Monday, 29 August 2011

Upside down Lemon Meringue pie

Gosh its been a while since my last post and I'm happy to say I'm 2kgs down....whooohooo. I was thinking of doing a post on something healthy and low fat, but thought BLOW THAT, you'all come here to find quick and easy and fattening, so that's just what I'l give you.

I love Lemon Meringue Pie, but I hate making it and loooooath the breaking up of the biscuit for the base, so I came up with a quick, easy and super simple way to make them...if you can screw this up, then PLEASE for the love of GOD, step away from the kitchen and never, ever, ever, EVER set foot in a kitchen again.... :)
To be honest, as my bestfriend, in all his wisdom of Lemon Meringue Tarts, says "but that's not a real Lemon Meringue"....yes, yes, I know, but this you can make in a time pinch, quantity pinch or need to show off, with stuff you can keep in your pantry (well other then the Cream cheese!)

Ok so here goes:  YOU DO NOT COOK just step away from the oven, ok.

First off, go and buy some meringue nests, you know, the ready made ones. I used the kiddie ones, but you can pick whatever you want. If you really, REALLY want, you can make your own, but honestly, why bother?

For the filling:

250ml Cream Cheese (low fat)
1/4 cup ROOM TEMP Butter
1/2 cup SIFTED Icing sugar
Lemon Juice from one med lemon, or about 4 big squirts from a bottle!
2.5ml yellow food colouring
Add caption

Mix the above together till smooth and creamy. When you are adding the lemon juice,   just keep adding till the cheese filling            
is very smooth and not yet really runny. That should be enough to also give it a super lemon flavour. (you can add a drop of lemon essence if you MUST)

Spoon the filling into the meringue nests till just overfilled. There will be extra cream cheese filling, to allow for a lot of tasting when adding lemon in...and just cause its tasty :)

Once all the nests are filled take a box of biscuits (I used rectangular Nuttikrust ones but you can use any you prefer) and pop one on top of each filled nest so that it nestles on the filling.

                                            VOILA!!!!!!!!!!!! Upside down Lemon Meringue

Now look, I know its not exactly the same as proper Lemon Meringue, but that's the idea. You can make any variations you want to this buy changing the flavour of the filling (use peppermint to make peppermint pies) or change the biscuit topping etc. You could even drizzle melted chocolate over the top of the biscuit or even instead of the biscuit. 

The idea of this recipe is to give you something tasty and fast. 

So, off you all go and MOOOOVE with creativity.

Let me know how it goes and pls, if you come up with something exciting, link to my blog on your blog or however you do that whole thing (hehehehe!)

Moo, over and out.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

The importance of comfort food and picking it smartly

So I haven't blogged in a while. This, unfortunately, is due to feeling crappy in general and just down about a whole heap of things....mostly the lack of money. Of course despite that I have 15kg's to loose by April (but that's another story totally) I have been comfort eating....and my food of choice is cheese.

Cheese, glorious cheese. The golden blocks that dreams are made are large butts unfortunately. I love cheese. All cheese. Yellow, white, blue.... it doesn't matter which. It just is my delight. And chocolate. Anything chocolate infused sends me into a happy place. Oh and Jelly. I have been known to go through 4 boxes plus in week easily. And bread and ice cream.... see the problem. I will happily spend my time eating cheese sandwiches interspersed with chocolate. And that is where I got to thinking... Why can't we have our proverbial cake and eat it. WHY NOT!

Stock up on diet Ice cream, you know the sugar free low fat one, and Sugar free jelly. If you like custard then make it with fat free milk and honey or sweetener. Buy dark chocolate. Ok, I know some people don't like dark chocolate so see if you can find a milk/dark combo. Or, what is also super yummy is to buy whole dates and coat them with choc (i'l do a blog with this somewhere along the line) Dates are sweet and healthy and good for you, and are sweet enough that using dark chocolate wont prove to bitter.

As far as cheese sandwiches go....well... I love them plain and I love them toasted. I use low fat margerine on the un-toasted ones and for toasting I don't use any fat as I bought myself the most fantastic toasting bag (here's a link to help you get the idea toaster bag ) that does not require fat and makes the most YUMMY SQUISHY sandwiches. Unfortunately you will have to learn, like I have, that you can't have more then 3 a day. Well, you can, but you shouldn't.

Ok, so it's not the most entertaining blog, but that's what you get for today.

