Friday, May 29, 2009

Tuna patties

We have this often. It's a great weeknight meal, quick and real tasty. Similar to quiche but less rich, and no pastry (saving a few calories). We had these little patties (made in a muffin pan), but you can also just make one large one and cut into wedges (remember to cook longer till set).

We had it with a side salad, but I would usually add a baked potato (or veggies) on the side.

2 tins tuna
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 eggs
2 cups (500ml) milk
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups low-fat grated cheese
grated rind of 1 lemon - optional
2 tablespoons chopped parsley - optional

Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray.

Whisk the wet ingredients. Add flour and whisk again. Add the balance of the ingredients, with 3/4 of the cheese. Pour into your pans. Add a sprinkling of the remaining cheese over the top (can omit this part). Bake for 30-35 minutes till golden. Cool slightly and tuck in.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Go the extra mile

Do more than is expected, bless someone today.

"There's no traffic jam on the extra mile."
Zig Ziglar

Monday, May 25, 2009


Mondays are filled with purpose.
It's a place of new beginnings.
I usually wake up on a Monday, full of notions.

For example, this week ...
I'm definitely going to look cute all week, even if my
feet hurt by Wednesday.
I'm going to drink less coffee.
I'm going to go to bed by 9.30pm every night and
wear matching pajamas.
I'm going to wash the dinner dishes straight after
dinner - not the next morning! Just kidding ...
I'm going to gym daily, Monday to Saturday.
I'm going to re-organise my chest freezer. Fun, not.
I'm not going to vex my sister once this week.

Let's see how far I get. But coffee, seriously, drinking less is just silly.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Home Spa

Rebecca decided to give her tired mama a bit of the spa
treatment, including face mask and cucumber slices on the eyes,
which she then ate - yuck. Its wonderful having a daughter!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Preserved Figs

A fantastic recipe for using this abundant summer fruit. I adore figs, cheese and biscuits after a light meal, but this is equally good for breakfast with crusty french bread and a plunger of coffee.

800g green figs

2 tablespoons salt
4 cups of water

Mix the salt and water. Scrape the figs with a sharp knife and leave figs in the water solution overnight. Drain.

Bring a pot of fresh water to the boil. Add the figs. Cover with a thick layer of fig leaves, to preserve the colour, and boil uncovered for 8 - 10 minutes, until just tender.
Rinse the figs immediately under cold water and make a deep cut (but not all the way through) on the flower end (not the stem side).

1 kg of sugar
6 cups of water
1 thumb of ginger, peeled and sliced
juice of half a large lemon

Boil all ingredients for syrup except lemon juice. Add figs and cook on a medium heat for about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, uncovered, until they are steeped in the syrup and syrup has thickened a bit. Add the lemon juice after it has cooked for 1 hour (for last stage).

Bottle while hot. Now you have figs, glorious figs, all winter long.

My tree has lemons again! We picked these lemons yesterday. The thing was hunched over with the weight of all the lemons. Time for delicious Lemon Curd and Lemon Cheesecake and sharp Lemon Meringue and Cordial and ... and ... and ...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Rebecca has asked me to read 1 Kings 3. 16-28, just about every night.
The first night that I read it, her eyes got big as saucers when
King Solomon asked for the sword to settle the disagreement.
I told her to bear with me and when we were finished she was
still pretty speechless then said 'What a king!' 'What wisdom!'

I get such a kick out of seeing scripture through her eyes.

'If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously
to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.'
James 1.5

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tomato Pasta Bake

My sister made lunch today. A simple and beautiful meal, with just a side salad.

1 can tomato and onion
1 can plain chopped tomatoes
1 leek, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper
1 scant teaspoon sugar
Cook above in a pot for about 20 minutes. Blitz with a hand-held blender.

Make (either the old-fashioned way or use Ina Paarman's white sauce powder)
about 3 cups of bechamel sauce. Can use less, making a thinner layer or
replace with ricotta cheese.

Grate a cup of mozzarella cheese.

Ladle some bechamel sauce on the bottom of a baking dish.
Place a layer of lasagne sheets over this and then spread a layer of
the tomato sauce. Sprinkle some cheese over the sauce.
Place another layer of lasagne sheets.
Then repeat, finishing with a layer of bechamel and last of the cheese.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden (covered for the first 20 minutes).
So tasty. You won't regret giving it a try. Serves 3-4

This picture does not do it justice as I tucked in immediately
(I'm greedy like that) and it was too hot and all oozed out... yum.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Good Intentions

I had every intention of gardening this weekend.
The yard looks like the wild, grass up to my knees and all manner of plant needing
a trim. Okay just kidding, but close. I have neglected it and now I'm itching to put on
my cute pink gum boots and get my hands in the mud, but alas this will have to be put
on hold for the time being.

