Somehow lockdown has made us feel like it’s necessary to go back to basics and bake some home-made bread! Now not everyone finds joy in mixing and kneading dough - so we have provided a quick, healthy whole wheat loaf recipe that requires very little effort.
The real name of this bread is the Doris Grant loaf. Doris was a baker during the World War II and she devised this recipe to make an easy, healthy loaf of bread which everyone could make. This recipe was distributed to every household with the instructions that this would enable them to make good use of the rations they were given.
As we are stuck in our homes during lockdown, this recipe feels very apt. It’s an economical bread to make and nothing lifts the spirits like the smell of fresh bread baking.
Look through your 'rations' at home and if you find any seeds, nuts or raisins, they make a great addition to this loaf.
520g Nutty wheat flour
15ml Sunflower oil
15 ml salt
8g instant dry yeast
15ml brown sugar
600ml lukewarm water
We would love to know what you think - leave a comment below!
Photo: The Sector
As we sit at home, the world finds itself in the most unusual of circumstances, and many of us are fearful and uncertain of what future times may bring, both for ourselves as professionals, and for our children.
As these feelings run through many of us, we need to all take a step back and look what these times are offering us. A quote that came at the right time, that has given us a bit of thought, a bit of hope and a bit of clarity - “When fisherman can’t go to sea, they mend their nets.”
This quote reiterates that there’s always something we can be doing, even when it’s not what we may expect to be doing. Many of us can apply this to ourselves and our own circumstances. We all know that there are days where we fish and there are days where there’s no point even putting the boat in the water. However, on the days when we can’t fish, it doesn’t mean that progress cannot be made. This is the time to focus on mending your net for a bit. The idea of ‘mending the net’ means using these downtimes and interruptions to bolster the “tools of the trade”.
We all have different nets that need mending. We cannot give up during mending time. When things are not going well, we cannot afford to throw our nets away.
We all have our up and down days, days where we have all the energy to get everything done and days where we don’t have the energy to get out of bed. Much like Cape Town goes through all 4 seasons in one day, we, now more than ever, can go through many emotions and energy levels in one day. It is important to understand that this is normal, and this is okay.
As we have mentioned in one of our previous blogs (http://www.peakacademy.co.za/blog/smile-and-wave-boys-smile-and-wave) Covid-19 is giving us the gift of time. Time to mend our nets, time to take care of ourselves and time to learn something new.
Pay attention to yourself. Consider using this time to really examine what you do and how you do it. Could there be a better way? It has often been said that “Time is not the enemy of practice. Practice is.”
As hard as it is now, we will soon go back to our favourite spots and we will discover new ones.
So, let’s all mend our nets to make sure that when we start up again, we have not just made the best of the situation, but the most of the situation. It isn’t called a silver lining for nothing.
Have you been to the shops, tried to get hot cross buns, but couldn’t find any? Probably, and the reason for that could either be because it is Easter weekend, or people added them to their cart when they panic bought everything. However, Easter weekend is just not the same without hot cross buns, so we have provided a recipe for them - delicious, sticky and delightful.
We all love hot cross buns, but do we actually know what they signify? Different parts of the bun have different meanings. The cross on top represents the crucifixion of Jesus and the spices used signify the spices used to embalm him.
Hot cross buns, even though they are sold throughout the year to enjoy, were once only sold to enjoy on this very day (Good Friday) and throughout the weekend to indicate its significance. However, back then in many countries hot cross buns were actually banned until this special weekend. Due to this and the fact that hot cross buns are too good to only have once a year, people started baking them at home; so let's join in.
5 ml salt
10ml mixed spice
45ml butter or sunflower oil
50 ml sugar
15ml dried yeast
190ml tepid water
190ml fruitcake mixture or raisins
100ml cake flour
5ml sunflower oil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of baking powder
Quite significant buns, aren't these? We would love to see your creations! Tag us in your photos of your hot cross buns.
Lock Down Day 12 : Are you surviving the lock down?
