Chicken, Leek and Cider Pie – Woolworths Taste Magazine – June 2015

chicken& leek pie inside

Delicious and homely! Quite a simple recipe that packs amazing flavour; this recipe is a winner for a winter lunch feast!I loved how simple the filling is; leeks, garlic,sage,cider, chicken stock,crème fraîche, Dijon mustard, cider and rotisserie chicken.  Fills the home with a gorgeous aroma.

Continue reading “Chicken, Leek and Cider Pie – Woolworths Taste Magazine – June 2015”

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Wintry Parsnip and Three-Citrus Salad – Woolworths Taste- June 2015

 

What a wonderfully exciting and colourful warm winter salad!

I had great pleasure in serving this dish, as my guests all “wowed” at the vibrance on this plate.  I love parsnips and here their slightly sweet roasted taste was so gorgeously paired with the Moroccan flavours of toasted cumin and coriander.  The tang of the citrus was softened by the sweetness of the dates and currants and the fresh parsley kept it savoury.

A truly stunning dish to serve at a dinner party; delicious and unique.

Continue reading “Wintry Parsnip and Three-Citrus Salad – Woolworths Taste- June 2015”

Tomb Raider 2013

Tomb Raider

Yes I did.

Whilst Amanita Design games are cute and sweet, I thought I would up my “game” a little (tsk, tsk, I know) and get into a bit of “proper” gaming.  Something with a little more, as they say in Afrikaans, “Skop, Skiet en Donder” (which directly translates to Kick, Shoot and Annihilate).

TOMB RAIDER by Crystal Dynamics fit the bill.

I played the grand total of 5 minutes of the very first Lara Croft that came out back in ’98 (but got bored quickly), so I was gobsmacked at the level of graphics in THIS game.  I played this (and all my other games) on my Mac.  After all, it was voted as Game of the Year 2014 accordingly to the App Store.

WOW.  All I can say is WOW.  I was hooked from the first five minutes.  Riveting fast paced storyline (a little cheesy and predictable but you can go with it), amazing cut scene graphics, amazing “realtime” third person graphics.  I loved the scenery, the solar flares and the especially the sunsets, but that is just me being a girl.  The keyboard controls took a little getting used to (but I played on the easiest level) so I got prompted each time on what to do, so learnt relatively quickly.   The worlds and maps and adventure feel of this game is just phenomenal.  I am a climber, so I also loved that her climbing abilities are phenomenal and you have to climb often!

On one rainy day I stayed in bed the WHOLE day and gamed. Ok, maybe the whole weekend.  Shhh!

Stressed out?  Trying to take your mind off something?  GET this game.  Although, having said that, I often looked up to see my fella smirking at me in amusement as I realised I was cursing and working up a sweat doing battle on my laptop, looking more stressed than relaxed.  I did die often too, causing some frustration, but added to the challenge I guess.

I actually felt the game was too short (as with anything that is just THAT enjoyable) and cannot wait for the new one to be launched.  I will get it as soon as it is out!

#whatshappeningtome?

Machinarium – by Amanita Design

Machinarium

THIS is the beautiful little puzzle game that turned me into a “gamer”.

My man is a gamer, through and through.  He loves it.  I had absolutely no interest in gaming but was quite content to let him play in the evenings while I settled down with my fat book and my feet up.

Have you ever tried reading next to someone involved in a battle with a dragon in full HD and surround sound?  At first it is cute, but soon you find yourself rereading each phrase, finding it harder and harder to concentrate until you simply end up watching your boyfriend fight dragons, in full HD and surround sound, despite yourself.

When he suggested that I give Machinarium a try I obviously objected. I had no desire to shoot stuff, fight dragons, have long dialogues with characters and/or to die repeatedly.  He smiled and said that he knew I would love this game for those very reasons.  He was not wrong.

I do love me a puzzle!

This is one of the most beautiful games ever and I get sentimental every time I think about it.  A gorgeous and sweet storyline, beautiful artwork and style, it is a very easy to navigate point-and-click adventure game that I just absolutely fell in love with.  I implore you to play this game!  I keep checking back with the guys at Amanita to see if they have made the sequel, but they have not yet, sadly.  This is a work of art.  You don’t die in this game and the puzzles range from easy to tricky.

Try it out, it is just gorgeous.

Check it out at : http://amanita-design.net/games/machinarium

Sweet Potato and Chorizo Soup – Jamie’s Ministry of Food – Page 131

Chorizo & Sweet Potato Soup

Jamie’s picture on the left, mine on the right.

I am not really the worlds biggest soup fan.  I consider it a mere starter or lunch at best, but it has been raining non-stop for the last two days and I needed to use up the chorizo I had left over from Paella.  I came across this recipe in my older book (Jamie’s Ministry of Food) and gave it a try last night.  I cannot believe I waited this long to try it, neither the title  nor the picture does this soup justice.

Incredibly delicious, this has become my favourite soup of all time!  I want to make a large batch and freeze it, to get us through the winter.  This soup warms you from the inside out.  The rich smokey flavours of the chorizo is perfectly offset against the sweetness of the sweet potato and the warm fusion of the slight curry flavour just does something wonderful to your brain! Even the bits of chilli on top add a whole new flavour dimension.

A totally satisfying and soul warming soup – do try it this winter!

Effort : Low

Time : About an hour in total

Appearance : 5/10 – Looks bloody terrible – BUT…

Taste : 10/10!  I LOVE this soup!

Would I make this again?  Just try and stop me!

Coda Alla Vaccinara (Butcher-Style Oxtail) – Woolworths Taste – Pg 108 – May 2015

Coda Alla Vaccinara
Coda Alla Vaccinara

Their pic on the left, mine on the right.

Delicious!  Remarkably easy to make, but this really should simmer for at least 3 hours to get the fall-of-the-bone effect just right. It is really fun adding the bitter chocolate at the end and watching the dish transform from an orangey colour to a deep brown. I used 90% Cocoa Lindt which is perfect.  My camera is no match for the Woolies guys, but I was impressed that the dish came out exactly as planned.

Things I had to google:

– How to stud an onion.  So you actually keep the onion whole, just peel and chop of the ends, then simply press the cloves into the uncut sides of the onion, like studs. Pop it like this, cut side down, into pot.

– A whole head of garlic, actually means the entire bulb.  I had gotten used to gratuitous amounts of garlic lately but even this took me by surprise.  My own tip – rather peel about 4 cloves and pop into the pot whole, otherwise you will be fishing garlic skins out of your otherwise delicious oxtail later.

– What is pancetta?  It is Italian cured belly of pork.

I just love that the dish is really just meat and tomato based, feels pretty healthy, tastes great and wholesome.  They didn’t recommend what to serve it with, so I recommend risotto for a really rich dish.

We just ate it with normal rice to keep it a bit lighter.

Candied Citrus peel – really not the easiest thing to find! I had to substitute with castor-sugared orange-zest.  I would actually like to try this with candied citrus peel as I think this would be great.  Traditionally gremolata (this topping for oxtail / osso bucco) is just parsley, garlic and lemon zest, so I found the blanched celery a bit gross (I prefer this cooked into my food and unidentifiable) but enjoyed the pine nut addition. They don’t mention flat leafed parsley in their recipe but had this in their picture, luckily I had some in fridge and could recreate exactly.

Effort : Low

Time : 3 hours cooking, 15 mins prep

Appearance – 8/10

Taste – 8/10

Would I make this again?  Yes! I would have reservations about the celery next time but am looking out for candied citrus peel so I can give it another go.

Creamy Gorgonzola Fazzoletti Pasta with Porcini – Woolworths Taste, May 2015 – Page 18

Gorgonzola Fazzoletti

Their pic on the right, mine on the left.

Finally!  A recipe that had my man licking his plate, my plate and the saucepan!

This is fresh, creamy, delicious and really quick and easy to prepare.  I changed the Kale to Baby spinach, the Walnuts to Pecan nuts (Walnuts were out of stock -Pecan nuts were still delicious) and I changed Porcini to normal brown mushrooms.  I didn’t make the Fazzoletti either, but I did use lasagna sheets and broke them into little “handkerchief” shapes.  The nuts really add an earthy taste and extra layer to the dish and makes it look pretty cool too.  Next time i will prepare my sauce first and only then get the pasta on the boil after this to make sure that it is ready just as my mushrooms are browned.  I had my pasta ready from the start which made it all stick together and I think it would be better to smother it in the sauce immediately to prevent that.  The recipe suggests adding the salt and pepper afterwards where next time I would rather add it to the sauce.  Go easy on the pepper to maintain the delicate flavours.

Can’t wait to try this with Porcini which should add a richer flavour.

Effort : Low

Time : My way = 20 mins

Appearance :  7/10 for it’s simplistic earthiness that just makes you want to dig in

Taste :  8/10 – wholesome and creamy yet fresh and perfectly balanced.

Would I make this again?  Definitely.