Soup. In Summer? Yes!

I saw someone on Facebook mention making carrot soup, and despite the temperature being upward of 35C I decided it sounded really good. So I made some!

Soup in a bowl
Roasted Carrot and Ginger Soup
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
 
Course: Soup
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 1 kg carrots, peeled and diced into chunks
  • 1 onion, diced
  • garlic (Im not giving you an amount, you know how much garlic you want to add)
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced or fresh
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable stock powder
  • 6 cups water
Instructions
  1. Heat your oven to 200°C

  2. In a bowl, toss the carrots with a bit of olive oil and salt & pepper to coat

  3. Spread the carrots on a lined baking tray and roast until soft, about 30 minutes

  4. Once carrots are ready, in your soup pot, fry the onion, garlic and ginger for a few minutes, until onion is soft

  5. Add the carrots to the pot

  6. Mix the stock powder with a cup of the water and add the water to the pot

  7. Add the rest of the water to the pot

  8. Bring to the boil and then simmer for approximately half an hour

  9. When you are ready to eat, blend the soup with a stick blender

Recipe Notes

You can add or decrease the amount of garlic and ginger to suit your taste.

I found that roasting the carrots made them quite sweet and that the kick of the ginger was good at balancing out the flavours.

This soup was also amazing the next day, the longer it simmers the longer the flavours have to take hold.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy cake

Around 10 years or so ago, my mother in law gave me this awesome recipe and I used to make it all the time. Then for some reason I stopped making it, no idea why. Then last week, Ro asked me for the recipe and I decided why not make it myself.

It definitely stood the test of time and is one of my favourite recipes of all times.

But dont take my word for it, try it for yourself.

The easiest yummiest cake recipe ever!
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Keyword: baking, cake, lemon
Author: Gina
Ingredients
Cake
  • 1 box vanilla cake mix
  • 1 packet vanilla pudding
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup oil
  • ¾ cup water
Icing
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
Instructions
Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare a square or oblong baking dish

  2. Mix all the ingredients together until the batter is smooth

  3. Pour the batter into the prepare dish and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

  4. Remove from the oven and using the toothpick, poke small holes all through the top of the cake

Icing
  1. Immediately after you take the cake from the oven, mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth.

  2. While the cake is still hot, pour the icing over the cake.

  3. Wait while the icing sinks into the cake and the cake cools before serving

Recipe Notes

The cake can be eaten hot with custard or ice cream or if you prefer a cool cake, I suggest you make the cake a day before and let the icing sink into the flesh of the cake, this makes it sticky and gooey all the way through.

 

 

An alternative to vanilla and lemon is chocolate and orange.  Substitute chocolate cake mix and chocolate pudding for the vanilla and use orange juice instead of lemon (be sure to strain the orange juice so it is clear and free of any pulp).

Apple Fritter Loaf

I’m part of a Facebook group, called Friday Night. A group of men and woman who share recipes for Shabbat dinner and beyond.

When a good recipe is found, it spreads like wildfire. And the photos and posts that abound this week are all of a really yummy looking dessert, Apple Fritter Loaf.

So whats a girl to do? Jump on the bandwagon of course!

Apple fritter loafs
One with icing for the kids and I, and one without for Paul.
Apple Fritter Loaf
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
 

I Frankenstein-ed this recipe together from a half dozen recipes I googled and found on the Friday Night Facebook group.

Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword: apple fritter, cake, dessert
Author: Gina
Ingredients
Apple Mixture
  • 4 apples, peeled and sliced into small chunks (I used green apples, you can use any you like)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (I used coconut sugar to try be a bit diabetic friendly)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
Cake/Loaf
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • cup sugar (used coconut sugar)
  • ½ cup butter, softened (use margarine if you want parve)
  • 3 eggs
  • splash vanilla
  • cup milk (use almond or similar for parve)
Cinnamon Sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
Icing
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1-3 tablespoons milk (almond milk for parve)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare 2 loaf pans.

Apple Mixture
  1. Peel and dice apples and toss with sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

Cake/Loaf
  1. Add flour, baking powder, sugar and mix

  2. Add butter, eggs, vanilla and milk. Mix well. The batter will be quite runny.

Cinnamon Sugar
  1. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and set aside.

