Warm up on a cold winter's night with this spicy and filling take on Mexican Chilli Con Carne. This recipe is quick and easy to prepare, making it the perfect indulgence after a long day. And, you can grab all the ingredients at your local Woolies.
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tb olive oil
25 g Woolworths Chilli Con Carne spice mix
400 g Beyond Meat mince
400 g tinned tomatoes
2 Tb tomato paste
400 g tinned red kidney beans
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cook the onion and garlic over a low heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the Chilli Con Carne spice mix.
Increase the heat and add the Beyond Meat mince and brown.
Add the tomato paste and tinned tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the beans, allow to heat through and season to taste.
Serve with toasted tortillas, fresh coriander, lime juice, avocado and a drizzle of coconut cream, if you wish.
Traditionally, paella is a rich and hearty dish made with colourful vegetables, fresh seafood and golden saffron. This recipe is made lighter on the pocket by using turmeric in place of saffron and chicken rather than seafood.
1 tsp lemon rind
2 Tb lemon juice
1/2 tsp turmeric
3 Tb olive oil
8 chicken thighs
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C chopped onion
1 1/2 Tb thyme
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 C uncooked rice
1/3 C dry white wine
3 C chicken stock
2 C frozen peas
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 Tb parsley, chopped
Stir together the lemon juice, rind and turmeric and set aside.
Heat oil in a paella pan or large skillet. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook, skin side down, for about 6 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside.
Add the onion, thyme and garlic to the pan and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring often.
Add the rice and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes.
Add the wine and cook until it has reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the lemon mixture, stock and remaining salt.
Nestle chicken into rice, skin side up, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to cook for 18 minutes.
Add the peas and pepper, increase heat to medium and cook until rice begins to brown at the edges, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve scattered with parsley.
There's nothing better to ward off the chill than some fragrant spices, besides hot chocolate of course! This recipes combines the heat of spices with the comfort of hot chocolate to bring you warmth in a cup.
4 C milk
1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 C sugar
2 tsp corn flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp chilli powder
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
Bring all the ingredients to a simmer over a medium heat, stirring frequently.
Looking for a few healthier alternatives to keep you warm throughout winter? Then check out these recipes.
Do you have any yummy hot chocolate recipes? Let us know about them in the comments section below!
Disclaimer: Please shop, drink and enjoy responsibly. Refer to lockdown regulations regarding the sale of alcohol during level 3.
Are you a fan of mojitos as well as gin? Then you'll definitely love this Southside Cocktail recipe. This cocktail is also known as a gin-style mojito. Also known as a mojito, gin-style. Not only is it super refreshing and delicious, but it's quite easy to make! Here's a Southside Cocktail recipe by Geoffrey Zakarian via Food Network:
60ml gin, such as Plymouth
20ml sugar syrup
1 sprig mint
1 fresh mint leaf
Special equipment: a chilled martini glass
Combine the gin, lime juice, sugar syrup and mint sprig in a shaker.
Add some ice cubes and shake vigorously.
Strain into a chilled martini glass.
Garnish with one mint leaf, smacked to release the oils, floating on top of the cocktail.
Ever thought of mixing gin with champagne? You can combine these two favourites into one glass and sip away on a French 75 cocktail. It's just like a mimosa, but lighter. This is usually an absolute hit at most social gatherings, but since we're all in lockdown, there's nothing wrong with making a jug all for yourself! Take a look at this easy recipe by Amanda Formaro on Amanda's Cookin':
30ml London dry gin
15ml fresh lemon juice
15ml simple sugar syrup
90ml Brut champagne
Lemon peel twist for garnish
Using a paring knife or a zester, slice peel from lemon, going all the way around to create a long spiral.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add gin, lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds.
Strain into a chilled champagne flute and top with Brut.
Curl lemon peel around a wooden spoon or your finger to create a long twist.
2 strips of lemon zest and 2 maraschino cherries, to garnish (optional)
Put two cocktail glasses in the fridge to chill. Pour the gin and grenadine into a cocktail shaker, then fill with ice. Shake until the outside of the shaker feels ice-cold. Strain the mixture into a jug, discarding the ice.
Tip the egg white into the shaker and pour in the gin mixture. Shake well until the egg white is frothy – you can also do this in a food processor or using a hand blender, if you like.
Pour the cocktail into the prepared glasses.
Skewer the cherries onto cocktail sticks, if using, then use to garnish the glasses along with the lemon zest, if you like.
