Saturday, April 18, 2020

Easy Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

There is nothing better than the smell and taste of freshly baked homemade bread.  Bread is much easier to bake than you think.  And i'ts far tastier than the bread you buy from the supermarket.  This recipe creates a beautiful, delicious, soft whole wheat bread that is to die for.

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 packet dry yeast
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
3 tablespoons soft butter
3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat grain
1/2 tsp salt

That's all you need.  Seriously! I told you this recipe was easy!

 Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (375 F)
Put the warm water in a mixing bowl and make sure it is warm to the touch and not hot.  Add the dry yeast and put aside for 5 minutes until it starts to froth.
Mix the maple syrup or honey together with the soft butter.  I usually pit it in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
Add the maple syrup and soft butter mixture to the yeast mixture.
Add in the salt.
Slowly add in the flour, mixing it in.  You might need to add in a little extra flour to get the right consistency.  The dough should not be sticky to the touch.  You should be able to knead it without it sticking to your hands.
Cover the bowl and put it in a warm place so the dough can rise for about 30 minutes.
Punch the dough down and put it in a greased or lined loaf pan.  Cover and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
 It should have more or less doubled its size.
Place in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes until it sounds hollow when you knock on it.
There you have it!  Easiest bread ever!

Cindy Vine is the author of numerous novels including Defective, Not Telling, Hush baby and The Freedom Club.  All her books are available on Amazon in both ebook and paperback format.

Easiest Cookie Recipe

This cookie recipe is the easiest, no flop recipe for the most delicious cookies you'll ever find.  Throughout the years, I've kept the cookie jar full with these cookies.  And the best thing, is that you can use the cookie dough as a base and add extra ingredients in to create different variations.

Basic Cookie Recipe
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2T milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

For chocolate add in a 1/4 cup cocoa powder.
For spicy currant add in 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp mixed spice and a handful of currants.
For orange add in the zest of an orange and replace the milk with orange juice.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C (375 F).  Soften the butter, add in the sugar and mix together. Add in the egg, milk and vanilla extract and mix together.  Next put in the salt and baking powder and mix that in.  Finally start adding in the flour, a little at a time, mixing all the while.  You'll end up with a stiff cookie dough that isn't sticky at all.  At this point you can add in the extras if you are creating variants.  What I do, is I split the cookie dough mix into 3 and create 3 variants.  Let the cookie dough rest for 30 minutes.
You can roll out the dough and then ct out different shapes with cookie cutters or you can just roll them into balls and then squash them down with a fork.  Place on a greased or lined baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes.  Done!
Cindy Vine is the author of numerous novels including Defective, Not Telling, Hush baby and The Freedom Club.  All her books are available on Amazon in both ebook and paperback format.

Veggie Pops from India

1/2 cup finely chopped broccoli or cauliflower florets
1/2 onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
1 carrot peeled and finely chopped
1 green chili finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped capsicum
1/2 cup finely chopped cabbage
1/2 cup finely chopped spinach
6 finely chopped snap peas
2 tablespoons oil
salt to taste - about 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon chopped cilantro (dried is okay)
1/2 cup semolina flour
1 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup bread crumbs
boiling water for dipping
hot oil for deep frying

Saute the chopped vegetables with pepper, oregano, salt and cilantro on medium heat for 3 minutes.  Add the semolina and 1 cup boiling water.  Mix together and reduce the heat to low.  Cover with a lid and let it cook for 4 minutes.  Add the curry powder and mix it in.  Let it cook for another 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool enough so that you don't burn your hands when you roll them into balls.  Add in about two teaspoons of the all purpose flour and mix it in well.  Roll the veggie pops mixture into small balls roughly the size of a large strawberry. Put these aside.
Mix the rest of the flour with the bread crumbs. You can add in a pinch of salt.
Roll the small balls into the flour/bread crumb mixture. Put the veggie pop balls into a sieve and dip them in the boiling water for about 3 seconds. Roll them in the flour/bread crumb mixture again. Then dip them in the boiling water again for 3 seconds.  You will do this 3 times.  Next step is to deep fry the veggie pops in hot oil.  Serve with your favourite dipping sauce.
You can prepare the veggie pops in advance and keep them in the fridge a few days before doing the final step of deep frying them.
Cindy Vine is the author of numerous novels including Defective, Not Telling, Hush baby and The Freedom Club.  All her books are available on Amazon in both ebook and paperback format.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Durban Chicken Curry from South Africa

