2015 in review

 

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,600 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Asta’s Anchovie pasta … at Bosbokfontein Private Nature Reserve… part 2 of 3

Anchovies… please don’t let the BOTTLE of anchovies in this recipe scare you, it did scare me, but Asta from Iceland convinced me to keep an open mind….. it is a really delicious and perfect quick lunch after a long morning at the beach…

The beautiful Bosbokfontein beach..

The beautiful Bosbokfontein beach..

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For a PDF recipe card click on this link -> 38.Asta’s Anchovie pasta……. RECIPE CARD

You will need:
+/- 4-6 zucchini’s
2 cloves of chopped garlic
one punnet red and yellow baby tomatoes
125g bottle of drained anchovies
+/- 3/4 cup olive oil
500g linguine pasta
big squeeze of lemon
fresh parsley
Grated parmesan

Roughly chop the zucchini’s and red and yellow tomatoes.

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Very slowly warm the olive oil and drained anchovies in a saucepan over a very low heat, keep the temperature very low, all you want to do is dissolve the anchovies in the warm oil.

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75. the beach

Flash fry the chopped garlic, zucchini and tomatoes, just a minute or two to retain the crunch of the zucchini and tomatoes.

Cook the pasta aldente… drain and immediately return the “wet and warm” pasta to the warm pot. Immediately add the warm anchovie oil and flash fried vegetables… stir through.

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Serve the warm veggie and anchovie pasta on a pretty flat platter.

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Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a hand full of chopped parsley, grated black pepper and grated parmesan.

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And off to the beach we go again…

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Chocolate Salami with a hint of mint…. at Bosbokfontein Private Nature Reserve…part 1 of 3

Delicious… a small dessert with a BIG presence… and the perfect little gift for when needed, stored in your freezer, wrapped and ready to go !

This was our second visit to the beautiful Bosbokfontein Private Nature Reserve…

What a view !!

What a view !!

We served the Chocolate Salami for an afternoon coffee treat, after a refreshing swim… sooooo let’s go to the beach..

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51. the beach

Time to run up the hill for Coffee and Chocolate Salami…

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I made the Chocolate Salami at home and kept it frozen until needed….. no need to defrost…

Click here for a printable PDF recipe card :-> Chocolate Salami with a hint of mint……. RECIPE CARD

You will need:

150g chopped dark chocolate
150g chopped fruit and nut chocolate
1 x box MINT chocolate Romany Cream biscuits
1/2 cup cream
2 x tablespoons Kahlua Liquor
1/2 cup roughly chopped pecan nuts
+/- 14 glaze cherries
Icing sugar for dusting
Grease proof paper
Pretty ribbon

Blitz the biscuits until very fine..

biscuits

Slowly melt the chocolate and cream on a very low heat in a small saucepan, take off the heat as soon as the chocolate is melted.

melt chocolate

Add the fine chocolate biscuits to the melted chocolate and cream, add the Kahlua and chopped pecan nuts.

kahlua

Let the chocolate mixture cool in the fridge… +/- 1 hour or until it is semi set and can be moulded into a roll. Cut a large piece of grease proof paper and dust with icing sugar.

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Tip the semi set chocolate mixture onto the icing sugar dusted grease proof paper and mould it into a long cylinder shape. Place the cherries on top and press them halfway into the chocolate mixture.

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Dust the top liberally with more icing sugar and fold the paper neatly over the roll. I then use a cut open cardboard roll (from glad wrap or foil) to keep the semi soft chocolate salami into share while setting it in the freezer for another hour. Use clothing pegs to keep the ends of the roll closed until more firmly set.

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After the salami is set, remove the greased proof paper, it will be a bit sticky but ease it off with the tip of a knife, open another clean piece of paper, dust the paper again with icing sugar, add the salami and top with more icing sugar. This is like a second wrapping, and should be done before the salami is completely set. Once neatly rolled in clean icing dusted paper tie the ends with pretty ribbons, I usually cut the salami in half and have 2 smaller rolls.

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Put the neatly wrapped salami’s into sip lock bags to prevent the paper from getting wet in the freezer, and keep until needed.

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Cut straight from the freezer into +/- 4mm wide rings..

In Willem’s words to us.. “Mamma dis die lekkerste ding wat ek nog ooit geeet het”.

