I think my luck has changed back into the green! I won tickets to the Good Food and Wine Show (GFWS) thanks to @CapeArgus and Lance Witten for the headsup on his Twitter account.
A few years back I attended the event, I know it was fun because I cannot remember much due to the countless tastings we glugged down. This year however, I did not have the same experience maybe because I’m not 23 anymore? Here are my hits and misses of the event:
I got to meet Reza and take a picture, yes the Spice Prince of India! (I love his show).
Got some real schmancy looking wine glasses for R 150.00 which is a steal – retails for R 300.00.
Someone proposed on stage while J’Something was performing which was real sweet to watch.
Found Jack Parow’s own hand crafted brandy – and it was surprisingly good.
My ticket didn’t include a glass – ended up paying R 60.00, R 60.00! for one glass.
The glass included 7 “tasting coupons which really didn’t matter; the exhibitors didn’t want them or know about them?
The venue was packed, it was difficult to take pictures or walk around with a full glass of anything. This put us off from wanting to walk around or stand in line to try something new.
Maybe it was the time of day but the exhibitors weren’t the friendliest – could be fatigue?
Big wine farms weren’t on show i.e. Webersburg, Backsberg etc.
The GFWS was the same weekend as The Wacky Wine Festival – WHY!
In the end it was an experience even though I feel a bit disappointed in the event. I tried some interesting pestos and chilli sauces, there were plenty of food options – but carrying around so many items and trying to find a place to sit down and eat would of been a nightmare. I believe in second chances so will try again next year!
We’ve been making this for quite a while but I keep forgetting to take pictures (current picture is taken in my work lunchbox with complimentary plastic fork), its super easy and a taste bomb! You can use chicken, beef, seafood or go veggie – anything you like. Also use any vegetables you want.
I know some like using store bought Thai curry paste – I haven’t found a really good brand to use – let me know if you find a punchy ready made paste?
My version goes a li’l something like this:
4 chicken breasts
1 thumb sized chunk of ginger
2 garlic cloves
2 green chillies
1 handful coriander
1 handful basil
1 lemongrass stalk
1 cup green beans
½ head of broccoli
½ head of cauliflower
1 tin coconut cream
1 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons fish sauce
Juice of ½ lime – optional (I know limes a crazy expensive OMW!)
Cut the breasts into bite sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Fry in a bit of oil until almost cooked through – remove from the pan and set aside.
Chop up the onion, garlic, ginger, chillies, coriander, basil and bash the lemongrass stalk (doing this releases its flavour)
The whole process is pretty fast so I suggest that your green beans, cauliflower and broccoli are all chopped and prepped to be added. Also open the tin of coconut cream and prepare the chicken stock. I’ve learned that prepping makes everything go much more smoothly; instead of flapping around the kitchen looking for things as you go along.
Add another dash of oil to the pan, fry the onion, garlic, ginger, chillies, coriander, basil and lemongrass stalk; until fragrant – about 2 minutes. Add the cooked chicken and mix.
Next in is the coconut cream and chicken stock, fish sauce, lime juice as well as the remaining veggies, reduce the mixture on a medium – high heat, stirring occasionally.
After about 8 – 10 minutes reduce the heat and simmer. I like my veggies a bit crunchy so I simmer until it’s the texture I prefer.
Taste the seasoning adding salt if necessary – and voila! Ready to serve!
I served mine with Jasmine rice – follow the packet instructions 🙂
After getting my Facebook Page sorted and Instagram account linked to this website, I am feeling confident about posting more recipes.
Jamie Oliver posted a pancake video on Instagram which only requires 3 ingredients and I was longing to give it a try. This was my First pancake attempt ever! I jazzed it up with a layer of Nutella, strawberries drizzled in honey, a lick of icing sugar and a dash of cream… It was F A B U L O U S!
125 grams flour
3 x eggs
250 ml milk
Mix until smooth, and voila! You have pancake batter! I used a ladle to pour the batter into a buttered pan on a medium to high heat. Tilt the pan to allow the mixture to spread out and allow it to cook – about 3 minutes if not less. Once the underside is golden you can then flip it and cook for another minute, once done remove from the pan and set aside.
And so you continue ladle after ladle…
A pancake can be a base for anything; savoury or sweet or even stacked high and dressed as a cake. Let me know how you like yours in the comments below 🙂
Trying to find time to blog has become tough… I recently got a puppy so my evenings are spent cleaning up, training and tummy rubs. I felt really bad about not posting anything for a while so made it my mission to visit this cake shop which I have been meaning to pop into for a really long time.
