Tuesday, 4 February 2014

rainbow beetroot salad with honey sesame seed yoghurt dressing

Pink and Golden Beetroots tossed with bulgur wheat & toasted pumpkin seeds  

I made it.  I love it.  Its delicious.  But not really sure what else to say about it... other than its much prettier in real life. My pics just don't do it justice.  Definitely one to keep up your sleeve when entertaining.
I got my hands on some beautiful rainbow beets from the local village market.  I love it when I find 'artisan' veg.  I get such a kick out of using extraordinary things.  These pink stripy beets are much prettier raw (and I have a killer raw beet salad for another day), and the golden ones well they just throw your taste buds out as so easily mistaken for something else.  Roasting them is best, I just wrap them in foil, skin and all and roast in oven till soft (approx. 45 mins). 
The honeyed sesame  seed yoghurt dressing and lots of fresh lemon juice takes this salad to the next level but its the roasted pumpkin seeds that give it a real wow factor.  Its really good!

You will need

4 - 5 assorted beetroots (2 golden, 2 pink and 1 dark red)
6 radishes finely sliced
1 cup bulgur wheat
1 cup water
few leaves of rocket
few sprigs coriander
handful of pumpkin seeds

For the dressing:
1 1/2 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
3 tbsp low fat yoghurt
lemon juice
garlic clove crushed
1 tsp runny honey
a little water to thin it out


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

chorizo beer bread (in a tin)

It's been a wee while lovelies but we are alive and kicking, and happy to be back. 
To say I've missed my cooking would be an understatement and with two kiddies now bringing new challenges I still struggle to find the time but I couldn't wait any longer.  I felt it was time.  Time to start blogging, cooking, baking, photographing and thought I would give it a whirl with these little bad boys.  
This post is dedicated to a very wise old lass and one of my dearest and oldest friends who sent me a pic and I had to get the recipe so thank you Mrs Warren T.
Why in the past did home-made bread seem so daunting...and I thought my mom's Ciabatta recipe was easy but this takes EASY to another level. Makes me wonder why my husband was so insistent on putting that bread machine on our wedding registry which has probably made about five guest appearances.

I love the fact that this recipe comes from South Africa and that you can have fresh bread on the table in half an hour, with no kneading and a bottle of beer.

I added different flavours to create four different mini breads, Chorizo, sun-kissed tomatoes, mozzarella and rosemary.
I reckon it would also make great 'braai broodjies' (BBQ bread) where you stuff the dough with cheese and place on the BBQ.

You will need:
1 bottle of beer
500g self raising flour
1 teaspoon of salt

Whatever you would like to add for flavour (Chorizo, mozzarella, sun-kissed tomatoes, olives, cheddar cheese, rosemary, pesto)


1) It's as simple as mix flour, beer and salt together to form a dough which is a little sticky.

2) Divide into four, mix in different flavours and place into greased tins.  Spray and cook works well to grease the tins as the edges can be a little sharp.

3) Bake in preheated oven 180degrees for 30 mins.

Note: the tins can be a little tricky to get the bread out of, but you can use any tin to bake in.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

fresh apple chocolate lollies

I love these little fresh apple lollies and believe anything with a dash of fruit is better than none especially when there are little people involved.
Now I can't take all the credit for these, I saw a picture in a magazine recently and thought that's exactly what I'm going to make for my daughter (nearly 2yr) as a special treat when she comes to visit me and her new sister in hospital.
I would also love to keep these up my sleeve for the next birthday party we have for her.  I think they would make beautiful snacks or even little gifts for party bags.

I love everything handmade and believe little detailed items like this go a long was in adding that extra special touch and for half the cost.
I wrapped them with cellophane and tied a bow out of raffia (two very essential items to keep in every household) making the lollies look very special.  I can't wait to see her face when she comes in.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

delicious bran muffins (Low GI)

In the words of Jamiroquai I'm going deeper underground.... yes the bags are packed, pressies wrapped, snacks prepared, camera's charged, last bump pics taken and two days till we meet our second little princess.
It's a new adventure and I'm certainly ready for the ride.  Her soon to be big sister, may at times think her world is being turned upside down but she will soon realise a bond and relationship larger than life.  A new little being who is about to become her best friend for life, and its that, that pleases me most.
It's no surprise Ginger Fig will be a little quite over the next few months as we embark on a few sleepless nights.  It got me thinking about which recipe to share with you, one of my favourites and one I simply can't live without - and it's these delightful bran muffins, simple to make, fluffy and soft, and ever so healthy. 
This is the only bran muffin recipe you will ever need, you could live solely on these.  They are very good at lowering cholesterol and being low GI release energy slowly helping to lower sugar levels and more - thanks to the 3 cups of oats.

