Basil & Three Cheese Soufflé

Chefs, foodies, home cooks and students all fear the dreaded Soufflé.  But in essence, they should not be feared at all.  As long as you have your fundamentals down you should have a successful soufflé time after time.

The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means “to blow up” or more loosely “puff up”.

Once I get an idea in my head, I don’t let it go.  I was paging a magazine which had a bean soufflé recipe; my husband was not very excited about this idea, so I opened my fridge door and put a few ideas together.

Basil & Three Cheese Soufflé
makes 6 servings

50g whole meal flour (extra for dusting ramekins)
50g softened butter (extra for buttering ramekins)
500ml milk
1 small onion
1 star anise
3 cloves
2 sprigs of Thyme
100g mature white cheddar, grated
100g boerenkaas, grated
50g feta cheese, crumbled
2 tsbp Princess Pesto basil pesto
6 eggs, seperated
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Prepare ramekins with butter , using a pastry brush, brush the butter in an upward motion (this is a very important step). Dust with flour and black pepper and place in freezer.

Preheat your oven at 200°C

Mix the butter and flour together to form a paste.  Place in fridge to harden.
Heat the milk over a medium heat with the onion, star anise, cloves and thyme infusing in the milk for about 15 minutes. Strain and place back on the heat.
Whisk in cold butter, the milk will thicken, cook out for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
Whisk the egg yolks, cheese and basil pesto together and then into the milk mixture.

All this point you can stop and set aside for up to 2 days.

Whisk your egg whites until just before hard peak.  You don’t want dry egg whites.

Fold your whisked egg whites into your mixture gently.  Spoon mixture into the prepared ramekins.  Ensure that the mixture is level on top.  Using a paper towel and run your finger along the inside edge of the ramekin, this encourages the soufflé to rise.

Place in oven for 10 minutes, drop your heat to 180°C for a further 15 minutes.

As you can see, mine raised beyond expectations, careful though, as soon as you remove the soufflé from the oven, it will start dropping within a minute.

cheese souffle

An unforgettable Paper Anniversary

Unbelievable that a year has gone by

Wow a year already? Just feels like yesterday

A whole year and you two are still so much in love

I heard these statements, and the like, rephrased in many different ways over and over by loved ones for the last week.  I just have to smile because I can believe it has been a year, a wonderful year of being married to my best friend…my soul mate…the first of many years ahead.

Our wedding was small and intimate, as intimate as 80 people can be, we focused on sharing our joy and happiness with the people closest and dearest to us. With one of the best wedding teams in the country, St Francis Links Golf Estate exceeding all our expectations.

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angie roux wedding shoes 21012012

But you all know the story of our wedding…now for the story of our first anniversary.

Monday past, being our first wedding anniversary, represented by paper, I had in my mind that I should expect a gift voucher of sorts – maybe to the day spa or the bookstore…but I am blessed with a very romantic husband.

Sunday afternoon, Justin arrived home from work with 3 envelopes.  I at first took no notice of them as I was very concerned he had forgotten to pick up the odds and ends that were essential to my dinner preparation.  Picking the envelopes up to move out of my way while I frantically dug in the shopping bag, I noticed the one said “1st Anniversary” which obviously grabbed my short attention span away from the shopping packet.

angie roux anniversary part 1 21012013

There in my hand were 3 envelopes marked “1st Anniversary”. The first one, Part 1 was to be opened on Sunday.  Anyone who knows me, knows I love surprises, and even more so, I love the game that goes with a surprise.  Part one was bullet point instructions to pack essentials.  This got me even giddier as not only was it a surprise but it was a going away surprise. I was in my eliminate right there!

Part 2 of my envelopes were only to be opened when Justin told me to do so.  I was dying inside as I needed to know what the next part of the surprise was. But I had to wait…I didn’t do so very patiently, asking every 5kms if I could open the envelope. Eventually the go ahead was give, Part Two was instructions to please help the driver with directions, a map was fastened to the letter.

angie roux anniversary part 2 21012013

Arriving at our destination I was overcome with such love for this man.  He knows the internal workings of my mind so well, he understands how I love being isolated and in a natural environment, yet don’t do the camping / hiking or any general outdoors type activities.  He knows just the right spots.  Our anniversary destination was Misty Mountain Lodge in Tsitsikamma, situated between Plettenberg Bay and Jefferys Bay. The resort is based on a cliff and overlooks the ocean with the most picture perfect scenes.

The afternoon of just being together –  laughing and sharing, the joys of no phones…being surrounded by peace and calmness and simply enjoying each other’s company was the perfect way to spend our anniversary.  We explored what the venue had to offer, followed by a relaxing bubble bath, building up to the delicious dinner shared over drinks and much happiness.  The staff of Misty Mountains was amazing, very welcoming and so efficient.

angie roux misty mountain lodge 21012013

Part 3 was only allowed to be opened on Monday morning, the day of our anniversary.  Justin wrote me a love letter, filling my hearth with warmth and my eyes with tears.  I am so fortunate to have the unconditional love from this man.  Every day that goes by, I count my blessing.  Along with my love letter was an “IOU” for the next time we are in Port Elizabeth to go pick out jewellery…a romantic weekend away with my amazing husband and jewellery…sorry ladies, he is all mine!  Can a girl get any luckier?

angie roux anniversary part 3 21012013

Saturday Morning at the Outeniqua Farmers Market

What a beautiful Saturday morning it was in George, I wanted to be outdoors…and for those who don’t know me that well, by outdoors I mean outside, not doing any weird or wonderful extreme sport.  The outdoor farmers market is the perfect outdoors for me.

Follow the N2 heading for PE from George, you will find the Outeniqua Farmers Market nestled on the Kraaibosch farm, close to the Garden Route Mall.  I am told that on the opening day of the market, a year ago,  it was so busy that people were parking on the opposite side of the highway just to be able to get there.

I love the concept, strolling between the big trees, all the little stalls of all wonderful little goodies. I met some great people, every stall that caught my eye, ended up with a few minutes of great conversations and of course some great networking.  I just love the vibe, I have been to markets where the people are rather off putting, you walk away feeling more of a bother than educated.  This is definitely not the case at the Outeniqua Farmers Market.

The first stop was coffee, I was amazed how well organized the coffee store was, in my opinion, more organized than most coffee shops I have been to.  On the menu were different coffees, cappuccino and teas, no lack of milk, sugars, sweetners, I loved how clean and neat the station was, and the absolutely delicious cappuccino!

The food stalls were impressive, such a large variety, local restaurants offering prego rolls, or a stall for bacon and eggs, some pancakes, and the speciality stores were amazing, you had such a choice of world cusine – Indian, German, French, Thai, Chinese, South African and Greek.

I settled on French simply because of the personality of the stall.  Such a lovely energy, German born, married a Frenchman, loved South Africa and finally settled on living here.  She was making the famous Crepe de Paris.  But what really got my attention was how natural she was, she just loved making your crepe and chatting with you.

Her croissants had me drooling…I had a croissant filled with gypsy ham, and topped with béchamel and a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar. I was in heaven.  Flaky and light croissant just heated enough to melt the cheese…yes please!


Next door was the German Butcher, all homemade bacons and other charcuterie and man oh man was he busy.  He had his little deli slicer set up and was selling like hotcakes.

And of course to cater for everyone, the rugby was broadcasted for the men while the ladies strolled from stall to stall.  Tables set out under the trees for people to sit and relax, enjoy the weather and all the market has to offer.

So if you are in the Garden Route area, I would recommend that you stop by.  The Outeniqua Farmers Market is every Saturday, there is ample parking and for more information, pop on over to their website

Spring has sprung in Port St Francis

Spring is in the air, can feel it, and with Spring comes new beginnings.

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I decided that I needed to clear up in the house. My closet is a mess, with the winter we are covered in layers of clothing, bulky, warm layers that fill our winter cupboards.

I like to help others, I have a beautiful friend who claims I am a giver
not a receiver, so I went on her theme and decided to give all my old clothes away to the less fortunate, all 3 bags full!

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I am currently on a little leave again, my plans are to do a little house keeping, relax, read as much as I can, try out a few recipes, I started off my morning with my book and a cup of coffee.

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Tomorrow we are on our way to Addo, my husband decided to spoil me and tske me away for the night, I can not wait, as you that know me know, I am not a camper, so a little cabin in the game reserve is the perfect get away, some away time with my favourit person.

And on that not, I better go pack! Plan in spending 2 days in jeans and a tshirt! So unlike me but so what I wsnt to do!

Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup and some Chia Seeds

This is my contribution to international soup day which recently just passed.

Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

1 kg tomatoes
2 biggish red peppers (deseeded)
1 onion
1 tsp garlic
½ spring fresh rosemary, chopped
1 cup beef / vegetable stock
2 tots sherry
1 tin tomato paste
olive Oil
salt
pepper
sugar
fresh basil

Cut a cross into the top of the tomatoes, with the peppers place onto a roasting tray, sprinkle salt, pepper olive oil and rosemary. Roast at 200°C for 45 minutes.

Chop onions and fry off in a little olive oil and a sprinkle of sugar until nicely caramelized, deglaze the pot with 1 tot of sherry, add garlic and tomato paste, fry until the oils starts slowly splitting from the tomato paste, deglaze the pot once more with the 2nd tot of sherry.

Add your roasted tomatoes and peppers and cook off for 10 minutes.  Add  salt & pepper and blitz up.  Add the fresh basil and blitz more until smooth.  Your soup at this stage will be really thick.

Add 1 cup of stock of choice and cook over a low heat for about 3 hours.  If your soup thickens up to much, just add a little more stock and cook out more.  You want the end result to be thick but not to chunky.

Add desired seasoning to taste and enjoy with fresh bread.

I roasted 2 or 3 cloves of garlic and just rubbed my ciabatta with it, with some fresh goats cheese, and it complimented the soup wonderfully.

I like to add Chia seeds to my soup.  I had done a little post about Chia seeds before, but here is a some more that I learnt and a slight update on how I am using it.

After further research on chia seeds, I have learnt the more nutritional way to use them.  Take 1/3 cup of chia seeds to 2 cups of water, mix and place in the fridge.  You are looking for a gel type substance that can last in your fridge for 3 weeks.  That is the substance you add to your smoothies or soups to really get the full punch of the chia seeds.  The gel that is formed is ready to eat in 10 minutes, however the longer the chia seeds stand in a liquid (water, juice smoothies etc) the more you will benefit from the nutritional value of it. Just an update on how chia seeds improve your lifestyle:
Provides energy
Boosts strength
Bolsters endurance
Levels blood sugar
Induces weight loss
Aids intestinal regularity

So I am going to start with a new challenge I have set myself this winter.  I am going to start with having chia seeds 3 times a day, eat healthy and properly, and slowly bring in basic exercise again, and of course, take my yoga seriously again.  Time for a change of life, maybe that will motivate me again!

Get yourself some!

Lazy Sundays and a wonderful lunch at Crossways Country Kitchen

I know I have not been on the blogs much lately, I guess just a mixture of being busy, and for a while I stepped away from the  stoves, I just didn’t have any confidence in my cooking after a rather nasty incident with a patron.  But I am back, and I am feeling again…I have missed food…and most important, I have missed the feeling I have when I create in the kitchen.

Today, we had to do a little celebrating, so my lovely husband and I went to discover a new destination for lunch.  Now this is definitely what I would refer to as a “Hole in the Wall’ type place, which is exactly the kind of restaurants I love.  I am not one for the top 5 restaurants in the country, in my opinion, fine dining does have its purpose, however, for me…I am more the “mom & pop” kind of chef, where food comes from the heart and the creativity on the plate is such a large part of you.  Maybe its the artist in me as well that brings these feelings out.

The Crossways Country Kitchen is exactly what I love about the industry.  Briefly listening to the owner, I am so excited for the ideas he has, and WOW, it will bring so much into the community and more importantly for the “foodie’ community of the Eastern Cape.  I really look forward to his vision.

You can find out more about the restaurant here

We were warmly greeted by the handful of waitresses which are so lovely and friendly, and told we may sit anywhere, as there were many open tables.  I was rather surprised as I thought they would be more busy, however, we were early for lunch, and by the time we left, they were buzzing with people.

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We were brought the drinks menu and asked for a wine list, I was slightly confused as there was not an actual menu.

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The waitress brought us our wine, and in tow were 2 more waitresses, one with an easel and one with a large blackboard which was set up in front of us.  I absolutely loved this, however not very practical when they got busy as there was only one menu floating around.

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We settled on a wine I have never heard of.  Brampton Viognier, which was so fruity. The aromatics are splendid: springtime perfumery, fresh ginger, peaches, apricots and honeysuckle. The palate is waxy and delicate yet with an underlying strength and focus. Aromas follow effortlessly onto the rich palate the wine just set the mood for an absolutely wonderful meal.

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We started with the roasted tomato soup with basil pesto and  lovely homemade bread.  The bread was so delicious, beautiful soft crumb texture yet the crust was so crispy and chewy – exactly how I love my bread, with oregano and nuts, this was a perfect companion to this hearty earthy soup.

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As always mains are a tough decision as I always want to have so many things!  I finally settled on my old time favourite Lamb Shank with spring onion mashed potatoes with a lovely red wine & onion gravy.  The lamb was so full of flavour and just fell off the bone, definitely country cooking at its best.  The spring onion in the mash just gave the mash such a beautiful uplifting flavour which enhanced the flavours of the lamb.

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Justin had the smoked pork neck with rustic butternut mash, when the food arrived I had one of those breathtaking moments.  The sight of this dish made my mouth water!  The roasted naartjies and the beautiful Fall colours on the board  just oozed creativity, I was in love!

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I was already so full however when the dessert blackboard was set out for us, and there was a cheeseboard…I had to have!  Very seldom do you find a cheeseboard part of dessert, so we enjoyed cheese, preserves, crackers and a lovely cuppachino for dessert.

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The setting was just stunning, about 40kms from Humansdorp, just off the N2, take the Sunnyside turn off,  nestled between cows roaming free.  Open from 9am to 3pm, Wednesday through Sunday, from what I understand the menu changes all the time, and the pork belly is something to look out for!

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March Foodie Photo Challenge – Day 1 – Photo of Breakfast

I found this wonderful March challenge posted by The Purple Carrot and I just had to take part! Run on over to her blog and check it out. I always find these a lot of fun. So here we go…

Day 1 – A photo of Breakfast

Crackly wheat toast with bacon, spinach, feta, chili and soft poached eggs, topped with basil mayo and chia seeds