Thursday, 28 March 2013

Eat Like Jared Padalecki

Hi peeps

Okay well its Easter weekend so with the public holiday tomorrow and monday I will only blog again on Tuesday. Hope ya'll have your Easter eggs ready and painted and remember the true meaning behind Easter too. Its not all about the eggs either.


Right, well, today we Eat Like Dean Winchester's brother, Sam Winchester. Jared Tristan Padalecki plays Sam Winchester and he is 6 foot 4 inches tall (wow that's huge, Craig is 6 foot 2 inches!) And they even make jokes about it in the Supernatural series. Crowley gives Sam the nicknames "Jolly Green"; "Moose" and "Giraffe"; because of his height. Jared's favourite food is cheeseburgers with lettuce and mustard and he adores Italian Food. His favourite book is The Great Gatsby and his favourite movie is Good Will Hunting. Jensen was Jared's best man at his wedding; he married Genevieve Cortese (who played the part of Ruby) and they have a child together. Jared was also born in Texas like Jensen. Seems Texas boys are sexy, hahahha.
Jared and Jensen are quite close (in a non bromance kinda way) and get along like a house on fire. So today I am gonna do a cool burger recipe for our friend, Jared.

Craig's Homemade Beef Patties:

Ingredients:
1kg beef minced meat
1tablespoon Portuguese Steak Spice
1tsp black pepper
1tblsp Braai Spice (BBQ spice)
2tsp of salt
1tsp Rosemary
1tsp crushed garlic
1tsp sweet basil
2 eggs
Some flour

Method:
Bomb your mince in a bowl and add your spices and the garlic. Mix well with your hands. Now crack in the eggs and mix again, slowly add flour until the meat is binded. Divide the meat mixture into 8 equal portions, roll into balls and then flatten into your desired thickness. Fry as directed below. (this makes 2 patties each for a family of 4)
Burgers
Ingredients:

Craig's homemade beef patties.
Bacon
Fried Eggs
Cheese
Tomato slices
Lettuce
Carmalized onions
Fried mushrooms
Sweet mustard or bbq sauce.
Fresh seeded buns
Some butter
Garlic
Black pepper

Method:
Fry your onions and mushrooms together and add the patties and bacon to the mix, let them all fry together with some garlic and black pepper.
Slice your buns (hahahaha); butter and then build your burger with all the ingredients. Once you've added the meats then bomb some sweet mustard in the juices and toss it through, you can use that as your burger sauce.

We made these burgers ourselves and they were totally amazing! For some reason I find that home made burgers are always the best! And home made patties even better than store-bought ones.
Enjoy your family this Easter and be safe while driving to your destinations! See you on Tuesday again!

Happy Easter!
Chef Shants xxxxx

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

FUNKY BERRIES

Hi peeps!

So I've been recovering from the flu and while I've been sick I've also been craving biscuits. (Of all the things to crave......*sigh*) and I thought I'd share some awesomely different recipes with you today. I must also add that my girls have been marvellous and have been nursing me back to health like real little doctors; omw; I feel more and more blessed every day with them and hope to be fully recovered for the easter egg hunt on the weekend! Can't believe that Easter is already here....where did the time go?
Today I have three easy recipes for you and hope that you'll enjoy making them as much as myself and my girls have!

Cathy Matthews Decadent Strawberries
Ingredients
Punnets of de-stemmed Strawberries, washed
Punnet of Blueberries, washed
Some sugar
Your fav bar of chocolate (Cathy uses Hersheys, I like Cadbury's or Bourneville Dark Chocolate)
Whipped Cream or Custard

Method:
De-stem your strawberries and make a small hole in its centre, enough to fit a blueberry in. Stand these strawberries on their points in a round glass bowl, fill the bowl so that the strawberries help hold each other up. Pop a blueberry in each strawberry and then fill the hole with sugar. Melt down your fav choccie and drizzle generously over the top to seal the berries inside. You can eat these with Whipped cream or custard.

Frozen Berries with Hot White Chocolate Sauce
Ingredients:
1kg packet of Mixed Frozen Berries (can get them from Woolies or buy some berries, mix them and freeze)
3slabs white chocolate (I like using Milkybar)
A dash of cream.

Method:
In a double boiler, melt down your 3 bars of choc and add a dash of cream once they're melted. Pop a generous amount of frozen berries in a pudding glass and then pour the hot white chocolate over the berries. Serve immediately.




Blueberry and Blackberry Pizza
Ingredients:
1 homemdade or store-bought pizza base
1 tub Feta Cheese, plain
2cups blue and blackberries
2 tblspn either basil or mint
Weeny bit of black pepper
A dash of balsamic vinegar.

Method:
Place all your ingredients on the pizza base and bake until base is golden brown. Dash some balsamic vinegar over just before serving.
This pizza is berry berry nice! Lol

And that's our yummy berry recipes for today!! I'm nuts about berries and will do a couple more berry recipes soon. Have an awesome wednesday!

Be Berry Happy, peeps!

Chef Shants. Xxxxx

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

What To Eat or What Not To Eat, That Is The Question!

