Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekly Roundup 2

Hi lovelies!

{Image source}
{Image source}
Yeah, yeah, I know. This is becoming a trend - no posts for days, then two in one day, I should learn to schedule things, hey? Truth be told, I wasn't going to post the Tangy Beef Wraps today, but, well, they were too good not to share immediately. So you got them, and today is Weekly Roundup day, and I couldn't let you down, could I?

I've been having a helluva week - if you follow me on twitter, I apologise for my extreme language. I'll try get myself together next week, but this one has been, well, hard. So here's what's caught my eye this week (I've been reading, even if I haven't been writing much!)
  1. Beatnik Bazaar: I've followed this lady, Thaya, on twitter for a while. She designed and makes clothes for a little store in Kalk Bay, of the same name as her blog. She has a lovely, cute, vintage sense of design, and a passion for vintage bicycles. I think she's great, and I must drag myself out to Kalk Bay soonest to peruse her gorgeous vintage swimsuit range!
  2. My favourite thing this month: my Amaretto Chocolate Cake Truffles. Not to blow me own horn (ah, who am I kidding?! PAAAAAAAAAARP!!), but these were pretty amazing. I'm SO glad I conquered my fear of baking and desserts, and just made these! They blew all the wedding guests away, which was SUCH an incredible feeling.
  3. Rebound cookies: Sweet Amandine has been among my favourite international blogs for a while, but the Rebound cookie (a.k.a. the Peanut Butter Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chunks) made me a happy girlie. That was printed and popped into my bag within minutes, because after making the most incredible chocolate chunk cookies a couple weeks ago (which I, horror of horrors, have forgotten to post!), I think these'll be a cinch!
  4. Delicious soup: Joy the Baker is funny, quirky and interesting. She bakes the most incredible things (far out of my league) but this soup with goat cheese scones (biscuits) looked so incredible, and so attainable. Watch out for it on a blog near you!
  5. Rock on Wood: After Matt from I'm No Jamie Oliver raved and raved about Rock on Wood, I had them out to do a quote for redoing our kitchen, and they're such lovely souls! I'm hoping we can work this out, because I'd like to work with them to get my beautiful! new! kitchen!

Bookmark and Share

Tangy Beef Wrap

Hi dearies!

{Image source: chapparal, flickr - cropped}
Ah, it's summer again (or almost), and with summer comes salads, wraps and all things delicious and cold. But you get nights, especially in spring, where the wind blows cold and the last thing on your mind is a salad. Now, last week I ordered all sorts of fun salad veggies, and then the weather turned cold, and I'm stuck with a ton of salad, and not much desire to eat it. So what do I do? Pop the whole lot into a wrap with something delicious and warm!

Last night, I wanted something quick and easy, and I needed to use up some of the lettuce and other salad ingredients I had lurking in the fridge. I'd worked late, and the hubby was at a work function, so my sister and I whipped these up for a quick weeknight dinner. And can I say something? These were delicious! Tangy from the sour cream, slightly spicy from the cumin and cayenne pepper, and wrapped in a soft tortilla with crunchy lettuce and cucumber to finish it all off, divine! Since the hubby was full of finger foods, I got to take the third one to work today, yippee!!

{Image source: stuart spivack, flickr}
Tangy Beef Wrap

Serves 3
1 pack of beef goulash (the pre-cut strips of beef sold in PNP. Or, buy a steak and slice it yourself after cooking)
A slice of bacon per person
250ml sour cream (I use Clover, because it seems to last longer if I don't use the whole lot at once)
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 small cabbage, finely sliced *optional
1/2 yellow onion, diced
Lettuce leaves, washed (I used 2 per person, but I had a really little lettuce)
About 4-6 cucumber slices per person
150ml tomato and onion mix
Paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, white pepper and salt to taste (I'm not using exact amounts here, because I just sprinkled it over a few times, to taste)
Cheddar cheese, grated
Knob of butter
Olive oil

