hot cross bun pudding

Hot Cross Bun Pudding | The Secret Life of Bee

Hold onto your hats, cos this one is a goodie. In fact this dish of deliciousness is so good it’ll make you wish it was Easter all year round! Easter brings with it many a public holiday and many an opportunity for lavish brunching, lunching and general munching. This hot cross bun pudding is pretty much perfect for any and every occasion.

Hot Cross Bun Pudding | The Secret Life of Bee

I do love a hot cross bun all year round. Toasted crisp and then slathered with some farm butter. Bliss. This hot cross bun pudding brings you all of those delicious spicy flavours but in the most comforting way. The vanilla and orange scented custard is rich and creamy and the tops of the buns get a wonderful crispy crust while their bottoms soak up all the custard and become gloriously pudding like.

Hot Cross Bun Pudding | The Secret Life of Bee

I do not recommend making this while alone at home. It is dangerous. The husband nearly got home to an empty baking dish and a self loathing wife. But fortunately I somehow pulled it together and managed to share this with him and a neighbour who stuck their head in through the kitchen window.

Hot Cross Bun Pudding | The Secret Life of Bee

Hot Cross Bun Pudding

serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 6 hot cross buns
  • 250ml cream
  • 250ml full cream milk
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 60g sugar
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 Tbsp Grand Marnier *optional
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Softened butter for spreading
  • Maple syrup

Method:

Preheat oven to 170 ̊C. Grease an ovenproof baking dish with softened butter.

Slice hot cross buns in half and butter the insides. Place the bottom half of the buns in the baking dish.

Whisk the cream, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, orange zest, Grand Marnier and salt together. Pour half of the mixture over the buns.

Top with the other half of the bun and finish with the remaining mixture. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until the custard is set and the buns are golden brown.

Remove from the oven and brush the tops of the buns with maple syrup while still warm. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream and a glass of bubbles.

Hot Cross Bun Pudding | The Secret Life of Bee

 

*Disclaimer: Delicious bubbles provided by the wonderful folks from Krone.

egg-in-a-hole grilled cheese sandwich with Tabasco butter

bacon & egg grilled cheese | The Secret Life of Bee

This is not your average breakfast sandwich. This egg-in-a-hole grilled cheese is the ultimate crunchy, buttery, eggy, spicy, cheesy indulgence. Oh and there’s bacon so yeah… Bring it on.

bacon & egg grilled cheese | The Secret Life of Bee

The husband is always on Reddit and therefore constantly providing me with titbits of the latest news, a lot of useless information, funny cat pictures and cool food snaps. One of the food pics inspired him to demand a grilled cheese with an egg in the bread. You never have to ask me twice to put an egg on something but now an egg IN something seems way more exciting!

bacon & egg grilled cheese | The Secret Life of Bee

I’m fairly egg mad and so why not just double egg it and have yolks for days. Also seeing as we’re taking some bread out of the equation technically we can say this is low carb right? That’s how it works… i’m sure of it. (These jeans also definitely shrunk in the wash.)

bacon & egg grilled cheese | The Secret Life of Bee

The Tabasco spiked butter is a revelation. The yolks are very rich and the vinegar and chilli peppers cut through that richness adding a depth of flavour and some great heat. Go as wild as you like with the Tabasco. I even chucked some on top and sadly some in my eye. Preferably don’t do that. But do make this sandwich. It’s just all kinds of delicious.

egg-in-a-hole grilled cheese sandwich with Tabasco butter

makes 1 sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 2 thick slices of sourdough bread
  • 50g butter, softened
  • Original Red Tabasco
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-4 rashers of bacon, cooked to your level of crispiness
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • sea salt & black pepper

Method:

Preheat oven on the maximum grill setting.

Mix a few good shakes of Tabasco into the softened butter. Cut holes out of each slice of bread using a cookie cutter or a small glass.  Spread each slice with a generous amount of Tabasco butter on both sides.

Using a large non-stick frying pan fry the bread until golden brown. Crack one egg into each hole and cook for about a minute until the egg white is slightly set underneath and you can gently turn the slices over with a fish slice or similar wide flat egg lifter. Cook for another minute or so (you really want to keep the yolks runny for maximum yumness) season the eggs and then top one slice with the grated cheese.

Place the cheesy slice under the hot grill to melt the cheese. Remove and top with bacon and the other slice of eggy bread.

