30/09/2013

Baby Shower



Hubby and I were most fortunate to have my two cousins, Monique and Stefan, host the most amazing Baby Shower (or for the guys - Diapers for Beers Party). It was a mixed party (the best kind so no eating purity etc) with good conversation and really good food. I took some of the photo's of some of the food to show what an evening for 30 people on snacks look like. We were worried that there wouldn't be enough food and ended up having so many leftovers - even after everyone took doggy-bags home. My cousins did the catering themselves (we're trying to get them to open their own catering company! So please let them know if you agree by leaving a comment). Our family and friend also really spoiled us with a wide variety of gifts including this beautiful diaper-cake (made by Monique) which we also think should be part of the services they render. So here are the photos:
THE FOOD:

Homemade Vegetable Springrolls with homemade sweet chilli sauce.

Croissant with ham, cucumber, lettuce and tomato. 
Rainbow fruit scewers.

 The cheese plate with some very stinky cheese. 
Croissant with roast beef, lettuce, cucumber & kiri cheese

 The two successes of the evening despite more elaborate choices:
 Homemade Chicken Mayo and Homemade Egg Mayo sandwiches on the freshest bread.

 Croissant, ham, cheese and cucumber sandwiches.
Crudités and Homemade dip.

 And a big selection of chicken wings, Boerewors, Sosaties (beef and chicken), cheese grillers and many many other nibbles. As you can see I stopped taking photo's after a while! So don't think it was just a selection of sandwiches, I was just running out of battery.

 FOR DESSERT:

 
How cute is the cake stand? The whole house was filled with banners that had teddy bears and rocking horses on them, even on the glasses!

 The cupcakes were divine: vanilla with a lemon meringue filling and meringue frosting with these handmade teddy bears and rocking horses.

All in all Emma is spoiled for choice and Hubby and I are two very fortunate people.
Only three weeks to go...

27/09/2013

Lunch box: Friday, 27 September 2013

Today's lunch is Honey, mustard cheese and ham sandwich, carrots with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, some extra low fat ham for dunking into the hummus and strawberries. Nothing special but it was a lunch enjoyed with relish!


26/09/2013

Honey, Mustard, cheese and Ham Sanwich


One of my cravings lately has been honey (again something I don't normally eat). First I didn't go near it as Hubby informed me that he read/heard that honey is not allowed during pregnancy. I searched the web and couldn't find any confirmation of this. And anyway, Woolworth's honey is pasteurized or something, making it safe.

I love honey-mustard but not only did I not have any, I was also convinced that it didn't have enough honey anyway, so this sandwich was born. Hubby should be glad as I first wanted to mix honey into my red pepper hummus!

What do you need:
  • 2 slices Woolworth's honey and oats bread
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 Dijon mustard
  • 4 thin slices low fat ham
  • 2 slices cheese

1. Spread the butter on each slice of bread.
2. Divide the honey and mustard between the slices and spread evenly.
3. Place 2slices ham on each slice of bread.
4. Place the cheese on one slice and top with the other.
5. Cut and enjoy.

Bobotie


I have expressed my appreciation for certain South African dishes such as Bobotie, a curry mince dish eaten with yellow rice. Though I am not domesticated enough to make it myself! I tend to buy Woolworth's version but since even Nigella has provided me with a recipe, I decided to follow her instructions and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is though not quick: cooking time is 1 hour but the preparations is short.

Hubby was so surprised that he had 2 huge helpings (he's not called Hungry Hubby for nothing!). It really is good. It's usual bazaar curry and rice taken to a whole new level wit a custard-like topping. Sometimes learning to cook an authentic South African dish has its perks!

Enjoy it with yellow rice by adding 1 tbsp turmeric to the cooking water of 2 cups rice. You can also add a handful of raisins for an even more traditional version of yellow rice.

24/09/2013

Braai Day's Best Portable Braai





Hubby received a belated birthday gift, just in time for "Braai Day": the Lotus Grill.


It's small, really portable, easy to use, cools quickly and with one basket of coals, you have a hot braai for more than 40 minutes. My uncle also received one and lit it 3 times in one evening in order to show it off.


And what's really nice is it is a table-top braai that locks so the coals cannot fall out even if tipped upside down! The surface area is big enough to braai 8 big burger patties easily together.