  1. Heat a frying pan, and pop in a small knob of butter, and a drizzle of olive oil. Heat until quite hot, because you're going to use this to brown the meat, and a hot pan is best for that.
  2. Unwrap the beef strips, and season the meat. I sprinkled salt, white pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper and some paprika, then covered it with the clingfilm it was wrapped in, and left it while the pan heated.
  3. While the pan heats, dice your onion, tomato and any other veggies you have on hand. I had some cabbage, and not much else, so that went in, and I used the salad veggies in the wrap raw.
  4. When the oil/butter mix is hot, put the beef strips in the pan and leave for a couple of seconds. Don't move it immediately, you want the meat to brown, not cook right through. Stir after about a minute, and brown the other side. When it's all brown, remove to a plate, and set aside, covered.
  5. In the pan,  fry the bacon, and set aside with the meat once cooked to your liking.
  6. Into the same pan, pop the onion, and a little more oil if you need it. Turn the pan down, and cook the onion until translucent, adding the cabbage a few minutes in. While it cooks, sprinkle some more of the spices over, but be careful of adding too much. You can add more, but not take it out, so add less now, then taste when you've added the sour cream and add more to taste.
  7. When the onions and cabbage have softened, add the tomato, and cook a little more, then add the tomato and onion mix, and heat through.
  8. Stir in a couple tablespoons sour cream, and heat, then taste. Add more spices or more sour cream, or even some more tomato and onion mix, depending on what's missing, then add the beef strips, and heat through.
  9. Turn off the pan, and remove from heat, to prepare your wraps.
  10. Place each wrap into the microwave individually, for 20-30 seconds, then roll when it comes out, to retain flexibility.
  11. When they're all heated and softened, lay each out, and lay the lettuce on top, then the slice of bacon. Spoon some meat mixture on top, then the grated cheddar and cucumber slices. Try not to overfill, as it makes wrapping them tough.
  12. Fold the sides in, then roll the side closest to you over the filling, pushing the sides and the filling under, and roll the whole thing over, covering all the filling. I serve them whole, because I like to eat them whole, or serve sliced in half on the diagonal.
Please make these! They're quick, easy, flavourful, and easy to pack with extra veggies, without making a big fuss! You could also vary the spices, making it more or less spicy, depending on palates, and even use chicken in place of beef. If I'd had some avo, a couple of slices would've been delicious! If you've never eaten a wrap outside of Kauai, PLEASE make these, it'll change your mind!

Bookmark and Share

Monday, October 25, 2010


{Image source}
So this past weekend, I learned a lot. About myself, about family, about love, and about friends. I realised a few things that I'll share with you, so I don't forget them... Maybe it'll help you remember some things too..
  1. I realised that I will go far for people I really care about.
  2. There is a lot more I can do, that I think I can't do, but I just hadn't made enough effort before.
  3. I see now that family is really important, and although I don't have much of one, I have married into a very tight one, and things that I see as overbearing interference, is actually often just the expression of care. And I should learn not to be so sensitive..
  4. The internet is full of options, but sometimes it takes just one kind person to give you what you need. Thanks Claudz!
  5. Weddings are amazing, even if they aren't yours. They bring people together, and they bring out all this incredible love and camaraderie. They are such a wonderful expression of love.
  6. People can be surprising. Sometimes, you can even surprise yourself.
  7. Sometimes, even if you think something will be a terrible flop, it comes out unexpectedly wonderful. So keep trying, and keep going - you never know, it might be amazing!
  8. I can cross off "Successfully bake a cake" from my 30 before 30 list. NICE. Must still frost something though.. getting there.
  9. People aren't as intimidating as they sometimes look - even beautiful, successful girls who exude confidence can be as vulnerable as their not-so-hot counterparts. Sometimes more so.
  10. I love being married. That's all.
So what did you learn this weekend?

Love you all, take care!

Bookmark and Share

Amaretto Chocolate Cake Truffles

Hi dearies!

