It’s a childhood favourite. It’s my husband’s favourite too. Macaroni is easy to make and you can hide a few vegetables in there too for the kids. For this recipe, I’m trying out a new range of pastas from Nature’s Farms. Have you seen this new range with the pretty packaging at your Pick ‘n Pay store yet? Nature’s Farms from GWK Farm Foods, is unique in that it is totally owned by its producers and is sourced straight from local farms to the mill. Their promise is quality, consistency and origin on the farm.
To put them to the test, Nature’s Farms challenged me to cook or bake with their products to develop a proudly South African dish with a twist. This is when I came up with the Macaroni Cake with a Peppadew© and Tomato Sauce. Peppadews© are uniquely South African, macaroni is a family favourite and the cake is the twist. Well, it’s not a cake which we are usually familiar with, but I wanted to make it fun and special for the kids. You can just imagine the faces when you place this savoury dish on the table, it’s bound to get some giggles. Make it with one layer or two, get the kids to sprinkle on the toppings, and add in extra ingredients to your liking including tuna, corn, mushrooms and extra tomatoes.
- 1 packet Nature’s Farms Macaroni
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp Nature’s Farms Cake Wheat Flour
- 100g cheddar cheese, grated
- 500ml milk
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 can of tomatoes
- 3-4 Peppadews©, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp Worcester Sauce
- Handful mini tomatoes
- 1 red, yellow and green pepper, finely diced
- Parmesan or Edam cheese, shaved slices
Heat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line 2 cake tins with baking paper.
Cook the macaroni as per packet instructions.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Keep stirring as you slowly pour in the milk. Add the grated cheddar, and stir until it melts and forms a thick white sauce.
Combine the cooked macaroni and sauce. Divide the cooked pasta between the 2 cake tins, pressing down with a spoon to evenly spread the mixture. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until cooked.
To make the sauce, fry the garlic for 2 minutes in a saucepan. Add the can of tomatoes, Peppadews© and Worcester Sauce. Cook over a low heat for 20 minutes or until thickened.
Strain the sauce through a sieve or blend smooth.
To remove the baked macaroni, place a plate over the tin and tip over to catch the layer. Remove the baking paper.
Spoon over the Tomato and Peppadew© sauce onto the bottom macaroni layer. Slowly slide the top layer of macaroni off the plate onto the bottom layer. You want the sauce to drip out over the sides to look like a jam or icing filling.
Top the cake with shavings of Parmesan (or Edam cheese), sprinkles of diced peppers, and tomatoes.
Serve with extra sauce (if desired) and enjoy.
For more information of the Nature’s Farms range of products, please visit the GWK website, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. To find more great recipes using Nature’s Farms product, follow the #NaturesFarmsChallenge on social media.
This is a sponsored post.
Looking for a quick and easy dinner which your husband will love, your kids will eat and is even tastier served with a glass of red wine? This simple pasta dish requires only 4 ingredients, and since the Mediterranean Delicacies Cream Cheese Tricolore is so flavourful, I don’t even have to add seasoning. The great taste comes from the saltiness of the chorizo, with the combination of basil pesto, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts and cream cheese in the Tricolore. For extra flavour, drizzle a glug of olive oil and parmesan style cheese on top. You can make this dish in the same time as it takes to boil pasta, and you can substitute the chorizo and mushrooms, as long as you add the Tricolore as this is where the flavour and sauce comes from. If the kids prefer plain pasta (like mine), set aside some chorizo, mushrooms and pasta, before adding the Tricolore. Try it, and let me know if you really can make a delicious family meal with 4 ingredients.
- 1 packet pasta, cooked as desired
- chorizo sausage, sliced
- punnet brown mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tub Mediterranean Delicacies Cream CheeseTricolore
- Mediterranean Delicacies Grated Parmesan Style Cheese (optional)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (optional)
Cook the pasta as per packet instructions.
Fry the mushrooms and chorizo in a pan. Once cooked, stir in the Tricolore and heat through. Combine the cooked pasta and sauce, and serve. Sprinkle parmesan style cheese as an optional extra.
