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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Summary of Food Blogs 1-50

I have had numerous requests from individuals for recipes that were published in the past. A couple of people have asked that I publish all of them in a book, and others have suggested a compilation blog, with links to the kitchen blogs only. I'll keep the book idea on ice for now, but here is a nice summary blog to the first 50 kitchen blogs in the meantime. Links, photos, and introductory paragraphs all included. Enjoy!

Blog 1 - Making Sour Cream and Chive Dip
"I love dips, but I am seldom satisfied by the quality of the dips available on the store shelves. That is why I have started experimenting with making my own dips. This one in particular is a firm favourite."

Blog 2 - Arranging a Salad Platter
"There are precious few things as enticing as a deliciously fresh salad platter and the best part is that anyone can do it. Let me walk you through the steps."

Blog 3 - Baking Connie's Danish Heirloom Layer Cake
"I came across this recipe on Facebook, posted by Courtney Louper who claimed her friend used to bake it and that it would be your favourite if you tried it. I had a birthday coming up and decided I wanted to try it out on my non-cake-eating family."

Blog 4  - Delicious Lamb Curry
"The days are turning chilly and it is time to start thinking of curries and stews once again. Truth be told, I love lamb curry even on a hot day, so the slightest excuse will do for me. I'll walk you through my lamb curry recipe. I start by obtaining choice cut lamb form my local butcher. I opted for two shins and a neck, approximately 2 kg."

Blog 5 - Rosemary Grilled Chicken
'I love chicken and there are few herbs that compliment chicken as well as rosemary. Today I'll show you how to make delicious chicken with very little effort.'

Blog 6 - Crunchy Coconut Cookies
"Who does not like cookies? Few would answer in the negative. Yet so few of us have time to bake. I have good news for the busy ones and for the ones who keep busy with baking. You can buy these cookies from A Pretty Talent (or place an order if they're out of stock), or you can follow this easy recipe and bake them yourself! You can buy the home-baked cookies here. First, I have to admit that this is not my own recipe. Usually I adapt a recipe to my own liking, but this one is so perfect that I have not dared change it. The book I found the recipe in is titled Bak met Gemak 101 Resepte and I bought it from Boeke op Uys. They have an awesome range of children's books that any child could get lost in as well."

Blog 7 - Ginger Biscuits
"I have lost count of how many ginger biscuit recipes I have tried out, failing to find one that satisfied my taste buds. In the end I found the perfect recipe through experimentation. A word of thanks on the side to my friends and family who had to suffer the consequences of this search and experimentation. Let me share my secret with you. Those of you who do not like to bake, or simply don't have the time to do so, can buy my home-baked cookies here."

Blog 8 - Chicken Livers outa Africa
"Not everyone likes chicken livers, but those of us who do tend to be passionate about it. Here is my own delicious recipe for making chicken livers with an African twist."

Blog 9 - Amasi Rusks
"Today I will show you how to bake my famous Amasi rusks. These sell out as quickly as I bake them and I am sure they will be a great hit for you as well. If you want to try them, but are not into baking, you can buy them ready-baked or place an order here."

Blog 10 - Rich Man Poor Man Rusks
"Rich Man Poor Man Rusks are my favourite rusks and I am thrilled to be sharing this recipe with you. Those of you who are not into baking, can buy the rusks online from or even place an order for a specified date with Buy the rusks here."

Blog11 - Gingerbread Men
"Today we are going to make some fun gingerbread men. We will use the same recipe as the one published in the blog on 26 March 2015, but this time we will treat the dough different, once ready. If you are not into baking, you can always buy (or order) the cookies from Miekie's Bakery on"

Blog 12 - Cheese & Chips Cookies
"Today I am going to share a marvelously simple recipe with you that is so easy to make that you can do it with the kids or let the slightly older ones do it by themselves. This is a savory cookie and a firm favorite with my family where there are a number of people who prefer savory to sweet."

Blog 13 - Chelsea Buns
"Today we are going to make some delicious Chelsea buns, although I would prefer to call these cinnamon rolls, since the dough is too far removed from what we have come to associate with Chelsea buns. I take the recipe from a book called Bak met Gemak and adapt it only ever so slightly to suit my taste. If you are not into baking yourself, you can order these Chelsea Buns/Cinnamon Rolls from's bakeryMiekie's Bakery, available in store."

Blog 14 - Tuna Roulade
"One of the best things about going on holiday with friends is that you are exposed to their prize-winning recipes. The origins of these recipes can not always be traced, but 9 out of 10 times they are firm family favourites - and for the very reason that they are tasty. In today's blog we will be making a fabulously delicious tuna roll that I have learned to make on a recent holiday with friends. Thanks to Tannie Marieta for this one!"

Blog 15 - Cinnamon-Honey Latte
"Today I am going to share one of my all time passions with you; that of making the perfect cup of coffee. The perfect cup of coffee does not always look the same. Depending on the mood I'm in it will either have a lot of spices, or none at all. Sometimes a dash of honey and at other times a dollop of ice cream. Today's coffee has a subtle hint of cinnamon and a dash of honey. But may it be said that all perfect coffees will have an espresso base. I am going to show you how to brew your own espresso on the stove top, without breaking the bank and splurging on the expensive machines."

Blog 16 - Spiced Coffee Recipe
"The mornings and evenings are turning cold here in South Africa and 1 June marks the first day of Winter. So far we've been blessed with lovely sunny days and can spend the hours between 10:00 and 16:00 comfortably in short sleeves. But our luck won't last. Time to get the recipes ready to warm up the winter days and spiced coffee is just the thing!"

Blog 17 - Macaroni & Cheese with a Twist
"Mac & Cheese is one of those favorites that will always be made in kitchens across the globe. I did not have a lot of time for cooking when I made the dish the first time, but it was so popular that I've had to make it countless times since. What is the twist? I add veggies and then I do a little something with the sauces. Read on and I'll explain exactly how to make this fab dish that is brilliant for serving vegetarians as well."

Blog 18 - School Holiday Project 9: Bake a Monster in a Mug
"Baking a monster in a mug is one of the easiest projects to do with kids and they always love it. I use a well-known recipe going around the internet under various names, but leave out the chocolate (unless someone wants chocolate cake!). Instead, I add flavoring and color. Let me walk you through the process quickly."

Blog 19 - Bake a delicious Malva Pudding
"What is not to love about Malva Pudding? This dessert has become such a firm favorite that it has stuck with us throughout the generations. Yet it is not the simplest recipe to make. Let me walk you through the process step by step."

Blog 20 - Baking Paw-Print Vanilla Cupcakes
"My little nephew wanted a Paw Patrol theme for his birthday cake and his mom and dad figured it would be okay to have cupcakes with paw prints for a cake. I agreed on the cupcakes, but insisted on a central cake as well. I'll tell you more about that in the next blog. Let me show you first how easy it is to make cupcakes with paw prints on them."

Blog 21 - Baking a Grapefruit Cake
"In the previous blog I told you about the Paw Patrol Cake that my nephew wanted for his birthday. I baked a dozen or so vanilla cupcakes and knew that this would not satisfy him since his idea and his parents' idea were two vastly different worlds. I then decided that I would bake him the Paw Patrol Station that he wanted as well. However, I would bake a different flavoured cake to keep it a little more interesting."

Blog 22 - Decorating a Paw Patrol Cake
"In the previous two blogs we have spent a lot of time baking and preparing the cakes that would form the base for Paw Patrol themed party. Today I will show you a little bit about decorating the cake. This is very entry level fondant work that anyone can do."

Blog 23 - Baking scones in a jiffy
"Who does not love a freshly baked scone? Today I will show you how to bake some of the best scones I have ever tasted. This is a firm favorite and they can be whipped up in minutes, making them ideal to prepare for unexpected guests."

Blog 24 - Baking old-fashioned Milk Tart
"We have become so accustomed to quick milk tart recipes that we have quite forgotten the delight of a proper old-fashioned milk tart. Today I will walk you through the steps of baking this delightful tart and show you that it is not nearly as intricate as you were led to believe."

Blog 25 - Using Ready Bread Dough to Make Vetkoek
"Vetkoek is part and parcel of the South African diet and yet few of us have the time to make the dough, allow it to rise, knead it down and let it rise again. This is why it is so extremely convenient to be able to buy ready-made dough from the nearest supermarket and to turn that into vetkoek. Let me show you how easy it is to cheat your way into these delicious vetkoeke."

Blog 26 - Using Ready Dough to Bake Bread
"There are few things as delicious or enticing as freshly baked bread from the oven. Yet making time to bake bread is seldom an option. Let me show you how to treat yourself to delicious freshly baked bread without the hassle of mixing the dough. Once again, we buy the dough from the local supermarket, just as we did for miking vetkoek in the previous blog."

Blog 27 - Pack & Go Cake
"A friend invited me to go on holiday with her. There was only one minor snag. We would be going over the week of her birthday. The only reason this is a snag, is because I am a baker and I am convinced that absolutely everyone needs to have a cake on their birthdays. I ran through the options in my head, decided I knew which cake she would like best and started adapting the recipe so that it could be made in a 'foreign' kitchen with (possibly) the minimum of conveniences. It would be the first time I went to this specific place and I did not know what awaited me in terms of the kitchen.  So let me explain. This blog was started before I went away and finished after I came back. The cake I chose to bake was a chocolate ganache cake."

Blog 28 - Custard Slices
"In today's blog we will be making some very easy and quick custard slices. These are a great alternative for teatime or it can be used as a dessert. It is so easy to make that I opted to do it with the help of two preschoolers. I use the word 'help' very liberally when it comes to preschoolers, but we all had tons of fun."

Blog 29 - Honey & Mustard Pork Chops
"Few tastes go as well as Honey and Mustard. Combine that with a succulent pork chop and you have a winning combination. In today's blog I show you my secret to make this age old favorite. I prepared it on an electrical indoor braai, but it will be even more delicious over the open fire in a proper South African braai (barbecue)."

Blog 30 - Making Simple Pancakes
"I went swimming with the little nieces and nephew today and we managed to work up quite an appetite in the cold water. When we got out I suggested pancakes and they jumped at it! Let me share this exceptionally quick and easy pancake recipe with you. This one has been passed down by handwritten notes for so many generations that I honestly have no idea where the recipe originated, but I guarantee its goodness."

Blog 31 - Making Jelly Cake
"Someone shared a wonderfully looking recipe on Facebook recently and I immediately decided that this was something I would like to try. When my niece showed up for a visit, I realized that it was also a brilliant opportunity to introduce her to the use of gelatine in something other than jelly. The 'cake' would have to be made over two days, but we jumped right in and my assistant could hardly be topped in the enthusiasm department. Let me walk you through the process step by step."

Blog 32 - Baking a Christmas Cake/Boiled Fruit Cake
"We are approaching Christmas and it is time to bake your Christmas Cakes if you want to have them ready for the upcoming feast. I have left it a little late this year, but I still have time left. Ideally, you want to bake a fruit cake 3 months before the date on which you intend to serve it. You then keep it in a sealed container and sprinkle it with brandy once or twice a week to 'mature' it. The flavors will develop fully and the brandy treatments will keep the cake moist. After maturing the cake, you can decorate it (or not) and serve it. There is a distinct difference between a fresh and a matured fruit cake and the latter is certainly better. Let me walk you through the steps of baking a very easy fruit cake."

