Food, Recipes

Date Night….

Splendid Salmon


If you are looking for an uncomplicated fool proof ‘’Date night’’ spectacular, this Salmon is for you!

Salmon is best prepared with only salt, black pepper and lemon.  This way you can enjoy and appreciate the freshness.


Pan fried Salmon ingredients:

  • Fillet Salmon

Sprinkle of salt, black pepper and paprika ( I prefer adding paprika to add a little extra colour)

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice


Pan fried Salmon method:

Heat pan with drizzle of olive oil to very hot.  Sprinkle salmon with salt, black pepper and paprika on both sides.  Fry skin side down first for 3 minutes and gently turn around and fry the other side for another 3 minutes.  Squeeze with fresh lemon juice.  Rest for 2 minutes.  Salmon is best served pink in the middle – so be careful not to overcook




The famous Salmon run takes place from September to November every year.  This happens when salmon migrates from the ocean and swim to upper rivers.  This means party time for eagles, grizzly bears and fisherman


The eggs of a female Salmon are referred to as ‘’ROE”



Black rice is very high in nutritional value and source of iron and antioxidants (bonus…and off course it looks sooo pretty )

Black rice ingredients:

½ cup                  Thai Black rice

5ml                       Salt

2 cups                  Water

65ml                     Hoison sauce


Black rice method:

Add black rice, salt and water to a pot and bring to the boil.  Boil for 10 minutes and reduce heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes.  When rice is ready, add Hoison sauce and cook for another 3-4 minutes – only until all liquid and hoison sauce is absorbed

Garnish your perfectly cooked pan fried Salmon and Black rice with edible flowers and micro leaves




Blueberry Waffles


Forget about wacky Wednesday…bring on Waffle Wednesday

This crispy, warm, indulging, syrupy, dough heaven called a waffle is the underdog that needs some uplifting and appreciation

Thanks to my dad who won this cool waffle maker machine at a golf day lucky draw, and mom for the ‘’hand me down’’.  How cool is this heart shape waffles!!!!


Waffle ingredients:

250g                     Cake flour

7g                          Baking powder

20g                       White sugar

5g                          Salt

475ml                   Milk

2                            Eggs

30ml                     Oil

175g                     Dried Blueberries


Waffle Method:

Whisk milk and eggs together and add to dry ingredients using a whisk.  Ensure there is no lumps and add oil and dried blueberries.  Mix and rest for 5-10 minutes.

Heat your waffle maker and spray with ‘’cook and spray’’.  Scoop ¾ waffle mix into waffle maker and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown and crispy on the outside

Serve with Ice cream or whipped cream.  Top it, syrup it, sprinkle it.  Enjoy it.



Fresh blueberries can be used as a natural food colouring

The perfect fresh blueberry should be ‘’dusty’’ in colour





Food, Recipes

The Daily


Time to kick 2016 off with an Epic BBQ Pulled Pork wrap

Last year smoking of meat and vegetables, smoked flavours, home brewed beer and sriracha sauce took the world by storm…this year it is even going to get bigger and wilder!


BBQ sauce ingredients:

2 tbsp                   Olive oil

1 tsp                     Cumin seeds

2 tbsp                   Fennel seeds

2 tbsp                   Smoked paprika

200g                     Brown sugar

200g                     Tomato sauce

2 tbsp                   Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp                   Lemon juice

100ml                   Chutney

1 tsp                     Lemon zest

2 cloves               Garlic, chopped fine



Heat olive oil and fry cumin seeds, fennel seeds and smoked paprika for a few minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.  When you see the bbq sauce going all sticky and dark brown in colour – you know you are on the right track.

To prepare the Pulled Pork:  Rub pork shoulder (bone in) with salt, pepper and paprika. Roast for 1 hour at 250°C until it forms a black ‘’bark’’ (this is the pork rind that is almost burnt).  Don’t be afraid or panic.  Your dinner is not spoiled!  The ‘’bark’’ is what keeps all the love juices from the pork inside and makes the meat succcccculent.  Reduce your heat to 90°C and roast for another 6 hours. Remove from oven and pour 1 cider over and roast for another 2 hours.  Remove the ‘’bark’’ and pull your pork apart with a fork.  Yes a fork – that’s how soft and succulent it will be. When it is cooled down – mix in some bbq sauce


To assemble the bbq pork wrap:  Top with coleslaw, pulled pork and mayonnaise mixed with Sriracha sauce.


Sriracha – type of hot sauce or chili sauce made from paste of chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt




Another few trends to take 2016 by storm……

Artisan ice cream



Watch this space – there is much more coming your way!



















Food, Recipes

Sweet Spring



This very energetic couple met years ago when Jana’s ‘’volla’’ decided not to start on a rainy day in Cape town. The pound was calling and they decided to move to London to explore the flip side. After living in London for 8 years it was time to say goodbye to the underground, rides on the red bus, have their last sip of Starbucks coffee, last stroll along the Thames River, wave their last wave to the Queen and return to sunny South Africa.

When you enter their beautiful farm cottage you walk into a wall of memories with photographs of all their travels over the world.   Antique furniture welcomes you into their home and the smell of freshly brewed coffee which is right up my ally.

Jana’s style is simple yet sophisticated with a fun flair here and there. Her passion for good food and produce are quickly noted and you can see…this girl loves cooking and entertaining…and she does not hold back!

The picturesque of blossoming trees, dust roads and perfect blue sky screams the start of spring! We could not have asked for a better setting.



It Must Be Spring

Hush, Can you hear it?

The rustling in the grass,

Bringing you the welcome news Winter’s day is past.

Soft, Can you feel it?

