HERBY CHEESE STRAWS

ESlabs Cheese strawstested
HERBY CHEESE STRAWS
2 cubes or sheets puff pastry
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup sharp grated cheddar cheese
½ teaspoon salt or aromat
Fresh ground black pepper
1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water
Dry basil, rosemary or parsley to taste
Instructions
Thaw the puff pastry cubes or sheets according to the package directions.
Preheat the oven 375F.
Roll out the pastry if you used cubes into approximately a 15″ x 15″ square, or if you have pre-rolled sheets just open them up.
Whisk the egg and water and paint the top of the pastry.
Sprinkle each sheet with half the parmesan and cheddar cheese.
Add spices to taste. I used basil, salt and ground pepper on one sheet and rosemary with a bit of parsley and ground black pepper on the 2nd sheet of pastry.
Now take your rolling pin, and press down on the topping to press it into the pastry.
Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut across the pastry in 1″ wide strips. Cut down the length of the pastry to halve each strip. I deliberately made mine different length, just to be different.
Twist each piece and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until puffed and lightly browned. Turn each straw around, and bake another 2-3 minutes.
Take out and let them cool down, (if you have the patience) and dig in and enjoy.

Source: Own creation
Prepared, tried and tested by: Esme Slabbert




WATERBLOMMETJIE BREDIE

Waterblommetjiebredietested
WATERBLOMMETJIE BREDIE
Serves four to six people
1kg – 2kg fresh waterblommetjies
30 ml oil
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 large onions, finely chopped
1kg lamb stewing meat cut into chunks
flour to dust the lamb
juice of two lemons
250ml beef stock (and 250ml hot water extra)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra lemon wedges for serving

Heat the oil in a large pan. Dust lamb pieces in the flour and brown in the hot oil. Set the lamb aside and brown the onions and garlic in the same pot until they are nice and soft.
Place the lamb back into the pot and add the stock and juice from the lemons. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and stew the meat with the lid on for about a hour or until nice and tender. You can add more hot water or stock at this point if the liquid gets low while stewing.
Gently place the waterblommetjies on top of the lamb and cover the pot with the lid. Let them “steam” on top of the lamb for about half an hour. They should still be quite firm but cooked. Don’t overcook the waterblommetjies as they will turn into mush.
Serve on rice with extra lemon wedges on the side.

TRIED AND TESTED the above with a slight modification and combination of other recipes:
800g -1kg fresh waterblommetjies
30 ml oil
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 large onions, finely chopped
6 large potatoes, cut into quarters
1.5 kg lamb neck chops
flour to dust the lamb
juice of two lemons
250ml beef stock (and 250ml hot water extra)
salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper

Method as per the above.
As you can see its perfect!!

SOURCE: Elsabie Templeton




PEPPERMINT CRISP AND CARAMEL ICE-CREAM SANDWICHES

Icecreamtested
PEPPERMINT CRISP AND CARAMEL ICE-CREAM SANDWICHES
1 tin (360g) caramel treat
1.66 liter (1 large tub) good quality Vanilla Ice-cream
Ok, you do not have to be so specific, it’s just that the tubs we buy = 1.66 liters
±150g (1 large slab) Peppermint crisp or 2-3 small bars will also do the job.
Again, use as little or much as you like.
1 packet of tennis biscuits.
You can in fact use any square shaped biscuit it you cannot get tennis biscuits.
Use a large bowl and cream the caramel treat with a hand whisk.
Leave the ice-cream on the counter for an hour or two, depending on the outside temperature.
It should be soft but not totally melted.
Add a 1/4 of the ice-cream to the caramel and mix through.
Continue till you have added all the ice-cream and mix till well combined.
Place the peppermint crisp in a zip lock bag and roll with a rolling pin to break it into smaller pieces.
It should still be chunky, so be careful not to overdo it and end up with a powder.
You can also just crush it by hand, but I find it less messy to do it in the bag.
Dump all the peppermint crisp pieces into your ice-cream mixture and lightly mix through.
Use a square container, I used a cake tin, but you can use any other container.
Make sure it’s the size of 3 x 3 tennis biscuits.
You can even make it 3 x 4 then you will have a slightly thinner layer of ice-cream, which will be perfectly fine.
Line your container with parchment paper.
Pour the mixture in the container and then into the freezer.
I left mine overnight, but I guess 2-3 hours will also work.
As long as it’s solid, then you’re good.
Lift out the block, turn it upside down and peel off the parchment paper.
Depending on the size used, cover the top with 3×3 of 3×4 tennis biscuits.
Turn it around, and to the same to the other side.
Make sure that both sides match up.
Use a large sharp knife and cut the Ice-cream block into sandwiches, the size of the biscuit.
Now it will go back into the freezer.

