“Constantly taste your food. I know this goes against the advice of every diet guru, but if you don’t know what your food tastes like, how can you expect your guests to enjoy it?”
It gives me such a great pleasure to share my feelings, experience and opinions on the book Easy Cooking from Nina’s Kitchen by one of my dear food bloggers, Nina Timm. Having missed the launch of the cookbook, I had to go to her house and get my own signed copy.
Well, the lovely thing about bloggers putting out cookbooks is that when you go through their books it is like reading an autobiography or a hard copy version of their blogs. Emotions are evoked. You find yourself smiling, laughing, teary and immediately you want to leave a comment or send an email. In this case I picked up my phone, drafted an sms to Nina but then again I thought “hey, just put all of that in a blog post?” So here I am……
Nina Timm is a food blogger, recipe columnist, food stylist, a mother, wife, friend….
This is a little paragraph from her intro and it lets the reader in on her personality and what to expect in the book.
“I don’t think my food stories are unique – there are many people who grew up in the same environment – but I’m happy to share them because on my travels through our beautiful country I’ve often met women who feel inferior and intimidated by modern food fads and new trends. Believe me, nothing, and I mean NOTHING, on Earth can be greater, better and more acceptable than food made with love. If you can open your heart so that people can see your love for them and for the gift of food, they will return to your table again and again…..guaranteed. After all, the short cut to people’s hearts is made of love!
These are the reasons why I love Easy Cooking from Nina’s Kitchen:
A while ago I was at an event and Nina was also there and we were talking about her book, this was before the launch, she mentioned that she realized that is a carnivore while putting this book together. Personally, I don’t think South Africans are going to complain about that! We love our meat and all the meat lovers out there are going to have one hack of a time love the recipes on the book. Meat recipes vary from Roasted Chicken, Crumbed Chicken Breasts, Chicken Curry, Pies, Ribs, Pork Belly…..the list goes on.
Well, its all not all meat, there are some Seafood recipes, vegetarian recipes as well as some desserts. Basically, there is a range a dishes to keep the home cook going and honing those cooking skills while the family is enjoying every last bit and singing their praises!
A number of people might feel, why do I have to buy a cookbook, I can just visit her site and get recipes from there…” That is understandable but having a cookbook out is a great achievement. In Nina’s case (or any blogger), having a cookbook out symbolizes the journey she has taken. A cookbook could also a be a gift to the readers of the blog or a more profound way for readers and author to connect.
Easy Cooking from Nina’s Kitchen is available at all major bookstores, yes, even Woolworths! Also available in Afrikaans as: Maklike Etes uit Nina se Kombuis. You can order online at Exclusive Books, Kalahari and Graffiti.
I hope you guys check it out and show Nina some major love! I have included a YouTube video to give a taste of what Nina is all about!
Want to know more?
Visit Nina’s stunning blog: http://www.my-easy-cooking.com/
Follow her on twitter:
— MyEasyCooking (@ninatimm) April 8, 2014
Roads less travelled, is a compilation of some of the best recipes from this season’s contestants, together with recipes by Justin Bonello, Bertus Basson and Marthinus Ferreira. Written by Helen Lombard, Roads Less Travelled takes us on a journey to the beautiful yet lesser known parts of our country…..
What to expect from the book?
If you have seen this season of the Ultimate Braai Master show, chances are you have noticed the quality of the dishes prepared on the show. Think sheep’s head, tounge, maotwana, bread and butter pudding, boeber, you name it! These dishes are showcased in beautifully styled images that get you to commit to trying out some of the recipes. The cooking methods are very detailed and written in a conversational manner with a witty sense of humour which is really engaging and can be a great conversation starter.
There is a great spirit of togetherness and a humane element about this journey , which I dearly love. Justin and his crew get to interact, share and dine with the locals. The book showcases some amazing photography, not only of the food images but the areas they have travelled to as well.
Road Less Travelled is not your typical cookbook with just recipes and measurement conversions. You do get helpful cooking tips on the braai, however, it is an adventure and Justin Bonello and Helen Lombard get to take us through their journey. There’s a great appreciation of one’s surroundings, nature and the show itself including this cookbook showcases some of the most beautiful , raw, untouched and lesser known parts of our country.
I would like to share a small passage from the foreword, I just love it “ From a traveller’s point of view, it’s that there are so many breathtaking places waiting to be explored in South Africa, places that even my well-travelled crew and I had never been to; that no matter how hardcore one back road might be, there’s an even more challenging and beautiful one just around the next bend; and that even the smallest of small towns have a traffic cop hiding under the shade of one lonely tree waiting to catch you out…..”
How is it different from the Ultimate Braai Master cookbook from the first season?
