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Culinary Parties For Kids

Make your child’s next birthday extra special  with an
“I made it myself!/Ek het dit self gemaak!” culinary party.

The format of Cooking Up A Storm’s culinary parties is similar to the popular “I Can Cook” series on DSTV’s CBeebies. Each recipe is demonstrated to the children step-by-step and each child makes his/her own recipe from start to finish.  Kids 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!  During the class the kids learn about kitchen hygiene, basic cooking methods, new ingredients and recipes, accurate measuring, etc.

Please see the Gallery page on this website as well as Cooking Up A Storm’s Facebook page for photo’s.

Details of “I made it myself!/Ek het dit self gemaak!” culinary parties

Date
Please let me know which date you have in mind and I will do my best to accommodate you.

Age Group
Grade R to Grade 7 (older kids fall into a different category – please contact me for more info). Kids that are 10+ can choose to have a Masterchef party.  Please contact me for details.

Times
Morning session (10:00 to 12:30) or afternoon session (14:00 to 16:30). Please note that the duration of the party is determined by the age of the children as well as the type of party booked for, i.e. an “I made it myself!/Ek het dit self gemaak!” culinary party or a Masterchef party.

Venue Options
Option 1:
The party can take place at your house or venue, e.g. a club house in your complex.  Please note that I need to set-up 1 hour before the starting time of the party or class.  My travel cost to your house or venue is not included in the cost per child.

Option 2:
You can book Cooking Up A Storm’s culinary venue in Robindale, Randburg. You are also welcome to make an appointment to view the venue before you book. Travel cost is not applicable in this case.  Please note that the maximum size of the group for a party at my Robindale venue is 18 kids.  A venue hire fee of R750.00 is payable.

Language
You can choose the language in which the party will be conducted, i.e. “I made it myself!” or “Ek het dit self gemaak!”.    Please specify your choice on the booking form.

Fee
– R210.00 per person (ages 5 to 12)
– R260.00 per person (13 years and older) or for Masterchef Parties
This amount does not include the venue hire fee and a minimum event fee applies.

Included:

  • a culinary party during which a variety of sweet and savoury age specific recipes will be prepared. The choice of recipes is determined by the average age and size of the group.  The items the kids make can be tied in with the theme of the party, e.g. Ballerina, Moana, The Secret Life of Pets, Finding Dory, Paw Patrol, Doc McStuffins, Barbie, Frozen, Cars, Minions, Angry Birds, Dinosaurs, Construction, and many more!
  • all ingredients and equipment required for the culinary party.  All you need to provide is an oven (if applicable).
  • “Ek het dit self gemaak!” or “I made it myself!” recipes to take home – please specify what language you prefer.
  • the use of an apron for the duration of the party *
  • a chef’s hat for the duration of the class – kids can also take these home
  • the use of tables and table cloths for the duration of the party
  • an electronic invite which you can email to guests. It could also be used to print hard copies.

* Custom made aprons in the colour scheme or theme of the party can be ordered at R150.00 per apron. There are 10 colours to choose from. Please note that aprons needs to be ordered at least two weeks prior to the event date. Please contact me for more information.

Excluded:

  • Birthday cake – I can recommend suppliers
  • Party decorations, e.g. balloons, streamers, hats, themed table cloths, etc.
  • Party snacks and party packs for the kids
  • Party food for adults
  • Drinks (hot and cold)
  • Travel cost of R6.50 per km (only applicable if the party takes place at a private house or venue)

Making a booking
Please contact me for a booking form for cooking parties.

Cooking Party 2
“I made it myself!” party
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Cooking party at Fourways venue
Cooking Party 1
“I made it myself!” Dinosaur party
Masterchef Party
Masterchef Party with customised aprons.
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New Event: Emoji Workshop

With the new Emoji Movie opening in cinemas on the 22nd of September 2017, end Heritage weekend on a high note by booking seats for your kids at Cooking Up A Storm’s Emoji Workshop on Monday 25 September. In case you did not know, Heritage Day, aka Braai Day, falls on a Sunday this year.