Make the cake
  1. Pour a quarter of the batter into each of the loaf pans.

  2. Place a quarter of the apple mixture into the pan.

  3. Sprinkle a quarter of the cinnamon sugar over the apples n each pan.

  4. Pour the remaining batter evenly over the apple and cinnamon layer.

  5. Place the remaining apple and cinnamon sugar mixes over the batter.

  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes.

Icing
  1. While the loaves are baking, mix the icing sugar and milk.

  2. The thicker you want the icing, the less milk you add.

  3. Drizzle the icing over the loaves once they have cooled for 10-15 minutes

Banana Bread

I mentioned on Instagram and Facebook that I always buy bananas when I want to ripen avocado pears. And that we very seldom actually eat the bananas. Which inevitably results in banana bread.

Avos and bananas in a bowl

Here is my foolproof recipe.

Banana Bread
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
 
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Side Dish
Keyword: banana, cake
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 3-6 ripe or over ripe bananas
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup oil or melted butter
  • chocolate chips (no amount, just go wild)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 180°C and prepare 1 large or 2 small loaf pans. I have also made these as cupcakes.

  2. Peal and mash the bananas.

  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until just combined.

  4. Scoop batter into pans.

  5. Bake for 45 minutes. If making cupcakes 20 minutes should do.

Post Pesach Yeast Rolls

So Pesach ended, and due to lock down, bakeries were not allowed to start production right away, and also, I didn’t want to brave the shops just for bread or rolls, so I made my own.

I found a simple recipe online, gave myself 2 hours and made delicious, fluffy rolls for dinner.

Easy Yeast Rolls
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Resting Time
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 40 mins
 
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: rolls, yeast
Servings: 8 rolls
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon yeast (I used instant)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups flour
Instructions
  1. Mix yeast, sugar and water together in your stand mixer bowl, if you dont have a stand mixer then a large mixing bowl.

  2. Allow yeast to start frothing.

  3. Add oil and salt.

  4. Add 2 cups of flour and start mixing.

  5. Slowly add the rest of the flour, half a cup at a time, until the dough starts coming together and pulling away from the sides of the bowl.

  6. Keep checking the dough after every half cup of flour, dough should be tacky but not sticky.

  7. Keep adding flour until you reach the correct consistency.

  8. Lightly spray the bowl with oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a towel and leave for approx 1 hour.

  9. Remove the dough from the bowl and split into 8 even pieces.

  10. Roll the eight pieces into balls and place on a baking sheet covered with baking paper.

  11. Leave an inch of space between each ball.

  12. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and leave for a further 45 minutes to an hour.

  13. Heat oven to 200°C.

  14. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until the rolls start to turn golden brown.

  15. Remove from oven and allow to cool on racks.

Recipe Notes

This recipe was adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Next time, I will brush the rolls with an egg wash before baking.

Death by Sugar

Last week, Faith asked if we can bake a cake, we decided on chocolate and earlier this week I found a really great, one bowl, recipe that worked a treat.

Now, when it comes to icing/frosting the cake, we usually just do a simple icing sugar and water drizzle, but I had just bought a rather large bag of mini marshmallow and I got a bee in my bonnet about making a marshmallow frosting.

I searched online and couldn’t find a simple recipe so I asked The Cupcake Lady, Angel, if she had any ideas, and she pointed me to a pretty simple recipe that came out great.

So, without further ado, here are both recipes…

chocolate cake with marshmallow frosting
One Bowl Chocolate Cake
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cake, chocolate
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sugar (I used brown)
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 175C

  2. Prepare 2 9 inch round pans or 1 12 inch round pan (which is what I did)

  3. In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients

  4. Add wet ingredients except the boiling water and mix well

  5. Once all ingredients have come together. add the boiling water and continue mixing until well combined

  6. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes or so and then remove from cake tin to cool completely

Recipe Notes

This recipe was adapted from All Recipes One Bowl Chocolate Cake III

cake with slice cut out
Marshmallow Frosting
Prep Time
45 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Keyword: frosting, icing, marshmallow
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 1.25 cups sugar (I used brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg white
  • 18 large marshmallows (I used 180 mini marshmallows)
Instructions
  1. Boil the sugar and water together until they reach 112C or, if you dont have a candy thermometer, a small drop of the syrup forms a soft ball in ice water

  2. Remove from heat

  3. Break up the marshmallows, if you are using large ones, and add them to the syrup, dont stir

  4. Leave to melt for a few minutes

  5. While waiting for the marshmallows to melt, beat the egg white until stiff peaks form

  6. Add the syrup and marshmallows to the egg white and beat well until it is all combined to a spreadable consistency

  7. Mine was runny but if yours is not spreadable add a few drops of water at a time until its right

  8. Spread over your cake or cupcakes

Recipe Notes

Recipe taken from Happy Money Saver – Great Grandmother’s Marshmallow Frosting

Thanksgiving and Pie

We were invited for a thanksgiving shabbat this week by American born friends in our neighbourhood. I asked what I could bring and was offered sides or dessert. I chose dessert!

Pie!! I mean who doesn’t love pie?

While apple pie is traditional, our hostess is allergic to apples, so I made two pies. One apple pie and one pear pie. Win win right?

Apple (or pear) pie
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 

A traditional and simple apple pie recipe.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 1 packet frozen pastry dough
Filling
  • 8 apples (or pears), granny smith apples preferable
  • splash lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 egg for brushing the pastry
Instructions
  1. Peel and slice the apples (or pears) into small chunks.

  2. Place apples, lemon juice, sugars, cinnamon, salt and flour in a bowl and toss with your hands until all the fruit is covered.

  3. Cover bowl of fruit with plastic wrap and set aside for an hour or more.

  4. Take your frozen pastry dough out and let it defrost until it is manageable but still cool, I left mine in the fridge for 1 hour and it was ready when the fruit was ready.

  5. When you are ready to assemble the pie, turn your oven on to 180C.

  6. Once fruit is ready, take your dough and roll out a piece big enough to cover the bottom and sides of your pie dish.

  7. Place the pastry inside the dish and push the sides up a bit so they stick to the dish.

  8. Take your fruit and layer it into the pie dish, making sure the entire bottom is covered. Keep layering the fruit until in reaches the top of the dough up the sides of the dish.

  9. There will be some liquid left in the bowl, pour no more than 3/4 of a cup of this liquid over the top of the fruit before covering the pie with more dough.

  10. Roll out more dough and either place a full round piece on top of the pie or cut into strips and create a lattice top. You can also roll out the dough and cut shapes with cookie cutters, then create a patter with the shapes.

  11. If you place a full piece on top, cut a few slits into the dough to allow steam to escape.

  12. Brush the pastry dough with a bit of beaten egg.

  13. Once the pie is ready, place in the oven at 180C for about 30 minutes.

  14. Keep an eye on the pie and if you see the edges starting to burn you can cover them with a bit of foil molded to fit the pie dish.

  15. The pie is ready when the pastry is brown and the fruit is bubbling around the edges of the pastry.

  16. Allow to cool down before slicing. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Inspired Taste

 

Black Lentil and Chickpea Stew

We have decided its time to start eating less meat and chicken and try out more veggie dishes. Not only is it healthier but its cheaper too.

This was my first real veggie dish with lentils and it turned out so well. Aaron even went back for seconds when I thought I would have had to bribe him to even try it.

Black Lentil and Chickpea Stew
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ras al hanut spice
  • 2 teaspoons sweet chili flakes
  • garlic crushed, as much as you like
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 cup black lentils uncooked, soaked
  • 1 tin ready to eat chickpeas
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in the pot

  2. Add onions, garlic and spices, stir until everything is mixed and the onions are soft

  3. Add stock, water, tomatoes, carrots and lentils

  4. Bring to the boil and then lower heat and simmer, uncovered for about 25 minutes

  5. Add chickpeas and simmer for a further 10 minutes

Recipe Notes

Serve over rice or with naan

I adapted this recipe from vanillaandbean.com

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

I was looking for something new to throw over chicken breasts and somehow I came across a teriyaki chicken with home made sauce. Now I cannot for the life of me find that recipe, so in the interest of not forgetting, I am writing it down (from memory so it may not be perfect).