Tip: Homemade Grenadine
Pour 200ml pomegranate juice (100% juice, not juice drink) into a saucepan.
Add 200g frozen red mixed berries, the juice of ½ lemon and 2 tbsp caster sugar.
Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft and the liquid is slightly reduced.
Strain, leave to cool and pour into a sterilised bottle. It keeps in the fridge for up to a week.
Not looking for a pretty cocktail? If you enjoy drinking your G&T as is with a few flavoured elements, then try this Spiced G&T from BBC Good Food. This twist on a G&T is perfect to enjoy before or after a hearty winter warmer meal and looks absolutely fabulous and refreshing.
50ml cardamom-spiced gin
2-3 whole cardamom pods
100ml classic tonic water
fresh or dried rose petals
plenty of ice
Put a large handful of ice in a big glass, then pour over 50ml cardamom-spiced gin.
Crush 2-3 whole cardamom pods so they just split open and drop those in too.
Pour over 100ml classic tonic water, then garnish with fresh or dried rose petals.
What’s better than a creamy mushroom soup to warm you up from the inside out? But these kinds of soups are often laden with heavy cream. Try out this health-conscious mushroom and barley soup for a delicious meal without the added calories:
30ml (2 Tbsp) butter
1 onion, chopped
2 x 250g button mushroom punnets, cleaned and halved
250g exotic mushrooms, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Fresh thyme, picked
1.25l (5 cups) chicken stock
1 potato, cut into 1cm blocks
500ml (2 cups) pearled barley, cooked according to packet instructions
45ml (3 Tbsp) soy sauce
125ml (1/2 cup) coconut cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Micro herbs, to garnish
Reserved fried mushrooms
Chilli oil or cream for garnishing
Heat a large pot over a medium to high heat and add the butter with a dash of olive oil to prevent the butter from burning. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-5 minutes, or until nicely browned. Reserve some mushrooms for garnishing.
Lower the temperature to a medium heat. Add the garlic and fresh thyme, to your taste, and fry for another 2-3 minutes.
Add your chicken stock and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes. Heat a frying pan and add a small knob of butter and a dash of olive oil. Fry the potato cubes until cooked, golden and crispy. Season to taste and set aside until needed.
Use a stick blender to puree the soup. Adjust with some chicken stock or water if you feel like a runnier soup.
Add the cooked barley and allow to heat through. Once heated, add the coconut cream and soy sauce and stir. Remove from the heat and serve with micro herbs, reserved mushrooms and chilli oil or cream as garnish.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in garlic and sweet potato and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in stock and tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potato is tender.
Meanwhile, blanch parsley in boiling water for 30 seconds until bright green. Refresh in chilled water and drain well. Process in food processor until pureed. Add extra virgin olive oil and process until combined.
Puree soup in a food processor (or use a stick blender) until smooth. Return to the pan. Add beans and keep warm over a low heat.
Fry chorizo in a small, non-stick frying pan until crisp. Ladle soup into serving bowls. Top with chorizo and drizzle with the parsley oil.
There’s a reason moms make chicken noodle soup for their little ones when they feel under the weather. It’s packed with good nutrients and helps soothe sore throats. If you feel a sniffle coming along, brew up a pot of this healing broth. You can freeze the leftovers for those cold winter nights when the very last thing you want to do is slave over the stove.
2 large carrots, chopped
2 large leeks, trimmed and finely sliced
2 corn on the cobs, corn kernels cut off
200g vermicelli noodles
Small bunch parsley, finely chopped For the stock:
2 onions, quartered
1 leek, cut into chunks
2 carrots, thickly sliced
2 bay leaves
6 black peppercorns
4 celery sticks, roughly chopped
1 vegetable stock cube
Put all the stock ingredients and the chicken in a very large saucepan, then cover everything with about 3 litres of cold water. Bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 1 hour -1½ hours, until the chicken is cooked through. Skim off any froth every 20 minutes or so. Remove the chicken to a plate to cool. Strain the stock through a sieve, skimming off as much fat as you can.
Rinse out the pan and put the stock back in, then simmer on a high heat until reduced a little – you need about 2 litres in total. Add the carrots and leeks, then simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, shred the meat from the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Add to the pan with the sweetcorn. Add the vermicelli noodles, unless you want to freeze the soup, and simmer for about 7 minutes more, until the corn and pasta is cooked. Ladle into bowls, sprinkled with the parsley.
