Month: June 2017

Enjoy the little things

The weekend is nearly here! To make it last a little longer, take a moment to enjoy all the little things that make you feel that chilled out vibe… A slow cup of coffee with your partner, the sound of children playing outside, birds gathering on the roof waiting to eat the dog’s breakfast… Sunshine and smiles!

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Wishing you a beautiful weekend wherever you are!

 

Jamie Oliver’s one pan salmon & veg

This week we are lucky to have Ouma visiting and cooking for us! With a week of birthdays and night time soccer matches she has been an absolute lifesaver as there really is no time for cooking!

I also get a chance to share some of my cooking inspiration with you!
Jamie Oliver is all about the fresh ingredients and herbs, big flavours and colours as well as being nice and easy. I am a huge fan of his 30 minute recipes and shows.

For me, salmon and veggies is a delicious treat meal and this recipe from Jamie Oliver is amazing! Doesn’t it look beautiful?
Get the recipe hereSalmon Veg

Don’t look back

After having made a significant change in life, whether in business or relationships, people often find it hard to adapt. My advice would be, if you have gone on a path that you firmly believe in, if your heart is fully in it, keep pushing forward!

Look forward… look up… never look back. Have a beautiful day!

Never look back

Recipe by a featured friend & MammaChef Jozi’s birthday

Mamma’s Birthday

I have decided that from now on, I will have no more birthdays. I think it would be a better idea to just commemorate my first birthday suit day! No more of this ageing nonsense!

MammaChef has had a beautiful, chilled birthday in Jozi with my boys and granny and spoiled myself with a yummy #Woolies lasagne, giant greek salad, red wine and doughnuts for dinner!

However, I will not leave you without something delicious today and this is thanks to the most wonderfully creative woman I know, my amazing friend Christél Schutte.
PS this recipe is banting friendly and easily vegan too!

Recipe:

Filled Shrooms with 3 different fillings.

Main Ingredient : big brown mushrooms

1. Butter, crushed garlic, Italian Parsley and cheddar cheese.

2. Butter, any flavoured cream cheese spread OR Feta Cheese broken up into small pieces. Cocktail Tomatoes, thinly sliced on top of that. And cheddar cheese.

3. Butter, spring onion or chives (cut into small pieces). Crispy bacon OR leftover mince. I used Speck which is an Italian dry-cured, lightly smoked ham. I fried it in a non stick frying pan until crispy. Parmesan cheese on top.

Salt and pepper on all of them. You can also use mozzarella instead of cheddar.

Pop into oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, 180°C, Grill. The bigger the mushrooms the longer it will take and the other way around for smaller mushrooms.

Easy for the kids to join in and you can get creative with your own toppings.
Replace butter with olive oil if you like.

PS… don’t ask MCJ how to thinly slice a cherry tomato! I reckon you need some MasterChef skills for that! Feel feel to give me some tips if you get it right!

Enjoy!

Joy

This is a brilliant thought I picked up from a podcast I was listening to this morning. I love listening to podcasts while driving as I prefer to avoid things like news on the radio. It’s another avenue for finding inspiration, focusing on growth and feeling positive for wherever I’m heading to.

Joy Success

So instead of wealth, assets, status, fame, followers etc., what if JOY was your metric for success? How successful would you measure yourself to be today? Would the answer to this question inspire you to make massive change in your life?

Personally, I have always been guided by my heart and I truly feel that we should experience joy in every aspect of our lives… yes, even at work! When you are doing something with joy, it shows!

I would love to know what your thoughts are!

Wishing you so much joy today…

 

Chorizo Pasta

Continuing with the super quick and easy theme this week, this Chorizo Pasta is so simple and so very yummy! The only trick to this is that you must get very good quality chorizo… just any old one won’t do. We have a secret chorizo supplier, that is so secret, even I haven’t been to the shop (couldn’t tell you where it is either)! Therefore, I am very lucky that I get given a few from my sister in law to freeze and I am extremely lucky if SuperDad gets a chance to pop in there and get some for us, normally for a special occasion. For those who don’t have access to the holy grail of sausage, Woolies has a good quality one as well, this is a Spanish Chorizo.

