(Don’t wait for a) Rainy Day Noodle bowls – nurture and nourish.


Like most things in life I like best, the recipe for a noodle bowl is very forgiving and adaptable.

Play around with the easy, meat free basics and add what your body is asking for!

Try: Your favourite greens; grated root vegetables; tofu; fish or seafood; shredded chicken; soft boiled eggs; scallions.

Here is how:

1. Place in a large pot:

  • 2 cups COLD water
  • 2 cups chicken OR vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves of garlic – unpeeled & bruised
  • 1 onion – unpeeled and halved
  • star anise
  • 3 stems lemongrass – bruised
  • ¼ cup soy sauce –low sodium soy sauce is the better choice
  • ½ thumb size fresh ginger – bruised
  • ½ dried red chilli

2. Bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat for 40 minutes.

3. Strain through a sieve / fine colander, reserving the stock.

4. Pour the strained stock back into a pot.

Congratulations! You have just made your first Chinese Master Stock without even thinking about it.


5. Bring the stock back to a soft simmer.

6. Add the rest of the ingredients, starting with the noodles.

  • 100g egg noodles
  • 1 cup baby corn
  • 1 cup mushrooms (any small variety- sliced or whole)
  • ½ cup snap peas
  • 4 baby pak choi OR baby cabbages – halved

7. Simmer for another 6 minutes.

8. Add a large handful of fresh basil leaves.

Serve with more fresh basil and coriander leaves.

-Serves 4-






I say: “No-churn coconut and passion fruit, 4 ingredient ice cream!”

You say: “Hello weekend treat!”

What you need:

  • 1x tin coconut milk (400g)
  • 1x  cup whipping cream (250g)
  • 1x tin of condensed milk (380g)
  • Pulp of 6 ripe passion fruit.
  1. Mix the condensed milk and coconut cream together.
  2. In a separate bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks.
  3. VERY gently fold the coconut mixture into the whipped cream.
  4. Swirl the passion fruit pulp through the mixture.
  5. Transfer to a container / lolly moulds for freezing.
  6. Freeze overnight OR for at least 8 hours.

-Makes 1.7 L-

Optional – Serve with more passion fruit pulp, toasted coconut fresh gooseberries.









Wabi-sabi and Graze Slow Food Cafe, Stanford

My kind of perfect: Wabi-sabi.

This Japanese philosophy celebrates beauty in what’s natural, little imperfections and all.

In part the produce at the iconic Graze Cafe Wednesday Farmers Market is exactly that. The veranda is crammed with beautiful, fresh, perfectly wabi-sabi products. Some little imperfections? Yes, please! That’s how you know that they have not been sorted, waxed, sprayed, modified or stimulated. Instead they have been loved, cared for, fed and harvested at just the right time.

Arms full of herbs and flowers,  plump gooseberries still in their thin paper husks, wrinkly grenadillas (that you smell before you actually see them), shiny waves of emerald spinach and the biggest spring onions I have ever laid eyes on makes it hard to pick a favourite!


“Dated” eggs?  😉 Eggs so fresh that they proudly wear their ACTUAL birth date hand scribbled on them, packed au naturale with a strand of straw.

Honey, cheese, fresh yogurt and raw milk can also go home with you if you get there early. The best idea is to get there early and plan to linger a while, as the food, juices and coffees are simply gorgeous and perfect!

This was my Zodwa Special –  luscious, fresh and meat free.


My friend pretty-Linda had a waffle. Just look at that!


Just as I got you drooling and maybe even a tad envious..Did you know that most of the restaurants’ ingredients comes directly and farm fresh from their little piece of heaven just outside Stanford?

Country living….sigh…




The most beautiful summer rice paper rolls

crystal-rolls-10I was so surprised by how easy these beauties were to prepare and absolutely blown away by the taste. They are light and fresh and a little goes a very long way. On top of this they are super healthy, meat-  and gluten free. Can they be more perfect?

How to do it

  1. Prep your veggies for the filling.
  2. Soak the rice paper wraps in cold water, one at a time, for 3- 30 seconds or as per packet instructions.
  3. Place wrapper on a damp kitchen towel, place filling ingredients on top. Roll and serve.

Use a mix of colours and textures for the best results.