Eat every last bite and pair with a cold beer or bubbles because you deserve it and it’s always five o’clock somewhere.

bacon & egg grilled cheese | The Secret Life of Bee

bacon & egg grilled cheese | The Secret Life of Bee

Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by the awesome folks at Tabasco SA 

WIN R10 000 if you head over to the Tabasco Facebook page.

Like their page and SHARE my eggy blog post. Every share is a vote for me and a chance for you to win the cash! And of course i’ll be eternally grateful and Fedex you some food 🙂

chili con carne stuffed sweet potatoes

chili con carne stuffed sweet potatoes | The Secret Life of Bee

I’ve been Casper the invisible blogger lately but alas sometimes real work has to happen to pay the very real bills! I’ve also been a rather useless wife serving the husband some fairly boring dinners lately so it was time to make up for it. Enter chili con carne stuffed sweet potatoes. Yes please.

chili con carne stuffed sweet potatoes | The Secret Life of Bee

These pockets of joy are truly one of the yummiest and most satisfying meals i’ve ever had. The rich and spicy chili con carne pairs so well with the sweet, smooth flesh of these orange sweet potatoes. You can of course use the white ones as well- I just find them a tad more starchy so tend to use them for creamy bakes or cottage pie like toppings. Either way they are a delicious little nest for the meaty goodness that is a patiently made pot of chili.

chili con carne stuffed sweet potatoes | The Secret Life of Bee

When making the chili and any dish using mince all I can say is never ever crowd the pan. Use a really large pot and brown your mince in batches. If you put too much in at the same time the meat sweats and boils and goes grey. No bueno. As for the rest of the dish you can really make it your own. Go as heavy or light on the spices and of course the chilli powder as your heart desires. I used rather large heaped teaspoons of all the spices! This recipe makes a really fragrant, spicy dish that gets even better the next day. I had some left overs with a fried egg on top for breakfast and it was sublime!

Chili con carne stuffed sweet potatoes

serves 8

Ingredients

  • 8 sweet potatoes, washed and dried
  • 2 red onions, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed into a paste
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large sticks of celery, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dried origanum
  • 1 kg best quality mince
  • 2 x 400g tin Italian chopped/crushed tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • olive oil

To serve: sour cream, tomato & onion salsa, fresh coriander

Method:

Heat oven to 180˚C. Rub sweet potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil. Prick with a fork or small knife, season with a little salt and roast until soft for 40 minutes depending on their size.

In a very large pot brown the mince in batches and remove from the pot. Add a fresh glug of olive oil and sauté the onions, carrots, celery, red pepper and garlic. Add the spices and cook until the veg had softened slightly, got some colour and the spices are fragrant.

Add the two tins of chopped tomatoes. Rinse the residual tomato out of each tin with a splash of water and pour into the pot. Bring to the boil and allow the tomatoes to reduce until thick.

Add the mince and kidney beans, season well and simmer for about 1 hour.

To serve- slice the sweet potatoes down the centre and stuff with a generous spoonful of the chili mix. I topped ours with sour cream, tomato & onion salsa, fresh coriander and even a dollop of guacamole.

Enjoy!

chili con carne stuffed sweet potatoes | The Secret Life of Bee

To be perfectly honest I didn’t even wait for the husband to come home from work before I started tucking in.

chili con carne stuffed sweet potatoes | The Secret Life of Bee

peri-peri fish tacos with pineapple salsa

peri-peri fish tacos | The Secret Life of Bee

Fish tacos are darn delicious. Layers of flavour and texture all neatly packed into a little edible parcel. Fried or grilled these babies are a crowd pleaser and so versatile you can go wild with flavour combos, sauces and spices. I decided to pan fry the fish for these tacos keeping things on the healthier side and also my kitchen on the cleaner side! Once cooked I finished the fish off with a generous whack of peri-peri sauce and fresh lime juice. Yum.

peri-peri fish tacos | The Secret Life of Bee

The peri-peri sauce in question was made by the girls from ShortChefSkinnyChef. Claire Allen and Siphokazi Mdlankomo make up this duo and clearly both of them like a touch of spice in their lives. This flavour packed sauce is pure homemade deliciousness free of preservatives so if you make this recipe use the very best peri-peri sauce you can get your hands on or make your own!

peri-peri fish tacos | The Secret Life of Bee

Select your fish wisely. Make sure you buy fish or any seafood off the green SASSI list. They have an app and even a nifty sms number you can text the name of the fish to and you’ll get a reply letting you know if the fish is green for go, orange for not ideal or red for hell no. Stick with green choices and maybe our grandkids will have some fish on their table someday. I went with Cape Yellowtail. It has beautiful large flakes when cooked which makes it ideal for tacos and absorbing lots of sauce. With all the heat from the peri-peri sauce I balanced it with some sweetness from the pineapple salsa which includes some kiwi fruit for added zing! The crunch from all the fresh fruit and veggies, the creamy avocado and drizzle of sour cream make these tacos a real textural delight.