Do you have any go-to winter soup recipes to share? Let us know about them!
To help you with healthier braai delights, Pharma Dynamics has teamed up with well-known food consultant and cookbook author, Heleen Meyer and the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF) to develop heart-healthy braai recipes as part of the Cooking from the Heart cookbook series.
Nicole Jennings, spokesperson for Pharma Dynamics says the series consists of 30 recipes that cater for both meat-eaters and vegetarians. “The recipes include healthy, homemade marinades and seasonings, snacks, sides and salads, as well as vegetarian dishes and even desserts. Many of the meals we share are around a braai fire, but it is often accompanied by food that’s not healthy for our hearts. Our aim is to make people a bit more conscious of the nutritional faux pas they make when braaing.”
The recipes are easy to make, affordable and consist of essential ingredients, which make them ideal for cooking during the lockdown. It even carries Jan Braai’s stamp of approval!
Tips For A Healthier Braai
Heleen Meyer and the Cooking from the Heart cookbook series have also compiled a few tips for a braai that's healthier on the heart. When it comes to choosing your ingredients, produce and making sauces and marinades, follow these tips:
Choose proteins wisely. Opt for lean meats like fish and skinless chicken breasts instead of plenty of red meat. If you do choose red meat, rather buy loin or tender cuts and remove any visible fat before cooking.
Marinate or rub meat with salt-free spices and lemon. Not only will this add amazing flavour, but it will also reduce the need for salt, which heightens your risk of hypertension.
Limit your meat intake to 150g.
Fill your plate with grilled vegetables, salads and side dishes. The more colour you add, the better. Meat and veg sosaties (kebabs) are always a hit.
Make your own healthier sauces and dressings instead of buying them from the store. Refer to www.cookingfromtheheart.co.za for a variety of healthy salad dressings.
Choose wholegrain breads, rolls or wraps, which provide additional fibre to your diet.
Consider healthier options over ice cream, such as chocolate bananas or fruit salad. Grilled fruit is also delicious!
125g button mushrooms, halved
3 baby marrows, thickly sliced
200g baby tomatoes
1 green, yellow or red pepper, seeded and cut into large cubes
15 - 20 bay or fresh lemon or lime leaves (optional)
8 - 10 metal skewers or wooden kebab sticks, soaked in water for 30 minutes
¼ cup (60 ml) olive or canola oil
3 tbsp (45 ml) lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 ml) finely grated lemon rind
2 tsp (10 ml) each chopped fresh thyme, origanum and parsley
1 clove of garlic
crushed black pepper to taste
½ tsp (2,5 ml) salt
Place mushrooms in a shallow dish and cover with boiling water. Soak for 8 – 10 minutes to prevent the mushrooms from breaking apart when skewered. Drain well and pat dry.
Thread mushrooms and veggies onto skewers or kebabs sticks, alternating the different veggies for a colourful end result. Add 1 - 2 bay, lemon or lime leaves in between veggies.
Mix oil, lemon juice and rind, herbs and garlic together and season with pepper.
Brush oil mixture onto skewers on all sides and marinate for 30 minutes. Season skewers with salt.
Grill over medium to low coals until the veggies are just cooked, but not too soft. Brush with more of the marinade, while braaiing, if necessary.
The kebabs can be served with pea & yoghurt dip or cottage cheese dip. Serve with a protein-rich vegetarian dish for a balanced meal.
Add pineapple to the skewers for a sweet flavour – it is delicious with pork or chicken.
A pinch of cumin or paprika or a chopped chilli can be added to the oil mixture, if preferred.
For a different flavour, add 1 tbsp (15 ml) finely grated fresh ginger or add 1 tsp (5 ml) mild mustard to the oil mixture.
1 corn on the cob, kernels cut from the cob or ½ cup (125 ml) frozen whole kernel corn, rinsed.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the mealie meal, water, milk, salt, oil and sweetcorn in a large mixing bowl. Stir well so that no dry meal is visible.
Lightly grease a 20 x 27 cm oven dish with oil and spoon mealie meal mixture into dish.
Arrange onion wedges on mealie meal. Mix parsley, cheese and corn and sprinkle evenly over onions.
Bake for 1 hour or until the mealie meal is cooked through. Serve hot.
Serve with barbecue sauce.
Bake the mealie meal mixture without the onion and cheese mixture until cooked. Mix 1 x 410 g tin onion and tomato mix with the parsley and onion wedges. Spoon onto cooked mealie meal bake, sprinkle with cheese and corn and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the tomato layer is heated through. Serve immediately.
