Chocolate Brownies

I made these last night. Perfect to eat in front of the tv with a cup of tea or coffee; especially with the cold JHB weather lately. Admittedly, it has made me a little lazy, its just so comfy with the heaters switched on. Mums out there – make these for the kids, they will love it!

Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate Brownies

  • 125g butter
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1t bicarb
  • 1t vanilla essence
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

Method:

Boil 1st 3 ingredients together. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Whisk eggs, oil, vanilla and buttermilk in a separate container.
Sift dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add whisked mixture and beat with electric beater. Add cooled cocoa/butter mixture and continue to beat until a smooth batter is formed.
Pour into large  greased pyrex dish and bake in preheated oven (180 degrees) for 25-30 minutes.

Once done, remove from oven and prick all over with a fork.

Make sauce as follows:

  • 80-100 g butter
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1t vanilla essence
  • ½ – ¾ cup buttermilk

Method:
Add all ingredients in pot and bring to the boil slowly, stirring often.
Pour on cake whilst both sauce and cake are still warm.
Decorate with chopped pecans on top of sauce

I sprinkled some flake on half.

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Salmon in Creamy Sauce

I decided to make salmon in creamy garlic sauce with fettucini  for supper last night. It is such a quick and easy recipe that will take about 20 minutes to get done. I love pasta and even more – white sauce based pasta.

Salmon in Creamy Sauce

Salmon in Creamy Sauce

What you need:

160g salmon
300g fettucini
Garlic
Salt
Lots of black pepper

For the white sauce:

Butter
Flour
Milk

Boil pasta as you normally would. In the meantime, cut up the salmon into small squares and set aside. By this time, drain pasta and set aside.

Start making your white sauce –  I don’t know the exact quantity as I’ve been making it for years. If you find your sauce a little ‘lumpy’, make sure you use a whisk – problem solved. As sauce thickens, add salt to taste. I also added some white pepper as well as black pepper. Add garlic and throw in the pieces of salmon. Stir / whisk continuously for about 5 minutes.

Mix pasta and above sauce. Ready to eat.

This is where the ‘lots of black pepper’ comes in. Sprinkle and enjoy!

Roti

My (moms) recipe works per cup of flour. For each cup, 1 tablespoon of oil goes in. I usually get 4 rotis per cup.

Roti

Roti

2 cups of flour
2T oil
salt
boiling water
butter

In a bowl, add your flour portion and oil. Using your fingers, mix the oil into the flour lightly. Sprinkle some salt. Add boiling water slowly and mix. Do not pour extra water or it will get spoilt. Stop when you get a nice dough form. Knead the dough. It should be pliable.

At this stage, heat butter in a bowl with a little oil in the microwave until liquid.

Sprinkle your work area with flour and using your rolling pin, roll the dough into a large circle. Using a tablespoon, coat the surface of the roti facing up with the heated butter + oil, lightly. Sprinkle flour over it – sparsely. Roll the dough into a swiss roll form. It should be neat and tight – and not too wide.

Cut the roll to give you 8 pieces. I usually cut it equally in half and then work my way from there into exact portions. Roll each piece to give a round form. Dont forget to use flour on your surface area before doing so. Use flour as you are rolling roti into a bigger form, if needed.

Heat a large frying pan on heat level 7. This is the settting I use. I usually get to this step by the time I am done three quarter way rolling my rotis.

Put roti into frying pan and when it starts rising (sort of) or several small bubbles start forming, turn it around. (This should happen after a minute of putting it into the frying pan). At this stage you will need your bowl of melted butter + oil. Using a tablespoon, coat the roti lightly with it and turn over. Do the same. Each side should be coated once. Rotis should look like pic above.

You dont have to start frying the rotis when you are three quarter way done rolling them. It can be done once all have been rolled.

Hope whoever is reading this understands. Maybe I will do a step by step with pics the next time I make for a better idea.

