South African Bobotie by Nicholas M
Large casserole or small casserole dishes
Frying pan
Wooden spoon
Measuring cups and spoons

500g minced beef
1/2 slice bread
250 ml milk
½ medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup seedless raisins
1/4 cup sliced blanched almonds
2T apricot jam
2T Mrs Balls chutney
1 T lemon juice
1/2 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
2 tsp oil
3 eggs
4 bay leaves
1 cup rice
Curry leaves and sliced almonds for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
2. Soak bread in 125 ml milk, squeeze dry and mix with minced beef.
3. Mix in all other ingredients except remaining milk, oil, eggs and bay leaves.
4. Heat oil in a frying pan and brown meat mixture really well, stirring frequently.
5. Place mixture into small casserole dishes.
6. Lightly beat eggs and then add 125 ml milk and beat well. Pour about 2 spoonfuls over meat in casserole dishes. Garnish with bay leaves and bake for 25 to 30 minutes for small individual boboties. The topping should be set and golden brown.
7. Rinse rice well and place rice in a large pan. Cover with cold water. Add salt, stir and bring to the boil (should take about 5 minutes for the water to boil). Once it reaches a strong boil, turn down and simmer for 12-13 minutes (taste the rice at 12 minutes to see if it is cooked). Remove from heat, drain and fluff with a fork. Cover and stand.
8. Prepare the plate with rice and chutney and then take the bobotie out of the oven at the last minute. Garnish rice with curry leaves.

This recipe of a Y5 boy in my husband’s school is the most delicious. We tried the BBC’s and it was not the same as we used to have ‘back home’. The spices isn’t great to be honest. Nicholas made this and went through to the semi-final round for a cooking competition at his school in Bucks. He missed the finals due to his timings. With this recipe he is definitely my Top Cook! I think there must be some South African blood running through his veins. Thank you, Nicholas! I really enjoyed your Bobotie!




8 oz. extra-sharp yellow cheese

8 oz. sharp yellow cheese

4 oz. monterey jack cheese

3/4 cup mayonnaise

4 ounces pimientos (diced)


dry mustard

red pepper

garlic powder






pure cane sugar
filter water
lemon wedges or slices




vanilla wafers or shortbread cookies

pure vanilla extract


egg yolks

half and half milk

heavy cream






pic_sweettea_Lemonmint_2014Aunt Classie is so infamous for her sweet tea that she makes 5-gallons at a time for large events and family gatherings. Her 5-gallon tumbler always come back empty.

Aunt Classie’s sweet tea is brewed and sweetened to perfection. You’ll always find a pitcher of cold sweet tea in her refrigerator. Whenever I visit her in Tennessee, I immediately go to the refrigerator to get the ice tea pitcher and to the cabinet (they still say cupboard) to get a pint-sized mason jar to drink it from.

If there aren’t any ice cubes in the pitcher then you really don’t need to add any because the tea won’t last more than five minutes. It’s really quenches your thirst especially on a very hot and humid day.

On my last visit to see Aunt Classie, I observed her make her infamous sweet tea and took notes. I paid close attention to her technique. It was interesting watching her because she seemed to be in a zone and enjoyed making the tea. She is honored that everyone enjoys her sweet tea.

Fresh-brewed iced sweet tea is very soul satisfying when the temperature and humidity is in the 90’s.

The initial recipe was for a 5-gallon batch but I tested the recipe multiple times adjusting and adapting it for a one gallon batch.


1 gallon filtered water
Tea Bags (6-8 regular) or (2-3 family size)
1-2 cups sugar
1 lemon sliced or wedges
Mint sprigs (optional)


1. Using a 4-quart saucepan, bring 4 cups filtered water to a rolling boil over medium heat.

2. Remove the saucepan from the stove and add regular or family sized tea bags. Steep for 15-20 minutes.

3. Remove tea bags then add sugar to the tea and stir until the sugar dissolves.

4. Let sit until the tea mixture reaches room temperature.

5. Add remaining 12-cups water to the tea mixture and serve or refrigerate.

6. When serving, fill a glass with ice and pour tea. Add lemon slices or wedges and mint sprigs, if desired.

(Stock photo) Read the rest of this entry »

Your macaroni and cheese will always turn out if you always remember the following tips.


(add an introductory statement)

Select a pasta noodle that will hold the cheese well.  A good choice includes the elbow macaroni, penne, cavatappi or cellantinni “corkscrew”, rotini, or shells.  (add pics)

The selected pasta should be cooked in a salted rolling boil water.

The select pasta should always be cooked “al dente” because it will continue to cook when it’s baked.  Read the packaged instructions carefully.  Overcooked pasta will become mushy when baked.  (add pics)


Mix and match a variety of cheese but don’t spend a fortune on the cheese.  A good cheddar for tanginess and a good melting cheese should work well.  For starters, a sharp cheddar and mild cheddar or monterey jack cheese should work well.
 (pics of blocks of various types of cheese)

Buy blocks of cheese and either shred or grate the cheese yourself.  It’s less expensive and it won’t have the additional additives that the pre-shredded cheese has so it will melt well.
(pics of grated and shredded cheese)

Don’t use processed cheese.

Cream cheese and sour cream make great additions to cheese if you prefer your macaroni and cheese extra creamy.

BUTTER – use REAL unsalted butter!


Whole milk, skim milk, half and half, evaporated milk and/or heavy cream is often used in macaroni and cheese.  The half-and-half, heavy cream and evaporated milk contributes to a creamier final product.  Any of the milk products can be used alone or in combination with each other. (pics of various types of milk)

SEASONINGS (optional)

Dry mustard, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, nutmeg, white pepper, salt, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce or cayenne pepper, chipotle  (pics of various types of seasonings)

Determine the type of sauce you will use.

CHEESE SAUCE (french style) Roux, seasonings and milk products.  A roux is prepared on top of the stove to create a bechamel sauce and shredded cheese is added when the roux is finished and removed from the stove.  When the cheese it added to the bechamel sauce it becomes a mornay sauce.

CUSTARD SAUCE (southern style)
In a bowl, the eggs, seasonings and milk products are mixed together and poured over the macaroni and shredded cheese prior to putting into the oven.

TOPPING (optional)
Bread crumbs – bread crumbs mixed with butter and/or seasonings then added to the top of the macaroni and cheese.
Potato chips – crumbled and added to the top of macaroni and cheese.


Layer your pasta, shredded cheese and cheese sauce/mixture.  Sprinkle with either paprika or chipotle.
(pic of the layering process)

Pre-heat the oven to 350-375 degrees and bake for 25-30 minutes and brown the top, if necessary.


Note:  Add a video of the process from the beginning to the end.