Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I've never been that fond of baby marrows or courgettes or zucchini or whatever you want to call them... but after doing a shoot with them, they really grew on me as I realized just how versatile these little marrows are!

They have such a deliciously delicate flavour and a subtlety that is usually overpowered by the strong Mediterranean dishes they're often used in. This is the first in a series of posts showing just how many yummy ways courgettes can be used. Instead of adding them to dishes, I've made them the centre of attention and turned them into something... uncourgettable!

These pretty little peas just sing of Spring and since we're now really delving into Autumn I couldn't resist celebrating their green plumpness one last time before my love of stews, potroasts and soups takes over... Once I layed eyes on these cute beauties I simply had to invent a recipe using them and so, standing in the veggie aisle at woolies, this tart came about...


Serves 4

400g puff pastry
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
2 large courgettes, in thin ribbons using a vegetable peeler
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh peas
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celcius. Line a tray with baking paper. Roll the puff pastry out to 1mm thick and cut into 2 large rectangles. Place the puff pastry halves on the prepared tray and prick all over using a fork. Brush with olive oil and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Arrange the courgette ribbons, spring onion, peas, crumbled feta and mint over the puff pastry and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake the tarts for 15 - 18 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and the sides are golden brown. Serve with a fresh green salad.

Photography by Christelle Botha

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sweet tweets

I absolutely love Easter - well of course, what's not to love?! It is the only time of year you are allowed to eat copious amounts of chocolate for breakfast and not feel guilty about it! Or maybe that's just me... And let's not forget about the cute-factor! Bunnies, baby chicks, miniature eggs... and these little cupcakes are just bound to make you say  'Awwwwww! Cute!" ... wait for it....

... Told you so! :)

I know it's a little early to be writing a post about Easter but I simply couldn't resist getting egg-cited* about this time of year. You see, I'm hatching* a plan for an Easter egg hunt to surprise my friends - something I miss terribly since growing up and becoming all big and responsible and stuff. I was incredibly spoilt as a child, brought up on a farm with parents who had way too much free time on their hands ultimately led to us having a cracking* good time. The chocolate egg hunts that awaited my sister and I on Easter morning were quite spectacular. When we were very young, trails led the way... Rice for me, oats for her - which my mother and her vacuum cleaner didn't find impressive at all much to our delightful squeals of joy. And as we grew older my father's hiding places became more and more inventive. I remember finding an Easter egg 2 weeks after the time in a jar of peanut butter! So this year I'm going hopping* mad and will be reviving my childhood memories - cryptic clues, nests piled with chocolate eggs, baskets, soggy slippers (wet from the dewy grass) and all!

*and yes, I know... the Easter puns are bad... but I simply couldn't resist! :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Happy herbs

It seems I'm a late bloomer - excuse the pun, but it feels like the gardening bug that bit foodies ages ago only got around to me recently. It was all thanks to this photo - and yes that is me in the picture... Oh, you didn't think being a food stylist only involved food did you?! Nope we are chefs, mall trawlers, shopaholics, crafters, DIYers, clean-er up-ers and sometimes models... amongst other things.

Anyway, back to my point, after we shot this picture for our March issue of the Top Billing magazine I felt sorry for these cute little herbs. I'd so lovingly hollowed out eggs so they could each have their own home and then tucked them into the moist soil, I couldn't just abandon them. So I took them home and carefully planted them into the soil... and then forgot about them because anybody that knows me will tell you that I cannot keep any form of flora alive. Not even a bouquet of flowers lasts more than 2 days in my possession.
But these herbs grew! Yay! And tonight I'm going to make a refreshing Salsa Verde: 

2/3 cups parsley ( I also add chives, basil, sage and oregano to mine), chopped
2 1/2 T capers, drained and chopped
6 anchovies, chopped
5 t extra virgin olive oil
1 T lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all the ingredients together and keep it in the fridge. Add to pastas, salad dressings and grilled fish or meat.

Yes, I think my herbs will be much happier chopped up and stored in a jar - that way they can't die on me!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Katelyn's cocktail crusades

I’ve gone nuts… more literally than you think! Last week we shot a story on chestnuts and by Friday I was dreaming about the friggin’ things…. Like most themed shoots we do, by the end of it all I am so over Christmas cake, aubergines, strawberries or chocolate… ok wait, with the exception of chocolate! I can never have too much chocolate!

So my post this week is NOT about chestnuts – I can’t possibly look at them anymore! After the hectic week I had, all I seem to think about is something ice cold and refreshing to relax me...

I love cocktails – there is nothing more relaxing to me than mixing up something exotic. Experimenting with colours and flavours makes me feel like I’m in a laboratory concocting a potion of some sort. And then there’s the sipping – my favourite part!

This cocktail is made with 1 shot fynbos schnapps, 1T honey, 1t lemon juice, crushed ice and then topped up with iced rooibos tea or lemonade. I thought it was a rather cute idea to style the cocktail with a honey drizzler* as a swizzle stick.

* and yes this is what I decided to name it after an intense debate with my magazine colleagues over what the heck that honey 'thing-a-ma-jig' is called...

Combine two of my favourite summer essentials and what do you get? Cocktail sorbets... Yum! Just the thing to soothe away the summer sizzle! These sorbets were made using the classic favourites - strawberry daiquiri, mojito, cosmopolitan and pina colada. The trick to making these boozy sorbets is to not be too heavy handed with the alcohol - yes, its hard I know - but too much will stop it freezing and leave you with a slushy (but still tasty) mess.

Mix 3 cups fruit purée or juice with 1/3 cup alcohol and 150ml sugar syrup. Now get creative by substituting cocktail ingredients into the recipe. Freeze the mixture and whisk every 1/2 hour to prevent crystals forming or churn in an ice cream machine.

Photography by Angie Lazaro

Looking at the boring caipirinha through rose-tinted glasses... I gave Brazil's national cocktail the Katelyn touch - I absolutely love the fragrance of rose water and it combines really well with the lime and rum. And, of course, it just had to be pink so I used rose syrup to give it a pretty hue.

Muddle 1 sliced lime with 1t sugar in a glass. Fill the glass with ice. Pour in 1 shot each of rum and rose syrup. Stir and garnish with lime slices and rose petals.

Here's to getting through the work week and shaking up something ice cold and yummy for the weekend! Cheers!