Fruit Smoothie

I felt like eating fruit yesterday and opted for a smoothie instead. I love the M&B ones and decided to give it a go.. but not exactly the same – this one isnt 99% fat free

Fruit Smoothie

Fruit Smoothie

What I used:

2 banana’s sliced
8 strawberry
100ml-120ml low fat milk (I cant bear drinking fat free)
250ml yoghurt
sugar to taste

In a blender, liquidize the bananas and strawberrys. I chopped the strawberrys before popping it in. Then add the yoghurt. I used 2 x vanilla flavours and 1 banana flavour (100g). Blend until smooth. Add sugar to taste. Lastly add milk and give it another blend.

I got this from the Eat In magazine. Of course any fruit can be used, based on your liking. The recipe did say ‘fat free milk’ but I dont do fat free

Spaghetti with Pesto + Sundried Tomato

On my way home yesterday, I had no idea what I’d be making or which product I’d be using from the package I received. All I knew was that pasta would be involved. As I was browsing through Woolworths, I picked up sundried tomatoes in olive oil and knew this is what would be going in. When I read the label closely, it said serve with pasta and basil pesto – perfect! The tomato and herb pesto mix would go nicely too. I wanted the taste of the dish to be the pesto – so opted for a vegetarian dish – meat would have been abit complicated.

This was the end result

Spaghetti, Pesto + Sundried Tomato

Spaghetti, Pesto + Sundried Tomato

What you need

spaghetti (about 350g)
sundried tomatoes
Nomu tomato & herb pesto mix
extra virgin olive oil
Danish feta

Boil spaghetti, drain and set aside. In a bowl, add 2T tomato & herb pesto mix, and add 5T boiling water. Mix nicely. Then add 2T extra virgin olive oil. Mix again.

Add pesto into spaghetti and coat nicely. Place a portion onto a plate and add sundried tomato from the top and then top off with crumbled Danish feta.

Ready to eat!

Butter Chicken 2.0

I previously made butter chicken but when I made it over the weekend, I decided to try it without the tomatoes. I also added about a mug of boiling water to the tomato paste seperately before adding in the chicken. For those who missed this post, here is the new and improved recipe.

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken

What you need:

  • 4 cubed chicken fillets
  • 1 tin tomato paste
  • 250ml fresh cream
  • ground cashew nuts
  • 1 chopped onion
  • butter
  • spices and salt to taste

Add a chunk of butter – about 100g into a pot and when it melts add your onion. Add spices. I used chilli powder, dhania/jeera powder and gharam masala. Add salt to taste. Add chicken and add garlic(ready for cooking). Let the chicken cook till done. Now – empty your tin (small) of tomato puree into a big mug and gradually add boiling water while stirring. I used a large mug – just above average size. Add it into your pot. Let it cook until it blends in – shouldn’t take more than 5 mins. Add ground cashew nuts (about quarter to half cup – depending how thick you want it). Mix nicely. Lastly add fresh cream. You dont have to use all 250ml  add slowly until you get desired colour. Let it cook for a further 5-7 mins.

Serve with roti / naan / bread rolls.

Fajitas

This dish is perfect for a working wife who is looking to make something different and also if you’re a fan of Mexican (who isnt?). It’s very simple – thats what plays a huge part in my cooking and should appeal to those who dont like cooking much.

A fajita dinner kit is available at Woolworths for about R47 I think. It comes with the tortillas, salsa and fajita flavouring.

Fajitas

Fajitas

What you need is either chicken (or steak), some peppers and onions. You can also add a little bit of your own spices to get a desired flavour.

What I used:

Fajita dinner kit
Chicken fillet
Red, yellow & green peppers
Onion
Olive oil

I braised the onion in a wok, and added chicken cubes. You are welcome to cut strips if you prefer – it will cook faster. I threw in garlic, fajita spice and added a bit of chilli powder. When it was done, I added 3 colour pepper strips and let it cook till done.

Heat tortilla’s in microwave for about 10 seconds. Place onto a plate and add salsa to the base. Do not add it to the sides – it will make wrapping very messy. Add desired amount of chicken & peppers over salsa. Do not over fill. Fold sides to form a neat wrap. Ready to eat!

Serve with sour cream and guacamole. I’ve made my own guacamole before, refer to my Nachos post.

This is the first time I tried this dish but definitely not the last!