The Ultimate braai master brand is a true representation of all dishes in our country. It is dishes that all South Africans can relate to, dishes that we grew up consuming, whether you are from the rural area, farm, Karoo, township or suburbs. There is something in the book for each one of us. It introduces us to different cultures, by showcasing the food from those cultures. I say the recipes in the cookbook are South African with an exotic twist.
Be ready to explore some of the best recipes from the second season of the Ultimate Braai Master show including recipes by Justin, Bertus and Marthinus. So far I have tried out two recipes the cookbook and I am beyond proud of what they have put together.
When I got the opportunity to take part in this blog tour/ cookbook review, I had a long list of dishes to choose from. I chose the tongue and tail potjie for two reasons , one, being that I’ve never featured a potjie on the blog before and two) even though this is a Southern African food blog, I’ve never featured Lesotho. Therefore this was my opportunity and I am glad I did. Have a look at the images and you’ll understand why. Read more about the recipe and ENTER the giveaway here
Title: Roads Less Travelled: The Ultimate Braai Master Second Series
Authors: Justin Bonello with Bertus Basson & Marthinus Ferreira, written by Helena Lombard
Publisher: Penguin Books
Recommended Retail Price: R230.00
Availability: Available at all good book stores
Follow @UltimateBraai and join the conversation #UltimateBraaiMaster and some use the hashtag #UltimateBraai
Have a look at some of the views from the people that watch the show on twitter:
— Smoke, Sweat & Tears (@SmokeSweatTears) October 23, 2013
— Robert bartholomew (@rob_bartholomew) October 23, 2013
— Westcoast Bro's (@westcoast_bros) October 23, 2013
When the Ultimate Braai Master crew spend so much time away from home, there are days when we all just lose the… http://t.co/kQ4KRP0G1i
— Cooked in Africa (@cookedinafrica) October 16, 2013
It is women’s month and I would like to use the opportunity to pay tribute to the women who inspire me…..
I love her passion for African cuisine and I have been following her career since her days as a food editor for True Love magazine…. I recently got my hands on her book Cooking from Cape to Cairo and just from going through the pages I do not know why I only bought it now….
Dorah Sitole spent two years researching and travelling around the continent collecting recipes. The recipes in the book are collected from top chefs at hotels in the larger cities and luxurious game lodges in the wildest bush, to the ordinary housewives in rural villages. In the book you will find a selection of some of the most popular exotic, traditional and tasty dishes from each region. You also get a glimpse of the culture from the beautiful images provided together with a brief overview on the background culture of the country, and the influences that have shaped its cuisine.
Together with True Love Magazine, Dorah Sitole covered 19 areas including Egypt, Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Morocco, Ethiopia, Senegal, Nigeria, Zanzibar etc. There’s something for every nationality including our dishes from Southern African cultures e.g. Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Swazi, Ndebele, Venda, Cape Malay etc.
I have taken a few passages from Dorah Sitole’s introduction in the book and would like to share them here:
“It would give me great joy to see African food, in its entirety, on the centre stage of the world’s cuisine. The few books written about African food, concentrate on West and North African cuisine. If anything is mentioned about South African cuisine, it is usually only about Afrikaans or Cape Malay food. Nothing wrong with that, but there is much more – South Africa has an array of exciting local foods, from villages and vibrant townships, through to the cities. What a pleasure it was to visit all these remote corners of beautiful land and to get grips with our wonderful food!”
She continues “My wish is that this book will continue to inspire everyone who reads it to become excited about Africa. Our cuisine is definitely the cuisine to embrace. The food that has nourished our people for centuries, is an integral part of our lives. Granted, culture is not static, but we cannot allow the basic flavours that shaped our palates to be eradicated.”
“Through the pages of this book, Southern Africa will at last make its contribution to International cuisine. Its rich, nutritious and robust foods include dry beans, samp, maize-rice and maize-meal, cornrice, sorghum, groundnuts, offal, caterpillars, dried meat and vitamin-packed morogo, unusual root vegetables like amadumbe and the more exotic meats such as ostrich and zebra. These and many other foodstuffs have nurtured the people of this continent since ancient times. “
There are plenty of dishes I could have chosen to prepare for this review but my eye gravitated towards the Chicken Feet Stew. The original recipe includes feet, heads and intestines. I couldn’t get heads and intestines but the feet on their own made for an amazing stew.
Everything about this book is on point, the images, styling, the introduction of each culture and country. It all speaks to me. Our indigenous dishes are mostly not documented and it would be sad to lose all that knowledge and heritage. I absolutely love the book and have great respect for Mam’ Dorah Sitole and True Love for taking the initiating of putting it together.
Chicken Feet Stew
30ml (1Tbsp) oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
15ml (1Tbsp) medium curry powder
1 tomato, peeled and finely chopped
500g chicken feet, cleaned
2-3 carrots, cut into chunks
250ml chicken stock
15ml (1Tbsp) chutney
5ml (1tsp) Louisiana Cajun spice
5ml (1tsp) chicken spice
I have my two boys (my brother and nephew) visiting for the school holidays….all the way from the Eastern Cape. Now my challenge is to cook them delicious meals everyday as they are at home all by themselves during the day. Both of them have a huge appetite.