Today was the ultimate cheat day which started with a lamb burger special (a steal at R 45.00!) which totally rocked my world… but we not here for that.
I’m lucky to be working in the CBD so there are tons of great food places to check out and new ones popping up literally every day. I walked past The Velvet Cake Co a couple of months back and was genuinely intrigued by the décor; bright colours popping through the windows and picture perfect cupcakes eyeing you as you pass by.
After building the courage to go inside the shop and take pics (I still feel really awkward doing this) I ordered a sweetie pie cupcake for Claud which is a cupcake with marshmallow on the top, coated with chocolate on a chocolate cupcake base – can you say heaven? I ordered a vanilla caramel cupcake for myself which I probably devoured in 60 seconds flat. Eating this cupcake made my year fo sure, it was everything you want in a cupcake, melt-in-your-mouth buttercream, pillowy soft cupcake with caramel on the inside and sprinkles on the top! Wait, What?! DEAD DEAD DEAD – it was real good, you might think I’m over exaggerating but it was REALLY that good. Promise.
I got my colleague a red velvet meringue cupcake which he tore apart in 10 seconds and ended up with meringue on his cheeks, pity I didn’t get a pic of that J
If you ever looking for THE BEST cake for a birthday party, special event or simply cause YOLO I would give these guys a try… Check their website, these master pieces are worth every cent!
With the evenings being soooo cold I thought this would be a good time to try out this tomatoe and red pepper soup. It’s really soooo cold at night I even went to bed with my coat on! I started this soup on Sunday afternoon as I need good light while using my phone to take half decent pictures. We were then invited to a braai so had to put the cooking on hold, hence the end result pic looking a bit blegh as it was dark…
As with my last post; there are 3 elements to this soup – basil pesto, the soup, croutons. (I am trying to impress you guys 🙂 ) We’ll start with the pesto:
250 grams basil leaves – I used 4 packs from Checkers which is not 250 grams but ah well it worked
2 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons pine nuts – I used cashew nuts – Woolies let me down, well actually poor planning did. Pine nuts are also very expensive about R 90.00 a small pack. The cashew nuts worked very nicely also.
5 tablespoons Parmesan cheese – also quite pricey but really makes a big difference and I still have a lot of the cheese left.
120 ml Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 x chilli (optional)
These ingredients are a bit expensive but its really worth it as you get about 3 – 4 jars of pesto from this recipe. You would normally buy the ready made pesto for about R 50.00 for a good ish brand. I wont hate if you bought the ready made pesto, its really no biggie. (but still, homemade is life)
Method for the Basil Pesto:
In a food processor add the basil, garlic, nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, chilli and blitz. While the food processor is running add the olive oil until it forms a paste – pesto – like consistency.
Once done decant into a jar and store in the fridge. You can use the pesto as a side with literally everything, its sooooo gooood!
We will now move on to the soup. I suppose to save time you can first put the veggies in the oven and then make the pesto.
Ingredients for the soup:
Approx 6 large tomatoes
3 red peppers
4 garlic cloves
Salt and Pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
600 ml vegetable stock
1 teaspoon sugar
30 grams butter
3 tablespoons flour
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Cream – optional
Method for the soup:
Preheat the oven to 180°. Cut the tomatoes and peppers roughly and place in a roasting dish along with the garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle generously with olive oil and roast for about 40 mins. Once done allow to cool and remove the skins of the tomatoes and peppers – it comes off quite easily.
Dice the onion and saute in a large pot with a little olive oil until the onions are soft, add the cayenne pepper and paprika until fragrant – about 30 seconds. You will then add the tomatoes, red peppers and garlic from the roasting dish along with the vegetable stock and sugar.
Melt the butter in the microwave and once melted add the flour and mix until a paste forms. Stir the paste into the soup – this will give your soup a nice texture. Once all is done use a stick blender or transfer to a blender to iron out all the big bits.
Once done, place on heat again and once the soup boils add the lemon juice and remove from heat. At this point I added fresh cream simply to add a touch of richness but its really not needed as the basil pesto does that anyway. Season with salt and pepper the way you like it.
Lastly; the croutons – all you need is canola oil, a baguette or any bread really, salt and pepper.
Cut / tear the bread into pieces – crouton size pieces.
Heat the oil, use one piece of bread to check if the oil is hot enough. The bread should sizzle once it touches the oil. Fry the bread pieces until crispy and once done place on a paper towel to drain excess oil – season with salt and pepper
To serve; dish soup into a bowl, add a dollop of pesto in the middle and scatter with croutons. Dinner is served 😀