Saturday, 9 January 2016


First version from:


800 ml water
1.5 kg sugar
2.5 teaspoons (12.5ml) cream of tartar
2.25 tablespoons (40ml) lemon juice

4 cups of plain flour, - 8 tbalespoons of flour, + 8 tablespons of cornflour, equiv to 4 cups (250ml) cake flour
1.5 tablespoons (25ml) baking powder
1 tablespoon (20ml) margarine
1/2 large beaten egg
245ml water

Sunflower oil



  • Place the water, sugar and cream of tartar in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  • Once the syrup starts to boil, add the lemon juice and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Place the syrup in the fridge to cool.


  • Put the flour and baking powder together in a food processor.
  • Blend in the butter.
  • Add the beaten ½ egg to the water and whisk to incorporate.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture.
    Pour in the water mixture and then start to mix until a smooth dough has formed.
    Knead thoroughly.
    Cover with clingfilm and leave to rest for at least 15 minutes or up to 5 hours.
  • Heat the oil to 160 °C.
  • Using an oiled rolling pin, roll out the dough on an oiled surface to a thickness of 5 mm.
    Cut the dough into rectangles of 6 x 15 cm
    Cut each rectangle lengthways into 3 strips, leaving one side uncut.
    Plait the 3 strips and press the cut ends together firmly.
  • Fry in batches of 6 in the hot oil for 6–7 minutes, or until dark golden brown.
    Drain them for a few seconds on paper towels.
    Keep the rest of the koeksisters covered to prevent them from drying out.
  • Dip the koeksisters into the ice-cold syrup while they are still hot.
    Remove from the syrup with a slotted spoon and place on a wire rack. 

Monday, 29 June 2015

Chilli recipe

The chilli recipe started as one I found in a  bodybuilding magazine and I make it a few different ways and I’m afraid never measure any more. Which causes some issues as I’ll mention.
It’s intentionally very simple and uses off the shelf ingredients so I can knock it out from stuff I keep around.

There are only a few ingredients.

  • 500g Beef Mince
    I use cheap mince and drain the fat off partway through. I’ve tried using the low fat variants, prime and premium, but the texture winds up kind of dry.
  • 400g can of kidney beans
    Not the giant ones, just a plain tin.
    Budget home brands work fine for me.
    Open the lid, drain the juice out, fill it with water and repeat a couple of times until the beans are mostly free of gluggy stuff.
    Tip the water off before adding.
  • 400g can of tomato puree
    Better quality, e.g. Watties is best, the tomato flavour is really important, but for a really huge batch for visiting family I’ll use cheap store’s own brands.
  • Cumin
    Mostly this. A teaspoon or 3?
    I take the lid off the jar or packet and shake it in until it looks like enough.
    My intention is always to have a warm heat, not a sharp kick, so most of the spice comes from the cumin. The objective is warmth and flavour, not to kill the consumer.
    Having said that, I almost always use too much spice and especially too much cayenne and chilli powder and make it too hot for me. Which Lynette always finds funny, she likes it hotter than I do. I have sour cream  with it and wipe my eyes and blow my nose a lot.
  • Cayenne pepper
    Less of this.
    Less than a teaspoon?
  • Chilli powder
    About the same amount as the cayenne pepper
I don’t always have these and my family hate mushrooms, so I rarely use them anymore. When I made it just for me I always used them.

  • A capsicum.
    Green or red, sometimes one of each. Depends what’s in the supermarket.
    Chopped coarsely.
    I see that you can get frozen capsicums now. I’m going to try those.
  • Sliced fresh button mushrooms
    i.e. not tinned
    Lots. I like mushrooms

I don’t add salt. I started making this when I was leaving salt out of everything and that’s just how I’m used to it.

Cooking options
Slow cooker.

  • The simplest version is to bung all of that together in a slow cooker and let it cook on low overnight.
    I tend to use less fatty mince or more often cook the mince in the microwave as below and pour the fat off.
This is what I do most often it’s how I do a really big batch.

This was the original version.

  • Put the mince in a glass casserole dish with a lid and microwave on high for a few minutes.
    You’re not trying to cook it all the way through, just render the fat out.
  • Pour the fat off.
    This is where I’d transfer it to the slow cooker if I was going to.
  • Break up the mince up and throw everything else in.
  • Microwave it for 30-40 minutes, stirring every so often

Stove top

  • Brown the mince in a sauce pan or enamelled dutch oven and pour the fat off.
  • Throw everything in and simmer it until dinner time or bed time, stirring enough that it doesn't stick to the bottom.
Ideally bed time, see below.

All versions improve if you can let it cool and sit in the fridge for a night or a day.
The slow cooker version lends itself well to that. I cook it overnight. Pull the slow cooker liner out and let it cool on the bench while get breakfast ready then put it in the fridge for the day and have it for dinner. And leftovers.

It scales up really easily.
I’d tinker with the ration of tomato puree to mince to get the sloppiness you like.

  • The slow cooker version needs the least.
  • The microwave version stays fairly moist.
  • The stove top version needs the most.

Sorry I can’t be more precise.
I should make a batch again soon and confirm ratios.

Friday, 18 July 2014

2014-07-18 - Craig - Metcon - Plank, Swings

1:00 plank hold
30 second swings

1:00 plank hold
30 second  16kg russian swings

  1. Plank
    • Shoulders got tired after the second round of swings, must have been muscling them up. Fine after the first round.
    • An impressive display of wussing out in the later rounds.
  2. Swings
    • Futzed around trying to figure out how these work when you can feel your hamstrings.
  • Coldest day we've had this year.
    First serious, scrape the ice off the car, frost.