Thought for the day: Do what makes you Happy!

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After my hectic day of housework {top to bottom cleaning!}, finding this gem of a quote on Facebook, just made my day!
Yes, I would have much rather read a good book, but then I suppose the dirty house would just irritate me too much and I wouldn’t have enjoyed my book. I must say, I now appreciate a clean house much more than when it’s cleaned by someone else. {I’m not saying I’m going to do it from now on, I’ll just appreciate it more…}

Hats off to all moms out there, cleaning their own homes all the time! It’s not easy cleaning up after 2 kids AND a husband.
Does anyone’s house ever stay clean for more than a few hours? Ours shone for perhaps 2 hours… And then Seb got home and hubby got home and the babysitter came to look after the kids and been and I returned from our muddy trail race and in an instant the floors were all dirty again, etc etc…
Ah well, I’m going to bed now – tomorrow’s another day. X
{By the way, it DID make me happy to do a bit of hard and heavy-duty labour!}

Warthog Pie

 

Warthog Pie

Leftovers… What leftovers?! I used most of the leftover meat from a warthog roast we made a few days ago. (I froze the meat)

I hate wasting food and and there is usually something creative and tasty you can do with leftovers – especially meat. Just be sure to freeze it if you’re not going to use it straight away.

Anyway, so here’s my recipe for a delicious, juicy warthog pie: (You could use regular pork meat too!)

Leftover warthog meat (in a sherry, ginger & quince glaze – see my post Warthog Roast), +-800g, cut into small pieces

1 carrot, diced

250g peas

500g streaky, fatty bacon (warthog meat is very lean and loves a bit of fattiness!)

1 onion, chopped

1 cup of dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)

1 1/2 cups of chicken stock

Sauté onion in olive oil and add carrots. Add diced bacon, warthog meat and peas – cook until bacon is cooked. Add wine and stock and let it simmer for a good 1/2 hour at least.

Let the mixture cool, then add 3 tbs of flour to thicken it up while baking. Put filling into a pie dish and cover with puff pastry. Brush with egg and bake at 180C for 40 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy with a yummy salad – we had roast beet, goats cheese & walnuts on a bed of mixed lettuce and drizzled with olive oil.

x

Our Veggie Garden!

I’m so excited about our veggie garden! We’ve started to plant a few seeds – mielies (corn), carrots, beets and spinach, as well as some herbs – sage, coriander, basil, dill and watercress.

Our thieving chickens are pecking up all the seedlings – grrr – but some of them are still hanging in there. Hubby is fencing off our veggie patch tomorrow and hopefully the chickens will stay out!

Anyways, as this is our first attempt at becoming more self sustainable, we will see how it goes and then go from there. (I love plants and growing herbs, but to be honest, nothing survives for very long at my hands… {blush})

I found a really great blog about growing your own vegetables:  www.its-our-life-for-six.blogspot.com

So inspiring – I hope our veggies will turn out as beautiful as theirs!

Here’s a peek into our garden (remember nothing has sprouted yet!):

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The compost heap was made from old pallets (yes – another one for Pinterest!) and we filled them with horse manure, as well as all the fruit & veg off cuts from the kitchen. Holes were made into the heap by placing thick wooden poles down the middle and then removing them – for ventilation.

The veggie patch fencing is made from off cuts of wood we had lying around – well, it came from an old shed that was taken down. Hubby sawed all the pieces to size and then timbered them all together to form these fab picket fences. We saved about R5000 by making them ourselves – whoop whoop!

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My wish for our little seedlings: grow baby grow!

X

Paleo burgers & polenta chips

I’m such a huge Masterchef fan and I saw a great idea from SA finalist, Leandri – polenta chips (aka fries).

So I decided to try it out.  Tonight we had paleo burgers (no bun!) with these yummy fries:

grill patties (I used venison) and stack with cheese slices, tomato, lettuce and basil. I also used a bit of mayonnaise and whole grain mustard on the patty after grilling.

serve with polenta chips:

cook polenta and pour into a buttered dish to set.  Once set, turn out from dish and cut into thick chips.  Dust with raw polenta and deep fry in sunflower oil until golden & crisp. Serve with tobasco mayonnaise.

We had real 80’s style retro dessert tonight – I made lemon ‘snow’ puddings from the South African classic ‘Kook en Geniet’ cookbook.

1.5 tbs gelatine

1/4 cup cold water

1 cup boiling water

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice and grated rind of half a lemon

2 egg whites

Pour gelatine powder into cold water and dissolve this in the hot water.  Add sugar, lemon juice & rind.  Let the sugar dissolve and pass through a sieve.  Let mixture cool and start to set.  Once it has started to get firm, whisk until it has a fluffy and frothy consistency. Whisk egg whites until stiff and fold into gelatine mixture.  Place in a mold or glasses and set in fridge.

Enjoy! X

Paleo burger & polenta chips

 

Snow pudding

 

Confessions of a blogaholic

{shopaholic / cookaholic / momaholic}

A lot of friends and blog followers have asked me recently where I find time to do all of this… I presume by ‘this’ they’re referring to my cooking & blogging?

So I’ve been giving it some thought and I realized – hey – this is my job! Ok, I didn’t just now realise, but still… Yes, this is my job – I’m a mom {here I can list a whole page of job descriptions} and I run our household {again – insert any number of tasks!}.  I cook everyday – yes I do love cooking – and then I tell you guys about what I’ve made! So it’s really just the blogging bit that takes up more time, and quite frankly I’m really enjoying that too.

