Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

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A friend of ours recently proclaimed that “Surely no-one has all the ingredients necessary for a cake at all times!” I kept quiet about the my stash of my favourite cake mix and answered with a resounding, “Yes, cake recipes usually require so much butter! It is rare that I’ll have a full stick of butter on hand.”

I didn’t lie, I often don’t have enough butter for a full recipe which is how this chocolate chip cookie recipe came about. My sweet tooth demanded some chocolatey-goodness so I took a recipe I’d been meaning to try for a while, made some adjustments (replacements and halving the recipe) and I won’t look back! I’ve made fairly good chocolate chip cookies before but everyone that tasted one of my latest creations has been demanding more of this version. It is the perfect balance of sweet, salt and crispy-ness with a gooey centre.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cake flour minus 2 table spoons
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 160 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup treacle sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 90 g dark chocolate slab, roughly chopped into chunks

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Method

  1. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  3. Mix in the dry ingredients with electric beater. Add the chocolate chips last.
  4. Cover the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for 4 – 24 hours.*
  5. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
  6. Roll the dough in your hand to make small balls approximately 3 cm in diameter and press then down slightly on a prepared baking tray (baking paper sprayed with Spray & Cook). I made two batches and the ones I didn’t press down were smaller, thicker and wasn’t as crispy.
  7. Bake biscuits for approximately 15 – 20 minutes.
  8. Let biscuits cool on a cooling rack before serving.

* I haven’t tested this yet, but apparently the longer you refrigerate the dough the better the results are.

Mine made about 11 cookies (It is possible that I ate more than one cookie’s weight in raw dough though)

 

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Strawberry Frosé

Strawberry Frosé Drinks

Summer isn’t quite here yet, but if you’d like to help it along or find yourself in a warmer clime these frosé drinks are exactly what you need! Super quick and easy to make, yet so impressive when served in sugar rimmed glasses! These are the perfect addition to any summer party, or reason enough to convert your next Netflix and chill session into a mini party.

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Raspberry Bakewell Cake

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This recipe is the ultimate celebration of raspberries in my books. I love whipping it up at the height of raspberry season when they are at their sweetest. I’ve yet to meet someone who can say no to this, it has even been known to convert some non-berry eaters… So hurry and buy a fresh punnet of raspberries whilst they are still in season, this recipe doesn’t deserve frozen berries.

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Winter Bean Soup

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I feel like I have to preface this recipe by stating that I am not a big fan of beans, but in an attempt to eat more healthy I have tried a whole bunch of new recipes that are high on vegies and low on cholesterol. This recipe by Estée Lalonde (Essie Button) is one of my favourites! I just reduce the beans and double up on the good stuff like the garlic. This is a slight variation of the original recipe posted by Estée, but if you’d like to see a video you can do so right here.

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Ingredients:

  • 5 zucchini, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 medium butternut, skinned and chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper & paprika, to taste
  • 1 can tomato
  • 1 tbs vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can butter beans

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Method:

  1. In a large baking tray, add all your vegies, onion, garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper before baking for 20-30 minutes at 200C, or until all the vegies are soft.
  2. In a large cast iron pot, add 1 litre of water, the stock, veggies, tomato and Worcester sauce. Bring to the boil before turning it down to a simmer. Continue stirring every now and again until it is nearly the consistency you want.
  3. At this stage I like to remove just over half of the soup to blend it in my blender. If you like a very chunky soup you can completely skip this step.
  4.  Drain the beans before stirring it in to the soup. If you blended half of the soup, remember to stir this back in to the soup on the stove.

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Makes about 6 servings.

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Homemade Granola

Homemade Granola

Most mornings I can’t be bothered with preparing any kind of breakfasts that takes more than a few seconds to throw together, so some kind of cereal usually makes it way into my bowl (I’ve also been known to accidentally add coffee which is not so great!) I’m a creature of habit, so I’ll go weeks on one cereal before becoming so sick of it that I have to find an alternative. At the moment it is this homemade granola, which I can’t see myself getting sick of for quite some time. It is great served with both Greek yoghurt or milk and I love the unexpected element that the lime adds. This recipe is fully customisable and I think nuts would also work very well with this granola.

Ingredients

  • 600 g rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of all spice
  • 2 tbs sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbs pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbs currants or raisins
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 200 g butter
  • 100g demerara sugar
  • 4 tbs golder syrup

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. Combine the oats, spices, seeds, zest and fruit in a bowl and give it a proper stir.
  3. Melt the butter on the stove and stir in the sugar and syrup until it all melts together.
  4. Combine the butter mixture with the oats mixture until everything is covered.
  5. When all the oats are moist, empty it out onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. I like to stir through it halfway.
  6. Once it is golden brown, turn off the oven and allow to cool inside.
  7. Once cool, break up the pieces and store in an airtight concealer. This lasts me a good two weeks.
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Italian Bolognese Recipe

