Archive | recipes

raspberry and blueberry smoothie – fat free

fat free and guilt free temple drink

Take a handful of frozen blueberries and a handful of frozen raspberries (or strawberries) and scoop in about 3 tablespoons of fat-free yoghurt (I use strawberry fat-free) and a good glug of skim milk and blend in a processor or using the Braun hand blender.  So delicious and healthy – its the perfect afternoon snack to bridge the long gap between lunch and supper.


roast chicken with orange and smoked paprika

lovely bright orange and smoky chickens

The inspiration for making this came from a flavour of a packet of crisps I found in London in 2005.  At that time I had never seen smoked paprika in SA, so I bought some home to try this interesting sounding flavour combination on a real chicken.

The first time I made it, it came out well, and I liked the combination, but lately I’m cooking poultry with a lot more liquid so I tweaked my recipe.

I love a nice succulent chicken which has roasted and generated all its  own delicious saucy gravy.


  • 1 free range chicken (I only ever use free range)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) chicken stock ….0r you could leave this out for a dryer bird)
  • 2 oranges

yes it’s that easy – and takes about 5 minutes to prepare.

how to make:

  • preheat the oven to 200 degrees C
  • cut one of the oranges in half and squeeze out about a third of the juice and add it to the pan and then put the two cut halves into the chicken. The juice will drip out during the cooking process adding more succulence and orange flavour
  • squeeze the juice of the other orange and add to the pan (you can also add the orange skins)
  • sprinkle 1 tsp of smoked paprika over the top of the chicken. * Tip: I put the paprika into a little sieve and then tap it to get an even distribution and covering otherwise it has a tendency to clump
  • add the 1/2 a cup of stock to the pan (I used the new NOMU Fond – which is a concentrated liquid stock)
  • cover the pan and chicken with foil and cook for about 30 minutes.  remove the foil and cook for another 30 or so minutes.  Take out the oven turn the chicken over so the underside is up, baste and then return to the oven for 30 – 40 minutes until the underside is golden and crispy.  Remove from the oven and flip the bird back over so the top is back up and finish off for a further 30 minutes or so
  • If the top of the chicken is getting too dark towards the end – loosely place the piece of foil over to protect

coated in paprika and soaking in the orange juice

I carve up (not in a very elegant manner) and then pour the pan juices over the chicken and serve.

I doubled the recipe for book club last night and served with oven chips (sprinkled with ground up rosemary and Maldon salt) and a big green salad with my best vinaigrette.  The girls were licking their lips.


courgette / zucchini tzatziki

thick, creamy and garlicy - yum

Grate 2 medium / large courgettes and place in a tea towel or muslin cloth. Squeeze all the juice out by tightly winding up the material. 

squeeze tightly in a cloth to get all the liquid out

Add about 175ml (small tub) of plain yoghurt, one clove of garlic crushed, a squeeze of lemon juice, a good pinch of salt, black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch or dried oregano.  Mix, adjust seasoning and voila – a stunning alternative to cucumber (which often despite endless squeezing still lands up being watery).

I’m going to eat this with some grilled chicken breast and salad for supper.


my favourite vinaigrette dressing


I love this very basic vinaigrettedressing. Its so creamy and delicious and I use this aal the time.

Crush 1 clove of garlic, with 1 tsp (big) Dijon mustard, then in a ratio of 2:1 – olive oil to red wine vinegar.  A pinch of Maldon salt and a twist of black pepper.  shake, yum


light fruit cake: my christmas cake

a lovely light nutty fruit cake

It’s hard to decide what  my absolute favourite cake is, as cake for me is it’s own food group.  I love cake. Fruit cake is definitely very high up on this list.

I prefer a slightly lighter cake with lots of fruit and nuts. And from a convenience perspective I could not be bothered to boil all the fruit. I tried this recipe last year for christmas and it was exactly the way I like it so I made it again at the end of October on stirring Sunday (the Sunday you are supposed to bake your christmas cake for optimum maturation prior to Christmas).  Ok I’ve gone a bit over this but it doesn’t matter, it made it to my birthday and became the ‘official’ cake.


  • 230g golden sultanas (you could also use raisins or both)
  • 180g candied pineapple – coarsely chopped
  • 100g candied orange – slices coarsely chopped
  • 50g crystalised ginger chopped
  • 230g whole cherries
  • 50g whole almonds toasted
  • 50g brazil nuts
  • 50g cashew (or pistachio)
  • 50g hazelnuts (toasted skins off)
  •         Total = 200g nuts (any mix and I dont always toast)
  • 230g cake flour sifted
  • 230g caster sugar
  • 230g butter – room temp
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • Zest and juice of half an orange
  • 4 large eggs
  • Pinch salt
  • 60ml (1/4 cup brandy) – plus more

how to make:

  • preheat oven to 140 degrees
  • double line a 20cm round cake tin
  • Mix all fruit and nuts in bowl with a little of the flour to prevent sticking together
  • Cream the sugar and butter in a  mixer
  • Add zest
  • Add the eggs one at a time – mix well after each addition
  • Add the remaining flour & salt (i always sift my flour when baking)
  • Stir in fruit and nuts, lemon and orange juice and brandy
  • bake for 2 ¾ – 3 hours or until when a skewer is inserted into the cake it comes out clean
  • when cooled turn the cake out and sprinkle with brandy
  • wrap tightly and store in an airtight container until ready to serve
  • I sprinkle on a bit of brandy about every 10 days or so

When I made the cake I had enough ingredients to make another, so I used the same ‘cake part’ ingredients, and then I just added around 200gms of any nut I had plus more raisins and cherries than the recipe called for.  I also used a mix of candied fruit (pear, apricot etc) and it turned out wonderfully and was extremely fruit and nutty.  I loved it!

nice with a few bubbles at brunch

slice of fruit cake



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