mammachefjozi

Saturday Shakshuka with Mince

This Saturday, I felt like something a little bit different. I had mince, bread rolls and eggs and I have been looking at so many delicious looking shakshukas all over the “food web” lately, I thought it’s about time to try my own!

It was really, really a fantastic meal! Definitely something we will be having often in the future!

Shakshuka with mince

Recipe 

Chop 1 onion and sauté with 1tsp chopped garlic over high heat. Add 500g beef mince and season with 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce, ground coarse salt and black pepper. Cook until well browned. 

Add 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes, 1-2 tsp dried Italian herbs and smoked red chilli flakes to taste. Stir in 1 Knorr beef stock pot and half a tin of boiled water. Lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until sauce has reduced. 

Make a hole in the mince and crack an egg into it, repeat with 4-5 more eggs. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes over low heat until egg is softly cooked. Remember if you are serving up from the pan that the egg will continue to cook, so dish up and eat as soon as possible. 

We served this with rolls toasted in the oven, sprinkled with some more chilli flakes and jalapeños for the chilli lovers!

Christel’s Creative Cooking 

Christel’s eagerly awaited feature for the week is finally here! The delay is all mine, I must confess. This week for some reason just seemed to fly by me and I didn’t get to everything I had planned… 

She has also included a white sauce recipe, which could be a base for just about any sauce and a must have for any kitchen! So without any further delay…

Quick and easy tuna sauce
Quick and easy Tuna Sauce

2 medium red onions
3 tomatoes

Chop everything up, put the onions in a saucepan and fry until tender. Add the tomatoes and stir occasionally until saucy. Add salt, pepper, garlic flakes and a bit of sugar/honey (to take the acidity out of the tomatoes)
Add 1 (or 2) cans of tuna. 
Stir for about a minute to combine everything. Add a packet of Woolies ready made cheese sauce. Stir for a minute until mixed. Sprinkle with oregano flakes or fresh herbs. Eat on oven toasted ciabatta or mix into pasta.
You can also add mushrooms and/or green, red & yellow peppers into the mix. Or leave the tuna out completely and eat it with only vegetables.
If you really want to impress your eating companions… here’s the recipe to make your own White sauce from scratch:
It makes 1 cup
30g butter
30g plain flour 

250 ml milk

Seasoning

Place all ingredients in a saucepan over a moderate heat and bring to the boil whisking continuously. Use a spiral or ballon whisk as this will get rid of lumps and give the sauce a more glossy appearance.
Cook for a further 2-3 minutes until thick and smooth and there is no taste of flour. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For cheese sauce add 1 cup grated cheddar to the hot sauce and stir to melt the cheese. You can add 5 – 10ml curry powder to the flour to make curry sauce. For parsley sauce you can add chopped parsley to the mix. You can add mustard to the mix for a mustard sauce.
The possibilities of what this sauce can become, are endless.

Last week’s roundup & a special occasion

Good grief, it’s Wednesday and I haven’t posted a summary of last week yet! Where does the time go?! Or should I say… time flies when you’re having fun! This is definitely the truth!

Monday:  (Meat Free) Zucchini & Mushrooms

Tuesday: Flop Proof Cottage Pie

Wednesday: Chicken, Chickpea & Spinach Curry

Thursday: Pan Seared Fish with Tomato, Basil & White Wine Sauce

Friday: Easy Peasy Gluten Free Chorizo Pasta

Please have a look at my gallery of Sunday’s incredible buffet lunch at Aurelia’s, The D’Oreale Grande Hotel at Emperor’s Palace

The family came together to celebrate my Sister- and Brother-in-Law’s 30th wedding anniversary! A very special occasion celebrating two extremely special people, their exemplary marriage and the beautiful family and memories that they have created. So much love (and so much food)!

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Mandela Day 

It is Mandela Day in South Africa on 18 July 2017, which would have been Nelson Mandela’s 99th birthday. 

In honour of his legacy, we encourage each person to devote 67 minutes of their time to charitable causes, giving back, making a change in communities and supports local causes. 