My team and I will keep kids entertained with an Emoji-themed culinary activity where they will be able to express themselves by way of decorating a variety of cookies and cupcakes in the Emoji theme with buttercream icing, royal icing, sweets, etc.

You are welcome to drop your kid(s) off and go. I am a mom of two primary school kids, so I know that moms sometimes need some me-time! You are also welcome to hang around. I provide tea, coffee, refreshments, etc. for parents on my patio – free of charge. Remember to bring a book or magazine!

Event name: Emoji Workshop
Date: Monday 25 September 2017 (Public Holiday)
Time slots: 10:00 to 13:00 or 14:00 to 17:00
Cost: R250 per person (includes making a variety of Emoji-themed edible items as well as refreshments and a comprehensive recipe booklet)
Venue: Cooking Up A Storm Culinary Experiences, Robindale, Randburg
Age: Kids 6 years and older can attend by themselves (kids under 6 need to be accompanied by an adult)
Booking:  Booking is essential. Please send a booking request to info@cookingupastorm.co.za or 083 408 8802 with the amount of seats you would like to reserve as well as if you want to book for the morning or afternoon session.  Payment required to reserve a seat.

The dictionary describes an emoji as “a small digital image or icon used to express an idea, emotion, etc. in electronic communication.” Can you image a world without emoji’s?

The Emoji Movie is a 3D computer-animated science-fiction comedy based on the emoji symbols. Hidden inside a smartphone, the bustling city of Textopolis is where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user. Each emoji has only one facial expression, except for Gene, who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his best friend Hi-5 and a notorious code breaker called Jailbreak. During their travels through the other apps, the three emojis discover a great danger that could threaten their phone’s very existence.

 

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Feedback: One In A Minion Cookie Workshops

During the first week of July, Cooking Up A Storm Culinary Experiences, in partnership with Ster-kinekor Sandton City, entertained kids with a fun and interactive Minion-themed culinary activity at Sandton City.  The kids had a ball!  Click here to see photo’s of this event.  Every child who attended one of the One In a Minion Cookie Workshops, stood a chance to win movie tickets to watch the new Despicable Me 3 movie.  Kids who presented their tickets for the Despicable Me 3 movie when registering for one of the workshops where given vouchers for free popcorn and a soda to enjoy while watching the movie!!!  Thanks again Ster-kinekor Sandton City – these give-aways were BANANAAAAS!

Photo courtesy of Sandton City

 

See the post One In A Minion Cookie Workshop for more details of this event as well as the Despicable Me 3 movie.

 

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One in A Minion Cookie Workshop

I am very excited to announce that Cooking Up A Storm, in partnership with Ster-kinekor Sandton City, will entertain kids with a fun and interactive Minion-themed culinary activity at Sandton City.  Be sure to bring your kids to join in the fun – from a Minion colouring-in competition to give-aways by Ster-kinekor Sandton City.

We can only accommodate 20 kids per session, so booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.  To book, please send  your name and telephone number, the name(s) of the kid(s) you want to book for as well as the date and the session you want to book for to 083 408 8802.

Be sure to purchase movie tickets to watch the new Despicable Me 3 movie at Ster-Kinekor (Sandton City), and then head over to The Mr Price Court lower level to attend the One In A Minion Cookie Workshop between 01 – 05 July between 10am-14:45.pm, daily!

Remember to Follow these simple steps & present your Movie Ticket at the One In A Minion Workshop Registration table when registering for a workshop so that when you go watch DM3, Ster-Kinekor (Sandton City) will give you free popcorn and a soda to enjoy during the movie!!!  These give-aways are BANANAAAAS!

