Spinach and ricotta bake at Somerset Gift Farm Getaway… Part 2 of 3

As part of our Somerset Gift Farm lunch we made this delicious spinach and ricotta filo bake… something light and different that will compliment any lunch menu.

Click here for: 31. Spinach and ricotta filo bake……. RECIPE CARD

For the Spinach and Ricotta bake you will need:

350g ricotta
350g spinach
3/4 cup finely grated parmesan
200g feta
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon rind
1 XL Egg or 2 large eggs
Salt and pepper
1 roll filo sheets
2 cloves crushed garlic
melted butter for brushing the sheets

Place the ricotta and cooked drained spinach in a bowl and combine, add the finely grated parmesan and crumbed feta, mix in the egg, lemon rind and salt and pepper.

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Melt the butter and add the 2 crushed cloves of garlic and brush each sheet with the butter before layering the pans.

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Line a medium size tin or 2 smaller tins with buttered filo sheets, 3 x horizontal and 3 vertical, I cut the sheets with a scissor to “just” fit the pan. Measure the sheets long enough to have a overhang on both sides that is wide enough to form the top of the bake once the pan is filled.

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Fill the filo lined tins with the ricotta and spinach mixture and flip over the filo overhang to form a neat parcel. Bake at 180 degrees until nicely browned and cooked. +/- 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes, turn out onto a wire rack covered with grease proof paper and cool.

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This ricotta and spinach loaf can be served luke warm or at room temperature, I would not refrigerate it before serving….

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We sliced the loaf in +/- 2 cm slices and served it with our free range chicken pesto sosaties, baby potatoes and a delicious nectarine salad (to follow in part 3).

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And after lunch…time for some rest and relaxation…

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Somerset Gift Farm Getaway… a magical place to re-charge our batteries…

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Pesto chicken kebabs at Somerset Gift Farm Getaway….. part 1 of 3

Welcome to 2015 and the first of loads of new posts after my year of gathering new recipes and visiting beautiful places.

Let’s kick this year off with a 4 part post of Somerset Gift Farm Getaway… 16 km’s outside Swellendam on the foothills of the Langeberg Mountains. We booked Fish Eagle Lodge, which comes with 3 large on-suite bedrooms, a lovely open plan living / dining area and a near wrap-around covered veranda with outside braai. The house looks onto the towering Langeberg Mountain range that looks so close, that it feels as if it flips over your head.

 

Late afternoon view from the "stoep"...

Late afternoon view from the “stoep”…

We usually arrive late afternoon just in time to see “the light”… for a couple of seconds before the sun sets, it flouds the little valley and then complete darkness sets in…

Fish Eagle Lodge at night....

Fish Eagle Lodge at night….

Over the next 3 posts I will post our lunch menu recipes… it was a big family morning prepping and having fun … with me and my mom cooking, the kids fishing buckets full of small fish in the pond in front of the house and Liezel creating the most amasing crochet blanket…. happiness  ….

 

Lunchtime...

Lunchtime…

For the Pesto Chicken Kebabs you will need:
RECIPE CARD > click on this link30. Pesto chicken thigh fillet sosaties……. RECIPE CARD
2 deboned thigh fillets (Elgin Free Range of course) per kebab (chicken breast fillets can also be used but the thigh fillets are more tender)
3 small rosa tomatoes per kebab
Basil pesto, enough to “wet” the chicken pieces
Kebab sticks
Salt and Pepper

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Cut each thigh fillet in 2 and marinade the cut chicken pieces for at least 2 hours in the Basil Pesto in a fridge.IMG_6431

Ouma Babsie giving a helping hand in the kitchen...

Ouma Babsie giving a helping hand in the kitchen…

Soak the skewers in water while the chicken marinades and skewer the kebabs alternating between the chicken pieces and rosa tomatoes. Jip this is a bit of a messy job so … deligate..

Braai the kebabs until “just” cooked and serve….

 
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LUNCH TIME !!

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Do remember to “braai” the kebab’s until JUST cooked, you want them deliciously tender..

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Serve with a slice of Spinach and Ricotta loaf (recipe following – part 2 of 4 ) and a Nectarine green salad with a yummy pear and rosemary dressing (part 3 of 4)….

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And then we go fishing…

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To follow… Part 2 of 4… Spinach and Ricotta loaf…

LIFE AT SOMERSET GIFT FARM GETAWAY…

Birthday breakfast and Paradise found…

I feel innerly warmed to be called a friend of one supercool girl called Evelyn, and also sad that I could only spend one night at Seagull Cottage celebrating Evie’s 40th birthday.

The invite, ALWAYS very exciting receiving invites like this….