Having them helps because I have not one but two more that willing guinea pigs to try out my dishes. So, with them around I remembered Sam Linsell’s cookbook, Drizzle and Dip which I got as one of the prizes from Dinner Divas. I’ve already tried the pan-fried calamari recipe from the cookbook so I wanted to try out something else, preferably something meaty. We are a family of meat lovers!
Don’t know about you but I don’t like the idea of going shopping everytime I want to try out a new recipe. So I looked for a recipe that requires ingredients I already had in my fridge and cupboard. I looked at the ingredient list for the Chicken, Sausage & PotatoTray Bake recipe and compared to the items I had at home……
Olive oil√ chicken √ pork sausage √ chicken stock √ thyme √ dry white wine √ potatoes √ marmalade (its not “fresh-cut” marmalade as described in the recipe but marmalade is marmalade, therefore..)√
All was needed was to just follow the recipe and prepare the dish.
Let me first tell you a bit about Sam, she’s one of those bloggers I tend to bump into whenever there’s a foodie event (quite a socialite), she’s a very pretty lady, brilliant food stylist and an awesome blogger. I love her styling! She’s got that modern rustic vibe going on and I’m totally in love with it! Plus, she takes amazing pictures. You get hungry from just looking at them.
The recipes in the book are fairly easy and she has also included recipes from her family for an example, the Crunchies recipe by her grandma. I’m not an Oats fan but I bought a small packet just to prepare them…..Grandma Betty’s recipe better be good! LOL! I’m sure it is….
My boys loved this recipe and I’m sure they are gonna love the Crunchies after I bake them tonight. Drizzle and Dip cookbook is available in all good book stores and selected Woolworths stores. Check out Sam’s blog, Drizzle and Dip…..
Chicken, Sausage & Potato Tray Bake
With marmalade & thyme
3T olive oil
8 chicken pieces (bone in, with or without skin)
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup dry white wine
400ml chicken stock
3T fine-cut marmalade
1½T chopped thyme
250g chipolata pork (or ordinary pork) sausages
500g new potatoes
“The best home-cooked food is all about simplicity, freshness and flavour. It’s honest food, cooked with love, generosity and an open heart.” Jane Anne Hobbs, author of the cookbook Scrumptious food for family and friends…..
First and foremost, the cookbook itself is SO beautiful, I didn’t want to mess on it when trying out recipes. Therefore, I made copies of the recipes I wanted to try out so that I could mess on them…crazy right!
The recipes on the cookbook are delectable, but at a first glance one might be quick to say “they are long”. Do not let the length dissuade you. I’ll tell you one thing, from a product developer’s point of view…..every raw material that goes into a formulation, no matter how big or small the quantity, has a function whether it’s to add flavour, balance the pH, improve texture, mouthfeel, or even extending shelf life. The end results always speak for themselves!
Nowadays, people are in a rush to get the cooking out of the way failing to understand that cooking can be integrated into activities such as spending time with the family, having a chilled Sunday afternoon with friends etc. Scrumptious cookbook provides one with recipes that can be prepared and enjoyed at such occasions.
Another thing I love about this cookbook is the author’s forthright and engaging writing style. The detailed description of the method gives one an indication that the recipes have been tested several times. When a recipe has been tried and tested numerous times you find that manifested in the detail and description of the preparation method.
Few words cited from the foreword by Lynn Bedford Hall “……Scrumptious is a book which encourages home cooks to cook with care and patience, to focus on flavour, pay attention to detail and to bin all thought of twirls and towers to dolly up the dish. Taste, here, is paramaount.”
Jane-Anne Hobbs describes the recipes in the cookbook “My recipes have modern elements, reflecting new ingredients and trends in food, but you will also find many dishes that express a yearning nostalgia for the food I enjoyed as a child.”
Scrumptious Food for Family and Friend cookbook is available for sale at Exclusive Books as well as online. Also check out the blog, Scrumptious, for more recipes and reading material from the author.
The Bunny Chow with Butter Chicken is one of my favourite recipes in the book. This is how the recipe is explained in the book “A hollowed-out half-or quarter-loaf of white bread brimming with a hot, highly spiced Durban-style curry is one of South Africa’s most cherished street foods. In this, my not-at-all-authentic version, I’ve used a fragrant, sinfully rich filling based on a butter chicken formula. The spicing here is quite gentle, the way I like it, so add some fresh green chillies if you’d like to give the dish a bit of a kick.” Hope you enjoy!
