Chicken parmesan ziti bake is a delicious, easy pasta bake that will feed a large family. It takes little time to assemble, making this the perfect dinner choice for evenings where you are in a hurry.
This asparagus pea and lemon pasta is full of zesty, lemony goodness and is filled with simple and earthy ingredients. Top it with parmesan cheese and fresh herbs and serve with a green side salad for a complete meal.
This asparagus pea and lemon pasta will take you less than half an hour to prepare. I let it completely cool down in the refrigerator before serving. That way it is a really refreshing meal on a balmy summer’s evening
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 fabulous Mielietert (Sweet corn bake) is creamy and sweet, and it will fill your plate with some true South-African sunshine and hospitality. This is the ideal side dish for your braai (cookout) this weekend.
So yesterday was Heritage day here in South-Africa. It is a public holiday where we celebrate the heritage of the different cultures that make up the wonderful diversity of South-Africa. On this day, South-Africans all over get together to have a braai (cookout) with friends and family. As this recipe is a favorite in many South-African households, it sure to feature on many of the planned menus. This golden delight is sweet enough that you could have it for dessert. Mielietert (sweet corn bake), sweet as it is, compliments grilled meat very well. Mielietert is extremely easy to prepare, with just a few ingredients mixed together and then baked in the oven. Not much of a fuss for such delicious treat. I have never come across anyone who does not like this. So you better watch out, this will be eaten in a flash! Therefore you should consider making an extra one for later.
For this mielietert you will need:
- 2 cans of sweetcorn
- 4 extra-large eggs
- 60 ml real butter (melted)
- 60 ml white sugar
- 60 ml flour
- 15 ml baking powder
- Large pinch of salt
To make this:
Preheat the oven to 180°C and butter a large pie dish.
Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir well. Add the batter to the pie dish and place into the oven and bake for approximately one hour. Once ready, it will have a golden color. Mielietert tastes best when served slightly warm.
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Mielietert (Sweet corn Bake)
- 2 cans 420 g sweet corn
- 4 extra large eggs
- 60 ml melted butter
- 60 ml flour
- 15 ml baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180° C
Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix with a wooden spoon.
Pour the batter into a buttered pie dish and place in the oven.
Bake for approximately 1 hour until golden in color.
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 regularly make these muesli muffins as a breakfast treat and lunchbox filler for my family. They are light and fluffy with chewy bits on the inside. They freeze quite well and, if your family is anything like mine, you might want to double the recipe, which can also be easily done. They are perfect to make the night before, as they are quite quick and easy to assemble. I fill them with pecans or walnuts and this time around I added some cranberries as well. They are especially delicious if you serve them warm straight from the oven with some cheese, butter, and preserves.
Remember not to overmix the batter, it is better to just mix until combined to ensure that the muffins don’t have too fine a texture. Great muffins ought to have a slightly lumpy texture.
Takes: 15 min to prepare and 25 minutes to bake. Serves: 12 muffins. Easy
You will need:
- 625 ml flour
- 20 ml baking powder
- 5 ml ground cinnamon
- large pinch of salt
- 125 ml castor sugar
- 3/4 cup grated carrots
- 250 ml muesli
- 50g walnuts
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 125 ml canola oil
- 250 ml organic full cream milk
- 5ml vanilla essence
- Preheat the oven to 180° C and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.
- Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and castor sugar to a mixing bowl and whisk well.
- Stir in the carrots, muesli, nuts, and dried cranberries.
- In another bowl whisk the eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla together and stir into the flour mixture.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Serve with your favorite preserves and cheese.
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This recipe was adapted from Recipes from Vrouekeur.
So most days this mom puts her foot down and does not allow any sugar for breakfast, but let’s face it: there are few things as decadent as a muffin for breakfast. Oh yes, and there is the odd saying, that as long as it doesn’t have frosting it is not a cupcake, and therefore it is healthy. Also, this mom had a craving for something decadent this morning and therefore I whipped up these beauties. They are moist and chocolatey and go perfect with a cup of coffee for a breakfast or as a tea time treat. In fifteen minutes after adding them to the oven, you will have your house smelling glorious, and don’t be surprised if your family members do a small Vienna Waltz while crossing through your kitchen.
What is the difference between a muffin and a cupcake?
With muffins, we sometimes substitute regular cake flour for whole wheat flour, oat flour or even nut flours. Cupcakes are usually baked with regular cake flour. Muffins can also be filled with a variety of extras to add like dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips. When preparing muffins we may also replace butter with oil such as sunflower or canola oil. Cupcakes usually have a higher fat and sugar content than muffins. The biggest difference is however probably the fact that cupcakes are covered in frosting and muffins are kept plain. Muffins can be savory or sweet, I cannot for the life of me imagine a savory cupcake. Finally, muffins can be served with all sorts of preserves and even cheese, making them the perfect companion to your breakfast.
If you are anything like me, who simply adores chocolate you will love these muffins. You can further zhoosh them up by adding a banana or maybe a hand full of pecan nuts for a bit of crunch. They can also be a great companion to a glass of milk for a late afternoon treat.
It takes about 30 minutes. Serves: 18 muffins Easy.
You will need:
- 125 ml oil
- 125 ml castor sugar
- 125 ml brown sugar
- 30 ml espresso powder
- 2 extra large free range eggs
- 1 cup of cream
- 1 tsp of vanilla
- 500 ml cake flour
- 30 ml cacao powder
- 10 ml baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 250 ml chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 180 ° C
- Beat the oil, sugar, coffee, and eggs until light and fluffy
- Place the dry ingredients together into a bowl and whisk together until well mixed.
- Stir the flour mixture and chocolate chips into the egg mixture and spoon into a muffin pan lined with paper muffin case, 3/4 full.
- Bake for 20 min or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the muffins.
This recipe was slightly adapted by me from the Vrouekeur Recipe Book.
My family seems to live of oats. This healthy grain is always around to fill tummies and to give energy and comfort where it is needed. Heck, many a Sunday evening when this mom is not in the mood to cook anymore, my children would grab a bowl of quick oats. I have even caught my teenager with a bowl just before her two hour swim practice, making sure she has enough energy to carry her through a tough set. It even seems to make its way on our camping trips. Jip, oats is a big part of this family’s breakfast repertoire. If I find my pantry without oats for a day or so I almost feel like I have been caught with my pants down.
A friend of mine remarked the other day how her family does not like oats because it is so bland. Well never despair! Here is a quick idea to perk up your healthy bowl of gluten-free, whole grain that is a great source of vitamins, fibre minerals and anti-oxidants with added perks of weight-loss, lower blood sugar and reduced risk of heart disease. It is also the perfect blank canvas to further add nutrition in the form of your favorite fruits, nuts, yoghurt, seeds and heck if you want to why not peanut butter and dark chocolate chips.
Why is oatmeal seen as healthy?
Oats is seen as healthy for quite a few reasons, here is a few of my favorites:
- Oats contain both soluble and insoluble fibre that lowers cholesterol and help stabilize blood sugar levels. It also assists the body with intestinal health.
- Oats have a variety of anti-oxidants that has been found to exibit anti-inflammatory activity. It may provide protection against coronary disease and colon cancer.
- One cup of cooked oats has 4 grams of fibre and six grams of protein.
- Oats keep you full for longer and can thus help you to loose weight.
For this delicious bowl of oats I added some naturally flavored yoghurt from a dairy farm near to us as well as berries, some almonds and banana. Top it with a teaspoon of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon and you have a beautiful creamy, rich breakfast that will make your family sing.
Serves 2. Takes about 20 minutes. Easy.
You will need:
1 cup rolled oats
2 cups boiling water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
To top your oats:
Naturally flavored yoghurt
Some honey and if you want some extra cinnamon
- Place all the ingredients excluding the toppings in a saucepan and bring everything to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes and then reduce the heat.
- Simmer for 10 minutes and remove from heat.
- Let the oats cool down for a few minutes with the lid on the saucepan.
- Dish the oats into your favorite bowls and top with the fruits, nuts, yoghurt, honey and cinnamon.
This easy roasted tomato soup and toasted cheese sandwich is so ridiculously easy to make and tasty you will definitely be adding it to your list of go-to dishes for those evenings when you run out of dinner ideas. The soup has a short list of ingredients and together with the sandwiches this is a warm and comforting dish that can be on the table in less than an hour. If you don’t have artichokes in your pantry cupboard you can leave it out or even substitute it with grilled brinjal slices should you feel the need.
Serves: 4 Takes: About 45 min. Easy.
6 cups cherry tomatoes
2 medium onions peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup garlic flavored avocado oil
2 cups chicken stock
2 tsp sugar
2 bay leaves
1 level tsp of salt
ground black pepper
- Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees celsius.
- Place cherry tomatoes and onions, in a roasting pan and drizzle with the garlic flavored avocado oil.
- Place into the oven and roast for 20 minutes until tomatoes blister and burst open.
- When done roasting, remove from the oven and add to a large pot together with the chicken stock, bay leaves and sugar.
- Simmer over gentle heat for another 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes remove from heat, take out the bay leaves and use a stick blender to blend the soup to a smooth liquid.
- Serve in pre-warmed soup bowls with the toasted cheese sandwiches.
Toasted cheese, sweet peppers, spinach, and artichoke sandwich:
8 slices sourdough bread
1/2 cup sliced sweet peppers
4 artichoke hearts in olive oil (sliced)
1/2 cup of baby spinach leaves
salt and pepper to season
- Butter the slices of bread, turn over so the butter is on the outside of the sandwich and assemble the sandwiches by placing a layer of cheese, sweet peppers, sliced artichoke hearts, baby spinach leaves and then another layer of cheese on the unbuttered sides of 4 slices of bread. Close sandwiches with the left-over 4 slices of bread.
- Grill the sandwiches in a pre-heated sandwich press until golden brown and the cheese has melted.