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October 25, 2010

I know I have been awfully quiet on this blog, but to be honest I have been so busy with baby things and getting the house sorted out that the meals I’ve made have been incredibly boring lately.

I have however been watching a lot of The F Word – with Gordon Ramsay, and this has inspired me to try not only his dishes but some others that I have in my recipe collection.

Vlaflips are a light Dutch summer dessert, that I absolutely love, as its easy to make for a lot of people, and really not expensive. Its also great because its not a heavy dessert, so it finishes off a meal just right.


Fruit compote (any you like)
Custard (I make mine from custard powder, but Ultramel works just as well)
Plain yogurt (double cream or greek is yummy, but I use Bulgarian)

In a glass (wine glass or pretty cooldrink glass) place about 4 tbsp fruit compote. Carefully place a good layer of custard on top, and then follow with the yogurt. The idea is to have 3 layers. You can sprinkle fruit or vermicelli on top, just for garnish.


Oatmeal Cinnamon Pancake Mix

October 12, 2010

I love convenience food almost as much as I love slow, from scratch meals. I love having premixes in my house, for those days when cooking seems a chore or when I have so little time. the problem is the store bough premixes have all sorts of weird preservatives and things in, which I’d prefer not to feed myself or my family. That’s why I love finding treasures like this awesome flapjack premix. Give it a try, I promise its filling, low GI and downright yumminess!

Adapted from Keeper of the Home

4 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup packed brown sugar (or other dry sweetener)
1 cup instant dry nonfat milk
3 Tablespoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
5 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Mix these ingredients together in a large bowl. Use your hands or a whisk to make sure the brown sugar is mixed in well. Store the mix at room temperature in an airtight container or freezer bag, I store mine in a 2 litre ice cream container.

Yield: 10 cups of pancake mix.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Pancakes

2 eggs
1/3 cup applesauce
2 cups of Oatmeal Cinnamon Pancake Mix (recipe above)
1 cup water
Optional: one mashed banana or fruit of your choice

Beat eggs in a large bowl. Gradually beat in applesauce. Alternately add mix and water to mixture. Blend well. Preheat and oil griddle. Pour 1/3 cup batter per pancake. Cook until bubbles form around edges, flip and cook until done.

Yield: about 10 pancakes

Water Kefir

October 1, 2010

As part of my experiment/journey into “real/whole” food, I decided to try water kefir. Kombucha was just too weird for me, and so I thought kefir it is. Apparently its like a soda drink if you make it right, although it contains a small amount of alcohol. From most of my research this amount obviously increases the longer you allow the water to ferment, but after 24 to 48 hours its still safe enough for pregnant women and children. From my instructions which I received with the grains, 24 hours is enough to make a sweet but slightly tangy drink and 48 hours makes it more acidic, so for now I’m sticking with 24 hours, mostly for the sake of my pregnancy.


Kefir has many reputed health benefits. It has antibiotic and antifungal properties. In addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, kefir contains many vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. Particularly calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, B2 and B12, vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin D. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because kefir also has an abundance of calcium and magnesium, also important minerals for a healthy nervous system, kefir in the diet can have a particularly calming effect on the nerves.
Passionate Homemaking

Utensils and ingredients

A large glass jar (I use a 1 litre Consol jar)
1 tbsp water kefir grains (contact me if you want to know where to get them)
a few pieces of preservative free dried fruit (I used Health Connection seedless raisins)
1 cup of filtered or mineral water (basically chemical free)
1 tbsp organic unrefined sugar (I used muscavado for lack of rapadura etc)
1/4 tsp blackstrap molasses (yes, its vile – but high in minerals and so increases the mineral content)
a pinch of baking soda

Mix everything together in the jar – do NOT measure the kefir with a metal spoon – they do not like metal – so never let metal touch them. Place in a place away from direct sunlight, a cupboard works. Cover loosely with lid, if metal lid, line with plastic wrap first, I just use a cloth to cover it. Leave to stand for 24 to 48 hours. Then strain the grains (use a nylon strainer/sieve, not metal) and pour the “water” into a jug/jar and add a cup of fruit juice or fresh fruit and leave to stand another 24 to 48 hours. Serve cool.

I will let you know how mine tastes once it done 🙂

For more ideas/recipes or information on water kefir – download this PDF (water kefir). Also Google has alot of info on it.

