Canned Goodness

canned-food

Usually the words canned and goodness aren’t synonymous with each other. Canned food has a very bad reputation and maybe rightfully so if compared against their fresh counterparts. As much as most of us would like to buy, cook and eat fresh ingredients that isn’t always possible. You might not have enough time or cook enough to buy fresh ingredients all the time or the canned alternative is significantly cheaper. Canned foods can be great and convenient and here are the canned food products I prefer;

  • Canned Tomatoes – Canned tomatoes are a regular on my grocery list. I find them convenient and value for my money. I use fresh tomatoes for salads and sandwiches but when it comes to sauces, braises and stews; canned tomatoes work best for me. You can forget about them
  • Corned Beef – Most people have a problem with the texture of corned beef more than the taste. if that’s the case, I can’t really help you but it’s worth a try. Corned beef works well on toast, in between sandwiches or a hash. My favourite way of having corned beef though is with Pita bread. I fry the corned beef with onion and peppers, add it into some pita bread with some lettuce and tomato for a quick lunch
  • Tuna – Canned Tuna ranks at the top of my acceptable canned goods. Besides it being the star in sandwiches and salads try stuffing quesadillas or enchiladas with tuna in place of chicken or ground beef. Canned tuna also makes for great fish cakes. Try this recipe here. This recipe is one of the most loved on my site and most people can’t believe it’s made from just a simple can of tuna. This recipes works well with canned salmon too, I’m working on this version to post soon.
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Tuna Fish Cakes – Recipe on http://www.vanillascentedkisses.com
  • Beans & Legumes – Beans and legumes are worth the effort when made from scratch but if you don’t have the time to, canned substitutes work just as fine in curries or chilies. Rinse them out of that brine they are stored in and you can make great meals. I often keep canned beans, lentils and chickpeas in my pantry to use when I’m in a rush. Find a Bean and Lentil chili recipe here & Stewed Kidney Bean recipe here. We also can’t forget how great those canned baked beans are with our breakfast.
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Bean & Lentil Chili – Recipe on http://www.vanillascentedkisses.com

  • Pilchards & Sardines – Canned pilchards and sardines have been proven to be an affordable way to add omega 3 in our diets. Oily fish isn’t readily accessible for many as the price of fresh fish can be unsustainable but it is necessary to have them as part of a healthy balanced diet.  I’d definitely recommend adding a few cans when you do your grocery shopping. I’ll update this blog with recipes of great ways to prepare canned pilchards and sardines.

Many great meals can be made from canned foods with a little creativity. So next time you’re pressed for time or penny pinching, try your luck with these canned substitutes. If you have any canned foods that you swear by that aren’t part of this list please do let me in the comments and I’ll updated the list.

Love,

V

Processed With Darkroom

Lemon Pudding With Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting & Honeycomb

If you know me or read this blog, you’ll know how I’ve spoken about my dislike for baking. My skills are elementary and many attempts in trying to improve those skills often leave me disliking baking even more. I make really good banana bread and muffins of several varieties but that’s about it.

Now, you’d think with my disdain for baking i wouldn’t find that art of baking intriguing at all. On the contrary, i am in awe of bakers and their talent. I often find myself watching The Great South African Bake Off in disbelief of what people can create with just flour and some eggs. They make it look easy enough for me to actually try and although the result isn’t always a masterpiece, its usually mostly edible and that can be a great achievement when attempting the intricate recipes portrayed on the show.

Last nights episode showed contestant Simmi making a lemon pudding and it had all my favourite ingredients in baked goods; Lemon and earthy notes of cardamon.  What intrigued me the most was the process of making honeycomb and so i had to give this recipe a try.

I swore that i’d post my first attempt at the pudding in the name of honesty and transparency so….

Here is Simmi’s masterpiece

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….and here’s mine

Processed With Darkroom

Processed With Darkroom

 

It isn’t exactly a masterpiece but i’m quite proud of myself. The recipe was easy to follow and the pudding itself was more than just edible. It was actually quite nice. It’s lemony and rich. The honeycomb adds some great texture as well as sweetness.

The beauty in trying means you’re bound to learn something along the way.  So if you’d like a challenge give this recipe a try and let me know how it goes by posting a picture on your social media and tagging BBCSouthAfrica on Twitter & BBCLifestyleSA on Instagram and Facebook and use the hashtag #SABakeOff

If you don’t learn anything else from this recipe, learn how to make the honeycomb. It’s so much easier than i imagined and extremely fun. Let’s just say i haven’t stopped making it since.

Watch The Great South African Bake Off  on Tuesdays on BBC Lifestyle (DStv 174) at 20:00.

LUSCIOUS LEMON PUDDING RECIPE

Sponge Lemon Cardamom Sponge
45 ml Honey Preheat oven to 180°c.
30 ml Lemon Juice Spray 6 ramekins.
6 slices Lemon Heat honey and half of lemon juice.
100 g Butter Divide between ramekins.
125 ml Brown Sugar Place a slice of lemon in each.
2 ea. Eggs Extra Large Cream butter, sugar. Add eggs. Beat well.
15 ml Lemon Rind Stir in juice and rind.
375 ml Flour Add sifted flour, baking powder salt alternating with milk.
5 ml Cardamom Pour into ramekins.
8 ml Baking Powder Place in roasting pan filled with boiling water.
1 ml Salt Cover with foil.
100 ml Milk Bake for 40 minutes.
Syrup Lemon Honey Syrup
125 ml Sugar Combine ingredients in a saucepan and boil.
20 ml Cornflour Pour over hot sponge.
250 ml Boiling Water
30 ml Lemon Juice
10 ml Butter
10 ml Honey
5 ml Cardamom
Honeycomb Honeycomb
200 g Castor Sugar Simmer sugar and syrup.
60 ml Golden Syrup Bring to boil.
15 ml Bicarbonate Of Soda Add bicarbonate of soda.
Mix quickly.
Pour into greased and lined pan
frosting Cream cheese frosting
100 g Cream Cheese Beat butter and sugar with rind.
100 g Butter Fold in cream cheese.
350 ml Icing Sugar
5 ml Lemon Rind

Love,

V

The Great SA Bake Off – A Challenge

Friends

I love any chance to try out new restaurants so when I received the invite for a menu tasting for a newly renovated restaurant called Friends, I was very keen to see what they had to offer. A quick google search shows they are a kosher establishment that focuses on Mediterranean flavours….interesting.

I opted to have an early dinner like i always do. Eating earlier means i can dedicate the rest of my night to unwinding or catching up on work. I showed up at around 6pm straight from work.  

I was seated and given the menu to look at. They offer a wide range of selection across the Starter and main options. They also have a sushi menu you can choose from. I didn't know where to start. if anything i would have appreciated being presented with tasting options from the menu so i could get a well rounded feel of the menu. None the less, one of the owners, Dennis was very kind and accommodating and offered to have me taste their tapas spread.

The spread had humus, falafel balls and grilled eggplant. This was served with warm pita bread and side salads. I'm a sucker for fresh bread, so before i could even get into the food, the soft and warm pita bread won me over. I dug into the falafel and they were crispy on the outside and perfectly moist inside. The winner on the plate was the grilled eggplant; perfectly cooked with lots of garlic.

I took quick look through the menu to see what main i could have, nothing particularly spoke to me but i saw beef short ribs on the menu and opted to have that. I opted to have them with steamed vegetables instead of chips. The price of the short rib is rather high in my opinion but the size of the portions make up for it.

The Beef short ribs came and I was overwhelmed. Where would i start with this large piece of meat. I didn't quite read the menu properly because i had assumed the ribs would be braised and falling off the bone. I also didn't expect them to be this large, there was no way i was finishing this.  I dug in they weren't as tender as i would have liked, i don't like to fight for my meat but they were definitely packed with a lot of flavour. The accompanying sauce they serve with the ribs is to die for. I'm quite annoyed that i forgot what it was called and what was in it because i have been craving it since and would love to recreate it. The vegetables that came with the short ribs were uninspiring, they could have used more attention.

 

if you've never been to Silvamonte, it definitely feels like you're not in Johannesburg anymore. There's a great sense of community and Friends Deli & Restaurant is the neighbourhood restaurant everyone loves. The restaurant comes alive just after 7pm and you quickly begin to notice how everyone knows each other. The customers have their favourite waiters that know their favourite drink and food orders. The owner gets his hands dirty during service helping around with orders and having conversations with customers.

Friends is really a great place to eat if you're looking for a great family restaurant with extremely friendly staff members. They make it a point to treat each and everyone of their customers with great attention and care. I'll definitely be going back to give the rest of their menu items a try.

Website: http://www.friends.co.za

Facebook: Friends Deli Restaurant

Instagram: friends_restaurant_deli

Twitter: FriendsDeli

Love,

V

Glory Glory!

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A friend and I had just left an early Saturday morning conference in Newtown and I was famished. Picking where to eat doesn’t come easy, especially when you make it a point to try and eat somewhere new every time you go out while also sticking to budget restraints. “What’s close to here? ” I thought. ” It doesn’t have to be close to here.” he replied. ” It helps narrow down the options” I replied back. So we continued to brainstorm and then suddenly he yelled “Glory!” with an excited look on his face. I yelled back “Glory! Glory!”

I had heard of this place that offers great South East Asian street food in Melville and had been meaning to try it. Stories of their amazing fried chicken had me sold already. Its hidden on the corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue. We walked in and it was empty and while some might be put off, there’s nothing I love more than dining in an empty establishment. It offers a chance to really relax and more so a chance to get to talk to the servers and get a true feel of what’s good there without them rushing off to the next table. The place also seemed to be undergoing construction, I didn’t think too much into it. I love good food and I’m not picky where I’m getting it.

We sat down and were greeted by a polite gentleman. He explained that they didn’t have a drinks menu so we questioned him with what was available and I settled on the only chenin blanc they had. It wasn’t the greatest glass of wine I’ve ever had but I could overlook it for the food to come. The food menu came and I was anxious to try everything, our server suggested we try the Full Box Fried Chicken for two.  It’s a half chicken double fried with an array of sides and sauces.

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Glory Full Box Fried Chicken

The buns were warm, moist pillows of  goodness. They did right by coconut rice, serving it drenched in coconut milk and topped with bean sprouts. The fried chicken was packed with so much flavor, crispy and unbelievably most. The pictures make the food look noble but the flavor offered can never be described as that. Glory really believes in the beauty of letting great ingredients speak for themselves.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the food, the service at the restaurant left a lot to be desired. We were the only guests in the restaurants but waited long periods of time before being attended to. In addition to that, their bathrooms left a bad taste in my mouth. Bathrooms can be the deciding factor when battling with where to eat or should I sit in or get a take away. I also found their drink prices to be terribly overpriced for the area and the selection they had.

 

Would I go back? I think so. I loved the food enough to overlook everything else. What Glory lacks in finesse they make up for with great rustic charm.

Love,

V

Let’s Talk About Chicken Baby…

Sweet mother of Jemimah! Is there anything more amazing than chicken? I could eat chicken everyday. Not only is it cheaper than red meat, it’s also very versatile. Chicken can be poached, stuffed, grilled, curried, stewed, pulled, fried and with so many different flavour combinations.

As someone who’s passionate about food, a lot of people tend to think I have all the answers that are food related. I don’t, but when it comes to chicken, I do. I get asked “Why is my full chicken always bland?” or “Why is my chicken always dry?” Well, I’m here to help.

I’ll talk about the important things to take into consideration when cooking the problematic parts, which is usually chicken breasts and full chickens.

Let’s talk about chicken baby…

  1. SEASONING…PLEASE! – How much seasoning you ask? All the seasoning please. I kid, season your chicken generously. When seasoning a full chicken, please don’t neglect the cavity of the chicken, its very important. As the chicken is cooking, the inside steams and the seasoning in the cavity perfumes the chicken. Also season under the skin of the chicken, reach in there and rub that seasoning all over that breast. This leads me to my next point.
  2. SKIN & BONES – Before you tell me about how unhealthy chicken skin is, you don’t have to eat it, you can just peel it off and pass it on to me. Chicken skin keeps it moist and if you want flavour, keep it on the bone. If you’re cooking chicken breasts, especially and you choose to cook them whole with the skin and bone off, please don’t complain about a bland and dry breast – that’s your fault.
  3. STUFFING – If you’re making a whole  chicken roast, I’d strongly recommend stuffing it. Stuffing chicken not only helps season it , but retains moisture by locking it in. You can stuff it with vegetables and herbs but the basis of a good stuffing starts with bread. Cook your stuffing separately before putting it into the cavity of the chicken that’s also been seasoned.
  4. AROMATICS – If you don’t have the time to marinade your chicken well in advance, I’d recommend going for flavours that are aromatic so they can perfume the chicken as it cooks, this helps add flavour to the chicken. Things like garlic, ginger, rosemary and citrus are all great for perfuming chicken.
  5. BRINING – Brining is the process of soaking or preserving something in salty water. Chicken absorbs water and salt when left to brine which results in less moisture loss when cooking thus reducing the chances of dry meat. If you have the time I’d definitely recommend brining your chicken roast the night before. An easy brining ratio to remember is 1 tablespoon of salt for every cup of water. You need enough water to cover the entire chicken and to this solution you can add spices and herbs to give the water a flavour base (although I’d recommend seasoning the chicken further before or during cooking after its been removed from the brine because a great amount of the flavour doesn’t get absorbed during brining)
  6. COOK TIME – How long should I cook my chicken for? When you’ve been cooking for a long time you learn to be intuitive about cooking. You can feel the meat to gauge if its been cooked, if you aren’t there yet there is a basic cooking time tip to remember;
  • Whole Chicken – 60 Minutes for every 1kg  which works out to 6minutes per 100 grams. So if your chicken is 1.2kg you’d cook it for 72minutes (60 + 12 minutes for the additional 200grams) and if it were 800grams you’d cook it for 48 minutes (6 minutes by 8) – It’s important to note that every oven is different so these times may vary.
  • Chicken Portions– Chicken fillets cook in 15 to 20 minutes, drumsticks and thighs 30-35 minutes. Wings take 12-15 minutes.

I hope you found these hints and tips helpful. Chicken is life and we must do right by it.

Love,

V

 

 

Grains & Legumes

I never ever imagined a time in my life where i’d be an advocate for grains and legumes as must haves in ones pantry but i’m going through this thing called “adulting”. This involves eating balanced meals and worrying about being regular, it’s so much fun.

Grains and legumes are often neglected in a lot of our diets but that means we’re missing out on great sources of protein, fibre, magnesium, zinc and so much more. Worry not, i’m not saying you should go vegetarian (calm down carnivores), i’m simply advocating that you add these to your list of must haves when you do your grocery shopping. If you are already vegetarian, grains and legumes are great way to break away from the normal carbs.

Here are six grains and legumes i always have in my pantry;

  1. Bulgur Wheat
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Bulgur Wheat

What Is It? – A cracked wheat made from mostly durum wheat. It is high in fiber and thus good for the digestive system. Regular intake of bulgur wheat can help protect you against diseases like obesity and high blood pressure.

How to Cook It? – Bulgur wheat is used in a lot of North African cuisines. Tabbouleh salad is a favourite of mine (Find the recipe here), it also works well in soups and stews.

2. Pearl Barley

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Pearl Barley

What Is It? – Barley is part of the grass family and is a cereal grain. It is rich in Vitamin B and anti oxidants. It is also very low in fat and calories.

How to Cook It? – Barley works well in stews and soups. Barley risotto is something worth trying in substituting normal risotto rice for pearl barley. A favourite recipe of mine is Barley and Beef Stew.

3. Dehulled Millet 

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Millet

What Is It? – Millet is also part of the grass family. It is a cereal grain. It looks a lot like cous cous because there is cous cous made from cracked millet. It’s benefits include being high magnesium which is good for healthy bones. In terms of nutritional value, millet is low on this list.

How To Cook It? – Substitute millet for cous cous or add it your favourite salad for great texture.

4. Brown Lentils 

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Brown Lentils

What Is It? – Brown Lentils are quite popular. They are legumes, part of the pea and bean family. They are rich in protein, fibre and vitamins. Lentils have zero cholesterol.

How To Cook It? – Lentils are very versatile, they are great in chilies and curries. One of my favourite recipes is Spinach & Tomato Lentils and Bean and Lentil Falafel.

5. Split Red Lentils 

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Split Red Lentils

What is It? – Lentils come in different varieties and split red lentils are one of them. Just like brown lentils they are extremely nutritious.

How To Cook It? – Red Lentils cook faster than brown lentils, they become soft and mushy when cooked so they go great in curries and soups. Add red lentils to your chicken or lamb curry or make a lentil and sweet potato curry with them.

6. Beans 

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Red Kidney Beans

What Is It? – Beans like lentils are very popular and known and consumed in a lot of households. They are a great source of protein and fibre.

How To Cook It? – Beans are also very versatile in that they can be added to soups and stews, mashed and fried as falafels or made into a dip. Beans also work great in salads like a mango,bean and corn salsa. Another of my favourite recipes for beans is a  Bean & Lentil Chili 

I hope this has helped anyone reading this 🙂

Love,

V

 

Malawi – My Food Journey

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Those who know me personally know that not having grown up in Malawi is something that I’ve found to be bittersweet. I was exposed to amazing opportunities growing up in Botswana and South Africa but I still carry around a guilt when I think about it. It feels like I ran away from the hardships of my country while most of my family members had to live that reality daily.  So even when I visit, I often fail to enjoy the experience because I’ll be riddled and focused on this guilt. Thankfully, I’m slowly learning to let go of this and not blame myself for the fortunate circumstances I’ve found myself in.

I recently went back home for about four weeks and call It maturity, unlearning or this new path of forgiveness I’m on, but for the first time I was able to appreciate the outstanding beauty my country had to offer. I was home, surrounded by family and reconnecting and it felt amazing.

I’ve recently found myself very interested in learning more about African food and cuisine and transforming how it is viewed in terms of fine dining. While I was home I made it a point to immerse myself in the food culture and here are some of the few things I picked up on;

Fresh Produce – You wont get anything more organic than this. In Malawi, processed food is expensive, that and the culture of eating fresh produce has meant that Vegetable markets can thrive.  Markets like The Lizulu Market in Lilongwe exist throughout the country selling fresh produce daily. You can find anything from the fruits in seasons (Lots of Mangoes) to different varieties of Legumes to fresh tea leaves to a wide range of potatoes and herbs. This was a heaven for me.

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Beans & Peas

Commodities like Hibiscus or Bwemba (known as Tamarind) are so easily accessible in Malawi as they grow freely. These are often considered luxuries in places like Johannesburg and are mostly found at specialty shops. I stocked up on the Hibiscus leaves and have been enjoying them as an ice daily since.

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Hibiscus Leaves

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Bwemba ( Tamarind)

 

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Carrots, Green Peppers, Eggplant & Green Beans

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Stands selling variety of fruit

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Potatoes

Fish-Lake Malawi is one of Malawi’s greatest treasures. Not only is it beautiful wonder but it also inhabits over five hundred different species of fish.