Terms and conditions:
The give-away is only applicable if your child attends the One in A Minion Cookie workshop.  The give-away is only valid for the child/children taking part in the event and not the parents. The movie ticket(s) has to be purchased at Sandton City Ster-Kinekor and your child/children must be registered for a workshop. Movie tickets can be bought before and/or during the workshop, as long as the child/children is/are taking part in the workshop.
Please note: only tickets purchased at Ster-kinekor Sandton City are valid for this give-away.  If your child attends our One In a Minion Cookie Workshop, he/she could stand a chance to win one of two movie tickets to watch Despicable Me 3 with the One in A Minion Cookie Workshop colouring-in competition.  Whilst the children wait for their cookies to set, they will be given a picture to colour in and will be put into a draw that will be done at the end of the session.  There will be two Sandton City Ster-Kinekor movie tickets for Dispicable Me 3 given away per session, through the colouring in competition.  The draw is not based on the best picture coloured in, the draw is just to pick a name to win a ticket to the DM3 movie at Ster-Kinekor Sandton City. Only children whom have not bought tickets to the movie will be allowed to take part in the draw that will be done at the end of each of the workshop sessions.  Only two tickets will be given away per session. These tickets do not include popcorn & a cool drink.

In “Despicable Me 3” Gru and the Minions are back in the third installment of Illumination’s popular franchise.  Following on box office hits “Despicable Me” and “Despicable Me 2”, the story of Gru, Lucy, their adorable daughters – Margo, Edith and Agnes – and of course the Minions, continues.  After he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis. But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother – a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin’s despicable footsteps – one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad.

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Easter Workshop – Rosebank Mall

Kids are in for a treat these Easter holidays!  Following on the success of our Easter-themed Culinary Events in March 2016 –  “The Little Baker” event at Rosebank Mall and “The Easter Bunny’s Kitchen” at Clearwater Mall, we are introducing a brand new culinary concept at Rosebank Mall this year:  decorating chocolate Easter eggs!  Be sure to bring your kids – they will get a chance to let those creative juices flow!

Dates:  Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 April 2017

Time:  10:00 to 17:00

Venue:  Rosebank Mall (50 Bath Avenue, Rosebank)

Cost:  Free

Be sure to get your photo taken with the Easter Bunny between 13:00 and 15:00!

Click here for more info on Cooking Up A Storm’s Easter Culinary Workshop For Kids which will take place on Saturday 22 April 2017.

 

See Cooking Up A Storm’s Facebook page for photo’s of holiday workshops for kids held in 2016 (e.g. Gingerbread House Workshop, Dec 2016 and Christmas In July Workshop, Jul 2016) as well as photo’s of Cooking Up A Storm’s popular culinary birthday parties for kids. More info on my popular culinary parties for kids can be found here.

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Easter Culinary Workshop For Kids

Kids are guaranteed to have a lot of creative fun at Cooking Up A Storm’s Easter culinary workshop!

Date:     Saturday 22 April 2017

Time:     10:00 to 12:30 or 14:00 to 16:30 (please specify when you book)

Venue:  Cooking Up A Storm Culinary Experiences (Robindale, Randburg)

Cost:  R250.00 per child

Age:  6 to 18 years (younger kids welcome if mom’s attend with them)

Included:

  • Decorating a variety of Easter-themed sugar cookies (Easter eggs, bunny’s, etc.), and making chiclet lollies (see image below), edible Easter baskets, etc.
  • a comprehensive recipe booklet
  • refreshments
  • a photo of each participant at our brand new Easter-themed photo board!

Booking is essential. Please book before Tuesday 18 April.  Please contact me on 083 408 8802 or via e-mail for more information.  Please note that payment is required to confirm your booking.

Click here for more info on Cooking Up A Storm’s Easter Workshop which will take place at Rosebank Mall on Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 April 2017.

 

See my Facebook page for photo’s of my previous holiday workshops for kids (e.g. my Gingerbread House Workshop, Dec 2016 and my Christmas In July Workshop, Jul 2016) as well as photo’s of culinary birthday parties for kids. More info on my popular culinary parties for kids can be found here.

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Culinary Lessons & Events

Cooking Up A Storm’s culinary lessons and events are very popular.  My culinary services include on-site culinary lessons, i.e. in your own kitchen, for individuals, e.g. domestic workers or yourself.  The lesson content is customised to your family’s lifestyle, i.e. low GI & low fat, low carb and high fat, etc.  In a nutshell, I will teach yourself or your domestic worker to cook food that you like to eat, whether it is traditional “boerekos”, modern variations of it or the cuisines of other countries, e.g. French, Italian, Mexican, Moroccan, Spanish – to name a few.

I also offer culinary parties for kids as well as hands-on culinary sessions for corporate or social groups for team building, special occasions, etc.  Culinary events can also take place at Cooking Up A Storm’s venue in Robindale, Randburg or at a venue of your choice, e.g. a restaurant, club house, etc.

Many of my clients are based in Johannesburg or Pretoria, but I have ventured as far as Sasolburg, Hartebeespoortdam and Warmbaths to do culinary events.  Just let me know where you want me to go!

See my Facebook page for photo’s of my culinary events.  Details of my popular culinary parties for kids can be found here.

Contact me on 083 408 8802 or via e-mail for more information.

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December 2016 Foodie News

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!

Happy cooking!

Jeanri

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.

bakedcheesecakeloaf

Mediterranean Delicacies
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.

mdlogo

Country Meat
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.

countrymeat-2

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!

strawberrycustardtart

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.

Unbelievable Christmas Cake

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.

cookie-snowflake2

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!

gillhofmeyer-1

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!

Culinary Lessons

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.

AOC CD

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.
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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.  I’ve included recipes  for casual meals at home or for fancy entertaining.  Be sure to try them all!

Carolié de Koster contributed the recipes below. Most of the recipes come from her popular Art of Cooking Recipe Book.

Sweet and savoury phyllo pastry recipes:

Loaf-shaped recipes:

A few loaf-shaped recipes from previous newsletters:

Other recipes:

The Art Of Cooking Recipe Book is not available from leading book stores.  Both the recipe book and the CD (electronic version of the recipe book suitable for Windows) can be ordered from Cooking Up A Storm. For those of you who have the book already, the Art of Cooking and Koskuns Alphabetical Indexes are now available from Cooking Up A Storm.  Please contact me for more details.

If you would like to learn to cook or bake or expand your culinary repertoire, be sure to book a customised culinary lesson with me where you specify what you would like to learn to make.  The lessons take place in your own kitchen! I also do culinary demonstration and hands-on culinary sessions for groups – either at Cooking Up A Storm’s venue in Robindale, Randburg or at a venue of your choice. Please contact me for more details.

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Mediterranean Delicacies

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.  The latter is such a versatile product and can be used to make a variety of authentic recipes such as Baklava, Spanakopita, etc. or to create your own new and exciting recipes.  Be sure to read my post Fun With Phyllo to help you to overcome the fear of working with phyllo.

Mediterranean Delicacies is part of BM Food Manufacturers (Pty) Ltd. Established in 2006, BM Food Manufacturers manufactures and distributes an exclusive and extensive range of authentic Mediterranean-style food products throughout South Africa.  Their range of products includes dips & pates, olives & olive oil, pickles, meze products, pesto’s, cheeses, seafood products and fresh pastries.  Their products are available at selected Spar, Checkers, Pick ‘n Pay and Food Lovers Markets.

Phyllo Pastry is produced under the Mediterranean Delicacies label at a custom designed factory in Lanseria, JHB. The factory produces and supplies high quality Phyllo Pastry to retailers throughout Southern Africa, as well as to a large number of hotels, restaurants, bakeries and private individuals.  The factory also produces the very specialized Kataifi.  This pastry is like angel hair pasta and when it is rolled up, it resembles shredded wheat. Along with Baklava, Kataifi is one of the most popular and delicious Greek Desserts.  Be sure to try the recipes for Kataifi and Baklava.

Mediterranean Delicacies is giving away a hamper to the value of R500 which consists of a branded Mediterranean Delicacies cooler bag as well as a variety of their delicious products. To enter, please send your name and contact number to info@cookingupastorm.co.za before 9 December 2016.  The winner will be announced on the 10th of December on Cooking Up A Storm’s Facebook page.  Please note: this competition is only open to Joburgers and Capetonians

Webpage: www.mediterraneandelicacies.co.za
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/medideli/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/medideli
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/medideliza/

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phyllo_pastry_yum

winning-hamer_cold

mdolivetapenade

mdbasilpesto

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Country Meat

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.