Event is subject to be cancelled at any given time, so please check to avoid disappointment.
For Sweet Moms
If your mom is anything like mine, sweet is the way to go. Spoil her with these sweet, breakfast delights this Mother's Day. You can make enough for just her or invite the whole family to breakfast, but either way, remember that this day is all about mom!
Maple Granola With Fruit And Nuts
Kick the Mother's Day celebrations off with a generous bowl of homemade granola in bed. Serve with plain yoghurt and mom's favourite morning beverage.
100g dried berries (find them in the baking aisle)
50g coconut flakes or desiccated coconut
Heat oven to 150°C. Mix the oil, maple syrup, honey and vanilla in a large bowl. Tip in all the remaining ingredients, except the dried fruit and coconut, and mix well.
Tip the granola onto two baking sheets and spread evenly. Bake for 15 minutes, then mix in the coconut and dried fruit, and bake for 10-15 minutes more. Remove and scrape onto a flat tray to cool. Serve with cold milk or yoghurt. The granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month.
We know, banana bread is everywhere these days. If you haven't baked a loaf while under lockdown, treat mom to a scrumptious breakfast made using overripe bananas and a few other pantry staples.
2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted pecans, plus more for serving
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed (plus slices for serving)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
Honey or golden syrup, for serving
Stir together flour, pecans, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, banana, eggs and butter in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to buttermilk mixture and stir until just combined.
Heat a large non-stick saucepan over medium heat; melting the butter. Pour about 1/4 cup batter into the pan for each flapjack. Cook until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look dry, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and cook until plump and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.
Serve with honey or syrup, toasted pecans and sliced bananas.
Doughnuts for breakfast? Why not? Treat mom to these super sweet glazed delights, served with a piping hot cup of rooibos tea and a big smile. This recipe yields approximately 18 mini doughnuts, just enough for mom to have her fill and leave a few spare for you.
1/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon full cream milk
1 1/8 tsp active, dry yeast
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled, plus more for work surface
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 litres canola oil
2 cups blueberries
6 tbsp loose rooibos tea
2 cups icing sugar
Heat milk in a small glass measuring cup in the microwave on high for 30 seconds or until just warm to the touch. Stir in yeast and granulated sugar. Set aside until frothy, 4 to 6 minutes (if mixture does not froth, discard and start again). Transfer to a bowl; add egg and whisk to combine. Whisk in butter and salt (don’t worry if some lumps of butter remain).
Stir in flour and lemon zest until a dough forms. Beat dough with an electric mixer fitted with dough hook on low speed for 5 minutes (dough will be sticky). Lightly oil a bowl. Transfer dough to prepared bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise, at room temperature, until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Lightly oil a large baking sheet. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; lightly dust dough. Roll into a 45 cm rope. Cut into 3 cm pieces and roll into balls. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with a towel. Let rise, at room temperature, until puffed, 25 to 30 minutes.
Place a wire rack on a baking sheet. Heat oil in a large saucepan to approximately 180°C. Cook doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to wire rack using a slotted spoon; let cool.
Cook blueberries, rooibos and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan, pressing berries with a potato masher to mash, until syrupy, 8 to 10 minutes. Strain through a wire-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth; discard tea. Add icing sugar and whisk until smooth. Dip tops of doughnut holes in glaze.
Some moms prefer salty over sweet. And, what's better than a good eggy breakfast in bed anyway? Check out these egg-tastic recipes with a twist to get your mom up and about this Mother's Day.
Chard And Gruyere Eggs In A Hole
Impress mom by creating a fancy Mother's Day version of a breakfast she has probably made a thousand times. Spice up classic eggs in a hole with bitter Swiss chard and gooey Gruyere. It's sure to become the new family classic.
6 slices sourdough bread
3 tbsp butter
1 bunch rainbow chard, trimmed and chopped
6 large eggs
115 grams shredded Gruyère cheese (available at Woolworths)
Preheat oven to 220°C. Spray large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
With 6-cm-wide round cookie cutter, cut holes from centres of bread slices. Arrange bread and cutouts on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes or until slightly dry, turning bread over halfway through.
In a 30 cm frying pan, melt butter on medium. Add chard and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until stalks are crisp and tender, stirring occasionally. Divide chard among bread slices, spreading around holes. Add an egg to each hole; top each with a pinch of salt and pepper. Sprinkle Gruyère over chard and cutouts.
