Feeling a bit under the weather and want to boost your immunity? Want to help your skin with collagen production without having to buy an expensive cream? Then this Vitamin C booster smoothie is the perfect breakfast remedy for you.
If you want to taste the best carrot cake ever, you should seriously make this recipe. This carrot cake is moist and dense with a little crunchiness from the almond flakes. And, to crown it all, it has sweet and creamy cream cheese icing on top.
The recipe that I have used comes from a good friend of mine, Tronel. Tronel used to bake this awesome carrot cake for the tea garden that she owned and operated. I am delighted that she graciously agreed that I may share her recipe with you. I honestly have never eaten a better carrot cake than this one. In addition, the recipe is not too labor-intensive either. It is therefore really a keeper, so bookmark this one for later.
The tinned pineapple in this cake makes it unbelievably moist. This cake comes together beautifully as a delectable treat filled with carrots, spices, coconut, and nuts. Oh yes, remember to toast your almonds if you are going to decorate with them, as that adds another depth of flavor to the cake. Since I really like coconut, I chose to use it to decorate the inner circle of the cake, and then surrounded it with the almonds.
Can I freeze the carrot cake?
Yes, you can, I would, however, suggest that you only apply the cream cheese frosting after it has been defrosted again.
Can I make this carrot cake ahead of time?
Yes, but make sure that you store it n an airtight container in the refrigerator. The cake will last for several days if you want to make it in advance for a party
Can I use desiccated coconut
Yes, you can most definitely.
Can I bake this carrot cake in a bunt cake tin?
This cake can be baked in tins fit to make a layered cake or a bunt cake tin like I did. As a finishing decorative touch, I filled the hole in the center with some fresh flowers.
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Best carrot cake ever
- 4 Eggs
- 300 ml Vegetable oil
- 375 ml sugar
- 5 ml almond essence
- 10 ml vanilla essence
- 500 ml cake flour
- 5 ml salt
- 7 ml cinnamon powder
- 7 ml bicarbonate of soda
- 500 g grated carrots
- 1 00 g flaked almonds
- 227 g pineapple crush
- 250 ml desiccated coconut
Cream cheese Frosting
- 1 tub cream cheese
- 113 g butter
- 450 g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180° C and spray a bunt tin cake with non-stick spray.
Beat the eggs, vegetable oil, sugar, almond essence, and vanilla essence until light and fluffy.
Sieve the following items together 3 times: flour, salt, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda.
Mix the carrots, pineapple, flaked almonds, and desiccated coconut together in a separate bowl.
Add the flour mixture and the carrot mixture to the egg mixture and mix very well with an electric beater.
Add the mixture to the cake tin and bake for 1 hour.
Cream cheese frosting
Mix all the ingredients for the frosting in a mixing bowl.
Spread evenly over the cake and decorate with almonds that have been toasted over dry heat in a pan and desiccated coconut.
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Looking for something for little hands to do this weekend? Why not bake these easy, light lemon icing biscuits with them. Since the dough is easy to handle and small hands can easily help with the decorations.
These light lemon icing biscuits are really a fun kitchen activity to do with your little ones. It is also a fun lunchbox additive and quick treat for teatime. One of the advantages of preparing biscuits and treats from scratch for your family is that you know exactly what is in them.
I am weary of buying treats for my family if the ingredients list comprises of things I cannot even pronounce properly. Therefore, I tend to avoid products with preservatives and colorants as they are bad for our bodies and health. Furthermore, it is also advisable to always use the best quality ingredients that have not been overly processed. For example, some of my favorite baking products are Eureka Mills’s unbleached stone-ground flour, fresh farm butter from the farmer’s market and raw organic milk from the dairy farm in our suburb. Oh yes, and I feel like the bee’s knees if I can add real vanilla extract to my baking. Despite this, I realize though that these items, however, comes with a higher price tag. So I suggest, if you can’t afford all at once, maybe just gradually start to eliminate one or two of the baddies at a time.
These biscuits are soft and have a light lemon fragrance. Enjoy them with a friend and a good cup of tea.
Light lemon Icing Biscuits
- 200 g butter
- 100 g castor sugar
- 1 extra large egg
- 5 ml vanilla extract
- 300 g flour
Light lemon Icing
- 1 cup icing
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp water
- silver balls for decoration
Preheat the oven to 180° C
Cream the sugar and butter until the butter is a very pale shade of yellow.
Add the egg and vanilla and keep creaming till light and fluffy.
Mix in the flour with a wooden spoon.