Light and fluffy and not to mention super healthy, great for the whole family.  They also freeze very well.


Makes 14 big muffins or (24 smaller muffins)
You will need:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 Tbs oil
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups low fat milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbs bicarb of soda
  • 1 grated apple
  • 1 cup sultanas
1) Mix all the dry ingredients together.  Add the milk, eggs, oil and essence together with the sultanas and grated apple mix well and leave in the fridge overnight or for a few hours.
2) Grease a muffin tray and bake at 180 preheated oven for 20 mins or till golden.

Monday, 19 August 2013

iced jasmine & elderflower tea

This has got to be one of the most refreshing drinks I've tasted in a long time, well in the non alcoholic department at least.  It would be hard to compete with my white peach sangria which I have been meaning to blog about for ages and will get round to it someday I promise.
Here, the dash of elderflower cordial adds that little kick of deliciousness to the already very aromatic jasmine tea.  These two flavours are made for each other and I would encourage you make a batch and keep it in the fridge, serve it with lunch or even an afternoon snack in the garden.
I used flowering jasmine pearls, but you could use any jasmine flavour tea be it a bag or leaves.



You will need:
  • 1 flowering jasmine tea pearl (or 1 jasmine flavoured tea bag)
  • a dash of elderflower cordial
  • a few blocks of ice

1) Make the tea as you would normally, allow to cool slightly.  Pour a dash of elderflower cordial in each glass or in the tea pot (to taste) depends how sweet you like it.  Pour the tea over ice into the individual glasses.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

three summer salads with feta

What's not to love about summer and alfresco dining... crisp fresh ingredients tossed together with crumbs of feta, dressed with fresh lemon and olive oil, served and enjoyed outdoors - this for me is summer on a plate.  These three ideas are all extremely simple to prepare and very pretty to eat.  As they all use a hint of feta, I wouldn't necessarily serve them together but rather mix and match them to different meals or BBQ's. 
I couldn't resist dressing the table with a few hand picked herbal blooms straight from the garden, a little bouquet of Lavender, Chamomile, and Pea shoots add a delicate touch to your table.

Roasted sweet potato, beetroot and feta salad


  • Serves 2/4
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, sliced or cubed
  • 5 medium sized roasted beetroots
  • 1/2 slab of feta
  • lettuce leaves
1) Place sweet potatoes in a roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil and roast in a preheated oven of 180 degrees for 20 minutes or until crispy but still soft.  If your beetroots are fresh, cover each one with foil and place in the oven together with the sweet potatoes but leave in for at least an hour till soft, remove from foil and peel the skin off.  Alternatively use pre-packed already cooked beets.
2) Toss all together with crumbed feta, place on the lettuce leaves and drizzle with olive oil and little balsamic vinegar.


Courgette, mint, chilli and feta salad

  • Serves 2/4
  • 3 raw courgettes, peeled length ways with a peeler
  • 1/2 medium heat red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1/4 slab of feta, crumbed
  • few sprigs of mint
1) Toss all together in a bowl and dress with olive oil and fresh lemon juice.  Note this is best when the courgettes have been marinated in the dressing for at least half an hour, they go all soft but still maintain a slight crunch.

Rosemary roasted butternut and feta salad

  • Serves 2/4
  • 1 butternut, peeled and sliced into chunks
  • few sprigs of rosemary
  • 1/2 slab of feta, crumbed
  • 1 tsp chicken spice
1) Sprinkle the chicken spice over the butternut together with the sprigs of fresh rosemary, roast in preheated oven of 180 degrees for 20 mins.
2) Toss together with the feta and dress with olive oil.

Monday, 1 July 2013

butternut, cauliflower & chickpea curry

Honestly this came about from being all I could find in the fridge and pantry.  I always have a tin of chickpeas handy for whatever reason be it salads, houmous or stews and I had a very big butternut begging to be chopped.  I'd also noticed half a cauliflower in the fridge, who knows how long it had been there and the first thing that came to mind was a mild coconuty curry.
There used to be quite a famous advert in South Africa for crackers where the toppings started out very fancy e.g. smoked salmon and cream cheese, then just cream cheese and by the end of the month there was nothing but the plain cracker, they referred to it as the end of the month salticrax.
This dish is my end of the month curry for your lovie ;)

Serves 4
You'll need:
  • 1/2 a butternut, diced
  • 1/2 a cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tin of tomatoes
  • 1/2 tin of coconut milk
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • juice from half a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • plain yoghurt to serve
1) Fry the onion in a pan.  Add the spices and all the vegetables.  Mix well to ensure the spices coat all the veggies
2) Add the coconut milk and tinned tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper and simmer for approx. 20mins or till tender.
3) Serve with a dollop of plain yoghurt and toasted pita breads or naan.