Bake eggs for 8 to 12 minutes or until whites are set but yolks are runny. Serve immediately.
If you and mom ever enjoyed reading Dr Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham together, this is the perfect addition to a savoury Mother's Day breakfast in bed. Plus, it's super easy to prepare, so you'll have more time to spend with mom.
6 large hard-boiled eggs
1/4 cup refrigerated pesto
3 tbsp light mayonnaise
8 thin slices ham
1 cup fresh rocket
Peel and chop hard-boiled eggs. In medium bowl, gently combine eggs, refrigerated pesto, light mayonnaise and pepper to taste.
Split and toast croissants. Divide slices of ham, egg salad and rocket among croissants. Serve immediately or wrap tightly in waxed paper and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
One pan wonders are a mom's best friend. Make this easy fritatta your go-to this Mother's Day. It's packed full of protein and great flavour, so mom can feel her best to receive all the lovely presents you will have gotten her.
8 large eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup baby portobella mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup ricotta
3 cups baby spinach
Preheat oven to 190°C. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, heavy cream and mozzarella. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add garlic and cook until soft, 5 minutes, then add mushrooms and cook until soft, another 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted, 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour egg mixture into the pan, then dollop with ricotta and transfer pan to oven.
Need a homemade gift to go with your breakfast in bed surprise? We've got some great ideas for simple DIY Mother's Day gifts to make during lockdown.
Do you have any go-to breakfast in bed recipes perfect for Mother's Day? Let us know about them!
Make Some Muffins
When it comes to easy bake recipes, making muffins is perhaps one of the simplest recipes you can follow and not mess up (unless you get the ingredient measurements COMPLETELY wrong!) And best of all, there's a wide variety of recipes for you to try, depending on flavours you prefer. But to start you off with an easy option, we found this simple yet tasty basic muffin recipe by Charlotte Hilsdon on BBC Good Food.
2 medium eggs
125ml vegetable oil
250ml semi-skimmed milk
250g golden caster sugar
400g self-raising flour (or same quantity plain flour and 3 tsp baking powder)
1 tsp salt
100g chocolate chips or dried fruit such as sultanas or dried cherries (optional)
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line 2 muffin trays with paper muffin cases. In a large bowl, beat 2 medium eggs lightly with a handheld electric mixer for 1 min.
Add 125ml vegetable oil and 250ml semi-skimmed milk and beat until just combined, then add 250g golden caster sugar and whisk until you have a smooth batter.
Sift in 400g self-raising flour and 1 tsp salt (or 400g plain flour and 3 tsp baking powder if using) then mix until just smooth. Be careful not to over-mix the batter as this will make the muffins tough.
Stir in 100g chocolate chips or dried fruit if using.
Fill muffin cases two-thirds full and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until risen, firm to the touch and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. If the trays will not fit on 1 shelf, swap the shelves around after 15 minutes of cooking.
Leave the muffins in the tin to cool for a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
The best thing about a basic cupcake recipe is the fact that you can get creative! And to make this recipe even better, these vanilla cupcakes are super easy and quick to bake. These little cups of sweetness are perfect for that tea party you're planning on having with your kids in the garden a little later or to just enjoy with a cup of tea. To get you started, here's a cupcake recipe from BBC Good Food, shared by Sophie Godwin:
110g softened butter
110g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
110g self-raising flour
For the icing:
150g softened butter
300g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp milk
food colouring paste of your choice (optional)
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and fill a 12 cupcake tray with cases.
Using an electric whisk, beat 110g softened butter and 110g golden caster sugar together until pale and fluffy then whisk in 2 large eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Add ½ tsp vanilla extract, 110g self-raising flour and a pinch of salt, whisk until just combined then spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases.
Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the buttercream, whisk 150g softened butter until super soft then add 300g icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
Whisk together until smooth (start off slowly to avoid an icing sugar cloud) then beat in 3 tbsp milk.
If wanting to colour, stir in the food colouring now. Spoon or pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.
Just like cupcakes, baking a simple cake is also as easy as pie. Also, one tip we learnt while learning how to bake during the lockdown: DO NOT open the oven door to check on the cake before two thirds of the baking time has passed! Unless you want a flop. For a foolproof recipe that you and even the kids can bake, try this simple white cake recipe from allrecipes.com, shared from Scottosman:
1 cup white sugar
½ cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
½ cup milk
Preheat oven to 175C. Grease and flour a 9x9 inch pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally, stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 30 – 40 minutes in the preheated oven. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. The cake is done when it springs back to the touch.
