Bold Roasted Butternut Soup to warm you up on a winter’s weekend

It’s butternut season and I got a couple of fat ones in my Boschenbox last week. I have a love/hate relationship with butternut: sometimes, I can’t get enough of it and I make it almost every day, and sometimes I really don’t want it anywhere near my plate. I can’t really explain it, but what I have figured out is that I prefer it with warming spices like cinnamon and cloves. To be honest, in winter I prefer anything with cinnamon and cloves! So, here is my recipe for roasted butternut soup (adapted from the amazing New Covent Garden Soup Company – those people can cook soup!!). It’s super easy and though it takes a bit of time to cook, the flavours are just amazing so it’s well worth the effort. It’s the perfect bowl of warm for a cold weekend!


Roasted Butternut Soup

You will need (serves 6):

  • 3 large butternuts, cut in half lengthways and deseeded (you can throw the seeds on your compost heap – they will most likely start to flourish there!)
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • fine cinnamon
  • 1.2 litre of stock (you can use veggie stock, but I prefer the depth that chicken stock adds)
  • 100ml cream
  • 3 tbs pumpkin seeds
  • fine cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat your oven to 160ºC
  • Place the butternut halves on a roasting tray. Place 1/2 tbs in each butternut, and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon. Then bake them for about 1 hour. You want them to get really deeply caramelised on top and gooey inside. Remove from the oven when done, and let them cool down.
  • Once the butternuts are cool enough to touch, scoop out the flesh with a spoon and set it aside.
  • Place the stock, remaining butter and butternut pulp in a large thick-based saucepan, and heat to just before boiling point.
  • Use a blend stick to puree the butternut inside the stock, creating a smooth, thick soup.
  • Stir in the cream
  • Season with another sprinkling of cinnamon, a pinch of fine cloves, and salt and pepper to taste.


To serve:

Heat a pan on the stove and add 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder and the pumpkin seeds. Do not add any oil or butter, you want to dry roast the seeds. Gently roast them for a few of minutes, shaking the pan frequently until they’ve browned and the delicious aromas have developed. Keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn!

Dish the soup into deep bowls, and dress with a swirl of cream and a sprinkling of the cinnamon pumpkin seeds.

Serve with grilled goat’s cheese toast – YUM!

Happy cooking!


Awesome gifts for the man of moment on Father’s Day

Mother’s Day always gets a lot of attention here at the Bruwery – my lovely husband makes such an effort to make the day extra special. So when Father’s day comes around, I am always really keen to show him the same courtesy. Gifts don’t have to cost money though, so here are 5 gifts that cost, well, almost nothing!

Gift #1: Breakfast, of course! 

My man loves bacon and eggs. And while this is the most traditional of breakfasts, there are numerous ways to jazz things up. Here’s a quick recipe that the kids can make themselves (under supervision if necessary!), ready to serve when Dad wakes up.

Bacon & Egg Cups

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

  • 8 eggs
  • 8 pieces of bacon (Joey will argue that there is only 1 kind of bacon: streaky. Without the fat, it’s just smoked pork.)
  • a handful of grated cheddar cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste (remember that both the cheese and the bacon is salty, so don’t overdo it!)
  • Paprika
  • Fresh parsley


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Grease 8 holes of a muffin pan.
  • Line those holes with a piece of bacon.
  • Break and egg in each lined hole.
  • Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and grated cheese.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until the egg is cooked to your liking.

Sprinkle with paprika and chopped parsley, and if you want to be fancy, serve with a dollop of créme fraiche on each egg cup. Goes gloriously well with buttered toast and a cup of steaming hot coffee on the side.

And now for the vouchers! You can download these vouchers HERE and print them at home.

1. Sleep in Voucher

As any parent with young kids will tell you, sleep is something that we said goodbye to in the delivery room. And while our kids are thankfully now at an age when our nights are calm (except when they’re not well), our days start before 6am without fail. This Extra Snooze Time Voucher entitles Dad to a couple of extra hours, while you and the kids prepare breakfast.

2. Massage Voucher

Let the kids jump in and pamper Dad a bit with a foot rub, back rub or neck Massage Voucher. If you plan it well, you might convince them to work the knots out of your neck as well while they’re busy!