Jessica Simpson Moment

September 29, 2010

In this post I mentioned that my fancy schmancy Kenwood mixer stopped working.

I had my dad finally take a look at it… and after a few minutes, he comes to the flat and says to me: “Come show me what about it isn’t working” I’m thinking… um… everything… So I get to their house, and I try switch it on, and nothing… its still broken.

So my dad puts the lid the mixing bowl… and VOILA the thing works. Turns out, Kenwood is clever and wants people to read their manuals… because there is a safety catch in the side of the bowl which is activated when the lid is on.

Very clever… but I feel ever so stupid and blonde… like Jessica Simpson.

Recipe Revamp: Most Decadent Brownies

September 20, 2010

I make the best brownies in the world, ok, there I said it… But they rock out the sugar and HIGH GI! So I decided to try and healthify them, using some real food ideas. The original recipe is here. Shame on you if you haven’t tried them yet!

Here’s the revamp – they aren’t quite as moist… I think its the flour… But they are still divine!


1/2 cup muscavado sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (I want to try with something like a gluten free flour still)


Mix cocoa and sugar together.
Melt butter and add to sugar mix.
Add eggs and mix well.
Add vanilla.
Mix flour in well.
Pour into microwavable dish.
Microwave for 5 minutes.

ENJOY… nomnomnom… and don’t feel too guilty. Remember butter is actually good for you.

Real Food and new beginnings (Soaked Oats with fruit, seeds and honey)

September 20, 2010

Following much internal debate about my health and that of my family, especially with baby on the way. I have decided to slowly convert our diet to a more nutritious and nourishing one, using “real” food. I ordered a copy of Nourishing Traditions which will hopefully help me with the basics I need, as well as some ideas for recipes. But given that it seems to have to be ordered from the USA, I have started checking out my favourite bloggers so long, and seeing which of their recipes look good, and learning more about the processes involved in real food diets. What I like is that most of the food is natural, or as close as, and there’s little processing, at least the foods have not been processed to death. It seems to be a tad more time consuming than just grabbing cereal, chucking it in a bowl etc. But the effects appear to be much more rewarding healthwise. I am very keen to get my coconut oil and natural sweeteners (stevia, rapadura etc) and get started on making my family have better food choices. I know for a fact that my husband will not eat half of what I want to make, but it mostly a conditioning thing, and maybe (hopefully, God willing) he will adapt, and come around. Either way, baby will have no choice, and know no better.

So to start, I wanted to try something simple, like soaked oatmeal, and funny enough this recipe came from a South African magazine, and turned out quite well, and was easy to prepare.

Serves 4 (adapted from FIT Pregnancy magazine March 2009)

1 cup raw oats
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup apple juice
mix of freshly cut fruit
4 tbsp mixed seeds (pumpkin, flaxseed and sesame seeds)
4 tbsp honey

Stir the oats, yogurt and apple juice together and refrigerate covered overnight. I used an old glass jar with a sealable lid.
Toast the seeds in a pan, add the honey and stir until bubbly and runny.
Spoon some oats in a bowl and top with fresh fruit (I used bananas today).
Drizzle some of the warm seeded honey.
A batch of oats can be made and stored in the fridge for up to a week. For more on soaking check out Passionate Homemaking.
Enjoy!! The taste takes some getting used to, but I think in my case its the seeds, I don’t eat nuts, and seeds taste like nuts…so yeah. But the oats is yummy.

Date Treats

August 26, 2010

I made a batch of these for my brother’s birthday on Tuesday, and they were yummy.I usually don’t eat dates… but this way they are great (totally unhealthy-but yummy)

1 x 200g packet marie biscuits
185g brick margarine (I used butter)
125m l (1⁄2 cup) white sugar (I think it could do with less)
250g dates, chopped
Coconut for sprinkling

1. Place the biscuits in a plastic bag. Break them into smaller, but not too fine, pieces using a rolling pin. Place in a bowl.
2. Combine the margarine, sugar and chopped dates in a saucepan and heat until margarine has melted.
3. Pour the melted mixture onto the broken biscuits and mix well.
4. Spoon the mixture into a Swiss roll tin (roughly 25cm x 15cm) and press down firmly.
5. Leave to set. Sprinkle coconut over and cut into squares or bars.
Makes about 24.
(from Huletts)