Hi peeps!

YAY!!!!! I am so ecstatically uberly over the moon! My awesome cuzzie, Yolandie Horak (blog link on the right) and her hubby, Jan Horak are expecting their first baby together! The whole family is going absolutely nuts and I wanna say a HUGE congrats to them both! SO EXCITED!!!

So here, for Yolandie and for you if you're expecting, is a list of foods you can eat and what is best to avoid. Please bare in mind that there are still some debates over certain foods, but until it is settled, rather just be safe than sorry, yes!


What Foods You Can Eat:

1. Wholegrains
2. Berries (like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries etc)
3. Beans
4. Yoghurt

What to Avoid:

1. Soft Cheeses
Like Bree, Camembert and Chevre. Even Roquefort, Gorgonzola and Danish Blue should be avoided as they are ripened using a mould that may contain listeria bacteria which will cause Listerosis Infection thay can lead to severe illness, miscarriage or stillborn babies.

2. Raw or Unpasteurized Milk or Juice

3. Eggs
Always eat only very well done eggs. Don't eat homemade mayo or drink eggnogg as eggs can contain Salmonella and lead to severe food poisoning. Remember, your immune system is changing now due to your bun in the oven; so that makes you more susceptible to getting infections and illnesses.

4. P`at`es
Goose liver Pate, even Veggie pate is a no-no. These can also contain Listeria.

5. Meat
Don't eat raw/underdone/bloody meat. Take care with vienna type sausages and minced meats; even cold meats should be avoided, or at least stick your sarmie in the micro and nuke it to kill any parasites first. Also try avoid bacon and sausage as they are nitrate rich which isn't good for baby and is linked with brain tumours.

6. Fish
Certain fish such as raw shellfish, sushi, shark, swordfish, should be avoided completely as they are methyl mercury enriched and mercury can stay in your system for up to four years. So if you are trying to get preggers, rather avoid these fishies. Oily fish such as tuna, should be eaten in very small doses. Smoked and pickled fish should also be avoided as the "off" smell could be stifled and damaged cans could contain Botulism or Listeria.

7. Liver
Liver pates and spreads are high in VITAMIN A. Too much vitamin A is extremely bad for baby so avoid rich in vitamin A foods and supplements.

8. Alcohol.
Some studies show that a glass of wine a day won't do damage but I think its best to abstain completely for your health as well as baby's. Excessive alcohol intake can cause FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome).

9.Caffeine
Having one cup of coffee a day is fine but remember, caffeine is in certain foods and even in certain medicines (cough mixtures) and in soft drinks too. So read the label!!! Too much caffeine can cause miscarriages or even low birth weight for baby

10. Wash all your fruits and veggies thoroughly
Salmonella, E.Coli and Toxoplasmosis can be found in soil or dirts left on veggies and fruits; so wash them very well before preparing. Eating cooked food is better than eating it raw because you immediately lower the risk of picking up a tummy bug. Once again; your immune system is changing now and you are more vulnerable; so what might be a mild case of the runny tums for someone not pregnant; can cause severe dehydration, hospitalization and even death for you. Cheerful isn't it?

SO WASH YOUR VEGGIES AND FRUITS WELL!!! And make sure all your meat and eggs are cooked through till not even a Vet will be able to save them!

Look after yourselves moms-to-be and congratulations!!

Chef Shants xxxxx

Monday, 25 March 2013

Akira's 10 Minute Bacon and Cheese Noodles

Hi peeps!

And here we find ourselves blessed with a new week, a new week to make it count! Do something great and make yourself feel proud; spread some smiles and tell some jokes; Mondays are what you make of them, so let's spread some love!

One of the most popular posts is where Akira cooks; she asks me to thank you all for taking a peek at it and wanted to share another quick and easy recipe for you to share with your children. They will love these noodles and also be so proud that they helped mom and dad by cooking dinner; I also guarantee that mom and dad will be going back for seconds. This is Akira's 10 minute Bacon and Cheese Noodles...

Ingredients
1 kg bacon bits
4 packets of instant noodles, cheese flavour (we used four packets because there are four of us so its one packet per person).
A tablespoon of salted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons of crushed garlic.
1 cup cheddar cheese




Method:
1. Melt the butter in a large pot and add your garlic, give it a bit of a simmer on medium heat.
2. Add your bacon bits and fry until bacon is done.
3. Open the noodle packets and take out the flavour sachet inside; now crush the noodles and add into the bacon.
4. Boil some water in your kettle; pour all the flavourings into a 330ml cup and top up with water. Stir it with a fork. Now add it in to the bacon and add two more cups of boiling water. (Less water is needed is you use less packets of noodles)
5. Pop the lid on and let it sit for 3 minutes
6. Add in the cup of grated cheese and serve with a smile :-D
By note: the bacon bits and the seasoning are salty enough so no extra salt or pepper needs to be added.