Optional:
You can melt approximately ½ to 3/4 slab or mint flavored chocolate in the microwave.
Scoop this into a zip lock bag, and cut a very small piece from the one corner, then pipe/drizzle chocolate over the top.
Return to the freezer till you’re ready to serve it to your guests.
Remember it’s ice-cream and it will melt quickly.
I saw something similar on the internet, and just made up the rest as I went along, my standard way of cooking/baking or preparing anything in the kitchen.

My own creation, Prepared, tried and tested: Esme Slabbert




BANANA, LEMON AND RIND LOAF

Banana, Lemon and Rind loaftested

BANANA, LEMON AND RIND LOAF

Ingredients
3 ripe bananas
2 cups blending flour (regular all purpose / cake flour will also work)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup 1% milk
Juice of 1 lemon
METHOD
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
Blend together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat together sliced bananas, sugar and eggs until smooth.
Add the vegetable oil, milk, and lemon juice and beat until silky.
Add dry mixture and mix till well incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Turn off the oven and leave in the warm oven for 5-10 minutes.
Take it out and let it cool for 5 minutes then remove from loaf pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
LEMON GLAZE FROSTING
Ingredients
2 cups icing sugar
rind and juice of 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon (15g) butter, at room temperature
Tip to soften up butter: –
If butter cold and hard because you forgot to take it out of the fridge in time, place it on a side plate. Cook water till its boiling, and fill up a mug. Let it sit and when the mug is nice and hot, toss the water, and put the mug over the butter on the plate. Leave it for a minute or so, and you will have room temperature butter.
METHOD
Whisk icing sugar, lemon juice, butter and ½ the lemon rind until very thick and white.
Spread the frosting over the top of the cooled loaf and decorate with the remaining rind.

Prepared, modified, tried and tested by Esme Slabbert




KALE AND BUTTERNUT SALAD

Kale and butternut saladtested

KALE AND BUTTERNUT SALAD

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 very large onion, sliced into large pieces
5 cloves garlic, sliced into long slivers (or less – we really like garlic!)
1 bunch kale, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dried thyme (I’m sure fresh would be great if you have it. I didn’t.)

Directions
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Toss the butternut with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, and arrange evenly onto a baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven until the butternut is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Cook the onion until it starts to caramelize, and then add the garlic slivers.
Continue to cook while stirring until golden brown, at least 15 minutes.
Stir in the kale, cooking until wilted and tender – it only takes about 3 minutes.
Transfer the kale mixture to a bowl, and cool to room temperature.
Once all the ingredients have cooled, mix the apple cider vinegar with a bit more pepper and the thyme.
Then combine the butternut, kale, and vinegar mixture in a bowl and gently stir to combine.
You could use yams instead of butternut, and any type of vinegar you prefer.

