Lebanese Lentil & Rice Pilaf OR Mdardra

Served with a tomato salad and a yogurt & cucumber salad.

1 1/2 cups brown lentils
1 1/2 cups egyptian rice
1 big white onion, finely diced
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs vegetable oil
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp seven spices
salt to taste

Boil the lentils and the rice separately according to the package instructions. In a saucepan, fry the onions with a mix of the olive oil and the vegetable oil, until the onions turn to a golden brown colour. Remove from heat. Mix the cooked lentils and the cooked rice together, pour in the onions with the oil in the saucepan. Add the ground black pepper, seven spices and salt, and stir over medium heat until everything is well combined. You can also serve the rice with some crispy fried onions on top. I like to serve it with a tomato salad, mixed with spring onions, lemon juice, olive oil, dried mint and salt. Another salad that goes very well with this dish is a yogurt and cucumber salad, made with plain yogurt, a touch of minced garlic, salt , diced cucmbers, a sprinkle of dried mint and a drizzle of olive oil




Chicken with Cashews

1 kg Chicken breasts, cut into big cubes
2 tbs cornflour
2 yellow capsicums, cut into big pieces or big cubes
2 green capsicums, cut into big pieces or big cubes
2 red capsicums, cut into big pieces or big cubes
2 red onions, cut into wedges
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced ginger
4 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs vegetable oil
3 tbs dark soy sauce
2 tbs honey (more if you like it sweeter)
1/2 cups toasted cashew nuts
1/4 cups toasted sesame seeds
1 cup water
2 tsp cornflour (extra) mixed with 1/4 cup water

Mix the 2 tbs corn flour with the chicken, toss until coated well. Fry the garlic and ginger with the sesame and vegetable oils. Stir-fry for a minute then add the chicken. When the chicken is cooked through, add all the capsicums. Stir fry for a minute then add the soy sauce, honey and water. When the mixture comes to a boil, add in the corn flour, stirring constantly, until the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat. Throw in the sesame seeds and cashew nuts. Serve with egg fried rice.

For the Egg Fried Rice

2 eggs
1/2 cup spring onions, chopped finely
1/2 cup carrots, chopped finely
1/2 cup green string beans, chopped finely
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
2 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs vegetable oil
2 tbs dark soy sauce
Salt to taste

Cook the rice according to the package instructions. Use the 2 eggs to make a plain omlette. Transfer the omlette to a chopping board, and cut it into thin rough slices. Using the sesame and vegetable oils, fry the ginger and garlic for a minute, then add the spring onions, carrots and beans, stir-fry for another minute. Add the rice, soy sauce , omlette slices and salt, keep frying till everything is well combined and coated. Serve

easy strawberry charlotte


Easy Strawberry Charlotte
Whip some whipping cream (add caster sugar to the cream if you prefer it sweet), soak sponge fingers briefly in orange juice, soak strawberries with sugar for five minutes. Cut the sponge fingers in half and lay them vertically on the sides of the a cheesecake pan. Fill with layers of the strawberries then the whipped cream. Remove from cheesecake pan and serve.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup grated carrots
2 tbs milk
1/2 tsp ground cinammon (optional)
1/2 walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sultanas (optional)

Mix all the ingredients together, except the walnuts and sultanas in a food processor or with a wooden spoon. When well combined, add the walnuts and sultanas. Pour the mixture into a loaf tin, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the mixture comes out clean.

Banana, Walnut and Flaxseeds Cake

Walnuts and flaxseeds are considered brain food, so this is an excellent choice for the kids……and don’t forget the nutrients in bananas…. I break the walnuts into really small pieces so that they dont find them :))

1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup butter, cubed
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tbs flaxseeds

Mix the butter and sugar in a food processor until lightly fluffy. Gradually add the eggs. When combined, add the remaining ingredients except the walnuts and flaxseeds. When well combined, remove from the food processor and throw in the walnuts and flaxseeds. Mix. Pour the cake mixture into a greased cake tin and bake till a toothpick inserted in the cake, comes out clean. Serve at any time of the day 🙂

Shephard's Pie

Shephard’s Pie

1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs finely chopped white onions
1 1/2 cups minced beef
1/4 cups grated carrots
a good pinch of ground black pepper
salt to taste
1 tbs tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup peas
4 cups mashed potatoes, not too thick, add some milk to make it a bit runnier
2 tbs grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
some extra knobs of butter
3/4 cup water

Fry the onions in a mixture of olive oil and butter until the onion is translucent. Add the minced beef and stir-fry till browned. Then add the carrots, peas, tomato paste, water, black pepper, salt and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes until the mixture is a bit dry. Remove from heat, set aside. In a heat-proof baking dish, spread half the mashed potatoes at the bottom of the dish. Spread the beef mixture on top, then the remaining mashed potatoes on top of the beef. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and mozzarella cheese. Place a few knobs of butter on top and bake for about 20 minutes until the cheese and breadcrumbs turn into a golden colour. Serve!

Grilled Shrimps with Jocelyn's Fried Rice

Grilled Shrimps with Jocelyn’s Fried Rice

1 kg medium shrimps, peeled and deveined
1 cup coconut milk
Fresh lemon grass stalks, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
Salt & black pepper to taste
A sprinkle of brown sugar

Soak the cleaned shrimps in the coconut milk for 1 hour minimum. Thread the shrimps into wooden skewers, placing a piece of lemon grass between each shrimp. Grill or barbecue till tender.

Jocelyn’s Fried Rice :

2 cups basmati rice, cooked
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbs green capsicum, finely chopped
1 tbs red capsicum, finely chopped
1 tbs yellow capsicum, finely chopped
1 tbs white onion, finely chopped
1 tbs spring onions, finely chopped
1 tbs green peas, cooked
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs vegetable oil
Salt to taste

Stir fry the onions, garlic, ginger and spring onions in the sesame oil and vegetable oil until the onions are translucent. Add the remaining ingredients, stir fry a further 3 minutes, then add the rice, mix well until everything is well combined. Serve with the grilled shrimps. Enjoy 🙂

Goat's Cheese & Strawberry Salad

Goat cheese and strawberry salad :

Light, healthy and yummy ….

Strawberries are high in vitamins and anti-oxidants.

Serves 6.

3 cups lettuce , roughly torn
1 cup strawberries, quartered
1 cup crumbly goat cheese, roughly sliced into rounds, if its too crumbly, it’s okay, they don’t have to look perfect.
12 Melba toast rounds
1 tablespoon lightly toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon lightly toasted almonds
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbs honey
1/2 tsp salt

First, place the lettuce leaves in a serving dish evenly, then place the Melba rounds on top, each topped with a good portion of goat’s cheese. Sprinkle the strawberries, pine nuts, almonds and walnuts all over the salad and serve with the balsamic & honey dressing. Enjoy!

Balsamic & honey dressing:

Whisk the balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil and salt together well and serve!

Crab Cups

My husband and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary this weekend with a cosy dinner with our friends. I made these crab cups to serve as an appetizer and they were devoured.For these crab cups, I lined filo pastry into cupcake trays, brushed them with melted butter, then baked them till crisp. Set aside to cool. Mix 1 cup crabmeat with 1 Tbs lemon juice, 1 1/2 tbs finely chopped spring onions, 1 tbs mayonnaise and fill the mixture into the cups….. And serve!