Back again soon

Wednesday, 06 July 2011

Weekend Tripping & Place Re-moo's

So the weekend past started off with a birthday at Kitima's on Friday night. For those who don't know it, Katima's is on your left about 3/4 of the way to Hout Bay from Constantia. Parking is simply on the verge across the road, and, if it wasn't for the cars, you wouldn't know it was anything particularly interesting. You walk up to the big wooden door and smile while the security guard opens it for you....into the world of Kitima's

The decadent Bathroom
Kitima's bar...well stocked!
My assortment sushi, prawn cake, Moo Yak etc
Walking in you are transported to a beautiful world of smiles that great you in a professional manner. Kitima is a Town quality restaurant  without having to drive out to Town. In our case we headed straight to the back of the venue to a lounge with a well stocked bar and low tables with comfy seating, where our friends were waiting.

Strawberry margarita
I indulged in a Strawberry Margarita (R65) to start with which is served in a LARGE glass. We decided to order a few small items to eat to get a feel for the place: Jintana Starter Platter (four varieties of Asian starters: 2 salmon and avocado maki,2 chicken teriyaki maki, 1 prawn cake and 1 ‘laughing buddha’ at R55) a Thai Barbecue Pork (Moo Yak) / 2 skewers (R28) and Tofu and Vegetables Soup (Clear soup of tofu, mixed vegetables & shiitake mushrooms, garnished with fresh coriander at R32). The food was tasty and fresh. The only thing that I didn't like was that the Tofu in the soup was too big and was very soggy. I ended the evening off with a Mai Thai made with apricot brandy which was delicious and one of the best I've had.
Mai Thai

Tofu & Veg soup
We had a very enjoyable evening. Service was efficient and food was tasty and the staff were friendly.

Sunday brought fathers day, and, as my dad passed away, hubby took me on a afternoon ramble to "investigate for my blog" We took a slow meander down main road from Muizenberg to Town to see what we can see... which was, being a Sunday, not much until we got to Town where we found....

The Eastern Food Bazaar in the old Wellington Fruit Growers Market Building between Longmarket St and Darling St.  This is just one of those places that you have to go see.
 Its a bustling tunnel of Indian cooking smells that just make your mouth water. Basically its a large tunnel filled with people and food, with spots to sit and eat. 

So so worth a trip into Town to see. 

It also keeps really long trading hours (till 10pm most nights) so you can ramble through at like 8pm on a Sunday night to go and try some Korma or Ice Cream. 

There are spots to order just about everything you can possibly want by way of Eastern Fare. Be warned tho, we didn't order anything on our visit as it was hellishly busy at 2pm on the Sunday afternoon. We however plan to definitely go back one early weekend evening to taste our way through.

From Town central, we headed to a favorite area of ours, The Cape Quarter.
 This whole area, not just the main section, is filled with a feeling of delight. From the beautiful views to the smorgasbord of food choices, I personally can spend hours looking at menus and trying dishes at the various restaurants. 
I love the easy way that one can stroll back and forth, between the smells of the different restaurants, while stopping here and there to look in shops spread between them. A few years back we used to go to Tank (no longer there) and on one of our first visits, while sitting outside in the winter sunshine, had the pleasure of listening to Caitlin, a violinist, play. And it always brings back the awesome memory of that afternoon.


While we tried to decide where to eat, we took a stroll in the new section of the Cape Quarter that has been built, and found "Danielas Deliciously Decadent", a small shop with some of the TASTIEST, most yummy macaroons on this PLANET as well as jars of all sorts of interesting things.Softly crunchy on the outside, while gooey and decadent on the inside, we bought macaroons and fought to just about grab bits out of each others mouths in order to eat them............delectable. 

From there we wondered out and after much uming and aaaahing, finally decided to try a funny looking little pub type place called "Uncle Jacks"... but that is for it's own blog to follow soon...


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The most amazing chocolate pie for lazy people

Ok, so I have to be totally honest upfront. None of the pictures linked to this post are mine. Not 1. I have borrowed them all from the net and for a very good reason... I have been banned from ever making this pie. Not because it is bad, or because it goes to waste, but because neither my best friend nor my husband have any control when it comes to eating it. Also, it and my butt have issues cause it is seriously rich and tempting to eat. So, I went and found photos on the net that look JUST like it, and used those, so that I don't need to actually make the darn thing.

I love this pie. It’s easy and if you have a sweet tooth then this will go down a treat. I love chocolate and the only saving grace that this pie has is that I find it physically impossible to eat more than a bowl full at a time.