Roll the dough in a ball and cover with plastic.
Rest the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour
After an hour remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a surface that has been dusted with flour. The dough should be about 8mm thick after rolling out.
Cut out animal shapes with a cookie cutter and place on the baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden in color.
Allow biscuits to cool on the baking sheet.
When cooled down, add all the ingredients for the icing to a small mixing bowl and whisk together.
Place the biscuits on a wired rack on top of a baking sheet and drizzle the icing over. Decorate with silver or colored balls.
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This earthy Moroccan quinoa gem squash is full of spicy flavors and is a delicious light lunch or side dish that goes well with roast meat.
So it is Monday again. It is thát day again. We start work again after the weekend, feel a little blue and have a Meat-free day. So I compiled a little recipe for you that will brighten up your Monday-blues: Fragrant Moroccan quinoa gem squash. These little rounds of yellow, sunshine are filled with healthy, fluffy, quinoa, crunchy nuts and creamy feta cheese. The lemon and orange adds just the right amount of sweetness and zest. They work perfectly as a light lunch or dinner when served with a fresh green salad and flatbread. They are also the perfect side dish to roast chicken or pork chops. Quinoa is not just gluten-free but also packed with proteïn.
I usually cook quinoa in my pressure cooker for 13 minutes to speed things up a bit. Hence this recipe is a quick and easy one. Thanks to the addition of quinoa, this is also a super healthy dish. Quinoa contains lots of protein as well as all 9 of the amino acids. Furthermore, it is a awesome source of calcium, manganese, and magnesium. Quinoa is, therefore, a great vegetarian option. When you roast the gem squash, turn them face-down on the baking sheet to ensure that they roast evenly. This also ensures that they caramelize on the edges giving them a sweet, nutty taste.
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Moroccan quinoa gem squash1
Pressure cooker for preparing the quinoa
- 3 gem squashes halved
- 30 ml garlic-flavored olive oil
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 2 large pinches salt
- 1 orange's zest and juice
- 1 lemon's zest and juice
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp fresh mint chopped
- 30 g wall-nuts
- 1 wheel feta cheese
Preheat the oven to 200° C
Season the gem squash with salt, drizzle the garlic-flavored olive oil over it and place face down on a baking sheet. When the oven is ready, insert into the oven and roast for 20 minutes
Add the quinoa, water, and salt to the pressure cooker and cook on high for 20 min. When done release the pressure and open the lid. Let the quinoa cool down slightly.
Add the remainder of the ingredients excluding the feta cheese to the quinoa and mix well.
Add the feta and mint and mix gently
Heat a frying pan and toast the nuts till they become slightly darker and release a nutty fragrance. Coarsely chop the toasted nuts and mix into the quinoa filling.
Spoon the quinoa into the gem squash and fill it to the top. Garnish with extra feta cheese and mint.
Pretty lemon and thyme cookies are so soft, they melt in your mouth. Since they are topped with a zesty, sweet, fragrant lemon-drizzle icing, these are some of the best cookies I have ever tasted.
Lemon is one of the top five ingredients I like to use in my cooking. Without lemon I feel a little bit like a chef without an apron. These pretty lemon and thyme cookies do not dissapoint when it comes to taste. I have baked and eaten a lot of cookies in my life and these are some of the best tasing cookies I’ve had. I kid you not!
Just like all good cookie recipes. These beautiful lemon cookies begins with the creaming of butter, sugar and egg. Beat for about five minutes until the mixture turns a very pale shade of yellow and the mixture has to look very fluffy. Add the dry ingredients, mix well, but remember to not overwork your cookie dough. Cool the dough in the refrigerator for an hour or more. This will ensure the cookie dough will hold its shape better and not be so sticky.
Don’t be shy when dusting your counter and rolling pin when rolling out the cookies. You need a fair amount of flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the work surface. I divided my dough into thirds and worked with one third at a time, while refrigerating the other two thirds. This helped a lot with keeping the dough cool, as it was 32° celsius in Pretoria when I made these.
Can I freeze these cookies?
Yes, you can. However, freeze them without the lemon drizzle icing. Ice the cookies once defrosted and you are ready to serve them.
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Lemon thyme cookies
- 250 ml butter
- 250 ml sugar
- 1 extra large free-range egg
- 5 ml vanilla
- 20 ml fresh thyme leaves Just leaves, no stalks
- 1 lemon's zest
- 560 ml cake flour
- 1 large pinch of salt
Lemon drizzle icing
- 625 ml icing sugar
- 45 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 lemon's zest
- 30 ml fresh thyme leaves
Add the butter and sugar to a large mixing bowl and cream the butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy.
