last year i took some new photos at The Table to use on their website. i love the casual flowers that are always such a sweet feature on their tables (all thanks to Jess’ husband…
you will no doubt remember my old friend Jessica from various posts on the blog, as well as her and husband Luke’s wonderful restaurant Nook in Stellenbosch. after some busy…
when i asked Jessica if she’d like to contribute a food related guest post I didn’t give her any direction because I knew that anything she made would be amazingly…
a bit of history: jessica and her twin sister debra and i have been friends since we were in grade 2 (around 7 years old). jessica and luke own & run nook eatery, the restaurant in stellenbosch i am constantly prattling on about. go eat there!
- Growing my own vegetable/herb garden (this is part of Jessica’s garden, by the way)
- Double denim – I want to be her!
- Gucci Eau de Parfum II – thanks Diana for introducing me to this fragrance 7 years ago.
- Rompers – My mom made one for me when I was 8 years old, and I lived in it every chance I had. It was yellow with blue straps that tied on the shoulders. I am searching for one for summer, and this denim one worn by Alessandra Ambrosio in NYC is near perfect!
- Spring flowers – it is this time of year that I buy more flowers than I know what to do with. Ranunculi (otherwise known as Persian Buttercups) are my favourite.
- Jean Gillon Leather Rosewood Sofa circa 1960s – I saw this couch at Pier Rabe Bosman’s Crossing showroom, and it was love at first touch and sight. At R22,000.00 it’s a fantasy rather than reality, but I can dream.
- Lemon Meringue Pie – I made some for Nook this week and was lucky enough to share a piece with Luke on Tuesday afternoon after work in the Botanical Gardens.
- Boston Terriers by Rubenacker – discovered through a random search on etsy. This print and others in his collection made me smile inside and out.
- Style contrast – Fascinated with this pic from The Sartorialist
- Quilts – perfect for picnics, and I am determined to make one this year!
- A bar cart – I don’t know if I would strictly use this for alcohol, but something about owning one is just so appealing.
- Retro food – I love the series Mad Men, especially when they mention classic dishes such as Iceberg Wedge salad with Blue Cheese, Oysters, Crab and Avocado, and Fillet Mignon. I find myself cursing the TV when they fail to actually show the food as it arrives in front of them! In Episode 1 of Season 4, Don Draper is going on a date to a restaurant and Roger Sterling says, “Have the chicken Kiev. Butter squirts everywhere.” Oh … wow …
hahaha, really laughed at the retro food. i’m also totally fascinated & grossed out by it!
wow, so jessica and i finally had the chance to try another little recipe for our food series. this time something sweet – homemade nutella. the pics alone will show you how ridiculously easy this is to make, at a fraction of the price of real nutella … and it’s actually tastier (in my opinion)
you’ll need a bar of your preferred chocolate – obviously the better the chocolate the nicer your nutella is going to be. the slab of beacon served us well, but i can imagine that using lindt would be delectable…
150 grams hazelnuts:
1/2 cup of icing sugar:
1/4 cup of cocoa powder:
a couple of teaspoons of vegetable oil:
that’s all you need! now, roast the hazelnuts in a hot oven. jessica used her pizza oven, but just use a conventional oven, i’d say 180°c / 350°f – and keep an eye on it. when they start browning, take them out.
mmm perfectly roasted hazelnuts…
in the meantime, melt your chocolate using a double boiler or simply a bowl on top of a pot of boiling water – on low heat. the chocolate has to melt slowly to prevent becoming lumpy or grainy.
mmm perfectly melting chocolate…
while the chocolate is melting pop your hazelnuts into a food processor (note: a food processor, not a blender)
grind away until the nuts become a bit buttery but still chunky:
add all the dry ingredients and the completely melted chocolate:
if your food processor is broken, just jimmy it with a knife….
please also notice the incredibly ironic red dot design award sticker on this faulty piece of machinery
so, you’ll want to blend away until the mix is as smooth as possible – this will probably take around 15 minutes. add in a teaspoon or two of the vegetable oil while it’s going…. you won’t get it as smooth as real nutella unless you have an industrial blender.
when you’re satisfied with the smoothness let the mixture set for about an hour (put it in the fridge if you like)
… and serve with a freshly baked croissant or just eat it on it’s own …
for the first installment of our food series, jess wanted to try a buttermilk fried chicken recipe that didn’t smack of KFC. this isn’t the usual fare at nook, which is probably one of the reasons it was so appealing to make, plus it was a perfect sunny saturday and we had cold beers in the fridge. what goes best with cold beers? fried chicken. you’ll need:
the brine is in order to prep the chicken. bring all the ingredients to the boil and then let it cool down. soak the chicken overnight (12 hours) and then rinse the pieces under water, otherwise the meat will be too salty. basically the brine just makes the chicken super tender (and boy does it turn out tender…)
now prep your coating – mix all the dry ingredients together (flour, spice, paprika) and divide into two bowls.
pour the buttermilk into another bowl.
from here it’s super simple, dip the chicken into flour bowl 1, then buttermilk, then flour bowl 2…
place the battered pieces on a tray lined with baking paper, thusly:
heat your oil so long, to 160 C / 320 F
when the oil is ready place your first piece of chicken in (sizzle sizzle)
turn the pieces every now and then
you can put a few pieces in at a time, enough to sit comfortably in the pot. frying time is 10-12 minutes…
mmm perfectly crispy fried chicken
let them chill on a cooling tray for a few minutes
garnish with your favourite herbs – jess quick fried some fresh marjoram
nom nom nom!
serve with locally brewed beer, crisp white wine & a simple green salad
ps: this was much much better than KFC, obviously.
just a wee pictorial teaser before i kick off the new food series jessica and i are doing (she cooks, i take photos and we eat). this isn’t a real how…
oh YAY Jessica & Luke’s restaurant Nook has been featured in the December issue of House & Leisure! so excited & proud of them, if you guys haven’t visited yet…