Melktert – South African Milk Tart

29 Mar

A few of my South African friends have been introducing me to all kinds of treats, and melktert is now one of my favorite desserts! I have been playing around with the recipe (and sharing test samples with my SA friends) over the past year, and finally got it right. There are many recipes for melktert, but this one is based on the feedback of my friends. Enjoy!



1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar

4 ounces plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes

1 egg yolk (this leftover white not needed for this recipe)

4 tsp milk


2 cups whole milk

1 stick cinnamon

3 eggs, separated (save whites)

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1/3 cup baker’s sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tablespoons butter (regular, not unsalted)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix 1 Tbsp each ground cinnamon and powdered sugar for dusting



  1. Place flour, sugar and butter in a mixer with the flat beater attachment. Mix until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Can also be made in a food processor.
  2. Add egg yolk and milk. Mix until liquid is just combined. If dough does not adhere to itself, it is too dry, add more milk a few drops at a time until dough is moist enough.
  3. Form dough into a flat disc, wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Butter your cake/tart/pie pan. I prefer to use a 10” springform pan.
  4. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan, then refrigerate for another 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line pastry with parchment paper (not waxed paper!) and fill with pie weights, uncooked rice or dry beans. Bake for 10 minutes; remove paper and weights and bake for another 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.



Measure three-quarters of the milk into a saucepan, add the cinnamon and heat to just below boiling point. Set aside to infuse for about 15 minutes.

Mix together the remaining milk, egg yolks, flour, cornstarch, sugar and baking powder. Strain the cinnamon-flavored milk and slowly add to the mixture, being careful not to cook the egg. Pour into a clean saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the custard thickens, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in the butter and vanilla extract. Cool to room temperature.

Oven should already be set to 350°F. Whisk the egg whites stiffly and fold into the custard. Pour into pastry shell and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake for about 25 minutes more, until the filling is set but still wobbles when pan is shaken. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon mixture and serve warm.


Facts About Congenital Heart Disease**

6 Feb

Facts About Congenital Heart Disease**.

Life as Usual

24 Feb

Unfortunately, I haven’t posted nearly as much as I had hoped to. Like most families, life has been all over the place.  We are all doing great. There has been karate, play practice, ballet classes, the first time at pre-school for KK, and the usual kid-stuff. Luke has been playing soccer and I went back to school, taking real estate courses, and will be taking my license exam this spring.

We had the good fortune to travel a bit over the past year.  We took the kids to Maui, Disney World & Universal Studios, and then took a VERY long train ride to Oregon for the holidays. Little man’s six-month cardiology check-up went off without a hitch and we are planning to take him to Boston for his next check-up, since it will have been four years since his doctors there have seen him. It’s a bit crazy to realize it has been that long since we’ve seen them, considering how much time we spent with them during Landon’s first four years of life.

In addition to our normal day-to-day, I have been working on my cake decorating.  I thought I would share the cakes I’ve been working on over the past year. The kids especially love it when I “test” cakes, before I actually make them for someone. Enjoy! Bay Area Grad Cake Monsters University Boots! Tropical Cake One tier Hello Kitty cake Present Cake Stormtrooper Puppy Cake Two tier Hello Kitty cake Christmas Desserts

Date Night!!

3 Sep

We had such a great time on our date night as part of #30datesin30days!  Many thanks to La Jolla Mom and Details Matter for the opportunity!  The crew at Carruth Cellars is great; they make you feel like you’ve been long-time friends.  We’ll be headed back for more movie nights and may even try our hand at their bottling parties.  You should really check them out…after you download the Details Matter App!

Here is the link to our review of our date night.

Movie Night at Carruth Cellars - Solana Beach

Movie Night at Carruth Cellars – Solana Beach


In the interest of full disclosure, Movie Night is free for everyone, but we were given a bottle of very tasty wine for participating.  Though, we would have raved about this gem of an event anyway, now that we have discovered it!  We also bought more wine to bring home…it was THAT good!

New Ideas for Date Nights

1 Aug

Luke and I have been chosen by Details Matter and La Jolla Mom to try out a date night idea as part of #30datesin30days. Details Matter is a new app available on Android and iPhone where you can find great date ideas around San Diego and Sacramento, beyond the usual dinner and a movie. You can read more via this link.

We are looking forward to our date three weeks from now and excited to share our adventure with you as soon as we are done.  In the meantime, make sure to download the Details Matter App!  It’s Free!!

It’s February already?!

7 Feb

It seems like we were JUST in the midst of all of the holiday fun!  Now…January has breezed by and we are a full week into February!  Where does the time go?

I had plans to make these super cute Valentines  I saw at Dandee, for my sweet boy’s class, but I started to run out of time and to be honest, he didn’t quite understand the play on words.  Maybe we will revisit the idea in a few years for one of the girls.

I wanted to stick with the bracelet idea because I don’t really like to give food items since we have a few allergies in our class and I also don’t like to constantly load the kids up with extra sugar.  I was able to find premade friendship bracelets for a great price on Amazon and VistaPrint was having a sale on their Valentine cards!  I used a hole punch to make slots to hold the bracelets, and we were done in just a few minutes.

V front









VistaPrint always does a great job.  These were on a nice, heavy cardstock and were full-color on both sides.

V back




Little-man was glad to be able to personalize each one with his friends’ names.  I was happy because of the cost!  Each card with bracelet only cost about 30¢!

I hope you all have a Happy Valentine’s Day!  I’d love to know what special projects you are doing to celebrate.