We visited the lake for one weekend and I was amazed to see how the fishermen cycled across the beach and by residential areas selling their catch of their day. Fish so fresh you’d be doing it a disservice by adding anything more than salt and pepper. I ate fish at every chance I got prepared in all the ways you can think of.

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Fresh Catfish

 Eating Out – A lot of western fast food outlets have recently started popping up in Malawi but while I was there I had no interest in these as usual. I tagged along with my sister in law a lot and she asked to take me to Area 13 – vendors come together selling local food. The area is mostly filled with people on their lunch breaks coming to fetch a hot plate of food. The variety of food included different types of fish or chicken prepared in different ways. Beef shin is also a local favourite accompanied by vegetables and staples; rice and nsima.

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Bombe Fish

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Bombe Fish

When you move into the more urban parts of Lilongwe you’ll find places like The Four Seasons. A little hidden gem of fine dining and overpriced handcrafted and hand made clothes, jewelry and accessories.  I sat at The Garden Shop for lunch and as much as the scenery was beautiful, I found the food terribly overpriced but this is also because I’m very big on economizing with food. It was a beautiful experience none the less.

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Four Seasons – Lilongwe

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The Garden Shop – Four Seasons, Lilongwe

Sustainability – People grow their own food in their own backyards and for those who are lucky, keep their own livestock like chickens, goats and pigs. It’s something I’ve always loved about Malawi but have not been able to do in a place like Johannesburg because you’re even lucky to find an apartment with a backyard. People would rather buy a live chicken and slaughter it themselves than buy frozen chicken from a supermarket.

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I hope that I get to explore Malawi more and the rest of Africa unpacking food culture and flavour.

Love,

V

Africa On A Plate

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I was recently invited to a BET Africa event for the launch of their new show “Africa On A Plate” Africa on a plate is a cooking and lifestyle show that focuses on African cuisine and food culture. “The point of this show is to bring Africa to your living room for those who’ll never get a chance to travel this beautiful continent. I got tired of seeing everyone else tell our food story as Africans” – Chef Lentswe Bhengu.

Chef Bhengu and his co host Zama Mamela travel around Africa experiencing cusine from different countries. They go from exploring the street food culture of Nigeria to discovering and unpacking the robust spices and flavours of Zanzibar and back to Indulging at a  Chesa Nyama in South Africa.

The launch of the event included a cooking challenge. Individuals from the food and media industry would attempt replicating two of Chef Bhengu’s dishes that showcased African flavours and ingredients in teams of two.

The first dish was what is known as Moi Moi. A Nigerian pudding made from pureed black eyed beans and steamed with spinach leaves. This was accompanied by a South African favourite, spicy chakalaka.

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Moi Moi & Chakalaka

The second dish was a pan fried beef steak, plantain puree and mushroom sauce. Translating African ingredients into fine dining. Now, I like my plantains fried (and only fried) but I found the choice to make them into a puree very interesting. The consistency left a lot to be desired but that could have been from bad preparation on my behalf. I’ll definitely be experimenting with this further in future.

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Steak & Plantain Puree

Dessert was a crowd favourite, Malva Pudding & Amarula Crème Anglaise. There’s not much that can be said about Malava Pudding, it’s always a winner.

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Malva Pudding

 

In the midst of meeting new people, free drinks and food, the session also proved very inspiring for me. I found myself wanting to dig deeper on how to translate African flavours into my cooking and more so into what is considered fine dining. This is something I’ve been putting a lot of thought of into lately and this experience further pushed me into the right direction.

In addition to that, Chef Bhengu’s story hits a little close to home. He left a career in finance to pursue Culinary School and his advice to me when I asked how he felt he was ready to take the leap;

“You’ll never feel ready or prepared. In this moment right now, ask yourself if you’re happy with your life, whether its your job or your partner. If the answer is no, make plans to change it”

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Chef Lentswe Bhengu

Don’t forget to catch back to back episodes of Africa on a Plate every Saturday on BET (DStv Channel 129) at 17:15 CAT and 17:40 CAT.

