Thursday, 27 August 2015

Thai chicken burgers

Try something a little bit different the next time you make homemade burgers.

700g chicken mince
125g fresh bread crumbs
1-2 chilies
A big handful of coriander
Salt and black pepper
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 egg
1 small onion
Oil for frying
1 tsp green curry paste (optional)

1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together with your hands or in a food processor until combined but not completely smooth, you want to retain a chunky consistency.
2. Make fat and plump patties and shallow fry in hot oil. Serve on a fresh crispy roll with sweet chilli sauce and chips.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Quick tips on eggs

Eggs are an excellent source of nutrition as they are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. They are versatile and indispensable in the kitchen.

Not only are eggs delicious as a food in their own right, but they have numerous other uses as a raising agent in cakes, breads and soufflés; a base for dressings such as mayonnaise; a thickener in sauces and custards and a coating for crumbed or battered foods.

Large eggs are normally used in recipes unless otherwise stated. To see if an egg is fresh, break it into a saucer – if the egg is fresh, the yolk should be quite prominent and domed with the white, thick and compact.

• Eggs should never be kept for more than one month.
• Never wash eggs before storing, as this will destroy the natural protective film over the shells.
• Store in the refrigerator away from highly flavoured foods as the shells are porous and absorb odours.
• Place the pointed ends down to allow the air space at the rounded ends to breathe.
• Freeze yolks with the addition of ½ teaspoon of salt. Freeze whites in ice cube trays for easy access. Thaw both frozen yolks and whites overnight in the refrigerator before using and do not keep for longer than six months in the freezer.
• Egg whites can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 10 days to two weeks.
• Cover egg yolks with water and store in an airtight container in the refrigerators for no longer than three days.

For a better cooking result, remove eggs from the refrigerator a few hours before using. Yolks will then mix more readily with other ingredients and whites will whisk to a greater volume.

Try this delicious cheese and tomato frittata and this recipe for easy eggs benedict.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Sheperd's pie with sweet potato topping

A healthier twist on a classic sheperd's pie.

450g lean ostrich mince
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
3 baby leeks, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp flour
275ml stock
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

For the topping:
900g sweet potatoes
50g butter
50g cheddar cheese


1. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion until soft but not coloured. Add the mince, leeks and carrots and cook until the meat is nicely browned. Season the meat and add the thyme and parsley.
2. Stir in the flour and gradually add the stock to the mince. Stir in the tomato puree. Cover and reduce the heat and simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and cut into chunks. Place in a pan of boiling water and cook for 10-12 minutes or until tender. Drain and return to the pan, but away from the heat. Add the butter and mash until smooth. Season.
4. When the mince is cooked, check the seasoning and spoon into an oven-proof dish. Spread the mashed sweet potato over the meat and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 15 minutes at 200°C.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

How to help your sick baby at home

There’s nothing you can do to stop your baby getting sick, but there are ways to deal with it before heading to the doctor.


A fever is a high temperature accompanied by chills and sweating. It’s usually a sign of infection and often accompanies colds, flu, ear infections and other viruses. If your baby is under three months, her temperature shouldn’t be over 37.7°C; between three and six months it should not be over 38.2°C, and older than six months should not be over 39.2°C

To bring the temperature down:
• Give the correct dose of paracetamol – never give asprin to your child.
• Sponge her down with tepid, not cold, water and gently pat dry. Avoid rubbing. The water has a cooling effect on the body.
• Give her plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
• Keep her room cool and use only a light sheet or blanket for covering.

When to call a doctor:
• If your baby has a history of seizures or chronic illness
• Is crying inconsolably
• Is limp and unresponsive
• Has a raised temperature that lasts more than three days

Colds and Flu
A cold is a runny nose, cough and sore throat, usually without the fever. Symptoms of flu are very similar, but appear quite suddenly. There’s a high temperature (above 39°C), dry cough, muscular aches, stuffy nose, tiredness and weakness, headache and sometimes a sore throat. Both colds and flu usually clear up in about 10 to 14 days.

Medication you can use:
• Paracetamol is available as a syrup or in suppository form
• Decongestants will help with sleeping and feeding. These are available as nose drops, sprays and syrups.

Home treatment for colds and flu:
• Give your little one plenty to drink to flush out the infection, prevent dehydration and help relieve congestion.
• To help clear a stuffy nose, rub a menthol ointment or eucalyptus essential oil on the soles of your baby’s feet and cover with a babygrow or socks.
• Use salt water or a few drops of breastmilk to clear the nose before resorting to nasal decongestants.
• Sleeping with the head elevated will help with mucus drainage.

When to call the doctor:
• If your baby seems to be getting worse
• The fever stays high
• Laboured, rapid breathing
• Diarrhoea
• Persistent vomiting
• A persistent cough
• Nasal discharge is yellow, green or bloody

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Brussel sprouts

Brussel sprouts have a bad reputation, but here's a tasty way to enjoy this green veg.

900g Brussels sprouts
20g butter
4 tsp sunflower oil
400ml double cream
2½ tsp lemon juice
5½ tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs
4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
2. Place the sprouts into a saucepan of simmering salted water and cook for four to five minutes, until almost, but not quite, cooked. Drain thoroughly.
3. Place the butter and oil into a wide frying pan over a medium heat, add the sprouts and sauté for two to three minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Add the cream and bring the mixture to the boil. Boil for two to four minutes, until the cream has reduced to a rich sauce. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
5. Remove from the heat; add the lemon juice and spoon into an ovenproof gratin dish.
6. Mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese together in a bowl, and then sprinkle evenly over the top of the sprout mixture.
7. Place into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the top is golden-brown and the cream is visibly boiling.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

How to be tax wise

Here’s a list of the most common mistakes people make when submitting their tax returns and how to avoid them:

• Some people often forget to check the arithmetic on their returns – they simply change numbers or leave off zeros. If you have miscalculated, it will slow things down. It’s fine if you owe the Receiver money, but if they owe you a refund it could be delayed.
• People don’t write clearly and that causes unnecessary delays. Make certain your handwriting is legible and that you clearly indicate your ID number on the form.
• Many handicapped individuals and pensioners forget (or don’t realise) that they may be able to claim additional deductions such as medical bills. A tax consultant will be able to tell you if you qualify.
• Don’t miss deadlines. You can apply for an extension, but if you don't, they’ll charge you penalty.
• Keep copies of all documents you send to SARS. And remember to always use certified mail or hand-deliver all important correspondence to SARS. Don’t forget to keep your records in good shape so that you can find answers to any questions about your return.
• Many headaches can be avoided if you use a good tax consultant. The money you may have to pay them is well worth it. Self-employed people should not even think about doing it alone. The Receiver makes mistakes, too, and a consultant will often sport errors that slip by his clients.

Thursday, 6 August 2015


A tasty family favourite that the kids will love. Plus, it couldn't be easier to make.


500g spaghetti
1 tbsp olive oil
200g bacon rashers, cut into pieces
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
½ cup cream
2/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Parsley leaves, to serve


1. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, following packet directions until tender. Drain and return to pan.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp.
3. Whisk eggs, egg yolks, cream and parmesan in a jug. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add bacon and egg mixture to pasta. Cook, tossing, over low heat for one minute.
5. Top with parsley and serve with a green salad.
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