This is perfect for those drives to watch snow, going to the beach or a picnic. Knowing my obsession with picnics we will definitely be using it this summer.

It's available from YuppieChef

23/09/2013

Lunch box: Monday, 23 September 2013

What a lunch box! We have Middle Eastern Pizza, that tasted great cold. For. Ore protein we have Chilli chicken kebabs that I love as well as carrots (still one of my cravings) and the biggest strawberries ever!

Tomorrow is a Public Holiday, (Heritage Day) but more appropriately called Braai Day, so we are having a get-together to barbecue steaks South African style!

So no lunch box though!

Middle-Eastern Pizzas

These little morsels use hummus as a base with cheese olives and coriander as toppings, therefore the reference to the sun drenched countries of the Middle East. So quick and so easy. And because you're using hummus, the pizza doesn't dry out when cold, the base stays creamy so this is one pizza that tastes even better the next day!

1 English muffin
2 tsp hummus
4 slices cheese
4 olives, de-stoned
1tsp chopped fresh coriander

1. Cut the muffins in half. Place on a baking sheet.
2. Spread each half with the hummus. I used my favourite red pepper hummus.
3. Top each muffin with 2 slices cheese. I like it very cheesy.
4. Slice the olives into rings and place on top.
5. Sprinkle with fresh coriander.
6. Bake in a preheated oven of 180*C for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and starts to bubble.

19/09/2013

Cafe Frank Cape Town

The lunch menu has two options: one being sandwiches and the other that is called a "lunch plate". For the lunch plate you choose between roast chicken, chicken and leek pie, or vegetarian quiche and add salads from the day's freshly prepared selection. They also do a salad box that contains only salad selections.

Their sandwiches come with a choice of bagel, sourdough rye, ciabatta and piadina. They have a wide variety of healthy choices including vegetarian and if it a really cold day they have a soup of the day available as well.

Their breakfast menu has a selection of pastries, meuslis, scrambled eggs and croissants. 

For lunch I had the chicken and leek pie, roast veggies, raw beetroot salad and coleslaw.
Eat Out Magazine's review says it all:

Café Frank serves up healthy breakfasts and wholesome lunches. Breakfast options include everything from dark chocolate muffins to fig and cranberry granola with Bulgarian yoghurt and lavender honey. For lunch, choose from the daily selection of interesting salads, try a sandwich or piadina (Italian flatbread) or a serving of the signature roast chicken. Formerly known as Rotisserie 360, the restaurant recently expanded to offer an inside seating area with long tables.

Photo from Eat Out Magazine.

18/09/2013

Lunch: Wednesday, 18 September 2013


Another day and another Costello's lunch, lovingly prepared by another's hand. I just couldn't get myself to prepare lunch as I am just too tired to care. And really, lunch prepared by anyone other than yourself usually tastes much better.

I had the chicken and roast veg quiche with salad. I really love quiche but Hubby isn't so fond thereof so I tend to order it where ever I find a decent one.

17/09/2013

Peanut Butter, Honey and Banana English Muffin


A quick and easy Elvis inspired toasted English Muffin open sandwich. Hope you enjoy it as much I did.


  • 1 English muffin
  • 2tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 to 2 tsp honey (depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 1 small banana


  1. Cut the muffin in half and toast it in a toaster until crispy.
  2. Spread with 1 tbsp peanut butter and 1/2 to 1 tsp honey.
  3. Slice the banana in this slices and layer on top.
  4. Enjoy!

16/09/2013

Lunch box: Monday, 16 September 2013

Today's lunch is Elvis inspired: an English muffin, organic peanut butter, honey and banana (to be assembled at the office where I have easy access to a toaster). Hubby bought the organic peanut butter which I found to be different from 'normal' peanut butter in both taste and consistency.

In taste it's slightly less sweet and less peanut buttery...if that makes any sense? But that is because the unnatural taste enhancers are also missing.

In consistency it's a lot more gooey (like in having a mouth full of glue) and even though it's sold as 'smooth' it is slightly grainy. It's also very oily (compared to usual peanut butter) but as I understand it's because the usual emulsifiers are removed so the peanut butter separate quicker, so next time give it a quick stir before taking a bit (therefore the glue consistency).