Earlier this year, Sernick launched South Africa’s first certified Bonsmara beef brand, offering consumers complete peace of mind when it comes to purchasing 100% authentic South African Bonsmara beef.  Called Certified Sernick Bonsmara Beef, the new brand guarantees exceptional quality beef with complete traceability, from Sernick’s Edenville farm near Kroonstad, to every discerning consumer’s plate.

In the words of  Nick Serfontein, Chairman of the Sernick Group: “At no point does our Bonsmara beef leave our hands. We own the whole value chain and ensure quality control at every step of the journey.   Our meat comes from our own livestock, which is precision-reared on our family farm, processed at our own abattoir, and delivered to Country Meat butcheries in our own trucks.  This allows us to guarantee the quality of our beef.

The Certified Sernick Bonsmara Beef brand includes the full range of beef cuts and is available exclusively at Sernick’s Country Meat branded retail butcheries in Johannesburg and Kroonstad.

Nick Serfontein was recently named Free State Farmer of the year.  In August 2016 Sernick Bonsmara won the ARC National Beef Cattle Improvement Herd Award of the year which is one of the most prestigious accolades in the South African Beef Industry. And Country Meat Fourways was awarded a Gold Cleaver Award. The award is regarded as the “seal” of approval for butcheries in South Africa.

Country Meat has 3 stores in Gauteng and a store in Kroonstad.  Their brand new restaurant, aptly named The Braai Room, is located at Country Meat Fourways and boasts an extensive menu with a variety of favorite traditional options for lunch and dinner.  The meat is prepared on their custom built indoor wood-fired braai.  It is definitely worth a visit!

Fourways: (011) 465 0664
Forest Road Design and Decor Centre, Fourways
fourways@cmeat.co.za

Bryanston: (011) 463 4730
Epsom Downs Shopping Centre, Cnr William Nicol and Sloane Street, Bryanston
bryanston@cmeat.co.za

NEW!!!!!!! Linden: (011) 888 0357
Corner 1st Avenue & Standard Drive, Linden
jl@cmeat.co.za

Kroonstad:  056 213 1503
33 Buitenkant Street, Kroonstad
info@cmeat.co.za

The Braairoom
Forest Road Design and Decor Centre, Fourways
on 011 465 0664
braairoom@cmeat.co.za
www.thebraairoom.co.za
www.countrymeat.co.za

countrymeat-3

countrymeat

Braai Room, Fourways

 

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Fun With Phylllo

Phyllo pastry is such a versatile ingredient.  It can be used for everything from snacks and appetizers to main dishes and impressive desserts!  Phyllo pastry is made with flour, water and a small amount of oil or white vinegar. Phyllo-based pastries are made by layering many sheets of phyllo pastry brushed with olive oil or melted butter. The pastry is then filled, shaped and baked.  The crisp texture of baked phyllo pastries is achieved by the extreme thinness of the dough and by brushing each sheet lightly with melted butter before using it. The butter helps keep the sheets from sticking together while the recipe bakes and produces separate fragile sheets of pastry.

Did you know?  Phyllo pastry is first mentioned in the late 15th century when Baklava was made with 40 layers of pastry filled with nuts and soaked in a fragrant sweet syrup to commemorate the 40 days of the religious feast Lent.

Phyllo pastry is actually very easy to work with.  There is therefore no reason to be intimidated by it.  Most of the technique involved in working with phyllo pastry is in the assembly of phyllo pastry into a recipe. The good news is that unlike making other types of pastry, there is no science involved in working with phyllo pastry. You do not need to know the proper way to work the fat into the flour or how much liquid to add.  And there is also no rolling involved. Easy peasy!

