Dinner Divas: Episode 1

Kristy & Nina go head-to-head





A few weeks ago I entered a television show about food bloggers called Dinner Divas. The show is dedicated at revealing the ins-and-outs of food blogging and gives contestants the opportunity to show South Africa how much love, passion, pride and effort goes into creating a food blog.


For the first time us food bloggers have been given the chance to showcase and market our blogs on television. Finally, we can show South Africa what it takes to create a blog. As the show progresses you will see that passion and dedication is one of the key factors in creating and maintaining a food blog and of course hard work.


Since being on the show, I have only become more ambitious to improve my blog. All the contestants are unique and talented in their own way and have inspired me on so many levels – their pride and love for blogging can be seen on each episode.


The show is not out to ridicule the contestants, rather it focuses on food blogging and our journey through the show.


I feel so inspired and I hope that Dinner Divas will inspire more people out their to create a food blog!


The first episode is today (Saturday the 13th of October) at 8:30 on SABC2. It stars me (Kristy Snell) and showcases my blog (FoodMonger) and Nina Timm from My Easy Cooking.







In this episode I compete with Nina to create a meal in 90 minutes. Nina makes a delicious family Mexican Feast while I make a sophisticated meal for friends consisting of: Steak with Baby Onion Jus and No-fuss Bearnaise Sauce. Served with Rosemary Oven Potatoes and a Side Salad of Watercress and Baby Spinach. And to end, my Mom’s Peach and Almond Pudding. Below you can find all the recipes to the meal I made.


At the end of the show the judges judge the meals and choose the winning plate. Oh and on this episode the judges are: Caro de Waal from Food24 Editor, Aubrey Ngongama from Dinner with Aubs  and Leila Padayachi Cordon Bleu Chef.


Aside from Aubrey commenting that the two sauces don’t go together and create an utter mess on the plate (true Aubrey style), they seemed to love my meal and had many praises.



And…at the end…low and behold I WIN the first round! My plate is the one that the judges choose as the winning meal. However, since this is a show about food bloggers they also put Nina through as her blog is one to revere. So, the first episode of Dinner Divas commences superbly happily with both Nina and me going through to the next round.


Next week Saturday (20th of October) at 8:30 on SABC 2 catch Sue Green from Sous Chef and Tami Magnin from Rumtumtiggs battle it out and of course to find out who goes through to the semi-finals.

Steak with Baby Onion Jus and No-fuss Bearnaise Sauce. Served with Rosemary Oven Potatoes and a Watercress and Baby Spinach Side Salad.




A Raspberry and Lemon Cooler






Serves 4


1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

4 beef fillet steaks (or steak of your choice)



Get a griddle pan on a high heat. Brush the steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, place the steaks on and fry on each side for 3 minutes (or for as long as you prefer your steaks done).


Place on a plate, cover with tinfoil and allow to rest for 3 to 5minutes before serving.



Baby Onion Jus



Baby Onion Jus

Serves 6


3 tablespoons butter

12 baby white onions, cut in half and peeled

3 tablespoons Rhodes Tomato Paste

½ cup red wine (I use Cabernet Savignon)

1 teapoon sugar

½ teaspoon pepper

1 and ¼ cups beef stock



Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius


In a heavy-based pan, melt the butter. Add the peeled and halved onions to the pan. On a high heat, fry the onions till brown. Add the Rhodes Tomato Paste and stir until the onions are coated. Add the red wine and cook for about a minute on high until the alcohol has cooked out – you should smell the alcohol evaporating. Add the sugar, pepper and beef stock and bring to the boil. Remove the onions from the heat.


Pour the onions into a small oven-proof dish (around 15cm in diameter – you want the onions to be submerged in the stock). Place the lid on the dish and pop in the oven for an 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the stock has reduced and the onions are soft.



Rosemary Oven Potatoes


Serves 4


4 medium potatoes, peeled

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons Canola oil

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons Sasko Flour

3 sprigs of rosemary, picked

coarse sea salt, to serve


Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius


Cut your potatoes into medium-sized chunks . Place the potatoes into a large pan and pour in enough water to barely cover them and add a teaspoon of salt, then wait for the water to boil. As soon as the water reaches a full rolling boil lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. In the meantime, place the oil and butter in a roasting dish and place into the oven to get hot.


