Monthly Archives: November 2015


Go “chic” with Chicken this Christmas!

Christmas is a few weeks away and the thought of cooking the same old traditional fare can, for some, be demotivating.

For those looking for a tasty alterative to the traditional turkey, why not try the Granny Mouse Executive Chef, Shaun Christian’s, special Chicken Ballotine, Herbed Ricotta Filling, Dukkah, Spiced Sweet Potato and Cranberry Sauce which is also on offer on this year’s Granny Mouse Country House & Spa Christmas menu.

Ingredients for the Ballotines (makes 6) include:

 6x chicken breasts

Salt & pepper to taste

1 cup ricotta cheese

Lemon zest (1lemon)

½ cup walnuts

+/- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs

2x egg yolks

Chopped mixed herbs (parsley, basil, mint, parsley)


Firstly open the chicken breasts up with a sharp filleting knife. Lay a piece of cling film on a chopping board. Place an opened breast on the cling film. Lay another bit of cling film over the breast & gently flatten using a meat mallet or other suitably heavy item. Be gentle! Repeat six times.

In a small mixing bowl combine the ricotta, lemon zest, walnuts, bread crumb, egg yolks & fresh herbs. Combine well. (You should have something the consistency of a traditional bread stuffing)

Lay the chicken breasts out on board. Season well and then spoon a little of the filling into each breast. Cut six squares of cling film; close up the stuffed breast & tightly wrap in cling film knotting off both ends

Ingredients for the Dukkah Spiced Sweet Potato:

 1kg x Sweet potato (yellow & orange), cubed

1kg x Red onions, cut into eighths

1tsp x Garlic, grated

1tsp x Ginger, grated

½ tsp Chilli, chopped

1Tbsp Dukkah Spice

½ cup coriander, chopped

2Tbsp Lemon juice

1Tbsp honey

Olive oil for frying

Salt & black pepper


 Sauté off the red onions in a hot pan for 4-5 minutes, then add the garlic, ginger, chilli & sauté for another few minutes. Tip contents into a roasting pan.

Add a little more olive oil to the pan, brown off the sweet potato in batches & add to the onion mixture. Mix to combine & roast in the oven for 20 minutes till sweet potatoes are soft to the touch. Add the lemon juice, honey & chopped coriander, check seasoning & set aside till needed.

Ingredients for the Cranberry Sauce:

 1x tin cranberry sauce

1x cup cranberry juice

1x cup chicken stock

1x piece cinnamon bark

2x Star anise

4x Tbsp Brown sugar

Method: Place all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil. Reduce by half. Set aside till needed.

Serving suggestion:

Poach the ballotine in boiling chicken stock for 8-10 minutes till cooked through.

Heat up the dukka potato.

Heat up the cranberry sauce.

Slice each ballotine into 3, swirl a little of the cranberry sauce onto a hot dinner plate, along with the dukka spiced sweet potato & the chicken pieces, garnish with a little extra Dukkah, some greens & serve immediately.

Bon Appetit!

For more information regarding the Granny Mouse Country House & Spa Christmas Menu call (033) 234 4071 or email

Let the kids get their “green fingers on” this festive season!


Use fun features in the garden like colourful signs, garden spinners and more


Get the kids involved in making bird-feeders for the garden, like this one made from wood and plastic recycled materials.

With the festive season in full swing, many parents are thinking up different ways of keeping the kids entertained without sitting them on the front side of a TV screen.

With the year starting to wind down and the holidays fast approaching, families are finding they have spare time to spend together.

If the weather is warm, instead of keeping the kids indoors, why not get your garden gloves on and hand the kids a watering can and garden fork, and get them to help spruce up the garden.

Parents can make gardening fun by allowing children to choose where to plant new flowers, letting them paint rocks to help place creatively in the garden and even make a recycled bird-feeder.

Bird-feeders are a great way to attract life to your garden and lets the kids feel a sense of accomplishment in seeing the finished product as well as doing their part for the environment by being “recycle conscious”.

There are many ideas for bird-feeders using recycled products from using plastic bottles, cardboard milk cartons, plastic yoghurt containers, wooden spoons, tins, egg boxes, toilet roll holders – the list is endless and up to each parents’ discretion.

With stunning gardens and an array of bird life for over 30 years, Granny Mouse Country House & Spa in the KZN Midlands welcomes the idea of imparting gardening knowledge to those wanting to know how they get luscious lawns and beautiful gardens all year round. Granny Mouse Gardener, Mark Robson, says, “When you have spare time, especially during the hot summer months ensure that you water your garden regularly. I also suggest adding something creative like a bird-feeder or fun signs in the garden to create life to a dull garden.”