My mom in law first made this pie and then made many small ones for my wedding dessert in 2002. She passed the basic recipe down to me and I have made it ever since.
Since then I have changed small things and have come up with the laziest, easiest chocolate pie on god’s green earth.

Now I do not claim to be the greatest cook/baker/chef/food mangler on earth, but I defy ANYONE to screw this up. Really.


1 Box/packet of biscuits (like Romany Creams or Ginger biscuits depending on what you like)

Ok so this is where this gets more or a "pick your own ending" kinda pie. You have a couple of options as to what you want to do starting with the base:

You can go for the traditional base of fine crushed Tennis biscuits or ginger or whichever you want. Finally crush 1 packet of biscuits and mix with 30ml of melted butter or margarine. Mix well and push firmly to base of pie dish

Alternatively, and this is the method I like, you can go with the lazy version that does not require hours of beating biscuits to death with a rolling pin:

Take one box of Romany creams. The chocolate ones with the vanilla icing in the middle. Break into chunky pieces. (A box allows for at least 3 to be eaten) place the pieces in the bottom of a pie dish so that the whole base is covered) don’t make the pieces too big.
The reason for using these specific biscuits is it gives a nice contrast with the dark chocolate filling.


To make the basic pie filling you will need:

1 Tin of Dessert Cream (the large one not the small one)
2 x 100grm Dark chocolate slabs (you can use milk choc, but it makes it TERRIBLY SWEET then)
(The above quantities are for pie using the fine crushed biscuit base method. If you using the lazy Romany cream one, double them)

Break the chocolate into pieces (do not eat any)
Take dessert cream. Pour into dish and microwave for a min or just over, until it just starts to bubble. Mix chocolate into cream until it is all melted in and mixed. 
Pour over biscuit base
(The reason that Romany cream biscuit base method needs the filling quantity doubled is because it filters down over the pieces as opposed to sitting on top of the fine crushed biscuit base)

Put in fridge and leave till set. This should take an hour or two.


Use 1 tin of cream and 2 slabs of dark chocolate for the initial filling and let set.
Once set, use 1 tin of cream and 2 x 100grm slabs of WHITE chocolate and pour over the set dark choc filling.
Let set

You can top it with cream, stick fruit on top, serve with glasses of Amarula (this I recommend), ice-cream....whatever floats your boat.

Basically, once you have the basic recipe figured out you can put your own spin on it and try other odds and ends.

Ok so there you go. This will be a staple emergency OMW we need dessert ASAP recipe. No mixers, no blenders, nothing but a bit of heat and a fridge.

With all that time on your hands after making this, I suggest sitting with a glass of wine and enjoying some peace, while licking out the bowl! 

Till later & happy baking

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Preserving class at Oded's Kitchen

At 10h45 this morning, sunglasses firmly on and clutching my super sharp knife, I arrived at Oded's Kitchen at the Old Buiscit Mill in Woodstock for their preserving class with Oded. Greeted by super cheerful Ming (a part time worker bee at the kitchen) who speedily got a mug of filter coffee into my half asleep hands (I don't operate well without coffee in the mornings in 2 or 3 mug quantities to get me going) Turned out it was MOI Moo, and 5 others (one of them being Indigo Girl who I blame for my early appearance on this bright morning) Once we were all there (clutching beverage of choice) Oded began the class.

Oded teaching with Ming on the camera.
Starting with the Oded's Kitchen preserves and relishes, we worked our way through the tasters. Aubagine Relish, Carrot and Almond, Caramelised Onion. Also on taste was the Oded's Tahini (interesting recipe to follow using this thanks to one of my fellow preservers, Sasha) I know most of them from the food markets, but it was nice to get to try the one or two I haven't seen before. The brown sugar marmalade was DELICIOUS.

We then partnered up and moved onto the cooking part of the day. I had a fantastic partner by way of Sasha, a very cool modern Martha Stewart. She makes cakes from SCRATCH.... not from box mix. I mean so can I but I'm just to lazy most of the time. This woman works and  does REAL cakes. Superwoman delux.
Yes the one on the right is me!
We got started on the Cucumber preserve while the other 2 teams made Tomato Relish and Lemon Marmalade (this was Indigo Girl and Andrew's) Unfortunately Oded was unable to stay with us for the course, so Ming carried it on. We cooked and grated, and sliced and diced madly.