3. Movie Night Voucher

A lot of guys really love movies where cars crash after people get shot while jumping off buildings and breaking things. I don’t really see the point in them, but it’s nice to give Dad some guy time with a full-blooded, wild and crazy Action Movie Voucher. Let him choose the Sunday night movie – without guilt or consideration, and if you do not agree with the choice, climb in the bath with a glass of wine and a book while he watches it. Add a bag of his favourite popcorn and a snack to keep him company while he’s indulging.

4. Five Moments of Peace and Quiet Voucher

Everyone needs peace and quiet sometimes, and these Moments of Peace and Quiet Vouchers will give Dad a few hours off when he needs it most. Valid for 1 year, he can choose to spend it whichever way he wants to, even if it is to get out of something he doesn’t feel like doing (like a kiddies birthday party!).

I hope you spoil the Dad in your life this Father’s Day – goodness knows, they deserve it! And remember, Dads like flowers too 😉

Happy Father’s Day!

Avo Ciabatta Burger with Mustard Butter

Today’s recipe is really more just a food assembly suggestion than a recipe. I picked up my Boschenbox from Boschendal farm last week, and in it was the most delicious burger patties. These Angus beef patties are perfectly marbled and utterly delicious! We had burgers on Friday night already, so when Saturday rolled by and I had to start thinking about dinner, I had an idea: why not combine the crusty ciabatta with the patties? One thing led to another and before I knew it, we were having a late afternoon picnic, eating Avo Ciabatta Burgers with Mustard Butter in the perfect autumn air.



Ingredients (makes 4):

  • 4 x Angus Beef patties
  • 1x Ciabatta loaf, thickly sliced
  • 2x Ripe Avos
  • 4 tbs Salted butter
  • 4 tbs Whole-grain mustard
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped chives to garnish


  1. Grill the patties on the fire. You can make it in the pan as well, but they really are so much better with a bit of smokiness in them! If you want to be really clever, you can reshape your patties to fit the slices of ciabatta before you cook them.
  2. Use a fork to mash the avo, and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Mix the mustard and butter, and spread liberally over the slices of ciabatta.
  4. Cut the patties into strips (unless you reshaped them first!) and place on the buttered ciabatta slices.
  5. Cover with avo, and garnish with chopped chives and olive oil.

I served it with a very basic pickled beetroot and mixed leaf salad, sprinkled with goat’s milk feta. Basic but a firm favourite!

This dish pairs beautifully with Raka Anchorage – another favourite!

Happy Cooking!

The mother of all pink ombré cake (s) with butter icing and roses

I am the first person to tell you that I am not really the baker in the family. And I am not being modest – many people who have eaten my creations will attest. While I firmly believe it has A LOT to do with my oven (hear my cry for help, Smeg!), I will take responsibility for my inability. So imagine my surprise when I managed to put together this beautiful pink ombré cake for Mother’s Day!

I found the recipe to this delicious beauty in the latest Ideas Magazine. This recipe for cake is different to what I’ve made before, and I couldn’t believe how incredibly moist it was. To be honest, I thought I had screwed it up (she said, while glaring accusingly in the direction of the oven) because I had to bake it much longer than the recipe said and then I was afraid it was going to be too dry. But it is gorgeous and delicious!

pink ombré cake with roses

The original recipe made these gorgeous little cakes decorated with roses. But not being able to take direction well – which is why my baking career never took off, I suspect – I decided to bake them in 3 22cm round tins and make 1 big layered cake with roses and Michaelmas daisies. The icing is simple butter icing with a dash of vanilla.



For each cake layer:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 140g cake flower
  • 7.5ml baking powder
  • A few drops of pink food colouring (add more drops to layers 2 and 3 for the ombré effect)
  • 125ml warm milk
  • 65ml melted butter

For the butter icing:

  • 150g soft butter
  • 450g icing sugar
  • A dash of vanilla essence
  • Boiling water

For the decoration:

  • Seasonal flowers
  • Edible sprinkles


Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF

Prepare your cake tins by lining them with baking paper and buttering the surface.

Instructions for the cake layers:

  • Beat the eggs and caster sugar with an electric mixer until it’s light and fluffy.
  • Sieve the cake flower and baking powder over the egg mixture and blend until just incorporated – do not over-mix.
  • Add a few drops of food colouring to the warm milk.
  • Add the coloured milk and melted butter to the egg mixture and blend well.
  • Pour the batter  into one of the prepared cake tins
  • Repeat the steps for 2 more layers, remember to add more food colouring layers two and three.
  • Place the cake tins in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or test the layers with a fork – if there is no batter stuck the fork the cake is ready!
  • Let the layers cool down for 10 minutes before you remove them from the cake tins.