Source: Seen on internet and modified to taste by Esme Slabbert
TRIED AND TESTED




BANANA CHOCOLATE MUFFINS

FLR Banana Chocolate muffinstested

BANANA CHOCOLATE MUFFINS

2c blending flour
1c demerara sugar
3 bananas (mashed)
1c cream
1tsp white vinegar
1/2c oil
2 eggs
1c chocolate morsels
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
2tsp baking powder
pinch salt
Mix the cream and vinegar, and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
Beat with a handheld electric mixer the eggs, sugar & salt till white, fluffy and creamy.
It took me about 4-5 minutes to get it a nice ‘white’ color and a good fluffy texture.
Add oil and just mix it trough.
Mix in mashed bananas and bicarbonate of soda.
Add flour & baking powder, and hand mix.
Pour in the cream and vinegar mixture, then add the chocolate chips and mix till well incorporated.
Scoop with a 1/4 cup measure the mixture into lined muffin tins.
Just for fun, I added some extra chocolate morsels on the dough for some decoration.
Bake in preheated oven at 350F for 12-15 minutes, or until skewer inserted comes out clean.
Modified, prepared, tried and tested by: Esme Slabbert




RICE KRISPIES FRUIT CHEWS

Rice Krispies Fruit chewstested
RICE KRISPIES FRUIT CHEWS

Ingredients
1/4 cup shredded coconut
420 g white marshmallows – cut in ½
15 large soft prunes – snip with a kitchen scissor into quarters
15 large soft apricots – snip with a kitchen scissor into quarters
1/4 cup raw sunflower kernels
1/4 cup craisons
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 crushed pecan nuts
4-5 cups rice krispies cereal

Optional:
½ – 3/4 cup coconut
150 g curls of chocolate
or a combination of both

Line a deep dish with tinfoil.
Sprinkle the first 1/4 cup of coconut at the bottom.
Snip all the fruit and mix the rest of the ingredients, except the rice krispies
Place marshmallows in a deep dish and microwave for 1 – 1.5 minutes
Now you have to work quickly.
Add the rice krispies and the rest of the ingredients and mix through
Note: It’s a sticky business, but work fast. Should you need it, you can return it to the microwave for another 30 seconds to 1 minute in order for you to mix it through.
Spoon onto the coconut and spread it out.
The best way to do this, would be to wet your hands under running water (it should be damp, not dripping wet), and press the mixture down into the pan.
Now you can sprinkle another ½ cup of coconut or chocolate or both over. Gently press down with your damp hands.
Place in the fridge overnight to set. Cut into blocks. You will notice that some of the coconut will fall off, do not worry about it, just keep it aside and as you cut the blocks, dip the sticky sides in this coconut. Enjoy!!

Source, prepared, Tried and Tested: Esme Slabbert’s kitchen




ESME’S BLUEBERRY CREAM CHEESE MUFFINS

FLR Blueberry cream cheese muffins
ESME’S BLUEBERRY CREAM CHEESE MUFFINS
120 ml (½ cup) butter, softened
85 g (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 eggs, beaten
250 ml (1 cup) sugar
10 ml (2 teaspoons) vanilla
500 ml (2 cups) flour
7.5 ml (1 ½ teaspoons) baking powder
2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) baking soda
2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) salt
1¼ cups blueberries
125 ml (½ cup) milk

TOPPING
¼ cup butter, softened
¼ cup flour
125 ml (½ cup) brown sugar (packed)
5 ml (1 teaspoon) cinnamon
In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter with cream cheese.
Stir in beaten eggs, sugar and vanilla.
Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Stir in blueberries. Lightly mix in milk without beating or over stirring mixture.
Spoon into greased muffin tins until 3/4 full.

TOPPING
Mix butter, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of muffins.

Bake in a 375-degree oven for 25 minutes. Cool and remove from muffin tin.
TRIED AND TESTED BY Esmé Slabbert’s kitchen
2nd photo:  Silvia Van Eck shared a link.
Ek het Hierdie muffins vanoggend gemaak en hulle is baie lekker. Ek het wel nie die topping opgesit nie.

Silvia Van Eck – Photo 3
Ek het vandag appel muffins gemaak maar her Esme se blueberry resep gebruik en net die bessies met appel stukkies vervan. Het ook n teelepel kaneel in die deeg ingegooi.