Some suggestions : baby salad leaves; fresh herbs; avocado; roasted nuts; julienne cucumber; raw and pickled / cooked beetroot; raw baby carrots; spring onions, edible flowers; grated  cucumber; ribbons of any root vegetables..the list is endless

Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice. I feel that a little heat absolutely works here – see my recipe for a quick sweet chilli dipping sauce below.

I am definitely not  a pro at rolling them yet. They had a few nicks and tears, but it is really not a tricky thing to get right.


Easy sweet chilli dipping sauce

  • 5 red chillies – chopped
  • 60 ml water
  • 60 ml rice vinegar / white wine vinegar
  • 60 g raw sugar /palm sugar / brown sugar / sugar replacement
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic – chopped
  1. Boil all the ingredients together for 15 minutes
  2. Blitz together in food processor or with stick blender

**For some inspiration as well as examples of some VERY neatly rolled rolls see https://za.pinterest.com/vaniaclcorreia/rolls/




The easiest veggie curry and the “w”-word

Today was one of THOSE days.

Ha-ha -no! Not one of THOSE..

One of those beautiful days that make you want to do anything except spending time indoors.

It was also one of those days that I gave myself 2 stars as well as a badge!

I had to leave the house quite early this morning to go drop Jahn and Short-pants-Sam off for a hike just outside of town.

It was a crisp, clear, day with sunny blue skies and I just knew that today was the day that I had to take pictures of all the beautiful spring flowers around our complex !  I also knew that I would be faced with a very hungry scout this afternoon and did not want to be busy in the kitchen for too long.

Some quick thinking! Butter chicken – one of my favourite recipes by one of my favourite authors, Camellia Panjabi,  came to mind as just the kind of thing I was looking for.

**Note all the splatter marks on the recipe page – a life well lived.



I quickly adapted the recipe into a protein filled meat free option for my little hiker –

 +1 BADGE for not letting a scout go hungry.


It was really easy and gave me time to do what I wanted to – get to those pictures.

+1 STAR for making a plan to free up time.


Mix together

  • 1 cup thick plain yogurt  (I had really thick homemade Greek yogurt – tut-tut)
  • 2 cloves of garlic – grated
  • ½ a thumb size of fresh ginger -grated
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  •  ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  •  ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Rub this yogurt mixture into 300g of cauliflower florets, cover them and leave to marinate.

**Just make sure that they are quite evenly sized, as it will ensure even cooking later.

While they were doing their bit and getting marinated, I grabbed my camera and hat and enthusiastically started clicking away at all the wild flowers in the open spaces around our complex.

It is a very peaceful place with the mountains at the back and the ocean facing us to the front. A place where garden plants mix with fynbos, wild lavender and Suurvytjies happily live side by side with California poppies and all kinds of little flowering plants that simply appears as if from nowhere during Spring.



Now for the 2nd star: I met up with Oom Hendriks’ dog taking him for their daily walk at the gate. We chatted for a while (me and Oom Hendrik, not the dog), exchanged some smiles and the day was simply delightful.

But oh, then came the shocker! He told me that most of these little wild flowers that I am happily snapping away at, were all weeds in his books.  Oh my! The W-word! One thing you have to know is that Oom Hendrik is a man that keeps a very well-manicured lawn.  I tried not to notice, but could see that look of wanting to take up the spade right there and then starting to appear in his eyes.  We exchanged some more pleasantries, the dog nudged that it was time for them to move on and I continued appreciating all those pretty little flowers, not fazed at all by what they are called, had a fantastic time, breathed in some good clean air and got my 2nd star for not being intimidated by a name / label put unto something that I find really really special!

Later, it only took a few minutes of prepping the sauce, 5 more for preparing the butternut and putting the cauliflower in the oven and 5 minutes to put everything together in the end..pretty good in my books!

Half and steam / bake a small butternut to serve.

Roast the marinated cauliflower in a single layer for 25 minutes @ 200°C while making the sauce


  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
  • ½ tsp ground paprika
  • 1 tsp honey

Simmer together over a low heat for 10 minutes



After the tomato sauce have cooked for 10 minutes, add:

  • 1 Tbl butter
  • 1 Tbl cream
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)


Serve the tomato sauce and roasted cauliflower on top of some roasted / steamed butternut OR rice.

butter chicken 7.jpg


This recipe was surprisingly light and would easily serve 4 as well as Oom Hendrik’s small dog.