I don't know about you and your "lockdown" family, but I have noticed today after 12 days the novality of being couped up is wearing off. In our house we are still trying to keep "what once was" afloat and trying to keep ourselves busy. Lucky for me I have been quite busy with school stuff so I haven't really had time to sit and watch the clock tick by, but today... today I see we need to start checking in with our own tempers( you can't say that you can't relate).
I think its time to do some slight adjustments if we are to survive the next half of this "lockdown". In the past 12 days we have built a 1000 piece puzzle ( well to be honest it ended up being a 999 piece puzzle), I have joined the facebook crowd making a random silly mind numbing video clips, figured out how to use technology a little better and have found a new appreciation for my Home Executive (Domestic worker). Now that school has started again and virtual lessons are going on as if we have been doing it for years. I have a feeling parents might start pulling out their hair as they now embark on supervising their kid's learning. If we had a teenager in this house during this time it would be bitter sweet. The sweet part would be that I would not have to pick up after the dogs, but the Bitter part would be that I am sure we would realise just how much the teachers have to put up with.
.... moving on swiftly .....
Here are some ideas (if you haven't already implemented them) for you to consider as a teacher- parent as we enter the second half of this "lockdown" period.
I am no guru on how to get through the "lockdown", but these ideas are just some points that came to mind while trying very hard to hide from piling emails and whatsapps, the dishwasher and family members who need me to go to the shops. I am confident that you will survive it and be able to tell the story one day. I better stop procrastinating and go and empty that dishwasher now.
The world is going mad and the weather is getting colder, two perfect reasons to stay in bed and hide under the covers. However, we aren’t quite ready yet to say goodbye to the warm, summer weather. So, we have the perfect recipe for all these feels – date ice cream.
Everybody loves ice cream, but why exactly? Well, firstly, ice cream is a good treat during every season. In the summer, ice cream cools you off, and in the winter, ice cream is best accompanied by a fresh slice of hot pie. Secondly, ice cream makes sadness go away - we think we could all do with a tub of ice cream round about now. We did some research and found that it has been scientifically proven that ice cream heals the heart and eases tough times. It sure does help lighten up ones mood.
We found a few fun facts about ice cream that we bet you didn’t know:
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
120g Pitted Medjool Dates
1. Combine the milk, cream, brown sugar in a small saucepan. Heat the milk mixture over medium high heat until scalding hot.
2. While the milk heats up, whisk together the yolks, salt and vanilla in a small bowl.
3. Once the milk mixture is scalding hot, pour a little bit into the bowl with the egg yolks and whisk to combine. This is done so that the eggs won't curdle and so that it is tempered properly.
4. Then add the egg yolks into the milk mixture.
5. Return the entire mixture to the saucepan and heat over medium low heat, stirring constantly. Cook the custard until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spatula or wooden spoon. Do not allow it to come to a boil. Remove from the heat and strain into a bowl.
6. Chop up the dates finely and add it to your custard. Cover the bowl and chill until very cold, at least 4-5 hours.
7. Freeze according to the directions for your ice cream machine. (If you don't have an ice cream machine you are able to put in an air tight container and freeze until firm. )
(Ice cream machine) - When the ice cream is ready, scoop it into a container and smooth to an even layer. cover tightly and freeze until firm.
We would love to see your date ice cream creations, so post a picture of them and tag us!
“Go socialize but stay away from the clubs!”
“You need to exercise, but you can’t run alone.”
“We aren’t interested in what you write in your journal, but what aren’t you telling us?”
Do these sound familiar? Yes, they probably do for most us and reading it makes one understand a little bit more as to why teenagers find parents confusing.
Parents can be confusing on the best of days, but now, they have taken things to a whole new level. Just a few weeks ago, everything was normal. Life was easy and life was uncomplicated. Mom was always shouting for us to get off our phones and to go outside, because that’s how they grew up. Skipping in the streets and throwing stones, but mom, life is different now. We are a new generation.
Well, as we are going through a lot right now in the world, let’s look at it this way - what is a teenager supposed to think when their parents have always told them to get off their phones and go socialize with real people? But now, told to stay away from real people and to get back on their phones? Which is the right option, and which is the wrong? Argument can be made and boiled down to which is more toxic, social media or COVID-19?
Yes, that’s a tricky one and no we do not have the right answer, but no one does. If you are a teenager reading this, we understand, we have all been there and have all looked at our parents and thought “okay well, what planet are you actually from because it is definitely not earth?” What we can tell you is that your parents are just as confused as you are, but they are trying their best. Especially being in a world where social media is toxic but COVID-19 is deadly, so give them some time.
In uncertain times like these, we need to understand that there is a silver lining, even if you can’t see it right now. It is not easy to be a parent or a teenager, but an easy decision that both can make is today, tomorrow and for however long COVID-19 may be around, stay at home, be on your phone, but don’t skip in the house and throw stones like your parents used to.
Value this time together, socialize with your teenagers, and teenagers socialize with your parents. Bring out the board games, monopoly if you are brave enough, and take our advice: enjoy every second, every moment and every bit of time spent together.
To the teenagers, you now have time to understand your parents, and you will soon realize they aren’t actually that bad.
A quote that most of us have heard, some of us have laughed at, and all of us should be using now. A quote by the penguins from Madagascar – ‘just smile and wave boys, smile and wave.’
A lot of us are sitting at home panicking and thinking “now what? Where do we go from here?” Well, at Peak Academy, we have a few suggestions that we can all use to start off with.
Number one: DO NOT PANIC. Panic leads to mass hysteria and panic buying. For example, purchasing 20 packs of toilet rolls. Is this necessary? Hm, we are on the fence about that one.
Number two: as many millennials say ‘eat, sleep, rave, repeat’ we are saying ‘wash, rinse, sanitize, repeat.’ A cycle not only a few of us must follow, but all of us.
Number three: remember to NOT elbow shake, you cough and sneeze into your elbow. We know our president said we must, but that way we are still spreading the virus.
Number four: SPREAD LOVE, NOT THE VIRUS.
Number five: instead of high fiving, do the five:
During this hard and confusing time, we all need to remember to take care of ourselves. We should all take breaks from reading, listening to and watching the news around COVID-19. In times of feeling stressed, we need to take care of our bodies. We need to take deep breathes, eat as healthy as we can, get plenty of sleep and exercise.
As most of us have been told to work from home or to take time off, let’s spend this time wisely and take time to unwind.
Could COVID-19 be giving us a gift? The gift of time? Well, to be optimistic, yes. The gift of time to read that book, to spend time with your children and your ageing parents, and the time to slow down and self-reflect.
So, in light of this, let's take this time to do something great for ourselves.
SPINACH, FETA AND PEPPADEW CANNELLONI IN TOMATO WINE SAUCE
What a great way to start off the week by participating in Meatless Mondays. You probably already know that the trend with food and diets suggest that meat free products are in general, a lot healthier. But did you know that even one day a week of cutting out meat products leads to tremendous health and other benefits? The first being reducing your carbon footprint. Studies show that meat production is a large producer of greenhouse gases. By participating in Meatless Mondays, you automatically play a part in reducing these gases and decreasing the harmful effects of global warming. The second benefit is that you will save money. Meat is more expensive than plant-based proteins. The third, and a very important benefit, is that as an individual you will be saving animals. When participating in Meatless Mondays, you save 28 land animals and 175 water animals on average per year.
Now that we have gone through only a few benefits out of the many, we can look at our tasty dish.
1 packet cannelloni tubes
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
2-3 rounds of feta cheese
300g of spinach finely chopped
8-10 peppadews finely chopped
50ml chopped parsley
50ml macadamia or cashew nuts chopped
1 beaten egg
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
250ml white wine
Handful of basil
Salt, pepper, sugar
Let us know what you think, and tag us in your pictures of this dish.