Stormy was kind enough to help her sister by popping the noodles in the pot; its a nice way to get them to work together and feel proud of themselves while doing it. I was also lucky with the dishes- because there were so little; Stormy washed and Akira dried them and packed them away, so mom had the whole night off....I just stood and took as many photos as I could and made sure that they both adhered to the safety rules of the kitchen. I, unfortunately don't have a fancy camera and have to use my phone to take the photos of the recipes we do at home so I do apologize for the low quality.

We were also further spoiled by Akira who served dessert; we had sliced bananas and apples with honey and yohgurt. Nice way to round off an easy and tasty meal. I will be doing more of Akira and Storm's recipes in the upcoming weeks. Akira's advice for the kitchen is this:

1. Always wash your hands before cooking
2. Let mom or dad help take lids off pots because the steam can burn.
3. Let mom and dad help when chopping or slicing until you can do it safely by yourself.
4. Clean up your surfaces and throw away peels and empty packets as you go along; the cleaner you leave the kitchen, the more often mom and dad will let you cook.
5. Always have fun! Cooking and baking is loads of fun and makes you feel good. Especially when people go back for seconds!
6. Eat salad with every meal possible because salad is good for you.
 
And here we have another succesful kiddie meal! Thanks to Akira and Stormy for the wonderful treats. Mom and Dad love you very much. <3

Love your children deeply, peeps!

Chef Shants xxxxx

Friday, 22 March 2013

Eat Like Jensen Ackles

Hi peeps,

Say it with me now: FRIDAY!!! *happy wiggles*!! The weekend is here and its time to let our hair down and have a lil fun. My Eat Like today is Jensen Ross Ackles, he is known as Dean Winchester from the tv series, Supernatural. I am crazy mad about this series and have seen every episode in the last 8 seasons!! My favourite episode is "Yellow Fever".
Jensen's name is so unusual because his mom and dad took 3 days to name him. They did consider names such as Jason and Justin but found that these were just too common so twisted them and came up with Jensen. Pretty cool I think. As with Ian from last week, Jensen has been modeling since the age of 4 and intended to study Sports Medicine and become a physiotherapist or a High School Coach. He is a huge sports fan and has been since his younger days. His favourite food is steak and he really doesn't like sushi; his fav junk food is granola bars and he is not a fan of fast foods.

I found this really cool Steak and Salsa Verde recipe from Jamie Oliver on www.jamieoliver.com and I had to share it! It sounds so delish.

For the steak:

1 lb quality flank steak
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, halved

For the Mexican salsa verde:

1 small bunch fresh cilantro
1 small bunch fresh mint, leaves picked
1 clove garlic, peeled
1-2 fresh jalapeno or serrano chillies, seeded
4 large scallions, trimmed
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
juice of 1-2 limes
1 tablespoon olive oil
⅛ teaspoon salt

Method:

Take your steak out of the refrigerator and let it get up to room temperature while you make your salsa.
Get yourself a good knife and a big cutting board. Set aside a few of the cilantro leaves, then chop the top of the bunch, stalks and all, with the mint leaves, garlic, chiles, scallions, and tomatoes until it's all very fine – watch your fingers here! Sprinkle over a pinch of the salt and pepper, then add most of the lime juice and a good lug of extra virgin olive oil. Mix together on the board, taste it, season with the remaining salt, pepper, lime juice, or chile, and put it into a bowl ready to go.

Get a frying pan, grill pan, or outdoor grill screaming hot and season both sides of your steaks with the salt, pepper, and a good lug of olive oil.

Add the steaks to the pan or grill. Your steaks should take about 6 to 7 minutes per side to cook depending on how you like them. As it cooks, rub the steak with the cut side of the garlic clove for some extra flavor.
When the steaks are perfectly cooked to your liking, move them to a plate to rest for a few minutes.
Cut the flank against the grain and with the knife at an angle to the board into ¼-inch-thick slices, and arrange them on a large serving platter or divide between your plates.

Finish with a few dollops of salsa, and scatter over your remaining cilantro leaves. Drizzle over any resting juices and let everyone tuck in.

Jamie's top tips:

* Make sure your meat is at room temperature before you start cooking – that way it will cook at the same temperature all the way through.
* It's really important to rest the meat once it's cooked. It allows the juices to settle, so you don't lose them all when you slice or carve the steak.

Here's also an easy Granola Bar recipe, this is also a great idea for packing in your kiddies school lunch boxes:

Ingredients:

1 cup semisweet choc chips
1 cup sliced almonds
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup cranberries
1 tin condensed milk
1 cup dessicated coconut
2 tablespoons melted butter.

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 175C and grease a baking tray.
2. Mix all the ingredients into a bowl, you can use your hands, its easier. Press it into the baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes
3. Allow to cool before cutting in to squares or bars and keep in an airtight container.

Oooooo yummy! I'm loving both these recipes because they're so easy and just make your mouth water. And there you have it! A super menu for a Supernatural dude!

Have a super duber uber weekend peeps! Till Monday...

Chef Shants xxxxx

Thursday, 21 March 2013

When The Red Flower Blooms...

(Please ask Mom to read this first and give permission for you to read if you are under 18)

Hi All

Today's topic is mainly for the ladies; but if you are a man in a relationship then I suggest you take a read too; this is valuable information that will assist you in helping your wife/ girlfriend when her red flower blooms. I am really lucky with my hubby because he not only understands but is sensitive and comforting when "that time of the month" arrives for me. After having three kids and two epidurals later, I really have a tough time when the red car parks in my garage. Menstrual cramps are horrific, whether they be mild or severe (as in my case) and I have done extensive research to help find natural foods and Beverages that could help ease this nightmarish pain. Not only the pain, but the other side effects too; such as nausea; vomiting, migraines, hormone-imbalances and aching bones; even acne break outs included.

To help with menstrual cramps eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and drink loads of water, this helps to flush out the higher acidity levels in your body to fight against acne break outs. Eat foods high in fibre; fibre is useful in cleansing the body of excess estrogen (which leads to more severe cramping and gas). Vitamin E, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Zinc help to fight against cramps and bloating. Peppermint is amazing for this time of the month! Not only is it a natural digestive agent but it also contains anti-spasmodic and anti-gas properties too. Peppermint tea tastes good and will help with relief. Lay off the alcohol and caffeine; such as coffee, while on your cycle; coffee makes the cramps that much worse. Replace it with milk, cheese and yoghurt. Bananas, Avocados, Dried Apricots, Dried Prunes, Spinach and Chocolate all help with reducing cramps and muscle soreness. Chamomile tea and Ginger tea help to relax over-worked muscles and heats the body from the inside. Ground Flaxseeds and tuna and salmon contain high doses of Omega-3, this is also useful in alleviating those horrid cramps.

Other ways to reduce the pain are: getting in some light exercise, taking a walk or yoga. Fill a hot water bottle or buckwheat microwave baggie to place on the paining area. Keep your feet warm! (I am terrible with this because I am forever barefoot and used to think this was an old-wives tale, but its really not!)

This next advice is for married women only: sexual activity also helps as orgasms release oxytocin which causes uterine contractions that help release the pain and add blood flow to the affected areas. Increased blood flow brings more oxygen to the uterus and helps with easing cramps. But please; use this method only if you are married or in an adult relationship. Teenage girls should rather use the steps provided above and abstain from sexual activity until the appropriate time.

Remember to have regular check ups with your gynae and look after yourself. As horrible as menstrual cycles are we must remember that they are a gift from God; the gift to be able to create new life. This is an honour and we should cherish it. Dads, hubbies and boyfriends, please be sensitive when this time of the month happens for us girls and remember that pms-ing and moods swings are not our choice; as a matter of fact: menstrual cramps are really very crappy so please be kind and understand.

Hope this information helps!

Look after yourselves ladies.

Chef Shants xxxxx

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

14 Handy Uses For Salt

Hi peeps!

Thank you to each of you who view the blog every day. I am so grateful and appreciate it loads! If you have any suggestions or would like one of your own recipe's featured, please contact me on shantsjlucas@gmail.com and we can set it up! You can also email me with any comments or suggestions too, your opinion is valued. Well today I have another article to share with you; some funky uses for salt! Tracy Drozd posted these uses on her wall and I thought they were pretty awesome:

1. If you drop a whole egg on
the floor, pour salt all over the
egg, let it sit for awhile, then
use dustpan, the egg will come
right up, without all that mess.

2. Soak stained hankies in salt
water before washing.

3. Sprinkle salt on your shelves
to keep ants away.

4. Soak fish in salt water
before descaling; the scales
will come off easier.

5. Put a few grains of rice in
your saltshaker for easier
pouring.

6. Add salt to green salads to
prevent wilting.

7. Test the freshness of eggs
in a cup of salt water; fresh
eggs sink;bad ones float.

8. Add a little salt to your
boiling water when cooking
eggs; a cracked egg will stay in
its shell this way.

9. A tiny pinch of salt with egg
whites makes them beat up
fluffier.

10. Soak wrinkled apples in a
mildly salted water solution to
perk them up.

11. Rub salt on your pancake
griddle and your flapjacks
won't stick.

12. Soak toothbrushes in salt
water before you first use
them; they will last longer.

13. Use salt to clean your
discolored coffee pot.

14. Mix salt with turpentine to
whiten you bathtub and toilet
bowl.

Pretty nifty right?! Thanks to Tracy Drozd for sharing this awesome bit of info.

Much love, peeps

Chef Shants xxxxx

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

CousCous; Easter Eggs and Caramel Apples

Hi peeps!

Hope ya'll had a good Monday. I'm sitting with two sick babies who have kindly shared their flu with me; we are such a close family that we share everything, even the sniffles it seems. But its all good because it gives me an excuse to dodge the washing hahaha :-D.