So you'll never believe what I did this weekend (unless you follow me on twitter, in which case you'll have heard..) I baked a cake! And I made 140 for my friends' wedding on Saturday!! I can hardly believe I pulled it off, it was touch and go for a while whether I would manage, but Claudz from Purple Lips and Perfect Smiles gave me this method, and I knew I was saved. The only catch was, I had to bake a cake, and we all know how I feel about baking...

But, Ree to the rescue! This cake doesn't involve creaming butter and sugar together (thank heaven!) It involves a bowl, a spoon, a measuring cup, and a pot. Oh, and something to bake the darn thing in, and even that can vary. So on Friday night, while everyone was out partying (including the hubby), I stayed in and baked cakes.. and rolled truffles... and dipped them in chocolate.. But doesn't that sound good?

And. They. Were. A. Hit.

These were without doubt the most delicious truffles I've ever had, and people seemed to like them more than the wedding cake, more than the food... more even than their wine. And if that's not a recommendation, I don't know what is.

These are so flexible - you can use any combination of different kinds of cake, different liqueurs, different chocolate to roll them in. I have in mind a chocolate orange version, with some orange zest and Triple sec, or a cranberry and white chocolate one, with white cake, cranberry pieces, rolled in white chocolate. I think this'll make an incredible (and cheap!) gift for all the colleagues and random friends this Christmas, so give them a try! Once you start, it's difficult to know where to stop...

Amaretto Chocolate Cake Truffles

Makes 160 truffles
1.5 chocolate cakes, crumbled
4 tbsps Amaretto (2 for the first cake, 1 for the second half. Or all together if your bowl's big enough)
3 tsps almond essence (2 for first, 1 for second half)
5 slabs milk chocolate (to be melted for dipping, but use good quality chocolate, not baking chocolate)


  1. Bake a cake or pick up one from the shop. This is a great recipe for old cake, but if you want to bake from scratch, I used this recipe from Ree over at Pioneer Woman Cooks. It was easy, and it was amazing - and I followed the recipe to the letter (I know! Can we have a moment of silence for that amazing feat?)
  2. Let the cake cool, but not completely. You want it slightly moist still, so it sticks together more easily. 
  3. Once the cake is all crumbled, drizzle the Amaretto and almond essence over the cake, and mix it in with a knife, to distribute it evenly, making the cake crumbles a bit sticky - this helps you to form balls.
  4. You can probably do this with a cookie scoop or something, but I didn't have one, so I just scooped up some cake into my hands, squeezed it a little to compact it, and formed it into a rough ball. I found the crusty top part of the cake didn't make very pretty balls, whereas the middle part was great.
  5. Place the balls on a cookie sheet (or any other flat surface, I made 160 truffles, so I had several trays and cookie sheets) lined with wax paper. (This will be especially important once you dip them in chocolate, because it'll be much easier to remove them once the chocolate hardens.)
  6. Once you've rolled all the cake into balls, leave to harden covered for a couple of hours or overnight. (I found that once I was finished rolling the last ones, the first ones were cooled and hardened, but I did a lot so they took a lot longer.)
  7. Once the cake balls are cooled, melt some milk chocolate in a wide, flattish bowl. I did this in the microwave - break the chocolate into blocks, and microwave in 30 second burst, stirring between bursts. When the chocolate is almost all melted, stir it so that the residual heat melts the rest, and if its just a little too hard, give it another 10 seconds and stir again. You want the chocolate to be smooth and glossy, not grainy and boiling, so don't overheat it.
  8. Take each ball (one by one), and drop it into the chocolate. Using 2 forks, roll it in the chocolate until covered, and place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Wash, rinse and repeat for all truffles, breaking and melting more chocolate, as needed.
  9. Leave out to harden for an hour or so (in hot weather, you can put them in the fridge, but it was cool enough this past weekend to just leave them out).
Package into cute little boxes, or pop the lot into a bag, and give them away! You won't know how it happened, but these little balls of delight will slip away from you!