It’s the month of love and our Sous Chef Sergio says he can’t think of a better treat for your Valentine than a luscious slice of cheesecake
Many of us have been disappointed after trying recipes that look amazing in pictures, only to find they are not quite as smooth, silky or delicious as we were led to believe Well, look no further. Our Chef Sergio has put together a recipe for a decadent no bake chocolate cheesecake.
We know why people love cheesecake, it’s a mixture of the creaminess, the texture and the richness, but we aren’t so sure how many people know the history of it. Without boring you, here’s a brief run down on how cheesecake has travelled the globe. Let’s go to the beginning, to ancient Greece when cheesecake was thought to be a good source of energy and was also served to athletes during the first Olympic games in 776 B.C. Lucky runners!
Back then it wasn’t quite the same as the cheesecake we all know and love today. It was made up of flour, wheat, honey and cheese. Only years later was cream cheese added by the Americans. Crazy, right? We can’t really imagine the look and taste of that, but we are very happy someone made the concoction as it has evolved in to the pure deliciousness we know today!
Without further ado, let’s get into it.
NO BAKE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE
Milk chocolate -140g
Tips for good cheesecake:
We are sure you will agree with us that there are some delicious plates of food coming out of our kitchen! Our chefs put their creative ideas together to come up with new and exciting dishes all the time. A lot of thought and planning goes into our menu to ensure that it is tasty and varied to suit different palates!
Once a month our chefs would like to share some of their own favorite recipes, hints and tips with you so that you can enjoy their dishes at home.
Our head chef Virgil is sharing his lasagna recipe with us today. While at times, we might get a bit “cheffy” with our ideas and recipes we couldn’t think of a better way to start than with a family favorite that many people enjoy but often don’t get quite right when making it
We can’t deny that homemade lasagne is one of the best comfort foods we can indulge in. Family and friends often gather around the table for occasions to enjoy a delightful plate of it. The layers of pasta, creamy white sauce and rich mince have people drooling at the thought of it.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of this mouth-watering dish
here are a couple of fun facts about lasagne, that I bet you didn’t know:
The 29th July is National Lasagne Day! Did you know you can make lasagne in a dish washer.? Crazy, right? All you do is put the ingredients together in a dish, tightly cover it with tinfoil, and then use the heated dry and sanitize cycle to cook your lasagne. Do we know this works for sure? Of course not, but you can try it out and see what happens.
So, let’s get on with it and straight to the ingredients:
For the cooked beef mix:
- 2 medium white onions (finely chopped)
- 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
- 50g fresh basil
- 2 chopped tinned tomatoes
- 1kg beef mince
- 2 beef stock cubes
- 3 tbsp dried oregano
- 3 tbsp dried sweet basil
- 30 ml of soy sauce
- 15ml of lemon juice
- 30 ml of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 sheets of lasagne
- 500-600 ml of milk-
- 80g of butter
- 80g of flour
- 100g of cheddar cheese (grated)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Another 150 - 200g Grated cheddar cheese to put on the top when finishing off lasagne
1. Heat up a large pan to medium heat and put in the olive oil, fry the onions to golden brown.
2. Next add the garlic and fry for about 30- 45 seconds, then add the mince and all the spices.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes, stock cubes, soy sauce ,lemon juice and freshly chopped basil. Simmer until all the ingredients are well combined.
4. Heat up a medium sized pot , melt the butter. Add flour and stir until the butter and flour are well combined. Pour in milk and cheese , stirring constantly as it thickens .
5. The white sauce needs to be thick but still be a bit runny.
6. Layer the white sauce, mince and then lasagne sheets.
Once you've used all the ingredients add the extra cheddar cheese on top.
7. Cook in the oven for about 30- 40 minutes at 175- 180 °C
Chefs tip . When making the mince mix, make sure to simmer for a while to reduce it, that will produce a good sauce with banging flavour.
Try this recipe at home and give us some feedback by posting and tagging Peak Connect Café in a picture of your dish.