I was chatting to a friend of mine from Cape Town, Amanda Smith (Mandy), last week and she was telling me that her boss had kindly bought her a cous cous salad for lunch. (Kudos to Mandy's boss!! You're awesome!!). I happen to love cous cous and; on discussing it further with my sister-in-law; Evie, I had to agree that cous cous does tend to be a bit dry. So I went ahead and found this lovely moist couscous recipe. It comes in two versions: Spicy and non-spicy; it is also a VEGETARIAN DISH hahahaha (although you could add grilled chicken strips if you'd like) I also have another way to do candy eggs, shared with me by Jon Dalton, an old school pal of mine and Nancy Lucas Senn has once again proven to be awesome and provided me with a totally cool and easy way to do candy apples! Here's how these recipes go:

Bell Pepper Cous Cous

Ingredients:

1 cup cous cous
1 cup boiling water
3 tblspns of olive oil
1 crushed clove of garlic
1 cup diced bell peppers
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (my fav)
6 fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Balsamic vinegar
1 cup parmesan cheese

Method:

1. Boil your water and add the cous cous, return to heat and boil till cous cous is cooked, pop lid on pot and remove from stove, allow cous cous to steam for about 10 minutes.
2. Heat the oil in a pan, add the veggies and saute. Add your spices and the basil and toss through.
3. Heat your oven to 175C and transfer the cous cous into a casserole dish. Dash with balsamic vinegar. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes and sprinkle over parmesan cheese on serving.

You can also spice it up a bit by adding 3 pods of star anise, 2 tspns of curry powder and a tsp of cinnamon. Craig likes to add dried chillies for some extra oomph.

Easter Eggs

You can buy some of those white coated candy eggs and some food colouring. In a plastic cup, add the food colouring and a quarter water, pop the egg in and slowly, over time, add a little more water until the whole egg is covered. This gives the egg an awesome effect! Thanks Jon for the share!

Candy Apples:

Take some large green apples and halve them and hollow them out. Use a muffin pan to balance the halves while you make some caramel. Now pour the caramel into the halves and allow to cool and harden before slicing them into bite sizes!! Easy hey! Thanks Nancy for another great idea.

I truly appreciate so many people who share their ideas daily with me. The girls and I try each recipe the moment we have the time and all the ingredients and; naturally, because most of them are sweet, Craig has been in 7th heaven for the past few weeks. (I can see a dentist appointment looming closer lol). Thank you all.

Have a sweet 'n spicy day, peeps! Peace out!

Chef Shants and friends. Xxxxx

Monday, 18 March 2013

Butter vs Margerine

Hi all!

I'd like to firstly also send a shout out to the Van Zyl family and Van Tonder family too! Love to all <3.
In our house we pay a bit extra and eat butter rather than margarine, this was done more out of preference than for any other reason. Also, because I do so much baking, I prefer to use butter because it just adds that little bit more awesomeness to any dish that you use it in. Its basically the same with olive oil vs cooking oil. We prefer the olive oil for the natural goodness and health benefits and for the taste compared to cooking oil. I happened to be researching the pros and cons to butter when, quite ironically, Susan Glenny Murphy (a facebook friend of mine), happened to post this article on facebook and I just had to share it with you!

This is interesting . .. .

Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys. When it killed the turkeys, the people who had put all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get their money back.

It was a white substance with no food appeal so they added the yellow colouring and sold it to people to use in place of butter. How do you like it? They have come out with some clever new flavourings....

DO YOU KNOW.. The difference between margarine and butter?

Read on to the end...gets very interesting!

Both have the same amount of calories.
Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams; compared to 5 grams for margarine.
Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical Study.
Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods.
Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few and only because they are added!
Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavours of other foods.
Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years .

And now, for Margarine..

Very High in Trans fatty acids.
Triples risk of coronary heart disease ...
Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol)
Increases the risk of cancers up to five times..
Lowers quality of breast milk
Decreases immune response.
Decreases insulin response.

And here's the most disturbing fact... HERE IS THE PART THAT IS VERY INTERESTING!

Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC... and shares 27 ingredients with PAINT.
These facts alone were enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance).

Open a tub of margarine and leave it open in your garage or shaded area. Within a couple of days you will notice a couple of things:

* no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something)
* it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value ; nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny microorganisms will not a find a home to grow.

Why? Because it is nearly plastic . Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast?

 
I have been absolutely blown away by this info! I hope you have found it interesting too. Join me tomorrow for some awesome Cous Cous recipes and another funky way to do Easter Eggs shared with me by an old school friend, Jonathan Dalton.

Have a buttery Monday peeps!

Chef Shants xxxxx

Friday, 15 March 2013

Eat Like Ian Somerhalder

Hi All
Its Friday today which means we do a menu and "Eat Like" a celeb!! My choice for today's Eat Like blog is Ian Somerhalder; better known as Damon Salvatore in Vampire Diaries. This dude seems to really catch people's eyes with his smoldering eyes. Its no wonder he modeled from the age of 10 coz he's just so darn good-looking. My cousin, Anschke even dubbed him "Ian Smoulderholder" coz he just hypnotizes you with that sinful gaze. I also have a certain friend from Cape Town who absolutely goes gaga over this man.

Personally I think Johnny Depp is better but that's just moi. Okay, so I searched around and got the following info on Ian's favourite foods; seems Mr Sexy Eyes, (Sexthy, M), loves fish. He loves it so much that he eats it every day. I also found that he loves pizza and fruit mince pies. All very yummo indeed and that's what we will make today. Fish and Fruit Mince Pies.

