Buttermilk Rusks

I grew up in a house where coffee and rusks were part of our morning routine and it still is a tradition in many South African homes. Just think of the ‘boer-beskuit, anys beskuit’ and everyone’s all-time favorite, ‘karringmelk beskuit’ – it brings back wonderful memories of days spent with my ouma baking rusks in her coal stove.  

Store bought rusks have never been a favorite with me and for years I baked my own.  But then work, studies and school got in the way and our neighbor, Janet, who baked rusks every week for a home industry, became our supplier.

Buttermilk Rusks

After their move to Cape Town, I once again started baking my own. I have forgotten how rewarding it is to see my family enjoying my baking.

Here is the recipe for our family favorite. For a healthier option, I nowadays use bran rich self-raising flour for the buttermilk rusks. The result is just as good but somehow I do not feel as guilty when I indulge in a cuppa with a rusk, cuddled up in a chair with a good book.

Buttermilk Rusks


  • 1kg Self-Raising Flour (or Bran Rich Self-Raising Flour)
  • 5ml salt
  • 200ml sugar
  • 250g butter
  • 500g Cultured Buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 25ml oil
Ready for the oven


Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a roasting pan or two bread pans.

Sieve dry ingredients together and rub butter in well. (I use the hook on my Kenwood Chef).

Beat egg and oil together, and then add in buttermilk and mix. Pour onto dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Form buns and place them close together in the pan.

Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately break into sections.

Place onto a rack, well-spaced apart, and leave to dry out in a warming oven overnight or leave at 110°C for 3 ½ hours. Leave to cool.


Coffee and Rusks

Cheese Bread

When embarking on an LCHF eating plan, the most difficult pleasure to give up is bread. I have searched high and low, tried various recipes and this is one of the best … enjoyed by both LCHF followers as well as the lucky ones that do not need to follow an eating plan.

As almond flour is quite costly, I have started to substitute it with macadamia nut flour. The taste is just as good but it is easier on the pocket.

Cheese Bread


  • 1 block Philadelphia/ Lancewood full-fat cream cheese at room temperature
  • 6 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 4 cups almond flour or macadamia nut flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup chopped chives or spring onions (optional)


  • Mix cream cheese, eggs and cider vinegar in a food processor.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, salt, mustard powder and cayenne pepper. Blitz for a few seconds.
  • Add the cheddar cheese and chives/onions and fold in. Do not blitz in the food processor again as the cheese will become too mushy.
  • Pour into a well-greased bread tin.
  • Bake for 45 minutes at 190°
  • Let the bread cool off in the tin before turning it out.
  • I slice the bread and freeze two slices per Ziploc bags.

Creamy Biltong Soup


Two of my favourite ingredients, biltong and blue cheese, make this a ‘must have’ comfort dish for winter.


  • 200g butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 250ml flour
  • 5ml ground cumin
  • 150g biltong powder
  • 2 Knorr Vegetable Stock Pot or 3 Ina Paarman Concentrated Vegetable Stock Sticks
  • 1L boiling water
  • 500ml milk
  • 380g (1 can) Nestlé Ideal Unsweetened Evaporated Milk
  • 5ml fresh nutmeg
  • 200g mature Cheddar, grated
  • 50ml sherry
  • 50g blue cheese, crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • extra biltong slices, to serve


  1. Dissolve stock in 250ml of the boiling water.
  2. Melt butter in a large pot and add onion. Fry until soft and translucent, then add the cumin and biltong powder.
  3. Add flour to the onion mixture and lower the heat.
  4. Slowly add the stock, stirring continuously and adding the rest of the boiling water while stirring.
  5. Add milk in small quantities until it is well incorporated and creamy. Grate nutmeg into the soup and add the evaporated milk.
  6. Turn off the stove and add the cheese, stirring to melt. Once you have added the cheese, don’t boil the soup again, as it will split.
  7. Add sherry and mix well before adding the crumbled blue cheese, leaving some for serving.
  8. Season to taste.
  9. Puree soup using a stick or jug blender.
  10. Serve with sliced biltong and crumbled blue cheese.

Carrot, Orange and Ginger Soup

I read menus the same way as I read recipe books … like a novel.

When we recently popped into Mugg and Bean for coffee, I noticed that they have a Carrot and Ginger soup on their menu. The ingredients ticked all my ‘to have’ boxes and I decided to try and construct my own version of this soup.

During the R&D process of developing a new recipe, it is sometimes difficult to pen all the ingredients and method down, as a lot of tasting and adjusting takes place. Do your own tweaking of my recipe if you need more or less of a bite.


  • 6 Carrots scraped and cut into rounds
  • ½ Onion, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 2 Knorr Stock Pots (either chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 litre boiling water
  • 1 t freshly crushed garlic
  • 2 t freshly grated ginger
  • ½ handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • ½ t ground coriander
  • ½ t ground cumin
  • Zest of ½ an orange
  • Juice of the whole orange
  • ½ chilli
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Fry the onion, garlic and ginger in olive oil in a large pot until soft and translucent.
  • Add the chopped coriander, ground coriander, ground cumin, chopped chilli and orange zest.
  • Dissolve the stock pots in the boiling water. Add the water, orange juice and carrots to the pot.
  • Let it simmer until the carrots are soft.
  • Puree soup using a stick or jug blender for a smoother consistency.
  • Season to taste

Best Low-Carb Seed Bread

Low-Carb Seed Bread


One of my greatest foody weaknesses is bread. I absolutely love all types of bread spread generously with butter … I suppose it is part of my comfort food list. So when I was told that I am gluten intolerant and allergic to yeast, I thought that my whole world has come to an end.

After a few panic attacks, I started searching for low-carb bread recipes and this recipe is my favourite at the moment. It is super simple to make, slices easily and freezes really well.



  • 100 ml flax seeds
  • 100 ml sunflower seeds
  • 200 ml macadamia flour
  • 30ml psyllium husk
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 6 eggs
  • 10ml baking powder
  • 5ml salt
  • Pinch of stevia


  1. Put all the seeds in a coffee grinder and mill until finely ground
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  3. Mix wet ingredients together and combine the wet with the dry.
  4. Pour mixture into a greased and lined loaf tin.
  5. Sprinkle the top with poppy and sesame seeds.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes at 180ºC

Variation: You can use almond flour instead of macadamia flour and use greek yogurt or sour cream instead of the buttermilk.You can add any nuts or seeds and even cranberries. I suggest you experiment till you find your right fit.

Note: It is important to eat ground flax seed as the flax seed hulls are so hard, that they’ll pass right through your body undigested and you then miss out on their rich supply of essential fatty acids. Flax seed is really one of the best sources of omega-3, is high in potassium, is a complete protein and help the body to burn fat as fuel more efficiently.


Ma se Boereboontjies

Ma se Boereboontjies

Wanneer ek min geslaap het of sommer net sielsmoeg is, roep die kospotte my. Dan maak ek trooskos of sommer net onthou kos … kos met geen fieterjassies … kos sonder enige ‘make-up’.

Heel bo aan my lys van gunsteling trooskos staan boereboontjies, blomkool met witsous (nie kaassous nie), soetpampoen en veerligte kapokaartappel.

Ek het die voorreg gehad om my ma gereeld te sien in haar winter jare. Op meer as een geleentheid het ek haar sien sit by die eetkamertafel terwyl sy luister na musiek op haar draagbare radio (waarsonder sy nooit was nie), besig om boontjies metodies te kerf – party vir die pot, ander vir die vrieskas … en dit is nou waarna ek verlang … om net rustig by haar te sit en te gesels terwyl sy kerf. Ek het baie keer gewonder of dit regtig nodig is om die boontjies so presies en fyn te kerf. Dit verander tog nie die smaak van die dis nie. Die antwoord was altyd ja, dit is nodig want dis terapeuties. Dit gee jou tyd om te peins oor dit wat verby is en ted room oor dit wat nog gaan kom.

Ma, ek mis jou vandag!



  • 1 middelslag ui, gekap
  • 500g groenboontjies, gekerf
  • 1 medium grootte aartappel, geskil en in blokkies gesny
  • Sout en wit peper
  • 10ml botter


Voeg ui, boontjies, aartappel, sout en peper in ‘n kastrol met net genoeg water om dit te bedek.

Bring tot kookpunt en prut tot aartappel sag is.

Voeg botter by en breek aartappel met ‘n vurk op tot dit soos kapokaartappels lyk.

Sit warm voor.

Variasie: vervang die groenboontjies met spinasie, kool of wortels.



Broccoli and Cashew Salad

Broccoli Cashew Salad




Summer has arrived and just in time to celebrate Heritage Day which, in recent years, has become more known as South African National Braai Day … although in South Africa, we do not really need a reason to braai … it is our favourite way to spend time with friends and family.



This salad goes exceptionally well with a braai and it is an excellent way to get kids to eat more of their good, green veggies. Continue reading

7 Days of Bliss in Zanzibar!!


Romantic Dinners

I previously made the statement that you don’t need to wait for your 10th, 20th or 25th wedding anniversary to celebrate a milestone in your life, but our 30th just seemed to be a landmark! I first visited Chumbe with a friend a few years earlier and was so impressed with this little pristine coral island, that I promised Pierre that I would take him there one day.Chumbe

Thus, when we celebrated our BIG ONE in 2013, I made good on my promise and booked a seven day holiday in Zanzibar at two amazing resorts – Chumbe Island and Zanzi Resort. Both destinations were chosen for their secludedness and tranquillity.

On our previous trip to Zanzibar, Pierre and I weren’t too impressed with Stone Town, but out of necessity, we had to stay over for one evening.

DohwI am so glad we did because we had a whole different experience … nothing like our first visit.  We leisurely strolled through the streets of Stone Town and eventually ended up at 6 Degrees South Grill and Wine Bar. A good choice to while the evening away, watching the sunset with dhows and ships sailing over the Indian Ocean.

The next morning we got our transfer to Chumbe Island, an eco-island off the coast of Zanzibar. No electricity, solar power, compost toilets and the restriction of the total number of daily visitors, contribute to the feeling of peace and harmony with your surroundings … a bit like being stranded on a deserted island.Coconut Crab

Snorkelling 2Writing this article about Chumbe I remember the magnificent coral reefs, breath-taking fish, spectacular snorkelling and the late night walk with coconut crabs. Every meal was memorable, but dinners especially so … providing it is not raining, dinner is served on the beach with candles lighting your way. Breakfast and lunch are enjoyed on the terrace where the spray of the waves will cool you down.Dinner on the beach

For our anniversary dinner, they transformed a private outcrop into a fairylike dining room. We were spoilt rotten and the staff and Chef John made sure that the evening will be remembered forever!Anniversary Dinner

We left Chumbe with heavy hearts as we were convinced that nothing can beat our experience and it was hard to imagine that Zanzi Resort can match this. I apologized to Pierre in advance as I believed we should have ended our holiday on a high.

Zanzi BeachGreat was our surprise when we arrived at Zanzi Resort. In addition to our room being ultra-modern (in complete contrast to the rustic villas on Chumbe) we had a private pool, a day-bed, and our own private beach! It was as if we were on our own, remote island and we didn’t want to leave … not even to eat! It was wonderful to sip sundowners on the beach, watch the sunset from the day-bed and lap up the feeling of luxurious indulgence. It was wonderful that we could laze around and do absolutely nothing, but still feel at peace that we accomplished what we set out to do.Zanzi Resort

If you have one of these big numbers coming up, do yourself a favour and explore the Island of Zanzibar with their rich culture, beautiful beaches, and immense culinary experiences.Zanzi Resort

Chicken Pie

Comforting Chicken Pie …

Chicken Pie

Chicken Pie

In our modern, fast-paced lives we are always looking for a quick recipe, a swift fix to our problems and instant gratification. But some things are just way better when done at a slower pace. The slow-food movement is being revived, and I relish the time, love and affection that goes into preparing food during the pre-microwave era.

This chicken pie recipe should only be attempted if you have some time on your hands. Read a book or magazine while the chicken is bubbling away … you can even go and potter around the garden as this chicken is going nowhere soon.

I prefer to use a whole bird as the different textures of meat add to the overall result of a moist and tender filling.

Continue reading

10 Health Benefits of Pineapples


Pineapples …why they are good for us.

The name “pineapple” originated from European explorers who deliberated that the fruit was similar to a cross between a pine cone and an apple. Columbus was the first person to introduce pineapples to Europe after discovering them on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe in 1493.

Pineapple forms part of the family (Bromeliaceous) and is the only bromeliad with edible fruit. Pineapple is also a good source of vitamin C, copper, manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium and dietary fibre.Pineapple Plant

What is Bromelain? Bromelain is a protein-digesting (proteolytic) enzyme complex found in the fruit and, in higher concentrations, in the stem of the pineapple (Ananas comosus). Put simply, bromelain breaks down protein. As a proteolytic enzyme, it assists the body’s own digestive mechanisms in reducing very large, complex protein molecules into smaller peptide units or individual amino acids. These smaller components are crucial for your own production of muscle, neurotransmitters, and other protein-based molecules that your body produces.

Health Benefits of Pineapple

  • Anti-aging: The vitamin C in pineapple plays a part in collagen synthesis, making it an important antioxidant for skin health. Pineapples contain alpha hydroxyl acids, which are used topically for moisturizing skin and the removal of dead skin cells, as well as for the treatment of acne.
  • Digestion: Bromelain enhances the effects of the digestive enzymes trypsin and pepsin.
  • Healthy Bones: Pineapple is an excellent source of manganese, a trace mineral needed for healthy bone and cartilage formation. Deficiency of certain trace minerals which include manganese can slow down bone mass growth in our younger years and accelerate bone loss as we age.
  • Boosting Immune System: Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C, which has been shown to stimulate both the production and function of white blood cells that attack foreign bacteria and viruses. The manganese in pineapple also plays a role in strengthening the immune system.
  • Cancer Prevention: Researchers found that eating pineapple reduced the formation of nitrosamines (potential carcinogens) in humans. Pineapple isn’t the only natural cancer fighter. There has also been a link drawn between cancer prevention and marijuana, turmeric, ginger, garlic and Vitamin D.
  • Depression: Pineapple is high in niacin and the amino acid tryptophan, which the body uses to help produce the neurotransmitter serotonin. There is some scientific evidence that an imbalance in levels of serotonin could contribute to depression.
  • The acidity of the Stomach: Research shows that Bromelain can help balance the acidity of the stomach, as well as the alkalinity of the small intestine.
  • Sinusitis: A number of studies indicate that the bromelain in pineapple can help reduce swelling and inflammation as well as relieve symptoms of acute sinusitis. Bromelain is popular in the treatment of young children diagnosed with acute sinusitis in Germany. The therapeutic efficiency and safety of bromelain have been evaluated in children under the age of 11 years diagnosed with acute sinusitis.
  • Swelling and Redness: Bromelain was approved in Europe as an effective remedy for swelling after surgery. Research shows that the bromelain enzyme may lower swelling, stop bruising, speed up healing time, and reduce discomfort in individuals following surgical procedures.
  • Osteoarthritis: Bromelain may also help relieve mild discomfort related to osteoarthritis. In fact, it is a common ingredient in most natural supplements for sore joints and muscles.

Pineapple Desert

Sources for this article include: