Hot Chocolate

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Sometimes you just need the real deal. I love my coffee and not a fan of hot chocolate but when I was pregnant it was the only thing I could drink. I had never made proper hot chocolate and on this day I was thinking of Max Brenner. Men…those guys and their chocolate, to die for, it is one of the places I miss about Melbourne. I checked a few recipes on how to make hot chocolate and most had milk chocolate. I usually use a lot of dark chocolate for cakes and decided to use for this instead. Added a pinch of chili just to give it a bit of a kick.

Serves: 2 small cups or 1 large mug Cook Time: 5 minutes

 

Ingredients

50g dark chocolate or milk chocolate extra for garnish

200g milk or more

1 Cinnamon stick

Pinch of chili or more (optional)

2 Marshmallows (optional)

Method

  1. In a sauce pan over medium heat put in the dark chocolate and milk and whisk constantly until chocolate has melted for about 4-5 minutes. Add the cinnamon and chili stir to combine and remove from heat and serve in a cup. Top it with marshmallows and chocolate shavings.

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Granola Bar

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The other day my trainer was asking me about my eating habits (am I eating well and how many times do I eat in a day?). In my head I was like, well there has been a few chips here and there. So he said I need to eat five times a day. Seriously if you are on a weight loss journey or you watch what you eat, you know how hard it is especially if your up and down all day. Then I remembered this amazing granola bars I used to make a while ago and hadn’t made them in a while. The best thing with granola bars is they are so delicious yet healthy and packed with so much goodness. I also love that you can add your favorite seeds or what you have on hand, add as much or less. You can also make them into cereal and are perfect especially when having fruit salad and yogurt, just sprinkle some granola on top.

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Ingredients

2 cups oats

1 cup desiccated coconut

1 1/2 Weetabix

Handful of macadamia (or more)

2-3 tablespoon sliced almonds

1 tablespoon sunflower seeds

1 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds

100g dates, pit removed

100g sultanas

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt

1 cup honey

2 tablespoon sunflower oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180º and line a baking tray with foil/baking paper. Line an 8 by 12-inch baking pan with foil/baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine the first seven ingredients and mix. Put the oats mixture on the baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Once done remove and pour the oats mixture in the bowl. Add the dates, sultanas, cinnamon, and salt and mix well.
  3. In a pan cook the honey and sunflower oil until it comes to a boil. Pour the honey into the oats mixture and combine until all the oats have been coated with the honey.
  4. Place the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 10-12 minutes. Once done, leave to cool slightly then cut into the desired size. It is easier to cut when still warm.

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Leftover Chicken Pasta

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Seriously being home on a Sunday evening especially if you have to make dinner is not cool at all. Whats even worse is that my fridge was empty, no sausages(quickest stew to make) and I had no pasta. Most Sundays even if we are home in the evening, we always eat a heavy lunch and end up having no dinner. Seeing as we had some take away KFC that day, dinner was a must. The will power it took to make dinner was hard. So the only thing I had was some Italian spinach my husband had bought instead of Lettuce and some mushrooms. Then I found some pasta tubes in the pantry I had forgotten were there and all of a sudden so many ideas came to me. At first, I thought I should stuff the tubes and make a bechamel sauce, pour over the pasta and bake, but yaaaa I was too lazy to do all that. So I decided to boil the tubes then cut them up. If I could the title of this dish would have been Leftover chicken with mushrooms and spinach pasta…too darn long for a title. Either way, this dish is delicious and super easy to make.

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Serves: 2 Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

10 pasta tubes

1 medium onion

1 clove garlic

200g button mushrooms, sliced

1 tbsp flour

Leftover KFC chicken, skin removed and shredded

2 tsp cream cheese

1/2 cup cream/milk

Bunch Italian spinach

Salt and pepper

1/2 Tsp Paprika

Method

  1. Boil the pasta tubes for 7-10 minutes and cut into desired size.
  2. Put some oil in a pan and add the onion, cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the mushrooms and 1 teaspoon of butter(optional) and cook until browned. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms, mix well and cook until flour is not visible. Season with salt and pepper and add the leftover chicken. Cook for about 2 minutes then add cream cheese and paprika, stir to mix completely.
  4. Add the cream/milk and let it come to a boil,  add the spinach and cook for 4-5 minutes. 3 minutes before it is ready add the pasta. Cook until spinach is done.
  5. Garnish with basil and serve immediately.

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Tomato Soup

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This is one of those that you feel the need to pull up a blanket while having some soup, comfort food at its best. Am not sure why I don’t make soups more often because this Tomato soup was just amazing. A week before I had gone to the market and bought two bags of tomatoes, not sure why I did that or maybe I had planned on doing something with the tomatoes. Of course, I now had to use up the tomatoes before they went bad. This soup is a definite keeper and I tried adding more ingredients to it. I decided to use red pepper that I toasted on my cooker and did not bother peeling off as I wanted the charred bits too. I believe the bell pepper added a unique taste to the soup, next time I will definitely use more than one. If you ever feel sluggish or down, this is a pick me up easy to make kind of soup and you won’t regret it.

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Serves: 4 Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

7 medium tomatoes

1 Red bell pepper

1 medium onion, cubed

3 cloves garlic, crushed

Fresh Oregano leaves or dried

2 cups water or stock

salt and pepper

Pepper flakes or chili

1\2 cup full-fat milk or heavy cream

Method

  1. Boil the tomatoes for about 5 minutes in order to peel off the skin easier.
  2. Using tongs, toast the bell pepper on your stove until charred and place it in a zip lock bag for a few minutes. Chop the pepper into cubes.
  3. In a pot cook the onions until translucent then add the garlic and oregano and cook for a minute.
  4. Add the bell pepper and tomatoes and any juice, using a wooden spoon crush the tomatoes and let it cook for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper and chili if using. When the tomatoes have thickened slightly add the stock let it come to a boil and reduce the heat. Cook until reduced and soup is slightly thick.
  5. Once cooked let it cool down for 10 minutes and put it in the blender. Blend the soup and return it to the pot. On medium heat add the cream, add as much or as little as you wish. Taste and check if you need to add any seasoning.
  6. Garnish with cream and basil if using.

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Strawberry and Raspberry Crepe Cake

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Crepe cake with strawberry and raspberry whipped cream filling, Nutella, and chocolate ganache. See how that wouldn’t have worked as a title?  My recipe has about 20 layers of delicious crepes. I have been meaning to make this cake for a while now from the first time I saw it on social media and love that it is not your typical cake with so much icing. It leaves me wondering who came up with this idea…Whoever did, is amazing.

This is one of those desserts you make when you want to impress your guests for brunch seeing as it is quite a lot for just two. It also takes much longer preparation time than your normal pancakes/crepes but I think it is such a stunner and so different from just having crepes and stuffing them with fruits and whipped cream. I used my sister’s pancake recipe method.