All in all I believe it to be a change for the better.

With my Elvis open 'sandwich', we have the biggest, red strawberries, carrots and some roasted red pepper hummus. A well rounded lunchbox?

12/09/2013

Cheesy 2 Minute Noodles

We don't always have time to prepare a lunch box, or even think of lunch, so I have easy meals that I leave at work that is quick to prepair. Like Instant Oats (just add water, milk, butter and sugar), cereal bars and 2 minute Noodles.

2 Minute Noodles are quick to prepare and can be really tasty, especially if you add some ingredients.

Next time throw some cheese triangles in you purse with your noodles for this quick lunch.

Ingredients


  • 1 packet 2 minute noodles (I used the curry flavour but it works with any favourite flavour)
  • 2 Kiri cheese squares
  1. Prepare the noodles as per the instructions (I deviate by adding the spice packet from the start and microwaving the noodles for 2 and a 1/2 minutes to 3 instead of just 2 minutes)
  2. Add the cheese squares and stir until melted.
Optional extras: grated cheddar cheese and chopped coriander makes it even more of a luxury instead of a cheap and cheerful lunch.


11/09/2013

Strawberry and Pineapple Chicken Skewers

These skewers are so easy to make and so versatile. If you have small children you can cut up all the ingredients and have the little ones assemble it themselves.

For these beauties you need very little but the ideas are endless (chicken, grapes and brie for instance?) any combination you can think of. How about coronation chicken? Chicken pieces with peach or mango slices and green grapes with a curry dipping sauce! Ooh I get excited just thinking about it!

What  combinations would you make?

Maybe a real guys version: Bacon, cheese and chicken?

Please share your ideas.

Lunch box: Wednesday, 11 September 2013


What ore can one ask for? This is one of my best carb-free lunch boxes because it's vibrant and colourful with sweet fruity chicken skewers that are so easy to make that a child could do it 

(if it wasn't for the pointy ends of the sticks I would even insist that children prepare these themselves!)

So what are we having? Pineapple and strawberry chicken skewers on salad leaves, additional chicken breast, carrots and green grapes.

The chicken breast are braaied or barbecued in Nando's peri-peri sauce but you can use your favourite sauce or any leftover chicken.

10/09/2013

Lunch box: Tuesday, 10 September 2013


Today's lunch is a do-it-yourself deal with 2 bran and raisin muffins, honey (from Spain!) and Kiri cheese. Try warming the muffin up slightly in the microwave for a few seconds, split it in half and add the cheese and honey in the middle. Wait a few seconds so the cheese can 'melt' a little and the muffin can cool down. And there you go, my favourite way to eat a muffin!

With the muffins I have some pineapple slices, green grapes and a lot of carrots (I'm really loving my carrots right now). I also have some sliced cheese and a wholewheat animal biscuit.

09/09/2013

Lunch box: Monday 9 September 2013

Today was just one of those days where I finished my lunch box (plus a bran and raisin muffin and a packet of caramel popcorn) all before lunch. Ugh! But at least I can say with same satisfaction that I enjoyed the lunch box.

I had two small wholewheat rolls with tuna mayo (only 1 tsp mayo and 2 tsp cottage cheese) where one was supposed to be for lunch and the other for the 3 pm munchies, carrots with smooth cottage cheese, green grapes, pineapple wedges and some almonds. If this is anything to go by then the rest of the day will be a nightmare!

E's Nursery




Okay, I know this isn't lunch or a restaurant review or even a recipe, but since we've worked so hard on this room, we thought we would share our new little bundle of joy's room with everyone and hopefully get some advise on what we need to move, change or replace as we really have no idea what we are doing.








We went with one bright wall to bring in some colour as I wanted the rest of the room to be white. But the one wall wasn't enough so we add the tree stickers on each side of the window. The rocking chair is in muted colour (so we can use it again). The cot is adjustable and the handle visable is for a cotton cover so it looks like a vintage cot. Those I will wash and add closer to Emma's arrival.



The cot and dressing table is in dark wood (from Stokke) while the rest of the furniture is white. We also added a window seat with the mattress the same colours as the rocking chair. The cushions have these little Scottish terriers in turquoise, pink and brown (to match the chair).