Bourbon Glazed Salmon
(This is taken from Health Recipes)
Ingredients
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
Cooking spray
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

Method:
Combine first 7 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add fish to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 1 1/2 hours, turning occasionally.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add fish and marinade to pan; cook fish 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Place 1 fillet on each of 4 plates; drizzle each serving with about 2 teaspoons sauce. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon green onions and 3/4 teaspoon sesame seeds.

Fruit Mince Pies:
(Recipe taken from The CookBook)
Ingredients:
2 quantities shortcrust pastry
2 jars Christmas fruit mince (I like Robertsons Fruit Mince)
1 egg, whisked with a little milk
Caster sugar for sprinkling (or use icing sugar at the end of cooking)

Method:
Preheat oven to 180°C and grease 2 x 12 hole muffin tins. Roll the pastry out onto a well floured surface (to stop it sticking) to 1/2 cm thick.
Using a round pastry cutter cut 24 x 8 cm rounds and 24 x 6 cms rounds. Gently line the muffin tins with the 8 cm rounds and bake in the oven for 5 minutes until golden brown.
Fill the pre-baked pastry cases with 1 heaped tablespoon of fruit mince. Brush the egg mixture around the top edge of the pastry case and place the 6 cm rounds on as lids. Press to seal the edges, then brush the lids with the egg mixture and lightly sprinkle with caster sugar. Gently press the tip of a knife into the centre of each pie/tart to create a small hole to allow steam to escape.
Bake in the oven for a further 10 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Eat while warm or cold. The tarts will keep well in an airtight container for about a week (if they don’t all get munched)!

So Ian, better come hungry for more than blood dude, coz these recipes kick butt almost as good as you do!

Wishing ya'll a great weekend! Imma be spending some funky quality time with my family, hope you do the same. Keep Safe!! Stay sweet.

Chef Shants xxxxx

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Shant's Stir Fry

Hi peeps!

One more day to go then we have our Friday! Too cool for school, really :-D. Well, so far there's been quite a bit of stuff I've chatted about this week and I forgot to tell ya'll about my experience at the shops with the girls the other day. So here we are minding our own business and doing our shopping; on our way to the exit; Akira yells: "What's that, Stormy?" and Stormy yells back: "Its a hairyshopper! A hairyshopper, Mommy, LOOK!!". So now, naturally, I'm looking around to spot this unfortunate shopper who resembles Cousin It and is in dire need of some Veet Hair Removal Cream......only for Akira to say: "Look! There it is, Mom" and points to the helicopter passing quite near to the shopping centre. So I get down on my haunches and ask Stormy: "Is that what you saw, baby? A helicopter?" And she says back to me: "Well that's what I told you, mommy! Its a hairyshopper!!". OH MY GIDDY AUNT!!!! The way I was laughing so loud! I think I scared the car guards coz they were looking just about ready to pepperspray my laughing ass. *sigh* Its worth being a mother just for these moments alone <3.

And it just so happens that we had delicious Stir Fry on that day. So to commemorate all the hairyshoppers out there, here's my Stir Fry recipe:

Ingredients:
Some oil
A tsp of crushed garlic
1 cup Thinly sliced carrots
1 cup Thinly sliced red + green+ yellow peppers
1 cup Thinly chopped onion
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup diced pineapple
500g beef strips/ chicken strips /pork strips
1 tablespoon apricot jam
Kikomon Soy Sauce
Salt and pepper
Wasabi and ginger (if desired)

Method:
1 heat oil in a large frying pan or a wok if you have one. Add the meat and toss through oil until it is sealed.
2. Add more oil and garlic, toss through with meat.
3. Add all your veggies and fry till cooked through but still crispy.
4 Add salt/pepper, pineapple, apricot jam and give it a good stir.
5. Drizzle over some Kikomon Soy Sauce and toss through stir fry for 3 minutes.
6. Serve on a bed of fried egg rice or with egg noodles and with wasabi and ginger for those who are braver than I am. Serves 4
And you guessed it. I was tossing beef strips with julienned veggies and still chuckling quite wonderfully to my mad self. Now I just can't seem to get it out my head! I did correct Stormy, of course, but whose gonna correct me now when I say it out loud?!

Have a wonderful Thursday, hairyshoppers.

Chef Shants xxxxx

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Easy Kiddie Easter Egg Recipes.

Hi All
Once again, time seems to be getting the better of us. Easter is just around the corner and thanks to some cool fb peeps like Nancy Lucas Senn (hahaha we got same surname but no relation); I was introduced to two fun ways to do Easter Eggs with your little people. I will also be making these with my kids as well because Craig tends to chomp all the store-bought marshmallow Easter eggs before the Easter egg hunt even begins. Hahaha no kidding around, its so bad that I have to buy a whole box just for Craig so I have eggs left to hide for the girls. Craig + sweet stuff = trouble.

So here's two cool ways to make Easter Eggs with your munchkins:

Easy Marbleized Candy Eggs:
You can buy the six-packs of the white coated candy eggs and then...