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Ingredients

8 eggs

10 tablespoons sugar

1/2tsp vanilla

450g flour

700ml milk

4tbsp butter

Filling

500g whipping cream

2tbsp sugar

100g raspberries

100g strawberries

Nutella

Ganache

200g whipping cream

200g dark chocolate

Method

  1. In a large bowl add the eggs, sugar and vanilla and mix until combined and fluffy.
  2. Add half the flour and mix well then add the other half. Once properly mixed, add the milk slowly until there are no lumps and the batter is thin. Add milk if too thick.
  3. In a pan brush some butter, using a ladle pour the batter into the pan and swirl the pan spreading out the batter into a thin crepe. Cook for 1 minute or until brown and flip on the other side and cook for 30 seconds. You can also use a cup and measure out 1/4 of the batter. Make sure it is not thick. Repeat until cooked all. Leave them to cool completely.
  4. In a bowl place the strawberries, raspberries and 2-3 tablespoon sugar and mash the fruits. Set aside.
  5. Filling: Place the bowl and whisk you will be using for the whipping cream in the freezer for 10 minutes. Pour the whipping cream and sugar in the bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form. Mix in the strawberries and raspberries gently.
  6. Ganache: Heat the whipping cream in the microwave or pan making sure it does not boil and add the chocolate. Leave it for 30 seconds covered, then mix until smooth and silky and no lumps of chocolate. Keep it in the fridge until ready to use stirring often.
  7. Place the first crepe on the plate you will be serving the crepe cake on. Spread a thin layer of the whipped cream and using as spoon sprinkle some Nutella on top. Repeat this for all the crepes. I had about 20 layers. You can serve it like this or follow the steps below.
  8. Place the crepes in the fridge for 15-30 minutes to firm up. Cut the edges of the crepe cake to even it out using scissors.
  9. Spread the ganache on the crepe and even out around the cake and top. Garnish with strawberries, raspberries and mint leaves.

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Quiche in Filo Pastry

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What did you guys do for Father’s day? Let me give you a rough idea of what I decided to do. I made breakfast for my husband, well yes I do make him breakfast on other days but I wanted something out of the norm. Not the usual sausages, eggs, and baked beans, actually I did use those ingredients but in a different way. In my mind all I wanted was Filo pastry with something. At first, I thought maybe salmon, but I was too lazy to go to Carrefour in the morning and that is why I decided on a quiche in Filo pastry. Been meaning to buy Filo pastry for the longest, can you imagine I have never made anything with filo pastry? I guess the fact that I can’t make it, put me off. And hey it’s not like it is the cheapest item either.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

8 rashes of Bacon

1 bunch Spinach

50g cream cheese

4 cooked sausages, cut up

1/2 onion cut into small cubes

1/2 red pepper cut into small cubes

4 eggs

Filo pastry

Method

  1. Fry the bacon in a pan to your liking, remove and cut into small pieces and set aside.
  2. Drain out the oil from the bacon and add the spinach, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes or until done. Put it in a bowl and add the cream cheese and mix until combined.
  3. Add a little of the fat from the bacon in the pan and fry the onion and peppers until translucent. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and add the eggs. Season with salt and pepper and mix until combined.
  4. Butter the dish well, then lay the first filo pastry and brush with butter. Repeat this step until you have 6 filo pastries. Remember to brush each layer with butter. There will be filo pastry hanging on from the sides.
  5. Add the quiche mixture and even it out. Fold in the pastry that is hanging on the side brushing each one with butter. Sprinkle the top of the filo with water to prevent the pastry from curling when baking.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, cover the filo with foil if the top starts to brown too fast (I checked mine half way through).
  7. Remove the quiche gently from the dish to a chopping board, cut to desired size and garnish with coriander.

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Pears Poached in Red Wine and Tangerine

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As I was shopping at Carrefour, I saw some pears and decided to buy not knowing what to do with them. At first, I thought to try out a pear crumble using my apple crumble recipe. Sounded good right? That is until my husband saw the red wine pears and he was like “did you eat the pears? That’s what you should make me.” I sort of kinda had to do it seeing as we were having Githeri. Githeri to my International readers is a dish that has maize and beans, mostly eaten by the Kikuyu(one of the Kenyan tribes). He posted the above picture(yes I can not take credit for the picture) and said that I had redeemed myself after feeding him Githeri. *rolls eyes*

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Ingredients

600 ml Red wine

75g sugar

1 Cinnamon stick

1/2tsp cardamon powder

3 Tangerines, zest, and juice

3 Pears, peeled and halved

Vanilla Ice cream or whipped cream

Method

  1. In a saucepan combine the first 5 ingredients and heat on medium heat until sugar has dissolved and comes to a simmer.
  2. Add the pears to the red wine and reduce the heat. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the pears are tender. Remove the pears and set aside.
  3. Leave the sauce to boil on medium heat until reduced by half.
  4. Place one or two of the half pears on a plate, drizzle the sauce on top and top it with ice-cream. Garnish with mint.

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This entry was posted on June 15, 2017. 3 Comments