2016 is speeding ahead like a run-away train. It is the time of year where it is time to pull out Advent Calendars, eggnog (or the South African version “Melktertjies”), put up a Christmas tree, stock up on Festive Season treats such as Christmas cake, etc. Because this time of year can get a little silly, this newsletter is jam-packed with everything from gift ideas, to tips & hints on how to work with phyllo pastry, how to choose a loaf pan, how to truss poultry, how to carve a turkey, etc. I have also included mouthwatering recipes for seasonal favourites such as home-made Christmas Cake, as well as a variety of recipes for everything from starters to mains, side dishes, desserts, etc. In other words, everything your need to prepare for your festive entertaining.
Since I watched the “phyllo” challenge on the culinary reality TV Show Koekedoor 2 earlier this year, I decided to dedicate a whole newsletter to phyllo pastry before the end of 2016, and here it is! The innovations the contestants came up with, such as Kanya’s technique to scrunch up a tube of phyllo dough around a pipe was definitely inspiring. I’ve included recipes for sweet and savoury phyllo pastry in just about any shape and size you can think of – from baskets and crackers, to cigars, parcels, rolls and even triangles. Read more further down.
As usual, I have also included recipes contributed by Carolié de Koster. They are mostly from her popular Art of Cooking recipe book. Almost all the photo’s of phyllo dishes on Cooking Up A Storm’s website was plated and styled by Carolie and photographed by either herself of her husband Adri. Truly talented people! Read more further down.
Be sure to stock up on ready-prepared dips, pates, pickles and pesto’s for your Festive entertaining. Read more about the extensive range of products by Mediterranean Delicacies in my post Mediterranean Delicacies. Be sure to enter their competition and stand a chance to win a hamper of Mediterranean Delicacies’ products. Read more further down.
In my post Country Meat I tell you more about Sernick’s Certified Bonsmara Beef brand which includes the full range of beef cuts and is available exclusively at Sernick’s Country Meat branded retail butcheries in Johannesburg and Kroonstad. Be sure to visit their new store in Linden. Read more further down.
If you suffer from “phyllo phobia” – the fear of working with phyllo – you are in luck, because in my post Fun With Phyllo I tell you everything there is to know about this versatile pastry. From how to thaw and store it, to step-by-step instructions on how to cut it and create a variety of shapes and sizes. Read more further down.
After receiving a special request from a client for a small quick and easy Christmas Cake, which was a tall order if you know something about baking Christmas Cakes – I experimented with baking a modernised version of a traditional Christmas Cake in a small loaf pan, which worked like a charm! I decided to call it Unbelievable Christmas Cake. I also include a variety of recipes that can be made in the humble loaf pan – from bread, to cake, to terrines and desserts. Be sure to read my post Cool Kitchen Tool: Loaf Pans for more info on this essential kitchen tool. Read more further down.
During the December school holidays kids will get a chance to get those creative juices flowing when they attend one of my culinary activities. I am launching Gingerbread House Workshops were participants will get to build and decorate their own Gingerbread house with royal icing and candy. I will also be doing culinary events with a festive theme at Bedford Centre and Rosebank Mall. Read more further down.
My “I made it myself!/Ek het dit self gemaak!” culinary parties for kids are very popular. Not only do kids get to make sweet and savoury items from scratch, they also get to take the fruit of their labour home and tell Mom and Dad: I made it myself! Most of them eat it right away though! I also offer Masterchef culinary parties for kids and adults and hands-on cooking sessions for adults for e.g. team building or a special occasion. Read more further down.
If you would like to learn to cook or to expand your culinary knowledge, you need not look any further. I specialize in customised on-site cooking lessons – for yourself, your domestic worker, housekeeper, nanny or office staff – in your own kitchen! Regardless of what lifestyle you are following (e.g. Banting, Low GI & Low Fat, Vegetarian, etc.), your current level of skill or the size of your kitchen, learning to cook will change your life. Once you know the basics, you will be able to make just about anything. The possibilities are endless! Please contact me for more information. Also see the Testimonials page on my website for more info. Read more further down.