Perfect to dunk in your coffee, to gift during Christmas or to have stocked in your cupboard for when the sweet tooth hits – sugar cookies are another easy bake treat for you to make at home. And a tried, tested and loved recipe we use is this one by Alton Brown on the Food Network.
3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 190C.
Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar.
Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick.
Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill.
Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time.
Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.
Looking to bake a savoury treat to enjoy with your afternoon tea? Then why not try your hand at making scones? And not just any scones – cheese scones! They're easy to make and also delicious. A recipe we suggest is this one from BBC Good Food. All you need is 15 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to bake and voilá, you'll have five cheese scones ready to be eaten.
225g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
pinch of salt
pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp baking powder
55g chilled butter, cut into cubes
120g mature cheddar, grated
90-100ml milk, plus 1 tbsp for glazing
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 with a large baking tray inside. Sift the flour, salt, cayenne pepper and baking powder into a bowl, then sift again to make sure the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Add the butter to the bowl and combine with your fingertips to make breadcrumbs. Sprinkle 100g of the cheese into the breadcrumb mixture and rub together until evenly distributed. Try not to mix too much as the heat from your hands may start to melt the butter.
Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in enough milk to give a fairly soft but firm dough. Do not pour in all the milk at once as you may not need it all to get the right consistency.
Lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough to approximately 2cm thick. Cut out the scones with a medium (about 8cm) cutter, then put on a sheet of baking parchment, glaze with a little milk and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Slide onto the hot oven tray.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins or until golden brown and cooked through.
And last but certainly not least, who can resist a block or three of indulgent fudge? Just don't have too many, or you might be on a sugar rush for the next 24 hours. And for this recipe, we're using a local one! Shared on Food.com, try out NESTLE'S Fudge recipe which was in the Fair Lady May 1986 edition.
397g can condensed milk
400g sugar or 500 ml sugar
25ml golden syrup
Put sugar and water into a large heavy saucepan.
Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Add the butter and syrup and stir until the butter has melted.
Add the condensed milk and stir until it comes to the boil.
Boil very slowly, stirring all the time, until soft ball stage.
Remove from the stove, add the vanilla and beat until it thickens.
Pour into a greased pan and leave to cool.
Cut into squares when cold.
Sourced from Food.com
Spicy Boerewors Pasta
600 g spicy sausage or boerewors
30 ml (2 T) sunflower oil
1 brown onion, chopped
1 medium aubergine, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
4 baby marrows, chopped
2 x 410 g can Rhodes Tomato Italian Style
4 x 250 ml (4 C) cooked penne pasta
To serve: 3 T ( ¼ C) fresh basil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese
Remove the sausage or boerewors from its casing.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the sausage meat until almost cooked.
Remove the sausage meat from the pan and set aside.
Discard excess fat in the pan.
Add the onion and fry for a few minutes until softened.
Add the aubergine, pepper and baby marrows and fry, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes more.
Add the cans of tomatoes.
Bring the sauce to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through.
Return the sausage meat to the pan.
Continue to simmer the sauce for a further 5 minutes or until the sausage meat is cooked through.
Add the cooked penne pasta to the sauce and toss well to mix.
Serve immediately with the fresh basil leaves and Parmesan cheese.
400g chicken thigh pieces, skinless, deboned and cut into strips
1 clove garlic
minced red chilli, deseeded and finely diced or 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
800g tinned tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
100g baby spinach leaves
1 handful basil leaves, roughly torn
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Heat the olive oil in a deep pan. Season the chicken and brown on both sides. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and sugar. Season the tomato sauce with salt and pepper. Cover partially with a lid and let it bubble away for about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain but reserve 1 cup cooking water for later.
Fold the baby spinach into the pasta sauce and allow to wilt down. This should take only a minute or two. Empty the drained pasta into the sauce and toss to coat. Add some of the cooking water to thin the sauce down as the pasta will continue to absorb liquid when mixed into the chicken.
Add a generous handful of basil and half of the Parmesan cheese. Fold through to combine with the sauce.
Serve immediately with additional Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.
Join Tara, The Playful Vegan - in collaboration with Soul - for a few minutes of PLAY in the kitchen, where she'll show you how to make a quick and easy plant-based dishes, using immune-boosting ingredients. Get your dose of creativity and deliciousness during this complimentary virtual cooking demo. Tara will be showing you how to make Cashew Cream, Mock Parmesan and Date Honey, so don't miss it!
