roasted tomato and red pepper pasta with and aubergine and olives

I have become somewhat obsessed with Piedmontese Peppers and all the flavours of this very simple and exquisite dish. I wanted to try to capture some of that with this pasta. I love roasted aubergine too so added that in, along with a good handful of back olives, cherry tomatoes and torn basil leaves. It’s a dry pasta vs one drowned in the ubiquitous red sauce. The peppers and tomatoes give off amazing juice during the roasting which together with the olive oil makes an adequate coating for my pasta. I add lots of grated Parmesan to finish it off too.

I add the anchovies at the end like you would with Piedmontese Peppers. This way you max out on their flavour and they don’t disintegrate during the cooking. Add as much as you like, but I think 2 – 3 tablespoons is amazing. [click to continue…]


salmon burger on a black brioche bun

by Sam on November 20, 2014

salmon burger on a black brioche bun with crunchy greens

Toasted black squid ink brioche buns with salmon burgers and crunchy Asian dressed greens are one of the most delicious things I’ve made lately. I am also in love with everything that it looks like. I mean, pink plus black plus green. If I ever had a pop up restaurant or needed to cater a party, I would pop this directly on the menu with every intention to knock the socks off my guests.

The squid ink buns come from my friend Kristy of, my favourite South African food blog. She was inspired to make this exquisite recipe after eating a similar burger in Portugal last year. The buns are easy to make with a beautiful soft almost cake like texture, and the squid ink doesn’t impart much flavour apart from a little saltiness. You could quite easily make a beef burger with them, which I have every intention of doing as soon as possible.

black brioche burger buns

The salmon burger is a recipe of mine, which I developed for Breville, and has a zingy Asian flavour that pairs beautifully with a good handful of dressed crunchy greens. I slathered on wasabi mayo to make it all the more delicious and burger-like.  [click to continue…]


the famous purple plum torte

by Sam on November 17, 2014

perfect plum torte

perfect plum torte

This purple plum torte is one of those recipes you see floating around the internet from time to time and always wonder if it really can be as good as its made out to be. I mean it’s a basic cake batter plus plums. Anyway, its been at the back front of my mind to make soon as stone fruits started coming into season.

perfect plum torte

I spotted these super small plums last week which looked perfect for the recipe, but in my over eagerness I didn’t stop to question their ripeness. Sadly they were not yet in their prime. It would be ideal to use ripe Italian prune plums, but if you can’t find these then use whatever ripe plums you can find. Do what I didnt do, and eat them first to see what  they taste like.  [click to continue…]


quick and easy red curry mussels

by Sam on November 13, 2014

thai red curry mussels

Mussels are one of my favourite quick and easy meals to knock up. They are both sustainable seafood wise, and are low carb – that is unless you don’t add the slices of toasted bread to the mix, which I find quite essential. I used Thai red curry paste which is pretty much available everywhere these days.

I have used white wine but you could just as easily replace it with stock or broth. I have also used a reduced fat coconut cream which works quite well, but you can use cream if you prefer. All super Banting friendly.

The heat level on these mussels is around 2 out of 5, I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to chilli. It’s not mild but not too hot. If you like yours über hot, you may want to add a dash more. I have made a portion for one, just adjust accordingly for more people.

Thank you to my friend Laurence for the inspiration here. This literally takes 10 minutes to make.

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gondwana private game reserve

by Sam on November 12, 2014

Gondwana Game Reserve

male lion atGondwana Game Reserve

male lion atGondwana Game Reserve

When you think of a wildlife safari in the South African bush, the Western Cape Garden Route doesn’t automatically spring to mind, but tucked away about 20 kilometers from Mossel Bay you will find a 11 000 hectare private game reserve that has been thoughtfully built-in this unique and beautiful location. Gondwana Game Reserve is home to numerous endangered fauna and flora  and it was an utter pleasure to have been invited with a bunch of fab digital media women on a press trip recently. #loadsofgiggles @GirlsTrip [click to continue…]