Recipe:

Cook 250g gluten free penne pasta according to instructions on the packet. Here are some tips for cooking gluten free pasta:

  • Add plenty of salt to the water to add to the taste – 2tbs in a medium-large pot of water.
  • Do not add oil to the water.
  • Stir constantly for the first 3 minutes of cooking time to ensure that the pasta doesn’t stick.

Chop 1 onion and one yellow pepper (if I had a red one as well I would have used half of each). Fry in a glug of olive oil until soft. Add a teaspoon or 2 of crushed garlic, 1 sliced chorizo sausage and fry for 3-5 minutes or until the chorizo releases it’s oils and is nicely browned all over. Add 3-4 handfuls baby spinach and allow the leaves just to wilt before removing the pan from the heat.

Drain pasta and pour it into a pasta dish. Mix in the sausage and fried veg. Add pitted calamata olives, crumbled feta cheese. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, ground salt and pepper.

Do you have a go-to quick and easy meal? Please share with us!

Chorizo Pasta B

No Fuss Roast Chicken & Vegetables

This week’s meals are intended to be as quick and easy as possible due to the current state of sleeping arrangements in our happy home… Just to paint a picture for you, last night I went to lie down with my eldest son, Wade who is eight, to have a chat before bedtime. It’s possible I fell asleep before him!

I vaguely remember moving myself over to my little three year old’s bed when he called for me during the night, as he does on most nights. After a short blank which could have been sleep, I opened my eyes to see same three year old, Blake, get up and make his way to the bed where I should have been, to go and sleep next to Dad. I close my eyes for a second…

Lights on and Wade is looking at me. There has been a night time incident which requires new pyjamas and removal of sheets. I give up my temporary bed and head to the main bedroom where I shift over a sideways Blake and finally find a slither of space in my very own bed…. and I’m wide awake.

I possibly got a blink or two in before it became time to rise and shine!

Hence, quick and easy meals! Recipe below…

Roast Chicken Vegetables.png

Instructions:

Place a large pan on medium high heat and preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Season 6 chicken drumsticks with ground salt & pepper, Portuguese chicken spice (or seasoning of your choice). Add olive oil to heated pan and brown chicken for 2 minutes per side.

While the chicken browns, place 600g baby potatoes in a plastic bag, loosely knotted, and microwave on high for 5 minutes.

Next, transfer chicken and baby potatoes into a shallow oven dish, add brussels sprouts if desired. Drizzle olive oil over potatoes and brussels, season with ground salt & black pepper. Roast in the oven for approximately 40 minutes. Pour a glass of wine!

With 10 minutes to go, steam baby carrots and green beans. Serve!

Yours in daytime snoozes,

xMCJx

 

Split Pea Soup

Another one of my favourite things about winter (other than my most comfy pair of slippers) is soup. This split pea soup is absolutely delicious served piping hot with a warm and crispy bread roll.

Since it’s a slow cooker recipe as well, there’s practically no work to be done other than chuck ingredients into the pot and go on your merry little way! Super easy! In fact, as I was on my way home on Tuesday afternoon, I suddenly realised that I would arrive home to delicious soup that has already been cooked and the only thing I had to do was pop the rolls into the oven, dish up and take a photo for you! Happy, happy, happiness!

If you don’t have a minute for chopping/grating stuff, WOOLWORTHS SA fresh split pea soup mix also works fantastically! Just add some herbs and bits and bobs and away you go!

Split Pea Soup.png

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 3 chopped celery ribs
  • 1 Large leek, chopped and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon (heaped) crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley OR some fresh sprigs
  • 500grams dried green split peas
  • 6 cups Vegetable stock
  • ground salt & black pepper
  • Optional: diced ham or bacon

Toss all the ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 3-4 hours.