Drain the potatoes in a colander. Now it’s time to rough them up a bit: shake the colander back and forth a few times to fluff up the outsides. Sprinkle with the flour, and give another shake or two so they are evenly and thinly coated. Carefully place the potatoes in the hot roasting pan and coat with the oil and butter. Sprinkle with the rosemary, and pop them into the oven. Roast the potatoes for 30 minutes, then take them out of the oven and turn them over. Roast for another 20 to 25 minutes, or however long it takes to get them really golden and crisp. Once cooked, drain on paper toweling and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.


No-fuss Bearnaise  



No-fuss Bearnaise


Serves 4


4 heaped tablespoons crème fraiche

1 teaspoon corn flour

2 Nulaid egg yolks

½ tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1 to 2 dashes Tabasco sauce (optional)

salt, to taste


Spoon the crème fraiche into a small saucepan, then add the cornflour, egg yolks, vinegar, lemon juice and tarragon. Whisk them all together. On a medium heat bring the whole lot to a simmering point, whisking continuously, until the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the softened butter. Check seasoning and add salt if needed. Now add the Tabasco sauce. Taste ,and add more vinegar, lemon juice or seasoning if needed.


*Note: you can make this sauce in advance and re-heat it. To re-heat, set over a pan of hot water or over a low heat and stir constantly till warmed.


Peach and Almond Pudding (my Mom’s style)



Peach and Almond Pudding (my Mom’s style)


Serves 6


2 Nulaid Eggs, beaten

1 cup sugar

½ cup melted butter

2 cups Sasko Flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tin of Rhodes Peach Slices, plus the juice

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup almond flakes


Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius


In a bowl combine the eggs, sugar and melted butter and mix. Then sift in the flour and baking powder, and mix. Now, add the tinned peaches along with the juice from the tin. Stir till the mixture is combined. The mixture should be quite sticky. Place into a greased pie-dish or cake tin around 20 to 22cm in diameter. Now sprinkle the top with brown sugar, cinnamon and almond flakes.


Pop into the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the tart is cooked. Serve with whipped cream or custard.





Watercress and Baby Spinach salad


Serves 4


2 cups watercress, washed

2 cups baby spinach, washed

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

4 tablespoons olive oil.

Salt and pepper, to taste


In a bowl, mix together the vinegar and mustard. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil. Continue to whisk until the dressing is emulsified. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the dressing over the watercress and spinach and toss till coated.


Lemon and Raspberry Cooler



Lemon and Raspberry Cooler


Serves 4


1 cup caster sugar

1 cup water

zest of half a lemon

1 vanilla pod split in half lengthwise (optional)

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 5-6 lemons)

½ cup fresh raspberries

4 cups soda water

mint leaves to garnish

plenty of ice, to serve


Our first step is to make a simple syrup: in a saucepan, place the caster sugar, water, lemon zest and vanilla pod. Slowly bring to the boil over a medium-high heat. Continue to cook until all the sugar has dissolved, stir occasionally. After the sugar has dissolved, allow to cook for a further minute to insure your syrup will not crystallize once cooled.


Take off the heat and strain.


In a blender, place the raspberries and lemon juice and blend till smooth.


Mix the lemon and raspberry mixture with the simple syrup.


Now, mix the lemon and raspberry mixture with the soda water (depending on how sweet you like it, either pour in half the amount of lemon and raspberry mixture or simply add more soda water to the concentrated lemon and raspberry mixture).


Serve with lots of ice, and garnish with mint leaves.








  • Michael Olivier says:

    We get what we expect from you beautiful food, beautifully photographed, thank you beautiful Kirsty. Loved watchin you on TV this morning, loved the way you handled the curdled sauce. Luv always, Mx

  • I am so proud of you Kristy. You are a Master Chef of note, I have been privelaged to savour many of you wonderful dishes, and I referred to many of your recipes on your Blog . Jeannie.

  • Ken Mac says:

    Kristy you present yourself excellently on TV with great Gusto and Pazazz. Your good looks, your great cooking skills, your stunning photography as displayed on this blog make for a winner. The judges love your photography and so do I and I know the excellent presentation and taste of your food…100% WOW!

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