Dinner for three…

There is no doubt in my mind that my two-year-old son is not the only child in the world that hates eating veggies.


As his mommy I have the lovely job of making sure he eats healthily.

Although I hardly have time to plate up veggies to look like a ship or an animal, I make time to ensure that veggies taste and look interesting enough to eat.

I cook for three people being the husband, our son and myself.

Just like my son, the baby daddy, my husband, is not big on veggies either. Who can blame them?

Roasted leg of lamb crusted with black pepper.

Take broccoli for example, after steaming it in garlic and stock infused water I serve with meat dishes like stew.

This way the bold flavours from the stew will overpower  the veggies.

Apart from fighting with my toddler about his veggies, I offer him a little peanut butter with his carrot and celery sticks. It has worked for me thus far.


Instead of serving him slap chips (fries), which he loves so much, I make him julienne cut apples.

Am no expert in baby feeding, but with advice from my favourite baby nurse,I have managed to find what works for me.


My son eats what we eat. He sits around the table with us. I find that it is a lot easier for him to try new flavours because his parents are also eating the same thing.

Like Duenna’s Kitchen on Facebook and share how veggies are received in your home and how you serve them..

God Bless.






Dee and the Dumpling

So, if you have dined at my house or any of the events I have catered for you would know by now that dumpling is one of my signature dishes.

I serve my dumpling with just about anything depending on the season as well as time of day that it is eaten.

Most cooks have that one dish they swear by. That one dish they have probably made more times than they can actually remember. That one signature dish or recipe they can make even in their sleep.

For me, that dish is the dumpling.

Seen  here is the dumpling served with one of my meat dishes; Chicken livers with caramelized onion cooked in red wine.

Growing up, I watched my aunt (my dad’s brother’s wife) make dombolo (dumpling).

She may not even remember it, but I was always intrigued by how she would steam the dish sometimes in a plastic bag and other times in an enamel dish.

The Dumpling

When making my version of the dish I would sometimes experiment and add different flavours to make it my own.

I tried things like instant custard powder, grated veggies and buttermilk. At times I even tried butter.

To add a fresh element to the dish, I added radish, cucumber, red onion and some pear.

Am happy today to say that I have found the right balance and combination.

My dumpling has made its way into many people’s tummies and hearts.

The reaction is always amazing, every time.


I don’t always have dumpling on the menu when am approached to cook for people, but it is usually demanded by clients. Which is an amazing feeling I tell you.

I hope one day I will be able to share with you the recipe for this dish, but for now it remains a closely guarded secret.


Love and Light to you and yours.



When Entertaining…

As a caterer it goes without saying that I love cooking for people.

I love serving up what I call heart on a plate. Am no Chef Benny or Siba, but I sure know how to whip up a meal that remains in people’s minds long after they’ve eaten.




The so-called seven colours meal has become a staple in many South African homes.

In many black households across the country Sunday afternoons are all about family time.

We make a big deal out of our Sunday kos.

I hardly have time to cook large feasts for my family on a Sunday so I find ways to make up for it during the week when am not as busy.

On a Sunday afternoon Am usually happy with one meat dish, one starch, two veggies.


However, when we have guests over for a lunch or dinner I do my best to serve the Duenna’s Kitchen version of the popular 7 seven colours meal.

I recently served a warm salad with boiled egg, peas, carrot, mushroom and dressed in mayonnaise.

I also served greens wrapped in bacon. This recipe was a courtesy of Siba Mtongana.

When in-laws came to visit me last month I served roasted veggies, sweetcorn, creamed spinach and a fresh salad.


I usually serve these with Basmati rice and two meat dishes.


Time permitting, I will soon post recipes of those salads.


A great week to you and yours.