in the egg white mixture and dip again in the bread crumbs.

6. place the chicken on foil-covered cookie sheet and spray with broth.

7. bake for about 20 minutes.

when ready, take it out of the oven and get ready to serve. i like it with boiled sweet potato and steamed veggies like brocoli, cauliflower or carrots. you can have it with potatoes, mashed potatoes or rice.

bon appetit!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

♥ beautiful morgans, beautiful baby shower snackies ♥

so we had our first lil babbas baby shower last weekend - 23 july 2011 - being the nut i am, i obviously went a little overboard when it came to the planning - what i did and didn't want... i pondered and schemed and then pondered some more and eventually came up with what i thought was the perfect baby shower menu.

but, when i first started planning - little did i know what it was also a rugby day and if it being a rugby day wasn't bad enough, the game had to be at noon! hubby and i decided to have a joint baby shower, so while he was busy planning lunch for everyone (a yummy lamb spit) my mom, my beautiful sis in law - tali - and gorgeous friend - cara - took on the task of preparing snacks for everyone!

♥ healthy vegetarian skewers ♥

♥ fruity skewers ♥

♥ teddy bear shaped sandwiches ♥
(apologies for the quality - photo taken with my phone)

♥ chocolate eclairs ♥

♥ carrot and cranberry cakes ♥

♥ apple tart ♥

♥ my moms famous tuna tarts ♥

♥ mini sausage rolls ♥

♥ neets fav - chocolate brownies ♥

♥ lemon meringue ♥

♥ a little candy buffet ♥

♥ tali's yummy scones ♥

♥ savoury muffins ♥

and then... no party is a real party without a stunning cake:
♥ morgans amazing baby shower cake ♥

please feel free to contact me should you need any baby shower assistance, i have loads of other options and would love to help you to make your day as perfect as ours!


Monday, July 25, 2011

♥ lemon meringue ♥

you'll unfortunately have to convert the ingredients in this one - will take a little longer, but sooooo worth it!

what you'll need...
♥1 can condensed milk
♥3 eggs separted
♥1/4 cup lemon juice
♥1 9 inch regular pie shell (storebought or home made)
♥1 teaspoon lemon zest
♥1/4 cup sugar
♥1 teaspoon vanilla

1. preheat oven to 375.

2. prick pie shell with fork on bottom and bake until light brown. remove from oven and let cool ten minutes.

what you'll do...
for the filling:
1. separate eggs, placing whites in clean,small mixing bowl.

2. in medium bowl, mix condensed milk, egg yellows, lemon juice, and zest, until well blended and thickened (just a few minutes should do it as lemon juice "cooks" custard.)

3. pour lemon mixture into pie shell.

for the meringue:

1. with mixer, beat egg whites until they form soft peaks.

2. add sugar and vanilla and beat until nice shiny stiff peaks form.

3. spread meringue over pie with spatula, pressing lightly and lifting to make nice peaks.

♥ better than grammys milk tart ♥

what you'll need...
♥2 cups flour
♥1 egg
♥0.5 cup sugar
♥2 tsp baking powder
♥125g butter
♥pinch of salt

what you'll do...
1. cream butter and sugar well together and add the egg, before beating well.

2. add all other ingredients - making a stiff dough.

3. press into one or two round cake tins/pie dishes and bake at 180°C until light brown.

what you'll need...
♥4.5 cups milk
♥2.5 tbsp cornflour
♥1 cup sugar
♥3 eggs
♥pinch of salt
♥2.5 tbsp flour
♥1 tsp vanilla essence
♥a big spoon of butter

what you'll do...
1. bring milk to the boil.

2. beat eggs well and add sugar, flour, cornflour and salt.

3. mix well.

4. pour boiling milk into the mixture and stir well.

5. return to stove and stir well until mixture thickens.

6. add butter and vanilla essence and pour into cooked shell.

to decorate, sprinkle with cinnamon.