Blog 33 - Baking Spicy Savory Cashew Shortbread Crescents
"If there is one biscuit that I simply cannot resist, it is a shortbread biscuit. A couple of years ago I noticed a recipe on the side of a Maizena box for Spicy Peanut Cookies. I read through the recipe and realized that it was a basic shortbread recipe for a savory cookie. I was intrigued. I experimented a little and found a winning combination when I swapped the peanuts out for Cashews, which added just a hint of sweetness that supported the rest of the flavors brilliantly. Let me show you how to make these delectable treats yourself."

Blog 34 - Baking a Date and Nut Loaf
"There is nothing worse than searching for a date or a nut in a date and nut loaf. If a thing promises in name, then it should deliver in taste. The recipe I share with you today does exactly that and is so easy to make that you can have a freshly baked loaf in the oven and ready for guests in no time at all. Let me show you how."

Blog 35 - Baking Cashew Shortbread Cookies
"I share my absolute all-time favorite cookie recipe with you today.  Regular followers of this blog will already know that I love shortbread and nuts. Combine the two and you have a winner. This recipe is decadence itself and simply melts in the mouth. On top of everything else, it is also very easy to make."

Blog 36 - Baking a Chocolate Roulade
"Today I am going to show you how to bake a delicious Chocolate Roulade. This is the ideal cake to bake for a small gathering as the cake is rather on the small side. If you are feeling adventurous, you can multiply the ingredients and bake a bigger one. Let me show you how to bake, fill and roll this all-time favorite."

Blog 37 - Making French Toast - A Family Activity
"Making French Toast is not hard to do, but I wanted to do a blog on this as it is one of those easy and fun things you can get the kids to 'help' with. I had three very young kids over for lunch today after fetching them from school. On the way home, they assured me they were not hungry and would not eat. When I told them that they would have had to make their own food, they were very keen to eat after all. Let me share a couple of ideas with you to make this fun and manageable."

Blog 38 - Decorating your Christmas Cake with Fondant
"It has been little over a month ago that I baked my Christmas cake and since then it has had regular doses of brandy to ripen it and to keep it moist. The time is right for me to cover the cake with fondant so all of that moist goodness is locked inside. Give it a few more weeks to ripen and it will be just about perfect around Christmas time!"

Blog 39 - Brew some Home-made Ginger Beer
"We are having hot summer days and lazy pool parties with friends. It is December and life is winding down. This was the time of year that both of my grandmothers traditionally brewed their homemade ginger beer. Today I share one of these recipes with you and show you step by step how to make it. The process is easy, but the refreshing drink does have a bit of a kick to it, especially if you let it sit for a while."

Blog 40 - Baking an Old-Fashioned Roly-Poly Pudding
"I have never tasted, nor baked a roly-poly pudding in my life. Yet this pudding featured in a couple of conversations over the past few weeks and so my curiosity was peeked. Whenever I get curious about something, I simply have to try it and this was not the exception to the rule. Let me show you how I discovered a very old style pudding and learned why it used to be so popular."

Blog 41 - Making a Fresh Peach Salad
"We are very fortunate to have a great harvest of cling peaches this year from the fruit trees in the back garden. There are so many things to do with cling peaches that using all of them is hardly a problem. However, a fresh peach is still one of the tastiest fruits to tantalize the taste buds, especially when they had a chance to ripen on the tree. Today I share one of my own recipes for making a delicious salad with your fresh cling peaches. Since making this salad the first time, I have had numerous requests for more, and as the season is still going strong, we enjoy this salad at least once a week."

Blog 42 - Baking Banana & Almond Muffins
"Have you also found that during Summer your fruit has a much shorter life? It is as a result of the hot weather. No complains there. However, it does leave me with food that hastily needs to be used to avoid it going bad and bananas tend to lead the way there. Banana Bread is always a great option, but how about baking banana muffins as a variation? Add some almonds to that, instead of the usual pecans, and you have a sure winner. Let me share with you how easy this is to make."