PS. Apologies again, for the horrible phone photography, these were such a rush job, I barely had any time to breathe, let alone take photos, so I was lucky to get even these. And I totally forgot to get a picture of the finished product, I had to pack and hightail it to Langebaan with these babies!!

Bookmark and Share

Friday, October 22, 2010

Weekly Roundup

Hi my lovelies!
{Image source}
What a week this has been! I've been up and down, backwards and forwards, and out driving around every night, so much so that not much has happened in the kitchen this week. Sure, I made some truffles (they weren't that great) and I made some pretty delicious poached eggs (thanks to my new PoachPods from Yuppiechef - and my sister, thanks Kristin!), but really, it's been all stations go for my friends wedding this weekend.

As I endeavour to pay it forward (you know, pay the universe back for all the incredible help I had at my wedding), I'm running around like a blue-arsed fly trying to make everything happen. And this is why we have been so sadly parted this week. Also (to be fair) I'm doing a lot of soul-searching at the moment, trying to figure out where I want to take my professional life, if I like where I'm going, and what I plan to do to change my future for the better. And that's a tough time, and it's making me a bit sad.

However, there have been some wonderful things that have caught my eye this week, that I'm going to share with you. Because what is life if we don't share?

  1. Nosh4Noah: JamieWho? posted about a Noah, a child with autism, whose parents have recently moved to Cape Town in order to ensure that this child receives the best in available medical care. However, this costs, and his parents have launched the Nosh4Noah initiative in order to try to raise money to help Noah receive the care he needs. They have asked foodies (that's us, people!) to get together to raise money for this child (who sounds amazing, by the way, go and read about him on their website). Now, after this wedding is over, I plan to do something for this child. How are you going to get involved? Read more on their website, then come and tell me how you're going to help this admirable cause.
  2. 30 days of truth: Claudz over on Purple Lips and Perfect Smiles has been posting daily on various thought provoking topics, such as views on gay marriage, people who you couldn't live without. It's an interesting series, and I'm enjoying reading it, and thinking about my own views on the subject.
  3. Doro Wat: Ok, this is more food-related. I love Ethiopian cuisine (if you live in Cape Town and haven't been to Addis in Cape, please go), and Stephanie at A Year of Slow Cooking made the most delicious-sounding Doro Wat (Ethiopian spicy stew, with whole chicken pieces, and usually whole boiled eggs) in the slow cooker, which I will be trying as soon as I get some time. It sounds divine.
  4. Giggles: in the middle of a horrible day, when everything was going wrong, I read this post by Marisa at The Creative Pot, and suddenly everything was better. I had a little giggle, and things started looking brighter. Thanks Marisa, you made my day :)
And that's the end of my little link round up. Remember to pop back by and let me know how you plan to help out with Nosh4Noah, or any other brilliant initiatives.

What's been helping you through your week?

Enjoy the weekend, lovelies!
Bookmark and Share

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ten things...summer

Hi there!

In an effort to regain my mojo, as it were, I've decided to add a weekly post on things I've learned, things I'm happy about and things I'm grateful for. This won't always be about food (but you know me, mostly things I'm happy about ARE about food!) Feel free to skip these (they'll tend to be on Mondays).. they're a reminder for me to remember happiness...
  1. I love early summer nights, when it's just started to be warm in the evenings and we can sit in the garden.
  2. I realised that simple food is often the best. Braaied lamb chops, a simple salad and corn on the cob ain't blog-worthy, but it sure tastes good after a day in the sun.
  3. Markets are the bomb. Big and small, loads of stalls or a few, I love to sit and drink beer in the sun and admire the stalls, produce, food, cupcakes (!), crafts and so on. It sings of summer for me.
  4. Lighter mornings make for a happier me. There's nothing that encourages me to get out of bed on a Monday morning, but the sight of the light creeping around the blinds.
  5. My friends (actual and virtual) are amazing. Although I'm not always the best of friends, and sometimes I'm a downright grump, my friends never cease to amaze me with their incredibleness and generosity. Thank you.
  6. Homemade cookies beat the frikkin pants off any shop bought cookies ever. Chips Ahoy? Never again.. I'm converted to the pure deliciousness of the chocolate chunk cookies I made with Ash this weekend.. YUM.
  7. Twitter is soso SO much better than Facebook. I like it when my Twitter friends comment on things, and I want to hit my Facebook friends when they comment on things. Which is why I rarely post to Facebook, and am totally obsessed with Twitter. Explained.
  8. Blogs and twitter are my news source. I get news and gossip from both, so why would I visit a news source?
  9. I still love to read the Sunday Times on the beach, under my umbrellas, in the sun. It IS summer.
  10. Strawberries are the bomb.

