30/03/2013

The Cupcake Garden




It's been a long time since I've had cupcakes this good! Fresh, light, crumbly....perfect! On a whim while at the Cape Garden Centre at Joostebergvlakte, I walked past this cute little shop and decided: it's Easter, let's get something other than chocolate bunnies. So in I walked at The Cupcake Garden and bought 6 chocolate cupcakes and 9 red velvet cupcakes.



Okay, so one confession, the red velvet is so light and fluffy that I seriously doubt that it is made with bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and buttermilk (such as the traditional recipe requires) but rather just vanilla sponge tinted red. But I can with all certainty say: who cares! Red velvet has always been my favourite flavour, even having it as our wedding cake and this still is some of the best I've ever tasted!


The cream cheese frosting was devine and I'm not even talking about the chocolate! A beautiful sponge with thick chocolaty icing.....I had three before we got home! Going to their website to see their decorations I was more than pleasantly surprised. Usually if the cupcakes are good then the decorations are lacking or the other way around. How many times have I bought a cupcake, beautifully decorated, looking absolutely delicious only to be dissapointed in the first bite? 




Well, never again that I can promise you. From weddings, batchelorette parties, kitchen teas, work functions, baby showers, holidays and kids parties, you'll find something you love. They only have a few favours for the actual cupcakes (vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, carrot and capachinno) but they do a brilliant filling (8 to choose from ranging from caramel to lemon meringue) and 5 different icings to top it all off.




Now all that's left is to find the next party so I can order me some delicious cupcakes asap!

(All photos from the Cupcake Garden's Website

29/03/2013

Sweet Jalapeño Popper Sandwich

I think I'm going Jalapeño Popper crazy! I decided it needs something sweet to go with the tangy, meaty, creamy and crispy. This is one well-rounded sandwich! I've always been a bit nutty for salt and sweet like pretzels dipped in chocolate on spreading jam on my toast before adding my bacon and fried egg and that gave me an idea...


So what did I add? Tomato chilli jam. Mainly for the sweet (which really adds something) but also for a better tang as the sandwiches aren't that hot. 

• 4 slices white bread
• 4 tsp low fat cream cheese 
• 1 tsp tomato chilli jam
• 2 slices cheese
• 3 slices salami
• 2 tsp jalapeño slices



1. Spread the 4 slices with 1 tsp cream cheese each. Then spread 2 slices with 1 tsp each jam.


 2. Top the Sam 2 slices with a slice cheese and tsp each jalapeño slices.


3. Top with 1 and a 1/2 salami slices on each bread. Then place the other 2 slices bread on top.


4. Place into the sandwich press and grill until brown, crispy and the cheese is melted.


5. Cut in half and enjoy.


Serves 2 with 6 WeightWatchers ProPoints each.

28/03/2013

Easter treats



There are so many fantastic and absolutely adorable treats available or purchase from any shop, deli or supermarket that you walk into from as early as February. But sometimes you don't wasn't to give the kids a kilogram of chocolate. What to do? Well for one thing you will in all probability be stuck in the kitchen for most of the Easter Weekend so what ever it is, it can't bedtime consuming at all. So here is my plan for easy sweet treats that won't end with you at the dentist's chair come next week.


12 mini muffins (any flavour)
1 packet chocolate icing kit
Ingredients required for icing kit (usually butter and milk)
1-2 packets mini chocolate covered jelly speckled eggs


1. Prepare the icing. Pour into a piping bag with a star attachment.

2. Pipe/drizzle/spoon circles on the mini cupcakes so they look like little nests.

3. Top with 2 mini eggs into the little nest.

And voila. A cute and easy little treat that takes less than 10 minutes.

Use chocolate, blueberry or carrot mini muffins. If you want them to look prettier wraparound bow around each one. You can use vanilla icing tinted a bright green and piped on to look like grass.for a fancier take, paint the mini eggs in edible gold paint and place on chocolate muffin with chocolate icing and a gold ribbon around the bottom.

The ideas are endless but most importantly, they are easy! If you feel like superwoman and have some time to spare, why not bake the Rainbow Cake for your loved ones? 

27/03/2013

Rainbow Cake

We have 3 birthdays over the Easter Weekend as well,which makes life just a little bit more difficult. (Almost as difficult as having a birthday on the 24th of December!) but this recipe is good enough for Easter AND birthdays! And as we still have some beautiful weather left I say it's perfect!


From the BBC Good Food April 2013 magazine, we have a brilliant example of one of the biggest trends lately: colourful cakes. Whether you have individual coloured layers or whether you create it by just adding different coloured blobs to a cake tin (to create a marble effect), you just have to try baking a Rainbow Cake.



26/03/2013

The I Love Company in Stellenbosch

Wow what an amazing little local company that provides the best rusks in SOuth Africa (as far as I'm aware) and with fantastic flavours such as the Afternoon Tea Coconut & Buttermilk Rusks, which is my favourite brunch snack with tea.




Find them on Facebook.


I bought my bag at D'ARIA Wine farm Deli but they are available at the Neighbourhood Goods Market in Woodstock and also at their shop in Stellenbosch. To find out more contact  them on 083 598 5840 or email at theilovecompany@gmail.com.

Now leave me so I can dunk my rusks in peace....

Chicken Mango & Avo Wrap

We had some serious Internet issues so I couldn't post since the weekend and I have been having a seriously busy week so I must apologise for the lack of lunch boxes. But here we have something quick and easy. 


2 chicken breast or smoked chicken breasts, cooked and sliced
1/2 fresh mango, diced
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/2 cup creamed cottage cheese
1 handful of fresh coriander
2 coriander flour tortillas
Salt and pepper

1. Pour some fresh lemon juice over the avocado to ensure it doesn't turn brown.

2. Chop the fresh coriander finely and add it to the cottage cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

3. To construct the wrap: layer chicken, avo and mango on the flour tortilla. Drop dollops of the cream cheese on top (add some more fresh coriander if you like).

4. Wrap the tortilla and enjoy.

I sometimes like to fry some onions until crispy and add it to the wrap for something crunchy. And sometimes I just add some lettuce if I really don't want too much trouble.

21/03/2013

UK Emporium - the most amazing shop in Town


I like anything different and chocolates are my obsession. So why would I eat a boring old KitKat if I can choose between Mint, Orange, Dark, White, Peanut Butter or Coconut!! What you ask are these? Well in South Africa we have normal, dark and the latest addition white KitKat. But in England we have those three plus 4 other flavours!


Now the UK Emporium not only provides us mere mortals (meaning South Africans) access to the wonderful world of "something different". And the wonderful thing about this place is: they deliver!

So let's look at what I bought: 

Now, I know you're thinking: Mint Aero? How boring! But look closely - These have biscuits at the bottom! Right? Right! 

But as if biscuits aren't enough let's have the Aero in Orange flavour as well!! They come in individual bars (seven) in each packet.


The latest chocolate available in SA is the "Bubbly" but in the UK we have the MINT Bubbly, with just a layer of mint. Nice right? I love anything minty.

But if the above is still not different enough, then I give you: The Guinness Chocolate!

I love ginger biscuits, but why have them just plain? No way, let's dip them in Dark Chocolate!

But that's not all. They have everything (not just sweet). I give you the golden oldie Monster Chips!

They also have all the Kettle Chips flavours, Hula Hoop chips (remember those? I used to put them on my fingers and eat them one-by-one). But this is also the only place in SA where I can find Lemon Fanta. We had this in Barcelona and Italy and, really, there is nothing better than Lemon Fanta on a hot day. The UK's soda is so different to ours, ours is almost luminous in colour and extremely sweet but this Fanta is a lovely light lemon colour and not too sweet. They also have Dr Pepper, Iron Bru, Cherry Coke and many more...


They also have cereal. But something old and something different. Something old as in Fruit Loops (it was my favourite as a child) and some new. We have 3 different Shreddies, Golden Nuggets, Cookies (they look like actual cookies!) and Nesquik. You buy these in packets of 8. They also sell the usual cereal in smaller boxes of 6 that has Coco Pops, Corn Flakes etc, just like we used to have.


They sell Madras Curry sauces, condiments, Dvd's pudding packets and cleaning materials. Anything you can think of so go visit them at their shop or online but don't wait too long: their extensive Easter selection won't last long.



20/03/2013

Lunch box: Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Today's lunch is a very simple one: beautiful soft rye buns (new from Woolworth's), butter, tomato jam and grated Gouda cheese. Simple yet so satisfying.


As you'll notice what is being enjoyed with the sandwich is a nut and chocolate bar instead of fruit. I don't know if it is because we over did the fruit in the last couple of months or if I'm just bored of the selection, but there is only one word to describe it.....gatvol.....it's a beautiful Afrikaans word that doesn't have a direct translation but means 'tired of' something.


So what we have instead is a 'healthy' dessert in the form of a luxury yoghurt. A double cream, peppermint caramel yoghurt. It still has less canaries that it's equivalent dessert but because it's double cream, you'll never know it. I did find an interesting fruit from Woolies the other day: a white melon or cantaloupe. Beautifully sweet, almost like a honeydew melon, but other than that, no real flavour. It does help with the boredom with fruit though.

