Caramel sponge pudding

Caramel sponge pudding
If ever there was an excuse to indulge in some comfort cooking, the chilly winter season is most definitely it. This latest recipe, which was featured in the May/June issue of Cheers magazine, has comfort food written all over it – a classic (dare I say old-fashioned) dessert that you can easily make at home on those cold days.

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Date, carrot and apple muffins with cream cheese topping (refined sugar free)

Date, carrot and apple muffins.
It has been a while since I worked on a muffin recipe and I am rather pleased with this particular one. I was recently invited onto the Expresso Morning Show to present three different, easy recipes with one common ingredient. I chose dates as my star ingredient and wanted to include a baking recipe in one of the cooking segments. That was the inspiration behind these date muffins.

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No-bake chocolate mousse tart (gluten free)

No bake chocolate mousse tart.
Credit for this heavenly recipe goes to my lovely mum. A light and creamy no-bake chocolate tart – it is one of our favourites and always a hit at family shindigs. If I had to imagine biting into a chocolate cloud I think it would be like eating a slice of this! 

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Easy beetroot crisps

Homemade beetroot crisps
I have been making an effort to buy more organic vegetables lately. Besides being good for the family I like the idea of supporting smaller, local farmers… and their produce is fantastic! To make life easier I order a weekly veggie bag which I collect from a nearby organic shop every Wednesday and the kids love unpacking it to see what goodies we have for the week ahead.

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Chocolate, honey and hazelnut fridge fudge

Chocolate fudge with honey and hazelnuts.

I was not quite sure what to call this recipe. It is not really like fudge in the traditional, crystalline sense but something in between fudge and chocolate. The reason for this is that I have sweetened it with honey instead of sugar, giving it a silky smooth, melt in your mouth texture – delicious!

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Minute Steak with Sun Dried Tomato Butter and Teresa’s favourite Quick Fry Veggies

 

Minute steak with sun dried tomato butter and pan fried vegetables.
Whoa, that recipe title is a bit of a mouthful! Fortunately the name is probably the most complicated part of this dish which is very quick and easy to prepare (ready in under thirty minutes), not to mention low carb. So we are ticking a lot of good boxes here today folks!

Creamy Butternut Soup

Creamy butternut soup with cinnamon.

I don’t think I could have chosen a better day to share this recipe. The rain is (finally) coming down in buckets outside as Cape Town gets pummelled by a monster storm and right now I can think of no better lunch than a steaming bowl of delicious soup. Preferably followed by a nap. Local schools have been closed for the day due to the storm so there is not much chance of the latter but I will settle for soup! 


Aerial shot of butternut soup with cream.


I enjoy all kinds of soups, but I tend to favour the classics – for me nothing beats good old tomato soup or a creamy butternut soup. I have kept this recipe fairly simple with a touch of warming spice to complement the veggies. This is an easy soup to throw together and the best part is that you can make a big batch and freeze it, ready for those cold winter days. 

For more soup inspiration please check out these recipes for french onion soup, mushroom soup with chevin and thyme toasts, and carrot and coriander soup. What is your favourite soup when the weather turns chilly? 

Butternut soup with spices and cream.



Serving suggestion – top the soup with toasted flaked almonds, flat leaf parsley, a swirl of cream and some freshly ground black pepper. Add a few slices of toasted ciabatta and you are good to go! 

Make ahead tip – make a batch of soup and freeze in single portions for soup anytime you feel like it. 


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CREAMY BUTTERNUT SOUP



Makes approximately 6 cups
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
8 baby leeks, sliced
4 celery sticks (about 10cm), sliced
500g peeled and cubed butternut
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
large pinch of sea salt flakes
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
150ml cream
2 tbsp sherry
cream / parsley / black pepper / flaked almonds to garnish (optional)
toasted ciabatta to serve (optional) 
Step 1.) Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over a low heat. Add the onion, leeks, celery, butternut and potatoes. Cover the pot and leave the vegetables to sweat for 10 minutes. Shake the pan regularly to prevent them from sticking to the bottom. 

Step 2.) Increase the heat to medium. Add the salt, turmeric, ginger and cinnamon and stir for a minute or two. Add the stock and stir well. Leave to simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20-25 minutes. 

Step 3.) Set the pot aside to cool for a few minutes. Use a food processor or stick blender to puree the soup until smooth. 

Step 4.) Return the soup to the pot and stir in the cream and sherry. Heat through over a low heat. Check the seasoning and serve. 

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Chocolate energy squares (gluten and refined sugar free)

Gluten free chocolate squares
There is a fantastic meme doing the rounds on social media at the moment, you might have seen it. Two women are having coffee together and one says “I feel like March flew by so fast” to which her friend replies “It’s May”. *insert comical shocked face here* Judging from many of the conversations I have had in the last week it seems as though a lot of us are feeling that way right now. And look out, because tomorrow it will be June! Other than wondering where the year has gone I have also been looking out for healthier recipes to make at home. We are very fortunate not to have any food allergies in our family but lately I have been inspired to try new ingredients and find healthier alternatives to use at home everyday. This recipe was the result of some playing around I did a few weeks ago.

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