The warm caressing breeze, Telling you the sticky buds Are bursting on the trees.

Look, Can you see them?

The primrose in the lane, Now you must believe it – Spring is here again.



Beetroot & Mint juice

For all my vegetable juices, I use a Masticating juicer to get the most vitamins and minerals out of the vegetables


6 -7                         Fresh Raw Beetroots (washed and peeled)

Fresh Ginger (about a 2cm piece)

Handfull               Fresh Mint

1                              Ripe Pear

1                              Whole lemon (skin and all)


Simply cut all the ingredients into chucks and juice…. The great thing about any juice is you don’t have to follow a recipe. You can add as many or as little fresh ginger and fresh mint according to taste.  The sweetness of the beetroot and the tanginess of the fresh lemon is the best combination.

Try to serve immediately and enjoy!


If your hands become stained during preparation and cooking beetroot, rub some lemon juice over them to help remove the colour


Beetroot’s deep, overpoweringly red juice has earned it the reputation as the most bossy of vegetables…..


Other ideas for fresh beetroot apart from roasting, baking & juicing:

Beetroot greens can be used in salads in place of lettuce or spinach leaves…

Beetroot loves strong and salty partners – think smoked fish, goats cheese and capers…

Beetroot & Chocolate cake…

Beetroot with melted brie on toast






Drinking Coffee can help you burn fat!!  Studies have shown that drinking caffeine can increase your metabolism 3 to 11%. It’s one of the few chemicals that can actually help with fat burning, so might as well drink up!  Once a coffee-lover made a world record of consuming coffee. He drank 82 cups of coffee in 7 consecutive hours. WOW!!


Homemade Granola

I like to make a big batch at a time, as you can keep it for long and you will see, it is so much nicer than normal store-bought granola that before you know it, it will be all gone.


8 cups                   Raw rolled oats

½ cup                   Wheat germ

1 ½ cup                Sunflower seeds

½ cup                   Flaxseed

2 cups                   Desiccated coconut

2 teaspoons         Fine Cinnamon

1 Handfull           Mixed raw nuts

¾ cup                  Honey

2 tps                     Vanilla

3 tbsp                  Canola oil

1 tbsp                   Water

1 Handful           Dried cranberries/raisins



Mix all the dry ingredients together (apart from the raisins/cranberries). Heat the honey, vanilla, oil and water until it boiling hot and drizzle over the dry ingredients. I always add extra honey as this recipe doesn’t contain any sugar. Bake at about 180 degrees C in a shallow baking dish until the colour change and the oats becomes crispy. Remember to stir every now and then ensuring that the whole batch gets light brown and crispy.Once you think the granola is nearly ready add the raisins or cranberries for the last 15 minutes.



The first day of spring in the Southern Hemisphere is the first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere


Children actually grow faster in the spring than during other times of the year.i According to a Facebook study, couples are most likely to break up in the spring and two weeks before Christmas. The lowest breakup time was Christmas Day and from August through October




Savoury French Toast with feta & thyme


1                              Stale French loaf – sliced

3                              Eggs

100g                       Crumbed feta

Fresh Thyme

Freshly ground salt & pepper

1 knob                     Butter



Simply whisk the egg, add some thyme leaves, salt and pepper and soak the bread on both sizes for a few minutes until nice and soggy. In the meantime, get your pan nice and hot with some melted butter.

Pan-fry the toast until lightly browned on both sides for about 3 minutes on each side.

Once the French toast is ready, scatter with lots of feta and some more thyme leaves. The cold feta cheese will start to melt on the warm French toast making it soft and adding a salty savoury flavour to the hot French toast. To make the French toast even more Moorish, scatter with chopped olives and sundried tomatoes.



In France, French Toast is often called pain perdu, or “lost bread.” French bread goes stale and hard, or is “lost” quite quickly, but a few hundred years ago, poor French families had to use it up anyway. They soaked their stale bread in eggs and milk before frying, making it easier to chew.



Bread is probably the one food eaten by people of every race, culture and religion….

Murphy’s Law dictates that buttered bread will always land buttered-side down….

Breaking bread is a universal sign of peace….






During the spring, birds are more vocal as they sing to attract mates and warn away rivals




Jana & Jaco Lategan












Food, Places, Recipes

Let there be wine

“24 August 2011”

On this date, winemaker Eric Saayman won the General Smuts trophy, South Africa’s most respected award for a young wine.  It was also the first and only time a Viognier…slightly wooded…won this coveted trophy since 1952 when A.P. Conradie lifted this prestigious beauty for the first time.

The Riebeek Cellars talisman is all rock & roll, with the likes of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Jimmy Hendrix and CCR on his list of favourite bands.  Looking at him, you will observe calmness when he is in focus while doing what he cares for.  Eric is a straight shooter, a family man, a friend; and one of the most passionate winemakers in South Africa.

Walking into Eric’s home in Riebeek Kasteel, we heard Bob Seger from the kitchen, the sound was inviting…

“And I stood arrow straight

Unencumbered by the weight

Of all these hustlers and their schemes

I stood proud, I stood tall

High above it all

I still believed in my dreams”

This particular song, ‘Like a rock’, was something Lens & Ladle could identify in the winemaker of Riebeek Cellars, and was looking forward making lunch with him, @ home with his beautiful wife, Alta.

Pop! goes the cork… Pieter Cruythoff Brut, you beauty!

Let’s roll Eric!!





“You are doomed to make choices.  This is life’s greatest paradox.”

Wayne Dyer







The Filling



A Ladle a day… keeps the hunger away…



Kasteelberg Shiraz is a lively rich wine, full bodied with a subdued smokiness on the nose and a palate of ripe fruit and interesting spice.