Bunny Chow with Butter Chicken
12 skinless, deboned chicken breasts
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3Tbsp (45ml) finely grated fresh ginger
juice of 1 lemon
1½tsp (7.5ml) chilli powder
For the marinade
1½cups (375ml) thick natural yoghurt
1 tsp (5ml) ground cumin
1tsp (5ml) ground coriander
½tsp (2.5ml) turmeric
½tsp (2.5ml) salt
1Tbsp (15ml) sunflower oil
For the sauce:
1kg ripe, juicy tomatoes, peeled
3Tbsp (45ml) tomato paste
1tsp (5ml) fenugreek seeds, coarsely crushed
1 stick cinnamon
1tsp (5ml) ground cumin
1tsp (5ml) garam masala
½tsp (2.5ml) turmeric
salt and milled black pepper
1½ cups (375ml) fresh cream
5Tbsp (75ml/75g) cold butter
8 large crisp bread rolls
Melted butter, for brushing
I would like to think most of my readers are working men and women. So, that means we don’t have time, we are jugglers: work- family-social life etc.
Yes, we love looking after our loved ones, but most of the time we come back from work tired. During such times we need something easy, quick to prepare, yet delicious and with a wow factor. Of course you want to impress with your cooking skills. This dish I’m sharing today allows you to be all of those things. You don’t get to spend much time in the kitchen but your family will still think you cook like Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson.
I’m sharing a Peri-Peri Chicken dish from The Best of Fresh Living Cookbook. The first time I tried out the recipe, I thought of my hung over friends always wanting something hot and spicy. If your dish is not spicy then you better make sure you serve the dish with fresh chopped chillies.
The dish can be prepared after work and leaves you with time to spend with the family. Give it a try and then watch your family licking’em fingers! Happy Cooking!
Peri-Peri Chicken Pieces Recipe
A Portuguese Classic
3 Tbsp (30ml) PnP olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1-2 tsp (5-10ml) ground peri-peri
4 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp (30ml) red wine vinegar
Salt and milled pepper
8 chicken pieces
Oh, I love chocolate products, especially if they have nuts, chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, chocolate pudding…..Oh, my guilty pleasure!!! Lord have mercy on me!Enough about my confessions of a chocoholic. Last year I tried a Choc Nut Cake recipe from the Pick ‘n Pay Fresh Living magazine. The recipe was comprised mostly of the ingredients I usually keep in the cupboard. I just needed to buy a whole-nut chocolate slab.I tried out the recipe and it was di-vi-ne. I then saved it in my “tried and blown away” folder. That was the first time I tried out a recipe from the magazine, thereafter I never stopped….One thing I love about the magazine is that it has simple, easy to follow or should I say, “idiot proof” recipes and most of the ingredients they use are the ones you usually keep in your cupboard. If you don’t have the ingredient, they tell you where to get it or you’ll have a picture of the ingredient to at least get an idea of how it looks like. To me, that’s idiot proof.Recently, I found out that Fresh Living launched a cookbook ~ The Best of Fresh Living. The cookbook is a collection of over 140 scrumptious recipes from the magazine. The recipes are divided into four sections: salads, starters and soups; weeknight affordable, accessible meals; baking and desserts and lastly, splurge items.Going through the recipes I noticed that they have included the Choc Nut Cake – Aaaahhhh! I just couldn’t resist the temptation to prepare it again and share with my friends, colleagues etc.Try the recipe. I promise you, you are going to love it and also get yourself a copy of the cookbook ~ The Best of Fresh Living is only retailing at R89.95!!!Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing another mouth-watering, yet simple “tried and blown away” recipe from The Best of Fresh Living Cookbook. Happy Baking!Choc-Nut Cake Recipe1 cup (250ml) cake flour1 cup (250ml) sugar4 extra-large eggs, separated½ cup (125ml) vegetable oil½ cup (125ml) warm water2 slabs (100g each) whole-nut chocolate, grated1 tsp (5ml) vanilla essence1 Tbsp (15ml) baking powderChocolate Butter Icing:½ cup (125g) butter2/3 cup (60g) cocoa1Tbsp (15ml) vanilla essence3 cups (750ml) icing sugar, sifted¼ cup (60ml) boiling waterMethod:1. Preheat oven to 180۫C. Grease and line 2 round 20cm cake tins.2. Sift flour and sugar into a large bowl. Add egg yolks, oil and water. Mix well.3. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold into chocolate mixture.4. Divide mixture between cake tins and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack.Chocolate Butter Icing:1. Melt butte in a small saucepan. Add cocoa and vanilla essence.2. Cook for a minute over a low heat, stirring continuously.3. Scrape mixture into a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.4. Beat in icing sugar and 1-2 Tbsp (15-30ml) hot water at a time until well combined and fluffy.5. Add more water if mixture is too stiff.6. Use a warm palette knife to ice cake.Makes 1 large cakeENJOY and Give me Feedback , P-l-e-a-s-e !!!!!!!!!!!