Gluten free tortillas and letting the smoke get into your eyes

hombre1These two Hombres are turning out  organic, gluten free, all natural  corn products right here in Gordon”s Bay.  Need I say more!?


“Higher in  fiber and lower in carbohydrates than wheat, corn tortillas are naturally gluten free! Each tortilla contains approximately 10 grams of net carbohydrates and around 60 calories – perfect as part of a low carb diet.”..(http://santaannas.co.za/services/)

Frik Oosthuizen and Piet Marais – we thank you!

I simply had to give them babies a go.

1st round: Santa Anna’s Corn Tortillas: Please don’t judge!

Thinking that we would end up with some nice organic tacos, thinking I was being REAL clever, I tried oven baking them like THIS.

hombre 1.jpg

No go – I ended up with THIS.


A very UN-fillable, closed lipped, more Cannoli than taco organic baked tortilla.

Luckily National Braai day came along on Saturday, we had a handsome little fire going and I got another chance at doing them justice. These braai things can take a really long time as you know, the guys were getting a little hollow and the fire was not nearly ready for the main event.

This time I heated them (as their website suggests) in a thick bottomed swartboompotjie (our beloved cast iron camping pot / pan / roaster / toaster) over an open fire using  minimal coconut oil.

Yeay ! Job done!

“Hombres muy felices !” Roughly translated it means something like “No more ravenous muchachos / some very happy guys. ”


**Yes some came out a little too dark, I know- it was the light..and the smoke got into my eyes..You know how it goes at these braai things..








Sisters and moving mountains


I once took something that did not belong to me..

A sister. I simply took her, made her mine and kept her.

A little shameful if you consider that I already had not one, but TWO perfect, inspiring sisters (as well as the best, most handsome brother ever.)

Today’s post is dedicated to the youngest of those remarkable sisters.

One perfect little sister who I loved even before she was born. An incredibly creative creature, one of the funniest people I know and someone who’s unconditional love once helped me move a mountain of Quiche(s).

Little acts of love that fell from the sky…

Whenever I make Quiche  I am reminded of that BIG act and the crazy laughs we always have.

Faced Blessed with these beautiful fresh farm produce from our country market this morning, I had no choice but to fall back on old faithful, make a quick Quiche and be grateful for all the little big things..you know what I mean?

It really is a NO FAIL recipe, easily adapted to whatever filling you want to use.  It makes for a complete meal with a simple salad and loves being a meat free dish at times ;- )

Try any combination that you like, using some ready cooked ingredients like veggies, sausages, bacon, condiments like pesto (big yes!), fresh- or dried herbs and chilies and any cheese on hand, cubed , crumbled or grated.

This recipe fills a standard Quiche tray / 25 x 25 cm baking dish of your choice.

You have three components: Crust; base and custard.

1. Crust:

quiche15I LOVE this crust because:

It reminds me of  my sister :- )

It’s never let me down

Always comes out flaky

It is simply the most perfect base for any quiche

No blind baking needed

It is simple and quick

What I DO NOT love about this crust:

It contains wheat flour aka lots of gluten – I’ve tried, tested and still haven’t come up with a worthy replacement.

It contains lots of oil. Even using a “healthier” option it is still more than I would like to use in one go.

The good news is that you can simply omit the crust for a gluten free / low carb option! 

  • 300ml flour
  • 125ml neutral tasting oil (I prefer avo or grape seed, but use whatever you have)
  • 2 Tbl milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbl poppy seeds

Mix all the ingredients together IN YOUR BAKING TIN – (‘told you it was easy) and press out evenly to cover the base and the sides.

2. Filling: Fill with 1 – 2 cups of cooked filling.

I friend onions, garlic and mushrooms with some fresh herbs for my filling and sprinkled them with the market cheese before pouring over the custard. Very simple, but very delicious! I do not remember the name of the cheese, but  it had just enough strenght to match the mushrooms, just enough sharp bite to it, and was quite hard and salty.