Beat in the egg and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Add the flour, salt, lemon zest, and thyme leaves and mix until well combined. Don't overmix.
Cover the bowl with cling wrap and rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour or more.
Preheat the oven to 180°C, after the dough has rested.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and remove half of it from the bowl. Place the other half of dough back in the refrigerator.
Liberally dust a clean surface and rolling pin with flour.
roll out the dough 8ml thick and use a glass or cookie cutter to cut out circles in the dough. Roll scraps together and roll out again, repeating the process until all the dough has been rolled out and cut into circles. Remove the other half of the dough from the refrigerator and continue to roll out and cut out circles as explained above.
Place the dough circles on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and place into the preheated oven.
Bake the cookies for 8-10 min until they are slightly golden in color. Remove from the oven and let it rest for five minutes before transferring to a wired rack to further cool down.
Give the cookies sufficient time to cool down completely before decorating with lemon drizzle icing.
Lemon Drizzle Icing
Sieve the icing sugar into a small mixing bowl. Add 1/2 of the lemon juice and whisk until combined. Check the consistency of the drizzle, it should not be too runny. If a more runny icing is required add one more tablespoon of lemon juice. Finally, add the lemon zest and thyme leaves and stir into the icing.
Decorate with fresh thyme leaves before serving.
I believe a Dagwood burger is the ultimate burger. So I made these Ultimate Dagwood burgers to celebrate the start of the 2019 Rugby World Cup tournament. In South Africa, World cup Rugby means braai’s (cookouts) and lots of socializing while cheering on the Springboks. South Africans love to get together and watch a Rugby game. South Africans also really love their meat. If you need to feed crowd why not consider making this home-made Dagwood burgers. They are very satisfying and you will not need much extra side dishes. Just add some beers and drinks, biltong and you are well on your way to a party.
I usually make my own patties. That way I know what went into them and I can make sure we dodge preservatives and other nasty ingredients. There are so many options that you can flavor your patties with. My favorite ingredients are fresh parsley and onion. I never make my patties without those two. Then I also add an egg to bind the mixture and to keep it juicy. Even though I add some salt and pepper to my mixture, I sprinkle some more on when flipping the patties. You can cook the patties on a grid or in a pan with a little olive oil.
How you cook your eggs is up to you. I prefer mine still slightly runny, making the burgers even more saucy. I also like a matured cheddar cheese but some people prefer the processed slices that melts very easily on the hot patty. As there is no hard and fast recipe on how to build a Dagwood burger you can really add your favorite ingredients. Why not add pineapple, caramelized onions, pickled cucumbers or even jalapeno chilies.
If you are looking for something to put a zing in your Friday celabrations look no further. Help has arrived. This rose cordial gin and tonic will brighten up your weekend. It is a sure way help you relax and cool down on a hot Summer’s day. The red color makes me want to celebrate an early Valentine’s day – any reason to make this beautiful drink and one for your sweetheart too. For all my readers that are going into Winter season, save this recipe – this one will be great for your summer holidays still to come.
How to make a great gin and tonic:
Start with adding ice to a beautiful glass. Pour one shot of gin over the ice and then add a little fruit juice or fruit syrup of your choice. I bought a bottle of rose cordial syrup from Moroccan House Rooftop Café in Pretoria. It really is a sweet delight! Finally top up with your favorite tonic water. I used Fitch and Leedes pink sugar-free tonic water. They really have a great variety and you are sure to find a mixer you love. Finally add your best loved garnishes. Thyme is one of my favorites but mint, lemon or grapefruit will also taste delicious in this coctail. If it rocks your boat, and for that extra special effect, decorate your rose cordial gin and tonic with edible flowers and/or frozen rasberries as well.
- The Quinine in tonic apparantly helps to keep mosquitos at bay. Soldiers used to drink the tonic water with gin to mask the bitter taste of the tonic that was supposed to protect them from these pesky insects. So drink up boys and girls if you are Moz’s favorite food source.
- Lemon zest makes for a better choice of garnish than lemon slices. The zest releases far more of the fragrant citrus oils that pair so well with gin.
- Ice is an important ingredient in your G & T. Use big ice blocks that will not melt too fast and leave your coctail watery.
- South-Africa hosts more than 65 gin distillers and around 135 different local craft gins on the South-African market.
