The Courtyard


1. The Courtyard – Clarence


This place is an absolute gem. They are a bakery as well as a restaurant and you can see from the first that they love their food, they treat it well and the results are fantastic!

They have a fantastic menu where I can guarantee you that they only meal you won’t like, is something you are physically allergic to. They bake all their croissants, breads etc. themselves, and they do it properly. Real sourdough bread, fantastic rich, buttery croissants and of course stunning cakes, pies, quiches, rolls, cookies, rusks and tarts!

They are also consistent. They have consistently great food, and fantastic service. You can of course buy a lot of the breads etc. and take them home as well. So it is like going shopping for artisan breads, pates, cakes, tarts and spreads while having a fantastic breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Their prices are also reasonable, and you leave with the feeling of being looked after like a treasured old friend. They also run a guesthouse which is as great as the restaurant. Everything is beautiful and you are visually as pleased as you are gastronomically.

The Courtyard is high on my list of greatness, and gets a 10/10 for everything. Food, décor, service, the works.




I am absolutely in love with this Stroganoff recipe. We must have had this at least 10 times in the last month. We have had it so many times actually, I am sure we are half Russian by now.

This one uses pork fillet instead of the traditional beef, but you are welcome to use beef, it stays the same and tastes fantastic either way.

This will take you as long as it takes the rice to cook.    20-30 min. And it is a lot healthier than the original version.  The plain yogurt just gives it that hint of sour deliciousness.

This recipe will easily serve 4 people.


500g pork fillet – cut into thin strips

2 punnets brown mushrooms – sliced roughly

2 heaped tablespoons paprika

½ teaspoon dried garlic

Lots of butter

5 heaped tablespoons of plain yogurt

250ml cream

Salt and pepper to taste

A good glug of brandy


  1. Sprinkle all the paprika on your pork strips and rub it in well
  2. Fry the mushrooms and the garlic in the butter until they are well fried and reduced by about 70% – set aside
  3. In the same pan, without adding oil/butter, fry your pork strips that you have covered in the paprika, until done
  4. Add your mushrooms back, and fry until it is all the same temperature again, and add your salt and pepper
  5. Add your brandy and set it alight! (I love this part). Let it burn out by itself
  6. Add your yogurt and cream, stir well, and let it simmer until the sauce is as thick as you want it

Voila! Done.

Flambéed Mixed Mushroom Pasta


Mushroom Pasta

This pasta dish started with the gift of a bottle of brandy. We aren’t really drinkers, so I started wondering what other uses I can have for the brandy. After reading up about the original recipe of Stroganoff, I decided that I would play around with it a bit and come up with a healthier, vegetarian version.

The first time I flambéed the mushrooms, I almost lost my fringe! But the taste that came out was worth the fright! I also made it on my birthday for lunch when my parents, brother and sister came over. While I was making the dish I could hear everybody laughing and talking behind me (we are a loud family), once I added the brandy and set it alight, all was suddenly very quiet behind me. After a couple of seconds my mom joked:

“Ok Jouré, we won’t be naughty any more…”

So here is it. The dish for those that behave themselves 😉


Smoked salt – the clumpy ones

½ teaspoon whole coriander

½ teaspoon whole mustard seeds

1 clove fresh garlic – crushed



4 heaped tablespoons of plain yogurt

125ml cream

50-75 ml of Brandy

1 punnet of small brown mushrooms – roughly chopped

1 punnet of mixed wild/exotic mushrooms (Enoki, Oyster, Porcini, etc) – roughly chopped


  1. Dry fry your mustard seeds, coriander and salt for about 1 minute on high heat. Take out of the pan and put it aside
  2. Fry your mushrooms and garlic on high heat in the butter. You will see how much they need. Mushrooms usually need quite a bit to make them extra creamy
  3. Add you fried spices and pepper
  4. Add the brandy and light it up! It will burn for as long as there is alcohol in it. Let it burn out by itself
  5. Add the yogurt and cream and let it simmer – it will thicken by itself. It isn’t a very thick sauce but that is what makes it so great. It will cover your pasta and there will be sauce left that you can scoop up with some delicious home made bread

Olive Oil Cake


Olive oil Cake


I have wanted to bake the perfect Olive Oil cake for years, and I believe I have at last. This cake is moist, fresh and tastes absolutely fantastic!

