cream cheese

Cream cheese and bacon Jalapeños

The one thing I am is proudly South African. I must admit I am not huge into sport but if we are playing I am there in support – love of the game or not. So I decided with it being the Rugby World Cup and The Springboks doing so well, that I needed to do one of my favourite snacks for watching the game. 

This is my version of a proudly South African Chilli Popper.  

If you are reading this and not in South Africa two things 1) you need to come visit because we are a beautiful country and 2) don’t panic, you can still make these with a few adjustments for what ever game you will be watching in the world! 

They are quick to make and you will love them because they are packed with flavour and bringing them out to the celebrations on a platter will make you the star of the day! Just make sure the beer is cold! 

serves 6


  • 12 large jalapeño’s- cut in half and pitted
  • 250 grams sweet chilli cream cheese
  • 1 packet of streaky bacon 
  • 250 grams crème fraiche 
  • 150 grams biltong dust (optional if you are not in South Africa) 
  • *Biltong – A south African cured meat, a lot like Beef Jerky  
  • Salt and pepper to taste 


Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. 

If you haven’t, cut your Jalapenos in half and remove the seeds (these are the spiciest part, so if you are feeling brave you can leave some in) 

Spoon in your cream cheese into the hallow of the Jalapeno 

Grab a piece of streaky bacon and wrap it around the filled jalapeños. You can secure the bacon with toothpicks. Just remind your guest to remove them before eating! 

Place them on your roasting tray and season them with salt and pepper. Not too much salt as the bacon is already salty. 

Pop them in the oven for 15 minutes and for the last 5 minutes put the grill on the make them golden on the top. 

While they are in the oven whisk together your crème fraiche and biltong powder. 

Serve the poppers fresh out of the oven with cold beer and dipping sauce! 


banana bread

There is something so deeply nostalgic for me about banana bread. The minute I smell it, it takes me back to warm memories of my childhood, my grand parents and school lunch boxes.

I remember eating it in the holidays at my grandparent’s house after digging in the garden for worms with my grandfather. A great cup of sweet tea and loads of butter always accompanied it. Shortly afterwards we would go fishing with the worms we caught in his strawberry patch.

I was never short of a sandwich trade when ever I opened my lunch box and the wonderfully sweet smell of the banana bread would float out and kiss the noses of my friends. They would all lunge at the opportunity of grabbing a bite or a trade!

This banana bread is great because I have kicked it up a notch with a rich cream cheese frosting, which is silky smooth. You can always leave it off and just have it with butter. Plain or not this banana bread is quick to make and stays beautifully in the fridge for any occasion.

Serves: 6


•   3 ripe bananas, smashed - don't have ripe bananas? Put them in the oven at 100 degree Celsius for 30 minutes

•   1/3 cup melted butter

•   3/4 cup sugar

•   1 egg, beaten

•   1 teaspoon vanilla extract

•   1 teaspoon baking soda

•   Pinch of salt

•   1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

•   1/2 cup pecan nuts, chopped

•   1/4 cup desiccated coconut

•   250g cream cheese

•   1 tsp. vanilla extract

•   1/3 cup icing sugar

•   1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Pecan nuts for decoration


Preheat the oven to 180°c

Grease your bread loaf tin a 4x8 inch or 10 x 20cm

In a large bowl using an electronic mixer mix the butter and the mashed bananas.

Next mix in the sugar, egg and vanilla.

Next add the baking soda and salt and mix it into the batter

Add the flour to the batter and mix it in, careful to not over beat the batter.

Lastly add in the pecan nuts and coconut. Mix again just until all the ingredients are evenly combined.

Add your mixture to your baking tin and bake for 1 hour.

Allow to cool on your cooling rack in the tin for 15 minutes and then let it cool further out of the tin.

Now lets get started with the cream cheese frosting:

Sieve your icing sugar into your mixing bowl.

Add all the remaining ingredients and mix. Do not over mix the cream cheese or it will go too soft.

Ice your banana bread and top with pecan nuts for decoration.