Having had the privilege of meeting the great man twice in my life, I completely support this initiative and I also know that his legacy is not limited to action on one day of the year. We should be doing good, in any way we can, wherever we are, every single day. 

Whether it’s smiling at someone who looks like they might be having a tough day, letting someone go ahead of you in traffic, donating used things that you don’t need anymore… share love everywhere! The world needs more love!

Madiba Day
Happy birthday, Madiba!

Cheesy Mexican Rice & Meat Free Mondays

Meat Free Monday

You may have noticed that MammaChef Jozi is an avid supporter of Meat Free Mondays (see the South African Facebook page here). So what’s the big deal?

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You don’t have to go vegan, but even one day of not eating meat has so many benefits.

Lowering your carbon footprint – this includes greenhouse gasses which are produced by livestock, farming, transportation and the masses of water it takes to produce meat.

Think of the animals – commercial farming methods have lead to unimaginable treatment of animals and going one step further than Meat Free Monday, it would be a good idea to be conscious of where your food comes from.

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Your health – Reducing intake of meat has been proven to lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and even cancers. When planning a meat free meal, we tend to focus on adding even more nutrition to our plant based meals, thereby including foods with more polyunsaturated fats, plant protein, fibre and vitamins.

Why Monday? Well, Monday just seems like a good day, doesn’t it?

So… if not, why not?

Cheesy Mexican Rice

I ended up making an enormous wok type pot of this and after dinner, there was only enough left for one of us to take for lunch. It was so, so very yummy and I really just chucked a lot of stuff in a pot and waited for it to cook (while having my little glass of wine)….

Cheesy Mexican Rice
Cook 1,5 cups rice (white long grain or any of your choice) according to packet instructions.

While the rice is cooking, saute 1 chopped onion and 1 tsp chopped garlic in a large oven proof wok or pot/pan for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 tsp dried oregano and paprika and stir well.

Add in a tin of brown lentils, 3/4 tin chopped tomatoes, 3/4 tin of red kidney beans, 1 cup frozen corn, 1 cup frozen peas, 1 Knorr vegetable stock pot and 1/2 cup water.

Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the liquid has cooked down.

Set the oven to grill.

Add the cooked rice to the veg mixture, top with 200g finely grated mature cheddar cheese and pop the whole pan in the oven for about 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden.

Sprinkle chopped spring onion over the top and add as many optional extras as you wish – we added fresh chopped chilli and extra cheese (I love cheese). You could also add avo, sour cream, tacos for crunch, etc.

Pan seared fish with tomato white wine & basil

Fresh Hake in a bright sauce, full of flavour

This dinner idea was inspired by a recipe found on Pinterest, which I played with a bit as usual and ended up with the below. I must add that the smells while cooking were amazing and just added to the anticipation of the dining.

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.

Heat a little olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Depending on children and/or taste, add a small sprinkle (up to half a tsp) of red chilli flakes and 1tsp crushed garlic. Sauté for a minute.

Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and a few halved cherry tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes. Add in a quarter cup of dry white wine and let the mixture simmer.

Add half a cup of finely chopped fresh basil, 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, a quarter tsp lemon zest, ground salt and black pepper and cook for 2 more minutes. Then transfer into a bowl and set aside.

Season portions of fresh skinless hake on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a little olive oil in a large oven proof non stick pan over medium high heat. Place the hake in the oil until golden brown, approximately 6 minutes. Carefully turn the hake over, pour over the wine and tomato sauce and place in the oven for a further 5-10 minutes or until cooked through.

While the fish is cooking in the oven, mix 1,5 cups couscous and 1,5 cups of boiling water in a bowl. Add 1 Knorr vegetable stock pot and a dash of olive oil. Mix well and cover with cling wrap or a plate. Wait 3-4 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

Serve (with some of that crisp white wine) and enjoy!


This fish comes out super soft and breaks apart very easily, so be prepared for not having perfectly beautiful golden fillets. It really is delicious though!

