Peanut Butter Baked Oats

The Little One wakes up way too early on a weekend morning. She would be all smiles and cuteness and within second she would become a hungry little monster wanting breakfast. I try and give her a decent breakfast before she realised the joy of instant cereal. The only way I can do early breakfast is to bake one of these beauties on a Friday evening, cool it down and the next morning all I have to do is cut a piece, place in a bowl and add milk, microwave and there you go. And the best part? I do the same thing on Sunday morning! 

You can obviously do plain baked oats and if you have a picky eater that may be the way to go but I feel you tend to add too much sugar to plain oats so I added a heaped teaspoon peanut butter to one. I use a small bowl that only really has a 2 cup capacity and is both oven and microwave safe. I get 4 portions from one of these.

Add 1 cup oats, 1 cup milk, 1 tablespoon peanut butter and 1 tablespoon brown sugar to a bowl. Heat in the microwave for a few minute to heat the milk and mix well until the peanut butter is mixed through. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Sprinkle a teaspoon of dark chocolate chips on top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until cooked through. Top with foil if it browns too quickly.

It will look (and smell) like a giant chocolate chip oats cookie! All you have to do the next day is to cut out ¼ and place in a deep bowl. Add ½ cup milk and heat through, then mix well and serve. So quick and so easy to make and enough for mom as well...

The options really are endless. I have done bigger ones before with Blueberries and Macadamia Nuts which were great and a Baked Caramel version as well. You can add any flavour combination you can think off.


ANNIVERSARY | Mount Nelson Chef's Table

We celebrated our third wedding anniversary on 30 June and since we were married at the Mount Nelson Hotel, we go there for our anniversaries [First Anniversary, Second Anniversary] and sometimes just because. We love the hotel, the rooms, the High Tea, the restaurant and especially the people. They always make sure you feel so very welcome. I would probably go there even if I hated the food, so I count myself lucky that the food is fantastic!

Thankfully the menu changes regularly so we would never get bored with the selections on offer. Every time was different. But this time we decided to go completely different and joint the main kitchen for their Chef's Table! Here you are in the kitchen with a specialised menu made just for you and you get to talk to the chef's and walk around. A whole new experience.

And then also the present: my beautiful earnings! Some (needed) browny points for Hubby.

 Our beautiful breadbasket with bread still hot from the oven and 
Salmon and butternut roulades

Pepper cured beef with cracked chickpeas, smoked brinjal purée, labneh and short rib fritter
La Motte Sauvignon Blanc - best white wine ever

 Hubby: Soft shell crab rolls with wasabi mayonnaise, sweet soya and chili sauce, tamarind and sesame dip. I had calamari instead prepared the same way.

Seared Norwegian salmon, pink prawn ravioli, crisp sunflower, pea purée, lemon and roe emulsion

Pan fried pigeon, creamed barley and chorizo, baby carrots and root vegetable purée

We were really sceptical about the main dish...pigeon? The vermin in our gardens now on our plate? But Chef Deon said just try it and boy are we glad we did! It was amazing: the pigeon was cooked in a water bath and then pan fried so juicy and tender and I was surprised to learn pigeon has red meat. And the chorizo spicy barley was fantastic! A definite "have again" for us.

Granny smith apple sorbet and crackling

Our second dessert: homemade macaroons and chocolates

Our view the whole evening!

We kept notes and just so you can get an idea:

A special thank you to our chefs: Chef Deon (in charge of everyone it seems), Chef Thembalani (the busy chef), Chefs Deazola, Kirsten and Jason and a very special thank you to our waiter/somalier Edward who made certain that every single dish was paired with a beautiful wine! This is the way to dine, so consider the Chef's table for your next special occasion.


Mount Nelson High Tea

Just tell me you can resist this image and I will forever be convinced that you must be an alien! No one can. Even if you hate chocolate (which already means we can't be friends, sorry) there is always a wide selection of savoury. Above however is just your sweet selection. Cakes, macaroons, fondants, mini pancakes, chocolate dipped strawberries and so much more!

I couldn't try half the offerings without looking a complete glutton. Thankfully High Tea allows for a couple of hours to enjoy yourself so don't rush! Go for seconds, no one will know! My goodness, just seeing this makes me feel so sophisticated and posh and really, really hungry!

If you have sweet or hate having to get up, the savoury selection is brought to your table and even here you have a wide selection! Think cucumber sandwiches or smoked salmon sandwiches (it is High Tea after all) toast squares with creamy scrambled egg, different pastries, quiches and pies and my absolute favourite: a mushroom and cheesy filling inside crispy pastry almost like an empanada. I had like a 100 of these at my wedding and would eat a 100 more!

But the tea itself is a fantastic experience. So many to choose from in these beautiful glass pots. The tea itself is a ritual not to be missed and I urge you to go and sample a couple of different ones. Really relaxing and wonderful. Obviously if tea is not to you liking, a glass of champagne goes well with everything on the menu...