AMARULA MALVA PUDDING

Amarula Malva puddingtested
AMARULA MALVA PUDDING
Malva pudding:
1 large egg
250 ml berry sugar (I prefer to work with berry sugar, as its easier to cream than regular sugar)
1 tbs smooth apricot jam
2 tbs softened salted butter (not margarine)
250 ml blending flour (you can use regular flour, it’s the same)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
250 ml 1% milk (you can use full cream or half and half, it will only be richer in taste)
1 tsp white vinegar

Amarula sauce:
125 ml melted butter (not margarine)
237 ml cream (1 carton)
125 ml berry sugar
80 ml Amarula

Pudding:
Beat with an electric hand mixer the egg and sugar until creamy, then add jam and butter, and beat again till combined thoroughly.
Add dry ingredients to the egg-and-sugar mixture. Stir with a spoon to combine. It may seem a bit dry, but do not worry. Slowly add in the milk and continue to stir and mix with the spoon. When the mixture is combined, add the vinegar.
Pour into a baking dish and cover with foil.
Bake at 350°F for about 40-45 minutes, or till golden brown.
Remove foil and pour over the hot sauce, you prepared in the interim.
Return the pudding to oven, but switch if off, for a further 5 minutes as this does help for the sauce to be sucked up by the pudding. Yummy!!!

Amarula sauce:
Combine the butter, cream and sugar in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce thickens, this will take a few minutes. I left mine till it started to bubble then turned the heat off. Take the sauce off the heat and add the Amarula.
Pour the sauce slowly over the pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven. I used all the sauce, and as mentioned returned it to the cooling oven for ±5 minutes and all the sauce was absorbed. You can serve immediately, with custard on the side or let it cool down and serve when ready.

Custard:
30 ml custard powder (I used Bird’s custard powder)
45 ml berry sugar
2½ cups 1% milk (you can use whatever you prefer, I do not stock anything else)
5 ml vanilla essence
Add all the ingredients in a glass bowl and whisk till well blended.
Microwave for 5-8 minutes on high. Stir 2-3 times while cooking and till its thick enough.
Add the vanilla, and whisk till all blended and cook for another minute.
You can add more milk if it’s too thick. I prefer a medium thickness as you want to pour it over the pudding.
Note: When the custard is cold, it will be one big lump, so you can add more milk, whisk briskly and heat it up before serving with the pudding.
This recipe I did not actually modify, as the Malva pudding is rather a standard recipe and to be followed as is. The only thing I did different: I used the ingredients I have at hand, and maybe not the ingredient the original recipe called for, but close enough.
I made the custard by thought and with no real recipe.

TRIED AND TESTED by Esme Slabbert’s kitchen




LAMB SHANKS

FLR Lamb Shankstested
LAMB SHANKS
Ingredients:
2.5kg shanks (6 medium to large)
156 ml (1 tin) tomato paste
170g – 6 small to medium shallots (cut in half)
±2 tablespoons ground coriander
±2.5 – 5ml dried basil
±2.5ml dried rosemary
We love basil and rosemary, so if you do not want that much, feel free to use a bit less)
50ml brown sugar
±1½ tablespoons salt
500ml boiling water
750ml Sweet Shiraz (We used Jam Jar, but you can use any sweet Shiraz you can find in your area)
Method
Fry shallots – set aside
Fry shanks and add spices as you go along. We fried the shanks it in two batches.
Then add the boiling water, wine and tomato paste and simmer at low heat.
After about 15 minutes, add half of the shallots to the pot then continue to simmer till shanks are soft. About 20 minutes before done add the remaining shallots and brown sugar, and cook through
Original source: sapromo
As usual, we use an existing recipe as a base and then modify it to our own taste, so the original recipe and what we ended up (above) have no similarity whatsoever.

TRIED AND TESTED but drastically modified by Esme Slabbert’s kitchen