A romantic dinner doesn’t mean you have to spend hours preparing the food and here are a few really great ideas for Valentines day from 2011 and a few 2012 additions.
2012 Valentines day recipe ideas
Valentines day Breakfast Flapjacks or the French Toast (I know the recipe says fathers day, but it’s a winner recipe)
Tuna with Mango Salsa takes just minutes and is really fantastic for those wanting a lighter meal.
Chicken Cacciatore is always a good one for special occasions.
Greek lamb Shanks – These do need time but is a very simple dish to put together. Serve it with some vegetables, Cauliflower with Leeks and bacon or the Mediterranean Vegetable salad
2011 Valentines day recipe ideas
Easy smoked salmon and shrimp pasta
Lemon and Ginger Chicken
Lamb Rogan Josh (This takes a while but is worth every minute if you are a curry person)
You just gotta love Valentines day. For me Valentines day is all about the dessert, something you can share that just rounds of the evening so here are a few ideas.
There are few who can resist a great dessert, so blow your lover away with a meal to remember.
Give them a try, you will love them.
Pears in Maple syrup is very simple and tastes phenomenal.
Meringues or the Eton Mess
Warm cherries with cinnamon and ice cream
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Happy Valentines day to you all.
Ice Cream Christmas dessert
Ice Cream is basically frozen custard and this ice cream christmas cake recipe is a perfect Christmas dessert for hot December Holidays. Give it a try, it is unlike anything you have had before.
What you need
50g dried cranberries or cherries
2 tots brandy
2 tots cointreau or rum
4 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
500ml Custard (Woolies custard is excellent for this), chilled
50g macadamia nuts
Amaretti biscuits/biscotti to serve
Decide whether you want to make a dome or a loaf ice cream cake and choose a bowl accordingly. A glass bowl that takes about 2 liters is perfect.
Add the raisins, sultanas and cherries to the bowl, toss in the brandy and the rum, give it a mix and set aside for a few hours. Anything over 2 hours is great.
Now add the macadamia nuts, cinnamon and icing sugar and give it a good stir. If you notice a fair amount of liquid in the bottom of the dowl, drain it off.
Now add the custard and stir again. Tap the bowl on the counter to even out the top and place in the freezer for 2 hours. Remove from the freezer, whick with a fork and then back into the freezer until you are ready to serve.
Slice or scoop and serve with a biscotti or amaretti biscuit on the side.
Don’t forget the rest of the Christmas recipes
In celebration of Christmas, Cookbook and cafe Enrista would like to present to you the Enrista Cappuccino contest. From the house of café Enrista comes the brand new Cappuccino product to pamper you . Blended with the same perfection creating every cup as the perfect cup , the Enrista Cappuccino is not only about convenience but also about luxury , relaxation and reward. 5 Exclusive cappuccino hampers including a specially branded Café Enrista coffee mug can be won, as well as one entrant will win a year’s supply of Café Enrista products.
I saw these little beauties being made on television and just had to give them a try them, they looked so simple and in reality were not far off so you can happily call this an easy chocolate tart recipe. It looks complicated but once you get started you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is. When you have added the cream and the raspberries it is just so perfectly delicious you will battle to keep your friends at bay.
It makes 4 x 11cm diameter tartlets and I found 1/2 to be enough per person but if you have some srious chocolate loving mates, give them a whole one. It’s really important to measure the ingredients, so get out your scale or stop in at your local supermarket to buy one.
What you need
240g cake flour
Pinch of salt (1/4 teaspoon)
160ml fresh full fat cream
180g dark chocolate, finely chopped
On the side
1 punnet raspberries/strawberries
250ml thick cream (full fat)
1 tbs caster sugar
Use a food processor for the pastry, it is very straight forward.
Take the flour, butter and salt and pop it into your food processor. Blitz it intermittently a few times and then give it a good blitzing until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add a tablespoon of cold water and then blitz again for 20 seconds or so, the dough will start to stick together and now it is done.
Tip onto a cool surface sprinkled with a little flour and bring it together into a ball. Don’t knead it, just form it. Now cover with cling film and put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes (a littkle longer is not a problem).
Now take the dough and place onto a floured surface and with a rolling pin roll it out nice and thin, 3mm is about what you are looking for. The real trick is in the lining of the tart tins, you want to line them loosely so that when they cook they do not shrink too much. Line the tins and then prick the bases a few times with a fork and then pop them in the fridge again.
Take the chopped up chocolate and place in a glass mixing bowl that has been warmed and dried (just pour a little boiling water into it and then dry it). Add the cream and butter to a pot and heat slowly until the butter has melted and steam is coming off the cream. Pour the cream into the chocolate and mix gently until all of the chocolate has melted, voila.. chocolate filling.
Take the tins from the fridge, line with baking paper and fill with ceramic beads or dry beans (I got my tins and beads from Kitchenique in Woodmead, you want the ones with the loose bases) and bake them for about 7-8 minutes in a 180 Celsius oven. Remove the baking paper and beads and bake for another 10 minutes or until the pastry has a golden brown edge. Allow them to cool before removing the pastry.
Once cooled, distribute the chocolate evenly between the 4 pastry cases and your tarts are ready.
Whip some cream and place on the side topped with the berries. Bloody marvelous I tell you!
Dont forget to see what competitions and giveaways there are, you just never know!
I am always hunting down the best competitions and giveaways for us and have found a fantastic iPad2 giveaway.
This is a very straight forward one, no questions to fill in, just an email address and name. You will get daily deal offers from Zappon that are really worthwhile taking a look at and of course you can unsubscribe at any time so get your entry in as soon as you can, this is a fantastic prize, I have been dying to get one for ages now.
I have my entry in, Get yours in NOW
Don’t forget to check out all of the other Competitions
Bar One Cheesecake
The beautiful marble effect that this creamy, smooth and tangy cheesecake has is undeniably unforgettable. This cake is definitely not low in calories, but every mouthful is worth it!
What you need
100 g marie biscuits
50 g demerara sugar
50 g butter (melted)
1 Bar One (42 grams) (place in the freezer for minimum 1 hour before use)
Bar One Sauce
6 Bar Ones
100 ml cream
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon very soft butter
750 g smooth cream cheese
180 g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
350 ml double thick cream
Grease and line a round, 20 cm cake tin (NB: cake tin must have a removable base, and only line the bottom of the tin, not the sides)
Making the crust
Place Marie Biscuits in a plastic packet. Using a rolling pin, crush the biscuits until they become very fine crumbs.
Grate the bar one – this may be a very tedious task, but adds to the deliciousness of the cheesecake. Add the grated bar one and demerara sugar to the crushed Marie Biscuits and mix thoroughly.
Melt the butter in the microwave; add it to the Marie Biscuit and Bar One mixture. Mix well.
Place the biscuit mixture into the prepared cake tin and press down firmly, ensuring that the entire base is covered. Place in the fridge to set.
Making the Bar One Sauce
Fill a pot half way with hot water. Place on a hot stove and bring to the boil.
Once the water is boiling, pour the cream into a glass bowl and place the glass bowl on top of the pot to create a double boiler (NB: it is very important that the hot water does not touch the bottom of the glass bowl – the steam is used to heat up the cream and melt the chocolate).
Once the cream has been slightly heated, add the Bar Ones (two at a time). Mix with a whisk continuously until a smooth, fairly thick sauce is formed. Whisk in the soft butter and pinch of salt. Remove from heat and set aside.
Making the cheesecake
Using a whisk, mix together the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract. Make sure the all the ingredients are well combined. Fold in the double cream.
Take the chilled crust out of the fridge and spoon a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture onto the crust. Spread evenly until the entire crust is covered, right up to the edge of the cake tin (NB: ensure that there are no air bubbles).
Take the Bar One sauce, whisk it up and generously drizzle it over the cream cheese mixture.
Continue making layers of the cream cheese mixture and Bar One sauce (remember to save some of the Bar One sauce to pour over the top of the cheesecake when it is complete.)
Leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours to set.
Serving the Cheesecake
Take a sharp knife and slide it around the edge of the cake tin to loosen the cheesecake. Push the base of the cake tin up to detach it from the sides.
Serve and Enjoy! (NB: this cheese cake will not become extremely firm when it has set, but remains fairly light and soft. In order to cut it, use a sharp knife with a warm blade – place the blade in hot water for a few seconds and then dry it.)
Slender Challenge Competition
The Slender challenge has officially kicked off and the contestants are making daily posts on their experiences to help everyone get an idea of what works and what doesn’t work.
To me the best part of being able to read the experiences of the contestants is to see what they go through mentally. We all justify things to ourselves and a mate of mine put it perfectly when he was going through giving up smoking, he said he had continuous internal dialogue which was the most difficult thing to beat and I am quite sure that these slimmer’s are going to be justifying all sorts of things to themselves.
It’s a bit like an idols for the slimming industry, so get on over to Slender challenge and choose your favourite contestant.
Follow the trials and tribulations of the Slender Challenge contestants and perhaps, yes perhaps all of us should be considering taking up the challenge.
Skin & Body Renewal’s national weight loss competition, Slender Challenge, has started! 30 Finalists will compete to see who will lose the greatest percentage of their body weight over a 12-week period.
Skin & Body Renewal Founder and Cosmetic Doctor, Maureen Allem, says they received three times more entries than they were expecting.
“Most people know that fad diets are not the answer. I have seen hundreds of patients successfully lose 8 – 15 kilos a month on our combination weight loss programme, which is why we are expecting some great results from this challenge,” Allem says.
This competition provides a unique interactive element. Throughout the contest period, the contenders will be blogging their progress daily on www.slenderchallenge.co.za. The public get the opportunity to join in the fun by following the blogs, asking questions, encouraging from the sidelines and posting their comments.
To engage the public even further, Skin Renewal is giving the public the opportunity to compete against the finalists by offering less 10% on their customised weight loss programme before the 11 July. Any public competitors, who beat the Slender Challenge winner, will receive a refund up to the value of R2 500.
The prize for the Slender Challenge winner is a 3-D Body Renewal Package from Skin & Body Renewal valued at R25 000. It is designed to reduce even more inches and sculpt the body.
Spot prizes, valued at R25 000, will be awarded to blog followers throughout the Challenge (04 July to 30 September).
These buttermilk pancakes are beautifully light and puff up so nicely. I love to put a nice size piece of soft butter on top of a stack, smother them in maple syrup and have a few pieces of crisp streaky bacon on the side but serve them with strawberries warmed in a pot with a little sugar or anything else you feel like. You cam alos break up the crisped bacon into small pieces and add them to the batter for something different. This makes about 12, 10cm diameter pancakes. Some people call these flapjacks, I call them pancakes.
If you want to serve these on a school morning, make the batter the night before and keep it in the fridge. Give the batter a stir in the morning and add a little more buttermilk if needed.
What you need
1 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons melted butter
Butter for frying
Sift the flour, salt, bicard of soda and baking powder into a mixing bowl.
Make a well in the center and break in the egg. Now with a whisk mix the egg and add half the buttermilk and melted butter. Whisk gently drawing the flour in from the sides. If you add too much liquid it will become lumpy.
Now gradually add the rest of the buttermilk until you have a thick pouring cream consistency. The secret of these pancakes is to now leave the batter to stand for at least 30 minutes before you make your pancakes. If you are adding bacon bits to the recipe, do it now.
Heat a thick based pan on a medium heat and add a little butter. The best way to do this is to brush the base of the pan with melted butter. Take a ladle and spoon in the batter to form 10cm pancakes, wait for bubble to appear on the surface (about 3 minutes) and then flip them over and watch them puff up. The cooked surface should be beautifull browned.
Cook the other side for about another 2 minutes and make a stack of 3 or 4 per person.
YUM,YUM,YUM winter breakfast at it’s best.
This has got to be one of the easiest desserts to make and is so versatile you just have to try it. Make it with Enrista’s 3 in 1 coffee of chocolate for Coffee froth or chocolate froth or a combination of the two. You can have it as it is or dress it up with whipped cream and fruit and a few chocolate shavings but the froth is awesome. Imagine an aerated creamy jelly, just try it you will love it. Makes enough for 8-10 people depending on how you dress it up.
What you need
1 380g tin Evaporated milk
2 sachets clear unflavoured gelatine (look in the jelly section for Sheridans)
2 strong Enrista 3 in one coffee
2 Enrista hot chocolate
The first thing you need to do is pop the tin of evaporated milk into the fridge to chill. Pop it in, in the morning for when you are ready, you want it to be nice and cold.
Get 2 serving bowls for the 2 different flavours.
Take 2 small mixing bowls and add 200ml hot water from the kettle and melt the 2 coffee sachets in one and the two chocolate sachets in the other. Mix it up with a spoon to ensure that the contents are completely dissolved. Then add a sachet of the gelatine to each and mix to dissolve.
Now place the two bowls in a cool place to cool. Don’t put them in the fridge, we don’t want the jelatine to set, we want it to cool. In winter it takes about 10 minutes.
Once it’s cooled add the cold evaporated milk to a large bowl and with your electric beater, beat the hell out of it for about 5 minutes until it has increased in volume about 4 times and is fairly thick.
Now put half of the cold cream into another mixing bowl and add the cooled chocolate mixture, beat it well for another minute or so and then transfer into a serving bowl, do the same with the coffee and then pop them into the fridge for about 10 minutes to set.
That’s it, simple and delicious, not too sweet and a texture unlike anything you have tried.
The idea for this came from my mom who makes it with fruit flavoured jellies.
Easy Italian apple cake
This easy apple cake recipe is ideal as a hot dessert with cream or as a tea time cake served cold. It’s a really simple recipe and while the apples are sweet and delicious in the shops right now, you are going to want to try this one. Use nice large golden delicious apples they work perfectly but any good apple will be fine. The beauty of this cake is that it is really simple to make and never fails to please.
What you need
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup melted butter (use unsalted here)
Zest of 1 medium lemon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup milk
3 sliced and cored apples about 5mm thick
Heat your oven to 180 Celsius
Add all of the ingredients except the apples to a large bowl and beat very well with an electric beater until you have a smooth well mixed cake mixture. Use a food processor if you have one.
Lightly butter a 23cm spring form cake pan and then flour it by placing about 2 tablespoons of flour into the cake tin and shaking and tapping it around until you have a fine film of flour coating over the butter. discard and left over flour.
Pour in the batter and cover the top of the mixture with the apple slices in a circular pattern. Don’t press then down, they will submerge slightly into the batter which is just what you want.
Bake in the center of the oven for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. The top should be golden brown and the cake puffed up between some of the apple slices.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10-15 minutes before removing the sides.
Serve as a hot dessert with cream and a sprinkling of caster sugar or have as a tea cake. Try this one, it’s easy and impressive.