Monday, July 18, 2011

♥ s'mores cupcakes ♥

this recipe makes 24. if you only have 1 muffin tin, halve the recipe.

what you'll need...
♥2 1/2 cups (360g) whole wheat pastry flour
♥1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
♥1/2 teaspoon baking soda
♥3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
♥1/2 cup (30g) oat bran
♥1/2 cup (30g) wheat germ
♥1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
♥1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons, or 170g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
♥3/4 cup (165g) brown sugar
♥3/4 cup (200ml) honey
♥4 eggs
♥2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
♥1/2 cup (60g) sour cream
♥1 1/2 cups (340ml) milk
♥ganache (recipe follows)
♥marshmallowy frosting (recipe follows)
♥2 or three good quality chocolate bars, broken into 24 pieces

what you'll do...
1. preheat oven to 180C and line 24 muffin tins with paper liners.

2. in a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, germ, bran, and cinnamon.

3. in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth, about a minute on medium speed. add in sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes more. with mixer on medium-low, add in honey. then incorporate the eggs, adding them in, one at a time, beating well after each addition. add in vanilla.

4. with mixer on low, add in a third of the flour mixer, followed by half of the milk and the sour cream. add in the next third of flour, the remaining milk, and finally the remainder of the flour mixture. mix until just combined. use a rubber spatula to fully incorporate the mixture, being sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

5. with an ice cream scooper, divide up the batter evenly among the paper liners. (use a scoop that holds 1/3 cup, which works perfectly.) tap pans on the counter to remove any bubbles.

6. bake at 180C, or until a toothpick inserted into the center ones comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. let cool in pans for at least ten minutes before removing to a cooling rack. let cool completely before decorating.

7. remove a bit of cake from the top of each cupcake with a melon baller, and using a piping bag or a teaspoon, fill with cooled ganache.

working quickly, use the ice cream scooper to top each with marshmallowy icing and use the back of a spoon to create little peaks all over the top. (if at any time the icing gets too dry and is no longer smoot whisk it up again in mixer until smooth.)

8. use a blow torch to toast the icing.

9. top each cupcake with a piece of chocolate bar.

for the ganache:
♥1 cup (240g) heavy cream
♥1 1/4 cups (212g) chocolate chips
♥1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

heat cream in a large glass container in the microwave until just boiling, about 60 seconds. pour in chocolate chips and vanilla and let sit for about 1-2 minutes. whisk until smooth. refrigerate for 10-20 minutes until almost cooled.

for the meringue:
♥2 cups (380g) granulated sugar
♥1 cup (250ml) water
♥8 egg whites
♥2 teaspoons of very good pure vanilla extract

1. combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat until dissolved. bring to a boil without stirring, and continue to boil until the temperature reaches the firm ball stage, or 248 degrees.

2. while the sugar syrup comes to temperature, beat egg whites in an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. with the mixer on low, slowly pour in the hot sugar syrup.

3. gradually increase the speed to high, and whisk meringue until stiff and cool, about 7 minutes and whisk in the vanilla.

♥ chocolate fudge cake ♥

what you'll need...
♥200g plain chocolate, broken into chunks
♥200g butter
♥200g light brown muscovado sugar
♥100ml soured cream
♥2 eggs, beaten
♥200g self-raising flour
♥5 tbsp cocoa powder
♥1 can caramel

for the icing:
♥100g plain chocolate
♥170g can condensed milk
♥100g butter

what you'll do...

1. heat oven to 160C/140C fan/ gas 3. line a 22 x 22cm square tin with baking paper. put the chocolate, butter and sugar into a large pan with 100ml hot water and gently melt together. set aside for 2 minutes, then stir in the soured cream followed by the eggs. finally, stir or whisk in the flour and cocoa until lump-free, then pour into the prepared tin. bake for 50 - 55 mins until a skewer comes out clean. sin the tin on a wire rack to cool.

2. meanwhile, make the icing. gently melt together icing ingredients in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, then chill or cool until spreadable.