Blog 43 - Baking Blue Cheese & Pear Muffins
"It is school holidays and we have a whole bunch of hungry kids passing through the house on a regular basis. Some of these are teenage boys and they tend to bring their appetites with them. It is a good time to have snacks and mini-meals at hand and muffins, especially giant muffins, fit this bill perfectly. Blue cheese is not something that a large part of my family appreciates and generally we are a select group left to ourselves to consume this fabulous delicacy. However, that all changes when I bake these Blue Cheese and Pear Muffins. Then everyone is a fan and I am hard pushed to bake enough of them. You will not believe how good these are until you've tried them yourself! And then you'll never stop baking them."

Blog 44 - Baking Brazilian Nut Shortbread Cookies
"I have finally decided what to put inside all of those gift boxes I have been coloring and folding all this time - Brazilian Nut Shortbread Cookies! These are a firm favorite with the whole family. What I intend to do, is to put the cookies in a cellophane bag and then to slide it into the box. That way the cookies stay fresh and the box is reusable if the recipient chooses to do so. Let me show you how easy it is to bake a big batch of these; 8 dozen to be exact! Feel free to adjust the recipe to accommodate more suitable quantities."

Blog 45 - Making Homemade Patties for your Burgers
"Are you also finding it increasingly difficult to find good quality patties for your burgers? Why not make a whole batch yourself, freeze them between plastic wrapping or wax paper sheets and defrost and cook as needed? I'll show you how easy it is to turn your minced meat into patties in today's blog."

Blog 46 - Baking Chicken Pie
"We have a tradition of gathering together as a family on the evening before Christmas. We have a light meal together, read from the gospels about the birth of Jesus, and sing a number of carols. After giving thanks in prayer, it is time to hand out the gifts. Great excitement! This frees up Christmas morning to attend the Christmas service at church before we gather again for the actual Christmas meal. So what do we serve the night before? Finger food! We make a selection of finger foods, some nutritious and some less so, that will take the strain of an extra meal with its accompanying washing up off the shoulders of the adults. One of my dishes for this Christmas was baking small Chicken Pies. I'll walk you through it."

Blog 47 - Making Quick & Easy Fish Cakes
"It is not the time of year for big meals and lots of cooking. Chances are the fridge is still full of leftovers and everyone is growing tired of the big and rich meals. That makes it a perfect time to quickly whip up a batch of fishcakes. These can be enjoyed hot or cold and take almost no time to prepare. They are healthy, nutritious and a brilliant alternative to Christmas leftovers."

Blog 48 - Baking Jam Tartlets with Rough Puff Pastry
"Today I will show you how to bake one of my Dad's favorites. When I do not have time, I will bake these with store-bought puff pastry, but they really are incredibly good when you bake them with a Rough Puff Pastry. I show you step by step how to make this tricky pastry before we make the jam tartlets. I also had some store-bought puff pastry left over from another dish and turned this into jam tartlets as well so you can compare the appearance, if not the taste."

Blog 49 - Making Ouma Marietjie's Ginger Beer
"In the previous blog on making Ginger Beer, I told you that both my grandmothers used to make it. I shared my paternal grandmother's recipe with you, but today I want to share my namesake's recipe with you. This grandmother did not wait for Christmas or special occasions, but you could almost guarantee that there would be homemade ginger beer on the farm when you went to visit. I'll show you how to make Ouma Marietjie's Ginger Beer in today's blog. And with this blog being published on the last day of 2015, I'll raise a glass of ice cold ginger beer and wish you all the best for the year ahead!"

Blog 50 - Mixing Mustard a la Mama
"My mom has one of the best recipes for mustard that I have ever tasted. This is brilliant with meat dishes, on bread rolls, as a condiment, and even as a dip ... if you have some hair on your chest! It is a no-hassle recipe that requires no cooking and only mixing. I'll share this family secret with her blessings in today's blog. As a matter of fact, she mixed it while I worked the camera."

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