Monday, 31 October 2016

Spicy chicken with sweet potato mash...

This recipe is just so easy...minimum effort, and maximum flavour... That is just what we need on some  days.
I usually place all the ingredients in a Ziplock bag, mix together, add the chicken pieces, and seal. Set aside to marinate until required.

Note: This recipe uses Mrs Ball's Chutney. This is a popular South African,  apricot based chutney. It may be available in other parts of the world in the international foods aisle of larger supermarkets, or at stores specialising in South African foods. Failing that, you may use whatever fruity chutney is available, or some sweet chilli sauce works well too.

4 skinless and boneless  chicken breasts, butterflied
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
11/2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted in a dry pan and crushed
1 tablespoon golden mustard seeds
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves
1 teaspoon dry mint.
1/2 cup Mrs Ball's chutney
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
Salt to taste

Combine all the marinade ingredients together. Add the chicken breast pieces. Stir well and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to marinate.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan, and cook  the chicken on both sides until done. Pour over the remaining marinade, together with a knob of butter. Cook for a few more minutes.

Sweet potatoes:
1 kg orange sweet potatoes, unpeeled
Juice of 1/2 lemon
A handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Mrs Ball's chutney, or sweet chilli sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

 Wash and cut the potatoes into large chunks. Place in a pan of boiling water and cook until tender. Drain well. Place in a bowl with all the other ingredients , and mash coarsely. I leave the skin on for some texture.
Spread onto a serving platter or board. Place chicken on top. Sprinkle with some charred corn and coriander. Finely slice a red chilli and scatter on top. Serve with lemon wedges.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick...

 I absolutely love Stila Liquid Lipsticks...A highly pigmented lipstick that is weightless on the lips and lasts all day. (I promise...It really does!)...The formula does not bleed or transfer. It is also enriched with Vitamin E and Avocado Oil so lips stay soft all day long...The colours are super vibrant and totally opaque, so expect a lot of compliments on your lip colour! The use of a lipliner is not strictly neccessary, so it is quick and easy to apply (this is probably my favourite part!). 

P.S: The featured shades are 'Fiery' and 'Fiore'.


Thursday, 27 October 2016

Indonesian Style Chicken and Peanut Satay on Flatbreads...

Too hot to spend time in the kitchen!!!
I bailed out today with some store bought flatbreads and made this quick and easy Indonesian style chicken with a peanut satay sauce and some stir fried veggies... I usually serve this on home baked Focaccia, but I simply could not bear to spend time in the kitchen today! The veggies that I use are baby corn, red and yellow peppers, sugar snap peas and sprouts. My local Grocer was out of
sprouts today, so I omitted them.

4 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/4 cup honey
1/2 - 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 cloves of crushed garlic
A dash of sesame oil
Salt to taste

Combine all the above ingredients, and set aside to marinate.

Peanut Sauce:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek* or 1-2 finely chopped red chillies
Juice of a lemon
1/2 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the remaining ingredients, and cook stirring constantly, until it just starts to bubble. Remove from heat.sauce will be thick.

*Sambal Oelek is an Indonesian chilli paste. Most supermarkets stock it. I buy mine at Pick'nPay.

Stir fry some veggies. Set aside. In the same pan, stir fry the chicken. Warm up some flatbreads. Spread with the peanut sauce. Pile up the chicken and veggies, top with sprouts and some micro leaves and serve.

A Refreshing Watermelon Salad...

This salad is just perfect for balmy summer days. And the best part? Minimal effort and maximum flavour!

Note that it is hard to give proper measurements for this salad, as you  pretty much make it up as you go along.

1 red onion, thinly sliced
Juice of 2-3 limes
1/2 of a tiny watermelon
A handful of mint leaves
A handful of rocket leaves (arugula)
A small handful of basil leaves
Black olives, pitted
Feta cheese
A handful of toasted pine nuts
Olive oil
Edible flowers, to decorate

Place the onion slices in a bowl. Pour the lime juice over, and leave to macerate for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the other ingredients.
I used a cookie cutter to cut the watermelon and feta cheese into daisy and round shapes. Arrange all the ingredients on a platter. Remove the onion from the now beautifully pink juice, and scatter over the salad. Drizzle some of the  lime juice over. Add a spritz of olive oil. Garnish with the flowers, and...
 There you have it!
A watermelon salad!

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The Gilded Lifestyle Loves...Black&White...

Beautiful picture of Diletta
Bag by Perrin

Christian Louboutin for Naeem Khan, Picture from


Dolce&Gabbana, Spring 2017 RTW
Freja Dalsjo, Spring 2017 RTW
Paule Ka, Spring 2017 RTW
Melitta Baumeister, Spring 2017 RTW
Ann Demeulemeester, Spring 2017 RTW
Ann Demeulemeester Spring 2017 RTW.

Pictures from

From left to right: Self PortraitChloeWitchery.

Monday, 24 October 2016

A Week In Pictures...Food...

Perdeli Pilav...Get the recipe here... 

Crunchy Courgette Fritters...Get the recipe here.

More details on these pics here...

A Week In Pictures...



Full outfit details here.

Full outfit details here.



Grilled Banana Soles...

Sole and banana... A match like no other!  This is how I have always prepared them. I used to fry the  Soles before, but these days I prefer to bake them.

