picnic food

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It’s a summer evening and it’s time for a picnic. On a hill. With friends. And a bottle of cold white wine. Crackers and cheese are sufficient but who can resist roasted butternut and cherry tomatoes mixed with quinoa, basil pesto, feta cheese and served in a big white Tupperware bowl?
Not me.

½ butternut, washed and cut into rough cubes
punnet cherry tomatoes
garlic
salt and pepper
block feta cheese
4 tablespoons basil pesto
handful coriander
200g baby spinach
handful dry roasted pumpkin seeds
1 cup quinoa

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Parboil butternut. Place in a baking tray with tomatoes. Drizzle  with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, 2 cloves of garlic. Grill in the oven for about 15 min. Take out the oven and leave to cool.

Pour uncooked quinoa into a pot with 2 cups water. Bring to boil and then allow to simmer on a low heat for about 20min or until quinoa is light and fluffy.

Grab your Tupperware bowl and mix together the quinoa with the roasted veg, baby spinach and basil pesto.

Crumble in the feta cheese, scatter over the roasted seeds and chopped up coriander (stalks included as they contain lots of flavour.) Season with salt and pepper and add a dash more vinegar and olive oil.

Don’t forget the plastic forks and paper napkins.

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episode 4

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On a recent holiday in South Africa, I couldn’t resist filming this special episode – with the help of my crazy family!

There’s nothing like fresh fish cooked on a braai/barbecue – especially a wheel-on-fire in a wheelbarrow!

Click here for the recipe, and the link below to see the Youtube video. If you’re a fan of these cooking video’s, please subscribe to my Youtube channel.

pawpaw porridge

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This delicious sun-coloured fruit is known in other parts of the world as papaya. For some reason in South Africa we call it pawpaw.

½ cup mielie-meal*
½ cup water
¼ cup milk
1 TBS butter
pinch salt
drizzle of honey
¼ cup chopped and peeled pawpaw
2 TBS sunflower seeds
cinnamon
*use rolled oats if mielie-meal is unavailable

Place mielie-meal (or raw oats) in a pot, add water and bring to the boil.
Allow to simmer for about 10/15min and add the butter, milk and salt.
Once cooked, spoon into a teacup and add the pawpaw.
Drizzle with some honey, scatter over the seeds, a dash of cinnamon and enjoy!

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I have just been on an incredible family holiday in the dragon mountains and sugar cane-fields of KwaZulu-Natal and in the mother of all cities, known as Cape Town. While in the Drakensburg (known to locals as the dragon mountains) I felt like Maria from the Sound of Music as I ran through green fields and danced with grazing cows, looking for inspiration for my next episode of Ceire’s Kitchen.

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I wandered through outdoor markets in the nearby town, spoke to stall holders in broken Zulu, but it was when I saw Tuusa mowing the lawn on a little tractor that an idea struck! Tuusa is the big African mama who maintains the gardens and house on the farm where we were staying. The comical image of her grinning and whizzing around the edges of flower beds on a tractor, while the dogs excitedly chased and barked after her, reminded me of one my favourite breakfasts from when I was younger… Pawpaw porridge. Mielie-meal porridge is a staple diet of many South Africans and I added my own touch by adding fruit, cinnamon and seeds… And eating it out of a bone chine tea-cup. Just because I like it!