Spaghetti 4I really favour simple meals that are bursting with flavour, especially when I am the one preparing it! A traditional Italian bolognese sauce served with pasta is one of my husband’s favourite meals and it is super simple and quick to prepare. I personally prefer penne pasta, but spagetthi is traditional. This is also the same meat sauce I use for my lasagne.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs sunflower oil
  • 4 Shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 500 g Extra Lean Beef Mince
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes with Italian Herbs
  • 2 tbs chutney
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • water or 1 glass red wine
  • fresh basil leaves, to taste and extra for serving
  • 300-400 g dried Penne Pasta
  • Parmesan for serving

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Method:

  1. In a non-stick saucepan, stir-fry the thinly sliced shallots, minced garlic, celery and carrot before adding the minced beef.
  2. Once the mince has browned add the canned tomatoes, chutney, worchestershire sauce and tomato paste.
  3. Gently stir and let it simmer before adding  a few basil leaves. You might find the need to add a lit bit of water if your sauce becomes to thick. If you have an already open bottle of red wine, it is worth adding a glass to your sauce. This isn’t necessary, but is a nice addition when possible.
  4. Leave the saucee simmering while starting with the pasta.
  5. Bring a litre water to the boil in a pot before adding a little bit of cooking oil and the pasta. Cook until al dente, usually around 7 minutes.
  6. Serve the pasta, topped with the spaghetti sauce, fresh basil and grated parmesan.

Serves 4

 

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The Pink Lemonade Kick

DSC_1986I love celebrating Christmas in South Africa. Our holidays are not traditional in the sense that we usually celebrate them on the beach or by a pool, so I thought something simple and refreshing is in order. I also wanted to find a drink that would taste equally good with and sans alcohol as we have very strict (and needed) laws regarding driving under the influence. A bonus is that it is really quick and easy to throw together!

DSC_1985All you need is:

  • 250 ml lemonade (not too fleshy)
  • 200 ml cranberry juice
  • 15 ml rose syrup
  • 20 ml vodka
  • mint
  • frozen raspberries
  • ice

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Steps:

  1. Combine your lemonade, cranberry juice, rose syrup and voda. The syrup might need a stir to dissolve.
  2. Pour over ice into glasses for serving. Garnish with fresh mint and frozen raspberries. Grapes and other berries also work well.

Easy peasy, just the way I like it. You could replace the vodka and rose syrup with more cranberry juice if so desired, but they really elevate it.DSC_1990

P.S. If you like the coasters, please check back next week for a quick DIY!

 

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Meal Planning Tips

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For someone who likes making list, I am surprisingly bad at meal planning. I guess it boils down to simply making and taking the time for it. I used to be quite good at it as a student- mostly because I had to be (I didn’t have a car to drive to the grocery store). So depending on which way you look at it, I might be the best or the worst person to offer advice on the subject. Either way here goes!

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Caramel Popcorn Cake

DSC_9959title Ryno’s birthday was nearly a month ago already and I am only getting around to share the special cake I made for him now. That is how behind on blogging schedule I am! But better late than never! I copped out and bought a box cake because I actually like this particular one and it is quite affordable. I just add one extra egg.

Any vanilia sponge cake recipe should work though!

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I made two layers of vanilla cake and a whole lotta buttercream icing that I flavoured caramel. Inbetween the two layers I put some homemade toffee sauce. I used this recipe which actually tastes great with just about anything!

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I finished it off by garnishing with caramel popcorn, which was a great addition! I would just advise you to leave it off until right before you eat it. Or you can create a nice little challenge for yourself. Hint: it involves eating an entire cake in one day!

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Orange Chicken Burger

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I’ve never been particularly health-conscious so when given the option between white or rye for instance, I’ve always gone with what I most crave. Lately however I’ve been hunting and curating more healthy-ish recipes as I try to be more conscious of what I put into my body. Whilst a burger would probably never be considered healthy, the orange chicken definitely is and eating it on a bun is just one of many ways you can enjoy it. So here follows one of my favourite recipes and it is definitely a crowd pleaser!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 Orange
  • 4-pack skinless chicken breasts
  • Ground pepper
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 2 Tbls Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • 4 Ciabatta Buns
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Salad dressing or tangy mayonaisse

Steps:

  1. Combine the orange juice and chopped garlic in a large shallow bowl.
  2. Thinly slice the chicken breasts. This seemed impossible to me until I saw someone else do it, now it is one of the easiest things in the world. You’ll have to work with a sharp serrated knife and then simply apply pressure on each breast with the palm of your hand as you start slowly slicing into it. You should be able to slice each breast into three or four layers.
  3. Marinade the chicken breast in the orange and garlic and give it a good grinding of pepper.
  4. Wash and peel the cucmber into thin slices. A cheese slicer works well for this. Then marinade it in the balsamic and sugar dressing.
  5. Heat up a non-stick pan with a little oil and try to first drain all the orange marinade into the pan. As soon the mixture starts browning you can add the chicken. Remove from pan as soon as it has turned a delicious shade of caramel.
  6. Dress your bun with the mustard, mayo and cucumber before adding the chicken on top.
  7. Dig in!

P.S. I also really enjoy this as a salad. Just add some rocket and avocado.

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