Thursday, 20 April 2017

Basic savoury mince


This basic savoury mince recipe is a must-have for your recipe book. It can be used in so many dishes from spaghetti bolognaise and chilli con carne to a simple baked potato topping. The best thing though, is that you can make a really big batch in one go, then divide it and freeze to use later in the month.


Ingredients:
2kg mince (can use half meat and half soya mince)
15ml oil
7 medium onions
5ml garlic paste
4 tbsp cake flour
4 cups carrot, peeled and grated
1 cup celery, finely sliced
3kg tomatoes, skinned and chopped (can use tinned tomatoes)
4 cups chicken or beef stock
2 tsp sugar
4 tsp dried basil
Salt and black pepper

Method:
1. Heat a large heavy-based saucepan with the oil.
2. Fry the onions until tender, add the garlic and cook for a further three minutes. Turn the heat up slightly and add the mince, cook until browned and a crumbly texture, if you are using half soya mince – add it now.
3. Add the flour, carrot and celery, mix well. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
4. Turn the heat down to low, and simmer for one and a half to two
hours. Stir occasionally to prevent it sticking.
5. Leave the mixture to cool properly. Divide into portions in airtight containers and freeze.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Reading to baby


A quick story before your little one goes to sleep has many more advantages than you may think.

1. Most children look forward to listening to a story so they will be more willing to wash up and brush teeth so they're ready for storytime.
2. There is nothing more valuable than one-on-one time, cuddled up together reading a book. Your child will love and remember those moments with you.
3. Reading to your child – at any time – helps improve their concentration, their vocabulary and will generally lay a good foundation for their future education.
4. Stories present unique opportunities to teach your children life lessons, from personal safety to being kind to each other.
5. After an active afternoon, a bedtime story is just the thing to calm your child down and get them ready to drift off to sleep.

If your child is older, be sure to check out 3 ways you can teach your child to read.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Saucy sausage pasta


Mmm, this saucy sausage pasta with pork bangers is so tasty! And you can whip it up in less than 30 minutes.

Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
8 pork sausages, cut into chunks
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g can chopped tomatoes
300-500g pasta of your choice

Method:
1. Put a large pot of water on to boil.
2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the sausage chunks on a high heat until they are golden brown all over. Turn the heat down and add the onion and garlic, cooking them until they have softened.
3.
Stir in the tomatoes with the sausages, bring the sauce to the boil then turn the heat down and let it bubble for about 10 minutes while you cook the pasta.
4.
Drop the pasta into the pot of boiling water and cook according to the pack instructions. Drain the pasta, and then tip it into the frying pan with the sausage sauce, mixing well to coat. Serve hot with a salad.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

How to have a great conversation


It's a fact that some people are easier to talk to than others. Being able to participate in, and keep a great conversation going, is a skill that will come in handy throughout your life, whether at work, with friends, or at family gatherings. Here are some tips:

1. Ask open-ended questions so people can't just answer yes or no. The easiest thing to get people talking about is themselves.
2. Pay attention and keep eye contact. Checking your watch or gazing around the room will quickly kill a conversation.
3. Listen to what the other person is saying and resist turning the conversation around to talk about yourself. Don't try and better their story with one of your own.
4. Keep up-to-date with what is happening in the world, so you can participate and give an opinion on the conversation topic.
5. Try and stick to the topic until the conversation is finished. Often something that is said will trigger something we want to say, but try not to go off onto a completely different topic until the other person has finished what they wanted to say.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Stuffed butternut


A delicious twist to one of South Africa's favourite vegetables.

Ingredients:
2 medium-sized butternuts, halved lengthways and deseeded
250g spinach
100g feta cheese
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper
(Adjust recipe according to how many people you're serving.)

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
2. Lightly fry the onion in olive oil until soft and transparent. Add spinach and fry until it heats through and wilts.
3. Add the feta cheese and allow to heat until the mixture starts to combine. Add thyme, salt and pepper to taste.
4. Spoon the filling into the cavities of the butternut halves, wrap in foil and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Be your own life coach


You know yourself better than anyone else does. So if there are things in your life you want to change, here are our top six tips to being your own life coach.

Question. Before you make a decision, whether it's to move house or have the chicken or a burger, ask yourself: "Is this good for me?" Not necessarily at the precise moment, but think long-term as well – what will benefit you the most?

Decide what your values are. You can't be true to yourself if you don't know what is important to you. Do you value honesty, respect, tolerance? If you know what your values are, and let them guide your decisions and actions, you'll find that you are happy and comfortable with yourself.

Know when to act and when to walk away. Sometimes you need to stand up for yourself and what you believe in, but sometimes it's best to walk away from a situation. Learn to know one from another.

What would granny do? If you have trouble knowing what the right thing to do is, think of someone you consider successful in life, someone you respect and would want to be like. It could be one of your parents, a teacher, a pastor, a friend. Ask yourself what they would do and then try to follow their example.

Consider all the angles, try to see more of the situation. You're trying to break out of your comfort zone, or the box you've put yourself in, so look past your initial reaction to things. Try to see the bigger picture and understand the other people involved or motivation behind what is happening. Consider that you could be wrong, and once you have evaluated all the aspects, decide how you are going to act.

What really matters? No one has the time to do everything every day. Learn to prioritise what really matters to you and not stress about the less important things.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Creamy tuna pasta


A tasty family pasta dish with built in veggies.

Ingredients:
375g dried large shell pasta
2 cups (250g) frozen broccoli
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons cornflour
2 cups milk
1 cup grated cheese
425g can tuna, drained, flaked

Method:
1.
Preheat oven to 220°C.
2. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, until tender, adding peas and broccoli in the last four minutes of cooking time. Drain, reserving half a cup of cooking liquid. Return pasta mixture to pan.
3. Meanwhile, blend cornflour and half a cup of milk together in a jug. Place the remaining milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Whisk in cornflour mixture. Bring to the boil. Cook, stirring, for one minute or until sauce thickens. Stir in half the cheese.
4. Add the tuna and white sauce to pasta mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into a greased baking dish.
5. Sprinkle with remaining the cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
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