ANNIVERSARY | Cake Velvet Company

This is such an evil little shop!! They used to be inside the premises of Treat where we had the misfortune (for my waistline that is) of discovering the Cake Plate. At least while inside of the little restaurant it wasn't in your face every time you had to visit Baby City. You could ignore it, pretend it didn't exist while the little devil on your shoulder said: "you must be hungry, just one little bite won't hurt"/ You could be strong: out of sight, out of mind. Until now that is...

Now they have their own premises with an almost direct line of sight. My jeans already started to protest as I walk closer and closer. I justified the visit with the fact that it is our wedding anniversary and we now have a tradition of having red velvet cake (our wedding cake) annually and I couldn't just ignore this tradition could I. So the idea was to buy 2 small(ish) cupcakes. I'm not an idiot. I knew if I bought a cake I would be stuffing my face...

But wait, ignore the whole fridge full of cupcakes (yes a whole bloody fridge people) and walk over to the 'mini cake' stand. rows upon rows of mini cakes and there just happened to be 2 red velvet cakes to choose from. I must admit it took great restraint from my side not to buy both: a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting inside, covered with meringue frosting or the half cheesecake and half red velvet cake option. 

I chose one (with a heavy heart) and went for just the plain red velvet cake (like I could really call it plain!!). And just look at it: dark, bright red, moist and utterly delicious. The type of cake that won over even the diabetic-I-hate-cake coworkers (I took some to work the following day in an attempt not to eat it all myself!).

They also sell these adorable cake toppers and I just could resist. I bought the black PVC "you&me FOREVER" one and a wooden one for birthdays. Isn't it just gorgeous? So Hubby came home after work with this waiting for him on the counter before our dinner date.

A beautiful cake that was utterly delicious. As I type this I have to fight the urge to go directly after work and get another one! Just don't take the last one because I might just be behind you in the shop and I will cut you if you do! Don't get in between me and my red velvet cake!


COHEN DIET | Mustard Chicken and Cabbage Salad

Doing a Weekly Prep for a diet really does make life so much easier. Yes if you are as lazy as I am you end up having the same thing for lunch the whole week but when it is something as delicious as this salad, then I really don't mind. As I ran out of lettuce I used mine green cabbage that I mere shredded and I am so glad I did. It works beautifully with the curry sauce and stands up to a week in the fridge. This is definitely a "do again" recipe!

What you need:

  • 1 cup cooked chicken
  • 1 cup shredded green baby cabbage
  • ½ cup peppers (I used red and orange mini peppers as I had no green)
  • ¼ cup red onion
  • ¼ cup curry sauce (see below)
What to do:
  1. Dice the chicken into cubes if you haven't already.
  2. Slice the peppers and onion.
  3. Make the curry sauce.
  4. Layers the cabbage, onion and peppers in a bowl.
  5. Top with the chicken.
  6. Pour over the sauce.
  7. Mix, and enjoy!

Curry Sauce:

  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar.
  1. Pour everything into a tub with a lid. 
  2. Add lid and shake like crazy!


COHEN DIET: Weekly Menu Prep

I hate monotony but I am lazy as hell so I decided to give the advanced weekly menu preparations a try. To make my life easier I decided on one protein for lunch and one for dinner. I prepped 2 sides and also 2 sauces to change it up again.

I bought some beef steaks, measured each one and placed them in these small packets, freeze half (there were more than a week's worth) and placed the rest into a container for the week. These are raw and will be dinner. I made 2 sauces (curry and pesto: each with mayonnaise and vinegar) that I will add to the meat as I cook them for variance.

For lunch I have chopped, cooked chicken breast that I can use as a salad or to top a crackerbread. I also prepared salad/stir fry packs: these can be added to the chicken as a salad or stir fry as a side for dinner. I used cabbage as it lasts longer than lettuce. These have cabbage, onion and peppers in them.

The second side which will be used only for dinner is cauliflower "rice" which I can steam, stir fry or mash depending on my mood. Next week I will switch over the lunch and dinner selection making cooked steak for lunch and raw chicken breast for dinner.

The idea is simple: I only have to make it until Friday. If I last until Friday then I can choose whether to continue over the weekend or to have a cheat dinner. I am hoping that after clean living a whole week, I would be disinclined to cheat at all but taking it one day at a time isn't so restrictive.

What do you do in order to follow a diet?


Jason's Bakery AGAIN

I have praised this wonderful bakery in Bree Street Cape Town before on many occasions especially these egg cups, but really I just couldn't resist sharing these again. I had the misfortune of having to commute to Cape Town in the very early morning of Thursday and reached Cape Town at 07h15. Just in time to visit Jason's and order something special for breakfast.

I have had a craving and some serious dreams about these egg cups for the last couple of months but you have to go early for 2 reasons: 1 they are still hot when you get there and 2 they sell fast! They have 3 versions, a tomato, a spinach and a chorizo sausage one. I obviously go for the sausage!

I also got these cranberry buns with glaze which were rich and divine! Together with a Latte my morning was sorted and I was ready to face the world!