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Sage-butter pork chops seems to be the new favorite on our dinner table. Are you really busy but still want to impress your family or maybe some dinner guests? Are you out of ideas of what to cook for your family? Everyone sighing when you take out your old trusty meatloaf from the oven? Then why not try these absolutely delicious sage butter pork chops. They really are so quick and easy to make. With only 4 ingredients excluding salt and pepper this really is a win recipe for a week-night dinner. The butter turns brown and lends a beautiful nutty flavor to the dish. The aroma of the sage with the roasted garlic, and butter is to die for. I serve these sage-butter pork chops with lemony, smashed potatoes a fresh green salad and my favorite ice-cold, crisp Chardonnay.
Be careful when cooking the pork chops. Pork chops can easily be overcooked as they are a lean form of meat. If they are over cooked they will dry out and become chewy and much less tasty. Due to the heat the pork chops retain , they will continue to cook after being removed from the oven. If your chops are on the thinner side it is advisable to cook them no more than 4-5 minutes. Thicker pork chops will cook slightly longer. A good way to make sure that you do not overcook them, is to use a meat thermometer. The pork will we done when the thickest part reads 63° Celsius, when the thermometer is stuck in from the side edge.
This lovely sage-butter pork chops also go well with these potato wedges.
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Só, after this winter I decided to take the next sixty days to adopt healthier habits, to take my health back one day at a time. This includes exercising most days and starting each day with a breakfast that is rich in micro nutrients. This blueberry and banana smoothie bowl meets the exact criteria. The great thing is that it actually tastes just like blueberry ice-cream. This is like Summer in a bowl. I love to just take my time savouring each spoonful packed with amazing anti-oxidants and cancer-fighting benefits. This smoothie bowl leaves me so satisfied, I don’t need another snack until lunch time. I like to add extra nuts and granola as a topping for extra crunch and texture.
Blueberries contain the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin K1: This vitamin assists with healthy blood clotting and is also beneficial for bone health.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an important anti-oxidant that assists in skin health and immune function.
- Manganese: An important mineral that assists carboydrate metabolism.
Bueberries further contains small amounts of vitamin E and B6, are extremely rich in antioxidants and they contribute to heart health, brain health and blood sugar control.
Takes: Less than 5 minutes to assemble. Serves 1 Very easy.
You will need:
- 1 frozen banana (not too ripe)
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/4 cup light coconut milk
- A powerful blender
- Fresh fruit, toasted nuts (I used almonds) and/or granola to top your smoothie bowl with.
How to make:
- Place all of the above ingredients in a blender and blend until it reaches an ice-cream-like consistancy.
- Scoop the mixture into a breakfast bowl and top with your choice of fresh fruit, granola and/or toasted nuts.
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I really love a slow Saturday morning where I could sleep in for a bit, maybe go for a run and just tinker about in my kitchen. These pancakes are the ideal Saturday morning healthy, comfort food. They are fluffy and comforting with just the right amount of sweet, yet they are filling enough to sustain your energy levels for quite a few hours. But wait! The best part is, you just blend all the ingredients together in a blender. No hours of washing various baking tools! I just usually add a bit of dishwashing liquid with a cup of warm water to my blender jug and press the pulse button a few times, and then rinse it out. See! A healthy breakfast with little dishes is totally possible.
These pancakes are naturally gluten-free. But do yourself a favor and make sure from the packaging of your oats that it is not contaminated in a factory that handles gluten-filled products. If you want to, you could also make it dairy-free by substituting regular cow’s milk for unsweetened almond milk. They also contain no extra added sugar as the ripe bananas are naturally sweet, making them a good breakfast choice for both kids and grown-ups.
This takes about: 20 min (10 min to prep and 10 to cook). Serves: 4 people or 2 teenagers. Ridiculously easy to make.
You will need:
- 3 cups regular oats
- 4 medium very ripe bananas (the riper, the sweeter)
- 4 large organic free-range eggs
- 1 cup of low fat cow’s milk or almond milk
- 1 tsp of vanilla
- :2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- a large pinch of salt
- a pinch of nutmeg
- vegetable oil to cook
- fruit and honey or maple syrup to top the pancakes with
- Place the oats into a high powered blender and grind the oats down to a fine flour.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth
- Lightly coat a griddle pan with the vegetable oil and heat over medium heat.
- Add large spoons full of batter to the griddle and flip the pancakes over once bubbles start to form on the top. Cook until golden on both sides
- Remove from the griddle and serve hot with all your favorite toppings.