Peri-Peri fish tacos with pineapple salsa

serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 500g yellowtail or similar fish, filleted & cleaned
  • olive oil
  • peri-peri sauce
  • fresh limes
  • 1/4 red cabbage
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 pineapple, diced
  • 1 kiwi fruit, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • fresh coriander
  • sour cream
  • sea salt & black pepper
  • 6-8 soft tortillas

Method:

Slice the fish into small fillets and pan fry in olive oil. Season well. Once the fish is cooked, turn the heat off and add the peri-peri sauce to taste and the juice of half a lime. When cool enough flake the fish, toss well and leave in the sauce.

Finely slice the red cabbage and the avocado.

Combine the diced red onion, pineapple, kiwi fruit and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper and the juice of 1 lime. Add coriander leaves and toss.

Heat a dry pan and colour tortillas on both sides until warm and golden brown. (I love this easy recipe but store bought is just fine too)

Assemble the tacos. Start with some slices of avocado and red cabbage. Top with peri-peri fish, the pineapple salsa, fresh coriander and a drizzle of sour cream. Enjoy!

peri-peri fish tacos | The Secret Life of Bee

peri-peri fish tacos | The Secret Life of Bee

Catch Claire Allen, The Foodie in Love, at The Good Food & Wine Show this coming weekend (27-29 May) for a live chefs theatre performance as well as the skinny half of the ShortChefSkinnyChef duo performing in their own live theatre cooking up a storm.

~Disclaimer ~ I was invited to be a media partner for Claire Allen & the ShortChefSkinnyChef duo.

 

 

 

 

Tabasco deviled eggs

Deviled eggs | The Secret Life of Bee

Get your retro dinner party on and devil some eggs! Deviled eggs remind me of my grandmother’s dinner parties. Just add some fish mousse (moulded like a fish of course) complete with cucumber scales and you’ve really nailed the evening. Just don’t forget the sliced olive for the eye- that was my best. There’s something so nostalgic and fun about deviled eggs. They look merry and always remind me of festivities.

Deviled eggs | The Secret Life of Bee

So this old fave is a crowd pleaser for any occasion. They’re easy to make, easy to eat and you can really go wild with the fillings. Deviled eggs lend themselves well to helping you empty out those almost finished jars of mustard, pickles, chutney and horseradish in the fridge. You can go fancy with caviar and prawns/shrimp or keep it simple with good old fashioned tomato sauce, mustard and mayonnaise. You can also boil your eggs ahead of time, make your fillings in advance and assemble everything just before your guests arrive. What a great host you are!

Tabasco deviled eggs

makes 18- 6 halves of each flavour

Ingredients:

9 eggs- hard boiled

Avo & bacon:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • a few generous glugs green Tabasco
  • 3 crispy bacon rashers
  • paprika

Mexican salsa:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 small red chilli, diced
  • 1 small green chilli, diced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato, diced
  • fresh coriander leaves
  • corn, cooked
  • chipotle Tabasco
  • salt
  • pepper

Prawn cocktail:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • red Tabasco
  • black pepper
  • 6 cooked prawns/shrimp
  • chives, chopped

Method:

Slice hard boiled eggs in half and remove the yolks.

For the avo & bacon: Place all ingredients except the bacon in a container and blend smooth using a stick blender. Adjust seasoning and add enough Tabasco for a good kick! Dice the crispy bacon. Pipe your avo filling into the egg whites, top with bacon and a sprinkle of paprika.

For the mexican salsa: Use a fork to squash the egg yolks. Add the lime juice, chillies, tomato, coriander, chipotle Tabasco and season well. Finally toss in the cooked corn and scoop the filling into the egg whites.

For the prawn cocktail: Place all ingredients except the prawns into a container and blend smooth using a stick blender. Spoon the filling into the egg whites and top with a prawn and a sprinkle of chives.

Serve your deviled eggs on a bed of lettuce with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Deviled eggs | The Secret Life of Bee

Deviled eggs | The Secret Life of Bee

*Disclaimer ~ this post has been sponsored by the awesome folks at Tabasco SA