Instructions for the icing:

  • Make the butter icing by mixing soft butter, a few drops of vanilla and icing sugar together.
  • Add a small amount of boiling water to the icing to give it a smooth consistency.

Instructions for assembly:

  • Place the darkest layer on a cake stand, or plate of your choice, then spread butter icing on top of the cake.
  • Place the medium coloured layer on top of the icing, spread icing on top, and repeat the process until there are no layers left.
  • After the layers are assembled make sure that the top layer of icing is smooth, before decorating.
  • Take flowers from your garden (or bought), lightly rinse and dry them, then arrange them on top of the cake.
  • Add fun edible sprinkles, we used sugar hearts, but you can go for chocolate sprinkles or silvery balls – it’s completely up to you.
  • Give yourself a pat on the back – you’re done!

pink ombré cake with roses

One clever trick from Ideas is to use straws that are heated over a flame and pinched at the bottom to make closed-end tubes. You push them into the cake and put the flowers into them, to prevent the flowers from touching the cake. I’m pretty sure that roses are fine, but some flowers may have sap that seeps into the cake – not what you want at your tea party!

pink ombré cake with roses

Everyone knows that cake is best served with bubbly. A deliciously crisp Perdeberg Winery Chenin Blanc MCC with some pretty hibiscus flowers in the glass did the trick!

Happy Baking!


Beef Chuck Roast and Barley Risotto with Radish and Swiss Chard

When I picked up my Boschenbox from Boschendal farm last week, I was a little bit stumped: because someone complained about the recipes that usually accompanied the box, these will no longer be supplied, which left me with beef chuck, Swiss chard and radishes that I had no idea what to do with.

To be honest, while I enjoy cooking, I don’t know too much about it. I didn’t even know WHAT beef chuck was, aside from a delicious-looking piece of meat in a net (I could also blame it on the fact that English is my second language, but I don’t know what it is in Afrikaans either!)

So after a bit of research, I found that chuck is cooked in much the same way as the delicious beef shin I made last week. To be fair, when you cook anything in red wine for long enough, it’s bound to be delicious! I stuck with that recipe, popped the beef in the oven, and proceeded to figure out what I can do with radishes and Swiss chard. And THAT, my friends, is the real find of the day!

I know radishes as a raw ingredient in salads that, with the right knife skills, can be fashioned into a tiny, red-rimmed flower – if that’s your kind of thing. I had no idea that you could cook them and how delicious they are!

I also didn’t know that you could use barley to make a risotto. I love rice, and anything to do with rice, but having been on a fairly low-carb diet for more than 3 years now, we don’t eat it much. So this hearty bowl of goodness is a great alternative if you’re watching carbs: white rice has 81g of carbs per 100g, while pearl barley has only 28g. (source) Making this dish is a little bit time-intensive, but it is SO worth it. I am going to experiment with a few more barley risotto options this winter, so watch this space for more!

This recipe is NOT my own, but I made it with a small variation and it is delicious, so I am happy to share it. If you want the original from Sarah Copeland, here is it! I made this as a side dish with the beef, but it makes a delicious vegetarian meal on its own as well.

Barley Risotto with Swiss Chard and Radishes

Ingredients: serves 4 as a side dish or 2 main meals

  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • 8 to 10 small radishes
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stemmed and torn into large pieces
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Couple of sprigs of thyme


  1. Bring the stock to simmer in a saucepan, and then reduce the heat to keep it warm.
  2. Heat the butter in another saucepan, and add the barley. Stir to coat it in the melted butter, toasting it lightly.
  3. Add 2 cups of stock and bring to boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer until most of the stock has been absorbed. Keep stirring at this point!
  4. Add the radishes and the remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time. Keep stirring until the barley and radishes and tender.
  5. Add the torn Swiss chard and stir until it is wilted.
  6. Add in a teaspoon full of thyme while stirring, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Dish and serve (with a robust red wine, of course!)

Happy Cooking!

Beef Shin in Red Wine with Rainbow Carrots

It’s time for my weekly Boschenbox meal from the Boschendal Deli! This week, there was the most amazing Angus beef shin in the box. It’s not a cut that I am familiar with – I have never bought it before! – but I am always up for a challenge. It’s one of the least expensive cuts you can get, and my goodness, I was pleasantly surprised! This dish is beautifully rich and because of the long cooking time, it’s extremely tender as well.

beef shin

Beef Shin in Red Wine with Rainbow Carrots



  • 1kg Beef Shin
  • 25g Rosemary
  • 500g Rainbow Carrots, whole
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 cups red wine (and glass to enjoy while you’re cooking of course!)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC.
  2. Put the shin, herbs, wine and stock in a casserole dish, and cook for 4 hours. Make sure that the dish has a tight-fitting lid, or cover with 2 layers of foil. This will prevent all the juices from evaporating!
  3. After 4 hours, add the carrots and carrots, and put back in the oven for another hour. Make sure that you baste the meat and veggies every 15 minutes, keeping the dish covered in the oven.
  4. Serve!

beef shin

These rainbow carrots are just gorgeous – and so sweet! The kids love them because the purple ones make the tongues purple as well!

This dish pairs beautifully with a Boschendal 1685 Shiraz.

As a side dish, you can try this easy Pak Choi with Aubergine.

beef shin


  • 300g Pak Choi
  • Good glug of olive oil
  • 1 Clove of garlic, finely diced
  • 100g Aubergine, thinly sliced
  • 1tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • Lemon Thyme


  1. Grill the aubergine slices on a pre-heated griddle pan. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the garlic and fry for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the pak choi and sauteé until cooked.
  4. Add the cooked aubergine, dash with a little balsamic and sprinkle over some lemon thyme.

beef shin

Serve with fresh rye to soak up all the juices. Or for a more hearty meal, you can also add rice or potato mash.

beef shin

I look forward to sharing next week’s box with you!

Happy Cooking!

How to make delicious terracotta pot chocolate muffins

Terracotta is one of the hottest trends right now. It’s in everything from floors and walls to accessories and kitchenware. I love terracotta, it’s got an amazing natural look to it and it pairs incredibly well with warm colours like quartz and coral, as well as cooler hues like aqua and turquoise. But I have to admit that I have never tried my hand at baking with this ancient clay, so when Kari sent me this delicious recipe for terracotta pot chocolate muffins that use little terracotta garden pots as baking moulds, I couldn’t resist! It’s really cute and different, and will work equally well for a tea party and a dinner party. Pair these pretty pots with some crisp white linen and greenery and you’ll have a beautiful table as well as a stunning desert.

But don’t take it from me, here’s what Kari says:

This is literally the BEST chocolate cupcake recipe ever! I have shared it with so many people and they all come back telling me that they never knew it would be so easy to bake these delicious treats. The secret however is the NoMU cacao powder which takes your baking to the next level!

terracotta cupcakes

I purchased the little terracotta pots from Builders Warehouse. I then added the little food flags that you can download here. They were actually created for Christmas, but can be used all year round.

BEST chocolate cupcake recipe ever

terracotta cupcakes

(makes 18 standard sized cupcakes)


  • 225g unsalted, softened butter
  • 225g castor sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 heaped tbsp

terracotta cupcakes


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius
  2. Place 18 paper baking cases in a muffin pan or alternatively use small terracotta pots lined with greaseproof baking paper
  3. Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and pale
  4. Spoon the mixture into the cases
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes
  6. Cool for 5 minutes before serving

These delicious muffins are best enjoyed with a glass of milk on a cold winter’s day and can be served with a dollop of cream or berry compote on the side. Dipping them in caramel is a treat for the little ones.

terracotta cupcakes

Images by Melanie Wessels Photography

Happy Baking!

We’ll be featuring a few more of Kari’s recipes in the coming weeks, so make sure that you check back regularly! g

Tandoori Pork Chops with Veggie Stir Fry

Every Thursday, I pick up the boys from school and then head on over to exquisite Boschendal to pick up a my BoschenBox: a box of lovingly filled fresh produce from their veggie garden, 2 types of meat (including their delicious marbled Angus beef), freshly baked bread and a sweet treat. So while we sit in under the trees in their outdoor deli, me enjoying a cappuccino and the boys sipping on juice, we go through the box and get excited about dinner. This has become such a special little ritual that I decided it’s high time for me to share the experience – and the recipe that comes with the box every week. On the menu this week:

Tandoori pork chops with veggie stir fry.