Carolié de Koster, author of the Art Of Cooking recipe book, contributes recipes to my website and newsletter on a regular basis. Carolié runs cooking demonstrations and hands-on cooking sessions in New Zealand under the name Carolié’s Culinaire. Be sure to read Carolié’s letter about the goings-on in New Zealand, here. Since Carolié and her husband moved to New Zealand almost 5 years ago, I have been processing orders for the Art Of Cooking recipe book on her behalf. The Art Of Cooking Recipe book is by far my favourite recipe book of all time and I use it in my own kitchen every day! It makes a great gift too! Read more further down.
Cooking Up A Storm is a supplier of Wizbake Baking Sheets. I use mine every day! The sheets are reusable and is a great alternative to baking paper. Each sheet can be used more than a thousand times! It is a great stocking filler! The sheets can be ordered until 5 December 2016 if you want it in time for Christmas. Cooking Up A Storm gift vouchers also make great gifts! Please contact me for more information.
I post recipes and foodie news on my Facebook page weekly, so be sure to visit Cooking Up A Storm’s Facebook page if you want to be the first to get info on foodie events, new ingredients, new restaurants to try, etc. as and when it happens!
Note: Please click on each heading to read the full post.
December 2016 Recipes
The Festive Season is upon us, and if you feel a little overwhelmed with all the food preparation that’s lying ahead, the selection of recipes included in this newsletter, everything from starters to mains, side dishes, desserts, etc. will definitely get you on the right track.
Mediterranean Delicacies has an extensive range of authentic Mediterranean-style food products which includes everything from dips & pates, olives & olive oil, pickles, meze products, pesto’s, cheeses, seafood products and phyllo pastry.
Country Meat’s slogan: “Our farm. Our meat. Our pleasure”, says it all. Country Meat, part of Sernick Group, prides themselves on being one of only a select few value chains that can claim true “farm-to-butcher” status.
Fun With Phyllo
Phyllo pastry is such a versatile ingredient. It can be used for everything from snacks and appetizers to main dishes and impressive desserts!
Cool Kitchen Tool: Loaf Pans
Loaf pans are traditionally used for easy, quick cake or bread recipes, like a Madeira cake or banana bread. The humble loaf pan, often overlooked for its plain design, is definitely an indispensable item in the kitchen.
Culinary Events For Kids
During the December school holidays I will be running culinary events for kids at Bedford Centre and Rosebank Mall as well as at my own venue in Robindale, Randburg.
Culinary Parties For Kids
A culinary party is a very popular birthday theme for both boys and girls. During the party the kids make a variety of age-appropriate sweet and savoury recipes that are finger-licking good!
Customised On-site Cooking Lessons
My cooking lessons are suitable for beginners, intermediate or advanced cooks – no experience required. I also teach domestic workers, house keepers, nanny’s and kitchen staff. The lessons take place in your own kitchen!
Art Of Cooking Recipe Book & CD
Carolié de Koster’s Art Of Cooking recipe book consists of more than a 1000 recipes and is the most comprehensive cookery book in South Africa. Written by a renowned food consultant it offers everything for everyone’s needs – from the beginner and home cook to the career chef, caterer and trainer. It is available exclusively from Cooking Up A Storm.
Cooking Up A Storm’s Services
- Customised on-site culinary lessons – for yourself, your kids, your domestic worker or nanny.
- Cookery demonstrations on a variety of topics (in your own house if you prefer!)
- Culinary classes and parties for kids in Afrikaans or English
- Hands-on culinary sessions for social or corporate events or staff training
- Recipe development
- Consulting to Guest Houses, coffee shops, etc.
- Nutrition talks e.g. as part of Corporate Wellness Programs.
- Individual consultations on nutrition and healthy eating
- Custom-made healthy meal plans
- Supplier of a variety of quality cooking utensils & equipment, e.g. Wizbake sheets
- Kitchen accessory, bakeware and gadget demonstrations.