Well-balanced and smooth, the aftertaste lingers with the exciting flavours of Christmas pudding… lekker!!



…our Lens & Ladle food guru




Cinnabuns makes my toes curl…,but when I saw this recipe in the ‘Taste Magazine’ I started to drool with excitement!!

Cinnamon and Cranberry ‘Pull – apart’ loaf ingredients:

2 cups                   Milk

2.5 teaspoons       Instant yeast

100g                      Sugar

½ cup                   Canola oil

540g                      Cake flour

½ teaspoon          Baking powder

½ teaspoon          Ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons           Salt

120g                       Melted butter

100g                      Dried cranberries

300g                      Sugar for spiced sugar mix

5 tablespoons        Cinnamon


Cinnamon and Cranberry ‘Pull – apart’ loaf method:

Mix milk and instant yeast in a small bowl.  Place the sugar, oil, flour, baking powder, ground nutmeg and salt in large mixing bowl and add the milk yeast mixture.  Mix to form smooth dough (like you would make bread).  Set aside to rise for 1 hour to double in size.  Knock down the dough and roll out to make 50x25cm rectangle.  Cut out 5 x 25cm long rectangles.  Brush each rectangle with melted butter and scatter with cranberries.  Mix sugar and cinnamon together and dust each layer with the spicy sugar mix. Place all the layers on top of each other and cut into 6 equal parts.  Place them into a greased loaf tin, cut side up.  Set aside to rise for another hour.  Bake for 30 – 35 min at 180°C.  Allow to cool slightly before removing from loaf tin.

To serve:  mix 130g icing sugar with 1 shot freshly brewed espresso.  Drizzle over the cinnamon and cranberry loaf

OOOO my goodness!!  You will want to repeat this culinary explosion every day!


Eric’s toolbox





Eric made this beautiful Grenache Rose’ from the vineyard of, and for Morne du Plessis, former Springbok captain and Riebeek Kasteel habitant.






Just checking!



Clara & Schalk





Bacon and Walnut stuffed deboned chicken


20ml                     Oil

2                            Onions, finely chopped

1                            Packet streaky bacon, chopped into small blocks

2                            Garlic cloves, finely chopped

250g                     Brown mushrooms, sliced

150g                     Walnuts

4                            Slices of white bread, toasted and cut into blocks

1                            Egg

1                            Large deboned chicken



Fry onions with oil until soft and starting to caramelize.  Add bacon, garlic and mushrooms and fry until cooked.  Add walnuts, bread blocks and egg.

Now to get your hands dirty….

Stuff the chicken and roll up and tie with string.  Leave to rest and set for 1 hour.

Cook in Weber for 40 mins – 60 mins.  I like a squeeze of lemon right at the end.


Based on a Ina Paarman recipe





“Woke up this morning I was all alone
Saw your picture by the telephone
I was missing you oh so bad
Wish I had you here to hold
All I’ve got is this touch-tone phone
So I guess I’ll give you a call
Operator help me please”

BB King – ‘Telephone Song’


The big tin left of the wine bottle candle stick is Carbonell olive oil and was founded in Spain in 1866. Its quality & tradition have made it the Nº1 Olive Oil Brand in Spain.


Riebeek Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2015 tank sample in a humble plastic container, crisp on the palate…


The art of wine paired with food, a chicken flesh moment…




Roast Vegetables

The cool thing about vegetables is that you can’t really mess it up!!  The secret is to keep the sizes of the cut vegetables similar.  This will ensure an even cooking time and roasting colour.  Add fresh herbs for extra flavour or drizzle with balsamic vinegar.


50ml                       Olive oil

2                             Onions (red or white), cut into slices

10ml                       Ground coriander

10ml                       Ground cumin

10ml                       Paprika

2                             Garlic cloves, chopped fine

1                              Butternut, cut into blocks

1                              Yellow pepper, cut into strips

1                              Red pepper, cut into strips

2                             Babymarrows, cut into chunks

8                             Brussel Sprouts

10ml                      Salt and black pepper


Method for roast vegetables:

In a frying pan, add olive oil and onions and fry for 5 minutes until the onions starts to caramelize.  Add coriander, cumin, paprika and garlic and fry for a few minutes.  Add the onion mix with the rest of the ingredients into a roasting pan and roast for 25-30min at 180°C until cooked.  Garnish with char grilled rosa tomatoes on the vine.

Recipe by Eric Saayman




Autumn salad with citrus and poppy seed dressing

This is a whopping’ beaut’ of a salad.  Fresh, funky and full of flavour and texture. You will knock the socks off your guests.

Autumn salad ingredients:

200g                     Parboiled baby beetroot and cut into blocks

200g                     Parboiled baby carrots, peeled with stem on

2                            Salad springonions, thinly sliced

1                            Handfull coriander

1                            Handfull micro leaves

100g                     Feta cheese, cut into blocks


Autumn salad method:

Layer micro leaves and coriander in between baby beetroot and baby carrots.  Top with feta cheese blocks and drizzle with citrus and poppy seed dressing

Citrus and poppy seed dressing ingredients:

250ml                   Orange juice / Mango & Orange juice

2tbsp                    Sugar

1tbsp                    Salt

1tbsp                    Mustard powder

2tbsp                    Poppy seeds

Citrus and poppy seed dressing method:

Add juice, sugar, salt and mustard powder to a pot and bring to the boil.  Simmer until you have a ‘thick dressing’  consistency.  Cool down and add poppy seeds. YUM



Sweet, white & red, and at the back, Ben… please to meet you!




Alta & Eric





Nikki sitting on the right, or shall we say ‘Johnny come lately’, he has played a more prominent role as a babysitter on the day.

The Saayman’s is special people and playing a big role in the community of Riebeek Kasteel.  If you are passing by, pop in @ Riebeek Cellars and have a taste.  You won’t be sorry, and probably gain a whole new respect for the dynamic role this cellar plays in promoting wine.

To be or not to be…..surely to be!

Hup hup! Riebeek Cellars!



Food, Places, Recipes

My Basaar

It’s 07h00, still dark, the city already buzzing…the smell of coffee… fresh croissants just out of the oven… it’s the last day on location, and Loop street is walking, full of memories…

Bernice van der Merwe started her career as a food & décor writer, and a stylist on various publications.   In April 2012 she took on a dream and started her own business, My Basaar.

The name comes from her childhood years in Philipstown, where the annual church bazaar is one of the biggest events on the calendar.  Philipstown is situated in Big Sky country, eastern Karoo area almost right in the middle of South Africa.

It is the last day for My Basaar as a restaurant and food shop. The off site part of the business were acquiring a lot more time from her, and today…will not be shy asking for the same attention. There is just too much to do, preparing, cooking, serving …if life could go down as a book, and this part of the journey with My Basaar could go down as a chapter … it will go down as one to remember and a bloody good one too!

Lens & Ladle were in town to capture beautiful Bernice and her team, always cooking for, and serving their customers as if it was in the comfort of their own home.


Leya, David, Bernice, Charmaine and Manie.




City -the last verse

“I can’t believe I’m here and that I don’t fear tomorrow anymore. I think we might be headed for a great time. So look at me, tell me what you see and give me a left cheek kiss. If this is not called happiness and don’t know what it is.
So take a deep breath, tell me what you smell. I smell a good time in my life.
If this is not called happiness and don’t know what it is. I think I like this city.”

– Billie the vision and the dancers



Princess Marie Antoinette came to France as a new bride when she was only 15. The young queen missed the simple cake in the shape of crescent, of her homeland, Austria. To honor their new queen, the bakers in Paris made some “kipferls” of their own. The only difference was that they called it by the French word for crescent, “croissant” and made it look more complex for the royal dining table.


Barista, an Italian word meaning bartender.





Manie, the perfect gentleman from the beginning till the end.


































Bernice is a humble human being with a warm personality, and an inspiration for everyone around her.

With good reason this facts about Bernice van der Merwe will show you why…

her career started as an intern at ‘Huisgenoot’ and YOU magazine

assistant food editor at ‘Sarie’ magazine for 6 years

junior food editor at ‘Huisgenoot’ and YOU magazine for 6 years, stylist for décor & food, food writer

publications @ Caravan and Outdoor/Sarie/WEG/ / TV Plus/Huisgenoot/Drum Décor

Food styling on the latest ‘Kook en Geniet’, Wenresepte 500

Published cook book: One-Two-Three on the Table

Cook Book series (with Arina du Plessis):   Party Magic 2, Party Magic 3 and Party Magic 4

Televison @ Expresso Morning Show/Dagbreek Kyknet/Nataniël Tafel

Food Stylist on Marita van der Vyver’s new movie ‘Dis Koue Kos, Skat’ – coming to the big screens 2016


The door closed at 16h00, it was a long day that went by quickly.  Good times will be remembered!  The sit down, the knowing that they came out to your creation, your ideas, your food, to enjoy, to relax, to come away from the busy life in the city for a minute or two…to My Basaar.  A proud moment.

Photographs by Jorina:

Food, Places, Recipes

Koue Bokkeveld Kitchen Diaries

“…you may get a visitor over the weekend, looking for love, he’s got one brown and one blue eye, but if he is in your way, just send him home by saying, ‘huis toe!’.”

– Anso van der Merwe

Ghonzo, the farm sheepdog, were indeed a visitor, but what a lovely creature!

We were really looking forward to the weekend and what the beautiful landscapes of the Koue Bokkeveld had to offer… and… we loved it!   About 2 hours drive from Cape Town, through Ceres, Prince Alfred Hamlet, and flying past Oppie-berg, we took a left turn 23km’s later.   Our sights on Schoongezicht…fucking awesome!

Schoongezicht is a bit like a good song, the beginning is gripping, the verses are storytelling, the chorus is a true reflection of emotion meeting the punch line, the break make your thoughts going nowhere slowly while taking a grasp, and the ending will always echo in our existence as travel and food bloggers.

This came forward as a destination for everyone, no matter what your preference is…our preference was eating, drinking and having loads of fun!

Nico & Anso van der Merwe



Curry was adopted and anglicised from the Tamil word… kari …meaning ‘sauce’


“Once upon a time, man had a love affair with fire.”

– Robert McCammon, SWAN SONG


Olivea preparing…


Nikki on duty @ the fire department – making sure the heat is on


“Ghonzo” Chicken curry


4 tbsp            Olive oil

Large onion, chopped

2 tbsp             Curry powder

Red/green chili, chopped with seeds

1 tbsp             Cumin seeds

1 tbsp             Black mustard seeds

Curry leaves

Cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp              Chopped ginger

½ tbsp            Green cardamom powder

¼ tbsp             Fine cinnamon

½ tbsp              Turmeric

3 tbsp               Tomato paste

3 tbsp                White sugar

1-2 tbsp             Salt

½ tbsp              Black pepper

8                         Pieces of chicken – thighs and drumsticks

½                       Lemon – juice squeezed out

1                          Can chopped tomato

150ml                Water

150ml               Yogurt

150ml               Cream

Big handfull of chopped coriander

1 tbsp             Black onion seeds


Heat cast iron pot over medium heat coals.  Add olive oil and onion, and fry for 5-10 minutes.  Add curry powder, chili, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves, chopped garlic, chopped ginger, green cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, tomato paste, white sugar, salt and black pepper, and fry for 10-15 minutes.  Remove from the pot and keep aside.  In the same pot – sear the chicken on both sides until golden brown.  Squeeze with lemon and close the lid.  Simmer chicken for 10 minutes.

Add the onion spice mix back in the pot with the chicken, and add tomato and water.  Simmer for 30-40 minutes over a low – medium coal heat.

In a separate container mix yogurt, cream coriander and black onion seeds together.  Take 1 tablespoon of the tomato curry sauce in the pot and mix this in with the yogurt mix.  This will ensure that the yogurt does not ‘’split’’ your sauce.  Add the rest of the yogurt & cream mix slowly to the tomato curry sauce in the pot.  Simmer for another 20-30 minutes over a low- medium coal heat.


Saag Aloo

Traditionally Saag Aloo is made with potato and spinach, and served as a side dish with Indian Curry.  But – as a ‘’usual’’ food blogger – we add our own bit of magic…and in this case the star of the show is Aubergine


2 tbsp               Olive oil

1                        Onion, finely chopped

2                        Large Aubergine, cut into blocks

2 tbsp               Butter

2                        Garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tbsp                Chopped ginger

500g                 Potato, peeled, cut into big chunks and cooked

1 tbsp                Cumin seeds

½ tbsp              Black mustard seeds

½ tbsp              Turmeric

250g                  Baby spinach


Heat olive oil in pan and add onion.  Fry until soft.  Add aubergine pieces and fry until golden brown.  (Aubergines are very thirsty for oil, you might have to add a few more drops). Add butter, chopped garlic, chopped ginger, potato, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds and turmeric.  Fry for 20-30 minutes on a very low heat.  When you are ready to eat – add the baby spinach and quickly fry for 2 minutes on high heat.


Naan, Nan or Khamiri


Koue Bokkeveld firestarter…Arrie will explain on arrival… he, together with Grieta, are the people you will be likely to meet first on your arrival… humble and helpful is probably the best way to describe this extraordinary couple.



Griet’s freshly baked – the morning after arrival Grieta baked us a welcome surprise!


A plunger of ‘sawwe lyf’






The Old English word stofa meant any individual enclosed space, such as a room, and ‘stove’ is still occasionally used in that sense, as in ‘stoved in’. Until well into the 19th century ‘stove’ was used to mean a single heated room.’




Bokkeveld Jaffles

 The smell of jaffles takes me right back to the good old days at the ‘’kerk basaar’’ on a Saturday morning.  Since the 90’s people have made much more exciting fillings than curry mince.

The secret is a good farm style white bread….more than 3 days old.  Butter the bread on the outside and squeeze it with your cast iron jaffle pan.

You will be in ‘’carb’’ heaven soon…

Ingredients for Tomato Chili Jam

40ml             Canola oil

1                   Red onion, finely chopped

Large red peppers, deseeded & finely chopped

Red chillies, chopped with pips

5                   Garlic cloves, chopped fine

400g             Fresh or canned chopped tomato

750g             White sugar

100g             Balsamic vinegar

150g             Red wine vinegar

Method for Tomato Chili jam

Heat pan with canola oil and add red onion.  Fry until almost soft.  Add red peppers, red chili, chopped garlic, chopped tomato and white sugar, and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add balsamic and red wine vinegar, and simmer for another 30-40 minutes until caramelized and ‘’sticky’’.  Cool down in a jar or tupperware container.

 Method for the ultimate Bokkeveld jaffle:

Butter 2 slices of bread (yes with real butter).  Layer with 2 tablespoons of tomato chili jam, thinly sliced onion, thinly sliced tomato, salt, black pepper and cheese.  Place it, butter side down, in the jaffle maker and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side on a low – medium heat.

If tomato chili jam does not ‘’rock your boat’’ – be adventurous and try some new fillings.  Bully Beef & Gruyere cheese OR Pork belly braised in soya sauce, Dijon mustard, cheese, fermented Chinese cabbage and sesame seeds.




The Protea is named after the Greek god, Proteus, who could change his form at will.  Schoongezicht has an amazing 6km walking/biking route where you could experience this gift of nature, in its different forms, like Proteus.




Just mind blowing…


Meanwhile… back at the ranch…

Jenga – game on!




Clara was simply a better player than Schalk, a promising youngster…



The Cottage – base camp: Lens & Ladle



Clara & Olivea, hands in the pocket…




Gourmet Dogs

People have different opinions of what characteristics a good sausage must have.  For me…it is about the ‘’knak’’ in the bite.  If there is no resistance when you bite – then it is usually not a real German sausage.  And the German’s rule when it comes to making sausages!!

The choice of bread you can use to rest your doggy on, is endless.  Plain white or brown.  Brioche or toasted.  Sourdough or bread with sesame seeds.  Whatever your heart desires.

Toppings are key.  The fresher, the better.  Wild rockets adds a peppery taste and coleslaw adds crunch and tangy.  Tomato and cucumber gives your conscious a break and cheese make everything taste better.

We bought our sausages from a very special shop in Gardens shopping centre:  Raith Gourmet.  Pay them a visit – they have much more than a sausage on offer.

