27 July, 2010

Aunty Sue's Granola

Not sure where my aunt got this from but it's delicious!

Mix Together:
     5C Oats
     1C wheat germ
     1C shredded coconut
     1/2C sunflower seeds
     1/2C sesame seeds
     1/2C nuts
     1/2tsp salt

Heat together:
     1/2C honey
     1/2C sunflower oil
Then add another 1/2C oil to heated mixture.

(When I make this I often cut down on the oil and honey so that it is less sweet and mor healthy)
Mix with the dry ingredients and place on 1 or 2 baking/cookie sheets. Bake for 30 minutes on low heat - until crispy. Be sure to continue to check and stir the mixture so that it does not burn. Once cooked, turn off the oven and let the granola dry in the oven.


A taste of home...

3C oats
1C branflakes, crushed
2T sesame seeds
2T wheat germ
2T bran
2T brown sugar
2T milk powder
1/2C chopped nuts
1/2C raisins
1/2C coconut

Mix together and add any sort of other seed or cereal or nut (sunflower seeds, pumkin seeds etc)
Delicious with milk or yogurt. Also great in rusks!

Cinnamon Rolls

Every Christmas my mom makes a lot of these and then freezes them. During December and especially on my birthday and Christmas day we have them for breakfast with a cup of tea. They are a sweet, nutty, cinnamony treat! The original recipe is from an old Betty Crocker Recipe book.

Sweet Roll Dough:

     Dissolve 1 package active dry yeast in 1/4C warm water.
     Stir in 1/4C milk (scalded then cooled)
               1/4C sugar
               1/2 tsp salt
               1 egg
               1/2C shortening (softened)
               1 1/4C flour

Beat until smooth. Mix in up to 1 1/4C more flour until easy to handle. Knead until smooth and elastic - about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl and cover with a dish towel. Let rise in a warm place until double (from 1.5-2.5 hours) - or until an impression remains in the dough when touched. Punch down.

Roll dough out on a floured surface into a 15X9" rectangle. Spread with 2T soft margarine/butter and sprinkle with a mixture of 1/4C sugar and 2tsp cinnamon. (optional - sprinkle with handful of raisins) Roll up and pinch edges to seal. Cut into approx. 15 slices.

Meanwhile, melt 1/4C margarine/butter. Stir in 1/2C brown sugar, 2T corn syrup/honey, 1/2C pecan or walnut halves. Spread this mixture in the bottom of a 9X13" pan. Place the rolled slices on the pan and let rise in warm place until double (30 minutes-1 hour). Bake 25-30 minutes.

Eat them fresh and warm or stick them in the freezer and pop one in the microwave whenever you want a treat!

26 July, 2010

Walnut French Toast

My own experiment - and it worked! The fried walnuts give this a wonderful flavour.

2 eggs
1/4 C milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
handful of chopped walnuts
4 slices bread
oil for frying

Beat the eggs til fluffy. Add the milk, cinnamon and vanilla, Add the walnuts.
Heat 1T oil in a frying pan on med-high heat. Dip the bread into the egg mixture and let soak, turn over for the otehr side. Press the walnuts into the soft bread (you may have to scoop some on top of it). Fry on each side.

25 July, 2010

Goodbye 7 Pine

I have been house-sitting for a couple of my professors for the past 2 weeks. Being so far from home and living in the campus dorms has made me miss some of the simple things of a "normal" life; taking care of pets, having my own kitchen & pantry, sitting outside drinking ice-tea and reading the paper (or just doing the cross-word in my case...). But house-sitting gives me a chance to do some of the "domestic" things I've missed. It was two weeks of wonderful relaxation!

Sadly the two weeks is done.
This poem is a little tribute to my time there :)

This place has been my own;
A space
In time and life to be alone;
To escape and hide myself
From reality.

I shared it with no one;
It was solely mine,
For a time.

I shall miss you, 7 Pine.

