30.6.14

Family favourite

When I was growing up, every December holiday would be spent down at the South Coast. It would be three beautiful weeks of nothing but sand, sea, relaxation and braai every single night (because that's what a summer holiday is all about). In between all of this holiday time we would go to the grandparents for a few days and spend time with my dad's side of the family. 

My fondest memory about this time is getting to enjoy lots of granny's homemade apricot jam, rusks and Hertzoggies (or as some like to call them Jam tarts). Now the thing about these Hertzoggies is that they are just simply amazing! In fact they're so delicious, that it would be almost like a race between my dad and his siblings to see who could get the grandparent's house first so that they could hide the treats from the rest of the family. 


So not too long ago my sister and I were talking about these Hertozoggies and how scrumptious they are, so we decided to try our hand at making them. Well that and my parents were coming  home for a visit, so we decided to surprise my dad with one of his favourites.




Ingredients:
2 cups self-riasing flour
150 ml castor sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter
3 large egg yolks
1 tbsp PnP cold water
1 pinch of salt

150 ml apricot jam
3 large egg whites
1 cup sugar syrup
2 cups dessicated coconut
1 tsp vanilla essence

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a muffin pan
2. Sift the flour, castor sugar, baking powder and salt
3. Rub in the butter until mix resembles fine breadcrumbs
4. Add egg yolks and water, and knead to form smooth dough
5. Cover and rest for 20 minutes
6. Roll dough to 5mm thickness, cut out pastry circles with a cookie cutter and use these to line a shallow muffin tray
7. Whip the egg whites to form soft peaks, then slowly add sugar, beating continuously
8. Fold in coconut and vanilla
9. Dollop small spoonful’ of jam into each pastry hollow and top with coconut meringue

10. Bake tarts for 20-25 minutes until golden, cool slightly in pan and lift onto a cooling rack

27.6.14

Friday Funnies

Generally I'm not the biggest soccer fan, ok scratch that, I'm not a soccer fan at all. But with the World Cup taking place and people mostly only talking about their country's, or in South African's (we didn't even qualify....oops) case, your favourite country's ranking. I have found myself taking a slight (a very very slight) interest in the games. Now that doesn't mean I'm watching them, I prefer the twitter highlights version. Then came the Suarez biting incident and it was all anybody and everybody could talk about. Suddenly Twitter and Facebook feeds across the globe were flooded with jokes and images of the incident. So this week's Friday Funnies will be dedicated to a round up of my favourites. 






25.6.14

To tweet or not to tweet....

Just yesterday I was browsing around on the blogs I follow when I came across indieberries - Social media twitter quick tip, and then that got me thinking. It got me thinking about all the things people say on social media. Like those couples who break up and then air their dirty laundry on Facebook, or the people who love nothing better than ranting and raving about their lavish lifestyles on Twitter. But the biggest problem is people's manners on social media. People find it easier to hide behind a computer or phone when they’re behaving in way they wouldn’t dare do in public. 
Don’t get me wrong, I think social media is great because it encourages us to take chances and be more forthcoming, however, it can also create a diffused sense of responsibility for our actions.

1. Always consider your tone. Are you a “bragger” or complainer? If so, reconsider your posting strategy.
2. Do think before you tag or upload. There’s nothing worse than someone tagging you in the most unflattering photo imaginable. Put yourself in their shoes and reconsider if you’re unsure.
3. Act the way you want to be treated.
4. Don’t over share. There is a line that is often crossed and it’s important to remember where to draw it.
5. Arguments, feuds are best kept offline.
6. Don’t constantly ask people to follow you or like your page. You should let people follow and like what they want.

23.6.14

A heart warming winter meal

I must be losing my mind, because I never posted this recipe from the dinner party we had not so long ago. The one tricky thing whenever you're having a dinner party always has to be what are you going to make that will not only be more than enough for everyone, but won't break the bank either. Well for this particular dinner we went with a roasted tomato basil soup with a side of savoury polenta muffins and a mushroom, onion and thyme quiche (this recipe at a later stage). 

What I love most about these two recipes, is that they're both so easy to follow and pull off, no matter how much experience you have in the kitchen. Our guests absolutely loved them and all wanted the recipe afterwards. So when you look like the star cook you can thank me later...lol. 

Roasted tomato basil soup

Ingredients:
1.5kg ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
90ml good olive oil
1 tbsps salt
1½ tsps freshly ground black pepper
2 chopped yellow onions
6 garlic cloves, minced
30g unsalted butter
¼ tsp crushed red chilli flakes
800g tinned plum tomatoes, with their juice
600g fresh basil leaves, packed
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 litre chicken stock or water

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2. Toss together the tomatoes, 60ml of olive oil, salt, and pepper. 
3. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking tray and roast for 45 minutes.
4. In an 9 litre stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 30ml of olive oil, the butter, and red chilli flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking tray. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.
5. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Taste for seasonings.
Serve hot or cold.