1. Spread cheap white shaving cream on a baking sheet
2. Apply drops of neon food coloring across surface
3. Use toothpicks to swirl colors around
4. Roll the white candy-coated easter eggs in the colorful cream (we used disposable kitchen gloves to reduce the tattoo effect)
5. Allow to set for 3-4 minutes on a paper plate
6. Wipe off shaving cream with paper toweling
7. Rinse! Voila! Beautiful marbleized eggs, done quickly!

Jelly 'Deviled' Easter Eggs with Vanilla Filling

Jelly Eggs
(makes 3 whole jelly eggs, or 6 halves)
1 package of jelly, any flavor
1 1/4 cups boiling water
Lightly spray egg mold with non-stick cooking spray. Snap mold together and set it on a small tray to catch any spills. Combine jelly and boiling water together; stir for 3 minutes until the jelly is completely dissolved. Slowly pour mixture into 3 whole eggs (or 6 halves). Repeat as many times as you like, with as many jelly flavors you like, until all your eggs are filled. Chill for at least 4 hours.
When you're ready to unmold the eggs, slowly pry the mold halves apart (I use a butter knife to gently coax the halves apart). Using a sharp chef's knife, cut the eggs in half lengthwise using one continuous motion. Next use a melon ball tool to make a well in the large end of each egg half.

Vanilla Filling
(makes enough to fill about 24 egg halves)
1 tub cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cream
Cream together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Add the cream and whip until stiff peaks form. Put the cream cheese filling into a pastry bag that has been fitted with a star tip and pipe the filling into the egg halves. Chill until service.
How cool is this! Funky hey! Oh boy, better make sure the girls and I make plenty of each coz daddy's gonna be in Easter Egg heaven!

See ya'll tomorrow peeps :-D
Chef Shants xxxxx

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Eve Rich's Savoury Scones :)

Hi peeps!

I gotta say I just love my family. Forrest Gumps' Box O' Chocolates has NOTHING on my dizzy fandamily and I just luurve them all to bits and pieces; seeing as the whole box of us are nuttier than squirrel poo. I had such a lovely discussion with Anschke Wessels (her blog link is on the right!), we are 'apparently' gonna start designing our own range of Designer Nappies - it branched out from there to soema include Lip Nappies (don't ask.....) and a new range of Nappy Cakes. Here we are still deciding on calling the range either Nakes or Cakkies. (Although I said to Annie that "cakkie" sounds like something you might find IN a nappy!) A cakkie nappy.......oooh eh eh...... LOL :-D

 HA HAAA! Aah well.....if you breathe, you're alive and if you're alive, you can dream....
Today I am quite privileged to introduce you all to my wonderful mom-in-law; Eve. I am now sitting here enjoying a nice cuppa tea with her - we are such teapots! This awesome lady is so talented! You must see her paintings...totally amazing and she even designed my gorgeous wedding dress too!! My mom is very good with baking; her cheesecake speaks in languages (mostly english..... but you know what I mean :P) and her carrot cake is DIVINE!! You want delicious biscuit recipes? Mom Eve is the Queen of biscuits! (Just don't ask her to grill ribs or make rice.....that always ends in the family rolling on the floor, biting chunks outta the carpet! I still love you any way mom!! LOL). But I guarantee that these scones are so delicious that they gonna make your mouth wanna scrumch on them and not chunks of carpet. So here's Eve's awesome recipe:

Ingredients:
2. cups self raising flour
1. pinch salt
1. level tsp origanum
25 ml finely chopped onion
25 ml finely chopped yellow pepper
25 ml finely chopped red pepper
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
10g butter or margarine
+- 25 ml milk
1 tsp mustard
Method:
Sift all dry ingredients together , rub in butter or margarine till resembles crumbs , add in milk mix very well till drop consistency . Grease oven tray , add table spoonfuls of mixture onto oven tray , bake at 180 degrees , for +- 15 mins till golden brown on top , serve hot with butter or margarine . Makes +- 12 .

Too cool really! Well I'm off to bake scones and drink tea with mom Eve and then design more Nakes and Cakkies with cousin Annie....
Have a TERRIFIC TUESDAY, peeps!
Chef Shants xxxxx

Monday, 11 March 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO......

Hi all!

I wanna scream HAPPY BIRTHDAY to both Don Munro who had his bday this weekend and also to my beautiful cuzzie, Charne Wessels, whose bday is today!!! LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!

I had such an awesome weekend. I spent Saturday with my adopted mother, Deserae Van Wyk and two of my baby chicks; doing what girls do best! Shopping and breakfast :-D Sunday I spent with my chicks baking in the kitchen; unfortunately I couldn't bake Don a cake coz he lives too far and BBM hasn't quite developed a "send cake" option; but I was granted the opportunity to bake a cake for Charne and decided to spoil her with a Chocolate Mousse cake!

I made Chocolate Mousse Cake on Friday and didn't have a slice coz I'm trying to be really good. As a matter of fact, I even posted the following comment on my fb wall.....: Dear Slice of Chocolate Mousse Cake........YOU SHALL NOT SWAY ME WITH YOUR JEDI MIND TRICKS!!!!.......The Fork is strong with me!!!!!!! And lucky it was. But, seeing as I couldn't enjoy a slice, I decided that Charne should have for her birthday!

