31/10/2013

Halloween Scaredy-Cat Brownies



As always I really wished we, as a country, enjoyed Halloween. I love the idea of costumes and 'scary treats' and parties for no other reason than having fun. One day when Ems is bigger I do a proper Halloween party where everyone (including the grown-ups!) can dress up in costume and have fun!


But for those who do get to enjoy Halloween, here is a recipe from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine (October 2011 - available form (zinio.com) that is quick and easy! Enjoy!

26/10/2013

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Our wedding cake was this lucious, moist bright red cake with a white chocolate and cream cheese frosting that was to die for. It's almost chocolate almost vanilla cake with it's own unique flavour.

Martha Stewart is the one I follow when it comes to any baking recipes and these Red Velvet Cupcakes are just perfect.

I tend to add extra food coloring as I like my cupcakes extra red and use the gel ones. I also change the amount of sugar in the frosting until I reach the consistency I want. However as baking is a science I tend not to fiddle too much with a recipe otherwise it becomes a disaster!

Sometimes it's just easier to have someone else bake the cake...




24/10/2013

Best Burgers in Cape Town


I have posted about the Royale Eatery before but I just had to share this wonderful secret again. For the guys (if you dare) the double burger called the Fat Bastard, while for the girls a Miss Piggy. As always I only have the sweet potato fries. If you have enough space then their milkshakes are to die for. Forget about dessert - there just isn't enough space!


All I can ask is that you enjoy a burger (even a vegetarian burger!) on us as it may be a while before we get to visit again soon. I think it is time to experiment with some decent homemade hamburgers.

What is your favourite recipe or toppings?

16/10/2013

E has arrived!


Our beautiful little E has finally arrived (a whole week earlier than expected!) and will be the centre of our attention for a little while, so after a short break blogging will continue as always! Thank you so much for reading!

15/10/2013

One Year Anniversary

It's amazing how time flies! It's been a year since I started the lunch box blog and it has extended even beyond my dreams! I just wanted to share ideas for lunch boxes for grown-ups but even I have to admit that throwing in a little travel, a restaurant review (or six!) and some person celebrations and I've basically exposed myself to the world!




Yes it really is true that I care very little about dinner and love the idea of lunch. Small portable eats in cute portable containers - what is not to love? For that reason I'm obsessed with picnics! If I had my way I would enjoy a picnic every weekend (weather permitting). It's one of life's real pleasures and, living in Cape Town, we do have the opportunity to enjoy these outings.

But we rarely do. Life get in the way. Or we let it.

This year though was full of life and we were very busy living it! When I started this blog I was a newly wed with these ideas to be the perfect wife (what a joke - it's impossible!) but it really was a learning curve. To actually having to spend day in and day out thinking about food, how to prepare it,  how to serve it and how to photograph it can become exhausting. I am still contemplating getting a fancy camera so I can take proper photos of the recipes, but again - life get in the way...

 

We travelled for the first time as husband and wife (it was almost like a second honeymoon) , enjoying good food and sun, while 3 months pregnant! Another new experience. Emma is due 22 October, so we add another chapter to the Hungry Hubby's blog.


I have no idea what the next year holds for me and my happy little family. Probably diapers, baby purées and as much sleep as we can get! But whatever may come I will share with my readers and hopefully you will interact more by sharing your own ideas, recipes or suggestions.

Thank you for allowing me to share these aspects of my life - the most important aspects of my life!

13/10/2013

Gingersnap Cookie Pudding

While at Varsity, I tended to live on McDonald's. Firstly because I didn't have any washing-up to do afterwards and secondly because it was just so convenient (less than a block away!). I did however gather some quick and easy (not to mention cheap) dinner party ideas from other students.

This dessert was always served after a pasta and Bolognese bake, with a fresh green salad and garlic rolls for a sweet a quick ending.


3 bags gingersnap cookies
2 containers fresh cream
fresh custard to serve

1. Line the cookies in layers in a baking dish. Pour over 1 container of cream (and a little bit of the other container) until the cookies are almost covered. Let stand for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Pour over the rest of the cream and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until all the cream is absorbed.

3. Serve hot with fresh custard.

09/10/2013

Lunch box: Wednesday, 9 October 2013




I think I might have mentioned this before: we really love mash and eat it with everything, including fishcakes made with mash! However for a healthier option I would suggest a salad with lemon wedges or green steamed veggies with herb butter.


SALMON FISH CAKES


Ingredients

  • 300g cold mashed potatoes
  • 6 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 250g hot smoked salmon fillets, skinned and flaked
  • 8 thick slices mozzarella 
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 85g dried breadcrumbs or panko crumbs
  • sunflower oil, for frying (optional)
  • salad and lemon wedges, to serve

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the potato, spring onions and salmon, then shape into 8 even-size cakes. 
  2. Push the mozzarella pieces in the centre of each cake, making sure that all the cheese is covered.
  3. Roll the fish cakes in the flour, shaking off any excess, then dip in the egg, followed by the breadcrumbs. 
  4. Cover and chill until ready to cook. 
  5. Can be prepared up to a day ahead, or frozen.
  6. Gently grill or shallow-fry the fish cakes for 5-6 mins on each side until crunchy, golden brown and hot all the way through. 
  7. Serve with salad and lemon wedges.

08/10/2013

Lunch box: Tuesday, 8 October 2013

I know this lunch box looks like a weird combination but it is a collection of food I had cravings for. Firstly is the traditional English Hot Cross buns. Usually only available during Easter, Woolworth's has realised that some people, like me, enjoy them right through the year. I usually eat it slathered in butter with cheese, melted in the microwave but for today I am enjoying them with only Laughing Cow cheese.


Further we have Honey Hot Smoked Salmon that I eat just as you buy it. It really is so good that you don't need to add anything (however it would taste just as good on a bagel with some tart cream cheese...just wish Woolworth's would start selling bagels!).

Fruit is some tart mango and sweet raspberries, which (as usual) stained my white shirt just before a consultation! 

I'm still loving the lunch boxes!

07/10/2013

Chicken Stirfry



Hubby had a kickboxing event over the weekend and I had to make him lunch and dinner that has some carbs and plenty of protein in to sustain him for the whole day. I decided to go for a stir fry as it not only has enough protein in it and carbs can easily be added by way of some noodles but it is also healthy with all the veggies and the cooking method.
  • 500g chicken breasts cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup carrots thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced pineapple
  • 1/2 cup sliced red pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 red onion sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced red cabbage
  • 500g ready to eat cooked egg noodles 
  • 200ml honey and ginger stir fry sauce
Method:

1.  Dust the chicken strips with the smoked paprika. Fry the chicken in a hot stir fry pan until cooked but moist. Remove and set aside.

2. Fry the pineapple, onion and red pepper. 



3. Add the remaining veg and stir fry until the spinach is wilted but the rest of the veggies are still crunchy.

4. And the chicken and noodles.



5. Add the sauce packets or any stir fry sauce to your liking.

6. Stir until heated through.



7. Enjoy. Serves 4 or provides 2 meals for Hungry Hubby before an event.



04/10/2013

Baked Mushrooms with Ginger


Sometimes there really is nothing better than a baked portobello mushroom. It's a taste that is very difficult to describe but compares to nothing on earth. And it acts like this beautiful earthy sponge that sucks up any flavours added to it. So what I tend to do is try and add a combination of flavours.


I also try to add sweetness to my savoury dishes. I think it gives it another dimension than just the savoury aspect so for this recipe I used stem ginger syrup. It adds to the ginger already in the recipe.

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 palm-sized mushrooms
  • 4 tsp butter, sliced if cold
  • 2 small chillis, chopped
  • fresh coriander or parsley, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tsp stem ginger syrup
  • 1 tsp ginger (fresh or flaked)

Method:

  1. If the stems on the mushrooms are protruding a lot, trim it off.
  2. Split the butter between the mushrooms.
  3. Squeeze the lemon juice over the mushrooms.
  4. Divide the coriander/parsley, ginger and chilli between the mushrooms.
  5. Add 1/2 a tsp ginger syrup to each mushroom.
  6. Bake in a pre-heated oven of 180ºC for 20 minutes until the butter is melted and the mushrooms are nice and brown.
You can do it with just parsley and garlic, sometimes just some olive oil with salt and pepper taste great.

03/10/2013

Lunch box: Thursday 5 October 2013


Today's lunch is a snicker's dream: everything is in small portion to just pick and eat quickly. We have 3 mini boerewors rolls (it's like hot dogs but made with a South African sausage filled with minced meat and spices), ham, cucumber and cheese strips, huge juicy strawberries sliced in half and a chocolate brownie. I'm allowed something sweet right?


Yesterday's lunch consisted of a Thai a Beef Noodle Salad from Woolworth's that ended up not having much beef in it. So I will try for my own recipe for tomorrow so Hubby can have a decent lunch in preparation for his kickboxing event Saturday in the form of some low fat carbo-loading.

If you have a good recipe please share it.


01/10/2013

Easy Quesadillas


These beautiful Quesadillas were lovingly made by Hubby. He basically threw together whatever he could find in the fridge and it really is that simple: have lots of cheese, some fresh herbs, a protein if you feel like it and add something sweet in the form of fruit. Following these basics guidelines, you'll always have a great tasting quesadilla.

  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cheese (mozzarella and cheddar mix)
  • 1 cup finely shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup coriander
  • 1 red onion, chopped and fried
  • 1 cup mango or peach, chopped
  • Guacamole to serve
1. Divide the ingredients between 2 tortillas, leaving an edge of about 1 cm.
2. Top wit remaining 2 tortillas.
3. Press down firmly.
4. Heat a non-stick frying pan, sprayed with oil.
5. Fry the tortillas on one side until golden brown.
6. Place a plate on top of the frying pan and tip onto a plate, a return the uncooked side to the pan by sliding it back in.
7. Cook the other side until golden.
8. Cut into wedges and enjoy with a big dollop of guacamole.