Bobotie Egg Bites

We’re going to friends tonight for a party and I’m taking these along as an appetiser. Bobotie is a favourite traditional South African dish, basically a curried ground beef casserole, topped with turmeric egg custard and bay leaves served with “yellow” rice which is infused with turmeric and cooked with cinnamon sticks and raisins, served with a sweet chutney and tomato sambal.

It’s a great gluten free dish. As keto, I would serve it with cauliflower rice tossed with butter, mustard seeds and turmeric. It’s a terrific dish.

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Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake

Chocolate crust, orange topping.

It’s been every kind of winter weather today. Crisp sunshine, sleet, windy gusts, calm and then driving rain. A “spend time in the kitchen” kind of day.

The lovely mandarins I bought for zesting and freshly purchased cocoa seemed the perfect combination for cheesecake.

I was surprised to see how cracked the cheesecake turned out and learned that overbeating is the cause. It’s odd, because when I poured it into the cheesecake pan I thought, ooh!, what a wonderful light mix. Using a whisk is apparently the answer to a perfectly smooth, heavier more settled mix and smoother top. I did use an electric beater, so lesson learned. Be sure to let all your cream cheese come to room temperature if using a whisk, otherwise you’ll be tired out mixing until smooth. Letting ingredients get to room temperature is a challenge for me as my recipes are usually impromptu whims!

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A Case for Xmas Cake (more cake … fresh fruit! )

I’m not a fan of glacé fruit of *any* kind and I dislike traditional compressed glacé Christmas fruit cake intensely. It’s the worst! Sticky sickly sweet, weird texture, the glacé fruit has no resemblance of fruit flavour whatsoever, and yucky to eat … and barely a trace of cake. I fall firmly into the non- fruitcake group.

But. I’ve been baking this LCHF cake for Xmas for a few years now. It’s based on a friend of my parents, Kathy, who lives in South Africa. I wrote her recipe up in 1987(!) and have used it as a base since then. It’s evolved into a more keto friendly cake, still a tad high in carbs if you’re on serious keto, but fine for an annual holiday treat. I never ever made the icing though! Not a fan.

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Hot Salad with Pork Chops

When we’re having guests to dinner, I think I go a little bonkers sometimes. I scramble for crazy complex recipes online and get so anxious and stressed about cooking. I was thinking about it tonight while I cooked our supper and the fun I was having winging it for just the two of us. Imagining the flavours, experimenting and then being so happy with the adventure of trying out my musings and the flavourful outcome. It’s my favourite way of cooking.

Tonight was one of those nights. I’m sure you’ve done it too. You’ve experimented and and created a meal that wove the flavours together delicately and delightfully. It’s so satisfying. Then I thought … why don’t I trust my instincts like this when having friends over, and just wing it like I do when it’s just the two of us? It’s so much more fun!

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Saffron and Ginger Celery Cauliflower Soup

I love soup. I’m also a little puzzled by people who don’t! Admittedly, I’m not a fan of chilled soup, but I’m sure in the heat of a hot mid summer day I could be persuaded. Just serve it in a tall wineglass with ice and celery sticks!

It’s almost winter here so the theme for the next few months may get a bit soupy. We receive a bi-weekly box from a business called Imperfect Produce. I have it listed in my password keeper as Perfect Produce. I feel that if you can eat it and it has a blemish here or a peculiar carbuncle there or looks different, it’s still a miracle born of the earth and is beautiful, it just has personality! If it was my company I’d rename it I’mPerfect Produce!

Anyhoo.

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Apple Sauce Bundt Cake with maple icing

When I woke up yesterday, if you had have told me I’d be baking that evening … in a brand new and much desired and longed for bundt cake tin, I’d have not believed you. Yesterday my partner texted me from a kitchen store where he was acquiring a cheesecake springform pan as he is The Maker of Delicious Cheesecakes in this house. “Anything you need?”, he asked. Just as well it was raining. I’d planned on walking over to meet him, but it was pouring down.

I’m a pushover for two things, plant nurseries and … kitchen shops. It’s bad. Really bank balancing breaking bad.

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Spicy Roasted Squash Soup

We had friends over to dinner tonight. Our friend had a nasty fall off her bicycle and was knocked unconscious and came to in an ambulance, with no idea what happened. Her partner took the bicycle in to the store where they originally purchased it to try and figure out what caused the accident as she cycles on a bike path mostly and was not on a road.

Turns out, they told him the front basket worked loose, fell down onto the wheel and stopped her in mid motion. She landed on her face after somersaulting over the handle bars and luckily no badly broken bones, but face grazes, black eyes, body bruises and aches, a fractured upper arm, plus the side effects of concussion.

Please let this be a warning to anyone who cycles, these things can happen without any warning. Check your baskets or front carriers … or any loose attachments. Check your bicycles for any wear and tear, rattling parts or wheels and rusty screws, and strap or zip tie any attachments on.

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