Homemade wholegrain mustard mayo

If you are too lazy, boring and ordinary – take any branded ready made mayonnaise and mixed with wholegrain mustard


1                              egg yolk

1 tbsp                     Lemon juice

1 tbsp                     Water

1 tsp                       Dijon mustard

1 cup                      Olive oil

1 tsp                       Salt

1 tbsp                     Wholegrain mustard


Mix egg yolk, lemon juice, water and Dijon mustard together with a fork.  With a stick blender – add the olive oil to the egg mixture, little by little.  Remove stick blender and mix in wholegrain mustard.



Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveller, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

– Robert Frost, the road less travelled







Roasted pumpkin with honey & nuts


¼                 Pumpkin with skin on, cut into wedges

4 tbsp           Oil (I prefer canola oil when roasting)

½ tbsp         Salt

1 tbsp           Fine cinnamon

2 tbsp           Honey

3-4 tbsp       Roasted mixed nuts


Drizzle pumpkin with oil, and then roast for 20 minutes at 180°C.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt, cinnamon and 1 tbsp of honey.  Roast for another 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is cooked and golden brown.  Remove from the oven and assemble on your favourite platter.  Drizzle with the rest of the honey and sprinkle with nuts.

The crunchy nuts adds a lovely texture to this dish.  You can add ground green cardamom to the pumpkin for extra fragrance or crushed chili flakes for some extra kick.


Pork Neck with Fennel rice

Ingredients for Pork neck

30ml             Oil

1.2kg             Pork neck

10ml             Salt

3ml               Black pepper

1                     Large onion, sliced

100ml           White wine

1                     Lemon’s juice squeezed out

100ml            Cream

1tbsp              Wholegrain mustard

Method for Pork neck

Heat oil in cast-iron pot over medium heat coles. Add the onions and fry until soft.  Remove from the pot and keep aside.  Add pork neck and sear on each side until golden brown.  Salt and pepper and reduce coles to a low simmer.  Put a lid on the pot and simmer for 30 minutes.  Do not add any water if it is not necessary. Add the onion back into the pot with the white wine and lemon juice.  Simmer for another 40 minutes.  The pork neck should be ready, if it is not soft and succulent, put it back in the pot and simmer for another few minutes.  Remove the pork neck from the pot and let it ‘’rest’’ for a few minutes.  If you like your meat sliced – now is your time to shine.  If you are anything like my family – take the knife and cut of the size you want!  Add the cream and wholegrain mustard to the rest of the ‘’gravy’’ in the pot and simmer for a few minutes.  Pour over the pork neck and enjoy!!  Pork neck can be substitute with Pork fillet

Ingredients for fennel rice

20ml              Olive oil

Medium size onions, chopped

Garlic cloves, chopped

3 tbsp             Fennel seeds

1 tbsp              Cumin seeds

300ml             Basmati rice

400ml             Water

10ml                Salt

1 tbsp               Butter

Method for fennel rice

Heat olive oil in pot and add onions.  Fry until soft and starting to caramelize.  Add the chopped garlic, fennel seeds and cumin seeds and fry for a few minutes.  Add the basmati rice and fry for another few minutes.  Add the water – little by little.  Slowly cook the rice over low heat.  You might not need to use all the water.  This takes about 10-15 minutes until cooked.  When your fennel rice is good to go, add the salt and butter.





Chocolate pudding with berry & balsamic compote

Did you ever notice there are no recipes for leftover chocolate….

It’s not that chocolates are substitute for love.  Love is a substitute for chocolate – Miranda Ingram

Giving chocolate to others is an intimate form of communication, a sharing of deep dark secrets- Milton Zelma

Ingredients for chocolate pudding (Nigella recipe)

60g                       Butter

170g                     Caster sugar

1                            Egg

140g                     Cake flour

30ml                    Cocoa powder

15ml                     Baking powder

2ml                       Salt

200ml                  Milk

Ingredients for chocolate syrup

250ml                   Water

200g                     White sugar

15ml                      Cocoa powder

Method for chocolate pudding and syrup:

Cream butter and sugar together until white and fluffy.  Add egg and whisk.  Sift cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together and add to the butter mixture.  Add milk and mix.  Spoon mixture into a large greased ovenproof dish.

For the syrup:  Add all ingredient together in a pot and bring to the boil.

Pour the syrup over batter and bake in preheated oven @ 180°C for 30 minutes.

For the berry & balsamic compote:  Add 350g frozen berries (your choice), 150g white sugar, 60g balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp lemon zest and 1 tsp black pepper to a pan.  Simmer for 15 minutes at a very low heat until caramelized and ‘’sticky’’.  Cool down and serve with Chocolate pudding


Beautiful landscape by Jorina



Ghonzo looking at Clara… with his colourful eyes…brown & blue



Breakfast Cups (4 to 6 people)


250 g  Streaky / back bacon

1 punnet mushrooms (chopped in small pieces)

1 sachet Ina Paarman Basil Pesto (Home made is the best – if you have the time to make it)

Eggs (1 egg per cup)

feta cheese


Line the cup out with the uncooked bacon

Fry the mushrooms,  add the pesto and fry for another 2 to 3 minutes

Add a tablespoon of the mushroom/pesto mixture on the bacon

break the egg on the top of that

crumble feta cheese on the egg

bake in pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes or until the white of the egg is solid


The oldest verifiable record was “Old Billy”, a 19th-century horse that lived to the age of 62.  In modern times, “Sugar Puff”, who had been listed in Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living pony, died in 2007 at age 56.



All recipes by Olivea

Food, Recipes


Chocolate chocolate – everybody screams for chocolate!

Best combo for the winter = hot cocoa ……with a choc chip cookie

Some facts about chocolate – use it…don’t use it


  • The smell of chocolate increases brain waves, which triggers relaxation
  • White chocolate isn’t technically chocolate.  As it contains no cocoa solids or cocoa liquor
  • It takes approximately 400 cocoa beans to make 450 g of chocolate
  • M& M’s were created in 1941 for soldiers to enjoy chocolate without melting
  • Eating dark chocolate every day reduces the risk of heart disease by one-third (now that is what I’m talking about!!!!!)
  • Chocolates can sicken or even kill dogs.  (keep it with you at all times……)


Chocolate Chip Cookies






1  cup                  Brown sugar

1  cup                  White sugar

250g                    Butter

2                           Eggs

3  cups                 Cake flour

3tsp                      Baking powder

200g                    Chocolate chips

1tsp                       Vanilla essence



Creamy brown sugar, white sugar and butter together until creamy.  Whisk in the eggs and vanilla essence.  Mix the dry ingredients together and slowly add to the butter mixture.

Roll into balls or shapes and bake for 10 minutes at 180°C.

Cool down on a cooling rack and hide the cookie jar!!!!

Hot Cocoa (makes 2 cups)




4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa

1 tbsp sugar (if you like it sweet)

pinch of salt

2  cups milk

2 chocolate lindt balls

mini marshmallows



Mix cocoa, salt, sugar and bit of milk together to make a paste

Add rest of milk and bring to boil in a pot. Pour hot chocolate into your favourite mug and finish it off with your favourite lindt chocolate balls and a handful of mini marshmallows.


a balanced diet is chocolate in both hands

if there is no chocolate in heaven, I’m not going……

chocolate is cheaper than therapy and you don’t need an appointment
Food, Recipes

something delicious for the weekend!

Pork without apple is like ‘’slap chips’’ without vinegar……..

Pork chops with apple sauce and crushed herb potatoes



Ingredients:  Pork chops with apple sauce

2tbsp                    Oil

2                            Pork chops

½                          Onions, sliced

2tbsp                    Balsamic vinegar

120ml                   Chenin blanc

1tbsp                     White sugar

120ml                   Water

40ml                     Cream

½                          Green apple, skin on and cut into wedges

½                          Red apple, skin on and cut into wedges




Sear pork chops in hot pan with oil.  Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes on each side.  Remove from pan and keep aside while preparing the sauce.  In the same pan:  fry onion until golden brown, add more oil if necessary.  Add balsamic vinegar, chenin blanc, white sugar and water and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the pork chops back into the pan with cream and apple wedges.  Simmer for another 10 minutes and serve with crushed herb potatoes.



Ingredients: Crushed herb potatoes

2tbsp                   Canola oil

Spring onion, chopped

4                           Medium potatoes (cut into wedges and roasted with skin on for 20 minutes)

2tbsp                   Butter

10ml                    Chopped chives

5ml                      Lemon zest

60ml                    Full cream milk




Heat canola oil in a pan and add spring onions.  Fry for 2 minutes and add roasted potatoes, butter, chopped chives, lemon zest, salt, pepper and full cream milk.  Fry for 5 minutes and take a whisk and crush the potatoes in the pan.




Food, Recipes

Something for Mothersday

Mothers day is very similar to Thanksgiving, but on this particular day your mom is the rock star!  South African siblings always feel the need to buy a small gift for appreciation to the anchor in your upbringing.  Some people go ‘’crazy’’ with coffee mugs and teddies!  Others buy leather handbags and some even yellow sports cars.  (I saw that once)

I remember as a little girl buying the most horrific bath salts at school and little sculptures made out of shells!  They break before you even get home.  But – every year my mother’s face use to light up when she opens the R 2 gift.

We have prepared three very simple, but delicious meals for mother’s day to help you get into the good books.


 Breakfast Deluxe




Ingredients for Vinaigrette

7 tbsp                    Olive oil

1 tbsp                    Wholegrain mustard

4 tbsp                    Montino light

5 tbsp                    White sugar

½ tbsp                  Salt

2 tbsp                    Apple cider Vinegar


Method:  Mix all ingredients together.  More sugar can be added for a sweeter taste.


Ingredients for Breakfast Deluxe

4 slices                 Freshly baked Bread (Ciabatta/ Rye Bread)


Fresh Wild Rocket

8                            Rashers of Bacon, cooked crispy

4                            Poached Eggs

Salt and Pepper to taste


Method:  Spread generous amount of  Butter on Freshly Baked Bread, top with Wild Rocket, Bacon, perfectly poached Eggs and season with Salt and Pepper.  Drizzle with Vinaigrette.

Tip for a Perfectly Poached egg:  Bring water to the boil and add a drop of White Vinegar.  Take a whisk and whisk the water vigorously.  Then slide in the Egg (broken into a container) and turn down the heat to a low simmer.  Set the timer for 3 minutes.  Remove from the water and enjoy your perfectly poached egg.  You will want to make it every day!! 


Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Pasta




Ingredients for Chicken & Mushroom sauce

3 tbsp                   Olive Oil

½                          Onion, sliced

2                            Chicken breast, cut into strips

8                            Mushrooms, sliced

½                          Garlic clove, chopped fine

1/2 tsp                  Mustard powder

1 tbsp                    Cake Flour

250 ml                  Cream

Salt and Pepper to taste

15 ml                     Chopped Parsley


Method:  Heat Olive oil in pan and add Onions and Chicken.  Fry until cooked and golden brown.  Add Mushrooms and Garlic cloves and fry for 5 minutes.  Add Mustard powder and Cake flour and fry for 2 minutes.  Add Cream little by little to pan.  Season with Salt and Pepper and add Parsley.  Serve sauce with your favourite cooked Pasta and garnish with freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, freshly chopped Herbs and Black Pepper.  For extra indulge:  Marinate Wild mushrooms in a little Olive oil and add to Chicken & Mushroom sauce before serving.


