Monthly Archives: November 2014

Monday Lifelines

From “Løst in Tränšlatioπ” (Misadventures in English Abroad) by Charlie Croker.
And all of these relate to “Room for improvement”.

Paris, France
Please leave your values at the front desk.

Zurich, Switzerland
We have nice bath and are very good in bed.

Seoul, Korea
Choose twin bed or marriage size; we regret no King Kong size.

Rome, Italy
Please dial 7 to retrieve your auto from the garbage.


Christmas is approaching fast and this week’s recipe has got that festive taste.
I found this recipe for CHOCOLATE, FIG & GINGER PANFORTE on Woolworth’s website and I have added a couple of things to it.
To make it work, have everything ready before you start and follow the recipe’s instructions in the right order.


1 ½ cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spices
zest of 1 orange
1 cup blanched almonds
1 cup pistachios
200g dried figs
60g glace ginger
1 cup honey
1 cup caster sugar
100g dark melts chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 160ºC. Grease and line a 23cm round cake tin.
  2. Roast the almonds. Chop coarsely the dried figs and the ginger.
  3. In a big bowl (avoid using a plastic one), sift the flour, cocoa powder and spices. Add the zest of the orange,  almonds, pistachios, dried figs and glacé ginger. Mix all together.
  4. Combine the honey and the sugar in a  saucepan and bring to the boil gently then simmer for 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir through the chocolate until melted then remove from heat. Pour into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until well combined. At this stage you have to work fast because the mixture will stiffen quickly.
  5. Press the mixture into the pan. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
  6. Cool in the pan before turning out and slicing.
  7. Eat!

Be careful when you cook the honey and sugar: at the boiling stage, the mixture will rise in the saucepan, keep an eye on it. Also, this is a very hot mixture, so when you add it to the dried ingredients, use a cloth to hold the bowl because it will be a bit warm.
I didn’t have enough pistachios, so I used 1/2 cup of pistachios and 1/2 cup of hazelnuts.
I don’t like honey and for me that taste was a bit too strong, so next time I will use 1/2 cup of honey and 1/2 cup of golden syrup.
You can also changed the spice mix (maybe add a bit of cardamom) and you could also add some lemon rind. And you can use any dried fruits you like.
The more you cook your panforte, the harder it will get. I cooked mine for about 40 minutes and it has a bit of chewiness to it.
This should last for a long time, kept in a plastic container away from the light.

Tuesday Lifelines

En Français aujourd’hui.
Tiré d’un livre de Jean-Marie Gourio, “Les nouvelles brèves de comptoir Tome 1”.

Le saut à l’élastique…une tonne de moutarde sur une saucisse tu pleures pareil.

Ducasse, y doit pas faire beaucoup la cuisine, parce qu’avec des lunettes, même égoutter les pâtes t’y vois plus rien!

C’est Soquette ou c’est Socrate qui parlait avec Plafond?

Quand tu vois Jésus et Bouddha, c’est pas la même alimentation…


Found this recipe in Taste Magazine (June 2014).
A South African Malay curry called MAVROU.
Really easy to make, it will serve 4 hungry people or 6 petits appétits.


4 cardamom pods, bruised
3 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp allspice
1 cinnamon stick
1.2kg gravy beef, fat trimmed, cut into 4cm pieces
4cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ½ tbs grapeseed oil
1 brown onion, coarsely chopped
375ml (1 ½ cups) chicken stock
250ml (1 cup) crushed tomatoes
125ml (1/2 cup) water


    1. Combine cardamom, paprika, coriander, cayenne pepper, turmeric, cumin, allspice and cinnamon in a glass bowl. Add beef, ginger and garlic and stir to combine. Cover. Place in fridge for 1 hour to marinate.
    2. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion for 5 minutes or until light golden. Stir in the beef for 5 minutes or until browned. Add the stock, tomato and water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low.
    3. Cook, partially covered, stirring often for 1 hour 50 minutes, or until beef is almost tender. Uncover and simmer for 10 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Sprinkle mavrou with baby herbs and serve with a saffron rice.
    4. Eat!

I made a few changes to the recipe.
Firstly, I marinated the meat overnight (only because I didn’t have the time to cook it the same day I marinated the meat. Won’t make a big difference).
Secondly, I cooked the dish in the oven. So I followed the recipe until the end of step 2 but used a big ovenproof casserole dish. Then I cooked the mavrou for about 3 hours at 150°C with the lid on until the meat was very tender. I also added capsicums alongside the other ingredients. And I used a whole tin of tomatoes (400g).
You could add potatoes, sweet potatoes or other veges to the dish. And it needs salt.
Can go in the freezer.