3. to decorate, carefully turn out the cooled cake and peel of the baking parchment. spread the icing over the top and scatter with decorations, cut into triangles or fingers before serving.

per serving:
502 calories, 6g protein, 49g carbohydrates, 33g fat, 20g saturated fat, 1g fibre, 35g sugar & 0.66g salt


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

♥ nyummy chicken caesar salad ♥

what you'll need...
♥1 medium ciabatta loaf (or 4 thick slices crusty white bread)
♥3 tbls olive oil
♥2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
♥1 large cos or romaine lettuce, leaves seperated

for the dressing:
♥1 garlic clove
♥2 anchovies (from a tin is perfect)
♥medium block parmesan or grano padano cheese for grating and shaving (you won't use it all)
♥5 tbls mayonnaise
♥1 tbls white wine vinegar

what you'll do...
1. heat oven to 200C / fan 180C / gas 6. tear the bread into big, ragged croutons or, if you prefer, cut with a bread knife. spread over a large baking sheet or tray and sprinkle over over 2 tbls olive oil. rub the oil into the bread and season with a little salt if you like (sea salt crystals are best for this). bake 8 - 10 minutes, turning the croutons a few times during cooking so the brown easily.

2. rub chicken breasts with remaining oil and season. place pan over medium heat for 1 minute, until hot, but not smoking. lay the chicken on the pan (it will sizzle if it's hot enough) and leave for 4 minutes. turn the chicken, then cook for 4 minutes more. check if it's cooked by poking the tip of a sharp knife into the thickest part - there should be no sign of pink and juices will run clear. 

3. bash the garlic with the flat of a knife and peel off the skin. crush with a garlic crusher. mash the anchovies with a fork against the side of a small bowl. grate a handful of cheese and mix with the rest of the dressing ingredients. season to taste. it should be the consistency of yoghurt - if yours is thicker, stir in a few tsps water to thin it.

4. shave the cheese with a peeler. tear lettuce into large pieces and put in a large bowl. pull chicken into bite-size strips and scatter half over the leaves, along with half the croutons. add most of the dressing and toss with your fingers. scatter the rest of the chicken and croutons, then drizzle with the remaining dressing. sprinkle the parmesan on top and serve straight away.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

♥ best lasagna ever ♥

This recipe isn't as fast as the others but it is worth the wait! 

what you'll need...
tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil 
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (32 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups fat-free cottage cheese
1 (8 ounce) package part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg
8 ounces lasagna noodles
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken

what you'll do...
1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. 

2. In a large pot over medium heat saute spinach, cooked chicken, onion, oregano, basil and garlic in the olive oil. Pour in spaghetti sauce and water; simmer 20 minutes.

3. In a large bowl mix cottage cheese, 3/4 of the mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, pepper and egg. 

4. Place a small amount of sauce in the bottom of a lasagna pan. Place 4 uncooked noodles on top of sauce and top with layer of sauce. Add 4 more noodles and layer with 1/2 sauce and 1/2 cheese mixture, noodles and repeat until all is layered, finishing with noodles and the rest of the mozzerella cheese. 

5. Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven for 55 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes.
Let sit 10 minutes before serving. 

Calories: 361 | Total Fat: 11.8g | Cholesterol: 51mg 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

♥ spatchcock chicken with greek yoghurt and indian spices ♥

here the bird is opened out and flattened – see the instructions in the recipe method or ask your butcher to do it for you. i tend to cook this recipe all together in the oven, but if you’re using a grill or on the braai, you will need less of the marinade. You don’t have to stick exactly to the marinade recipe, try mixing and matching your favourite spices if you want. moroccan flavours like cinnamon, cumin and apricots would also work well with the yoghurt

serves 4

what you'll need...
♥1 tsp fennel seeds
♥1 tsp fenugreek seeds
♥2 tsp black onion seeds
♥1 tsp ground turmeric
♥2 tsp dried oregano
♥2 tsp peeled and finely chopped garlic
♥2 tbsp peeled and finely chopped root ginger
♥250ml plain greek yoghurt whisked until smooth
♥4 tbsp lime or lemon juice
♥2 tsp sesame oil
♥salt and black pepper
♥1 tbsp olive oil or water (optional)

♥1 x 2kg chicken spatchcocked (see above)
♥300g cherry tomatoes

what you'll do...
1.to make the marinade, first grind all the seeds for 1 minute in a spice grinder or coffee grinder, or using a pestle and mortar, then mix with the remaining ingredients, adding the oil or water to loosen the mixture if necessary.