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And then it was time for Asta to show the teenagers how to make “real” coffee… what a treat…. their first serious coffee experience overlooking the beautiful ocean, sipping strong coffee and eating minty chocolate salami…

Memories in the making for our children…

83. the beach

84. the beach

Time to get back to the puzzle… what we do at Bosbokfontein… (and a nice gift guests at Bosbokfontein can bring – a reminder for next time)

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60. the beach

A little piece of heaven… thanks for the invite… a truly special feel good place…

Slow roasted deboned Pork Neck and Honey Butter apples…. at Rietfontein Private Nature Reserve… part 3 of 3

The quantities of the slow roasted pork below is just an indication as our afternoon “sundowner” vehicle was about to leave, and we literally had 5 minutes to get the pork in the oven.

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PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD -> 36. Deboned pork neck in Appletiser with honey butter apples …. RECIPE CARD

For the Slow Roasted Pork you would need: (for about 10 adults)
2 x large deboned pork necks (order from your butcher)
1 litre of Appletiser (sparking apple juice)
1 x savanna 330 ml (apple cider)
bay leaves
Fresh Thyme
salt and pepper

Rub the pork necks with salt and pepper and place them next to each other in a deep roasting tin. Add a combination of Appletiser and Cider to the roasting tin to fill it +/- 3cm’s deep. Add a couple of bay leaves and sprigs of Thyme.

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Cover the roasting tin with foil and cook at 160 – 170 degrees for +/- 2 hours or until tender. Turn the necks twice during cooking and top with more Appletiser if needed. Remove the foil once tender and roast a further 40 minutes until brown and the final juices reduced.

With the pork slowly roasting in the oven it was time to explore Rietfontein…

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Rock paintings at Rietfontein...

Rock paintings at Rietfontein…

The delicious aromas of the slow roasting pork welcomed us home from our afternoon drive..

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For the Honey Butter Apples you will need:
Apples peeled, cored and quartered
Butter for frying
Honey

Fry the apples in batches, covering the bottom of a large non stick frying pan. Add +/- 2 tablespoons of butter per layer / batch of apples, fry at a medium to high heat, the apples needs to brown and cook, be careful not to over cook the apples, test them with a sharp knife, and cook until “just”cooked… when the apples are nearly cooked add a squirt of honey, the honey will disappear into the apples.. be careful not to add too much honey, +/- 2 teaspoons per batch.

We had a BUCKET full of apples, and as Shannon said, she promise me they will all be eaten as she’s never had any leftovers of apples..

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Ready to serve our slow roasted Pork Neck, Honey Butter apples, flash fried greens and cheesy risotto… mmmm just an ordinary Sunday evening meal…

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Sunday evening at Rietfontein…

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Rietfontein… Karoo farm magic..

Quick chocolate fudge… at Rietfontein Private Nature Reserve…. part 2 of 3

As we all move towards less sugar and healthier lifestyles I find it more and more difficult to find dessert recipes that my guests will actually eat and enjoy…

So my thinking plan for the moment is to go “smaller” …. and only offer a couple of bites of sweetness, cut as small as possible….. and I have difficulty with this BUT to always offer JUST enough.. so that everyone yearns for more…

At Rietfontein we woke the house up to the smell of melting chocolate…

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You will need
4 x cups chopped dark chocolate
2 x tablespoons butter
1/2 x tin sweetened condensed milk (1 tin for truffle filling)
1 x teaspoon vanilla

Line a small size pan with grease proof paper, fold the edges neatly and flat and grease with spray and cook.

Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a glass bowl hanging over a pot of just boiled water, taken off the stove. Make sure the glass bowl does not touch the water.

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Once melted stir to incorporate the butter and add the condensed milk and vanilla.

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Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

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While the chocolate sets we all went for a walk to explore the beautiful rocks at Rietfontein…

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Nothing like a bit of exercise before our long lazy lunch

Nothing like a bit of exercise before our long lazy lunch

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And then as we got to the top of the hill… we ran back to the house… bushman paintings can wait till tomorrow morning as now it is lunch and gin time!

After a delicious lunch on the Rietfontein front stoep it was time to cut the chocolate fudge… into small small little blocks…

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And then it was time to pull blankets and pillows outside for a much needed rest..