19/03/2013

St. Patrick’s Day Peppermint Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

We in South Africa don't officially celebrate St. Patrick's day, although there are always a few who will use any excuse to have a couple of drinks, I myself rather celebrate by going sweet. So with that in mind I give you


St. Patrick’s Day Peppermint Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes


From Hungry Hubby's favourite foodie site food24.com. For the full recipe please click here.


How gorgeous are these? I have also found a recipe to make your own thin mints so I will test it out and then share it with everyone.

17/03/2013

Baked Bull's Eye


The perfect recipe for the kids to try or for weekends away when you have to make breakfast for a bunch if people thanx to Martha Stewart's Every Day Food that now seems no longer to exist save for a little section in Martha Steward's Living Magazine. I would do a second tray next to the eggs with bacon and slices tomato on it.






14/03/2013

Lunch box: Friday, 15th of March 2013

The hardest part of any diet is creating a daily menu that subscribes to all the requirements. I find it tedious and boring not to mention time consuming and some times even difficult, especially if there are many aspects one need to consider. But for the sake of good health that's exactly what is needed. Hungry Hubby is on his own little health kick accompanied by his weekly exercise (and some weird notion that he will ride the Argus next year - and he doesn't even own a bike...) So I decided that maybe I should follow his example.



Now don't think for one second that I'm going to have broccoli, chickpeas and mince for lunch every day. Instead I give you steak salad with leftover cooked steak, lettuce, red onion, cucumber, olives, feta and mango.



With my steak salad I'm having a big bowl of fresh and juice cantaloupe, one of my favourite fruits in summer. I just wish they were more readily available. Now I'm hoping that this is much healthier than what I have been eating.





12/03/2013

Honey and Mustard Pork Chops with Onions and Mash

Lunches these days seems to consist more and more of leftovers. This has two advantages as it saves a lit of time and money as no additional food or preparation is required. This recipe works really well.



Ingredients

• olive oil
• 3-4 pork chops
• 2 white onions, sliced
• 2 tbsp honey
• 1 tbsp dijon mustard
• 1 tbsp chopped sage
• potato mash

[I made my mash with sour cream, milk, butter and garlic]

1. Brown the pork chops in some olive oil on both sides until nice and brown. Remove from pan and rest.


2. Add some more oil if necessary and add the onions. Fry them until brown and caramelised.



3. Add the honey, mustard and sage leaves and stir well until all the honey and mustard is incorporated.


4. Simmer until a thick sauce forms. If it becomes too thick add some water or vinegar.


5. Place the pork chops on top, closed the lid a simmer until the pork chops are done.


Enjoy on top of some mash and steamed broccoli with only some salt and pepper for seasoning as supper.

11/03/2013

What is happening this weekend 15-17 March 2013 in CAPE TOWN

This weekend of 15 to 17 March 2013 is one hell of a weekend for Cape Town. It really has something for everyone's tastes.

CAPE TOWN CARNIVAL 16 March 2013




A festival that will one day rival that of Rio and definitely one not to miss. The annual Cape Town Carnival. For more information, videos and photos check out this link.

FARM FESTIVAL AT DIEMERSDAL 16 March 2013



With music, food, crafts a beauty contest and so much more, this really is the family day you want to experience with the whole family! How about entering the Great Pumpkin Competition?

GETAWAY EXPO 15 to 17 March 2013


Experience the exhilarating 4×4 track, taste a variety of wines under R80 or listening to some live music from 3pm onwards. Kids can enjoy a climbing wall, quattro bungy, bubble ball and jumping castles while adults have a drink at the Castle Lager beer tent or indulge in a bite to eat from one of the many food stalls.

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL


Until 17 March 2013

What a fantastic show with some twist (and the acrobats doing some serious turns) and some hart stopping tricks that will have you on the edge of your seat (and jumping a couple of times too!). If you can't attend their shows in Las Vegas, Nice or Rome then I suggest you get tickets asap!

And one little tip: go early and enjoy a really good pizza at Bela Gina for supper.





 
MADAM ZINGARAS


With tickets from R385, who can so no to dinner and a show. Well, calling it just a show is one big understatement! You have to get dressed up a bit (they usually have a little shop inside where you can buy cute hats and wigs) and you have to try their chocolate steak main! The show changes every year so you can actually go every year.


RATANGA JUNCTION


Open every weekend until the end of March 2013. The best way to be a child once more!! Enjoy the Cobra, the Slingshot and many, many more. Get wet, get wild and enjoy eating hotdogs on the 'sidewalk'. Play games, listen or watch live acts and shows and make day of it. Yes sometimes you have to stand in line but it is always worth it!




So what are you waiting for? Don't let me hear that you were stuck in front of a TV this weekend!