Putting boiling water over the onions and carrots
After salting the cucumber it needs
to stand for 15 mins
The layering of the jars is the only really involved bit in making the Cucumber Preserve, with all the jars needing to be neatly layered. This is NOT my forte'. I'm more of a toss in and shake kinda girl!

My fellow preservers.
My partner, Sasha is the Brunette back left
Oded with Indigo Girl and Andrew....
 the Lemon Marmalade Team

Left: Tomato Relish, Back: Onion Marmalade
Right: Cucumber Preserve

And just to top the fantastic day off, we got to snack on Oded's snacks that I take great pleasure in eating at the fairs. We were treated to Spinach sponge roll with cream cheese & blue cheese; Snoek Cigars; Aubagine and almond half moons, Spinach & cream cheese mini sausage rolls. Droooool. Please believe me when I say that should you ever come across a stall or the Oded's shop, do yourself a favour and BUY AS MANY OF THESE SNACKS AS YOU CAN. You will be sorry if you don't.

(left to right) Tomato Relish, Lemon Marmalade, Cucumber Preserve
The days lesson ended with our each getting one of each of the products made. We walked out happy, clutching our goodies and having spent an amazing day preserving and making new friends. Thanks Oded's Kitchen. It wasn't quite the day as planned, but it did make good memories and hopefully, in a few days, we'll have tasty preserves to eat too. :)

Friday, 10 June 2011

Milk tarts and the Mexican Dinner

So, last night was what is turning into Supper Club night at Indigo Girl & Batman (Sorry Allan, I just like you as Batman!) And last night was Mexican Night.... FANFRICKKING TASTIC :)

So, yesterday I was talked into trying my hand at Milk Tart.... Sigh. You know theres that point in a receipe that says something like "while stirring the mixture will thicken" and you just know that it's not going to do that, weeeell that was my afternoon. I found an awesome sounding Milk Tart receipe and made up tart no 1. The pictures are for tarts 1 & 2. Tart 1 is in the black dish and Tart 2 (the coconut adjustment) is in the white one.

By T2, I decided to just make the bloody pastry in the dish. Worked quite well I must say.

I did have a problem both ways with getting it out afterwards with the filling to eat. Pastry and I do NOT get on. I believe that all pies and tarts should have biscuit bases. Its just simpler that way.

Anyway, back to T1. At the point it wasn't thickening, I thought maybe when it calls for 2 large eggs, I should use 4 of my small ones not 2. At this point I'm going "HOLY S#$% we eating this with a straw and trying to figure out what was wrong. Look, at the end of the day, T1 tasted like Milk Tart but had anything but Milk Tart consistancy (My bestfriend thought it was great even tho I had to GLooumP it into a bowl), and T2 had a fantastic Coconut taste (substituted 1/2 the milk for coconut milk, and added coconut to it too)

T1 (to the left) has the basic cinnimon topping (well, it has it in it too after I scraped it out the dish and added another egg and........ ok so just don't go there!)

T2 had an interesting blend of cinnamon and coconut that I mixed together then sprinkled on top.

This was the Tart that was going with to dinner last night at Food Blogger delux, Indigo Girl. Great. I now have a tart that is a) potentially not going to set, going to b) a food bloggers house where c) there were going to be other people to palm it onto but d) I had NO idea what it would taste like........sigh. Oh well. Lets do it lol.

So, I of course got there after everyone as usual, being as I work for myself and seem to now put in more hours then I did. I arrived clutching the required bottle of wine (we drink a lot of that, but mine is LITE on calories and low in THERE) and the potentially offending Tart.

Dinner was FANTASTIC with Indigo Girl whipping up not only great nosh, but the most, absolutely, fantastically awesome Chilli Poppers I have ever ever had.

The table, laden with food
and surrounded by hungry friends.    
On the menu was: Chicken Nachos, Chilli Poppers, Chicken & Cheese Quesidellias, as well as various extras to add.    

 The empty table and Indigo Girl eating a popper that should have been MINE MINE MINE!!

Anyway, by the time we got to the Tart, while it wasn't totally set, it was sorta set and went down an absolute treat. Apparently the coconuttymilktarty taste was yummy enough that no one cared what the tart looked like, and I'm perfectly ok with that.

So, that was yesterday in a milk laden nutshell.


FYI: Indigo Girl will be posting on her blog about the Mexican Night, with recipes, and I do suggest if you like poppers to keep an eye, cause hers were MAAAAGNIFICANT!
Indigo Girl blog at: