"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop what we are doing and devote our attention to eating."
~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

Friday, October 15, 2010

Basil pesto potato salad with pickled sundried tomatoes.

This potato salad in a nice alternative to the regular potato salad we grew up with. It is easy to make, especially if you use store bought ingredients instead of home-made ones. I always prefer the home-made ingredient for that healthy wholesome taste!

{big salad}

1. 800 gr of baby potatoes
2. 80 gr of Basil Pesto - Home made or Store bought (ex: Ina Paarman)
3. 245 gr of Pickled Sundried Tomatoes. - Homemade or store bought (Woolworths has a nice one)
4. 2 wheels of black pepper feta cheese - broken into pieces.
5. 30 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6. 15 ml Sesame Oil
7. 30 ml Balsamic Vinegar
8. Flaked Almonds
9. 1 tsp sugar
10. 1tsp crushed garlic
11. salt and pepper.

How To:

  • Place the baby potatoes in a medium pot, add about 800 ml water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 15-20 min OR until the potatoes are soft when poked with a knife.
  • Drain off the water and let the potatoes cool down.
  • Cut the potatoes in half/quarters, depending on how small they are.
  • Pack one layer of potatoes in the salad bowl and sprinkle over a little salt and pepper. Then pack a second layer and sprinkle again...continue like this until you've added all the potatoes.
  • Mix in the basil pesto, sundried tomatoes (with the sauce) and feta cheese.
  • Roast about 60 gr of flaked almonds in a saucepan over low heat until golden brown.
  • (you do not need to add anything - they won't stick - but watch them, they burn easily.)
  • Mix together the olive oil, sesame oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar and garlic in bottle/cup. Shake well and pour over the salad BEFORE it is served.
  • Sprinkle over the flaked almonds

Enjoy! - Can also be served with Parmesan shavings!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pine nuts could lead to Pine mouth

I cooked dinner for my friends last week, Tuesday. We had sushi, polenta hake and a lovely salad. Usually I put toasted almonds in my salad but on my last visit to the store, I found they had pine nuts (which are very rare in the countryside). So I decided to use them instead - I loooove pine nuts. The following day I cooked waterblommetjie stew for me and my husband...and he complained that I put something bitter in the stew....The complaining did not stop...because the bitterness stayed! This was last week Thursday.

My Husband made salad for us on Saturday eve - using the same pine nuts.
Yesterday, sunday, we were on our way to Swaziland with friends...I havn't eaten anything yet and we bought coffee alon the way. After drink the mouth taste sooo bitter - its hard to explain - IT WAS AWEFULL! The taste lingered and din't go away! When I mentioned this to everybody in the car, David, a friend who also joined us for dinner on Tuesday, said he was suffering from the same symptoms since Wednesday!

I phoned my other 3 friends who attended the dinner - they did not experience our symptoms.

We eat salad almost everyday and we never experienced anything like this. The only thing I did different was adding the pine nuts. I googled "bitter taste pine nuts" and found out that we were suffering from PINE MOUTH....

The first case of pine mouth was documented in 2001. Since then more and more people have reported this strange phenomenoun.
It turns out there could be one of two explanations or it could be both:
The first is that the nuts were oxidized and not fit for consumption. The nuts in some cases were tested and found to be oxidised. After inspecting the packaging of the pine nuts I bought...I saw that it was waaaay over the sell by date! So it could be that this was the cause in our incident. I am going to ask a friend to test them for me - I will confirm if they were oxidised on the blog.

In many of the other cases the nuts were imported from China. They are still doing research to confirm if this phenomenoun could be caused by a certain species. I do not know where my nuts originat from....but I will contact the suppliers and try to find out. It could either just be a certain species that causes a reaction or it could be that the nuts/trees are treated with something that causes pine mouth.
I do not think it is likely - because they have tested supicious nuts and found NO traces of any chemicals.
They also have not found any fungal contamination.

Eating oxidised pine nuts can lead to taste disturbances. The symptoms are a bitter, mettalic taste in ones mouth that starts 1-3 days after consuming pine nuts. It can last from days - weeks. There are no just have to wait for the taste to disappear.
Everything you eat taste awefull to the point where you just don't eat! Maybe I'll loose some weight! :)

DO not fear nuts! :) It is not an ALLERGIC reaction. Just make sure they are fresh when you purchase them! You don't want your dinner to leave a bitter taste in your friends mouth :)

The only strange thing is that the culpable pine nuts does not affect everybody!?
Have you ever experienced this?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Polenta Hake and Black Fig Salad

I read about a similar recipe in a magazine while I was waiting somewhere. I wanted to tear out the page...but decided to just try my own recipe. It was DELICIOUS, so please try it!

