Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cupcake Fun










So last weekend I had that overwhelming desire to bake. It sometimes strikes me for no particular reason. Take Saturday: I was exhausted, mildly hungover and in need of filling my house with treats. Firstly I made my specialty treat cookies, which are sort of shortbread-like, sort of not. I will upload the recipe in another post soon.
They were a birthday present.
Then my door bell rang! One of my absolute besties, Miss Ross had arrived for real coffee and this put me in the mood to make cupcakes.
So we decided to make not just any cupcakes, but bright colorful cupcakes.
After all, we were going to dinner that night at Mr fabulousness' house and needed to take along dessert.
Half way through making them, Mr Fabulousness decided to come over for coffee too, with Big G and before I knew it, the cupcake session had turned into a decorating competition.
By this stage I have to admit, I was still in my PJ's and looking less than fab with icing everywhere, however, we decided to crack open a bottle of wine.
It was the best afternoon ever - I haven't laughed so much in ages!
So to make these cupcakes, i used a standard mixture and divided it into three bowls, adding food colouring.
I then layered the mixture into the casings so that once cooked, everyone would be able to see the layers.
The icing was then also divided into three bowls (thick butter icing mind you) and colours were added.
They were a real hit and so unique.
This was the start to a real doozy of a dinner :-)

August shop pages in the khuluma mag


Hi guys

Below are my August issue Shop pages, from the khuluma magazine.
Designer Joanna Orr makes the most incredible environmentally friendly trophy heads. You can even have a unique design printed on them. Buy them online at www.headondesign.co.za.
I also love these weekend-inspired canvas totes by JVB and what girl doesn't enjoy lathering her skin with dreamy, creamy moisturizing products.
For inspiration on updating your wardrobe the affordable, green way, visit http://greeniedressesforless.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

African designer: Squaremoon Bags - new collection





Designer Lani Edwards of Squaremoon believes handbags should provide the ‘pop’ in a stylish outfit, so expect bright colours, intriguing patterns and interesting shapes from her new collection. The bags are made in Cape Town, using local trims and fabrics – vegans will be glad to know that no leather is used. The collection consists of medium to large totes, laptop bags and smaller purse bags, starting from R2000, and only three of each particular style are made. Order via www.squaremoonbags.com, 082-822-5476.
*from my shop pages in the British Airways inflight mag, horizons*

NEW on Loop Street: Valora Restaurant


Last night I had dinner at the brand new Valora Restaurant in Loop Street.

The ambience was relaxing and at the same time plush and luxurious. The service was good; the food was excellent and good value for money. I had unfortunately forgotten my camera at home and so, please excuse the slightly dodgy cell-phone quality images, but it was all I had.

The owner, Michael is of Lebanese decent and very passionate about his food and his coffee (which is LaVazza btw). The menu offers a range of Mediterranean, Greek, Italian and Lebanese inspired dishes, including a range of mezze dishes.

I had the escargot to start, which was presented with a decedent thick, oozy garlic cheesy sauce and homemade brioche.

My partner had the calamari – lightly battered Patagonia rings deep-fried with lemon butter sauce.

For mains I had the wild mushroom pasta. I had been dying to try this dish when I first glanced at the menu a week before. Firstly, I love mushrooms and secondly, I love it when restaurants make all their own fresh pasta. So I had mine with fettucini – you have four choices, including penne, tagiatelli and spaghetti. The dish is prepared with lightly sautéed wild mushrooms drizzled with chunky basil pesto and moon-dried tomatoes (dried in the dark) with a hint of cream and oven roasted ginger and garlic. It is super rich though, so I couldn’t finish the meal.

My partner had the signature Tomahawk steak: a 350g rib eye cut on the bone, marinated with olive oil, rosemary, fresh garlic, black pepper, cracked salt and a hint of chilli, served with homemade chutney.

While the chutney was tasty it was quite overpowering, and so I only recommend a small dab on the meat, but in fact the meat is perfectly delicious on it’s own.

For dessert we had the trio of cheesecakes and the chocolate tart.

The chocolate tart is dense clearly made with good quality dark chocolate, which I like because it’s not overpoweringly sweet. It is served with vanilla gelato and a strawberry crème fraiche cornel.

The three mini fridge cheese cakes were also quite dense, and the waitress let me in on the cheese they use: Mascarpone. The flavours were: plain; peppermint; and banana and apricot glaze.

The wine they serve by the glass is from Brampton. The white selection: sauvignon blanc or a wooded chardonnay. I had the chardonnay. My partner had the red, which was a cabernet Sauvignon.

So as you can imagine, we were stuffed… and rolled home happily :-)

The cappuccinos were delicious!

I definitely want to go back for breakfast – I believe the poached eggs are to die for!!


Friday, August 5, 2011

MuthaFM Launch in Cape Town tonight

Don't miss out on tonight's parties!
MuthaFM is launching and they've decided to throw a number of bashes around the Mother City CBD tonight.

Voom Voom Club:
This is the launch event and the start a whole new era in Music interaction and communication. Mutha FM is launching the biggest music media network that the internet world has ever seen, giving its listeners a new way to interact with their favorite artists, DJ’s, Bands, Producers, Event Promoters, Club Owners and Publications.
Presenting:
Bed On Bricks
Reburn
Thought Police
My Flawless Ending
Wolftown
Anton Syndrome
Zaria
Pik Swart
Starts 7pm


The Mutha FM Studio @ La Vie:
2pm – 4pm :: Mr Mo
4pm - 5pm :: Slim
5pm – 6pm :: Delphictus
6pm – 7pm :: Accsssion
7pm – 8pm :: Jamie Saint
8pm – 9pm :: JB Intl
9pm – 10pm :: Daimo
10pm – 11pm :: Infemy

La Vie | 205 Beach Road, Seapoint, Cape Town

Trinity Dance Floor 1

10pm - 11pm :: Adrian Gemini
11pm - 12am :: Deniel Briers
12am - 1am :: Tony Finger
1am - 2am :: Nick E Louder
2am - 3am :: Hoover & Fractal
3am - 4am :: Sonic & EMP

Trinity Dance Floor 2

12am-1am :: Jules Osrin
1am- 2am :: Digital Project
2am-3am :: Slewroy
3am-4am :: Mezzanine

Trinity | 15 Bennett Street, Greenpoint, Cape Town


www.muthafm.com

Jason's Hill winery







If you happen to visit the Slanghoek Valley, one of the first farms I recommend popping into is Jason's Hill (www.jasonshill.co.za). The winemaker, Ivy, is the most incredible, friendly person with very amusing stories.
Like the other farms in the area, there is a lot of rich history.
In the bistro upstairs, above the cellar, there are a collection of photographs, pocket watches and other knick-knacks that belonged to family members over the years.
Ivy makes really good wine. Her first ever was Shiraz, and so I immediately warmed to her.
We loved the wooded chardonnay, the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Jason's Creek red blend.
All wines are very good value for money when bought at the wine estate.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Slanghoek Winery blend & bottle your own wine








I had so much fun at the Slanghoek Winery this past weekend. Not only do they divine wines to taste but they have a special ‘blend and bottle’ activity open to the public (www.slanghoek.co.za).

This is how they do it:

You are given three unfiltered varietals: Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

First you taste each wine.

Second, you write down an estimation in percentages of what you think will work. I first went for: 60% shiraz, 25 merlot%, 15% cab.

Third, you measure the percentages out into a cylinder and then pour the new combination into a glass, so that the flavours can become more ‘acquainted’.

Fourth, you taste your new concoction and decide whether you like it or not.

Each person has three attempts. I finally settled on 55% shiraz, 25% merlot and 20% cabernet sauvignon. The subtle change in percentages really changes the flavour.

Once you are happy with your choice of wine, the wine maker (we were lucky enough to have Cellarmaster Pieter Carstens help us out) measures it out in 1 litre, and bottles it for you.

You also get to create your own label. Mine was: The Shameless Hobbit (for many personal reasons only close friends would understand).

Wines I liked: The Slanghoek Vonkel, the Slanghoek Pinotage, the Slanghoek crème de chenin (sweet) and the slanghoek chardonnay. Their wines are good value for money when bought directly from the estate, and let’s just say, I’m stocked up for the rest of this winter!

My mum is visiting me from Harare at the end of the month, so I can bank all the wine being finished by then. ;-)

Gear up for Braai Day


Last year I interviewed Jan Scannell, the man who started the Braai 4 Heritage initiative.
With 50 days to go until this year's Braai Day, and because I am going to two braais this weekend (housewarming and a birthday), I thought it was a good time to do an update.
Jan has also been travelling around South Africa braaing at various Heritage sites. These travels have been documented and made into a TV series which airs on KYKnet on Friday evenings at 5pm (pic taken at At Muisbosskerm in Lambertbaai).

Jan is also giving away a sheep a day for the next 50 days, so go visit the http://braai.com/ and find out all about it.

Here is the link to the transcribed interview from last year: http://20-somethingincapetown.blogspot.com/2010/09/interview-jan-scannell-braai-4-heritage.html

Monday, August 1, 2011

Slanghoek Mountain Resort Weekend Away















This weekend we were privileged enough to stay out in the Slanghoek valley at the Slanghoek Mountain Resort (www.slanghoekresort.co.za). It is the most beautiful area, situated just more than an hours drive from Cape Town, Near Goudini area. More specifically, the closest town is Rawsonville, but it is a gem on it’s own.

There are a number of awesome wineries dotted along the wine valley main road and I will be posting about each place we stopped at throughout the week.

The Slanghoek Mtn Resort has a variety of accommodation options, from luxury tents to guest houses to regular camping facilities, and of course, the new log cabins, in which we stayed. The log cabins are about 4km drive from the main section of the resort and over very rough terrain. Usually you arrive at the resort and then someone will take you to your log cabin in a 4x4 vehicle for the night.

The log cabins use solar power only and are self-catering. There is an amazing little fireplace, which really heated up the room.

My partner happily cast his rod off the balcony as the log cabins are on stilts above the lake.

We were supplied with an awesome platter of cheeses, breads, crackers, meats, preserves and pastries for a finger supper and a variety of wines provided by Jason’s Hill down the road.

There is a large braai facility outside and inside is a gas stove and oven.

And duvets you can literally get lost under...

What was incredible for me was the peace and quiet of the place. There are three log cabins in total, but each are quite a distance from the other.

The views are also breathtaking.

Other activities on the farm include trout fishing, bass fishing, hiking, pony rides for kids, putt putt and there are three swimming pools.

To be honest, we can’t wait to go back again!