The South African breakfast favourite, Jungle Oats, has been helping families start the day right for over 95 years old. Over the years, as people’s lifestyles became more and more fast paced with less time to sit down for breakfast, Jungle products evolved to keep providing what consumers needed. Jungle now produces ready-to-eat products like Jungle Oatso Easy, Jungle Energy Crunch Muesli and Jungle Crunchalots for kids. For faster-paced lifestyles, Jungle Oats Instant offers the same health benefits as the original Jungle Oats, with added convenience and taste variety. Plus there’s Jungle Oatso Easy Cups for the convenient solution when you need energy on the go. And for the more sportier lifestyles, Jungle Ultra range of Instant Oat based cereals is the right balance of nutritive benefits and versatile convenience as it can be prepared as a shake or eaten as a cereal.
Oats are nature’s perfect energy-source:
- Jungle Oats are full of fibre. Fibre is essential for heart and colon health: it assists to lower cholesterol, stabilises blood sugar and prevents constipation (if combined as part of balanced diet, low in salt and fat)
- Jungle Oats contain important minerals, like iron and zinc and other essentials for good health.
- Oats make an easy-to-prepare, balanced meal that provides sustained energy for the day. They also keep you feeling fuller for longer, and so less likely to snack.
Jungle Oats’ values the importance of breakfast as essential for sustained energy for mental and physical readiness. No matter who you are, you have the ability to become a champion with the right preparation! Their commitment to helping South African children reach their full potential has seen them feed over 30 million school children over the past five years. Together with the Tiger Brands Foundation, the campaign “Nourishing young growing minds” means they will continue to provide the most essential meals, breakfast as well as lunch. . You can learn more about it at www.tigerbrandsfoundation.com.
Oats are not just for breakfast, and are a healthy ingredient for a number of savoury and sweet dishes. Whether flapjacks, rusks or brownies take your fancy, the Jungle Oats website has a resource of recipes to help you live a #biglife.
It’s Friday and that means Bakerman day at the kids new school. Just 2 weeks in to school, it was Paige’s turn to be Bakerman and I had no idea what to make. The next week was Ethan’s turn – well it was supposed to be – but being the newbie that I was, I didn’t read his homework book properly and didn’t get the message. So the week after that, was Ethan’s turn again – oops! If you are wondering what Bakerman is, ever week a child is responsible for bringing to school and selling a treat to their classmates for fundraising. After a Google and Pinterest search, and not finding many ideas, I decided to stick with making easy and traditional SA treats. So if you are like me and wondering what to make for Bakerman, here are my suggestions and simple ideas for packaging.
Top of my list of SA favourites are crunchies, marie biscuit chocolate squares, and good old simple biscuits. I phoned my mom for the crunchie recipe and like she used to do for us, drizzled icing sugar mixed with a little hot water over the crunchies once cooled. Mix some cocoa with the icing sugar for a chocolate version and better yet, drizzle both white and chocolate icing in layers. I’ll share all the recipes in links below. The marie biscuits are so easy to make and super yummy too. I used a packet mix for my biscuits (nothing wrong with making it quicker and easier) and added some coconut for taste, with a smartie pushed in the middle for decoration.
If work has gotten crazy or you forgot it was your turn for Bakerman (hey it happens!) and you have 15 minutes to make something, packets of popcorn or a small bag of sweeties will also do. The kids will love whatever you make, and other ideas are small cupcakes, muffins, fudge, gingerbread men or brownies.
Since our Bakerman treats are usually sent home with the kids, I packaged the bakes separately for takeaway. You can get creative with some easy ideas like clear sandwich bags tied closed with a colourful ribbon, white or brown packets (bought mine at Plic) stuck down with colourful stickers or heart shapes, or a CD envelope for giant biscuits (nice for older kids).
Do’s and Don’t:
- Do get your kids involved in the baking if they can help.
- Do make the treats age appropriate.
- Don’t make it a competition with other parents.
- Don’t use nuts. Even if there are no known allergy sufferers in the class, rather avoid.
- Don’t use toothpicks and kebab sticks.
Please share any of your Bakerman and school baking suggestions with me, I’m always looking for new ideas.
Paige is now at a fun age to be baking and cooking together in the kitchen. She gets all excited to put on her apron I made and fetches her step stool so she can reach the countertop. I do like having a little helper, though she is less help and more mess, but she’s 3 so I’ve got to have patience with her. Her favourite is cracking eggs and stirring, and I’ve yet to teach her to do the washing up. I am hoping that cooking will encourage her to eat more variety, but for now she’s still being stubborn with her food choices. It will take time and I’ve enjoyed following Yuppiechef’s Cooking with Kids email series for ideas on what to bake and cook. Signup is free and once a week for 7 weeks, I received an email with recipes, advice and articles. How great is that! You can also subscribe for free here.
You may have already seen these brightly coloured Ella’s Kitchen food pouches on the shelves and wondered what they are about. They may be more expensive than some other brands but there is a reason for that – they are 100% organic with nothing else added. Their philosophy is that weaning should be a fun experience, not a scary one, for parents and little ones. Their range is from 4 months, and includes smoothies, fruits and veg, and protein dishes from 7 months up. The kids loved the smoothies we were sent to try, and Ethan now enjoys the independence of slurping his up straight from the pouch. The veg was also a hit, though the lamb with more texture will take a few tastes to get used to. The pouch will stay fresh for 24 hours in the fridge, but if your child is still learning to eat, you could squeeze them into ice-cube trays and freeze so there isn’t any waste.
- Certified 100% organic
- No added refined sugar or salt, no additives or thickeners, no E numbers or GM, no water and nothing artificial
- Labelling gives clear guidance for nutritional needs at every stage of baby’s development
- Picky eaters will enjoy the tastes and smells
- Ideal for meals on the go
the COOK BOOK (the Red one)
Lately I haven’t been enjoying my cooking, mostly because it’s disheartening preparing meals only for your 3 year old to point her finger down her throat and pretend to gag (true story). I used to cook so much for Paige, and now that Ethan has said goodbye to purees and hello to finger foods, I’m determined to start enjoying the kitchen again. Ella’s Kitchen the Cook Book is just what I need right now as the 100 yummy recipes will introduce him to even more tastes and textures. This recipe book is not just written for mom and encourages older children to learn to cook too with fun instructions, plenty of pictures and easy to read instructions. There are tips for parents to get the kids involved and what your kids should be eating (whether they want to is another story!) They have really geared this book to little ones and have included little extras like stickers to decorate the pages and stick hearts and stars on their yummiest recipes.
- 100 recipes, food guides and activities in the kitchen
- Recipes include yummy lunches & speedy snacks, dee-licious dinners, perfect puds, scrummy treats and weekend foods.
- Full colour with plenty of photographs and easy to follow instructions
- Servings, prep and cooking times
The Ella’s Kitchen range is available at larger stores including Baby City, Baby Boom, Toys R Us, Pick ‘n Pay, Spar and Clicks. BabyGroup and Takealot sell the range online.
I don’t usually post recipes but lately deciding on what to cook for dinner, let alone getting to the shops to buy the ingredients or make it, has become a chore for me. With a new baby in the house and a fussy toddler, I’m not loving food right now. That is why my mom’s recipe is a must have and is cheap, quick and easy to make. You can add a variety of fillings and I usually make a spinach and feta quiche, but this time I also added bacon and mushroom which I had in the fridge. Asparagus (tinned or fresh) is another nice filling choice.
This quiche is an easy family dinner or a lunch meal for when friends and family come round. Serve with a salad and you can also make ahead, freeze and defrost when needed. My mom bought me this Pyrex dish from Pick ‘n Pay as I didn’t have one – she’s a star!
- 1 large cup or mug of self raising flour (depending on dish size)
- Third cup of sunflower oil and milk added to make it to half
- Pinch salt
- If mixture is too dry or soft just add a bit extra of flour or oil
- Mix pastry ingredients together to form a soft ball
- Press the pastry into a greased dish with your fingers
- Pour in the filling
- Sprinkle some grated cheese and cayenne pepper on top (optional)
- Bake in oven at 180°C for approx. 20 to 30 mins