Great filling combinations to try: Spinach, feta / Bacon, butternut, feta / Roasted veggies and sun dried tomato / Caramelised onion, Peppadew™ and cheddar

3. Custard: Mix together 6 XL eggs, 250ml fresh cream and 1/2tsp salt and black / white pepper to taste.

Pour the custard over filling, sprinle with extra cheese if you want and bake @ 180*C for 20-28 minutes until just set (and still ever so slightly wobbly in the centre).

The baking time varies quite a bit according to the baking container – check regularly from around 20 mins of baking.

This Quiche is a ideal for lunchboxes as it can be eaten cold and freezes perfectly too.



The whales and waterblommetjies

As the days get longer and the Southern Rights move back into our beautiful bay to calve and play, the sound of the Whale crier sadly also marks the end of  “waterblommetjie-tyd” (Cape Hawthorn season).


Wateruitjies (water onion) or vleikos (swamp food) as they are fondly referred to by locals, grows wild in ponds, swamps and marches in the Western Cape and have long been considered a regional foraged food(Long before free, natural, indigenous ingredients got the label of foraged goods – mental note – a great discussion for another day.)

waterblom-australia-text-fat-jpgThis delicacy is traditionally made into a bredie – a rich lamb stew, but have recently started appearing dressed up as restaurant food  – steamed and served with aioli, poached in creamy risotto or paired with wild sorrel and Chardonnay in a potato based soup.

What makes these lovelies so much more special, is that they are available from June to September only. As the ponds dry up during the mostly dry summer months, so does the waterblommetjies, only to rear their pretty little heads again next June.

To make the best of the last of the available finds, I decided to preserve them,  much in the same way you would do with artichokes / asparagus.

Although they are a bit more pricey at the end of the season, I still think that they are a steal at around R50 for a large punnet.(compared to say, a punnet of  Karoo Lamb, gulp..😉

A week later they’ve only improved, are still super crunchy, lightly sour, but decadently rich from soaking up the lovely olive oil. I am thinking sourdough toast, preserved waterblommetjies, sharp cheese and soft lambs lettuce with a glass of crisp white wine would be just the thing this weekend.

Something else I’ve also been busy  with the past week is finding my way through the unknown territory of photography software. I am still amazed by what can be achieved / changed / buggered up with just a click of a button!

So with a click of a button my photos suddenly took on an old world feel. It seemed very nostalgic and reminded me of some of my favourite books, fond childhood memories and the great journey that I am on. Although it’s not perfect, I’ve decided to leave and post some just like that.

Loving it..


NOTE: It is VERY important to soak your waterblommetjies at least three times in clean, salted water to get rid of any sand or critters that might be hiding  between those lovely pink scales.waterblom resep.png







Hermanus photos:  courtesy of Hermanus tourism

Spring, baby carrots and my new favourite thing


Why do I  ♥love♥  spring? BABY VEGGIES! That is why.

What is my new favourite thing about spring? These roasted carrots.


It might actually become one of my most favourite things ever.  Do, do, do try them.carrots-5

They are  equally good hot or cold,  happy as side dish or main and shines as a super impressive easy-to-prepare  salad. Quick ,  job done – and besides all of that they smell absolutely amazing as well.

*I had a big handful of carrots – (imagine the size of a bunch if you put thumbs and forefingers of your hands together.)


It is as easy as this:

  1. Pour 1 Tbl Sriracha  + 1 Tbl honey + 1 Tbl olive oil + a large pinch of salt and a good few grinds of blackpepper into a roasting tin.
  2. Roll carrots around co cover in mixture.
  3. Roast @ 180°C for about 20 minutes or until you see the skins blistering.
  4. Serve  hot or cold with  crumbled goats cheese and fresh thyme

May I please just say it again? I absolutely love them!

Potato, patate, bhuntàta

funky potato.png

  • The potato was first sent from Peru to Europe around 1530, being described as similar to a chestnut.
  • It was then presented to Pope Clement VII , who asked the botanist Charles de l’Escluse to define it. De l’Escluse described it as “a small truffle”, therefore it  was called tartufoli  by Italians for centuries.
  • It was grown in France as an ornamental garden plant since 1580.
  • The general acceptance of the potato as food was not helped when it was first tried out in England at the court of Queen Elizabeth. No one thought of telling the poor cook what part of the plant was edible, so he served the leaves. ..Oh my!