I sprinkled it with icing sugar, it is so pretty when you do that, but if like icing as much as my other half, you can make some with a little bit of lemon juice instead of water. To keep the balance of sweet and sour.

This cake is perfect for tea, and also as we have discovered, for breakfast…



Finely grated zest of one large lemon
250ml of extra virgin Olive Oil, warmed (NOT HOT!)
5 large eggs, separated
250ml of caster sugar
5ml vanilla essence
750ml of cake flour
10ml baking powder
250ml full cream milk


  1. Add the lemon rind to the warmed olive oil and let it infuse it
  2. In a large bowl, beat the yolks and caster sugar together until it is light in colour
  3. Add the vanilla essence and the cooled olive oil with the zest
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder together and mix it into the egg mixture. Don’t get a fright if you think it looks wrong. It does look “crumbly”
  5. Add the milk, and mix well. You will notice that it is a very thick dough. That is ok!
  6. In a separate bowl, whish the egg whites until stiff, and then fold them into the mixture. Folding is important to keep the air in! Otherwise the cake will be too dense.
  7. Spray a 23cm cake tin with baking spray, and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 40 min. after 40 min turn the heat down to 160 degrees Celsius and bake for another 10-15 min. until a knife comes out clean.

If your cake cracks at the top, don’t worry about it. That makes it look as if it came out of your grandmother’s kitchen.

Now you can either sprinkle it with icing sugar once it is completely cooled on the wire rack, or put on some lemony icing.

This is a delicious cake! You won’t regret making it.

Chicken Liver Paté


Chicken liver pate


This is one of those recipes that always tastes better after a day or two, but it never lasts that long in my fridge. I based this on one of Jamie Oliver’s recipes.
I hope you enjoy it! ♥

500g butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pureed
500g chicken livers, cleaned thoroughly!
1 small bunch of fresh thyme. Don’t chop them, they will be easier to remove later
1 glass of brandy (approximately 175ml)
some fresh sage leaves
salt and pepper
olive oil for frying

1. Clarify about 150g of the butter, throw the white, milky stuff away
2. Fry the garlic and onion in some olive oil until the onion is transparent and set aside
3. In the same pan, add some olive oil and fry the chicken livers and thyme
4. Once the chicken are done to your preference, I like mine a little bit pink inside still, add the brandy
5. Let it simmer until about 1/4 of the brandy evaporated
6. Remove the thyme , and put everything else in a food processor. Don’t forget the onion and garlic!
7. Process it until it is a puree
8. Add the rest of the butter and blend till smooth
9. Add salt and pepper to taste
10. Sieve the puree.
11. Scoop it into your bowl, place some sage leaves on top, and scoop your (hot) clarified butter over it.

It takes about an hour to set. This is a little bit of work, but oh, so worth it! ♥

Avocado Dip


Avocado dip


I make this dip so regularly I can do it my sleep! It is very quick and very easy. I make this for chips, nachos, veggies and even to use as spread on a toast! It is really healthy and very, very delish! ♥


1 large ripe avocado
1 tub of low fat cottage cheese
15 ml lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste

1. Peel the avocado and remove the pip
2. Add all the ingredients, besides the spices, in a blender and wazz it up
3. Scoop it out into a bowl, and stir in your spices.

Viola! Done! How easy is that? ♥

Mussel Paté


mussel pate


This is also fantastic as a spread! It takes about 5 minutes to make. It’s incredibly easy, quick and tasty! Perfect for those moments when you want a dip, spread or paté now. Bon Appetit!

500g cooked, smoked mussels – drained
1 small chopped onion
1 minced garlic clove
200ml cream cheese

1. Blitz it all in a processor.

Done! 🙂