Coming up for air…

22 Jan

Yes, we are still here!!  I have had my nose buried in books and to the computer screen reading/watching real estate prep for the state license exam.  We have lots of fun stuff to share and will be back to posting soon!!  We hope you all have recovered from  enjoyed the holidays and are enjoying the start of a new year!!


Best wishes from,

Our Life with Kids

Unintentional Treat for the Kids.

11 Dec

I was recently approached by another mom, from Positively Kids, wanting to do a raw food challenge.  Since I’ve been working on regaining my healthy eating and not grabbing handfuls of fish crackers and the other ‘kid’ snacks that manage to find their way into my house, I accepted.  We (like everyone else!) have been super busy with all of the holiday planning and celebrating, so I really need to head to the grocery store and load up on more items for this raw eating endeavor, but did already have a good amount on hand to start right away.

It does take a bit of prep and planning, but for me, prepping food satisfies part of the craving.  It’s all part of the eating experience.  Taking the time to cut, slice, shred and prepare causes me to think more about my food choices and what I am feeding myself and my family.

I started out really simply with fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds.  The other day I was trying to think of something to prep for the next morning and decided to try these oat cookies.  When the kids saw them, they were begging for them!  Looks like this will find its way into our morning rotation…or even as an after dinner treat – which is what my 3-year-old just requested.oat cookies

This recipe is the amount I would eat for breakfast.  Truth be told, I just eat it by the spoonful out of the mixing bowl, but it will make about 5 cookies.  Feel free to double or triple the batch size to suit your needs.


Oat Cookies

1/4 cup oats (I did use rolled oats which are not raw, but need to get to the store for raw oats this week)

2 TBL natural nut butter – use whichever type you prefer

1 tsp raw honey

Mix together, cover and let sit in the refrigerator over night.  If you are planning to make cookies, roll the mix into a tube shape with parchment or plastic wrap before placing into the fridge.  In the morning, use a sharp knife to slice.  Cover any unused portions and store in the refrigerator.

Go Elf Yourself!

26 Nov

1…2…3…4…FOUR!  That is the number of days it took for us to forget to move the elf! 

Our elf was purchased by a very well-meaning grandfather, who trudged out in the pouring rain to be one of the first to procure the Elf on the Shelf when he learned the author would be at a local book store.   The kids were so young at the time; we didn’t even open the box until the following year.  This is our third year “hosting” the elf in our home, and we still can’t get used to the nightly ritual of moving the elf around the house. 

Now, because of the elf, we have become big, fat liars!  On nights when we have forgotten to make the move, one or the other of us will remember in the morning and move the elf before the kids get downstairs…but not this morning!  Our tiny tornado (the middle-little) made it downstairs first and pointed out that the elf was still in the same spot.  Quick thinking Daddy reminded her that she was especially naughty the day before, and perhaps our elf was giving her another chance before he reports back to Santa.  Thankfully, Mommy and Daddy are on the same page with these white lies even without conversing, because my oldest came to report on the non-movement of the elf, and I fed him the exact story.  Kids believed it…crisis averted.

I often speak of the craziness that occurs on Pinterest, and the elf is no different!  People seem to go to all lengths to find new things to do with their elf.  Not us.  We are lucky just to remember to move the darn thing!  We did, however, start this tradition, the kids love it and we are stuck with it.  So, in the interest of the craziness with all things elf…here is what we’ve got!  I fully admit our inspiration was Dr. Seuss.  For whatever reason, when I think of the elf, all conversation happens as though it is part of Green Eggs & Ham!


I am Mom
Dad is He
Together we made three mini-MEs

Those mini-MEs
Those little selves
They sure do love those silly elves…
Those elves made to perch up on the shelf

For one whole month we join the craze
It seems to go on and on for days

We wrack our brains to hide this elf
But more often than not just use the shelf

We cannot, will not make you fly
On a zip-line way up high

The neighbor’s elf might bake a pie
While we’re content just placing you high…
High on a shelf, by your little elf self
That is enough!
Just on a shelf!

We will not pretend you know how to cook
We are lucky just to remember to dangle you from a hook!

No powdered sugar snow angels for you
Or cracker fishing in a toilet turned blue

We will not let you drink syrup or honey
You couldn’t possibly pay us enough money!

Some people really go to town
Isn’t it time they dial this down?
Isn’t he supposed to be Santa’s eyes?
A lookout… a scout…a spy…
How do they explain his reports to Santa?
“Had tea today with a toy panda…”
“Fishing was great…tasted kind of funny”
“Wanted to bake Baklava…forgot I already drank all the honey!”

Sometimes we think you are more trouble than you’re worth
A glorified snitch from birth
Late night and early morning relocation thoughts
Half asleep and in a haze, that shelf looks like a good spot!

Little elf!
Little elf!
For 30 days you keep us busy
Dizzy, really, keeping up

We’ll find simple hide-outs
Perhaps in a cup
But that’s all we’ve got
We give up!
We give up!

Little elf!
Little elf!
When did the shelf lose its luster?
We’ve given all the effort we can muster

Little elf!
Little elf!
You’re pushing us to the brink

You’re driving us crazy
And to drink, we think!

Happy Thanksgiving!

22 Nov

In addition to being thankful for my family and friends, I am so thankful to be part of the heart community!  We have met so many wonderful friends who have greatly impacted our lives.  One organization we are honored to be a part of is Whole Hearts Foundation.  If you are looking for an organization to support this holiday season, please consider donating to Whole Hearts!  You can also follow them on Facebook.  As a very proud mamma of a child with a CHD, I have to point out that you can see his sweet, smiling face on their website.

Happy Thanksgiving from our family, to you and yours!!

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