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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Chicken pasta 2 ways ~

The dinner table seems to be the place where we share so many thoughts, happy, sad, stressed or mundane...after a hectic day !
it's strange how a great big bowl of simple pasta to share,  a crusty loaf to mop up the juices from my favourite baker down the road and a glass of wine can ease away the many stresses of the day....
here is such a quick and easy pasta I throw together and it looks so pretty too...after a hectic day when everyone still expects a table laden with food!

Cheats chicken pasta ~

Cook your favourite pasta to your liking
Grab a rotisserie chicken from Woolies and chop into bite size pieces
fry together a pepper, chopped onion and some streaky bacon
Boil some broccoli
and make a quick cheese sauce
salt , pepper and Italian herb spice to taste

Mix all together with your pasta and shred some extra mature cheddar and rocket on top and serve!

Voilà....  completed in a jiffy !

Jarry's deli pasta

Fry a few skinless chicken breasts in olive oil with a little chopped onion, some garlic and peppers.
Add 250ml double cream
Boil some pasta until al dente
Toss altogether and add 1 tablespoon of basil pesto
Mix together and add lashings of parmessan cheese on top!

Lovely for a lunch!

Another quick fix meal is my roast chicken stuffed with my gran's bread stuffing recipe, add root vegetables, potatoes, slices of pumpkin sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.
Rub sea salt flakes, pepper and fresh herbs on the chicken and a lavish splash of olive oil over the chicken and veg and let it look after itself roasting away in the oven at 200 deg for around 1 and a half!

Here are a few of my favourite shots of the week!

the smell of freshly baked muffins from my oven....

sharing at this table.....

my family and pets....

and  the best things I love in life are those that fill my soul! 

 Bon appetit!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Celebrating a 21st!

This has been quite a year and we are only half way through!
Our youngest, Jarryd, celebrated his 21st in true "boy" style ...THE BEER OLYMPICS...and a fiesta was had by all!
After a lot of consideration, we decided that no venue would lend itself to his party, so once again....
I was suckered into arranging it in our garden....

A Bedouin tent was erected and colourful bean bags were struan around together with oak barrels and high chairs.

Eddie was the chief "braaier"  as all Jarryd wanted was, true to South African style, the humble wors rolls!
We jazzed it up serving chicken sosaties, accompaniments to the borewors rolls, lots of chilli bites, (a form of biltong) and nachos.

For the inhouse guest, I made welcome packages filled with  champagne and hangover mootie for the morning after!

True to Shelly style I had to have my flowers scattered around my home...these peonies were show stoppers!

The morning before, the party crew set up the tent for me and we began setting out.

By now, the rain started lashing down.....but we weren't going to allow our party spirits to be dampened....
I had allowed for many fire pots and patio heaters scattered around .

Beer pong olympics set up!

 The beer olympic cake with a man's legs sticking out from the froth were most appropriate...

I just love this cake from the Pastryworks!

Fire pots are truly authentically African........

A good time was had by all and we went on to celebrate with our family the entire weekend!

We all dressed up in different countries...
the host as Scotland, kilt and all and his little sweetheart as USA

and this one says it all!! fiesta fiesta!  By now Eddie and I were exhausted....
ps this one is with my young brother!

What fiesta fun !

Beautiful memories of one of the most humble young men I know!

Love you to the moon and back our Jarry!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Well about time I allowed myself to sit here and post again!
My special warm and fuzzy place filled with comfort that I like to indulge in and hide from reality!

I have a full life at present, I'm helping my future daughter-in-love and her wedding planner to plan her beautiful wedding in a couple of months! We were enlightened to hear that beside all the venues, gorgeous islands and her home town , they have chosen to have their wedding in our little city right at the sea's edge...
the rest is still top secret and I'm truly blessed to be a part of it besides playing the role of Mother of the Groom!

Before their big day, our youngest is celebrating his 21st at our home as well so we have really moved here in a delight some year!

It's really a freezing coastal winter that we are experiencing, waking up to frost on our lawns, the Egyptian geese squabbling on the roof tops and the trees full of wintry colours.....

I have been busy cooking only  warm comforting stews, soups, curries and of course, M's warm ginger spice coffee cake seems to be baked at least once a week....
My Jozi boys tend to phone me lately with cries for wintry recipes and top of the list is the Shepard's Pie which my picture does not do justice....but here goes that recipe for keepsake, Wes and Ian.

500g lean ground beef mince browned
1 onion finely diced
2 chopped tomatoes or 1 tin of "all gold" tomato and onion mix 175g
700g of mashed potatoes
25ml cooking oil
25ml butter
1 tsp of mixed herbs
2 finely grated carrots
couple of sprigs of fresh thyme and flatleaf parsley
200ml meat stock
1 talespoon tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in the frying pan and saute the onion until lightly browned.
Add the tomatoes, carrots and mince and heat through...
Add herbs, salt and pepper and the stock and simmer until all has cooked.
Place the meat in a casserole, top with the mashed potatoes and dot with the butter.
Bake at 180deg C until the top is nicely browned .

Some fresh ingredients I have enjoyed putting together to make a pretty dish are snow peas and asparagus with a soft poached egg and a drizzle of hollandaise.....a pretty picture it does make

Mac 'n cheese with skinless chicken breasts filled with sour cream and herbs and wrapped in prosciutto makes for a comforting meal.....

 My garden makes for a good place in the sun to clean the copper...

it's starting to take shape and I have planted spring seedlings at the bottom of the garden to be ready for the Spring wedding

Just praying the guinea fowls won't destroy them before...

and these pictures of sunset are what I see on a good day from my kitchen .....

Thankful for every day!

Take care

Shel xx

Monday, May 26, 2014

Beef short rib and this and that~

A robust meat dish .... Full of flavour to comfort you these cold winter nights!
We really enjoyed these caramelised ribs baked in the oven slowly for around 4 hours.
The dish needs all your love and care and it will turn out a hit.
I picked up my meat at the 2 Fat Butchers around the corner and my new favourite stop.
The 2 brothers are such great chaps and so obliging with how to get the best out of your joint ....they have free printable recipes to go!

Here's what a did with their recipe for short rib!


Olive oil
6 thick cut meaty beef short ribs
a large head of garlic, cut in half
1 tsp of puree of tomato
around 750ml good red wine..minus a glass for yourself!
1 litre of beef stock
150g chopped bacon
250g portabelli mushrooms, halved or button ones
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Chopped flat leaf parsley
fresh organic baby tomatoes roasted with olive oil and honey

Preheat oven to 170deg C. Heat a deep sided roaster or heavy bottom casserole dish.
Add olive oil . Season the ribs and fry off for 10 to 15 minutes until browned on all sides.
Add the garlic, tomato puree and heat for a minute or 2 . Pour in the wine to de glaze the pan, scraping the bits at the bottom.. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the liquid reduces to half, then add the stock to cover all the ribs. Bring to the boil basting the ribs.
Cover and cook in oven for 3 to 4 hours, basting now and then until the meat is falling off the bones.
About 10 minutes before the meat is ready, fry some bacon and add the mushrooms when bacon is crispy!
Roast the baby carrots for 15 minutes or so tossed in olive oil and honey. Drain the excess fat from the bacon, mushrooms and baby glazed carrots.
Serve the short rib topped with this mixture and complete by garnishing with flat leaf parsley!

Here are some photos from around and about my home~

 salmon, avo, pest and rocket on ciabatta!

beautiful lilies are some of the flowers I had arranged for the weekend~

I've been here only a short while
I've pruned, added, removed and dug over
a little fence adjusted
to keep my Chloe in..
all this has made me come to know
that there's no better place
than one's own sanctuary
one's own garden!
No matter how big or small !

some little collages to end! Have a great week.....

There's those words from that lyric of Diddy...
it  always stops me in my tracks...
I’m coming home
I’m coming home
Tell the World I’m coming home
Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday....

so much to be grateful for....just everyday things so many take for granted...  Shel

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lemon drizzle cake.

I found this recipe on the Welcome home blog. It's probably the nicest lemon cake I might ever have eaten.
What a refreshing blog too as she dedicates it to her mother and to animal shelters.
Simply lovely! So glad I found her ...I miss my mom so and can definately relate

But more on that special cake ~

Here goes the recipe~
Lemon cake with Lemon Vanilla Glaze.
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 lemons, zested
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs at room temp and lightly beaten
1 large egg yolk at room temp
1 cup and 2 tablespoons butter, room temp (21/4 sticks)
2 cups sugar

Preheat oven to 180deg C. Spray or grease and dust with flour a bundt tin....large one (12cup).
Zest lemons until you have 2 tablespoons. Squeeze lemons to get 3 tablespoonfuls. Combine lemon juice and lemon zest in a bowl and set aside.
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In a separate medium bowl, mix together your lemon and zest mixture together with vanilla, buttermilk. In a small bowl, gently whisk eggs and yolk to combine.
With your electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium high speed until fluffy and pale. This takes +-3 minutes, scape down the sides. Then add the eggs at medium speed mixing until incorporated. Reduce the mixer to a low speed then add the flour and alternate with the buttermilk mixture until all incorporated. Pour batter into prepared bundt tin.
Bake on centre rack until the top is golden and the skewer comes out clean. This will take around 45 minutes.Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes then invert directly onto wire rack.

2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted.
2 cups of icing sugar sifted.
1/4 tsp vanilla

Whisk 2 tablespoons lemon juice, melted butter, vanilla until smooth adding more lemon juice until glaze is thick but still pourable. Once cooled, pour over warm cake and let it cool for an hour before enjoying.
This did not last a day in my home ~~

and the perfect sunset to go with it~


Friday, May 16, 2014

Blue cheese muffins and warm butternut soup!

We are so fortunate to live in this climate...almost the middle of winter and we are being spoilt with these sunsets.

I have been spoilt for Mother's Day with a SMEG today I tried out the oven and really was impressed.

Here are my blue cheese muffins I made....delicious with ripe fig jam..

2 cups of AP flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tablesp Sugar
4 Tablesp melted marg or butter
250ml Milk
1 egg
pinch of salt 1/2 cup of crumbled blue cheese and 1/2 cup of strong cheddar
Combine all the dry ingredients and sift.
Melt the butter
Add to the wet ingredients
Mix together and bake for 10 to 15 mins in an oven at 220deg C

The  little bunny is from a local artist in Cape Town....I could not resist him as we have these hares on the golf course....I have often woken to one sitting at my front door and the reflection in the sandblasted glass of his long ears reminded me so of this beautiful little carving!

The weather is perfect for fire and soup at the moment and butternut soup is truly my favourite with a dash of heat in it and a touch of creme fraishe

Have a wonderful weekend!