People often think that being a stay-at-home mom is so glamorous, that I sit around and paint my nails / catch up with the girls / do lunch /etc everyday… Well, I usually roll out of bed every morning just before my husband goes off to work (to earn us some bacon!) to get the kids sorted and pack him some lunch. Bless him, he makes me coffee in the mornings, although I suspect he’s only doing it so I will actually get up… Hmmm…

You see, I’m up quite a lot at night, with one breastfed baby and another toddler who gets night terrors from time to time… {I still love my job!}

Once I’m up and going, I stroll around in a pair of tatty cut-off shorts and an old manky t-shirt and flops: doing washing, tidying the house, soothing and feeding the baby, separating toddler and dog, etc!  I only take a shower once the boys are both napping!  I might then also get in a bit of me-time (no, no my friends, not to read a book or watch some TV – no, by me-time, I mean I get to dry my hair or paint my nails or plan dinner etc!) and enjoy some leftovers for lunch.

I can’t actually tell anyone exactly what it is I do all day, I just know that I am super busy with all the things that need to get done.  I especially love it when my husband asks me what I plan to do today or what I have done today and my answer is something like ‘well I’m going grocery shopping’ or ‘I’m planning on washing the dog’, like that’s ALL I’m going to do / have done! Meanwhile, that’s over and above the daily stuff…

Anyways, this was by no means a moaning session, I just thought I’d put it out there. I know there must be millions of moms that know exactly what I mean and may even feel the same way.  I am very grateful and privileged to be able to be at home with my boys! And to have the time to cook and experiment in the kitchen.

I always say that in my next life, I’d like to be a dad! Hahaha! {just kidding though}

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Just saw this gem on Facebook – so appropriate!

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Rosemary & Yoghurt Roast Chicken

Roast chicken

This heat is making me super lazy! So here’s another easy & super tasty recipe:

Rosemary & yoghurt roast chicken

a cup of plain yoghurt (you can use low-fat / Bulgarian or Greek)

sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

pinch of salt

pinch of freshly ground black pepper

2 tbs lemon juice

half a cup of sauvignon blanc

3 tbs olive oil

Mix all ingredients and marinade one whole chicken (with skin is best!) for about an hour.

Roast in the oven or your grill for an hour and 45mins at a low heat of 150C. The low heat makes the chicken more succulent and if you’re using a grill (like a Big Green Egg or Weber), it imparts a delicious smokey flavour to the chicken. I used a small dutch oven to roast chicken in – for an hour and 20mins and the last half hour I placed chicken directly onto the grill to brown and get crispy.

Delicious – we just kept it simple and had a tomato, basil & feta cheese salad with the chicken.

Enjoy! X

Chef´s kitchen

Chef´s kitchen

Ferm LIVING kitchen linen
$15 – madeindesign.co.uk

VIPP bread box
$200 – madeindesign.co.uk

Linea kitchen gadgets tool
$13 – houseoffraser.co.uk

Kitchenaid
$125 – connox.com

Crate and barrel
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Stelton jug
$33 – connox.com

Muuto kitchen gadgets tool
$39 – connox.com

Majamoo black trivet
$21 – finnishdesignshop.com

Metaphys kitchen gadgets tool
$32 – connox.com

Stelton sugar bowl
$33 – connox.com

Bodum kitchen gadgets tool
$13 – connox.com

Warthog Roast

Big Green Egg

What a fab day – sunny Joburg with good friends, good wine & good food!

We tried out a new recipe today for warthog (I’ve never made or eaten warthog before…) from Shiny Happy People by Neil Roake (I love this cookbook!).

1 leg of venison (bush pig – I used warthog)

5 onions peeled & quartered

2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger, peeled & crushed

freshly ground salt & black pepper

olive oil

200ml sherry

225g quince cheese (quince jelly)

Rub meat with olive oil, salt & pepper.  In a large casserole, brown meat on all sides & set aside.  Add onions & ginger to the same casserole used to brown the meat and sauté.  Add sherry to deglaze.  Return the meat to the casserole and add random dollops of the quince jelly.  Cover and slow-roast in a pre-heated oven of 160C For 3-4 hours.

Now, I adapted this recipe slightly by doubling all the quantities (except the onions) because of the huge piece of meat I used.  Also, we roasted it in our Green Egg.

The result – delicious and slightly sweet meat!  Next time I would just add more liquid halfway through the cooking process and have the temperature even lower – maybe at 120C for 4 hours.  The sauce was just a tad bit too reduced for me… But still delicious nonetheless!

Warthog roast

Sides:

Mielies (corn on the cob) with butter – always a braai favourite!

Roast beets with balsamic vinegar, olive oil & feta cheese

Scrumptious salad with roasted tomato & Danish feta with avocado – made by my friend Karin

Dessert:

Summer Berry Pavlova

This might just be my all-time favourite dessert – and healthy too! (Just egg whites & fruit… Oh yes, and a bit of cream and sugar too… Just a bit ;))

Summer Berry Pavlova

6 egg whites

pinch of cream of tartar

1.5 cups of castor sugar

1.5 tsp corn starch

pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp red wine vinegar

Whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  Add sugar slowly, along with the corn starch & salt until glossy and stiff peaks form.  Fold in vanilla & vinegar.  Place on baking paper, in a round or oval shape.  Bake at 120C for 1.5 hours and let it cool in the oven.

Top with sweetened whipped cream (I use regular cream, whipped with castor sugar), fresh strawberries (cut and sprinkled with castor sugar), blueberries, gooseberries & pomegranate seeds.  Dust with icing sugar, serve & enjoy!

x