Savoury polenta muffins

Ingredients:
1 cup polenta
1 cup gluten free cake flour
¼ cup sugar
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar + enough milk to make 1 cup) (or soy milk plus a 1 tsp apple cider vinegar - for a dairy free bread)
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons butter or dairy-free buttery spread (melted)
Optional: 3/4 cup dried cranberries, (chopped or whole) or 3/4 cup chopped & pitted olives with a teaspoon of rosemary

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 200°C
2. In the bowl of your mixer, whisk together flour blend, sugar, and salt.
3. Beat eggs, oil, butter/marg and buttermilk together
4. Add wet ingredients to the flour blend and mix on medium speed until all is moistened.
5. Fold in the cranberries/olives & rosemary
6. Pour batter into a pan which has been lined with foil & sprayed with non stick.
7. Bake for about 20 - 35 minutes, or until very golden brown.

Tips
For a less crumb texture, use an extra egg.

20.6.14

Friday Funnies

Oh happy day, it's my favourite day of the week....FRIDAY! What's even better about it being Friday is that we have been given the day off, so combine that with the fact that Monday was a public holiday, I've only worked three days this week. Now what's not to love about that? Lately I've been reading a lot more of the Awkward Yeti's cartoons. The humour put into each and every cartoon is absolutely brilliant. So for this week's Friday Funnies, I'll be sharing my favourite cartoons from the week. 





11.6.14

BB, CC and DD, let's deal with the confusion

With all these BB, CC, and DD creams available at every cosmetic stores, makeup shopping is becoming a whole lot more complicated. So how exactly are you supposed to keep them all straight and tell the difference? Or how are you suppose to even know which one to use? Well today I'm going to break it all down for you. 
BB creams or better yet know as beauty balm is more of a "creamy" moisturiser.
 It mainly offers sun protection, hydration, and a little bit more coverage than you're average tinted moisturiser.

CC creams or also known as colour correcting is a lightweight and fast-absorbing moisturiser. This cream lightly covers the skin and makes it appear less swollen, red and uneven. 
DD creams or often referred to as daily defence has an SPF, protects the skin from moisture loss and balances out uneven tone.

9.6.14

Doing my bit

Some part of me has always had this need to help others, and by help I mean doing volunteer work at a charity of some kind. Along with this need to help I have a fear of helping. This fear comes from the thought that I won't be able to handle it and I'll break down crying in a room full of people. A little pathetic I know. 



Now a couple of months ago, you'll remember I wrote a post about Operation Smile and the brilliant work they do. So recently when I was thinking about helping out and how I would achieve this, I thought about this organisation. So I hopped over to the Operation Smile website and found one of the wonderful things they do, is personal fundraising. It's perfect for me. 

While having a browse I remembered that CampusBookRentals contributes money from every textbook sold to Operation Smile. If only I knew about this while I was still a student, I could have been doing my bit for how long now.

It's organisations such as these which give me that warm fuzzy feeling inside. Seeing how so many people out there are willing to give and not expect anything is return.

Written in collaboration with CampusBookRentals

6.6.14

Friday Funnies

The weekend is finally here, hallelujah. I don't know if it's just me but this week although it was busy seemed as if it was dragging at such a snail pace, but thankfully now it's Friday. This week it was back to normal with the blog posts, even though I skipped Wednesday (my bad) and with it being Friday we all know what that means....it's Friday Funnies time.

So sit back, relax and wrap that blanket even tighter around yourself (if you're in freezing Jo'burg that is) and have a laugh or two. 


These are so funny, go have a look, here


Autocorrect, it hates me.


2.6.14

Baklava - homemade style

This past Saturday we had a nice relaxed braai at the house. As usual we went all out and over catered slightly, as only we know how to do. There was a large selection of meats, some garlic bread, salad, roast veggies and dessert. When I heard we'd be having a braai, I felt the inspiration to bake, and I wanted it to be something I had never tried before. So naturally I turned to Baklava (as one does). 

This particular recipe was given to us by a Greek friend of the family's, so I thought it was going to be tricky, but it was so easy in the end. With this particular recipe I had my lovely friend Caryn (those nut chopping skills of hers...lol) helping me throw together this delicious treat. 

Ingredients

Baklava
½ kg filo pastry
½ cup butter
2 cups chopped almonds
1 cup walnuts
2 tbs castor sugar
1 tbs mixed cloves and cinnamon

Syrup
2 cups castor sugar
2 cups hot water
1 small piece of cinnamon
Rind of 1 lemon
2 tbs lemon juice



Method

Baklava
1. Preheat the oven to 180. 
2. Mix the nuts, sugar and spices together.
3. Grease the baking dish with butter. 
4. Lay down the first six sheets of filo pastry (brushing each with melted butter)
5. Sprinkle all the nuts over the last (sixth) layer of filo pastry. 
6. Lay down the remaining six sheets, once again brushing each with melted butter. 
7. Place the baking dish in the oven and allow to bake for 30 minutes. 

Syrup
1. Stir together the sugar and water in a saucepan over a medium heat.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and allow to boil for 15 minutes or until thickened. 
3. Once thickened, remove from the heat and allow to cool. 
4. Once it's cooled down pour it over the Baklava and serve. Be sure to remove the piece of cinnamon and lemon rind.

*My advice with this recipe is that you double the syrup ingredients.