05/09/2013

Chicken Mayo and Pineapple Sandwich






I just had to have this sandwich last night. It was one of those cravings where I could think of nothing else so I had to make it and I had two for dinner!


  • 4 slices soft white bread
  • butter
  • 1 to 2 chicken breasts cooked and chopped
  • 2 tbsp low fat cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp low fat mayo
  • 2 tbsp chopped pineapple (I used canned pineapple)
  • parsley, chopped (I ised a tbsp)
  • Rocket leaves

  1. Spread the slices of bread with butter.
  2. In a separate bowl mix the cream cheese mayo and pineapple pieces together (ad some of the pineapple juice if the mixture is too stiff. It helps if the ingredients is left at room temperature for a while).
  3. Add the parsley and divide between 2 slices of bread. Top with Rocket leaves.
  4. Top with the remaining two slices, cut in half and enjoy.

Healthy on the Go Lunch box 4


Today it's pasta salad! Very much like my Rice Salad, it combines creaminess from the mayo dressing and cheese, meatiness from the ham, crunchiness from the green pepper and sweetness from the raisins and finally wholewheat noodles. Well balanced and enjoyable to eat (especially with my latest craving: cheese!)


The rest of the lunch box was as follows:

Breakfast was a bran and raisin muffin with grated cheese and a banana.

First snack was popcorn yoghurt and cashew nuts and the last snack is rice cakes, chunky cottage cheese and almonds.

I saved the grated cheese from my breakfast and at it with the rice cake and cottage cheese with 1 tsp raspberry jam. Delicious! I seem to always eat the second snack first and I don't know why...



04/09/2013

Creamy, Cheesy Scrambled eggs


These are my ultimate quick breakfast eggs, late lunch or evening meal (after overindulging during the day). The Laughing Cow cheese makes it really creamy while the Gouda gives it a delicate cheese flavour. You can use strong cheddar for a more intense cheesy experience.

Heathy on the Go Lunch box 3


Hubby is going to be so jealous! I'm having Tomato Stew for lunch (his favourite!) and a real South African traditional dish. 

Let's see what else I'm having:


Breakfast was Bran cereal and milk with an apple (they usually have rusk but I asked for the low carb option.

The first snack is crackerbread and 2 cheese wedges with cashew nuts.

Lunch is the Tomato stew and a naartjie.

And the second snack is veggie sticks, smooth cottage cheese and Peanuts and raisins. I love how they give you a 1/4 cup of cottage cheese for dipping as I love the dip more than the sticks. 

It's amazing how much (and how well) I will eat if the food is fresh and available. And I never knew how delicious a simple rice cake could be...its like popcorn (and will make amazing mini pizza bases)! Something to keep in mind for Emma one day - add something new to the lunch box as it might surprise her and me




03/09/2013

Healthy on the Go - Lunch box 2



The brown paper bag lunch from Healthy on the Go is a success again. I really enjoyed my lunch which was a chicken salad with salad leaves, grated carrot and pepper dew slices in a mayo type dressing. Sweet and tangy!


Breakfast was gooey oats (just the way I love it) with almonds and an apple.

First snack was Dried fruit. With lunch I had 2 thin rice cakes and an orange.

And the last snack was an egg, thin crisp bread and cashews.

I am so spoiled for choice! And I love the fact that when I get home I'm not starving so I have a decent dinner (and I have the willpower to say no to seconds). I wonder what I'm having tomorrow...

02/09/2013

Healthy-On-The-Go Lunch box


Recently I found a small company in Brackenfell that can provide breakfast, lunch and 2 snacks for the same price as a limited lunch in Cape Town. They make it fresh and have 2 pick up points in Brackenfell for collection each morning. The Company is called "Healthy On The Go" and they can be contacted by email. This is Monday's brown bag:



Breakfast is Muesli and Fat free Yoghurt and an apple (which I ate in the car on my way to work)







Snack 1 is 2 crackerbread with grated cheese and almonds.




They follow the meat-free-Monday's so lunch is Roasted butternut, feta, green pepper and sunflower seed salad with Couscous (with the veggie and couscous in equal portions).


Snack 2 is pretzels,biltong and a juice.

What more can you ask for?