We had guests for dinner and between the cooking and the chatting I wanted to take a photo of my new creation...but oh no the battery was just use your imaginations!

For 2


1. 4 Hake fillets.
2. a pack of Polenta
3. Lemon/Lime juice
4. Salt
5. Pepper
6. Some Fish Spice
7. 2 Eggs

Drizzle some lemon juice over the fish. Beat the eggs in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and a few drops of lemon juice. Pour the eggs into a dinner plate. Take another dinner plate and add about5 tbs of dry polenta. Add a pinch of salt to the polenta as well. Roll the fish fillets in the egg - cover them good by turning them around a couple of times. Now roll them in the polenta until the whole fillet is covered in polenta.
Fry the fish in grapeseed oil on both sides. While you are frying, dust with fish spice. Frying does not take long - cut a piece of fillet to make sure its cooked.
Serve with the salad...
another option is to cut your fish fillets into little cubes of an inch, and then adding it to the salad.


1. Butter Lettuce/Crisp Lettuce
2. 4-5 Black Figs - if you can't find, use regular figs
3. Goats milk Feta Cheese, cut into squares
4. Hazelnut - crushed smaller
5. +- 50 g Croutons
6. Balsamic Reduction
7. Olive oil
8. Fresh Parsley

Rinse and shred enough lettuce for 2. Cut the figs in half. Add the cheese squares, hazelnuts and croutons. Before serving, pour over some olive oil and balsamic reduction - garnish with fresh parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Blue Soup

Try this rich, delicious soup made of Cauliflower, Broccoli, Blue cheese and Biltong!
* I got this recipe from my sister - note: it's not all my own :)

for 5 people - big serving

1. 1.5 l Chicken stock
2. 1 big tsp crushed garlic
3. 2 Big onions - cut into pieces
4. 2-3 Big potatoes - cut into Cubes
5. 1kg Broccoli and Cauliflower
6. Blue cheese -+ 150 gr
7. Black Pepper
8. 200 gr sliced and diced Biltong.
9. little bit o' Cream - optional
10. SAlt
11. Almond flakes

How to:

1. Brown onions in olive oil - add the Garlic
2. Add Chicken stock and Potatoes. Boil until cubes are soft.
3. Add Cauliflower and Broccoli - cook until soft.
4. Take one of those mixer blender things and blend until smooth.
3. Place over low heat - Add blue cheese and stir until it has melted.
4. Add biltong
5. Add black pepper and salt to taste.
6. Roast some almonds in a pan to sprinkle over when serving.
7. You can add a spoon o' Cream to each bowl when served.

Very berry smoothie

This smoothie is PACKED with anti-oxidants! And it is delicious!!


1. 125 ml Kefir*
2. 125 gr Blue Berries
3. +- 10 Big Strawberries
4. 1 bunch/handful of seedless grapes
5. 2 Banana's
6. 1 Tbs Raw Honey
7. 3 Tbs Rooibos Yogurt (If you cant find use plain yogurt and add 50 ml STRONG Rooibos tee.

Mix everything together in a blender and enjoy!

*Kefir is a sour-tasting drink make from cow's milk fermented with certain bacteria. I make my own from these small white plant that looks like sago. It is uber super healthy and promotes healthy digestive systems. Did you know 70% of your health starts in your intestine? Kefir also helps you maintain a healthy weight AND healthy Skin! It's a natural antibiotic!
If you want some, you can contact me!

* If you do not have Kefir, you can replace with plain yogurt.

Springbok Carpaccio filled with Kiri chees

For two people (Starter)

1. 4 Slices of Springbok Carpaccio - Smoked
2. 2 Small Kiri Cream Cheese blocks -
cut in half - +- 3 cm x 1 cm
3. Balsamic Reduction Sauce
4. Roasted, salted Cashew nuts
5. Fresh Parsley
6. Black Pepper
7. Toothpicks

How to:

1. Fold each Carpaccio slice half - in length.
2. Place a piece of Kiri cheese at one end of the Carpaccio.
3. Fasten with Toothpick.
4. Drizzle with Balsamic Reduction
5. Sprinkle with Ground Cashew nuts
6. Grind over some black pepper
7. Garnish with fresh Parsley
8. Enjoy!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Foodie pictures for your kitchen!

If you want nice pics for your restaurant, check out my prints at: