You got the peaches, I got the cream. Sweet to taste, saccharine

Summer is slowly coming to an end, the warm sunrises are being replaced with orange skies and the crisp air of Autumn, the best part is when the alarm clock triggers for your morning wake up, instead of getting out of bed, you snuggle deeper under the duvet and give it another 5 (?) more minuets.

Now, living in South Africa, we are blessed with our Autumn weather being a mixture of all four seasons in one. One day it’s raining and cold, you find your winter boots and pull out your scarf collection, and boy oh boy, do I have a collection of note. The next day you wake up to cloudy skies but by late morning, the weather is immaculate, the skies are bright without a cloud in sight. You spend the day frolicking outside and grabbing onto that last bit of good weather before winter sets in.

There is this little stream I take the boys too, they love it, being in the middle of nature, doing what kids should be doing – playing outside.

For those who know me well enough, you know how much I love tea. It is all weather purpose, so much so, on the same level as coffee connoisseur, I have numerous teas from different places, different styles and flavours. I use teas to infuse into meals, I make sweet tea ice lollipops for the boys, and besides drinking a nice cup of hot tea, I love making ice tea combinations.

This combination is a Rooibos, Apple & Cranberry infusion with lemon and rosemary. I can control the sugar, and 9/10 times I don’t even bother with sugar. This is not a luxury you have with store bought ice teas, often drinking one is like eating a spoonful, or 6, of sugar. If you look at Store Bought Ice Tea, you are looking at 6.6 tsp of sugar I’m a 500ml bottle.What does 6.6 tsps of sugar look like?

Images: google.com

Now to be fair, I do not have a sweet tooth, but know many people in my personal circle who have sugar addictions. Sweets for my sweets, honey for my honey…or sugar for my sweets and Diabetes for my honey. Sugar can be responsible for many health problems. To name just a few:

Diabetes, weak immune system, formation of kidney stones, tooth decay, eczema in children and of course my personal favourite, obesity.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying cut out sugar completely as I know for the average person, this is a challenge. All I am advising is to watch your sugar intake and believe ice tea is a healthier drink, unless it’s homemade.

Everything in moderation, stay happy and healthy.

Advertisements

Nobody cares about your protein intake until they find out you are vegan

As a chef, one has to keep up with food trends and how food evolves and most importantly, special diets, whether it be for health, religious or ethical reasons. Living in Cape Town, this was in my face all the time, no one wanted to offend the vegan by not having a vegan friendly option on the menu, the pescaterian had to have a vegetarian option as well as fish available because on that day, they just never knew what they feel like, or dare have a Tim Noaks superfan and not have Banting friendly water available that has not been infused with fresh fruit because, God forbid, there would be too much sugar coming too close to their lips.

I will never understand the whole sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, low protein, calorie free diet. What do you eat then? Let’s take a moment to appreciate the humorous side of this…

Just to be clear, I am not a vegan, I believe eating a balanced diet. right portions and exercise for a healthy lifestyle, but I can really get behind some well thought out vegan food. Artichoke at the Midlands Kitchen (KZN Midlands) is a local authentic vegan restaurant with a small menu, which suits the environment and caters for the diners whom normally end up having fruit salad as a meal because a chef couldn’t be bothered to put a balanced vegan friendly meal together.

Kolleru Bowl – R65
Couscous, sweet corn, mushrooms, spinach, cannilini beans, carrots, beetroot and hummus, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and sunflower seeds.

This is served hot, which I was lucky enough to get a few mouthfuls of, but having been out with my Misters, they kept me preoccupied which resulted in my food getting cold, it was just as delicious.

On a side note, this is not a review of the restaurant, I went exploring with my little dudes and we ended up here, which inspired this post.

Back to special diets. Having worked in a hospital environment for a while last year, realizing how extremely important it is to follow certain dietary requirements is life or death. Having said that, I also never realized how ‘hotel like’ a hospital is and that those menus that you tick when you are laying in bed with your bum airing, really is more of a guideline than an actual menu. Wait until I have to have a hospital stay!

There is research that says we should be eating a plan based diet, and then there is research that says meat is a must for humans to consume. So I get you are asking yourself, what exactly is this rant about?

The bottom line: for the love of all that is holy, stop being a dick about other peoples food choices. No one cares about your opinion.

Love and bubbles

Ang

I am Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Wow, last post was November 2013…so much has happened in the last, what…5 years. Good and bad, fun and sad, calm and mad…etc.

Let’s do a quick recap so we all back on the same page.

2014 – 2018 in a flash
I went on a weight lost journey, I lost 25kgs, in a happy healthy way [read slowly with eating right and exercise], followed by an amazing trip to Mauritius with my main squeeze, followed by a night of intoxication and frolicking which resulted in (planned) falling pregnant with twins – yes, you read that right…TWINS! To be exact, identical boys with the most beautiful blue eyes and blond hair – all mine!

So I want to stop there and just answer all the questions about the twins right here and right now:

YES, I knew I was having twins, no one jumped out of my vagina and screamed surprise
YES, natural – YES, planned – YES, I wanted twins – YES, it runs in the family (then deep into the explanation of identical vs fraternal. NO, I didn’t breast feed (not out of choice and none of your damn business) – YES, I cloth diapered both until just before their 2nd birthday – YES, they are identical BOYS – NO, I can’t tell them apart…

So twins arrived, we are living in Cape Town, I go back to work, I didn’t enjoy what I was doing and I went back into the hospitality industry. A wonderful opportunity arose in the KZN Midlands, moved here in December 2017 and I am still in hospitality, it’s in my blood. Seventeen years later I am still doing what I love even though now days my threats to leave the industry happen more often, but lets be honest, I was born for this industry and I love what I do. Lucky? No, not lucky, just very fortunate to have been able to dedicate myself to this industry with the understanding of my family.

So now that we caught up, lets go ahead and appreciate some of my views.

filefile1

I am also going to change a lot going on on this blog, I feel it’s more than just food but also family and lifestyle. I look forward to chatting to ALL the new and old supporters.

love

Ang

Summer Loving and Healthy Lunches

Summer is just about here! And to celebrate the warmer weather, I like to take full advantage of the beautiful surrounds of St Francis Bay.  The Cape St Francis beach is one of my favourite places to spend time, the sand always forms magical patterns and creates a fairytale atmosphere.

sand patternsshadows

lighthouse from the beach

To celebrate the summer, I thought I would share one of my favourite easy and healthy lunch time dishes.

Spinach, Feta & Mushroom Quesadilla

1 whole wheat tortilla wrap
¼ cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup fresh spinach which has been blanched in boiling water
4 button mushrooms, sliced and cooked in a little olive oil and garlic.
30g Danish feta, crumbled
seasoning
¼ tsp nutmeg
chopped dill

Mix the spinach, feta, mushrooms, nutmeg and dill together.  Season to your liking.

Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat.
Place 1 tortilla onto the pan.
When warm, flip it over.
Sprinkle about half the Cheddar cheese evenly over the one side of the tortilla.
Top with the spinach mixture.
Add a little more cheese, fold over in half and press down lightly.
Cook until the bottom gets a little colour, flip over and let the other side also colour.
Slide onto a cutting board, using a pizza cutter or a very sharp knife, cut into 4.
Serve with a little side salad of your choice.

spinach feta and mushroom

Giveaway: Cape Town Festival of Beer tickets

To kick off Mo-vember I thought I would start with a little fun giveaway. I have a set of tickets for the CAPE TOWN FESTIVAL OF BEER, taking place the 22nd to 24th November 2013, to give to a lucky reader. Be part of the first ever GIANT beer pong tournament!

All you have to do is LIKE my At Home with Chef Angeliqueca Facebook Page HERE and be a follower of my blog – leave me a comment below telling me you have done so and you could be the winner of these tickets. Entries close the 15th November 2013 at midnight and the lucky winner will be drawn randomly and be notified by 2pm on the 16th November 2013

Now…what can you expect from this awesome event?

All beer sampling free

After the massive success of the inaugural Joburg Festival of Beer, the Mother City’s favourite festival of beer is heading back to its roots for the fourth edition of the one and oh-so-beery Cape Town Festival of Beer!

The festival will be taking over Hamilton’s Rugby Club in Green Point on the 22nd-24th November for a weekend of all things beer. With 200 beers on show, local and international brewers, home, craft and mega brewers as well as brewing demonstrations, best beer awards, food and beer pairings and guided beer tours there is plenty to learn about the much-loved golden nectar.

Receive your very own “Beer Passport” on entrance, collect stamps as you sample all beers on show for free and stand a chance at winning fantastic prizes and beer hampers.

For the first time ever, the festival will be running a GIANT Beer Pong tournament throughout the course of the weekend. Unlike traditional beer pong this will consist of giant balls which will need to be thrown into giant cups measuring 1.5m high. If you think you have the brains and brawn to back you, then grab your tickets, your mates and enter a team on the Facebook page now!

Giant beer pongGiant Beer Pong Tournament (2)

Brewers to look forward to at the Cape Town Festival of Beer:

Lakeside Beerworks: Set in the picturesque Kommetjie Valley, Lakeside Beerworks prides itself on being a naturally brewed and honest beer, produced from only the finest ingredients. Every beer that goes out under the Lakeside name is made in the true spirit of craft. Stretch your palate with their malty American Pale Ale, subtle roasted caramel Red Ochre Ale and banana/bubblegum Hefeweizen beer at the festival this year.

Triggerfish: Triggerfish brewing, situated just outside Somerset West, grew out of brewer Eric van der Heerden’s simple passion and hobby for beer and homebrewing in 2007 and took a leap into full grain brewing with 3 breweries to try it himself. Triggerfish Brewing has become a respected brand in the Western Cape with a focus on brewing exceptional ales. Their craft beer line-up includes 6 staple beers, with plenty of seasonal and once off brews, like the Kraken, a 1000 IBU beer, the bitterest ever made in Africa.

Devils Peak Brewing: As the name suggests, this Cape Town based microbrewery combines tastes from the US and Belgium with an injection of Mother City flair. Expect rich flavour and plenty of character in their Woodhead Amber Ale, Kings Blockhouse IPA, First Light Golden Ale and Silvertree Saison, all on exhibit at the Festival.

Robson’s Beer – Not only the part-owner of the brewery that produces the award winning beer Robson’s Beer, Donn Stewart is also a passionate advocate of responsible drinking and will be cycling a massive 1972kms from Shongweni in KZN to the Cape Town Festival of Beer to raise awareness around his cause. Be sure to stop by to hear about his travels and grab one of 100 special edition Double Indian Pale Ale which will be auctioned at the Festival with funds going to the South Africans Against Drunk Drivers association.

For those with a taste for international beer do not miss the Belgian Beers, Celis White and Carolus Gouden Classic, which both won awards at the Festival of Beer in Joburg this year.

With live entertainment all day, wine options, a variety of delicious food stalls, kiddies play areas with child minders and of course plenty of beer there is no reason to miss out on Africa’s largest Festival of Beer!

CTFOB (2) Pre-sale tickets include a beer glass and are R120 and are available from www.paygenius.co.za/capetownfestivalofbeer.co.za. Student tickets are R100 on display of a valid student card.

Secure your spot by booking a table for R500 and seat up to 10 people – perfect for large groups of friends, family or colleagues. Book in advance to avoid disappointment. Please contact info@capetownfestivalofbeer.co.za for table reservations or queries.

Tickets are R120 and R100 for students. No under 18’s will be permitted entry at the Festival.

Visit www.capetownfestivalofbeer.co.za for more info and follow the action on www.facebook.com/CTFOB or @FestOfBeer, #CTFOB

Gluten Free Cinnamon & White Chocolate pappardelle with Creamy & Spicy Chicken Livers

Still on the Gluten Free path, this was another part of the a challenge I submitted as being GF. I have a LOVE / HATE relationship with chicken livers, I absolutely love chicken liver pate, however, I really battle with the texture of chunks of chicken liver.  It is purely mental, I know!  My family love chicken livers, so I often feature them in dishes.  The sauce was beautiful and velvet like and worked perfectly with the pappardelle. Best part – this is a really budget friendly dish.

Gluten Free Pasta Dough

2 cups gluten free flour
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp oil

Place the flour on your work surface.
Make a well in the middle; put the eggs, salt, baking powder and oil into the well.
Using your fingers, slowly combine the liquid and flour until a ball of dough is formed. If the dough is too wet add a tablespoon of flour. Because there is no gluten to work you do not need to knead this dough for too long, just until smooth.

Sprinkle some flour on your work surface.
Cut the pasta ball into four.
Working gently, roll out the dough, using a rolling pin, until it is as thin as it will go. (This is tricky so be patient)
Cut the pasta into thick strips, about 3cm thick, place on a plate and cover.

To cook the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Place the pasta in the boiling water for 4 -5 minutes, when the pasta rises to the surface, take a little piece and taste it. You should be able to bite into it without it falling apart. (With gluten-free pasta, it’s a fine line. One moment it’s al dente, and the next it’s one big ball of mush, so watch the pot.)

Creamy & Spicy Chicken Livers

250g PnP Chicken Livers
1 tsp Robertson Cayenne Pepper
100ml PnP Cream
½ cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
45ml lemon juice
Salt
Pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 Knorr chicken stock pot
½ cup water
½ tsp Robertson ground cinnamon
2 blocks white chocolate

Clean and rinse the chicken liver, fry in a really hot pan with a little oil. Fry for 5 – 7 minutes. Add the onions and fry for a further 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice, sprinkle in the cayenne pepper, add the stock pot and water.  Stir gently and let reduce slightly. Add the cream and parsley, let reduce further until the sauce has thickened. Season to taste.

Sprinkle the cinnamon over the cooked pasta, grate 1 block of the chocolate on the pasta.  Top with the chicken livers and sauce.  Garnish with more grated chocolate and a dash of fresh lemon juice.

gluten free pasta dough

Gluten Free White Chocolate & Roasted Thyme Nectarine Pizza

Being gluten free is a new concept to me, I am still finding my way around all the DO’s & DON’Ts of eating gluten free. I was taking part in a challenge and decided that I would dive deeper into the world of gluten free, but I really had to do my research as to what is classified as gluten…and what isn’t.

Gluten is a protein complex found in wheat, now this may sound devastating to most, however there are many acceptable substitutes for wheat. For example almond flour is fantastic as it has a low glycemic index and is a low-carbohydrate alternative to wheat flour. As I learn more and more about this lifestyle change, I will share the information. Until then, try my Gluten Free Dessert Pizza!

Pizza Base

3 cups gluten free flour
1tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
5 tsp white sugar
1 tbsp yeast
1 ¼ cups tepid water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 ½  tsp Robertson Cayenne Pepper (use more if you like more of bite)

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Mix the yeast into the tepid water. Add one tsp sugar and whisk, set aside to double in size.
In a bowl, combine the flour, cayenne pepper, baking powder, rest of the sugar, salt and olive oil. Mix until combined.
Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture, pour the yeast mixture in and mix with a spoon.  Remember this is gluten free so your dough will not be very stiff.
Lightly flour your work surface, top out the dough and knead until smooth, this won’t take long. There are no glutens to work so all you are looking for is a smooth dough.
Place the ball of dough into a greased pizza pan or baking sheet. Shape out the dough working with damp hands, bake for 25 – 30 minutes.

Set aside to cool completely. Remove from dish.

Toppings:

3 nectarines cut into wedges
150ml fresh cream
50g fresh thyme
2 tsp white sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cinnamon
70g white chocolate

Place the nectarines on a roasting try, drizzle olive oil over.
Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over, bruise thyme and spread over the nectarines
Roast for 30 minutes or until golden and sugar is caramelized. Remove the thyme stalks and set aside to cool completely.
Heat 70mls of cream and add the chocolate to the warm cream.  Slowly melt, creating a Ganache glaze. (leave a little chocolate for garnishing)
Pour the Ganache over the cooled pizza base, place roasted nectarines on the surface, spreading it out.
Grate white chocolate over the top and place in the fridge for the glaze to set (about 30 minutes)

gluten free pizza