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Just one hour away from Cape Town lies this little piece of paradise… Churchhaven…. Seagull cottage…

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Entering the Westcoast National Park, the views seems endless….

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The Atlantic Ocean on the left, Westcoast National Park in the middle and the Langebaan lagoon on the right…

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Seagull cottage, when I say Paradise found, I really mean it, ….. this cottage is not the normal “rental”, it is beautiful, a white sandy beach overlooking the Langebaan Lagoon, crisp white linen and fully equipped to the finest detail .

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Maya was in charge of supper and whipped up a quick “make yourself” pasta with a baked tomato,feta and oregano sauce…I just love the open plan kitchen where we cooked and laughed till early in the morning…

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And tooooo quickly it was morning, and my turn to whip up a quick breakfast before I had to leave…

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We started breakfast with a delicious seasonal fruit platter, served with thick Greek yoghurt, Blueberry coulis and drizzled honey…

For the Blueberry coulis simmer together 3 cups of fresh Blueberries and one cup of water, +/- 20 minutes. Drain / strain the cooked sauce, press out the juices from the cooked blueberries and push the juice through a strainer with the back of a spoon.. Discard the pips and skins…

Add 150ml sugar to the strained juice and simmer for another +/- 20 – 25 minutes until slightly thick, add 30 ml’s lemon juice and cool…

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Breakfast views…. with pink Pelican’s walking the entire width of the white sandy beach in front of us…

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Then it was time to whip out my “little crepe pan” …. which I take everywhere with me, and made omelettes filled with sweet red peppers and brown mushrooms….

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And now it was time to go… I really did not want to leave… I did not even go for a walk on the beach as I just knew it would make it more difficult to leave everyone behind and hit the road…. I WILL go back to this cottage, hopefully for two nights and walk the beach….

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Thanks for the most amasing fun time, thinking back my cheeks still hurt from laughing…

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“hulle is goeie mense….” will never have the same meaning again…

Halfaampieskraal breakfast souffle…. Overberg at it’s best…

Not often that I am without words…. but the 24 hours spend at Halfaampieskraal was pure magic…. thanks needs to go to our hosts Jan-Georg and Cobus who went out of their way to wine and dine our group of eight, my seven supercool friends and the Magic of Halfaampieskraal. Luckily I’ve managed to convince Jan-Georg to demonstrate a “recipe” for my blog, and he was wise enough to suggest a breakfast treat, while the others were in dreamland early Sunday morning, I entered the inner soul of Halfaampies and Jan-Georg cooked… but first… some photies..

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Our weekend was planned to the finest detail, a special invite for a special place….

Deep inside the Overberg over rolling hills of screaming yellow canola fields..

Directions...

Directions…

The ROADTRIP….

All good things starts with bubbles, and no Roadtrip is complete without a bottle or two, even if the wind blew our feathers all over the Overberg.

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Waiting “on route” for our friends with our glasses filled, nearly Lunchtime …

Welcome, welcome to Halfaampieskraal, our host helped us unpack, yes one night only but we had loads of stuff, tripods, camera bags, bags with stuff for our dress up dinner, boxes of apples and and and…o yes, boxes of bubbles …

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The best decision we made was to request a “light” lunch on arrival Saturday afternoon, ja right, I don’t think the word “light” exists at Halfaampies, it was a sensory overload, not sure if it was from the bubbles “on route” and bubbles pre, during and post lunch but I was on an euphoric high…..

LUNCH is served…on the stoep, overlooking the rolling hills… and our glasses, filled by Jan-Georg…

Layered potato salad, with soft soft leeks, light mayo dressing, sliced egg and caper berries...

Layered potato salad, with soft soft leeks, light mayo dressing, slices of egg and caper berries…

I will dream of soft soothing mayo leeks for nights to come…

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Turkish bean, pg 82 of the beautiful coffee table cookbook, "halfaampies celebrates"...

Turkish beans, pg 82 of the beautiful coffee table cookbook, “halfaampies celebrates”…

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I love flags… flags everywhere…

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Jan-Georg … making us feel truly welcome…

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And more lovely flags…

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Lunch flowed into drinks on the stoep…. and a surprise early birthday cake for my good friend Evie…. served with coffee and bubbles…

Evie showed me a pic of this cake months ago... I don't forget...

Evie showed me a pic of this cake months ago… I don’t forget…

The main “excuse” for this quick one night away was a “photographic weekend”, well this is proof if it… I even took my camera to the loo for self portraits…(thanks Evie)…

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Beautiful welcome letters and dinner menu on our bed.... how perfect can this be...

Beautiful welcome letters and dinner menu on our bed…. how perfect can this be…

Time to pack out those feathers and get dressed to fit the theme…. Dress Halfaampies…

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TIME FOR THE FUN TO START…

Magriet starting the evening on a high note...

