Melkkos

Melkkos … a traditional South African dish.

Melkkos

Who remembers indulging in a bowl of steaming, fragrant Melkkos on a cold, winter evening curled up on a sofa in front of a crackling fire? Having a warm bowl of this heavenly dish in front of me awakens a sense that if I close my eyes I will feel my Mom hugging me.  This must truly be one of the most nostalgic dishes in my memory bank.

Melkkos, which directly translates to Milk Food, is one of those classic South African dishes that is often passed down from a long line of grandparents and parents. MelksnyselsThere are many variations on this dish with the two popular ones being the recipe that I grew up with (and shared below) and the other one is Melksnysels (Noodles boiled in milk) for which I never acquired a taste.

Melkkos is also very versatile … you can enjoy it for breakfast, serve it as dessert to round off a traditional South African meal or have it as a light Sunday dinner.

Some traditions should never die … this is one of them! Continue reading

Poorman’s Ragu

Poorman’s Ragu

Ragu and Pasta

 

Comfort food is satisfying because it is prepared in an unpretentious traditional way with a nostalgic appeal that reminds you of home, family or friends. As the seasonal clock turns from summer to autumn, our senses inevitably convey the message that the time for comfort food has arrived.

I happen to stumble across this versatile, rich, beautifully cooked meat-based sauce that is as good served with pasta, over polenta, in wraps, chilli con-carne, as a pie filling and even cottage pie.Ragu and Polenta

The secret of a good ragu is to choose the right cut of meat.  A wrong cut is probably the worst mistake you can make.  Some cuts which are good for braising, like sirloin and prime rib, don’t break down in the same way and you’ll be left with chunks of tight, dry meat rather than meltingly tender beef. It is advisable to use cheaper cuts like shin, chuck or blade. Continue reading

Pork Belly Roast

Pork Belly roast with crunchy crackling

Roast Pork Belly

Long, lazy Sunday afternoons with family and friends gathered around our table, is one of those ‘have-to’ events on our calendar. Sunday lunch is the time to catch up with your loved ones’ hopes and worries, stories, jokes, experiences. Around our table we share gratitude, memories, shape relationships and build a history together. This is the time that we can all decompress for the week ahead.

Roast Pork Belly3Whenever I ask my children what they would like on the menu, nine out of ten times they will say: “Roasted Pork Belly with crackling, like Ouma used to make.”  Now therein lays my problem. My mom seldom used recipes and sadly, I never penned down any of her masterpieces.

Over the years I have developed this easy, fuss-free recipe which the kids seem to like … maybe not as much as they did with Ouma’s dish, but I think it is passable. Continue reading

De Hoek Country Hotel

 De Hoek Country Hotel

“Every heart sings a song, incomplete until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.”
– Plato

De Hoek 6

October 2012 saw the joyous occasion of our 29th Wedding Anniversary. After extensive research (the part of any event that I really love doing), I opted for a visit to De Hoek Country Hotel. De Hoek is one of those 5-star retreats nestled away close to the cradle of human mankind. Continue reading

Lyn’s Cheese Puffs

Cheese Puffs

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Africa is not merely a feeling, it’s an experience. It is such a vast continent with indisputably beautiful landscapes and golden sunsets unlike anywhere else in the world. Your first sunset in the African bushveld can irrefutably be a life changing experience. Picturesque scenery, sounds and smells all unite in a singular sensation of inner ecstasy. As the sun leisurely slides behind the horizon, time slows down as the colours of the bushveld morph into a silhouette. You are overcome with a sense of peace where nature is the only symphony that could possibly accompany such beauty.

Sunsets in Madikwe Game Reserve is exceptionally beautiful and with the sunset comes sundowners and snacks. This is where I first tasted Lyn’s delectable cheese and marmite puffs accompanied by a glass of crispy cold Sauvignon Blanc. They are super easy to make and I have since made them on numerous occasions. Continue reading

Baked Salmon Cheese Cake

Baked Salmon Cheese Cake

Smoked-Salmon 4

I love relaxing on a weekend with good music, the soothing sound of  water rippling over stones, the resonant sound of birds in the background, paging through recipe books the way other people page through magazines. I didn’t afford myself this luxury for a number of years but I now appreciate the freedom of time that comes in our autumn years.

On one such an indulgent Sunday, I came across this unusual recipe … maybe not unusual to many of you, but I always associated ‘baked cheesecake’ as a sweet delicacy. For our Christmas Eve family dinner, I decided to test this dish and I served it as a starter. We were all pleasantly surprised with both the taste and texture.  It was just as good the next day served cold with a salad. Be bold … try it! Continue reading

Asparagus and Cheese Tart

Asparagus and Cheese Tart

Asparagus and Cheese Tart

Asparagus and Cheese Tart

We all know local is lekker … add to that seasonal and you have a taste sensation waiting to happen in your kitchen.

One of the first foods that signal the start of spring is the appearance of fresh asparagus at local farmers’ markets, vegetable shops and supermarkets. I love experimenting with fresh asparagus as they are packed with health benefits. Continue reading

Beryl’s Boiled Fruit Cake

Beryl’s Boiled Fruit Cake

Boiled Fruit Cake

Boiled Fruit Cake

Whenever we are in a game reserve with our ‘getalong’ friends, the ladies surprise us with some amazing snacks for the game drives. On one such occasion, Bassie presented us with the most delectably moist fruit cake during a coffee break.

This fruit cake doesn’t just belong on the Christmas table, but it also provides a powerful energy spike for long distance athletes – just omit the sprinkle of brandy at the end ;-). I particularly enjoy this fruit cake as it easy to make and does not have to ‘mature in brandy’ – so no one will even suspect that you forgot to bake the Christmas cake in October. Continue reading

strawberries-Strawberries

10 Health Benefits of Strawberries

 10 Health Benefits of Strawberries

strawberries-Strawberry plants

Strawberry plants

Strawberries are an excellent source of antioxidant-promoting vitamin C and manganese. They are also a very good source of dietary fibre, iodine, and folate plus strawberries are a good source of copper, potassium, biotin, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B6, and omega-3 fatty acids … in other words Strawberries are a Super Food! Here are ten reasons to over-indulge 🙂 Continue reading

Salmon Mac Cheese

Salmon MacCheese

Salmon MacCheese

Salmon Mac Cheese

Salmon Mac Cheese

Macaroni cheese is like a blank canvas waiting for some inspiration. Add any combination of ingredients that tickles your fancy and your dish will be transformed from a reliable mainstay into a masterpiece. My favourites are chicken and chorizo; salmon and dill; smoked snoek, mascarpone and blue cheese … there is a palette of choices waiting to be explored. Continue reading