Before I go into that, let me just first comment on the fusion thing that happened here: first, tandoori is an Indian spice. But veggie stir fry is Asian. Since the recipe made use of soya sauce (Asian), I chose to use Thai jasmine rice instead to compliment the Asian flavours. And to make it possible to eat with chopsticks!

tandoori pork stir fry


  • 1 pack of tandoori pork steaks (pork marinated in tandoori spice)
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 pepper, finely sliced
  • 150g kale, washed and sliced (depending on the size of the leaves; I left mine whole)
  • half butternut, cubed
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced Julienne
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 tsp salt

tandoori pork stir fry


  1. Place the basmati rice, water and salt on the stove to boil. While it’s cooking, start to prep the veggies.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. At the same time, heat a pan until hot. Coat the pan in cooling oil, and then grill the pork chops on each side for two minutes. Transfer the chops to a baking sheet and place in te oven for 10 – 15 minutes, or until completely cooked through.
  3. In the same pan (with all the juices from the pork), fry the onions, garlic and ginger until the onions start to become sot. Next, add the butternut, pepper and chilli and fry until the vegetables are well cooked, but still al denté.
  4. Finally, add the kale and soya sauce and cook until the kale is lightly steamed.
  5. Once the rice is cooked, you are ready to serve. And if you’re feeling fancy, top it off with a sprinkling of sesame seeds or sprouts and a sprig of fresh basil. YUM!

tandoori pork stir fry

This pairs nicely with Boschendal’s De Werf Red.

Happy Cooking!


Delicious Almond & Honey Cake

Friendy Liezel from Match Set Love made this amazing cake when I visited one day. It was sooo good that I just had to get the recipe and share it with you lovilees. It is a gluten / flour free recipe that is beyond tasty! Then you to Lauren Kim who baked, styled and photographed this article for us!
Almond & Honey cake recipe
Almond & Honey cake recipe

Almond & Honey cake recipe

Serves 6 | Bake: 20-25 minutes



  • 1 cup whole almonds, toasted
  • 3 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • pinch of salt



  1. Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line the bottom of a wide loaf tin with baking paper
  3. Process toasted whole almonds in a food processor until finely ground.
  4. Combine the almonds with the honey until it becomes a thick paste, set aside.
  5. Beat the egg whites and salt until stiff enough to hold peaks. Gently fold the eggs into the almond honey mixture.
  6. Sprinkle the batter with some sliced almonds.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Serve cold with greek yogurt or whipped cream and add some berries for colour.

Almond & Honey cake recipe
Almond & Honey cake recipe

Images: Lauren Kim Photography

Happy Baking!


This post first appeared on lovilee.


Christmas Tree Cookies

A couple of years ago I did this post about baking Christmas Tree Cookies with my little boy – then 2.5 years old. I remember how he loved getting his hands into the dough -and especially the licking-off bit! Even though we won’t hang cookies on the tree this year, it’s such a fun thing to bake with your kids – this is definitely on the agenda for the holidays! I am confident both my boys will love it.


Ouma Ellen’s Cookies

(Adapted from my good old trusty Cook & Enjoy)

8cups flour
1/2 tea spn salt
500g butter
1 1/2 table spn bicarb
1cup jam (I used marmalade – YUM)
2cups sugar
(Unless you want to decorate a few trees, it’s better to half the recipe).
Preheat the oven to 190° C.
Rub the butter into the flour. Mix the bicarb with a bit of the jam to get it going. Add the sugar to the rest of the jam and the bicarb mix, and add it to the flour mixture.
Knead until a soft dough forms. Roll out to about 6mm and use a cookie cutter of your choice.
Bake for 15mins.
Wait till cool before decorating with glaze (icing sugar and a drop of water), piped icing, silver balls or anything else you can think of. String up and hang up!

little chef

Step 1: Mix the dough as described above.

 cookie press

Step 2: Cut out the cookies using star shaped-cookie cutters.

snack break

Step 3: Stop for a snack break!

holy stars

Step 4: make small holes in the cookies for the ribbons to go through.

hot cakes

Step 5: Bake en let it cool

all stars

Step 6: Decorate with ribbon, glaze and icing gel pens.

  hanging pretty

Step 7: Hang!

   nom nom

PS: don’t hang then too low, or their points may disappear into the mouths of hungry toddlers! 😉

Happy Baking!

germarie 200px