A storm has hit today, which leads to a change of plans for the weekend.

The new plan is to welcome my wonderful husband home and then bolt
the doors. We shall then hibernate all weekend under a pile of blankets,
thickest socks, brightest scarf, latest novel and largest mug of cocoa.
Sounds grand.

Wishing you a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

For the love of Clivia's

I love what Nick Stodel said when asked,
'What is a must in every garden?'
Answer: 'Every garden should have a
shady patch of clivias. How else do you
know when winter has ended and
spring is on its way?'

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Cookbooks are great reading. I love to relax with a good cookbook, its as good as a novel in my book. They are so inspiring and its best with introductions to the recipe, that tell us something of how it came about or what it means to the author's family. The history behind it.

Smug cooks are not my favourite, I like authors who believe that food cooked with love and shared with laughter is what it is all about. I love food but our priorities must be right, its always about people and not food really. Much nicer to have tea and toast with a lovely homemade raspberry jam with someone you love than a 4 course bit of fancy alone.

Its hard to narrow it down, but some of my favourites include

Susan Loomis On Rue Tatin
The french town comes alive and I so enjoyed the journey of getting their home livable and of course the Gateau Yaourt D' Audrey

Tamasin Day Lewis Tamasin's Weekend Food
Re-discover satisfying, pure, slow british recipes

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall The River Cottage Year
I so drooled with this book. Old fashioned english food. His approach to food is contagious.

Colette Comins The Farm Kitchen
Wonderful, simple family food. Loved the photography and was immediately prompted to enlarge my veg patch, you'll want to try every recipe.

Marlene van der Westhuizen Delectable
Photographs that make me miss France. Recipes inspire you to walk through your herb and
vegetable garden and prepare food that you eat at a white table with antique silverware.

Nigel Slater The Kitchen Diaries
This really does help you to eat with the ebb and flow of the seasons. It takes the posh, overly contrived agony out of food. Just look in the fridge and pantry and be inspired. I really love this book, its really a diary of a year of cooking. Great reading with a large cup of tea.

Have a super weekend in the kitchen!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

The ideal weekend breakfast... and super easy to boot.
I had 5 of these beaut's, I kid you not.

A batch after being glazed and grazed

Just out of oven, before glazing with a lovely thick vanilla syrup.

I was pretty popular after making these for the locals.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Sorry. What happened to yesterday's fonts? All those dark letters flying at you.

I am not 'computer savvy' as you can tell and I can be a tad rebellious, so when my computer gives me error messages, I pretty much ignore it. I like to do this until it no longer actions any of my commands. Not smart! Usually at about this point I get the often repeated lecture from my man about my 'running headlong off a cliff without any thought for the consequences' or something like that. I get kinda excited about stuff and hate distractions, eg dumb messages.

I just finished lunch at my folks. That's Lunch with a capital L. I now just
need to sit a while with my top button (you know the one) undone!

Tomorrow though, I'll be hungry again and I plan on making Pioneer Woman's
Cinnamon Rolls!!! Can't wait. It looks so good. I think I'll be at the gym
extra early tomorrow. I don't think they can be labelled a health food.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A hearty beginning

The 1st of May began with a shower of rain and a bowl of pap (porridge), made more luscious with a helping of honey and butter.

The first of the month, means it’s the day for putting a new verse to memory, (see, my scripture is:

2 Corinthians 3.17-18 “Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord”

What a privilege! We will with ever increasing glory, reflect and radiate

His glory as we continue to behold our Father. The word transformed is the same word used in the transfiguration, from where we get the word metamorphosis from (to change the essential nature / character from internal to external). May He increase in us. Amen.

Update on the knitting:

Gorgeous or what?? She concentrates so when knitting... the eyebrows are together and the tongue is usually poking out. I'm so impressed with her commitment.

Last night we went to a Abba party for a friend's birthday. What a blast!! But, bummer, I left my camera at home! Nutcase! Everyone looked fabulous and all those old numbers had virtually the whole group on the dance floor all night long. What fun!