Magriet starting the evening on a high note…

Dressed and ready for dinner… how special, dinner was for us eight only… a real feast…

And yes, we started with trays filled with yummy cocktails.

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Dinner, it felt as if we were in a different world,…

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Our starter... prawn parcels...

Our starter… prawn parcels…

Carol...

Carol…

Dinner for 8....

Dinner for 8….

Loads of fun..

Loads of fun..

Me and my good friend...

Me and my good friend…

And then… Dessert…

Halfaampies Velvet Pudding… a velvety baked custard with a thin layer of berry coulis, topped with a crispy but soft mallow meringue…

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SWEET DREAMS UNDER PUFFY WHITE DOWN DUVETS…

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While the others dreamed of velvet pudding and brandy cocktails… I could not waste a minute in bed… the light of Halfaampies is calling..

Magic hour...

Magic hour…

My early morning walking companions.

My early morning walking companions.

LETS cook…

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Entering the kitchen early morning while the others are still in dreamland was a bit of an “excitement wobble” in my life… according to me the ultimate highlight of our 24 hours at Halfaampies… all for myself!

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click on this recipe card for a one page printable PDF recipe card: ->Halfaampies Breakfast souffle…. RECIPE CARD
For the Halfaampies breakfast soufflé you will need:
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1 x roll phyllo pastry
some melted butter and a brush
grated parmesan +/- 1 cup
1 or 2 handfuls yellow sultanas
1 tub cream cheese (half plain, half blue)
2 Jumbo eggs at room temperature separated
on tablespoon flour
125ml cream
salt and pepper

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Defrost the phyllo pastry in your fridge overnight, cover with a damp tea towel once opened. Layer a 20cm pie dish with layers of phyllo, lightly brush each sheet with melted butter before adding the next sheet. Use +/- 7 sheets. Fold the edges into the pan to create an even edge.

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Grate a +/-3 mm thick layer of parmesan on the top layer of phyllo, this will create a salty crust under the sultanas. Add a handful of yellow sultanas on top of the grated parmesan.

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In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, 2 egg yolks, tablespoon of flour, 125ml cream, salt and pepper.

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Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the cream cheese mixture. Add to the phyllo, parmesan and layered sultanas and bake at 180 degrees for +/- 20 – 25 minutes until light brown and still slightly wobbly on top when you take it out of the oven.

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This recipe can be made with variations of salmon, spinach, bacon and flavoured cream cheese.

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After my early morning walk and about an hour in the kitchen with Jan-Georg I think it is now time to go and shake that Princess out of bed and go for my second walk of the day…

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Myself and “the princess” stayed in The Greek room, with our own open plan kitchen and upstairs puffy white bed and views from here to never end…from the bed, the bath, the loo, the side kitchen window AND the kitchen door…

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Breakfast is served !!

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Being spoilt by Carol my “artist, potter, sculpture and photographer” friend, little bags of white lace pressed pottery Christmas tree decorations on our breakfast table…

Visuals from the Breakfast table...

Visuals from the Breakfast table…

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Our breakfast soufflé …. the salty parmesan crust and sweet pop in your mouth yellow sultanas gives an unexpected taste sensation … served with crispy baked salty bacon and thyme flash fried rosa tomatoes…

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Our breakfast companion…..

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Sadly our food feast at Halfaampieskraal has come to an end…

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Our hosts walked with us to help pack our cars… and treated us to a sneak peak at Club Havana…an intimate party or small wedding venue in a little shed on the “Halfaampies Werf”…. a shed from the outside, and a colour explosion on the inside, instantly transferring you to a different world, of feathers, fur and lashes… heavy velvet and music for the soul…THIS is the place to book for that intimate party….your friends will love you forever…

CLUB HAVANA..

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Me and my other special friend... Evie...(thanks for today's flowers, what a great surprise)

Me and my other special friend… Evie…(thanks for today’s flowers, what a great surprise)

Time for the road trip home, but not without stopping for a quick roll and group pic…

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Halfaampieskraal, pure magic… book it NOW, take 4 couples, book lunch on the Saturday just after arrival, dress WILD for dinner and have a breakfast feast overlooking the rolling hills of The Overberg … and pleassssssssse invite me with…

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In January 2014 I will book another weekend, with the same group of girls… I think this will become an annual affair…

Keep your eyes posted for the invite, and I will keep mine posted for the next Party invite at Club Havana…

Christmas wreath, teatime treat…

Christmas…. Whip up this quick and easy very visual Christmas tea time treat, serve it anytime from now till Christmas and spread some Christmas magic.

Some years we have a “big” Christmas and other years we tone it down a bit… and even with a “toned down” Christmas, this delicious tea time treat will put big smiles around you….

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Printable PDF recipe cardChristmas wreath teatime treat…. RECIPE CARD

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For the Teatime wreath you will need:

1 x roll of good quality puff pastry
1/3 cup apricot jam
+/-300g Glaze luxury fruit mix
OR luxury fruitcake mix
handful flaked almonds
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange

For the Icing:
1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

1 x egg mixed in a cup for brushing

To serve…. luke warm custard…

Defrost the puff pastry overnight in your fridge or for +/- 2 hours at room temperature.

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In advance:

Open the pastry on a flat surface on a clean tea towel, do not roll out flatter. Spread the jam evenly over the full area of the puff pastry sheet. Scatter the Glaze fruit mix evenly over the pastry sheet, leaving +/- 2cm’s on all sides.

Grate the lemon and orange zest over the glaze fruit mix and add the almonds. At this stage anything else can be added, I think of maybe orange peel, slices for preserved green figs…. endless but optional.

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Roll up “swiss roll size” from the longer side, using the tea towel to assist with the rolling. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Before serving:

Remove the clingwrap. Grease your baking tray, position a 6 – 8 cm tin in the middle of your baking tray to assist in packing the circle. Cut 3cm thick slices of the pastry roll and arrange around the tin, once done, remove the tin and brush the pastry ring with a little bit of beaten egg. Bake at 180 degrees until golden brown, not too dark.

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Remove the baking tray from the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes, slide the wreath off the baking tray onto a pretty flat platter and drizzle with the icing sugar/ lemon juice mixture from +/- 30 cm’s high… if the icing sugar mixture is too thick add a bit more lemon juice.

Serve luke warm with custard…… Christmas perfection!

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This wreath looks, smells and taste pure CHRISTMAS MAGIC!

Even the frogs needs a bit of Christmas warmth...

Even the frogs needs a bit of Christmas warmth…

Sweet and crunchy Pineapple, Carrot and red cabbage salad…sleepover at the dam….

Let me start by saying my “most used” recipe book this year is…….. A WEEK IN “THE KITCHEN” by Karen Dudley… a beautiful cookbook filled with “fresh” and “different” recipes… if I think of this book …. the words easy, GREAT GIFT, summer, make in advance, entertain, colours and over the top flavours comes to mind….

The recipe from this GREAT book that I want to share with you is the slightly revised CARROT CUMIN SLAW…

I’ve decided to serve this sweet and crunchy salad at our sleepover “braai” at the dam, in celebration of Melisse’s birthday… we are really spoilt with beautiful mountains surrounding the Elgin Valley, dams, rivers, forests and loads more…

Sleepover at the Dam...

Sleepover at the Dam…

At home: Make the Vinaigrette…
Shake in a jar…
2 tbsp creamy Dijon mustard
2 crushed garlic clove
2 tbsp castor sugar
8 tbsp white wine vinegar
16 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
a pinch of white pepper

Birthday at the dam...

Birthday at the dam…

Prepare all the “cutting” elements of the salad in advance at home, I’ve added it to a zip lock bag, ready to mix with the vinaigrette before serving.

Salad prepping...

Salad prepping…

Add to your ziplock bag:
1 tbsp toasted cumin seeds
1 baby red cabbage thinly sliced
3 carrots, cut julienne style
1 fresh pineapple, peeled and cut julienne style
Salt and pepper

Click on this link for a PDF format recipe cardSweet and crunchy pineapple carrot and red cabbage salad…. RECIPE CARD

While the adults set up camp, the children had the best party in the mud any child can dream off….

Following the stream...

Following the stream…


Kayaking on the dam...

Kayaking on the dam…


The Birthday girl...Happy happy Melissie...

The Birthday girl…Happy happy Melissie…


Leila... Abby's cuddle bunny...

Leila… Abby’s cuddle bunny…


BRRRRR time to get warm by the fire...

BRRRRR time to get warm by the fire…

After a long afternoon in the dam it was time to light the fires …but first the cake, thanks to Jacques ….

CAKE!!

CAKE!!

While they light the fire whip out that lovely platter, open the ziplock bag, add the vinaigrette and give it a good shake…

Serve and enjoy…

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I cannot think of anything nicer than a sleepover at the dam, the campfire, the tents and loads of fresh air..

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And the best part, is to take the dogs for an early morning walk….

Taking Leila for an early morning walk...

Taking Leila for an early morning walk…

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And then, jump back into the tent, with wet muddy paws and cuddle till the sun bakes you out of the tent…

Sleepovers at the dam… memories for our children…I love it….