Here are just a few pointers to keep in mind:

  • Thaw phyllo pastry thoroughly. Thaw the pastry in the fridge overnight, and bring to room temperature (about 2 hours) before using. This will ensure that the sheets of pastry will separate easily, without sticking and tearing.
  • As soon as the sealed packet is opened, unroll and remove as many sheets of pastry as is required. Roll up, seal and refrigerate the rest of the pastry for later use or turn into squares and seal airtight and refrigerated for later use or turn into pastry cases and bake to uses within about one month. If not used immediately, place the sheets removed onto a dry cloth, cover with another dry and then only a damp cloth. Dampness in direct contact with the sheets will make it stick together. This method ensures that the pastry will remain soft and pliable without coming into contact with direct moisture. This practice applies for every recipe.
  • Phyllo pastry may be kept frozen in the home freezer for up to 3 months.  To thaw, best results is obtained by leaving the frozen pastry in the refrigerator overnight and then one hour at room temperature. If pressed for time, thaw at room temperature for 3 – 4 hours at room temperature before using.  If the sheets are even slightly frozen they will crack while unrolling and become useless or difficult to work with.
  • Whether sweet or savoury pastries are made, phyllo pastry is always brushed with melted butter or margarine and sometimes combined with sunflower or olive oil. Liquid margarine may also be used. Butter tends to brown quicker and should not be used for pastries which bake for a long time such as large rolls or those that are delicate such as Pastry Cases.  Combine the butter with a little oil or use firm margarine instead.  The amount of butter or margarine used in each recipe is difficult to determine exactly and a little more or less may be applied as preferred.  Using a moderate amount of butter, margarine or oil has the added advantage that the pastry is much lower in kilojoules, compared to all other types of pastry.
  • The same recipe for filling and crust may be devised to make different shapes and sizes of products for instance the Greek Milk Tart can be made into a large tart or individual rolls by adjusting the method of filling and shaping.  If a recipe is given for bundles it may also be turned into triangles.  A little experimenting will lead to creating new phyllo treats.
  • To cut the pastry neatly into squares or strips it is advisable to fold the pastry, press down onto the fold line, unfold and cut through the fold line with a sharp smooth edged knife.  Several sheets may be folded and cut simultaneously.  Do not cut the pastry through the sides while folded – the edges will become untidy.
  • To facilitate easier and neater cutting of large tarts for instance Spanakopita or Baklava after baking, cut through the top layers of pastry only, before baking and  right through once cooked.  Alternatively, if the top layers are too crisp to slice neatly after baking, cover with a cloth for 10 minutes to allow the steam to soften them slightly.
  • If the filling or filling ingredients used are cold and relatively dry and firm the small pastries or large pies may be assembled beforehand and kept refrigerated up to a day before baking.  This method will not be suitable for soft fillings or hot mixtures.
  • Always roll up the pastry lightly or layer without pressing down firmly onto the layers. Air trapped between the layers will ensure lightness and expansion during baking.  If rolled too tightly the rolls will open or crack while baking.
  • Baking at the correct temperature is of great importance. Adjust the oven if it is inclined to bake too warm or too cold.  Products baked in a too hot oven will crack and burst open and brown too soon or too much.  If the oven is to cool, the pastry will not become as light as it should be and will dry out during baking.
  • Phyllo pastry does not take kindly to microwave cooking or reheating – it harms the texture of the pastry and should not be used unless it is a large pie that needs to be partly defrosted or one small little pastry which needs to be warmed quickly.
  • A pastry brush is an essential kitchen tool to have when working with phyllo pastry.  Pastry brushes used to be made only with natural or nylon bristles similar to a paint brush, but modern pastry brushes has silicone bristles, which is recommended seeing that it does not retain the smell of ingredients like a nylon brush would.

Phyllo is one of my favourite ingredients to teach. Students are usually amazed at how easy it is to use and also at the versatility of this ingredient. If you are petrified to work with phyllo, or you would like to expand your culinary repertoire with a few new phyllo recipes, be sure to book a customised cooking lesson for where you specify what you would like to learn to make. The lessons take place in your own kitchen! I also do culinary demonstration and hands-on culinary sessions for groups – either at Cooking Up A Storm’s venue in Robindale, Randburg or at a venue of your choice. Please contact me for more details.

Be sure to check out the chapter on Phyllo Pastry in the Art Of Cooking recipe book. Below are photo’s of a few of recipes made from phyllo pastry created by Carolié de Koster.

Asparagus Phyllo Pie
Lamb & Vegetable Phyllo Pastries
Tuna, Egg & Green-bean Salad
Shrimp Starter
Ricotta Pumpkin & Almond Phyllo Rolls
Phyllo Pizza
Galaktouboureko (Greek Milk Tart)
Phyllo Fantasy
Custard Phyllo Baskets With Cinnamon Sugar
Pear Phyllo Bundles With Chocolate Sauce
Choc Date & Nut Cigars
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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.  Just as every woman’s closet should have a chic little black dress, every kitchen should have a loaf pan to bake a variety of sweet or savoury recipes – from meatloaf and lasagne to ice-cream and cheesecake!  A loaf pan also comes in very handy when you need to bake a smaller portion of a recipe or are cooking for one or two.

Whether you’re an avid home baker or just an occasional one, a good set of bakeware – in a few shapes and sizes – will help you turn out better and more beautiful baked goods every time.  Bakeware, no matter what the shape or size, should be sturdy and resistant to denting.  A loaf pan is in the shape of a narrow rectangle, a convenient form which enables uniform slicing. The shape of the corners on loaf pans can vary – some are rounded, some are sharp.  Sharp corners look more professional, but it can be hard to clean crumbs from their crevices. Round corners are easier to clean and to butter, but they can be shallower than the rest of the pan, leaving you with a dry piece of cake or a burnt brownie.  A good pan should release a cake effortlessly, and clean up easily. I definitely prefer non-stick pans because they release cakes and breads like a charm and can easily wiped clean.  Good quality rust-proof aluminium pans are a good choice. They are available from most groceries stores as well as from speciality bakeware stores.

Aluminized Steel 1/4 Pound Loaf Pan (9 x 5-Inch/23 x 13 cm).

Loaf pans come in a variety of sizes.  The most used sizes are:

  • small loaf pan = 23 cm with a volume of 1 liter
  • medium loaf pan = 26 cm with a volume of 1,75 liters
  • large loaf pan = 28 cm with a volume of 2.25 liters

There are of course also bigger and smaller loaf pans than the three above.

Back in the day, home-cooks used one “standard” size of loaf pan:  it was approximately 23 cm long, 8 cm wide  and 6,5 cm high.  This is why heirloom recipes and vintage cookbooks are often vague about the size of the pan.  Nowadays, well-written cookbooks and blogs are specific about the size of a pan because using the correct pan size is one of the reasons a recipe can either succeed or fail.

Different size loaf pans have different volumes of batters.  This must be taken into account when substituting one pan size for another in a recipe.  To determine if a loaf pan is suitable for a specific recipe, always measure the dimensions on the inside edge of the pan so that you do not include the thickness of the pan or the rim in your measurement.  To measure the depth, place your ruler straight up from the bottom of the pan (do not slant the ruler). See the image below.  To determine the loaf pan’s volume (how much batter or dough it will hold), pour pre-measured water by the cupful into the loaf pan until it is filled to the brim.

Baking tins should correspond as far as possible with the specifications of the recipe and should be large enough to allow for expansion during baking, yet small enough to support the product.  If you use a larger pan than asked for in a recipe this will change the depth of the batter (shallower) and therefore the batter will bake much more quickly. Likewise, if you use a smaller pan than asked for in a recipe this will also change the depth of the batter (deeper) and therefore the batter will take longer to bake.

Loaf pans are made from different materials ranging from clear glass and ceramic to metal, aluminum or silicone.  Some are even made from paper!  Disposable paper loaf pans require no pre-greasing and can be placed directly on the rack of the oven or on a cookie sheet. The decorative designs means your baked item can go straight from the oven to table … or into someone’s special hands as a gift! Disposable loaf pans have so many more uses besides baking … serve popcorn or candy in them or use them as the base to wrap up a special gift! See the image of a Festive-themed disposable loaf pan below.

A pastry brush is an essential kitchen tool to have for greasing the insides of the pans with melted butter or glazing bread loaves before baking. A silicon pastry brush is a good choice seeing that doesn’t keep smells.  A pastry brush is also essential when working with phyllo pastry.  See my post Fun With Phyllo for more info on this delicate pastry.

Loaf Pan Dimensions

loafpanxmas

loafpan-paper
Disposable Loaf Pans – ideal for gifting!