Right, well....let me tell you a little something about chocolate mousse cakes. They're stuffin' hard to make. No jokes, there's cake and layers and ganache and the mousse and chocolate cream itself and and and.......and I just think that easy recipes are probably the best way to go. This chocolate mousse cake was literally ready in record time. All I did was buy a ready-mix pack of instant chocolate mousse and follow the instructions on the pack. It was awesome coz all it required was water and 250ml of whipped cream, tennis biscuits and butter. I added the caramel, cherries and chocolate icing; the kitkat fence with a ribbon and all that to just to make it more tasty and make it look darn pretty for my cuz; and I added buckets, spades and wheelbarrows of love into the mix too.

So, Charne, hope you have a sweet and moussy day today hun! 24 is still young enough to be naughty and old enough to get away with it! Don, you are now in your dirty thirties so LIVE IT UP!! Wishing you both love and luck today and all days!

Much love, peeps!

Chef Shants xxxxx

Friday, 8 March 2013

Stormy Cooks!!!

Hi peeps!

Its Friday!!! Need I say another word more? I am so excited to be baking a birthday cake for my darling cousin, Charne Wessels! Its gonna be her birthday soon and its time for me to get my creative juices flowing and whip up something totally awesome for this epic chick! I can't deny, I have the coolest, nuttiest family EVAH and I am absolutely blessed! A huge shout out to the entire Wessels, Bezuidenhout, *Oberem and
Lucas peeps!!! Ya'll kick ass and chew bubblegum!

So yesterday Akira showed you how to make yummy mac and cheese. Today, Storm (mommy's little hurricane child) is going to show you how to make a gorgeous Sunday lunch! Aren't I lucky to have such
sweet little chef's?!!!

Stormy's Sunday Lunch

Ingredients: (roast chicken)

8 chicken drumsticks
Chicken spice
Garlic and parsley spice
Salt
Pepper
olive oil





Method:

Pre-heat your oven to 180C. Rinse your drumsticks and pat them dry, pop them in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Spice them generously all over. Bake until cooked through and golden brown.

 Potato and Carrot Mash:
Ingredients:
6 soft cooking potatoes peeled and cubed
2 cups fresh baby carrots
2 tbsp salted butter
Pinch salt
Some brown sugar.

Method:
Boil your carrots and potatoes together in some salted water until very soft. Strain water and then add butter. Mash with a masher until almost smooth. Sprinkle over some brown sugar and mash again. (You can do it savoury and add more salt and pepper instead of sugar).
Serve the roast chicken and potato/carrot mash with steamed mix veg!

And this is how Stormy does it! For all her peeniebudduhs and wompies and funny words and ideas, I can't deny, at 6 years old, she kicks butt in the kitchen!!!

Have yourselves an uber weekend peeps! Check ya'll on Monday!

Chef Shants xxxxx

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Akira's Mac and Cheese!!!

Hi All,
The weekend is almost here which means kicking back and taking it easy, strolls on the beach or walks in the park. I just luurve weekends :)

Weekends are also when mom is given a bit of a break from banging the pots n pans and the girls take over. One even does dishes while the other does the cooking. I am ONE PROUD MOMMY!!!

So here I must mention that my girls are 10, 7 and 6. Nikke being the eldest, Akira next and Storm bringing up the rear. By now ya'll know that I have given birth to my very own Chef de Brigade coz my chicks are forever in the kitchen with me, even my Nikke when she comes to visit from granny's house too! So today Akira's gonna show you how its done!

Akira's Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:
1 packet of macaroni
1 kg beef mince
Some garlic
1 chopped onion
1 tblsp sugar
Some oil
Spices of your choice
2 cups mix frozen veggies
Some All Gold Tomato Sauce
Some Mrs Ball's Fruit Chutney
1 pk Knorr mushroom soup
Salt and pepper
CHEESE

Method:

Boil your water with some salt and a dollop of oil. Add in your macaroni and cook till el dente
In a pan, heat your oil and add your garlic, onion and sugar. Fry together. Now add your mince and fry till cooked, add your spices too. Dollop in some tomato sauce and chutney and stir. Add in your frozen veggies and a little water and simmer until veggies are soft. Now mix your soup with cold water and add to your mince. Simmer gently until thick and yummy! Bomb your mince and macaroni together. Bake in a preheated oven (180C) for about 15 minutes. You can either grate the cheese over before you bake it or afterwards if you don't like crackly cheese. Akira says I must tell you to enjoy this with a yummy salad :)

Stormy made us some delicious roast chicken drumsticks, potato and carrots mashed together and some mixed veg!!! She's one very clever chick :). I will share her recipe tomorrow!
Don't forget to send me an email with any recipe's that you might like to share or just to comment :) shantsjlucas@gmail.com
Also, why not take a look at the other blogs featured on the right hand side of this page!

Have a great Thursday peeps!
Chef Shants xxxxx