Last week’s dinner ideas roundup 

Last week’s dinner ideas roundup…


Monday – homemade tomato soup / pasta sauce

Tuesday – pork schnitzel with spicy rice and veg

Wednesday – SuperDad’s pulled chicken wraps

Thursday – lamb chops and roast vegetables

#PizzaFriday – no need to elaborate!

All from WOOLWORTHS SA – even the pizza!

This week’s meal plan is still a secret… even from me, to be quite honest! I just haven’t had time to sit down and do the planning. Although I do have a few ideas bubbling in my brain.

On #ParentingWins and #ParentingFails

This post is inspired by MomofTwoLittleGirls who has asked several parents to open their hearts (and skeleton cupboards) by sharing their shiniest #ParentingWins and scariest #ParentingFails. She also bravely set the example with her own post here.

Several disastrous moments flashed through my mind as I considered which ones I would pick to expose to the world out there. I have had quite a few epic fails and many beautiful wins with my two boys. I’ll start with Wade, being the oldest and I’ll lead with a mommy fail that did not cause permanent damage to either of us…

#ParentingFail

Let me begin by saying that this boy has the most gorgeous temperament and gentle manner about him. Thinking back to his baby and toddler years, he was generally such an “easy” child but when he did throw a full blown tantrum he really did give it his all!

Wade was somewhere between terrible two and more-terrible three when, one fateful morning, he just simply refused let me dress him. All moms would probably recognise this story, weekday morning getting ready for work and school, possibly already running a little late when playfully asking leads to seriously instructing, leads to desperately pleading, leads to half an hour later, a frazzled (to say the least) mom and a completely out of control kid.

Long story short, I resolve that empty threats will get me nowhere and the time has come to show said toddler that I also mean business! I manage to carry wriggling and loudly protesting little monster, in his underpants, to the car and stuff him safely into his car seat. The next forty minutes in the car to school was spent trying to block out the deafening screams from the back seat, focus on the road and keep some semblance of composure.

calvin-hobbes-superman

There were maybe 5 minutes of silence before we finally made it to the school parking lot. I turn around to said little monster and ask in my calmest mom voice whether he is ready to get dressed as we have arrived at school. A quiet, calculated “Yes.” was the reply. As my luck would have it, this was only the eye of the storm. As I got near his foot with a pair of pants, the kicking and screaming started again and this was when the Mom-bot took over and I just gave up.

In my mind’s eye, I can remember the gate guard silently clearing the way as I walked into the nursery school, Wade wildly flailing around under my one arm and crying bloody murder. I will probably never forget the teacher’s face as she was sitting on a chair in the middle of the classroom. This wide-eyed mother walked straight up to her and the teacher didn’t say a word but just stuck her arms out. The screaming suddenly subsided to a small wail as I handed him and his bag to her, turned around and walked out. I paused outside the door to hear the total silence as he realised where he was and that all his friends were looking at him in his undies. On the upside, there was no permanent damage and this was never repeated again! It did take me quite some time to pull myself together and get myself to work that day.

Wade2012

goodbye-quotes-calvin-and-hobbes-quotes

 

 

 

 

#ParentingWin

Staying with Wade, my parenting win story is short and super sweet. It’s more attributable to him that me, but I must have done something right along the way!

About a year ago, I received a phone call from the mom of a girl in Wade’s Grade 1 class. She told me that she just wanted to let me know how he had just made their day. Her daughter had the most beautiful, long, thick hair and just the day before, had decided to trim her ends herself (just a little bit).

As she was telling me this, I had flashbacks to my own attempt at cutting my Barbie doll’s hair and the devastating consequences!

She had made a complete mess of her beautiful long hair and they ended up having to take her to have it all cut into a bob. Both mom and daughter were distraught and when they arrived at school the next morning, after hearing the story my little boy held her hand and said “I don’t really care if your hair is long or short, you’re my friend and I still like you.”

Smiles made and hearts melted. #WIN!

 

 

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