Mom’s (gluten free) spaghetti 

Spaghetti bolognese to me is like my most comfy pair of fluffy winter slippers… it just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. My ultimate comfort food (with loads of cheese) and I dare say one day my boys might tell people that nobody could make good old spag-bol like their Mamma! It’s their absolute favourite and makes a regular appearance on our weekly dinner menu.

Fry 1 chopped onion, 2 teaspoons crushed garlic over high heat until soft. Add 700g lean mince, season with ground salt, pepper and a dash or two of Worcester sauce. Brown well. The trick is to leave the mince to almost char on the bottom of the pan and then let the tomatoes pick up all the flavour.

Add 2 tins chopped and peeled tomatoes, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1-2 tsp paprika, Italian mixed herbs. Lower heat and leave to simmer for around 20 minutes.

Cook a large pot of gluten free spaghetti according to instructions. Always add about 60ml pasta water to the sauce before draining – adds a little extra shine and makes for a lovely consistency.

Stir in some finely sliced fresh basil before plating. Serve with grated mature cheddar or Parmesan cheese.

Mom's (Gluten Free) Spaghetti Bolognese

This recipe is dedicated to PicknPay – for the great special on mince, SanRemoPasta as always for the best gluten free spaghetti and last but absolutely not least, RobertsonWinery for an equally comfy and smooth Merlot!

Wishing you an amazing week!

xMCJx

Daddy’s Weekend lunch for my parents

Chat

My parents came for lunch on Fathers Day weekend and as I don’t get to cook for them all that often (we usually spend more time at their house) I wanted to make something warm, saucy and delicious.

On the menu was chicken thighs cooked in the most divine creamy sundried tomato sauce, roasted baby potatoes with garlic and herbs, sauteed baby marrows and young carrots. The second best part, after the sauce, was the freshly baked Portuguese rolls from our local Portuguese bakery which were perfect to mop up all the creamy deliciousness and even became a second meal – rolls and sauce!

Fathers Day Lunch

Recipe

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Season 16 chicken thighs with ground coarse salt and black pepper.

Place 1kg baby potatoes into a large, shallow oven dish or roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil, add a few knobs of butter, ground salt and pepper and Italian mixed herbs. Place into the oven to start roasting while preparing the chicken. Total cooking time should be around an hour, give the dish a shake/mix every 15 minutes or so. The special trick to my potatoes is to forget about them so that they don’t quite burn but become slightly charred and crispy on the outside.

Roast Garlic Herb Baby Potato

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large, deep frying pan over high heat. Add chicken thighs, skin down first and brown on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Do this in batches if necessary, then remove chicken and place into an oven dish.

If necessary, add another tablespoon of butter to the pan. Add 2 teaspoons crushed garlic, a sprinkling of smoked chilli flakes (to taste) and cook while stirring for 2 minutes. Add to this 2 cups chicken stock, 1 cup double thick cream, 2/3 cup jullienne sundried tomatoes (drained of olive oil), 1/2 cup grated Parmesan and 1/2 teaspoon each of dried basil, thyme, oregano. Simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Pour sauce over the chicken thighs and place into the oven for about 30 minutes or until completely cooked through.

Quarter 8 young carrots and 8 baby marrows lengthways. Put the carrots into a small plastic bag, tie a loose knot and microwave them on high for 5 minutes. Empty carrots (and any juices) into a frying pan with a small glug of olive oil and add the baby marrows. I sauteed/steamed them with a lid on for a while to nicely soften the marrows, then removed the lid and let them stir fry to get some lovely brown colouring.

Sautee Carrots Baby Marrow

Eat

I then opened a bottle of ice cold Fat Bastard Chardonnay which is one of my favourites that just complimented the creamy dish so well.

This is a meal that you should take your time cooking and also take your time eating and enjoying with your family! Let us know what you did for Fathers Day?

PS… love you, Dad!


 

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