I was exhausted by the end of last week. Being sick didn’t really help my cause, so I needed to take it easy as much as possible. (more…)
Monday meant temple day! We had sooo much to do, and hit the
road underground first thing. We made our way to one of the central train stations where it would be best to catch a taxi. I had a questionable bathroom experience here – I’ll save you from the details, but suffice to say, I felt violated and dirty afterwards. (more…)
People, this is the most amazing pavlova recipe. It has been a success every time I’ve made it. A lot of people think pavlova is supposed to be hard meringue with fruits in it. Incorrectamundo. The meringue is supposed to be crispy on the outside but soft and gooey on the inside. I made this for dessert on Christmas Eve.
8 egg whites
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vinegar
1 level dessertspoon sifted maizena
2 tsp vanilla essence
1. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until frothy.
2. Gradually add sugar and vanilla, and beat until stiff.
3. Add vinegar and beat again for a few minutes.
4. Lastly, fold in the sifted maizena.
5. Pile onto an ovenware platter and shape, building up the sides and hollowing out the centre.
6. Preheat oven to 200°C, turn down to 125°C and place pavlova in the oven.
7. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave the pavlova in for another 20 minutes.
8. Allow to cool and fill with whipped cream (I usualy beat 2x 250ml fresh cream with 1 tsp of sugar), and fruit of your choice. I find the fruits that go best with this pavlova are strawberries, raspberries and black cherries.
I recently discovered Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and fell in love. She makes the most incredible food, and shares all her recipes. She often also has healthy recipes, and she tries to stay away from processed ingredients.
Here are my Top 5 sweet treats that I can’t wait to try out:
1. Licorice Caramels
2. Unbelievable Carrot Cake
3. Giant Cinnamon Rolls
4. Double Chocolate Cookies
5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake
I’ve been doing the whole ‘Eating Clean‘ thing for 7 months. I’ve lost 7kg, and quite a few centimetres. But, I’m tired now, and have admittedly fallen off the wagon a little bit over the last two weeks. I’m feeling fed up, I get annoyed when I watch skinny people eat all the delicious food while I nibble on my Ryvita and Cottage Cheese. I need some inspiration, and I need to not give up, but at the same time, I just want to be fat and happy! I have 3kg to lose still which is not that much, but it is taking FOREVER. I just cannot shift these last few kilos. I have been eating so well, and still I don’t lose weight, and so I’ve gotten a little bit over it. On top of this, I am craving everything and anything. You name it, I want to smash it in my face. And before you tell me to exercise, I run quite often. I admit, I could probably exercise more which would involve waking up at 4AM to go to gym, but I’m not a fan of gyms. Excuses, yes, I know.
These cheered me up, at least..
These pictures all sum up me at this present time. NEED. STRENGTH. Just as I’m about to give up and take
another a spoon of peanut butter, I remind myself:
Although, I’d like to categorically state that nothing feels as good as Lebkuchen tastes.
Despite my healthy eating and lifestyle, I still have cravings on a regular basis. This in itself is weird, because you’d think that you’d eventually get over cravings after a while. Who knows, maybe I still will.
I don’t crave chocolate as much as I used to, which is surprising because chocolate used to be my crutch. I crave it every now and then, so this showed a definite improvement.
The big craving I have on a regular basis is for chewy, sugary sweets. Think a mix bag from Sweets from Heaven, or those little plastic boxes of gummies that you buy at Woolies. The other thing I crave regularly is liquorice – not All-Sorts sweet liquorice, but actual salty Dutch liquorice.
It’s very seldom that I crave anything savoury, like chips or anything like that. My sweet tooth always commands my cravings.
I recently found this diagram showing what each type of craving means. I’m not sure how true it is but I’m definitely going to try up my intake of the relevant nutrients to see if that helps.
As part of our regular Scoff Club, I made a ‘Blokey Snickers Cheesecake Loaf’ from Saved by Cake by Marian Keyes. This is one of my favourite recipe books, as it is honest and fresh – while it details her battle with depression and how baking helped her through it all.
I can understand the link, as I myself find baking very therapeutic. In fact, I was feeling a bit down this weekend and immediately, all I wanted to do was bake. The fact that I didn’t have the required ingredients is a whole ‘nother story, so I just sat on the couch feeling sorry for myself.
Anyway, I digress.. This was one of the recipes that always caught my eye – it’s a rugged, badass cheesecake that looks amazing, and I just needed to try it for myself.
Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Marian Keyes..
150g Milk chocolate digestive biscuits
50g Salted peanuts
250g Mascarpone cheese
250g Ricotta cheese
200g Caster sugar
200ml Sour Cream
4 Snickers bars, chopped into chunks
Toffee sauce (the one out of a squeezy bottle)
Handful of salted peanuts
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a 1kg loaf tin with greaseproof or baking paper.
2. In a food processor whizz up the biscuits and peanuts. If you don’t have a food processor, you could just pop them into a Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to smash them up. Don’t blitz this mixture too much, as it must look rough and rugged – plus, if you keep blitzing, you will make something like peanut butter which is a total fail. You should still be able to see parts of the peanuts.
3. Melt the butter in the microwave and stir into the biscuit mix. Mix it really well, and even when you think you’ve mixed it enough, mix it some more. Tip this into the lined loaf tin and flatten it out. I used the based of a glass to press it down. Bake the base for 15 minutes, then take it out of the oven and allow it to cool. Once it’s cooled for a bit, throw it in the fridge to set for a few hours.
4. For the filling, you need to preheat the oven to 170°C again. In a mixing bowl, beat the 2 cheeses together with an electric mixer. Add in the sugar and eggs and beat well. Pour in the sour cream and throw the snickers pieces in, then mix it all together.
5. Pour the mixture into the tin on top of the biscuit base and bake for an hour and a half.
6. You may look through the oven and find it is looking super dark and fudgey – apparently this is what it’s mean to do – so don’t have a panic attack like I did. Also, I found my Snickers bars bubbled up and melted over out of the tin and into the oven causing what seemed like someone threw a smoke bomb into our apartment, Call of Duty style. Keep smoke mask handy at all times.
7. After the hour and a half, turn the oven off and leave the cake sitting in the heat of the oven for ages, don’t open the door, don’t take it out. Leave it as long as you possibly can. I was tired, went to bed and took it out the next morning, but I’m sure an hour or two would have sufficed.
8. Leave the cake to cool for a while then refrigerate overnight – again it helps the cake set properly, and you will definitely be glad you did this!
9. I surprisingly found it easy enough to remove the loaf from the tin just by holding onto the baking paper, and I found the tin slid off nicely. Whew. Serve with the toffee sauce drizzled all over the top and throw some of the peanuts over it too. I couldn’t find toffee sauce ANYWHERE (perhaps it’s more of a Brit thing) so I used Caramel squeezy sauce (I figured toffee is pretty close to caramel anyway) and it seemed to work well. I suppose, if you’re an overachiever, you could just make your own toffee sauce, but I’ll leave that up to you.
For service, I wanted it to look as rustic as possible so I popped the loaf onto my big wooden chopping board and decorated in a careless manner. I love the way it looked. SUCCESS! It was also rather delicious. It’s not overly sweet (which I was worried it would be), but it seems the cheeses really balanced out the sweetness of the Snickers bars and caramel sauce.
You’re welcome! ;)
Seeing as it is exam season, I just have to share this Crunchie recipe with you. My mom always made these for my brother and I, not only during exam time but throughout the year. It is a great study snack, they give a boost of energy and these crunchies are delicious. I made a batch for Ross while he was studying for exams recently and needless to say, they didn’t last very long.
250ml brown sugar
15ml golden syrup
5ml bicarbonate of soda
250ml rolled oats
250ml cake flour
250ml dessicated coconut
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease a rectangular baking tray (24cmx34cm).
2. Place the butter, brown sugar and syrup in a saucepan and heat over a low temperature until all the butter has melted. Add the bicarb and stir until mixed.
3. Mix the rolled oats, cake flour and coconut in a mixing bowl and then pour in the syrup mixture. Stir until mixed and then place the mix in the prepared tray. Press it down evenly with the back of a spoon and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
4. Remove from the oven and cut into squares while the crunchies are still warm. Allow to cool in the baking tray before lifting out the squares.
Have you been to The Londoner? It’s such an awesome blog, I love it.
I discovered an old post of hers a while back called ‘The Anti-Diet’ with advice on how to lose weight, and be healthy, without being on a diet.
She talks about motivation, hunger, dehydration, levels of hunger, cravings and tons more.
As you all know, I am a major emotional eater, and I found this picture really helped me a lot in identifying whether I’m eating because I’m emotional, or whether I’m eating for true hunger. This has helped me SO MUCH, I cannot even begin to explain.
Check out the blog post here – it’s worth the read!
Two weekends ago, Ross and I hosted Gary and Jess for our regular family Scoff Club.
We decided to do things a little differently. Usually, what happens is that we keep what we’re cooking a surprise until the guests arrive and find out what they’re being served.
Instead, we created an entire restaurant chain called Andross Burgers specializing in gourmet burgers. Ross created a website from scratch, complete with pictures, a menu and even an order form. Our guests had to order in advance via the website, for a bit of extra fun.
The burgers were delicious. Ross and Gary had ‘The South African’ which was a lean lamb burger topped with chunky apricot chutney, grilled feta cheese, sauteed onions and cucumber ribbons.
Jess had ‘The Hawaiian’ which was a chicken fillet burger with tomato relish, served with slivers of grilled pineapple and onion, crispy bacon, topped with melted cheddar cheese, mayonnaise and cucumber ribbons.
I had ‘The Paraguayan’ which was a chicken fillet burger with tomato relish on a bed of greens, smothered in a peanut cashew sauce, topped with fresh banana and cucumber ribbons.
All the burgers were served with sweet potato wedges. It was all so delicious, if I do say so myself.
For dessert, I made a ‘Blokey Snickers Cheesecake Loaf’ – I got the recipe from the Marian Keyes recipe book. I could only have a tiny slice (a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips), but from what I tasted, it was pretty yummy too.
I have no clue what we’ll make when it’s our turn to host again – we’re running out of ideas FAST!