For this recipe you will need,
4 dressed soles
Salt and milled pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic. Minced 
6 ripe but firm bananas, sliced lengthwise in halves
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into rings
1/2 cup flaked almonds, toasted in a dry pan
1/2 cup crispy fried shallots ( available at Asian stores)
250 gram button mushrooms, sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges, optional
Lemons to serve

Preheat the oven to 180°C

Rub the soles with the olive oil and the garlic, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Place on a greased baking tray, cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes. 
Fry the bananas in a tiny amount of olive oil, until golden. Set aside.
Next, fry the pineapple. Set aside.
Stir fry the mushrooms in the same pan and set those aside too.
Deep fry the potato wedges.
Uncover the soles and place under the grill until golden.
Place a sole on each plate. Arrange the bananas, pineapples, etc on top...
Serve with lemon slices.
Serves four.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Crunchy Courgette And Seed Fritters....

Courgette, zucchini, baby marrow... Call them what you will. I have always known them as courgette, as that is what my Mom called them.
These courgette fritters could be served with an egg for breakfast. I served my fritters with a fried egg, labneh and a sprinkling of Cyprus black salt, or serve them just on their own with some tomato chilli jam as a delicious snack, Oh, and they're great with a dollop of cream cheese too!

For this recipe, you will need:

1 kg courgettes
1 onion, grated
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup cake flour (or all purpose)
1/2 cup corn meal (mielie meal)
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon poppyseeds
Freshly milled black pepper
Handful of  flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon baking powder

Trim the tops of the courgettes and grate coarsely. Place in a large bowl with the onions. Add the salt, and set aside for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine all the remaining ingredients.
Wrap the courgette in a piece of muslin, and wring out very, very thoroughly. You'll get about 2 cups of liquid out! Discard this liquid.
Add the courgette to the other ingredients and mix well. Adjust and add more salt if needed.
Heat a generous amount of vegetable oil over medium heat. (about 1/2 cm). Place dollops of the courgette mixture in the pan. Cook until golden brown, then flip over and cook the other side. Remove to a plate lined with  paper towels to drain for a minute. Serve at once.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

If You Make One Thing This Week...Perdeli Pilav...

I know that I am embarrassingly behind with my recipe posts, but as you know, life happens!

The recipe that I am posting today is a dish that I had eaten in Istanbul a few years ago. It's name, Perdeli Pilav, literally means rice in a veil or curtain. I assume that this is due to the 'veil' of pastry covering the rice! Just this week, I discovered that a similar dish is also cooked in many parts of the Levant.
I have been intending to make this for a while, but did not get around to it...Until today! I always thought that the various elements would be just too time consuming. Surprisingly, it didn't take much longer than any other rice dish! Simply prepare it in the order suggested and it will be easy!
So here goes...

3 1/2 cups cake flour
3 ml baking powder
5 ml salt
225 grams unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs, beaten

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
Combine the butter and eggs and add to the flour make a biscuit like dough. Add  a splash of milk if the dough does not come together easily. Cover bowl and set this aside.

Onion Confit:
4 large onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
A pinch of saffron

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onions and saffron. Cover the pan and cook gently, on a very low heat, till onions are soft. About 1/2 hour.

4 large chicken breasts
2 bay leaves
1 stick cinnamon
2 carrots, cut into large chunks
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, halved
A generous grinding of black pepper
Salt to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon sumac
1 tablespoon Pul Biber (Aleppo Pepper)

Place chicken, bay leaves, cinnamon, carrots, onion, garlic, pepper and salt in a deep saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil.reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove chicken pieces from the broth, and set aside to cool slightly. Strain the broth and discard the veggies. Set broth aside. Once chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it up and add all the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust salt. Set this aside.

1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup flaked almond
1/4 cup barberries*, optional
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups Turkish rice, washed and well drained
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon allspice powder
Salt and pepper
A generous pinch of saffron
Reserved broth

Heat butter and olive oil in a saucepan. Add the nuts and cherries. Fry for a minute, then add the rice. Fry until well coated int the butter and oil. Add the remaining ingredients and cover with the reserved broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer till done. (About 20 minutes) all the broth should be absorbed by then.

To assemble:

A handful of blanched almonds, split

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Spray 4 x 12 cm springform tins with non-stick cooking spray.** Arrange the almonds in the tins.  Divide the dough for the pastry into 4 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll out  1 portion of the dough thinly. Ensure that it is large enough to come up the sides of the tin, as well as cover the top. Gently ease the pastry into the tin and press into the base and up the sides. Place a portion of the onion confit over the pastry, then a portion of the chicken.*** Lastly top with a portion of the rice. Press down gently on the rice. You tin should be almost full by now. Flap the overhanging pastry over, and pinch to seal well. Brush with some olive oil, and pierce with a knife in 3 places. Do not pierce all the way to the bottom! Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30- 35 minutes until golden brown and pastry is
cooked through. When done, remove from tins and serve at once.

* Barberries are known as Zereshk in Persian. you could use dried sour cherries instead, or even some golden sultanas.
** You could use a large 23 cm springform tin if preferred. Adjust cooking time appropriately.
*** Next time, I will add some sliced and fried aubergine to this.

Pickled rose onions:
2 medium red onions, sliced into half moons
150 ml white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
A splash of rose water

Combine all ingredients. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes. Stir well then sprinkle with some sliced pistachios and garnish with rose petals.

5 baby cucumbers, finely diced
1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh mint
1 cup Greek yoghurt

Combine all together. Stir well and refrigerate till required.