Durban curry is different to any curry you would get in India.  It's red in colour and the different spices give it a complexity of flavour that will have you jumping up for seconds.  When the British owned South Africa, they brought in thousands of labourers from India in the late 1880's to early 1900's to work on their sugar cane plantations.  Food was not plentiful, so the new immigrants had to adapt their traditional curries to the ingredients they could source locally.  Traditionally, Durban curry is very hot.  However, many are unable to cope with the heat.  This recipe is for a medium curry that might just make your nose run a little while eating it.  Increase the chili powder or add fresh red chilies if you are brave enough to make it hotter!
1 kg chicken pieces
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 onions finely chopped
1 small bunch coriander finely chopped
2 cups water
4 potatoes peeled and cut into quarters
1 teaspoon ginger finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
Cornflour for thickening if needed
salt and pepper to taste
Optional to add in a cup of frozen peas or frozen mixed vegetables
Put the oil in a large pot and saute the onion, garlic and ginger on a low heat.  Add in the dry ingredients (spices and masala).  If it starts to catch on the bottom of the pot, add in a little of the water so that you make a paste.  Increase the heat and add the chicken pieces and allow them to cook a little so that the chicken starts to change colour.  Pour in the rest of the water.  Cover the pot and let the chicken curry cook on a medium heat for ten minutes.  Add the potatoes, chopped tomatoes and tomato puree.  Add salt and pepper according to taste.  If you want to add in the frozen vegetables, now would be the time to do so.  Reduce the heat a little and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve on a bed of rice or if you want to do something different and very traditionally Durban - you can make a Bunny Chow.  Garnish with the chopped coriander.
Serves 4-6 people
To make a Bunny Chow you will need a fresh loaf of unsliced bread.  Divide the loaf of bread into 3-4 large chunks.  Using a sharp knife, hollow out each chunk leaving a thick wall around the sides and the bottom.  Spoon the curry into the hollowed out chunk of bread.  Place the bread you removed from the inside on top of the Bunny Chow as a lid.  Eat with your fingers.
Cindy Vine is the author of Not Telling, Hush Baby and Defective.  Her books are available in both Kindle and Paperback format on

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Aprikosenkuchen (Apricot Cake) from Germany

This is a very popular German cake which is incredibly easy to make. I first had it on a stopover in Frankfurt, and as apricots are one of my favourite fruits, I always wanted to try and make it. You can use fresh apricots or canned apricots.  Whichever is easiest to lay your hands on.  This cake does resemble a cobbler.  So if you are asked to quickly produce a cake, this cake is the answer!

10 tablespoons of soft butter or margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla pod
3 eggs
1 tablespoon lemon juice or the zest of a lemon
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk or buttermilk if you can get it
1 can apricot halves or about 10 apricots halved and pitted
Preheat the oven at 175 degrees Celsius.  Grease a medium cake tin.  In a mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar an vanilla.  Add in the eggs, beating well after each egg.  Add in the lemon juice/zest.  Add in all the dry ingredients and mix well.  Add in the milk/buttermilk and mix to a smooth batter.  Spoon the batter into the cake tin and smooth it down.  Place the apricot halves, cut side down, on top of the batter.  If you are using fresh apricots, you might want to sprinkle a little sugar on the top of the apricot halves.  If you are using canned apricots, they will be sweet enough.  Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your cake tin.  Serve with fresh whipped cream or just enjoy on its own.
Cindy Vine currently lives in Norway and is the author of Hush Baby, Not Telling and Defective.  All of her books are available on in both paperback and kindle format.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pork Roast with Chimichurri from Argentina

Besides football players, Argentina is famous for its meat dishes.  It is a country of carnivores and they have perfected the cooking of meat.  Chimichurri is an Argentinian sauce made from a mixture of herbs, garlic and vinegar.  It can also be used as a marinade and a meat tenderiser.  The recipe for chimichurri sauce is elsewhere on the blog.

1.5kg pork roast
1 cup chimichurri sauce
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder

Put the pork roast in a large bowl.  Take 1/2 cup of the chimichurri sauce and completely coat the pork roast with it, massaging it into the meat.  Cover and leave for a couple of hours or overnight so that it can marinate.  Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.  Remove the pork from the marinade and place in a grill pan.  Sprinkle on the different seasonings.  Place under the grill in the oven for approximately an hour, allowing 20 minutes for 500g.  Turn over the roast half way through the cooking time.  When the roast is cooked, take it out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve the left over chimichurri sauce on the side or on top of the pork slices.
Cindy Vine is a South African currently living and working in Kyiv in Ukraine. She is the author of Hush Baby, Defective, C U @ 8, Not Telling and The Case of Billy B. All her books are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle format.