2.to spatchcock the chicken place it, breast side down, on a chopping board and use scissors to cut through the flesh and bone along both sides of the backbone, in a strip about 5cm wide. cut from tail to head end, completely removing the backbone.

3.open out the bird, like opening a book, by gently pulling the two halves apart. use a sharp knife to lightly score the top of the breastbone. run your fingers along and under the sides of the breastbone and attached cartilage and pop them out. Spread the chicken out flat, then turn over and make a slit about 2.5cm long in the skin between the lower end of the breastbone and the leg, on each side. stick the end of the leg on that side through the slit and repeat on the other side.

4.spread the marinade all over the chicken, then place on a plate or baking tray, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or ideally for up to 24 hours.

5.when ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

6.remove the chicken from the fridge and place in a roasting tin. bake for 25 minutes; if it seems to browns too fast, cover with foil for part of the time as necessary. add the cherry tomatoes to the tin after the first 25 minutes and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes or until cooked through. remove from the oven, allow to rest for 10-15 minutes then carve the chicken into slices and serve with the tomatoes and some boiled rice or a dressed salad.

Serve with yummy roasted veggies and

and crisp avo and couscous salad!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

♥ yummy smummy bran muffins ♥

i don't think there's anything better than a perfectly baked muffin or scone with my morning cuppa - if there is, i'm yet to experience it! i can't remember where i found this recipe, but i've made it a gazillion times before and i can almost swear that it keeps on getting better and better every time i make them!

yummy lil bites of heaven!
what you'll need...
♥2 cups digestive bran
♥2.5 cups flour
♥2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
♥0.5 tsp salt
♥2 eggs
♥2 cups brown sugar
♥0.5 cup oil
♥2 cups milk
♥1 tsp vanilla essence

what you'll do...
1. beat the eggs, then add the sugar and beat until creamy. 

2. add the oil and continue beating.

3. add milk and vanilla essence.

4. beat all together.

5. fold in all the dry ingredients.

6. place in a greased muffin tray and bake for 12 minutes at 180C

make sure to store these lil bits of heaven in a air tight container and they'll stay yummy for about 3 days.
best if served warm with a lil butter and grated cheese but they're also just as good cold with a warm cuppa! 

the spot i enjoyed my daily muffin while on holiday for neets birthday!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

♥ mucking famazing chocolate brownies ♥

we're heading to the mountains this coming weekend to celebrate my mucking famazing husbands birthday. there's no electricity, no cellphone reception - pretty much no anything! we have to pack everything ourselves and take everything we might possible need with us.

so as soon as they boys started taking about braai wood and how to keep the ice frozen the whole weekend, i obviously started thinking about how to keep our tummies nice and full! can't imagine anything worse than being stranded in what could very easily be the set of a horror movie and that without foodies - sweet and savoury obviously!

so to start the list of recipes i'll be making in preparation for this coming weekend, i just had to start with the love of my life's fav! he is the birthday boy after all!

serves 16 

what you'll need...
1 cup water
125g margarine
½ cup oil
¼ cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp bicarb
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
1 cup pecan nuts, finely chopped 

what you'll do... 
1. Melt and blend the water, margarine, oil and cocoa in the microwave.
2. Add the sugar, flour and salt. Whisk together.
3. Add the bicarb, vanilla essence and eggs.
4. Beat with an electric beater for about three minutes.
5. Add the chopped nuts and mix throughout.
6. Pour into a greased Swiss roll pan and cook for 20-30 minutes at 180°C.
To make the icing:

melt 62.5g margarine, 2 tablespoons cocoa and 2½ tablespoons milk in the microwave, then add 2½ cups icing sugar. 
More milk may be needed if icing is not runny enough. Cut the cake when cold, after spreading icing when hot.

come on everybody... lick those lips! teehee!