Love,

V

“You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”

I’ve neglected this blog, life got busy and inspiration was nowhere to be found but I’m here now 🙂  Soooo, beginning of this week I had a very big opportunity; basically an audition to cater for an event. I hadn’t received an opportunity this big yet so obviously my nerves were through the roof. While trying to conjure up clever responses to questions like “Are you fully licensed and registered?” and ” do you cater for special diets” I completely neglected the most important part of the audition, the food.

So here’s something that becomes obvious once you get to know me, when I cook in any other state but when I am at peace, happy or feeling confident; you will eat crap! I can’t seem to find the exact reason for this but I think because I pour my heart and soul into my cooking, whatever energy I am radiating at that moment becomes what you eat. Cooking is a spiritual thing for me, that’s how and why its so instinctual.

I was told to show up with tasters, little samples for a brunch theme, and so I did. So here’s where things went south, I was riddled with anxiety, self doubt and fear. What was the result, well it was pretty obvious, I cooked crap. The food lacked flavour balance and It was too late to correct the mess I had made. So I left home and went to the meeting having already resigned to having lost this job before I could even showcase my talent. *Wipes lone tear* I arrived at the venue and it was a beautiful boutique hotel, I was led to the kitchen where I was allowed to prepare and set up. I was told I’d present my food in 30 minutes and I thought that’s great, it’s enough time. The meeting ran long and I waited for over an hour. I LOST MY MIND! I was pacing, over thinking and the food was getting cold. Someone send help…please. Eventually they called me in, I presented the food and myself. I gave a brief explanation as to what it is I do and left, very upset. I haven’t heard the verdict of the interview yet but I know for a fact that I wouldn’t hire myself off that food.

What’s the moral of the story? You’re only doing yourself a disservice by  playing into your fears. My fears are valid, trying to establish s catering business off nothing but passion is scary and that fear can be crippling  but I am learning to let them go slowly because as they only hold me back from realising my full potential. I tend to question how dare I have the gull to think I deserve to take up so much space? To be so proud and self assured? How dare I believe I am every bit as great as fantasize to be while in recluse? I’m still learning how to silence these questions, but here’s my favourite quote at the moment;

“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion” – Rumi

Love,

V

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking With V

When I started this blog, I did it purely out of love. Love for food; love for cooking; love for how food brings people together. I am not a chef, nor do I have any formal training. This is a machine running purely on passion, love and dedication (When I can muster it).

With that said, I think that people complicate cooking great food unnecessarily. I think that great food isn’t often found at restaurants but at dinner tables. Those meals cooked with very little and filled with so much love, passion and shared with the masses. If I can teach one person at every encounter how easy cooking can be then I’d be steadfast on fulfilling my destiny.

Great cooking, in my opinion has a few corner points; Understanding flavours, trusting your instincts, preparation and making the best of what you have. I may not be an expert but I do know quite a bit about the above mentioned. Long story short, I have started a series of hands-on cooking classes for everyday cooks. People looking to build their confidence in their cooking abilities, people looking to learn how to be more economical when it comes to food and those purely looking to learn new recipes.

The launch of Cooking With V has been exciting but also nerve wrecking. You often have to ask yourself if you’re creating a service that’s needed by people and if so, why should they trust your expertise in delivering this service. Your thought process goes from  “Who the hell do you think you are Vanessa?” and  “Who would come to a cooking class hosted by you anyway?” to “No matter what happens, you’re going to be fine…..IF YOU DON’T MAKE A FINANCIAL LOSS”

Even within all this fear, you have to push through and hope for the best. I trust that this series of classes will prove to be very informative for people whilst showing them how easy, quick and economical cooking great food can be. This is after all my ethos in cooking.

If you are in Johannesburg, South Africa, find out more information on Cooking With V  by visiting  the Vanilla Scented Kisses Facebook page.

Come meet new people, cook great food, sip a little and of course; eat!

I hope to see you there 🙂

Love,

V