Gratuitous picture of my dog, because I never got a picture of the sauce…
Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
Course: Side Dish
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar I used coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp corn or potato flour mixed with a bit of cold water to make a watery paste
Instructions
  1. In a small sauce pan, add all ingredients except corn/potato flour paste. Bring to the boil.

  2. Lower heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until sauce begins to reduce.

  3. If you want a thick sauce, now is the time to add the corn/potato flour. Mix well so no lumps for. 

    If you want a thin sauce, leave out this step.

Recipe Notes

Serve as a dipping sauce or pour over chicken breasts, cover and bake.

Recipes for my husband

My grandfather is not well and it was time for a short trip back to SA to see him and help my mom.

So I’ve left my husband and kids to fend for themselves until Sunday.

As we were planning the trip, Paul suddenly turned around and asked where I get the recipes I use to make dinners etc. I looked at him and pointed at my head.

So, in the interest of keeping them fed and to stop them from eating sausages and corn schnitzel for a week, I thought I would write down some of the daily recipes I use.

Honey Mustard Chicken Breasts
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 1 kg boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 180C

  2. In a small bowl, mix mustard, honey, salt, pepper and oil

  3. Place breasts in a dish or foil roaster and cover with the honey mustard mix

  4. Cover dish with foil and place in oven to bake for 30 minutes

  5. At 30 minutes, uncover the chicken and continue to bake for a further 10 minutes or more until done.

Recipe Notes

Serve with rice or couscous.

Chicken Schnitzel
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 1 kg chicken schnitzel
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • spices
Instructions
  1. Take out two plates and a large flat bowl

  2. On the first plate, our out some flour, on the second plate pour out some breadcrumbs, mix the spices into the breadcrumbs

  3. In the bowl, crack both eggs, add some water and mix well

  4. In a pan, heat some olive oil

  5. Take a piece of chicken and dip it in the flour so that both sides are covered

  6. Dip the floured chicken in the egg mixture so both sides are coated

  7. Now dip the egged chicken in the breadcrumbs so both sides are coated

  8. Place the chicken in the hot oil and coat the next piece of chicken

  9. After about 5 minutes turn the first pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for a further 5 minutes, you should fit 2 or 3 pieces in each pan depending on the size of the pieces

  10. Remove chicken from oil and place in the oven (on 100C) to keep warm

  11. Add a bit more oil to the pan and carry on frying until no chicken is left

  12. Mix any leftover breadcrumbs, flour and egg into a paste and make small patties that you can fry for a few minutes at a time (the kids love these)

Recipe Notes

You can also bake the schnitzel in the oven if you dont want to fry it. 

Heat the oven to 180C.

Place each piece of breaded chicken onto a baking tray (covered with a baking sheet),  1kg of chicken will take up both baking trays.

Spray the chicken with olive oil spray.

Place the chicken in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

How cool is the schnitzel Paul made?!!!
Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
Prep Time
10 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breasts Defrosted!
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • pinch salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Place onion, garlic, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, salt and pepper in the slow cooker and mix well

  2. Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker and toss to coat with the sauce

  3. Place the lid on the slow cooker and set on low

  4. After about 3 hours, turn the chicken pieces over and continue cooking for another 3 hours

  5. After about 6 hours (total), turn off the slow cooker and with 2 forks, shred the chicken and mix with the sauce

Recipe Notes

Serve on rolls or over rice

Homemade Pizza
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oil
Instructions
  1. Place yeast, water and sugar in the bowl of the mixer

  2. Once the yeast has started to foam (about 5 minutes), add all the other ingredients and mix on high until the dough forms a ball

  3. The dough should be firm and not sticky, if its too sticky, add some flour, if its too dry, add a bit of water

  4. Once the dough is ready, cover the bowl with plastic and a cloth and let sit for an hour

  5. Roll out balls of dough, cover in tomato sauce, cheese and toppings and bake for 20 minutes at 180C

Hopefully they don’t starve or turn into sausages. And I will be back before they k ow it.