When Is It?
Saturday,16 May 2020 at 11:00 - 11:15 (Cashew Cream demonstration)
Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 11:00 - 11:15 (Mock Parmesan demonstration)
Saturday, 30 May 2020 at 11:00 - 11:15 (Date Honey demonstration)
Instead of spending a fortune buying Easter eggs for every member of your family, why not spoil them with an Easter egg cake?
For the cake:
3/4 C coconut oil, plus more for the pans.
2 C cake flour, plus more for the pans.
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
113g dark chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 C boiling water
1/3 C cocoa powder
2 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
For the icing:
2 1/2 C butter
1/4 tsp salt
5 C icing sugar
1 TB vanilla essence
3 TB milk
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly oil and flour two 20cm round cake pans.
Mix the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and set aside.
In a saucepan over a low heat, mix the chocolate and coconut oil and set aside. Whisk together the water and cocoa powder and add the chocolate and coconut oil mixture. Mix in the sugar and salt and add in the eggs one at a time. Then add the vanilla and flour. Mix until just smooth.
Divide batter between cake tins and bake until the cakes spring back when lightly pressed, about 30 - 35 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pan and cool completely.
To make the icing, beat the butter and salt until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the icing sugar while beating. Add the vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 2 - 3 minutes. Beat in the milk until smooth.
Using a large serrated knife, trim off the dome of the cake. Cut each cake into two equal layers and then cut the cake in half, about 1cm off centre. You will have 4 slightly larger semi circles and 4 slightly smaller ones.
Stack the 4 slightly larger cakes with icing. Place the stack cut side down on a piece of baking paper. Repeat with the 4 smaller cakes. Attach it to the larger stack, cut side down, with icing.
Trim the sides of the smaller cake to make a slightly pointed, even and rounded shape.
Add 2 - 3 tablespoons of icing to the cake scraps and mash with a fork. Pat the scraps around the cake to form an egg shape.
Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of icing then allow to set in the fridge.
Cover the cake in the remaining icing and decorate as desired.
Inspired to do some more Easter baking? Rope the kids in and get baking these oh so satisfying Easter treats.
Learn To Cook During Lockdown
Have time to kill while you're stuck at home during the 21 day national lockdown? Then why not spend this time brushing up on or learning a brand-new skill? We have a great option in mind - learn to cook online with these FREE Online Cooking Courses from Yuppiechef!
Enjoy 30 days free access to all of their Online Cooking School courses! During this time, you'll learn how to master popular recipes, get on top of those techniques and hone in on various cooking styles from the comfort of your own home at your own pace.
Sounds like something you'd like to get cracking on? Visit Yuppiechef now and find out how you can get started!
What It Includes
Learn how to cook from some of the industry's most well-known names, including Peter Goffe-Wood, Sarah Graham and Franck Dangereux, with this series of high quality video tutorials. Each FREE online cooking course includes in-depth theory notes, recipes to try and quizzes to test your knowledge along the way.
These courses can be viewed across various devices – smartphone, laptop or tablet – and you'll have unrestricted access to all of the course videos and notes for 30 days (from the day you purchase this bundle from Yuppiechef).
How Does It Work?
This sounds like the perfect way to spend your remaining days in isolation! But wondering what happens after the 30 days? Here's what you need to know:
After 30 days, you'll lose your access to the course(s)
You will NOT be billed automatically after 30 days
After 30 days, if you'd like to continue your course(s), you can purchase the course individually or buy the lifetime access bundle.
What Courses Are Available During The 30 Days?
Here are a few courses that you can look forward to during your 30 days of free access:
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Not a fan of chickpeas? Neither are we - unless they're roasted, of course. This recipe transforms the dull and starchy chickpea into a nutty, crunchy and flavourful snack perfect to keep away those isolation blues.
1 can chickpeas
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Drain the chickpeas and pat dry with a paper towel. Allow the chickpeas to sit for an hour so that they dry completely.
Arrange the chickpeas on a baking tray in a single layer. Roast for 30 - 45 minutes, shaking the pan every 10 minutes. Roast the chickpeas until they are golden brown and crunchy.
Toss the chickpeas with some olive oil and the spices. Allow to cool and serve at room temperature.
