Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pietro Ferrero, Heir to Nutella Fortune, Dies in South Africa

Pietro Ferrero, chief executive officer of the Ferrero group, died in South Africa during a cycling session, apparently of a heart attack (he was 47).

Ferrero was founded in Alba, Italy, in 1946 when Pietro’s grandparents transformed a small coffee bar and pastry shop into a sweets factory. With cocoa expensive as Italy rebuilt from war, the company experimented with locally abundant nuts as a substitute ingredient, according to its Web site. Using a cocoa- hazelnut base, Ferrero developed Nutella, now the best-selling sweet spread in the world.
Chairman Michele Ferrero, Pietro’s father, took over the running of the business and increased the family’s fortune to $18 billion, earning him the 31st ranking on Forbes’s list of the world’s billionaires for 2011, the top position for any Italian. {source}
Ferrero makes (amongst others) Nutella Chocolate Spread, Ferrero Rocher, Tic Tacs and the Kinder range of products.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Broccoli Soup

We know the idea of Broccoli Soup doesn’t exactly sound appealing, but this soup is utterly delicious! Served with Gruyere Cheese, it’s the perfect winter warmer. (Recipe from Australian Woman’s Weekly)

30g Butter
2 Medium Onions, chopped
500g Broccoli, chopped
4 Cups Water
1 Chicken Stock cube
1/3 cup Cream
½ cup Gruyere, grated
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

How to make it
Melt butter in a large saucepan and add onions.
Cook on medium heat until onions are soft, about 2 minutes.
Add Broccoli, Water and stock. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Blend or liquidise mixture in batches until smooth.
Once everything is liquidised to a consistency that you like, return to the pan and add cream. Reheat without boiling.
Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Garnish with grated Gruyere, Croutons and a dusting of Paprika.

  • You can make this soup up to 2 days ahead of serving, and it can be frozen for 2 months.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chillies for all Seasons

We have a beautiful crop of Birds Eye Chillies (we grew them from seeds J) that are bright red, plump and ready to be used. But unless we host a chilli themed dinner party for 50 we won’t be able to use all the fresh fruits… So we’ve decide to Sun Dry them. This works really well to preserve the punchy flavour and allows you to use your home grown chillies all year round!

Our chilies basking in the Autumn sun. 

Some other ways to preserve chillies:
-          Freezing (use them straight from the freezer)
-          Pickling
-          Flavoured Olive Oil (Drop a few chillies and spices of your choice into a bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil  and allow to infuse)
-          Or harvest the seeds and grow another crop next season!

With winter around the corner, there is nothing better than a spicy meal to warm you up!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Food Lover's Market just opened on Rivonia

We are delighted that a Food Lover’s Market has opened around the corner from us! I went on a little shopping spree this morning and was suitably impressed...

Food Lover’s Markets are gourmet versions of Fruit and Veg City (where the quality of produce is often questionable…) Offerings include Fresh Fish, Sushi, Butchery, Bakery, Cheese Deli, Grill Bar and a wide range of fruit & veg. You can even pause for a cup of coffee or a snack on their outside deck. They have also incorporated a small grocery section where you can pick up emergency products like Washing Powder if you don’t feel like making another stop.

This may just become our new shopping destination of choice!

The new Food Lover’s Market is located at the Wedge Shopping Centre on Rivonia Road.

Cheese Deli – yum!

Butchery (with a fabulous Biltong section!)

Freshly baked Bread

Pomegranates, Prickly Pears, Quinces and Kiwi Fruit

Really neat and organized displays

Fresh Fish Counter – check that giant Tuna!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mmm… Moroccan!

I’m lucky enough to be marrying into a family that also enjoys going to new restaurants and experiencing exotic food. My soon-to-be sister in law invited us to celebrate her husband’s birthday at the Royal Elephant Hotel in Eldoraigne (close to Centurion) – and what a treat it was!

Conference centers and many hotels often have terrible reputations when it comes to the flavour and the creativity of their food, but the Zagora Grill Room at the Royal Elephant offers a range of Moroccan dishes that are truly inspired!


The dining room is warmly decorated with plush furniture, dark woods, stained glass and rich colours. Our waiter was delightfull and kept rumbling tummies at bay with breads served with a delicious spiced Dukkah – perfect with a glass of red wine. The menu does offer items that are more suitable for the less adventurous, but we opted to share three different Tagine* main dishes: Lamb with dates and coriander, Duck in an orange blossom syrup & Seafood in a spiced cream sauce. Sublime! All three pots had very distinctive flavour profiles that complemented the respective meats, but if I had to pick a favourite it would be the Seafood Tagine. I still dream about mopping that sauce up with a piece of freshly baked bread…yum!

A bit far from Johannesburg, but well worth a visit. Thanks Carina & Francois! J

*A Tagine is a cooking vessel and also the name of the dish. The pot consists of a heavy base and a removable lid in the shape of a chimney. A Tagine is all about slow cooking, and as moisture evaporates from the food, the walls of the ‘chimney’ helps the steam to cool and condense, dripping back into the ingredients, keeping them moist.

PS Something to add to my ‘List of things I want for the kitchen’ 
is this Cherry Red Le Creuset Tagine – o so pretty!