Holidays Reloaded!

Holidays Food, Cooking, Fall, October, Autumn

Fall is here and it’s time to get back to the grind? Well, folks you can still kick-start your day with a hearty brunch, whip up some simple delicacies inspired by your European or countryside getaways. Caution, you may feel like you have a little bit of your trip saved in your freezer, a fresh and bright sauce, tempting dessert or a refreshing drink to bring out on days you want to re-live your memories by the lake. We have got you four amazing recipes from Henpecked restaurant in celebration of your last trip!

Zesty Lemon Cake

Holidays Food, Cooking, Fall, October, Autumn


  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g butter
  • 2 lemons, zest only
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 200g self-raising flour

For Butter Cream:

  • 100g icing sugar
  • 50g butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons raspberry or strawberry jam
  • 8 to 10 raspberries or strawberries to garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease your cake tin (a 20cm round tin will give you a cake with enough depth to cut in two) then dust with flour, shaking off excess.
  2. Beat caster sugar, the 200g butter and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Add beaten eggs bit at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift in the flour and fold in, ensuring completely combined. Pour mixture into the tin.
  3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a knife inserted into middle comes out clean. Once cake is cooked, remove from tin and place on a wire rack to cool (otherwise buttercream will melt).
  4. While this is happening, make the buttercream by beating the icing sugar and 50g butter together, add vanilla extract and beat well again, then put in fridge while cake is completely cooling.
  5. Cut cake in half using a sharp knife, then smear bottom half with buttercream, then jam. You can use as much or little as you like. You ideally want about 1cm thickness of both for a really indulgent cake.
  6. Put the top half of the cake on and use remaining buttercream to stick raspberries or strawberry, dust with a teaspoon of icing sugar, through a sieve and serve!

Grilled Cottage Cheese Steak

Holidays Food, Cooking, Fall, October, Autumn

  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil or as needed
  • 3 cloves Garlic , grated
  • 1 Onion , diced
  • 1 Eggplant, diced
  • 1 Red Bell pepper diced
  • 2 Green zucchini, diced
  • 2 and half cups Tomatoes, blanched
  • 2 sprig Basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 sprig Parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • Salt and black pepper to taste 300 grams
  • Cottage Cheese or tofu
  • 3 tablespoon Bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Rosemary , or thyme

Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed vessel; add in the garlic and sauté for a minute. Add in the onions, and stir fry on medium heat until the onions soften or change colour.

Now add in the eggplant and sprinkle some salt. Cook until the eggplants are par cooked. Add in the bell peppers, zucchini and continue to cook for a few minutes.

Finally add in the pureed tomatoes and the crushed herbs and salt to taste. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.

Cover the pan and simmer for about 15 minutes until all the ingredients have come together and the vegetables have cooked properly.

Combine breadcrumbs, the seasoning and salt in a shallow dish. Cut cottage cheese or tofu lengthwise into 4 strips or slices and brush it with little oil. Coat the cheese in the seasoned breadcrumb mixture.

Heat a heavy iron skillet on medium heat and add a couple of teaspoons of oil on it.

Add the cottage cheese or tofu slices and cook until browned and crisp on one both sides. Proceed the same way with the remaining tofu slices and add it to your main.

Chia Lemonade

Holidays Food, Cooking, Fall, October, Autumn

  • 355ml water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds

Stir water, lemon juice and sugar together in a glass until sugar has completely dissolved; add chia seeds. Let stand for about 10 minutes, or until a gel forms around the chia seeds; stir. Run this mixture through a strainer to remove the seeds and lemon rinds. Pour this mixture into a pitcher and add the chia as well as the rest of the water. Stir with a long spoon and enjoy.

Penne Pomodoro

Holidays Food, Cooking, Fall, October, Autumn

  • 25 pounds fresh roma tomatoes, washed clean
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Cooked penne pasta


  1. Using a paring knife, score the bottom of each tomato. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and submerge the tomatoes for 30-45 seconds. Depending on the size of your pot you may need to do this in batches. Transfer the tomatoes to a large bowl or roasting pan. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin of each tomato. Using a paring knife cut out the cores and discard.
  2. In a large stock pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Squish the tomatoes with your hands to break them up a bit before adding to the pot. Be sure to add all of the liquid from the pan or bowl that the tomatoes where in. Bring the pot to a simmer and let the tomatoes cook for an hour and a half to two hours, or until they start to break down. Stir the tomatoes periodically and use a wooden spoon to break them apart.
  3. If you prefer a smooth sauce use an immersion blender to puree the tomatoes once they are cooked. If you like a chunky sauce you can leave them as is.
  4. Add the sugar and salt to the tomatoes. Let the sauce simmer for another 10 minutes or so and taste it periodically to check the seasoning. Add more salt if needed. Stir in the chopped basil and serve with penne.