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To follow in part 3… Shannon’s slow roasted deboned pork neck and honey butter apples…

Creamy mascarpone, pesto and aubergine bake at Rietfontein Private Nature Reserve… Part 1 of 3

With a “ready to blog file” overflowing I need to jump right into it and preserve these recipes before they get lost…

Rietfontein.. as the directions read… drive down the main road of Matjiesfontein, at the end of the Main Road is a white gate, open, and continue to drive for 7 kilometres… a little piece of paradise in the middle of the Karoo…

Rietfontein Private Nature Reserve main house...

Rietfontein Private Nature Reserve main house…

As you enter the Rietfontein farm yard you realise… this is a one of a kind special place, looked after to the finest detail…

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For a printable PDF recipe card click on this link: 34. Creamy pesto pasta aubergine bake……… RECIPE CARD

Start off by pouring everyone in the kitchen a nice glass of chilled wine..

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For the Creamy Aubergine bake you will need:
1 x packet (500g) spiral or small size pasta7E0A5027
1 x tub (200g) pesto
1 x tub (250g) mascarpone
3 x large grated zucchini
6 x small aubergines
+/- 500g small red tomatoes
grated mozzarella, 3 hands full
finely grated parmesan.. 3 hands full

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We started by frying the sliced aubergine, batch by batch in a little bit of olive oil until browned on both sides.. put aside. Yes we did have a little fire in the kitchen, nothing to worry about.. and nope we did not put it out… we shouted.. where’s the camera??

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After putting out the fire with a littttle splash of wine.. we could continue..

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until just tender, drain and immediately add the tub of mascarpone to the very hot drained pasta, gently stir until the mascarpone is melted without breaking up the pasta spirals.

Add the tub of pesto and coarsely grated zucchini… the zucchini will melt away while baking and form part of the creamy texture of the baked dish.

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Season with salt and black pepper and spoon pasta mixture into an ovenproof dish pretty enough to grace your lunch table.

Scatter with a combination of mozzarella and grated parmesan and top with one layer of fried aubergine in one pretty overlapping layer.

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Top with halved baby tomatoes, cut side up and give it a light dusting of coarse salt and a sprinkle of finely grated parmesan.

Bake for +/- 45 minutes or until the cheese and tomatoes are lightly browned on the edges.

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And the difficult part… is to wait for lunch…

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Lunch is served… at the oval table … with glasses filled with crisp cold wine and the early winter sun baking on our backs…

Life is good at Rietfontein…

And after lunch… maybe a little walk … or … lie down..

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To follow in part 2 of 4 … Easy Chocolate Fudge…

Nectarine salad with a lovely pear and rosemary dressing at Somersetgift Farm Getaway…. part of 3 of 3

I found the dressing recipe of this salad in BABEL… a visually beautiful cookbook with the most amasing dressing recipes… and to be honest I cannot really remember how I matched the nectarines with the pecorino and the dressing, it must have been from Pinterest visuals… but IT WORKS…

Start off by making the dressing.. it can be made in advance and will keep for up to a week or more if refrigerated..

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Click on THIS link for the printable recipe card: 32. Nectarine and Pecorino salad with Rosemary and Pear Dressing ……. RECIPE CARD

For the Dressing…

Make in advance or early in the morning … it needs to cool down.
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Simmer 2 peeled and cubed pears with a sprig of rosemary and 125ml white balsamic vinegar until the pears are soft.

Let it cool … remove the rosemary and liquidize… slowly add the juice of half a lemon, 125ml olive oil, 10 ml honey and 1 teaspoon smooth English mustard.

Early morning  cuddles...

Early morning cuddles…

Just by the way… think I should book Somersetgift Farm Getaway for another long weekend… such a beautiful complete relaxation spot…

Now for the salad..

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Blanch the baby broccoli and mange tout… very important to instantly cool it under running cold water once done to retain the bright green colour.

Layer the baby salad leaves on a flat serving platter, top with baby broccoli, mange tout and just before serving add the avo slices, and nectarines. Pour over the dressing and add a hand full of finely grated Pecorino cheese.

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This dressing is like a meal on it’s own, I can only imagine a platter of sliced avo, topped with dressing and some grated pecorino … if the nectarines are out of season.

Lunch was a laid back family affair…. memories in the making…

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And after lunch… time to explore the farm…

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Lunch at Somersetgift Farm Getaway…. magic moments..