This yummy recipe is the perfect substitute for ice cream. Add your choice of add-on ingredients to this basic recipe to craft your perfect flavour. Add berries and vanilla for an extra sweet indulgence; dark chocolate and peanut butter for a nutty affair or how about a dash of rum and a sprinkle of raisins?
4 C frozen banana slices
2 - 4 Tb milk
Place the bananas and milk into a blender or food processor.
Blend on high for 1 - 2 minutes. If your blender is struggling, add another tablespoon of milk.
Add any extra ingredients you might like and blend until smooth.
While chocolate cake is never going to be good for you, this recipe at least makes it healthier. The weird and wacky ingredients may put you off, but give it a go and you'll be in for a divine surprise.
For the cake
1 sweet potato
1 C self-raising flour
1/2 C cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 eggs, lightly whisked
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 C oil
1/2 C maple syrup
For the icing
1/2 C cocoa powder
1/2 C maple syrup
Line a cake pan with baking paper and spray with non-stick baking spray.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Pierce a sweet potato with a fork and place on a plate in the microwave. Microwave for 6 - 8 minutes until the potato is soft. Scoop out the flesh, mash well and allow to cool. For this recipe, you'll need one cup of mashed sweet potato.
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt and bicarbonate of soda.
Add the eggs, oil, vanilla and maple syrup to the sweet potato and add to the dry ingredients.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 18 minutes or until the top is cooked and the centre is a bit gooey.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Turn onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
For the icing, pulse the avocado, maple syrup and cocoa powder in a food processor until silky and smooth. Spread thickly over the top and sides of the cake and enjoy.
If you're a stickler for tradition, this spiced up hot crossie may be just up your alley. All you need are three classic ingredients:
Your choice of hot cross bun (though we suggest choc chip filled if you can find them)
Any kind of nut butter
The recipe is just as simple. All you need to do is turn your oven up to 160º, cut your hot cross buns in half lengthways and toast them for about eight to ten minutes. Then spread a generous amount of nut butter onto half of the warm buns and top with a dollop of jam. Sandwich together and enjoy!
Hot Cross Bun Banana Split
You may have seen a ton of hot cross bun ice cream sandwich recipes, but this one takes the humble bun and turns it into a decadent banana split. We recently came across this recipe on the Foodies of SA Instagram page and gave it a try. After tucking in, we must concur that it is quite delicious.
6 tbsp butter
6 SPAR Freshline Caramel & Chocolate Flavour Hot Cross Buns
1/3 cup brown sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
6 medium bananas
6 scoops vanilla & caramel ice cream
Roasted and salted peanuts, roughly crushed
Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
Preheat a large non-stick pan on a medium-high heat and add two tablespoons of the butter.
Slice the hot cross buns and add to the pan. Allow to cook until golden brown, one to two minutes, before turning each bun over and browning the other side. Repeat with all six buns, remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan, add the sugar, the rest of the butter and the cinnamon. Once the butter has melted, stir to combine.
Slice the bananas in half, lengthways.
When the sugar-butter mixture starts to bubble, add the halved bananas and cook for a minute on each side until the bananas are golden and the sauce has thickened and caramelised. Spoon the glaze over the bananas while they cook.
Place two caramelised banana halves over each bottom half of the toasted hot cross buns and top with generous scoops of caramel ice cream. Drizzle over the caramel sauce.
Sprinkle with crushed peanuts before placing the top halves of the hot cross buns over the bananas. Drizzle with more caramel and sprinkle on some more nuts before serving with raspberries.
Salty and sweet are a classic breakfast combo. Spice up your breakfast spread by pairing crispy, honey-glazed bacon with traditional raisin filled hot cross buns. Don't knock it till you've tried it! Not sure how to make perfectly sticky, spicy honey-glazed bacon? Follow this recipe:
1 packet streaky or back bacon
2 tbsp honey
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange the bacon slices on the paper in a single layer.
In a small saucepan, combine the honey, coriander and cayenne and cook over high heat until melted, about one minute.
Brush the spiced honey on one side of the bacon and bake for 10 minutes until crisp.
Once the bacon is slightly cooled, sandwich two pieces between a buttered hot cross bun and enjoy!
We haven't gone stark raving mad, we promise. Pickled fish and sweet onions are a typical hot cross bun topping enjoyed down in the Western Cape over Easter time. If your taste buds simply cannot adjust to this wacky pairing, you may simply serve the pickled fish with fresh white bread or just tuck into a plain old hot cross bun. But, if you are willing to push boundaries this Easter, follow this recipe: