My husband and son are on leave for nearly a week now and we are all involved in getting the house sorted and final decisions made on Christmas lunch. The to-do list seems never ending!
I still have quite a bit of baking to do but I am blessed to have a husband who gets involved in the kitchen and can help me get things done. Also keeping us on our toes is of course our new puppy - Axel. I am pleased to say he is slotting in with family life very well and is such a sweet child.
So this is my final post of 2016, although I will still be very active on social media. Make sure you are following me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to see what is happening while I am on holiday.
Have a blessed Christmas with your family and close friends and thank you for reading my posts and following me on social media in 2016.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Looking forward to a happy, blessed and fun 2017.
Friday, 16 December 2016
If you are giving your pets the best with Hill’s and have a story to tell on how Hill’s has changed your pets life, then you must share that story on www.HillsTransformingLives.co.za
We have just adopted a new member of the family. Say hello to our new pet child – Axel. He was adopted from the Durban Animal Anti-Cruelty League which is greatly supported by Hill’s with food and with adoption packs.
|Axel on his new Hill's cushie and his favourite teddy|
|The pile of food recently delivered to the Animal |
The www.HillsTransformingLives.co.za is a treat for any animal lover, with over a thousand heart-warming pet stories shared so far and over R100 000 of incredible prizes still available to be won before 31 December. To enter into the grand prize draw, brag a little (or a lot) about your own pet, or simply like or share the stories that are your favourites. Do it before 31 December and you could win an awesome R50 000 holiday as well as one of the fifty x R1000 vouchers available.
Since Hill’s South Africa launched www.HillsTransformingLives.co.za earlier this year, over a thousand South African pet parents have shared how good nutrition has transformed their pet’s life. These include:
· Ragna, the severely malnourished kitten who needed to regain a healthy weight before having eye surgery - http://www.hillstransforminglives.co.za?storyId=2745
· Loki, the adorable Pomeranian who was going bald before a change of diet - http://www.hillstransforminglives.co.za?storyId=2711
· Finnick, a velvety ginger tom cat who had almost been euthanized at 5 weeks old because of poor health - http://www.hillstransforminglives.co.za?storyId=3165
· Chumley, an adorable Pug puppy, who’s chronic urinary problem was solved with a special food - http://www.hillstransforminglives.co.za?storyId=2463
It’s easy to find stories to touch your heart – search for your favourite breed, pets from your neighbourhood, those with a specific health condition or rescue pets for your local shelter. For a chance to win make sure you visit www.HillsTransformingLives.co.za before 31 December. Terms and conditions apply and are posted on the website.
Friday, 9 December 2016
Are you looking for a gift for a foodie friend or family member? Or maybe you are trying to cut down on your electricity usage (aren’t we all?). Then why not invest in South Africa’s proud heat retention cooker – the Wonderbag.
For the first time ever, Wonderbag has released a series of festive season special deals and a Wonderbag Christmas menu. From Corporate branded Wonderbags to picnic sets and personalized Wonderbags – you don’t need to leave the comfort of your desk or couch to order the perfect gift for work and your loved ones. This unique cooking device has a number of gorgeous prints and sizes to choose from and is the ultimate Christmas gift that keeps on giving.
Not only will your friend, staff or family member be delighted that their Wonderbag will allow them to spend less time cooking in the kitchen on Christmas Day, but over time they will continue to benefit from the energy or electricity savings and nutritious benefits when making meals in their new Wonderbag. In addition to that with every purchase made a percentage of proceeds goes towards the Wonderbag Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that distributes Wonderbag’s into rural African communities.
Since the inception of this simple cooking device it has created approximately 2000 jobs and has been hailed by various influential and authority figures such as Jane Goodall and Jamie Oliver. Wonderbag creates pioneering solutions to not only the environmental and humanitarian causes, but also to health, nutritional solutions and economic empowerment for the people and the planet.
So what are you waiting for? Buy a gift that keeps on giving. Place your order today online at www.wonderbag.co.za or visit a listed retail warehouse or local shop that stocks Wonderbag products.
The New Festive Season Wonderbag Special Deals include:
1. Brand your bag (i.e retail price of bag of your size plus R30 for printing/embroidery) – from R245. That is the cheapest bag and lowest branding cost.
2. Wonderbag Picnic Mat (i.e available in assorted African Batik patterns with waterproof backing. (2,5m x 1,5m) – R425
3. Summer Wonder (i.e one large Wonderbag paired with a matching waterproof picnic mat) – R695
4. The Festive Grocery Hamper (i.e a large Wonderbag with grocery essentials (collection only) or R80 Checkers voucher) – R350
5. The Deluxe Christmas Hamper (i.e. get a Deluxe Festive Hamper with Christmas pudding mix, recipe card and a large Wonderbag) – R350
6. Corporate Gifting (i.e. including a Wonderbag plus a recipe book) – from R215
7. The Value Bundle (i.e. including one large Wonderbag and a small Wonderbag at a discounted price – the easy solution to cooking!) – R435
The Wonderbag Chef, Ursula Rohrs has put together a Christmas menu that is filled with all sorts of easy and delicious recipes as well as the perfect pudding to serve on Christmas Day. Here are a few of the recipes :
Festive rolled beef roast with veg (serves 6 – 8)
· 12 baby potatoes
· 5 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch slices
· 8 – 10 baby onions, peeled
· 1 – 1.5kg boneless beef roll
· 45ml basil pesto
· 30ml fried onion
· 2 cloves garlic crushed
· 500ml beef bouillon
· 15ml chives, chopped
· 30ml parsley, chopped
· 3 sprigs thyme
· 2,5ml pepper
· 30ml onion soup mix
· 30ml Worcestershire sauce
· 1 x 400g can cream of mushroom soup
1. Put potatoes, carrots and onion in a medium sized pot.
2. Unroll the roast and spread the basil pesto over the inside, sprinkle with fried onion and chopped garlic and roll up again.
3. Place the roast on top of the vegetables, fat side up.
4. Pour in the beef bouillon.
5. Sprinkle chives, parsley, pepper and Onion Soup mix over the meat.
6. Pour Worcestershire sauce and mushroom soup over meat.
7. Bring to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes with the lid on.
8. Place the sealed pot in the Wonderbag on a mat or cloth and seal.
9. Leave to cook for 5 – 8 hours or overnight.
10. Remove the meat and place under the grill for the fat to brown.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Time on stove: 50 minutes
Time in Wonderbag: 5 - 8 hours
Time saved on stove: 3 hours
Cider glazed Gammon with Apple cinnamon sauce (serves 6 – 8)
· 1.2kg – 1.5kg boneless smoked gammon joint
· 500ml cider Or sparkling apple juice
· 1 litre cloudy apple juice
· 5 green apples, peeled, cored and cut into rough chunks (these will form part of your sauce)
· 1 large onion, peeled and cut in quarters
· 2 pieces cinnamon stick
· 15ml coarsely crushed coriander seeds
· 5ml black pepper
· For the glaze and sauce
· 15ml demerara sugar
· 2,5ml paprika
· 15ml cornflour
1. Place the gammon along with all the other gammon ingredients (except the glaze ingredients) in a medium pot.
2. The liquid should cover the meat; if not, add a little water to just cover. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, covered with a lid, for 40 minutes.
3. Place the pot on a mat or cloth in a sealed Wonderbag for 5 – 6 hours
4. Remove the gammon from its cooking stock, transfer to a small roasting tin.
5. Pour off ¾ of the liquid, blend the apples and leave the sauce to reduce until of a medium thick consistency. Adjust seasoning. This is served with the gammon glazing: Cut the rind from the gammon, leaving a thin layer of fat, and discard the rind. With a small sharp knife, score the fat into diamonds. Stud every third diamond with a clove. For the glaze, put a ladleful of cooking liquid into a large clean pan.
6. Add the sugar and paprika and cook until a glaze-like consistency.
7. Pour this over the gammon and roast for 15 minutes, until browned and caramelised. Set aside in a warm place while you make the sauce
Serve with red cabbage and mash
Prep time: 20 minutes
Time on stove: 50 minutes
Time in Wonderbag: 5 - 6 hours
Time saved on stove: 4 hours
Steamed Christmas pudding (serves 8 – 10)
· 250ml raisins
· 250ml sultanas
· 250ml self-raising flour
· 125g butter
· 250ml fresh brown breadcrumbs (from around 4 thick slices of bread)
· 250ml light brown sugar
· 250ml pecan nuts, chopped and toasted
· 250ml chopped cherries
· 15ml grated orange rind
· 5ml ground cinnamon
· 5ml ground mixed spice
· 250ml milk
· 1 large egg
1. Finely grate the butter.
2. Mix all the ingredients except the milk and egg in a bowl. Once well combined, stir in the egg and milk, mix together and tip into a well-greased 1.5 litre pudding bowl.
3. Cover with a double layer of buttered foil, making a pleat in the centre to allow the pudding to rise. Tie the foil securely with string, then place in a large pot on a cloth.
4. Fill with water halfway up the side of the bowl and bring to the boil.
5. Turn down the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and steam for 50 minutes, then place the sealed pot in the Wonderbag for 4 hours.
6. If you are preparing this pudding ahead, remove the foil, let it cool slightly, then wrap in cling film and then fresh foil. If you are serving it immediately, unwrap and invert onto a deep plate.
Serve with cream or custard
Prep time: 15 minutes
Time on stove: 50 minutes
Time in Wonderbag: 4 hours
Time saved on stove: 2 hours
Tuesday, 29 November 2016
Thinking about Christmas lunch and all you can do is groan? Boiling hot Durban day and a boiling hot kitchen not to your liking? Well those days are gone! My Chef has the Christmas lunch menu sorted and they have done all the preparations as well, so no peeling and chopping needed.
|Effortless Traditional Christmas Package + Artisanal mince pies|
What does My Chef have for a delicious Christmas? (This is just a few of the items)
Starters : Bacon wrapped baby porkies, Tiger prawns filled with cheese and chilli and Mascarpone fig and pecan pate
Meat : Cooked Christmas turkey with cranberry and pecan nut stuffing, Crispy French style pork belly and Glazed Christmas gammon. Main meals can be purchased as a “ready to be roasted” or “roasted for you”. If you still want to have the smell of Christmas cooking in the air, then opt for the “ready to be roasted” option.
Vegetables : Ready to roast potatoes, Creamed spinach and Heavenly avo and pear salad
Dessert : Merry berry festive trifle, Christmas pudding and Kiddies chocolate mousse. Also eggnog!
There is even an outdoor braai option to keep the heat out of the kitchen, and get the Weber working with Lamb Tagliata, Beef Fillet Béarnaise, lamb loin chops, flatti special featuring 2 marinated flatties – one in peri peri and one in lemon and herb, chimichurri prawn and calamari kebabs served with spicy chimichurri relish and 3 cheese and herb ciabatta.
You also have the option of ordering an Effortless Traditional Christmas package perfectly portioned for your needs, and includes a deboned rolled turkey with sage and caramelised onion stuffing, sliced Christmas gammon, cauliflower and broccoli au gratin, roast pumpkin, carrots, sweetcorn, roast potatoes and gravy - all in ready to roast dishes, making your Christmas dinner a breeze.
We had a Christmas test run by trying out the Effortless Traditional Christmas Package and it was a winner. I put the potatoes in to cook first as they take the longest. (190C for 50mins although I cooked them at 220C). The cauliflower and broccoli au gratin and the roast pumpkin, carrots and sweetcorn were ready in 35 minutes at 200C. The deboned turkey is already cooked so it just needs to be reheated. Make sure you do not overheat as you will dry out the meat. We didn’t warm up the sliced Christmas gammon and I have to say it was the best gammon I have ever tasted. It had incredible flavour and was not at all dry. Included in the package was turkey gravy and my husband couldn’t stop saying how much he enjoyed the flavour.
|A close up of the gammon and turkey|
|A delicious stress free Christmas meal|
Delicious ending to this pre-Christmas trial with their artisanal mince pies and a cup of coffee.
|Mince pies and coffee served in Le Creuset|
You are sure to find something you fancy on the My Chef Christmas Menu this year, as the list is almost endless and provides many options sure to suit any palate. For a full menu list take a look at the My Chef website.
Orders close on December 15th and will be delivered on December 23rd. For more details on the menu, prices and delivery days, visit www.mychef.co.za
New Year deliveries close on December 27th and will be delivered on December 30th.
My Chef is an online company operating 24/7 that offers a range of healthy meals delivered to your door every Tuesday and Friday and are perfect for those with a busy life, and want a break from cooking.
So if your sanity usually wears thin over the festive season I really recommend that you save it by ordering from My Chef. I am definitely going to order the Effortless Traditional Christmas Package. The mascarpone, fig and pecan pate, eggnog and merry berry festive trifle are also calling to me.