Sunday, 6 October 2013

Easy White Bread (Machine Recipe)

This white bread recipe is super easy and never flops. It makes one loaf in your bread machine and it always comes out fluffy and light with a beautiful crust.

Easy White Bread
Makes 1 loaf


  • 1 cup lukewarm water (about 45C)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 satchel dry active yeast
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 cups flour (white bread or all purpose)
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Pour the water into the pan and add the sugar.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and allow to foam for 10 minutes.
  3. Add butter, oil, flour and salt.
  4. Set the bread machine to the "Basic White" option, medium loaf size and select the crust you would like. Mine is usually set to "Medium Crust."
  5. Start the machine and go take a nap for about 3 hours (on my machine, at least!)
  6. Wake up, turn the loaf out when just slightly cooled and cut yourself a thick slice of crusty bread. Spread with butter and enjoy with a cup of coffee.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Easy Sticky Pork Spare Ribs

These sticky  spare ribs are a hit with young and old and very easy to make.

In the world of food blogging, Nina Timm of My Easy Cooking needs no introduction. Her blog has won numerous awards over the years and she has done so much to introduce South African food bloggers and food personalities to a wider audience. Tomorrow morning, just after 9, Nina and I will chat about these easy sticky ribs on RSG. Tune in between 100 - 104 FM or listen online here. Read about me and other delicious things on Nina's blog.

Photo courtesy of Nina Timm

In Taiwan we would usually use a very dark brown sugar for the sweet component but, like I have done here, you can also substitute it with honey. I roasted these ribs in the oven but you can also do them on the braai (barbecue). Just be careful with the heat - the sugar content will brown the meat quickly, while the meat might not be properly cooked yet. Easy does it!

Photo courtesy of Nina Timm

Sticky Sweet-and-Sour Pork Spare Ribs
Serves 4


  • 1 kg pork spare ribs, cut into riblettes 
  • 75 ml light soy sauce
  • 75 ml honey
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Photo courtesy of Nina Timm

  1. Place the ribs on a roasting tin and season well with salt and pepper. In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce and the honey and pour over the ribs. Turn the ribs and spoon over the marinade until well coated. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat your oven to 190C. Roast the spare ribs for 40 minutes. Check for done-ness of the ribs. If it is still too under cooked for your liking, add another 5 to 10 minutes of roasting time. Now increase the temperature to 220C and roast for a further 10 minutes, or until the marinade becomes thick, sticky and glossy.
  3. Lightly sprinkle the ribs with sesame seeds (optional). Serve with salads and lots of paper napkins!
Note: As with any recipe, feel free to adapt this one to your taste. The marinade also can also be tweaked by adding a small grating of fresh ginger or even some chopped chili, if you like a bit of heat.

Photo courtesy of Nina Timm

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Making butter - Children's Activity for Thanksgiving

Having been born in South Africa, we do not celebrate Thanksgiving and I knew very little about it until I moved to Taiwan. Here bilingual schools, such as the one I teach at usually mark international festivals with an activity or two. This year we went all out with turkeys and everything that goes with it. But  this post is not about turkeys. It is about making butter.

Alan thinks his teacher has lost his marbles but shakes anyway.

Basically, all you need to make your own butter is some cream, a jar and some muscle power. Shake the jar vigorously and after about 5 to 10 minutes you have butter! You could, of course, just use an electric beater to achieve the results even faster, but what would be the fun in that? The point of the whole exercise was to teach students how people got along before electricity and supermarkets and iPhones. 

Billy in Grade 2 is a very enthusiastic "shaker".

Home-made Salted Butter


  • A glass jar (350 ml size worked best for us)
  • regular unsweetened whipping cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Muscle power (Involve your children, you'll be surprised how much they will enjoy this)
"Hey teacher, something is happening here!" said Alan.

  1. Clean the jar thoroughly. Pour in the cream until the jar is about 2/3 full. Screw the cap on tightly.
  2. Shake the jar vigorously.
  3. Pass the jar to the next person and...shake vigorously. First you will notice that the cream is getting thicker. After about 5 to 10 minutes of shaking, a lump of butter will start to form in the jar.
  4. Pour the "water" off and place the lump of butter in a glass bowl. Add salt to taste and work it into the butter with a plastic or rubber spatula. Pour off any extra liquid that is released. 
  5. Spread the light, fluffy butter on a cracker and allow your muscle power to taste the fruit of their labour. The rest can be stored in the fringe of freezer for later use, preferably on a delicious oven baked potato.
And there it is! All the shaking DONE!
A leaf from the "Thanksgiving Tree".