Bookmark and Share

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog Action Day: Water

Hi dudes and dudettes (channeling my inner Happy Days persona)

I know I said I wasn't going to post this week, and to be honest I still have nothing much to say, but I remembered that today is Blog Action Day, and the theme is water. Not having enough water, the lack of fresh water, people's access to water, what the planet needs with its water. So I'm going to write a quick post about how water affects us, and how our needs and uses affect others.

I'm willing to bet that when you were at school, you did that test, where brushing your teeth with the tap on and off was compared, and you were all told not to waste water by brushing them with the tap on. Yes? Me too. But we weren't told about when to water our gardens, to prevent burning the grass (yes, it happens, that's why people get brown lawns), or how often to water plants to avoid drowning them (yes, I've drowned a plant, you mean you haven't?) Quite frankly, I don't think I learnt enough at school about how to look after the planet and how to manage my water needs, and I wish I knew more.

Anyway, think about it. We cook, and I can bet that the most used item in your kitchen isn't your fancy chefs knife, or your chopping board, it's the water you use for steaming, boiling, washing, adding to stocks and so on. Water is the central element in our lives, and if we are stupid enough to waste that resource? Then we are destined for failure.

Here are some little facts about water:
Did you know? It takes 24l of water to produce one hamburger. That's over 19.9 billion liters of water to make just one hamburger for every person in Europe.
Don't eat fast food, people. Make your own, it's easy, healthier and better for the environment.
Did you know? Over 17 million barrels of oil are needed to manufacture the plastic bottles used for water bottles, 86 percent of which will never be recycled.
South Africans? DRINK TAP WATER. We have the 3rd cleanest water on the planet, and it tastes great! Fill glass or thicker plastic bottles, and refrigerate it for cool water. You don't need to drink bottled water!

OK. I use 1259 cubic meters of water per year. That's quite a lot, and I aim to bring that down in the next year. Find out how much you use, here, and aim to use less water in the coming year. Wash your car less often, turn off the tap when you brush your teeth, install a low flow shower head, or a multi-flush toilet flusher. Not only will you save money, you'll be helping the environment.

So here's to Blog Action Day, and saving the environment!

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Service Interrupted

Hi guys

{Image source: edited from original}
So, I owe you an apology. I've not been posting well or regularly just lately..

My hubby is sick this week, I'm writing soul-sucking copy for our company website, and have writers block, and I'm cooking old, favourite comfort food, which really isn't blog-worthy.

I'll be back next week, with a new veggie box (getting it on Thursday), a new will to live (the web copy must be done this week), and hopefully a lighter heart, cos my boy will be better by then.

So thank you for bearing with me, it's times like these when I really appreciate my lovely readers, and feel terrible for letting you guys down.

Back next week!

Bookmark and Share

Friday, October 8, 2010

Spring Baked Mushroom Risotto


{Image source: placid casual}
So, it's on my 30 before 30 list. It's been something I've been wanting to do for a while now. And I finally did it! I've been planning to make risotto for an age now (no seriously, I've literally been telling the hubs every night for 2 weeks). I mean, I've have at least a dozen conversations about it over the last two weeks, and Claudz, Marisa, Ally, Matt and Nina have all made it since then, we even had a Twitter Risotto Off planned, that I started. And yet I hadn't made it. That's wrong, right? So I gritted my teeth, and eventually the weather turned a little cooler, and last night was the night. The Night I Made Risotto. Deserves capitalisation, in my book! And I had this package, that I bought at the Good Food and Wine Show a few months ago, a kit with the arborio rice, dried mushrooms, seasonings and one or two other things. I used that, so I think this was a cheat, and I'll be doing it again.

I did, however, peel and shell a whole pack of broad beans for the little fava beans inside, and serve the risotto (I have my in-laws down, it was hard enough getting into the kitchen, without suggesting a purely vegetarian meal!) with pork sausages and sauteed asparagus. And let me tell you, that this was a crowd pleaser! I think I impressed the inlaws.. maybe I'll be allowed in the kitchen more often now.. Oh. And I just realised I bought the wrong cheese - how's that for a foodie fail? Ah well, alls well that ends well, right? And it was still delicious, if not perfect. Just means I'll have to keep at it until it comes out right, hey?

Spring Baked Mushroom Risotto

1 package of Cook me! Mushroom Risotto mix (500g)
1/2 an onion, diced
125ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
750ml (2 1/2 cups) good quality stock - I used veggie stock
1 packet broad beans (here's a good how to for broad/fava beans)
1 bunch of asparagus (half for the risotto, half for serving)
250ml (1 cup) grated parmesan cheese (I used pecorino - foodie fail)
Glug of olive oil and a knob of butter

Fresh, unshelled fava beans
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Heat a heavy based pan, and put a knob of butter and some olive oil in.
  3. Fry the onion for a bit, until soft and translucent.
  4. Pour the rice mixture in, and turn up the heat. Stir to coat the rice in oil, and heat until it pops a little - you really want to toast them a bit.
  5. Pour the wine in, and stir until the rice has absorbed the liquid. At this point, you can carry on on the stove top, stirring and incorporating the stock, ladle by ladle, but I had a couple of over things I still wanted to make, that needed my hands. So I decided to bake it.
  6. Transfer the rice mixture to an ovenproof dish, and pour in the stock, stirring it gently to make sure the stock is mixed in, and pop the whole thing into the oven for 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, steam your fava beans for a few minutes, until the skins wrinkle up and they go a dull, grey colour.
  8. Allow to cool, and peel them, revealing a bright green, nutty bean. Reserve, and stir into the risotto when you take it out.
  9. After 20 minutes, remove the risotto from the oven, and check that it's wet enough. Add some more stock if it looks dry - the oven is always hotter than the stove top (and mine doesn't seem to have a thermostat), so you'll probably need more liquid to keep it creamy. You'll see that the rice has swelled up a lot, and it'll swell up more and get creamier. Don't add the fava beans now, add them at the end.
  10. Put back into the oven for another 20 minutes, and start with the asparagus. 
  11. Snap the woody ends of your asparagus, and snap in half. The stalks are woodier than the tips, and need a little more cooking. So in the pot that you steamed the fava beans in, steam the broccoli stems for a few minutes, then add the tips for another. Say 3 minutes for the stems, and 2 for the tips, which brings it to 5 in total for the stems. Remove from the heat, and run under cold water to refresh.
  12. Chop the stems a bit smaller, and set aside with the shelled fava beans.
  13. When 20 minutes are up, take out the risotto out, stir some more liquid in if it's a bit dry, then stir in the chopped asparagus stems and the fava beans.
  14. Then stir in the cheese, handful by handful, getting it all worked in.
  15. Quickly stirfry the asparagus tips in some butter, garlic and lemon, and serve all hot.
This is a bit long winded, but you get the picture. The baked risotto is slightly less creamy, but I hear adding a cup of liquid right at the end helps with creaminess. It also means you're free to do other things, whether that's frying up some sausages, or hanging the laundry, which all helps in the end, right?

I still plan to try the stovetop risotto, when it's just the two of us. My boy can take a vegetarian meal, but the in-laws are rys, vleis en aartappels mense (rice, meat and potatoes people). They enjoyed this, I served it with some pork sausages, which they eat rarely, and I think it made a nice change for them. I would've liked it a bit creamier,but that gives me a great excuse to make it again, right?


Bookmark and Share

Monday, October 4, 2010

Peanut Butter Cups

Good morning, dearies!

{Image source}
So, it's Monday morning, but it's a special Monday morning. Today is my friend Rachael's birthday, and I managed to do what I've always wanted to do, which is make a friend a birthday present! I'm terrible at remembering birthdays (I swear, if facebook didn't remind me, I'd forget most of em) so as my friend, you're lucky if you get a greeting, let alone a handmade present! But since Rachael and my birthdays are only 6 days apart, and since we're all stations go for her wedding in just 3 weeks, I wanted to make her feel a bit special on her birthday.

(Enter from stage left, peanut butter cups). Rachael and I share a love for chocolate. And peanut butter (crunchy, not smooth). And when I found these Peanut Butter Bars from Our Best Bites, the deal, as it were, was sealed.

However, we all know that I'm not-so-great at following recipes, not least because I just cannot be trusted to always have the ingredients on hand. Such was last night when, after a weekend away in Witsand, I started making these, and realised I had absolutely no icing sugar. Bugrit.. And I'd already crushed the graham crackers (tennis biscuits for my locals), and had dirtied my blender, a spoon and a dish. So there was no turning back. Nope. So I spooned out the peanut butter (and a little bit more, just to be safe) and the butter, willfully ignoring the lack of sugar. And you know what? They turned out just lovely. Peanutty. Chocolatey. And the birthday girl is happy. What more could a girl ask for?

Peanut Butter Cups

1 1/2 cups tennis biscuit crumbs (that's about 375ml - my blender has cup markings on it, which helped)
1 cup and 2 tbsps peanut butter (this turned out to be most of a jar of smooth peanut butter - I know, I prefer crunchy, but the recipe said smooth. I'll try crunchy next time, believe me)
1/2 cup butter, softened (I used margerine, I know I know.. I only had salty butter)
1 cup chocolate chips

  1. Process your tennis biscuits to crumbs, using a blender.
  2. In the blender bowl/jug, spoon the peanut butter, and mix together.
  3. Add the butter, and mix.
  4. Spray 2 silicone mini muffin pans, or a large flat dish with cooking spray. I wanted these to me admin-free, and the original recipe said there were some issues cutting the big one into bars, so I decided to make individual ones, and see how that went. I ended up with more peanut mixture than I have space for, but that's never a bad thing, is it?
  5. Take teaspoonfuls of the peanut mixture, and press into the muffin depressions. Aim for a flat top, as the chocolate will go there.
  6. Melt the chocolate chips in 30 second bursts in the microwave, stirring between bursts. When the chocolate is nearly melted, stir, allowing the heat in the chocolate to melt the rest. If it's still too thick at that point, give it another 10-20 seconds. Be careful not to burn the chocolate, you want it to be sleek and shiny.
  7. Spoon some chocolate over the peanut mixture, and smooth with the back of a spoon. I used two teaspoons, one for spooning it on, and another for smoothing.
  8. When all the cups are covered, pop the whole lot into the fridge overnight. 
  9. In the morning, pop out of the cups (that's why the silicone works so well for this), and serve. If you'll be serving them later, try to keep them cool if the weather's warm.
Serve with big glass of milk, I promise, you won't regret it!


PS. Please excuse the phone photography, I wanted to show you what they looked like, and had to take a sneaky pic of them while Rachael was out to lunch. All I had was my phone and not too much time. In other news, you can tell I'm not much of a photographer!!

Bookmark and Share

Friday, October 1, 2010

Restaurant Review: Lunch Spots in Cape Town III

Hi there!

{Image source}
Today I'm going to talk a little bit about Bree Street. In recent years, Bree Street has gone from being the much lesser known sibling of the cooler Long Street, to being the infinitely more classy sibling, if you can take the metaphor that far. Bree Street has, in fact, gotten so cool, that there's even a blog dedicated to it. Bree Street is now lined with restaurants and cool places to hang out, from &Union and Caveau to Jardine (and Jardine Bakery) and Rotisserie 360. But today I focus a little more locally, and bring you two places that are not only close, but actually neighbours.

In the bottom of the old church that lies in Heritage Square parking lot, there are a lot of little, tiny shops and restaurants. &Union is probably the most well known, as their beers have spread far and wide in Cape Town, attracting a larger and larger market. Brilliant for them, and good for their neighbours. As more people head for Bree Street, little places like Cheyne's and Piroschka can flourish, providing us poor office drones with someplace nice to go for lunch.

So for a friends recent birthday, we popped into Piroschka's and for a farewell lunch, we went to Cheyne's. Both delicious. Both on Bree Street. Both tiny. Here you go. Thank me later.


So Cheyne, the chef and owner, used to be a private chef. He's good, really good. He opened up this tiny spot a little while ago (I think just over a year ago, but I stand to be corrected on that). The restaurant is tiny, with space for probably less than 30 people inside, and a long table outside on the mini terrace. They're open for breakfast and lunch, and private dinners by appointment. I know prominent Cape Town blogger JamieWho threw his wife's birthday party there, and was blown away. So give that a try.

But first, have lunch here. Everyday is different. There is no menu, so don't expect the same old same old. The day we went, there was swordfish and salad, and two burgers, beef and Asian chicken. My friend and I had the beef, and my other friend had chicken. For R48 and R45 respectively, we were served beautifully plated, absolutely delicious burgers. The patties were juicy and full of flavour (and as someone who has made burgers, I know that can be hard to achieve!). They were served with a delectable salad of noodled cucumber, and roasted butternut served on an Asian rice spoon. The bun was soft, and there was a wonderful burger to bun ratio (not too much bread, or too much beef) and there was crispy bacon, to finish it all off.

We all left full, and happy, at just shy of R50 a plate. How often do you find such incredible quality at such a low price? I'm assured that every day is different, with the single theme of tasty food made with quality ingredients. To be honest, I have not heard one bad thing about Cheyne's. And I have nothing bad to say either.

Oh. And they have a bacon and egg roll for R10 between 9-11am. That's good enough reason to go for a start.

Address: 108 Bree Street (below St. Stephen’s Church), Cape Town
Book: 021 422 3358
Opening times: Breakfast 08h00 to 12h00   Mon – Sat
Lunch 12h00 to 15h00   Mon – Sat
Dinner by appointment only.

Piroschka's Kitchen

In a slightly different vein, and just one step to the right, Piroschka's Kitchen is a Hungarian-German gem. They also serve a limited menu, but one that tends to stay the same. They offer goulash, flammkuchen (savoury and sweet), soup and one other thing that slips my mind. I can't comment on the other items, but the flammkuchen is delicious! A crispy thin pizza-style base is spread with a combination of bacon, creme fraiche and finely sliced red onion. The whole thing is cut up into tiny diamonds, so it's really easy to eat with your hands and share it with friends. My friends and I had one each, and we were SO stuffed afterwards, and could easily have shared 1 or perhaps 2 between the 3 of us.

They also sell gluhwein by the glass, which I am going back for. But as I had to go back to work, that wasn't going to work out. Sadness. The service is friendly, and while the food is not fast, it is incredibly tasty, and well worth the wait.

106 Bree Street, Cape Town, 8001
Book: 021 425 76 35

So keep these Bree Street gems in mind, next time you're looking for a good lunchtime meeting or social spot. The food is good, and well worth every penny you spend.

**Restaurant images from their respective websites. Visit them for more**
Bookmark and Share
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...