Trio of Rose 




Berry & Rose Sorbet Ingredients:

2 cups                   Riebeek Pinotage Rose

130 g                     White sugar

340 g                     Frozen Mixed Berries

Egg white


Method:  Add Rose and Sugar to a pot and bring to the boil.  Add Berries and cook for 5 minutes.  Place mix in blender and blend until smooth.  Pass through a sieve to strain all pips.  Place in freezer and freeze overnight.  Add egg white to Sorbet and beat with electric mixer.  Add back to freezer and freeze until hard.

White Chocolate, Rose and Roasted Nut Ice Cream

1 can                      Condensmilk

500 ml                  Cream

80 g                       White Chocolate, broken into little pieces

50 g                        Roasted Mixed Nuts

60 ml                     Riebeek Pinotage Rose


Method:  Beat Cream until stiff.  Add Condensmilk and Rose to Cream mixture and mix through.  Pour some of the Ice Cream mix into container , followed by a layer of White Chocolate and Nuts.  Repeat layers 3 times.  Place in freezer overnight.


Rose Panna Cotta

15 g                        Gelatine

250 ml                  Full cream milk

250 ml                  Cream

100 ml                  Riebeek Pinotage Rose

35 g                       White sugar

5 g                          Vanilla Pods/ Essence


Method:  Add 100 ml Full cream milk to Gelatine powder and set aside.  Bring 150 ml of Full cream milk with Cream, Riebeek Pinotage Rose and White sugar to the boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add Gelatine and Vanilla Pods to Cream mix and stir gently.  Pour into serving bowls and refrigerate to set.

All recipes by Olivea.


“Making the decision to have a child is
momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside
your body.” Elizabeth Stone

Food, Recipes

Harvest to Table….

Food is about taking the freshest most simple ingredient,  not ‘’faffing’’ by cooking it too much and just let it be!    This is exactly what we did on Troughend farm in Stellenbosch!  Enjoy the “harvest to table” shoot with us.  We did!





Lamb recipe with pesto

Marinate your pieces of lamb in a little bit of yogurt, cumin, lemon and garlic and you can make tasty kebabs with them! Make sure your fire is very very hot and ‘’braai’’ for about 3 minutes on each side.  Your neighbors will come knocking on your door.





Lamb chops with salsa verde


2 Cloves                              Garlic

1 small handful                  Gherkins

6                                           Anchovy fillets

2                                           Large handful flat leaf parsley  (don’t be shy!!!  Fill that hand)

1                                           Large handful fresh basil

25 ml                                   Red wine vinegar

Lemon zest


Black pepper

Olive oil


Blitz all ingredient together and add olive oil until you get a ‘’drizzle’’ consistency.

Heat a pan with olive oil and add Lamb chops, fry for 2 minutes on each side.  The best pan to use is a griddle pan, it adds a lovely visual to the chops.

Drizzle with salsa verde….and make sure it is enough!!!



Cob recipe

Did you know that a cob of corn averages 800 kernels in 16 rows.







Chargrilled Corn with Garlic butter


4                       Cooked corn cobs (if it is huge, you can cut it in half)

6 tbsp              Salted Butter

1 tbsp               Olive oil

Garlic clove, thinly sliced



Heat olive oil in chargrill pan and add cooked corn cobs.  Chargrill on each side for 5 minutes until golden brown. Dish on serving platter and place butter on top of corn cob to melt and sprinkle with sliced garlic.


Beetroot & Fig recipe

Beetroot are very low in fat and full of vitamins.  When shopping, choose small and firm beetroot with a deep maroon colour.  Figs is actually an inverted flower and contain 55% natural sugar – the highest of any fruit!!!  Go Figs!





Beetroot and Fig Salad


1 bunch                Red Beetroot, cooked with stem on, skin removed

1 bunch                Orange Beetroot, cooked with stem on, skin removed

3                            Fresh Figs, quartered



Cut the beetroot into quarters and assemble with fresh figs on a platter.

Mix ½ cup Olive oil (good quality!!) with ½ Balsamic vinegar.

Drizzle over salad just before serving

If you want something green, add fresh Wild Rocket

If you want something salty, add crumbled feta cheese


Pumpkin recipe

Pumpkin screams for loads of butter and fresh sage!  If you are not banting….sprinkle it with heaps of cinnamon sugar!





Roasted Butternut


2              Butternut, skin on and cut into big wedges, pips removed

5 tbsp     Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp     Honey



Mix olive oil and butternut together and roast for 30 minutes at 200°C, until soft and golden brown roasting colour appear on skin.

Drizzle with honey and boom there it is!

For extra crunch, add roasted pumpkin seeds or toasted white and black sesame seeds

If you are aware of your carb intake, replace butternut with pumpkin and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic.  (sorry honey!)


Poached pear recipe

Next time you have a ‘’braai’’ – don’t make that Greek salad (that everybody know’s you are going to make before they even arrive)…explore something different and new.  Try this:

Pear wedges roasted with honey and rosemary

Salad with Pear, bacon &  goats cheese

Salad with Pear, blue cheese, caramelized onion and walnuts.






Poached Pears with Raspberries


5                             Pears, skin removed, stalk on

2 tbsp                    Lemon juice

2 cups                   White sugar

6 cups                   Water

1 tbsp                    Vanilla essence

1 punnet               Raspberries



Add lemon juice, white sugar and water to a pot and bring to the boil.  Add pears and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Cool down in syrup and assemble on plate.

Drizzle with syrup and garnish with fresh raspberries


All recipes by Olivea.