Festive Entertaining Tips 10/25

Indian style blinis

These little savoury flapjacks are perfect for meat free Mondays. Quick and easy to prepare too. I whip them up for unexpected guests or for afternoon tea on a rainy day. It also makes an excellent accompaniment to vegetarian meals.


1 box chilli bite mix (available at Indian spice shops and grocers)

1 can cream style sweet corn

1 teaspoon ground ginger and garlic paste (or make or own)

1 teaspoon ground cumin powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander powder

3 sprigs of spring onions chopped

Small bunch of coriander chopped

Method –

1. Preheat non stick pan on medium heat.

2. Combine all the ingridients in a mixing bown to form a thick batter. You may require a few spoonfuls of room temperature water to reach the desired consistency.

3. When the pan is moderately hot (not smoking) add 1 teaspoon of oil to the the pan. I use coconut oil for this but sunflower works well too.

4. Dollop tablespoons of the mixture onto the pan and fry for 90 seconds per side or until cooked. As you would do with flapjacks or blinis.

5. Serve as desired.

Foodscapades – Bacon Jam at Mugg and Bean

I’m indifferent when it comes to Mugg and Bean. I think they are a little pricey but I like the standard of food they serve and look forward to the creative additions to their menu which are line with food trends.

A quick mid week breakfast stop tempted to step out of my savoury muffin comfort zone and try their latest addition – bacon jam. I opted for the sandwich with baby spinach, mozzarella and cheddar, on rye with sweet potato fries.

The smearing of bacon jam was more than generous but sadly the taste was far to tart to the extent that it hurt my tongue! I will try it again anlt another store before making a decision on a condiment I was looking forward to. This time my expectations were not met.

Super Slaw

Coleslaw can be such a great accompaniment to grilled meat, sandwiches or on its own.

In South Africa we have a tendency to drown it in mayonnaise! Not my favourite. Switch mayonnaise for plain yoghurt with a little mustard.

I also like to add extra crunch with walnuts and even out the tang with sweet currants or raisins.

Beautiful Brownies

I copied this recipe from a class mate in high school some 17 years ago. It was a time before 24/7 Internet access, Google,  apps and there were no cooking channels on South African television. She had been given it by a family friend in the USA and had told me these were ‘real American brownies ‘! And they sure are!

This recipe didn’t have any additions,  however over time I’ve stirred in chocolate chips, caramel,  pecan and peanuts all with great success!
Ingredients –

1 cup margarine, melted 

1 cup white sugar 

7/8 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla essence 

4 eggs

1 & 1/2 cups flour 

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup broken peanuts

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius 

2. Combine melted margarine and sugar. Stir.

3. Sift in cocoa powder and stir

4. Stir in vanilla essence 

5. Stir in eggs one at a time

6. Sift in flour and salt and stir

7. Add peanuts and stir. The batter will be quite firm.

8. Pour batter into greased 16cm x 16cm square pan

9. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes for softer texture and 20-25 minutes for a more firm, cake like brownie

Grilled burgers -Easy Peasy #simplecooking

Instead of frying burgers (avoiding spatter and shrinking patties) and avoiding the hassle of setting up the grill or braai,  place burger patties on well oiled oven tray and place in preheated oven on 220 degrees Celsius for 6 minutes on one side, turn and cook for 1 minute on the other side. This is for well done. I use Woolworths Beef Burgers. Tastiest supermarket burgers in SA!

Corn Chowder – Version 2

‚ÄčThis is a tweaked version of my original recipie posted in 2013…

Corn chowder is a chunky, filling corn soup. Its generaly made with bacon as a base but this is a completely vegetarian version. Over time I have played around with the recipie and have omitted flour as a thickening agent and opten to use cream style sweetcorn instead.


2 mains with leftovers or 4-6 started portions

30g butter or margarine 
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 large or 2 medium potatoes, skin removed, cut into cubes
1 cups frozen corn kernals, thawed
1 can cream styled sweetcorn
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup milk
Black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

On medium heat, melt butter and brown onion


Add potatoes and corn kernels and fry for a few minutes until browned


Add all the other ingridients and stir to combine


Cover with lid, reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally until potatoes are cooked
Remove from heat, cool slight
Blend if you prefer a smoother texture
Garnish with cream or paprika or even fried corn for texture