24 July, 2010

banana smooothie...mmmmm!

Need a use for a rotten banana? Don't throw it out! Stick it in the freezer. Then, when you feel in the mood for a fruity treat try this! Sweet, cool deliciousness in a glass!

1 frozen banana, peeled and chopped in chunks
1 small apple, peeled and chopped in chunks
1/2 ice cubes
approx 3 heaped T plain yogurt
1/2 tsp cinamon
1T honey
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 C milk

Blend together. Taste. Adjust to your own taste and mood. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

23 July, 2010

Lentil Sausage Soup

One of my professors made this for a class dinner once. Its a delicious soup and very flexible - add what you will and make it your own!

1 Italian sausage, hot or sweet
(or use mince/hamburger) meat
1 onion, chopped
1 crushed garlic clove
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot chopped
1/2 cup lentils
19-oz can tomatoes, including juice
4 cups chicken broth (or bouillon)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup rice

Remove casing from sausage.  Break sausage into several pieces.  Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Drain off any liquid and fat.  Break into small pieces.  Stir in other ingredients, except rice.  Cover and microwave on high until soup boils, about 20 minutes.  Stir in rice.  Than microwave on medium until lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.  Stir in green onions, if desired.  Add salt if needed. (makes 6 cups)

Blender Mayonnaise

Store-bought mayonnaise was something of a luxury growing up; it was a treat we only got from South Africa or from over-seas because of the shortages in Zim. The local version (when you could find it) was good but has a strong, tangy, vinegary taste that is overpowering in any dish.
This is an easy and quick recipe for mayonnaise that my mom and I made often - it is whipped up in a blender and is just as good as the store-bought varieties. Its a receipe from an old book of my mom's and I'm afraid I do not remember the name of the book.

1 egg
1 T white vinegar


½ tsp salt
¼ tsp Dry mustard
1/8 tsp Paprika
Dash red pepper

Add ½ C oil with blender slowly running

Stop and add 1 T lemon juice. Blend.

Then add another ½ C oil with blender slowly running.

Push down sides with spatula. Blend until fully combines. Refrigerate.


This is my Grandmother's recipe - adjust as needed!

6 parts flour
4 parts marg
2 parts castor sugar

Mix all ingredients well. Press into pan and cook for approx ½ hour at 325.

Ginger Nut Biscuits

These are a delicious ginger biscuit/cookie that can be made crunchy or chewy; whatever your heart so desires! This is another recipe that my mom would make - filling the house with a scrumptious, warm, ginger aroma.

Cream together:
     1C margarine/butter
     2C sugar
     2 eggs
     1C golden syrup/honey/corn syrup

Add in together:
     4C flour
     2t ginger
     1t cinnamon
     1t mixed spice
     2t baking soda

Set oven temperature to 375. Shape into balls and bake on ungreased baking sheet for 10-12 minutes.

Chewy - remove from tray immeditely and cool on wire rack
Crunchy - leave to cool on the trays

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

I found a coconut cupcake recipe on the foodnetwork site - then I made my own adjustments...

3/4 cup butter/margarine
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 heaping tsp grated lime/lemon zest
1 1/2 T lime/lemon juice (bottled or freshly squeezed)
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/3 cups loosely packed sweetened coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl and folding in after each addition. Add the vanilla, zest, juice and mix well. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 5 parts total, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in the coconut.
Grease a muffin pan or line with paper liners and fill almost to the top with batter. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer cupcakes to a baking rack to cool completely.
Frost if desired.

Yum Yum Coffee Cake

Another from my mother; I'm not sure where it comes from originally but the cake turns out fluffy and light - mmmmm!

½ C marg (softened)
1 C sugar
2 eggs
2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
½ tsp salt
1 C sour cream/buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Cream together marg and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to marg/sugar mixture alternately with the sour cream. Lastly add the vanilla. Spread half the batter into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle half the filling (1/3 C brown sugar, ¼ C white sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 C chopped nuts) then spread remaining batter over that. Lastly put the remaining batter on top. Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes - til inserted toothpick comes out clean

Mini Sweet Potato Scones

Another recipe that I found online (allrecipes.com) and tweaked a little...

Mix together and set aside:
2 1/2 Cups flour (if using self-raising flour omit baking powder and salt)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

In a seperate bowl cream together 1/2 Cup butter/margarine/applesauce and 1/4 Cup white sugar, 2 Tablespoons brown sugar.

Add 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest/lemon juice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Mix in 1 Cup grated (raw) sweet potatoe.
Stir in to flour mixture.

Drop 2 inces apart on ungreased cookie tray. Bake on 350 for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and leave on tray for 5 minutes before removing to cool on wire rack.

Spread/drizzle with mixture of powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice. Add water to desired consistency.

Sweet Potato Cake (or muffins!)

This cake recipe is another adaption from an online source (sorry I can't remember where!) The potato gives it an eye-catching orange hue and a sweet flavour that is quite addicting! I have made it as both a cake and as muffins and both are delicious!

3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup chopped golden raisins (optional)
2 1/4 cups sifted flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 2 9"cake pans or one 9x13" pan. (or grease/line a 12 muffin muffin-pan)

Mix together buttermilk, potatoes, and raisins in a medium bowl and refrigerate. In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger. In a large bowl, cream butter or margarine. Gradually add white and brown sugars, creaming until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly.
Beating only until smooth after each addition, alternately add dry ingredients in fourths and potato mixture in thirds to creamed mixture. Turn batter into prepared pan(s), and spread evenly.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until cake tests done. Cool, and remove from pans.

Ginger Pudding

This is a unique take on the traditional South African malva pudding. Serve hot with ice-cream or whipped cream, or cold with hot home-made custard.

1c. sugar
1 egg
1T butter
1 T vinegar
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp bi carb
1 T apricot jam

Mix all  of the above ingredients together. Add 1cup of milk and then 1cup of flour. Pour into a greased 11x7 inch pan and bake at 400 F. for 35 minutes.

1 c. milk
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. butter
1 cup sugar

Boil together about 5 min before pudding is due out the oven and pour hot sauce slowly over pudding. Set aside and allow sauce to soak into the pudding before serving.


Another family favourite. My frist memory of these is when we first went to South Africa for a family holiday at the beach and would sit drinking tea and eating rusks early in the morning.
This recipe makes quite a large batch of rusks - I usually devide it in half...

500ml sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk or lacto
300 grams margarine/butter
1 kg self raising flour
10 ml salt
25 ml baking powder
5 cups muesli/granola (muesli recipe found here )

Melt the margarine/butter then add the sugar, eggs, and buttermilk. Mix dry ingredients and add to mixture, mix well. Mixture will be sloppy. Divide into thirds, and then divide each third into small balls. Place in greased cake pan(s) side by side (can use 9x13'' or round cake pans or loaf pans). Bake at 180 or 350 for 45 to 60 min - until cooked fully through.
Break balls apart when cool and then cut into rectangles (about four rectangle per ball) Cake may be crumbly!
Place gently on cookie sheets and bake on low til dry and crunchy. This may take several hours.

Hungarian Crumb Cake

I have no idea where this recipe came from but mom made it at home all the time. It is one of my favourite cakes - a delicious, most spice cake with a crumb topping. mmmmm!

2 C Flour
1 C Sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
½ C shortening (i.e. margarine or butter)
1 egg beaten
2 T molasses/honey/golden(corn) syrup
1 C sour cream/buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350. Sift together flour, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg. Cut in shortening and mix till crumbly. Reserve 1 Cup crumbs for topping. Add beaten egg, molasses, sour milk and soda. Mix well and pour into greased 8" square pan or a 9" round pan. Sprinkle reserved crumbs on top. Bake 30 minutes.